Cucumber Basil and Lime Vodka Cocktail

*I was sent a bottle of American Harvest Organic Vodka for this post.

cucumber-and-basil-vodka-cocktail-for-summerUm, yeah.  Cucumber.  Lime.  Basil.  Each of those things screams refreshing to me.  Then put them altogether in a cocktail and of course you aren’t going to hate it.  This cucumber basil and lime vodka cocktail might just be my summer drink for 2014.  But let me tell you a little bit of a funny story…

American-Harvest-VodkaSometimes brands send me alcohol to use in posts.  Just like American Harvest did.  But most of the time I already have an idea for something I want to make with it.  The bottle arrived with a little recipe booklet and I flipped through.  Each cocktail sounded more delicious than the last.  And then I came across this cucumber number. 

slicing-cucumbers-for-the-vodka-cocktailI sliced up the cucs, quartered the limes and got almost through the entire recipe before I realized…

refreshing-vodka-drink-perfect-for-summerthat the drink is pretty much straight vodka.  Like, there is a little bit of lime juice from the muddling but it’s pretty much a big old cup of icy cold vodka.  You would have thought I would have figured that out when I read the recipe the first time.  Or made my grocery list of things I needed for making the cocktail.  But no.  I’m a total lightweight so I was super concerned that I would not like it and be drunk just from one sip.  I am happy to report that while the cocktail was on the stronger side (again, the whole thing is pretty much vodka) the taste was fantastic!  The basil, cucumber and lime took a little of the edge off but the real star is the American Harvest Vodka.  For real.  I wouldn’t just say that since they sent me a bottle of vodka.  I could totally see drinking these this summer.  Like, really slowly.  Over several hours.  With lots of food in my stomach.  And a baby sitter for the kids.  And some Drinkwel.  But I have heard that organic vodka’s are not as likely to induce a hang over…

summer-cocktail-vodka-basil-cucumberWhat I loved most about this cocktail is that the flavors were so crisp and clean.  The ice made this super easy to sip and the fragrance from the basil and cucumber made it a really enjoyable from start to finish.  It goes to show that with the right brand of spirit, you might like something you were never a huge fan of before.  This has also happened with me and whiskey.  But still not probably going to drink that straight.

You can find the full recipe right here (I didn’t use the agave because I don’t generally add sweeteners to my drinks)

*Thank you for supporting the brands, like American Harvest, that let me do what I do.  All opinions are mine.

 

Things to do on a Quick Trip to New York

Streets of New York // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI love New York!  I was beyond excited that we got to stay in the city for #PuffDay14.  Tori and I discussed the trip before hand and we both knew that we wanted to pack in as much stuff as possible no matter how tired we were.  Mostly this meant we wanted to eat a lot.  I figured out that we had about 15 hours of awake time in the city that was all ours.  And I really think we did make the most of it.  There are a lot of things to do on a quick trip to New York and I’m sharing a few of my favorites. 

The St. Giles Tuscany Hotel in New York has super comfy rooms and beds // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAlthough I didn’t have anything to do with choosing the hotel (this was set up by the PR company handling the Puff Pastry event) it was awesome!  I highly recommend the St. Giles Tuscany Hotel in the Murray Hill area.  The neighborhood was pretty quiet but still had tons of stuff to do.  It was a close walk to Grand Central Station and a short taxi ride to La Guardia airport that I flew in and out of.  The rooms were spacious and comfortable and way larger than I was expecting for a hotel in New York.  

Gorgeous bathroom at the St. Giles Tuscany Hotel in New York // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd the bathrooms were GORG!  Mine was very large and it was so well designed.  It had Molton Brown amenities and excellent lighting. [Read more...]

16 Delicious Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining

*This post is sponsored by Foodie and Mode.  All opinions are mine.  And in my opinion, these recipes look freaking awesome and I can’t wait to make them.

Check out Outdoor Entertaining

by Sharon Garofalow (Cupcakes and Cutlery) at Foodie.com


Ahhhh, Memorial Day.  Does that signal the start of summer for you too?  I mean, we still have about a month left of school (I know, it is SO late!) but that doesn’t stop us for hosting barbecues and kicking off the summer grilling season.  But eating outside sometimes means we either make a signature dish over and over (because we nail it every time) or that we are scared to try something out of the ordinary because eating outside provides a host of challenges (breakable plates, temperature control, grody bugs).  These 16 recipes for outdoor entertaining are just what you need for all your upcoming parties.  I’ve included some drinks, entrees and side dishes for creating a delicious meal for your guests or even just your family.  I’ve included some familiar dishes, like a bbq burger that looks crazy good (and has a little whiskey in it…) but I’ve also included some not so traditional grilled items like Grilled Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Fries.  How good do those sound?!  Make what you are comfortable with but don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  I speak from experience when I say that even if you make a mistake in front of people that you don’t know very well, it is not the end of the world.  It happens.  More than I care to admit.  I remember this one time in particular when I realized I had used tablespoons instead of teaspoons a little too late.  Oops!  But it wasn’t the end of the world.  And they’ve even come back since.  I am excited to get creative this summer with my recipe repertoire.  And I’m going to start with these Basil Beerades.

 

Rad Custom Straws


Rad straw with neon boho summer dress.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHow rad is this custom straw?  Isn’t it the coolest?!  I ordered some custom name Krazy Straws for my kids for Easter and since I was placing an order for custom straws, I figured I might as well make one that said “rad” too.  Even drinking water is way more cool with these, right?!

Custom rad Krazy straw.  Makes a great gift!   //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThere are a ton of different custom straws that you could make.  They are pretty inexpensive and not something you see every day.  These are potentially the best kid’s party favor idea ever.  And I’m totally in love with that charcoal color.  Big thank you to Lauren for helping me shoot them.  Can you imagine how awkward that selfie would have been if I tried to take one of myself using it?

Rad and palm tree //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo have a rad week, won’t you?

Custom name Krazy Straws are the perfect kid's gift idea!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSee, the custom name straws are pretty rad too.  (Originally posted to my Instagram account.  Are we following each other?)

Make your own custom name straw at KrazyStraw.com

**NOT a sponsored post. I think these are awesome and think you will too.

 

Muddled Raspberry Lemonade Recipe

Easy muddled raspberry and meyer lemon infused water.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHappy Wednesday!  In case you missed it, this week I’m sharing a few delicious summery beverages.  Today is Muddled Raspberry Lemonade.  Doesn’t that just scream summer?!  I know it isn’t technically summer yet it certainly is hot in the streets here in CA.  I struggle to get in my 20 gallons of water a day (or however much “they” say we’re supposed to drink).  But I love fruit infused waters.  What I love about these is that you can easily add more fruit to make it more like traditional lemonade.

You will drink this muddled raspberry lemonade all summer long!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI am obsessed with meyer lemons and am so lucky that my parents have a meyer lemon tree.  If I could bottle up that smell and wear it as a perfume I would probably do it.  And who doesn’t like raspberries?!

meyer lemons and raspberries.  Yum!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy muddlers are one of my favorite kitchen tools, ever.  If you don’t have one, get one.  Yes, I’m bossy.  But I use it for drink stuff like this but it is also much handier for chopping up nuts, etc.  A rolling pin can be so big for a job like that.  But these are easy to control and store. [Read more...]