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.

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July 19 – Floater

All the Balls

After last week’s look at the best sports movies geared towards a family audience, it’s time to turn up the vulgarity and venture into the world of adult-oriented films… well, not those types of films, but the sports type for teens and adults. Here are the Top 5 grown up sports movies:

#5: Baseketball

From the creators of South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), comes this farce about a world where sports superstars have become so overpaid and corporations dictate athletic competition. A universe where sportsmanship no longer exists and money is the root of all evil. Enter Cooper and Remer, who create a baseball-basketball-beer pong hybrid that eventually grows to become the next great sports phenomenon. Some of the team names from the movie are particularly clever, including the Dallas Felons, Miami Dealers, New Jersey Informants, and San Francisco Ferries (think about that one for a moment!).

baseketball

#4: DodgeBall

The underdog story of a ragtag group trying to save their gym (Average Joe’s), as they dodge, dip, dive, duck, and yes, dodge again versus the super-charged squad of Globo-Gym, which is looking to buy out the smaller competition. The entire cast is hilarious in this movie (particularly, my boy Stephen Root) and the surprise cameos from some judges of the competitions are great as well. A sequel to the movie is in the works and both Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller are expected to reprise their roles. Hopefully they remember that if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!

#3: Happy Gilmore

Adam Sandler kept his string of 90’s hit movies going with this entry. The film sees aspiring hockey star – despite his awful skillset – jump into the world of professional golf, when he’s discovered by a one-handed golf course pro. Things become more serious for Gilmore when his grandma’s house is to be taken away and the only way to get it back is Gilmore’s success on the PGA Tour. In my opinion, along with the success of Tiger Woods, the popularity of this film launched a whole new generation of golf players and fans. Gilmore’s brawl with The Price is Right host, Bob Barker, is one of the best cameo scenes in movie history.

Happy Gilmore

#2: Caddyshack

Times are changing at the Bushwood Country Club, as a new wave of members enter the fray, disrupting the once peaceful and pristine society. Bill Murray steals the show as groundskeeper Carl Spackler, particularly his improvised scene describing the Cinderella story of a hard luck golfer at Augusta, while teeing off on some of the club’s flowers. Others, such as Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight are perfect in their roles as combative members. It’s too bad that the sequel couldn’t live up to the original, but it’s still an okay romp. I especially enjoy it when the course is given miniature golf elements.

#1: Slap Shot

There are so many quotable lines in this classic. Paul Newman is awesome as the Charlestown Chief’s player-coach, Reggie Dunlop, and with other oddballs like the ultraviolent Hanson Brothers joining the squad, there’s plenty of characters to appreciate and enjoy. Many of the roles were based on real-life players. As a young kid growing up in hockey-mad Canada, this film was like a rite of passage, especially given its adult elements. I can’t say much for the two sequels that have come out in more recent years, but everyone out there, hockey fan or not, should give the original a viewing.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Floater

Floater Shot

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Scoop of Peanut Butter
  • Dash of Chocolate Syrup

Who would have thought that two golf-themed films would crack this list? Even more surprising, not a single Will Ferrell sports movie made the Top 5… and I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan. Lastly, while they are made-for-TV documentaries, the Sip Advisor encourages everyone out there to check out ESPN’s 30-for-30 series and get your learn on!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
All I have to say about this shot is, think about the pool scene in Caddyshack… disgusting, indeed! You’re also supposed to garnish with shot with Corn, but I just couldn’t make that graphic leap. Given the shooter is straight vodka, it’s strong, but the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sauce tame it a little… just not enough.

July 20 – Melon Ball

Creative Cuisine

There are some odd culinary pairings in existence where anyone who has tried the combo swears by its deliciousness. Some of these I’ve tried and others I’ve merely only heard about. While I’ll give most anything a fair shot, I must admit that some of these couplings will take more convincing than others. This seems to be a growing field in the gastronomic world, as there’s even an entire site dedicated to the cause. Here are some blends that I’ve tried myself or found around the wild, wild web:

Melon and Prosciutto

For two completely contrasting food items, melon and prosciutto work really well together. Even though I’m not a big melon fan, the mix of sweetness from the melon and salty from the prosciutto produce a melt in your mouth snack that will blow your mind. Of course, prosciutto seems to accentuate a number of other items from crackers to salads and everything in between.

prosciutto-and-melon

Chili Powder and Vanilla Ice Cream

I’ve enjoyed chocolate with chili powder, so I don’t see it as too much of a stretch that vanilla ice cream would also work when paired with chili powder. Heck, some chili powder might be the perfect thing to spice (literally!) up your plain old vanilla ice cream. And if you begin to feel the burn, it shouldn’t be too long before the cool ice cream dulls that tongue-on-fire sensation.

