Merry Merry Meringue

Love new twists on holiday traditions – like the circa 2010 cookie swap dreamed up by the lovely Leigh Ann & Julie – A Cookie Swap Beer Tasting featuring sweets from our crew and yummy brews from Brewforia.


Miss Julie pulled out her awesomely retro Betty Crocker Cooky Book to whip up her treats – including chocolate bon bons.
A quick look at the full spread – my favs included Lemon Ricotta cookies and Miss Leigh Ann’s Rosemary Butter Cookies from Martha
I went for a booze & caffeine theme of course – thanks to trusty Sunset Mag recipes – and utilized Knob Creek for some Bourbon Snaps and pulled out the instant espresso for these Espresso Meringues.
For my first attempt at a meringue – I was pretty dang pleased with myself. Besides the fact that these aren’t really for instant gratification folks (they require a lot of sitting in a low heat oven, making you drool and stare at them) – they are ridiculously yummy. And as I learned in the process – making meringue is cathartic in a way – you beat the crap out of something nasty looking until it is malleable, soft, light and sweet. 

The Brewforia Dogfish Head Beer Dinner IMG00266.jpg


“When you put as many things in your mouth as I have…”

And so began a great night at Brewforia’s new retail store on Milwaukee. Fab location for men/women who are dragged to mall land by their significant others over the holiday madness. Escape to Brewoforia for a comfy seat and a brew

That oh-so-appropriate quote? Courtesy Chef Ryan Hembrey of Life’s Kitchen – trying to explain why he was able to pair so well/quickly with the beer selection. He and Chef Maggie Kiefer did a great job feeding the 40+ beer lovers.

1st Course
Beer: Festina Peche – a neo-Berliner Weisse fermented w/peach juice Food: Lemongrass infused broth with a shrimp dumpling (yum broth)

2nd Course
Sahti/SahTea – 9th Century Finnish proto-beer. Carmalize beer around rocks and run thru juniper leaves? Heck yes! Then add black chai tea?
Um, that too! A twist on the old recipes – Dogfish allegedly owns the oldest known beer recipe (who knew)
Food: Interesting to pair (Chef’s fav!) Savory pumpkin and habanero curry fritter – served room temp to not overpower the beer. Sauced w/corriander mint chutney yogurt.
This was by far my favorite pairing of the night – and the beer I cage-fought to take home with me!

3rd Course
Beer: Raison D’etre ‘The reason for being’ Belgian style strong ale brewed with beet sugar and green raisin and a sense of purpose (nice label touch!)
Food: Paired w/duck canape w/duck crackling (cracklings – hells yeah!) atop a disc of goat cheese with dried cherries

4th Course
Beer: The Red and White Belgian style witt aged in pinot noir casks
Pinot noir juice concentrate added to it.
Beer + pinot noir? Fantastic!
Food: Black Canyon Elk Farms elk braised in pinot noir and soaked in duck stock and topped w/Blueberry catsup. (I believe I need a bottle of this variety of catsup. Word has it we can find it @ Capitol City Market)

5th Course
Beer: Fort made w/a ton (literally)of fresh raspberries. A dry beer. Actually, it’s a malt liquor not a beer. 18 percent – allegedly best drunk in a hot tub w/Barry White
Food: Chili pepper stuffed w/Raspberry marscopone cream and dipped in dark chocolate

And then – filled with beer and food and hop-filled conversation – a bit of retail therapy

Cheers – Salut – to Brewforia for a great night in their new space!

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