Food Porn of the Day: The Champion of All Gelatos

Gelato World Tour

The Gelato World Tour came to Austin this year! Everything I tasted was amazing, but the flavor I ended up voting for (everyone who tasted at the event was allowed to vote for their top pick) was the same flavor that won the North American tour here – Salted Pecan with Montmorency Tart Cherries & Tahitian Vanilla by James Coleridge and Salvatore Boccarossa of Bella Gelateria in Vancouver, Canada.

I can’t even explain HOW good this was. It was a really, really hot day in Austin so as soon as I was handed a cup of gelato it would start dripping out of its container and melting all over my hands, but I didn’t even care. Everything I tasted was sososo delectable, especially the champion pictured above. This gelato deserved to win – next time you’re in Vancouver, look these people up. (Or if you’re ever in the same city as a round of the Gelato World Tour – GO!)

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Endless Beers: A Stout You Can Drink Like a Chocolate Milk


I know that summer is here and the summer shandies, wheat beers, and other light brews are out, but we”ll get to those later. Right now, let me enlighten you about the best stout I”ve ever had: The Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. I learned of this beer while visiting a friend and I now crave it often.

Before I tell you how good it is, let me learn you on how it got there. First, there are the typical malts, hops, water and yeast that of course go into every beer. Then, there was more—a dry hop with oak chips and vanilla bean. Listen up: dry hopping occurs during the secondary stage of fermentation when hops OverdoseAlthough overdose is not common, it can occur and can be fatal. are typically left in the wort (pre-alcohol and carbonated beer) to “infuse” the beer with the taste of the hops. However, Old Dominion decided to drop some oak chips in the tasty syrup along with vanilla bean. I”ve done this myself with vanilla bean and it tastes delicious. In fact, they may have stolen my idea.

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Tricks of the Trade: Vanilla Bean Powdered Sugar


My favorite vanilla to use when baking is from Penzeys. On top of having the best flavor of any vanilla I’ve used, I get the added bonus of an actual vanilla bean in the bottle. When the bottle runs out, I take the bean out and let it dry on parchment paper. I then pulse it with granulated sugar to make vanilla bean powdered sugar. The pods themselves have a ton of vanilla flavor, and there are still a good amount of vanilla seeds in the pods as well, creating a heavily vanilla-scented sugar, perfect for dusting on your french toast or adding to buttercream frosting.

You can also blend in coffee beans, lemon or orange zest, a pinch of cinnamon, etc. to add an extra layer of flavor to the sugar.


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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks: #14 Cake

Upon skimming through the latest version of Cooking Light, we fell upon a “breads” section—correction—“quick breads” section. You’re wondering why I’d be skimming through Cooking Light? The gf has a subscription and you do know I’m watching my girlish figure… Anyway, we decided to go with the maple stout “quick bread” recipe since I had some of my homebrew stouts left.

But first: I’ve come to the conclusion that the jerks at Cooking Light have some gall to call this thing bread…er “quick bread.” I have no f’ing clue what the hell quick bread is, but this thing is cake…and I’m proud of it. I’m not doing research on what quick bread is either—I don’t want to know. Okay, now we can move on.

I got out my Vanilla Cafe Con Leche Stout and we started baking. Typically, when the two of us do some form of cooking/baking, there is an ample amount of bickering  (and in my case, exaggerated *sighs*) occurring.  However, this time we did well as a team; I had a good feeling about this.

The cake came out really well, with rave reviews from the fam. Probably the best of these cooking with beer recipes to date.  I claim fame to this recipe for two reasons:

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100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #13: Cupcakes

Cupcakes: a man’s food. Something you hear every day right? Right…and you see plenty of men on Cupcake Wars. But then you put beer in them . Now we’re talking. Previously, the only way I knew how to make cupcakes was with the contents of a cardboard box. But alas, I’ve matured. And through this maturation I bring to you Chocolate Stout Cupcakes.

These cupcakes are nearly 100 percent made from scratch. Beginning with the batter (containing an entire bottle of my own Cafe Vanilla Con Leche Stout), the cupcakes also include stout-infused ganache, and cream cheese frosting. And guess what? As most of my original recipes are—they are healthy cupcakes! Instead of butter in the batter, we used applesauce (we had to save the butter for the cream cheese frosting). Thank the g/f for preventing me from ruining the frosting by trying to use low-fat cream cheese.

The end result: moist chocolate cupcakes with rich ganache filling and topped with creamy frosting. Add a glass of milk and you have a match made in heaven. There was concern about using the applesauce rather than the butter, but I couldn’t tell a major difference. In fact, adding some cinnamon to the batter complements the overall flavor and it even stands out a bit. I took the cupcakes to work for the true test. Everyone loved them. And so should you.  You’re welcome.

Vanilla Con Leche Stout Cupcakes

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Time for a Mudslide…on a Stick

Fall is almost here and with that we are letting up on the fruit in the Poptails-a bit. But what we are not letting up on is the booze.

Get your mixing hands ready for this mudslide with a twist. We went and added a banana in the mix. The sweetness of the banana neutralizes any tang the vanilla yogurt body may have, and adds a bit of creaminess to the mixture. While we were at it, we also threw in some grated chocolate for added flavor and texture.

There you have it, enjoy your Endless Simmer twist-up of the traditional mudslide, in a Poptail.

Mudslide Poptail

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Sweet Potato Cashew Bourbon Milkshake (Yes, That is All One Thing)

What’s that you say? Our avocado milkshake recipe wasn’t crazy enough for you? Well hold your mofo horses, because it’s time to turn sweet potatoes into a shake — and add a little bourbon along the way.

Chef Thomas Dunklin of B&O American Brasserie in Baltimore — the same guy who gave us the deviled egg we are most likely to make love to — was kind enough to share his amazing/insane sweet potato milkshake recipe with us. It’s pictured above with the red velvet donuts that he serves it with, and the full recipe is below. Fair warning — this one is a process-and-a-half to make at home, but you probably guessed that.

Sweet Potato Cashew Bourbon Milkshake

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