Tag Archives: summer

Review: Ellicottville Brewing Co.

26 Aug

One of the (only) cool things about the area we live are the couple of great local breweries not far from home. Not far = less than an hour. But it’s totally worth it for delicious food and beer, especially since the offerings in our town are less than stellar.

Saturday we headed out to Ellicottville, NY for a day of hiking (this was actually an excuse to go to the brewery, on my part). The hike was supposed to be quite a  climb up a mountain but we took a wrong turn and ended up going in a big circle on the side of a hill. Still fun! There were plenty of fresh berries to pick and eat on the way and some neat views too.

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After we worked up a sweat on the hike, we naturally had to shove our faces with beer and fries  refuel with protein and carbs. Ellicottville Brewing Company has always been one of our favorites, but they recently re -opened after a large remodel and addition so I thought I’d do a review.

First of all, the remodel to the place was amazing. They turned a tiny restaurant into a large facility with two added bars (one outdoor and one more indoor for a total of 3),  beer garden with outdoor seating and (I think) banquet facilities for weddings and events. It was beautiful inside and out.

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new indoor seating

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new bar inside (crappy pictures, I tried to look like less of a creeper taking pictures)

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outdoor seating and bar

I thought it was weird when the hostess asked for my phone number, but I guess this is the system they use instead of those buzzer things. I thought it was a cool idea. You don’t have to carry around a germ-covered buzzer and keep track of it. They texted me when my table was ready and it was far below the quoted wait time. We hadn’t even ordered our drinks at the bar yet!

I went with the oatmeal stout. I don’t know what it is but ever since St. Patrick’s Day this year I have been obsessed with stouts. This one was had a rich, chocolate-ly, coffee taste without being too heavy. You’d think these types of beers would make you full but it went down (too) easily.

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Austin got a hoppy type. I forgot to take a picture of it but he liked it. We ordered our favorite appetizers, loaded brewer’s fries. They come topped with pulled pork in their amazing BBQ sauce, melted cheese and scallions.

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We also split a BBQ brisket sandwich. I absolutely love the BBQ sauce. The sandwich came with a side salad and pickle.

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The brisket was pretty good- a little tough but the flavor was excellent. No I was not being particularly healthy on this day if you didn’t notice…..things have been a little more lax since the wedding….it feels good to relax a little! I know I’ll clean it up once work starts again.

Both dishes were around ten dollars which made for an inexpensive and tasty lunch.

I highly recommend checking out EBC if you are in the area!! Good beer and food!

What are your favorite types of beer?

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Berry Picking: Need recipes!!

22 Aug

I’m just trying to soak up the rest of summer and enjoy myself during this nice weather. I’ve been toying with the idea of going berry picking all summer and decided to just pull the trigger yesterday. I was hesitant because since we’re moving in less than a month it’s going to be annoying to put all this stuff that’s in my freezer and move it….but I just don’t think I can pass up the great prices.

I won’t have to buy berries from the grocery store all winter. I hardly use berries like these anyways. It’s just when I need them for a recipe/feel like a smoothie.  So I’m just going to suck it up, freeze them all and transport them when we move. NBD. It’s an absolutely awful time to be interested in preserving food and moving!

The place I was going to had a great mix- strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and green beans. I wasn’t really sure what to expect so I just headed back to the fields planning on getting a little of each.

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The strawberries were the easiest. They were nice and big and easy to spot. Took me about 10 minutes to gather 3 pints.

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The raspberries were a different story. I was so excited when I first saw them because they were HUGE and was about to dive in like a little kid…until I heard the buzzing of HUNDREDS of bees all around me. I’m a little scared of bees…I’m not allergic but I honestly can not remember ever getting stung by one (I might have been once but wasn’t sure) so I have always been scared of the ‘unknown’. I took me a while to get three pints dodging in and out of the less bee-populated bushes. They were sooooo good though so it was worth it (had to taste test them obviously).

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After that I only had the energy to get one pint of blueberries. We don’t like them as much so that’s okay.

