Sweet Fruit DipI am not kidding you, this appetizer is so ridiculously easy to make. It takes about 3 minutes. The hardest part is cutting up the fruit.

My mom used to make this dip for fruit when we were kids, and I always loved it. Because it contains two things that I adore:

  • marshmallow creme (aka, FLUFF)
  • cream cheese

And that is all. Srsly! Here’s all you need to make this dip:

fruitdip1You might be able to make it without an electric beater, but you’d have to have a lot of arm strength.

So, you get these two things, and you put the entire jar of marshmallow creme and the entire block of cream cheese into a bowl.

fruitdip2

fruitdip3And then you blend it.

fruitdip4I’d say the blending take about two minutes; use a high speed, and be sure to scrape the sides with a spatula because the marshmallow really wants to stick to the side.

fruitdip5And then? YOU’RE DONE. You can serve it in a nice bowl with a platter of fruit. You can either cut the fruit into small chunks and provide toothpicks (my preferred method, since you then get a larger dip to surface area ratio, and you don’t have to worry about double dipping), or you can cut fruit into slices that people can pick up.

fruitdip6Look, I didn’t say it was the healthiest Super Bowl appetizer ever, but what Super Bowl food really is that healthy? Kids love this dip, almost as much as I do.

fruitdip7

fruitdip8Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl? We don’t care about professional sports in this house, but somehow both my kids are Broncos fans. Or, more accurately, they are going to root for the Broncos in the Super Bowl. They are really barely aware that it’s a team. So don’t hold it against them.

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Winter Citrus Margarita

citrusmargarita12

So now that all the holiday and new year festivities are over, what are you supposed to do if you want to get your drink on?

I’m here to help. I’m always thinking of you.

And also, I wanted to get my drink on, in a wintery but refreshing way. What’s more refreshing than a margarita in January?

Whip one up!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pink grapefruit
  • 1 blood orange
  • 2 – 3 key limes
  • Cointreau or Triple Sec (or Grand Marnier)
  • Tequila!

To start, you’ll want to juice all your citrus.

citrusmargarita3I like using this citrus squeezy thing, but you can also use a regular hand juicer (which you’ll probably need for the grapefruit, since it won’t fit in the squeezer.

citrusmargarita4Those wee key limes fit in the squeezer, or you can just smash ‘em with your hands.

citrusmargarita5Now you’ve got your juice. If you like your margaritas on the sweeter side, you could add some simple syrup or sugar at this point to sweeten it up.

Now, gather your shaker and liquor. Fill the shaker with ice, and don’t skimp! Fill it to the top.

citrusmargarita6Make sure you use the good stuff.

Fill the shaker 1/3 of the way with tequila, and another 1/3 with your orange liquer (Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, whatevs).

citrusmargaritacollageNow add your juice. If you like, you can strain it if you don’t like any pulp in your ‘Rita.

citrusmargarita7Now shake it like a Polaroid picture.

citrusmargarita11I like to rim this glass with sugar instead of salt. You can use one of your leftover citrus rinds, running it around the rim of the glass to moisten it so it’ll take the sugar.

citrusmargarita9Fill your glass with ice…

citrusmargarita10And then fill it with your classy cocktail!

citrusmargarita13Go wild! And if you need some cool glasses to serve your fancy drink, check out some of the offerings here… I’m really digging the Cupa Rocks glasses that gently tilt on their own!

citrusmargarita14

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Pomegranate Basil Sangria

Pomegranate Basil SangriaI should really probably call this Pomegranate “Basils” Sangria, because I used four different kinds of basil in this recipe. And it is so delicious!

I want to remind everyone that the Pennington giveaway is still going on. You can win a $50 American Express gift card! You can still enter; simply leave a comment on this post or my previous cocktail post with your favorite gardening tip. I will announce the winner on Friday, October 11.

This sangria really lives up to its name, which comes from a Spanish word that means, “bleeding.” None of this white wine sangria, here, people. It’s like oxblood, which we all know is one of the on trend colors this fall.

Just like last week’s cocktail, I went out to the garden and picked several varieties of basil to make this drink. Basil is fantastic to grow; it’s easy and there are so many readily available kinds, you can have a whole garden of different flavors.

Besides the traditional Genovese basil, I’m also growing these:

basilsFor reals, that first one is called “Holy Basil.” It’s actually used in¬†Ayurvedic medicine and has a minty, clovey taste. Thai basil is more common and has a slight licorice flavor. Variegated basil is also called Perpetuo basil since it doesn’t flower, and it also has a slightly spicy overtone.

You can use whatever basil or basils you want for this recipe. I say the more the merrier, but if you want to go traditional sweet basil, go for it!

Pomegranate Basil Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 40 basil leaves, of one or more types
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 pomegranate (or 1 – 2 cups pomegranate seeds)
  • 1 bottle red wine

First, pick your basil and remove the leaves from the stems. I used about 40 leaves, 10 of each variety.

basils readyIn a small saucepan, mix the sugar with the water.

sangria3Add the herbs. As you drop them in the saucepan, crush them a bit to begin to release their aromatic oils.

sangria4Set the pot over medium low heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Make sure all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, strain, and let the syrup cool.

sangria5While the basil syrup is simmering, cut your pomegranate in half and remove the seeds. Do you know the super duper easy way to remove them? Over a bowl, simply turn the half pomegranate cut-side down in your hand, and pound the outside with a wooden spoon.

sangria6

Out come all the seeds and only a few stray pieces of flesh. It’s amazing! Although a little splattery.

sangria7Once you’ve got your pomegranate ready, you can begin to assemble the sangria. First, add the pomegranate seeds and juice, then about 1/2 c. of the basil syrup (more or less to taste). Finally, pour in the bottle of red wine. I used a nice Malbec which worked perfectly.

sangria9Mix it all up and let it steep for at least 30 minutes.

sangria10You can chill it while you are letting it steep, and even serve over ice. Garnish with some basil leaves.

sangria11Delicious, right? Perfect to drink while wearing your new shoes and nail polish.

 

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By now, I think we’re all back to school. And what better way to celebrate being kidless during the day than with alcohol?

coffeetini

In the past year or two, this drink has become my signature. I learned how to make it at family camp, and I loved it so much that I didn’t stop. I made coffeetinis for anyone who was breathing and walked past the bar.

It’s a great transition to fall drink, though. Nice and chilled, with a delicious creamy coffee flavor. It feels like summer and fall all wrapped into one.

So here’s how I make mine. You’ll need:

coffeetini supplies

  • Kahlua
  • Vodka
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • a cocktail shaker (optional)
  • a shot of regular or decaf espresso (optional)

To start, fill your shaker (or glass) with ice. I’m not kidding, FILL IT. All the way to the top.

iceThe recipe is simple; it’s simply equal parts of vodka, Bailey’s, and Kahlua. I always start with the vodka, although I’m not sure why.

vodkaFill your shaker 1/3 of the way with vodka. Then I move on to the Bailey’s.

coffeetini4Good grief, I love Bailey’s. Again, another third of the way with the Bailey’s.

Now, the Kahlua:

kahluaOne more third! Now comes the optional part. If you want to get wired while you are drunk, then add a shot of regular espresso. If you love a stronger coffee taste but don’t want the jitters, then add a shot of decaf espresso. If you are really crazy, as one of my family camp comrades is, you can even add a little chocolate milkshake. Whaaaat?

Shake it up real good, and pour it into your chilled martini glass.

coffeetiniThat is pure, creamy, cocktail goodness. Drink one of these every time you have to help with math homework, and you’re golden.

coffeetini yum

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