Saturday, November 19, 2011 70.3

I have been trying to figure out what race I wanted to do for next year.  I wanted something late May/early June which would allow me to start training ASAP.  I felt like 2011 was a bust, a bit of a let-down with injuries that I need something to redeem myself.  I debated over whether I really wanted to do an Ironman.  Actually, I was reading this post from Run this Amazing Day when I had my little "a-ha" moment with myself - otherwise known as "shit or get off the pot".  I really got caught in the excitement of all my blogging/twitter friends doing a full Ironman and reading race reports.  I have known I wanted to do an ironman for a long time, but it requires a commitment that I could not give this year.  I want to work out my other issues and I think there was going to be more personal things going on that I didn't know if I would have the time to give for an Ironman.  I still have the time for a half and maybe a little more than what I did last year, but I didn't know about the long haul.  I can't do it half-ass, I didn't want to feel like I felt for Vineman during the run again.

So, I looked at the 70.3 options:
  • Oceanside 70.3 - this would probably be unbelievably fun to do this with so many people but it is in March and I don't know if I can properly train during the snow, maybe another year.
  • NOLA 70.3 in April (this is still under my radar...) - my brother lives here, reason to visit!
  • Hawaii 70.3 in June (ummm...Hawaii, duh) but it is hot and I didn't know if Mike was really into it.
Then this race popped up on my radar...
Hopefully Dooner won't kill me for this (circa 1999)
 ummm not the game Moose, although I was good at it back in the day...


Mooseman 70.3 which takes place in New Hampshire.  It made sense being that it is in the beginning of June so I could start base training now.  I already signed up for a half-marathon in March in DC so the timing worked perfectly.  There was some of my Team Triumph teammates and hopefully Yasi and Anabel racing this so it will be nice that I know others will be doing it.

I have also decided that I would raise money for ALS for the race.  It will make this...

all the more motivating.  My father-in-law is not only from New Hampshire but he also has ALS and every day he faces struggles that I can't even begin to imagine, but he faces us with a smile on his face.  I felt that this race embodies the disease and his struggle, it will be something that will hurt, that I am going to face obstacles and need to work my ass off to overcome them and mentally, I will need to have the perseverance to overcome the pain and get to the finish line.

I am currently looking into how to effectively do this.  I have contacted the Philadelphia chapter and couple others to find out how to go about raising money, so if you have any ideas please let me know. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brewtal Beer Club - It's Not Just a Club...It's a Movement - PART 3 - THE BEER

If you missed the first two episodes...

And now what you have all been waiting for...MissFancyPants Fall Beer List.  It's getting a little late in the season, so you may want to bookmark this for next year.  I had some other recommendations but I don't want to overwhelm you or muddy the waters by being all over the place so I will do an addendum to my beer list in another post (just to keep you reading)....I don't know about you but I am always hunting for the perfect pumpkin beer (secretly I want someone to do a butternut squash one but haven't heard of it).

Last year, my two favorites were Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale - HOWEVER, I have some new favorites thanks to Mike (my husband, who was in charge of the October Brewtal Beer Tasting).

#1 - Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

This beer was actually thanks to KEVIN whom we met at the Battleship NJ beer tasting.  He works for Shipyard.  This beer will KICK your ass, and I mean it.  It's 9% ABV and very drinkable, I didn't find it overly alcohol in flavor, it's dangerous...It is a little heavy on the spice area so if you don't like a heavy spice than it may not be your favorite.  I enjoy a bit more nutmeg so this was great.  Good pumpkin taste and sweet.

 #2 - Cigar City Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale


Holy crap this was hands down a beer that EVERYONE at the beer club enjoyed and rated highly.  I felt like I was drinking pumpkin pie.  There was something about this beer, the spice was not overly powering, the perfect amount of sweetness.

 #3 - Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin 

One word - AWESOME - this was brewed in Bourbon barrels so it is quite different than the other pumpkin beers.  The bourbon, wood, and pumpkin was a nice balance.  Highly recommend.

#4 - The Bruery - Autumn Maple

 I have to say I was a little hesitant, I don't always dig The Breury's beer, but this was delicious.  It is brewed with yams so it was a nice change from the pumpkin tasting.  It had a nice mix of spice and also a hint of vanilla.  I could see this going well with some turkey breast and maybe some glazed root vegetables.  Don't know why, but I think I will try serving that next year or if I find it in time for this Thanksgiving.

