Jul 09, 2017
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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

1/2 cup silver tequila
1/4 cup Cointreau
1/4-1/2 cup of strawberry simple syrup, depending on your taste, I like margaritas that aren’t too sweet so I used 1/4 cup.
Put all ingredients in to a blender and blend until you have a fine puree.  Add puree to popsicle molds.  Wait about 30-45 minutes before adding sticks to molds.  Freeze overnight.  Eat like a boss.
Strawberry Simple Syrup
Make strawberry simply syrup by bringing 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, to a simmer.  Stir to dissolve all of the sugar and add 3-4 fresh strawberries.   Let syrup bubble for about 2 minutes then take off the heat.  Let strawberries sit in syrup for 5 minutes, then remove them and discard.  Let syrup cool to room temperature.  Syrup will keep in refrigerator for 2 weeks.
May 22, 2017
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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.

May 10, 2017
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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

ice

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.

Apr 15, 2017
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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.

 

Who cares if it’s a little wonky?  Make weird quilts.  Weird is good.

 

Apr 06, 2017
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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

sweetened condensed milk to taste

Stir well and serve over ice.

 

 

Iced Horchata

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 Prosecco or Champagne, chilled

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.

Mar 31, 2017
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I post pretty pictures of food, drinks and other shit I make or cool things I see.  It’s a visual slap in the face, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

 

Kisses!

Mar 09, 2017
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I Am The Mom Of 3 Rambunctious Boys, And I’m Totally Cool With It (Now)

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.

Feb 21, 2017
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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.

 

Vanilla Orangecello

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

 

Make sure all oranges are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel lemons with peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the oranges, lemon and limes.  You will get around 2 cups of juice.
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, and the orange juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring once in a while for 4-5 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 72 hours in a cool, dark place.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the orange peels and vanilla bean pod and store in the freezer.  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne. Makes around 4 cups.

 

Jan 25, 2017
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“I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” — Alexander McQueen

 

I am no fashionista.  My style is more “oddball” than couture.  I love diving into a clearance rack to see what the normal people have rejected.  Thrift stores are also goldmines for finding unique clothing.  I am inspired by pictures, colors and feelings.

 

I do have a few classic pieces, but what I am always drawn to is prints and bold color.  Leopard, polka dots, stripes are my go-to clothing staples.  After reading this blog post, you could say that I am a little obsessed with making monochromatic outfits with pattern.  (And as far as I am concerned, leopard is a neutral color.  It goes with EVERYTHING.)

 

I was going through my closet recently to get rid of the clothes I no longer wear and noticed I had a lot of buffalo plaid…”I wonder if I could make an entire outfit of buffalo plaid?”  Turns out, the answer was yes.

 

That made me want to put together a leopard outfit.

 

And stripes.

 

Polka dot?  Yup.

Hell, even the Bow Dress was part of the obsession.

Style is subjective.  There really are no rules.  Wear what you like.  Who cares what the trends are.

I have a lot of bold colors and pieces that may seem unwearable to a regular person, but to someone who gives zero fucks on what other people think of them, I can really get funky and express my personality through my clothing.  And let’s be real, as a mom who leaves the house with spit up down her sleeve 87% of the time, it is refreshing to dress like the oddball I am and feel fancy with my all leopard ensembles.

 

I have more monochromatic ideas that I haven’t gotten to style yet, but when I do, be sure I will Instagram them to their fullest potential.  Follow me at “makingitwithstephany” to see.

 

 

Jan 06, 2017
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murphy1

Murphy was my oldest son.  He was a ditzy, stinky, but gorgeous 75lb German Wirehaired Pointer.  He had turned 13 in August and was still trucking like a GD champion.  But December was hard on him.  The cold, his age, and arthritis and unbeknown to us, he had some cancer growing in his puppy tummy.  By Christmas time, things had gotten worse.  The kind of “worse” when an all consuming food beast, such as my Murph started turning his nose up at his favorite foods, I then knew shit was bad.

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I am not going to get into the end of Murphy’s life, but if you have been there before, it was as terrible as it gets.  My heart is broken, and I feel stupid about it because since he had a large cancerous lump removed when he was 10, we started realizing that our big old boy wouldn’t live forever.  When Murph started having problems in December, I kept pushing the reality in the back of my mind that his days might really be numbered.

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What pisses me off the most is how dogs get screwed on longevity compared to larger and smaller animals.  Cats are small and snobbish, and they can live to 20.  Horses are huge and can’t sleep on the foot of your bed and can pull almost 30 years.  But dogs, who can lick your tears and steal your orange slices out of your hand (MURPHY….) while looking adorable, get a measly 12-14 if they are lucky.

 

But I do feel lucky with the years we had with Murph.  He loved babies and didn’t mind when they crawled over him, taking fistfuls of his hair with them on the way.  He traveled to 9 states with us on vacation and never pooped in a hotel room.  He kept me warm in the winter.  He loved food, he was particularly fond of oranges, celery, cabbage, lettuce and whatever meat you could shove in his furry beard.  He literally could smell the instant your fingernail pierced the peel of an orange and would instantly be at your side, chopping at the fruit that was just out of reach.  The only food he would not eat was mushrooms, which was weird since he was a huge fan of eating yucky, dead things/random wild animal poop whenever he found it in the woods.  And he could “talk” like Chewbacca.  (Imagine Wookie sounds coming out of a dog–YES.)

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Since Murph was such a legend, I decided to create a cocktail in his honor, made with his favorite fruit that is only in season in winter, his favorite season.  (Pro tip: German Wirehaired Pointers are NUTS for snow.)  It incorporates blood oranges and some other citrus flavors, along with elderflower and blood orange liquers to help you think of happy times with your furry dog sons and daughters.  Enter: The Murphy.

murphy2

The Murphy

1 oz fresh blood orange juice

1 oz St. Germain

2 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

2 oz Lemon LaCroix

juice from 1/2 lime

murphy3

 

 

Fill a glass with some ice.  Add the orange juice, St. Germain, Solerno, and lime juice to the glass and stir.  Top off with LaCroix.  Think of your favorite dog and enjoy.