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.






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 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 😉


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.


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!

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?