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fun brews and eats

What an awesome day today!  It was so gorgeous and sunny out, that we knew we needed to spend some time outside.  I skipped a workout so that we could head up to Portsmouth, NH for the day!  It was so much fun to just spend the day exploring with no schedule – I loved it.

Our first stop was the Red Hook Brewery, so I knew I needed a snack on the way to soak up the beer. 🙂

After about an hour drive from Boston, we arrived at the brewery!

It was pretty crowded inside for it being such a nice day out!

We started with a tasting, while we waited for our tour to start.  Their tasting menu consisted of 5 different beers -Long Hammer IPA, Slim Chance Light Beer, ESB Original Ale, Copperhead Ale and Oatmeal Stout.

Long Hammer IPA

This was good.  Normally, I don’t care for IPA’s, but this one was not nearly as hoppy as many others I have tried.  Brant loves IPA’s, so he was in heaven. 🙂

Slim Chance Light Beer

Neither of us really cared for this beer.  It was okay, and definitely better than other light beers I have tried, but if I am going to drink beer I want something better and more flavorful!

ESB Original Brew

Apparently, this is the beer that made Red Hook famous!  I did not love it because of it’s slightly bitter taste.  Brant liked it though…

Copperhead Ale – Spring Seasonal Brew

Loved this one!  We both did.  It was flavorful and not too hoppy.

Oatmeal Stout

Surprisingly, this was my absolute favorite!  I always stay away from heavier, darker beers for no good reason except that I assume I won’t like them.  But, this was awesome!

We definitely did not have a problem drinking everything, even the beer we didn’t like!

Time for the brewery tour!

This was a pretty short tour that walked us through the different stages of the brewing and bottling process, then brought us into a tasting room to try some beer.

First up were the brew tanks, where the hops and malts pass through several different stages.

Once the beer is made, it sits in these enormous tanks for at least 2 weeks to ferment.

The bottom of the tanks.

The beer is then bottled in this huge room.  It takes about 4 minutes for a bottle to go through the whole process (add the beer, label, cap, etc.) and only 2-3 people run the whole process because the machines do everything!

On to the tasting room, where we tried the IPA, Copperhead, ESB and Oatmeal Stout again – yum!

Our tour guide.

And us!

We mailed some postcards to our family’s from the brewery.  They encourage this and actually give out postcards and stamps!

After the tour we headed to downtown Portsmouth for a super late lunch and to walk around in the gorgeous weather!  We decided on The Works Bakery Cafe for some quick and healthy sandwiches.

It was cute inside, and surprisingly pretty busy for 3:30pm!

I decided on the special panini of the day – Provolone Artichoke Panini.

It was delicious!  Not oily, like many panini’s are.  They use homemade pesto and all fresh ingredients.

After lunch, we took a stroll around town and stopped at a chocolate shop for a coffee and some treats!

I decided on a Chocolate Coconut Haystack, and Brant got a turtle!

As expected, I dug right in and they were both awesome!

It was an awesome day!  We made it home and I will be having a super light dinner, if anything at all, due to our very late lunch and my tummy full of beer!

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panini’s & poppyseed pancakes

I was exhausted last night, but luckily had dinner waiting for me when I came home!  Brant whipped up some Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Panini’s with Sweet Potato Fries.

On seeded whole grain bread, which was amazing!

I had him spread some Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke spread from Trader Joes on mine.  This spread is incredible, try it!

It was delicious once pressed.

Paired with sweet potato fries, even more amazing!

To make the fries he just cut them up and sprinkled them with seasonings.

While he cooked, I sipped on a Pomtini!

A great, quick Friday night dinner!

I had a snack yesterday afternoon that I just have to tell you guys about because it was so good.  Apple clusters from Trader Joes!  They are delicious!

Has anyone noticed my obsession with Trader Joe’s, yet? 🙂

Anyways, on to breakfast this morning, which was also made by my husband!  Poppyseed Pancakes from 101cookbooks.com, which were so different and so good!

Poppyseed Pancakes

adapted from 101cookbooks.com

We cut the recipe in half to serve 2 (with 2 pancakes still leftover)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/6 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted until deeply golden
  • 1 1/8 cups organic buttermilk
  • 1 large organic egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (added)

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix.  Be careful not to over mix!

2. Heat up your skillet (or pan) and cook pancakes!

3. Cook until golden brown.

4. Serve with citrus maple syrup (recipe to follow) or syrup of your choice!

Citrus Maple Syrup

from 101cookbooks.com

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 oranges, peeled and chopped into small bits
  • 1 lemon, peeled and chopped into small bits
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or other natural cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Directions:

1.  Cut up oranges and lemon and place in a small pot with sugar ad syrup.

2. Heat over medium heat until sugars melt and become syrup.

3. Simmer until pancakes are ready to keep warm!

Serve warm pancakes with a dollop of plain greek yogurt (if desired) and citrus syrup.  Garnish with sunflower seeds.

This was a great pancake recipe.  I am normally not a pancake or waffle fan, so when we make them, I like them to be different and more filling.  This was perfect!  Heidi has phenomenal recipes on her website – check them out.

We are off to explore for the day.   See you later on.  Happy Saturday!!