Thursday, May 16, 2013

What's Been Happening in Training, Food and Beer?

I feel like there has been so much going on but I don't want to bore you to tears with my pregnancy journal - that's on minifancypants blog.

I have been feeling a loss about posting to this blog and instead have been reporting on MiniFancyPants on my preg journey.  But then I got to thinking the purpose of this blog - what was going on in beer, training, food and life.  So here are some highlights...


Beer
Broken Goblet - the little brewery will be finally coming to fruition by September - Broken Goblet will include  a tasting room with growler filling and distributing kegs to bars- all of this is very exciting and Mike and the three guys (Jay, Bub and Joe) that have been working their asses off in getting this off the ground....As you may remember I have posted about Brewtal Beer in past posts (3 part post at the end of 2011 that you can read here) but since a trademarking battle that has turned into the name of Broken Goblet.

As for the club, the name Brewtal will be kept.  The Brewtal Beer Club is a monthly meeting that has now been running for over a year successfully. The club occurs the last Friday of every month in Bristol, PA at a new location Business Casual Coworking (an incredibly cool co-working space) which is also now the home tasting room for Broken Goblet!


So you want to try the beer to get a sense of what it's about??  If you are somewhat local Broken Goblet will have a booth at the Yardley Beer Festival this weekend!  Last year, we kicked kegs left and right and had a great turnout.

Also if you come to a club meeting, Brewtal beer club ($15 for a great night of beer tasting, food and mingling) they sometimes test out some new recipes with members!!  This month will be May 31 - Shmoozin', Boozin' & Fondu-zin'.


In other beer news, I promise a summer beer list in one of the next posts based on my Broken Goblet/Brewtal family.


Training
Okay, so my training had to take a back seat.  I had posted way back that I would be swimming like Dara Torres come delivery but I think I swam once so far in the pregnancy.  What I have been doing is running, biking and lots of yoga and strength training, to keep myself healthy and ready for delivery.  I did recently do an 8k at 5.5 months pregnant  with my best friend and running partner Christine who is due 5 weeks after me!  We didn't plan it...lol...


at 5.5 months...belly has grown significantly since then...

but now going into my third trimester, it is becoming a little more difficult to maintain a steady pace without the frequent walk pee breaks.
Still see my feet!

After some wogging (a cross between jogging and some walking) and smoothieing with Yasi and some tweeting among the four of us, Yasi,  Anabel and Katie, I am going to start thinking of my comeback race.  I got a little jealous of their training weekend in So Cal.  I decided on a half-ironman for 2014 sometime between May and September.  I loved Vineman but if Rev3 does Portland again, I may have to change it up.  Or just do something local.  I am still looking to do a 10K in November to get myself back and then start base training from there.  Throwing in a half-marathon sometime in March/April.  More to come there.

I did buy the new Brooks Pure Cadence and the jury is still out.  I wanted to write a review but they aren't making me feel the same love as the last model...I don't know if it is my running gait at now 7 months pregnant or if it is the shoes so I figure I will see how they work post-pregnancy.

Food
 So my food posts were lacking, not because I am not eating healthy, I try most times...


(ok there has been a bit more ice cream, fro yo and gelati's from Rita's), but because when you have no kitchen it's really hard to really get in there and cook over the spackel dust....hence the previous pictures and paper plates.  Kitchen remodeling started in February and should be finished in the next couple weeks...should be....It will be great when done! 

Above shows the old cabinets and the new cabinets are below -- can't wait till done!
However, the farmer market is opens today in Princeton and am so excited to see what that will bring!

And lastly, just some recent pics of what's been happening!



Getting in some lovely outside prenatal yoga



My cousin Vanessa is getting married (in white dress)

Mya turned 1 - so a good reason for the paparazzi to come out..


My prego partner in crime!





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rutgers Unite - 8K Race Report



Well, this is less a race report than it is a running report since I am not really racing.  I have a short post on the other blog http://minifancypants.blogspot.com/ on pregnancy and running.

