Sweet Cravings

His and Hers, Hers and Hers, His and His, Theirs and Theirs, or Yours and Yours No-Bake Cheesecake


Listening to: Digital Love by Daft Punk

Valentines Day. The last Rite Aid holiday display that stands between you and the all-you-can-gnaw chocolate rabbit buffet. Some of you may be waiting in anticipation for ALL THE SEX fragrant roses, while others might rather give a collective bitch slap to every gross snogging couple in sight. Whatever your preference, we hope you’re well fed, because in our whole two and a half decades worth of life experience, we’ve discovered that the guaranteed path to holiday enjoyment is eating.



  • 2 Effie’s Oatcakes or 1.5 oz of your favorite biscuit/cookie
  • 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter + more if necessary


  • 1 6 oz package of Belle Chevre Original fromage blanc
  • 1 tbsp mascarpone
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract (We’re partial to the paste, because we find the seeds visually pleasing, but extract works just as well!)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 teensy pinch salt


  • Morello Cherry Jam
  • Goat milk caramel from your favorite farmer
  • Really anything that tickles your fancy



Pulse oatcakes in a food processor (small format works best as you’re working with such a small volume of noms) until you form fine (but not powdery) crumbs. Drizzle melted butter over crumbs and pulse together to combine. Alternatively, you can mortar and pestle it if you need to work out some feelings.

Using your most trusted spatula, gently mix together all the filling ingredients. Adjust anything to taste, but let the tang hang, man. You’re going to want it up against the deep, fruity jam and crunchy, salty-sweet crust.

Grab two small, visually appealing vessels (or if you plan on a solo Netflix-induced night in, one normal sized bowl). Divide the crust evenly in dishes of choice and gently pant down with fingers or small spatula. Pipe an even amount of filling over each crust.

Set in refrigerator for at least an hour and top with desired amount of topping. Get it.

Heartfelt drinking suggestion:
Lindemans Framboise immediately comes to mind for a romantic winter evening. Poured into a tall, thin glass you can see the lively effervescence dancing in the raspberry-stained beer. Though sweeter than most lambics, it retains a tartness that makes a suitable partner for goat cheese and any other treats you may have around. Like long lasting love, this beer takes time to ferment; catching wild yeast from the air, hoping it’s going to work out. From experience, we can tell you it will indeed.



Sweet Cravings

Short Day, Shortbread


Listening to: Get Behind Me Santa by Sufjan Stevens

Some Short(bread) Sentences:

Traditionally served on the Winter Solstice and New Years, shortbread cookies are a ray of sunshine in the otherwise depressing darkness that inhabits your soul during the nadir of sunlight in the northern hemisphere. Feel free to make them anytime throughout the winter and frolic in the light of yellow cornmeal and browned bits of cheddar.


Don’t skip the caramel, seriously. The sweetness keeps the savoriness in check and the bitterness from the coffee balances the cheddar tang. Just like the way your family balances each other out around the holidays… yeah, we’ll call that “balance.”




Cream together the sugar, butter, and cheddar.  Gradually add in flour with the mixer running.  Scrape down sides with a festive spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

Turn out onto a work surface ideally not floured. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a log the size of the cookies you’d like.

You’re going to roll these logs into the cornmeal, so sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal onto your work surface making sure it reaches the length of your log. On top of the cornmeal, sprinkle some grated cheddar. We are not offering amounts here because everyone’s tastes are different. Cheddar and cornmeal to taste, you shortbread badass, you.

Gently, but with some pressure, roll your log into the cornmeal/cheddar mixture. Sprinkle additional cornmeal and cheddar onto the surface as needed to make sure the log is covered. Repeat with second log.

Wrap each dough log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes so that you may divide the cookies with ease.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Remove log o’ wonderful from the fridge and unwrap. With a knife as sharp as the protagonist in Teeth, slice the dough into pieces about ¼ of an inch thick. Notice how every piece has a nice coating of cornmeal and cheddar. These are going to crisp up nicely in the oven and offer a granular crunch to offset the delicate crumble of the cookie.

Place each cookie onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes until it’s a light golden brown. Rotate as needed if the cookies are starting to brown unevenly in the oven. Let cool. Drizzle caramel on top just before serving. Yes.



