Beer Syrup

Yes, you read it right – beer syrup. What, you ask, exactly is that?

It’s a lovely elixir of almost unbelievably luscious flavors made by using beer in reductions and, well, to make syrups. On pages 197 & 199 of the new (totally fantastic!!) Beer Pairing book by Julia & Gwen, they cover making syrups.

goodies simmering in beer....

goodies simmering in beer….

I’ve got some in my fridge from the prep I did for the Big Beers festival in early January. For the seminar I lead, I had simmered various fresh citrus fruits & dried vegetables in beer. Once the fruits and vegetables were done, I saved the liquid. Almost every liquid in my kitchen finds a new life in other dishes. At a minimum the worms in my compost pile are extremely happy with what we give them!

Making beer syrup is quite simple with perhaps the most difficult part simply deciding which beers to reduce. Caveat: very bitter beers are not good candidates, as they can get very unpleasantly tannic. (I first learned this in cooking prep for the TFOB). It’s not what you or the beer really wants. All the same, experiment and cook a variety of beers down to see what you get, taste every few minutes to learn more about what’s happening and how the flavors change until you find what you want.

In preparation for my Vail session, I simmered ruby red grapefruit, lemons, limes, blood oranges, valencia oranges, and kiwi in 3 different beers: New Holland Dragon’s Milk, Allagash Nancy, and Bruery Terreaux Oude tart with Bosenberries. WOW! Talk about a very fun and tasty experiment – or shall I say exbeeriment….in all events, the syrup in my fridge from those exploits is deliciously awaiting being included in recipes. So far, I’ve used some for baking sweet potatoes (yum), smoothies (yum), and punch

I love sharing new ideas with hungry audiences - Vail rocks!

I love sharing new ideas with hungry audiences – Vail rocks!

(yum). They’re quite versatile so get creative.

Lucy Saunders, long time food & beer pro, is an outstanding resource for cooking with beer. Her books are useful, fun and a delight for the enthusiastic cook using beer in the kitchen. And I’m just starting to get to know Adam Dulye, beer chef for the BA.

When you find yourself looking for a new idea, make some beer syrups. I guarantee it’s beer as you’ve never had it before and well worth while. Oh, and sipping on a beer while you’re cooking is the best way to happily wait for the alchemy to happen.

Cheers!

Comments »

Beer And Cocoa

Hot chocolate. Cocoa. hot cocoa….whatever the iteration, this lovely luxurious warm drink is a go to for me. Where is this topic going today since you hit the women + beer site? Glad you asked.

As a meeting last night, one of my comrades-in-meet said, I’d love to see you write about cocoa! This was after I was enthusing that I did really enjoy a lovely cup of ‘co.

What I love about it:

  1. Warm when it’s cool out, which can be year round by the way. “Cool” is relative to your climate, mood, and headspace.
  2. It’s as different as can be. Like spaghetti sauce, every recipe I try is its own variety.
  3. It seems to fill my soul as well as please my palate.
  4. if I have remaining cocoa, I can refrigerate it and make – what else – chocolate milk later. Bonus!!!
And the foam mustache is kind of fun too!

And the foam mustache is kind of fun too!

There are a few preferred dealmakers for my hot cocoa endeavors: I prefer skim milk. Not for the fat – fat’s yummy. It’s the viscosity I’m after (and yes, bring on the whipped cream!). I also much prefer cocoa powder to a pre-mixed sugared up mix. I can enhance with sweeteners as I wish, without the unpronounceable words in many mixes. And I can invent my own to recreate over and over and give as gifts. Finally, I like it to be made hot, cool enough so my taste buds can also enjoy it without being blown away, and of a size where I can happily finish it without feeling totally gluttonous. After all, I can always get another cup if I want more.

Beer and cocoa have a few connections. As an avid cook and recipe inventor, adding a complementary beer in a small quantity to a suitable hot cocoa recipe is really fun. The delicious opportunities abound. Whenever I use beer as ingredient, I am mindful of starting with small quantities and then adding as I want more intensity and flavor of chosen beer. Less is usually more.

So, Kassia, there you have it! My hot cocoa post. Thanks for giving me the idea. Next time we meet, hot cocoas all around. Think Emily’ll go for it too?

