Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Raising funds for a cause(s) - Austin Chocolate Festival and Brunch at El Chile

Sept. 18-19th was the 4th annual Austin Chocolate Festival.  Oodles of truffles lined the tables.  Chocolate syrup poured from the skies.... not really, but I wish.  Tipsy Texan served up some delicious cocktails, though.  Spicy and chocolately hit the spot!  Since I believe that pictures are worth a thousand words, here's a few for your viewing pleasure.  Proceeds to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Also, a big congrats to Saint Arnold for their win for their beer chocolate chocolate in the frozen food category.  More photos here.



El Chile Downtown also hosted a brunch to benefit the Aids Services of Austin.  The food was delicious, and as you can see from these photos, colorfully decorated interior.  I wanted to start shoveling the guacamole and ceviche by the spoonful, but I thought I better save some for others.  A big congrats to El Chile for raising $2,700!  Great job, great food, for a great cause.  More photos here.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great American Beer Fest #3: Stalking the Drunken Mussels with Teddy Folkman

I had the great pleasure of having a front row seat to the food and beer session presented by Carolyn Smagalski, Teddy Folkman, and Phil Leinhart.  You might have seen Teddy Folkman on the Food Network as a Bobby Flay Slayer.  :o) I've included the recipe card, photos, and I can attest that the mussels were quite tasty.  Click on the recipe card for a larger version. 

Tips from Teddy:
  • Don't cover the lid and have it steam.  Just toss and toss around in the liquid to cook. See photo below.
  • Ask for rope grown mussels, not the other stuff. You don't want gritty mussels or muscles.
  • Render the bacon fat slowly, not to burn the bacon. 

As you can see, the session was pretty fun and exciting.  Oil, cheese, beer, and shallots went flying over the stage.  This dish was prepared with a Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison, a spicy, gingery, and citrusy saison.  Perfectly paired with the blue cheese and bacon in the drunken mussel dish, those on the audience were in for tasty treat and showy entertainment.  Just check out the cool pictures below, there are worth several thousand words.  Photos by John Knox.

In addition to serving up some deliciously drunken mussels, Teddy was also kind enough to share the secrets to his famous french fries.  First, soak the cut potatoes in water overnight.  Teddy says that this gets the potatoes to swell and cook quickly on the inside.  I think that's what he said anyways.  It makes sense as the water inside would heat up and steam the insides.  Then blanche the potatoes in hot peanut oil at 220 degrees for just a few minutes.  Then fry again at 375 until crispy.  I'll have to try that method.

Great American Beer Fest #2: Garrett Oliver Beer Dinners - Austin, TX Oct. 15th & 18th and Slow Food Austin Fundraiser Oct. 21st

Love craft beers and love food? There are two events in Austin that you do not want to miss.  In every profession, there at least one or more respected paradigm mover.  In food, there's Julia Child.  She brought French cooking to America.  In dog training, there's Cesar Milan.  Regardless if you agree or disagree with Cesar's methods, there is no denying that Cesar Milan got dog owners thinking about dog behavior and interested in training their pets.  In beers and food pairings, that person is Garrett Oliver.  Until recently, food and wine dominated formal dinner tables, but The Brewmaster's Table changed that.  Beer dinners are now popping up all over the map, and Austin is no exception.

Getting my book signed at the Great American Beer Festival by John Knox

If you haven't started reading The Brewmaster's Table yet, start now.  Not only is the book chock full of beer information, it is very obvious that Garrett is an skilled chef and fantastic writer.  The book can make me hungry, thirsty, and laugh all in one paragraph.  Read what he writes about pork belly and smoked beers.  This man is passionate about real food and real beer.  Not only is the book information and entertaining, the first few sections describe how Garrett started in the beer, by following a passion he developed while tasting fine beers in Europe.  I have the utmost respect for people who find a passion, enjoys it, works at developing it, and spreads that joy (yes, beer is joy!) to others.  Austin is very lucky to have Garrett Oliver, award winning brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, to host two dinners in Austin.  He will also be hosting a tasting event at the Dixie Cup in Houston (their server is down, sorry), and Slow Food Austin will be hosting a cheese, honey, and beer tasting.

