Ultimate Beer Lover’s Oktoberfest Celebration (PLUS Giveaway)

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John Schlimm, member of one of the oldest pre-Prohibition brewing families in the U.S. (Straub Brewery) and award winning author (The Cheesy Vegan, The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook) has the ultimate tipsy gratification on tap in his new book, The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour.

It’s all about delicious recipes that go perfectly with that special something in your life…your beer. Just check out a couple of the recipes below…just…so…good…

Hippie Cayenne Sourdough Pretzels

Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion powders, molasses, and Frank’s RedHot leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to these seasoned sourdough pretzels. Perfect for any occasion, from happy hour to a campfire, these fiery pretzels pair nicely with a lighter Pale Lager or Pilsner, or even a heavier Oktoberfest.

Pair with: Oktoberfest, Pale Lager, Pilsner

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine (use recipe below or store-bought margarine)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (use recipe below or store-bought Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard, such as Colman’s, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoon mace
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet dry vegetable soup mix
  • 2 dashes Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 8 droplets liquid smoke, or to taste (search Colgin.com for plant-based liquid smoke flavors)
  • 20 ounces sourdough pretzels

Preheat 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the margarine in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, mace, lime juice, vegetable soup mix, hot sauce, molasses, and liquid smoke. Heat until just bubbly.

Using tongs, dip the pretzels in the mixture, one at a time, coating them completely, and place them on the baking sheet. Let the pretzels rest for 15 minutes, then bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, and let the pretzels cool there thoroughly, for 90 minutes or so. Serve the pretzels or store them in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to a week. Yields about 4 cups

Sounds ridiculous, right…well how about one more…

Spicy Friday Night Nuts

Tabasco, cinnamon, cloves, garlic powder, Old Bay, and other seasonings will let your guests know you mean business when it comes to turning every nutty bite into Friday night, no matter the day or occasion. The aromatic spice combo here nicely complements the medium hoppiness of a Kölsch, the sweet malty notes of an Oktoberfest, or even a stronger Bock.

Pair with: Kölsch, Oktoberfest, Bock

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine (use recipe below or store-bought margarine)
  • 4 cups pecans, almonds, unsalted peanuts, and/or walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (use recipe below or store-bought Worcestershire sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste

Place the margarine in a 2-quart microwave – and oven-safe pan. Melt either in the microwave or over medium heat on the strove, and then stir in the nuts of your choice. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Microwave the mixture on high for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. For a toastier flavor, spread the mixture on a baking sheet, and run the sheet under a hot broiler for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring once. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store the nuts in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to a week. Yields 4 cups

If that’s not enough for you, how about going all out and making your own margarine or Worchestershire sauce? Huh, yes, that’s right. I dare you…it’s easy!!

DIY Margarine

  • 16 ounces coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a sturdy, medium-size saucepan. Prepare an ice water bath in a vessel large enough to hold the saucepan.

Add the coconut oil, canola oil, coconut milk, mustard, turmeric, and salt to the saucepan, stirring well. Bring the mixture to 125°F over medium heat, then transfer the pan to the ice water bath, and continue to stir until the mixture firms up. Transfer the mixture to a container with a screw-on lid. Cover and refrigerate the mixture. The margarine will keep for about 2 weeks. Yields about 4 cups

DIY Worcestershire Sauce

Traditional Worcestershire sauce is made using anchovies, and therefore not used by those following a plant-based lifestyle. One go-to source for plant-based Worcestershire sauce is the Annie’s Naturals brand of organic Worcestershire sauce (Annies.com).

Also, here is an easy homemade version:

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook and reduce the mixture by half, about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, and let cool completely before using. The sauce will keep in a tightly covered container, refrigerated, for 2 to 3 months. Yields about 1 cup

To find out more about John, visit him on those inter-webs:

Now, here’s the best part…enter to win the following awesomeness (US & Canada only):

  • 1 signed copy of The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour by John Schlimm
  • 2 Humane Society of the US T-shirts (1 male M, 1 female M)
  • Lucky Brand Jeans Gift card for 1 free pair of jeans
  • 6 Straub Brewery Pilsner Glasses
  • Coleman soft cooler with hard liner (red)
  • Weber Barbecue Apron, black
  • 1 OXO Steel Bottle Opener
  • Set of 2 wooden snack bowls
  • Set of 4 wooden coasters

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