Tag Archives | Party

BEER BACON NUTS

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Beeeeer. Put it in any sort of food description and suddenly people are all “OOOOH,” and “AHHHH.” If you were to say “chocolate cake” people would be like “Oh, cool,” but if you say “beer chocolate cake” people will be like “Whhuuutttt???? I want some!” Think about it. Cheese vs. beer cheese. Pork vs. beer braised pork. Pizza vs. Beer & Pizza. It’s an instant enhancement. It’s kind of the same thing with bacon. Bacon anything is intriguing. The sentence “I have bacon chocolate chip cookies,” yields a lot more excitement than the mere “I have chocolate chip cookies.” What is it about beer and bacon that they make anything an intriguing novelty???

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Duh. Because both are pretty awesome on their own, so obviously they’d make anything else even MORE awesome. But what if the two are paired together into one cluster of awesomeness? Do heads explode? Are minds blown? Does world peace suddenly ensue because everyone’s happy? Nah, not really. But deliciousness happens and that’s happiness enough! Let’s continue on this Super Bowl-friendly beer theme and mix in some bacon! The game is a few days away and you’re going to need some snackitude, so it’s time to get serious. Beer. Plus some bacon. Plus some nuts. All of it candied together.

Say whuuuttt? Oh yes, we’re going there. Before we get to the recipe, here are a few quick notes.

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We've made this a few times, so we've adapted the recipe to our preferences. Such as MORE BACON. The original recipe calls for 6 slices, but we felt that wasn't enough for the amount of nuts involved. We recommend 8. I could even push it to 9, I ain't scared. But hey, it's your prerogative.
The nut selection. The original recipe calls for peanuts, corn nuts, and almonds in varying proportions. Corn nuts are perfectly un-classy and appropriate for football food, and peanuts are easy on the pocketbook (also, very football snacky). Instead of almonds, we went with pecans because we like pecans. You could use pistachios if you want. You could use whatever you have in your pantry if you want. It'll be just dandy.
As for the beers, we've used nut brown beers and regular ol' nonfancy beer. Honestly, I can't remember if it made a ginormous impact or not so I'm going to assume not. While the foodie in me should recommend a dark, nutty, rich beer, the regular schmoe in me wants to let you know that it's going to be addictive either way so just use what you have! 
This stuff gets STICKY. Portion it out using cupcake liners. It looks cute and everyone can grab a little bunch and munch. If you plan ahead and like a cute presentation, get liners in the team colors. I happened to have orange liners. I like Peyton Manning and will be cheering for the Broncos. Therefore, orange cupcake liners won.

BeerBaconNuts-Details
: : : BEER BACON NUTS : : :
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
1/3 cup beer
8 slices of UNCOOKED bacon (I know, it sounds weird, just go with it)
1 tablespoon salt
1 pinch cayenne
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup peanuts
1 cup corn nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Slice the uncooked bacon.
2. Boil the beer, the sliced uncooked bacon pieces, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne. Boil until the beer evaporates and it’s a bit syrup-y, about 8 minutes.
3. Mix in the nuts and spread on the foil-lined baking sheet. Pop the pan in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. We baked it until the bacon’s texture was a little crispy.
4. Afterwards, divvy up the mixture up into cupcake cups. The yield depends on how much you want to fill the cups. To fill the cups generously to the top (like we did), you’ll yield about 16 cups.
Get it? Got it? Good. Go team!

PARTY PERFECT BEER MARGARITAS

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Sorry, I had to do it.

The Super Bowl is a week away. Do I really care about the game? Not so much. My personal preference is for college football (UC Bearcats and OSU Buckeyes, if you’re wondering) and that season is over until the fall. George cares, but since he doesn’t have a team to root for he’s kind of on the “meh” side. BUT! We do love any excuse to host a party! And while I may not go bananas for pro football, I enjoy the sport and generally miss it once it’s over. Why not usher the season out in style, you know? It gives you a perfectly acceptable reason to stuff your face with chicken wings, Fritos, weird gooey dips, and other stupid food you normally don’t eat/won’t admit to eating in public. #yolo #noshame #i’mjustsayin’ Whether you love the game, you’re just watching for the commercials, or you’re getting dragged to a party by your significant other, it’s time to embrace the culinary aspect of one of America’s biggest sporting events. I’ll drink to that!

Speaking of drinks, let’s start there. Football means beer. But what if you’re not feelin’ the beer that day? What if that guacamole dip is staring you in the face saying “Hey man, doesn’t a margarita sound really good right now?” and secretly you’re like “Yes, guac. It totally does.” I got you covered, my friend. You can combine the two. And yes, it actually works.

Most beer margarita mash-ups involve a frozen can of limeade but I’m going to be honest with you. That kind of makes me cringe. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had great experiences with limeade? It kind of tastes like a cold Jolly Rancher in a weird way? Plus, it’s filled with high fructose corn syrup. Blech. Let’s go a different route. How about fresh limes and simple syrup (or agave nectar) like an authentic margarita? Whereas many margarita recipes add sour mix as filler, there’s really no need for that when using fresh limes. And if not fresh limes, then straight up lime juice from the bottle. A little tequila, a bottle of beer, and we’re good to go!

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The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very scaleable. The base recipe makes 4 beverages (7 oz each), but the measurements are easy enough to double or triple.

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Fresh-squeezed lime juice is best, which is about 6 large-sized limes.
The recipe gives a range for simple syrup amounts. Start with the lesser and test it out. You can always add more, but if it's too sweet it's hard to fix!
We used Corona for our beer. The lime-friendly, uncomplicated flavor is perfect for this.
For tequila, we used José Cuervo Especial, reposado. Now is not the time to break out your fancy, special tequila. This recipe is more punch-like in nature than it is "specialty artisan cocktail." Do you really want to water down Patron with Corona? I will note that reposado tequila gives a nice depth of flavor, since it has been aged in an oak barrel.

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: : : Party Perfect Beer Margaritas : : :

6-7 limes, + 1 extra if you want to garnish
*Note: you will need 1 cup lime juice if you rather use bottled lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 cup simple syrup
1/2 cup tequila
12 oz (1 bottle or can) of beer, like Corona
2 TBSP kosher or margarita salt
lime wedge (still juicy!)

1. Cut limes in half and squeeze using a citrus squeezer or reamer. You will need 1 cup of juice. Pour juice through a strainer to remove the pulp.

2. In pitcher, combine lime juice, 1/2 cup simple syrup (you can always add more), and tequila.

3. For margaritas on the rocks, pour in one bottle of beer then stir. For blended drinks, pour mixture into blender with ice BEFORE adding the beer. Blend until mixture is slushy with a fine texture, then pour back into the pitcher and add beer.

4. Place salt on a small plate. Run lime wedge over rim of glasses, then dip glasses into salt. If making on-the-rocks drinks, add ice to glasses.

5. Carefully pour margarita mixture into glasses. Garnish with lime slices on the edge of the glass.

6. Drink up!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

As promised, here’s a recipe for homemade sour mix. I promise, using real citrus juices like lime and lemon juice taste a million times better. And if you don’t want to use refined table sugar, then use demerarra/turbinado/etc.

After trying this, I’m really excited for other variations I can make when summer seasonal beers are out. We became huge fans of Leinenkugel’s Orange Shandy this year, so I think an orange-lime beer marg is in our future!

We’ll be bringing you another Super Bowl party (or just generally life appropriate) recipe in a few days that’s perfect for a snacking crowd. Tell us, do you have any Super Bowl plans? What kinds of food or drinks do you like to make for crowds?