Ice Cream flavors based on your favorite cocktails

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What’s better than an ice cold cocktail on a hot summer day? An ice cream flavor based on your favorite cocktail, of course! In the sizzling month of August, sometimes even a well-chilled and iced glass of Aperol Spritz isn’t enough to cool you down. On those days, it’s best to have a boozy ice cream waiting for you in your freezer.

As someone who eats ice cream nearly every day, I can tell you that it taste so much better when you make it yourself. It’s all worth it when you start scooping.

Making ice cream is very similar to making a cocktail…both require few ingredients…the flavorings and fruit make it special. It’s fun to get creative and combine ingredients to share for all to enjoy.  Fruity liqueurs like Aperol, Limoncello and crème de cassis can give ice cream a distinctive flavor and personality.  For an added unique flavor, use a fresh vanilla bean. The seeds of a vanilla bean impart a floral aroma that goes well with the liqueurs and the scattering of dark speckles add to the beauty of the ice cream. Try these three summer cocktails to turn into ice cream… Aperol Spritz, Kir Royal, and Limoncello Spritzer

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Aperol Ice Cream

6 large eggs
1 large vanilla bean
4 T Aperol
1 ½ C whole milk
1 ½ C heavy crème
¾ sugar
*optional 1/8 tsp orange oil

Separate the eggs in a bowl. Split vanilla bean, add milk, 1 cup of crème, and sugar to a saucepan with the vanilla bean. Add remaining ½ C crème to the bowl with the egg yolks (I like to save the egg whites for breakfast). Whisk the yolks and crème. Temper the egg yolks (add about ¼ C of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture so they don’t scramble). Then add it all to the milk mixture. Stir on medium low heat until the back of a wooden spoon is coated. Add Aperol. Strain custard and discard vanilla bean. Cool, chill, then churn.

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Kir Royale Ice Cream

6 large eggs
1 large vanilla bean
4 T crème de cassis             
1 ½ C whole milk
1 ½ C heavy crème
¾ sugar
1 C rasberries, crushed

Separate the eggs in a bowl. Split vanilla bean, add milk, 1 cup of crème, and sugar to a saucepan with the vanilla bean. Add remaining ½ C crème to the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk the yolks and crème. Temper the egg yolks (add about ¼ C of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture so they don’t scramble). Then add it all to the milk mixture. Stir on medium low heat until the back of a wooden spoon is coated. Add crème de cassis and rasberries. Strain custard and discard vanilla bean. Cool, chill, then churn.

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Limoncello Ice Cream

6 large eggs
1 large vanilla bean
4 T Limoncello             
1 ½ C whole milk
1 ½ C heavy crème
¾ sugar
*optional 1/8 tsp lemon oil

Separate the eggs in a bowl. Split vanilla bean, add milk, 1 cup of crème, and sugar to a saucepan with the vanilla bean. Add remaining ½ C crème to the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk the yolks and crème. Temper the egg yolks (add about ¼ C of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture so they don’t scramble). Then add it all to the milk mixture. Stir on medium low heat until the back of a wooden spoon is coated. Add limoncello. Strain custard and discard vanilla bean. Cool, chill, then churn. Make sure to serve a cordial of limoncello to go with your ice cream. You may even like to pour a tablespoon of limoncello on top of your ice cream.

Summer is about light spirits, fresh fruit and ice cream. Scoop up something cold and boozy and remember that it’s still summer!

 

 

 

Marguerite, the Sun-Maid Raisin Girl

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Around the time I was really pregnant, all I craved was raisin bran cereal. It was comforting to me and made my growing belly happy. It’s suiting that both my children love raisin bran today!

Raisins also remind me of my grandmother. That red box was always there…used in oatmeal, granola, cookies, cakes, bread, and salads. Fresh, chewy and plump raisins are perfect on there own too…enjoying raisins in any way can truly give you a nostalgic feeling and a reason to smile.

My children have an even better relationship with the little red box than I do. They will happily skip down the snack aisle at the grocery store to say hello to their distant cousin, Marguerite, the Sun-Maid raisin girl. “Can we go see our cousin and put her in our basket?” It’s makes everyone smile when they open up the pantry and see her kind face.

