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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.

Hang Thyme

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.

Hang Thyme

Adapted from Mix Shake Stir (p. 128)

Makes 1 drink


  • ice
  • 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.

Serve immediately.




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Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic

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 with Drizly

Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic

By Books n’ Cooks


  • ice
  • 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.

Serve immediately.

Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Drizly. All opinions are my own.


Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic_Pint



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Pomegranate Gimlet

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.

Pomegranate Gimlet

Adapted from Mix Shake Stir: Recipes from
Danny Meyer’s Acclaimed New York City Restaurants
(p. 51)

Makes 1 drink


  • ice
  • 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.

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Smirnoff Ice Cosmo

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 Cosmo

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.

Serve immediately.

Disclaimer: This recipe was created on behalf of Smirnoff Ice but the opinions and recipe are my own.

Smirnoff Ice Cosmos

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This week, Sunday Supper is hoping to help you identify some wonderful recipes for your last minute holiday entertaining.

The Frenchy

The Frenchie

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.

The Frenchy

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.




Main Dishes

Side Dishes


Quick and Easy Holiday Recipe #SundaySupper by Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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.

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Confetti Cake Milkshake from Sprinkles Bakes

Confetti Cake Milkshake from Sprinkles Bakes

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.

{Frozen Fridays}

Frozen Beverages

  1. Almond Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie (from Cooking with Ruth)
  2. Cherry Lambic Milkshakes (from Love and Olive Oil)
  3. Confetti Cake Batter Milkshakes (skinny!) (from Sprinkles Bakes)
  4. Cookie Dough Milkshake (from My San Francisco Kitchen)
  5. Frosted Blueberry Lemonade (from Pinch of Yum)
  6. Iced Snickerdoodle Latte (from Feed Me Seymour)
  7. Kahlua Mudslides (from Sugar Dish Me)
  8. Lemon Blueberry Ice Cream Floats (from The Sugar Hit)
  9. Raspberry Colada Smoothie (from The Housewife in Training Files)
  10. Rice Krispie Treat Milkshake (from Beyond Frosting)
  11. Salted Caramel Bailey’s Milkshake With Vegan Irish Cream (from Spabettie)
  12. Skinny Mocha Frappuccino – Starbucks copycat recipe (from Healthy Sweet Eats)
  13. Strawberry Almond Smoothie (from Healthy Recipe Ecstasy)
  14. Strawberry Riesling Slushies (from Annie’s Eats)
  15. Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Milkshake (from Honey and Birch)
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Cherry Margaritas

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.

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Liquid Thin Mint

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.

 2013_12.Weeks.Of.Christmas.TreatsCheck out the below links for more contributions to the 12 Weeks of Holiday Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic

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Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum has always been a favorite among my husband and his friends. Don’t believe me? We had to supplement the liquor package at our wedding with a couple bottles of Captain Morgan, because they wouldn’t drink the rum included in the package.

When I received a bottle of Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum for review, I couldn’t keep my husband away from it. He opened it before I could hide it, and I spent the next week shooing him away from the bottle until I could test it out in a couple of recipes. I started off with a Black Spiced and Peachy, a recipe that was featured on Bar Rescue, one of my recent obsessions. I enjoyed the drink but my husband was less excited about it. The next day I made Tortuga Nights, a summer punch made with Cap’t Morgan Black Spiced Rum, wine, pineapple juice, Sprite, and fruit. Both my husband and I agreed (as did several friends) that the recipe was a winner.

Tortuga Nights

After making the below, I gave my husband free reign to finish the bottle. While I enjoyed a glass of the Black Spiced Rum on the rocks, my husband used his in a traditional rum and coke. Needless to say that a bottle Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum (the largest size he can find) has become  a permanent fixture in our liquor cabinet.

Tortuga Nights

I received this recipe in an email, but also found it online here.

Serves 10-15


  • 375 mL Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, chilled
  • 375 mL white zinfandel, chilled
  • 12 oz. pineapple juice, chilled
  • 33 oz. (1 L) Sprite or other lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 15 cherries (I used maraschino cherries, as fresh cherries aren’t in season right now)

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, crush cherries and lime slices to release the juices. Add rum, zinfandel, pineapple juice, and Sprite. Stir to combine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary bottle of Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced Rum for review, but all opinions are my own (and my husbands 🙂 )

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The past month has been jam packed with family visiting to meet our little Hazelnut. My mom has Nutella Mudslidebeen a huge help, spending a couple of weeks with us, helping with the cooking and cleaning. My brothers, grandparents, and uncles have been in and out of the house, along with friends stopping by. I’ve loved having everyone around. Even with a 3-week old, I used the opportunity to try out some new recipes. I made homemade bread and bagels, beef wellington, cranberry white chocolate cookies… and this cocktail for me and Grandma. I’ve been looking forward to trying it for quite a while, and my mixed drink-loving grandma gave me the perfect opportunity.

The drink was delicious – it is pretty much a variation on a mudslide. Shaken with ice, it was thick with rich nutty and chocolaty flavors. While the original recipe (Nutella Shots) served this drink as a shot, I preferred to sip it as a chilled drink (or, if it was warmer outside, blended in a food processor or immersion mixer to create a frozen drink).

Nutella Mudslide

Adapted from So Delicious

Makes 1 drink


  • ice
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 shot Baileys liquor
  • 1 shot vanilla vodka
  • 2 Tbs. Nutella

In a jigger, combine ice, milk, Baileys, and vanilla vodka. In a small bowl, place Nutella. Microwave for ~20 seconds, until soft. Add to jigger and shake to combine.

(If you’d prefer to serve this frozen, throw all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until blended.)

Strain into a glass and serve immediately.

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Books n’ Cooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Some links on Books n’ Cooks may be affiliate links – links books and kitchen supplies that I love and would recommend. If you click on the link and purchase, I make a very small percentage (at no additional cost to you!) which goes towards maintenance of this blog. Thanks for your support!

Sunday Supper Movement