While we try to drink each beer equally and objectively, sometimes you can’t help but get ridiculously excited and amorous about a certain brew. That beer which is being downed shamelessly regularly this winter is New Holland Brewing The Poet. Being an oatmeal stout, it will of course offer a silky mouth feel. For the texturally enthusiastic, a sip of The Poet is like rolling around in the most luxurious of sheets while wearing satin pajamas and hugging a super friendly, non-threatening, de-clawed (humanely done [in fact, it was born that way. Santa sent it]), lovable polar bear. Creamy, plush, and and with plenty of roast, this beer is the perfect partner in crime to your buttery biscuit. It goes well with the cookie, too.

Cozy fires and sugar cookie dreams,


[Happy Holidays, yo]


Tikka Masagna

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Listening to: Christmas Eve/Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

One quiet fall morning, we were attempting to come up with the perfect comfort food to warm our bellies in the cold months. Lasagna was a recurring theme, but we needed something different. Something so epically insane and absurd that it had to be good. Thus began the several month long pregnancy that finally culminated in the birth of our latest post, Tikka Masagna.

Our meal is inspired by the dish tikka masala, which has quite a complicated history that we truthfully don’t really feel like elaborating on here; but if you’re interested in the story, there is a very thorough article here. One thing that is for sure, though, Tikka Masagna is a Salt and Sage original. And we will fight to the death (rhetorically speaking) with anyone who contests this.

Admittedly, this recipe is grotesquely long. It seems to just keep going and going and going. You might ask, “Why can’t I just use that box of lasagna noodles that’s been sitting in the back of my shelf for upwards of two years?” We thought about that too, and in a side-by-side comparison, the chickpea pasta won out easily. It’s tender and nutty and the perfect complement to the rest of the masagna. Trust us, we wouldn’t put you up to the task if it wasn’t worth it. If you’re feeling daunted, however, we offer two suggestions: Divide the tasks up with a friend/loved one, or make some of the components ahead of time. Finally, a well organized mise en place will make you so much more effective on the front lines. God speed, my friend.

Servings: will comfortably feed 4 voracious individuals or 6 wusses

Equipment That Will Make Your Life A Lot Easier:

  • Cheesecloth
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Pasta roller
  • Digital scale



  • 1/2 gallon whole milk, (not UHT pasteurized)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup full-fat yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on your spicy preferences
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Masala Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 28 oz can of your favorite tomatoes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • juice of 1/2 a lime

Coconut-Cilantro Bechamel:

  • 1 12oz can coconut milk (full fat or go home)
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 dashes ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour

Chickpea Pasta:

  • 200 g chickpea flour, plus more as needed (1.5 cups + 2 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • Water as needed



  • Pour your milk into a saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to about 200°F, scraping the bottom of the pot every now and then to keep the milk from scalding. The milk will look foamy.
  • Remove the milk from heat and stir in your lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and let stand 10 minutes to give the milk time to separate into curds and whey. If the milk will not separate, it may have been UHT pasteurized, in which case you’ll have some buttermilk in your hands to use for pancakes!
  • Set a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a mixing bowl and gently pour the curds into the strainer, allowing the whey to collect in the bowl.
  • Gather the cheesecloth and gently squeeze the curds to remove excess whey. If the curds are too hot to handle, trying wearing a pair of clean rubber gloves to stave off the excruciating pain.
  • Open the cheesecloth and sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over the curds. Stir gently and taste. Add more salt if needed.
  • Relocate the cheesecloth to a large plate and shape the curds into a squarish shape. Fold the cheesecloth over the curds to hold the shape, and place another plate on top. Weigh down the plate with something like the 28 oz can of tomatoes you will use for your masala sauce. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, up to an hour.
  • Use immediately or refrigerate for up to two days in an airtight container.


  • In a medium-large bowl, gently stir together all ingredients except the chicken. Once mixed well, add chicken thighs and make sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8.
  • When it’s time to brown up your little chicklets, remove thighs from marinade and give them a general, half-hearted wipe down.
  • Heat broiler to high. Arrange thighs on a broiler pan; you may need to do this in two batches. Slide pan into broiler and broil for 5 minutes on each side. You want some nice char-kissed bits on the chicken without cooking them through. Add a minute here or there if necessary.
  • Dice into bite sized pieces. Put aside and guard from hungry passers-by as they are still raw.

Masala Sauce:

  • In a good sized sauce pot, heat coconut oil on medium high. Inhale deeply and dream coconut dreams as the lightly sweet and toasty aroma takes you away to a tropical island. Now come back, and add onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir constantly (yes, you are committing the cardinal sin of browning the garlic) for about 10 minutes until the onions start to char on the outside.
  • Lightly crush up tomatoes with your hands and add to pot along with cilantro and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to maintain a lightly bubbly simmer and let sit uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally and use wooden spoon to help tomatoes break up.
  • When the sauce has reduced to a hearty consistency, stir in fenugreek, garam masala and lime juice.
  • This sauce can be made a few days in advance to take the pressure off.

Coconut-Cilantro Bechamel:

  • Heat coconut milk in a small sauce pot over medium heat until it comes to almost a boil. Once little bubbles start popping up around the outside of the pot turn off heat and stir in cloves, nutmeg, and cilantro. Cover, and let hang out at room temperature, while you have a glass of wine, for about 30 minutes.
  • Strain coconut milk into a bowl, give the pot you used a quick rinse n’ wipe, and return to the stove. Melt butter over medium heat. You know your stove best; if the butter gets too hot and starts browning you may need to turn down the heat. Once butter has melted add flour. Stir for about 3-5 minutes until flour taste is gone and you have a frothy roux. Gradually add coconut milk to pot. Bring milk to a boil and quickly turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. What a bech.

Chickpea Pasta**:

  • Form a mound with the flour and use your fist to make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the mound and slowly/gently combine the eggs with the flour until you have a dough.
  • If the dough is too dry, wet your hands and incorporate the moisture into the dough. If it is too wet, roll it in a small smattering of chickpea flour.
  • Knead the dough until it is smooth.
  • When getting ready to assemble the masagna, roll the dough out lengthwise with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to make strips about 3 inches wide. No need to be too specific, they just need to fit within the pasta roller.
  • Roll the strips through the pasta roller once at the widest point (1 on a Kitchen Aid) and again at the second-widest point. At this point, we were happy with the thickness of the pasta, so we cut it to fit the baking dish and moved on with our lives. Feel free to experiment with different pasta thicknesses to fit your liking.

*Recipe adapted from TheKitchn.com

**Recipe from Foodie Fiasco

 To Assemble:

Congratulations! You are almost the proud parent of a freshly baked masagna! Like any masagna (or JCrew outfit) the fun is in the layering. Blast some tunes and grab your favorite large cooking spoon. It’s about to get saucy.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spread a thin layer of masala sauce on the bottom of a large casserole/lasagna/ baking dish. Place one layer of chickpea pasta. Next, spoon over 1/4 of masala sauce, 1/3 diced chicken, a 1/4 bechamel, and a light sprinkling of paneer. Repeat layer two more times.
  • Top last layer with chickpea pasta, remaining masala sauce, bechamel, and crumbled paneer.
  • Place baking dish in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and chicken is cooked through. Let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
  • You are a culinary beast. You’re welcome.

Wait! The beer!

Listen now, do not skip the beer. You’ve come this far, had minimal breakdowns, and are in need of a celebratory refreshment. Make it count by bringing in the hops!

An American IPA would be a solid place to turn. Spice and hops are good friends so you’re going to want something that matches the intensity of the spices in this dish. If you’re sick of IPAs after seeing shelf after shelf at the liquor store stocked from top to bottom with them, check out a classic instead.

The right pilsner is a wonderful accompaniment to this dish. By pilsner, we don’t mean the watered down, generic American style. We are talking a super crisp, sparkling, tall glass of wonderful with a nice hop backbone. A truly great pilsner offers a slight malty sweetness, some bready-ness and a cut-through-the-spice bitterness. They are by no means boring or devoid of flavor. In fact, forget we mentioned IPAs. PILS. NOW.

Whey to go!


Sweet Cravings

Drunken Cheddar-Encrusted Apple Pie

Listening to: I’d Rather Dance With You by Kings of Convenience 

Pie. The simple monosyllabic word can be polarizing, indeed. For some, it may bring happy memories of flaky bits of tender crust stuck on their chin. For others, it might cause post-traumatic flashbacks of that awful sickly-sweet store-bought cherry pie someone brought to the Fourth of July party. That’s not to say that all store-bought pies are atrocious, but you are certainly taking a gamble when you grab the pie on sale for $2.99 at your local gas station.

