Wednesday, December 7, 2016

All-in-One Beer Bread Kit + Apple Cheddar Beer Bread

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I love doing gift baskets for people because to me it shows more effort and love rather that just buying some random item. This year I made these as one of the items in my gift basket. To make it more festive I added a local breweries Christmas Ale to go along in the bread. In the past I would have made the bread, but this eliminates the stress out of all that. Plus the person receiving the basket can make it when they want. I made the cheddar one and ate it with chili. We liked it, but it is a heavier bread and to me I liked toasting it then layer on some butter.

All-in-One Beer Bread Kit + Apple Cheddar Beer Bread

(Adapted from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen)


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2½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour

½ c. white whole wheat flour

1 Tbs. granulated sugar

1 tsp. fine sea salt

1 Tbs. baking powder

add-ins (optional- see below)

12 oz. beer, at room temp.

1 egg beaten w/ 2 Tbs. water

Apple Cheddar Beer Bread (add-ins):

1 smallish apple, diced small (peeled, if you yield ~1 c.)

1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp. minced, dried onion

~6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped a bit


Preheat oven to 375° F. Generously grease a loaf pan.


Combine flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder (as well as any add-ins, if you're using them) in large bowl.

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Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined, it will be thick. Dump the dough/batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.


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Brush the egg wash generously over the top of the loaf. Slide into preheated oven and bake until the top of the loaf is golden, ~45 mins.


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Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Jiggle bread a bit to make sure that it is loose from the bottom and edges of the pan, then turn it out and finish cooling on the wire rack. Delicious warm or at room temperature.


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To make an All-in-One Beer Bread Kit:

Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl (no add-ins) until well combined. Transfer to a quart-sized zippered baggie. Place the mix into a new loaf pan and add a 12 oz. bottle of beer. Write out the instructions on a notecard (or something fancier, if you wish), including a few "add-in" suggestions.


If you like, tuck a new kitchen towel underneath for color and tie the whole thing off with some raffia or ribbon.  If you're feeling especially ambitious, you can even break out that cello-wrap stuff and wrap the whole thing up in a pretty little package.


Suggested add-ins for beer bread:

-Apple Cheddar (see above)

-Cheddar & Sage (1 c. shredded sharp cheddar + handful chopped fresh sage)

-Garlic & Herb (1 tsp. garlic powder + 3 tsp. dried, mixed herbs or 2 minced garlic cloves + 3 Tbs. mixed chopped fresh herbs)

-Feta & Herb (4 oz. crumbled feta + 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano or rosemary)

-Italian (½ c. freshly grated Parmesan + 2 cloves minced garlic + 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning)

-Onion (½ c. finely sliced green onions)

-Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomato (4 oz. crumbled goat cheese + ½ c. finely diced sundried tomatoes)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Eggnog Martini

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Tis the season of all that company you dread being around all year long. Here’s a cocktail that will put you back in your happy place. I know eggnog isn’t for everyone, but if my non loving eggnog husband switched sides for this cocktail you may too. Give it a shot you won’t be disappointed.

Eggnog Martini

(Adapted from Nutmeg Nanny)


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2 1/2oz. eggnog

1oz. vanilla vodka

3/4oz. Amaretto


Combine ingredients in shaker and shake over ice. Strain into chilled martini glass. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Upcycle Starbucks Bottle to Gift Basket Goodie

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If you are looking for a cute packaging idea for gift baskets, here’s one I did a few years ago. I used the Starbucks glass jars then painted the lids white and put a snowflake sticker on top. You’ll have to do 2 coats of paint so the log won’t show through.

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Then for the bottle part, I used holiday scrapbook paper and double sided tape to create a smooth surface. Tie a piece of ribbon and attach the tag and you are done!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hawaiian Dream


Once the holiday season starts it’s in full swing without stopping and as much as I like it I can’t wait for it to be over. For the time being I’ll sit back and sip on this tropical cocktail.

Hawaiian Dream

(Adapted from A Bartenders Tale)


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1 oz Crème de Banana

1 oz Malibu Rum

1 oz Pineapple Juice


Shake vigorously over ice and strain into a martini glass or serve over ice in a highball glass.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Ridiculously Easy Square Deviled Eggs

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I have to say this does make my life soooo much easier! I can’t tell you how difficult of a time I have cooking the eggs just right then trying to get them peeled so perfectly without taking a chunk of egg white out with my fingernail.

The only thing I see that people complained about was the texture. I think that is from over frothing the egg whites. You want them to not have too many bubbles because that creates the crispy pieces. I made my egg whites the day before then dumped out on a cutting board and covered in the fridge overnight. I thin used the bottom of the egg whites as my pretty top. You can cut them to the size you want or use cookie cutters to create the shape you want.

Ridiculously Easy Square Deviled Eggs

(Adapted from Food Network)


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Cooking spray

12 large eggs

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Paprika and sliced chives, for garnish, optional


Special equipment: a pastry bag fitted with a small round pastry tip


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.


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Separate the egg whites and yolks into 2 small bowls; set aside the yolks.


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Whisk the whites until just foamy, transfer them to the prepared baking dish, cover the dish with foil and bake until the whites have fully set, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the baking dish.


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While the whites are baking, beat the yolks until smooth.


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Lightly coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add the yolks, and scramble over medium low until fully cooked and slightly dry, 4 to 5 minutes.


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Transfer the yolks to a food processor. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, and pulse until smooth and creamy.


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Transfer the yolk mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip.


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Turn the egg whites out of the baking dish onto a cutting board. Cut into even 1-inch squares.


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Pipe swirl dollops of the egg yolk onto each square. Sprinkle each with paprika and chives if using.

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