A blog about making things - one small batch at a time

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Fake-out Instant “Phở” Jars

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 […]

My Go-To Summer Potato Salad

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 […]

15 gifts for your favorite beer and food lover

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

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, […]

Weeknight Honey-Dijon Salmon

Weeknight Honey-Dijon Salmon

I have been meaning to share this recipe with you for ages now. I’ve probably made it 10-15 time in the last year. I’m sort of surprised that the hubs hasn’t started to complain, because I rarely make anything with this much frequency – but […]

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