Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ludwig Farmstead Creamery

While attending a beer event at Larder & Cupboard in Maplewood, a woman from Ludwig Farmstead Creamery was handing out free samples.

Sales rep, Stephanie Peace (great name), offered me a couple of cheeses to taste and write about! Stephanie let me take home Jake's Habanero Havarti-Style and Jake's Dutch Garden Herb cheese.

Who's Jake you ask? According to their website, Jake Ludwig was a 2009 University of Illinois graduate  who developed a passion for cheese making using the morning-fresh milk from his family's Holstein dairy cattle. Unfortunately, Jake died before creating his first cheese and his father, Dave, hired a Dutch Cheese maker to carry out Jake's dream of producing award winning European-style cheeses.
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery Cheeses
Luckily, I had a day trip to Hermann scheduled to drink wine with the girls and I shared the cheese samples with them. Both flavors were snatched up quickly!

I was most nervous about Jake's Habanero Havarti-Style, but the spiciness was only felt a little bit at the back end of the bite. Instead, you mostly get a creamy flavor to help balance out the heat.

The fullest-flavored cheese was actually the Jake's Dutch Garden Herb where you get a lot of dill and garlic with each bite.

Try a taste test for yourself! Stop by Larder & Cupboard to stock up!

Or, you can order online from the Ludwig Farmstead Creamery, located just east of Champaign, IL.


Ludwig Farmstead Creamery = https://www.ludwigfarmsteadcreamery.com/

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Old Bakery Beer PW Pizza Beer Dinner

Patience and I have tasted a lot Old Bakery Beer thanks to Larder & Cupboard, but we have yet to stop by the brewery since they are way up in Alton. It looks like they are worth a visit some time for sure!

I think the first course might be the winner overall, believe it or not, this was no regular salad! Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with the easy to drink Citrus Wheat. Eric Weber, head brewer, said this is their most popular beer that pays the bills. I am not surprised at all!

Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushroom
My favorite pizza of the night was the Steak Burger Pizza. It really did taste like a cheeseburger pizza with "Sambal ketchup" as the sauce, giving it a tart flavor. I do admit that the North End IPA was a good pairing since it cut through the pizza toppings to help mellow it out.

Steak Burger Pizza

The Pulled Pork Pizza was definitely heavy on the pork so I didn't have too much of it, but it didn't really matter since the Oktoberfest is easy to drink by itself.

Pulled Pork Pizza
Another top pairing was the Smoked Chocolate Donut Holes, but unfortunately there was bacon mixed in to the Salted Caramel. The donuts definitely had a smoky flavor that was perfect with the Porter. A perfect dessert beer...although I personally recommend it with chocolate of course!

Smoked Chocolate Donut Holes


Hopefully, someday we'll actually make it to the brewery and not just pass by!


Old Bakery Beer = http://www.oldbakerybeer.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon


For Patience's birthday in early October, I had been planning on taking her to Evangeline's for a long time since it's a NOLA-themed restaurant. With River Bend closing several months ago, we were due! I had previously attended a crawfish boil earlier in the year while Patience was out of town so I really owed her big time.

To make things easy, we just sat at the bar even though I had made reservations, but it was still pretty quiet at 6pm on a Friday night.

I let Patience order all her favorites, although we ended up going with the pasta special instead of having a more traditional gumbo or jambalaya dish, but that just means we want to go back!

We started off with cocktails and mussels, both were winners. The cocktail was a bartender's choice, but since it's Patience, there was definitely some bourbon in there.

Bartender's Choice...with bourbon!

The seafood pasta special meant even MORE mussels with shrimp and pasta - not too spicy so we could split it.

Seafood Pasta Special
The bartender and owner were very generous and put a candle in our pecan pie birthday dessert!

Bread pudding...with a birthday candle!
This kind of hospitality made me wish we lived in the neighborhood so we could stop in more often. We really felt at home there and can't wait to go back.


Evangeline's = http://www.evangelinesstl.com

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, September 29, 2017

Main Street Brewing PW Pizza Beer Dinner

Patience and I have been to Main Street Brewing before a SLAM football game. We really enjoyed their beers and the food menu is plenty extensive.

At PW Pizza this month, we had the first cool day of fall so we got to start out on their patio for the first course. The Oktoberfest is so easy to drink and smartly paired with Housemade Bratwurst. The brat was carefully placed on top of a potato pancake with cabbage and dried cherries.

Housemade Bratwurst
The Pecan Brown is a little "grainy/malty" tasting, but it's still another smooth beer. This was the best pairing since the Pecan Braised Short Rib Pizza was amazing.

This pizza reminded me of the all time favorite "Prime Rib Pizza".

Pecan Braised Short Rib Pizza
A Baja Fish Pizza was paired with their Two Hop IPA. This IPA had big grapefruit citrus flavor, which helped to cut through the fishy flavor.

Baja Fish Pizza
The Assalted Caramel Pecan is definitely a dessert beer since you smell the caramel right away. So of course it's paired with an Apple Fritter with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Definitely a clever name!

Apple Fritter & Salted Caramel Ice Cream


Main Street Brewing = http://www.mainstreetbrewingco.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Two Brothers PW Pizza Beer Dinner

I had never heard of Two Brothers Brewing in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, probably because they don't have all that much distributed here yet. Luckily, more of their beer can be found on the east side of the area. (Good thing I go up to Chicago a time or two!)

The first pairing was amazing...because there was shrimp and because the sweetness of the lemon risotto was a good match for the Ebel's Weiss. Already starting strong!

Rosemary Grilled Shrimp
The second pairing was another delicious course due to the salty chicken confit on the pizza and the brown ale, Domaine Dupage, really mellowed everything out.

Chicken Confit Pizza
The third pairing had a lot of heat so it wasn't my favorite, but it made sense to pair the Red Thai Curry Pizza with the Wobble IPA. The beer tasted spicy as well!

Red Thai Curry Pizza
The last pairing was fun to say: Pohuehue (POE hooey hooey), which is made with coconut milk and you can smell it while you drink! Definitely a dessert beer! It was paired with a very sweet dessert... I would have gone with chocolate on this one if I were picking though. hehe

Rum Babas
Even better... the brewery is on a way to a friend's house in Chicago!


Two Brothers = http://twobrothersbrewing.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon