Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Cocktails: Hummer Ice Cream Drinks

Garnished with Cookie Wafer Straws and Crumbled Oreos courtesy of Jill!

This episode is brought to you from inside the house. . . 

It's raining here. Really torrential with hail and the whole nine yards. I should mention that at 4PM it was fine but by 5 (cocktail hour this week) it had already started pouring and the sky turned green.

Our plan for today were Hummers and we decided it didn't matter. After all, Jill went out and braved the storm to get us ice cream. How could we change our minds? An investment was made! She also bought these really delicious cookie wafers and some Oreos to make them works of art.

I will caution anyone that follows a recipe that our original version was WAY TOO STRONG (3 oz of O'Mara's Irish Cream and 3 oz of Barcardi Rum per drink) so for the recipe I'm sharing here I have cut back the alcohol to a more manageable level. Feel free to add more but I like to taste the ice cream too.

Hummer Milkshakes

Per Cocktail:
1 oz O'Mara's Irish Cream
1 oz Barcardi Rum
3 cups of Vanilla Ice Cream (we were health conscious and used Slow Churned which is supposedly 1/2 the fat and calories?)

Mix all ingredients in the blender. Put in glass. Garnish with cookie wafer straw and/or Oreo cookies.

Next week we are planning on making these Florodora Cocktails that I tried at Maggiano's last night. I love anything with Hendrick's and since we have a bottle. . . Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday Cocktails: Jamaican Screwdriver

Brought to you by the Ninja Inspiration Guide!

I have wanted to buy a blender to make breakfast smoothies for quite a while. The reality is that often when rushing to work in the morning the kids don't get a nutritious breakfast and there is one particular one that may not even want to eat breakfast. We have been looking for a while for something a little more powerful than a conventional blender because those just haven't done the job for us. I was holding out for a Blendtech or a Vitamix but saw a package at Costco last weekend for the Ninja system that came with the full size blender pitcher, three single serve cups, a food processor and a dough hook. Can't beat that for $149!

We made a really great smoothie with banilla yogurt (Trader Joe's) with frozen strawberries, banana, vanilla whey powder and honey. Last night we had orange juice, milk, frozen strawberry slushies for dessert and today we have banana date peanut butter milkshakes for breakfast.

Now of course having a blender like this has some other benefits not necessarily related to nutrituous endeavors. This can be a giant slurpee machine! This can make frozen cocktails!

So for the first experiment in the Ninja we decided to follow a recipe to the letter before we move forward with our own recipes. We started with the Jamaican Screwdriver on page 13 and it was delicious! FYI their idea of 2 servings for any recipe really equates for about 3-4 normal cocktail servings (or smoothies as I have come to find out). Vodka and light rum, with orange and pineapple juices with ice.

I'm thinking we will do a frozen sunshine margarita next!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review: Scarlett Nights (An Edilean Novel) by Jude Deveraux

Okay I admit I'm cringing as I review this. . . 

I know what you are thinking and perhaps I should be thinking it too. Yes, a cheesy romance. A stereotypical book.


Well yes, it's a romance and it's by an author that is known for romances - actually a plethora of them. I am going to justify my initial impulse to read this book by the fact it was readily available and I had a string of really bad books that I'm not going to bother to review as I bailed very early on them.

Now, before you just chalk this up to an easy impulsive romantic read I should tell you that while I don't pursue her books I read A Knight in Shining Armor and it really stuck with me after all these years. Yes, I was probably an impressive teenager looking for romance and found it "dreamy" but I recall that I was really fascinated by the time travel aspect. Of course it might have been a phase because I also used to love a series called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon at that same time.

But I digress. We are talking about Scarlett Nights and I did enjoy it. Yes, it was for the most part an easy read but it really held my interest. Yes, it's a romance but there is a plot. Mike Newland is a detective that has worked on some serious undercover investigations that have taken him to all sorts of places in the world and put him very dangerous situations. He had never really settled down due to his job as well as a very messed up childhood and has no ties with the exception of a sister who lives in Edilean, Virginia, a small town that Mike has never even visited but is connected to his past.

When a fugitive is thought to be hiding out in Edilean, Mike is put on the case and gets to know his sister's friends that he has heard about for years. He comes as who he is but not really revealing his real purpose which is to get close one of his sister's friends who is engaged to marry the fugitive. Of course no one in town knows the fugitive's true identity but they don't like him either and are rooting for Mike to change Sara's mind about Greg.

There is the question as to why Greg is even interested in Sara, and more importantly why she is planning on marrying this less than stellar guy. Mike tries to uncover the trail and get evidence to prove Greg's association with a criminal family that has swindled money from many victims and has even murdered folks to get what they want.

Small town America, mixed with a mafia type family, a hard nosed cop with little to lose, and a sweet innocent girl who is really stronger than she looks, are all elements in this romance. It was quite enjoyable and I would probably read another one in the series. Of course there are formulaic aspects to this book and a typical ending but I still think it's worth a quick read.

Now if I wasn't embarrassed enough about reviewing this particular one, look at another version of the cover. Yep, I am cringing.