Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hold on to your Bottlecaps....

.....this is going to be a beer laden post. Not only do I have TWO Stubbies nights to fill you in on, I also did a home tasting too!

First up, a "mini" night at Stubbies. I knew I wanted to crash in my own bed that night (I usually stay with Christine after going out, since I live about an hour away from downtown. Plus no one wants to consider a DUI- much less a teacher, yipes!) but I still wanted to go out and get my brews on.

I was pumped to see Sweetwater's "Happy Ending" on draft, so I know you will be shocked to hear that this unofficial "Sweetwater Girl" (I actually applied to be the Gville rep this summer, but I didn't get it, probably for the best....I get away with a lot at school already, but a beer rep teacher might be really pushing the envelope! Le sigh.)

In case you didn't believe me, here is the tap handle for proof! haha.
This dark, inky baby with a creamy head is a wild spin off on an Imperial Stout, like only Sweetwater could produce. Smooth and chocolately to start with a bitter bite on the back. Not exactly my idea of a "happy ending" but you know I'm not a hops kinda gal. Still a very enjoyable beer and one I would gladly order again. This is one of the "catch and release" series, so be sure to grab it while you can! PS. It's being released more and more often, due to popularity, fyi.

I ended up staying with my Stubbie Loves for a little longer than expected led me to order a beer than had been eyeing me for a while. (We have claimed a "usual" spot at the little bar that happens to be right in front of the seasonal case, which still holds some "winter stuff". PS I love that I have a bar with a "usual spot" and that I'm on a first name basis with all the staff including the owner. It's the little things in life! ahhhh.)

Santa's Champeau- which just like the other Champeau's is a lambic with a sour finish. This is loaded with both citrus and date flavors, and while a bit strange upon the first sip, I was totally smitten by the end of the bottle. Strange floating chunks, be darned. (No seriously, I've never experience such large debris in a beer before- a little off putting, but still tasty).

A large glass of water and a 7-11 coffee had me home at a somewhat late hour, but safe and happy in my own bed! Mission accomplished.

After a mini night and a few weekends away from Gville I was in NEED of a true Stubbies night. Sit back, relax and drool.....

First up from the draft board:

Einbecker Winter Bock. Tasty, malty, smooth and oh so drinkable. Just like anything "bock" should be!
Second: Fort Collins Brown Bevvie. While Vinnie, one of the bartenders, only gave this draft a so-so review I really enjoyed it. I guess that means I enjoy "average brown ales?" Regardless I enjoyed sipping this sweet, nutty brown ale, whose taste profile got more complex as it warmed. This Bevvie or Bowie (as in David Bowie) as I kept calling it has redeemed Fort Collin in my book after the disappointing "chocolate stout" experience back in February.

After 2 drafts all the pretty labels in the seasonal case were just temping me on their sexy little bottles (yes, we had "our seats" again- this nice guy gave up his stool and then found us another, I didn't even have to ask! See why Stubbies rocks? I get what I want! hehe).

Who am I to turn down a pretty little Dogfish Head creation? Oh man this Festina Peche was great! Sour yet smooth. Like some sort of peach lemonade on hopy acid. LOVE. I will totally be seeking this out to have poolside all summer. It's that kind of crazy beer. Makes me happy just typing about it!

So, after that random trio I was in a real pickle. I couldn't go back dark after that Dogfish, but I didn't really want something crazy sweet. Steve to the rescue. He listened to me rattle off what I'd had and what I didn't want and then just like the magical man he is, disappeared only for a moment to return with this HOSS.

Hoss Rye Lager by The Great Divide. Sadly I lost my notes on this one, but I know it went right now. Also, I've been eying a Raspberry Ale by the same brewer, so I'm pumped to try it next time after success with the HOSS. (Come on, you know that is just too much fun NOT to say!)

Last but not least, a little Sunday brew-ha-ha. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into with this Holy Grail (bah-hah!) since I put it in my sampler pack based soley on the labeling. (Yes, I choose books based on their covers too. Notice! I said "choose" not judge!)

I needed not worry. This Ale rocked my socks! I mean, who can go wrong after all with a brew "tempered over burning witches"? I'm not sure how that translates to the smooth, amber colored, malt dominate beer that I so gladly consumed, but hey Monty-I'll go with it!

Ok, ok so it wasn't a real tasting, I just opened the last bottle of my ABC sampler pack to enjoy with my lunch today and wanted to share my thoughts. And I like to build up to the not-so-climate-release of disapointment. So there. You win some you lose some right? And let down by my post or no, this beer will not leave you hanging.

I think that is enough beer talk for one night. I'm on "fair break" this week (it's like spring break, instead it revolves around steer showing and Easter, but we get another spring break in April, so it's all gravy at the GCSD!) and since I don't show Steer or Hogs or any other living creature I will be meeting up with my other bossy (read: amazing) teaching girlfriends-who are also my beloved college roomies- for some fun in the sun WBP style. Harvey is coming along for the trip (that is my computer, if you are new to the Semi-Abnormal life-HI!, btw) so I may or may not be blogging. If I am it will probably be reruns, so if you want to set your DVR, er....Google Reader instead I'll understand.

