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 ~

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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.

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Big Beer Recipes

Last weekend found WEB in Vail, Colorado for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival. It’s an annual event hosted at Cascade Resort, put together by the incredible Lodge’s. A big thanks to them for this longstanding well run event featuring “big beers” – aka robust, higher alcohol, full flavored beers.

Big Beers, big flavors

Big Beers, big flavors

I had the opportunity to present Cooking With Beer. With a room full of 35 folks interested in quaffing and noshing, we walked through 3 different foods prepared with various beers. Here’s what we covered.

Course 1

Collage, by Deschutes and Hair Of The Dog, was used in making slow cooked Roasted Pork & Beans. The beer was used to rehydrate beans (small red chili, pinto, great northern) and added a deeper flavor overall. Along with the other ingredients added including cooking in some dark Dagoba chocolate, the dish was a good match for the Collage, a rich and enormously flavorful beer. A bonus flavor kicker of Cypress Grove Bermuda was a hit as well.

Course 2

Sixth Glass, by Boulevard Brewing, was utilized in a humus mix. A local food coop has a lovely dried humus mix, ready to welcome liquid to come to life. Sixth Glass was added in the mix, along with red bell pepper and chopped cilantro and a few other goodies and served with the beer including a small chunk of CGC Midnight Moon. A new spin on a simple dip gave it new life.

Course 3

This course proved to be a great wrap up. Ladyfinger cookies were soaked in Fluxus by Allagash Brewing. We scooped a fresh dip of Blue Bunny Natural Vanilla ice cream, topped it with the soaked cookies that had been tossed with Dagoba Lemon Ginger chocolate shavings and fresh lemon zest, and voila! A new explosion of flavor.

Many hearty thanks to all our guests, to the super troop of fest volunteers who took directions well in a very condensed time frame, to Lilly & Diane, and to Laura for believing the topic has merit for this sophisticated crowd.

And of course, our glass is up to the Brewers who supplied these special beers. They’re already limited releases – to give us some of them for this express purpose is humbly appreciated:

Naomi of Allagash, Todd of Boulevard, and Cam of Deschutes are to be commended for making the beer possible.

Cooking with beer is a specialty for us and when you’re ready to bring in new flavors, new ideas, and an entertaining presenter, be in touch. Have ideas, will travel.

Cheers to next Big Beers, Vail!

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