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Skillet Sour Cream Beer Chicken

Skillet Sour Cream Beer Chicken

Skillet Sour Cream Beer Chicken

I travel a lot, you know this. Last minute trips to South America, a rapid-fire two-day trip to Copenhagen, sometimes just a long road trip to clear my head.

I don’t travel the way normal people travel. To be honest, I rarely do anything in a conventional way, it’s something you just have to get used to. While I’m not a creature of habit, I do like to search for the same souvenir every time I travel. Two, in fact.

It started when I  began seeking out the little markets locals shopped at, usually dingy and unappealing, always far from tourist-heavy streets, and once even in a total city-wide blackout in a sketchy part of Costa Rica.

I wandered the aisle in the little store in Dominical, Costa Rica lit only by the afternoon sun streaming in from the open doors in the front of the bodega, only accompanied by a few older women picking up last minute supplies for dinner. The beige aluminum shelves boasting as much dust as dry goods and the summer heat heavy on my skin, making wandering the store a conscious effort. I found what I was looking for.

A small glass jar with what appeared to be a home-printed label with a scripty font that read, "Miel." Honey. That’s what I wanted. It’s a part of the land, the honey and it’s hard working bees allowing me to check in my luggage 6 ounces of the terrior to take home.

Ever since that trip, I seek it out, a small jar of the land to take home with me. Salt is the same. If it’s possible to find salt harvested from a local ocean, that comes home with me as well. So far, I have honey or salt from 15 countries.

I use it. On toast, in recipes, making bread. I don’t store it on a shelf to crystallize and be forgotten. It gets used, enjoyed, shared. It’s a way to keep the places that I’ve been a part of my life when I’m off the road. A way to remind myself that it’s OK to use, because my next adventure awaits.

Maybe even as I type this some little bugs are making my next souvenir for a trip I haven’t even planned yet.

The honey I use in this recipe was from my recent trip to Brazil, a place I fell in love with and a country I will most definitely visit again.

Skillet Sour Cream Beer Chicken

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (240g) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) lemon juice (about ½ medium sized lemon)
  • 2 teaspoon (12g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup (2oz) pale ale
  • Rice or pasta for serving

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper on all sides
  2. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, sear on both sides until browned.
  3. In a bowl stir together the basil, rosemary, mustard, sour cream, lemon juice, honey, and garlic powder, set aside.
  4. Pour the beer into the skillet, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  5. Pour the sour cream mixture over the chicken, cover skillet and lower heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with rice or pasta.
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Blackberry Sweet Rolls with Beer Dough


Blackberry Sweet Rolls with Beer Dough, like cinnamon rolls just WAY better. 

It finally happened. Out of nowhere, and without my consent. I’m not even sure when it started, really. But now, it’s official.

I’m a Pacific Northwesterner, authentic and legitimized and I was finally given proof. I am, after all, a California girl born and raised. Heat seeking, lizard-on-a-rock always looking for a terrarium to spend time in. Summer was always my favorite season, and I need sunshine like I need air. But then, it happened.

After weeks of near triple-digit heat squeezing the breath out of  Seattle area, I woke to a light rain, air sweet and soft, and a dew covered garden.  "Thank God," I thought, "It finally rained," and there it was. A delicate summer rain was welcomed into my life like aloe on a sunburn.

I’m a Pacific Northwesterner. I even found myself aching for the fall, the sweaters, the smell of a fireplace, the color of the leaves as they say goodbye like the finale of a fireworks show.

I won’t be drinking any pumpkin spice lattes any time soon, so don’t get any ideas. I will, however, be picking as many blackberries as I can before they leave for the year. Freezing the excess for winter baking, and take full advantage of these charming weeds that overtake the Seattle area side roads and unkempt lots.

Just about 20-minutes of picking yielded 4 pounds of fruit, so obviously I needed to spend Sunday afternoon baking some Blackberry Sweet Rolls, and settling into the idea that for the first time in my life I’m not really sad to see the summer come to an end.

Blackberry Sweet Rolls with Beer Dough

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

    For the dough:
  • 4 cups (480g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (1 envelope) rapid rise dry active yeast
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) lemon zest
  • 1 cup (8oz) beer (Hefeweizen, pale ale, pilsner)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • For the filling:
  • ½ cup (114g) butter, softened
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cup (220g) blackberries
  • Frosting:
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (114g)softened butter
  • 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt

Instructions

  1. Stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, lemon zest, in a stand mixer.
  2. Heat the beer to 120°F (Always defer to the liquid temperature listed on the package of yeast, regardless of what the recipe says. Your yeast package says 105°F? Heat the liquid to that temperature!)
  3. Add the warmed beer to the stand mixer, mix until incorporated.
  4. Add the butter, vanilla and salt. Continue to beat until the dough is no longer sticky and gathers around the hook, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Add dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle about 9x13 inches in size.
  7. Add all filling ingredients (except the blackberries) to a bowl, mix until well combined.
  8. Spread the filling evenly across the dough, sprinkle evenly with blackberries.
  9. Starting with the long end, roll the dough tightly into a long log. Cut into 12 rolls about 1 ½ inches wide.
  10. Add the rolls tightly into a baking dish, cut-side up.
  11. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350°F until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
  13. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add in the remaining ingredients, then beat until light and creamy.
  14. Frost before serving. Serve within 10 hours of making.
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Crab Tarts with Saison Béarnaise Sauce

Crab Tarts with Saison Béarnaise Sauce

Crab Tarts with Saison Béarnaise Sauce

This is because I don’t care. I don’t care that "blogging is dead," so says everyone who spikes higher on SEO than I do. I don’t care that this is not a very googleable recipe, therefore it won’t earn me much incoming search engine traffic.

Your capacity to care about all the things is limited (also known as: how many fucks you have to give), so I really have to limit what I care about to the things that matter most, and let the rest lie like Chowder Jones in the sunlit patch of my living room.

I do, however, care about you. I care that you like what I’m doing, probably far more than I’d ever let on. I care that you make my recipe, post them on Instagram and tag me.

Honestly, it makes my day (unless your setting are set to private and I can’t see it). I care that you drink beer that you like, and I care a LOT when that beer does heart-melty things like give a portion of the profits from ALL of their beer to nonprofit organizations like The Chicago Women’s Health Center.

Middle Brow, a brewery out of Chicago does this. The remarkable thing, if you don’t know much about beer, is how hard this is.

Craft beer has a remarkably low-profit margin, some newer craft breweries hardly break even. It’s hard enough when you just have to worry about your own bills, but then to factor in giving some of that small margin away; it’s truly philanthropic. They’ve been doing it for years, so clearly they have somethings figured out.

When making these tarts—and freeing myself from all the things I don’t care about—it was easy to focus on the things I do. I did, after all, spend my first few years post-college as a social worker for gang kids.

Once you’re immersed in the world of non-profit-helping-people-organizations, it’s stick with you. And so does this beer. Chicago, you’re lucky to call this place a local spot.


Crab Tarts with Saison Béarnaise Sauce

Ingredients

    For the tarts:
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 oz lump crabmeat
  • 1 ear of corn, grilled or roasted, kernels cut off
  • ½ of 1 large red bell pepper, small chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions (plus additional for garnish)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup pilsner or wheat beer
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 circles, each about 3 inches across.
  3. Add to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush with olive oil, pierce all over with a fork.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. While still warm, use the back of a small, round, spoon (like a tablespoon) to press the center in to create a hole.
  5. In a bowl stir together the crab, bell pepper, corn kernels, lemon juice, green onions, salt and pepper.
  6. Plate the tart crusts, fill with the crab mixture.
  7. In a small pot stir together the shallots, vinegar, beer, and tarragon. Bring to a boil, cooking until reduced by half, about 8 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  8. In small food processor or blender, add the yolks, salt, and pepper. While the processor is running, slowly add the vinegar reduction and melted butter, process until thickened (if you’re having a hard time getting the sauce to thicken, add to a sauce pan, heat slightly until thickened).
  9. Drizzle the tarts with Bearnaise sauce, sprinkle with green onions, serve.

Notes

*To make ahead: make the tart crust, store in an airtight container. Make filing, store in a separate container. Make the sauce, store in an airtight container. To serve: reheat the sauce in the top of a double boiler, add 1 tablespoon beer, whisk until warmed. Plate the tarts, fill with crab mixture, top with sauce and serve!

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I Want to Give You a Beer Fridge! + Grilled Lime and Herb Beer Chicken

Grilled Lime and Herb Beer Chicken

I have a beer fridge in my office!! There really isn’t a way to overstate how happy this makes me. My excessive stash of beer that once took up residence in my regular-food-fridge is now happily occupying a boozy-VIP-space in my office between some nerdy books and a weird ceramic head vase.

It was one of those, "why didn’t I do this sooner?" acquisitions that came almost by accident. The same day that I decided that it was well past time that I actually get a beer fridge, I get an email from New Air asking if they can send me one without obligation. Yes, of course the answer is yes.

And then it came! It’s stunning. It’s gorgeous. It’s the best thing I’ve taken ownership of since Chowder Jones. I haven’t ever (and I mean ever) been this in love with an appliance. For your own sake, check it out.

This is the SKU that they sent my way: Dual Zone Beer and Wine Cooler(it can do a different temperate for each side!)

And because you’re so awesome, I want to give you one, too. And because THEY are so awesome, they agreed. So it’s settled:

We are giving you this Black Beer and Beverage Refrigerator (not the same one I have, but it’s super amazing!) to one lucky winner.

Just three easy steps to enter:

  1. Follow @TheBeeroness on Instagram
  2. Follow @NewAirUSA on Instagram
  3. Leave a comment with your Instagram handle saying you do so.

No Instagram? No problem! Just share this post on Facebook, leave a link in the comments below to your post on Facebook (make sure it’s public so I can see it!)

I can’t wait to see who wins!

(Giveaway ends  March 28th, 2018. USA Addresses only)

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. *winner has been notified*

But you can still get one!

Use the code: BEERONESS at checkout at newair.com for 20% off!

 

I also have some chicken for you, because that’s how much I adore you.


Grilled Lime and Herb Beer Chicken

Serving Size: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup beer (pale ale, pilsner, wheat beer, pale lager)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks

Instructions

  1. Add the basil, cilantro, parsley, green onions, garlic, lime juice and oil to a blender. Blend on high until well combined. Add the beer, pulse to combine.
  2. Sprinkle salt liberally over the chicken.
  3. Add the chicken to a large bowl or Ziploc bag. Add the marinade, cover (or seal), refrigerate for one hour or up to 12 hours.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  5. Add the chicken to the grill, brush with marinade. Grill on all sides until cooked through, brushing with marinade with each turn.
  6. Serve immediately.
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I was given a free beer and wine refrigerator by New Air, as well as one to give away. I was not monetarily compensated for this post. As always, all opinions, text, photos, and recipes are my own.  

Orange Lime Belgian Wit Cream Tart

Orange Lime Belgian Wit Cream Tart

Orange-Lime Belgian Wit Cream Tart

I know you’ve done this, I know you can relate.

My phone rang Tuesday morning, 4th of July, at 6:30 am. Seriously? Who died? Why would anyone call me (late sleeper, night person that I am) at 6:30 am? The area code triggers a memory in the fog of my early morning brain. Then it hits me, then I realize that I’d committed to a radio interview in Chicago during drive time, live on air. Damn it. I forget to set an alarm, Monday night had been hideous, and I’d fallen asleep before I was able to wake myself up in time for coffee and the requisite half hour to clear the sleep from my brain.

