A Beautiful Mess

By mess I mean garbage plate. I’ve always wanted to come up with a Rochester hot sauce, or meat sauce, or whatever you’d like to call it. And this was just the excuse I needed. Linh Phillips from Sir Rocha Says is going to be presenting at the RAF 20 Minutes and a Beer on April 19th (see the Facebook event). We needed a photo for the event creative and I thought why not pay tribute to Linh’s (and my) love all all things food and drink….including Sriracha.

The garbage plate was made famous in Rochester. And while mine is not exactly the classic from Nick Tahou’s, it was super good. I started with Wegmans frozen sweet potatoes fries. I pan fried them in a touch of oil then caramelized them with maple syrup. Those are topped with Wegmans deli macaroni salad. Two Zweigles pop-open red hots come next, followed by the hot sauce and Sriracha.

Don’t forget the Sriracha Hot Stout from Rogue Ales & Spirits. It’s an easy drinking stout with hints of chocolate, malt and coffee. The pepper spice is definitely there, but not nearly as strong as you may think given the bright red Sriracha bottle look. A very interesting beer and an excellent pairing for our plate.

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The hot sauce was pretty easy to make and ridiculously good. I mixed a touch of sweet in, to go with the spice….especially since I knew the Sriracha was coming. Given it’s a Rochester recipe, I used the Dundee’s Porter instead of only water….and it’s way better! Here is the recipe.

  • 1 medium or 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 bottle Dundee’s Porter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 8-16 oz. water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet, then fry onion and garlic in oil until lightly browned. Break up meat and add to pan with all spices. Stir continually until browned to keep loose. Once browned, add the porter, tomato paste and brown sugar. Simmer 1 hour, adding water if necessary to keep it moist.

Heather and I shared this and it was splendid! Let us know your “plate” suggestions and favorites and we’ll make another! Cheers.

Happy New Year… Old School Style!

This post was 40 years in the making…straight from the pages of the 1976 edition of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook handed down from Heather’s Grandma. (Thanks Betty!) We decided to celebrate New Year’s Eve by making a few retro recipes. What better way to ring in 2016 than to party like it’s 1976?

The elusive cherry. Do you remember being so excited? So excited that there was a cherry in your bowl of fruit cocktail? Current cans seem to have way more cherries than I recall from my youth. At 6 years of age, I certainly wasn’t asking mine to be served in ginger ale with a dash of bitters over it, but we ate this Ginger Fruit Cocktail and it was a nice trip down memory lane.

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What’s a party without a log? A Salmon Party Log to be specific. Laugh all you want, but this is remarkably good! We both thought it would be disgusting, but dared each other to try it. It turned out to be our favorite recipe of the day. This might be due to the high quality canned salmon used, Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Atlantic Salmon. Or it might be due to my impressive log-rolling skills.

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For our final course, we went with the Broiled Grapefruit. Heather wasn’t a fan (too bitter). The broiling didn’t add as much flavor to it as I anticipated. But we like the picture.

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This was so much fun, we’d like to do it again some time. Do you have any retro recipes that you dare us to try?

We had a great 2015 (thanks for the 15,000+ views!) and look forward to 2016. Hope you all have a great new year. Cheers!

Cool Bob deserves a tiki drink!

One of our days in NOLA we took the Ferry over to Algiers. I highly recommend this if you have a couple hours to spend. It’s a beautiful little residential area with lots of character. It was nice to walk around and check out all of the architectural styles. Plus, you may get to meet Cool Bob (from Buffalo of all places) at the Old Point Bar! We chatted with him for a while before we had to head back out into the heat, and across the river.

After the ferry ride back, we meandered our way over to Latitude 29, again. We weren’t aware that famed rum collector Professor Remsberg was going to be in the bar for a meeting. I wish we could have said hello, but didn’t want to interrupt.

Professor’s Remsberg’s Punch is the inspiration for my version of Planter’s Punch. Most versions of this punch are different, so feel free to make it your own!

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2eat2drink Punch

  • 3 oz El Dorado 12 year demerara rum
  • 1 1/2 oz demerara simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Fee Brother’s Cherry bitters

Shake with ice and serve in a well garnished glass. Or you can always mix up a pitcher and stir!

The Lapu Lapu I created is based on the Disney version from The Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian Resort. I altered the recipe slightly from what I found only because I wanted to use a better rum for the float than 151. Plus, I can’t bring myself to use sour mix.

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The Lapu Lapu

  • 2 oz Myers’s Dark Rum
  • 3 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • float 1 1/2 oz Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum Agricole Vieux on top before serving

Mix all ingredients except float and stir well. Pour into a hollowed out a fresh pineapple filled with ice. Gently pour additional rhum to float on top. Garnish with orchids and mint and serve with a straw.

What is your favorite tiki drink? I’d love to know so I can do another series. Cheers!

Get your tiki on!

First, I hope you all had a marvelous holiday! Mele Kalikimaka! Happy Christmakuh! Etc.

The rest of this post is long overdue. Heather and I went to New Orleans in July. It was a marvelous get away, despite being all too quick. But it had a purpose, besides going to one of the most fun cities that we’ve been so far: I wanted to shoot some new pictures for the RAF On The Side Expo. As the incoming president (current president, given it’s December!) of the board of the RAF, I was super excited about our first partnership with the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and I wanted to have some new work to highlight. It was a show for RAF members to share the artwork they do “on the side”, or those things that aren’t paid work.

What does that have to do with tiki drinks? Latitude 29 is one of the coolest places in NOLA, and we went there. Twice. It served as great inspiration, even 5 months later, to create this post (and tomorrow’s, where you can see more).

Here are a few pictures from the On The Side show.

These are the 4 pieces that were in the show along with 2 others in the series. Reflections of Abe and Spirits of the Bar sold during the show!

Here are a few other highlights from our trip.

 

And last but not least, your tiki inspiration! This is my take on the huge variation of Mai Tai recipes that are out there.

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  • The Mai Tai
  • 2 ounces Don Q Cristal or other light rum
  • 2 ounces Blackwell rum
  • 2 ounces Myers’s Dark rum
  • 1 ounce Grand Mariner
  • 1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • splash of grenadine

Mix all ingredients well (except grenadine) and pour over crushed ice in a  hurricane glass. Top with a splash of grenadine. Playfully garnish and serve with a straw. Cheers!

Thankful for Leftovers

Hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving, with lots of friends and family time!  It’s been a busy week, but sharing leftovers with you seemed like the right thing to do. After all, what are friends for!

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Believe it or not, I ate this sandwich. Maybe I have a big mouth…or maybe half of the meal ended up outside the delicious rosemary olive oil roll. You decide. Either way, I was super hungry and it was awesome!

Please stay tuned, I have lots of good things to post coming up soon! In the meantime, have a great start to your holiday season. Cheers!

A Killer Drink

Hi everyone! Heather here. Rich has been too busy to blog lately, but I want to share his latest creation with you. He whipped this up in honor of last night’s season premiere of The Walking Dead. So, of course, we named it “Season Premiere.”

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Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 ounces of rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce of chocolate liqueur
  • 1 ounce of pomegranate juice
  • 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters

Just stir everything together and serve over ice. Quick, easy, and super delicious. Feel free to garnish with a sword-skewered cherry, like we did, in honor of Michonne. Cheers!

Blueberries, texture, dessert, and Addys!

Happy Friday to you all! My District 2 regional Addy award just arrived, so it seems like a good time to share the news!

Last year I was asked to be part of an amazing project: Cohber Fuel. 12 local artists were each asked to create an image for a calendar, based only on one word. My word was texture. This is what I came up with!

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This link will take you to my page on the Cohber site for a brief description, but you can also follow the Fuel button in the corner to see a video about the entire project and view the rest of the images. Cohber determined a printing technique to highlight each artist’s creation. My image had dimensional ink to highlight the texture!

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I entered the image in the local American Advertising Awards show and it won silver. It then was forwarded on to the D2 regional show and won gold! (Page 30 in this PDF.)

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This seemed like the perfect excuse to make a blueberry crumble (like I really needed a reason?) It was super good, and I decided to make it gluten free so our son with celiac disease could enjoy it as well. It was fun trying to randomly come up with a recipe for this. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it!

2eat2drink-blueberry crumble-pIngredients for the berry mixture:

  • 2 lbs blueberries, washed
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pisco or brandy
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons Wegmans Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix

Get out your favorite 8″ square baking pan, throw everything in and mix it up. It should look like this. (I dare you not to eat some.)

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Ingredients for topping:

  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup Wegmans Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened

Mix it all up in a bowl with a fork and spread evenly on the top with your fingers (only licking when you are done). Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!