Archive for ‘Brews’

September 23, 2011

Beerly Made It to Friday

TGIF Y’all! Whew – it’s a good thing today’s Friday; I’m not sure I could put in one more day of work. I think everyone who put in their 40 this week deserves a pat on the back, or at least a beer… but that’s just my opinion.

In my WIAW post I said I was having raspberries in my protein oats all week, but I changed it up a bit. When I saw the farmer’s stand still had fresh, local peaches, I couldn’t help myself.

peaches n' whey [protein]

Awesomeness.

You know what else is awesome? These 2 beers I tried last weekend. I didn’t take notes, so instead of doing a full review on only 1, I decided to combine 2 mini reviews in 1 post.

Lagunitas A Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale

It’s a very hoppy ale that has the flavor of an IPA with a hint and backbone of a wheat. It’s a hybrid of sorts. No matter the official label, I call it darn tasty!

sumpin sumpin

For months I looked all over town to get my hands on a six-pack or fresh pint of this. I finally got lucky at a specialty shop – though they only had 5 in stock. The shop charged $2.25 per bottle, so I only got 4. At 7.5% ABV, I guess I didn’t really need too much of this stuff anyway.

Post Road Pumpkin Ale

I think this one’s more of a C- or B-grade beer. I like the spice, but something about it just doesn’t seem authentic. (I have no better way of describing it.) Brooklyn Brewer’s Post Road is also too light on pumpkin flavor.

Post Road

Luckily, I enjoyed this beer while sitting around a fire pit with some friends. It was definitely the perfect context for the season’s first pumpkin brew.

Have you tried any new beers lately? What’s your favorite pumpkin brew?

PS: For those of you following my tweets, last night’s hair appointment was very relaxing!

book wine hair

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September 17, 2011

One Love, Some Sweat & A Beer

This all-over-the-place post covers love, sweat, and beers. How appropriate.

LOVE: As many regular readers already know, I love packages! They’re like presents, even if you order them for yourself. Presents from me, to me, are still presents!

I received Mama Pea’s book, Peas and Thank You from Sara and The Foodie Diaries yesterday. Thanks for sending that Sara! I can’t wait to test out some of the recipes. (I once made Mama Pea’s Tamale Pie, which I got from her blog, and it was amazing. I bet these are great too!)

peas and thank you

SWEAT: Here is a workout I did last week. It’s a 10-minute boot-camp style cardio routine. I did it twice in a row.

10-Minute At-Home Cardio

I made a video for it, but it’s dreadful. I posted this PDF (click the link above) that you can print. If you don’t know what the moves are and just can’t live another day without laughing at viewing my video, shoot me an email. I’ll email it or post a better version next Saturday.

BEER: I tried a new beer this week. Kevin and I went to a British restaurant, so I had a grilled chicken salad and an English beer. (I prefer to order my drinks in context.)

samuel smith

I got a Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. I give this beer a B, and let me briefly explain why.

porter

It is strong in toasted malts, and it also has a nice coffee flavor. I like to think of this as a pint of breakfast – toast n’ black coffee. It’s very smooth and relatively mild, but it still has a lot of flavor. On the other hand, it does not have that thick, milky like consistency – I’m thinking of Guinness here. It’s actually thinner with a little carbonation to it. Overall – I was very satisfied.

grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumbers, & beer

September 9, 2011

Beer n’ Food: Spent Grains

The comments from yesterday’s preppy post were really interesting. I’m surprised by the number of students who prep their meals. When I was a student, I usually had time to make a sandwich at my apartment or visit the dining hall between classes. I wish I still had access to an all-day, every-day salad bar with pre-cut, pre-washed veggies that wouldn’t spoil in my fridge. (Ahhhh, the things we take for granted…)

Today’s post is a hybrid of sorts. It’s about food, and it’s about beer. What’s not to love?

I want to shed light on spent grain. Spent grain is the leftover goo in the mash-kettle after being separated from the wort. Wort goes on to make the really good stuff (beer).

