Tag Archives: craft beer

Sausage, Goat Cheese + Arugula Stuffed Peppers

19 Jun

Growing up, my mom made stuffed peppers pretty often.  Hers were usually whole bell peppers, stuffed with rice, ground beef, and some kind of tomato sauce.  They were so much a part of our regular rotation that I absolutely hated them.  They were always overcooked or undercooked, never an enjoyable texture.  I think I actually hated bell peppers for a long time because of that particular meal.  It got to the point that I would just empty the pepper of its stuffing and discard it completely.

Oh, I’ve tried to get on board.  I’ve only made stuffed peppers a handful of times as an adult and they just never turned out great.  Until now.  For me, I can say that halving the pepper lengthwise and using the peppers as boats instead of urns makes all the difference.  That and an amazing low-carb stuffing.

Sausage-Goat-Cheese-Arugula-Stuffed-Peppers-NEW


Sausage, Goat Cheese, & Arugula Stuffed Peppers (original recipe from Cook Like A Champion)

  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • half an onion, diced
  • 2/3 lb. hot Italian sausage (use whatever sausage you want!), no casing
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • salt, pepper, olive oil
  • Parmesan Reggiano to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400*F and sautee onion in about 1 T. olive oil until translucent.  Then, add the sausage and cook until browned and crumbly.  While the sausage is cooking, slice the bell peppers in half lengthwise to remove stems and seeds.

Stuffed-Peppers-Empty

When the sausage is browned, add the goat cheese and arugula.  Mix until the goat cheese is combined and the arugula has wilted.

Stuffed-Peppers-Goat-Cheese

stuffed-peppers-arugula

I didn’t add any salt or pepper until the arugula is wilted and I can taste the actual mixture.  Here is where you can season it to your taste!  I used fresh ground pepper, sea salt, and some crushed red pepper flakes because I like a little heat.

stuffed-peppers-sausage-stuffing-mixture

Once seasonsed, spoon the mixture into the bell pepper boats and top with the smallest amount of Parmesan Reggiano.

stuffed-peppers-filled

I baked mine for about 18 minutes – until the peppers were soft, not mushy and not crunchy!

Sausage-Goat-Cheese-Arugula-Stuffed-Pepper-2


Yes in every single way.  The only reason I see to eat low-carb dinner is to save room for the most important carb.

Oh and before we move on, I just wanted to share how amazing a one pot dish is for clean-up:

one-pot-dinner-kitchen

sweet nothingness

Since I have the absolute best customers in the world, I got this piece of majestic art as a tip earlier in the week!  I knew I had to get it extra cold and save it for the hottest, muggiest day of the week – which was most definitely yesterday.

white-sky-brew-gentlement-chai-wheat


(Disclaimer: No, I wasn’t prompted to blog about this or even mention it!)

Um….wow.  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  White Sky Chai Wheat beer from The Brew Gentlemen.  This beer is everything I hoped a beer could ever be.  The chai undertones are phenomenal, all clovey and gingery and cardamomy (hello, fall in my mouth) and the taste is just incredibly smooth.  This may be the best beer I’ve ever had in my entire life.  Sorry, North Country Brewing but you’ve been bested by Braddock’s newest brewers:  The Brew Gentlemen.  I 100% intend on heading over there for a full report!  I don’t care how many beers I have to try, I will do what I have to for you guys!  Oh, to be young and have a higher alcohol tolerance again.

RTJR!

13 Jun

When we got to PNC Park last night, this was happening. 
PNC-Park-Tarped

DOH!  This wasn’t very surprising because all week it’s been rainy and stormy.  We kind of walked around a little bit and then decided to get in line at BRGR.  Like fools, we let a 5 minute drizzle chase us out of line and then we had to go BACK and stand in the line AGAIN later.  Only the second time it was like 100 times longer.  In my defense, I was wearing a thin white t-shirt and I had no interest in spending the next few hours looking like some overweight Miller Lite girl reject in a wet t-shirt contest.  Did I take that too far?  I can’t tell anymore.

Anyway, the extra wait was totes worth it .  I’m a sucker for a good burger on brioche!  I ordered the one called Fire In The Hole because I love spicy spicy spicy foods!!  And boy was it hotttt.  It had guacamole, jalapenos, pepper jack, and this really firey sauce on it.  Yummy!

BRGR-Fire-In-The-Hole-PNC-Park

They advertised “craft beer” on their menu and I was able to chose from the Rivertowne Brewery cooler.  I had never heard of Rivertowne before, but after a little research I discovered that they are located in Verona, PA and offer tours.  Added to my summer bucket list!

Rivertowne-IPA-PNC-Park

We went back to our seats and watched the game for awhile, but when we got up to stretch our legs/use the restroom we realized how crowded our section was and how empty the other sections were.  We noticed that there were a whole lot of empty seats further into the outfield, so we settled back down into some seats with some breathing room.  I generally think you’re not allowed to do this, but we moved to seats that were vacant and “worse” than the ones we paid for.  I think it evens out.  The best thing about PNC Park is that there isn’t a bad view of the game and no matter which direction you are facing, you get a beautiful panorama of downtown Pittsburgh.  This picture doesn’t indicate the gorgeous view at all because I was so worried about those storm clouds rolling back in!

