Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Strawberry Beer Float

Two posts in one week?  Yes, I know, I’m shocked too.

As we discussed earlier in the week, it is Abita Strawberry Lager Season!  My favorite seasonal in their repertoire by far.  It’s light and refreshing and just slightly fruity, but not overly sweet. 

And the other day, as I found myself bogged down in paperwork for the ice cream shoppe, I knew I needed something.  More than just a beer.  Something fun.  And seeing as how we now have ice cream on the brain p.much 24/7, thinking of a way to make beer more fun wasn’t difficult:

Yes, it was time for another beer float!

In an ideal situation, you would probably use strawberry ice cream for something like this.  But we had Yoplait Greek Strawberry Frozen Yogurt in our freezer, which I had previously been using to make some rather yummy ice cream cookie sammiches:



Strawberry froyo or ice cream (the sweeter the better—it cuts the acidity of the beer)

Abita Strawberry Lager



Easy-peasy, as always.  Ice cream goes in the glass, beer goes on top.

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Add a straw and BAM, you’re done.  Kick back on your patio & enjoy.

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Or, finish your paperwork, ya bum.  That inventory isn’t going to type itself, now is it???

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Abita Strawberry Beer Pancakes!

This is my favorite time of year.  I’ve probably said that at other times, like when Mother’s Winter Grind comes out, but seriously.  Abita Strawberry Lager season.  It makes me happy.  Especially since our local brew emporium has decided to sell it.  Oh, and our favorite watering hole is also featuring Abita as their Brewery of the Month, which means on Wednesdays, my toughest choice is “TurboDog or Purple Haze?”

And in a segue that makes no sense whatsoever, one of my LEAST favorite breakfast items on the planet is pancakes.  I prefer waffles, given the choice. Actually, given the choice, I would choose to eat biscuits & gravy every morning if there was a Biscuits & Gravy Fairy in my house.  But I digress.  It is VERY rare that I actually want pancakes.  You have to add something to them to make me want them—like when my cousin/former roommate Primo would make chocolate chip pancakes…those were good days.  Or my pumpkin pancakes.  Or the Red Velvet pancakes that IHOP had a while back. MMMmmmmm…

But in this particular instance, I decided that beer pancakes sounded good.  Strawberry beer pancakes, to be exact.  And what could go better with strawberry beer pancakes than Abita’s Strawberry Lager?

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Ingredients: (makes 4 short-stack servings—aka, 2 per person)

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup Abita Strawberry Lager

2 Tbsp light butter, melted

4-6 strawberries, washed & diced, plus 4 for decorating



Pretty easy here.  Combined your dry ingredients.  Then add egg, beer, & butter and mix well.  A few lumps are okay.  Mix in diced strawberries.

Heat a skillet over medium and lightly coat with nonstick butter-flavored cooking spray.  When the skillet is hot, use an ice cream scoop to portion batter into the pan.  When bubbles start to appear on top, use a spatula to flip.


Meanwhile, prep your strawberries for the top decoration.  Pick the prettiest ones for this—your ugly strawberries can be chopped up to go into the pancakes. If you wanna be all fancy-like, use a good paring knife to make slits across the strawberry almost all the way (but not quite) to the stem.  Then splay the slices thusly:

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When you’ve got a stack o’ pancakes, portion them out, pour maple syrup over top (or strawberry syrup, if you feel so inclined) and decorate with a strawberry.

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Totes yummy.  And you get to have booze for breakfast that isn’t in a mimosa.  Though, FYI…mimosas go great with these.  Next time I make a batch, I think I want to try it with brown sugar instead of regular sugar for some extra richness.



Calories 222.8

  Total Fat 3.9 g

  Saturated Fat 1.2 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 0.9 g

  Cholesterol 40.9 mg

  Sodium 473.9 mg

  Potassium 91.4 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 38.9 g

  Dietary Fiber 1.3 g

  Sugars 13.6 g

  Protein 4.9 g

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Checking in from Ice Cream Land…

Hiya folks!  So, the “soft open” for the ice cream shop was this weekend, and we had a really great turnout.  Things were pretty insane for a while…We got slammed for about 3 hours while shifts were supposed to be changing, so our openers ended up having to stay an hour or so late.  Oh, and a lady quit on her second day.  Yeah.

But we survived, and Sunday was an awesome day with fewer kinks.  I mean…aside from that whole “one missing person” thing. 

So, I thought I’d share a few pics with you guys!

