Friday, April 24, 2015

I Do Spy | Summertime

It's already humid here in ATX, which means all I'm dreaming about is lying on a beach towel on the Amalfi Coast (three.more.months). So here's to Summer Fridays, 100 SPF sunscreen and sand in your butt crack.

World of Wonderment One Piece — ModCloth
Hello Sunshine Beach Towel — Bed Bath & Beyond
Selected Straw Hat — ASOS
Hearts Sunglasses — Chicwish

Song of the Blog: "Summer Lovin'" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Into the Pint Glass | Porter

In this week's installment of "terrible blogger," I will share with you the history of a porter. However, I will not be sharing an actual porter, because this girl has officially lost track of time and has to start on next week's beer. But I wanted you all to learn about the amazing beer so if you have any questions: fire away!

What do you think of when you hear "malt?" Or "roasted?" How about "robust?"

Those may not be words you use in your every vocabulary but these should be what come to your taste buds when you sip on a Porter.

The history of porter is a little bit controversial in the beer world all signs seems to point to a London brewer in the early 1700s. The beer was referred to as Entire or Three Threads — it was a mix of three equal parts of different styles of beer: an old ale, a new ale and a weak ale . Because porters take so long to age, large breweries, such as Guinness*, were the only ones who could brew porters. Pubs were unable to do so.

So what should you be looking for when you try a sip of porter? Well, remember when we talked about roasted and malt-y? Just keep thinking those words. The maltiness in a porter should range from mild to moderate roast, and there is usually a big chocolate characteristic. A true porter will not have that flavor added in. There won't be a syrup or cocoa beans added during fermentation. A true porter will have a chocolate characteristic because of the malts.

*Yes, Guinness is technically a Stout. But don't forget that when we talked about Stouts, they used to be referred to as Stout Porters and didn't drop the Porter until a little bit later, after Guinness was founded.
Into The Pint Glass

Next Up: Dark Lagers — are a bit of a less known/popular beer style, so I wanted to give you a little more information to help you locate your pint. You can look for labels that say dark lager, black beer, Munich Dunkel (or just Dunkel), or Schwarzbier. Some common brand examples include Full Sail Session BlackSamuel Adams Black Lager, and Uinta Baba Black Lager. Good luck beer hunting! 

Song of the Blog: "Loser" by Beck

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Best of Trader Joe's | Premade Meals

Welcome to the Best of Trader Joe's series, where I spent countless hours shopping at the greatest grocery store in the United States* to find the best finds for your household. For five weeks, we will explore the wonderful gifts that they have blessed us with from five categories. At the end, we'll end with an awesome giveaway that includes on item from each category. Get excited, people. 

I'm usually quite hungry when I go grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. I know what you're thinking: Isn't Rule Number One of grocery shopping to NOT be hungry? I found that that doesn't work for me. I buy nothing so my fridge is still empty when I get home. So I arrive famished, purchase my groceries for the week and get one of these incredible premade meals so that I don't eat everything I bought when I get home. Trader Joe's and I have really perfected our relationship. 

Chicken-Less Salad

Here's a little tid-bit about me: I don't like chicken. So this salad is still delicious and satisfying without the fatty parts that always seem to find their way into my chicken salads. Win-win.
Turkey, Spinach & Swiss Cheese Wrap

This is my absolute favorite thing. I buy this wrap more often than any other item in TJs. There is this tasty tomato mix that they have thrown in here that makes each bite more and more awesome.
Spicy California Rolls

Sushi from TJs? Home girl say what?! You know, it's not terrible. I would even go so far as saying it's the best grocery store-made sushi I've ever had.
Veggie Wrap with Hummus

If you're a vegetarian looking for a good, quick, on-the-go wrap, you've met your match. This is filled with a variety of flavors, and it's not just cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce (why is that every veggie sandwich?).

Mozzarella & Tomato Salad

Tired of carbs? Sometimes I feel that way too (that's a lie). But when I know I'm going to be working that evening and eating all the pizza and baked goods, I'll have this ol' guy for lunch and not feel as bad when I eat all the things later that day. 

*please note: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just really love and support Trader Joe's.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Happiest Five Years (And a Ginormous Giveaway)

Today is the day you have all been waiting for. Today, The Hungry Goat turns five years old.

