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Wednesday, December 1, 2010


My wife and I hosted her family at our home again this year for Thanksgiving. In my usual bout of insanity, I decided to make three (3!) types of stuffing, on top of 15 pounds of mashed potatoes and a 24 pound turkey. But you know what? I loved being in the kitchen all day! Maybe the beer smoothed out the rough edges, who knows. -- Drew
Boulevard Brewery (Kansas City, MO) Oktoberfest

15 pounds of mashed potatoes and LOTS of butter

Showing my boys the 24 lb bird

Seasoned and ready to go after the brine

The final result. Why do they seem to take MUCH less
time than they say they will?! 3.5 hrs vs. 5 ??

Luscious gravy. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Sauteed Green Beans with Caramelized Onions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Strananhan's Whiskey - that's spelled with an H

Stranahan's Colorado whiskey is my drink of the moment. It makes most other Whiskey pale in comparison. It has become more widely available over the last year so no matter where you are I say go get a bottle. I like it on the rocks with a splash of water. It really seems to open up the flavors and trust me with this one you want to really get all up in there and taste the complexities. I also like this whiskey with a good cigar, the truth is I like any whiskey with a good cigar but this one is something special. I know they say you can taste vanilla and leather but this aint no bondage/candle party so I’m not sure about all that mumbo jumbo it’s just fricken good and I like it a lot. Don’t get me wrong I do drink responsibly but when something tastes this good it’s hard to stop before you’re Tea Baggin’ the Koi pond. Cheers - Shannon

Monday, November 8, 2010

India's Castle

There's just something about Indian food. The aroma when you walk in the door. The blend of spices and sauces that is unlike any other cuisine.

Shannon and I went to India's Castle off of Arapahoe and I25 for lunch last week. Neither one of us love buffets, but decided to do it anyway. I've been eating smaller portions lately, but this day I had 2 BIG plates because everything was soooo good. The rice was cooked perfectly (harder than it seems), the sauces were delicious, the Naan was fluffy and tender, but the kicker for me was the Tandoori chicken. The meat was so tender and the flavor knocked me out! I went to Penzey's this weekend and picked up some Tandoori seasoning so I can make some Indian chicken wings sometime in the future (with Shannon's guidance).

The atmosphere is fine and the Indian music was interesting. I loved it when they played some Eminem after their more traditional choices. Not sure what that was about?! But all the waitstaff is great and I would definitely recommend it.

They also take part in the Tap Project. By donating $1 or more for the tap water you get for free, you are contributing to UNICEF's project to bring clean drinking water to children all over the world.

I can't wait to go back there and order something special off the menu. -- Drew

India's Castle on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oshima Ramen House

Ok, here we go. This place is, well a little different to say the least. It's pretty good. I love ramen and it's not like Denver has much or any others to choose from. The owner is a crack up if you talk to him. The place is cluttered and not the cleanest. They have flyers on the wall from years ago. Like I said the food is pretty good. Hey it is what it is. Buck up and grow a pair and don't wine about the service and you might have a good dinning experience. If not I don't really think the owner gives a crap. This place is a trip and I will go back. You just gotta try it to understand what I'm talking about.

Oshima Ramen on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yia Yias in Denver Tech Center

Yia Yia's is one hundred percent top notch foodie approved. The first time I ever ate at Yia Yia's I said "it's good". That was a couple of years ago. Well, recently I have eaten lunch there a couple of times and it is a whole different animal now. Chef Aaron Whitcomb is making this place something special. Now I would classify it as GREAT. A true foodie spot able to compete with the best of them. You have got to try this place if you consider yourself a fine food lover. The wait staff was knowledgeable as well as totally attentive to our every need. When your server knows everything about a dish and is really excited about that dish it goes a long way with me. The Beef Carpaccio was perfect with that unmistakable essence of truffle oil. We also had the Duck Confit which was one of the most decadent dishes I have had in a while. It was good enough to qualify for a Shannonism (one of those things that is so good that a word that doesn't even exist just pops into my head) and that word is "Re-DUCK-ulous". I thought the duck was my favorite until I tried the Short Rib Ravioli. This one has got to be shared by me and tried by all. I can't even think of the words to describe how good this dish was. This dish totally and completely encompasses everything that Fall should taste like to me. The sauce was sage brown butter and toasted Hazel Nuts. Aaron is an amazing chef and needs to be mentioned with the best chefs in Denver, the dude is knockin' it out da park. This qualifies as a serious "Grub Chub" which is our equivalent of two thumbs up. Thanks - Shannon

Braised Short Rib Ravioli
                               You have got to try it to believe how good this is

re- DUCK-ulous

                      Crispy Duck Confit with herp salad, hazel nuts and cherries

Ya Ya's

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Toronto - CN Tower

       W/ Wilted Swiss chard, preserved orange, fennel pollen, black olive vinaigrette
I always joke the the best way to ruin fish is to cook it. This was amazing. What a great dinning experience this was. The CN Tower in Toronto is a unique and exquisite dinning experience. The view was breathtaking and so where some of the prices. $275 for a Kobe steak US for a bit much, I thought. The over all experience was worth it however. They had a geat wine list too. Shannon

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


My wife and I went to Maui for our 10 year anniversary. Out of the 1,000 or so photos we took (we? only when I could wrestle the camera from her! just kidding), we managed to eat and photograph some really delicious food as well.

