Another December is right around the corner, which means another month of stress, cleaning, cooking, too much family and not enough money.
Or you can skip that nonsense and head right over to cocktail hour.
I will be honest with you, friends; while I am a big fan of winter, snow and getting toasty in the midst of a cold snap, the holidays are not my favorite. I am not a Scrooge, per se, but a huge sigh of relief enters my psyche when January 2nd rolls around when I can turn off the Yule Log and cart that Christmas tree out the door and on to the curb. OK…that sounded a *little* Scroogey. Meh, so I might be a little salty for Santa. I will own my Scrooginess. I could give zero F’s about elves, magic, green and red (collectively), Christmas music and the idea of the perfect present. Bah humbug, amirite?!?
What helps me get through the month long shit show that is the Christmas season are cocktails. Yes. I’m easy to please. Throw some booze in my cup and I will tolerate everyone’s favorite holiday until the snow melts and Frosty is nothing more than a puddle… hell, I’ll even sing some Bing Crosby but know it won’t be in key.
Pomegranate Old Fashioned
(makes 1 cocktail)
2 ounces bourbon (I used Bulleit)
1 ounce pomegranate juice
1 sugar cube
1 maraschino cherry
splash of orange LaCroix
orange (or lemon) twist
In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle sugar cube, 3 dashes of bitters and 1 ounce of pomegranate juice. Add some ice (or a large ice cube if you are fancy) to the glass. Pour in bourbon and give contents in glass a stir. Add cherry, twist of orange and a splash of LaCroix.
Cheers to pine trees that live outside and to tasty cocktails all winter long.
Could I be any worse of a “blogger”? Wait, don’t answer that.
I know, I know….. I have been terrible, but there is good reason!
I have done very little on this here platform of “making it”, it seems, but I promise you, I have been making my ass off.
Over the summer I have MC’ed a couple of festivals, photographed an amazing wedding, did a little traveling, ran a social media account for a fabulous friend, styled and art directed some shoots where the star of the show was beer, in addition to all of my other life duties (wiping kid butts and keeping their noses booger-free).
During that time of creative chaos, I really started to put a lot of different pieces together to form a cool concept of Making It With Stephany; Content Creation.
I really enjoy brainstorming ideas and taking them up a notch.
I excel at photography, art direction, production, product photography, writing, illustrating, styling and putting together a whole puzzle of unique and bold ways to visually tell a story. I’m so confident in my abilities, I made business cards. Whoa.
If you are a business or know of a business who you think would be a good match with me all of my my wackiness, let’s connect. Think of the beautiful eye candy we can create together.
Want some examples? Of course you do.
I am just a girl, standing in front of the internets, asking you to create with me.
*no cows were intoxicated in the making of the above photograph.
I just can’t quit you, tequila. You are everything that is good and summery. When it’s hot, I need you. When it’s sunny, I need you. When it’s a Tuesday….you get the point.
Popsicles are the perfect summer treat and what better way to make them 100% more awesome than to add some booze to them. You may remember my Basil Berry Boozy Popsicles I made on TCL before (SO GOOOOOOOOOD.) but since my obsession with tequila, and strawberries being in full swing right now, how could I not make a frozen strawberry margarita on a stick?!? And I threw in a little coconut milk to make them creamy and tropical.
Make these! Now!
Strawberry Coconut Margarita Popsicles
(makes about 4 cups of puree)
16 oz package of fresh strawberries, washed and chopped. Frozen berries are OK, too! (save a few berries for the simple syrup, recipe below)
1 cup of coconut milk
Eating glitter sounds dumb. But then again, maybe eating glitter could be awesome?
Usually eating sparkly plastic is frowned upon in modern society, but what if I told you there is a few glittery sprinkles that are actually edible.
YES. YOU CAN EAT ALL OF THE GLITTER.
I came across 2 companies that make the magical sprinkles. The Bakers Party Shop and Bakery Bling. I was a lucky duck last week and won a big ol’ bottle of sprinkles from The Bakers Party Shop and let me tell you, these are amazing. So colorful and radical. A pastel mix of unicorn love, in sprinkle form.
I also ordered a TON of glitter sprinkles from Bakery Bling recently. Pink sugars with gold stars, black and purple sugars with silver squares, and my personal favorite, the Unicorn Mix….iridecent diamond BLING. These sprinkles are life changing.
Add them to your cakes, pies and don’t forget the sparklers to go full out diva.
Dare I say spring is my favorite season? As a Minnesotan, I *should* say that fall is my favorite…and let’s be honest, fall in Minnesota is pretty epic.
But dammit, we just got through the ugly stage of winter-into-spring, and things are finally green, warm and colorful. Plus, I have a spring birthday, so I really should be loving spring more than I do. Here is my attempt to catapult spring in to the #1 position in your favorite season list.
Spring will instantly shoot up to your favorite season once the lilacs bloom, right? The smell. The color. Those dainty, sweet little blooms that make the bees happy.
Now, pick those darling little purple flowers and make them into a cocktail! That’s what I did once my lilac bush bloomed a few days ago, and now I am sipping pretty with a delicious lilac vanilla simple syrup that you make at home. Plus, it’s paired with whiskey, another #1 in my life, and it does not disappoint.
If you do an internet search for “lilac simple syrup”, there will be a lot of Pinterest-worthy images of a beautiful purple liquid in pretty tablescapes. That is a lie. When you make your own lilac syrup, it is actually a greenish hue. No worries! It’s still sweet and has a yummy (but light) floral taste that pairs well with a favorite whiskey.
