Filtering by Tag: cooking

Backyard Dinner with Draftmark

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to own my own home.  My mom is an excellent host and entertainer so the moment I've moved out I wanted to throw my own fabulous parties and dinners, but that's pretty hard to do when you're living in a two bedroom, one bath apartment.  Don't get me wrong, I always made a place my own, but it's not the same!  I was over the moon last year that Mr. G and I were able to purchase our own home.  It just so happens that it was the same month we were originally planning on getting married - so glad we went small and used that money towards a forever investment. :)

Back in December Anheuser-Busch invited me to take a tour of their plant and enjoy a beer tasting with girl friends.  When they contacted me again to share a brand new product - you bet I said yes!

Meet the Draftmark.

This is their new at-home brew system that's perfect for this hostess.  Think of it as your own personal keg.  You place what looks like a chilled 2 liter bottle on steroids and it's individual tap (seen above) into the keg's shell and you're done!  Nice and frothy right from the first pour so your party guests can belly up to your at home bar and there's no wait.  Once tapped the beer is good for up to 30 days, which is perfect in my house since I'm the only one drinking.

{I love how this takes up little room in my refrigerator - no more than a 12 pack of soda!}

We were just back from vacation when I popped this baby open. I wasn't quite ready to head back to reality so beer time was a priority. Northern California has been rocking the triple digit weather - barf - and I was looking forward to a home cooked meal after eating out for the past week (not that I'm complaining because California's central coast has some amazing restaurants). Although I don't really cook often, when I do I like to keep things as simple as possible. This crock-pot beer and bbq chicken was the perfect fix for a backyard dinner.

Beer BBQ Chicken


  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup beer (any kind you like: I used Shock Top)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) of barbecue sauce (Kraft is Mr. G's fave)
  • hamburger buns
  • coleslaw
  • Instructions

Add everything, except the chicken, to the crockpot and stir to combine. Add the chicken to the crockpot, spoon the sauce on top so all the chicken has a little sauce on it.

Cook on low for 6 hours (crockpot temperatures vary, yours may take more time), stirring a couple of times throughout if desired. After 6 hours, shred the chicken and add it back to the sauce in the crockpot. Toss chicken with the sauce and let sit for 15 minutes so it can absorb some of the sauce. Serve on hamburger buns topped with coleslaw. {recipe via Fat Girl Trapped in A Skinny Body}



  • To prepare the coleslaw
  • 1 pound package coleslaw mix
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • For the dressing
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Pour the coleslaw mix into a strainer and place in the sink. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the sugar and ¼ cup of the kosher salt and lightly toss. Let sit for 5 minutes to draw out the moisture from the cabbage and then rinse well with cold water. Spin the coleslaw mix in a salad spinner and place in a large bowl (if you don't have a salad spinner try soaking up excess moisture with paper towels).

For the dressing, in a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinder vinegar, celery salt, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, chopped onions and chopped parsley. Whisk well and pour ⅔ of the dressing over the cabbage mixture, and toss to combine. Add more of the dressing as desired and season with more salt, pepper or parsley to taste.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes up to overnight and serve. {via Foodie Crush}

This post is in partnership with Anheuser Busch.

If I'm Cooking Then We're In Trouble

My mom tells people that I only eat 5 things.  This list may vary each time she tells it, but a few items you can almost always count on is 1) pizza 2) chicken nuggets and 3) macaroni and cheese.  The way I feel about the perfect vanilla cupcake is the same way I feel about finding an amazing macaroni and cheese.  Something so simple, but it's so hard to come by a truly great recipe! There was a couple years where I became a bit obsessed with finding an outstanding recipe.  I wanted one with bursting with flavor and a little crunch.  Years ago, I had amazing macaroni and cheese at a restaurant downtown that is no longer open that had bread crumbs and I was desperate to find a similar recipe.  Is it me or am I the only one with obsessive food/eating habits?  I had all but given up until a couple weeks ago when my mom text me a couple new blogs to check out.  One of them was food52, yes another foodie community... but the featured on the homepage immediately drew me in!

Reading Amanda's post made it clear that she understood where I am coming from!  The idea of making it on a cookie sheet was a method I couldn't pass up.  When I was in the store Saturday I pulled the recipe up on my phone to purchase my ingredients.  Later that evening I pulled out the printed recipe from my recipe cabinet and was surprised to see this was NOT the same recipe!  I checked my phone again to realize I'd been looking at her original recipe and she has since updated her method.  There was no way I was going to let all this cheese go to waste so I sort of combined the best of the two and this what I ended up with.

Baking Sheet Macaroni & Cheese

{adapted from Amanda via food52}



  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 ounces asiago cheese
  • 6 ounces parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces fontina
  • 1 pound pasta spirals (or other small shape)
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 ground mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Use one tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Combine the grated cheeses and set aside 2 heaping cups for topping.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, cheeses, cayenne and salt to taste. Spread the mixture in the baking sheet and evenly pour the milk over the surface. Sprinkle the reserved cheese on top, dot with the remaining butter and bake, uncovered, until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.  Turn the oven to broil to bake for another 3-5 minutes.


I would definitely make this again, but with a few variations.  For one I'd increase the spices, including the salt and also add pepper. I think the heavy cream and additional tablespoons of butter were unnecessary.  I'd use whole milk or even 2% next time as Amanda had done in All the crunch was amazing, but the noodles were a bit greasy underneath.  The bread crumbs were a great addition and next time I'll use a heavier hand so that the whole pan is evenly covered with breadcrumbs.



I think THIS is how I’d like to spend eating celebrating National Pancake Day!  Cake batter pancakes WITH sprinkles? Ummm YES!




© 2008-2017 The Girl Kyle • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED • Site Design by The Paper Sac