Drunken Irish Potato

I know St. Patrick’s Day is still a little over a week away but I had to share this with you now so you have time to go out and buy the ingredients to make this yourself.  You will thank me.

Every now and then I have a flash of semi-brilliance.  Why this occurs when I am staring at my collection of liquor bottles and not when I am facing down a Statistics exam, I will never know.  (Seriously, what crackhead made up statistics?)

Anyway, as I was waiting for the timer to go off on the cookies I am baking for Operation Cookie Takeover (more on that later) I stood staring at my booze shelf (okay, shelves) and thinking about how I wanted to make an Irish Potato cocktail.  All of the recipes I had found contained Baileys Irish Cream, coconut rum or vodka, and cinnamon schanpps or Goldschlager.  Meatloaf says two out of three ain’t bad, but my lack of the cinnamon booze was not going to make me an Irish Potato cocktail.

Then I saw my bottle of Rumchata.  I thought to myself, Not only does it have a lovely cinnamon flavor – it has the PERFECT cinnamon flavor!  Synapses firing, I got to work at mixing up this Irish beauty…

drunken irish potato 1

The Drunken Irish Potato

2 oz Rumchata
1 oz Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
ice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake, drink, make another!

booze

If you are having a St. Patrick’s Day party you should definitely serve this, and if you are hitting the bars – tell the bartender how to make this (and feel free to direct them to my blog for more fabulous ideas!).  If you are going to drink nothing but beer, I don’t understand you, but have fun anyway.  All of you, take a cab home.

Drunken Irish Potato 2

The “My Car Tried To Kill Me” Cocktail

You’re going to get a doubly informative post this evening!  Not only will you get a new, delicious cocktail recipe –  you will also get a little bit of car safety information!  Sounds fun, no?

After work I went to the grocery store to get some baking supplies for this weekend.  On my way home, my car suddenly began accelerating on its own.  I was zipping along at 50 mph without even having my foot on the gas.  When I pushed down on the brake, it felt like it was pushing right back up against my foot and it took way too long for the car to actually stop.  Even then, the engine was revving.  I felt like Danica Patrick!

Or not.  I was actually afraid I was going to crash into someone or something and die.  Luckily, I wasn’t far from home and made it to my house without incident (other than a minor heart attack).

Then I made myself a drink.

Chocolate Kahlua Cookie Cocktail

Meet the “My Car Tried To Kill Me” cocktail, aka The Chocolate Kahlua Cookie!

Directions

Using a standard sized shot glass (I was too freaked out to actually measure anything), combine in a cocktail shaker:

1 shot of Kahlua
1 shot of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Half a shot of Pinnacle Cookie Dough Vodka
Splash of cream or half & half, to tase
ice

Sorry that I don’t have a bunch of cute pictures.  I took just this one and then had to go sit down and drink the damn thing.  It’s definitely something I would make again, though preferably NOT after near death by Ford Taurus.

And this is where the auto safety bit comes in.

1.  A quick Google search has revealed to me that last year the government was investigating sudden acceleration problems in the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable model years 2001-2006.  Apparently since no one has actually died (yet!) because of this issue they closed the investigation without issuing a recall.  So heads up if you own one of these vehicles.

2. Should this happen to you while driving, it might help to put your car in neutral.  I wish I had known this BEFORE I became Speed Racer this afternoon.  Shouldn’t that be info you have to learn to pass your driver’s test or something?  Might be important someday, yeah?

So, I know cars and booze are not something that you should normally mix but I think this combination is completely justifiable.

Stay safe everyone!  I need another drink…

Oscar the Grouch

I don’t really care about the Oscars.  The best picture nominees are usually movies I have never seen (except for the year Inception was a nominee, I LOVE that movie), nor do I have any desire TO see.  If it were up to me flicks like Wedding Crashers would be up for best picture, not films (based on musicals based on books) featuring Anne Hathaway with a bad haircut and a snotty nose.

Cover of "Wedding Crashers [Blu-ray]"
Cover of Wedding Crashers [Blu-ray]
In addition to my general non-interest in the nominated movies, by this time of year I have this huge sense of deja vu when it comes to these things.

Golden Globes nominees for best picture: Lincoln, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Argo, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.

Oscar nominees for best picture: Lincoln, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Argo, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.

SAG Award nominees for male actor:  Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman.

