Beers from Listermann Brewing made exclusively for Bella Luna Restaurant

New Beer, New Outlook at Bella Luna Restaurant

Bella Luna, a mainstay Italian style restaurant on the East Side of Cincinnati celebrated 13 years last night by launching new menu items, a new bar area called La Bettola with specialty happy hour cocktails and appetizers, and most importantly: new beers brewed exclusively for the restaurant!

new beers from Listermann brewed exclusively for Bella Luna

The restaurant chose none other than Listermann Brewing Company to craft their exclusive tap beer offerings.

For those of you who don’t know the history of Listermann, let me indulge you for a minute. Dan Listermann started his homebrew store in 1991 and quickly became one of the largest homebrew supply stores in the Mid West. About six years ago they took the natural leap and started their own craft brewery.  Listermann Brewing Company was founded in 2008. Ever since, they’ve been pumping out unique offerings like the popular Nutcase, a peanut butter porter, Leopold a Belgian blonde, and my personal favorite, Planetary - a beautifully balanced and hop flavor forward American India Pale Ale.

Jason Brewer of Listermann was at the launch to share more about the beers and what else to expect from the collaboration. (His last name is seriously Brewer. Fate? I think so.)

Jason Brewer of Listermann Brewing Company Continue reading

Simple Herbed Vegetable Hash

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf – Cooking at the Glendalia Culinary Studio

This week I was invited to my first ever cooking class at the Glendalia Culinary Studio by my friend Heather, aka The Food Hussy - she writes a fantastic blog all about travel and food. The Glendalia is a relatively new cooking studio located in the quaint village square of Glendale, Ohio.

Me and hubby had a blast cooking up the most delicious meatloaf I’ve honestly ever had, sipping on Nugget Nectar, one of my favorite beers from Troegs and sharing some homebrew with fellow attendees (yay for BYOB!).

tasting some Troeg's Nugget Nectar while cooking

This particular class was all about about building and understanding different flavors of the world, especially French, Italian, Latin and Asian. Overall I think the flavor discussion was a nice introduction for folks who are new to moderately knowledgeable about food and cooking. Continue reading

Irish Whiskey Crème Brûlée

Irish Whiskey Crème Brûlée {Chef CollaBREWation #1}

I have the most exciting news for you, my beer and food loving friend!

Over the next few months, my good friend and mentor Chef Dan Higgins and I will be collaBREWating on some absolutely amazing recipes. Basically, he’ll teach, we’ll cook, and I’ll write and pair beers with Dan’s amazing dishes. This ridiculously good Irish Whiskey crème brûlée is the official beginning of the series and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

You might remember Dan from the mind blowing beer and food pairing dinner we did last year. It was seriously one of the best meals of my life. Though in all seriousness this Irish Whiskey Crème Brûlée may win most delicious dessert.

I mean, just look at that amazingness. Continue reading

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“Emerald,” Dry Irish Stout Recipe

Despite all the crazy homebrew recipes I tell you about, I’ve actually been making an effort over the last year to come back to basics a bit. This stout recipe is a delicious outcome of that goal: simple and lovely.

There are lots of different versions of stouts. You’ve got your sweet stout, milk stout (a sub style of sweet stout which is brewed with lactose sugar ), oatmeal stout, American stout, foreign extra stout and of course the big boozy delight that is Russian imperial stout. And those are just the BJCP recognized varieties. There are truly endless options. If you’re crazy like us, you can also make spiced stouts like our “Chai Latte Milk Stout,” or a delicious fruit stout like our award winning blackberry stout we call “the Bearded Lady.”

All are great, but on an average day, nothing is more satisfying than a simple, dry Irish stout.

"Emerald" Dry Irish Stout

Dry stouts are more drinkable than your hoppier, boozier stouts – a true session ale. At around 4.5 – 5% abv you can sip on a few of these and remain a totally reasonable person. Continue reading

Thai Coconut Curry Couscous

Thai Coconut Curry Couscous

Woo! That’s a mouthful. A mouthful of delicious. This is perhaps the quickest cooking and most satisfying meals I’ve had in the past year.

My husband does not like couscous. ‘It is boring and bland,’ he said. I used to agree. Couscous, especially of the whole grain variety, typically tastes like grainy nothingness to me. Until this lil’ recipe popped into my brain. The coconut milk and curry paste takes this boring, grainy blandness to a fluffy cloud of spicy delicious. Continue reading

the brewing and culinary adventures of a Certified Cicerone®

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