Beer Time!

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This week, I checked out a couple of beer tastings, because I needed something to do so I don’t get cabin fever from all of this harsh cold weather. Plus, who doesn’t like to try beer pairings and a new coffee beer? I am not really a beer person, but when you add cookies and coffee in there, I’m game.

The first one was the Cookies and Beer event at Bier Station in the Waldo Area. It was sponsored by Recommended Daily, with cookies by Dolce Bakery and beer picked out by Bier Station.

They offered three flights:

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1. Maple Toasted Oatmeal Cookie with Oskar Blues’ Old Chubs Nitro Scotch Ale.

2. Chocolate Chunk Espresso Cookie with Tallgrass Brewing’s Pub Ale.

3. Pretzel, cashew, chocolate Cookie with Stiegl Radler.

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I tried all 3 pairings. My favorite beer was the Scotch Ale, that’s it up there of off the serving board, and my favorite cookie was the espresso cookie, the dark one on the plate. I tried to eat slow so it would last longer, but it didn’t work. It was the smallest cookie of the three.

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The second event was Torn Label brewery’s release of it’s Cafe Dubbel at Thou Mayest Coffee Roaster. A collaboration between the two companies. Torn Label is a new local brewery and Thou Mayest is one of KC’s best coffeeshops/bar.

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Cafe Dubbel is a Belgian ale coffee beer made with a single origin Ethiopian coffee brewed by Thou Mayest. I liked it because it tastes like beer with hints of coffee flavor, not the other way around. It is now my favorite coffee beer.

Next time you are in Kansas City, these places are a must! πŸ™‚

The Pitch Bite Club: Renee Kelly’s Harvest!!

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Last month, Xavier and I attended the second event of The Pitch’s Bite Club, hosted by The Pitch, FindItKC, and Renee Kelly’s Harvest. For a reminder of what the bite club is and of the first event, go here.

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The venue this time was Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Shawnee Mission, KS. Harvest is housed in the old Caenan Castle. Yes, a castle, but think a smaller scale.

As with the first event, Chris Olsen of FindItKC, that’s him up there with Xavier, was an awesome host. Dinner was presented by the very energetic chef Renee Kelly.

I started off with a drink from the cocktail menu, the chocolate pumpkin martini, which was perfect. The chocolate pumpkin combo was new to me and very glad that I tried it, even though I drank it way too fast. Xavier had the Lemon Blossom, think Black-Eyed Susan. We had a bartender on hand to explain each cocktail and make great recommendations.

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We were served a four course meal. The first was pressed duck chest that was very fresh and tender, black rice(which I’d never had before), apple slaw with huckleberry and beet sauce. The sauce was magic, and I am not a duck person, but this one was a winner.

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The second course was the tastiest carrot and ginger bisque with crystallized ginger, creme fraiche and bourbon pear balsamic vinaigrette ever, though I can’t say I’ve ever had it before.

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For the main course, we had the scotch filet with butter braised turnips, pink potatoes, and parsnips and apple puree. The puree was like whoa. I ate everythang. It was cooked perfectly for me and as farm fresh as they come.

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For dessert, we had chocolate ganache cake with candied orange peel. Xavier doesn’t even like chocolate cake, but he ate all of his and so did I πŸ™‚

Besides the food, chef Renee was one of the highlights of the dinner. Her energy and enthusiasm was very contagious. She had everyone excited about each course. She is very passionate about her craft and it shows in each of the dish that she presented. She also gave us a little insight into what she has in store for the future and it is definitely a bright one.

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If you need a new place to grab drinks and awesome farm to table food, definitely stop by Renee Kelly’s Harvest. I know we will definitely be back! πŸ™‚

*Bite Club logo from the pitch.com and Caenan Castle photo from reneekellyharvest.com*

*Photos taken with iphone4*

Kansas City Caffeine Crawl!!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love coffee. If not, well, I love coffee.

This past weekend, The Lab, a beverage marketing company, hosted the fall edition of the Kansas City Caffeine Crawl, there is also one in the summer.

If you didn’t already know, Kansas City has a very rich coffee community and it is ever growing.

Naturally, when I found out that Kansas City has a caffeine crawl, I signed me up, albeit last minute, but I was able to go this time around. Thank you to Jason and Micheal from The Lab for saving my tickets! πŸ™‚

Xavier and I took the Sunday self driven Route 1. There are also bus routes available, but they sell out pretty fast. FYI: Xavier is not a coffee drinker, he just came along for the fun, plus he was a very helpful in getting us to the stops on time πŸ™‚

In addition to sampling some great coffee and specialty food/products, each crawler receives goodies bag filled with various coffee “swag”.

