Philly Beer Week 2013

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Philly Beer Week starts today and runs through June 9th. During this time you will be able to sample all types of beers at different venues throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. You can find the full schedule for Philly Beer Week Here. I have only lightly glanced over the calender of events but there are a few that I am trying to make. On June 6th at Issac Newton’s in Newtown, PA the is a Founders tap takeover. Founders makes some great brews, two of my favorite are their all day IPA and their Kentucky breakfast stout. As I attend Philly Beer Week events I will write posts about the beers and the breweries. This should be a fun week and I can’t wait to try some new beers.

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Sichuan Style Chicken Stir Fry

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I haven’t cooked with Szechuan peppercorns in a while and decided to throw together a Szechuan style stir fry the other night. I marinated the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, corn starch, water, and salt. I then put oil in a wok and heated it until it just started to smoke. I added the chicken in batches and cooked it until it was done. I then added the Szechuan peppercorns and dried chili peppers and sauteed them for 30 seconds to a minute. I then added a bit of chicken stock, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. I reduced this mixture to thicken it a little. If I had uncooked veggies like snow peas or peppers I would have added them here to cook them. Since I was using steamed broccoli I added the cooked chicken and broccoli to the wok to coat it in the sauce. I then served the stir fry over brown rice.

The stir fry turned out good and the Szechuan peppercorns gave the dish a unique sensation when eating it. If you have never had them before they cause a tingling or slight numbing sensation in your mouth. They can be hard to find, I had to go on Amazon to find them.

Review: A Dinner With Robert Irvine

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I just finished up the Dinner with Robert Irvine event and I must say it went pretty well. While there were a few technical difficulties in the show overall it was a great experience. During the program we cooked two dishes with Chef Irvine, sauteed shrimp with strawberry salsa and spinach polenta and pork tenderloin with a mustard pan sauce and a potato peach hash. Both dishes were delicious but the shrimp and polenta was the stand out dish of the evening. I had never thought to use strawberries over shrimp, the flavor combination worked so well.

 

 

 

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The pork tenderloin and hash was also delicious. The use of peaches in the hash was a surprise but again, much like the strawberries, just worked. This whole experience has changed the way I think of fruit. Now I do not view fruit as dessert or something that stands on its own and I will be experimenting with new uses of fruit in main dishes and appetizers.

The only critiques of the event I had were he could have slowed down a bit, at times Irvine went into full chef mode and was pushing out parts of the dish quite quickly. Also it would have been helpful if we received a full ingredient list with some directions for prep, ie chopped, diced, etc. Also a heads up about preheating the oven would have been a big help too However overall for the first time doing a show like this I thought it went very well and I learned a few new techniques and will definitely be making the shrimp dish again in the near future.

Dinner With Rober Irvine: A Live Online Event

Tonight I will be participating in the live online cooking event put on by Chef Robert Irvine. The show will be broadcasted on stageit.com. There are two shows scheduled for 6:30 EDT and 9:30 EDT. The tickets cost $10 and the show is supposed to last around an hour. I will post pictures of the dinner and my thoughts on how this event goes. To find out more about the event click the link below. I look forward to seeing what we are making!

LEARN MORE

Irish Coffee

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Decided to go with a change for this post and write about one of my favorite breakfast drinks. Irish coffee is very simple to make and quite delicious. Now this is coming from someone who does not particularly like coffee on its own. There are only two important rules when making Irish coffee. Rule 1 Always use Jameson. Rule 2 Stir with a wooden spoon, this may just be something my family does but you can taste the difference when it is stirred with a metal spoon. Other than that the amount of whiskey and sugar is up to you depending on how you like it. you can find the recipe below. If you don’t want to make your own whipped cream you can always use cool whip. Enjoy!

Irish Coffee

Memorial Day Snow Crab Feast

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Firstly I want to thank all of the service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I would also like to thank those currently serving and hope they come home safe.

This past Memorial Day we had a snow crab feast. We started out with a few appetizers and playing some back yard games with the family. We steamed the crab in the oven in foil pan for ~40 minutes.

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This allowed us to cook a lot of the crab at once instead of smaller batches in a pot. We served the crab with Summer spaghetti and corn with a lime chipotle butter.

Summer Spaghetti

Chipotle Lime Butter

English Scones

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I lived in England for two years and unfortunately never had too many scones while I was there. When I returned to the US I was at The Dandelion Pub in Philadelphia for brunch and saw scones on their menu. After my first bite I was hooked and had to learn how to make them. Most scone recipes call for either cherries or some other fruit to be baked into the scones but I am not a big fan of this. In the recipe I have cherries or raisins listed as an optional ingredient. It is best to serve these scones as soon as they come out of the oven with your favorite flavor of jam and clotted cream. You can find a great mock clotted cream recipe over on Pork Chop Tuesday’s blog. You will find my scone recipe below. Enjoy!

English Scones

Boiling Springs Tavern

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This past weekend my sister graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.On Saturday night my family and I went to the Boiling Springs Tavern for Dinner. Located about 10 minutes away from Carlisle Boiling Springs gets its name from the natural artesian wells that are located near the town. The largest of these springs is located right behind the Boiling Springs Tavern and is nicknamed the bubble.

The food at the Boiling Springs Tavern is very good and the service is even better. They focus on serving local fare and along with their daily menu rotate in daily specials. To start we ordered the seared tuna, smoked trout and salmon, baked oysters, and buffalo calamari. For being in the middle of Pennsylvania I was very impressed with how good the seared tuna turned out. The sliced it very thin and served it almost like sashimi with a pickled coleslaw. The smoked salmon and trout paired well with each other and were served with bread and various spreads and toppings. The baked oysters were topped with a small slice of smoked salmon and a dill cream. The baked oysters change daily but if the are as good as the ones we were served I would recommend ordering them.

After the appetizers we were served our soups or salads. The seafood bisque is absolutely delicious and I recommend ordering it. It is on the lighter side and will not fill you up like a chowder tends to do, which will allow you to enjoy your entrees.

I ordered the Stuffed Rainbow Trout special. It was a pan cooked rainbow trout stuffed with crab imperial. Everything was cooked to perfection and it tasted great. If I ever saw this on the menu again I would order it in a heart beat.

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My sister ordered an Asian inspired pork tenderloin. I did not get a chance to taste it but the presentation was impressive.

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If you every find yourself in the Carlisle area I recommend stopping by the Boiling Springs Tavern for lunch or Dinner.

 

Boiling Springs Tavern

Oklahoma Tornado Relief

In light of the devastating tornado that hit Oklahoma yesterday I just wanted to post some links to where you can go and donate to help with the relief effort. Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by yesterday’s storm.

Visit the American Red Cross or Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief

Salvation Army

United Way of Central Oklahoma

Be generous these people can really use the help right now.

Cantaloupe Sherbert

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With summer approaching I have been looking for a light refreshing dessert. I came across this recipe in cooking light magazine and gave it a try. This dessert is perfect for a hot day. It tastes like a cold sweet cantaloupe. When I first tried this sherbert I was surprised with how refreshing the sherbert turned out. This dessert will become a staple throughout the summer. Take advantage of the fresh cantaloupes at you local grocery store and give this recipe a try. Enjoy!

Cantaloupe Sherbert