The Endless Road Trip, Philly: A Waffle to End All Waffles

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At Philly’s new V Street, the all-vegan menu is inspired by street food from around the world, fusing flavors from as far afield as Hungary, India, Peru and the Philippines into an amazing array of meat-free snacks like jerk trumpet mushrooms and harissa-grilled cauliflower mixed up with spiced avocado, olive salad and chermoula, an intensely flavorful North African marinade.

The cocktails are particularly off-the-wall—the “Cruz Control” mixes tequila with horchata, lime and tepache—a Mexican fermented pineapple drink—but the true crazy prize has to go to this dessert waffle: it’s layered with rich chocolate ganache, gooey bites of banana, vegan ice cream and a chunky miso caramel, with Sriracha peanuts and syrup poured over the whole thing. Yes, please.

(Photo: V Street)

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Cocktail O’Clock: Karamelized Banana

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As you surely already know, it’s National Carmel Month!

We’ll drink to that.

Karamelized Banana

½ oz. Sobieski Karamel Vodka
½ oz. dark rum
1 oz. Marie Brizard Banana Liqueur
½ oz. half & half
Dash of ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients in and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with an additional dash of ground cinnamon.

Crafted by Kim Haasarud.

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Caramelized Vanilla-Vodka-Twinkie Creme Brulee

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It’s baaaaack!! On July 15th, the iconic crème-filed sponge cake of my youth returned just in time to get a new generation hooked on its neon yellow yummy-ness. Yeah, this ain’t yer grandpa’s version— this is Twinkie 2.0 baby! It has double the shelf life of the original (which was rumored to last longer than the pyramids!) I don’t know how they’re making this new model, but I’ll never forget the ingredients of the first…(insert harp music here);

‘Enriched wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable shortening – containing one or more of the following: partially hydrogenated soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrup solids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow # 5, red # 40’.

Ahhhh,….”caramel color, yellow # 5 and red # 40”. Have you ever heard three more beautiful color additives in your life? I’m tearing up just thinking about it…(sniff).

Anyway, now that I’m older it’s time to celebrate the comeback like an adult—by adding booze of course! Kids get excited because they’re innocent and hopeful but their parents require alcohol and dammit, I’m not gonna let them down!

I know that traditional crème brulee has a torched sugar top but hey – this ain’t traditional! And I don’t want to hear from you purists about not using a real vanilla bean in this process. Did you read the list of garbage that goes into a Twinkie? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Katt’s Caramelized Vanilla-Vodka-Twinkie-Creme Brulee Thingy

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Graham Crackers Gone Wild! Top 10 Ways to Use Your Leftover S’mores Ingredients

It’s time to stock up on chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers. It’s s’mores season. Typically you’ll see the chocolate go first, then the marshmallows, but every year those poor graham crackers are left over to stale up. It’s a shame…rarely does someone crave a plain honey graham cracker. I actually enjoy one with some peanut butter spread and dunked in an ice cold glass of milk. But I digress. For the rest of you who don’t like the poor old “boring” graham, here are some ideas for what to do with them (other than s’mores of course):

10. Graham Cracker Peanut Butter Bars

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Recipe: The Wannabe Chef

Last time I did a top ten, I offended some by offering unhealthy choices. Well, as the humble person I am, and very thoughtful I may add, I found a choice that is gluten free. Gluten free, yet still scrumptious. Peanut butter, chocolate, graham crackers. You’re welcome.

9. Graham Cracker Chicken Bites

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Recipe: My Kitchen Snippets

I bet you thought these would all be deserts. Well, yet again you are wrong. Screw corn flakes—let’s add some sweet honey graham crackers to the mix and impress guests of all ages. This really is sweet and savory. Maybe for desert, you can get out the mallows.

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Sweet & Salty Valentine’s Day

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I am willing to bet that  you currently fit into one of three Valentine categories: (1) you haven’t gotten your Valentine a gift yet, (2) you hate Valentine’s Day, or (3) you think you’re getting something that you really are not. Or maybe you are perfect and got exactly what your Valentine wanted for this special Hallmark day (NOT). For the rest of us—there is a solution. This treat is the end game.

Unless you hate everything awesome, you’re going to love every bite of this action-packed chex mix. Some call it “Better than Sex Chex Mix.” I’m calling it it “Cupid’s Special Secret”…because this will make anyone happy. Take chocolate chex (Gluten Free, of course—I’m still trying to be healthy), caramel, chocolate (milk and white), tiny peanut butter cups, and some sea salt. …And butter, brown sugar and corn syrup (sugar is sugar, right?) If you still aren’t convinced to make this for your boo (or yourself), then you don’t belong here.

I’m not going to waste anyone’s time…bottom line: this will win the day. Game Over. Flowers? BUSH LEAGUE. Take the half hour out of your life to spoil her/him/yourself. You won’t regret it. My girlfriend loved it!

Cupid’s Special Secret Chex Mix

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Sweets For Your Sweet: Tiny Turtles

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These candies are pretty, delicious, and best of all: simple. Chewy caramel is layered over toasted pecans, then topped with chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt. These candies need to stay refrigerated (since the chocolate is not tempered it will ‘bloom‘ if left at room temperature. It will be safe to eat, but not very pretty). The caramel will also be easier to unmold from the paper wrappers if it is chilled.

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Tiny Turtles

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