It's been a very long road with hills and road blocks. Sometimes there are passengers, sometimes I just drive solo. But it's been a great trip. It evolved from just talking about my life and travels to sharing my love of entertainment, baking and food.

Before we get to The Giveaway, let's recap, shall we? Let me share with you my favorites.

Lady Crushes | The Best Musical Movies | The Regulars of Alice's Tea Cup | Proof that Beards are Better | My Favorite Books | Into The Pint Glass series

And you all know the story behind the name, right?

Ok, ok. Let's just get to it. Without further ado: The Giveaway.

I asked a bunch of my favorite Etsy stores who I have also featured in one of the many I Do Spy posts to offer not one but TWO of my favorite things. That's right. You get a prize! And you get a prize! And you get a prize!

There are seven separate prizes and THEN there's a grand prize where you will get one of each! Do you wanna know what they are?!

Live Love & Bake Cupcakes Print from UUPP
Britney Survived 2007 Mug from Brittany Garner Design
Blue Lace Button Earrings from Manhattan Hippy
Beautiful Temporary Tattoo from Anastasia Amour
Peter Pan Thimble Kiss Tote from Seeker of Happiness
Bicycle Spokes Bracelet from The Spokes Man
Just Beat It Tea Towel from French Silver

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules: This giveaway will be open from April 14-21. It is open to US residents only. Seven winners will win one of each prizes and one grand prize winner will win everything listed. All entries are optional.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you. You kept The Hungry Goat going with all of your support and this blogiversary is yours just as much as it is mine. 

Song of the Blog: "The Perfect Fan" by The Backstreet Boys

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Best of Trader Joe's | Snack Time

Welcome to the Best of Trader Joe's series, where I spent countless hours shopping at the greatest grocery store in the United States* to find the best finds for your household. For five weeks, we will explore the wonderful gifts that they have blessed us with from five categories. At the end, we'll end with an awesome giveaway that includes on item from each category. Get excited, people. 

Trader Joe's pretty much has the greatest snacks of all time. Which is why I can't purchase them anymore. I can polish off an entire bag of every single one of the items in one sitting. So I challenge you to buy one of these items and eat just one "serving size."

Inner Peas

These are crunchy, baked snap peas. Guys. They are salty and addicting. You know how Pringles' catch prase is "once you pop, you can't stop." This is real life once you slice open this bag.
Pita Bite Crackers with Chevre Log with Honey

It doesn't really matter what you put this cheese on. In fact, I've been known to eat it straight from the package. But I figured you don't behave like a heathan so this is the best cracker to go with this cheese sent from the heavens. Oh, you think I'm exaggerating? Go try it for yourself.
Veggie Sticks with Kalamata Olive Hummus

Now unlike the above snack, these two go together like peanut butter and jelly. I wouldn't eat one without the other. The veggie sticks are salty while the hummus is that great Kalamata tartness to make one delicious bite.


Pomegranate Yogurt with Granola

I realize that this probably should have gone under the breakfast category but I love it so much I generally eat is for any type of meal: second breakfast, snack time, dinner and supper. 

Just Mango Slices

Now, when I say I can eat a bag in an entire sitting, I'm particularly talking about these dried mango slices. I no longer allowed myself to buy these because, well, I usually open it the second I get in the car and it's halfway gone by the time I'm home. #noshame

What are you favorite snacks form TJs?

Song of the Blog: "Afternoon Delight" by Starland Vocal Band**

*please note: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just really love and support Trader Joe's.
**Did you know this song won an award?! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Did They Live Happily Ever After?

You know when you've finished a really amazing book and you're so sad to see it end? Why is that? What makes us yearn for more?

It's obviously because we want to see how these character's lives continue. Does the golden couple we were fighting for stay together? Is the dream job everything that person wanted? We want a peek into what became of our favorite characters and I don't think that's too much to ask.

These are (just a few of) the books that I want sequels to. And when I say sequels, I mean, I want to know their whole life story.

author's note: This is clearly going to have spoilers for every single one of these books. So if you haven't read them...don't read the description...

Gone Girl

This couple is genuinely psycho. I mean, Nick is just a bad person. But his wife is needs-to-be-admitted psycho. And they chose to be together. I'm assuming that one of them eventually kills the other. Amiright or amiright?

The Lover's Dictionary

This book leaves everything so open ended. Do they end up redeeming their relationship or did it end? Sometimes I love a good "let the reader choose" but c'mon Mr. Levithan, give us *some* hints!

Me Before You

HOW DO YOU RECOVER FROM THAT TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE? The love of her life chose to die right in front of her eyes. I mean, does she ever love again? And what's her next job? Does she live a life of working at a suicide hotline to try to save other people?

The Help

Three ladies just changed history in one small town. Does Skeeter grow up to be a successful journalist? What becomes of Aibileen and Minny's life and children? What about that wicked woman and that kind woman? Ack! Answer me these questions!

Pride & Prejudice

"With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them."

I think the world is asking the question: did they actually live happily ever after? Did they have children? Did they stay in love and forever call each other Mr. and Mrs. Darcy? I sure hope so. After all, it is the greatest love story ever told (Sorry Romeo).

What stories do you want to hear the real ending to?

Song of the Blog: "Love Story" by Taylor Swift

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Into The Pint Glass | Amber Ale

Welcome to this week's installment of Into the Pint Glass. Mariah, the neighborhood beer expert, did extensive research to teach us all about Amber Ales. Let's take a peek, shall we?

The label Amber is a bit of a catch all for several beer styles. Ambers can range from mild to sweet to malty with strong bitterness. This beer category is more defined by its color than a flavor profile. 

American Amber Ale or Red Ale, is a spinoff of the Pale Ale category. This is the in-between category for beers that are not pale, but lighter than a dark ale. They range in color from copper, amber, red, to a lighter brown. Most focus on malty characteristics and medium mouth feel. The color of the ale is from the grains used in the brewing process. Flavor profiles are not well defined for this category. 

Included under the Amber label are European Amber Lagers encompassing Vienna Lagers and Oktoberfest beers. Vienna Lagers and Oktoberfests tend to be cleaner, malt forward with a balanced hoppiness and no caramel flavor as opposed to the American Red or Amber ale that are sweeter, and have more of a caramel characteristic. Vienna Lagers and Oktoberfests are more narrowly defined beer styles, with flavor profiles being much more defined than the broader label of Amber ale. Vienna Lagers are the drier of the two varieties. The Oktoberfest is differentiated by being bigger, with more maltiness and sweeter than the Vienna Lager. 

The Amber label can also be applied to the German Altbier. The Altbier style is further broken into Northern German Altbier and Dusseldorf Altbier. Both Altbiers are clean, smooth malty ales, with the Dusseldorf having more hop forward flavors of spiciness or floral hops. 

In addition to the American and German Ambers, we also have the Irish Red Ale. Again, featuring a malt focused flavor profile. Irish Red is distinguished by having a sweeter start and dry roasted finish.

In conclusion, the Amber label gives us a wide variation of beer styles. Most focus on the malty characteristics with variations on roastiness, bitterness, hoppiness, and sweetness as further distinguishing characteristics.  I hope you enjoyed that little beertory on Amber ales, now go forth and drink!

Sun Up Awesome Amber Ale
ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 25

Sun Up is an awesome brewery in PHX, AZ that my cousin (who also just got married | congrats cuz!) works at. We really are an all-around American family. Oh, and the brewery had some legit beers. Check them out if you're in the area and say hi to Jamie at the bar!

Aroma: I smelled very little hop notes with high caramel maltiness and a little bit of citrus.

Appearance: It was a light to medium copper. The head was about a quarter in when first poured with frothy, off-white bubbles.

Flavor: I tasted heavy malts with a caramel finish. What my dad taught me as we were tasting it together is that the sharp flavor in the back is actually hops, even though it wasn't bitter.

Mouthfeel: This Amber was medium-bodied with a smooth finish. It was very light in alcohol with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This was a great traditional Amber ale. It followed all of the BJCP style guides to a T and was very refreshing after a hot day in the Arizona sun. It was malt forward with a hop character in the back to make it a well-balanced beer.
Into The Pint Glass

Up Next: Porters

Song of the Blog: "Drunk In Love" by Queen Bey