Here I go messing around with those “usual” pairings again. But I had the beer…and I had the cheese, and I thought….why not??? It turned out to be a really good idea!
In this case, the cheese came first…..from a June trip to the Thousand Islands. How can you resist a cheese called Mean and Nasty? It’s a super aged cheddar from River Rat cheese. (Even thought I can’t find any information on their website.) Our oldest son spotted it in a gift shop in Alexandria Bay, saying he’d had it before and liked it. He wanted us to try it, so we picked it up. It sat in the fridge until the right pairing came along. The cheese has a definite sharp bite, but being a fan of sharp cheddar It’s hard to call it nasty. It has a lot of creaminess hidden under the sharpness and plenty of calcium lactate crystals hidden throughout.
The river brought back lots of great memories for me, from the many months I spent on the river during my youth.
I discovered the beer during a photo shoot. (Yes…I love my job!) I poured 9 different beers for the shots and since there was a touch left in each bottle I got to try them all. The Southern Tier Brewing Choklat was a standout for me. It’s a stout brewed with chocolate….and it’s delicious on its own. The scent of chocolate and caramel fills your nose as you bring your glass up. The taste is very creamy to start, with caramel malt, and finishes with bittersweet chocolate and hops. Together…..it’s creamy chocolate bliss. The bite of the sharp cheddar pairs well with the hops. The creaminess in both blend together, while the chocolate shines through. Yum!
Here are a few highlights from our trip!
A reflection from the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton.
The dock in Alexandria Bay at dusk.
The boys were very excited to see Saranac Root Beer on the menu!
The stained glass dome in the grand entrance hall to Boldt Castle, complete with the Boldt family crest.
Many rooms in Boldt Castle have not been renovated and are still covered with graffiti.
Boldt Castle’s South facade. Quite impressive!
The welcome arch at the approach to Boldt Castle, with my crew! Note the tiny house island in the background.
Chocolate is a classic Valentine’s Day gift. I think we all know that, but based on my brief research at least 35 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold every Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of red hearts! These particular Andy’s Candies truffles came to us via Heather’s sister and her husband. (Thanks!) They were delightful! I bet all you last minute shoppers can still find some. Heather will have to wait till tonight to see if her extremely lucky Valentine brought any for her….
This post required a fair amount of “research”. While on our honeymoon in Puerto Rico, we had a few chocolate martinis at the Copamarina resort. They were excellent! But we had no idea what the recipe was. So…..after some experimentation, and some more experimentation…..and a little more……..we came up with a delectable treat!
Over ice in a martini shaker add:1 oz. chocolate vodka, 1 oz. triple espresso vodka, 1 oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur, 1 oz. Kahlua Mocha, 1/2 oz. black raspberry liqueur, 2 oz. milk or half and half or cream (whichever you prefer), and a touch of dark chocolate syrup. Shake it up! Then pour in your martini glass….. after rimming the edge with chocolate shavings and drizzling a swirl of dark chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass.