Category: Features

February 20, 2017 Madison Mcenaney

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Few places outside of Alaska can say they have the weather conditions and capability for snow sculpting, let alone the talent and hard work that is necessary for the art.

Jesse Mellor serves as a prime example of someone who has taken on this way of creating art, as he has been snow sculpting for eight years now. He has lived in Anchorage since he was a teenager and found his career in welding once he graduated. Mellor’s knack for manipulation of metal is easily applicable to snow sculpting, which is something he did not consider when he first began.

“I had a buddy of mine call me one weekend saying that he signed us up for the Fur Rondy snow sculptures, and I was going to be helping him out all weekend with that. At that point I had never even thought into this had no idea what snow sculpting really was. This was eight years ago so I’ve learned a lot since then,” Mellor said.

Nearly all of Mellor’s sculpting time happens during Fur Rondy season in Anchorage, when the festival holds a competition for the sculptors. Here, they have one week to carve something out of a huge block of snow to be judged and also paid visits by crowds during Fur Rondy. People can enter as singles or in teams of three, and the winner gets sent to the national snow-sculpting competition in Wisconsin. The ones who enter in this competition take it very seriously, and they put in extremely long hours and effort into their sculptures.

“During the week of sculpting, my team and I put in between 150 and 200 hours of work on the sculpture. It depends a lot on how the weather cooperates but we all are willing to put in as much time as we need to finish at the end of the week,” Mellor said.

There is no specific theme that the Fur Rondy snow sculptures must oblige to, which gives the artists freedom to create whatever they want. In the past, Mellor has taken a more mythical route with his sculptures, creating minotaurs, phoenixes, krakens and other creatures. This year, the team has decided to take a different route and create a more Alaskan piece.

“This year, we’re doing a Native American themed piece that centers around the raven and its importance to so many different cultures in Native Alaskan history. There will be someone performing a traditional Native Alaskan dance about the raven also, we thought a sculpture themed similarly would tie in well,” Mellor said.

It can be difficult for the sculptors to create when the weather does not cooperate, but this year’s snowfall and temperatures seem to leave the sculptors feeling positive about how the sculpting will go. The most challenging part of snow sculpting is often the weather because no one can truly change or alter it to benefit them, so this year’s conditions should only help to create even an even better outcome.

“The most challenging part of snow sculpting is hoping the weather is on your side. As for everything else, it goes pretty smoothly. The people down there are awesome. Everyone is willing to share information, tools, and anything really that would help someone out. I learn something new from these people every year,” Mellor said.

Once Fur Rondy begins, Mellor’s sculpture plus many others will be displayed for anyone to walk through and experience.

February 20, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews
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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

For most people, choosing a college means looking at variables like acceptance or cost. For Toby Widdicombe, a UAA English professor, choosing Cambridge University was part of being the rebellious child.

“I went to Cambridge University for my BA and an MA, and I did that for what I think is a funny reason looking back on it,” said Widdicombe. “I come from a very academic family, and so my father was an academic, my mother was an academic, my two brothers were academics, and they went to Oxford University. I was the rebel in the family, so when it came to university… it was rebellious [to chose Cambridge] even though it’s only ninety miles down the road from Oxford. But the real reason I did it is the funny reason, that one of my brothers failed to get into Cambridge. I thought I would show him who’s the smarter member of the family, and he’s sort of forgiven me for that.”

For Widdicombe, coming from an academic family had its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage was that his parents would take him to exciting locations, like Shakespeare’s birthplace to see his plays, but having academic parents meant Widdicombe was very particular in choosing his field.

“I studied English because I didn’t want my father to tell me how to do science, and I didn’t want my mother to tell me how to do history. My mother, in particular, would have absolutely told me how to do history,” Widdicombe said.

At the time, Widdicombe says his father was one of the half-dozen best known respiratory physiologists in Europe, as well as a professor at Oxford University. He believes his mother would have taught at Oxford as well if she hadn’t had three kids to look after.

Widdicombe does have a great deal of passion for English, and his plan is to write a good example of every book an academic in his field could write. So far, Widdicombe has authored and coauthored numerous books on Shakespeare, he’s worked on several distinct projects about Utopianism, and he is in the process of getting a contract to write a book about Tolkien.

Widdicombe has a very noticeable English accent, but he’s been in the United States since he attended the University of California for his Ph.D.

“I had always read a lot of American Literature, and I thought it was wonderful, and I thought, so I’ll come to the United States and learn about American Literature, from the Americans, and then go back and teach the English all about American literature. Didn’t quite happen that way, and there’s lots of reasons for that. One of them is, I was so naive. I thought that the American Ph.D. was the same as the British Ph.D. —that it took as long — the British Ph.D. took three years, an American Ph.D. takes six. By the time I kind of realized this little detail, I was like, okay well, I’m kind of enjoying California. I fell in love, and I got married, so it was kind of like, well, why do I want to go back to England?”

Widdicombe went on to teach at the University of Santa Barbara for six years before realizing he wanted to find a professorship position where he could rise through the ranks. To act on this ambition, Widdicombe moved to New York to teach at the New York Institute of Technology.

“I didn’t like it there, and you can tell one of the reasons I might not like it was because of what the students said the acronym meant. The acronym is NYIT. It stands for Next Year I Transfer. Isn’t that sad?”

Like those students, Widdicombe did find a way to transfer, but as a professor and to UAA. At the time, UAA had advertised for a generalist in literature, and Widdicombe was hired for the job.

Widdicombe said he loves his job as a professor, and he counts his dedication to the occupation as his greatest achievement in life, but outside of academia, one of his greatest passions is running long distance.

“I went through something of a midlife crisis, for whatever reason, and I started to put on a little weight, and I wasn’t totally happy with turning 50,” Widdicombe said. “I thought, well, I’ve got to find a way out of this, and so I started running. I sort of haven’t stopped since.”

Widdicombe, who is almost 62, has run around 30 marathons in 20 different states. He has run the Boston Marathon twice and has qualified for the marathon six times, he’s run numerous ultra-marathons, and he even was a part of putting together a 49K in Anchorage for the 49th state. Running is an enjoyable experience for Widdicombe now, but as a boy he hated running distance.

“I started out saying, I want to run just because that’s a good way to lose weight,” Widdicombe said of the beginning of his running journey at age 50. “The first time I ran was in my neighborhood, and I got halfway through it, and there’s a hill. I’m not totally enjoying myself, because I’m not fit, so I get halfway up the hill and I start walking. Of course, there is an opportunity to say, I’m just going to carry on walking the rest of this, or I am going to start running. So I vividly remember telling myself, and I’m English so there’s this sort of vulgar expression that I use. I said, ‘Bugger this for a lark, I’m going to start running again.'”

Widdicombe translated the phrase to mean, this is stupid, and as a man in an academic profession, stupid things are not things he likes to deal with. So he kept running. He ran his first marathon in 2006, and Widdicombe said he was not prepared for it. Before the marathon, the most he had ever run in one session was eight miles, but he remembers telling friends that, “I’m going to get by on raw talent.”

Widdicombe’s talent might not have been athleticism, but perseverance instead, because ten miles into the marathon, he pulled a muscle behind his knee. With 16 miles to go, he decided to continue, even if he had to walk the rest of the race.

“I get to the end of the race, and I am really happy that I finish, and I say, “That’s the last bloody race I run,”’ Widdicombe said. “Anybody who likes these long distance races is an amnesiac, because five minutes after that I say, ‘OK, I’m going to have to run another one of these. This was too much fun.'”

Widdicombe has a lot to look forward to in the future; he has a book on Shakespeare that’s scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2018, and Widdicombe hopes to run in all 50 states. Sometimes the rebellious child in the family learns to run the distance, and for Widdicombe, that journey has brought him to a tenured position as a professor, the position of author and even as an editor for Utopian Studies.

February 20, 2017 Victoria Petersen
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Although the cost rent is rising, current management of Title Wave has decided to remain in the same location. The space will undergo renovations soon. Photo credit: Young Kim

Title Wave Bookstore’s lease is up in April and the soon-to-be new owners were unsure if they should stay or if they should go. After weeks of mulling it over, current manager and longtime employee Angela Libal decided to keep the used bookstore in the Spenard Northern Light’s Center strip mall where’s been since 2002.

