Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Chris and I spent the week after Christmas with colds so by the time New Year's Day came around, I was craving something other than chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches -- both easy things to make when you're feeling under the weather and a parent of a six-month-old (gotta save what little energy you have for the baby, not cooking).  And since we didn't get to ring in the New Year with a champagne toast (yeah, we didn't even make it to midnight), I decided to celebrate with a bottle of beer (Shiner Bock, to be exact) by adding it to some homemade bread.  Yum!  If you have any leftover beer from your celebrations, this is a great way to use it (especially if you're on cold medication) other than drinking it, of course.  I paired it with some homemade beef vegetable noodle soup, a perfect complement.  I think it's best fresh out out of the oven when it's warm but it does reheat well in the microwave if you have any left the next day.

Beer Bread
(Courtesy of The Good Housekeeping Step-By-Step Cookbook)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 can or bottle (12 oz.) beer
4 T. margarine or butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease 9" by 5" loaf pan (you can use cooking spray).  In large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.  Stir in beer and melted margarine just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).

Spoon batter into loaf pan and bake 40 minutes, or until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

Your house will be filled with the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread!

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