Beer, Beer, Beer Biddily-Beer, Beer, Beer

16 04 2010

Last weekend, during my Days of Getting Shit Done, I mentioned I had some hang-time with The Greek. During said time, we wandered down to my favorite convenience store EVER. It’s this dinky little store right next to a laundromat that has THE MOST AMAZING BEER AND WINE SELECTION EVER. Seriously. The whole place isn’t bigger than my goddamn living room, but it’s SO RAD. They have a constantly rotating selection, based on season and availability. Every time I go in, I take forever to decide what I want, because I love to try new beers. So long as it isn’t an IPA or a stout/porter. I don’t like them too light or too dark, what can I say? Anyway, I’m glad The Greek was with me because we were quick to make a decision. We made it solely based on how fucking adorable the packaging was:

Seriously, how fucking cute is this?

So, it’s called Hanami and it’s by Smutty Nose. It’s made with cherries! It is super yummy, with a hint of tartness in the aftertaste. It also has a pretty high alcohol content, which is awesome. I think I liked it more than The Greek, but I have a tendency to prefer my beers and champagnes a little on the sweeter side. This would make an excellent dessert beer (is too a thing) or a great one for porch sitting on a hot day. I totally recommend it! Now, if only I could decide what I want for next time…

Yummy AND adorable. Sign me up for two, please and thank you.

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Whiskey, Guinness, & Baileys: A Weekend Full of Win

29 03 2010

That's not a tiny bottle of whiskey! They're GIANT bottles of Guinness and Baileys!

O HAI! What’s the haps, friends? El figured out how I can upload photos so I can quit being so full of fail all the goddamn time. Speaking of NOT being a giant pile of fuck-up, get a look-see at them-there cupcakes! They’re full of booze and they are how El and I spent our summer vacation weekend. El came down to see me here in the good ol’ RVA because she stole my hairdresser (hi Missi!) and wanted to hang out. She suggested making these Irish Car Bomb cupcakes (I know, I know- that’s kind of offensive because of the terrorists and whatnot, but it just sounds dumb to call them Guinness, Whiskey, & Baileys cupcakes.) Her plan had been to make them on or near St. Patty’s Day but pulled a Lo and totally didn’t. Whatever. All it meant was that I got to eat them instead of Kona.

The cupcakes were simple, though kind of time consuming because you have to wait for them to cool before you can fill them. I used a Wilton decorator with a filling tip (for the first time ever!). I liked it, until the ganache hardened and got stuck in the pump. (I then got the genius idea to nuke it, but nuked it for a tetch too long and spilled chocolate whiskey ganache all over my kitchen and microwave thereby springing me into a comical cleaning frenzy before my son got drunk on its remnants and I had to go to Mom Jail.) But it was definitely faster that cutting a cone into the top and filling the cakes that way. Some of the cakes kind of overloaded, but who’s going to complain about a nipple poking out of their cupcake filled with whiskey, Baileys, and chocolate? (And before you object to the Glenlivet, we KNOW it’s Scottish, but they didn’t have Jameson in airline bottles. Harrumph.)

We stuck pretty much to the recipe, but we used a glaze instead of frosting. The recipe for that is basically 2 cups of powdered sugar, a couple tablespoons Baileys, and a couple of of tablespoons of Guinness (you’ll have more than enough left over from the cupcakes.) Whisk together and drizzle on top. Anyway, without further ado, HERE is the delightful recipe which brought us much happiness, as well as our friends down at Sumo San and Wonderland. I will definitely make these again. But I’ll make sure my kid isn’t anywhere around.

Heh...he looks waste-y. He's not. He's just a little spazzy.





Dad Didn’t Drop the Cheesecake, or Xmas at Lo’s House 2K9.

27 12 2009

Despite the shitty rain we had (that got us out of shoveling our sidewalk from the remaining ice and snow), Xmas this year was pretty rad. Big Easy managed to get EVERY TOY EVER MADE, I got cute boots (and a fancy candy thermometer – watch out caramels, I’m coming back for your ass!), and the family got a delicious dinner. On the menu? Beef Wellington, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, and Kroger brand White House rolls that were brain-meltingly delicious. OH. And red velvet cheesecake. Since I was cooking the meal, I decided not to accommodate my pain-in-the-ass-cheesecake-hating sister like I did on Thanksgiving when I ran out of vanilla extract and made minty chocolate cupcakes. Also different from Thanksgiving, my father didn’t drop my cheesecake. In fact, he didn’t even come near it, except to consume it, so that was good.  My friend Shira was there to join us in our festivities, which was awesome because sometimes drinking wine with my mom could use a third party.  Also, she took pictures of the food I made which of course I fail to do at every turn because I am a big fail all over the place. Except for delicious meals that I make. Oh, and we can’t forget the sausage dip! I shall include this amazing recipe here because it is addictive and I DO NOT EVEN LIKE SAUSAGE. It’s pretty much the best thing ever. So, here’s my Xmas in a nutshell:

Dad’s Totally Bitchin’ Sausage Dip

  • 1 package sage sausage
  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
  • 1 can Rotel
  1. Cook the sausage til no longer poisonous.
  2. Add cream cheese.
  3. Add Rotel.
  4. Consume with Tostitos Scoops, then realize 5 minutes later it’s all gone and you need to make more. Start to weep.

And here are some phooootooooos (courtesy of Shira):

Yep...all the usual suspects are there...Man, that beef looks good. I wish I still had some.

I just thought you might want to see a shot where the wine wasn't clouding your judgment.

Theeeeeeeere's the RVC...and that pesky wine. Don't worry - it done got drunk later!





It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

24 12 2009

Oh mah goodness, my holiday season has be cuh-ray-zee.  A while back, I had the brilliant plan to make all of my Chrismakkuh gifts this year – but then about two weeks ago I remember I was incredibly lazy and hadn’t even really started.  YIKES.  So, the stress of randomly having to buy a butt-ton of gifts (I am the oldest of 8 children, y’all), plus 3 holiday parties in 5 days, plus Snowpocalypse 2K9, PLUS a wicked cold has all equaled me being a slackass and letting Lo do all the posting.  BUT!  Now I’m just waiting around for the UPS man to deliver my big package (heh – that sounds dirty), so I figured I’d finally share the recipes for all the deliciousness I made at the cookie exchange.

Mmmmm - Christmas Sangria

I’ll start with the Wassail, or as Kona so aptly named it, Christmas Sangria.  I got the recipe here.  I went and bought all the ingredients at Target (except for the brandy, obvs – what up, ABC laws??), so I used sherry instead of Madeira.  I also accidentally bought caramel flavored cider.  DO NOT REPEAT THIS MISTAKE.  The punch was still super yummy, but also super sweet, I think I only used 3/4 c sugar.  And the spices were pretty masked.  It was good, but it should have been better.  Ah well.

So easy, so delicious!

For the cookie exchange, I ended up making snickerdoodle blossoms, recipe courtesy of Abby Sweets.  The only adjustment I made to the recipe was adding half a bag of toffee bits – because snickerdoodle + toffee = yum and snickerdoodle + chocolate = yum, therefore snickerdoodle + toffe + chocolate = OMGYES yum.  (I’m a mathmagician!)  Trust me, make these – they were fan-friggin-tastic.

I was sooo stoked to find Hanukkah sprinkles! Way to go, Hoboken Target!!

I saved the best for last – and that is THE BEST BUTTERCREAM FROSTING I’VE EVER PUT IN MY MOUTH.  Seriously, I don’t like buttercream – I generally refuse to make it.  But I found some Hanukkah sprinkles and decided to make funfetti cupcakes and when I went to make the frosting, I realized I didn’t have any cream.  So, I turned to my personal favorite baking book, Baking Illustrated.  After I made it and had frosted my cupcakes, I actually had to throw away the rest because it was so delicious and I couldn’t stop eating it and I was afraid I’d go into a diabetic coma.  You’re either going to need a stand mixer or some serious stamina to make these – it takes a lot of beating to get a frosting this light and silky – and it is soooo worth it.  So, without further ado, here is my holiday present to you.  You are welcome.
Rich Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut in quarters [The softened part is really important]
  1. Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer [or large metal mixing bowl]; place bowl over a pan of simmering water.  (Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.)  Whisking gently but constantly, heat the mixture until it is thin and foamy and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  2. Beat the egg mixture at medium-high speed until light, airy, and cooled to room temperature, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, one piece at a time.  (After adding half the butter, the buttercream may look curdled; it will smooth out with the additional butter.)  Once all the butter is added, increase the speed to high and beat 1 minute until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined.  (The buttercream can be covered and refrigerated up to 5 days.)

(All pictures taken by Kona – aren’t they good??)





Deeeeeck the Halls With Booze and Cookies!

14 12 2009

FalalalalaLALALALA! Hey! How ya doin’? Are you excited about the holidays? WE ARE! We are SO excited, in fact, that this past Saturday El hosted a little shindig at Kona’s house wherein we exchanged cookies, ate food, played Rock Band, and drank booooooze! Specifically, this booze:

The best part is the evil orange, riddled with cloves! EVIIIIIL!

I don’t remember what it’s called, something about wassel? I don’t know. You’ll have to ask El. Maybe she’ll post the recipe. Maybe she’ll punch you in the throat. It depends on what kind of mood she’s in. Anyway, everyone made some really, REALLY delicious cookies. Some were chocolatey and minty, some were chocolatey and cherry-y, some were white chocolate macadamia [drool]. I decided on one of my new favorite classics, Dorie Greenspan’s Midnight Crackles, wherein I just upped the amount of cinnamon and cloves (note: next time, I’ll make the same changes this person did – they could use a touch of vanilla). They got everyone’s approval, including my dad’s, even though he was not invited to the festivities due to the fact that he is almost a senior citizen and also a dude. (Hi dad!) El not only made the yummy Wassel-ish punch/cider, but also some yummy Hanukkah-themed mini cupcakes (the buttercream was to-die-for) AND snickerdoodle blossoms which were UH-MAY-ZING. After we ate hors d’oeuvre and cookies and properly exchanged what we were there to exchange, the REAL fun began when we got just a teeny bit tipsy and we rocked out on Rock Band. I learned that even though I am hopeless as a drummer, my destiny in life is to sing Ballroom Blitz. Anyway, I highly recommend doing something similar because it’s always nice to get together with your buddies and get drunk. The cookies just give you a good excuse.

A SMORGASBORD! Without, you know, sandwiches. Though I guess you could MAKE sandwiches out of the cookies...

Midnight Crackles. Not to be confused with me, the Midnight Rider.

Cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Shockingly, I really liked these despite my fruit + chocolate aversion. Bravissimo!

Snickerdoodle blossoms, AKA HOLY SHIT THESE ARE FUCKING GOOD.

White chocolate macadamia, all pretty and packaged. Note that mine came in a giant Tupperware. Gangsta, son.

This is what we think we looked like. Our band name? Crucial Taunt. I was BORN in Kowloon Bay!!





Booze Nooze (with Haikus!)

25 11 2009

My new favorite breakfast - take that waffles!

Maaaan, I love the holidays.  I especially love it when friends come in to town because that means it is time to start drinking!  Last night our friend C and I went to a local pizza place (Fireworks – if you’re ever in the LoCo, you have to stop in.  I recommend the Baah Baah Black Sheep, either with or without the lamb sausage.  Balsamic glaze? Holla!) that happens to have an extensive and interesting beer menu.  They specialize in microbrews and limited edition or seasonal beers – fancy and very very delicious.  C and I sat outside under a little heater, catching up, singing along with The Band, annoying our waiter with our indecision, and drinking some truly spectacular beer.  Two of the four we tried were out of this world – Founder’s Breakfast Stout and Williamsburg Alewerks Brewmaster’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Porter – substantial enough to make you feel like you just ate a sandwich with enough alcohol to get you buzzed from sipping.  They were basically perfect and I kinda wanted to crawl inside one of the bottles and take up residence.  If you can find either of these, do yourself a favor and get them.  You’re welcome in advance.

[And because we are awesome, here are some haikus we wrote about our drinks]

Founder’s Breakfast Stout

With coffee, oatmeal
chocolate and booze, this is
My complete breakfast

Oatmeal breakfast stout
I would drink you ev’ry morn
No scurvy for me

Bourbon Barrel Porter

Love in a bottle
I heart your sweet elixir
Run down my throat…yesssss

Joy beats in my heart
We drink with vim and vigor
Talk of now and then

Delirium Noel

The first (and only)
(Delirium) Noel tastes
of sweet fruits and hops

Coronado Brewing Company Red Devil

Western Red Devil
Promises both sweet and smooth
Finishes bitter

Beer and bourbon? I did not realize it was my birthday!!





It Was No Werewolf Bar Mitzvah…

2 11 2009

…but  my Halloween was still a lot of fun. Big Easy and I traveled 3 hours south west [shudder] to our friends’ Emily and Bryan’s house for festivities. These two fools just got married in June and are already expecting their first baby (!!!), AND it was Emily’s birthday (we’d almost be twins were it not for the glaring differences in our appearence and if we were, you know, related). They live in a cute little neighborhood in delightful (and surprisingly delicious – there is a restaurant that serves only grilled cheese sandwiches!) Roanoke, VA, so it was a perfect place to take Big Easy out and maybe even dress up a little ourselves.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a weekend without some drinking for me. Continuing on the beer kick, I tried both Rogue Dead Guy Ale (which I just realized is a stupid hippie beer) and Shock Top Belgian White (not a stupid hippie beer). The Dead Guy, while seasonally appropriate (if you could separate the fact you’re drinking a beer named after the Grateful Dead), was a little dry for my taste. It was good, but I had 2 and it was more than enough for me. I like a little hoppy flavor in my beer, but this was a little out of control (OOC, if you will). It was tolerable, and I wouldn’t turn it down if offered, but I probably won’t buy it myself. Now, the Shock Top? I kind of want to marry it. It is deeeeeeeelicious. It had yummy citrus hints that weren’t overpowering, and it was totally refreshing, but not in a girl-drink-drunk sort of way. I highly recommend it.

So while I didn’t spend my Halloween like those in my past (read: plastered beyond belief), we did manage to have a blast. And when Emily and I took Big Easy trick or treating, we totally got compliments on our costumes too. Enjoy this brief photo gallery, documenting our weekend.

IMG_1820

Big Easy was Optimus Prime.

dead – get it?!?! STFU, I thought it hilarious.)”]IMG_1845
IMG_1848
IMG_1846

Here's what Halloween is now - me getting drunk on baby brains, instead of bourbon.

IMG_1850

Here's Magnum PI (the moustache is real, ya'll) and a Chola from East LA.

meandrat

And here's Halloween from the past. I'm Courtney Love and that is a (fake) rat.