Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Salsa Tacos

I really love creating and adapting recipes and rarely make the same recipe more than a few times a year...and then there was this. Probably one of my favorites and it is so simple that whenever I am in a hurry...this has just become my go to. 

You can make this recipe completely from scratch as I have done a few times...homemade salsa and taco seasoning. I really enjoyed those versions as well, but the simplicity of taco packets and the variety of different salsas on the market means I usually go with 'semi homemade' 

You really can mix this up each time. Sometimes I use green salsa but this last time I used spicy peach and the flavors just exploded off one another. If you want it more filling, add in corn or black beans. 

The options are endless!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

1 lb chicken breast/tenderloins
1 packet taco seasoning
1 jar salsa
4 oz beer
4 oz chicken stock
1/2 lb zucchini (cubed)
extra pack of taco seasoning (optional for taste)
soft tacos/tortillas

Place the chicken in the crockpot, dump in the salsa and taco seasoning. Pour the salsa on top and then pour the beer and stock over it. Stir it and place on low for at least 5 hours and up to 8. About an hour before you plan to serve the tacos, add in the zucchini. Taste and if it needs more flavor, add in any spices or an extra packet of taco seasoning. 

Serve with cheese, sour cream, avocados or any of your favorite toppings.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pomegranate Cider Sangria

When we were up in Boston for Thanksgiving, I was super pumped to find a variety of cider flavors. They had the standard apple and then on top of that - cranberry, pear and pomegranate, I immediately ditched my plan for apple cider mimosas for Thanksgiving and went with a pomegranate cider sangria instead. 

There are not enough words to describe how delicious this ended up being. plus, it was so very simple to throw together in a quick moment! All you would have to do if you couldn't find the pomegranate cider all you would have to do is add a cup of pomegranate juice to the mix! And I often times make my own sangria, but for this instance, the sangria wine worked perfectly! Less steps to worry about and you can grab a bottle for less than $10.

I also think this would be a great choice for any holiday gathering or even for a New Years Party! You can make a big batch of this and it goes a long way! 

Next time I think I want to try this warmed up, would be perfect to drink while I binge watch Hallmark movies...and drive my husband crazy;)

To really drive home how delicious this is...my mother in law rarely drinks alcohol. She had two glasses. That is all you need to know to run and make this. Soon!

Pomegranate Cider Sangria

1 bottle sangria. 
1/2 gallon pomegranate cider 
1 cup spiced rum 
sliced apples

*champagne (optional)

In a large pitcher, place the apples and pomegranates. Pour in the sangria, cider and rum. Stir thoroughly and chill for at least an hour. The second glass I had, I filled my glass half way and then topped with champagne. I got the best of both worlds when it came to my mimosa addition;)

linking up with Pin Junkie

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Maple Bourbon Cannolis

I have never been the largest fan of cannolis. I think it is in large part that I am not big on sweetened ricotta. I have tried to love them, it's just never happened. Then I came across the empty shells at our local market and I got to thinking about how I could make them so that I may enjoy them. 

My answer came in the form of another Italian cheese: mascarpone. (I am aware in some circles this is sacrilegious and I am prepared to deal with that. My last name is Baldassari people, I get it;)But... I have made quite a few versions so far, and this simple combination of some of my go to favorites quickly became a favorite. 

You can always make your own cannoli shells but I found these at the grocery store bakery. Since I purchased them empty, they only charged me half price. Score! If you want the recipe for homemade cannoli shells, I recommend this one.

Maple Bourbon Cannolis

12 mini cannoli shells
6 oz mascarpone
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp bourbon
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a mixing bowl, whip the mascarpone for about 2 minutes on high, change the speed to slow and add in the powdered sugar, maple syrup and bourbon. Combine together and then slowly add in the whipping cream. Slowly bring the speed back up to high and beat until you have a super thick whipped cream consistency.

Place in a piping bag and pipe into each end of the cannoli shell. If desired, roll each end in the chopped pecans. 

Refrigerate for at least two hours. 

