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A Very Dogfish Vacay: The Brew Pub

Posted by on July 30 2014 in Drinks, Food Travel

pub

Next stop in Delaware: the Brew Pub. The Brew Pub is located in Rehoboth Beach, DE. While the pub serves some tasty foods, let’s be honest—it’s all about the beer. The Brew Pub is where Sam Caglione started the brewery. While the main “flagship” brews are made at the brewery in Milton, every beer starts as an experimental in the Brew Pub. This means that here you are likely trying a beer that you may never be able to have again. You are helping decide the fate of the precious suds we’ve all learned to love and enjoy.

When we visited, there were several rarities for us to try. The best bet is going with a flight and picking either the most outrageous brews available, or those that you’ve never had before.  From there, you can decide which brews you’d like to have again and again before you leave the pub. While it is home of many rarities, it also has just about everyone of their seasonal and flagships. But you can get those just about anywhere. Go for the ones that you may never be able to get again. The brew pub also has signature beer cocktails that are worth a try. continue reading…


The Juice is Loose… Cold-Pressed Juice, That is

Posted by on July 28 2014 in Trends, Veggie

Daily Greens Cold-Pressed Juice

We’ve all seen the hype around juicing, juice cleanses, juice fasts, etc. I feel like there’s an abundance of high-end cold-pressed juices at Whole Foods and whatnot… $7+ for a juice? Is it worth it? What makes some juices better than others? Is this really better for me than just eating some fruits and vegetables? What IS cold-pressed? So many questions, so few answers.

Serendipitously, Austin-based Daily Greens reached out to me at the beginning of the summer and offered me a sample box of their juices and I couldn’t say no. It was time to see what all the fuss was about. It was time to taste the rainbow.

So, what makes a cold-pressed juice superior to its classic counterparts? I’ll take it straight from the mouth of the Daily Greens website:

High Pressure Processing (“HPP”), otherwise known as pascalization, uses high pressure instead of heat to inhibit microflora growth in fresh food and therefore naturally extend its shelf life. Unlike pasteurization, pascalization is an external process; the raw product itself is never touched. Our pressurizing method uses evenly distributed pressure of cool water to destroy any harmful bacteria, such as Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella, lactic acid bacteria, yeast and mold, thereby making it safe for public consumption.

Because of the chilled temperature at which the juice is treated, alongside the minimal impact that pressure has on the structure of the components responsible for nutrition and flavor, the juice remains raw and the nutrients and taste remain the same.

My takeaway from all this: more nutrients! Closer to the structure of the original produce! Tons of greens and fruit! I can get behind that.

I think some people are weirded out by the idea of juicing vegetables. While I love most vegetables, there are certain things I can’t get behind. For example… I really, really, do not like celery. Does juiced celery taste any better? I mean, not by itself, no. But when combined with other, pleasurable flavors, it becomes a lot more palatable. As far as kale, spinach, and most other greens… those have a pretty mild flavor.

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Case in point about the taste of these cold-pressed wonders: my very favorite flavor of Daily Greens was their “Renew,” made with mint, spinach, cucumber, watermelon, dandelion (!), pineapple, celery, and lime. Yes, celery was in this one but it was still delicious and very refreshing! Of course if you put watermelon and pineapple in anything, I’m probably going to be a fan. (Other recommended flavors from yours truly? The “Elevate” and “Rejuvenate.”) Anyway, all of these green juices really did make me feel energized, fresh, and light – versus a glass of your average fruit juice, which is tasty but sugary and not at all filling. (I will always have a soft spot in my heart for POG but I know it’s really not great for me… sigh.)

Let’s get one thing straight, though: I won’t ever be one of those people who regularly goes on juice fasts. I think health juices are a great way to supplement your diet and get some extra nutrients in, and a couple times I had a Daily Greens for lunch when I was having a hectic day at work. But I think they’re best enjoyed as part of a rounded, healthy nutritional routine. And Daily Greens seems to agree – they do offer a juice cleanse program but it’s only for 3-4 days AND, most importantly, they also encourage eating as many raw fruits & vegetables during the detox so you still feel full. So I think I could manage that! They also make sure to say “We do not believe in “crash” juice cleanses in which only juice is consumed for days on end, as these types of diets can result in many negative side effects” – good for you, Daily Greens friends.

