Friday, April 18, 2014

Cherry Blossoms and Austin Dean 10 Months

I can't believe that in about a month and a half my little baby will be a one year old. How did it happen so quickly?

We are planning a hot dog birthday party (more or less a bbq theme) for the first weekend in June. Hotdogs are still his favorite.

This week Austin has been a little bit more fussy about his food. I think it's because he has four teeth coming in on the top and they bother him when he eats. He really has been liking cold black and pinto beans lately.

Austin is a chunker for sure. He takes meal time seriously and if you don't put food in front of him fast enough he starts trying to rip off the tray on his high chair and cries like he is seriously hurt. Don't mess with this kids food.

He is in the 90th percentile for weight and in the 98th percentile for height.

Another thing ... his hair is getting redder and redder everyday.

Sleep has been better for everyone (hallelujah).

He goes down at 7:30pm ish and doesn't wake up until around 5:00am when we give him a bottle. He will drink it and fall back asleep for another hour or so. Sometimes if he is really tired he will sleep until 7:30am. We love it when that happens.

Remember when getting up at 9:00am on the weekend was getting up early?

He says "ba-ba", "a-wa" and "da da". He giggles constantly. He is such a happy boy.

When I pull up to the house after work, Nick tells him "mommy is home" and he surfs over to the window to look for me. When I walk up to the house I can see the top of his little ginger head weeble woobling and his big blue eyes.

When he finally sees me he gets the biggest smile on his face and makes this "eeeeeeee" noise until I pick him up. He can take about three steps now before he falls over.

Feels like just yesterday that he was a little, tiny baby and I used to pull up and see Nick holding him standing in our front door.

It probably won't be long until he is running to the door when I get home. What is your home coming routine? It's the best part of my day.

THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Whipped Feta and Grilled Asparagus Crostini

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mint Julep Pudding Shots

Big pretty hats, Lilly Pulitzer prints everywhere, roses, horses and mint juleps of course! That's right it's almost Kentucky Derby time.

I don't know if we are going to any derby parties this year but if we do I am totally bringing these!

A few years back we went to Virginia's Gold Cup race, an annual steeplechase in our area. I made these pink lemonade jello shots. (Don't you love my polka dots! What I wouldn't give to fit into that dress again this year. It could still happen, fingers crossed)

Make sure you add the mint right before serving so it stays fresh! Giddy up.

(See also my Cucumber Mint Julep Jello Shots)

Mint Julep Pudding Shots
1 (3.4 oz) box of Vanilla or White Chocolate pudding
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Bourbon
1/2 cup Crème de menthe
1 (8oz) tub of Cool Whip
1 handful of fresh chopped mint

(Note: If you want to save yourself some money and not have to buy two bottles of booze, you can skip the Crème de menthe and add 1-1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup bourbon and a packet of Duncan Hines frosting flavor creations in "Mint Chocolate" instead. You can find it next to the frosting in the baking isle of most grocery stores. It gives the mint flavor and color)

1. Mix your pudding and milk in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Will look semi thick.

2. Add your bourbon, creme de menthe and cool whip. Fold these ingredients into the pudding mixture until combined. (Don't over mix it, just make sure there are no lumps). Cover and set aside in fridge until it's time to serve.

3. Right before serving fold in your fresh chopped mint. (reserve some mint for garnish)

4. Poor into shot glasses and top with whipped cream and a mint sprig on top.

Shot glasses: I usually order these. They are priced well and come with 50. I recently just ordered this glass set though and it comes with cute little spoons.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rum and Coke Ice Cream Float Shots

I did say I was obsessed with float shots right? Totally obsessed.

I actually prefer cola floats instead of root beer. When I was preggers with Austin it was my guilty pleasure. Pretty much I had a coke with vanilla ice cream in it every night.

No booze then of course.

But now ... bring on the rum! And how cute are these mini mason jar shot glasses? I found them at Home Goods but you can also buy them here.

They are 5oz. shot glasses so I was able to use a full shot of rum and then top it off with cola.

What's your favorite kind of float? What kind of booze would you put in it?

Rum and Coke Ice Cream Float Shots 
Cola of choice
Vanilla ice cream
Rum (Bacardi works well or even Captain Morgans for some spice)
Whipped Cream
Pretty straws

1. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of vanilla ice cream into your shot glass. Top with about 1 shot of rum and then slowly top with cola. Pour until it the shot glass is full and foaming. Top with whipped cream and a cherry.

Enjoy responsible!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Boozy Creamcicle Float Shots

It's a dreary, rainy day in DC right now. What better to brighten things up then these fizzy, orangelicious float shots? Just like sunshine in a shot glass.

Float shots are my new obsession.

Half soda, half booze and just a little scoop of ice cream to bring it all together. It's impossible to just drink one and the flavor combinations are endless.

This one is classic. Orange soda and vanilla ice cream topped off with some Pinnacle Whipped (whipped cream flavored) vodka and  rainbow sprinkles.

Woot woot! I'm in a better mood already just thinking about it.

Boozy Creamcicle Float Shots 
Orange soda
Vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream flavored vodka
Rainbow sprinkles
Marshmallow topping (to get the sprinkles to stick)
Pretty straws

1. Pour a couple tablespoons of sprinkles on to a small plate and then a couple spoonfuls of marshmallow topping on to another small plate.

2. Dip your shot glass into the marshmallow topping first and then in the sprinkles.

3. Scoop about 1 teaspoon of vanilla ice cream into your shot glass. Top with about 1/2 a shot of vodka and then slowly top with orange soda. Pour until it the shot glass is full and foaming.

Enjoy responsible! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bourbon Bacon Banana Bread Pudding

I was in New Orleans last week for work. Have I mentioned it's one of my favorite places to visit? There is something magical about it.

