Three alcoholic beverages

Disclaimer, I do not have pictures of all of them yet. I know that is a sin on a blog but I can asure you, these are good, picture or not. As we head into the three day weekend I just wanted to share three of my favorite drinks. I promise to add photos later, it may must be the excuse I need to make them all this weekend, three days three drinks!

Cucumber Martini

Well yes, this is not a cupcake but I promise you won’t care after you taste it. My husband and I went out to dinner for my birthday at a restaurant called Monte’s and they had this drink on the menu. I of course made my husband order it because I didn’t want to chance not liking it…then I promptly drank it all and ordered my own. This has to be one of the most refreshing tasting drinks there is, never in a million years would I have chosen to put a cucumber in my drink, I tent to lean towards fruity concoctions. But…this is fabulous and I am truly in love with this drink, if you can be such a thing. I will also admit, this is the first time I have ever tried Gin, in fact when we made the trip to the store to buy some both my husband and I sat in the isle starting at all the brands with no clue as to which to buy, so of course we bought the one with a pretty bottle.

Cucumber Martini adapted from Monte’s restaurant.

2.5 oz Gin of your choice
2 oz Mint infused simple syrup
2 oz Pureed cucumber
Mint leaves

Toss in a shaker with ice and a few mint leaves, shake and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with mint leaves.

Pureed cucumber
1 peeled English or regular cucumber
2 tbsp lime juice

Puree until smooth, strain through a fine mesh strainer.

Mint infused simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1cup water
5-6 mint leaves

Add all the ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and let it sit until room temp. Or if you are impatient like me, you can toss it in the freezer till cool. Pull out mint leaves before using.

Pamplemousse Martini
Adapted from Epicurious

This drink is well… fabulous. It has such depth of flavor and is by far the most sophisticated drink I have made. Its very easy to make and oh so worth it. It is not too sweet but not too sour, the honey adds a richness that you don’t normally find in a drink. I just love it! Do beware; they can sneak up on you!

This recipe makes 6 drinks (well, 4 if I am pouring)

• 7 tablespoons water
• 5 tablespoons pomegranate juice (I use POM)
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 4 teaspoons honey
• 1 1/2 cups vodka (you can use citrus flavored too)
• 3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice (I use ruby red, fresh)
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (usually one large lime)
• 18 fresh mint leaves plus 6 sprigs for garnish
• Ice cubes

Bring first 4 ingredients to boil in small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool in the fridge.
Combine pomegranate mixture, vodka, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and mint leaves in large pitcher. Fill pitcher with ice. Stir vigorously. Strain drink into (chilled) Martini glasses. Garnish each glass with mint sprig and serve.

Blackberry Martini
Adapted from the book: Hip Sips

3 tbsp blackberry puree

2 ounces of your favorite vodka

1/4 ounce orange liqueur
1 ounces simple syrup
1 ounce lemon/lime juice (equal parts fresh squeezed lemon & lime)

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake. Pour into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a fresh blackberry or lime wedge.

Blackberry Puree:
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp lemon juice

Puree and strain through a fine mesh strainer.

Peachy-berry margaritas and a burger.

This summer has gone by so fast and all my efforts to get organized have failed miserably. I have numerous blog entries to put on here but in my frustration with my other blog and formatting I never posted them. So, now that I am using World Press, I will be posting things from this summer, rather out of order.

But first I want to start with last weekend. My husband has become quite enamored with a hamburger patty our local Deli makes and therefore it has made up many of our Saturday night dinners. I’m not complaining, no raw hamburger to mold, and no mess to clean up, just unwrap and toss it on the BBQ. The burger itself is mushroom, bacon, cheddar, what could be better than that? Well, the husband added roasted green chilies piled on top covered with a thick slice of pepper jack cheese. Add a bun, some fry sauce (thank you Pioneer Woman), avocado, lettuce, tomato and of course some more bacon; you have dam near hamburger perfection. The only downside is how to get it in your mouth.

I had attempted making some homemade hamburger buns, after a few moments of uncertainty they came out, although a bit flat, not too bad for my first real attempt at bread. How they tasted made up for their lack of height.

Add in a Peachy-berry margarita and some corn on the cob and dinner is served.

For you drink lovers:

Peachy-berry Margarita
Adapted from The Noble Pig

3 tbs raspberry puree (per glass)
¾ cup of tequila
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 cups fresh or frozen peaches
1 cup of ice (or more if you like it super slushy)
½ cup simple syrup

Rim the tops of 4 margarita or martini glasses with sugar (I use a stem less wine glass for all my margaritas). Put 3 tablespoons of raspberry puree in each glass. Then take the remaining ingredients and blend in a blender. Pour the peach mixture over the raspberry puree. Enjoy.

Raspberry Puree:
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
3 tbs of water
2 tbls of sugar
½ tsp of lemon juice

Blend all ingredients then run threw a fine mesh strainer.

Simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

In a sauce pan bring both ingredients to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pull it off the heat and let it sit till room temp.

