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Dec 1, 2016

White Peppermint Bark Martini (& Notes from the Martini Lab)

What’s more fun than a holiday dinner?  How about a holiday dinner that includes a martini lab?  This year, with daughters home early (hooray!) for Thanksgiving, I invited over my sister-in-law and put a ham in the oven.  After a casual dinner, we set to mixing up holiday martinis, including the White Peppermint Bark Martini featured today.  Now this isn’t … Continue reading

Top Note Tonic Ginger Jack

Nov 16, 2016

Top Note Tonics, Ginger Jack Cocktail & More

When I was first heard about Top Note Tonics (the sponsor of this post), I didn’t know what to expect.  But then I learned that you could mix their flavored tonic waters with fizzy water for a light soda.  Or with alcohol for a tasty cocktail.  And I was so in.   Yes, the holidays are coming (cocktails).  Followed by diet … Continue reading

Elderflower Cordial

Jul 13, 2016

Elderflower Cordial (Elderflower Syrup)

  I was hungry and tired and my spirits were low,   For I got neither whiskey nor cordial. I hadn’t heard the old Irish folksong in years, but making Elderflower Cordial brought it back. Although I doubt the down-on-his-luck farmhand was thinking of non-alcoholic elderflower cordial, I like a straight fruit or flower syrup which gives me the option … Continue reading

A Peach Bellini on the Deck

Jun 12, 2016

Refreshing Peach Bellini

Ready for some summer entertaining? Whether it’s brunch or drinks on the deck, a fruity cocktail can add flavor and flair to your event. Why not take advantage of one of the great fruits of summer, and make a sweet and tasty Peach Bellini?   A Peach Bellini is a cocktail made from pureed peaches and, traditionally, Prosecco, though other sparkling … Continue reading

Sorbet & Champagne Cocktail

Dec 30, 2015

Sorbet and Champagne Cocktail

Don’t you love foods that can do double duty?  Buy it for one purpose… then get inspired!  Take sorbet for example.  You can feed it to a sick child (or a teen who just had their wisdom teeth out—ahem) or you can add it to Champagne or Prosecco for a festive New Year’s (or other special occasion) drink.  Or Mom … Continue reading

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Dec 13, 2015

Christmas Drinking Custard

I’ve been watching the photographs for years.  Thick liquid custard, dressed up and poured into a mug.  Can you look and not be tempted?  This special drink is known by many names: boiled custard, drinking custard, crème anglaise–and bears a strong resemblance to egg nog.  But in lieu of eggnog’s nutmeg and cinnamon, you get a heady dose of fragrant … Continue reading

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Nov 23, 2015

Spiced Cider Syrup (Instant Hot Apple Cider)

Now that we’ve had a few cold days, I can feel winter in the air. I love the change of seasons (especially when it follows a long autumn) with winter’s promise of snowdrifts and sugarplums. Winter is especially nice if you serve it up with a warm drink like hot spiced cider. Made from freshly pressed apple juice, warmed with … Continue reading

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Sep 27, 2015

(Real) Pumpkin Chai Latte

My oldest daughter is seriously pumpkin obsessed–every fall she goes wild with pumpkin foods and decorations.  Since she is also the queen of tea, I was not at all surprised when she announced she was going to learn to make Pumpkin Chai Latte.  Chai is defined by Wikipedia as “a blend of black tea and herbs and spices, originating in … Continue reading

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Aug 2, 2015

Strawberry Simple Syrup (or Blueberry or …)

Hot enough for you?  Even in Wisconsin (where some years I never turn on the air conditioner) we are feeling the heat.  My favorite new way to refresh?  Homemade “soda” with Strawberry Simple Syrup.  Staying hydrated is critical when the temperature rises.  Plain water is, of course, the gold standard, but sometimes after sweating for a few hours, a special … Continue reading

Creasmsicle Martini Closeup

May 9, 2015

A Brunch Creamsicle Martini & a Giveaway

This year I wanted to do something  a little different for Mother’s Day brunch. The food always includes some new dishes but after many (many) years of mimosas, it was starting to feel like a beverage rut. So this year I am making Creamsicle Martinis.  The inspiration behind this shakeup comes from Nielsen-Massey, premier producer of fine vanilla products. They … Continue reading

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