Here is our route and what each stop had to offer:

Stop #1: Parisi Cafe in Leawood.

Parisi is one of my favorite spots here. Kate, the GM, presented an innovative culinary use for coffee. She created a dish of coffee caviar, yes coffee caviar, with pomegranate pop rocks chased by carbonated plums. It was awesome. It included a demonstration on how to make coffee caviar. I thought the presentation was very informative, especially since I had never heard of coffee caviar. When you put the combo in your mouth, it literally creates a popping sensation in your mouth like fireworks. Xavier did try this one and he actually liked it. He also loved the carbonated plum, because he loves plums.

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Stop #2: Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard in Prairie Village

Foo’s staff demonstrated how to make coffee ice cream. They use a cold toddy method. Again, lots of useful information on other ways to utilize coffee. And what better way than coffee ice cream. After the demonstration, we were able to try the recipe and it is pretty much the best ice cream flavor ever. We also sampled their house blend coffee. I have never tried coffee ice cream before, and I am glad I got to try Foo’s. The process of flavor extraction and making the ice cream is so time consuming that Foo’s only offers ice cream coffee for special events/occasions. (Restroom break #1)

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Stop #3: Oddly Correct in Westport

Oddly Correct is a Kansas City staple. This was the first coffee shop I visited when we first moved here. This was also the first place that encouraged me to try coffee without any additives. So, I really like this place.

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We hit a snag getting to this stop on time and we only caught the last 10 minutes of Oddly’s presentation on Roasting variables. The presentation included tasting of brewed coffee roasted at different temperatures and comparing them to a control brew. You can definitely taste the difference. For those interested in roasting your own coffee, this was definitely an informative session.

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Stop #4: PTs at the Crossroads

PTs co-owner Jeff Taylor gave an informative session on direct and fair trade. At this stop, we were able to sample award winning coffees and Christopher Elbow collaboration chocolates, like 3 different kinds. The coffee was great and I really liked one of the chocolate, but did not catch the name 😦 (Restroom break #2).

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Stop #5: Blackdog Coffee House in Lenexa

Blackdog gave a presentation on the Chemex brewing system(which I use at home), and offered Ibis Bakery bread pairings with various jams and spreads. I tried all of them and they were all good. I skipped the coffee because I had had like a bunch of cups of coffee by this time and also because Restroom break #3. So, I thought I would give my kidneys and bladder a break.

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Stop #6: Homer’s Coffee in Overland Park

The last stop offered coffee samples paired with sweet snacks. My favorite was a Kenyan with the pumpkin soft cookie. It was delish. There was also a musical performance to close out the crawl.

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This was my first coffee crawl and I had a blast. I learned a ton about the dynamic coffee industry and enjoyed tasting the various offerings that each stop provided. I also learned how quickly coffee goes through my system, goodness.If you are a coffee lover, this event is definitely a must. Go here to find out more and see where the next crawl will be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pitch Bite Club: Room 39 Midtown!!

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Last week, we were invited to be part of the Kansas City Bite Club, sponsored by The Pitch, Findit KC, and Room 39 Restaurant at Midtown. The Bite Club is a group of about 12 local bloggers, social media enthusiasts, and foodies hand picked by The Pitch to try out local restaurant menus and share the experience on their preferred social media outlet. The idea is to meet once a month. *Please excuse the photos, it was pretty dim in the restaurant and all we had were our iPhones. Next time we will be better prepared*

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For our first gathering, the venue was Room 39, located at midtown. Room 39 is a small, cozy establishment serving seasonal American cuisine. They also have a second restaurant in Leawood, KS. The event was hosted by Findit KC founder, Chris Olsen, who along with The Pitch came up with the idea for the Kansas City Bite Club. According to Chris, the idea came from a similar group out of Boston. Dinner was presented by the chef/owner of Room 39, Ted Habiger. Ted is an award winning chef and is very passionate about his food.

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We were served a five course meal, with wine pairings for the first 2 courses. Xavier and I decided to try their French martini during the meet and greet. Each course was presented by Chef Ted. He carefully explained each dish and the ingredients. I found the whole presentation to be very informative and insightful. I also liked Chef Ted’s little blurb about small details in a restaurant, like white table cloths. I have a thing for restaurants with white table clothes. To me, it’s inviting, and goes with his whole idea of community . It was nice learn how a dish comes together and what a dish and small details mean to the chef. At the heart of Room 39 and Chef Ted are locally grown and raised ingredients, and the community.