What we’re trying to say here is that there is really nothing more comforting than a slice of homemade pie, especially with the arrival of crisp autumn weather. We’ve upped the ante a bit by throwing in some booze and cheese, because booze + cheese + pie = happy campers everywhere.
pieaerial copy


  • 12.5 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch slabs
  • 1 cup loosely packed Prairie Breeze Cheddar (about a 1/4 lb), finely grated
  • 7 tbsp ice cold water, and some extra just in case
  • Dollop of pastry prowess, lightly whipped until soft peaks of chutzpah form


  • Place 2/3 of the flour, sugar, and kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse the ingredients a couple of times to ensure they are properly incorporated. Evenly distribute the butter slabs and pulse about 25 times until small balls begin to form. Sprinkle in the cheddar and remaining flour. Pulse 5 more times to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in water. Using a rubber spatula (not hands!) gently fold dough, pressing down after each fold until it starts to just stick together. If it’s really not staying together add another tbsp of water. Divide dough in half (hands permitted, but don’t get too touchy) and form each half into 4 inch disks. The dough will be on the dry side, so expect to press it together a little bit for everything to solidify. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

photo 3 (3)

Crusty Commentary:

Play it cool, man. And by cool, we mean keep everything cold. Cold like the glance you’d shoot the random guy in the street spouting unsolicited advice about how you would look so much prettier if you would just smile more. That kind of cold. Keep the butter in the fridge until you need it, let the water mingle with some ice, and keep your warm, lovely hands to yourself until it’s time for some rollin’.

Feel free to spice up your life crust if that’s what you’re into. Some cinnamon, nutmeg, or coriander would make tasty additions. Furthermore, Prairie Breeze is a lovely, slightly sweet cheddar made by Mennonite farmers at Milton Creamery out in Iowa. If you can’t find it at your local cheese shop, ask your favorite cheesemonger if they have anything that might be comparable!

*Our recipe is adapted from the very cool Kenji at Serious Eats; borrowing some measurements and techniques. However, this is still a different dough and has a different consistency should you decide to cross reference.

Pie Filling:

  • Plenty of bourbon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 6.5 cups sliced Macintosh apples
    • Pre-slice about two cups of the apples the night before baking and let them soak overnight in a boozy bourbon bath in the fridge in an air-tight container
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • Pre-heat oven to 425F
  • Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
  • Peel and slice apples (not too thin) into large bowl, gradually sprinkling in your mixture to keep the apples from turning brown. When done slicing, mix in the remaining sugary goodness and drunken apples until combined. (Be sure to strain out the bourbon so that the filling isn’t too wet and so you can then consume it.)

(Ingredient amounts are for an 8-inch pie pan)

For 9-inch pie pan:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 8 cups sliced Macintosh apples
  • 2 tbsp butter

For 10-inch pie pan:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 10 cups sliced Macintosh apples
  • 3 tbsp butter

To Assemble:

  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly flour a flat working surface and roll out dough disks with a rolling pin to about 12 inches in diameter. They may be a little difficult to handle at first, but they will flatten out…eventually.
  • Transfer one dough circle to the pie pan and gently/quickly make sure it is flush to the pie pan. Add filling, taking care not to dump the extra juices into the pan. Using a pairing knife or pizza cutter, cut thick strips, about 1.5 inches wide, from the remaining circle. Arrange strips over pie filling in a rustic, mummy-like fashion . The spaces in between strips will act as natural vents and food porn windows when the pie comes out of the oven to greet you with hot, bubbling juice and bourbon sizzles. Finally, crimp the edges of the crust uniformly all the way around. Using thin strips of aluminum foil, cover just the edges of the pie. This will keep them from browning too much.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, then remove foil for the last 10-15 minutes. Let the pie rest for 2 hours on a wire rack. Get yourself a drink and have some warm apple pie.



Some variations that are also fun to put in your mouth:

  • Sprinkle some salt flakes (Maldon is awesome) onto the crust before baking to get a nice salty/sweet combo.
  • Freshly grated nutmeg and cardamom make some nice additions to the pie filling, but use with caution, as they can easily become a dominating presence.

What you should be sipping:

If you haven’t already, enjoy the fruits of your labor with a glass of leftover apple bourbon on the rocks. Done.

