Friday, September 26, 2008

read some russian history. it's good for you!

so my mom has been in the hospital off and on for the least week, and i have been out of town for the last three days. hence, no post this week.

instead of reading Ms. Hotpants, try some russian history, with these two new books i'm in the middle of:

happy reading! (as happy as you can be reading russian history, that is...)

Monday, September 15, 2008

tongue tied...

Finally tried the Tied House in San Pedro Square this weekend. Here is a first-timers-first-impression...

I started off with the *Sampler 8* - 6.oz samples of each of their 8 beers. Not a bad selection, for $11.75. My initial reactions?

Alpine Gold - tastes like a slightly better version of Coors Light. Sweeter!

Cascade Amber - not too bad, a little bit o' bitterness. Clean, refreshing.

Ironwood Dark - similar to (but smoother than!) Newcastle. Really nice! Easy to drink.

New World Wheat - this is no hefewiezen! I like to think of wheat beers as a refreshing version of an alcoholic lemonade on a hot summer day. This is Not That Beer. Not cloudy, no lemon. Different (but good.)

Fruit Beer - Passionfruit Pale Ale. Now, this is the refreshing afternoon lemonade-like beer I was looking for! Fruity, but not too sweet. Would definitely order again on a warm afternoon, or on an evening when I didn't really feel like drinking. A nice change from a heartier beer.

Amber Light - bleh. Boring. And who wants a drink that's lower in *alchohol*?! Where's the fun in that? Yeah, yeah, it's lower in calories, but I don't think it's worth it.

Oatmeal Stout - pretty good flavor. Not as creamy as your typical stout, but I like it. Almost like a Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Fairly mild. Don't compare it to Guinness though...

Seasonal Special - IPA. strong. Sweet at first, bitter aftertaste. Not the best IPA I've had, (and I do love me a good IPA) but interesting.

Wouldn't Try Again: New World Wheat, Amber Light
Maybe, If I Was Already Drunk or Felt Like Switchin' It Up: Cascade Amber, Alpine Gold, Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Yes! And Make It A Pitcher!: Ironwood Dark, Passion Pale Ale

As far as the food went, I only tried the fries. The seasoning was supposed to be garlicky and pesto-y - instead it just tasted like they had a bottle of dry Parmesan cheese dumped on them. The fries themselves however, were actually quite good - browned and crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. The server brought bread when I arrived, which was nice. Half brown, half white, baked together in one loaf. Kind of like a Seinfeld black-and-white cookie. Clever.

For my next trip, I plan to have the Wild Game burger. I can never seem to resist ostrich!

my apologies for the poor quality photo. spur-of-the-moment-camera-phone-shot...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ms. hotpants' chocolate and beer chili...

the russian thinks he doesn't like chili. i'm determined to change his mind - with this recipe...

brown 1 lb. ground turkey in a skillet, adding cloves of garlic, chopped onion, hot sauce, and spices (garlic powder, dill, cumin)

add browned turkey to pot with these ingredients:

1 can black beans

1 can garbanzo beans
1 can white beans
1 can corn

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

1 chopped tomato

chopped onion

chopped garlic

1 hersey's chocolate bar

1 newcastle (or any other dark beer)
spices - garlic powder, cumin, basil, dill, oregano, cayenne pepper, black pepper

cook until done. (so specific, i know...)

serve topped with sour cream and a side of cornbread.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

run away...

sunday i went for a run. i shit you not, an actual RUN! sure, i was only gone for 7 minutes, but still. a journey of a thousand steps starts with one (and all that other malarky), right? right.

i have never been a runner. not even close. i've danced pretty much my whole life, and did cheerleading in high school, but never did any of that really involve running. a run, to me, is torturous in oh-so-many ways. the jarring of my bones together with each step, the wheezing, the light-headed-ness. most of the time, i feel like there is an actual hole in my throat when i am running, and sometimes i think i just might die from lack of oxygen. my lungs feel as if they are being wrung out like a wet sponge, and my face feels so red and swollen that it might just explode. you can see why i don't run very often.

i have however, experienced some of the benefits. once you get better at it, it's a lot easier, and almost even refreshing at times. there is, of course, also the amazing sense of accomplishment that comes along with it. the pride is the part i like, along with the satisfying next-day-aches.

the only time that i ever truly enjoyed running was in santa barbara. living in a dorm where i knew no one, i often found myself with new people trying new things that i never would have imagined doing before. one of these things was running. since my friend nicky excels at peer pressure, (i think he might even have majored in it), he was often the one pushing me into these things. and so thanks to him, one fall-like evening in october we went for a run. and to my complete surprize, it wasn't so bad. i wasn't totally converted, but throughout the year, nicky and i did go running every once in awhile.

a run in isla vista is different. it's different from a run in LA, different from a run around my high school track, different from a run in downtown san jose. and i miss it. since college, everytime i have ever gone for a run, i have always tried to mentally transport myself to IV. runnin
g along the cliffs, the ocean breeze blowing softly against my cold sweaty body, the salty scent in the crisp fall air, the crash of the waves along the sand, the view of the orange and fading sun setting over the flat blue water. it was truly breathtaking.

and it spoiled me on running anywhere else.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

back in the saddle...

kidney-infection-detox has ended.

i enjoyed several cups of coffee over the weekend, and am about to have my first one today as we speak (write).

the beer-fast ended saturday at my dad's house. my brother CSS, his wife Ru, my sister Rin and her boyfriend Sears joined our dad and stepmom Karol at their house in boulder creek for tacos. when we were growing up, tacos was always the number one requested dish in our house, and it still is today. my dad's tacos are ab-fab, and every few months we try to get together for *tacos at dads*. in addition to tacos, this usually involves beer, darts, fun, more beer, and occasionally some can-shootin' with bee-bee guns. (we are a semi-white-trash family of beer-drinkers - what can i say?) anyways, due to the kidney infection (and the severe antibiotics that were raging through my system,) i decided to take it easy... 3 beers later, i was buzzed. but 3 beers is better than 6, and so i am impressed with myself. sad but true.

sunday night, the russian and i used a $10 off coupon to try E & O Trading Company, and i continued to take it easy, ordering only one Lagunitas IPA to wash down our absolutely de-lish din. (review of E & O to follow later this week...)

yesterday we went to grande for burgers and beer. by chance, our waitress turned out to be russian. this, of course, always leads to trouble in the form of imbibing a little extra alc
ohol (but that is another entry, for another day...)
long story short - we had 2 pitchers of beer instead of just one, officially putting an end to my week-of-moderation.

still though - i am going to try and drink in moderation only. it is a skill that i need to master, and honestly should have learned a long time ago. my liver, kidneys, and social life will thank me.

enjoy a photo of me and my daddy, showing big smiles after a few beers. and yes - that's a simpsons t-shirt.