08/18/14

Beer and Food Social | Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

BEER AND FOOD SOCIAL

Cooking with beer is what started my love affair with craft beer. My husband loved craft beer and was constantly trying to find ones I liked. He would bring home these amazing sounding and smelling beers, and I’d want to enjoy it so bad. That’s when I decided to start cooking with them. If I couldn’t enjoy it straight from a pint, I’d use it to enhance my meals. Of course, I slowly began finding beers I enjoyed, but even now cooking with beer is still my favorite way to enjoy craft beer. Most people see a beer and think “Yum. I bet this taste good.” I think “This would be great in…”

To celebrate my love of cooking with beer, I decided to have a week long party. Well more like an online social. A Beer and Food Social with some of my favorite bloggers. This week, I’ll have 5 great bloggers sharing some of their favorite recipes plus a recipe from the Cooking with Intuition cookbook.

And what’s a social without prizes? Thanks to some awesome sponsors, you have a chance to win a Craft Beer Lovers Prize Pack.

Beer and Food Social Prize Pack

The Prize Pack will included a copy of the Cooking with Intuition cookbook, a Bar Towel and Glassware from BrewerShirts, and IPA and Spent Grain Beer Soap from The Drunken Soap Co. You have multiple ways to enter using the Rafflecopter below and the contest will be open until 08/28/2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let’s get this social started!

Crab Stuffed Mushroom

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Do you remember that yummy steak with mushrooms and onions dinner I posted a couple weeks ago? Well, I still have a bunch of the pale ale butter leftover. I had some leftover crab meat in the refrigerator from a fish stew I made and a bunch of mushrooms going bad. It gave me an idea for something I’ve wanted to try my whole life.

Growing up, I thought I was allergic to mushrooms. My parents would order crab stuffed mushrooms when we’d go to dinner, and I’d always want to try one.

Two years ago, I realized I wasn’t actually allergic to mushrooms. Now, we eat them multiple times a week, but I still had not tried crab stuffed mushrooms. Until now!

Stuffed Mushroom 5

They were everything I thought they would be. It was like a crab cake stuffed in a mushroom. The crunchy top was perfect with the creamy filling. The onion and peppers added a nice texture to the mixture too. You can cook them before, but I like the crunch they added. And of course, everything is better with bacon!

Stuffed Mushrooms 3

I had some crab mixture leftover and made two crab cakes with a Citrus Wheat Sriracha Sauce. The sauce was so good, we started drizzling it over the mushrooms.  That recipe will have to wait for another time, though.

Come back tomorrow for a recipe from Cooking with Intuition, Jon Boat Boiled Shrimp.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8oz Crab Meat
  • 1/4 cup Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 cup Onion (Fine Diced)
  • 1/8 cup Bell Pepper (Fine Diced)
  • 1/8 cup Bacon (Cooked and Crumbled)
  • 8oz Mushroom (Whole- Stemmed Removed)
  • 2 tablespoons Pale Ale Butter ({See Recipe Below})
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combined Crab, Cream Cheese, Breadcrumbs, Onion, Pepper, and Bacon. Stuff mixture into mushrooms and place on a greased baking dish.
Melt butter in microwave, about 10 seconds. Stir in breadcrumbs and sprinkle over mushrooms.
Bake mushrooms on center rack for 20-25 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and breadcrumbs are brown.

Pale Ale Butter

Flavored butters are super easy and added extra flavor to normal dishes. Add additional seasonings or substitute for some of your favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter (Room Temp)
  • 2 tablespoons Pale Ale
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • PinchSmoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper Powder (Optional)

Directions

Combined all ingredients together until fully combined. Place butter on plastic wrap and roll into log form. Place in the refrigerator to chili until ready to use.
08/10/14

Beer Chili Cheese Fries and Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest

Beer Chili Cheese Fries with Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese

Beer Chili Cheese Fries 5

I love chili cheese fries! They’re even better after a night of drinking. All that yummy cheese and greasy chili over crispy French fries! I can’t get enough. This recipe has everything you love about Chili Cheese Fries without all the quilt. Lean ground turkey and baked fries make this recipe lighter than you greasy dish you’ll get a some restaurants but provides all the satisfaction.

