Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Not-So-Fat Tuesday

[Currently listening to: "My Song" by Brandi Carlile]

Whenever I'm in a mood I "cook it out", crossfit, and/or write. I've lost my appetite, I have no energy to crossfit (I got my arse handed to me at this afternoon's WOD), so that leaves me with writing. And music. Speaking of music, I don't know if I should be grateful or freaked out that my iTunes playlist knows exactly what mood I'm in when it's on shuffle mode. Wherever you are, Steve Jobs, I feel as though you're watching out for my musical needs. [Pouring out some PBR for my homie] To those of you who are celebrating Fat Tuesday, feel free to indulge in my portion.

Even though my life is jam-packed with the normal day-to-day routine, I am frequently alone. I'm okay with being alone. I remember longing for solitude when my kids were babies. I'm sure the moms who are reading this remember the days of standing in the shower forever just to have some peace and quiet. Chloe was quite the crier, which is odd because she's so quiet now. It's as if she got it all out of her system when she was an infant. If you're currently going through that stage of life, hold on--it gets better and much more rewarding. If you never did that, kudos to you... you're probably a better mom than myself. I actually miss those days at times. Weird, right? 

I could write about how crazy my life is right now. I could write about really tough decisions. I could write about many things--too many to list, in fact. I won't bore you with those details, because let's face it, you probably read this to be entertained. I don't have much to entertain you, and the last thing I want to do is make you feel like you want to cut yourself with a butter knife. I've had a PBR and I'm sipping some Casa Noble Anejo on an empty stomach (loss of appetite, remember?), so I'll share a kick-ass recipe instead. I went to the EVOO Marketplace in downtown Littleton on Main Street, so here's a Paleo-friendly recipe I made with the goodies I brought home. I think it's become one of my favorite stores.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts
Infused Olive Oil 
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves of Minced Garlic 
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

Organic Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (aged 18 years)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash the brussels sprouts. Cut off the stems and remove any discolored leaves. Pat dry with a paper towel to ensure the oil coats the sprouts.
3. Add the brussels sprouts to a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil (approximately 2-3 tablespoons), and sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt (enough to season them nicely--remember, they can be bland) and freshly ground black pepper and minced garlic. Toss to ensure they're evenly coated.
4. Place the brussels sprouts in a single layer on a jelly roll pan/cookie sheet lined with foil for easy cleanup.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until tender and nicely browned.

 Even if you think you don't like brussels sprouts, I encourage you to give these a try!

Friday, February 8, 2013

"It's a no-frills American beer."

[Currently listening to: "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys]

Never say never.

It's a phrase I'm learning to embrace. I'm experiencing many things in my life that I never thought I'd be experiencing. If you would have told me a few years ago, or even last year, that I would be doing the things I'm doing in my life at this very moment I would have laughed in your face. I never thought I'd be as active as I have been in the efforts to save my kids' public school district from corporate greed. I never thought I'd be addicted to crossfit. I never thought I'd actually be somewhat okay with my body (yes, I have body image issues). I never thought I'd [insert crazy thing I'm doing today here].

I'm a beer snob. I brew beer. I drink beer. I heart beer. It's the one non-Paleo indulgence I allow myself (okay, so maybe there are a few from time to time.) I don't drink it often, especially since I'm more of a tequila girl--and tequila is Paleo (you have NO idea how happy that makes me), but I do drink it on a weekly basis. Every time I go out, I see the hipsters drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. I sneer at them, mostly because I hate their ironic, pretentious, bearded faces, but also because they ironically drink Pabst Blue Ribbon out of cans. Idiots. Do they not know that we live in one of the best beer places in the United States? Have they not tried the plethora of local microbrews, brewed with our fantastic Colorado water? Go ahead, hipster guys, drink your dang PBRs. I'll be the chick at the bar who is ordering a real beer, and can probably kick all of your asses simultaneously with my newfound stronger self.

