Beer and Cheddar Dip with Bacon

We have a new couch. It is the first piece of furniture that we own that wasn’t given to us or found on Craigslist. I can’t believe we ever bought a couch on Craigslist and I am even more surprised that we weren’t murdered when we went to pick it up.

Last week, I had to call the “protection plan hotline” for my only piece of adult furniture. The munchkin that lives in my house used the space between the cushions as a cup holder. To my horror, she had turned it upside down. It was there for a good six or seven hours before I realized that she was attempting to make cheese in my couch. Impressive really, for a two year old.

Beer and Cheddar Dip with Bacon

My distress call was answered by a lovely woman. She was bubbly, friendly and located in North Carolina. When I gave her my account number, I heard a hitch in her breath, almost like a tiny gasp. Of course my mind immediately begins to think of which curse words are going to pack the most punch when she tells me that milk spills aren’t covered under my plan, and that I should just give up trying to have nice things. That’s why I laughed out loud when she whispered, “You’re in Maine? What is the temperature up there?”

Genuine concern filled her voice when I told her it was currently negative nine degrees outside. What she didn’t know was that my wood stove was filled to the brim with seasoned maple, and it was a toasty 85 degrees in my living room.

Beer and Cheddar Dip with Bacon

I suddenly had a great appreciation for growing up in such a varied climate. We’re built for the cold, and for the sun, and for everything in between. I am really good at distracting myself from the bite of winter. I have developed coping mechanisms, mostly I am an expert at denial and making comfort food. With enough beer, cheese and bread, I can mentally block all the snow, wind and ice.

Beer and Cheddar Dip with Bacon
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • ⅓ cup beer of choice (pale ale works well)
  • ¾ cups milk
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded monterey jack cheese
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Method
  1. Fry bacon, let cool and crumble. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized sauce pan melt butter over low to medium heat. Whisk in corn starch until just incorporated.
  3. Immediately add beer and then milk. Make sure that you are constantly whisking as you add the liquids so that the cornstarch mixture doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bring mixture up to a low simmer and add cheeses and garlic powder. Cook until the cheese is fully melted.
  5. Transfer the cheese sauce to an oven safe dish, top with bacon and ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese on top is melted. Serve with bread or chips.

My love affair with food began on stepstools in the kitchens of the women in my family. Handing my great-grandmother carrots to grate for coleslaw, licking the beaters covered in my grandmother’s peanut butter frosting, and watching my mother cook up Italian dishes covered in cheese. To this day, I love cheese. Besides cheese, I love painting, ocean air, and the smell of tar after it’s rained. My husband Josh and I have created a little suburban farm with our Layla-Bug, a ridiculously hyper dog, and a one-eyed chicken. Someday, we hope to upgrade to a real country farm.

1 Comment

  1. Maybe because we live in a busier area, but I’ve found some great furniture deals on Craigslist. There are enough people around me that are moving, upgrading, or downsizing to provide a steady supply. My purchases have brought me to some weird areas though 🙂

    I appreciate the toughness I got from growing up in Maine but lately, I appreciate not having to wiggle around under the covers to warm up the bed at night!

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