Belaj Bluaj Okuloj de Bradley Cooper
He is nice to look at though, isn’t he? Belaj Bluaj Okuloj de Bradley Cooper (Photo credit: МОЛОКО)

Oscar nominees for male actor:  Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman.

See where I’m going here?  There are a few different movies or actors sprinkled in here and there but mostly – Been there, done that!  I’ll probably end up watching anyway because Revenge won’t be on and I do enjoy the fashion a bit, but I will most definitely NOT be throwing an Oscar Party.

HOWEVER – I have seen quite a few cool Oscar Party food ideas the past few days, and I thought I’d be nice and share a few… If I were going to throw a shindig, I would totally serve up some Tuxedo Hot Dogs!

Tuxedo Hot Dogs {Oscar Party}

Tuxedo Hot Dogs {Oscar Party}, shared by Laurie Turk on Tip Junkie

There would be Oscar statuette cookies…

Oscar Cookies for Oscar Winners!
Oscar Cookies for Oscar Winners! (Photo credit: clarescupcakes.co.uk)

and of course, cocktails.  Check out this article from Good Morning America featuring a specialty cocktail for each of the Best Picture nominees.

Are you throwing an Oscar Party?  What are you serving?  It’s not too late to put bow ties on some hot dogs…

Just One Tequila

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, ugggghhhhhhhh.

My stomach can’t handle a lot of tequila, but since today is National Margarita Day I HAD to make something!  Before I get into that though, quick question: Why is National Margarita Day in the dead of winter?!  It’s freezing and gray and miserable… Wait, maybe that’s why?  I guess I could go for a margarita now that you mention it!  Good idea!

I was inspired by the copycat Carrabba’s Blackberry Sangria I posted about earlier in the week.  I used two of the ingredients (Tuaca and blackberry syrup) in my contribution to National Margarita Day.

IMG_2432

Blackberry Margarita

1 oz tequila
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz Tuaca
juice of 1/2 small lime
splash of blackberry syrup (to taste)
salt or sugar to rim glass (optional)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake, pour and enjoy!

A quick note to the lovely Joanne who found this bottle of simple syrup and was kind enough to purchase it for me – Thank  you!  I can’t tell you how many times I have been deterred from making a drink by seeing simple simple syrup in the ingredient list.  I know it’s not that hard to boil sugar water but when I want a drink, I want A DRINK!  I don’t want to COOK.  : )

blackberry margarita

As you can see, I rimmed my glass with sugar.  I know you are supposed to use salt but I couldn’t help it.  It’s purple sugar and it just looks good.  Besides, tequila already tastes kind of salty to me anyway so I don’t think missing the salted rim detracts from the drink.

blackberry margarita

This margarita is light on the tequila (for weaklings like myself) but definitely not lacking in flavor!  The blackberry, lime and vanilla citrus flavors from the Tuaca are a perfect combination of sweet and tart.

Happy National Margarita Day everyone!  Are you planning on celebrating??

blackberry margarita

Sangria in a Stockpot

Do you know what today is?  Yes, it’s Monday and Presidents’ Day.  It is also National Drink Wine Day!  This is definitely my kind of day – I didn’t have to go to work AND I’m supposed to sit around drinking wine?  Awesome!

I figured to honor this special day, I would share my experience with making a copycat version of Carrabba’s Blackberry Sangria.  If you go to Carrabba’s and have not tried this yet it’s an absolute must; and if you don’t go to Carrabba’s you should.  This is by far the best sangria I have ever had.  So of course, I looked for the recipe online and I found it on food.com:

1 1/2 liters Bisanzio Italian wine or 1 1/2 liters any other sweet red italian wine
14 ounces cranberry juice
14 ounces Monin Blackberry Syrup
6 ounces Tuaca liqueur
blackberries
For Garnish
lemon slice
orange slice

Directions:

Mix all liquid ingredients together and add blackberries. Refrigerate and let sit for a few hours. Serve over ice. When ready to serve, add a slice of lemon and orange.

Sangria Ingredients

 

As much as I enjoy wine, I certainly would not consider myself a connoisseur.  I like whites and fruity reds (especially wines from local NJ wineries) but I had no idea what would be considered a sweet red Italian wine.  Luckily there are many helpful employees at my local liquor store and I was led right to what I needed (under $10  a bottle too!).

I had to order the blackberry syrup from Amazon because while the liquor store does carry Monin syrups, they seemed to have every flavor BUT blackberry.  Once that arrived, I was ready to make some sangria!
I quickly realized that there was no way I was going to be able to mix two bottles of wine plus all those other liquids in my measly little pitcher so I grabbed my spaghetti pot.  Even that was too small though, so I had to pull out the big guns.
Blackberry Sangria

Is it the sign of a problem when you are making sangria in a stockpot?

Stockpot Sangra
Once I had everything mixed together I transferred the sangria into two pitchers and let it sit overnight.  The next evening, I had my first glass.  It was delicious!  It tasted ALMOST just like the Carrabba’s stuff and after letting it sit another night, and adding a little ice to my glass it tasted EXACTLY like it.  Cheers to Google, for without it I would be spending way too  much money at the bar at Carrabba’s to get my fix of their Blackberry Sangria!

Will you be celebrating this dual holiday with a glass of wine?  What’s your favorite?

The 12 Daze of Christmas

Today I got a little break from the pre-Christmas running around madness.  Presents are all wrapped, cookies are baked, make-ahead mashed potatoes for Christmas Eve dinner are made…ahead.  What better way to enjoy some downtime than with a cocktail?

chocolate caramallow cocktail

This drink was inspired by those chocolate covered marshmallow and caramel santas that you can buy at the drugstore this time of year.  I love those things!

While I was whipping this up, I thought of a Christmas song called The 12 Daze of Christmas by Fay McKay.  It’s not something they ever play on the radio – I’m not even sure how I ever heard it in the first place – but they should, because it’s freaking hilarious.

So if you too could use a little drink and some music to unwind this evening, play that and make this:

Chocolate Caramallow 2

Chocolate Caramallow Cocktail

1 oz Pinnacle Marshmallow Vodka
2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
splash of half & half
ice
caramel sundae syrup, chocolate syrup and marshmallows for garnish (optional)

Combine marhsmallow vodka, chocolate liqueur, half & half, and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until frosty.  Drizzle caramel sundae syrup inside martini glass, then pour in drink.  Garnish with marshmallows and chocolate syrup.

 

Thanks…For Nothing

A bunch of friends on Facebook have been posting one thing every day this month that they are thankful for.  I have decided to go the opposite route, and take a moment to send a little “thanks for nothing” to those who have pissed me off over the past few days.

1.  T-Mobile: Thank you SO much for porting my phone number BEFORE my phone arrived so that, for the past two days, I had no cell service of any kind.  And a double thanks for informing me, when I called and spoke with your snotty support twit, that yes, you would be charging me for those two days even though I was NOT receiving service from you.  Way to impress a brand new customer, douchebags.

2.  Asshat at the grocery store:  It was so kind of you to prevent me from backing out of my parking spot (after I had to fight through the throngs of ignorant morons INSIDE the store just so I could get some lettuce and cans of beans) by sticking your cart directly behind my vehicle while you loaded your bags into the trunk of your ridiculously stupid, giant SUV.  You rock.

3.  Handful of NHL players:  It was so cool that you decided to put together a game in Atlantic City to benefit Sandy relief organizations, and even cooler that you scheduled it for one of the ONLY DAYS ALL YEAR that I actually have plans.  Every other weekend I sit around on my ass doing nothing, but not the day you are holding the game.  Potentially the only hockey game I could have seen this season and I can’t go.  BOO!  (But still YAY for the cause!)

Oh, and another BOO for this stupid ass NHL lockout.  While you are busy fighting over your hundreds of thousands of dollars, there are people who work for minimum wage in your arenas that are OUT OF WORK because of you!  Get over yourselves, all of you!

4.  This last one requires a bit of back story…  A little over a year ago, a woman ON A BICYCLE crashed into my car which was parked on the street (something I rarely ever do).  She took off my power mirror, and dented and scratched the front end of my car.  Apparently my neighbor across the street saw what happened, and made sure she came up to the house to tell me what she did.  My boyfriend answered the door, and when she said she had hit my car and was going home to get her insurance info (homeowners I guess?) he believed her.  Had we known that the only reason she came up in the first place was that she had been nabbed trying to just take off by the guy across the street we would have just called the cops.  Anyway, of course she did not come back, and we had not taken any info from her.

So last week my boyfriend is out front and the lady drives up and says, “Oh, I see you got the car fixed.  How much did it cost so I can pay you?”  Mind you, over a YEAR has gone by at this point.  So he tells her the cost to replace the mirror (I still have the lovely marks from her bike handle bar) and she says, “I don’t have a job, I can’t pay you,” gives her address, and drives off in her BRAND NEW Toyota Corolla.