I answer, using the voice I know you’ve used before, too. That one that is so pathetically trying to pretend that it isn’t still dreaming. You try, as hard as you can, with all that you are able to muster, and it’s nowhere close. It’s still so shockingly obvious that you’ve answered the phone still tangled in sheets, your words still as pillow-creased as the side of your face.

This was me. On air. Live. Luckily I’ve been given a gift that has served me well over the years: an unparalleled ability to bullshit my way through just about any situation. I once faked an entire presentation in college. I’d forgotten about it and was called up with three minutes to prep. I grabbed my folders and strutted to the front of the class. The presentation (I decide on the ten steps up to the front of the class) was on the psychological impact of confidence, that pretending that you know what you are doing convinces people that you actually do. I had statistics (faked), terms (I made up on the spot), and real-world scenarios. I ended the presentation with, "And for the most convincing evidence of this: I just made that all up. And you believed me because I acted as if it was all entirely true." Because although I’m great at navigating my way through conversations in which I know little to nothing, I’m not a liar. I got an A. Which only further reinforced the use of this skill set.

Tuesday morning this came in handy. The part of my brain that’s good at talking me through just about anything took over, and I went on autopilot. To be clear, I didn’t make anything up, I spoke truthfully about a topic I know quite a bit about. I just did so while nearly asleep at dawn.

It seemed to work out, the host sent me an email saying he loved the segment. Thank God. I hate letting people down, and I love talking about beer. SO I decided that a celebratory dessert was in order, no bullshit, just great beer.

I used Inspired Belgian Wit from War Horse Brewing out of New York. The orange and coriander flavors are beautiful in this tart, and the beer was brewed to support the Women’s Hall of Fame, which is probably full of quite a few women who are able to think quickly on their feet. Or in their bed at 6:30 am.

I used this Kitchen torch, because it’s amazing, easily one of my favorite kitchen tools. (affiliate link)

 

Orange Lime Belgian Wit Cream Tart

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 9 full sized chocolate graham crackers (1 full sleeve)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • Filling:
  • 1 large naval orange, juiced
  • 3 large limes, juiced
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve whites)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup Belgian wit beer
  • Topping:
  • 2 reserved egg whites (from the filling)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Belgian Wit beer
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Add the graham crackers and sugar to a food processor and process until just crumbs. While the food processor is running add the melted butter and process until well combined. Add to a 9-inch tart pan. Starting with the sides, press into shape. Press the crust very well until even and compacted.
  3. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. In a saucepan off heat combine the orange juice, lime juice, egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, heavy cream, cornstarch, salt and beer, whisk until well combined.
  5. Add to medium heat, whisking until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly.
  6. Pour the filling into the crust, refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
  7. Place a small sauce pan with a few inches of water over medium heat. Add a large metal or glass bowl over the top, check to make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  8. Add 2 egg whites, 1 cup sugar, ¼ cup beer, cream of tartar and salt, beat continuously with a hand mixer until the mixture has thickened and tripled in size. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. The mixture should be thick and marshmallow like but still spreadable.
  9. Pour evenly over the top of the tart, refrigerate until chilled.
  10. Brulee the topping with a kitchen torch if desired.
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Beer and Bacon Biscuits

Beer and Bacon Biscuits, the flakiest, most addictive biscuits ever!

I know what you’re thinking.

It’s almost Cinco de Mayo and I’m posting about Beer and Bacon Biscuits. But bear with me, this makes sense. This isn’t just hangover food. It’s THE hangover food, it’s carbs, and greasy bacon, and hair of the dog, all in one. It’s like a delicious magical hangover elixir, masquerading as brunch food.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, one that always surprises people: I’m a total lightweight. I don’t drink nearly as much as people think (the beer goes into the food!), and I get drunk quicker than most. Which sparked my love affair with session IPA’s, it was out of necessity not trend.

I’m also not a party when I’m hungover, I get a bit surly. I’m like a wet cat. I will, however, make some killer biscuits, using the fold-and-roll technique I learned a decade ago. It makes the most insanely flakey and light biscuits, you’ll want to steal it and pass it off as your own. That’s fine. Just make sure to buy me a beer for showing it to you. And make me biscuits the day when I’m hungover.

Beer and Bacon Biscuits

Yield: 6 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cup (420g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon (12g) baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (9g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (12g) sugar
  • 8 tablespoon (88g) cold bacon fat or unsalted cold butter (114g) cut into cubes (or a combination of both)
  • 1/3 cup (80g) sour cream
  • 2/3 cup (5.5oz) wheat beer
  • 2 tablespoon (28g) melted butter
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In a processor add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  3. Pulse to combine. Add the bacon fat (cold) or the cold butter, and sour cream, process until well combined.
  4. Add the beer, process until just combined.
  5. Add to a well-floured flat surface, pat into a rectangle. Using a cold rolling pin gently roll into a large rectangle, about 1 inch in thickness, using as few strokes as possible.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped bacon.
  7. Fold the dough into thirds as you would a letter about to go into an envelope. Roll lightly, once in each direction to about 1 inch thickness, sprinkle with bacon, fold in thirds again. Gently roll into about 1 1/2 inch thickness (this will give you flakey layers).
  8. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out 6 biscuits. Place in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  9. Brush biscuits with melted butter, sprinkle chopped bacon.
  10. Bake at 425F for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
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One Hour No Knead Artisan Hefeweizen Bread

One Hour No Knead Artisan Hefeweizen Bread

One Hour No Knead Artisan Hefeweizen Bread

Yeast bread is a lot like replacing a ceiling light. You have this mental block that screams at you, "you can’t do that, it’s not for you. That’s for other people who know things you don’t know."

Replacing light fixtures hardwired into the ceiling and baking bread are also things I do when I’m stressed out. As is repainting rooms before I remember that I hate painting.

