Guest Blogger #2 Home brewing with Cameron

For your blog reading enjoyment may I introduce my friend Cameron…. He makes Beer and he was so kind to share his mad skills with us. Take it away Cameron……

Mmmm beer. Thought I’d input a little beer knowledge into this food blog, thanks Sarah for the forum. Thought I’d do a couple different posts. This first one will be about homebrewing.

These are hops – seriously I know what the leaves look like.

Ah, the smell of malt and hops, the foamy head on your lips, the quenching refreshment of that first sip. How about a little introduction to the basics of beer. Their are four main ingredients in beer: water, malt, hops, and yeast. Water, I won’t bore you with the chemistry of water and how brewers treat it to make it perfect for their beers, just know 90% of beer is water so you want to start with some tasty water! Malt, the background of most beers, this is usually malted barley, barley that has been germinated to just the correct state and then dried. Malt is what gives you the sugars that the yeast eat to make alcohol, little more about that later. The malt can also contain other grains, wheat beer anyone? Yeast, this is the worker, the yeast take the oxygen and the sugars and make alcohol and carbon dioxide, without it we would just have bitter sugary water. Oh and last but not least, my favorite, hops, they balance the sweetness of the beer and give off the wonderful piney, florally, citrusy aromas!

OK, OK, enough of the boring stuff, let’s brew! Here is a (quick) lowdown of the brewing process. First we take hot water and crushed grains and mix them to extract the sugars. Then we wash and drain the grains and get a sweet wort. We take the sweet wert and boil, during the boil we add hops, this extracts the bitterness and taste from the hops and infuses these luscious flavors into the beer. After this we take the boiling water and cool it down and add yeast. That’s it, finito! Well almost I guess, we still need to let the yeast work, but after about 7-30 days, (while maybe adding another set of hops for aroma, for us hop heads) we have beer. We need to put it in something to drink from, either a keg or bottles and after its carbonated it’s Happy Hour!

Big thanks to Cameron for sharing his knowledge and passion for BEER! make some….. it’s so good.

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Guest Blogger #1 Texas Egg Rolls by Doreen

There is a cool story about these tasty Texas Egg Rolls. Doreen used to be a rep I worked with in my previous career, part of her job was to wine and dine us…..hehehehe. We had a favorite place for lunch and we’d always order Texas Egg Rolls, it was our thing. She loved them so much she set out to make them herself. Doreen is now the professional  Texas Egg Roll maker for all the parties we go to, if Doreen is there…. she’ll walk in the door with these yummy morsels and they don’t last long. I was thrilled she decided to share this recipe with us here on Spry on Food.

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, room temp

1 cup shredded Mexican style (Cheddar/Jack) cheese

3 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

8 egg roll wrappers

1 jar hot pepper jelly

1 egg

oil for frying

Directions

Combine the cream cheese, shredded cheese, and diced jalapenos with a mixer.  Chill the cheese mixture for at least 30 minutes.  You can also make ahead and chill up to 24 hours.

Divide the cheese mixture into 8 even pieces.  With your hands, roll each piece into a log shape and set on plate.  When you have rolled all 8 you’re ready to roll in the wrappers.

Beat the egg in a small bowl.  This will be used to  glue the egg roll wrapper closed.

Lay a wrapper on the counter with 1 corner pointing toward you.  Place the cheese log near that corner.  Wrap the corner around the cheese and roll the whole thing up until the cheese log is level with the 2 sided corner.

At this point fold both side corners to the center.  Continue to roll up until almost to the final corner.  Use your finger to paint on some of the beaten egg on that corner.  Finish rolling to seal the corner to the roll.

In a deep fryer or dutch oven heat your oil to 375 degrees.  While your oil is getting hot, put your hot pepper jelly in small sauce pan over low heat to warm.  Keep an eye on the jelly.  You’re not trying to cook it, just soften it, so it’s more of a liquid form.

When the oil reaches 375, gently slip a few of the egg rolls in the oil.  Fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the wrapper is golden brown.  When they are done, lift them out with a slotted spoon or spatula and place them on a paper towel lined plate or platter.

Repeat with remaining egg rolls.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Cut in half or serve whole with the hot pepper jelly.

Recipe & Photos by Doreen

Big thanks to Doreen for not only being the first to respond to me plea for guest bloggers but for bringing us this special snack. Make these! You will LOVE them I promise.