We’re nearing the end of winter, but there are still more cozy cocktails to be sipped! Before the spring sun comes back, snuggle up to an inspired s’mores-ish cocktail, made with sweet potato (yes, sweet potato!) shrub. This recipe comes from Whisler’s, one of Austin’s favorite craft cocktail bars. (And one of my personal favorite places to grab a drink and some spicy Thai food!)
I Yam What I Yam
1.5 oz Butter-Infused Flor de Cana 7yr
.5 oz Milletti Amaro
1 oz Sweet Potato Shrub
2 dashes of Fee Bros Black Walnut bitters & 1 dash of Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters
Shake and strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with toasted marshmallow.
Looking for a new way to prepare dinner? Try curing! Yeah, it takes a little bit of planning and patience (like, you need to plan to do this days in advance) but once you get your ingredients it’s just a super simple waiting game. Salmon and miso go so well together in this recipe from Finn & Porter. Paired with a fresh cucumber vinaigrette, this is a light, bright meal that will turn you into a curing convert.
Miso-Cured Salmon with Cucumber Vinaigrette
ABV: 4.4 %
The brewery that brings us the Curious Traveler has unearthed new shandy ground with their Forbidden Traveler Apple Ale. Traveler aims to create a crisp wheat ale brewed with real apple. Contrary to its hard cider counterparts, the Forbidden Traveler looks to bring beer back into apple cider. The suds bring about mixed reviews. But no worries, we’re here to set it straight.
Appearance: Hazy yellow with a bit of an orange hue.
Aroma: Sweet apple cider with wheat malt scents and even a little bit of lemon and spice.
Taste: Apple flavor up front and throughout. A mix between apple cider and apple juice. Wheat malts come through from beginning to end, but are more subtle than the apple. While the apple stands out, the beer flavors are there.
Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with a smooth finish. Lingering sweet aftertaste.
Overall: If you drink this expecting the flavor of a hard cider, you are going to be disappointed. If you drink it expecting the flavor of a wheat beer, you won’t get it. This is not for the faint-hearted, but for the adventurists out there. While the brew has a low ABV, the sweet apple flavor is in your face with a challenge to open up your mind to a new kind of beer – apple beer!
Endless Rating: 3 out of 5 suds
I just returned from a trip to the Philippines, which has gotta have one of the most oddball food cultures in this whole entire world. I like to think of it as Asian tastes with American sensibilities — they’ve got all the fishy, funky flava you’ll find in Japanese or Korean cooking, but then they go and do things like deep-fry a whole dish or put cheese and ice cream on top. In other words, it’s pretty amazing.
But the most far-out dish of all I had there is known as halo halo — the ubiquitous Filipino dessert. It consists of a fruit cocktail melange topped by shaved ice and a scoop of ice cream (in this case, ube — purple yam — ice cream), with a cup of evaporated milk poured over the whole thing for a gooey, melty mess. But the kicker lies back in that melange of fruit cocktail, which basically seems to contain whatever the chef had in the fridge or lying on the counter that day. This version included bananas, syrupy peaches, coconut, sweet potato, regular potato, something that may or may not have been tapioca balls, lima beans, black beans, an old boot…you get the point: just surprise after mushy, delicious surprise.
Oh, and there’s Cheerios sprinkled on top of the whole thing, because why not?
With the rooomaaantic holiday of Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, you might be looking for a decadent, indulgent, out-of-the-ordinary meal to cook for your special someone (or yourself, I don’t judge). For some reason, my mom would always make lobster for our family on Valentine’s Day, I suppose just because it’s a more “fancy” delicacy than your usual seafood. And I mean, lobster is delicious, so it’s a pretty solid choice! If you aren’t opposed to a truckload of cheese (actually if you are opposed to that I don’t even know why you’re reading this site) alongside your lobster, this could be the recipe for you!
Can’t even lie, this is not my creation, it came from my friends the Neelys. Their lobster mac and cheese is SO good, I don’t even understand it. I think it’s the use of gruyere alongside the white cheddar, plus the sweet paprika and lots of cracked black pepper… oh and the LOBSTER. I’ve made this twice for celebratory dinner occasions and it is a crowd pleaser to the millionth degree. To really kick things up, I like to add extra garlic, extra black/cayenne pepper, and an extra lobster tail for good measure. I also like to par-boil the lobster before adding it to the pasta, although the original recipe tells you to add it just straight up raw. I feel like the texture is better when the lobster is already cooked, but you can choose your own adventure on that one.
And YES, I realize the Neelys have filed for divorce and I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT and the state of their love lives can’t ruin how magical and special this lobster mac & cheese is. The love between the Neelys may be gone, but the love between my mouth and this mac will never be diminished.
Lobster Mac & Cheese
If you haven’t had a breakfast taco in your life, you (a) have never been to Texas, and (b) are doing yourself a huge disservice. And if you haven’t had a breakfast taco while hungover, you are doing yourself a HUUUUUGE disservice because breakfast tacos are some of the best hangover cures ever. This particular breakfast taco is from a teensy diner in Port Aransas, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It features fresh gulf shrimp, battered and deep-fried, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and shredded cabbage. Oh, and on the side? Hashbrowns. Why? WHY NOT.
We’re nearing the end of soup season (which, to me, runs roughly mid-October through late-February) so I need to cram in some new recipes while I still have the chance! My two favorite types of soups are Asian-inspired, particularly Thai, and squash-based. So when my friend sent me a recipe on Pinterest incorporating both, I was IN. (And yeah I pinned it to my Soup-specific board, duh)
This fabulous recipe originally comes from the lovely blog Carlsbad Cravings. While I’ve made Thai-spiced butternut and/or sweet potato soups before, the addition of sriracha-roasted pumpkin seeds on top really brings this one to a whole other level. Actually, she used butternut squash seeds, but I had a bunch of naked pumpkin Superseedz in the pantry so I decided to use those and it came out great. Perfect if you are using pre-chunked or frozen butternut squash versus the whole gourd. (Which I actually was, too… pre-cut packaged organic squash because I was running late after work! No shame in my game on a busy weeknight.) I amped up the spice in this a bit and cut down the fat by using light coconut milk, and the result was absolute heaven.
Thai Butternut Squash Coconut Soup with Honey Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds