Archive for February, 2016

A Firearm Themed Weekend

By From • Feb 29th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

The last weekend in February saw a wide swing in the temperature from day to day, and was also filled with opportunity to enjoy time on the range. Given that the first weekend in March may bring more snow to the area, these days were most welcome.On Sa…

Flounder Mediterranean

By From • Feb 28th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local
Determined to find a new recipe that gave our fish dinner a different but delicious twist, I was happy to discover this one. Great mediterranean flavors give this flounder dish a big taste!


– 1 Roma (plum) tomato, diced
– 8 olives, cut in half
– 1 tsp. capers, diced
– 1 tsp. lemon juice
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 1/8 tsp. pepper
– 1/4 tsp. parsley flakes
– 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
– 1 green onion, diced
– 1 clove of garlic, minced
– 1/4 cup dry white wine
– 2, 4 oz. flounder fillets
– 1 Tbs flour, divided
– salt and pepper
– 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil leaves 

In a medium bowl, add tomatoes, olives, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parsley flakes, Combine and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic for a 2 minutes. Stir in tomato mixture and heat for 1 minute. Add white wine and heat to boiling; reduce heat and a simmer until some of the liquid has reduced (by about 1/4). Transfer mixture to a bowl. Using the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Dust each side of the flounder with flour and season with salt and pepper. Place flounder in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Return tomato mixture to the skillet, add basil, and cook until heated through. Enjoy! If you’d like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

“Time heals nothing unless you move along with it.” – Anonymous

Tin Cannon Brewing

By From • Feb 28th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

We’ve been wanting to pay a visit to Tin Cannon Brewing in Gainesville, VA for quite some time, but have just never been able to make the trip. This weekend, lured by the release of their Big Pun Barleywine, we finally made it out.

After a fun morning at the range, we arrived at the busy brewpub mid-afternoon and grabbed a couple seats at the bar. There were 10 beers in tap, but we both started with half pints of Big Pun. This big beer checks in at an amazing 11.5% ABV, with a reddish-brown color and thin white head. The aroma is dark fruit and caramel. The rich flavor of dark fruit and mild sweetness is prevalent, owing to the addition of raisins during fermentation. A bitter citrus hoppiness moderates the sweetness creating a well-balanced flavor profile for such a big beer. The alcohol level is well-masked.

After grabbing some “loaded” fries from the food truck out back, we tried some of the other Tin Cannon beers. I ordered a Busted Pipe Black IPA to try next, and it was an excellent choice. The strong bitter hop flavor was somewhat surprising at first — the initial impression was likely influenced by the smooth caramel and dark fruit sweetness of the previous beer. By the second or third sip I was thoroughly enjoying the beer. This is probably one of the most richly flavored Black IPAs I recall having. The persistent off white head led to attractive lacing on the glass, from top to bottom.

Colleen selected Honey, We’re On A Date Belgian-style Wheat as her second beer. The inclusion of dates in the brewing process gives this Wheat beer it’s uniqueness. The dark fruit addition is muted but comes through in the finish.
By this time we were quite impressed with the beers at Tin Cannon. We had also happily noted that the brewpub offers its beers on both pint and half pint servings. This is something we’ve lamented the lack of at many other breweries we’ve visited over the years. In my opinion there no reason for a brewpub or “craft beer bar” to not offer the smaller serving size. Given the half-pint option, we decided to try another Tin Cannon selection.
The description of the Chocolate Covered Raspberry Stout was intriguing, but also gave us some trepidation. I’ve tried some other “fruited” Stouts in the past that were much too cloying and syrupy, Robitussin® Stouts is my name for such ales. But we had been pleased so far with the beers we had tried. Colleen noted specifically the raisin addition to Big Pun as a proper use of fruit, so we grabbed a final half pint of the Raspberry Stout. 
The aroma was just as the name suggested, chocolate covered raspberry, and the flavor carried on the theme perfectly. Dark bitter chocolate with an undertone of sweet raspberries, fruit not syrup, made for an enjoyable “dessert” for our tasting exploration.
We found the beers at Tin Cannon to be extremely well done and quite tasty. The service was friendly and attentive as well. I found it interesting though not disappointing, that at this time anyway, the ubiquitous Pale Ale and IPA was not part of the offerings. Tin Cannon is brewing beers that are adventurous and approachable at the same time. There were six beers still left untried, but that’s something for another visit, a visit we hope to make in the near future.

