Dark Ale Chocolate Cake with Dark Ale Ganache

Deep rich chocolate cake with the subtle bitterness of a dark beer, hints of coffee and caramel, and covered in a thick dark ale ganache.

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I am in awe of – and look for – anyone who can take a dream, combine it with hard work, a lot of sweat and tears (hoping no blood) and turn it into a thriving business.  This is how we found New District Brewing.  It’s within walking (a stretch) and biking distance of our house.  It was born of a home-brewing business (I have a soft spot given BD’s foray into esophogeal-charring jalapeno beer which turned into our Christmas Eve traditional beer cheddar soup) and is now a brick-and-mortar business putting out some fine beers.  We’ve been going there since they opened in 2017 and are thoroughly enjoying the evolution of their beers. Altruistically, we support local.  Selfishly, we like good beers! Read More


Grilled Korean Chicken

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Grilled chicken thighs or any parts really – and a medley of vegetables – marinated in this lime, fish sauce, and black pepper-centric marinade made for a grilling treat outside the normal barbecue box.

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It’s that time of year again when any meal sounds so much more appealing coming off of the grill.  Mingling with the scent of a fresh-mown lawn and newly turned mulch, nothing goes better with a post-yard work beer than something off the grill.  I say this almost selfishly gleefully since I am generally not she who mans the grill.   That being said, I do sometimes like to play with fire – a family trait so I hear – and this chicken recipe is my go-to favorite.

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Bacon Caramel Popcorn

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I love popcorn.  I eat it almost every day for my afternoon snack; some days it’s lunch. Drizzled with unsalted butter and Old Bay is best ….  I know, I know; living on the edge.  And I live in a house where there is always a hunk of BD’s home-smoked bacon in the freezer.  It was kizmet; eventually I was going to find a way to get those two crazy kids together.

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Reuben Bread

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Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Al Gore hadn’t quite perfected his internet invention, a person needed cookbooks if she wanted to whip up a nice little something to eat.  If a person also happened to be of a frugal mind, she might have joined one of those ten-books-for-a-penny deals which hooked her in for a year’s worth of headaches and monthly book shipments of unwanted reading materials (aka wow, they really will publish anything) which took many phone calls and returned shipments to finally end… You know that old adage “if if seems too good to be true, it probably is”? It is correct.   That little gray cloud of an experiment had a silver lining though:  Ten cookbooks to get my food fix a’going.  Among my bargain bonanza was The Bread Book by Betsy Oppenneer (Harper Collins 1994).

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New Year’s Eve in Spain with Harry Potter

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It’s been 148 years since I’ve had any desire to go out on the eve of the new year.  The combination of amateur hour, price-gouging, over-crowded rooms and bad food, not to mention the elusive NYE babysitter, have made staying in not only the better option but something I look forward to.  We get to visit another country (and this year have the added bonus of visiting an alternate world of witches and wizards) without leaving the house.  The end of 2013 saw BD, the fellas and I visiting Spain in the company of Harry Potter and gang.

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Potato Soup and … the Cheese Ball

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Growing up, Christmas Eve was a crazy day.  Much like a regiment on the move, we were put through the paces:  Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning… followed by more cleaning!  Then just when you were convinced all the work had surely squared things with Santa, it would all just stop.  Magic! The late afternoon saw showers for all, a single gift opened which was generally a new outfit for church, the now infamous potato soup dinner, and then off to Christmas Mass.  Returning home, we’d get in our pajamas, hang our stockings and be sent looking for sugarplums for the night.

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