I sliced my potatoes thin, and tossed them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baking in a single layer in the oven until crispy. They took about 20 minutes at 400. Once they were crispy, I added a scoop of my Homemade Beer Chili, a handful of cheese, and placed under the broiler until everything was melted.

Beer Chili Cheese Fries 2

It was like eating nachos. The flat potatoes made it much easier to hold all the chili and cheese goodness.

I was so impatient with these pictures, I literally took four pictures because I couldn’t wait any longer to dig in! And I may have slapped Huck’s hand when he tried to steal one! I was hungry and don’t like to share!

Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest

Yesterday, we attended the Palm Beach Summer Beer Festival at the South Florida Fair Grounds. Beer Fest in the A/C! WIN!!

Palm Beach Summer Beer Festival

We went to the event last year… Remember when they dropped my award winning beer??

Well this year, we entered the homebrew competition again, but made sure to protect our beer this time. Huck waited until we were about to walk in to put the bottles in the 6 pack boxes and double bagged them. Each one made it to judging without any mishaps.

I entered a Citrus American Wheat with Fresh Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Lime, and Huck entered his A1A IPA with Citrus.

There was 20 entries all together again this year. We were walking around when we heard them start to announce the winners. We quickly made our way to the stage just in time to hear 2nd place… Life Food and Beer Brewing {So cheesy and original I know!} I was stocked! I won $250… WOW!

We started walking up to the stage when they started to announce first place. I stop Huck and said we had at listen for his name… 1st place and winner for $500… Hucklebuck Brewing Company!  We won 1st and 2nd! I couldn’t believe it!

Palm Beach Summer Beer Festival (1)

Huck was so excited and had the BIGGEST smile on his face the rest of the day. He also reminded me a million times how I didn’t want to enter anything because I didn’t want to spend any money {job change and all} and how I said it wasn’t going to win anything. I did say that one! When I tried the wheat earlier this week, I tasted it, and said, “it’s good but probably not going to win anything.” It was a really good beer. It just didn’t blow me away. I had no doubt his IPA would place. His IPA is one of my favorite beers ever!

We celebrated our win with tacos de lengua from Tacos Al Carbon, and a huge cup of cafe con leche from Havana Restaurant! It was amazing!

Beer and Food Social

Make sure you guys come back next week. I’m hosting a Beer and Food Social with 6 other bloggers. Everyday, I’ll feature a new blogger and recipe. And we’re going to have a really awesome prize pack you can enter to win! You don’t want to miss it!!

Beer and Food Social

I still haven’t decided what I’m making… Any suggestions?

Beer Chili Cheese Fries

Serves 2
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Beer Chili Cheese Fries with Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese. This lighter version is made with baked sliced potatoes and ground turkey chili.

Ingredients

  • 6 Medium Potatoes (Sliced Thin)
  • Leftover Chili
  • Cheese
  • Garnish (Onion, Cilantro, Sour Cream, Plain Greek Yogurt, etc.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice potatoes to desired thickness. Add potatoes to a large bowl and lightly coat with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Lay potatoes in a single layer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Flip potatoes and continue cooking until desired crispiness. 20-25 minutes total. {Time my vary depending on thickness of potatoes.}

Arrange cooked potatoes on a oven safe pan or foil. Top with chili and cheese and place in the oven, under the broiler until cheese is melted. Serve with cilantro, diced onions, and sour cream if desired.
08/5/14

Three Bean Beer Chili with Ground Turkey

Three Bean Beer Chili with Ground Turkey made with a light lager. Perfect for College Football. 

