Weekend Things & GABF 2018

What can I say about this weekend except that it was the very best because: after two years, we were back at Great American Beer Fest!  Saturday was low key and plan-free and Sunday involved a last-minute manicure and baking (because it’s fall now, ya know??).  I’d relive it all again in a heartbeat!

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In truest Lauren form, I was EXTREMELY prepared for GABF — you do not even know how thorough my list making was — and my excitement level was OFF THE CHARTS.  Pretzel necklaces and Illegal Pete’s burritos are my favorite pre-fest rituals but this year was even better because Hannah and Mason dropped Josh off and I got to see that little babe crawl and bounce on our rubber cow and make only the best of faces ♥

The line to get into the fest was HORRIBLE (I think it wound the entire way around the convention center), but once inside, I forgot all about that ordeal.  Highlights included being the last group to taste Zombie Dust from 3 Floyds, a DEEP purple barrel-aged sour from Une Année, the Blazed Orange Milkshake from Hop Butcher for the World, a guy playing the saxophone on top the Melvin bus (who knows!) and get this… A SPAGHETTI GOSE from WeldWerks!  It smelled like spaghetti and tasted tomato-y in the most interesting way.  You’re probably thinking “EW!” but let me ask you this, do you like a Bloody Mary??  It’s not so different.  Mostly though, this was just the best night with the best people and I feel so happy about it.

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Joey got up the next morning and ran 5 miles (HOW??) but I needed an iced oat milk latte to revive me.  It worked, thankfully!  I realized I’d put ALL my energy into preparing for GABF and forgot to plan anything for Saturday or Sunday, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it made for a real laid back couple of days.  I hit up the grocery, bottled some orange-vanilla-honey kombucha, napped, excitedly snapped a picture of my little library once Joey got it set up (♥♥♥) and then we made tacos and watched Set It Up (which isn’t going to win any Oscars but we laughed).

Oh and I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, bringing my HP re-read to a close and it is so so bittersweet.  I think I cried like 100x during that last book, starting on the literal first page which said something like “And now we bring you the final installment of the Harry Potter series.”  HA!

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Sunday started with a run for both of us (TEN MILES for Joey and five for me) then breakfast together before we split up for the afternoon.  I booked myself a manicure and walked over to a surprisingly quiet Base Coat and on my way back, I peeped that little library and it made me so happy.  I tackled lunches before sitting outside to read for a bit.

Once Joey got home from watching football (really needed him to get our mixer down for me :P), I got to baking because it’s fall now and we MUST.  This recipe for Whole Wheat Applesauce Loaf is one of my very favorites and I hadn’t made it in years so obviously that had no change.  I always make em into muffins (same temp, just 30 minutes less to bake) and then Joey and I each ate one sitting on the couch in the dark because having the oven on without AC is still tough (but worth it for these!).  Hope your weekend was wonderful!

Make This Now: Fall is here!

Somehow, we’re here, mid-October, and I have no idea how it all happened so fast!  I swear it was just September and it was still hot and I could still convince myself it was summer but now all the trees have turned, many have already started losing leaves, oh and that part where it already snowed.

I think I might be into it though!  Sweaters, pumpkin spiced things, just enough daylight after work to fit in a quick run and I’m really embracing fall comfort foods, so I wanted to share some of the standouts thus far in this fall game.  Enjoy!

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Thai Roasted Cauliflower Pizza

I don’t know much, but I do know you need this in your life.  I made this pizza dough a few weeks ago and not gonna lie, I was skeptical because you add the oil in last and I had a hard time getting it to fully incorporate (it seemed so oily!), but then it all worked out and I think half the beauty of this pizza was the dough we used.  The other half was perfectly roasted cauliflower, the subtle heat from the creamy yogurt sauce, cheese (obvi!) and those green onion and jalapeño garnishes.  MAKE IT!

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Crispy Peppercorn Chicken Wings

Remember when I said I should cook wings more?  Tis the season!  As disinterested as I am in actual football, I’m equally as interested in football food so while Joey was cheering on the Cowboys, I was cheering on these wings.  But actually, so was Joey.  Not gonna take any credit because he marinated them and cooked them and all I did was cut up some green onion, celery and a lime but these were delicious!  It’s a dry-rub so these aren’t dripping in sauce but that rub was a slow burn of epic flavor that we both loved.  I could definitely get used to eating these often.

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Kale Salad Bowl w/ Tahini

You know what makes eating a salad for lunch (almost) every day really easy??  Roasted sweet potatoes, feta cheese crumbles, chickpeas and a garlic-y tahini drizzle to tie the whole thing together.  I looked forward to this lunch-time combo EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I usually make this with arugula (because sometimes you just don’t have the time or patience to prep a bunch of kale) but they were out, so spinach it was and it worked perfectly.

 

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Roast Chicken with Butternut-Tahini Purée

There is something so innately comforting about roasting a chicken.  That is, until you set off the fire alarm… TWICE.  But still, this came out of the oven and I carved it up and served it with the butternut-tahini purée that Joey made and some black rice and was in fall food heaven.  We make this meal every fall/winter and every time, I’m blown away by how delicious it all is.  I could (would? did?) eat that purée with a spoon.  It is SO GOOD.

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Super Soft Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Okay, this picture is making these muffins looks kinda craggy but I swear they were, as promised, “super soft.”  And also really light and fluffy and I totally ate one (the SECOND biggest, because I left the actual biggest for Joey) fresh from in the oven, in the dark, while watching The Night Of and it all felt too good to be true.  Plus I got to use my new ice cream scoop on the batter and it was deeply satisfying how quick and easy it made the whole process.

Pro Tip: Crumble one over some yogurt and call it breakfast 🙂

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!