Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beer & Bacon Birthday Party Food

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Speaking of things I am thankful for, my husband had a birthday this November.  For his birthday, I wanted to combine two of his favorite & bacon.  He totally dug it & although I don't love bacon nearly as much as he does, it was delicious.  Here was the spread.
The main dish was the beer & bacon chili.  Visit this post Here where I tell you all about how to make this DELICIOUS chili.  Served with the chili was some amazing beer & bacon cornbread.  We also had beer & bacon baked beans.  I'd love to tell you that I made these from scratch, but I was running low on time, so I added a little Guinness & some nice big chunks of bacon to the maple baked beans that Bush's had already nicely made & canned for me. ; )

We finished the meal with beer & bacon cupcakes.  I made the same Guinness cupcakes that I made for my grandfather's Vintage Beer themed birthday party.  Now I made a couple of changes from the first time I made these cupcakes. This time, I didn't separate the ingredients & cook them down like I had the first time. I actually dumped all the ingredients together & mixed them up like a regular cake batter. So yeah, I totally cheated, but guess what? I actually liked the consistency a lot more. Weird, but it worked. Another change I made was the icing. The first time I made these cupcakes, I went with a dark chocolate icing. This time, in order to keep with the beer & bacon theme, I used this seasonal icing that was out called Maple Bacon icing.  It was so good with the Guinness cupcakes.  The icing was sweet, but the little bacon crumbles that you sprinkle on top cut the sweet & it balanced so great with the Guinness cupcakes.  I will definitely use that icing again.  I don't know if they have it year round or not, I just found it with all the caramel apple & pumpkin stuff in the middle aisle at Walmart. : )  God bless Betty Crocker.
Along with the chili & other delicious beer & bacon items, we had a beer & bacon tasting.  My husband is in love with bacon & beer for that matter, but I can say I really had no idea there were so many different kinds of bacon until having this party.  Here were the pairings that we had at our party.

Peppercorn Bacon paired with Sierra Nevada Celebration
The spice of the peppercorn really went well with the hops in the Celebration. I think this was my hubby's favorite pairing.  I'm sure it helped that this is one of his favorite beers too. : ) 

Applewood Smoked Bacon paired with Dunkelweizen

This German wheat beer went nicely with the smokiness of the applewood bacon.

Black Forest Bacon paired with Fat Weasel Ale
 This amber ale was paired with the Black Forest bacon.  Now, I don't care much for amber ales (I am still in the brown ale-stout level on the beer evolution totem pole), but this black forest bacon was AMAZING.  I had never even heard of such before, but found it at Trader Joe's & it was great. Definitely something different to try & enjoy.

Brown Sugar Bacon paired with Palmetto Espresso Porter
This was definitely my favorite pairing because let's be serious, I love sweets & the sweet/salty combo of this bacon was fantastic.  The espresso porter was also great.  The coffee flavor went great with the brown sugar in the bacon.  For the brown sugar bacon, I took a pack of thick cut bacon & sprinkled it with 1/4 cup of brown sugar & then cooked it in the oven for about 35 minutes at 375.  Speaking of cooking bacon in the oven...have you ever cooked bacon that way?  I had not before.  I usually fry it in the frying pan or even throw it in the microwave, but I made all of this bacon in the oven because I didn't have time to monitor a billion frying pans on my oven.  And guess what?  It was all amazing.  I put tin foil in baking sheets & cooked it all in the same oven at 375.  Some of it got done before others, like the black forest only required about 25 minutes, but if you keep an eye on it, it turns out great.  I think I will always make my bacon this way because it was great.

This party was pretty easy to throw together in an afternoon, See this post here for more info on the decorations. It turned out to be one of my favorite parties, mostly because my husband really enjoyed it. I mean, with tons of beer & bacon, can you really blame him?  : )

See these posts for more info on this party
Beer & Bacon Party Food
Beer & Bacon Party Decorations
Beer & Bacon Chili

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