25 March 2011

Spring!


The first signs of spring in our front yard. The lilac bushes are also starting to bud, and the tulip greens are peaking through. Yay!!

21 March 2011

Café Ardour



It's important to me to live in a city where I can walk from my house to a local coffee shop, breakfast restaurant, and bar (or two) in 20 minutes or less. It's best if there are several to choose from; it doesn't take long for me to find my favorite.

Fort Collins, like any good college town, has many coffee shops, each with a different atmosphere. I tend to shy away from the brainy ones, where I feel like I might need to be a pretentious student of the Beat generation to sit and sip my coffee. Or the celebrity ones where everyone goes to be seen, and where the coffee usually tastes burnt, and there is nowhere to sit.

Café Ardour is my favorite in Fort Collins, and not just because of their sour cream coffee cake (the best EVER - and if you ask nicely, they'll even give you the recipe). It is slightly off the regular Old Town path near the corner of Linden and Jefferson. It has a relaxed and comfortable feel and friendly staff - both key to a good coffee place. Like many other businesses in town, local art decorates the walls, and regularly rotates to feature new artists. There is also a wall of post cards received from various parts of the world. If I can't sit outside, I like to look at the post card wall and dream up trips, or remember places and people I've known.

Café Ardour makes some of the best coffee in town (another necessity in a coffee place). Since I can't enjoy a good espresso or cappuccino right now (and decaf is just a poor replacement), I've been drinking unsweetened Bhakti Chai lattes. I won't drink any other chai beverage since I tried the Bhakti Chai. Usually chai lattes are so sweet I feel like I might fall into a diabetic coma once I've finished my drink; but the Bhakti Chai is well spiced without the sweetness.

All the baked goods are made in-house daily, and they use local and organic ingredients for everything. They serve breakfast and lunch as well, but I've never eaten anything other than the coffee cake. Brad is a huge fan of their ginger cookies, and more recently their granola cookies. One of these days I'll make my way down there for a quick lunch.

17 March 2011

Sláinte

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

14 March 2011

St. Patrick's Day Parade


I don't particularly like parades - standing smooshed on the sidewalk trying not to push people out of the way so I can get a glimpse of something. But, I do like watching people prepare for parades. They're excited, spraying colors into their hair, and thinking that no one is watching them.


I took a few pictures before the parade downtown this weekend. Check them out on my flickr page.

10 March 2011

Three Months and a Beer Dinner


Last night was Funkwerks' first beer dinner at Choice City Butcher & Deli. Seven courses and seven beers. This is the kind of thing we were all excited about when we started down this road. It was fantastic to be able to enjoy the night with friends!

It was also our quarter anniversary - well, three months to the day since we opened the tap room. We're a bit conflicted as to which anniversary to celebrate: The day we got our alcohol licenses? The day we brewed our first 1 bbl batch? Our first 15 bbl batch? The day we sold our first beer? I say we celebrate them all!

The picture above is the remnants of the dinner with the last course having just been served. I failed once again to bring a real camera with me, even though I'd been reminding myself all day to do so. And, I failed to take any other pictures than the one above.

On the menu:

Caspar paired with buffalo carpaccio, capers, and a horseradish mustard

White paired with dolmas in a light tomato sauce

Saison paired with spinach and pine nut empanadas

Māori King paired with matambre - flank steak stuffed with carrots, hard boiled egg, and
herbs

Belgian Resistance paired with wild boar tenderloin and a little salad

French Resistance paired with truffeilo mac & cheese
This was my favorite pairing. The sweetness of our French Resistance really complimented the cheese - and, of course, I love pasta.

Barrel Aged Saison paired with a cabernet cupcake
Our Saison aged in 2008 American oak chardonnay barrels from Rombauer Vineyards in Napa - a rich Saison with oak and vanilla aromas and a hint of tangerine.


07 March 2011

Time

Time seems to speed up as I get older. It's a conspiracy; I'm just not sure who the conspirators are.

I realized recently that we've lived in our house for a year now. A lot has changed in that year: the brewery is up and running, we have two cats, a baby on the way, I've been writing for other publications, we've made good friends and have settled into life in Fort Collins, and the yard is even more out of control than ever.


Just two years ago we were transitioning from living in Chicago to Munich. I wandered around Bavaria and the alps while Brad finished school.


The more things change during a year, the faster time slips by.

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