Bittersweet Salted Beer Caramels: The beer-day finale

Salted Beer Caramels

Beer Birthday invitation!

Birthday invitation!

This is the third and final post in my “How to throw an epic beer-themed birthday” series. Having covered the basics, and how to make awesome candied beer nuts, this post will show you the second party favor I handed out — salted caramels made with beer.

After a lot of online digging, I finally settled on this recipe from the Food Network. It had some good reviews and seemed simple enough to fit into my timeline. If I make these again I might do something more adventurous like these, but this time around I went for a straightforward recipe.

It called for only a few ingredients: a bit of butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream and, of course, beer. I chose another Oregon brew for this project: Gilgamesh’s Vadar, a black IPA aged with coffee beans. I wasn’t sure of the coffee flavor would come through (it didn’t), but it still sounded like a great beer to use in a dessert.

Salted Beer Caramels

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Hop worship & throwing the best beer-day party ever!

This is how I roll when it's my birthday...

This is how I roll when it’s my birthday…

If you read Wednesday’s post, you’ll know I’m in the middle of series about throwing the best damned B-day party ever — where the B stands for beer, glorious beer! In this post I’m getting down and dirty with the specifics on how I went about this extravaganza.

I spent the month prior to the party relentlessly planning it. Some things I figured out with relative ease, like the beer-infused party favors and the beer shaped cake (thank you Pastrygirl for making my beer-filled dream come true!).

Hell, even finding super fun beer-shaped candles was a surprisingly easy feat (at least for my friend DB who scored them at a local cake decorating place).

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Beer-Candied Pralines & Planning my Brew-Day!

Beer-Candied Pecans

Planning my birthday is seriously one of my favorite things to do. I pick a theme months in advance and then slowly dedicate myself to making invitations, buying decorations, practicing cake recipes, etc. (This kind of “birthday black hole” is why I haven’t been around much the last two weeks — too much to do!)

But there’s one thing I definitely love more than my birthday — and that is beer. Sweet, sweet beer. I often say that if given the choice between my kegerator or my wedding ring, the keg would win out. I’m (mostly) joking.

So to help celebrate my love for the hoppy, malty nectar of the gods, this year I decided my birthday party theme should be beer. And oh, trust me, this theme proved to be a contender for the best idea I’ve ever had.

But we’ll get to that in time…For now, welcome to the first in my “brew-day” series. To kick-off this series we will be making beer-candied pecans. And, yes, they are amazing.

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How to host an urban scavenger hunt party, part 3

Over the past week, I have been working on a series: How to host a scavenger hunt party (pirate-theme optional). We covered awesome invitations and the list of things to find.

Now let’s move on to locations, strategies for the competition and prizes. Oh yeah, and what kind of food to eat afterward!

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Birthday Bliss: How to host an urban scavenger hunt, Part 1

I have mentioned once or twice that I take my birthdays very seriously. I start planning months before — beginning with a theme and going full force until the big day. This year it was honey and bee themed, last year I did a pub quiz-based party. But the year before that was one of my best ever: the pirate-themed scavenger hunt.

I not only got a great response from my friends on this one, but I recently had another friend (currently living in a different country) ask me for tips so she can plan her own scavenger hunt. While Ms. Dipity may not need to worry about the pirate part (she’s planning a bachelorette party), I thought it added to the fun and gave extra oomph to the theme.

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This year’s bee-day party was a seriously sweet success!

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I never really thought I’d throw a whole party centered around bees and honey, but now that my birthday party is over, I think it was one of my favorite party themes to date. And that’s saying a lot given … Continue reading