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Beerscotti: Chocolate Beer Biscotti, Made with Beer for Beer

Beerscotti: Chocolate Beer Biscotti, Made with Beer for Beer

 Something about this just isn’t right, it’s a cookie made to dunk in your beer. Who does that? Maybe I’m trying to start a beer cookie revolution that ends with crumbs at the bottom of your pint glass. Maybe I just liked the alliteration, or maybe this just ends up working. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

Beerscotti: Chocolate Beer Biscotti, Made with Beer for Beer

For this I wanted a big beer, with lots of roasted chocolate malt. Drakes Drakonic Imperial Stout works great, it’s a malty beast, as they say, and has those dry cocoa notes that work with the cocoa nibs and hazelnuts in the Beerscotti. It’s a sippin' stout, made for lingering and conversation, it’s not a beer that wants to be ignored.

But who can ignore the guy dunking a cookie in his beer? Not me.

Beerscotti: Chocolate Beer Biscotti, Made with Beer for Beer

Chocolate Beer Biscotti

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • ¼ cup stout beer
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup coca nibs

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and butter. Beat on medium high speed until well creamed.
  • Add the eggs and yolk, mix until mixture is pale and fluffy.
  • Add the stout, vanilla and almond, mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, corn starch, espresso powder and salt.
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the butter mixture, mix on low until just incorporated. Stir in the hazelnuts and cocoa nibs.
  • Scoop half of the dough onto a baking sheet that has been covered with a Silpat or parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Shape into a log that is about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool for about 5 minutes. Cut diagonally into ¾ inch slices. Return to the baking sheet, cut side up.
  • Bake until slightly crispy, about ten minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Biscotti can be made up to three days ahead of time and taste the best 24 hours after baking. Store in an air tight container.

Beerscotti: Chocolate Beer Biscotti, Made with Beer for Beer

BLT Eggs Benedict with Avocado Hollandaise


BLT Eggs Benedict wtih Avocado Hollindaise_

I’m a breakfast girl. I’m also an avocado girl. So when California Avocado Commission asked me something along the lines of: "Hey Jackie, wanna come to a fancy schmany Beverly Hills restaurant and have a schmancy chef make you Breakfast For Dinner? Oh and you get to make cocktails with avocados," My answer didn’t require much debate.

Schamncy Chef Neal did an outstanding job feeding Los Angeles bloggers an array of Avocado Breakfast foods. They even sent us home with a goodie bag that included a bag of avocados and a cutting board. AND if that doesn’t sound great to you, you’re probably not a food blogger. We seem to have an unreasonable affinity for bags of produce and cutting boards.

I also have a great love of the Eggs Benedict (I’m probably an old man, given the love I also have for stout beer and cable knits) but after waitressing my way through college, working the early shift at a breakfast joint, I’ll never be able to eat hollandaise at a restaurant (if you read this book, you’ll also know why). Because of these two things, I tend to make it myself about once a month. Add the creaminess of an avocado and I’ll lick it right out of the blender and don’t you try and stop me.

BLT Eggs Benedict with Avocado Hollandaise

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe California avocado, diced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • pinch each of salt, pepper and cayenne
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted
  • 8 slices tomatoes
  • ½ cup baby arugula
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked
  • 8 eggs, poached
  • Yield 8 (4 to 8 servings depending on serving preference)

Instructions

  1. Add the diced avocado to a blender or food processor, process until smooth.
  2. Add the egg yolks and process until well combined.
  3. Heat the butter in a microwave safe bowl until very hot.
  4. While the food processor is running, slowly add the melted butter until well combined. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne, process to combine.
  5. Add the English muffins to a plate, cut sides up. Top each half with a slice of tomato, a few leaves of arugula, bacon, and a poached egg.
  6. Spoon avocado hollandaise over eggs. Serve immediately.

BLT Eggs Benedict wtih Avocado Hollindaise 2

Beer Candied Pecans

last September I was able to visit Bear Republic. I was able to jump behind the bar, chat with brewers and sample everything from the Peter Brown Tribute to the Grand Am, right from the source.  Solid beers that are becoming easier to find across the US as their distribution expands.

Bear Republic2

Maybe it was the gorgeous Northern California setting, or the charming bar managers, or the fantastically solid beer, but I became a fan of what this growing team is doing up North. And then they go and make a Black IPA, one of my favorite new styles.

Black IPA’s are becoming more common, a great trend that craft breweries are embracing all over the US. Maybe as a way to satisfy people like me, stout lovers who also adore an IPA. A hoppy beer, with a roasted malt that adds a smooth, balanced, nearly stout like flavor. The Black Racer IPA is a great example of this growing beer phenomenon.

Black Racer IPA

Black Racer is just as hoppy as you want an IPA to be, but with a smoother, rounded malty finish. It has a leaning towards a traditional IPA, with high notes like citrus and pine as well as a fairly high carbonation, but with some dark beer flavors of malt and coffee.