I dropped down once I found out I was pregnant from the half-marathon to the 8K and I have to say 5 miles is really a nice distance!  Something different than a 6 mile race.  At this point, I am 5.5 months or 25 weeks, 15 to go!!!
 
Nicole and I picked up our race packets and I had a discount with the race and bought the newer version of the Brooks Pure Cadence 2!

More on that on another post once I start running with them.  I tried to eat like I normally would before a race with some lean mean and veggies and some sort of carb but with our kitchen being remodeled I just had to wing it.  I also made some arm warmers for Christine and I to go with our outfits.

I went to Mike's gig since it was Nick's last night locally with the band before he leaves for another continent (sad face). 

My rockstar husband...

Race morning, I had my normal ezekial english muffin with almond butter and apple butter and brought a banana.  I also brought some extra snacks (being pregnant you don't want to be hungry) and sipped on lots of water pre-race. We met up with Christine and Kate and drove up to Rutgers and was met with lots of sunshine and cold temperatures (um what happened to our 70-80 degree temps). 

Nicole ran off for her 1/2 marathon, while Christine and I took some pictures for her "coming out" party on facebook of being preggers....see the matching shirts...
How cool is it my best friend and I are pregnant together!!!


We then met up with Lisa, and saw another new mama, Kristin (her first race post-baby) for the start of the 8k.  Lisa and I rant together at a really nice pace, the chatty pace which was on target for what I could do.  I needed to stay in Zone 2 and we walked 30-60 seconds per mile.    Since she was just getting back to running after her marathon (see race report) she didn't mind running with the slow pregnant woman.  It was also nice to actually run with someone, I have felt a little lonely outside of a couple spin sessions with friends in my pregnancy workouts.  The course was BEAUTIFUL and was a perfect rolling hill, nothing too crazy.  Before I knew it the turnaround came and I was really surprised at how good I felt. 

There was only one time when I felt my heart rate going a little crazy on a long hill that I walked an additional 30 seconds but otherwise, I was really happy with my time and how I felt for being 5.5 months pregnant.  I hope this feeling continues throughout the pregnancy.

Lisa and I averaged at a 10:48 pace for the 8K with a final time of 53:42.
I felt a lot of emotion on this race and it was a little extra special, it represented to me that my little girl just did her first race and we, as women are strong!  A girl took our picture and said she didn't know you could run or do this when pregnant and then she asked me my age, when I said 37 she hugged me and said she was so happy that this was possible.  We told her you still have to check with a doctor but it was a nice feeling.
 
Afterwards, we had more paparazzi shots


...and met up with our team, where I discussed the possibility of doing a relay for a couple tris of the swim portion or even a 5k. 

Afterward, was a reward of fro yo....every prego and non-prego woman's craving...



Friday, April 19, 2013

Super Quick Healthy Dinner Recipes (GF)

A friend of mine is recently going through some health things and the doctor had suggested some dietary changes that may alleviate some of her issues.  She started eliminating gluten and meat.  A couple across the street recently began eating vegan and lost a tremendous amount of weight and not only look great but feel fabulous!

Personally, I am not gluten-free or vegan but I do eat that way once in a while when on a detox (vegan and detox) and prepping for a race (no dairy and gluten) and have found I do feel better while doing this for these purposes. I am a big proponent for those that want to embark on being vegan or gluten-free especially for health reasons.  Have you ever seen "Fork Over Knives"?  I recommend anyone with some health issues to watch this documentary.  My personal philosophy is - health is directly related to the food we eat. As much as I want the occasional milkshake while being pregnant, I have been trying very hard to eat clean 90% of the time leaving me the other part for that milkshake or fro yo that looks like a Reese's Piece's Sundae...

I have found it has been easier to eat like this in our ever-changing society.  For example, Yasi and I traveled to New Hampshire back in June for Mooseman 70.3 and we were able to find a local country restaurant with quinoa on the menu for our dinner the night before the race.  Even going to your local food market, you can find the "gluten free" section.  Remember brown rice and quinoa are excellent gluten free options in place of a starch.  Don't be afraid to try seitan or tofu, experiment, it's fun!

