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Mimosa Bar

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‘Tis the season of brunches, showers, and gatherings. As we all emerge from our winter hibernation, we seek time with friends and family. We also are juggling entertaining opportunities to celebrate holidays, sacraments, showers, and time with friends and family. One way to make these get togethers feel a bit more fancy is with a mimosa bar!

This is an easy entertaining trick that is a real crowd pleaser.

What you need:

  • Glass carafe- one for each type of juice or nectar (I got mine from Wal-Mart for a few dollars)
  • Wine glasses (many places sell the stemless variety for $1)
  • Champagne, prosecco, or any other variety of sparking wine.
  • Nectar- I prefer mango & pear
  • Juice- Orange, pineapple, & pomegranate are good choices
  • Fresh fruit- I chose raspberries & star fruit, but you can add any variety.

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How it works:

  • Set up the mimosa station where guests can easily access it.
  • Pour nectar and juice into the carafe
  • Slice fruit and place in pretty bowls
  • Arrange glasses
  • Open chilled Champagne bottles
  • Encourage guests to mix and match flavors.
  • Pour a few ounces of champagne into the glass, then add nectar and/or juice, and garnish with fruit.

Enjoy!

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Sexy Wine, Lazy Sangria, or Delusions of “Healthy Drinking”

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Sometimes we just want to feel special and fancy.

Sometimes we just want to spice things up.

Or

Sometimes we are just too lazy to make sangria

Well, I was thrilled and inspired by my friend, Carly, the other night. She had a few girls over to catch up and see her new house. When we arrived, we were all intrigued with a beautiful plate of fruit and adornments that she had placed next to the open bottles of wine. All of us were excited to dress up our simple glasses of reds and whites, to resemble something more sophisticated and sexy.

What really caught my eye was the sugared rosemary. I was totally enamored with the idea of such conflicting flavors, not to mention that it looked like a little frozen branch of evergreen to compliment a winter drink. This concept was so simple yet sophisticated.

I also preferred to think that I was totally making my wine more healthy, therefore part of my diet. I will continue to believe this every time I slip out of compliance, for that is what makes me happy!

Whether you are hosting a girls night out, Valentine’s Day dinner, or a cozy night in by the fire, I highly encourage you to sexify your wine. It just makes you feel more special!

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Ingredients: (You can be more creative, feel free to add or change)

  • Pomegranate Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 1 starfruit, sliced
  • 2 oranges, sliced (I used Cara Cara oranges)
  • 1 pint of raspberries
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced
  • 8-10 small sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • spray bottle of water
  • Wine of your choice, red or white (I used Prosecco & Pinot Noir)

Preparation:

  • Wash & dry all fruit.
  • Remove the seeds from the pomegranate.
  • Slice the oranges, starfruit, and strawberries.
  • Spritz the rosemary with water.
  • Dredge each sprig through the sugar, shaking off the excess.
  • Arrange on a platter and open wine.

Mixing the Drink:

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  • Place desired fruit in the bottom of the wine glass.
  • Pour selected wine over the fruit.
  • Enjoy!

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  • Repeat with each refill. You can keep the same fruit in your glass, or snack on the fruit and add more with each serving of wine.

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Caramel Haze Martini

ingredients

Sadly, summer is over, and it’s time to pack away the flip flops and margaritas. The end of summer is usually a period of mourning in my house, until I realize just how much I love my favorite, broken-in jeans and Uggs. Pair those with a blazing fire and a nice, belly warming cocktail, and I’m a happy girl again.

While I am absolutely in love with summer, I secretly have a crush on fall. Seriously, the weather is perfect, the wardrobe is comforting, and the great foods are bountiful. It is as if fall is a flavor in itself, and if I had to pick a liqueur that was the perfect embodiment of the taste of fall, I would choose Rum Chata. If you haven’t had it, you are missing out. Plus, it’s really fun to say. It’s a creamy bath of sweet, spicy, exotic rum, the perfect pair for fall flavors. Now, imagine this exotic goodness, paired with hazelnut and salted caramel. Are you imagining this? Your next drink, needs to be this martini!

