I've started a new tradition of hosting a dinner party on my birthday weekend. There aren't too many things that I love more than entertaining and enjoying good food with friends and family. So my birthday is the perfect opportunity to entice my friends out to my suburban apartment and cook some of my favorite foods. This year, the theme was "bar food." If it's fried, covered in cheese, or sandwiched between buttery buns, then it's my kind of food! The menu was buffet style so I could make something that everyone would like (but not have to skip any of my own favorites!).. To start, there was a buffet of dips. The main course was different kinds of sliders with coleslaw and fries. And for dessert I made peanut butter-chocolate mousse cups that even my gluten-free/dairy-free friend could enjoy. I'll be posting more recipes from this decadent dinner eventually!
This beer and cheese dip was so flavorful and smooth. I probably could've eaten a whole meal of just the dip and pretzels. I added some smoked gouda (my new favorite savory cheese) to the dip and used a little less spice than was called for to appease my spice-averse friend. For the beer, I used a winter seasonal brown ale, since I knew I'd enjoy the remaining bottles from the 6-pack on their own too. This dinner was all about me after all ;)
The pretzel bites were made from scratch, which was a new and slightly intimidating endeavor. But they worked out great! I'm just giving you the link to the recipe that I used. Since it was the first time that I made pretzels from scratch, I followed the recipe exactly and want you to be able to follow the same instructions. They were much easier to make than I expected!
Beer and Cheese Dip
Recipe adapted from: Cook the Story