Posts tagged ‘brew’

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

Stumble It!

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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?
August 17, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: Simple Eats

I know today is “What I Ate Wednesday,” but I have to share a wee bit about yesterday.  I swam laps in the morning, and that made me sooooo hungry and tired for the rest of the day.

Speaking of tired, I got the kitties new toys last night, so we played like champs.  Leia was totally tuckered out by bedtime.

Okay, now on with the eats…

Breakfast this week includes half a banana before my workout, then 100 calories of oats + 80 calories of protein, and the other half of the banana once I get to the office.  Soooo hungry by the time I get there!

recycled pic

Lunch is boring but wonderful.  No new veggie bowl recipes this week!  It’s a turkey wrap with lettuce, mustard, and leftover shredded carrots.  I pair that with tart, green grapes.

it's a wrap

Snack has been good, but it was too small Monday and Tuesday.  I had carrots with 1.5 servings of hummus.  I am bringing a couple extra crackers for the other days this week.

Sorry – no snack pics.  Then again, do you really need more photographs of yummus?  I think probably not.

Dinner has been excellent.  I’m the queen of simple meals, and Monday’s was pretty much perfect.

Dessert included two graham crackers (not pictured).   Tuesday’s dinner wasn’t bad either…

Of course, cooking meat for dinner draws extra attention to the dinner table.

table shark

I promise I don’t drink a beer every night with dinner.  It’s actually very rare that I drink mid-week at all, but these were just hitting the spot.  Plus, they’ve been in my fridge for months, and I’m sick of looking at them.

What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently?  Do you think other people’s eats are interesting? 

I like checking out other people’s healthy meal ideas.  Check out all the great eats at Peas and Crayons’ weekly WIAW post:

August 15, 2011

A Weekend of Pictures

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was too short, but it was good. I had a very relaxed Friday, but Saturday was a bit more eventful.

I worked out, baked, bought shoes, and enjoyed a date night with the mister. For my workout, I continued the Vacation Countdown plan from last week. I wish I were actually using it to count down to a vacation! I also did 45 very sweaty minutes of cardio on the stationary bike.

I felt a bit sore Sunday from all that leg work, but it wasn’t too bad. It’s good to feel the burn!

I’m glad I worked so hard at the gym, I needed to pre-burn Saturday’s snack. I know frozen yogurt is trendy right now, and while I don’t deny it’s yum-ness, I have to confess that I prefer good ole’ fashion ice cream.

This one’s got peanut butter and brownie bits inside. I couldn’t think of a better combo if I tried! Here’s a random fact about me, one of my favorite smells in the whole world is the smell of an ice cream parlor. I consider it a comfort smell; it brings back memories – and usually means I’m about to get ice cream!

Although they probably should have, the indulgences didn’t stop there. Kev and I had a great date night. With dinner, I enjoyed a Wolf Hill Brewing Co Trooper’s Alley IPA (say that five times fast) with my steak.

Sadly, the filet was over cooked and dry, but at least the beer was good! The restaurant got all their meat from local farms. Sweet.

We weren’t ready to end the night just yet, so we went for a nightcap at a different lounge/restaurant/bar/thing. I had a really awesome wine (not a great beer selection), and Kev got scotch. For the wine-o readers out there, I had a glass of Edge Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.

I detoxed a bit last night with a side salad and veggie wrap. The wrap had hummus, spinach, kalamata olives, grilled onion, and grilled red pepper.

Yes, it was as awesome as it looks! I think it even tasted better than my dry steak from Saturday, but don’t tell Kevin that. 😉

What was the best thing you did/drank/ate this 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 30, 2011

Guest Post @ Learning Patience

Hurray for Saturday! I’m actually out of town this weekend, but you can still read my jibberish over at Learning Patience. When Corey asked me to write a guest post, I gladly accepted.

Learning Patience

It’s my first guest post, and it’s a brew review (yes, she said she was totally cool with that). I recommend you go check it out on her blog.

If that’s not quite enough for you, here’s a silly article about the 10 Most Unloved Foods in America. I have to admit, I really like some of them. The ones I actually enjoy are eggplant, blue cheese, okra, Brussels sprouts, Lima beans, hard boiled eggs, and occasionally beets and sardines. I’ve never actually eaten a whole sardine, but those things are pretty darn good in Ceasar dressing! 8/10 ain’t bad!

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 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?

June 8, 2011

Highland Brewing Beer Dinner

Were you expecting another What I Ate Wednesday?  If you had your hopes up, then I’m sorry to disappoint.  However, the post would have been a much bigger disappointment.  I haven’t been noshing on any good eats lately (to my dismay).  Seriously.  Two words.  Canned Tuna.  That should paint a good enough picture.

In other news, I attended a Highland Brewing Company beer dinner last night with Kevin and one of our drinking buddies.  (He’s a bigger beer snob that I am!)  If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that! 

It was a good time, and it was at the same restaurant that sponsored the Oskar Blues beer dinner we attended a while back.  Yet again, it was a four-course tasting of brews and tapas.  The food was better this time, but the pairing still had me a bit confused.  (The bites still paired better than the Oskar Blues dinner though, thank goodness!)

menu

The first course was my favorite.  It was delicious and well planned.  The restaurant served Cattail Peak Wheat with a jicama and orange salad with spring mix and a light vinaigrette.  The citrus paired wonderfully, and neither beer nor bites overpowered the other.  Cattail Peak Wheat is an interesting beer because it’s cloudy and delicious, yet there’s not much going on in there.  There’s a hint of hibiscus, but it’s simplicity makes it perfect for a hot summer day.  I wouldn’t pay much for it, but I certainly enjoyed it.

wheat

The next course was Gaelic Ale (the brewery’s main brew) with a stuffed jalapeno.  This is one of those pairing that had me confused.  I love stuffed jalapenos and Gaelic Ale, which is a malty, bitter, beer with a beautiful amber color.  When I asked the restaurant owner why he chose this, he said the malt in the beer would tame the jalapeno.  It didn’t tame much to me.  All I tasted was jalapeno.  Delicious jalapeno.  But still… I like tasting beer.

course 2

Next came Highland’s Kashmir IPA, which might be Kev’s second favorite of their beers.  His true favorite is St. Terese’s Pale, which he says tastes more like an IPA.  Nevertheless, the table really enjoyed this one.  Hoppy beers make happy beer snobs.  This was paired with fish an chips.  This isn’t necessarily a bad pairing, but I thought a million other things would have gone better.  I like fish n’ chips, but the foodie in me was let down a bit.  Couldn’t they have come up with something more exciting?  Plus, I think of fish n’ chips as English, and an American IPA is vastly different than typical English beers.  Oh well.  At least it I had an excuse to eat some yummy fries!

IPA

The last course was coffee-rubbed steak with an Oatmeal Porter.  I love that beer!  It’s one of my favorite winter beverages, and luckily, I also love steak.  I think this would have been a wonderful pairing if they hadn’t messed up the beefy goodness with chili sauce/glaze/stuff.  The chili sauce was very spicy yet also sticky n’ sweet.  The heat of the chili totally overpowered the coffee rub on the beef and the oaty goodness in my porter.  Insert sad face here.

steak n' porter

I’d like to end this post with a few quick notes:

  1. Despite getting home a wee bit late, I still got up early this morning and got my sweat on.  Go me!
  2. There’s still time to enter my giveaway!  I chose a winner Tuesday, so tell your friends too.
  3. Check out the link love for more beer sites: Beer Runner, Will Run for Beer, and the best drinking flowchart you’ve ever seen at It’s Just the Booze Dancing

Have you ever attended a beer dinner?  If so, what did you think?  If not, would you want to?

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