*Notes, if you would like a sweeter flavor, you may want to add a little more sugar. You could also add more bourbon. Once when I made this, I had some extra filling left over. I rolled it into a ball and froze it, then rolled the chopped pecans. Served with vanilla wafers as a dip. You can always find a purpose for leftovers;)

These would be the perfect treat for any holiday gathering you have coming up! Enjoy!

Linking up with Freedom Fridays lady bug blessings pint sized baker hun what's for dinner

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bourbon Cranberry Cider

I have said it many times, but I will say it again...Fall is my favorite. And few things remind me more of  this fabulous season than Apple Cider and bourbon. Add cranberries to the mix and you pretty much perfect any scenario. 

I have made a few different cocktails with these mixes before and this was a quick one I came up with before a recent party. I went with what I had on had and the result ended up being exactly what I had been hoping for. Refreshing and light but with bold flavors. 

Bourbon Cranberry Cider

3 oz Apple Cider
1.5 oz Cranberry juice
.5 oz lemonade (optional)
1 oz bourbon

Combine all ingredients, shake or stir and serve over ice. I rimmed my glass with cinnamon sugar rim and garnished with granny smith apples and frozen cranberries. 

I used just this small amount of lemonade because I liked the added flavor but I abstained the second time I mixed this up and it was just as good. I also just used the frozen cranberries instead of ice the second version. The one step I will say is a must in this recipe is buying (or making!) FRESH apple cider, this makes a world of difference!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shuckers Grill Deal Saver

You guys know there are few things I love more than a good deal and I stumbled upon a great one going on right now on Dealsaver.com! They are offering $40 worth of food for only $20 at the new Shuckers in downtown on Glenwood Ave. 

I know I will be buying the deal, what about you? I can't imagine why you wouldn't!

Here is the link, go get on that!

Shuckers Grill Deal Saver

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuscany, Pretola Inn

While we stayed in Tuscany, we were able to stay at the Inn that my husband's family owns and what an experience it was. This inn offers the most spectacular views and the food. I could go on about the food for days.

We were able to stay in the upstairs in a quaint room with a nice sized bathroom and a queen bed. It was exactly what you think of when you conjure up images of a stay in Tuscany. There is so much history here, as the building was originally a farmhouse built in the 1600's in the medieval village of Gragnola.

The location is an easy drive to Pisa, Cinque Terra, La Spezia and Parma. You are able to gaze upon the Apuane Alps while taking a dip in the pool. You are close to castles and also the small village of Gassano. Which happens to be where our family is from and so many still reside.

On our first day at the Inn, we were celebrating the 80th birthday of my husband's great uncle and the food came and came and came. and somehow, each new dish brought about a new explosion of flavors.

We stayed up late in to the night drinking wine and the men enjoyed some Tuscan cigars. As I sat there, I was almost in dismay that I was actually experiencing this particular moment. It was as if it was a dream.

And each morning, Roberto created us a breakfast that you would be pleased to experience just once, much less five days in a row. Fresh toasted bread with homemade butter. Honey and jams. Cappuccinos. and my favorite part of each morning, omelettes with pancetta. And the pancetta is from their very own hogs!

Our last night there, we had another amazing meal with the most succulent dishes. The meats and cheeses seemed to never stop. Fresh pasta made that afternoon and a homemade chicken soup with cheese raviolis. Best soup I ever thought of having.

And the night ended with an amazing tiramisu.

If you are ever looking for a spot that is both relaxing and will tempt your taste buds, I fully recommend Agriturismo Pretola.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Get Shucker Punched

I actually did at one point this week;) Shuckers is predominantly a seafood restaurant that, to put it mildly, also does their cocktails rather well. And most recently my favorite one is the Shucker punch. And it's pink. I mean...yes, please. C'mon, I can't drink straight bourbon alllll the time!

But I digress as there is so much more to this place. The original was a literal stones throw away from us and a few years ago they moved more into Wake Forest. The location is nice and roomy and they have a fantastic patio. Everyone knows how I feel about my al fresco dining. All year long. 

And, the even better news is that they just opened a new location in downtown on Glenwood. Perfect place to start off your night. They have a huge bar and I am already trying to think of a reason to celebrate so we can have use of their private dining room. 

My husband loves their oysters, which I believe you can order in half a dozen or a full dozen. Or there are the moments he goes for The Big SOB. And it's as filling as the name implies.

 Although, if I had to stage a bet, it would be that his favorite menu item is the bacon wrapped scallops. We all know my thoughts on bacon, I think it is safe to say I think every meal should include it. And my pesky allergy to certain shellfish leaves me salivating at the table as he orders it. But if he couldn't order foods based on my allergies, the man would never eat;)

I try to change up my dish when we visit and I usually wind back up in the same place...salmon. They just do it so well there. I often times order the Jack Daniels salmon but more so get the plain grilled salmon and choose one of their signature sauces. I have tendencies to lean towards the pineapple salsa.  And each time I order the roasted red potatoes, so good. I just got hungry again. 

For dessert I think they have multiple items, I really do, I am not sure because I have been hypnotized by the bread pudding and my mind has only a one way track when it comes to the dessert. One of the best I have ever had. 

And if you are not the biggest seafood fan or if, like me, you have certain allergies...never fear, they offer so much more than just seafood. Wraps, sandwiches and I really enjoy their ribs.  So much more, just check out their menu on line!

If you are Gluten Free, they also offer a menu with a plethora of options, We had friends visiting from Boston a few years ago and ended up eating at Shuckers. He has a severe case of celiac and is always cautious of eating out and they took great care of him. 

However, let's not kid ourselves...their hushpuppies. I think they really should just change the name to crack puppies because I cannot stop. More than once I have gone and eaten way too many of those pops of perfection and then...had to box my meal to go. I wish I was sorry. I am not.

If you have a chance, I definitely recommend heading to either location! This will also be up on the Raleigh Revealed section of my other blog, The Whimsy One. 

This is my Friday Favorite of the week. What's yours?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Icebox

One of the easiest things I usually choose to whip up for company is an icebox cake. I have made so many version and each one has been a hit. This is actually a twist on a dessert I grew up on called "chocolate eclair cake" 

If you ever need to make something quick that is sure to go over well with your guests, make this dessert. That is almost an order.

This is pretty similar, just missing chocolate and adding strawberries. I think the next time I will actually use chocolate wafers and have a "chocolate covered strawberry" of sorts. 

Here is my version of this tasty and simple treat. You can't go wrong.

1 package of graham crackers
1 package cheesecake pudding
2 cups milk
1 tub cool whip
1 cup sliced strawberries

make the pudding according to directions and let set up for about ten minutes in fridge. Lightly combine with cool whip. In a 9x9 pan, place a layer of graham crackers, top with a layer of the pudding mix, top with sliced strawberries and layer until you run out. Top with sliced strawberries. 
 Place in fridge for at least 6 hours. 

it melts together and tastes like the most delicious cake. I think my favorite is usually the second day...if it has lasted that long;)


You can easily double this for a 9x13 pan. I have used cherries and mixed berries in this recipe. You can also drizzle melted chocolate over the top. I have also made with flavored coffee creamer instead of milk. Your choices are endless.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Holly Inn

On our last trip to Pinehurst, we had lunch at our usual spot, the historic Holly Inn. Established in 1895. This is where we usually stay when we are in Pinehurst overnight, but for this trip, we were only there for a few hours. 

I love the old bar and how they serve you house made chips as you sit down. I haven't quite figured out what seasoning they use, but I am addicted!

Wiki went with a burger and I chose the prosciutto, havarti and chicken sandwich on focaccia. Perfect choice as it is one of the best sandwiches I have ever tasted. The flavors pair so well together and, other than sourdough, I would choose this over a bun any day. Crispy bread just lends itself to a better sandwich.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Booth Bay Harbor: The Lobster Dock

The only thing that makes a delicious meal even better is the view from which you eat it. And this place serves up both. 

Last summer, we found ourselves in Booth Bay Harbor, Maine and after walking around this captivating town...all I had on my mind was food. There was no shortage of choices and on our walk, we came upon The Lobster Dock. 

I am not sure if it was the smells emitting from their kitchen or the view that beckoned us, but whatever it was that landed us there...thank the good Lord. Delicious!

Tony got a scallop po boy and a cup of chowder and I got the fish nuggets. I think it was fried cod.  We waited in line for what seemed like forever and then you give your order that you have studied from the chalkboard menu. We scouted and spied a couple getting up and had the perfect view to drink our beverages while we waited for food. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Raleigh: Village Grill

One of our favorite sports bars is the Village Grill in Lafayette Village. It is located in North Raleigh off of Falls of Neuse. Lafayette Village is a shopping plaza that is made to look like a village from Europe. They have a plethora of fantastic spots to eat and drink at. 

They also host events all throughout the year. Just this past weekend they hosted a BBQ festival and had beer from the beer shop. 

But back to the topic at hand, Village Grill. I suppose it qualifies as a sports bar just by the sheer number of tvs. The food, however, is anything but your typical bar food. It is delicious. They use lots of local products.  And the set up is very spacious and comfy. They also have a really nice patio to dine on while watching the game. 

If you are looking for a full night in Raleigh, head on over to Lafayette Village, have dinner here and then head to either Vinos Finos or Beer World for drinks afterwards.

Pulled Pork Nachos

Short rib burger with fried egg and blue cheese
Pretzel Crusted Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwich

French Twist Martini

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whew. Longest food name I have ever used for a blog post. But...also one of the most simple! These have 5 ingredients and bake up in less than 8 minutes. 

This is just a simple twist to my previous nutella gluten free cookies. 

And that was a twist on a recipe the mom I nanny for shared. So I can't really take credit.

But just as delicious. 

maybe too delicious.

 and really easy to discover that they are suddenly gone.

 and probably in your belly.

or maybe that is just me.

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunk(or chips)

Combine all ingredients. I like to put "dough" in fridge for about an hour and then I use a tbsp to scoop and place on a cookie sheet. bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. 

Keep in mind that these do not really rise, but they do bake kind of "out" They will appear under cooked at first. Once they cool, they are perfectly crispy on the edges and chewy in the center with the added chocolate chunks. 

I have found it better to lay down parchment paper and bake on that. and then, when they cool for about 5 minutes or so, peel the cookie off the paper. Even with non stick spray, these don't pop off of a pan without some sort of paper or foil. 

I also think these would be very good with craisins. You know, for if you were a somewhat healthy person. 

In other words...don't expect that version on here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Icy Hot

It may be hot as hades this week in North Carolina, but I still enjoy a piping hot mocha in the air conditioning. And Berentzen has done it again with their newest creation: Icemint. And it is the perfect addition to my morning mocha on a lazy Saturday morning. 

Although, believe me when I tell you that a little of this will go a very long way as it is coming at you from a stance of 100 proof. 

I made my regular mocha and just added 1/2 an oz of the Berentzen Icemint and then topped it off with fresh whip cream. Nothing better!

4 oz freshly brewed coffee
1 1/2 tbsp chocolate syrup
1 1/2 oz half and half 
1/2 oz berentzen icemint
whip cream

combine all ingredients, stir with a spoon and top with whip cream. And I am a huge chocolate fan, so I actually used chocolate coffee creamer (instead of half and half) on top of the chocolate syrup...but that's just me;)

I will also say, I am not the biggest coffee drinker so my version will be sweeter than your average mocha, please make it as you see fit and then just add the ice mint to your favorite mocha recipe. 

And ps, it "may be" very good in a dunkin donuts dunkachino. But don't ask me or anything...

I was provided with the berentzen ice mint. but all opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, June 16, 2014

State Farmers Market

After our morning at the antique car show, we made our way over to the State Farmers Market. If you ever find yourself in the Raleigh area, this is a must! It is one of the best I have ever been to. You can walk around for hours and still not see everything. 

I love discovering veggies that I had never heard of before. Trying to create new recipes with them. The baked goodies you can enjoy as you walk around taking every thing in. 

The flowers are beautiful and we love picking new ones out and planting them in our "patch" of a garden. 

There are so many jams and jellies. An abundance of ciders and so many local sauces. I am such a fan of buying local and it is even better when their prices are the best around!

There are also a few restaurants on the premises. A seafood stop in that your nose discovers ling before your eyes locate it. The plates of fried clams and flounder are mouth watering. 

