Thirsty and Tasty Thursday

Welcome on this first day of March. It’s been a crazy crazy week so I’m in need of some thirsty. The ‘nice’ me is doing a Facebook hop – here is the link if you want to participate (over 49 authors doing give aways and sharing their amazing books) –

fb hop

Enough of the commercial 😉 let’s get to the important stuff….For today’s thirsty, I’m going to share my Between The Seasons. And some serious comfort food – Over the top Ziti bake.

Between The Seasons



Not winter…not spring

This is the only layered drink I make. This one came out prefect…that’s not always the case. I call this Between the Seasons because March is winter nor is it spring here in Michigan.

The ‘spring’ layer is strawberry – the hint of what is to come.

The ‘winter’ layer (that sort of looks yellow in the picture) is the reminder of winter – which isn’t totally gone.

Winter layer –

1 part whip cream vodka

1 part coconut rum

1 part citrus vodka

Mix and pour into the glass.

Spring Layer

1 part strawberry simple sugar

2 parts strawberry vodka ( I like homemade infused strawberry vodka …. not crazy about the pre flavored one)

Pour spring layer gently over a spoon. Add ice and enjoy remembering winter and thinking ahead.


March is a giant hiccup of warm and cold. Sometimes, I get dizzy from the bouncing temperature. So on a day of lumpy rain, I love to make Over the Top Ziti Bake.

1 box of ziti noodle
.5 lb of sweet Italian sausage
1 lb of chicken mozzarella basil sausage
1 package of pepperoni
24 Italian meatballs
1 large jar of favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup Italian dressing
1 small onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
1 16 oz ricotta cheese
1 16 oz Italian cheese blend
1 12 oz package of mozzarella basil and garlic cheese
Garlic, rosemary, thyme to taste

1. In crockpot place all the meat and spaghetti sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours
One hour before eating…
2. Place the box of ziti noodles in a large pot of boiling water cook for 15 minutes. Drain
Preheat oven to 350
3. Pour dressing over the warm noodles and stir.
4. Add noodles to meat mixture and pour into an oven proof pan.
5. Mix in onion, pepper, and cheeses.
Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.






Thirsty and Tasty Thursday

First of all happy…Margarita_Day

In honor of this great holiday today’s Tasty and Thirsty Thursday recipes will feature tequila 🙂

First let’s take of the thirsty… I love margarita’s but I’m not a big fan of the store mixes so I started making my own infused tequila. I had several failures. The tequila didn’t ‘absorb’ the flavor of the fruit. The fruit would knock you on your butt…

Then I used strawberries I had left over from shortcake. The tequila took on an amazing strawberry flavor. The difference?







To Make Infused Tequila…


fruit of your choice (Blackberry is my fav but blood orange is a close second)





Crush the fruit with sugar on it. Let stand for an hour or so. Squeeze in  the juice of a lime (if you’re a zesty person…zest the lime.)

Mix fruit and tequila together in a sealable jar.

Give it 5 to 7 days to mingle. Then pour and enjoy.

And for the Tasty….it’s one of fav pot luck recipes. I love love love this dish. It’s easy to throw together. Makes a ton. And is super yummy…

What you need:

1 cup red onion
1 minced jalapeno
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 roasted chicken, boned, skin discarded and shredded
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
5 ounces mozzarella, grated
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup diced Roma tomatoes, for garnish

What you do:
Mix the red onion, jalapeno, red bell pepper, chicken, sea salt, ground black pepper, chopped garlic, cilantro leaves, and tequila in large bag. Let it hang out for a couple of hours. No more than 4.

Pour into large oven proof pan. Stir in cream cheese and lemon juice.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Add cheeses and return to oven for another 10 minutes. Roll in flour shells.



T & T

This week’s Thirsty and Tasty Thursday was a struggle for me… I have awesome things to share for Fat Tuesday and Valentines (which is going to lead to my yoga pants being tooooo tight).

So what recipes do I share??? Do we do Fat Tuesday drinks and Valentine yummy OR Fat Tuesday yummy and Valentine drinks. Let me tell you the struggle was real!

