Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stubbies 2 for 1!

Hi loves,

If any of you know anything about craft and good import beers (and I know some of you do, otherwise why would you keep reading my blog, that has been totally taken over by BEER!) you also know that they NEVER come 2 for 1. But I figured since I was 2 Stubbies posts behind, why not make this one a double header! (ummmm, I love head..........on beer you gutter brains!)

Night one:
Or So Close I Can Taste It

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot- so apparently I'm not a barleywine fan. Or at least I wasn't of this variation-too hoppy and "chewy" for my taste. I'd never had a barleywine before, and didn't know that was what I was ordering. This will teach me to chose something on the draft list just because I liked the name. (well and I typically like SN beers, but hey you can't win em all, right?) Anyways, I drank about 1/2 of this and then sat, playing with my glass, trying to suck it up and just suck it down. Luckily Jay noticed my "distress" and swooped in with a rescue brown ale:

Oh my goodness, what a "web-redemption" worthy brown ale! (Tosh.0 anyone? Anyone?) The boys at Stubbies got me once again. What can I say? I think I am officially a "brown ale, gal" Anyways, this Dutch Brown Ale by Tilburg was smooth and malty, such a refreshing change after Bigfoot. Also, I love the label:

In case you can't tell that is a bird eating a man, who is shitting out a bird. Wonderfully sick.

My last beer was a rare treat:

The Rare Vos the be exact. I enjoyed this Amber Ale by Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY), for it's lovely lace-y head, and sweet malty flavors that mask prevent any linger hoppiness (perfect in my book!)

What a great night....and it left me 2 shy from the looming number 50!

Night Two:
Or Halfway There, Baby!

I started off this "big night" with a beer I had been circling (literally!) for a few weeks on my list:

My good friend St. Bernadus' Prior 8 is a Begilum Dubbel packed with cherry aromas. Oh so worth the wait. I loved this beer and KNEW it was going to be a good night. #49-check!

#50 was another beer I had been considering for a while, and had actually ordered the other night, only to be redirected to a new Brown Ale arrival by the charming Mike. (ah, Mike!)

The Corsendonk Brown Ale was a real treat. I'm sure you are all sick of hearing me gush over yet another brown ale, but seriously I've found my soulmate (although I will still claim Dutchess as my forever lover). I loved the balance of sweet maltiness with a touch a peppery spice and maybe ginger? So good, soooo worthy of being my Number Fifty! Whoot, whoot!

Vinnie brought me #51 after a little review of the draft list (I love when I can be like, "nope, had that...loved that, did that one too!) we settled on this dark boy:

Rouge's Chocolate Stout. I have really learned to enjoy darker beers (think Stouts and Porters) this year, so this was another winner in my book. I think I scrawled on my list "Chocolate milk that bites back" yep, it was getting to THAT point in the evening!

So of course I NEEDED a pretzel (or as I have confessed on many occasions, a vehicle for mustard)

Delicious mission accomplished!

Emboldened by my pretzel I decided to round out the night with a cider on the draft board, and finish up with #52!

Kelly's Raspberry Cider was sweet, dry and went down quickly. Nuff said.

Wow, that was a LONG post, but then again number 50 has been a LONG time coming! Now I have just under 3 months to finish the remaining 48 beers on my list....stay tuned!

Love to all,
~the beer laden gal, Jess

PS. Here is a fun picture Ross snapped one night. I love how serious I am about beer!

Friday, May 28, 2010

2 Awesome Gifts

Happy Friday, Ya'll!

So, my Mummy surprised me at work today. She said that she was going to be at the County Office (right by my school) and wanted to drop some "supplies" off with me for my classroom. And then she waltzed in with this lovely little surprise:

A celebratory "margarita" for a pretty great first year teaching, and more importantly- celebrating that I have been rehired to teach science to the little darlings at "your friendly high school" again next year! Whoot.

And then things got even better when I got home and there was a package from my lovely "pen pal" containing this treat:

My soul sister was on a road trip in Austin, Texas and saw this nifty notepad and KNEW I couldn't live without it. She was totally right obviously....and of course I had to test it out with a little happy hour of my own.

While ABC Liquors doesn't always have the most spectacular of beer selections, the do a nice little "make your own 6 pack" dealio that I enjoy. Both of the beers I so expertly analyzed and "rated" with the aid of my handy little notepad


After- I must be honest though: this was a practice round, I love me some Wild Blue, it's sweet and strong....kind like me. teehehe. :) Well, and really, who doesn't love a 8% Blueberry Lager?

