Scenes from the weekend + a fun snack idea

Hi! How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

I didn’t do anything super exciting and was rather low key, but it was exactly what I needed. I basically just ran errands and got some work done, but I really enjoyed myself. Sometimes its nice to just recharge. Some  of my more notable moments of the weekend….

I ate a delicious lunch at Whole Foods

I had to work Saturday morning so I rewarded myself when I was finished with with a delicious Whole Foods lunch…. I especially enjoyed the vegetarian Waldorf salad made with kale on the bottom right corner…. (I am pretty mad at myself for not looking how they made it…). Anyone know whats in it?

I ran 5 miles at the gym on Saturday!

Even though I have been running for over 2 years now, and have completed multiple races, I still get excited every time I run more than 2 miles…. maybe its my former nonathletic/uncoordinated adolescent self congratulating me? I was pretty pleased with myself for 1. getting to the gym on a Saturday afternoon and 2. running more than 3 miles (my original plan)

I tried a new-to-me beer

I went to Jon‘s friends house last night and enjoyed a couple of beers (including the Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale that I previously wrote about!).  The Old Brown Dog Ale tasted exactly how Runner’s World described it and was deliciously malty/caramel-y. I also had a Flying Dog  In Heat Wheat Hefeweizen that was pretty good.

I saw the biggest yam I have ever seen….

This is random, but I saw this at the store today and felt the need to share. It was HUGE!

I ate a delicious snack

I just ate this, and since it was pretty good, I felt the need to share. I always love having something sweet at night, and I like to try to think of healthier alternatives to enjoy when I am not in the mood to eat something super indulgent.

I was in the mood for something warm/comforting, but I also wanted an apple. To satisfy both moods I made some cinnamon pumpkin peanut butter dip that I could dip some apple slices into. To make the dip I combined:

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin (approx)
  • 1 tsp  peanut butter (approx)

I heated the mixture in the microwave for 15 seconds than stirred in some cinnamon.

This was such a fun snack, and I loved dipping the cold/crisp apples slices into the warm  peanut butter and pumpkin combo. YUM!

What the highlight/best part of your weekend?

Post-Run Beer?

I just came across an article posted on the Runner’s World website entitled, “7 Tasty Post-Run Beers.” While I usually don’t drink beer following a run (maybe I should start?), they did feature some delicious sounding beers that I have never heard of.

I know I have seen Tina and Theodora drink beer after long runs, and I did a 5k over the summer that had beer and champagne as one of the “water stations” (which was pretty fun), but since I tend to run only about 3-5 miles at a time, I think I will keep my beer drinking as a happy hour/weekend activity. If I did more long runs/training runs, I think I definitely would be a pro post-run beer drinker.  Any runners out there that are a fan of the post-run beer?

(The website also linked to another article that talks more in-depth about running and beer.. if  you’re interested.)

I have previously posted about my love of beer (and how I tend to classify it/order it), so I thought I’d list some of the featured types that I would like to try. Anyone ever heard of these?

(found through Runner’s World)

Harpoon Munich Dark

They describe this particular beer as balanced and not too heavy  with tastes of both coffee and molasses. It is made with dark grains that have similar antioxidants powers as red wine!

Stone Ruination IPA

This one is from Southern California and is described as one of the world’s hoppiest beers. I am a new hoppy beer lover, so I would love to try this out!

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog

They describe this beer as having a slightly sweet taste, thicker body, with tastes of  coffee,  cocoa and caramel. This microbrewery also supposedly sponsors a “Will Run for Beer” race series, which sounds pretty cool to me.

This is not a productive activity to be doing on a Tuesday afternoon.  Now I just want to go to Happy Hour, or maybe a long run…?

Anyone try a new beer recently and like to share? Any other post-run/workout activities you engage in?

 

Recipe for a good weekend

1.Delicious food… check

Breakfast on Saturday: yogurt with oatmeal, banana, strawberries and peanut butter

2. A fun outing… check

Jared's lovely work

My sister and I went to an ice festival on Saturday (my sister’s boyfriend, Jared,  is an ice sculptor and does a lot of festivals on the weekends). We showed our support by taking random pictures and trying not to complain about our frozen fingers and toes (which I am pretty sure we failed at… sorry Jared).

Note to self: when you KNOW you will be standing outside in 30 degree weather for 2 hours, wear warm socks.

3. A good workout(s)…check

I took a BodyAttack class this morning. A new release comes out next week… so excited!

4.Eating at a new/fun/delicious restaurant…. check

I went out to dinner at Church Brew Works with this guy last night….

Jon making his debut on the blog...

