Friday, February 8, 2013

Don't Do It!!-Emerson Microwave

Awww, the microwave, turning us all into Top Chefs since 1947!  Nobody likes lightning in their kitchen however!

I loved the look of my Emerson stainless steel Microwave in my kitchen, but I am now happy it resides in a refuse pit.  My model MW1337SB of less than two years started to put on a light show in January.  I thought my GF put a tin foil ball in there out of boredom.

I don't know how much your time is worth, but I know mine is too expensive to troubleshoot issues with a Chinese Made hot rock that costs less than $100.  I know it isn't consumer wise to fill up landfills with such junk, but I wouldn't fill right giving it to Goodwill either.

I think I might go with a Panasonic next time considering the reviews on Amazon.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Stuff-Nest-Never Thought I Would Love a Thermostat

I love my house, but I am not in love with some of its features.  I recently replaced my  go-go-gadget Atari style thermostat with the Nest-wi-fi enabled Thermostat.  I was a Navy Electronics Technician, so I was easily able to install it.  You can to with the help from Nest. Just send them a pic of your wiring set up and you can give them a call.

The main reason we like the Nest, at first, was its sleek look.  It's the Porsche of thermostats.  We quickly learned that we can use our smartphone to control it, set a schedule, and our Nest begins to learn our preferences.  The Nest encourages energy savings and will encourage you to use less energy by keeping track of conservative practices.
We can program a schedule, keep track of hours used, use it from anywhere we have cell phone service, and much, much more.
I love to talk about the products I love.  I really hope you consider Nest when trying to modernize your house with energy conservation in mind!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Favorite NW Breweries....

Favorite NW Breweries There is one thing seasoned North Westerners enjoy most often.....a great local brew. The Northwest Beer Guide will give you the complete guide to all great local brews, but The Refined Brewer has his top three.

The Ninkasi Brewing Company has mastered consistency and provided my palate with the greatest of hoppy rewards. I definitely plan to pay my respects to the brewery down in Eugene, as I have paid my respects to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field a time ago. The Believer Double Red Ale is pure malty bliss best purchased by the gallon.

Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon has once again granted us the taste of their Red Chair NWPA (Northwest Pale Ale). "The citrus punch of a big IPA, minus the one-dimensional hop sledgehammer. Seven select European and domestic malts round out the edges for a complex, copper-colored brew. Like its namesake ski lift, it’s an insider’s ride to fresh thrills". Excuse me while I crack open another.

Widmer Hefeweizen, oh where do I start. The Widmer Brothers introduced me to fine draft beers back in 2005. I fell in love with the Gasthaus and sadly said goodbye as I departed to Washington State.  I have had a love hate relationship with this brewery. I don't appreciate breweries taking a beer I love, and one which I purchased by the case, and turning around and selling it in 4 packs!! Hops plus barley does not equal frappuchino or wine coolers! I just can't get away from that frothy Hef! I know there are many other great Hefeweizens out there, but like a good neighbor Widmer Hefeweizen is always there.

Local Flair-Hogg Heaven BBQ

Hogg Heaven BBQ - Prosser, WA
Hogg Heaven BBQ has some of the best local prime rib, pork ribs, and baked beans we've had in the Yakima Valley.  HH recently opened up their own little bbq joint right in the town of Prosser, just behind the police department.

Being a Navy Veteran, I have traveled extensively around the country and have tasted plenty of BBQ.  HH definitely beats the chains in the Tri-Cities and even gives many Texans a run for their money.  They only had one beer on tap, but it was one of the greatest local beers; Ice Harbor's Winter Ale.

HH used to be conjoined with Horse Heaven Hills Brewery, but thankfully they didn't have that brewery on tap (another story I am sure).  Personally, I am grateful they parted ways.  Those of us who appreciate great, consistent beers, are grateful that they went with Ice Harbor as opposed to the beer kit style beers passed off in Prosser.

You are highly encouraged to make the pleasant drive to the country of Prosser to remind yourself how great local BBQ should be.

Thank You Hogg Heaven BBQ and we will be back!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Local Flair-The Fox and Bear Public House

The Fox and Bear Public House is just what we need more of in Eastern, Washington. The demand for fresh local food and local NW beers has never been so great. The endless line of restaurant chains with non-local ingredients and mediocre drafts has taken its unfair share of our hard earned earnings.

Stepping into the intimate atmosphere of The Fox and Bear, we were immediately struck with a great thirst for what was to come. We gravitated towards the local draft beer board which included the likes of Widmer (Portland, OR) and Two Beers Brewing (Seattle, Wa).  My sweetie had the Sweet as Pacific – Ale – Goodlife Brewing Co. (Bend, OR), and what an amazingly complex and flavorful beverage.

The appetizer menu included Gorganzola Arancini-pilaf stuffed with gorganzola cheese and rolled in seasoned bread crumbs. served on fresh ragu with gorganzola dressing for dipping.  We also enjoyed the pesto fries, fried potatoes tossed in a fresh basil and pine nut sauce topped with grated parmesan and served with ragu sauce.

Our local NW drafts naturally complimented our entrees from the Fresh Sheet: a Cottage Pie consisting of brew marinated steak and buttery potato cake
I highly encourage anyone with the appreciation for local NW breweries and fresh ingredients to pay the visit to the Tri-Cities newest foodie destination.  The atmosphere, draft, and food selection are relatively remarkable for this side of the Snoqualmie Pass.  Be proud! Be Local! Be at The Fox and Bear Public House!