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All in all I got three pints of strawberries, three pints of raspberries, one pint of blueberries, and a crap load of green beans (not a precise form of measurement).

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My eyes were bigger than our freezer. I froze most of the goods but made a quick raspberry freezer jam with a pint of raspberries and honey. Freezer jam is just jam without a ton of added sugar and preservatives so you don’t can it and put pectin in it like regular jam, but you have to eat it or it goes bad obviously.  After trying to search on the internet all day yesterday I am still pretty clueless about how to make jam or jelly!! Do I need sterilized canning jars??? Do I need a pressure canner? Do I need to add sugar and pectin?? AHHHH so confused. Please link me to some of your trusted recipes! I bought a thing of no sugar needed pectin but I have no idea what to do with it. It says no sugar needed, but then when I Google a recipe there’s sugar added. Makes no sense. Help!!

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I was on a full fledged sugar rush yesterday afternoon. They are so irresistible!!

This morning I made some N’oatmeal and topped it with some of the fresh berries and “jam” I had made.

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Yum!

I need jam/jelly advice and recipes!!! Please help!

WIAW: Supermarket-less week

21 Aug

Participate in What I ate Wednesday in order to justify a possibly abnormal obsession I have with taking pictures of my food? Don’t mind if I do!!

Yesterday my day centered around picking up our weekly CSA share at the local farm. Seems like a mundane activity for most but I was way too excited. I was also killing two birds with one stone and met the woman I get ground beef from at the farmer’s market to pick up 10lbs of grass fed ground beef for $60. Not a bad deal!

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It was a beautiful summer day on the farm! The farm we have been getting our ground beef from gives it to us frozen. I was anticipating getting some fresh beef from the farm we get our chicken from (a different farm) but he told me his won’t be ready until December. That meant I had to grab more of the frozen stuff which is going to be a pain in the rear to move it all in a month when we move to our new house. But I didn’t want to get stuck in a meat-less situation. We still have one bird in the freezer but it will probably be the last for the year. Did you know that chicken and poultry is supposed to be only eaten in summer because it is a “cooling” meat and beef and other red meats are supposed to be eaten in winter because they are “warming” meats? This was obviously how things were before modern supermarkets and everything was seasonal. I learned that from Joel Salatin. Makes sense!

I hit the local food jackpot with the CSA and farmer’s market in addition to the ground beef! Is it sad that this was the highlight of my day and seriously made me so happy???

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The haul included:

cabbage

zucchini

squash

lettuce

rainbow swiss chard

onions

potatoes

yellow beans

pastured eggs

ground beef

Pastured eggs are to die for. I will never ever go back. They are $3.50 a carton, which seems expensive but you are getting way more nutrition for your dollar. Supermarket eggs are essentially useless and tasteless. I don’t even consider them food, honestly.  The yolks of the eggs we get are indescribable. Rich, creamy, and bright orange.   Plus if you count eggs as a ‘protein’ they’re really rather cheap comparatively. That’s 4 servings of protein for under $4.

Last night for dinner I cooked up leftover butternut squash curry and turned it plus the delicious eggs into a quiche using shredded sweet potatoes as a crust. Beyond delicious. All I did for the crust was shred 3/4 of a huge sweet potato in the food processor, squeeze the water out and mix it with 2 tbsp of lard. I pressed it in the pie pan then pre-baked the crust for twenty minutes. Here is a recipe that I based my crust off of.  Then I put the leftovers in with 6 eggs and poured it into the pan and baked for another 45 minutes. Eating the leftovers for lunch in T minus 21 minutes.

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So delicious! That’s all I have for now. All this local food shopping has made a trip to the supermarket this week unnecessary! I couldn’t be happier! Today I may try to go berry picking to take advantage of summer fruits while they are fresh and cheap to stock in the freezer.

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Call me crazy, and our honeymoon was fun and everything, but this is seriously what I missed when we were at the mercy of an all inclusive resort for our food. Nothing makes me happier than cooking and eating food whose origin I am aware of.

What local food are you taking advantage of?

What do you get in your CSA these days?

Holiday Fun

7 Jul

Fourth of July has got to be my favorite holiday…summer, sun, food….

We just got back from an exciting but exhausting weekend with family and friends. It’s a long and tiring drive but worth it! I feel absent from the blog world (as does everyone else probably…who has time to blog everyday on vaca??!?) so I thought I’d share some highlights through pictures.

We arrived in our hometown Thursday on the fourth. Austin wanted to visit a new local meat shop that was opening up near us so we went to check it out. It just opened, so all they had this week was meat and some prepared foods.

Side Hill Farmers

side hill

The market specializes in local, minimally processed meats  and they are, according to the person we talked to, going to have local produce and eggs and butter. I spotted some grass fed butter and pastured eggs while we were there. I plan on doing a full review with more pictures when I go home again for the wedding and they open up fully. Wish this store was near me. We picked up a couple of steaks to grill. All I have to say is…..

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Ohhhh my goddddd 🙂 they were easily some of the best meat we have EVER eaten; not exaggerating. The taste was unprecedented…..and it also just made it that much better that I knew exactly the source of the meat and how it was raised and processed. Here’s what my plate looked like for the fourth:

Fourth of July Meal

Steak, grilled veggies and tomato and cucumber salad.

I wasn’t that good with my eating all weekend believe me!

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The rest of the day was spent lounging in the sun and in my parent’s pond. That’s what the fourth of July is about!!

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Caught some fireworks….

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Dinner with friends…no pic of the food or us, just the view!

 

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Breakfast one morning….I tried to eat well during our time home but inevitably I start my day out well then am confronted with BBQs and other social events. But I try not to stress out about it. Today it’s back to the wedding diet protocol!!

Overall it was a great weekend with great friends. Now I’m in wedding prep/stress mode. T-minus 26 days!!!

How did you spend your fourth?

What makes you cave?

15 Jun

I am probably going to be able to count the nice, perfect sunny days on one hand this summer (AUGUST 2nd BEING ONE OF THEM). So later today I will be taking advantage of the sun. This ‘live it up while you can’ attitude got me thinking about things in terms of food (of course).

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I (and probably many of you) have attempted “food challenges” or “diets”- whatever you want to call them, that tell you to eat a specified diet for so many days. When I try to do this I always start the week off great, aaaaand then the weekend comes.

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This happened when I was doing the Whole 30 challenge. I am so good all week and then the weekend comes and something will come up. In my head will be a constant battle between two forces.

“But you feel so great being good all week” ,“It’s really not that hard to just say  no” ,“Wine isn’t going anywhere…it will be around next month too”

VS.

“Why are you even doing this? You’re skinny enough”, “YOLO”, “How often do you get to see ______________, just get what you want”, “There’s no reason you can’t enjoy yourself”

Usually, the second set of voices wins. And I end up regretting it. Usually I get back on track the next day and everything is fine. But I do suffer physical effects of indulging like bloating, sick stomach and more cravings.

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Enjoying myself at Red Lobster ^^

It got me coming to the conclusion that social events and being social is the only thing that makes me ‘cave’. If it’s a Tuesday night and Austin is sitting next to me eating peanut butter fudge ice cream- I could care less. I will be perfectly content with my Carrot Cake Pudding. It’s not even an option to cheat. At all.

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Seriously, go make this^^

But if it’s a Friday night and some friends ask us to a bar, I’d really rather just enjoy myself instead of sitting cooped up on my couch by myself because I can’t drink or whatever. I’ve also had a lot of wedding related functions, and I find myself saying that I need to fully enjoy these moments and not obsess over food.

And I think I just have to come to terms with that, and not feel guilty. This is what works for me- staying super strict during the week in order to enjoy myself on weekends. In my mind it’s worth it. I’d rather enjoy myself then obsess, worry and stress over not eating/drinking this or that.  My question is this- what makes YOU cave- is it stress? Emotions? Just seeing the food? Or is it a social issue like mine?

That being said- I’ll probably be enjoying some cocktails on one of the only nice days we’ve had this summer!

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