Perfect New Years Eve Cocktail

Champagne is the go-to drink for special occasions. But, what about those of us who don’t like champagne? A Black Velvet – a combination of Guinness and champagne –  may be the perfect cocktail for you this New Years Eve any other special occasion. The combination sounds a bit odd, but is quite tasty. Link here to watch how to pour the perfect Black Velvet. Cheers!

Ingredients: 

Photo Courtesy of wwwbbcgoodfood.com

Photo Courtesy of wwwbbcgoodfood.com

  • Guinness Extra Stout
  • Champagne

Directions:

  1. Pour Guinness into a champagne flute until it is about half full.
  2. Top up the glass with champagne so that the cocktail has a dark color with a frothy head, resembling a freshly-poured pint of Guinness.
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Beer Battered Fried Olives

New Years Eve is almost here and if you’re throwing or attending a house party, you know snacks are just as important as the beer selection.  We all know the typical party snacks, but why not try something new to bring in the new year?  Elevate boring cocktail olives to a whole new level of tastiness with this recipe for Beer Battered Fried Olives from Spoon Fork Bacon to finish off 2014 with a bang.

Ingredients (Serves 6 to 10 people):

Photo Courtesy of Spoon Fork Bacon

Photo Courtesy of Spoon Fork Bacon

Beer Battered Olives:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 12-16 ounces beer of your choice (Dark beer recommended)
  • 2 cups pitted olives of your choice
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Cumin-Yogurt  Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Fill a pot with two inches of oil and preheat to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk together all the dry beer batter ingredients and set aside.
  3. Place all the yogurt ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together until fully mixed and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Pour beer into the flour mixture and whisk together.
  5. Drop some olives into the batter. Lift them out using a slotted spoon and shake until only a thin layer of batter coats each olive.
  6. Carefully drop the olives into the oil and fry for 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Drain onto paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Repeat process until all olives have been fried.
  9. Serve immediately with yogurt sauce.

Dobrou Chut’!

Beery Honey Mustard Chicken

I get sick of eating the same thing all the time and am always looking for new ways to spice up my go-to dinner recipes. I eat A LOT of chicken and thought this recipe would help change things up a bit. This is an easy recipe to make with little prep time. The marinade keeps the chicken super moist and flavorful. However, if I were to make this again, I think I would use a bit more mustard and a less honey; it was a bit too sweet for me.

IMG_1223

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. uncooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used chicken tenders)
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • ¼ cup stone ground mustard
  • ¼ cup beer (I used Erdinger Oktoberfest)
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts.
  3. Season them with sea salt and pepper and place in baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together honey, mustard, beer, lemon juice, basil and smoked paprika.
  5. Pour marinade over chicken and flip over to make sure it is coated well.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning halfway through. (Make sure the internal temperature of you chicken is at least 165° Farenheight or slice into the thickest part of the chicken to make sure there is no pink flesh.)

Dobrou Chut’!

Birthday Beer “Cake”

I wanted to help my boyfriend celebrate his 30th birthday in a Birthday-Beer-Cakebig way. I decided to throw him a surprise birthday party, but also wanted to give him a gift that he would enjoy rather than something he needs. We both love craft beer, so I thought it would be a cool idea to present him with 31 beers that he had never tried before for each year – the extra one is for good luck! While searching online, I came across a great idea for a Birthday Beer Cake on Back to Her Roots. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the perfect gift! Obviously this is not an actual cake, but rather assorted beers assembled in a kick-ass that doubles as a party decoration!

Materials:

  • Craft Beer (I used 34 individual beers total, but you can use 31 for a stable cake.)
  • 3 12-inch cake rounds (My local crafts store was sold out of this size, so I bought the 14-inch cake rounds instead.)
  • 2 rolls of wired ribbon (If you choose ribbon with a design, make sure the design is on both sides of the ribbon.)
  • Glittery flower picks (You can find these in any art and crafts store in the floral department.)
  • Black glitter foam paper
  • Silver glitter foam paper

Preparation: The most important part of this “cake” is the beer. When purchasing your beer, make sure that all of your bottles for each layer are the same height. All 12 oz. beer bottles are not created equal! Some are slightly taller than others, so I would recommend measuring. I scoured all my favorite beer spots in Northern NJ to get the right beers for this cake. I had the most luck at Liquor Outlet and Wine Cellars in Boonton,  Heights Beer and Wine Emporium in Hasbrouck Heights and Wine and Beverage Depot in Totowa. I visited a number of other liquor stores, but had to pass up on a lot of great beers because my boyfriend had already tried a lot of them. The original cake design has a bottom later of bottles, a middle layer of cans and a top layer of assorted bottles. I had a hard time finding cans for sale individually, so I ended up going with three layers of bottles. Assembly (Note: beer bottles are not adhered to the cake rounds. You will need to assemble your cake wherever you plan to display it):

  1. First, put down one of your cake rounds. (As I mentioned, the store was out of 12-inch. I decided to purchase the 14-inch cake rounds instead and add a 1.5 inch border around each cake round. Then, I covered the borders with glue and sprinkled with gold and silver glitter. In my opinion, I think this looked way better than any of the patterned cake rounds available at the store.)
  2. Next, arrange 16 beers on the first cake round. I would recommend putting the bottles close to one another to build a good layer of support.
  3. Place your second cake round on top of the bottles.
  4. Then, arrange 11 beers on the cake round.
  5. Place your final cake round on top of the second layer.
  6. Arrange the rest of your beers on the final layer. (The original design only used 4 different-sized beers for the top layer, but I used all seven beers I had left.)
  7. Tie ribbon around each layer of your cake.
  8. Cut a “30” sign out of your glitter foam paper, attach to a skewer and stick in center of top layer.
  9. Insert assorted flower picks in each layer, focusing on the top layer.