Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Raspberry Frosted Lemonade Pops

One of my new favorite treats to indulge in is the Frosted lemonade at Chic Fil A. It is a simple and delicious treat and reminiscent of a creamsicle but with a lighter lemon flavor. I love the original but as I was buying the lemonade to first make these, I saw the pink lemonade and thought "why not?"

 These raspberry frosted lemonade pops are refreshing and so simple to make! You still have a few weeks left of summer to enjoy these and I think you really should go ahead and do that.

I have now made these a few times and have tweaked the recipe each time to the point that I now am really happy with them. These pictures are from the first time I made them and while they were good, I think my newest version is a little bit better.

The main difference in the first few times I made it is the use of fresh raspberries. The first few times I just used raspberry lemonade and while it was tasty, the flavor was just lacking something. Using the fresh raspberries in lieu of the flavored lemonade was just what this recipe needed!

Raspberry Frosted Lemonade Pops

1 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

1/2- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemonade

1/4 cup raspberries

sliced lemons (optional)

popsicle sticks

Place all ingredients in blender and blend til fully Incorporated. You can add more ice cream or lemonade if you would like, this is one of those recipes that is more to taste and you can play around with to get it exactly how you would like it.

if you want to use lemon slices for aesthetic reasons, place a slice in bottom of cup. Fill cups (or popsicle molds) with the frosted lemonade mixture and place stick in middle of cup. Freeze for at least 4 hours and enjoy!

and as a side note, you can always add a little bourbon to this to give yourself a little added oomph;)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rooftop Libations

The weekends are just speeding by. It's almost as soon as you have a few minutes of down time, Monday has already rolled on in. This particular weekend involved a visit to the new Durham Hotel to take in the lovely view and cocktails on their rooftop. What a gorgeous view it was. 

One of the things that has been missing from the Durham scene has been a rooftop and that need has been fulfilled- tenfold. No expense was spared and it shows. 

I had been a few weeks ago when they were giving media tours and so I already somewhat knew what to expect but to see it in action is always a little different. It's right near Wiki's office and so he met me after he was off of work.

Then I headed over to Nicole's to hang out and enjoy some bubbly, but not before popping in to Rue Clare to grab some of their incredible beignets. They are so good and I wanted to eat the whole bag rigth then and there. 

Saturday I worked on a bunch of recipes after I headed to the store to grab a new blender because ours was MIA. On Friday I  searched and searched, got out the step stool to see where my giant husband may have put it and finally called him. 

Me "Hey, I give up. where's the blender? Did someone borrow it or something" 

Him... after an entirely too long of a pause 

Me "Wait...where's my blender? What happened to it?!! I know you know where my blender is, spill it now!!!" 

( this may be an occasion where I should use all caps if I was one of those people, I am not so you should just know I probably wasn't very nice, but I don't have children or a pet and so my blender is basically my child. It treats me well and makes me delicious concoctions. kidding, but not really;)

Him "It might have died" 

Me " @#&% (over and over)

Anyways, I got a new and even better one and made a few recipes and then headed over to the mall where I grabbed some Chic Fil A and grabbed a few necessities for the week before heading back home and redboxing it while I waited for him to get home. 

Saturday night we hit up the NCMA outdoor movie and this week was The Big Lebowski. They normally show newer movies but they show this every year and have a costume contest with prizes and food trucks. We met up with Carolina and Ethan and had a great time. 

Yesterday was pretty chill, had a slow morning. Read a book and then went for a glorious pedicure with Nicole and my peeps are looking rather good this am. 

How was your weekend. What all did you do? 

linking up with Meghan and Erin

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pineapple Caipirinha

If you were to ask me my favorite drink, I would answer easily with "a Caipirinha" although, my pronunciation may still be incorrect because I can't seem to say it right no matter how hard I try, but it's ok. Especially now that I know how to make them myself. 

Summer is almost coming to a close but anytime you make these, you will feel as if you are relaxing on a beach with the waves crashing. 

I had never had the pleasure of tasting one til our trip to Miami in May.  Now I am hooked and order them whenever I can. I will admit that the original version is my absolute favorite, but I do like the others also as who am I to discriminate? 

In order to make a true caipirinha you must have sugar cane rum known as cachaca. I have seen multiple versions of it made without or some other sugar cane rum and while I am sure it tastes delicious, it isn't a true caipirinha. Not all liquor stores carry it but look around or even ask about ordering it as it is worth it, I promise. 

This is the pineapple version and it took a few tries to get the way I liked it for my taste. You can play around and make it to yours. I used crushed pineapples and the juice after I muddled equaled about an ounce. I think it would be really good to infuse the cachaca with the pineapple for a few nights and it may taste even better. 

