Ecology, Environment, Global Change, Green, In the Kitchen, Organic

Earth Hour Pictures

Pre-Earth Hour after-market espresso break. DH sure loves that biscotti.


Sun induced delirium causes hallucinations of delicious food.


DH making bread.


DH posing with bread. We got to use our dipping set because of this!




Purple carrot!
DIY, Ecology, Educational, Environment, Gardening, Global Change, Green, Organic

Oktoberfest Weekend!

Oktoberfest traditionally takes place at the end of September and runs through the 1st week of October, but in AZ it’s freaking hot so we get a late start in attempt to beat the heat.  It is still 108°F here in Phoenix, so we keep our daytime celebrations inside.  DH and I are excited to start the German Beer season as we usually get 3 weekends packed with different city-sponsored events! 

We did start celebrating last night, with a German-inspired sausage, cabbage, and potato salad dinner.  We will also make pretzels sometime this weekend, so stay posted for that recipe. 

Chimney starter




Cabbage salad


Dinner with DH's homebrewed hefeweizen. Click on the picture for our new blog.
Ecology, Educational, Environment, Explanations, Gardening, Green, In the Kitchen, Organic

Worst. Biologist. Ever.

Do you remember a few weeks back I posted pumpkin pictures from the garden?  Turns out they weren’t pumpkins.  Not sure exactly how it happened, but the plants I thought were squash might actually be pumpkins and the plants I thought were pumpkins somehow are cantaloupe.  

I did plant cantaloupe once upon a time but when they didn’t sprout I forgot about them.  I planted squash and pumpkin later.  Plant morphology for all of these are similar because they are part of the Cucurbitaceae family.  I made the rookie flora mistake of “identifying” my not-yet-blossoming plants by leaf characteristics (Don’t do this in the field unless you are an expert, especially if you plan on eating the plants) and not revising these decisions.  

I wondered why this...


… didn’t look like this.


Definitely cantaloupe


There is a considerable amount of bug damage.


But some of the plants are doing well. Pumpkin.


DH made this wine from muscat grapes. Delightfully sweet and spicy!


Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
In the Kitchen

Homebrewing Photos: Weizenbock

In my last homebrewing posts I delineated the process DH uses to make beer and explained his idea for growing and using yeast to make another, stronger beer.  You’ll notice the difference in color between this weizenbock and the hefeweizen all throughout the process.



The mash


Lautering (collecting) the wort.


Magnum and Hallertau hops


Little Robot is curious about the spent grain.


The wort.


Inoculated with yeast.
In the Kitchen

Bulgarian Rhapsody: Mekitsi and Hefeweizen

This was one of the meals DH made for me out of the blue before we were married.  I had mentioned to him that I was craving Navajo Fried Bread but the best, most authentic place in our area kept weird hours and I was sure it was closed.  DH to the rescue!

Unlike the Navajo traditional bread Mekitsi contain yeast, yogurt, and vinegar so the flavors are a little different.  Like the Navajo style, you can put almost anything you want on your individual mekitsa.  I usually like beans and salsa while DH keeps it traditional.

*Update:  DH’s hefeweizen turned out very well!

Homemade lyutenitsa, kyopolo, and Bulgarian feta
Beans, yogurt, queso, and homemade salsa verde
Gardening, Green, In the Kitchen, Organic

Bulgarian Rhapsody: Кьопоолу

Kyopolo is described as a Bulgarian relish or “caviar” made of eggplant, bell pepper, and garlic.  I like to think of it as a salsa, so I eat it with tortilla chips.  DH was at first skeptical of this but has come around to it.  We also eat it with bread, pita, or by itself as a salad.   

Kyopolo on tortilla chip scoops.


When this little guy grows up he too will be Кьопоолу.


Flanders Red Ale from DH's vault. It was very sour, sour beers take over a year to properly ferment giving it that distinct sour flavor. My glass is on the left; you can see it is a little redder because I add raspberry syrup (Torani) to it. So good!


A beautiful evening after rain.
In the Kitchen

Gratuitous Pictures

I’ve had a bit too much to drink considering it is only 3:30 in the afternoon…  We are thinking about making a stout, rose mead, and a red wine soon and I’m very excited about it. 

DH's Ukrainian coworker knows a Ukrainian lady who collects wild mushrooms in Flagstaff and kindly offered us some. We took them, ate them, and are still alive so this nice lady knows what she is doing!


We made a mushroom alfredo with them.


Mint and chocolate ice cream using mint from our garden.


Cheese- Bulgarian Kashkaval. This one was nice and creamy.


DH's reaction (more to my picture-taking than the cheese).


Considering the cheese.


Mystery beer from DH's vault. He estimates it has aged 3 years, it turned out to be a cherry and vanilla stout. It was so freaking good! Stouty stout stout.


Bell pepper mead. Surprisingly mellow!