Tag Archives: Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon

Boston: Part 1

On Wednesday I took off for Boston to attend a wedding. We decided to start our vacation a little early and take some gifts to the good folks at The Chive before catching the red eye.
Of course it was beer, what else would you expect me to take?
Okey fine, oatmeal stout brownies topped with caramelized bacon may have made an appearance too…
Patty, John, Megan, Alex, Emily and Elliot were kind enough to take some time out of their workday to try out the new seasonal beers we’d brought from Enegren.
The beautiful ladies of The Berry and I enjoying some Foliage Pale Ale. And brownies. With bacon on top. Did I mention those yet? We hung out tasting beer for about an hour and then headed off to prep for our flight out.
Beer is prep. LOVE the pour on this – the fill line is completely ignored and no head remains after the faucet was submerged in the glass. Delicious.

The red eye was cramped, hot and nearly impossible to sleep on. I had about two hours of shut eye before we landed in Boston at 6:30am.  After finding the rental car, we took off into downtown for breakfast.
We found this gem after three unsuccessful attempts to find non-chain restaurants that had unassuming names but turned out to be Dunkin Donuts. The Dunkin is big on this side of the country.
Anytime I see bread pudding, I must order it.
Grilled cheesy bread pudding topped with a fried egg and tomato compote. Holy deliciousness. The sweetness of the compote combined with a perfectly runny yolk that cascaded over thick slices of bread pudding studded with generous doses of cheddar made for a VERY happy girl, exhaustion aside.
We walked around the city for a few more hours and visited the Holocaust memorial.
The tattooed numbers of the estimated eleven million who were killed are etched into the glass towers and show up when steam rises through the grates below. These towers are shocking and beautiful at the same time.
We visited the old cobbled streets lined with the original pubs.
I’m ridiculously touristy and not ashamed!
THIS without a doubt was my favorite part of the city. On my Facebook I asked for recommendations of places to visit while in the city. Don is a bartender at Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale, and suggested I check the restaurant out. Stoddard’s serves FIVE cask ales. I read the word “casks” and immediately wrote it into the schedule.
They have twenty beers of draught. Don was kind enough to let us sample a few of them.
These, however, are the reason we showed up.
I asked Don for his cask recommendations and he put these two beauties in front of me. Wachusset Black Shack Porter and BBC Steele Rail Pale Ale. Absolutely stunning. Cellar temperature and smooth nitro-like carbonation thanks to the sparkler. Utter contentment.
A huge thank you to Don for the wonderful recommendation, helping us out and treating us to some absolutely delicious beers.

Stay tuned for Boston: Part 2… Whenever I have another quiet few moments to write that down. For now – off to the wedding!

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Happy 2012!!!

Happy New Year to all! I hope you all had a wonderful, safe holiday! I spent my evening sipping a homemade hot toddy, coughing up a storm and watching In Bruges. Not quite the successful evening we’d planned, but we were miserably comfortable.

I’m attempting to sum up some highlights of this year with pictures, and I’ve realized that I have had a WONDERFUL year. If you thought 30 pictures was bad, prepare yourself for a visual onslaught.
The first of many, many nights at Ladyface, TRULY appreciating beer.
Learning all-grain brewing with Grayson and Frank.
Watching my first polo match in Indio.
Staying in a hotel in Indio where someone was possibly murdered…
Multiple trips to Ojai.
Opening my first brew: Dos Beckis!
Recording ADR for a film that has yet to surface… C’mon, Scott!
Enjoyed my first (of many) sangrias at Sofrita!
Created a recipe for Newman’s Own!
Had a blogger meetup at Ladyface.
Made Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon – this has gotten me recognized in the brewery and at the homebrew shop: “Hey, you’re the one who made the brownies with bacon!”
Attempted to resign, and then officially resigned from my retail job.
Went to Colorado for two weeks…
Was so sick that every time I inhaled I had to cough. (Seriously, I didn’t sleep for a week thanks to this horrible illness as I’m sure you can see in that picture!)
Went to the Odell’s Small Batch Revival. I jokingly told my brother that once he and his wife opened their brewery, I would be pouring in their taproom. They said, “We’d really prefer a sommelier for beer.” I went home, researched, and found the Cicerone program.
I became a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. I’m scheduled to take the exam to become a Certified Cicerone in the next few months…
Became a member of the American Homebrewers Association.
Was featured on The Chive three times!
Went to Breckenridge for a show and got to meet/interview the head brewer, Matt Darling.
…and enjoy Breckenridge in all of its chilly glory.
Purchased a MacBook Pro with my own earnings.
Purchased a camera. Then immediately upgraded to an even better camera!
Visited Wades Wines new tasting room. Then visited again and again and again. Then was interviewed by The Beer Wench.
Tried mussels for the first time. Tried mussels for the last time.
Visited Island Brewing Company.
Got a tour from the brewer.
Brewed my second batch of beer with the Maltose Falcons.
Finally trespassed and got a closeup look at an old abandoned water park.
Became a founding member of Ladies at Ladyface.  Haven’t missed a meeting since.
Went to the second concert of my entire life with my friend/cousin Allie. She owled.
I owled.
Went to Seattle for the first time in my life.
Visited Elysian Brewing Company and became obsessed with their Avatar Jasmine IPA.
Learned how to use the bus and visited Deschutes Brewery on our way down from Seattle.
Made a pit stop at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico to try all SIXTEEN of their brews.
Met the brewers at Enegren Brewing Company.
Weasled my way into the brewery and started volunteering there so I could be a Cicerone Certified Beer Server who’d actually served beer to people instead of just passed an online test. Then they threw me into a brewniform, let me help with a brew day and got stuck with me.
I learned how to lift 50lb kegs over my shoulder while wearing heels. Enegren will seriously have a hard time getting rid of me.
I visited TONS of breweries. The few I’ve featured are only skimming the top…
I created some delicious recipes for the autumn season…
Some boozy autumn recipes as well.
One of my recipes was featured on Taste Terminal and was their second most popular post of 2011!
Discovered a program for HDR and went slightly beserk with that. Consequently, I realized that food doesn’t always do so well with HDR.
Brewed again with Frank and Grayson up in Santa Barbara.
Met the Beer Chicks at the latest Ladies at Ladyface.

