Beer Time!

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This week, I checked out a couple of beer tastings, because I needed something to do so I don’t get cabin fever from all of this harsh cold weather. Plus, who doesn’t like to try beer pairings and a new coffee beer? I am not really a beer person, but when you add cookies and coffee in there, I’m game.

The first one was the Cookies and Beer event at Bier Station in the Waldo Area. It was sponsored by Recommended Daily, with cookies by Dolce Bakery and beer picked out by Bier Station.

They offered three flights:

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1. Maple Toasted Oatmeal Cookie with Oskar Blues’ Old Chubs Nitro Scotch Ale.

2. Chocolate Chunk Espresso Cookie with Tallgrass Brewing’s Pub Ale.

3. Pretzel, cashew, chocolate Cookie with Stiegl Radler.

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I tried all 3 pairings. My favorite beer was the Scotch Ale, that’s it up there of off the serving board, and my favorite cookie was the espresso cookie, the dark one on the plate. I tried to eat slow so it would last longer, but it didn’t work. It was the smallest cookie of the three.

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The second event was Torn Label brewery’s release of it’s Cafe Dubbel at Thou Mayest Coffee Roaster. A collaboration between the two companies. Torn Label is a new local brewery and Thou Mayest is one of KC’s best coffeeshops/bar.

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Cafe Dubbel is a Belgian ale coffee beer made with a single origin Ethiopian coffee brewed by Thou Mayest. I liked it because it tastes like beer with hints of coffee flavor, not the other way around. It is now my favorite coffee beer.

Next time you are in Kansas City, these places are a must! πŸ™‚

Kansas City Caffeine Crawl!!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love coffee. If not, well, I love coffee.

This past weekend, The Lab, a beverage marketing company, hosted the fall edition of the Kansas City Caffeine Crawl, there is also one in the summer.

If you didn’t already know, Kansas City has a very rich coffee community and it is ever growing.

Naturally, when I found out that Kansas City has a caffeine crawl, I signed me up, albeit last minute, but I was able to go this time around. Thank you to Jason and Micheal from The Lab for saving my tickets! πŸ™‚

Xavier and I took the Sunday self driven Route 1. There are also bus routes available, but they sell out pretty fast. FYI: Xavier is not a coffee drinker, he just came along for the fun, plus he was a very helpful in getting us to the stops on time πŸ™‚

In addition to sampling some great coffee and specialty food/products, each crawler receives goodies bag filled with various coffee “swag”.

Here is our route and what each stop had to offer:

Stop #1: Parisi Cafe in Leawood.

Parisi is one of my favorite spots here. Kate, the GM, presented an innovative culinary use for coffee. She created a dish of coffee caviar, yes coffee caviar, with pomegranate pop rocks chased by carbonated plums. It was awesome. It included a demonstration on how to make coffee caviar. I thought the presentation was very informative, especially since I had never heard of coffee caviar. When you put the combo in your mouth, it literally creates a popping sensation in your mouth like fireworks. Xavier did try this one and he actually liked it. He also loved the carbonated plum, because he loves plums.

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Stop #2: Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard in Prairie Village

Foo’s staff demonstrated how to make coffee ice cream. They use a cold toddy method. Again, lots of useful information on other ways to utilize coffee. And what better way than coffee ice cream. After the demonstration, we were able to try the recipe and it is pretty much the best ice cream flavor ever. We also sampled their house blend coffee. I have never tried coffee ice cream before, and I am glad I got to try Foo’s. The process of flavor extraction and making the ice cream is so time consuming that Foo’s only offers ice cream coffee for special events/occasions. (Restroom break #1)

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Stop #3: Oddly Correct in Westport

Oddly Correct is a Kansas City staple. This was the first coffee shop I visited when we first moved here. This was also the first place that encouraged me to try coffee without any additives. So, I really like this place.

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We hit a snag getting to this stop on time and we only caught the last 10 minutes of Oddly’s presentation on Roasting variables. The presentation included tasting of brewed coffee roasted at different temperatures and comparing them to a control brew. You can definitely taste the difference. For those interested in roasting your own coffee, this was definitely an informative session.

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Stop #4: PTs at the Crossroads

PTs co-owner Jeff Taylor gave an informative session on direct and fair trade. At this stop, we were able to sample award winning coffees and Christopher Elbow collaboration chocolates, like 3 different kinds. The coffee was great and I really liked one of the chocolate, but did not catch the name 😦 (Restroom break #2).

