Friday, November 27, 2009

sly fox's dale 10k honorary beer

Sly Fox's Brewmaster Brian O'Reilley + Dale Van Wieren

On Sat., Nov. 21, Sly Fox's brewmaster Brian O'Reilly tapped the brewery's new ceremonial beer, the Dale 10K. The Dale 10K, a hybrid of an amber Pils, Dubbel and Bier de Garde boosting 7.5 percent alcohol by volume, had been crafted to honor the victorious feat of Dale Van Wieren, who since the age of 21, now 59, tasted and documented glass-upon-glass of different liquid hops with his namesake beer being his 10,000th noted gulp.

My brother and I attended the event, supporting someone's amazing beer-love that captivates a challenge that I hope to someday do myself. At age 24, I am already three years behind the brew connoisseur. I plan to soon make up for lost times, or at least, attempt.

the Dale 10K, crafted to the Van Wieren's tastes (not a fan of the "overhopped" blends), was made as an one-off batch, equaling 22 kegs. His brew will be available until the taps are bone dry, so pay a visit to SF, pronto!

Click here to continue to a lengthy piece on Dale VW

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

wonderful whoopies, pumpkin-styled.

As thankful as any girl could be this time of the year, I gush at giving thanks to all those who I've rubbed 'bows with in the past year, as well as those I've crossed paths with solely through my delectable 'buds and dainty nostrils -- you are wonderful.

But, furthermore, I'd like to point out that if any holiday could be considered the ultimate celebration for a foodie, it would most definitely be Thanksgiving. In honor of my utmost favorite celebration, I lend the following pumpkin-punched recipe adapted from Brooklyn's Baked bakery because everyone knows this season wouldn't be the same if it weren't for our beloved, delightfully-orange squash.

Pumpkin Whoopies Pies pumped with Cream Cheese Filling
makes 12 sandwiches, double the amount of whoopies if palm-sized

for cookie:
3 cups all-purpose flour (i blend with whole-wheat)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. cinnamon
1 T. ginger
1 T. cloves
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup veggie oil (or canola)
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

for cream:
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
preheat oven to 350 degrees. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

making the cookie:
in a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder & soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together and set aside.
in separate bowl, whisk brown sugar and oil together until combined. add pumpkin puree and whisk thoroughly. add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and combine well.
drop heaping tablespoon of dough onto prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart. bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies crack on top and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. let cookies cool completely while you make filling.

making cream filling:
sift confectioners' sugar into medium bowl. in electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until well-combined and fluffy. add the sugar and vanilla to butter and cream cheese. don't overbeat, or cream will loose its structure.

drop the filling on the flat side of the cookie and place another cookie on top. put the completed whoopies in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving. whoopies will keep for 3 days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

mexican mocha minis

There is not anything better than a gift of a cookbook. I obsess over my cookbook collection, having to have the best new additions to the cookbook scene, as well as the oldie-but-goodies. However, sometimes the best books are those that are free, or more so, those that warmly belonged to another and then, were passed onto you.

My cousin recently gave me The Better Homes and Garden Homemade Cookies Cookbook, published in 1975. Packed with retro-styled cookies, bars, candies and teacake pastries, the hardcover kitchen companion was received at the most perfect time of the year.

Opting to start my Christmas cookie baking with a little bit of chocolate, I selected a recipe from the above-mentioned text, a 3-dozen batch of a walnut-packed, cocoa blend that undeniably proved that this baking handbook stuck around for obvious reasons.

Mexican Mocha Minis
makes 3 dozen

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or raw sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose, 1/2 cup flax seed meal and 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso crystals
1/4 teaspoon of salt (or sea salt)
1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts (or almonds)
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries (or more more choc-crunch, add chocolate chunks here)
powdered sugar for dusting

Cream first 3 ingredients. Sift flour with cocoa, coffee and salt. Gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and cherries. Form into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool on rack. While warm, but not hot, dust with powdered sugar.