Three Bean Beer Chili ground turkey

I know it’s a little too early in the year for chili, but I had a craving and had to make some. As you can tell, I’m ready for football season! I ready for Saturday mornings spent watching College Game Day, having friends over to watch a game, and the food! Oh the food! I’m literally counting down the days. I do this every year.

Three Bean Beer Chili ground turkey

Chili always reminds me of football season. I’ll make a big pot in the slow cooker, and it’s ready whenever we’re hungry. I’m not sure if this can be considered a recipe, though. More like mixing a bunch of cans together, but it’s great and only gets better the longer it cooks. It’s my favorite football season recipe {Second would be my Buffalo Chicken Dip!!}. I figured I could post this now, so everyone can “Pin It” for football season that starts in a couple weeks! ;)

I’ll be back later this week with another recipe using this same chili… Chili Cheese Fries! Yum!

More Than Just a Backpack

Do you have something that means the world to you? Something you’ve had forever and wouldn’t want to give up or lose? I have very few items in my life that have value to me. Things I do value: pictures, my scrapbook and journal from high school, a ring my nanny Mathis gave me, a stuffed monkey, and a few things I’ve collected over the years during my travels. All these items fit in one Rubbermaid container. I’ve moved 4 times in the last 10 years, and each time, besides clothes, it’s the only thing that’s gone with me. Yesterday, I relieved I had something else to add to that very short list.

Jansport

I bought this backpack my senior year in high school. For the last 12 years, its gone everywhere with me! Its been to 8 countries, countless states, it is my weekend bag, my computer bag, it was the bag I packed the day I moved out of my old house, it carried all my books during my LONG college career, it carried my clothes for the weekends when I’d stay with Huck, it’s a cooler, beach bag, daypack, and pillow, it was in the seat beside me the day we moved to Florida, its been under my seat on every flight I’ve ever been on, and it was on my back the WHOLE time I was in Italy.

Considering it’s 12 years old, and been through hell and back, it’s in great condition. But, it’s starting to show it’s age. The seams are tearing and my computer barely fits. As I was looking for a new bag this weekend, I was reminded that every great memory {and a few not so great memories} I have from the time I was 17 until now, this bag was a part of! Of the few materialistic things in my life I value, this bag is at the top of the list, and it makes me sad knowing that its time is coming to an end.

I’m sure you’re thinking, it’s a stupid Jansport bag? What’s the big deal. Or that’s how I would normally be, but for some reason, this bag symbolizes so much more. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just keep using it until it completely falls apart! Either way, I’ll never throw it away. One day I’ll put it in the Rubbermaid container with the other things I can’t seem to part with!

Super Cheesy I know!

Now, back to work!

Three Bean Beer Chili with Ground Turkey

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Three Bean Beer Chili with Ground Turkey made with a light lager. I'm not sure this can be considered a recipe it's so easy. It's perfect for entertaining or College Football parties.

Ingredients

  • 1.5lb Ground Turkey (Fully Cooked)
  • 1/2 Large Onion (Diced)
  • 1 Large Bell Pepper (Diced)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (Chopped)
  • 1 packet Chili Seasoning (Low Sodium)
  • 1 cup Beer (Light Lager, Lager, or American Wheat)
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Peppers
  • 1 can Black Beans (Drained)
  • 1 can Kidney Beans (Drained)
  • 1 can Pinto Beans (Drained)
  • 2 cups Frozen Corn
  • Extra for Garnish (Sour Cream/Greek Yogurt, Cheese, Cilantro, etc.)

Directions

Brown meat in a large skillet with the Onions, Peppers, and Garlic. Add meat to a slow cooker and sprinkle seasoning over mixture.
Add all other ingredients, cover and cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Serve with your favorite garnish.
08/2/14

Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef

Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef Tacos cooked in the slow cooker. Served with Corn Tortillas, Cabbage, Carrots, Cilantro, and Sriracha Sauce. Great meal for feeding a large group of people. 

Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef Taco

I have a rule. Actually, it’s not really a rule. More like something I don’t like to do. I don’t make new recipes for people I’ve never met. I’ll change up a recipe I’ve already made before, but I don’t usually come up with something out of thin air for newbies. I get self-conscious when I cook for people. I don’t want someone to meet me for the first time and think I’m a horrible cook.

I COMPLETELY broke that rule Tuesday, though. Huck invite his new mountain bike buddies over for dinner. {Apparently, he didn’t like riding with me. He probably thought I was going to end up in a body cast!} David and his wife just got back from a road trip across the western part of the country and picked up a bunch of beer along the way, so everyone met at our house for dinner and a bottle share.

Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef Taco

So, Tuesday I cooked a completely new meal for 6 completely new people. Three guys Huck rides with and their wives. 6 people I’ve never met before and here I was cooking something I didn’t know would be good or not. I was a little nervous! I had a feeling this meal was going to be awesome, though. We tried the sauce before adding it to the beer. Around  6, I sampled a piece of the beef from the slow cooker and with one bite, I knew I had nothing to fear.

I got the idea for Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef when I was walking through the meat section at the grocery store and seen Beef Roast BOGO. I was looking for something to make with Sriracha, my new favorite hot sauce. Originally, I wanted to make this with an Espresso Stout. After a trip to Total Wine, I was reminded we live in South Florida, and just because you want a certain beer, and know it exist, doesn’t mean you’re going to find it! {Like Beer Camp! But that’s a whole other blog post!}

Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef Taco

Huck suggested we try a Coffee Stout by Coronado Brewing CompanyBlue Bridge Coffee Stout to be exact. This dry stout is brewed with Café Moto Dark Roast Coffee. I wanted a dry stout with good coffee flavor and this one hit the spot. It comes in a 22oz bottle, so we set aside the ½ cup I needed for my recipe and enjoyed the rest.

{Side note: Coronado Brewing Company and Cigar City are partnering up for a craft beer cruise in March of next year. The 7 night cruise is a beer/foodies’ dream vacation! The owner of CCB and one of the brewers from CBC will both be on the cruise and have different beer and food pairs, beer excursions, and beer tastings planned during the cruise. The awesome part, if you book before August 31st, you get a drink package upgrade for free! All you can drink beer, soda, wine, and cocktails for 7 days! I’d book the trip today if it was a 3-4 night cruise. 7 days is a LONG time on a boat.}

Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef Taco

I setup a taco bar so everyone could make their own with shredded carrots and cabbage, cilantro, onions, and Sriracha. I also found these awesome “Home Style” corn tortillas at the grocery store. They remind me of homemade tortillas I use to get at one of my favorite taco places back in Georgia. I don’t remember the brand, though.

Now that you know what you’re making for dinner tomorrow, I’m going to say goodbye. I have a bunch of work to do today, and I need to work a my post for Monday. Coffee Stout Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting… I can physically feel my pants getting smaller with each one I have, but I can’t stop myself!

Can’t find Blue Bridge Coffee Stout, try one of these dry coffee stouts:

Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 4 hours
Total time 4 hours, 10 minutes
Coffee Stout and Sriracha Roast Beef Tacos cooked in the slow cooker. Served with Corn Tortillas, Cabbage, Carrots, Cilantro, and Sriracha Sauce. Great meal for feeding a large group of people.

Ingredients

  • 3-4lb Beef Roast (Excess fat removed)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (Smashed)
  • 1/2 cup Coffee Stout
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 cup Beef Stock (Low Sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions

Place Beef in a large bowl or large Ziploc bag. In a separate bowl, mix together Beer, Sriracha, Beef Stock, Garlic, Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper. Add mixture to Beef and marinate overnight.
Add Beef and Marinade to slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Once meat is cooked, add the liquid to a small stock pot, and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. {I left the beef in the slow cooker on the warm setting while the sauce was reducing.} Shred the beef and pour 1/4 to 1/2 of the reduced sauce over the meat.
07/29/14

Seared Steak with Pale Ale Butter, Mushrooms, and Onions

Huck’s Famous Spicy Steak with Mushrooms and Onions cooked in a Pale Ale Butter.

