Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bacon Cheddar Beer Dog Treats

I needed an excuse to share a beer with my favorite pup, Falkor, without allowing him to drink straight from the bottle. So I developed this recipe.
First things first, beer selection. I use whatever I have on hand, and feel like drinking ;0) after all I'm sharing.

Toss all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then add the cheese & bacon. I generally use left over bacon, from breakfast, but then again who has left over bacon?! so I just reserve him 2 slices :0)

Mix it all up, then add the beer & oil, and mix until crumbly mixture forms. If it seems a bit dry to you, go ahead and add a slosh or 2 more of beer.

Next our it out on a 9x11 non stick sheet pan or baking dish lined with non stick foil. Press into the pan until nice and even.


I get kinda lazy and didn't want to cut them into shapes, so I just score them to make square biscuits about 2x2 inches. Once baked and cool they easily break into the squares.

Bacon Cheddar Beer Dog Treats

2 Cups Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Wheat Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Strips Cooked Bacon
2 Tbls Oil
1/3 Cup Beer

Mix dry ingredients, then add Cheese and Bacon. Mix in Oil and Beer until mixture becomes crumbly. Press into 9x11" non stick sheet pan or foil lined baking dish. Score into 2x2" squares.

Bake at 325 Degrees for 12-15 minutes. Then shut off oven and leave to dry for additional 20-30 minutes. Cool on sheet. Then break apart.

Emma, you inspired me, so by all means take the recipe and use it for your doggy goodness!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wholesome Beer Pizza Crust

One of my kids favorite nights in our house is Make Your Own Pizza night! We do it at least once a week. In my quest for adventure, I was inspired by one of our favorite beer & pizza joints to put a spin on my favorite homemade pizza dough recipe. Thus Wholesome Beer Pizza Crust!

First things first... The Beer! To me the darker the beer the better. It has more flavor and more color :0) Since I didn't have a good stout or porter on hand I go to my no fail which just happens to be Killians Irish Red.

Generally the beer is always cold in this house, so I end up having to heat it up in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. You don't want it to be super hot just warm or it will kill the yeast. If the yeast dies then you wont have a nice fluffy dough, you'll have hockey pucks. But they still taste good.

Now for my favorite part, because it makes me feel like a mad scientist (I usually call the kids into the kitchen for it too). Adding the yeast to the beer and the bubbly explosive reaction the two have ingredients have together.

Now for the dry ingredients and the olive oil goodness. I just toss all those in to the bowl.

Attach the hook, and turn it on slowly adding the yeast mixture. After that's in turn up the speed and scrape the sides down occasionally.

I use my kitchen aid. I used to do it by hand, and had that technique down. Took me a bit to get used to the mixer. You just have to know what to look for in the dough, like a dough whisperer. This is half way in the mixing process.

When the dough starts pulling from the sides and mostly clings to the hook. I start the timer for 5 minutes to allow the mixer to kneed it. (If your dough isn't pulling from the sides add just a bit more flour, start with 1/4 cup.)

After 5 minutes of kneading it should be nice and smooth. Worked its way up the hook and clinging for dear life.

I take the hook, dough and all out. Then pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the bowl.

Then scrape the dough ball off the hook into the bowl. Rolling it in the oil and slathering the sides of the bowl.

And that's all it takes. About 20 minutes to throw together a handmade dough. Now cover and let it rest and rise for until doubled. At minimum 45 minutes.

You can store this dough for later use! If I make it in the morning for that night I just cover it with plastic wrap in the bowl and put it in the fridge. Then pull it out to rise later in the day. If I have left over, it freezes well too. Just coat it in oil and put it in a zip bag, then freeze. I either put it in the fridge to thaw, then pull it out to rise, or if I'm in a hurry I defrost it in the microwave a bit then let it rise on the counter in the bag.

What to do with the rest of the beer... Drink it! Or Stay tuned for my Bacon Cheddar Beer Dog Treats recipe.



Wholesome Beer Pizza Crust

1 Cup Beer (Darker the Better)
1 yeast Packet (or 2 1/4 tsp.)

1 1/2 Cups Wheat Flour
1 Cup White Flour
1 Tbls Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbls Olive Oil

Warm beer to no more than 120F. Add yeast and let dissolve.

In Mixer bowl add flours, sugar, salt, & olive oil.

Slowly mix in yeast mixture until combined. Then kneed for 5 minutes until smooth. Put dough in oiled bowl & cover to let rise until doubled.

Roll out dough & bake on sheet pan sprinkled with cornmeal or flour for 15 minutes at 400F.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

3 Songs for Then, Now, & Later

We all have days where we need to find a little inspiration to let go, live in the now, and look forward to better things. I have 3 songs that always snap me out of that somber mood. Even better if they are served with a nice cold craft beer & sung along to. I'm a sucker for some good blood pumping Punk, and even more so when I hear one of my favorite songs from childhood covered by my favorite punk bands :0)

For the Then...

Social Distortion - Far Behind

You can never go wrong with Social Distortion. They are always straight to the point & inspirational with lots of kick ass behind them! ... So crank it up & Let it Go.

For the Now...

MXPX - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

Who doesn't love The Proclaimers 500 Miles? Takes me back to the opening of one of my favorite love stories, Benny & June. Its the way life should be & the way I always try to live. Unconditionally. ... So surrender into the Now.

For the Later...

Bouncing Souls - Better Things

Nothing puts a little bounce in your step like the Bouncing Souls version of the Kinks, Better Things. Tomorrow is a new day & the best is always yet to come. ...So raise your glass & toast to the better days!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Insomniac Armed with Scissors

What happens on a hot summers night when the insomnia gets the best of you while your laying there. The crafty light goes off in your head and the next thing you know your a crazed hockey fan running with scissors!

I've always had an over abundance of oversized Tshirts, and one of my favorite things to do is alter them. Some to wear, and others get repurposed into multi functional things... we will save that for later date though.

Tonights victim is a Detroit Red Wings shirt (one of my favorite hockey teams).

Its about one size to big for me... I wear a meduim. This is a large. After laying the shirt out and matching all the seams so it lays flat. I cut off the sleeves. Cutting along the seam, but on the inside tward the logo to cut them off.

Next I cut the collar off in a plunging angle. About 1 1/2" away from the neck ringer.

Then I got a spark in my light bulb and pulled out a contrasting scrap from another Tshirt destruction, and cut it into a 1" strip.

The part that I got so excited about that I forgot to take pictures of, because when the creativity comes you just run with it... I cut the back of the arm holes in a bit to create a racer back effect. Then folded the shirt back vertically, and again folded it 1" over and cut 5 slits. Then laced the scrap through, and tied it in a bow. Kind of reminds me of the way the old jerseys used to tie up (only upside down) :0) Sexy!

After 10 minutes of rocking out to Theory of a Deadman at 3am and doing something constructive with my insomniactic time I have an awesome shirt to wear running in the morning. Don't worry I'll leave the scissors at home!