After my big taste test, I do think there IS a big benefit to cold-pressed juice. More nutrients, tons of flavor, super fresh… it might cost a bit more but I think the perks are worth it. I’m definitely going to try to add more green juices into my diet. Even some celery! When it’s mixed with watermelon, at least.


A Very Dogfish Vacay: The Inn

Posted by on July 25 2014 in Drinks, Food Travel

DFInn1Many think of Delaware for its fun, party-hopping beach towns. I think of beer. We went down for a long weekend to enjoy the beaches and of course – Dogfish Head Brewery. As I looked into the trip, I noticed that the Dogfish Inn just opened and we decided to try it out for a night. Dogfish Head is slowly taking over the entire territory of Delaware Beaches. The Inn is located in Lewes, DE, which is conveniently between the brew pub and the brewery. Originally, Dogfish started a “360 Experience” where customers could stay at a specific hotel and were given preferential treatment at both the brew pub and the brewery. Then, one day Sam Caglione (Founder of Dogfish Head Brewery) noticed an Inn up for sale and took advantage of the opportunity. Now, the experience is truly 360 from beginning to end.

We didn’t know what to expect except for what the reviews said. I read early on that the Inn does not supply or sell beer. I was disappointed to begin with, since I am staying at an Inn created by the mind behind Dogfish Head Brewery. One of the first questions I asked is why they don’t sell or provide beer. The innkeeper, Andrew (who has a very admirable and thick beard) explained that Sam did not want to open up further competition in the town of Lewes. Since Sam is a resident of Lewes, he wanted to promote business at the local eateries and bars. Every night, the inn posts which local bars and restaurants have what Dogfish brews on tap. We asked the staff about several of the restaurants, and they were very knowledgeable about the best food and best prices. They will also call ahead if you want to eat at the Brew Pub, or if you want to take a tour. The Inn will make the arrangements for you. continue reading…


Bacon, Lettuce, & KIWI Sandwiches

Posted by on July 24 2014 in Bacon, Recipe, Sandwich

BLK Kiwi Sandwiches

Yes, it’s not a BLT, but a BLK! It’s so crazy, it just might work. The good folks at Zespri Kiwifruit sent me an email of kiwi recipes and this was one of their ideas – at first it seemed a bit controversial, but kiwis have kiiiinda similar textures to tomatoes, plus that zingy bite. Not too sweet or mushy. And I do love incorporating as much tropical fruit as possible into my summertime meals… another bonus for easy summertime cooking, when you don’t want to spend hours slaving over the stove – this takes about five minutes to make. Two thumbs up, kiwi friends!

Bacon, Lettuce, & Kiwifruit Sandwich
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Curried Cashew Chicken Dip

Posted by on July 22 2014 in Recipe

Curried Cashew Chicken Dip 2

I was going to a party the other weekend (okay, okay, it was a World Cup watching party, maybe the fact that I made an Indian-inspired recipe for a gathering themed around Argentina & Germany can tell you how much attention I paid to the World Cup. Sorry world!) and like any good guest at any sort of sports-watching thing, I brought food. Chips & dip! Obviously!

Anyway… Stonefire, who I’ve written about in the past, sent me some samples of their newest products, naan crisps. I almost didn’t get a chance to test them out and make a recipe, because my friends jumped on these like Liz Lemon on some night cheese! (I’ve been binge-rewatching 30 Rock on Netflix this summer.) Rob declared these “the best food blog sample [I've] ever received” so that’s really saying something. These naan crisps are super good – light, crispy, airy, and savory.

I wanted to do something that tied in with these chips before they all got devoured, so I threw together a protein-packed dip with an Indian twist – that, despite being neither Argentine or German themed, was a hit at the watch party. Added bonus: this recipe gets its creaminess from yogurt instead of mayo or sour cream, so it’s actually pretty good for you!

Curried Cashew Chicken Dip

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Endless Road Trip Marfa: Living It Up at Cochineal

Posted by on July 21 2014 in Food Travel, Restaurants

Marfa Cochineal Menu Summer 2014

While Marfa is a small town, its identity as an artists enclave and hip Southwest tourist destination cultivates a demand for finer dining. I’m not talking stuffy, classic dining (I don’t think anything close to that really exists in these small South Texas towns) but creative, modern, upscale restaurants? There’s a couple in the area but Cochineal is the one I’d heard the most buzz about. So I figured hey, when’s the next time we’ll be in Marfa, let’s splurge a little bit.

A thirty seat dining room, forty odd seat courtyard, open kitchen, and a vegetable garden supplying the freshest baby greens and vegetables – all came into being by 2008 and the restaurant opened on May 22.

The food served at Cochineal is much as Ruth Reichl wrote about Restaurant Etats-Unis for theNY Times in 1993. We are still home cooks, still cooking simple food, still changing the menu daily, still paying attention to the inherent qualities of the raw ingredients. We are still in love with the wines of the world and maintain a list of some 250 bottles in a wide range of prices.

We have also have the continuing joy of watching a wonderful staff of very young and very native Marfans grow into an appreciation of what food can become and into an awareness of how skilled and competent they can become.

Love it!

Cochineal isn’t a big space, but it’s really stylish and sexy. They have a great, dusty little outdoor seating area in their front courtyard, or you can sit in the sleek yet rustic indoor space (where we enjoyed our meal). The menu at Cochineal is comprised of small plates, large plates, and a couple desserts. It changes daily, and once they run out of something, they are OUT. We got a 6:00pm reservation because, as Aerosmith would say, I don’t wanna miss a thing.

What does a multi-course dinner at one of the best restaurants in West Texas look like? Feast your eyes on this.

Marfa Cochineal Peking Quail

For course one, Rob and I split the peking style quail with a crispy and sticky skin stuffed with fermented carrots, pineapple, and fried rice. We also got the house-baked bread with Marfa yeasts to share between the table. Oh, and duh, I got a cocktail! A vodka gimlet which was ultra fresh and tasty.

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Cigars and Beers: The Perfect Pair

Posted by on July 19 2014 in Drinks

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One of the perks of being a craft beer fan is that breweries are always doing crazy, interesting things. For instance, Flying Dog introduced an old bay beer, Stone collaborates with everyone and their sister, and Telegraph Brewing Company is even helping a band release their album ON their label. That being said, it should be no surprise that Flying Dog collaborated with CAO Cigars to create a suggested Craft Beer and Cigars pairing. Together, the two determined which Flying Dog beers would pair the best with which CAO Cigars. Then, they packaged the cigars and published the pairings for all to try. Turns out they were pretty spot-on. Check out the pairings, the beers, and the cigars. If you can’t find either in your area, take the style of each and pair them together.

Here’s what you can expect from the Flying Dog/CAO pairing:

Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout and CAO Mx2

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The oyster stout carries the typical malty sweetness, but finishes dry and includes earthy and bitter undertones throughout. It’s definitely an interesting stout worth trying. Be warned – this is not a breakfast stout style, so the sweetness is not as strong as it is in other stouts. The Mx2 cigar is paired well with this stout. The cigar complements the dry and bitter finish of the stout. The Mx2 is a darker cigar, but not as bold as you may think. Instead, it has a medium strength with a smooth smoke from beginning to end. The flavors of the cigar include some herbal spice characteristics as well as those of coffee and bitter chocolate.

Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA and CAO Sol

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Hoppy meets Spicy. The snake dog delivers the promised citrus and hop flavors throughout the brew. Nice crisp mouthfeel makes it a refreshing brew with a bitter and sweet bite. Not sure what to expect, I lit the CAO Sol and was pleasantly surprised with the spicy taste that went with the IPA. The cigar had a peppery flavor throughout the smoke. Moving through the smoke, earthy notes and even some citrus were included. Another medium cigar, but it complemented the IPA well. Possibly a tie for first place in this pairing list…

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