For a long time I avoided both things, assuming I wasn’t capable and the knowledge needed to complete said tasks was acquired from such a lengthy learning process I wasn’t up to it. Turns out, both tasks are really simple, and just basically require a few simple "just follow the directions" steps.

Last week I finally removed the hideous 1980’s ceiling fan from my kitchen that I’d been avoiding.  I just couldn’t take it anymore. The YouTube videos were so simple, it made me feel like a coward for never having attempted it. You literally just twist a few wires together. One video ended with the motivational sentence of, "Handymen aren’t exactly rocket scientist, if they can do it, you can do it." I CAN DO IT, TOO!

I was actually a little surprised when it worked, convinced that it couldn’t be that easy and that a flip of the light switch would prove that I wasn’t up to the task. In a very anticlimactic ending, it worked. It took about 20 minutes.

Yeast bread was the same progression for me. Yeast?! I can’t do that! Oh, wait, it’s just heating water to the right temperate and waiting? Ok, let’s try it. Well, look at that. It worked.

If history is any predictor you can logically assume that I’ll be continuing to replace light fixtures when I’m stressed out. Not as cheap as baking bread, but possibly just as therapeutic.

One Hour No Knead Artisan Hefeweizen Bread

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ cups (540g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (6g) rapid rise yeast (one packet)
  • 2 tablespoons (42g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (24g) olive oil (plus additional for glaze)
  • 12 ounces wheat beer
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon flaky

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Add the flour, yeast, honey and olive oil to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  3. Heat the beer to 125F.
  4. While the mixer is running, slowly add the beer. Once all the dough has been moistened, sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Turn the mixer to high, beating until the dough gathers around the blade, about 8 minutes.
  6. Line a Dutch oven with parchment paper. Add the dough ball to the prepared Dutch oven. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.
  7. Make a shallow slit in the top of the dough with a shark knife, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with flakey salt.
  8. Cover with the Dutch oven lid and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
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Salt Roasted Mini Potatoes with Garlic Sage Beer Butter

Salt Roasted Mini Potatoes with Garlic Sage Beer Butter. The most delicious appetizer you can make with just ten minutes prep! 

I have a confession to make.

Or possibly more of a reminder.

It occurred to me, when I was posting this on instagram, that if you just stumbled upon this weird life that I decided to curate, that it may appear to you that it’s always looked like this.

To you maybe I’ve always existed in this space, always been given money in exchange for taking photos and writing down words and recipes. So, my friend, I’m here to show you the origins. The beginning of the journey to give you context.

This is the first food photo I ever took. I took it, and posted it on the internet for humans with eyes to actually see:

That’s the place I started. I’m telling you this so that you know that you have a shot. At whatever you want, at that dream you keep ignoring. The girl who took the above photo now gets paid to take photos for real-life magazines, if that’s possible, you aren’t too far away from what you want.

I’m probably not more talented than you, or smarter, or more organized (definitely not more organized), my life wasn’t more amenable to a career shift,  but I didn’t stop. I worked what was essentially two full-time jobs before I was able to make this one work. I clung to the idea like it was the sole thread to pull me away from a life that made me feel like I was drowning. I didn’t hear "no", I heard "Someday I’ll wish I’d said yes to you." I didn’t care if no one responded to my emails, or that I was spending more money than I was making. I didn’t know if it was all futile, I didn’t know if it would ever lead me anywhere. I just kept moving.

There are still days I feel like a fraud. Days I wonder why anyone would actually pay me for this. Days when I feel like the box filled with what I don’t know about photography is far bigger than the one full of what I do know. But I’m still moving, still going forward. Still trying to figure out what’s next. Because, like I said last week, the goal isn’t to be perfect, it’s to be better than yesterday.

Salt Roasted Mini Potatoes with Garlic Sage Beer Butter

Yield: 4 servings

Salt Roasted Mini Potatoes with Garlic Sage Beer Butter. The most delicious appetizer you can make with just ten minutes prep!

Ingredients

  • 1 (3lbs) box Kosher salt
  • 2 lbs mini potatoes
  • ½ cup salted butter (or unsalted butter plus 1/8 tsp salt)
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon malty beer (Oktoberfest, Bock, Belgian)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Sprinkle a layer of salt in the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Scrub potatoes, pat dry, and poke a few holes into each, add them to the pan on top of the salt.
  3. Pour the remaining salt over the potatoes until mostly covered.
  4. Roast for 45 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly. Break the salt pack, remove the potatoes, add to a serving dish.
  5. Add the butter, garlic and sage to a pot over medium heat until the butter has melted, remove from heat, allow to steep for 10 minutes (this can also be done in the microwave).
  6. Add the melted butter, garlic, and sage to a small bender or food processor along with the beer, blend until well combined. Re-heat the butter if it starts to congeal. Serve potatoes along with melted butter.

Notes

*Add more beer, if desired. If the beer butter is too bitter, add honey a teaspoon at a time to counterbalance the bitterness.

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https://domesticfits.com/salt-roasted-mini-potatoes-garlic-sage-beer-butter/

 

Grilled Beer Chicken Sliders with Burrata and Stout Chipotle Cherry Sauce

These Grilled Beer Chicken Sliders with Burrata and Stout Chipotle Cherry Sauce can be made on a grill, or indoors in a grill pan. Easy and delicious, perfect for game day!

Welcome to the new year.

Welcome to the year that is equal parts a welcomed relief and intensely terrifying. Let’s make a plan, you and I. Let’s agree to one thing: make the small corners of the world we occupy better in hopes to cause a ripple. Let’s express gratitude more often, very often, and even to those we hardly know. Let’s compliment strangers, pay for the order behind us, donate to that charity that we always say we will donate to but always forget. Let’s make a plan to always assume positive intent, especially from those we like the least until we are proven otherwise.

We don’t have much control over, well, pretty much anything. But we DO have control over that. We have control over what we focus on and what we put into the world. The thing I’ve learned with counting blessings is that it tends to multiply them, or at the very least amplify them. The same applies to hardships, so be careful.

Let’s assume positive intent for this year, and hope for the best. We’re in this together, all of us.

Grilled Beer Chicken Sliders with Burrata and Stout Chipotle Cherry Sauce

Yield: 12 sliders

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless skinless
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces wheat beer (or brown ale, pale lager, pilsner)
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) smoked paprika
  • 1 cup (154g) pitted dark sweet cherries (frozen is fine)
  • 2 tablespoon (38g) minced chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup (240g) beer(stout beer works best)
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 oz ball burrata cheese
  • 12 Hawaiian buns, split like slider buns

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken to a bowl or small baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, then cover with beer. Refrigerate for one to six hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry. Add to a plate or cutting board.
  3. In a small bowl stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle over the chicken on both sides. Allow the chicken to sit for ten minutes.
  4. Spray the grill (or a grill pan) with olive oil or cooking spray, heat to medium high heat. Add the chicken, cooking on both sides until cooked through. Remove from grill, slice.
  5. Add the cherries, chipotle, balsamic, stout beer, and black pepper to a pan over medium high heat. Simmer, breaking up the cherries and stirring until the cherries have started to break down.
  6. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cornstarch, blend with an immersion blender until smooth (this can also be done in a small blender or food processor). Stir in the honey and return to medium heat until slightly thickened (cherry sauce can be made up to three days in advance).
  7. Fill the Hawaiian buns with chicken. Split the Burrata ball open, putting a few teaspoons of cheese on top of the chicken (the rind is very tasty and can be put on the sliders, if desired. It tastes more like traditional mozzarella), drizzle the cheese with a teaspoon or so of the cherry sauce.
  8. Serve immediately.

Notes

To make ahead of time, make all elements before hand, store separately. Transport this way, if serving off site. Heat the chicken and sauce separately and assemble just prior to serving

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Baked Everything Bagel Beer Chicken Legs

Baked Everything Bagel Beer Chicken Legs

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They tell me it’s all about the water.

That’s what bagel people will tell you if you listen long enough. That New York bagels are obviously the best because of the magical properties that the water contains. That’s also, coincidentally enough, what beer people will tell you. That different regions of the world have gravitated towards different styles over the centuries because of the water in their area.

It’s also a great pairing. Sure, bagels and coffee have had a long-standing relationship and who am I to get in the way of that, but bagels and beer have something special. Try an Everything Bagel with a hoppy pale ale, or a cinnamon raisin bagel with a Belgian quad, or lox and cream cheese bagel with a Witbier and you’ll get it.

Beer really does go with everything. Even more beer.

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Baked Everything Bagel Beer Chicken Legs

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken leg drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cup buttermilks, divided
  • 12 ounces pale ale
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper sauce (i.e. Tapatio, Tabasco)
  • 1 cup flour, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 4 large everything bagels
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken to a large bowl or baking dish. Sprinkle with salt. Pour 1 cup buttermilk (reserve the other cup for the coating), beer and red pepper sauce over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 8 (can be done in the morning for dinner in the evening).
  2. Break the bagels into 4 to 6 pieces each. Place on a plate, uncovered, to dry out while the chicken brines.
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine, add to a plate and allow to sit at room temperate for 10 minutes while you prepare the dredge.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Add 1 cup of flour to a small bowl.
  6. Add the remaining cup of buttermilk to another bowl, whisk in the egg until well combined.
  7. Add the bagels to a food processor of blender, process until just crumbs remain.
  8. Add to a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake at 350F until slightly toasted. Add the crumbs to a large bowl, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Increase oven temperature to 425F.
  9. Place a wire rack over the baking sheet, spray the wire rack with cooking spray.
  10. One at a time roll the chicken legs in flour, then dredge in the buttermilk, then roll in the bread crumbs. Add to the prepared pan. Drizzle with canola oil.
  11. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes or until the internal temperate of the chicken reaches 165F.
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White Bean Turkey Beer Chili (for Thanksgiving leftovers)

White Bean Turkey Beer Chili (for Thanksgiving leftovers)

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Please excuse the interruption from your otherwise lovely Holiday weekend while I boss you around.

If you have leftover turkey this is what you should do with it. Make yourself some warm-your-bones chili, full of the beer brined turkey that you obviously made, and use it as an excuse to open a beer for lunch.

Because if you still have family in town, you’re gonna need it.

But if you’re reading this on any day of the year that is not punctuated with holiday sales and over-zealous shoppers looking for dirt cheap TV’s, then you can always substitute cooked chicken. Or just leave it out all together. It’s cheese and beans and beer, it’s a win no matter what.

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White Bean Turkey Beer Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup wheat beer
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 (15oz) cans cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 (15oz) can Great Northern beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup Chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery, cooking until the vegetables has softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic, cooking for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan. Stir in the broth, cumin, chili powder, red pepper, beans, jalapenos and turkey. Simmer until turkey is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in the heavy cream, remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls, top with cheese and cilantro.
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Garlic Parmesan Skillet Beer Potatoes

Garlic Parmesan Skillet Beer Potatoes

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"If you do it right, you’ll life several lifetimes before you’re done." She was 80-years-old, only frail on the outside, and telling me about the life she lived decades ago. One where she was a young activist living in 1960’s San Francisco. That life, she said, was one that still makes her feel vibrant and rebellious even in her compression socks and sensible shoes.

She shows me pictures, her wildly unkempt hair flowing out of the frame. She says that if I do it right, I’ll look back on this moment with the photo in her hand and her words filling her small kitchen and think to myself, "That was a different life."

That was about 7 years ago, and she was right. She’d served me scalloped potatoes that she’s baked in a skillet and showed me all the age-worn photos that she could find of that past life she once lived. The one that fills her head as she falls asleep.

"You don’t always have to be a good girl, you can rattle the cage sometimes, dear. Sometimes those are the best choices to make."

She was also right about that. Skillet potatoes remind me of her, and the advice she’d given. Maybe someday when I’m 80 I’ll make some wide-eyed-farm-girl some potatoes and tell her to rattle cages.

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Garlic Parmesan Skillet Beer Potatoes

Yield: 4-6 side dish servings

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large (2lbs) russet potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons (32g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) pepper
  • 1 cup (124g) parmesan cheese, grated with a microplane, divided
  • ¼ cup (58g) wheat beer
  • 3 tablespoons (45mL) heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Add the sliced potatoes to a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and most of the parmesan cheese (reserve ¼ a cup for the top). Toss until well coated.
  3. Layer the potatoes in a circular pattern in a 9-inch cast iron skillet.
  4. Drizzle the potatoes with the beer and the heavy cream. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Heat the broiler, add the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.
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Chili Brown Sugar Oven Beer Can Chicken

Chili Brown Sugar Oven Beer Can Chicken

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A few months ago I sat at a table with a mess of brewers and beer people. The conversation turned to the water shortage, and farming practices. The debate went back and forth, what we can do, what we need to be careful of, and even how to move to a zero waste facility. The inspiring take away from this roundtable conversation was that although the ideas varied, the feelings of wanting to move towards sustainability and environmental responsibility was unanimous.

The heart and soul of good beer has never been ruled by a traditional bottom line. The concerns are quality, taste, community, and responsibility. If it costs more, then that’s just how it has to be.

Craft beer, as we know it today, is still in its infancy. With a constant stream of articles showing a struggling industry, a bubble on the verge of bursting, the beer business is still pushing forward with sustainability and responsible practices. There isn’t another industry that puts those needs in such a priority, even in the midst of a difficult phase.

 

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Long Root Ale —a collaboration between HUB and Patagonia— is exciting evidence of the soul of this movement. It’s made with Kernza, an ancient grain that few have even heard of, but as it turns out, makes great beer. It also requires much less water and land, without the need for pesticides, and it assists in the reduction of land erosion. All that and a flavor that rests somewhere between wheat and rye. If that wasn’t enough, a portion of the proceeds goes towards environmental issues.

Just in case you needed a good reason to drink great beer.

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Chili Brown Sugar Oven Beer Can Chicken

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Whole roasting chicken (5-6 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 can of beer

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450, lowering the rack to the bottom most position (all other racks may need to be removed for space).
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Dry very well with paper towels until all the moisture is gone.
  3. Sprinkle the inside cavity with 1 tablespoon salt.
  4. In a small bowl stir together the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder, onion powder and baking powder (this will help crisp the skin).
  5. Rub the outside of the chicken with the spice mixture.
  6. Pour about ¼ of a cup of beer out of the can (or drink it). Place the can on a flat surface.
  7. Lower the chicken down onto the can until the can is well inside the chicken cavity. Set the chicken and can upright (use the two legs and the can to create a tripod) in a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Gently transfer to the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F on a meat thermometer.
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Lemon Garlic Beer Butter Cod

Lemon Garlic Beer Butter Cod

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You have to jump, sometimes.

When I was in high school I was a lifeguard on a lake in Northern California for a summer doing a steady rotation of pool watch, lake watch, and zip-line duty. The last of which was my least favorite. I was there for the water, not to stand on a platform in the top of a Redwood tree, hooking pre-pubescent campers and their just-slightly-older-than-me counselors up to harnesses and watch them careen towards the lake below.
Occasionally there would be a kid, always a boy, always with a group of other kids who talked him into climbing up the rope ladder to get to the platform, who would freeze. He’d stand there in his harness, shivering in the shade with his still-wet swim trunks clinging to his body, his harness double bolted to the cable, unable to jump. I was always able to get him to let go, to trust, and to jump. Except once.

He wasn’t a camper, he was a tall, very attractive, early-20’s counselor with thick wavy black hair and an ego to match. He was showing off as he climbed to the small wooden space at the top of the tree to stand beside me as I clipped him safely to the cable that would bring him to the sun-warmed lake below. As I finished he turned towards to opening of the wooden tree-house like structure we stood in, and froze. He took a step back, his eyes wide, and muttered, "…I can’t….I can’t"

At first, I tried to calm his fears. Tell him how safe it was, how every kid had gone down safely and there has never been an injury in the history of the camp. It didn’t work. I tried to tease him, letting him know that the 70-pound 12-year-old girl in line behind him had been down three times. It didn’t work. I asked why he was hesitant, he wasn’t sure.

After 20 minutes or prodding, I told him he had to get down, one way or another. That he had to jump off the platform or go back down the rope ladder. He moved closer to the edge, slowly putting one foot over the 30-foot drop, then he slipped. In one motion he was free of the platform and then both of this long arms reaching backward grabbed the railing and pulled himself back towards me on the platform. He couldn’t do it. He scrambled back up next to me, begging me to unhook him. Shaking. He slowly, shamefully, made his way down the rope ladder, past the 12-year-old girl with pity in her eyes.

Sometimes, I think of him. When I’m too scared to move forward with something I feel ill-equipped to manage. How do I do this thing? Where do I start with the thing? What if I can’t do the thing?

Just jump, I think to myself. Don’t be that guy, don’t stay on the platform. I remember thinking, as he made his way down the ladder, that he would regret it. He would wish he’d have jumped and wonder what he was so afraid of. So I tell myself to jump because I have nothing to be afraid of and I’ll regret it if I don’t just do it.

I’m jumping into making videos for some of my recipes. It may sound benign, but it’s a learning process. I’ve spent the past year trying to talk myself into jumping into figuring it out, and it’s daunting. It’s a process. Learning a little at a time, something new for each one, something I hate and will change the next time. But, you can’t stay on the platform forever, you just have to jump. Learning a little each time.