After separation, the spent grains are a “mixture of barley grain husk, pericarp and fragments of endosperm. The chemical composition of [spent grain] is dependent on the barley variety, harvest time and mashing conditions.” If you want to know more, check out Hydrolysis of Brewers’ Spent Grain by Carbohydrate Degrading Enzymes, which is the source of that info.

 

Brooklyn Brewery Grains

As you know, I’m the queen of leftovers, and there are plenty of ways to reuse these babies.

cow

Sweetwater Brew

I usually prefer to talk about beer and food as it relates to cooking with beer or complimentary pairings, but I hope you enjoyed this unique blend of the two.

  • Would you try cookies/bread/bars made with spent grains?
  • If you plan on drinking a beer (or two) this weekend, which will you be enjoying?
September 2, 2011

Fall for Friday

Is anyone else fall-crazy? I am usually bonkers by now, but I’ve had so much fun this summer that I haven’t paid fall much attention, which is probably a good thing for my sanity. Now that football season is upon us, I cannot help but think about awesome autumn.

I thought a fall-inspired post would make for a fun Friday read, so here are some autumn things that I adore.

1. I love squash. I can’t wait to bake/roast a delicious acorn squash again, and don’t even get me started on pumpkins!

Source: Image from Pinterest

2. Fall Foliage! I guess that’s a no-brainer, but they’re just so beautiful. Kevin and I enjoy fall getaways, and I’m already excited about this year’s adventure. It includes hiking!

3. Halloween décor makes me smile. Isn’t it fun to decorate and remember all those years of trick or treating?

Source: Image from Pinterest (I think it’s originally from BHG)

4. Pumpkin beers are on the shelves! Actually, my favorite seasonal beers are ales and Oktoberfests, but pumpkin brews sure are fun, aren’t they?

5. Last but not least, it’s time for some footbaaaaaaall! Bring on the grills, the tailgates, the beers, the first downs, and the orange!

Are you fanatical about fall? If so, what autumn awesomeness excites you the most?

By the way… last night’s dinner was truly a dinner of champions… champion beer drinkers, that is.

TJ’s Masala Veggie Burger (newly discovered product that I adore!) with a whole wheat pita, lettuce, and a Paulaner Hefe. So much flavor!

August 13, 2011

Super Lazy Saturday

It’s Saturday, and I’m feeling lazy as ever.  It’s 7:45, and I’m still in my pajamas.  Luckily they’re my favorite pajamas, and I’m getting a little kitty lovin’ while blogging.  It was a rainy morning, and even though the rain stopped, I still can’t seem to get my butt to the gym. Yeah, I’ll get there, must maybe about 30 minutes later than anticipated.

I want to thank everyone for you open-minded comments on yesterday’s post.  The vegetarian/ vegan/ pescetarian/ whatevertarian debate hits close to home for a lot of us, and I’m happy you accept me for being a human garbage disposal.  Seriously – I eat (and generally enjoy) just about everything.

In case you too are having a lazy Saturday, here are some links to keep you busy… well, busy doing basically nothing, that is.

Lastly, I wanted to share a book with you all.  I finished The Poacher’s Son yesterday.  It was a fast and very entertaining read.  I thoroughly recommend it.

The Poacher's Son

Have a good weekend!

August 5, 2011

Calci-yum

Hello!  I have the day off from work, but I’ll still be pretty productive.  I have 3 doctor appointments today.  (Well, technically 1 is a dentist appointment.)  Today I get to see the podiatrist.  Hopefully I’ll get all my foot issues fixed.  Cross your fingers for me!

