Beer CheeseThis recipe is a favorite – both with us and readers! We shared it in our first year of blogging – 5 years ago! So crazy that we’ve been blogging for that long. Over the years, our love for the beer cheese never wavered, however our love of the photos in that post sure did – ha! And our cravings happened to collide with a chance to shoot some photos the last time we made this, so we thought it’d be fun to update the pictures from that post…just in time for you to whip some up for St. Patrick’s Day! 😉 This was our take on an appetizer from Applebee’s – the Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese. We love it with homemade soft pretzels, but it’d also be great with veggies, potatoes or bread!Beer CheeseBeer CheeseBeer Cheese

Beer Cheese

Inspired by Applebee's Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese, this creamy beer cheese is perfect for dipping soft pretzels, veggies or bread! 

Course: Appetizer
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup beer, Blue Moon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded*
  • 1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.

  2. Add flour and whisk to combine, cooking about one minute until smooth. 

  3. Gradually add in beer and milk, whisking constantly.

  4. Add garlic, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

  5. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. The sauce should begin to coat the back of the spoon.

  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

  7. Add cayenne pepper and salt & pepper to taste.

  8. Serve immediately, while warm. 

Recipe Notes

You can find the recipe for the soft pretzels here.

Please note that this recipe is inspired by Applebee's beer cheese and is not a copycat recipe - just something similar we love!

*Be sure to shred your own cheese and not buy the pre-shredded kind! The cheese sauce won't have the same consistency if you don't shred your own.
Beer Cheese


  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 11:30 am

    Ivory - This looks amazing. Will be making this. Yum!ReplyCancel


DIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtAs the rest of the country is enjoying the beginning of spring, we’ve got some solid 30° weather headed our way! One of the only good parts is that it gives me an excuse for more hot baths and getting all wrapped up on the couch. And today’s project is perfect for making your couch a bit more cozy – no matter what the season! My cousin Kailey is back to share this quick tutorial for all of the knitters out there!DIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
12″ x 20″ pillow
Tapestry needle
US size 19 circular knitting needles
-3 skeins of yarn, weight #7
* We used Bernat Mega Bulky (Dark Grey Heather)
* Using two strands of Wool-Ease Thick and Quick-Charcoal(yarn weight #6) gave a similar look if you can’t find the Bernat Mega Bulky

How to make it:

-Cast on 28
-Row 1: Knit all the way across
-Rows 2-60: Knit all the way across
-Cast off (leave a long end to sew with)

-Using tapestry needle, sew up the center and tie off. Weave in ends. Slide pillow cover over pillow, placing the seam in the middle of the backside of the pillow.

-Now sew up both ends of the pillow cover, be sure to weave in ends.
DIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtDIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtDIY Knit Pillow @themerrythought-Caitlin & Kailey

Sources: Bench. Couch. Cowhide Rug. Ladder.

  • Friday, March 2, 2018 - 10:25 pm

    Jackie - I’ve always loved the looks of knitted pillows, and I never realized just how easy they are to make! I’ll have to try this out!ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 3:42 pm

    Eme - Thanks for sharing this knit pattern, I can’t wait to try it out and make a new cushion for my sofa.

    Eme | http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.comReplyCancel


Minimal Scandinavian BedroomsAbout a month ago, Mike and I moved our bedroom to a different room in our house. I’m loving the switch so far but feeling the pressure to get our room finished up…or at least get a bed frame! (We’re currently on the floor, and while it looks nice & cozy, we’re ready to be a few feet higher!). Of course this means I’ve spent lots of time gazing at pretty bedrooms, trying to decide what will work best for our new room. I’m drawn to minimal rooms, with a scandinavian, slightly rustic touch. And lots of cozy linens. The looking and dreaming and planning is always so much more fun than the actual doing. So I keep looking and put off the doing. Mike’s a little ready for me to move on though. 😉 Thought I’d share some of my favorite bedroom inspiration photos with you, so you can daydream about pretty rooms along with me.Minimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian BedroomsMinimal Scandinavian Bedrooms

