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Everything Bagel Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls

You HAVE to make these: Everything Bagel Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls

If you were forced (yes FORCED) to rank all Thansgiving foods by how much you want to binge eat them, where would rolls rank? And why would turkey not even make the top 5?

Rolls easily rank #1 for me (beer doesn’t count, it’s the free space in the middle of this bingo board). Then mashed potatoes, followed by pie. Turkey still doesn’t crack the top 3, even when I beer brine it and confit it, which is my absolute favorite way to make it. 



These potato and beer infused rolls are my go-to when it comes to holiday carb fueled food celebrations. Soft, pillowy, and perfect for the next day leftover-sliders-food-fest. Call me crazy, but I vastly prefer leftovers to the actual meal, especially since it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll eat them in your pajamas and that just makes everything taste better. 

Everything Bagel Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup (114g) butter
  • ½ cup (114g) whole milk
  • ½ cup (114g) wheat beer
  • 1 tablespoon (21g) honey
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet 2 ¼ teaspoons Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • cup (40g) potato flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • Egg wash 1 egg, 1 tablespoon water, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning mix

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the milk, beer and honey. Heat until 120°-130°F (if your yeast packet mentions a different temperature, use that temperature instead).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and potato flakes.
  • Add the beer mixture, stirring on medium speed until most of the flour has been moistened. Add the salt and egg, stir until well combined and the dough gathers around the blade.
  • Oil a large bowl. Using wet hands, move the dough to the bowl. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
  • Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • On a well-floured surface add the dough. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll into tight balls, add to a 9x13 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Cover and allow to rest until doubled in size.
  • Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with seasoning mix.
  • Bake uncovered until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

Hot Crab and Beer Cheese Stuffed Artichokes

Hot Crab and Beer Cheese Stuffed Artichokes

I know there are a lot of ways to stuff an artichoke, but this is the way I like to do it. You COULD cut it in half. You COULD stuff a bunch of crap between the leaves, but that’s not how I stuff things into my vegetables. 

Cut the heart out, fill it with beer cheese, enjoy. It’s like a metaphor. 

A really bad metaphor, obviously. One that I’m not sure what it means, but if you say it confidently enough people will nod along as if they get it, and are inspired by how wise you are. That might also be because you’re holding the physical manifestation of the metaphor and they want to eat the metaphor. Basically, you can do whatever you want when you’re holding beer cheese dip and people will agree with you. It’s the perfect strategy for getting what you want. 

Hot Crab and Beer Cheese Stuffed Artichokes

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large globe artichokes
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup IPA or Pale Ale beer
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 ounces lump crabmeat
  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Cut the top inch off the artichoke with a sharp knife. Cut the stem so that the artichoke sits flat with the leaves pointing up.
  • Cook in lightly salted boiling water until the leaves peel away easily, about 30 minutes. Remove from water, allow to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Starting at the center, pull the leaves apart to make the center more accessible. Using a melon baller or grapefruit spoon, remove the center leaves to reveal the “choke” and use a spoon or melon baller to remove the fuzz from the heart.
  • Add to a cast-iron skillet or baking dish, center hole facing up to make it easy to add the dip.
  • In a bowl stir together the cream cheese, beer, mozzarella, parmesan, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic powder, Old Bay, and crab until well combined.
  • Divide the dip evenly between the four artichokes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Bake until the dip is hot and melted, about 12 minutes. Serve warm.

Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls

Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls, using potato flakes instead of mashed potatoes make these super easy, light and fluff! My favorite dinner rolls! 

THESE! They are new favorite dinner rolls ever. So super soft, melt in your mouth, you HAVE to make these. And this year is the perfect year since it’ll be smaller than normal. Which means more for you, and I promise you’re gonna be glad you don’t have to share too many. 

I have to admit that I resist making potato rolls because I’m kinda lazy. This is a fact. Unless I already have leftover mashed potatoes on hand, I don’t want to take that extra step. So my laziness has brought us all the idea of using potato flakes, which is not only easier, it’s more consistent. Mashed potatoes have varying levels of moisture and dairy, flakes are always consistent (as long as you always buy the same brand). See, look at how good I am at justifying my laziness and finding legitimate reasons to continue to indulge it, if you need any help with this I am at your service. Just don’t expect me to get back to you right away. 

Beer Butter and Potato Dinner Rolls

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup (114g) butter
  • ½ cup (114g) whole milk
  • ½ cup (114g) wheat beer
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet 2 ¼ teaspoonsRapid Rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • cup (40g) potato flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • Egg wash 1 egg, 1 tablespoon water, beaten
  • Flakey sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the milk and beer. Heat until 120°-130°F (if your yeast packet mentions a different temperature, use that temperature instead).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar and potato flakes.
  • Add the beer mixture, stirring on medium speed until most of the flour has been moistened. Add the salt and egg, stir until well combined and the dough gathers around the blade.
  • Oil a large bowl. Using wet hands, move the dough to the bowl. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
  • Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • On a well-floured surface add the dough. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll into tight balls, add to a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Cover and allow to rest until doubled in size.
  • Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake uncovered until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots, your new favorite side dish! 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

No offense to turkey, but it’s not the star of Thanksgiving, that honor goes to the side dishes. Fight me. Because if I had to choose between a plate full of turkey and a plate of any one side dish, the turkey would get shoved to the side, especially if I could also include a buttery dinner roll on my side-dish-only plate. 

