All posts by lovebeerlovefood

The $3 kitchen uni-tasker I adore

I’m a gadget minimalist in the kitchen – thoroughly in the camp that believe a sharp knife is all you really need.

However, there is one lone kitchen uni-tasker, that for approximately $3, is worth every penny to me.

No, I’m not talking about a garlic press. Those things are way too annoying to clean. Plus, in the case of minced garlic, a good slap of your chef’s knife will get that pesky skin off no problem (and get you halfway minced too).

But what happens when you don’t want to mince your garlic? You want it thinly sliced and  golden, sauteéd with green beans or as a garnish for creamy cauliflower soup. For even the most adept cook, it’s difficult to get just the right amount of knife pressure with the slap technique to avoid pulverizing the whole thing.

While I love the idea of that Saveur garlic shaking video that’s made the rounds in the past, I personally had very little luck with the technique. When you’re only looking for one or two cloves of garlic, I find my preferred tool much easier and just as fast. Continue reading The $3 kitchen uni-tasker I adore

Fake-out Instant “Phở” Jars

You know you’ve done something right with your lunch when everyone that walks by oggles your food and says,

“Oooo, what’s THAT?”



There are a bunch of variations on these cup-o-noodle style, just add water noodle jars, like this one from Food 52, or this one from Serious Eats.

The beauty of these easy stunners is they are super customizable to your taste, plus they can be prepared ahead of time, or quickly in the morning when you’re finishing your cup of coffee.

Continue reading Fake-out Instant “Phở” Jars

My Go-To Summer Potato Salad

Oh hello there. Yes, I still exist.

It’s been a while, so let me give you a quick re-cap on life before we delve into this heavenly recipe.


First off, I moved to Maine! The hubs and I have been plotting our return to New England for a while now. We chose Portland for many reasons, but among them are proximity to family just a couple hours away, reasonable cost of living as compared to the insane rent of Boston, and a beer and food scene that rival anywhere in the nation. I’m dead serious on that last point. Beer and food for dayyyyyyys.

Second, I found an amazing job working for Allagash Brewing Company. You might remember my trip there a couple years ago. I was embarrassingly excited to get a private, unscheduled tour and now, NOW, I am that person giving said tours.

I know! Meant to be.

Dill from our garden
Dill from our garden

As you can imagine, life has been a little crazy lately with re-locating, unpacking, settling into a new job, etc. but I’ve been having this nagging urge to get back into writing and photography. I could think of no other recipe that I’ve been making as frequently to share with you all as I attempt to re-enter the blogosphere. I seriously cannot get enough.

I’ve been making a variation on this potato salad for a year or so now and I never get sick of it. It’s fantastic year round, but it’s PERFECT for the summer since it’s non-mayo based. Plus, it’s better to make ahead of time anyway, as the flavors mingle and merry in the fridge overnight.



Dill Potato Salad with Green Beans 

  • 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, chopped into equal bite size chunks
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 oz fresh green, or wax beans, or a combination trimmed and cut into 1 inch sections
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 6 chives, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by sautéing your onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, with a large pinch of salt on medium heat. Reserve the rest of the olive oil for later. Stir frequently. By the end, the onion should be golden and slightly caramelized.

Next, starting with cold water and a tbsp of salt, boil the potatoes until a knife easily pierces the skin but the potatoes aren’t falling apart. When the potatoes seem close, add the green beans to the boil for ~ 3 minutes or until al dente.

When the potatoes and beans are done, drain and combine with the onion. Stir in the rest of your olive oil, vinegar, herbs, and lots of fresh cracked black pepper.  Serve after cooling slightly, or store in the fridge for the perfect bbq potluck side dish.

Recipe adapted from this one at Epicurious.


I couldn’t resist pairing this beer with our newest 12 oz release,  our yearly Belgian IPA, Hugh Malone. This year the brewers used Nugget as first wort hops, and Chinook as the wort comes to a boil. Amarillo, Cascade, and Mosaic were added in the whirlpool, plus  Amarillo, Cascade, Mosaic, Azacca and Idaho 7 to dry hop the beer.

Unlike some IPAs, this delight pairs extremely well with foods due to it’s fruity Belgian yeast character. I’m obsessed. The dryness of the beer and the kick of humulone (get it???) cuts through the richness of olive oil and sweetness of the caramelized onions.

Now that we’re settled, I’m hoping to make this a permanent foray back into writing so stay tuned for more recipes and beer goodness!


15 gifts for your favorite beer and food lover

In honor of Cyber Monday and the various deals out there in the interwebs I wanted to share some of my favorite things for the beer nerds, brewers, and home cooks in your life, or for YOU!

For the home chef:


1. Cast Iron Skillet

One of my favorite tools in the kitchen, a cast iron skillet, is inexpensive and will literally last forever. It will help you in so many ways you never even thought of – ever tried reheating pizza in a cast iron? Or french fries? It’s perfection. I haven’t found a tool better for making bacon either.

2. Microplane

I use my microplane nearly every. single. night.

Be it finely grating garlic, zesting a lemon for citrusy risotto (or one of my favorite soups), or getting the perfect hit of ginger in your stir fry, the microplane is where it’s at.

3. A really nice Dutch oven

Having a well made Dutch oven will change your life. Soups, sauces, whole chickens (!), even artisinal bread will be in your reach with this one pot work horse. It’s worth buying a nice one with a good warantee, like a Le Creuset, because again, you will probably have it forever.

4. A great knife

No kitchen is complete without a really sharp knife. It is your best tool (other than your bare hands) in the kitchen.

My favorite knife is this 5.5″ Santoku from Crate and Barrel. It’s small enough to take care of every day tasks and can handle larger items as well. The handle is extremely ergonomic which I love. Crate and Barrel is doing a 15% off full price online orders that ends today so jump on it!

While you’re at it, check out these other Robert Welch knives on Amazon.

Speaking of sharpness…

5. knife sharpener

Keeping your knives sharp is critical. You’re much more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one. While there are a variety of sharpening tools out there, I recently purchased a knife sharpening stone which does a phenomenal job.

For the quintessential beer lover:


6. A great set of beer glasses

If you’re been reading along with Love Beer, Love Food for a while then you know my feelings about beer glassware. But just a quick refresher, it’s important!!! Impress your favorite beer nerd with a set of nearly every glass they could want in their collection.

7. A double walled growler

With the craft beer boom, growlers are becoming an ever important mode of beer purchase. Many beers are simply not available in bottle or can, but your favorite local brewery may offer growler fills. Keep your beer cold and carbonated with a double walled stainless steel growler like this one.

8. Books!

There are some super awesome books out there for those wishing to improve their beer knowledge. When I was studying for the Cicerone exam I found Tasting Beer to be one of the most easy to read and most educational out there. It’s perfect for someone who is just getting into beer or even a more advanced beer nerd.

9. Shakoolie

Oh the Shackoolie. Because shower beer is a thing, didn’t you know? If not, I’m sure I can get my brother-in-law to perform a highly rehearsed diatribe on why the shower beer is THE thing to do.

10. The IPA Glass

The IPA, or India Pale Ale is the most popular craft beer style these days. The good folks at Dogfish and Sierra Nevada teamed up to create the perfect glass for this iconic style. The etching at the bottom releases bubbles for enhanced aroma, while the shape and base optimize flavor, slowly warming your glass for optimal hop POW!

And finally, for your homebrewer friend:


11. Refractometer

Refract – oh whatsit? A refractometer is the easiest way to get a gauge on your beer’s initial gravity (the amount of sugar) and therefore potential alcohol content. It’s a great, inexpensive tool for the homebrewer in your life. Just be warned, this great tool does not work for FINAL gravity, which the hubs and I learned the hard way. Still best to use a hydrometer for that one.

12. Magnetic Stir Plate

A magnetic stir plate may sound ultra nerdy, and it it is, but it will do WONDERS for a yeast starter, a critical aspect of homebrewing. Help take your friend’s homebrew to the next level.

13. Sparge Arm

For the advanced, all grain homebrewer, a sparge arm can increase efficiency and consistency in your beer. Plus it just looks so cool in action. Ours spins, releasing a steady stream of hot water over the grain bed, rinsing off all the wonderful malty sugars into your wort.


14. FastFerment Conical Fermenter

This unique fermenter will make your life so much easier. You don’t even have to transfer the beer! Just remove the yeast ball at the bottom after primary fermentation has finished and voila! You can mount it to the wall or get a stand, but I recommend the wall mount technique for ease of use.

15. The Blichmann Beer Gun

If you keg your beer, the Blichmann beer gun is the perfect tool for you to bottle just a handful of beers for friends, family, or perhaps even a beer competition or two. It’s extremely easy to use, and a super fun toy.

I hope that gives you some good gift ideas for the beer and food lovers in your life! What other fun gift items do I need to give away (or need for myself)?

Cheers lovahs!

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Beer Pairing

You guys, I LOVE Thanksgiving. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

There is truly not enough caps lock in the world to describe my insane infatuation with this holiday. If you are like me, which, since you are reading this website means you are at least a little, then you probably love Thanksgiving too.

Or even if you don’t love the holiday part, because your great Aunt Betty really bums you out, or your super crazy cousin Karen always complains about the lack of vegan options, then you certainly love the food, right?

Right. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

Thanksgiving Pairing Guide

In the past four years since moving to Cincinnati I’ve had some weird, non traditional Thanksgivings. This year though, this year I get to make my own feast for my family and I am beyond excited. Not surprisingly I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what beers to pair with my classic feast.

But I ran into a small problem. Continue reading The Ultimate Thanksgiving Beer Pairing