Thursday, February 25, 2010

Peppermint Stout

Just drank a 22 of Emperor Norton's Peppermint Stout by manchester brewing. Think Thin Mint girlscout cookies, or those colored chocolate covered after dinner mints. Either way, it's delish.

Here is a link to reviews of this beer on Beer Advocate 
Check it out!

Home Made Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw

Birdy made dinner tonight and it came out fantastic. Definitely worth posting. Try this out at home if you have a crock pot. It's super easy and so delicious you may have to undo your pants button when you're done.

1 bottle (16oz) your favorite BBQ sauce (he used Sticky Fingers Tennessee Whiskey BBQ)
1/2 Cup water
4.5 lb pork rib (remember to buy local if you can!)

Thats it! Through it all in the crock pot on high for 4.5 hours. When the pork is done, pour into a strainer to remove from liquid and shred the meat which falls right off the bone.

We piled it high on a couple of focaccia rolls from Klinger's bakery and topped it with City Market's cole slaw and a BBQ dipping sauce birdy made.
For the dipping sauce, he used one bottle of Annie's Smokey Maple BBQ sauce and added a touch more real VT maple syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat until warm and combined. It was a good complement to the tangy BBQ sauce the meat was cooked in.

So easy, so simple, and so good we almost subbed in our forks for shovels.... Just kidding...maybe.


Field Trip: Beverage Warehouse

Birdy and I took a nice long field trip to the beverage warehouse in Winooski yesterday. We were just browsing the isles and taking a few mental notes. We ended up picking up a 4 pack of  Big A Ipa from Smuttynose. Check out a review of this beer a little later on Birdy's blog Hops and Hopes.

your fabulous.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Local Bar Review: Das Bierhaus, Burlington, VT

Das Bierhaus is Burlington's only German style restaurant/bar. Check out their website here.Birdy and I went to one of their soft openings a few months back, just to check the place out; we liked it and thus decided to go back and bring a few of our friends along! It is set back down an alleyway just before Big Daddy's through a large gate, which only seems slightly sketchy.

This German "Ski Chalet" offers quite the assortment of authentic German beer. This night we went I had had a very long day at work and my legs were feeling like wet noodles, so i needed a beer that was super drinkable (not that I was chugging it or anything..... okay - you caught me). After perusing their mid-sized selection, I chose the Weihenstephan (pronounced vaugh-shte-fawn - yeah I know, I wouldn't have known either if I didn't ask) Original, a Munich Helles Lager, which will run you anywhere from $4-$6 depending on the size you choose. It was everything you might imagine a beer to be. Crisp taste, golden color, plus it came in a huge mug. The menu described it as the quintessential lager brewed in century old tradition plus, it's from the oldest brewery in the world - just a little tidbit for your "useless knowledge i might need for Trivia night" file). Fill up my das boot, yahh.

Picture taken from my mobile phone

The bar itself isn't huge, the second floor is lined with booths in the front, the bar is in the center, and the far side has a large flat screen TV and a huge (comfortable) sectional couch. The only complaint I have is that standing room is awkward. I have yet to go on their rooftop biergarten or eaten the food at their lower level restaurant which I hear is delish and stocked with all kinds of German delicacy - Birdy said the pretzels and hot mustard are awesome.
Their waitstaff is great, I might add. We has a cocktail waitress decked out in her drndle who was FAB! Her name is Julie and she is super nice, remembers your orders, and is quickly back with arms full of beer. My kinda girl!
I did like that it is a place where you can hear people talk, and you can take someone to actually "go get a drink and relax", as compared to "let's go get a drink and end up singing kareoke with that homeless guy at JP's."
So, in conclusion, in my neverending search for a great place to unwind and have a really good beer after work on (my) scale from 1-10 (one being RJ's, 10 being Flatbread) I would lock it in around an 7 or an 8. Their ranking may go up after I indulge in some schnitzel...i mean....
Picture taken from my mobile phone

The last little piece of info I have that would make me recommend this bar is the fact that they have Dyson Airblades for hand dryers in the bathroom. Those things are fantastic. They dry your hands in legit like three seconds. I washed my hands three times just to use it. If you're not into beer and don't think Das Bierhaus would be your scene, at LEAST go once and check this crazy thing out.

Weds - Sat 5:00pm

Check out their social media:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feed the Hungry

 have such an affection for animals of all kinds. Two summers ago I was staying at my parents house back in Massachusetts and started throwing peanuts to chipmunks out on my back deck. Two weeks and a lot of patience later they now come up in my hand and come by name! I also trained a squirrel, Pansie. Now they come back year after year and bring their babies too! Pansie got ballsy and she now bangs on the sliding glass door until someone brings her peanuts. i know.

I need a dog or somthing.

My video won't embed, so check out my video on Twitvid of Marty the Chipmunk! (Video taken from my mobile phone)

Pansie the Squirrel

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One of my Biddies

Taken from my mobile phone

Please excuse that horrendous manicure.... or lack there of.

You Can Dance if You Want to, You Can Leave You're Friends Behind

Is participative management the way of the future? In Jim Whitney's class yesterday we brought up the concept of participative management. Ricardo Semler, Chairman of Semco, a Brazillian based company. Basically, he gives employees the ability to dictate their own lives. This concept is also carrying over into  schools. Check out the interview:

Does Freedom hinder our ability to choose?
Columbia Business School Professor Sheena Iyengar had dedicated her life to studying the science behind choice and a human's ability to make decisions. Here is an excerpt from her book taken from her website found here. Check out the website for more information about her, and other reviews of the book. I also read a pretty interesting article about her research in decision making in latest March 2010 Issue of Body+Soul magazine, pick one up and check it out!

