7 Great Marmalade and Jam Cocktails

Mmmmmm.  Marmalade cocktails are awesome. So I am kind of in love with the idea of using marmalade in my cocktails.  Especially orange marmalade.  It is both sweet and sour and that appeals to me very much.  I thought you could probably just add it to champagne to do a fun take on a mimosa.  But it was missing something.  So I decided to do a search for marmalade and jam cocktail recipes so I can learn how to build a better drink.

There are so many variations of marmalade cocktails.  Have you tried them?

A gin based cocktail from Food Network.

Another one that is gin based but adding a little Campari from Food Republic.

Here is a Brunch Punch made with vodka and orange marmalade.

Check out the Weissen Sour with both beer and bourbon.

Gin and jam cocktail from Honestly Yum.

A whiskey based cocktail with fig jam.

Lemon Verbena and Raspberry Jamtini.  Doesn’t that sound refreshing!

Champagne and marmalade is a new take on a mimosa.And here is a GREAT article for how to make the best cocktails with jams and marmalades.  There IS a formula.  I was totally missing the citrus.  Looks like I better try to make some more…Cheers!

Splurge vs. Save

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sparkling wineShhhh.  Don’t tell anyone.  I’m guessing that most other bloggers are guilty of this little switcheroo too.  My shoots happen in the morning when I have the best light in my kitchen.  And while this might be prime mimosa time, it’s usually not practical to drink the drinks you need to pour for your styled shoot.  So while I may use a higher end brand in some of  the photos (La Marca is only $10 at Costco so I guess it isn’t really higher end – but it super yummy and I actually like to drink it) the bottle is not actually opened.  Instead, I swap out a less expensive one (in this case about $5) to use in the detail shots because then I feel better pouring it out.  What are your tricks?

How to Buy Last Minute Gifts for Your Wife or Girlfriend

how to buy last minute gifts for your wife or girlfriend.  Ladies - forward this to every man you know. Ladies.  We are just 2 days away from Valentine’s Day.  It’s crunch time for the men in your life.  Forward this to any man you know who could use some tips for shopping for their significant others.  And feel free to add your own tips in the comment section.  Let’s help husbands and boyfriends give better gifts!  (Really this post is just suggesting they put some thought and a little effort).

Hello, men

Valentine’s Day is in two days.  Do you know how you will celebrate it with your wife or girlfriend?  P.S. bookmark this site for future occasions (Do you even know when your anniversary is?  Her birthday?  The first time you held hands?  HOT TIP:  you will get even more brownie points for doing any one of these things for no reason at all.

First off, use your noodle.  You need to think for a moment about how your woman is.  Would she scoff at, what some might consider to be, smaller gifts, then this post is not for you.  Grab your wallet and head to your nearest luxury department store.  Buy a $400 pair of sunglasses, have them wrap them up for you and you are set.  But if your gal likes you to put a little bit of thought in to the gift, read on.

champagne and leopard is always a winning combo.  Add one little extra touch to make a so so gift, great.My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that the only real gifts that we would buy for each other, each year, would be birthday and Christmas.  We will potentially enjoy a nice meal out for our anniversary but we feel we have a lot of nice things already and don’t need any more stuff.  Depending on how your significant other is, choose one or more of these items to gift her.

If your gal likes to have a cocktail, grab a bottle of bubbly, something that most people do not splurge on or buy for themselves.  The Veuve is a nice, recognizable bottle and crowd (in this case, your lady friend) pleaser.  In my opinion, it is far better to purchase gifts that fit in to your price range than just trying to impress someone (who knows how much you really make).  So if you can’t swing the $40 bottle, look for the La Marca.  It is an Italian prosecco, $12-$14, and tastes delicious.  But how much effort does grabbing a bottle of alcohol really take?  Consider adding on an auxiliary gift.  The auxiliary gift can be inexpensive but should be something that either goes with the drink you are giving or be something that the gal would love.  These leopard print coasters actually came from the Dollar Tree.  Remove all packaging and tie up with string.  Simple.

