Newlyweds navigating their way through married life – and the kitchen

Category Archives: Thirsty Thursday Drink Series

Ginger Pomegranate Sparkler

I think the days following January 1st should have a disclaimer that reads “Don’t operate any heavy machinery today”.  Ugh.  The excitement level has dropped about 20 notches, our wallets are a lighter, our tummies heavier (or mine anyway) – back to work, back to reality, back to winter in New England (or in whatever area of the world you’re in – although summer’s just starting for you other side of the world’ers – jealous)

BUT on the bright side, it’s a brand new year! So many opportunities & new experiences to get excited about – so while the letdown is inevitable, my mind is turning to all the great new things that 2013 will bring.  As Anne of Green Gables always used to say “Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it”, and a new year is just the same (minus the mistake already made of eating Five Guys for dinner last night – BAD idea – even my forgiving stretchy pants are feeling a little snug today)

I know NYE is already a thing of the past, but I have to share a delicious cocktail concoction that I made to ring in the new year.  A combination of Pomegranate juice, Domaine de Canton (ginger liquor) and a few other goodies, topped with a splash of bubbly  – the perfect libation to end a nearly perfect 2012!

Ginger Pomegranate Sparkler

INGREDIENTS
*yields about 8-10 6oz servings

1 cup Pomegranate Juice
(You could also use cranberry juice or a cran/pomegranate mixture)

1 cup Domaine de Canton (ginger liquor)

Juice of 1 large lime or 2 small ones

1 cup triple sec

1/2 cup brandy

Prosecco

1) In a glass pitcher, combine all ingredients except the Prosecco and let chill for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

2) Once mixture has chilled to your liking, fill 1/2 a champagne flute with the Pom/Ginger mixture and top the rest off with Prosecco.  Feel free to adjust the juice to prosecco ratio, putting more or less of each.  But the 1/2 and 1/2 combination will yield about 10 servings (if served in champagne flutes, which usually hold about 6 ounces).

Yum.  A bit on the boozy side yes, but New Year’s eve is special and deserves a stiff cocktail that’s pink and has bubbles 🙂

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Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

So I know, it’s Sunday – and I’m posting Thirsty Thursday’s cocktail – I’m a bad blogger!  This weekend in Boston was AMMMMAZZZZZNG so I was trying to take advantage of the fabu weather (this is New England afterall – it could be snowing tomorrow).

BUT, I do have a delicious cocktail recipe for you guys, whether it’s for Thirsty Thursday or Friday or Saturday – or heck maybe even Sunday! Who said you can’t enjoy a cocktail on the Sabbath?

I had bought some herbs at a local farmers market, one of them being mint.  I love the smell of fresh mint. It’s just so – minty.  And this mint plant really seemed to take off all of a sudden! And I was afraid that if I didn’t start snipping it and doing something with it, it would die.

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

So what’s the first thing I think of when I think of great uses for fresh mint?  MOJITOS, obvi!  So I decided to make my own mint infused simple syrup.  Most mojito recipes call for simple syrup and mint as well.  So why not infuse the mint into the simple syrup?

The mint simple syrup was super easy to make – 3 ingredients (I swapped out the sugar with Splenda to save some calories) – splenda, water and mint leaves.

Mint Simple Syrup
Adapted from Epicurious.com

INGREDIENTS

1 cup water

1 cup splenda (24 mini packets – oof)

1.5 cups packed mint leaves

1) Chop mint. In a saucepan bring sugar, water and mint to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer syrup, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve, pressing hard on solids, and cool.

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

You can use this right away, or let it sit for up to a week.  It’s so yummy!

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos

INGREDIENTS

3 strawberries, sliced

10 mint leaves, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lime

1.5 oz rum

1 tsp. powdered strawberry drink mix, like Crystal Light

1 tbsp. mint simple syrup

Seltzer water or Club Soda

1) Take the strawberry slices, chopped mint leaves and the lime juice and muddle at the bottom of a cocktail shaker until combined.

Skinny Strawberry MojitosSkinny Strawberry Mojitos

2) To the muddled mixture, add the rum, strawberry drink mix and simple syrup to the cocktail shaker. Shake for about 10-15 seconds until the liquid is fully combined with the muddled fruit.

3)  Fill a glass with ice – pour the mixture from the cocktail shaker into the glass and then fill the remainder of the glass with seltzer or club soda.

So, by the power vested in me, go – go now – make yourself one of these mojitos! I’ts Sunday, tomorrow’s Monday, so that means you need to live up these last few hours of the weekend as much as possible. And I would advise doing it with one of these in your hand (maybe in both hands! They’re skinny, so you can have two….or three…..or ten:))

Skinny Strawberry Mojitos


Skinny Margharita Pops

Is this the easy and delicious week or what?

This recipe my friends, is again – easy – healthy – and delicious.  Three ingredients.  Three Weight Watchers Points.  It’s my Cinco de Mayo gift to you!

Does anyone else love Bethenny? I feel like people either love her or hate her (Dave I hate to say is not in agreeance with me on her fabulousness – there’s been many a fight on Monday nights during Bethenny Ever After as to our conflicting opinions on her overall character)  But for me personally, one of my favorite things about her is her Skinny Girl line of drinks, that allow us gals (and maybe guys) watching our figure to still indulge in our favorite cocktails without the guilt (and we still get the buzz!)

So when trying to figure out a fun Cinco de Mayo treat, I thought of popsicles – but Tequila doesn’t freeze! (or according to many a google search, you have to have a super freezer to get alcohol to freeze – we’re lucky if our freezer keeps a pint of Ben and Jerry’s frozen)  So I turned to Bethenny’s Skinny Girl Margharita, the original liquid genius and came up with a plan B.

And here is plan B 🙂

Skinny Strawberry Margharita Pops

INGREDIENTS
(makes about 9 pops)

1 Bottle of SkinnyGirl Margharita

1 bag of frozen strawberries (or box of fresh)

1 – 2 individual Strawberry flavored drink mix (such as Crystal Light)

5 oz Dixie Cups

Popsicle Sticks

1)  Place first three ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.

2) Take 1/2 cup of the mixture and pour it into each dixie cup (1/2 cup = 4oz)

Skinny Girl Pops

3) Place in the freezer for about an hour.  After an hour, the mix will have frozen a bit, and at this time you can put the popsicle sticks in and they will stand up on their own.

4) Let freeze a couple more hours or overnight (SGM freezes pretty fast!)

5) Remove from dixie cups – garnish with lime wedge and salt/sugar if desired (that will increase the WW points)

As a fair warning, these bad boys melt pretty fast, so while I don’t wish a brain freeze on anyone, try to make it speedy when eating these!

That’s it! Go crazy! Ay ay ay ay ay!!!!! Fiesta! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

 Skinny Margharita Pops


Happy birthday Al!

Not only is it Thirsty Thursday, it’s Al’s birthday! In my group of gal pals from home, Al is the ‘baby’ of the group and on this Thirsty Thursday she is turning 28.  Ahhh I remember 28 – it was a good year.  The automobile was invented that year (haha just kidding – I’m not THAT old!)

To celebrate Al and the big 2-8, I’m havin’ the gals over for some food and drinks – it’s always nice to have a legitimate reason to have drinks on a Thursday night!

Now that it’s getting closer to summer time, I’m thinking of sangria.  I absolutely love sangria – I love that you can make it a zillion different ways, and with a zillion different combinations and it always seems to be a crowd pleaser with any group.  And these ladies are a great group that deserve a delicious Thursday night cocktail!

So tonight, I’m taking a stab at Peach Iced Tea Sangria – I feel as though this could turn out really well or really badly, since I can’t really picture the tea flavoring with sangria.  Welp here goes nothing!

Peach Iced Tea Sangria

INGREDIENTS

1  Box of Fish EyePinot Grigio
*
Or you could use 4 – 750ml. bottles of P.G., but nothing says classy like a box of wine

2 quart packets of Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea

8 cups of water

1 cup orange juice

1 cup Sweet Tea Vodka

1/3 cup simple syrup
*Cal friendly version – 8 packets splenda & 1/3 cup water)

Fruit of choice 
*I used grapes and green apples, but peaches and rasberries would probably be best – apparently they’re not in season just yet (although I did get my hands on some after I had already made the sangria)

1) Cut fruit and place in the bottom of a large beverage container with a spout.

2)  Add all ingredients and stir together.

A round of slap-the-bag anyone?

3) Place in the refrigerator and chill overnight (if possible – if not, for at least an hour or two – chilling is key in sangria making!)

4) Put some fruit in a glass and fill the remainder with the sangria.  Enjoy!

As I said, I think when making sangria, the amount of time you chill it is key.  When I first tested this before putting in the fridge, it tasted really boozey, and I was a little bit worried that it wasn’t going to taste good.  But, almost 24 hours later, this sangria no joke tasted just like Peach Iced Tea – you could barely even taste the wine and vodka! Which is AWESOME but dangerous, so drink with caution 🙂

Obviously, this recipe is for a large serving – bascially a doubled recipe of regular sangria, so for a smaller crowd, you could just cut it in half.

So cheers to Al!  And to birthdays!  And to tomorrow being friday!

 


It’s another Thirsty Thursday – and it’s game 4 of the Bruins vs. Capitals playoff series – and man has it been a nail biter so far!  Luckily for me though, I did not spend this Thursday at home alone – Dave had a hockey game last night, so tonight, he’s home, and ready to participate in the awesomeness that is Thirsty Thursday 🙂  Since last week’s Stanley Cup seemed to bring some luck to the Bruins (or that’s what I tell myself anyway) I thought I’d give a Bruins themed cocktail a go again. 

I have been seeing a lot of recipes for blueberry vodka w/ lemonade, which sounds amazing.  So I took this recipe from Keep It Simple Foods and modified it to make it Bruins appropriate – how’d I do it? Swapped ‘Blue’berries with ‘Black’berries!  Genius!

This drink is coming to you 24 hours in the making, as the recipe calls for infusing the vodka with the blackberries overnight, to give the flavors time to meld (i.e. give the blackberries plenty of time to soak in as much vodka as possible) So last night, that’s what I did, and boy was it hard to wait a whole day!

Basically, I took a carton of blackberries (which equals about 1/2 cup – well more if I hadn’t eaten some), put them in a mason jar, and filled to the top (or almost the top) with Vodka.  Then tick-tock, tick-tock…..

Tonight, I got home, opened the fridge, and the vodka had turned a beautiful shade of purple (or ‘black’ – right) and I was ready to start shakin’!

Bruins Black and Yellow

INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz (1 shot) Blackberry infused vodka

3 oz (2 shots) water

1.5 oz (1 shot) simple syrup (I made my own cal’ friendly version with 1/4 cup of water and 6 splenda packets – makes enough simple syrup for 3-4 drinks, incase you’re extra thirsty!)

Juice of 2 Lemons

Splash of seltzer (optional – I used Polar Triple Berry)

1)  First step is to drain the vodka from the mason jar, using a strainer to separate the vodka from the berries (and save those berry! That is valuable fruit and booze!)

Hello Blackberry Vodka - I waited a long time for you!

Don't be fooled by these innocent looking berries - they pack a mean punch

2) In a cocktail shaker mix blackberry vodka, water, lemon juice and simple syrup – shake a minute or so.  If you think the lemon juice is too tart, you can always add more simple syrup.

3)  Fill a glass with ice and the berries from the jar, pour the mixture over ice, and then top off with seltzer water (if you like the fizz)

4) Garnish with a lemon and enjoy!

I gotta say, this is probably my favorite TT drink so far – it is light and refreshing, the perfect summer drink! I was really hoping it’d be a little more ‘black and yellow’, but pink is a good alternative I suppose.  And the best part is that all in all, it’s a pretty healthy drink, made with all fresh fruit and simple syrup made with splenda (and that means you can drink more of them!)

Unfortunately it didn’t bring a win to the Bruins, but two of these delicious libations definitely helped to soften the blow of the loss for their biggest fan 🙂

Spotted - Dave - drinking a pink cocktail - in a Bruins jersey - Cam Neely would be horrified


 This Thirsty Thursday is a special one – the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins are playing their first playoff game of the 2012 season in Boston against the Washington Capitals (no need to hyperlink the competition)! Can they do it again? I sure think so!

Dave is a ginormous bruins fan – I think his first words may have been Cam Neely – or maybe 2nd and 3rd words. So last year was really special for he and his family, and me being a fan-by-marriage (or dating at that point). There’s nothing greater than seeing a person relish in such joy for a team that they’ve loved and stuck by for years and years of disappointing losing seasons.

Proud bruins fans with the Stanley Cup! (well, not the real one – but I bet that water cooler jug covered by aluminum foil had you fooled didn’t it???)

