School Milestone and Chocolate Soy Nut Butter Shake

Soy Butter and Chocolate Shake Recipe #StreamTeamMmmmm.  How yummy does that look? This is a chocolate soy nut butter shake. It may sound a little odd to you if you’ve never had soy nut butter (one of our fave pb alternatives). But for those of you who have tried it, you know that it is a great substitute when you are trying to get a peanut butter like taste or texture without it having any devil nuts. And I’m about to tell you why I made it.

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So I am happy to announce that I just became a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam! What that means is that, monthly,  I will be posting about my favorite movies and shows that can be found on Netflix. Let me give you a quick background on myself. I’m pretty obsessed with television. I graduated with a degree in Communications with an emphasis in TV and Film. It is my happy place. When I’m watching my favorite shows, it is my absolute escape and all is right with the world. I prefer sitcoms but also love reality, well written one hour shows (like Nashville and Revenge) and made for TV movies.

Netflix will be sending me prompts to help me round-up the shows and movies on their site that I want share with you. This month, they wanted us to talk about “firsts”. And there is one first that instantly jumped out at me and is totally relevant in my world right now. You guys, I joined the PTA. First time ever. Now, I don’t mean I joined by paying my $10 and getting a membership card. No. I mean, I joined and I’m involved. I’m making sh*t happen. I am the Recording Secretary and chairperson to two events as well as serving on several other committees. So far, it has been a bit crazy. A lot of us are new and learning as we go. But I am realizing just how important PTA can be to the students. That is not to say there hasn’t been any drama. Because there has. From what I am hearing though, that is par for the course. I’m excited to be part of this great group of parents, trying to give the kids the best school year ever.

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That is not to say that there aren’t times when I feel like I am in an episode of Parks and Recreation. With the red tape Leslie faces to get anything done and the running of a city department full of big personalities, there are some parallels to what one may find in a PTA experience. But that kind of stuff makes me happy. I love people watching and schools are kind of one of the best places to do that. Not in an I’m totally making fun of these people and judging them kind of way. But schools are their own little communities with mini mayors like my youngest son who like to know and say hi to each and every kid we pass to the “graders” as my oldest calls the upper graders, who are trying to figure out their sense of style and where they fit in. And, of course, the parents are pretty fun to watch too. From an observation stand point, schools are ripe with story lines.

As close as you can get to a peanut butter chocolate shake without nuts. #StreamTeamAnd since I’m focused on school, I decided to make a treat that my nut allergic son could eat. You guys, some of the best gossip I hear from my oldest son comes straight from the nut free lunch table. And while he won’t be eating this shake at school, I thought it would be the perfect treat for eating while watching some movies about school. All you need is some vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and soy nut butter (or Sunbutter which is made with sunflower seeds and is super yummy) and some milk. I need to pause her for a moment and tell you that this Midnight Moo syrup from Trader Joe’s is crazy good. It is much thicker than normal chocolate syrup and more rich. It was perfect for this shake. And also perfect for squeezing straight in to your mouth hole.

Soy Nut Butter and Chocolate Shake Recipe. #StreamTeamI just made a single serving so to my small blender cup I added two scoops of vanilla ice cream and soy nut butter.

Nut free soy butter and chocolate shake. #StreamTeamThen I added the chocolate syrup and milk and blended away.

Soy nut butter and chocolate shake. #StreamTeamSo yum! I added some mini chocolate chips to the top to give it a little more visual interest and a little bit of crunch when you sip. The straw is really just for show. Straws are just a way to make you drink your shake slower and make your head feel like it is going to explode from all the work you are putting in just to get to the shake. My son loved it. And so did I. I’m hoping next month’s prompt is something about losing weight though…

Netflix picks for school themed movies. #StreamTeamThese first four movies are for the adults and older kids, if you think they are ready for them. I am probably going to hold off with Ferris Bueller’s Day off for a while because my kids would get too many ideas. But School of Rock would be awesome for them. While these don’t focus on the parliamentary process they are school focused and awesome. And you can totally celebrate some “firsts” with these movies as your guide.

