Seattle Beerventure Pt. 7 – The New & Far Out

No Plan

If there’s one thing I learned on the Seattle Beerventuring, it’s that there are so.many.breweries.  And they are everywhere, and constantly closing, opening, reopening, moving…good grief!!!  But it keeps things exciting and honestly, as long as there’s a beer in my hand at the end of the day, I don’t really care.

Below are all the breweries that I had to make specific beerventures to get to; a couple I was able to group together, but for the most part, it was one at a time.  Burdick is the only brewery I currently* have left to hit on the Seattle Beerventure Challange (they had closed for renovations when we did the West Seattle trip, but recently reopened for 7 days a week…I’m coming for you on Wednesday!!  …also West Seattle Brewing got a new brewer, and I really really really want to give them a second try…)
(*Ravenna Brewing is opening soon…the beerventure is never ending)

There is no order to the below breweries…I just plugged them in as I found the photos on my phone, and then found them in Untappd.  Wahoo!

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

N/A miles/hella minutes/8 breweries/36 beers/9 badges

Standard Brewing
Hellbent Brewing Co
Spinnaker Bay Brewing
Flying Lion Brewing
Outer Planet Brewing
Urban Family Brewing
Holy Mountain Brewing
Lucky Envelope Brewing

Standard Brewing

Beers I Tried:

1. Cascadian Dark Ale
2. Beet Ale Juice
3. Wheated Red
4. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

Really nice brewery down in the Central District…super small, I was very impressed with what they did with the space brewing-wise, and I would love to see this place move to a larger place.  The beer was very palatable, and I’d be curious to see what they did in different seasons.
The CDA was hella strong and the wheated red was very drinkable though not necessarily anything special.  I was glad I was able to hit Standard while they were brewing their beet ale; very odd, very respectable, not particularly my cup of tea, though honestly it didn’t not work.  I’d definitely recommend a taster of it if you love beets like I do!  The ginger beer however is worth the trip alone.  It was amazing!!!  So sweet, so refreshing.  Loved it.

Hellbent Brewing Company

Beers I Tried:

5. Olympic Hills Spring Ale
6. Jasmine Wheat
7. First Born IPA
8. Funky Red Patina Red Ale

Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!  All the yeses.  This brewery is super new (literally opened early June, maybe?), it has an AWESOME space; great couches, great patio.  It’s right up the street from Elliot Bay in Lake City (we hit the West Seattle EBBC), so not too hard to get to, and there’s more good beer & food down the street when it closes.  Check it out ASAP!
$8+tax/4 tasters
Honestly loved them all.  Even the IPA was drinkable for me.  Really can’t wait to see what they do in the coming seasons and what they are going to do with all those taps they have…

Spinnaker Bay Brewing

Beers I Tried:

9. Riptide Rye
10. Amber Ale
11. Black High Heel CDA

Cool older tasting room.  A bit far south, but within walking distance of Columbia City.  They were out of a lot of beer which was a bummer, but the folks at the bar (I assume they were regulars) were super chatty and fun to listen to.
$2/taster
Spinnaker Bay puts out some decent beer.  I’ve had a few of their things at festivals and bars and am always pleased with my choice, but never super impressed.  Of all three of the beers, the CDA was probably the most flavorful.  The other two were fine but nothing mind blowing.

Flying Lion Brewing

Beers I Tried:

12. Single Hop Pale
13. Another IPA
14. Oat Pale Ale
15. Imperial Rye Stout
16. Double IPA
17. Bière de Garde

This brewery was part of a warehousey-strip mall.  About a 15 minute walk from Spinnaker if you want to mini-Beerventure.  Small space with a patio; bartender was a younger guy who was super friendly and I really appreciated his enthusiasm for the brewery (maybe the brewer?).
$12/6 tasters
They are a newer brewery (opened in the last year) and I think they’re still trying to get their feet under themselves.  Good beer that I think is on the way to being great.  The Oat Pale was really refreshingly light; I don’t think I’ve ever had a Bière de Garde but that was definitely my favorite of the bunch.  The Double IPA was kind of chemically, though I am not a double IPA fan, so I may not be the best judge (this was a solo beerventure, I didn’t have the Toby tastebuds to gauge the stronger beers!).  The others were extremely drinkable.

Outer Planet Brewing

Beers I Tried:

18. Bohemian
19. Rye Saison
20. Oatmeal Brown
21. ESB
22. IPA
23. Barleywine

A brewery on the Hill!!  I know, I know, we have Elysian and Six Arms, but this is a small new craft brewery and it just feels different, OK!?  And it’s within walking distance from my house!  Cute little hiding spot on 12th Ave, easy walk to the Pike/Pine area, and a decent amount of indoor seating.
Again, another new brewery I think is still trying to get their feet under them, but a really solid start.  I enjoyed everything we tried with the exception of the Barleywine (not my thing).  My favorites of the night were the Oatmeal Brown and the IPA, though everything else was still really good.  Excited to keep tabs on this brewery, especially since it’s so close!

Urban Family

Beers I Tried:

24. So West It’s East
25. 1885
26. The Velvet Edge
27. Year 1
28. Wheat Pale Ale

I was sad our Ballard beerventuring got screwed up when this place moved (I had balanced everything out! #evertheplanner), though truth be told, this was one of the Seattle breweries I didn’t hear great things about.  But I waited and waited for it to reopen only to be really freaking impressed.  Kicking butt, Urban Family!  I don’t know what was going on before or if I just had some negatively opinioned friends, but I definitely say check it out if you can make it out to Magnolia.
$2-3/Taster
Really dug the Velvet Edge, but the Wheat Pale Ale was definitely my jam in this sampler.  The other three were enjoyable; I could enjoy a pint of any of these beers.  Glad to see a small brewery getting into a large space and flourishing.

