Posts Tagged ‘vodka’

Lavender Vodka Lemonade

Don’t just make homemade lemonade, make it with style! This boozy lemonade is infused with lavender and spiked with vodka.

Lavender Vodka Lemonade 2
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Mango Lassi Cocktail

Mango lassi gets all grown up in this cocktail version. Mix with rum or vodka based on your preference. Or leave it out to enjoy the classic version! Top with crushed pistachios for extra flair.

Mango Lassi Cocktail 1
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Boozy Ginger-Lemon Fruit Salad #HotSummerEats

Apples, pears, and strawberries come together in this boozy fruit salad. With the help of ginger and lemon it’s the perfect addition to your summer cookouts. 

Boozy Ginger-Lemon Fruit Salad 1
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One-Pot Tortellini with Sausage, Kale & Peas

Easy weeknight meals don’t have to be boring. Check out this tortellini dish with spicy sausage, kale, and peas. All cooked in on pot!

One-Pot Tortellini with Sausage, Kale & Peas 1
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Pomegranate Sangria

Sangria isn’t just for the warm summer months. Mix up with winter pomegranate sangria and it may be your new favorite holiday beverage.

Pomegranate Sangria

Another pomegranate alcoholic beverage? Another sangria? Why yes! Not to down play any of the other sangrias I have shared but this one is my favorite so far. Maybe I am partial to pomegranate, maybe it’s the seasonally delicious citrus fruits, or maybe you need to stir this up for your New Year’s party tomorrow. Serve it garnished with some bubbly for some extra festive flair.

One year ago: Best of 2013

Three years ago: Best of 2011
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Red, White & Blue Sangria

Let the patriotic celebrations begin with this red, white and blue white wine sangria. Complete with star-shaped apple slices.

Red White and Blue Sangria 2

The USA takes on Belgium today for the final game in the round of sixteen. With the 4th of July this week I decided to mix up a white wine sangria with red (strawberries), white (apples) and blue (blueberries) fruit floating around in it. But that’s not all folks, the apples are cut into star shapes to make it even more patriotic. It appeals to taste buds and patriots! I unfortunately will be working (without a glass of this sangria in hand) but thankfully the location at which I am today has a TV within view from the front desk, so you better know what channel I will have it set on.

Red White and Blue Sangria 1

One year ago: Taco Bar with Carnitas: Mexican Pulled Pork
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Fruity Sangria

Warm weather means it’s time for sangria. This red wine based sangria has oranges, lemons, strawberries, and nectarines. Drink up and then enjoy the fruit!

Fruity Sangria 1

You know that 1 hour and 45 minute phone interview I had last week? I just got an e-mail saying I am one of their top 10 candidates, but the earliest they can arrange the in-person interview is sometime in July so I won’t know more for a little while. I will keep you posted (btw it’s in Des Moines, Iowa). In the meantime I have reached my farthest destination on my journey, Rochester, NY. Time to enjoy not driving for a couple days and see my friend Adrienne get married!

Since I had all of these fun things to share with you today and it’s Friday, I decided it was a good day to post a cocktail recipe. I made this with Trader Joe’s Charles Schwab cabernet sauvignon. Cheap wine is always great for sangria because you don’t have to feel guilty about “ruining” it. Feel free to serve this with a splash of lemon-lime soda or another bubbly additive if you prefer such a thing in your sangria but I like mine without carbonation. Go ahead and eat the fruit floating in your drink too. You better believe I did, except for the lemons.

Fruity Sangria 2

One year ago: Coconut Pecan Cookies

Two years ago: Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas
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Homemade Strawberry (Vodka) Lemonade

Homemade lemonade with fresh strawberries is a perfect spring or summer-time beverage. Throw in some vodka and you’ll be ready for a Sunday Funday!

Homemade Strawberry Vodka Lemonade

If you are hosting brunch for Mother’s Day, hand the mother(s) in your life a tall glass of homemade strawberry lemonade to enjoy while you’re busy cooking. And if she’s the boozing type throw in a shot of vodka! I personally came to appreciate vodka lemonade after trying it out at The Slider Inn while living in Memphis. This concept may not be novel to some people but I was extra excited when I realized all the fun flavor combinations that could be created with their well stocked supply of flavored vodkas (they even had one called loopy which tasted like fruit loops). I took it one step further by adding both real strawberries and vodka to homemade lemonade, resulting in one deliciously dangerous cocktail. Happy Mother’s Day!

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Three years ago: Raspberry Mango Margarita Pie
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Review: OXO Mini Measuring Beakers & Funfetti Cake Shots

Until now, all the liquid measuring cups I owned were larger and the smallest volume they could measure was a 1/4 cup. But with the new 4 Piece Mini Measuring Beaker Set from OXO, I can now measure out more than one tablespoon at a time. The best part for my nerd-self is that they are shaped like little beakers and are designed specifically for measuring and pouring smaller amounts of ingredients such as food coloring, extracts, lemon juice and more. No more food coloring stained fingers – let’s rejoice!

The beakers stand on their own, with fill lines below the very top, making it easy to set out ingredients before you start cooking or baking.  The funnel shape and spout on the top of the beakers make filling and pouring simple. They are also brightly colored, top-rack dishwasher safe, and nest together for compact storage – an extra bonus for my crammed micro-apartment kitchen. The set includes 2 oz, 1 oz, 1 T and 1 tsp beakers. And just a little knowledge for you: 1 oz = 2 Tbsp

OXO Mini Measuring Beakers

Now let’s talk about what I decided to make with these, and speculate on why the first thing I thought of was alcohol. Have you ever taken a shot by yourself? I would assume not as I had not either until I made this Funfetti cake shot. I didn’t think it through prior to it’s preparation, and mixed it up around 2pm… well now what am I supposed to do with it? So I shot one and dumped the other down the drain after feeling like an alcoholic drinking by myself. Although I felt a little guilty tossing a perfectly good cake-flavored shot down the drain. Somehow pineapple juice and vanilla vodka creates a yellow cake batter flavor, who am I to judge?

Funfetti Cake Shot

One year ago: Stromboli

Two years ago: Grilled Three Cheese Sandwich
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Pasta with Vodka Sauce & Chobani Giveaway

I am always on the lookout for fun food items. When I found heart-shaped pasta from World Market (while in east TN since the store no longer exists on my end) I snatched them up – perfect for a Valentine’s Day themed meal! Which lead me to think about vodka sauce (don’t ask why this holiday perked thoughts of alcoholic food).

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen lead me to this recipe. It’s not to thick, but not runny either, and has great flavor which I am sure has many thanks to the full cup of vodka. But I did try something new and used a cup of Chobani‘s 2% plain Greek yogurt in place of the heavy cream. I’ve been enjoying finding new ways to substitute in Greek yogurt for other ingredients in order to add protein and reduce fat. In this instance it made the sauce a bit tangier but thought it paired very well with the already present vodka tang.

While I am on the subject of Chobani, how would you like to win some!? One of you will be the lucky recipient of a bundle three 32 oz. containers including plain in 0% and 2% and 0% vanilla. This giveaway is open to US and Canada (but a Canadian resident will just receive three of the  32 oz. 0% plain containers as vanilla & 2% plain aren’t available across the border yet). To enter, please leave a comment sharing your favorite way to use Greek yogurt. Giveaway ends Monday, February 20th. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and has 48 hours to respond. **GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED** Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen is the winner!


Serves 4 to 5


1/4 cup good olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, diced

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 cup vodka

2 (28 oz) cans peeled plum tomatoes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 pound pasta

4 Tbsp fresh oregano

3/4 to 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt

Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve and crush them into the pan with your hands (be careful and crush slowly because the juice will squirt*). Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set both aside.
  5. Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Return to the pan. Or blend in the pot if using an immersion blender.
  6. Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough yogurt to make the sauce a creamy consistency. Add reserved pasta cooking water if the sauce it too thick. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.

*The first one I squeezed resulted in an explosion of sauce all over my (thankfully already not-perfectly-spotless-clean) kitchen.

Source: Adapted slightly from Ina Garten on Food Network. Discovered by The Little Ferraro Kitchen.

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