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…

IMAG0232

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.

 

banana-beer

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.

Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

This week’s Thirsty and Tasty features one of my summer favorites – strawberries. While, I’m a vodka girl at heart, rum enhances the tones of strawberries to entirely new level of yumminess.

For the thirsty portion… this is the lovechild of a wild night of ‘romance’ between a rum runner and daiquiri on a Caribbean beach 😉

 DSCN3609

You’ll Need…

1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups strawberries

2 cups spice rum (Caribbean rum)
1 cup coconut rum
2 cups pineapple rum
Orange juice or soda (depending on your preference)
Soak the strawberries in the coconut and pineapple rum overnight. The day you are serving, mix in the spice rum. Add the juice or soda at the time of serving.
For the tasty portion is a jelly I love – I mean will pick an English Muffin over a doughnut if I can have this sort of love.  While, I know few people still can because the stuff in the store is close to the homemade stuff without the gross sticky mess…. But this is unique and sooooo soooo tasty that it’s worth the mess.

DSCN3610

You’ll need:
2lbs 3oz strawberries
1/3 cup water
½ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
3 tablespoons powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons coconut rum

 

What you’ll do:
Wash, hull and chop strawberries. Place strawberries and water into a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes, until very soft and ready to puree. Puree in a blender, food processor or in the pan using an immersion blender or mash to leave chunks if you like! I’m a chunky girl 😉

Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes while you prepare the jam. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in canner until ready to fill with hot jam.

 

Whisk lemon juice and pectin into strawberry puree. Bring to a boil over high heat and then add the sugar all at once. Bring to a rolling boil (will foam a lot, and you cannot stir it down) and keep at a rolling boil for 1 minute. Then turn the heat off and whisk in the coconut rum. Bottle the jam immediately into hot jars.

While you are boiling the jam, place the lids into a pan of previously boiling water. Do not simmer or boil, just let the lids heat through in the few minutes while you make the preserve and then fill the jars, removing the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.

 

Immediately spoon the hot jam into hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, wipe rims and seal.

 

Process sealed jars of jam in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.

 

Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months (I’ve never had a batch last that long). Jar lids should not flex up nor down when pressed.

Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

This week’s tasty and thirsty is brought to you by International dark sky week. I’m so lucky to live less than 2 miles from Lake Michigan, I enjoy the stars often (unless mother nature is having issues and has decided it needs to snow the entire first week of April).

I’m calling the martini – The stroke Of Midnight. While vodka is my go to for martinis, I made this with dark spiced rum for two reasons.

#1 – One of my good friends perferres rum over vodka

#2 – it gave me the color I wanted 🙂

Stroke of Midnight….
1 ½ ozs kahula
1 oz dark spiced rum
1 oz amaretto
½ oz coconut flavored rum

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake until blended. Enjoy 🙂

midnight cake.jpg

I love this cake… it’s moist…it’s chocolate without being in your face chocolate. And it’s dark going with my dark sky theme.

What you need for the Cake:

  • ⅔ cup dark cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa to get that deep dark color and less of the make your teeth hurt sweet)
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee (I used kahula flavored)
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Butter for greasing the pans
  • Cocoa for dusting the pans

What you need for the Frosting:

  • 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark cocoa (again I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa to get that deep dark color)
  • 4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you do to prepare the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder and cayenne with hot brewed coffee and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream shortening, oil and sugar until well combined.
  4. Add eggs and beat until light and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in coffee/cocoa mixture, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until batter is smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet and beat on low speed to incorporate. Scrape down bowl and beat until all ingredients are well combined.
  6. Butter the bottom and sides of two cake pans and sprinkle the inside of the pan with cocoa powder, shaking out excess. Pour batter evenly between two pans and place in center of oven.
  7. Bake 30-40 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate cake pans half way through. The use of olive oil in this recipe requires it to cook a few minutes longer than most cakes.
  8. Cool pans on wire racks for ten minutes then carefully invert out of pan onto rack to cool further.