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The group we dined with was very enthusiastic and fun. There were foodies and bloggers of all kind, of different backgrounds, and of different personalities. Being fairly new to Kansas City, it was nice to meet some of its locals and learn about one of its hidden gems that has been serving its community since 2004.

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There was a short moment during the dinner when I thought it was kind of strange that we were actually expected to take pictures and share our experience on social media. But, seeing how excited and how everyone was having so much fun, the strange feeling quickly disappeared. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The hosts were awesome and the food was excellent. The lobster gnocchi and the duroc pork chops are a must when you come out and visit Room 39! (And don’t forget to check out #pitchbiteclub on Instagram for more photos). Enjoy!!

**Thank you to The PItch, Findit KC, and Room 39 for inviting us!!** πŸ™‚

*All photos were taken with iPhone 4 and edited with VSCO Cam*

*Bite Club logo from pitch.com*

Week 41: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Weekend!! I hope you had an awesome and productive week. Excuse the blog silence during the week, it was a long week.

This week was a test-bed(an overused compound word/phrase at work) for running early in the morning, before work. I’ll give it another week or so before I denounce it.

Highlights:

Since we didn’t have the girls for Father’s Day, I got Xavier and I tickets to the first Boulevardia (Beer)Fest at West Bottoms on Sunday. Mistake number one: we should have definitely went on Saturday. Mistake number two: expecting it to be similar to the Houston Wine Fest or the Houston Beer Fest. Also, I missed out on the first PorchFest KC on Saturday, because I am a super procrastinator, and father’s day gift perusing took way longer that I had anticipated.

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Boulevardia:

We went on Sunday afternoon. It was not as crowded as the previous day, as indicated by Instagram. The down pour in the morning might have impacted this as well, and the fact that it was Father’s Day. I was a little disappointed at the selection of taps and what was available to for tasting on this day. Maybe the participating brewery and distillery did not pack enough for the 3 day festival, I don’t know. But, this event was scheduled for 12-6, and by about 230-3pm, most samples were gone.

We got there around 2pm, as I was sure, this was early enough and more than enough time to taste and stroll. Not. We were able to taste a couple of samples. I tried out an awesome cocktail from Pinckney Bend Distillery, their white corn whiskey collins, and it was great. We didn’t get much in by the way of tasting. The beers on tap were ok.

But the music was pretty good and there was plenty of food trucks lined up. There was an awesome all girl band on the Homegrown Stage, whose name escapes me. I was glad to find out that the festival had plenty of family friendly activities as well. There was also a Makers Market of local artisans. Overall, for a first time event, it was decent, and I will probably go back next year, on a Saturday.

Also, Xavier invited me to go fishing with him and his friends. The last time I went fishing, I hooked my finger pretty bad. This time wasn’t so tragic, and I even caught a fish, though not as big as Xavi’s catches. I can’t remember ever catching a fish as an adult, so it was nice. The fishing spot was really nice and peaceful, and we were so busy enjoying the peace and quiet, that we lost track of time, and Olathe Police had to kick us out of the park. But, it all ended well, lol.

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Finally, we finally got to try out La Bodega. Apparently, it’s the only tapas bar in Kansas City. Is this true? The paella was pretty good, but the sangria was only ok. The Spanish Coffee, with its fancy blazed 151 and cinnamon, was awesome, and not just because it’s a coffee drink.

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The Girls:

This week the girls were in Dallas. They went to Six Flags and got to spend a day in a farm and feed some cows. Interesting. They were really excited about the cow and were minutes of missing a mama cow give birth. They did get to see a baby cow take its first steps. No cow milking though.

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Jaelan said now she is a real Cowgirl. This is good practice for when they visit Tita Dora’s place in West Virginia. She has chicken, pigs, and goats.

Aspen is missing home and she keeps asking me when I am going to pick her up. Soon, Terminator, soon.

Also, Aspen’s birthday is coming up, and she is very excited, she can’t wait to turn 3. I can’t believe she is turning 3, already.

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Week 40: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Father’s Day Weekend! What are y’all doing this weekend? Hope everyone is able to take the time to celebrate dads this weekend or every weekend :). The girls are not here, so we are going to check out the first ever PorchFest KC and the first ever Boulervadia Beer Fest this weekend. Plus it’s the last episode of Game of Thrones, sad face.