Next up was a new one:

Brooklyn Brown Ale by the Brooklyn Brewing Company, 5.8%. This is not the standard Brown Ale, and I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Brown Ales are typically malty and smooth. This was hoppy, with notes of bitter chocolate. Tasty, but wouldn't satisfy a true brown craving.

Love to all,
~the really empowered now beer snob, Jess

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Simply Soup

I know, I know....we are mere weeks from the official start of summer-and trust ME loves, it feels like summer down in here the Lovely Sunshine State already! Hello 92 degrees and 98% humidity, practicing stunting with my cheerleaders on the football field in dress pants!- but I LOVE soup. And I don't care what time of year it is, soup is my go to food.

Especially this little wonder:

But, come on....who really eats soup right out of the can, errrr, box? Not this gal. I NEED flavor profiles, so I turned plain old blended bnut squash with chicken stock into this:

Does that hit more of the note you were looking for? Well it does it for me, and if you want to play copycat-go on....flattery is the best complement or something, right?- it's beyond simple and I bet even the most basic foodie would have all the necessary ingredients, errrr, toppings in their respective fridge/pantry.

So, dump your boxed goodness in a bowl and heat. Then top with ~1/2 a cup of rinsed black beans, 1/8th of a Hass Avocado (even though I'm a Florida Gal, I'm loyal to my Cali 'Cados...shipping costs be damned-I'll offset with other local produce, ok?), a dollop of Greek Yogurt (I'm a Fage girl, 0 or 2% fyi) and lastly a few dashes of Cholula sauce. OH YUM.

Sided up with some garlic me some G-toast! :) Man, I'm not even hungry, but this post is making me crave soup and toast! Hope it has the same effect on you, since this is a very easy, "go to meal" that you could even pack up and take to work for lunch! Enjoy my fellow soup lovers!

Love to all,
~zeee zoup a holic, Jess

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Farmer's Market Feast

It's no secret to anyone who knows me, that I love food...especially fresh, flavorful foods. So, it's really no shock that when given the option of dinning out for an expensive brunch on a beautiful Florida Spring Sunday (which already feels like summer since it was 95 in the shade!) or hitting up a farmer's market to support local food artisans, I'm going to pick the farmers market.

And that was just what Jenna, Jesse and I did last Sunday. Yes, it was hot, but but the food was great, as was the company, and I'll take any excuse to go walk around Lake Eola and soak up my favorite Florida City that I am currently detached from.

I love the Eola Farmer's Market, because most of the same vendor's are there every weekend and it's like a little (well, actually pretty big) family! I had delicious samples of kettle corn, cheese, pound cake and plantain chips (oh my goodness, so GOOD- I will buy a bag next time for sure!) while walking around, browsing all the tents, but the real stars of the show I enjoyed sitting down:
Classic Arepa (griddle corn cake with melted mozzarella cheese)

These Jamaican patties really made my day though. The one you see split open was the veggie mix that caught my eye (I'd only had meat ones before). Turns out the deal was 2 for $5 or 1 for $3 so, I got a normal beef filled one (in the back of the picture) to share with Jesse. In the future I'm just going to get 2 veggie ones, because my loves this was divine! Crumbly baked pastry filled with savory, spicy mix of veggies. Totally put the meat one to shame. Check out the Jamaican Bakery tent if you ever attend the Eola Farmer's market.

Love to all,
~the farmer's market loiter, Jess

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Hi all,

Time for yet another Stubbies update! yay! I knocked off #43-45 (duh, as the post title gave away!) last Saturday night and my-my was it a delicious victory. The halfway point is looming! Whoot.

I started off the night with a pick from the draft list: the Fort Collins Dunkelweisse. It was so tasty I realized I hadn't taken a picture until one of the bar backs came to bus the table a little....I went for my camera to take a "this was so good I finished it-empty glass" picture only to realize I didn't have my camera! What? Minor freakout ensued....but luckily Christine had her camera that night, to the rest of these photos are courtesy of her.

Round Two was a beautiful brown ale-recommended by Mike. Love Mike! Nearly as much as I love brown ales....seriously I haven't had a brown ale I haven't liked yet!

