Two Lives, One Lifestyle

Beer. by Katie
October 6, 2010, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Beer, Katie

If there is one topic many food, recipe, running, health, or whatever (trying not to put a label on here.. ahem) bloggers don’t touch on, it has to be beer.  Sure there are excellent beer blogs and excellent food and health blogs, but I haven’t seen much common ground (except here! and some here! oh and she really loves her beer!).  By beer we should discuss, I’m referring to craft beers- Sam Adams and smaller.  I think we’re missing out in this blog community by ignoring beer; those of us who appreciate quality flavors and innovative recipes.  I can appeal to the political foodie as well in that craft beers are more like going to the farmer’s market than supporting subsidized corn.

Once in awhile I see beer appearances on blogs with the the majority consensus seeming to be that beer was for frat parties and men, never for a classy woman who was interested in maintaining a figure sans beer belly.  Natty Light has a special place in my heart but believe me, the beer I drank in college was not for the flavor.   (Dear relatives, I hope you’re not as shocked as my mom that I drank beer a lot in college). These days, I enjoy a beer most nights and without posting a picture of my belly because that would be weird, I assure you I’m not looking anything close to that guy from Animal House.   And I’m pretty classy some of the time, I think?

So here we start.  Take the beer at the top of the page.  Since it is a craft beer, you might not be able to find it as it’s a smaller brewery.  No worries, look for your own local “English Strong Ale.”   Don’t stop reading because you don’t know what that means! I bet at one point, you couldn’t tell wine varieties apart, or squash varieties… but you can learn, right?

Okay so when you’re reading a beer description or trying to come up with your own, there are two major words to know: hops and malts.  Here is a really basic description of these flavors. If you ever taste a beer and it is kind of bitter or smells a bit floral and herbal to you: hoppy.  If it has more of a sweet flavor or earthy smell: malty.  These are really basic, and I have a harder time describing malty.  But try a beer, Google it, and think about the description.  Soon enough you’ll discern the flavors they talk about.  This Ubu Ale has more distinct maltiness than hoppiness aka it’s a little on the sweet side but pretty well-balanced in flavors which makes it taste pretty mild.

Have you tried this beer or another English Strong Ale? What do you think?  Is anyone receptive to beer learning?!


*Disclaimer: This is my own beer taste bud views and I am not a professional beer drinker although that would be a cool job.

Meals to Marathons to More Me by Katie
September 15, 2010, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Beer, Katie

So I’ve been thinking, as you can see.  What is this blog about? What do I want it to be about? My organized type-A-ness makes me want structure and cohesiveness while my creative side has a new idea everyday.  This isn’t the first blog-identity crisis we’ve had at 2L1L though we’re practically blogging babies still. There are two things I know I want to post more about:

Simple, basic, delicious food. There are a lot of food extremes but I’m always somewhere in the middle.  Not exactly convenience food or gourmet food; health or junk food; vegan food or bacon-wrapped meaty meat balls.  Let’s just go back to the basics and throw in lots of garlic and herbs!

Beer. I’ve been enjoying the good stuff* thanks to my stepdad pretty much since I started to drink and wasn’t at a frat party.  He wasn’t at frat parties… that would be creepy.  Colorado brought this to a new level and I’m familiar with a lot of varieties and breweries.  Especially in this female heavy blog world, there isn’t much beer knowledge going around. I’d like to throw around some beer education if you’ll have me.

*Good stuff is most likely not from a major brewery.  Although Blue Moon will always have a place in my heart- thanks, college.

Well let’s see where this blog goes once again!

Snooze by Katie
May 25, 2010, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Coffee, Eggs, Katie

I’ve been hoping to try Snooze for over a year now.  Every review from media to friends has sung high praises, and what initially caught my eye was the pancake flights (like a wine flight, with pancakes…. yes, I know!).  The Denver locations are notoriously crowded though- there are tales of up to two hour waits.

