Tag Archives: beer

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Another week has gone by and I feel like nothing has gotten done. I blame the weather. I’ve just been so unmotivated. I just want to stay glued to the first floor where the air is the coolest. At some point it will get cooler and I won’t have that excuse anymore. Bummer. 

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Actually my husband has been busy working on our new computer table. He and his Father have been working together on making a custom desk for our oddly shaped third floor (or rather our normal room with an oddly shaped exercise equipment). Our current desk is 43 inches (109 cm) by 20 inches (50 cm), and doesn’t have much space for our computer. The monitor takes up 25 inches, which is pretty much half the length of the desk top, leaving little room for office stuff. So we are making a desk that is 6 feet (72 inches/182 cm) by 24 inches (60 cm), so MUCH bigger. We are most likely to stain the desk, and are looking for some matching shelving so we can get a pinterest worthy work area (yeah right.) Naturally I will be making some posts about our home updates of our finally finished bedroom, office/workout room, and hopefully nursery. Why? Because I assume you guys are just as interested as I am about looking into other people’s homes, best part of looking for a new house btw.

Anyways, I forgot to post this yesterday, so I hope everyone enjoys these articles for the week.

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When Community-Supported Agriculture Is Not What It Seems

I’ve written about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) before, and if you aren’t familiar with the idea, I recommend you quickly read my post before this article. To do a quick summary, it is when the consumer has a direct connection with the farmer, and pretty much pays a share/pays up front for the produce for the year. This New York Times article talks about how the term CSA is being used in situations that is very far from the original definition. If you are thinking about joining a “CSA” it is important to read this article as it helps educate people about what they are actually signing up for.

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Go Fund Me for Hillary Lawson

I’ve been reading Hillary’s blog My Cat Loves Daiya for awhile now. She is very active on many vegan blogs, usually commenting under the name Vegan Peace. Basically, after a bunch of circumstances, Hillary found herself loosing her apartment, and having to share space with a person who doesn’t want to keep her cats around. She brought her cats to an animal shelter and is scrambling to find money for a new apartment (you know, down deposit, first and last months rent, all that stuff.) She has a great connection with her cats, and have been writing about them on her blog. Basically, she took in a stray cat who was pregnant, and kept all the kittens. If you have a few bucks spare, that would be great. Hillary has already been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.

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Beer Bottles Will Soon Include A Reality Check: A Calorie Count

I’ve got so many emotions about this. I love booze. I love the history and complexity of the flavors. I know so much about alcohol that I think many people who meet me think I drink often (not really, more like 3 drinks a week overall? usually less.) As a vegan, I get really annoyed by the government’s viewpoint that alcohol shouldn’t be required to list nutritional information as that would imply it is food. Well, that makes for a lot of confusion for people with dietary restrictions. I had a friend who was allergic to hops, and drinking new beers was a little bit of Russian roulette. But it seems that focus is just on calories, and I don’t like that. It really doesn’t paint a full picture of people are drinking, and unlike hard liquor, beers can have nutritional benefits. Am I saying you should have a beer just to get some b vitamins? No. But there is probably more in a beer than a Kool Aid.

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Watch: Bubbles and balloons pop at 10,000 frames per second

And now for something fun and visually awesome. There is a short video of scientists filming different kind-of bubbles being popped with a high speed camera. Yeah I guess there are facts in there, but let’s face it- it is mostly just cool to watch.


A shot of downtown Frederick

A shot of downtown Frederick

So you may of seen my post for Vegan MOFO about How we planned our trip for Frederick. Well, we went on that trip and now I am reporting back. It is worth noting we were only there for 2 days, and mainly for a wedding, so we don’t have so many things post about places to go and see.  So if you read our post earlier, I talked about making a list of places you want to go to and make a small chart, maybe according to when those places are opened and figure out holes in your schedule. But always be flexible! For example our trip changed because my friend ended up having a rehearsal dinner that we were last minute invited to so we didn’t do as much exploring of Frederick as expected.

The Game Plan

Thursday:
Eat breakfast at home, packed
Head out to Frederick around 10 am
Arrive in Frederick really late around 2 pm whomp whomp
Eat pre-packed wraps and apples for lunch
Spent some time unpacking, talking to our AirBnB hosts and generally relaxed
Around 3 pm we went to Flying Dog
Headed to The Orchard for Dinner
Rummaged through some used records
Headed over to the bride and grooms rehearsal dinner, late, around 8pm
Went to bed around 11pm

Our flight from Flying Dog- Kettle Sou, Spiced Pear, Counter Culture Red Ale, and a Pumpkin Beer

Our flight from Flying Dog- Kettle Sou, Spiced Pear, Counter Culture Red Ale, and a Pumpkin Beer

Friday:
Packed lunches for the hike
Drove to Glory Donuts for breakfast got two snacks for the hike
Headed directly over to Annapolis Rock trail around 10:30
At the end of the trail we ate our faux deli and cheese sandwiches
Got back to our car and got ready for the wedding
Went to the wedding around 4pm packed some bars just incase
Drank a buttload, ate fresh fruit, crackers, bread, and artichoke salad (picked out cheese)
Went to Wedding after party (we got invited to TWO! Life of the party!)
Went to bed around midnight

Saturday:
Packed all our stuff
Headed directly to Glory Donuts
Decided we were too tired (or hungover) and headed home.. whomp whomp

Flying Dog is served everywhere, including the wedding we went to.

Flying Dog is served everywhere, including the wedding we went to.

Packing List

4 sliced apples (2 leftover apples)
1 pack of celery sticks and carrot sticks (never ate)
1 box of clif bars
4 protein clif bars (3 leftover)
4 peanut butter packs (3 leftovers)
Tofurky Peppered Deli Meat
Go Veggie Vegan Cheese
Sliced Bread

As you can see, we didn’t really eat any of our snacks. We were pretty busy or just had a lot of options of things to eat. I think if we stayed a day longer we would of eaten more them. Heck when we got home my husband pretty much ate a bagel, chips, and a clif bar. *rolls eyes* You could of just eaten the bar in the car. But part of the lack of snack eating was because we stopped by Glory Donuts and got some muffins and donuts that we partially had  during the hike.

The BBQ sandwich from Glory Donuts, three slices of bread, tofu, bbq sauce, tomatoes, greens, and a slice of chao cheese

The BBQ sandwich from Glory Donuts, three slices of bread, tofu, bbq sauce, tomatoes, greens, and a slice of chao cheese

It is funny because way back when I told Alexa we had a wedding to go to in the middle of Maryland. She mentioned how she had a wedding in Maryland that was in a very boring place. She told me, but I quickly forgot. When talking to the bride and groom we asked where they were living since their wedding registry shipping address was still listed at their parents house. They explained that they lived in an apartment but it wasn’t in the greatest neighborhood in Hagerstown so they were shipping it to their parents so no one would steal it. Hagerstown is the place where Alexa’s wedding was. Now, before we get any Hagertownians getting mad, we are both well aware that there are nice areas and bad areas in Hagerstown. But regardless Alexa was a little bummed since there were a bunch of cool hikes and places in a short drive away.

Overall from what I can tell Hagerstown and Frederick are the two big cities in central Maryland. Hagerstown I think is bigger and more based in industries while Frederick is a college town and most people who live there actually commute to Baltimore or Washington D.C., making it a commuter town or a sleeper town. The numbers show the difference in income. According to the numbers on Wikipedia the medium income for Hagerstown is $30,796, while Frederick’s income is $303,900! That extra digit makes a big difference! So each town has their own different charms. I mention this only because Alexa visited one place, and the two are close to each other, about a 30 minute drive. Frederick is about an hour drive away from Baltimore, Washington D.C and Gettysburg, making it a great place to make a day trip out of.

The view from Gambrill State Park's Tea Room

The view from Gambrill State Park’s Tea Room

With that said, I think I was surprised by how cute the town of Frederick was. It reminded me a lot of Philadelphia’s residential sections in Center City. Only the houses in Frederick were all in perfect condition! Although you would think Philadelphia would have the money to keep places in top shape, but many row homes are rented out into apartments, and therefore aren’t always well maintained. There is clearly a town wide pride in keeping the city historic. We saw many newer building but they would be attached to older farms. On the flip side, since there is a university in the town, there are a lot of hip stores as well. Point and case would be Glory Donuts, a vegan breakfast shop.

So what can you do in this town? Well, if you are strictly talking about the town, there are a few historical sites to see. Sadly, Jon and I didn’t get the chance to see them. You could easily park your car and walk around the downtown area, and expand outwards with lots of beautiful building to photograph. There are many ghost tours, walking tours, and museums. One of the most talked about museums is the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

If you are willing to venture out of town there are lots of parks and hiking trails to the west. We went on a trail to Annapolis Rock, but there are many other places. Just ask anyone in town what their favorite trail is, and you probably will get an answer. There is Gambrill State Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Cunningham Falls State Park, and parts of the Appalachian Trail. To the east of the city, where we stayed the night, the scene gets more rural. We passed by many different hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoo, and the like for the fall season. We could of made a day out of those alone! So there is plenty of things to do if you look around. We didn’t scratch the surface since of our friends wedding. We definitely would like to make another trip down to discover the area more in the future. But for now, here is the list of places we checked out.

