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Pilsner/Pale Ale

One Hour Rosemary Beer Pizza Dough


One hour rosemary beer pizza dough

I’m a firm believer that the best pizza dough takes at least 24 hours.

I’m also a firm believer that most of us don’t usually have that type of forethought. At least it’s a rare occurrence for me.

I started making this pita bread dough when I wanted to make a day-of pizza, which morphed into this recipe for one hour pizza dough. Which these days gets cooked on the grill as often as in the oven. Grilled pizza is my new first love of outdoor cooking, especially when topped with grilled vegetables and carne asada. So far I haven’t found the restraint to stop eating long enough to photograph such a pizza creation, so no blog posts have been created for that tasty little guy.

But I did manage to get a few hasty pictures of this oven cooked pizza, just look at those glorious bubbles.Pretty damn good for one hour, grilled or oven cooked, it’s my new go-to for pizza nights.

One hour rosemary beer pizza dough3

One Hour Rosemary Beer Pizza Dough

Servings 1 lbs pizza dough


  • 2 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 envelope rapid rise yeast
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary minced
  • ¾ cup wheat beer or pale ale
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, yeast, garlic powder and rosemary.
  • Mix until combined. In a microwave safe bowl add the beer. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, test temperature with a cooking thermometer and repeat until temperature reaches between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the beer to the stand mixer and mix on medium speed. Once most of the flour has been moistened, slowly add the salt and oil while the mixer is still running.
  • Turn speed to high and beat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm room until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Cook as desired.


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One hour rosemary beer pizza dough4

Pineapple Pale Ale Cream Cheese Tart


Pineapple Pale Ale Cream Cheese Tart

Really, this pie was a necessity. I love the way those banana cream pies look, but I have such a deep loathing for those yellow peeled devils I can’t even bring myself to try one. But they look amazing, so creamy and fluffy, but with the foul stench of banana lurking beneath all that fabulous whipped cream. (Banana Council should accept my sincere apologies, I completely support the consumption of such a healthy fruit, as long as I don’t have to do the consuming. And said consuming does not happen in my near vicinity).

But unlike my mint aversion, this hatred was not triggered by a traumatic event. Nor do I have a desire to fix the issue, I’m cool with a banana free existence.

That’s because I have other fantastic yellow fruits, like pineapple, to pick up the slack. although, I will admit, banana’s do make a much more convenient grab-and-go snack, be it not for the inconvenience of the inevitable projectile vomiting that would ensue if I were forced to eat one. (I may be the only person that has used the term "projectile vomiting" while trying to get you to make a pie).

Pineapple picks up quite a bit of slack in the tropical fruit department, I love them. I was in Costa Rica a few years ago and ordered "Pina y Agua" smoothies several times a day for weeks and never got sick of them. I’ve fully admitted my bias already, but I really think pineapple pie is the new banana pie. And I added beer to try and get you on my side.

Pineapple Pale Ale Cream Cheese Tart2

Pineapple Pale Ale Cream Cheese Tart

5 from 1 vote


For the Crust:

  • 9 standard sized graham crackers
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tbs melted butter

For the Filling:

  • 1 ¾ cups pineapple chunks
  • 3 tbs cornstarch
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup pale ale

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs pale ale
  • ¼ cup sweetened coconut flake
  • ¼ cup almond slices


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a food processor add the graham crackers, brown sugar, and salt process until only crumbs remain.
  • While the food processor is still running add the melted butter, process until it resembles wet sand.
  • Dump into the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan. Starting with the sides, press the crust evenly into the tart pan.
  • Put the pineapple chunks in the food processor, sprinkle with cornstarch, and process until smooth.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cream cheese with the sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Mix in the pineapple puree. Add the beer, mix until well combined. Pour into the tart shell.
  • Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes or until the top of the tart turns golden brown. Allow to cool at room temperature for ten minutes. Refrigerate until set and chilled, about 3 hours.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipped cream, powdered sugar and pale ale. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Add to the top of the cooled tart. Chill tart until ready to serve.
  • Add the coconut and almonds to a dry pan. Add to medium high heat, toss continually until toasted, about 5 minutes. Top the tart with toasted coconut and almonds just prior to serving (it will get soggy if it sits on the tart too long. If you want to make the tart ahead of time, store toasted topping separate, garnish just prior to serving).

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Pineapple Pale Ale Cream Cheese Tart3

Roasted Corn, Pale Ale and Coconut Curry Chowder with Brûléed Avocados


Roasted Corn, Pale Ale and Coconut Curry Chowder with Brûléed Avocados

I brûléed some avocados, which, let me be honest, is sort of strange. But it gave this soup a campfirey, smoky flavor that I loved so I’m standing behind the decisions. A decision that was largely based on the fact that I’ve had this brulee torch for over two months and haven’t used it yet.

Roasted Corn, Pale Ale and Coconut Curry Chowder with Brûléed Avocados

Now I’m sort of hooked on the idea of wielding a kitchen torch this powerful, it completely smokes (pun intended) the one I previously owned that I now see as fairly pathetic. The new one is beast, I think it might belong in the tool shed out back (I don’t actually have a tool shed, so I guess it’ll stay in the kitchen).

