A Little Bit of Fun!
On our first trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia, we dined at The Wharf restaurant where we watched one of the most stunning sunsets I think I have ever seen! It was a quick getaway for just the two of us- the one where we rode our bikes all over the island and we ended up drenched in rain. We had decided to ride 7 miles to eat at the Wharf, planning the evening so that we would have time to eat and ride our bikes back to our room before the sunset. The wait to get seated was long, service was slow, and things just didn’t go as planned for us at all. We ended up watching this amazing sunset from our table at the restaurant.
A Flavorful Adventure
After the sun had set, our food was finally served! I ordered fish and chips, but because we had waited so long I also ordered a bowl of Beer Cheese soup as an appetizer for us to share. We had never eaten Beer Cheese Soup before and it turned out to be the highlight of our meal! If you know me, then you know I don’t consume alcohol. It’s not my thing at all, however I do love to cook with it. As I tasted the first bite, my mind was already racing with ideas to recreate this flavorful soup as soon as we returned home! I researched some recipes online and came up with a version of my own that I think matches the rich, amazing flavors of the soup we had at The Wharf that night. Home-made pretzel bites pair well with this too so I’m including my recipe below if you want to try them. Fish or shrimp also go well as a main course if you feel you need to add another protein to the meal. The soup AND the pretzels are easy to make so I hope you will try this one soon!
Beer Cheese Soup
- 4 TBSP Butter
- 1 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 Celery Stalk, diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1/2 Onion, diced
- 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1/4 Cup Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp. Paprika
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Half-n-half
- 8 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. Smoked Gouda or Cheddar, shredded
- 12 oz. Beer
- In a large stock pot, sauté Bell Pepper, Celery and Onion on medium high heat until tender. Add Garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup plain flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Add Chicken Broth, stirring until the flour mixture is incorporated and begins to thicken. Add milk, half-and-half, cheeses and beer. Stir continually until cheese is melted. Simmer 5 minutes and serve warm with homemade pretzels.
- 4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp. Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
- 5 Cups Plain Flour
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
- 4 Cups Hot Water
- Kosher Salt, for topping
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets.
- In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes. Enjoy! We love these with Beer Cheese Soup!
Quite the Adventure
After our dinner, we had to ride our bikes back to our room. It was a long 7 miles in the dark! We were completely unprepared for the incredibly dark bike ride back, not realizing that since the island is a sea turtle sanctuary, there are no street lights or lighting on any of the buildings. We didn’t nave flashlights so we used our cell phone lights to see the road. With adrenaline pumping, we pedaled as fast as we could, laughing at our foiled plans. Add to that a steady rain, and you have a memory that still makes us laugh. I think of all our getaways over the years, this one is my favorite. It was spontaneous, and nothing went the way we planned but we made the most of it and had the time of our lives!
Read more about Jekyll Island here https://sanctuary-ridge.com/2020/06/05/sanctuary-ridge-adventures-in-camping-jekyll-island-campground-review/ and here https://sanctuary-ridge.com/2020/03/15/sanctuary-ridge-adventures-in-camping-getaway/.
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