Lemon Strawberry Moscato Punch

Would you consider yourself more of a rule-breaker or follower?  If there’s a logical reason behind a rule, I’ll follow it.  However, if the reason behind the rule is, “Because I said so,” you might as well light a fire under my rump and put a flashing neon sign out that says, “Break me!”

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So when I was pregnant, there was a logical reason behind not drinking a bottle of Moscato.  I didn’t want my kids to come out with crazy eyes and requesting a shot of tequila…although it could possibly help them fall asleep faster and easier…  The point is, I wanted my Moscato during pregnancy, but refrained for my little parasites.

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After they were born, I didn’t have to poke my lower lip out and start whining every time I saw a friend drinking what looked like a delicious cocktail.  My BFF brought me a special insulated wine glass with a bottle of wine to the hospital.  Totally appropriate.  I finally understood what the term “pump ‘n dump” meant.

Strawberry Moscato Punch (modified from realhousemoms.com)

2 cups sliced strawberries

2 lemons, sliced

1 container frozen lemonade concentrate

1 1/2 liters moscato

1 liter ginger ale

Throw 1 cup strawberries and frozen lemonade concentrate in a blender.  Puree that glorious combination until strawberry chunks are small.  Pour moscato and ginger ale into a pitcher, then the strawberry lemonade mixture through a mesh strainer.  Stir together the liquid ingredients, then add remaining strawberries and lemon.  Serve chilled.

Snickers Martini

When it comes to flavored martinis, I’m a huge fan.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a regular martini before.  Yikes!  One thing I’ve noticed is that with mixed drinks, almost every bar you go to will be slightly different in some way, just like with restaurants and food.  Several months ago while on a girls weekend trip in Myrtle Beach, I strolled up the martini bar and looked over their menu.  And if you ever have been to a martini bar, then you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say menu.  As in, a 10 page menu of tons and tons of different flavored martinis.  I can only pick one?  I want all of them!

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Although an apple martini has been at the top of my favorites list for a long time, it has some major and serious competition now.  I ordered one of these Snickers martinis last time at the martini bar, and thought it was quite yummy.  Well, I don’t know what was different about that one and this one I made at home…but this one was ridiculous.  I made it for a friend and myself, and as I handed over her martini, I took a sip of mine…and stopped.  “Oh, WOW!  This is awesome!”  And you know how you’re technically supposed to sip martinis?  Mine was gone in two minutes.  Oh, and I was feeling it!!  Holy cow!  As I sat there staring at my friend’s drink as she sipped it, she looked at me and said, “Mine!  Go make yourself another one!”  I sheepishly smiled and headed to the kitchen to make another one…which was gone in another five minutes, and that was pacing myself.  It was just way too stinkin’ delicious.

Snickers Martini Recipe:

1 oz. coffee liquor

1 oz. Irish cream liquor

1 oz. amaretto liquor

1 oz. hazelnut liquor

1 oz. heavy cream

chocolate syrup

Drizzle chocolate syrup in martini glass.  Fill cocktail shaker with ice, pour in all liquid ingredients.  Cover, shake, and strain cocktail into martini glass.

Green Apple Martini

When it comes to girly froo-froo drinks, this definitely makes the top ten list…and for good reason.  It’s fruity.  It’s a martini.  It’s a pretty color.  That is a heck of a combination, and as one guy called it, “Yumdiddles!”  Yes, yumdiddles indeed.

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This is definitely one of my favorite alcoholic beverages, but one thing I’ve noticed is that everywhere I go to order one, none of them taste exactly the same.  So, several years ago when I wanted to make these at home for myself, I started looking at different recipes, and experimenting with different ways of putting this all together.  This recipe is really simple, with only three ingredients…and to me, it’s perfect.  You can always adjust the amount of alcohol if you want a little more or a little less, because I’ve heard sometimes that it’s not strong enough, other times that it’s too strong…so really that’s more of a personal preference.  Either way, I’m a fan.

Green Apple Martini Recipe:

1 oz vodka

2 oz. sour apple pucker

3 oz. apple martini non-alcoholic mixer

splash of sour mix (optional)

ice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.  Shake vigorously for about 10-20 seconds,  Strain into martini glass, serve cold.

Homemade Mocha Hot Chocolate

Every once in a while, I get a craving for hot chocolate.  Takes me back to my young, spring chicken days of drinking hot chocolate with tons of mini marshmallows packed in there, always asking for more because there never seemed to be enough.  Although it’s summertime, that craving still peeks its head around the corner every now and then.  Well, nothing is more disappointing than discovering there’s nothing in the cabinet to satisfy your craving whenever this situation hits, so it’s always nice to be able to make it yourself.  Take that, non-existent hot chocolate packets in my pantry.  I’ve come up with a solution to that problem.

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But, things have changed as I’ve gotten older…I love coffee.  As a kid, I used to make a face at my mom’s cup of coffee in the morning.  Now, we enjoy our cups of coffee together during our visits.  With this recipe, I get that perfect mixture of hot chocolate, along with coffee.  And also, if you want to spice it up with a little bit of cinnamon, you can do that…Why?  Because this stuff is made from scratch, so you can throw it together however you want.  Don’t like coffee?  Replace the coffee granules with more powdered coffee creamer.  Yes.  After I mixed this up for the first time, the thought of making some adjustments if needed were already in my head…but after taking a few sips, I said out loud to my dogs, “This is really good!”  Too bad they can’t have any, because they actually might enjoy it.

Mocha Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe:

1 tablespoon dark chocolate cocoa

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon powdered coffee creamer

1/2 tablespoon instant coffee granules

Combine all ingredients in coffee mug.  Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir well, until dissolved.  Serve with mini marshmallows, if desired.

Pali Punch

When I made Hawaiian Chicken, this was the punch that went along with that meal.  Shoot, you can’t have a Hawaiian themed meal without the fruity, delicious punch, can you?  No!  My thoughts exactly.  While researching some different types of punch, the ingredients were what jumped out at me when it came to how I thought it might taste.  This was one of those recipes that jumped out at me as something that would be a good, fruity combination…and something that was an actual Hawaiian style punch, and not just something thrown together with powdered mixers.

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It was delicious…in fact, I’ll be making this again for parties in the future.  When it comes to kids and punch, personally I try to avoid the bright red or other dark colors that stain floors and carpet easily, and go with something that’ll be easier to clean up.  This punch definitely falls into that category.  And let me tell you, this stuff did not go to waste, even though I made the whole batch.  My husband and daughter continued to drink it as the week went on.  This made Mama happy.

Pali Punch Recipe:

2 cans guava juice

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons grenadine syrup

1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale

Combine all ingredients and stir.  Can be served in a large pitcher or punch bowl.

Homemade Coffee Liquor

While searching for items to make for my family’s edible gift baskets, I came across a recipe that made my eyes widen and start grinning from ear to ear.  Homemade flavored liquor?!  Yes!!  I had to try it.  My husband has made a couple of flavors of wine before, and the thought of making your own alcohol from scratch was such a cool concept to me.

IMG_3598Since I came across the recipe right after Thanksgiving, I still had time to make the liquor and let it set for a minimum of two weeks before bottling it up for distribution.  The liquor ended up sitting in the coffee beans for a total of a month, since it didn’t get divided up until the day before Christmas…so the timing was perfect.  Since all of this was new to me, it made me a little nervous, but very excited at the same time.  I couldn’t wait to try it out.  Christmas Day after our daughter went to bed, the liquor had to be tested out…and it was fantastic.  I mixed it up with some milk and chocolate syrup, served it on ice.  It was a little too good.  This liquor would also be perfect for mudslides!

Homemade Coffee Liquor Recipe:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 cups water

1/2 instant coffee granules

3 cups vodka

1/4 cup whole coffee beans

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar, and water.  Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in coffee granules.  Cool.  Combine coffee mixture, vodka, and coffee beans, pour into 1 gallon jar.  Cover tightly and store in a dark place at room temperature for at least two weeks.  Shake jar gently once daily.  Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth into jars, discarding coffee beans.  Cover tightly, store at room temperature.  Makes about 6 cups of liquor.

Strawberry Mimosa

I love mimosas.  The combination of orange juice and champagne, all rolled into one delicious beverage?  Sign me up.  Usually whenever I’ve had one, it’s at a family gathering.  Whether it’s a bridal shower, baby shower, or any other female gathering during the day (and sometimes even in the evenings), it’s always been a girl thing.  But hey, I think they should be for all adults.  They’re so refreshing!

Several years ago, my husband and I were in the grocery store, snooping through the wine section and looking at different bottles of champagne…and there it was – strawberry champagne.  We both looked at each other and said, “Hmm, really?  Let’s get it.”  So, we tried it out.  I’ve never really been a huge fan of champagne, but would drink it for a special occasion or event (or when it’s mixed in a mimosa), but I could easily drink strawberry champagne at any event.  When I made the Orange Julius the other day, the orange in the drink made me think of mimosas, then I started to think about using the strawberry champagne instead of the regular.  It was a chain of events.  But, I also love pineapple and orange juice mixed together.  Why not?  I thought to myself as I was putting the ingredients together in my head.  Let’s give it a shot.  I was just talking to my cousin earlier, and told her that usually when I make a beverage when experimenting with recipes, I’ll just take a sip and store the rest in the refrigerator…not this time.  I ended up bringing it back upstairs with me to finish it off.  Good thing it’s only a total of 4 ounces in this glass.

Recipe: 

Makes (4) four ounce glasses

5 ounces orange juice

3 ounces pineapple juice

8 ounces strawberry champagne

Mix ingredients together and pour into champagne glasses, serve chilled.

Like this?  Try these!

Orange Julius

Strawberry Amaretto Milkshake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Fruit Smoothie Cupcakes