But you really don’t HAVE to brulee avocados, just cutting them up and adding them to the soup like a normal person is just fine.

Roasted Corn, Pale Ale and Coconut Curry Chowder with Brûléed Avocados

About this soup, it’s vegan, which clearly I am not. But I love vegan food because it puts the emphasis on produce, which I adore. Corn is just coming into the season, and so are the avocados I abused, but the weather in most parts of the country is still soup worthy. But you have to remember that I’m also the girl that likes to drink stout and eat soup in August.

I also prefer to eat ice cream in December. Which all may add up to my rampant non-normalness that forced me to take a kitchen torch to those perfectly lovely avocados.

Roasted Corn, Pale Ale and Coconut Curry Chowder with Brûléed Avocados


  • 3 large ears sweet corn
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2/3 cup pale ale
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth chicken will work as well
  • 1 can 13.5 ounces full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • pinch cayenne
  • 5 large leaves basil thinly sliced
  • 1 large red pepper roasted
  • 1 large avocado ripe but firm, too soft will not work
  • 1 lemon


  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Trim off any silk that is sticking out of the husk of the corn ears.
  • Place on a baking sheet, roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Cut the kernels off the corn, set aside.
  • In a sauce pan over medium high heat, sauté the onions in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add the beer, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth, coconut milk, curry paste, corn kernels, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
  • Stir in the basil and the red pepper.
  • To brûlée the avocados, slice into ¼ inch slices, sprinkle with lemon juice. Place on a heat proof surface like a baking sheet. brûlée with a kitchen torch until browned, use tongs to flip over and brûlée the other side.
  • Pour soup into bowls, top with avocados.

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Asparagus Pale Ale Soup

Asparagus Pale Ale soup2

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a creative plateau I can’t seem to push myself past. A dissatisfaction with everything I make. The recipes that just don’t seem creative enough, the photos that I can only see as average, and the sub-par writing. I’ve been trudging through this phase, trying to push myself, and the things I create, closer the level I want to be on.

A few days ago I came across this quote from Ira Glass that reminded me that although I’m not where I want to be, I just might be on the right path.



Because maybe discontentment is the only common thread of successful people. Maybe it’s dissatisfaction that pushes anyone towards the best self they can ever achieve, and maybe complacency is an anchor into mediocrity.


I don’t know if I have more talent to unearth in myself, or if I’ve squeeze every bit out of an average ability, but Ira Glass did give me hope that the struggle is part of the journey. And it’s a normal part.

I see this struggle in brewers, too. The ones that make the jump from homebrewer to successful brewery owner share that same dissatisfaction, the push to be better, learn more, create great beer, and master the simplicity of classic styles. The biggest leaps in potential comes from feeling self-dissapointment in the middle of your own celebrations. When everyone else is cheering your accomplishments, you are taking inventory of your short falls.

Seasonal and special release beers are brewers pushing the levels of their own creativity. A way for the rest of us to thoroughly enjoy the fight these talented, creative, souls are engaged in to push themselves higher in their own climb.

Bison Brewing Hop Cuvee The Beeroness

Hop Cuvee is a newly released pale ale from Bison Brewing. It’s a beer that has an accessible, balanced, hoppiness that uses three different types of hop as a celebration of the best hop crops of the years. It’s crisp and citrusy with notes of pine, it’s a great choice for summer. Dan Del Grande, Bison’s fearless leader says, “My hop blend in Hop Cuvée will change every year, like a vintage, to reflect the best crops that our organic hop farmers have to offer.” Bison is a great brewery to get to know, they have a love of great beer, and have figured out how to give it to us in a way that’s organic, eco-friendly, and aims for a lower carbon footprint every year.

Bison Brewing Hop-Cuvee The BeeronessThis is a beer that celebrates seasonal crops, making it perfect for the asparagus that just came into season. It finishes the soup to give it a bit of an earthier taste. I prefer this soup warm, but it can also be served as a chilled soup when the weather jumps into the triple digits.

Asparagus Pale Ale Soup


  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet white onion chopped
  • 2 pounds asparagus trimmed
  • 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup pale ale


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the broth and cook until asparagus has softened, about 10 minutes, remove from heat.
  • Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream and return to heat, brining to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, stir in beer.

Asparagus Pale Ale Soup_

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

I would venture a guess, that of all the industries in the world, the best people gravitate towards the world of craft beer. These are guys who are more than willing to take a pay cut to make sure the beer they make for you has the best ingredients. These are people who gladly work around the clock, if that’s what will make a better product. Craft brewers never start their journey with, "You know how I can get rich…" the conversation starts with, "I want to make some good beer, and I want to share it with people."

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce (Hanger 24 Brewery)

Craft beer people want to do well by you, by their beer, and by their community. Most often, thoughts of their own prosperity rates a distant third. No one embodies this more than those guys at Hangar 24. This is a newer brewery out of Redlands, California, about an hours drive east of Los Angeles. Hangar 24 isn’t even 5 years old, and is producing beer that has a bit of an old soul quality. It’s not a brewery that plays lemming to the craft beer trends, or seeks to out beer-snob other breweries, these are brewers that just want to make great beer. Beer that stand the test of time and showcases the local ingredients.