Watermelon and Black Pepper

I’ve professed my love for watermelon through this site on a couple occasions already. That love will never fade and I must admit that combing the melon with black pepper intrigues me. Watermelon can be a very subtle taste, so perhaps the addition of black pepper is simply to bring the devourer back to flavour country aboard the pepper express!

Dark Chocolate and Parmesan Cheese

One suggestion was to enjoy this union as a grilled cheese sandwich and I’m still trying to get my head around that idea. Parmesan is one of the few cheeses I seem to not mind, but mixing it with anything other than a Caesar salad seems like crazy talk to me. I even ran this by cheese guru Mrs. Sip and she couldn’t exactly picture the meal being palatable.

Grilled-Cheese-Dark-Chocolate

Jalapeno and Strawberries

Most times, these odd pairings feature the coming together of two wildly different flavours. In this case, you have the sweet strawberries being mixed with spicy jalapenos. Each bite would be a mix of competing emotions, with the spice surely winning the battle. I only like jalapenos in small doses on nachos and such, so I don’t think this combo would go over very well for me.

Chocolate and Fried Onions

This concept has me quite intrigued. I think I would enjoy a plate of onion rings with a chocolate drizzle laid over them or a little dish of the sweet stuff on the side to dip the rings in. Hell, deep fry anything and dunk it in chocolate and you’ll probably come up with a decent, gluttonous snack. I’ll put money on the fact this concept was first dreamt up in the American south and for that, we thank you!

McDonalds Fries and Hot Fudge Sundae

This combination was brought to our attention by an Australian. The Aussies are known for doing crazy things, but this being on the tamer side, Mrs. Sip and I gave it a shot are were surprised at how well the two products came together. The salt sticks known as McDonalds fries pair very well with the sweetness of hot fudge and the creamy vanilla soft-serve ice cream.

sundae&fries

French Fries and Ranch Dressing

I should be a spokesperson for ranch dressing. I mean, just like the Frank’s Red Hot commercials, I put that sh*t on everything… tacos, sandwiches, pizza, chicken, pasta, and especially French fries. A new combo I’ve been working on of late is to mix ranch dressing with honey garlic sauce before dousing the above items with this hybrid of sweet and tangy that will blow your mind. Patent pending!

Ketchup and Macaroni & Cheese

This is another one that I’ve been doing for years, since I was a little sipper, and don’t find it an odd pairing at all, but it came up a few times in the course of my research for this article. I prefer my mac n’ cheese to be leftovers, where the cheese has dried, rather than fresh with gooey, slimy cheese. Then, just splat some catsup over the bowl, mix it up and you have a perfect quick meal.

Peanut Butter and Bacon

I love peanut butter and I love bacon, so it seems mixing the two together might be a no-brainer. I’ve enjoyed both in chocolate, so perhaps we’d be looking at our first triple threat food pairing if we combined all three together. A PB&B sandwich actually sounds pretty tempting… delicious even. I’m pretty sure I’m going to make one to enjoy with today’s shot du jour.

Drink #201: Melon Ball

July 20

  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Watermelon Ball

What is your favourite odd food pairing? Give me your best recipes and perhaps I’ll do another post on reader suggestions and how well I was able to stomach them. Sounds like fun for all, doesn’t it!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
The Watermelon Ball was a nice touch and the shooter was delicious. I was curious about Pineapple Juice being part of the recipe, but it worked well with the Melon Liqueur and you can’t ever knock Vodka for fear of a Vodka Belt reprisal!