School of Rock : First time on stage, first band, first time you really find what you are passionate about

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off : First time calling in sick to school while not really being sick (but having to deal with consequences, of course…)

The Breakfast Club : First detention, first time realizing that people sometimes aren’t what they appear

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School : Lots of firsts in this one, should only be shown to age 14 and older and probably with a parent to explain and talk about most of it…but it has the Ramones.  So thumbs up.

School picks for kids on Netflix. #StreamTeamFor the kids, there are awesome school movies for them too.

High School Musical : First love, first major life decision about where to go to college, lots of talking points in this one.

Spy School : First lesson in trust and telling tall tales and the consequences that come with it.

Casper’s Scare School : And since Halloween is next week, it just makes sense to go to scare school.

Which of these have you seen?

*I was provided compensation for being a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Pretty Drink Recipe Printables

Cocktails in the pool in Palm Springs. Photo by @alexandrahedin. Image credit: Alexandra Hedin

Thanks for following along all week on my #campmixalot creative retreat to Palm Springs. Today I’m excited to share with you a printable of the amazing hand-lettered drink recipe cards Lauren created to put in the girl’s goodie bags. You should totally print these out and keep them in your kitchen. I can’t stress enough how awful Tortuga Nights sounds but how good it really is. You HAVE to try it! We will be hosting a goodie bag giveaway soon so check back! You want to win it, I assure you.

Hand painted printable cocktail recipes from #campmixalot done by @laurenv

These cards also include really pretty instructions on how to DIY your own infused vodka and also a quick how-to on the frozen melon ball sparkling wine cocktails we served. Do it.

Lauren put marks on the card to tell you where to cut but really you are just cutting the page in half one direction and then again the other. Super easy. But SO pretty! Print them out, use them and share with your friends. Tag us on social media if you post them! @cupcakescutlery @afabulousfete

Download here: camp-mixalot-printable-coctktails

See all the #campmixalot posts here:

Day 1 Recap

Day 2 Recap

Catered dinner in Palm Springs

A Fabulous Fete’s Recap

Melon Ball Mimosas

Infused Vodka Favors

And in case you are headed to Palm Springs – here are some of my favorite places to eat!

Do you want to come to our next creative retreat? Just fill out this form here!

Host a Fall Fiesta

Fun fall party beverage idea. Just open a can, add a little garnish and you are ready to party! #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comDisclosure:  Compensation was provided by Anheuser Busch via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not indicative of the opinions or positions of Anheuser Busch.

We’ve been in school for a week now.  And while the temperatures are still pretty warm here in California, you can tell that fall is just around the corner.  Holiday decor is starting to show up in every store. (tear) Life is just flying by. Early fall is the perfect time to try to slow it all down a bit and spend some quality time with friends. Entertaining closer to the holidays can get really out of hand. So why not throw a fall fiesta?! Throwing a party early on in the season is a great idea. And there is no need to get crazy in terms of party set up.  Keep it simple then sit back and enjoy your Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita.

Easy fall party decor. LOVE these colors! #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comGuests always want to help out at parties so don’t try to do everything yourself. Don’t feel like you need to serve everyone personally. Instead set up your tables so guests can help themselves.  Try to incorporate some fall colors. I loved this fabric with the warm golds, oranges and reds. I loved the background of a bright-ish navy blue. It think it helps to keep the colors from being too wintery but keep it fun and fiesta-like.  Drape the fabric over your table and don’t worry about finishing the edges.  Or if raw edges bother you, simply tuck them under and use a Glue Dot to keep it tacked during your party. I’m a big fan of being able to reuse things so I like to find quick, temporary fixes rather than permanent ones. 

This apple flavored beverage is the perfect way to celebrate fall. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comServe beverages that are easy and don’t require a lot of fuss. These Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s are a great choice for this. They come in individual cans, can easily be kept cold on ice and don’t require any mixing or special glassware.  The perfect fall choice is to serve them in Mason jars but a margarita glass would also be perfect if you have enough of them.  Or consider mixing and matching the glassware. Mason jars are inexpensive and perfect for reusing after the party. I use them for salad dressings and other food items but they also come in handy for displaying flowers. 