So I want to thank her for a). drunk biking or whatever the hell she was doing when she crashed my car, b). saying she would return that day to take care of things and then disappearing and c.) randomly showing up a year later to rub in my face that she still hasn’t paid for the damage to my car, and apparently doesn’t have a job but has a much newer, nicer car than I do.  Piss off.

OKAY, I feel a little better now.  On to some things I am actually thankful for.

I would like to express my thanks to The Domestic Rebel for this blog post, in which she alerted me to the fact that such a thing as Hot Cocoa with Marshmallow 3 Musketeers bars exist in this mad world.  I found them today, and they are awesome.

I might actually try her recipe in which she melted the candy bars down to make icing for cupcakes (hello, genius!), if I don’t eat the whole bag first.

Next, I would like to thank Pinnacle Vodka for making Pumpkin Pie flavored vodka.  I have had so much fun making drinks with this stuff over the past month and today I might have outdone myself…

I loooove those mucho mudslides you get at Friday’s or Applebee’s, loaded up with ice cream and whipped cream and chocolate syrup.  So after a twenty minute argument with customer “support” at T-Mobile, this was just the thing I needed to bring my happy back.

 

Pumpkin Mudslide
Ingredients
1 oz Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Baileys
2 scoops coffee flavored ice cream
ice
chocolate syrup and whipped cream for garnish
Directions
Blend liquors, ice cream and ice in blender.  Drizzle chocolate syrup around the inside of a glass, pour in drink, and top with whipped cream.

 

Mmmmmmm….what was I annoyed about???  Oh, that’s right, not a damn thing! : )

Lastly I would like to say thanks to those of you who, whenever I manage to post something, take a few minutes out of your busy day to read what I have to say here in my blog.  It’s been awesome so far getting to interact with all of you and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  (If you aren’t in the U.S., just have a happy Thursday!)

Pumpkin Pie Vodka – The Saga Continues…

I know that Target would like us all to think that Christmas is next weekend but in my world it’s still fall, and Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet!  I’m still crunching through leaves, dreaming of turkey and stuffing, and mixing up drinks with my Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka.

My bottle is almost empty so I went out to the liquor store today to replenish my supply.  I went to the place where I got my first bottle and they didn’t have any!  I’ll admit, I panicked a little – I still have quite a few drink ideas that I want to try!  Luckily I found it at the next store I tried so I bought two bottles just to be on the safe side.  Oh, and I bought a bottle of Pinnacle Marshmallow as well.  Pumpkin, marshmallow…it works for Scentsy, it could work for a cocktail too!

I felt like a bit of an alcoholic marching up to the checkout line with three bottles of vodka and a case of beer (for the boyfriend) but all was forgotten after I handed over my debit card and realized I just spent $63 dollars on booze.  It’s an investment??  Yeah, a blog expense.  That’s what it is…

Today’s drink is super easy to make, and combines three fall flavors: pumpkin, cranberry and ginger.  It’s the Cran-Pumpkin Pop!

Cran-Pumpkin Pop

One shot of Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka (or two!)
Splash of cranberry juice
Ginger ale

Pour the vodka and cranberry juice into a glass, then fill the glass with the ginger ale and some ice.

It’s a Shirley Temple for fall!!

Do you have any favorite fall cocktails?  AND, does anyone else agree with me that Christmas commercials before Thanksgiving have replaced political ads as the most annoying thing on TV right now?

Coffee, Muffin, Vodka

Today is National Coffee Day, and after a quick Google search I learned that October 4th is National Vodka Day.  So I figured to honor both holidays I would mix the two together.

It’s Saturday night, and after a long day of running errands, grocery shopping, cleaning this house that seems to manifest clutter while I am sleeping, and visiting the booth of my fellow blogger Scrapsecrets at the Woodbury Fall Arts Fest (check out her Etsy shop if you are in need of a card for a special occasion – she makes the most adorable cards!), I’m pretty beat.  So I went the easy route when making tonight’s drink.  I opened a bottle of Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino, poured it into a glass over ice and then added a shot of my new fall fave – Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka. I admit it, I am obsessed with this stuff.  I promise, my next post will involve something else!

Of course, it was good.  How could it not be?

In other pumpkin news, I had been thinking of making pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (is there a National Muffin Day??).  However, while wandering around Wegmans loading up my cart with all kinds of unnecessary but yummy goodies I saw a bag of Hershey’s cinnamon chips on the shelf.  You know where those ended up.

I loved the combo of the cinnamon chip in the pumpkin muffin, and I topped them with cinnamon streusel which was really good too.  I just wasn’t a fan of the pumpkin muffin recipe I used.  They weren’t moist enough for me.  Does anyone have a good pumpkin muffin recipe?  I love the ones at Dunkin Donuts but I’m going to bet they wouldn’t be willing to tell me how to make my own.

Why I Like Cocktails More Than Cooking

I like to eat.  My ever tightening jeans can attest to that.  I follow quite a few blogs that post fabulous looking recipes on a daily basis and I would love to try to make nice dinners with fresh ingredients every night, but I have some issues.  Most involve my kitchen.

The previous owner of our house was a big “do it yourself” type who had absolutely no idea what he was doing.  Not only that – he also had TERRIBLE taste in decorating.  These were the kitchen cabinets when we moved in…

EEEEEK!!!

Yeah.  Those would be salmon colored kitchen cabinets.  They have since been painted, but unfortunately we are still stuck with the stupid kitchen layout left behind by the DIY Dodo.  Wall oven, tiny sliver of counter top, sink, slightly wider bit of counter, ELECTRIC cook-top (I grew up cooking with gas; how to properly bring something to a boil and then simmer on this god awful thing still eludes me), another tiny bit of counter space, wall.

Electric range heating element
Electric range heating element (Photo credit: Thom Watson) – EVIL

Trying to chop up a bunch of fresh veggies and whip together something on the stove is always a test of my patience.  I have no room, and the stupid cook-top is either not hot enough or so hot that whatever I am trying to cooking ends up looking like a lump of charcoal.  I HATE trying to make dinner in my kitchen.

So you can imagine my excitement when I started seeing all these pins on Pinterest about freezer crock pot meals.  A few hours of torture in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon and then you have dinner for the rest of your life!  Okay, more like two weeks but that seemed like a good tradeoff to me!  So I picked out some recipes, got all the necessary ingredients and enlisted the boyfriend’s help in prepping everything and loading the meals into freezer bags.   After about two hours we had ten nights worth of meals (leftovers for lunch were promised too!) stacked neatly in the basement freezer.  All I have to do it grab whatever I want the night before so it can thaw in the fridge and then drop it in the crock pot in the morning.  I’d need to make some rice or noodles or whatever to go with each meal, but that’s easy.  THIS was going to be the solution to all my cooking woes!  Right?

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot
a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, not exactly.  I have made three of my meals so far.  Each one had the house smelling yummy and tasted pretty good, there was just this minor issue.  All these lovely blogs about freezer meals failed to mention that EVERY STINKING MEAL was going to end up under a foot of water by the time it was done cooking.  I have cooked plenty of meals in the crock pot (without freezing them first) and have not had this problem.  So unless my grocery store is secretly injecting my vegetables with water to up their weight so they can charge me more I think it has something to do with the whole freezing bit.  Nobody wants sopping wet beef fajitas.  Just saying…

So cooking dinner is STILL annoying and it will be until the day – hopefully in the not so distant future – when we can redo the kitchen.

Making a cocktail, however, is easy no matter how much counter space I have.  All I need is a shot glass, a cocktail shaker, ice and some easy to open bottles of booze.  The biggest annoyance there is when someone puts the ice cube tray back in the freezer without refilling it.  Ahem.

In addition to the ease with which a great cocktail can be created the fact remains that crock pot Chicken Teriyaki could NEVER taste as good as a Kahlua Pumpkin Cheesecake Martini.

That’s right.  I said Kahlua Pumpkin Cheesecake Martini.  It was a decadent as it sounds!  This is definitely a dessert drink.  It’s rich and creamy and sweet and…drool.

Kahlua Pumpkin Cheesecake Martini

Ingredients

2 parts Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka
1 part Kahlua
1 1/2 parts half & half
2 teaspoons cheesecake pudding mix
ice

Directions

In a cocktail shaker combine vodka, Kahlua and cheesecake pudding mix.  Stir until the mix is dissolved.  Then add half & half and ice.  Shake, pour, and float away on a creamy, dreamy cocktail cloud.

having a little fun with my camera settings