A Mac store customer asks for the latest iPhone in black, but he sees everyone else buying black and suddenly changes his preference to white. When a resident of a former Communist country is offered a fizzy drink from a wide selection, he picks at random; soda is soda, he says. Though the child knows she shouldn't press the big red button (absolutely not!), she finds her hand inching forward. A young man and woman decide to marry-knowing that the first time they meet will be on their wedding day.
How did these people make their choices? How do any of us make ours? We use choice as a powerful tool to define ourselves and mold our lives, but what do we know about the wants, motivations, biases, and influences that aid or hinder our endeavors?
In The Art of Choosing, Columbia University professor Sheena Iyengar, a leading expert on choice, sets herself the Herculean task of helping us become more effective choosers. She asks fascinating questions: Is the desire for choice innate or created by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Ultimately, she offers unexpected and profound answers drawn from her award-winning, discipline-spanning research.
Here, you'll learn about the complex relationship between choice and freedom, and why one doesn't always go with the other. You'll see that too much choice can overwhelm us, leading to unpleasant experiences, from ''TIVO guilt'' over unwatched TV programs to confusion about health insurance plans. Perhaps most important, you'll discover how our choices-both mundane and momentous-are shaped by many different forces, visible and invisible. This remarkable book illuminates the joys and challenges of choosing, showing us how we build our lives, one choice at a time.

THE ART OF CHOOSING is published by Twelve, an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA. Its release date is March 1, 2010.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So fresh and so clean clean: Dream Team

My skin has been nothing short of an upset this winter. I have been searching far and wide for a face wash that will take care of my blemished skin and take of my war paint makeup. Nothing has really been that impressive... that is, until now. I found my secret weapon and my skin is living proof.
$15 or $38 

Here is a little info from the Sephora website on this fabulous little tube of magic:

Soy Face Cleanser, Fresh's most popular cleanser for all skin types, is an extra gentle, fragrance-free, multi-tasking gel formula that instantly whisks away every day impurities, removes makeup, and is safe to use on the eye area. Safe for use on the eyes, it's face maintenance made easy. Plus, it's soap free and will never leave behind a film or residue.

Second, in my newfound skin regimen  is:


My skin has been so Dry, I find myself lotioning up three or four times a day to get rid of that tight "my skin is stretched like canvas" feeling - until I found this gem. Using this lotion it is super hydrating (I don't even need my eye cream anymore - saving $22 there, sorry Keihls!) I use this morning and night and my skin has never looked better. I know it says "anti-aging" but when it comes to lotions I don't discriminate. If it works, it works - i don't care if it strictly for AARP members, I'm down. 

Put your best face forward, and remember: You're fabulous.  

Fantastic French Toast

This was another Valentine's Day treat Iwhipped up for my lovely boyfriend, Birdy. Once again I was perusing through and found a recipe for some French Toast. Of course I altered it because It wouldn't be me if i didn't add a little personal flaire. But I always give credit where credit is due, so if you like you can find the original recipe here. Otherwise, read on...

Picture from my Mobile Phone

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup half and half
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
6-8 slices Challah bread, cut about 1"thick

Optional Ingredients:
Grand Marnier
Irish Cream such at Bailey's or Carolyn's
Bananas and Pecan slices for topping
  1. In a dish, i used  a mid sized baking dish for some extra surface area, whisk all ingredients together until thoroughly combined
  2. Warm a griddle or a frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes until hot. Spray with PAM cooking spray. * remember to re-spray griddle in between slices *
  3. Saturate each slice in the batter and place on frying pan. Cook about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Serve hot.
  4. I topped mine with warmed maple syrup, fresh sliced strawberries, and whipped cream. For garnish sprinkle plate or serving dish with a little powdered sugar. 
This was, by far, the best French toast recipe I have used. The Challah bread added a nice touch because it is a sweet egg bread - very tasty! This would also make and excellent base for a bread pudding, or just sliced into a ramekin dish and topped with ice cream.

Let me know if you try it out
Send me any other delicious recipes you have! I'll try them out and post my reviews!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Guinness Cupcakes

I wanted something to satisfy my beau's sweet tooth this Valentine's Day, So I rifled through Martha Stewart's Cupcake Cookbook and found a fantastic recipe combining two of Birdy's favorite things: sweets and beer. I tweaked the topping a little.... ok, alot... and made these beautiful confections for the object of my affection!
taken from my mobile phone

Recipe From: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat


Cupcake Batter
makes 28 cupcakes

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 large whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest(about 2 oranges)
1 1/4 cups stout beer (such as Guinness) Poured and Settled

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat oil, molasses, brown sugar, whole eggs, yolk, zest, and stout until combined. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined.
  3. Divide batter among lined cups, filling each one 3/4 full. Bake, rotating halfway through, about 20 minutes. Turn out cupcakes onto wire racks to cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Martha suggests to glaze the cupcakes in a stout glaze which is 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup stout whisked together into a glaze. I made this, tested it and it tasted like Elmer's glue so i nixed that and made up my own frosting out of stuff I already had in house.

Stout Butter Frosting
I made my own adaptation of a butter frosting I found on which can be found here. 

1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tablespoons)
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoon Guinness

  1. In an electric mixer use metal whisk to beat butter until fluffy
  2. add first 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat with butter
  3. Add half and half, vanilla, and stout, followed by remaining sugar
add a tiny splash of either half and half or stout if mixture is too dry. Don't overdo it, or it will become soupy very quickly

I spooned the frosting into a Ziploc bag and cut the bottom corner to form a makeshift pastry bag and piped frosting in swirls ontop of each cupcake. (See picture).