Brew wife (/bro͞o wīf/) : a sophisticated lady married to a wonderful man who is obsessed with making (beer, ale, etc.) by steeping, boiling, and fermenting malt and hops while turning our small apartment into a chaotic mess and completely taking over the fridge to fill it with beer.

while in Panama

Our little family took a trip to Panama last week. We went to visit family and to celebrate Vera's baptism. We had such an amazing time, as always, and of course I got that feeling of staying there and not returning to reality.
Pretty cool things are happening in my home town lately....there is a ridiculously amazing boom in "craft" everything (beer, food, cocktails) and people are moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

We went to a market on Sunday and I was really impressed by the variety of artisan items for sale and the amazing food and beer. The idea is a "flea" market that rotates locations, usually unusual spots, and features unique vendors; it is called el mercado pop up. It reminds me of the Brooklyn flea, which I try to go every time I'm in NY.

Here are some pics so you have and idea...

A lot of interesting things to see and eat! And there were also some local breweries ....

tres gatos cerveceria

central cerveceria
I'm really happy these things are happening in PTY, it is such a great, young city with so much to do.

We also visited Casa Bruja brewing which is one of our usual stops every time we visit. It's such a nice brewery and the beers are soooo amazing! They are also known for their collaborations with Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente from Mexico (Bruja Insurgente is my favorite!!)

Such fun was had by all !!


wake and bake!

Many days I just wake up with the desire to bake something delicious...Usually the night before I go through the recipe in my head multiple times and I daydream about the satisfaction I will feel with the end result. It just makes me so happy to see people enjoy what I make. I think this is the main reason why I do it (apart from being relaxing) it is the look on people's faces when they take the first bite, the way they pause for a moment to savor and experience the sensations.

Lately I've been reading books about chefs and cooking, I'm not sure why but I tend to get into phases when it comes to literature genres. So now I'm stuck in a culinary phase. One of the latest I read  was The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. It was fun and witty and with a nice surprise at the end!.....the recipe for the Coconut Cake! I was super excited about this and of course had to make it.

The recipe is very easy and a lot of fun to prepare. I must say, I don't think I ever attempted to make coconut cake before and this really got me hooked! This cake turns out lovely! It is super moist but not heavy, it is also not overly sweet. The coconut flavor is definitely there but it is not intense, I must say that I did not use coconut extract as the recipe required, I only used vanilla. I think the coconut extract would have made a big difference! I will be using it next time for sure.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this cake was the toasted coconut, it adds so much dimension and texture. When you eat the cake the same day it is made, the coconut is still super crunchy and that just makes it so much more delicious! but eventually the coconut looses a bit of bite but it is still a really nice element.


P.S. On a different note, and just to kinda throw this in here, I'm super excited for this new brewery to open!! I just cannot wait!

Blood Orange craving

Blood Oranges have a pretty short season here in Florida compared to other orange types. I saw some at a farmers market and decide it would be a good time to try making something with them.
Of course the first thing we tried was a cocktail! Laz made me a Whiskey Sour using a blood orange as the citrus base but still used a little lemon juice. It was not quite as was more on the sweet side but I loved it! and it was PINK! enough said about that.

Browsing through pinterest for inspiration, I came across  a version of Pineapple Upside-down Cake but with the oranges instead. I found two recipes I liked but could not decide so I just combined what I liked the most about them.

This is the recipe I used for the actual cake, it was an almond cake mix and it was perfectly moist and fluffy and had a great almond flavor. I used this recipe for the syrup and the "upside down" part of the cake. I just simmered the oranges in the syrup until translucent and placed them in the bottom of the cake pan. The cake turned out to be super delicious and not overly sweet, perfect for tea time. I just really wished I had overlapped the oranges so that the cake would look as pretty as the one on the site...Oh well!.. I will just have to make it again....


Harry's Beer Slam

   Last Tuesday we went to Harry's Pizzeria to participate in the first ever Harry's Beer Slam! It was such as great experience of delicious food and tons of beer and awesome people. The idea behind it was to vote on the best beer and food pairing between two participating local breweries. The breweries competing were Wynwood and Biscayne Bay, and each surprised us with a distinct beer they selected to pair with the dish. It was up to us to select the best match by voting with these really funny cardboard face cut-outs of the brewers.

As soon as we got there we were offered amazing appetizers for the reception part of the evening. We had Morel Mushroom Arancini with taleggio & aioli (croquetas!!), Shrimp toast Banh Mi, Baby Back ribs, and Kale Pizza; all this was offered along with Wynnewood's IPA and Biscayne's Miami Pale Ale. I believe this part was kind of the warm up for the voting, we tasted and decided more or less which was the best paring between the two beers and each of the appetizers.
                                                                          >>>that's 2 beers

1st course was next....
Crispy Pork Belly +++ Wynwood Magic City Pale Ale & Biscayne Saison
- the pork belly was perfectly crispy and tender, with just the right amount of fat! and it was served with oranges which added a nice sweetness and tanginess. This complimented beautifully with the Saison. With the Pale Ale, all the flavors came together in a kind of harmony making the citrus really shine which I really liked because I thought the Pale Ale was a bit on the bitter side.
                                                                          >>>2 beers
2nd Course
Braised Oxtail Terrine +++ Wynwood Pop's Porter & Biscayne Double Nine double IPA
-(terrine is like a pate, so in this case it was the deboned meat of the oxtail shaped into rounds ) this was my favorite dish of all...I just love, love, love oxtail! It had a nice smokey flavor, the beef was tender and it was served over barley and mulberries. The IPA was nice with the mulberries and the beef, I felt it was the best pairing, but most people, including Laz felt that the Porter was the best with the beef and all the other flavors.  
                                                                          >>> 2 more beers

Pure Deliciousness!!
3rd Course
Florida Blueberry Crostada +++ Wynwood La Rubia Pale Ale & Biscayne Buenas Noches Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
-This was served with a tiny scoop of malted milk ice cream!! Yum!! The Stout was really good with the ice cream and it was somewhat sweet and thick and dessert-like (I usually go for Stouts), but I am surprised to say that the Pale Ale was the best match with this. It was crisp and refreshing and was the best compliment with the blueberry.
                                                             >>>the last 2 beers

In the end.. the brewery with the best pairings overall was Wynwood, the interesting part was their choice of beers for each dish; especially the Pale Ale paired with the dessert which was a surprising but definitely a winning combination.

our selections

I'm really looking forward to the next beer & food paring event, these are just too much fun and I feel you learn so much about food and flavors, I just might need to skip two meals in order to be able to eat and drink everything. the end of the night...