Tuesday, December 31, 2013

F is for: Framboise Champagne Jello Shots

Happy almost New Year!

Apologies for the last minute New Year's Eve idea... But my NYE plans are pretty last minute as well. As of two days ago, we had no plans so I decided to host a small get together for whoever wanted to ring in 2014 I'm a low key way.

Being the Jell-O shot aficionado that I am and being the champagne lover I am, it only seemed right to do some sort of champagne Jell-O shot for New Year's. (Similar to my French 75 shots, but with raspberries and chambord).

A popular addition to bubbly is adding a dash of raspberry or framboise liqueur, so I decided this would make a fabulous Jell-O shot as well.

Friday, December 27, 2013

F is for: Flaming S'mores Cocktail

You’ve heard about chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmastime, but what about marshmallows? 

And what if that open fire was right in your martini glass?

S’mores aren’t just for campfires in the summer. There’s nothing that says the delicious concoction can’t warm your belly in the winter.

You will need all of the ingredients for s’mores, plus alcohols to mimic the delicious dessert. I went with marshmallow vodka and crème de cocoa, along with a marshmallow-graham cracker-chocolate rimmed martini glass. (Godiva chocolate liqueur and/or chocolate vodka could be other yummy additions).

And of course the coolest part about this drink is you get to set it on fire. To learn how to {safely} accomplish that task and for the s'mores-tastic recipe, hop on over to Tablespoon. Cheers!

Friday, December 20, 2013

E is for: Epcot World Showcase {Drinking around the World}

The first time I visited Disney World, I was in high school. I distinctly remember walking around Epcot with my mom and little sister, and thinking "how fun would it be to come back after I turned 21 and drink my way around the world?"

Now, I'm not taking credit for the idea... as I'm sure others had thought of this even before I did. But you have to admit, this was pretty forward thinking for a 14-year-old.

Fast forward about 20 years, and a somewhat impromptu trip to Florida to escape the snow and cold of Connecticut, and I was finally able to live out my awesome idea. (Which, has apparently become sort of "the thing" to do at Disney as adults). 

I'm happy to report that I completed the #drinkingaroundtheworld challenge (yes, of course I hashtagged and documented my journey on instagram), along with my step sister and boyfriend who patiently put up with my annoying antics. I also learned a few things along the way, and therefore passing them onto you... my faithful blog readers.

UPDATE: I recently completed this challenge again, in 2019, and re-logged my experience with better photos and more food/drink options. You can read the updated version here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

E is for: Eggnog Jello Shots, Eggnog Martini & White Cosmo

It is because I love you... my faithful blog readers... so very much that I am posting this amazing recipe today, at least a couple days earlier than I had planned.

Because as I was making these for a party I'm attending this evening (ugly sweater party, you should see my outfit as I type this), it dawned on me....

Perhaps other people would want to make these for parties this weekend too!

Consider it my Christmas gift to all of you.

This idea was spawned partly from my eggnog pudding shots last year and partly from an eggnog martini I created for Stoli (see below). The end result was nothing short of scrumptious.

These aren't traditional in the sense that they don't use brandy or rum or bourbon. Instead I did a mixture of vanilla vodka and amaretto (though I think Creme de Cocoa or Frangelico would be bomb as well).

D is for: Deviled Eggs {Park Tavern Style}

recipe for Park Tavern Deviled eggs
You guys.

I am so freaking excited to share this post with you. Like, unnaturally excited.

If you've ever eaten at Park Tavern, you are sharing my excitement right now.

After my first trip to PT (the first of many during my time in SF), I wrote about my experience on the blog and declared these the best deviled eggs I'd ever had. This was not a lie and is still true to this day.

My friend Kim shared my love for these little devils and took it upon herself to recreate them based on some of the flavors she picked up on during one of her several trips to PT.

Similar to how I came up with my copycat Marlowe/Park Tavern brussels sprout chips, Kim totally nailed it. I had originally planned to just make her recipe, and then on a whim... I simply asked the restaurant if I could have the actual recipe. Much to my joy and surprise, they said yes! I'll still include notes with Kim's version in case you want to try them both out.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

D is for: Drunken Noodles {Penne alla Vodka}

Most people simply eat something they enjoy and that's the end of it. Many times, when I eat something I really like, I start thinking about the "why's" and the "how's."

Take vodka sauce for example. It's so simple, yet so good. And so different from traditional marinara sauce. It's got a little heat, a bright tomatoey flavor, and balanced with a touch of cream.

So when I came up with the idea of creating an easy vodka sauce featuring Stoli vodka, it got me thinking... what does the vodka really add anyways?

The Food Lab came to the rescue again... breaking it down in this article. The alcohol actually acts as a sugar to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes, so long as it's cooked off properly. They recommend 1/4 cup of vodka per quart of sauce.

I did a much higher concentrate, but I also allowed my sauce to simmer longer, which perhaps cooked off more of the booze. Either way, when paired with my favorite marinara sauce, it makes the perfect weeknight meal. Add chicken or shrimp for protein, or leave as-is for a vegetarian dish.

To read more and get the recipe, click here to head on over to orgnl.tv.

C is for: Chicken Bundles stuffed with Prosciutto, Spinach & Goat Cheese

When I’m trying to eat healthy, I end up eating A LOT of chicken. Sure, it’s good for you… high in protein, low in fat, blah, blah, blah.

But let’s face it… boneless chicken breasts can be pretty boring. And for all they boast in health benefits, they can sometimes lack in flavor.

Not to worry though, I have an easy fix for this. Simply stuff ‘em! 

You can pretty much choose whatever ingredients you want. I’ve done goat cheese & pecans in the past… but this time I decided to do prosciutto, spinach and goat cheese for my filling. Yes, I realize prosciutto and goat cheese aren’t the healthiest of options, but we’re only talking a small amount here. So as long as you don’t eat extra slices of prosciutto as you’re cooking you should be fine (I may or may not have done this…don’t judge).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

C is for: Christmas Jelly Shots

Fill in the blank.

Nothing says "holiday cheer" like ____________.

If you said "holiday jelly shots," then we can be friends.

December equals holiday parties.
Holiday parties equal booze.
Booze equals jelly shots.

This is about the extent of my math skills.

But I promise there is little to no math involved in making these delicious boozy treats. It's a take on ribbon gelatin desserts you probably grew up with as a kid. I just spiked the red and green layers with vanilla vodka for a cheery Christmas concoction.

To get the recipe and the step-by-step how-to, click here to head over to Tablespoon.
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