Black IPA’s are both a great example of how the creativity of brewers are blurring the lines of beer styles, as well as another great, endless craft beer debate we all love to partake in from time to time. How do you differentiate between a hoppy stout and a dark IPA? Brewers discretion?

When it’s this good, they can call it what they want and the brewers will always have my full support.

Beer Candied Pecans3

Beer Candied Pecans

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup black IPA
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar packed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 250.
  • In a pot over high heat add the beer and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Bring liquid to 235 degrees, remove from heat.
  • Add the butter, stir until combined.
  • Add salt and pecans; stir until the pecans have all been coated.
  • Pour pecans on to a baking sheet that has been covered with a silicon baking mat (or parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray).
  • Spread pecans evenly over the sheet.
  • Bake at 250 for 15 minutes, stir and bake for an additional 15 minutes (if the pecans look foamy, stir until the bubbles have dissolved).
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, break apart.

Notes

To increase the beer flavor, reduce 1 cup of beer down to 1/2 cup needed for this recipe.

Beer Candied Pecans4

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Now that I’m home with my (soon to be) 3 year-old on most days, I’ve realized that there are a few things that no one tells you about Stay At Home Mom-hood. Maybe because we don’t want to scare the fertility out of others since we like company in this brave new world of parenthood. For instance:

You will start to dissect the relationships between cartoon characters, "Are Mickey and Minnie Mouse dating? or are they brother and sister?" You may or may not Google it.

You’ll be standing in the backyard in your bathrobe trying to hose out a potty chair that is too gross to clean by way of any other method, and it will feel strangely normal.

You’ll say things like, "Don’t drink the bathwater, it’s been on your butt."

 Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars4

You’ll stop noticing how messy your house is until someone unexpectedly drops by and then all of the messiness will sort of magically appear. I swear it wasn’t this gross two minutes ago.

You’ll quote your toddler like she’s a Will Ferrel movie, but only to your spouse. Because no one else would understand why you call cheddar "turtle cheese" or ask them to move by saying "step PUH side!"

At some point you will have the urge to photograph poop, either to show the pediatrician, "Is this color normal or does she have scurvy?" or to show your husband, "She took a poop today the size of Scuba Steve!" But you won’t, deciding instead to just describe it (the doctor and your husband are grateful for this).

You will start to refer to yourself in the third person, as in "Mommy needs a time out," as well as collectively, as in, "We don’t rub cheese on the window,"

You won’t even think it’s that strange when she refuses to even take one bite of the peanut butter and jelly bars you just made because they "look yucky," but then she immediately tries to eat the orange crayon, because apparently those look delicious.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars2

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup golden brown sugar
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Jam Filling:

  • 2 cups strawberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Yield: 9 to 12

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the flour and baking powder.
  2. Add the peanut butter, butter and sugar to a stand mixer, mix on medium high until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until well combined.
  3. Sprinkle with flour mixture, stir until just combined.
  4. Line and 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper, making sure the paper goes up and over the edges. Add half of the peanut butter dough to the pan, press into one even layer. Add the remaining dough to the freezer, put the 8×8 pan to the fridge to chill until ready to use.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. In a saucepan over high heat, add the strawberries and powdered sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy and the strawberries have broken down, about 10 to 15 minutes. While the strawberries are cooking, use a potato masher or spatula to smash and break up strawberries.
  7. Pour strawberries over crust. Retrieve the remaining crust from the freezer, break into pea-sized pieces, and sprinkle over strawberries. Use as much as desired, you may have leftover peanut butter dough.
  8. Bake at 350 until the top crust starts to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool, remove from pan by grabbing the edges of the parchment paper and lifting out. Cut into squares.

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars3

 

Chocolate Stout Muffin Bread

 

Chocolate Stout Muffin Bread7

Let’s talk about chocolate stouts for a minute.

If you aren’t aquatinted with these Dark Knights, you might be under the impression that your beer will be like a tall glass of malty chocolate milk. For the most part, that isn’t the case. While I was at Hanger 24, those awesome guys let me taste some of the grains they use in their Chocolate Porter.

 

Hanger 24-2

(By the way, neither of those hands are mine, I’m taking the photo)

It tastes, even pre-brew, more along the lines of unadulterated raw cocoa rather than a giant slice of cake. For me, this is great news. The flavors of cocoa (before the butter, cream and sugar are added) are dry and even bitter, making a great addition to the flavors of a stout. If you’re afraid of a beer flavored Yoo-Hoo, you’re in luck. For the most part, chocolate stouts grab those great dry flavors of that cocoa bean without that cloying sweetness of a dessert that you don’t really need in your pint glass.

Here are some of my favorite chocolate stouts and porters, please let me know if you have a favorite of your one:

Bison Chocolate Stout

Rogue Chocolate Stout

Hanger 24 Chocolate Porter

Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Chocolate Mint Stout

Souther Tier Choklat (I have yet to get my hands on this on the West Coast, but it’s on my Must Drink list)

Chocolate Stout Muffin Bread

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup coca powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 10 ounces stout
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup melted butter divided in half

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Add the flour, salt, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, cornstarch, and chocolate chips stir to combine.
  • Pour in the stout, oil and 2 tbs of the melted butter, stir until just combined, some lumps are expected.
  • Pour into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pour the remaining butter over the top.
  • Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Allow to cool before slicing.