Anyway I decided to do Fat Tuesday yummy and Valentine drinks.

We always celebrate Fat Tuesday just because it’s fun and great food is involved. I make 3 pig pancakes and Cajun blood orange juice for breakfast and lunch varies depending on if I have to work. We always have a party where kids play games and eat. I make shrimp po-bois, loaded sideways grits (this is crock-pot dish so that is why its a dinner thing), and Cajun crab dip.

I also make a King’s Cake. However, I leave the plastic doll out. I know I can’t write a book without someone being killed in a horrible way but this idea creeps the crap out of me.

I don’t make my own batter, I use frozen bread dough that I let thaw and raise during the day. I’ve tried the biscuits in the tube but that doesn’t do it for me.

I let the kids sprinkle the cake with the colored sugar when it’s done.

kings cake

·         FILLING:

·         1 cup packed brown sugar

·         1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

·         2/3 cup chopped pecans

·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour

·         1/2 cup raisins

·         1/2 cup melted butter


·         FROSTING:

·         1 cup confectioners’ sugar

·         1 tablespoon water

Purple, green, and yellow colored sugar


1.    Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.

2.    Roll dough out into large rectangle (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends roll together to form oval shaped ring. Place ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

3.    Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

 And now for Valentine drink… I have one that I call TOO DRUNK FOR SEX and I was going to do that one but then I decided to share that for Martini Saturday on Facebook (be sure to check it out…it’s super yummy) but I decided to share my chocolate cherry martini. I don’t have a pic of it so I’m sharing an internet pic. I love love this drink. chocolate-covered-cherry-martini

I use crème de cocoa instead of Godiva because it’s cheaper and the Bailey’s is super creamy so I use Godiva is drinks it star not compete 🙂 I also use whip cream flavored vodka.

My verison…

2 parts Bailey’s

1 part Crème de Cocoa

1 part cherry flavored vodka

1/2 part whip cream flavored vodka

Mix and enjoy.



Tasty Thirsty Thursday

French Toast Shake-up….

For today’s tasty and thirsty the flavor is …. French Toast.

French Toast is a favorite in my house. As breakfast treat and a Saturday night martini 😉

This week I’m going to share my recipe for ‘stuffed’ French Toast bites. I came up with recipe in an effort to use leftover hot dog buns. And well the drink was created on lazy Saturday night when I needed a little ‘comfort.’

20180122_111135.jpgFrench Toast Bites

What you need: 

Hot dog buns

The following portion depends on how many hot dog buns you have:

Cream cheese (plain or any flavor you desire)


Milk or cream



Fresh fruit if desired

What you do:

If you are adding fruit to plain cream cheese:

Mix ½ cup of sliced fruit slightly sweetened into 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese.



Spread a thick layer of the cream cheese on to the hot dog bun.  Cut into fourths.

Mix egg(s), cream or milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in a swallow dish. Dip each of the fourths into the mixture.

Place in on a warm skillet. Turn to toast each side.



A little breakfast comfort at night 😊 I think this would make a yummy cocktail at a celebration brunch, I just haven’t had a chance to try it.

French Toast Martini

2 parts Cinnabon liqueur

1 part cake vodka

½ part vanilla vodka20180106_195129.jpg

½ part Strawberry vodka


Mix in a shaker with ice. Pour into your favorite glass.



Thirsty and Tasty Thursday

Summer is almost done 😥 Actually for me it is. I went back to the crazy day job on Monday…

But never fear this week’s Thirsty and Tasty is features some summer yumminess…. Blueberries.


This is actually one of favorite summer drinks and I can’t believe I have done it on T&T before. It’s light. It’s refreshing. It has blueberries. And Rum – 2 flavors. So what’s not to like?


What you need:

  • 2 lemon slices
  • 8 blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 part light rum
  • 2 parts coconut rum

What you do:

  1. In a rocks glass or cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon slices, blueberries and brown sugar together. Pour into a tom collins glass, then fill the glass with ice. Pour the rum over the ice.
  2. Garnish with additional blueberries and a wedge of lemon.