Lilac Vanilla Whiskey Cocktail
3 oz ginger ale
2 oz whiskey
1 oz lilac vanilla simple syrup, see recipe below
lilac flowers for garnish
Add ice to a lowball glass. Pour ginger ale, whiskey and lilac vanilla simple syrup in the glass and stir gently. Garnish with a few lilac flowers and serve.
Lilac Vanilla Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 cup of lilac flowers, washed and stems removed
Bring the water and sugar to a boil on the stovetop in a small saucepan. Stir. Add vanilla bean and lilacs to the pan and lower heat to a low boil for 4 minutes. Strain and cool completely. Store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I love to sew, when I have time. I love to shop for cool and modern fabric, when I have a project in mind. But I really love to see the finished product ASAP.
I have just figured out that I am too impatient to be a really good quilter.
My quilts are good enough, but from a distance. To quote Cher from the movie “Clueless” “She’s a full-on Monet. It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s okay. But up close, it’s a big old mess.”
Within the past couple of years, I have really gotten into making modern and bright quilts. I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner, but then the impatient Stephany shows up and then I remember…it’s because I didn’t want to put in that much time and effort in unless the quilt was on track to be perfect. HA. What a dummy. Now that I have a few quilts under my belt, I feel confident enough to tell you that I make imperfect quilts, and I don’t care. Let’s just say I try really hard to do a good job, but, in the end, as long as I enjoyed spending that rare free time making something that I know will get plenty of use, I will do a “good enough” job to make the cuts as straight as possible and as square as I can.
If you are someone who is interested in attempting a quilt, I think you should do it! Don’t hold off because you’re not good enough. Do it because you want to learn, improve and come away with a quilt you made.
After some time off from the TV hustle, I made an appearance on Twin Cities Live recently, featuring some damn tasty coffee cocktails using coffee and alcohol from Minnesota companies.
My favorite is the Sweet Whiskey Chai, because WHISKEY & CHAI. YASSSSSSSSSS.
The coffee I used was from Five Watt Coffee, Blackeye Roasting Company, and Gray Duck Chai. I used alcohol from 2 Gingers, Pike Street Bourbon from Panther Distillery, Caruva Horchata, Ricura Horchata, and beers from Lift Bridge, F-Town Brewery, and Bent Paddle. Support those Minnesota makers if you can!
Sweet Whiskey Chai
2 oz 2 Gingers Whiskey
6 oz Gray Duck Chai
Stir well and serve over ice.
Mix equal parts of Caruva or Ricura Horchata and Big Watt Cold Press Coffee in a glass. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Stir and serve over ice.
Black Irish Velvet
1 part Lift Bridge Irish Coffee Stout
Pour prosecco or champagne in a flute. Take a spoon and pour the stout over the spoon into the flute.
I wrote this.
It was easy. What wasn’t easy was being brave enough to send it to Scary Mommy.
It was easy to imagine their editor reading and hitting the delete button. What wasn’t easy was imagining them publishing it.
They did publish it and I’m still here. It seemed to have garnered a decent amount of interaction, which for me is awesome and terrifying. It’s a good feeling to see something you make shared with a gazillion people. It’s a gross feeling when you look at some of the comments going off the rails about what the focus of the article was….having 3 (or more kids) is a circus, I happen to have boys, so I write about life with boys. You may think there are stereotypes of “boy stuff” versus “girl stuff”, but unless you know me or my boys, you don’t really know, do you?
If you laughed and thought to yourself, “Damn, I would never want to be in her shoes,” or “I know exactly how she feels, I have 4 girls!”, then I am pleased.
If you felt offended by the thought of my being disappointed when I found out I was having a boy, when I really wanted a girl, whatevs. This is my story. I get to say and feel what I want in my story.
Write your own story, if you think yours is better.
My story isn’t for everyone. My opinions aren’t for everyone.
But what is great about the internet is you can just keep on scrolling. If you come across a story that you don’t agree with, no worries, keep searching for what works for you. There is no need to be a dick in the comments.
Not everything in the world is going to speak to you, and if my story does, than I’m glad I was brave.
If you have been following Making it with Stephany for any length of time, you know that I am a big fan of yummy adult bevies and love mixing up new cocktails for the world to enjoy.
If you are new here: I’m a big fan of adult bevies.
I have a love affair with the Italian family of ‘Cello liqueurs. I have made Blackberry Limoncello, Blood Orangecello, Ruby Red Grapefruitcello and Crema Limecello. And guess what? Another winter means another ‘Cello recipe made with the abundant and plentiful winter citrus.
Welcome to the world, Vanilla Orangecello. This ‘Cello tastes like dreams and Orange Julius, but with vodka. It is as simple as my other liqueur recipes and has the same quick turnaround time, instead of waiting months to imbibe this tasty lil number, Vanilla Orangecello can be ready in about 3-4 days. I went with organic oranges because their peels were going to be sitting in the vodka/simple syrup mixture and I wanted to keep it as chemical-free as I could.
Sure, I could have just made a basic Orangecello, but with the addition of the vanilla and the lemon and lime juice for a little complexity, it really isn’t your average Orangecello; it tastes sweet, warm, and lovely. It also isn’t too acidic tasting like a traditional orange vodka combo, but fresh and easy to sip.
1 750ml bottle of vodka, this time I went local with l’Etoile du Nord vodka
6 large organic oranges, peeled then juiced
juice from 1 lemon
juice from 2 limes
1 cup water
1 cups sugar
1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract or 1/2 of vanilla bean cut and scraped