“Title Wave is an iconic store of Spenard and I think it’s great that they are staying there and staying true to that neighborhood,” Matthew Palmer, a Title Wave customer said.

Libal will be remodeling the store’s 33,000 square feet to utilize space.

“We’ll be remodeling and reworking the space to fit us even better,” Libal said in an email.

Customers are looking forward to the new and improved Title Wave.

“I think that Title Wave made a good choice to stay and preserve a spenardian jewel. I think remodeling is always a good idea for a business and it will probably draw in more customers,” Jacob Reausaw, a frequent shopper at Title Wave books, said.

Store credit and gift certificates will expire on March 15 and the buy-back counter will be temporarily closed for the months of March and April while remodeling takes place. The buy-back counter and store credit will return as soon as the remodel is finished.

February 20, 2017 Brenda Craig
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The painting that will be instructed at Paint Night

Student Activities and Commuter Programs have collaborated with Arctic Crown Canvas to host Paint Night to start off Winterfest. Arctic Crown Canvas has been instructing paint nights all over town and Anchorage residents have been loving it. This will be the third paint night hosted at UAA and seats always fill up quickly. This event is free for UAA students taking six or more credits with a valid ID and $25 for the general public.

“We decided to host Paint Night again because we have had great feedback from students that they enjoyed the past events and would like to see it more often,” Kris Morse, applied technologies leadership major and Commuter Programs manager, said.

Paint Night is an event where individuals can come in and bond with friends while following an instructor’s step-by-step painting methods.

“It’s a night where you come and learn how to paint an awesome picture, there is a painting teacher who walks you through all the steps,” Madison Gregory, communications and advertising major and Paint Night lead, said. “It’s a social painting night, come out with all your friends.”

The last paint night at UAA had a huge turnout and many students had a fun experience painting with friends and enjoying the refreshments.

“At the UAA paint night, I enjoyed getting together with my friends and messing around with paint. The food was delicious and it was a very family friendly environment,” Melissa Kapelari, fine arts major, said. “The only thing I could suggest is that this class was definitely a beginner class so it was way too simple for what I was looking for in a paint night.”

For this upcoming Paint Night, an instructor will teach attendees how to paint the northern lights and sled dogs inspired by the Iditarod. It may sound complicated but with the help from the instructors, it will be an easy and fun experience for all.

“Paint Night is a fantastic way to get people to come together and have fun. Making art to create anything whether it be a painting or a cardboard tree or a beaded necklaces can be very meditative and rewarding,” Kapelari said. “Painting can easily be done by anyone, and this is a great way to show people just how exciting and easy it can be to make a simple painting look good.”

If you are looking for an excuse to get out of the house and express your creativity, Paint Night is a great way to start. Even with little to no experience, Paint Night will guide you through and teach you techniques that you can use for future personal paintings.

“I enjoyed my experience and suggest other UAA students to go have fun and paint whether it be through UAA, or the Muse or Hard Rock Cafe and depending on what environment you’re looking for, there’s a paint night out there that will suit you,” Kapelari said. “Paint Night is a great creative way to have fun. I’d say they are more geared to beginners who have little to no experience painting but can still be a great way to hang out with friends.”

Seats fill up quickly at Paint Night events, so make sure to show up early and bring your friends. It is always exciting to take something home that you created with your own hands. Also, the painting makes a great home decoration. Channel your inner Bob Ross at Paint Night at UAA’s Student Union cafeteria on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.

February 20, 2017 Sarah Tangog
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The Care Team Book Club holding their weekly Thursday meetings in the Den with a sign behind them that reads "Connecting. Caring. Community." Photo credit: Jay Guzman

Thursdays at the Student Union Den highlights the weekly meeting of The Care Team Book Club, an organization that allows students and staff to be themselves, and to think outside of the box. Run by Care Team coordinator Lisa Terwilliger, the Care Team Book Club is open to everyone and anyone and encourages an atmosphere of comfort and reality.

Terwilliger started the club in 2016, after wanting to create a safe environment in which both students and staff could mingle and meet. Terwilliger, experienced in working as a mental health provider, was hired at UAA in 2013 as a Care Team coordinator. She realized that many students weren’t asking for help when they needed it and wanted to bridge that disconnect of communication.

