Tag Archives: Midwest Micro Brews

Grilled Cheese Obsession Redux

Smoked Gouda w/Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon, Sliced Avocado & Purple Onion

It’s sunny and not as chilly in San Diego today but there is still a delightful feel of fall in the air.  I decided that I needed a bacon fix today so I started things out by slowly frying up 5 plump strips Of NimanRanch Applewood Smoked Bacon.  You can buy Niman Ranch Bacon at Trader Joe’s and I can assure you will be thrilled with the quality.  Check out the Niman Ranch website  http://www.nimanranch.com/index.aspx and see for yourself.  It’s all about the ethics surrounding the food we eat.

The Niman Ranch Mission: Niman Ranch and its U.S. farmers and ranchers raise livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably to deliver the finest tasting meat in the world.

We are proud that all our livestock is:

Niman Ranch Bacon!

  • Humanely Raised on Sustainable U.S. Farms and Ranches
  • Never Given Antibiotics – Ever
  • Never Given Any Added Hormones – Ever
  • Fed All Vegetarian Feeds

I was told recently that the Niman Family no longer owns the ranch, but I am still impressed with the quality of the product and the practices that they subscribe to.  Chipotle Mexican Restaurants also use Niman Ranch Pork for their food; a huge reason why I will eat at Chipotle!

Mmmmm Bacon!

Be sure to cook the bacon slowly and evenly so it gets nice and brown.  Don’t be in a rush.  Most things in life are better when done slow & easy.  Please make a note of that guys… I like my bacon crispy, especially for sandwiches because I like to break it into tiny pieces and sprinkle it on the gooey cheese goodness when it begins to melt.  After its cooked to your liking, remove it from the pan and place the strips on a double folded piece of paper towel to absorb the grease.  Use another piece to pat the top.  Then set it aside to cool until ready to make your sandwich.

The same as yesterday I used olive oil in my pan in place of buttering the bread.  Olive oil is still high in fat but it is a good fat and healthier than butter.  I actually prefer the taste of it too but that could be because I have used it in place of butter for so many years.  Be sure to buy a good quality extra-virgin type.  Trader Joe’s has several great selections at a very good price.  I had some TJ’s Smoked Gouda slices in my fridge and I thought this cheese would fare well with the bacon.  I leave the brownish rind on because I like it but you can cut it off.  Smoked Gouda takes a while to melt so covering the pan will help speed that along.  once it starts to swell and bubble , that is when you want to add the bacon pieces to one side.  To balance out the saltiness of the bacon I added some thin slices of a firm avocado.  Avocado has a buttery texture that compliments the bacon and the gouda.   I also added a few pieces of thinly sliced Purple Onion and placed it on top of the avocado.  Gently slide the other side of the bread on top of the side with the bacon and avocado, being careful to keep all the ingredients firmly in place.  Continue cooking until bread is at desired brownness on both sides.  Slide gently on plate and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting.  I added a little sautéed cherry tomato compote to the plate for garnish-yum!

Hinterland Brewery - Pale Ale - Green Bay Wisconsin

I decided to pop open the Hinterland Pale Ale to enjoy with my latest creation.  I am afterall, a consenting adult of legal age who deserves to be pampered 🙂 and it was 2:00 PM.  I popped open the beer and poured it into one of my favorite glasses.  Details on the beer later but with regard to pairing with the grilled cheeses…It was perfect!  This mellow Pale Ale complemented the salt and smokiness of the grilled cheese sandwich perfectly!

The great thing about creating grilled cheese sandwiches is that there really is no right and wrong choice.  That is a beautiful thing when cooking cause it takes the stress out of the process.  Cheese is one of my favorite foods and I can think of few things that don’t go well with the various styles.  Stay tuned as I experiment with some of the amazing suggestions I received yesterday on Twitter and via the comments section here.  Remember…It’s all about the journey!  CHEERS!

Grilled Cheesegasm! Oh My....

New Glarus Unplugged Cran-Bic Ale

Today was extraordinary!  I had several good things happen that really gave me a lift; one being the arrival of an amazing gift from Midwest Micro Brews containing New Glarus Beer.  I have coveted New Glarus since my first encounter with them at GABF.  I decided I was “worthy” of having one to myself tonight!  It was, afterall, a most excellent day 🙂

I decided to use one of my Riedel Champagne Flutes for this auspicious occasion.  Riedel really knows how to make the finest glasses for bringing out the very best in the beer, champagne, wine or whisky that you are drinking.  This style is non-stemmed and I really like them because they have flair!

Tiny Bubbles! New Glarus Cran-Bic Ale

The Cran-Bic Ale poured beautifully into the glass with tiny, perfect bubbles spiraling effortlessly to the top of the glass.  The color is a “sassy” pale pink/red that speaks to my girly nature.  There is a large head that dissipates quickly leaving a foamy ring to circle the bubbles.

I can smell the berry goodness even though my nose is not close to the glass as I pour it.  As I pull the glass toward me, I smell more than just cranberry on the nose.  It’s a bouquet of mixed berries (Cherry, Strawberry, Blackberry) and a subtle tartness. The bubbles tickle my nose as I take in the beautiful aroma.  <Audible Sigh of Contentment>

There is a very light mouthfeel and the cranberry is prominent as it slides across my tongue.  I love the effervescence!   Tart & sweet at the same time but with a little oakiness that gives it an interesting balance.  The finish is sweet and sultry.  I am amazed at how “fruit like” this beer is without it being overpowering.   It is extremely well-proportioned.  Mmmmm…

This is an extremely drinkable beer that would be delightful paired with a light salad course or dessert but frankly I could be happy sipping this just for the sake of having it.  I like to drink things that make me feel good and that sums up exactly how I feel right now!  New Glarus Cran-Bic Ale is beautiful! If I move to Indiana next year, I foresee road trips to Wisconsin being a big part of my future.

TheArtofBeer - In Love With New Glarus Cran-Bic Ale!

Special thanks again to Michael Bergman from Midwest Micro Brews for making me one happy girl!

Midwest Micro Brews Santa Claus! aka Michael Bergman

Twas two weeks before Christmas in my unemployed house….days were spent posting resumes and wishing I had a spouse.  What is that noise at my door that I hear?  It’s Midwest Micro Brews Santa with a box full of Beer!!! Away from the door I flew like a flash.  I tore open the box in awe of the stash!

Midwest Micro Brews!

The heave of my breasts and the after sex-like flushed glow,  do justly describe how I felt as I looked into the box below.

Now Cran-Bic , now Coffee Stout & Imperial Saison, On Spotted Cow, On Cracke’d Wheat – next Fat Squirrel – Damn Right On!

Leading the pack with an unbelievable might – Hinterland Pale Ale leads us straight into the night! And as I exclaim this so outta sight, Merry New Glarus Belgian Red to us all and to all a flippin’ awesome craft beer night!

Hinterland Pale Ale & New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red - OMG!!!!

When the worlds got you down and your life is in tatters…Reach out to great friends cause they are truly what matters!  Who would think that a box of beer could bring so much joy?  Those who know this wonderful community full of great girls & boys!

What Heaven Looks Like!

My sincerest thanks to Michael Bergman for such a generous gesture that truly made this day fantastic.  I will see this as yet another sign that the job in Indiana is my destiny…

COURTESY OF MICHAEL BERGMAN!