Puppy Love

Even with that awful, crappy day I had last week, I’ve been in an awesome mood. Everything has seemingly turned around in amazing ways I never could have seen coming.
am Getting custody of this handsome guy for a week definitely helped. My parental unit went on a vacation in the mountains to celebrate their anniversary (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!). Barley was stuck with me.
am1 He got trapped in the car a lot as I took him between houses for work and the like. Here he is trying not to get carsick (seriously) as I take him to my bro’s house to play with his cousin puppies while I went to work.
am3 When I went back to pick him up I was treated to vegan burritos, this spicy and slightly hot (yet still freaking delicious) Houblon Chouffe and a dog covered in slime from other dogs.
am4 The next morning I took him for an insanely long walk and let him wade in the lake we strolled by since he needed to be bathed anyway to remove the lovely dog slobber that had solidified overnight.
am5 FLUFFY POST-BATH PUPPY! This picture kills me. He kind of looks like he might kill me.
am6 But besides the pup… I’ve enjoyed rainy evenings with glasses of merlot…
am7 Free brownies from work that were deemed “too dry to sell” so I rehydrated them with butter pecan ice cream for lunch. Obviously. Have I mentioned yet that I love my job?
am8 And more puppy. I’m completely infatuated with him, even after a year.
am9 I got a new sink! The sink that came with my house was brand new stainless steel that began rusting the day after I moved in. They replaced it with a shiny one that hopefully won’t rust. Hopefully…
am10 I felt like I should counteract the brownies and ice cream lunches I’d been having with zucchini noodles, onions, garlic and parmesan. This is one of my absolute favorite dishes.
am11 I worked late on Friday night and then went out for a beer with a bunch of friends in Old Town, played pool, kicked ass, blinked and it was 2am. We closed down the bar and everyone continued on to party at someone’s house while I was feeling sleepy from my one beer I had around midnight. So I went home and passed out. I’m a party girl.
am12 Sunday was my day off and it was time to get out and enjoy Colorado the right way – Kayaking!
am13 My pops and I loaded the kayaks onto the car and drove about five miles to a local lake with tons of coves and inlets, and spent the morning paddling around.
am14 Glassy water, storm clouds and mountains.
am15 Blissed out.
am16 And blistered out too. I ended up ripping up my thumb pretty gnarly with my supercool intense paddling. Battle scars.
am17 The only way to really heal battle scars such as these is with a trip to a local pub and a local brew. Between Worlds Belgian White IPA from Verboten Brewing.
am9 And now I must head off to work, so I’ll leave you all with this beautiful face. Because I’m sure you haven’t seen enough of him. Happy Monday!

Ever been kayaking before? Do you prefer the sit-in or sit-on?

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One of Those Days

Ever have one of those weeks? Everything is perfect.
am It starts off wonderfully with delicious cake mix cookies.
am1 And continues on to barbecue at Nordy’s. I have absolutely nothing wrong with brisket and mac ‘n cheese, but I should’ve seen the signs.
AM2
Those rainy days. Those blissfully rainy days.
AM4 Curled up inside my cozy house, sipping a hot mug of Bhakti Chai with candles lit all around, the rain trickling down the windowpanes in little rivers. And then real life beckons.
AM3 Luckily enough, brews at work is one part of my real life.
AM5 As are (free) medium rare bison burgers with more mac ‘n cheese.
AM11 And then sneak peeks of new beer rained down upon my front stoop, begging to be paired with wonderful foods. Stone Coffee Milk Stout (out in distribution today!)!
AM12 So I paired it with firecracker shrimp and soba noodles. The rich, creaminess of the stout cut through the intense spicy bite of the shrimp and rounded out the dish with an emphasis of earthy roast. There wasn’t as much coffee as I was expecting, but plenty of smoky roast in place!

