Snack Time #47 – Chips Ahoy! Soft Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

On the prowl for the cookies to bring home on a recent trip to the grocery store, I spotted this Chips Ahoy! Cookies release and my decision was made. Sometimes the Sip Advisor gets it right and this was one of those occasions.

The Soft Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies may be a mouthful to say, but they are an even better mouthful to eat. The cookies are very good and check off many of my cookie requirements: soft, chocolate, peanut butter, etc. It’s hard to not eat the entire pack.

Chips Ahoy! Soft Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

Of the extensive line of cookies Chips Ahoy! Produces, I’d love to try their Sweet N’ Salty with salted caramel chunks. Perhaps putting together a cookie sandwich of the Soft Chunky Peanut Butter and Sweet N’ Salty will be in order.

I’ve long been a Chips Ahoy! fan and don’t see this changing. The one thing that bugs me about this product is the name, as soft and chunky is exactly what you’ll be if you eat too many of these delicious cookies.

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Sip Trips #121: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

With Christmas closing in, the Sip Advisor decided to take some time off work… but it certainly wasn’t spent relaxing. Here’s what we got up to in the lead up to the big day and how we fought off the post-holiday blues:

Last Thursday, the Sip Family crossed the border to do some last minute shopping in Bellingham. We hoped to start our visit with drinks at Menace Brewing, but it wasn’t open for the day yet. Lucky for us, Mrs. Sip spotted yet another brewery across the street. Melvin Brewing (a Jackson Hole, Wyoming brewery with a brew pub in Bellingham) hosted us for lunch. Mrs. Sip and I each ordered from their $10 lunch menu, with her selecting Fish & Chips, while I went with the Sandwich & Soup combo (Beef Dip with substituted Fries). For drinks, we passed around pints of their Block Away Brown Ale and Mash Murder Stout ($3 beer of the day special), while also sampling the Peaches Innit Pale Ale. All beers are brewed onsite and we quite good.

Christmas Shopping

On Christmas Eve, en route to a family dinner, we first met Sip Syndicate members at Central City Brewing in Surrey. Mrs. Sip and I had won a tour and tasting experience for six people at one of Central City’s trivia nights at their Downtown Vancouver brew pub in the summer and had to use the pass prior to the end of the year. For those keeping track, this was Baby Sip’s fourth craft brewery visit already. My flight of beers included the Smore Stout, Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine, Imperial IPA and Super Solar IPA. It was a very nice and relaxing setting to enjoy some drinks together and could become a yearly holiday tradition.

Finally, the big day arrived. As for liquor-based Christmas gifts, Mrs. Sip gave me the Central City/Parallel 49 Great White Wonder Adventure Pack (their annual collaborative advent calendar), which was marked down, given the month had come and gone. That doesn’t mean the beer can’t still be enjoyed, though. Last year, I picked up some of the individual bottles from this set and I’m hoping for some enjoyable beers this time around. Mrs. Sip also gifted me a Groupon for Andina Brewing, which provides a set of tasters for two people, as well as a growler and fill. I also received a bottle of Serbian Honey Brandy, which I’m looking forward to experimenting with. As for the gift of giving, I picked up the Erdinger Variety Pack for Mrs. Sip, along with a few other treats.

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The week ended with an impromptu visit to Craft Beer Market for a holiday wrap-up with friends. On Wednesday, the restaurant offers $8 wings and $5 BC craft beers, which is a terrific combo. Mrs. Sip and I split an order of Salt & Pepper Wings and their Gaucho Chicken Flatbread, while I selected the Torchlight Broadside IPA and Whistler/Craft Snowed In White IPA (with $1 going towards the Greater Vancouver Food Bank) for my beverages. Mrs. Sip went with the Storm Vanilla Whiskey Stout and Moody Ales Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout for her drinks.

This weekend will be another busy one, with a birthday/housewarming to attend, drinks with the guys on the schedule… and, oh yeah, that minor hidden-on-the-calendar event we call New Year’s Eve!

Beer of the Week #47 – Old Yale West Coast IPA

In order to be prepared for any visitors over the holiday season (namely the Sip Advisor), Ma Sip picked up the Old Yale Brewing Winter Craft Cooler to stock the beer fridge. Last weekend, I happily partook in this offering.

Among the case was the West Coast IPA, which was hoppy and flavourful. The 6% ABV, 55 IBUs beverage was just what I was looking for to accompany my meal, even if it didn’t match the brews suggested pairings, including: coconut curry, samosas and strong cheeses.

Old Yale West Coast IPA

Also part of the Winter Craft Cooler are the BC Backyard Lager, Off Trail Pale Ale and Old Paddle Pilsner. The set is available at BC Liquor Stores, as well as Old Yale’s Chilliwack tasting room and private liquor stores. A seasonal selection would have complimented the pack.

One product from Old Yale I’d really like to get my hands on is the Himalayan Salted Caramel Porter. Released earlier this month, the beer is part of the brewery’s Trailblazer Series, which offers single batch, limited releases.

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Snack Time #46 – Cheetos Snowflakes

When I first learned of this holiday edition treat from the fine folks at Cheetos, I thought they would be great to profile for the Christmas season. Well, I finally got around to picking up a bag and trying the puffed cornmeal snack.

