Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday Eats

Yesterday ended up being a pretty relaxing but productive day. Matt is really into homebrewing his own beer, so a good chunk of the day was spent getting two new brews going - a Hoppy Irish Red with coffee grains, and his new Nordic Smoked Lager with Juniper Berries.

Smoking grains in the backyard
I saved all the "spent" grains he used in the brews so I can reuse them. I'm planning to make a pretzel dough with the smoky grains, and a morning granola with the coffee grains. That meant a pitstop at Starbucks yesterday for some espresso beans to use as the crunch factor in the granola. And a skinny hazelnut latte of course.

In the afternoon we had errands to run and people to see, but we had only one thing on our minds....Shamrock Shake! Fast food is not something you'll see often around here, but a Shamrock Shake is an annual March tradition. I tried making homemade, healthy substitutes last year with frozen yogurt and mint extract, but honestly, nothing compares to the real deal. We shared a medium, and it was worth every slurp.

Dinner was a Saturday night favorite: grilled cheese and green apple paninis. I started making these a few years ago to pair with my butternut squash soup, but we love the flavor combination so much that we eat them even when we're done with butternut squash for the year.

This time we used whole grain artisan bread, smoked cheddar cheese (about an ounce per sandwich), sliced Granny Smith apples and a light spread of Dijon mustard. Matt added an applewood chicken sausage to his for a little more bulk. Then we toasted them up on our George Forman grill; no butter needed - cooking spray works just fine.

We ate them on TV trays alongside homemade dill pickles and Heady Topper IPAs from The Alchemist brewery. Perfect for a chill weekend night.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

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