News · Tips and Tricks

Austin-Boston Food Swap

This year, for the first time, I was lucky enough to participate in the Austin-Boston Food Blogger Swap (#atxbos), which matches food bloggers from Austin, TX and Boston, MA to swap foodie care packages in the month of October. The only rules? A $30 limit and a passion for local food products!

I swapped with Austin blogger Christy Horton, a pastry and dessert blogger at Epicuriosities.com, last week. Check out the fun stuff she sent me:

Make sure you check out Christy’s blog, Epicuriosities, and follow her on Twitter @Christy111luv. She sent me her own recipe for Southern Corn Bread, which I’ll definitely be making (and blogging!) soon. I may even take her tip to throw in the candied Jalapenos to keep it Texas style. I hope she enjoys her Boston food package as much as I liked getting her sweet n’ hot Texas goodies!

And here’s what I sent to Texas: Bostonians will recognize Taza Chocolate, Slumbrew’s Porter Square Porter, Pemberton Farms mustard & more.

Thanks to the Boston Food Bloggers and Austin Food Blogger Alliance for putting this swap together. I can’t wait to participate next year ūüôā

Did I miss any awesome local products? If you have ideas, leave them in the comments!

Drinks & Smoothies · Recipes

Raspberry Celery Smoothie

You might remember a couple months ago when I made some raspberry beer punch to take to a party. I had leftovers of both the frozen raspberries and the frozen lemonade, so I just put them in one container in the freezer¬†and figured I’d find a use for them eventually. Well, when I blogged about how to make cashew cream in May, I decided to see what cashew cream would taste like¬†in a¬†smoothie…and then I rememberd my frozen raspberries.

Blended together with some refreshing celery for a touch of green, these simple ingredients balance one another’s flavors so well that I think this is the yummiest smoothie I’ve ever made. Granted, it’s not the healthiest since there’s frozen lemonade in there, but taste-wise it’s my new favorite. Try it for yourself!

Raspberry Celery Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-5 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 cup frozen raspberry lemonade (from concentrate)
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • water if necessary for texture/consistency

DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients together until smooth, adjusting amounts to taste. Serve cold.

Drinks & Smoothies

Raspberry Beer Punch

Last weekend, Mark and I got invited to a beer-themed party. A cohort of our friends hosts beverage-theme parties from time to time; past events have focused on Champagne, rum, and even “warm drinks” just in time for Winter. This time around, we were encouraged to bring unique, local or craft beers, or to concoct a mixed drink that featured beer. I chose the latter.

putting it together

It was just our luck that Kappy’s in Medford was hosting a “drink local” beer tasting event the Saturday of our party. And, to prove it’s a small world, a new craft brewery started by friends of one of my coworkers was featured at the beer tasting. So naturally we knew where we would be getting our party offerings. We just didn’t know we’d find so many local, new beers that we loved.

If you don’t live in Boston, you’re probably out of luck when it comes to buying these, but I can’t say enough about Slumbrew and Night Shift Brewing. Both are just getting started, and both are worth getting to know better. Check them out.

Trifecta, a refreshing pale ale from Night Shift Brewing. This is the beer I used for my Raspberry Beer Cocktail — it was so refreshing.

Slumbrew’s “My Better Half,” a super-smooth Imperial Cream Ale. We drank this as-is.

Slumbrew’s “Porter Square Porter,” a tasty selection brewed with¬†cocoa powder and cacao nibs. Delicious drinking.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 3 1/2 bottles beer (12 oz. size), chilled
  • 1¬† container frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate (12 oz.), thawed
  • 1/2 cup vodka

Directions

Blend all the ingredients together in a large bowl; chill and serve as-is or over ice. Optional: garnish with lemons and/or limes. You can use fresh raspberries, but I actually liked¬†frozen better. I also halved this recipe since you could only buy these¬†beers in 750 ml containers, but I should have¬†doubled it because this drink went fast at the party. I can’t wait to try this out at our first cookout in the new backyard.

Recipe inspiration from Southern Living.