You've probably heard how expensive food is in Maui. It's definitely true, but most places don't make much, if any, profit on food. In Maui Revealed (indispensible book!) the author tells of a restaurant that takes in $7 million/year in revenue. The year previous was the FIRST year they had a profit, of only $100,000. Why is it so expensive? It's the most isolated place on Earth, more than 2,500 miles from ANYTHING. -- Drew

Panko crusted crab stuffed Ahi roll

Heirloom cherry tomatoes, local goat cheese
and balsamic vinegar

Mahi Mahi prepared with shrimp, asparagus, sugar peas
& orzo, finished with golden raisins & toasted pine nuts  

Pistachio-crusted Mahi Mahi, on Maui onions, local tomatoes,
upcountry spinach, with couscous & olive oil

 Bananas foster (yes, we were full!!!, but it was gooooood)

Even better at 10:30 in the morning!

Um...this was a snack. No, we didn't have a
problem finishing it!

Mai Tai and a Big Swell IPA (from Maui Brewing Co.)

Me...wanting to take a swim!

Me and a Father Damien Abbey Belgian Ale

The wife's Mana Wheat  -- coolest logo EVER?


The "Adult Grilled Cheese"

Hawaiian slider

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's finally here. The Thrilla on the Grilla in Castle Pines.

This is it. This Saturday we will crown the best wings around. The Thrilla on the Grilla is finally becoming a reality. This has been a dream of mine for a long time and without the help of Erin and kirk Seabold and Drew Schneider I would never have been able to even dream of pulling something like this off. We have some great teams and vendors. I would like to thank Grand Lake Brewery for their sponsorship and for making some of the best beer in the country plus being some of the nicest people I have ever come in contact with. I would also like to thank my wife Darcy for being so awesome. Thank you to the teams who are coming out to compete. I feel very lucky to have met each one of you and look forward to having Grand Lake beer with you all. So let's have some fun and good sportsmanship.

Thank you all,

Sunday, August 22, 2010


My wife has been on a huevo rancheros kick since she had it at The Fat Cat Cafe in Grand Lake. By the way, The Fat Cat is the only place we go for breakfast in Grand Lake. Every dish is consistently good and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. And if you're nice to Sally (who is wonderful) she might share some of her traditional homemade English scones with you. You'll be lucky if she does!

Anyway, it inspired me to make my own version with whatever leftovers I had. This version has 2 corn tortillas filled with refried beans, cheese, taco-seasoned ground beef, topped with a 3 egg omelette, more cheese and enchilada sauce. Yum! -- Drew

Ming Tsai

I've always been interested in cooking more Asian style cuisine, so I thought of Ming Tsai's East Meets West and got the cookbook. I've cooked a few things out of it so far and here are 2 lessons learned so far...1. Just about anything you try of Ming's will be good and 2. If it's a "spicy" dish, cut the heat AT LEAST in half. I've cut it in half and it's still on fire. I can't imagine cooking his spicy dishes at full force. I think my head would explode! Here is my latest from his book. -- Drew

5 Herb Vinaigarette

Fried Goat Cheese Salad (with the vinaigarette above)

Spicy Mango Salsa

Seared  Cod with Mango Salsa
(pan wasn't hot enough for the fish...rookie error!!)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Crave Real Food in Castle Rock

Nutty Professor
peanut butter (yes, peanut butter), bacon, jalapenos and onion
Velvet Elvis
Peanut Butter, Bananas, and Bacon! Just the way the King would have ordered it.

Crave Real Food in Castle Rock is the real deal. Without question one of the most memorable meals I have ever had. It’s close to the theater so I would imagine a lot of folks are planning to go here, then a movie. That may sound like a great idea but you will have to cancel the movie and head straight for confession. This place is naughty good. I’m talkin’ complete and utter indulgence. Jeff the Chef/Owner is like a Mad Scientist behind the counter. This guy is AWESOME!! He definitely grabbed the “Abbey Normal” brain in the jar for this one. As you can see from the pictures above things got out of hand. When I coined the phrase “Grub Chub” this is what I was referring to. Thank god the teacher didn’t ask me to get up and work out a problem on the chalkboard during this noshfest, because I was sportin’ a pretty serious Food Woody. I almost hesitate to let you all know how good this place is because I always want to be able to get a table but when something is this good, I gotta share. They give you a card that is a check list of all their burgers, great idea but I’m going to have a hard time ordering anything other than The Nutty Prof. We were there last Friday evening during the heaviest rain storm I have ever seen. It was like Armageddon outside and I had no idea that while I was making sweet nasty love to this burger my backyard was filling with water and about to flood our beautifully finished basement. As I was down on my knees trying to reconnect the sump pump in 3 feet of water two feet from an electrical outlet I’m thinking “Damn that was a good burger and shake” Seriously GO GET YA SUM - Shannon
Crave Real Food on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You got some skillz on the grillz?!