But this morning we actually ate at the restaurant. And I would go on about it...but I will just let this picture do the talking. 

If you are a fan of local Southern food, at incredible prices, then this is the place for you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Favorite Summer Treats

This is the first time that I am actually linking up from this blog for confessions. I usually do every week from my other blog, The Whimsy One, but there aren't too many things to ramble on about in the food department, Figured I would give it a whirl this week. If you didn't know I even have a second blog, welcome and see that lovely bloglovin button, feel free to follow this one as well;)

I love corn on the cob, maybe one of my favorite foods. I love the crisp first bite, the juicy bits of corn as they snap. I love it dripping in butter and loaded with salt. I recently tried it with a compound butter of maple syrup, chili powder and a little cream cheese. So good! The only thing I do not love about corn is picking and shucking it. I grew up on a farm and that was always my job in the summer. Also, how do you guys eat your corn on the cob? Like a typewriter or in circles? I think I mic them both up!

Ice Box Cakes are my second favorite. I love making a bunch of different ones. I made this mudslide one last year and my two other favorites are the strawberry cheesecake and banana caramel one. I recently made an orange cream version and will actually have the recipe tomorrow.  So, you know, if you start following me, you'll see it. 

Berrymisu is one of my favorite summer treats! I love this twist on the classic tiramisu and using fresh berries and Cointreau/chambord to dip the lady fingers in. So good. I cannot get enough mascrapone! I also sometimes like to make it with homemade biscotti's instead of the lady fingers. Another great twist. 

Popsicles, oh, how I loved them growing up and I love to make them even more now, especially using fresh ingredients. And the best part, making grown up versions. As I type I have a new version, cranberry, lemonade, green tea and rum. So good. Well, actually I have only had a sip, not the frozen version...but I have faith! 

Cherry limeade. From Sonic and usually between 3-6 because they are happy hour half price and I ain't no fool! and sometimes, I order 2, one with ice to have now and one with out ice for later. and later usually means I am adding vodka. Hello, cherry limeade martini. and they are, of course, completed with a bourbon soaked cherry, because not to reiterate or anything, (except to completely reiterate) but my momma didn't raise no fool. Although, I will say the only thing that would be better than sonic is a slush puppy. Oh my gosh, Sonic only wishes they could try. Yum, half grape/half cherry. When we were in Quebec City, they were everywhere. basically every meal was a crepe and a slush puppy.

Pizza on the grill. So good! It gets the bottom nice and done and so crispy and the top is perfectly melted. One of my favorite things to grill out. My favorite pizza is one I made last year. Olive oil as a base, prosciutto and pancetta with goat cheese. and a bourbon apricot glaze. So good!

Linking up with Kathy and Liz

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Fried Chicken (Gluten Free)

I have had to go the dreaded gluten free because of my endometriosis. Quite a few doctors have recommended it for infertility and pain management and after doing everything I possibly could to alleviate these problems otherwise, my philosophy is pretty much...what can it hurt. I am allowed to "cheat" sometimes but they believe keeping my gluten intake at a very low rate will make a difference. And so, here I go.

You will still see plenty of gluten filled recipes because I create lots of dishes for others and their opinions will be heard. and I have quite a few recipes that can easily be adapted either way and today's recipe happens to be one of those.

I am Southern, so it is almost a rule to love fried chicken and I follow the trend on this. Although, there are plenty of people that will argue that it isn't true fried chicken unless it is on the bone. I am not here to say either. I will just say that this is chicken, I did fry it. so you decide.

1 lb boneless chicken ( I used tenderloins and pounded them thin)
1 oz tequila
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
2  eggs (whisked with a little water)
1 1/2 cup flour ( I used gf)
2 cups bread crumbs ( i actually used tortilla chips and put them in food processor)

Mix together the tequila, lime juice and chili sauce. Place chicken in zip lock bag and pour marinade over. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours.

In three separate bowls, place egg mixture, flour & bread crumbs. Dip the chicken first in the flour, shaking off excess, then a quick dip in the egg wash and finally dredging it in the bread crumbs. Place on a plate while the oil heats up.

place about 2 cups canola oil in a frying pan ( I prefer a cast iron skillet) place on medium heat and after a few minutes, drop a bread crumb in to test and see if oil is ready. Place chicken in oil and cook on each side for about 5 minutes or until golden brown( this is for very thin chicken, cook longer for thicker pieces) Place chicken on plate with paper towel to soak up the grease.

You can sever with more sweet chili sauce or make a dipping sauce with 1/2 oz tequila, tsp lime juice and 1 1/2 oz sweet chili sauce.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Berentzen: Bushel & Barrel

There are very few times that I will taste a new liquor and enjoy it so much that I don't immediately start thinking of pairing opportunities. This is one of those times. It is the perfect blend of apples and Kentucky Bourbon. They meld together so well, and it is such a smooth taste, that you don't need to add anything to enjoy it. I normally like my bourbon neat, but this worked well with just one ice cube, I felt it made the apple flavor stand out more.

Of course, that doesn't stop me from trying to discover different means of enjoying this particular libation and I am working on sharing a few recipes with you guys soon. My favorite so far may not actually be one you drink, but one you top your burgers with. I used this to make a sweet and spicy bourbon sauce and it is fantastic.

Here are a few notes, directly from Berentzen.

Tasting notes.

A perfect complement of flavors that delivers the scent of crisp fresh-sliced apples followed by a long, warm finish of oak, caramel and vanilla tones. An artfully crafted and carefully matured experience
"The combination of two time-honored crafts. We sourced Straight Kentucky Bourbon, distilled and aged to specification, and mingled it with authentic Berentzen liqueur to provide an artfully crafted and carefully matured spirit of two great traditional flavors."

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GF Nutella & Peanut Butter Cookies

This simple recipe came from mom I nanny for. I actually have a couple of recipes that I have adapted from her and her husband I plan to share. When I got there one morning, I spied a carton of cookies. They smelled delicious and I kept looking at them with my mouth watering, but didn't sneak a bite for fear they were for a gathering. Later, she offered me one...and so good!

These are not the most eye appealing cookies, but the best way to describe these would almost be a chewy brownie bark. At least the version I made with nutella. There is no flour so they seem a tad oily by appearance, but they are so light. Perfectly crispy edges and a chewy center. Perfect afternoon snack.

The original recipe used just peanut butter called for a cup of sugar and I knew my husband wouldn't go for that. He is one of "those" people. So I adapted to please him. Because I am sweet like that. And they still were tasty.  Win-win.

1/2 cup nutella
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar (or sugar/splenda mix)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Drop by tsp or tbsp on a lined cookie sheet. bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes. They will appear undercooked, they're not. And instead of vanilla, I used coffee extract, I thought it would pair well with the richness of the nutella. 

The second time I made these, I added a very ripe and mushed banana to the mix. about a half a cup. I think the next time I will probably add peanut chips. 

What is your favorite gluten free cookie recipe?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Derby Days

One of my favorite weekends of the year is finally here. Derby time. Hats, party dresses, horses and my personal favorite: bourbon. I showcased two bourbon cocktails for you already this week. The Big Cherry and The Not So Old Fashioned. But today, here is a round up of five bourbon based drinks I think you should try. 

1)Pineapple Mint Julep. I spotted this on How Sweet Eats and it just looks divine. Excuse me while I omit the mint. I suppose it will then just be a pineapple bourbon cocktail. Fine by me. 

2)Strawberry Bourbonade Popsicles. I came up with this recipe on my other blog last summer and it is one of my favorites. I can't wait till the pool opens again in a few weeks. 

3) The Naughty Southerner. This drink combines my love of blackberries, pineapple and bourbon. I came up with this cocktail loosely based on a drink we had at the Trellis in Williamsburg. 

4) Blackberry-Lemon Sparkling Mint Julep. As I said about my previous drink, I heart some blackberry and I doubly heart anything with bubbles. Sign me up, this is courtesy of Mason from Mason Like The Jar ( Raleigh Gal, this also makes me happy)

5) And this drink is aptly titled for the upcoming derby, Louisville Limeade. I concocted this during basketball season last year and the next week, Louisville won the national championship. So, there's that.

What are your plans for the Derby? Do you ever celebrate with a party or watching the ponies?