PNC-Park-Pirates-Cubs-2014

During the 6th inning, the skies opened up so we walked around a bit and got some Rita’s.  I got mango, but forgot to take a picture!  When the rain slowed down, we made a break for the parking area.  I was checking Twitter later in the evening, and I think I read that the game was delayed until 11PM.  Thank goodness we didn’t stay and wait it out!  The Pirates ended up being the Cubs 4-0, so RTJR!  For you plebs that means “Raise the Jolly Roger!”  The game felt like it was moving incredibly slow and at no point did the Cubs show much life.  The night was fun and it was a relaxing way to spend a weeknight in the ‘burgh!

I just love my city. 🙂

Roberto-Clemente-Bridge-Pittsburgh-Night

 

5 Thing Friday

11 Apr

All week I’ve been reading about cool things and this is where I dump them:

1.  Beers Of The Burgh Festival – This weekend is the inaugural Beers of the Burgh Festival, which will be held in Lawrenceville and showcases over 30 local craft brewers.  General admission is sold out, but you can still purchase VIP tickets!

 

2.  40 Towns Create Land Bank – I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOR A LONG TIME.  Finally.  Finally some action on blighted properties in my community.  If you aren’t aware of what happens when a region is dependent on a single industry (ahem, steel) and then all the industry packs up and leaves:  blight.  Empty, rotting houses and overgrown brush in abandoned lots, riddled with garbage.  An analysis done by local municipalities found that:

“20,077 vacant lots and 7,158 parcels with blighted structures that cost local governments more than $10.7 million a year in direct municipal services, such as police, fire and code enforcement. They also account for nearly $8.7 million in lost annual tax revenue. But the biggest drain was on neighboring non-blighted properties, which the report found suffered a total loss of between $218 million and $247 million in property values.”

Some Pittsburgh neighborhoods were hit harder than others, but the creation of this land bank is huge!  To me, it may mean that we are finally able to combat blight and attract a more stable tax base to effected areas.  Some people oppose these types of strategies because it gives government control over private property.  I, on the other hand, stare at abandoned buildings all day long.  In my opinion, if you aren’t able or willing to fix up your janky property then you shouldn’t have it to begin with.  The boroughs’ hands are tied because the properties ultimately belong to someone – and many times those people can’t be found or don’t want to be found.  The borough has to deal with the problems associated with the property but can’t actually do anything about it.  A land bank would allow municipalities to generate tax income, sell properties, attract new property developers, and to improve the overall aesthetic of a neighborhood.    That is HUGE for boroughs like Homestead and Braddock.

 

3.  16 Ways To Kick Plastic – This is a quick read but it’s got some great ideas on how to use less plastic.  My 2 favorite ones are: 1) Just say no to disposable straws, carry a few BPA-free reusable ones with you 2) Bring your own doggy-bag container when you go to a restaurant.

 

4.  Cyclocable Bike Lifts In Pittsburgh?! – This is basically exactly what I need to become an avid adequate let’s just go with cyclist.  If it’s good enough for Norway, it’s good enough for me.  DON’T JUDGE ME PEOPLE.  THOSE HILLS ARE NO JOKE.  Somehow I doubt that even Bill Peduto could make this one happen.

 

5.  Check out this list of 42 Flowers You Can Eat…I can’t see myself throwing chrysanthimums on my salad but hey the list also includes herbs and spices.  If I’m every stranded in the wilderness somewhere (LIKE FRICK PARK because my God I get all turned around on those trails), I will be able to survive.  Or maybe someday I will be go all rogue with my cooking and makes virgin tear soup with hibiscus garnish.  Ew.

 

Quesadillas and Craft Beer

23 Apr

After the Great Cloth Diaper Change, Amanda and Lil’ Red came over to our house to hang out.

Pretty much adore this kid:

For dinner, Amanda made chicken quesadillas (something that I NEVER make, but they are so yummy and so easy!)

Amanda apparently loves cooking in other people’s kitchens, which I of course had no objection to AND cooking involves music AND dancing.  Three? thumbs up!

We started by poaching some boneless, skinless chicken breast in salsa, water and a can I had of diced tomatoes:

Using…

Then Amanda added the chicken…

Then you let it go at a rolling boil until the chicken is done!

Easy – peasy…

My job was to take care of the red beans and rice…haha

Instructions on the box? Well, yes thank you I think I will.

While my gourmet black beans and rice were cooking, the chicken finished up and Amanda started shredding it for the quesadillas:

Since Amanda is so amazing, she brought over whole wheat tortillas AND white ones for her♥.

Once things started rolling, it happened pretty quick! (Sorry for the lack of collages, Picnik really screwed my pooch.)

The whole wheat quesadillas came second (gotta feed the hangry♥ first), but were just as good:

I consider my first Great Cloth Diaper Change and my official initiation into Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (PCBW) the same day!

Mine is the one with the fat guy, she♥ picked the pokery one, and of course Amanda picked the IPA.

So anyway, dinner was ready to be served!

Dinner was so amazing…I basically love anything Meixcan/Spanish/LatinAmerican/Spanglish/TexMex. ♥

Pretty sure they were a hit…

Don’t forget to check out Amanda’s Blog – Ventures in Green.  She does way more cool stuff than me having to do with sustainability, green living and natural parenting.

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