Beer Appetizers and Chocolate Wine Dessert

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Beauty through the trees

Had a great weekend with friends, food, and adult beverages.  We hosted a few friends at our house this past Saturday; as usual, the day started with a gorgeous sunrise that led to a cleaning frenzy.  One can never clean enough with a cat in the house.  At 11 o’clock I took a break from cleaning to prepare the main course: Crock pot balsamic pork (boneless shoulder).  I seasoned it with salt, garlic powder, and red pepper.  Then I poured a mixture of rotisserie chicken broth and balsamic vinegar on top, followed by a drizzling of honey.  With a flip of a switch to low and 6-8 hours later, we would be ready to eat!

For the first appetizer, I made a dip with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ranch packet, and beer.  Placed on the table next to pretzel crisps and Naan chips and this snack was incredible.

Additionally, I was preparing sliced kielbasa on the stove that simmered in beer, barbecue sauce, and dijon mustard. Heaven.

For food to accompany the pork, we first prepared a spinach salad with pears, red onions, and a dijon based dressing.  Next we had a twice baked potato casserole (um I can’t stress the yummy goodness enough) loaded with bacon.  And our last selection was sautéed apples.  We caught up on each other’s lives over dinner with generous portions of wine and craft beer.

Dinner was incredible, and made even better by dessert (which had two parts).  We started with a cheesecake:

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Omgoodness.

The crust was oreo based and it was topped with a chocolate raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries.  After we scarfed down the cheesecake,  we poured a bottle of chocolate wine.  That stuff should be illegal!

It’s refreshing to have a nice night in with friends and a slight change of pace from going to some fancy, posh restaurant where we spend 40$ on bottles of wine with 15$ appetizers that will give us all just one serving.  A home-cooked hootenanny is just what I needed!

My cat, who hid under the bed for 6 hours, probably had different feelings about our night in…

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