If reaching for some fermented frolic, it’s that time of year for an Oktoberfest! While apple pie may encourage an after dinner imperial stout, we felt this particular recipe lined up well with the much loved märzen. Traditionally, this style was brewed in March (hence, märzen) and hung out in caves until tapped in the fall for harvest festivals. Created about 50 years after the first Oktoberfest event, the märzen eventually became associated with the great festival and still shares a name today. Pairing wise, we thought this combo rocked because who doesn’t enjoy a crisp, toasty lager with the changing leaves, and because the malty flavor is perfect with our lightly browned crust. It’s a total Maillard^2 moment and you’re eating pie. Math, man.

When picking an Oktoberfest/märzen our pairing aims for the darker, amber colored beers; something close to the original, caramel-like style. Over the years a lighter, golden version has been developed using different malts. While tasty, these versions sometimes labeled “festbier” are closer to a strong helles than the märzen style. We suggest Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Oktoberfest which uses imported Munich malts, Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen which has history with the creation of the style and is available year round, and Great Lakes Oktoberfest. There are many great examples of this style, so if there’s one that’s particularly festive to you, grab a bottle and resurrect your most hefty beer stein. Pour yourself a noble brew and take a bite of one of the best comforts fall has to to offer.

Yours in crisp fall days and warm bourbon nights,


Sweet Cravings

Mint to Be Tea-gether: a Study in Ice Cream

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

(Note: this recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s vanilla ice cream. The original can be found in their book, The Science of Good Cooking)


  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 4-6 tea bags of chamomile tea
  • One respectably-sized bunch of mint


Place 8 or 9-inch square metal baking pan in freezer. Combine vanilla extract, cream, milk, ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, corn syrup, and salt in medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming steadily and registers 175°, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

While cream mixture heats, whisk yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar together in bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk 1 cup heated cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 180 degrees, 7 to 14 minutes. Immediately pour custard into large bowl and add tea bags and mint. Let cool until no longer steaming, agitating the tea bags every now and then. Strain custard, making sure to squeeze out extra liquid from mint and tea bags. Transfer 1 cup custard to a small bowl. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap. Place large bowl in refrigerator and small bowl in freezer and cool completely, at least 4 hour or up to 24 hours. (Small bowl of custard will freeze solid)

Remove custards from refrigerator and freezer. Scrape frozen custard from small bowl into large bowl of custard. Stir occasionally until frozen custard has fully dissolved. Strain custard through fine-mesh strainer and transfer to ice cream machine. Churn until mixture resembles thick soft-serve ice cream and registers about 21 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes. Transfer ice cream to frozen baking pan and press plastic wrap onto surface. Return to freezer until firm around edges, about 1 hour.

The directions say to transfer ice cream to airtight container and store in freezer for up to 5 days, though we may or may not have dug it out three weeks later and devoured it….

Creamy, dreamy thoughts:

Everyone knows the terrifying tale about a group of people shrieking at one another over a tasty ice cream. The Salt and Sage kitchen, however, was filled with oh mys sprinkled with the seductive sound of spoons glissading through frozen custard. We encourage you to put on your best George Takei voice and indulge… oh myyyyy.

While we are all about a solid vanilla ice cream, we wanted to explore the fresh flavors of summer and take advantage of what’s popping up around us. Mint is a classic summer refresher that helps cut the richness of the egg yolk and brighten the chamomile. Plus, a few extra leaves give you the option of a cocktail while making custard on a hot summer day (which we can confirm is a great idea.) Chamomile adds a soft, floral earthiness to the mix making this a relaxing, velvety summer dream. If it were possible to dive into ice cream and twirl through ribbons of custardy-goodness this would be the dessert to do it with.

Beer can be the answer to most things around here, but we let this scoop o’ solace go solo. However, a summer beer float could be just the ticket for experimentation. Because the flavors are on the delicate side, a beer with too much roast would overpower the herbs. A yeasty, clove-y hefeweizen would make a good float-friend as would a herbed saison such Saison du BUFF, a collaboration between Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing Co., and Victory Brewing Company.

Stay cool out there,

J & O



The Nectar of Life

Rhubarb Syrup, the Color of a Blushing Bride

Hello all,

Julie here – and I am proud to announce that my dear friend and partner in crime, Olivia, has officially tied the knot with the equally awesome and lovable Dale. Having recovered from a weekend of festivities with them, I am somewhat back in action. In the meantime, I’ve given Olivia a two week pass while she basks in wedded bliss and tries out her new blender.


 Their first sanctified kiss, selfie with Dale’s crazy eyes, showing off my beer label design chops, and the couple’s first dance

I also feel the need to mention the following day’s brunch spread, which was RIDICULOUS. Mountains of various sweets and fruits, a ham carving station with every condiment in history, an omelette station, open bar, and a french toast station with options including, but not limited to, DONUTS. As you can see below, I opted for a light meal with just some fruit, potatoes with bacon, ham with pickled onions and pepper sauce, and a french toast donut with bananas foster.


OK! Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s talk about rhubarb. My favorite thing about rhubarb is its Norwegian translation, “rabarbra.” My second favorite thing about rhubarb is the syrup that we are going to make out of it today. It’s tart, it’s sweet, and it goes great with tequila. This particular recipe is adapted from a lovely blog that can be found by clicking here. Instead of juice from an orange, I opted for orange juice from a container because that is what I had and I fully support not making a trip to the store if I don’t have to. So here goes nothing!

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Post-simmer rhubarb mush


  • 500 g rhubarb (if you’re weighing at the store, that’s about 1.1 lb), diced
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar


Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it has come to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer (somewhere in between medium and low depending on your stove). Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. Strain your rhubarb mush out using a very fine strainer (or a regular one lined with cheesecloth), and use the back of a spoon to squeeze out every last drop of that gorgeous pink goodness. Once it has cooled to room temperature, transfer the liquid gold to a cute little airtight container, pop it in the fridge, and give yourself a gentle pat on the back.

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Now wasn’t that sufficiently easy? Can someone please make this into a lip color? Preferably in matte.

Thank you and good day my friends,


P.S. Love is beautiful


Cheeses You Ought to Consume

Harbison – So Gooey it’s Verging on Inappropriate

Warning: the following visuals may be too explicit for hungry audiences.


Crack open a ripe wheel of Harbison and you will understand, with true clarity, what it is to love. Or lust.


A small-format mold-ripened cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT, this little guy is encased  in a pillow soft, quilt-like rind reminiscent of those rotating beds in hotel honeymoon suites. Coincidence? We think not.


Harbison is, in fact, so loose that it needs to be wrapped in a piece of spruce bark to keep everything from spilling out. The locally harvested wood is basically the cheese equivalent of Spanx. If you’d like to maintain its structural integrity while partaking, you can peel the top off like a bad toupée and dip into it with whatever cheese vehicle you choose to utilize. Otherwise, you can halve the Harbison and watch/salivate while its viscous creamy center spills out with alarming lava-like pace.


Harbison’s oozy, pale yellow paste brings a medley of flavors to your tastebuds. It’s vegetal, mustardy, rich, buttery, and slightly unctuous. It even takes on a woodsy, smokey note from its spruce bark bra. It is everything you could possibly want in a lover cheese.

Here comes the money shot…Harbison2

And no, that hot-and-bothered-butterflies-in-your-loins feeling does not go away.

The Breakdown:

  • Animal source: cow
  • Style: Mold-ripened, or bloomy rind
  • Raw or pasteurized: Pasteurized
  • Rennet type: Animal
  • Age: 7-13 weeks
  • Pairs with: Sparkling wine, apple cider, sour ales

To learn more about Harbison or other cheeses from Jasper Hill, their website is rich with various resources. Check them out at www.jasperhillfarm.com.



While indulging in such viscous vegetal desires, it is of the utmost importance you maintain your composure with an equally wild yet contained beverage. A brown ale cut with  A VanderGhinste Oud Bruin mingles with Harbison’s creamy waves and lets them gently dissipate onto the palate. The secret to this pairing is VanderGhinste’s vinegar-like acidity and slight foot-funk feel that cut through the sinful stretch and goo of the Harbison. Caramel and nutty flavors in the beer combine with Harbison’s asparagus/brussels sprout character giving the impression of liquefied roasted vegetables. If liquid, dairy, yeasty-based vegetables are wrong, we don’t want to be right. The Oud Bruin finds a nice balance with a distinguishable malt character, which never lets its wild fermented 18-month barrel aged side take the reins. The woodsy characteristics imparted to Harbison by its bark’s embrace finds a worthy companion in the beer’s thicket of woodland aroma. In this case, both the beer and cheese are not ones to conform, yet they find harmony amongst each other.

All of the love,

O & J