Hopp Diva's Blog


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!






February Beer Finds February 27, 2019

I think the older I get the harder it is for me to wrap my mind around how quickly the months pass!  I try to reflect back to see what I have accomplished in the few weeks the months offer me.  Although February has flown by for me (as has most months) I did discover a few very interesting beers to cook with.

Morning Nightcap by Arcadia Ales, http://arcadiaales.com/, has been a fun beer to not only make marshmallows but also the beer cake that I make so often (you can find the recipe under the dessert tab on my web site ).   The Chocolate Cheesecake Milk Shake Stout by Rochester Mills Brewery, http://www.beercos.com/our-story/production-brewery/, was the beer I used to make part of the Vanilla Porter cupcake with Chocolate Cheesecake Milk Stout filling topped with the salted caramel Vanilla Porter butter cream frosting.  The cupcakes were time consuming but ohhhhhh boy were they delish!!!!  You can find that recipe under the dessert tab also.   A truly unique beer, Milk Shake IPA also from Rochester Mills,  was a big favorite of my husband Forrest.  I used the Milk Shake IPA to make marshmallows and they were a huge hit with everyone who tried them.  The beer offered a wonderful little bite on the back side of the marshmallow taste.  I didn’t have to dry hop the marshmallows very much to achieve the taste I wanted.  Another great beer I found for making cupcakes, marshmallows and even soaking pears in was from Brewery Vivant, https://www.breweryvivant.com/   A Bourbon Barrel Aged Quadruple Ale called Wizard Burial Ground   was so much fun to play with.  I soaked some pears in the beer for a few weeks and then made a delicious almond tart where I topped it with my soaked pears.  Talk about tantalizing your taste buds!!

Forrest and I have been to Brewery Vivant   in Grand Rapids Michigan a few times.  They are known for their sour beers, which Forrest is not a fan of but they do have other beers that are pretty solid.  One of my favorite things to get at Brewery Vivant is their  Duck Confit Nachos.  Holy Batman are they awesome!

I have to say that Forrest didn’t suffer too badly from all of my finds this month.  There are a couple of other beers that were ok for drinking but I didn’t feel they were worthy of creating anything with them.

I will post the Almond Tart Recipe that I made with the soaked pears soon but if you now have a bug you want to make them right after you read the blog post you can find the recipe on this web site    https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/almond-tarts-recipe   

The only things I changed with the recipe is to not put the raspberries on top or the icing.  I felt the pears were a great touch and  I did not want to take away from that flavor combined with almond flavor. Too much sweet from the icing pulls the flavor combination away.

I have high hopes for March.  Lots of recipes as well as beers to sample.

Thanks for reading!




Vanilla Porter Cupcakes with Vanilla Porter Filling Topped with Salted Caramel Porter Buttercream February 16, 2019

This recipe can seem overwhelming because of all the steps but I guarantee it’s so worth it!

1 stick butter softened

4 oz. cream cheese softened

1 14 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 T. canola oil

4 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 12 oz bottle of Vanilla Porter or Vanilla Stout will work too

In a medium sauce pan heat the Vanilla Porter over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is reduced to half.  Set the beer aside to cool

Using an electric mixer cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar and oil until light and fluffy.  This will take at least 4 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time and be sure to mix well after each addition.  Add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and the salt.  Mix until very well combined.

As you measure the butter milk into the 1 cup , leave room for about 2 tablespoons of the reduced Vanilla Porter.

Beginning and ending with flour, add flour alternately with the buttermilk, mixing between each addition.

Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.  Distribute the batter evenly between the muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for 18/20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Times will vary depending on your oven.

Cool completely on a wire rack.  When cool take a 1/4 tsp and carve out a hole in the center of each cupcake. but do not go all the way to the bottom.

While the cupcakes are baking and cooling begin making the filling.

Ingredients for the filling

1/2 cup of reduced vanilla porter

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup heaving cream

Take 1/2 cup of reduced vanilla porter and place in a saucepan.  Add the butter and sugars an warm until all is melted.  Be sure to stir frequently.  It should take on a dark amber appearance.