I had a couple of really super quick and super easy vegan and/or gluten-free dinners that I made recently that I thought I would share along with a couple of favorite sites I go to for recipes.

Lentil Swiss Chard Spaghetti
(print here)
Inspired by a similar recipe on Edible Perspective blog

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
1 lemon (juiced)
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups of cooked lentils (I used 3/4 of Trader Joe's steam in a bag)
1 head of swiss chard (chopped)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat parsely
1 lb pasta


Directions

Boil water for pasta and cook pasta till al dente.
Heat saute pan with olive oil to medium heat, add garlic, pepper, mushrooms and saute until soft (about 5-6 minutes).  Add in lemon juice, chicken broth and lentils and let simmer for 5 more minutes.  Add swiss chard and cover while simmering for another 5 minutes.  Add flat leaf parsley.
Mix veggies and pasta and serve.



Bruschetta Spaghetti with Rotisseire Chicken
(print here)
(Substitute mozzarella and chicken with soy mozzarella and grilled or roasted tofu for vegan option)



Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
3-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
4 plum tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 jar of roasted peppers (chopped)
1 handful of basil
1 rotisserie chicken breast cut in pieces

1 lb pasta


Directions

Boil water for pasta and cook pasta till al dente.
Heat saute pan with olive oil to medium heat, add garlic, tomatoes, peppers and basil and let simmer for 8 minutes.  Add chicken and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix bruschetta mixture and pasta and serve.

Garlicky Buffalo Chicken Salad
(print recipe)
(Substitute chicken and dressing with tofu, squash, cauliflower or other hearty veggie and vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing here or here for vegan option)

Ingredients

Buffalo Sauce (make more or less depending on what how garlicky you want your sauce)
2 tbsp earth balance margarine (or non-vegan margarine)
1 cup hot sauce (I use Louisiana)
2 tbsp of garlic powder

1 lb chicken
spray

Salad
Spring mix
red onions
tomatoes
carrots
cucumbers
Other veggies (I added roasted sweet potato)
Optional (goat cheese or blue cheese)

Directions

Heat margarine over low heat, add hot sauce and then garlic powder, but STIR CONSTANTLY with spatula until sauce is smooth.
Cut chicken in bite size pieces, and saute until cooked through and drain.  Toss with sauce and add to salad.



You can go to my Recipe page to look up some of my recipes and check out my favorite go-to sites for recipes and ideas regarding gluten-free and/or vegan...

Gluten Free Goddess
Spabettie
Edible Perspective
FatFree Vegan Kitchen
 





Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running Today

I went running today for many reasons...

...it clears my head
...it allows me to think through work issues 
...it makes me happy
...it makes me accountable
...it's keeps me healthy
...it keeps my little girl's life inside me healthy
...it's part of a wonderful community of people that I love

....but most of all I ran my 3.5 miles this morning for Boston.


It was a terrible tragedy yesterday, after watching the news it took me back to 9/11.  I know it's not the same, but it was the similar feeling I had watching this as when I looked out my office window and watched the plane hit the twin towers.  I was not there this time, but I felt like I was. 

This was supposed to be a happy moment, a euphoric moment.  It's that celebration for the hard work you put in to do this race for you, for a special charity or for someone close to you.  These races mean something and to have that taken away, to have FAMILY and loved ones that came to support you in your celebratory moment be taken away or hurt is unfathomable. 

There have been so many inspiring posts of facebook, instagram, twitter and blogs.  I am thankful for all this social media, if we didn't have these avenues, we wouldn't have found out that our friends were safe yesterday.  I am also thankful for all the friends I have made in this sport through social media.  There are not words to express just simple thoughts and prayers and virtual hugs to all my friends.





Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Post - My First Marathon - Part 2: Race Report

Lisa's back with her marathon race report (read her last post on her training)- Lots of Congratulations on your first one!!