Chocolate Stout Muffin Bread8

 

Passover Dessert: Toasted Coconut Pavlova with Cocoa Pudding and Caramel Sauce

Coconut Pavlova with Cocoa Pudding and Caramel Sauce parve_

Do you ever watch Chopped on the Food Network? It’s a food competition that involves a "mystery basket" of food.  The contestants are required to use every item in the basket to come up with the best dish they can. I love Chopped, and always try to think up a dish I would make, if I was in that position with those Mystery Items (think of a dish with: gummy bears, avocados and dried beans!). Culinary challenges to me, are like Scrabble to other people. I love trying to figure out what I can come up with.

When Tori asked me to contribute to her Passover Potluck, it felt a bit like Chopped in reverse, an entire basket of things you can’t use. I was excited for the challenge, and to be back again this year on Tori’s Passover Potluck (to be honest, I was hoping she would ask), but it took me a while, and a few texts to Tori, to get all the Passover Cooking rules down. You can’t use flour, or most grains, no corn, rice or peanuts. You also can’t mix meat and dairy, so if you have meat at dinner, you can’t eat dairy for dessert. I wanted to come up with a dairy free dessert so that anyone could eat it during Passover, I love an inclusive meal. I also wanted it to be great, something that didn’t feel like it would have been better with flour or milk, but something that was great without feeling like it had been created with limitations.

I love Pavlovas, so elegant and pretty, but really simple to make. It also tastes like a gigantic Girl Scout Samoa cookie. It’s gluten free, dairy free and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Get the recipe on Tori’s Site, The Shiksa In The Kitchen!

Happy Passover!

 

Click for the recipe:

Parve Passover Dessert: Toasted Coconut Pavlova with Cocoa Pudding and Caramel Sauce

Coconut Pavlova with Cocoa Pudding and Caramel Sauce parve 2

IPA Lemon Bars

Before I get to the lemon bars that were more than a year in the making, I need to talk about these beer glasses.

These glasses are more than just vessels of craft beer glory, they are a indicator of the thread of craft beer weaving itself through the mainstream.

Crate and Barrel, a mecca for the upwardly mobile, midwestern tract homeowners, and suburban housewives is carrying an entire line of glassware devoted to the service of well-made beer. (I need to stop to note that none of the previous descriptors were meant to be derogatory, merely  an illustration of the mainstreamness of the giant housewares retail store.)

This is proof that craft beer is moving forward, growing in respect and popularity in the minds of Americans and capitalist marketers. I couldn’t be happier. I pillaged the entire line, necessitating a new shelf just for beer glasses.

 Eagle Rock Populist with Beer Mug

The lemon bars I made for you have been in the works for over a year. There have been other recipes in the past that haven’t lives up to my expectations. The filling wasn’t creamy enough, or the crust and filling weren’t distinct layers, or other assorted issues. This recipe finally gave me the results I wanted.

IPA Lemon Bars

A great crust with a slight flakey crispness, not too sweet, and lemony with the right touch of beer flavor.

The beer I used is from Eagle Rock Brewery, a brewery that is just down the road from me, a little over a mile in fact. It would be walking distance if it wasn’t for the hill I live on and the nasty walk home that would create.

IPA Lemon Bars3 Eagle Rock Populist Bottle_

Populist is what I think of as a gateway IPA. It’s an accessible beer with more malt that an IPA usually gives you, and a balanced hop flavor. This isn’t the palate wrecking, massively hopped flavor that most American IPA’s give you, it’s more subtle.

I love a high hoped beer, and I also love a malty balanced pale ale, the amazing thing about this mainstream-craft-beer-glass-world we live in is that there is room for both types of IPA’s. If you aren’t an IPA fan, this might convert you, it shows you hops without punching you in the mouth with them. It might even lead you to further IPA exploration.

Or maybe just some lemon flavored baked goods.

IPA Lemon Bars2

IPA Lemon Bars

Ingredients
  

Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter
  • pinch salt

Filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup IPA beer
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Yield: 10 to 12 cookies

Instructions
 

  • In a food processor add the flour, powdered sugar, butter and salt. Process until well combined.
  • Press into the bottom of a greased 8X8 pan (for a 9x13 pan, double the entire recipe).Chill for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to about room temperature, about 15 minutes (this will help the crust and the filling to stay in two distinct layers.)
  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour and corn starch. Add in the lemon juice and beer, stir until combined. Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Bake until the center has set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Crust adapted from Shockingly Delicious

Current Obsessions

Sugar Skull necklace, Moon Raven Designs:

My husband bought this for me for Christmas and I wear it embarrassingly often. In my mind it goes with everything, it’s like the bacon version of accessories. Plus, people are oddly drawn to it (which can be uncomfortable, since it hangs between my little lady lumps) so it’s a conversation starter. Or conversation stopper, since this has happened on more than a few occasions:

