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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Jan 29, 2013

A Lush Chef Super Bowl

I won't be throwing a Super Bowl party this year because I'll actually be in New Orleans working at some parties, but that doesn't mean all of you can't get a Lush Chef treat on game day.  Here are some my favorite snacks and desserts to make, and they're Super Bowl party-approved.

This Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn recipe comes from Villain's Tavern in downtown LA, and is sure to impress your guests.  I highly recommend making two batches because they will devour this fast.  I mean, who doesn't love bourbon and bacon?
Guinness & White Cheddar Spread - When I made this cheese spread last year, my friends couldn't get enough of it.  It's simply addictive and tastes amazing with pretzels or mini rye crackers.  There may be quite a few ingredients in it, but just toss everything in a food processor and you're good to go.  If you're planning a party, it's the perfect thing to make the night before and have ready on the big day.
For more cheddar goodness, this Cheddar Beer Bread is insanely easy to make, uses very few ingredients and bakes fast.  I would recommend making this right before your guests come, so you can serve it warm.  I really love cutting it up into small squares and serving with a spinach artichoke dip.

You can't watch a football game without having some nuts to munch on.  One of my favorite ways to prepare them is using this Spiced Bitter Bar Nuts recipe, which includes cayenne, cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, bitters and fresh rosemary.  I use a combination of walnuts, almonds, cashews and pecans.  Use a nice flakey or coarse salt to finish these off.

To throw in something healthy, make this Hefeweizen Hummus and serve with raw veggies or pita chips.  I love the fresh lemon juice and zest in this recipe, because it just brightens up the flavor and makes it look more festive.

While everyone is downing those beers, serve this Honey Spice Beer Cake topped with mixed nuts for dessert.  The saltiness, sweetness and spice hit all the fun flavor notes you want while watching football.  SInce it's a sheet cake, it's also easy to transport if you're looking to bring something to a friend's house.
Speaking of easy desserts to transport, here's another tried-and-true favorite amongst the Lush Chef's friends.  These Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies with a marshmallow and spiced chocolate frosting are rich, ooey-gooey and pack some heat.  If you can't handle spicy desserts, then just cut the amount of chili powder and cayenne in half.  Be sure to give these brownies time to cool, or else they'll be pretty messy getting out of the pan.