Friday, April 30, 2010

Worth the Wait

 

Tuesday night Parrish and I tried out a delicious new recipe. It was simple, quick, and full of familiar flavors. I took tons of pictures and couldn’t wait to share them with you guys on Wednesday!

Then I woke up Wednesday morning a little under the weather. At first I thought it was just allergies but by the time I woke up on Thursday I was FULL BLOWN sicky. Ugh. I hate being sick. Congestion, headache, fever. Needless to say, I couldn’t even manage to sit up at the computer until today. Luckily Parrish helped take care of me. I’ve been chugging fluids like it’s 2001 and I’m at my first keg party. Coupled with tons of sleeping, I’m feeling 150% better.

So it’s a little late, but here’s the recipe from Wednesday. I call it:

Chicken Ravelli

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In four 1/2 months, I’m going to become an Italian…well at least by marriage :) and Parrish loves Italian cooking. Being a Southerner, I’ve got a lot to learn. And being gluten free…well I’m going to have to practically reinvent every recipe! Or just create my own!

To make Chicken Ravelli, the first thing you need to do is make the Italian salsa. You’ll need:

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One can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs. I like this offering from Del Monte because there’s no added salt. If you don’t have canned tomatoes with herbs, just add basil, garlic, and oregano to taste. To the tomatoes I added:

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1/4 cup chopped red onion

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One container of feta cheese

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Plus salt and pepper to taste. I also added 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil. Mix well so that all flavors incorporate. Then let sit. You could even make the salsa the night before so that the flavors fully meld.

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The chicken was super simple. I took two Local, Organic chicken breasts and cut them in half. I seasoned each side with salt and pepper. I sprayed my cast iron skillet with PAM and heated it over medium heat. And then I cooked the chicken through.

Once the chicken is cooked, just top it with the salsa!

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How easy is that?! PLUS it reheated very well for lunch the next day!

On the side I served roasted broccoli and a wedge of that AHHHH-mazing gluten free baguette.

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So good! The best part is that Parrish really liked it. I mean, yeah, he would have liked it even more if I had breaded the chicken and served it with a side of pasta but he liked the recipe! And he may or may not have had three wedges of the baguette to my one :)

***********Good to back! I’m glad so many of you decided to take advantage of the free shipping being offered by Spreadshirt on Gluten Hates Me Gear!!  I added some new items to the store; I hope you like them!

Friday, April 23, 2010

When a lot becomes a little…

 

We FINALLY mailed our Save the Dates!

Did you miss the Save The Date sneak peek? Recap HERE!

Getting all the addresses honestly didn’t take that much time, it was really just finding the time to do it! And then I wanted to stamp the blank side of the postcard with a sunflower and border stamp, which no one will probably notice or care about…but it didn’t take long either. Besides, we mailed them. That’s the important little step! Actually putting them in the mail. The Save the Dates have been mailed…it’s looking like I’m actually going to get married this year! :)

On a side note, have you noticed that in the “wedding world” Save the Dates are referred to as STD’s? Yeah…I just can’t do that. I can’t even read it without giggling. Then I think to myself “Why are you giggling? STD’s are no laughing matter!” And then I giggle again because I just said STD’s. Eesh. Am I even old enough to get married? ;)

While addressing 80 or so postcards doesn’t seem like a huge deal in the grand scheme of wedding planning, it took a lot of little steps to pull it together. I’m beginning to see where hiring a wedding planner can have it’s advantages. But at the same time, I sort of love to have control over all those little details. And with Parrish’s help, a lot becomes a little! Much like tonight’s dinner:

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Balsamic Glazed Chicken topped with Roasted Grape Tomatoes

On Monday, I found this recipe from Cooking Light. I planned it for Friday, knowing that I would be worn out from work and the directions didn’t seem to be too complicated.

With Parrish on risotto, we quickly whipped this dish up. Teamwork! :) And the results were super tasty!

