Hopp Diva's Blog

HOPS IT'S NOT JUST FOR DRINKING. RECIPES FOR COOKING WITH HOME BREW, MICRO BREW AND CRAFT BEERS

Lots of Good Tastes on Sunday Funday! September 16, 2019

Filed under: Brewery To Try,Diva's Brew-ha,Hopp Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 9:44 pm

My wedding anniversary was on September 10 and because it was during the week Forrest had no intention of going out to dinner.  I mean who goes out on a “school night”, right?  I know he is a funny guy!  Well, I decided that if I had to wait we would not be going to anyplace we had been before and besides he promised me more adventures this year.

I did some google stalking about a town I had heard a great deal about but had not really ever stopped in.  The town was  South Haven.  Although it was past Labor Day there was still quite a bit of activity.  I made a list of Vineyards I wanted to try out, a few places to eat and of course some breweries.

Our first stop was at a really nice vineyard with a beautiful tasting room.  The Vineyard was called Cogdal, .  The woman who help us was great!  Very knowledgeable as well as very customer service oriented.  She was no pushy and listened to what I enjoyed in a wine and it’s hard to find a good dry red wine in Michigan.

Our next stop that we enjoyed was right in the heart of South Haven called Warner Vineyard Tasting Room, .  Here the tasting was a bit different because Forrest and I were given the choice to get the flight of wine and go outside to sit and enjoy.  I really liked that unique part of the tasting.

Of course we can’t just try wines because Forrest is more of a beer guy and I knew his fun meter was about done for.  We found a place to have a bite to eat that was on a boat and decided where we would go next.  There was a brewery right down from the Warner tasting room but we were far from impressed.  We had to ask if they had their own brewed beer!  Seriously????  They didn’t encourage their beers or try to sell them at all.  Forrest did try a couple but they were lacking.  However we did find another brewery that has only been around for a few months and it was FABULOUS!!  The guys working were not only knowledgeable but interesting to talk to about their beers.  The brewery is called Harbor Light, They have a huge beer list, some light snacks and they make their own orange soda!

This brewery was a great find for us and we highly recommend you visiting it when you get the chance.  I found at least 6 beers that I sooooo want to make some donuts and beer marshmallows out of.

So all in all our Sunday Funday adventures were pretty solid.  So until next time……

Stays connected.

Hopp Diva

 

White Flame Does Not Flame Out September 8, 2019

Filed under: Brewery To Try,Diva's Brew-ha,Hopp Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 10:16 pm
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This past weekend was one filled with soccer games (4 in all) and trying out a new brewery.  We were in Hudsonville Michigan. Our last game on Saturday was at 8:00pm and much to my husbands surprise there was a brewery just across the street.

We had not heard of White Flame Brewery ( 5234 36th Ave, Hudsonville, MI)  and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the beer.  I called ahead to the brewery before the game was finished and told them the time we would arrive and ordered two different sandwiches, The Guido and The Billy Club.  We arrived in time for my husband to order his flight just before our sandwiches were delivered.

Forrest tried a flight of 5 different beers.  As usual I am not going to tell you all the flavors he tried because as you know with breweries they don’t always have the same thing on tap when we were there versus when you can make it.  The flavors had some very unique names such as “Kentucky Kiss”.  Just hearing the name would not suggest the beer was a Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.  This is normally not a beer Forrest would try because we have a guy in our brew group who continues to try and replicate this and well let’s just say it’s not too tasty.   Forrest  turn to me and said after he took his first sip “this is what a Scotch Ale should taste like”.  Needless to say I was not a fan which is probably not a big surprise but hey, he was happy.  He felt the beers had good mouth feel and the flavor profile was spot on.

How was the food you might be wondering????  My sandwich was pretty good (Billy Club) and I liked the pretzel bun it was served on.  I think my only issue was the Ranch Dressing that was on the sandwich.  I know I am probably the only person on the planet that is not a fan of Ranch.  Forrest commented that his Guido was sufficiently spicy although there was a bit too much Italian Dressing for his taste.  He loved the potato chips that came with our sandwiches.  The homemade chips were seasoned with rosemary and garlic.  You also get a choice between a regular dill pickle and a spicy dill pickle.

