Monday, May 25, 2015

Sick As A Dog

Well, I'm not quite there yet, but this is one is going to be a doozy.....maybe. 

When Drew and I talk about weird peanut butter combinations, like peanut butter and tomato (one of my dad's creations) or lettuce, peanut butter, and mayo sandwiches (I actually saw someone eat this at work...) he likes to tell me about how, when he was little, his dad would make him eat peanut butter on a cracker with a raw garlic clove to fight the early stages of a cold. (We actually talk about weird peanut butter combos fairly often, I'm realizing...)

He says that, more often than not, the cracker/pb/garlic combo worked. Obviously, the garlic was the heavy hitter. Fortunately for me, my Italian roots have granted me an affinity to garlic, and I really enjoy raw garlic. So, this morning I ate a few cloves of garlic (no pb, no cracker).

So, do I think it worked? Maybe. For the first hour or so after I tore through the raw cloves, my sore throat vanished and the garlic seemed to serve as an expectorant. I still smell like garlic (and I probably will tonight -- sorry Drew -- and tomorrow -- sorry coworkers) but the sore throat has returned. I'm tempted to chew on one more clove before bed tonight, but we'll see how it goes.

Here's the thing: garlic is incredibly strong and permeates everything. It stays in your body for days, sometimes, and comes out through all of your pores, saliva, etc. It's easy to imagine that it attacks germs, too. I'm on day one of a week-long illness (if it's the same illness that has been plaguing friends and boyfriend, which, probably), so I have my fingers crossed that the garlic coursing through my veins will slash a few days off my healing time.

I'm sucking on a few of the gross-but-reliable Cold-EEZE lozenges too, just in case.

The Lighter Beers of Summer

I'm usually a dark beer (or hoppy beer) kind of gal, but I make a few exceptions when those beers start to feel too heavy in the summer.

Curious Traveler is a fun shandy that comes together more naturally than other beer-lemonade hybrids. Too many shandies have an odd yeasty, bitter aftertaste, but Traveler somehow concocted a lemon beer that finishes clean and doesn't taste like someone spilled super sweet lemonade in a beer.

Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ might actually be my favorite summer beer, because it's hoppy and light, somehow. I always think I taste grapefruit in there somewhere, but that may just be wishful thinking. (By the way, Traveler makes a nice grapefruit beer if you're into that sort of thing.) It finishes dry, so it's easy drink through the whole bottle on accident. I think Little Sumpin' Sumpin' is technically an American pale wheat ale, but it definitely has an IPA feel.

OKAY. We're in untested waters now. I haven't tried these next two beers yet, but they are on my "to try" list. I think I'm going to love them. 

Stillwater Artisanal describes Of Love & Regret as a saison brewed with heather, chamomile, lavender, and dandelion. Let it be known that I'm a sucker for anything floral tasting (especially lavender). Stillwater Artisanal also says this beer is "like a fresh meadow in spring," which sounds pretty much perfect.

Deschutes Brewery touts this beer's awards on their website (Gold Medal, Bitter Category in the 2005 North American Beer Awards; World's Best Seasonal Pale Ale in the 2012 World Beer Awards). One reviewer says, "It’s for those long hours of summer sunset when you need something a little more than a basic thirst-killing lager but not quite ready for a full on hefty ale in the darker hours. So, yeah, calling it Twilight about nails it." I'm intrigued.

Any summer staples missing from this list? Please shout 'em out!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Indian Butter Paneer from Half Baked Harvest


Haven't tried out this recipe yet, but I'm saving it here for future use. The tikka masala leftovers in the fridge are calling me....

All credit goes to Half Baked Harvest for this recipe! I'll update with comments once I've had a chance to make it a few times. 

Recipe link HERE

Vanilla & Fruit Chia Breakfast Pudding


I know, I know. Chia-anything is too trendy right now.

I was introduced to these goopy seeds a few years ago when I worked at Life Alive (an amazing "organic oasis and cafe" in Cambridge, MA -- seriously, if you're ever near a Life Alive, you should go). Life Alive uses chia seeds in their smoothies, but the texture of the seeds is perfect for pudding (think tapioca). This recipe has been posted all over the internet with countless variations; what I'm posting here is my go-to office breakfast when I'm feeling productive the night before.

PREP TIME: as long as it takes you to pour liquid in a bowl and cut fruits

1/4 c chia seeds
1 c vanilla almond milk (or any almond milk, or any milk at all)
fruit (e.g., peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries)

Pour the almond milk in a breakfast-sized bowl (I usually use something with a lid so I can bring it to work). Then, add the chia seeds and stir until most of the seeds aren't clumped together.

You're basically done at this point. This mixture needs to sit for about an hour to allow the chia seeds to absorb the almond milk. Once it's "set", you can add chopped fruit, and then you're fully done. Easy, right?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stream of consciousness #1

I haven't been keeping up with this blog because, honestly, I'm too lazy. It's exhausting for me to even think about writing. Maybe the best approach is a stream of consciousness approach. This has been nice and easy so far, but I'm sure I'm going to end up with some sloppy writing.

Ultimately, I want to get back into the practice of writing often. I'm feeling a familiar urge to make a story, but I'm out of practice. I think just getting words on a page is a step in the right direction, though. I'd talk a bit about what's inspiring me, but I feel like once it's recorded somewhere the need to create will vanish. I'll keep that seed inside for now.

While I'm flowing along here, let's nail down something concrete. This has all been so vague.

Yesterday, I went to a local festival, Boston Calling, with two friends. The two artists I wanted to see happened to billed for the same night, so that was great. Sharon Van Etten was powerful, and Tame Impala was everything. The two Sam Adams summer beers I had were nice too, even though I don't usually love Sam Adams brews. Before I left Boston, I grabbed a couple bottles of Lapis Luna "Moon Eyes" (a cabernet sauvignon from California). I haven't been able to find any of the stuff in Rhode Island, and I really like it's woodsy, silky depth.

Once I leave off here, I'll probably pick up some Indian food for me and Drew. (Yes, in this case, "me" is correct.) I'm going to spend too much money, probably, but eff it. I was just promoted, so I'll probably have room in my next paycheck for this...but also maybe not. (My company is almost notorious for underpaying its editors, and my new salary is really more appropriate for the job I'm being promoted out of.) There might be another post on this sometime in the future (I really hate promising any posts, because I'm terrible about the follow-up) but despite the low pay, I'm really looking forward to this new position. It's much closer to what I'd like to be doing ideally, and unless I want to move to New York City (I don't), it's probably the best job around.

I've been sitting with my hands clasped for a little while now, so I think I'm done writing. If I stay disciplined, I may even be back soon. I'm thinking of changing the name of this blog, too. I've been calling it "Roots" in my head since I first became interested in blogging, but the name must have been taken. On the other hand, "One Weird Moon" fits nicely with my Murakami-fever, so it might stay. WHO KNOWS.

Here's an amazing Sharon Van Etten song that you need in your life:

If you haven't ever heard Tame Impala, shame on you. Go listen to literally any song (if you need more direction, I recommend starting with Lonerism).