Tag Archives: beer


Two things.

1. HAPPY DECEMBER! It’s the best month of the year. HOORAY!

2. To celebrate December (okay, that’s not why), Hanson is releasing a beer. A beer called “MMMhop.”


Yes, you read that right.

No, that was not a typo.

No, I am not crazy.

No, this is not a joke.

This. Is. For. Real.


Seriously — Hanson — yes, that (awesome) band from the 90s — is releasing a beer.

An IPA, no less.

(source) (That’s not it.)

That is so hot.

Don’t believe me? Check here. Or here.

And that’s all I’ve got for today, folks. Nothing I could possibly talk about could beat the merging of two of my favorite things in the world.

That’s beer and Hanson, for you slow people. 😉

Oh! Three things! December! HOORAY!



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Last Week

I feel really bad that I haven’t posted in a few days. I’ve been so busy catching up with my family and friends and, of course, dogs, that I haven’t really had a moment in front of the computer.

I can, however, tell you all about last week, since I never really had time to cover it at the time.

As you are all well aware, last week was nuts. It was my final week at my old job, for one, so I was wrapping things up and training my replacement. On top of that, I was busy every single night.

I spent Monday night making red velvet white chocolate chip cookies for my friend Chris since it was his birthday.

I made them with Lauren and was so concentrated on making the cookies that I didn’t really have time to focus on making us dinner, so I was terribly grateful for the Steamfresh packages I’d just been sent by Foodbuzz for the Tastemaker program.

I made scrambled eggs with that package of Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans. So, that package plus four eggs and some cheese made a perfect and easy dinner for two.

Meanwhile, Mark didn’t really need dinner because he was too busy making out with Lauren’s dog, Spot.

Actually, those Steamfresh packages saved me more than once. Lunch, the next day, was a package (two servings) of Primavera Vegetable Risotto.

It was pretty good! A little bland, though. I preferred the potatoes and green beans.

On Tuesday night, we went out for Chris’s birthday.

On Wednesday night, I did laundry and packed my bags.

On Thursday night, I went out with my coworkers to celebrate the end of my time at our company. I had three beers and they killed me. But I had a great time doing it!

(I have no idea what’s happening there.)

(Robyn, I’m framing that!)

(I maybe won’t frame that one.)

And, on Friday, right after work, I hopped on that plane home to CT.

Whew! Okay, next time you see me, I’ll actually write about some of my time at home.

Have you ever left a job before that you loved, like me? Or that you hated? I’d love to hear your stories!


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Wood & Vine

Alright, what do you say I quit the pouting? I woke up this morning to an email from my grandmother saying that I was depressing her, so I think it’s time that I snap out of it.

I mean, nobody likes someone who depresses sweet grandmas.

Anyway! Last night, I got together with a few friends from film school for dinner (well, “dinner” and drinks) at Wood & Vine in Hollywood.

We sat out on the patio, which was tres swanky.

Its the kind of fancy-schmancy place that has a new menu each day. See?

I have no idea what was up with my camera last night. You’ll see an even blurrier picture later.

I started off with a nice (but small, for $8!) glass of Pinot Noir.

The evening started with just me, Rod and Chan.

I was about to tell both of them, as I looked at the nice menu at this fancy place, that I would make fun of anyone who ordered a Miller Lite…

… when both of them ordered Miller Lites. 😉

You guys… I think I’ve become a beer snob!

I’m okay with it.

The reason for getting together, by the way, was to say bye to Chan, who is moving far, far away.

He was one of my favorite people at film school and I will miss him dearly.

Anyway, the way Wood & Vine works is that you can order “sharing plates” or cheese plates, but no entrees. Everything comes out as it’s ready, rather than all at once.

Chan broke the rules immediately and ordered a sharing plate just for him. 🙂

This was “hand-torn pasta.”

Then, the three of us ordered a cheese plate.

It comes with toasted baguette slices, honey and pickled vegetables, in addition to the three, six or nine cheeses you choose.

We got three: a soft french cheese with salt rind, a goat cheese, and a taleggio.

My favorite was the taleggio, followed by the goat cheese. I wasn’t a huge fan of the salt rind cheese, though Chan and Rod favored that one.

Soon after the cheese arrived, so did our friends Jenni, Brian and Brian (yes, two!).

Brian #1 immediately hijacked my camera and took pictures of himself and Brian #2. Here’s one.

When Brian #1 ordered a Summer Solstice and I stole a sip, I knew immediately that I’d need one of my own!

It was so good, guys. So, so good.

Not so good: the group picture we got on my automatic digital camera.

How does that even happen??

Anyway, it was a really fun night with lots of laughter. It was so good to catch up with these guys.

We’ll miss you, Chan!!!


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My Weekend, In Drinks

Part of this is that I totally can tell you all about my weekend through pictures of my drinks. But, let’s be honest here. Most of it is that I was a terrible blogger this weekend and took basically no pictures.


But, hey, I can still make it interesting!


Okay. Full disclosure. This is a recycled picture. This picture was not taken on Friday night. It’s not even actually the beer I got. But it was taken at Ladyface back in March, and that’s something, right?

It’s totally not my fault that my camera died.

On Friday night, Monica, Dan, Amanda, Andy, Mark and I were able to get together at Ladyface. This may not seem like a big deal, but the fact that we managed to pull something impromptu off when we’ve all been trying for weeks to find a time to hang out is pretty much nothing short of a miracle.

I wish I had actual pictures to show you, but there was that whole camera dying thing to contend with.  I can, however, tell you that I was thrilled to spend my Friday evening with some of my favorite people in the world.


Saturday was a perfect day. It was fantastic.

It started out with a lazy morning (which I so badly needed), during which I obsessively read (and finished — I had read about half of it in the few days prior) the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy, The Hunger Games.

Mark, the best roommate ever, got us both coffees.

(That’s totally another recycled picture. Last one! I promise!)

The Hunger Games. I am addicted. I cannot even explain how addicted I am.

That afternoon, I went to the second of ColLAboration’s Pop-Up Beer Gardens. You may remember the first.

I tried four different beers. This was the only one I took a picture of:


The four I tried: Avery Brewing Company’s Collaboration Not Litigation Ale (loved), Hangar 24’s Double IPA (liked), and, I’m just going to be honest here… I cannot remember for the life of me what the other two were.

Again: Oops.

Saturday night involved post-beer garden dinner at Umami Burger in Hollywood (I got the Earth Burger — YUM!) and then Mark and I crashed at home while watching True Blood. That’s what cool people do on Saturday nights, right?


I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning with one thing, and one thing only on my mind: I needed to keep reading The Hunger Games trilogy. I had to know what happened next.

So, after realizing that the libraries near me not only were either closed or not open until 1pm, but also that they were out of Catching Fire (stupid other people reading wildly popular books), I knew I had to buy them. This is a big investment for me. I tend to be fairly frugal with money, so buying books is hard for me when I know I can take them out of the library for free.

Anyway, as soon as I realized that Target was open at 8am, I was out the door at 7:50, ready to make my big purchase.

And thus, the rest of my Sunday morning was spent like this:

And then I decided to actually shower.

I probably would have just foregone the shower altogether, if I’m being honest, but I decided to book a last-minute massage because my IT Band was acting up and I just wasn’t in the mood for additional knee problems.

Anyway, post-massage, my afternoon looked like this:

That was actually one of two Kombuchas. The first I managed to drop, break, and spill all over the store. That was awesome.

Oh, and this:

Soooo necessary after a massage.

Anyway, I managed to both start and finish Catching Fire yesterday and start Mockingjay.

I may or my not have a problem.

I think the real problem here is that I will likely finish Mockingjay in the next 48 hours and then will feel as though I have an empty void that need to be filled.

Dramatic? Me? Never.

Have you guys read The Hunger Games trilogy yet? Isn’t it amazing?


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The Rest of My Weekend

What does it feel like to have free time? I’m starting to forget.

So. The rest of my weekend.

Friday night needed to end early because I had an early morning on Saturday, but I was happy to have been able to sneak in my friend Alicia’s birthday dinner.

That’s Alicia, on the right. Happy birthday, Alicia!

We went to The Federal in North Hollywood, which is new. It’s… interesting. The downstairs is totally up my alley — a gastropub with good beer on tap and good food to munch on. Plus, it’s not ridiculously overpriced. The upstairs, however, is weirdly a club? I wasn’t so down with that. Especially since they turned some of my friends away for their attire (No nice hoodies or hats? I’m sorry, that’s so pretentious.).

Anyway, like I said, the food and beer were both good. My drink of choice for the evening was Napa Smith, a Czech Pilsner.

Big fan.

My friends Rachel and Bret kept it classy with some martinis.

How very Mad Men. (I think. Right? I don’t watch it.)

I got a turkey burger, which came with garlic fries.

It was great, but I ate some and passed the rest off to a friend that had arrived late and hadn’t ordered dinner. I fed a friend and ensured that I wouldn’t overdo it. Sharing is caring, right?

It was so much fun to catch up with these friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen in far too long.

Remember how I said I had an early morning on Saturday? Well, I knew it’d be early… but I did not know how much it would kick my ass.

No, not because of the beer. It was because, upon telling my trainer that I’m thinking about quitting the gym for a few months (I’m not stopping working out! No, far from it — but this is for another post), he decided to try to convince me not to. And his way of convincing me not to was to work me harder than, honestly, I had ever worked before.

I told my friends later that I felt like I had been on an episode of The Biggest Loser. I had sweat pouring out of me. I was shaking my way through multiple minutes of planks with my feet on the bench and my hands on the floor. I learned that I’ve been cheating on pushups forever, apparently, because my trainer wouldn’t let me do any less than having my chest TOUCH THE GROUND every time.

I cannot even begin to tell you how sore I was on Sunday. I felt like someone had ripped up my abs, shoulders, and chest.

Anyway, after that ass-kicking, it was time for the blogger picnic. You’re all caught up there.

That afternoon, the lovely Amanda came over to hang out with me while I attempted a baking experiment. I tried making black bean brownies.

I used the words “attempted,” “experiment” and “tried” because I really do not consider them successful. They were okay, and they taste much better refrigerated than hot out of the oven or at room temperature, but… I don’t know. They just taste fat-free to me. And, you know, if I’m going to indulge in a brownie, I’d rather it be a good one. Otherwise, I just don’t think I need the brownie at all, you know what I mean?

Anyway, the reason I was baking was because — yes, a few of you guessed it right! — I was going to Cinespia that night.

Basically, Cinespia is a summer series in which movies are held, drive-in-style, in the Hollywood Forever Cemetary. Creepy, right? Even creepier when you know what movie I was seeing…


You can bring picnics and can even bring alcohol, which is super cool.

Check out the spread our friend Brendan brought!

He totally showed the rest of us up. He especially showed my lame brownies up.

My plate (except multiply the orzo salad by three):

I also basically managed to polish off an entire bottle of red wine by myself. Lush.

No, Mom, I wasn’t driving.

Anyway, Cinespia is also really cool because the hour and a half before the movie starts is just time to hang out while picnicking, drinking and listening to the DJ they have. Pretty fun, right?

Mark and I entertained ourselves by awkwardly dancing like middle schoolers.

Obviously, everyone there wished they were hanging out with us. Obviously.

Don’t worry, we looked normal most of the time.

That’s Mark and his adorable friend Sarah, who stayed with us most of last week. I loved having her! Sarah, you are welcome any time!

And that’s Brendan, Chris, me (gosh, I hope you know that by now) and Rachel.

Hooray! It was a totally fun night and I will definitely be returning to future Cinespia screenings. When I got home, though, I was positively pooped. I didn’t set my alarm because Sunday was to be my lazy day, but didn’t expect to sleep past 8. I never do, even when I try.

But the sleeping gods smiled upon me and I slept until 9:30 on Sunday. NINE-THIRTY! It was glorious.

My Sunday, however, wasn’t quite as lazy as I had hoped it would be. I ended up feeling obligated to get some of the things on my to do list done, since I never have time to do them. The good news is that I crossed a bunch of errands off the list. The bad news is that I kind of missed out on the lazy day I so sorely needed.

I also spent a lot of time making three batches of granola bars!

I wish you knew how big this bowl was in real life so you could get a real sense of how much dough there was.

The result: this…

Times three. The final batch was baked last night!

One of them was a disaster (thank goodness one of the batches was meant for Mark and me anyway), one of them was for Tina’s Bake Sale winner and was shipped out yesterday morning (thanks, Mark!), and one was for my friend Parvin (shipped out this morning… thanks again, Mark!)!

I’ll tell you why I needed to send Parvin granola bars in just a few days. Hint: they were a thank-you gift for the same reason I’m quitting the gym for a little while.