Other person: “So, I was telling you about that thing….WAIT! What is that?!” as they grab at my chest.   (Thinking this over, I seem to like near strangers hastily groping me, I may have a problem)

 Skull Necklace

 

10 Cane Rum:

My husband is slightly convinced that rum is the new craft beer. I’m not as easily swayed from my devotion to craft beer, but I will be one of the last to know if beer is no longer “cool,” like those 1980’s Hair Metal hold-outs that were still rockin' the zebra spandex and Aqua Net when everyone else had move on to flannel shirts tie around the waist of their distressed levis. This will be me with my beer, even if everyone else has move on to rum. I’m rambling, back to the rum. This is craft rum, it has incredible depth and flavors that did remind me of the difference between Coors Light and Russian River’s Pliny (Cliff’s Notes for non beer drinkers: Coors=boring, Pliny=awesome).  I also learned from this Cocktail King, that the real, original, daiquiri was just sugar, lime juice, and some rum (he recommended trying it with brown sugar). That sounds amazing and completely unlike the bastardized spring break strawberry Slurpee version of a daiquiri that I’m used to.

10 cane rum

 

Marble Pastry Board, Sur La Table:

I have hideous countertops. But I live with my horrid kitchen because one wall of my kitchen is floor to celling windows. When the sight of my grotesquely mismatched kitchen starts to get me down, I just look out the windows, and I feel better. It helps, momentarily. Other than periodic bouts with tile related depression, the awful counters pose two, more practical problems: dough rolling and photography. I can’t bring myself to ever post a picture with that horrid tile as a backdrop, (I would hear a collective, “MY EYES, MY EYES!!” for everyone who had to suffer the sight of said tile) nor is dough rolling an option on that surface. Answer: Marble Pastry Board for Sur La Table. First, it almost convinces me that I have marble counters when I look at the process photos, like these ones, but it also makes a fantastic dough-rolling surface, and the BEST part is it’s only $39! The same one at William Sonoma is about $130 (which, to be honest seems a fair price for that much marble. The Sur La Table version is shockingly inexpensive). I also have the matching marble rolling pin, which was only about $24 and I love it. Such a great set, and a great gift if you have a dough rolling fool in your life.

Sur La Table Pastry Board

 

Drink Specific Glassware:

Crate and Barrel has a great set of specialty beer glass, which of course, I love. I also love these Old Fashion Rocks Glasses from Sur La Table and the bee glasses from World Market. We have three floating shelves of specialty glassware on the wall in our dining room, if there is an earthquake, we’re screwed.

 

Eagle Rock Populist with Beer Mug

Quinoa Crab Salad with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Quinoa Crab Salad with Jalapeno vinaigrette

I could eat this salad every day.

I realize that quinoa has become a food trend that will inevitably run it’s course, I don’t care. I’ll love it and I’ll eat it long after it’s no longer cool.

The first time I made it, I cooked it the same way I cook rice and the results were pretty sad and mushy. I did some digging and figure out a few quinoa tricks and started to cook it this way. It has more flavor and better texture and it isn’t mushy at all, now I’m hooked.

Quinoa Crab Salad with Jalapeno vinaigrette4

After I made the jalapenos dressing I wandered around my kitchen looking for more things to eat it with, it’s amazing. I’m so glad I started making my own dressing, it takes about 30 seconds. It’s great to be able to through a bunch of ingredients in a blender and those little ingredients come out as a delicious sauce.

Quinoa Crab Salad with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 cup baby arugula, washed
  • 6 ounces lump crab meat, drained
  • 1 heirloom tomato, chopped
  • Yield: 4 side dish portions

For The Jalapeno Vinaigrette:

  • 1 large jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 small shallot, rough chopped
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs aple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Add the quinoa to a dry pan, toast until you can smell it cooking, about 3 minutes. Add the water, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the lid at a vent. Cook for 16 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature.
  2. Add quinoa, arugula, crab meat, and tomatoes to a bowl , toss to combine.
  3. In a blender add the jalapeno, garlic, shallots, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until well combined. Drizzle desire amount of vinaigrette to the salad (this recipe makes more dressing than this salad needs, save the extra for future salads).

Quinoa Crab Salad with Jalapeno vinaigrette2

 

Smoky Chocolate Porter Ice Cream with Beer Candied Bacon

Smoky Porter Ice Cream with Beer Candied Bacon4

Yesterday I was a guest on KCRW’s St. Patricks day episode of Good Food. The host was Evan Kleiman, a chef, author and Los Angeles food scene legend. She called my recipes, "smart," which if you are a home cook, sitting in front of an accomplished chef, is the best word you can hear.