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce (Hangar 24 Brewery)

I was a guest on the Beerisode of the Table Set last week, the podcast beginning with a beer field trip to Hanger, complete with a tour and a tasting. Although I got rather excited about the bourbon barrel aged stout that is currently in the works for release in the fall, the beer I was able to work with today was the Amarillo Pale Ale. This is a great example of a pale ale, hop forward, but still very well-balanced and the Amarillo hops making a star appearance. Hangar 24 is brilliantly expanding, in a responsible and thoughtful way, making it easier for more and more people to enjoy these fantastic beer. If you find yourself somewhere west of Palm Springs, but still east of Los Angles, stop in for a pint, you won’t regret it.

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce (Hangar 24 brewery)

After indulging in a sampling of every beer Hangar 24 has to offer, I went back to the Table Set Studios, and I got to give my two cents on their beer episode. If you get a chance, the podcast is free, give it a listen, we had a great time.

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce


  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • ½ cup English peas
  • 3 cups Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 cup water


  • In a pot over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the beer, cream and lemon juice; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. About a tablespoon at a time, add the Parmesan, stirring until melted before adding more.
  • Add the dry pasta, water and peas, simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


To make this recipe using fresh, not dried, pasta, omit the water.

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons

 Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

I promise you that this is the last St. Patricks day post. Until next year when I will further assault you with recipes for celebrating my love 'o the Irish, and forcing you to read more stories of my visit to Dublin.

Until then, here is a Green Beer cheese soup that contains not a drop of food dye, relying on the natural pigment of broccoli to get the job done. Although I don’t know who’s to blame for fouling up beer with green dye, I can’t imagine the Irish, with their deliciously dark stouts, are to blame. I’d wager the fault goes to America. No matter how you choose to celebrate, green beer-food just feels festive. I just wish I had some shamrock shaped soup bowls for the occasion.

Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

To up the Irish in this dish, I used Kerrygold Dubliner cheese. I’ve been using Kerrygold for years, and not just because I have a soft spot for Ireland. Kerrygold uses natural, sustainable methods, uses co-op farmers, grass-fed cows, and zero artificial colors or flavors (not sponsored post, I swear!). While at a pub in Dublin, I met the son of a sheep farmer.

 Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

We talked for hours about farming (I also grew up on a farm) and even when he wanted to change the subject to his love of Eddie Murphy, I kept steering the conversation back to farming in Ireland. Irish farmers are unlike any farmers I’ve ever met. Because the herds are always small, due to land limitations, the relationships between farmers and animals is unusually devoted and affectionate. Although Kerrygold is readily available at most grocery stores, it has a small farm feel to it.

Even if you do end up throwing in some green food dye to up the color, I hope you love this soup as much as I do, and raise your pint to Ireland.

Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons (no food dye)

Green Beer Cheese Soup (Broccoli Cheddar) with Pesto Croutons


For The Soup

  • 3 cups broccoli florets chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ large sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups wheat beer or pale ale
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 7 ounces Dubliner cheese grated (or sharp white cheddar)
  • 8 ounces gouda grated
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Croutons:

  • 1 French baguette cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pesto


  • In a large pot of lightly salted water, cook the broccoli until very soft, drain and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 4 tbs butter. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until the carrots are very soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for about 30 seconds, remove from heat.
  • In a large food processor or blender, add 1 cup beer, cornstarch, both kids of cheese and as well as the carrot and celery mixture, process until very smooth, about 5 to 8 minutes. Return mixture to the pot along with the remaining beer.
  • In the same food processor (no need to clean between jobs) add the broccoli and the broth, process until very smooth. Add pureed broccoli, as well as the cream, to the soup.
  • Bring the soup to a low simmer, stirring occasionally until warmed and slightly thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbs butter. Add the bread cubes and toss until browned. Remove from heat and immediately add in the pesto, toss to coat.
  • Serve the soup topped with croutons.

*This is not a sponsored post. I actually feel this way. 

Beer and Buttermilk Fried Chicken


Beer and Buttermilk Fried ChickenP

 I’ve been wanting to make you some beer fried chicken for a while now, but it’s a bit intimidating.

The best fried chicken comes from the south, it’s a fact of sorts. As is the fact that, other than a few weeks in Atlanta, I haven’t spent much time in the Southern states. And, let’s be honest, a white girl from Washington State isn’t exactly your go-to when you want the worlds best fried chicken.

But I have some confidence in this recipes because it isn’t really mine. I’ve added a few things, but the heart and soul of it belongs to a woman who’s chicken was so incredible, Ruth Reichl spent weeks, and copious amounts of beer, extracting the recipe from her. Even 40 years after plying Claritha with enough beer to obtain said recpe, Ruth not only remembers it, she writes about it in Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table.

Like any great recipe, it travels. How I hope my recipes become your recipes. My Chocolate Stout Cake becomes your Chocolate Stout Cake, the one your boyfriend begs you to make him for his birthday and tells his friends, "My girl makes the best cake." Because once your hands have cut the butter, stirred the batter and frosted the cake, it’s not my recipe any more, it’s yours. As it should be.

So, from Claritha, to Ruth to Random House to me and finally to you, is the best fried chicken I’ve ever made. I hope it becomes your fried chicken too.

