Monday, March 9, 2009

Twitter Taste Live - Dogfish Head

First off let me say thanks to Twitter Taste Live, Dogfish Head and Ashley Routson aka. The Beer Wench for giving all the opportunity to once again come together on the interweb and get shitfaced.

Here is a link to her most excellent rundown on what we drank that night.

The Beer Wench's TTL DFH Rundown

And here are some of my pictures from the night, and one of the next morning.

The Lineup: (right to left) Red & White, Fort, Palo Santo Marron

This is what ABV's of 10, 12 and 18 percent will do to you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Volume to Weight Conversions

Here is some volume to weight conversions I found online.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour = 125 grams/4.5 oz

1 cup cake flour = 110 grams/4 oz

1 cup sifted cake flour = 99 grams/3.5 oz

1 cup whole wheat flour = 120 grams/4.3 oz

1 cup bread flour - 125 grams/4.5 oz

1 cup oats, regular & quick cooking - 81 grams/2.8 oz

1 cup granulated sugar = 200 grams/7.5 oz

1 cup light brown sugar = 220 grams/7.8 oz

1 cup unsalted butter = 228 grams/8 oz

1 cup peanut butter, crunchy = 258 grams/9.2 oz

1 cup molasses = 337 grams/12 oz

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunday Night Dinner and Wine

There was the smell of Risotto in the air at my place on this past Sunday.

Our first course was Risotto with shallots and asparagus. I started dinner a little bit early, knowing the hour I would need to make the Risotto. As the Risotto cooked I started the salad. Tonight's salad was a mix of Mango, Papaya and Grape Tomatoes over a bed of Mesclun greens. The dressing was a very simple Lime and Tequila vinaigrette. A side of Broccoli florets (the kids love it and would be mad if I did not make it) was also prepared as well as Garlic bread that would compliment the main course... Steak.

I love Risotto and I am trying to get the rest of my family to love it too. My wife just can not be comfortable with rice that is creamy and thick. She likes her rice to be a longer grain, loose and have a buttery taste. My oldest son did not like the Risotto (because he hates Asparagus), but my youngest loved it. I told him it was like Oatmeal and he ate it up. I fear I may not be making Risotto that much in the future, it is just not worth all the stirring for just me. Well maybe it is :)

While all the food prepping and Risotto cooking was going on, my steaks were seasoned with salt & pepper and resting to loose the chill of the fridge. Once the Risotto was just about done, I fired up my biggest skillet and got it as hot as I could. Once the pan had reached "temperature of hell" status I chucked in the beef. Oh how I do love the sounds and smells of a caramelizing steak. Not to long now, just about 2 minutes a side and into the oven went the pan to finish up @ 400 degrees for 5 more minutes. Yep we like our steaks rare with a nice crust on the outside. When they were done, out they came and in went the Garlic bread. The steaks were wrapped in foil to rest and the Broccoli was steamed. Last thing before the bread came out of the oven was to emulsify the vinaigrette and toss the salad.

With the Risotto on the table and the salad being doled out by my wife, I brought over the Broccoli, steaks and the Garlic bread (just out of the oven). The decanted and well aspirated 2000 Chateau Cote Montpezat was poured and I sat. It was a nice dinner and felt good getting back into the kitchen on a Sunday night. It has been awhile since I was cooking on a Sunday night, I had been doing mostly smoking during the daytime and did not want to cook at night as well.

What would I change? The salad need more texture. Maybe some crumbled Tortilla chips next time.

A review on the wine will follow fer sure!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Bacon Breakfast Explosion

Pretty much your standard Bacon Explosion that was introduced to us by Jason and Aaron over at, but with a nod to breakfast instead. Here is the original recipe, Bacon Explosion.

The only changes I made with the original recipe were an addition of maple syrup in the middle instead of the spices and breakfast sausage instead of sweet sausage.

Here we see the interwoven, full pound of thick slab bacon and the pound of Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage rolled out to a half inch thick slab.

Next we laid the sausage slab on the bacon weave.

Then we cooked up some crispy bacon and crumbled it over the sausage

Sorry this is where you should see me applying the maple syrup, but I forgot to take the picture.

Just sayin...

The we put some black pepper and maple syrup over the crumbled bacon.