Holy Mountain Brewing

Beers I Tried:

29. King’s Head Double Oat Brown w/ Coffee
30. Wayward Black Beer
31. Watchman’s House Oaked Lager
32. The Ox

Out in Interbay, this brewery was a little hard to find (we definitely drove by and had to turn around…also parking…), but DAMN.  DAAAAAAAAAMN.  If there’s A brewery that craft beer snobs have to hit in Seattle, it’s this one.  If I remember the conversation, they’ve been brewing since October and only recently opened the tap room.  Very spacious.  Also a short walk to Number 6 Cidery, which I’ll be talking about in another post (because JUST GO).
This beer is great.  It’s flavorful, smooth, different.  We’ve been selling their Wit at a few of our pizza locations, and it’s become one of my standard go-to’s already.  If I see their handle, unless it’s one of their oak-aged, that’s usually what I’ll pick.  The King’s Head and Ox were so smooth and flavorful; rich, but not too heavy.  Black Beer and the Lager were definitely Toby’s choice, but he gave them very high marks.  I’ve been meaning to go back ever since, but have made sure to recommend them to all my beer-loving friends.

Lucky Envelope Brewing

Beers I Tried:

33. Helles Lager
34. Citra IPA
35. British Stout
36. Fog Dart Pale Ale

Another great addition to the Ballard beer family!  Right in the heart of Brewery-ville, Seattle, it’s in a warehouse/office building type place.  Patio & indoor seating, big open garage doors, and really spacious while maintaining a cozy feel.
Really solid beers; while nothing really jumped out, I admit I picked the safe beers.  I really need to start being braver with my choices when solo-beerventuring, though the options I passed over were the Thaiger Mom Trippel and the Two Pepper Pale.  Definitely going to go back with the boyfriend and give this place a second go-round.  The Citra was my favorite and really, really great…the Lager and Pale were both refreshing and something I’d order pints of.  Great start!

Seattle Beerventure Pt. 6.2/3 – SoDo again!

The Plan

We still had breweries to hit in SoDo!  Because whatever, FINE, brewery hours, you’re making life difficult.  Luckily, we found a Tuesday night that worked!  Called up the Spees, and Toby was able to join after work.
Let me say folks, work up an appetite.  Ghostfish has a completely gluten free vegan food group that will deliver food, and their beer-battered avocado tacos apparently are amazing.  We were saving our appetites for Epic, so we decided to wait, but we weren’t disappointed by what we waited for.  Still…really want to try those tacos…

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

1.9 miles/37 minutes/4 breweries/21 beers/6 badges

Georgetown Brewing Co
Ghostfish Brewing Company
Epic Ales
(Bonus! Seapine Brewing)

Georgetown Brewing Company

What the fudge does Jesus have to do with vacuums?

Beers I Tried:

1. Bob’s Brown Ale
2. Johnny Utah Citra Pale Ale

This is more of a growler filling/brewery tour type tasting room.  No pints, no tasting samples, so I just awkwardly sidled up to the bar and asked for my stamp and the opportunity to try a couple beers they had.  No pictures, just some quick shots of beer and a look around the gift shop.
Georgetown is a Seattle staple on taps all over the city, most commonly Manny’s Pale Ale.  It’s become a staple for a reason; it IS darn tasty beer.  However, I am Manny’s/Lucille/Chopper ‘d out.  It’s good, but I personally have never found anything notable about what they’re doing.  I tried two beers that I have never seen on taps and was pleased with my choices, as both the Citra Pale and the Brown were exactly what I expected them to be.  Reliable beers that are darn tasty.

Ghostfish Brewing Company

Beers I Tried:

3. Elderflower White Saison
4. Shrouded Summit Wit
5. Experimental Grapefruit IPA
6. Vanishing Point Pale
7. Watchstander Stout

The space for this was awesome.  Lots of wood, lots of room, right in the heart of SoDo.  Food is provided by a nearby vegan gluten free food truck kitchen which, like I said above, I’ll definitely be hitting up when I bring Ariana back here next time she visits!  Seriously, beer battered avocado tacos?  I gotta eat me some of those!
But beerwise…I just…you guys.  I get it, I do.  But every time I tried a beer, my response was my general GF statement of “It’s good for gluten free…”.  They are doing hella good, hella impressive work, and I definitely acknowledge and admire that.  I appreciate that they are taking a market of people, a lot of whom probably used to be beer lovers only to have their beloved beverage taken away, and are giving it back to them in a form their bodies can process.  But if I were to try these beers in a line-up of non-GF beers, I wouldn’t particularly care for them.  However, I definitely would rank them higher than Omission and MUCH HIGHER than New Planet (<–SO GROSS).  If you’re GF or have GF friends & family, definitely check this place out; if you’re a craft beer nerd, it’s worth checking out to see what’s happening in the GF beer world.  Watchstander was my favorite, the grapefruit IPA was skippable (though experimental when we were there, so maybe they’ve made it better a month later?).  Everything else was good and worth trying.

Epic Ales

Beers I Tried:

8. Mojito Pale Ale
9. Fleur de Ble Hefeweizen
10. Rosy Cheeks Pale
11. Horchata Saison
12. Ale Iain Cream Ale
13. The Wildest Mild Rauchbier
14. Hope Farmhouse Saison
15. Solar Trans Amplifier Witbier
16. Party Time!!! Ale
17. Single Barrel Sour #1
18. Sea-Oak 500

Guysguysguys.  This was on Toby’s list of “Meh” breweries, only for him to have his mind completely changed.  We ended up at Epic on the night they were auditioning a new chef, so we got to try some amazing food.  The mashed potato dumplings with chicken “gravy” sauce were so yum, but I couldn’t believe how mind-blowing the (above) squid crudo with a quail egg was.  GAAAH SO GOOD.  Don’t know if he got the job, but especially since it’s right down the street from Toby’s office, I know we’ll be back.
$3-5/taster
Because the Spees joined us, we were able to justify trying every single one of their beers they had on the list that day.  HOLINESS!  I gotta rave about the Mojito Pale, the Fleur de Ble, and the Rosy Cheeks; they were right up my alley with lightness and sweetness.  I even enjoyed the Hope Farmhouse Saison, and that’s a leap for me.  Party Time was a great sour, couldn’t handle the Sea-Oak 500 (we passed that along to the boys…so much barrel-y goodness for them).  The Horchata Saison was good, but honestly, mixing those great rice milk cinnamon flavors with those of the saison didn’t mix for me.  I’d stick with a pint of the Mojito Pale, no question.  Check it out!

Seapine Brewing

Beers I Tried:

19. Sea Witch Milk Stout
20. IPA
21. French “C” Saison

We had to hit Seapine on a different day due to weird hours for those of us in the service industry.  A small tasting room with four taps in a warehouse/office building.  Adam was pouring and was just the nicest guy; tips on how to enjoy Washington Brewers Fest, beer chat, etc.
$5/4 tasters
Dang, that milk stout!  If the hours ever open up a bit more, I would definitely go back just for that.  I liked the Saison and the IPA a lot, and want to check out the Pale Ale they were out of when we were there.  Even Toby, the hardcore IPA drinker, preferred the Saison!  Worth a trip, and walking distance to Costco if you need that.  🙂

Seattle Beerventure Pt 5 – West Seattle

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The Plan

We decided to hit West Seattle up for this next beerventure since I had a Saturday night off of work!  We planned this one around closing times to make sure we hit them all, and managed to time it just right.  This is *not* a walkable beerventure for sure, and I’d recommend taking it easy if you decide to do this one.  Truth be told however, we were definitely only impressed with about 3/5 breweries we made it to.  (Burdick is apparently closed for the season, or the people at Lowercase just thought we were so awesome they wanted us to hang out longer…Burdick’s Facebook and website were unclear, so I’m not sure what was going on).
*Also, it should be noted…I’ve been trying to keep track of the cost of the samplers, but when Toby & I take turns paying, combined with drinking, well…the note-taking lacks.

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

8.2 miles/20 minutes/5 breweries/23 beers/5 badges

Tin Dog Brewing
Lowercase Brewing
Big Al Brewing
West Seattle Brewing
Elliot Bay Brewing Co

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Tin Dog Brewing

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Beers I Tried

1. Belgian Blonde
2. Saison
3. Stout

This was our first stop on our West Seattle tour…honestly, was kind of underwhelmed.  Besides being in the middle of a business park (not out of the ordinary, but it’s odd thus far on the tour), the two employees were not particularly excited about their product, and spent the majority of their time on their tablet computers.  One of things I’ve grown to enjoy about these beerventures is talking with the brewers or employees about the beer; what they’re doing, what they like, what’s coming up…so this was a disappointed stop.
Schooners only
We tried the Saison, the Belgian Blonde, and the Stout.  I preferred them in that order.  Nothing exciting, nothing to write home about.  Decent, and if I lived in the neighborhood, I might go there again, but far down my list of “musts” in the Seattle beer scene.

Lowercase Brewing

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Beers I Tried

4. pALE
5. eSB
6. iPA
7. bROWN
8. sQUASH

THIS PLACE was my favorite place of the evening.  The people were hella fun, knowledgable, and the space was just cool.  We did the mug puzzle, but we’d already paid for our beers.  THIS is my kind of neighborhood brewery.
$5/5 tasters
I’m usually not an ESB fan, but I really enjoyed theirs.  Pale was fine, my least favorite of the five.  The IPA had some nice floral notes, making it actually drinkable for me (STILL not on the IPA bandwagon guys, sorry!).  But I LOVED the Brown and the Squash!  The Brown had a great subtle coffee taste, and the squash had a great spicy quality to it.  Definitely recommend going out of the way for this one.

Big Al Brewing

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9. Time Capsule July 2014
10. Time Capsule August 2014
11. Irish Red
12. Tutta Bella Amber
13. Winter Warmer

This is one of those Seattle breweries that’d I’d already unknowingly tried their beer, liked it, but had never made the connection that it was in the city.  I was excited to realize this and hit the source!  It was hoppin’ (<-Ha.  Ha.), so we didn’t really interact with employees, but the upstairs area was awesome.  It’d be a great party room to reserve, with a huge TV, couches, and pool table.  We had the whole upstairs to ourselves, but got interrupted by a beer tour that was passing through.

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~$7-9/5 tasters (?)
The Time Capsule beers were definitely interesting; the July was a sour blonde that I actually liked, but I was disappointed in the August…not as hoppy as described, which surprisingly saddened me.  I’d had the Red before, and I’m a huge fan; my favorite of the five.  Also really enjoyed the Amber, but the Winter Warmer is one I’ll definitely be adding to my list of winter go-to’s.

West Seattle Brewing Co

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14. Dumb Blonde Ale
15. Road Rage Red
16. Timberline IPA
17. Imperial Stout
18. Bourbon Barrel Pale

This was so not awesome.  We were there on a Saturday, it is a *great* location, but the beer was not good.  Mind you, when we went, it was still a baby brewery; I hope they’ve gotten their act together since then.  It’s a cool space, but just doesn’t warrant a return.
$6/4 tasters
The Blonde and Bed were very “meh”, the IPA was bland, and the Imperial Stout was the best of the bunch, though still nothing mind-blowing. (I won’t judge the Bourbon Barrel because I am never a bourbon barrel fan.)  So here’s hoping it’s gotten better since November; they do have potential to be a good brewery.

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Elliot Bay Brewing Co

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19. Luna Weizen
20. Dry Hopped IPA
21. Noale Holiday Ale
22. B-Town Brown
23. No Doubt Stout

I LOVE ELLIOT BAY.  Ever since I went there for NYE 2014, I’ve been a fan.  The beer is solid, but the food is what I really love.  Seriously.  The elk burger in the Lake City location?  The Cuban sandwich I had in West Seattle?  My mouth is watering again.  Check it out!  Great date night location.  (And right across the street almost from ArtsWest…)
$7/5 tasters
Again, the beer is solid.  The five we tried were more of their more popular brews, but I really enjoyed all of them quite a bit.  My least favorite was the IPA and my most favorite was the Stout, but they were only separated by one star on my UnTappd.  Avg. 3.5 star rating.  Check them out; they do good, consistent, tasty work.

