BastardSHOTz from Stone Brewing Company…Beer Gel?

So I may be the most gullible person on the planet, but this seems like craziness. Beer Gel? Has Stone Brewing Company gone crazy? Apparently not because they have set-up a twitter and facebook location for the promotion of this product. This reminds me of theGatorade: Prime gel that I sometimes drink/eat before soccer. It’s a strange thing, to not drink nor eat something. It’s like astronaut food. I am yet, so curious of what this could taste like that I will definatley buy it. I love arrogant bastard beer, but it will be insteresting to have such a different texture and no carbonation. What do you think?

Joshua Tree Camping at Cottonwood

Me and Sean drove (well, he drove) to Joshua Tree’s Cottonwood Campgrounds last Saturday afternoon and meet up with our friends Adam and Marla. We set-up our awesome new tent and then took off go explore. Little did I know the plans that Sean and Adam had which was to perch up on some rocks and have a few beers while socializing and well, hi jinks ensue. Adam gets a huge splinter in his leg, they try to throw rocks off the cliff, etc. It was so beautiful there, and sharing some beers with friends is always a good time.

Wurstkuche on a Monday

No, I am not intentionally going to foodie-places on Mondays, it’s just a coincidence. Rooney’s lovely girlfriend Ali “Pretty Face” Winston had planned another surprise attack for his birthday weekend, which was a trip to Wurstkuche in LA. I was very excited to go to a new place, especially since the yelp reviews were so good. Hooray for almost no traffic at 7pm driving from Orange! Off to a good start. As we waited for the rest of the group in the small front ordering room, the smell of fries was almost too much to bear in anticipation. I ordered the Alligator, Pork and Smoked Andouille Sausage with hot peppers and onions. Oddly enough, Rooney ordered the exact same thing and I had no idea! Sean ordered the Austin Blues (spicy pork) and the Louisiana Hot Link (which was hot and spicy beef and pork). We also got a large (it wasn’t really that large) fries with the truffle oil and chipotle aioli and chipotle ketchup. My Alligator was soo good, and since I watch the food network way too much I new that Alligator is not gamey but mild lean meat so it wasn’t really that brave of me to get it. The fries are to die for, probably fried four times because they were just that crispy. For drinks I got the Van De Keizer Belgian strong ale (at 10%ABV) which was oddly sweet and really not what I wanted to go with the meal. Sean got the St. Bernardus ABT 12 (which I was going to get but not wanting to get two of the same) which is a Belgian quadruple 10.5%ABV taste of loveliness. I knew I should’ve ordered the La Chouffe! We had way too much fun writing on the tables, as you can tell from the pictures, and I will be back. I just wish it wasn’t in LA! I stole all the pictures from my talented friend Ali Winston. You should go look at her blog and subscribe to it!

Taco Asylum on a Monday

Taco Asylum was a must for me. The owners of Haven Gastropub opened Taco Asylum not that long ago and I even have a friend who started working in the kitchen. I love LOVE Haven Gastropub. I have been there probably more than 10 times and I will go back again and again. The food is amazing and the beer draft list is always good. They always manage to have something new I haven’t tried yet on the list. I went to Taco Asylum with my sister who’s boyfriend worked in the kitchen of Haven and has been dying to go to Taco Asylum. It was awesome. A little dead in terms of crowd but it was 4pm on a Monday so what can you expect? I tried the Ghost Chili Pork Taco, Short Ribs Taco, Pork Belly Taco and Mushroom Taco. The Ghost Chili Taco was really really hot. I needed an extra beer to wash it down but it was a good burn. It had pork cracklings on top with the chili strings. The pork belly taco had a Banh Mi type toppings with the carrots and onion and cilantro which was the perfect compliment to the pork belly which was a little salty and matched really well with the sweet carrots. The short ribs taco was amazing. The pickled onions and crumbled cheese and salsa verde was my favorite. The mushroom taco was good as well. It had a lovely earthy smell that reminds me of the truffle oil that I put on my potatoes. The fried chickpeas was a nice touch. The chips were good as well, which was to be expected since Haven’s known for their chips as an appetizer. What a lovely Monday. Not to mention that I had an awesome Craftsman Hefe and Humboldt Brown beer with an O’Haras Stout and Oskar Blues Gubna. Tastes of them at least. I will be back!

