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Endless Booze: Adult Chocolate Milk

Posted by on July 15 2014 in Drinks

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I know grown men that will still order a chocolate milk out at a restaurant or diner. So why not? Unless you don’t like chocolate (and hate America), you should be thrilled to hear of adult chocolate milk. My sister’s boyfriend brought it to us as we celebrated the Fourth of July and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I can’t really tell you what it’s made of…since the label doesn’t say much at all. The only thing I can tell you is that it was chocolatey with a slight hint of booze and it goes with many mixers and other alcohols. The overall consensus was that a shot of it tastes like an alcoholic Tootsie Roll. continue reading…


Endless Road Trip Marfa: Hotel Paisano

Posted by on July 14 2014 in Drinks, Food Travel

Marfa Paisano Margarita

Marfa’s Hotel Paisano is a very special place. Not only is it a gorgeous historic building with an ultra-classy patio & bar, but it’s also the location/headquarters of the 1956 film Giant, starring Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. Film, architecture, and a stiff drink? Count me IN!

As I mentioned, Paisano, on the National Register of Historic Places, is a beautiful building. After its silver screen heyday it sadly started to fall into disrepair, but luckily it was purchased by new owners and restored to its original splendor, plus renovated to include modernized rooms, shops, etc. Just look at it:

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Endless Beers: Stone Ruinten IPA

Posted by on July 11 2014 in Drinks

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ATTENTION HOPHEADS: the most recent release of the Ruinten is out. If you like the aroma and flavor of a hop garden, this is your brew. Stone describes the craft beer as a dare to craft beer lovers, promising that drinkers ” brave enough to plunge headfirst into this glorious mosh pit will revel in a blend of abundant lemon, nectarine and pineapple notes found in the aroma.” The bomber-sized container of hop flavor carries a bitterness that will scare away the novice beer drinker. Hops take over throughout the entire drink, with subtleties of citrus and fruit lingering behind. Those of us who enjoy hop flavors, however, welcome the “dare to drink” attitude of the Ruinten IPA, the bold ABV, and the full flavor and feel of the brew.

I liken this beer to a Sylvester Stallone flick. If you go into the movies expecting an action-packed non-realistic film, you will be entertained. If you go in expecting a theatrical masterpiece full of drama, some comedy, and lot of words–you will be disappointed. The Ruinten IPA is not a balanced beer–it’s not supposed to be. Instead, it is in your face with hops in every way with a full feel and an ABV that will leave you quite relaxed out on the porch on a summer night. If you are expecting the “in your face” attitude from the brew, you won’t be disappointed. If you are expecting a light, balanced IPA with just as much malty sweetness as there is hop bitterness, you will be overwhelmed.

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Ramen Noodle-Based Recipes: Officially Jumping the Shark

Posted by on July 10 2014 in Rants & Raves, Trends

Why would I make such a pronouncement?

Well…

Ramen Noodle Recipe Magazine

One of those cheapy publishing houses took this idea and ran with it… right over a cliff. I saw this recipe “book” or “magazine” or… “leaflet” (?) in the impulse magazine holders right by the check-out at a small town grocery store in Texas. Move aside ramen taco and ramen burger, we now have¬†55 recipes featuring ramen noodles. From the looks of this publication, we can now learn how to make anything, even a cheesecake crust, out of packaged ramen noodles.

Sorry guys… at this point I don’t think any creative new ramen noodle recipe is going to go viral. The trend is over. Ramen noodles are totally normcore. Onto the next food blog craze!


Bastille Day Indulging: Triple Chocolate Financiers

Posted by on July 9 2014 in Desserts, Holiday, Recipe

Triple Chocolate Financiers (1) copy

France may be long gone from the World Cup, but that doesn’t mean we have to stick to schnitzel (or whatever it is the Dutch/Argentinians eat) at our viewing parties this weekend. Bastille Day — everyone’s favorite excuse to overdo it on red wine and rich food — is coming up this Monday, which means it’s time to break out the good stuff.

In honor of France’s big day, Master p√Ętissier Francois Payard was nice enough to share this over-the-top indulgent recipe for his signature triple chocolate financiers.

You’ll need a financier pan for the recipe below (clearly you have one, right?) If not, good ol’ muffin tins will do just fine.

Triple Chocolate Financiers

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Spaghetti Squash Chicken Carbonara

Posted by on July 8 2014 in Cheese, Fowl, Pig, Recipe

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Somehow, the Sicilian fiance and I have found ways to replace pasta with grains and vegetables–mainly spaghetti squash. Sometimes the recipes turn out great, other times the become a bit of a sloppy mess. When I tried chicken carbonara with spaghetti squash, it turned out delicious, almost as if you could not taste a difference. They key is to use it in dishes where spaghetti is not the main emphasis of the dish. Here, the spaghetti squash absorbed the flavor of the Carbonara and provided a bit of a crunch to contrast the texture of the chicken and peas.

The key to a good chicken carbonara is the sauce. If the sauce is creamy, full of garlic, and extra cheesy, you really can’t go wrong with the rest of it. OH, and some tasty pancetta mixed together with peas, chicken, and the spaghetti squash. This is also a carbonara recipe that requires no cream, so it is healthy of course. I cooked the spaghetti squash in the oven–roasted is the best way to do it. While it’s roasting, the rest of the mixture is given time to cook and simmer. Then, all you have to do is mix the spaghetti squash in with the combination, let it simmer, and enjoy!

“Faux-ghetti” Chicken Carbonara

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Endless Road Trip Marfa: Buns N’ Roses

Posted by on July 7 2014 in Food Travel, Restaurants

Marfa Buns and Roses Chips Salsa

That photo might not seem like the fanciest, most stylistic presentation of chips & salsa in the world, and you know what, it’s not. But what it is is fresh, thick corn tortillas fried to order for our table, dusted with the perfect amount of salt and served with fresh, garlicky salsa. That’s how they DO it at Buns N’ Roses in Marfa.

But let’s rewind a bit. The second day of our West Texas roadtrip extravaganza, we moseyed from our teepees at El Cosmico to Buns N’ Roses, about a 40 minute walk in the hot desert sun. (We could have driven I guess, but we’d all imbibed quite a few mimosas back at our lodging. Duh, vacation.) I had heard good things about their breakfast from the peeps at El Cosmico and besides that, I couldn’t turn down a restaurant with a pun for a name.

It’s an accurate pun, too, because Buns and Roses is a 2-in-1 stop: both a bakery (buns) and florist (roses). I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

Upon approach, you feel like you might be entering an abandoned/haunted greenhouse…

Marfa Buns and Roses Driveway

Marfa Buns and Roses Building

But inside it’s quite cute and cozy! The kitchen is run by a mother-daughter team, which I love. There were only a couple other tables in for brunch around 11:30am on a Saturday, and service was super quick with plenty of coffee refills – always appreciated. The menu is full of your standard egg dishes, plus offerings from their bakery: honey wheat bread, beer bread, and of course their famous buns. Tragically they were sold out of all their donuts and pastries by the time we rolled in so we couldn’t try any of their eponymous buns! But the breads/toast were GOOD.

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