Beer and Buttermilk Fried Chicken2

Beer and Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Adapted from Claritha's Fried Chicken, Ruth Reichl, Tender at the Bone


  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1 to 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups blonde ale
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter

Yield: 4servings


    • Place chicken in a wide bowl. Cover with salt, place uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove chicken from the bowl.
    • Rinse the chicken well and clean the bowl to remove all the salt. Add buttermilk, beer and onion slices to the bowl, stir to combine. Add the chicken back in the bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight, 8 to 20 hours.
    • Add the flour, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, and pepper to a bag, shake to combine. Drain the chicken. add chicken to the bag, shake until the chicken is well coated. Place chicken on wax paper or parchment paper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour.
    • In a large skillet melt the vegetable shortening and butter over high heat. Add chicken (working in batches if necessary), cover and lower heat to just above medium. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, turn and cook on the opposite side for about 8 additional minutes or until cooked through.

    Beer and Buttermilk Fried Chicken3


    Beer Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie

    Happy 2013.

    Anyone broken their New Years Resolutions yet?

    I love resolutions, I just don’t make those "I’m going to remove things I love from my life" kind.

    I make resolutions that are more inline with goals. As in:

    -I’m going to take a homemade pasta class

    -I’m going to read more food lit

    -I’m going to explore vegan cooking, because produce is amazing

    Someday I’ll set the "I’m going to start homebrewing this year" resolution, but I’m not there yet.

    Beer Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie2

    It’s possible that were you live, it’s actually cold right now. And maybe you set a resolution about cooking more often, if that’s the case, I have the perfect thing for you.

    Chicken pot pie, with cornbread build right in. Oh, and some beer.

    Beer Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie



    • 4 ears of corn
    • 2 tbs butter plus 2 tbs, divided
    • 1 large shallot chopped
    • 2 large carrot peeled and sliced into rings
    • 1 cup peas
    • 2 ribs of celery chopped
    • 2 tbs oil
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped into bite sized pieces
    • 3 tbs flour
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 4 sage leaves minced (about ½ tsp)
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp pepper
    • 1/3 more, plus more chicken

    Cornbread top:

    • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 1 tbs baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • ½ cup beer pilsner or low to medium hopped pale ale
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 tbs melted butter

    Yield: 6 servings


      • Preheat oven to 400.
      • Cut the corn off the ears, set aside.
      • In a large pot, melt 2 tbs butter. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, peas, and celery, cook until the vegetables have soften about an additional 5 minutes. Remove from pot, set aside.
      • Heat the olive oil. Add the chicken, cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, remove chicken from pot.
      • Add remaining 2 tbs butter, heat until melted. Spinkle flour on top, whisk until well combined. Add the chicken broth and bring to a low simmer. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pot along with the corn, allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
      • Place 6 individual, oven safe bowls (about 1 ½ cup sized) on a baking sheet. Pour chicken soup into bowls until about 2/3 full.
      • Ina large bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and stir until combined. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the beer, egg and melted butter. Stir until just combined.
      • Top the bowls with cornbread mixture (it’s OK if the batter sinks, it’ll rise during baking).
      • Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown.


       Beer Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie3

      Ham And Beer Cheese Sandwiches

      Your Holiday Ham leftovers don’t stand a chance.

      Smothered in delicious beer cheese and served on a leftover dinner roll.

      Ham and Beer Cheese Sandwich3

      And don’t be afraid if your previous beer cheese ventures haven’t gone so well. This one is foolproof, I promise. I’ve cracked the beer cheese code. Mostly for selfish reasons. Regardless of the reason behind the failure, I hate when my recipes don’t work for you. And beer cheese, since the dawn of time, has always been difficult. Except this one. It also takes about 5 minutes, and it will work.

      Ham and Beer Cheese Sandwich

      1 batch Foolproof Beer Cheese

      2 tbs melted butter

      8 Kaiser rolls (or leftover dinner rolls)

      about 2 lbs ham, sliced

      1 cup arugula

      2 large tomatoes, sliced (or, sliced cherry tomatoes)

      Split buns or rolls, brush with melted butter. Toast lightly under a broiler or in a toaster oven.

      Add ham, top with generous amounts of beer cheese sauce, and then with arugula and tomatoes.

      Ham and Beer Cheese Sandwich3

      Foolproof Beer Cheese Sauce

      To be honest, this post is one hundred percent selfish.

      Since the shooting Friday, I haven’t been able to stop watching the news or reading every bit of online news about the recent tragedy. Therefore, the tears are pretty much a mainstay in my life.


      And in my emotionally fragile state, I can’t handle a beer cheese failure and we could all use even a small win.

      Let’s be honest, beer cheese can be a bitch. It’s a pretty standard fondue, but it has about a 50% fail rate (*this is a completely made up statistic based solely on conjecture & observation) and I didn’t want to deal with a mess if the Beer Cheese Gods were otherwise occupied.

       Foolproof Beer Cheese Sauce2

      Look back on my blender epiphany that brought us the Roast Garlic and Parmesan Beer Cheese Dip and the epic win that it is, I wanted to see if it also extended it’s foolproof graces to beer cheese sauce.

