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New Belgium Brewery & Fat Tire Beer June 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
24 comments

After sampling Doug’s brews on Friday and Saturday, we went on a Tasting Tour of the New Belgium Brewery on Sunday . . .

New Belgium is home to Fat Tire beer.

The brewery is decked out with bicycles.

And some great revolving wall art.

The process is the same, but with much bigger equipment!

Did I mention that it was a Tasting Tour?

We enjoyed ample samples.

Here’s the group looking a bit sleepy before the tasting started . . .

Once the tasting began, interest picked up and we perked up . . .

Still farther along on the tour . . .

For the finale, we got to slide down a fireman’s pole transformed into a chute!

I also loved this montage . . .

And this beer can chandelier . . .

As we left, I spotted this sign of the times . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

My Brother . . . the Brewmeister! June 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

While in Fort Collins, we got to see my brother whipping up a batch of Imperial Russian Oatmeal Chocolate Stout.

After boiling the grain . . .

And boiling it some more . . .

And boiling it some more . . .

He added the several different types of hops and flavorings required by the recipe . . .

And cooled the brew down with a copper “chiller” . . .

Once chilled, Doug added the yeast and transferred the brew to a glass bottle to allow the yeast to percolate:

After the Krauzen (the foamy stuff on top) starts to sink a bit, Doug will start thinking about “racking” it over to a secondary (5 gallon glass carboy) for secondary fermentation.

Like wine, beer making is a slow process . . . especially for an Imperial Stout. This brew won’t be ready until Octoberfest.

But Doug didn’t disappoint.

He had other beers in the pipeline “ready to go” ~> specifically Red Banshee Ale and a delicious Bavarian Helles Lager.

We sampled both on Friday night while sitting around the campfire . . .

Right before toasting marshmallows and eating S’Mores ~> YUM!

Don’t worry, we didn’t drain his kegs.  And if we had, no worries ~> “Drink all you want, we’ll brew more.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Poudre Canyon & The Mishawaka Inn June 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

On Saturday, we drove through Poudre Canyon and stopped at the Mishawaka Inn for a “lite bite.”

The Mish, an inviting Inn and Concert Amphitheater, is located on the banks of the Poudre River.

The river offers ample whitewater rafting opportunities . . . something we took advantage of a few years back.

The sights and sounds from the back deck are spectacular.

A great spot from which to listen to the river sing.

Notice all the jackets . . . it’s cool in them there hills.

But the sun peeked out from time to time.

And there was a fire inside.

Surrounded by lots of interesting nooks & crannies.

I snapped a few last shots before we hopped back into the car.

With one more for good measure.

Aah . . . that’s better!

How Much Is That Camel In The Window? May 25, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
29 comments

At Epcot, the first country we visited in the World Showcase was Morocco.

We decided to eat at the Tangierine Cafe.

We ordered a vegetarian lunch of hummus, falafel, couscous, olives, lentil salad, tabbouli, and pita.

Everything was delicious!

After lunch, we poked our noses into the four corners of the bazaar.

While admiring the African vibe.

I never could resist a camel wearing a fez.

Aah . . . that’s better!

95 Ways To Eat More Veggies May 3, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
27 comments

Veggies are our friends.

Overflowing with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good-for-us fiber, veggies pack a powerful nutritional punch . . . when we remember to pack them in our lunch.

Need some inspiration?

Need to show those veggies who’s boss?

Here are 95 ways to get more veggies in your days:

*95 Ways To Eat More Veggies ~ Cooking Light

Aah . . . that’s better!

And, just in time for Cinco de Mayo: 20 Vegetarian Tex-Mex Recipes!

Choice Morsels To Chew On April 25, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Less IS More, Mindfulness.
30 comments

#1 Want to lose weight?  Chew MORE, Weigh LESS . . .

“Some preliminary research has found that chewing until “no lumps remain” increases the number of calories the body burns during digestion: about 10 extra calories for a 300-calorie meal. (Eating fast, on the other hand, barely burns any calories.) Chewing food more thoroughly also increases blood flow to the stomach and gut. By taking a little extra time for chewing, someone could theoretically burn about 2,000 extra calories each month, the study authors write.”


“Extra chewing also slows the pace of eating, which may be another reason why it’s so healthy. Meena Shah, a professor of nutrition at Texas Christian University, has looked into the effects of eating speed on meal size. She found that people who eat slowly tend to eat less. Slow eating may help people eat more mindfully and tune into their own feelings of fullness, she says.”

To read more:   Chew Your Food: Why Slow Eaters May Burn More Calories

#2 Want to temper your spending?

“Make it your goal to spend only on what you truly value, be it travel, special times with family, a hobby or entertainment.  And cut out the frivolous spending on what you don’t value.

“You’ll be amazed at how many things you can happily live without because you’re getting what you really want,” says personal finance expert Donna Freedman.”

“Frugality isn’t a punishment; it’s a positive commonsense approach to life.  So focus on value and quality [to you], not prestige or appearances [with others].”

To read more:  AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

#3 Want to take up yoga?

Choices abound!

“In Higher Self yoga, a monthly “ganja yoga” class that Goda owner Nathania Stambouli introduced in the fall: “We’re bringing together two great spiritual practices. Marijuana is a way of enhancing the experience.”

“Ah, yes, enhancing the experience. Of late, there’s been a fair amount of yoga-enhancing going on. It’s yoga with something extra on the side.

“Would you like beer with your yoga? There’s a class for that.

“Yoga in the buff? Manhattan’s Bold and Naked Yoga is precisely what it says it is.

“For yogis who prefer to bundle in down, there’s snowga — yoga with snowshoes.”

To read more:  Weed yoga, naked yoga, yoga with goats: Have we reached peak namaste?

#4 Having a tough time choosing between too many options?

“As a last resort, flip a coin.  “I don’t just look for heads or tails, says Berger.  “I think about how I feel about the toss.  If I’m sad that the coin landed on heads, I’ll go with the tails option.” ~ AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

That’s what BFF & I do ~>  Being mindful about how we feel about the final reveal of the coin toss clues us in to what we really want.

#5 Want to learn how to drive?  Fast?

“An 8-year-old East Palestine boy used YouTube videos to learn how to drive his father’s van to McDonald’s on Sunday.  When he pulled up to the drive-through window after ordering a cheeseburger he had been craving and intended to pay for using money he gathered from his piggy bank, the McDonald’s workers at first thought they were being pranked.

“The workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren’t,” Koehler said.”

To read more:  Young driver gets help from YouTube

#6 Want to feel better?

Make someone else feel better:

“Make a difference in other people’s lives.  Even small acts of generosity can make you feel rich in spirit.” ~ AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

#7 Want to watch a heart-felt movie?

Check out Collateral Beauty (Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightly, Ed Norton, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Jacob Latimore, Kate Winslet, etc.):

Love is in everything . . .
From a child’s laughter to the pain we feel when a loved one dies.
Love is THE why of it all.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Down The Hatch March 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.
12 comments

I got a kick out of the name of this boat on Echo Lake at Hollywood Studios:

For ships, “Down The Hatch” is a more palatable refrain than “Bottoms Up!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Pere Noel March 1, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.
29 comments

Pere Noel (guava berry rhum from the island of St. Maarten) was one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year . . .

I got a kick out of the turban-topped bottle and we all got a kick out of the variance between what we expected it to taste like (fruity and delicious) and what it did taste like (medicinal and unpalatable).

In that sense, it was an experiential gift!

A gift that I will continue to enjoy since I kept the bottle to put out with my other Santas next year.

That said, once was enough.

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We finished the bottle one Friday in late December when we went to a friend’s house for Happy Hour.  The rum-soaked guava berries in the bottom of the bottle were amazingly terrible . . . like eating concentrated NyQuil.

Since misery loves company, I made sure that everyone tried one!

Along with Pere Noel, we received two Kinder Surprise Eggs (also from St. Maarten).  Inside the hollow chocolate egg are Cracker Jack type prizes ~ we got a Fireman with hydrant and hose and a Chef with a bar-b-q grill.

Like everyone else, the Chef was unimpressed with his taste of Pere Noel’s guava berry rhum.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

Do You Have A Billion Dollar Nose? February 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

Mickey-Ta-DaaaLike to travel?

Enjoy sampling cocktails?

Want to get paid to travel around the globe and sample cocktails?

Intrigued?

If traveling around the world trying out new cocktails is your idea of the perfect vacation, listen up: Spirit brand Absolut wants to pay someone to do this professionally.

One person will get the title of Sensory Expert—or the “Billion Dollar Nose” as the brand is calling it. You’ll need “a creative nose, a trend-sensitive tongue, and a love of vodka,” according to a statement.

To read more:  Get Paid To Travel the World and Drink Cocktails

Aah . . . that’s better!

Farm To Table Fables February 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
19 comments

We went to a talk at the local library on Farm to Table Fables ~ about restaurants owners who claim to serve locally sourced food when they are really selling stuff from Sisco.

According to Laura Reiley, food critic and undercover investigator from the Tampa Bay Times, more than a few upscale restaurants claim to be serving food from their own farms . . . when, on investigation, their farms are nothing more than dried up dust bowls.

In like vein, restaurant owners who claim to be serving “Gulf Shrimp” may not mean local shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.  Instead, the shrimp might be bleached deveined shrimp shipped in from urine-soaked Gulfs in Asia.

Sellers at Farmer’s Markets who claim to have grown the produce they are selling may be lying . . . many are selling produce rejected by grocery stores.

Word to the wise:  Just because it says so doesn’t make it so.

While the blatant misrepresentations and unsupported claims made about our food are disturbing, Laura was a delight.  She’s an engaging speaker, presenting information in an accessible format accompanied by amusing anecdotes and funny little zingers.

For example, when asked about whether to be concerned about GMOs, she said, “I went to visit Monsanto . . . you know, the Death Star!”

She also discussed her “two Chardonnay sweet spot” ~> when things seem sweeter, funnier, and happier than normal.

Winner, Sandbar Monthly Photo Contest ~ Robert, Bradenton

Tip: to maintain the sweet spot, avoid reaching for that third glass, when melancholy sneaks into the mix!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurant in Every State (Food & Wine)