Rain and Beer

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It’s a rainy June day and not much else going on so I went to the store to get ingredients for supper which will be Chicken Scampi which at some point I will do a post on. This trip of course led to the liquor store. Every time I go I try to find something new, I love microbrews, especially ones which I have never tried. In my quest I came across Pretty Things Fluffy White Rabbits Hoppy Triple.  The first thing that caught me was the very unique label, hand drawn gypsy rabbits. The label offered no other information aside from the fact that it was brewed in Massachusetts. This is an excellent find and the first time I have seen it in Central Mass. After a little bit of Google research I see that it is popular in the Boston area. The beer pours a hazy golden color with a light foamy head. The nose is of aromatic hops, clover, and citrus. The initial taste of noble hops, lemon, undertones of banana and spices with a very minor  alcohol finish (Surprising for its ABV, 8.5%). It is an incredibly easy beer to drink with a smooth mouth feel and very refreshing after taste. This is one of the best locally brewed beers I have tried in a while and I look forward to trying their other selections. Let me know if any of you have had their beers and what you thought.

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Irish Birthday

One of the guys in the firehouse had his birthday last week but was off so we are celebrating it tomorrow. He may have a slight Irish in him…and by slight I mean his first name is the same as a very famous whiskey. So what better way to celebrate than with Guinness Chocolate Stout Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Frosting! This is by no means an original recipe but it is one I’ve made my own additions too. So, what will you need? 

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  • 1 Bottle of Guinness Draught (Obviously)
  • 1 Cups of Coca Powder
  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 2 Cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 ish cup of sour cream
  • 2 sticks of melted butter (yeah… this isn’t really healthy)

Preheat oven 350. Mix all of your dry ingredients in one bowl and in another large bowl with the exception of the coca powder. Mix the Guinness, coca powder, eggs, butter and sour cream in another larger bowl. Once the wet ingredients resemble a dark pancake mix add in the dry ingredients, mixing together until a batter. 

I used a bundt cake pan for today but you can use a flat pan or two round cake pans if you want to make a double layer cake, all work out well. Make sure your pan is greased and place in preheated 350 degree oven for approx 40-50 minutes or until done. 

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Frosting

The frosting is easy. First you will need another Guinness, not for the frosting, just for you to drink, its tough work making a cake in this kind of humidity! So, you’re done your Guinness or working on it, now we can make frosting. 

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  • 1 8oz Package of cream cheese
  • 1 (ish) shot of Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 cup of confectioners sugar

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a mixer on low setting. Feel free to take a sample of Baileys… You want to be sure it’s good!

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Once your cake is all done and cool add frosting however you see fit. Now, sit back, relax, and pretend you’re in a nice crowded pub!

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Before Coffee

It’s not all about food! I love firefighting as much as I love cooking! At least today’s shift started off with a car fire before moving onto the usual medicals. For anyone traveling on I-190 North bound this morning you had a little bit of a back up!

Almost as good as coffee

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So this is a blog…

Hey all! This is my first attempt at blogging, as cliched as that is. I’m a firefighter/ paramedic who loves food, cooking, and craft beer. Nothing is more relaxing to me than getting home from work, cracking a beer and getting to work in the kitchen to make dinner. I like to try new things and improvise off of old recipes. I know there’s  a thousand and one cooking and “foodie” blogs out there, hope you can add this one to your stops. As I progress along and get more comfortable I hope to add some more pictures to go along with everything. I’m looking forward to see how this goes! Cheers!

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You Know it, You Love it, It’s Baked Mac and Cheese

Everyone has a comfort food. If you were to ask every person you know what their favorite comfort was I bet 8/10 would say it was mac and cheese. Cheese is nature’s candy…  or binding agent, I forget. I figured for my first food post I would expand upon my love of mac and cheese and provide one of the recipes that I use for it. I’ve always loved baked macaroni and cheese, the cheesier the better. What’s better than cheesier? Bacon. Yes! So, what will you need?

  • (1) Box of Rigatoni, boiled and strained  
  • 4-6 slices of cooked, chopped bacon, the thicker the better
  • 2 cups of shredded muenster cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of milk or cream (how creamy do you want it?)
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 350

Disclaimer! I rarely use measuring units when I cook so if some of these units seem off…well… do what feels right to you! First things first we need to make a roux. Melt 2 tbsp of better in a med saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted throw that flour in! Mix quickly, this should only take a couple seconds. As soon as the flour and butter is mixed add your milk/ cream. Begin stirring immediately. Add onion powder, pepper and crushed red pepper.

Now, if you have sliced cheese, awesome, start tearing it up and tossing it into your milk mixture, stirring every few seconds. If you are using blocks of cheese make sure you have it shredded prior to starting. Alternate between stirring and adding your various cheeses. Your sauce should be beginning to thicken. Once your sauce is cheesy, thick and about the consistency of batter it is done. Add your cooked chopped bacon and remove from heat. Place your cooked rigatoni into a casserole dish and pour cheese sauce of the rigatoni mixing as you go. I sometimes find it easier to mix the sauce and rigatoni in a pot and then add it to a casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and place in preheated oven for 30 mins. 

After 30 mins crack a Guinness and enjoy! The two go together like… well, macaroni and cheese.Image

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