Jalapeño Margarita Recipe

Jalapeno Margarita

Turn up the heat on your Cinco De Mayo and add a kick to your margarita recipe.  The jalapeño margarita is my new housewife cocktail of the summer.  The perfect blend of lime and sweetness married with a hint of heat on the palette.

Jalapeño Margarita

  • 3 – 6 slices jalapeño
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz orange liquor (I prefer Grand Marnier® or Cointreau®)
  • 2 oz agave nectar
  • 4 oz (I prefer Hornitos® – 100% agave tequila, Don Julio, or Tres Generaciones®)

Muddle the jalapeño slices, then pour lime juice, orange liquor, agave nectar, and tequila into cocktail shaker.  Top with crushed ice and shake vigorously.  Salt the rim of a margarita glass and serve cocktail with a garnish of fresh lime wedge or jalapeño slice.

*Agave nectar is a great sweetener for cocktails because it mixes with cold beverages, unlike honey.
*You can substitute fresh lime juice with Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice found at your local grocery store.

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Little He or Little She? What Will Baby Be? – Gender Reveal Baby Shower

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Little he or Little she, what will baby be? Finding out what your little bundle of joy will be is one of the few true surprises in life, so why not share it with your friends and family! My friends Jesse and Scott found out about the gender of their baby, along with everyone, and it was wonderful to see their surprise as we shared in this joyous occasion!

To keep the surprise a secret mommy and daddy gave the doctor’s office my name and when I called in they told me the baby’s gender.Jesse baby shower invitation

For the invitations my friend Jesse found some from mrsthisandthatdesign on Etsy and I recreated

Envelopes sealed with a mustache and a kiss!

Envelopes sealed with a mustache and a kiss!

them.   I found free chalkboard fonts online from dafont.com that were similar in design. This site is a great resource for fonts.

  1. Handy George
  2. Sweetie Pie

I designed the shower cake and had one of my favorite bakers, Don at 10th Street Bakery, create the dessert. I also had cupcakes and croissants from the dessert diva, Val at Dear Diva Desserts. They are my bakers of choice and I like to share the wealth so I take turns with who gets to be the feature at my events.
cake 5 cake 3 cake 1

We decorated with balloons, the usual shower favors, flowers, and we placed little baby shirts at the entrance. Guest chose their beads upon arrival and waited until the reveal. I had prepared a sign in advance for pictures after the cake cutting ceremony.

candy cake table
photo 1 photo 3 beads

Party Planning Perfection! Special thanks to my Party Planning Diva Jolynn and my hubby Mark!

scott and jesse

Congratulations to Jesse and Scott! It’s a BOY!

 

Follow the farmDREAM

What is the farmDREAM? The farmDREAM is a metaphor and inspiration to follow your journey and follow your dream! Our farmDREAM began with a wish to preserve the farm and make it a place for generations to enjoy. Our farmDREAM is everything about the farm; growing great food, harvesting fruit from Uncle Glenn’s trees then turning them into a delicious recipe, relaxing on the front porch swing with a glass of good wine, and creating and sharing memorable events. I am so truly blessed to have a partner along the way and together we are making each other’s dreams come true.

I must say, along the way of our adventures, we have always had critics or naysayers. Doing something different is taking the path less traveled, “and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost. The feeling of following your own path, or dream, is uplifting and freeing. It isn’t always ideal and sometimes there have been sacrifices, but it is worth it.

The next step is exchanging my stiletto pumps for a pair of farm boots and an office with a view – fresh dirt and blue sky overhead. I am happy to announce my apprenticeship at RiverBend Roots Farm starting this spring! It’s official; I am a farmer-in-training!

Stay tuned for more, and follow our farmDREAM to see how the story unfolds …

Chocolate Valentine’s Day Treats for My Sweets ♥

Whether your cooking for yourself, that significant other, or sharing with a friend, it’s always nice to make something special to say I LOVE YOU!  This is a very simple and delicious chocolate dessert that I’ve made a bit more classy and I hope you enjoy.  Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone who follows our blog and our farmDREAM!

Chocolate Brownieheart shaped treats fresh from the oven

  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 3/4 Cup flour
  • 3/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • Bakers white chocolate for dipping

Simple Chocolate Gnash

  • 2 Cups Cool Whip
  • 1/2 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla or amaretto

heart shaped panMix all brownie ingredients together and pour into a well greased multiple heart shaped pan or you can use an 8×8 baking dish.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool on a baking rack while you prepare your chocolate gnash and homemade whipped cream.

Before I prepare the whipped cream and gnash I warm Bakers white chocolate in the microwave and dip raspberries to top my dessert.  You can use any of your favorite fresh berries.

chocolate valentines treats 14Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and fold into the Cool Whip.  Warm the cool whip in the microwave for an additional 20 seconds.  Mix together until well blended and smooth.  Drizzle over your cake brownie.

In your mixer beat the heavy whipping cream until it becomes fluffy and stiff.  Slowly add sugar and vanilla.  I have homemade amaretto so I like to add this to my whipped cream sometimes.

Top with the chocolate dipped berries and enjoy!

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW – Ok we’re good now, you can stop, no really!

Growing up I heard tales of the Snow storm of 82′ and every once in a while when we sifted through old photo’s we’d stumble across pictures of snow trapped cars and dad standing in front of a mountain of snow with shovel in hand. This was no “I walked to school, uphill, both ways tall tale”; It was actually a one-in-70 year event.

Where I grew up they received a record 20 inches of snow and in the St. Louis area they recorded 13 inches. With the recent “Snowmageddon” it brought back stories from anyone who experienced the storm of the century, which I happened to miss. So this time around it is with excitement that I run to the window and pull back the blinds to see if it’s a snow day!