THESE ARE THE THINGS I THINK OF NOW! Thanks, 2020. But we finally have something to look forward to, right? Thanksgiving is coming up, and even if that means only a few people this year at your table (and a LOT of food), we need it. We need something to look forward to. I will be focusing on a menu plan because it’s better than stress eating spoonfuls of peanut butter and trying to escape the news. 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

This Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots is worth stress eating, though. It’s sort of like that green bean thing with the crispy fake onions, but only vastly superior. You also get an excuse to open a beer, so that brings it to a level above Vastly Superior, whatever that is. And your mom will be happy that you’re eating vegetables, so that’s another win. So drink a beer, eat your veggies and avoid anything that stressed you out, even if just for a day. 

Wild Mushroom Gruyere Asparagus Beer Casserole With Fried Shallots

Ingredients
  

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup (30g) flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large shallot bulb sliced into rings
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup (23g) shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter

For the casserole:

  • 2 tablespoons (28g) olive oil plus additional as needed
  • 1 shallot blub chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 lb. wild mushrooms, chopped*
  • ½ lb. asparagus chopped (ends removed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup (4oz) beer Brown ale, porter
  • ½ cup (45g) shredded gruyere cheese, packed
  • ¼ cup (2oz) cream cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a small bowl stir together the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the shallot rings, toss to coat. Remove the shallots from the flour (a small strainer or slotted spoon works well).
  • Heat 1 inch of oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the shallots to the oil, cooking on both sides until golden. Remove from oil, allow to drain, and dry on paper towels.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallot and mushrooms, cook until the mushrooms have softened, and let off their water and the shallots have browned. If the pan dries too much, add additional oil a teaspoon at a time. 
  • Add the asparagus, cook until slightly softened (it will soften further in the oven).
  • Stir in the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle with flour, stir until the flour has turned brown. Stir in the beer, simmer until thickened.
  • Add the cream cheese, stirring until it has melted and is well combined.
  • Stir in ½ cup gruyere cheese.
  • Spray an 8x8 baking dish cooking spray. Add the mushroom mixture in an even layer.
  • In a small bowl stir together the panko, ¼ cup gruyere cheese, and melted butter.
  • Add the panko mixture to the top of the pan in an even layer.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the panko has browned and the casserole is bubbly.
  • Top with fried shallots, serve warm.

Notes

I used golden chanterelle mushrooms, but feel free to use what's available near you, including a mix of different types of mushrooms. 

Melting Beer Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic and Hazelnuts

Melting Beer Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic and HazelnutsLet’s talk about sweet potatoes, shall we? Of course we shall. It’s been a while since we’ve had any root vegetable related banter. I didn’t have sweet potatoes until I was a grown-up. A literal grown-ass human. This is a true fact. I did not grow up in a house where any orange vegetables, roots or tubers of any kind other than white potatoes, or squash of any variety were entertained. We were more the vegetables from a can or freezer bag sort. I’ve changed, I promise. 

The actual first time I saw a sweet potato being eaten by a real-life human I was in college. See, kids, you learn more than the stuff in books if you make it all the way to 13th grade! A friend of mine was just sitting there eating a microwaved sweet potato with sugar and butter as if that wasn’t the weirdest thing anyone had ever done, ever. I couldn’t get over it. In my head it was like eating broccoli covered in chocolate, I couldn’t even imagine. 

Melting Beer Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic and Hazelnuts

It took me a while to try it, you know with the gagging and all, and when I did I was astonished. I went from thinking my friend was a crazy person to being mildly angry with everyone from my childhood for keeping these little magical beasts from me. 

I have since made up for the time I spent sans sweet taters and now I eat them several times a week, I should probably add a line item in my budget just for them, it would be a wise financial move. 

When I got a shipment of beer press mail from Left Hand Brewing which included a velvety-malty-delicious Sawtooth Nitro amber ale, I knew I needed to soak some sweet potatoes in it. 

Melting Beer Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic and Hazelnuts

It was a wise move. And if you come over for Thanksgiving I’ll make you some. But you need to bring a pie, and maybe some beer.

