Pumpkin Beer and Brown Sugar Cookies

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I’ve been sitting here for longer than I care to admit trying to come up with something to say for this intro. But my mind is totally fried. The regular 8-5 day job has been particularly soul-sucking lately, and all my spare time has been going to job hunting. Which is also destroying my soul…the amount of rejections I have gotten makes me want to give up forever and totally makes me feel like I have nothing to offer the work force. The struggle to keep hope alive and continue this battle is very real.

But somehow I keep pressing on. As much as I hate job hunting, I know it’s the only way to be free of this day job I hate even more. And so the hunt continues. After all, among hundreds (yes, hundreds) of noes, it only takes one “yes” to change my fortune.

To perk up my spirits during this especially trying time of my life, I baked cookies. And not just any cookies- soft batch cookies. Meaning they are crazy soft, chewy, moist, and have a slightly under-baked texture (which is my favorite in cookies). Add in some pumpkin beer and some pumpkin pie spice, and you’ve got the PERFECT cookie for fall. Now excuse me while I eat a massive pile and write more cover letters…

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Pumpkin Beer and Brown Sugar Cookies

AUTHOR: Natalie Bates | PREP TIME: 10 min | COOK TIME: 12-14 min

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cups unsalted butter, softened (12 tbs)
  • 1 ¼ cups golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin beer (I used Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat)
  • 2 ¼ cups All purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. In a large bowl, add the butter and brown sugar. Mix on high until very well combined. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla, beat until light and fluffy. Add the beer, beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon out balls of dough slightly smaller than a golf ball onto well greased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 325° for 12-14 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Immediately transfer cookies to cooling racks and allow the cookies to cool to room temperature.

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The thing that is so great about this cookie recipe is its versatility. You could sub any beer you want really, and play with different spices. Or leave the spices out all together for just a beer and brown sugar flavor to your cookies. The sky is the limit! If you try any other variations, let me know how they come out in the comments!

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Recipe and photos are my own, but feel free to share anywhere you wish! Just give me credit and link back to The Whiskey Wanderer 🙂

 

 

 

Harvest Shandy

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Happy Halloween my Wanderers! Ok ok, I know Halloween was actually yesterday, but that’s when I made these cocktails, so it’s basically still Halloween on this blog.

This month just flew by. October is always one of my busiest months, cause it’s my favorite and I like to pack it full of seasonal fun! Apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, parties, eating and drinking pumpkin everything, haunted houses, and just all sorts of spooky goodness. I love it all, and I wouldn’t change any of the craziness.

However with an unusually packed social calendar comes a certain level of neglect towards regular life stuff. So I also always look forward to November. The Halloween insanity has passed, and the whirlwind that is Christmas hasn’t started yet. It’s like a calm between two storms, and a perfect chance to catch up on life.

Meaning all those apartment projects I’ve been putting off might actually get finished. And I MIGHT even work on dealing with all the random stuff I left behind at my parents house during my move this past spring. Maybe. This also means that I will have some extra time to give some much needed love and attention to this blog.

Ok this intro got really long…oops. I made this cocktail last night to enjoy while carving pumpkins and watching the original “Dracula” with Robbie and my sister, and it was the perfect addition for our festive evening!

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Harvest Shandy

AUTHOR: Natalie Bates | PREP TIME: 5 min | COOK TIME: 5 min | YIELD AMOUNT : 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS

  • 6oz your choice of pumpkin beer (I used Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat…make sure it’s chilled well)
  • 6oz chilled sparkling apple cider
  • 2oz bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • Apple slices and cinnamon sticks to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine pumpkin beer and sparkling cider in a glass.
  2. Pour a shot of bourbon over the top.
  3. Garnish will apple slices and cinnamon sticks, if desired.

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Seriously guys, this drink is fast and easy to make. And it’s practically impossible to mess up. And it tastes like pure fall in a cup. This is a drink I’m gonna keep making all through the rest of November! Pre-Thanksgiving dinner cocktails, anyone? Slainte!

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Recipe and photos are my own, but feel free to share anywhere you wish! Just give me credit and link back to The Whiskey Wanderer 🙂

 

 

Freixenet Presents, Night of the Living Dead!

It’s no secret that I ADORE movie screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Especially the Halloween screenings. I mean, horror movies in a cemetery? It’s perfect!! The only thing that makes it better? Free alcohol.

This year’s final showing of the season was sponsored by Freixenet, and all of the guests were given free bottles of bubbly!

“Night of the Living Dead” + a McDonald’s picnic + free bottles of cava (Spanish champagne) + a night with my awesome girl gang = pure happiness.

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Woooo free Freixenet!

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My picnic feast. So fancy.

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My awesome girl gang. Love these gals!!

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Freixenet photo booth!

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Awesome photo of the event that I stole from the Cinespia website, cause it’s waaaaaay better than any of the photos I took lol.

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ZOMBIEEEEEEEEESSS. Love the Cinespia photo booths!!

Though the screenings are over for this year, they will be back next summer with more great movies and fun events! Check out their website and sign up for their mailing list to stay posted about upcoming showings!


 

 

Beer S’mores: Stout Chocolate Bars and Belgian Ale Marshmallows

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I want to start out by saying my photos suck for this recipe. The food got mangy by the time it was ready to be photographed (explanation to come), and it was REALLY dark in our campground. And since food photographs best with natural light, well, you can see how that would present a problem. I got this recipe from The Beeroness, so you should really check out her website to see how this treat is SUPPOSED to look (link to original recipe is at the end of this post).

I’ve always wanted to be an amazing cook who prepares incredible meals for Robbie and me, but in all honesty, I’m just not there yet. Everything I make comes out a little wonky. Though he sweetly tells me everything I make is good. Liar- I know it sucks. But that’s why I need to keep practicing! So I’m gonna keep trying out new recipes and posting my favorites on here, complete with tips on how to do it better than I did haha.

And then one day, I’ll finally gain the skills to create my own recipes.

So these s’mores… I found this recipe on Pinterest from The Beeroness and thought it would be something fun to try for our camping trip to Great Basin. Huge shout out to my friends for always letting me use them as guinea pigs!

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Beer S’Mores: Stout Chocolate Bar and Belgian Ale Marshmallows

AUTHOR: Jackie Dodd | COOK TIME: Roughly 30 min active, 2 hrs inactive

INGREDIENTS

For the Marshmallows:
  • Powdered sugar
  • 3 ½ envelopes unflavored gelatin (such as Knox)
  • 1 cup beer (flat and cold – I used New Belgium Fat Tire)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Bars:
  • 10 (wt oz) dark chocolate (62% cacao)
  • 1/3 cup stout beer (I used Garage Brewing Co Marshmallow Milk Stout)
For the S’mores:
  • 18 graham crackers

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the marshmallows:
  1. Grease a 9×13 baking pan, sprinkle with powdered sugar until well coated, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add ½ cup cold flat beer. Sprinkle with gelatin. Allow to stand while the sugar is being prepared.
  3. In a large saucepan (mixture will bubble up considerably) over medium heat, add the remaining ½ cup beer, sugar and corn syrup. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Raise heat to high and allow to boil until the mixture reads 240°F on a candy thermometer (about 6-8 minutes).
  5. Once the temperature has been reached, turn off heat.
  6. Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin. Once all the sugar has been added turn the mixer on high until light and fluffy and tripled in volume, about 6 minutes.
  7. While the mixer is running, prepare the egg whites. Add the egg whites to a bowl with the salt. Beat on high with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  8. Gently fold the egg whites and vanilla extract into the stand mixer ingredients until just combined.
  9. Pour the marshmallows into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Allow to set at room temperature until set, about 2 hours. Remove from pan, cut into squares.
Make the chocolate bars:
  1. In the top of a double boiler add the chocolate and beer. Stir until the chocolate has melted and combined with the beer. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour the chocolate into the prepared pan in an even layer. Chill until set, about 20 minutes. Cut into 9 squares. Can be made four days ahead of time.
Make the s’mores:
  1. Brulé the marshmallows (or roast over a campfire!) and sandwich one square of chocolate and one bruléed marshmallow between two graham crackers.

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The flavors of these s’mores came out awesome! I was particularly stoked on the marshmallows. I’ve never made homemade marshmallows before, so I was excited to see them actually work! That being said, they don’t seem to hold up as well as their store-bought, preservative-laden counterparts. They melted while sitting in a hot car during the drive from home in LA to Great Basin in Nevada, and turned into a bit of a disaster. We tossed them in the ice chest and they kinda firmed up again (at least enough to throw on a skewer to roast over a campfire!), but they were sticky and not as pretty as when they started. So don’t judge the photos too much…transporting food for camping during road trips is hard!

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Recipe by The Beeroness. Check out her website for more great recipes! And also prettier pictures of these s’mores lol.

Recipe by The Beeroness; all thoughts and photos are my own.

 

 

Afternoon Tea at Jordan Pond House

If all your exploring in Acadia has left you hungry, stop in for some popovers at Jordan Pond House!

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Nestled right next to the lake, Jordan Pond House is an idyllic spot to warm up (or cool down) after adventuring around the park, or perhaps grab a romantic dinner.

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It has been serving its famous popovers to guests since the 1890s, making it a historic site of interest within the park.

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But foodies shall rejoice as well, because the food here is INCREDIBLE. The menu is full of mouth-watering locally sourced and seasonal food options, such as fresh Maine seafood and Maine blueberries. Yum!! Click here to view their whole menu.

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The famous popovers

The delicious popovers are served with Maine strawberry jam and butter. They may look huge, but these things are light, airy, and mostly hollow inside. And insanely addicting.

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This place gets very busy and the wait times can be horrendous, so you should definitely try to make a reservation. Click here to book online, or call (207)276-3316.

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If you are unable to get a reservation or decided to go spontaneously, the shortest waits for tables are before 11:30am or after 4pm.

Jordan Pond House is only open seasonally though, so be sure to check the website for current operating hours before you go.

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The Lobster & Crab Cakes, made with blistered corn and an oven-dried tomato and white bean salad, served with a lemon chive sauce. Totally amaze-balls.

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Pastries the size of my head… yes please!

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Lobster Stew made with fresh Beal’s lobster, butter, sherry, and cream. Just OMG. I could eat this everyday.

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An amazing meal served in a perfectly beautiful atmosphere… life doesn’t get much better than this!

P.S. the blueberry iced tea was delicious and refreshing. Trying foods and drinks made with blueberries is a must when in Maine!

LOBSTER + BLUEBERRIES = The taste of Maine.

For more information and to check operating hours, click here!


 

 

Buttermilk Beer Pancakes

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This past weekend was the first weekend since getting our own place that things started feeling a little normal again. From actually moving, tons of unpacking, and diving straight into Robbie’s busy gig schedule, we haven’t really had a chance to just exist in our apartment. But last weekend we had no big plans, and most of the big unpacking was done. I took advantage of that opportunity and made a big Saturday morning breakfast! I turned to my favorite food blogger, The Beeroness, for recipe ideas and found these Super Fluffy Buttermilk Beer Pancakes. Perfect.