So tonight, while Dave was at his hockey game, I cheered the Bruins on from the couch (obviously flipping back and forth to Real Housewives during intermission).  For kicks, I googled “Boston Bruin Cocktails” and found an article from last June in Boston.com and it featured a bunch of restaurants and bars throughout the city that were celebrating the Stanley Cup win with special cocktails honoring the Bruins.  The “Stanley Cup”, featured at Met Back Bay looked particularly interesting to me – and while it listed the ingredients that it consisted of, it did not give the ratio of each, so I was on my own to produce the perfect libation.

And what better to serve with a manly cocktail? A manly pizza! We LOOOOVE making pizza – it’s a once a week meal (sometimes twice) and while we’re usually pretty boring with our selections, tonight I really wanted to shake it up, so I decided that Mexican pizza was going to be the flavor of the night. 

Oooh.  I want these right now….

Boston Bruins ‘Stanley Cup’


INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz (1 shot) Vodka

3 oz. (2 shots) White Cranberry Juice

1.5 oz (1 shot) Domaine de Canton (ginger liquor)

Juice of 1 lime

1) Add vodka, white cranberry juice, Domaine de Canton and juice of 1 lime to a cocktail shaker with a couple of ice cubes.  Shake for about a minute, until foamy.

2) Serve in a chilled glass (perhaps a manly pint glass vs. a girly martini glass).

 Mexican Pizza

INGREDIENTS

1 Ball of pizza dough (HIGHLY recommend this kind – it makes a delicious pizza)

1 cup of pizza sauce

2 cups of black beans

1 cup corn

1 lb 99% fat free chicken tenders

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

juice of 1 lime

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 cups (or so) pizza cheese (mexican blend recommended)

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees

2)  Roll out pizza dough and place on pizza stone (*note – if you don’t have a pizza stone, GET ONE – it will change your life – or maybe just your pizza)

 

3) Take 1 cup pizza sauce and 1 cup of black beans and puree in a food processor til’ combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

4) Chop chicken tenders into small pieces (1/2″-1″) and cook over medium heat in a sauce pan with minced garlic until cooked through.

5)  To the cooked chicken, add the other cup of black beans, cup of corn, cumin, chili powder, and juice of 1 lime.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until all the spices have combined (about 5 minutes or so).

6) Spread the pizza sauce over the dough.  Then add the chicken/black bean/corn mixture to the top of the sauce.  The sprinkle the cheese over the top. 

7)  Cook for about 10 minutes or until you’ve reached desired level of golden-bubbliness.

Mexican Pizza

Even though I had to indulge in this meal alone, it was so delicious.  The Stanley Cup is a light and refreshing drink, reminiscent of a cosmo, but the Domaine de Canton gives it a little more zip – and you know I love zip!  And the Mexican Pizza, while I am not a horn tooter –  SO GOOD! Like a delicious taco on a pizza.  The mixture of the black beans with the pizza sauce just really punches up the flavor of a plain old pizza sauce and mixes so well with the other ingredients.

Dave prides himself on being ‘better’ at making pizza then me, and when he got home at midnight for his hockey game and shoveled 2 pieces down, I felt like I had done him proud 🙂

So cheers to pizza, the ‘stanley cup’ and to the Bruins who won 1-0 in overtime! Wooooo! 

   


“Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind” – Anyone? Snoop Dog? Circa 1995? Is this thing on?

I don’t know about you guys, but I think Thursday night is a great time to try out a new drink.

While out with some gal friends on Wednesday night, I had the most delicious drink called the “Marie Antoinette” which was so tasty (tasty enough to lose your head over – in the guillotine – like Marie Antoinette – guess it’s not funny if you have to explain it eh?) that I tried to recreate it in my very own kitchen.  Dave and I got a juicer for our wedding that I have just been dying to use, so this was the perfect opportunity to sip’ on some gin and freshly sqeezed ‘juice’ if you will – grapefruit juice that is!


I usually feel as though my mixology is never quite up to par with what a professional bartender would produce, but I gotta say, this tasted pretty good – so good that I think I had a few too many and was feeling pretty glad that tomorrow is Friday.  Ooof.

INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz (1 Shot) Gin

1 oz (1/2 Shot, give or take) St. Germain

1.5 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice 

Splash of Orange Juice

Splash of Champagne (or Fresca if you want to add some carbonation, but non-alcoholic carbonation)

1)  Add gin, st. germain, grapefruit juice and orange juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 10 seconds until foamy

2) Pour mixture into a martini glass and top off with a splash of champagne (or Fresca).

Enjoy! (but beware :))



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