Christmas and New Years have come and gone. The gyms are filled with people struggling through their yearly work-out. The stores can’t keep enough kale, quinoa, or other so-called “Superfoods” on the shelves to satisfy the trendiest dieters.
I’m not really one to make New Year’s resolutions. January really isn’t different from any other month, and shouldn’t be the only time we set goals. That being said, I do have one project I’m looking forward to working on over the next year.
I’ll be babysitting a friend’s brewing equipment over the next year, which gives me an opportunity to venture into the world of home brewing. As with any goal, it’s a good idea to start small, and work up to where you want to be.
The first batch will be an easy one from a kit. And maybe adding a bit of personality with some dry hopping or flavorful adjuncts.
Step two will be more complex, brewing from malt itself. Any suggestions for techniques and potential flavours will be welcome, from fellow brewers and beer enthusiasts alike.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to make and eat cookies (even eggnog-flavoured ones) year round (not just in December). The following is one of my favorites – a successful experiment from last year.
Rum N’ Eggnog Sugar Cookies
⅔ cup butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. rum or rum flavoring
2 tbsp. eggnog
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
- Cream butter, sugar and rum together.
- Add egg and eggnog; beat thoroughly.
- Sift together remaining dry ingredients.
- Gradually blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture.
- Divide dough in half and cover or wrap in plastic.
- Chill at least one hour before rolling out.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ⅛” thickness.
- Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
- Carefully transfer to cookie sheet and bake at 350°F (325°F convection) for 8-10 minutes.
- Let cookies cool before removing from pan.
Makes about 36 cookies
Got any tips or tricks for a newcomer to the world of home brewing? Suggestions for a first or second beer style to try? Clever names for new brews? I’d like to hear about it – comment below or get in touch on twitter @theempirestrikesbock