Oreo Ball Cupcakes



June 27, 2010

I must say these were a lot of fun. In an attempt to keep from overwhelming myself I broke the process for these cupcakes down into three prep days. The first day I made the homemade Oreo cookies, it was worth it. They are very good. Even my husband who is not too fond of Oreo cookies (he says because of their chalkiness) loved these. I liked the cream filling the best, it didn’t leave that distinctive film on the roof of your mouth that annoys me so much from store bought Oreos.
The second day I made the Oreo balls, I had made them last year for a party after a friend on my website I frequent was talking about them. They are simple to make but a little bit time consuming, which is the reason I wanted to have them done ahead of time.
The third and final day I made the frosting and cupcakes . The Oreo cream cheese frosting, it was so good I had to toss all mixing equipment in the sink fast to keep from licking everything. I will admit, frosting in general is my favorite part of cupcakes and cakes. I can literally make a meal of it right out of the mixing bowl. At this point I was feeling pretty confident about my time frame and organizational skills, that was until I realized I did not have a box of chocolate cake mix. In an effort to save time I was going to use the recipe in Hello Cupcake, which takes an ordinary box cake and adds buttermilk and an extra egg to enhance the flavor and the structural integrity. It’s a full proof recipe and make very nice, tall, firm but tastey cake. Panic set in, what to do, a run to the store was out of the question, my husband was at softball and my daughter was tucked in bed sleeping away. So…at 9pm at night the only reasonable thing to do is make them from scratch, so that is what I did. I considered changing the cake to a white cake but it just didn’t sound as good. So I again used Hello Cupcake’s recipe and started from scratch. I also make a Oreo cookie crust at the bottom of each cupcake.
Well, I was a little disappointed how small they ended up, they didn’t puff us like I am used to seeing and that worried me about how I was going to get the Oreo balls to fit in them. And as I sat and watched the Season Finale of Grays (yes I know pathetically late for an avid fan like myself) I chopped off their tops using the cone method and squished the Oreo balls into them. Popped the tops back on and set off to frost them. This went smoothly, had one incident of the tip clogging but overall it went fast.
These were a huge hit at work, we even reserved time for an official “cupcake meeting” I am just glad they ended up being worthy. The chocolate cake was not my favorite but the thing I didn’t like which was the lack of sweetness actually worked well with how sweet the Oreo ball was . So in the end it was a very successful cupcake and a ton of fun.

Oreo crust at the bottom of each holder. Man i wish I had measured this but I will guesstimate, its hard to mess it up. I would say 1 cup of crushed Oreos and 3 tbsp of unsalted butter melted. Mix together and add about a tbsp to the bottom of each holder then use the bottom of a glass to press it flat.
Oreos: from the Cupcake Project blog, search Oreo cookies.
Oreo balls:
• 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
• 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
• 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
Recipe from All recipes.
Cupcakes: I will spare you from the recipe I used and just say use a box of chocolate add 3 eggs, 1 cup of buttermilk and the amount of oil called for on the box. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. They never fail.
recipe is from Hello Cupcake
• 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
• 1/4 C butter, room temperature
• 3-4 C powdered sugar (use more or less depending on how stiff you want the frosting to be)
• 1/2 t vanilla extract
• 3/4 C crushed Oreos (use your food processor so they will go through your frosting tip)
1. Whip cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time.
3. Add vanilla extract.
4. Gently stir in crushed Oreos.
recipe is from the cupcake project

And they’re off…

June 9, 2010

Well, here goes nothing, first official blog. I will throw out a disclaimer, I am by no means a professional writer nor even a good one. I am a very amateur photographer, so my cupcakes wont have that wonderful “I need to reach into the screen and grab you because they look so good” photos as seen in many other blogs.
Alright now that all that’s out of the way…I made some very interesting cupcakes last weekend for a baby shower. First and foremost, it was a Noah’s Ark themed shower (which I didn’t know until the Tuesday prior) after the initial OMG, I went to Michael’s and purchased some already made fondant. I then petitioned my mom for help and Thursday night we set about making 55 jungle animals to top the cupcakes with. I must say, Utube is a wonderful thing, you can really learn a lot! A friend found a template for some animals on a very cute site called “Chica and Jo”, they saved my bacon. Seeing as my mother and I have never worked with fondant, it was quite entertaining, thank you Utube. We finished up about 5 hours later, yes 5. Some animals came out cuter than others but overall I was happy with them. Especially since fondant is not your friend if you don’t treat it right (like leave it uncovered).
On to more exciting things…the cupcakes flavors were as follows:
Chocolate cake with white chocolate cream cheese filling topped with vanilla butter cream frosting.
Chocolate cake: Box cake devils food, add in 4 eggs, amount of oil listed, 1 cup of buttermilk. If the recipe calls for water you do not use it. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.
Chocolate cream cheese filling I got on the food network from Emril.
Vanilla butter cream from the cupcake project:

Yellow cupcakes with raspberry filling topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Cake was a box cake, with 4 eggs, 1 cup of buttermilk and the amount of oil the box calls for. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
I filled them with about a tablespoon of raspberry jam.
Chocolate cream cheese frosting from the Cupcake project:

Lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling topped with shortbread cookie crumble.

They are simply the best cupcakes, this is my 4th time making them and they are always a hit.

I was very careful to not over bake them, I have a tendency to do that because I am always paranoid about having a raw middle. They were a big hit at the shower, everyone thought the animals turned out so cute. I am very excited everyone liked them because being the one who made them all I could see was their faults. The flavors were a huge hit too. I will post the recipes later this week in case someone actually reads this, haha.

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