Coffee Gone Wild! Top Ten Ways to Use Coffee

Need I remind you of the importance of this day? It’s National Coffee Day! Hopefully by now you earned that first of several free coffees today and are ready for more.

We perused the ES vault and found our favorite recipes that include coffee. There are cocktails for any time of day, sweet treats, and even some savory ideas. Only one recipe does not actually include coffee, but it was hard to leave out a coffee cake. Lastly, props to our trusty ES friend Baker’s Royale for contributing to the list! Here they are (in no specific order):

Caramel Clover

10. Caramel Clover

Jameson, Bailey’s, caramel, espresso. BOOM. Make it hot in the cold months and iced in the warm months.

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9. Irish Cake Bombs

Little truffle-like cakes that pack a punch. The cake bombs offer a sweet balance between the bitter flavors of Guinness and coffee with the sweetness of a chocolate cake. Yum.

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8. Serious Irish Coffee

No worries, you can make this cocktail in a glass that isn’t as fancy as this. BUT, what doesn’t sound good about rich, roasted espresso with sweet and warming whiskey?

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7. Coffee Macaroons

Macaroons always seemed boring to me. What’s so special? But, now that these include coffee, I may be a bit more open minded about these tiny .baked goods.

Pinnacle® Coffee King

6. Coffee King

Not REAL coffee, but the booze that takes like coffee mixed with cake flavored vodka. I’d give it a try.

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5. Cocoa Crumble Ricotta Cake

Yeah, yeah, yeah – it doesn’t necessarily have coffee IN it, but it does have the WORD coffee in it. So get over it. I mean, look at it – you can see the creamy, moist layers of the cake. I’m sold.

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4. Coffee Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Enough said.

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3. BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Coffee adds an incredibly complex layer of flavor to meats. Add it to sweet BBQ sauce and now the sauce and the pork become rich and extra savory.

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2. BEER: Stone Xocoveca Mocha Stout

My favorite Stone collaboration so far. Coffee, chocolate, cinnamon and pepper creates a surprisingly delicious drink! Oh yeah, and it’s in the form of beer.

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1. Affogato

My favorite dessert. Ice cream topped with espresso makes me salivate just a bit. While this recipe is for the holiday season, you can also make it with some simple vanilla ice cream and espresso.

Fall TV Frenzy! Pairings for Your Favorite Shows

The arrival of fall brings us the return of many of our favorite shows. Some enjoy the comedies, the cheesy chick flick(ish) shows, and others the thrillers. Regardless of what show(s) you prefer – they’re back! Several hours will be taken away from the time you thought you had in your day as you stare at the tube losing brain cells. The least you can do is feed your body with tasty food and beverages. For you we polled our trusted ES focus groups ourselves to determine the shows that we are looking forward to watching most, pairing them with our own crazy dishes. Plan some parties with your several friends and impress with creative themes and pairings. You’re welcome.

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FOX – New Girl

A show about a girl living with a bunch of dudes (and her ex) but somehow they all get along. Crack open a pumpkin wheat beer that everyone can enjoy together and put together (or order) a buffalo chicken pizza. While some biased people out there liken beer and wings to men, there are plenty of women out there that enjoy it too. Like Jess, find common grounds and dig in.

Drink: Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

Eat: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

 

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FX – American Horror Story

Always a little creepy, and typically even more disturbing, American Horror Story merits something that will take the edge off while watching. The Séance Saison is a fall seasonal that adds fall spices to the mix to get you in the spirit. Also considering the fact that this year’s season’s theme is circus, we thought the best meal to pair with the theme would be circus food: corn dogs and some air popped popcorn.

Drink: Séance Saison

Eat: Corn Dogs with Popcorn

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MAPLE Gone Wild! Top 10 Ways to Use Maple

Yes, it is fall. Try to say otherwise and somewhere out there a fall enthusiast will crucify you with a caramel apple or pumpkin flavored something. But deep down in the roots of the fall season is the poor flavor of maple. Somehow the poor guy doesn’t get the spotlight nearly as much as his apple and pumpkin counterparts. But wait, there are TONS of recipes bringing maple back to the forefront of fall. You may know that I have a special place in my heart for pumpkin, so don’t be surprised if pumpkin is included in some of these recipes. Also notice that I’ve included some cocktail treats in this roundup as well. Let us know if you have any favorites!

10. Cinnamon Maple Bourbon

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This cocktail seems to be able to get anyone into the mood of cold crisp fall nights while offering a pleasant means of “spicing up” a night cap.

Recipe: So Lets Hang Out

9. Maple Glazed Apple Doughnuts

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Ever have an apple cider doughnut? Now add a sweet and creamy maple glaze. On your way to work? Pass on the Dunkin pumpkin donuts and make these the night before to grab on the go. OR make these fresh after dinner for a nice hot treat. Really, you could have these any time.

Recipe: A Pumpkin and a Princess

8. Maple Pumpkin Cake Roll

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Who doesn’t love pumpkin roll? The moist pumpkin cake with delicious cream cheese filling is already a treat that I yearn for every fall. But this thing looks like an “amped up” version of pumpkin roll. Just look at it! I’m trying this out for sure.

Recipe: Le Creme de la Crumb

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Endless Beers: Happy IPA Day!