The Snowflakes are made with white cheddar and come in four different shapes. They are very tasty and fun to munch on. Online reviews seem to be very favourable for the product, with some hoping they will become a permanent addition to the Cheetos line.

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That said, the snack is only available for a limited time, so if you want to give the Snowflakes a try, you should get your paws on them ASAP. A similar style of product was used for Cheetos Bag of Bones at Halloween, so other seasonal items could be coming.

My favourite Cheetos are the Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno variety, which are very good with a nice burn. I’m curious about the Cheetos Flamin’ Hot product, but think that sticking with what I know is probably a good idea.

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Sip Trips #120: Tidings of Joy

The holiday season in really ramping up, with parties and other festivities around every corner. Leading up to the big day, here’s what Mrs. Sip and I got up to over the week that was:

On Friday, we had another Vancouver Canucks game to attend. This time, friends of ours also had tickets, so we met with them at Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House prior to puck drop. At the Howe Sound Brewing restaurant, I had a pair of their Wee Beastie Scotch Ale, while ordering the Southern Fried Chicken sandwich for my meal. The fries at Devil’s Elbow come with a neat adobo ketchup, which I found myself lapping up like it was going out of style. Mrs. Sip tried their Gumbo, with a side of Mac n Cheese Cornbread (complete with cheese sauce drizzle), washed down by a Father John’s Winter Ale.

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As for the game, it was a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory for the Canucks. Mrs. Sip and I refused to let the ticket scanner snafu we encountered – which caused us and many others to miss some of the action and the first goal of the contest – dampen our spirits. Upsized servings of Central City India Pale Ale and Goose Island IPA helped with that.

The next day was our annual Sip Syndicate Christmas party and gift exchange. For my Secret Santa offering, I put together a themed package of things meant to keep you warm. This included a pair of Smart Gloves, which allow you to mess around with your phone while keeping your mitts toasty and the Postmark Brewing Winter Warmer. Our meal was fantastic, with each couple contributing a dish or two and everything turned out perfectly.

The weekend wrapped with Mrs. Sip and I meeting a friend in New West for brunch at The Hub. I tried the Hub Burger, which was very good and sipped on the Bomber Brewing Choqlette Porter. The beer was as tasty as I remember it being last time I enjoyed it.

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Tuesday evening offered our fifth and last Canucks game of December. Prior to the match, we grabbed dinner at the nearby Triple O’s restaurant, which on Tuesdays has a spectacular burger/meal deal. Original Burgers are only $3.69 each, while adding fries and a pop will set you back $8.19. On Canucks game days, you can get a burger, beer and fries for about $10, which would have been the route I took, had we not done takeout.

At our game, we may not have had the outcome we desired (a 7-5 loss), but the match versus Montreal was very entertaining and even included a hat trick for Thomas Vanek of the Canucks. Mrs. Sip and I shared an upsized Hoegaarden to start the game, which was a tasty first period treat.

This weekend is Christmas, of course. It’s always a crazy time for the Sip Family and that’s just the way we like it. From my family to yours, I wish all you little sippers a safe and merry holiday!

Beer of the Week #46 – Persephone India Pale Ale

As Mrs. Sip and I travelled around the Vancouver Christmas Market, I was delighted to discover that Persephone Brewing was on hand, sampling five beers from their lineup. Of course, I tried them all and had a good chat with their people.

The India Pale Ale was my favourite of the bunch, with a balanced flavour experience, featuring tastes of citrus, hops and malt. The 6.5% ABV, 60 IBUs beverage hits all the numbers I like to see. The beer can be found in bomber-sized bottles at BC Liquor Stores

Persephone India Pale Ale

Also available to try were the Black Lager, Persephone Pale Ale, Goddess Golden Ale, and Keller Pilsner. Of these, my second favourite was a close competiton between the Black Lager and Persephone Pale Ale, with the edge going to the Black Lager.

Mrs. Sip and I hope to get to Gibsons and the brewery’s tasting room in the near future. It was suggested we visit during the Sunshine Coast Beer Fest, which Persephone hosts each February, comprised of 17 BC craft creators.

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Snack Time #45 – Breyers Reese Chocolate Ice Cream

Every week, Mrs. Sip and I (along with Baby Sip) get together with Cousin Sip and her husband for dinner. On a recent gathering, Cousin Sip served up this Breyers Ice Cream treat for dessert and it was a very popular offering.

The Reese Chocolate Ice Cream is delicious with tasty chunks of Reese Peanut Butter Cups buried amongst the Reese Peanut Butter swirl ice cream. The dessert is decadent, but not too rich and goes down very well. It certainly left me fiending for more.

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The product is the newest member of Breyers’ Fun & Indulgent line. Other varieties in the collection, include: Hershey’s Kisses, Mrs. Fields Chocolate Brownie, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, SKOR, Cadbury Caramilk, Raspberry Creamsicle, and Creamsicle.

While winter might not be the ideal time for ice cream, if you’re warm and snug indoors, there nothing wrong with a frozen treat. Heck, you can really irritate your teeth sensitivity by adding a warm beverage to the mix.

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