German Cheese Fondue

I made the following for my Oktoberfest event. You can read and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Megan & Matt’s German Cheese Fondue
recipe from HERE

1 sack, 10 ounces, 2 1/2 cups, shredded sharp Cheddar, available on dairy aisle
1/4 to 1/3 pound, 4 to 6 ounces, Gruyere, shredded
1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup German lager beer
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
A few drops hot sauce
A few drops Worcestershire sauce

For Serving:
1 1/2 pounds cubed or thick sliced and browned wursts: knock, brat or brot,
1 package mini party franks (recommended: Boars Head)
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 small jar mini Gherkin pickles, drained
1 small jar pickled onions, available on vegetable aisle
1 small, round loaf rye, pumpernickel or sour dough bread, cubed

Combine cheeses in a bowl with flour. Add beer to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.

In a large skillet, bring 2-inches of water to a boil and blanch the cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, drain and arrange around the fondue pot.

In the same pan, bring the cooking water back to a boil and add the mini franks and sliced wursts. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid has evaporated. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan to crisp the casings. Pile wursts and dogs near fondue. Complete the dipping selections with dishes of pickles, onions and cubed bread.

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Drunk & Grilled

Poor little bird…. sitting on a plate, cold and shrink wrapped in plastic. I think it’s time to set this bird free! I’ve had a whole chicken fryer defrosting in my fridge for a couple days and my husband thought it would be fun to have “beer can chicken” for lunch. I thought it was a great idea since a few of my fave blogs featured beer can chicken recently.

There are countless recipes out there for Beer Can Chicken, but my husband decided to take the reigns and wing it (pardon the pun). Of course, there were no specific measurements but here’s essentially what he did:

Montreal Chicken Seasoning (McCormick Grills Mates)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
16 oz can of beer
1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil
1 whole chicken fryer

To prep your chicken, rinse and pat dry.
Coat the chicken with the spices to your taste – both outside and inside the cavity.
Drizzle the oil over the chicken and rub to coat.
Drink about 1/4 of the beer and poke holes around the 1/4 top of the can with a small knife.
Carefully place the chicken over the top of the beer can through its cavity.
Place on a medium high grill and cover, allowing it to cook for 45-50 mins. Don’t peek!
Before serving, allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes for the juices to redistribute.

To accompany our Beer Can Chicken, I served it with some leftover Portobella Mushroom & Spinach Pilaf, marinated tomatoes and a key lime tart. Because I forgot to share the recipe for my Portobella Mushroom & Spinach Pilaf yesterday, here it is:

3 medium sized portobella mushroom caps, stemmed removed & chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 cup chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups prepared, cooked brown rice

In a skillet, melt butter, add onion and garlic.
While onions soften, rough chop the mushroom caps.
Once the onions become translucent, add mushrooms.
Saute until mushrooms soften and release their juices.
If the mushrooms are a little dry, add a touch of olive oil or another tablespoon of butter.
Add the prepared, cooked brown rice to the skillet* and stir until warmed through & serve.

* I recommend using a nonstick skillet when preparing this to prevent the rice from sticking and to prevent adding more butter/oil when you add the rice.

One reason why I really like cooking a whole chicken is because I can use the leftover meat for other dishes. With the leftover chicken I have, I plan on making a chicken salad and a chicken alfredo lasagna… so stay tuned for those recipes later this week!

**I’ve also submitted this chicken recipe to the Hungry for Some Chicken blogging event where they are highlighting chicken recipes this month! Check out the Nutiferia site for additional recipes for other foods they’ve highlighted in previous months.**

**I’ve also submitted this chicken recipe to the Let Them Eat Chicken blogging event! Read the interesting article about free range chickens on the blog, A Merrier World.**

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe was featured in my Springtime Cupcake swap event, which you can read about HERE.

Tricia’s Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 cup Guinness
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350° and grease and line with parchment paper a 9-inch springform pan. Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan and add the sliced butter. Heat until the butter is melted and remove from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla. Add the sour cream mixture to the Guinness mixture in the saucepan. Finally, beat in the flour and baking soda. Pour the batter into the greased and lined springform pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

For cupcakes, pour into lines cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. (keep checking with a toothpick for doneness. Your oven may vary.) Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

For the frosting, beat the powdered sugar and cream cheese together until well combined and creamy. Add the cream and beat again until it’s a spreadable consistency. I found slowly adding the cream and beating the icing very well gave excellent results. At first there seems like a lot of frosting for just the top of a 9-inch cake but don’t skimp! The idea is to frost the top of the cake until it resembles the frothy head of a pint of Guinness.

Pepperoni Cheese Bread

Savory Breads
fresh out of the oven:


We made the following bread during my Quick Bread Cooking Class, which you can read & view pictures of HERE.

Pepperoni Cheese Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz. beer
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup chopped pepperoni

Combine all ingredients.
Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

Classic Beer Bread

Savory Breads
fresh out of the oven:


We made the following bread during my Quick Bread Cooking Class, which you can read & view pictures of HERE.

Classic Beer Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz. beer

Combine all ingredients.
Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes.
** Add 2 tablespoons of desired seasonings for extra flavor!

Garlic, Olive & Cheese Bread

Savory Breads
fresh out of the oven:

We made the following bread during my Quick Bread Cooking Class, which you can read & view pictures of HERE.

Garlic, Olive & Cheese Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz. beer
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients.
Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

Cheddar Herb Beer Bread

Savory Breads
fresh out of the oven:


We made the following bread during my Quick Bread Cooking Class, which you can read & view pictures of HERE.

Cheddar Herb Beer Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz. beer
1 teaspoon chili or cayenne powder
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients.
Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes.