Wow. Ok. So February was a bit more hectic than I had guessed. Not only was work busy and we had family visiting, but most of our household was sick at least one, if not twice, during the month.
Things are starting to settle down now. The house is almost put back together after visitors, birthday presents for Miss. Hazelnut, and a number of sick day sick days stuck in the house. The end to my big project at work is in sight, so hopefully no more long days and weekends in the office. I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy the nice weather with the kiddos, get back in the kitchen, and resume blogging and crafting.
This past weekend, I savored an hour to myself. After working all morning, the naptime hour was glorious. I made myself a cocktail – a glass of this Blood Orange-Sage Vodka Soda – which I photographed just for you, and enjoyed a whole, uninterrupted hour savoring the cocktail and watching Fixer Upper. It was amazing.
I’ve got one more week to go until my big deadline, and I’m counting down the days until I have free time again. I’ve got a whole list of recipes to make for you, and I’m counting on this weekends to get blogging again. In the meantime, enjoy this very simple cocktail recipe.
I saw this recipe – or a similar version – online a few years ago and have been making it ever since. It’s made with ingredients I always have in the pantry and the freezer. (Tip: If your sage plants grow wild every year, freeze the whole leaves for use later in the year. The frozen leaves work particularly well in this drink.) And I love the use of sage to contrast to the sweet soda. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Blood Orange-Sage Vodka Soda
By Books n’ Cooks
Makes 2 drinks
- 6 large sage leaves, plus more for garnish (if desired)
- 4 oz. good-quality vodka
- 1-12 oz. can Blood Orange San Pellegrino
Place 3 sage leaves at the bottom of two old-fashioned glasses. Muddle. Add 2 oz. vodka to each glass. Stir gently and allow to sit for a minute so that the vodka absorbs some of the sage flavor.
Fill each glass halfway with ice and top with San Pellegrino. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf, if desired.
A few months ago, my parents came to visit with a gift – a bottle of liqueur in a lovely shade of pink. It was a grapefruit liqueur that they had (on the rocks) at a friend’s house and instantly fell in love with it. They promptly convinced the owner of their local liqueur store to order a case, one bottle of which made it down to my house. My parents raved about how light and sweet the liqueur was, my mom asking me to see if I could find a fun cocktail recipe to try it in. However, their visit passed before we were able to open the bottle.
Fast forward a few months, I decided to crack open the bottle and try it for myself. It was as deliciously light and sweet as my parents said, but I knew immediately that I would enjoy it more as a compliment to something else. Adding just a little bit to Prosecco created a slightly sweet cocktail that was perfect to enjoy with brunch. (Add 1 oz. for just a touch of sweetness, 2 oz. for a sweeter cocktail.)
Easy to make and something so very different than most cocktails that appear on brunch menus, I know that I’ll be serving this cocktail this week, as I entertain a gaggle of out of town relatives for Christmas.
Makes 1 Cocktail
- 1-2 oz. Pamplemousse grapefruit liquor
- 3-4 oz. Prosecco
- Grapefruit wedge or peel for garnish
Add 1-2 oz. Pamplemousse to a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit or a grapefruit peel and serve immediately.
More easy recipes to make your holiday entertaining a bit easier. Thanks to Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking for hosting such a fun event, perfect for this time of year!
