Embossed Cherry Thank You Cards

by Dinah Wulf

Written By: Jennifer Hostetler

As a mom of two already you don’t expect anyone to want to throw you a baby shower, but when I found out I was having twins my girlfriends stepped up and threw one of the best baby shower ever. The baby shower was Cherry themed and they left no details to spare.

I decided that with all the work they put into the shower that I needed to hand make thank you cards to them and the guest. I had never embossed cards before but I thought this would be the perfect time to try and I found that it was very easy and a lot of fun!

Here is how I made Embossed Cherry Thank You Cards.

Materials:

-Embosser (Martha Stewart Crafts Embossing Starter Kit)
-Embossing Powder
-Clear embossing ink
-Red stamp pad
-Thank you stamp
-E6000 Multi-Purpose Adhesive-3.7 Ounce  (one of my favorites)
-Brown String
-Scissors
-Foam Brush
-Toothpicks
-Card Stock
-Envelopes
-Paper Plate

1st I used a red stamp pad and thank you stamp and placed it on the card stock. I positioned the stamp in three different locations; the bottom left, bottom right and middle.

2nd I used the clear embossing ink to make two circles next to each other on the card stock. (I was lucky that the top of the embossing ink was the perfect size circle I needed. Otherwise, you can use a 1” circle stamp.) Then, I sprinkled the embossing powder over the circles. I found that if you use a paper plate you could put the embossing powder that doesn’t stick back in the container. Tip: If you flip the paper over and flick the back of the paper the loose powder will fall off. If any remained on the paper I used the foam brush to remove it.

3rd Now is the fun part. You use the embossing tool to heat up the embossing powder. It only takes a few seconds; once you see it begin to bubble you are done. If you hold it to long you will notice the embossing powder start to move.

4th Cut the brown string to about 5”. Then I folded the string in half and tied a knot about ¼” from top of the string. Then I cut the loop that was created by tying the knot. The string now should look like two cherry stems. Then glue the stems to the card stock so they are just touching the red dots embossed previously.

This completes the card! Here are a few examples of the finished product!

I cannot thank my girlfriends enough for showering the twins with the most beautiful thoughtful Baby Shower ever! I truly appreciate you and your friendship!

 

Cinco De Mayo Cocktail Recipes Two

by Dinah Wulf

Written By David Edessa

Cinco De Mayo…. To the Revolution!!!!

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and throughout the US cities with a significant following in the college community. It is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16. However, I believe every day should be celebrated as our own personal independence day. Live life and Enjoy!!! So raise your glasses and cheer out-Viva Mexico…. Viva USA!!!…Viva Tequila!!! :)

Here are some new Cinco De Mayo Cocktail Recipes I’d like to share with you.

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Margarita Spiked Watermelon

Ingredients:

  • 10-15 lbs. Seedless Watermelon
  • 3 cups White Tequila
  • Two Infused Salt
  • 2 Limes

Instructions:

Using a paring knife cut a hole in the top of the watermelon that is deep and wide enough to insert a kitchen funnel, keep the watermelon plug. Insert the funnel into the watermelon and pour as much room temperature tequila as can be absorbed, approximately ½ cup to 1 cup. Remove the funnel and insert the reserved watermelon plug. Let sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours and then pour in another ½ to 1 cup of tequila and let sit again for another 3 to 4 hours. Repeat as necessary until all the tequila has been completely absorbed. Place watermelon in the refrigerator till it becomes ice cold.

Spread out a layer of coarse infused salt onto a small plate and a second plate with the juice from the 2 limes and unused citrus juice from the salt infusing process. To serve place the melon slices and soak them into the citrus juice mix and then sprinkle the infused salt to taste. I personally prefer to split the melons into three groups; naked (no salt), orange chili infused salt, and lime infused salt. The combination of the sweet melon, chili, salt, citrus and tequila is lip smacking good!!!

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Lime Infused Salt Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 3 Limes (zest)
  • 1 cup Sea salt (coarse) or Kosher

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, with a rack in the center. Grate the bright green zest off of 3 large limes (make sure the limes have been stored and used at room temperature if you can) being careful to avoid the bitter white pith underneath, into the salt (doing this over the bowl of salt ensures that you capture as much of the citrus oil released while grating as possible). Combine the lime zest and salt on a baking sheet, tossing to combine. Spread the mixture into an even layer and bake at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours, turning once after the first hour. After two hours, remove the baking sheet from the oven and break up any clumps that may have formed. Transfer the salt to airtight jars and store in a cool, dark place.

Spicy Orange Infused Salt Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Orange (zest)
  • 2 Tsp. Mexican Chili powder
  • 1 cup Sea salt (coarse) or Kosher

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, with a rack in the center. Grate the bright orange zest off of 2 large oranges (make sure the limes have been stored and used at room temperature if you can) being careful to avoid the bitter white pith underneath, into the salt (doing this over the bowl of salt ensures that you capture as much of the citrus oil released while grating as possible). Combine the orange zest, chili powder and salt on a baking sheet, tossing to combine. Spread the mixture into an even layer and bake at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours, turning once after the first hour. After two hours, remove the baking sheet from the oven and break up any clumps that may have formed. Transfer the salt to airtight jars and store in a cool, dark place.

Tips:

  1. The infused salt will keep for up to six months.
  2. Watermelon with seeds is best; however seedless watermelon works well too. The sweetness will have to be tweaked (seedless are less sweet).
  3. Keep unused limes and oranges for later.

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Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Fresh Seedless Watermelon
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Fresh limes juiced
  • 12 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. However, I prefer to add only 8 tablespoons of sugar in the beginning and taste (add more if necessary). Place juice into a pitcher and refrigerate. When serving; pour over ice with a mint sprig as a garnish. This drink is excellent as non-alcoholic beverage or as a mixer for your favorite liquor.

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Watermelon Smash Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Vodka
  • ½ oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 1 oz. Pink Lemonade (regular sweetened is fine)
  • Fill with Watermelon Agua (it should be a 3 to 1 ratio to lemonade)

Instructions:

Pour all the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously then pour all ingredients including ice into a glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Watermelon Margarita Martini Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2½ oz. White Tequila
  • 1½ oz. Watermelon Agua Fresca
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec or Citronge orange liqueur
  • ½ oz. Agave Syrup
  • Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt
  • Garnish lime wheel

Instructions:

Spread out a layer of coarse sea salt or kosher salt onto a small plate. Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of a stemmed martini glass. Place the lime soaked rim into the salt. Move the glass around in the salt until the rim is evenly coated then place prepped glasses in freezer.

Mix all ingredients together in a shaker and chill. Add crushed ice and shake until ice cold and then strain into salted rimmed prepped stemmed glasses and then garnish with lime wheels.