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So there it is, ladies and gentlemen.  Beerventure: West Seattle (#5) has been completed.  Only SoDo left!

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Seattle Beerventure Pt 3 – Downtown

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The Plan

This was the last beerventure I could do for a while (I apologize for the belated posting…a month late.  Forgot this was sitting in my drafts!)…just finished up a show in Issaquah, and now I’m back waiting tables! So here’s to hopefully another beerventure soon!
I will say…this is not the Seattle Beerventure I would necessarily recommend (unless you wanted to skip Gordon & Rock Bottom, and hit up Bluebird on Cap Hill & Elysian instead).  It was half good/half mediocre beer, and it draaaaaained my wallet.  Started the day with $60…I think I ended with $5?  Only bought ONE HOT DOG besides the samplers (and I obviously tip decently, because DUH).  Definitely the most overpriced beer, just not worth it.  Sorry.  A couple good breweries, but not worth a whole excursion.  Hit them up separately for sure.

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

2.6 miles/53 minutes/5 breweries/29 beers/3 Untappd badges

Six Arms – McMenamins
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Rock Bottom Brewery
Pike Brewing
Pyramid Brewing

Downtown Beerventure

Six Arms – McMenamins

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Beers I Tried:
1. Nitro (whatever was on…it was definitely some kind of stout, not on Untappd)
2. Ruby Ale
3. Hammerhead Ale
4.India Pale Ale
5. Terminator Stout
6. Ugly Puppy

You just can’t go wrong with McMenamins.  Their Happy Hour is amazing (cajun TOTS), and I like their beers a lot.  Also, it seems like this location has gotten a lot more chill in the last year; I’m not as stressed out for the servers/bartenders like I used to be.  I’m not as familiar with the Roy St. location, but I know I’d go there more if it was closer to my house.
$8+tax/6 beers
I honestly do not remember what the nitro was…wish I did, because I remember liking it.  But I almost always like nitros.  That smoothy smoothness!!  The Ruby and Terminator are my go-to’s at this place, but I actually really enjoyed the Hammerhead.  Not generally a pale ale fan, but this one was good, not too hoppy.  Ugly Puppy was a dark belgian ale, and it was good.  A sweet aftertaste that I enjoyed.
And then Jason ordered the Smokestack Mac & Cheese (bacon and smoked mozz)…I only had three bites.  It was magical.  I will go back for this any day.  (Also their brownie dessert with caramel sauce is TODIEFOR.  GET IT.)

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Gordon Biersch Brewery

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Beers I Tried:
7. Golden Export
8. Hefeweizen
9. Czech Style Pilsner
10. Märzen
11. Schwarzbier
12.Maibock

Guys.  Gordon Biersch was the worst.  Comparable to the Ram.  I wouldn’t have chosen it, but this challenge.  Gotta catch ’em all.  Jason even refused to drink beer and decided to go with a spicy pinot noir.  His words.  He also refused to make a nice face for the camera.  Jerk.

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$6.50+tax/6 beers
The Golden Export and Hefe were fine.  Nothing to write home about.  Did NOT care for the Pilsner or the Maibock.  The Märzen is what I’ve ordered in the past when I’ve eaten there (fine), but the Schwarzbier took me by surprise; I liked the coffee flavor.  But again, just overall not good.  I think the Schwarzbier just happened to be the standout.  I do not recommend this brewery unless you’re doing the challenge.

Rock Bottom Brewery

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Beers I Tried:
13. Kölsch
14. Belgian White Ale
15. IPA
16. Red Rocks Red Ale
17. Nitro Porter
18. Summer Blonde Honey Ale

Rock Bottom has decent food, but the bartender was really great here.  I was definitely a fan, it’s so close to the 5th Ave, and the food isn’t super overpriced (just a little overpriced), I’d go here again.  Maybe not for great beer, but for the atmosphere and location.
He charged me for one happy hour beer instead of the sampler…thanks bartender!
Liked the Kölsch, the Red, and the Porter.  Standard, yummy beers.  At this point I was decently toasted, so my note-taking suffered.  But I was very emphatic about the Honey Blonde, and did not care for the IPA or Belgian White.  Normally I’m a Belgian White fan, so dunno what happened.  All I wrote was “Meeeehhhh…”
*facepalm*
We also proceeded to send this photo to our bosses.  Hey Chad & Lauren!

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Pike Brewing

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Beers I Tried:
19. Naughty Nellie
20. Pale Ale
21. IPA
22. Kilt Lifter
23. XXXXX – Extra Stout
24. Monk’s Uncle – Tripel Ale

I love Pike Brewing.  I’m just glad they let me back in after the 26th Birthday Fiasco of 2013 where I apparently unknowingly propositioned the bartender.  Whoops.  Sorry, dude.  #vodkaredbullproblems
$12+tax/6 beers (<-efffff)
Naughty Nellie and Kiltlifter are two of my standard Seattle recommendations for out of towners; great beers, especially the Kiltlifter.  That and Boundary Bay are what got me into Scotch Ales.  I actually had never tried anything else from Pike that was on the sampler, so I was really excited to hit up this one.  Disappointed in the cost for sure (I know, it’s in tourist central), but the pints are reasonably priced during happy hour.  Liked the other four just fine, wasn’t too big on Monk’s Uncle or the Pale, but I didn’t hate the IPA!!  YAY!  The Stout was pleasantly smooth, but a bit bitter for my liking.  Give me a sweet stout any day.
And Jason is totally over it and this is where he ditched me.  I walked to Pyramid by maaaself.

