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.

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!

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!

 

 

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!

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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!

Santa wants beer and cookies

Yes, he does. Specifically this Newcastle Brown Ale and Heather’s chocolate crinkle cookies. I would normally wait until closer to the holiday to do a Christmas post, but the next RAF 20 Minutes and Beer event is calling! And guess who is giving this presentation? Yours truly. I’d give you some details but I don’t have them all planned out yet. Hopefully you can swing by to cheer me on listen and have a beer! My presentation title is… Say No To Stock: Be Original & Let Your Idea Grow. I’ll share my take on stock images vs. creative original photography (which do you think I prefer?). Showing you examples of misused and overused stock images, I’ll try to demonstrate why it’s always better to be original and let your idea grow (so you don’t end up on Santa’s naughty list). Should be fun!

Here are the original photo and the poster. Do you think I would have been able to find a stock photo for my silly idea? Don’t forget to make Heather’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. The recipe is down below. Now for that Newcastle (Which is the perfect choice, as they have very original advertising. #nobullocks)….Cheers!

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Chocolate Crinkles:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (I use a little less)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Chill several hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350. Roll about one teaspoonful of dough at a time into a ball and roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place 2″ apart on greased baking sheet (I use parchment paper). Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

More beer is never bad…

….especially on a Friday afternoon. Let’s skip over the stories that would contradict that statement (just one more!), and go right to the clarification. More beer photos are never bad. Especially when I can use them to help promote the second “20 Minutes and a Beer” event of the fall season, next Monday the 18th.

While there’s no shortcut to creativity nirvana, one can get there by experience, hard work, dedication, and by following some thought provoking non-scientific principles titled “The 12 Creative Rules of Thumb.” Joe Mayernik, former RAF President and Co-Founder/Creative Director of Brandtatorship, will share these 12 principles to live, learn, and be inspired by. The principles will make you rethink, while forging ideas that will help you challenge the creative norm.

Joe is a terrific speaker, and I hope all of you in the Rochester area can stop by the Back Nine Grill. The Facebook event page will give you more information. Joe has a great blog which I suggest you follow as well.

Now for the beer! I couldn’t help but highlight a few local brews: 12 Horse Ale and Fyfe & Drum from Genesee, and Magic Hat’s #9. Cheers!2eat2drink-more beer

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