Winesday Wednesday 12/18

Yes yes yes, it’s Winesday Wednesday!
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As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’m a crappy blogger, so I really haven’t given myself the time to actually sit down and write out these posts (as short as they are, they actually do take a while to put together! You should probably send me a gift for that.)
 
But let’s forget the past. I’m here now so everyone relax.
PS: it’s the holiday season and I know plenty of you are indulging in holiday temptations- one of which should include alcohol. SO HERE’S YOUR ASSIGNMENT. It’s so freaking easy. Send me a pic of a holiday drink you or someone you know has had! I want to see your eggnogs, your hot toddies, your cranberry martinis, bailey’s, EVERYTHING. That way, when I’m bored after opening all my wonderful presents next Wednesday, I’ll be able to throw a festive post together for your holiday reading pleasure.
 
Or not.
 
But please do.
 
OK, so what do we have to share this week. How about the submissions I received and never published? Yep.
 
Keith emailed: Last time we had this, I focussed on the stopper. This time the bottle showing a bit of dust. Down at the bottom you get a hint of the deep amber colour this wine has. It went very, very well with a roast chicken dinner, stuffing, baked spuds, and the salad you see. Sort of a modified waldorf, with a honey dressing and pickled ginger as one of the ingredients.  I’m drinking the wine while contemplating the wine order to phone in tomorrow. Such a soft and gentle wine this time, whereas the last pinot grigio was a fruity wine with a bit of a bite to it. Maybe an affectionado would say we’ve left it too long, but then, I don’t really care what the wine snobs say.
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Then there’s these babies:
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Oh yeah, and my parents got us this thing for Christmas.
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I used it for the first time last weekend when I opened a bottle of Cinnamon Mead (more on that) and the thing works amazing! Of course, it took me a few tries to get it right, but now that I know how to operate it, I’m a pro. Calgarians: invite me to parties and I can entertain your guests with my bottle opening skills.
 
Booze we’ve sampled lately:
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Village Brewery Gardener Ale- where the ingredients are locally grown/sourced. Pretty sweet! It’s similar to an IPA (which aren’t on the top of Tyler and my list) and it was pretty tasty. I think even more so knowing where it came from!
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Fallentimber Meadery- we picked up a bottle of cinnamon mead after having a sample at the local liquor store. It was actually pretty tasty and I LOVE me a local vendor! The guy turned out to be the owner of the place and he invited us out to the property to take a tour of how they brew/harvest honey. Not keen on bees, but definitely keen on mead. We’re going. 
Samuel Smith’s Cider– super sweet, but very light and yummy.
Grizzly Paw Winter Cranberry Ale– more like a porter! It was a very dark beer and had a rich, deep flavor. 
The Tin Brewery Chocolate Cherry Porter- the taste lived up to it’s name!
Whistler Brewing Company Chai Maple Ale- OOOOOOOOMYGOD. So deliciously lovely I want to drink it all the days of the week. It’s seasonal though, so that’s sad 😦
 
PS: Friday is national sangria day. I think I can do my part and indulge in a glass or two….can you??

Crockpots and Kettlebells

So I asked on FB what topics I should write about on here (I am seriously SO boring. All I do is go to work, workout, drink beer and smoosh my dog’s faces) and I got 2 responses- Kettlebells and Crockpots. Good stuff, here I go—->
 
Kettlebells. Yes, let’s address the fitness portion before moving on to the food. Kettlebells. They’re pretty awesome EVEN THOUGH you can essentially substitute a dumb bell for each exercise. Anywho, the piece of equipment itself looks pretty rad and it’s a nice way to make tiny adjustments to your normal workout routine.
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I don’t have any specific kettlebell-centric workout (although they exist elsewhere on the internets) but I do have some exercises that I rotate through some of my workouts on the regular. Here they are:
 
Kettlebell swings. Duh. They work your whole body. Both double arm swing and single arm swing. I’m not going to define it here because that’s what Wikipedia is for, but it really does engage a ton of muscles while also increasing your heart rate. Heck, do a million of them and you won’t have to jump on that beast of a ‘mill! Ok don’t do a million of them, but the movement alone- with the added weight of the kb- can be done anytime….anywhere. First person to do it in their office kitchen or in line at the grocery store and sends photographic evidence gets a prize. #squatandthrustinpublic
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Clean and Press. Again, no defining here. HOWEVER, this bad boy will test the strength and range of motion of your shoulder as your grip rotates throughout the move. These have been more frequent in my workouts lately and guys, my shoulders are the bomb dot com. Should have done more of these before my wedding. Or the other millions of times I were tube tops (which is never).
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Figure 8’s. Hadn’t really thought to do these because they seem silly. BUT. They can be no joke. I chose a heavier KB than I normally use and got myself in a pretty low/wide stanced squat and threw the sucker around for an entire 4 min tabata. Yup, glutes and arms were barking by the end. Barking for more.
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Lunge with Pass Through. Not only is this good for lower body (thights, glutes, quads, yadda yadda) it’s a true test that your core exists. The split stance and the movement of a swinging weight will force your core to engage. Think: ‘someone’s about to punch your gut’ mixed with a little bit of ‘oh my dress is too tight and I just ate a big lunch better suck it in,’ And don’t fall over.
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Upright row. The KB’s shape is much more condusive to this move (ummm, the rounded handle…did I lose you?!) You can even throw in a plie squat if you want to make it a compound exercise. Don’t be afraid to chose a heavier KB for this one. Or add a squat. YOU CAN DOOOOOO IT.
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How’s that? Good? On to Crockpot meals…
 
I like to stick to the basics when it comes to crock pot meals. The whole point is to make it an easy meal, so why complicate it with a ton of ingredients and multiple steps? Amiright?!!
 
Here’s what I generally stick with:
-Pulled pork: Throw in a tenderloin or two with some chicken/vegetable/whatever brother and turn on low for 6-8 or high for 4ish hours (depends on if the meat is frozen or not). Once it’s ready, I shred it all and use for meals like Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Burritos, Quesadillas, various Pasa dishes and sandwiches.
 
-Pulled Chicken: Same as above. Love using pulled chicken for chicken salads (the kind mixed with mayo/greek yogurt, celery, mustard, cashews, etc.)
 
-Hawaiian BBQ Chicken..more like Sweet and Sour Chicken: This one is kind of fun. Hawaiian BBQ sauce (or closest variation you can find), chicken, pineapple chunks, green pepper. Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-6. Shred chicken and allow to sit in sauce for an additional 20 min. Serve over rice. BOOM.
 
– Veggie Turkey Chili: Which reminds me, I need to make this again soon. No measuring with this one (depends on your taste and how many meals you want to get out of it!). I generally use ground turkey (cooked before puttin gin crockpot), tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, zucchini, carrots, peppers, corn, cayenne pepper, chili powder and paprika. You really can’t mess up chili. 
 
-Pot Roast: Throw a big ol’ hunk of meat in the crockpot with some potatoes and carrots and cream of mushroom soup. Turn it on. Go to work. Come home. Eat delicious food.
 
Lo siento for the lack of crockpot pictures.
 
So THAT my friends is what I have to share with you. Anyone have any awesome kettlebell exercises or crockpot meals they’re dying to share? Comment below!
 
P.S.: Don’t forget to enter my OMG’s Candy giveaway! You have until Friday at noon mountain time 🙂