Now it’s time for the topic of the day, calci-yum.  I threw the “yum” in there because 1) I’m a dork and 2) getting calcium can be delicious.  In my One Hot Mess of a post, I mentioned that one of my goals is to actually take my calcium supplements instead of habitually ignoring the bottle on my vanity.  Some of you mentioned that you wouldn’t mind a special calcium-devoted post, so here it is.

milk n' almond milk

According to WebMD, our bodies need calcium because it helps to strengthen bones and prevent certain cancers.  In addition, Prevention magazine states that calcium and vitamin D can also help ward off type-2 diabetes.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that calcium can also help with weight maintenance; WebMD explains how.  Here’s the NIH table of calcium requirements:

calcium

We know we need it, here are a few examples from the Milk Matters campaign explaining how to get it.

  • 1 cup of milk = 300 mg and calories vary depending on type
  • 1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt = 425 mg (note: most yogurt doesn’t come in 1-cup containers) and 127 calories
  • 1 cup cooked soybeans = 285 mg and 175 calories
  • 1 medium stalk of broccoli = 180 mg and 106 calories
  • 1/2 cup spinach (cooked from frozen) = 139 mg and 27 calories

milk v almond milk

Keep in mind that the body can only take in about 500 mg of calcium at once, so don’t spend get it all in one place.

Of course, you can always pop a pill.  One WebMD article says that the type of calcium you take does not matter, so you can just opt for the cheaper one.  Getting one with vitamin D is often helpful though, since vitamin D helps calcium absorption.  (Most doctors recommend taking supplement with food to promote absorption, but the Dairy Council says veggies and grains can inhibit absorption… hmmmm???)  My doctor recommended Citracal, so that’s what I take.  Luckily, they have coupons on their website right now.

There’s more to it than popping a pill or eating yogurt.  For extra bone health, bone-up on your vitamin D, and include weight bearing exercises in your fitness routine.  (Woohoo!  All my years of playing soccer helped my bones!)  WebMD also gives us the less fun info: limit sodas, antacids, caffeine, excessive alcohol, excessive sodium, and excessive red meat.

******

Oh, and by the way, I was going to swim some laps today at the gym, but I’m just not feeling it.  I stayed up too late, and although I’m up early now, I think I’d rather just go tomorrow.  I’ll probably do some pilates later before lunch instead.

So why was I up late???  IPA Day of course!  Here’s what I did: beer shop with drinks and dinner, then a friend’s house to celebrate the occasion.

montage of beer

Do you take a calcium supplement?  Did you celebrate IPA Day?

August 4, 2011

IPA Day

Happy IPA Day! Head over to BeerWench for more info!  For those who didn’t know, there are different styles of IPA, but my favorites are the American ones. By design, American IPAs usually have more hop and herbal flavor, but be careful since they often contain more alcohol as well. In honor of IPA day, I’d like to do a special post on the relationship between beer and health.

IPA Day

First and foremost, I’m not one to say beer is or isn’t healthy. It’s all about moderation, and I’m no dietitian. You have probably seen articles on beer’s health benefits, most of them appearing around St. Patty’s day or Oktoberfest. Even though the topic is “beer,” these studies are more like shot of tequila – best when taken with a grain of salt.

beer

Some studies claim that that one or two beers a day can significantly lower blood pressure, and I can sort of see how relaxing and enjoying a good brew can be a healthy stress reliever. In my opinion, beers happen to go down much easier than a dose of asprin. I have also read a number of times that…

  • Beer can help with bone density, especially IPAs due to their silicon levels
  • A brew after physical exertion helps prevent sore muscles
  • Some types of beer can be thought of as a complex carbohydrates (kind of a stretch)

On the other hand… no researcher can deny that all forms of alcohol impair judgment, make your liver work overtime, and make you think ordering a pizza at 3 a.m. is the best idea you’ve ever had. See more dangers of alcohol at this Active.com article.

Stone IPA

Tons of studies have found that a daily glass of wine or piece of chocolate is good for you, and I’m not disparaging those claims either. You have to admit; publications that print/post this stuff are telling people what they want to hear, but I don’t blame them. People eat this up like nachos (Think that’s not a good comparison? You just haven’t seen me devour good nachos.)

cashew un-cheeze sauce

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I consider my beer-drinking ways to be healthy, but my pints are part of a healthy life that’s sprinkled with good times, indulgences, and occasional trips to the bar.