My husband’s parents have roots in California that run deep. The very first Sun-Maid raisin girl was a great, great, great cousin on my husband’s Mom’s side.

The Sun-Maid raisin girl came about when Marguerite’s Dad (William Banks) invented a new process for drying raisins and began to deal with the Sun-Maid raisin company. William Banks had a picture of his daughter, Marguerite, holding a basket of raisins…Sun-Maid liked it and decided to use the idea of having Marguerite as the spokes person for raisins! The company bought his photo and she became the very first Sun-Maid raisin girl.

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Marguerite Evelyn Cecilia Banks was born in 1888. She would later change her name to Namara, after her Irish mother’s maiden name, McNamara.

Marguerite Namara was a real renaissance women! Her success as the Sun-Maid raisin girl was only the beginning! She was also a famous opera singer, an accomplished pianist, an artist who studied under Claude Monet and a silent screen movie star. Marguerite’s fast-paced life included running with an eclectic group…she was friends with Isadora Duncan, Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin.

We know her best as the raisin girl. This is a picture of my daughter dressed as Marguerite for culture day.

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Our favorite raisin recipe to make is oatmeal cookies. Raisin cookies are so comforting with there soft and chewy texture and buttery sweet flavor…it’s a bonus that raisins are a great source of vitamins and iron. These old fashioned raisin cookies are easy and quick to make.  Bake them until the centers are still soft and just beginning to turn brown yet their edges are a lovely golden brown color. Think of Marguerite when you enjoy them.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon backing soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups of raisins
1/2 cup pecans

  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  • Mix the flour, baking soada and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture gradually and mix well.
  • Stir in the oats, raisins and nuts.
  • Drop by rouonded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on the cookie sheets a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Marguerite Namara said in an interview in 1954 that her dream would be “...to live on a farm, preferably somewhere near Monterey. I’ve never before given myself a real vacation, and it would do me a world of good. No telephones ringing, nobody to powder the old nose for, or rouge the lips. Just to go about as is, in old loose clothing, would be close to being in paradise.” 

I imagine that her red bonnet suited her very well.

 

Summertime Birthday Inspiration

Summertime is the most popular time to have a baby. Chances are you know many people who have summer birthdays coming up. Here are a few of my favorite people who have inspired me to create the perfect summer birthday party…recipes, music and gift inspirations for each special person. Bonne fête!!

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Inspiration for your Taurus childhood best friend who is playful, fun‑loving, adventuresome, and rebellious (mostly when she was sixteen).  We grew up on Pretty in Pink and Desperately Seeking Susan. If Madonna’s Get in to the Groove comes on, it’s time for disco dancing and glitter make-up!

Jen’s birthday fun…

DRINK: the perfect summer cocktail

GIFTS: Birchbox, It’s All Good: recipes by Gwyneth Paltrowpretty earrings

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)/ Michael Jackson

2. Head to Toe/ Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam

3. 1999/ Prince

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Inspiration for your Gemini mother-in-law who is energetic, quick-witted, and super systematic. Her recipe for a happy life might go like this…read a good book, love your job and cook with gas!

Mother-in-law birthday fun…

SALAD: Green Goddess

GIFTS: a really good cookbook, flowers every month, houndstooth clutch (because she’s a really big Alabama fan)

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. You Send Me/ Sam Cooke

2. When I Fall in Love/ Nat King Cole

3. All I have to do is Dream/ The Everly Brothers

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Inspiration for your Leo Dad who is truth‑loving, loyal and passionate. My children call him “Coach” because he coached most of the teams my brother and sister and I played on…my daughter’s soccer team too. He will encourage you to give great effort, sing a song for fun, and always cheer on your favorite team.

Dad’s birthday fun…

SIDE DISH: Green rice with nectarines and corn

GIFTS: pinhole press photomy son wants to give him a new golf “stick”, Birchbox for men

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. Sherry Baby/ Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

2. Where Did Our Love Go/ The Supremes

3. Louie Louie/ The Kingsmen

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Inspiration for your Gemini Mom who loves copper, entertaining and majolica. She’s patient, charismatic and immensely creative.