Food:

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Glory Donuts
45 North Market Street Frederick, MD 21701
website | facebook | instagram | twitter
Hands down this has been my favorite place in Frederick! It is clearly a town wide favorite. My friends that were getting married heard of it and they aren’t vegan or interested in vegan food. While we ate there, people were always ordering doughnuts and breakfast. I wonder how many people knew the food was vegan? Their doughnut flavors are really creative, they had rosemary, vampire chocolate (novelty vampire teeth were on the doughnut), s’mores, and chai tea. Our favorites were probably the cinnamon sugar twist, chocolate bourbon, and the peanut butter chocolate pretzel.

But they also have sit down brunch foods. They have a menu on their official website, but they have daily specials as well. We got the regular stuff though we were tempted by their pumpkin french toast! Jon got the salted apple pie stuffed french toast. Now when you hear a name like that, you sometimes just assume they use apple pie as way to describe the overall flavor, right? We were told that the french toast might take 20 minutes to make because they were still BAKING THE PIE! Yup, they weren’t joking around with that. I got the bbq tofu club, which was amazing to have a savory breakfast food. It had 3 slices of toast, a tofu slice, veggies, ranch dressing, and a slice of chao cheese. When we went the second time, Jon got the bbq tofu club and I tried the tofu fried egg sandwich. Everything was pretty awesome.

I can’t recommend this place highly enough! There aren’t many stores like this vegan or otherwise. The staff was nice a chipper even though I was probably incoherent. They definitely know the regulars, and I even caught one of the staffers using sign language with one of their deaf customers! Okay, maybe it is a person they knew before working there, but it just shows how well educated the staff is. If you are going to Hagerstown, Baltimore, Washington DC, or Gettysburg, go out of your way to try this place out! It is your duty as a vegan!

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The Orchard
45 North Market Street Frederick, MD 21701
website | facebook | twitter
The Orchard is an omni restaurant focusing on organic and locally sourced foods. They mean it, even down to the booze! They do have lots of options for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free. They have it very clearly marked on the menu, including meals that can be made vegan. Most of the vegan options are tofu stir fries so keep that in mind when picking here to eat. There are so more options if you don’t mind your food to share the same deep frier as meat. In fact, they assume that you as a vegan, wouldn’t want that. So some foods in the appetizers are listed as not vegan because of this. Our server knew the menu well, and knew most of the answers on top of her head about what was and wasn’t vegan.

We didn’t mind the shared frier so we got the vegetable tempura which was cooked to perfection. I got the hunan bean curd (pictured above) which was pretty amazing. It was a little salty, but that is part of the dish. Underneath all those tofu pieces is a pile of brown rice. My dish was an entree, so I got a soup. I picked the BBQ bean soup, which was recently made vegan by subbing the honey for maple syrup. It was a nice balance of bbq flavor and soup consistency. My husband got the Polynesian stir fry and ate the whole thing, so I can only assume it was good.

Sleeping

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Crickenwood Farm via AirBnB
Greystone Drive, Monrovia, MD
Hydrangea Room | Silhouette Room | Victorian Room
This AirBnB is highly recommended from my husband and myself. The two owners were really nice and provided a clean and unique house. They were really laid back and we enjoyed sitting down and talking to them. There is a continental breakfast, and they offered to buy us anything we needed for our vegan diet. We would of took up that offer if we didn’t keep going to Glory Doughnuts. They have a bunch of friendly puppies on their property, and they do own some cows. The place is nicely tucked away and gives a nice quiet place to sleep. Downside is that the drive is 30 minutes into Frederick, which wasn’t so bad except we had to drive back and forth often because of the wedding. (we went hiking then had to drive to get dressed, the drive all the way back)

Places of Interest

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Annapolis Rock & Black Rock
12000 Government Center Parkway Fairfax, MD 22035
Trail Information
There are lots of different parks in the area, so if you want to go hiking you have options. We asked our friends if they knew of a long trail that wasn’t too long that we could do before the wedding. He recommended this trail, which seemed to be popular with the locals. The trail is part of the Appalachian Trail, an important part of American natural history. I always joke with my husband that if he looses his mind and quits on the job, I would take a long vacation, sublet the house and hike the entire Appalachian Trail together. But I digress. This hike is pretty easy, it is steep on the first bit, but levels out after while. You also walk next to the highway for a little bit, but it quickly goes away. The hike is one way, so you pretty much will walk past Annapolis Rock, then to Black Rock, then backtrack to the parking lot. The trail continues, but it will not bring you back to the starting point. Roundtrip it is a little under 8 miles, and took us about 3 1/2 hours, though lots of people suggest that it would take more like 4 hours.