 #5 - Cape Ann Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout 

 I am only putting this on the list because of the polarity that was expressed in the group that tasted it.  I hated it the first time and it grew on me the second time.  I don't know if that had to do with too many pumpkin beers that I was taste-testing and wasn't giving this a fair shot or I like more zing to my beer and this was just too AVERAGE.  Jury is still out, I would say try it if you don't like a strong pumpkin flavor and are a stout fan.  There were a few people in the group that really liked this.

#6 - Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

I am on and off with SA.  I have had some very nice beers lately like their new Imperial Stout and their Latitude IPA.  This beer was surprisingly good.  Maybe not a Shipyard, a Weyerbacher or Smuttynose, but it was tasty.  It was not overly pumpkin-like but had a nice mix of spice and pumpkin without being overly sweet.

Hopefully, you will still have time to check things out, although, I was at the liquor store and the Christmas beers were out and there was nothing left in way of pumpkin, so like I said bookmark this for next year!  Stay tuned, I will be posting another beer post very soon that includes a few Italian micro-brews I recently tried and we will be having the November Beer Meeting this week.  I will also be posting a little about Mike and I's first homebrew which we will try on Thursday - Brewtal Alpha Porter....

Like Brewtal Beer on Facebook 
Follow us on Twitter @brewtalbeer

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Brewtal Beer Club - It's Not Just a Club...It's a Movement - PART 2 - THE FOOD

Part 2 of the Brewtal Beer Club post, if you missed the first post you can find it here.  Part 1 was where I gave you the information on this fabulous new club that will someday turn into a brewery....

Each month, a charter member of the Brewtal Beer Club is responsible for food....guess who volunteered first for food???

I had been foaming at the mouth the day Mike said there would be a beer club and we can make food...all I was thinking about was different ways  of incorporating beer into food and how to make an entire menu....and fall, which is my favorite time of the year - this was going to be perfect!!

I should pre-face this by saying this is not my normal detox/gluten-free/vegan friendly/healthy recipes I post.  Everyone needs to cheat!

The Menu

Ten-fidy Pot Roast
Rogue Chocolate Stout cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I even made little signs and I taste tested everything before - you know just to make sure....

Ten-Fidy Roast Recipe
(Printable Recipe)

This can be found at one of my previous posts.  But I am going to re-do it here cause I just figured out the snazzy button that says "printable recipe,"

3.5 lb beef roast (seasoned with sea salt, Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute)
1 large shallot
8 garlic cloves
A couple swirls of vegetable oil
4 potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) - chopped
1 onion chopped
4 carrots - chopped
2 celery sticks
1 box of beef broth
1 pint of Ten-fidy
Fresh parsely

Let meat sit for about an hour after you seasoned it to let it soak in.
Heat a few swigs of olive oil on high and sear for about a minute on all sides of meat.
Put meat in the crockpot until ready.
Add some more olive oil and scrape with a wooden spoon, add in garlic, shallot and onion until softened (about 3 min).
Scrape again and put into crock pot.
Add 1 box of beef broth, potatoes, carrots, celery.  Arrange the vegetables around the meat. 
Add in the pint of Ten-fidy use a wooden spoon to stir and move to make liquid uniform.
This is the best picture - truly shows the motor oil consistency of Ten-fidy
Add fresh parsely.  Put on low and cook for about 8 hours.

When ready, take meat out and break apart/slice and put back into the crock pot and serve!

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale Beer Bread (adapted from Bruery)
(Printable Recipe)
All beer bread recipes are the same general concept.  I wanted to make this pumpkiny so I decided to use Smuttynose since it isn't overpowering and has a nice spice palette and we had it in our keg.

I did want to mention, the second time I made it I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white and wheat flour so that it was healthier, and you can make this vegan using Earth Balance butter.  I may play with some brown rice flour and oat flour to see if I can make a good GF version but I digress...

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
12 oz pumpkin beer (I used Smuttnose Pumpkin)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used Whole Foods Organic)
2 Tbsp light margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Slowly pour the beer into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go.  Add in the pumpkin and stir just until combined.

Spray loaf pan with PAM or other cooking spray.  Pour 1/2 margarine in bottom of pan.  Use the wooden spoon and pour batter into the pan.  Pour remaining margarine on top of batter evenly. 

Bake about 60 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown on top and done in the middle.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve with a mix of maple syrup, margarine and cinnamon....

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale Mac-n-Cheese
(Printable Recipe)
Again, this is nothing new, just a standard mac-n-cheese but adding the beer, because you add beer you need to allow some thickening before baking.

Makes 2 casserole dishes.