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Virginia Beach, watch-out!  Jersey girls are coming to town!   


Pre-race Day (Saturday):


We arrived in Virginia Beach late Friday night, excited for the weekend to begin, but very tired.  
I woke up in the morning feeling good and rested.  Jillian, Victoria and I decided to go down and check out the breakfast in hopes we would have stuff to help us prep for race morning.  Of course, we brought our own food for race morning.  Can’t change routine or food choices before a race!  We were excited to find that they had a toaster for us to use.  Yay!  We had breakfast while watching the 8k finishers run right by our hotel.   Have to say they had some great outfits!  

View from my hotel room of the finish line


After breakfast, I decided to go for my short run that was on my schedule.  2 mile run (Warm-up: 10 minutes easy pace, Main Set: 5 minutes at 9 minute mile pace, then 3-4 times 30sec pickups Cool Down: walk)
My plan was to go outside and just enjoy the sites and sounds of Virginia Beach.  The weather had other plans.  The second I went to step out the door, it started to downpour, so I turned around and headed for the treadmill.  I didn’t want to take any chances the day before the race. After my workout, I showered and Victoria, Jillian and I heading to the Shamrock Expo to meet up with Stephanie and Josh to pick up our bib and shirts.

My bib # and long sleeve tech shirt (it was official)


After we all picked up our stuff, we decided to walk around the expo and do some shopping.  It was fun just hanging out and having fun, but I didn’t want to be on my feet too much.  So, we decided to part ways, but before we did we took some photos. 
Support Crew (aka the best)

Victoria (1/2 mar) Me (mar) Stephanie (1/2 mar)
Jillian, Victoria and I heading back to the hotel for some rest and basketball until dinnertime.  We decided to go to a restaurant called Abbey Road, which had a great menu that meet all of our dietary needs.  Plus, it had the basketball games on…NCAA pre-rounds for the March Madness. 

My friends and I at dinner pre-race, look at all those waters on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  haha
After dinner, was time for more relaxing and getting everything ready for race morning.  We were all set and ready for our races. 



Marathon Morning (Sunday):

I was not sure what to expect race morning; the forecast was calling for rain/clouds and wind.  We the weather turned out to be not bad at all, except for the wind.   It was cloudy, 45 degrees, and very windy. 
           
Surprisingly, I wasn't too nervous until I was walking to the starting line, but I had some great early morning surprises from friends and family.  My favorite one was: 

My niece and nephew cheering me on from NJ!!

My walk to the starting line took no time at all.  I could feel my nerves inside me, but once I saw my corral I was fine and the nervousness went away. I was ready to go!  

 I meet some great people in my corral and they were all first-timers.  I knew I won’t be staying with them due to my race plan of running a mile, walking a minute, but that was okay.  It was great chatting with them pre-start.  Once the buzzer sounded I was off and running.  I stuck to my training plan, which was hard at the beginning, but it was worth it in the end.   I was able to keep my friends updated throughout the run during my walk breaks I would text them. 

Mile 12 just ran past my friends feeling good and on target for 4:20:00 marathon.
  
I was so happy and felt great and was on target for a 4 hour and 20 minute marathon until I hit mile 15. At mile 15, the road was slanted and I couldn’t find a flat surface.  The slanted road kicked in my IT band and I was unable to keep my pace.  So, my pace slowed and I kept going.  I ran walked all the way to the finish.  It was tough, but not as tough as my 20-mile training run.  

As I headed into the last mile, I could feel the energy from the crowd and the excited was building.  The pain that I was feeling went numb.  I couldn’t wait to see my friends who I knew were waiting for me at the finish line and to run though the finish.   The crowd pushed me. And I spotted my friends just feet away from the finish.  Just passed them, they announced that I was a marathon finisher.  What a great feeling.  It was over and I had accomplished my goal!  My finishing time was 4hours 51mins 32seconds.  Not bad for someone who last year at this time was not allowed to run!!