This variation by Carolus, the Gouden Carolus Classic didn't disappoint either. Light, slightly sweet and very refreshing with a velvety mouth feel.

To finish off the night I had an organic wheat yeast beer that Christine and Liz had been raving about.

the Schnedier Edel-Weiss was a classic wheat beer, with a few surprises: citrus, cardamom and something peppery and a weird taste of bubblegum? Very tasty and very large.... 1/2 a liter!

See? A Jenna inspired "as big as my head" picture, which I LOVE! I've actually changed it to be my sidebar know, cause my blog is sooooo high tech and worth reading outside of Google Reader! haha.

Here are a few more Stubbies related photos that have been chilling on Christine's camera.

The Dynamic Duo!

The Beer Case on the German Side

The Creepy Nutcrackers that lurk on top of the beer case....this photo is solely for Christine!

Well, this wraps up yet another beer laden post...hope you enjoyed and are enjoying your weekend!

Love to all,
~the beer LOVER, Jess

Monday, May 10, 2010

Abarnment Update: I can see the light....

So, I had this really awesome video for you all, in addition to the following post, but in spite of my amazing Harvey (my super fabulous MacBook Pro luuuuuver) I still cannot post a damn video. Neither YouTube nor Blogger will upload my stupid 3 and a half minute tour in progress of the abarnment....but here is what I have in pictures for now. Suggestions? I have DSL so this really should NOT be an issue!

Moving are some photos from about a month ago:

Daddy installing the kitchen to love a man who can make a platform out of tractor!

Oh! Hi there Daddy!

Letting the light shine on what will eventually be my kitchen, yay!

Oh and speaking of light, I will be illuminated at night too, because baby I've got POWER!

The circuit breaker installed in what will be the wall of my bathroom/bedroom.

We actually have finished a lot more than is shown in these pictures (and I would love to share with you via my cute little video! grrrr):

all wiring: electrical, cable (tv) and phone
all wall insulation-complete by Mummy and yours truly!
99% of the dry wall (it looks like an apartment!)
1/2 of the bathroom pluming!

The to do list is still pretty lengthy though:

Finish the bathroom plumbing
Put in the last little bit of drywall- have to finish putting the plumbing in first
Patch and tape drywall
Run water lines
Run sewer lines (and install septic tank, etc)
Install flooring
Install all kitchen cabinets/counters
Install all kitchen appliances
Install bathroom- toilet and sink and fixtures
Finish all trim work/doors, etc

Phew! I'm hoping to move in this summer though! Very excite! :)

Love to all,
~the little construction apprentice, Jess

Friday, May 7, 2010

That's the night.....

.....the lights went out in Georgia.....errrr, Stubbies?

So, I had very high expectations for Friday night at Stubbies. See I hit number 40 on my list during my birthday outing and I'm at that point where I can see finishing this list slipping out of my fingers if I don't buckle down. How ironic is that? buckling down to drink beers? How crazy am I? Regardless of my sanity levels I really wanted to knock 3, if not 4, beers off my list.

And yes, it was UF's graduation weekend, and yes, it was chaos driving around town, but once Christine and I arrived at Stubbies, we were able to park ourselves in front of the bar on the new side and "tuck in for the night"....or so we thought.

Beer number one:
Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary Kritz and Ken Imperial Stout. I got this one on a whim, because a- I typically like SN products b- I liked the name and c- it was on the draft list.

the Kritz and Ken was a very tasty IS, with that dark chocolate stout flavor I'm coming to enjoy very much and a touch of maybe raspberry? I would get it again for sure!

And sure it was rain cats, dogs and UF graduates at this point, and maybe the lights flickered a time or two, but hell, it's Florida and it feels like summer already, so what's a thunderstorm to a great night out? Nothing, right?

2nd Beer:

Maredosous 10 Triple. To be perfectly honest I chose this beer because we were sitting in front of the Belgium cooler and I was intrigued by the upside down label. Turns out my bottle was just defectively labeled. But I'm still glad I got this Triple (which turned out to be 10% a/v! Yipes) that was very drinkable, if a touch bitter. The creaminess of it totally made up for the bitter though and I would recommend this one to anyone who likes Belgium beers!

