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.

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!

Nov 21, 2016
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  I write stuff on here all of the time.

And while I put time into the how-to’s and projects that I create, I kind of just write whatever silly shit that comes out of my brain-mouth and hope it makes sense and makes you laugh, because we could all use a little relief from the world nowadays, you know?  What is better than smart ass recipes??

But this one below, I put some time in.  I wrote an article for the Stillwater Current, which is run by my cool buddy Shawn, about my other rad friend Sara, who makes delicious, ass kicking pies.

I want to do more of these types of articles (possibly some videos too?!) so if you know of any awesome businesses in the St. Croix Valley who would like to talk to me, send me your suggestions!

 

Sara’s Tipsy Pies: A Perfect Crust and Just the Right Amount of Alcohol

Apr 06, 2016
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I love baked goods.  Cookies, pies, and yummy, yummy breads.  I am on the fence when it comes to cake and doughnuts–don’t judge me, it just depends on the day/flavor.

 

I came across this recipe LONG before Pinterest.  I found it in a magazine years ago and wrote it out on a recipe card, and that, really dates me, doesn’t it?  You can search “Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies” and all of the recipes are pretty much this exact one, so I can’t exactly say where I got it from, but trust me, this cookie is tasty AF.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter?!?  It is a gift from the heavens.  Nomnomnomnom.

 

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Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies

1 box packaged brownie mix

1/4 cup melted vegetable shortening

4 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat brownie mix, melted Crisco, cream cheese, and egg in a mixer until the dough is well blended.  Roll dough into balls, about golf ball size and place on cookie sheet.  (Dough will be very sticky.)

 

In a small bowl, mix peanut butter and powdered sugar until well blended.  Roll into balls, about the size of a large marble and press them into brownie dough.

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Cool on rack and then eat until your heart’s content.

Mar 02, 2016
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This morning I was on the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show as their Almost Co-Host of the Day.  Dave, Falen, & Steve were super duper nice and to make sure that we would be BFF’s, I brought along some Grapefruitcello, because you can never go wrong with morning vodka.  Amirite?!?

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We talked about some weird jobs I’ve had, my run-in with the Backstreet Boys back in the day, and how you never read the internet comments about yourself because people can be jackasses sometimes.

 

I included the audio clip above, if you missed it or want to relive all of the humor, crazy stories, or the insults that make morning radio sparkle.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.47.38 AMPhoto Cred: KDWB

Feb 02, 2016
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It’s supposed to snow in Minnesota today.  I love snow, but so far this year, whenever it’s predicted to be a big storm, it ends up being a measly 2 inch snowfall.  Meh.

 

This is Minnesota, dammit.  I want piles and piles of snow outside my door.  I want to spend hours outside shoveling my driveway, have the plow drive by and spend another 40 minutes re-shoveling the end of my driveway.  I want my dogs to grow snowballs in their fur after jumping through snowdrifts.  I want to lose my kids in the backyard for a bit while they make an epic fort.

 

Here’s hoping that today’s rumored storm actually delivers.  Until that happens, let’s channel a Minnesota summer filled with pasta salad.  This is a very easy dish that you can make year round and in no time at all.  I load up on the veggies so the boys get their required vegetable intake in 1 bowl and I don’t have to make anything else, this 1 bowl covers everything.  All you need to do is cook the noodles, cut up a couple of veggies and stir it up.  Simple.  And because sometimes the laziest of meals are the yummiest.

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What you’ll need:

1 box of rotini noodles, cooked

8-10 oz of Italian dressing

1 cup baby carrots, chopped

1 large head of broccoli, chopped

10.5 oz container of baby tomatoes, I used Golden Sunburst

1- 6 oz package of pepperoni

 

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Cook the box of pasta according to the directions on the box.  Make sure you salt the water, unsalted noodles are less flavorful.  Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water until no longer hot.  Add noodles to a large bowl.  Chop up carrots until you have 1 cup, add to bowl.  Chop up 1 head of broccoli, make sure the pieces are small enough to stab with a fork and eat, add to bowl.  Add entire container of tomatoes and pepperoni.  Pour in 8-10 oz of Italian dressing and stir to evenly coat the noodles and vegetables.  Chill before serving.

 

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Poof, you’re done.  We eat this year round and the boys really like it.  The pepperoni adds a little spice while the veggies keep it fresh.   And whether is snows 3 feet or not, Pepperoni & Veggie Pasta Salad is a yummy dinner that takes little effort and is what it’s like to win at life.  Boom.

Dec 31, 2015
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Today is the last day of 2015.  This year, I am laying low with the boys and dogs and staying home.

 

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to get a little funky with tasty food and fabulous attire.

 

For the last-minute people out there (ME), I have two NYE ideas to share.  One is a delicious Seafood Salad recipe and the other is a simple, but oh, so sparkly, star headband.

