Tag: Beer

Weekend Finds 5:3:14: Cinco De Mayo Edition

I’ll be working on Monday night, but this edition of weekend finds is for those of you that will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo! I plan on celebrating with my roommates over the weekend, though there certainly won’t be any margarita cupcakes or jello shots (because, seriously?). You can celebrate this weekend, too, if lots of margaritas are more your style…

1. Rhubarb Margaritas

Weekend Finds: Cinco de Mayo Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Try these rhubarb margaritas with homemade rhubarb simple syrup!

Yes, more rhubarb. I had a hard time deciding if this weekend finds would be rhubarb themed or Cinco de Mayo themed, and lucky for me, this find fits both. This time, the rhubarbh is combined with tequila, so it’s about as great as it could ever be. I would DIY some rhubarb simple syrup for this recipe instead of trekking out to your nearest Ikea…

2. Tacos Galore

Weekend Finds: Cinco de Mayo Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
This slideshow from Bon Appetit has so many different kinds of tacos, it’s hard to choose which ones to make.

If you know you’re going to make tacos (and really, why wouldn’t you?), check out this slideshow from Bon Appetit to help you decide what exactly to fill them with. I think making a few of these fillings is a perfect way of giving folks some options.

3. Corn Tortillas

Weekend Finds: Cinco de Mayo Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Beautiful fresh tortillas. There’s nothing like them.

If you haven’t made your own tortillas before, I definitely recommend it. The softness and freshness cannot be beat by anything in a little ziploc bag you buy at the store. Try this recipe from Happy Yolks on Food52. It only calls for 3 ingredients, one of which is water, and you don’t even need a tortilla press.

4. Guacamole with Spring Peas

Weekend Finds: Cinco de Mayo Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Guacamole: springtime edition with the addition of peas and ginger.

I love that this guacamole recipe brings fresh peas into the mix, letting us celebrate springtime a little bit too. The ginger sounds nice too, like it would make for a very refreshing snack. Bring on the Juanita’s. And don’t forget this guac saving trick.

5. Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

Weekend Finds: Cinco de Mayo Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
These crispy tacos look delicious with all the cheese and beans oozing out.

These black been tacos look delicious, and I love the way you fry up the tortillas to get them nice and crunchy. Imagine these bad boys all piled on a plate, piping hot and ready to enjoy with some Coronas. Yum.

6. Fish Tacos

Weekend Finds: Cinco de Mayo Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
These fish tacos are some of my favorite tacos I’ve ever made.

If you are going to make more traditional tacos, this recipe for fish tacos will always be one of my absolute favorites.

7. Mango Michelada

Weekend Finds: Cinco de Mayo Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I love the color of this mango michelada.

If margaritas aren’t quite your style and you’d prefer something a little more laid back, try this mango michelada. I bet you could simplify it even farther by replacing the mango purée with mango juice, too.

Risotto with Fava Beans and Corn

Fresh corn and fava beans ready to go into the risotto // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerRisotto with Fava Beans and Corn // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Wowee! What a whirlwind it has been lately. A few weeks ago, Jonah and I were in Chicago for the 4th of July holiday, and it seems like from there, things got crazy. The night we left for Chicago, we applied to rent a house, and the night we got back we found out we got it! We are now living in NE Portland, within walking distance to Porque No?, Tasty n’ Sons, and countless other places. Mississippi and Alberta neighborhoods are a stone’s throw away, and I’m discovering a part of the city of which I had only scratched the surface. It’s pretty sweet. Be on the lookout for reviews of some spots in our new hood.

It has been a while since I gave you guys a recipe. This is one I made a while back, but it is just as perfect for right now. This past weekend, we went out to Sauvie Island to go berry picking – we have blueberries coming out of our ears! As well as raspberries, peaches, and a few ears of corn. The corn reminded me that I STILL hadn’t posted this risotto recipe! I’ve discovered that risotto is such an easy meal to make and you can really throw in anything you have around. Saffron? Sure. Squash? Yup. Mushrooms? Why not. But this was a great spring & summer risotto with fava beans and fresh corn.

Risotto with Fava Beans and Corn


1 1/2 lbs of fava beans, shelled and shelled again (to learn more about shelling favas, go here)
2-3 ears of sweet corn, the kernels cut from the cob
~4 cups of chicken broth (can easily be replaced with vegetable broth to be made a vegetarian dish)
1/2 cup white wine (Alice Waters told me (in her book) that if you don’t have any white wine, you can also use a light beer – I didn’t have any wine or nice beer around, so I used PBR… it worked just fine)
2 Tbl olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low.

