I had the pleasure of sampling some of Barefoot Bubbly’s Prosecco the other day, and while I’m not one to turn down sparkling wine of any type, I was particularly excited about this one. Barefoot Bubbly is close to my heart: Mr. Geek and I had the pleasure of visiting a tasting room of theirs back when we were engaged, and it’s now the sparkling wine we go for when we’re celebrating anniversaries or special occasions. We’ve gotten the Brut in the past, but I think after this, we’ll be grabbing the Prosecco first.
The Prosecco is the perfect thing to sip on a sunny day. It’s crisp, has the perfect tickle of bubbles, and has a not-too-sweet citrus taste. (I sensed a taste of green apple in there, myself.) It would be perfect just by itself, or would complement a fruit-filled brunch or a spicy lunch or dinner.
As I sipped it, I pictured myself on a sunny, warm, beach. Waves crashing nearby, sun beating down on me. And maybe it’s because I was currently helping plan a Disney-themed bachelorette party, or because I was already a glass of Prosecco in, but I started thinking about The Little Mermaid, and how this would probably be her drink of choice. (Let’s pretend for a second that she wasn’t 16. Ahem.) I can just see her sipping a glass of this with Eric, reminiscing about the first day she had legs. Barefoot, on the beach. The bubbles in the drink reminding her of the foamy sea.
In this mindset, I decided to dress the Prosecco up a bit to be more “Little Mermaid” appropriate. (See picture above!) Your Prosecco ends up looking like the ocean with a sandy beach on top. It’s super easy and adds a dash of pizzazz to your drink!
“Under the Sea” Bubbly
1. Moisten the rim of a champagne glass with a bit of champagne.
2. Rim the glass with gold glitter crystals.
3. Splash a dash of Blue Curacao into the glass.
4. Fill with Barefoot Bubbly’s Prosecco.
5. Top with a cocktail umbrella.
6. Enjoy while imagining you’re on a beach!
Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter, when the “wetter” is the bottom of the champagne glass!
So next time you want to feel like a teenage mer-princess, start sipping that Barefoot Bubbly!
Are you a Barefoot Bubbly fan? What’s your fave type?
(Thanks again to Barefoot Wine for sharing some bottles for me to sample!)
Bob’s Burgers’ 5th season premiere is this Sunday, October 5th, and what better way to celebrate than with a burger party?
I invited some friends over to create puntastic Burgers of the Day. (If you haven’t seen the show, Bob creates a different burger of the day for each episode, and they’re all fantastic. This Tumblr catalogs them all.) I supplied the basics: burger patties, a couple different buns, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and condiments, and encouraged them to bring any weirder ingredients they may need to make their burgers. They outdid themselves. Here is a sampling of some of the burgers, but you can see them all on the Bob’s Burger Party Pinterest Board! (The photo at the top of the post is “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a ham”: Comes with frankfurters and ham. Made by @Satire.)
“You Cheddar Believe It”: Comes with English Cheddar mixed in the patty, topped with more Cheddar. Made by @TifaRobles.
“I’m Bacon You to Stop”: Bacon mixed into the burger, comes bacon wrapped. Made by @TheMikeRobles.
“The Perks of Being a Cauliflower”: Comes with fried cauliflower and sriracha mayo. Made by @hudsonfilm.
Are you a Bob’s Burgers fan? Will you be tuning in on Sunday for the Season 5 premiere?
ThinkGeek recently reached out to me about showcasing some of their Star Wars items, and my mind went in overdrive on what I could do. I decided to throw a Star Wars Cantina-themed potluck, and to use some ThinkGeek items to inspire and create themed drinks. I’ll show you the party soon, but for now, let’s make some geeky drinks!
The Death Star
What do you make when you have a Death Star ice sphere? A Death Star drink, of course! “The Death Star” is an actual cocktail, I found out, that’s pretty similar to a Long Island Iced Tea. It’s POTENT . As it should be. (And seriously, whether you want to make the drink or not, the Death Star ice sphere is one of my new favorite things. It’s super easy to fill, looks amazing, and really classes up a glass of whiskey.)
Death Star Recipe
- 1 oz Jagermeister
- 1 oz triple sec
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz whiskey
- 2 oz sweet and sour mix
- 2 oz (or more) cola
- Place all ingredients into a glass with a Death Star ice sphere in it.
- Stir to mix ingredients.
You can’t have a Star Wars party without blue milk, right? I decided to make a drink that was a bit more fun: a blue milkshake! R2-D2 helped me out with measuring the ingredients. (Aren’t the R2-D2 measuring cups the CUTEST?)
Blue Milkshake Recipe
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream (the whiter the better!)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tsp blue Jell-O powder
- blue food coloring (optional)
- Mix the milk and Jell-O powder together.
- Pour the milk/Jell-O mixture and ice cream in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add a few drops of blue food coloring to heighten the color, mix until even.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
The Sith Lord
I received the lightsaber ice pop maker and instantly knew what I was going to do with Luke’s lightsabers: Mountain Dew. Duh. What else. But What would be fitting for ol’ Darth Vader’s? It hit me in the soda aisle: Mountain Dew Code Red. The dark force of the Mountain Dews. I placed a tsp of cherry vodka in the ice pop mold and filled the rest of it (approximately 1/3 cup) up with the Code Red. A bit of vodka makes it a bit more “naughty” without preventing it from freezing. Creating the ice pop made me decide to make the drink form as well. It’s super easy and quite tasty!
Sith Lord Recipe
- 1 shot cherry vodka
- 1 can Mountain Dew: Code Red
- Fill a highball with ice.
- Pour in the vodka shot, fill the rest of the way with the Mountain Dew.
Just be careful when you’re eating those ice pops. REMEMBER: IT’S A LIGHTSABER! THAT’S A LIGHTSABER IN YOUR MOUTH!
What’s your go-to Star Wars drink? Will you be trying any of these?
(And a big shout-out to ThinkGeek for supplying the amazing tools to make these drinks! Check them out at ThinkGeek.com!)
Everyone’s excited for tonight’s season premiere of Game of Thrones, and that includes Jägermeister. They’ve created Game of Thrones cocktails that’ll be the star of your premiere party!
The Wildling Toddy
- 2 part Hot Apple Cider
- 1 part Jägermeister
- 1/4 part Grand Marnier
- Sugar Cube
- Apple Slice for Garnish
Add the sugar cube, grand Marnier, and Jägermeister. Add the boiling hot cider and stir until the sugar cube dissolves. Garnish with the apple slice.
Tyrell Bed of Roses
- 2 part Jägermeister
- 1/2 part Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 part Grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake well, strain into a martini glass and serve.
The Imp’s Revenge
- 1 1/2 part Dry Vermouth
- 3/4 part Jägermeister
- 3/4 part Benedictine
- 2 dashes of bitters
Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir until well chilled and strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve.
Don’t have the time/ingredients to get that fancy? Then go for “Dany’s Deer and a Beer,” which is a shot of Jäger followed by Ommegang’s Fire & Blood Red Ale. I have mine ready to go!
What will you be drinking/serving at your Game of Thrones viewing party?
Around this time of year, my apartment goes missing and in its place is a workshop of chocolatey proportions. I have traditional holiday candies I make every year as well as some other basic treats to bring over to potlucks and parties, and any other homemade gifts Mr. Geek and I concoct. And while some of the candies and gifts are fairly tedious to make, there’s one that I love making over and over, and it’s these chocolate peanut butter balls.
I wish I could say the recipe has been passed down for generations, but in reality I found a magazine clipping years back and have made it my own since. These peanut butter balls are easy to make, take under an hour (plus some chill time in the fridge), and are absolutely delicious. I usually make way more than I actually need to give out, and steal some whenever I need a quick pick-me-up. So if you’re looking for a quick and delicious treat to make for the office party or need a creative and homemade gift for a friend or family member, don your apron and get ready to party. (Bonus: Kraft currently has a ton of coupons you can use at Target, and you can use them to save $1 off of the peanut butter used in the recipe!)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- Approx. 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 sticks (8 oz.) Melted Butter
- 1 cup (8 oz.) Planter’s Peanut Butter (I used creamy, but feel free to go wild with crunchy or one of their other flavors!)
- 2 11.5 oz bags of Milk Chocolate Chips
- Sprinkles (optional)
In a large bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, melted butter, and peanut butter until smooth. Consistency should be almost play-doh like and easy to roll into a ball. If not, add more powdered sugar.
Roll the mixture into small, even balls (around the size of a large marble or gumball).
Melt the milk chocolate chips in a double boiler or by very carefully microwaving them in a bowl for 30 seconds at a time. Don’t burn the chocolate!
Dip the balls in the milk chocolate until they’re evenly coated and place on a wax paper-covered cookie sheet. Top the chocolate covered balls with some sprinkles if you’d like (I love the extra crunch and pop of color!), and then place in the fridge for around an hour to chill.
Package them up for your friends/parties before you eat them all yourself.
Or heck, just eat them all yourself.
What’s your go-to holiday treat?
From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.
Yesterday I spent the entire day only doing things found on Pinterest Pins. I wanted to see if I would turn into one of those perfect people you always imagine when going through Pinterest–you know, perfect huge house, rustic accents, perfectly layered clothing with cute makeup and nicely braided hair. Mason jars everywhere. Makes their own organic EVERYTHING. Spoiler alert, I didn’t turn into that. But I did learn a couple of cool new recipes and tricks that I can start adding into my normal life! Here’s a list of everything I did as well as links to the pins (so you can add them to your own board!):
Breakfast: 3 Ingredient Pancakes
The reason I’m not a fan of normal pancakes is because it has a lot of carbs/sugar and lacks protein. These seemed like the perfect solution. They’re only made with bananas, peanut butter, and eggs (and a dash of cinnamon, if you’d like). They started off a bit stickier and more difficult to turn than your average pancakes, but they ended up looking and tasting like the real thing. You’ve gotta like peanut butter and bananas because the taste is strong, but I really enjoyed them. Would make again!
Workout: 7-Minute HIIT Workout
Who knew you could get so sweaty and out of breath in seven minutes? This workout kicked my butt. It recommends you do the full circuit a couple times, but once was good enough for me. It’s the next day and I’m SORE.
DIY: Sugar Cookie Scrub
I love body scrubs and I love cookies, so this one seemed like a no-brainer. The creator mentions it’s a foot scrub, but there’s no reason you can’t use it elsewhere. The ingredients are all things you probably already have in your pantry: white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and olive oil. I would reduce the amount of olive oil you use to 1/3 cup, and make sure it doesn’t have a super strong smell. Other than that, I loved this DIY. It feels and smells delicious and may end up being a Christmas gift for some of my friends. I used the scrub in the shower, and ended up with olive oil on my hands when I washed my hair. My hair was SO smooth and wonderful when I got out of the shower–my comb went through it really easily without me having to use any detangler spray/leave-in conditioner! More proof olive oil is magical.
Outfit: Plaid, Pearls, Boots, and Layers
I pinned a couple outfits for inspiration, but drew more on the basics I see on Pinterest all the time. Boots, skinny jeans, a plaid shirt underneath a crew neck sweater, and pearls. I learned I have no basic crew neck sweaters and need a new plaid shirt. But hey, I did what I could with what I had!
Hair: Fishtail Braid
I first attempted to do one of the Game of Thrones hairstyles, but realized that it looked a little fancy for my outfit. Instead, I took the opportunity to learn how to do a fishtail braid with a Pinterest tutorial. It took me a couple tries, but I finally understood what the tutorial was saying and was able to do it! It was a nice, easy (once I learned) hairstyle that I will definitely replicate in the future.
Makeup: Light Pink Smoky Eye and Bright Lips
I loved the makeup picture I pinned and did my best to do it justice with colors that would work for my outfit. I still love the look I pinned better than my own, but I don’t think I did too horribly! It was fun to get to play around with different colors and styles on my eyes than I normally do.
Lunch: Homemade Crunch Wrap Supremes
I pinned this recipe on my “Fun Food” board a while ago and had wanted to try it for forever. Mr. Geek enjoys Taco Bell’s Crunch Wrap Supremes and I thought it would be a fun surprise to make it at home. We LOVED it. It was pretty easy to make and a whole lot healthier when you control your own ingredients! (I was starving and apparently forgot to take pics! Whoops!)
Party: Pinterest Potluck
I invited some Pinterest and food-loving friends over for a Pinterest Potluck. Everyone was asked to bring a dish that they made from a Pinterest pin. It allowed some of them to try things they’ve pinned a long time ago, and others to try Pinterest for the first time. We had a really fun mix of food and I would call everyone’s recipe at least some degree of success. I’ve listed them all below with a link to the pin so you can try them at home! (Let’s just say we all went home stuffed and a few pounds heavier.)
- Princess Punch
- Buckeye Brownies (Top Left)
- Ancient Roman Nut Tart
- Spaghetti cooked inside Hot Dogs
- Bacon-Wrapped Sausage (Top Center)
- Mini Cinnamon Monkey Rolls (Top Right)
- Curried Pork Cups (Bottom Center)
- Garlic Rosemary French Fries with Aioli Dipping Sauce
- BLT Tea Sandwiches (Bottom Left)
- Bacon Cheeseburger Dip (Bottom Right)
- Crock Pot Blueberry Cobbler
- Pizza Cupcakes
- Caramel Oreo Cupcake Cheesecakes
Dinner: Lasagna Rolls
I made lasagna rolls for my contribution to the Pinterest Potluck. I’ve been wanting to try lasagna rolls for a while and thought this would be a good chance! They were delicious! They work better as a sit-down dinner meal than a potluck meal (they’re messy and not as good when they’re cold), but they still went fast.
Dessert: Cake Batter Cookies
I prefer cake to cookies, but if I had to eat a cookie, eating one made from cake batter doesn’t seem like a bad way to go. These cookies are super bright and cute (thanks to all the sprinkles) and they taste almost like a sugar cookie, but with a softer, slightly more cakey texture. The only thing that would make it better would be a bit of frosting on top!
Bonus: Mason Jars
Mason Jars are ALL over Pinterest, so I felt it was necessary to do everything I could with the jars during the day. Mr. Geek and I both drank water out of them all day, I used one to contain the sugar scrub, I put candles in some for the party, and encouraged others to drink out of some as well. It was my first encounter with mason jars (other than seeing them used for the actual purpose of storing jams) and was actually pretty enlightening. Guys, you can do a lot of things with mason jars! But just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
Are you a Pinterest fan? Do you have pins you’ve wanted to try but haven’t? I encourage you to set up your own Pinterest Day or Pinterest Potluck! Share some of your fave pins in the comments! And check out my Pinterest Day Board for all of the pins!
One of the most popular dishes I made during this year’s Extra Life was the “Tavern Stew.” It was a slow cooked beef stew that could work for any tavern-themed game or event. D&D, WoW, Skyrim, they all have some sort of beef stew. I made it extra medieval/Tavern-y by serving the stew in bread bowls. (In medieval times, meals would be served on trenches of bread.) The dish was delicious, and the main bit of criticism came from there not being enough liquid to seep into the bread. I would recommend either serving it in a bowl with bread on the side, or adding a bit more beef broth in the final hour of the slow cooker so it has time to season but hopefully not be soaked up by all of the meat, potatoes, and vegetables.
The best part of this recipe? If you’re planning an all-day D&D session, you can get it started in the morning, play, and then take a nice break for dinner once it’s ready. Plus you’ll have the fantastic smell of stew cooking all day!
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 potatoes, diced
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper. Mix in the meat until it’s all evenly coated in the flour mixture.
Cook the meat in a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil until slightly browned. Place the meat into a slow cooker.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Cover and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.
If you want to use bread bowls, get round loaves in the size you would like and carefully scoop out the middle with a knife to make a bowl shape. Fill the bowls with stew. (Pro tip: Place the bread bowl on a plate so you don’t have to worry about drips, spills, or yours guests wanting to eat parts of the bowl before it’s fully empty!)
Have you made slow-cooked stews before? What’s your fave slow cooker recipe?
It’s getting chilly, which means it’s perfect time to cozy up with a hot cup of mug cake. And with the announcement of new movies being made in the Harry Potter ‘verse, it only made sense to figure out how to make a Butterbeer Mug Cake. All you need on a crisp fall day is this and a good book.
I teamed up with Kristina Horner (the resident Harry Potter expert) to film a video on how to make the cake, and then we sat down for a nice discussion/speculation session on the new “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” movie(s). Check out both videos below! And keep reading for the recipe. As long as you have some basic ingredients, a mug, and 90 seconds, you can have Butterbeer Mug Cake.
Butterbeer Mug Cake
- 4 TBS Flour
- 2 TBS Brown Sugar (I used light brown)
- 2 TBS White Sugar
- 2 TBS Vegetable Oil
- 2 TBS Cream Soda
- A pinch of Salt
- A dash of Imitation Butter Flavor (optional)
- Whipped Cream
Place all ingredients except for the whipped cream into a microwave-safe mug and mix.
Microwave the mug for 90 seconds.
Carefully remove and let cool for a few seconds.
Top with whipped cream.
The mug cake is best enjoyed soon after baking while it’s still warm and gooey.
Easy, huh? Let me know what you think of the mug cake in the comments!
When I first tried to make Bluth Bananas, I tried a fairly basic recipe: Frozen Banana + Melted Chocolate (and a tiny bit of butter) = Profit, right? Unfortunately, that recipe resulted in clumpy, unappetizing bananas and way too thick of a coating. It was too rich and difficult to eat! However, I’ve figured out a way to make a prettier and more delicious chocolate banana: Magic Shell.
You know that stuff you can buy in the ice cream section at your store? It quickly becomes solid once it hits your ice cream? You can make it at home with two ingredients: semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut oil. It will make the best Bluth Bananas. There will always be money in the banana stand with these babies.
- 4 Bananas
- 3/4 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup Coconut oil
- Chopped nuts, optional
- Popsicle sticks
Carefully put a popsicle stick in each banana. Wrap the banana (I wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed it on wax paper) and place in the freezer. Let freeze for a few hours or overnight.
Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir until ingredients are combined and smooth. (Ta-da! You’ve made Magic Shell!)
Take a frozen banana and dip into the chocolate mixture. You will most likely need to pour more chocolate over the banana using a spoon.
Roll one side of the banana over a plate of the chopped nuts. Let cool/harden on wax paper. Place back into the freezer until you’re ready to serve.
(If you have leftover “Magic Shell” you can store it in a container in your fridge. Just heat it up for a tiny bit in the microwave then spoon over the cold item of your choice!)
I’ve told you how excited I am for the new season of Arrested Development, right? Cause I am. “Can’t sleep, too excited,” counting down the days-style. No one will be allowed to bother me on Sunday. So what’s a girl to do who wants to celebrate the show but not have everyone around when she actually watches the episodes for the first time? Have the party a week before! If you’re not as crazy as I am, these ideas will all make for an excellent premiere party. Well, most of them. Just keep reading. We’ll all learn some lessons along the way.
Arrested Development-themed drinks were easy. We had juice boxes for Buster, Wine boxes for Lucille, and the ingredients for make-your-own “Cloudmir” vodka martinis. Everyone had something, and I didn’t have to do much prep. Win-win!
Oh dear. I went through the food items mentioned in Arrested Development, and took out all of the ones that would potentially give my friends heart attacks or food poisoning. (Goodbye hot ham water and chicken in chicken sauce. Skip’s Scramble, we’ll see you another day.) Unfortunately, the food items left over made for an…interesting…array of party food. What did I include, you may ask?
- Mayanneggs. They were exactly as you’d expect . Mr. Geek and I were both surprised to see that people actually ate them (although most people chose to have their egg sans mayo.)
- Ice Cream Sandwiches. As delicious as ice cream sandwiches are, they’re way better when inside of a prison ice cream vending machine. If you plan on keeping them out at a party, get yourself a cooler (full of evidence?) or choose a specific time of the party to bring them out. They melt quickly. I was running back and forth between the freezer for most of the party.
- Bluth Bananas. See above. The chocolate stayed mostly in tact, but the banana melted and became mushy fairly quickly. A mushy banana is not a fun banana.
- Candy beans. Delicious. Easy party food. Win-win.
- Cornballs. Oh, cornballs. It was only appropriate that my cornball recipe did not turn out. I used a hush puppy recipe (it’s essentially cornbread mix, an egg, and some chopped onion), but the oil must have been too hot. The outside would get brown way too quickly, and the inside wouldn’t be completely cooked. If I did wait for the inside to cook, the outside became an unappetizing black. Luckily, no one burned themselves.
So for those keeping score at home, we have hard boiled eggs, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate covered bananas, candy beans, martinis, wine, and juice. Most bizarre mix of party food I’ve ever had. I don’t recommend it. I ended up making some popcorn later in the night just to even out the food a bit and not put my friends into a sugar shock.
As you may all have known (why didn’t anyone tell me?) the characters on Arrested Development never claimed to be great cooks or have good taste in food. I had made a huge mistake.
Still looking to make Bluth Bananas? I’d recommend not making them like I did (with melted chocolate and a bit of butter). Instead, try my Revised Bluth Bananas Recipe! Bring the bananas out of the freezer right before you plan on eating them.
You’re going to be watching Arrested Development. This is a no-brainer. But if you want something else to do, here are some suggestions:
- Encourage your guests to come dressed in costume.
- Host a photo wall. My dad printed the amazing mugshot backdrop for us that he modeled after this promo photo. Mr. Geek created the fantastic quote signs. You can see more photos in the Geeky Hostess Facebook Album.
- Host an Arrested Development trivia contest. IMDB can get you started.
- Hold a Chicken Dance competition. Has anyone ever seen a chicken before?
Have fun! Report back here on how your premiere party went, and what you think of the 4th season.