“Mostly people that were being referred to me mostly were lonely and didn’t have a lot of social systems. They didn’t have friends, and they didn’t have the form to make friends,” Terwilliger said, when asked why she started the club in the first place. “Some of these people are Care Team referrals, some of them are just people who see or are invited by others.”

The book club brings in readers from different ages and backgrounds. The club is open to discussions about the subject material, as well as the members’ opinions and whether or not they disagree with the author.

“It just brings people together, and you can get to know new people, you get to have insights about what other people feel about the books, and — I love to read,” Makenzie Johnson, English major, said.

This semester, the book club is focusing on “The Fighter’s Mind” by Sam Sheridan. It’s a nonfiction collection about the psychological and physical aspects of professional fighting.

“The subject material is also very interesting, particularly this book is something I am especially interested in,” Chris Hoch, a business major, said. “I’ve not just learned stuff out of it, but I’m excited by it.”

Though “The Fighter’s Mind” isn’t greeted with as much enthusiasm by everyone in the club, it still sparks many opinions and evokes many thoughts during the club’s discussions.

“I really wanted students to understand about resiliency and vulnerability,” Terwilliger said. This book, in particular, was referred to Terwilliger by a former book club member.

The Care Team Book Club – though still small compared to many organizations at UAA – packs a big punch. Not only is it an organization that allows others to think and speak up, but it encourages a support system that should be scattered onward throughout the campus.

“If we take the book club and we spread it throughout UAA, we’ll have more of a supportive environment,” Johnson said.

“It has a good atmosphere here, and [it’s] a good place,” Joel Stitt, a UAA guest, said.

Overall, though the book club is a place to read, reflect and discuss, it is also a place to meet, mingle and befriend others – students and staff alike. First and foremost, the club is part of the Care Team.

“Everybody on campus is part of the Care Team, you know? Anybody can refer anybody to get help. We all need to care for each other.” Terwilliger said.

This book club is certainly a good place to start.

February 20, 2017 Victoria Petersen
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Photo credit: Victoria Petersen

Maria Camila, Daniela and Ana De La Torre celebrate their Colombian heritage through food.

Maria Camila, a management and finance student at UAA, Daniela, a management and marketing student at UAA, both went through UAA’s culinary program where their interest in the food of their homeland grew.

Born and raised in Colombia, the De La Torre sisters moved to Alaska nearly seven years ago when their father’s job placed their family in Anchorage.

For a tasty and easy snack, Maria Camila walks us through the making of pan de yuca (yuca bread).

Traditionally yuca flour is used to make this dish, but tapioca starch works just as well. Locally tapioca starch can be at Red Apple Market in Mountain View.

If you can’t find queso fresco, the De La Torre’s recommended mozzarella as a good substitute.

This bread can be eaten as a snack or an appetizer. Enjoy on its own or serve with honey: a De La Torre recommendation.

Ingredients:

1 cup yuca flour/tapioca starch

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 large eggs

10 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

1 and a half cups of milk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. In a stand-up mixer or immersion blender mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, milk and cheese).

3. In a separate bowl, mix together starch or flour and baking powder.

4. Slowly incorporate the flour or starch mixture into the wet ingredients, blending or mixing at the same time.

5. Mix until the batter is liquid and pour into muffin tins, filling each about halfway.

6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

February 13, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

As a child, Katherine Rawlins had one huge dream and that was to become an astronaut. Rawlins, who is the department chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a physics professor at UAA, said she was always ambitious as a kid and part of that ambition was directed towards becoming an astronaut. “I…

February 13, 2017 Victoria Petersen

Sourdough has become a part of the unique food culture here in Alaska. Easy to make and monitor, sourdough starters can be shared with friends and be used to make a variety of foods; from sourdough bread to sourdough pancakes. Add fresh picked blueberries to those pancakes to make it extra Alaskan.

Sourdough starter is easy and simple enough to make in a dorm room. With the help of the miracle of fermentation, sourdough starters only require two ingredients.

