Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pizza and Beer!!!

Stuffed Pizza!
Stuffed With Banana Peppers, Mushrooms, Tomatoes And Vegan Meatballs
    Let's face it, I like pizza. No, I love it. I've written a guide to vegan pizza in Salt Lake and Sage's All-You-Can Eat Pizza Night. So in the spirit of redundancy I'll write about pizza again. This time, it's pizza AND beer. Oh, wait. I did that too. At least I live up to my name. This time, though, I'm writing about Este Pizzeria. Despite being in this city of salt for some time, I've never visited Este until now. It could be because of their refusal to supply pineapple and the east coast attitudes, but in reality it's proximity. Este's is cool because the menu, denotes which items are vegan or can be made vegan so no 20 questions or secret menus. They even make their own house made vegan meatballs. Okay, fine. You win. I'll admit it. I regret for not going sooner.
 Garlic Knots
Dough Balls Smothered In Garlic, Oregano And Olive Oil
     It's go big or go home, right? I decided if I was going to try something new, I should go all out. The decision was made: stuffed pizza! It was like a giant round stromboli. I couldn't be more impressed. The dough and crust were perfect New York thin crust style. Okay, well, I've never really had NY style pizza before, but it makes me sound official, right? The best part is that you can stuff it with as much as you want. I choose banana and green peppers, vegan meatballs, tomato slices and mushrooms. The banana peppers were a hit! The garlic knots (or zeppoles)  were an added bonus from ReDirect Guide's iSaveGreen coupons, which are free with a $15 purchase (here for coupon). Although, I think I'm going to try the zeppoles next time. I mean how can you go wrong with Italian Donuts! Pizza, Donuts AND Beer, I'm drooling just writing that. Now for the best part, you can eat there in the shop. Unlike other pizza places where it's take out only, it's full service with a decent beer list. Now on to the liquid bread aka beer because carbohydrates rule! Eat that Mr. Atkins!
Epic's Big Bad Baptist
Don't Judge My Beer Glass!
     Since opening  more than a year ago, Epic has been brewing up a storm. Get it? Okay, I'll apologize. Epic is the first Utah brewer since Prohibition to brew only full strength beer. None of that 4%  beer that everyone complains about. See, we have "real" bear so that should shattered the myth about Utah beer for all you who don't reside in the Bee(r) Hive state. Though you still should go to Colorado for ski trips and leave the slopes to me! Anyway, Epic doesn't mess around from award winning brews to experimental styles and to their latest creation, The Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout. And if you're one of the concerned imbibers, Epic doesn't use animal based fining. All but one of their beers, Jack Mormon Stout (contains milk), are vegan. The Big Bad Baptist is a reinterpretation of that beer, but without the dairy. Thank you, Epic! It's a stout brewed with cocoa nibs and coffee and then aged in whiskey barrels, but with a punch at 11.7%! This might be the most coffee forward beer that I've had. The cocoa and the whiskey were second string to the coffee, which stole the show. I've tasted every single beer they brewed and this was no exception to their success. I'm glad Epic joins the awesome craft brew city of Salt Lake. The good news is that you don't have to live here to get a taste, Epic has expanded its reach to bring its hops to the thirsty in DC, MN, ID, NJ, VA, OR, AZ and CO.  I can't wait to see what they brew up next! I'm crossing my fingers for a funk beer!
Stuffed Pizza Pie
The Only Thing That Would Make This Better Is Stuffed Crust!
Este Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Cake Batter Brings All The Boys To The Yard!

Cake Batter Ice Cream
Topped With A White Chocolate Nonpareil!
     Disclaimer: Since I haven't actually made a cake batter milkshake, I can't assure the veracity of the above statement, but I can guarantee that this ice cream will bring the boys and the girls to the yard. I'm not sure what that means, but for Utahns, I think this translates into knocking the socks right out of your sandals! I've made this twice for potlucks with excellent results. One taster said was that this is the best ice cream they ever tasted. Needless to say, it's a winner, especially topped with a white chocolate nonpareil! I'll post the recipe below, but you must pledge allegiance to the Jimmie Alliance, if you choose to top the ice cream with something other than a non-pareil, make sure you call them jimmies, not the "S" word!
 Lula's Sweet Apothecary
Double Fisting Ice Cream!
        It's cool enough to have dedicated vegan restaurants, but a vegan ice cream shop is the cherry on top. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Lula's Sweet Apothecary is what dreams are made of. Not only do they have an array of flavors in hard and soft varieties, but they have all these toppings and options, like milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits. New York City is filled with a list of restaurants, bakeries to visit, but Lula's was on the top during my visit to see the Frames. Not only was I double fisting ice cream cones, but we visited twice in one day! Yes, it's that good! My only regret is how far they are from me. Anyway, I got a tip from Brett @ to try the cake batter soft serve ice cream. Wow! Hands down the best ice cream I've ever had! My tongue still remembers it and my stomach pangs for it so I finally relented and decided to try to recreate it. I used an organic cake mix from Dr. Oetker because GMO foods freak me out, but I bet a yellow cake mix (looks like Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake mix is vegan) would make it even better, because color makes everything taste better, right? Without further ado, here's the recipe, but be warned of the onslaught of boys and girls into your yard. youv'e been warned!

***try to use organic and fair trade ingredients***
1 Cup Soy Milk (I recommend Earth Balance soymilk, it's the creamiest and made with US grown soy!)
3/4 Cup Fair Trade Sugar
2 Cups Canned Coconut Milk (about 1 and 1/2 cans) 
1 Teaspoon Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Cake Batter Mix

Mix the sugar with the soy milk to dissolve the sugar. Then, add the vanilla and coconut milk. Next shift in the cake batter into the liquid. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill for at least three hours. Then, process according to your Ice Cream Makers instructions. If you're looking for an ice cream maker, I recommend the Cuisenart ICE. It's served me well.

Lula's Sweet Apothecary on Urbanspoon