Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Hour: Black Market Brewing

One of the thoughts behind this blog was to use it as a place to share reviews of the many things we try. We try a lot of craft beers and therefore it only seems fitting that our first review should be a beer from a craft brewery. We plan to review more than just beers, but we thought a Friday was the perfect day to begin our Happy Hour session.

The beer selection we'll be discussing today is the Goliath beer from Black Market Brewing in Temecula, CA. We first discovered this beer during our trip to Temecula, CA where the wife found a blogging conference to attend. We turned it into a mini-vacation and discovered that Temecula has a lot more to offer than you would think, including a few great beer selections.
Overall, this is a great beer. It starts with a sharp grainy hit to the nose, that isn't overpowering. The carbonation is kept to a light tingle of the tongue. This is important for any good dark, non-nitro beer. The hops are noticeable but don't overpower the maltiness of the beer. This Belgian is thick and potent with an alcoholic kick that can bowl you over. The sweet grainy flavor of this fantastic beer lingers on the tongue long after the beer is gone, leaving you begging for more. 

We found this beer during a visit to the actual brewery. I was delighted to engage in conversation with the employees of the brewery. One of the employees shared his secret for a great mix. He suggested mixing it with their Revolution oatmeal stout. The mix was outstanding! We sampled a few of their other beers while we were there and discovered they have a heffenweizen that tastes faintly of bananas. 

Overall I was truly impressed with this brewery. The atmosphere was pleasant and the employees were very friendly and accommodating. They had some beers that we can not give honest reviews for because they are not our typical style. I will say that we were impressed enough to visit a second time during our visit which is always a good sign!

Rating: 6 out of 10

Until next time, keep looking for adventures!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Zucchini Lasagna

The Coastie Wife is here today and excited to bring you a yummy (healthy) recipe to try for dinner! I've been on a bit of a health kick lately. I've also been in the mood to try new things. These two needs combined caused us to try out zucchini lasagna. Luckily, The Coastie Husband loves zucchini and our farmer's market had lots of them, so it was a win-win all the way around!

Zucchini Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 55 minutes

Dish size: 8 x 8 glass pan

Serves: 4

The ingredients you'll need for this recipe:
2-3 zucchinis (2 large or 3 medium)
1 egg
1.5 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
1.5 cup of ricotta cheese

1 cup mozarella cheese
.5 lb of ground beef
parmesean cheese (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Brown the ground beef. Season to your liking. (In our case, the husband prepped the ground beef while I set out to prep everything else.)

3. Cut the ends off of your zucchini. Then, cut the zucchini in half. (The husband also tackled this task since he is better with vegetable slicing than I am. We love sharing time in the kitchen prepping dinner together.)

4. Slice the zucchini into thin slices (about 1/8 in thick). These will be used as your noodles in the lasagna.

5. Once the ground beef is cooked, combine it with the sauce in a bowl. Mix well. Set aside until you're ready to layer the lasagna.

6. In another bowl, combine .5 cup of mozarella cheese, 1.5 cup of ricotta cheese, egg, and parmesean into a bowl. Mix well to combine all ingredients.

7. Spray the bottom of your dish with cooking spray (we use olive oil spray). Gather all of your prepped ingredients to a central location.

8. Layer the lasagna. Start with a thin layer of the sauce mixture on the bottom. Add zucchini strips followed by the ricotta mixture. Continue layering until you run out of room or out of ingredients. The order of the layers doesn't matter but I tend to do sauce, zucchini, and then ricotta before repeating.

9. When you've reached the final layer, add the remaining mozzarella cheese to the top. Cover the dish with foil and put in the oven for 50-55 minutes. We always set a timer to ensure we check it on time.

10. When time is up, pull the pan out of the oven. The cheese on top should be nice and melted. The zucchini does make this dish a little watery but it's still very enjoyable!

11. I recommend using a slotted spoon for serving. Scoop out and serve. The leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated.

Have you tried zucchini lasagna? Share your experience in the comments!
Do you have a recommendation of something else we should try?
Would you like to see our normal lasagna recipe?

Give us your feedback in the comments and until next time, keep smiling and enjoying life! 

Looking for a free clean eating challenge and more healthy meals? Check out Firework Fit, a free clean eating challenge that starts on Monday, June 29th and lasts for five days!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Why June 22nd?

The big question of the day is why did we pick June 22nd as the day of our launch? I'll give you the brief story behind our relationship and you'll quickly be able to answer the question. I say brief because I'm not going to go into all of the details in this post - I'm sure they will slowly come out over time.

Three years ago, in a small pub in Charleston, a coastie asked if he could join a couple of gals at their table. There were empty seats so they happily said "sure." He took the seat and before long, two of them were deep in conversation. Over the course of a couple of hours, they talked about everything from cooking sprays to the military to online dating. The topics were wide and varied but they enjoyed the conversation greatly. They exchanged numbers at the end of the night and the rest is history. (Well, not really - the Coastie Couple hasn't made history yet.)

A year into dating, the coastie received orders to the San Francisco area. The gal stayed in Charleston, while the coastie headed to California. This is how they started the long distance portion of their relationship. After a year filled with deployments and only two opportunities to see each other, they decided to close the distance. The gal packed her bags and headed to California to welcome her coastie back to land.

After two years of dating, the time seemed right and the coastie proposed to the gal in August of 2014. The fall was filled with apartment hunting, moving across the country in a uHaul, and a small, simple wedding in Arkansas. And thus, the coastie and the gal became husband and wife on September 19th (which is very fitting since it's also Talk Like a Pirate Day).

It was May of 2015 when the husband looked at the wife and suggested an idea. His idea was to start a joint blog full of reviews from coast to coast. It seemed like a fitting idea since after all the husband and the wife are both writers and they've traveled from coast to coast.

Now, The Coastie Couple invite you to take a look around their site and enjoy the many things they are about to bring you (including a zucchini recipe and craft beer review this week)!

Until next time, bring a smile to someone's face!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Launch Party on June 22

We're excited to announce that we'll officially be launching the blog on June 22! There's a special reason for the chosen date, but you'll have to come back on Monday to find out the story behind the date. We'll also be hosting a giveaway for an Amazon giftcard on Monday. I hope you'll come back, browse the new blog, and see what we have to offer!

Until we meet again, enjoy your week and bring a smile to someone else's face!