Tuesday, August 18, 2015


It's sunny and nearly 90 degrees with a wallop of humidity in the DMV (DC,Maryland, Virginia not Department of Motor Vehicles...that was a whole new level of confusion the first time I heard that when I moved here), but fall beers are arriving by the truck load already. So I am gearing up for some fun fall recipes with some of my favorite fall brews.

I hate that I never got time to finish all of my lofty aspirations for summer brews, but this does mean that I have plenty of time to perfect them in time for the next summer and a whole year to get them all together for you! Judging by the first marshmallow experience...I will need the testing time and cleaning time. I'm still scraping the first batch off splatter spots in my kitchen. I really need to invest in a splatter shield.

Also I have been in the hunt for the apartment and let me tell you, the market in the DMV is no joke. I was out bid on several apartments. Out bid! What is that?! I never thought of the renters market as an auction style thing, but I have learned that lesson...three times. I finally have an application in on a place and am awaiting a lease, so hopefully that madness is over! If not I may have to cut someone, or bribe...with beer. Once its signed, I can actually get into the process of moving, one that I'm overly familiar with if not fond of...at all. That means hunting through boxes for all my kitchen supplies, but before then I have a pre-season game so I'm hoping to try out some tailgating beer bites for football season.

Who is not excited for football season to be back?! The food, the beer, the game, and lately the controversy. What could possibly make a better Sunday in the fall? Let's be honest I'm way more thrilled about the beer and the food than the game. Mostly cause I'm a neutral party in the NFL. Though I love watching the games and talking football, my mother is an avid Broncos fan and my honey is a staunch Patriots fan (to the point of craziness...seriously he would probably leave me for Tom Brady). I keep the peace by just not picking one, staying in the kitchen, and cooking up some good food. In the spirit I am going to whip up a beer cheese dip for those nachos,  a smokey beer rub for ribs, some beery bbq wings, and the never fail delicious beer chili! Can't wait to give these a shot at the Panthers vs. Patriots game!

Fall also beckons the arrival of Pumpkin EVERYTHING. There are very few pumpkin beers I am actually fan of because many lack the pumpkin-ness I want in the brew. Kind of like the Pumpkin Spice latte. I'm not allowed back in that Starbucks now, but I made my point. Anyway with the pumpkin patch arriving in every grocery, I'm going to whip up a pumpkin beer caramel to top a pumpkin beer cheesecake, pumpkin and chocolate bread (cause chocolate needs to be in everything), a Pumpkin spiced braised pork tenderloin, and a pumpkin beer flip cocktail for a warm fall drink. I've been tossing around the idea of working some marshmallows for hot cocoa, but with the sticky of my last batch still in the kitchen I may be waiting till I am gifted a stand mixer...with a splash guard. (*hint, hint honey my birthday is in September!).

Finally, the quintessential beer event ever, Oktoberfest brings us some deliciously malty brews in huge frothing steins, with pretzels as big as my face, and lederhosen revelry doing the chicken dance. There is nothing not to love with Oktoberfest. Beer, pretzels, polka. Love it all, though I will admit a  stein or two into the evening and I'm doing the two hand lift (for those who don't know, steins are raised with one arm.) I've already started my bicep curls for this year. Actually I'm preparing for next year when my honey and I hope to go to Oktoberfest in Munich. Eye on the prize ya'll. In honor of this awesome, beer and pretzel drenched event, I'm going to whip up a beer mustard, and Oktoberfest beer cheese for pretzels (which I may give a shot at making by hand with what else...beer), some braised brats with homemade sauerkraut sliders, and a chocolaty beer and pretzel bark for a sweet reprieve from the salty deliciousness of fest food.

I'm creating a schedule (starting on my tailgating weekend) which may only be briefly deterred by my move, to ensure I get all of these delicious things to you. To be honest my honey is begging for these kinds of dishes. Fall beer is his favorite time of the beer year and he has already mentioned he's anxiously anticipating what I bring home and what I cook up. At least my guinea pigs are thrilled to try it all. Prost ya'll!

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Oh yeah! Finished the first type in a series of marshmallows and after a hiccup or two they finally turned out how I wanted them too!

I started the series with a Witbier style beer marshmallow. Specifically I used the UFO White from Harpoon Brewery. A witbier is a Belgian style beer that is pale and cloudy due to being unfiltered with wheat in the mash. Generally it is spiced with orange peel, coriander, and other spices. Its lively with carbonation, refreshingly crisp and one of my favorites for a nice day.

Below is the recipe. Forgive my photography. I don't have a nice camera yet and my phone is a few generations behind so the camera leaves a bit to be desired. Anyway here is the recipe give it a whirl and roast these puppies! Freaking delicious!

UFO White Beer Marshmallows
Time: 4:40 min
Cooking time:  40 min
Beer Break Time: 4 + hours

What you will need:
3pkgs-unflavored gelatin
1 c. flat UFO white, divided
Zest from 1 orange
1/8 tsp. ground coriander
1 ½ c. sugar
1 c.  Corn syrup
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. powdered sugar
¼ c. cornstarch

Measuring cups and spoons
Parchment paper
Mixer (stand or hand)
Candy thermometer

Go ahead and refresh your browser but I promise your eyes are not deceiving.
Oh yeah, we are kicking the smore’s game up in this kitchen! This is but one of the varieties I am working on, but they are freaking delicious. If I had a fire pit I would be happily roasting these puppies right now. As it is I’m carefully using a kabob skewer and a candle.  It is not lost on me how I look at the moment roasting a marshmallow over a candle flame. Whatever it takes right?

Anyway here’s how you make these delicious beauties in your own kitchen! Crack open a beer and let that puppy flatten out. This takes a while so it’s best to do this the night before. However if you are impatient like me, you can always pour the beer in a bowl and whisk it vigorously to flatten it out. In a separate bowl pour ½ c. flat beer, then sprinkle the contents of the three packages of unflavored gelatin on top of the beer and let it bloom. Set it aside.

Take a 9x9 pan and spray with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper. Dust the parchment paper with a mixture of the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Shake excess back into a separate bowl and save for later. Set the bowl and pan aside.

In a saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, orange zest, coriander, salt, and the remaining ½ c. flat beer. The extra orange zest and coriander really brings out the orange peel and coriander notes in the beer. Mix well and then bring to a rapid boil for 1 min. It will bubble up so keep an eye on it. Turn the heat down med-high and stir continuously till the temp reaches 240 degrees F. Once you get there, break up the gelatin/beer mixture and turn the mixer on slow. Slowly pour the syrup mixture in a thin stream into the gelatin mix. Add vanilla extract. Once all the syrup mixture has been added, turn the speed up on the mixer slowly. Continue mixing till the mixture triples in volume. You know it’s done when you can lift the mixer (while its off please, or be prepared for a sticky mess all freaking over) and the marshmallow fluff drizzles off the mixer like lava before melting back into the rest of the mix. Using the rubber spatula, pour the contents of the bowl into the 9x9 pan we fixed up earlier. Spread evenly with the rubber spatula and sprinkle the top with some of the cornstarch and powdered sugar mix. Again save the remainder, as you will need it later. Set this aside. Allow at least four hours for the marshmallows to set up, though you can let them rest overnight as well. Its beer thirty, so crack a beer while you wait!

When the marshmallows are good and rested, dump out on to a work surface dusted with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. The parchment paper should peel away fairly easily if you dusted it well enough. If not, easily work the paper off from the marshmallows. I’ve also found putting in the fridge a bit helps work these out. Sprinkle more of the powdered sugar mixture over the marshmallows. To cut the marshmallows, coat the edge of a pizza slicer or knife in the powdered sugar mixture and slice to desired length. I cut mine into 1-inch squares and got two dozen out of this mix. Toss the marshmallows in the powdered sugar mixture and serve! These will keep a week in a container or feel free to freeze up to a month. Basically start the campfire and get to roasting!

Friday, June 26, 2015


I've always said I'm akin to a mad scientist in the kitchen, that is if Dr. Frankenstein came out covered in flour, batter oozing off a whisk onto the counter, discarded measuring spoons piling up in the sink, and a freakish creation rising from the depths amongst the blazing embers of the oven. After a few hours he would emerge, hair awry, laughing maniacally, and sit to demolish that which he created in a barbaric fashion. Except I doubt he would wear the flower covered and ruffled apron I have. Wouldn't match the laboratory.

Now to make my madness worse, I've been thrown a loop with new and unusual ingredients I'm trying to figure out. Arrowroot flour? Tapioca Starch? Cow's liver? Seems like I'm reading off ingredients for a potion rather than a recipe for meatloaf. What, how and why are these things in my kitchen?! 

Well if you haven't guessed, I've taken upon myself the new diet to help manage an auto immune condition. 2015 is off to a whirlwind of change for me, but the good thing is I've kept my new years resolution to try something new. Since this is my new diet and not yours,  I will be making any recipes on here...I guess you would say with normal food? I don't know but I will keep the tapioca starch and kidneys away from the recipes...mostly...I'll leave them as a suggestion! 

With summer well under way, I have been digging into those summertime favorites. This means the all important summer thirst quenchers, campfire favorites, and backyard bbq bites.

For me, summer drinks are all about light refreshing beers, tropical cocktails, and summer rose. This go around, I have been pretty obsessed with summer inspired beer cocktails and on super hot days, the beer float. It takes no time to whip one up and after a long day on the road, and they just hit the spot and are a delicious summer treat. My favorites thus far have been featuring Harpoon Brewery's UFO Big Squeeze grapefruit shandy. Shandies are all the rage this summer or at least it seems to be that way as everyone and their mother is coming out with one. And why not? Its a perfect summer cooler for those sweltering hot days. A shandy by definition is a beer mixed with a nonalcoholic beverage, typically lemonade. However the UFO Big Squeeze Shandy features organic grapefruit juice and is so "Sunday Brunch" it might as well be apart of your daily breakfast. Theres probably vitamin C in it right? Stay tuned for a number of float recipes coming out this summer!

Whats more summer than campfire smore's? Nothing. Summertime camping and the marshmallow is king! Normally I do what most do and just buy them at the store with a box of graham crackers and a large packet of hershey chocolate bars, but I decided to make them myself this summer. I will never buy marshmallows again. It is so simple to make and they taste awesome! Why would you not try and add beer to the mix? So coming soon some beer marshmallows and infused chocolates for some seriously adult smores!

Finally its summer time which means backyard bbq's with some finger-licking (side note is anyone else freaked out by the new Col. Sanders from KFC? Major creep factor!) good sides, sauces, and the star of the show meat! We all know you have beer in the coolers already but lets bring them to the grill and the picnic table! I'm digging into some homemade beer sauces and marinades, braised meats, and a few summer sides to complete your barbecue party.

First on deck some delicious beer floats!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Now we're cooking!

Not really. Like I'm not cooking as I'm typing. That would be a skill indeed, but would probably result with my keyboard getting covered in all manner of food debris. I've tried using Siri while cooking but she's just terrible. I've told her so and she apologizes for it but refused to get better. 

Full introduction to follow!