Mom’s birthday fun…

ENTREE: Sausage and roasted peppers

GIFTS: Dinner Diaries, sun and sea necklace, a pretty phone case

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. Somebody to Love/ Queen

2. One/ Three Dog Night

3. Suspecious Minds/ Elvis

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Inspiration for your Gemini husband who makes the best cocktails, lives for Alabama football, and is a huge Beatles fan. He’s positive, diligent, charming and resourceful.
Derek’s birthday fun…

DESSERT: chocolate cake with m&m’s like this! 

GIFTS: beard trimmerThe Beatles LyricsBose Quiet Comfort Noise Canceling Headphones

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. King for a day/ XTC

2. 2112/ Rush

3. Women in Love/ Van Halen

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Inspiration for your Cancer daughter who is artistic, imaginative and fantasy‑rich.

GIFTS for your daughter: American Girl Doll, heart sunglassessnowball machine

Your Cancer son who is daring, exciting and athletic.

GIFTS for your son: Lego airplane, PokemonLED light up football

DESSERT: cinnamon ice cream

MUSIC PARTY MIX:

1. Blame it on the Boogie/ Michael Jackson

2. Chicken Dance

3. Starchild/ Jamiroquai

 

Wishing all your summer birthday celebrations to be fun and festive. Bonne fête!!

P.S. My birthday is in the summer too! xx

Can I Have Another Piece of Aperol Flourless Chocolate Cake?

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Any time is a good time for chocolate cake. Remember that Crowded House song from the 90’s, Can I have another piece of chocolate cake? My friend Jen and I played that song over and over again the summer we were fearless and fifteen. Chocolate cake has no season…it’s good ANY time of year.

The great thing about this time of year is that when you’re snowed-in…your pantry is most likely full of the staples that you need to make a chocolate cake.

When I told my husband that I had an idea to put a few tablespoons of Aperol (my favorite liqueur) in my batter…he said, “Are you sure about that?” “YES,” I said! I was absolutely positive that chocolate and orange go beautifully together and that Aperol would make the perfect accompaniment to my flourless concoction.  I just knew it would work!

While you’re inspecting your pantry (and bar) to see if you have all the supplies you need to make Aperol Flourless Chocolate Cake, enjoy some of these classic chocolate scenes from Julie and Julia, Sex and the City and I Love Lucy to get you excited for that first chocolatey bite!

THIS scene from Sex and the City is one of my favorites. Miranda can’t stop herself from eating her homemade chocolate cake and decides to throw the cake in the trash.  Best line…”Your good friend Miranda has just taken a piece of cake out of the garbage and eaten it. You will probably need this information when you check me into the Betty Crocker Clinic!”

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You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say “nothing” I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort. 


 

After Ricky and Fred get upset about the girls’ spending, Lucy and Ethel go to work in a candy factory while the boys do the housework. Lucy and Ethel are stuffing their faces and clothing with chocolates while trying to keep up with a speedy conveyor belt.

Aperol Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 T Aperol
  • 1 1/4cups sugar
  • large eggs, separated
  • cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • confectioners sugar for dusting
  1. Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350. Generously butter 10 inch spring form pan. Butter and flour the pan.
  2. Chop chocolate in small pieces and melt with butter over very low flame, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, Aperol and vanilla. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add egg yolks, one at a time. Sift cocoa and salt over chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
  3. In standing mixer, beat egg white at high speed until peaks form but are not yet stiff (you can add a tablespoon more sugar here to help it along). Gently fold into chocolate mixture using a spatula until evenly combined.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake 35-40 min or until cake forms thin crust on top. Remove before its sides move from pan.
  5. Cool for ten minutes, invert on a plate then reinvert on cooling rack. If you have a little audience of children that can’t wait…don’t even bother inverting the cake.
  6. Let cool completely before sifting powdered sugar over top.

Go on and ask, “Can I have another piece of chocolate cake?” You know the answer will be yes!

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Related Posts:

Fall in love with chocolate

Aperol Spritz Cocktail

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag und prost! 

P.S. This is really the BEST Crowded House song

Four Famous Margots

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Do you know many people named Margot? It’s a strong name for a strong women. These are some of my favorite…

Margot Fonteyn’s real name was Peggy and she was born in England in 1919…spending most of her childhood in China. At fourteen, her family returned to England and she danced for England’s Royal Ballet. Margot is known for being magical on stage. Her love to dance for her audience made her luminous. She danced up into her early 70s, and retired to Panama to live with her husband. Margot’s age didn’t matter. She was more herself dancing on stage than anywhere else. She said, “Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable.”

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Margot Tenenbaum is one of the coolest movie characters ever! A prodigal playwright, winning a Pulitzer prize in the 9th grade. She began smoking at age twelve simply because she wanted to have a secret. She was curious and traveled the world. Margot’s style is timeless. She even has a cocktail named after her.

The Margot Tenenbaum cocktail: Served in a champagne saucer: 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 ounces bourbon, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, top with Zucca

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Margo Chester from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation is a hilarious snob and has no problem letting her neighbors know how much she hates their Christmas spirit…with or without her husband’s support!

Margo: You just march over there and slug that creep in the face. Todd: I can’t just attack someone. Margo: All right then, if you’re not man enough to put an end to this junk, then I am.

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Did you watch the Oscars Sunday? Margot Robbie looked stunning! She’s a twenty-four-year-old Australian with old Hollywood glamor, similar to Marilyn Monroe. She says, “There are things in life that don’t come to me naturally, and social media and the internet and all those things are some of them, somewhere between taxes and cooking!”

My favorite Margot is my friend and today is her birthday. Margot likes Romy Schneider, Eduscho coffee, and the show Booze Traveler…she’s sooo Austrian! She’s also very sweet and says this about parenting, ”Like creating a great wine, It’s not just about the type of grape.  More like what type of dirt did they grow in, how many days of sunshine…lots of love and energy goes into that.”  You can tell she’s also a wonderful mother.

Alles gute zum Geburtstag to my friend!! xx

Juice Your Way to Beautiful Skin

 

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Drinking fresh juice is a great way to start the day. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just feel and look so tired…we all need to reset and restart. The cure for that feeling is fresh juice. It’s like drinking liquid health. Not only can it make you feel good but it can improve your skin’s appearance and make you glow like a pearl. It’s easy to look your best when you feel good about what you’re putting in your body. If you’re dreaming of having a flawless face that requires little makeup then start juicing. Drink your way to gorgeous skin and let your inner beauty shine through.

Here are ten foods that can help you get amazing skin:

ApplesApples not only keep you healthy but they help to give you flawless and glowing skin. Apples contain antioxidants that prevent wrinkles.

Pears: Pears help to keep our skin smooth and soft. They are rich in vitamin C and K and help keep wrinkles away and skin clear and moisturized.

Cucumbers: Cucumbers are rich in silica and can improve the complexion of your skin and because it’s high in water content, it also keeps your skin hydrated.

Lemons: Both lemons and oranges are high in vitamin C and act as a good cleanser to give you flawless skin.

Carrots: Carrots are loaded in vitamin A which prevents blemishes and wrinkles.

Celery: Celery, like cucumbers, help to hydrated the skin and gives you a natural glow.

Beets: Beets are full of vitamin A, C and K which reduces blemishes, rejuvenates the skin, prevent blemishes and wrinkles.

Strawberries: Strawberries make the skin younger and smoother, whiten teeth, and reduce under-eye puffiness.

Kale: Kale is full of fiber, sulphur and rich in vitamins A and C. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that helps you stay less bloated, which can prevent puffiness on the face.

Ginger: Ginger improves the appearance of your skin by removing toxins and stimulating circulation. It improves elasticity making your skin more firm and youthful.

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Try these recipes to get you started juicing:

Orange Surprise

Carrot juice is surprisingly sweet, and goes well with oranges.

  • 3 oranges
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • a few big handfuls of kale
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger

Cut oranges and carrots into chunks, and remove big seeds or pits. You don’t need to worry about those in fruits like apples and pears…a juicer will filter them out. It’s a good idea to alternate between soft pieces and hard ones. Finish with the hard produce to push through anything that’s stuck.

Apple Delight

  • 1 medium beet, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 sweet apples, chopped

Press all ingredients through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately.

Green Refresher

  • 2 pears
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

Press pear, ginger, cucumber, and celery through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately.

Berry Blend

  • 3 oranges
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup raspberries

Press ingredients through a juice extractor and serve immediately.

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Happy juicing!

Related posts:

Our Daily Juice

Cheers to Breakfast

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New Year’s Eve Cocktails

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Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by the Kennedys in Georgetown, June 3, 1957.

New Year’s Eve means gold sequins, glitter and fancy winter cocktails. It’s time to chill your glasses and get your shaker ready.

The table is set with all that glitters…perfect for your New Year’s Eve party! Put together an evening that dazzles with sparkling drinks, food, and decor.

Don’t pack up the Christmas decorations before you ring in the New Year. Sparkly tinsel makes a festive cocktail topper and we can still be in the spirit of making other spirits bright.

Colder weather brings warmer drinks like red wines, creamy sipping drinks but no New Year’s Eve is complete without a little fizz.

Ring in the New Year in style with these memorable cocktail recipes:

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Saint-Florent Cocktail

  • 6 T gin
  • 3 T fresh lime juice
  • 3 T Aperol
  • 1 T honey syrup (mix 1/4 cup honey with 2 T hot water and mix to dissolve honey)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • top off with Prosecco or Champagne for some festive fizz

In a cocktail shaker; fill shaker with ice. Cover and shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into 2 chilled coupe glasses. Top off with Prosecco (or Champagne) and garnish with a lime wheel.

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Dancer’s Delight

  • 6 oz strong chai tea
  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
  • 3/4 oz amaretto liqueur
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz soy milk

In a cocktail shaker with ice combine ingredients and shake. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and nutmeg. This may make you feel like doing the dance of the SugarPlum fairy!

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Mulled Wine

  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole clove
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus 4 for garnish (optional)
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low about 30 minutes. Serve in mugs with an orange peel. Your guests will feel like they’ve been out on the slopes skiing all day.

Grab a glass and celebrate! It may be New Year’s Eve, but these are cocktails to enjoy all winter long.

The key to setting a celebratory mood is an upbeat playlist. My friend Jen and I have celebrated numerous New Year’s together. The last time our families had New Year’s dinner together, I set my music set on random and it found Phish! It was more of a mellow evening. I this year I’m going with Pandora’s “Mad Men Suite” station. I’m channeling Jackie Kennedy…music of the sixties and cocktails just feels so glamorous. You can’t go wrong with Henry Mancini or Don Draper!

Related Posts:

New Year’s Eve Lobster Fete…Avec Les Enfants

New Year’s Traditions from around the World

Celebrate with Champagne in a Coupe

Classic Mad Men Cocktails

Bonne année et bonne santé! xx

 

Roasting and Toasting with S’mores a Hot Toddy and the Space Station

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Everything tastes better in the great outdoors…especially s’mores!

This fall, our family started a Sunday night tradition of roasting marshmallows and looking for the Space Station. So far, we’ve been lucky to have clear Texas night skies and being able to spot the Space Station…even if it’s only for a few minutes.

My son asks, “Can they see us? Who’s in it? And then shouts at the top of his lungs, “HI RUSSIANS!!”

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The kids hunt for skinny branches while my husband and I sip a hot toddy then we sit in front of our fire pit toasting our marshmallows and staring at the night sky and watching for the Space Station. We will have sticky fingers and cheeks and our clothes will smell like smoke but it’s all worth the sweet memories being made.

S’mores remind me of my fourth grade Girl Scout camp. Amazingly, the first appearance of a recipe in print was in a 1927 Girl Scout handbook.

This dessert can’t get much simpler…a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham crackers. Those Girl Scouts knew what they were doing!

The ideal nighttime snack deserves an equally cozy drink…the Hot Toddy! A classic cold weather drink that was invented in Scotland in the 1700’s. It’s the drink the cold weather beckons you to enjoy at home…or in your backyard by a fire pit and bundled up in several sweaters and a blanket.

A hot toddy with s’mores is the perfect marriage…especially now that the weather has turned cold. Happy roasting, toasting and watching the Space Station approaching!

