Pumpkin Pie Soda Float

I’m just surrounded by people with good ideas lately.  Last week a friend provided the inspiration for my Chocolate Dipped Double Caramel Apple Oreos (you heard me right – go check ’em out if you haven’t already) and then over the weekend my mom and brother gave me the idea for this:

Pupmkin Pie Soda Float | Shake Bake and Party

My brother had picked up some Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda from Wegmans a few weeks ago and he brought me two bottles.  I had them in the fridge, waiting for a day that felt a bit like fall (it was almost 90 in Jersey just last week) and Sunday turned out to be the day.

I had plans to just drink the soda while daydreaming about Halloween until my mom mentioned a conversation she had with my brother about adding some vanilla ice cream to it and turning it into a float.  So then I had to go to the grocery store in the middle of Sunday afternoon, which I usually try to avoid (you know how mobbed the grocery store gets the few days before Christmas?  That’s how our Wegmans is EVERY WEEKEND) to buy some vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Pie Soda Float | Shake Bake and Party

I have sadly developed some kind of adult onset lactose intolerance (seriously, I couldn’t have developed an allergy to cauliflower or something?) so I got vanilla almond milk ice cream.  You can obviously use any kind of vanilla ice cream – the creamier the better!  I didn’t have any on hand, but you could top this off with a drizzle of caramel sauce if you like things to be fantastic.

This was really good, and makes an easy fun treat for the kiddos if you have them.  You could also make an adult version by adding a splash of Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka which, of course, I did.  Either way you’ll end up with a glass of cold, creamy, pumpkin-y deliciousness.

Pumpkin Pie Soda Float

Ingredients

Pumpkin Pie Soda
Vanilla Ice Cream (or other flavor of your choosing)
Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka (optional)
Caramel Sauce (optional for garnish)

Directions

1. Pour chilled Pumpkin Pie Soda into a glass.  If using the vodka add a splash and give it a stir.
2. Add as many scoops of ice cream as your little heart desires
3. Top with caramel sauce (optional)

Spiked Pumpkin Pie Soda Float |Shake Bake and Party

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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

Practically Perfect in Every Way – The Mary Poppins of Cocktails

If you read my last post you would know how excited I am about Pinnacle Vodka‘s newest flavor – Pumpkin Pie.  While everyone else was anxiously awaiting the iPhone 5, me and my old LG Optimus were waiting to wander into a liquor store and find that blue bottle with a slice of pumpkin pie floating enticingly on the label.

Find it I did, and it is soooooooooo good.  I’ve been ready for fall since the beginning of June, and now that it is finally near there is no better way to usher in the season than with my Caramel Pumpkin Pietini.  Not only is this one fabulous drink, it is also a tribute to these pumpkin cupcakes topped with caramel butter cream which I just learned today that I will NEVER be able to buy again because the bakery that makes them is closing.  Please pause for a moment of silence while you drool over the deliciousness…

Oh, Pumpkin Cupcakes. How I will miss you…

Sniffle, sniffle.

What better way to drown one’s sorrows than with a nice drink?

Like Mary Poppins, I pulled numerous goodies from my bag of tricks to make this martini.  Aside from the obvious Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie, I knew I was going to use RumChata in this recipe – it’s a rum cream with a nice cinnamon flavor (you have to have cinnamon in your pumpkin pie!).  Since I wanted to add some caramel flavor to the drink I had to look no further than my dwindling bottle of Baileys Caramel.  Lastly, I don’t know about you but I can’t have pumpkin pie without whipped cream on top, so added a splash of Pinnacle Whipped to the mix.  A little half & half to up the creaminess factor, a crushed graham pie crust rim and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice were the finishing touches.

Caramel Pumpkin Pietini

2 parts Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 parts Baileys Caramel
1 part RumChata
1 part half & half
splash of Pinnacle Whipped
ice
crushed graham crackers/graham pie crust and pumpkin pie spice for garnish

Combine all the liquids and ice in a cocktail shaker and shaky shaky shaky!  Crush graham crackers/graham pie crust and rim glass.  Pour drink into glass and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.  End up with this…

Just in case you are wondering, I used these little mini graham pie crusts from Keebler.  I like the taste better than a dry old graham cracker, and the size is perfect.  You get enough crumbs to rim a few glasses without having a ton left over.

We’ve got months of pumpkin weather ahead and I’ve got a pretty full bottle of Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka.  Anyone have any suggestions for other things to mix it with?  I’d love to hear your ideas!!

A Taste of Things to Come

I am impatient.

I am tired of summer.  Tired of 90 degree days with 70% humidity.  Tired of stepping out the door in the morning to go to work and watching my hair expand from the corner of my eye.  Tired of getting all sweaty just from breathing.  Oh, and I’m REALLY tired of mosquitoes.  Seriously, what purpose to those damn things serve?!  West Nile Virus freaks.

Anyway, I cannot wait for fall to start!!  Cooler days, chilly nights, fall foliage, Halloween, fall festivals, my birthday (hint hint!), apple cider and all kinds of pumpkin flavored goodies!!!!

Fall tree branch leaves along river
Fall tree branch leaves along river (Photo credit: Nature Pictures by ForestWander)

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, and now this…

It exists, and tonight I found it.  I am beyond excited about this.  Last fall I tried numerous times to make a yummy pumpkin pie drink using a pumpkin spice liqueur that shall remain nameless because it was SO gross.  I was dejected all the way through Christmas.

I LOVE Pinnacle flavors so when I saw that they were coming out with Pumpkin Pie I knew it would be good.  Of course, as soon as I got home with the bottle I had to try it.  So I’ve mixed up a test drink and it is just slightly shy of awesome.  Since I want to tweak it just a bit, I won’t be sharing the recipe today but the Perfect Pumpkin Pietini is just one of the many wonderful things that will be heading your way this fall…(provided I don’t get laid up with West Nile Virus).

Come on September 22nd!!