Any guesses?


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“Bieres de Champagne”

After hearing my friend Laura rave about Eagle Rock Brewery, I knew I had to check it out.

When I went to go do a little research on their website a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that they have a series called “Women’s Beer Forum,” which is a monthly event in which they host themed tastings and teach the crowd about the beers.

They had one last night with a theme of “Bieres de Champagne.”

My dates for the night: Kelley and Katherine!

One thing I like about Eagle Rock Brewery — the people there are true beer lovers. How do I know this? Because unless you knew about Eagle Rock Brewery, you wouldn’t be there — as in,  it’s not the type of place you just happen upon. It’s basically in an alley and it’s unmarked!

See what I mean?

Inside, you can find a fairly small tap room.

And then, a little further back from there, is the room where they held the Women’s Beer Forum.

It filled up quickly, but we grabbed seats in the front so we could get pictures like good little bloggers.

They gave us a handy-dandy guide…

… And we were off! They poured the tasters in the front and had us line up (okay, crowd around) to pick our glasses up.

First up: Deus (Brut des Flanders) from Brouwerij Bosteels, Belgium

“Chardonnay-like in color with notes of pear and cider in the nose and big spicey aromatics (cinnamon, cumin) and flavors; honey, light fruit, lemon grass, and baking spices. Champagne-like carbonation with a bone dry finish. 11.50% ABV.”

I liked this one a lot. I’d say it was my second favorite of the night. I could definitely taste the honey immediately and, when I paid attention, I could taste the cinnamon, too!

Here are Kelley and Katherine with the bottle:

After we all had our glasses in hand for each round, Ting, who ran the session, would tell us a little more about the beer we were tasting.

Next up: Maltose Falcons Brut from Woodland Hills, CA

“Brewed by members of the Maltos Falcons homebrew club. Comprised mostly of Belgian Pilsner malt with small portions of crystal and aromatic [malts], Styrian Golding and Saaz hops, fermented with Saison and Trappist yeast strains. 11.4% ABV.”

I liked this one too (let’s be honest, I like most beers), but I found it to be a little bit bitter.

Next up: Liefmans Cuvee-Brut from Brouwerij Liefmans, Belgium

“Bright, deep cherry red with a fine pink head. Sweet dark cherry-like aromatics with a tiny hint of tartness. As in the aroma, the flavor is dominated by big cherry sweetness with a touch of tartness to balance, essentially a highly carbonated interpretation of a Kriek. 6% ABV.”

I did not have high hopes for this one — especially when I smelled it and found the scent to be reminiscent of cough syrup. And, upon first sip, I didn’t like it all that much (but definitely thought it tasted a heck of a lot better than cough syrup!). However, as I kept drinking it, the beer actually really grew on me. It reminded me, however, more of cherry soda than it felt like a beer.

Blogger cheers!

Finally, the fourth beer was poured.

Last up: Malheur Brut Noir (Dark Brut) from Brouwerij de Landtsheer, Belgium

“Hazy brown with a billowing brown head, with hints of malt sweetness, ripe fruit (cherries, grapes) and chocolate in the nose. Strong notes of tart cherries, cotton candy, and a spicy fermentation character. Highly carbonated with a velvety mouthfeel. In some respects, a champagne version of a Belgian Quadrupel. 12.00% ABV.”

This was definitely my favorite of the night. It was such big beer with so much complexity of flavor and I felt like I tasted something different with every sip!

Before we left, I snapped a picture of the four bottles…

And, of course, ensured that we got a group shot!

And then, with grumbling bellies (at least, for Katherine and me) we headed outside to the Almoosal truck.

They had a special little menu just for Eagle Rock Brewery goers.

Katherine got the sandwich.

I got a chicken empanada.

And then, in the car, I ate not one, but two of Katherine’s amazing macaroons.

I only meant to have one, but I couldn’t help myself. Seriously, they are out of this world. You guys have to make them. They melt in your mouth.

Anyway, I had a really nice night trying new-to-me beers and hanging out with blogger friends, but boy oh boy was I pooped when I got home. I crashed immediately!

Have you ever heard of Bieres de Champagne? I never had before until last night!


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Three-Party Weekend

Seriously, this weekend was so packed. Packed!

On Friday, I wanted nothing more than to go home and go to sleep. I was exhausted. But then, two very persuasive friends at my office convinced me that I needed to go with them to this Vietnamese restaurant.