  • Self Magazine explains a number of ways beer can be healthy.  For instance, Self says hops have polyphenols, which lower bad cholesterol.
  • Draft Magazine’s “Beer Runner” explains how beer can be good for runners in one or more of his blog posts.
  • Men’s Health Magazine talks about how beers can boost your metabolism.  (How much did they pay a researcher to say that??? Lolz)

Will you be celebrating IPA Day?  What’s your favorite food/beverage day?

July 22, 2011

Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest

It’s Friday!  I bet you already knew that, but I just like saying it.  I don’t have to work today (thank goodness), so I plan to paint cabinets in the guest bathroom, go to spin class at 9:30, pick up and put down some heavy things numerous times, and then return to paint a second coat.  I’m pretty pumped, actually.

I’m also still happy thinking about the awesome beer I had last night.  I first tried it at a beer festival; then I was never able to find it.  Two years ago, I found it at a teeny beer shop in Maryland.  Finally!  It was delicious.  I hadn’t been able to find it since… until now.  <– Yeah, that part is best when said in your best movie announcer voice.

good

beer gods have spoken - "this is good"

It’s Sierra Nevada’s Northern Hemisphere Harvest, and it’s popping up everywhere.  Woohoo!  The beer scored a 99 on RateBeer.com and received an A- on Beer Advocate.  Clearly it gets an A+ in my book!  It’s an IPA with 6.7% ABV.  Watch out – it’ll getcha if you drink too many.  It’s an IPA, but it could probably pass as an APA if it really wanted to do so.

Appearance: It has a beautiful amber color.  There is a thin lacy head that lingers like nobody’s business.

Smell: The beer smells of hops and light citrus, but there’s not a huge kick of either grapefruit or clove.  It’s a blend of fragrances.

Taste: It’s bitter.  It starts bitter and ends bitter.  However, the flavor-to-bitter ratio (a useful guide I devised for myself) is perfectly balanced.  It’s not like those beers that are bitter for the sake of bitter.  No, this dog has bite to match the bark.  It is also heavy in both malt and hops flavor.  The malt is more caramel – not overly roasted.

Mouthfeel: Ummmm… wonderful?  Not descriptive enough?  Okay – it is moderate to high in carbonation, but not overdone.  It’s also very smooth.

Drinkability: It’s so drinkable that even Kevin and I agree about its greatness.  Crazy.

beer

This was worth natural light; too bad my best camera is on my cell phone.

This beer was the perfect appetizer for my dinner – turkey burgers with baked sweet potato fries and a grilled mushroom cap.  I was going to have the ‘shroom instead of a bun, but I caved and went for the carbs.  At least it was wheat, right?  Of course, I also had some ice cream for dessert.

Have a great weekend everyone!

July 12, 2011

Belated Weekend Recap

I know that weekend recaps usually occur on Mondays, but this one is a little behind.  I really wanted to post my new workout the very same day I started it. 

As you probably know, Kevin and I hosted company this weekend.  I didn’t get to try any of our visitor’s home brews, but he left a few for Kevin and I in the fridge.  Yawhooo!  If you all ready Saturday’s post, you know there’s another timebomb in my fridge.  It’s crazy, but I didn’t get into that either even though it’s my favorite beer.

So what did I do?  I’ll show you through a lens.  Naturally, the pics focus on the food and drink of the weekend, but I don’t think you really want pictures of me grocery shopping and cleaning my house.  Didn’t think so…

On Saturday, we went here:

brewery

The local brewery also offers some food in their taproom, so the guys ate lunch there.  I, on the other hand, checked the menu online before we left and saw no healthy options, so I enjoyed a pb n’ jelly sandwich on the way.

peeb sammich

The guys got one of these.  Normally I’d be jealous, but I was happy with my brew.

brat

I was driving, so my portions were more like this.

mr & mrs beer

On the way home, we stopped by here and got these.  I’m not even a fan of buffalo blue cheese chips, but I had a couple anyway.  Fail. 

buffalo blue cheese chips

We stopped by a beer store on the way home, and Kevin picked up a six pack.  I wanted a pack of non-alcoholic beer, but the shop didn’t have any that was cold.  Bummer.  I stuck to water until dinner.