May 17 – PB&J Martini

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

After yesterday’s debacle of a cocktail, I’m happy to follow it up with this treat. Like a professional athlete in need of a bounce back effort, here I am scoring the game winning goal, destroying the walk-off homerun, hitting the buzzer beater… you get my drift. While I’m a big fan of liquid lunches, I have to say that my heart flutters for sandwiches, as well. Here are some of the best ones:

Grilled Cheese

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of cheese. That said, I’m bizarrely a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches, providing they’re made with a white cheese like mozzarella or swiss and not the processed American cheddar slices that are synonymous with the meal. With a side of potato chips and a dollop of ketchup to dip your sandwich into, I’m in kid-like heaven.

grilled-cheese

BLT & Club

When I was younger, I was a picky eater. A BLT, though, was a favourite of mine and a regular order at restaurants. As my tastes evolved, the club sandwich largely replaced the BLT for me and it doesn’t matter whether that extra meat is turkey, chicken, ham, or all three… they’re all going to the same wasteland known as my stomach! You have to remember, my little sippers, bacon is an essential item on nearly every sandwich, so don’t be stingy with it.

PB&J

The classic that I make better than most everyone else on the planet (if I don’t say so myself)! Now that I’ve also conquered the liquid form of this marrying of peanut butter and jelly, you might even say that I’ve become a god among men. There aren’t many tag teams out there that can compare with peanut butter and jelly. Ham and pineapple gave them a run for their money once, but it was an uphill battle.

Ice Cream

The first draft of this blog did not include the scrumptious ice cream sandwich. For that, I have repented my sins and after considering whether or not my best days were behind me and it was time to retire from the writing game, I have decided to carry on and work at redeeming myself. The best ice cream sandwich I’ve ever had is the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie one, which used to be infinitely better before meddlesome folks began their crusade against junk foods.

ice-cream-sandwiches

Beef Dip

Not a lot beats a nice soft roll, stuffed with thin slices of roast beef and a delicious hot au jus to dip the sandwich into. Flavouring a meat in its own drippings seems cannibalistic, but nobody’s on trial here, so go ahead and do your worst. Destroy that sandwich with the ferocity of a natural predator and don’t feel a moment of remorse. If you are not of the carnivoristic variety, then go on your merry way with your *chortle* salad.

Pulled Pork

I love barbecued meats, especially pulled pork. I could eat this stuff on the reg and never get sick of the deliciously shredded substance. If you throw a little creamy coleslaw down on that sammy, brother, your head will be spinning into orbit. You don’t trust the Sip Advisor? You know, I’m not a one dimensional cocktail jockey… I hate other skills to go along with my liquor awesomosity.

pulled-pork-pancake

Now that is a beautiful sandwich!

Philly Cheesesteak

I had never really tried a cheesesteak sandwich until an American Cheesesteak restaurant opened up close to my home. I have to say, that I was completely blown away. My order of choice is The Cowboy, which includes shaved prime rib, crispy onion straws, barbecue sauce, bacon mayo and aged white cheddar (which by now, you know is disqualified from my order). It’s a delicious meal that I don’t indulge in often enough.

Meatball Sub

Make sure to have your pens and paper ready because I’m about to reveal to the world my typical Subway order, now famously referred to as ‘The Advisor’. I start with a 12-inch meatball sandwich on Italian herb and cheese bread (yeah, I oddly like cheese in my bread, but not on my sandwich). I elect to not have it toasted and then I add the following condiments: lettuce, tomato, pickles, black olives, green olives (if I’m at one of the rare Subway’s that carries this delicious addition) and topped with mayo. My order is rarely modified because consistency is an art form.

Drink #137: PB&J Martini

May 17 P&J Martini

  • Rim glass with Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • 1.5 oz Chambord
  • 1.5 oz Frangelico
  • Top with Milk

I bet after reading this, every single one of you are hungry for a good sandwich! In writing this post, I realized that I’ve never really had a true Sloppy Joe before. I will have to give this a try and see if it cracks the list above. My money is on it making the list… anyone else care to enter a wager!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
A tasty drink made all the more better with a very fun rim job. You can also turn the ingredients into a shooter, if you remove the milk proportion. I’ve wanted to try this drink for some time and I was finally able to put it all together. It actually tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, minus the bread and with a little more booze flavour than the lunch has. You won’t be disappointed if you try it yourself.