Comments »

Another Big Success at Big Beers Fest

Many thanks to all of you who supported the recently completed Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines Festival in Vail, Colorado USA. As anticipated, it was a smash and a ball, thanks to the vision, hard work, logistical magic and mojo of many.

Guests doing a pledge with me at Big Beers 2016

Guests doing a pledge with me at Big Beers 2016

It was with great relish I was invited to return and present again – so that I did. Here’s the link from my session, Wandering Around The Kitchen with Ginger. Great crowd (you know who you are!) and super helpful and fun volunteers to boot, guided by my Fine Husband as well. Preparing and sharing food and drink is at the top of my happiness list in life.

As I promised the room full of folks, here’s the menu I served.

My original menu was entirely different, with fully prepared dishes. Alas – one of the powers that be sent down orders from on high at a very late hour, so – being nimble, I switched to fit a whole different set of parameters. Can do.

In the bigger scheme of things, I pride myself on being nimble and being able to change with the flow. Everything is possible and I was there to take care of my host, the Festival and founders first.

prepping the mushrooms with Dragon's Milk

Prepping the mushrooms with Dragon’s Milk

Wandering around the kitchen is descriptive of how I approach and navigate my food & cooking world. It’s overflowing with opportunity, ideas and shiny things to try. I do wander…through my fridge, larder, recipe books & files, brain, and the stores I visit. It’s one great big tasty adventure and I fully embrace it.

A number of attendees who sought me out afterwards told me they would have never thought to use beer for rehydration or that they don’t usually eat mushrooms but they tried them and various other comments. Success is measured by participation. When you dig in, literally, then you achieve. When you let it pass, you negate discovery out of hand. Pity, really. Fun and exploration are so much more rewarding.

So thanks to the following for their help & assistance. See you again soon ~

Comments »

All Hail Vail!!!

Yes, it’s that time of year again folks: The Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Festival is kicking off this week in snowy gorgeous Vail, Colorado, USA.

Yours truly will be returning (queue the music please) to give a lively & info chocked beer & cooking session: How To Cook With Beer, Wandering Around The Kitchen with Ginger. It’ll be loads of fun, there will be tastes and tricks, tips & ideas for you to take home with you.

Vail Cascade Resort awaits BBBB....

Vail Cascade Resort awaits BBBB….

Laura & Bill Lodge, Sister & Brother Wonder Team, put together this world class event and I’m thrilled to be heading there again.

In 2014 I was invited to present for the first time – here’s the menu I made & served to the happily SRO room. Wow! Yes, please – sign me up for more. They do such a great job there’s a wait to be asked to return to present if you fit their needs.

I’m also hosting a Marketing Beer To Women Workshop, Pour it on! You can register here.

Laura knows I’m available at a moments notice for this one and anything she’s involved in. Great people usually = great events.

Hats off, pints up and skis on – see you in Vail!

Now, back to my kitchen…I’m fine tuning the goodies to be served with my 3 fan-taste-tical beers: New Holland Dragon’s Milk, Allagash’s Nancy & The Bruery’s Oude Tart with Boysenberries (is your mouth watering yet??)

Comments »

Headed To The Mountains…For Flavor

Next week will find the deliciously fantastic Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines festival happening in Vail, CO. Organized & run by Sister & Brother team, Laura & Bill Lodge, this is a must attend for beer lovers.

Fun lovers at the 2014 BBBB.

Fun lovers at the 2014 BBBB.

Let me count the ways.

  1. Laura & Bill are pros. The festival is an extended experience with dynamic offerings for all sorts of activities: classes, seminars, and tastings among them.
  2. World class talent. Full disclosure: I was invited back this year! And am thrilled with the other company I’ll get to keep – here’s the line up.
  3. The attendees have an elevated sense of what they want – and it’s delivered on a snowy silver platter at this event: new ideas, high value education, and robust personalities.
  4. It’s in snowy stunning Vail, Colorado. ‘Nuf said.

Well, there are plenty more reasons  – like how the Vail Cascade Lodge is super friendly and accommodating…how you can walk out your room and go skiing…and the town is easy to navigate among them.

Me, I’m excited to head back and work with the team again. Anything they put together, I’m interested in attending. Beyond my Cooking With Beer session I’m giving, My Fine Husband and I will partake of whatever hits our fancy.

Get you to Vail, Beatrice! Much ado, indeed, about it all. See you there.

Comments »

Belgian Beer & Bananas

Wow. It hit me right between the taste buds last week – Belgian Beer & Bananas can come together terrifically!

Here’s where the flavor epiphany came from:

Traveling to work with a fantastic client, Global Beer Network, brought me to Massachusetts. As is the case for travel, you inevitably get to find places to eat. Two genres I seek out are Mexican and Ethiopian food. Yum.

Say Yes! to pairing.

Say Yes! to pairing.

As good fortune had it, there was a Mexican place within walking distance for me so I headed there one night for dinner. The menu was refreshingly enticing and so, as I do from time to time, I ordered a few small plates (‘sides’) to make up my meal instead of one entrée. Fried plantains with agave nectar were one of those items. So glad I did!

They were nicely fried, hot hot hot when they arrived, and it’s right then it hit me: Bananas so obviously go with many Belgian beers. The yeast contributions can often match a variety of bananas in intensity and complement each other wildly flavor wise. As a flavor hound, it hit the bulls-eye.

Had I thought of this pairing before? Highly likely. And circumstances as they were simply brought it home, full on. Will I remember it more readily now? Absolutely.

Cooking with beer, pairing talks, and various beverage and drink events are always on my agenda. I have now officially written down the idea to use in the not so distant future. Boom.

It’s good to build a Flavor Library – tastes, pairings, and ideas to tap into when you’re racking your brain to develop a menu. So glad to have a newly invigorated couple to call upon soon.

Enjoy your beer, bananas and combining all sorts of flavors this season.

Comments »

Beery Details for 2016 Vail Big Beers Cooking With Beer Seminar

Whew!

One thing I am grateful for is friends. Industry friends in particular are on my mind today, as I am developing my seminar at the 2016 Vail, CO Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Festival.

It’s a huge treat to be invited to return and give another flavorful session to a packed room. Thanks to Laura, Bill and everyone who gets this tasty beast off the ground, year after year.

Ginger & John Holl at 2014 BBBB (yes!!)

Ginger & John Holl at 2014 BBBB (yes!!)

I love this festival for many reasons: well run, well done, well attended, super engaged guests, a slightly elevated (though not snobby) brand of attendee. My former WEB Captain Diane and I rocked the session out in 2014. Perhaps it was the aroma from the slow cooker of the Grown Up Pork & Beans I made in our hotel room…in any event, Vail – here I come again.

As alcohol regulations stipulate, interstate trade of beer has its own miasma to negotiate, including labeling. To that end, two of my three choices for breweries were ruled out this week. Damn! So I set about to scramble and replace.

It’s not fun to be asked – “Hey – I need a replacement for someone else, it’s short notice…can you help me?This is where relationships come full circle. I was able to call on two other industry frolleagues who were very quick to reply and say YES! Both of whom I’ve worked with before in beer, food & cooking events. They understand the rules of beer law and see the value in working together.

Today I’ve got it all dialed in, thanks to the help of all three generous breweries & folks. Here they are:

The Bruery, Placentia CA. Patrick’s beers and operation have long-held my taste buds at attention – the styles they brew really agree with me, are very refreshing, low alcohol many, and I’m very eager to develop my recipe and serve it with a fresh Bruery beer at the event.

New Holland Brewing, Holland MI. My friend Fred, aka The Beervangelist, stepped right up to the plate. He and I have done the Fred & Ginger show (literally!) at GABF and other events (SAVOR) as well as sharing a passion of the bigger picture of food, cooking and community. I’ll gladly be cooking with and serving one of their beers in Vail.

Are you coming?

Are you coming?

Allagash, Portland ME. Having featured Fluxus in 2014 at Vail, I was very happy they replied so quickly to my request to again be one of my partner beers. And deliciously so! Allagash is an absolute go-to brand for me – my husband even packed 3 (4) packs home with him earlier this year when he was in Portland. Good man. Great beer. Thrilled to have them return to the line up for my event.

A BIG shout of thanks to the two who won’t be served (this time):  Jared Long, Brewer & my brother in beer, Altitude Chophouse & Brewery, Laramie, WY & Larry Chase, Brewer & My Fine Husband, Standing Stone Brewing Company, Ashland OR.

So – support your local brewer? Heck Yea I do!! Local casts as wide a net as you wish your neighborhood to be. The globe is my neighborhood and I’m sending cheers to these neighbors today.

See you in Vail ~

p.s. the skiing is snowtastic too!

Comments »

Holiday Gift Ideas

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!! It’s the giving season again….

And where ever and however quickly it came from (seriously, only 300+ days ago??), tis the season. While I give the gift of books in particular year round, I want to share a few favorites with you today for beer & flavor lovers everywhere.

Books:

yum yum yum...Beer Pairing, by Julia & Gwen

yum yum yum…Beer Pairing, by Julia & Gwen

Beer Pairing, The Essential Guide From The Pairing Pros, Julia Herz & Gwen Conley *just* released  (2015 Voyageur Press). I’ll have Julia sign my book when next I see this dynamo of the beer gospel. Both she and Gwen have cut a smart swath to helping people enjoy beer. It’s a comprehensive book on what, why, when, how and why not of beer and food pairing. A great read and flavorfully inspiring, once you buy one for yourself get a few for others.

Cheese & Beer, Janet Fletcher (2013 Andrews McMeel Publishing). Janet’s written a few dozen books on food – cheese being her forte and oh-so-deliciously so! Others include Cheese & Wine, The Cheese Course, Yogurt (a personal fav go-to), and Four Seasons Pasta. All dandy and mouthwateringly fun and functional. Her writing style and the information she gives us is timeless and well rounded by smarts and broad world view.

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, Maureen Ogle. Maureen is an historian and was inspired to write about beer upon wondering what her next book was – and at that moment having a Budweiser truck cross her path while driving. Inspiration struck and she’s tells the story starting in the 1880’s to modern times. Great read like many with herstorian context: you learn way more about way more than you think.

The American Craft Beer Cookbook, John Holl (Storey Publishing 2013). John’s an accomplished journalist and definite flavor lover. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing many beers with him as well as having hosted a book signing party when the book came out. He’s collected recipes with beer in them and paired with beers from brewpubs across this fine country. With sidebar stories and additional beer suggestions included, this book is a winner winner beer for dinner.

Beyond books, I’d invite you to find a few Women Enjoying Beer & Men Enjoying Women Enjoying Beer goods on our shopping page. Since we’ve exited a very successful festival circuit run, we’ve got a few goodies remaining looking for great homes. Be ahead of the curve as they may be collectors items soon!

Your Local Brewery

SSBC Gift Six pack

SSBC Gift Six pack

Our local breweries need our business. They pump ridiculous amounts of effort & money into our local economies, all the way up to the federal level (ask them about excise taxes, for example). Visit them all, as you can and see fit. Ask them questions, listen, share, buy and support. One of my locals, Standing Stone Brewing Company, sells Brewer For The Day packages as well as the holiday Gift Six Pack. Order a keg in advance to help celebrate in tasty fashion, give the gift of lovely glassware.

Homebrewing

Home brewing abounds in America! It’s a fabulous opportunity to learn to cook a whole new recipe: Beer. Locate your local shops and go to a demo, hang out with the local clubs, and start making your own. Like food cooks, many professional “beer cooks” start by homebrewing. The American Homebrewers Association is a super place to start.

Whatever you do, give the gift of flavor this season – and year round. Start with flavor first, experiment, try, share and repeat. Beer changes as does everything else in life so pour it on.

Comments »

Neurogastronomy: What Is It?

The Yale School of Medicine is helping define neurogastronomy.

Anne G/CIA Marketing & Ginger at the Crafting Beer and Food Summit, CIA

Anne G/CIA Marketing & Ginger at the Crafting Beer and Food Summit, CIA

I first heard the term recently at the CIA, St Helena campus, at the inaugural Crafting Beer & Food Summit. As a panelist and participant at the event, the flavor theme came up over and over and over…and it’s one I, daresay, preach about. Flavor first, then style or whatever else. To me it’s the entrance to our sensory gustatory experiences.

While the word hard some immediate familiarity, knowing the richer meaning and further information is fascinating. The book of the same title by Gordon Shepard expounds on the concept. More fascination.

So what’s this connection of brain and flavor? Scent and mental? Perhaps even scentimental…. Queue more fascination, please.

It’s true progress to see an icon recognize and promote beer – just as they have long promoted and championed wine.

Read up, sip, nosh and learn. It’s where everything should start: brains first.

Comments »

Crafting A Beer & Food Summit

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
Abigail Adams

Education is queen.

So it was enthusiasm I signed up for a class My Fine Husband told me about. Crafting Beer & Food is a summit being put forth by the CIA Greystone, CA. It’s one of three Culinary Institute of America campuses, the other two being in New York and Texas.

I’d happily go to any of the campuses, so when I registered and offered myself up as a panelist, speaker and otherwise of service, they embraced the opportunity. Sweet! Ergo, I’ll be in distinguished company for the panel The Business of Beer & Food, Tuesday of the summit.  A big thanks to Anne Girvin of the CIA for the invite.

Education improves your palate.

Education improves your palate.

Beer & food go hand in hand, like a chicken goes in a pot. Many will jokingly say “beer is food” – and there’s some truth to that sentiment.

I’m excited to further my education, always glad for the fortuity to present, and see and meet engaged people. The sessions I signed up for are ones I’ve never seen offered elsewhere, specifically cooking with beer information. Since I cook with beer professionally as well as personally, these are of very high interest to me.

Full details are here and there are still some seats available. The summit is sure to be well worthwhile. I’ll circle back to share afterwards – though encourage you to register if it’s of interest to you.

With a nod to Ms. Adams, I’ll be attending with ardor and diligence. See you there.

Comments »

A Flavor Lovers CIA

Culinary Institute of America. CIA. Depending on your world view, The CIA or The Other CIA.

In all events, I’ve registered for the course Crafting Beer & Food as part of ongoing professional development.

Kirstin O/Connor/KDRV & Ginger - In The Kitchen

Kirstin O/Connor/KDRV & Ginger – In The Kitchen

While it’s all about the flavor to me (with a nod to Ms Trainor), I’m looking forward to the classes which will boost my culinary education. I registered for the following sessions:

  • How Cooking Techniques Influence the Taste of Beer
  • Spent Grains in Baking & Pastry
  • Global Toppings for Fan Favorite Foods

Anytime I can learn about food, cooking, prep, pairing, and the greater wide world of our sense, I’m interested. My goal is to learn AND to be an instructor as well. In The Kitchen episodes with Kirstin give you a taste of the fun to be had – here’s one on strawberry gazpacho.

Having given dozens of talks, sessions, classes, and demos – call on me when you’re in the market for a lively, fun, new-idea oriented pro to entertain and delight.

 

Comments »

Beer And _________

What do you like to pair beer with?

Everything should be fair – or fare – game since beer is an excellent pairing partner.

Here are some ideas for you today.

1. Beer and breakfast. The secret of pairing and tasting at any time is quantity: keep it small. Breakfast is an ideal time of day to taste as our senses are well rested and ready to serve. Plan a breakfast or brunch of sweet fruit topped waffles with savory sausage. Pair the plate with a smooth and low alcohol Belgian or Wit beer. The yeast and wheaty contributions complement the meal very well.

2. Beer and cheese. It should be it’s own course, of course. With many a resource to echo this sentiment and many resources to explore, my go to is Janet Fletcher. Her life experiences and savvy are the best guide. She’s got plenty of excellent easy to utilize books as well – I’ve got the yogurt one on my shelf (gets used a lot!). She’s got the chops, is a straight shooter and tuns of fun. You’ll learn a lot, much to the happiness of your tastebuds.

Janet & Ginger

Janet & Ginger

3. Beer and dessert. This is still a new idea to many. Desserts with beer or desserts paired with beer or desserts made with beer – they all qualify. Use beer when baking chocolate cakes, put a few tablespoons in malted milkshakes, use it in the crust of a tart. Then be sure to pair beer with desserts. The beer world is overflowing with flavor choices: when you find one you like, note it. If you taste one you don’t, move on to the next.

4. Beer and fish & shellfish. These natural partners are truly meant to be together. With the unlimited rainbow of possibilities from the fermenters and from the water, try try try! In my work with Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, I’ve experimented a lot and found many pleasing combinations, opportunities and am spurred on to keep going…which I will!

The key to enjoying beer and food is to try. When you discover magic, note it and then keep trying other things. Figure out your stalwart Go-To’s (never a favorite) and keep looking, cooking, and tasting.

Beer and life go well together. Enjoy it in moderation, savor the flavors, and start sipping!

Comments »

Cooking With Beer: Smoothies

I love to cook.

Using beer as an ingredient is simply a way to expand my larder of choices. And it’s surprising how many people still are relegating beer to glassware only.

Time to get your apron on, people!!

With a nod to the Beer Smoothies & Summer Drinks article I wrote for dear friend Karie Engels a while back, I’d like to share a few ideas today.

1. Beer can be added to myriad recipes. When you use it consider why it can or shouldn’t be included. For instance if you’re using milk and want to sub beer, figure out if the protein factor of adding milk will be critical in substituting beer.

2. Any beer you find to be suitable yet you’re not going to drink it can be stored in a clean glass container in the fridge for a few weeks. Put a lid on it.

3. Any beer you won’t use as above in short order, I suggest dedicating a few ice-cube trays to freezing the remaining beer and using it one cube at a time when desired. Let the beer decarbonate totally for best freeing and accurate quantities. Once it’s frozen solid, flip it out of the trays into a container for easy access.

4. Buy beers that interest you solely for the purpose of cooking with them. Then do so.

5. Make notes if beer as an ingredient is new to you. One reason – if you’re actually using heat in your cooking (vs. prepping sans heat) hops will concentrate into a very unpleasant way. Experiment and record.

Whatever you do, try. I learned the heat lesson when I was practicing to present at the Toronto’s Festival Of Beers a few years back. Knowing that the horrid concentrated uber bad bitter can happen, I adjusted and made the sauces (per my talk) successful.

Enjoy the enormity of flavors you can find in modern beers. Start with classics and move into areas of foods that you really enjoy cooking and prepping. Friends are usually close at hand to support your endeavors and eat the samples.

Salud to summer, smoothies & cooking with beer ~

 

2 comments

2 comments »

Creativity = Business Success

How do beer and chocolate go together? What’s the business element? How do you combine seemingly unrelated ideas productively?

Check this out:

http://www.kdrv.com/chocolate-fest-is-a-treat-for-businesses/

Go connect some dots.

Comments »

Beer & Chocolate Tasting at the 2015 Oregon Chocolate Festival

Mmmmmm…Chocolate and Beer – what a lovely coupling!

Enthusiastic OR Chocolate Fest Beer + Chocolate class attendees

Enthusiastic OR Chocolate Fest Beer + Chocolate class attendees

So went two successful highly tasty and entertaining classes to that end last weekend at the 11th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival. Karolina Lavagnino, Sales & Marketing Director of the Neuman Hotel Group, started the fest 11 years ago to create excitement and business in the shoulder season between winter and spring.

I started giving the tasting classes 4 years ago with immediate success. The rooms fill quickly with enthusiastic people, open to trying new combinations and thinking in new ways about what we eat and drink.

This year we were moved into an outdoor tent to seat up to 65+, up from the 40 seats in previous years. And WOW!! The rush to get in felt like a concert was going down. Both days our fantastic security pro Stephanie helped us with the flow, and Ben, Dana and Christa (crew from the Springs) were spot on with their assistance.

Here’s the menu we enjoyed:

Ginger & Stephanie ready for the crowds!

Ginger & Stephanie ready for the crowds!

Saturday: Oakshire Brewing Beers with Dagoba Chocolates

  • Amber + Milk
  • Watershed IPA + Lavender Blueberry
  • Espresso Stout + Dark

Sunday: Standing Stone Brewing Beers with Dagoba Chocolates

Pairing beer and chocolate is so easy, fun, and simple that it’s amazing more people are new to it. Experiment at home: get chocolates and beer – a variety of both – and invite some friends over to sip, nibble, and explore.

The best palate starts with an open mind.

See you at the fest next year!!

  • Thanks to all the energetic and very fun guests. Come see us next year – and know we’re available to hire for your private and business events as well.
  • Thanks to the Hotel Crew. Everyone from security and service, organizers to staff is super helpful, upbeat, and competent.
  • Thanks to Sean Marc Nipper, Reel House Films Filmmaker, and Erika Bishop, Producer, for their efforts Sunday in capturing the fun on film.
  • Thanks to My Fine Husband for his assistance and unflagging support.

