I am so lucky that I have awesome friends and family who want to get involved with my 30 before 30 list. After I posted the official list, I had a friend contact me with an idea to have a beer tasting at her apartment. “Let’s see how many beers we can knock off that list!” Alright, I can definitely go for that!
I was asked to make some of the food since I am vegan and nobody else in this group is. Of course I didn’t mind. I’ve been cooking for small gatherings now for a few months and I thought it would be fun to try cooking for a larger group. Ideas were tossed around, but for this group, not knowing exactly what everyone likes, I went with recipes from Chef Chloe Coscarelli.
As this was mainly a beer tasting event, we figured finger foods would be the best type to make. After some brainstorming, we came up with this list of food from “Chloe’s Kitchen”:
- Artichoke Walnut Pesto Crostini
- Baked French Fries (recipe in the book for “Sea Salt and Vinegar Fries- I just didn’t use the vinegar)
- Thai Chickpea Burgers
- BBQ Tofu Pizza (this time with homemade pizza dough made by me! A first!)
All things I have made before, and I hoped people would enjoy.
So the idea behind this tasting is that everyone would bring a couple of beers that either they enjoy or want to try and we would all share them. My friend Jess took a trip a couple of hours away to visit Ommegang brewery in order to get a few beers and those adorable tasting glasses pictured above. It was looking like it would be an awesome night of food, beer, and great friends!
I was a little bit stressed on the day of our event. I’d never cooked so much food at once and not for so many people. What if the pizza dough doesn’t taste good? Does my dip taste too sour? Did I burn the onions too much?! Is this dough supposed to look like this?!?!?!?! Anxiety just kept on building!!!!
All that worry was for nothing- turns out that everything turned out great! So great that I didn’t even have a chance to take pictures before people dived into the food. So my apologies for terrible half eaten food pictures. It’s all I have to show of this occasion!
My very first pizza crust. Whole wheat and doesn’t look too bad. It took forever to get it to stretch out and fit the sheet!
The Artichoke Walnut Pesto Crostini. We decided not to toast the bread since it was so fresh. Yum!
The table where we set all the food up. On the left should have been the Thai Chickpea burgers if they hadn’t had fallen apart. Nope, everything did not go perfectly! However, they were still good even though they fell apart. We just smashed them between two whole wheat buns and ate them that way. In the middle is the BBQ Tofu Pizza, and in the back are my famous Baked French Fries.
My friend Megan made Taco Dip, which was not vegan but it was vegetarian:
I tried a tiny little bit and it was very good!
We even had plates of mixed vegetables. There was a ton of food! In the middle of the picture above was the jug we were using to rinse our tiny glasses in. Haha!
Once we had eaten and tried a couple of beers, I threw together our dessert: Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream. You can find the recipe for them in “Chloe’s Vegan Desserts”. I forgot to take a picture of them, but I heard some really awesome comments about them from the non-vegans. The best compliment I got was that people couldn’t believe they were vegan, and that they were the best cupcakes they had ever had. Win!
I would go through all the details of the beers we tried, but I think I will save that for my beer post once I complete 30 beers. I am very close! After this tasting I had upped my count by 20 beers! We tried an incredible amount of different beers. I got to learn a little bit more about what I really like and what I don’t. Once I finish I will post all the beers I tried and my opinions (or what I can remember!) of them.
For now, here’s a preview of what was tasted:
As for the list:
- Try 30 beers: 4 beers left!
- Meet new people- yay for being social!
Do you have any favorite beers you think I should try? Or have you been to any fun events lately where you cooked something new? Tell me all about it in the comments!