Sourdough starters are used to cultivate wild yeast found in flour. Before commercialized active dry yeast was invented for baking, wild yeast was the way of making bread.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) of all-purpose flour

4 ounces (1/2 cup) of water

Directions:

1. In a large bowl or container, bigger than 2 quarts and not metal, add flour and water. Stir until sticky dough forms.

2. Once the dough is formed, cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid and store in consistent room temperature. Let it sit for 24 hours.

3. Each day for five days, feed the starter by adding 4 ounces of both fresh flour and water. Do not feed unless bubbles are present in the sourdough starter. Depending on the conditions of your kitchen, this could take less than or more than 24 hours. As the starter grows it will become more frothy and sour in smell. Bubbles in the starter are signs of yeast activity and indicate that the starter needs to be “fed” still. This process usually takes about five days.

4. You know your starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size and is very bubbly. When you stir it the starter, it should feel loose and easy to stir. The smell should be sour and pungent. Your starter is ripe.

5. To maintain your starter, you will need to remove (use) half of the starter in the bowl and then feed with more flour and water. If you don’t plan to use the starter too often, it can be stored in the fridge with a plastic wrap covering and trimmed of half and fed only once a week, instead of every day.

February 13, 2017 Alexis Abbott

Several college students managed to turn their childhood hobby into a mixed media company, BIZZAY. Zayn Roohi and Arslan Malik were around ten years old when they found their passion of creating short comedy videos as a way to pass time. Roohi is the managing director and cinematographer of BIZZAY while he studies mechanical engineering…

February 13, 2017 Victoria Petersen

Senior justice writer for the New York Daily News and civil rights activist Shaun King spoke to Anchorage at the Alaska Airlines Center Friday night. Known for his unique line-blurring journalism that poses facts along with his opinion, King has gained a following over the last few years through social media. King is known for…

February 6, 2017 Madison Mcenaney

Anchorage is a town surrounded by a backdrop of snow covered mountains, clear skies and oceans. Anybody can walk outside of their back door, and take an eye catching photograph of our massive playground to marvel at. While this is unique and a great way to capture one element of photography, Anchorage has been missing…

January 30, 2017 Madison Mcenaney

Lawren Young, a 26-year-old who recently moved back to her roots in Alaska, is currently working on her apprenticeship to become a professional piercer in Anchorage. Young came back to Alaska one year ago after living in South Carolina with her husband for a few years, which was where she began her first piercing apprenticeship.

“I’ve always been interested with the idea of being a piercer but wasn’t something I ever considered as a career until a piercer in South Carolina contacted me and told me I seemed like a good fit for this apprenticeship they were offering. From there, I’ve just kept learning more and getting better,” Young said.

Young spent time at several different piercing shops in South Carolina, but none of the apprenticeships lasted longer than a few months. With moving back to Anchorage, she has discovered a place that she can learn and grow at, which is Body Piercing Unlimited. Young has been an apprentice there since October of 2016 and is set to finish her apprenticeship towards the end of this April.

“With my current apprenticeship at BPU, I get a lot more one-on-one training with the piercers that I didn’t really get when I was in South Carolina. It’s helped me learn a lot more in a shorter time span and now I am actually piercing customers that come in,” Young said.

To be a professional piercer in Alaska, one must log one thousand hours in an apprenticeship at a certified piercing studio, and also pass a test at the end. Young started out her apprenticeship by shadowing the other piercers at the studio, watching their piercing techniques and learning safety and sterilization rules. From there, she went on to learn proper placement for piercings and the anatomy behind those placements and prepping trays for piercings. Now that she is in the tail end of her apprenticeship, Young is working with clients and piercing them.

“So far I’ve done a lot of nostrils, the nose is a very popular spot for a piercing so I’ve done lots of those. Cartilages, ears, belly buttons, I did my first lip a couple weeks ago too. I’m still learning a lot, but it’s really great to be working with customers officially now,” Young said.

Young’s apprenticeship has required nothing short of hard work and dedication, but she shows that if you are passionate enough about the field of work, it is absolutely worth the time put in.

“I love it when a client comes in excited for a piercing, and I get to help be a part of the process. If I can do something to make someone smile and have a little more self-confidence, then it feels like a success. That’s my favorite thing I discovered about this job so far,” Young said.

Once she becomes a certified piercer, Young plans to continue working with Body Piercing Unlimited, and work at one of their locations in Anchorage as a full-time piercing artist.

January 30, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

Joe Johns is the same age as many UAA students, but he leads a very different life

January 22, 2017 Brenda Craig

Imagine your daily life attending class, studying, working and making time for hobbies and friends. Now, imagine throwing a couple kids into the mix of your daily life. Managing school and work is tough as it is, so working parents attending school are an inspiration and show great dedication. The most recent study in 2014 from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research indicates that in 2011, 26 percent of students attending college are parents.

Attending college full time can be looked at as a job itself. Dedicating 40 or more hours a week for school easily interferes with managing children’s schedules, including the parent’s schedule as well.

“I treat my school like a job. I work at it from 9:30 – 5:30 every weekday, a little extra on the weekends, but don’t want to neglect my family, so I usually only get two to three hours in on the weekends,” Holly Roth, dental hygiene major and mother of three, said. “I usually sneak in extra studying at night after the kids are in bed, too.”

Roth has three children the ages of 17, 14 and 11. After working for her father for 20 years who was a dentist, Roth decided to go back to school to pursue a degree.

“I look forward to getting back into the clinical aspect of what I’ve been doing my whole life,” Roth said. “Hygiene is the best future for me as far as flexibility with family and children, and grandchildren in the future.”

College students are known for staying up late to study. Students who are parents sacrifice rest for studying while the children are asleep.

“It’s my job to juggle school, kids, home work and studying, even if that’s with babies in my lap. I normally have to stay awake way after everyone and wake up before they do,” Christina Colburn, a mother of two pursuing a nursing degree, said.

Colburn has a seven-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter. Originally, Colburn received an associate in criminal justice, then decided to switch degrees and apply for the nursing program. When she first started, school her oldest was four years old. Colburn is able to take time for her studies with the help of after school programs and day cares.

Although UAA cannot provide day care for children, they understand the amount of parents who are students by providing them with fun and free activities throughout the year such as Family Movie Night.

“Sometimes students are strapped for entertainment for their families that doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg, so that was the emphasis many years ago to start the Family Movie Night,” Annie Route, Student Life and Leadership director, said.

The Student Union is excited to present a new feature coming soon for new mothers.

“We’re getting one [lactation station] called a Pod and it’s going to be in the lower level of the Student Union,” Route said. “So if you’re nursing and have to go to class, it’s a nice thing to have.”

One major piece of advice for those who may be starting a family while in school is to keep a tight schedule.

“Make a schedule and stick to it. Get ahead as much as possible and don’t procrastinate, life throws too many curve balls to not be on top of your game,” Roth said.

Through the hardships of school, work, and family it is easy to admire those who are putting in for all hours of the day. These parents who attend UAA are working hard to provide a better life for them and their children and set a positive example for those wanting to create their own family.

January 22, 2017 Victoria Petersen

Now that beer week is officially over and done with, try something new with your excess brews.

Beer Cheese

A go-to comfort food, this beer cheese is best served hot and is perfect for pretzel dipping.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup beer (a lager or an ale)

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Heat a sauce pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until combined.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth, then whisk in the rest of the milk in small increments.

3. Stir in the beer, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Return the pan to the heat and stir until thick and bubbling.

4. Add cheese in small amounts, whisking and combining it completely before adding more. Serve hot.

Beer Brownies

Add a brew-worthy twist to a favorite chocolate treat. Dark beers and porters will work best for this fudgy dessert.

Ingredients:

1 box of fudge brownie mix

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup beer

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, vegetable oil and eggs, then beat together until evenly combined.

3. Once batter is mixed thoroughly, stir in chocolate chips.

4. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool before enjoying.

Beer BBQ Sauce

Use this sweet and tangy BBQ sauce on grilled chicken, sloppy joes or even pizza. The recipe yields approximately 2 and 3/4 cups.

Ingredients:

1 cup ketchup

1 1/4 cup beer

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/8 cup honey

1 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, on low to medium heat, stir together all the ingredients for a half an hour.

2. Once the ingredients are stirred together, let the sauce cool for about 3 minutes.

3. Once cool, transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until the desired consistency is reached.

4. Pour the sauce into a bottle that can be stored in the refrigerator.