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Pyramid Brewing

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Beers I Tried:
25. Hefeweizen
26. Curve Ball Blonde
27. Apricot Ale
28. Thunderhead IPA
29. Alehouse Amber Ale

I love going to Pyramid on game day!  Until I recognize the bartender that Megan left my number for last Christmas…who never called…*hides under hat**note to self: always wear a hat to Pyramid for this reason*
But seriously, the food is good.  Again, it is overpriced and nothing to write home about, but it’s yummy and you’re always surrounded by Seattle sports fans.  We actually went during an M’s game, and it was great.
$10+tax/5 beers
YOU JUST CAN’T GO WRONG WITH PYRAMID.  Not a huge fan of their Thunderhead (of course), but everything else was great.  I love their Apricot Ale and their Curve Ball.  Their Hefe is good and can be found on a lot of taps in Seattle.  The Amber was the only one I’d never tried, and I really enjoyed it.  They are my go-to sampler from the grocery store when I know I will be entertaining people, or am headed to a get together.  They’re drinkable, yummy, and relatively inexpensive.  And I really like their Snowcap, Strawberry Blonde, and Sounders Blonde beers.  They’re like a diner’s chicken potpie of beers; by no means mom’s homemade, but it’s comfortable and sometimes exactly what you need.
And cute bartenders.

So many fans!

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And no pictures of Chris, who joined me for this last leg, purely because I fancy myself a magnificent food photographer when drunk and I’m pretty sure I took photos from at least five different angles on my phone.  Good grief.  Drunk Heather is not a humble Heather.
Happy beerventuring!

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Seattle Beerventure Pt 2 – UDistrict/Greenlake/Greenwood

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The Plan

I took the day off so I could attend my friends Jes & Randy’s opening night of Jane Eyre at Taproot Theatre in Greenwood.  Decided to make the most of it and do some more beerventuring up that way since I knew I could bus/walk the whole thing.  Thankfully, I had some friends with car who ended up doing some driving as I had a MASSIVE migraine/hangover at about 12:30am that I think was especially brought on by the walking in the sun, even despite drinking massive amounts of water.  Blergh.

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

3.7 miles/77 minutes/3 car rides/6 breweries/31 beers/4 Untappd badges

Ram Restaurant & Brewery
Big Time Brewery
Elysian Tangletown
Bluebird Microbrewery
Lantern Brewing
Naked City Brewing

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First off, check out this gorgeous mountain I got to look at as I walked to The Ram from my bus.  Holiness.  Pacific Northwest for the win.

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The Ram

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Beers I Tried:
1. Blonde
2. Big Red IPA
3. 71 Pale Ale
4. Saison
5. Disorder Porter
6. Barefoot Wit
7. Hefeweizen
8. Buttface Amber Ale

I like the Ram just fine.  It’s always been a decent place to go with friends for Happy Hour, and to watch sports.  That’s just kind of the atmosphere.  Good burgers!  And I’ve always had great service.
$4.99+tax/6 beers (plus she gave me tasters of the two seasonals)
Holy lots of beer!  Holy not good beer!  Sorry, but it was really mostly terrible.  The Amber & the Blonde are the only two I’d order, and even then, I’d go for happy hour food.  Not for the beer.  The Porter was hands down the worst; it reminded me of a “grapefruit” scented all-purpose cleaner I have in the house.  When the overall flavor is household cleaner, that’s a problem.

Big Time Brewery

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Beers I Tried:
9. Coal Creek Porter
10. Prime Time Pale Ale
11. Sunbreak Blonde
12. Atlas Amber Ale

Interesting space; total college ave alehouse.  Would go back to buy some of their beer, but the pub aspect wasn’t really my thing.  Ran into an old coworker Luke in the kitchen, and he made me a sandwich!  Thanks Luke!!
$5.25/4 beers
LOVED the porter.  The blonde and pale were fine, but the porter hardcore stood out in this set.  I also really liked the flavors of the amber, but I took to long to get to it and it had warmed up quite a bit, which brought out some bitterness.  Should have started with it and ended with the porter instead.

Elysian Tangletown

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Beers I Tried:
13. Loser Pale Ale
14. The Immortal IPA
15. Avatar Jasmine IPA
16. Mens Room Original Red
17. Dragonstooth Stout
18. Swashbuckler Vanilla Porter

I’ve been to all three of the Elysian locations (mostly Cap Hill, since it’s so close to my house), but figured this would be the one to hit on a beerventure since it helped close the gap between UDistrict and Greenwood.  GREAT location, love how close it is to the lake, love the open doors in the summer, and Elysian always has such a great clientele and staff.  Love them.  And this is where my solo beerventure ended and Chris met up with me!
??/5 beers (bought an extra taster)
I love Elysian beer.  I’m a big fan of their Superfuzz that’s out this summer (a blood orange pale), and was obsessed with their coffee milk stout this past winter.  Can’t WAIT for pumpkin beer fest!  Liked the pale & mens room, wasn’t huge on the Immortal, but I was surprised at how much I really liked the Avatar Jasmine.  I could drink that IPA!  But the Swashbuckler…HOLYCOW.  I like my beer sweet, and this one didn’t disappoint.  Amazing smooth, vanilla flavor, and I don’t think they have this one at the Cap Hill location.  Gotta get back to Tangletown ASAP!

Bluebird Microbrewery

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Beer I Tried:
19. Weedwhacker Wheat Ale

I was really disappointed when we hit Bluebird…they were out of the Theo Milk Chocolate Stout (which is one of my favorite beers in Seattle, so I was excited to beerventure it!), and when we asked about a sampler, the guy behind the counter was not enthused, I think because they were out of everything except the wheat.  Which was a good wheat beer, but the store was practically a sauna, and we weren’t allowed to sit outside with our beers.  We drank quickly, skipped the ice cream (they have *good* ice cream), and crossed the street to the 74th St Alehouse to wait for Pam.

Lantern Brewing

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Beers I Tried:
20. Blondine
21. Witbier
22. Pale Ale
23. Tripel
24. Kriekenwit
25. Lucienne

You guys.  This place is great.  The beer was pretty tasty, and the staff was so awesome!  And the space!!  They were the only place that didn’t have anything to stamp our passports with 😦 but they are so close to the Spees house, we definitely will be back for more beer and with the PupSpee.  Really cool tasting room off of Aurora.
$8/6 beers
For the most part, I liked all the beers…I had Mike finish the Witbier and the Tripel, cuz they weren’t my favorite, but the Krieknwit was delicious.  Next time we go, that’s what I’ll get a pint of.  For sure.  And I’d like to try some of their darker stuff if it’s on tap.
Also, hit my 200th beer here!

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Beerventure Breaktime: Taproot Theatre!

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Pretty much you should go see Jes kill it in this show.  And her and Randy’s duet is great and I want to hear them sing more together, please and thank you.  And support Taproot.  That was my first show I saw there, and I wasn’t disappointed.  Nick Giac came as my Kate Jaeger date replacement (le sigh), so he got to tag along for the last leg of the beerventure!

Naked City Brewing

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Beers I Tried:
26. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands (Blonde)
27. Betsey’s Mountain Amber
28. Yankee Drifter (Blonde)
29. Pinkerton Porter
30. Brute Force IPA
31. Crossfire IPA

Naked City is great.  Also they’re right next door to Bills, so I was very confused and thought I was going to get some pizza.  No such luck, but those corndogs were bomb.  Dipped in the fancy fry sauce especially.
??/6 beers
Seriously, my photos get worse as the beerventures go on, don’t they?  I guess that’s to be expected.  Liked the Blondes, did not like the IPAs.  Much much much to hoppy for my taste.  At that point, that’s as much as I remember about the Naked City beers, even with a 3 hours Jane Eyre break to sober up.  I think I was more tired than anything, and, like I said above, verge hangover/migraine.  Good quality stuff, it’s so close to Taproot and other places up there, I know I’ll be back.  But I will probably get pizza next door first.  Sssh.

(Nick really really wanted to get in the beer picture…)

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 And now, my official post-Beerventure Pt 2 face, where I attempt to personify Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.  Nailed it.

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June is Bustin’ Out All Over!

“Just because it’s June!  June!  JUUUUUUUUUUUUNE!!!!”

And what better way to celebrate June with only the best singing fail video of all time.  (Apparently her cue card guy fell in the mud, so I will cut her some slack…it is Leslie Uggams, you know.)
JuneLeslie

But seriously guys, June is here, and I realized I needed to kick my ass into shape.  So I got another Groupon.

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Vision Quest was a fail last time (God, what was that, almost two years ago now??), but I figured that Gold’s is only a 10-15 minute walk from my house (or 3 mile run if I go through Volunteer Park), on top of a grocery store (convenient), and my friends say they only pay $25/month.  I can do that!  And I appreciate that I haven’t been bombarded every time I come in with a “ready to sign a contract yet?”  Even though I totally am!
(Mainly because I saw DAN SAVAGE there, and I totally fan-girled, and then moved because I was taking up unnecessary room by the weights.)

But also I totally love working out.

………ish.

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I do love that shirt, though.

For reals, workout posts are coming back this summer.  To help keep me accountable!!  Also, I bought new running shoes, so now I have to work out.  I have been re-inspired to run.  Thanks, Ari!

AND I WENT TO A WEDDING!

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Colie and Graham met when Ari & I lived with Colie my junior year of college.  Ari actually introduced them because he was literally the boy next door.

I can’t even.

Colie and I were never as close as she and Ari were, but I really enjoy her a lot, and I know how important and positive this relationship has been in her life, so it was super great to go as Ari’s Plus One and get to support such a lovely union.  Also, Colie’s dad (who owned the condo we lived in, and was super great to rent from) gave the most sob-wrenching toast.  We were all a mess and it was beautiful.

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Dresses from Ann Taylor Loft Outlet!!!!  WE LOVED IT!!!

And let’s be honest, it was really awesome to get to spend a few days with this wonderfully awesome lady.  We got to stay with my little sister and her boyfriend while we were in Vancouver for the wedding (THANKS EM AND DAVID!), and of course we made them food the night we were there.

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Brussel Sprouts, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Chicken, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and a Balsamic Reduction Sauce…I wish we lived closer together so we could cook together more often!

We also got kind of drunk at the wedding and ran to the store for GF pizza (Ari), more beer (me), and ice cream (both of us).  We ended up crashing and forgetting about the ice cream.  So we ate it for breakfast.  Hashtag sensible.  Hashtag vacation.  Hashtag don’t judge.

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So that’s it.  I felt like I needed to post an update.  My internship is winding down (one more week!), my auditions are winding up (two down, three more for sure, we’ll see what else June brings), and I have lots of strong feelings to post & new recipes to try.

Seriously, I’ve been brainstorming posts since the last one, but I always get distracted by naps.

Speaking of, this 30 day challenge will definitely be implemented post-internship.  June, I hope you’re ready for me.

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Lots of love, y’all.

Resolutions Schmesolutions

“Happy 2014!  WHAT IS YOUR RESOLUTION FOR THE NEW YEAR???”

It’s as bad as “Happy Thanksgiving!  NOW LIST ALL THE THINGS YOU’RE THANKFUL FOR!”

So much stress.  I’m always afraid I’ll give the wrong answer.  Which is stupid, because obviously there is no wrong answer…right?

But just like I feel obligated to come up with a list of all the amazing things I’m thankful for (and ultimately, it’s always a good journaling exercise that makes me cry and actually thankful), I always feel obligated to make resolutions that inevitably I *will* fail at.  Like, I definitely did not work out three times a week for 52 weeks in 2013.  FAIL.

But here’s where I’ve realized I fail: I make year-long, excessive resolutions with no motivations, inspirations, or incentives.  And “Be Healthy” isn’t a resolution, it’s a lifestyle change.  You can work towards being as healthy as possible, but sometimes you’re going to eat that not-so-but-kind-of-don’t-judge-me delicious $2 biscuit & gravy plate at Denny’s at 1am.  And you can’t hate yourself because of it.  “Be Healthy” is always the plan, and it just doesn’t work as fuel for my resolutions anymore.

So here’s my vague resolution for 2014: To Feel Good.

Let’s break this down…what makes me feel good?
-Eating fruits & veggies
-Cooking & eating good food
-Drinking water
-Working out
-Clothes that fit
-Getting 7-8 hrs of sleep
-Waking up before 11am
-Family & friends & love
-Projects & organization
-Not being stressed about money
-Clean room & living spaces
-Good time management & preparedness
-Feeling 100% inside and out (no colds, zits, etc.)
-Not waking up hungover as F&#$
-YouTube videos of babies and animals and baby animals

How can I achieve “To Feel Good”?  Well, I’ve realized I can’t make a specific resolution for an entire year and expect to stick to it.  For example, there are weeks that I am just not going to be able to work out.  It happens.  I shouldn’t completely fail because I didn’t foresee a stressful tech week in November (see what I did there?).

But I can foresee that the month of January isn’t looking so terrible.  Right now, I just have Les Miz, a concert, maybe an audition, and a few shifts at the pizza place.  That’s plenty of time to get things done.

So here’s the plan for 2014: to revisit my “To Feel Good” resolution at the beginning of each month, determine what I am capable of & what I need To Feel Good, and make a new list of goals.  Resolutions.  Whatever.

Cuppatea

The ladies are helping me make goals

So HERE WE GO!

January 2014 Goals

-Eat more fruits & veggies, and drink 64oz of water a day

-Try one new recipe a week

-Do Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred everyday

-Fix my sleep schedule!  (Aiming for 1:30am bedtime, 9:30am wake-up by the end of the month…currently at 3-4am bedtime, 11-12pm wake-up)

-Organization Goal of the Month: Bathroom

-Make my bed every morning, and hang up/put away my clothes every night

-Learn more about skincare

-More tea, less alcohol

-Make and USE my new planner to schedule, budget, organize receipts, meal plan track food & exercise, and note-take

See?  Tangible goals.  I’m not even making blog goals this month, although I anticipate you’ll be seeing a little more of me on here these coming weeks.  Especially with the work I’m doing on the planner.  I am just so excited.  I went to Staples.

So that’s my bit of 2014 resolution advice from me to you.  Break it down month by month and focus on the NOW.  If you need, do it weekly instead of monthly.  Journal it out.  Post it on your wall.  Write it in your planner.  Whatever you need to do to make positive changes, because that’s what a new year is for, right? #getit

P.S.  I do have TWO traditional full-year 2014 resolutions:
1) Save.my.receipts so I stop kicking myself every tax season
2) Find a guy that can put up with my crazy because my stuffed bear just doesn’t cut it for cuddling and conversation.  Taking resumes via email or in person.

Love you, Buffo!

Love you, Buffo!


Hey there, 2014

Christmas was great. It was so nice to be home for a few days and hang out with my sisser and parents. We really missed Natey, BUT we got to Skype with him for the first time since he’s been deployed!!! It was great to see his face, but hard to see him so homesick. We miss you, Natey! Come home soon!

We hit the movie theatre on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
Saving Mr. Banks. GO. NOW. It was so not what I was expecting, but I was extremely happily surprised. Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks of course were brilliant, but Colin Farrell’s character was really what caught me off guard. I didn’t particularly care for him as an actor before, but this movie really showcased his ability and his beautifully heartbreaking performance deserves him an Oscar nod. And if you don’t cry during “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” then you have no soul.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I fell asleep numerous times.  Partially because I’ve fallen so far behind on sleep, partially because the LOTR & Hobbit celtic soundtracks just put me out, and partially because I just didn’t care for the film.  It was too long, I wanted more stuff to happen.  I’ve read the book, and I felt like I didn’t remember anything that was happening in the film.  Whatever.  I’ll watch it again when it comes out on DVD.  Although I could listen to Benedict Cumberbatch speak all day.  What a killer voice.  Someone please tell me he sings.

I got hooked up on Christmas.  A couple new cookbooks, a meat grinder, and a Polar FT60!!20140101-163259.jpg
I already made something from The Craft Beer Cookbook…Cheddar & Stout Chicken Pot Pie!!!

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In other news, I now watch Doctor Who.  I just started in on Season 4 (Donna!), and I made this for one of my Secret Santa gifts!

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And we had a fire alarm go off during a show…in the middle of Paris…in my least-covering costume…

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And commence the New Years Eve resoluting.  I’ll be posting my 2014 goals tomorrow, but here’s a preview.

20140101-163209.jpgLove you guys.  Happy 2014!!

That one time I did Les Miz…

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(photo cred: Mark & Tracy Photography, and then I zoomed in to post on Instagram…which is why the colors are odd…just to clarify.)

Yup.  That’s me.  Whore #1/Drinker #3/Young Prostitute/Girl infatuated enough with Feuilly to support the revolution who then decides to sleep with Legles at the barricade after a few too many drinks.

Third time I’ve opened this show in the last 10 years.

And it’s fucking AWESOME.

Guys, there’s nothing more amazing than doing what you love, getting paid for it, and still crying at the end of every show.  Because that little old lady in the front row sobbing is adorable.

I am so blessed and grateful to be a part of this production.  It is brilliant.  The people are so unbelievably professional and talented.  Get your tickets.  And watch this sizzle reel.

Back to blogging.  For reals.  I’m super great at making promises I can’t keep in regards to blogging.

And I’m constantly inspired to take the blog in a different direction and then I get overwhelmed and I decide to just not touch the blog for a while and then I eat out a lot.