Finally, after much build-up, I tried Snooze at the newest location in Fort Collins.  It was perfectly timed following a 2 hour run and an ice bath.  Overindulgence, yes please!

Since I’m giving up the drink for 2 weeks prior to the marathon, I ordered a Bellini- peach puree and sparkling wine.    Behind my lovely tall glass is John’s beer-mosa.  Orange juice and New Belgium beer.  Don’t be skeptical! It was delicious, and possibly better than a mimosa (or I’m just sick of mimosas after bottomless varieties last weekend).

I ordered the Barbacoa Benny for breakfast:

Sope Style” with slow roasted, shredded Niman Ranch Beef atop our house black beans and homemade masa cakes plus poached eggs, smoked cheddar hollandaise, cotija cheese & salsa fresca.

I loved the masa cakes and smoky, tender meat.  The hashbrown cake was equally delicious- soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, without much greasiness.

And perfectly poached eggs.  Or should I say egg.

A funny thing happened when I poked my fork into the second egg.  It was hard.  Hard as an egg shell.  And it wasn’t just a little piece, nope, it was a half of an intact egg shell.  Obviously I called over the waitress and basically showed her the shell to which she basically said “WTF!?” and whisked it away to the kitchen.  She apologized, brought a new Benedict, and took it off the bill.  I was honestly confused and laughing more than grossed out.  I mean, an egg shell is totally less gross than a clump of hair or band-aid or cockroach.

Then the manager came to apologize and thank me for being so gracious. Then the chef came out and apologized and gave us 2 free meal cards! We did go back on Sunday morning, and they covered everything including John’s drink and my coffee (also try the coffee by the way), plus the sample pancakes we ordered.  I suggest the strawberry rhubarb.  Since I was really not upset, it was an amazing show of overwhelmingly good customer service in my opinion.

All in all, I want to go back again to try everything (hint, hint CO bloggers).  Have you ever found something nasty or wrong with your meal at a restaurant?  Did they do a good job of apologizing and replacing your food?

Great Divide Happy Hour by Katie
April 19, 2010, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Beer, Katie

Well that was a lot of words in the last post… I’m a wordy gal, what can I say?

Sunday morning I tried to sleep in but awoke around 5:30 never to fall back asleep for more than 15 minutes.  After some errands and food, a lot of coffee, and some resume work, John and I decided to have an afternoon happy hour.

Great Divide offers 4 free samples of your choosing- after which I am sufficiently buzzed because I have no tolerance at all anymore.

I tried Collete (the yellow one), Wild Raspberry Ale (the red one), Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, and Espresso Oak Aged Yetti.

My favorite was the raspberry and my least favorite was an espresso stout- it tasted too much like coffee.  Yes, I love coffee.. but not in my beer after I drank two cups  of the real stuff a few hours earlier.  Too much makes my stomach churn.

Followed by a nice walk around Denver and watching some Arrested Development while sitting in bed, I couldn’t think of a better end to a weekend!

Goodbye Gladys by Katie
March 29, 2010, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Dessert, Ice cream, Katie, Restaurant, Run

Saturday I woke up bright and early to tackle my longest run yet.  I fueled with 1/2 a banana and a granola bar (I just had one).  The old stomach was acting up a bit but thankfully it was feeling better before I left the house.



I had great company and conversation during the run, which makes it SO much better.  The time goal was 2:30 and I ran a total of 15.6 miles.  The thought of running 10.6 more miles is a bit daunting, though we all agreed that stopping (for water or fuel) and starting is much harder than just going.  Instead of posting each split since that would be really long, the average pace was 9:36, including a few stops for traffic lights and water.

I’ve decided that gels aren’t the greatest fuel for me and that shot blocks are too big to chew while breathing, which is key for running.  Maybe sharkies? Or make my own concoction as Kath mentioned recently?

FYI- I didn’t take ANY food pictures for the rest of the day due to a Team in Training breakfast, running errands/ going out for lunch, and having dinner with my uncle :(.  Here’s my uncle’s cute dog, Violet, and a beer I had at his house instead.



Delicious semi-sweet dark beer.

Sunday morning brought an amazing brunch with Dottie! I walked to Root Down since it was gorgeous outside. Getting in a nice stroll after a long-run day always feels nice too.


Root Down was pretty busy but we were able to sit right away.  Neither of us had been before but the menu was mouth-watering.  We both ordered a benedict variation.  Here’s mine: a sliced croissant (it definitely wasn’t a full croissant but enough for the meal), thin Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise. Everything was flavorful and rich.


On the side, there was a light spinach salad and regular and sweet potato homefries. They were nice and crisp without being greasy.


I would most definitely go back!  Dottie let me try the quinoa cake that came with her benedict and it was quite amazing. Someone with better culinary skills should try to recreate this ;).  The waitress was also helpful in explaining things and asking about allergies.  When they accidentally used tomato hollandaise on Dottie’s eggs (she is allergic to tomatoes), the waitress apologized and had it remade quickly.  Plus, she brought a complimentary yogurt and granola side dish.  Aside from the food, it was great to meet and chat with Dottie! We’ll be getting together again for sure.

Later in the day, John and I went for a long walk to enjoy the weather ending at Lola’s for salsa, chips, a drink, and live music.  Next door, there is a fun little ice cream shop so you know we stopped.  I finally remembered I had a blog.

Little Man Ice Cream.. It looks like a giant milk can!





I love the retro feel.  They play old-fashioned music and have vintage touches all over.


The little courtyard with picnic tables and strung lights is so cozy on a summer night.



Another reason Little Man gains points in my book is their commitment to donate a scoop of rice to third world countries for every scoop of ice cream they sell.   Like I need another excuse to get ice cream.


I had German the chocolate cake gelato.  This is the giant single scoop- creamy chocolate with some coconut flakes and chunks of cake.


Do I need to say it? While delicious, this made me feel so sick. Worthless gall bladder (more on that later)!  I named her Gladys last week.

After laying in bed watching Law and Order until I didn’t feel sick, I eventually got hungry for dinner.  We kept it simple- pasta, jarred sauce, plus some added broccoli and artichokes for vegetables.  Classico Basil Sauce? Blech.  The taste of dried basil is not nearly as wonderful as fresh basil.


More stomach aching ensued and I was so grateful that I had a surgeon consult scheduled for Monday!  That being said, I’m having Gladys the gall bladder removed on Thursday!  I debated when to do it but I think the sooner, the better so I can recovered in time for busy thesis finishing and the marathon.  The surgery is pretty fast and laparoscopic which means not too invasive and fast recovery.  I shouldn’t be out of work more than a few days and was actually encouraged to get up and walk in the days immediately after to prevent clotting.

Thank goodness for my supportive Team in Training coach who is going to make me a new schedule.  If I need to, I’ll walk half of it but I want to finish it!

I’ll be back in a few hours with another post tonight!

Up With the Vegetables by Katie
March 26, 2010, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Dinner, Eggs, Katie, Lunch, Salad

I made good on my mini goal of eating more variety today. It certainly helped that my cold had all but disappeared.  Breakfast included broccoli, tomatoes, and artichokes scrambled in 2 eggs.


For a packed lunch, I pulled all the vegetables out of my fridge to assess. After tossing together lettuce, tomatoes, artichokes, and cucumbers, the cupboards were opened.  Tuna! Perfect.  I bought this on sale, and just read the can this morning.  I like it.



I did open it and think “this looks interesting…” but it looked fine once it was flaked on a salad.


There was some pineapple snackage all afternoon and a piece of toast before heading to Denver.


John and I went to have one beer at Breckinridge Brewery for happy hour.  I usually don’t have any drinks on Friday night since starting marathon training but it was early and well, I felt better than I had all week so I did.


