Monday, Monday

“So good to me.”

I know a handful of older rock songs from my childhood. My dad loved music from the 60s and 70s, and as he drove me to and from ballet five days a week, that’s the music we listened to. This includes “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas.

How was your weekend? Did you go out, socialize, eat too much, drink too much, or stay up late? Or, was it a relaxing, rejuvenating two days? Mine was the perfect mix of both.

Saturday was Brody’s birthday, and since we had guests coming in to town and other plans Saturday night, Brody’s birthday dinner happened on Friday. He requested pan-style pizza.

There are lots of recipes out there that mimic Pizza Hut’s pan pizza. I found one, bought the ingredients I was missing, and got to work right after school.

Surprisingly everything turned out! I used my Pampered Chef stonewear deep baking sheet and ended up baking the dough without toppings for five-ish minutes before loading it with a chunky tomato sauce, Italian sausage, pepperoni, onions, and cheese.

Post-pizza, I passed out on the couch at 8:30pm while Brody watched Grosse Pointe Blank. I was the life of the party!

We had friends from Chicago come visit this weekend. Adam and Megan arrived around noon on Saturday, and with empty bellies, we hit up The Alchemy for food and beer (obviously none for me). Last time I ate there I had the Matilda sandwich – I passed that recommendation on to Megan and she got it (and loved it). I had the vegetable grilled cheese and devoured it. Brody and Adam each ordered the pork sliders.

Post-lunch, we visited Ale Asylum. The three of them drank delicious hoppy beer (can you tell I miss it a little?) such as Hopalicious, Satisfaction Jacksin, and Ballistic while I sipped water and Diet Coke.

Post-drinking, we ran home to let the pups out and then went to Cooper’s for dinner. I had the fish and chips – not the healthiest (actually quite unhealthy) but it was delicious and I didn’t stuff myself.

Good food and beer = happy people!

Now for the best part of the weekend: the Avett Brothers concert!

The concert was at the Orpheum on State Street in Madison which is where we saw Trampled By Turtles two weekends ago. The line to get in was all the way down the block to Noodles. Once we got in line, though, it moved quickly. Inside we luckily found an area to stand/sit and enjoyed the show. They were amazing performers and so much fun. Even though I only recognized about a fourth of their songs, I was still bouncing, dancing, clapping, or swaying along to everything.

And because this post is getting a little word heavy, I’ll wrap up Sunday in a list: Woodman’s to grocery shop, breakfast of pancakes and bacon and baking and cooking (details coming later).
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It also involved visiting open houses, napping, reading of The Good Soldiers, and some eating interspersed through all of that.

The weekend was the perfect mix of activity and relaxation and time with Brody, friends and myself. I was ready to tackle the day today having had such a great weekend.

I hope you also had a wonderful weekend!

Coming soon…tuna salad recipe and a banana bread recipe.

Questions:
What kind of beer do you like?
Who have you seen in concert recently?
What’s your perfect weekend like?

A Balanced Weekend

Welcome to Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend like I did.

Wanna know what happened?

Oh good, because it’s show and tell time – I took a decent amount of photos!

Madison holds a pretty incredible beer festival every year called The Great Taste of the Midwest. When tickets go on sale, people camp out for hours. Brody had heard it was actually quite easy to get tickets the day of, either at the event or buying them from people with too many. Sadly, he forgot about the date and bought tickets to see My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses in Milwaukee on Saturday with a buddy. Once again, we missed out.

Friday night, though, we did not miss out. Lots of restaurants and bars feature breweries and have their beers on tap. We headed downtown to Coopers who was featuring Lagunitas.
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We love their beer and their glasses! I ordered the American Strong Ale while we sat at the bar. It was strong and pretty hoppy.
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The six of us (we were with two other couples, including Mel and Tim), got seated outside! Although the table was small for six, we made it work and continued drinking and eating. We ordered the pretzels and poutine to share, and I had the Brussels sprouts salad for dinner. As always, the food was amazing.

We proceeded on to Merchant who was featuring Six Point whose owners/brewmasters met at the UW, but now live and have their brewery in Brooklyn. According to Brody, Six Point only distributes to New York and Madison – lucky us! While the beer was tempting at Merchant, my favorite drink called to me. I gave in and took the bartender’s suggestion of using gin instead of vodka. The Regret with gin was a winner. As he explained, the pine flavor of the gin complemented the rosemary perfectly.
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Moving on to Saturday. I woke up and wanted a special breakfast. It had been a while since I had made pancakes, so I broke out the Kodiak cake mix. A little peanut butter, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a nectarine on the side rounded out the meal.
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Mel and her friend Jill were running 15 miles (they are also running the Madison Mini half marathon next weekend), and I wanted to meet them for the last five. The running bug may be giving me little love bites again…

It felt awesome to run outside in perfect weather and to run with friends again. We ended the run on the square where the farmers market was in full swing.
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Mel and Jill were craving doughnuts, and as good as they looked, eating one after running just over five miles and right before lunch did not justify it in my head. Mel was kind enough to give me a few bites.

I was ridiculously lazy for the rest of the day; I had a Chipotle salad for lunch, attempted to make almond butter with my Ninja (major fail – too embarrassed to even provide a photo or tell you how long I worked at it), and watched the entire sixth season of Weeds on Netflix.

Sunday morning I had breakfast plans with my friend Nicole who lives in Wauwatosa. We met in Delafield at Panera; it was so nice catching up. She hadn’t heard about Brody’s rhabdo and the intimate details of my crypto, and I hadn’t heard much about her trip to Spain with thirty-eight high schoolers. She’s a brave woman.

The rest of the day included a shopping spree at Banana Republic outlet, a grocery shopping trip, BodyPump, and a little cooking.

I introduce you to the best pasta salad ever!
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The hot pasta melts the avocado and coats the noodles. So unique! A few changes I made to the recipe: I omitted the oil, used lime instead of lemon juice, and added one chopped shallot.
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Brody suggested adding chicken next time for a little more protein. My meat-loving husband is smart.

There you have it. It was a good mix of time spent with friends, Brody, and myself. I indulged a little but also worked out both days. It’s all about balance.

Questions:
How was your weekend balanced (or maybe unbalanced because that’s okay too!)?
Have you ever been to a beer festival? Where, when, and what’d you think?