Crispin Artisanal Reserve “Honey Crisp” (6.5% ABV): This natural hard apple cider brewed by Crispin Cider Company based in Colfax, California pours hazy lemonade-yellow with no head. Honey crisp is straight-forward tart and sweet apple on the nose. The flavor is similar to apple cider – it’s refreshing and tart with sweetness from the honey peeking through. This is one of my favorite ciders and I could easily see it becoming a summer staple.
If you want to know more about Crispin’s other ciders, read my review for Crispin Artisanal Reserve “The Saint.”
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, many people are planning their traditional corned beef and cabbage dinners. For those of you who are looking for a different dinner option, Mom’s Signature Roast Beef from Southern Living is a hearty recipe that will have you celebrating like a true Irishman (or woman).
Ingredients (Makes 6 – 8 servings):
- 1 (12-oz.) bottle dark beer (Since it’s St. Patty’s Day, I recommend using Guinness.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground pepper
- 8 carrots (about 1 1/2 lb.), diagonally sliced (If you’re lazy like me, you can use baby carrots)
- 7 Yukon gold potatoes (3 lb.), peeled and cut into eighths
- 2 large onions, cut into eighths
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Combine beer, next four ingredients, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag.
- Add roast, turning to coat. Seal and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Remove roast from marinade, reserving marinade. Sprinkle roast evenly with pepper.
- Brown roast 4 minutes on each side in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large heavy-duty roasting pan over medium-high heat.
- Add reserved marinade, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of pan.
- Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or cook in slow cookers on high for 4 – 6 hours.
- Turn roast, and stir in carrots, potatoes, and onions.
- Bake 2 more hours or until roast and vegetables are tender.
- Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter.
- Skim fat from juices in roasting pan.
- Whisk together cornstarch and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl until smooth.
- Whisk cornstarch mixture into juices in pan; cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking to loosen particles.
- Drizzle 1/2 cup gravy over roast. Serve remaining gravy with meat and vegetables.
I often find myself running around after work with little time to cook dinner. A prepared rotisserie chicken from my local supermarket has became a good fall back option, but it’s still not a home-cooked meal. I’ve found that making a side dish from scratch helps to make the meal feel a little bit more homemade. This recipe for Green Beans in Beer Sauce from Taste of Home gives one of my favorite veggies an extra oomph of flavor.
Ingredients (Makes 4 servings):
- 1/3 pound bacon strips, diced
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen cut green beans, thawed (I prefer to use fresh if possible; it only adds a few extra minutes to the total cooking time.)
- 1/3 cup beer
- 1/3 cup butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons grated onion
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the beans, beer and butter to a boil.
- Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Remove beans with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and onion until blended.
- Stir into the saucepan.
- Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
- Add beans; heat through. Sprinkle with bacon.
I wanted to help my boyfriend celebrate his 30th birthday in a big 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!
- 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):
- 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.)
- 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.
- Place your second cake round on top of the bottles.
- Then, arrange 11 beers on the cake round.
- Place your final cake round on top of the second layer.
- 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.)
- Tie ribbon around each layer of your cake.
- Cut a “30” sign out of your glitter foam paper, attach to a skewer and stick in center of top layer.
- Insert assorted flower picks in each layer, focusing on the top layer.
A great reader is not afraid to ask questions and add to the conversation.
I’d like to thank Brian from Love, Food & Beer for nominating HeadOverBeers for the Wonderful Team Readership Award. It’s great to see all of my fellow bloggers out there supporting one another. If you’re not into awards like this, don’t feel obligated to participate. I just wanted to say thank you to all my readers and show some love for some of the blogs that I frequent. It was hard narrowing the list down to 14 and I hope some of you will pass this along 🙂
I would like to nominate the following blogs that I’ve recently read and enjoyed (in no particular order):
- Girl + Beer – Minutes with Matt from The Freo Doctor
- Craft Beer Compass – Wisconsin Beer and Cheese Pairings | Ep. 121 | Black Husky, Carr Valley and Sartori Cheese
- Bier Battered – IPA Day 2014 is today – This year I am sticking local
- It’s Just the Booze Dancing – Beer Review – DC Brau The Corruption™ India Pale
- The Dog of Beer – The Full Moon Post – August 2014
- Drunken Speculation – Beef and Stout Pie
- A Taste of Beer – Two Breweries in MA
- Love, Food & Beer – 4-B (Beer-Brined, Beer-Butt) Chicken
- Belfast Barman – Craft Beer: Expensive Value for Money?
- The Half Pint Gentleman – Bottoms Up Belgium
- The Grill and Barrel – Meet the Brewer: Brett Ellis of Wild Beer Co.
- Bishop’s Beer Blog – Le Freak – Belgian Style American IPA
- True Brew Too – Beer and Friends – Chocolate Rain – The Bruery – Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode 9
- Life Fermented – Beer Recipe: “Cantankerous Leprechaun” Dry Stout
The Rules of accepting this award are as follows:
- The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.
- The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days (1 week) – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be ALL on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, etc.
- The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period.
- The Nominee shall make these rules, or amended rules keeping to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, known to each reader s/he nominates.
- The Nominee must finish this sentence and post: “A great reader is…”
Hello readers! I must apologize for my temporary hiatus. I just got back from an AMAZING European vacation. I spent some time in the German countryside as well as the Czech Republic absorbing – and eating and drinking – everything around me. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you! I spent most of my time doing “research” for HeadOverBeers! Thanks to my good friends at DHL, I should be receiving some special beers in the mail soon. Fingers crossed that everything arrives, undamaged. Reviews to come soon!
I’ve also been busy redesigning my site. You’ll notice some layout/graphic changes. Let me know what you think! Cheers!