Smoky Porter Ice Cream with Beer Candied Bacon3

We chatted about stouts, one of my favorite beer topics. Forget about pale lagers and green food dye, stouts are the life blood of St. Patrick’s day. In preparation for our stout conversation, I asked my Facebook readers what their favorite stouts are, and the response was amazing. My non-scientific poll concluded the most popular stouts among those who have clicked "like" on The Beeroness Facebook page are: Old Rasputin, Souther Tier Choklat, Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout and Founders Breakfast Stout. All of which would be amazing in this recipes, but I used Alaskan Brewing Smoked Porter. Just goes to show how many amazing dark craft beers there are in this nation. If you have a stout or porter that you love, let me know about it. I’m always up for a tall glass of dark beer.

Whatever you use, don’t forget to make it a chocolate bacon beer float.

Smoky Porter Ice Cream with Beer Candied Bacon5

Beer Candied Bacon

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 tbs stout
  • pinch cayenne
  • 12 thick cut strips of bacon

Instructions
 

  • Combine the brown sugar, stout and cayenne until thick and syrupy.
  • Lay bacon on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Brush bacon with beer syrup on both sides.
  • Cook at 350 for ten minutes, flip and re-brush with beer syrup.
  • Cook for 8 to 10 more minutes or until the bacon is an amber color.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool. Bacon will harden as it cools.

Beer Candied Bacon

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 tbs stout
  • pinch cayenne
  • 12 thick cut strips of bacon

Instructions
 

  • Combine the brown sugar, stout and cayenne until thick and syrupy.
  • Lay bacon on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Brush bacon with beer syrup on both sides.
  • Cook at 350 for ten minutes, flip and re-brush with beer syrup.
  • Cook for 8 to 10 more minutes or until the bacon is an amber color.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool. Bacon will harden as it cools.

Beer Candied Bacon Adapted from Oskar Blues via Tide and Thyme.

 Smoky Porter Ice Cream with Beer Candied Bacon2

Coconut Brioche

Coconut Brioche2

I was scared of bread making for years. I scoured the internet for non-yeast rolls, because I was so convinced that I could never make anything that required proofing or rising. A few years ago I decided that I needed to figure this out, I needed to learn. What’s the worse that could happen?

Over the years I’ve had more than a few flat lumps of dough tossed in the trash, and I’ve even been so frustrated that I’ve actually cried (my poor husband). All the bread fails have lead me to a few yeast discoveries and bread making is now one of my favorite kitchen related activities.

Coconut Brioche3

Here are my tips, the ways to reduce the odds of curse words, tears and flat dough:

First, salt can kill yeast, so don’t add it until one of the last steps. Salt is still important to brighten the flavors, so don’t skip it. Just don’t add it at the same time as the yeast.

Second, rapid rise yeast and dry active yeast aren’t the same. Rapid rise yeast needs to activated with liquid between 120 and 130 degrees fahrenheit and dry active yeast needs liquid about 110 degrees, it will be killed at temperatures much higher than that.

Third, check the expiration date! Once yeast expires, it’s actually dead and it won’t work.

Forth, even though the recipe might say, "allow to rise at room temperature until double in size, about 60 minutes," it might actually take 2 hours, or even three. Especially if your house is cold.

lastly, sometimes, every once in a while, it still just doesn’t work. This is pretty rare for me right now, but occasionally the completely unexplainable bread failure still happens. Even with that, it’s still absolutely worth it. Nothing beats  homemade bread.

Coconut Brioche4

Coconut Brioche

Ingredients

  • 2 cup bread flour
  • ¼ cup bakers special dry milk (I use King Arthur Flour)
  • 1 packet ( 2 1/2 teaspoons) Rapid Rise yeast (I used Red Star Platinum)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • Egg wash (1 egg, 1 tbs water, whisked)
  • coarse sea salt
  • Yield: 1 loaf, 8 rolls

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, dry milk, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the coconut milk to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, test temperature and repeat until liquid is between 120 and 130 degrees.
  3. Add the coconut milk to the flour and mix on medium speed until incorporated, and shaggy lumps form.
  4. Add the egg , oil and salt, mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add the butter, mixing well.
  6. The dough will be very soft.
  7. Mix on medium/high speed until the dough gathers around the dough hook, about 8 minutes.
  8. Remove from the mixer and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to sit in a warm room until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  9. Cut the dough into into 8 equal pieces.
  10. One at a time, flatten each dough piece into a 6-inch circle (resembling a small tortilla).
  11. Grab the edge of the circle and pull it into the center. Repeat until a tight ball is formed.
  12. Place the dough balls, smooth side up, into a loaf pan or 8X8 baking pan, in two parallel rows, 4 dough balls in each row.
  13. Cover and allow to rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. (*Note: You can also do what is called a “Fridge Rise” if you want to make these a day ahead of time. The second rise will take about 12 hours in the fridge instead of 1 hour in a warm room. As soon as you placed the dough balls in the loaf pan, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours instead of allowing to rise at room temperature. Remove from the fridge the following day and allow to come to room temperature before baking)
  14. Preheat oven to 375. Brush the tops of each loaf with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 375 for 28-32 minutes or until a golden brown.

Coconut Brioche

Current Obsessions

Lovely Things:

  • Naked 2 Palate.  I’ve had this since November, it was a birthday present from my awesome sister, and I haven’t strayed from it. It’s perfect. Unlike those other palates that have three great colors, two OK colors and about 5 what the heck where they thinking? colors, these are all winners (seriously, I’ve used everyone). It’s pricey but worth it.
naked 2 eyeshadows
  • Iwatani Kitchen Torch. This thing will take your eyebrows off. It’s insanely powerful for something so small. I use to have this one, which cost more and had half the power. It also broke after just a year (there is a chance I’m really clumsy and that may have been that cause of said breakage). Unlike the other one, the Iwantani feels and acts like a pro tool, it means business. You do have to buy their propane canisters but those are fairly cheap. You also just attach the torch to the canister, which I massively prefer, rather than struggle to fill the torch with propane.

Iwatani Kitchen Torch

  • Quick Defense. This stuff works. I’m like a canary in a coal mine, I’m always the first to drop. If something is going around, I always get it. For the past two winters, I’ve taken this stuff if I even hear of anyone (anywhere) getting a cold, and I’ve been sickness free for two years! I now buy this in bulk. (p.s. I totally should have told you about this before flu season, don’t hate me)

Quick-Defense

  • This crazy indestructible GIR spatula. I got an email from the GIR PR representative asking if I wanted one. I almost always say no to these emails, but I was intrigued. I’ve had this thing for 4 months and I’ve made caramel, marinara, homemade ketchup and nothing has stained or stuck to my light blue version of this spatula. I’ve also accidently left it on a live burner, and it didn’t melt or even discolor (as mentioned before, I’m clumsy. I’m also really hard on all of my belongings, I break everything, I’m like a toddler). It still looks factory new. If they made wine glasses, I’d buy a case. Speaking of which, I broke another one last night (I suck).

GIR Ultimate Spatula

  • Picture Porefect. More pores are huge. You could hide Ann Frank in my pores (gross). I’ve tried so many products to reduce the hideousness of my manholes (I mean pores) and nothing has made one bit of difference. I even bought this stuff in a small .3 ounce trial size because I was so skeptical about it’s magical powers (also, the name is ridiculous), but I am now fully convinced and have upgraded to the full sized version. After three weeks my pores look noticeably smaller, like actually normal people sized pores.

porefect

  • Shishito Peppers! My favorite right now. If you can find these at at farmers market or a japanese market, grab them. Just toss them in a hot skillet with a few tbs sesame oil until they blister, put them on a plate and sprinkle them with some flakey sea salt. SO great. Perfect appetizer or afternoon snack. Even better than potato chips, and so much healthier.

Shishito-Peppers-3

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops

Pineapple season is here! Although it’s still a tad colder here in the US than in the tropics, it’s still completely acceptable to soak your vacation-related produce in booze. My hard liquor consumption is fairly infrequent, but lately booze has worked it’s way into my kitchen. I’m much more of a beer and wine kind of girl, but rum has some beautiful flavors that pair nicely with pineapples.

Although this would make an excellent blended drink, there is something that feels special about eating liquor right off a stick.

Just soak

Pinneapple Rum Pops

 

Skewer

Pinneapple Rum Pops2

 

and freeze

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops2

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup rum
  • 1 large pineapple, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

Instructions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, add the water and sugar. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature, stir in the rum.
  2. Add the pineapple pieces to a 9×13 inch baking dish, pour rum syrup over the pineapple and allow to soak at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Remove pineapples from soak, skewer with toothpicks or small skewers.
  4. Place on a baking dish that has been covered with aluminum foil.
  5. Freese pineapple for 1 to 2 hours, serve immediately.

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops3

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

 

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Caramelized Onions Parmesan and rosemary_

I fell in love with side dishes during the three years I spent as a vegetarian. When you don’t eat meat, you tend to go into any holiday celebration or dinner party knowing that your meal will be made up of side dishes and you just hope to end up with more than a garden salad and a dinner roll.

Even though I now eat meat, I want hearty side dishes that can be meals all on their own. I still eat vegetarian food regularly (of the 13 recipes I’ve posted this year 11 have been vegetarian and 7 of those have been vegan) and I want the side dishes I serve to be as important and well crafted as the main dish. Vegetables tend to be the star of the side dish, and being a veggie devotee for three years gave me profound respect for what produce can bring to the table. If you’ve never been a vegetarian, and want to challenge yourself in the kitchen, try to go a month without meat. Even if it’s temporary, it’ll grown you as a cook.

This is a recipe that I already have plans to make again. It has an elegant comfort food vibe to it. The edges get a bit crispy, but the middle has a creamy mashed potato feel. Meat eater or not, this can be a meal or a side dish. I really hope you love it as much as I do.

 

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Caramelized Onions Parmesan and rosemary 2

Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

Ingredients

For the onions:

  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil

For the Potatoes:

  • 1 lb red potatoes
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp rosemary, minced
  • ¼ cup parmesan

For the Mushrooms:

  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil. Add the onions and cook over low to medium heat until caramelized and a deep amber color, about 30 minutes. Do not turn the heat too high or the onions will burn.
  3. Slice the potatoes into thin 1/8 inch slices. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Swirl the pan to distribute evenly, and pour off into a small bowl.
  4. Cover the skillet with a layer of the potato slices, overlapping them. Brush the potatoes with half of the remaining butter mixture, sprinkle with half of the rosemary, and then with salt and pepper. Layer the remaining potatoes in a second even layer, brush with remaining butter sprinkle with remaining rosemary, then with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat the skillet over moderately high heat until it begins to sizzle, transfer the skillet to the middle of a 450° oven, and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and the potatoes are tender.
  6. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat. Roast mushrooms at 450 until dark and soft, about 10 minutes.
  7. Top potatoes with caramelized onions, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.Skillet Roasted Potatoes with Caramelized Onions Parmesan and rosemary TS

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings2

I have to admit, I did think about adding blood orange juice to this. I have a thing for blood oranges. But, I refrained, I was afraid I’d lose all of you who aren’t as into those guys as I am.

But I did fall back on my love of chipotle. We all have these "go to" flavors, don’t we? Even though we want to broaden our culinary horizons, we seem to be drawn back to that same section of the pantry. That’s ok, isn’t it?

I’m a chipotle, smoked paprika, roasted garlic, fresh basil,  sriracha, kinda girl. I also love with burrata cheese, masa harina and almost bitterly dark chocolate.

Just once I’d like to walk into the kitchen and have Ted Allen hand me a "basket of mystery ingredients" just so that I can figure out how to use them in a delightful way without any of my usual culinary crutches.

But for now, here are some chicken wings, beautifully balances with sweet and heat.

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 chipotle peppers plus tsp adobo
  • 2 lbs chicken wings
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • pinch cayenne
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Add maple, balsamic and chipotle to a food processor, process until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
  3. Rinse the wings in cold water and pat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides.
  4. In a large bowl add the flour, brown sugar, pinch cayenne. Toss the chicken wings in the flour until completely coated.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
  6. Add chicken to the baking sheet in an evenly spaced layer. Lightly spray with olive oil.
  7. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, brush with glaze, return to oven for 10 more minutes, turn over, brush with glaze. Repeat. After 30 minutes (3 rounds) turn the oven to 500 and cook chicken until cooked through, about 10 to 15 additional minutes. Remove from oven, brush with remaining glaze.

 

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings

Chocolate Stout Waffle Sundae with Chocolate Stout Fudge Sauce

Chocolate Stout Waffle Sundae with Chocolate Stout Fudge Sauce5

In my world, this is dessert.

But that being said, I ate it at 3 in the afternoon (mostly because I wanted to make it for you, and I refuse to photograph using artificial light, necessitating a mid-day desert for picture taking purposes).

Breakfast in my land, is savory. Although I occasionally indulge in sugar loaded calorie bomb in the morning hours only because for some reason it’s socially acceptable, but if we step back and look at it objectively, this is dessert.

Since I put beer in your breakfast on multiple occasions (Like this, and this and don’t forget about this), I would never judge you for eating this pre-noon. BUT, it’s dessert. And it needs to be served with a stout that’s almost warm. Maybe a sipin' stout that’s been aged in a bourbon barrel, or a smokey porter.

But it’s definitely dessert. Even if you eat it in the middle of the day.

Chocolate Stout Waffle Sundae with Chocolate Stout Fudge Sauce2

Chocolate Stout Waffle Sundae with Chocolate Stout Fudge Sauce

Ingredients
  

For The Sauce

  • 3 tbs butter
  • ½ cup stout
  • 2 tbs corn syrup
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

For the Waffles

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup stout
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Ice Cream for serving

Instructions
 

  • Add the butter, 1/2 cup stout and corn syrup to a sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until butter has melted and the mixture has just started to boil.
  • Turn off heat and stir in 1 cup chocolate chips until completely melted. Allow to cool slightly before using.
  • Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturers specifications.
  • In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt, stir.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Stir in the beer, vegetable oil, vanilla and only the yolks of the two eggs.
  • Add the whites to separate bowl, along with the sugar. Whip with a hand mixer until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the chocolate milk mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold into the egg whites until just incorporated.
  • Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturers specifications, using butter flavored cooking spray if indicated.
  • Plate waffles, top with desired amount of ice cream, drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve with a malty stout.

Chocolate Stout Waffle Sundae with Chocolate Stout Fudge Sauce3

Mini Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd

 


Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd2

Here we are again.

You & I and some blood oranges.

The season is so short, and it’s nearly impossible to get these out of season, I need to enjoy them now. It’s almost embarrassing how I’ve started to hoard them. Whole Foods had a sale this week and I left with three bags. I even bought a new fruit bowl to accommodate my citrus bounty. And if you came over to my house and commented on my large bowl of blood oranges, I may or may not gush over how gorgeous they are and offer to cut one open for you. In which you would probably respond with a slight look of shock and decline my offer and very quickly change the subject.

