Dinner In The Beer Garden: A New Cookbook Needs Your Support

My good friend Lucy Saunders, the beer cook, has a new cookbook on beer and food, Dinner In The Beer Garden, that’s she hoping to publish through Kickstarter. Like everything she does, it looks awesome. For as little as $15, you can get a copy of it as an e-book, and for a mere $25, you can be one of the very first on planet beer to put her recipes to the test with your favorite beers, using your own paperback copy of the book. For higher pledges, there’s even more cool stuff you can get, like t-shirts, signed copies, hoodies, and for the Pièce de résistance pledge, she’ll come and cook five of the recipes in the book for you and 12 guests.

[The book itself is] about pairing craft beer with plant-based recipes, enjoyed outdoors in gardens and other social spaces. This isn’t about traditional biergarten food like ham hocks and bratwurst. It’s a cookbook for people who like carrots and kale — as well as butter, fish, cheese and chocolate! Profiles of gorgeous brewery gardens, a chapter on the history and design of beer gardens, and juicy color photographs of recipes turn the book into a tasty read. Recipes are both original and contributed by home cooks and chefs in the craft brewing community.

Most of the hard work is already done; most of the recipes have been created and tested, photographs taken, and discussions with the printer — one she’s used for previous projects — have begun. All she needs is a little help from her friends to make her new cookbook appear in all of our hands, and the recipes inside filling our stomachs with deliciousness. If you love great food and beer, please consider pledging to become a backer of Lucy’s book at whatever level you feel comfortable.

Lucy showing off one of her other cookbooks, “The Best of American Beer & Food” during GABF in 2007.

Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake

My sister-in-law sent me this delicious looking recipe for a chocolate cheesecake made with Guinness, though I suspect any Irish dry stout would work. The recipe comes from Closet Cooking, a food blog by a man named Kevin in Ontario, Canada.


This recipe for the Guinness chocolate cheesecake is a pretty basic chocolate cheesecake recipe with the addition of the Guinness but the similarities stop there. The addition of the Guinness changes the texture and properties of the cheesecake making it more souffle like. Normally you can tell when a cheesecake is done by shaking it a bit and if only the center wiggles it is done but the entire surface of this cheesecake will wiggle the whole time, even after 2 hours of baking. You pretty much just have to trust the recipe and the results are certainly worth it!


The Guinness chocolate cheesecake is a moist one as might be expected with all of the extra liquid provided by the Guinness but it is also nice and light and creamy. This cheesecake has a texture that seems to be like a cross between a souffle and fudge and it is simply amazing! The Guinness flavour is very subtle but it seems to enhance the overall chocolate flavour which is quite welcome. In all honesty, this cheese cake does not need any garnishes but feel free to top it with some Bailey whipped cream if you like.

Here’s the recipe, but without the blockquotes for ease of reading:

Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake
(makes 6+ servings)
Printable Recipe


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Guinness


1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, sugar, and butter and press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
2. Melt the chocolate in the cream in a double boiler.
3. Cream the cream cheese.
4. Mix in the sugar, chocolate, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and Guinness.
5. Pour the mixture into the spring form pans.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 60 minutes.
7. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 60 minutes.
8. Let it cool completely.
9. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge overnight.


Boy that looks tasty. I’m hungry.

Grilling With Beer: Fanning The Flames Of A New Edition

The beer cook, Lucy Saunders, published a great book five years ago called Grilling with Beer. I must confess I’m a little biased, because I contributed a short chapter to it on Oyster BBQ. The book is now out of print, though there’s still great demand for it. So Lucy’s planning on “putting together new chapters and recipes for [her] cookbook, GRILLING WITH BEER: bastes, barbecue sauces, mops, marinades and more made with craft beer.”

She’s using Kickstarter to raise the $28,000 she needs “to pay for the printing for the 224-page color cookbook (using recycled paper and eco-inks). Everyone who funds will be acknowledged on the grillingwithbeer.com website — and larger funders can get even more cookbooks, plus assorted goodies such as tastings and cooking demonstrations. Eventually, the cookbook will be sold (suggested price will be $21.95) where craft beer is sold!”

While you can pledge any amount on Kickstarter, pledge just $25 and get a copy of the book autographed by Lucy, a t-shirt and 5 recipe postcards. Such a deal! Whether you have a copy of the original book or not, here’s a great opportunity to get the new version and help out a very worthwhile project to get Lucy’s book back in print.


My Attempt At Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Beer Brownies

On Christmas Day, The Beer Wench — Ashley Routson — posted a recipe for Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Beer Brownies using a brownie mix. I will eat any dessert that’s made with both peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a combination I simply cannot resist, yet another of my many obsessions. But I also love bacon. Since this dessert completes a kind of perverse trifecta, I simply had to give it a try. The fact that it used a mix also made me more likely to make it, since I am ridiculously lazy when it comes to cooking.

Ashley’s original recipe was as follows:



  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chocolate, oatmeal or regular stout
  • 1 package of bacon
  • 6 whole peanut butter cups — chilled
  • 2 tbsp butter


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan with butter. Yes, butter. Because butter makes everything better.
  2. Cook entire package of bacon to desired consistency. I like a combination of crispy bacon and chewy bacon. The both add an interesting texture to the end product. Allow the bacon to cool and then dice it.
  3. Chop the Peanut Butter Cups into small pieces.
  4. Melt the butter and mix with the bacon. The recipe on the box technically calls for oil. Unfortunately, the only oil I had on hand was Olive Oil. So I decided that the oils from the bacon combined with melted butter would suffice for the recipe.
  5. Combine the eggs, stout and bacon butter with the box brownie mix in a large bowl. Do not over mix. After all ingredients are combined, fold in the peanut butter cups.
  6. Pour the mix into the greased pan and spread it evenly. Bake. For 13X9″ pan, bake 24-26 minutes. For 9×9″ pan, bake for 38-40 minutes. For 8×8″ pan, bake 52-54 minutes.
  7. Serve with an Imperial Stout.

My daughter woke up feeling sick this morning so we’re not doing much of anything today. That freed me up to do some baking. So using what I had around the house, I decided to try my hand at making them. Being even lazier than most, I decided to use bacon bits instead of frying up my own. That also meant I wouldn’t have the bacon fat to substitute for vegetable oil. Fortunately, I have vegetable oil so I made a mixture of butter and oil to use instead. For the beer, I found a bottle of Moylan’s Ryan O’Sullivan Imperial Stout. My mix called for slightly different ingredients — like two instead of three eggs — but otherwise it was quite similar.

All the ingredients laid out, with the peanut butter cups already sliced and diced.

My daughter Alice helping me mix the brownies.

The brownies mixed with bacon and peanut butter cups.

Ready to go in the oven.

Just out of the oven. That scar in the pan happened when I accidentally grazed it with my silicone pot holder, pulling it out of the oven.

The finished Bacon Peanut Butter Brownies paired with some imperial stout.

I thought they turned out great. And they were very easy my way. But it appears I’ll have them all to myself. Neither my wife nor the kids thought much of them. But they worked for me. I personally think bacon and peanut butter work great together. Add chocolate and it’s divine. Thanks to Ashley for the original idea. Yum, now to eat some more brownies and drink some more beer. Happy Boxing day indeed.