Tag Archives: beer

Brats and Kraut

I’m a hunky, through and through.  Cabbage and noodles, pigs in a blanket, goulash, bowtie cookies, nut roll, polka music and dancing, etc.  So of COURSE I love brats and krat! I don’t care how you cook’em, they will be eaten.  I found this recipe on my supermarket’s website of all places and boy was it good. I mean. GOOD.
You’ll need:

  • 3 12 oz. packages of bratwurst
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 12 oz. bottle  of a fall type beer – Dogfish Punkin was my choice!
  • 1 2 lb. bag sauerkraut
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 Granny Smith apples — cored and cut into eighths
  • heavy rolls (optional)
  • spicy mustard (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cut 4 diagonal slits in each bratwurst at 1-inch intervals, being careful to not cut all the way through. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; brown bratwursts for 5-7 minutes, turning frequently. |

Remove bratwurst from skillet and transfer to a roasting pan. Deglaze skillet with beer.

Reduce heat and add sauerkraut and cider to pan; do not drain or rinse sauerkraut before adding. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove sauerkraut from heat, stir in brown sugar and thyme, and pour over brats. Add apples to pan, cover with foil, and place in oven. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour.

In a large colander, drain sauerkraut to remove excess liquid; discard liquid. Serve brats and kraut on heavy rolls with spicy mustard, if desired.


Now on the count of three, everyone yell OOM-PA-PA! Enjoy your brats and kraut with some polka music. You’re welcome.



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Bottling my IPA!

So it’s been two whole weeks since my beer has been fermenting.  It was bubbling and bubbling and bubbling and I was getting super, super excited.

While my beer was fermenting, I was working on gathering brown bottles to use.  That was such a daunting process. Oh, the beers!

The day of bottling, I soaked my bottles to remove the labels and then started to sanitize everything that would come in contact with the beer.

I know you like my Christmas towels! Me too.

I set up my siphon system. That was pretty… awkward. I’ve never siphoned before so I had no clue what I was doing. I’m convinced I lost a beer in the process. I think I’m going to buy their auto siphon because it seems … easier.

Before you even put the brew in the bottle, you’re suppose to add in some sugar that helps with the carbonation process. All of the recipes from Brooklyn Brew Shop suggest using honey.  After doing some reading up on the IPA kit, apparently honey just is meh with this particular kit.   I skipped the honey part and just went for sugar in the bottles. I had no idea how much to use. If you don’t have enough, it wont carbonate well, and I was pretty sure I didn’t use enough and thought this was going to turn out to be a disaster and I’d cry myself to sleep. So I just used a teaspoon per bottle and crossed my fingers.

After a few attempts, and then caving in to ask Brad for some help, I had some beer in my bottles!  I used my fancy schmancy bottle capper and boom. Bottled beer.

Now this was the hard part. Putting this away and waiting another TWO WEEKS.  UGH.

Two Weeks Later

IT WORKED. IT ACTUALLY WORKED. It made the pressurized noise when i opened up the bottle, it foamed up like a science experiment, and  tasted like an IPA! I was so thrilled and tickled and it was actually enjoyable.  Success! Yay for home brewing! Up next – Coffee and Donut Stout. 🙂

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Filed under adult beverage, booze hound

Everyday IPA (part one)

I love beer.  I love craft beers. I love tasting them. I love trying to find them. I like to cook with beer (sometimes – but I prefer to drink it). I asked for a beer making kit for my birthday.  Ask and ye shall receive! I got the Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA kit. But this was back in August.  Fast forward to the end of September when we took an impromptu mini vacation to Ocean City,MD.  Oh man.  We love us some OCMD.  Every time we go, we always head up to Dogfish Head in Milton (brewery) and Rehoboth (brew pub) to score some of their delicious beer on the cheap.  We decided to take the brewery tour (again – cause the first time their shop was under major construction) and WOW was I super, super, super happy we took it again.  I saw SO MUCH MORE than the first time! The tour guide was super awesome and I enjoyed the dry sense of humor.  He talked about the perks of being a craft brewer.  They can make small batches and test them out – because they can! The owner said one day “lets brew a beer with whole lobsters.” And they did.  WHOLE LOBSTERS.  (Read here and here). This then reminded me that I had a beer kit waiting for me back home. And I finally devoted a Friday night to make her.

When you buy a Brooklyn Brew Shop kit, they do not provide you with hard copy directions.  You can view them online (or just follow the recipe in the  book if you by it).  Click here for the full directions for making Everyday IPA.  I won’t spell every single step out for you since it may drag.

So – make sure you set aside a hunk of time to do this.  It took me 3 hours from start to finish.

Start with sanitizing everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.  From your pots, to the spoons you use the last minute.  Best tip – keep a big bowl of sanitizer off to the side for those things you will use and didn’t think you’d use at the beginning.  You’ll thank me later.

The Mash
Now, lets mash!  Take grain and 2 quarts of water and let it do it’s thing for an hour at 144-152 degrees.  It kind of looks like oatmeal.  Make sure you check the temperature every so often so it stays within that range.

I think it’s smiling at me …

The Sparge
After the hour, you dump your mash in a fine mesh sieve and strain out the liquid.  You are to also run an additional 4 quarts of water (at 170) through the grain.  Take that liquid and run it through the grain again.  (Note. Make sure you have a big enough sieve. I did not and had to improvise. )

Fun Fact: You can use this spent grain to make things! Like doughs! And dog biscuits!  Some recipes call for the wet spent grain, some call for flour.  You can find all of this here.  You betcha I’m making stuff with it!

The Boil
Put all that liquid-y goodness (also known as wort) back in a pot and bring it to a gentle boil.  Don’t let it roll, you want it to start to foam and just slightly boil.  If you boil too much you’ll lose volume and precious sugars. Once you reach that point, you start your timer for 60 minutes and start adding the hops every so often until 60 minutes have passed.