In a separate saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook them until the onions are soft but not browned, about three minutes. Add the arborio rice and stir to coat it in olive oil. Add the wine (or in my case, beer, because I’m classy like that) and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and evaporated, stirring constantly.

Now add the broth, one cup at a time (or one ladle full at a time). Stir the rice frequently after each addition, and only add more broth when the previous broth has been absorbed. When you have added half the broth (after about 15 minutes), add the fava beans and corn. Continue adding broth and letting the rice cook and absorb, until the rice is tender but still has some bite to it. You may not need all of the broth. When the texture seems good to you, add about 1/4 cup of broth, remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Beer Bread

This recipe is a bit famous in my family. And I wanted to be sure to share it with you while there is still Pumpkin Beer on the shelves because that’s my favorite kind of beer to use. We got this bread recipe from a friend of my sister’s from college, Graham. As soon as Emily introduced me to it, I was hooked. However, it’s not the healthiest (as you will see, you dump a melted stick of butter over the whole thing), so I try not to make it all too often. This specific one I made to take to the first rehearsal of a play I was just cast in. Baked goods always make a good first impression.

Beer Bread

Makes 1 loaf


3 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 can/bottle of beer (12 oz) – Having made this a few times, here is my take on what beer to use: Nothing too dark or hoppy, it gives the bread kind of a funny aftertaste. Seasonal beers are nice (think pumpkin ale or christmas beers), as are more fruity beers (back when the only beer I liked was apricot hefeweizen, that worked well), and anything on the lighter side. But I would steer clear of IPAs and reds.
1 stick of butter, melted


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add beer, stir to combine. Grease a bread pan, and dump the dough into it. Warning: the dough will be sticky. Put the bread pan on a rimmed baking sheet – this is important as you won’t want the butter to seep over and just end up in the bottom of your oven. In a small bowl, melt the stick of butter in the microwave. Pour the melted butter over the dough in the bread pan. Bake for 1 hour, turning halfway through.

Remove the bread from the oven, run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn out onto a cooling rack to cool. This bread is pretty crumbly, so good luck getting it to stay in one piece when you slice it. But it’s so worth it. Enjoy!

Holiday Ale Festival

Holiday Ale Festival

Holiday Ale Festival
Holiday Ale Festival

So this post doesn’t have a recipe, but I did say (on the “About” page) that I’d write about cool food related things like restaurants, cookbooks, equipment, etc.

For those of you who don’t know much about Portland, OR, one really cool thing you should know is that the Portland metro area has the largest craft brewing market in the U.S. There are 44 breweries operating in the city, which is more than any city in the world. So we like our beer. Possibly my favorite event in Portland is the Holiday Ale Festival. It usually happens the first weekend of December in Pioneer Square.

They set up big tents right underneath the giant Christmas tree and fill them with delicious beers made especially for the event. Here’s a little quote from the program they give you:

“What makes this festival so special is that you won’t find the beers served here in your grocer’s aisle. We work with every brewery involved to make sure they are sending a product that has either been made specifically for this event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn’t commonly tapped in the state or won’t be tapped until the festival closes.”

Cool, right? So you buy a ticket, get a cool little plastic mug, a program, and 8 tickets. Each taste of beer (4 oz.) is 1 ticket, unless it’s a limited beer and then it’s 2 tickets. And then you’re free to roam the tents! The beers are so delicious and dangerously strong since they’re often stouts, porters, and really hoppy ales. There were a lot of beers with hints of mint, chocolate, and holiday spices like allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

So here were our favorites:


  • Columbia River Brewing’s “Drunken Elf Stout” – Imperial Oatmeal Stout with lots of chocolate and coffee flavors
  • Gilgamesh Brewing’s “Chocolate Mint Stout ’11” – American Stout with chocolate and locally grown mint (not too minty like some of the other chocolate mint beers I tasted)
  • Laht Neppur Brewing Co’s “Laughing Boy Stout” – Russian Imperial Stout with cocoa, vanilla, and honey undertones
  • Rusty Truck Brewing Co’s “Belsnickle’s Strong Ale” – Strong Ale brewed with nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander


  • Bear Republic Brewing Company’s “Old Saint Chongo” – Winter Chocolate Wheat Ale with some mexican chocolate with hints of banana
  • Laht Neppur Brewing Co’s “Laughing Boy Stout” – Russian Imperial Stout with cocoa, vanilla, and honey undertones (This was on both of our lists)
  • Oakshire Brewing’s “The Nutcracker” – Gingerbread Imperial Porter with ginger and cinnamon
  • The Commons Brewery’s “Little Brother” – Belgian Dark Strong Ale with a bit of toffee, candy, and chocolate