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I couldn’t believe these tomatoes! So juicy and red! I’ve roasted tomatoes before, but I usually coat them in olive oil. I liked this recipe much better! Light oil and light honey combine to make a sticky sauce that lets the tomatoes burst but not goop.

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Lycopene at it’s liveliest!

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I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend! :) Maybe you could enjoy it in style?

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FREE SHIPPING ON ALL GLUTEN HATES ME GEAR (with a minimum purchase of $35.00)!!

Oh yeah! The kind folks at Spreadshirt.com are offering free shipping from now until May 1st!!!

Use the coupon code: MAY1 on any orders $35.00 and over and the standard shipping will be free!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back in the Saddle

 

The last few weeks Parrish and I have barely been able to keep the kitchen clean. We’ve been all over the place between planning the wedding and buying a house…oh, and working FULL time jobs; we’ve been stretched thin. We’ve totally neglected creating a weekly menu. Which if you’re a gluten hater, not planning your meals does NOT make your life easier!

So Monday I sat down and took the time to plan a menu. I even checked the ads to see what was on sale. I know!? :) Look at me being a grown up!

I had read a few recipes lately that combined pasta with white beans. It didn’t necessarily sound appealing to me, but the pictures looked amazing. So I planned Pasta with Beans for Wednesday, and what I cooked up tonight was a pleasant surprise! Totally delicious and totally getting added in to a regular rotation!

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Gluten Free Rotini with Cannellini, Garlic, and Wilted Spinach

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To make this recipe you’ll need:

One bag gluten free pasta (I used Tinkyada because it’s duh-licious)

One big bag of fresh spinach

2 cloves garlic minced for sautéing; 2 cloves garlic minced left raw

One can cannellini beans or any other white bean

One lemon squeezed

1 cup Asiago cheese shredded

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Cook the pasta according to direction. In a sautee pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat; add 2 garlic cloves minced. Cook for one minute and add in the beans. Mix and then top with fresh spinach. Cover the pan so that spinach will wilt. Once wilted, stir well. Pour pasta into a large bowl and toss with spinach/bean mixture. Add the juice of one lemon. Toss in 2 garlic cloves minced, asiago cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Voila! :)

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The beans give this dish real depth. Parrish and I both loved this recipe! We brainstormed that next time we might use Robusto cheese instead of Asiago. We both agreed this dish would be amazing with crumbled bacon…but what wouldn’t! :)

Now let’s just hope this warms up well for lunch tomorrow!

******************I had gone over a week without drinking of THE EVIL cocktail, and today I totally gave in! Darn it!! (It was really good too! Super cold can from the vending machine!) :( I really need to find a low calorie iced tea soon! ASAP!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Did It! 5k Race Recap

 

I didn’t train.

I didn’t eat breakfast.

I didn’t hydrate the night before.

I didn’t stretch.

I didn’t know where to pick up my chip to get timed.

But 45 minutes after the gun went off…

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I DID IT!!

I’ve always been a slow runner, and at my best, 45 minutes was the fastest I could ever run 3 miles. So to be able to finish the 5k at my own record best…I was pretty excited!

And my SIL Katie did it under 30!!!! I can’t remember if she finished in 26 or 29 minutes, but either way I was SUPER PROUD of her!

So how was it? One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life! I am the type of person that when I run and I see a hill, I start making excuses to stop. Pretty much every time! And this 5k course was full of hills! But I did. Around mile 1 I started regretting my absence of breakfast and water, but I realized I was too far away from my car to turn around, so I pressed forward. Has that ever happened to you? You realize you’re so far in the course that you can’t stop or turn around :)

After the race we went out for lunch at a local favorite:

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And ordered the BIGGEST salad on the menu:

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I ate most of the egg before I took the picture :) And I washed it down with a big glass of:

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Gluten Free Beer – The water of champions

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It was okay…but it’s no Redbridge.

I was pretty much on a high all afternoon. My endorphins lasted all the way to the book store. I decided to reward myself with a special treat that I’ve been wanting for a looong time!

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Ellie Krieger’s So Easy :)

I’m a firm believer in rewarding yourself, but making sure that the reward is healthy. I can’t wait to plan the menu for this week and use my new cookbook!

And how am I feeling a few days after the race? SORE! I can’t remember the last time I ran outdoors! I’ve been a treadmill girl for over a year, maybe even two! So my shins are pretty much trashed! I’m thinking I should have iced, but that’s just another lesson learned.

Thank you guys so much for your support and sweet emails, comments, and tweets! It made all the difference! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Super Funky

 

I have been in such a funky mood today! All day I’ve tried to shake it off, but have had no success! Which is hard to believe, because my started out with this tasty dish:

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Gluten Free Raspberry Oats

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Topping my oats with fresh jam was a great idea! In the mix: 1/3 cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 skim milk, 1 tbsp. chia powder, and sliced banana (KERF method). I topped my oats with fresh raspberry jam and it was SO good!

After breakfast I headed to work, and I could feel the gray cloud looming. I’m  not sure if I was just sleepy, or if it’s PMS, but I just couldn’t shake it. Of course I had to fake it till I make it at work, because you can’t be in a bad mood and give good customer service. PLUS, when the livelihood of artisans in developing countries depends on how you interact with customers, perspective isn’t hard to find. :)

But commuting home I still felt low. And then my Ipod wouldn’t charge, and I couldn’t find the bladder to my backpack water bottle. I’m hoping I wake up tomorrow feeling energized! It’s my VERY FIRST 5k!

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Now, I’m going to be honest. I haven’t trained…really at all. But it’s a fun run race, so I’m not nervous. PLUS it’s benefiting a great cause! PLUS PLUS I’m running the race with my future sister-in-law Katie, and I pretty much adore her! So it’s sure to be a fun day.

Speaking of fun days…there was a ray of sunshine today! Photo Shoot!

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Gluten Hates Me Gear!

I’ve been working on a storefront for a few weeks, and while I’m not totally finished uploading designs and tee-shirt colors, I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys!

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I’m sporting the American Apparel tee in Raspberry…size X-LARGE! I kid you not! I have ordered AA women’s shirts before and knew they run TINY! SO be aware! But' they’re so soft!

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Max approved!

So the Gluten Hates Me Gear store front is officially open! Feel free to share feedback and requests!

ANNND be on the look out for a GHM Gear giveaway in the very near future!

****Off to bed and to a better morning tomorrow! To help cheer the mood, I thought you guys may enjoy some additional photos from Parrish’s photo shoot. He enjoys a method of photography he calls “rapid fire”.

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Klassy.

Wish me luck tomorrow!! Eeek…getting a little bit nervous!! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Four Things…

 

…I’m lovin’ right now!

1.ROASTED BROCCOLI:

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Toss Broccoli in a light balsamic vinaigrette. I used:

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Once dressed, spread the broccoli onto a baking sheet evenly and bake in the oven at 450 degrees until crispy! I stirred my broccoli a few times while baking, but all in all it’s super easy!

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And SUPER delicious! I served it on top of Creamy Parmesan Lundberg Risotto.

2. PEAS AND THANK YOU blog

I started reading this blog last week when my Google Reader suggested it ( I LOVE you google reader!!) and have been hooked since! This self-proclaimed Veggie Mom is one of the funniest writers I’ve read…ever! I was actually laughing out loud, to myself, at work. I’m pretty sure customers think I’m crazy.

Favorite Posts:

Tiny Carts at Trader Joe’s

Defeating the Purpose

Sunday Breakfast

See what I mean? Hysterical!

3. ANTHROPOLOGIE

I know, loving anthropologie is a given, but one of my birthday gifts was a gift card to said beloved store…so I CAN actually afford to buy something! It’s funny though, I haven’t even looked at the clothes yet. I’m stuck on these beauties:

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Aren’t they the prettiest measuring bowls?!

