Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Brewfest

Today we went Leesburg to attend the Northern Virginia Summer Brewfest. We had $10 tickets (half price on Living Social) which got us a 5 oz. souvenir tasting glass and four tasting tickets each. There were 57 breweries in attendance and each one brought two or three beers to taste. There were also food and craft vendors and live music. The weather was great - sunny and not very humid.

We used all eight of our tickets, but after we got home we could only remember six of the ones we tried. Here's my reviews of what we had. Mind you that I am not a real fan of beer, but we tried a lot of summer seasonal beers. This is what we look like after a lot of beer in the June sun. Toasty.

Brooklyn Brewery - Summer Ale: I really liked this one. It was a light, crisp beer with a touch of citrus. Very summery. Available April - July.

Flying Dog Brewery
- Woody Creek Belgian Style Wit Beer: A traditional Belgian Wit beer with orange peel and coriander. Great with Asian flavors, light cheese and shellfish.

Smuttynose Brewery - Summer Weizen: This is a summer wheat beer brewed with Belgian wit yeast. Good for barbecues and picnics. Available May - August.

Red Hook Ale Brewery - Pilsner: A crisp, golden lager that is a Czech-style beer. A great all day drinking beer.

Magic Hat Brewing Company - Wacko: This was my favorite of the day. This beer is a beautiful red color, which it gets from beets, of all things. I thought it was cherries when I first tried it and had to go back and ask. It's slightly sweet and all around delicious.

Long Trail Brewing Company
- Double Bag: This was one of Jim's favorites. A dark amber beer with a 7.2% alcohol content, so it packs a punch. Similar to a German strong ale and great with grilled and smoked meat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sampler Scarf

I am learning to knit. I have tried to learn several times in the past, but I think I finally have the hang of it now. It took some of the ladies at church actually showing me what to do before I figured it out. I am spatially challenged and trying to figure it out from just pictures wasn't going to cut it.

This is my third project, a scarf for Jim. My first two were a hat and a neck warmer, but the were just one stitch (garter stitch). This is the first thing I've done with a pattern. I managed to switch sides a couple of times in the pattern, but overall I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Now I'm ready to start working on Christmas presents!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

S'mores Crumb Bars

If you ask Jim he will attest to the fact that I have had a small s'mores addiction. This has been going on all summer and I think he's getting tired of it. Since I make dessert every Sunday to take to my sister-in-law's, I thought I'd give this one a try and see if it would finally satisfy the craving.

I got this recipe from and adapted it slightly as I went along.

3 c. of graham cracker crumbs (I crushed my own graham crackers to make crumbs. It took 1 2/3 packages of crackers)
3/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/3 c. sugar (I used a little more than 1/3 c.)
3 c. mini marshmallows (I used the whole bag)
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate, since a Hershey bar is milk chocolate).

Preheat oven to 375*. Combine crumbs, sugar and butter. Press half (I only reserved 1/2 c.) into a greased 13x9 pan. Sprinkle with chips and marshmallows. Top with remaining crumbs and press down firmly. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press top with a spatula. Cool completely and cut into bars.

I was working with several different recipes, so I baked the graham cracker crust for about 8 minutes, then took it out and topped it with the chips, etc. and baked it for another 10 minutes. We haven't cut them yet, but I'll let you know how they turn out.

Edit: The crust was a little crumbly, but they tasted awesome. I think maybe a little more butter to hold it together would do the trick.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Checking in for a Good Cause

I know, I know, world's worst blogger, but I have a favor to ask.

In January, we got this 11 pound pile of fuzz from Lost Dog and Cat Rescue and can't remember what it was like before him. Lost Dog is a non-profit no kill shelter and they place about 2,000 pets a year that would otherwise be euthanized into loving homes. We absolutely adore Rex and would love to help the folks who helped him. Please take a minute and click through to help Lost Dog and Cat Rescue win $15,000.

America's Favorite Animal Shelter Contest - help your animal shelter win $15,000 - vote today!