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For a slight different taste…. Try the infused salts!! Or substitute honey for agave syrup.

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Remember not to drink and drive!!!!

Photo Sources: Baby Center, Google Images

 

Upcycled Vanity

by Dinah Wulf
Written By Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box

 

I am finally back in my groove in doing projects after taking a month off. I’ve been working overtime trying to setup and maintain my blog that I needed a small break. I did not know how much I would miss doing projects until I finished my little monsters desk.

 

I found this little girls vanity by the dumpster about two months ago. We find a lot of goodies every time people are moving. I kept trying to figure out what to do with the vanity, a lot of ideas kept coming to mind but nothing seemed right. Until my little monster kept getting into my desk and my hubby’s desk every time we were not around. The best way to use the vanity was to make a cute little desk for my cutie.

The first thing I did was remove the mirror which I will use for something else later. Then I had the hubby cut the legs to were it would be comfortable to be used by my little monster.

After sanding I painted the desk blue and covered the inside of the drawers with a cute fabric with spaceships on them. I used modge podge on the drawers to glue the fabric. I also changed out the hardware to make it more modern.

We place his desk in the middle of my hubby’s and my desk so we can watch him play while we are both working own our projects. He loves to play with the drawers and his blocks. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Till later!

 

Link Parties I attend

 

Cinco de Mayo Cocktail Recipes

by Dinah Wulf

Written By: David Edessa

Fiesta Paper Fan Decorations
Time for a Siesta or Fiesta!!!

The upcoming month of May is the best time to work on drink utilizing the following fresh fruit at their peak: Bananas, Pineapple, Rhubarb, Strawberries and Mangoes.

However, with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner…. I say we work on the fiesta, and the “resaca” (hangover)!!! Here are some Cinco de Mayo Cocktail Recipes.

Sombrero Fiesta Tissue Straws
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Rhubarb & Strawberry Agua Fresca (Non-Booze)

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups Fresh Rhubarb (diced ½”- 1″ size pieces)
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 cup Organic Honey
  • 2 cups Fresh Orange Juice
  • 3 tbsp. Grated Lemon Rind
  • ¾ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 qt. Ginger Ale
  • 1 qt. Fresh or Frozen Strawberries (sliced in half)

Instructions:

In a pot; combine the water, rhubarb, strawberries, and the lemon rind, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and allow rhubarb mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes, until rhubarb is tender. (Stir occasionally). Cool; strain through a sieve. Measure 4 cups juice and return to kettle with the honey. Remove from heat, and stir in the sugar, until the honey is well dissolved and then chill. Stir in the orange and lemon juices (if you add citrus while hot it creates a bitter batch); refrigerate until cold. Taste and adjust based on your personal preference. You can add a bit more honey if you think you need it, or more water if you feel like it’s too overpowering. Just before serving, add ginger ale. Fill glasses with ice; pour agua fresca over ice and garnish with an orange wedge. Can be made 2 to 3 days ahead of time (recommended).

Using a silver tequila in a cocktail creates a sleek, clean cocktail more along classic lines, while the prominent oaky and vanilla notes in añejo tequilas add another dimension to the drink that is definitely worth experimenting with.

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Pulco translates to small thoughts or a little bit of something.

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Traditional Pulco Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ oz. Cointreau or
  • 2 oz. Reposado Tequila

Instructions:

Pour all the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with
ice cubes. Shake vigorously then pour all ingredients including ice into a glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Kah Tequila Reposado 750ML
Strawberry & Rhubarb Pulco Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Rhubarb Strawberry Agua Fresca
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ oz. Cointreau or
  • 2 oz. Reposado Tequila

Instructions:

Pour all the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously then pour all ingredients including ice into a glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Sunny Siesta Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Silver Tequila
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec
  • ½ oz. Pink Lemonade
  • Fill with Rhubarb Strawberry Agua Fresca

Instructions:

In a tall glass, fill with ice; add liquids, shake, and serve. Garnish with a mint leaf or orange wedge.

Enjoy!!!!

 

Expensive Furniture for Less

by Dinah Wulf

Expensive Furniture for Less

Written By: Rasy Sor

Have you heard of the phrase, “champagne taste on a beer budget?”   I have and unfortunately, I too, am afflicted with this.  I definitely have champagne test on a beer budget when it comes to interior design.

One of my favorite furniture shops is Room and Board.   I usually go there for design inspiration since I’m unable to afford most of their furniture.  Then, I discovered that Ikea had very similar styles for a lot less!    I know.  I know.   Most of you are thinking, Ikea is the last place you’d shop when it comes to your home; especially when you use to shop there to furnish the apartment that you shared with 5 roommates because let’s face it, ANYTHING goes with your 3rd roommate’s bean bag.   Ikea, in my opinion, has definitely come a long way.

Here is some furniture that I love at Room and Board that I also found at Ikea, but for A LOT less!

Portica Dining Table at Room and Board $1,209

 

Porsby Dining Table at Ikea $219 (Savings $990)

Bella Table Lamp at Room and Board $299

Jonsbo Egby Table Lamp at Ikea $19.99 (Savings $279)

Reese Sofa at Room and Board $3,099

Sater Sofa at Ikea $399 (Savings $2,700)

Tiffany Counter Stools at Room and Board $299

Glenn Counter Stools at Ikea $69.99 (savings $229)

 

For more inspiration, get the Room & Board 2012 Catalog here! Room & Board Annual Catalog 2012 Furniture Home Storage Bed Dining Office Outdoor

How to Reuse Your Old Mattress

by Dinah Wulf

Written By: Sunny Popali

Whenever someone gets a new mattress, there is always the question of what to do with the old one after it has been replaced. Some people decide to throw it out, while others will determine that storage is the best course of action for the mattress. Whatever you decide to do, you need to make sure that you are thinking about all of your different options before making a final decision. When it comes to getting the most out of an old mattress, you should try to find some other use for it around the house instead of tossing it into your attic indefinitely.

You could always decide to sell your old mattress online or at a local store, but people are usually wary of buying used mattresses. When it comes down to it, you are probably not going to find that selling your old mattress to someone else is even worth your time. This does not even consider the costs involved with shipping or sending the mattress to someone else’s house. If you are going to be getting rid of your mattress, then the best course of action is probably going to be donating it to some kind of charity.

When you want to recycle your mattress and make sure that you get everything that you can out of it, you are probably going to need to tear it apart. You can start with the buttons on the outside of the mattress, but almost every part of the mattress can be used for something. The buttons are perfect for anyone who likes to sew or use buttons in various types of arts and crafts. The padding or stuffing in the mattress can be used to refill any kind of cushion or pillow that you may have in different rooms around the house.