With the sausage rolled up we place it on the bacon weave and use the plastic wrap to roll the whole pork joint up.

With the temp probe stuck in the side, into the smoker it goes.

Once 165 degrees have been reached it is time to get it off the heat.

With the meat rested it is time to contemplate what to stick it in

With a quick honing on the steel, it is time to operate and assemble

Is your mouth watering yet? Pork on a buttermilk biscuit, as close to heaven as you can get!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What have you done...
(psst, pass it on)

I take no credit for this… I saw it at who got it from who got it from

Bold is the things you have done.

45/50 I better get busy.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone Rock Climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Snow Tubing
It Is The Closest My Wife Will Get To Actually Skiing

On Thursday the 13th of February we headed up to the Allentown area of Pennsultucky. Just north of Allentown is a nice ski area called Blue Mountain in Palmerton. This is where we would ski and snow tube for the next two days.

We stayed at the Best Western in Allentown, right off route 22. It is on a pretty busy street, so at night the traffic needs to be drowned out with the fan in the room. The hotel is brand new and still had the new car scent to it. It had a nice indoor pool and a fitness center. Our room was on the 2nd floor, number 224. Very clean, nicely decorated and very comfortable. Equipped with a 40" LCD (but no set top box or HD), a king bed and a full pull out sofa for the boys. After settling in we headed down to the pool for a quick swim. After a dip in the pool I took some laps on the treadmill, and quickly made myself exhausted on the elliptical. Now that calories were sufficiently burned, I headed to the business center to hit up some free Internet. Brand new PC's with laser printers and fax machines were at my disposal. After a quick Facebook update and a couple of Tweets, I was back up in the room. I will skip my lone ski details and focus on dinner that night and the next day with the family at the tube park.

Local Beer. It's What's For Dinner

Dinner time rolled around and we were once again back in the room. I told my wife lets hit up the local guide for a food recommendation. There were about 10 nice places to eat and we had to make the tough choice, but once I saw the local micro-brew and restaurant, how could I pass up some good local beer? The place was called Allentown Brew Works. I hit up the business center again on the way out to get directions and to make sure the place was not a total dive. It looked good on the web, Allentown Brew Works, and it was not to far away from the hotel, so away we went.

Anyone who knows me or any reader of this blog can tell that I love beer, good beer. The first two types on my must drink list are Stouts and IPAs. The natural think for me to do was to cruise the beer menu and look for a Stout. On the "seasonal" page was a Stout that caught my eye, Blast Furnace Imperial Stout. Being an Imperial, I knew it would have a higher ABV, and I was right. At 8.5%ABV it was right up my alley. Served in a brandy snifter it was full of chocolate, caramel and a bit of oatmeal/coffee. A nice smooth mouth feel gave this a great drinkability. A+ in my book. And to accompany the Stout I had a nice beer and cheddar cheese soup. Perfect fit, the saltiness of the soup went very well with the sweetness of the stout. Next was my entree. I smoke a lot of meat at home, so naturally when I saw pulled pork on the menu I had to get it. This was probably a mistake on my part. You see their pulled pork was pretty good, but it was just not MY pulled pork. The battered fries were very good. And with dinner what did I drink? My other top two, a Double Indian Pale Ale called "Hop'Solutely". This was PURE HOP JUICE. And wow what a color, I wish I could do a better job at describing it, maybe like a very dark raspberry ice tea. Brewed with Cascade, Chinook, Amarillo, Summit and Tomahawk hops and sporting an 11.5% ABV and an IBU of 74, this one was a killer. I was in love from the first sniff. The grapefruit punched me in the face and then kicked my ass when I sipped it. Perfect bitterness rounded out nicely by a stronger then usual malt profile. This was one of the best DIPAs I have ever drank. I wish they bottled it. A++

We decided to skip dessert as we were very tired. I contemplated bringing a growler back to the hotel, but at around 23 bucks, I did not think I would finish the full 1/2 gallon so I was left with only the pleasant hop finish in my mouth. If you are ever going to go skiing at Blue Mountain or have some summer time fun at Dorney Park, do yourself a favor and eat (and drink) at the Allentown Brew Works. (Sorry but the two beers I drank were on the seasonal menu)

Awake, Awake, It Is Time To Tube

Friday morning came quickly and we were all showered and headed down to the breakfast area in the hotel for some eats. If there was anything about this hotel to complain about it was two issues I had with the free breakfast. First the Belgium waffle mix was way to watery. It made the waffles like a balloon, nothing inside but air. And, secondly, the egg omelets were like rubber. But other then that I can not complain. it was clean and there was plenty of food to eat. Four types or cereal, bagels, muffins, hot cinnamon rolls, the rubber eggs, the waffle balloons, some fruit, etc., etc. After breakfast we went up to pack, check out and load up the van. Off we were and up 145 we went. It did not take long to get to the mountain, maybe 10-15 minutes. The road actually comes up over the mountain from the south and once you head over the crest you make your way about 1.3 miles down to the Tubing Park.

Now mind you it was a Friday and most of the kids should have been in school. Well they must have all cut out that day, they were here on the mountain. The ticket line was not that bad, but as we walked toward the first lift line, wow, it was then we knew it would be like Disney World (but without the nice weather and theme rides). The ski lifts did not take nearly as long as the tube lifts. The first one we got on was the family tube. It was a large tube that the whole family gets in (up to four) and then they hook you up to the lift and it pulls you up the hill. Once at the top there is a sign that says "Roll Out Here" and they mean it, you have to roll out at the top so they can unhook the tube from the lift. Once free you walk over to any of the 20 trails and get in the tube and they push you down. But you must again wait on a line at the top of the hill before being pushed down. I timed the ride down, 15 seconds. You wait on a 20-30 minute line to go 15 seconds. At least in Disney the time you invest on the line gives you a return of around a 2-5 minute ride and sometimes longer. We did not go on the family tube again that day.

Next we got on the single rider tube line. Once we secured a tube for each of us we settled in for the long wait. And while waiting on the line all the kids are getting impatient. There is a lot of parents yelling at the kids while on this line. My little one just sat in his tube or the verge of sleep the whole time we pulled him through
the line. This lift was a carpet lift. It is like a conveyor belt that you stand on and it pulls you up the hill. Think about an airport people mover. At the top you are allowed to anchor the tubes together and go down like a train. A lot of people were doing this. My wife and 3 year old tied up together. My 10 year old and myself went solo. We took a running start and jumped on the tube on our bellies and went down head first. Very nice. But then in like 12 seconds you were at the bottom and looking at the line again. Better off back at the Brew Works drinking. We went down a couple more times and got hungry. After a quick drive to the top of the mountain, we hit the lodge to get some food. Holy crap, the lines were even bigger inside. We decided the day was over and we would get something on the road. As I drove down 145 south, I was tempted to stop in the Allentown Brew Works again to grab a growler. I waved as I drove by instead. Looking in the back seat I noticed my little one was now asleep. I told my wife we would head towards home until he wakes up. He never did, all the way back to East Brunswick he slept soundly.

Well that pretty much summed up our little trip to Pa. We pretty much bummed around on Sat. that followed and on Sunday I was smoking some ribs. I had my wife's parents coming over to watch the Daytona 500 after the Ranger game. On Sunday while I was eating my baby backs all I could think about was how well a growler of Hop'Solutely Double IPA would have went down with the ribs. Oh well, the Avery Maharaja was a good substitute.

Tired In The Lodge

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Traditional Belgian Lambic - 100% spontaneously fermented ale. Aged 2 years in oak vats. Minimum 200 grams of real raspberries per liter. Brewed in Lembeek, the village that gave Lambic its name.

Vessel was a 355ml wine bottle, stopped with a cage and cork. I removed the cage and to the amusement of my wife, shot the cork across the living room. I poured it into one of my larger bowled wine glasses. As the liquid filled the glass, the strong aroma of Raspberries filled the room. I thought we were in trouble. I figured a cloying, syrupy flavored raspberry soda was to follow. The color in the glass was a dark reddish-brown-, almost like an oxidized, older vintage wine. It had a short lived head that settled down to a thin ring with light lacing. A view into the side of the glass revealed a turbid, unfiltered look. The viscosity was thinner then I expected.

A couple of swirls and I planted my nose to the rim to get a sinus filled raspberry explosion. Like fresh raspberry juice mixed with raspberry sherbet. After the initial raspberry shock settled down I got into the secondary aromas. It had a very strong iron-oxide smell, almost like wet, rusty nails. Sour red fruits and citrus also played within my nostrils. The time had come to drink this over-sweetened raspberry soda. I put the thin rim to my lips and...

...boy was I wrong. This was not cloying at all, in fact it was dominated by bitter, sour red fruit. Sour raspberry, sour strawberry and a definite acidic citrus component. I sat for a minute and waited for the "beer" part to kick in. Waited. And I waited some more. Then finally I got the smallest hint of wheat, but not as much as I would have liked. I also missed the funky barnyard tastes and smells that lambics are about. The carbonation was right up there with soda. It was a little bit thin and really no finish to speak about. Very hollow in the mid palate. It drank like a value priced red wine.

Would I be drinking this again? Probably not. Was it a total loss? Nope. It was a decent drink while watching the Rangers beat the Capitals 5-4 in a shootout. I would still rather drink Lindemans Framboise with very bitter dark chocolate, though.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Bacon Bra

Bacon, not just for consumption anymore.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Come on out from behind that TV Matt, you are not THAT shy. Those 6 bottle bags are great for carrying 2 bottles of wine and two glasses to you favorite BYOB.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Ale

The Liquid:

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Ale

The Stats:

7% ABV

1.063 SG

Those are the only two specs I can find online. I would place the IBU between 30-40.

The Ingredients:

Malts: ?

Hops: Tett, Saaz and Styrians (as well as unnamed hops)

Yeast & Water: No record of the yeas, though we know it is a single yest. They get their water from an artesian aquifer & then filter out unwanted metals.

The Notes:

This was my first sampling of one of Westmalle's Ales. The only other Trappist Ale I have had is Chimay. I like Westmalle better. If you are not familar with Trappist Ales let me enlighten you a wee bit.

The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, or Trappists, are a contemplative Roman Catholic religious order, that follows the Rule of St. Benedict. These Trappist monks live in monasteries. It is in these monasteries that they brew these ales. There are under 200 monasteries left in the world, and out of that, only seven produce beer (six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands), these are known as The Select Seven. The first Trappist Ales were brewed to sustain the monks during fasting. The quality of these brews is very high and this is the main reason they have taken steps to protect the name from being used by outside brewers whether big or small. A foundation called "Internationale Vereniging Trappist" was set up and a logo produced to signify a true Trappist ale. There are only seven breweries that adhere to the strict standards and production criteria today, these are: Chimay, Westmalle, Orval, Rochefort, Westvleteren and Achel, located in Belgium, and LaTrappe in the Netherlands.

Appearance: Deep, deep, reddish brown color with some burnt umber at the edges. The beer pours with an dense head of rich, creamy foam that lace down to the last sip.

Aroma: Malty, bready and a bit of fruit. Some citrus notes as well as caramel. It was probably not the best time for me to put thoughts to paper after drinking this ale as I am a little bit stuffed up with a head cold. Oh well.

Taste: Malty. Sweet malt. It has a nice freshness to it too. A little bit of that caramel as well. I have to admit that I poured the whole thing into my glass and allowed the yeast to join the party. I know this will give a more bready taste and I like that. It also gives the appearance some cloudiness.

Mouth feel: Smooth with a good bit of carbonation due to the secondary bottle fermentation. Mouth coating but not to viscous or creamy. It hangs around and finishes with a nice dryness.

I encourage all to give this style of brew a try. The single yeast, secondary bottle fermentation will give you a nice white bread component to it. Malt before hop, so hopheads may not like this style.

The Score: A-

About Me

My name is Bo Carlson. I am married to Kim and have two awesome boys. First and foremost I love my family. I love my wine, my beer, my food and of course The New York Yankees.

I am an in IT as a Network Admin. Scuba diving is a passion of mine. Blogging is pretty new to me and I am sure you can tell. I hope you take a look around and check out my posts.

Please feel free to leave a comment or two and friend me up on Twitter as @kallardnyc or Facebook. It would be great if you follow this blog so you can see the changes that will be upcoming and any future posts that I will make.

Thank you.

Todays Wine Deal

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