Watermelon Margaritas – Happy National Tequila Day!

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Happy National Tequila Day!

Here’s an amazing recipe for Watermelon Margaritas. This will make a small pitcher, about 4 drinks. It’s a great summer ┬átime drink.

3/4 cup Tequila (I used Patron)

3 cups chopped watermelon

1/4 cup of lime juice

2 tablespoons agave nectar

Optional: I also added a splash of limecello to give a little extra hit of lime. (Recipe on blog)

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Its easy if you toss all this in the blender and mix it. Because I like mine on the rocks and my husband likes his like an adult slushie, I mix his in my Margaritaville machine with ice. Enjoy!

White Wine Sangria Recipe

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I just wipped up some yummy white wine sangria that I wanted to share with you. I love these 1 quart Ball Mason jars from Hobby Lobby. They cost about $4 and they’re great for this recipe.

Make sure to make this 24 hours in advance so the fruit has time to mix in the wine. You can change the fruit out ┬áto suit your tastes. You can’t really mess this up.

2 bottles semi-sweet or dry white wine

5 cherries chopped in half

1 peach chopped

12 strawberries

1/2 cup orangecello (lemoncello recipe in separate post)

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Refrigerate overnight. Add 1/4 cup sprite, ginger ale or club soda to each glass. It should be about 1 part sprite to 3 parts sangria. I wouldn’t suggest adding it to the full mixture since it will go flat. Enjoy!

Limoncello Recipe – Old School Italian

A couple of years ago, my husband and I wanted to make Limoncello. He is Italian and it’s quite a traditional drink. Me being not Italian enjoyed it as a martini mixer. Ladies, think Lemon Drop Martinis….yum! I looked online and found a lot of “quick recipes” for it that called for 5 days or less. And after lots of research on old school Italian methods we found the traditional method produced high quality Limoncello. We certainly have taste tasted it with friends who are not Italian and every one loves it!

imageThis batch called for 1.5L of Everclear and about 8-10 lemons, depending on size. Organic lemons are best because they don’t have that waxy pesticide yuck on the outside and since you’re only using the peel, you want the very best. I use a micrograter which I believe I got at Target. You only want to remove the yellow portion, NO WHITE. The more white you put in the more tart and bitter it becomes. Some recipes take a standard peeler and peel the rind off…no. You want smooth and delish and not bitter.

imageNow you’re going to take that micro grater and zest your little heart out.

imageIt should cure in a glass container. I use this one from Wal-Mart for about $6 and I usually tape the lid to give it a good seal. But you can use large Ball Mason Jars, which I’m now using. Now you let it sit for 45 days! Yes, 45 days! A lot of people don’t wait….I know your Momma told you that good things come to those who wait! So wait. It will be worth it.

In 45 days you’re going to strain it.

imageAnd you’re going to make a simple syrup. For 1.5L of Everclear I make 5 cups of water with 4 cups of sugar. You cook until the sugar is clear in the water.

imageAnd then I generally add it until I’m not feeling like I’m shooting out fire from my lungs. You want smooth. On this batch I added it all!

imageTaste testing is the fun part. You then bottle it and store it in the freezer for another 45 days, yes, another 45 days. I buy bottles from Ikea and Hobby Lobby and I’ve also found cute ones from Home Goods that are made in Italy. 1.5L makes 2.5 large bottles that can be mixed in martinis, lemonade, or straight.

imageThis is a great mixer. Some of my friends enjoy it just straight. I like it in martinis but I’ve also found it good in sangria. We are working on a batch of lime right now to try with margaritas. We have friends who literally request us making this. It’s fun making something that people enjoy and rave about. Old School Limoncello, love it!

Cinco de Mayo – The BEST Guacamole Recipe!

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and here is THE BEST guacamole recipe you’ll ever try! Super easy, inexpensive and so good

imageIngredients:

3 avocados

2 tbl red onion

2 tbl cilantro

1 wedge lemon

1/2 lime

1/2 roma tomato

1/2 jalepeno (or to taste)

salt/pepper

Make sure to pick soft avocados for use that day or slightly firmer ones for use later on in the week. Slice in half and chop your knife into the nut. It makes it super easy to take it out.

imageimageScore the avocado like a grid and spoon out into a bowl.

imageimageYou want this to be chunky so you’re not going to mash too much. So just take the back of a spoon and push a little and mix.

imageNow chop up a roma tomato into small pieces. You’ll only need about half of a roma tomato.

imageimageNext dice up the red onion. You’ll need about two tablespoons of the red onion.

imageChop and add about 2 tablespoons of cilantro.

imageI use half of a jalapeno chopped in my guacamole, use more or less depending on how much heat you like.

imageLemon and lime is next. One wedge of lemon squeezed and half of a lime.

imageimage1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

imageGrab some tortillas chip and enjoy!!!!

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Summer time means Sangria Time!

One of my summer pleasures is making a great sangria to sit outside on my deck after a long day in the sun, and just have a fire and drink with friends. I’ve made sangria for years and the recipe has changed but this really is the best of them all. Sangria typically calls for Grand Marnier but now I use a really great sweet Jamaican rum. So here’s my fool proof recipe:

3 bottles good red wine

750 ml sweet rum

Simple syrup (3 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar mixed well)

1 quart strawberries

2 peaches

2 cups cherries

2 limes

1 orange

My biggest piece of advice: be patient! Let it sit for a full 24 hours so everything can marinate. Then right before you serve it, pour 1 liter ginger ale and mix well. Serve and enjoy! Try it out. I know you’ll love it!

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How to Make Beignets

imageNew Orleans is one of my favorite places to visit. As a kid, my family and I traveled from Texas to New Orleans about 2-3 times a year. My favorite place was always Cafe Du Monde for hot beignets and coffee. Beignets are a french donut, powdered with sugar and served hot. They taste a little like traditional fried dough but better.

I love to make them on the weekends and my kids love eating them. They’re pretty easy to make, especially if you use the box mix that is sold by Cafe du Monde. So here is how to get the yummy taste of New Orleans without having to actually travel there.

imageThis box mixed is sold in most grocery stores. I’ve been able to find it in New York. It is generally sold in the ethnic food section where they have boxed and canned cajun foods. There are other beignet boxed mixes that you can use but this is the best.

It is 7oz of water to every 2 cups of mix. I throw it in my mixer with the dough hook just until lightly sticky. Then I sprinkle the counter with flour and start rolling it out. Sprinkling a little flour on your flattened dough before rolling helps the roller not stick.

imageYou score it with a knife into squares and rectangles.

imageIt does not have to look perfect. Beignets are all perfectly imperfect.

imageHeat your oil until you see it churning in the pot, usually on med-high for 10 minutes before the first batch. Drop them in. They will sink and then rise within 6-10 seconds to the top. Baste them with oil until they bubble up and flip them over. Each batch should only take a couple of minutes until golden color.

imageRemove from oil onto a tray lined with paper towels to soak up any oil and then immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can see a pink polka dot dresses little girl loaming in the background of this photo patiently waiting to eat some! lol

imageServe hot and enjoy!

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Recipe: Italian Naan Bread Pizzas

imageI make homemade pizza once a week and everyone loves it. But it is exhausting making my own dough and standing in front of a 485 degree oven, so these pizzas are my easy fix at something my family will love and I can make in minutes.

You start with a package of Naan bread. I buy mine at Wegmans in the family pack. I lay out a piece of tin foil just to make cleanup easier. So here’s what you’ll need:

Naan Bread

Fresh Buffalo Mozzerella

Fresh Basil

Bruschetta (or you can make your own)

Artichokes

Fresh Garlic

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Simply spread your bruschetta topping over the Naan bread. I use a mix that is already made up on the olive bar at my grocery store but you could make your own. It’s just chopped tomatoes and olive oil. Then slice up your fresh buffalo mozzarella and lay it on. Top with fresh garlic and artichoke and scatter your fresh basil. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. When it comes out do a swirl of balsamic vinegar reduction and serve. Enjoy!