I suggested making dinner but we ended up going out to Limon.  I do not recommend it.  I ordered what I pictured (based on the description) would be a creamy risotto full of mushrooms and spinach but what I got was a really small side-dish sized serving of quinoa with spinach and a few goat cheese crumbles. It was bland and barely filled me up.

John had a beef dish that was spicy but not flavorful.  He was disappointed that what looked like lots of beef pieces were actually potatoes (everything was covered in a sauce).

Since dinner didn’t fill me up, I made a snack of Greek yogurt, AB, and bananas.  Unfortunately, the yogurt tasted “off” though it is not spoiled- maybe just my taste buds?


Now we’re watching Julie and Julia and I couldn’t be more excited!  I’m blogging while watching Julie type on her blog. She just got her first comment- always such an exciting moment. Ah! Time to go pay attention since I already got told “You can’t blog while watching a movie about blogging!!” 🙂

Spring has Sprung by Kelli
March 20, 2010, 6:47 am
Filed under: Beer, Food, Grilling, Kelli, Lunch, Races, Run, Workout

Hi Everyone!  Happy first day of Spring!  I hope you all had a wonderful Friday and are enjoying the start to your weekend.  My Friday was great.  I got to work early and left a little early so I could enjoy this BEAUTIFUL weather before the sun went down!

Friday started out with an egg puff on pumpernickel with some BRIE (arguably the best cheese EVER!)

I really did not have much going on at work, and kept  looking out the window longingly.  It was in the low 70’s in central CT yesterday and the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky!  For lunch I decided to got to a deli the husband has recommended (he went to high school in the same town where I work and knows all the good spots) called Pickles Deli.  I saw outside and enjoyed a lovely lunch while reading Shape Magazine.

Amazing chicken salad on whole wheat bread.  Honestly, it was probably the best and most fresh chicken salad I have ever had that was not homemade.  It wasn’t too creamy and there were bits of celery and grapes hidden within the salad.  I am definitely going back to this place!

For dessert I enjoyed a HOMEMADE chocolate and peanut butter cookie.  It was amazing.

When that clock struck 5 I already had my computer shut down and was ready to head out the door (normally I stay until 5:30 or 6, so leaving at 5 was awesome).  I got home and just NEEDED to go for a short run, even though I had a race the next day.  I went for a short 2 miles jog around some close neighborhoods and could not have been happier to be outside!

When I got back I enjoyed a post run beer…

Refreshing 🙂  And then the hubby and I decided to grill again!

Pork tenderloin, brusel sprouts, and zucchini.  AMAZING!!!!  We even got to enjoy our feast outside on our tiny patio again

We are off to see the house we bough!  When we were seeing it before purchase we were not allowed to take pictures.  So today we are going to take measurements and pictures, and Stephen’s whole family is going to come so they can see the new Peters casa.  After that we are off to holyoke, MA so I can run the St Patricks Day 10K with my friend Reid!  It is his first race!!!

My First St. Pat’s Corned Beef and Cabbage by Katie
March 17, 2010, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Dinner, Holidays, Katie

After 3 days of barely having an appetite, I [probably more than] made up for it today.   My bowl of oats was smaller than usual and topped with some granola and PB & J.   What a fun twist on a classic.


I didn’t bring my camera to lunch- a sandwich and beer in St. Pat’s celebration.  Lunchtime beer is such a mistake, I was so sleepy after that.   The 70* weather was gorgeous though!!

After working, I stopped at Great Harvest for (still warm) Irish Soda Bread.  After eating way too many “just one more piece” pieces I finally froze the rest of the bread.  Fresh bread is so hard to resist!


Too bad it wasn’t that filling.  Since dinner wouldn’t be ready until at least 7, I snacked on the rest of my Noosa, adding some protein granola and PB for extra staying power.



For dinner, I made corned beef and cabbage of course.  This was my first attempt away from home and it turned out okay.  Matt and Jorge seemed to really like it but it wasn’t like my moms ;).

