Category Archives: Recipes

Treat-or-Treats

happy halloween

This year for Halloween we hosted some friends over in our new apartment. I must admit our apartment was still pretty unorganized the week prior. So when deciding on the food, drinks, and a costume, I went for easy-peasy, knowing we had other things to handle.

Complicated dishes look great on Martha Stewart’s website and all , but the detail that goes into those recipes is just outside my scope of concentration. Sorry Martha, but I don’t have 4 hours to devote to carving a goblin face into 10 apples. I actually tried this recipe last year. Maybe it’s the fact that I have cooking A.D.D. I always start about 4 different recipes at once. Does anyone else have this problem ?

Here a few of my “Becca Certified” easy recipes for Halloween.

halloween appetizers

mozzarella broomsticks

Witches Broom Stick Appetizers

Just like the GEICO commercial, I turned my kitchen into a Broom Stick Factory and made a appetizer that would surely sweep my guests off their feet. With only 3 ingredients, it was super easy to make and almost too cute to eat (almost :))

Ingredients:

  • Mozzarella string cheese sticks
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Chives or green onion

Directions:

  1. Cut the cheese sticks in half.
  2. Using a small knife, cut the bottom part of each half into strips.
  3. Insert a pretzel stick into the uncut end of the cheese stick.
  4. Wrap cheese with chive or thin strip of green onion and knot.

broom stick appetizer

jackolantern cockail

Jack-o-Lantern Cocktails

Fall is by far my favorite season. I love the crisp weather, the attire (boots, jackets, and scarves oh my!), and everything pumpkin! So it only seemed fitting to make pumpkin inspired drinks for our party.

Ingredients:

  • OJ
  • Diet Sprite
  • Vodka
  • Oranges
  • Limes

Directions:

Cut the orange slices as thin as you can. Peel the lime.  Shake the OJ, Sprite, and vodka in a shaker and pour into your glass. Add your orange slice and then add the lime peel in the middle of the orange.

mummy pigs in a blanket

Mummy Dawg Appetizers

These spooky treats are a delight to eat, and again simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package hot dogs
  • 1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dough
  • Ketchup and mustard
  • Pizza cutter

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray the pain with cooking spray.
  • Roll out your dough sheet and pinch any seams together. Cut vertical strips of dough evenly, about 1/2-inch thick. The strips are about 1 inch already pre-cut.
  • Pat hot dogs dry with paper towels.
  • Wrap 1 strip of dough around each hot dog so that it looks like a mummy. Press the ends of the dough together firmly at the ends to secure. Place wrapped hot dogs 2-inches apart on baking and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Use ketchup and/or mustard to dot little “eyes” on the mummies and for serving!

bat meatballs

Bat Meatballs Appetizers

I’ve tested out this tasty Asian Turkey Meatball recipe from Skinny Taste, a time or two. Skinny Taste is  one of my favorite food blogs. Gina, the chef and blog writer, shares healthy recipes that taste realllll good. And if you’re a Weight Watchers follower, she even provides the points for each recipe.  For Halloween, I just added some black corn tortilla chips to the sides of the meatballs. Before  I knew it they were flying off the table (into my guests bellies of course).

Click here for the Asian Turkey Meatball recipe.

pumkin cooler

Pumpkin Cooler

My mom shared this great idea with me she found of the Rachel Ray show. Our awesome friend Dan came over early to help out with our party and I put him on pumpkin duty.
Item List:

  • Pumpkin
  • Serrated Knife to cut pumpkin
  • Colored tacks (I found yellow ones at Home Depot)
  • Ice
  • Beer to fill your pumpkin

Directions:

You simply cut about a 1/3 of the pumpkin off and then gut the pumpkin. Next use tacks to spell whatever you like!  Ta dah! Festive drink cooler.  Click here to see my pumpkin flower arrangement from last Halloween.

Here’s the GEICO commercial I just love.

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Easter Lollipop Cupcakes

For Easter brunch this year, I wanted to make some EASY but fun cupcakes. I mean I love spending an hour browsing around on pinterest, day dreaming about the extravagant cupcakes I plan to bake but let’s get real…I’m not gonna make sheep cupcakes with a barn cake to match. Okay, maybe I would if I didn’t have a job.  I seriously think those people hire elves to secretly work on all their pinterest crafts day in and day out.

So instead I sought out the master of all things holiday related, Martha Stewart.  Of course, I knew my cupcakes would be better than hers because my highly successful cooking empire is worth $971 million, not a measly $970 mil.

I adapted her recipe because Giant and Target both had a small selection of sprinkles.  So instead of sprinkles I dyed the frosting (and myself). I went to church the next day with blue dye still on my hands…good thing I had an apron (thanks Jenny).

laffy taffy

What you’ll need:

  • Cupcake mix of your choice (and the ingredients written on the box).
  • 2 cans of buttercream vanilla frosting. You could probably get by with one, but I like a lot of frosting.
  • Lollipops.
  • Food coloring of your choice.
  • Green Laffy Taffy.
  • A frosting kit– I bought the 12 piece Wilton cupcake decorating kit at Target for $9. It even has instructions how to make different frosting designs.
  • Something to roll the Laffy Taffy.  A rolling pin is preferable…If you’re ghetto like me,  a can of peas.
  • Scissors to cut the petals.

Flower lollipops

Steps:

  • Bake the cupcakes and let them cool.
  • Dye the frosting. I dyed one can purple and the other blue.
  • Roll out the taffy and cut into petals.
  • Frost the lollipops using your decorating set.
  • Frost the cupcakes.
  • Place the lollipops and taffy petals on the cupcake.

