What’s In Your St. Patrick’s Day Coffee?

With America’s favorite Irish holiday right around the corner, it’s time to consider what wonderful additive will go with this year’s St. Patrick’s Day brew (coffee).

  
Irish Whisky is a tried and true spike to your morning. There is a reason after all it is called “Irish Coffee”.

Creme de Menthe in your coffee is for those who add multiple sugar packets and need that semblance of “let’s drink green things” for the occasion. Think of it this way … Do you channel your inner Ross Geller?  

 
Not into mint or whiskey? Don’t let your friends tip them back without you over breakfast. Here are other ways to add some pizzazz to your coffee:

Amaretto will give you a nutty flavor for those who like their Hazelnut flavored coffees from Starbucks.  Caramel Vodka would suffice for those that like the sweeter spectrum. Of course both of these could also be topped with a whipped cream topping so you really get the coffee shop feel. Salted Caramel would also fit the bill. Lastly, chocolate liquers like Godiva would provide the most dessert-like experience of them all.

It would be a fun experiment to try what I call the “breakfast liquors” like the Van Gogh’s PB&J flavor, the Glazed Donut flavor from Mama Walkers, BAKON vodka, or Waffle flavored Georgi vodka. Probably wouldn’t want more than 1. Those Flavors don’t mix with typical bar mixers, so why not look to have breakfast in a cup and pair them directly with the coffee! 

TasteBuds Seven Fishes Cioppino

Cioppino, our Feast of Seven Fishes

Our Feast of Seven Fishes has been a tradition since TasteBudA and I have been together. Even though neither of us are Catholic where this tradition stems, on Christmas Eve we gather and enjoy our version of a Feast of Seven Fishes, but we do it in one pot – a Cioppino.

Read The Making of a New Christmas Eve Tradition >>

TasteBuds Seven Fishes Cioppino
Pittsburgh TasteBuds Seven Fishes Cioppino

So, after 4 years of making it, it’s time to document the recipe.  In 2013, this resulted in the best recipe because we made the broth, then went to a candlelight Christmas Eve mass.  Upon returning from mass, heated the broth to boil and added the fish.  The more time your broth has to simmer, then sit, the better the flavor develops.

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Christmas Eve Cioppino 2012

P(Gh)osts of Christmas Pasts

Christmas Eve Cioppino 2012As I searched the Pittsburgh TasteBuds blog history today for the recipe that I used for our traditional “Feast of Seven Fishes” Cioppino that TasteBudA and I have adopted as our Christmas Eve tradition.  The only remnant was The Making of a Christmas Eve Dinner Tradition. I’m puzzled. I have taken pictures of our Cioppino each and every year.  Have I been slacking that much?  Apparently, yes.

Each year I think I’ve gone through the same motions: Find recipe.  CHECK! Select 7 fishes. CHECK!  Combine and cook. CHECK!  Take a photo. CHECK!  Post about it.  Oops.

This year will mark the 4th year that we will have made our Cioppino, but apparently we never really blogged about our experience making it.  As I go back through the timewarp that is my photos folder, I share with you what little I found today.

XmasCioppino2012XmasEveCioppino2011

Christmas cookie-tini for the holidays

20121224-235348.jpgFor the holidays, I decided to share a little holiday drink I made up for the occasion. I had some cookie dough vodka in stock and it is one of one liquors that are difficult to mix. But this holiday lends itself especially well to sipping, milky drinks — especially since you have to leave Santa some milk and cookies.

Give Santa a little something special with this Christmas Cookie Martini.
1 oz Pinnacle Cookie Dough Vodka
1 oz half and half, or in my case Coffeemate French Vanilla Creamer
1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1 Cinnamon stick

Shake all ingredients in a shaker and garnish with a mini candy cane.

Cheers. Enjoy.

Holiday Cheer at Cornerstone, Toys for Tots Fundraiser success

For our 3rd Annual Holiday Wine Exchange, the Pittsburgh TasteBuds hosted a joyous, festive night in their return to Cornerstone Restaurant and Bar in Apsinwall.  Sixty attendees reached within their hearts to support the Pittsburgh TasteBuds and the United States Marines Toys for Tots Program by donated over 70 toys.  The toy drive was even more special with a US Marines representative in attendance to receive and personally thank each donation as we filled the entire dining room corner with toys.

With the largest wine exchange crowd to-date and the second consecutive sell-out event, the night was a resounding success.  The TasteBuds gave each attendee an ornament as a small token of appreciation.  The food was wonderful and the restaurant staff did a great job handling such a large crowd.
See the main courses that were served below, or visit our Facebook Page to view photos from the entire night.

 

Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon