Some of my friends and I are in a Bachelor fantasy league. Feel free to make fun of me, I don’t care. It’s awesome and a legit excuse to drink a questionable about of wine on a weeknight. It’s kind of like fantasy football, but we “draft” the hot messes from each season of the Bachelor franchise and then hate-watch and track whose players earn the most points (from achievements like “revealing a sob story,” “secretly has a kid,” “hot tub bonus make out” etc.).
We take turns hosting - whoever is on weekly host duty is also in charge of dinner. I hosted the premiere last week and needed to make a big batch of healthy food – and this southwest spiced chicken was perfect. I was able to prep everything the night before, throw the chicken in the slow cooker before work the morning of, and when I came home dinner was basically done.
Now that is worth some major bonus “hot tub make out” points. (If by “hot tub” we mean “slow cooker” and “make out” we mean “cooking.”)
Southwest Spiced Slow Cooker Chicken
So as I recently mentioned, like every other overly indulgent American, I’m ramping up my resolutions and getting back on the healthy track after a gluttonous holiday season. This means lots of salads, but as we know, I LOVE salads so this isn’t really a punishment for me.
This salad features all the aspects of Thai food that we know and love – it incorporates sour, sweet, tangy, spicy. You have tons of vegetables, protein from the chicken and nuts, but also a nice addition of… papaya! Try to get green papaya if you can, I thought I bought a green one but when I peeled it, it was definitely ripe and orange inside. How can you tell when a papaya is green versus ripe? This is something I should look into.
Happy New Year, folks. Time to pretend that you’ll hold to those healthy resolutions and become a “better you.” I’m right there with you, as the fiance and I try out “clean eating” for a while. Except for beers — I will NOT stop drinking beers. Which is why I bring you our top ten winter beers of the season. Note that even though Christmas is behind us, those tasty Christmas brews are still available as well as the special winter seasonals. Get ‘em while you can. Here ya go:
10. Sly Fox Christmas Ale
ABV: 5.5% (canned), 6.5% (bottled)
A leader in the beer canning industry, Sly Fox offers their annual Christmas ale. The ale is a very “spiced forward” brew with Cinnamon and Ginger at the forefront. Flavors of clove continue throughout, complementing a sweet malty flavor.
9. Victory Winter Cheers
For those of you that don’t enjoy a winter warmer or strongly spiced ale, the Winter Cheers is a tasty and sweet wheat that takes away some of the booze flavor associated with winter warmers.
8. Deschutes Brewery Jubelale
Jubelale includes the traditional Christmas spices, but then has a pleasant sweetness of caramel and toffee with fruity flavors of cherry and raisin. The award-winning brew is a solid warmer that gives you a nice warm feeling all the way down. A great brew for after a hard day’s work on the slopes.
Let’s be real, even though we always resolve to drink less in the new year, it doesn’t often happen. So this year, I’m resolving to drink better – quality over quantity, that kind of thing. My friends at Austin’s Mettle have the perfect cocktail to kick off this goal. The Blackberry Resolution is made with all sorts of deliciousness – gin, citrus, blackberry, and yes, my very favorite: champagne.
Bartender Brice Davis says, “I wanted to make a drink that made every man feel comfortable about drinking gin and bubbles.” That’s all well and good (and some guys I know are weird about drinking champagne, which is ridiculous because champagne is the best thing ever), but I think this cocktail is perfect for any human’s celebration, no matter their gender.
(Photo courtesy of Noah Fecks)
When you’re in your 20s you spend the week before New Year’s planning out your drinking schedule for the big night.
When you’re in your 30s you’re more concerned with how you’ll treat the hangover the next day.
Fortunately, we’ve got that one solved for you. Putting a Southern spin on America’s favorite brunch cocktail, the Green Bloody Mary mixes up Ole Smokey Moonshine corn whiskey with tomatillos, pickles, and plenty of spice for a New Year’s Day drink that will kick your 2015 into high gear.
Green Bloody Mary
1 dill pickle
3 garlic cloves
2 yellow heirloom tomatoes
1 serrano chili (seeds remove)
1 oz. Ole Smoky Original Moonshine
1 1?2 tablespoon preserved lemon
1?2 teaspoon each sugar, salt and pepper
Juice of 1?2 lime
3 dashes Tabasco
In a blender, puree ingredients. Fill glass with ice and strain in blended mixture.
To salt rim of glass: Put 1 tablespoon each salt, pepper, sugar and Aleppo pepper (optional) in a saucer. Wet rim with lime wedge, dab in saucer.
*Cocktail recipe courtesy of Distilled NYC
The tradition continues! Anchor releases their 40th Anniversary edition of the Christmas Celebration Ale. Every year, Anchor Brewing tweaks the recipe to the traditional Christmas Ale. And of course…they add a new illustration of the tree to the collection. Generally, Anchor ensures a dark ale packed full of spices that remind us all of Christmas. This is my third year sipping this beverage and it has become a tradition for myself as well. Anchor keeps the recipe secret, but we know that it is made with a mix of strong malts, spices, and hops to be complemented by the dry hopping process. Anyway, here’s to beer traditions.