Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Festival of Beers: Staropramen and Spaten

i didn't drink both of these on one night, but they were very similar so i decided to put them in the same post. staropramen premium lager is a czech pale lager from prague. it was a satisfying pale beer, light and crisp. nothing particularly special, but certainly better than a bud or a coors. would have been very good with a sausage or something.

spaten premium lager was much the same. this one's from munich in bavaria, but it was also a good solid pale beer with a crisp taste. would have also been good with some standard central european fare, like sausage and potatoes. this one seemed a little smoother, though. perhaps not as bitter on the end.

i'm not much of a beer connoisseur, so i couldn't really tell much difference between these two. they were both good, standard pale beers.

overall assessment: i liked both of them, and am likely to purchase them in the future, but perhaps spaten over staropramen.

Festival of Beers: La Rossa

"la rossa" is an italian beer brewed by birra moretti. it was very malted- the website says it's made with all malted barley. it reminded be a little of baltika 4. but baltika 4 is much less malty and more yeasty/bready (more like kvass), and also probably more enjoyable because of fond memories of my study abroad in russia. but i did not enjoy la rossa. it was cloyingly sweet, almost rotten. and it didn't have the satisfying yeast-ness or bread-ness of baltika 4. i guess i'm just not a fan of malted barley, because i couldn't even finish all of it and dumped it out.

overall assessment: la rossa is definitely not for me. maybe if you really like malted barley you'll enjoy it, but you won't find it in my fridge any time soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Festival of Beers: Kirin Ichiban

tonight's beer is kirin ichiban special premium reserve, a japanese beer. i think this might be the first japanese beer i've ever had. at first, i didn't care much for it. it was just a normal pale beer, with a little bit of a burnt/bitter finish, like many beers (which is why i'm not usually a big beer fan).

but as i kept drinking it, it grew on me. it got smoother, and i started tasting a sort of fruity, sweet, wheat-y taste. i couldn't nail it, but it was pretty good.

overall assessment: it's ok. i don't think i would buy it again, but i would drink it at a party if it was offered.

wait, scratch that. i just tried to take a swig of the beer, and found out it was all gone. and that made me sad. so i just might buy this beer again.

Festival of Beers: Stockyard Oatmeal Stout

so, apparently i start craving alcohol made out of grains during finals. last semester, it was scotch. (my dad and i stopped at a liquor store on the way home from the airport for christmas and got some scotch) apparently this semester, it's beer. so i got a pick-your-own-six-pack at trader joe's, with six different new beers. so i decided to chronicle my journey.
i've also been having trouble sleeping, so a beer and a blog at night will hopefully help till finals are over.

so, contestant number one: stockyard oatmeal stout. i'm usually not a fan of heavy/dark beers. and i read the label that said it had flavors of coffee and chocolate. chocolate? in beer? what? but i tried it anyway. and i LOVED it. i'm going to have to buy some more. it totally did taste like chocolate and coffee, which was weird, but good. it's not a chocolate flavored beer, just that's the flavor that comes out (like how wine tastes like oak, etc). it's smooth and a little thick. the chocolate-ness is like dark chocolate, so it's not too sweet. and it's got the richness of coffee (the label didn't lie), so it's not 'sweet.' and it lacked much of the burnt-ness that i find a lot of dark beers have.

it's a very substantial beer, so it's not a "girly" beer by any stretch. i'm not the girly type, anyway. but it's a good woman's beer. the kind of woman who is classy and sophisticated, who looks hot in a little black dress and some red lipstick, who knows how to handle herself and who you sure better not cross. so, it's the beer for me. :)

overall assessment: great beer. highly recommended. i will definitely buy it again.

Trivia and Free Rice

i just found this site, and i'm totally addicted. it's called "free rice." all you do is play the trivia game and for every right answer, they donate 10 grains of rice to the UN world food program. i'm such a trivia junkie, and this keeps me sharp and teaches me new words, etc. i'm so addicted, i can't stop. which i guess is good, because it creates more ad revenues for the site, and therefore donates more rice. it's a win-win situation. huzzah for marketing and capitalism!

Help end world hunger

Friday, April 24, 2009

Well, hello, cupcake...

while cookies are my go-to confection, i generally love all dessert items. especially when they're made by somebody else. so yesterday after i finished my property exam, i decided to treat myself to a gourmet cupcake from hello cupcake. i'd been looking forward to trying one of their confections for a while and i finally did it yesterday. i poured some milk in my nalgene bottle and headed on over.

i was afraid that it might not live up to my expectations, which were pretty high, or that $3 might be too much for a cupcake, but i was WRONG! oh, it was so good. i got the"black and white," which is chocolate cake with white chocolate icing. oh man, the cake was so moist with just the right amount of airiness (not too dense, not too fluffy), and the top was a little crunchy like the sugar had caramelized on it, just like a good muffin top. and the frosting was so smooth (i couldn't detect a single sugar crystal) but not too thick so that it gets stuck in your throat.

it was uh-may-zing. it might be one for meredith's food hall of fame, which currently only has one other member- a steak that i had at charlie palmer's in dallas last summer at the end of my internship (my mouth is literally watering just remembering that steak). we'll see if i'm still dreaming about this cupcake after a few months. at any rate, i'm going back next week when my dad comes to visit.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SNL loves cookies

i understand the compulsion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Cookies?

i love cookies. they're amazing. they can be simple or elegant, sturdy or delicate, heavy or light. you can make them for kids or grown ups, for birthdays or weddings. and you don't need sophisticated or specialized equipment for them. sure, there are things that help, like an electric mixer or a cookie scoop, but those are totally optional. i've made plenty of delicious cookies without them.

i started my love affair with cookies in high school. first was the gateway tollhouse cookie... it all starts with a tollhouse. then i branched out to sugar, and peanut butter, and... oh, the places you'll go. i also started baking cookies for my teachers. i was blessed with awesome teachers in high school, so i did it as a thank you, but i'm sure it didn't hurt the grading process, either.

i continued my romance with cookies in college. i didn't have the tools i used to, but as long as i had a spoon, a bowl, and a cookie sheet, i was good to go. cookies were a good way to get to know people (people will always stick around if you give them a cookie), and a good way to say thank you, and a good gift whenever you need one for cheap but with lots of feeling (which was always a need for a poor student).

now i'm in law school, and cookies are a firm part of me now. i give them to my professors as a thank you at the end of the semester, and they're always shocked. i give them as thank you's for recommendations and everyday gifts of happiness. there's nothing that a cookie won't fix, really. so, i've decided to share my cookie love, and what knowledge i gain along the way, with the world. cookies are a part of me. and now the law is becoming a part of me, too. so i'll share them both. with liberty and cookies for all!