Tequila Verde Shrimp

shrimp3I got me some tomatillos and cilantro in my CSA box! Tomatillos are weird–they come wrapped in a papery leaf, and when you peel the leaf off what looks like a green tomato, the skin is all sticky.

shrimp2But don’t let my description deter you! Tomatillos are delicious and tangy–and pair excellently with tequila!


You can cook this shrimp with either the shell on or off. It will be juicy, so you can serve it over rice to absorb that flavor, or in tortillas for some tequila shrimp tacos!

p.s. pardon my bad instagram photos. we do what we can.

Tequila Shrimp Verde

Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 medium onion

1 green pepper

1-2 jalapenos

1 lb tomatillos

salt to taste

1-2 teaspoons cumin

1/4-1/2 cup tequila

1 lb raw shrimp, deveined

1 cup cotija cheese

1/4-1/3 cup cilantro

lime juice


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a pan that you can also transfer to the oven. Add onions, jalapenos and green pepper about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add tomatillos and reduce heat to medium. Season with salt and cumin. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes until tomatillos are just cooked through.

Take the pan off the heat and add the tequila. Return to heat and reduce slightly. Nestle the shrimp and sprinkle the cheese on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and mix in cilantro, lime juice and pepper. Serve over rice or in tortillas.

Whiskey Herb Marinated Chicken

whiskeychicken1Since my Simon & Garfunkel garden runneth over, I have been on the lookout for ways to use my fresh herbs in various dishes. The parsley, rosemary, and basil have all been receiving a considerable amount of cooking action, but the sage and thyme….are a bit neglected. Lucky for me, I found a recipe that banks on lots of fresh, beautiful thyme–and it has whiskey! Even better.

Whiskey marinated chicken=juicy, flavorful.

whiskeychicken4Seriously though, we have a sage BUSH at this point. And I’m not a big meat eater. Hopefully we’ll be able to utilize it in the next couple months with lots of butternut squash and pumpkin, but–everyone has an open invitation to come over and snip away for all their fresh sage needs.

whiskeychicken3And if you know of any vegetarian or pescatarian recipes utilizing sage or thyme, please let me know!

Whiskey Herb Marinated Chicken

Adapted from The Irish Spirit

1/2 cup whiskey
3/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and pepper
4 chicken breasts

Combine whiskey, oil, garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary, cayenne, ginger, salt and pepper to taste in a sealable jar and shake to blend. Place the
chicken in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, most easily done overnight.
Preheat a gas or stovetop grill to medium high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill, flipping over after 6-8 minutes. Brush once with the marinade after turning.

Beer Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells

shells3After the exhausted and resultingly (new word!) uninspired photo shoot with the Crockpot Beer Buffalo Chicken sandwiches, I may have gone a little overboard taking pictures of these stuffed shells. I couldn’t help myself!

shells2I won’t even say anything. They speak for themselves.

shells5And now: melted cheese…

shells6Melted blue cheesey buffaloey goodness.

shells7And green beans, steamed. Cause we’re healthy like that.

shells8Beer Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells

Adapted from Debbi Does Dinner

1 12 oz. package jumbo shells

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella

handful of grated parmesan

1/4 cup ranch dressing

1/2 cup hot sauce (more if needed)

2 heaping cups of Crockpot Beer Buffalo Chicken

1/3 cup blue cheese

2-3 scallions

Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, mix the cream cheese, ricotta, mozarella, parmesan, ranch dressing and hot sauce together in a large bowl. Add the chicken. If the mixture isn’t too soupy and you would like it hotter, add more hot sauce.

If the pasta is still hot, run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Stuff each shell with the buffalo chicken mixture, and place in your pan/s. (I made one 9×13 and one 8×8 -which I froze- then had extra “seashells” for the toddler who doesn’t like spicy food. Yet.) Top with the blue cheese and scallions. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until gorgeous and bubbly.