 

Melting Beer Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic and Hazelnuts

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ½ lbs sweet potatoes look for relatively uniform ones
  • 4 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup malty beer (amber ale, Oktoberfest, brown ale)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze*
  • ¼ cup roasted chopped hazelnuts

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  • Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 1-inch rounds.
  • In a large bowl stir together the butter, garlic powder, salt, and beer.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, toss to coat.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add the potatoes and the herb liquid to the pan in an even layer.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the potato rounds with a spatula, return the pan to the oven, rotating the pan so that side that was in the back of the oven is now in the front. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes or until the top has started to brown and the potatoes are soft.
  • Remove with a spatula while the potatoes are still hot, if they cool on the pan they are likely to stick. Add to a serving plate
  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze, sprinkle with hazelnuts. 

Notes

*Balsamic glaze is easy to find in most grocery stores. It’s usually found near the vinegar, it’s sweeter and more syrupy than normal balsamic vinegar.

Super Soft Butter and Beer 1 hour Dinner Rolls

Super Soft Butter and Beer 1 hour Dinner Rolls

Are you ready? Take a deep breath because you don’t have a choice, the holidays and all that goes with them, are upon us. Let’s take a second to inventory this upcoming Q4 on a personal level, shall we? Of course we should, we like doing things like this.

Let’s pretend like we like excel spreadsheets (ok, maybe you do, they make me break out in hives), and make some columns. First up, the good stuff! (always start with the good stuff).

The first snowfall; the majestic, glorious, wonder of little, frozen flakes of water floating to the ground like natures glitter. The smell of a winter evening spiked with the glow of a fireplace. Or better yet, a fire PIT in your backyard, and there is hot cocoa (boozy, obviously)! See, good stuff. Lots of good stuff.

Food. Winter food is amazing. Big, steamy bowls of spicy ramen. Roast chicken. A big pot of spicy chipotle chili.

Beer! We are now in the dessert of the beer season. Barrel aged beers are coming at us with a vengeance and they’re excellent for winter and that fire pit in your backyard. Invite your friends over, it’s perfect.

Bad stuff. Oh, yeah, bad stuff. I guess if we should flesh out that list, in the spirit of fairness and balance and spreadsheets. First up: higher than average possibility of family drama. Also see: icy roads, scraping frozen water off things that it shouldn’t be on, and all the stress. All. The. Stress.

Let’s default to the first list to combat the second. The first one is pretty much the remedy to the second. Also, don’t forget about leftovers (add it to the good list). And how nothing is better the day after Thanksgiving than making a turkey sandwich with a dinner roll bun. Make a double batch of these. They help with stress and family drama. Oh, and stock up on those barrel aged beers.

 

Super Soft 1 hour Butter and Beer Dinner Rolls

Prep Time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 large rolls or 16 small

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (480g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one packet) active-dry yeast
  • ¾ cups (6oz) beer (pale ale, pilsner, wheat beer, lager, nothing too hoppy)
  • 6 tablespoons (84g) melted butter
  • ½ cup cream (120g) or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for the top
  • egg wash (1 egg plus 2 tablespoons milk, beaten)
  • Coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, brown sugar, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix to combine.
  2. In a heat safe bowl or pot stir together the beer, melted butter and cream then heat to 110°F (check the temperature listed on your package of yeast and default to that temperature rather than the one listed in any recipe).
  3. Add the liquid to the stand mixer, beating on low to medium speed to combine. Add the salt once the flour has been moistened.
  4. Raise the speed to medium high, beat until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 40-60 minutes, the warmer the room the faster the rise. In a cold room this can take up to two hours).
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle. Fold into thirds, like a letter about to go into an envelope. Press out into a long rectangle again, fold again. Repeat three times until the dough feels a bit stiff.
  8. Cut into 12 equal size pieces.
  9. Roll each piece into a tight ball.
  10. Oil a 9x13 baking dish, place the dough balls equally spaced in the pan.
  11. Brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash, sprinkle with salt.
  12. Bake until the tops have turned golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and cover with a kitchen towel as they cool (this will make the rolls soft, rather than crusty).
  14. Serve warm.
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Beer and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes

Beer and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes, an easy one pot dish that tastes like doughnuts and beer!

We all like to tell the same lie to each other when we’re preparing for Thanksgiving. We pretend like the turkey is the hard part. It’s not, it’s just the main part.

But, in reality, it’s pretty easy. Especially this Turkey (my favorite).

The real beast are the side dishes. Do you go traditional (boring but safe), do you try to take on Grandmas recipes (which, in my family is basically just a diet coke and pretending you invented Watergate Salad), or do you branch out to make something new (risky)?

You know me well enough to know what I do. Of course I do something weird, something with beer.

If you want to weird up your side dish, make sure to keep something familiar and safe, like sweet potatoes and brown sugar. You can even call them yams if you want, (but in reality they are actually sweet potatoes) but it will be the beer that will sell them to the crowd.