Thursday, Oct. 15th. 7pm.  Olivia. 2043 S Lamar Blvd  Austin, TX 78704   (512) 804-2700  $75 per person, includes tax and tip. 

I recently visit Olivia when they had their first year anniversary and Bon Appetit celebration.  Bon Appetit named Olivia one of the top ten new restaurants in the United States.  Photos by John Knox. 

Lamb Corazon: lamb heart wrapped in jalapeno and prosciutto served with yapon honey

 Bison Tartare
 Milk braised pork shoulder on gnocchi

Brooklyn Brewery Beer Dinner Menu
7 pm Thursday October 15th, 2009

Brooklyn Lager
Brooklyn East India Pale Ale
Oyster Diablo baked gulf oyster with a spicy-tequila butter, house-made bacon and a parmesan crust
Brooklyn Local 1
Yellow Fin Tuna Carpaccio, boggy creek farm arugula salad with a black truffle aioli and black lava sea salt
Brooklyn Local 2
Orriccietta Carbonara with house made guanciale and texas quail egg yolk
Brooklyn Brown Ale
South Texas Antelope Petite Filet au Pouve with a apricot demi, pure luck feta cheese and smashed fingerling potatoes with mesquite infused texas olive oil
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout float with crème fraiche ice cream and toasted salty beer nuts

via Alamo's website
Brooklyn Beer Dinner at Alamo Lake Creek 13729 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78750  General Info:512-219-5408
Sunday October 18th 7:30pm $50 (Price includes admission, feast and beer pairings)

The Alamo Lake Creek is pleased to announce our latest beer tasting event featuring Brooklyn Brewery from Brooklyn (duh), New York. The night will feature a multi-course meal paired with many of the fine Brooklyn beer offerings. We are very lucky to have the man himself, Head Brewmaster at Brooklyn, and author of The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food, Mr. Garrett Oliver. Garrett will be in attendance to describe the brewing process and answer all of your questions while presenting each food and beer course. Get your tickets now, while they are still available!

The Menu will include:

Frites with Wisconsin cheese curds, brown gravy, and peppered bacon

*Paired with Brooklyn Local 2

-Chingri Malai
Prawns, curry, lemongrass, and coconut milk

*Paired with a super secret Brooklyn offering you will just have to come and find out for yourself

Belgian chicken stew with baguette

*Paired with Brooklyn Local 1

-Pumpkin graham crackers
Local 2 marshmallows, and Belgian chocolate smores

*Paired with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Also, in Houston, the Garrett Oliver will also be having a food and beer tasting at the Dixie Cup.  Details are still TBA as their server is down, but I do have the menu.  

Live Oak Hefeweizen(Traditional German Hefe) – Salad: greens, fresh goat cheese, roasted red peppers, balsamic vinaigrette.
Fredericksburg Oktoberfest (traditional) with Bratwurst and Senf
512  IPA (American, fruity hop profile) with Indian-spiced crab cake
Uncle Billy’s Smoked Schwartz (Very malty, porter-like) – Fatty brisket brioche slider

Uncle Billy’s Keller Pils (GABF category winner) -  Shrimp Satay
Real Ale ESB cask (traditional ESB) – Extra-crispy deep-fried chicken wings

Brooklyn Wild 1 – Mozzarella Company Blanca Bianca (washed-rind cheese, Dallas)
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout – Chocolate Mud Cake

Another beer and food event coming up is the 1st annual Slow Food Austin Fundraiser 

Raw Talk & Tasting: Raw-Milk Cheese Meets Local Hops and Honey

In the United States, the sale of raw milk cheeses that are aged less than 60 days is illegal. Fortunately, Slow Food’s Presidia program is working to protect this delectable artisan food, and at the recent Cheese 2009 event in Bra, Italy, Slow Food focused on pairing beer with cheese.

Cathy Strange, Global Cheese Buyer for Whole Foods Market, will lead an educational presentation and tasting of raw-milk cheeses complemented by the hand-crafted beers of Austin’s (512) Brewing CompanyRound Rock Honey. and local honey from

At this first annual fundraiser for Slow Food Austin you will enjoy an evening of unique flavors, meet some of their producers and mingle with other Austinites who share a passion for slow food. 

