Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beso Del Sol Sangria

Occasionally, I get introduced to a delicious beverage company that I must share with you.  Recently, I was introduced to Beso Del Sol a 100% natural sangria company.  I love sangria and though I don't drink it all the time, nothing beats a good glass of sangria...especially on a warm Sunday afternoon.  Sangria is so versatile - there's white and there's red sangria...there's so many different fruits you can add to them.  

I must admit, I was a little skeptical about this whole boxed sangria thing.  Boxed wine isn't anything I've been interested in so I assumed I wouldn't be interested in boxed sangria either.  I hate being wrong but I'll confess...I was! Beso is really tasty and all you have to do is pour it over ice and enjoy!  Here's some really cool facts about Beso Del Sol:

The box that it comes in is eco-friendly; made from 100% recycled cardboard.

It's 8.5% alcohol.

The box is easily portable to the beach or a picnic.

It's made from a high quality Spanish Tempranillo.

One 3 liter box = 4 bottles.

My favorite tidbit: it lasts up to six weeks!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy sangria is with fresh fruit in the glass and I have a few favorite sangria fruits.

So, how did I Beso? 

I decided to Beso with: apples, peaches, plums and oranges.  

I haven't tested the fact that it lasts for up to 6 weeks yet but my box of sangria has been open for well over a week and it's still just as tasty.

See what Beso is all about:


Join the conversation! #igotabeso // #besoathome

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary sample of Beso Del Sol however, the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Weekend

I actually had a "long" weekend this weekend.  I didn't work on Friday; John and I frolicked to Atlanta to start the search for wedding venues and thus the long weekend began.  It felt nice to have a day off and try and get some planning done...just some.  The rest of the weekend was spent making lists, eating lots of food, cleaning and just really trying oh so hard to get some type of organization in our lives.  That part is still a work in progress. We did find some time to see a movie - The Drop. It's one of James Gandolfini's last movies. It seems as though there are some pretty decent movies coming out this fall and I'm super excited about movie nights with John.  Even though Autumn isn't my favorite season, I am looking forward to it...just a little bit.  

I'm really amped for the America's Test Kitchen cookbook we got as an engagement gift from friends; I could hardly contain myself when I opened it.  John and I will definitely be making some deliciousness from that cookbook soon. 

I realized this weekend that most of my wedding planning accessories are all polka dot. That's normal, right?

Some friends of ours are moving to Houston soon so we headed to their house Saturday night for some cocktails and Hollywood Game Night.  Yes! Do you watch this show? Comes on NBC.  We love it and I had no idea there was a board game for much fun! We ended the weekend with food truck lunch and a very late dinner that involved me making twice-baked potatoes...again. Details on that coming to the blog soon.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wedding Watch: Engagement Update

Welcome to my new blog series: Wedding Watch.  This should be fun.

Today marks 1 month since we've been engaged! I told you I wouldn't make this into a wedding blog and I'm not but sometimes I get asked about how things are going, if we've set a date yet, do I have a dress, blah blah blah. I have no answers to those questions yet so once a month I'll blog about where we are in the wedding planning process.  We'll chat about decor, vows, setting dates...the whole shebang!  Each month will have a different theme so to speak and this month is just a simple update about our engagement.

I'm enjoying being engaged and going through the process with John together.  This month has been extremely busy and I have a feeling life will continue to be a bit hectic so I'm trying to do my part and stay calm, organized and truly enjoy this process.  So far, so good.

Currently on our radar:

Today, we're looking at our first wedding venue and I'm super-excited and I'm hoping it goes well. Once we figure out a location, I feel like everything else will fall into place.

Let the planning begin!  Stay tuned for next month's Wedding Watch update.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Four Roses Sage Fig Smash

You guys.  Brown sugar simple syrup has changed my life. I know that seems very dramatic but I'm so serious. It's changed my life and it's change my at-home cocktail making.  I was SO excited when I was contacted by the publicity team for Four Roses Bourbon to concoct a bourbon cocktail for Bourbon Heritage Month.  Uh, yeah, did you know that September was Bourbon Heritage Month? The U.S. Senate says so.  At any rate, the light bulb in my little head immediately went off because I knew that whatever cocktail I would make, brown sugar simple syrup would an ingredient.  