Caramel Haze Martini

cocktail

Ingredients:

3 oz. Rum Chata

1 oz. Smirnoff Caramel Vodka

1 oz. Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur

Caramel syrup

A pinch of sea salt

 

Preparation:

Pour ingredients into a shaker, and shake until blended.

Prepare a martini glass by drizzling caramel syrup in a spiral inside the glass. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

drizzle

Carefully pour the martini into the glass, and serve immediately.

Toast to fall and all things cozy, then enjoy!

 

BUT THATS NOT ALL!!

My foodie friend Colleen, from Souffle Bombay gathered a group of us together for a fun post about the flavors of Fall PLUS hold on to your hats!! We are giving away a GORGEOUS Kitchen Aid 5QT Professional Stand Mixer! Who’s feelin’ lucky?

Get ready for some serious deliciousness coming your way! Things like DIY Maple & Apple Breakfast Sausage, a colorful Layered Potato Gratin, hearty Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup, delicious Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, super-fun & seasonal Apple Cider Jello Shots , Mini Cheesecakes with Mini Caramel Apple Pops and so much more!

If you are looking for more awesome fall flavors, check out these awesome recipes here:

Breakfast

Maple & Apple Pork Breakfast Sausage Patties from Courtney’s Sweets

Roasted Pumpkin, Gruyère and Spinach Quiche from Afropolitan Mom

 

Soups

Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup from Giggles Gobbles & Gulps

Farm Fresh Broccoli & Cheese Soup from How Does Your Garden Grow

Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup from O’ Boy Organic

Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls from A Day In Our Shoes

Roasted Root Vegetable & Apple Soup from Momma Lew

 

Entrees

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese from The Good Mama

Vegan Portobello Pizzas from Busy Bee Kate

 

Sides

Layered Potato Gratin from Girl Gone Mom

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Vegetables & Bacon from The Vintage Mom

 

Desserts

Cinnamon Swirl Cake from A Grande Life

Mini Cheesecakes with Mini Caramel Apple Pops from Souffle Bombay

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Pie from Mom Blog

 

Cocktails

Caramel Haze Martini from The Fabulous Fairy

Apple Cider Gelatin Shots from Can’t Google Everything

Salted Caramel Appletini from How I Pinch A Penny

Join us for #Food4Fall and who knows YOU may be the proud new owner of an apple-red Kitchen Aid! Good Luck!

fall giveaway

Click Here To Enter The Rafflecopter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How to Brew Coffee in a Power Outage: A Critical Survival Skill

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This morning we woke up to an icy wonderland, and while I snuggled back into the cozy covers, accepting the fact that summer vacation will be another day shorter, I realized that no power meant no coffee! AHHHHH!!! This mama needs coffee to survive another snow day at home with my kids!

Not to worry, as my husband laughed, knowing that he had to go to work, where coffee could be found, my MacGuyver brain kicked in. I could do this! I could figure out a way to make coffee on the stove without power!

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Here is what you need:

  • Gas stove
  • Lighter or matches
  • Standard coffee maker
  • Ground Coffee
  • Coffee Filter
  • Water

The Process:

  1. Fill the glass pot from your coffee maker with the desired amount of water.
  2. Pour the water into a pot for the stovetop.
  3. Use a lighter to manually light a burner of your gas stove. (Be cautious and follow the instructions in the owner’s manual)
  4. Boil the water.
  5. Meanwhile, set up your standard coffee maker with a clean filter & fresh coffee grounds.
  6. Once the water is boiling, use a ladle or measuring cup to carefully pour the water into the filter basket over the coffee.
  7. Pour slowly, allowing the coffee to trickle into the glass pot below.
  8. Sit back, snuggle in a blanket, and sip your caffeine goodness!

