Beer Tasting Party {Gluten Free}


Beer tasting party

A very dear friend of mine had an epic move recently.  Leaving behind a life in Chicago that she had cultivated for years to turn the chapter on new adventures.  She has taken a huge step boldly and courageously and is such an inspiration to me. She set off in style because, of course, she is fabulous.   I was lucky enough to get to see her around the holidays in the city she had called home for years and where many a high tea, oysters and martinis, and memories were made together.  I was sad not to be able to see her off, to throw her a goodbye celebration, to help her pack, or just to be there, as moving is one of the big stressors in life.  Psychologists say it’s only rivaled by death; shocking!  I found my mind drifting to thoughts of her constantly, worried about her drive over snowy roads, thinking about how her felines would adjust and of course, missing her all the while.  I wanted to do something she would enjoy and having recently turned to a gluten free lifestyle, I started thinking of recipes I could do to honor her.  Then it came to me.  Gluten Free Beer Tasting.  Perfection.  She is a fantastic hostess and I thought what a wonderful way to celebrate new adventure and make new friends by throwing a brassy beer bash that even those with sensitivities to gluten could enjoy.  So, from almost 2,500 miles away I threw a beer tasting party in her honor.

What I love about a tasting party is it gets people talking.  No one pulls out their phones, or talks about work, people are talking about the experience, the flavors; the tastes.  It’s a great way to mingle together different groups of people and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon if I do say so myself.  You don’t need much to make it happen; a few small glasses, a few bottles of brews and an open palate! I did a blind tasting at my party.  I feel that this makes people more adventurous, you may think you don’t like IPAs but are you really giving the beer a chance if you already have that opinion set?  Blind tastings make us a little more open to trying things that we may already think we either like or don’t like.  I used votive candle holders for my tasting cups.  I found them to be the perfect size and priced even more perfectly! I grabbed a few mini chalkboards and whipped up a little tasting template you can download here if you don’t want to make your own.  I choose 2 gluten free beers and 2 ciders for the people opting out of gluten and 4 beers of varying styles for the gluten indulgers.  I began with a lighter beer, like a pilsner, then a red ale, an IPA, and a stout.  If you need help picking out beers, someone on staff at the grocery store is sure to prove valuable and if you can’t find anyone, take a leap of faith! After all it’s just a taste!

I used old paper bags, cutting them to wrap around each label and numbered each 1-4 to correspond with the numbers I chalked up on the little boards.  Then set out your snacks in little bowls and get to tasting and talking.  Give your guests a little score card or note book so they can write up notes and when you reveal the beer they can be sure to write down their favorites to purchase later.  I have included my template below for you to use at your Beer Tasting Party.

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Perfect place setting - Beer tasting party


The Menu

Blue Cheese with Cayenne Pepper Honey

Gluten Free Pretzels

Balsamic Candied Nut Mix

Salt and Pepper Popcorn

Balsamic Candied Nut Mix - Beer tasting party

Balsamic Candied Nuts

  • Preheat your oven to 350 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Crack one egg in a mixing bowl and whisk
  • Add two tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon aged balsamic and 1 teaspoon salt to egg
  • Mix in 2 cups nuts (I used a mixture of cashews, pecans, and almonds)
  • Spread onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool and break up any large clumps of nuts and serve – store in an air tight container

Blue cheese and cyan honey

Salt and Pepper Popcorn

  • Pop ¼ cup popcorn melt ¼ cup of butter and toss to coat
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cayenne Honey

Mix 2 tablespoon honey with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Beer Tasting Card

beer tasting party

Gluten Free Snacks - Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party
Caveman Blue Cheese with Cyan honey - Beer tasting party
Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

To friends and beer,

Marcella Rose

Beer tasting party

Game Day Spread {Gluten Free}

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So there are sports happening I hear.   Now, don’t get mad, but unless it’s soccer, I am rarely paying attention. However, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE throwing a game day bash.  I am not sure which ones, or how many, or how close we are to the Super Series or World Open or Final Bowl or whatever you call it but… game on right!!!

We all know the normal spread, wings, pizza, and all things fried, greasy and wonderful. But just because that is always how it’s done doesn’t mean there aren’t any other options.  What about a game day that is filled with food, that is good for you, but also so tasty the men keep digging in?  Well readers look no further, I am bringing you a little healthy spread  for this game season…time….event-bowl; you get it.  So I threw together some super healthy and super quick game day snacks.  What is even more exciting is that it all tastes fantastic; this Hot-Damn Cauliflower will have you licking your lips and tips of your fingers begging for more…trust me.  Serve this spread with a crisp fall, hard-cider and it is Gluten Free to boot!  The best part is the day after game day you are going to feel like a million bucks!! What more could you ask for?

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Menu

Hot Damn Cauliflower – with blue cheese yogurt dip

Broiled Baby Bell Peppers

Braised Asparagus

Cheesy Kale Chips


spicy-kale

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Recipes 

Hot Damn Cauliflower Hot Wings  – recipe at My Cooking Spot

Cheesy Kale Chips – recipe at My Cooking Spot

Broiled Baby Bell Pepper

  • Preheat Broiler
  • Rinse and dry peppers
  • Toss in 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil to coat
  • Roast until blistered about 7 mins turning once halfway through

Braised Asparagus

  • Preheat Broiler
  • Cut the hard ends off of rinsed asparagus
  • Toss in 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil to coat
  • Sprinkle with steak seasoning
  • Broil turning once until brown but not soggy about 3 mins (more for thicker asparagus)

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go head, get your game on!

Marcella Rose

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