 

Comments »

In The Kitchen with Ashley KTVL

It’s great to share ideas live with the KTVL Channel 10 Crew. Cheers to Ashley Carrasco, Morning Reporter, who I joined in the studio for the first time. All the others had been in my kitchen or afield.

In these clips we talk about healthy eating. Here’s the first one:

It was a tasty treat to be there in the television studio with the entire crew: Ashley, Liz, Will, and Whitney.

Enjoy and tune in next time.

 

Comments »

Ladies At Ladyface Love Beer, Cheese & Chocolate

Mmmmmm.

(silence)

Ahhhhhhhh.

(silence)

Ladyface Alehouse is where you'll want to go.

Ladyface Alehouse is where you’ll want to go.

Okay, well it wasn’t *quite* silent between bites on Monday at Ladyface Alehouse…what we had was over a dozen enthusiastic guests participating in a tasting at the brewpub.

Cyrena Nouzille, founder and operator of Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, Agoura Hills CA, started this women’s education meet-up about a year ago to offer a deeper sip into beer. It’s designed for women who enjoy flavor, learning about beer, food, and the camaraderie that accompanies the worlds second oldest beverage.

It was my pleasure to have been the specially invited guest to present on the select Ladyface beers made by the very capable head brewer, Dave Griffiths, complemented by Dagoba Chocolate and Cypress Grove Chevre. Seriously. Every palate in the house was happy.

Here’s the deal: when I conduct tasting events – beer, beer & food, cooking with beer and the like – I’m interested in opening minds. An open mind is the best palate. Experimentation and tasting is the name of the game and mix and match we did.

Yes, a great time was had by all!

Yes, a great time was had by all!

Our faithful server brought out 2 beers (in small glasses) to start, as well as two cheeses to which I added a plate of chocolate. After everything was handed out and around, we got to talking about a few things:

  1. Smelling your beer. I teach techniques like Blood hound and Drive by.
  2. Tasting your beer and food together. There’s a marriage just waiting to be tried.
  3. Some HerStory & other tidbits were thrown in. Questions were raised and conversation ensued.

I know it’s a successful night when I lose by voice – and that I did! The pub is a popular place and rightly so. Comfortable, gorgeous art and design of space, and a delicious beer and food menu entice all comers.

mmmmm....

mmmmm….

If you’re in search of flavor, taste and taste some more. Visit and enjoy a local brewpub – the majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery. Ask the management of pubs, breweries, restaurants and bars who carry beer to provide educational opportunities. An educated person has a more open palate, which is good for the whole merry-go-round.

Thanks to Cyrena, Johanna, Adrian (chef), crew and guests who were part of the fun Monday night at Ladyface. Already looking forward to the next time. Call on me when you’d like to have your own special tasting events.

Menu

  • Beers: Grisette, Trappistine, Ladyface IPA and Russian Lullaby
  • Cheese: Cypress GroveLambchop, Midnight Moon & Humboldt Fog + Fourme D’Ambert Bleu and Cow Milk Brie.
  • Chocolate: Dagoba Lavender Blueberry, Chai & Xocolatl

Many thanks to Cypress Grove Chevre & Dagoba for their participation.

Comments »

Pump(kin) Up Your Beer!

Fall is not only in the air, it’s in your beer. As harvests continue and bloom into full hay wagons full of squash and produce, look for pumpkin beers to try.

Pumpkin beers vary widely - try several

Pumpkin beers vary widely – try several

Having done a pumpkin beer sampling at an event last fall, I can tell you that they are widely different in their flavors, sweetness and dryness. Some will smell and taste like pumpkin pie spice. Some will have lovely subtle flavors, some will be sweeter. So depending on what you’re after, try a few until you find one you enjoy.

If it’s a sweeter pumpkin beer you’ll find in it a delicious opportunity to use in a cobbler, pie, crock pot roast, or in a dressing. If the mouthfeel (aka texture) is drier, those pair nicely with salmon and sweetly savory foods.

Pick a pack of pumpkin beers this fall. Gather some friends round the bon fire and celebrate your home and life. All’s well, that fall’s well!