 

My Seafood Salad recipe is fairly new, but really delicious.  I made it for Christmas Eve on a whim and it couldn’t have turned out more perfect.  It’s a yummy mix of crab, shrimp, and spices.  I only have one photo of it to share (It was Christmas Eve and I had family on their way over and I was cooking in pajamas, gimme a break!) but I want to stress how flippin’ fabulous this is on club crackers.  I honestly almost ate the whole bowl.

 

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Super Seafood Salad

1 package small cooked salad shrimp, usually in frozen section, thawed

8oz (or more) of imitation crab, flake style, shredded

salt and pepper, to taste

3 tbsp of lemon juice

2 stalks of celery, finely chopped

1/4 green onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp of fresh dill, finely chopped

mayo, about 1/2 cup, add a little more if too dry

 

Mix everything in a medium glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit in the fridge for about an hour for flavors to mix.  Serve chilled with crackers.

 

 

 

Cardboard Star Headband

Thin piece of cardboard, I got mine from the packaging of new pajamas

star shape, I used a cookie cutter and traced it

ModPodge & paintbrush

different golds/oranges colors of glitter

hole punch

bakers twine

 

First, I traced 7 large stars on the thin cardboard and cut them out.  I made 4 smaller stars to add to the layout.

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Then, I arranged them how I wanted the headband to look and glued them in place.  After they were dry, I glued the 4 smaller stars on to the crown.

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After everything was dry, I punched out 2 holes at either end of the headband.

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Then it was time to glitter.  This will be messy, so lay down some paper to catch the loose glitter and glue.  I painted a coat of glue on to the entire front of the headband.  While the glue was still wet, I got to business with the glitter application.  I used gold and copper on the large stars and orange on the smaller stars.  I had to do the glue/glitter process a few time to make sure all of the cardboard was covered.

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After I was done sprinkling glitter and the glue was dry, I painted another coat of glue OVER the glitter to lock it down.  Since I am going to wear it on my head, I don’t want all of that sparkly stuff to end up in my hair, eyes and mouth.  This step seals the glitter in.  Let dry completely.

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Tie 2 long pieces of bakers twine to the holes punched in at the ends of the headband and tie in a bow at the back of your head.

 

Sparkly star headband is complete!  Now get out there, eat some Seafood Salad, be sparkly, and be safe out there tonight, friends!!

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Oct 28, 2015
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I know I say this every Halloween post, but I LOVE HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!!

 

I was back in “lifestyle expert” mode yesterday and shared some really fun and creepy Halloween ideas on Twin Cities Live, just in time for you to add some of my suggestions to your big Halloween rager this weekend.  Or, use these recipes as your pre-Trick or Treating meal, to fuel your begging-for-candy-from-the-neighbors adventure.

 

On the menu was the aforementioned Rats on a Stick, 3D Skull Cakes with buttercream glaze, Alien Punch with gummy eyeballs, and for the drinking crowd, my Spook 75, a twist on the French 75 with gin and creme de violette.  YUM.  Try one or make them all.  (Fun fact: my youngest would not even try the Rats on a Stick.  He thought they were made of rats since they really looked like rats.  Mom win!)

 

I put a lot of time into developing the recipes and making sure they were delicious, but also easy to whip up.  No fancy skills needed, just a love for creepy Halloween food.  If you watch the video, I also spent many hours crafting up spooky, evil decor.  Mini pumpkins painted with black metallic paint.  A foam Medusa head complete with 20 rubber snakes as hair.  Copper painted bugs sprinkled everywhere.  I found awesome black and white striped pillar candles and paired that with matching napkins, and polka dot plates.  And don’t get me started on the 5 varieties of Halloween paper straws I snagged.  Most of the finds were inexpensive, from the Dollar Store, or the bargain bin areas at Target and Michaels.  I found the Wilton skull cake pan in-store at JoAnn, had a coupon so I got it for 50% off.  Booya!

 

Here are the recipes I shared:

Rats on a Stick
(makes 8 “rats”)

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef

3 tbs minced garlic

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbs parsley

1 tbs basil

4 tbs grated parmesan reggiano cheese

3 slices of bread, torn into very small pieces

1 egg

Optional:
12 inch skewers
BBQ sauce
spaghetti sauce
peppercorns
dried rosemary
sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients in large bowl well.  The best way to combine is with clean, dry hands.  Make sure everything is fully incorporated.  Once the ingredients are mixed, divide the meat into 8 equal balls.  Roll the balls into ovals and start to pinch out a head/neck.  Try to keep the “body” in a more oval shape.  Bring the “head” to a point for the nose.  Lay out the 8 “rats” in a 13×9 inch pan, making sure they don’t touch each other.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  After the 15 minutes are up, you can add BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce with a brush.  Bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Add 12 inch skewer for the “tail”.  Use peppercorns for eyes & nose.  Use dried rosemary for whiskers.  Use sliced almonds for ears.  (Make sure that if you want to decorate the rats, do it before cooking.  Once they are cooked, they are not soft enough to add the eyes, nose and ears.)  Serve alone or with a side of spaghetti.

Skull Cakes

(makes 4 completed skull cakes)

Wilton 3D skull pan

any boxed cake batter (follow box directions)

non-stick spray

Buttercream Glaze

1 tbs butter, room temperature

1 tbs cream cheese, room temperature

1 tbs vanilla extract

3 tbs milk

1 cup powdered sugar

Bake skulls according to directions that came with the pan (about 30 minutes at 325 degrees).  Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.  Cool completely.  Cut domes off of back of cakes and piece together using frosting.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and milk on low speed for 1 minute in a large bowl.  Add powdered sugar to bowl, starting the mixer on low then, moving up to high once the sugar has combined.  Glaze should be thin.  If it’s too thick, add a few drops of milk.  If it’s too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar.  Add glaze to a zipper sandwich baggie, cut off 1 corner and use baggie as frosting bag.  Glaze skulls.

Spook 75

(makes 2 cocktails)

2 oz gin
1.5 oz creme de violette
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
champagne/sparkling wine
black sugar, for rim
ice

Rim 2 glasses with black sugar.  Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add gin, creme de violette, and lemon juice to shaker.  Shake and strain in 2 glasses.  Top off glasses with champagne/sparkling wine.

Alien Punch
Lime Sherbet
Grapefruit soda/similar to Squirt
Optional: gummy eyeballs
For single glasses, add a few scoops of lime sherbet to a glass and fill with soda.  For a large group, add 12-15 scoops of lime sherbet to a punch bowl and fill with soda.  Add gummy eyeballs to glasses or punch bowl to make your punch a little spookier!  I found these in the holiday baking section, they were marketed as a cupcake decoration.

Jul 29, 2015
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Hi.  I’m going to prove to you that I do much more than come up with cocktail recipes (and then drink them).  I’m big into eating.

 

It’s been summer for a while now and I finally got my ass to the Farmer’s Market today.  Sheesh, what a bum.  But I was hungry and craving something fresh so I took the boys to buy some veggies.

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I love love love love love love pasta.  I can’t help.  It’s the Italian girl in me who can down a plate of spaghetti like a champ.  As I was thinking about veggies, I was also considering that I wanted something else to fill up my belly.  Usually pasta salads are my go-to dinners in the heat of summer.  Just cook up a pot of noodles, mix up some veggies and meat and stick it in the fridge for a chilled feast.  But I wanted something new, and different.  I went to the Farmer’s Market with the idea that I would use whatever was in season today.  The kiddos and I picked up fresh basil, yellow, orange, red and green cherry tomatoes, green and yellow zucchini and a head of cauliflower.  We were going to eat the rainbow!

 

I let the boys inspect the veggies for freshness and pay the for the food, especially because they have become obsessed with money, how it is worth different amounts and getting change back.  I figured that would be my mothering for a bit because when we got home, I pushed them out of the kitchen and into a pile of Legos so I could cook.  Mother of the Year.

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When we got home I immediately started the grill because I was gonna grill these suckas!  The “suckas” being the veggies.  A grilled vegetable pasta salad was on my mind.  )For the record, I lurve charcoal grilling 894 times more than gas.)  So while the charcoal was burning, I got the water on the stove and washed my veggies.  I also made tin foil “pans” to cook the veggies in while on the grill so the veggies wouldn’t fall into the fire or the olive oil wouldn’t spill out.  (I basically folded up all 4 edges and creased them into corners, forming a tray.)

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Once everything was cooked/grilled, I put it all together in a bowl and had a bite.  HEAVEN!  FRESH!  SUMMER!  I was pleased…but I had to scoop some for the harshest critics in the house…the 7 & 4 year olds.  They loved it, which was good because I had a good amount of balsamic vinegar in there and was wondering what their reaction would be.  The money-obsessed little monsters wanted more mouthfuls!  I would say that this is a kid-friendly dish, if your kids like the veggies you add.  So feel free to customize the vegetable mix to suit your tastes.   Hell, I can see some shredded chicken breasts going in here and really knocking some socks off.

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Enough writing, here is how I did it:

 

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

1 lb box of pasta, cooked and rinsed

1 small head of cauliflower, cut in to small bites

4 small zucchinis, sliced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 small bunch of fresh basil, torn

garlic, 2 cloves minced (I love it and use more)

2 tbsp olive oil

4-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

parmesan cheese

 

Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water and rinse with cool water.  Set aside.  Grill zucchinis in a in foil pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic and salt and pepper, about 10 minutes on grill.  Do the same for the cauliflower, about 15-20 minutes on grill.  Add cherry tomatoes to tin pan of cauliflower for the last 5 minutes to warm up or just place directly on hot grill to blister.  When all of the veggies are grilled, mix in large bowl with the pasta.  Add the balsamic vinegar and gently stir.  Sprinkle some Parmesan or Romano cheese on top and enjoy.

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It’s delicious right off the grill and still warm.  Also can be refrigerated and eaten chilled.  Stays 1-2 days in refrigerator.  You can make the veggies in the oven if you don’t have access to a grill.  Substitute rice for pasta if you are anti-carbs.