Iced Coffee Cocktail

DSC_0203

This time last year: Sweet Potato Thai Soup (2012)

DSC_0213

DSC_0206

Friends! It is officially 2016. The weather has started leaning towards snow, which for a second, made the world slow down again. However, the wind has blown, the snow has settled, and it is back to the grind.

If I learned anything this last year, I think it would be that time moves too fast, and I don’t do enough to help it slow down.

2015 rushed by with a slew of coffee cups, occasional laughter with family, hundreds of late night phone chats, and thousands of hours with my face pressed into textbooks. It was a beautiful year, and yet I still hope 2016 is better. I hope that 2016 brings new adventure- moments that take my breath away and make me realize how much living we are truly capable of. I hope 2016 brings reconciliation. I hope that ones I love find peace, and I hope that I can continue to love them and support them throughout the upcoming year. And I hope 2016 is saturated with moments of simple joy and deep laughter, the kind of laughter that echoes in your bones.

I don’t usually have New Years resolutions, but this year, I do. This year, my resolution is to read more than 12 pleasure books (a feat not easy when in grad school), because I believe they make my life better. My resolution, and hope, is to continue cooking a lot, and to share those fun edible adventures with you. And my resolution, and hope, is to do an even better job connecting with the people I love, most of whom live far away.

It’s my younger brother’s birthday today. He has been my best friend my whole life, and is honestly one of the most incredible human beings I have ever know.

I hope 2016 is good for him, and I hope 2016 is good for you.

Thus, I post this drink recipe in honor of my brother- this is my toast. But while we’re at it, feel free to consider this drink my toast to you as well. This is my toast to adventure, to reconciliation, and to laughter that resonates in your bones. This is my toast to my favorite younger brother and to you, most likely a stranger.

I hope your 2016 is off to a beautiful start. Thanks for being a part of mine, and cheers to you.

Gratefully,

Sarah

DSC_0204

DSC_0207

Ingredients:

  • 6 coffee ice cubes
  • 1 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Kahlua
  • 2 oz. half and half
  • 2 oz. skim milk (or any type of milk)
Directions:
  1. In advance, fill an ice tray with coffee and freeze until the coffee has formed into ice cubes.
  2. Fill a glass with several coffee cubes (I used 6 in my wine glass).
  3. Pour the Bailey’s and Kahlua over the ice cubes. Then add the cream and milk, until the liquids have reached a desired proportion.
  4. Stir gently, and enjoy!
DSC_0207
Notes and Tips!:
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen!
  • Recommended Serving: This drink makes for an excellent after dinner/ dessert drink.
  • Don’t miss these other delicious drinks, from this week’s “6 Holiday drinks that aren’t Eggnog” series!

Rosemary and Gin Fizz

DSC_0196

This time last year: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (2013)

DSC_0191

DSC_0190

I made a good friend recently- a new friend, one of those people that everyone is drawn to.

She laughs a lot, and I am so very lucky to have her around.

This new friend of mine is gentle and sweet in many ways- however she is also strong.
Thus, this sweet and salty lady is the one responsible for this drink.

The first time we went out in downtown Decatur together, I ordered my standard- something with whiskey, or orange bitters, mint, or lemon. Scratch that. I don’t really have a “standard,” just a lot of flavors I like.

However, one of the things I loved about this new friend of mine, is that she did have a regular drink. This sweet, giggly lady stepped up to the bar and ordered a gin and tonic like she’d been doing it for 80 years. Go ahead girl.

Thus, when I started looking for fun holiday drinks that could make for a festive holiday happy hour or a bubbly new years toast, I knew I had to include a gin special.

This is for my new friend. Cheers to all of yours!

XO Sarah

DSC_0183

DSC_0185
Ingredients:
  • 3 one-inch sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 1 small lemon (+ a few slices for garnish!}
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 3 oz. Ginger ale
Directions:
  1. In a small glass, muddle the rosemary, juice from 1/2 a lemon, and honey.
  2. Fill the glass with ice, and then add the gin and ginger ale. Taste the drink, and decide whether or not you would like to add additional lemon juice. (I like the citrus tang, but take warning- it can be strong!)
  3. Stir the drink, and add a sprig of rosemary and a lemon slice for garnish.
  4. Sip and enjoy!

DSC_0194

Notes and Tips!:
  • Adapted from: Cooke + Kate
  • Make sure you don’t miss the four other drinks posted this week, for this “6 holiday drinks that aren’t eggnog” special!

Holiday White Wine Sangria

DSC_0136

This time last year: Mexican Hot Chocolate (2013)

DSC_0146

Friends, it is Day FOUR of “6 Drinks that aren’t Eggnog.” My how time flies. I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have!

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, scroll through the last there days of posts, because this week is all about fun drink recipes! You don’t want to miss it!)

DSC_0142

A few nights ago my family went to dinner with some family friends of ours. They were providing the entree, so we offered to bring a drink and some dessert as a contribution.

This is when having a food blog gets tricky.

Due to the fact that I am coooonstantly trying new recipes, and looking for new scrumptious dishes I can share with you all, anytime I have the opportunity to try out a new recipe on a crowd- I do! Crowds provide the best food blog feed back. You can tell if something is a total hit or if it’s not the most popular dish in the room.  It’s like having a bunch of food blog guinea pigs, which is super helpful!

Despite this obvious benefit to me and my blogging efforts, constantly cooking new recipes for parties is a high-risk, high-reward way to live. Sometimes I find myself bringing new dishes to a social setting and being a little nervous about how they will go over!

Last night was one of those situations.

Although I do love sangria, I will admit this was my first time ever making it! Thus, as I stirred together these delicious ingredients I started to get anxious that it would be a bust- there would be too much fruit, or people would find it too sweet, or find the wine too bitter, etc.

I carried the pitcher into our friend’s home with lots of apologies and excuses that I had yet to try it, and it really might not be all that great! (Such a human move, am I right?)

However, to my delight, every member of the party drank a large glass with nothing but compliments! The fruit was the perfect amount, the wine was fresh and crisp, and the drink was a wonderfully festive fit.

For my first round of sangria, on a group of food-blog guinea pig testers, I got lucky. This recipe is delicious. It’s so easy to make, and was a total crowd pleaser!

Give it a try yourself! I am confident you will love it.

And make sure you come back tomorrow! More drink recipes on the way!

XO Sarah

DSC_0137

DSC_0147

Ingredients:
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped into small bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 red apple, chopped into small bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen cranberries
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh Rosemary (+ sprigs for garnish- optional)1 bottle white whine
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • 1 cup sparkling apple cider
  • 1/3 cup sugar
Directions:
  1. Add your apple slices and cranberries to a large pitcher.
  2. Bruise your rosemary to allow the flavors and juices to escape the leaves more. Do this by laying your rosemary on a cutting board, and using the backside of your knife blade, press down on the leaves.  Add the sprigs to the pitcher.
  3. Pour in the wine and stir. (At this point, you can put the pitcher in the refrigerator, and allow the fruit to marinade in the wine, or if you’re impatient like I am, you can skip to the next step!)
  4. Add the ginger ale and sparkling cider, and stir well.
  5. Optional garnish: Dip a few rosemary leaves in the wine, and then roll in a thin layer of granulated sugar. Place one in each glass, drink, and enjoy!
DSC_0138
Notes and Tips!:
  • Serving recommendation: Best served chilled as an appetizer drink.
  • Source: Picture the Recipe
  • Like this recipe? Make sure you don’t miss this week’s other posts for “6 Holiday Drinks That Aren’t Eggnog” (Recipe links below photos):

 

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

DSC_0176

This time last year: Coconut Hot Chocolate (2013)

DSC_0166

DSC_0158

I woke up this morning to snow on the ground. It wasn’t a lot of snow, and honestly it’s probably more a mixture of ice than anything, however it is white, and beautiful and I love it.

All winter, across the country, we have been experiencing abnormally warm temperatures. My brother goes to college in Saint Paul and they still have yet to receive snow. That’s crazy! Not a good sign for global warning.

As much as I have loved wearing shorts in December and going on long runs without freezing to death, it feels weird to go a whole winter without snow. Snow, like christmas lights and fire places, is one of those few things that make winter and the holidays feel real!

Thus, when I woke up this morning to a thin white layer of snow on the ground, I thought the recipe of the day needed to be a warm winter treat- something you could put in a cup, wrap cold fingers around, and enjoy the comfort of that warmth.

Thus, for my third holiday drink that’s not egg nog, in this mini holiday drink series, I present you with this Dair Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer.

It’s good y’all. It’s winter in a cup, and it will warm your soul.

Come back for another holiday drink that isn’t eggnog!

XO Sarah

DSC_0171

DSC_0173

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups almond milk*
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpking pie filling!)
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 – 2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together until fully combined.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks.
  3. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Whisk while boiling for one minute, then remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Allow the creamer to cool for five minutes before adding to your coffee.
  5. Dress your coffee as you like- adding sugar, whip cream, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon as you like!

 

DSC_0170

Notes and Tips!:

  • I chose to make this coffee creamer dairy free, because I often get requests for dairy free recipes! Although almond milk is not as creamy as whole milk or half an half, it is definitely healthier, and still has a nice creamy flavor to it! However, if you prefer to go the traditional route, feel free to substitute the almond milk out for whole milk or half and half!
  • Store leftovers in a covered container for up to a week. Shake well before each use.
  • Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links below photos):

Creamy Mimosas

 DSC_0095

This time last year: Ginger Hot Chocolate (2013)

DSC_0106

DSC_0105

Well friends, it is day two of this mini-series: 6 Drink Recipes That Aren’t Eggnog.
I’m pretty excited about it, so I hope you are too!

no sleepin thecity

Yesterday was day one of the series, opening with my favorite Cranberry and Whiskey Cocktail! It is an incredibly simple drink to make, but your guests won’t know that!
Huzzah!

Today, I am bringing you yet another mix drink (I promise the whole week will not be alcohol related).

Day Two brings you my new favorite mimosa recipe!

If you love mimosas you will love this! This drink is almost identical to the classic mimosa recipe, however with an added one ounce of whipping cream. That tiny ounce of whipping cream, although small in proportion, goes a long way, making the entire beverage creamier and richer.

Who knew that one ounce of whipping cream could turn this basic mimosa into the most delicious, alcoholic creamsicle, ever?

Planning a New Years Day brunch? Have a new years goal of spending more time with your friends? Add this recipe to your list, have the group over, and enjoy!

Cheers to you, and to the New Year, and come back tomorrow for another beverage that isn’t eggnog!

xo A Rented Kitchen

 DSC_0098
Ingredients:
  • 18 oz. champagne
  • 18 oz. orange juice, no pulp
  • 1 oz. whipping cream (1/8 cup)
  • Ice cubes
Directions
  1. Pour the champagne, orange juice and cream into a large blender.
  2. Add enough ice cubes to raise the liquid to 46 oz. (This should not take many!)
  3. Blend until the ice is thoroughly crushed and the mixture is frothy. (If you add any sugar, you will need to blend a little longer, until the sugar is dissolved).
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!
 DSC_0099
Notes and Tips!
  • Source: Gluten Free Recipe Box
  • Not sure about champagne? Feel free to add 2 Tablespoons of sugar to the blender to sweeten this drink up a little! I did not use it, but follow your taste buds!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious drinks from A Rented Kitchen (recipe links found below photos!):