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Stop #5: Blackdog Coffee House in Lenexa

Blackdog gave a presentation on the Chemex brewing system(which I use at home), and offered Ibis Bakery bread pairings with various jams and spreads. I tried all of them and they were all good. I skipped the coffee because I had had like a bunch of cups of coffee by this time and also because Restroom break #3. So, I thought I would give my kidneys and bladder a break.

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Stop #6: Homer’s Coffee in Overland Park

The last stop offered coffee samples paired with sweet snacks. My favorite was a Kenyan with the pumpkin soft cookie. It was delish. There was also a musical performance to close out the crawl.

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This was my first coffee crawl and I had a blast. I learned a ton about the dynamic coffee industry and enjoyed tasting the various offerings that each stop provided. I also learned how quickly coffee goes through my system, goodness.If you are a coffee lover, this event is definitely a must. Go here to find out more and see where the next crawl will be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 9/10

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*If you have not seen the latest episode, skip to the recipe*

This episode was action packed and was all about Jon Snow. Plus there were giants and mammoths. Giants AND Mammoths. But, I decided to make a drink after Ygritte. I couldn’t decide between her and Jon Snow, and I even thought about doing one for both, but I eventually decided on Ygritte. I have a feeling that I will get a chance to make a Jon Snow cocktail for the last episode of the season. Also, how is it that there is only ONE episode left, ONE!?

Ygritte

Ygritte is one of my favorite female characters in the show, after Cersei and Danaerys. She is strong, wild, and not afraid to kill…anyone, even Jon Snow.

It seems like every episode since like the second one, a major character dies in this show, which is part of what makes it awesome. This week, sharp-shooting Ygritte goes down. Her best moment was last season, Β when she put like 6 arrows into Jon Snow for turning his back on her.

In this episode, on the eve of the war between the Crows and the Free People, she makes it clear that she wants to be the one to destroy Jon Snow. Ygritte, in full rage and fury to avenge her broken heart, kills like a bunch of Crows. When she finally sees Jon Snow, and has the chance to take him out, she stares a little too long(without the rage and the fury), and is killed by the little elevator boy, with one arrow. Ironic. In the end, despite all of her badassery, she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t put more arrows into Jon Snow, and kill him. She ends up dying in the arms of Jon Snow and tells him that they should have stayed inside their cave.

Episode 9: The Ygritte Cocktail

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This drink looks good and it is. It’s refreshing and there is just enough zest and sweetness. I made two small changes. I like it better with ginger beer, instead of ginger ale. I also added a tad bit more of cranberry juice, and it was perfect. You can find the recipe here.

1.5oz Vodka (I used Reyyka, because Wildlings and Ygritte are cold)

0.75oz Cranberry Juice

0.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice

a splash or two of ginger beer (I used Cockbull)

2 large strawberries

Muddle strawberries in a shaker. Add vodka, cranberry juice, and lemon juice, and ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with strawberry and ENJOY!!

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*Game of Thrones images from hbo.com*

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 7/10 and 8/10

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If you have not seen the last episodes, skip to the recipe!

There has been plenty of action in the last 2 episodes, and I barely got through the bye week. But, here we are, and for both episodes, It’s all about the Prince Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper. For episode 7, because how awesome was it that he dramatically volunteered to be Tyrion’s champion!? Awesome. For episode 8, because as much as I loved his badassery, did you see how he went out!? Smashing, literally. I wanted him to win, I really did, but then again…..

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The Red Viper Cocktail:

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This is a version of the blood and sand cocktail, which I’ve had a few times, so I already know that I like this drink and that it’s good. Because, scotch. I didn’t have any blood oranges or blood orange liquer, so, I substituted regular navel orange juice. Also, the recipe can be found here, and is meant to represent House Martell, but the Red Viper is the only one we’ve seen so far, so it’s the Red Viper Cocktail in this blog πŸ™‚

1oz blended scotch( I only have single malt scotch, so I used Jameson)

1oz navel orange juice

3/4oz sweet vermouth

3/4oz Cherry Heering

Place all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. ENJOY!

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**Game of Thrones images from hbo.com**

Negroni Week 2014!!

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Negroni Week 2014 is coming up this week. As a newbie to the world of cocktails, the Negroni is one that I am trying to develop a taste for. It is definitely an acquired taste. The Negroni is an IBA official drink and so very easy to make. I like the classic recipe with a few dashes of triple sec, but I also enjoy a grapefruit variation. I can’t wait to try other takes on this cocktail.

