Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Mar 15, 2012

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick has blessed us this year by having his namesake holiday fall on a Saturday, so of course I'll be out celebrating.  I'm a wee bit Irish, live within walking distance to a slew of Irish pubs and call myself the Lush Chef.  How could I not?  It's also Blue Moon's birthday, so I'll be bringing some form of baked goods to the bar (it's also a quick way to make friends with bartenders and get a good seat!).  If you're looking to do the same, the Lush Chef has some yummy ideas for you to honor St. Patrick's Day.  But before we get started, let's get a little libation education out of the way so you're fully prepared for the big day.

Bailey's Irish Cream: It's creamy, it's delicious in hot and cold drinks and has a suspiciously long shelf life.

Ale vs Stout: Equally tasty, but not the same and will make a world of difference if you mix up the two in recipes.

Irish Whiskey vs American Whiskey:  Let's honor St. Patty by sticking with Irish Whiskey on this day.

Now that we got the lessons out of the way, on to the food...

Cheddar Beer Bread: Start off your morning the right way with this quick and easy beer bread.  I recommend baking with a light beer or pale ale, and use an Irish cheddar to show your proper respects.

Guinness & White Cheddar Spread: Yes, I'm keeping up with the beer and cheddar theme, because they just go so well together.  There's only a little bit of beer in this spread, so you won't get tipsy—it will probably end up helping you soak up all that alcohol you've been imbibing.  It's also ridiculously addictive, so bring a secret stash to the pub...

Beef & Guinness Short Ribs: If you're hosting a dinner party and have time to cook something low and slow, then I highly recommend making these short ribs. You can even fork off all the meat and serve them as sliders.

Chocolate & Pretzel-Covered Beer Marshmallows: You now have all this stout in your house, so what's a Lush Chef to do besides drink it?  These stout-laced marshmallows are kicked up another notch by being doused in milk chocolate and pretzel pieces.

Cupcake time!  The Lush Chef will be rolling into a pub with a box of these to pass out amongst friends and bring a little St. Patrick's Day cheer.

Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes: These fluffy vanilla cupcakes have a Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream frosting and pack a boozy punch.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes: The recipe for these chocolate cupcakes calls for stout in both the cake and the frosting.  I also got a little creative last year and shot some vanilla and cinnamon whipped cream through the middle.  It's like the Irish version of a hostess cupcake.