10 INDOOR ACTIVITIES TO GET YOU THROUGH BEING SNOWED IN

  1. TRY A NEW RECIPE – I always enjoy taking a culinary tour, but this time I ventured to a recipe I would typically overlook because of its’ familiarity. The perfect snowed in recipe is a classic beef stew and this one did not disappoint. I always add my own twist and I encourage people to modify any recipe to their liking. Try Beef Stew with Parmesan Dumplings from Simply Delicious.  I added two extra carrots and celery stalks and added salt and pepper to taste.
  2. BECOME A MIXOLOGIST – pink housewife cocktailsYou’re going to need a cocktail to enjoy that amazing new recipe you just tried and let’s face it you’re not going anywhere in this snow. If you are looking to try a new recipe, or create a non-alcoholic beverage, you can easily find the perfect recipe by following my Housewife Cocktails board on Pinterest!
  3. PAMPER YOURSELF – Run a bath, light some candles, and leave your worries behind. If you don’t a have a bathtub, rejuvenate your skin with an at home facial. Try this one from Blue Skies, Sunshine, and Coffee
  4. CLICHÉ – Grab a blanket and some warm cocoa and curl up fireside to a book. There’s nothing like turning the pages of a good book and escaping the weather through a story.
  5. pine cone bird feederTHIS WEATHER IS FOR THE BIRDS – Actually our feathered friends could use a snack and with three simple items (pine cone, peanut butter, bird seed) you can create a treat. Simply spread some peanut butter on a pine cone and roll in bird seed. Hang this homemade ornament from a natural perch like a tree and watch the birds flock. Now you can bring bird watching to your own back yard and enjoy from the comfort of your home.
  6. TACKLE THE HONEY-DO LIST – Everyone has a DIY project whether it’s hanging some shelves, a fresh coat of paint, or some pre-spring cleaning. I’d rather be inside in this weather and enjoy the great outdoors when the mercury rises.
  7. GET ORGANIZED –  Organize that closet or clean out your kitchen pantry. When are you going to have this kind of time on your hands again? If you have kiddo’s at home let them help and make a game of it. Have some fun, crank some tunes, and you’re organized by the end of the day.
  8. WRITE A NOTE – valentine card imageIt’s almost Valentine’s Day and just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I don’t love making and sending cards. Send a hand written note or card to someone and you will make their day. Instead of opening bills they can open a friendly message in the mail.
  9. MOVIE NIGHT – Make it romantic or family friendly. You don’t have to be at the theatre to try some gourmet popcorn. Try this recipe for Cinnamon Roll Caramel Popcorn from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us. Let the kids have fun in the kitchen first by creating their own batch or if it’s romance you are looking for curl up next to your honey.
  10. I JUST CALLED, TO SAY, I LOVE YOU – Remember that time before texting when people talked on the phone? Call your Grams to say hi or catch up with a relative that lives a far. Brighten someone’s day and keep in touch.

I am a beach girl at heart and prefer warm weather, but I have recently become fond of this new-found precipitation. I encourage others to take advantage of this rarity and breathe. Enjoy the moment and do all of those things around the house you want to do but never have the time to.

Chocolate Dr. Pepper Cake Recipe

photo 4Friends are coming over and I have to make something Dee-lish for dessert. With short notice and ingredients in hand I decided to make a semi-homemade version of the classic Dr. Pepper cake. This popular recipe has many different versions to suit your taste and comes from “♪ deep in the heart of Texas ♪”  just like its’ namesake Dr. Pepper. It is super moist and Dee-lish, and  I have included not one, but two frosting recipe’s to choose from!

Cake

  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (12 oz) can Dr. Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine cake mix and remainder of ingredients; mix well until blended.

Meanwhile grease two 8 inch cake rounds. Pour batter into each pan evenly disbursed and bake cake for 45 – 50 minutes.  Cakes will bake up, but flatten out a bit as they cool. They are very dense, and will be super moist, due to the Dr. Pepper soda.  After cakes have completely cooled they will be ready to frost!

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8  ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 Cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 Cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla
  • 2 1/2 Cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (you can reserve 1 Tablespoon of Dr. Pepper from cake batter and use in place of milk)

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

  • 3/4 Cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 Cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 Cup Dr. Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

chocolate cakeDr. Pepper cake

Cookies and Cocktails

 gingersnap-gingerbread-cookies

When I was little my mom and her sisters would gather in my grandmothers kitchen to bake cookies and candies all day in preparation for Christmas.  The kitchen was an assembly line of my aunts baking goodies, and the sunroom adjacent to the kitchen was taken over as a staging area for the overflow of treats before they were packaged and on their way.  There were no worries nor a care in the world when you were in grandmas kitchen.  As children we were able to mix, bake, and decorate and participate in every minute of fun!

Traditions can get left behind in gluttonous schedules as life overflows.  I found myself, as well as my family and friends, rushing to the beat of another drummers tune.  But sometimes you just need to be still for a moment.  I wanted to bring back the simplicity I found as a young child in my grandmothers kitchen but with an adult twist and a sprinkle of fabulousness.   Thus I created Cookies and Cocktails.  A respite from busy schedules; time set a side for togetherness to enjoy making cookies while sharing in traditions.  Each recipe often holds a story, and as we share those stories and recipes the traditions continue.

mary-ann-and-deanne ginger-and-deanne

We all enjoy spending time with our friends and family, but in recent years, I felt the true meaning of Christmas was being lost in the monotony of scheduled holiday appearances and a rush to check off the list of gift items for everyone.  Cookies and Cocktails is a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.  It’s a night to unwind with a good glass of wine (or kiddie cocktail for the little ones) while sharing recipes and laughs.