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


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


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


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!


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.



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


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


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


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

KBC Two Hearted Ale

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


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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Duke's Clam Chowder

Top 5 Super Bowl Recipes for Seahawks Fans

OKAY. This Sunday is the Super Bowl to end all Super Bowls. Seahawks vs. Broncos. If we had a Denver writer on our staff, things might have turned out differently here on Endless Simmer today. But we don’t, we have ME, a ride-or-die West Coaster for 25/27 years of her life, most of those in Washington. This means we’re going to talk about Seattle-themed Superbowl recipes today, and you’re going to read it and you’re going to cook it and most importantly, you’re going to LIKE IT. Even if you aren’t a Seattle person, unless you’re a die-hard Broncos fan, your NFL team of choice is already out of the running so you might as well take this opportunity to embrace the glory of the Seahawks and just enjoy the ride.

Besides, Seattle has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to signature regional delicacies: salmon, shellfish, cherries, apples, craft beers, fine wines… need I go on?

For your Super Bowl XLVIII party, represent the great state of Washington with one (or all!) of these crowd-pleasing recipes, each showcasing one of the state’s beloved flavors. Even if you and your friends aren’t Seahawks fans, you’ll be fans of these snacks.

5. Duke’s Clam Chowder from Smashed Garlic (& originally from Duke’s, of course)

Duke's Clam Chowder

I know lots of people think that the East Coast runs the show when it comes to chowder, but I guarantee you the Pacific Northwest can give it a run for its money. Washington clam chowder is thick, creamy, and chock full of fresh clams. The two most well-known and beloved recipes are from Ivar’s and Duke’s chowderhouses. If you’re an Ivar’s fan, you can find their recipe online, too.

Anyway, most of the country is still cold and miserable, so a bowl of piping hot clam chowder (maybe even in a bread bowl?!) is sure to keep your party guests warm and happy.

4. Washington Apple Martinis from Santa Barbara Chic

Washington Apple Cocktail

Do people in other parts of the country know about the Washington Apple? When I moved to Austin, I was shocked to learn that most of my Texan friends had never heard of it. This was a staple of my college years—of course, back in those days, we drank it as a shot, not a cute little cocktail like this one. (I completely condone imbibing in either fashion!) While this boozy beverage isn’t exactly the same as a fresh, organic Honeycrisp apple plucked from a Washington orchard, it gets you much more drunk. And that’s important when watching sports.

3. Chipotle Cherry Chicken Wings from The Foodie Couple

Chipotle Cherry Chicken Wings

Why this recipe? The reasons are threefold: 1. Wings are a quintessential sports-watchin’ food. Everyone can agree on a good wing. 2. Cherries are one of Washington’s top crops – have you ever had a Rainier cherry? Delicious. 3. There are lots of cherry BBQ wings recipes out there, but this one is from a blogging couple in Tacoma, and you KNOW these people are rooting for the Hawks on Sunday. Credit where credit is due.

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Endless Beers: Top 10 “Winter Rarities”

What’s a “Winter Rarity?” Well, you know those “seasonals” you like so much? Yes, they are great…but odds are they will be around next year as well. How about the ones that won’t be around? THOSE are winter rarities. The special treats that breweries bless us with once a year—only during that year. Next year, they’ll have at it with a tweak. I won’t waste my breath, but here’s one simple tip. These rarities are meant to be enjoyed, but not all at once. Save at least six and compare with the next year…and the next…and the next. Within six years, you’ll have six beers to compare against each other. Anyway…here it is.

10. Bell’s Black Note Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (2013)


ABV: 11.5%

Bell’s brewery decided to combine the Exhibition Stout with the Double Cream Stout. The result is a delicious beverage filled with malty flavors of chocolate, coffee, and even some fruity flavors. As you can imagine, this is not for the faint-hearted. OH—did you noticed the whole “aged in Bourbon Barrels” thing? Yup. Find one…if you’re lucky.


9. Weyerbacher’s Althea (2013)


ABV: 7.7%

With visions of the occasional sugar plum still dancing in your head, you’ll enjoy this brew. This is a dubbel style beer with notes of fruits coming through. Weyerbacher brewed this beer to raise Breast Cancer Awareness and donated one dollar per bottle to the cause.


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