Seared Steak with Pale Ale Butter, Mushrooms, and Onions

When I was at the “office job”, I was treated to two overpriced fancy, white table cloth, steakhouse dinners. One for our Christmas party, the other a just because “You’ve never been there??” treat. I greatly appreciate my boss treating us to dinner each time, but both meals were less than stellar. In fact, at the Christmas party, if I was paying for the meal, I would have hand delivered my extremely overcooked, boiled, pieces of unseasoned beef to the kitchen and showed them a thing or two about my good friends Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper.

As you may have gathered from my little rant, I’m not a fan of steakhouses. If I’m throwing down over a $100 for a meal, it’s not going to be something I can make better at home.

Seared Steak with Pale Ale Butter, Mushrooms, and Onions

I like hole-in-the-wall or eclectic restaurants. On a recent trip to Coolinary {My favorite restaurant of all time}, I ordered Barley Risotto with Lamb Meatballs. Not overly crazy. Probably something I could recreate on my own {I’ve made Barley Risotto before}, but I could NEVER get the favor into my dish they did. As soon as the food hit my tongue, I closed my eyes, smiled, and ‘Yummied!’ That is my happy place! Then I had a mini battle with myself, do I tell everyone how great this is and share or keep it all for myself?? Of course I shared!

Today’s lunch was a Yum moment. Huck and I have our steaks down to a science, as long as I’m cooking for just the two of us. I like my steak rare and have no problem eating it blue. As long as the outside has a nice sear, we’re good. I honestly don’t know how to cook a steak any other way. We’ll have friends over and they’ll request their steak medium. I start stressing about over or undercooking their piece.

Seared Steak with Pale Ale Butter, Mushrooms, and Onions

Steak is expensive after all. Steak is something we’ll have once or twice a month. We usually buy one Porter House and Huck takes the New York strip side, and I get the filet. Aren’t we just prefect for each other??

So back to lunch, I seared our steaks in an extremely hot pan. I usually smoke up the whole house while doing so. It’s so worth it, though! We marinated the steak yesterday with Huck’s spicy rub we put on everything, literally! {It’s a mix of a bunch of ground pepper powders, garlic, onion, salt and pepper}. Once the steaks were finished, I added about two tablespoons of my Pale Ale Butter to the pan with mushrooms and onions and cooked until the veggies were soft. The slight bitterness from the Pale Ale worked great with the spice from the marinade.

I actually overcooked my piece a little while setting up for pictures. Go figure. Luckily, the center was cooked perfectly.

Seared Steak with Pale Ale Butter, Mushrooms, and Onions

Looking at these pictures makes me want another pieces. Instead I’m making cupcakes. Peanut Butter Frosting for Chocolate Stout Cupcakes to be exact. My goal is to only eat one… Maybe two! I’ll let you know how it goes!

I also announced the winner of the t-shirt from Kona Brewing Company. Head over to see if you were the lucky winner!

{Blog maintenance question before I leave: if anyone knows how delete the boarders around my pictures, I’d really like to know! My Windows Live Writer isn’t working, I’ve watched countless YouTube videos, and read a bunch of WordPress forums and still can’t figure it out:( I don’t like it!!}

Pale Ale Butter

Flavored butters are super easy and added extra flavor to normal dishes. Add additional seasonings or substitute for some of your favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter (Room Temp)
  • 2 tablespoons Pale Ale
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • PinchSmoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper Powder (Optional)

Directions

Combined all ingredients together until fully combined. Place butter on plastic wrap and roll into log form. Place in the refrigerator to chili until ready to use.
07/23/14

Kona Brewing Co. Castaway IPA Plus Giveaway

Want to know one of the best advantages to being a beer/food blogger? People send you beer samples in the mail!

Kona Brewing Co Castaway IPA

Kona Brewing Co Castaway IPA

Receiving beer samples at work makes everything better!

