Friday, July 12, 2013

Beer Cheese Soup

Last night I needed an intervention. A souptervention if you will. I hadn't felt good all day, I was a lazy couch potato, and the apartment was a mess. So about 9 o'clock at night I decided to get my butt off the couch and cook something tasty. Since I always have a well stocked beer fridge and plenty of cheese (healthy right?), I decided to make beer cheese soup, with a goat cheese and walnut salad on the side.

I must say, I normally make beer cheese soup with processed cheese loaf, like Velvetta. Although it's delicious, any food with word loaf in it should immediately be demolished. That being said, this recipe is much healthier and uses all fresh ingredients. So enjoy :)



Beer Cheese soup
Ingredients:
4 slices of thick cut bacon
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups of your favorite beer (I prefer nothing heavier than a pale ale. After making this 
    recipe, I would suggest using a pale lager)
1/2 cup fresh white cheddar, grated
1/2 cup sharp yellow cheddar
1/2 cup colby jack, grated
cilantro for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

directions:

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add chopped bacon. Fry until crispy and fat is rendered, them remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Reduce heat to low and add onions, peppers and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are translucent, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high and add in butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and cook for 3-4 minutes until flour is  golden. Add in beer and stirring constantly, cook for 5 minutes so they alcohol cooks out and the mixture somewhat thickens.
Add in half and half, then reduce heat to low and gradually add cheese while stirring. Stir until smooth, then fold in bacon and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and leftover bacon if desired.
-Beer cheese soup gets a little goopy once it sits for a while, if it does just add more half and half or milk. Also do this when you go to reheat it.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cheers to good beers

In Celebration of our Oskar Blues spotlight tonight at World of Beer, I thought it would be fitting to celebrate another great brewery right here in Gainesville, Swamphead.

Swamphead consists of a 10 Barrel Brewhouse  and they don't bottle their beer. They only 
sell kegs for retail, and they bottle growlers for tasting room goers to purchase. Before I started working at World of Beer, I knew what I liked but I never really appreciated the effort and process of what it takes to create a good brew. So, if you're ever in the Gainesville area, stop by and get a tour from Allen with the wicked beard :)

The Swamphead building, is in the same industrial park as my internship. Convenient right?!






Thursday, June 20, 2013

Father's Day Weekend

This past weekend, I got to celebrate Father's Day with my amazing dad. I've been homesick lately, so it was the perfect weekend getaway.

(love this picture of us!)

Friday, my parents picked me up from Gainesville and we headed to our cabin in Georgia. I hadn't been to the cabin since Thanksgiving two years ago! So it was nice to be there and finally relax. However, the bugs were AWFUL. We took a ride on the golf cart and every time my dad saw a deer he would tell us to be quiet. That's a little hard when you have pterodactyl size insects flying at your face in all directions. I like to call myself a woodsy girl, but that is not my idea of fun. 

On Saturday we struck out to the outskirts of the mountains. We ate good food, took good naps, and had quality fam time :) So glad I got to spend a full weekend with my dad for Fathers Day.

Got pulled over and our first thought was to send a snap chat!



The best homemade strawberry ice-cream ever


The very top of the waterfall


Love him

A true hiker can hike in sparkly sandals



So fattening, but amazing southern food at the Smith House

Sunday, June 9, 2013

toasted sesame ginger salmon



I have been a salmon freak lately. Since I'm trying to eat healthy, I try and eat fish as much as possible and salmon is always my go-to. This particular salmon recipe will blow your mind! I adapted it from How Sweet It Is, but changed a couple things. This is an overall healthy recipe, however I did not know sesame oil has 130 calories per tablespoon! It's a healthy fat, but use it sparingly.

toasted sesame ginger salmon

1 1/2 pounds of raw salmon

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, sliced
In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or place everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler in your oven. (Or preheat your grill, etc if you prefer to use something else.)
Remove salmon from ziplock and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness, until opaque and easily flakable with a fork. You can flip the salmon halfway through cooking if desired.
Remove and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, green onions and the glaze below.

Sesame Ginger Honey Glaze
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.

ENJOY :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Taste of Gainesville

The other night, I went to the most delectable event that I have been to yet, Taste of Gainesville. It was a charity event that held an Iron Chef competition and silent auction to raise money for several foundations, such as Tyler's Hope which is a non-profit that helps raise awareness and money for Dystonia. Not only was it for a great cause, but the food was absolutely amazing. In different sections of the Hilton, restaurants from all over Gainesville had samples of their best dishes. I was so incredibly full that I could barely walk to the car afterward. I will say it was quite difficult to carry a clutch, a beer, and plates of food all at once. First world problems.

Swamphead brewery was the main alcohol provider for the event, and their beer was the secret ingredient that all of the chefs had to use in their dishes. I recently went to Swamphead for a tour, so i'll write a post about them soon!

The three chefs that battled it out in the Iron Chef competition were from Dragonfly, Ember's, and Gainesville Golf and Country Club. The chef from Dragonfly won which is awesome since Mitch and I love to go there. It was neat because past winners from the show Chopped were the judges. It was a great event, and If you're in Gainesville during this time next year I would recommend going!

 I didn't take great pictures seeing that my hands were completely full most of the time, but here's just a few!




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DIY Whatever, i'm late anyways clock

After a long relaxing weekend at my beach house, I decided to drive back to Gainesville on Sunday night so I could say goodbye to Mitch before he left for Philadelphia. So on Monday, I was completely bored out of my wits. Even though people take advantage of the holiday, and memorial day should be for remembering the men and women who serve our country, I couldn't help but think how much fun everyone was having grilling out or going out on the boat. Instead of being bored, I used the time to clean, catch up on Breaking Bad, drink wine and craft. There are so many paintings and crafty things I want to do for the apartment, but yesterday I decided to do something simple and fun. A DIY "Whatever, i'm late anyways clock". This phrase is definitely a misconception when it comes to me, because I am always at least 5 minutes early everywhere I go. I thought it was a cute idea though, and they sell on Etsy for like $30! I got all of the supplies for $15 at the most.

DIY I'm late anyways clock


What you'll need
Canvas, whatever size you want. 
 Clock parts (I used one like this)
          Acrylic paints. I used a cream for the background, and then black and violet for the writing

  • You can really put whatever you want on it! Most of the ones that you see on Etsy are traditional and kind of plain, like this. I wanted to do something fun :) 

Have fun with it! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Things you may not know


Things you may not know about me...

1. I really want a cat, not just any cat, a Persian cat. But the boyfriend welts up like sloth from The Goonies when there is cat hair around, so I can't get one :(  



2. Speaking of pets, we're getting a Irish Setter in the fall. They are the smartest, funniest, cutest dogs on the planet. I only hope that ours is as funny as Emily's Irish Setter, Charlie from Dashboard Diaries :)


3. I work 10-3 Monday-Friday at an internship, and I close at World of Beer Monday-Thursday from 5-3 a.m-- Sleep Deprived much? 

Mitch likes to be creepy and take photos of me when I sleep :)

4. To make up for the sleep deprivation, I will be at my beach house for a relaxing weekend. If you didn't know I had a beach house, you should know that it is the perfect little getaway and I will be devastated if we ever have to sell it. 


5. I am obsessed with M.A.C lipstick. I'm sure Revlon or another brand would look equally as good, but there's nothing better than buying that beautiful little black tube. 


6. I am in love with local restaurants and bistro's. I feel bad for people who have picky palates and never expand their horizons with anything other that Chili's or pizza hut. Mitch and I went to an awesome place in Gainesville called Bistro 1245. So delicious.



More fun facts coming next week :)
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