Pumpkin Beer Bread

We’re well into the holiday season, but I don’t think it’s too late for my good friend Mr. Pumpkin quite yet.  I’m still not over it.

I absolutely love making quick breads, especially when they are involving beer.  My favorite part is adding the beer and watch it foam up as it mixes with the other ingredients.  And seriously though, who doesn’t just want to add beer to everything they cook?   Continue reading

White Cheddar Beer Bread

When I originally tagged this recipe and saved it to make, I read the original blog post from my absolute favorite blogger (Jessica @ How Sweet It Is ).  The recipe comes with a warning, to sum it up:  If you’re going to make this bread, just know you’re also going to eat the entire crunchy topping yourself.  It’s impossible to share.  It’s just so crunchy and  buttery and delicious!

I decided to give it a whirl and planned to serve the bread along with a batch of chili for the week.  I could just set myself up and cut the bread ahead of time so I would split it between Dave and I, each of us having enough for the week.

But then something happened-  the bread came out of the oven and as it was cooling, I couldn’t help but to try a little snitch off the corner.  That would be all I’d taste.  Until I tasted it.  Holy moly, is this stuff good!  Jessica was not lying.  This was the start to the end of me.

I was sneaky enough to thinly slice off the crusty end of one side of the loaf so Dave wouldn’t notice, and devoured every last crumb while cooking the chili.  So. Freakin’. Good.

Crunchy crusty delicious bread

Crunchy crusty delicious bread

Now, I’m sharing with you, because I mean, who doesn’t want to eat an entire loaf of cheesy beer bread?  I know I did!  I also have to mention that this recipe only takes SIX basic ingredients.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.

The bread was perfect for a bowl of chili, or if you check out Jess’s post, she makes a homemade apple compound butter to slather ontop that looks divine.  And, as I mentioned earlier, you could totally just gobble it up warm out of the oven… ENJOY!

White Cheddar Beer Bread
Recipe slightly adapted from:  How Good It Is Blog

Ingredients:
3 cups All Purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
6oz White Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated
12oz Beer, any beer! (the more flavor the better!)
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir.  Mix in the grated cheddar and pour the beer in until a thick batter comes together.  It will be very thick!  Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Pour the melted butter right on top.

3.  Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and set in the middle.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

3.  Bake Over a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Stir in the baking powder and the salt. Stir in the grated white cheddar. Pour in the beer and stir until a batter forms. It will be thick. Spoon the batter in the greased loaf pan. Pour the melted butter over top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and set in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Take a second to check out a few of my other favorite quick breads!

I suppose the melted butter helps :)

I suppose the melted butter helps 🙂

Nommmm

Nommmm

Eat it plain, or even with chili like we did :)

Eat it plain, or even with chili like we did 🙂

The Cambridge, Philadelphia

I think we’ve found our new favorite neighborhood spot.  Okay, so it’s not quite in our ‘hood but it’s close enough and I KNOW we’ll be there all the time.

After a great afternoon workout, Dave and I were not in the mood to go home and cook.  We decided to go out to dinner but were inspired to try something new.  I am even more excited about our discovery of The Cambridge on South Street because Dave picked it out… 🙂

First of all, the atmosphere was great.  Casual but comfortable with dark lighting, wood tables and a long bench going down the side of the restaurant.  There are also a few tables in the window looking out onto the street which are probably a great spot to people watch for brunch.  The service was also wonderful, with our waiter checking on us pretty often and other staff re-filling waters and clearing places when necessary.  HUGE plus.

One of the reasons I absolutely love this restaurant is the draft beer list.  It was so hard to pick with an entire menu page of current drafts on tap… but Dave and I decided to get two pretty interesting choices:  the Tres Blueberry Stout by Dark Horse Brewing Co. & 21st Amendment’s Sneak Attack.  I really enjoyed both!  The beer list also includes what’s coming up next to make you want more… what a smart move!

We ordered the Pierogie of the day which was a potato and caramelized onion base stuffed with Buffalo Chicken.  We obviously had to try it out once we heard about the buff chick.  The Pierogies were perfectly hot and crispy and were resting on a plank topped with hot sauce and blue cheese.  The filling was sooo tasty and it was fun to share and dip into the sauces.  We were left seriously wishing for more, since there were only three!