Cinnamon sugar apple wedge fall cocktail garnish. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comTo add an extra special touch, mimic the flavors in the Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s and use an apple wedge as a cocktail garnish. I dipped them in cinnamon and sugar to give them a little more flair and flavor. Or to play up the “margarita” aspect of this cocktail, you could rim the jar in cinnamon and sugar. All you would need is a little lemon juice to rub on the rim and then dip the rim in a simple cinnamon and sugar mixture. 

Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita's are a great fall party drink idea! #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comGuests can easily serve themselves which means you may actually get more time to talk to your party guests. While I love hosting parties, I don’t love that I only see each guest for a few minutes at a time before you are pulled away to take care of someone else. Consider keeping the guests list down so you can focus more on each person and really enjoy your time with them. 

Apple Margarita inspired ready made cocktails for a fall party. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comApple is the perfect fall flavor in my opinion and these drinks kind of remind me of apple cider. Served over lots of ice, these Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s are totally refreshing and have just the right amount of sweetness.

Set out a drink bar for your fall party. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comEven the colors of the can scream fall to me.  I love how they match the rest of the party colors.  The gold pop-tops are a nice touch.

Cinnamon sugar apples make a great fall cocktail garnish. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comWhen hosting a party, I try to let my guests decide how they want to enjoy their beverages.  Some people find garnishes bothersome so I set them out in a bowl and let each person decide if they want to use one or not. Or they make a delicious little snack! I also make sure to set out coasters. Nothing worse than finding permanent reminders of the party the next day. 

Mix artificial flowers and fresh finds from the neighborhood for a quick fall party. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comTo keep the decor super easy, I picked up some artificial flowers at my local craft store in colors that would match the tablecloth fabric. I do not have a lot of fall decor so these can be used throughout the entire season.  I mixed in a few fresh elements that I found in the neighborhood to add even more interest and to vary the height. If you wanted to make this in to a more traditional fiesta, you could even make brightly colored tissue paper flowers. They are easy to make, inexpensive and add a great whimsical touch.

Plan a simple fall party with easy cocktails and pretty colors. #ad // cupcakesandcutlery.comReady to host your own fall fiesta? Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita’s have got you covered.  Pick them up at your local grocery store, chill and serve. Easy as apple pie. Mmmmm, apple pie. You should probably also make an apple pie for your guests…

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The awesome flavors of Bud Light Lime Ritas are so incredibly delicious that wherever they go a party happens! For more Fiesta Inspiration, visit https://www.facebook.com/budlightlimeritas

Amaro Cocktails

Amaro cocktail with ginger beer. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.com*I was sent Averna Amaro to use for this post. All opinions and thoughts are mine. 

Have you guys ever had Amaro cocktails before? It is an italian liquor that is bittersweet with herbal notes.  It is sometimes used as a digestif, you know, in places and with people who take their cocktails SERIOUSLY. I’ve never seen anyone request a digestif.  Ever.

I first got to try Amaro in Las Vegas and thought it was super interesting and always wanted to learn more about it. So I decided to mix a cocktail with it.  You know when I am just learning about something, I prefer to use an established recipe and get a feel for how experts use it. I just like to dabble in the drinks so my knowledge is not broad. I picked a recipe that had some of my favorite flavors as I thought that would be a good way to see how the Amaro works in a beverage.

Trying out a new ingredient for my cocktails: Averna Amaro. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAny drink with ginger beer is a friend of mine. I find it so refreshing and flavorful and I often drink it straight out of the bottle. It is my soda of choice. I also love me some Meyer lemons, they have this wonderful sweetness to them that I just adore (not odd at all that I adore a fruit, right?).  And then I made an orange flavored vodka. 

