Tuesday, June 5, 2012

4th of July Jell-O Shots!

Nothing says AMERICA like mixing booze with Jello. 

Every fourth of July I throw a pretty kick ass pool party/BBQ at my place and every year I make three different kinds of Jello shots, a red one, a blue one and a white one. They're very patriotic and always the hit of the party.
So, making Jello shots is fairly easy if you know what you're doing. I'm going to give you the recipe that I do, although keep in mind that you don't have to use the same Jello flavors or boozes that I did. For a super basic recipe, just use vodka.

These shots are delicious and taste like candy. The booze is not a high proof so you can't taste it at all.

-6 oz box of strawberry Jello (or cherry, raspberry or any other red flavor)
-2 cups boiling water
-1 cup Peach Schnapps (ideally you should chill it in the fridge a bit first)
-1 cup cold water 

-Stir the Jello powder into the boiling water until fully dissolved.
-Add the cold water and Peach Schnapps.
-Pour into plastic shot cups. 
-Refrigerate until set.
Now, when pouring, I find it easier to add the mixture to a measuring cup. It's a lot easier and neater than doing it from a ladle. There is a debate raging about what the best cups are to use for Jello shots. Some like the little paper Dixie cups because you can just tear them apart for easier consumption but I like the clear plastic ones so you can see the vibrant colors. Whatever you do, don't get the super rigid plastic shot cups because they shatter when you squeeze them. The ones I get are from Smart and Final and I think are listed as condiment cups and come with lids.

You can taste the booze a bit more in these. This means they're not as tasty, but they get the job done faster!

-6 oz box of berry blue Jello (it's really the only blue Jello flavor out there)
-2 cups boiling water
-1 cup UV blue (raspberry flavored vodka)
-1 cup cold water 

First off let me say that if you can't find the UV blue, any vodka will work here. I like the UV because it gives the shots an extra blue color and it's a little tastier than regular vodka. Also it's 30 proof so it's nice and strong.

-Stir the Jello powder into the boiling water until fully dissolved.
-Add the cold water and UV blue.
-Pour into plastic shot cups. 
-Refrigerate until set.


These are the most difficult shots to make but they taste like Pina Colada and seem to be people's favorite!

-1 (1 ounce box-4 packets) of unflavored gelatin (Although they do make white Jello that is pina colada flavored, I have yet to find it in stores and seems to only be available online)
-1 and 1/4 cup Pineapple flavored Malibu
-3/4 cup coconut milk
-2 cups boiling water
-1/2 cup sugar

If you can't find Pineapple Malibu, just get regular Malibu or another coconut rum. It'll be just as delicious.

-Pour the room temperature rum into a large bowl. 
-Sprinkle the gelatin over the rum and let sit for about 1 minute.
-Add the boiling water while stirring constantly with a fork. Stir until dissolved.
-Add the coconut milk and sugar. Stir.
-Pour into plastic shot cups.
-Refrigerate until set.

If you want to add a little extra flair to your Jello shot presentation, arrange in the shape of an American flag. You can do this on a cookie sheet or any rectangular serving platter. For the white "stars" on the blue Jello shot part of the flag, I simply got a can of whipped cream, put it right up against the shot and gave a quick little squirt. 

And I'm proud to be an American.
Okay that's it for your patriotic and booze filled blog entry. Shoot us a message if you end up making these and let us know how they turned out! Happy 4th everyone!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Great American Bake sale

It was a nationwide bake sale with a cause. And I had an open heart (and stomach).

Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale

Bloggers from around LA contributed to the sale and these are some of the goodies (with links to the blogs) I picked up:

Stay At Home Foodie

Sweet & Crumbly
These were so good. Just so so good. More cakey than chewy but with a tender crumb. Not too sweet and all of the flavors really came through without overpowering each other. Probably my favorite of everything I got that day.

My Imperfect Kitchen
Delicious. Peanut Butter Krispie brownie. Chocolate and pb remains one of the greatest... nay- THE greatest flavor combination of our time.

Fat Girl Trapped In A Skinny Body
Layer upon layer of perfection. I ate this for breakfast on Monday morning and wished I'd purchased a dozen of them.

Foodness Gracious
Buttery, smooth, creamy, nutty bliss.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Speculoos Puppy Chow

As much as I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and know that NOTHING could ever replace that classic Puppy Chow recipe, using speculoos (a.k.a biscoff spread) instead of peanut butter was a stroke of genius (and fat-assery).

Here's the basic Puppy Chow recipe as found on allrecipes.com


9 cups crispy rice cereal squares
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate; add peanut butter and mix until smooth.
Remove from heat, add cereal and stir until coated.
Pour powdered sugar into large plastic bag, add coated cereal and shake until well coated. Store in airtight container.

And of course, replace the peanut butter with speculoos (biscoff spread):

You may need to make a double batch. That's if you don't plan on sharing. Otherwise, make it a triple batch!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Früute Tasting

Yuzu tart

Früute is a tart shop. They make mini tarts with organic ingredients: flavorful fillings in perfect flaky crusts. My good friend, Erin, and I purchased a Groupon for a private tasting at Früute in West Hollywood. For a mere $20 each we were able to sample 6 tarts and take home 4 with us. At $3 a tart, this was a steal. The tart case looked like this:

So many flavors, where do we start?

Snowball and Matcha tarts. I have yet to try these flavors!

Plenty of pecan tarts at the beginning of the evening.

Not so many Bailys Puff and Sea Salt Caramel tarts left at the end.

Erin and a Black Pepper tart.
The following flavor descriptions were taken right off the Früute website. If you'd like to see more photos and descriptions of their tarts, head on over!

Black Pepper: Pepper infused bittersweet chocolate with a forest berry center, layered with frangipane in a chocolate crust, topped with candied black pepper crisp and blueberries.

Wasabi: A rare blend of spicy Japanese and a blood orange center, layered with vanilla frangipane in a pistachio crust, garnished with mint leaf tempura.

Sea-Salt Caramel: A mosaic of macadamia, sea-salt caramel, dried berries and honey in a chocolate crust, topped with blackberry and sea-salt.

Pecan: Baked pecan with moscovado sugar and maple fudge in a vanilla crust, topped with a baby raspberry cream puff.

Bailys Puff: Irish cream with chocolate pearls in a vanilla crust, topped with airy profiteroles drizzled with  chocolate.

This was the 7th (surprise!) tart we got to taste in our tasting. Budino: comforting creamy butterscotch pudding in a chocolate crust, topped with a caramel filled macaron. 

Créme Brulee: madagascar vanilla cream custard in a vanilla crust, topped with torched sugar and apricot slice.

My absolute favorite tart was the passion fruit tart. There's no photo of this one because once it was in my hand, I forgot myself and immediately scarfed the tart without snapping a photo. 

The women hosting the tasting event informed us there would be Fall flavors coming out soon with fig, apple and pumpkin all being possible tart flavors. Pumpkin?! I would've jumped for joy at that news but I had a tummy ache from eating 7 tarts.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Too hot to bake!

Cupcake in a cone from Milk on Beverly Blvd.

It's been too hot to turn on the oven and bake anything. But that doesn't mean we've stopped eating goodies. (Well, Gina has and has even gone to boot camp in 100+ degree temps. But not I!)

Moon Pie from Milk.

Cute cupcake earrings my sister sent me for my birthday!

Monsieur Marcel is a little French import shop in the Grove's farmer's market.

If this is what Vienna tastes like, I'll eat that entire city!

Homemade Oreo from Milk.

Fall baking is just around the corner but right now... there's no rush.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Drunken Udder Ice Cream and The Platinum Blonde Chef's ice cream sandwich tasting!

Recently, I was invited to a tasting event at Ma'kai Lounge with Drunken Udder ice cream and the Platinum Blonde Chef. They'd combined forces to make some very incredible and unique ice cream sandwiches. The tasting was to help the chefs decide on the best flavor combinations with Drunken Udder's alcohol infused ice creams and The Platinum Blonde's gourmet cookies to be debuted at LA Times The Taste Desserts After Dark this weekend in Beverly Hills. 

The tasting event started at 6 pm and I don't believe in being fashionably late (plus I didn't want them to run out of ice cream and cookies before I got there) so I rolled up on Ma'kai Lounge in Santa Monica with my pal, Meredith right at 6 on the dot. We were pretty much the first ones there which meant that we got some great one-on-one attention with the two chefs, Nicci Piscitelli of Drunken Udder Ice Cream and The Platinum Blonde Chef (a.k.a. Red Velvet Stefanie.) The chefs told us they weren't quite ready to start yet but invited us to sit and chat. I'd never gotten to meet Stefanie before and had been a fan for quite a while so this was very exciting! 

The chefs gave us a sheet for scoring the different flavors of ice cream and cookies we were about to try. Also on the sheet was Tweeting information to use during the course of the tasting. I don't know how to Tweet! I tried to figure it out but eventually I settled for Facebooking it.

The hot chick in the purple dress next to me is named Cassie and has a blog called The Cupcake Diary that is incredible! The photos she has on that blog are pure artwork. 

After I figured out that I didn't know how to Tweet and probably never would, I ordered some garlic fries to snack on while I waited for the main event. Ma'kai Lounge had some drink and food deals to go along with the tasting event. These garlic fries were some of the best fries I've ever stuffed into my face and were only $3. 

Below, is a photo of the event and yes, that's the beautiful Platinum Blonde Chef there in the lower right hand corner. 

Hi, Stefanie!
Here is a photo of Nicci chatting to us after serving us our first choice of the evening. She's thought of flavor combinations and ideas I've never even dreamed of. I loved chatting with her. She's definitely a very creative woman!

My good friend, Erin, tries her first ice cream sammie.

My first choice was roasted banana ice cream, bruleed mini marshmallows, honey caramel swirl and bourbon. It was strong but oh so delicious.  

Dainty bites just for the photo.

Meredith enjoys a toasted coconut and rum ice cream on a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.

Erin thinks she's found a winner.

I had to decide if the peanut butter ice cream with bananas and fluff swirl would go best with a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie cookie.
Or maybe it would go best on a peanut butter cookie.

I've nearly reached a decision.

No, wait just one more flavor combination.

Okay time to get off the fence.

My final decison. Finally.

Although these were my final choices, I just can't stop thinking about The Platinum Blonde's peanut butter cookies. They were so good! So perfect, full of peanut butter flavor, chewy. Probably better than my mom's peanut butter cookies.

After the tasting, Meredith and I walked across the street to look at the sunset over the ocean.

Santa Monica Pier

Hellz yeah, bitches!

I'd never done a tasting event before and I had a ball! Also, I know it looks like Meredith and I are drunk from all that boozy ice cream but we were totally safe to drive. For reals.