For our meal, both of us ordered the same thing:  The Porker Burger.  We RARELY ever order the same thing at a restaurant.  I typically convince Dave to do a splitsies with me so I can try more things.  LOL.  Well, once you hear what this burger involves, I think you’ll understand too.

The porker burger was super yummy… it is a 24-Hr Brined Hand Ground Pork burger with roasted Long Hot Peppers, Broccoli Rabe, & melty Sharp Prov.  What an awesome take on a Philly classic, right?  The roll was surprisingly the cherry ontop… covered in poppy seeds and so delicious!  The burger also came with their house cut fries which were on par with everything else… YUM!

I’m already trying to figure out the next time we can stop by for a delicious beer and to try out more food… their brunch menu sounds AMAZING!!  Who’s in?!

Crispy outside & soooo creamy inside!

Crispy outside & soooo creamy inside!

YUM!  Amazing flavor combination going on here... You've got the yummy pork, the spicy peppers, bitter broccoli rabe, and creamy prov.  All in one!

YUM! Amazing flavor combination going on here… You’ve got the yummy pork, the spicy peppers, bitter broccoli rabe, and creamy prov. All in one!

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Have you been to The Cambridge yet?  … or any of these other Philly spots??

Modo Mio , SoWe Restaurant & Bar Devon Seafood Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace Han Dynasty , Radicchio Cafe Amada , Silk City

Don’t forget to FOLLOW me on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, & PINTEREST!

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

So, I have this cooking/blogging/general fear of making my own bread.  I’ve seen it a million times… pretty much every day I read my favorite foodie blogs.  My blogging friends are making their own breads, pizza crusts, pretzels, donuts… and I am so super jealous.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not married yet and don’t have a Kitchen Aid with a handy-dandy dough hook… or maybe just the thought of having to let something rest and wait around for it is just too daunting for me.  I don’t know.  The bottom line is… I haven’t tried it yet.  Key word:  YET.  I’ll get there someday.

I was recently inspired by my dear friend Melanie when I went to visit her, her husband, and their pup Mona in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We had the best time… ever.  The first night I was there, Melanie cooked up a delicious dinner including Beer Bread.  I was amazed.  Melanie- who when she moved claimed to not know how to “boil water” baked bread!  Go Mel!

It all made more sense when Mel showed me the empty box of Beer Bread.  Regardless, the bread rocked and totally inspired me to do the same… you know since I won’t make my own.  This week, I searched TWO grocery stores and COULD. NOT. FIND. ANY!!!  Boo!  I decided to hit the internet and see what I could find.

I ended up with a winner.

It is SO good.  OMG.

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light 

Makes:  12 Slices (175 Calories Each)

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

1 Jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds if you don’t want it too hot)

Black Pepper, Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

13.5 oz AP Flour (3 cups)

3 Tablespoons Sugar

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Salt

1 Cup (ish) Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1 (12oz) can Beer (I used Coors Light)

2 Tablespoons Butter, divided, melted

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare a loaf pan or a square cake pan with cooking spray.

2.  Heat a little bit of Olive Oil (tablespoon, at most) in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped Jalapeno and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in garlic and pepper, cook for one last minute before setting aside.

3.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Stir with a whisk.  Now, make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.  Add Jalapeno mixture, cheese, and beer into the well.  Stir with a spoon until the batter is just coming together and moist.  (this will happen easier and sooner than you think!)

4.  Dump the batter into the prepared pan of choice.  Drizzle one tablespoon of melted butter over the top.  Bake at 375:  Loaf Pan (35 min) or 9×9 Cake Pan (15-20 minutes).  Drizzle the other tablespoon of melted butter over the top and put back in the oven for an additional:  (Loaf Pan- 25 minutes, Cake Pan: 15-20 minutes).  The bread will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack or on the stove.  Flip and remove from pan to completely cool.  

It did feel a little weird just dumping a can of beer into this...

It did feel a little weird just dumping a can of beer into this…

 

what a nice golden-brown crust

what a nice golden-brown crust

 

Dave got really excited when he saw the specks of Jalapeno in here!  We love our spicy!

Dave got really excited when he saw the specks of Jalapeno in here! We love our spicy!