Beignets, oysters, beautiful balconies with flowers in the French Quarter, jazz, a great art scene, palm trees, Bourbon Street. Love it all. I am already trying to convince my husband to take me back in September and bring Austin.

When I came home I was inspired to bake something with Bourbon and my husband loves my bread pudding so I went with it. Then he suggested I add some bacon .... mmmmm. Okay.

Then I needed to use up some bananas that were turning. Then I just had to drizzle some warm caramel sauce all of the top.

The result was this boozy, sweet and savory pudding that melts in your mouth.

I used some store bought caramel sauce because I didn't have time to make my own. (Plus I am afraid to keep homemade caramel sauce in the house anymore because I will eat it by the spoonfuls at 10pm)

Have you been to New Orleans? I'm still daydreaming about going back.

Bourbon Bacon Banana Bread Pudding
1 loaf of bread
2 1/2 cups milk or cream
1/2 cup bourbon
3 eggs, beaten
2 turned/brown bananas sliced or mashed up
1 generous cup brown sugar
1 cup caramel sauce (at least)
8 slices crispy chopped maple bacon

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl add your bread, eggs, milk, bourbon, sugar, banaas and half of your crispy chopped bacon. Combine with your hands or a large spoon. Grease a 9x13 brownie or cake pan and pour in your bread mixture.

2. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the edges are completely golden. Top generously with caramel sauce and sprinkle on some more brown sugar and the rest of your bacon. This bread pudding tastes best warm.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Birthday Cake Oreo's Boozy Milkshake

Birthday cake flavored stuff is so on trend right now. Cake flavored? Rainbow sprinkles? Yes please.

I saw these while we were walking through the cookie isle (dangerous) at the grocery store last weekend looking for blog inspiration. I tried so hard not to pick them up. Nick and I went back and forth about it because we are trying to keep cookies out of the house and I knew we would devour these.

Buy them, no don't buy them, buy them, no don't buy them. Finally this girl next to us said "Well ... If you're not going to get them I am" and grabbed a package.

Ultimately I decided that we had to have them so I could make this boozy milkshake. My Mint Oreo cookie milkshake was so good that I had to try this one.

Guess what? It turns out birthday cake cookies, birthday cake ice cream and birthday cake VODKA are INCREDIBLE together.

I have also eaten most of the Oreo's in the package as well. Damn blog.

I'm not sorry.

Birthday Cake Oreo's Boozy Milkshake (Serves one)
4 scoops birthday cake ice cream
2 shots milk
1 shot cake flavored vodka (replace one shot of milk with vodka if you want it strong)
4 broken Birthday Cake Oreo cookies

1. Add your ice cream, milk, vodka and cookies to a blender. Blend or pulse until smooth and serve immediately.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Grape Jello Shot Cupcakes

Once in a blue (purple?) moon I will have an idea for this blog that turns out exactly how I envisioned it.

These gorgeous cupcakes are one of them.

For a long time now I've wanted to make a boozy cupcake. For these, I used the "poke cake" method.

I baked some white cake cupcakes and then poked holes in the middle with a fork after they cooled and then poured some boozy jello (cake flavored vodka and grape jello) on top.

The jello hardens when you refrigerate them and voilà, you have a jello shot cupcake!

Ever better is the boozy jello cube on top! I was skeptical at first but the cubes stick perfectly on the frosting if you pile it high enough to give them a resting place.

They also won't melt if you keep them in the fridge until serving time. (That's very important)

I think the cubes look like little jewels on top. So pretty.

P.S. I'm guilty. I use boxed cake. I'm not a big baker and I've got a 10 month old :) It works for me. 

Grape Jello Shot Cupcakes (Make one day ahead of time, serves about 2 dozen with extra jello shot cubes)
1 box white cake
4 egg whites
1 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil

Boozy Jello for Cake
1 box grape jello
1 cup cake flavored vodka
1 cup water

Frosting and Boozy Jello Cube
2 packages of cream cheese
2 cups of confectioners (powdered sugar)
1/2 stick of butter
Purple food coloring (add little by little until you get your desired color. I like to use Wilton's gel icing colors) 1 box grape jello
1 cup cake flavored vodka
1 cup water
2 packets Knox gelatin

1. Bake your white cupcakes according to the instructions on the box. When the cupcakes have cooled poke holes in the center with a fork. Set aside.

2. In a medium sized sauce add one cup of water to the pan and the contents of one box of grape jello. Stir until combined. Turn on medium to high heat and  let your mixture come to a simmer. Turn off heat and add 1 cup of cold vodka to the jello mixture.

3. Let your jello come to room temperature and then carefully spoon it on top of your cupcakes. Take your cupcakes out of the muffin/cupcake pan so they don't sit and harden on any jello that is resting on the bottom. (I just put them on a baking sheet after)

4. Refrigerate for an hour or until jello inside the cupcake firms up. 

5. Prepare your jello shot cubes for the tops of your cupcakes. In a medium sized sauce pan add one cup of water and the contents of one box of grape jello. Stir until combined.  Sprinkle both of your packets of Knox on top. Let it sit for one minute to activate. Turn on medium to high heat and let your mixture come to a simmer. Turn off heat and add 1 cup of cold vodka to the jello mixture. Pour this mixture into a loaf pan or a cake pan. Refrigerate for several hours.


6. Mix your cream cheese, sugar, and butter until smooth. Add your food coloring (a small amount goes a long way) slowly until you get the color desired.  Top your cupcakes with the frosting. Pile it high so the jello has a resting place.

7. Run a butter knife along the edges of the pan holding your grape for the topping cubes. Carefully remove it from the pan. Cut the jello into squares.

8. Top with squares close to serving time. Keep refrigerated.

TIP: If you have left over squares serve them on a platter next to the cupcakes for an extra boozy treat!
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