Crockpot Beer Buffalo Chicken

I went to a bridal shower and bachelorette party! Took a Friday off, drove to The Cleve, went directly to my favorite brewery. Went to dinner, then went to another brewery. Showered the bride with love…

shower…then went to another brewery. Went to a fancy dinner, then went to a neat taphouse. We piled ourselves in a cab and returned home for a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity. It was my kind of weekend. But needless to say, after little sleep and the 6 hour drive back, I was exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking.

sandwich1And you would think after all that beer, I wouldn’t return home to make an intoxicating eat, but I was able to tell my husband over the phone what to do and it was there waiting for me when I got home! Perfection! Unfortunately, it did lead to some pretty uninspiring photos…

sandwich23 lbs of chicken makes a large amount, so you can certainly scale it back. But I had a plan for each and every last bite of this chicken. The first night we made buffalo chicken sandwiches. Next up: Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells! I’ll share it tomorrow!

shells1Crockpot Beer Buffalo Chicken

3 lbs chicken (we used boneless breasts)

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 12 oz. bottle beer

3/4 cup hot sauce, divided

Place chicken, seasonings, 3/4 of the beer, and 1/4 cup hot sauce into the crockpot. Cook on high for for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Remove and shred the chicken and discard any remaining liquid. Return chicken to the crockpot and pour in the rest of the beer and an additional 1/2 cup of hot sauce. Cook for an additional half hour so the chicken soaks up the sauce. Use as you like!

Tequila Cilantro Pesto

I LOVE cilantro. Love. It’s my favorite color (not that that’s unique), and it just smells so fresh and amazing. It smells like warm weather and sunshine. And anyone who knows me knows how I feel about warm weather. And hot weather. Oh yeah, and it tastes fantastic too. So I made it into a pesto and added some bite–tequila!

pesto1This particular evening I slathered it on tortillas to make “green tacos” with chicken, spinach, and avocado. But I could also see covering some chicken with it whether baked in the oven or cooked on the grill. Or on pizza. Or pasta. You know, the usual pesto recipients. Depending upon what you want to use it for, just adjust the amount of olive oil or use reserved pasta water to create the consistency you want.

pesto5If I wasn’t hoping a certain toddler was going to partake in the pesto (no, he didn’t have any–no tequila for this two year old!), I would have also added in some chile pepper. Although, as long as I glob sour cream on it I don’t think he would care….

Tequila Cilantro Pesto

Adapted from Simply Recipes

2 cups packed cilantro leaves

1/2 cup almonds

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon salt

dash of cayenne

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon tequila (more if you want!)

If you want to be super fancy, toast those almonds in a dry skillet on the stove until fragrant. Toss the cilantro, almonds, garlic, salt and cayenne into a food processor and pulse. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil, lime juice and tequila. Taste and adjust seasonings, tequila, or oil accordingly.

Chocolate Kahlua Pudding with Kahlua Whipped Cream

I went on vacation. One whole glorious week of biking, zooing, reading, sight-seeing, visiting breweries and wineries, and drinking what was purchased at said establishments. And most importantly-relaxing on the beach in the beautiful sunshine. With friends! All while making sure a toddler didn’t run off into the ocean. It was fantastic.

pudding3We cooked at our rental house most nights–and by we, I mean our friend cooked for all of us. In my guilt about not stepping it up more in the chef department I offered up some Chocolate Kahlua Pudding. I don’t think it made up for all of the grilled pizza and chicken and swordfish and scallops, but we do what we can.

pudding7And since returning from that vacation we have literally been running around (seriously, I’m pretty sure I did some sprinting as soon as we pulled back into our driveway to get ready to pull back out of the driveway) and I’m ready for another. Though we’ll have to wait until next year…

pudding6Chocolate Kahlua Pudding

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

16 oz. chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup Kahlua

For whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup Kahlua

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove. Or, if you’re on vacation and can’t find the right tools to make a double boiler, heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each time.

Heat the heavy cream and Kahlua in a medium pan until very hot, but not boiling. Pour the melted chocolate into the cream and stir, stir, stir, stir or whisk, whisk, whisk, whisk until completely combined.

Keep all the mixture in one bowl or pour into an attractive serving dish to be scooped out later, or pour into individual ramekins, dessert bowls, or cocktail glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat 1 cup of whipped cream with 1/4 cup of kahlua until it forms stiff peaks. Serve over the pudding and garnish with chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or fresh fruit.