Till the next glass –

g

Try this: Pumpkin beers are in full bloom! Seek them out and enjoy them in your glass as well as in recipes. Elysian helped pioneer the modern pumpkin beer with Night Owl and lots of brands have joined the patch. NOTE: pumpkin beers vary widely – I’d encourage you to try a few (at least!).

This article originally ran on 9.17.13 for Your Home By Karie Engels

Comments »

What I Learned at the GABF This Year

The Great American Beer Festival is truly remarkable. It’s not in any way run-of-the-mill…unless the “mill” is an extraordinary machine of success.

It was my 12th ( I think) year attending the GABF. Over the years I’ve helped pour beer for a brewery, taken it in as media, and vended. This year included vending and being a media cred holder. Kudos to our famazing crew who made the WEB booth rock and roll: Diane G/Captain, Darcee/Cashier & Sales, Wendy/Sales, and Sarah/Sales. They made it all possible – thanks!

WEB crew ready for the throng of GABF'ers

WEB crew ready for the throng of GABF’ers

I learned from them that perspective can be too close to our own noses. We need to get other people engaged in what we do and try to best communicate what we can. Then we need to listen as they tell us in return what they know and heard. It’s a practice I totally enjoy and learn from – listening to one of my Fine Crew talk about WEB with others. It’s helpful as I pick up various ways to talk about the business and techniques of sales, conversation, and communication.

Learning was everywhere you could turn your head if you so desired. The Farm to Table event was uber tasty this year – extra fun was had since I have frolleague Kellie with me, meeting, eating, laughing, and talking. The Beer & Food Pavilion is an area of (minor) respite to listen to accomplished folks educate, people like Beervangelist Fred and Sarah Amorese of Piece, Love & Chocolate. The Pro-Am booth had beers created by homebrewers and brewed on pro equipment available for tasting – and up for an award too.

That’s just the tip of the jockey box too. The GABF affords enough happenings to keep you busy from when you arrive til last call. Grooving to the Silent Disco, sponsored by Oskar Blues, is a personal fav!

I’ll be back with more information on GABF and American Beer. As a credentialed member of the media this year, the Brewers Association and Visit Denver took very good care of us – making sure we had full and easy access to a wealth of educational information.

Keep learning no matter where you go and what you attend. I encourage you to thank those who organize and plan, execute and clean up well run events. Being savvy to their efforts makes the learning all the more rich.

Comments »

Beer Smoothies & Summer Drinks

You heard me right. Beer in smoothies can be just the ticket for a refreshing summer drink. Why let the spirits mixologists have all the fun!?

Molly, KTVL & Ginger on air talking up Beer Smoothies

Molly, KTVL & Ginger on air talking up Beer Smoothies

Here are a few ideas and pointers in using beer in smoothies.

1. Like any smoothie, work together with complementary flavors. Use hearty chocolately stouts in ice cream based smoothies and shakes. Adding malted milk powder will enhance the body and echo the malty flavor contribution of the beer.

2. Add modest amounts of beer. A little goes a long way, so start with smaller quantities (a few tablespoons) and build as desired.

3. To avoid over-foaming, use ingredients that are in the same temperature range. Drastic differences between beers, the container you’re mixing in and other ingredients will cause some assertive carbonation release.

4. Do beer tastings in advance to find out what flavors in which beers stand out would serve you well in your smoothie and beer drinks adventures. Does it have a grapefruity crispness? Then use fresh citrus. Does it have a moderate malty sweetness? Then try lush fruits and vegetables with low acid attributes.

If you’ve never tried a beer smoothie, now’s the time. Having made both beer floats and beer malted milkshakes before, I can tell you it’s a fun and unexpected experience. Go on, get your smoothie on!

Go Here: Visit your local beer store and talk to the crew to help you pick out a few flavors of beer you wish to try.

Try This: Beer floats are classic: rich stouts with a scoop of coffee, chocolate, or vanilla ice cream are waiting. Deep stone fruit porters beg for a scoop of raspberry sorbets. Pour a grapefruity IPA over a dollop of lemon gelato.

This article originally appeared on Your Home with Karie Engels, where Ginger is her regular Beer Contributor. The article was inspired by Ginger’s time with Reporter Molly Trotter/KTVL talking about Smoothies

One comment

One comment »