Foodie Fave: Champagne Jello Shots

Ok, guys. We’re about to get next level with jello shots – champagne jello shots! The minute I saw this post from Sugar and Cloth I knew I had to share it with you all. Especially with New Years’ Eve right around the corner, these are the perfect compliment to that champagne glass in your hand. Cheers, darlings!

  • 8 oz Champagne or Cava
  • 4 oz Gin
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz simple syrup (quick recipe below)*
  • 2 packages Knox gelatin
  • Edible gold leaf for garnishing (optional)

Combine the simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then pour into a medium saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soak for two minutes, then heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).

Remove from heat and add the gin and Champagne, stirring well to blend. Pour into a very lightly greased loaf pan and chill until fully set, several hours or overnight.

Turn out the set gelatin onto parchment paper, then slice carefully (a thin knife works best) into rectangles or squares.

Garnish with edible gold leaf using a paintbrush (use one you can reserve for food only — you don’t want paint chemicals in your food!). Gold leaf crumbles and sticks to things (like fingers!) easily, so be gentle — just pull off tiny corners with the brush (they will stick), then place them gently on top of the gelée squares.

*If you don’t have simple syrup here is a simple easy recipe. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup water. Bring it to a simmer. Watch it closely for roughly 5 minutes until it has a syrupy consistency.

champagne-jello-shots-colleen-jeffers-10

*Photo: Sugar and Cloth

Happy Eating (and Happy New Years’!), XO.

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St. Patty’s Day Gin (& Juice) Cocktail

And we’re back! After taking a couple of weeks off to get our lives together, we’re coming back in a strong way – with a strong cocktail. (We know you missed our corny jokes…). I went in to HomeGoods the other day just to browse…as if anyone actually makes it out alive without buying anything…and came out with these awesome, old school cocktail glasses. I had to use them that night. Obviously.

Although it’s earlier than last year, I’m getting back into my “gin” kick. (Remember our fizzy gin concoction last year?) I also just recently came back from a trip to London, so I’m on a Beefeater streak. Obviously. So with some of the simple ingredients I had laying around, I threw this bad boy together. Oh, and did I mention it color coordinates perfectly with St. Patrick’s Day? 🙂

  • 1/4 cup Beefeater Gin
  • 1 cup cucumber juice
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Splash of St. Germain
  • 1 slice of cucumber

I used my juicer for the cucumber juice, but you can also muddle it (get in a workout while you’re at it), or a blender. Place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain and garnish with a cucumber slice.

Gin & Juice DamnDelish

Happy Drinking, XO.

Blackberry Jalapeño Margarita

I’m not typically one for New Years’ resolutions, but this year Sonia and I decided to give it a shot in a couple of different ways. (Stay tuned to read about hers shortly!). My resolution? No alcohol during the week. WHAT?! Ugh, I know. But a new year is all about trying to be a healthier you, right? (Cue eye roll).  Anyway, because of this resolution, when I do have a drink on the weekend, it better be damn good. I waited all week for it!

Another thing you should know is that I’m not a very patient person. Therefore, I really don’t feel like waiting for summer to come back around to have a margarita. I used to think it was so strange when someone ordered a margarita in the dead of winter. I thought they were strictly reserved as a refreshing drink on a hot day. I’ve changed my ways because, like I said, I’m not patient.

And that my dear friends is why I made this blackberry jalapeño margarita. Before you get up in arms about burning your tongue off with the jalapeños, I promise that it’s not that spicy. Just a little heat to add to the sweetness. Plus, it’s winter people. It’s the only way I could justify a margarita in winter – a little heat!

*Makes 6 cups or 1 small pitcher

  • 1 jalapeño (Through this recipe, I learned that the heat is in the seeds, not the pepper itself. Be sure not to throw them out!)
  • 4 cups of blackberries
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1 cup tequila

Additions:

  • 1 cup seltzer water
  • 1 lime wedge and sugar for the rim

Chop the jalapeño and place off to the side, then muddle the blackberries to a juicy pulp. In a large shaker of ice (for single servings) or a pitcher (for single servings. JK.) pour in all of the ingredients, with the exception of the “additions”. When ready to serve, rim the glass with the lime wedge and sugar. Top with seltzer.

Blackberry Jalapeno Margarita_damndelish

Happy drinking, XO.

Crock pot cocktail: Hot spiked apple cider

This little cocktail concoction is just in time to warm your hearts (and hands!) for Thanksgiving. You know we do a specialty Thanksgiving cocktail every year, like this apple spice libation. Or Lauren Conrad’s kick ass Pilgram Punch I made a couple of years ago. So this year, we’re coming in hot with a crock pot cocktail.

Typically, I’ve been making this drink for Halloween. We’re usually outside waiting for the trick or treaters, and October in the NE means you need more than just a fire to help stay warm. However, the volume this recipe produces is perfect for your large holiday gathering. Bonus, everyone can help themselves! No need to be bartender for the night.

  • 1 jug of apple cider
  • 1/2 bottle Fireball
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 3-5 whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg

Pour all of the ingredients into your crock pot and simmer on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, turn down to low until finished.

Crockpot Cocktail_damndelish

Happy Eating, XO.

Lemon Basil Sorbet

Happy Memorial day!! Although the official first day of summer is still a couple of weeks away, we’re prepping you by giving you a “cool” homemade dessert. I went on vacation to Florida back in April (while, somehow, it was still freezing in the Northeast) and I saw lemon basil sorbet on a menu. I’ll take two, please. Of course, I had to come home and try to make it for myself. I’m a real sucker for herbs in anything – cocktails, desserts,  facewash. No joke.  Plus, how hard could it be to make a glorified icee?

*If you’re using an ice cream maker like I did, don’t forget to freeze it overnight before making this recipe. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t worry, you can still make this!

  •  3 cups of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup large basil leaves
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. When fully combined, turn off the heat, throw in all of the basil and let it steep for 10 minutes.  This will create a basil syrup. Once cooled, strain out the basil leaves and add in the lemon juice and lemon zest. (Not gonna lie, throw in some vodka and this could be an awesome cocktail!) Hook up your frozen ice maker and slowly pour in the lemon basil syrup creating an icee/sorbet consistency. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour it in to an airtight container and store in the freezer, scraping it with a fork every hour until you get that sorbet consistency.

You can store this in an airtight container for up to three months.

Lemon Basil Sorbet

 

Happy Eating, XO.