      Foolproof Beer Cheese Sauce4

      It does. Blend the crap out of it and it won’t have a choice but to work. This takes the guesswork, and the fear of failure, out of making a lovely little cheese sauce for all to enjoy.

       Foolproof Beer Cheese Sauce3

      And don’t forget the cornstarch, it’s not yummy, I wouldn’t ask you to add it if it wasn’t important. Also, pre-shredded cheese has additives that hinder it’s ability to re-melt, so don’t use it.


      Foolproof Beer Cheese Sauce

      Servings 2 1/2 cups


      • 2 tablespoons Butter softened (or melted)
      • 2 tablespoons Flour
      • 1 tablespoons Cornstarch
      • 1 cup beer wheat beer, blonde ale, pale ale, pilsner
      • 1 cup shredded Gouda do not use pre shredded
      • 1 cup shredded Cheddar do not use pre shredded
      • 1 cup whole milk
      • salt and pepper


      • Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Process on high until very well blended, about 5-8 minutes.
      • Transfer contents to a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk rapidly and continuously until thickened, about 5 minutes.
      • Salt and pepper to taste.
      • If small bits of cheese solids remain, blend until smooth with a hand blender.
      • Serve warm.



      Black and Tan Cookies: New York Deli Cookies Meet Beer Mixology

      Black and Tan cookies. This is the hybrid of that great New York Deli cookies, the Black & White, and the Grandfather of Beer Mixology, the Black & Tan.


      Although the Black & Tan, a mixture of stout and pale ale, most often brings to mind a Bass/Guinness marriage, it actually dates back to the 1880’s when British pub owners tried to find a way to make the winter stout stash last without pissing of their customers. The trend caught on, and stout drinkers started to order the lighter mix during the summer months.

      The idea of the Black & Tan is really similar to the idea of the Black and White cookie, two contrasting flavors, joining together to enhance the other. Plus, beer and cookies are just great.

      Speaking of, whoever is first to open a pub/gourmet-bakery hybrid with a "Cookies and Beer" theme might find me as their brand new stalker.


      For the Cookies:

      2 sticks butter

      2 cups Sugar

      1 tsp vanilla extract

      ¼ tsp lemon extract

      2 eggs

      ½ cup heavy cream

      ½ cup pale ale

      4 1/2 cups Flour

      pinch of Salt

      1 tbs cornstarch

      1 tbs baking powder

      2 tsp baking soda

      For the Frosting:

      4 ½ cups confectioners sugar, divided

      ¼ cup stout

      1 ounce unsweetened bakers chocolate, chopped

      ¼ cup pale ale

      ½ tsp vanilla

      Makes about 2 dozen

      In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and beat on high until well combined. Reduce speed to medium, add the eggs, lemon extract and vanilla extract, one at a time, and beat well between each addition, scraping the bottom occasionally.

      Reduce speed to medium, add the heavy cream and the beer, mix until incorporated.

      Stop the mixer, sprinkle the flour, salt, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda on top of the butter mixer. Stir gently until just combined, scraping the bottom to insure the butter and flour are fully incorporated.

      Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerated for 3 hours, and up to 36.

      Scrape dough out of bowl onto a well floured surface. Pat into a rectangle, dust the top with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an even ½ to ¾ inch thickness. Using a large round biscuit cutter, cut out 24 to 30 cookies, place on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Place baking sheets in the refrigerator while oven preheats, about 15 minutes.

      Preheat oven to 325.

      Bake cookies at 325 for 12 minutes or until cookies have puffed and no longer look wet. Do not brown cookies. Immediately slide the parchment off the baking sheet and onto a flat surface.

      To make the frosting, put the stout and unsweetened chocolate in a pot over low/medium heat. Whisk until chocolate has melted. Add 2 cups confectioners sugar, whisk until combined. Add additional sugar to thicken, if needed. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

      To make the white frosting, add  the remaining 2 ½ cups confectioners sugar to a bowl, add the pale ale and the vanilla, whisk to combine. Add additional sugar if needed to thicken.

      Frost all cookies with white icing on just half of the cookies. Frost the other half of all of the cookies with the chocolate frosting.

      Chorizo Egg Breakfast Skillet

      There is something about lingering over a long breakfast with those I love that just makes me feel like I did something right. Everyone eats dinner, most of us have a few minutes for lunch, but it’s when we take time to sit and spend "valuable, productive" hours of the day actually tasting our food, chatting with those people whose company often gets taken for granted, that the day really become special.

      This may be a habit I picked up while traveling in those countries that wouldn’t think of letting a hotel guest check out without being fed, even if you only spent $5 on a bed in a shared room. I think maybe a hotel owner and his wife insisting that the 19 year old American who spoke no Italian MUST sit for a cup of espresso and a some bread before departing had a huge impact on me, especially given that I was broke and had paid less for the room than I would have paid for the breakfast in the States. Some how breakfast and hospitality have since been linked in my brain. I feed my guests. A lot.

      This is a great Family style breakfast that takes very little skill to throw together. Tons of flavor, little effort.