2 boxes orecchiette or bow-ties
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
8 oz milk
16 oz brown ale
8 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
8 ounces shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
4 ounces grated gouda
1/2 cup romano cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta and drain just before 2 minutes of being cooked since it will cook in the oven as well, it should be a little harder than al dente.
Make a roux by heating the saucepan over medium heat, add butter and then once melted whisk in flour.  Cook until slightly golden for about 2 minutes. 
Add milk and beer while whisking.
Add cheeses and stir until melted. 
Turn heat down to medium and cook for about 6 minutes or so until thick.
Mix pasta and cheese mix and pour into two casserole dishes. 
Toss panko bread crumbs with paprika, and sprinkle on top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

This was awesome but even better was taking the Ten-fidy pot roast juice and pouring it over mac-n-cheese.

Rogue Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
(Printable recipe)

3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tspn baking soda
pinch sea salt
12 oz of Rogue Chocolate Stout
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tbspn Trader Joe's bourbon vanilla (this gives a really nice flavor)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup light sour cream
2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups of confectioner sugar
1 tspn bourbon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix with a fork cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
In a second mixing bowl, combine beer, butter, and vanilla.  Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. 
Mix in sour cream until smooth.  Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet mix.

Line tins (depends on how many based on size - I made 24).  Scoop batter into cupcake tins until 3/4 full.  Bake for 12 minutes, rotate pan.  Bake another 12 minutes (TOTAL TIME 24 min).  Make sure set in middle.

I made a simple cream cheese icing.  In a medium mixing bowl cream the cream cheese and butter, add in the confectioner sugar and vanilla.

To top of this wonderful night - I met the most "interesting man in the world."

Stay tuned for Part 3 - MissFancyPant's Fall Beer Selection!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brewtal Beer Club - It's Not Just a Club...It's a Movement - PART 1 - THE CLUB

Curious, huh?  What is it?  

I figured I would do a three part post - The Club, The Food, The Beer - I needed to get in my MissFancyPants' fall beer post before it's too late, I made some great recipes out of beer and well, I figured I may as well orient you with Brewtal Beer.

I became a charter member and I encourage you all to be a part of this MOVEMENT....

Like Brewtal Beer Club on Facebook 
Follow @brewtalbeer on twitter
Stay tuned for the blog!

Brewtal Beer began as 2 guys  lamenting their day jobs, and is now growing into a movement, and YOU can be a part of it!!

Brewtal has three main goals:

  1. Create a movement with a fully-functioning homebrew group
  2. Turn that group into a successful and marketable brand
  3. turn that brand into a bar, the Brewtal Beer Company

...and we were founded with these three tenets:

  1. Have fun/be fun - if you cannot take a joke, if you are above poking fun at something that deserves it, if you have a fragile ego, then Brewtal is not for you
  2. Be inclusive, not exclusive - this is not a chance to be a beer snob, or a chance to show how much you know, this is movement to bring the new and the seasoned into the world of craft beers and have fun doing it. We will simplify this entry for you, and you will be asking to see a bottle list at dinner after only one meeting.
  3. Be a marketing machine - grab this brand by the horns and run with it, wear a Brewtal shirt, hand out some stickers or cards, ask your waiter to speak with the manager and see if they will give card-holders a discount. Beer is more social than wine, more social than cigars, it's just a nice way to meet new people. And when you meet them, tell them about Brewtal!!

Brewtal meets the third friday of every month in Bristol, PA. Come out to our next meeting, bring $10 with you, and you get a full meal, great conversation, and a ton of the best beer you will ever drink, homebrewed and store-bought. See if you like what you see/hear, and if you decide to join, consider that first meeting on us. New members registration fee is $60 for 6 months, but if you join while attending a meeting, you get an extra month of goodness for free! And if you are not sure, you are welcome to attend another meeting, however subsequent meetings are $20 per attendee. Of course, membership has its privileges, such as

  • membership card that will offer discounts at local eateries and bars
  • business cards and stickers
  • a Brewtal-branded tshirt and other unique swag
  • exclusive sessions with local brewmasters and homebrew gurus
  • inclusion in special Brewtal outings, like Brewery tours and pub crawls, as well as beer festival booths and other marketing/socializing events

Everything can be explained in much greater detail if you attend a meeting, so c'mon, it is the best $10 you will spend all week. Check out a little intro video here at  

and RSVP for the next event at

We hope to see you soon and stay Brewtal!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bridge Run Race Report

For the first time, I ran with no expectations, I just wanted to see where I was before I started training for the Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon in DC on St. Patty's Day.  And what a great day it was perfect - last year was super cold and I had my decent 10K time with 9:15 min miles.  This year, I knew a better time wasn't going to happen (too many injuries and just starting to get back into running and my recent break-up with the orthodics).  I was more petrified that the dreaded P word (plantar fascitiis) would occur the next morning when I swung the legs out of bed to feed the cat.