So, I was 1/2 through the lovely Triple and contemplating my third beer choice when the lights flickered yet again, and then they went out! Out in that, "no bitches, I'm not coming back kind of way." Oh so tragic. We waited around for a while and I held flashlights for the bartenders, so they could run tabs before the computer backup died, but Christine convinced me that the lights were NOT coming back on, so we settled up (I felt sooooo bad for the boys- they must have run over 100 tabs on manual credit cards that night) and ran across a very flooded University Ave to the safety of the car, and power on at the townhouse.

It was fun being in the bar in the dark, but I'm bummed that I'm now "behind" on my list. And seeings how I've been under the weather all week, and am currently at Relay for Life (I'm auto posting) I am a tiny bit concerned I won't get to cross anything off my list this week! ahhhh!

Love to all,
~the slightly obsessive about this list thing, Jess

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Christine's Cafe

My Gville and Camp Bestie Christine lives in the best place in town. Right across from the gym! I love it and am so jealous that she can WALK to the gym. Le sigh....and you wonder why I spend at least one night a weekend at her place!

Another great thing about my wonderful friend? She often will invite me over for dinner after a gym session. She is a budding chef and like myself tries to eat healthily most of the time-potato pancakes at Stubbies aside!-, so I was pretty pumped after Body Pump one night that she wanted to test out a quick Thai pasta dish on me. (Ok, I was after spinning, but come on "pumped" " Body Pump"? That was funny!)

Sorry for the two odd looking photos. I had left my camera in the car and was tooooo lazy to get it, and well Christine's camera is more hi-tech than my little Brownie, so I was having a hard time with it. I like the first picture, but the color is way off. The bottom picture is the right colors, but has shadows. What's a girl to do? Well, post two pictures and then explain them obviously!

So, what is that lovely mess in the above two pictures? Sheer deliciousness!

Christine will have to correct me, but I believe this was whole wheat linguine with a peanut Thai sauce and chicken. The sauce is the real star here, and I know it had peanut butter, salsa and orange juice in it. I know that sounds random, and I was a little "concerned," but MY GOODNESS, this was so very good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I would even suggest tossing in red or green peppers (very crisp) and subbing the chicken for tofu...I want to try this, but I really need my very own kitchen again. Update on that project soon!

Love to all,
~the bestie good moochin' gal, Jess

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Down and Dirty Curry

So, as most of you know, I currently live with the 'rents ( and yes, I PAY rent, thank you very much) while the construction of my abarnment continues, which has made my cooking escapades a little more limited, as my parents aren't very adventurous eaters. But hidden opportunity stuck the other morning as my Mom flew out the door, calling over her shoulder that she would be later getting home and would I "do something with the leftover steak?" At first glance I wasn't excited about this prospect, even if it meant some alone time in the kitchen, as I'm not a steak lover anymore, especially not nearly week old steak.

As I thought over my options, stir fry-ugh, fajitas-bleh, pepper steak-lord no! It suddenly came to me! Curry!

So, I rushed home from work in a hurry (hehe) and started chopping.

I sauteed the zucchini lightly with some chopped onions, just to give it a touch of color and then introduced the star of the show to the pan:

I hadn't tried a prepared curry sauce before- usually I buy the paste and add my own coconut milk, but this was an impulse buy at Publix the other week, and it worked out great for my "down and dirty curry."

After bringing this sauce to a boil briefly (per the instructions on the bottle) I lowered the heat and tossed in the steak strips and green pepper and let the whole simple mess simmer on low for about 10 minutes while the brown rice I had started earlier finished cooking (why does brown rice have to take 45 minutes? Le sigh).

Served up over the rice, plus sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Light, refreshing and delicious. Even with the steak- haha.

I honestly can't wait to make this again. The leftovers didn't last past lunch the next day! Oh, and my "no, I don't eat curry" parents? They loved it! hehe.

Love to all,
~the one curry conversion at at time, Jess

PS. Just fyi, I did doctor up the sauce with some hot chili paste and a sprinkle of sugar.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The "Low Key" Birthday!

So, I turned 24 last week. No big deal, I mean, last year was my "golden birthday" and it felt like I celebrated all month long (I turned 23 on the 23rd of April) and next year will be big because hello, 25 is a quarter of century! But eh, 24 is just another year right? So I didn't really want to do anything big....well, things got a little bigger than even I expected, and well it was amazing!

Things got kicked off right on Friday with Mom and I hitting up a local spa for manis and pedis. Then Jenna rolled in from Otown and we hit up Akins for some classic country cooking (I didn't take a picture- just chicken tenders, okra and mashed potatoes with white pepper gravy, tasty but not earth shattering) and then trekked over to Christine's to have a girls night in (well, the girls and Ross!). My Gville bestie is the Bestie and got me this lovely bottle for my bday.

It is another Flemish Red and has that similar sour note that I adore, as seen before in my beloved Dutchess and new luuuver the Vichtenaar! Does the girl know me or what? Thanks again, Christine! :)

The next day after Ashley so bravely made the 4.5hour tek up the Turnpike/I75 from WPB to BFE she gamely hopped out of her car and over to mine, and the 211 girls zipped over the Cedar Key to enjoy an Arts Festival that just so happened to be going on. We were successful at picking up a few things for the upcoming Mother's Day and Father's Day holidays, and I satisfied my local seafood craving with this tasty Clam Bake:

A steamed mess of clams, sausage, corn and red potatoes. Oh so messy and delicious...just like the birthday girl herself! haha. With a sweet tea, of course!

Check out this awesome hat! I really wish I would have bought it now....oh non-buyers remorse.

After a long hot day by the bay....I mean gulf, we came home and dipped in the very chilly pool (only 71 degrees!) before getting cleaned up for a night out in Gville.

Oh course we had to photowhore a little before leaving, by the said pool.

Now, where else would this crazy 24 year old want to go for her birthday dinner than La Fiesta? So we did!

Started off with a pitcher of 1800 margaritas- and the homemade chips and salsa of course! So goooood on both accounts!

And I know you all have seen my favorite dish at La Fiesta many times before, BUT it was my birthday dinner and this meal is EPIC- so I present to you, yet again, the Vegetarian Chimchanga.

Now, were else would this particular girl want to spend the rest of her birthday night in the "big city" of Gainesville? You guessed it! Stubbies and Stiens!

I started the night off with the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale. You know how I love my Brown Ales and this one hit the spot. It had a sweet smell, but more of a bitter, burned nut taste. It was thoroughly enjoyed!

I was craving something more sweet though and after the bitter, dry hopped nature of the Pecan Nut, I changed gears and got Abita's Strawberry Harvest Lager.

Good lord I wish they brewed this year around. It is sweet smelling, but has a wonderfully crisp and nearly dry finish. It reminds me of cream soda, but no one else got that impression. We also found that if you took a sip of the ridiculous Imperial sludge that the boys were drinking before tasting the Strawberry Harvest it would taste like gram crackers- true story.

I finished the night on another fruity note with the Great Divide's Wild Raspberry Ale.

I had been eying this beer since I had Big HOSS the other week and it was all I could have hoped for and more. Light, refreshing and not sickly sweet like some fruit beers can be.

Of course things got a little's just a taste of the fun times!

And who do I have to thank for my wonderful trio of brews? Well the one legged man in the kilt of course!

Thanks again Ryan for picking up my Bday tab and for sporting the kilt in my honor. You are the best!

Now, that sounds like quite a successful celebration, don't you think? And I would certainly agree. But did we stop there? oh no....well, I mean, we stopped there for the night, but after drinking off the tequila and barley malt there was brunch to be consumed!

The other 2/3rds of my 211 girls had to jet off to other engagements in there respective cities, but Christine and I enjoyed a street side brunch at the Top and took in the wonders of Gville on a Sleepy Sunday Morning, with a side of refreshing rain.

Oh, we had some good food too:

I had the "mess of grits" which was true to it's name.

Yellow grits topped with onions, peppers, two fried eggs, cheese and faux chorizo sausage (I wasn't a fan of the fake sausage so I picked that off) with a biscuit and bacon. I ordered the Applewood bacon and Christine got the Seitan Bacon and we each swapped a slice. I enjoyed them both, and am curious to explore more of the "Wheat Meat" seitan uses.

Christine asked that I photograph her colorful "that brie thing" (I love the Top's dish names!) which was 3 grit cakes topped with eggs, spinach, tomatoes and brie cheese.

I nearly ordered this many great options. I am looking forward to going back again for brunch soon!

So, that was my crazy "low key" birthday! When this girl celebrates she does it in style I guess? Thanks again to all my wonderful friends for living it up with me, it wouldn't be a real party with out you!

Love to all,
~the just can't keep things simple, Jess