 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Post - My First Marathon - Part 1: The Training

Hey everyone, I am a little low on blogging material regarding training, unless you want to read about my pregnancy (MiniFancyPants) or how I went to the gym and I did the spin bike for 45 minutes to a cool mix while playing on my iPhone this week, I decided to get my friend Lisa Campisi (@campisister) who is running her FIRST marathon - The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, to write a post!
I met Lisa through Team Triumph, our tri team.  Towards the end of the Bridge Run 10k we ended up running together and realized we ran a similar pace, go figure, right when I go and get myself knocked up (joking), but she says she may run the 8K that I still plan to do at Rutgers next month!

Here is Part 1 to Lisa's post on the training for her first Marathon this weekend!  She promised a race report when she is done.

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For me… I never thought I would run a marathon.  I hated and still at time hate running.  So, you may be asking…why are you running a marathon?   This is a question that I have constantly been asking my self through out this training process.  Well, the simple answer is, I want to do an Ironman, next year.  My coach who has complete several Ironmen told me it is best to run a marathon before you do an Ironman.  So here I am training for my first marathon. 

The training hasn’t been too bad to be honest, but you should know that I am not going out to win it.  I am running to finish.  That is always my plan whenever I do anything new.  Another part that you need to know is that I was injured for a long time and running really hurt, literally hurt every time I ran.  I have gone through Physical Therapy and had to relearn how to run, plus build strength in my hips, which took away my IT band pain.  I am finally healthy and strong enough to train for a marathon. 

Besides the fact that my pain I had every time I ran went away, my training was not too bad.  This was mainly because I have a ton of support from my friends and family.  This support came through all kinds of avenues, not just though posts and my coworker saying “way to go,” but friends that went out on run after run with me through the crazy winter weather we have had…the wind, rain, snow, ice and changing temperature.  The snow and ice seemed to always show-up when I had one of my really long runs to do. 
Some of my supportive friends at the end of my long runs.
One thing that really put a cramp into my training was I got sick.  UGH!  I thought I was going to be able to fight through it, but No.  The Thursday after my 18-mile run was the day I got sick and it last for an entire week.  I missed a several workouts including a long run.  I ended up at the Doctors office and on antibiotics.  I finally finished the antibiotics the day before my longest run (20-miles).  And of course it was suppose to rain on that day.  Turns out that day it was just misting, so I was able to get the run in.  Boy was it a hard run!  I fought through and made it the 20-miles.  

After the 20-mile run, I was excited to finally taper!  I felt good and ready for the marathon.  But the way things go in my life it is never that easy.  I got a blister in the middle of the arch of my left foot.  Ouch!  It hurt no matter what shoes I had on.  This injury put me into the pool to do a lot of water running, so I didn’t fall behind in my training. 
My blister after one of my long runs. Ouch!

Now that I am exactly one week out, I am finally healthy and had a great last long run, yesterday.  I am feeling good about my marathon.  A little nervous, but good!  Bring on my marathon!


To Be Continued…

Saturday, March 2, 2013

This Week's Happenings....

As most of you know, I will not be doing any racing this year due to Baby Girl (no names picked out yet)....If you want to read my pregnancy happenings you can go to MiniFancyPants - I wanted to keep a separate log on those happenings :)  Until then, I will live vicariously through all my blogging friends and their experiences, maybe even bookmark any races for 2014...Anyway, lots of stuff still happening, working has been INSANE mainly due to increase amount of projects so it's nice to not have a 15 hour training week hanging over my head.  However, because I'm not can't train for any races, I have been having so much fun with my workouts.  I have been doing things I haven't been able to do in a long time! 

Fun things like - Running and then taking the pup for his walk/my cool down
In addition, I am not being overly critical with myself which in a sense causes me to relax a bit and not be as stressed....increasing yoga hasn't hurt either.  Some weeks I'm swimming more, some I bike more and some I run more, I am just going with the flow, which normally would drive me nuts but the fact that there is something I have to take care of in my body has changed my tune a little...

