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.

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.)

2eat2drink-D2 addy

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.)

2eat2drink-blueberries in pan-p

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!

 

 

I said “pretty” in public.

We were in the Italian market in Canandaigua. It just slipped out in my fascination with the garlic. “Wow, these are pretty!” Not that I wouldn’t normally use the word pretty, just not in reference to garlic. I think the clerk’s strange glance towards me brought Heather to say, “Oh, he’s a photographer, he says that all the time.”

You can’t say they aren’t pretty, so can you blame me? In the weeks since I purchased them, I’m having trouble deciding if I was drawn to their subtle coloring, or nice shape and amazing texture. A color photo emphasizes one trait, black and white the others. I like them both! What’s you’re favorite?

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The diversity of beer and music.

I went to the beer store. While this isn’t necessarily an odd occurrence, my mission was unusual. I volunteered to shoot an image for this month’s RAF event, 20 Minutes and a Beer. (Join the Facebook event!) Anthony DeVito from Pandora will be speaking about the current and future state of streaming audio. Thus my mission was to find some beers that relate to music! Beer and music come in hugely varying options, so I find it fitting that the two I ended up choosing are so different in their inspiration and their taste/style.

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First we have Trooper. A traditional English ale inspired by the song of the same name, it was created by Bruce Dickinson (the Iron Maiden vocalist), and brewed by Robinson’s. The iconic artwork was hard for me to pass up, as it brought me back to my high school days of listening to heavy metal. The website describes the beer as malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon. There is a bit of malt hiding under the citrus and hops to help hold it together, but I found it a bit too lemony, with not enough malt. It was good, and probably a great example of the style, but I really wanted to like it more. I have, however, added an Iron Maiden station to my Pandora account.

Second, we have the re-release of Bitches Brew by Dogfish Head. It was first created in 2010 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis’ 1970 groundbreaking jazz album. A dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root. I found this to be a fabulous stout, very dark in color with a thick, rich caramel head, featuring a great blend of mild bitterness and mild roast. Flavors of dark chocolate and coffee mix in with just a touch of caramel and honey. An excellent and drinkable beer with a slight malty finish, it’s much drier than you may think given the flavors. Of the two, I have to give the Bitches Brew the hands down victory. I have also added a Bitches Brew station to Pandora!

Which station are you going to add? Which beer are you going to try?

If you’re in the area, please join me at Good Luck on Tuesday!

20MAAB_FlyerOct2014 2B_20maab-pandora fb2

 

The trophies have arrived….yippee, yahoo!

This “good news” post has been a long time coming. I’ve mentioned the Addy awards before (this post, and also this one). The Rochester show, the RAF Addy awards (formally called the American Advertising Awards), was held in March of this year. It’s a pretty big deal for us in the advertising community, with months of planning and over 500 people attending. I was fortunate enough to have won three gold and one silver Addy! Any winning entry can be forwarded on to the regional awards show (which I did). Our region being District 2 means going up against some big markets….New York, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and more. I’m proud to say, I won 3 silver Addys at the regional show! Why am I sharing it with you now, you ask? There was an issue with the creation of the trophies at the regional level, so they just arrived (thanks for your help, Karen!). Here are the winners.

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The jazz pictures and 1961 Vodka (more on this great vodka to come) series won Rochester gold and regional silver. The 20 Minutes and a Beer series won Rochester gold. The 2eat2drink food series won both Rochester and regional silver.

2eat2drink-addysThanks to all of you for being a great inspiration for me!

A Real Saucy Character

My amazing wife Heather and her awesome brother Dave have a new book coming out this Friday! I’m so proud of them! It’s called José Picada, P.I.: Deception Al Dente. You can find it here. In honor of this occasion, I decided to do an interview with one of their main characters, Chef Marco Augustino. What role does Chef Marco play in the book? Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out! But, in the meantime, I’m looking forward to trying his pasta.

Rich: So, Chef Marco, I understand you’re no longer with your restaurant, Bistro Italiano. Why did you leave?

Chef Marco: Yeah, we’re not gonna talk about all that.

R: Oh. Okay. Well, there go all my interview questions. We’ll just wing it. So, uh, thanks for making this beautiful plate of pasta I just photographed. It was fabulous!

CM: Yeah, it was. The secret is the sauce.

R: It really is a great tomato sauce! What makes it so special? Do you use a certain type of tomatoes? What herbs do you prefer?

CM: Yeah, we’re not gonna discuss my culinary secrets, kapeesh?

R: Oh. Um, all right. So, in Deception Al Dente, you cross paths with the main character, Josie Cates. What’s Josie’s favorite dish?

CM: I don’t know and I don’t freakin’ care. That girl is a real pain in my—

R: Uh, this is a family-friendly blog, Chef Marco. Let’s just get back to the pasta. What would you pair it with?

CM: Some crusty bread, a nice Chianti, and badda bing! You’re good to go.

R: Okay. Well, that pretty much covers it. I had a lot more planned, but you sort of derailed the entire interview.

CM: Whatever. You got any more Chianti?

108-2eat2drink-chef Marco's pasta

Heather and Dave have a unique writing process, where they e-mail the manuscript back and forth. Whoever has possession can alter anything they see fit. It’s a fun process to watch and listen to as they chat on the phone during their planning sessions. You can follow along with them at Driving Blind and on Facebook. Cheers to a job well done!

Happy New Year! (Old world style)

This may be an unconventianal New Year’s Eve post, but it really makes sense. Don’t we all ring in the new year by thinking about some highlights from the previous year? And pledging to do more of what makes you happy in the upcoming year? (And kissing your someone special as the ball drops in Times Square!) So….these pictures are from our 5th Anniversary honeymoon trip to Old San Juan — a definite highlight during this past year. And Heather and I call every trip we take together a honeymoon….which I hereby pledge to do more of this year! (Along with kissing her at midnight!)

This latest honeymoon was about eating and drinking in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a lot of cool sights in between sips and bites! I took so many pictures over the course of 4 days that it will end up as multiple posts. Here are a few highlights to get us started!

So here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous new year to you all. Cheers!

Café Puerto Rico cheers. Happy new year!!

Café Puerto Rico cheers. Happy new year!!