Brown Sugar Beer Bread

Photo Dec 12, 6 49 02 PM_Fotor
Beer bread has become one of my favorite recipes in the past couple months, and it’s my second favorite way of consuming beer. (1. Drinking it, 2. Eating it in bread, 3. Eating it in cheese.) It’s such an easy recipe and the beer lends this quick bread a really wonderful hoppy bite. It wasn’t long before I discovered that the slightly sweet addition of brown sugar is a great complement. It all started with an impulse purchase of Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ beer. I loved the festive name and label, as well as the promise of a sweet finish. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite what I expected so I figured if I’m not going to drink it, why don’t I eat it? And it’s called “Brown Shugga” so why don’t I add brown sugar?!?! Thus, brown sugar beer bread was born. It’s wonderful shortly out of the oven when it’s warm, but it’s just fine with me toasted or warmed in the microwave in the following days. It’s a hoppy, slightly sweet dense bread with a somewhat crunchy exterior. Definitely a winter guilty pleasure–although I’m on a healthy, whole foods kick, I wanted to share this recipe because it’s just so easy to make and very appropriate comfort food for the cold months. (Um, try it with chili and you’ll never be cold again.)

Just a note: you don’t have to use this particular beer. You can use what you have on hand. It comes together in less than 10 minutes (and it’s especially easy using a standing mixer though it’s certainly not required.)

Recipe after the jump!

Continue reading Brown Sugar Beer Bread


Break to Break

“Ms. B, can I go on Spring Break with you?” said my 6th grade student as her class lined up to be dismissed.

“Well, you’re going to be bored.  I’m just going to sleep and plan awesome Spanish lessons for you.”

“But Ms. B, you’re young!  You need to express yourself!!!” she said, with a flutter of jazz hands.

Now I’m not sure what exactly she meant by “express yourself,” and I’m not even sure she herself knew what she meant, but I’m pretty sure it was along the lines of “Ms. B, you’re young.  GET A LIFE.”   And when a 6th grader tells you to get a life, you should probably consider it.

I was sure this semester would be better for my Get a Life Project, and in some ways it has been, but life has been as busy as ever.  “You’re too young to be a workaholic,” said my mother one day.  The common theme with all these comments is that I’m young and I’m wasting it.  Since I don’t want to live my life from break to break, I need to get a life and hang on for dear life.

Sadly, because of how busy I’ve been, I have been a culinary failure as of late.  This really hit me when I was standing up in my kitchen eating soggy leftover French fries for dinner last week.  I believe that’s called “hitting rock bottom.”  Now I have gone out since I’ve last written and tried some new restaurants, which I will have to revisit later.  (Urban Crust, Café Madrid, Gloria’s, among others)

I have also returned to my lonely stove.   I took this lazy evening of Spring Break to make spinach fettuccine with pesto, Italian sausage, and focaccia bread.  I made the pesto and the focaccia from scratch.  I have made pesto before, but the bread was something new.  Baking bread has never quite worked out for me, but using Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, I gave it my best shot.  The process was pretty simple, and the results were actually tasty!  It was so refreshing to try a new recipe and enjoy the product.  It’s been too long.

Spring is here and I’m actually feeling a spark of energy.  Watch out, Life.  Imma getcha.

(Crappy iphone picture)
(crappy iphone picture)

What Meals Were Meant to Be

There’s nothing like excellent simple food.  I’ve found out that one of my favorite meals is simply really good bread, really good fruit, and really good cheese…if I could have really good wine I’d throw that in there too.  My friend Angela and I went to Brooklyn Heights a couple weeks ago to kill some time and see the view of Manhattan before seeing a friend perform at a cafe.  We stopped in a gourmet food shop called Garden of Eden (I think…)  It was magical.  I love food stores, especially food stores with incredible variety and quality.  I could spend hours (and lotsa dollas) in stores like that.  A huge variety of honey, coffee, cheese, fruits and veggies…It really was Eden.  Since we couldn’t buy the whole store, we got a boulle, a couple nectarines, some cherries, and brie and took it to the promenade where we feasted on our grub and the awesome view.

brooklyn promenade