Mixer Mania #15 – Going Nutty

The Sip Advisor feels bad for folks with a peanut allergy. I don’t know how I’d cope with existence if I wasn’t able to enjoy the legume. Not to rub salt in the wound, but here are my favourite peanut-based products that they’re missing out on:

Peanut Butter

Of the crunchy variety, of course, this glorious spread is best enjoyed in making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have also come to like using the substance on crackers, as well as mixing it with a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Trail Mix

The Sip Advisor is a trail mix fiend, particularly of the variation that includes Smarties or some other chocolate treat to complete the experience of salty nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds) and raisins. That sweet touch is just right to balance the blend.

Trail Mix

Chocolate Bars

Among the peanut-packed confections I enjoy are Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Pay Day, Take 5, Snickers, Oh Henry!, Peanut M&Ms (as well as other chocolate-covered peanuts), and Butterfinger. Did you know, the Reese behind Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese, who invented the treat in 1928. Amazingly, he did this while raising 16 children!

Peanuts

Although I adore potato chips, during times while I’ve tried laying off the snack, I have often relied on peanuts to get my salt fix. Whether that be through barbecue, honey roasted, or mesquite mustard-flavoured releases, it gets the job done.

Cookies

There are few things as satisfying than a fresh-out-of-the-oven peanut butter cookie. If you add chocolate chips to the cookie, you’re in heaven. I have never tried to add jam, however, so this may be a future experiment.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Alcohol

Whether it be a Peanut Butter Stout or Van Gogh PB&J Vodka, I welcome peanuts in liquid form. One of my most favourite cocktails of all time used a peanut liqueur and it was to die for. As for nut-based brews, I’m always in for a pint… or pitcher… or keg!

Asian Dishes

I’m totally into menu items that incorporate peanuts into it for a little crunch or flavour. This includes Japanese Gomaae (spinach salad with peanut sauce) and Chinese Kung Pao Chicken. Most recently, the Sip Advisor has greatly enjoyed the Hunan Kung Pao meal at Earl’s Restaurants.

Mixer Mania #15: Peanutty Buddy

Peanutty Buddy.JPG

  • Rim glass with Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • 1.5 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Top with Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda
  • Splash of Milk

In wrapping up, is there anything peanut-based that the Sip Advisor doesn’t like? Well, I’m not a fan of peanut brittle and I’d rather not have shelled peanuts because of the effort it takes just to get two little bits out, not to mention the resulting mess. That’s about it, I’d say.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I can’t believe how hard it is to find any cocktail recipes for the Lester’s Fixins Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda. I did find this concoction and altered it to suit my needs, removing the Lemon-Lime Soda and chunk of Peanut Butter in favour of the PB&J Soda, while also lowering the milk content. The drink wasn’t offensive in any way, but there just wasn’t much of a flavour profile at all.

Snack Time #9: Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

To the Sip Advisor, there’s nothing like capping a meal with a cookie. Thanks to the Mrs. Fields company and their eight-pack box of treats, that is easily achieved without having to do much for a fresh-out-of-the-oven experience.

My flavour preference comes in the form of the Milk Chocolate Chip variety. Other releases in the lineup include White Chunk Macadamia, Oatmeal Raisin, and Dark Chocolate Chip, of which I have tried the latter two options.

mrs-fields-milk-chocolate-chip-cookies

What I really like about these cookies is that they are individually wrapped, making them perfect for packing for work lunches. It also stops you from eating a ton of them and makes it easier to move on after one serving.

Although the price on these boxes is $4.49 at Shoppers Drug Mart locations, I can often find the product on sale. Most recently, the cookies were available for only $1.99, which make them an astonishing 25-cents per cookie.

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Flavour Revolution – Banana

Fave Foods

Bananas are making a huge comeback – in fact, they may have never been so popular – thanks to the Minions and their fondness for the tropical fruit… heck, “banana” is one of the few words that can be understood from the Minionese language. Despite all the wonderful food out there, some characters have favourites, preferring one item over anything else. Here are some of the finest examples:

Cookies – Cookie Monster

Thank the lord above that this character wasn’t created nowadays or he might have been Fruit-in-Yogurt Monster or something ridiculous like that. As a proud and certified member of the Cookie Monster club, I fully endorse the high pursuit of cookie happiness. While the Sip Advisor has his favourite cookie options, Cookie Monster is not picky in the slightest. Every treat is perfect for the occasion.

Lasagna – Garfield

While this kitty isn’t adverse to any food, lasagna is by far his favourite. This is based on the fact that creator Jim Davis is also a lasagna lover, saying fans come up to him often saying their cats eat the Italian dish. The thought of any cat I’ve ever had enjoying pasta noodles just doesn’t jive, but Garfield is in it for the meat and cheese (kind of sounds like Mrs. Sip!).

Pizza – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Mostly all teens love pizza and that’s no different with these heroes in a half shell, who manage to get their hands on the meal, despite living in the sewers beneath New York City. What took the Turtles enjoyment of pizza to a whole other level was the wacky combinations they ordered, such as granola and licorice, peanut butter and clams, and coconut and sweet pickle.

Donuts – Homer Simpson

If there’s one thing Homer Simpson loves more than beer and even pork chops, it’s donuts. So much so, that one element of currency in the game The Simpsons: Tapped Out, is the dessert treat. Donuts have played a role in many of Homer’s adventures, most notably, the selling of his soul for a tasty pastry… to a devil Ned Flanders, of all people!

Homer Donut

Honey – Winnie the Pooh

The lengths, to which Winnie the Pooh will go, in the pursuit of honey (or ‘hunny’ as it’s known in the Hundred Acre Wood), are pretty remarkable. This loveable, seemingly always hungry bear has a habit of getting his head caught in a honey pot, but it’s totally worth it for a smackeral of the good stuff. There’s even a song, penned by Pooh, which is basically all about honey love!

Tater Tots – Napoleon Dynamite

The only thing that gets Napoleon Dynamite through a tough day of school (or at his dysfunctional home, for that matter) is the promise of tater tots from the school cafeteria. The teen always seems to have the side dish on him, often stuffed in his pockets for later enjoyment. He also doesn’t hesitate to snatch his friend’s tater tots, if the opportunity arises.

Marmalade – Paddington Bear

Much like his carnivorous counterpart, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear has a weakness for a toast accompaniment. In Paddington’s case, it is a fondness for marmalade. In 2007, Paddington tried “something different” with Marmite sandwiches, but he will always be a marmalade bear. If we’re talking preserves, the Sip Advisor is more of a raspberry jam fan, but whateves!

Flavour Revolution: Monkey Business

  • Muddle Cardamom Pods
  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Bols Banana Liqueur
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Cardamom Pods

Some honourable mentions include Monterrey Jack (Rescue Rangers) and his crazed obsession with cheese; Bugs Bunny (Looney Tunes) and his penchant for chomping on a carrot every time he’s foiled an antagonist; and Popeye, who without spinach, would have absolutely no chance against the dastardly Bluto, in his pursuit of Olive Oil. I can’t help but notice that many of my favourite characters ever comprise this list. When you add the Sip Advisor as a bona fide potato chip connoisseur, the article is complete!

October 4 – Girl Scout Cookie

Free Falling

While I think we’d all agree that the fall season lacks some of the flair and fun of summer, it’s not so bad. Here are the Top 5 things to look forward to now that the leaves are coming down and the temperatures are dropping:

#5: Fall Beers

It’s around this time of year that we see a lot of pumpkin-spiced and Oktoberfest offerings released. This also signifies the sad end to another wonderful summer of wheat beers, which breaks my heart annually. I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin flavoured anything, but I still appreciate this change in the beverage calendar and trying some new brews. Also, on the alcohol front, I have new fall-themed spirit to play with in Maple Liqueur. Should be fun!

beer disaster

#4: Closed Windows

Mrs. Sip and I live in Vancouver’s downtown core and it’s a noisy, busy place. If it’s not drunk people loudly passing by in the wee hours of a new day, we are consistently woken up every morning by the sounds of slamming dumpster lids, garbage trucks, street cleaners, and just about every other horrific sound you can imagine that isn’t your alarm. With cooler temperatures, the windows can be shut, locking out a fair portion of the racket.

#3: Cookies

Along with the traditional Girl Scout/Guide releases that come out this time of year, it is also more likely that home-baked treats will be focused on, as folks abandon the outdoors and spend more time bulking up for winter hibernation. After all, now that the sun is going to hide itself away on the other side of the world, we don’t have to worry so much about our bodies not being 100% beach ready.

girlscoutcookies

#2: Hockey Season

I hate summer sports, when all you get crammed down your throat are endless baseball games. The fall signifies the startup of all the other major leagues (NFL, NHL, and NBA) and some diversity to sports highlight packages. Being Canadian, the Sip Advisor particularly looks forward to the puck drop of another NHL season and a fresh start for your favourite team. On a more intimate level, it’s time to return to the rink for beer league hockey and work off that summer rust!

#1: Vacation Time

Given we don’t have kids, Mrs. Sip and I often save most of our travelling for outside the summer months, when off-season rates can be had and places aren’t so crazy busy. Sure, we do a lot of trips around the calendar, but in the summer, it’s mostly kept to weekend away. The fall usually brings bigger vacations, such as this year’s jaunt to California (aboard a Princess Cruise) to celebrate the Sip Advisor’s birthday in grand style. Disneyland, here we come!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Girl Scout Cookie

Girl Scout Cookie Shot

  • 0.5 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Creme de Menthe
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • Garnish with a Cookie (or two!)

I also enjoyed playing in the leaves as a youngster and when I have my own little sippers, I’m sure they will enjoy an afternoon of raking foliage, only to mess up the entire pile with a few perfectly-timed jumps and splashes!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
While I prefer the classic chocolate and vanilla icing Girl Scout/Guide cookies, this shooter is meant to emulate the gal’s peppermint thins. On a side note, it pisses me off that the Girl Scouts of America have so many more cookie options than the Girl Guides of Canada. Back to the shot, this recipe gave me a great chance to use our new Mason Jar glasses for the first time, which is perfect given jarring preservatives for the winter is another fall favourite for some. The shooter should be layered as ordered in the recipe and you can expect a little bleeding together.

September 14 – Rainbow Cookie

Milk & Cookies

I am a recovering cookie monster. I still love to stuff my face full of these delicious treats, but as I move towards a healthier lifestyle and hope my body continues to hold up (I am nearing my dirty 30), I’ve drastically decreased my treat intake. That said, it’s nice to reminisce about my favourite confectionary goodies!

Cookie Cat

Minnie’s Bake Shop Cookies

No trip to the Disney parks is complete without stocking up on these delicious cookies. Mrs. Sip and I share one nearly every day we’re in the park and have been known to buy a bag full of them when we know we won’t be back for some time. If we’re ever asked by a friend or family member if they can get anything for us while they’re on a Disney vacation, we instantly answer: “COOKIES!” Our favourite is the White Chocolate Chip variety, but all of the options are top notch.

Ma Sip’s Cookies

I was raised on wonderful chocolate chip cookies and as I grew older, Ma Sip’s array of baked good treasures only expanded. I’ve enjoyed cookies with peanut butter, caramel chunks, shortbread (a Christmas tradition that’s good to celebrate all year round), and many others. Outside the realm of cookies, Ma Sip has a reputation for making other scrumptious desserts like Black Magic Cupcakes, Seven-Layer Bars, and even Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

Cookie Trust Issues

Tim Tams

This wicked treat, which Mrs. Sip and I first experienced in Australia, comes in a ton of styles, with my favourites being the caramel and strawberry brands. Only a couple flavours have made their way to Canada, which leaves us longing for the selection found down under. You can even do a Tim Tam Slam, which involves drinking a warm beverage like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate through the cookie as if it were a straw.

Oreos

Oreos are so classic that they just had to make my list. I like that the company is always experimenting with new limited release flavours… and there have been some doozies!: Candy Corn, Gingerbread, Cool Mint, Strawberry Milkshake, and too many others to name. I remember when eating Oreos as a youngster that it was always fun to go straight for the cream and finished the cookies separately. Playing with my food has always been a favourite pastime.

Oreo Stack

Girl Guide Cookies

I’m not a huge fan of the thin mint cookies the Girl Guides (Scouts in the U.S.) mistakenly peddle, but if you bring around a box of the classic vanilla and chocolate crème Girl Guide cookies, you just might see that box disappear quickly. I like alternating between the chocolate and vanilla or for extreme thrills, combining the two into one epic cookie sandwich! Money spent on the cookies goes towards supporting the Girl Guides program (from which Mrs. Sip was once a member), so I’m down with that, too.

Cookies &

These were awesome cookie bars that mixed a cookie crunch with popular chocolate bars. I remember there being Twix, Mars, Snickers, Milky Way, and M&M varieties. Sadly, the products have been discontinued, which is a real shame, because I would love to go back and revisit the snacks. This was another item that could only be found in the United States, leaving us Canadian fans in a lurch. It was also distributed in the U.K. as Biscuits &.

Cookieception

Schoolboy

There’s just something about having a slab of milk (or dark) chocolate on top of a biscuit that is so delicious. My money is on the biscuit part, but others tell me I’m crazy and it’s the chocolate. While the name and images on the cookie can get a little creepy and perhaps these are the preferred cookie snack of pedophiles around the world, once you get your mind past that issue, all that’s left is treat enjoyment.

Rainbow Chips Ahoy

The cookie that inspired this shot is a wonderful entry, which is best enjoyed with a quick dunk into a cold glass of milk and then gobbled down with complete disregard to etiquette, cleanliness, and the genocide of cookies everywhere. I enjoy most of the Chips Ahoy products, particularly their Chewy and Chunky varietals. Is it just me, or do all the tastiest words start with ‘Ch’!? Chewy, Chunky, Chocolate, Chips, Cheese… oh, just went and ruined my own theory!

Drink #257: Rainbow Cookie

Rainbow Cookie Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Serve with a Cookie Accompaniment

How have I grossly injustice you by not including your favourite cookie treat? Come on, suckas, give me hell… and in return, I’ll tell you exactly why your precious, beloved snack just didn’t make the cut!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I was curious as to how the shooter would hold up to the cookie of the same name. This shooter gave me a good excuse to crack open our new bottle of Chambord, which provided the primary taste for the shot. The Crème de Cacao and Amaretto offer hints of flavour in the finish, but the Chambord is really what you notice. The cookie chaser was a nice touch, of course!