And obviously the pictures are the ones I took of the caiprinahs we ordered while in Miami that got me originally hooked. My photos from the ones I made came out pretty good but my kitchen can't really compare to the view from these;)

Pineapple Caipirinha

2 oz cachaca
1/4 cup pineapples
1/2 lime
1 tbsp sugar

Cut the lime into wedges and place with pineapple and sugar in a glass, muddle all the ingredients making sure to crush the fruit and express as much juice as possible.  Add in ice and the cachaca, making sure to stir thoroughly.  You can always add a little pineapple juice, sugar or lime juice to adjust to your taste. 

Then just enjoy and keep in mind that while it may go down smoothly, these pack quite a punch!

linking up with Tipsy Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Yadkin Valley Wine Trail

A few weeks ago I was able to go on a girls weekend with one of my best friends. We went back and forth over where to go when I suggested the Yadkin Valley area. My husband and I have been multiple times and I knew it would be a perfect girls weekend away. I mean, wine...

The Yadkin Valley is just a few hours from my house in Raleigh and about an hour from Charlotte. It spans about a 70 mile radius and there are a little more than two dozen wineries in about a 30-45 mile area. We decided to stay in a cabin versus a hotel and I immediately knew just the spot, Elkin Creek Vineyards. It is such a cozy vineyard located in the heart of the wine trail in Elkin. 

We met up in Mayberry, yep that one. Mt. Airy is the home of Andy Griffith and what Mayberry was based on. It is one of my favorite towns in Carolina and the location of our first winery, Old North State. It is in the middle of downtown and only a winery, not a vineyard. 

After trying a few out and grabbing a few bottles to go, we headed the half hour to Elkin and checked in to our sweet little cabin. I cannot even express how much I loved it. What a darling spot. So relaxing and what a great time!

We headed to downtown area of Elkin and grabbed some dinner before coming back to our cabin and vegging out on snacks, wine and all the netflix we could handle at out disposal. We knew we had a full day ahead and wanted to keep it low key. 

The next morning we mapped out the ones we wanted to hit and we decided to visit wineries that my husband and I hadn't been to before! The first up was the breathtaking Raffaldani, I am usually not a fan of large wineries as I feel like the experience is more about being wowed than putting out a good product. Luckily that is not the case here as the wine is as good as the view!

Next up we headed to McRitchie wines and cider. It was a little smaller and more intimate. They had a few wines I liked but I was not an overly big fan of their ciders. I prefer dry and crisp and they were a little too sour for me. 

Afterwards we headed less than five minutes up the road to Jones Von Drehle and it was by far one of my favorite stops the whole trip. They had a plethora of wines to try and they were very, very good. Plus, it was kind of cools as the vinter himself happened to be there and he showed us around and even signed our bottles. 

After a full day of checking wineries out we headed back to our cabin and enjoyed some wine and perfect conversation on the porch swing. It was the perfect end to a fabulous and full day of wine and lots of laughter. 

The next morning I got my tea fix in while taking in the scenery and we were able to enjoy the amazing wood fired pizza that Elkin Creek has available every Sunday. My husband and I have had their bread and cheeses before but had never been around on a Sunday and that is the only day they offer the pizza. 

Let me just say that it lived up to the hype!!!

If you are ever looking for a girls weekend or a romantic getaway I cannot say enough great things about the Yadkin Valley. Great wines, charming towns and even better views! Get here when you can!

linking up with Wanderlust Wednesday

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Delicious Bite of the Big Apple

I am so very excited that this weekend is upon us! A few years ago my husband sent me to NYC for culinary classes and I had an absolute blast and learned so much. He surprised me with a class again this year and I am finally going up today! I will be spending the weekend with a good friend of mine and it is funny how things come full circle as I took her to NYC and played tour guide for her first ever trip to the city, a little over 4 years ago. Now I am anticipating seeing the city through her eyes now. I am also so pumped to see my friend Megan who blogs at Fashionista Momma, I haven't seen her since last year at Blog U!

I am going to eat and eat and probably eat some more. We are having Beechers Macaroni for lunch and basically, that's all I really care about at this point. We're gonna have some rooftop libations and then tonight we are headed to a comedy show.

Tomorrow is my class and I am excited to learn but also a little bit intimidated and nervous! Wish me luck that I do well and mainly have fun. I am very confident and self assured in a kitchen, but this is a little different.  After I am done, we are heading for drinks at The Bowery Hotel before heading off to a birthday party for one of her friends. Who happens to be the first person we met up with when we visited last time.

Sunday we are headed to Brooklyn to take in the food haven that is known as Smorgasbord. I die. I am already so hungry that I may die of anticipation before it gets here. I have followed them on instagram for a while and I plan to do some damage!

The rest of the weekend will be planned my favorite way while in NYC, by ear. I just love stumbling into places and gaining new experiences while there.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!