Wine Time is a Divine Time

I know when I post videos up on this thing they just ping pong out into the ether of the world wide web and nobody watches them (I have site stats! I know you people don’t care about my illustrious youtube career!). But today, I will post a video anyway, one I think you should watch because you might just learn something. Actually, I guarantee you will learn something because the video is a 90 second lesson on the Paso Robles wine region and I know that the dwindling audience of this blog has very little to contribute to the Paso Robles wine conversation.

Am I wrong??? Am I???

Anyway, the video is from the company Second Glass, and it’s full of pictures flashing about the screen to keep you occupied. Give it a watch! My sexy boyfriend Nate made it! Don’t tell him I used his name on this blog because he doesn’t find my Carrie Bradshaw antics charming in the slightest! Can you believe I’m still using Carrie Bradshaw as a reference? Next I’ll start posting quotes “by” Marilyn Monroe. You all know she never said any of those things right? Neither did Coco Chanel or Audrey Hepburn! You know who has real quotes? Joan Didion! Joan Didion has quotes for days! Read a book sometime why don’t you!

Okay, watch this video and become the hottest smarty pants at your next dinner party.

Thirsty Thursday: The Caroline Manzo

Today I’ll be teaching you how to make what I like to call the Caroline Manzo. Really, it’s an italian drink made from coke and red wine called a Kalimotzo, but I saw it in an episode of RHONJ, and you know I’ll make a Manzo and/or Laurita reference at any opportunity.

After my gym class I picked up some Diet Coke and wine- a nice and complete shopping list for a Thursday at 10 am. I didn’t want to spend too much as this was just for a blog, not for some serious, down-to-business drinking. I’ve got to say, I think it’s nothing short of a tragedy that my local Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry alcohol, thus no tried and tested Two Buck Chuck. Other than TBC, I’ve never gone below $8 for wine because I’m such a vino snob and all, but today was a new day. I have a trip to Las Vegas coming up, so I need to be frugal with my drinking habit. I managed to get it down to $3.49 with Golden Gate Vinters! I didn’t try it without the diet coke, but I sense some slight Manischevitz undertones.

Mmmm mmm mmmm, this is actually very refreshing. It also allows me to put ice in my wine and drink it with a straw, judgement-free, which is what I really want to do in the first place, anyway.

Thirsty Thursday: Blueberry Pancake Martini

Last week for Thirsty Thursday I infused some vanilla vodka with blueberries, and this week I’m employing my spot on follow up skills and letting you know how it turned out with this blueberry pancake martini.

Surprisingly enough, the finished product just tasted like booze and not an actual pancake. I mixed 2 parts infused vodka and 2 parts butterscotch schnopps and one part fat free half and half (garnished with a maple salt water taffy).

Oh, ya know, just a little blogging and drinking. Excuse me, I had one sip and can’t type anymore.

Blueberry Pancake Infused Vodka

I decided to infuse some vodka today for Thirsty Thursday because it was literally the easiest thing I could possibly blog about, and I’m not in the mood to really over extend myself today. Though I’m feeling lazy , nothing could ever curtail my natural creativity, so I decided to infuse some vanilla vodka with fresh farm blueberries to make blueberry pancake vodka. Or maybe blueberry muffin vodka… I’ll have to taste it in a week and see which.

Thirsty Thurs: Bellini Granita

    I made a bellini granita using this recipe, but with frozen peaches instead of raspberries. I’d say this is essentially just a boozy shaved ice. I made this with Andre pink champagne, and full disclosure, that stuff is not bad. For a while I thought I was above $5 champagne, like, who do I think I am, Countess Luann?

Andre is also great to use for recipes because it’s so cheap. I’ve already used it for strawberries and champagne cupcakes, jello shots, mimosas, and this granita. Maybe I should write an Andre cookbook and sell it in Urban Outfitters. It could be huge among the hipsters.

Thirsty Thursday

Well, I had so many plans for this most special of days, my designated day of drink. First, I was going to make a bellini sorbet, and after spending my precious yoga money buying the ingredients, I couldn’t find my mom’s ice cream maker in our Hoarders episode of a basement. Then I decided to try this new bottle of mojito mix that’s made with Splenda, which ended up just tasting like gum. Rum gum, if you will. I added lemonade until it was drinkable, but still, I feel so defeated.

I can't even get a clear picture! I'm such a loser!

Thirsty Thursday: Strawberry Daiquiri Jello

A few years back Jello came out with some limited edition strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, and margarita non-alcoholic jello flavors, which I think was a little wink to all us binge drinkers out there. Jello knows what’s up. It’s a shame they don’t still make them, but they’re easy enough to make from scratch to impress the young alcoholics in your life.

Strawberry Daiquiri Jello Shots
Strawberry Jello
4.5 ounces Rum
3 ounces Triple Sec
.5 ounce Lime Juice
1 cup boiling water

Add a cup of boiling water to the jello in a medium sized bowl, stirring until it’s dissolved. Then add the alcohol and lime juice, stir. Fill up some dixie cups or whatever, then refrigerate for a few hours until it’s firm enough for you to throw back.
I know it’s supposed to be jello shots but I plan to just eat this during the Watch What Happens Live drinking game and see what happens. Don’t judge me.
 My pup pup, Wilbur.
Slow your roll, animal activists, I only let him have a little sugar rim.

Thirsty Thursday: Grilled Peach Frappe

So my new thing is to play the Watch What Happens Live drinking game on Thursday nights with my parents (the friends are few and far between now that I’ve moved home, sooo…) My drink of the night is the Grilled Peach Frappe from my mom’s “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine that I skim through in the bathroom.

Grilled Peach Frappe
2 peaches, halved
3 or 4 or 5 ounces (depending on your desired buzz level) of Southern Comfort
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 a tsp vanilla
2 tsp (or to taste) stevia or sugar
1.5 cups of ice

First, cut the peaches in half and preheat your grill. Reduce the heat to medium and put the peaches face down on the grill (cover of the grill down). After 4-5 minutes rotate the peaches a quarter turn (I guess it makes it taste better) and grill for another 4-5 minutes.

Take the skin off the peaches (with a peeler if necessary) and then throw it in the blender with all the other ingredients except for the ice.

Blend for 20 seconds and then add ice and then blend more until smooth. Serve in chilled glasses immediately.

Serves 4. (Or whatever… I just drank a whole pitcher myself). 150 calories (so it’s pretty guilt free unless you drink a whole pitcher..but it’s extra fiber, so who cares)

Strawberries and Champagne Cupcakes

I have two main career goals, 1. to be a comedic writer and performer OR 2. to be like a mix of Rachel Ray and Chelsea Handler… like a drunk Martha Stewart. In honor of the second lofty dream, every Thursday is now Thirsty Thursday here. There are no limitations to what this could mean, other than than it includes alcohol.

So, today I bring you Strawberries and Champagne Cupcakes. I adapted some recipes from here and here. I made these for a friend’s 21st birthday party… they were a hit, but it’s not a big deal or anything, whatever.

Strawberries and Champagne Cupcakes
Cake: (Use this recipe or screw it and just use a strawberry cake mix)
1/2 cup fresh strawberries , diced
1/2 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
2 1/2 cups flour , sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder , sifted
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. (4 ounces) unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup zero-calorie sweetener (e.g., Splenda)
2 large eggs , at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract plus seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups skim milk , at room temperature
Red or pink food coloring
Strawberry extract (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line cupcake pan with 12 baking cups.

Dice up 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries and soak in 1/2 cup of Champagne. Set aside.

Strawberries Soaking in Champagne

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Mix in applesauce slowly.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the food coloring and as much strawberry extract as you like. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.

Gently fold in the diced Champagne-soaked strawberries, just until incorporated.

Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne or prosecco
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Plus: Red or pink food coloring

Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together. Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus 1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well. Add food coloring.

Pink Frosting

Then frost the cupcakes with one of the pastry bags with an open, round top. I don’t know what it’s called. Use what you want, just put in some effort, okay?