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

 

A Must Have March 22, 2019

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

 

                                      

 

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!

HoppDiva

 

 

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.

 

 

Gingerbread Beer Cupcakes With Toasted Marshmallow Frosting November 27, 2014

Filed under: Desserts,Diva's Brew-ha — Hopp Diva @ 1:32 pm

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I ran across this recipe, tweaked it and OMG it was fabulous!!!  I thought I had a “torch” but found out I didn’t so to improvise I used one of my turbo grill lighters to toast the marshmallow topping.

The cupcakes didn’t really take that long and the combination with the marshmallow was great.   Holiday time can be rough on my granddaughter who is lactose intolerant so I made sure to change a couple of things so she could eat them and as you can see from the pic she thought they were quite delish!     Enjoy!!!  For comments and questions please email me.

 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup canola/safflower oil

1/4 cup  Lite Land OLakes Butter (or use all oil if you are making them lactose free)

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup unsulphured molasses

1/4 cup Egg Beaters, room temperature

1/2 cup luke warm gingerbread beer or you can use water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard muffin tin with liners–and lightly grease with spray.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer (fitted with a whisk attachment), whisk together the melted butter, oil, brown sugar, molasses, and Egg Beaters
  4. On low speed, add half of the beer/water to the egg mixture, followed by half of the dry ingredients. Repeat with remaining beer/water and flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Remove and scrape down the bowl with a spatula, ensuring that all ingredients have been incorporated evenly.
  6. Divide evenly among a standard muffin tin, so that each is 3/4 full (it will most likely yield 11 cupcakes with this amount of batter in each cup).
  7. Bake for about  20 minutes (rotating halfway), or until tops of cupcakes are just springy to touch and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan on rack for 3 minutes. Remove cupcakes and allow to cool on rack until completely cool.

 

Marshmallow Frosting:

4 large egg whites (4 ounces)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place egg whites, sugar, and lemon juice in (very clean) bowl of a stand mixer and place over a pot of lightly simmering water (double broiler). Using the whisk attachment, whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are lightly warm to touch (use your fingertips to test this–but it should take about 4-5 minutes, depending on how cold your egg whites are).

Transfer bowl to stand mixer and beat over low speed for 1-2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat for another 5-6 minutes until frosting is thick, shiny, and stiff (will hold its peak).

Frost cooled cupcakes using your favorite tip or use cake spatula.   Hold your torch or lighter just over the top of the frosting and “toast” to desired color.

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