Thank goodness I did. Not just because I was with wonderful new friends, but because this guy showed up at the restaurant:


I know, right?


Anyway, I couldn’t stay out too late, as I had a big day the next day.

On Saturday, I woke up, made the dough for my baking project, went to the gym for 2 hours, came home, threw the baking project into the oven, hopped in the shower, took the baking project out of the oven, got dressed, and headed out the door, hot baked goods in tow.

What is this baking project, you ask?

Oh, just some Butterbeer Bars. For a Harry Potter Movie Marathon Party.

Don’t worry, recipe to come. 🙂

Anyway, the party was awesome. I was there for the end of the first movie, all of the second, third and fourth movies, and the first few minutes of the fifth. We took group pictures before each movie.

As you can see, it got progressively bigger as the day went on. It was intense and wonderful.

There were lots of treats involved — some Harry Potter-themed and some not. Sadly, not all of them were photographed.

There was butterbeer (cream soda + butterscotch schnapps + vanilla ice cream + vodka), for instance.

It was good, but very, very sweet. I’m glad to have tasted it but I couldn’t do more than a couple of sips.

There were cheese and crackers (three different kinds of goat cheese, by the way)…

We also had Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavored Beans. My friend Chris, the host, modeled them:

There were Chocolate Frogs…

And, of course, my Butterbeer Bars.

There were also lots of other snacks — mini hot dogs, chips and dips, pizza for dinner, lots of beer, etc. But my great regret is that I somehow did not manage to capture the star of the show, which were Mark’s Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Balls, dusted with gold to make them Snitches.

I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures. They were beautiful.

I KNOW. I’m sorry. 😦 Blame the butterbeer?

Or just all of the distractions?

Anyway, I was there until about 10pm on Saturday and then went home and promptly crashed. It was a long day! I also had another big day to come on Sunday.

So, on Sunday, I cleaned the entire apartment top to bottom (except for Mark’s room, of course), and then roasted up some veggies for a dinner party I was attending that night.

Here’s a tip: whether you’re looking to bring an easy, healthy side dish to a potluck, make this! I literally dumped a bag of broccoli florets, a bag of yellow and green wax beans, half a bag of baby carrots, and about half a bag of mini red potatoes (okay, I had to chop those first) onto a pan, drizzled them with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, topped them with salt, pepper and Garlic Gold nuggets, and roasted them for 45 minutes.

Easy as pie. No, easier.

Anyway, I dropped my roasted veggies off at Amy’s house for the dinner party that I’d be attending later, then headed over to party #1 of the day and #2 of the weekend.

This one was a lovely tea party!

Doesn’t everyone look so pretty?

This was a housewarming party held by my friends Tara and Marissa.

I could not get over how cute their new place is. Seriously, it made me realize that I could be doing such better things with my apartment. Mark, we have some work to do!

Similarly beautiful was the spread at this party. These girls know how to host an event!

See what I mean?

I wish I’d been able to take as many pictures at the party that followed, but my camera died very early on in the evening.

This party was a potluck dinner party so that a bunch of my friends and I could meet Amy’s little sister, Jenna.

We had quite the assortment of goodies!

In the spread: gluten-free lasagna, roasted chicken, roasted eggplant, roasted veggies, sauteed brussels sprouts, chicken salad, cantaloupe, and brownies.

My plate included tastes of everything.

Gotta say, though, the brussels sprouts were my favorite. It was Emily‘s recipe, made by my friend Claire. I love that Claire found out about Emily’s blog from me, but I learned about the recipe from her!

I was also thrilled to learn that my friend Mike had brought along one of my new favorite beers!

Though I hadn’t been planning on drinking, I couldn’t turn one of those down to enjoy alongside my dinner.

Then, once we were full and happy…

… it was game time.

Sadly, that’s when my camera batteries died. However, I can safely say that between a rousing game of Apples to Apples (at which I failed miserably, for the record) and a hilarious game of Charades, I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed so hard and so often in one evening.

Packed weekend, right? What did you do this weekend?

IMPORTANT NOTE! My Homemade Granola Bars and Mark’s Orange Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies are both up for sale as a part of Tina’s CNC Blog Bake Sale!

Please go bid! You’ll be helping a great cause and you’ll make us feel popular! 😉


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