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Related posts:

Classic Movies and Recipes for an Extended Evening

The Taste of Memory Soup

Classic Mad Men Cocktails

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Cocktails have been an essential element of Mad Men from season one. Mad Men has made classic cocktails come back in fashion.

Entertaining in the 60’s often featured cocktails, not wine. When Julia Child published “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 1961, that was about the time Americans became interested in wine. There weren’t too many popular wineries in America. Betty was ahead of her time serving wine at her dinner parties because cocktails were still all the rage in the 60’s.

I feel nostalgic for that era and I’m a child of the 70’s! The music (when Don Draper takes his daughter to a Beatles concert), the fashion (Betty Draper looks like Grace Kelly with her full skirts and perfect hair) AND the cocktails of the 60’s!! I like the idea of opening an archive to the past. Those historical views make me think of my parents and that makes me smile.

Season seven won’t begin until April 13th. Until then, here are some cocktails to help get you ready for the final season.

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The Stolen Negroni

Combine 1 oz gin, 1 oz cynar and 1 oz of aperol in an ice-filled cocktail glass.  Stir well. Strain into a cocktail coupe and serve with an orange twist garnish.

The fruity and flowery flavor of the Aperol gives it just the right amount of sweetness. It’s a perfect apéritif and the color is so beautiful. I imagine Betty enjoying this cocktail in Italy when she went to Rome with Don. 

If you like the Stolen Negroni, then try the Negroni Flip too!

Brandy Alexander

First, moisten the rim of a cocktail glass and glide the rim along a plate of ground nutmeg to coat the edges.

Combine 2 ounces brandy, a 1/2 ounce white crème de cacao, and a 1/2 ounce of heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into the cocktail glass and grate nutmeg over top, to taste.

The Brandy Alexander is perfect for fall evenings. Who needs desert when you can drink this! Peggy Olson ordered this cocktail to show off her sophistication and get her through an unsuccessful date.

The Old-Fashioned

To start, place a sugar cube in a rocks glass. Sprinkle with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of water or club soda. Add a citrus wheel and cherry. Muddle the sugar cube and rotate the glass so that the sugar grains, bitters line the bottom and to release fruit juices. Add a large ice cube and 2 ounces of rye whiskey.

One of my favorite Mad Men scenes was when Don Draper makes an Old-Fashioned for Conrad Hilton when the there was no barman around. This is Don Draper’s signature cocktail. He even has his daughter make it for him at home. 

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“You need three ingredients for a cocktail. Vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency.” ~Peggy Olson

“You don’t know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it’s good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it’s what men do.” ~Roger Sterling

Have a drink, It’ll make me look younger.” ~Roger Sterling

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More Mad Men…

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Mad Men

The 7 Best Musical Moments of Mad Men

Don Drapers Guide to America

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Juliet & Romeo: a cocktail with kisses for Juliet’s birthday

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Letters to Juliet

September in Verona, Italy is when the town celebrates Juliet Capulet’s birthday. Hundreds of years ago, Shakespeare made Verona famous with his play, Romeo and Juliet that was based on the life of two real young lovers who both died for each other and lived in Verona in 1303.

People go to Verona to gaze at the “Wall of Letters” written by romantics all around the world. By the 1900’s, Verona was receiving so many letters for Juliet that they created an office…The Juliet Club.

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Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy

Playwright and poet, William Shakespeare was an expert on the subject of love and romance. Here are five favorite quotes from Romeo and Juliet:

Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.

For never was a story of more woe that this of Juliet and her Romeo.

When he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun.

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

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Juliet & Romeo cocktail

The Juliet & Romeo is a beautiful and delicious cocktail. You don’t have to be a lover of gin to enjoy it but being a romantic is essential… kissed with rose water it will warm your heart. It’s the kind of cocktail that I imagine Hemingway would have sipped on a September afternoon in Paris.

Juliet & Romeo

2 oz gin (Beefeater)

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

3/4 oz simple syrup

3 drops rose water

3 drops Angostura bitters

3 slices cucumber

3 sprigs mint

1 pinch salt

Muddle cucumber, mint and pinch of salt. Add rest of ingredients. Let sit for a moment. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with 1 floating mint leaf and additional rose water drops.

Cin cin and buon compleanno, Juliet! xx