Speaking of dinner – the picture says it all.

bronx bomber pizza

*** I totally switched gears Sunday, and my heart/kidneys/liver thanked me. ***

I ate TJs raisin bran for breakfast with almond milk and black coffee.  I cleaned all day, except for when I took a trip to TJs.  My body was tired, and my feet were hurting!

Kevin and I both had grilled eggplant, grilled onion, spinach, and hummus pressed in a wrap for lunch.  (Not Pictured)  It was so tasty I made mini ones after without the wrap.  Aren’t they cute!?!

snackums

For dinner, I made scallops for the first time.  Scallops, grilled eggplant, red onion, orange bell pepper, and of course, olive oil.  It was totally fusion and totally rockin.  I served Kevin brown rice with his.  Oh, and we split a mango for an appetizer.

scallopsThis was so good!  I cooked the rest of the scallops again last night, but I served them with the rest of the black beans, brown rice, spinach, onions, lime, and cilantro.  I put the cilantro with most of the spinach and the juice of half a lime in the food processor so that it would mix well with the beans n’ rice.  Another interesting dish.

cilantro scallops

Have you made up any odd/unique/fusion meals lately?

July 1, 2011

Beach, Beer, and Bikini

Today started out with a good workout and another parfait.  Those two things help make for a good morning.  Then again, how could a Friday not start off well?  Actually, don’t answer that; we’re focusing on positives here.

One positive is that it’s going to be a long weekend, thanks to Independence Day.  My office lets out a few hours early the day before long weekends, so that’s another positive.  A third positive is that I’m going to the beach this weekend.

beach

Beach Flashback Pics

I’m pretty excited for the three B’s: beach, beer, and bikini.

Speaking of beer, I’d like to do a quick brew review for you.  This is one of Kevin’s favorite beers, and I’m a big fan myself.  I got to enjoy it last weekend, and in doing so, I took both notes and pictures.  I’m such a good blogger.

Smuttynose IPA

First and foremost, this is an awesome label for a bottle.  Okay, now let’s get down to business.

beer

Appearance

It’s a light color for an IPA, and it has a nice golden tint.  As you can see, this is an unfiltered beer.  That’s one of the reasons why Kev and I love it.  After a bottle pour, you can see a very thin head.  It’s a nice lingering lace, but nothing much.

beer

Smell

I didn’t take many notes on the smell, probably because it was not all that aromatic.  I guess that’s better than smelling funky though, right?

Taste

This beer tastes of citrus, and it’s so refreshing!  By IPA standards, it’s not that bitter, but it has a little bite.  There’s also that hoppy flavor I love, as well as a hint of pine.  It’s not a light beer, clocking in a 6.9% ABV, but the alcohol content is not overpowering.  Thank goodness!

Mouthfeel

Despite the cloudiness, there is not a thick feel to this.  You you notice the smooth richness, not a heavy thickness.  It is moderate in carbonation.

Overall

Overall, I like it.  I know I already said that, but now it’s official.  It’s hard to switch from this to another IPA since this one is quite unique.  If you order one, stop there or stick with it!  This brew earned an A- from the Beer Advocate Community but an A+ from “The Bros” at Beer Advocate.

beer3

Here’s a link from the Women of Craft Beer.  The ladies give 3 suggestions for Independence Day brews to enjoy during your festivities.

I have a cookout to attend at the neighbor’s house on Monday when I return from the beach.  I don’t think I’ll have any beer, but maybe I’ll bring some of my Food Should Taste Good chips to share.  I’d like to share some with you too, so enter my giveaway!

What are your plans for the weekend?  Will you be firing up the grill?

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