Ta Da! Bright, springtime cupcakes perfect for Easter brunch!

easter lollipop cupcakes

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Sunshine Cupcakes

For Brian’s birthday this year, I decided to make some special sunshine cupcakes. For those of you who don’t know, my pet name for him is Sunshine.   Mainly, I call him this because he brightens my life…. and I like the ring of Sunshine better than some other cutesie names. Sorry if you just lost your appetite, but for those of you still hungry out there, these yummy cupcakes are fun to make and even more fun to eat.

I think I seriously had half a bag of watermelon sours, spoonfuls of frosting,  some uncooked funfetti cake batter,  and a test cupcake before we even started decorating these golden creations.

Decorating was a little harder after a few glasses of wine and some failed attempts at getting the water melon sours to stay on. I even tried sticking the candies to toothpicks ( I blame it on the sugar high).  My friend quickly advised against this considering I did want people to live after eating the cupcakes.   Good thing I have smart friends.

murder cupcakes

So with the murder cupcake out of my system, we finally wised up and stuck the cupcakes back in the fridge. The icing hardened some and made it easier for the candy to stay on.

The final product ta daaaaaa!

sunshine cupcakes

I couldn’t help but be a little happier every time I opened my fridge and saw these cupcakes smiling back at me. Guess they have the same effect as my Sunshine. birthday boy

Most importantly, Brian had a wonderful birthday, celebrating with friends and eating some birthday cupcakes! Annnnd every one lived!

birthday celebration

Sunshine Cupcake Recipe Time

  • Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Decorating time?: Well if you drink a few glasses of wine and invite your best friend over, estimated time is 3 hours
  • Yield: 24 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) of funfetti cupcake mix cause it’s da bomb
  • 2 cans (16 ounces) of cream cheese frosting
  • Yellow and orange food coloring
  • Miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  •  Twizzlers (pull and peel)
  • Sour water melon candies…I’ve seen the cupcakes done with candy corn. But who likes gross candy corn?

Directions

  • Eat most of the candy until your stomach starts to hurt…just make sure to leave enough for the cupcakes.
  • Prepare cake batter mix according to package directions for cupcakes; cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, tint frosting can yellow and the other can orange.
  • Frost cupcakes.
  • Place cupcakes in the fridge for about 10 minutes to let the icing harden at bit.
  •  Press two chocolate chips into each cupcake for eyes.
  • For mouths, cut the Twizzlers into small pieces; bend slightly to curve.
  • Cut the water melon sours in half. Frost them with the yellow frosting and then add around the edges of cupcakes.

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Deck the halls with lots of vodka and tequila

Fa lalalalalalala

For Christmas this year, I decided to make two of my fun aunts some festive,infused alcohol. I got the Pineapple-Jalapeno  Tequila recipe from one of my favorite blogs,  Cupcakes and Cashmere and then came up with two more recipes on my own,  Honeydew-Rosemary Vodka and Cranberry-Sage Vodka.

I started by hitting up the liquor store conveniently located right in front of my apartment (some would say a little too convenient). I chose to infuse vodka and tequila and went with Vox Vodka (cause my aunt loves it) and 1800 Silver (cause it reminds me of the 1800 bottles of tequila I drank in Costa Rica). Since my aunts only like the best and I was appropriately dressed in yoga clothes,  next stop was Whole Foods to pick up some organic ingredients to infuse these babies.  Lastly I went to buy air tight jars from World Market.  You’ll need one to soak all the ingredients in and then one to give away (you can also just use the same jar for both..up to you).  World Market has some great affordable kitchent items fyi.  It’s also a great place to browse around for an hour and buy 500 things you don’t really need.

The best part about this present–taste testing!!! Getting drunk while gift giving–just call me a tipsy Kris Kringle 🙂

cranberry infused vodka

straining cranberries for infused alcohol

vodka in mason jar

infused vodka and infused tequilla

Ingredients and Directions:

Honeydew-Rosemary Infused Vodka (My favorite) 

  • Vox Vodka
  • Honeydew
  • Rosemary
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice

I bought honey dew already sliced into cubes. I cut it in halves to allow the vodka to infuse through the fruit.  Cut two limes and squeeze the juice into the jar. Pour the vodka and all ingredients into a canning jar with an air tight lid. Let the vodka soak for 2 days. Give it a taste test and decide if you need to add more of something. Then let it soak for 1 more day. Give it another taste test. If it’s to your liking then strain the vodka and pour it into your selected jars. Lastly, decorate!

The honeydew infused vodka had a light summery taste. It was dangerously delicious.

Cranberry-Sage Infused Vodka

  • Vox Vodka
  • Whole cranberry
  • Sage
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cut the cranberries and sage leaves in half. Cut two lemons and squeeze the juice into the jar. Pour the vodka and all ingredients into a canning jar with an air tight lid. Let the vodka soak for 2 days. Give it a taste test and decide if you need to add more of something. Then let it soak for 1 more day. Give it another taste test. If it’s to your liking then strain the vodka and pour it into your selected jars. I bought all of my jars from World Market. They were affordable and cute. Lastly, decorate!

The cranberry infused vodka only had a hint of flavor, but the sage and cranberry together provided a wintery feel.

Pineapple-Jalapeno Tequila

  • 1800 Silver Tequila
  • Pineapple
  • Jalapeno

I bought pineapple already skinned.  I cut it into smaller pieces to allow the tequila to infuse through the fruit.  Pour the tequila and all ingredients into a canning jar with an air tight lid. Let the tequila soak for 2 days. Give it a taste test and decide if you need to add more of something. Then let it soak for 1 more day. Give it another taste test. If it’s to your liking then strain the tequila and pour it into your selected jars.  Lastly, decorate!

I’m not the biggest tequila fan, so I added more pineapple to mask the flavor. This tequila tasted sweet with a slight kick to end.

Happy tipsy gift giving!

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