Remember that whole "never say never" thing? Yeah. About that... I tried Pabst Blue Ribbon. I had it a few times actually. A few friends came over to watch the Super Bowl, and one of them is fond of PBR, so we always make sure to have it stocked in the beer refrigerator. Yes, I have a refrigerator just for beer. It's even converted into a kegerator with a tap on the door for my home brew. Don't judge me. Anyhow, I decided that I didn't really want to drink a heavy microbrew, and I didn't want to drink water, so I cracked open a PBR--which in my mind is a step above water. Then I drank another. Followed by another. They were quite good! We then started talking about Pabst, and how I was beginning to judge myself for actually liking it. Then Chris held up his Pabst Blue Ribbon, very commercial-like, and stated, "It's a no-frills American beer." It was at this moment that I decided to question myself, and make excuses for why my taste buds were liking this glorified Commerce City water. I justified it by telling myself that I was simply in a good mood because the Ravens were winning, my belly was full with delicious carne asada and guacamole, and the beer took up the flavor of the really good tequila I was sipping. Yeah, that's why I liked it. We lie best when we lie to ourselves, right?

I then decided to test out my hypothesis. We went to watch The AquaSonics, Chris' band, play at The Oriental Theater this past Wednesday. I walked up to the bar and saw a plethora of Oskar Blues beers in a case. It was as if I was in a desert, and a beam of light was shining upon one of my favorites--Mama's Little Yella Pils. As difficult as it was to do, I ordered a PBR. It was at this moment when I had an argument with myself, and the science loving, nerd side of my brain won. In the name of science, I had to order a Pabst to prove my theory.

Crap. I really liked it. A lot. It was at this moment that I began to doubt myself. Was I becoming a hipster? At that moment I felt as if I should run out, buy a flannel shirt and don my black rimmed glasses. You know how in the movies when people see frames of their entire life in the span of a few seconds? That happened to me. I pictured my closet with its many flannel and plaid shirts. I saw my plastic framed black glasses, and my clear tan glasses. I saw how I liked shopping in thrift shops for great deals, and how I can never pass up walking into a great vintage shop on Broadway. I saw myself in my strategically ripped jeans. The fact that I like to frequent dive bars. S*@t! Am I a hipster?! What the heck happened to me?! I began to question my entire existence thus far. It wasn't pretty, folks. I then decided, aw, eff it--it is what it is.

Hello, my name is Chérie and I like Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. [Hello, Chérie]

I went to buy a six pack at the liquor store. When I took it out of the case, Trevor started laughing because he thought I was making a joke. When he realized I was actually buying it, he said, "Wow, mom. Did you turn into a hipster over night? Are you going to make ironic jokes now?" [shake my head]. Do you know what the best part was? It's only $4.99 for a six-pack of cans. FOUR NINETY-NINE! I usually pay upwards of $8 for a six pack of my microbrew. I could get used to this PBR! I decided to buy the bottles for $1 more, because let's face it--I'm worth it. ;) I walked up to the counter (sadly, they know me there), slammed down my six-pack and proudly told the guy, "They're not for me. They're for a friend who really likes PBR. My friend is coming over for dinner." I then paused with conviction and said, "Okay, they're for me." He laughed, I mentioned how it was a "no frills American beer and I'm a no frills girl" then I smiled, paid the man and went on my way. I then came home and watched the following commercial:

"It says well done, here's your refreshing reward!" I then reflected on my day and thought of all the great things I did to earn my refreshing reward.

List of Chérie's Blue Ribbon Moments for Thursday, February 7, 2013:
 1. I made a nutritious breakfast for my children before I lovingly dropped them off at school. [+1 PBR]
2. I went to crossfit and did 27 dead lifts, 45 push-ups (dude push-ups--not knee chick ones), 45 burpees and 42 box jumps. [+1 PBR]

3. I updated the SPEAK page several times, which enables teachers to have a voice in the district without fear of losing their jobs for speaking against the current Board of Education and upper-level executives administration. [+1 PBR]
4. Drove to South Denver for Tyrone's basketball game. [+1 PBR]
5. Unclogged 2 bathroom sink drains, and the shower/bath drain in the kids' bathroom. [+2 PBR]

Honestly, I should have given myself 3 PBR points for unclogging the kids' shower/bathtub drain. I could have made a wig with the amount of Chloe's Rapunzel's length hair that I pulled out of there. It was absolutely disgusting, so I decided to spare you all by not posting a picture. You're welcome. 

I encourage my judgmental, microbrew drinking friends to try a Pabst Blue Ribbon this weekend with an open mind. It speaks for itself. Give it the opportunity to speak to your heart.