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You may not know it, but it’s National IPA Day! Donut day, coffee day, ice cream day…why not have a day for those of us who take pride in the name “hophead”? Well today’s that day. Many consider the IPA (India Pale Ale) to be the brew that really made a name for craft beer. The IPA is a bold, typically strong in alcohol content, and bitter (in a good way) brew that includes strong notes of citrus. Regardless, today is a day to try an IPA for the first time, try out a crazy new IPA flavor, or crack open your favorite IPA. In the spirit of this wonderful holiday, we worked with some of the best breweries in the nation to bring your our “National IPA Day Roundup.”

Sierra Nevada 2014 Hop Harvest: 6.5 % ABV

harvest-equinoxbottle-pint3Sierra Nevada brings out this annual 5-bottle series that features a single hop, wet hop, fresh hop, and wild hop brews. I had the Equinox Single Hop IPA. Single hop meaning they used only one kind of hop to highlight the aromas and the bitterness. The brew is an easy drink that will put you in the mood for fall. The IPA has typical hop flavors you would expect and then the taste of fresh peppers and spices from the garden comes through.

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Endless Beers: Our Top 10 IPAs

Summertime. Hot days, no more school, and yes, our fourth round of the beer exchange. This was one of my favorites—IPAs. I’m trying to savor these…but at the same time, you can’t let them sit too long, or they’ll go bad! While reviewing the exchange beers, and thinking about my favorite IPAs, I’ve done you the great pleasure of creating our “top ten IPAs” list. Here they are in no particualar order. You’re welcome.

 

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10. Founder’s All Day IPA (ABV 4.7%)

IPAs don’t have to be high in alcohol content. Enjoy this bitter delight ALL Day…and more than once. Packs a punch of hops and malts without the dangers of having three on a hot day and feeling groggy for the rest of the day.

PHOTO: Founder’s

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9. Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA (9%)

Hop. Garden. There really isn’t much more to say here. If you like the aroma and flavor of hops…this is the one for you.

PHOTO: Weyerbacher

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8. Sierra Nevada Snow Wit White IPA (ABV 5.7%)

For those drinkers who are looking for something light and sweet…but still packing a hop-forward punch. The Snow Wit is surprisingly tasty with a refreshing sweet taste of summer.

PHOTO: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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The Mount Rushmore of Craft Beer

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Recent talks in the sports world have centered around Lebron James’ comments on the Mount Rushmore of Basketball. His claim is that he belongs on it. From there, we digress to Mount Rushmores of all kinds: NFL quarterbacks, best baseball players, etc. Nobody mentioned the Mount Rushmore of Craft Beer. After much thought and debate, I’ve created two Mount Rushmores—one is made up of the top craft beers. period. The other is made of the top craft beer companies. Of course, many of you will disagree…so please tell us what yours are. Here are mine:

Mount Rushmore of Craft Beers:

1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

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ABV: 7%

The Two Hearted Ale is a true American IPA that meets expectations every time. This brew has balance in flavor between citrus and earthy hops. When drinking, you aren’t overwhelmed with bitter flavor, but hopheads are consistently pleased. The finish is dry and crisp, which is expected with an IPA. While it makes hopheads happy, it also welcomes newcomers to the party and may even open their minds to trying another IPA. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale makes it on to the Mount because of it’s bold flavors, and welcoming notes of sweetness that often makes new hopheads with every sip.

2. Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory Saison du Buff

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ABV: 6.8%

Collaboration brews bring more awareness to craft beer and create unique flavors that work. It is hard to choose one collaboration brew, but the Saison du Buff was the most memorable. The saison style brew is flavored with rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley. You can actually taste the spices in the beer…in a good way.

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Tenerife’s Top Five Tapas

These days, it seems like there’s a tapas restaurant in every city in every country on earth—we even found one in Iceland a few years ago—but when I asked my fellow passengers on our way to Tenerife (in the Canary Islands) for recommendations for tapas restaurants, I got a resounding “Qué?”

This is because traditionally, tapas are not considered a Canarian dish, even thought the Canary Islands are technically part of Spain. Visitors travel to the Canary Islands in their droves, thanks to the abundant cheap flights to Tenerife and Lanzarote, and they have always been presented with plenty of delicious traditional local dishes such as fish casserole to enjoy along the beachfront.

But in recent years tapas have become more common here, as it is in mainland Spain. So with this in mind, here are my top 5 tapas dishes that have a Canarian twist…

1. Pimientos de Padrón

One of the most simple tapas dishes, pimientos de padrón is a special variety of pepper, cooked in oil and sprinkled with rock salt. However, beware the sting in the tail, as while most pimientos are very mild, you get the occasional surprise spicy one that will knock your socks off, so be careful!

2. Croquetas Caseras

(Photo: Pincas Photos)

(Photo: Pincas Photos)

Croquetas caseras are small fried balls of almost any filling, usually white fish or ham mixed with potato, but many fillings are possible. We found croquetas caseras that were filled with chicken, tuna and spinach as well, and not only are they delicious, they are also very filling.

3. Carne Fiesta

(Photo: Pamela Stocks)

(Photo: Pamela Stocks)

A dish that will tingle your tastebuds, carne fiesta is the name given to small cubes of pork that has been marinated in garlic, thyme, oregano, spicy peppers, salt, paprika, wine vinegar and white wine. The cubes are then fried to make deliciously tender and moreish meat treats.

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