Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beer Cheese Soup!!

Tis the season of BRATS!! I've recently requested a meat grinder so I can start making my own sausages and what not. I LOVE brats! And homemade brats are the best! But what do you do with all the liquid (mine is about 1/2 beer and 1/2 water) you initially boiled the brats in? Do you realize this is a pseudo-stock (or cooking liquid)???? Well, here's whatcha do. DON"T DUMP IT!!! Take the brats out. Then add an onion (rough chop), garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Let it reduce!!! Reduce it down to 4 cups of liquid. Go ahead and strain it out. You can either use it hot, or save it for a later time.

1/4 c butter
1tsp fresh garlic (or the jarred stuff)
1/4-1/3 c Flour
Melt butter, add flour in small batches stirring constantly
~~ This is what Parker helps with. He's gotten VERY good at stirring.

It will become a thick paste, alittle looser than playdough. SLOWLY add the liquid from above. Continue to stir to avoid lumps. When you got about half of it added, pour in 1 bottle of beer. I prefer a dark brown ale, and the soup will taste MUCH better if you use the same beer as you boiled the brats in. Pour in remaining liquid to desired consistancy.

6-8 oz SHARP cheddar cheese, shredded (I use a good 1-1.5 year aged cheddar, however this gets very sharp in the soup and does not melt well. Still tastes VERY good!)
Slowly add the cheese. Be sure to give some to the curious kiddos on hand :)
~~~ Parker adds the cheese, he also eats quite a bit ;) But now that we are dealing with hot liquid, I take over the stirring and he does the adding.

It will be semi thick, add more liquid to loosen it up. If you have no more liquid, use a touch of cream. No, this was not intended to be a low-fat soup :) After you have it to the right consistancy for you, add some chopped brats for texture. Enjoy!!!


Alright, I started this blog awhile ago and just now have the time and ability to get it back up and running. I have a few goals in writing this blog-

1) Encourage parents to include their kids in EVERYTHING! From cooking to cleaning, to gardening, to organizing. How can we expect our children to learn these valuable life lessons unless we encourage them to practice them on a daily basis!!

2) Share Recipes. As most know, I"m a former professional chef. While I'm going back to school to be a teacher, that doesn't mean my love for creating recipes and inspiring people to go further with food is lost!!! In fact, I think it's only enhanced because I'm cooking for me, and by extention, FOR YOU!

3) Be real. I have so many freaking hats. Some days are great, others not so much. But I'm a part of a tight-knit group of women who share a common thread- We're Preemie Moms :) With that being said, there may be posts about hospitalization, there will probably be post about DR appointments and therapy. Frustrations with Insurance companies and lacking development.

But, I'm a mom. Moms talk about their kids--ALOT. And Parker is the ultimate reason I'm writing this. I hope that in following us, you'll be able to get to know us more, and be encouraged to be a better parent and even teach me a thing or two as you comment on our days :) Take care! We'll see you soon!!!