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Flying Dog
Greystone Drive, Monrovia, MD
website | facebook | instagram | twitter | YouTube
Flying Dog is a fairly common beer in the area. Although we have it always around us, we rarely drink it. So visiting the brewery was really nice. They do beer tastings at their brewery, so you will get to drive down “English Muffin Lane” and through some warehouses. They do tours, but they usually only take reservations before hand, which I wasn’t use to as New Jersey requires people to take a tour before sampling beer at breweries. They have it so it is set up like a bar, you can get growlers filled, individual glasses, and flights. There are also some non-vegan meat and cheese platters, but it looked like some people brought their own take out and ate it there as well, though you might want to call and ask before hand if this is okay. Their website says that children aren’t allowed in the tasting area, and everyone must be 21 and older, so keep that in mind. We did get carded when entering.

All beers do not use any animal products during the filtering process, though they had a few beers in the past that used honey and oysters. So ask before filling up your glasses. The brewery is known for their experimental brews. While there we were surprised by their interesting brew choices. For example we got the Counter Culture Red Ale, which I would never of thought to put coffee in anything outside of a stout. Their best known beer is probably the Gonzo Imperial Porter. If you don’t have time to check out the brewery don’t worry, almost all restaurants in the area serve the beers.

The Record Exchange
151 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701
8642 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910
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Jon and I recently got a hold of a portable record player that sits upstairs for when we workout. So when we left The Orchard, we figured we would stop by The Record Exchange. It is a nice grab bag of vinyl, cds, tapes, dvds, video games, and even laserdiscs! Prices range from a buck to $40! It really depends on the type of record, is it new, and if it is collectable. For example they did have a copy of Aaliyah’s Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number that I was eyeing up, but it was like $35. But we still managed to find a bunch of records, none that we paid more than $4 for.

Rock & Roll Graveyard
115A E Patrick St Frederick, MD 21701
facebook
I thought I would mention this place even though we didn’t actually get to go here since my friend swears by it. If you are a big music nerd, supposedly you can find more records at cheap prices. The owner goes to flea markets, buys a bunch of a dirty records in bulk and cleans them himself for the store. So nothing goes over a few bucks. Worth checking out since it is still in the general downtown area.


Sorry for the delayed post, I had a very weird day yesterday. It was full of highs and lows, and by the end of the day I decided I needed to take a mental day off from blogging! I think after vegan mofo I won’t be posting much about food for October. Maybe a vegan candy post, and a pumpkin spice popcorn ball recipe. But I will probably spend October catching up on blog posts I started, mostly about exercise and a restaurant, and I think I am going to try and do a few horror movie reviews. I never really talk about movies, and I sure love them.

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I started my morning with a very fall breakfast. I mixed a 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 almond milk, some spices, 1 tbsp honee, and 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds. I let it sit overnight and topped it with some chopped apples that were covered in sugar and blackstrap molasses. It was pretty awesome. It was quick to eat and very light which was a good thing because I ended up taking a really long run that morning. I’ve been trying really hard to get back into exercising, which has been hard since I fell out of exercising in our new home. I think things have gotten easier now that the weather has gotten cooler.

be369280-f4f2-4bcd-a095-94b4561633baIt ended up being 50 degrees outside so I got to wear my running jacket. I miss wearing it!  I used my new iPhone to track my running, which is always kind-of fun to see new numbers instead of me thinking “I’m probably running slow…. I think I am making good time…” Since I was going for a long run, it meant exploring my new neighborhood. I was a little nervous because my old Haddon area was full of small houses, and old fashioned streets. That meant lots of trees and sidewalks. I never grew up in areas where you had closed off developments and the streets connecting them were very busy. So it was a learning experience of which roads are best for running. 

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I decided to run through the development across from mine, and round to the local park. I am not a huge fan of man made park, you know the ones with no trees, paved trails, and baseball fields, but this one is really close to us. So I ran through it, and found this guy! I wish I could run with my SLR camera because I could of gotten a cool photo! Ugh! But oh well. I think what makes long distance running so cool is that your world get smaller. Places you think are just too far to do anything but drive to, you soon realize your body can travel you there, and it is pretty rewarding. Is it practical to run to the grocery store? Probably not, well depending on what you are getting. I use to run to my CVS to pick up prescriptions. That wasn’t too weird.

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Then when I got to work, my boss offered me some squash. He has been growing them on the fence, and these cashaw squash got huge! They are a variety of heirloom squash that is suppose to be a secret specialty in the south. They are kind-of like a mix of a butternut squash and a pumpkin. They make great pies, and desserts. My favorite was making Isa Chandra’s butternut alfredo with the cashaw plant. Very yummy.

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Then when I headed back to my car it turned out my boss got my squash already to drive me home. Maybe I should start locking my car? Well, I will briefly go into the details of the “bad” part of the day. Basically a day or two ago my mother texted all of us that my dog Madison (the dog we adopted when I was in high school) was very ill. She is now hitting 15 years, and woke up unable to walk. After a nap she seemed fine again. Well yesterday I got a text from my Mom saying “call me when you get off of work.” So I though “I think Madison died…” then thought there was a 25% chance it was my Mom asking me something stupid and not just calling me after 5 pm. So I sat at work trying not to think about it, and got all worked up. Turned out she wanted me to come over and pick fabrics. UGH! When I told her what I thought she might be calling for she was “oh yeah, that makes sense, but no”

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At that point I was happy to stop by Iron Hill Brewery on the way home and fill up my growler. Sadly, I don’t like stopping her often. They aren’t the most vegan friendly restaurant, and their menu gets increasingly smaller for vegans. But I do love fresh beer. So I filled up my growler with the pumpkin ale and brought it home. I think that is a great way to end the day right?

I originally was going to post a recipe for pumpkin spice popcorn balls, but I think I need to make one more batch to perfect the recipe. So you will probably see it after vegan mofo!


I was told that there is now a Lil' Bub app available for the iPhone...so guess what I have now!?

I was told that there is now a Lil’ Bub app available for the iPhone…so guess what I have now!?

A few weeks ago my friends Keith and Jenine along with Ian and I went on a little day trip. I’ve recently gotten a new phone with a much better camera and couldn’t wait to start taking some photos to share on the blog.

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We started our trip by going to one of my new favorite breakfast spots called Meemom’s in Wall, NJ. I had originally stumbled upon the restaurant on instagram only to soon find out it’s only about a 15 minute drive from Keith and Jenine’s house. They are well known for their copious french toast options, but they have a very diverse menu and even offer options on the healthier side. I’ve been there a second time now since we went this weekend, and I can definitely say that I’ll be going back again, but maybe to try some of their other delicious dishes. They do offer a few vegan options (you could grab the Grandma’s Oatmeal, Fruitini, and Fresh Fruit Salsa from the snack cabinet part of the menu. You could also get a side of spuds, toast, or fresh fruit. Salads would include Mom’s Salad, Portobello, and Bleu-Berry sans cheese.), non of which are french toast options but I saw plenty of vegetarian friendly meals on the menu.

This was Ian's breakfast for the morning. I actually have no recollection as to what he got, but dang did it look beautiful.

This was Ian’s breakfast for the morning. I actually have no recollection as to what he got, but dang did it look beautiful.

This "Churro" french toast was divine and is definitely my favorite item that I've tried so far.

This “Churro” french toast was divine and is definitely my favorite item that I’ve tried so far.

*Disclaimer: I've actually been back since we've gone, I just had to bring my sister to this place and I had the "Campfire" french toast. It's S'mores flavored. I loved it.

*Disclaimer: I’ve actually been back since we’ve gone, I just had to bring my sister to this place and I had the “Campfire” french toast. It’s S’mores flavored. I loved it.

After Meemom’s we drove towards our first destination. The original plan for the day had been to visit a bunch of trails spread throughout northern New Jersey and hike to see the waterfalls on each of them. We started with Tillman Ravine which is a part of Stokes State Forest. I had visited Stokes when I was in the 6th grade, it was traditionally a trip that the 6th graders took every year, but I haven’t been back since. The weather was hot, but not too humid, so as far as I was concerned it was perfect hiking weather. Being underneath the shade of the trees and near the flowing water made everything a bit cooler and comfortable.

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Later on we got a bit off course after we noticed we were a bit short on time to get to the next waterfall and trail. We were passing through a small town and Jenine happened to notice it was Millbrook Village, which she’d mentioned she has always wanted to visit. Millbrook is a historic, small town that had been abandoned in the 50’s. There was supposed to be something built in it’s place, but that never went through and now a little bit of history is left behind so people can visit and appreciate if they’re in the area. It’s always interesting to see what things used to look like and imagine the people living there.

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My favorite part of visiting old abandoned places or historical buildings is all of the tools that have been recovered. Especially when they are set up like the tools in one of their barns on the property.

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We stopped at a vintage-type “drive-in” diner called The Chatterbox for lunch. I wanted to take pictures because it was really cute and retro inside, and reminded me of something that Amanda and Katie would be all about, but It was just such a big space and the idea of a bunch of people staring at me with my iPhone taking pictures was the last thing I wanted when I was hungry. Chatterbox was apparently featured on the Food Network for one of their staple sandwiches (definitely not vegan or vegetarian friendly), but I opted for their veggie burger instead. It was pretty good, but the milkshake that Keith and I split was definitely what made the meal.

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Once lunch was finished we stopped at Angry Erik’s Brewing in Lafayette Township. The brewery has only been around for about a year and it resides in a small building off a main drag in town. For being smaller and newer, I enjoyed every single one of the beers we tried.

img_5948The atmosphere inside was relaxed and very welcoming. We have been to a few breweries now as a group, and I know Jen and her husband have been to a few as well, and sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming just to get through the brewery tour (which is mandatory in New Jersey) depending on the size of the company. I would actually hope that Angry Erik’s gets to have a bigger space because that’ll mean they’re doing really well, but I would happily make a journey out that way to have more beer from them. I highly recommend it!


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Flying Fish Brewing Company

900 Kennedy Blvd, Somerdale, NJ 08083
Tours and Tasting Room (Fri-Sun)
Distributed In: AZ, CA, DC, DE, FL, GA, MA, NC, NJ, NV, PA, SC, VA
Vegan Filtering System (note some beers have non-vegan ingredients)
website | facebook | twitter | lewis garcia’s facebook

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I’ve posted about Flying Fish before but it was early on when I kind-of didn’t know what I was doing. Well, I guess I still don’t know what I am doing with this blog, but hey, whatever. I originally went because the Flying Fish Brewery opened up very close to my sister’s house, I mean really close. We could probably walk there, though it would be an icky walk. 

Flying Fish is a small local brewery, which is continually growing. It isn’t too widely available outside of New Jersey and the surrounding states. They have wide distribution through the company Total Wine and More, so some west coasters can grab a six pack!

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There are two major reasons why I love Flying Fish. One is the Jersey pride, some of which are very personal. The brewery is near my sister’s house in Vorhees. The owner called Haddonfield (almost my town, I’m right next to it by a couple blocks) hypocritical with their dry town rules. But also their beers are named after exits in New Jersey. You may of heard the joke that people from New Jersey ask which exit they are off of from the New Jersey Turnpike and it is fairly true. The exit series beers tend to pay homage to certain areas in New Jersey, “Exit 1″ has oysters, “Exit 3” has blueberries, etc.

And in case you are wondering…. exit 4 is probably closest to where we live, though we never take it because we try and save money by staying OFF the turnpike. “Exit 4” is the American Trippel in honor of the exit being near the brewery, one of the first craft breweries in South Jersey. But we actually get off normally on exit 7A, on 195 and then connect to 295 but there isn’t any exit 7 brews… yet.

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The other reason why I love Flying Fish is how it is set up. Currently they are offering tours every hour, but due to laws they have a short movie going over how they brew beer. The video is set up on a wall in the main hall so that if you miss a tour you can still do a sampling after watching it (and thus, getting your beer faster.) I can complain about this law, it really is pointless, especially if you like going to lots of breweries and know most of the brewing process, but I’ll leave it at that. Once you watch the video you can get beer. 

You can get a flight to keep with the tradition of trying a little bit of everything when visiting a brewery (pictured above). They let you pick whichever beers you want, and it only costs $6. But the way they set the place up, it is pretty much just a beer shop. They will fill growlers and half-kegs, which are ideal for parties or large get togethers.  I know my sister visits often to fill up growlers when the family gets together. 

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If you want to take it easy you can grab a glass for $4.50. They’ve pretty much designed the place to be like a cheap bar, which I am pretty cool with. The inside is spacious, doors are wide open, and there is even seating outside. When we came there was a food truck parked in front of the place, and it seems like this is a common thing. There are a few other breweries that have adopted this type of “bar” setting of bring your own food such as Village Idiot and Cape May Brewery (which Alexa has been to and really enjoyed!) and I love the idea.

Other cool things about this place? Well, they are pretty sustainable. They have lots of information about everything they do on their website. But some of their features include a rain garden, solar paneling, and using their spent barley as cattle feed. I love it when companies make sure they talk about how they are helping the environment.

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Their most recent addition to the brewery? Lewis Garcia. This little guy has been wondering the brewery, mostly looking for food like every dog that ever existed. He is so cute and seems more happy with the workers of the brewery than the visitors. So don’t get too miffed if he isn’t in love with you when you visit. Sometimes you would see him waiting for workers to come out of the factory to greet them, pictured above. He is also has a facebook account, if you want to see what he has been up to.

One word of caution, don’t take his photo. I snapped a few photos and Lewis started to bark at me, so I clearly stopped. Clearly he doesn’t like the paparazzi… or the sound the shutter. I stopped taking his photo under his requests, but if you NEED to take a picture (just look at that precious face!) I recommend taking his photo with a phone with the sound turned off.

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Alexa’s Favorite:
Exit 3: Blueberry Braggot | Lewis Garcia

Jennifer’s Favorites:
Grand Cru | Hopfish IPA

List of Non-Vegan Brews:
Exit 1 (oysters) | Exit 3 (honey) | Exit 8 (honey)


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Shirt: Comme Toi via Modcloth | Skirt: Downeast via Modcloth | Necklace: Similar styles on Modcloth | Shoes: Rocket Dog | Sunglasses: Target

I had some posts started before I fell far behind last week. But I think I should talk a little about my weekend. I don’t talk about “new” things about me as much as I would like on my blog. Lately they have been mostly restaurants, recipes, and educational stuff. I think the fashion posts and the sunday reads posts were spots that I could just talk about what I have been doing everyday. I like more structured posts since it gives me a chance to explore new areas, help people with purchases with reviews, and learn new important things about veganism. 

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First let me start by pointing out how bad ass I look? My husband is a delicate flower when it comes to photography, he is so worried he will mess it up. I don’t blame him since I have pretty high standards. I complained so much in college that my friends would post every single photo on facebook. It wasn’t like they were posting bad photos of their friend to make them look better, the photos of themselves were equally bad. I finally came to the conclusion that they just had no clue how to photograph people. So when my husband takes a photo of me, he panics. And worst, I want him to take photos of me in PUBLIC- in front of other people!

So while walking around there was a cute government protected historical building, that had it’s gates opened, so I asked if he could snap some photos since it was kind-of out of the way. I posed, he snapped, and he even took some photos of me candidly! Wow! Maybe it is because he is helping with coding of the Free People website that he is getting some fashion blogging tips. I even got some bad ass wind gently blowing my hair. Well, it just means I will probably bother Jon to take more fashion photos when we go out. XD

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I’ve been into Philadelphia a lot this week. Monday I was antsy and had to get out of the house and went to P.S. & Co to read. Then on Thursday my friend Justine (check out her new youtube vlogs) came to visit from Portland so we went into Philadelphia for the day. She is thinking about moving to Queens or Philadelphia, so I gave her lots of reasons to move closer to me. We ate pizza, got great coffee, and went to Spruce Street Harbor Park where we drank beer and talked with our old school mate.

When the weekend rolled in, my husband was getting antsy in the apartment too, so we thought we could go to Spruce Street Harbor Park too for beer and seeing the tall ships that were there that week. Boy that was a huge bust. There were so many people. We aren’t the type to like crowds. I rather go to beaches during off seasons because the crowds are too much. I remember loving the water parks in Florida during February because it was “too cold” for the locals. So after about 10 minutes we decided to get the fudge out of there. 

We still had fun, we enjoyed walking around town enough. We even got to cross the rainbow crosswalks in the Gayborhood. And we are really excited later this month when the oval opens their pop-up park. It was never as crowded as Spruce Street Harbor Park, and I liked how close it is to the Art Museum. So we will definitely plan a day where we see some art and get some beer outside. 

What have you guys been enjoying this summer? Any good beers or beer gardens I should be checking out?


Day 101: Jon sits in while I get the camera set up for my outfit photos.

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Day 102: OMG WE’RE IN JAPAN! No, just visiting the teahouse display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Day 103: Took photos of my mango black bean chili. Will be posted on the blog Monday. Yum!

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Day 104: Lunch for the day- raw corn fritters from Ani’s Raw Food Asia.

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Day 105: Another recipe to be posted- sweet potato pasta with sesame seed crumbles

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Day 106: I just noticed how cute these two turquoise doors are.

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Day 107: I can’t wait to open up this bottle. You would think I would of learned my lesson from the Voodoo Donut beer, but I know Alexa and I need to try this Sriracha beer. NO SPOILERS GUYS! We will need to find out it’s disgusting on our own.

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asksnanswers

Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaI was recommended to eat Greek Yogurt to help with some harsh side effects of my medication, but dairy makes my tummy hurt. What are vegan options with probiotics?

Well, a fast an easy answer would be to eat vegan yogurts, but I think you deserve more options. I will go and breakdown all your options, but most might involve some personal kitchen time. You see, all those yummy probiotics in yogurt are just are a bi-product from fermentation. So I will list a few types of vegan ferments that are fairly easy to do at home. 

Quick notes- if this little post really interests you I would recommend picking up The Art of Fermentation. The book is pretty much a dictionary of fermentation styles, and will go into details about practices in certain regions. For example the chapter on pickles goes into details of different type of pickling in India, Japan, mushrooms, fish, etc. The book lacks lots of specific recipes, but gives you guides, giving you lots of wiggle room with the dishes.

There is also some basics with all type of home-ferments. Some guides seem scary and long, but most just reiterate some basics. Wash hands during preparations, wash and clean everything thoroughly, make sure all soap and sanitizers are rinsed off, and all cultures are living things. Think of them like plants, you need to take care of them, and you oddly start to like them, at take photos of them when they do cool stuff.

There are also more vegan ferments, but I didn’t list them because you need to apply heat to eat them. Some example would be sour dough, tempeh, fermented grains, etc. By adding heat, the probiotics really won’t do much for you.

Vegan Yogurts

The quickest response to a vegan yogurt option is a soy yogurt. These are now pretty widely available at supermarkets, though the price tags are still pretty high. They usually have live active cultures, but tend to have lots of added sugars. You can make your own homemade vegan yogurts, but it can be tricky. You need to keep a consistent 110 temperature, which is why some people buy yogurt machines. You will also need to buy a yogurt culture, which I am never thrilled about. Modern yogurts have mediocre yogurt cultures, and will only live so many generations before having to buy more cultures. Belle+Bella have a non-dairy yogurt starter, if anyone is interested in making yogurt at home.

Don’t want to make your own yogurt? Most stores have big containers of yogurt in plain or vanilla. I recommend grabbing one of those and mixing in granola and fruit for flavor. Want greek yogurt? Take regular store bought or homemade yogurt and strain through a cheese cloth to separate more of the water from the yogurt. Voila! Your done!

Step-by-step Instructions: Waking Up Vegan

Vegan Kefir

You might of heard about this yogurt alternative- kefir. I haven’t seen any dairy-free kefirs in stores, though there are some commercial coconut milk kefirs. So you will have to make some for yourself at home. The plus is that vegan yogurts have a hard time thickening due to low protein levels (and homemade yogurts are thinner than what we are use to, thickeners added to both vegan and dairy commercial yogurt). So consistency will be more similar to the original product.

Unlike yogurt kefir is a lot less fussy. You don’t need to monitor the temperature, and naturally has a thinner disposition. The downside is that kefir grains (the culture) really enjoy cows milk, not vegan milks, so they need to replaced after awhile.

Step-by-step Instructions: Chickpeas and Change
Note: She includes how to make nut milk, you can skip these steps if you use store bought milk.

Water Kefir

Unlike making vegan kefir, water kefir is a lot more stable. Get kefir grains once and they can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. Water kefir is made from sugar, dried and fresh fruits. Most people describe it as a probiotic soda, and there lots of wiggle room for flavor since you can switch the fresh fruit around.

This seems like a pretty low maintenance sort of culture, and would recommend to anyone who wants fresh probiotics with little work. There are two steps to the brewing process, and with some planning you can get two brews rotating (as shown in the tutorial below)

Step-by-step Instructions: Bonzai Aphrodite
To Buy Cultures: Amazon

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Last weekend I was pretty stressed from the week. It was pretty weird and all over the place, so I decided to lay back and relax. I made a yummy pizza dip for the Broncos and Seahawks game, and made an amazing butternut squash soup from Isa Does it. So you might see some REALLY old things on this roundup. I didn’t get to share them last weekend and I didn’t want them to be skipped completely.

This weekend I visited my Grandparents in central PA, and when I mean central I mean centered Pennsylvania. It’s in the middle of state right dab in the middle. The closest city is Altoona, if you want to google it in a map. There maybe some photos later this week and some thoughts of veganism and farming.

BUT for now—-

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beets

Red Velvet Raw Beetroot Heart Bars & BBQ Beetroot Seitan Steaks by A2K

A2K has a lot of beets, obviously since she is tempting me to two different beet recipes! One is a dessert made with beet roots and made into cute little hearts! And she pairs it with chocolate?! I love beets and chocolate. Then she goes savory with a beetroot steak. I don’t get too many beets yet from my CSA, so these recipes are making me sad. Soon. Soon.

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Mr. Ian was being very clever by taking this photo at an angle! ("Off-centered ales")

Mr. Ian was being very clever by taking this photo at an angle! (“Off-centered ales”)

Dress:  via Modcloth | Cardigan: Old Navy | Shoes: Rampage | Headband: Flair

This post is coming out a tad bit late – but better late than never…eh?

On the weekend of April 25th a bunch of my friends and I took a weekend-long trip down to Rehoboth, Delaware to visit the Dogfish Head Brewery! Dogfish Head is actually in Milton, Delaware…but the house we rented was in Rehoboth. It was a weekend-long birthday celebration for my friend Keith (seen below), he’s an old man now.

 It was a great time!

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