Vanilla Porter Beef Stew

Today, right before we sat down to dinner, I told Eli that I had some very sad news. I told him that he deserved to hear it from me, rather than find out on his own…I had used an entire bottle of his new favorite beer for the stew. His face dropped and he looked at me with incredulous despair. But it has gone to a better place! Its happier! It gave its existence more meaning! The simmering whimper didn’t stop until he ladled a spoonful up to his mouth and ate it.

Magic. Pure magic. He completely forgave me when I handed him a new bottle of Vanilla Porter. By any legal means necessary, try this ale. It lends the stew a complex, mellow flavor above the whole yeasty beer thing. The chocolate tones and wonderfully smooth vanilla finish are robust enough to carry a hearty beef stew. There’s a reason we didn’t call this recipe “Beef Stew with Beer” (also known as “Man Stew”), and that is because of the crucial ingredient.

For those of you who are weak-of-will, do yourself a favor and buy 2 cases. Once you take a sip of this beer, you are not going to want to pour it anywhere else but into your mouth!

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Autumn Roasted Chicken

This morning I woke up and smelled something so antithetical to roses that I would only wish it on my most hated of archnemeses. Parker, our teenage kitten, tracked poo(?!) onto the breakfast bar…in the area I finished a burrito bowl last night. And you know what? Smeared, oxidized avocado can look like poo! I sniffed it. And because my head and nose is stuffed in the morning, I sniffed it twice.

Reserved for the most hated of archnemeses.

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Triathloning for Noobs: Training Gear

Based on the limited nature of my knowledge of triathloning, I’m assuming most of you reading this blog for the triathlon information it provides are noobs. Thus, it is entirely possible that you, sitting on the other side of the computer screen, currently have no idea what you’re doing. If that’s the case, I have some good news for you – every single triathlete who has ever lived, amateur and pro alike, was once exactly like you.

The other good news is that there is very little gear you actually need before setting out on your Great Triathlon Adventure. Some people (I refuse to say whether or not I am included in this group) feel the need to go out there and buy every piece of equipment they could ever possibly need before getting down to it and actually doing triathlon, but I’m here to say that it’s actually much simpler (and cheaper) than that. Once you procure the items on this list, you’ll be ready for 90% of what comes your way in your first season of the greatest sport known to mankind*.

Having said all that, if you’ve really got a wad of cash burning its way through your wallet and you’d prefer that it not singe your butt cheeks, check out the Wish List at the bottom of the post for some more fun ideas.

 

*Please note that The Gourmet Triathlete rarely checks the validity of its factual claims. If you have any complaints about this or anything else on our site, feel free to direct them at that blank wall behind you.

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Naan

I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Like…when it rains, make Indian food! I brought my umbrella this time, but even when you’re taunting those storm clouds with knee high suede boots, it does not rain. Not until you step inside. Its a cruel triumph, I know. Anyway, we had leftover Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) in the fridge and I decided to make some naan. Murgh Makhani and naan are culinary soul mates very much in the same way milk and cookies are. Great dunkability exists in both partnerships.

Traditionally cooked in a tandoor, naan can also be made on the stove top or, as demonstrated here, in the oven. It keeps for a least one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator and only needs to be briefly revived in the oven.

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Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Based on a true story.

Once upon a time there lived a girl who loved to bake and knew no moderation. She lived in a tiny little dorm room in a land far, far away from her best friend. Knowing how much her friend loved oatmeal raisin cookies, she decided to bake him some. Of course, for a girl with no concept of moderation, “some” meant six dozen large oatmeal raisin cookies. Six dozen, for those of you less mental-math-inclined, is seventy-two cookies.

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Apple Picking + 5 Tips for A Great Trip

Apple season is here! This weekend we paid a visit to Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland, OH and it was so much fun. The weather was in rebellion of the autumnal status quo, and so sticking it to The Man, decided to be 75 degrees and gorgeous.

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Strength Training Sundays: A+ Pushups (Back to Basics)

"It's just like landing on an aircraft carrier!"

On any given Saturday morning, round abouts 3:30 am, anyone who happened to be cruising through a tiny neck of the woods in Rhode Island would be likely to come across Mr. Caron, the infamous XC/Track coach and health teacher of Ponaganset High School, diligently raking the trails of the school’s cross country course or setting out orange cones on the track by the light of the high beams on his ancient white van with a grin on his face. This sight might give you pause, and the occasion to ask yourself, “Why?” The answer would of course invariably be, “Because it’s Mr. Caron. That’s why.”

In honor of Mr. Caron and his incredible commitment to his students and athletes over the years, I’d like to dedicate this first iteration of the hopefully regularly recurring “Strength Training Sundays” to a technique that will be forever burned into my brain: A+ Pushups. If you were to ask me to sum up the essence of A+ Pushups, I would probably respond with the old Mr. Caron adage that has been shouted across the track since somewhere around the Beginning of Time (since that’s when Mr. Caron started coaching) – “IT’S JUST LIKE MAKING FRENCH FRIES!!!”

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