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This past weekend I went on a little ski getaway with friends to Vermont- one of my favorite kinds of getaways, I really do love a good ski weekend. It was also my first time in the great state of VT. And let me tell you, it was exactly as I expected. Cue the jam bands and craft beer and boys with beards. And of course, beautiful wintery mountain scenery.

 We left Thursday night and drove in our beloved Subaru five hours north to Stratton Mountain, in the southeast corner of Vermont, a couple hours north east of Albany, NY. A very cute and quaint ski town with excellent slopes and 6-chairs a plenty. A little less resort-y than a place like Killington. Unlike the drought-ridden west coast, the Northeast has had quite the heavy hand of snow this year. I spent a lot of time with my snowboard in the trees with the boys, enjoying the powder.

We rented a great early 80s decorated tricked out ski chalet close to the mountain. Pro-tip: If you ever decide to own your own ski chalet, I highly recommend you install a sauna. Seriously clutch. The house we rented had one, and I spent hours in there with the girls, sweating out my toxins and drinking wine. All good for the soul. Also, our ski house has hilarious bubble windows. Kind of amazing. Sharing with you here some fun photos.

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Because a ski house in Vermont seemed like a perfect setting for some craft beer tasting, I brought along a special treat of a case of DuClaw’s Naked Fish chocolate raspberry stout. If you’ve never had chocolate stout before and you are a chocolate lover- you should really try it as a treat. This one is particularly milkshakey with sophisticated layering of flavors. DuClaw incorporates gourmet chocolate raspberry coffee into the grain bill. It was inspired by DuClaw Brewmaster Jim Wagner’s hot cups of raspberry coffee while hanging out at a favorite fishing hole. I’ve heard before that chocolate stout can be incorporated into baking and desert making for creative flavor and this beer inspired me a little. I am sharing with you here a beer tiramisu that I think would be a great easy and fast Valentine’s day weekend boozy treat- especially for sharing with a beer-loving partner. A classic tiramisu (Giada’s recipe here) is made with rum and espresso, and chocolate of course. You can substitute the rum for a stout beer or just add the beer to it (I chose a recipe using the latter).

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::Chocolate ‘Beeramisu'::

6 large egg yolks, room temp

½ cup + ¼ cup sugar

16 oz mascarpone cheese

4 large egg whites

2 oz dark rum

2 packages ladyfingers

12 oz chocolate stout such as DuClaw Naked Fish chocolate and raspberry stout

½ cup espresso

Bittersweet chocolate for shaving

9″ x 9″ baking pan OR individual mason jars as pictured above

  • In a baking pan arrange ladyfingers in a single layer to completely cover the bottom. You may need to cut them so they fit tightly. Repeat for a second layer of ladyfingers. Remove from pan and set aside (this step is to prep the ladyfingers for later layering). Follow same step for small individual mason jars.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in mascarpone a third at a time, whisking to combine. Add rum and whisk it in.
  • Using an electric or stand mixer beat egg whites and ¼ cup of sugar to soft peaks. Fold gently into the mascarpone mixture a third at a time.
  • In the baking pan spread a quarter of the mixture to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Combine beer and coffee in a bowl. Working quickly, dunk each ladyfinger into the beer & coffee mixture and arrange in a tight layer over the mascarpone mixture in the pan. When layer is complete, spread half of the remaining mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with the second layer of ladyfingers (dunking and layering tightly) and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.
  • Cover with aluminum and let set refrigerated for 24 hours. Top with grated or shaved bittersweet chocolate. Enjoy! ♥

*recipe source

*beeramisu picture source (+slightly different simplified recipe)

DuClaw Brewing Company is a leading craft brewery founded in 1996 based in Baltimore, Maryland. Naked Fish is currently available in 12 and 22 oz. bottles in stores across Maryland, DC, Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. It’s also available on tap at DuClaw brewpubs and in other select bars and eateries.

*this post was sponsored by DuClaw Brewing Company- however all opinions are my own. Especially my feelings about beeramisu. Thank you for supporting and reading ‘the wondergirl’


moon phases

{my phases of the moon calendar}

It’s officially November… which means a couple of things around these parts. One – winter is coming: case in point- Boston got snow today (!). The holiday season is upon us (already!), and also, mercury has come out of retrograde – and we won’t have another incident of that in 2014. Whew. We also got a New Moon this past week in the house of Scorpio – ruler of transformation  and associated with control, dominance and intensity. You may know from this earlier post that I am big on the power and magic of a New Moon- new beginnings and very charged energy, due to the fact that the sun and moon sit in the same astrological house. We are literally starting this month with a clean slate and a forward moving motion – which feels so good.

In addition, on Thursday we have a Full Moon in the house of Taurus – which is the corresponding moon to the New Moon of April (which I talked about here). This energy will be the physical manifestation of the energy we put out during that New Moon – which I know felt like was a formative time for me and had me thinking about some big ideas in life. I am already feeling it a little and I am interested to see it play out this week. Who knows, some major things may be ahead for me. This New Moon energy has me all excited for what’s to come.

I got cozy in my apartment this weekend after a week of celebrating Halloween (I was a witch – ‘The Craft’), and got out my blankets and space heaters and put away the fans until May. Tis that time of year. Also pretty excited about this extra hour of day/sleep… Happy November xx.

::New Moons are physically the first phase of the moon- followed by the first quarter, full moon and then third quarter. A new moon is when the moon orbits closest to the Sun as seen from Earth. During a new moon, the sun and the moon have the same ecliptical longitude (on the same side of Earth) and therefore the sun does not illuminate the moon, and it is not visible (except during solar eclipses)::


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It’s no secret the state of Pennsylvania has some really amazing history and culture. When my mom visited me this past week we decided to check something off of our PA bucket list and visit the Wyeth estate and museum about 45 minutes south east of the city. The Wyeth estate is the property of the Wyeth family, including their family home and the studios of father son artists, N.C. (Newell Convers, what a name) and Andrew. N.C. was an early 20th century realist painter and very successful illustrator, most famously for Treasure Island. Andrew was a realist and regionalist painter of the mid 20th century – his most famous work is arguably Christina’s World  (see below) which hangs in the MoMa in NYC. Andrew was the youngest of N.C.’s five children, all of whom were artistic- one musician- and grew up in the Wyeth home in Chadds Ford, PA. The beautiful river-front museum that is on the property includes many works by N.C., Andrew, Andrew’s son Jamie and other artists of the Brandywine River Valley. We took a tour of the home as well as N.C.’s little white studio up the hill from the house. The studio was filled with easels and many objects he used as models for this illustrations and paintings – really fascinating. If you are in the Philadelphia area, I highly recommend the trip, as it was so interesting and very, very scenic, especially in the fall.

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