Beer and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup brown ale
  • 4 medium garnet sweet potatoes (or garnet yams), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Stir together the cream and beer in a bowl or large measuring cup.
  3. Stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and flour in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the sweet potato slices to a 9-inch cast iron skillet in overlapping concentric circles.
  5. Drizzle with cream mixture, them sprinkle with 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Repeat with two more layers of potatoes, cream, and brown sugar mixtures making sure to use all ingredients.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, press down firmly on the potatoes with a large spatula to submerge the potatoes.
  8. Bake for another 20 minutes, press again.
  9. Bake until the potatoes are fork tender and the liquid has thickened. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
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Summer IPA Panzanella Salad

Summer IPA Panzanella Salad. It’s a salad with bread! It’s the best. SO good!

Summer IPA Panzanella Salad. It's a salad with bread! It's the best. SO good!

This is my way of forcing the situation.

Seattle hasn’t been kind to me this winter, the rain has been abundant, as has the power outages and the snow fall. Luckily, I’ve been able to escape to Panama and Kona, but nothing replaces summer in your own city. They tell me that Spring is here, that the days of cold weather are limited, but I have my doubts as my weather app laughs at me every time I open it.

Farmers markets are starting to taunt me and I can’t take it anymore. It’s time to start cooking up the summer food, even if I throw in bread that makes it seem a little bit like a Thanksgiving Stuffing trying to squeeze into a bikini.

I don’t care. I’m going to crank up the heater, break out the shorts, and eat produce. And you can’t stop me.

Summer IPA Panzanella Salad

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, stale
  • ½ lbs asparagus, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons IPA beer
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions (or chives, or the green parts of Spring onions)
  • 3 leaves basil, chopped
  • ½ cup (.5 ounces) parmesan, grated with a microplane
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the baguette into small cubes, add in an even layer to a baking sheet. Add the asparagus to the pan.
  3. Melt the butter, stir in the IPA beer, drizzle over the bread and asparagus, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread has toasted.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes to a large serving bowl. Add the asparagus, bread cubes, green onions and basil. Toss to combine, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
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Summer IPA Panzanella Salad. It's a salad with bread! It's the best. SO good!

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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Garlic Parmesan Skillet Beer Potatoes

Garlic Parmesan Skillet Beer Potatoes

garlic-parmesan-skillet-beer-potatoes-6

"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.

garlic-parmesan-skillet-beer-potatoes-2

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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garlic-parmesan-skillet-beer-potatoes-8

Bacon and Beer Bread Stuffing + Craft Beers to Drink on Thanksgiving

Bacon and Beer Bread Stuffing

beer-bread-stuffing-2

As biased as I am, I can pretty solidly affirm that beer needs to be your adult beverage of choice for Thanksgiving. The flavors of your fall Holiday table will run around much better with the malt, spices, and carbonation that beer has to offer than any other alcoholic concoction. I have a few tips to get you started as you begin your thanksgiving-beer-offering search.

beer-bread-stuffing-5
  1. I know you love hops, but let them rest for today. Choose a malty beer.
  2. Don’t forget the carbonation. It will aid in palate cleansing between courses.
  3. You have enough to do, don’t worry about pairing to each dish. Just pick a beer that plays nice with everything.
  4. Don’t be afraid of a higher ABV, these beers can be the best fit (and please, if you’re driving splurge on an Uber)

turkey100

A few style suggestions:

Witbier (or white ale): These are the crowd pleaser, the beers that are hard to argue with. They have a low IBU’s (low bitterness), a nice carbonation and flavors of orange peel, coriander and cloves that go well with everything on the Thanksgiving table. Even Grandmas Jell-O salad. A few to seek out: White // Allagash Brewing, White Rascal // Avery, Witte // Ommegang

Belgian Abbey Ales (Belgian Dubbel): These are rich, malty beers with enough hops to keep them from being overly-sweet but not enough to linger. They have rich flavors of dark fruits, caramel, nuts and an active carbonation to help you cleanse the palate between bites. A few to seek out: Abbey Ale // Ommegang, Lost & Found Abbey Ale // The Lost Abbey, Prior 8 // St Bernardus

Seasonal Ales: Most of the time, these are beers that are brewed to feel like the season. With ingredients that are starting to show up in the farmer’s markets and on our tables, making these a great choice to pair with your holiday meal. Just make sure to choose something with low hop bitterness to compliment, rather than compete with, the food you are about the share. A few to seek out: Autumn Maple // The Bruery, Christmas Ale // Schlafly, Sleigh’r // Ninkasi

beer-bread-stuffing-3

Bacon and Beer Bread Stuffing

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

    For the beer bread:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 12 ounces beer (summer ale, wheat beer, saison, pilsner)
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • For the Stuffing:
  • ½ lbs bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ sweet white onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more if you used unsalted broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup dried cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Pour in the beer and the honey, stir until just combined.
  4. Pour into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pour melted butter over the batter.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Allow to cool, remove from pan (this can be done a day in advance).
  6. Cut the bread into cubes. Reduce oven to 350F.
  7. Add the chopped bacon to a pan off heat. Add to medium heat and cook until the bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered (this method of starting bacon in a cold pan and cooking on a lower heat is the most effective way to render fat and crisp the bacon).
  8. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving the pan and the bacon grease.
  9. Turn the heat to medium high and add the bread cubes. Cook until the bread is lightly toasted. (If your pan is too small to accommodate, place bread cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with bacon fat, and bake at 350F until toasted, about 10 minutes).
  10. Add the bread cubes to a 4-quart (or 9x13) baking dish along with the bacon and the dried cherries.
  11. Melt the butter in the pan, add the onion, celery, and carrots, cooking until softened. Add the sage, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder stirring to combined.
  12. Add the chicken broth, simmering for 3 minutes.
  13. Pour the broth, vegetables and herbs over the bread cubes. Toss gently to combine.
  14. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve warm.
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Grilled Street Corn with IPA Chipotle Cream + What’s The Deal With Gluten Free Beer?

Grilled Street Corn with IPA Chipotle Cream + What’s The Deal With Gluten Free Beer?

Grilled Street Corn with IPA Chipotle Cream 6

Beer’s main objective is to taste great. To gratify an urge, quell a thirst, satisfy the drinker with a balance of it’s necessary ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast (and possibly a few not as necessary ingredients). But let’s say the malt was different. The malt wasn’t the malt you’re used to. It wasn’t malted barley, it was a different grain. The results were great, the beer tasted awesome.

Would you mind? Would it bother you if water, hops, malt and yeast was STILL water, hops, malt and yeast, but the malt was malted millet instead of malted barley? Would you even notice?

Let’s back up.

Barely is traditionally what’s used to make the malt in beer (for more info about that, read this). It’s the only ingredient necessary to make beer that contains gluten, water, hops and yeast don’t. Barley is a grain, but there are other grains, too. What if a brewer used a different grain to satisfy the malt ingredient?

Of course, it’s more complicated than that, but that’s the main premise: use a different grain that doesn’t contain gluten instead. Nothing fake, nothing overly processed, just a different grain (to start with). If the beer still tastes great, does it matter?

Watch the Facebook Live Gluten Free Beer Taste Test

Gluten Free Beer

Gluten-free beer comes in two main categories:

Gluten Removed/Crafted to Remove Gluten

This beer is made the way a beer is normally made, brewed with barley (which contains gluten). An enzyme is added to break up the gluten protein and destroy it. The beer still contains gluten, but it’s well below the 20 parts per million that the FDA requires to call something "gluten-free." The beer is made with a gluten ingredient, and some gluten may still exist. Some people have a reaction to it, some people don’t. if you have a severe gluten allergy, proceed with caution. These beers are not allowed to put "gluten-free" on their label, but instead use "crafted to remove gluten," "gluten reduced"  or "low gluten" instead.

Most popular: Stone Delicious IPA, Omission Pale Ale, Omission IPA, New Belgium Glutiny

Of the gluten removed beer I’ve sampled Stone Delicious IPA, and Omission IPA were my favorite. 

Grilled Street Corn with IPA Chipotle Cream 1

Gluten FREE

In the past few years breweries have been cropping up across the country that brew only gluten-free beer. Beer that is artfully crafted with malted grains that don’t contain the gluten proteins. As difficult as it is to make truly great tasting beer, the use of an alternate grain is a new level of difficulty and an interesting section of the market to explore.

If a beer is labeled as gluten-free, it is truly gluten-free. It was brewed with ingredients that do not contain gluten, such as millet, sorghum, corn, rice, or quinoa. A brewery cannot label a beer as "gluten-free" if it was brewed with any ingredients that contain gluten.

Ground Breaker Brewing in Portland, Oregon is not only a 100% gluten-free brewery, it also has a gluten-free pub attached to the tap-room. Their IPA won a silver medal at GABF last year.

Holiday Brewing in Colorado is new on the scene, opening their completely gluten-free facility in February of 2016. With a growing legion of fans, and an impressive list of beer, this is a brewery to watch.

Glutenberg in Montreal, Canada is a growing presence in the United States. With distribution in more than 15 states and several solid beer styles to choose from, this a brewery worth checking out if the need for gluten-free beer arises.

Ghostfish Brewing in Seattle, Washington isn’t just a force to be reckoned with, it’s set the bar higher than any gluten-free brewery has before. Sweeping this year’s US Beer Championships with 3 medals, and taking home 2 of the three top medals at last years GABF, this beer isn’t just "good for gluten-free," it’s simply delicious, well-crafted beer. As a person without any gluten issues, this is beer I would order if I saw it at a taproom. It’s great beer, made with great, high-quality ingredients. My favorites are Grapefruit IPA and Watchstander Stout. Gluten allergies or not, this is beer worth seeking out.

My favorite gluten-free beer is Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA, necessitating a gluten-free recipe, to be enjoyed alongside your gluten-free beer.

Grilled Street Corn with IPA Chipotle Cream 5

Grilled Street Corn with IPA Chipotle Cream + What’s The Deal With Gluten Free Beer?

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ears of yellow corn, shucked
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 or 2 chipotle chilies in adobo
  • 3 tablespoons IPA beer
  • 4 wt ounces (about ½ cup) crumbled cotija cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium high. Add the corn to a baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with salt.
  3. Grill over medium high heat until grill marks appear on all sides.
  4. In a blender add the sour cream, chipotle chilies (1 for lower heat, 2 for more heat), and IPA beer, blend until smooth. Add additional beer for thinner sauce.
  5. Add the corn to a serving tray, drizzle with sauce, sprinkle liberally with cotija and cilantro. (roll corn to coat in sauce, if desired).
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Beer Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Beer Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Beer Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad1

 I have a lot of great childhood memories that peripherally involve potato salad. None of those, however, involve eating it. Until I was a grown-up I thought of potato salad as this boiled, mayonnaised, mustard, mess that resided in plastic tubs at the grocery store.

Someone was always obligated to bring it, although no one really missed it when it didn’t materialize at the pot luck table.

Then, I had it for real. I was at a fancy Las Vegas restaurant, overpaying for a dinner from a well known chef and potato salad arrived. I obviously side-eyed it, as you should in this situation, when it showed up along side duck confit. It was fantastic. Warm, bacon filled delight that sold me on the idea that potato salad could be a legit side dish.

There are a few rules, however, if you want to make grown-up potato salad.

First: boiled potatoes are for suckers. You’re better than that. Roast them for better flavor and texture.

Second: skip the mayo in favor of good quality sour cream. Just because I hate mayo, and sour cream is just vastly superior.

Third: Include bacon. Because bacon.

Fourth: serve it warm. Not room-tempuratre-it’s-been-sitting-on-this-table-all-day warm, but on-purpose warm.

Hope you love it, and I hope you never go back to that plastic tub.

Beer Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad3

Beer Bacon and Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 lbs mini red potato, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons IPA
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Add the bacon to a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  3. Bake until the bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the bacon and the wire rack.
  5. Raise the oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Add the potatoes to the pan, toss in the bacon grease. Return the pan to the oven, bake for 15 minutes, toss the potatoes, bake until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 additional minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
  7. In a large bowl stir together the remaining ingredients.
  8. Chop the bacon, add to the bowl along with the potatoes. Toss to combine.
  9. Serve warm.
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Honey Stout Glazed Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Honey Stout Glazed Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Honey Stout Glazed Bacon Wrapped Asparagus2

Sometimes, I wonder how long it’ll last.

I sat at dinner a few weeks ago, with someone who’s quickly become a great friend, and talked about the rough years we’ve had, similar in ways, and how we keep that hurtful past close to the vest. How those years help us evolve and pushed us to be better people, and somehow wound us down rabbit holes that landed us in our dream jobs.

I wasn’t that kid. I was the girl in the hand-me-down dress, with a sad smile. I wasn’t the fighter that I should have been, and I wasn’t ever lucky enough to end up in the right place at the right time. But now, here I am. If you’d asked me 5-years ago what my dream job was I’d have told you something not nearly as incredible as what I’m doing now.

So I wonder, how long can it last? Can I stay here for a while longer? Traveling, being seen worthy of costly shipments or hard to find beer, being paid to be here and here? I wonder how much I can do to give back and pay it forward in order to karmically cement my place in a job that I’m not even sure how I created.

People email me to ask how I did it. Can I pick your brain? How can I do what you do? The answer is: I have no idea. I’m not sure how I got here and the truth is, if I had to start over I’m not even sure that I cold recreate this.

So here I am, incredibly grateful and a little confused. Because my life seems to be a bit bacon wrapped and beer glazed. Good on top of good. Let’s hope it sticks for a while longer. I really like it here.

Honey Stout Glazed Bacon Wrapped Asparagus3

Honey Stout Glazed Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Serving Size: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ cup stout beer
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbs honey
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 lbs large stalk asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 lbs sliced bacon (not thick slices)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Take the bacon out of the fridge 30-minutes prior to baking to come to room tempurature*.
  3. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet (for easy clean up, line the baking sheet with tin foil before adding the wire rack) set aside.
  4. Add the stout, balsamic, honey and chili powder to a pot over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally until thickened and reduced, about 8 minutes.
  5. Wrap each asparagus with bacon, place on the wire rack.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes, then brush with glaze, bake for 8 additional minutes, brush with glaze once more and bake until bacon is crispy, about 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Dish works best with thin strips of bacon that are at room temperature and thick stalks of asparagus that are ice cold but not frozen (right from a cold fridge), this will help the bacon crisp before the asparagus becomes over cooked.

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Inspired by the gorgeous and talented Bakeaholic Mama, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze

Honey Stout Glazed Bacon Wrapped Asparagus4

Bacon and Beer Cheese Brussels Sprout Gratin

Bacon and Beer Cheese Brussels Sprout Gratin

Bacon and Beer Cheese Brussels Sprout Gratin

I judged a beer competition last year with the primary assignment of the IPA category. A fantastic assignment under normal circumstances but this day, there were some logistical issues.

Pound for pound I was the smallest judge and this was the biggest category, 35 beers in total, all that need to be sampled. But that was just issue one. The biggest hurdle was issue two: I had a co-judge that didn’t know beer. He was a prominent local chef, and clearly knew flavors but wasn’t well versed in what makes, not just an IPA, but a great IPA.

We didn’t agree. He chose a beer that was so terrible that the other judges and I had wondered how they had reached the designation of IPA for this malt bomb. The beers I picked, mostly bold, dry hopped IPA’s, he said tasted "too vegetal." He needs malt, I need big hop aroma and flavors. We spent an hour crossing off beers that we absolutely could not get behind. He crossed off some of my favorites, I crossed off his. But I fought for Hop Valley’s Citrus Mistress, it seemed like such a great choice. I loved it! It gives me the hops I need and had enough malt to keep him happy. I made him try it again and reconsider. He liked it, a lot. We’ve found it, I though. Two people from very different ends of the IPA flavor spectrum have agreed.

Then, he changed his mind. Maybe it was him not wanting me to win. Maybe he was still resentful that I have given a big fat veto to an "IPA" with only 22 IBU’s. But he crossed it off. I fought harder, tried to get him to see my point of view, but 35 IPA’s rattling my bones muddied my ability to form logical arguments and blocked his ability to hear them. We ended up giving the final award to a different beer. A beer that was good, one that I liked, but one that I didn’t love nearly as much as Citrus Mistress.

So now I buy it when I see it in the bottle shops and whisper a small apology for letting it down at a beer event that really meant nothing more than a stadium full of people having a good time. Maybe next year, Citrus Mistress, maybe next year.

Hop Valley Citrus Mistress

Bacon and Beer Cheese Brussels Sprout Gratin

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 strips thick sliced bacon, chopped
  • 1.5 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • ½ lbs parmesan, shredded
  • ½ lbs mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cups IPA beer (I used Citrus Mistress)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbs butter, melted
  • ½ cup bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat (medium heat will render more fat and crisp the bacon more than high heat). Once the bacon is crisp, remove from pan with a slotted spoon, set aside.
  3. Place the pan back on the burner and turn heat to high. Add the sprouts, cut side down, cooking until browned but not cooked through. Add sprouts to a baking dish, sprinkle with chopped bacon.
  4. In a blender add the parmesan, mozzarella, cornstarch, beer, pepper, salt and mustard powder, blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the cheese mixture over the sprouts.
  6. Toss the bread crumbs with melted butter, spread evenly over the top of the cheese.
  7. Bake, uncovered, until breadcrumbs have browned, about 15 minutes.
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Bacon and Beer Cheese Brussels Sprout Gratin4

Sriracha Beer Mac N Cheese (15-minutes Stove Top)

Sriracha Beer Mac N Cheese (15-minutes Stove Top)

Sriracha Beer Mac N Cheese 2

These photos were taken at the beginning of a power outage that lasted two days.

Luckily, the light from my window was filtering through breaking storm clouds in an eerie but beautiful way that made it possible to shoot the macaroni I’d finish making by candlelight. It also tastes fantastic in the dark, although the gorgeous slightly pink hue of the Sriracha cheese sauce is lost in the low light, it didn’t matter.

I spend the night trying, and repeatedly failing, to keep the fireplace going and the candles lit. Instinctively trying to flip light switches when I’d enter a room. Reminding myself that I no longer have a gas stove, it’s electric, so cooking is not an option. Realizing that I’m much more dependent on the comforts of electricity that I’d like to admit.

Sriracha Beer Mac N Cheese 3

It gave me a profound appreciation for things I take for granted, the things we refer to as "little things" are only little when you have them, they turn into a giant beast that has your comfort and convince in a stranglehold when you don’t have them. You realize they are so huge they consume your life and hobble your ability to function in the way you’re accustomed to.

So today, as the lights flickered back on, I’m thankful. I’m grateful for warmth, electricity, and the ability to cook again. Tonight I’ll raise a pint to the fact that I almost never have to go without, and in the grand scheme of the world today that makes me fortunate.

Sriracha Beer Mac N Cheese 5

Sriracha Beer Mac N Cheese

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbs (30g) unsalted butter
  • 3 tbs (24g) flour
  • 2 tbs (12g) cornstarch
  • 2 cup (480mL) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240g) IPA or Pale Ale
  • 1.5 lbs (681g) white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ tsp (3g) salt
  • ½ tsp (2g) garlic powder
  • 2 tbs (64g) Sriracha red chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni in lightly salted boiling water until just before al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch until well combined. Add the milk and beer, bring to a low simmer, do not boil.
  3. A hand full at a time add the cheese, whisking until all the cheese has melted before adding more.
  4. Sitr in the salt, garlic powder and Sriracha (add additional to taste).
  5. Add the noodles, stir until well combined, allow the noodles to finish cooking in the sauce, about 3 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.

