08 November 2012

Beer brewing/pumpkin carving party food spread

My husband brews beer. Every few weeks he has his brew buddies over to brew a new batch. He has gotten very technical with all of it and now our basement is filled with two chest freezers with temperature controllers to have the beer brew and condition at the proper temperature as well as a lot of other peripheral brew equipment. The newest piece of equipment saw its debut a few weeks ago. We had a group of people (mostly physicists) over for beer brewing and pumpkin carving. The equipment is a plate chiller and is used to cool the boiling wort to yeast pitching temperature. Unfortunately, we didn't have the proper fittings to hook the hose onto the plate chiller, so they brainstormed and came up with a way to gravity feed the water from our second floor bedroom through the plate chiller to cool the beer. You can see pictures of this adventure at my friend, Robert's, blog. After all the shenanigans, I was glad I made a lot of food!

The entire spread

Dehydrated banana bread, from Practically Raw
It tastes just like banana bread, and only has a few ingrediants. Delicious!

Chocolate kale chips, also from Practically Raw
This is a pretty similar recipe, although I used raw cashews, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and no chia seeds or lemon juice. The massaging of the kale took the longest time. These taste like crispy bits of chocolate. You cannot taste the kale at all. The Practically Raw cookbook has an entire chapter on kale chips and another one on hummus. It is a fantastic book. I need to just buy it, I have been using the library copy for the past few months. The perk of being a graduate student, I get to check out books for as long as I desire.

Hummus, baba ganoush, pineapple, guacamole
All pretty standard recipes.

Homemade pita bread
I used a recipe from Whole Foods for the Whole Family and cooked them on a cast iron griddle in a 400 degree oven. I had the oven heating up to 500 degrees, but the smoke detector went off. Obviously, something was burning off the pan, but 400 degrees worked out fine. I got into quite a rhythm while I was making them. I divided them out into 12 balls. Rolled one ball out into a round with the rolling pin. Put it in the oven. Rolled out the next ball. Turned the first pita over. Put the second one in the oven. Roll out the next ball. Take the first pita out of the oven. Turn the second one over. Put the third one in the oven. I was so happy that these actually puffed up in the oven, it was great and amazing.

Everyone enjoyed the spread and we only had minimal leftovers. I would say the day was a hit!

The day after the beer brewing/pumpking carving, we were hit with the outskirts of Sandy. School was cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, but there wasn't a lot of damage in the area, thank goodness, and we never lost power. We did, however, see a pack of wild turkeys wander in our backyard during the worst of the wind and rain. They hung out for an hour and then moved onto whereever they were going.

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