Fresh, farm tomatoes

Seared Scallops w/ ‘Drunken’ Tomato Spaghetti

So far this morning I have eaten a quarter of a watermelon and a whole fresh tomato. Random, but so delicious. As you can tell, we have been eating quite well this summer – noshing away on farm fresh veggies and eggs from our CSA with the Eaton Farm.

But my favorite concoction so far has been this insanely delicious and easy seared scallop spaghetti with a fresh and spicy white wine tomato sauce.

Because just look at these tomatoes. . .

Fresh, beautiful summer tomatoes

Oh hello lovahhhs. Continue reading

'Slaapdronken' A Chamomile Tripel Recipe

Slaapdronken, a Chamomile Tripel

Hubs and I have had so little time to brew lately it is embarrassing. We’ve been traveling, juggling crazy schedules, and I’ve been running around helping with private beer tastings, teaching my Beer Ed class and cooking up a storm, of course.

Some serious 'cold-break' when brewing Slaapdronken
Some serious ‘cold-break’ when cooling down Slaapdronken wort

In addition to all that great life stuff, I have been focusing my energies on a very exciting career move. Like many beer-bloggers, as of last week I had a ‘grown-up,’ 9a-5p desk job that wasn’t fulfilling my creative side. But, it paid the bills, and  I remained hopeful that some day I would transition this beer-loving hobby of mine into a full time gig. I didn’t realize quite how soon an opportunity would present itself, but it did, and I snatched it up.

I’m extremely excited to share that as of today, Monday July 7th I am a sales representative for Cavalier Distributing!

Not only does Cavalier distribute beers from some of the my absolute favorite breweries (Dogfish Head, Stone, MadTree, Breckenridge, Revolution, Dieu de Ciel, Two Brothers, Jolly Pumpkin . . . just to name a few), what convinced me to work for them is the people. Everyone I’ve interacted with there is stellar and I have no doubt that I will be happy there. At what other job is jeans and a polo considered business casual? I am too lucky.

The blog will continue, don’t worry, and I’ll still support ALL of my favorite breweries, near and far, no matter who distributes them. Continue reading

Patrons enjoying a day at Rockmill

A daytrip to Rockmill Brewery

I love to support local breweries as much as possible, so I was thrilled to finally visit Rockmill Brewery this weekend.

I first discovered Rockmill at an unlikely place: our local grocery store. The lovely corked and caged bottles stood out amongst the standard six-packs. After further inspection, I discovered that the beers were all Belgian style and brewed just two hours North. Nothing left to do but snatch one up and give it a try.

Spending the day at Rockmill
Spending the day at Rockmill

That first beer I tried was their Witbier – a crisp and spicy Belgian beaut. I was immediately hooked, and excited to try more. Over the past year I’ve tried the Saison, Tripel and cask-aged Tripel, all which were quite good. I knew we’d need to make a trip to the brewery ASAP. Continue reading

the last CollaBREWation Supper

The Last {CollaBREWation} Supper

It’s a bittersweet day in the LBLF world.

The time has come for my dear friend and chef collaBREWator, Dan Higgins (and his lovely lady), to move to Portland, Oregon. Cue sad trombone. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Dan and can say that without a doubt, my cooking skills have improved as a direct result of his mentorship – I can’t thank him enough. *tear*

We knew the only appropriate send off would be a beer and food pairing dinner so glorious, it would at least temporarily soothe the sting of their departure.

But before we get to that – some crazy and fun updates!

On May 26th I launched ‘Beer Ed,’ an interactive beer and food tasting series with none other than one of my favorite places on earth: Findlay Market. The event is monthly, and features three courses of Findlay food paired up with Cincy brews. This upcoming class is Sunday June 29th at 2 pm and will feature dishes from Eckerlin Meats and Christian Moerlein beers! If you’re here locally, I’d love to see you there!! Learn more and get tickets HERE.

But that’s not all!  Friday I got an email from Fox 19 that they wanted to do a live tv segment, basically a ‘preview’ of the event! At first I was super nervous but it actually turned out to be really fun.
Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV
You can check out the video above, or if that doesn’t work, by clicking here to get an idea of what to expect at our Beer Ed events.

OK, now, onto the real excitement of the hour: Six courses of beer and food pairing heaven. Continue reading

Make your own sourdough starter

Tartine Bread: Tips for Successful Sourdough

I freaking love bread.

Not the flimsy, spongy white stuff that comes pre-sliced.I’m talking about real, crusty, glorious bread.

You might remember that I’ve been playing around with a basic and easy no-knead bread for a while. Over the past year I’ve been  making all sorts of little variations and generally just changing it up for fun.

Stout Bread
LBLF version of the classic ‘no knead’ bread

Though it truly is awesome, and an excellent place to start as a bread-baker, I decided recently it was time to step up my game.

While wandering around Portland, Maine on our recent vacation, me and the hubs sought shelter from a stray rain shower in a quaint book store. He picked up this great book all about the history of, and how to make cocktail bitters (don’t worry I’ve commissioned him to write a guest post all about it), and I found the new love of my life.

Enter the Tartine Bread book.

Using the Tartine Bread book

Continue reading

the brewing and culinary adventures of a Certified Cicerone®