[ This content originated at Musings Over a Pint ]

Salmon in Smoky Tomato Sauce

By From • Feb 27th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

This delicate tomato sauce is the perfect base for cooked-to-perfection succulent salmon. An easy recipe to keep on hand for last-minute company or just a fantastic meal for your family. Ingredients:- 1 can Campbell’s tomato soup- 1/4 cup chi…

Weekly Indoor Range Outing

By From • Feb 26th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

After a less than stellar performance at last weekend’s IDPA match, I was looking forward to getting to the range and confirming I could still pull the trigger with some success. Setting the target at distances between 10 and 20 yards and moving it aro…

Spencer Devon Winter Pale Ale

By From • Feb 25th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

Until last weekend, we hadn’t visited Spencer Devon Brewing in a few months. When we got back to the brew pub last weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were a number of new beers on tap. I was sorely tempted by a couple of the high ABV offerings, the Hush Hush Double IPA and The Chimneys Wee Heavy descriptions were particularly tempting. In the end I opted for the Fall Line Winter Pale Ale.

The Fall Line Winter Pale Ale came out bright, clear and with minimal head. The aroma is that of pine and citrus. The flavor is bitter citrus rind with resinous pine and tropical fruit. The beer is nicely balanced and leaves a mild, short-lived bitterness behind. At a very reasonable 5% ABV it hit the spot just right on a Sunday afternoon. So right in fact that I had another to go with my lunch.

Not only were there new beers on the menu, but several interesting food dishes were new as well. We started with a shared appetizer of Poutine; house-cut fries topped with Rocko’s Milk Stout gravy and cheese curds. After that I ordered a “Hot Brown.” This is an open faced sandwich of braised pork, oven-roasted tomato, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese sauce, and a fried egg served on toast.

Piled high with braised pork and bacon, this brunch menu item was a belly-buster for sure. Every ingredient, pork, bacon, cheese, tomato and egg provided its own flavorful contribution to the platter. It was far from a “light” meal, but I enjoyed it thoroughly, right down to scraping the last bits of cheese off the plate with my finger.

As usual, we had a good time a Spencer Devon. The beers are always good and the food menu boasts flavorful accompaniments to the fine ales.

[ This content originated at Musings Over a Pint ]

That’s a Mug, Not a Stein

By From • Feb 24th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

Okay, semantics.A few weeks ago I received an email solicitation from the SIG Sauer store for a J.P. Sauer & Sohn Beer Stein. I’m an unabashed SIG fan and a beer lover, but I resisted ordering the swag. For a while.When the package arrived, I …

Flying Dog HBC-291

By From • Feb 24th, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

After a fun but frustrating IDPA match Saturday, I looked to improve the day by watching a movie with my lovely wife and sipping on a strong beer. I knew I had a sample of Flying Dog Single Hop HBC-291 Imperial IPA in the fridge. Having had a number of the brewery’s Single Hop beers in the past, I assumed it would be another mouth and mind numbing beverage — just the ticket for that Saturday evening. I hadn’t even planned to spend time making notes for a review, until I took a sip. Then I grabbed a quick photo and paid more attention.

Single Hop NBC-291 pours a bright orange color with a similarly bright white head. Somewhat floral, the aroma has notes of citrus, tropical fruit and caramel. The flavor is mildly sweet but not syrupy; I expected more cloying syrup. The caramel sweetness is joined by mild citrus fruit, backed up by an earthy tone.

I was surprised by this beer. It was less jarring than previous offerings in the Single Hop series. Previous ales in the series checked in at a noticeable 10% ABV. At a comparatively mild 8% ABV, HBC-291 was a surprising, though not at all disappointing offering. When my glass was empty I was somewhat dismayed to not have another bottle standing by.

This bottle of tasty brew was an unsolicited review sample from the brewery. The drinking was done of my own free will.

[ This content originated at Musings Over a Pint ]

Baked Apricot Chicken

By From • Feb 23rd, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

Sweet and savory are the best ways to describe this succulent chicken dish. Turn a simple chicken dish into a winning dish with just four ingredients! Two thumbs up!Ingredients:- 2, 6 oz. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless- 1/2 cup apricot preserves- …

February Rivanna IDPA Match

By From • Feb 23rd, 2016 • Category: Blog Entries.Local

For a day in February, Saturday morning was surprisingly warm and sunny. Seventy shooters took advantage of the warm weather to come out for the February IDPA match at Rivanna Rifle and Pistol club. The grounds were wet and exceptionally muddy, which c…