...Then come down to Castle Pines on September 25th and compete against the best grillers on the Front Range.

Backyard grillers and restaurant teams are will do battle in the 1st Annual Thrilla on the Grilla Backyard BBQ Bash.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Semper Fi Fund.

Limited space! Go to NOW to reserve your spot!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Beautiful Man - "Siggy-soggy...Siggy-soggy...Oi...Oi...Oi!"

This is my home brew straight from the keg. It turned out really frickin' tasty. I could totally get into this brewing thing. It was a lot of fun and very educational for me. Drew dicribed it as a hoppy brown ale which is exactly what I like in a beer. Thank you to the boys at Beer at Home - Shannon

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This is the food I love

Jerk Red Snapper grilled on a banana leaf

Tilapia Ceviche W/Mescal
Cactus Pear Margarita

This is the food I love to eat and this is the food I love to make. Not one of these dishes came from a recipe. This is what happens when I spend an hour or so walking through an Asian market. I had never even tasted a Cactus Pear before in my life so I had to buy a couple. The color was amazing so I thought it would look really cool in a drink. It tasted really good too. I just added some Agave Nectar and some lime juice and came up with a pretty damn good drink. The Snapper frickin' rocked if I do say so myself. Those who know me know I rarely love my own cooking but this was a home run of a dish. Easy as hell too. The banana leaf was just to keep it from sticking but it did look cool. One of my little touches I like to add to my Ceviche is Mescal, just a very small dash adds a slight smokiness. Orange juice adds a nice sweetness as well. I'm hoping that scientist will announce that the Cactus pear is a miracle fruit and it gives men staying power as well as antioxidants that will cure cancer and male pattern baldness but if not it still tastes good. I was feeling rather ambitious on this day so I also made a Hibiscus Margarita too. Hibiscus makes for a killer marg. It's super easy. I just boiled the Hibiscus in simple syrup and strained it . Then add some lime juice and Tequilla. My favorite mixing tequila is Cazadores Blanco and my favorite sipping tequila is Chamucos (Spanish for Boogie Man) See when I get talking about tequila you can't stop me, I love the stuff. Next time you feel like grilling some fish don't be afraid to do a whole fish. The snapper is perfect for this but make sure you cut off that "FU#*)N'" Dorsal fin (that's the big one that runs down the back bone of the fish) I can't even begin to count how many times I've been stuck by those things and they hurt like a MO' FO' FO' SHO'. Man I love summer! Thanks for reading - remember to "flip it, slap it, and rub it down" then grill it - Shannon

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dinner at Ann and Joey's and a dream fulfilled

Our good friends, Ann and Joey, made a fabulous beer-themed dinner for us last weekend. Thanks to Deb for helping with the menu and prep. Every single course was delicious. Great job guys!

Although the dinner and company were great as usual, Bob made this an evening I'll never forget. He recently bought a gorgeous 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera (ok, so gorgeous Porsche is redundant, so sue me). This has been my dream car since I learned what a car was and until last weekend, I had never even sat in one before. .......Sorry, had to catch my breath. I'm smiling as I'm writing this........He took me for a short ride and then I got up the courage to ask him if I could drive it. He pulled over on the way back to Ann's house and probably thought I would just go the few blocks and we'd be done. SORRY BOB! I didn't even think of that. I turned around, got acquainted with the clutch and took off. Oooooooooooooooooooooohhh, man. What a rush! My whole body was shaking and tingling. To be in such a work of art and to feel the power at your disposable was unforgettable. We didn't even get it going that fast, but what we did do was so awesome. Thank you Bob. You were my first. I'll never forget it. -- Drew

Back to the dinner. Here are the pics, but unfortunately I forgot to get pictures of the Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad and the Chedder, Sour Cream Potato Gratin. Both were Grubulicious! Thanks again!

Grilled Camembert with Belgian Lambic Peach Cherry Chutney
- I wasn't sure how I'd like the chutney, but it was
great with the soft cheese and baguette.

Broth for the Mussels
- I asked if I could just take this home with me. They
said no. Hey, doesn't hurt to ask!

Smoked Mussels in Wheat Beer
- Even the couple people that didn't like mussels
ate two servings. The broth as great with the bread.

Bread with garlic compound butter
- Oooooooh, the bread. I wish I had some right now.
That butter was devilishly good. I made some roasted
garlic butter the next night and put it in my hamburger. Yum!

Root Beer BBQ Chicken
- This was perfect. You could taste all the major
players in the sauce and the chicken was crisp
and juicy, just like it should be!