Happy Spring has kinda Sprung!
Love to all,
~A beer tastic, Jess

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Proud to be a G.R.I.T.S. kinda gal.....

So, I don't know if the South will ever "rise again" but one thing I do know is that here in the deep south...well, we know how to deep fry some shrimp, or "skrimp" rather....if you want to get technical about it, and darn skippy (!) I'm a science teacher, so you know I'm going to get technical.

And also only in the south would this girl find her very favorite fried shrimp meal at a BBQ restaurant. Perhaps I'm biased, because I worked in this very restaurant for all my formative high school years and may have even experienced my first french kiss in the walk in cooler at said restaurant, but if I was told I would die tomorrow, I would have to, HAVE TO get one last order of Akins Fried Shrimp. It's all about the pepper batter, and I even know the "secret" recipe....but alas I do not own a deep fryer, no do I ever intend on owning one, so I just have to treat myself now and again to these beautiful, spicy, taste of the south, beauties.

Tonight was one of those's been a hellatious week in my world-a great one, but oh so ridiculously BUSY! Nothing like a little skrimp therapy to suck it up for one more day with the demanding but darling students.

So, with out further ado, here is yet another of my southern comfort dinners:

So, it's a a little monotone....but deliciously so. Seriously jumbo shrimp, mac n cheese, fried okra and garlic toast (that I shared with the puppies of course- they LOVE the shrimp tails too, which I only give in moderation since I'm not sure are actually good for dogs- probably not). All sided up with ranch dressing of course and a giant sweet tea (unpictured, obvs). Oh Southern Heaven on a plate.

Love to all,
~A southerner with style, Jess

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spin it Out, Eat it Up.....

Hi Loves!

Hope you all are having a slammin' Thursday, and just looking...I think I see Friday peeking his sweet little face around the corner, hooray! I don't know about you guys, but I'm dying to sleep in just ONCE this weekend. I don't think I've actually slept in (you know, until 9am-gasp!) once this month. Oy.

I'm finally feeling back to myself, after being sick for nearly 5 days so I celebrated by going to my favorite Wednesday night spin class after work and tutoring yesterday. I have never been with actual "fresh legs" since I usually go to a pretty intense step class on Tuesday's and let me tell you, it made all the difference in the world! I don't want to give up step (and won't) but many, fresh spinning legs rock my socks off! I was flying, and really conquered the jumps and surges. LOVE IT. :)

So what better way to celebrate a great work out than with a pizza? haha.

No really, I'd promised my madre that I would pick up a pizza in Gville, so where else is a girl to go to pick up amazing deep dish pizza than Leonardo's (and especially since Mellow Mushroom is closed still! grrr).

Here is my phone conversation with the pizza dude:
Pizza Dude: Leonardo's!
Jess: Hi! I need a large whole wheat pizza with every veggie you have on it.
Pizza Dude: ok, we have onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives, spinach, broccoli, zuchinni, eggplant and carrots. How does that sound?
Jess: Amazing, minus the carrots.
Pizza Dude: ok, one every veggie hold the carrots coming up!
Jess: Thanks! (And I LOVE YOU)....
ok that last part was my super hungry tummy speaking.

Need I really explain why I love this place. Le sigh. Oh what? you wanted to see the pie? Oh, well if you insist!
Sorry for the rather shody, paper plate shot....but trust me this baby wins beauty contests as well as taste contests, even if I can't capture all it's glory. That is no fault of the Every Veggie, hold the carrots pizza, just a testament of my not so fabulous photography skillz. yes, I said skillz.

Oh and who I am to have pizza without a beer? Exactly, not this Messi Jessi!

Sweet Water Georgia Brown- Sweet wonderful Brown is more like it. Love. Of course.

What is your favorite pizza combination? Do you have a fabulous local pizza place that knows how to ring your bell?

Love to all,
~A "why can't I have my beer and eat pizza too?", Jess

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Early St. Patrick's Day!

So, even though I'm mostly Irish descent, with the red tinged hair and suborn temperament to back it up, I've never really gotten into St. Patrick's Day. Oh I've had my fair share of green beer over the years, but for one reason or another I just don't get into the ONE Irish Holiday celebrated in the US. Go figure!

And, to continue with the irony, while I don't eat that much meat anymore I don't for see myself every doning the label of Vegiatarian either, since I do enjoy my fair share of meaty things...and one of those yearly meat treats is corned beef.

My family always makes a big pot of corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes to celebrate good ol' St. Patty and while I can take or leave the boiled dinner, I do love the leftovers transformed into a Ruben Sandwich (which may be a Russian thing? Yes? No? Whatever. Still kind of ironic).