I was contacted by a representative from Kona Brewing Company weeks ago about trying out their new IPA! As you all know, I have a slight obsession with IPAs. For me, the day I had an IPA and said, “Wow! I really like this!” was the day I knew I’d become a craft beer fan for life. Trust me, that didn’t happen overnight. It took a couple of years experimenting with beers to finally, truly, enjoy an IPA. Now, it’s what I order 8 out of 10 times.

Now, back to the beer. To give you a little history about Kona. They started in 1995 in Hawaii. They’re Pacific Golden Ale and Fire Rock Pale Ale were their first two beers. Now, they’re the top selling craft beer in Hawaii. They also distribute to 36 states and 9 countries.  Their new Castaway India Pale Ale made its debut in the Mainland in 2014. For us South Florida peeps, it will be making its way down here this summer. We’re the last to get everything! ;)

Kona Brewing Company Castaway IPA- Life Food and Beer

The Castaway had a nice hop balance, but wasn’t super bitter like some IPA. I would compare it to a session IPA, maybe? I never claimed to be a BJCP judge after all. There is a hint of citrus flavor that I love in an IPA. Here is the description from Kona’s website.

Take a sip of this copper-colored India Pale Ale and you’ll taste bold, citrusy hops with a touch of tropical mango and passion fruit, balanced by the rich caramel malts. Castaway IPA has a clean, crisp finish that’s as refreshing as the wind in your face when you set sale for adventure.

It’s brewed with Galaxy, Citra, Simcoe, and Milenium hops.

My husband buys Citra by the pound! He’s also known as the Citra king.

The bitterness is moderate in this beer with only 50 IBU {International Bitterness Units}. To compare, Lite Lagers are around 10 IBU. The alcohol by volume is 6.0%.

We actually did a tasting with Karl and Holly, and we all agreed, it was a nice tasting summer IPA. Good for a hot summer day.

Kona Brewing Company Castaway IPA- Life Food and Beer

Isn’t the packaging awesome? So creative shipping the beers in a Wilson volleyball, like from the movie Cast Away.

Now the best part, Kona is offering one of you guys a prize. Unfortantly, it’s not beer! Sorry, I tried! But they are providing a t-shirt for one LF&B reader. I don’t know about you, but I love beer shirts. Now, that I work from home, it’s all I wear.

All you have to do is leave a comment below telling us what’s your favorite Kona beer or what’s your favorite line from the movie Cast Away. When the Kona rep asked me that question, I could only come up with one. I’ll be interested to see if anyone comes up with something different.

You can enter for more chances to win below. Winner will be announced July 30th. Please us the Rafflecopter box below to leave a comment. It will select the winner randomly.

{Winner will be able to select T-Shirt size}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Kona Brewing Company provided me with two bottles of their Castaway IPA and a t-shirt for one reader in exchange for the post. As always, the opinions are all my own.  

07/21/14

MIA

Hello! Its been a while! Just when I had motivation to blog regularly again, life happened! I’m not complaining, though.

A blog that I like to read does this thing every couple weeks called High Low High. She shares the high points and low points from the week. I though I would be fun to share some of the things going in our lives with my own High Low High, so here we go.

HIGH- I got a new job.

My office job was supposed to be a temporary job until I could find another property adjuster job. I really like property insurance. Yeah it’s lots of paperwork. Yea, climbing on roofs isn’t my favorite. Yea, most of our claims are in the worst parts of Hialeah. But I love working for myself. I love the freedom that comes with it. And I actually like the job! I’m not made for 9-5 Monday-Friday. I’ve either worked for myself, 12 hour shifts, or enjoyed the semi-retired life for a long time. Some days, I felt like a bird in a cage. Having to ask off to do simple stuff like go to the doctor, drove me INSANE! Sitting at a desk for 8.5 hours was even worse. It’s crazy because I can work on claims for 16 hours a day {I did it 3 days this week}, and it doesn’t feel the same. I have no idea why. I also got to the point where all I wanted to do was stay home. I felt like I was gone all the time, and when I was off work, I just wanted to hang out here. I’ve NEVER been like that before.

So, I spent the last year searching for the right job. Our trip to NOLA a few months ago, was actually to meet with a company for both of us. Not just Huck {I lied! Sorry!}. After talking back and forth for a few weeks, June 30th I received my first claim. It was a happy day! Followed by an Oh Shit! I don’t know what I’m doing day. Luckily, I have Huck and some really great support helping me learn the ropes. It adds a lot more pressure, though. Huck’s like a rock star claims adjuster, and I’ve wanted this job so badly. I’m really scared I’m going to screw it up, and I’ve been stressing myself out thinking I should know EVERYTHING already and feel like a failure when I mess something up. Honestly, I don’t think I’m doing terrible. Just learning! But I’m still stressing.

Life Food and Beer

{Our office!!}

Low- I was let go from my old job.

I’m really thankful for the office job. Yea, I hated it, but it keep me employed and provided a steady paycheck for 10 months. I was miserable before I found that job. I had nothing to do all day. I also wasn’t contributing to our household. I didn’t want to do anything or buy anything because it was Huck’s money. Not mine. So, the office job made me feel better. It gave me something to do, and there was a time when I actually thought I could see myself growing with the company.

I was hired as an assistant claims manager for a bus company and to help with office work for a workers comp agency. I’ve worked in workers comp before but this stuff was over my head, and for a while I really wanted to learn. I was constantly asking for more things to do and more responsibilities. I can’t tell you how many time I said “I’m a fairly smart, educated woman, that doesn’t like to be bored. Give me something challenging to do!” A few months ago, I was told, basically, I was good at answering phones and that’s what they wanted me to focus on. WTF!!

I think that was the last day I asked to help anyone or for more “responsibilities”.  I checked out! It didn’t help we were traveling and had visitors so much in May and June, either. I wanted my freedom back more than ever. I hadn’t worked a full week since May. I fell bad because that’s not the kind of employee I am! Again, I’m very thankful for the job, but it wasn’t a job for me! I actually had my whole “I quit, here’s my notice” speech all planned out.

They beat me to it, though. I arrived to work a couple weeks ago, and was told they were letting my go. My response “You couldn’t have told me over the phone and saved me the time driving here.” Because it’s so far. Then I was furious because I wanted to quit. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I came here to break up with you, damn it! They didn’t give me the exact reason they let me go. Apparently in the state of Florida, you don’t have to give a reason… cop out!

Honestly, it worked out better. If I put in my notice, I’d still be there until next week. I’ve been so busy this week {remember the 16 hour work days?}, there’s no way I’d be able to handle both. I still feel bad for being a shitty employee, but I was only there to answer the phones after all.

High- One Year Cancer Free

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the scariest week of my life. It’s when we found out Huck had a cancerous growth in his colon. Luckily, it was caught before it could spread and no other treatment was required. He had his 6 month check up in January and follows up regularly with his doctor.

Life Food and Beer

Low- We had a water leak

The property adjusters had to file a water claim… how ironic. At least we knew what to do. Now, our house is currently a mess! We’re missing half the flooring in our bedroom and closet. We had fans and dehumidifiers in the house for 2 days last week. Dog hair was blowing everywhere.

Life Food and Beer

Luckily, it wasn’t that bad. We have the air mattress in our office. It’s not bad as long as no one has to get up.

The house just feels so dirty right now!! I’m ready for everything to be back in it’s spot so I can start scrubbing!

We picked up the flooring today, so hopefully we can finish our bedroom tonight. Fingers crossed.

High- People actually use my recipes!

One of my old coworkers posted this picture on my Facebook page, and said she tried my Blueberry Pound Cake and really liked it.

Blueberry Pound Cake

My sister also tried the Buttermilk Fried Chicken a couple weeks ago.