 

What you do to prepare the Frosting;

  1. Sift cocoa powder with confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and cocoa powder mixture along with buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add additional buttermilk or whole milk if frosting is too thick.
  2. Place a small dollop of frosting on a cake dish to hold the cake from sliding and place one cake on the frosting. Frost the top of that layer. Place the second cake on the first and frost the entire cake, top and sides.

Have a great week!

Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

It’s Spring… the calendar says so but clearly Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo >.< But I'm having a serious case of denial. Totally ignoring the lumpy rain (not really snow but too thick to be just rain) outside. I've painted my toe nails for sandals. This week's thirsty part is ideal for warm weather – my yummy ice coffee. The tasty is my favorite banana pineapple coconut muffin recipe.

Tropical goodness in every bite What you need…
For the muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
For the topping
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup brown sugar

What you do….
Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and vanilla; stir in the pineapple and mashed bananas. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill lined muffin cups with batter, about 2/3 full. Top with a generous amount of coconut topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I love ice coffee! I struggled to make my own because it was always bitter then I found a recipe on Pioneer Woman for ice coffee that didn’t brew the coffee. I tried it… I changed it…I love it 🙂

What you need…iced coffee
1 bag french vanilla Ground Coffee
4 quarts Cold Water
Flavored cream of your choice

In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.
Place coffee liquid in the fridge.

To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add flavored cream of your choice and enjoy.

Thirsty/Tasty Thursday

Golden-New-Year-Goat-2015

Today is the lunar new year, so this week’s thirty/tasty Thursday is in honor of that. It’s Crab Ragoon dip and a purple dragon martini. While, I’ve never made the martini, by the end of the weekend I won’t be able to say that 😉

I know it is the year of the goat not the dragon BUT look at this martini!!!!

This is on my 'to-do' list for the weekend

This is on my ‘to-do’ list for the weekend

I’m sure I’ll use vanilla vodka in place of the plain the recipe calls for. I’ll also probably change the curacao liqueur for blue raspberry vodka. The notes say they used grape cranberry juice – I know I won’t. Don’t care for grape anything. I’m also not sure about the sweet and sour mix….

Ingredients:
3oz vodka
1 1/2oz cranberry juice (I used some with grape to help with the purple color)
1/2oz blue Curacao liqueur
1/2oz sweet and sour mix
1/2oz of 7-Up
2-3 ice cubes

Directions
Mix all ingredients in blender or food processor for 20 to 30 seconds on high speed. Salt the rim of your martini glass

Here is where I found this martini: http://therepowoman.com/purple-dragon-martini-recipe/#ixzz3SBhDwTmB

The dip is one of my favorite to bring dips.

Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips

What you need:

    • 4 green onions, chopped
    • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
    • 2 (6 ounce) cans fancy crabmeat, drained ( can also use imitation Krab)
    • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup sour cream

For wonton chips

    • 32 wonton wrappers
    • vegetable oil

What you do:

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about thirty seconds.  Add all the other ingredients (except wonton chips) and mix well. Pour dip into an oven-safe casserole dish.

Bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees, or until dip is hot and bubbly.

For Wonton chips

Cut wonton wrappers in half on the diagonal. Spray wontons lightly with oil using kitchen spritzer. Turn oven up to 375 degrees. Lay wontons on baking stone or cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake wontons 4-6 minutes or just until golden brown. Watch closely as they burn easily.  Remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate layered with paper towels.

Thirsty and Tasty Thursday

For this week’s Thirsty and Tasty Thursday, I’m featuring white chocolate in honor of Valentines and the great relationship Mother Nature and Ole Man Winter are clearly having >.< I’m all about a great romantic relationship but really I’m ready for Mother Nature to kick Ole Man Winter to the curb.

It's time for Ole Man Winter and Mother Nature to break-up.

It’s time for Ole Man Winter and Mother Nature to break-up.

Hubby and I have no plans for Valentines this year. I’m busy writing for an end of a month deadline getting ready for my 1st writing conference. BUT I may find the time to make this cheesecake ;-p

Lust for Cheesecake

What You Need:
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar, divided
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 cup flour
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3 pkg. (4 oz. each) BAKER’S White Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted, cooled
4 eggs
2 cups fresh raspberries

What You Do:
HEAT oven to 325°F.
BEAT butter, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla in small bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour until well blended; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Prick with fork. Bake 25 min. or until edge is lightly browned.
BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
BAKE 55 min. to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with raspberries just before serving.

And of course, this will be made :-D

And of course, this will be made 😀

Sex in the Snow
1 1/2 ozs creme de cacao (light)
1 1/2 ozs vanilla vodka
3 ozs white chocolate liqueur
Melted white chocolate
Mix all the ingredients together except the white chocolate. Dip your glass in the melted chocolate.

Do you have any favorite Valentine meals or drinks?
Thanks for stopping by

Thirsty/Tasty Thursday

This week’s Thirty/Tasty Thursday is all about coffee. Or coffee things. I have a yummy latte martini and an awesome little cake made in coffee mug 🙂

You just never know ;-P

You just never know ;-P


I love this in a minute cake. I have several baggies with the dry ingredients measured out at work so when the ‘need’ for a doughnut is strong, I omit the vanilla at work and ‘borrow’ a tablespoon from the kiddo’s snack applesauce (I buy their snack stuff so it isn’t stealing). I’ve used flavored applesauce (cherry and strawberry and they work fine). If I’m making it at home, I add the vanilla and will add a little coca to the flour.

Delight in a Mug ~

What you need:

Cake:
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon applesauce, or as needed
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 drops vanilla extract, or to taste

Topping:
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What you do:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a microwave-safe mug until softened, about 10 seconds. Stir white sugar into butter until dissolved. Mix 1/4 cup flour, applesauce, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt into butter-sugar mixture until batter is smooth.
2. Mix 2 teaspoons flour, 1 teaspoon butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl using your hands until the texture of lumpy sand is reached; sprinkle over batter.
3. Cook in the microwave until coffeecake appears to be barely set, 50 to 80 seconds. Cool before eating.

I use flavored coffee for this martini but regular coffee is fine. DSCN1632DSCN1633DSCN1634

After Hours Latte ~

What you need:

4 oz coffee
2 oz Bailey Cream (or similar liqueur)
2 oz vanilla vodka
Whip cream vodka
Chocolate syrup.
What you do:
Mix coffee, vanilla vodka, and Bailey Cream together. Stir in a splash of whip cream vodka and chocolate syrup because no latte is complete without those 😛

Thirsty Thursday

This weekend is the Superbowl and while I’m not a football fan. Hockey, basketball, and baseball – I enjoy but something about football I could never get into. But at no time do I enjoy commercials as much as I do during the Superbowl;-p And it’s a great time with friends.

As you all know, I have a thing for martinis so over the years it has become tradition that I make Skittle flavor vodka in the colors of the teams playing.

I thought I had a picture (or two) of some of the Skittle vodka I've made in the past but nope...

I thought I had a picture (or two) of some of the Skittle vodka I’ve made in the past but nope…

You need…
2 bags of Skittles
Whip Cream or cake flavored vodka (regular vodka can be used but I like the flavored vodka because the end product isn’t so sweet)
A large container with a sealable lid

You do…
Remove all the red or blue Skittles depending on what team you are routing for – the ‘leftovers’ can be used for a different occasion ;-p

Pour off some of the Vodka into a larger container.

Add your Skittles to the bottle.

Replace the cap and shake vigorously.

It takes several hours of intermittent shaking for the Skittles to completely dissolve

Once the Skittles have dissolved you should be left with coloured Vodka and a layer of scum (or ming) will have formed. This ming must be removed.

Pour the Skittles Vodka through a sheet of kitchen paper or a coffee filter using a sieve. This will remove the ming and leave nothing but tasty Skittles flavoured Vodka.

For the Superbowl XLIX martini

You need…

2 parts Skittle vodka
1 part pineapple juice

Thanks for stopping by…