Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just A Sip

When we were in New Hampshire a few months back I stumbled onto these perfect little pours and they were having a huge sale and these were a buck each. Ergo, I had to try them out. I am nothing if not economical.

I have since seen these at the wine/beer here since then and they are still not to expensive and these would be perfect for a girls night. They pack a flavorful punch and I love the bubbly aspect.

Go Getcha some. Especially the pineapple mandarin. Yummmmmm.

Linking up for Thirsty Thursday

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whoope Pie Wednesday: Chocolate with a Pumpkin Coconut Filling

There are very few things that I love more than a good whoopie pie. And this flavor didn't disappoint. I made so many combos last year that it took me a while to create ones that I hand't tried for the season yet. And then a pregnant friend was the inspiration behind this. She loves pumpkin and coconut and I had made her a brownie with similar flavors a few weeks ago and this just came to me one night.

I love coming up with simple recipes that you remind you of friends. Each time I think on these yummy treats I will remember this specific time in our life. And her and her sweet belly in particular.
The belly that we think holds a boy...but after they were first certain it was a girl before changing their minds a few weeks later, we are not holding our breath...

This is a rich treat for this crisp(well, it was 71' today so perhaps that is not the best description at this moment;) weather that represents all things fall. The coconut plays very well off of the pumpkin. It is reminiscent of a mounds bar, but an Autumn version.

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup cocnut coffee creamer( or milk)
1 packet cocnut pudding
4-6 oz pumpkin spice cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350'

Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs and creamer. I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes 
For the filling, cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the pudding packet and 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the whipping cream and beat until peaks begin to form. or for alternate version, prepare the pudding w/1 cup cold milk, mix w/cool whip. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up. 

Notes*** if you can't find the pumpkin spice cream cheese, just use regular cream cheese, but only 4 oz and then 2 oz pumpkin pie filling. Also, I think using the pumpkin cream liqueur in lieu of the coconut creamer may be really yummy! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bourbon Cider Popsicles

Oh, my gosh. I am pretty sure that I can emphatically state that this in my new favorite fall treat. These were so tasty and so simple to whip up! And even though you use a small amount of bourbon in this, the flavor is still jam packed! 

These were the perfect mixture of what I love about fall. And I made sure to use real apple cider, the good stuff as it is full of flavor and even small apple bits.

As you know I usually prefer to enjoy my bourbon the way it was temp and straight out of the bottle. But sometimes you have to maintain the presumption of being classy.

1 cup apple cider
1 1/2 tbsp bourbon
plastic shot glass cups

Combine the bourbon and cider together, shaking to make sure thoroughly mixed and pour into the cups, freeze for about an hour and add in the sticks. Then freeze for at least 24 hours, but they fared a little better after 48.

Run under hot water and they should pop right out, if they do not, no worries, just use scissors to snip the side of the plastic cup.

It is really important to not go over this alcohol ratio or they will not freeze! 

and thanks again so much to my bestie, Joja for taking these photos. You make magic with a camera! Love you, lady!

I think next time I want to make cran- apple bourbon pops. Off to do;)

Linking up with Thirsty Thursday

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan Waffles

So, I think it is safe to say that there may be an addiction when you start making food based on your favorite candles. I have a problem with Bath & Body Works candles, I may have about 20 in just my living room/kitchen right now and that is not including the linen closet full... but that will not stop me from the next candle sale. No way.

So, when the new fall scents included a pumpkin pecan waffle, it was clear what my duty was for the year. Make them...while I burned my candle. and obviously find a way to work some bourbon in the recipe. Be serious.

Anyways, the all knowing world of pinterest showed me earlier this year how you can make waffles from cake mix. Then I saw the seasonal pumpkin cake mix and this recipe was ready to happen. If you can't find the pumpkin cake mix, never fear, check my notes and I will have another version you can switch out for.

Make the cake mix as it is directed on box, I did however use pecan praline coffee creamer in place of the water and I added a tbsp of Jack. The couple I nanny for was out of bourbon and I prefer Jack to Crown.  Then I added about half a cup of chopped pecans. 

Once you have  prepped the cake mix, turn your waffle iron on and once it is ready, pour in your cake mix and cook just like you would a regular waffle.

If you want ice cream, that would work perfectly or I made a maple bourbon cool whip topping. usually, I would make my won whipping cream, but it was not at my disposal at their house. I just took 2 cups of french vanilla cool whip, 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 1/2 tbsp jack and mixed together for a new cool whip flavor. Place on waffle and top with remaining pecans. So very tasty!

****notes if you can't find the pumpkin cake mix, just use yellow/white and add a cup of pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin spice. Or use regular waffle mix and do the same thing. 

These were perfect for a chilly, crisp fall morning or to have at an afternoon brunch.

Linking up with Love & laundry Simply Sweet Home What's cooking loveJessica, Ashley, Totally Posted Tuesday, Tasty Thursday  Wake Up Wednesday

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Alfredo Bake WIth Prosciutto

I am really excited to bring you a recipe I concocted for a  contest that I am participating in for the Legends From Europe. The stipulations were pretty simple, you were given the option of making a recipe involving meat or cheese, once you chose they would email you with your selection.

