Cocktails Gone Spherical

Now that “handcrafted” cocktails have become about as commonplace as craft beer, bartenders and bloggers are looking for new ways to impress. You might think molecular mixology is gimmicky, but you gotta admit that these 8 cocktail spheres look pretty amazing.

 1. Old Fashioned In the Rocks

At Grant Achatz’ Aviary in Chicago the old fashioned comes neat — very neat. Drinkers get to smash the sphere open and watch the drink explode out.

2. Spherical Pickleback

Just about every bar in Brooklyn now serves a pickleback (a shot of whiskey backed by a shot of pickle juice). Only Do or Dine—home of the foie gras donut—serves a molecular pickleback, whereby the back — the spherical ball of pickle juice — explodes inside your mouth.

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Grilled Cheese Gone Wild!

Sure, mom’s buttery white bread and American cheese version is a classic, but these days grilled cheese has hit a whole new level. Here are some of our favorite crazy grilled cheese options.

1. Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

Can’t decide between your two favorite cheesy snacks? Have them both with Simply Scratch’s simply amazing jalapeno-cream cheese-onion-sourdough-colby concoction.

2. Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese

Fried inside fried? Yes and yes. Life’s Ambrosia has the recipe.

3. Bechamel Grilled Cheese

You thought rubbing a layer of butter on grilled cheese was indulgent? At Firefly in D.C., chef Danny Bortnick’s cadillac grilled cheese has bechamel sauce spread in between white bread, with garlic-herb butter, aged Cabot, and Gruyere.

(Photo: Dakota Fine)

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Mudslides Gone Wild!

If you’ve read ES for, oh, 30 seconds or so, you probably know that we like cooking with booze. And no one does it better than our own bakers royale, who has found not 1, not 2, but 4 ways (so far) to turn a mudslide cocktail into a delicious dessert. Let’s take a moment to say bravo. And yum.

1. Mudslide Cupcake

Chocolate cake plus buttercream frosting infused with homemande Bailey’s, chocolate and kahlua. Bet you’re sorry you said you were over cupcakes now, huh?

2. Mudslide Ice Cream Cake

Take that kahlua, chocolate and Bailey’s, infuse it into some ice cream, and shape it into a cake.

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Cheesesteaks Gone Wild!

Being a native Philadelphian, I wouldn’t dare say that we got bored with cheesesteaks (not possible), but we’re always looking for ways to make good things better — and easier to eat in a social setting with a fork. These seven insane creations mean you can spend a weekend in Philadelphia and eat a different kind of cheesesteak spinoff at every meal.

1. Cheesesteak Fries

This happens to be my personal favorite of all the non-traditional cheesesteak varieties. The wonderful, wonderful combination was introduced to me by a former roommate when we went out to watch the Phillies at The Fieldhouse. Cheesesteak meat, fried onions and cheez whiz are piled on these long, crinkle cut fries that hold the meat and cheese so perfectly. I mean, doesn’t a fried potato increase the goodness of anything by ten thousand percent?

2. The Philly Taco

Also known as South Street Sushi (which I prefer…I mean, it’s not really a taco, right?) is a legend. So what is it? Head to South Street in Philly a buy a gigantic slice of Lorenzo’s pizza. Then head to neighboring Ishkabibble’s and order cheese fries, cheese on the side. This taco is best pulled-off when with a group. Enter Jim’s cheesesteak: send one person to order a cheesesteak, send the rest of the group upstairs with the remaining ingredients.

To assemble: Cover your cheesesteak with fries, and the accompanying cheese, then wrap the whole thing, taco-style, in the slice of pizza. Consume.

I guess it can be any cheesesteak, pizza and fries combination, but these three places are all a block away from each other, and Lorenzo’s slices are just the right size for the sandwich.

More >> Watch the Philly Taco How-To Video.

3. Cheesesteak Egg Rolls

It might look like vomit, but this is a must-eat. Hell, I live in Philadelphia and I find myself craving these weekly. Imagine all of the goodness of a cheesesteak (meat, cheese, fried onions, maybe peppers and mushrooms)….deep fried in a crispy wrapper. You can find these at many restaurants in the city, but my favorite version is from Old Eagle Tavern — served with sriracha ketchup. More on the version pictured — from Smokin’ Betty’s — at la vie en route.

Photo: (la vie en route)

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Nachos Gone Wild!

With football season kicking into high gear, it’s about time for some serious snack talk. But you know us ES-ers aren’t gonna just crack open some Tostitos spicy cheese dip and call it a day. These 10 recipes are taking nachos to a whole new level.

1. Greek Nachos

Pita chips, ground lamb, and tzatziki stand in for the usual Mexican ingredients in this inventive Mediterranean take on Nachos.

Greek nachos recipe from elly says opa!

2. Chimichurri Nachos

It’s Argentina’s turn to get creative, topping their nachos with grilled steak and the country’s signature cilantro sauce.

Chimichurri nachos recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

3. Totchos

Yes, that’s tater tot nachos, and really, can anyone argue nachos wouldn’t be better when you replace the chips with crispy fried potatoes?

Tater tot nacho recipe from Riley J. Briggs.

4. Pasta Nachos

At San Francisco Italian restaurant Puccini and Pinetti, wonton wrappers serve as the base for Italian nachos topped with marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Recipe for pasta nachos.

5. Grilled Nachos

Once again proving that any food that tastes good tastes even better cooked over a grill.

Grilled nachos recipe from Jenn’s Food Journey.

Next: Potato chip nachos, dessert nachos and more

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S’mores Gone Wild

Ah, s’mores. That simple-but-perfect campfire treat that ranks as one of America’s greatest food inventions. Gooey, crispy and chocolatey, they just couldn’t get any better. Or could they?

We got pretty excited when we saw frozen s’mores on a stick at the Iowa State Fair and wondered what other new takes on s’mores are out there. Turns out food bloggers have been busy giving this old-fashioned treat a new-school makeover. Check out these seven inventive treats that take s’mores to the next level. Give us some more indeed.

1. S’mores Cookies

An entire s’more submerged in a chocolate chip cookie? Yes, ma’am.

Recipe: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

2. S’mores Pops

All the gooey goodness of a s’more, made right on your stovetop.

Recipe: Bakers Royale

3. S’mores Oatmeal

Breakfast will never know what hit it.

Recipe: une deux senses




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Milkshakes Gone Wild

Chocolate or vanilla? Are you kidding me? Milkshakes are the latest classic comfort fare to get a foodie-fied makeover, and we’re liking what we see. From bacon and bourbon to sweet potatoes and cereal, these creative innovations from chefs and bloggers around the country would make your grandmother’s milkshakes blush.

1. Cereal Milk Milkshake

Blogger Savory Notes took everyone’s favorite end-of-bowl treat — cereal-steeped milk — and turned it into cereal-flavored milkshakes.

Recipe: cereal milk milkshakes

2. Sweet Potato Cashew Milkshake

At Baltimore’s B&O American Brasserie, chef Thomas Dunklin whips up sweet potato ice cream and blends it with candied cashews and bourbon.

Recipe: sweet potato cashew milkshake

3. Dulce de Bacon Milkshake

Does life get any better than dulce de leche and bacon up in your milkshake? We don’t think so. Kudos to Adventures in Cooking for dreaming this up.

Recipe: dulce de bacon milkshake


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