And after that great week, on a Sunday afternoon, everything falls down. And it becomes one of those days.
AM6
One starts reminiscing of happier days where responsibility didn’t exist – freshman year at UCSB… (Plaid pajama pants, scarves and aviators. Could I be any more stylish?)
AM9 Steven Bauer from Scarface wishing me a happy 21st birthday at Saddle Ranch in Hollywood…
AM7
Jonas getting shot
after we crashed our car…
AM10 The boys and I at the season 1 finale of Lonelygirl15…
Screen shot 2014-08-03 at 9.59.52 PM
And then the danged dog headbutts you and gives you a bloody lip to top off the worst day to end a wonderful week. (It wasn’t that bloody, but I also didn’t feel like I should force any of you to look at my swollen lip and sad, pitiful eyes.)
AM15 I thought Sharknado 2 would make everything better, because the original Sharknado was so bad it was good… But this was so bad that it just compounded every bad thing in my life into two hours of wasted time. And I was so very excited too!
AM13 Luckily, I had something sweet to end this craptastic day – Senorita Imperial Porter: Horachata style! Intense rich chocolate dancing with sweet vanilla and spicy cinnamon, and just enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness.

But today is over. Tomorrow is a new day. Chin up, smiles on, let’s start anew!

What went right in your life last week? What are you looking forward to?

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Gray’s Peak and Torrey’s Peak

Last week I took the initiation into becoming a true Coloradoan.
am8 Topping a 14er – Gray’s Peak! (Spoiler alert – I summited). My bestie Michelle told me she was hiking Gray’s and Torrey’s and I figured that, since I have plenty of time on my hands lately, I should join. I drove down to her place last Sunday and we binged on sushi to fuel up for the ascent. Our alarms were set for 3:45am so we headed for bed around 10pm, me trying to ignore the gentle throbbing in my temples.
am2 We left the house at 4:15am and headed into the mountains to hit the base before 6am and avoid the afternoon thunderstorms. We drove up the windy, rocky road past the winter parking lot, heading for the summer lot at the start of the trail. The road got rougher as we got higher until our car took a nosedive into a deep trough. The tires spun and the aroma of burning rubber filled the car. I jumped out as Michelle reversed out of the trench, trying to see if there was a way around it. To the right, we’d ram into the rocks. To the left, the undercarriage of the car would be shredded. We reversed down, a line of cars slowly backing down behind us, before pulling a 3 point turn and parking in the middle lot. A handful of other lower clearance cars decided to join us after watching our little adventure and realizing they probably wouldn’t be able to get around the trench either. We pulled our packs on and started the 2 mile hike up to the start of the actual hike. The throbbing in my temples the night before was starting to knock a little louder.

That hike up. Was. Painful. We finally reached the ditch we’d gotten stuck in when a large white pickup began to navigate through the same spot. An older gentleman got out to help guide the driver and asked if we wanted a ride.
am20 YES! We gleefully jumped in the back of the truck and enjoyed the chilly, bumpy ride to the top parking lot, ready to start the 8.5 mile round trip.
am3 It was absolutely gorgeous! The sun started cresting over the horizon as the trail immediately became a steady incline.
am4 The first mile consisted of large, rocky steps before evolving into a crescendo of rocks that pointed directly upward.
am5 We huffed and puffed along, taking 30 second breaks to gasp for air before passing a handful of red-faced groups snacking on Cheez-Its on the side of the trail. It wasn’t a race, but man, we were so winning!
am6 As we continued on, we were passed by Superman. This guy was powering up behind us at inhuman speed. “Hiking for time?” I asked him. Turns out Superman (aka Patrick) just wanted some exercise and this was his normal speed for all of the many, many 14ers he’s topped. He ended up reaching the top of Gray’s in an hour and a half!
am7 The top! The glorious top! It took us 2 hours and 15 minutes to get from the start of the trail to the summit. My head was pounding full force now and the winds were whipping like crazy.
am8 We pulled on our gloves and  headed down the steep saddle across to Torrey’s Peak. We dropped down at least 1,000 feet before starting an even steeper ascent.
am9 An hour later, we were standing on the top of Torrey’s, gazing in awe at the views all around us, scarfing down sammiches and chugging water.
am10 I debated going in to my pack to grab the ibuprofen for my head, but we were ready to start the descent and avoid the clouds that were rolling in in the distance.
am12 After a few more obligatory pictures, we started down. Superman joined us. He told us that while he was a powerhouse on the uphill, he preferred to take his time down to avoid injury. With the blisters forming across my feet, my aching knees and bruised soles, I decided that was a good way to go.
am13 We had to cut across a snow bridge to avoid topping Gray’s again. I took the lead and began slowly sliding across. About halfway through, the snow turned to ice and my foot slipped. I threw myself facedown in a full arrest on the bank, driving my fingers into the snow while I attempted to regain my footing. Visions of my bloody, battered body resting on the rocks below flashed through my head. I jammed my foot into the snow, stood up again and kept inching across, my ragged breath shaking out of my lungs even after I stepped onto solid ground. Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan…
am14 The ground finally started to even out, but each step still sent knives of pain through my knees, feet and skull. Patrick (Superman) told us he was going to stretch his legs out and speed up a little and took off towards the base as we gimped along.
am15 As we continued, the memory of our lucky pickup ride up to the base jumped into our minds. And then we remembered that we would have to hike the extra two miles back down to the car. Lovely.
am16 We finally reached the base of the trail or, for us, the beginning of our final two miles. We hit the outhouse and started to cross the parking lot before we saw… SUPERMAN!!!! Patrick had waited for us after hearing our tale of the exciting drive up and gave us a lift down the mountain to where our car was parked. Patrick. Superman. Angel.

We thanked Patrick profusely, took off our packs and chucked them in the back seat, took off our heavy shoes and peeled off our socks. I’d just summited TWO 14ers! I threw a handful of ibuprofen down my throat in an attempt to silence the pounding in my head and we drove home.

Flash forward to a week later and the headache is FINALLY gone. A solid week of aspirin, ibuprofen and gallons of water finally conquered the altitude headache.
am Quality control also seems to help a bit. A little extra vitamin B and protein to aid in the healing!
am18 And braids. Just cuz feeling purdy also makes one feel better.
am19 Either way, I’d take a week-long headache over having the day that this guy had…

Have you ever hiked a 14er? I’ve been inspired by all of my Colorado transplant bloggers 🙂

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Sweet ‘n Smoky Short Ribs with Cauliflower Mash

Colorado has been getting some crazy weather lately!
am6 See those specks? That’s cottonwood, embarking on an allergy-infested journey from the trees into people’s sinuses.
am7 Crazy gushers have been rampant, followed by plenty of hail and booming thunder.
am5 And then God apologizes and sends us sunsets like this. Love it. Love all the craziness, hail included.
am For all those moments when we were stuck inside, avoiding the drenching, piercing rains, this box came to the rescue.
am1 So pretty!
am2 They’re always saying you should add some color to your diet.
am3 My favorites from the box were the Chico King pale and Double Latte stout. Luckily, I have plenty of craft beer nerd friends who were willing to split some bottles with me. These are all pretty hefty beers and they definitely needed to be shared.
am8 For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I got a pressure cooker as a housewarming gift! All those beers in a box + people who want to share said beers + a new pressure cooker = vegan split pea COOKOFF and beer tasting!
am11 (Spoiler alert – mine was too thick, Janna’s was too thin so we ended up blending them together and the ending result was AWESOME!) We spent the evening sipping, stirring, laughing and playing with puppies.
am9 My handsome fella joined us for the cook-off and a sleepover. Augh, that face! I love my rescue puppy!

Anyway back to the pressure cooker…
am10 It’s led to crazy things like me making more artichokes. Despite the first debacle, I’ve become obsessed with artichokes. Unhealthily obsessed.
am The ridiculous amount of chokes and vegan things I was creating in my pressure cooker left me craving something a wee bit more substantial. I was sitting on my couch with the pup and got an insane, desperate need to make short ribs. And there definitely needed to be beer in that recipe.
am1 Stout, to be specific.
am5 I seared off three pounds of these babies, threw a bunch of beer, vinegars, sugars and spices into the pressure cooker, shut the lid and prayed.
am3 To add a little health factor, I rested the short ribs on a smoky cauliflower mash. All the carnivores in the house adored this recipe. J’adore.