I've worked with Four Roses before so trying to figure out what type of cocktail to make was somewhat of a breeze because I was a bit familiar with the the flavors that Four Roses posses.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with how Four Roses tastes, you'll probably be able to pick up on subtle hints of fruity flavors like plums and cherries.  When you smell it, it smells a bit spicy and floral and there's a little hint of maple syrup...which probably explains why I love using a splash of Four roses sometimes when I make French toast - so good. Enough of me blabbing - let's make a cocktail.

Figs are beautiful aren't they? Whole Foods has a variety of figs but I finally settled on "common figs".  That's what their called, not my words.  

Figs are like this weird little forbidden fruit that I almost never...well never, experiment with but I know I've enjoyed them when I've had them in various dishes and drinks.  The color of the figs' juice is beautiful; you'll see once you make this beautifully delicious drink.

So here's what you'll need (makes 1 cocktail):

2 figs, halved; plus 1 more for garnish
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 sage leaves
1 oz. Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

If you prefer a more "bourbon like" flavor, use 1 ounce of syrup and 2 ounces of bourbon.

In a cocktail shaker, add the figs, lime juice, simple syrup, and 1 sage leaf.

Muddle, muddle, muddle.

When you're done muddling, add bourbon and ice and shake for about 30 seconds.  Your cocktail shaker should get really cold and frosty.  

Strain in into a glass.

The straining may take a few times to get all of the liquid out of the shaker. Be patient - it's worth it.

You can pour this over a large ice cube so it stays cold but doesn't water down the cocktail or you can use fun ice.  Pellet ice is what I call fun and can be seen here.  If you have a Sonic near you, you can buy it there.  I just found that out like a month ago so I've been buying my fun ice there.

If you'd like to make your drink even prettier add a garnish.  Take the remaining fig and half it along with the remaining sage leaf and slide it onto a cocktail pick. 


Interested in being a part of the Bourbon Heritage Month conversation on social media? Use the #BourbonHeritage hashtag to join the convo!


Disclosure: I'm participating in blogger program to celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month and received complimentary bottles of Four Roses Bourbon as compensation.  All opinions and recipes are my own.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Weekend

I'm really trying to do a better job at relaxing more during the weekends.  They go by so quickly and I really want to enjoy a little time to do absolutely nothing.  Of course, they don't always end up that way and that's OK. Sometimes I use the weekends to knock off things on my to do list that I didn't have time to complete during the week while other times I use the weekend to catch up on sleep.  This weekend was one of those weekends where I caught up on sleep and didn't really do too much with my to do list, which is a first for me. I have a busy month at work, I'm working on a new blog series...or actually I'm working on three (yikes) and not to mention starting to plan a wedding soon.  Let's just say with my growing to do list, I'm thankful for the nights and the weekends where I have almost nothing major to do.

I welcome more of those.

We celebrated my soon-to-be mother-in-law's birthday this weekend with a very delicious meal from 1885 Grill.  I got a much deserved manicure and decided on OPI's Alpine Snow, which is shocking for the girl who always wears pink polish.  John and I started our Sunday with brunch and ended it with pizza delivery.  I'll be back on my cooking game this week though.  

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 5, 2014

What I Loved on Pinterest

Gosh, I haven't done one of these posts since March! It's not because I haven't been on Pinterest (because I have), I guess I've just neglected this little series that I really love! Since March, I've definitely pinned some good stuff and now that I'm engaged (ahhhh!!), I've added even more to my little Pinterest collection - but I'm not going overboard...yet.

At any rate lovelies, I hope that your Friday and the rest of your weekend is amazing. Here's a peek of what I've been looking at over the last few months on Pinterest.  

Food & Drink

lamb ravioli via Tartlette
shrimp & chorizo burger via Lady & Pups
peach jalapeno margarita via Dishing up the Dirt
caesar salad wonton cups via Recipe Tin Eats


white wrap dress via Who What Wear
leopard loafers via Lou What Wear
lace peplum via Thank God I'm a Girl
floral skirt & shoes via Life, Love and the Pursuit of Shoes

Home Goods

grey couch via Design Sponge
old fashioned frame via Katie Kime
yellow desk chair via Ish and Chi
herb coffee table via A Beautiful Mess


julia child quote via etsy
rachel wolchin quote (source unknown)
isak dinesen quote via Flickr
learn to say no quote via Dump a Day Inspiration

What have you discovered on Pinterest lately?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bourbon Review: Berentzen Bushel & Barrel

I love when I check the mail and I receive a lovely package of adult beverages.  I mean, who wouldn't love that? A couple of months ago, I learned about Berentzen. Have you heard of this brand?  I'm new to them but I always love learning about alcohol brands on the market that I've never tried before.  Inside my lovely package sitting on my doorstep, was two sample bottles of Berentzen's Bushel & Barrel apple flavored bourbon and their Icemint, which is a super mint flavored schnapps.  

Before trying to think about cocktail recipes or what I could pair with each liquor, I tasted both of them.  I wanted to know what they tasted like without any mixers.  I have to be honest, I've never really been a fan of a lot of mint flavored alcohols. I can tolerate them more in the winter and during the holidays but I'd rather not.  However, I was a little surprised at how refreshing this particular product was; it actually tasted delicious on its own.  Though I didn't experiment too much with this particular sample, I know I'll definitely be toying around with different recipes in the cooler months.  Though the minty flavor was quite prominent, it wasn't overwhelming. Often with mint flavored alcohols, they burn and aren't that tasty.  The Icemint Schnapps will be really delicious in a coffee or a hot chocolate cocktail.

Flavored alcohols often taste artificial.  I tasted the Bushel & Barrel apple bourbon and was blown away at how authentic it tasted - wow! It smelled and tasted of crisp, freshly sliced apples just as the tasting notes described; I was shocked.  Rarely do you ever taste an apple, orange or any other fruit flavored anything and it actually tastes legit, right?

Because of the overwhelmingly tasty flavor of the apples, I found it almost sort of wrong to try and concoct some cocktail that would mask the flavor of the apples.

So - I took note from the Berentzen website and made one of their suggested recipes: Bushel & Barrel apple with ginger beer.  Bourbon paired with ginger beer is actually one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.  There's just something about ginger beer...especially the extra gingery kind.

Reed's - my favorite brand of ginger beer.

The combo is pretty simple:

2 oz of Berentzen Bushel & Barrel
4 oz ginger beer (or you can use ginger ale
An apple slice for garnish

Add ingredients in a glass with ice; stir and enjoy.  For a little extra flavor, try adding a pinch of cinnamon.

Interested in trying Berentzen products? See if it's available in your neck of woods.  With Autumn right around the corner, the Bushel & Barrel will be fantastic in a warm apple cider...try it!

Disclosure: Berentzen provided me with complimentary samples for this post. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The [holiday] Weekend

Long weekends should happen more often than they do, don't you think?  Everyone needs an extra day or two to just relax and focus on non-work related items like I did. I cleaned, did a little blog planning for the fall months and we started working on our guest list for our wedding (eeek!).  No date set yet but we thought we'd get ahead of the game and start getting our list together so we know how many people for the venue and our budget. Sheesh. I definitely enjoyed just lounging around the house on Monday especially since I have a pretty busy month ahead of me.  I'm hoping that as this new month starts, I'll enjoy this beautiful transition from summer to fall and really take a few moments to reflect on what this summer has meant to me.

I enjoyed an adult slushie (the best kind, right?) and finally cracked open the September issue of Marie Claire - in addition to errands, dinner and brunch.  Exhausting but someone has to do it.

Cheers to a *short* week!

Friday, August 29, 2014

What's Cooking: August Edition

This has been a pretty busy month and it has flown by!  It's been pretty busy over on my column too. In case you haven't followed, I've rounded up this month's tasty columns.

Pictured above: 

Spicy yam potato salad - interesting flavor combinations that I loved!

Next up...

Salt-roasted fish - Didn't go as planned but the orange salsa was delicious!

Photo via: Diane, A Broad
This particular week, I focused on 5 beach inspired recipes.

My most recent column...

An easy marinara sauce - simple and takes almost not time.

What'd you cook this month?

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