I am trying my darnedest to not start this post out with a series of exclamation points. But, I’m not promising that it won’t happen. What I will say, is that I am very, very excited to be releasing my first eBook — well, for VYA, anyway. Not only that, it’s ALL about pumpkin! Just in time for Thanksgiving, right?
The Great Vegan Pumpkin eBook showcases 20 awesome pumpkin recipes, you’ve got your savory and of course your sweet; plus breakfast, snacks, entrees and dessert! If I was to pick a favorite it would be… Ugh. That’s hard! You know how much I love beer, so I’ll have to go with the Double Pumpkin Beer Float. Because of that, I’ll be sharing the recipe for it with you, today!
Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin ale and an optional drizzle of pumpkin spice caramel (recipe also in the eBook), make an amazing, adult-pleasing dessert. The best part of all is that it is so easy to make! If you want to serve this as a non-traditional Thanksgiving feast dessert, just make the ice cream right before dinner.
Finally, the recap that I’ve been totally intimidated to write-up, if only because of the length and sorting through SO many pictures. But, I’m back from Vegan Utopia aka Portland, OR. and I’m ready to show you how Vida Vegan Con went! To give you an idea of what I’ll be going over in this post, it’ll be awesome vegan food, more food, probably some beer, many links plus, more food.
When the weather cleared up, on Sunday
I was in PDX for a whole week! Thankfully I stayed with some awesome people that were going non-stop, so we did many, many things around this rainy, green city. My plane landed on Tuesday night (21st) and immediately I was taken to Los Gorditos for a taco snack and Apex for some beers. My first impression of Los Gorditos was that they had signs on the outside of the restaurant that said “FULL VEGAN MENU” and “FULL MEAT MENU”; I was totally shocked! Not because of the meat, but because they had to go out of their way to show you that they had both options there. I have never seen anything like that in Southern California, and it was awesome! Out of the two tacos that I tried, I absolutely loved the caramelized onion taco, the soy curl taco was pretty good, too. At Apex, I found what is now one of my new favorite beers, New Belgium’s Trip XV Buckwheat. So, so good.
When bringing up the topic of any holiday my boyfriend truly couldn’t care less, even his own birthday! Needless to say, Valentine’s Day is no different; I am not super huge on Hallmark holidays either, so nothing usually happens on the 14th of February each year. I say usually because this year LOVELIKEBEER was putting on a vegan dessert and beer pairing event down in San Diego and I really wanted to go to it. To give you a bit of background on LOVELIKEBEER, the organization is led by two gentleman by the names of Derek and Corey. They’ve put on a few different events over the span of 2011, all having to do with vegan craft brews and food. Here’s an excerpt from their about section:
LOVELIKEBEER is an organization dedicated to creating inspiring Vegan Food and Craft Beer events in San Diego with a charitable purpose. We work with local artisans and entrepreneurs to host culinary events which incorporate innovative, vegan cuisine, craft beer pairings, and a donation to a local charity.
Great events for a great cause? I’m in! So, we made the two-hour trek down to Tiger! Tiger! Tavern in San Diego; not realizing that there would be delicious vegan dinner options as well, we ate before leaving.
The drive wasn’t too bad, just a little traffic and the scenery was gorgeous as usual. Once we got to the tavern, we opened the door and walked into a large, dimly lit area that had four long communal tables with bench seating that were decorated with Chimay candle-holders and deep red rose petals. Definitely giving off the romantic vibe for V-day.
I grabbed a menu, took a seat and was immediately regretting that I had already eaten; so much of the food sounded delicious! I had put myself in quite the predicament, but got past it and looked to the dessert and beer pairings. Of the three, only two really stuck out to me. This was mostly because the odd-one-out was a donut, which I am not a fan of, paired with Framboise which is a raspberry beer-like beverage that sort of reminds me of a wine cooler. I did hear that it was quite delicious, but it just didn’t sound like my cup of tea.
The dessert that I decided to start with was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie with Caramel Sauce and Salted Peanut Brittle paired with Hangar 24’s Chocolate Porter. Let me tell you, this dessert was seriously good. It was rich and decadent, and almost a little too heavy but I loved it. I made sure to drink the beer intermittently with having bites of the dessert and the balance between the two was bordering on perfect. The stout had more of a dark chocolate feel too it, and broke up the intense sweetness of the brownie and caramel sauce with ease. I would love to recreate something like this at home!
For my second, and last, dessert pairing I chose to order the “Date Night” Rice Pudding, which was Coconut Date Rice Pudding paired with Automatic’s 3-Speed Brown. Besides the excessive amount of flowers atop of this dessert, it was great to end on. Compared to the brownie, this rice pudding was light and not to sugary, but had great subtle flavors of coconut and dates. A great approach to this dessert is to eat a spoonful slowly, and at the same time waft the scent of the brown ale into your nostrils. Doing this brings an excellent coffee note to the rice pudding that you can’t necessarily get through imbibing it.
Tiger! Tiger! Tavern has a great vibe and a terrific selection of brews, amongst them are some from Automatic Brewing Co. which is their in-house brewing company. The brewmaster for Automatic used to be a brewmaster at Stone Brewery in San Marcos for years, this should give you an idea of the quality of their brews!
After finishing off the desserts, I thought that I’d enjoy just one more beer before heading home. I typically stick to darker brews, so I thought that I’d try out the Ovila Quadrupel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. This beer ended up being full of flavor and a little on the sweet side, which is how I like my malty, dark brews; it had a smooth finish and wasn’t very heavy. I would definitely order this again.
Overall, it was a great experience and I enjoyed meeting the guys that put this together along with Melissa from Vegenista, who is a total sweetheart and a couple of other people from around the area. I can’t wait for LOVELIKEBEER to put on their next event, which looking at their past will tell you will be in roughly two months. Woohoo!
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like me to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!