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10


  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 8:24 pm

    Ivory - I love it all. Clean and simple. You give the phrase, “less is more”. A beautiful new meaning. Wow!ReplyCancel


16 Modern Lights Under $100 @themerrythoughtAfter basically ten thousand months of talking about finishing up the living room, I’m finally in the end phases. Yes! I have a few more items getting delivered and I just need to decide on a ceiling light. I have a few that I just can’t decide between! Either way – as I’ve been searching for light options online I’ve come up with a big collection of pretty amazing lights – many of which won’t work for this specific space, sadly. So I decided to share a bunch of affordable lights that I found in my hours of searching in case any of you are in the market for new lighting!

1. Brass Sputnik Chandelier $96
2. Gold Sconce with Glass Shade $59
3. Matte Black 5-Light Chandelier $69
4. Black & Gold Mid-Century Sconce $89
5. Bell Black Flush Mount $59
6. Brass with Blown Glass Shade $59
7. Three Bulb Pendant $49
8. Brass & Black Mid-Century Sconce $95
9. Geo Crystal Pendant $69
10. Sculptural Glass Geo Pendant $79
11. White Glass & Brass Globe $98
12. Matte Black Wall Sconce $89
13. Vintage Metal & Glass Ceiling Light $59
14. Black Globe Wall Sconce $72
15. Brass Two-Light Bar $76
16. Wood & Cream Pendant $69

If you have any great (cheap) ceiling light options for a living room – send them my way!



Gin Maple AffogatoIf you’re new around here, let me introduce you to two of my favs – coffee and ice cream. My friends refer to me as a coffee snob, and I’ll own up to that. 😉 It started about 5 years ago with Mike roasting our coffee at home. And it really is the best. Except now it’s hard to get good coffee when I’m out and about, because I know what good coffee is. And most places just don’t have that. Luckily we also live right outside of Rochester (NY) and it happens to be filled with some amazing coffee roasters and shops! When Mike & I go on dates in the city, it almost always includes a stop at Joe Bean. This is where I first realized that coffee was good black. Because really good coffee is. (Confession: I do usually drink mine with half & half, I like the creamier texture it gives the coffee). A couple weeks ago, Joe Bean sent us some Gin Barrel Don Roger coffee to try out. It’s got a really unique flavor (it’s my brother-in-law’s favorite coffee of theirs, he was a very willing taste-tester when I invited them over for affogatos) and I thought it would be perfect paired with my other fav – ice cream! And it is. A scoop of creamy gelato, a little maple syrup and hot espresso made from the gin barrel coffee are the perfect treat! We liked it with Breyers vanilla caramel gelato, but you could just use vanilla ice cream if you can’t get your hands on gelato. I added a little bit of warmed maple syrup to pick up on the maple notes in the coffee. Espresso is best for affogatos, but you can sub strong coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine (we do have an espresso machine and used that – but I also couldn’t resist featuring my tiny french press for the photo shoot, so that’s why it’s in the photos). And Joe Bean does sell online & ship – so you can buy yourself this blend!Gin Maple AffogatoGin Maple Affogato

Gin Maple Affogato
Gin Maple Affogato

A simple dessert featuring gin barrel coffee, maple syrup and creamy gelato. 

Course: Dessert
  • 1 scoop gelato (we like it with Breyers vanilla caramel gelato)
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup - warmed
  • 1 shot espresso - made with Joe Bean Citrus Gin Barrel Coffee (you could also use strong coffee if you don't have an espresso machine)
  1. Place scoop of gelato in a small bowl or coffee cup.  

  2. Pour maple syrup and espresso over gelato. 

  3. Enjoy immediately!

Gin Maple Affogato


coffee c/o Joe Bean Coffee Roasters

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  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 9:10 pm

    madalin - This looks amazing! I will definitely give it a try!

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 8:05 am

    thefolia - Cheers to affogatos! Unfortunately my twelve year old is into them too, but then again I remember eating brandy ice at that age! Happy feasting.ReplyCancel