SPOILER ALERT - I was able to walk in the morning

Back to the weather - it was 35 degrees around 7am which I knew would probably reach mid-40's during the race at 8:30am.  I met with Christine and my sister, Theresa, in the morning to drive over.
If you haven't run the bridge run, it is a great local race, you start in Camden, NJ, home of...

 Campbell Soup


and yes, more importantly the crackheads.

Hard to find images of crackheads....This guy did a 6 min mile running from the cops...
 You run over the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philly and back for the first 3 miles.  It's all in all a pretty flat run -just the initial climb up and over the bridge and back. The first 1/2 mile you zig zag to get around your new 4,000 friends. 

People are all over the bridge hanging out and cheering which is so much fun!  I didn't run with my Garmin since it wasn't charged as usual....I ran super easy for the first three miles and was feeling really good.  Once you get over the bridge, you run through the "relatively nice" areas....I walked the water stop at mile 4 and had a Cherry Roctane that tastes like cherry coke and was feeling really good so I started picking up the pace. I can't figure out if it was the Gu or the guy with the sign that said "Run like you stole something." (in my opinion, this was the most appropriate sign for Camden).

At mile 5, there is another small incline.  Christine told me to just go at that point, so I did and was surprised at my energy level going in, I felt like I should have run at that pace from the beginning but I was just being cautious.

The outcome was 1 hour exactly with my chip time which was 9:40 miles - maybe not the 9:15 I did last year but I was still happy because now I know I where I am and how much work I have ahead of me.  My feet did not hurt.  The big "ah-ha" for me was that being slow and steady for the first half can lead to better performance for the second half of a race...(duh...)
 After was hanging at the Team Triumph tent for breakfast and the decision has been made....

MOOSEMAN 70.3 in June - more on that later...

and then meeting up with my mom while we shopped for our race "presents."  Christine and I buy ourselves a "gift" for completing a race. 

In this case it was a little Urban Outfitters fun tops and scarf!
All in all a great day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is it the Shoes?

I haven't posted much on training since...well, since there has been a severe lack of training from bike accident (i.e. bruised ribs).  The bruised ribs took a bigger toll than I expected. I spent a lot of time at the gym trying to get back into strength/plyo training and slowly getting back into running and biking (okay so the biking has been on the trainer not outside).

I bought new shoes in the hopes that it would stir something did...that day at Haddonfield Running Company, I decided I would....BREAK UP WITH MY ORTHODICS

Yes, I know, it was a hard thing to do, a little said but very liberating.   I have been having a struggle with whether these $500 orthodics really helped me, I mean I did this for years without them and I changed to Newtons and got plantar fascitiis and next thing I knew I was shelling out some cash for some fancy "super feet."  My past injuries spurred some research - I am thinking it is my lack of balance in my hips, my weak ankles, etc that are contributing to the foot issue.

I celebrated by buying 2 shoes (GASP).  I needed one pair for my quest to get my muscle/definition back that I have lost over the past five years in doing triathlons....I wanted a shoe that was flexible but still offers support for my shitty feet.  So I bought the Saucony ProGrid Mirage
These have been great, I went to some boot camp classes and my plyometric workout and they worked nice.  I also walked around Disney with the family - so suffice to say the shoes did their job and did not create many problems.

For running I bought the Brook's PureCadence

I LOVE THESE!  They have a wide toe box, there is a little elastic thing (I am sure there is some fancy word for it) that helps hug your feet so you don't need to overtighten the laces.  Brooks basically got rid of all the extra shit and made a lighter but still cushioned trainer.  This is a stability shoe but they have other models.  Also, by taking away some of the extra stuff in the heel it propels you forward.  I started out with 1 mile, then 2, then 3 for a while (changing into my other shoes) and just recently in the pleasant fall weather I went out to do 4 and ended up with 6miles.

I haven't experienced any plantar pain (knocking on my IKEA desk now) but I have been more religious on icing, rolling etc to take care of my feet :)

As for tri-racing, I haven't put everything together for my 2012 schedule but I am contemplating NOLA 70.3 and Mooseman 70.3.  I am tired of NOT training and want to get back into it ASAP! 

But in the meantime I got a couple runs planned - the Bridge Run (10K over the Ben Franklin) this weekend and I just signed up for another Rock-n-Roll 1/2 marathon in DC on St. Patty's Day!!!

Jeffrey Campbell Lita-Ex
Report Belzer Boot
Oh yeah, and ummmm, since I was on a shoe kick I kind of bought these cute booties and boots at the Nordstroms Semi-Annual Sale.....If this doesn't say FALL!!

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