Stance socks are super fun and a great quick gift idea for your lady friendSocks?!  You say.  Yes, socks.  Browse the internet for a humorous saying to go on the gift tag or use the old stand by, “cold feet, warm heart” or say something about snuggling.  While socks are a practical item, there are some really fun, design forward pairs out there.  You can’t go wrong with Stance socks.  You can find these at most of your local skate or surf shops including the larger chains like Zumiez.  Look for pairs that remind you of her.  Pick a flower from the garden to give along with one -3 pairs of socks and get ready for a hug.

jazz up store bought flowers for your sweetieStore bought flowers are totally ok.  This particular bouquet came from Wal-Mart.  But she doesn’t have to know that.  Most women like their men to put in a little bit of effort to make them feel special.  This was seriously the tiniest bit of effort.  First, remove the store-bought wrapping.  Then cut part of  a paper grocery sack, wrap it around the stem and wind some pink nylon string (found at both Home Depot and Lowe’s) around it.  How easy is that?

fill her favorite candy in a cute box.  Show a little tiny bit of effort.Does your gal have a sweet tooth?  Chances are you know a few of her favorite candies.  This box was from the Target dollar bin. All you have to do is repackage things to make them look like you spent time on it, even if you really didn’t.  She likes something salty instead?  Take a moment to look around for a larger divided container (perhaps in the home decor or kitchen areas – even a divided dish would work) and fill with savory snacks.  Add a note that says something about her being sweet and you are totally getting lucky tonight.

A gal loves a pedicure, so give her some cash and send her to pamper herselfThis one is especially great for women with children.  Sometimes the best gift for a mom is getting some time by herself.  It might seem tacky to just hand her some cash but hear me out.  Most women love to get pedicures.  And there are little nail places all around town.  Chances are, she has a favorite.  She may have even mentioned it to you before.  But wait, was it Lucky Nail, Nail Lucky, Happy Nails…the chances of you getting that one wrong are high.  Tell her that you know how much she does for the family and that you want her to go pamper herself.  The fact that you be taking care of the kids and planned this out will show her that you care and she will be beyond excited.  And she will have the choice of where to go.  Nail places are not created equal.  Are you seeing some gifts or combos of gifts that might work for the lady in your life?

Have your significant other set up a 'wishlist' on pinterest for easy gift buyingThis last suggestion is not something for last-minute purchases but will surely help you on your gift giving journey.  Suggest that your gal pal make a “wish list” board on her pinterest.  You can look at this like a personal gift registry.  You can ask her to begin pinning things that she would like to get as gifts from you or even others.  Then whenever you need to, you can check out her list and potentially buy them straight from the link.  What is also cool about this is that it still leaves a little bit of the surprise factor for her when opening gifts.  Do you see that, up there?  I have 40 things on my wish list so I would never be able to guess what things I might get.  I’m sure she will happily show you how to navigate to that board (but you really should bookmark it or save it as your home page).

I hope this has helped you learn how to give gifts to your significant other.  All we really want is a little thought and effort to know that you care.

*Ladies, feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments section!

 

Happy New Year!

happy-new-yearWishing you all an amazing 2014!!!  Tomorrow my family and I will stay in our pajamas all day long.  We will watch a lot of HGTV and ignore the fact that school will be starting up very soon.

Best Cheese Ball Ever Appetizer

Perfect for holiday entertainingWith all the family gatherings that are bound to happen this holiday season I thought I would share with you one of my favorite appetizer recipes.  This Cheese Ball recipe is super easy to make, transport and shovel in your mouth hole.  I didn’t invent this recipe.  I’ve looked at the internet and seen this and variations of this all over the place.  But this is the one that I like the best so it is what I wanted to share with you.

Best Cheese Ball RecipeThere are not many ingredients so make sure that you use good quality items.  I think the blue cheese makes it for me but I understand that there are some people who think it tastes like feet so if that is you, just leave it out.

add-all-the-cheeses-and-green-onion-600Make sure your cream cheese is softened and then just mush it all together.

Best Cheese Ball Appetizer Recipe EverRoll it in a ball (or don’t) roll it in some nuts (or don’t) and eat it with Wheat Thins (I’m sure other crackers would work too but tradition states that you eat it with Wheat Thins.  You don’t want to eff with that do you?)

Cheese Ball and Champagne for holiday entertainingYou know when this cheese ball would work best?  New Year’s Eve.  It can sit out for a while without making all your guests totally sick.  Edible gold stars are like the jazz hands of the food world and really make this cheese ball next level.  Serve with some bubbles and party on.

Best Cheese Ball Ever Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like to go with sharp cheddar)
  • 1 TBSP chopped green onion
  • 1 TBSP Blue Cheese (crumbled)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • Wheat Thins

Instructions

  1. Combine softened cream cheese until well blended.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix well and chill.
  4. Shape in to a ball and roll in pecan pieces.
  5. Serve with Wheat Thins
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