Best Ever: Skinny Blueberry Cocktail

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You know that I’m all about the healthy eats, but can’ t give up the yummy drinks. My new solution to this conundrum is to use soda water as my mixer in all my cocktails, and then to add some sweetness with healthy fruity garnishes (or ginger!!). This post focuses on my latest fave, which is oh-so-simple, just the way I like it!

♥ 1 shot vodka
♥ 1 cup soda water
♥ handful of blueberries, muddled & mixed
♥ 1 splash triple sec

*In case you’re wondering, I prefer my blueberries whole so that I can suck ’em up and enjoy them as little treats in between sips! Depending on personal preference, you can muddle to expose more flavor in your drink! Random finding: orange slices are the perfecccct little treat to pair with this drink because they’re just so sweet and tasty! (AYSO memories, anyone?). This might have something to do with the sweet citrusy element of triple-sec, which adds a certain richness to the drink and helps make it feel like you’re not just guzzling watered down vodka.

Of course, you can totally alter this recipe as desired. I’ve done this combo with strawberries, raspberries, even APPLE SLICES. Go crazy! Share your results below!

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^ Everything tastes better with super cute straws ^

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NYE Drink Idea: Molecular Mojitos

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Hosting NYE and looking for the perfect cocktail to serve?? Molecular mojito balls just might be my favorite new drink idea!!

Molecule-R is this awesome company that creates crazy cocktail kits combining elements of mixology with being a kickass scientist! CLICK HERE to get your starter kit! You’ll get everything you need to make a series of unbelievable drinks in no time! From fuzz to fizz to suspensions, Molecule-R walks you through all of it! If you’re trying to get even fancier, you can get the Evolution Kit HERE!

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In case you’re not all about buying these fancy schmansy kits (we feel ya), but still wanna be a badass NYE host, you can  follow our step-by-step guide below to recreate our magical mojito balls!

〉〉Step 1: Combine 1/4 tsp calcium lactate (you can get some on amazon) with 1 tsp sugar, 5-6 mint leaves, and 3 lime wedges. Muddle in a highball glass, add in 1 oz white rum & 2oz club soda, and filter with a sieve. Place the filtered liquid in a glass and prepare your pipettes!

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〉〉Step 2: Rip up a few mint leaves and place in an ice cube mold. Use your pipettes to add your liquid mixture from above to fill each ice cube mold. Place in the freezer until completely hard (about 20 minutes).

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〉〉Step 3: While you wait for your cubes to freeze, create your sodium alginate bath! Dissolve 2 grams sodium alginate (you can find anything on amazon!) in 2 cups of water. Make sure the sodium alginate completely dissolves… we used a hand blender because the stuff can be so tricky!! You’ll also want to set aside a separate bath of pure water.

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〉〉Step 4: Remove frozen cubes from the freezer and drop into the sodium alginate bath. Let them float around for about 3 minutes, stirring verrrrry gently and making sure that they don’t get stuck to each other! You’ll see them start to gelatinize into little balls (so fun!!!). One by one, spoon your balls from the alginate bath to the water bath.

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〉〉Step 5: Remove the mojito balls from the water bath and place on spoons to serve!

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〉〉Step 6: ENJOY! That’s right, eat ’em up and experience a mojito ball that explodes in your mouth. Such a cool phenomenon, these little guys are definitely worth playing scientist for an afternoon! Plus, your friends will think you’re a scientific genius!

Have a wonderful & safe New Year’s friends!! We hope these little drink balls add a pop of magic to your night! ♥

San Diego Adventures!

This weekend, my friend and I made our way to San Diego to go see Sara Bareilles in concert. We had a great time eating, drinking, catching up with friends, and seeing Ms. Sara B!

Our first stop of the mini adventure was playing catch up with one of our very best friends, London! You may recognize this lovely lady from some of our past blog posts, or even her own reputable blog, ‘London, like the city!’ She took us to Caroline’s Seaside Cafe, which overlooked the beach! It had a great atmosphere, with an even greater selection of food. I ordered the Pan Seared Salmon Salad – there is no full sized photo, because I was too hungry from the drive! Whoopsies :)
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Before heading off to see Sara B, my brother and his fiancé, who also live in SD (and attended the concert with us) took us to a local favorite and popular brewery called, Ballast Point. We all ordered a Sculpin, I had the IPA on Nitro, it was smooth and very refreshing! I am just dipping my feet into the IPA pool, so it was a good starting point for me. After we finished our pre-dinner/concert drinks, we headed on down the street to get our grub (and more drink) on!

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We went to a gastropub called, Craft & Commerce for dinner, and it was AWESOME! For appetizers, we got season fries and bacon cracker jacks (sounds a little odd, but so delish)! For dinner, my friend and I split the Mac & Cheese and Korean Fried Chicken Wings. The wings were as hot as they look in the photo below. As for drinks, we both got IPA cocktails and Amber Ales! Oh we are NOT done! Wait until you see where we went next…
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Yes, we were all pretty full, but everyone knows that there is a second stomach for dessert! Twenty minutes before the start of the concert, we rushed over to the BottleCraft Beer Shop to go pick up some Pubcakes! Yup, beer + cupcakes. The flavors of the cupcakes rotate every week, showcasing a different beer in each one. (Clockwise) The one with the yellow frosting was Cup O’ Hefen, which had Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat Coriander spice cake & citrus buttercream; Punkin Vegan, which had North Coast Old Stock Ale Pumpkin & maple frosting; Irish Carbomb, which had Guiness chocolate cake, Irish cream frosting, & whiskey ganache; Portzilla, which had Stone Smoked Porter cake, chocolate coffee ganache, & caramelized coconut.  They were all sooooo delicious and not too sweet! My favorites would have to be the Portzilla and the Cup O’ Hefen!
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The following morning, we got up early and stopped at a local spot in Encinitas, called Swami’s Cafe, which is known for their Acaí bowls. This cafe was located in the cutest beach community, where people were either riding bikes, running, soaking up the sun at the beach, or eating at this local spot! We both ordered the Acaí bowls for breakfast, and boy, were they yummy! The granola, fruit, bee pollen, and coconut shreds made for such great toppings! I definitely recommend trying it out if you are ever in the area!
IMG_3090 IMG_3091That basically concludes our trip! Unfortunately, we did not come across Carmen San Diego, but hopefully this clip of Sara Bareilles covering ‘Chandelier’ by Sia, will make do! She is breathtaking!

Date night dinner: Homemade pizza

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If you’re into simple, healthy meals that are a ton of fun to prepare, this is for you! There’s something special and super entertaining about making pizza from scratch… this is a great go-to date dinner because it takes the pressure off of cooking! It’s something you can do together, while simultaneously being creative & personalizing your pies so that they’re made just the way you like ’em!

Here’s what you’ll need:
♥ 1 package Pamela’s Pizza Crust Mix
♥ 2-1/4 tsp or 7grams active dry yeast
♥ 1 cup plus 2 TBSP very warm water (110°optimum)
♥ 2 TBSP oil
♥ Pizza sauce
♥ Toppings of choice (we love mozzarella, prosciutto, fresh tomatoes, & arugula)

The how to:
♥ Mix & form pizza crust as directed on Pamela’s Pizza Crust
♥ Par-bake pizza crust (aka cook about halfway through)
♥ Spread pizza sauce onto par-baked crust
♥ Cover pizza with toppings of choice, then return to oven for another 5 – 10 minutes
♥ Remove, slice, & enjoy!

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If you’re having guests over, making personalized pizzas can be the “event” of the evening. Start your peeps off with a fun cocktail or drink, and make sure to put out some snacks so that no one is tempted to eat the ingredients! ;) See below for one of my favorite light & easy drinks:

What you’ll need:
♥White wine
♥Splash of Chambord
♥Frozen berries to taste

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How perfect / delicious is this meal!? Comment below to share some of your favorite pizza topping combinations!

Cucumber Martini

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While the rest of the world struggles to survive the Polar Vortex and sub-zero temperatures, I’m sitting in sunny California trying to concoct a refreshing new cocktail for this weekend’s pool-side splendors. It’s March now and aside from a few days of rain, we’ve had consistently 80˚ weather. I’m already in full-blown summer mode. Sorry I’m not sorry?

Even if you’re stuck in the midst of snow flurries, this refresher will help you to pretend you’re somewhere “sunny and seventy-five”.

Here’s what you’ll need:

o    Fresh cucumber

o    Grapefruit juice with pulp

o    Cucumber vodka

o    Vermouth

o    Champagne

o    Ice

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 3.52.34 PMIn a cocktail shaker, mix 2.5 oz cucumber vodka with 0.5 oz vermouth and 1 oz grapefruit juice. Add half a cup of crushed ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass and top with a splash of champagne and cucumber slices! It’s that easy! Cheers!