A Quick Trip to Finback Brewery

I wanted to share a few photos of our Saturday Trip to Finback Brewery in Queens.

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The weather was nice, the beer was solid, and the light was gorgeous. I had to take out my camera.

One of the worst things about winter is the light. It’s partially why a lot of my blogging slows down in the winter. I hate struggling to find good shots when everything seems dark and grey. It takes a lot longer to shoot and even longer to edit, since I’m such a perfectionist. One of my major criticisms about my blog photos is they’re all pretty dark. I’m building a lightbox/lightroom setup to combat that, but since I’m DIYing it (naturally) it’s taking some time.

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But back to the beer. I was obsessed with the brewery’s logo. When my friends suggested we go to the brewery, I went to the website and saw their logo and immediately was in. What can I say? I wish all sea animals could be my friend. Plus, of course, I just liked the design.

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Finback self-distributes in NYC only. We sampled all of their beers and they were all very good. Their wit beer was one of the best I’ve ever had. Most of the group agreed that “comforting” was the best way to describe their beers. I could sip them all day.

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My favorites were the Double Sess(ion) wit beer and the Starchild sour (photographed below). They had a huge selection of IPAs, black and reds, but sadly, I’m not an IPA fan.

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If you’re in New York or Queens, it’s a little off the beaten path, but definitely worth a visit.

March Recap: Philadelphia, Wolves, and Good News!

I’ve taken quite a long break from blogging as I embarked on a few changes this past month.

Heidi-and-Ryan-Feb-2015(Photo of Ryan and me on our six-year anniversary)

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been offered a communications position at an incredible company. I left my old job a few weeks ago and have taken some time off. I didn’t talk a lot about my old job on the blog, but it was incredibly draining and wearing me down. I knew for a while it wasn’t a good fit. I felt like I couldn’t make things happen, which is really important to me, and eventually started losing confidence in my abilities, especially as I interviewed and applied for other positions. I’ve always considered myself very employable, but New York’s scene is highly competitive. I promised myself I wouldn’t compromise on my salary and my criteria for my next job, so it ended up taking months to find something.

Eventually it all paid off! I was offered a manager’s position (a promotion!) at one of the best companies to work for in NYC. I can tell immediately that this is a much better fit. The interview process itself was refreshing. I was challenged and critiqued in ways that I never was at my old position. I’m excited to learn, grow, and thrive and hopefully it will carry over in other aspects of my life. Career success has always been very important to me. Knowing that I wasn’t thriving in my old position really affected other aspects of my life and left me depressed and unmotivated.

Anyway, I start Wednesday.

First-Day-Of-Spring

This past month, I haven’t been motivated to take any photos. I fell into a creative rut with any and all photography. Everytime I look at my iphone photos and instagram, I am disappointed. I’m sure the cold, snowy days had something to do with it. Taking photos of white and grey things grew tiring and with the short days, it’s hard to get any natural light.

Small Adventures

In early March, Ryan and I took a trip down to Philadelphia to see a Punch Brothers concert. The concert was a lot of fun, but unfortunately, as we left the venue, it was starting to snow. Philly was hit by a terrible snowstorm that shut the city down. Our bus back was cancelled and we ended up staying another night in our AirBnB. Not a lot was open, except a bar or two, so Ryan and I walked through a few feet of falling snow to grab a some drinks. Then we walked back to our rental and snuggled up for the night. It wasn’t all that bad. It was good to get away, to be snowed in, and really only have each other to focus on. The only photo I took in Philly was of this very snowy historic graveyard.

Philadelphia

We also took a trip with a Meetup group to visit the Lakota Wolf Preservation in New Jersey. They had the usual cast of wolf packs: arctic, timber, and British Columbia wolves; along with red foxes and bobcats! Of course, I forgot my DSLR, so I am stuck with iPhone photos.

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Wolf2(just taking a nap)

All animals were healthy and happy with a good amount of space to roam, which is always great to see. I love most wildlife, but wolves usually make the top of the list. This isn’t the first wolf preservation I’ve visited. When I lived in Florida, we had an incredible time at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve, where I got to play with wolf puppies!

We followed the Wolf Preserve with a visit to a local winery for a very cheap and delicious wine tasting. They have two wines dedicated to the wolf preservation and all profits from those two wines are donated to the wolves.

Winery

Since I’ve had some time off in between jobs, I’ve spent the sunnier days visiting parks and the colder days at museums. I took a trip to the Museum of Arts and Design to see the Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin exhibit. We see mannequins every day, and it’s interesting to remind ourselves that someone designed these. These mannequins serve a purpose beyond holding clothes. They are meant to evoke emotions and convince shoppers that their face and body belong with that dress or shirt. Ralph Pucci did some great work and really broke away from the standard faceless mannequin stereotype.

Ralph-Pucci

(Image via The Museum of Arts and Design)

During these few weeks off, I’ve been reading nonstop. It’s amazing I’m even leaving the house. I’ve already finished three books this month, and it’s not even half over. I expect this pace to slow down, but I hope it doesn’t.

Kindle


I’m spending the last of my unemployed days in Florida visiting my family. It’s nice to see them, but of course I miss Ryan and the kitties like mad. I’ll be back in a few days to give them all plenty of kisses.

Basic Tofu Scramble

I spent many, many years as a vegetarian before ever trying tofu scramble. I don’t know what I was thinking, because it’s so good. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you should definitely give it a try because YOLO, right?

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I’m sure when that acronym was coined, they didn’t have eating tofu in mind.

I was so tempted to write that making tofu scramble is quick and fun, but thought that it sounded gimicky and generic. The truth is, while it doesn’t take long to cook (think scrambled eggs), it is fun. Well, if you think smashing tofu with a fork is fun, which I do.

And here’s where you all tell me to get out more…

I thought I’d hare a really basic tofu scramble, because the beauty of a tofu scram is you can add all sorts of vegetables in it to create something totally unique each time.

I recommend these combinations:

  • Southwest style with black beans, avocado, and seitan
  • Zucchini, yellow squash, or mushrooms
  • Spinach, pesto, feta
  • Top with tomato

I’m not of those people who think tofu is bland, I really enjoy the taste and am absolutely fine with eating it unseasoned. But if you’re feeling apprehensive about it, adding spices and mix-ins are key to getting a good flavor.

Basic Tofu Scramble
Cuisine: Breakfast
Author: heidi
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 16 oz container of extra-firm tofu, pressed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain the tofu of excess water by pressing for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a fork, smash the tofu until it reaches a scrambled texture.
  3. Heat your olive oil in a In a skillet over medium-low heat.
  4. Once it’s warm, toss in your onions, red peppers, tomato paste, and spices, mixing them together. Saute for about 5 minutes until they start to soften and the onions turn clear.
  5. Add the tofu and gently saute it for five minutes, making sure to cover it in the olive oil and spices.

 

You have to press the tofu before you cook it to get a really solid tofu scramble. I place the tofu between two plates, and put a heavy book on top of it. Then press it for about 30 min.

I’ve also noticed if you slice the tofu lengthwise into thinner pieces, you can drain more water from them.

Then comes the fun part of smashing the tofu with a fork until it’s reached a “scrambled” texture.

Chop the onions and red pepper.

Heat your olive oil in a In a skillet over medium-low heat. Once it’s warm, toss in your onions, red peppers, and spices, mixing them together. Sautee for about 5 minutes until they start to soften and the onions turn clear.

Then add the tofu and gently saute it for five minutes, making sure to cover it in the olive oil and spices. Eat warm and serve with cheese or your favorite hot sauce. This dish can last up to three days refrigerated. Let me know what you think! What are your favorite additions to tofu scramble?