      Chorizo Egg Breakfast Skillet


      • 2 tbs olive oil
      • 1 cup red potatoes peeled and diced small dice
      • ½ tsp salt
      • ½ tsp pepper
      • 1 large shallot chopped
      • 1 bell pepper sliced julienne, stem and seeds removed
      • 6 oz chorizo sausage removed from casing
      • ½ cup pale ale beer I used Scrimshaw
      • 14 oz crushed stewed tomates in juices
      • 4 eggs
      • ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
      • 1 large avocado sliced
      • ¼ cup cilantro


      • preheat oven to 350.
      • In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper, cook over medium high heat until potatoes are fork tender, remove potatoes from skillet.
      • Return skillet to heat, adding additional olive oil if the pan is dry and cook the shallots and red peppers until soft. Add the chorizo, stir and break up while cooking. Once the chorizo is mostly cooked, add the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan.
      • Add the tomatoes and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Return potatoes to the pan.
      • Crack the eggs on the skillet, evenly spaced.
      • Cook in a 350 oven until the whites have set, about 10 minutes.
      • Top with cilantro, parmesan and avocado prior to serving.

      Beer Cheese Wontons


      This recipe has nothing to do with Thanksgiving.

      I love Thanksgiving, really. It’s my favorite holiday, due in no small part to the fact that it is a day devoted to a gluttonous love of food. And no presents are exchanged. I’m not sure what it is about those present exchanging holidays that makes me nervous. I’ve never been a girl who is comfortable with receiving gifts. I love to give them, completely love it. But having someone watch me open a gift, I can’t help but feel completely self conscious about my reaction which I assume to be sub-par.

      I know. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to over think things.

      Which makes my love for Thanksgiving FAR exceed any feelings I have for Christmas. I get to make significantly more food than will ever be consumed, and no one will be attempting to decipher my reaction as I peel away the wrapping of a hand selected present.

      Starting sometime in the next 36 hours, I will start preparations for the following dishes: This turkey, These rolls, this Mac n Cheese, something similar to this pie, and this pie too. As well as about 6 other dishes that will create a disgusting surplus of food.


      And then, we will all be back to making football food, like portable beer cheese dip.



      Beer Cheese Wontons


      • 4 oz cream cheese
      • 1/4 cup sour cream
      • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
      • 1 tbs corn starch
      • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
      • 1/4 cup beer
      • 1/2 tsp sriracha
      • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 24 wonton wrappers
      • 2 tbs green onions chopped
      • 1/4 cup canola oil


      • In a food processor combine the first 9 ingredients (everything except the wonton wrappers, green onions and the oil), process until well combined.
      • One at a time, place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, wet the edges or the wrappers with water.
      • Place about 1 tbs of filling in the center of the wrapper. Sprinkle green onions on top (about 1/4 tsp).
      • Fold wrapper over to create a triangle, press the edges together until very well sealed. Brush the bottom of the triangle with water and fold the corners into the center and press into shape.
      • Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Adjust heat to make sure it does not get to the smoking point, or the wontons will burn.
      • Carefully add wontons to the hot oil, cooking until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
      • Serve immediately, wontons will get soggy if they sit.


      Mini Drunken Pumpkin Coconut Pies


      Have you ever served on a jury?

      I have. A few years ago I was put on a federal case at the Los Angeles court house. The defendant was a smarmy little man who was, without a doubt, about a thousand percent guilty of smuggling 3 million dollars worth of Ecstasy into the country using teenage drug mules.

      For two weeks I had to watch him represent himself, after firing his public defender, and very poorly and arrogantly cross examine those miserable teenage girls who had come to testify against him as well as anyone else who took the stand. At one point, the detective who had spent the better part of the previously year building a case against him took the stand to defend the piles and piles (quite literally) of evidence against him, most of which was collected in his home.

      "well,do you have picture of me with these alleged drugs? or with the alleged thugs?"

      The detective responded with, "First, the drugs are not alleged they are real and right on that table. Second, No, I did not take a picture of you with any drugs, or thugs, or in a box or with a fox. Doesn’t make you any less guilty."

      I laughed so hard, and for so long it required a shushing for the judge. I was LOUDLY shushed by the oldest man I had ever seen still earning a living. A man who fell asleep twice the first day of trial.

      Later that day, after I had composed myself, I looked over to see Old Man Judge flipping through a sketch book of artfully drawn pictures of naked women. I was probably the only one who could see the cartoon style smut, I was seated in the far top seat of the Jury Pit, closest the judge. Ok, I’m sure "Jury Pit" isn’t the right term, but it was either that or  "Judicial Dugout." Please, let me know if you know the real term.

      The first thing I think is, "You MUST be old, your porn is hand drawn!" The second thought was, "I can’t believe he doesn’t have to pay attention to this, but I do."

      At the end of a very long 2 weeks, we found Smarmy Drug Dealer very guilty, and I found later that he confessed to it all.

      Why am I telling you ALL of this? Because, other than the pen and ink peep show, the most surprising thing about serving on a jury is how exhausting it was. I was SO tired at the end of the day, after doing nothing more than just sitting there forcing myself to listen to terms like bifurcate and per curiam.

      And as I start to write this cookbook and I spend the entire day forcing creativity to get out of my brain and into my KitchenAid, I am exhausted at the end of the day. Really, not as surprising a 90-year-old man asleep on the job atop parchment inscribed with a nude Botticelli-esque drawing. But still, I wasn’t really expecting it.