4. YOU GUYS!!

I’ve been hard at work over the past few weeks, creating a Gluten Hates Me store. And while I’m almost finished, I thought I would go ahead and share some pics of the whole reason behind the brand…you guys! Pretty much the reason I do it all, cause I love you guys yo!

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Meet Jen: “I've been gluten free for almost a year. diagnosed with celiac in february of '09. i am also type 1 diabetic. live in chicago. graphic designer.  i do not have a blog...yet...and i read a TON. some favorites: (other than yours, of course!) ffffound, gluten free betsy, regretsy, chicagoist, breaking up with bread...i could go on and on.”

And these two cuties from the Family Forever blog:

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Too CUTE!!!

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I still have a few stickers to mail out from the last batch, and a box of GF pizza crust to mail out too…SO if you would like a GHM sticker, email me your address!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rewind to Friday – A Birthday in Review

 

Thanks for all the sweet birthday comments, emails, tweets! You guys are the best…as always! :)

I have to say that I had a great weekend, and I started it out on the right foot…err…bowl on Friday morning.

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Birthday Banana Oats! In the mix: 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup vanilla light soymilk, 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats, 1/2 a banana sliced thin (KERF method), 1 tbsp. chia powder topped with cocoa roasted almonds.

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Deliciously creamy, pillowy gluten free oats that I enjoyed with a tbsp. of peanut butter.

Luckily this breakfast held me over until well after typical lunch time! For lunch I celebrated Salad Saturdays on Friday:

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Lots of crunch! Sans dressing because I didn’t want to even chance getting glutened! I wanted to feel my best for supper with these lovely ladies:

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Starting Left: Amber, Me, Jessica, Alex, and Amy

We went out to dinner in downtown Durham at Dos Perros. The food was fantastic! The service was horrible! Our server was rude and rushed us throughout the entire meal! She invaded our personal space and even moved personal belongings. Needless to say, I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures. I can’t say that it will keep me from going back, I LOVE their food and have dined with great service in the past!

For dessert, I surprised everyone with an old recipe with a new twist!

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Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Stars! (And yes, I baked my own birthday cupcakes. But I love baking!!)

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The stars were a simple solution to a baking snafu. I had to bake a view of the cupcakes in their cupcake tins, but without the proper pan. They ended up running together into a giant cupcake glob. SO I salvaged as much as I could by cookie cutting stars!

And YES! Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip icing is gluten free! Just another reason I LOVE Betty Crocker!

All in all, it was an awesome birthday! Great food and great friends! If you follow me on twitter, then you know it got a little weird at the end of the night…but it was interesting to say the least!

The rest of the weekend has been relaxation paired with…cleaning! This coming Saturday is my very FIRST 5k…so any advice would be great!!

I also have a FUN giveaway planned for you guys mid-week. HINT: You won’t hate it, but gluten will!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to US!

 

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27 years ago…my Mom was about to pop!

Happy Birthday to US!

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Having a twin brother has always been really special. As a child I had a constant playmate. We rarely fought. By looking through pictures, you’d think we spent more time holding hands!

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We typically shared everything. We’d play G.I .Joe’s together and have them come home to Barbie after a long day at war. (Barbie didn’t seem to mind the size difference)

As teenagers, we still had a lot of fun together. Weekends were spent playing video games or having movie marathons. It was nice to always have someone around who shared my sense of humor.

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Hard to believe that the picture above is almost 10 years old! Eesh.

As an adult, being a twin is still fun. Hard but fun. My brother’s job keeps in Los Angeles, WAY over on the west coast. So I don’t get to see him as often as I would like, but I’m proud of him for being so successful.

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Happy Birthday Otto!

*********Birthday plans for today are up in the air. My mom is coming over and we’re going to spend the day together. I foresee PF Chang’s in my future!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chia What? Chia Who?

 

So I guess I’m not the only one who’s crazy for Chia!? I’m not sure that I’ve ever gotten that many emails about one posting before! I love it :) So let’s delve a bit deeper in to Chia…the Aztec Superfood…not the pet!

