When we ordered “nachos” at Lavaca Street bar IN AUSTIN, I didn’t realize that meant “a giant metal sheet pan filled to the brim with freshly fried tortilla chips smothered in both queso fresco and hot melted queso, spicy black beans, sour cream, fresh pico, and tons of jalapenos.” Really the giant sheet pan aspect and the combination of fresh cheese plus hot queso made these a shocking success. Plus the SHEER SIZE. This is like ten pounds of nacho.
What’s the best drink to have with cookies? BEER. Why not, people? The holidays are coming; we’re celebrating getting fat and doing it with our families and friends. To support our mission, Flying Dog created The Holiday Collection: Four Otterbein’s Cookie Inspired Craft Beers. While I was hoping that the kit would come with Berger Cookies, the Otterbein’s cookies did not disappoint. But what about having them with beer? Well, luckily I’m here to do the hard work of tasting and drinking each beer and cookie. After our DIY beer pairing, we continued on with dessert, complements of Flying Dog. We judged the beers, the cookies, and then the pairing. Here we go!
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Whether you have a 30+ minute commute to and from work, like to hike, take the train to work every day, or you are just always on the run, sometimes your travel mug of coffee just isn’t enough. In my travels to and from work, I’ve learned how to eat yogurt on the go and even cereal from a travel mug. But I also end up arriving to work with yogurt on my favorite tie or a splash of milk in my crotch. Whether it’s the risk of mess that keeps you from enjoying our food/drinks on the go, or lack of variety, here are our top ten food (and drinks) to go. While I won’t say the dirty “c word” just yet, these would all make great gifts as well.
BUILD YOUR OWN chocolate bars! Take pride in the high calorie and sugar that you are chomping on by knowing it’s been created by you. Chocomize allows you to pick between a bar and a heart, the kind of chocolate it is made of, and then add toppings a la carte or pick one of their pre-designed bars.
9. Perky Jerky
Jerky that is not only all natural and gluten free (trying to figure out how it wouldn’t be gluten free – do they add gluten to others?), but also infused with CAFFEINE! Not straight up coffee, but with a plant called Guarana that produces a fruit similar to a coffee bean and acts as a stimulant. Not only are you getting a jolt of protein, but also a jolt of energy. Yum.
Mexican beer and fall-themed food. The perfect complement? Well, that’s what were determined to find out when Negra Modelo sent us a “pairing kit” to put it to the test. When presented with the opportunity to taste test, my answer is almost always yes. Negra Modelo sent us a box full of spices from The Spice House, two tulip glasses, a wooden cutting board, and a $50 Visa gift card to purchase the goods. Challenge accepted. Think of it as the at-home version of Chopped. Being seasonal food fans (mainly fall), we began planning a menu of fall foods that would highlight the spices (follow The Spice House recommendations) and pair well with a Vienna (dark) lager. Yes – a European beer style from Mexico. Here’s the menu:
- Aged Cabot Cheese with apples, fig jam, balsamic glaze, and crostini
- Spiced roasted brussels sprouts
- Sweet potato puree with nutmeg and cinnamon
- Ribeye steak with Quebec beef spice
- Cornish Hen with bicentennial seasoning
- Pork with bavarian style seasoning
We had a friend over and made a beer pairing tasting menu. Negra Modelo was served with the appetizer, followed by a taste of each protein with the sides. The beer and food was judged based on the flavor of each, whether the spices complemented the food, and if the beer paired well with each “course.” On to the tasting notes:
Negra Modelo (ABV: 5.4%)
Appearance: Dark caramel with a red hue
Aroma: Sweet scents with subtle scents of toast
Taste: Sweet malts give caramel flavor, biscuit flavor with light herbal and earthy tastes
Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp with lingering sweetness
Overall: A pleasant surprise, Negra Modelo provides more character than expected. While it is an InBev beer, I can forgive that if the brew offers some flavor. For a lager from Mexico, it offers the basic profile of a lager with extra sweetness of caramel and a toasty flavor as well. Tastes like it would pair well with fall foods. So here we go! continue reading…
OK people, I know we all like to get overexcited about our pumpkin beers and our PS lattes, but does every fall cocktail these days have to be pumpkin-based? Nothing against the good ol’ gourd, I just feel like some other fall ingredients tend to get overloooked — like apple cider!
This classy fall cocktail combines cider, champagne, bourbon and pear for a decidedly different fall taste.
Pear and Sparkling Cider Cocktail
There is more to South Jersey than the Real Housewives: there is food. We were recently visiting to celebrate my future sister-in-law’s birthday and went to the Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ. The name “pop shop” insinuates great ice cream floats, milk shakes, and fountain soda. However, I noticed that every waiter was wearing shirts touting their love for cheese. The shop was featured on Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay for their grilled cheese. The menu features the sandwiches from the show so some of us got that, while future sister-in-law ordered the trophy of dessert breakfasts – s’mores french toast. Then of course, we all gorged ourselves with desserts. Enough chit chat – on to the food.
S’mores French Toast:
Under the heading of “Fantastic French Toast Dreams,” you will find cinnamon bun french toast, banana’s foster, and even ham and cheese. But then you see the s’mores french toast on the menu and by chance see a waiter flaunting a pile of french toast, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow on what has to be a silver platter. Clearly someone at the table is ordering the s’mores french toast. Sister-in-law ordered it with a small amount of persuasion from the table and offers to give up half of their sandwich for a bite of the gooey french toast. Well I got my bite in a trade for some bacon and cheese fries. The bite included savory fresh french toast soaked with chocolate sauce. Then the marshmallow sauce that glues the stack of french toast together hits you. Your bite must include a piece of the top of the stack, since that is where the crunch of the graham cracker comes from. While I would never be able to finish an entire dish of it, I would suggest someone at my table order it again.