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Eight great beer recipes for St. Patty’s Day

For many Americans, St. Patrick’s Day is an excuse to cook annual favorites like corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread. It’s also a day that excuses – and encourages – imbibing.

With San Diego’s thriving craft beer scene and scores of bars, that shouldn’t be a problem. But don’t just drink beer on St. Patrick’s Day – cook and bake with it, too.

Of course, feel free to nurse a cold one while you make any of these eight great St. Patty’s Day recipes from local San Diego food bloggers.

Dill and Beer Quick Bread. Irish soda bread is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, but beer bread is gaining ground. Whether you have it plain or with fresh herbs and cheese, nothing sops up the juices of a wet and sloppy cabbage soup as deliciously as fast, easy and versatile beer bread.

Cheese-Beer Soup. This simple, filling and inexpensive soup makes a great starter or a simple main course with some crusty bread on the side.

Boozy Beef Chili. Full-bodied beers, such as Guinness stout, add complexity and depth to an otherwise ordinary beef chili.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Smoked Bacon and Beer. Instead of ho-hum mashed potatoes, why not try something a bit bolder, like roasted mashed sweet potatoes with salty bacon and dark beer? They’re a fine accompaniment to hearty meat dishes such as corned beef, pot roast and roasted sausage.

Blueberry Chipotle Stout BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Tired of ordinary ribs? Try these highly seasoned ribs with a sweet and spicy blueberry, chipotle and beer BBQ sauce.

Chocolate Stout Pudding. Think chocolate pudding is for kids? Think again. This creamy chocolate stout pudding made with rich porter and topped with freshly whipped cream is for adults only.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. Perhaps the only thing better than Guinness stout chocolate cake is Guinness stout chocolate cupcakes. Just don’t serve them until after the kids go to bed.

Beer Ice Cream Float. Root beer floats are for summer time. Beer floats are for any time, especially St. Patrick’s Day. Use dark and complex porters or stouts with chocolate and espresso overtones, and pair them with premium coffee, chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Top floats with whipped cream and a cherry, if you must.

Susan Russo is an SDNN contributing writer.