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Lemon Garlic Beer Butter Cod

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cod fillets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup beer (wheat beer, summer ale, lower hop pilsner)
  • 2 cups (285g) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh herbs (such as basil, rosemary, or oregano)
  • Pasta, couscous, rice or other grain for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet.
  2. Sprinkle the cod fillets with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear cod on each side, cooking until just cooked through (do not over cook, cod should still be slightly translucent in the center).
  4. Remove the cod from the pan. Add the tomatoes, cooking over high heat until blistered and soft.
  5. Add the garlic, stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice and beer. Cook over medium high heat, breaking up and smashing the tomatoes. Cook until reduced and thickened.
  7. Stir in the herbs and additional salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Plate the cod with the tomato sauce.
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Beer Battered Cod Po’ Boy Sliders

Beer Battered Cod Po’ Boy Sliders

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Island beer feels different.

The patio is always full of people who don’t just know the beer, they know the story. They know the owners, the jobs they held before the lure of the frustration of brewing on a tiny system in the middle of an ocean pulled them into an uncommon life. The beer is always brewed on a system that looks to be just a tick bigger than a home brew system, and it’s running around the clock.

This weekend, on a small island, I stumbled upon Island beer. True to form, the patio was full of the people who run the line between patron and family. The system was on display behind the counter, in a stage between cleaning and brewing, and the beer was beautiful. Earlier this year I was on a tiny Island in the caribbean and found the same sort of beer-island-family that welcomes you in, serves you beer and wants to know your story.

Island beer is different. It doesn’t want to take over the world. It doesn’t seek a buy-out. It doesn’t concern itself with mass distribution. It’s a bit like life on the island. There is always a story of hard it was the get even that small system onto the island, a bigger one is just a far reaching fantasy. Island beer wants to be there for the locals, a backdrop to the stories they tell and the life they lead. It’s consistent, and memorable. It’s worth seeking out, pulling up a seat in the tap room and asking the owners to tell you about how they got started. You might find yourself being treated like part of the family before the end of the night.

Next time you’re on an island, look for the beer. Then find out the story.

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Beer Battered Cod Po’ Boy Sliders

Yield: 12-14 sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs cod (or similar white fish)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt (9g)
  • ½ cup (105g) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (95g) pale ale or pilsner
  • ½ cup (95g) fine corn meal
  • ½ cup (60g) flour
  • 2 teaspoon (6g) Creole seasoning
  • oil for frying (canola, safflower, or peanut work well)
  • 1 cup (240g) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) sriracha red chili sauce
  • 1 long French baguette, cut into 3 inch slices, split to resemble buns
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced

Instructions

  1. Cut the fish into 1-inch strips, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. In a medium bowl stir together the buttermilk and beer. Add the fish to the bowl, making sure all fish is submerged. Allow to sit for ten minutes while you prep the dredge.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, creole seasoning, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Add 3 to 4 inches of oil in a pot. Clip a deep fry thermometer onto the side. Heat the oil to 350F, adjusting heat to maintain that temperature.
  5. A few at a time, remove the fish strips from the buttermilk, allowing the excess to drip off. Add fish to the cornmeal dredge, tossing until well coated. Add to the oil, frying until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from oil and allow to drain on a wire rack.
  6. In a small bowl stir together the sour cream, and sriracha.
  7. Spread the sour cream on the insides of the sliced baguette. Fill with a few pieces of fish, arugula and sliced tomato. Serve immediately.
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Blueberry Muffin Beer Loaf Cake

Blueberry Muffin Beer Loaf Cake

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I’ve always been curious.

Probably a bit too curious for my own good, but I’ll take it over safe, and timid. Lately, It’s been gluten-free beer that’s had me wondering (wait, don’t go! Let’s talk about gluten-free beer just for a second!).

It’s not so much the "gluten" part that I’m curious about, as far as me (and my guts) are concerned, gluten is awesome. It’s more of a curiosity about a growing segment of the market that is focused on brewing with different grains. Barley is the only ingredient in beer that has gluten, and brewers are experimental and curious by nature, so what does beer taste like if you brew it with millet instead of barley? What about brown rice? It’s not so much the gluten part that has me interested, it’s the beer being brewed in a different way. It’s one grain being swapped for another. What does that do? The brewing process is the same, what does the end result look like?

To satisfy my curiosity I’ve teamed up with Heather Christo and Allrecipes and we’ve decided to do a LIVE Facebook taste test. This means I have never sampled any gluten-free beer and I will do so live, for the first time, on camera. Also, it bears mentioning that I have a complete inability to hide my feelings. So if a beer isn’t good, you’ll be able to tell right away.

So join me on the Allrecipces Facebook page on Thursday, August 11th at 2PM PDT to watch me sample all the gluten-free beer I can get my hands on.  It should be fun. Then, maybe, we can eat this gluten-filled cake to celebrate?

Update:

The video is live here: Gluten Free Beer Taste Test with The Beeroness & Heather Christo

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And in case you were wondering, this post has nothing to do with this delicious, gluten-laden blueberry cake.

Blueberry Muffin Beer Loaf Cake

Yield: 1 loaf cake (8 servings)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (195g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (55g) buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup (166mL) wheat beer
  • 2 cups (256g) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 1 cup (150g) fresh blueberries (for frozen, see note)
  • 1 cup (125g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) lemon juice (or beer for a larger beer flavor)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Add the sugar and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until light, fluffy and well combined.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until well combined.
  4. Stir in the buttermilk and beer.
  5. Stop the mixer, sprinkle with flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined.
  6. Stir in the blueberries.
  7. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched, about 55 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing.
  8. Stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice (or beer). Pour over the cake, slice and serve.

