Give the Gift of Calories – Edible Gifts by Mail

queen

Food is a wonderful the gift for the person who has everything. The best part is there are many companies that will put their edibles in the mail, so no matter where your friends and family live, you can contribute to their holiday weight gain. Every Christmas my Aunt Genevieve would send us a massive box from Harry and David with fresh pears and apples alongside a dried fruit and nut spread. It is still one of my fondest memories of the season and the catalyst for this blog post.

The list below is of many of my favorite places that I have had the opportunity to visit in my travels. It is not an exhaustive list but a good one nonetheless if you are struggling to find a special gift for that special someone.

Harry and David  – Of course they lead the list. I highly recommend the Rivera Pears, and the Christmas Pear Decorating Kit is pretty adorable for the kids.

Beecher’s – A well traveled (and fed) pilot once told me that if I was ever in Seattle I had to have Beecher’s mac and cheese. I can never thank her enough for telling me about this spot. If you have a mac and cheese lover on your list send them a tray, but be sure to order yourself one too. You don’t want to deny yourself the experience.

Annette & Sumpter Pâtissière  – I was proud to serve as a guinea pig for some of Annete & Sumpter’s founder Brandy Bart’s early creations. She officially popped my Kouign Amann (the yummies in the photo you drooled over) cherry and I have yet to find one as delectable as that one since.

Todd’s Dirt – I first tasted Todd’s Dirt at a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival. I use their Low Down Dirt in just about all of my savory dishes and it contains NO SALT! Try the Bayou and Crabby Dirt too.

Barnie’s Coffee & Tea – All I’m going to say is Santa’s White Christmas medium roast coffee. You can buy beans or single serve pods. Go do it now!

Omaha Steaks – One Christmas we had ribs and crab cakes for dinner from these guys because we were so over turkey. Fill your own holiday table or make a gift out of their selection of food, wine, and kitchen prep goods.

Dean & Deluca – Everything from candy to charcuterie can be ordered from this mail order food legend. The cigare rolled butter cookies are to die for!

The Loveless Cafe – These people will send you bacon samplers, biscuit mix, and blackberry preserves in the mail. Have your loved one ring in the new year with diabetes and high blood pressure. And I really hope I am one of your loved ones.

Insomnia Cookies – Buy these late night treats anytime from their website. They even have vegan and gluten free options.

Happy holidays and happy eating to you all…

2016 Decatur Beer Festival Wrap Up

A little over a week ago, my husband and I took part in one of our favorite Fall traditions – The Decatur Beer Festival(DBF). Held annually on the Decatur Square in Decatur, Georgia it is the perfect blend of craft beers,  community, and cool weather. It was at this very festival that I had my first beer from Blue Tarp Brewing and fell in love with Creature Comforts’ Tritonia with Cucumber and Lime. If you forget to make a pretzel necklace – the Decatur High School’s booster club sells them. And if you are looking for the best time of year to have a festival – my vote has to be October.

img_5173-1

I highly recommend this event for anyone who wants to taste some of the best beers from Georgia as well as other notable  U.S. breweries. The organizers do a wonderful job of keeping the event small and of showcasing predominately small/independent breweries and I applaud them for that. While there are some large brewery beers on tap at DBF, small/craft is king.

I sampled several hits and a few misses this year; but why waste space with negative words? Overall it was a great day and we were able to enjoy old favorites and add some to our “must-buy” list. Here are some I recommend you try if you see them at your favorite bar, growler shop, or liquor store:

Here are a few pictures I snapped at the festival. I believe that Next to DragonCon, the best t-shirts sightings happen at beer festivals…

fullsizerender-1

fullsizerender-2

fullsizerender-3

fullsizerender-4
fullsizerender-6

img_5189

 

What should be my next beer festival? I’m open to suggestions and we are not afraid to hit the road to get there!

 

 

It’s Fall Already?!

As daily temperatures finally stay below 80 degrees and my stomach begins to crave anything made in a slow cooker, I am able to say it – It is fall. Who cares what date your calendar and the Google Doodle of the Day said that fall began; living in the south it’s not truly fall until you can drive with no a/c on in the car and not get the back-sweats. For me that was last week.

Now you all know that Starbucks has been pushing those freaking Pumpkin Spice Lattes since Labor Day weekend but I have refused all things pumpkin until now.  While people were chomping at the bit to wipe their butts with pumpkin spice toilet paper I was looking forward to pumpkin beers! But before I list the fall brews I am most looking forward to partake of this season, allow me to share with you a few of my favorites from this summer.

L’Amoureuse by Brasserie Trois Dames – This beer can be found year round but the light fruitiness makes it a great warm weather drink. The label is also pretty wonderful. Available in Atlanta from Liberator Distributing


Duet and Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Brewing – I got acquainted with these brews at the Old 320 Beer Festival at Max Lager’s Brewery. They are wonderfully balanced and will appeal to light hops fans (Duet) or true hop heads (Hoppy Birthday).

Tart Ten Sour Dubble Ale – This one by the Victory Brewing Company had me at dubble.

Biere de Garde – Wild Heaven makes this 7.5% glass licking delicacy that is aged in Bordeaux barrels. It was a “special brew” at the Old 320 Beer Festival and I know of no plans to sell it en masse. I shed a tear everyday thinking about it.

And now the cool weather beers I look forward to enjoying this autumn…

The Carrot Conspiracy by Jailbreak Brewing – Ingredients include raisins, roasted carrots, brown sugar and spices. It sounds like carrot cake to me which means I need to at least have a sample of this one. i always fear sickly sweet. Hoping for the best on this one.

Southern Tier’s Pumpking – This is a winner with me every fall. Not too sweet and not to heavy it’s my go-to pumpkin beer.

Southern Tier’s Warlock  – This Imperial Stout is brewed with… you guessed it – pumpkins. It has a slightly bitter bite to start with a smooth finish. A great next step for those who enjoy pumpkin brews and looking for something a little different.

The Maharaja by Avery Brewing – This is not strictly a “fall” beer but this Imperial IPA packs a punch. It’s actually brewed January through July but the powerful flavors are just the thing I like when the weather turns cooler. Sadly the more powerful iteration of this beer,  Bombay Berzerker by Clownshoes Brewing, is no longer in production.

New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Reserve Coconut Rum Barrel Stout – Yes that is a long name and I’m sure it’s going to be freaking worthy of it. Dragon’s Milk has always been one of my favorites and this year’s special release (out this month) is touted as that awesomeness “on a tropical vacation.” Sign me up!

Ballast Point’s Dead Ringer Octoberfest – There has to be an Octoberfest on the list and what better brewery to get it from than Ballast Point. Their Pineapple Sculpin kicked butt this summer and I look forward to trying this caramel toffee goodness.

What are you looking forward to drinking this fall? This weekend in our fair town of Decatur, Georgia the annual Decatur Beer Festival is happening. Several of my favorite local breweries will be there so look forward to me adding more tasty new beers to my must drink list.

 

I’d Like to Eat – Teriyaki Chicken

 

Chicken Teriyaki
Apparently all of my friends have clicked the “like” button of the Tasty page on Facebook. If you don’t know about it, Tasty posts quick recipes for all types of great dishes. Friends frequently share recipes that they are interested in,  but I’m fairly certain they’ve never actually cooked any of them. I’m not being bitchy when I say that either. If you follow me on Pinterest you know that I have pinned a ton of recipes that look decadent and wonderful, but truth be told, I have cooked very few of them. We all do it!

Recently I have been trying to prepare real food and not rely so much on take out and grocery store rotisserie chicken. I am at home quite a bit and have the time to cook from scratch. When I saw this One Pot Chicken Teriyaki recipe in my timeline yesterday I thought “Why not?!” We have a rice cooker so instead of making this dish all in one pot, I used a rice cooker and one pot. The ingredient list isn’t too long, most of the items are probably already in your pantry and it took me less than 30 minutes to prepare it. The only challenge I had with the recipe is that they somehow forgot to tell us at what point we should add the veggies to the pot. I decided to add them in between steps 6 and 7.  We enjoy our veggies cooked but still firm so this was perfect. I also left out the Sriracha and simply put the bottle on the table so that Joe and I could add it to our own dishes. Oddly enough our five year old isn’t a huge fan of spicy food. How did it taste? Divine! The flavors were well balanced with the honey and soy sauce complimenting, not over powering, the other flavors. We all ate two servings which sadly meant there were no leftovers for a late night fridge raid.

Looking for a beverage to pair with your meal? I highly recommend something not too complex but with flavor that doesn’t get lost in the food. Go with Sierra Nevada IPA or Three Taverns Brewing’s Prince of Pilsen .

What are you eating?