Guinness is a staple when it comes to St. Patrick's Day. It's one of my all time favorite beers and highly drinkable once you acquire a taste for it. It has a low percentage of alcohol and is claimed to have enough vitamins and minerals that could replace breakfast on St. Patrick's Day. Think of it as a dark, heavy milkshake.
Green beer is arguably better than normal colored beer. It gets you in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. It makes you feel like you're drinking leprechaun blood. It gives you Irish pride. A little bit of food coloring in your favorite light beer can go a long way.
Killian's Irish Red
You'll find Killian's paired up next to the Guinness this time of year but there are far better Irish reds to be had. However, you should try one if you're not into reds as it is a good starter.
Murphy's Irish Stout
Some say that Murphy's Irish Stout is better than Guinness because it's smoother and is not as bitter. Maybe... If you pour some Magic Hat #9 into this it makes for an interesting treat.
Smithwick's (Pronounced 'Smiddick's')
When you go to order a Smithwick's this St. Patrick's Day impress your bartender by pronouncing it correctly. Also, order one because it's yummy and also brewed by Guinness.
Young's Double Chocolate Stout
I always recommend Young's to those too afraid to try Guinness. It has a rich chocolate flavor and unlike Murphy's or Guinness it doesn't have a bitter bite. It has a smooth and sweet malty bite. Did I mention that it tastes like liquid chocolate?
Irish Car Bomb
Pour your favorite dark beer (traditionally Guinness) into a pint glass. Pour your favorite Irish cream (traditionally Baileys) into a shot glass. For an added blast, float Jameson's Irish Whiskey on top of the Irish cream. Now all you have to do is drop the bomb into your pint and chug, chug, chug, chug!
Ice cream has the ability to make almost anything taste better. Scoop some into a smooth dark beer and tada! Don't forget to drizzle green chocolate syrup on top.
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Let's cut right to it. Food needs no introduction... I actually have a long story attached to shrimp scampi and my first Valentine's Day with my girlfriend. There was an icy mess and a car stuck on the side of the road. There was a rose in a blender. There was cold shrimp scampi. I don't wish to bore you with all the details but we ate the shrimp scampi the day after Valentine's Day and it's still one of my favorite memories/meals.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Butternut squash in general is crazy awesome. But did I mention that one of my Valentine's Day meals consisted of very overpriced butternut squash ravioli? It was to die for, but there were only a few smaller than I had expected, scrumptious raviolis. I'm still torn as to whether this was a good meal or not. It was a good experience, it tasted good, but it just didn't fit the description. However, I highly recommend trying this dish at least one time in your life.
I don't eat red meat. But that's just me. Although, I do know plenty of women who love a good steak. And if you pair it with just the right wine, you'll be sure to get a kiss.
I do eat sushi. I eat it like it's my job. I love it like it's my soulmate. If you haven't watched the documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, then you should. It might be the minimalism or the tasty combinations of avocado, eel, roe, octopus, cream cheese, peanuts, cucumber, carrots, fish-o-choice, and rice that really gets my sushi juices flowing. It's a wonderful meal for Valentine's Day. Pair it with a small sake and you'll be golden.
Calamari is a perfect side for the lady – or not. The creepy crawlies deserve a chance if you've never had them. They don't slither all the way down. They are rubbery and chewy, but if cooked to perfection, they are crispy and tender. A sprits of lemon will suffice.
Presentation is everything. You can make pizza seem like a four course meal at a five star restaurant if you serve it just right. Sprinkle some oregano on the side of a white plate, use a nice serving peel, and couple it with wine. Pizza will have you two flapping lips all night until you kiss her goodnight or good morning.
Candy is associated with almost every holiday which kind of makes me wish I invented the next big thing in the sweets industry. But alas, I did not and therefore I'd like to point out some of the best Valentine's Day candy treats that can be shared with loved ones on this special week filled with both romance and depression.
Hollow Chocolate Roses
The hollow chocolate rose can be likened to the hollow chocolate Easter bunny, but with far less chocolate and with much more sentimentality.
Candy hearts are the candy corns of Valentine's Day and boy do they pack a few words. They taste like sweet nothings.
Sometimes it's about what's on the outside and not what's on the inside. Candy grams can be filled with any kind of candy as long as there's a special note on the box that says something important.
I'll tell you what, a box of chocolates makes living life a lot easier sometimes. If you eat one with your eyes closed, you might not get the exact one you want but it'll be as sweet as life itself.
Valentine's Day Themed M&M's
These pink, red, and white M&M's taste so much better simply because they are not the usual colors. They also do a great job of filling tiny glass bowls at reception desks.
Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts
Reese's does an amazing job during the holidays. In fact, they do some of their best work when they aren't mass producing their standard Reese's PB Cups. Seriously, if you've never tried a holiday-themed Reese's PB Cup, then you're truly missing out.
Heart-Shaped Chocolate Marshmallow Peeps
Anything that is both chocolate and marshmallow is like anything that is both chocolate and peanut butter. Peeps really nails the combination because they are the marshmallow masters.
I don't regularly drink coffee. In fact, I don't regularly drink anything that is consumed in mass amounts on a regular basis without doing thorough research. There's a difference between consuming something "beneficial" because it's marketed to us in such a way and consuming something that is truly beneficial because it just plain is. This is where we must consider a fine balance.
The simple statement that "coffee is good for you" is enough to drive consumers back for more coffee every single day no matter what else is inside that warm, tasty, and energizing cup. There is a tipping point where consumers order coffee with anything in it because it tastes good but also because it's coffee and "coffee is good for you." You might have heard this before, "I drink it [coffee] because I enjoy it." I'm not saying there's anything wrong with enjoying something because we all enjoy things every so often. We all have to eat too. We have to eat everyday and sometimes we consume the exact same things everyday. Some of those food items we repeatedly consume are also pretty nasty for our health.
Everything we put into our bodies shouldn't be done so blindly, even if we hear that it's good for us. The coffee bean, for example, is loaded with antioxidants, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, niacin, manganese, and potassium. But coffee as a food product (in some cases) is marketed to us loaded with sugar. A Starbucks Peppermint White Cholocate Moca with Whipped Cream sounds amazing (I'll be right back). But it's also loaded with 95g of sugar, 22g of fat, and 15g of saturated fat. I'm not going to count those calories because that's irrelevant after the first 90 grams of sugar, and I shouldn't have to tell you that sugar is horrible for humans in such large quantities, especially when it's in almost everything (in unhealthy quantities)!
Okay, I get it. You drink your caffeinated coffee black. That's a good start. But the caffeine levels do have certain effects on different parts of your body including your adrenal glands. What about the addiction thing? Caffeine itself is classified as a drug for a reason. It does naturally occur in plants but it is also man-made for medicinal purposes. The effects of caffeine can make you jittery and shaky, produce a rapid or uneven heart beat, raise blood pressure, cause headaches, cause dehydration, and cause dependence. I'd stick with decaf.
With the leading cause of death in the United States being heart disease, it's good to know that it's not just caused by spreading butter on your toast. The positive and negative effects of caffeine are out there and the articles mentioning both effects can be contradicting. Remember, it's not just caffeine that I'm so worked up about. It's the other additives, flavorings, and unnecessary things that get dumped into our strained coffee beans that make me so crazy. I'll leave you with these images.
It's almost time for the Commercial Bowl and that means eating foods that are awful for you. You might have clam dip, onion dip, salsa casseroles, and sour cream and onion chips. Shrimp will be dipped into cocktail sauce or ketchup and bacon will wrap itself around everything. Cheese will be chopped up into tiny little cubes, each skewered with toothpicks and cheese dips will be making messes on sofas. You will be sold beer, soda, chips, pizza, insurance, and more beer, soda, chips, pizza...
The fact that these commercials cost companies millions is enough for me to sit through what they come up with. Horses will be trotting into stables, people will fly through glass, celebrities will sell you just about anything, but hopefully we will see some innovation this year. Make me interact! Make all of us do something besides go to a website to see more Go Daddy chicks. I want to scan and download something like a coupon for cheese dip.
Better yet, I want to attend a Commercial Bowl while wearing Google Glass so I can truly be mind invaded. Virtual everything will pop up and I'll just want to reach out and drink it. We should be given Google Glass for free, paid for with the support of augmented reality popup ads.
Oh yeah, don't forget about the Puppy Bowl!
The more you sauce the more you are. If you have these five sauces around, you'll never be out of sauce. In fact, your dishes will thank you. Staple sauces can be a great addition to a plethora of meals. They make great glazes, dips, marinades, and just about anything you can think of.
It's sometimes difficult to figure out what to eat but not if you have staple foods such as bananas, potatoes, Ramen, rice or bell peppers. Apparently, it's quite easy to whip up just about anything from these ingredients if you know a thing or two about basic cooking.
I find that cabbage is an excellent base to just about any meal. It helps bulk things up and it's cheap! Onions, spinach, broccoli, and kale also provide a sprinkle of vital nutrients for your body.
Did you ever consider that one day you might be stranded somewhere, like in your car during a snowstorm with a pile of canned goods you just bought from the grocery store? You don't have a can opener. You only have your freezing bare hands. What if it were possible to open that can with only your freezing digits?