Foodie Friday: Charred Wings & Homemade Bread

You Gotta Try:

We had a little snow storm move through the area a few days ago so naturally we bundled up and head out looking for food and beer. Thank goodness for four wheel drive. And for small storms that move through quickly.

In Kansas City the northern area is referred to as “the northland”. Very inventive I know. That area is not really known for local places; there are a lot of chains and that is just not what we were in the mood for.

I did a quick search on my Yelp app and came across Nick & Nino’s Pub.  The reviews were pretty good but even better were the pictures. There were also tantalizing descriptions of their wings. I love good wings. If I come across a place that is supposed to have great wings I have to try them.

The place itself was nice and spacious with comfortable booths and tables. Of course I knew exactly what I wanted to order and I was not disappointed. First of all the wings are HUGE. It makes me wonder what kind of over-sized chicken these things come from. Their best feature, however, was the char. Each wing had deep char marks on it and it really gave them a wonderful, rustic flavor. I was surprised that something so simple could make such a difference in flavor.

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Charred Wings! A revelation.

 

I washed those wings down with a few glasses of Fresh Squeezed IPA from Deschutes Brewery. I could write an entire blog post about how much I love that hoppy, citrusy beer. It pairs with wings quite well. Overall we had a great experience there and I would tell anyone who is in that area (it is very close to KCI) to check it out.

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed.

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed.

Recipes I Love:

Yesterday I decided to make some bread. I had been thinking about it for awhile but bread making really intimidates me. I have done it before and had wonderful results. However, I have also had disasters and wasted an entire afternoon and expensive ingredients on something that was rock hard and ended up in the trash.

I decided to pick a recipe from my Pinterest board for Yeast Bread. I looked at each one and decided on the recipe that had the clearest and most concise instructions. Also, I needed a simple list ingredients because I had no way to make a trip to the store.

This recipe is amazing. Everything went together easily and made me feel like I had been making bread for years. The best part was the bread itself. It came out perfectly. It had great texture, perfect crumb, and toasted beautifully. I am using past tense because that bread didn’t stick around long. I will make more soon!

I made the slashes before the final 30 minutes of rising. I brushed some olive oil on top right before I put it in the oven. You could do the same with melted butter

I made the slashes before the final 30 minutes of rising. I brushed some olive oil on top right before I put it in the oven. You could do the same with melted butter

You can try it find the recipe here. I really encourage you to make your own bread. Have you ever read the label on a loaf of bread? All sorts of weird stuff listed there. Yes, you can buy a loaf of bread for $2 but homemade is so much better. You control what is in it and the taste is beyond compare. It is worth the extra effort.

Delicious, lovely bread.

Delicious, lovely bread.

I am looking forward to tomorrow; we are planning on hitting up an Irish pub with some friends. Irish music and craft beer are an excellent combination. Hope you have a great weekend too!

-Christy

 

Foodie Friday: Magic Hat Brewery

I consider beer to be as important to happiness in life as food which is why I will be covering craft beer in my Foodie Friday posts. Both my husband and I love craft beer and we seek out new brews and breweries every place we go.

There is a well-established craft beer scene in Vermont. There are many great breweries to check out as well; we chose to tour the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington.  This brewery  came in second in USA Today’s poll for Best Brewery Tour.  That is a big deal when you consider it was up against hundreds of other breweries throughout the United States. You can check out the top ten and read more about the poll here.

Its one of those places you just have to “see”. In other words it is hard to describe. I feel like this brewery is what Willy Wonk’s dark and mysterious brother would have opened (if he had existed).  Has a definite steampunk vibe to it.

The entrance to what they call "the Artifactory".

The entrance to what they call “the Artifactory”.

When you arrive you enter into their retail area. There was a nice person at the front desk to answer our questions about taking a tour. In the retail area they have glassware, bottle openers, tee shirts; the typical promotional stuff.

Some of their merchandise is pretty cool. Makes great gifts for a beer lover!

Some of their merchandise is pretty cool. Makes great gifts for a beer lover!

Towards the back of this area is their Growler bar. Its a pretty impressive sight. 48 taps! You can grab your allotted free samples there or purchase a growler and fill it with your favorite beer. Of course we had already had some of their beer at home but it was fun to try some of their seasonal brews as well as some of the harder to find ones. The bartenders were very knowledgeable about the different beers which was appreciated because I didn’t want to use up a sample on something I might not like.  Some of their best loved beers are the Dream Machine IPL and the #9. I went out on a limb and tried the limited edition Feast of Fools Raspberry Stout. I am not a fan of stouts normally but I do like raspberry based beers. It was delicious. Perfect for sipping after a filling Christmas dinner.

The Growler bar. This by itself is worth the visit.

The Growler bar. This by itself is worth the visit.

We were there around 4pm on a Thursday so it wasn’t very busy. We even got our own private tour! The tour itself is pretty short but it is interesting and informative.  They have a video which walks you through the basics of how beer is made which is great for those who are just getting their feet wet in the world of craft beer. Our guide was full of information and answers to all of our questions. It was a fun, memorable visit; I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes Magic Hat beer or who is simply interested in craft beer.

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Bottles coming down the line to be labeled and filled. Every time they want to bottle a different beer they have to stop and clean EVERYTHING.

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They have machines that fold the boxes! What will they think of next?

I like to drink beer from the breweries I have been to whenever I can. I like the connection to the process. Sadly now that we are back in the KC area Magic Hat beer is hard to find. In fact, many of the wonderful brews we had in Vermont are simply not available here. However, we have several great breweries close by so be looking for future posts about the craft beer here in Kansas City.

Have a great weekend!

-Christy