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 ~

 

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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

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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

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International Women’s Day 2014

Saturday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. What does that precisely mean? And why do we feel we have a need to recognize women?

Here are 10 good reasons.

1. Females make up over half of the population. From those who enjoy Your Home to those who are as far-flung as our imaginations can carry us, and everywhere in between.

2. Women have always been brewers (see, I stayed on topic). Brewing is cooking, and women have always been actively engaged in the food arena in life.

Celebrate women: International Women's Day 3.8.14

Celebrate women: International Women’s Day 3.8.14

3. In a great majority of countries women are still second-class citizens and that’s fundamentally wrong. No one gender of person has more or less value than another.

4. Women in America are still paid, on average, 23% less than male counterparts.

5. Women are capable of everything and able to do anything.

6. Women are the reason we’re around. Yes it takes two to reproduce and women bear the majority of that task.

7. There are certainly celebrated women the world over, yet not enough.

8. There are scores of underappreciated and even recognized women and females the world over, wherein “any” is too many.

9. Women keep changing the world for the better.

10. It’s a proven fact via myriad research that societies with a mindful equity respect for women and men are so much more productive, healthy, and happy populations.

Notice I use the word equity instead of equality. (Mirriam-Webster) Nature has a way of equalizing things, yet we’re not in charge here. Humans should aim for equity instead of equality.

I look forward to the days where gender is a non-issue. Alas! It still is and talking about it and acting to change it will be the way to remove the inequitable in our world. It’ll never be the impossible perfect, yet it can be a whole world of good better.

So today’s the day (as is every day) to recognize, thank, and appreciate women. Skip the chocolates, massages, and other tired pithy nonsense and say THANK YOU. Ask her what you can do for her that holds real meaning and purpose. Do something that really matters. It may make you slightly uncomfortable and that’s how progress is made.

I thank you for reading. And I’ll thank you more for acting for women the globe over.

Till the next glass –

g

Go Here: Time is one of the most valuable gifts we can give. Volunteer with an organization that truly works towards female equity. A quick Internet search will yield countless opportunities to help, from the Girl Scouts to human trafficking.

Try This: Give the gift of your time to a female you don’t know: Visit an elder care facility and talk with the women you meet (residents and staff), walk some dogs at the shelter (equal opportunity here), and anonymously donate a few dollars to a female focused charity.

This column was originally published on Your Home with Karie Engels.

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Celebrating Home: Contributing Beer Specialist

Cheers today to Karie Engels, creator and brilliant mind behind beautiful, flavorful and useful Celebrating Home.

Karie recently invited me to contribute to the beer side of Celebrating Home and I enthusiastically embraced the opportunity. Why? Don’t I have ‘enough’ to do?

Cheers to Celebrating Home with Karie & Crew!

Cheers to Celebrating Home with Karie & Crew!

Well, yes and this is exactly the sort of contribution WEB is all about. Education, enlightenment and flavor. Encouraging people to celebrate their homes, whatever that is to every one, and with adaptability for those who wish to use the information proffered.

One thing I’m particularly looking forward to is meeting (and noshing and sipping with) the cohorts that Karie has brought together to help more people celebrate home:

Wow! Thanks to Karie and the great colleagues listed above.  ‘Til we raise a glass….

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