As much as I want to like beer, I've never quite come around to the taste. I'll freely admit that I'm that annoying woman who prefers wine or cocktails to the crisp refreshment of a cold brew. (That being said, I do enjoy mixed drinks, and Jameson and Schweppes is probably my favorite drink of all time.)
In any case, on only a few occasions have I tried a beer that I really liked. One was a brown ale from Artisanal Brew Works in Saratoga Springs, New York. I liked that one so much I bought an entire growler full. Last night, I took a chance on a Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout by Blue Moon. It was delicious! Mellow and sweet, the beer was rich like a dessert, and it wasn't overly hoppy. (Hoppy beers are the kind I like least. IPAs and I don't get along.)
While I was enjoying my Blue Moon, it occurred to me that this particular beer would lend itself very well to a favorite recipe of mine. A few years back, someone gave us some old beer (how generous of them) that neither of us wanted to drink. As someone who hates waste, I took to the internet to find a recipe that could put the beer to good use. Thanks to food.com, I found the perfect thing: Beer Bread. Versatile and hearty, this bread is extremely easy to make and pairs well with many, many meals. It's also great on its own. Add-ins like cheese, nuts, fruit, green chiles, or spices are delicious options. You can make it with any kind of beer you have on hand, and can even use beer that is getting on past its drinkable life. I made it with some of the Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout today and it was delicious, but you should feel free to give anything a try. Also, the recipe calls for butter or margarine to be melted on top of the bread before it's baked--do not skip this step. Your tastebuds are in for a treat. I really love using Smart Balance Light for this; it has a bit of a tangy, salty taste that is just amazing.
So, curl up with a cup of tea while your bread bakes, and enjoy a bowl of soup with some hearty bread tonight. That's what we’ll be doing, because we’re in the midst of a blizzard. But it sounds pretty darn cozy, so that's fine by me. I also made some banana bread to share with helpful neighbors who plowed our driveway and loaned us movies, so it will be a tasty night indeed.
Beer Bread (per food.com)
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1 tsp. salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1⁄4 c. sugar
1 12-oz. can or bottle of beer
1⁄2 c. melted butter or margarine
Mix all ingredients together, expect the butter. Spread in a greased baking pan. Pour the melted butter on top of the bread. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour (but check the bread frequently; depending on how thin you have spread the dough, it may be done sooner).