If you are in the Hudsonville Michigan area, be sure to look up White Flame Brewery.

Stay Connected

Hopp Diva

 

Taste Testers September 3, 2019

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 8:27 pm

Taste Testers, the meaning should be in the words – right?  Welllll………….maybe not.

Some of the women in the picture on my front page volunteered for the job but I am not sure we had the same idea of what that meant.  Lately I have been working on a lot of different Beer Jam recipes and have needed help with the tasting. I need to know if the flavors work well together (Blueberry Pepper IPA, Spicy Plum Stout), is there enough heat, can you taste the fruit?   I wanted them to tell me different ways they have been using the jam, recipes they might be using – not just eating it out of the jar! Seems like it is a pretty easy task but they have been slacking, I mean they are not even returning my jars 🙂

No, seriously they are great women and they do help with some stuff.  One of the jams I made, a  jalapeno IPA,  has gone over well with not only them but everyone who has tried it. I have used the jams on Charcuterie boards with homemade salami, goat cheese along with baguettes.

Unfortunately where I live makes it difficult to get my product out in the public.  The Farmers Markets are pretty small and the people are not exactly opened minded around here.  When I offer samples of the jam or the beer marshmallows I make, the comments are “no I can’t sample because I am driving”. So, I know have to find a different outlet if I want to continue creating my recipes.  I have looked into selling online but the costs are pretty high and I don’t want the product to be so high people are not able to try it but I will keep you informed if things change.

I promised a guy from our brew group I would try and make a Hop Jam. He wants no beer flavor just hops so I am working on that recipe now.  Let’s just say a person will really have to like the flavor of hops to enjoy this jam 🙂  The tough part will be to make sure the flavor is not too bitter and the jam will have a great flavor.

Have a great one and stay tuned for more great hop adventures!

 

Beer Marshmallows Meet A Fishing Guide April 5, 2019

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 12:04 pm

Oh to be a fly on the wall as you all read that title and give the “say what” look on your face.  Yes, you read the title for today’s blog correctly.  Here is a little in site to the title.  A couple of years ago I met an awesome woman named Heather.  Heather is this mom/entrepreneur/wife who always seems like she had it all together.  I immediately liked Heather and although our paths didn’t cross a great deal, when we did see each other it was just like we had met for coffee last week.  On one of our occasional meets I met Heather’s husband Jay who is a fishing guide and travels all over for his job.  Although Heather and her children had tried my  beer marshmallows before Jay had not but had heard about them.  So one day I dropped off a bag  to Heather so he could try them.  The next day  I received such a wonderful thank you from them and praises about my beer marshmallows.

The day I dropped off the beer marshmallows I also had a plate of some other things for Jay and Heather to try.  I included my beer bundt cakes and some fresh beer doughnuts!  The family literally had a feast with their coffee that day.

The next time I saw Heather I mentioned what a great parting gift a couple of beer marshmallows would be for Jay’s customers!  I saw the light come on in her eyes as she smiled and told me she would definitely talk to Jay about this idea!  I can tell you I am pretty excited!!!!

Now if you are in the area and want a great fishing guide or you want to find out all the places Jay travels to, check out his face book page Jay Allen’s Guided Fly Fishing    https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Local-Business/Jay-Allens-Guided-Fly-Fishing-162669950439604/

 

Chat with you all later!

Hopp Diva

 

Baked Beer Donuts! March 22, 2019

Filed under: Bread & Muffins,Desserts — Hopp Diva @ 5:15 pm
Tags: ,

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp;. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon (optional to what beer you use)

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

3/4 to 1 cup beer

2 Tablespoons of oil ( or you can use melted butter)

Combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk them.  Mix the oil/butter, egg and beer in a bowl and whisk them together

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry with a fork or spoon just so you are carefully to not over mix.  This will make a very tough donut.