*** If the coffee gets cold, put it back in the metal pan & re-heat it on the stove.
***you can also boil water with a crockpot, fondue pot, chafing dish, or on your grill outside.

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** Note that after I went to all of this trouble “surviving”, my husband walked in from the garage, where he started the generator, plugged in the Keurig, and brewed his own cup, but I don’t care. I won. In a primal, pioneer, survivalist way, my coffee tasted WAY better!

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Now, I will plug in the wifi, charge my phone, and pray for spring and flip flops!

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Fall Apple and Pear Sangria

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Just because its fall does not mean that you have to abandon fruity cocktails. This recipe allows you to hang on to a fabulous fancy drink, while embracing the flavors of fall. I made this for a harvest girls’ night out, but it would also work well for a Sunday Funday football gathering. I also plan to add it to my Thanksgiving menu this year. The added bonus is that the potency of the wine is cut by the fruit, soda, juice, so it is a nice cocktail to sip on throughout a party. So sit back, sip away, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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Fall Apple & Pear Sangria

Ingredients:
1 bottle of white wine (I used a sweet white blend)
3 cups of apple cider
1 cup of club soda
1/2 cup of brandy
2 chunks of fresh ginger cut into 1 inch pieces
2 apples (I used Pink Lady)
2 pears (I used Bosh & Anjou)

Preparation:
1. In a saucepan, simmer the apple cider and ginger for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the ginger and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, mix the wine, club soda, & brandy in a large pitcher.
3. Wash the apples and pears, and then slice horizontally through the core, creating thin large circles. Remove any
seeds. Set aside.
4. Add the cooled cider to the pitcher and mix well.
5. Add the sliced fruit and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can make it up to several hours ahead.

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Blood Orange Margaritas

1-IMG_2901Over the past year, I’ve developed a passion for blood oranges. I don’t know why, I just think they’re cool.  I’ve tried blood orange infused vodka, blood orange spiked lemonade, blood orange martinis, blood orange balsamic glaze, and yesterday, I struck gold with blood orange margaritas.

It was 4th of July, and my husband took all of the kids to the pool, so I could cook and prepare for an evening picnic.  I cooked, cleaned, and vacuumed the downstairs. The house was clean, empty, and quiet, so I decided that I deserved a cocktail. I chose to make myself a fresh margarita, so I pulled out my little juicer, a big glass, the tequila, and a handful limes, but when rummaging around in the fruit drawer, I found two lonely, forgotten blood oranges. Hmmmm… I wondered if they would work in my margarita.

Oh boy! Did they ever work! These margaritas were spectacular! Even my husband, who is not a fan of margaritas (a huge character flaw, I know, but I love him anyway…) thought they were tasty. They were so good that I debated having one for breakfast this morning. It’s kind of like orange juice, right?

No worries, my better judgment prevailed, and I opted for coffee, but you can bet, if I were on a tropical vacation, without my kids, I’d be having one of these suckers with my breakfast!  But for now, I’m not on vacation, and I have three kids who want to go back to the pool this afternoon, so my margarita indulgence will have to wait for socially appropriate, responsible-parent cocktail consuming hours (tonight, after the kids go to bed). As a consolation, to get them off my mind, and preserved in cyber eternity, I am sharing the recipe with you.

I promise I don’t have a drinking problem. They’re just that good! I implore you to try them.

 

Ingredients:

8-9 limes

2 blood oranges

½ Cup of tequila

2/3 cup of Grand Marnier

1 full batch of Simple Syrup

Crushed ice

 

Preparation:

  1. Juice the limes (about 1 cup of juice)1-IMG_2888
  2. Peel the blood oranges and puree them in a blender, then strain the puree in a fine sieve, pushing the pulp through with a rubber spatula.1-IMG_2884
  3. Mix lime juice, strained orange puree, tequila, Grand Marnier, and simple syrup.1-IMG_2894
  4. Pour into a glass over the crushed ice.
  5. Garnish with a slice of lime and a slice of blood orange.1-IMG_2878

** How to make simple syrup– In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of water & 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow it to cool.