- 3 Ingredient Citrus Salad by Wholistic Woman
- Caprese Dip by The Freshman Cook
- Easy Persimmon Appetizer with Minted Mascarpone by Caroline’s Cooking
- Goat Cheese & Basil Stuffed Peppadews by My Life Cookbook
- Mom’s Cheese Ball by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Mushroom Pate by Simple and Savory
- Boozy Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa by Cricket’s Confections
- Cranberry Cocktails 3 Ways by Monica’s Table
- Sparkling Pamplemousse by Books n’ Cooks
- Candy Cane Fudge by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Lemon Bundt Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pumpkin Nutella Cookie Bars by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark by Pies and Plots
- Cheese Ball Pops by Palatable Pastime
- Cranberry Bacon Jam Crostini by Life Tastes Good
- Cranberry Bratwurst Bites in Cranberry Jezebel Sauce by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Healthier Sausage Crescent Bites by Momma’s Meals
- Hoisin Beef Purses by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Jalapeno Potato Poppers by Mindy’s Cooking Obsession
- Spicy Sausage Tarts by A Mind “Full” Mom
- St. Louis Ravioli by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Tuna Salad Deviled Eggs by Food Lust People Love
- Loaded Pizza Stew by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Roast Chicken with Scallions and Mushrooms by Asian In America
- Simple Christmas Pizza by Cooking Chat
- Stuffed Turkey Cutlets by Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
One of my favorite things about summer and early fall is all of the fresh produce – from fruits and veggies to fresh herbs, which are so incredibly easy to grown in a little pot on the front stoop or back porch. Last year, my herbs were thriving well into December. I can’t tell you how many times I had to attack the plans to get them back to a more reasonable size, leaving me with loads of fresh herbs to cook with, give away, or save for later. I tend to preserve (usually freeze or dry) a good bit for out of season cooking, but I do enjoy trying new recipes that highlight the fresh ingredients while I have them around. Fresh herbs in light, slightly sweet cocktails has become one of my favorite ways to experiment with fresh herbs.
This particular cocktail has been rewritten from the below book, but not really changed. The cocktail has a strong citrus flavor with just a touch of sweetness from the sugar and subtle thyme undertone. It takes just minutes to mix up, and is a cocktail I’ve enjoyed more nights that I should admit.
Adapted from Mix Shake Stir (p. 128)
Makes 1 drink
- 5 springs of fresh thyme
- 2 oz. Citrus-flavored vodka (I use lemon)
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. sugar
Muddle 4 sprigs of fresh thyme in a cocktail shaker. Top with ice, vodka, lime juice, and sugar. Shake well until combined.
Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with remaining spring of thyme.
For me, summer time is all about fresh fruit, cool beverages, and as much relaxation as possible. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve really been enjoying making cocktails this summer, instead of my usual glass of wine. I’m enjoying the range of different flavors from bursts of bright fruit flavors to more subdued refreshing beverages.
When Drizly reached out to me to create a recipe on their behalf, I immediately knew I wanted to do a spin on a gin and tonic. For those of you who have never heard of Drizly, the company is an alcohol delivery service operating in roughly two dozen cities throughout the U.S. For a busy, working mama of two, you can imagine how excited I am about the possibility of having one less errand to run. Seriously. Genius idea.
So if you don’t have gin in your house, head over to Drizly now to order up a bottle and mix yourself up a refreshing honey thyme gin and tonic. The sweet honey in this version is balanced by the savory thyme. If you’re worried about it being too sweet, don’t – the honey doesn’t completely dissolve in the room temperature alcohol, so there’s just a touch of sweetness.
What are your favorite gin and tonic variations?
Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic
By Books n’ Cooks
- 1 Tbs. honey
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, divided
- 2 oz. gin
- 3 oz. tonic water
Muddle 2 sprigs of thyme in a cocktail shaker. Add honey and gin, shaking well. Top with ice and shave vigorously to chill.
Strain chilled gin mixture into a glass (I recommend a highball glass or a rocks glass) about halfway full of ice. Top with 3 oz. tonic water. Garnish with remaining sprig of thyme.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Drizly. All opinions are my own.
It’s no secret that I don’t really drink beer. Once in a blue moon, I’ll have one, but you can usually find me drinking wine or a cocktail. A well-made cosmo – not overly sweet – is my go-to drink, but I enjoy trying new drinks. I generally choose a vodka or gin-based drink with a touch of sweetness.
I’ve got a couple of recipes I’ve been super excited about lately, two of which are from a new cookbook that recently came recommended to me – Mix Shake Stir. There are a TON I want to try, but my limited bar can’t store all of those liquors, so I’m slowly working my way through the recipes. This one has been one of my favorites (no surprise since it’s similar to a cosmo). It took me a few tries, but I finally managed to hold off on drinking it so that I can get a photo for you.
Adapted from Mix Shake Stir: Recipes from
Danny Meyer’s Acclaimed New York City Restaurants (p. 51)
Makes 1 drink
- 1 1/4 oz. gin
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz. simple syrup
- 1 1/2 oz. pomegranate juice
- lime slices and/or pomegranate seeds for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and pomegranate juice. Shake vigorously.
Pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and/or pomegranate seeds.
Do you all know what day it is? Valentine’s Day. That day of the year where getting into a good restaurant without a reservation is next to impossible. But that’s alright, because the babysitters are booked months in advance anyway, if they’re available to watch the munchkins at all.
But seriously, even before we had kids, my husband and I rarely went out on Valentine’s Day. We typically preferred to celebrate at home – in our comfy clothes, eating a fancier-than-usual homemade meal (Cornish game hens and my hubby’s favorite crab cakes are among previous dinners) and sharing a good bottle of wine.
This year is a bit unusual for us. My parents are in town, so we’re taking advantage of the free(!) babysitters and are going out for dinner. When Taylor Strategy asked if I would be interested in creating a cocktail using Smirnoff Ice®, I jumped at the chance to create a new take on my favorite cocktail – the cosmo. Instead of pre-dinner drinks at the restaurant tonight, my hubby and I will enjoy the Smirnoff Ice Cosmos I created – a light cocktail featuring Smirnoff Ice® Original.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Smirnoff Ice® Cosmos
By Books n’ Cooks
Yields 1 drink.
- scant 1/2 c. ice
- 4 oz. cranberry juice, chilled
- 4 oz. Smirnoff Ice®, chilled
- splash of fresh lime juice
- frozen cranberries (optional, a compliment to the ice to keep the drink cold without diluting it)
- a thin slice of lime for garnish
Fill a mason jar – or the glass of your choice – with ice. Add cranberry juice, Smirnoff Ice, and splash of lime juice. Stir. Top with frozen cranberries and garnish with a slice of lime.
Disclaimer: This recipe was created on behalf of Smirnoff Ice but the opinions and recipe are my own.
This week, Sunday Supper is hoping to help you identify some wonderful recipes for your last minute holiday entertaining.
Yes, that is my basil outside, as of early December. While I long for a white
Christmas, we usually don’t get much snow until at least February.
When hosting, I usually plan my menus and start prepping food well in advance. It didn’t come close to happening this year, but it’s not uncommon for me to have a good start on my holiday prep in early November. However, no matter how much I plan, I tend to forget about beverages. There’s always non-alcoholic drinks, beer, and wine, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little something extra. This recipe is easy enough to keep in your back pocket, and to make, one drink at a time.
Adapted from Intoxicology
Makes 1 Drink
- 1 oz. pear vodka
- 3 oz. pineapple juice
- 1 oz. cranberry juice
Fill a rocks glass halfway with ice. Add vodka and pineapple juice. Stir. Top with cranberry juice.
Enjoy with your loved ones.
For more last-minute ideas for holiday entertaining, check out these
recipes compliments of the Sunday Supper tastemakers.
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by Ruffles & Truffles
- Chocolate Cranberry Mini Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Cauliflower-Apple Melts by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Chimichurri Bread by What Smells So Good?
- Everything Cream Cheese Balls by Magnolia Days
- Mini Party Crab Cakes by Food Lust People Love
- Holiday Bruschetta by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Lobster Salad in Puff Pastry Cups by The Weekend Gourmet
- Potato Kimchi Bacon Bites by kimchi MOM
- Quick Crab Stuffed Mushrooms by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Scallops with Cranberry Bacon Jam by Caroline’s Cooking
- Shrimp and Artichoke Crostini by Monica’s Table
- Spanakopita Bites by Casa de Crews
- Tortellini Caprese Bites by The Freshman Cook
- Tropical Cocktail Wings by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Bean, Escarole, & Sausage Soup by Get the Good Stuff
- Chicken Cacciatore Pronto by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice by Feeding Big
- Swedish Meatballs by Palatable Pastime
- Apple Pecan Salad by Wholistic Woman
- Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Healthier Hoppin’ John by Cooking Chat
- Italian Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Stuffing by The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- 4-Ingredient Double Chocolate Christmas Fudge by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Bananas Foster Bread Pudding by Wallflour Girl
- Dark Chocolate Coconut Pecan Cups by PancakeWarriors
- Frangelico French Silk Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Holiday Pie Crust Cookies by Rhubarb and Honey
- Peppermint Bark Pretzels by Pies and Plots
- Red Velvet Eggnog Cheesecake Trifle by The Crumby Cupcake
- Santa Cookies by NinjaBaker.com
- Skillet Cookies by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- White Chocolate Covered Gingerbread OREOS by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Quick and Easy Holiday Recipe #SundaySupper by Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Today is the last in my Frozen Fridays series, and I’m sharing an assortment of frozen beverages – milkshakes, cocktails, and other concoctions – that had me tracking down where we put the blender when we moved.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these roundups and have gotten some good ideas for your own kitchen adventures. I didn’t try nearly as many of the recipes as I would have liked, but that seems to be the story of my life.
