- 3 Ways to Make Vegan Dishes Feel Like a Meal
- Naturally Ella’s Fastest Dinner Recipes and Tips for Food Bloggers
- Five Easy Indian Dishes That Anyone Can Make
- Seven Spoons Blogger Loves Vintage Props and Sugar Buns
- Why You Should Make Slab Pie Right Now
- Kate Taylor on Her Healthiest—and Most Indulgent—Recipes
- Lady and Pups on the One Redeeming Thing about Living in Beijing
- The Vanilla Bean Blog on Puff Pastry, Cacao Nibs and No-Churn Ice Cream
- 5 Awesome Picnic Desserts
- My Darling Lemon Thyme on Eating Gluten- and Dairy-Free
Here, the blogs you should be reading right now with recipes and tips from their creators.
What sparked your love of beer?
It started on a trip to Ireland. I was really young and happened to end up in Dublin during the St. Patrick’s day festivities. Nothing will get you to fall in love with beer like the Irish. I went back to Los Angeles and started exploring the California beer scene.
What are a few general rules you’ve learned with cooking with beer—for example, how do you choose what type of beer to use for a certain dish?
Two fantastic practical reasons to cook with beer are meat tenderizing and leavening. Beer is a natural meat tenderizer, making it the perfect liquid to marinate or braise meat in, especially tougher cuts like flank steak. It’s also great to brine chicken and turkey in, which will help the bird stay juicy and tender even in higher heats. Beer is also a leavening agent, which means it gives bread and cakes a great light texture. When adapting a baked goods recipe for using beer, keep in mind that baked goods need fat, and beer is fat-free. If you’re replacing a liquid like buttermilk or cream, make sure to account for that by adding extra oil or egg yolk to compensate. Also, if you need to reduce a beer, stick to a malty beer, like porter or stout, and stay away from high-hop beers like IPAs—they become really bitter when reduced.
What is your favorite beer town and why?
Wow, that’s a hard question. Of course Portland, Oregon, is great, lots of fantastic beer. San Diego and Boston are incredible also. But if I have to pick, I might go with Sonoma County. Maybe it’s Russian River, Bear Republic and Lagunitas, or maybe it’s the fact that at dive bars like Ernie’s Tin Bar can fill your CSA and your growler at the same time. Sonoma is just magical.
What beer trends are you most excited by right now?
Beer is being taken more seriously. It’s now brewed to pair with food, bottled to be cellared and aged. Brewers are pushing even more toward local, fresh ingredients, and full disclosure when it comes to ingredients is now fairly common. It’s exciting to see the mainstream viewing beer as important, requesting beer to pair with great food. Craft beer is really well made, with really high quality ingredients, it’s amazing to see people recognize that.
What are your new favorite food or beer blogs?
As far as beer blogs go, no one does it better than Good Beer Hunting and The Craft Beer Girl. For the pure enjoyment of reading, I love OC Beer Blog. For food blogs, I love Savory Simple, she’s a chef and an excellent photographer. I also love Foodness Gracious, a really great blog written by a stay-at-home dad.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.