      Mini Drunken Pumpkin Coconut Pies


      For the Dough

      • 1 1/3 cup flour
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1 tbs sugar
      • 1 stick cold butter cut into cubes
      • 2 tbs ice cold beer high ABV works best

      For the filling

      • 2 cups pumpkin puree if using canned, make sure it is not pumpkin pie filling
      • 2 eggs
      • 3 tbs flour
      • 1/2 cup coconut milk fat scraped off the top of a can of full fat coconut milk
      • 2/3 cup brown sugar
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
      • 1/4 cup pumpkin ale
      • 1 tsp coconut extract can sub vanilla extract


      • In a bowl, add the flour, salt and sugar, mix to combine. Add the butter cubes and rub into the flour with your fingers, or a pasty cutter, until well combined. It will resemble coarse meal. Add the beer and mix until combined, adding more until all the flour is moistened and the dough is able to form a ball. Form into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
      • Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 4 inch circles, a large margarita glass works wonderfully for this.
      • Spray the wells of 12 to 14 muffin tins with butter flavored cooking spray. Place each circle into a well and gently press into shape, allowing for a bit of an overhang.
      • In a bowl, add all of the filling ingredients, whisk until well combined. Pour into mini pie crusts. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until the filling has set and no longer jiggles when the pan is shaken.


      Chicken in Creamy Mushroom Beer Sauce



      Today is November 6th, Election Day.

      As Americans spend the day thinking of little else, wedged firmly between Barack and a hard place, I wanted to give you a little motivation to get through this day.

      We will soon find ourselves at the end of this exhausting Election Season, our feelings of separatism from those who disagree with us will fade. We will find Facebook to be a friendlier place, and those Someecards of a political nature will ebb.

      Regardless of the outcome, you have a reason to grab your favorite beer. Either in celebration of your guy winning the mad race to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or as a way to console yourself over the fact that the other guy came out ahead.

      Given that you may be too distracted to spend all that much time in the kitchen tonight, this meal only takes about 20 minutes.

      And, I’m pretty certain it has bipartisan support.

      For this recipes, I like a brown ale, a blonde, a pale or a wheat beer. Be aware that using an IPA will kick up the beer flavor considerably and may be too bitter in the end.

      Chicken in Creamy Mushroom Beer Sauce


      • 4 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp pepper
      • 3 tbs butter
      • 1/4 cup onions chopped
      • 3 cloves garlic minced
      • 5 oz wild mushrooms such as Shiitake (not dried)
      • 1/2 cup beer
      • 1/2 cup heavy cream
      • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
      • salt and pepper to taste


      • In a pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pan and cook on both sides until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan.
      • Add onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
      • Add garlic and mushrooms, cook until mushrooms are soft and have darkened, about 5 minutes.
      • Add the beer, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan.
      • Reduce heat to medium, add the cream and stir.
      • Add half of the cheese, stir until melted. Add the remaining half, stir until combined.
      • Add the chicken and allow to cook until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, serve over rice or pasta.



      Sweet Potato Beer Biscuits With Maple Sage Butter



      I didn’t grow up eating Sweet potatoes.

      I never saw them on my Thanksgiving table or at Sunday dinner. They just didn’t exist in my world. Until one chilly afternoon in College when I stopped by the dorm room of a Souther friend of mine who had just pulled a Sweet potato, covered in butter and brown sugar out of the microwave. She was nuts. A Vegetable with sugar on it? I couldn’t get over how strange it was to enjoy a vegetable as if it was some kind of dessert. She offered me a bite, and my instinct to recoil was overtaken by my overwhelming curiosity. I was hooked.

      I shocked at how much I love it. It was a comfort food, and it was a vegetable. Biscuits, made from scratch, are a bit the same. Although I didn’t grow up with anything other than a biscuit from a tube with a fear inducing opening method, those always seemed amazing to me. Another incredible comfort food.

      And the beer isn’t just here for the novelty of it. Beer is a mild leavening agent, giving this biscuits a lighter, more tender texture. For this recipe, I like a Hefeweizen or a Pumpkin Ale.

      Sweet Potato Beer Biscuits With Maple Sage Butter


      For the Biscuits:

      • 1 large sweet potato
      • 2/3 cup beer
      • 2 cups flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • pinch salt
      • 1 tbs sugar
      • 1 stick butter cold, cut into small cubes
      • 1 tbs melted butter

      For the Butter:

      • 3 tbs butter room temperature
      • 1 sage leaf minced
      • 1 tsp pure maple syrup


      • Preheat oven to 425.
      • Pierce the sweet potato all over. Microwave on high until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to work with. Remove and discard skin, add sweet potato to a bowl (should be about 3/4 cup of sweet potato mash).
      • Add the beer to the sweet potatoes and using a potato masher, stir and mash until completely combined.
      • In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix to combine.
      • Add the butter cubes and using your fingers or a pastry blender, rub the butter into the flour until completely combined.
      • Add the sweet potato beer mixture and mix until just combined.
      • Form dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Form into a square, about 1 1/2 inches high, and about 1 foot long. Cut into square biscuits. Place on a baking sheet covered with a Silpat or parchment paper. Brush with melted butter.
      • Bake at 425 for 15-18 minutes.
      • In a small bowl, add the maple syrup ingredients and stir until combined.
      • Serve biscuits warm, with maple sage butter.




      Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese

      I’m not a beer snob. To be honest, the term has always rubbed against the grain.

      I’m a beer fan, a beer lover, a girl fascinated by beer, but I’m not a snob.

      I spent years on the fringes of the music industry in LA, and the beer snobs I meet now echo those same phrases I heard then. And so do my responses.

      If you loved The Killers when we saw them play free shows at The Spaceland, you should still love them when they win Grammys.

      Good music, is good music. Regardless of how many, or how few, other people like it.

      If you loved Rogue Dead Guy Ale when no one carried it, you should still love it when it has mass distribution.

      Good beer, is good beer. Regardless of how many, or how few, other people like it.

      At a beer event a few months ago I asked the rep from North Coast Brewing why he hadn’t brought any Scrimshaw, "The Beer Snobs would eat me alive if I poured that!" And then whispered to me that it was what he drank more than anything else.

      Stop doing that.

      Good beer is good beer. Don’t be afraid to drink what you like, even if everyone else likes it too.

      In celebration of good beer, I give you my favorite one pot, quick and easy, make this for Thanksgiving, you will never make it from a box again, Mac & Cheese. Hope you still love it even when everyone else does too.

      Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese

      Servings 4 servings


      • 2 cups elbow macaroni
      • 4 strips of bacon cut in half
      • 1/2 cup sour cream
      • 1 egg
      • 2/3 cup beer pale ale, blonde, bock, and Hef work well, an IPA will give you a very strong beer flavor
      • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese fresh grated, pre-shreaded has additives that prevents it from melting properly
      • 2 tbs butter
      • 1/2 tsp black pepper
      • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
      • pinch cayenne pepper
      • salt to taste


      • In a large pot of boiling water, add the noodles and cook until just before done. Don't over-cook the noodles or this will end up mushy.
      • Drain the pasta, return the pot to the stove and cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pot and allow to cool.
      • Drain off bacon grease and return drained noodles to the pot.
      • In a separate bowl, add the beer, egg and sour cream, beat until well combined.
      • Add the butter and the beer mixture to the noodles and return to medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted.
      • About 1/4 a cup at a time, add the cheese. Stir until cheese has melted before adding more.
      • Add the spices and chopped bacon, stir.


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      Triple Berry Blueberry Beer Cobbler

      You inspire me. You really do. One of my favorite moments of my day is reading emails from you, those of you who read my blog and like what I’m doing.

      And sometimes,the emails have a common theme. A thread that runs through out the world, across the internet, and remind me of how we are all connected, in one way or another, and more similar than we all think.

      In the past month I’ve received four emails from all over the world about blueberry beer. Not so much along the avenue of, "I love this, you MUST try it!" but more in the vein of, "This is interesting, but not totally drinkable, what do I do with it?"

      And to be honest, I feel the same way. At a beer event six months ago, an overly zealous beer server shoved a glass of Shipyards Smashed Blueberry into my hand. And, as one who will never let a beer go untasted, I began to drink. It was interesting. The presence of blueberry with bready, toasty notes that where really well balanced. It wanted to love it, but it just wasn’t for me. It’s a great example of a blueberry beer, one that you should go out and drink, if fruit beers are your thing, but just not for me. Even still, it stayed with me, because in my world there is a different place for cooking beers. And this was a great cooking beer. One that I believe in, in theory, a well crafted beer with great flavors, but one that I wasn’t eager to run home and drink.

      So here we are, me and you, with blueberry beers that we find interesting but not necessarily ones we want to fill our glasses with.

      So here is what I propose: an easy berry cobbler made with this intriguing beer. And here are some great ones to go out and try:

      SLO Brewing Blueberry

      Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Beer

      Bluepoint Blueberry Ale

      Shipyard Smashed Blueberry

      Triple Berry Blueberry Beer Cobbler


      • Six cups of berries I used 2 cups each blackberries, strawberrries, and blueberries Frozen is fine
      • 1/2 cup brown sugar plus 2 tbs divided
      • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
      • 2 tbs corn starch
      • 1 1/2 cups blueberry beer
      • 2 cups cake flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 12 tbs butter 1 1/2 sticks cut into small cubes
      • 1/2 cup beer
      • 1/4 cup milk
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
      • 2 tbs beer


      • Preheat oven to 450.
      • In a pot over medium high heat, add 4 cups berries (reserve 2 cups mixed berries for the end), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, corn starch and beer. Allow to simmer until reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
      • Remove from heat, add reserved 2 cups of berries, stir to combine. Add to a deep dish pie pan.
      • In a bowl, add 2 tbs brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and stir to combine.
      • Add the butter, rub into the flour until well combined and resembles course meal.
      • Add the milk and 1/2 cup beer, stir until combined.
      • Gently add the flour topping, a bit at a time, to the pie pan until the berries are covered.
      • Bake at 450 until the topping has turned a light golden brown, about 18 minutes.
      • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbs beer. Whip on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
      • Serve the cobbler topped with whipped cream.