Due to the fact that there was even a slim chance I would be given Prosciutto di Parma, I had to choose meat for that very reason. This girl loves it! If you are unfamiliar,  it is dry cured ham, to find out more about why it's so amazing, you can check out the link here on the Legends From Europe website.

The stars aligned and I was chosen to create a recipe with this delectable ingredient. I did the happy dance in my kitchen. Actually, if we're being truthful here, I was at this little known store, Target, when I got the email on my phone and I may have been more than a little excited than usual in my shopping adventure.

The rules were easy to adhere to, your recipe must contain your item and no other cured meat or grana cheeses. Those are rules I can live with and the recipe I came up with is perfect for all this fall weather we are finally starting to have here in North Carolina!

I chose to create a Pumpkin alfredo sauce and incorporate the Prosciutto di Parma. The saltiness of the meat played off the creaminess of the pumpkin and mascarpone. I decided to forgo adding any spices that would bring out sweetness in the pumpkin and instead added only ground black pepper, a small pinch og salt and since this is me...a hint of bourbon.

1/2 lb penne pasta
1/2 lb Prosciutto di Parma (thinly sliced and chopped)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz mascarpone
8 oz mozzarella/provolone mix(shredded)
1 tbsp bourbon
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp butter

Cook the pasta to al dente, once finished, drain. 

In a small saute pan, add in the Prosciutto di Parma and the bourbon. Cook just until crisp. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pain, combine mascarpone, pumpkin and butter on low heat. Once it begins to bubble add in the cream. Let it cook for a few minutes and add in 6 oz of the shredded cheese. Continue whisking till fully melted. Add in the prosciutto. Then add in the cooked pasta and stir till fully incorporated into the cheese sauce.

Pour into a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or just until the  cheese begins to brown.

Linking up with what's cooking love Marvelous Mondays mix it up monday Weekend potluck , mellywood mansion sweet bella roos

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cran-Apple Mimosa

Looking for a drink that feels like fall and is missing the pumpkin taste? Well, I have the perfect cocktail for you this week. It is so yummy that you will almost feel like you cheated it is so simple to make! I made this a few times and you can create a few different versions. 

The first and most simple version simply involves 2 oz cran apple juice, 1 oz apple cider and topped with your favorite champagne or sparkling wine. I actually used a sparkling moscato in this recipe. Normally I am not the biggest fan of moscato but the tartness from the cider matched evenly with the sweetness to bring about a big glass of delicious.

The second version was just me playing around with my favorite friend, you all know him as Mister Bourbon. I just know him as Yes, Please. I have been using him so so abundantly in recipes lately that I honestly cannot remember which one I used in this particular version. Was it Makers? Maybe it was Buffalo Trace. I know it wasn't mister Williams due to the fact that I ran out of Evan while making this recipe. Hmmmm, maybe it was Forester. I don't know people, I do not discriminate. But I do play favorites. That is for another post. One that has already been written. You should have read it...

So I have a PSA for you guys...use your favorite! I cannot make it for you, but just do your taste buds a favor and use some in this drink. It was a good choice. As if adding alcoholic corn could ever be seen as a bad decision. Please.

So if you go with this version the recipe changes only ever so slightly. 1 1/2 oz cran apple, 1 oz apple cider , 1 oz bourbon and a dry sparkling wine. Add a straw and let the good times roll.

Linking up with Kitchen Fun

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beer Queso

I may really, really love me some queso. and guess what, my favorite is hands down tostitos. Not the whole velveeta and rotel version. I am sorry. I just feel that Tostitos kinda has the whole deal down on lock and so really, why should you mess with a good thing. Well...until you decide to add beer.

Quite a few times I have made a recipe similar to this and I would just use tostitos and pour into this dish. and believe me when I say that you can absolutely still do that, but I must say...I really enjoyed this version. Way too much.

1 lb ground beef(or turkey)
1 pkge taco seasoning(or your own homemade version)
4 oz beer
6 oz cream cheese
4 oz salsa
4 oz shredded cheese(Mexican blend is what I used)

brown the meat and drain, add in the taco seasoning and the beer. Stir together and heat on low until it begins to bubble. Add in the cream cheese and stir for a few minutes till the flavors are melted together and then add in the salsa. You can use any flavor you like. Spicy or mild. We actually used green salsa yesterday. and then add in shredded cheese, stirring to combine.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin Caramel Affogato

This is one of those simple drinks that makes me feel like a genius. And trust me, make this for yourself and you will understand what I am tooting my horn loudly over here about. Or really, you will probably only feel that way after you add the bourbon...but still. Besides, this is perfect without the bourbon and as a simple dessert/after dinner drink

One of my husband's favorite drinks to order is an affogato. This normally consists of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with espresso(sometimes coffee) The espresso melts the gelato and it melds into this yummy thick concoction. I do not drink coffee, but this got me the first time I tried some of his. 

And so it got me to thinking- how could I play around with this recipe that was just fine without any tampering...and I came up with a version that is perfect in this fall weather. Even if it has still been in the 90's this past week in North Carolina. October means pumpkins. No.Matter,What.
Caramel gelato
pumpkin coffee
1 tbsp bourbon(optional)

Place the gelato in a glass and pour the hot, brewed coffee over the gelato. It will start to melt down into a glass of pure yummy, this is where you can make it better and add a little bourbon. You will not be sorry. This I promise you.

And thanks to my bestie for taking some photographs of my pictures this weekend and for giving me lots of tips. If you want an amazing instagram to follow, check out Shining Brightly Photography

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mini Avocado Caprese Frittatas

I am always on the hunt for ideas for low carb meals for Wiki. As he is one of those people. I, on the other hand  am a carbatarian. Carbs visit me in my dreams. I have tried it out a few times and mainly I am only successful when I go the route of limiting my carbs to the morning. or afternoon. or evening. I When I sleep.

Anyways, frittatas are big in our house as they were a staple in Wiki's growing up. They are basically the easiest recipe to throw together and the combinations are endless. Basically, you get to make an omelette and not fail at the whole flipping process. Oh, that's just me. hmmm.

Anyways, I made a twist on the classic caprese, added avocado and voila, happiness in our house. I promise you cannot go wrong with these. Unless of do go wrong in which case I have made no such promise.

8 eggs
1/4 cup milk/cream
1 small pkge cherry tomatoes(halved)
package small mozzarella bites
1/2 cup pesto(or you can use fresh basil)
1 large avocado(chopped)
shredded parmesan(optional)

In a muffin pan(spray with non stick spray liberally) place a few tomatoes, mozzarella pieces & avocados. Add about a tbsp of pesto to each cup. Whip the eggs and milk together and pour into each opening.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until slightly firm. 

You can bake ahead of time and have ready for breakfast for the week or these are perfect for a brunch gathering.

Linking up with Jessica, Ashley, your whims wednesday, all she cooks

Monday, October 7, 2013

OTT: Raleigh- Fig Wine Bar & Cafe

Of all the wine bars I have visited, this is my favorite. The fact that it is so close to my house is an added benefit. It's located in an old home converted to wine bar and coffee shop. The ambiance is my favorite. And the wrap around porch invites you in and hooks you.

The food and the wine is what keeps you coming back. 

They have these double layer red velvet cupcakes. Oh my word. So good. So very good.

They have the most amazing brunch on Sunday. and on Tuesday their wine machines are half off. All day. This is dangerous. The best kind of dangerous.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dole Rita

I suppose I could go for a stretch and reference this drink as a cocktail...and obviously I am going to. I was visiting my mom for the weekend, and I got the classy ladies drink of choice: Lime A Rita And once I got back to my mom's I noticed that she had some juice in the fridge and thought I would try and see what it tasted like.

What it tasted like was delicious. Yes, something can taste like and be delicious simultaneously. 

Now, for the easiest drink you could ever throw together. And you will be so chic while sipping it. And by chic I mean not at all, but who gets caught up in pesky details.

I suppose this is where I give you directions as to how to make this...
Pour a small amount of the juice in the bottom of the glass and top with the Lime A Rita. It is basically a redneck mimosa. Now that I think about it, let's pretend that is the name of this lovely beverage. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Time For Whoopie

If you follow my other blog at all, you know my love of whoopie pies. I have made over 30 versions and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. I first made this version for a Halloween party last year and they are one of my far. Think of an oatmeal cream pie taken to another level. 

I think that oatmeal and butterscotch just play off of each other so well. the flavor combination is a perfect marriage. Scotchies are a cookie that I have always loved, they remind me of my father. He loves oatmeal and butterscotch. 

These are really simple to make and will satisfy a crowd and are the perfect fall treat.

1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup veggie oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup Quaker Oatmeal (not instant)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 packet butterscotch pudding
1 cup whipping cream
4-6 oz cream cheese softened
(see notes below if you want cool whip version instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine cake mix, oil, eggs, water, oatmeal and brown sugar in bowl.   
Drop by 2 tablespoons onto lined cookie sheet (leave about an inch between each cookie)

Bake 8-9 minutes

Cool on pan 5 minutes, move to wire rack and cool 15 more minutes

Beat softened cream cheese on low for a min or until fluffy, add dry pudding packet & two tbsp of whipping cream, beat on low till pudding is fully incorporated into cream cheese and add remaining whipping cream, turn speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Let set in fridge for at least an hour before frosting. 

Take one cookie and place a tablespoon or so of frosting in the center.  Press another cookie on top (this will spread the icing out to the edge).

Notes*** the second time I made these, I couldn't find real oats so I used 2 packets of the quakers instant maple & brown sugar, I omitted the extra brown sugar. Both versions were pretty good, but the real oats give it more...depth(can a cookie have depth? haha)

and if you want the quick frosting version, just make the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and after about 20 min in the fridge, mix it with cool whip. Both are good. if I say so myself. and I do;)

Linking up with Ashley And Jessica and love bakes good cakes, and The Recipe Swap