Easy Date Idea: Cupcake Decorating

cupcake decorating 101

Cake Decorating

cake decorating

cupcakes

cupcakes

cupcakes

cupcakes

Part deux of our “trying something new” bender? Cupcake decorating! We’ve always wanted to try decorating cakes/cupcakes and never have had the means in which to do it.

Enter good ‘ole Marshalls again with a hella-good decorating kit complete with everything from decorative nozzles to squeezing holders for the frosting.

After a bit of mindless Pinterest perusing, I found just the guide  to help us out with literally every nozzle question we had! While we waited for our red velvet cupcakes to bake, we busted out the frosting for a little mix and match action.

The “ultimate frosting color guide” helped us a bit in achieving those rare colors but being amateurs ourselves, we were a far cry from perfect.

Either way, we had a blast and worked extra hard on each cupcake trying to outdo the last. Before we knew it, it was practically midnight on Friday night and here we were laughing our butts off about how we weren’t about to eat them because they were just too pretty!

Even now, 5 days later, we are dwindling down our stash of “honorable mentions” before we can even imagine biting into the championship round. (We even got to use our new cake stand!) I love to tease him after dinner and say “welp, I’m going to go eat purple now” only to be answered with “noooooo!” as we both run to the kitchen and negotiate to leave the all-stars while indulging in one of the rejects that didn’t quite make the cut! haha!

 

Cinco de Mayo Drinks With Patrón: The Gulf Coast Margarita

The Gulf Coast Margarita

Patron Margarita of the Year

The Gulf Coast Margarita

The Gulf Coast Margarita

The Gulf Coast Margarita

First of all, before you even delve into this post you must know that Nate and I have recently become obsessed with La Croix–the naughty little guilt free treat that has been replacing my obsession with pop lately.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: delicious flavors, carbonation, no added sugars/harmful aspartame! With flavors from coconut to peach-pear, there seem to be so many more varieties than regular pop (yes, I’m northern) and best of all- they work perfectly as mixers!

Nate and I are incredibly thrilled to be working with Patrón as we continue on our journey to become semi-decent at home bartenders in time for one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year: Cinco de Mayo!

As you may or may not know, Patrón held a search for 2016’s Margarita of the Year and the winning concoction is nothing short of genius. Honestly, with a few of what seemed to be hodge-podge ingredients (even some we’ve never heard put into a drink) this margarita combines a sensuous blend of rose and jalapeno peppers to create a truly euphoric drinking experience that is unlike anything we’ve had.

Our task? (and we were definitely up for the challenge!) To create a new margarita recipe that is indicative of our personal tastes and would work perfectly for Cinco de Mayo shenanigans.

Our drink? Affectionately dubbed “The Gulf Coast Margarita”, our beverage du jour contains a beachy finish reminiscent of our favorite place in Florida: Clearwater.

Patrón tequila provided the perfect foundation with its earthy warm and spicy sweetness &  smooth agave flavor.

…oh, is it my turn? Come on everyone, you know I can’t turn down a drink post (especially when some great tequila is involved!). Along with the ingredients for the #1 Margarita of 2016, Patrón also sent us a great little recipe book with the mysterious origin story/history of this iconic drink. I decided that for us to make a stand out margarita recipe of our own, we needed to learn where it all started.

Man, oh man do I wish this was the kind of history my professors in college would have covered…maybe I would have stayed awake! I came across some of the earliest recipes of the margarita and I was surprised to see that a few of them included sparkling water. Click! Like a light going off in my head I thought of using La Croix (Missy & I love it). So, without further adieu, here is our Gulf Coast Margarita!

Ingredients:

2 oz Patrón Silver Tequila

0.5 oz Patrón Citronge Lime

1 tsp Orange Marmalade

1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Sweetened Coconut Flakes

Coarse Sea Salt

Coconut La Croix

…Alright, let’s go!

Method:

Start by crushing the sea salt and the coconut flakes together with a mortar and pestle. The salt will help tear apart the coconut to make a nice fluffy powder. Dump the salty-sweet mixture out onto a plate and rim a coupe glass with it.

Combine the rest of the ingredients besides the La Croix into a cocktail shaker with ice and give it a good shake! Pour the chilled elixir into the coupe glass and top it off with coconut La Croix…done!!

Dear Patron,

This is our official submission into next year’s contest for best margarita…I’m not kidding. Scroll up and look at that thing. It’s gorgeous and delicious…it’s so good I just saw Jimmy Buffet sniffing around my house looking for it. And you know I can’t let him in, he’ll run me right out tequila.

Sincerely,

Nate

 

Do you think it worked? You have to admit it was worth a shot. Well, shake yourself up some Gulf Coast Margaritas this Cinco de Mayo and enjoy!

And here’s the deliciously different “Margarita of 2016” recipe: the Rosa Picante Margarita!

Ingredients:

2 oz Patrón Silver

.5 oz Patrón Citronge Lime

1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

.5 oz Ginger Syrup

Barspoon Jalapeño Oil

Dash of rosewater

Rose petal sea salt

Method: 

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. Stain into a chilled cocktail coupe that has been half-rimmed with rose sea salt, and top with a dash of rose water. Garnish with a rose petal, if available.

http://margaritaoftheyear.com/

 

 

Quick Cleaning Tips

Quick Cleaning Tips #SCJMessyMoments

This weekend was a blast because we were so fortunate enough to have Nate’s best man and his wonderful girlfriend over from Nashville to spend some much-needed time!

I’m not going to lie, one of my (and Nate’s) favorite parts was finally getting to use our brand new bar he built just a few weeks ago. We’ve been working to build up our stock including some fun mixers and tasty add-ons like honey, mint, and berries for out-of-the-ordinary drink concoctions (Nate loves to try new making and creating new cocktails).

This weekend was no exception–we embarked on at least 3 trips to the store to grab some provisions for cooking and drink-creating.

Only problem is that when you have company over and everyone tries a new drink, you are bound to have messy issues.

Seeing as how Nate and I are super-careful about making sure the furniture and cleaning products we buy can  withstand the toughest tests, I knew that the new Pledge Multi-Surface® spray would be able to handle anything we had going on.

After honey drips, fruit stains, and drink spills, this product worked for us with only two swipes needed. I’m obsessed with the fragrances they offer–we chose Sheer Linen (I’m kind of obsessed with the smell of clean laundry).

This product is perfect for us because we (with a new mortgage) are not trying to spend tons of money buying a ton of different cleaning products for our new house.

This products works on literally everything from glass to countertops to wood and metal. After we were done cleaning the bar top, I cleaned our stainless steel fridge, kitchen counters, and windows. No residue, kills 99.9% of germs (including the flu virus!), and an amazing smell…the perfect combo. Definitely hanging on to this one.

Found at Walmart:

#SCJMessyMoments

The nasty mess:

#SCJMessyMoments

#SCJMessyMoments

#SCJMessyMoments

The finished product! Viola!

#SCJMessyMoments