As the temperature increases, so, too, does the need for beer Friday seem to increase. John and I have each been trying to finish a couple of academic projects before Dave and Carla arrive this week, and so Beer Friday is a great incentive to keep writing all week long.

This week for Beer Friday, John tried a Great Lakes Brewing Co., Burning River IPA, while I stuck to one of my favorites, the Harpoon UFO. I tried some of the IPA, and it was really nice! Kind of fruity compared to others. I would definitely order that or buy it again, given the chance.

We drank those while making pizza dough and prepping for this recipe: Grilled Flatbread Pizzas from the PPK, with a creamy scallion and red pepper spread. Delicious! They were a complete success, although storing the leftovers was a bit of a challenge. We both just ended up eating the greens off the leftover pies and storing them with only the spread on top.

We had some extra spread, and it went well with sliced cucumber.

After dinner, John and I split a Southern Tier, Double Milk Stout. Normally I'm not a stouty person, but this was really tasty - especially with a little frozen chocolate-peanut-butter-banana bite that I made (a subject for another post). The chocolate and the stout were perfect together. This beer has actual milk sugar in it, so it's a bit sweeter than other dark beers I've had. I'm hoping that it could be a gateway to more stouts in my future.

The other highlight since our trip to Ann Arbor is that I finally got around to planting my herb garden! Left to right: dill, lemon basil, thyme, and rosemary. I'm still planning on adding regular basil and mint, and maybe sage, to a planter on the other side of the patio. That's part of a larger Clean-Up-The-Patio project that I'm about to undertake, pictures to follow.

Besides the herbs, I also bought this tomato plant. When I look at it, I don't see a plant - I see salsa. And caprese salads. And jarred sauce. This little guy will probably only produce a few tomatoes, so I'm trying not to let my expectations get out of control. But it's a fun new experiment, and if we get a few tomatoes out of it, I'll be happy.

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