Buttermilk Beer Fried Chicken

It make me so happy to know people are actually trying my recipes!!

I’m hoping to start sharing more with you guys in the coming weeks. The weathers been pretty crazy lately. Like it rains ALL THE TIME, but that’s life in South Florida. I’m hoping I can start cooking and photographing at lunch like I did before I started the office job. It’s typically not raining then. I have so many great ideas I want to share.

Check back in on Wednesday for a change to win a t-shirt from Kona Brewing Company.

07/11/14

Grilled Peach and Porter Ice Cream

Grilled Peach and Porter Ice Cream. plus a giveaway sponsored by Joy Cones and The Kitchen Prep.

Grilled Peaches and Porter Ice Cream

I love Porters and Stouts, but when it’s a million degrees outside, like it is right now, I usually skip them and go with an IPA or Pale Ale. I couldn’t get enough Stouts while on our trip to Minnesota last year. To me, cold weather and stouts/porters just go together. Now, this doesn’t mean I avoid them all together, I just usually sip some of Huck’s.

Grilled Peaches and Porter Ice Cream 1

When Dianna from The Kitchen Prep asked me to be apart of her Ice Cream Social, I instantly started brainstorming ideas.

IceCreamSocialLogo

I knew I wanted to use a beer from TBC, and after our trip to Fort Peirce, I knew I wanted a use Grilled Peaches. I asked the brewers at TBC if they had anything fruity I could use for my dessert, and the answer was no. But, they did recommend their Baltic Porter. At first I wasn’t sure about using a Porter with Grilled Peaches?

Grilled Peaches and Porter Ice Cream 6

I started off using the Porter in a basic ice cream recipe. After consuming about half the batch, I deciding to try adding the Grilled Peaches. I almost keep the recipe as is! It was that good, but I had my heart set on Grilled Peach Ice Cream.

Grilled Peach and Porter Ice Cream

I experimented with the recipe a few time {AKA we have a TON of ice cream in our freezer, currently!!} The final batch was a complete success. The grill helped caramelize the sugars in the peaches and give them a roasted, charred flavor. That paired great with the sweet beer, cream and sugar.

I’ve now found the perfect way to enjoy a stout or porter on those hot South Florida days.

Grilled Peaches and Porter Ice Cream 5

Don’t forget to head over to Dianna’s blog and enter for a chance to win the Ice Cream Social Prize Pack, and check out some of the mouthwatering recipes she’s posted this week.

Ice Cream Social Post:

They all sound amazing, but the Nutella-Swirled Ice Cream is pour genius, and you don’t need an ice cream maker!!

Grilled Peach and Porter Ice Cream

Serves 6-8
Prep time 1 hour
Website Bless This Mess- Fresh Peach Ice Cream
{Reminder: since the beer isn’t cooked, there is alcohol in this recipe. Great for the adults; not so great for children}

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Medium Peaches (Pitted and cut into thick slices)
  • Cooking Spray (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup 2% Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Sweet Porter or Stout
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt

Directions

Preheat the grill or grill pan over medium heat. Lightly spray the grill or peaches with cooking spray
to prevent from sticking, if desired.

Place peaches flesh side down and cooking until peaches start
to brown. Flip.

Once peaches have nice grill marks on both sides, place half of the peaches in a food processer and blend until smooth. You can add some of the milk to help thin out the mixture if needed.

Dice the additional peaches into small pieces. Place in a bowl, in the refrigerator to cool.

Add the blended peaches to the refrigerator and cool for 30 minutes.

While the peaches are cooking, whisk together the Milk, Heavy Cream, Beer, Vanilla, Sugar, and Salt.

Once the sugar is dissolved, place in the refrigerator until the peach mixture is ready.

Combine the Beer mixture with the pureed Peaches and add to an ice cream maker. (For the ice
cream maker I was using, it took about 20 minutes for the mixture to be a soft serve consistency.)

Add the diced up peaches half way through the process.

Enjoy right away or freeze to enjoy later.
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