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PINWhen the sun starts to shine (any day now) there’s nothing better than a great micro-brew. I’m lucky enough to have a beer brewing husband who works for one of the best breweries in the Gorge. Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom is located in downtown Hood River, Oregon and serves up some of the most amazing beer in all of Oregon and Washington. This summer I’m really into these beers…

VAPORIZER // Dry-Hopped Pale Ale
Featuring nothing but Challenger hops from the Yakima Valley and our house Pilsner malt from British Columbia, The Vaporizer is light-colored, alluringly hoppy and supremely tasty.

HOP LAVA // IPA
This big, glowing, powerful IPA is packed with copious amounts of Northwest hops. The considerable hop flavor is balanced with a sturdy backbone of malty goodness.

HONEY BADGER // IPA
Honey Badger don’t care! But you will. Double Mountain brewer Greg Balch designed this beautiful brew, comprised of IRA wort and blackberry honey from Queen Bee Apiaries. Fermented with a French wine yeast from Burgundy, which lends its own unique flavors. It’s a rich and luxurious beverage.

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On Saturday Christiaan of Henni’s Kitchen and Bar White Salmon hosted a fantastic event to save the White Salmon pool. Just $5 got you a plate of great food prepared by Christaan and his team. The weather was absolutely perfect, and everyone was out enjoying the day, the wine from Viento and Domaine Pouillon, the beer from Everybody’s Brewing, the food, the music, and the games. It was a great way to celebrate on Father’s Day weekend.

I went over early in the morning just in time to capture the guys getting the pig into the smoker. It was quite a feat. Then, I came back in the late afternoon to enjoy the event and snap photos….

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I love First Fridays in Hood River. It’s so much fun to pack up and spend a couple of hours enjoying the busy downtown seen. My favorite thing to do on First Friday is to pay a visit to Mike’s Ice Cream. The first summer we lived here I got ice cream almost every single day! Mike’s is always really busy on first Friday but there’s something fun about waiting in line, ordering your favorite flavor, and sitting outside the Ruddy Duck, enjoying your ice cream cone with kids and friends. My daughter is pretty new to Mike’s Ice Cream and I got her a baby baby scoop, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

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Even if it’s rainy and dreary today it was so nice to have such a beautiful summer First Friday! Did you come downtown? What did you do… and more importantly, where did you eat?

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My newest listing on the resource pages is for AniChe Cellars. My friend who works there invited me up for a tasting and I zipped up into Underwood this weekend to check it out…

The tasting room is nestled between two little hills in a converted barn. The atmosphere is cozy and laid back. They encourage you to come, hang out and relax on their patio with a nice glass of wine. The wines (which you can read more about on the Wine Page) are all designed to be paired with food, so each tasting is paired perfectly with a little bit of this or that… manchego and quince paste, salami and olives, dark chocolate, tomato tapenade, caviar and triple cream cheese. The food pairings change weekly.

I was so impressed with their wines. The whites and the reds were really delicious. I particularly loved the 2009 Moth Love red, a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache. All of the wines names come from literature… Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, Prodigal Summer to name a few. I love a literary reference (my daughter’s middle name is Bennet from Pride and Prejudice afterall), and I love wine. So… there you have it.

The view is spectacular, and they have honey bees! I really want a little hive of my own. I got to sneak a sample of this Rosé called Little Birds. It’s tart and really grapefruity and will be released in very limited quantity in June. I’m so glad I took the time to escape to AniChe and try their wines. If you haven’t been before, now’s the time to go.

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One of my favorite weekday treats is to escape from the housework, the computer work, and the homework, and have lunch at Knead Bakery. It’s the perfect place to meet up with a friend, with my Dad, or with Kyle, for a simple little lunch. I love to order a half sandwich and a bowl of soup… and, let’s be honest, quite often I treat myself to one of their fantastic pastries. I’m currently loving both the egg and chicken salad sandwiches, and I’m never disappointed by their soup of the day. Lunch at Knead is the perfect mid-week lunch. Don’t forget to take home a wonderfully fresh baguette too.

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