Notes

If the sauce breaks, use an immersion blender to bring it back to life.

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Chipotle White Ale Cranberry Sauce

Chipotle White Ale Cranberry Sauce

Chipotle White Ale Cranberry Sauce3

This is a game changer.

It’s the "best cranberry sauce ever" for cranberry sauce people, also for I-don’t-like-that-stuff people, and even for "don’t judge, but I like the phallic looking, ridged, gelatinous, canned version, don’t hate" people.

It’s smokey, spicy, and has a slight hint of beer. A  recipe that requires you to open a beer, then "figure out" what you should do with the remaining 1/2 cup.

It’s also a make ahead, one step, one pot, fifteen minute dish that makes holiday prep easy.

We can do this. We can make it through the holidays. Although we may need much more than 1/2 cup beer to helps us get that job done.

Chipotle White Ale Cranberry Sauce

Chipotle White Ale Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 wt oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup white ale*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 medium sized chipotle chili in adobo, minced
  • 1 tbs adobo sauce
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a low boil.
  2. Boil, stirring frequently, until thickened, about fifteen minutes.
  3. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Can be made three days in advance.

Notes

*Use a white ale, Belgian ale, Hefeweizen, or craft cider

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Sriracha Honey Beer Brussels Sprouts

Sriracha Honey Beer Brussels Sprouts -3

Beer Is For Everyone: A Party Theme

Summer is rapidly hurling towards Fall, and your barefoot in the backyard days are numbered, it’s time to actually host a party instead of just saying, "we should" until the moment passes. It’s that moment. The one that you usually let get away from you, and then wonder why.

Here’s how you do it, step by step:

1. Invite people. This is the first step because it forces you to take the rest, you’re locked in. Plus it only takes a second (unless you’re like me and you prefer to hand-make invites. Which would make you a crazy person, and you’re not. Be grateful.) Choose a mix of people, and don’t let the "doesn’t drink beer" designation deter you from inviting anyone. They will like something, and it will surprise them.

2. Beer selection. You want a huge variety of beer, not just the beer you like. Go to a large bottle shop, the bigger the better, the selection will be the best and the knowledge of the sales people will likely be the most broad. Hit several major categories, and a few out of the box beers, like this: a wet hopped IPA, a double IPA, a balanced pale ale, a cream ale, a saison, a wheat beer, a brown ale, a porter, Belgian dubbel, sour beer, a fruit beer (like one brewed with peaches—perfect for summer), a spicy beer, a smoked beer and a craft cider. Sounds like a lot, but a bomber of each beer will give everyone a taste, just enough to know if they want more. Try to get 2 bombers (22 ounce, large bottle)of  beers per person. Err on the side of more, you can always keep what you don’t open.

3. Glassware. There are often things we do that are just to wallow in our own craft-beer-geek-infatuations, this isn’t one of them. Glassware makes a huge difference. Have you ever drank wine out of a coffee mug? That’s the difference between proper glassware and a shaker pint. For a beer tasting, get half pint glasses, perfect for sampling. I use these ones.

4. Food. It’s important. It’s a way to balance the flavors and explore pairings. More importantly, eating is essential when drinking as a way to stay on the controlled end of the drunk/sober spectrum. You want to serve a few things that pair well with a variety of beers and that can sit at room temperate for a while. A few to consider: Porter Caramelized Onion Flatbreads with Smoked Gouda and Roasted TomatoesGoat Cheese Crostini with Beer Pickled Jalapenos and MangosBeer Braised Pulled Pork Sliders with Chipotle Beer Cheese SauceGrilled BBQ Beer Chicken and Apricot FlatbreadsBeer and Bacon Dip.

5. Judge away. Save all those judgmental thoughts that you want to pour inappropriately onto your Facebook friends and strangers at the market, for beer. It’s ok to judge beer, just reserve your feelings until after you’ve tasted it. Here are beer-judge rules for people new to beer: before tasting you can only state facts not opinions (it’s dark, it smells like fruit, it’s more carbonated that the other beers), once you’ve tasted it state three observations, decide if it makes you want more even if you don’t know why. Let your guests decide what they like best, and what they like least, even if they can’t explain why.

Now you’re ready to throw a craft beer party, and prove that beer really is for everyone.

Sriracha Honey Beer Brussels Sprouts -2

Sriracha Honey Beer Brussels Sprouts

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 side dish portions

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs sririacha
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1/3 cup wheat beer

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl stir together the honey, sriracha, salt, and pepper, set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet, add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down. Cook until just starting to brown.
  3. Lower heat to medium low, drizzle with sriracha mixture, then pour the beer over. Simmer until sprouts are fork tender and beer has cooked off, about 8 minutes.
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