Black Diamond Brewing Company: Peak XV – Imperial Porter: Review

I was excited to try a new brewing company and a new porter. It has a rich smooth texture with a very dark color. Floral notes of caramel and nutty smells. I am a huge HUGE fan of cacao nibs. I use them in baking all the time and I was wondering why the hell no one has used them in beer yet since it brings the flavor of dark chocolate and a nutty-ness that’s unique to cacao nibs. Good for Black Diamond for using it in their porter. The vanilla bean flavor is obvious. I like the idea of having local beers, just because the money goes in to my neighbors pocket not some corporate jackal. Concord is not super local since they are in Northern California but I count anything in California as local to me. My friend Adam and his dog Chloe modeled in my photos for everyone. I would also like to note that the reviews on are particularly harsh regarding this beer. I liked it. Maybe they just don’t know what cacao nibs taste and smell like so they can’t apprechiate it? Giving this beer a C rating? Really? The same rating that Coors has? Come on, people. Seriously. What the hell.

The Bruery Provisions Series Review

Reckless Baking with Beer – Birthday Cupcakes

I needed to make some cupcakes for by boyfriend’s birthday and of course I needed to make beer-infused cupcakes. Baking with beer is fun, especially if you choose the right beer for the job.

I made two different kinds of cupcakes based off Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book of recipes. I made a Tiramisu cupcake with Old Ruffian and a Stout cupcake with Serpent Stout.


Great Divide’s Old Ruffian Tiramisu Cupcakes

1 ¼ cups cake flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt (I used pink Hawaiian sea salt)

¼ cup milk

1 vanilla bean (fresh as possible – but dried will work)

½ stick unsalted butter

3 eggs – room temp (mine weren’t but who cares) and 3 egg yolks

1 cup sugar


Sift cake flour, BP and salt … I never sift my salt because it doesn’t sift! The chunks are too large. So just sift your flour and BP and then toss in your salt and whisk it. Heat milk in a small saucepan with the vanilla bean (split of course). Heat until it just simmers and then take it off. Mix in butter until it’s combined and let it sit for 15 mins. Then strain it. Set it aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the egg yolks and sugar over boiling water with a electric mixer. After it looks like the sugar is melted then take it off the heat and keep mixing it with the electric mixer until it gets fluffy. Fold flour into egg fluff and then add the milk mix. You should add some of the thickened batter to the milk-vanilla mix to make it thicker before adding it since you are folding all of it in. I kinda half-hazardly added it all and it turned out fine. Fill up your cupcake liners 2/3 with the batter and then bake at 325 for about 15-20mins.


I know what you are thinking…where the heck is the beer in this? I will tell you. I made an Old Ruffian syrup to coat the cupcakes like the coffee-marsala syrup would have. Basically I just poured about a cup – maybe a bit less in a saucepan with a ½ cup of sugar and heated until combined. Then I stuck it in the fridge. Once the cupcakes are cool, coat twice with the syrup mixture. Any leftovers can be added to the frosting. The frosting I made was basic butter cream with some beer added and the beer syrup. In case you don’t make your own frosting, basic butter cream is room temp butter (which cold butter can be made room temp by zapping it in the microwave for 30 seconds), and adding sifted powdered sugar. I am too lazy/hurried to sift the powdered sugar but it helps taking out any lumps. Make sure you don’t add too much sugar at once, add it about ¼ cups to ½ cups at a time. After you have added 2 cups to 3 sticks of butter then you need to taste it. Make those around you taste it too. I typically will just shove it in their faces and have them tell me if it needs more beer or sugar etc. I only added about ¼ cup of beer. Otherwise it will get chunky and the consistency is gross and that’s no fun for anyone.


The Old Ruffian is a Barley Wine beer from Great Divide. It’s what turned me around on barley wine beers after having a few not-so great ones. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s 10.2%ABV and has a nice hoppy-fruity quality perfect for desert-integration.


Serpent Stout Cupcakes

3 ¾ cups AP flour

½ teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda

1 ¾ teaspoons of baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 ¼ teaspoons grated nutmeg

1 ¼ cups veg. oil

1 ¼ unsulfured molasses           

1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon of light-brown sugar

2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon of orange zest

1 ¼ cups of stout beer (settled)


Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl (preferably a kitchen aid electric mixer with the whisk attachment) mix together the oil, molasses, sugar, whole eggs, egg yolk, zest and stout until combined. On low speed mix in the flour. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. I made syrup from the Serpent Stout just by heating some beer with some sugar and cooling. I coated the cooled cupcakes twice. I used the same butter cream I made for the Tiramisu cupcakes. The Serpent’s Stout by Lost Abbey is also perfect for baking. It’s thick and creamy with a chocolate colored head that settles so quickly because it’s 10.5%ABV. It already has vanilla, chocolate and a hint of coffee with an almost nutty quality which is all things I like to bake with.  


After piping the frosting I shaved some 60% dark chocolate on top for decoration.