Last Sunday, I was able to get to a yoga class at the new studio Yoga Soul in NJ with Yasi, Joe and Craig.  I was a little concerned at first when I found out it would be heated, but I think being 17 weeks I am still okay with that.  The class was an intense Vinyasa and, with the exception of a couple poses I am not allowed to do, I worked hard and felt good. 

I had a great afternoon with my book club peeps at my parents house complete with Barista Tony (DAD) making us super fancy cappucinos :)

Book club minus Yasi (she had to go home early booo)
My mom and I while watching the fashion of the Oscars after book club
Monday was another super crazy intense TRX class and the combination of the Yoga class Sunday and lots of one leg TRX push-ups and squats and a shitload of core work, I was one sore human on Tuesday morning but my favorite kind of feeling.

Tuesday, I was able to do a light spin for a little over an hour on my trainer while catching up on my shows.

Wednesday was another 90 minute yoga session with Jen.  My other prego friend and I are taking a pre-natal yoga class which is just as intense as any other vinyasa.  Jen, the instructor is amazing and she comes to our house to do the class so it is catered to what we can and should do. 

Thursday, I checked out a new spin instructor and sweated a bit after my strength training session that left my legs sore again on Friday...

Friday - I took a wonderful full rest day which worked out perfectly since I received my winnings from super awesome Ironwoman Hilary Biscay's blog that highlighted my friend Anabel -  check out Anabel's amazing story in 3/GO Triathlon  The compression socks are perfect as I prevent any swelling in my legs from being pregnant (figure I would get the jump on it.)  The jersey is awesome, but will have to wait till next year - although I plan to wear it for the time being before my belly really pops while on the trainer so I still feel cool. 


I finished off Saturday with a great run in the crisp cool weather we have been having - my pace has slowed a little but all in all its good. I feel comfortable and have more energy than the first trimester. 

Now off to a little date night with the hubby...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

TRX and Core Strength Training - A Great Way to Get Ready for Tri Season

As many of us get ready for triathlon season, or in my case, ready for the biggest race of my life...giving birth...strength training is very important.  It falls off the to-do list when the priorities shift to longer swim/bike/run sessions and 15-20 hour training weeks start becoming difficult to maintain your work/social balance and the ability of adding 1 hour of strength training or 1 hour of a vinyasa class becomes severely low on the totem pole.  So, now is the time - Jan, Feb, March when you are building your bases or just before building your base.  I started doing TRX last year in the winter.  I was in between trying cross-fit and TRX and well, TRX was offered at the gym and I heard nothing but awesome things from one of my favorite fast tri friends, Hailey , who was raving about using it.  I used to be a gym-rat before all this triathlon business took over my life, where I had actual muscles and looked cut and really had a six pack and it wasn't just because I was under 30.  So in the strive to get a remotely cut look back I added TRX and plyometric training and really felt that this helped with my PR season of 2012 and a somewhat improved body from what is was looking like over the past few years when I started tris.

In the wake of finding out I was prego I did some research.  I found out there was a legit study that showed that strength training 3x per week equated in faster weight loss after the baby was born, which is actually a "no-duh" moment but sometimes you need to read about it again.  I also realized that the ab/core work you are allowed to do made TRX training a viable option.  I talked to trainer Eric  and he said as we go we may need to modify but we should be good.

If you don't know what TRX is - it is a new form of torture suspension training  that was built on the philosophy that your muscles are all interconnected and nothing is entirely isolated.  With TRX you move on multiple planes and in my opinion helps tremendously in all three of the triathlon disciplines.

Here is a short video of what encompasses my 45 minute sessions of TRX from the #DayInTheLife You Tube series from my trainer Eric (NOTE - ERIC AND SAQUIB MAKE EVERYTHING LOOK SIMPLE - IT'S NOT) 



 If you have the opportunity check it out, I promise it will help with your next swim session, hill workout etc.

