Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gettin' Fizzy Wit It

How are you going to ring in 2016 this year?  Will you be at a swanky party sipping on the finest champagne,  spending it with your best friends trying to forget 2015 or with family (and your kiddos) sipping on something strong while Romper Room 2015 is happening in the basement?  Whatever the case may be we've come up with a few champagne cocktails to help you celebrate.

Happy New Year!

Ginger Sage Champagne Cocktail

1/2 ounce honey ginger syrup
4-6 ounces champagne
1/2 inch fresh ginger piece
1 fresh sage leaf

In a champagne flute pour in the honey ginger simple syrup. Top with champagne.  Garnish with fresh ginger and sage leaf.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Honey Ginger Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled, roughly chopped and slightly smashed

In a small sauce pan, heat the water and honey until the honey has dissolved.  Turn off the heat.  Add the ginger, cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard the ginger pieces.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Champagne Margarita

2 ounces resposado tequila
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/8 ounce agave nectar
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce champagne
Lime wheel

In a cocktail shaker, pour in the tequila, Grand Marnier, agave nectar and lime juice.  Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Pour into a martini glass or champagne coup.  Top with the champagne and garnish with a lime wheel.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Bourbon Vanilla Champagne Cocktail

2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce Vanilla syrup
lemon wedge
1/2-1 ounce champagne

In a rocks glass or a stemless wine glass add a couple of ice cubes or a large whiskey ice ball.  Pour in the bourbon and vanilla bean simply syrup and stir.  Top with the champagne and squeeze in the lemon wedge.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Vanilla Simple Syrup
 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean

In a small sauce pan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Turn off the heat.  Cut the vanilla bean in half length wise and scrape the beans into the syrup.  Drop the bean pod into the syrup.  Cover and steep for 30 minutes.  Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve and discard the vanilla bean pod.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wine Not??

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Santa was good to you all!  However, if you were a bit underwhelmed by the gifts you received there is still time to make your season bright.  Enter, Club W!

It's no secret that I'm a wine lover and ordering wine online has been one of the best things that has happened to me this year.  It's like Christmas at your door step every month!

The wine departments at my local grocery/liquor stores were beginning to look a bit monotonous.  While I do have one or two go to wines for dinner parties or a night in with Netflix, I'm always on the look out for something interesting and yummy.  Yes, I said yummy.

Club W is a super affordable (about $13 a bottle) wine club that delivers wonderful easy (sometimes too easy) drinking wines.  The palate test is spot on and so are the wines they recommend for you.  I'm three shipments in and I have yet to be disappointed!  I also love that there is no commitment and if you need a break (but who really needs a break from wine) you can skip a shipment.

Club W is not just for experienced wine drinkers, but is perfect for those of you who are just getting into wine as well.  Not only are the super cute cards they send with your shipment informative with tasting notes and the story of the winemaker, but it also includes a pairing recipe.  This may be my favorite part.  I love pairing wine with food and even more, I love pairing recipes from some of my favorite chefs and bloggers.

Their wines are so versatile that Greg and I have enjoyed our Club W wines on a Tuesday night with dinner and even on our anniversary to end a wonderful evening out in Malibu.  Currently they are offering a sparkling wine pack for you to ring in your New Year.  I made sure all three of these bubblies were in our shipment this month.  We popped the Au-DelĂ  on Christmas Day, a sparkling dry red, and it was perfect for some drinking while we prepped dinner.

Ok my fellow wine lovers, what are you waiting for??  End this year on a merry and bright note.  Go to Club W now and or use my code to get a bottle for free in your first shipment!

Note: If you are living in one of those U.S. states that don't allow alcohol to be shipped to it, go to to support a change.

***We were not paid to review or feature Club W.  These are simply our opinions.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Apple Crisp

With the rush of the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be best to keep it simple here on the blog.  Warm apple crisp is like the mac n' cheese of desserts for me.  A perfect simple comfort food.  The recipe is easy to make and even easier to enjoy.  I promise if you close your eyes while taking your first bite you will be transported to the Braverman's amazing backyard (for all you Parenthood fans) sitting under the cafe lights around that beautiful wood table.   Or, maybe just your own family table at home for the holidays where Grandma made dessert just like this.

Holiday Apple Crisp

4 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil, liquid form
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 1-1/2 quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the apples, lemon juice, ground cinnamon and turbinado sugar.  Pour the apple mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, brown sugar, flour, clove, and ginger.  Pour in the 1/2 cup of coconut oil.  Stir well until the mixture is combined and the oats are covered in the coconut oil.  Pour the crumble topping over the apples.

Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes, until the crumble has browned and the apples are bubbling.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.  Makes 6-8 servings.