- Almond Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie (from Cooking with Ruth)
- Cherry Lambic Milkshakes (from Love and Olive Oil)
- Confetti Cake Batter Milkshakes (skinny!) (from Sprinkles Bakes)
- Cookie Dough Milkshake (from My San Francisco Kitchen)
- Frosted Blueberry Lemonade (from Pinch of Yum)
- Iced Snickerdoodle Latte (from Feed Me Seymour)
- Kahlua Mudslides (from Sugar Dish Me)
- Lemon Blueberry Ice Cream Floats (from The Sugar Hit)
- Raspberry Colada Smoothie (from The Housewife in Training Files)
- Rice Krispie Treat Milkshake (from Beyond Frosting)
- Salted Caramel Bailey’s Milkshake With Vegan Irish Cream (from Spabettie)
- Skinny Mocha Frappuccino – Starbucks copycat recipe (from Healthy Sweet Eats)
- Strawberry Almond Smoothie (from Healthy Recipe Ecstasy)
- Strawberry Riesling Slushies (from Annie’s Eats)
- Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Milkshake (from Honey and Birch)
For someone who isn’t interested in fresh cherries, my hubby got interested in these margaritas real fast. There I was, making myself one of these margaritas to enjoy with a book. I was looking forward to savoring 30 minutes of quiet time to myself when he strolled over and starts eyeing the counter.
Hubby: Whatcha making?
Me: A cherry margaritas
Hubby: Oh. I’m not a fan of cherries.
Me: I know. That’s why I didn’t offer to make you one.
Hubby: Maybe I can just try some of yours Me:
Go away, I want my cocktail and my book.
Ok, so that last line isn’t true. I kindly let him taste my margarita and then started over to make him one of his own. I guess cherries + tequila aren’t that bad after all. While pitting the cherries was annoying (I’ve got to get myself a cherry pitter), it was worth it for these margaritas. Brilliant red, the margarita is light and refreshing, just sweet enough to feel like it’s a real treat.
Fresh Cherry Margaritas
Adapted from Fine Cooking June/July 2010 (p. 80)
Makes 2 Drinks
- 24 fresh sweet cherries, pitted, plus 2 whole cherries for garnish
- 2 1/2 oz. tequila
- 2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 oz. agave nectar
- 1 oz. maraschino cherry juice
In a jigger, crush cherries with wooden spoon to release juices, about 1 minute. Top with ice. Add remaining ingredients, except the cherry garnish and shake for at least 30 seconds. Pour into a glass with about 1/2 c. of ice. Garnish with a cherry, if desired.
I learned to drink alcohol by drinking girly drinks that didn’t taste like alcohol – Smirnoff Ice, Fuzzy Navels…. and this one, I hesitate to call it by the name I knew it for fear that I will offend you. But I’m going to tell you anyway. I knew this drink as a Dirty Girl Scout. You can bet that I got a lot of shocked looks when I recently started talking about this drink again, at work nonetheless. However, one sip of this concoction and I was no longer the lunatic talking about naughty-sounding things, but I was the genius who introduced them to the dangerously good liquid thin mint. I drink this all year long, you can dress it up for the holidays with a peppermint stick or a candy cane.
Liquid Thin Mints
1 oz. peppermint schnapps
4 oz. chocolate milk
candy cane or peppermint stick (optional garnish)
Place 1/2 – 1 cup ice in a cocktail shaker. Add peppermint schnapps and chocolate milk. Shake like crazy.
Pour, enjoy, and try not to get too drunk.
Check out the below links for more contributions to the 12 Weeks of Holiday Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic