As you probably know, I’m a San Francisco 49ers fan. It’s a little embarrassing for me to say, given all the drama surrounding the team this past year. Especially with the Seahawks close to winning it all . . . again. Ugh! Needless to say, I’ll be focusing a bit more on the food and drink this Super Bowl Sunday. Usually we head over to my parent’s house to watch the big game, but this year with the new baby we decided it would be fun to host. And since it’s the Super Bowl, and the beer will be flowing, I thought it would appropriate to serve these luscious beer floats. If you’ve never had a beer float before, you simply aren’t utilizing ice cream or beer to their full potentials. The most common beer float combo is dark beer, usually a stout, poured over vanilla ice cream. However, if you’re feeling adventurous there are many other combinations you can try (let me know if you have any other recommendations). The possibilities are endless. Here I chose to keep it classic and use a couple imperial stouts. Imperial stouts have a high alcohol content and stand up well to the sweetness and the creaminess of the ice cream. I paired one of my favorite beers, North Coast Brewing Co’s Old Rasputin with Straus Vanilla Bean ice cream. Next, I paired Evil Twin Brewing’s I Love You With My Stout, with Three Twins Bittersweet Chocolate ice cream. Don’t worry if you aren’t able to find these exact brands in your area. The important thing to keep in mind is that you want the ice cream and the beer to complement each other. For example, the I Love You With My Stout has a chocolate cake thing going on, which works perfect with the bittersweet chocolate ice cream. A beer with strong coffee notes will be perfect for that coffee ice cream. You get the idea. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some football to pretend to watch . . .
I love Super Bowl Sunday. Sure, there’s that thing called football, but I’m in it for the food– the coma-inducing carb and fat feast. This recipe is a variation of one of my favorite bread recipes: pretzel buns. Making bread is a little tricky and tedious but there is nothing like fresh hot bread straight out of the oven, and in this case, fresh hot crusty pretzel bread stuffed with melted cheddar cheese and studded with salty smokey bacon straight out of the oven. The trick here is to not over-handle or over-work the risen dough when stuffing it and to make sure the edges of the dough are thinner around the edges so when you bring the edges together the dough is even. I like to serve this with mustard– the tanginess of the mustard cuts through the richness of these rolls. Of course, you can try stuffing these pretzel buns with anything you want. Next Super Bowl Sunday, I’m going to add little bits of kimchi. Yup.
Oh 2015. You’ve only been around for a little less than a month and already I feel like I’m drowning in you. Life has been hectic lately, so in an attempt to escape from it all, I’m daydreaming about where I want to travel to next. This photo is from my recent trip to Tulum, Mexico and these margaritas were from the bar at the Mezzanine Hotel, where I stayed. The one on the right was my favorite — a spicy habanero margarita made with smoky mezcal. Everything was so perfect that day!
So this looks pretty impressive right? Well, the reality is that this Granola-Crusted Yogurt Fruit Tart is just a granola, yogurt and fruit parfait. For brunch entertaining, I love the idea of a simple classic breakfast dish reformatted into something more elevated and elegant. The crust is a simple granola recipe that is baked into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Once the granola crust cools completely, you simply fill the crust with yogurt and top with fruit. This dish does not slice neatly like a tart and it’s not meant to. Just dig in and turn the whole thing into a crumbly, creamy mess– for some reason it tastes even better that way!
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Start by making the granola crust. Mix all the granola ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined. Use the bottom of the tart pan to trace a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of the tart. Smear a dab of coconut oil to the bottom of the tart pan so the parchment paper stays in place. Grease the sides and top of the parchment well then lightly flour the greased areas and tap the excess flour out. The granola gets very sticky so it’s important that your pan is well greased!
If you’re familiar with downtown Oakland and the eclectic food and drink it has to offer, chances are you’ve heard of Flora. On several occasions I’ve found myself gravitating toward the old Oakland Floral Depot building at the corner of 19th and Telegraph. Like a moth to the flame, I grab a seat at the vibrant art deco bar. Flora takes their cocktail program seriously, offering a variety of both originals and classics. Bar manager Matty McGee was kind enough to share a few recipes with us, the Singpore Sling and the Filibuster.
My friend, acupuncturist, and wholesome foodie Emma recently introduced me to the wonders of quinoa flakes and coconut flour thanks to her recipe for these super healthy breakfast cookies – which I’m officially hooked on. I should first preface this by saying I’m not gluten or lactose intolerant and often find myself skeptical of baked products that claim to be free of what I believe to be essential ingredients. So with that being said, I love these morsels of protein packed goodness. And for someone who never seems to find enough time to make myself breakfast on weekday mornings, these hearty cookies are perfect to grab and go.
Emma uses coconut flour, coconut sugar and quinoa flakes in this recipe – all of which I bought and used for the first time. And if you are just baffled as I was, here is a brief rundown. Coconut flour is made from coconut pulp and is wonderfully fragrant. It also gives your baked goods a nice fluffy texture. Coconut palm sugar, made from sap of the coconut palm that has been extracted and then boiled and dehydrated, is very similar to brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel. And quinoa flakes are made by rolling quinoa (my favorite grain!) into a thin flake, making it quick and easy to cook into hot cereal or as a substitute for oats. Ok, now that you’re in the know – let’s get baking . . .