Well, the Holiday Season is upon us. Whether I have to drag you kicking and screaming and inject you with season cheer. Or if you’ve had your finger on the Christmas tree lights while wearing your reindeer antlers. It’s here. Alas! Now me, I’m a holiday person. Pumpkin pie, dress the turkey, trim the tree, hang the stockings. Yes to all of it! But once the holiday is over-I’m over it. The next day: Tree-gone! Lights on the house-gone! Let’s not dwell and start thinking about the new year. But while it is here, I really do enjoy every moment of it. So this year one of the ways we’re going to enjoy it is by having some friends over for a Craft Beer Tasting Party!
Santa likes craft beer as much as I do! Or I inadvertently placed that there.
Usually when we have a party it’s BYOB and a dish to pass. Which is great as the host I only have to come up with one dish and also get to try all the great food that our friends make. This year I’m making Party Perfect Spinach & Artichoke Dip. It’s a dish that I see on almost every brew pub menu so it’s a great appetizer for this party. Let’s get cooking. Or stirring, because it’s that simple. Cook the spinach to package directions and make sure it’s strained. Mix all other ingredients together up until the shredded cheese. Split half into the mixture. Put dip into an oven proof dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is melted. Like I said, party perfect!
For the ultimate craft beer party a tasting set is key. It gives guests a unique way to experience craft beer. Each glass contains a tasting marker for what beer goes best with what glass. These also make spectacular Christmas gifts for the Craft Beer Lover in your life.
Since we are having a craft beer party I thought I would throw out the usual BYOB for this party and call it the ‘Sixer Mixer’. Bring a six pack of beer for all to share. Some like IPA’s, some like Hefeweizen. Some like Pilsners, some like Stouts. Beer has a unique talent of finding just the right one for you. Plus this beer sharing goes perfectly with the fun game that we’re playing, Brew Haha! Can you get creative enough to beat your friends?
And finally what is a party without music? Hook up the Friday Afternoon Speaker and crank up the jams. Crack your beer open, tip it over then put the phone in the now available ‘holder’. I highly suggest queuing up some Yelawolf. He is backed up by a Michigan native, maybe you’ve heard of him, Eminem! If you have someone on your gift list that loves music and beer, this would make a great gift.
Love what I showed you here for the party? Visit Uncommon Goods for more gift ideas!
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Party On & Happy Holidays!
I’m serious when I say that I have been eating this meal most of my life. It’s a recipe that my dad invented, thus the name ‘My Dad’s Chicken & Rice’. He cooked it for us growing up and when I was old enough gave the recipe to me and I’ve been making it myself for about 20 years now.
My dad is a great cook! He makes the most unbelievable grilled chicken. My mouth is watering a little right now as I’m thinking about it. I want to think that he got his skills from my grandmother. On Sunday’s growing up we would have big dinners of lamb, creamed spinach and croissants. Dessert was almost always chocolate pudding with whipped cream. I loved those Sunday’s and I try and keep the tradition alive in our house where Sunday is a day for family and feasting.
Now back to the recipe because once you make ‘My Dad’s Chicken & Rice’ I know that it will quickly become a keeper you make for years yourself. Gather up your ingredients.
For years I made this recipe on the stovetop in a stockpot using quick cooking rice. But this Christmas I asked for a Rice Cooker and started making it that way. Let me tell you abut this rice cooker……
I LOVE IT! I know a rice cooker seems like something you would use only occasionally but let me tell you that I use this thing all the time. It is a steamer, slow cooker and I pretty much haven’t used my large stockpot (with the exception of this soup) since I got it. If you do not have a rice cooker, please feel free to make this on your stovetop following the same instructions.
In the pan or in your rice cooker add the water, chicken bouillon, rice, soy sauce, water chestnuts and fancy mixed vegetables. If you are using the rice cooker it will let you know when it’s all cooked. If you are doing this on the stovetop follow the package directions for cooking 1 cup of quick cook rice.
Now let’s cook your mushrooms and onions. I cook these separate from the chicken because the chicken will get soggy if cooked together and I like the chicken to be really crispy. Just add a little butter or oil in the bottom of your pan and sauté until mushroom and onions have browned. Add them to your pot.
Heat about 1 tbs. of oil in the bottom of the same pan used for the mushrooms and onions. Cut chicken into cubes and dredge into a mixture of flour, pepper and garlic powder.
Add chicken to pan and fry until golden brown.
Your rice should be cooked so now just add chicken as the final step and stir to combine all the goodness.
With this recipe I make Chinese Slaw Salad to go with it. Here are the ingredient I use.
Take your Ramen Noodles and break them up. Melt the butter and add the noodles to the pan, discard the packet you won’t be needing it. Brown the dry noodles to your liking for a crunchy topping on this salad.
Take the wet ingredients plus the brown sugar and mix together. Chop the lettuce and put it in a bowl. Add the bag of coleslaw mix. Top with dressing. Stir to mix. Top with Ramen Noodles. Right before serving I cut a lime I half and squirt over the top. It just adds a great citrus kick to it.
Plate it all up and here you are…..
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!
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