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Chocolate Caramel Porter Pops

I think it’s official. I think we may finally be over the random days of waking up to find snow covering the ground! (Knock on wood.)
Cloudy Colorado There have been many a wonderful spring shower in the afternoon, but the temperature is finally on a continuous upswing! We’ve been getting 90+ degrees for the last week. Summer is coming! And summer calls for…
am7 Popsicles!!! Not just any popsicles though. Popsicles with BEER in them!
am I teamed up with fairlife to bring some boozy recipes to the table. Some of them definitely haven’t worked out.
am9 Beer + dairy = curdled sadness. But these beersicles are a winner!
am8 The rich creaminess of the fairlife 2% chocolate milk makes the texture of these like fudgsicles, not the bland, crystallized, icy frozen milk you might expect. You’ll notice that I instructed to put the beer in the base of these popsicles whereas the pictures are reversed. After a horrible disaster that ended with me hand mopping my entire kitchen floor, I determined that the softer consistency of the frozen beer part would better be placed on the top of the popsicle so you don’t get stuck with puddles of sweet beer and chocolate milk on your floor. You’re welcome.
am2 I used one of my favorite porters around – Killer Boots caramel porter by Verboten Brewing. First, make a simple syrup and let cool completely. I chilled mine in the fridge for a good hour.
am3 Slowly mix together the beer and simple syrup, tasting as you go. These beersicles end up pretty sweet, so you may want to use less than I did.
am1 Fill the bases of the popsicle with the beer mixture and let them freeze for 2-4 hours, or until slightly solidified.
am6 Fill them the rest of the way with fairlife 2% chocolate milk, until 1/4 inch to the top.
am5 The genius that I am, I forgot science and the fact that liquids expand as they freeze, so after filling the molds up all the way I ended up cleaning out my freezer and rinsing off the overflow. Don’t do that.
am7 When completely frozen, place the molds in a cup of hot water for about two minutes until the popsicles slide right out and enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Porter Pops

Serves 6 popsicles
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 8 hours
Total time 8 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Boozy popsicles filled with caramel porter and rich chocolate milk.

Ingredients

  • 12oz stout or rich porter (I used Verboten Brewing Killer Boots caramel porter)
  • 2oz simple syrup
  • 6oz fairlife 2% chocolate milk

Note

Must be 21 years or older to enjoy.

Directions

To make the simple syrup
Step 1
In a small pot, combine 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 cup of sugar, bring to a boil and let cool completely.
For the popsicles
Step 2
In a bowl, mix together the 12oz of stout or porter with 1-2oz of simple syrup (using more or less to taste).
Step 3
Pour the beer mixture evenly into the bottom halves of 6 popsicle molds and freeze for 4 hours.
Step 4
Once the beer mixture has hardened, pour fairlife 2% chocolate milk into the molds until a quarter inch from the top, insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

am10 Happy almost summer to everyone! What’s your favorite style/flavor of popsicle?

Note: I was provided free product and compensation by fairlife to create this recipe. All text and opinions are my own.

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Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna with Zucchini Salad

Now that I have access to a complete kitchen, I’ve had the chance to get back to one of the ultimate joys in my life – cooking! First up, I decided to recreate the delicious meal kindly prepared for me by the lovely Janelle, with a few tweaks inspired by our visit to LAB Brewing.

Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna with Zucchini Salad

Serves 1
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 6 minutes
Total time 16 minutes
Allergy Fish, Milk
Meal type Main Dish
Simple, healthy and delicious - seared Ahi tuna with bright sesame flavors marry perfectly with tender strips of fresh zucchini marinated in white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb sushi grade Ahi tuna (about 3/4in thick)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Medium zucchini
  • 1/3 tomato (seeded and chopped)
  • 1oz Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

Step 1
First, prepare the zucchini salad. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini into strips and place in a small mixing bowl.
Step 2
Add the seeded and chopped tomato, white balsamic vinegar and olive oil and toss to coat.
Step 3
Next, take the Ahi tuna and massage with sesame oil.
Step 4
Sprinkle salt, pepper and sesame seeds on both sides of the tuna steak.
Step 5
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high to high heat.
Step 6
Once the pan is hot, place the tuna in the pan and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Step 7
Right before serving, use the vegetable peeler to peel the pecorino into strips and toss with the zucchini salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

AM I paired this with something I traditionally wouldn’t recommend, but it seemed necessary.
AM3 Our family homebrew Yeti clone!
AM4 Our pup, Barleywhine (yes, that is actually his name), seemed to think the recipe and pairing was good.

Last night I decided to immerse myself into more of the beer culture of Northern Colorado.
AM1 The Verboten Sisterhood meets weekly at the brewery in Loveland.
AM2 IN the brewery in Loveland, to be exact. I grabbed a pint of their Angry Banjo Kentucky Common and enjoyed the ambiance as the ladies filtered in, glasses in hand.
AM6 After beer nerd chatting and displays of how to pour the perfect beer, one of the Verboten founders, Angie, brought out this devil. I had a few sips and found it necessary to tamper the heat with another snifter of Yeti clone when I got home.
AM5 Also… found these on the shelves at a liquor store. No limit. Bought out the shelf. One for sipping now and three to age.

Have I mentioned that I love Colorado yet? Because I do. I really do.

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Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese

I just can’t seem to stop celebrating this past week!
am7 My Certified Cicerone pin and badge came in the mail yesterday, sending me off into another frenzied hour of joy.
am10 I got a carwash for the first time in months. With the small amount of time I have for myself, I kind of saw this as a celebration… Oy, I’m getting old.
am6 I also got back into the kitchen! These pumpkin spiced donuts were a regular in my life until a year ago, when my life got tossed around in beautiful ways and I had to move four times because of shifting jobs. I made these delicious donuts again, took one bite and realized something was off… Instead of 1/2 cup of brown sugar, I’d only added 1/4 cup. Well, crap.

They were still delicious, but obviously lacking just a tad.

I did what any normal person would do – melted butter, dipped the tops in butter and then in a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
am3 BOOM. Problem solved.
am4 Then I took another bite. Just to make sure the problem was actually solved.
am5 It was. Oh, my goodness, it was.
am I had quite a bit of pumpkin leftover from the donuts, so I made a form of mac ‘n cheese using pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese

Serves 4-5
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
A healthy version of macaroni and cheese with an added dose of dietary fiber and Vitamin A from pumpkin puree, as well as whole grains from whole wheat pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12oz whole wheat pasta ((3/4 lbs))

Directions

Step 1
In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Step 2
Add the onions, garlic and sage and saute until the onions are translucent.
Step 3
In a blender (I used my Magic Bullet), combine the pumpkin puree and cooked onions, garlic and sage, and blend until smooth.
Step 4
Pour the blended mixture into a saucepan and heat through.
Step 5
While the sauce is heating, cook pasta according to package directions.
Step 6
Add the mascarpone and parmesan to the pumpkin sauce and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 7
Drain the pasta once al dente, reserving about half a cup of the pasta water.
Step 8
Place the drained pasta back into the pot and add the pumpkin sauce, stirring until all the pasta is coated. Add pasta water if necessary to thin out the sauce.
Step 9
Any add-ins should be mixed in next - I sauteed chicken apple sausages and added frozen peas to give a little more substance.
Step 10
Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and devour.

am1 And since I felt so healthy after this meal, I decided it was time again to celebrate.
am8Berliner Weisse with (way too much) woodruff syrup at Golden Road.
am9And a sample of their West by Northwest collaboration brew with Deschutes! And now I’m off to prep for a crapload of beer dinners I’m hosting in the near future.

Life be good.

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