Gradually add the cream, stirring constantly and cook until the mixture is smooth – about 3 minutes.  Set aside to cool completely  When the mixture is cool and so are the cupcakes take the mixture and put in the tops of the cupcakes you carved out.  Keep a couple of tablespoons of the mixture for the top of cupcakes later.

Vanilla Salted Caramel Buttercream

1/2 cup of butter softened

3 oz cream cheese softened

2 tsp pure vanilla

1 # of powdered sugar

4 T. of reduced Vanilla Porter

15 Kraft caramels

Sea Salt

Using electric mixer beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla unitl light and fluffy ( about 4 minutes) Add 3 T of reduced Vanilla Porter and 1/2 of the powdered sugar.  beating the frosting well.  I don’t like real sweet frosting so I slowly add a bit of flour into the mixture to get the consistency I want.  cover and refrigerate.

In a small sauce pan add 1 T. of the Vanilla Porter along with the unwrapped caramels.  Stir constantly until the caramels are melted.  Set this mixture aside to cool but still soft and pliable.

Remove the frosting from the frig and with electric mixture combine the caramel with the butter cream. If you are still not happy with the “thickness” of the frosting either add more powdered sugar or flour.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle a little sea salt on top.  You can also drizzle with the left over filling if you want.



A Quick Escape To Arizona

Filed under: Hopp Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 1:01 pm
Tags: ,

First it was The Polar Vortex and then it was The Ice Age that we survived so I thought it was time to do a quick long weekend escape!  Probably not high on Forrest’s bucket list but I felt it really deemed a necessity after the extreme weather and his very long 60 plus hour work weeks. So  I found a couple of plane tickets to Arizona (where our son and daughter in law recently moved to), gave him the dates, packed our bags and drug him to the air port.

To keep Forrest from being bored we had a list of projects we told our son we would help him with.  Also on the list was finding a brewery, which are popping up like crazy around Phoenix and the rest of Arizona.  A place my son really wanted to check out was a brewery called Arizona Wilderness Brewing which is located in Gilbert Arizona.

Gilbert is about an hour from where we were staying.  So one day after our son was able to get out of work we decided to head out to The Wilderness Brewery for a late lunch.  The place was really quaint and they took the wilderness theme to heart.  The beer flights were brought out on logs.  There was a huge outdoor gas fireplace where people could sit outside all year around and enjoy a beer.  The decor was also rustic.  Forrest and my son each got a flight of 5 different styles of beer so they could try lots between the two of them.  I could list some of the beers but unless you are able to get there in the next week or so the flavors will probably change.  Both Forrest and my son felt all the beers they tried were “pretty solid”.  Forrest is a big hop fan so his taste buds were satisfied, the stouts and porters were also quite tasty (remember I only taste I don’t drink).  My son really likes sour beers so he too was happy.

Now onto the food!  I had pork belly sliders on homemade pretzel buns.  The belly was made to perfection and the buns really tasted like pretzels not bread.  There was just enough flavor with spices to round everything out.  Arizona Wilderness served a beer cheese on the side that actually tasted like something other than a plastic cheese dip, it was divine!  We were even dipping fries in it.  I believe they called it a wort cheese dip.  My son and daughter in law had burgers that looked and tasted really good.  Forrest had fries topped with pulled pork and the wort cheese dip.  Not exactly my cup of tea for a meal (too much going on and I don’t like to mess with my fries especially when they are truffle fries) but he loved it and said the pulled pork was done perfectly and he too loved the wort cheese dip.

If you are in Gilbert Arizona I would definitely recommend this brewery.  There are lots more things we want to try on the menu as well as try more of the beer. I have attached a link for the web site so you can check it out and learn more about how the brewery was started as well as read about the brewers.  They were not there the day we were so I didn’t get to talk with them.  I also had brought some of my beer marshmallows with me (the weather was cool enough for me to bring them to Arizona) and wanted to share some with the guys.  Our server was excellent.  Although the place was really hopping he took the time to answer any questions we had about the beers and was very knowledgeable which is always a huge plus.

Forrest and my son even got a 4 pack to go and a 40 of a sour .  One of things we found interesting is the cost of filling a growler, even your own was more expensive than  to purchase a 4 pack of beer. that was a first for us.  But as a side note this brewery did give very generous pours for their flights.




Until next time!


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