Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Lazy Day Limeade Cocktail

The Summertime is the perfect excuse to want to be lazy, lounging next to the pool with a cool, refreshing drink in your hand. Such a lovely notion but it doesn't always work out that way. However, even if you are short on time, I have the perfect concoction for you that takes hardly any time at all to create!

Tequila is the perfect compliment to the tartness of the strawberries and lime, one sip and you will be hooked! I made this for a game night gathering and it was gone in a flash. Just be careful, this can be a bit deceiving, it doesn't taste quite as strong as it actually is! I used Simple Limeade for this version, I prefer this and Califia brand because they almost taste homemade versus some of the other brands. This will give it more of a 'craft cocktail' cocktail taste. There is definitely a difference in taste if you use certain limeades but, rest assured...It is tasty no matter which limeade you end up using!

 I used a strawberry vodka but if you don't want to buy a special bottle just for this, take about 1/2 a cup of regular vodka and muddle with fresh strawberries, let sit overnight in a air tight container. 

Ingredients
6 oz limeade
2 oz tequila
1 1/2 oz strawberry vodka
1 lime sliced
1/2 cup sliced strawberries

In a cocktail shaker, place a few of the sliced strawberries and lime slices. Muddle thoroughly. Add the tequila, vodka, and limeade. Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. Place remaining lime slices strawberries in two glasses with ice. Top with the Lazy Day Limeade. 


Now be sure to check out all of these other awesome strawberry recipes from the rest of the Ultimate Recipe Challenge Crew!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Beer Cheese Macaroni with Crushed Pretzels

This  month's recipe challenge is all things pasta. Basically, the most important food group there is. I am super pumped to see all of the recipes everyone came up with this go round since the potato challenge has kept me feed for over the last month, I made so many of them! If you are here from my other blog then you know I have already made one macaroni dish for you today and am serving up another gooey version for you here. In the same green dish no less;) 


If I had a weakness it would probably be beer cheese. This is somewhat amusing seeing as how the thought of beer by itself sends me into a state of shudders. Gimme wine or whiskey any day and keep the brew to yourself. That said, beer adds such flavor and depth to so many dishes and this is by far my favorite use for a cold one! 

Beer cheese is probably one of my absolute go to appetizers for any gathering or get together. It is super easy to create and crazy delicious. Last year for a party I was asked to make a dish and I had a bunch of beer cheese left over and didn't want to waste it. I had a random thought to toss it over some pasta and voila...beer cheese macaroni it was. 


The crushed pretzels was a last minute decision. If you know me at all then you know that if you serve me macaroni with bread crumbs you are dead to me. No ma'am, my macaroni wants a topping of just cheese. This was no different, the pretzels just happened to be laying around as extras from being used for the beer cheese dip and I figured "Hey, pretzels and beer supposedly go really well together" Why not try it out?" 

And...for me, I will admit I did somewhat like the added crunch, it wasn't my favorite but I certainly didn't hate it. However, the other 6 people who tried it were somewhat insistent that the pretzels made the dish and so here we are. I am no fool and will listen to the masses. Unless the masses call for baked on bread crumbs and I am outta there. No foolin'. I think one reason I liked the pretzel was because I literally just crushed them up and put them on top. I didn't bake them on. 

1 lb pasta cooked
4-6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cream or half and half
4 oz beer
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded colby jack
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
dash red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup crushed pretzel

in a sauce pan, dump in the cream cheese, cream, and beer and place on medium heat. Once it begins to bubble up, make sure to whisk thoroughly and add in the remaining cheeses, whisking constantly. Add in the mustard and spices and stir. Toss with pasta and add to serving dish. Top with crushed pretzels and serve. 

* This is a lot of cheese, I love mine cheesey and gooey, feel free to adjust to your taste. Same thing with beer and cream. Add more if you would like a stronger taste. This is kind of a recipe that you can play around with to perfect just the way you like it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Peppermint Ice Cream & Brownie Pie

Chocolate and peppermint is one of my favorite combinations anytime of the year, but particularly around the holidays. They just pair with one another so well and get me all kinds of holly jolly and in the mood to decorate and celebrate the season with my friends. Or you know, curled up by myself watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. If you are looking for a simple and yummy dessert, this peppermint ice cream and brownie pie is divine and will wow everyone. 


It took me a little less than half an hour to make this and pop it into the freezer, I made it for a party that I was going to last week and only had about a 3 hour notice. I was skimming the aisles trying to think of what to make when I noticed the peppermint ice cream was on sale and voila, this version of my peanut butter ice cream pie was the first thing I thought of. 

It is now officially one of my favorites and I am already looking forward to making it for another gathering this weekend. Can you believe we are already in December?! I can't get over how time flies. I am not even close to being done with my shopping so having a simple dessert that I don't have to spend a lot of time on is perfect for me right now!

Peppermint and Ice Cream Brownie Pie

1 pint peppermint ice cream
2-3 cups chopped brownie pieces
oreo pie crust
chocolate sauce

When you are ready to make, set out the ice cream for about half an hour. While you are waiting for the ice cream to soften, go about chopping the brownie pieces. The first few times I made a pie with brownie pieces, I made my own brownies and chopped them up. The last two times I didn't have the available time to make my own brownies so I purchased pre made brownie bites ( you can usually find them in the bakery area of your grocery store) If you do make them yourself, if you are as big a fan of peppermint as I am, you may want to add peppermint andes or some form of peppermint to give your pie even more flavor. 

Once you have chopped the brownies and the ice cream is softened, you are ready to go.  Lay the brownie pieces into the bottom of the oreo crust, reserving some for the top of the pie. You can add chocolate sauce here if you would like. Using a spoon, scoop large amounts of the ice cream on top of the brownie pieces. Use a small spatula to smooth the ice cream and fill to edges. Sprinkle the remaining brownie pieces on top of the ice cream and finish the pie with the sauce. 

Place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until frozen through. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Prosciutto, Apple, Goat Cheese & Cider Sauce Flat Bread

The name may be a mouthful, but since it will be a rather delicious one, it shouldn't be a problem. I just love the combo of prosciutto, apples, and goat cheese. I made a grilled cheese with these ingredients last year and I knew I wanted to make a similar flat bread version this year. I was not disappointed. 

This flat bread is super simple to put together and every bite is packed full of flavor. These ingredients just pair so well with one another. This could be a simple week night dinner or you could whip one up as an appetizer when you have company. 

I made this with puff pastry, but you could easily swap it out for pizza dough. 



Puff pastry (thawed)
1 granny smith apple (sliced)
4 -6 oz goat cheese 
4-6 pieces of prosciutto (sliced thin)

Whiskey Cider Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider
1 oz bourbon
1 tbsp spicy brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder

On a pizza pan, lay the puff pastry. Use your fingers to smooth it out. Liberally top the puff pastry with the prosciutto, apples and, goat cheese crumbles. Pre heat the oven and start the sauce.   In a small sauce pan, place all remaining ingredients. Turn heat on high and whisk continuously, until sauce begins to bubble. Lower heat to medium and continue to whisk until it begins to thicken. Once it has thickened, using a spoon, ladle the sauce over the top of the pizza. 


This is a dish that you need to pay attention to. I have made in three separate stoves and each stove had a completely different baking time. I would say about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure to put your eyes on it at about the 15 minute mark to make sure it hasn't begun to burn. Once the pastry is a nice golden brown, the flat bread is ready. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pumpkin Spice & Butterscotch Monkey Bread

I am sure most of you have seen the videos going around on facebook for monkey bread. Every time I see one my mouth begins to water. Doesn't matter how many years I have been making these. Doesn't matter if I had just eaten one the night before, every. single. time. I see the videos I must have monkey bread. It is so easy to make. It is so delicious. It always looks incredible. Heck, it always tastes incredible. Plus, you can make so many versions. One version I have for you today is pumpkin spice monkey bread with butterscotch sauce and heath bar bits. It is so delicious and was a complete hit at the birthday party when I served it. 


Ingredients

3 to 4 tubes refrigerated biscuits

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tbsp pumpkin spice

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butterscotch sauce

1/2 cup heath bar bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan. Cut each biscuit into quarters.  Dump the sugar, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon in a large ziplock. Add in the biscuit pieces and shake to coat. Drop the pieces in the coated bundt pan and fill about a third the way full.  Cover with half the heath bar pieces and butterscotch sauce. Fill the pan with the rest of the biscuit pieces, aiming sure to not fill more than 3/4 of the way full. Then use remaining heath bar pieces and pour the remaining butterscotch sauce over the biscuits, doing your best to cover as many pieces as possible.  You can always use more butterscotch sauce if you feel it needs it. This is a recipe that you really can't mess up. Do your thang now. 

bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until edges are a nice and crusty and don't forget gooey!

After it cools for about half an hour, place a plate over the bundt pan and slowly turn over to release the monkey bread. This is when you sneak a few bites in when no one is looking. Go ahead, I won't tell. 

Also, am I the only one who thinks of My Big Fat Greek Wedding every single time I type bundt pan? There is a new one coming out in the spring, I can't wait to watch it. Preferably while I am eating this;)

If you can't get enough of the butterscotch, pumpkin, and heath bar combo, check out my other blog for this yummy donut hole recipe. 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dark & Stormier

One of the few cocktails that my husband and I both enjoy are Dark & Stormys. They are very simple to make and while you can enjoy them all year round, I particularity like them in the fall. The spice just seems to warm you right up. 


I began trying to think of ways to put a twist on this classic and there really wasn't too much I wanted to do differently as it's quite delicious on its own. This cocktail only consists of two ingredients: ginger beer and spiced rum. What exactly can you do to mix it up? Enter Ginger cider and it keeps what makes it so delicious with just the slightest differential. 

If you can't find ginger cider, you could just use equal parts ginger beer and apple cider. I really like how the ginger cider tastes though. It isn't too overwhelming and you get the perfect balance of apples and ginger, two of my absolute favorite flavors. 

I made these for a get together and my pictures really didn't turn out and my friends really didn't want to wait for me to get that perfect shot. Blogger fail or a sign of a good time;) But I wanted to include a photo of a proper Dark and Stormy just so you could get an idea of what the layering effect looks like. I took this photo at my birthday dinner at one of my favorite local places, Driftwood Southern Kitchen. 

The ingredients may be a little different but the premise is really the same. I hope you try this cocktail and love it as much as I do.

Dark & Stormier

4.5 oz ginger beer
1.5 oz Dark Rum
lime wedge

You can totally just dump these in a glass and enjoy or to get the layering effect, pour the ginger beer in first and then add in the rum. 



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Chicken chili is one of my favorite meals. It is so simple to put together, there are so many different versions you can make to mix it up. Plus...it lets me use my favorite kitchen appliance: my crockpot! I will take any excuse to use the crockpot. I love coming home from a long day out and the aromas of dinner greeting me as I open the door. 

This particular version is great for fall and I actually have made it a couple different ways (mainly due to not always being able to find the different ingredients) and I will list my favorite first and then give you the substitution ideas in case you can't locate them all.  Pumpkin just adds a layer of flavor that takes this dish to another level. 

I stock up each September when the salsas come out just so I can make this year round. I love it that much. 



Pumpkin Chicken Chili

1 lb boneless chicken breast
1 jar pumpkin salsa
1 can black beans
1 small bag frozen corn
1 packet chili seasoning
6 oz pumpkin beer
2-4 oz chicken stock

avocados/sour cream/cheese and anything you like to top your chili with.

Place the chicken, salsa, beans and corn in your slow cooker/crockpot and then top with the packet of chili seasoning. Pour the beer and chicken stock over the ingredients and stir together, just to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

And depending upon how long you will be away from home and how much liquid this soaks up, you may want to add more beer or chicken stock. Just eyeball what you think. I have used as much as a whole bottle of beer and as little as 5 oz. So much of this depends upon the type of cooker you have, more liquid will always be better than burned!

If you can't locate the pumpkin salsa ( I have found it at Aldi, Trader Joes and Fresh Market) Use 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and any kind of salsa you prefer.

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