Oreo Mudslide Pudding Pops

One of my go to treats in the summer is pudding pops, they bring me back to the days of my childhood. I've tried a few different versions and I must admit, this oreo mudslide version may be the best one yet. This is a mudslide in pudding pop form. Think your kids would want one, no problem, just skip the alcohol and use more milk. 

First up you need a homemade popsicle maker, once you have that, you just need a box or oreo pudding, milk, baileys and Kahlua and some whipped cream. Actually the whipped cream is optional but it just makes the pops so much creamier.  Your store doesn't carry oreo pudding, no biggie. Just add some crushed oreos to your vanilla pudding. or go for broke and use the chocolate pudding. I mean, be fearless with your pudding lovin' self. 

The key to getting these just right is not using too much alcohol and making sure you freeze them a full 24 hours before you try to pop them out of their molds. I also like to mix these up, sometimes I use chocolate milk, other times I use coffee creamers. Next I think I want to use Godiva instead of Kahlua.

1 cup whipping cream
box oreo pudding
1 cup milk
1 oz baileys
1 oz kahlua
crushed oreos

beat the whipping cream on low and once it begins to thicken, up the speed. This really doesn't need any extra sugar bc you are mixing it with the pudding. THe last time I made these, I did add about a tsp of baileys and kahlua, just be careful not to add these until the cream has begun to thicken. Once it is fully whipped, set aside. 

In a separate bowl, make the pudding with the milk and alcohol. Whisk together until it begins to thicken and then add in the whip cream. Stir together and then, before it completely sets as a pudding, pour into the molds. If it has gotten too thick to pour, just add a little more milk. 

Do not use too much alcohol or these will not set and they will break apart in the mold. You would probably have to use a fork to get it all out. Not that I would know or anything. 

Once they are set, run the molds under hot water until they release. I crushed up some oreos and dredged the pops in them. Such a perfect and delicious treat. 

linking up with Green Fashionista, Emily, Ladybug Blessings

McCall Me Maybe

A few weeks back I posted about my trip up to Baltimore for Blog U. I mentioned how much fun was had and all that I learned in the sessions.  I bragged about the amount of swag I came home with. I think I probably left out one of the best items I scored...a bottle of Jameson. On Thursday night a few of us went by the liquor store to grab a few items to make drinks back at the hotel that night. That ended up never happening. Enter sad face here. Just kidding, I barely even noticed I was sans cocktails. There was wine and photo booths.

As I was preparing to leave on Sunday, my friend McCall asked if I was interested in her bottle of Jameson since she was never able to open it and she was flying back home and Nicole and I were driving. I promised her I would thoroughly enjoy it and make a cocktail in her honor.

I am true to my word and, since it is my job to create libations (no, really, it is, I get paid to make cocktail recipes for liquor companies and magazines. tough job but I am up for the challenge;) I knew I needed to make one fitting for her personality and I think I got it right.

I have made a few cocktails with whiskey and blackberries before (think my Naughty Southerner) and I have made a few with pear and lime (my Spicy Pear Spritzer) but this is the first time melding all the flavors together in one cocktail.

The McCall Me Maybe

1 lime
blackberries (handful)
tsp of sugar
1 1/2 oz Jameson
1/2 oz of pear liquor
sprite (or a carbonated lime beverage)

Cut the lime in half, use one half to make 2 wedges. place in a shaker with half the blackberries and the sugar. Muddle very thoroughly and take out lime wedges, making sure to squeeze in case there is any juice left. Add in the Jameson and pear liquor and shake vigorously for about 10 to 15 seconds.

In a glass, add ice, a few blackberries, and the rest of the lime ( I cut them into slices) and pour in the cocktail. Top with the sprite.

and then enjoy this drink. If you can't locate pear liquor, pear rum or vodka would work, or even just the Jameson is pretty tasty.

Linking up with Kristin

What's Up Wednesday

I haven't done a random link up in awhile and my friend Mel hosts what's up Wednesday the last Wednesday of each month and so I figured I would participate and answer the questions this month. 

This week we're eating quite a variety, I am working on a few recipes for the blog and last night we had pizza at a local pizza shop that uses all fresh ingredients, their sauce is simmered with pork belly and it is beyond divine. and Then more ice cream sandwiches from Rose's Meat Market. 

I am reminiscing about the fact that this time 12 years ago I was just a few days away from becoming a "Mrs" I really cannot believe how time flies. It was one of the best days ever. 

I am loving the show Wayward Pines on Fox. It is completely funky and off kilter and I cannot get enough. I am also super pumped that True Detective is back on, although I am not sure I am digging the second season as much thus far. I am also enjoying having some time to lay out and swim. I love swimming!

We have been traveling all over the place and the trend continues over the next few months, actually we only have 2 weekends through September where we are in town. We've recently done Miami and Richmond and have the beach and mountains coming up with a trip with one of my besties to a weekend of wine tasting on the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail. 

I can't really think of anything off the top of my head that I am dreading at this point. Here's where I cross my fingers and hope it stays that way!!

I am working on numerous blog posts regarding various topics. Trying to come up with some new recipes and putting together a few new cocktails. Think pudding poptails...

I am excited about seeing my bestie this weekend and drinking wine and taking in Mayberry. That's right, we are staying in the town that the show Mayberry was based on. And there will be plenty of wine. 

It is always interesting when someone asks "what you're reading" If I am not actually reading this moment, then I am not reading a book. It is very and I mean very rare for me to start a book and not finish it that night. I usually read about 4 or 5 books a week. Some of the one I have read lately are Beautiful Ruins, Catherine and The Iron Witch Trilogy.

I have been on an Erasure kick lately. They were one of my favorites growing up and they have been keeping me company at the pool on the really hot days. 

Look, it has been over 97 degrees every day for 10 straight days, yesterday was 99 with the heat index at 108, I am living in tank tops and work out shorts or a cover up over my bathing suit. I will care about clothes again in September. 

As I mentioned I am headed to have a weekend of relaxation and wine tours with one of my besties in the Carolina Mountains and the land of Andy Griffith in Mayberry.  We're staying at a cabin on the grounds of a winery that over looks a bubbling brook. And yes, please. Then, on Sunday, it's my anniversary and we are having a nice dinner and going to catch an outdoor movie!

Next month I am headed to Pawley's Island South, Carolina and then a few trips home to Virginia before I head up to NYC for a few more culinary classes at The International Culinary Institute. I cannot wait!

Blackberry Shandy

I have mentioned it before, but I am just not a beer drinker.  I have tried, I really have. Not to mention everyone just assures me that if I try so and so, they just know I will fall in love with it. "I just need to try a good one" Here's the deal, I've been to over 40 breweries and still, beer is not my cup of tea. 

I love to cook with it. I also love to use it as a cocktail topper. I do really love visiting the breweries and quite frankly, I really do want to partake and I finally discovered the best way to do so...shandy style! A true shandy is half beer/half lemonade and I just decided to mix it up a bit. 

When we were at Blue Mountain in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia, I spied a can of Izze blackberry soda and bells went off in my head. I cracked the can, had my husband drink a big gulp from each of my beer samples and added the Izze. 

And delicious it was!!

Finally, I got to be a big girl at the brewery. Haha

You can make any flavor shandy you want with any kind of soda, really simple and super easy for anyone who doesn't consider themselves a beer drinker. 

linking up with Kristin

Zucchini Fritters

When you marry an Italian, this simple dish is pretty much a staple. So is fried zucchini or zucca as they call it. This is an older recipe and I may have added/changed up a few ingredients along the way, but I think this is the best version yet. And they are really easy to throw together...and even easier to eat! 

  • 2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
             greek yogurt, plain
             tsp lemon juice
             pinch garlic salt
            pinch red pepper flakes


In a colander over the sink, toss zucchini with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini and make sure it is completely drained.

 Stir in Parmesan, flour, garlic, cornstarch, chives, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. 

In a large skillet, I usually use my cast iron,  heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until you drop a pinch of flour and it immediately bubbles.  Drop heaping tbsp of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet, trying not to overcrowd the pan. Once they begin to sizzle, I flatten them down using a spatula.  Fry the fritters over medium high heat until the edges turn a  golden color, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Flip the fritters and fry them for another 2 to 3 minutes. If they are burning, turn the heat down. 

Drain them on a plate with thick paper towels and serve immediately. 

I like to top these with a greek yogurt topping that has a little spice to it.  Combine the yogurt with a tsp of lemon juice, garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Place a dollop on each zucchini fritter. 

Hide them from everyone and eat them all yourself. oops, did I just say that?

linking up with Green Fashionista

Weekending in The RVA

I have said it before and I will say it again, Richmond is one of my absolute favorite cities in the country...and I've been to every major city minus three. It's affordable, it's absolutely gorgeous. There is so much to do. And then there is the food. The food. Did I mention the food. 

I surprised Wiki with a trip on Friday and completely shocked him when his parents walked in. They drove down from Boston to surprise him and then I got him again on Saturday when my parents waltzed in. We drove around showing my in laws all the of the RVA, had a great dinner and settled back in at the resort before a packed to the gills Saturday. 

We had breakfast, hit the Poe museum, wandered through historic neighborhoods, took a boat tour through the canals, took in a movie at the iconic Byrd theater ( built in the 1920's, magnificent is almost underwhelming of a word to describe this place. And you get a live organ show prior to the movie that rises from the floor) 

Then we capped our night off at the grand dame of all hotels, The Jefferson with some cocktails and people watching. We saw no less than seven different brides! 

Sunday started with a big brunch and then we headed to the Fine Arts Museum and were able to take in the Art of the Flower exhibit with paintings from Van Gogh, Manet and Matisse. We ended our trip to the museum with cocktails and snacks at their rooftop restaurant, The Amuse.

Can't wait to go back in the Fall. I never tire of this fabulous and charming city full of rich history and scrumptious eats.

Enjoy the photos from our weekend away!

Linking up with Meghan and Erin

Miami Beach

Over Memorial Day we headed down to Miami to pretty much relax, drink cocktails and breathe in the ocean. We succeeded. We've been to Miami quite a few times and while I enjoy South Beach, it's not really my cup of tea. Miami Beach was the perfect spot because it is near everything but almost feels secluded and we were only a few hotels up from the iconic Eden Roc and Fountainebleau.

We stayed at the Grand Miami Beach and I cannot say enough great things about this hotel. The service was impeccable, the cocktails were delicious and just strong enough and the view, oh the view. They have three pools, two that are a complete oasis surrounded by palm trees and an adult only rooftop pool that has a view of both the ocean and the bay!The only downside I can think of to this hotel would probably be the carpets in the hallway. They really do need a serious deep clean but with beach feet and light carpet, sometimes that happens. 

I'll just let our photos do the talking, we pretty much stayed in our hotel with a few detours to Coral Gables and my absolute favorite beach in the country, Key Biscayne.  I will be writing a post specifically about each, but wanted to throw a few pics in for the meantime. The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables was awesome. Can't say enough things about it, especially the caves! 

And my new favorite drink is the Caipirinha, oh my gosh!!! So delish

Not shown, my purple and blistered skin from inadvertently using a much lower sunscreen than I realized. Ouch. 

Linking up with green fashionista for Wanderlust Wednesday

Powdered Alcohol And All

This past weekend was one that I had basically been counting down to since it was over last year, Blog U was finally here. This time was made even better by the fact that one of my real life besties was joining me this go round.  Nicole and I headed up on Thursday and made it despite the dreary and seemingly never ending rain that fell from Durham all the way to Baltimore.

We relaxed a little bit before heading out to eat and met up with a group at a nearby restaurant after bumping into two of my favorites, Frugie and Kerry. A few squeals and hugs may have transpired in the tiny Radisson elevator. T first it felt like we had intruded on a tight knit group, but by the end we were laughing hysterically and were so glad we decided to join them for dinner, even if we waited forever and all the days for our food. Just meant more conversation.

We headed back to our hotel and joined the pow wow that was happening in the lobby and met even more fantastic ladies. Lots of the BluntMom crew and to put it bluntly(hardy har har) these were some of my favorite ladies of the weekend. I hearted them almost immediately. 

The next day was National Donut Day and who in the hades would I be not to participate? Ergo, Nicole and I stopped by the Fractured Prune and oh. my. heavens. Delicious.  Don't just trust me, Melissa and Susanne agree also.

The rest of the day went by fast, getting to catch up with so many of my favorite people (Tabatha!!!) and also turning facebook friends into actual friends. There was also plenty of time spent confusing the hell out of people by saying Amanda Madison is my facebook but please call me 'Maddie"  Confused yet? Good. 

This year started off with a bang and we went right into sessions. I learned so much from the first two and am already putting Anna's and Lynn's tips to good use. I am already seeing a spike from pinterest and I think I am using SEO properly. Being around this group of women (and men!) seems to just ignite something inside of you and you just jump into bettering yourself and your blog.

I also ascertained (via the back of a bathroom stall, we were on a college campus, after all) that there is such a thing as powdered alcohol.  Apparently  you can't snort it or eat it, therefore I can only assume you just pinch it in your butt cheeks like they used to do for fun with chewing tobacco. or you know, mix it with liquid but... how boring. 

This is not a conference you want to attend if you need to sleep. It is pretty much go time from the moment you arrive. Sessions on Friday and then an awesome event that night. Saturday morning after breakfast, which really is just social hour with people half awake, you head to hear amazing keynote speakers before participating in a full day of more sessions, cupcakes and then, the Saturday night fun...this year the theme was Middle School Awkward and it didn't disappoint. Nicole and I just kept mentioning how pretty much every single person was dancing! 

 There was just one drawback, my awesome roomie, Amy, wasn't there this year. My partner in tea loving crime. Next year, friend! And you were certainly missed. You were the absolute first thing Foxy and I talked about upon seeing each other.

And neither was Megan because of last minute emergency. I will see you very soon in NYC though, my friend!

For now though, here's a photo overload for you all.  You're so welcome. We had the middle school awkward dance on Saturday and I need better pictures because my acid wash jeans were legit...legitimately ugly as all hell. 

Blog U was once again held at the beautiful Notre Dame of Maryland Campus and Nick Mom hosted the Saturday night festivities, they did a fantastic job and it was just as awesome as last year! I cannot emphasize enough how much knowledge I gained from attending this conference. Stephanie, Meredith and the rest of the Blog U faculty completely rock this whole shebang. There is plenty of socializing to be had, but what I learned is by far the best reason to attend, well, besides these.

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