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Blood Orange Witbier Cake and Taft Brewing Company

Since the start of the pandemic, I haven’t been going out much.  It’s really a bummer because I love to support local businesses: restaurants, bakeries, book shops, art venues, and more. Yes, we get takeout and do our best to support our local favorites. But, honestly, I’ve been cooking and baking more than ever. When I saw Taft Brewing Company post a recipe on Instagram for a cake using their own craft beer, I decided to take it as a challenge.  It’s perfect.  I can bake and support a local business. 

So the recipe is a Blood Orange Witbier Cake. Yep, I googled “Witbier”.  Witbier is a Belgian-style very pale ale, cloudy in appearance, and high in wheat. It’s often spiced with coriander and orange peel. All new to me. We picked up Taft’s Nellie’s Winter Ale at Country Fresh Market on Beechmont Avenue; I knew they’d have it because their Wine and Craft Beer section is stellar. Thankfully, I also found blood oranges there; I could not find them in my regular grocery store.

Here is the recipe posted by Taft:

Typically when I bake, I get all my ingredients out ahead of time and study the recipe. I like to be organized and careful. That doesn’t mean I’m not messy! Those who bake with me find themselves dusted in flour and walking in a trail of sugar.

I did tweak the recipe a tiny bit before I even started because whenever I make sweets with citrus, I always want more zing. I added two teaspoons of orange zest in the cake and I added a full teaspoon of orange zest in the icing. I also bumped up the blood orange juice to a tablespoon and a half. To me, this was perfect. The cake was moist and bright and definitely orange. Yummy.

As I said in the beginning, I’ve never had Witbier cake so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s reminiscent of a pound cake in structure and density.  I love that the flavor is bright; the orange peel, orange juice, and coriander are perfect for this season.  Plus, you can eat this for dessert or breakfast.  I definitely enjoyed it with my morning coffee. Best way to start the day!

Like my mug? Check out my former student’s Etsy shop (Hey, Linnea). Her pottery is wonderful and I’m proud of her success. All about supporting local business here!

My bake might not look beauteous, but it’s delicious and I will definitely be making it again. I shared a few pieces with friends and the reviews were all positive!

GO THERE (Taft Ale House or Taft Brewporium; Country Fresh Market)!  TRY THAT (Baking with craft beer)!

La Torta Loca: Tacos and Empanadas

Between COVID, a scary diagnosis, surgery, healing, and, well, more COVID, my blog has been on hiatus. I finally decided that even though I’m not eating inside restaurants right now, I’m definitely getting take out! Why not write about that? Maybe I need to temporarily change my blog title from Go There! Try That!  to Go There! Take That!  It doesn’t have quite the same ring though, does it? Anyway, I’m glad to be back talking about food.

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One of my coworkers (oh hey Sherry) always has impressive recommendations for TV shows, books, movies, and restaurants. She gets me. So, if she recommends it, I try it.  That’s how I got to La Torta Loca in Florence, KY.  I’ve actually been sitting on this post since last February (the last time I dined in). After our first visit, I immediately went back a week later with all my friends. 

So, how do I know the restaurant is still as good? Because I got takeout last night and it was even better than I remember.

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In a nutshell, Torta Loca is small but mighty. The food is filling, delicious, full of flavor, savory, and messy! A perfect combo. This is one of those restaurants I kind of don’t want to talk about because I kind of don’t want everyone else to know about it.  BUT,  I also DO want everyone to know about it. Know what I mean?

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La Torte Loca focuses on Empanadas, Tortas, and Arepas. It’s a combination of Mexican and Venezuelan food. You can eat a lot here for your money.  It’s hands-on, authentic, can’t-eat-more-but-will-eat-more, so-going-to-end-up-wearing-it-on-my-shirt delicious.  If you find yourself unsure of what to order, order a bunch! And share. Taste test challenge at its best.

Be prepared though, depending on when you go, you may have to wait a bit for a table or for takeout. There isn’t a ton of seating, but as I said earlier, the wait is worth it. 

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People always ask me what my favorite dishes are and that’s hard. We love all the food here, but if I had to highlight a few items, it would be:

  • Empanadas: the chorizo and cheese, the shredded beef
  • Arepas: La Pelua (Mechada and cheese), La Mejicana (carnitas and cheese)
  • Tortas:  El Guarro (carnitas, jalapeno, onion, lime, cilantro, salsa verde), La Tropicana (chicken, chipotle sauce, pineapple, cheese)

Just don’t skip the chorizo and cheese empanada! I think it’s my fave. Oh, and the chips are served hot and fresh.

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Any keto eaters out there?  I have a friend who does Keto and she LOVED the tacos served on crispy cheese tortillas. Yep, you read that right.  Taco goodness wrapped in a bed of crispy cheese.

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The hostess here is for sure the hostess with the mostess. She seats and greets and serves and . . . well, she does everything but the cooking. She will make you feel at home. Torta Loca is a family-owned business and you can totally taste it in the food. If you are being super covid careful, place an order and take it to-go. As I said earlier, it’s small but mighty. 

La Torta Loca, I love you!

GO THERE (Torta Loca)! TRY THAT (chorizo and cheese empanada, beef empanada)!