Down South Where I (Wanna) Stay……

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This past weekend, we went down to San Antonio for the long weekend, because we had nothing better to do. Just kidding. I’ll tell you why, later.

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We got to see the Terminator(Aspen) and spend some time with family for Jaelan’s birthday. But, more importantly, we got away from the blistering cold! We did come back to about half a foot of snow.

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I was able to check out a couple of coffee spots, Local Coffee and Press Coffee. Both were awesome spots and served a great cortado. I found Press Coffee a little cozier and less crowded.Β Xavier and I tried out the Esquire Tavern on the Riverwalk for desserts and cocktails for Valentine’s. I highly recommend. Great space and atmosphere, and a little history. We had the VDay special and the pulled pork sandwiches, and the Bitter Flip cocktail. We couldn’t squeeze in Fiddy Shades, but maybe that was a good thing?

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We also went on a hike with the girls at a nearby park for VDay. May just be a new tradition. Right before we finished:

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Xavi: How many miles have we hiked?
Aspen: 5 days!! We walked for 5 days, Xavi!! (She sounded angry)

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I think she was tired by then, lol. It was only a couple of miles, jeez.

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Here are a few more photos. Sadly, I did not get any shot of the Riverwalk, next time. Have a great rest of the week!! πŸ™‚

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Game of Thrones Mixing: 9/10

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*If you have not seen the latest episode, skip to the recipe*

This episode was action packed and was all about Jon Snow. Plus there were giants and mammoths. Giants AND Mammoths. But, I decided to make a drink after Ygritte. I couldn’t decide between her and Jon Snow, and I even thought about doing one for both, but I eventually decided on Ygritte. I have a feeling that I will get a chance to make a Jon Snow cocktail for the last episode of the season. Also, how is it that there is only ONE episode left, ONE!?

Ygritte

Ygritte is one of my favorite female characters in the show, after Cersei and Danaerys. She is strong, wild, and not afraid to kill…anyone, even Jon Snow.

It seems like every episode since like the second one, a major character dies in this show, which is part of what makes it awesome. This week, sharp-shooting Ygritte goes down. Her best moment was last season, Β when she put like 6 arrows into Jon Snow for turning his back on her.

In this episode, on the eve of the war between the Crows and the Free People, she makes it clear that she wants to be the one to destroy Jon Snow. Ygritte, in full rage and fury to avenge her broken heart, kills like a bunch of Crows. When she finally sees Jon Snow, and has the chance to take him out, she stares a little too long(without the rage and the fury), and is killed by the little elevator boy, with one arrow. Ironic. In the end, despite all of her badassery, she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t put more arrows into Jon Snow, and kill him. She ends up dying in the arms of Jon Snow and tells him that they should have stayed inside their cave.

Episode 9: The Ygritte Cocktail

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This drink looks good and it is. It’s refreshing and there is just enough zest and sweetness. I made two small changes. I like it better with ginger beer, instead of ginger ale. I also added a tad bit more of cranberry juice, and it was perfect. You can find the recipe here.

1.5oz Vodka (I used Reyyka, because Wildlings and Ygritte are cold)

0.75oz Cranberry Juice

0.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice

a splash or two of ginger beer (I used Cockbull)

2 large strawberries

Muddle strawberries in a shaker. Add vodka, cranberry juice, and lemon juice, and ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with strawberry and ENJOY!!

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*Game of Thrones images from hbo.com*

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 7/10 and 8/10

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If you have not seen the last episodes, skip to the recipe!

There has been plenty of action in the last 2 episodes, and I barely got through the bye week. But, here we are, and for both episodes, It’s all about the Prince Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper. For episode 7, because how awesome was it that he dramatically volunteered to be Tyrion’s champion!? Awesome. For episode 8, because as much as I loved his badassery, did you see how he went out!? Smashing, literally. I wanted him to win, I really did, but then again…..

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The Red Viper Cocktail:

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This is a version of the blood and sand cocktail, which I’ve had a few times, so I already know that I like this drink and that it’s good. Because, scotch. I didn’t have any blood oranges or blood orange liquer, so, I substituted regular navel orange juice. Also, the recipe can be found here, and is meant to represent House Martell, but the Red Viper is the only one we’ve seen so far, so it’s the Red Viper Cocktail in this blog πŸ™‚

1oz blended scotch( I only have single malt scotch, so I used Jameson)

1oz navel orange juice

3/4oz sweet vermouth

3/4oz Cherry Heering

Place all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. ENJOY!

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**Game of Thrones images from hbo.com**

Negroni Week 2014!!

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Negroni Week 2014 is coming up this week. As a newbie to the world of cocktails, the Negroni is one that I am trying to develop a taste for. It is definitely an acquired taste. The Negroni is an IBA official drink and so very easy to make. I like the classic recipe with a few dashes of triple sec, but I also enjoy a grapefruit variation. I can’t wait to try other takes on this cocktail.

For the week of June 2-8, Imbibe Magazine and Campari, have teamed up to launch Negroni Week. Bars around the country, and the world, will celebrate this awesome cocktail while trying to raise funds for various charities. You can find out more about the event here. So, think restaurant week, but for a cocktail.

Bars will be serving up their classic and unique variation of the Negroni, and donating proceeds from each Negroni sale to the charity of their choice. Here, in Kansas City, there are several bars that are participating and I have already eyed a few that I have yet to visit. You can find the list of participating KC bars here. The charity that a majority of the bars here are supporting is the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. So, this is another great opportunity for you to help out our kids in need and enjoy a classic and timeless cocktail. CHEERS!!

Here is my favorite Negroni recipe:

1oz gin

1oz sweet vermouth

1oz Campari

a few dashes of triple sec

garnish with orange peel

Place all ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake, strain into an old-fashioned glass, and ENJOY!!

 

*Negroni Week image from imbibe.com*

Game of Thrones Mixing: 5/10

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Well, as I write this post, it dawned on me that we are at the half way point of the season. This means that there are only five episodes left! Why is it going by so fast!? Here is a drink that you can enjoy with your mom this weekend, it has coffee πŸ™‚

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Episode 5: The Night’s Watch Cocktail

This episode had a few things going on, and really, there were a lot of characters and places to chose from. Also, I thought Cersei was, “nice”, in this episode, well as nice as she can get. I decided on the Night’s Watch cocktail for this episode. Not sure if it was the feminist in me, but I thought they did the most good, by burning down Craster’s Keep and the mutineer’s. There was a lot of wrong going on in that place and it needed to be burned down. I also like the fact that Jon Snow allowed the remaining women to decided their fate, stay outside of the wall or to come with the Night’s Watch.

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This cocktail is a Black Forest rendition, which if very fitting to the Night’s watch: black and predominantly coffee. However, I did an overhaul with this drink because I had one major issue: not enough alcohol content. Also, I did not have Benedictine on hand so I substituted with B&B. B&B is a less sweeter version. The recipe that I started with can be found here.

The first time I made this, I hated it. As previously stated, too much coffee and not enough liquor. Here is my weird version that I liked:

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2.5oz coffee, brewed and chilled(I used Heartbreak Coffee)

0.5oz dark rum

1/4oz B&B

1/4oz Maraschino

1/4oz Franjelico

Place all materials in a shaker, add ice, shake, strain into a flute, and ENJOY!

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*Game of Thrones images from google.com*

 

 

 

Kentucky Derby , Boxing, and Basketball!!

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Since we are that much closer to Kentucky here in Kansas/Missouri, The Kentucky Derby is pretty popular here, or another reason to throw a party and imbibe. There are a few Derby parties being hosted by restaurants and bars around town. Being from Texas, and I guess too far south, I didn’t hear too much about Derby growing up, except who won the race, probably because Cinco de Mayo is more popular down there. So, in honor of Derby weekend, I thought I would try my hand at a couple of Kentucky Derby traditions, a Derby Walnut Pie and Mint Julep Cocktail.

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint julep. They sell some 100,000+ of these drinks during the 2 day event. It’s a very simple drink consisting of bourbon, sugar, and mint leaves. I am not too keen on mint flavored drinks, but I decided to give it a go. I did try the pineapple version, but that one calls for gin and not bourbon, and my first try was a fail, so I went for the traditional recipe. The recipe that I followed can be found here.

Mint Julep Cocktail

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2.5oz Bourbon(I used Woodford Reserve)

2tbs sugar

mint leaves

Muddle the mint leaves and sugar in a julep cup. Add the bourbon. Fill past the rim with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig, sip slowly, and enjoy!

Derby Walnut Pie

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Like the mint julep, the derby pie is the official pie of the Kentucky Derby. It was first served at the infamous Melrose Inn over 60 years ago and by George Kern. The recipe that I used can be found here. I only made a slight change on this one. I thought 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips was too much so I changed it to 1 cup. I would also suggest baking for a little over 45 minutes.

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1/2 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter

2 TBS Kentucky bourbon

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 deep dish pie crust

Pre heat oven to 350.

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Pour mixture onto pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool before cutting and enjoy with your mint julep while wearing your most outrageous hat and cheering for your favorite horse.

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Also going on this weekend are the NBA playoffs and the anticipated Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana fight. I recommend Cinco de Mayo drinks with the Mayweather/Maidana fight :). CHEERS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 3/10 and 4/10

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Episode 3: The Dragon Lady Cocktail

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This episode was obviously a filler, so I couldn’t decide on which drink to try. There was the total boldness of Cersei and Jamie. There was also Daenarys doing her usual thing, freeing people, being a bad ass, and such. I decided to go with a Daenarys and not the mentally deranged brother/sister couple.

The original recipe is from here.

Of course, I had no idea where the heck to find dragon fruit, so my version is sans the dragon fruit, which is the whole point of the drink. Also, not sure if that is why the color of mine is way different. I also added just a tad bit more mango juice cause I love mango πŸ™‚ The drink is my favorite so far. It’s sweet with just the right amount of zip from the lime juice, just like Danny πŸ™‚

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2oz Vodka (I used Tito’s, cause everything is hotter in Texas and dragons spit fire)

1.25oz mango juice

0.5oz triple sec

0.5oz lime juice

Place all materials in a shaker with ice and shake, shake. Strain into a glass and enjoy.

Episode 4: The Wall Cocktail

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This one was an easy choice, I wanted to make something related to the wall and the wights because they have finally made an appearance this season. I thought the insight into the wight’s world was the best part so far, behind Joffrey’s death of course.

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The drink itself, I did not particularly like because of the mint bitters. I don’t really like mint based cocktails. The first try, I put about 3-4 dashes of mint bitters and that was way too much. I also tried it without, and it was more to my liking, but it didn’t have that umph! factor that the bitters provide. If you are like me, limit the mint bitters to 1 or 2 dashes and you should be good.

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Also, the recipe calls for Plymouth Gin, but I like my Ransom, so I went with that(sometimes I don’t follow instructions too well). This is probably why my color is on the greenish side, which is fine with me because it’s kind of my play on the wights/undead.

The original recipe is from here. I did not do the dry ice business.

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2oz gin (I used Ransom, which is probably why my color is different)

0.5oz lime juice

0.5oz simple syrup

1 egg white

1-2 dashes of mint bitters

club soda

Place all ingredients except the club soda into a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake. Strain into a pre-chilled glass of your choice and top off with the club soda and enjoy!

 

*Game of Thrones images from google.com*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 1/10 and 2/10

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If you don’t already know, I love me some Game of Thrones. I think the long wait for Season 4 was cruel,(ok, not really), and that there are only 10 episodes in each season is unfair. I don’t watch too much television outside of GoT and sports, unless you count forced feedings of Dora the Explorer and Bubble Guppies, so when I do find a series that I like I get all into it.

To celebrate the return of Game of Thrones to our our lives, and to put my slight obsession with cocktails and drinks to good use, or to find a generally good excuse to try out new drinks while watching an awesome show, I have decided to try out one GoT inspired cocktails to go along with each new episode. Surprisingly, there is a plethora of GoT themed cocktails out there, but I am going to focus on one drink and try to somehow tie it in with that week’s episode, the operative word is try, cause there might be a time when I just want to make the drink just cause. So, if you follow along and try out some of these drinks, I hope you share and Enjoy πŸ™‚

Since I am starting a little late, this week’s post will be for episodes 1 and 2.

Episode 1: The Lady Arya Cocktail

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I thought this was an appropriate cocktail for the first episode because Arya had the last and best kill of the episode. I mean seriously, an eye for an eye kind of deal that Arya gave that dude at the end of episode 1. You know you liked it.

The original recipe is from here.

Notes: I had to adjust this a little bit because it was too acidic, for me and my poor friends to had to try the first take. Also, I substituted Midori for the limonata cause I didn’t have it on hand. Overall, it was pretty good, a little tart, but it tasted good throughout and actually got better until the last sip πŸ™‚

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1.5oz Bourbon

1oz Grenadine

0.75oz lemon juice

lemon peel for garnish

Splash of Midori

Instructions: Shake all materials except Midori. Strain into a coupe and then add a few splashes of Midori.

Episode 2: The Red Wedding Cocktail

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This was an easy pick and tie in. First of all, I would never RSVP to any of the weddings on GoT, you might not make it out. Second, though not as red as the last wedding, it was the kill that any GoT fans were waiting for, I just didn’t expect it this early.

The original recipe is from here. The site did not provide any measurements, so I had to eye it with what I know: 75% liquor, but in this case, all ingredients contain alcohol so it was easy. This is what I came up with:

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1.5oz Bulleit Rye

0.5oz sweet vermouth

0.25oz Cherry Heering

a few dashes of Angostura bitters

Instructions: shake everything except the bitter, strain into a rocks glass. Add a few splashes of Angostura bitters.

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If you are like, no, that is so not right and such, please know that I am no professional nor do I know what I am doing. This is a HOBBY and I just like to try out drink recipes and enjoy, if it’s not too overly gross. One day I will be an awesome mixologist and will know why certain ingredients go together for what taste and what not, for now, I just attempt, sip, and repeat.

Cheers and ENJOY!! πŸ™‚

 

*Game of Thrones images from google.com*

 

 

 

 

Sweet Love Bites: Cherry Heering

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If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably noticed that I have a slight obsession with drinks. Slight. Every now and then I test and taste concoctions and spirits, and even read about them. Yes.

I recently attempted a Cherry Heering Liquer cocktail that I found here. My version is below and I consider it a success. I used triple sec instead of the Parfait orange liquer, because I did not have it on hand, and because triple sec is orange based, so close enough. It came out very sweet, which is fine with me, since I drank it during dinner. It was like having my dessert with my meal. Enjoy!

Love Bites Cocktail

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Β Ingredients:

1 oz. Cherry Heering Liquer

1 oz. Triple Sec

0.25 oz Irish Cream

Details:

Pour cherry liquer, then triple sec over rocks in desired glass. Top with Irish cream.

Cheers!

 

 

Week 11: Finally, Friday!!

Yes, I know what you are thinking, it’s Saturday. Well, it took 11 posts, but a Friday post is a day late. I think I did well! πŸ™‚ Happy Saturday! One more week before Thanksgiving Holiday, we are getting excited! I can taste all of the food and awesomeness! πŸ™‚

Week 11 Highlights:

Jaelan and I went to 17th and Summit this past weekend, just the two of us. I am ecstatic to report that she likes to look and shop for, “old and cool things”(antiques). YAY! She purchased an old, silver fountain pen and ink holder for $3. I think she has an antique eye πŸ™‚ She also wants an, “old looking desk” for her room (see photo below). I told her only if she lets me paint it yellow or red πŸ™‚

Xavi did not have a good ending to her week. That is all.

The big girls learned how to play dominoes this week. They were surprised at how much math is involved. Jaelan won round 1. Prepping for Thanksgiving games.

Aspen:

Conversations with Aspen this week:

Number 1

Me: Aspen, whose nose do you have? Daddy’s nose or mommy’s nose?

Aspen: I have Aspen’s nose. My nose, not your nose.

Of course. DUH.

Number 2

Xavier: Look, Aspen it’s a t-rex! (Shows Aspen a t-rex toy while we were at Toys ‘r’ Us)

Aspen: Daddy, das NOT a T-REX! It’s a DINOSAUR!

Of course. DUH.

Number 3

Me: Come here, kid!

Aspen: Mommy, I am not kid, I am Aspen, I told you, aw weady!

Of course. DUH. She must think we are very slow and not smart at all, πŸ™‚ TODDLERS.

Extra:

Aspen: Mommy, I like monies, I need to get more monies. Mommy can I have 4 monies? (Holds up 4 fingers! )

PS:Β I tried 2 new recipes and 2 cocktail recipes this week: Moroccan chicken and a version of Coq au vin, with white wine. The first one wasn’t so popular, they all gave me a hard time about the cumin smelling like a bag of arm pits, Xavi ate her food with a blanket over her head. She said it tasted good. The Coq au vin was more popular among the masses. The cocktails are a version of the Woodstock cocktail that I found onΒ the CampgroundKC, and vodka sunrise, a take on tequila sunrise, but with vodka. Both were awesome. Recipes later this week.

Week 11 Gallery

This Weekend:

Half Priced Booksgiving Day Celebration

Union Station Lighting Ceremony

Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios

Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC (on tv 😦 ) GO ORANGE!

Houston Texas, Houston Cougars, and Houston Rockets on tv