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Dave and I split a piece before it was completely cooled... topped it off with a dab of light butter and mmmm!

Dave and I split a piece before it was completely cooled… topped it off with a dab of light butter and mmmm!

 

I’m telling you… coming from a person who won’t even try to make their own yeast bread… this Beer Bread is SO easy.  It was so easy, that I’m determined to convince Melanie to try.  This may have been the test I needed to see if I am up for the challenge of making “real” bread.  Just maybe.

The original recipe called for a loaf pan, which I just don’t have… the cake pan worked perfectly though, but I did have to watch my cook times.  I tried to include them in here for you but definitely keep an eye on it and always stick with the toothpick rule.

You should also check out these other BREAD-tastic Recipes from IGTBTC!

Bread Pudding w/ Salted Caramel Sauce

Bread Pudding w/ Salted Caramel Sauce

Challah Bread Stuffing

Challah Bread Stuffing

5-Minute Banana Bread

5-Minute Banana Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Hill Brewery in Media, PA

The last time I was at Iron Hill Brewery couldn’t have been for a less fun event:  Jury Duty.  Womp Womp.  Is it me, or does it feel like this past year… everyone has had to actually report to Jury Duty?  This was my first time, and it was on Valentine’s Day.  Like… really?!  Don’t they know I have better, happier things to attend to?  It was the most boring day ever- Drive out to Media, sit in a big sweaty room with a million people, didn’t get called… had to wait longer… didn’t get called… lunch break for AN HOUR AND A HALF?!?!? before letting us all go five minutes after we returned!!  UG!  I walked down to Iron Hill, one of my favorite restaurants in Media for a nice warm soup (decorated with a heart of course) and sandwich.  YUM!

Valentine’s Day Roasted Carrot Soup… adorable!

I want this nowwwwwwww

Anyway, THIS time around… was for a much much more exciting occasion:  GIRLS NIGHT!  Oh, and just a heads up, this is the first of many “Girls Night” posts to come.  I’ve been making my rounds lately, trying to see as many friends as possible… it’s been really fun catching up and trying new places!

The special occasion for this Girls Night was our friend Cynthia coming in to visit from Virginia.  Cynthia is one of my closest friends from Penn State and over the past 4 post-college years, I’ve gotten to know her other friends well enough to call them my own!  We have so much fun when we all get together which is rare since Cyn now lives in VA with her husband.

On this particular night, I met up with Cyn, Susan, Melissa, and Amanda at Iron Hill.  I was super psyched to see them, but probably even more excited to find and nail a parallel parking spot RIGHT in front.  Yesssssssss.  It’s the little things in life, really.

Iron Hill’s own brewed beer is delish.  We each started off with a different type but I had to get my very favorite, their Raspberry Wheat.  MMM.

Us hungry girls started the night off with Iron Hill’s delicious Hand-Cut Sweet Potato Fries.  The fries were more like wedges… they were huge and so yummy, but the best part about them were the trio of dipping sauces.  YUM!

Here they are! Bourbon-Vanilla Cream (sweet) , Smoked Paprika Aioli (savory), and Habanero-Lime (spicy!) Dipping Sauces…

For my meal, our quirky server suggested I try the special Butternut Squash soup of the day.  He even said the soup “blossoms” as it cools… whatever that means, lol.    So I ordered the Soup and their Red Quinoa starter salad.  The soup was just fair (it certainly didn’t blossom… that’s for sure!) but the salad was awesome.  It was like nothing I’ve ever had before and I was so surprised to be soooo full afterwards!  The Quinoa salad consisted of Spiced Pecans, Mandarin Oranges, Dried Cranberries, Granny Smiths, and Green Onion over a bed of Red Quinoa, topped with an Orange-Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette and Apple-Ginger Puree.  Whoa.  It was sweet and crunchy and very filling.

Not as pretty as the V-Day soup!

Iron Hill was the perfect spot for our girls night!  I can’t wait to see them again soon 🙂

You know what else I love?  Iron Hill’s current homepage to their website has the very quote my blog name is based off of!  How perfect 🙂  Check it out along with their menu… I love it there!

Celebrating what was the first night of Boots Season!!!! (minus one wedge hehe)