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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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?