And don’t plan on leaving empty-handed. Our silent auction is chock full of Austin’s most delicious and quaffable goodies, as well as unforgettable culinary experiences. Tour the Austin Farmer’s Market with a local expert, then have dinner cooked at your house using the market’s most mouthwatering offerings. Join a CSA. Expand your culinary skills with lessons from a local chef. Leave Barr Mansion with your arms laden with premier wines, gift certificates to your favorite local merchants, and organic taste treats. Featuring Austin Wine Merchant, Thai Fresh, Wine Styles, Edible Austin, Green Gate Farm and many more, this silent auction will be the most delectable in Austin’s history.

Get your tickets in advance to ensure a seat at the table in the beautiful Barr Mansion setting.
October 21, 2009
6:30–8:30 pm
Barr Mansion
Tickets: $50 ($40 Slow Food members)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great American Beer Festival #1: Summary and Fun Beer Finds

Monday Morning. This is the second morning after the 2009 Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, and I'm still recovering from walking around for three days.  Wrapping up a great weekend is post number one of ten. Photos by John Knox.

First, I would like to thank for inviting me out to GABF as their guest. is an online community of beer enthusiasts.  You can learn more about beers, post questions, read beer blogs, find beers, and sign up for events.  Look for future collaboration with 

 Sebbie from Rogue Ales, Me, Jans, @theartofbeer, and Eric from

Some new finds for me were Kuhnhenn Brewing, New Glarus Brewing, The Bruery, and Tommy Knockers.  None of these beers and soda are available in Texas as of yet, so it was my first time to try them. Kuhnhenn makes a deeply flavored Raspberry Eisbock (one of my new loves), and their 4th Dementia Old Ale won a Bronze Medal in Old or Strong Ales.  If I get my hands on that Raspberry Eisbock, it will turn into a raspberry mascarpone tart.  Plump raspberries in a tart beer syrup over a layer of creamy mascarpone in a crunchy ground almond buttery shell. Mmmm......

With Kuhnhenn Sr. 

New Glarus's Raspberry Tart and Belgium Red also hit the spot in my book.  That was fairly evident from the long, long, long line at their booth.  New Glarus took home two Bronze Medals for the Raspberry Tart in the Fruit beer or Field beer category and also for Totally Naked in the American-style Lager or Premium Lager category. These beers are perfect for pumping dried fruits for cakes and breads.  Anyone in WI want to send some down to TX?

The Bruery, a very new brewery in California, had some styles that caught my taste buds.  Their Autumn Maple is brewed with yams, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup.  This tasty combination has be thinking about sweet potato breads with raisin and walnuts and also a carrot cake french toast.  Oh whee! I just need to get my hands on that one to get the baking started.  More about this Bruery in a future post about the Cheeky Monk.

I didn't have any Tommy Knocker beers, but I did have their almond creme soda.  I must say, I'm a suckers for almond.  I loved it, even if is doesn't have yeast or hops.  It reminded me of an Asian almond drink, and it got me on comfort factor.

I want to send my congrats to two Texas Winners.  Uncle Billy's won a Gold for Hell in Keller in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category, and Saint Arnold's won a Gold for their Summer Pils in the Munich Style Helles.  Congrats to both local breweries!

Uncle Billy's with their Gold (my iphone photo)

The Saint Arnold Crew accepting their Gold
Also, I had a great time meeting other tweeters including @Chipperdave @waynethetrain @theartofbeer @beachbumchris @sudsymaggie @kahunaschick @bigkahunabrew and @ro_mills.  Here's @chipperdave's Photos!  Hope to see ya next year!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

GO TEXAN Chef Showdown at the Hyatt - Sept. 30th, 7 pm!

It's Chef Showdown time at the Hyatt! How can you skip this event? Three highly skilled Austin chefs will gather at The Hyatt for a show down, chef style.  Given local ingredients, these chefs will have to whip up an appetizer and an entree.  Judges include local food writers from Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, Edible Austin Magazine, Austin Monthly Magazine, Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Foundation, Yelp Elite and Tribeza Magazine.

The three chefs include Kevin Dee of SouthWest Bistro, Todd Duplechan of Trio, and Stephen Bonin of The Driskill Grill.  If you haven't had delicious offerings from these chefs yet, you're missing out.  Seats are limited so you better get a move on reservations.  The cost per ticket is $80 plus tax and gratuity.  A great steal for three fine meals and unlimited wine.  Reservations at or by calling 512-480-2035.

Book Tours Coming to Austin: Cake Wrecks and Alton Brown

I'm excited! Are you?  Of course the Cupcake Fairy is excited that CAKEWRECKS is coming to Austin! A favorite blog of many (it has won four blog awards already in the humor and food category), Jen is coming to Austin on your first book tour!  The date is Sunday, Oct. 4th, 2009, 3:00 pm at the BookPeople, 603 North Lamar.  There are already over 400 people RSVPed.  Get there early!   There is a cupcake wreck decorating contest of sorts.  The premises it to create your favorite wreck on a cupcake.  Enjoy!

 This is the cover of the book.  Grab it while you can! Photo via Cakewrecks.

Also coming up is Alton Brown's book signing at Whole Food Downtown (525 N. Lamar). Alton Brown (Good Eats, Feasting on Asphalt, Iron Chef America) needs to introduction, but I will add that many hours of watching Good Eats helped me develop my baking skills.  Get  copy of his new book, The Early Years at BookPeople (603 N. Lamar) starting Monday, Sept. 28th.  Also, pick up a wrist band for the signing on Sunday, Oct. 18th, 1-4 pm at Whole Foods. I will be bringing cupcakes to this one. 

Here's a photo of my Flamed 6 quart Chrome Kitchen Aid mixer in Alton's Honor.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Austin Restaurant Week 2009: Hudson's, Fogo, and Green Pastures

Austin Restaurant Week is a food lover's dream.  During off-peak days, many restaurants offered a prix fix menu for $25 - $35, featuring an appetizer, entree, and dessert.  Not only is Austin Restaurant Week a great opportunity to try out new restaurants, 5% of the proceeds go towards the Sustainable Food Center and Aids Services of Austin.  It's a win-win situation for all of us.  For this installment of Austin Restaurant Week, I chose three restaurants that were new to me: Hudson's on the Bend, Fogo de Chao, and Green Pastures.  Though I attended a wedding about 4 years ago at Green Pastures, I've never dined there.  Needless to say, each restaurant offered a unique specialty and did not fail to please. Photos by John M.P. Knox.

Hudson's on the Bend - This cozy little restaurant on 620 specializes in exotic meats and game.  I visited on a Sunday night with @windaddict, my friends Bobby, and Gordon. Since there were four of us, we each got to sample a little bit of everything.

First up was a wild boar and barbecue chorizo tart, white chocolate tomatillo sauce, and cotilla cheese.  I found the puffy pastry to be delightful, and a great compliment to the tomatillo sauce.

I had the lobster bisque, which was good, but I think the duck diabolo's truly stole the show.  Duck Diablos were duck breast, jicama, jalapeno, figs in balsamic all wrapped in apple wood bacon with a red chili glaze dipping sauce.  Yep. I think that was a clear winner.  I ordered the Pecan Smoked Veal with Chipolte Beer Blanc, and @windaddict ordered the Shiner Bock ribeye.  What a surprise, Make it with Moonshine orders two entrees made with beer. Who would have thought? :o)  I found the smoked veal to be very flavorful, slightly sweet and juicy, and with just a hint of smoke.  The Shiner Bock ribeye has just a subtle hint of beer, and I found the meat to be incredibly tender. Also, the mashed potatoes tasted like butter. That's always a good thing.

Last but not least, brownie sundae and chocolate mousse were the two desserts we sampled. 
Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse that serves up meat gaucho style.  I've been wanting to try this place for a very long time, and I fasted for 18 hours prior in preparation.  Fogo de Chao offered lunch with dessert for a modest $25 during Austin Restaurant Week. 
Your first course is a trip to the salad bar, but no, this is not your ordinary salad bar.  No tuna salad here. No box croutons or bacos.  What you will find is a variety of tasty cheeses, fresh vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, cured meats, hearts of palm, and even artichoke hearts.  While the salad bar is tantalizing, you really should be skimpy with it and save room for the meat.  
Fogo de Chao does not exaggerate when they say things happen fast.  The moment your "feed me/stop feeding me" card is turned over to show green, the meats come quickly.  There is scarcely a moment to snap a photo before the meat is on your plate and the server leaped over to the next table in a single bound.  I felt like I was a shark in one of those shark week feeding frenzies.  You must be warned though that if the meat does get cold, it can get tough.  The trick is to eat the meat quickly.  No playing around with your camera here.  My favorites from the meat offerings was the garlic rubbed Pichana (top sirlion) and the Cordeiro (lamb ribs).
Along with the meat, we also had desserts that were included in the meal.  Chocolate Mousse Cake (alternating layers of white and dark chocolate mousse and chocolate cake) & Key Lime Pie (Real Florida key lime pie with a graham cracker crust) were our choices for dessert.  Both desserts were wonderfully prepared and without flaws.  The chocolate cake had great texture and depth of chocolate flavor.  The key lime pie was tart, sweet, and it had the perfect consistency.

Green Pastures's building is rich with character and history.  For a building that was 114 years old (built in 1895), it was well-maintained over the years.  In fact, post-meal, our waiter Chance took us on a tour of the building.  We were told that the staircase and banister was ordered from Sears Roebuck. 
It is also just now that I realized that the inspiration of my Kahlua chocolate almond cake was from Green Pastures.  The wedding I attended here 4 years ago served a sinfully delicious and moist chocolate cake with the rich texture and aroma of almonds. It is simply one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had.  To have a cake that impressed me for 4 years is quite a feat, as I've been known to eat and bake many cakes.  

One reason I looked into Green Pastures was because @caraferguson had it pegged as a "to eat" restaurant. I was intrigued by the tempura lobster tail at first glance, but after a careful look, I noticed that the chef likes to cook with alcohol. The decision to try Green Pastures was easy.

We wound up ordering the Upland Game plate (A quail eating adventure), Tempura Lobster, Garbanzo Bean Dumplings, Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Cheesecake, and Green Pastures Bread pudding.  I have to highlight a few things about Green Pastures that impressed me. 

1. The character of the building was charming and warm.  It had a soul, and one could feel the rich history in the walls.  Or it could just be haunted by ghosts, friendly ghosts though.  Don't quote me on the ghosts.

2. Service at Green Pastures was well-polished like a Ferrari (a well-cared for Ferrari anyways).  Service was warm, welcoming, attentive, yet not intrusive.  The staff was so well trained that it only took a glance for him to notice that our table setting was slightly off.  Our bread plates were on the lower left side instead of on the upper left side.  Remember: bread on the upper left, drinks on the upper right.  It is debatable whether or not the bread can be on the lower side, but formal settings call for upperside. Green Pasture service is on my list of places that will spoil you like Veruca Salt.  Other places on that said list are Trio and Paggi House.

3. Southern and French cooking seems like an odd combination, but the foundation for both is butter and cream, in my opinion anyways. Do I need to say more?
4. The Jack Daniels sauce served on the bread pudding tasted like booze. It was not like those other restaurants that claim to put alcohol in their foods, but just a hint so that they could print it on the menu.  This Jack Daniels was bold, like the chef intended it to be there.
5. The use of "non-traditional" ingredients in their dishes left me baffled.  I've eaten many strange and exotic vegetables, but I had never heard of chayote.  I almost mistook it for a green apple, but the flavor was mellow and subtle instead of tart and crunchy.  I like it when I learn about new foods.  The grilled flat iron steak not only had brandy, but also grains of paradise, a spice that is used in beer brewing.  Sam Adam's Summer ale uses it.  :o)

