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Coffee Stout Floats & Learning New Things

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This week I tried three new things: weightlifting, homemade ice cream, and salty Thai crab. All were equally enjoyable in their newness, and it was a good reminder that some of the best parts of life exist in the feeling of fear.

Now the fear I felt in trying a new food or exercise isn’t the same as other types of fear. But still, that sensation of learning something new always comes with some trepidation. Did I just put something incredibly heavy over my head that is going to crash on top of me? Did I  waste a lot of money and time on a recipe that isn’t going to work out? Did I order something that I have no idea how to eat?

These little acts of bravery can amount to a lot. I found out I really like weightlifting. I made some really awesome ice cream, and learned a lot about the science of ice cream making. I pushed myself to try something even my waitress was nervous to give me, and the end result was salty sweet little crab nuggets in my papaya salad.

We need moments where we embrace not feeling like an expert. I asked the server if I was eating the dish correctly, without worrying about looking like an outsider. I took on a new cooking skill while understanding that even if I mess up the recipe I still learned something. I let my boyfriend help me pick up very heavy objects, knowing that I probably looked like a total noob to everyone else in the gym. Being vulnerable like this does not come naturally to me (or most people), but allowing myself the space to make mistakes felt important and, well, fun.

The homemade ice cream in question was a caffeinated beer treat, infused with the delicious flavors of Coffee Emporium Bourbon Barrel aged coffee and Mt. Carmel stout. I used the Kona Stout recipe from the amazing Jeni’s Splendid ice cream cookbook, which I highly recommend for anyone looking to make some homemade frozen treats.

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This ice cream, combined with stout and some cold brew coffee, made for a super refreshing drink. A beer float has the nostalgia of a childhood indulgence matched with the rewarding buzz of an adult beverage. It’s a little something new you can try in your summertime routine, to remind you that trying new things makes us all feel vulnerable and awesome.

Coffee Stout Float

Put three scoops of coffee ice cream in a tall pint glass.  Pour over one shot of coffee concentrate (or espresso shot), and add about half a bottle or can of local dark stout. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, throw a shot of bourbon on top. Enjoy with a straw and a spoon and the desire to try new things!

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