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Raspberry Margarita

I know it’s February, in Pennsylvania, but I am a summer girl. I go through withdraw from all things warm and sunny, so sometimes I buck the season and remind myself that the best part of the year is not too far away. Take for example last night, some of the girls in my neighborhood got together for a mommy/kid mixer. I was planning to bring a bottle of white wine to nicely complement my shrimp dish, but then I decided it was too cold to pack up the kids and head to the liquor store. What to do? While scouring the freezer for the bag of shrimp, I stumbled across a forgotten can of limeade, sitting next to a baggie of frozen raspberries, and the wheels of my mind started to turn. I was going to recapture the brief feeling of summer. Dump. Mix. Taste. Smile.

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It was the right call. The pitcher looked beautiful, and the tart taste of lime and raspberry hit the spot! Now I’m just waiting for that random spring day to prematurely break out my flip flops…

Raspberry Margaritas

(Makes 1 large pitcher)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 16 ounces of tequila (or more if you are so inclined)
  • 12 ounces of triple sec
  • 12 ounces of club soda
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)
  • crushed ice
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges for each glass or sliced into circles to float in a pitcher
  • margarita salt (to rim glasses if desired)

Directions:

  1. Combine limeade,tequila,triple sec, club soda, and berries in a pitcher, mixing well.
  2. Pour into a margarita or large goblet with crushed ice. Rim with lime and salt if desired.
  3. Serve with lime slice as a garnish.

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Lavender Pear Martini

Lavender Pear Martini

The scent of lavender

and the kiss of a pear

will help you relax

and not pull out your hair!

Ingredients:

1 oz. of vodka

3 oz. of pear nectar

1 oz. of lavender syrup

Mix and serve chilled in your favorite martini glass.

Lavender Syrup:

Boil 2 cups of water with 1-2 cups of sugar (adjust the amount of sugar based on how sweet you like your drinks) & 3-4 tbsp of lavender. Boil for 5 min. Then strain and set aside to cool. I added 2 drops of red & 2 drops of blue food coloring to make it look purple.

If making a large batch,  mix 2 large cartons of pear nectar with 2-3 cups of vodka (more or less to taste) in a pitcher. Add lavender syrup and mix well. Serve chilled.

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Pineapple Coconut Drinky-Poo

A drink by the pool
My tropical escape
A way to stay cool
And slow down the pace.

Move over, Margarita! I have a new love!

Now, this is a hard statement for me to swallow, because I am a margarita lover, but I have to admit that I am crushing on this new tequila temptation. This drink is perfect for anyone who loves tropical favors. The glass in the photo is half empty because I could not stop sipping while setting up the shot!

Now, tequila-phobics, rest assured the Jose Cuervo Coconut Tequila is not as strong as the regular varieties. My new drinky-poo is just as mellow and relaxing as a chair in the sand at the edge of the ocean.

Ingredients:
1-2 oz of Jose Cuervo Coconut Tequila
8 oz. pineapple juice
Ice

Preparation:
Fill a tall glass with ice.
Pour in tequila and juice.
Mix.

Entertainment Suggestion- Serve in a punch bowl or beverage dispenser and garnish with pineapple rings and lime slices.

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Serendipitous Sangria

Serendipitous Sangria

A sip by the pool
A mommy time-out
A night with the girls is what it’s about
So sip without guilt
Just rest and de-stress
This punch you’ll soon see…that it is the best!

Ingredients:
• 1 large bottle or Moscato or other white wine
• 1 2L bottle of Fresca
• 4 cups of diced, frozen tropical fruit—(available pre-cut in the frozen foods section)

Preparation:
1. Mix wine & soda, add fruit, and stir.
2. Serve in a glass pitcher or large beverage dispenser.