Friday, January 21, 2011

I Just Had to Share This

I have figured out how to remove the shell from a soft boiled egg WITHOUT removing half of the white part of the egg along with it¹!!

Check out this beautiful specimen from my breakfast this morning:

Gorgeous, isn't it?!

Are you ready for the secret? Here it is: Leave the eggs out on the counter OVERNIGHT² so that they are at room temperature³ when you cook them!

Et Voila! Perfect eggs!

In case you are interested, my soft boiled egg technique is as follows (modified from Nigella Lawson's always fantastic advice):

  • Put room temperature eggs in a pot and fill with enough lukewarm water to cover the eggs by about an inch or so. 
  • Put pot on stove and turn heat to high.
  • Bring to a boil and keep boiling for 45 seconds.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for 8 minutes.
  • Remove eggs and put in another bowl full of cold water.
  • Peel and eat!

Apparently, this technique works only for store bought eggs and not fresh eggs fresh from the chicken. Boo!! For those of you with chickens (or who eggs directly from people with chickens), have you had success with peeling and, if so, can you share your technique with us?!

¹Actually, I didn't figure anything out...some friends gave me the tip. Thanks, ARS!

²Yes, the overnight part is extremely important. I tried leaving them out for a couple of hours and then cooking them. Didn't work. I also tried using ice water to cool off the eggs after cooking and varying the amount of time in the cold water. Didn't work.

³This obviously assumes that your eggs are refrigerated.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fun With Beer!

The other big (and super fun) thing we did with our friends when they visited this past weekend was go on factory tours at both Odell Brewing Co and New Belgium Brewing.


Tour stats:

  • Approximately 30 minutes long
  • About 25 people in our group
  • Knowledgeable and laid back tour guide
  • Small operation (62 employees, one building) and unfortunately not running since it was a Saturday

I love Odell beer. Love, love, love it. And not to be too melodramatic, but it has changed my relationship with beer. Before moving here and falling in love with them, I did not like IPA's or stouts. But their IPA's and stouts? Ah-mah-zing. Obviously, their recipes have something to do with it but I learned on the tour that they don't pasteurize their beer. I actually have no idea whether or not this actually affects the taste (they say it does) but it's sounds cool, yes?

Every time we've been to their tasting room, they have different beers available to try out. Turns out that they have a crazy number of experimental beers going at one time. They have an adorable little mini set-up where they can brew small batches of new recipes and several bourbon barrels (Makers Mark!) where they make one of a kind batches that can never be reproduced (because each barrel is different).

This is where they keep the small batch beers they are working on (each box had writing all over it describing the recipe and details about the beer).

Bourbon Yum!

Summary: Straight up tour of a small factory. The tour guide was great and the beer, although not free, was delicious. Recommended.

New Belgium

Tour stats:
  • About an hour and a half long
  • Only eight people in our group (although she said it is normally around 25)
  • Knowledgeable and cool tour guide
  • Pretty extensive facility (300+ employees, three or four buildings?) with lots of machines that were running
  • Free beer!
This tour was a truly a treat, not only because it was quite extensive and they gave us a crap load of free beer, but because we didn't think we were going to be able to go on the tour at all. They accept reservations for their tours and when I went to sign up, every single available tour that day was filled. So we were surprised and delighted when we walked into the brewery and were told that a large party had just canceled and that we could go on a tour starting right then!

I have been on a many factory tours all over this country but I have to say that this tour was the best I've ever been on. The highlight was when we all got to take a beer directly from the conveyor belt. Don't believe me?


7 minute old beer!

We got to go down the slide in the employee area...


...and try out a type of beer that is totally new to me: Sour Beer. It's aged in wine casks from France...

...and may be the most unique beer I've ever had. I definitely want to spend some more time "evaluating" this new beverage.

We ended the tour taking some silly photos and drinking our last, free beer in the tasting room.

Summary: New Belgium definitely puts a lot of effort into interacting with their customers and reinforcing their brand. They gave us plenty of free and quite unique beer and the tour guide was wonderful. Watch your head on the slide. Recommended.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fun in the Snow!

We had some friends come visit us this weekend and guess what we did?

We went sledding!!

Want to guess where we went?

We rented two different types of sleds...

...and ripped up the slopes (as much as we could rip up a not very steep slope covered with small children).

Thanks for the fun, ARS!