Smoked Chipotle Pepper Porter

I normally drink lagers or the less hoppy IPAs so when I saw this smoked chipotle pepper porter all I thought about really was that it had chipotle peppers. I’m always drawn to spicy foods and products so this smokey dark beer with roasted peppers sounded too good to pass up. I had a plan for this bottle. At 22 ounces I knew I could enjoy it several ways and that, I did.

smoked-porter3

I grew up on malty drinks or the sweet maltas you can find at any Latin gorcery store so the flavors were very familiar. Mom used to mix non-alcoholic stouts or malts with condensed milk for a sweet, milky and malt heavy afternoon treat for us kids. Sounds weird? Well, it’s a Dominican thing and probably a Caribbean thing in general. You have to make sure the beer is ice cold and stir in enough condensed milk to sweeten. You can also blend it with ice for a thicker smoothie. Not sure of this concoctions’ orgins but its a close cousin to the fizzy ice cream floats enjoyed here in the US or the milk and Pepsi Laverne made famous on Laverne & Shirley (I loved that show!). Try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert this Summer. It removes all the heat and tastes a little like coffee ice cream but stronger in flavor.

porter-ice-cream

This smoked chipotle pepper porter is great on its own too. The Stone Brewing company out of California has been around since the mid nineties but this smokey jalapeno beer is a special release from several years ago and available in limited quantities. Check their website for locations on where this porter can be found. I found mine here in Jersey City.

spicy-porter

It is dark, chocolate brown in color and has a malty, rich flavor with a slight bitterness upfront which my guess is the smokey peppers. I wouldn’t think of this as a spicy beer at all but it does have a warming feeling on the backend. I like this brew. I like that I can enjoy a pint on its own, drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream into it or stir it up ice cold with some condensed milk and I am happy woman. Salud and Cheers!

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Here’s a quick summary:

Color: dark chocolate

Heat: very mild

Alcohol by Volume: 5.9%

Taste: Deep malt and roasted coffee flavors with slight bitterness

Brewing Co: Stoner Brewers

 

Spicy Peanut Butter and Bananas Smoothie Recipe

Hello, I’m back! It’s been a while since I’ve written so hopefully this spicy peanut butter and bananas smoothie recipe will make up for my absence. I’ve been making the best of the wonderful Summer we’ve been having here and spending as much time as I can outdoors. Our Summers are way too short and soon enough the cooler September weather will be here. It always feels like I’m running out of time when August rolls in; like I’m doing an end of Summer countdown! All I can think of is filling up my evenings and weekends with trips to the beach, outdoor music festivals, sidewalk dinning, dog walking and movies under the stars. So naturally, I just want cool, refreshing foods like this spicy peanut butter and bananas smoothie.

spicy-peanut-butter-banana-smoothie

I think I turned on the oven once this entire Summer. I’ve been making easy summer meals like grilled chicken over arugula salad; pasta made simply with basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes and olive oil; Indian takeout and well, smoothies! A thick, hearty smoothie can keep you full for a few hours and keeps your kitchen nice and cool. So here’s my amazing spicy peanut butter and bananas smoothie recipe made with almond milk, I hope you enjoy. I also used my volcanic dust from Volcanic Peppers which is just ground up habanero & ghost peppers but it that’s too much, you can always use ground cayenne pepper instead. The peanut butter and chile pepper blend goes really well together. Also, you’re not using much, just enough to give it a kick.

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Spicy Peanut Butter and Bananas Smoothie Recipe
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8oz Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 dashes of Volcanic Peppers volcano dust
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender then add about 4-5 ice cubes and blend.

 

Cool and refreshing Spicy Mango Salsa Recipe

YAY it’s finally getting warmer here in Jersey and it couldn’t come soon enough! It’s the weather for lighter foods and sorbets, for icy drinks and cooling foods. It’s the time for firing up the grill, eating outdoors and making foods that transport you to the beautiful Caribbean Islands like this cool and refreshing spicy mango salsa recipe.

mango-salsa2

With only a handful of simple ingredients you can turn a bland dish into a vibrant and more appealing meal. Just chop up a few ingredients, mix and let it rest so all the flavors blend well. The salt will help draw out the moisture of the mangoes for a juicier bite each time.

mango-salsa

Use it to top grilled chicken, pork chops or enjoy it with tortilla chips. Either way, its a sweet, savory and spicy flavor you will want to make all Summer long.

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Spicy Mango Salsa
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour for best flavor.

 

Spicy Paloma Cocktail

The weather here in the Northeast is so unpredictable, 70s last weekend, snow during the week and now its going up to the 60s again. I’m staying in Spring mode regardless of the snow! I’m switching out my wardrobe for lighter clothing, doing some gardening and celebrating Spring with this refreshing spicy paloma cocktail!

spicy-paloma

The Paloma cocktail is apparently one of Mexico’s favorite cocktails, not the margarita as I thought. It’s traditionally made with tequila, lime and grapefruit soda and served in a salted rim glass. Since I don’t normally drink soda I made a much more natural version by using pink grapefruit juice instead with a little splash of seltzer. I rather skip on all the sugar that’s added to soda and get the natural sweetness from pink grapefruit. I of course put a little spin on this popular cocktail and made it with a jalapeno infused tequila I picked up at the hot sauce expo I attended a couple of weeks ago. If you don’t have spicy tequila on hand you can always infuse your own by dropping a sliced jalapeno pepper in the tequila bottle and letting it sit overnight.

This is the perfect spicy, fizzy drink to bring in the warmer weather! Hello Spring!

Spicy Paloma Cocktail
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 oz Tanteo tequila
  • juice from ½ pink grapefruit
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 2-3 slices of pink grapefruit
  • seltzer
Instructions
  1. Rim a tall highball glass with salt and fill half way with ice.
  2. Add tequila, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice and stir.
  3. Add pink grapefruit slices and mash them with a spoon.
  4. Top with seltzer.

 

Easy Sparkling Wine Cocktail Recipe

To many in the US, Labor Day weekend usually marks the end of Summer, but that’s no reason to stop enjoying outdoor grilling, burgers and icy cocktails! For me, Summer ends when it stops being hot out so when you’re out there sweating over a grill or just sweating from eating spicy foods cool off with this easy sparkling wine cocktail recipe.

lillet-wine

If you’re going to keep it spicy in your kitchen or outdoors you should pair your food with a cocktail that is refreshing and goes well with spicy foods. There are plenty of wines out there and I do plan to write about a few grape varieties you should check out but one drink you can try now is this sparkling Lillet cocktail, it’s so easy to make. Lillet is a French aperitif wine that’s sweet and aromatic. It usually goes for around $22 for 750ml bottle and can be found in most wine shops.

lillet-spritzer

It’s on the sweet side for me so I’ve added seltzer to tame the sweetness and to add some fizz. This sparkling wine cocktail recipe is the perfect accompaniment to spicy foods. It’s fruity, crisp, light with citrus notes to keep you cool when the rest of you is burning! Serve it at your next cookout with ribs, burgers or whatever spicy feast you prepare.
Sparkling Lillet Cocktail
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz Lillet
  • 2-3 oz seltzer
  • lemon wedge
Instructions
  1. Fill about ½ wine goblet with ice, pour in Lillet then seltzer. Squeeze in lemon juice and stir

Watermelon Cilantro and Jalapeno Ice Pops

Ice cold and refreshing on a hot summer day, popsicles always take me back to childhood. Frizzy hair, sundresses, flip flops, sun beating hard on my back, ice pop melting down the side of my arm, and the sweetest most artificial flavors ever! Seriously, I’d like to say we bought all fruit ice pops but mostly we had flavors like green, red and orange, that’s all my pocket change could get me. Some things never change though, I still love the sun on my back, my hair is still frizzy only now my popsicle flavors are much more interesting and grown up. These watermelon cilantro and jalapeno ice pops will remind you of those summer days long gone but nothing artificial here.

watermelon-popsicle

These spicy watermelon ice pops are made with fresh, sweet watermelon. The cilantro balances the sweetness and brings out more of the watermelon flavors while the jalapeno gives it an extra kick. First you’ll taste the ice cold fruit and cilantro then you’ll feel the heat in the back of your throat soon after.

watermelon-pops

I made a cilantro and jalapeno simple syrup instead of just infusing the cilantro and jalapeno with the watermelon juice since my watermelon wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked. Just keep in mind that even though the mixture may taste too sweet once it’s frozen it loses the sweetness. If you have a really sweet watermelon then let the cilantro and jalapeno sit in watermelon juice overnight.

watermelon-icepops

Another option with this recipe is you can reserve a couple of pieces of watermelon and give it a coarse chop. Add it to the mixture for a more chunky and fruity ice pop!

Watermelon Cilantro and Jalapeno Ice Pops
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quart of seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ½ large jalapeno, sliced
  • juice from ½ lime
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Puree watermelon in a blender.
  2. In a small saucepan add sugar and water and stir to dissolve sugar. Add the cilantro and jalapeno to mixture and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cool and remove jalapeno slices.
  3. Add about ¼ of the spicy cilantro syrup to the pureed watermelon and stir. Squeeze all the juice of the lime.
  4. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. Once frozen, run hot water over molds to release ice pops.