Tag Archives: photos

San Diego Area Brewtour

A few weekends ago while we were down in San Diego for a concert, we took an extra day off of work so we could make time to hit up some breweries in the SD area.

We stayed just a few miles away from Stone Brewery – somewhere we have been dying to go for a loooong time (one of Chris’ favs), so that was our main place we wanted to visit.  Even if you’re not a big beer fan I totally recommend that you visit the brewery, it is AMAZING.  It’s gigantic!  There’s the brewery itself, a gift store, a giant restaurant, and outdoor “beer garden”. The garden area was much larger than I had expected, you basically walked around a path outside with tons of trees, a big pond and picnic type areas to sit around on.  It was also super packed!

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These pretzels were SO good!  So about the food: their kitchen was undergoing renovations during our visit so they sort of had a limited menu.  Chris and I both weren’t very impressed with our dinner, it was alright but definitely not as good as we’d hoped for the $$$ spent.  The snacks and beer, of course, were divine 🙂

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The actual brewery tours were sold the first 2 days we were in the area, and so we stopped back on our way home and somehow managed to squeeze into an open tour that day!  It was pretty neat and I actually learned a lot about the brewing process.

I failed at really taking photos of the other places we visited, but we had also made stops at Mission Brewery, Karl Strauss, and Lost Abbey / Port Brewing.  We had great experiences at all of them and can’t wait to go back down to SD and find more great breweries 🙂

Fact.

Yes, chocolate pairs well with wine. But it also pairs fantastically with a dark beer, or 5.

Nieces are so much fun. Especially when you can buy them sugary treats and then leave them with their momma the rest of the day 😉

I’m pretty close with one of my cousins, who is about a month younger than me, started dating her husband just days before me & Chris, got married a month before us, lives 1 mile away…and just had a sweet little baby boy!!

When I’ve been wearing my hair long for too much time, I want to chop it off. So I do.

Truffle fries from Moo Creamery are AMAZING.

Sometimes my crazy dog likes to snuggle.

Technology Geek

Friday my I got a lovely e-mail from Verizon stating that I was eligible for a phone upgrade.  Little did they know I have been counting down this day for MONTHS.   Finally, my little Motorola Droid just hasn’t been cutting it – it’s sooooo slow, and the camera just isn’t up to par.  I know that seems silly, but I really just want 2 things in my phone – for it to not be slow as hell and to have a great camera.

After a lot of research and review-reading I ended up ordering the same phone that my husband has.  In the world of iPhone-obsessed friends, I feel a little out of place but that is OK (aslongastheygivemeinstagramsoonkthnx).  I actually would have considered an iPhone, but I was kind of shocked when I saw that they don’t have 4G.   There’s at least 10 phones (or more) in the same price range and they all have it.  ANYWHO.  New phone. Coming tomorrow. Win!

So in honor of my old phone, I wanted to just grab a few recent photos off of it.

New coffee drinks from F&E; holy yum.  Much cheaper than those bottled Frappuchinos, too!  And isn’t their packaging the best?

This was the 2nd pumpkin I carved this year.  It proceeded to get disgusting and moldy before Halloween even came 😦

On the road to the bay area this weekend.  Driving the I-5 through the middle of California is ridiculously boring and ugly, it makes me cry every time we have to make this drive!

Showing off my fantastic nail painting skills whilst on said drive up north.  It was all good until I had to paint the right hand. #fail

Saying good-bye to SF.

A little present the husband got me this weekend.  It fits perfectly above our fire place 🙂  I LOVE IT.

Michigan Pt. 1

Sunday we arrived back home from a 10-day trip to Michigan to visit with Chris’ family.  We hadn’t been back there to visit in 2 years, which is a lot of time to not see your family!  I didn’t want to leave and I’m already wanting to go back.  Just for the scenery alone.  Flying back over California into LA, I was thinking “dang, it’s SO ugly here”.  It is. I don’t really get why tons of people live here, but that’s just me. (Uh yeah, what am I still doing here by the way? hah).

Enough of that. Here’s some pretty fall shots from our trip.  I’ll share the 2nd most fun part of our trip in a another post. And that would be, all of our beer and food tasting 😉

Oh! One important thing before the other photos…we planned a meetup with Lauryn, who’ve I’ve been blog-following for years!  I love my bloggy friends 🙂  We went to Union Woodshop for dinner, which was pretty much my dream place.  They serve beer in mason jars AND the decor was pretty dang rad. If you’re in Michigan you should definitely check it out, it was delicious.  Thanks Lauryn for an awesome time!!!

Deer!  I was so excited I got a good shot of the deer, we had to be super sneaky walking around to find them.

I love how this cell phone pic turned out:

Are you drooling yet? Gah, sooo beautiful!

Fooding

Between going to the farmer’s market, fruit picking, and being given some giant zucchinis and squash, I’ve been trying all sorts of new recipes lately.  Usually when Chris and I cook we find a new recipe, or just make something up with what we have…so new recipes aren’t new to me. I love trying new things, even if I do have a favorite way of making something.

So, my boss and his wife have been growing a garden and since they live in a cooler climate in the mountains, they have been getting some seriously giant produce. She’s been bringing down these giant zucchini and squash…they are huuuuge.  And I gladly take them.

Since I also had some freshly picked blueberries, I decided to go with a recipe for blueberry zucchini bread that I’d seen recently. But, I ended up making them into muffins and one tiny loaf.

I was hesitant at first, but these are SO GOOD. Here’s the recipe: Blueberry Zucchini Bread.  I sub’d butter for the oil. I liked that it already used half wheat/half regular flour, because I like to do that anyways 🙂

I saw another yummy looking zucchini recipe a few days ago and was able to make it tonight; it is SO yummy and healthy!  Zucchini with Mint Yogurt Dressing.  It reminded me of this dish was have every year at Christmas for our annual Polish feast, which is actually thinly sliced cucumber and radish, but it has the same type of taste. Fresh. Yum.

That was one yummy dinner! Time for me to go finish up a little crafty project 🙂

At Night

A few evenings ago some friends and I were downtown for a bit and decided to bust out our cameras.  I really never have time to just mess around with my camera, and it’s always fun with someone else.

Let me tell you, it was hot. We felt like were dying after about 10 minutes, and even with the sun was gone.  We rode an elevator to the top of a parking garage and these were our views.

Oddly enough, I think the last may be my favorite 🙂

I Bake: Coconut Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I’m trying to space out my cupcake-talk a little bit, buuuut that’s kind of hard when it’s all I have been doing.  This is another GREAT recipe that I decided to make for the 100 cupcakes I made for my friend’s art show.  I wanted to do a white cupcake and coconut just sounded perfect. Paired with a vanilla bean frosting? Yes please. Surprisingly, it seemed like all of my cupcake testers liked this cupcake more than any of the chocolaty ones! I made it twice and I love the second version much better because I tweaked the recipe I found a little. Enjoy!

Coconut Cupcakes w/Vanilla Bean Frosting
Makes approximately 24-30 cupcakes. Recipes adapted from Food Network & BrownEyedBaker

Ingredients:
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk + 2 Tablespoons
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

Frosting:
2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line two muffin pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in coconut.

Fill each liner almost to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Using a paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds.

Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Frost cooled cupcakes! Devour. Yum.