Also, it rained cats and dogs for like 6 days in a row this week. That’s crazy.

Highlight:

Nothing much going on over here except work and randomness. Last weekend, Xavier and I checked out the Glass Labyrinth by Robert Morris at the Nelson. He is a local artist. It’s a pretty cool exhibit, and if you decided to go, be careful. We saw 2 kids get hurt running into the glass while trying to get to the middle.

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We also checked out a couple of other outdoors exhibits at the Sculpture Park. Pretty solid, but I thought that the headless statues were creepy. And then we checked out Grunauer, an Austrian/German spot rated one of the top 21 beer gardens in the country. I thought the food was ok, didn’t do beer, and the garden was really nice, the awesome weather helped a lot.

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Quay Coffee had a little show with the band, Joseph, of Portland, OR. They are a talented group of sisters, and the lead can sang. Their genre is different from what I usually listen to, but good music. Gotta venture out sometimes.

Finally, we planted a garden. Yes, planted. a. garden. I am optimistic, but I doubt that it will survive, as the only living organisms that I have been able to grow in life so far, is children. Our first ivy here died, but Xavier brought it back to life. And Poppa told me that it takes a lot to kill an ivy. Also, one of the pepper plants has already been a casualty of our resident Bunny and/or maybe Princeton, Xavier’s pet chipmunk, who lives in one of trees in the back.

The Girls:

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They are still having too much fun in Texas. So much so, that Jaelan has ignored my requests for summertime photos. She said she will email them to me when she gets home from the park. That was like 5 days ago. She takes after me. So for now here are a couple from Nana Bubu.

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Also, I don’t think Aspen likes Buc-ee. Weird kid. But, her cousin, Devi, loves him πŸ™‚ SEE:

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Week 39: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Weekend! What are y’all doing this weekend? We went down to Austin and Houston this past weekend and it was really nice to see friends and family and MY GIRLS!! Aspen was being mean to me and only wanted her dad, but she came around….when he had to go to the bathroom. Whatever, she loves me.

Since the girls are off for the summer, I had envisioned myself being able to do so much around the house, but it’s not the case. Unfortunately, all I have been doing is eating, sleeping, drinking, and repeat. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I need to get on a million of these house work or before I know it, it will be back to school time again!

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Highlights:

It is very uneventful around here sans children.We went down to Texas to visit. Highlights were family, friends, baby Santana(that’s him down there with Xavier), Noah(that’s him up there smiling at brunch), and the poker game until the sun came up. FYI: Don’t play Poker with the Ogoes, you will lose your money. We tried Ramen Tatsu-ya in Austin and Xavier was mad because he was still hungry.

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Xavier and I checked out the Summer of Sounds in the Park Concert at Park Place. I am also partaking in Negroni Week, so far I have tried Parisi Coffee’s Cafe Negroni and Julep KC’s Negroni. Still on my list are Barrel 31’s and Snow and Co’s. I was also able to finally check out the Food Truck Rally at First Friday. Xavier had to work, so I dragged a friend along. The lines were uber long so we tried Thai Place on Pennsylvania Ave instead. The food was excellent, but the service was not acceptable, and I will leave it at that. Finally, running has been non-existent this week, just like house work. But I did register for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon lottery. I hope I get picked again!

The Girls

The girls are at their Nana Bubu’s right now(I think), but they spent last weekend with their Tita Paris and Jonathan. Paris reports that they had a blast during their sleepover and it gave her insight into what having 3 kids is like. She said they were very good and even made their beds the next day πŸ™‚ What!? They don’t do that at home! Xavi got Pokemon cards, Boogie got art supplies, and Terminator got a Team Umizoomi book. They built forts, played lots, Β and ordered Chinese, Β because the girls love Chinese food. We are still trying to work out West Virginia into this summer, I really hope it happens. I want to shoot targets and birds and 4 wheel my afternoons away into the woods. And I want to squeeze in McAfee Knob in there somewhere. I am sure my boss will start giving me the side eye with all of these requests that I am submitting. But it is summertime!

Also, Aspen told her Poppa that Jax ate a bad bone and got sick, so now she needs a new puppy 😦 More on that later 😦

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We passed by a drag show at Hamburger Mary’s, but we were too focused on the food trucks, so next time drag show, next time πŸ™‚