Das hop.

Don’t forget to stir the boil occasionally.  This is about where I kept my boil “boiling”.

Once you’re done boiling your boil, place the pot in an ice bath and bring the liquid down to about 70 degrees.

So steamy.

Once it’s cool, strain your wort one more time to get all the funkyness the hops may have left behind.  This also helps aerate your liquid.  Yeast loves that.  Pour the wort into your fermentation container.

I don’t have a funnel so I sanitized a pitcher and used that.  Worked!

Once the wort is in the fermenter, pitch your yeast.  Some say to toss it in dry… but just to be on the safe side, I activated my yeast in some warm water.  Bad yeast = no brew.  I would rather be cautious!  And it worked. Yay good yeast!

Assemble the tubing this way to create a blowoff tube.  This is to sit for a few days during the peak of fermentation.

Looks like a science project.

After a few days, take the blow off tube out replace with an airlock (also sanitized).  Hide in a dark, cool place for two weeks.

The next morning! Yeast is working! Yay!!!

So this is where I’m at folks.  Wait two weeks to bottle. Then you wait another two weeks to enjoy.


Stay tuned for part two:  Bottling.

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Filed under adult beverage, booze hound

guest post Friday – Mandy’s Cajun Turkey (and a bonus recipe!)

my good friend Mandy has made a few delicious things over the holiday break and i am featuring them today.  she, too, is a big fan of the crock pot and has put it to good use.  please enjoy her Cajun Turkey and a bonus Pulled Beef Enchiladas!


  • 5lb turkey
  • cajun seasoning

Total cooking time: 9hrs

For Christmas Eve this year my fiance and I decided to stay in, watch Christmas movies and cook a nice dinner. I decided to tackle cooking a turkey. While on the internet, I looked up my favorite method of cooking, the crock pot. I discovered that, yes, in fact you can cook a turkey using a crock pot. It said to cook the bird 2hrs per pound. I happened to buy a 5lb turkey. When I placed the turkey into the , it was slightly too big, oops! I decided to continue to use the crock pot as a method of defrost. This did in fact work. After about the 7th hour in the crock pot, I decided to move the bird to the oven. Before placing the turkey into the oven, I basted the turkey with cajun seasoning. I then placed the turkey into the oven on 350 degrees for 2hrs. I checked frequently on the turkey, and it was golden brown and delicious after about 2hrs. Although, this may have not been the smoothest meal ever cooked, it tasted good : )

a photo of the final product with fixins – stuffing, potatoes and cranberries.  nice, Mandy!


Mandy was on a roll and was generous enough to include yet another crock pot recipe from new years eve – enjoy!

Pulled Beef Enchiladas:

For a party I decided to make pulled beef enchiladas. I thought it would be a nice late night snack. I purchased an oven roast from Giant Eagle, and placed it in the crock pot with half of a chopped onion, a larger bottle of medium heat enchilada sauce and a can of beer. I left this in the crock pot for 12hrs, and BAM! nomtastic! Place the enchilada meat on a tortilla shell with your favorite toppings and you will not be sorry! 🙂

there was no photo for this one… i’m assuming this went really fast before a photo could be taken.  🙂  sounds delicious, Mandy!  thank you for submitting your recipes!  I hope everyone enjoys them.

if you want to be featured please email me at foodingwithemily at gmail dot com and your post will be featured on a Friday!

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Filed under dinner, write-in post

chili time!

sweater weather is upon us.  which also means boot weather.  and “chili” weather!  nothing warms the body and soul on a cool fall day like a bowl of chili.  i never really made chili, with the exception of my trusty chili cheese mac which is amazing, but i’m going to go at it this fall with more gusto.  what i like about chili is you can add a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a handful of these things, etc. and come out with something yummy.

since i still have my sister’s crock pot (sorry, jes!) and it’s gettin chilly out, i’ve decided to toss a few things into it.

here is the list of things i tossed into the crock pot – most of the things i had in the pantry:

  • ground chuck
  • cubed chuck roast
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 can roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can bush’s chilli beans
  • 1/2 bottle of pumpkin beer (the other half i enjoyed while preparing this)
  • a sprinkle of chili seasoning
  • a sprinkle of cumin
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon

i prepared all of this the night before and stuck it in the fridge.  the morning of i pulled it out of the fridge when i woke up and turned it on low, hoping a delicious aroma would greet me when i came home from work.

i was WORRIED that the crock pot was going to burn down my apartment building.  silly, right?  i know.  my coworkers can attest to this.  my grandfather always told us to NEVER, EVER under any circumstance leave anything plugged in while we were gone.  but i did it anyway – sorry, pap.  i spent the entire day thinking about the chili and either if i’d come home to an apartment smelling wonderfully yummy or an apartment that’s burnt to the ground.

when i came home, to a standing building, the apartment smelled… good.  the chili looked delicious when i took the steamy lid off the crock pot.  while i wasn’t 100% disappointed, i wasn’t 100% satisfied with my first attempt at chili.  chili isn’t that hard to make but i clearly missed “something” to put in here.  this won’t stop me from making chili again.  i still ate it – i mean, it was good – hot sauce perked it up along with the sour cream and green onions.  but this only puts me in the mood to refine my chili and find that “something” i’m missing.  the first thing i did wrong was not browning the ground meat.  you think i’d know that, right?  well it didn’t dawn upon me to do so.

it looks good, right?  yes.  that is also some spoon corn bread on the side, which is really yummy.  the consistency of my chili ended up being on the dry side but that’s ok.  will i call it a fail? no.  i’ll call it a learning experience.  i will be trying this again with a different approach… to be continued!!!


Filed under dinner