So I’m hopefully back for a little bit.  I have a couple posts lined up this week, one for meal prep, and one for knitting projects I’ve been working on.

But for now…THANKSGIVING!!

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Stop and drop everything you’re doing right now and go buy the Black Truffle flavored Olive Oil from Trader Joe’s because it is literally the best thing you will ever eat in your whole entire life!!!  I made brussel sprouts for Les Miz Friendsgiving and I was quite proud.  I used TJ’s Truffle Cheese as well.  Aaaaand BOOM goes the dynamite.

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This.  Yum.  Drink lots.  Also their Vanilla Milk Stout is really good, too!

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One of my contributions to Thanksgiving this year was a pumpkin bread pudding with a homemade caramel sauce.  You can find it on Epicurious.  It was a HIT and will probably show up occasionally for other things.  I also want to try and health-ify it.  Lots of cream and sugar.

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I got to spend lots of time with sisser and her boyfriend.  She got the leg of the turkey.

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We took a post-dinner nap.  Standing up.

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Then we wrestled on the floor and napped some more.

It was very sisser-ly.

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Also I’m officially obsessed with Settlers of Catan.  I just really love board games and no one ever plays with me.  Taking applications now for board game friends (in addition to the Spees, obviously) and/or a boyfriend who will put up with my unnecessary shit talking and occasional drunk cheating.

On the games.  Not on the relationship.

Ummm…yeah.  Clarification.

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And then there was this.  One of two reasons I moved to Seattle.

New Voices.

I GOT ASKED TO DO IT!!!!

When Rj talked to me about it, I seriously nerded out and jumped around the room and looked like a dumbass but I am so unbelievably excited and humbled to be asked to be a part of this, it’s not even funny.  I have loved watching the videos for years, going to the concerts these last couple years I’ve been in Seattle, and now I finally get to do it.  I’m singing in a gorgeous group number and I hope you get to come.  Because if it’s like it normally is, you will pee your pants laughing for one song, and then sit there stunned and sobbing for the next.  LURVE IT.  And GET YO TICKETS.

8 days til my birthday.  Don’t forget.

Love and miss you all, and happy merry Christmas!

Cookbook for One, Please!

You know something is officially a commitment when you say it out loud to someone else.

So if you fall through, someone is going to be aware of it.

Yesterday, I announced to the roomie, amid an embarrassingly long MasterChef catch-up marathon, that I was going to write a cookbook.

That seems a lot more epic than it’s actually going to be, but still.

I did not cook as much as I should have this summer. I didn’t like sharing a kitchen, using pots & pans that weren’t mine (or big enough), hand washing everything, cooking for just myself, cat hair, etc etc. I ate a lot of chicken nachos, drank a lot of beer, and had a lot of fun. So even though my stomach kind of hit the floor when I stepped on the scale, and saw that I had done a little damage to all the work I’d done leading up to the summer, I can’t regret all the good nights I had and memories I made with some of my favorite people in the whole world. And really, three pounds is very lose-able.

But it got me thinking, it got me talking, and it got me researching. The thinking started here: I’ve been following the progress of Andie’s mom since Day 1, and it’s been a good reminder about portion sizes. Also her detailed account of her mom’s eating reminds me that 1) food journaling and meal planning are where it’s at, and 2) some great, yummy, low-cal meal ideas.

The talking was with my sisser and my dad. Sisser is doing unbelievable things over in Moscow, ID. Working & beauty schooling for 80 hours a week, she’s thinks she’s often too busy for much more than a drive-thru. When she came to visit in Leavenworth, we got to talking, and I offered to send her some healthy crockpot recipes and some ideas on how to meal prep effectively. She seemed open to the idea, which then led me to start thinking about how to go about presenting all the information, and what all I wanted to actually present. I also had a similar conversation with my dad, which led to him asking for the links to Andie’s plan for her mom, and for some of the recipes I’d be sending to Em.

Then I realized I would be needing all of this motivation & all the healthy recipes for myself when I start Les Miserables over in Issaquah next month. (Speaking of, did I ever mention the fact that I was cast in Les Miz at Village Theatre, and last week I was offered the Eponine understudy position as well? I’m kind of not really at all just kidding for sure jumping up and down excited. WAHOO!)

So that’s this month’s project. I am going to compile a Shutterfly cooking booklet for the sisser, the dad, and whoever else wants one. The goals of the booklet:
1) Healthy eating on a budget
2) Meal prep & planning, and how to grocery shop effectively to not over-buy
3) Shopping & cooking for one-two people
4) Having it done by Christmastime so I can give it to them as Christmas gifts.
5) Experimenting more with meatless, gluten free, and dairy free options
6) One-pan meals

The third one is going to be my biggest personal focus. I have a bunch of books on hold at the library right now, but my biggest challenge recently is how to cook healthy for one person. I love leftovers, but besides lasagna, I don’t want to eat the same thing every day for a week. I can make recipes smaller, but a lot of times that means things end up cooking differently. And I still end up buying things in excess only to discover moldy zucchini in my produce drawer. And that is always sad.

The fifth one is because I’ve discovered that meat & dairy are always the most expensive things I end up buying, and I’d like to cut back. I also just feel better when gluten and dairy aren’t the biggest things on my plate.

The sixth is because my biggest laziness as a cook is dishes. I will skip vegetables if I have to prep AND cook them, because I decide making less dirty dishes is better than having a couple servings of veggies with my chicken breast. If it’s all in one pot, I’m 10x more likely to add the veggies. And if I’ve pre-cut them (#2), then there’s no excuse.

So there it is. Shutterfly is going to make this the easiest thing ever, and hopefully I’m going to end up with something I’m decently proud of.  Expect some new recipes these next few months as I experiment, starting tomorrow with my Make-Ahead Mason Jar Omelettes.

Any favorite Cooking for One books you recommend, or major tips/words of advice for this project?

(Also…GO NATASHA GO!!!!!!)