For the week of June 2-8, Imbibe Magazine and Campari, have teamed up to launch Negroni Week. Bars around the country, and the world, will celebrate this awesome cocktail while trying to raise funds for various charities. You can find out more about the event here. So, think restaurant week, but for a cocktail.

Bars will be serving up their classic and unique variation of the Negroni, and donating proceeds from each Negroni sale to the charity of their choice. Here, in Kansas City, there are several bars that are participating and I have already eyed a few that I have yet to visit. You can find the list of participating KC bars here. The charity that a majority of the bars here are supporting is the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. So, this is another great opportunity for you to help out our kids in need and enjoy a classic and timeless cocktail. CHEERS!!

Here is my favorite Negroni recipe:

1oz gin

1oz sweet vermouth

1oz Campari

a few dashes of triple sec

garnish with orange peel

Place all ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake, strain into an old-fashioned glass, and ENJOY!!

 

*Negroni Week image from imbibe.com*

Memorial Monday 2014

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I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day. It is nice to be able to take the time to remember and celebrate those who fight/fought for our freedom. I am proud to have family members who were/are part of the service.

I heard that it was raining cats and dogs in Houston yesterday, so you stay safe H-town. We had some drizzles here and there, but the sun came out just enough and in time to enjoy some awesome burgers and drinks with new friends and neighbors, sans kids. (Naturally, we provided the potations. I concocted some sangria and my version of, Summer Beer II, see below). What did y’all do for Memorial Day 2014?

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Here is my version: (Pitcher size serving)

18oz vodka(I used Kettle One)

12oz Apple Raspberry juice mix

12oz Beer (I used Boulevard’s Tasting Room Ginger-Lemon Radler)

12oz water

1 whole grapefruit, cut into wheels

Mix all wet ingredients in a nice size pitcher and stir well. Add grapefruit wheels into the drink, serve very cold, and ENJOY.

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*US Flag image from google.com*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 6/10

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Well, this episode was an easy one. It was all about Tyrion. So, here is a Tyrion drink.

Did you think he was going to crack the minute that Shae stepped up to the stand? I’m sure you did, and that Jamie’s plans for saving his, “little” brother was not quite going to workout? I have not read the book, but I am ready to see who will fight for Tyrion, because we all know Jamie will get destroyed if he fights, and I don’t think everyone is quite ready for that to happen.

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Episode 6: The Tyrion Implet Cocktail

This cocktail is pretty much just a vodka gimlet, but I really like the name. I like this drink, it’s simple and strong, it’s mostly vodka. I used Reyka because it’s from Iceland and you know, winter is coming πŸ™‚ I used less sugar than the recipe here called for. I used a lemon wheel instead of lime to garnish, oops. I thought about straining into a shot glass because you know, Tyrion is small, I opted for a small cordial glassware instead, because Tyrion might be tiny, but he is still fancy πŸ™‚ Sidenote: I think this is the most wallet friendly drink I have made so far πŸ™‚

1.5oz Vodka

0.5oz lime juice

0.5tsp sugar

Place all materials in a shaker, add ice, shake, and strain into the smallest glassware that you have, and ENJOY! πŸ™‚

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*Game of Thrones image from nydailynews.com*

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 5/10

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Well, as I write this post, it dawned on me that we are at the half way point of the season. This means that there are only five episodes left! Why is it going by so fast!? Here is a drink that you can enjoy with your mom this weekend, it has coffee πŸ™‚

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Episode 5: The Night’s Watch Cocktail

This episode had a few things going on, and really, there were a lot of characters and places to chose from. Also, I thought Cersei was, “nice”, in this episode, well as nice as she can get. I decided on the Night’s Watch cocktail for this episode. Not sure if it was the feminist in me, but I thought they did the most good, by burning down Craster’s Keep and the mutineer’s. There was a lot of wrong going on in that place and it needed to be burned down. I also like the fact that Jon Snow allowed the remaining women to decided their fate, stay outside of the wall or to come with the Night’s Watch.

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This cocktail is a Black Forest rendition, which if very fitting to the Night’s watch: black and predominantly coffee. However, I did an overhaul with this drink because I had one major issue: not enough alcohol content. Also, I did not have Benedictine on hand so I substituted with B&B. B&B is a less sweeter version. The recipe that I started with can be found here.

The first time I made this, I hated it. As previously stated, too much coffee and not enough liquor. Here is my weird version that I liked:

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2.5oz coffee, brewed and chilled(I used Heartbreak Coffee)

0.5oz dark rum

1/4oz B&B

1/4oz Maraschino

1/4oz Franjelico

Place all materials in a shaker, add ice, shake, strain into a flute, and ENJOY!

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*Game of Thrones images from google.com*

 

 

 

Kentucky Derby , Boxing, and Basketball!!

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Since we are that much closer to Kentucky here in Kansas/Missouri, The Kentucky Derby is pretty popular here, or another reason to throw a party and imbibe. There are a few Derby parties being hosted by restaurants and bars around town. Being from Texas, and I guess too far south, I didn’t hear too much about Derby growing up, except who won the race, probably because Cinco de Mayo is more popular down there. So, in honor of Derby weekend, I thought I would try my hand at a couple of Kentucky Derby traditions, a Derby Walnut Pie and Mint Julep Cocktail.

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint julep. They sell some 100,000+ of these drinks during the 2 day event. It’s a very simple drink consisting of bourbon, sugar, and mint leaves. I am not too keen on mint flavored drinks, but I decided to give it a go. I did try the pineapple version, but that one calls for gin and not bourbon, and my first try was a fail, so I went for the traditional recipe. The recipe that I followed can be found here.

Mint Julep Cocktail

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2.5oz Bourbon(I used Woodford Reserve)

2tbs sugar

mint leaves

Muddle the mint leaves and sugar in a julep cup. Add the bourbon. Fill past the rim with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig, sip slowly, and enjoy!

Derby Walnut Pie

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Like the mint julep, the derby pie is the official pie of the Kentucky Derby. It was first served at the infamous Melrose Inn over 60 years ago and by George Kern. The recipe that I used can be found here. I only made a slight change on this one. I thought 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips was too much so I changed it to 1 cup. I would also suggest baking for a little over 45 minutes.

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1/2 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter

2 TBS Kentucky bourbon

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 deep dish pie crust

Pre heat oven to 350.

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Pour mixture onto pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool before cutting and enjoy with your mint julep while wearing your most outrageous hat and cheering for your favorite horse.

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Also going on this weekend are the NBA playoffs and the anticipated Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana fight. I recommend Cinco de Mayo drinks with the Mayweather/Maidana fight :). CHEERS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 3/10 and 4/10

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Episode 3: The Dragon Lady Cocktail

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This episode was obviously a filler, so I couldn’t decide on which drink to try. There was the total boldness of Cersei and Jamie. There was also Daenarys doing her usual thing, freeing people, being a bad ass, and such. I decided to go with a Daenarys and not the mentally deranged brother/sister couple.

The original recipe is from here.

Of course, I had no idea where the heck to find dragon fruit, so my version is sans the dragon fruit, which is the whole point of the drink. Also, not sure if that is why the color of mine is way different. I also added just a tad bit more mango juice cause I love mango πŸ™‚ The drink is my favorite so far. It’s sweet with just the right amount of zip from the lime juice, just like Danny πŸ™‚

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2oz Vodka (I used Tito’s, cause everything is hotter in Texas and dragons spit fire)

1.25oz mango juice

0.5oz triple sec

0.5oz lime juice

Place all materials in a shaker with ice and shake, shake. Strain into a glass and enjoy.

Episode 4: The Wall Cocktail

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This one was an easy choice, I wanted to make something related to the wall and the wights because they have finally made an appearance this season. I thought the insight into the wight’s world was the best part so far, behind Joffrey’s death of course.

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The drink itself, I did not particularly like because of the mint bitters. I don’t really like mint based cocktails. The first try, I put about 3-4 dashes of mint bitters and that was way too much. I also tried it without, and it was more to my liking, but it didn’t have that umph! factor that the bitters provide. If you are like me, limit the mint bitters to 1 or 2 dashes and you should be good.

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Also, the recipe calls for Plymouth Gin, but I like my Ransom, so I went with that(sometimes I don’t follow instructions too well). This is probably why my color is on the greenish side, which is fine with me because it’s kind of my play on the wights/undead.

The original recipe is from here. I did not do the dry ice business.

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2oz gin (I used Ransom, which is probably why my color is different)

0.5oz lime juice

0.5oz simple syrup

1 egg white

1-2 dashes of mint bitters

club soda

Place all ingredients except the club soda into a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake. Strain into a pre-chilled glass of your choice and top off with the club soda and enjoy!

 

*Game of Thrones images from google.com*