Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Annual Death Cold

This past weekend I began coming down with the annual winter death cold - the one that leaves you sniffling and stuffed up at the same time, sucks every last bit of energy you have, makes your body feel like you've been beat up by a gang of people.

My go-to supplies for something like this are simple. I start with Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care tea. I buy this at my co-op, but I believe Target carries it and I'm sure Whole Foods would have it, if not something similar. It's a caffeine-free herbal tea made from a fusion of the best cold-fighting herbs. When I boil water in my tea pot, I add minced ginger before boiling. I love making stir-fry, so this is something I always have in a jar or tube in my fridge. Its immune-boosting properties are helpful during a cold - read more about it here. Finally, once the water has boiled and I pour it over the tea bag to steep, I add a squirt of local honey (honey has natural antibacterial properties - especially raw honey - and local honey can help you fight some of those allergy triggers).

This lovely cold also seems to take away any bit of appetite, so I love to have tangerine popsicles in the freezer. I buy the no-sugar-added, all-fruit kind. These give a little boost of vitamin C and put a tiny bit of something in my stomach.

And of course, rest, rest, rest!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hold up...

Did I seriously go from the end of October to the middle of January without posting a single thing about food? For shame...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quick, easy, healthy work lunch:

Packing lunches for work can sometimes be a total drag. Every now and then you luck out with leftovers from last night's dinner, but other times you're on your own and starting from scratch. I always seem to find myself without decent options, but last week I did think about lunch (instead of just dinner) before I went grocery shopping, and ended up with some decent options.

At home while I was getting ready for work, I boiled water and made a serving of pasta:

Then at work, I microwaved steam-in-bag veggies I found on sale at the grocery store:

I mixed the two together, put back in the microwave for a minute with shaved parmesan cheese, and enjoyed a delicious lunch!

This would also make an easy dinner-for-two with a baked chicken breast added to the mix. 

I purchased a few of these Green Giant veggie mixes, and was sure to read the nutrition facts before making my selections (since some of them contained seasonings or in this case, a butter sauce). My body reacts pretty harshly to excess sodium (think pudgy hands), but I was happy to see that this particular mix only contained 9% daily value of sodium per serving (entire package was two servings). I think I may need to go back to the store and stock up! Shhh...  

Fun Fact: I took these pictures using the Instagram app on my iPhone. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Iron Hill Brewery

Hey all! Last night Ashley and I had a date night at the new Chestnut Hill Iron Hill Brewery. There are several other locations in the state, but neither of us have been to one yet. We were particularly excited about this new location because there is a very small selection of places we like to eat in my neighborhood.

There's one local pub that is packed to the doors if there is ever any sort of sports game on TV (and with Philly having a team for all the major sports, that's almost every night). The service there also leaves a lot to be desired. There's also a brewery and flatbread restaurant with a very unique atmosphere, but you can't really show up wanting a big meal, as the food is a little on the lighter side. But anyway, back to Iron Hill.

The first day of business for Chestnut Hill was on Wednesday, January 4. We were thinking about going this past weekend, but figured there would be a long wait on its first weekend open for business. So instead, we made a reservation (they offer online reservations through Open Table) for last night. That was an excellent decision, because when we arrived, the entire waiting area was full and the wait time was almost an hour!

Over the weekend, we took a look at the extensive menu online. Oh my gosh - amazing. I have to say, it was really difficult to choose what to order, especially since there were three meals I really wanted to try: the chicken pot pie, the shrimp scampi linguini and the turkey burger ( can rarely find a place that serves a good turkey burger). I finally decided on the chicken pot pie, and Ashley chose the Hawaiian spiced Ahi tuna. We also had a small order of buffalo chicken wings for an appetizer (amazing buffalo sauce!) and an apple fritter with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Everything was made extremely well with great flavors and decent serving sizes.

And what about the beer? Well, we were seated right next to a window looking into the brewery (cool!). I ordered a raspberry wheat and loved the flavor. I tasted a light raspberry flavor first, finishing with that classic wheat beer flavor. Definitely not an overbearing or syrupy fruit flavor like some others I've tried, and it was a nice light color. Ashley ordered one of the featured Belgian seasonal brews, the Belgian Pale Ale. It has a great flavor - not too strong and not too weak, not excessively hoppy and a light brown color.

The service was great from the hostess to our server. The restaurant is really nicely designed with several semi-divided eating areas that provide plenty of options for the kind of atmosphere you want - quieter toward the back of the restaurant, or in the middle of the buzz up front by the bar. We were close to the kitchen, and saw the unending rush of servers back and forth all night. I think it was just as busy when we left as when we first walked in the door (our reservation was for 7:30 p.m. and we left around 9).

Overall, it was a great experience and I can't wait to go back again in a few weeks with friends!

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, but I was sure to provide lots of links to several different sections of Iron Hill's website. Enjoy!