6. Tempura Lobster.  You only live once. Get it on your next visit.
7. The liberal use of wine and spirits in the dishes.  Lobster-brandy mashed potatoes. Shiraz-Spiced apple ring. Jack Daniels Sauce. The chef, Charles Bloemsma, also chatted with us about a Guinness Punch (Guinness, condensed milk, and liquor over ice) as well as a Guinness Creme Brulee.  He should probably be writing this blog.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

(512) Pecan Porter Chocolate Mousse drizzled with Pecan Praline liquor and a bacon spoon

Makes 8 large (6-8 oz) servings or 16 smaller (3-4 oz) servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes for the mousse, 1 hour for the bacon

Chill time: 6 hours minimum



2 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream

5 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons sugar

1.5 cups of (512) Pecan Porter or other dark stout beer

7 oz fine-quality bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped

Garnishes: adjust if using another type of flavored dark beer


2 pound maple or plain bacon uncooked. Do not get peppered or spicy bacon.

1/3 cup Pecan Praline liquor



Double Boiler

Instant-read thermometer

2 Large bowls

Hand or stand mixer

long skewers (wooden or metal)

large baking or roasting pan

Preparation of the Mousse:

Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Whisk slowly so that the eggs do not curdle from the hot cream.  Transfer mixture back to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F on thermometer. It is extremely important to reach at least 160 degrees or else the custard may not set.  Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool. Once it is smooth, add the beer while whisking.  The beer may start to fizz, but just keep whisking. Allow to cool to at least room temperature or colder.

Whisk remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer (hand or stand) until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. I do it by pouring the cooled chocolate mixture into the bowl of whipped cream.  If it is not cool, your whipped cream may cease to be whipped.  This process will be time consuming, but do not stir. You must fold, fold, fold or else you'll lose the air that is in the mousse.  Make sure that you incorporate the liquid at the very bottom of the bowl into the whipped cream or else you will end up with mousse on top and liquid chocolate beer on bottom. 
Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Mousse will stay edible for about a 10 days refrigerated.  If it gets to room temperature, it may start to loose it's shape, but once refrigerated, it should stiffen up again.

Cooking the bacon:
While there are many different ways to cook bacon, I prefer to use the suspended baking method.  This method renders the fat from the bacon without it sitting in grease.  You want a crunchy bacon strip without grease.  It should be easy for people to handle and to use as a spoon.  I cook mine by cutting the bacon strips in half crosswise so that you end up with many 4-5 inch long pieces of raw bacon.  Run a wooden skewer all the way through one end of all the bacon pieces.  You should have a skewer (if held parallel to the ground) of bacon hanging off.  Leave about 1-1.5 inches between each piece of bacon and make sure they are separated.  If not, they will cook together in one big clump.  Place the skewers between the openings of the oven racks.  Make sure the top rack is at the highest position possible, and make sure the bottom rack is at the lowest position possible.  Place a large baking or roasting pan under the bacon.  If you do not make sure that all the bacon is directly over the pan, you will end up with a nasty, greasy, smokey mess in your oven.  Starting with the cold oven, I turn it up to 350 degrees.  Once the bacon is sizzling at 350, I crank it up to 400 degrees, leave it at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then bring it back down to 350 degrees.  After 20 minutes, I turn the often off completely and allow the bacon to finish cooking and cool in the oven.  It is about 40 minutes of cook time.  I find that cranking the often up to 400 degrees for a short amount of time gets it that crispy stage faster, but doesn't burn it.  Allowing the bacon to cool in the oven ensures that the dogs will not be able to get to it (most dogs anyways), and that all the grease drips off.  The end result will be non-greasy crispy bacon spoons. 

Serving: Mouse should be placed in individual cups (clear plastic or glass makes for a pretty presentation).  Drizzle Pecan Praline liquor over the mousse and serve with a bacon spoon dipped in. 

Garnish adjustments: I chose bacon and pecan praline liqueur for this recipe because 512 Pecan Porter has a dark, rich, nutty aroma.  I would not use this combination for other beers, say perhaps a coffee porter.  I might serve biscotti or Kahlua with a coffee porter mousse.  Other garnishes include peppermint chips, cookies, raw cacao nibs, or fruits.  The possibilities are endless.