Grown-Up Milkshakes

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Grown-Up Milkshakes

It’s hot outside! Cool down with a milkshake… but keep this one away from the kiddos.¬† ūüėČ

Ingredients (Makes 2 servings)

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks

4 ice cubes

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup rum cream

1/4 cup dark rum

Directions

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into festive glasses. Garnish with whipped cream if desired!

 

Inside Out Bloody Marys

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This just might be the easiest item to prepare on your entire party buffet… and the most popular! Who doesn’t love a good Bloody Mary? Sure, the spicy, tomato based vodka beverage is tasty, but everyone knows the best part of a well made Bloody Mary is the garnish. Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we ran with that idea and created Inside Out Bloody Marys. The beverage itself is shot sized and potent, accompanied by an assortment of excellent pickled vegetables. Rock On!

Ingredients (Serves 12)

12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) spicy Bloody Mary mix, chilled (Preservation and Co. Bloody Mary Mix 32 Oz. Jar)

12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) good quality vodka, chilled

1 cup of pickled mushrooms

1 cup of pickled beans (Tabasco Beans, Spicy, 16 Ounce)

1 cup of pickled okra (TABASCO Spicy Pickled Okra 12 oz. jar)

Double (3 ounce) shot glasses

Toothpicks

Directions

OK, friends – this is easy enough to prepare even if you’ve already enjoyed a full size Bloody Mary or three. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Begin by arranging your relishes in the center of a party platter. If you want more than three options, go for it. Try thick slices of dill pickles, ginger pickled carrots, garlic stuffed green olives, rosemary pickled cherry tomatoes, etc.

Next, arrange your shot glasses on the outer edge of the party platter. Fill your shot glasses half full with chilled vodka, and top with chilled Bloody Mary mix. Serve immediately!

 

Frozen Watermelon Sangria

WIN_20150725_123400Gossiping with my little sister over cocktails isn’t something I get to do everyday – she lives almost 700 miles away, probably¬†because I was bossy as a child.¬† ūüôā¬† In all seriousness, rare afternoons with my little sis¬†are fun! On our most recent visit, we enjoyed this¬†Frozen Watermelon Sangria. I think you’ll enjoy it, too!

WIN_20150725_122643Ingredients (Makes 2 jumbo servings)

2 baby watermelon (about the size of a large grapefruit)

1 cup of fruity, dry red wine

1/4 cup triple sec

WIN_20150725_1225511/2 lemon (peel included), cut in small chunks

crushed ice

citrus slices for garnish

WIN_20150725_123255Directions

Step 1) Set watermelons on a countertop to see how they naturally balance. Cut a thin slice off of the top (parallel to the countertop) of each watermelon. Carefully scoop out the insides, placing the watermelon flesh in a blender. DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY – if you accidentally puncture the watermelon rind, you can’t use the rind as a serving cup!

Step 2) Add wine, triple sec, and lemon to the blender. Add crushed ice to fill the blender, and blend until the mixture resembles a pink slush. If mixture is too thick, add a bit of water, orange juice, or wine. If mixture is too thin, add more ice.

Step 3) Pour mixture carefully into watermelon shells. Garnish with citrus slices (and an adorable little umbrella if you have them on hand) and serve immediately!

…and little sis, about that Play-Doh I made you eat as a child… sorry about that…¬† ūüėČ

 

Strawberry Mint Mojitos

WIN_20150527_230412I have a sister who¬†has a talent for¬†mixing drinks. When she shakes something up in her kitchen, it¬†looks and tastes like a¬†beverage¬†you’d pay a high price for in a fancy bar.¬†I’ve asked her for her bloody mary recipe so many times that she has threatened to charge me next time… I think she means it.¬†This summer, rather than driving my sister crazy, I’ve decided to channel my¬†inner mixologist and have some fun! With fresh herbs and ripe fruits readily available, even I (a bartending rookie) ought to be able to make something tasty, right? These Strawberry Mint Mojitos are delightful – let me know what you think!

WIN_20150527_225427Ingredients (Makes 2 tall glass servings)

1/2 cup fresh, very ripe strawberries

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (spearmint or pineapple mint)

1/3 cup light rum

1/3 cup frozen limeade concentrate

ice

seltzer water

Directions

Step 1) Pulse strawberries, mint, rum, and limeade concentrate in a small food processor or blender until well blended.

Step 2) Pour over ice into two tall glasses. Top with seltzer water and stir quickly.

Step 3) Garnish with a strawberry, a mint leaf, and an umbrella (of course!). Serve immediately.

Margaritas on a Budget (Cinco de Mayo, Part IV)

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! We’re capping off our four part series with margaritas, the ubiquitous Mexican dinner party beverage! It’s not difficult to find recipes for delicious margaritas – just do a quick web search. Every celebrity chef seems to have their own concoction, featuring one (or more) top shelf tequilas blended with other top shelf indulgences such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and Combier. I’m sure they’re delicious. The problem is, the ingredients for these celebrity-endorsed blends can easily set you back $100 or more… I am not joking. To Crowded Earth Kitchen sensibilities, shelling out that kind of cash for mixed drinks is simply insane.

Let’s plant our feet back on the ground and blend up a batch of Margaritas on a Budget. While you won’t find a recipe quite like this one endorsed by a celebrity chef, I’m confident that one taste will convince you… these are pretty darn good. Better still, you won’t have to choose between making a margarita or buying groceries for the rest of the week!

WIN_20150424_213323Ingredients (Makes 2 Margaritas)

1/2 of a lime, peel and all, cut in small pieces

1 teaspoon frozen orange juice concentrate

1 heaping tablespoon frozen limeade juice concentrate

10 ice cubes

1/4 cup white tequila (any brand)

2 tablespoons water (or use an extra 2 tablespoons of tequila)

For garnish: 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon lime zest, plus 2 slices of lime

WIN_20150424_211814Directions

Step 1) Sprinkle sugar, salt, and grated lime zest on a small salad plate. Pour a few tablespoons of water onto another, separate salad plate.

Step 2) Dip the rims of two glasses into the plate of water, then dip into the plate of salt/sugar/lime zest. Stand glasses upright and place a slice of lime on each rim to complete the garnish.

Step 3) Combine chopped limes, juice concentrates, ice cubes, tequila, and water in a blender. Puree until smooth. If mixture is too thick to pour, add another 2-3 tablespoons of water.

Step 4) Pour into prepared glasses and serve immediately.

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Pink Champagne Party Punch

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You don’t need a great big special occasion for this –¬†why not¬†invite a few girlfriends over on a sunny day and chat all afternoon over a bowl of Pink Champagne Party Punch? If you don’t have a punch bowl, get creative – use a big glass mixing bowl, a big glass vase, or anything else that catches your eye.¬†Likewise, you can make decorative ice using an ice mold, a bundt cake pan, or just use a regular ice cube tray with pieces of fruit added to the individual ice cube compartments. There’s no need to be precious about it… this is supposed to be FUN, not complicated.

Ingredients (Makes about 3 liters)

1 cup of assorted fruit (small berries and thin slices of citrus fruit work well)

1 liter of cranberry-raspberry juice

1 liter of ginger ale

1 bottle (750 mL) of champagne or sparkling wine

small container of raspberry sherbet

WIN_20150327_082303Directions

Step 1) One day before serving, make your decorative ice. Place one layer of fruit in the bottom of your bundt pan, ice mold, or ice cube tray. Add 1/2 inch of water (that’s all!) and freeze. A few hours later, add another layer of fruit and another 1/2 inch of water. Once THAT freezes, you can add as much WIN_20150327_100221water (or juice) as you’d like. Keep frozen until serving time.

Step 2) Just before serving, remove ice from the freezer and set bottom in warm water for about 10 seconds… not too long! Just add an inch or so of warm water to the bottom of your kitchen sink. Then, carefully¬†life out the ice and place it in¬†your punch bowl.

Step 3) Add juice and soda to punch bowl. Top with a few tablespoons of raspberry sherbet. Finally, pour champagne over the top of everything and watch it FIZZ! Serve immediately.

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