Iced Coffee Cocktail

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

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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

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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!
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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!

Holiday White Wine Sangria

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This time last year: Mexican Hot Chocolate (2013)

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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!)

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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

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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!
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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):

 

Creamy Mimosas

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This time last year: Ginger Hot Chocolate (2013)

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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!

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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

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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!
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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!):