Cheddar Beer and Maple Bacon Kettle Chips

March 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

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I picked up these chips at the Wholefoods in Chicago when I was there in November of last year. Yes, I know that was months ago but it has taken me this long to blog about them. I had a reader nudge me to write as she is hooked on Coriander Kitchen and missing my regular posts. This is for her. Well these chips caught my attention as I had not seen these flavours before. Both these flavours seem very Canadian as we are know for our bacon and  as being beer drinkers.

The chips taste quite opposite on the palate. The maple bacon was sweet and the cheddar beer savoury. The maple bacon has a strong bacon flavour and the cheddar beer has a prominent taste of hops. It essentially tastes like a beer burp. I’ve since seen the maple bacon in stores in Vancouver but the cheddar beer is still to come. I wonder if beer flavoured items are not allowed here.

My son preferred the cheddar beer flavoured chips, where my daughter liked the maple bacon better. I couldn’t decided which I liked better and found both equally good.

You can buy the maple bacon chips are natural foods stores and where you buy Kettle Chips.

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Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

oktoberfest

My first trip to Oktoberfest was everything that I had imaged and more. As we walked up to our tent, a stretcher was rolling away a person who had over done it. According to my German friend, that was very common. I was so surprised to see carnival rides behind the tent as I could not image going on one in a drunken state. It seemed like a recipe for disaster. My friend commented that people throw up often and there is a joke about being careful while walking under the rides.

The tone in the tent was very merry as people start drinking early in the day and continue until the evening. Most people were dressed up and cheering or singing loudly. We got to our table and of course ordered beer. It was really loud and a band was playing American covers and traditional German music. It was a party like no other.

oktoberfest beer

One litre pints of beer. They were really heavy and encourage quick consumption. Who likes warm beer?

lily oktoberfest

This is only half the original size of the pretzel. We couldn’t even finish it between five people. My Portuguese friend carried it around in his pocket for the rest of the evening.

german pancake

I had to break my rule of no eggs, which can happen when I travel. This was the only thing on the menu that was vegetarian friendly. This German pancake just happened to be a dessert option and came with a side of stewed fruit. It was very delicious and seemed like the pancake was cut up during the cooking process to keep the inside fluffy while making the outside crisp and buttery. It was quite heavy and filling so I shared it with my friends.

Oktoberfest is an experience like no other and I am really happy that I had a chance to experience it. If I am in Europe at that time of the year again,  I will definitively make it a plan to go back.

Yakatabune – Japanese House Boat Party & Dinner Cruise

September 4, 2013 § 1 Comment

yakatabone

My friends took me to one of their colleagues birthday party on a Japanese house boat or yakatabune. There was about 50 people there who had to remove their shoes and sit in groups of fours on the floor at grill top tables. The party started within 10 minutes of arriving and set sail in Tokyo’s harbour. Spring rolls and dumplings were the first thing to arrive at the table and of course Japanese beer. The Japanese love their beer and even have created a zero calorie one!

monjayaki

Next a bowl was placed at the table with cabbage, sprouts, cheese and eel in it. The man beside me Haru started to cook. He poured oil on the grill and placed the cheese down first. On my first night in Tokyo I ate monjayaki and was attentively watching the waiter cook the dish. Instinctively, I took the utensils from Haru and took over. I added the cabbage and cooked the eel separate. Yes, I cooked meat!

okonomiyaki

Once the veggies are semi cooked, you make a well and add a broth to the centre which makes the pancake gooey. You eat it bite by bite from the grill and add sauce to it as you like.

monjayaki

The next dish that I made was okonomiyaki which is chewier and drier than the monjayaki. The technique is the same. Add oil to the grill and saute veggies using metal utensils in both hands. I really got into it and everyone was surprised that I knew what I was doing. Once again I made the well and added the broth. I let that cook and took a short beer break.

During the party we played rock paper scissors or as they call it jan ken pon . We played for partying gifts and one of the winners received a lingerie set and the happy Japanese man put it on over his jeans and dress shirt and pranced around for a bit.

okonomiyaki

I got back to my okonomiyaki and to my surprise it tasted like a pros. Everyone was so impressed that they had me make the last dish, yakisoba. It is actually really simple to make and basically requires the yakisoba and soy sauce for flavouring. All you do is saute the veggies first, add the noodles and add the sauce. It was delicious. My kids love it and I can now make it at home.

no.1 vip

The game of jan ken pon continued and more and more party gifts were being handed out. By now I was a bit tipsy from all the beer that I drank, trying to keep up with everyone else. The Japanese drink fast. Near the end of the night, the box of party gifts was being handed out and I got a ribbon that said in Japanese No.1 VIP!

Japanese beer gifts

Everyone had a big laugh. People gave me their items as souvenirs of Japan. I got a watch, a beer mug with Japanese writing that says beer party.  You put the mug in the freezer and outside layer turns to ice. I also got a beer pump that pumps beer out of beer cans and the weirdest items that I received were key chains with Japanese vegetables and panty hose.

me

I have to say the Japanese seem quite quiet and reserved but when they party, boy do they let loose. It was a super fun experience and one of the highlights of my trip.

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