Blues, Puppies and Boats

This past weekend, well pretty much the entire week was amazing. I have found out that I’m am getting a puppy. Ahhh! I cannot contain my excitement. I have always grown up with large dogs (I actually have a large dog now) but I am changing it up a little bit and getting a little dog (an ankle biter). My sweet little baby is a male Pomeranian. I went and visited him last Wednesday and when I arrived his eyes were still not open. I stayed for about 2 hours snuggling and loving on him, by the time I left his eyes were fully open and he started wiggling around a lot more. 

   
 
He is absolutely precious. I don’t have a named picked out yet but I do have a couple in mind. 

If you live in or around the Pensacola area then you know that this past weekend was Blue Angel weekend.  

   
They are the cream of the crop in the Navy. Their performance had my hair standing on edge throughout the entire performance. It was beyond incredible. If you’ve never seen the Blue Angels then you need to look them up and go to one of their shows. You won’t regret it. The best way to see the Blue Angels at Pensacola is on a boat. I was fortunate enough to be on two boats this weekend.  

 Sonny Seas, a 65′ Princess Viking SportCruiser (which is actually for sale, message for more info about it). This yacht has a full kitchen, dining area, living room, laundry room, 5 bedrooms & 4 full baths (including the captains quarters in the back). It’s gorgeous.  

 We were also lucky enough to be on this 48′ fishing boat with 2 big beds and 2 full baths.  (This boat is not for sale)

Needless to say, it was a very eventful and busy week. I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you next week. 

xoxo, H

Strawberry Lemonade Moonshine

Strawberry

Yields: 6 quarts plus a half pint (if you use 5 cups of Everclear)

Ingredients:
4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
12 cup Water
4 cups Sugar
1 liter Strawberry Puree
1 Daiquiri/Margarita mix for the Strawberry Puree
5 cup Everclear

Directions:
1. Low heat mix water and sugar till dissolved
2. Cool to room temp
3. Add lemon juice and strawberry puree
4. Add Everclear
5. Stir well
6. Strain out the pulp
7. Jar it, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks (the longer it sits, the better it becomes).

You can use 3-5 cups of Everclear, up to you and how much alcohol content you want.

Shirley Temple Cocktail Cupcakes

Shirley_Temple_Cocktail_Cupcake

The non-alcoholic Shirley Temple cocktail has a reputation for being super sweet, so it’s no surprise that it translates well into cupcake form. I also really like the grown-up Shirley Temple Black cocktail, which has all the ingredients of the original version, but with a shot of Kahlua (or Campari. Or dark rum, some would argue). So, I decided to make these cupcakes both ways.

The cute little bows on top of the cupcakes are plastic ring birthday party favors. I think they make adorable toppers for Shirley Temple cupcakes. To differentiate the two cupcake flavors, I gave the non-alcoholic cupcakes a pink bow and the Kahlua-flavored cupcakes a black bow.

Alcoholic_Nonalcoholic

Yield: 15 cupcakes
Prep: 40 minutes, total time about 1 hour 30 minutes

This recipe is written assuming that you want to make both Shirley Temple and Shirley Temple Black cupcakes. If you want to make an entire batch of original cocktail Shirley Temple cupcakes, just replace the Kahlua with grenadine, and for an entire batch of Shirley Temple Black cupcakes, vice-versa. I like to give my cupcakes a stately crown of frosting but not everybody is into that much on one cupcake. Feel free to half the Grenadine Buttercream recipe.

Cake:
1/2 cup/113g butter softened
1 cup/200g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups/ 223g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup/122g sour cream
1/2 cup/ 4 oz. Sprite soft drink or ginger-ale
1/4 cup grenadine
1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Line one cupcake pan with 12 paper liners and another cupcake pan with three liners. I used 8 pink liners for the regular Shirley Temple cupcakes and 7 black liners for the Shirley Temple Black cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup Sprite soda and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).  Add flour and Sprite mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.  Bake for 17-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely. When cupcakes are cool, fill a flavor injecting syringe with roughly 1 teaspoon of grenadine. Place the needle in the center of a cupcake and push the plunger as you gently pull the needle up and out of the cupcake.  Repeat with 7 more cupcakes. Wash the syringe and repeat process with Kahlua and remaining cupcakes. Set cupcakes aside while you make the frosting.

Grenadine butter-cream:
 1 lb/452g of unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs (one 32 oz. bags/ 453g) confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tablespoons grenadine, or more to taste
Milk or heavy cream, if needed
15 maraschino cherries
White nonpareils for sprinkling

  1. Mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly and then increase to high and beat for 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the grenadine 1 tablespoon at a time; add more grenadine to taste if desired. Beat frosting again for another 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and mix again on the highest setting for 3 minutes.
  2. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is piping consistency.  Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake in two large swirls and top each with a maraschino cherry. Sprinkle over the white nonpareils.
  3. Store cupcakes loosely covered in plastic wrap or in a plastic cupcake-keeper.

Shirley Temple cocktail recipe with variation
Yield: 1 serving

6 oz. lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite (can use ginger-ale)
1 1/2 tablespoons grenadine
Maraschino cherry for garnish

  1. Pour the lemon-lime soda into a Collins glass filled with ice.
  2. Add grenadine. Garnish with a cherry and a fancy straw.  Stir drink just before sipping.

Shirley Temple Black variation: Add  1 to 2 oz. Kahlua and an additional cherry.

Holiday Sangria

Holiday_SangriaIngredients:
1 bottle White Wine
1 bottle Sparkling Cider
2 clementines (sliced)
1 Granny Smith apple (chopped)
1 Gala apple (chopped)
1-2 cup cranberries

Directions:
1. Combine Wine and Cider in pitcher
2. Add chopped apples and clementines
3. Add cranberries
4. Stir well
5. Chill until serving

This delicious recipe is perfect for your holiday party and your friends will rave over this yummy adult drink.  Enjoy this yummy drink! Be sure to comment on how well this went with your guest.  I think that I am going to try this out on my friends at the hunt camp but don’t think that I can compete with the sangria that is already a huge hit up there.

xoxo, H(:

Apple Cider Sangria

Apple_Sangria

Yield: serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 bottle (standard size) of Pinot Grigio
2 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup ginger brandy
3 honey crisp apples, chopped
3 pears, chopped

Directions:
Combine all ingredients together and stir, stir, stir. Refrigerate for an hour or so (or longer!) before serving.

[Regular brandy can also be used, I simply used ginger brandy to give it more autumn flavor.]

AppleSangria

Caramel Cappuccino with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

Caramel-Cappuccino-CropCaramel Cappuccino with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

It is now that time of year when you are able to switch out your iced coffees for the decadent hot coffee to help keep you warm.  Most of my fellow bloggers have probably already made their way over to the steaming hot coffee, but here in Florida it is just now time to start making our way on over.

It is still fall here in Florida (although it feels like a blizzard is passing through), so being the basic white girls that we are we of course have to have pumpkin in our daily diet (I mean it only happens once a year).  This delicious Caramel Cappuccino with Pumpkin Whipped Cream is to die for and is a fall must for my fellow bloggers.

Overview:
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 serving, plus extra topping

Tools:
Cappuccino maker (Keurig Rivo Mixer is a top of the market maker)
Glass Mug

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)

Caramel Cappuccino
2 teaspoons caramel ice cream topping
1 shot freshly-brewed espresso (1.4 ounces)
1/2 cup whole milk, frothed
3 tablespoons pumpkin whipped cream
Cinnamon to garnish (if desired)

Instructions:
1. Pour cream into bowl of stand mixer; add sugar. Beat on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.
2. Add pumpkin puree, beat for 1 minute more
3. Spoon caramel sauce into the bottom of a large glass mug. Brew espresso directly into mug according to machine directions. Stir immediately until caramel is melted and blended into the espresso.
4. Froth milk according to machine directions, and pour over espresso-caramel mix.
5. Gently spoon Pumpkin Whipped Cream on top of foam. Sprinkle with cinnamon (if desired).

Hope this delicious drink is able to keep you warm and your taste buds satisfied! I would love to hear feedback and how you’re staying warm this cold and chilly fall/winter.

Happy Sipping,
H!