Still #4 (Or Michigan Defeated Wisconsin)

I’m back from Michigan, and I’m pleased to report that the Wolverines are still #4 after (barely) defeating the Badgers in Ann Arbor.

Even though the game almost made me die of stress (I still can’t talk about our kicker), I had sooooo much fun!

See?

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My Panda and I reunited to party like undergrads.

Tailgating is our favorite. We had pulled pork and Doritos for breakfast. I’d show you pics of that situation, but I was too busy eating it.

(Pro tip: Slows Bar BQ in Detroit knows pig. You need it in your life.)

When I wasn’t stuffing my face, I was meeting up with old friends.

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Including my old buddy, Dhani Jones. 

Even though we hit up four tailgates, we still made it to the Big House well before kick off because we’re professionals.

Angela spent half the game pacing the stadium (see earlier kicker criticism), but here we are in our seats for a minute.

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She love Michigan as much as I do. 

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I dare say we like it more than most of the 110,000+ people pictured here. 

After we won, we kept the party going.

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I may have had to pop an extra bottle to celebrate. 

And Angela used it to chase her victory tequila because she’s a gorgeous beast….

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And my kind of Wolverine. 

On the way to our next celebration we ran into some serious fratastic action.

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College never changes.

And somehow I find that comforting.

Maybe that’s why I keep going back.

That’s all I have for now.

I’ll tell you all about my Nana’s 90th at the cottage later.

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There’s Beer in My Sundae (Or How to Make a Guinness Ice Cream Sundae)

The espresso chocolate sauce compliments the Guinness ice cream in this sundae.

When I was in college, I worked at an Irish Pub in Ann Arbor called Conor O’Neill’s. Not only did they have the best corned beef and cabbage I have ever had, but they also had a Guinness ice cream sundae on the dessert menu that was sort of divine.

I’m not sure if it’s the unrelenting heat in Hollywood or the start of college football season that is making me miss Guinness ice cream more.

And while we’re on the topic of unanswered questions….

Here’s a matter weighing heavily on my mind at the moment.

See, Jerry the Zebra Shark belongs here.

And yet, my enormous dog insists he belongs here.

Unceremoniously thrown against the bedroom wall.

Or here.

Left for dead in the hallway. Again.

Or just basically any spot Albus drops the poor shark after savagely shaking him. This is like a daily occurrence in my house.

I don’t understand why my dog has a vendetta against this soft, quiet shark. What did Jerry ever do to Albus? Is he taunting my dog in some language I don’t understand?

Oh, you have no idea, lady. That shark says hateful things. Now let me go back to sleep.

So anyway, enough with the shark shaking business. It’s time to talk about putting beer in your ice cream.

I found this recipe for Guinness ice cream on YumSugar. I made it yesterday and didn’t think it had a strong enough Guinness flavor. Plus the custard curdled a bit, so I made some tweaks to the recipe today.

Next time, I think I’m going to try this recipe because it’s from Boston, and that sort of makes me think it will be better.

Since I had a bunch of ice cream on my hands that wasn’t absolutely amazing by itself, I decided to slather it in espresso chocolate sauce and make my own Guinness ice cream sundae.

Here’s how I did it.

Guinness Ice Cream

2 ½ C Guinness
2 C heavy cream (not whipping cream)
1 3/4 C whole milk
15 large egg yolks
1 C granulated sugar

Separate the egg whites and yokes. Set aside the yokes. (I save the egg whites for the dogs because I can’t stand throwing away food.)

Combine 2 C Guinness, cream, and milk in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. Gradually add the hot Guinness mixture to the yolks, whisking constantly until well blended.

Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it coats the back of a spoon, about 6-8 minutes. Don’t let the mixture boil.

If you see curdles in the mixture (I did both times I made the custard), strain the mixture through a mesh strainer as you’re pouring it into a medium bowl.

See this foamy curdled mess? It doesn’t belong in your custard. Trust me.

Set the medium bowl in a large bowl filled with ice water. Add the remaining ½ C of Guinness and whisk to mix. Let the custard stand until it’s cold, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Pour the custard into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

Spoon the ice cream into bowls and top with chocolate espresso sauce, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry.

Espresso Chocolate Sauce 

2 T boiling water
1 T instant espresso powder
3/4 
C heavy cream
1 
T light corn syrup
8 
ounces semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped (about 1-1/3 cups)

Combine the boiling water and espresso powder in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine the heavy cream and the corn syrup. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the espresso mixture. Add the chocolate and stir until well blended.

This espresso chocolate sauce is amazing, and it saves the only OK ice cream. (It’s based on this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.)

I prefer homemade whipped cream to the canned variety, but both will work. Check out this link for instructions on how to make whipped cream.

I topped my sundae off with a moonshine cherry because it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Beat the Heat with a Little Help from Ann Arbor (Or How to Make Dominick’s Constant Buzz)

My Mason jar full of Constant Buzz offers a taste of college — only now I have a palm tree backdrop — and a much lower tolerance for alcohol.

11 years ago today, my dad and I rolled into LA after a harrowing cross country trip that involved a three day delay in Ann Arbor (something about trailer hitch?), a tire blow out in Oklahoma City repaired by a guy bearing a striking resemblance to Jerry Garcia, and me crying in a Dairy Queen in Texas. (Don’t ask.)

It’s hard to believe it has been 11 years. In some ways I’m the same kid who once camped out on a futon in Westwood. In others, I hardly know her.

In honor of the college town (and the life) I left behind, it seems fitting that today I am posting the recipe for Dominick’s Constant Buzz.

See, Dominick’s is an Ann Arbor institution — kinda like Zingerman’s — only nothing like it at all. Zingerman’s is a high-end deli famous for its amazing bread and a Reuben that will change your life. Dominick’s is clear on the other side of campus (not far from the Big House) and is synonymous with day drinking. Sure, they serve food, but it’s not the reason anyone heads to Dominick’s. (I mean, what college kid can’t make their own quesadilla?)

Most people go to sit at the picnic tables on the patio and sip strong drinks from Mason jars while watching drunk B-school boys push each other into the fountain. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it’s probably some sort of mating ritual — like when deer go all crazy and try to kill each other with their horns.

Imagine these deer are two business school boys named Ryan, and you sort of get the picture. Photo Courtesy of Informed Farmers.

Dominick’s is only open March through November, which absolutely adds to its allure. Those long, cold, football-less months are agonizing, and the reopening of Dominick’s every spring means platform sandals and patio seating are back — and the countdown to college football has officially started.

The sangria and the mystery concoction called Constant Buzz are the cocktail catalysts that kick start epic evenings for many Ann Arbor coeds. (They also explain why packs of future stock brokers set fire to their furniture on nearby Hill Street sidewalks. Incidentally, this penchant for drunken destruction by future Wall Street kids may also explain the state of the US economy….)

At this point in your Constant Buzz consumption, setting fire to your own furniture might actually sound like fun. Don’t say I didn’t warn you….

So, anyway…

I loved Dominick’s, and 11 years ago, I held my going away party there.

Since I’m sort of homesick, and I’m getting all amped up for football season, I was motivated to make myself a batch of Constant Buzz this weekend. Plus it has been so crazy hot in Hollywood lately that I don’t want to do anything except float in my pool and sip on something cool.

Bear in mind, I haven’t had the drink in a while, so this is a rough approximation based on (an urban legend of the ingredients) and memory. If anyone has tweaks – or the inside scoop on the real recipe, hook a Wolverine up.

Bottoms Up!

Constant Buzz

1 C fresh strawberries
2 T sugar
1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 C frozen pineapple
1.5 oz tequila
1.5 oz vodka
1.5 oz white rum
1.5 oz gin
1 oz triple sec
1 C crushed ice, optional

Puree the strawberries in the blender. Add sugar and lime juice and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Add the alcohol and frozen pineapple and puree the mixture. You can make it ahead of time and return it to the freezer if you wish. The alcohol will prevent it from freezing and will yield a nice, slushy consistency. I generally go this route and skip the cup of crushed ice, but it’s totally your call. If you do add the crushed ice, make sure you mix it thoroughly.

OK, that’s it for me for now.

I’m off to watch that traitor Ryan Mallett air it out on Monday Night football. Just remember, Mallett, you’re the back up to a REAL Michigan man….

(But really, no hard feelings, Mallett, I would have transferred as well. The Rodriguez era was awful for us all.)