While I love love love this cake, I don’t make it as often as I want because… well because… I eat it – A LOT of it.


What you need for the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • For the topping
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup toasted flake coconut
  • What you do:
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl; set aside. Toss the blueberries in a little of the flour mixture until coated; set aside.
  3. Beat the shortening and 1 cup sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Pour in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the floured blueberries, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
  4. To make the topping, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, and the cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender until no small pieces of butter remain. Stir in the toasted coconut, then sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

This week’s tasty and thirsty is featuring bananas… I’m on the last week before returning to the crazy job so things are just a bananas anyway so I thought I should enjoy the actually fruit.

The martini – Spank the Monkey – just because I had soooo much fun telling my kids that me and hubby were going to Spank the Monkey…. my kids are very much of the mind set that a wild time for hubby and me is playing a game of checkers.

Anyway back to the martini. I had to play with the ratios a lot in this drink for some reason so all three flavors could be detected. It’s made with coconut vodka, pineapple vodka, and banana cream rum.

In a martini shaker with several cubes of ice add 1 part pineapple vodka, 1 1/2 part coconut vodka, and 2 parts banana cream rum. Then do the crazy monkey dance to blend. Pour into martini glass and ENJOY…


For the banana tasty part, I’m sharing my recipe for banana bread using banana beer. I’ve shared this before a couple of years ago but it really is good and I’m not sure if there is a time that banana bread just does make everything better. I’m planning on trying the banana bread waffles that has been showing up on my timeline this weekend.



This is also really good in chocolate chip cookies

Banana Beer Bread

What you need:

1¾ cups all ­purpose flour

¾ cup granulated sugar

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup walnuts, chopped

¾ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3 medium bananas, mashed

⅓ cup melted butter

¼ cup beer (highly recommend Wells Banana Bread Beer)

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan.
  3. In a large bowl blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the bananas, butter and beer. Fold the wet mixture into the dry, combining until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared load pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until awooden toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and the top is golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 5­10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.


What is your favorite banana recipe?

Tasty Thursday

This week I’m still on my strawberry kick. Michigan has awesome strawberries but they are only available for a couple of weeks so I try to do as much as possible with them during that time.

I have another jam recipe. (Check out last weeks Tasty Thursday for Strawberry Coconut Rum jam). Strawberry Rhubarb is one of my favorite combos add pineapple and I’m close to heaven. This recipe is also a favorite for those who don’t want to use a pectin product or ‘mess’ with the ‘canning’ process.

The pancake recipe is a my families favorite – hands down. I make it every fourth of July and several other times through out the summer. I’ve never done it with frozen fruit in the sauce, I’m sure it would be fine just a little watery. But are some recipes that I like to do only at certain times and this is one I reserve just for the summer months.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pineapple Jam

What you need:

  • 1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 10 cups rhubarb, fresh
  • 10 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 – 3 ounce packages strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup pineapple flavored rum

What you do:

  1. In a saucepan, combine fresh rhubarb, sugar and water.
  2. Bring mixture to a low boil and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Add (drained) crushed pineapple and strawberry Jello to mixture.
  4. Return to heat and cook on a low boil for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and immediately pour into hot, sterilized canning jars.
  6. Place canning lids and rings on jars and allow jars to cool to room temperature.
  7. Store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with lemon curd blueberry strawberry sauce

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Butter, for griddle
  • 1 (11-ounce) jar prepared lemon curd
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries – washed
  • 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries – sliced thinly


What you do:

  1. Preheat a nonstick griddle.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Brush the hot griddle with butter. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Repeat until no batter remains.
  6. Empty the contents of the lemon curd into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Add fresh blueberries and strawberries. Heat 2 more minutes.  Drizzle a few tablespoons of the curd mixture over the pancakes.

I’d love to hear of some your seasonal favorites.

Thirsty & Tasty Tuesday

Love cherry trees in the spring

Love cherry trees in the spring

It’s cherry season in Michigan. So I’m sharing a couple of my favorite cherry recipes for Thirty & Tasty Tuesday. Everyone LOVES cherry pie, cherry fritters, and cherry cheesecake but I did non-desert recipes. Amazing I know. Both are made in the crock-pot so they work great in the summer – dump and forget while playing in the sun. They also work great in the winter for beating back the “it’s-snowing-again” blues.

What you need:
2 (15 oz.) Cans Cherries Pie mix
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 (32 oz.) Bottle Cherry Juice
2 Cups cherry Vodka
Cherries for the jars (optional)
3 Quart jars with lids and rings
What you do…
1. Add the sugar, cherry juice and both cans of cherries to the crock-pot.
2. Cook on low for 1 hour to 2 hours or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is heated.
3. Allow the mixture to cool.
4. Once the liquid has cooled, add in the vodka.
5. Drop ten to twelve cherries in 3 quart jars
6. Pour mixture into jars and seal with lids and store in the refrigerator up to 6 months.
Shake before serving.

What you need:

1 boneless pork loin roast (3 to 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup cherry preserves
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

What you do…
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown roast on all sides.
2. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix preserves, cherries, vinegar and brown sugar until blended; pour over roast. Cook, covered, on low 3-4 hours or until tender (a thermometer inserted in pork should read at least 145°).
3. Remove roast from slow cooker; tent with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Skim fat from cooking juices. Serve pork with sauce.

What are some of your favorite recipes featuring cherries?

What are some of your favorite cherry recipes?

What are some of your favorite cherry recipes?

Snacking Saturday

Welcome to the new theme of Saturday… snacks. I love to snack and yes doughnuts are my favorite BUT I also do have a lengthily list of healthy and like today’s not so healthy snack recipes that I’m excited to share with you.

It’s our turn to host the hockey party. It doesn’t really matter if I’m hosting or attending, there is always one recipe that is requested my – Pizza Dip. I mean what’s not to like??? Oozy cheese…pepperoni…bacon…oozy cheese…
Here is the recipe I use as a base but add or subtract ingredients to make it fit your party.
Things you need:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
Some things you might want to add:

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
4 ounces fried Italian sausage
5 slices fried bacon
2 ounces sliced pepperoni
2 tablespoons sliced black olives, sliced

Unbelievable yumminess

Unbelievable yumminess

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, garlic powder, dried
oregano, parsley and basil.
2. Spread cream cheese mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, and sprinkle ½ cup of mozzarella and ½
cup of Parmesan on the cream cheese mixture.
3. Top with the pizza sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the pizza sauce.
4. Top with your choice of adds.
5. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.
– If you are short on time, you can cover your microwave safe dish and place into the microwave
for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and heated through.
– I sprinkle a little Italian seasoning on top of my cheese and toppings for an added kick
– Can be served with pita chips, toasted Italian bread, bread sticks, bagel chips.

I’d love to hear some of your favorite snacks – healthy or not 🙂

Tasty Thursday

I celebrate May Day in a couple of ways. The morning celebration is ‘surprising’ my neighbors and friends with ‘May Day’ baskets. I hang them on their door first thing in the morning (I’m talking 4:00 am).

These are the ones I made last year

These are the ones I made last year

And of course food and drinks are involved in the evening celebration. Today, I’m sharing my Mushroom Goat Cheese Bake – next week is drink 😀 (It’s my transition from wine to vodka – I drink wine in the winter and vodka in the summer).

What you need:
12 ounces of any variety of mushrooms you enjoy
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 ounces soft goat cheese, cut into 4 rounds
2 cups spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
2 tablespoons white wine
What you do:
Clean mushrooms and slice. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and cook garlic, mushrooms, and chives over medium heat until just tender. Season with salt and pepper. Lift mushrooms out of pan with slotted spoon onto lightly oiled baking sheet, dividing into 4 portions. Place goat cheese round in center of each pile. Bake at 400°F about 4 minutes, until cheese melts and browns slightly.
Do you have any welcome Spring celebration, dishes, or drinks? I’d love to hear about them.