Sweet ‘n Smoky Short Ribs with Cauliflower Mash

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Meal type Main Dish
Juicy pressure cooker short ribs smothered in a sweet and smoky stout-based gravy, served over cauliflower puree.

Ingredients

  • 3lb short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 12oz Snowbank Brewing Pawnee Porter (or other rich porter or stout)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/2 Large head cauliflower (roughly chopped)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Step 1
Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat.
Step 2
On large plate mix together the flour, 1/2tsp salt, 1/4tsp pepper and 1/2tsp paprika.
Step 3
Roll the short ribs in the flour mixture and brown each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove the browned ribs and set aside.
Step 4
Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pressure cooker and saute until tender, about four minutes.
Step 5
Add the apple cider vinegar and porter to the pressure cooker, scraping all of the browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon.
Step 6
Add the brown sugar, tomato paste and chipotle chile pepper to the pot and stir to combine.
Step 7
Return the short ribs to the pressure cooker, seal and cook for 30 minutes once the pot has reached pressure.
Step 8
Allow the pressure cooker to naturally de-pressurize, remove the cooked short ribs to a plate and cover with foil.
Step 9
Bring the liquid up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until slightly thickened.
For the cauliflower mash
Step 10
In a medium sized pot, boil cauliflower for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
Step 11
Mash the cauliflower and stir in butter, almond milk, salt, pepper and paprika to taste.
Step 12
Layer cauliflower mash with a short rib and drizzle generously with gravy.

am4 I also highly recommend pairing it with the same stout you include in the recipe. Oh pressure cooker, you’ve changed my life!

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance/tool? I thought nothing could beat the slow cooker, but I think I may have just been proven wrong.

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Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

A quick recap of last week before we launch into this week’s latest recipe.
am6 Biking to beer is my latest favorite thing to do. This Sorachi saison from Funkwerks tasted so much better after I worked for it!
am7 My pops had a birthday last week! We visited Dancing Pines distillery in Loveland, shared a flight and ended up heading out with their brand new vodka (distilled from grapes!) and cherry liqueur. Goooood stuff!
am8 And we visited the gun store. Looking, no touching after that tasting.
am9 I got funky new pants from Marshall’s and watched my dog go camouflage. He’s kind of cool like that.
am10 I baked balsamic olive oil cookies for the housewarming party I threw on Friday night.
am11 It started pouring right after I snapped this picture. A rousing game of Hedbanz was played until we all hurt from laughing so hard. I left the cleaning for my roommate and was in bed around 12:30am because…
am12 Saturday morning brew! More details about all of this to come, but until then follow Snowbank Brewing on Twitter! I’m running the Twitterverse there during all of our brew days/tappings/random outings.
am13 Leftover cookies and caustic acid. Looking back, I probably should’ve removed the acid-covered nitrile gloves before consuming this…
am14 After a 22 hour brew day, we returned for yet another brew day yesterday. My body was screaming for greens so I whipped up a green monsta before heading back to the shiny tanks.
am1 Which brings me to this bread. I bake things for brew days. That’s just what I do. Pumpkin donuts and face cookies were my Enegren tradition, so I figured it would be a good thing to carry on with my new brewery.
am3 I had leftover pumpkin puree from last week’s pumpkin donuts, and half of an avocado from some guacamole I’d made earlier this week. I figured since they were about to go bad, along with the huge bunch of Costco bananas, I’d just throw them into the bread and see what happened.
am5 Delicious success! And way too much orange in these food styling pics… I think it’s time to go buy some new props…
am4 I threw in some chia seeds as well to make myself feel like this bread was even healthier. So there’s that.

Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Hearty oil-free banana bread full of random ingredients found around the kitchen. Everything but the kitchen sink.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Large bananas (mashed)
  • 1/2 Large avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions

Step 1
Grease two mini bread loaf pans (or one standard size bread pan) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Step 3
In a large bowl, combine the bananas, avocados, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, chia seeds and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Step 4
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until just combined.
Step 5
Pour the batter in to the loaf pan(s), top with banana slices if desired, and bake for 35-55 minutes. The bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Step 6
Allow to cool. Or just devour it straight from the pan like I did.

am2 I’m off to another crazy busy week! Happy Monday!

What else do you bake with browning bananas? I have a ton more I need to use up!

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Chokes ‘n Mash

I learned some important things this past week.
am Like cooking artichokes requires a large pot. And wine.
AM1 Boil-over. My stove top and floor had needed a good scrubbing, to be fair.
am2 Floor-scrubbing stress gone.
AM3 And success! I am most definitely investing in a steamer basket to save myself from another traumatic incident such as this.
AM6 I’m thinking most of you may have guessed by now, but I left Loveland Aleworks a while back to pursue some other endeavors that will be elucidated upon soon enough. These babies are officially out of retirement!
AM4 Mash!
AM5 Mash Mash Mash!
AM12 Fermentors – my happy view. Bonus points: What’s the difference between fermentors and fermenters? Answer in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Craft Beer for the Homebrewer! I’ll choose a winner on July 21st.
AM7 Rehydration/celebration/caustic cleaning time.
AM8 I started off Independence Day in the most Murika’n way I could think – Chicken and waffles smothered in rosemary sausage gravy and maple syrup from The Waffle Lab. If you ever get out to Fort Collins, this food truck is a must-try!
AM9 Kara and I went to watch the downtown parade which was incredibly quaint and cute. I love the small town feeling I get here! The rest of the day was spent lazing about with power naps interjected here and there, and completed with a taste of my old life in my new life!
AM10 Ahh, good old Firestone! I remember when they created 805 to be exclusively sold in the 805 area! Apparently that didn’t last long. I enjoyed the fireworks from the comfort of my own front porch while listening to music and sipping brews before all my friends flocked to my house with more beer to watch the local fireworks displays going off all around the neighborhood.
AM11 Now it’s time to start another crazy week!

How did you celebrate Independence Day?

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This Is…

This is my life now.
am4 This is a bike ride to breweries with new friends.

This is home.
AM2 This is fishing at sunset.
AM1 This is catching fish at sunset (or snagging them on the head with a hook and feeling absolutely terrible about it, but still taking a picture).
am3 This is free pretzel Friday at the Mayor of Old Town.
am5 This is Watson Lake.
am7 This is a windy selfie of me and my beloved bike after we rode 15 miles to enjoy Watson Lake.
am9 This is my finger intruding upon the amazing views during a 30 mile ride.
am8 This is the angry Poudre River, raging with freshly melted snowpack.
AM11 This is a well deserved Loose Leaf on the patio of Odell with my amazing friends after a 30 mile ride.
AM12 This is an aptly named brewdog, Simcoe, with ready-to-mill grain.
am15 This is home.

This is happy.

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Mixed Vegetable Hash with Imitation Panda Meat

