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.


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.


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


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!


  • 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!


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I’m so happy to be working with Pennington Vertical Gardens for this sponsored post! (Of course, all info and opinions here are my own!)

cucumber tarragon gin & tonic

First, I’m sure you all want to know about the giveaway. Pennington has graciously offered you all a chance to win a $50 American Express gift card. AH KNOW! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below with your favorite gardening tip. What’s your favorite thing to grow in the garden? Have a favorite recipe you make with something you grew on your own? Let us know in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win $50. For free! I’ll announce the winners next week. (You can get a second entry if you like me on Facebook!)

Pennington makes modular vertical gardening systems that are completely customizable so that you can fit them into your space.


Awesome, right? Obviously, they are vertical, so you can grow upwards instead of outwards. Which means that no matter how much space you have, you can install a garden. I’m excited to try the system that Pennington has provided for me, and you’ll get more deets on that next week!

One thing I love growing in my garden is herbs. They are so easy, and beautiful, and useful. You’ve seen my single herb basil garden before, and this year I planted an ecclectic bunch of herbs. Truthfully, the reason I wanted so many different herbs was for cocktails. But I swear, I’m not a lush.

Now that the garden is growing like mad, it’s time to cash in, so to speak, on the herbal bounty. I’m starting off with a refreshing, delicious cocktail: Cucumber Tarragon Gin & Tonic.

Now, even if you don’t like Gin & Tonic, I suggest to you that you’ll like this cocktail. It’s great for everyone because it’s not too sweet and not too bitter. And refreshing? Gah, you will not believe it.

First, you have to get yourself some tarragon, and hopefully you’ll be able to step out your door and pick some fresh. Nothing like an herb that was actually still growing 90 seconds before you consume it.


Snip off two or three sprigs.

Here’s what you’ll need for your cocktail:

gin & tonic ingredients

  • 2 – 3 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 2 thick slices of cucumber
  • gin
  • tonic (diet tonic is fine)
  • ice
  • a cocktail shaker
  • a wooden spoon or muddler

First, put your sprigs of tarragon into your cocktail shaker. I always pull the leaves off and leave the stems out.


Next, add two thick slices of cucumber. If you want a slightly stronger cucumber taste, you can cut these slices into quarters.


Using the end of a wooden spoon, or a muddler if you own one, smash up the cucumber and the tarragon. “Smash” is the technical term, but some people like to say “muddle.” Those people are too cool for school.


You’ll notice that, if you’ve used the slices intact, you’re really only getting the center of the cucumber mushed up. Which is fine. If you cut your cucumber up, you’ll be able to smash the rind as well, and you’ll get more of a cucumber taste. Dealer’s choice!


Now, fill your shaker with ice. To the top. No skimping! Then, add your gin. You want to fill the shaker about 1/3 full.


Now add your tonic. Fill the shaker up, which will end up being 2/3 of the shaker in tonic.


Put the lid on and shake it like a Polaroid picture.


Pour through the strainer into a glass full of ice. You will still get some tarragon bits (depending on how wild you went with the smashing), so if you want a completely clear drink, you can pour through a strainer to eliminate those herb bits. I kind of like them floating in there.


Garnish with tarragon and a slice of cucumber!


And enjoy! Check in next week when I’ll have another herbal cocktail to share with you.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Pennington Vertical Gardens, but the entirety of the content of my post is my own.

Disclosure Statement

Pennington Vertical Gardens partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Pennington Vertical Gardening System products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the use of the products. Pennington Vertical Gardens believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Pennington Vertical Garden’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.


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


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