Beer Shrimp Scampi

I love the ridiculously buttery shrimp scampi that you get out at restaurants.

beershrimpscampi2I don’t often order it though, because shrimp scampi is a super simple meal that I can make at home and it doesn’t take any time at all. Also, I’m 92% positive that this shrimp scampi is way healthier than any I would order out–even with the beer! And I added broccoli too! Something green!

beershrimpscampi3So who said anyways that shrimp scampi always needs to be made with wine? It ain’t so! Many different beers work with the light flavors in shrimp scampi: a pale ale, a lovely hefeweizen, or a saison would be wonderful. And as much as I love cooking with wine, we’re not the biggest white wine drinkers. We’re big, bold, dry, red people in this house. So the chances of me having a beer that works with the flavor profiles of the dish, and finishing that beer once I’m done cooking with it are much more likely.

beershrimpscampi1If only some parsley had been ready to harvest from my Simon & Garfunkel garden…

Beer Shrimp Scampi

Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb angel hair pasta

1/2 lb broccoli florets, frozen or fresh

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup beer

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Either throw in the broccoli for the last couple minutes of cooking time, or steam above the cooking pasta in a steaming basket. Reserve some of the cooking liquid.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together over medium high heat. Saute the garlic and red pepper flake for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the shrimp. Add the beer and stir. Increase the heat to high and let the mixture boil for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and continue to cook on the highest setting until the shrimp are perfectly pink. Turn the heat off and mix in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli into the skillet and toss altogether. Add the reserved cooking liquid and/or more beer if you need to create more sauce.

Olive Cheddar Beer Bread

This is merely a riff on a standard classic.

bread1Beer bread is one of my favorite things to take to someone’s house for whatever event we happen to be celebrating: birthdays, baptisms, Thursday–it always works. Chances are they will not have made some themselves (unless you’re coming to my house) and it won’t be competing against the food they’ve prepared. Others will bring chips and hummus and cookies, and it’s an item that stands on its own.

bread2Of course, I know I’ve posted a beer bread before. This just shows off how endlessly and effortlessly adaptable beer bread can be. Sláinte!

Olive Cheddar Beer Bread

Adapted from Simon & Garfunkel Beer Bread

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup green olives, chopped

12 oz. (1 bottle) beer

1 egg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, parsley, garlic powder in a medium/large bowl. I like to aerate it at this time and just stir it all together with a whisk. Add in the cheese and olives and stir, covering all pieces with flour to assure they don’t stick together in a clump. Pour in the beer and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter in a greased loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a little tap water. Brush the egg glaze over the top of the bread batter. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Beer Pizza Dough

Beer and pizza. Universal and transcendent. Now, even better with beer in pizza.


This recipe was super easy–because I have a bread machine. It would still be fairly easy with a stand mixer, and I assume you could knead by hand if you really, really wanted to. Also, try to match what beer you use to what kind of pizza you’re making. A pale ale or IPA for buffalo chicken, a spring ale or wheat/white beer for a spinach artichoke pizza or a dessert pizza….


I used this opportunity to make our favorite homemade pizza: alfredo sauce, chicken breast cooked with jalapenos and garlic, cheese and black beans. That’s right. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

Beer Pizza Dough

Adapted from All Recipes

1 cup beer, flat and warm

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning*

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

If your beer is still well carbonated, aerate with a whisk for a few minutes. I microwaved my beer so that it was the same temperature that I usually make my water when dissolving yeast.

In order, add the beer, olive oil, flour, sugar, salt and seasonings and yeast to the bread machine. Set the machine to the “Dough” setting and press start. Wait until your bread machine tells you that your dough is ready.

Roll or press your dough onto your desired pan. Brush lightly with a little more olive oil. Cover it with a clean towel and let it stand for 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the plain dough for 5-7 minutes, then remove from the oven and add your toppings. Return to the oven to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Just keep checking on it!

*Our particular pizza wasn’t very “Italian” tasting, so I omitted the seasoning this time. But if you’re making a typical red sauce pizza, I highly recommend adding it in!

Bourbon Caramelized Onion Dip

Of course I can’t make a normal dip. A regular dip. Sure, there are other ways to amp up your flavor. But bourbon is delicious. Caramelized onions are delicious. And bourbon caramelized onions are ridiculous.

dip1I think the onions get sweet enough on their own, but you can add in a teaspoon or two of brown sugar if you’d like. I also like to add in that extra tablespoon kick of bourbon at the very end, because “raw” bourbon is going to hit your tongue differently than cooked bourbon.

dip2This is my “oops, I was supposed to take pictures!” photo shoot…

Caramelized Onion Dip

Adapted from A Spicy Perspective

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 large onions, chopped, at least sliced thin

1 teaspoon salt

cayenne pepper to taste

1/4 cup bourbon

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon bourbon

Melt the olive oil and butter together over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low. After 10 minutes add the salt. Keep cooking and stirring for 30 more minutes until the onions are a deep brown color. Add the 1/4 cup bourbon and cook for 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the cooled onions, softened cream cheese, sour cream, worcestershire sauce, and remaining tablespoon of bourbon in a food processor. Dip, dip, dip.