I know I sparked your interest when I posted this picture last week…
AM8 My interest was sparked as well and I went home with two of these sausages to test out. But before I get into the recipe, here’s a recap of last week – It was insanely awesome and busy.
AM Fridays are free pretzel day at The Mayor of Old Town. This will be a new tradition of mine, so if you’re in FoCo on Fridays and want me to treat you to a jalapeno cheese pretzel with raspberry jam, show up and I’ll generously call over the waitress so you can enjoy one of these heavenly babies!
AM1 The evenings have been absolutely to die for up here! I went out with some friends after Mayor and enjoyed a few of the many patios about town.
AM2 Hot Rocks Lager from Port Brewing. Drooool.
AM3 Saturday was the Taste of Fort Collins. I went with my friend Kara and met up with a handful of people to sample the goods and enjoy a concert.
AM4 Braffle (a brat smothered in sauerkraut and maple syrup, wrapped in a waffle) from the Waffle Lab and Collective Soul!
AM5 I had to Google Collective Soul to find out who they were… BUT they played three songs that I recognized from my middle school years! The drunken crowds rocked out until the sun set.
AM6 Father’s Day was spent up in the mountains eating mass amounts of Indian buffet, helping pull a guy out of the middle of the road who had passed out on his bike after drinking a pint (no joke) of vodka and threatened a bunch people with a knife. We calmed our nerves that night with Pure Imagination stout from Verboten Brewing.
AM7 My Aerogarden is a success! I ate these leaves and promptly had to sit down from the exhaustion of the harvest.
AM8 And that brings us back to this. Imitation panda meat. I came across this at The Boar and Bull – a local butcher shop in Loveland that has some of the most delicious beef tenderloin I’ve ever had the good luck to consume. I saw these and knew I couldn’t leave without ’em. It is not, in fact, panda meat. Shocker, I know. These sausages are full of pork, bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions and Coca Cola. They. Are. Incredible.
am7 To make this hash, I used the handy Veggetti.
am4 It’s basically a much cheaper version of a spiralizer that takes up less space and gets you an arm workout.
am5 It’s also very sharp. Be careful so you don’t end up with sliced fingers like me. Genius.
am I shredded two potatoes and a zucchini…
am2 Sliced up some onions extremely thin, threw them in a pan to soften…
am1 Sliced up some asparagus into matchsticks and threw them into the pan with the zucchini and potatoes…
am6 Cooked up some panda in a separate pan, then threw everything together…
am8 Magic!

Mixed Vegetable Hash with Imitation Panda Meat

Serves 2-4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Thin strands of zucchini, potatoes, onions and asparagus are tossed together with smokey, rich imitation panda meat.

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium red potatoes
  • 1 Medium zucchini squash
  • 1 Small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 6 Large asaparagus stalks
  • 1-2 imitation panda meat sausages (or other pork sausage, casings removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

Step 1
Using a spiralizer, spiralize the potatoes and zucchini into long strands.
Step 2
Take the asparagus spears, cut off the tops (do not discard) and slice thinly.
Step 3
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onions, potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, salt and pepper.
Step 4
Cover for 6-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender, then remove the lid and flip to brown both sides.
Step 5
In a separate pan, cook the imitation panda meat (or other pork sausage) until no longer pink, draining off any excess grease.
Step 6
Toss the cooked imitation panda meat into the large pan and mix together.
Step 7
Serve and devour.

am7 Real panda meat. Would you or wouldn’t you?

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Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One week until internet finally graces my house! Until then, I’m thanking Oprah for her chai while resting in the wonderfully air conditioned Starbucks in Old Town Fort Collins. It’s a welcome change after slaving over a hot oven to make these gems!
am4 I’m completely exaggerating. This is one of the simplest and tastiest recipes I’ve ever made. A few weeks ago I received an awesome care package in the mail from my bestest buddy Rick.
am6 In case you’ve forgotten, I should remind you of my obsession with Lourdes Gourmet chimichurri sauce. I discovered this four years ago at the farmers market in Ventura County and couldn’t get my mind away from it. I dreamed about the wonderfully tangy and herby spread, slathered slices of bread with it, basically drank the stuff. When Rick was kind enough to send me all these other goodies, I knew yet another unhealthy obsession was about to occur.
am The coconut spread. Another thing with which I’ve been slathering slices of bread. I decided that an actual recipe should occur before I finished every single jar in my fridge.

Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 1-2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Gems of sweet potato are roasted in Lourdes coconut spread until tender and caramelized, then topped with fresh lime zest.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1/8 cup Lourdes Gourmet Coconut Spread
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • the zest of half a lime

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2
In a microwave safe cup, microwave the coconut spread for 15 seconds to thin the consistency.
Step 3
In a bowl, toss together the sweet potato cubes, warmed coconut spread, lime juice and salt.
Step 4
Spread the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes for an even roast.

am6 Simple, quasi-healthy and delicious! Thanks to Rick for both the care package and patience!

What’s your favorite way to spice up a simple sweet potato?

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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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