My hope is to inspire you to get in the kitchen and have an adventure. Make something you have never tried before.  Push yourself to make something you have always been intimidated to make but most importantly to have fun and make memories!


Beverages

Boozy Watermelon Granita

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Baby, it’s hot outside!  It’s that time of year where not even the pool water is refreshing anymore.  I wanted a cool and refreshing treat, granita is the perfect way to cool off.  I wanted to make this version more on the adult side and so I added vodka to this recipe.  You can always omit the vodka and follow the recipe and it will still be perfect and kid-friendly.  I think adding mint or basil to this would add a whole other layer of flavor.  This is a very quick and easy way to beat this summer heat!   

 

 

Boozy Watermelon Granita
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups Watermelon juice
  2. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Homemade Limoncello

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Citrus season is at its peak and I am taking full advantage of this wonderful fruit. A few weeks ago I posted this delicious Blood Orange Margarita which got me thinking about other great drinks made with citrus.  I remembered watching an episode of Everyday Italian where Giada made homemade Limoncello and I knew immediately I wanted to try it.  The recipe is really simple and only calls for a few ingredients.  Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy and in generally served chilled as an after-dinner digestivo.  In the US it is mainly used in cocktails, I will be featuring three different cocktail using this delicious lemon liqueur.  Also, I used the leftover lemons for another treat I will be showing you this week, so stay tuned…….

 

Homemade Limoncello
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Ingredients
  1. 10 Lemons
  2. 1 (750 ml) bottle Vodka

Blood Orange Margaritas

 

Yesterday was National Margarita Day and as I was scrolling and drooling over all the images of margaritas  plastered over social media obviously I had to have one!  I wanted to experiment with a flavor I had not yet tried so when I saw this margarita from Confections of a Foodie Bride’s blog I knew this one was it!  I have had blood oranges only a handful of times and since they happen to be in season and available in the grocery store it was a no-brianer.  They totally lived up to my expectations they were so good and her recipe was perfect for 2 margaritas.  I will definitely make sure there is a reminder on my calendar for next year’s for National Margarita Day!

 
Blood Orange Margaritas
These margaritas are super easy to make and really delicious!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 oz. tequila

Homemade Basics: Hot Cocoa Mix

When the first frosty morning appears I know it’s time to make a batch of hot cocoa mix.  I like to have it ready to go  for whenever the moment strikes, and in our house it strikes often!  Jacob’s face totally lights up as soon as he sees the mugs and marshmallows out on the counter.  Lucy will be able to have a little mug of her own this year ( a very cooled version of course;)  What is a mug of hot chocolate without watching the Polar Express?

There is nothing super fancy about this mix, I got it straight off the Hershey’s Cocoa container!  I do add some cinnamon to give it some warmth but other than that I follow the recipe.  Also, this makes the perfect gift for teachers, postmen, neighbors, etc. I like to package it in a cute little mason jar with some ribbon and a little tag with a cute message.

Ingredients

For the Cocoa Mix:
Yields: 4 servings
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup hershey’s cocoa powder
Dash of Salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)
For the Hot Chocolate:
Yields: 1 mug of hot chocolate
1 heaping tbsp. cocoa mix
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
miniature marshmallows (optional)
chocolate chips (optional)
Directions
To make the cocoa mix:
In a small bowl.  Add the sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt.  Whisk until combined.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
To make the hot cocoa:
In a small sauce pan on medium heat.  Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the cocoa mix and 1 cup of milk.  Whisk the mix together until well combined.  Heat the mix until little bubbles start to form around the side but not to a boil.  Add the chocolate chips to the bottom of the mug and pour the warm hot chocolate over the chips.  Top with miniature marshmallows and additional chocolate chips..
Recipe Source:
Slightly Adapted form: Hershey’s

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup

How do you take your coffee?  I like mine iced (yes, even in the winter months!) with flavored syrup and a little half-and-half!  I make cold-pressed coffee on Sunday so it’s ready for me all week long.  What is cold-press coffee you ask?  Cold-press coffee is a way of making more concentrated coffee to keep in your fridge.  It’s super easy to make and all you need is ground coffee and water.  The instructions are posted below.  This syrup is perfect for your morning coffee, however you prefer to drink it.  It has just enough spice to make you feel cozy on these cool fall mornings.

Pumpkin Spiced Iced Coffee

Ingredients
8 oz. Cold-Press Coffee
4 tsp. half and half
3 tsp. Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Ice
Directions

In your favorite glass add the ice, coffee, half and half and syrup.  Mix until combined.  Enjoy!

Raspberry Limeade

I don’t know about you but I am trying desperately to hang on to these last days of summer.  I am just not quite ready to talk about pumpkin anything yet!  To honor these last days of summer and fresh fruit, I decided to make something refreshing. This raspberry limeade immediately came to mind.  It is sweet, tart, and “bubbly perfect” for your Labor Day gathering! It was super easy to make, and I have some tips and tricks on this drink posted below.  I will also be turning it into an adult beverage on my next post, so stay tuned!  Enjoy!

Sweet photo bomb by Jacob!

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 oz. raspberries, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 liter sparkling water or club soda, chilled
Lime slices for garnish
Directions
In a small saucepan on medium heat.  Add the sugar and water.  Heat, stirring occasional, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
To make the raspberry puree:
In a blender add the raspberries and blend until smooth.  You will still be able to see the seeds.  Set a fine mesh strainer over a pitcher to strain out the seeds.  To the pitcher add the lime juice and simple syrup and stir.  When you are ready to serve add the sparkling water or club soda to the pitcher and stir to combine.
Variation – To make a single serving of this drink: Combine the lime juice and raspberry puree in a small container with a lid.  Add 3 tablespoons of the puree mixture to a 12 oz. glass.  Then add 3 tbsp. simple syrup and stir.  Add ice to the glass.  Pour chilled sparkling water (I buy this in individual cans so I always have them on hand.) to the rim of the glass and stir!  Store any unused puree mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Store the unused simple syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Adapted from:  Food Network Magazine September 2012

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