Photo Apr 13, 10 10 09 AM

This is our bid-ness.  New sign & all.  (The sandwich board out front now also says “Coffee & Pastries”…otherwise that’s pretty much it.)

Here’s the interior, all tiny & kewt & stuff:

Photo Apr 13, 10 07 57 AM

Photo Apr 13, 10 08 45 AMPhoto Apr 13, 10 08 02 AM

And our ridonkulous AmyCakes cinnamon rolls, and killer blueberry muffins:



An assortment of toppings… (take THAT, OrangeLeaf.)


Oh, and…here’s some food porn for you.  On the left: our “Bear Paw”.  On the right, chocolate dipped waffle cone.



And just in case you’re not in the mood for ice cream, we have smoothies, hot dogs, & sandwiches too. Like this “Taste of Louisiana”: our “Cajun Dog” with, what else?  ZAPPS, of course!


Aside from the insanity and hassles that go with owning a business, I’m really enjoying this venture.  I’m not necessarily enjoying being exhausted all the time and having nightmares about forgetting to make deposits or bring in the cinnamon rolls… but I am enjoying making our customers happy & dreaming up specialty concoctions.  Like our Bear Paw up there, that was listed as one of Springfield’s “7 Good Things” in this week’s 417 Magazine Table Talk email.


We have our Grand Opening this weekend, which I have high hopes for…I mean…assuming it doesn’t rain…and that we find a replacement employee…and don’t run out of anything…and don’t go insane.  Yeah.  Assuming all those things go okay, it should be awesome!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

BBQ Nachos!

Hi Friends!  Taking a quick break from the chaotic world of business ownership.  Seriously…it’s a bit ridonkulous.  Between the operating licenses and re-programming the cash register and doing price comparisons with other local businesses and redesigning the wall menu (and take-away menu) and logo/sign design and writing an employee handbook… it’s nuts.  I am utterly exhausted.

But the NICE thing about owning a food establishment—eating is now “market research”.  So when the Hubs’ sister recommended this pulled pork from Sam’s, we decided to buy some and taste test it out.  On the fancy-schmancy rolls that our prospective food vendor gave us as samples, no less.


It’s actually pretty tasty—especially when you add some extra Sweet Baby Ray’s to it.  And a couple pickle slices.  YUM.

However…when your household consists of only two people…do you have any idea how long it takes to go through 64 oz of BBQ pork?  Yeah.  Like, two weeks.  We’ve been eating BBQ pork for TWO WEEKS.

I’d had my fill of BBQ sandwiches, but you can’t just let it go to waste.  So, I did what I do best… KITCHEN IMPROV!



Ingredients: (serves two)

two handfuls of tortilla chips (one handful per person)

8 oz pulled pork (with 2 tbsp of extra BBQ sauce mixed in)

1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4-1/2 fresh tomato, diced

1/2 cup shredded 2% fiesta-blend cheese

2 tbsp bacon crumbles (optional—this is just another thing we bought as “market research” for the shop to go with one of the other sandwiches we’re testing out.)

A smattering of pickled jalapeno slices



Heat the BBQ pork in the microwave for about 1:30 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop your cilantro & tomatoes, and cover your plate with the tortilla chips.  I like to spread them out so that you don’t end up with “naked chips” toward the end.

Use a fork to drop your heated BBQ evenly across the chips, and then immediately cover with cheese.  Heat the plate for an additional 20-25 seconds if you like to get the cheese really melty.

Then scatter your cilantro, tomatoes, bacon and jalapenos across the top. 


And voila!  A delicious, fun, quick & easy meal.  And quick & easy is DEFINITELY necessary when you’re also filling out credit applications for food service vendors with one hand while you stuff your face with the other.  And it’s a great way to get some fresh greens and veggies into your system…especially when you’ve been eating pre-packaged pulled pork for two weeks. :)

(As a note—we’re not 100% sure if we’re going to be offering this pulled pork at the Shoppe, as the pieces of meat in it were kind of small and overly shredded, making the texture almost mushy, even though the flavor is delicious.  The texture was actually perfect for these nachos, though.  So we may just step it up and get some pre-smoked pork butt & shred & sauce it ourselves.  We were trying to keep it simple, but I don’t necessarily want to sacrifice quality for convenience.)

And as always, I’ll throw it out there, if you’re interested in following the progress of our ice cream shoppe, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!  (I update Facebook most—I’m still getting the hang of the whole “tweeting/instagrammy” thing.)