And that’s barely skimming the surface. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!
Raising a glass to 2012 being as good, or even better than 2011.

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Vegan Attempt/Fail

Sometimes, you just to have a meat-free, dairy-free, good ole fashioned vegan breakfast.
Modified from my Peach Pie Pancakes – subbed in dairy-free chocolate chips for peaches. Chocolate matches PERFECTLY with the cinnamon on a chilly, marine-layered morning! And then I also subbed in sour cream for some of the almond milk. Oops.

After such a wonderfully vegan attempt start to the day, you may want to keep up with that attempted vegan streak. I, however, went out for a big pulled pork sammich.
Oh, yes! The stuff of my dreams!

After YOUR vegan lunch (obviously you didn’t cave to the call of the pig as I did), you may decide that a day full of only vegan food is indeed possible. If you happen to be looking for a simple, delicious vegan tortilla soup recipe, Angela created one the other day that is to die for!
The most difficult part of the process is the chopping, and even that only takes a few minutes!
Add some chopped avocado and vegan sour cream and you’re good to go! Unless you’re like me… Then you may decide that this tortilla soup needs a little protein boost…
You can try as I did and roast your own chicken. I’d never roasted one before, so I winged it. I washed it, dried it, sprinkled lemon pepper and salt all over and stuffed with with onions, carrots, celery and two lemon halves. Then I stuck it in the oven and went to Twitter to find out how long I should bake it for in order to not die of salmonella or E. coli. The answer is two hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Just in case you also wanted to not die.
This time, I added regular sour cream to pair well with my chicken tortilla soup. It was awesome.
If you want to expound upon your newfound veganism, you could get a gluten-free, vegan amber ale. This was… interesting. I can’t really compare it to other gluten-free beers since I haven’t tried any, but it wasn’t too bad… I ended up opening a Sierra Nevada Tumbler right after. Whoops. I’ll definitely need to find some others to try out so I can give Amanda some recommendations. Trying beer for a friend – the ultimate sacrifice.

Hopefully your attempt at a vegan day is more successful than mine… For now, it’s 10:20am and I’m already cracking open a bottle of beer so I can make my cheat version of Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon for today’s brew day at Enegren Brewing Company.
My day = Massive vegan fail.

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Mockery and Repetition

Remember how I mentioned that I’ve been dreaming about that Toppers pizza? I know I had it only two nights ago, but I wanted NEEDED it again!
Homestyle! Thank you, Trader Joe’s, for your whole wheat pizza crust and pizza sauce. You make my life easy. I love you.
Pepperoni, jalapenos (a few (or a ton of) seeds included), pineapple, cheese, more cheese, just a touch more cheese…
It took about twenty minutes to cook. I could’ve sat around twiddling my thumbs, but I decided this would be a better way to spend my time. LOVE this beer! I’m going to pick up another one and try aging it!
Oh. Yes.
Pizza just isn’t good if it doesn’t make your eyes water and your nose run. So deliciously spicy!

On another note – tomorrow is brew day at Enegren Brewing! My attempt at weaseling into the brewery worked! I’ll be helping pour in the tap room and documenting the brew process for a wonderfully mashy, boozy post. I thought that making my Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon would be a good tradition to start for brew days. This time though, I cheated…
Please forgive me!

I used the mix, one egg, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 1/3 cup of Stockyard Oatmeal Stout. I decided to throw some of the caramelized bacon INTO the brownies, as well as on top, and weaved a little fudge ripple throughout.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be forgiven for taking the easy way out… We’ll find out tomorrey!

Brew day starts at 5am. I now have 4 hours and 56 minutes to sleep. But really, who’s counting?

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CHIVE ON!

A few days ago, I was lucky enough to be featured on TheChive and my little blog exploded with wonderful comments about beer and awesomeness. This is me saying thanks.
CHIVE ON!!!
Thanks for your interest in craft beer. It means the world to me and all the little breweries out there.
I’m just a girl who likes to appreciate the qualities of fine craft beer.
And eat. Oh man, do I love to eat!
And then appreciate some more craft beer. I’m completely enraptured by the history of beer, brewing process and the scientific conundrums of enzymes converting starches into fermentable sugars that I don’t quite fully understand yet, but appreciate oh so very much.
I’m also enraptured by melt-in-your-mouth bacon.
I put it in everything. Gentlemen and my kindred-spirit ladies, I give you Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon. You can thank me later.
You can also put it on a nice juicy medium-rare grass-fed burger that’s been smothered in cheese. I won’t judge you, I promise. In fact, I’ll probably think even more highly of you than I already do!
Just be sure to enjoy it with either a rich, smooth chocolate malt stout that’s been delicately dusted with freshly ground coffee…
Or a homebrew. Either of those work for me.
Thanks to Allie for her awesome photography skills!
And don’t forget to CHIVE ON!
OH! And come back later for a tour of the Breckenridge Brewery – I’m on the road to visit it right now!

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In Mem’ry of Bacon

I’ve been slacking on the blogging lately, I know. I’d love to say that I’ve been busy with school, but the truth is…
I got new technology, and my brain has been completely involved in it. I actually tried blogging from it the other day, but the title of my post would have been, “Clogging From Android” thanks to the text prediction. Yeah, it’s definitely not meant for blogging.

Anyways… now that I’ve torn my eyes from my Droid screen long enough, here are a few of the brews I’ve tried lately.
Autumnal Stillwater Artisinal.
Good head retention! A little bit too harsh of a pour… oops on my part! This beer was mediocre. It had a funky tart taste and after half of a glass, the flavor became almost cloying. I finished it anyways. I’m gracious like that.
Shockingly enough, I’d never had ANYTHING from Firestone prior to this DBA! Please don’t hurt me for admitting that! I always thought that Firestone wasn’t craft beer, but was edumacated very recently and gave this one a shot. LOVE! It was a little sweeter than I generally like, but very smooth and had a beautiful color! If I’m ever in a pinch, I’m willing to try more Firestone!
For the next beer, I needed to prepare. I chopped up a crapload of veggies – eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, broccoli and onion, marinated it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garam masala and curry powder, then grilled it over low heat until everything was caramelized. I threw a couple of steaks on next to it as well, all in preparation for this:
Legit Bavarian smoked beer! This stuff is INTENSE! The smokey scent punches you in the nose, but surprisingly enough, it’s a smooth sip. Until you swallow. Then it’s like a group of smoked salmon is having a barbecue in your throat. I thought that this would be a good pairing with barbecued veggies and meat. I was wrong. It totally tipped the scales into the “excessive” zone of smokiness. This one, I couldn’t finish. I think it would make a good marinade for my next steak, though!
To rinse the smoke out of my mouth, I turned to Liefmans sour ale. I’ve tried a few sours before, and have only enjoyed one of them. This one is a keeper! It wasn’t overwhelmingly tart, but not overpoweringly sweet either. I love a unique beer, and this was just right. I’d compare it to Duchesse De Bourgogne. They are almost identical! If you’re looking for something different (especially if you’re trying to convert a wine-drinker to beer), this and the Duchesse are wonderful!
After all the veggies and red meat, I needed to round out my meal with some sugar! I received a coupon from Magnum for a box of their ice cream bars that are just now being introduced to the U.S., and picked up the first box I could find.
HOLY CRAP! I can honestly say that this was the best ice cream bar I’ve ever had! I probably wouldn’t have tried them without the coupon, but this is something I will actually go back and purchase! I loved the uber-thick layers of chocolate encasing more chocolate. I actually felt like crying – it was that good. My only complaint? The letter from Foodbuzz said I would be getting TWO coupons, and I only got one. Sadness 🙁

And all those beers bring me to today! It was BOTTLING DAY for my beer from the shop brew! This was my second beer I’ve ever brewed, and my first time using 12 ounce bottles and a capper.
Mmmm, bottle capper! Drooooool!
I plotted this all out, Hebrew-style (from right to left, in case you didn’t get that – my artist taught me that :P)
First, I boiled some corn sugar in water and added it to the sanitized bottling bucket. Then, I siphoned the beer gently from the carboy into said bottling bucket. I soaked all of the bottles in Star San, emptied them and filled them within an inch of the top with a bottle filler. Next came the capper (my favorite part!!!), drying and boxing.
I ceremoniously finished up the LAST growler of Dos Beckis whilst bottling this new beer.
Speaking of which, the new beer’s name is: In Mem’ry of Bacon.
(For those of you who are new, I made Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon for the shop brew, which were a HUGE hit! I thought this name was fitting)
I also got some awesome new gloves (thanks for those, mom!) to spare my poor skin from the acid sanitizer, which exfoliated the CRAP out of my hands last time.

28 days until I can finally taste the goodness of “In Mem’ry of Bacon!”

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