Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Simple Sangria

Cinco De Mayo is rapidly approaching, and while we don't actually celebrate the holiday, we are always looking for an excuse to eat Mexican food and have friends over. 

What goes better with Mexican food than ice cold, fruity Sangria?!

1 bottle red wine (we used our homemade Cabernet) (or red grape juice)
1 lime
1 orange
1 lemon
1/2 can peaches in light syrup
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 shots triple sec (or 1/4 C. orange juice) (optional)
1 C. frozen raspberries or strawberries
4 C. ginger ale or lemon-lime soda (chilled)

Pour wine or juice into pitcher. Cut lime, orange and lemon into wedges and squeeze juice into wine. Add squeezed wedges into pitcher. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Add in triple sec and peaches with syrup. Chill at least overnight to let flavors blend. Just before serving stir in ginger ale and berries (we leave them frozen to help keep the drink cool).

We found the longer this sits, the better it gets.  Take the citrus peels out if you are storing for more than a week, they tend to get a little bitter. 

The kids love the all juice version with the fruit floating in it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chocoley Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Kit (Product Review)

Chocolate + Caramel +Pretzels = YUM!

I love chocolate covered pretzels, so when I was choosen to review a cholocate and caramel covered pretzel kit from Chocoley Chocolates how could I say no????

My kit was shipped on Thursday and arrived on my doorstep on Saturday. The kit contained:

1 lb. extra dark chocolate candy melts
1 lb. milk chocolate candy melts
1 lb. caramel
8 oz. white chocolate drizzle (in a drizzle bottle)
2 colorful sugars (blue and purple)
25 cellophane pretzel bags
Chocolate melting instrructions and Pretzel recipes

Contents of kit

The first thing that I noticed is that the chocolate was clearly marked with allergen information--something I really appreciate as a mom with allergy kids!

The instructions are well written and easy to follow.  There are instructions for melting your chocolate in either a double boiler or your microwave. 

The first step is to melt the caramel and dip the pretzels.
caramel dipped pretzels

Next, melt the dipping chocolate.

unmelted chocolate (extra dark, milk chocolate)

Melted chocolate

Dip the pretzels in the chocolate. 
Now comes the fun part!  Melt the white chocolate drizzle.  Drizzle the pretzels and top with your favorite toppings, sprinkles, or colored sugars.
Pretzels with mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, chopped nuts, dried cranberries

The cellophane bags make gift giving simple !
The bags are long enough for the long pretzel.  I only had shorter pretzels on hand so I trimmed the bags to size.  These would be great tied with school colors for a graduation party, pinks or blues for a baby shower or wedding colors for wedding favors.

The kit was very easy to use, but the most important thing is that the taste is great!  I am not always a fan of dark chocolate, but this chocolate didn't have that bitter aftertaste that some dark chocolate contains.  The caramel is creamy and smooth.  The pretzels have been a hit with all of my taste testers.

*While I received the kit for free , I was not paid for this review or obligated to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own and are honest and accurate as possible.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Easy Peasy Lemon Bars

Three ingredients, fast, easy and freezer friendly--a perfect springtime recipe!

Easy Peasy Lemon Bars

1 box Angel Food Cake mix (1 step)
1 can (15 oz.) Lemon Pie filling
Cream Cheese Frosting (canned or homemade)

Mix together Angel Food Cake mix and Lemon Pie filling in medium bowl, just till combined.

Spread mixture in a greased jelly roll pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cool in pan.  Spread with cream cheese frosting and cut into squares.

These bars freeze beautifully.  Just freeze on  cookie sheets till hard and then package in freezer bags.

To thaw: take out of freezer 15 min. before serving (although I have been known to eat them frozen on occasion).

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese and butter together with a mixer.  Add vanilla.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  You can add a little water or milk if the frosting is too thick.

-You can freeze the leftover frosting.  To thaw, bring to room temperature and beat with mixer till smooth.