Nothing embodies Valentine’s Day more than flowers. Ok, chocolate too. And maybe even a pretty cocktail. More on those next week. But honestly, have you ever seen a flower you didn’t LOVE? They are sumptuous, fragrant, and breathtakingly beautiful. When I spotted an assortment of metal letters at boutique a few months ago, I thought they’d make the perfect vessel for a floral arrangement. And when I happened to score on an X and an O, well, it was just destined to be the inspiration behind this Valentine’s Day DIY!
I love granola bars, but I always have a problem with the store-bought kind: if I like the dried fruit, I don’t like the nuts and vis versa. Customizing your own granola bars is easy. I’ve included every nut and fruit I love, including some new additions like flax seed and toasted quinoa for that extra crunch! I add a little touch of salt to balance the sweetness, but if you use salty nuts, you may not need this. To me, there is nothing better than cashews and almonds in a granola bar, and I’ve added almond butter in this to really give it that almond taste. If you prefer a crunchier granola, you’ll need to bake it longer. I personally like a bit of a chewier texture, but if you follow this recipe, the outside pieces will be pretty crunchy and the inside pieces soft. Don’t be intimidated by the recipe either– it’s a lot of ingredients, but some you probably already have. This couldn’t be easier to make!
This past weekend Karen, Erica and I were busy recipe testing when it quickly became evident that we needed a cocktail break. I decided to crack open my bottle of Owl’s Brew, which I’d been saving for a special occasion . . . like getting hit in the face with a pavlova (don’t ask)! None of us had tasted Owl’s Brew before, and we were excited to give it a try. Owl’s Brew is a tea crafted specifically for cocktails! It’s made from natural ingredients, and contains no preservatives or concentrates. I opened a bottle of The Classic: a mix of English breakfast tea, lemon, lime and agave. We followed the directions on the bottle, mixed it with a little gin, and garnished with a fat twist of lemon. I think the first word out of all of our mouths was, “refreshing.” The freshness of the ingredients truly comes through, which can be rare for bottled mixers. Not to mention, how cool is that bottle?!
We here at HonestlyYUM are still brushing the chips off our shoulders from the Niners loss to the Seahawks. But alas, Super Bowl Sunday is upon us and we will manage to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and watch the showdown. And the commercials. And more importantly, grub on great food. It’s all for the love of the game, after all. And as if hot wings, sliders, nachos, margaritas pitchers and brews won’t be enough for your Super Bowl party, I’m rounding up a handful of ideas and recipes that will be sure to satisfy any football fan.
Let me start by saying I’m not a beer geek. My expertise falls much more under the category of spirits and cocktails. That being said, I’m still a beer guy. I’ve attended my fair share of brewery tours, I experiment in the occasional home brew, and in some circle circles of my life I’m simply referred to as, “All Mighty Beer Pong Champion.” I digress. Despite the fact that I know you’re gonna get creative and make a pitcher of cocktails on Sunday, let’s face it, the Super Bowl is all about beer. But instead of a boring old 6-pack, why not mix it up this year with an assortment of beers? There are several places these days that sell single bottles of beer. Bevmo and Trader Joe’s to name a couple. It’s always fun to pick and choose, and your guests will be excited to try some new.
I was thrilled to see that Anchor Brewing (the folks behind Anchor Steam) had a lager. And even more thrilled to see its label, decorated with our very own California Golden Bear. It has a slightly sweet malt flavor, but finishes crisp and dry. Easy drinking to say the least.
These are the nachos of your dreams. True to form, I’ve managed to incorporate beer into this dish by making a beer nacho cheese sauce. (Remember these chocolate chip beer ice cream sandwiches?). The key to the ultimate nachos is toasting the chips in oven– they make the chips super crispy and perfectly oily. As for the rest, I simply added my favorite toppings: avocado, chorizo, jalapenos and sour cream. But feel free to add whatever you like. This dish is ooey-gooey-cheesey-crunchy-salty-flavorful-goodness. Can’t wait to chow down (oh and watch the game) on Sunday!