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 🙂

 

 

 

Happy 200th Anniversary Guinness!

200 years ago, in 1817, the first shipment of Guinness arrived in the United States and the beer scene was forever changed. What started out as just a few kegs has turned into one of the most popular and well known beers in the country. I mean, it is now, and will forever be, my favorite beer.

To celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Guinness arriving in the United States, Guinness hosted a swanky soiree in downtown LA. And I was invited! With Robbie in tow, we set out to enjoy a night of live music, Guinness nitro ice cream, a full Guinness bar with six of their beers on tap, a Guinness archive featuring old brewing journals, and cool Guinness swag….

But most importantly, Guinness even released a special limited edition 200th anniversary beer, the Export Stout, which is based on a recipe from an 1817 brewing journal entry. Yaaaass.

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Studebaker full of tasty Guinness

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Guinness archive featuring old brewing journals

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Trying the new limited edition Anniversary Stout, based on a recipe from an 1817 brewing journal entry

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Dreams do come true! A bar serving only Guinness!! ❤

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The most beautiful thing I have ever seen…

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Live music!

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Nitro Guinness ice cream from Sub Zero!

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Screen printed Guinness shirts by Family Industries LA! They were super cool and showed Robbie how to make his own shirt

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Mini chicken and biscuits. Perfection.

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I firmly believe I have the hottest boyfriend on the planet ❤

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I am so beyond happy that Guinness was brought into this country 200 years ago and is still here today. I’m not gonna get into the whole story on here, cause this post is just about sharing photos from a super cool party, but the story of Guinness is actually really interesting. Click here to read the whole Guinness story!

And if you get a chance to try the new Export Stout, do it!! It is ridiculously good, and available for a limited time only.

I LOVE YOU FOREVER, GUINNESS!!! ❤ and thanks for another awesome night!


 

 

 

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.

 

 

IPA Chicken Strips and Flaky Pepper Biscuits

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I am a sucker for comfort foods. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, any sort of bread or pasta… you know, all the stuff that is just awful for your waistline, but incredibly delicious. We try to be healthy as often as we can at home, but sometimes you just have to give in to the cravings. I am all for eating a balanced diet, but in my opinion, part of that balance includes eating the things you love.

My mom has been making these chicken strips for my sisters and me since we were little kids. She would make up a big batch and pack them in the ice chest whenever we went to the beach (so in our household this chicken recipe became known as “beach chicken”). Well now that I have a home (well, apartment) of my own, I decided to carry on the tradition and keep making this chicken, except I gave it a little twist- beer!

And since any good entree requires equally tasty side dishes, I found this perfect biscuit recipe from my favorite food website, The Beeroness. The result? Pure awesomeness.

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IPA Chicken Strips and Flaky Pepper Biscuits

AUTHOR: Jackie Dodd (biscuits), Natalie Bates (chicken strips) | PREP TIME: 5 min biscuits, 10 min chicken | COOK TIME: 10 min biscuits, 10-15 min chicken

INGREDIENTS

For the biscuits:
  • 3-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 tbs unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup wheat beer (I used Lagunitas Doppel Weizen)
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • ¼ tsp course sea salt
For the chicken strips:
  • 1 cup pale ale (I used Strand Brewing Co Atticus IPA)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 2 inch strips
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs seasoning salt (add more or less to taste)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the biscuits:
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the cold butter, mix with beaters until well combined.
  4. Add the buttermilk and beer. Mix with a fork until just combined.
  5. Add to a well-floured flat surface, pat into a rectangle. Using a cold rolling pin (preferably marble) gently roll into a large rectangle, about 1″ in thickness, using as few strokes as possible.
  6. Fold the dough into thirds as you would a letter about to go into an envelope. Roll lightly, once in each direction to about 1″ thickness, fold in thirds again. Gently roll into about 1-1/2″ thickness (this will give you flaky layers).
  7. Using a biscuit cutter cut out 6 to 8 biscuits. Place in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  8. Brush biscuits with melted butter, sprinkle salt.
  9. Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Make the chicken:
  1. Mix eggs and beer in a medium bowl until well combined.
  2. Add flour and seasoning salt to a large ziplock bag and shake until combined.
  3. Add an inch or so of vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat until it’s hot enough for frying (To test: Dip the handle-end of the spoon into the oil. Oil that’s ready for frying will bubble around the handle).
  4. One at a time, coat thawed chicken strips in the egg mixture, place in the ziplock bag filled with flour, and shake until chicken is thoroughly coated in flour mixture. Carefully place in oil. Be sure not to overfill your pan so each strip has room to be surrounded by oil.
  5. Cook until breading is golden brown and strips are cooked all the way through (flip and rotate chicken as needed to cook evenly).
  6. Place finished strips on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb excess oil before serving.

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This is one dinner that is sure to please the even the pickiest of eaters. It is comfort food at it’s finest, sort of an at-home version of KFC. Except this version includes beer, which automatically makes it better. This chicken tastes great cold too, making it a good choice to throw in the ice chest for camping trips, beach days, or picnics.

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Biscuit recipe obtained from The Beeroness. Check out her website for more great recipes!

Photos, thoughts, and chicken strip recipe are my own; biscuit recipe by The Beeroness.