Lastly Eric has another recent total body workout he posted on You Tube so check it out!! It will hurt but so worth it!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cooking with Beer

Ahhh...I know you were all waiting for a new beer post...


My new saying during the 9 months is "if you can't drink it, might as well cook with it."  Before I get to my recipes, I need to share some thoughts on the great beers we have on tap at the house. 

As you know we have three taps, but I bought Mike a temperature regulator and new freezer to keep some beers.  This came in handy in early December when Mike went to pick up our Christmas beer from our beer guy and he said "so Mike, I figured this was Heather's year with the beer and I got her favorite beer Scaldis Noel."  Mike didn't know what to do and didn't want to tell him we were expecting but had to get the ridiculously expensive beer from him since he didn't want to stick him...he came home and I said, "well, no offense, but we will have to hold that till next year, because I am not letting other people drink that when I can't."  For those of you that don't know it's a very expensive Belgium Christmas beer that is not easy to get in a keg...so it is currently sitting very patiently till I deliver a baby.

So sitting currently on tap and in our fridge (besides Scaldis):

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe (American Double/Imperial IPA) - this is a hoppy IPA and very smooth.  I love the color of this beer - a dark amber.  It's smells of pine and citrus, so clean and crisp.

Neshaminy Creek Leon Russian Imperial S'mores Stout - I haven't actually drank this one since we got this post-prego so I am going to give you Mike's input.  First off, the beer poured like syrup for the first 5 pours then changed to more of a thick stout consistency with a nice head.  He told me it tastes exactly as written in it's description "Leon is a big beer. So big, it has twice as much malt as any other beer we brew, and also requires us to do a double mash just to reach such a high wort gravity. Each 15 barrel brew has 45 pounds of freshly handmade marshmallow fluff made by our in house chef and Production Manager, Steve Capelli, as well as 16 and half pounds of bittersweet bakers chocolate, and 30 pounds of crumbled graham crackers." 

Dogfishhead Sah'Tea - Sah'tea is flavored with black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper. The beer is a wheat beer and although Mike and I aren't huge wheat beer fans the spices in these make it very drinkable.

Allagash Fluxus - Strong Ale brewed with spelt and green and pink peppercorns.  You can taste the peppercorns on the back end.

Okay, now to get to the meat (literally) of the post - I got lots of comments and questions regarding recipes on these two dishes I recently made and posted on Instagram and Facebook so here they are:

Sah'Tea Turkey Sausage with Caramelized Onions (print recipe)

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 lb turkey sausage (4-6 links)
16 ounces of sah'tea or other spiced beer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Heat oil on medium and add onions cooking for 5-7 minutes or when browned.  Add 4 cloves of garlic minced for 2 more minutes.  Add turkey sausages browning on all sides.  Add beer and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes until turkey sausages are opaque.  In the meantime heat the grill. 

Take out turkey sausages and grill on all sides adding some grill marks.  While grilling bring sauce back to boil and add brown sugar and worchestershire sauce.  Simmer until reduced by 50-60%. 

Add turkey sausages back to sauce for another 2-4 minutes on simmer.  Serve over mashed potatoes and corn.


Chocolate Stout Vegan Chili (print recipe)

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 yellow and green zucchini chopped
3 carrots chopped
1 16 oz Green Flash Brewing Stout
2 Tbsp Giradelli Unsweetened Chocolate
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 16 oz can black beans
1 16 oz can pinto beans
1 32 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 32 oz whole tomatoes
Spices - cumin, chili powder, cayenne, African smoked spice from Trader Joe's

Directions:
Place black beans, pinto beans, tomatoes and seasoning in crockpot and heat on high.

Heat oil on medium and add onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini cooking for 10 minutes until softened.  Add beer and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes, add chocolate and brown sugar. 


Add vegetable mix to crockpot and let cook for 4-6 hours. 
Some additional recommendations:  Add ground beef or buffalo or potentially sweet potato or butternut squash. 
Also the longer it cooks the more the bitterness cooks out from the stout.  It ends up amazing. 




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