One last part of the mattress that you should think about is the outer fabric. While you may think that there is no use for this material, you have to remember that this fabric is usually thick and durable. This makes the fabric perfect for creating a throwaway rug for a garage or utility room in your home. It won’t create a center rug for your living room, but you can definitely use these materials in rooms where you are not worried about the interior design.

As you can see, there are still plenty of reasons to keep your old mattress once the new one has arrived at your home. You should never think about throwing away anything as expensive as a mattress without making sure that you have exhausted all of your options when it comes to recycling or reusing the materials. You can save a lot of time and money over the years by getting full use out of the items in your home, so always think twice before you decide to toss your mattresses and other materials into the trash can. You will definitely be surprised at what you can achieve with a little time and effort on your old mattresses.

Author Bio – Sunny Popali is Global Brand Manager for Mattressnextday.co.uk, Mattressnextday sells double mattress size, single kids mattress, comfortable double mattress, soft memory foam mattress.

 

 

 

One Year Blogaversary

by Dinah Wulf

Hope everyone had a great Earth Day yesterday!  Today is my one year Blogaversary! I cannot believe one blogging year has passed me by already.  It went so fast.  I knew I would stick to it (as I have seen several come and go in such a short time), but I honestly did not foresee that DIY Inspired would succeed so quickly. I guess that would be “success” in my own terms.

Today, one year after my first published post, I have experience with multiple guest authors, sponsors, good and bad product reviews, over 2000 reader emails and comments, 266 published posts, 2 awards, 3 nominations, and most importantly thousands of loyal followers.

I thought I’d celebrate it by recapping my most popular blog posts of the year… kind of like my very own DIY Inspired awards and honorable mentions.

The winners of each category were chosen based on a combination of Facebook and Pintrest Social Media shares, website analytics, and email inquiries.

Most Popular Tutorial: DIY Canvas Headboard

Most Popular Trash-To-Treasure Post: Simple Ways to Reuse and Repurpose

 

Most Popular Theme Party Blog Post: Wine Tasting Bridal Shower

Most Popular Repurposing Post: Repurposed Pallets

 

Most Popular Guest Author Post: DIY Reupholstered Chair, By Loren Crane

 

Honorable Mention Guest Author Post: Easter Themed Cocktails, By David Edessa

 

Honorable Mention Guest Author Craft Post: Kid Soap Making Projects: Soapcicles, By Sandy Simmons

Most Popular Craft Idea: Simply Spray Fabric Paint

Most Popular DIY Artwork: Book Page Wreath

Last but definitely NOT least, my personal favorite post of my first year…

Most Popular Holiday Post: Headless Man and Headless Woman Costume

My sincere gratitude goes out to all of you who have “liked”, commented on, emailed, written, shared, voted, posted, pinned, tweeted, or just read my blog in my first year.  I truly appreciate your continued love and support!  Here’s to many more Blogaversaries to come!

 

 

Agua Fresca Cocktails and Booze Free Drinks

by Dinah Wulf

Written by David Edessa

Growing up in California I remember summers playing ball tag with the neighborhood kids and my mother having a pitcher of cold Agua Fresca (fresh fruit drinks, tea infused and other non-alcoholic flavored coolers).

Agua Fresca is excellent by itself or as a mixer for a cocktail.

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Hibiscus (Jamaica) Agua Fresca

Ingredients:

  • 1 ⅓ cups hibiscus flowers
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups organic apple juice
  • 4 cups cold water

Hint:

First off, pick out a pot or pitcher that will not stain. Hibiscus has the potential to stain just about anything it comes in contact with (keep this in mind).

Instructions:

Peel fresh mint leaves without stems. In a large heatproof container combine flower, mint leaves, and boiling water; steep for one hour in room temperature and then add mint in the last 20 minutes. Place a lid over the container during process, stirring once or twice along the way to break down ingredients. Discard flowers and mint using a sieve (repeat straining twice). Add all apple juice and cold water; refrigerate until cold. Taste and adjust based on your personal preference. You can add a bit more sugar if you think you need it or more water if you feel like the Jamaica is too overpowering. Fill glasses with ice; pour agua fresca over and serve and garnish with a lime wheel. Can be made 2 to 3 days ahead of time (recommended).

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If you need to make Agua Fresca or cocktail sweeter, utilize following sweetener.

Honey Lemon Zest Syrup:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Honey
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon (1 tbsp. min.)

Instructions:

Have a good glass jar that you can seal and can add hot liquids to. Heat water until boiling, remove from heat and whisk syrup and lemon zest, until mix is dissolved. Then, while the sugar is still very hot (but no longer boiling–let it cool) use a spoon to swirl the ingredients around a bit. Be careful as that jar is going to be very hot. Once it’s cool enough to touch, seal the jar and leave it at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. After that, pour through a metal strainer and refrigerate (never use warm in a cold drink). Should last at least 3 – 6 months refrigerated.

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Hibiscus Peach Smash

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ oz. Citrus Vodka
  • ¾ oz. Peach schnapps
  • Splash fresh orange juice (½oz)
  • Sprite
  • Fill with Hibiscus Aqua Fresca (recipes above)

Instructions:

In a tall glass, fill with ice; add liquids, shake, and serve. Garnish with an orange twist.

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Cranberry-Mint Fresca

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter organic cranberry juice
  • 10 oz. unsweetened organic pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup mint leaves (without stems)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 16 oz. Ginger Ale

Instructions:

Combine mint, cranberry juice, pineapple & lemon juice in a large jug. Add ginger ale to punch and stir when ready to serve.

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Cranberry Crooner

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. White Rhum
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier
  • Fill with Cranberry-Mint Fresca

Instructions:

In a tall glass, fill with ice; add liquids, shake, and serve. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Enjoy!!!!

 

Easter Themed Cocktails Part Two

by Dinah Wulf

Written By: David Edessa

More Easter Themed Cocktails!

Easter White Peanut Butter Egg Martini Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ oz. Peanut Infused Vodka (recipe below)
  • 1¼ oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Smooth Peanut Butter
  • ½ oz. Simple Syrup

Martini Glass Prep:

Coat the rim of the glass with crunchy peanut butter. Also, drizzle with milk chocolate inside glass to rim. Then place upside down on wax paper and place in freezer to chill.

Instructions:

Stir peanut butter with Infused Vodka and Simple Syrup until peanut butter dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice in a shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake vigorously for a few seconds and strain into prepped chilled martini glasses.

Easter Peanut Butter Bunnies Martini Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Peanut Butter Cup Infused Vodka (recipe below)
  • 1 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ oz. Dark crème de cacao
  • ¾ oz. Godiva Original Chocolate liqueur (refrigerated) to be used at end of drink.

Martini Glass Prep:

Coat rim of glass and let it drip into inside of glass with milk chocolate syrup. Then place upside down on wax paper and place in freezer to chill.

Instructions:

Combine infused vodka, Baileys, cacao and cream in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake vigorously for a few seconds and pour into prepped martini glasses. Then, pour the chilled Godiva Chocolate liqueur slowly on the side of drink to create a tasty two tone effect on the drink. Garnish with Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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Peanut Infused Vodka Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 750 mL Bottle of Vodka
  • 1 cup Unsalted RAW Peanuts

Infusion Instructions:

To prepare the infused vodka, combine vodka and chopped RAW Peanuts in a clean mason jar (make sure the peanuts are fresh from a sealed container). Close jar tightly and store in a cool dry place for 7 days. Give it a good shake once or twice per day. Once vodka has been infused, strain into a clean mason jar using a fine mesh sieve. Store in a cool place or in the freezer.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Infused Vodka Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 750 mL Bottle of Vodka
  • 1 cup Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Infusion Instructions:

Combine vodka and Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups in a clean mason jar. Close jar tightly and store in a cool dry place for 7 days. Give it a good shake once or twice per day. Once vodka has been infused, strain into a clean mason jar using a fine mesh sieve and then repeat process. Store in a cool place or in the freezer.

Glass Prepped Instructions:

Rub rim of martini glass with a lemon peel and fresh lavender flower. Place martini glasses in freezer to chill.

Strawberry Lavender Martini

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 ripe strawberries
  • 2 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 oz. Honey Lavender syrup (recipes below)
  • ½ oz. Fresh orange juice

Instructions:

Muddle strawberries in the bottom of a shaker. Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add all liquid ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into prepped martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist or strawberry.

Pear Lavender Martini

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Pear Vodka
  • 1 oz. Honey Lavender syrup (recipes below)
  • ½ oz. Pineapple juice
  • ½ oz. Fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add all liquid ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into prepped martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Mango Honey Lavender Martini

Ingredients:

  • 2½ oz. Mango Rhum
  • 1 oz. Honey Lavender syrup (recipes below)
  • ½ oz. Fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Fill cocktail shaker half way with ice cubes, add all liquid ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into prepped chilled martini glass. Use fresh lavender bloom as a garnish.

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I was walking into Trader Joes and saw planters of beautiful small lavender bushes and thought it’s time to add more cocktails!

Honey Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup clover honey
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoon lavender buds
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 1 drop blue food coloring

Instructions:

Combine water and honey in a pot and heat slowly over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Crush lavender buds using a mortar and pestle and add to sugar solution. Reduce heat to a low simmer and steep buds for 15-20 minutes. Steeping lavender buds tends to result in slightly brown tinted syrup, so I like to add one drop each of red and blue food coloring when I add the lavender buds.

After steeping buds, remove from heat. Pour contents through a fine mesh sieve and into a large mason jar. Let syrup cool until you can handle the jar without burning yourself. Line sieve with a coffee filter, place sieve over second jar, and filter syrup. The coffee filter removes fine particulate matter and will result in a clear and debris-free syrup.

Drying Lavender Instructions:

The best time to harvest the lavender flowers are when they are newly opened Harvest the lavender stems. Using a pair of gardening shears cut stems just above the leaves when the flower buds are starting to open and show their color. This is the time when the lavender aroma is at its strongest. Place several stems together and secure the stems with a rubber band. Unlike twine or raffia, a rubber band will stay secure even as the stems shrink from the drying process. Hang lavender bundles in a warm area away from direct sunlight. Place a clean sheet underneath the hanging lavender as it dries to catch any fallen buds. It can take between seven and ten days for the stalks to dry out completely. Remove the buds from the stems. Place dry stems on a length of newspaper or a large towel, and gently roll it up like a tube. Now roll it back and forth on a hard surface like you are rolling out dough. This will dislodge the buds without crushing them.

Lavender works well with the following ingredients when making cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages: Strawberry, Cream, Figs, Blueberries, Honey, Mango, Cucumber, Thyme, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Cream, Rhubarb, and Plum

What to do with the Stems?

Add dried lavender stems to the coals on your barbecue when cooking or on firewood to add flavor or scent to your meal of fire.

Happy Easter!!!! :)

 

Do you like this post?  We would love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to leave a comment! :)

 

 

Easter Egg Ornament Tree

by Dinah Wulf

Easter Egg Ornament Tree, Written By: Jennifer Hostetler

Easter’s just around the corner! After putting up the Easter stuff I found a few items that are cute but just needed a little something. One item was this tree, years ago it had something that went on it but I could not find anything in my Easter stuff. My daughter and I decided to make some egg ornaments to hang from the tree.  This took us about 30 minutes and we found everything we need in our craft and Easter stuff. Here is how to make an Easter Egg Ornament Tree.

Materials:

  • Small Easter Eggs
  • Ribbon
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors

This is the tree that we had that looked just to plain:

1st cut the Ribbon in two lengths.  One that you will loop and make as the hanger and one that you tie into a bow.

2nd hot glued the hanger to the egg and then glued the bow on.

We finished by hanging them on the tree.

Added Tip:  When working with ribbon you can singe the ends of the ribbon with a lighter to keep it from fraying. Take precaution:  Holding the flame on the ribbon to long will catch it on fire so this should be a quick process. Always have a glass of water near by!

Have a fantastic Easter!

 

 

Easter Themed Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

jelly-bean-martini

David has definitely outdone himself this week with some FABULOUS Easter themed cocktails, including a Jelly Bean Martini, a Carmel Cadbury Egg Martini, and …wait for it… a PEEP-A-TINI!!! Plus, at the end there is a bonus recipe for the perfect April Fool’s Day shot!!!

Written By: David Edessa

Happy Easter!!!…Felices Pascuas!!!Feliç Pasqua!!!Joyeuses Pâques!!!Buona Pasqua!!!Beannachtaí na Cásca!!!Frohe Ostern!!!
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Carrot Mascarpone Cheese Milk Shake (With Alcohol):

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Vanilla Rhum or Spiced Rhum
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ cup Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup of Carrot Purée (recipes below)

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Serve immediately in tall glass. Garnish with whipped cream and graham sprinkles to personal taste.

Graham Cracker sprinkles mix:

  • ½ cup graham crackers smashed
  • ½ oz. ground cinnamon
  • ½ oz.  ground nutmeg

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I named this drink after one of my favorite childhood movies…HARVEY written by play wright Mary Coyle Chase.

Harvey’s Carrot Martini

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 ¾ oz. carrot puree (recipe below)

Place martini glasses in freezer to chill.

Instructions:
Combine strained carrot puree and all liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg/ cinnamon mix on top center of glass without mixing into drink.

