{Boozy} Peppermint Mocha Jello Shots: Because nothing says happy holidays like alcohol

Peppermint Mocha Jello Shots

While some people get excited every fall for the debut of the heralded Pumpkin Spice Latte, I am the girl patiently waiting for the inevitable return of the peppermint mocha. While I know it’s available year-round, for me this minty treat is best savored slowly while strolling down a street in the winter, checking out Christmas lights and window shopping.

Most of the year I drink straight-up black coffee so when December rolls around my first sip of the peppermint mocha is pure chocolatey, sugary bliss. This year I decided to take that deliciousness and turn it into a Jello shot.

Because, well, why not?

I’ll admit I was a little concerned about the basic idea of gelatinous chocolate, or gelatinous coffee for that matter. Usually when I think Jello, I think fruit so this was a bit of a stretch for me.

After doing some Google researched, I made my first batch using coffee, hot cocoa mix, a blend of alcohol and a touch of coffee syrup (have you tried this stuff? It’s like crack!).

Jello shot mise en place

Jello shot mise en place

Continue reading

From a carrot to a (double chocolate brownie) cookie…

Have a cookie?

Have a cookie?

The blogging world is a funny place. You start writing and then you begin to discover other people’s blogs. You start to follow those blogs and slowly you develop relationships with those bloggers. And through those friendships, you discover new bloggers, and start to follow their blogs and so on and so forth.

It’s a beautiful thing. And, in my case, it often leads to delicious recipes, as evidenced by these double chocolate brownie cookies, which I found on a post by Shanna Ward from Curls & Carrots.

I first stumbled upon Shanna’s blog because of my fellow blogger, Liz of deLizious. Liz had mentioned one of Shanna’s posts on her Facebook page and so I wandered over to have a look. The post itself was rather sad but I’m still happy Shanna wrote it because that was the first glimpse I had into the world of Curls & Carrots.

If you read C&C you’ll know it’s chock full of great recipes, for everything from vanilla & cardamom challah to udon salad, and pictures of Shanna’s adorable kids. And each post often contains multiple recipes so it’s like hitting a culinary jackpot.

Not too long ago she posted a recipe for double chocolate brownie cookies and I knew I had to make them. I also knew who I had to make them for — my mother, an admitted and dedicated chocoholic.

I finally got the perfect opportunity this weekend, when it was time for our annual family reunion. Having just returned from vacation, and freshly recovered from a post-vacation cold, I was fairly exhausted and unmotivated. I couldn’t think of what to bring for my contribution but then it hit me — who doesn’t love a cookie?

Continue reading

Hi-ho brigadeiros!

My newest obsession

My newest obsession

After the last few weeks of pure indulgence in my life, I was trying really hard to be good this week. I had lofty goals involving a veggie-only diet detox, cutting back on the beer and exercising daily. I can proudly say the last two items were fairly easy to achieve, but the healthy eating part proved to be a serious failure — and sadly I have no one to blame but myself.

See, I kept thinking about this recipe I had torn out of an old issue of Food & Wine. Accompanying it was a big glossy picture of delicious looking confections coated in cinnamon and nuts that I just couldn’t shake from my mind. Finally I broke down and thus began my downward spiral into the land of brigaderios, aka Brazilian truffles.

I should mention that at the very last minute I diverged from the intended recipe to this one. It had awesome step-by-step pictures to go with it and used regular cocoa powder instead of white chocolate which helped swing my vote.

Regardless of the minor differences in the recipes, these delightful little gems are incredibly easy to make. This batch consisted of one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and 2 TBS butter. Melt the concoction down on low-medium heat for 10-20 minutes until it’s very thick (stirring often), chill and roll. Seriously, there can be nothing easier than this.

Oh and in case you’re wondering how they taste, they are insanely sinfully good. Think of a cross between brownie batter, fudge and chocolate caramel. Resistance is futile.

Which is really bad news for my dreams of a healthy diet plan. Oh well. As a co-worker said to me, hello winter weight…

Continue reading

(Faux) Tortuga Rum Cake — My signature dessert

Chocolate Rum Cake

Everyone should have a signature dish. Back in college, my friend Oliver Lucky and I were infamous for attending potlucks, where other people showed up with something homemade, bearing a bag of tortilla chips and jar of salsa. And yes, I mean one bag and jar between the two of us. Hey, we were poor and living in the dorms — those were things we could buy at the on-campus convenience store with our food cards.

It’s a good thing that we’ve grown up since then. Not that there’s anything wrong with chips and salsa, but being known for making a bad-ass rum cake is a whole lot more fun.

My obsession with this dessert started on my first Caribbean cruise. I was with my husband, my friend Jenna and her husband. We would stumble off of the ship on our port days and be immediately greeted by several liquor stores, all providing complimentary rum and rum cake samples. Sure it was eight in the morning, but there was no way in hell we were going to turn down free booze!

Continue reading

Hello Rumballs!

So I’ve been obsessing over Pinterest for quite some time now and the thing that gets me into trouble is that I keep adding to my already growing pile of recipes I want to try out. Luckily I have been wanting to make some rumballs and when I saw this recipe by Martha I knew it would be the one to make this year.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not even a huge dark rum fan. In fact, I’ll share a relatively pathetic story about what a wuss I am when it comes to actually appreciating the taste of hard liquor. On my 21st birthday I ordered a rum and Coke and it was SO ridiculously strong (probably the bartender’s gift for finally being legal) that I had to send my friend Oliver Lucky to get a couple of glasses of Coke so we could “water” it down. And even after that it was still so strong we had to hold our breath and just chug until it was gone. Oh, college. Good times.

Lest you think less of me, I’ve become better in this regard — though at heart I remain much more of a beer and wine girl (emphasis on beer). But something about the holidays always makes me think of liquor. So I roll with it. I had the necessary dark rum (from a trip to the Caribbean) and I decided to add some other flavors in for fun.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Please don’t judge me for the cake vodka. I saw it in a liquor store and I just had to have it — plastic bottle and all. And let me tell you, it makes a mean vanilla vodka milkshake. Yum!

Anyways, the recipe has you make a batch of brownies. My first thought was: sure, sounds great! My second thought was: hmm, I have a box of brownie mix in the cupboard. My third thought was: just follow the damn recipe. So I did. The brownies were also very easy to make and only bake for about 10-15 minutes so there really is no reason to bother with a mix.

After they were done baking, I let them sit overnight to harden up a bit. Then I played mad scientist with the liquor combinations which was pretty fun and very messy. Now Martha’s recipe says you can eat the rumballs after a couple of hours, but I believe in letting them sit in the fridge for a while to think things over. Plus the reviews said that after 2 days the texture became fudgy, which sounded pretty awesome to me.

So here are my lovely little balls:

Naked rumballs

Vanilla Rumballs dusted in powdered sugar

Grand Marnier & Dark Rum Balls

Cake Vodka & Dark Rumballs (with edible glitter sprinkles!)

Peppermint schnapps & Dark Rum Balls

Loving my new sanding sugars!

I’ll keep you posted on how they taste in a few days…

*Update on rum goodness!