Heat oven to 350 or 325 with a dark donut pan.  Even though my pan is coated I still put a bit of spray in my pan to make sure the donuts come out easily.

Fill the donut pan until almost full (just a little below the top of each donut  Gently tap to remove any bubbles.

Bake for 8/10 minutes depending on your oven.  I would check around 8 minutes.

I have no pics to show you right now because every time I make these by the time I remember to take a pic they are gone!

Let me know how yours turn out.

Hopp Diva

 

 

A Must Have

Some of you know that I have had to do some extreme downsizing in the past year and I have had to get rid of lots of “stuff”.  This includes lots of kitchen items that I love and use occasionally but because of space restrictions I had to let go of a few things (ok, a lot of things).  One item that I kept was my baked donut pan.  I had about 3 but decided to keep just the one pan.  I use this pan a great deal especially when my Littles are staying with me.  The youngest Little is dairy intolerant so getting donuts at the store is not usually an option.  So by using my baked donut pan the Littles as well as the adults can enjoy fresh donuts!

My first suggestion to you is to not purchase the baked donut mixes.  They are quite costly and most of the ingredients in my recipe you will have in your pantry/cupboard.  The fun part about using my recipe is that you can use what ever flavor of beer  you have on hand and not just restricted to a banana beer which some recipes call for.  I have also made gluten-free donuts using my recipe by substituting gluten-free flour for the all-purpose and using gluten-free beer.  The spices you had can change the flavor how you want it to be.  You can even make chocolate donuts by using cocoa powder in place of some of your flour.  The creations are endless!

There are lots of donut pans out there but I like the one in the picture the best because it’s deep.

Enjoy!!!! And drop me a line to let me know what types of donuts you have created.

Hopp Diva

Recipe for donuts can be found on the website under breakfast as well as desserts.

 

New Brewery Find March 18, 2019

I can’t believe that we are already into the middle of March.  Again I ask, where does the time go?  For me this month has been  all-consuming about rice crispy treats.   I have been trying  to develop a recipe for beer marshmallow rice crispy treats and for the most part it has been an epic fail!  So when Forrest asked if I wanted to go with him to return some equipment I jumped on the invitation.   I figured I had two choices if I said no, one was to continue to bail water from our flooding issues or go back to the store yet again to purchase more crispy cereal and the ladies at the check out are starting to take notice.

We had to go into GR and didn’t get a very early start so while I waited in the truck for the returns to be handled I checked for breweries in the area.  I found one that just sounded unique and clever, it is called Kitzingen Brewery, http://www.kitzingen-brewery.com/.  The description stated the brewery featured German style beer and food.  Since we had taken a trip and had walked on the edge of Germany I thought this might be a good pick for us.  Forrest was able to try some German beer but most of it was Kolsh  so I thought this might give him an opportunity to try some different styles ( we did learn on the trip that different areas of Germany produced their own style of beer and it there was a distinctive difference).

Kitzingen Brewery is located in a small strip mall.  The moment we walked in we were at first thinking we walked into the wrong place.  It didn’t have the “brewery” feel.  It was more like a local pub where there were lots of regulars who had stopped in for a pint.  Our server was new but  quite helpful with the beer selections.  As you can see in the picture the flight came in little mason jars with handles – a first for us.  The story behind the brewery is a good read so check out the web site that I gave you a link to.  A veteran who had been in Germany is who started the brewery.

When it came to ordering food our server again was quite knowledgeable and gave us a good recommendation.  I am not a big fan of sauerkraut so I had my German brat without and Forrest had his with the sauerkraut .  The homemade brats were fantastic and our server told us they were made locally.  The beer was pretty good overall.  Forrest didn’t have a real favorite but he did try a triple IPA and thought it was pretty solid.

Kitinzen Brewery was a place I would go back to  and try some of their bigger/bolder beers.  Plus they were so nice I wanted to bring them some marshmallows!

Enjoy

Ramona

 

                                      

 

 
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