Nutmeg/ Cinnamon mix:

  • 2 oz. ground cinnamon
  • 2 oz. ground nutmeg
  • 1 oz. powdered sugar

Carrot Purée Instructions:

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces chopped carrots
  • 6 ounces apple juice

Carrot Puree: In a blender puree carrots along with apple juice, strain using a fine mesh sieve.
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Reminiscent of the Hostess Cakes snow balls…

Coco Snowball Martini

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • 1 ½ oz. Coconut Rhum
  • ¾ oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
  • ½ oz. Blue Curaçao liqueur

Place martini glasses in freezer to chill.

Instructions:
Rim a martini glass with honey and fresh shredded coconut and for variety try toasted coconut. Place all liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass.

Jelly Bean Martini

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Jelly Bean Infused Vodka (recipes below)
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • ½ oz. Sparkling Wine Brut
  • 1 lemon wedge

Glass Prep:
Add sugar along the rim of the martini glass. To do this, place blue curaçao or grenadine on a flat plate (depending on the color of the rim you wish to create) then dip the glass into the liquid to wet the rim. Place powdered sugar on a flat plate or surface then rim the wet rim glass into sugar and coat the rim. Place rimmed prepared martini glasses in freezer to chill.

Instructions:
Put all liquid ingredients and squeeze a lemon wedge into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice and shake vigorously and strain into chilled prepped martini glasses. Float on top of glass the sparkling wine.

Jelly Bean Infusion Instructions:
To create jelly bean-infused vodka, place 750mL bottle of vodka and 16 oz. of jelly beans in a glass jar for about 48 hours and shake throughout the day. Strain using a fine mesh sieve. Use one color of jelly beans for best results. Also, a great alternative to vodka is rhum….. For a different flavor you can try vanilla flavored vodka or rhum.

Peep-a-Tini

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Peep Infused Vodka Vanilla (recipes below)
  •  ½ oz. Vanilla syrup (recipes below)
  • 1 oz. Cream

Glass Prep:
Pour a small amount of vanilla syrup onto one plate (add food coloring opposite to that of infused vodka) and sprinkle sugar onto another plate. Dip the rim of the glass into the syrup and then into sugar to coat. Place prepped glass in freezer.

Instructions:
Put vodka, syrup (without food coloring) and cream in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously then strain into prepped chilled martini glass. You can garnish with or without a Peep!!!

Peep Infusion Instructions:
To create Peep infused vodka, place one 750mL bottle of Vanilla Vodka and 16 oz. of Peeps in a glass jar for about 48 hours and shake throughout the day. Strain using a fine mesh sieve, a second straining will be necessary (move liquid in circles in sieve to insure consistent dripping). Use one color of Peeps for best results. Also, a great alternative to vodka is rhum.
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Caramel Cadbury Egg Martini

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • 1 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream with Caramel
  • ½ oz. dark crème de cacao
  • 1 ounce Butter cream (recipes below) ½ oz.  chocolate syrup

Glass Prep: Drizzle chocolate & caramel syrup around inside rim of glass. Place in freezer to chill.

Instruction:
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, including chocolate syrup in a shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until chocolate syrup is completely incorporated with shakers contents. Strain into chilled prepped martini glasses.
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Vanilla Syrup Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (If you can get a hold of real vanilla bean the better :))

Instruction:
In medium saucepan over medium high heat, bring water and sugar to a boil (stir to keep from burning). Cook until mixture thickens slightly, about three minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Simple Syrup Suggestion:
A couple of suggestions that will make your simple syrup better include adding ¼ cup of corn syrup to the mixture. This will help prevent crystallization of the sugar and keeps it smooth, since it is a super saturated solution. The other suggestion is to add one or two ounces of vodka or neutral grain spirit to the simple syrup after it has been bottled. This will help prevent mold or bacteria from growing.
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Buttercream recipe:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like soft served or churned ice cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectionary), SIFTED
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of heavy cream

Instructions:
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of cream and beat for 3 minutes. If you’re frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining cream 1 tablespoon at a time.
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Dead Rabbits (shot)

Ingredients:

  • ¾ oz. Rye Whisky
  • ¾ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Carrot Juice (recipes on page)
  • ½ oz. butterscotch schnapps
  • Crushed ginger snaps

Instructions:
Rim a shot glass with honey and crushed ginger snaps. Place all liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, shake vigorously and strain into shot glasses.

HAPPY EASTER!!!ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕСЕ!!!פסחא שמח!!!Καλό Πάσχα!!!Pasg Hapus!!!Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay!!!

 

Bonus Shot: April Fool’s Day Gag Drink

Cement Mixer (shot)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. chilled Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur
  • ½ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

Instructions:

Pour the Bailey’s into a large shot glass. Slowly float the lime juice on top. Drink it quickly before chemical reaction takes place! The drink will coagulate in the person’s mouth!!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

 

Introducing David Edessa

by Dinah Wulf

Over the past three months, you may have enjoyed reading some tantalizing alcoholic drink recipe posts like Shake, Rattle, & Roll or Make Your Own Infused Flavored Alcohol by David Edessa. I think it’s about time that I formally introduce you to David! It is LONG overdue!

David Edessa spent over twenty years managing night clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, and after hour clubs. He has traveled and operated in major markets like Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Las Vegas, playing a major role in launching and managing restaurants. David has served as a consultant for California fine dining restaurants as well as for premier entertainment venues in Orange County, California.

David has a knack for selecting the perfect taste and flavor combinations for both food and drink. He honed his skills on the culinary aspect of mixology and recipes development, with an understanding and appreciation of the liquors, beers, and wines of the world.

David’s favorite drink recipes are classics with a seasonal influence. His favorite places are Gastropubs & wine bars.

Check out a complete list of David’s published recipes and tutorials, HERE.

BTW, ladies… he’s single… just saying! (David, don’t kill me for adding this in… tee hee)

 

Save the Water drink the Tequila

by Dinah Wulf

Written By: David Edessa

Save the Water drink the Tequila!!!

Fun Margarita Facts:

  • The refreshing margarita- National Margarita Day is celebrated on February 22nd
  • There are many claims to the invention of the Margarita, but the prevailing credit goes to Margaret “Margarita” Sames, a wealthy Dallas socialite.

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Sugar, Salt, or Naked: How to Rim Your Margarita

I believe if it tastes good then go for it. And if you’re not sure you can always try to mix a 2:1 ratio of salt and sugar. Personally, I like to do half the glass in sugar and the other half in salt… and just like that you have two completely different drinks in one!!!

As for a no sugar (Naked), I personally like a naked rim when using a Reposado Tequila, because I wish to taste the complexity of the Tequila.

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Roasted Jalapeno Blackberry Margarita

Ingrediants:

  • 8 blackberries
  • 1½ oz. Roasted Jalapeño Infused Tequila
  • 1½ oz. Margarita Mix (recipes below)
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec or Citronge orange liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Agave Syrup
  • Garnish lime wheel
  • Top with a 1/2 oz. of soda water

Preparation:

Spread out a layer of coarse sea salt onto a small plate. Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of a short glass. Place the lime soaked rim into the salt. Move the glass around in the salt until the rim is evenly coated then place prepped glasses in freezer.

Place the blackberries in a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler thoroughly mash up the blackberries. Add the tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup and margarita mix. Add crushed ice and shake until ice cold and then strain into prepared chilled glasses. Fill the glass with crushed ice and strain the margarita into the glass. Top off with a splash of soda water and gently stir to combine.

Roasted Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita Martini

Ingrediants:

  • 2½ oz. Roasted Pineapple Infused Tequila
  • 1½ oz. Margarita Mix (recipes below)
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec or Citronge orange liqueur.
  • 1/2 oz. Roasted Jalapeño Simple Syrup (recipes below)
  • Garnish lime wheel

Preparation:

Spread out a layer of coarse sea salt onto a small plate.  Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of a stemmed martini glass.  Place the lime soaked rim into the salt.  Move the glass around in the salt until the rim is evenly coated then place prepped glasses in freezer. Mix all ingredients together in a shaker and chill.   Add crushed ice and shake until ice cold and then strain into salted rimmed prepped stemmed glasses and then garnish with lime wheels.

__________________________

Basic Margarita Recipes: Single Portion or Party Pitcher

Margarita Martini (single portion)

Ingrediants:

  • 2½ oz. white tequila
  • 1½ oz. Margarita Mix (recipes below)
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • Course Sea Salt for glass rims (optional)
  • Garnish with lime wedge

Preparation:

Rim a stemmed glass with a wedge of lime and twirl it in coarse sea salt, shaking off the excess. Shake all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and strain into glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Margarita Party Pitcher

Ingrediants:

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) white or infused tequila
  • 1½ cups Margarita Mix (recipes below)
  • 8 oz. Triple Sec
  • Course Sea Salt for glass rims (optional)
  • Garnish with lime wedge

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients together in a glass pitcher and chill before serving. Serve with salted rimmed glasses and then garnish with lime wheels.

Option: Adding half an egg white to a single portion recipe will make the drink frothy and add new nuances to the drink.

__________________________

The best margarita mix I’ve ever used was taught to me years ago by a bartender that worked at the old Playboy Key Club. Here is the recipe.

DIY Margarita Mix

Ingrediants:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice & 4 tablespoon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice & 4 tablespoon zest
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch or 1/16 teaspoon sea salt

Preparation:

Mix citrus zest, juice fruit, sugar & salt in a glass or metal container until sugar is dissolved. Steep the container for 24 hours in refrigerator and then strain out the zest, pulp, and seeds.

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One of the best Silver Tequila I’ve ever tried straight is Tequila Siete Leguas Blanco.  Made from 100% Blue Agave, and is expertly distilled into a wonderfully aromatic and flavorful spirit that showcases the savory, herbaceous and vegetal characteristics of the agave, and no alcohol burn. Furthermore, it has an excellent cocktail component, however, its best enjoyed on the rocks with a lime or my favorite fresh lemons.

Named after Pancho Villas horse and this distillery was responsible for producing the “original” Patron Tequila brand, and brand rights were sold to St. Maarten Spirits, owners John Paul DeJoria of Paul Mitchell Hair Products and Martin Crowley in 1989. As the brand grew, Tequila Siete Leguas was no longer able to keep up with production, and Patron built a new distillery and moved all production in 2002.

One of my Favorite Reposado Tequilas for mix drinks is, Cazadores Reposado. There is a full, mellow attack with moderate agave intensity. It has mild caramel and smoke aromas, with slight hints of agave, pepper, fruit, and floral elements. It is medium body and sweet in the mouth. The flavor is oaky with moderate agave and some pepper, but the major component tastes like dough or cardboard, possibly from the new oak barrels. The finish is moderately long and sweet, with that doughy taste lingering through the tingly alcohol.

Tip: You should only drink tequila made with 100% Blue Agave!!!

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Simple Syrup Recipes: Flavored or Not!

The most common syrup is the 2:1 formula, which is pretty much standard for most cocktails. To make this, simply add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup water to a pot and gently heat until all of the sugar is dissolved. Pour the syrup into a clean bottle and it’s ready to use. You don’t need to boil the water when making simple syrup. To make flavored simple syrup, you can use different herbs, fruit juices, spices, and extracts. Just put them in once the water boils right before adding the sugar, and then strain the items out before bottling. After boiling, let the syrup cool to room temperature, then pour into a tightly sealed, clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator (Any clean and sealable container can be used). The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Photo Sources: SweetLifeBake.com, rock-ur-party.tablespoon.com, PinkMemo.com. FoodNetwork.com, CaribbeanTrading.com

 

Make Your Own Infused Flavored Alcohol

by Dinah Wulf

From apple to whipped cream, alcohol seems to come in so many different flavors.  Ever wonder how liquor companies make these flavored spirits? This week, David is going to show us how to Make Your Own Infused Flavored Alcohol!  Infused alcohol is perfect for serving at parties and also makes great DIY gifts as well.

Written By: David Edessa

Infuse your Favorite Booze!!!

“He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.” – Homer Simpson

Choose Your Spirit:

Your base spirit will set the foundation for a good infusion. Choosing a decent unflavored liquor that is smooth and clean will allow the added flavors to come out. However, I do not recommend using an expensive bottle. My personal choices for base liquor in INFUSIONS are as follow:

  • Vodka: Boru Vodka, Prairie Organic Vodka, Tito’s Hand Crafted Vodka, and Koenig (potato) Vodka
  • Gin: Burnett’s London Dry Gin, Gordon’s London Dry Gin, and Broker’s Premium Gin
  • Rum: Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, 1 Barrel “The Golden Rum”, Flor de Caña 4yr Blanco Extra Dry Rum, and Don Q Cristal Premium Puerto Rican Rum

There are definitely choices for tequila, brandy, and whisky (or whiskey). However, I have future plans for those.

If you’re experimenting with a new infusion you may want to use a less expensive bottle so as not to waste money or good liquor.

Choose Your Flavors:

Herbs, spices and fruits are most commonly used for infusions. The most popular infusions are fruit based; however, you can use your imagination to create some delicious combinations. For best results, use fresh ingredients only.

Step One:

The process itself is very easy. Choose a clean, air-tight jar: quart sized mason jars work well, preferably glass. Using smaller jars will allow you to divide a liter of vodka into a few jars, giving you the ability to create small batches of a variety of flavors at once. Wash the ingredients, place them inside the jar and fill it with vodka. Shake a few times and cover tightly with a lid.

Infusion Time: You will want to store your infusion in a cool, dark place (under the sink is the best place).  Make sure to shake mix three to five times a day. On average you should keep infusion stored for a week. You will want to do a taste test every few days to see if the flavors are sufficient.

Step Two:

Once your infusion has reached its peak in flavor you’ll need to take the flavoring ingredients out of the jar. Use a fine strainer or paper coffee filter to strain the infusion into another clean jar or bowl. You can return it to its original jar if you would like, cleaning the jar thoroughly first. Store the finished infusion as you would any other liquor of its type.

Helpful Tips and Tricks

Make sure all ingredients are fresh and without blemishes.

Ingredient Preparation:

  • Berries: wash and leave whole, but score the skins on harder berries
  • Pineapple, Mango and similar fruit: wash and cut into chunks
  • Strawberries and Citrus fruit: wash and slice thinly without rind or use zests of lemons and oranges
  • Vanilla Beans: wash and cut lengthwise
  • Herbs: wash and use whole (stems and all)
  • Peppers: wash and leave whole or cut in half
  • Garlic: use whole cloves, removing the layers of skin

General Infusion Times:

  • 3-4 days: Intense flavors such as vanilla beans, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, mint, garlic, tarragon, basil, oregano, dill, thyme and peppers
  • 1 week: Moderate flavors such as cantaloupes, strawberries, peaches, mangoes, pitted cherries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
  • 2 weeks: Mild flavors such as pineapple, ginger and lemon grass

Other Great Combinations:

  • Kiwi + Thyme
  • Blackberry + Oregano
  • Cucumber + Cilantro
  • Cantaloupe + Dill
  • Watermelon + Shiso
  • Pink Grapefruit + Tarragon
  • Green Apple + Parsley
  • Garlic + Habanero
  • Habanero + Ginger
  • Mango + Ginger
  • Basil mixed with: Strawberry, blackberries, watermelon, cucumber, and lemon.
  • Sage mixed with: Pear, plums, peaches, pineapple, and blackberries.
  • Rosemary mixed with: Grapefruit, strawberries, and peaches
  • Mint mixed with: watermelon, apricot, blueberries, cucumber, and pineapple.
  • Chili pepper with: Pineapple, guava, mango, melon, papaya, watermelon, coconut, and oranges.
  • Tamarind with: Watermelons, melons, guava, or tomatoes.

There are of course many, many more great combinations.  Habanero with mango or other fruits and herbs work nicely together. Also, you can even try roasting your ingredients.

  • Roasted pineapple
  • Roasted apples and cinnamon
  • Roasted pumpkin
  • Roasted pears cloves

Stay tuned for the next couple of months for cocktails based on the infused combinations above.  But if you can’t wait, on the rocks or up always work!!!!

Photo Sources: HolidayDrink.com, Google Images

 

 

 

Alcoholic Milk Shakes

by Dinah Wulf

Alcoholic Milk Shakes, Written By David Edessa

Shake, Rattle and Roll

I love milkshakes and it only made sense to do a blog post on milk shakes for adults.

Shamrock Mint Shake

  • 2 oz. Vanilla Rum
  • 2 oz. milk
  • 1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1 tsp. pure mint extract
  • Whipped Cream as garnish

Preparation:

Place all the ingredients in a blender with some crushed ice and blend until smooth. Mix until smooth. Pour into chilled glass and garnish with whipped cream.

Georgia Peach Shake

  • 3/4 oz. Southern Comfort
  • 3/4 oz. Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz. peach schnapps
  • 1 pint French Vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ripe peach , peeled and chopped
  • Whipped Cream as garnish

Preparation:

Place all the ingredients in a blender with some crushed ice and blend until smooth. Mix until smooth. Pour into chilled glass and garnish with whipped cream.

Toblerone Shake

  • 1 oz. Tia Maria
  • 1 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1/2 oz. Barenjager
  • 2 oz. milk
  • 1 pint Chocolate ice cream
  • Whipped Cream as garnish

Preparation:

Place all the ingredients in a blender with some crushed ice and blend until smooth. Mix until smooth. Pour into chilled glass and garnish with whipped cream.

You can be experimental with adult shakes by combining some of your favorite ingredients. One thing to try to remember is that too much alcohol will keep your shake from being thick enough. A two to one ice ratio of ice cream to milk is safe and 1-1/2 oz. of combined booze at the most. However, rules are always meant to be broken :) Enjoy

Photo Sources: SkipToMyLou.org, PostersPoint.com, Google Images

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Dessert Martinis

by Dinah Wulf

Dessert Martinis, Written By: David Edessa

The Death of a Pastry Legend: After Dinner Dessert Martinis

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not! ~Author Unknown

I enjoy dessert as much as the next person and my personal favorite are those reminiscent of my childhood. What a better childhood dessert than a Twinkie. And know that the Twinkie has been dropped from Hostess line I chose to celebrate its memory in a cocktail. Furthermore, this week I thought I would focus more on the drink and not the history of the cocktail… Enjoy

Twinkie Martini

  • 1-1/2 oz. Pinnacle whipped cream vodka
  • 1 oz. Amaretto liqueur
  • 1 oz. Bacardi Vanilla rum
  • 1 oz. heavy cream
  • Frosting (optional)

Preparation:

Using your finger, coat the rim of your glass with frosting. Make sure not to miss any spots! Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake, and then strain into glass and drink. If you wish to create more of a cupcake flavor, Dump sprinkles on a plate and press glass rim into sprinkles, pressing to adhere.

Oreo Cookie Martini

  • 1 -1/2oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. White Crème de Cacao liqueur
  • 1 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • Crushed Oreo Cookies
  • Marshmallow sundae topping

Preparation:

Dip the rim of a martini glass in marshmallow topping then crushed Oreo cookies then place glass in freezer. In a shaker with ice, add vodka and all other liquid ingredients. Shake until mixed; pour into prepared glass. Sprinkle with crushed Oreo cookies.

Samoa Cookie Martini

  • 1 oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. Coconut Milk
  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • Toasted sweet coconut flakes
  • Crushed Samoa Girl Scout Cookies (optional)

Preparation:

Chill a martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice for several minutes, then discard the ice. In a shaker with ice, add vodka and all other liquid ingredients. Make a rim of coconut on a martini glass by dipping into the coconut milk then into the coconut flakes then strain the liqueur mix into the glass. If you have actual Girl Scout Samoa cookies try to crush some and add to the toasted coconut for added flavor.

Black Cherry Crème Brulee Martini

  • 1 oz. Effen Black Cherry Vodka
  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Frangelico liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier or Cointreau liqueur
  • 1-1/2 oz. Heavy Cream
  • Mint leaf or vanilla bean stick for garnish

Preparation:

Chill a martini glass in the freezer or fill it with ice for several minutes, then discard the ice. Pour all liquid ingredients into an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Strain into the chilled glass, garnish with a vanilla stick or mint leaf.

Lemon Crème Brulee Martini

  • 1-1/2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Liquor 43 liqueur
  • 1-1/2 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Curd
  • Lemon Wedge
  • Lite Brown Sugar

Preparation:

Rim martini glass with lemon wedge. Dip in brown sugar. Place in freezer to chill. Place all liquid ingredients and curds to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into prepared martini glass. I’m personally a big fan of liquor 43, however, if you wish to substitute it with Grand Marnier or Tuaca you can. Liquor 43 has vanilla notes that the others lack.

Tiramisu Martini

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Bailey’s Coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Frangelico liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. White Crème de Cocoa liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Heavy Cream
  • Chocolate powder (more of in mix)
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Grenadine or Strawberry syrup

Preparation:

Place a martini in a freezer till cold.

Combine all liquids into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the cocktail is thoroughly chilled. Place powdered chocolate, nutmeg, and cinnamon on a flat dish and grenadine in a separate dish. Dip the rim of a martini glass in the grenadine and then dust the rim in the chocolate mix. Strain shaker into prepared glass. If you have access to toasted crushed espresso beans, they make a great garnish to float in the center of glass.

David Edessa

Photo Sources: JeffsMartinis.com, MoninStore.com, FitGirlsMartini.com, I Can’t Believe I’m Not Bitter

 

 

Famous Martini Recipes

by Dinah Wulf

This week’s cocktail recipes will sure make you feel like a star!  Check out David’s famous martini recipes with a bonus sweet and savory dessert martini.

Written By: David Edessa

Shaken…. Not Stirred!

Happiness is finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry. ~ Johnny Carson

This is a martini that I enjoyed a few years ago at a cocktail party at the Hollywood Athletic Club. I enjoyed it so much and was jealous that it was not my creation.

Rosemary Lemon Martini

  • 3 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 /2 oz. rosemary simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lemonade
  • 1 tablespoon lemon curd
  • Garnish with a lemon slice or rosemary sprig

The drink utilizes vodka, however, I have utilized gin and it works!

Preparation:

Fill your martini glass with ice and water, and set aside.

While your martini glass is chilling, fill a shaker with ice. Add the vodka, rosemary simple syrup, lemonade and lemon curd. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, which is enough time for your glasses to chill. Remove the ice from the serving martini glass and pour the liquid into the glass. Garnish with a slice or lemon or a sprig of rosemary, and enjoy immediately!

Directions for the rosemary simple syrup:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water and rosemary. Stir often; allow the sugar to melt and the syrup to become warm before turning off the heat. Allow the rosemary simple syrup to cool and infuse for at least ten minutes, or up to one hour. Strain into a small Mason jar or container, and set aside. The rosemary simple syrup will keep in the fridge for at least two months.

Next, this classic 007 recipe comes from the Bond movies…. However, the new version does utilize the books recipes.

Modern 007 Martini

  • 4 oz. vodka (Smirnoff)
  • ½ oz. measure dry vermouth
  • Garnish with a lemon twist.

Preparation:

Shake ingredients well with ice, strain and pour into a martini glass. Add a large thin slice of lemon peel as a garnish.

Made famous by James Bond in Ian Fleming’s book Casino Royale, this martini is, of course, shaken, not stirred.

Classic Vesper Martini (007)

  • 3 oz. gin (90 proof British London Dry)
  • 1 oz. vodka (100 proof Russian grain)
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • Garnish with a lemon twist

Preparation:

Shake ingredients well with ice, strain and pour into a deep champagne goblet glass. Add a large thin slice of lemon peel as a garnish. This Vesper 007 recipe comes from the Bond novels.

Finally, here is a great Dessert Martini you should definitely try.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur
  • 1 oz. Godiva Caramel liqueur
  • 1 oz. dark creme de cacao
  • 2 oz. Cream or Half & Half
  • Garnish with caramel syrup and sea salt.

Preparation:

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Cover, and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in caramel syrup and then rim the same glass in the sea salt. Strain the cocktail into the martini glass to serve. If you do not want buy the caramel liqueur you can substitute butterscotch schnapps.

Photo Sources: Liquor.com

 

Kids Soap Making Projects: Soapsicles

by Dinah Wulf

By: Sandy Simmons of www.supersoapmakingsecrets.com

If you’ve been making soap for a while and you have children, it’s very likely that your kids will be interested in what you always do. While it is understandable that you would prefer your children not to make soap using the cold process or the hot process because of the involvement of lye, they can easily make soap using the melt and pour method. Children below the age of fifteen will probably need your help and supervision even if the melt and pour process is the process being used.

There are many kids soap making projects that you can do with your children and slowly get them into the craft of soap making. Most of the time, kids soap making projects involve lots of colors, interesting shapes, fun ideas, and soap carvings or embossed designs. Kids usually focus more on the aesthetic part of the process than on the process itself. This should help you stretch your creativity.

Some materials you can consider for a kids soap making project that you may not have considered before are play dough molds, sand castle molds, crayon molds, and any other child’s toy that can be used as a mold (make sure it’s heat resistant plastic). Also try out neon soap colors and/or multiply colors so that you can create color swirls or tie-dye soaps.

Here is a kids soap making project that you can use with old popsicle molds. These are usually made with heat resistant plastic because some popsicle recipes require the liquid to be hot when poured in. Remember to add the sticks so that you get the full effect!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bar clear glycerine soap
  • soap colorant of choice (try to go for a candy color so you get a good effect)

Procedure:

  1. Grate the bar of glycerine soap and place the grated soap in a soap pot or a microwaveable pyrex bowl.
  2. If on a pot, place it over the stove and melt the soap. If using a microwaveable pyrex bowl, place the glycerine in the microwave a few times in ten second bursts of heat till the glycerine is totally melted.
  3. Once your glycerine is melted, add the coloring and mix till the desired color is achieved.
  4. Allow it to cool a little then pour in into your popsicple molds.
  5. Find a way to keep the popsicle molds upright. Watch as the soap hardens. When its a little hard (you can see it solidifying) push in a popsicle stick.
  6. When your soap is completely hard, you can push it out of the molds and you will have soapsicles!

Your kids will surely get a kick out of taking a bath with popsicle sticks. You can also try making tie-dye soaps on rope with them! There are so many other kids soap making projects you can do. It’s a great way to get better at your craft and bond with your kids! So try one soon and have fun!

 

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