Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We went to St Louis to spend Christmas with my family this year, and it was so much fun! We hadn't spent Christmas with my family since 2006, when we attempted to celebrate Christmas in our small apartments in Kansas City just days before our wedding. Being at my parents house this year was just like old times, with a couple sorta crazy husbands joining the mix (see below for kiwi juggling proof of the crazy husband issue).

The main focus of our holiday weekend was food and beer, obviously. The apple didn't fall far from the tree on this matter, and my whole family tends to focus on these two elements at any get together. Sadly, our holiday beer wasn't fully conditioned in time, but Joe and Dan took a trip to the grocery store to make sure we didn't get too thirsty! I also shared some of my pickled vegetables from this summer, which everyone gobbled up. I think the dilly beans were the crowd favorite, and I really loved the dill carrots, too.

We went out to our favorite pizza place, Pi, on the 23rd, courtesy of my grandma. It was a delicious meal... I love their deep dish! It's always fun to hang out around the Delmar Loop area in St Louis, where this pizza place is located. We got a little silly waiting for our table, though...

Brendan & Colleen, in the cozy waiting area at Pi.

We got a little picture happy!

My parents enjoying the Schlafly Christmas Ale.
We got dressed in our Sunday best on Christmas Eve, and went to Mass. Then we came home to eat a fantastic Italian feast. Christmas morning meant TONS of gifts to open, then some lazy time in our pajamas while we checked out all our new goodies. We ate some more, had some drinks, and just soaked up a relaxing day together. What a great Christmas!
The guys cleaned up pretty well, huh?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rockwell Brewing: Winter Spiced Beer

Merry Christmas!

We decided a little late to take a stab at making a Christmas beer, so this batch has officially been renamed as a "winter beer". We've only tasted an early bottle or two, because the bottle conditioning is still underway. The added carbination will make the final product more balanced, but it seems like the tastes we've had are very promising. We wanted it to have lots of spices in it, and the orange peel added a great citrus note. This will be an enjoyable quaff for the bitter winter months ahead.

We found the recipe on, a website Joe found recently. The site is full of great sounding beer recipes, contributed by homebrewers from around the country. Santa also brought Joe multiple beer books this year, so expect some tasty batches from us this Spring!
Here's the link to the recipe.
Thanks for helping us with the bottling, Henry!

It's important to enjoy a brew while doing your own homebrewing... and this batch's beer of choice was Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Soaking up the holiday season

I've spent today getting ready to head down to St Louis for Christmas, and I couldn't be more excited! Christmas is my all time favorite holiday, because it ends up being a full month of celebration with friends and family. When you toss in our anniversary (4 years on Dec 29th!), and New Year's Eve, it ends up being a really fun and social time of year.

The kick off to this season is of course Thanksgiving, which we spent in DeKalb with Joe's family. The star of the weekend was Liem, our little nephew. He was a lot of fun to watch and snuggle with, and has already changed a lot since we first met him in September. His parents are doing great, too, and it was fun to catch up with this side of our family!

The new mom!
Oldest & younger brothers... forever bonded after a summer of living together in Kansas City :)

Post-turkey poker playing. Joe kicked ass!

A few days after Thanksgiving, we were back home and I was craving leftovers. So I decided to roast a turkey breast, bake some stuffing, and have a second Thanksgiving dinner just for Joe and me. It was a feast, and the leftovers kept us happy for days!