Fresh squeezed citrus is what makes a cocktail special, in my opinion. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIn the past, I sucked at making cocktails. Even if I followed a recipe, they just never turned out well. Looking back, I think it had to do with the quality of ingredients. I’m certain I used bottled lemon juice (ew) and inferior brands of liquor (ew).  As I have really begun to take notice of when recipes turn out well and why, I really have to put a lot of focus on the fresh citrus. I really think that, for me, the fresh juice is where it’s at. I don’t like anything that is overly sweet so the fresh juices help to balance the flavors. 

Orange infused vodka // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis orange infused vodka is my newest fave.  It was so easy to make and adds a really great depth of flavor to the drink.  The orange flavor is subtle but delightful. 

kids will be kidsA lot of times when I am shooting cocktail posts, my kids always want to be in the pictures.  Not this day.  I turned around and this is what I found.  Kids will be kids.  And also sometimes airplanes. 

I love the warm quality the amaro brings to a cocktail. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe Averna Amaro was really nice.  I felt like it added a nice spice to the drink.  I would liken it to bitters.  It adds a caramel color to the drinks you make with it and I think this would go really well in fall cocktails. There is a richness that would maybe feel a bit heavy in summer drinks? Maybe. But of course it can be done. 

Lemon and ginger beer make this cocktail familiar and the amaro warms it up a smidge. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.com

Amaro Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 oz orange flavored vodka
  • 2 oz ginger beer

Instructions

  1. Add Meyer lemon juice, Averna Amaro, and orange flavored vodka in a cocktail shaker and shake well.
  2. Pour over ice in a tall glass.
  3. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Would be fantastic muddled with with fresh orange, berries, or even peaches.
http://www.cupcakesandcutlery.com/amaro-cocktails/

 

DIY Flavored Vodka

Homemade flavored vodka. Makes delicious cocktails! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt has been YEARS since I made my own DIY flavored vodka.  I made it for a children’s party…you know, because sometimes those kinds of parties make you drink. Of course the kids didn’t have any.  But the adults sure did.  Ok, well I’m sure I wasn’t the only one drinking it. I am not trying to suggest my friends are lushes. But when you are watching chocolate cupcake get ground in to your area rug by a toddler shoe, it makes you want to drink something.

Make your own orange infused vodka.  Works with other fruits and herbs too! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis time I decided to make orange infused vodka. Doesn’t that sound amazing!? I didn’t really follow a recipe as this is very forgiving.  My kind of DIY.

DIY infused vodka.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI started with a clean mason jar.  I poured in some vodka.  Then I used a vegetable peeler to remove the skin of the navel orange, being careful not to get too much of the bitter white pith just below. I put the peel in the vodka and put the lid on.  I gave it a nice little shake and then placed it in my pantry for about 4 days, making sure to give it a little shakey shakey at least once a day. Stronger flavors (like herbs) won’t take as long to infuse.  Fruits generally take 4-7 days.  It is suggested that you taste it each day to see if it is the flavor you want.  But here’s the thing with that. You are tasting straight alcohol. So no matter how much it is “infused” it is still going to taste pretty terrible, no? So this is not a good method for me. I like things on the bolder side anyway so I always err on the side of too strong rather than too weak.

Make your own homemade infused vodka.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhen you think the flavors are how you want them use a coffee filter and funnel to strain it in to a new clean jar.  I stored my finished vodka in the refrigerator but I have read that you can also store them in the freezer to keep for an extra month.  I don’t make a ton of one flavor at a time so that I can try out different flavors and see how they work in my favorite drinks. I have heard that you can flavor the vodka with things like candy, but I think I’ll stick to herbs and fruit.

DIY flavored vodkas. This one is infused with orange and is amazing in a Moscow Mule! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI LOVED how this turned out. I used this DIY orange flavored vodka in a specialty cocktail (recipe tomorrow!) and then in my fave Moscow Mules instead of the plain vodka.  It was a perfect switcharoo! You can infuse other liquors, not just vodka.  The possibilities are nearly endless! Have you ever done this?  What did you flavor your vodka with?