; Life is like champagne......: 2009-08-30

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A visit to the Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack

Welcome to the Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack, NH! My daughter and I went on the tour for the first day of our vacation. The tour is free and you get to taste a few samples at the end! My daughter enjoyed all of the free pretzels she could eat!


Hopps garden, I can grow this in my back yard!



Fermentation process, very hot and steamy in here! Just was not sure where it was hotter, outside that day or in here.

Then we cooled off at 50 degrees...ahhhhh and look at the beer being brewed!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

The Bubbly Bar by Maria Hunt

So obviously from the name of my blog you can understand that I like Champagne. Even more so, I am not a big drinker, I can only drink Miller High Life(huh...Champagne of beers) and cocktails are limited for me. I live by this quote from Gigi "The night they invented champagne....as plain is is can be.....they thought of you and me...".

I was given an opportunity to check out a new book, The Bubbly Bar:Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion which I thought was a great opportunity to try out some new drink recipes using the one ingredient I love...champagne! Sure I have had a Bellini but knew of no other recipes. This calls for a little research.

Looking at the cover, the book looks inviting. I am already to dive into a new drink, splurge a little on a Friday night relaxing outside overlooking the back forty. She starts off explaining what the basics needs are in your liquor cabinet and what tools you should have. I was already set in most of the essentials department so onward to the recipes.
The recipes were broken down into categories, then a guide to Champagne and sparkling wines and resources. The first category group set the precedent for the book with was "The Classics". History, timeless taste and why they are classics, this was what many people know and love about these recipes. What I like was a little extra info about the cocktail, it's history, or how it came about. A great example is the Killing Me Softly modified from the original cocktail developed by Ernest Hemingway called Death in the Afternoon. This cocktail had the ingredient of Absinthe.....which is now legal again in the United States after having a bad wrap for over 90 years. Hemingway's version is potent but this version is much smoother.
Want something more fruity? I tend to go for a more fruitful drink which is exactly what the Lychee Love made with the sweet Lychee fruit, ginger and lemongrass. Having lived in Maui, I would have loved to tired this one on island time!
The recipes are are wonderful in this book, but the extra tidbits of information the author gives out is was also grabbed me. How to say "Cheers" in several different languages and what the true translation is. Tips on how to make cocktails, how to keep your bubbly to last longer and more. The layout is great, pictures that draw you in to wanting a sip. My plan......to try every single recipe in this book to find my new cocktail of choice. Check out The Bubbly Bar and see what you would like to call out as your favorite champagne or bubbly wine cocktail and check out her website at TheBubblyGirl.com for more info.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why not 'US'?

A complete play on words, us meaning you and me and also the United Stated. This is in reference to Kraft foods and their Macaroni and Cheese product. A product that I remember as a kid being one of my favorite meals. I know many kids still feel this way, but you might not now.
The fact is, that in 2008, Kraft removed artificial colorings, like yellow #5, and chemical sweeteners, like aspartame, from the products that they distribute in Europe, Australia, and other developed countries due to consumer concern over scientific studies that link these synthetic ingredients to hyperactivity and asthma in children. But, they haven't done the same thing here in the U.S.! Why would they not do the same for us?
I certainly was surprised about this and I am sure you are. Want to help change this? You can sign a letter via Momsrising.org to the Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfield, who is also a mom, requesting to remove these ingredients from their products in the United States. Just click the link below.

http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27297

Join us in sending Kraft CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, a letter asking that Kraft value the health of our children as highly as they value the children in other countries. And please then share this email with friends and family so that they too can send a letter.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Maine vacation - Not the start we needed

I am sure many of you who have children have them attached to something that if you left somewhere, you would have to go back to get it and know that you would have an unhappy little person on your hands. This is exactly how our vacation started out, and could have been much worse than what it was!
The first day my daughter and I drove to Manchester, NH to meet up with my husband later at a hotel, kind of a mid-point to our drive up to Maine. My daughter and I stopped at the Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack, NH and took the tour, photos to come. Then we went to the hotel where we checked in, went to the pool and ate dinner in the room. Tat night, there were some severe thunderstorms so my husband did not make it in until around 2:30am, late night and we were up early ready to go on the road. Packed the car, checked out and on the road by 9:00am. About an hour and a half into the trip, my daughter was asking for her fluffy baby blanket, the ONE thing she clings to, attached to and brings to sleep with. Well....can you guess where it was not? I immediately called the Hotel to have them get it, what did I get? They stated it was not there!!!! What? Maybe it was packed in the car somewhere we could not see. We got to LL Bean where my daughter and I went in and my husband ripped apart the car looking for the blanket. I met up with him inside and he broke the bad news and of course I had to break it to my daughter. I told her we left it at the hotel and they could not find it. Her answer to me was "That's o.k. mom, we can go and pick it up." Mmmmm.....not going to happen. You would think LL Bean had some sort of kids fleece blanket to get, nope. What do we do now? We walked into sporting goods and my husband found the sleeping bags, they happened to have fleece zip sleeping bags printed with a fun pattern of fish, frogs and dragon flies. Winner! We took it and ran, thank goodness she slept in it the whole vacation and loved the concept. I love the fact she can grow with it and not targeted with kiddy print on it.
We still got the occasional question of where is my blanket and I called the hotel every couple of days looking for it. Bottom line, the hotel did not help me. A Marriott hotel chain, which I am writing a letter to them this week.
My suggestion to you for going on a trip and possibilities of this happening, have a back up plan!

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Free Clorox Disinfecting Wipes!!!

Back to school often brings to mind shopping for school supplies and new clothes. This year we also have to think of preparing for flu season and the growing concern for H1N1 virus. My daughter starts school for the first time this year and a healthy, clean learning environment is important to me.
Keeping germs at bay can be done by promoting simple habits such as hand washing and wiping down areas most frequently handled areas. Two areas I know of that frequent germs are your car steering wheel and the phone.

Clorox has made an offer to help out teachers and to start the school year off right. Between September 2nd, 2009 and September 5th, 2009, Clorox is offering teachers a free canister of Clorox Disinfecting wipes by visiting www.cloroxclassrooms.com. These are only while supplies last so get to it ASAP!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Maine vacation - A week in review

Last week we went on vacation to Maine. I plan on posting some pictures but I thought I would post a few notes about the time in Maine.
First of all, I have had enough lobster to satisfy me until next year! The prices were around $3.99 a pound, it was cheaper to buy lobster than a good steak! So...we did just that and ate lobster three times in 7 days. What I actually thought was better was left over lobster, after I picked the heads clean, making lobster sandwiches the next day. A little bit easier on the stomach without the butter involved.
Blueberries were extremely disappointing! All of the previous years we were able to buy some on the way up and also at Moosehead State Park, you can pick up to two quarts for free! I case you did not know, wild Maine blueberries are not like the bush blueberries we have. You basically have something the size of a pea or smaller and it is a ground cover. Whether it was the weather this year or just late, the blueberries were pretty much done. We went to the park and I picked a cup of them, made pancakes the next morning. That was it for the Maine blueberry. Very very disappointing.
Where we go on vacation is way down east Maine, population......not many. The town near it is an Indian Reservation located right on the lake. This is our third year going here and every time I drive by, I catch myself shaking my head disappointment. The house are cinder block houses with open lean to garages, right on the lake. Looks like a cookie cutter just pressed them out one by one. This is not the problem. The problem is they look completely dilapidated, falling apart, garbage in yards and no upkeep of the lawns. Then you have the teens wandering the streets, smoking cigarettes with nothing to do. But wait.....you then get to what looks to be their meeting hall, a big, posh building with grounds around it manicured perfectly. So they take pride in the meeting hall but not their homes? Where are the youth programs to get them off the street and involved in there community?
Then there was the incident where there was a teenage mom talking to her 3 year old son using all sorts of expletives just to give him a reason why he should not eat candy. How about just saying that candy is not good for your teeth?
If this sounds like I did not have a good vacation, I do not mean to give that impression. We had a great vacation and I watched my daughter grow up right in front of me.

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