Drank some of this…
 and ate some delicious food…

Crispy polenta with zucchini, mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes in a goat cheese truffle sauce

So it was a fun and delicious dining experience.
5. A fun outing/night with friends with fun drinks…. check

Mad Mex margarita... always delicious

I went to Mad Mex (one of my favorite Mexican restaurants) last night with Jon, my sister, Sami, and her boyfriend, Jared. We met up with a few friends later in the night,(Hi Erin, Erin, and Allison!) so it was a successful/fun night. Plus, you can never go wrong with margaritas…

6.Productivity… (in progress)

I love when I am productive over the weekend (usually on Sundays) and feel ready to tackle the upcoming week.

So far I have gone grocery shopping,  but I plan to finish a lab report, read in my Bio book, organize my room and do my laundry today as well …. so I will be productive, later.

On that note, I better go work on #6…

I hope you are having a great Sunday/weekend!

What is your “recipe” for a good weekend?

How to order beer at a bar without feeling clueless

Hi everyone! I hope your having a lovely (3 day!) weekend so far.

So today I thought I’d discuss beer (an appropriate weekend discussion, I think).

The thing is, I LOVE beer now, but this wasn’t always the case. For a pretty long time, I thought only of this when the topic of beer came up:

which has its time and place of course....

But this past summer, I learned that a whole world of beer exists outside the big names of Miller, Coors and Bud…. craft beer.

I used to be really intimidated by these “fancy” beers. How do you know what you like? What do you order from a draft list of 10-20 beers that you have never heard of? What is the difference between an IPA, a pale ale and a  stout?

In order to gain some knowledge about this, I took matters into my own hands and did what any clueless, information-seeking person would do. I read Beer for Dummies.

So while I am still no expert and still have much to learn when it comes to beer (which is part of the fun!), I believe I have figured out enough in order to know how to order a beer at a bar without feeling completely clueless. Since I don’t think I am the only one that has ever felt that way, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned, and lend some advice as to how I decipher beer/draft menus. (Note: I am not an expert. I am just a beer loving 23-year old trying to help out any future beer lovers. This is just a compilation of tips that I find to be helpful in a bar setting.)

How to decipher a draft list and look somewhat knowledgeable about beer

1. Be aware of the different types of beer

There are usually a few types of beer you will find when you look at a draft list. The most popular ones you will see include:

IPA

Pale Ale

Brown Ale

Wheat Ale/Hefeweizen

Seasonal Ales (right now you probably will see Winter/Christmas Ales)

Stout

Beers can have crazy names, but they will usually include their type at the end (for example, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, Troegs DreamWeaver Wheat Ale). Sometimes they won’t (Victory Storm King), but if you’re first staring out in the beer world, I wouldn’t worry too much about this.

2. Be aware of certain flavors/tastes

Beer is made of 4 ingredients: water, yeast, hops and grains. All beer contains these 4 ingredients, the difference in taste results from how the ingredients are combined, or in the balance of how the ingredients are used (There is much more to it than this and it is a much more complicated process, but that is the basic jist of the process).

There are lots of ways to describe a beer, but the main “technical” terms I tend to keep in mind are: hoppy and malty

hoppy = a bitter taste that can sometimes taste a little fruity, sometimes a little spicy

malty =a caramel-y taste,  can be sweet or dry

Other terms/ways to describe a beer include: fruity, crisp, yeasty….

I have found that beers tend to follow this pattern:

hoppy: IPA, pale ales

malty:  brown ales, a lot of winter/Christmas seasonal ales, darker ales (like stouts – they taste like coffee!)

other: wheat beers I find, taste lighter, and “yeasty,” which  is more of a fruity, lighter taste

There are a lot of different breweries out there and a lot of different variations of beer types, so not all IPAs or pale ales, for example, will taste the same. I like to put the difference types into these categories to make it a little easier to remember, but keep in mind that variations do exist. I like to think thats part of the fun though……. there is always something new and exciting to try!

3. Don’t be afraid to  ask questions and try new things!

If you aren’t really sure if you will like a certain kind of beer, ask! Bartenders tend to be very knowledgeable about beer (who would of thought?) and are very helpful. I know I like IPAs and hoppy beers, so I often will ask a bartender what they recommend I try. Sometimes you can even get lucky and they will give you a sample.

Once you kind of get the taste basics down (hoppy, malty, a balance of hop/malt, fruity… really there is no wrong way of categorizing a beer), you can use it to your advantage. If you know you like IPAs with that are more fruity/citrusy you can ask for a recommendation. If you like lighter, more crisp beers, a bartender can offer advice as well.

So there you go. I hope this was somewhat helpful. If you happen to be reading and happen to be feeling adventerous at the bar this weekend, I challenge you to not order the Miller Lite and try something new!… and then promise come back here and tell me what it was (I love trying out new beers!).

Questions: Any other beer lovers out there with more tips for navigating a beer menu?

What is your favorite kind of beer? It depends on my mood/the season but I am currently loving Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA and Troegs Mad Elf (SO GOOD)