Carolina Sweet Tart

Carolina Sweet Tart

After we became engaged Colm and I talked a lot about where to get married. We had no family in Connecticut (we didn’t move to North Carolina until much later) and I really didn’t want to go back to Iowa to get married when most of our friends were out East. Colm joked that we should get married in Belfast (Northern Ireland, where he is from). And I said “Yes, we should! That would be amazing!” We arranged a trip to Ireland that February to make plans. Colm told me he knew the perfect place to have our wedding, Belfast Castle. We would be in Belfast on Valentine’s Day so Colm surprised me with reservations at their wonderfully extravagant prix fixe dinner. A friend of Colm’s worked at the castle and arranged for us to have …

Purple Passion Potion #5

Purple Passion Potion #5

Many moons ago, when I was in college, there was this “totally awesome” drink made out of Everclear called Purple Passion. It came in a 4 pack or a 2 liter bottle, tasted a little like grape soda on steroids and was very popular with college girls (of legal drinking age, of course) because it didn’t have a super strong taste of alcohol. The bonus was you only needed a couple drinks to feel buzzed. It made a resurgence in the mid-90’s and again in 2014, but they changed the recipe and it was never as good as the original. I was feeling very nostalgic for Purple Passion the other day looking through some old photos, so I decided to set out and recreate the recipe. I didn’t have any Everclear …

How About Them Apples [Caramel Apple Sangria recipe]

How About Them Apples [Caramel Apple Sangria recipe]

One of my favorite things in the fall, aside from colorful leaves and cooler weather, is all the fresh, yummy apples! And with October designated as National Apple Month it’s the perfect time to take a bite out of all the yummy varieties available! My all-time favorite apple is the honeycrisp. It’s delicious, sweet and crisp with a firm flesh, making it an ideal apple to eat raw, and perfect for a yummy sangria. Some juicy apple facts… The apple is a “pome”. A fruit that is created from the fusion of outer flower parts and ovaries. Apple trees take from 2 to 10 years to produce their first fruit. It depends on the apple variety, and whether they are dwarf or full-sized trees. Sunny days and cool nights along with the rich soil help …

Margarita Monday - Cranberry Margarita [recipe]

Cranberry Margarita

It’s no secret that I love margaritas. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but in the fall I especially love to make cranberry margaritas. The perfect mix of sweet and tart. A festive cocktail for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time of the year! This is a great recipe everyone will love so be sure to make a big batch to share! I used Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice with lime, but you can substitute 100% cranberry juice or even Cran-grape or Cran-apple juice if you like! Kate Kelly – My Mommy Brain Yields 6 ServingsCranberry MargaritaRecipe adapted from Shawnda Horn, as seen on My Recipes.com10 minPrep Time 10 minTotal Time Save Recipe Print Recipe My Recipes My Lists My Calendar Ingredients1 1/2 C fresh or thawed frozen cranberries3/4 C …

National Hot Chocolate Day

National Hot Chocolate Day

Today is National Hot Chocolate Day! So excited about this. Hot chocolate is one of my favorite hot beverages. You can keep your coffees and lattes! In honor of National Hot Chocolate Day I’m going to share with you my two favorite recipes for Hot Chocolate. This first recipe can be made on the stove top or in the crock pot.  I use the stove because my crock pot’s low setting gets hotter than most and I’m afraid I’ll scorch the milk. If using in a crock pot, mix all the ingredients together and cook on low for two hours. For those of you who do not like Nutella, like my weirdo friend Sarah ;-), you can substitute it with 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips. I like to use milk …

Tasty Tuesday – Dole Pineapple Whip

Tasty Tuesday – Dole Pineapple Whip

If you’ve been to Disney World or Disneyland in the last 10 years or so, I’m fairly certain you have heard of a Dole Pineapple Whip… if not, it’s about time you did!! Truthfully, until a friend sent me this recipe from Food.com, I had never heard of a pineapple whip before! I haven’t been to Disney World since before I was married, when my husband Colm (my boyfriend at the time) and two friends met me down in Orlando for a long weekend. And I don’t remember seeing a Dole Pineapple Whip. Of course we spent a lot of time on Pleasure Island partaking in adult beverages so I wasn’t exactly looking for one. When I made the Food.com recipe it was just okay. I knew I could make it better so I, …

Tasty Tuesday - Not So Sweet Tea

Not So Sweet Tea

I love iced tea. When I was little my mom would make iced tea all summer long and I always had to drink from her glass. For some reason it tasted better than the glass of iced tea I poured for myself. (My kids do this to me now and it irritates me to no end. So sorry mom!!) We have been living in North Carolina for just over a year now. I’m very much enjoying the Southern hospitality, mild winters, beautiful fall weather, and early spring gardens. I love nearly everything about the South. Except for the summer heat and–please don’t lynch me–sweet tea. It’s too sweet and there is a bitter aftertaste I just can’t stomach. After trial and error I found a perfect alternative to traditional Southern sweet …

Thirsty Thursday - Frozen Strawberry Starburst

Frozen Strawberry Starburst

Well, I did it! I survived the first day of summer break. It was touch and go there for a while. My kids tried their hardest to drive me insane, but I made it through. Barely. So for my heroics, I decided I deserved a yummy grownup treat! I looked through my liquor cabinet, also known as the kitchen counter (and freezer), and found the perfect combination. I purchased the ingredients to make a special shooter for a party we were going to have a few weeks ago, but I had to cancel when my 7 YO went missing… more on that at another time. Since it was hot here in North Carolina today I decided to grab the blender and make myself a frozen concoction. A little vanilla vodka, …

Tasty Tuesday - Spicy Sexy Sipping Chocolate

Spicy Sipping Chocolate

Disclosure: I received a sample of the EZY Chef Milk Frother to review in this post, but the recipe, thoughts and opinions are my own. In our house we have a love affair with hot chocolate. There is nothing better than a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold day. I’m not a big fan of the taste of powdered hot chocolate mix, but it’s convenient and the kids like it. So I used to buy several of the giant, economy-sized containers. My kids would make themselves hot chocolate (and a huge mess for me to clean up) all winter long. But then one day I discovered sipping chocolate. Now I’m not talking about the amazingly thick pudding-like sipping chocolate you will find in Europe, but the lovely rich cup of hot, frothy …