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The most frequently asked question was what brand I bought and where I bought it: Navitas Naturals Chia Powder @ Whole Foods

I would love to say I researched brands and went looking for this particular purchase, but that’s just not true. It was total impulse buy! Foodies should never be allowed in to Whole Foods to kill time! As I said before, I read an article about chia previous to buying it. PLUS when I read the package and saw 6g of fiber per tbsp. I was sold! As a gluten free gal, I always feel like I’m getting way too much corn and rice. (And potato, hello!) PLUS, I’m always jealous of other gluten lovers and their whole grain this and that.

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Another frequent question was why I chose the sprouted chia powder over the whole chia seeds.

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Working at a food co-op really taught me a lot about food. One thing I learned was that ground flax seed is easier for body to digest and assimilate than flax seeds. Because flax seeds are so small, your teeth just can’t quite gnash the seeds enough to break it up for your digestive system. SO for small seeds, I’ve always gone the ground powder route. (I also learned that steamed broccoli has more nutritional value than raw!)

On the Navitas website, they explain: “in a sprouted, finely milled powder. Inherently full of healthy omega fats, protein, antioxidants and dietary fiber, the small chia seed’s nutrition is even more enhanced by the process of sprouting. This germination of the seeds increases the nutritional profile and enzyme content, and allows the food becomes more easily digested and assimilated within the body.”

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The biggest questions on the comment board was flavor. Did the chia powder drastically change the taste of the oats. The answer: yes and no.

The first batch I made I thought I used 2 tbsp. in the mix, but I actually only used 1 tbsp. I was using a 1/2 tbsp, when I thought I was using a 1 tbsp. Shown above, you can see that the chia is there but not dominating. The first batch honestly had no taste to me. It was the same whipped banana oats flavor to me.

My second batch…I actually measured out 2 tbsp. I could tell the difference right away while cooking. The extra chia powder totally sucked up all the water and soymilk…almost instantly!

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The result was a chia oat cookie. SUPER THICK and very nutty. It wasn’t terrible, but it was incredibly boring! I actually ended up taking in the car with me on the way to work in my super stylish oats on the go container:

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Classy.

You guys were also curious about the cooking process. Do I add the chia before or after. Before! In my pot I start with 1/3 cup water then add in 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk light, 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill GLUTEN FREE rolled oats, half of a banana in thin slices, and 1 tbsp. chia powder. I cook the oats on medium and when it starts to boil, I whip it in to submission. This allows the banana to basically melt away. (It’s a KERF method) I don’t really love banana, but I do love the texture of the oats.

Any other questions about chia? Feel free to ask! And as always, feel free to ask me anything! I’m pretty much an open book.

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But I have been doing more this past week than just eating chia powder! Like…

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Keeping Diet Coke at bay by drinking this super yummy tea! Sencha green tea is da’ best and adding pomegranate, cranberry, and flower blossoms makes it positively crave-worthy!

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Enjoyed at work.

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Hello tastiness. Diet Coke? I don’t need no stinkin’ Diet Coke. But I do need caffeine!

Caffeine and…

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this handsome fella! We set out to do MORE house hunting today! Yes, on Easter Sunday. Houses in the 150’s wait for no one! So we drove in to Durham early to enjoy some sunshine and brews before looking. I highly recommend doing this before every house hunting session!

My brew:

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Blackthorn fermented cider. The Federal in downtown Durham did NOT have Redbridge my obvious first choice! Nor did they have New Grist, Bard’s, or Green’s. They also didn’t have Original Sin OR the dreaded Woodchuck. Blackthorn was the only gluten free option other than wine and liquor. Eesh. So I went for it!

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Glad I did! It was sweet but no sickening. I wouldn’t order more than one for sure, but it hit the spot. Did I forget to mention that it was in the 80’s today!? Lovin’ it!

I hope everyone has a great start to their week!                                     Tomorrow is the FIRST day of my birthday week!!

Remember last year? Tough to top! :)