*Bacon cooking credit goes to Robbie. I think cooking together is going to become one of my favorite “couples activities”*

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Buttermilk Beer Pancakes

AUTHOR: Jackie Dodd (minor adjustments made by Natalie Bates) | PREP TIME: 5 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup beer (wheat beer, pale ale, or brown ale- I used Hangar 24 Orange Wheat)
  • ¼ cup buttermilk (or heavy cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Butter (to grease the pan)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the eggs, cream of tartar, beer, buttermilk, and vanilla into a large bowl, beat until well combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and beer mixture, stir until combined.
  4. Add the butter to a preheated griddle (preheated to 350) or large skillet over medium high heat, push around until melted.
  5. About ¼ cup at a time, pour the pancake batter on the preheated surface. Allow to cook until bubbles form in the center, flip and allow to cook until golden brown on the underside.

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These pancakes were super easy to make and came out great! I tweaked the recipe a little from the original due to having a poorly stocked kitchen (hey, I just moved and got my own place…it takes awhile to build a kitchen from the ground up!). The entire batch of pancakes disappeared though, so I’m calling that a win. And Robbie loved having an excuse to drink the leftover beer with breakfast.

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Recipe by The Beeroness. Check out her website for more great recipes and all things beer!

All photos and thoughts are my own, original recipe by The Beeroness.

 

Orange Whiskey Salmon

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A couple weeks ago, I moved in with my boyfriend. I know, scary, right? Big life change. And in more ways than you expect. I went from living with my parents and having most of my dinners provided for me (don’t judge… it’s nearly impossible to afford living on your own these days in So Cal), to having to think about what to make for dinner every night for the two of us. Sure, we could default to take-out and frozen meals, but where’s the fun in that? I want us to eat healthy, real food, with only occasional moments of fast food weakness. Like maybe once a week. Or twice. Ok, three times, tops. Maaaaaybe four…

This new life change just means more opportunities to cook for The Whiskey Wanderer! I already have a TON of recipes lined up to try out over the next few weeks. I’m super excited! I found this recipe from Mom Foodie where I find the majority of my recipes: Pinterest. I guess she adapted it from a cookbook, and then I adapted it from her. That’s one of the things I love about cooking. Each recipe is just a jumping off point from which you can go any direction you want!

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ORANGE WHISKEY SALMON

AUTHOR: Robin Gagnon, altered by Natalie Bates | PREP TIME: 5 min, plus marinating time | COOK TIME: 10 min | YIELDS: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbs Irish whiskey (I used Tullamore Dew)
  • 2 tbs orange juice
  • 3 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic (smashed, but not chopped)
  • 2 wild salmon fillets

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk the whiskey, orange juice, hoisin, and sugar together. Drop in the smashed garlic.
  2. Pour into a zip top storage bag, and add the salmon.
  3. Allow to marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 1½ hours (overnight is fine).
  4. Preheat the broiler or grill.
  5. While fish is cooking, microwave the remaining marinade for about 2 minutes. This will reduce it a little, cook off the alcohol, and sterilize it so you can baste with it and pour some over finished dish.
Broiler – Place salmon skin side down on broiler safe dish. Baste frequently. Cook to taste.
Grill – Place flesh side down on hot grates to sear (about 4-5 minutes). Flip and baste. Leave the salmon skin side down for remainder of cooking. Cook to taste.
Skillet – Same as grill.

Cooking with whiskey, orange whiskey salmon, tullamore dew, irish whiskey, irish whiskey recipes, salmon recipes, mom foodie, Seafood

I served it with 7-grain rice and a makeshift Asian slaw based on a recipe I also found on Pinterest. It was a light and healthy meal that was ready pretty fast. The part that took the longest was chopping the veggies for the slaw. *Note to self: invest in a mandoline. Also must learn how to cook fish without drying it out…

Cooking with whiskey, orange whiskey salmon, tullamore dew, irish whiskey, irish whiskey recipes, salmon recipes, mom foodie, Seafood


Cooking with whiskey, orange whiskey salmon, tullamore dew, irish whiskey, irish whiskey recipes, salmon recipes, mom foodie, Seafood


Recipe obtained from: Mom Foodie. Check out her website for more great recipes and lifestyle tips!

Photos and thoughts are my own, recipe by Mom Foodie.