So behold my annual homemade Ruben:It's a pretty standard one: homemade corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and 1000 Island Dressing, although I did opt for the fat free variety of the latter there, on Rye and pan griddled.
Plus some raw veggies, to balance out the salt over indulgence. It's all about moderation, right?....haha, right. Me, a moderate individual....dreamers.

I guess this will just be a quick and dirty post, since I have no Leprechaun Shenanigans to tell you about. I did have a GREAT weekend, and have lots to share, including a little video from the Fall of Troy show, but I'm still learning how to play nicely with that may come along later this week.

Love to all,
~the ho-hum Irish Lassie, Jess

Friday, March 12, 2010

No future as a tight-rope walker.....

So, it's a really good thing that I'm not looking for a career change...well, yet anyways. They haven't announced the cuts at my school yet- I don't think any principal is crazy enough to do that during FCAT week, because I'm sure some teachers would just walk out. Oh State of Florida, how you love to "freak" with the education system.....and shocking we are ranked 14th out of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. Not sure how that happened....hahah.

Anyways, if I was looking for a new job it wouldn't be as acrobat, because I have absolutely no balance in my life. Not only can I not balance my body, which is very ironic, since I was classically ballet trained for nearly 11 years of my life (thank you college and Taco Bell for that one), I still am really struggling balancing work, a work-out schedule and a social life.

See, I really thought I had it together the past few weeks. I've been going to the gym a few days after work, I've been actually doing stuff for myself at night (you know, reading, playing with music, doing personal research- not blogging! haha), I've been meeting friends for dinner, drinks, movies after the gym- oh and I've been getting my school work done too- by waking up at 3-4am in the morning.

So, basically I get anywhere from 4-8 hours of sleep a night, depending on the night and what all is going on, and well, my body hates me. Because my body requires 9 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy. And I know this. I've known this since I was about 7 years old. BUT my mental healthy suffers if I'm not spending time with friends and working, the age old delima remains: physical health or mental health?

Sadly I chose physical heath tonight. After a late night yesterday filled with spinning classes, sushi, seeing Alice in Wonderland with a old high school friend and a rather late bedtime I was dead by the time school was out today- so I had to cancel my Body Pump/Sweaty Thai Food date with 2 of my favorites and came straight home and slept for about 4 hours.

Cause tomorrow life continues. With a tickets to see Fall of Troy play their last Florida Venue (they are my first hardcore loves and after 9 years together they are going their separate ways), and a "date" night with my bestie bride to be- all of which is in Orlando....and since I'm in my beloved O-town we HAVE to get brunch, plus I'm picking up my flooring from IKEA. So life goes on, nasty head cold or not.

Now I'm off to pour more tea down my obnoxiously sore throat, finish another box of tissues and curl back into bed, for at least 8 more hours of sleep.

Do any of you lovelies have a betraying body? How do you balance it all?

Love to all,
~the frustratedly snotty, Jess

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Italian Feast(s)!

From homemade to a romantic night out (as a third wheel...that's my job) I love Italian food. Here are a few of my recent "Italian Feasts"

My Daddy's Homemade Spaghetti with Meatballs. Served on Angel Hair with fresh basil and garlic toast.

Speaks for itself. :)

Mediterranean Olives and Bread from Macaroni Grill. Shrimp Portofino was my main course.

Oh man! I think I could eat just bread and olives for the rest of my life. Yum-0. Plus I always love the light but rich combo of shrimp, spinach and angel hair tossed in the lemony butter sauce that is the Portofino. Heavenly.

Lastly a romantic meal with my favorite couple to be, Jenna and Jesse at Amalfi's of Orlando.
Calamari with spicy dipping sauce

The salad course was bleh and therefore unphotographed, but the bread basket? Oh my! Fresh loaf of Italian plus amazing garlic knots.

Penne San Remo (I subbed angel hair): Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts in a Porchini mushroom cream sauce.

This pasta was so rich it was orgasmic. I loved how meaty the artichokes were. Such a wonderful treat! Obviously it was so good this dish has stolen my descriptive vocabulary! :)

Love to all,
~the pasta-holic, Jess

PS. Can you tell what my favorite style of pasta is? hehe.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Hi loves,

Sorry if the title got you pumped up for an acoustic set, talented as I am, that is one I cannot provide. I can provide an excuse as to why I've been absent on the blog scene, the whole internet scene actually, this week.

First I was just super busy, but then I decided to unplug for the rest of the weekend (Sunday is my workday, therefore I do not count it as the weekend-sad, I know). And you know what? It was great. I actually got a ton of "real life" stuff done that I have been procrastinating about and I feel most accomplished.

Accomplishments include:
*Balancing my checkbook
*Paying bills
*Submitting my tax return (all by myself! so proud)
*Washing and detailing my car
*Cuddling with my Puppy
*Working on the stack of Magazines taking over my nightstand
*Spending time with friends and family

And of course acquiring tons of pictures that need to be converted into thrilling posts for your. entertainment!

Stay tuned!

Happy Sunday,
~an unplugged and lovin' it girl, Jess