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The Hops: Brother Thelonious

Much like Iowa’s arctic freeze, the season for high gravity beer persists through January. An ideal time to polish off the remaining supply of festive winter warmers, this month is also perfect for sipping jet black imperial stout, barley wine and finely crafted Belgian strong dark ale like Brother Thelonious. Named in honor of jazz […]

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The Hops: Celebration Ale

Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California. Style: American IPA. Alcohol content: 6.8 percent ABV. Food pairings: Peppery cheeses (Monterey/Pepper Jack), sharp cheeses (Blue, Cheddar), pungent cheeses (Gorgonzola, Limburger), poultry and seafood (especially shellfish and salmon). Where to buy: John’s Grocery, all area Hy-Vee’s and the west side Fareway. Price: $3 per 24-ounce bottles, […]

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Actual, Honest, 100% Whole Wheat Bread

I started with this recipe, but only because I thought it was a recipe for real, live all whole wheat french bread. Nothing wrong with that recipe, but I’m a type II diabetic, and white flour is powdered death for me. Anyhow, you need 3-4 (or 5, I didn’t really measure past a certain point) […]

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The Hops: Weizen Up

To me, November falls in a gap between seasonal beer styles. It does not fit as well within the autumn brewing tradition as October, and it’s too early for holiday/winter ales. However, colder weather brings the craving for dark beers full of roasted chocolate and coffee malts, so my November recommendation needed to be a balance between seasonal traits. […]

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The Hops: Devilishly Good

Harvest is the traditional time to drink saison, a pale ale from Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. Though perfect to quench the thirsts of workers toiling in the fields (circa 1880), saison is not ideal for the October tradition I’m in the mood for. Instead, I feel like wearing my fake-blood stained mad scientist smock for Trick-or-Treating.

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This BBQ will save your life.

But here it is, completely vegetarian BBQ, even easily made vegan.  Homemade BBQ sauce caramelized onto slowly oven roasted eggplant, just spicy and bone-sticking enough to take the chill off the cooling end-of-summer evenings.  For the vegetarians dying for BBQ.

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The Hops: Premature Oktobulation

September, I realized, is a difficult month to recommend beer for. For three weeks it is still technically summer, so I wanted a beer that was light-bodied and refreshing. It also needed be rather cheap, as long afternoons of tailgating call for coolers packed with relatively affordable brew.

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Recasting Corn

This summer I visited a Democratic meet-up in Marion, Iowa, where a new candidate for Secretary of Agriculture is looking to rebrand our state’s chief export. But not through marketing–through a new vision of sustainable agriculture, one that posits the problems presented by an over-reliance on fossil fuels as an opportunity to reevaluate the future of farming in Iowa.

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Crazy Ates

I ate peppers, I ate celery, I ate arugula… I made this dish one night after a day of ranting to myself that A) how the hell am I supposed to get the recommended 9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables and B) what can I do to make celery actually taste *good*? My […]

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