After rubbing the (2.5 lb) corned beef with some brown sugar, I covered it in 8 oz. of Guinness + some extra water + foil.  This is how we made it over the weekend and it is goooood.


When I pulled it out of the oven to check it out after 2.5 hours (at 300*), the Guinness and carmelized sugar scents were prominent.  If it wasn’t also filled with fatty bubbles, I may have eaten a spoonful of the “sauce.” Okay, I definitely just grossed out some vegetarians somewhere.   Here are some veggies to make up for it.  I used a little of the roasting juices and more Guinness.  After an hour at 250*, the vegetables were not softened so I put them into a saucepan to boil.



Finished product- tender and juicy:


After dinner, I had a bit of Coconut Milk cookie dough ice cream.  I really do not like how prominent the coconut flavor is but unless it’s spoiled or really inedible, I refuse to throw it out. This pint has taken me more than a month to eat- that’s a first.

Did you eat any Irish foods or drinks tonight?! If you didn’t see the recaps by Kelli and I, most of my celebrating took place this weekend with my family.

St. Patrick’s Celebrations by Katie
March 14, 2010, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert, Dinner, Eggs, Family, Food, Katie

What a whirlwind weekend!  Saturday morning, Kelli, Madelyn (my sister) and I headed downtown for the race! My sisters first ever race and my first running race.  Unfortunately the weather was being uncooperative (aka rainy) and a bit windy.  However, I warmed right up running and the drizzle felt nice and refreshing.

My sister started running just 5 weeks ago and she decided to keep with me for as long as she could.  She was really nervous about being able to run the full 5 miles without stopping.  Well, someone has a running future is all I can say!!!  My official time was 45:33 and she beat me by 1 second ;).




After a slow first mile weaving through the crowds, we sped up a little bit more and more.  The run was out and back and at the turn around I asked her how she felt.  I had a lot left and really wanted to make negative splits… and negative splits we sure did!

  • Mile 1- 9:35
  • Mile 2- 9:19
  • Mile 3- 8:54
  • Mile 4- 8:36
  • Mile 5- 8:06 (Garmin says my best pace was 5:05?! :-P)

The race t-shirts were so nice!

My Aunt had a room at the same hotel the race started at so we went up to change before the parade.


As you can kind of see in the picture of Madelyn stretching (don’t be mad), my camera was foggy.  The cold and rain were making the lens cloudy so it went on top of the TV to get a bit warmer. It was knocked off accidentally and then I noticed the lens wouldn’t close all the way :(.   There was nothing seriously wrong with the picture taking, but the lens stayed open a slit so I left it at the hotel so it wouldn’t get scratched in my pocket and there are no pictures from the parade :(.

Post-parade, a few (25-30) family and friends came over for corned beef, cabbage, Irish beverages, and entertainment.




Kelli post-cartwheel


My mom mid-cartwheel!


Car bombs… I did not partake.  They were also not made with that 100 proof whiskey (thought that was very delicious and hinted of vanilla).


Live music by my cousin, most likely the Black Velvet Band.


And plenty of cabbage, corned beef, carrots, potatoes, and Irish soda bread.  We even had Kerrygold Irish butter, which is pretty amazing.




Oh, and at some point, I accidentally started to sit down on my camera (I felt it as I started to sit and jumped back up)!!  You’ll never believe this, but it actually fixed my camera.  Seriously.  The lens closed and it is all back to normal :).

My aunt made these pretty sugar cookies for dessert.  She is such a great artist with food and non-food items.



This gorgeous Bailey’s cake was made by my cousin’s girlfriend.  She wants to open her own bakery someday.  Don’t you agree that she would definitely succeed?!



Everyone was gone or in bed by 10 PM!

This morning, the leftovers went to good use in a corned beef hash- onions, potatoes, and corned beef.


We topped it off with poached eggs.


After breakfast, I sat in bed with the puppy and snuggled while watching Millionaire Matchmaker (we don’t get Bravo on CO cable; absurd).  As each episode ended I thought “maybe I’ll go shower and get work done now…” and then stayed put.  After a day of running, entertaining, and some drinking I think the rest was well-deserved ;).

Oh yes, see the shamrock??  He’s a German Shorthair Pointer with a shamrock ass in an Irish family = McShultz.

Back to real life tomorrow.

A Bar Crawl and Intuitive Spending? by Katie
March 8, 2010, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Beer, Dessert, Dinner, Ice cream, Katie, Lunch, Run

Sunday was a gorgeous day, and with nice days comes ice cream cravings!  I’ve been following Sweet Action Ice Cream on Twitter and drooling over their tweets that usually look like this:

“Dark rum raisin, white choco cinnamon, lemon sorbet, grapefruit sorbet, chai, pb&j cupcake, vegan choc brownie, vegan cookies&cream…”

John had ESB (English Style Beer) Oreo in a cone and I tried a little bit of Stranahan’s Whiskey Brickle & PB&J cupcake!  All the flavors were good, and the flavors were all very evident but well mixed.  The ESB and oreo worked well together, as did PB&J in ice cream.

IMG_0587 IMG_0588

After a nice walk, we got in the car only to realize it was already 4, and we were supposed to be at a Team in Training fundraising bar crawl at 5. Whoops! After a quick trip back to John’s to change, we headed back over to the Broadway area.  The Pub Crawl included

  • The Hornet
  • Dougherty’s
  • The Irish Rover
  • 3 Kings

Here are a few highlights… as the night progressed.





I took a lot more pictures, but I’ve been using my camera mainly for food so I wasn’t used to indoor shots, especially in bars with quickly moving drunk people ;).  How RIDICULOUS is that guy’s tattoo!?

Initially, the plan was that I wouldn’t have any drinks and drive us home, but after the first bar, I decided to move my car somwhere it could stay overnight “just in case.”  It was a smart decision, since Dougherty’s donated Jameson shots! YUM.  Getting ready for St. Patrick’s day celebrations next weekend!

This morning, John left for work and got a flat tire! I didn’t get my car this AM so it ended up that I stayed at his house all day, with no car.  Unfortunately, in a house with NO food except some Great Harvest whole wheat.  I’ve had at least 3-4 slices in the last 24 hours (including this AM).


I ordered lunch from Thai Basil (there is not much in walking distance… and I was ultra lazy today)- lunch sized portion of peanut-curry chicken.  They must read the blog because it was filled with tons of veggies- red and green peppers, baby corn, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, beans, onion, asparagus.  Just like home…. almost.


After digesting lunch, I hit the road for a run.  I averaged about a 9:40 pace but really had to use every mind game in the book to keep myself going- maybe it was just the depressing gray and rainy skies.  This yummy orange was waiting for me post-run.  Anyone ever have cravings for oranges after running?!


Dinner was a yummy Chipotle burrito.  I usually go for the salads or a bowl but the real deal sounded good today.  I saved a little less than half of it and keep having a few bites here and there.


My mood all day was a bit down.  Last night was so much fun and I haven’t had a night out at the bars like that in quite awhile.  The only downside of going out is I feel so guilty the next morning about the money I spent.  Dinner out at a restaurant I never feel that bad about because even if a meal out was pricey, we did need to eat.  Spending money on beer and shots though… guilt guilt guilt.

On my run, I was thinking how I’ve learned to stop feeling guilty about food choices.  If I eat something like onion rings for dinner (last night ;)), I get over it because I know that 80-90% of the time, what I eat is balanced and has some nutritional value.  I treat my checking account more like a strict calorie-counting diet.  Jeans feeling a bit tight is kinda like when I have to dip into my savings- time to cut back a little- and I can handle tight jeans, but get seriously stressed about overspending.

What do you think- is it possible to be an “intuitive spender” or is it important to be a “calorie-counting spender”?