Tequila Lime Jello Shots

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Arrrrrriba!  Spice up your New Year with this crowd favorite.  Don’t be fooled, these aren’t lime wedges!  They’re jello shots!  Eat them like you would a lime wedge, but don’t worry, you won’t need a chaser after these shots!  They’re delicious!  I like to dip then I’m sugar, but then again, I’ve got a mean sweet tooth.

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Tequila Lime Jello Shots

Prep time:  The limes can be a pain in the butt and the jello will need to harden for several hours/overnight, so make sure you allow ample time to make these shots.  You’ve been warned.

Serves:  24 lime “wedge” shots

-6-8 limes (find some that are kind of stiff, as if the peel is a little thicker, this will make your life easier)

-3 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (or 6 tablespoons)

-1 oz water (or 2 tablespoons)

-1/4 cup sugar

-1 envelope  (2 tsp) of Knox unflavored gelatin

-3 oz tequila (or 6 tablespoons) **El Jimador silver tequila is pretty good quality at a decent price**

-1 oz orange liqueur (2 tablespoons) **I used Grand Marnier.**

-large crystal sugar or salt to make them look all pretty

  1. Hollow out the lime peels.  Easy.
  2. I was kidding about step 1… this part actually really sucks.  There’s no shortcut, really.  You might think it would be easier to juice the limes before you hollow them out.  It’s not.  Here’s what I did that made things a little bit easier:  Don’t mess with the limes, just cut them in half.  Slice through the white core part (as shown in picture 1 in the graphic above).  Then take a spoon (even better if you have a serrated grapefruit spoon!  I didn’t 😦 ) and scoop along the peel until the fruit portion pops out.  But just so you know, it’s not going to just “pop out”, it may take some fight.  Don’t give up!
  3. Place the hollowed out lime halves in a muffin tin.  You’ll only need 6 limes to fill the muffin tin, but you’ll need a few extra for juice.
  4. Squeeze the lime fruit and collect 6 tablespoons of juice.
  5. Combine the lime juice, water, and sugar in a small saucepan with the burner off.
  6. Sprinkle in the gelatin powder and stir.
  7. Warm over medium heat.  Stir until completely dissolved.
  8. Stir in the tequila and orange liqueur.
  9. Pour into a container that has a pouring spout.
  10. Pour into all 12 lime halves until full.  It won’t expand much.
  11. Carefully place the muffin tin in the fridge and allow to cool for at least 4 hours.  I would just let it sit in there overnight.
  12. Once completely hardened, cut each in half to form wedges!

And there you have it!  It’s a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it if you’re up to the challenge!  Enjoy responsibly :-).

~Megan

White chocolate cranberry cookies- just for you!

If you’re anything like me, you have waited until the last minute to prepare a yummy treat for your workplace holiday party. Mine is tomorrow, less than 24 hours away, and I have just made some delicious white chocolate cranberry cookies. My husband was my taste tester, and he says this is the best recipe I have tried so far- so that’s a good sign! It was such an easy and tasty recipe, I thought some other procrastinating bakers may appreciate this post. I found it on Pinterest, here is the link to the easy-to-follow recipe:

White chocolate cranberry cookies 

 

Here are all of the ingredients grouped up! (I used regular cranberries and chopped them up myself)
 
I think I made the cookies a teeny bit too big…
  

I did not have parchment paper, so I sprayed my cookie sheet. Still stuck to my pan- beware!

The delicious end result.

Enjoy!   

~Eleni 

Easy & Delicious Cinnamon French Toast

Stuck in on a cold winter morning?  Whip up a delicious breakfast fit for a queen in just 10 minutes!  The best part is, you probably have all of these ingredient already!  No grocery shopping.  YAY!

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Easy and Delicious Cinnamon French Toast!

Prep time:  10 minutes

Serves:  6 slices of deliciousness

Husband rating:  4.5 out of 5 Han Solos

Han Solo French Toast

-6 slices of whole wheat bread (no need for fancy bread)

-4 eggs

-1/4 cup milk

-1/2 tsp vanilla

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1 tsp sugar

  1. Set a small (approx. bread slice-sized) skillet on the stove at medium heat.
  2. Whisk 4 eggs in a medium sized bowl that is wide enough to lay a slice of bread in.
  3. Mix in milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar.
  4. Place a slice of bread on top of the egg mixture and flip.  Note:  Make sure not to leave the bread in the mixture for too long or it will fall apart and you’ll have a big ‘ol mess all over your counter when you try to transfer it to the pan.  I’m just saying.  It happens.
  5. Transfer the bread to the pan and cook for 40-60 seconds on each side.
  6. Put on a plate.
  7. Put syrup, butter, powdered sugar, whatever.. on top.
  8. Eat. Relish your amazing breakfast-cooking abilities.

Watch me make it in 13 seconds!

~Megan

Watch me whip! Then add the Bailey’s…

  
There’s only one more day to prepare for Thanksgiving! I am sure you have all of your baking done (if not, good luck to you…)- BUT, did you remember the whipped cream to top your delicious pies (or to top off your post-dinner coffee)? You’re saying, ‘Of course! Cool whip was on sale last week, so I am covered.’ But I say to you, why wouldn’t you want to dazzle your guests by making a homeade, no sugar added, liqueur infused, delicious whipped cream? It’s quick, easy, and will be sure to impress. 

All you need is:

  • Electric mixer
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 3 packets of stevia
  • 1 tablespoon *your choice* liqueur

The process is a piece of cake! I mean pie…I mean, you put it ON your pie… Just keep reading. 

  1. Pour heavy whipping cream into a bowl that will hold at least TWICE as much as is poured in. It will expand as you whip it. 
  2. Whip the cream using an electric mixer on a medium setting (I had mine on 2 or 3, highest setting is 5). 
  3. Keep on whipping until the liquid begins to thicken. 
  4. Add your stevia and choice of liqueur. ~I use Bailey’s, or an off-brand Irish creme liqueur. Kahlua, or other coffee liqueurs would also be delicious.~
  5. Keep on whipping until you get the desired fluffiness of your whipped cream. (Could take about 10-15 minutes) 
    whipping cream
    This is before and after whipping for 15 minutes. See the thickeness difference? Patience is key.
     

My mom told me this recipe, and I can’t get enough. You can add more or less stevia based on your taste, and if you want more liqueur taste- add a little at a time until it fits! 

This is guaranteed to bring your Thanksgiving pies and your dessert coffee to the next level. Enjoy!

~Eleni 

Easy biscotti recipe!

  

 As winter approaches, my favorite thing to battle the chilly weather is having some hot chocolate or coffee while I wear my fuzzy socks and cuddle under a blanket with my puppy (or husband…I guess). Sometimes a hot drink needs a little something extra, and biscotti can really hit the spot. Below is a biscotti recipe that takes around an hour to complete. Happy baking!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toasted almond (slivered is best)
  • 1/4 lb butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 orange, zest… Fresh!
  • 1/2 cup chopped cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. 
  3. Add the eggs. 
  4. Mix those until smooth. 
  5. Add the orange zest and almond extract. 
  6. Continue mixing until it’s blended well. 
  7. Separately mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift this mixture into the wet mixture. 
  8. Stir in desired amount of slivered almonds and cranberries. 
  9. On a FLOURED board (dough will be very sticky), divide the dough in half and make two long rolls. See picture above to get an idea on size and shape. 
  10. Place the rolls lengthwise onto a cookie sheet. 
  11. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes 
  12. Take out of the oven and keep on the cookie sheet. Let us sit/cool for 5 minutes.
  13. Using a very sharp knife, slice the rolls diagonally into ~1/2 inch thick slices. Be patient here or they may crumble. 
  14. Lay the slices on their side on the cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. 
  15. Turn the slices onto their other side and bake another 8 minutes. 
  16. Remove and cool the biscotti on a cooling rack. 

Hope you enjoy the recipe, get to dippin’!

~Eleni

     

    Easy Lemon Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

    Easy Lemon Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

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    No Fall or Winter season is complete without a hearty pasta recipe.  The best part about this recipe is that it cuts a few calories here and there.  We have to save some calories for lots and lots of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving!  This a delicious and easy dinner for a chilly night at home!

     

    Easy Lemon Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

    Prep time:  30 minutes

    Serves:  6

    Husband rating:  3.5 out of 5 Han SolosHan Solo Scale

    12 oz dry pasta (Fettuccine, Spaghetti, Rotini… your choice!  Even better if it’s whole grain!)

    1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced into strips

    4 cups broccoli florets

    2 Tbsp butter

    3 Tbsp garlic powder

    3 Tbsp flour

    1 ¾ cups skim or 1% milk

    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    4 oz. light cream cheese, diced into cubes

    1 ½ cup (1.5 oz.) finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving

    3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

    3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    • Prepare pasta in salted water.  Unless you have frozen steam-in-bag broccoli (my favorite!), add broccoli to the boiling pasta in the last 5 minutes.  Drain together.
      • Note:  I used Vermicelli Spaghetti noodles because I had a bunch I needed to use up..  Fettuccine noodles would be more traditional, but use whatever you want!  
      • Another note:  If you haven’t already cooked your chicken, now would be a good time.  I usually fry the strips of chicken in a pan with a tablespoon of oil.
    • In a large and deep skillet or pot, melt butter over medium heat, then add garlic and flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  While whisking slowly, pour milk into flour mixture.  Whisk vigorously to smooth any lumps.  Add in cream cheese and parmesan – whisk until melted.  Keep stirring until smooth.  Mix in heavy cream and lemon juice (I prefer more lemon in mine!).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  
    • Once sauce is ready, stir in drained pasta, broccoli and chicken.  Add milk to create a thinner sauce, if desired.
    • Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan and enjoy!

    ~Megan

    Inspired by Cooking Classy, Light Fettuccine Alfredo

    My pumpkin cheesecake brings all the boys to the yard…


    It’s finally the most wonderful FOOD time of the year! All of the holiday recipes are coming out of hiding, soon to be devoured and eventually inspire some New Years resolutions to get fit. But until then, let’s get cooking!

    My husband and I had our first family Thanksgiving dinner this weekend since his mom’s side of the family will be spread around the world on the actual day. I volunteered to try my hand at making a pumpkin cheesecake. My mom flawlessly makes it every year, and it has become Ryan’s favorite dessert…so I of course need to know how to make it!

    Below is the easy recipe, enjoy!

    Pumpkin Cheesecake – Martha Stewart

    *To prevent the top from cracking, be careful not to overmix the batter, and do not open the oven door while the cake is baking or cooling inside the oven.*

    Ingredients:

    • For the Crust

    • 1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers)
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    • For the Filling

    • 4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
    • 2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 large eggs, room temperature

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Have a rack ready in center of the oven. Get your 9” nonstick springform pan ready to go.
    2. Make your crust: Using a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar, and add your melted butter until moist after mixing. (To turn crackers into crumbs, use food processor, or put into ziplock bag and smash with a rolling pin, meat tenderizer…anything that can get you crumbs). Press this mix into the bottom of the springform pan and bake 10-12 minutes…until it is a golden brown on the edges.
    3. Make the filling: Using an electric mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Carefully mix in flour (don’t overmix it!), then add the purée pumpkin, pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Mix all of these in until mixture is smooth. Then you can add one egg at a time, mixing in between each addition.
    4. Put your pan/crust on a baking sheet and pour the filling onto the baked crust. Smooth out the top, and bake for one hour. After one hour, turn off the oven and keep it in there 5-6 more hours, without opening the door of the oven.
    5. After 5-6 hours, take it out of the oven and continue to cool to room temperature. After cooling is complete, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
    6. Before serving, take off edge of spring form pan. You can also add whipped cream (Irish cream infused whipped cream recipe-coming soon).

    To ensure clean slicing, cut it with a hot knife! Enjoy!

    ~Eleni

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