I made pavlovas as an edible fruit container of sorts. Don’t be intimidated by pavlovas, although they look difficult and impressive, they are actually very simple. As long as you make sure that not a single drop of fat (yolks or residual butter left over in a bowl) come in contact with the egg whites, they really don’t require much skill.

Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd3

Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For The Pavlovas

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature (reserve the yolks for the lemon curd)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For The Curd:

  • 2 tsp blood orange zest
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 whole eggs plus three yolks
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Sliced fresh strawberries & whipped cream for serving, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 275.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and the cornstarch.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the egg whites and pinch of salt. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Turn mixer to high and slowly add the sugar mixture, continue to beat until peaks start to firm, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the vinegar and vanilla, beat until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy.
  5. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or a Silpat). Spoon meringue onto to parchment in 4 equal sized “nests” making an indentation in each round with a spatula. Each nest should be about 2 inches across, 1 ½ inches high and have a well in the center to hold the curd.
  6. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake until the miniature pavlovas are dry and “crisp” on the outside, about 40 to 50 minutes (it’s OK to open the oven during cooking to peek at the pavlovas to make sure they aren’t cooking too quickly). Turn off the oven, open the oven door half way and allow the pavlovas to cool in the oven until room temperature before removing.
  7. Add the zest, blood orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, whole eggs and yolks to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the blood orange mixture to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter. Whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, refrigerate until ready to use (can be made up to 3 days in advance, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use).
  8. Top each pavlova with curd (as well as berries and whipped cream, if desired) just before serving.

Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd4

 

Apple Streusel Pancakes

Apple StreuselPancakes

Pancakes are my first food memory.

I’m one of 8 children (all girls, wrap your head around that) and one of  about 27 cousins (I don’t even know the actual number) which made alone time with my grandparents really special.

The spring after I turned 4, I spent a Saturday night in a My Little Pony sleeping bag on the floor of my Grandparents bedroom, falling asleep to a wall mounted TV playing Wheel of Fortune. When I woke up, my Grandpa (Papa) was already gone. He was an artist that had done quite a bit of the original artwork for the Madonna Inn, looked a lot like Desi Arnaz and had a heart of pure gold.

Apple StreuselPancakes2

My Grandma packed me into her 1980’s Cadillac with overstuffed seats that felt a lot like recliners and headed for the San Luis Obispo community center’s Pancake Sunday. My Papa was the "featured chef" and the hall was packed. My Grandma shuffled me past tables of seniors, wide eyed and waving at the tiny blond 4 year old. I was like a celebrity, I was Harry Tregarthen’s granddaughter and I was a "baby" to these ladies who just wanted to pick me up and squeeze my cheeks.

My Grandma and I join a round table with four other older ladies. "Your Papa makes the best pancakes, you know," one of the ladies was actually talking to me, instead of about me, that was new for me as a 4 year old, "That’s why this place is so busy. Last weekend, when Sal was cooking, only half full. Today, standing room only!" I didn’t know what "standing room only" meant, but I knew it was good.

Apple StreuselPancakes4

 

"They must be good pancakes!" It’s all I could think to say, but the thing about being 4 is that as long as you form a coherent sentence and say it with enthusiasm, people laugh. And they did, these ladies were my crowd and I was on fire.

"Do you know the secret ingredient is?" She asked, clearly as excited with the banter as I was. "Sugar?!" I said, because I’m 4, and that’s pretty much my life.

I hit again, they were rolling. I could have mic dropped. Once she caught her breath the older lady let me in on the secret, "7-up! Can you believe it? Instead of milk!" I didn’t know how to make pancakes, or even that milk was a part of the process but I did like 7-UP. He was brilliant, I couldn’t believe it. He had put soda in pancakes?! At 4 years old, before I had even seen a recipe, let alone followed one, my Papa taught me that you should experiment. Break the rules, do your own thing.

Pancakes are a great recipe to experiment with. So basic, and with so many places to go. I don’t drink soda anymore, so I never have it on hand, but when I did I always used it in pancakes. It makes them fluffy and light. But now, even though I’m back to using milk, I like to experiment. Pancakes are like a canvas, nearly ever ingredient from sweet to savory somehow work in a pancakes.

And to this day, I always think of Papa when I make pancakes.

Apple StreuselPancakes5

Apple Streusel Pancakes

Ingredients

For the Streusel topping:

  • 1 flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the Pancakes:

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. Add all streusel ingredients to a food processor, process until crumbly. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl add the flour, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, mix until well combined.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the milk, egg and vanilla, stir until just combined. Add the apples and stir.
  4. Heat an electric griddle at 350 or skillet over medium heat, coat with cooking spray.
  5. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the hot griddle, top with 1 to 2 tbs of streusel.
  6. Cook until the edges start to look dry, and the underside is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip andcook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 additional minutes. Plate, top pancakes with remaining streusel.

Apple StreuselPancakes6