A beautiful day to get outside!

Hey y’all.

Thanks for the wonderful response to the post the other day. Knowing that people are reading and care, certainly does make a person happy to put their thoughts out there. I’ve got a recipe coming up here one of these days, but for now, I figured we’d just keep sharing life.

We’ve got a good old four day weekend going. I needed the break and so far it’s been really nice and relaxing. The day started off with a nice fun run with Jackie and Kaitlin. I had a great time with Mike and Eddy for our church Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meeting. And then the bulk of our day was spent with our friend Connor who just got back from Peru. He was part of a team of 13 that went with Leadership Excursions/Endurance Leadership. We were very excited to get to hear all about how God was working down there. Both on the team that went as well as with the orphanage there.

We made some sandwiches featuring Herbivorous Butcher “meats”. Oh my delicious. Jackie’s favorite is the “turkey” slices, I personally like the “pastrami” the best. Whatever way you slice it, it’s all good. Connor was a fan, which is always a plus, when your omnivorous friend, digs the food.

We had planned to drive to Maryland to check out the Red Shedman Farm Brewery.  We’ve picked up some of their raspberry cider in the past and it’s super good.  We thought it would be fun to put the dog in the car and head out there to hang out and try some beverages while playing some games and catching up.  It was perfect for all of that. First off the Farm has beer, cider and wine.  We didn’t check out the wine today but we sampled everything else.  Its set in such a beautiful location, there are rolling hills and trees everywhere.  You’ve got the vines for the winery surrounding all the sides of a nice little grove with picnic tables set up.  (In retrospect, I really should have taken some pictures of the property… gotta get back in the habit.)

We tried a flight.  I personally thought the best beer was the Lunatic Fringe.  A Belgian IPA that was infused with habanero.  Jackie was a fan of the Raspberry Cider, and Connor’s favorite was the Farmers Daughter, a wheat beer.
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Here’s Connor and I just enjoying a moment there on the picnic table.  The beard is so much bigger isn’t it!
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Connor fell asleep with Olive in the car on the way back.  But he woke up in time to show us a rocking backflip off a tree.  After we got a good video we wanted to try to do a boomerang video…Well it didn’t work quite as well, but it’s super funny to watch.  🙂

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The real highlight though was hearing the stories, and challenging each other on what’s going on in our lives.  Connor asked the question as to what our greatest fear is.  I’ll tell you what, it takes a good friendship to get vulnerable and really share that.  It’s been a blessing to have him here as an intern and getting to know him.  Between him and Bethany we’re going to be really sad when this season of life is over and we have to go to remote relationships.

We’re going to end off the night by going to see Despicable Me 3.  I’m excited, Jacks is super excited.  It should be a whole lot of fun.  We’re going to sneak in some Earth Balance White Cheddar Popcorn.  😉

Happy Labor Day, and aplogies for a lack of posts

Its Labor Day, and the weather here has turned gorgeous. Its seriously been one of the best days ever. Jackie and I have been outside enjoying it and I’ve been in the kitchen whipping up a storm of good foods (Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder, pasta sauce, pizza, cookies maybe?). Its been a fairly busy weekend around here and I missed my Sunday Sips yesterday. We were spending time with Jackie’s sister and went and saw “World’s End”. I thought about doing a review of that for Sunday Sips. It is a beer drinking movie after all. It was a pretty good movie, lots of funny parts, but definitely stupid. If the actors weren’t British it would have been terrible.

A slightly belated Sunday Sips would have me reviewing Original Sin cider that we tried last night around a fire. The premise behind this cider was that it was made with heirloom apples grown from a strain that Thomas Jefferson was said to have partaken in. It was a very dry, crisp cider. It almost bordered on a wine in the dryness. It was very refreshing and had a nice bite to it. We found it at world market. I would give it a good recommendation if you stumbled across it and like cider. For me it was a 3.5 out of 5.

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We’ve been somewhat uninspired lately, but both Jackie and I do want to get back to blogging more, so lets see if I can’t do a little recap of the past week, we’ve had some good times.

Last weekend we went to Dubuque, Iowa and went on a Mississippi river cruise with my parents. I talked a bit about it in my Sunday Sips from last week if I recall correctly. It was another nice day out there, certainly warmer than today. Jackie and I got some cute pictures of ourselves though. 🙂

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The next day after church we stopped at the gardens and snapped a few more pictures… Because Jackie was looking super cute in her stichfix top.

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We took Basil out for a jaunt when we were looking to buy an 8 year old crutches for her birthday… Long story, but she’s crazy, her brother needed some after an accident and she fell in love with his crutches that were too big for her. Basil was so HOT. But he had a lot of fun.

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Not to be outdone by the fact that we’ve done some more exciting things lately, we’ve also started to get some more exciting food again. I smoked some tofu and made some mac&cheeze to go along with grilled Zucchini. Now that was awesome, it hit my BBQ fix.

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The other day Jacks whipped up some vegan biscuits with some veggie gravy… The next morning I decided that needed to be turned into a breakfast… DIVINE. Mmmm, Gardein sausages, biscuits, gravy and hashbrowns. It was so delish.

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So hopefully with all this going on, we’ll get back to being more regular on here. Thanks to all you regulars who have stuck through things with us. Would love to hear from you all as to what you missed the most. 😉 But seriously, back to the blogging, and have a wonderful Labor Day.

Sunday Sips: Redd’s Apple Ale

Superbowl marketing you have done me in.  Jackie and I watched the Superbowl and between that and countless radio advertisements, we decided we must try a Redd’s Apple Ale.  I was on board with trying, I like hard ciders, and I like ales, so why not give it a go right?  So this morning after church we ventured out to our favorite Hy-Vee Liquor store and found a bottle to give it a whirl.  (Awesome right, Church and beer, what more could a person ask for?)
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We got it home, left it chilling so it was ready to have with our laid back Sunday night dinner (Gardein Chicken Sliders and homemade fries). When I opened it, we got a massive hit of apple in the nose, like almost overly sweet apple. But then some of the ale notes started coming in, you started getting some of the malts coming through. Not much mind you, but I could tell they were there. The pour can only be defined by how much I was surprised by the effervescence. I’ve had a lot of hard ciders before, none quite as carbonated as this one. We got a nice rich amber color which I suspect came from the malts and the ale portion of the beer as a cider would generally be a lot more clear. NOTE: I really probably should have used a pilsner glass or a flute after pouring this, but I think the tulip glass did alright. Now for the taste, much like the nose at first it starts out all cider, but then it finishes with a smooth malty hit more reminiscent of an ale. I liked it, I could easily drink a bunch of these, but at the same time, it wasn’t begging me to drink more. I really don’t know how to classify it other than to say it was very middle of the road average. I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars. You wouldn’t really go wrong if you like Ales, and Ciders, but at the same time, I think you’re much better off either going all cider, or all ale. It works, but it just lacks the punch that it would get if it stuck to its roots.