Notes

For frozen blueberries, rinse well until the water runs clear. Add to paper towels to dry, do not stir into batter. Layer loaf pan with 1/4 of the batter, sprinkle with berries, top with more batter, then blueberries, repeat until all the berries and batter have been used. This will avoid smashed berries and a purple cake.

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Street Fair Grilled Beer Chicken

Street Fair Grilled Beer Chicken

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There is a street fair in LA that I used to frequent, with chicken the smells so incredible it will haunt your dreams. I’d rush past the booths of produce, handmade ceramic mugs, the guy trying to get me to vote for his City Council pick, the face painting lady, just to be near to the lady grilling the chicken.

Sophia was always with me, as polite and charming as a bulldog could possibly be. She wasn’t the kind to bark (even when she probably should have), and she never once jumped up where she wasn’t supposed to. She’d run up to her intended target, sit her chubby body down right in front, and lift a paw to get attention. It was a genius move. Whatever she wanted she got. Head pets, food scraps, lavish praise. But the chicken lady was her crowd, and she worked it. She’d run up to the booth, sit down right in the front, and gently scratch the vinyl sign covering the bottom of the booth. Chicken Lady would squeal that "her dog" was back. She’d load up a plate of chicken (probably too full), and rush to feed Sophia and pet her head.

I, of course, had to order some. I’d convince myself it was as a way to thank her for feeding my dog better food than most the world eats, but really it was because I’d jones like an addict for what she was peddling.

Lately, I’ve been consumed with puppy fever. Sophia’s been gone a while, and I need another furry, fat, beast in my life. So I decided to make our chicken and stalk all the bulldog rescue sites in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a legit way to spend the afternoon. At least until I can find another buddy to visit street fairs with me and beg for chicken.

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Street Fair Grilled Beer Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
  • 2 tbs kosher salt
  • 12 ounces wheat beer
  • 1 (3g) teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5g) dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon (6g)salt
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (6g) brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken to a bowl or baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons salt. Pour the beer over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for two hours and up to 12 hours.
  2. Preheat the grill.
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine. Rinse and pat dry.
  4. Add to a plate, sprinkle on all sides with the spice mixture.
  5. Grill over medium high heat until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
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Chili Beer Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa + Best Summer Beer Tub Beers

20 minute dinner: Chili Beer Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Chili Beer Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa1

Stocking a beer tub for a summer party is as important as planning the food. Beer sets a tone and fuels conversation.  It’s as much about offering your friends their favorites as it is about introducing them to new ones.

 When planning the brew menu keep in mind the types of drinkers you’ve invited as well as how far you want to push their palates. Offer your guests safe choices, slight pushes in new directions, and a few more extravagant options for the fearless few who want to try something new.

Keep in mind that while you may be drawn to the bold punch of a triple IPA, don’t forget that long summer parties pair better with lower alcohol session ales to keep your guests (or yourself) from becoming a cautionary tale or a viral YouTube video. Keep most of your offerings below 6% ABV to help your guests stay in control.

Wheat beer: This is an important addition to your beer tub. The low hop profile is perfect for the "craft beer is too bitter" guy. Most wheat beer is very low on the bitterness scale and a common gateway for those new to craft beer. Wheat beer is also insanely drinkable and pairs easily with a wide array of foods.

Recommended: Allagash // White,  Bell’s // Poolside AleDogfish Head // Namaste , Widmer//Hefe, 21st Amendment // Hell or High Watermelon,

Pilsners: Pilsners are having a moment in the craft beer scene right now. Pilsners are about balance, no one ingredient takes center stage. They are hoppy but aren’t the hop bombing  IPA’s or the malt saturated Belgians on the other end of the spectrum. Pilsners are a crisp, drinkable introduction to hops with nice carbonation for summer drinking and burger eating. They are also the perfect way to show Macro Beer Guy that he might actually love a crisp refreshing beer that has a kick of flavor to it.

Recommended: North Coast // Scrimshaw, Breakside // Liquid SunshineVictory // Prima Pils

 Session IPA’s. Given that you’ll be the host for a mass beer consumption, you should be mindful of ABV. While many-a guest might scoff at the 4% brew, and feel a manly surge of testosterone when he cracks open a 12 % beast, you know he needs to get home intact. Session beer (beer that has less than 5% ABV) has so much flavor no one will miss the alcohol, or the obnoxious behavior as a result.

Recommended: Odell // Loose Leaf, Left Hand // Good Juju, Rogue // 4 Hop, Oskar Blues // Pinner, Fort George // Suicide Squeeze 

Classic Pale Ales. These are the standards, the beers that got us into craft beer. The ones that make us nostalgic and are easy to share. It’s hard to fill a tub without a few of these in the mix.

Recommended: Sierra Nevada // Pale Ale, Stone // Pale Ale, Oskar Blues // Dales Pale Ale

Sour & Wild Ales. Love ’em or hate ’em, sours are part of the conversation and a rapidly growing style in today’s craft beer market. Grab a few for your guests, you’ll never know who is going to love them, maybe even you.

Recommended: Odell // Brombeere Blackberry Gose, New Glarus // Raspberry Tart, Anderson Valley // Blood Orange Gose,

Chili Beer Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa2

 

Chili Beer Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (36g) chopped white onion
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (6g) chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) cumin
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.5g) cayenne powder
  • 12 ounces wheat beer, or summer ale (not too hoppy)
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • pinch salt
  • ½ tsp red chili sauce
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 12 Good quality corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Cook the onions until starting to brown.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken breast on all sides with salt. Add to the pan, cook on both sides until seared. Sprinkle chicken chili powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne. Add the beer, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to maintain a simmer (do not boil). Cover with a lid, allow to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from the pan, shred using two forks. Return the chicken to the pan, allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from pan, add to a serving platter.
  4. In a serving bowl add the pineapple, jalapenos, cilantro, salt, chili sauce and lime juice, stir to combine.
  5. Serve the chicken in the tortillas, topped with the salsa.
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Chili Beer Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa4