Toasting with “Sparklers”

Looking for a fun cocktail to celebrate Independence Day this year?  I was lucky enough to find berries buy-one-get-one-free this week, and wanted to find fun ways to enjoy them.  This was one of the first things that popped into my head!

Ingredients:

  • Sparkling wine or Champagne (I prefer Asti because it is relatively sweet)
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries

And it’s just that easy!  Make sure that you wash the fruit before using it.  I try to wash only what I am going to use (you can always wash more as you go) because it helps the fruit last longer if you don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it!  Put a couple of raspberries and a few blueberries in the bottom of the glass, pour the sparkling wine (hence “sparklers”) or Champagne over the berries, and enjoy!

What do you think of the name?  I came up with it myself!

I just love this idea because it’s a super easy way to make a festive and delicious drink to celebrate the 4th of July!  Asti is pretty much my favorite thing to sip anyway, and I adore summer berries, so I am really enjoying this combination!

This is all you need!

These berries look AMAZING!

Looks so pretty already!

Delicious!

Do you have any fun drinks for the Fourth?  Please share in the comments section, I’d love to hear your ideas!

XOXO

 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my post from last year for more 4th of July ideas!

Pink Pineapple Perfection

As I have been preparing for finals, I have been looking for the little things in life to help reduce stress and find little pockets of happiness.  In my quest, I discovered this fun little mixed drink by combining some of the ingredients I had in my kitchen.  As it turns out, sometimes mixing things that sound like they will go well together works!  This drink is like a “tropical getaway” without leaving home!

 

Mix:

1 1/2 shot Malibu Rum

1/2 shot Grenadine

1 small can pineapple juice

 

Depending on the type of glass you want to use and the mood you’re in, I think you could turn this into a martini-style drink, try it blended, or do what I did, over ice!  Yet another drink that proves the pink drinks are the best drinks 🙂

Here's what I used

 

I didn't have the energy to use a pretty glass or anything, but it did turn out a fantastically delicious color!

 

The mixture is definitely on the sweet side, but that’s how I prefer my mixed drinks 🙂  It has a great tropical flavor that reminded me of sipping a pina colada near the pool, which was a pretty fantastic study break sitting in State College!

 

Hope you enjoy!

Healthified “Irish” Toast

My wonderful fiance made this for me yesterday morning and I adore it!  Turned out to be absolutely delish… perfect for a Saturday morning at home or probably really good for a brunch get-together, too!

Basically, the concept is to make a healthy version of French toast and add just a bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream to make it “Irish” toast.  YUM!

What he did:

  1. Take your normal, everyday French toast recipe.
  2. Substitute Sara Lee 45 Calorie wheat bread for whatever you would normally use.
  3. Instead of using whole eggs, use egg whites only.
  4. Use 2% or less milk.
  5. Add 1/2 shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream to the wet mixture.
  6. Make as usual.
  7. Top with a little I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and lite syrup.  We used Log Cabin Sugar Free, and it tasted great!

 

I realize this isn’t the most detailed recipe on Earth, so if you haven’t made French Toast, you can always find a recipe through Google or here (we skipped the vanilla and cinnamon because we thought they might overpower the Bailey’s, but feel free to try it with!).

Hope you enjoy, and let me know if you have any other twists on this classic that you like!

Crepe Expectations

Recently, my girlfriends and I have stumbled upon a newer restaurant in town.  It’s called Crepe Expectations, and I’ve mentioned it in a couple of previous posts.  We LOVE it there because the staff is extremely friendly, the prices are reasonable, and the food is fresh and delicious!  We like the fact that it’s usually not very crowded, so we can sit around and enjoy girl talk for as long as we’d like as well as feeling chic while ordering crepes, mimosas, and cucumber infused water.  The ambiance is great, the menu is unique, and the service is wonderful.  What more could a bunch of girls ask for?

This delicious little concoction is my variation on the restaurant’s menu item “The Frisco.”  Instead of blueberries, though, I substituted strawberries.  YUM.

One of my favorite things there is their selection of mimosas and their Mimosa Sampler, which I discussed in my recent post Mimosas are Delicious.  These are both from Crepe Expectations…

    

I have yet to order anything at this restaurant that I didn’t like, and as far as I’m aware, none of my friends has found anything, either!  I am extremely impressed because (I’m not a particularly adventurous person when it comes to trying new foods)  I had never really had crepes, and this place has made me completely obsessed! I loved it so much that I decided to have my girls’ night pre-going-away dinner there last weekend!

I also appreciate that crepes are pretty basic, so I feel like their menu is like a little recipe book for me!  If I want to try making crepes at home, I now have tons of ideas because their menu is available on their website (linked above), so I just have to find a basic crepe recipe and then use their menu as a guide for filling ideas!

Sometimes, it’s the local cafes that are the most fun!  I have really enjoyed this one, please feel free to share any of your favorites, especially if they’re in Vegas

Mimosas Are Delicious

Personally, I happen to adore champagne.  Sometimes, though, champagne can use a little something extra.   Mimosas are certainly a favorite way to spruce up some champagne (and somehow make alcohol appropriate for breakfast!).  As it turns out, mimosas can be made with other juices besides orange.  After enjoying one yesterday evening, I thought I’d share some ideas!

Traditional Mimosa:

2 oz orange juice

Pour orange juice into a collins glass over two ice cubes. Fill with chilled champagne, stir very gently, and serve.

Pour grand marnier into a champagne flute. Fill almost to the top with champagne and top off with fresh orange juice.
Pour passion fruit juice into a champagne flute. Fill with chilled champagne, decorate with a strawberry, and serve.
Add all ingredients into a champagne flute and stir. Garnish with a slice of peach
3 ozchilled Champagne
1 oz triple sec
3 oz cranberry juice
Stir ingredients together in a champagne glass, and serve.
(I’ve made this one with just champagne and cranberry, and it’s pretty good!)
Pomegranate Mimosa:
This is the one I had last night that inspired this post…
2 oz pomegranate juice
Champagne
Pour pomegranate fruit juice into a champagne flute. Fill with chilled champagne and serve.
Mimosa Sampler:
One of my new favorite restaurants in town, Crepe Expectations, has a number of mimosas on the menu (this is where I had the pomegranate mimosa last night and where I took both photos in this post).  They also have a Mimosa Sampler, which consists of your choice of three mini mimosas.  This is AWESOME because it allows you to try a couple of new things, enjoy a few flavors, and they are adorable! If you are so inclined, you can visit their website to check out the menu.
I definitely enjoy them at the restaurant, but I was thinking they could also be a great idea for a cocktail party or any other party.  Make a few types of fruit juice available and provide champagne and glasses (and maybe some berries and other fruit for garnish), and people can mix and match to their heart’s desire!  I don’t know about you, but I think that would be really fun!
All in all, I think that mimosas are not only delicious, but a fun and classy way to enjoy a cocktail.  They’re super easy to make because all you really need is some champagne, some fruit juice, and a glass.  Although I included recipes here, you can easily mix and match however you like and mix the proportions to your personal taste.  I hope you enjoyed these ideas and please feel free to share any ideas you may have!

Raspberry, Champagne, and Chocolate

MMM yum!  Three of my favorite flavors!  I enjoy all three on their own, but a few months ago I was inspired by a friend’s delicious rosewater cupcakes with strawberry champagne buttercream frosting to create something that combined all three!

So my plan was to use the Sprinkles cupcake mix that I bought at Williams Sonoma because I had previously tried their cupcakes in Washington, D.C. and fell in love.  Let me tell you, I realized with the first bite that it was not worth the hassle or the price!  I made the cupcakes as the directions instructed, and they fluffed up great until they started to cool.  They flattened a little, but the real problem was that they spilled over the cup onto the pan, so the tops came off when I took them out of the pan!  (I eventually tried to reassemble them by using extra frosting as “filling/glue” but that wasn’t as successful as I would have hoped.)  The cupcakes tasted okay, but I honestly think I could have used a much cheaper store-bought brand and they would have turned out just as well!

For the frosting, I made a basic champagne buttercream frosting.  I found the recipe online, there are tons out there!  I substituted one of the tablespoons of champagne with a tablespoon of Chambord for raspberry flavor.  I looked a few places for raspberry extract, but couldn’t find any.  I figured Chambord would be an acceptable substitute!  I tasted it after making it that way and decided there wasn’t quite enough flavor.  I added a little more of the champagne and of the Chambord and it was pretty good.  I decided to add just a little more… that was where I went wrong!  Apparently it only takes about one teaspoon of liquid to make buttercream go from perfect to a runny mess.  Oops!  This is why I don’t have pictures of the end product… It didn’t turn out very pretty!

Anyway, the concept was a good one even if the execution on my part was subpar.  In all fairness, it was my first attempt at making my own frosting rather than the packaged stuff, and my first time making “gourmet” cupcakes in general.  Despite the cupcakes coming out less than pretty… they were delicious!  The combination of chocolate, raspberry, and champagne was perfect, and I really enjoyed them.  Maybe you can give them a try and make them a bit prettier than I did! 🙂

Do you have any favorite cupcake combinations that you would like to share?

French Martini

Today feels like a cocktail kinda day!

One of my favorite cocktails to enjoy during some girl talk is the French Martini.  I snatched a recipe online to share here.

1 1/2 oz vodka
1/4 oz Chambord® raspberry liqueur
1/4 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 twist lemon peel

Pour each of the above into a tall bar glass or martini shaker.  Shake with ice, pour into a cocktail or martini glass, and serve.

You can adjust the portions of each ingredient to taste, if you like.  I enjoy this one because the pineapple juice cancels out a lot of the vodka taste and I’m basically obsessed with raspberry, so It’s a good combination for me!  Aside from that, my personal rule of thumb is that pink drinks generally taste better than non-pink ones 🙂
I hope you enjoy!  Please feel free to share some of your favorites.  I am not very well-versed in adult drink ideas, so I’m always looking for something new to try!