Fall Is Almost Here: Apple Ginger Screwdriver Recipe

This refreshing apple ginger screwdriver is the perfect drink to cool down at the beginning of fall when the crisp hasn’t quite reached the air. 

Apple Ginger Screwdriver

The kids are back in school, it’s almost the official start of fall, and mama’s happy for a few hours  of peace during naptime to get back to what she loves doing… creating! So in celebration I thought I would start first with a delicious cocktail for all of the other mamas (and dads) who might need to take a moment to themselves before, dare I say it, the holidays get closer. 

In this time between summer and the holidays, we love planning fun outings and get togethers and try and map out how the end of the year will be. And right now it’s almost time to start planning our annual apple picking trip! I cannot wait to make a list of all of the fun apple-filled recipes I want to try this year. I never know exactly what apples we’ll be picking so it’s fun to get some ideas for tart and sweet apple recipes.  Many which would go great with this delicious cocktail! 

Apple Ginger Screwdriver with apple garnish

Apple Ginger Screwdriver

  • 1.5 ounces Tito’s Vodka
  • 3 ounces Apple Ginger Juice
  • 1 Ripe Red Apple
  • Crushed Ice

In a cocktail shaker, add Tito’s vodka or a vodka of your choice, R.W. Knudsen Apple Ginger Juice and top with crushed ice.

Shake it, but don’t break it for 30 seconds.

Strain into a standard whiskey glass.

Garnish with an apple slice.

Serve and enjoy with friends.

Apple Ginger Screwdriver - a refreshing fall beverage

What are you most excited about for this time of year? 

Looking for more great drink ideas as we head into the holidays? Check out a few of our favorites: 

Spiked Apple Cider Drink Recipe - with spiced rum

Spiked Apple Cider

Spiced Citrus Sangria Pitcher

Spiced Citrus Sangria

Grown Up Hot Chocolate Drink Recipe for Girls Night

Grown Up Hot Chocolate

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Wine Pops

In need of girl time? Make these yummy chocolate dipped strawberry wine pops and invite a few friends over!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Wine Pops

I’m sure I’ve said it before but girl time is pretty important to me. I used to host mom’s night ins here in my home with my playgroup and my friends, used to dedicate one Saturday a month to Bunco with the girls, and make various happy hour plans, etc. But lately I’ve let the girl time slack. However after a wonderful few days away – with girlfriends hosted by Kia – I am reminded of the importance of girl time. 

Now I need to plan for a girls night for real. So I can make these again. Because they were amazing. Especially when paired when a glass of wine. And some chocolate covered strawberries. Hey! All of the ingredients were already there…

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Wine Pops - the perfect summer treat

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Wine Pops

  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup, homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup fruity red wine like Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 8 oz. chocolate chips

Add the strawberries and simple syrup to a blender and purée until smooth.
Pour the strawberry purée into a pitcher. Add the wine, Pom juice, and balsamic vinegar (optional). Stir well.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Once Popsicles are frozen, you can prepare the chocolate for coating:
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and set aside.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate over medium heat until smooth and shiny.
Dip each popsicle into the melted chocolate and lay on the cookie sheet to harden. (I found it easier to actually just spoon the chocolate over each pop).
Place back into the freezer for at least one hour before serving.

When’s the last time you enjoyed girl time? 

Instant Pot Recipes: Individual Crustless Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

Instant Pot Low Carb Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

Sometimes you just need a good dessert to fall back on. Even if you decided to go low carb and kick sugar. And especially if it can be made in the appliance you purchased on Prime Day on a whim because it has been in your cart for so long you forgot why you wanted it and it was finally on sale. 

Yup, I was like the thousands of others who purchased an (get ready for an affiliate link…) Instant Pot on Prime Day. And I also made this recipe three times to perfect this crustless peanut butter chocolate cheesecake in an effort to have an awesome alternative for dessert when my family baked their Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies they keep in the freezer for random “cravings” in the evenings. 

Dude. This recipe? Is now my go-to whenever we’re heading to a birthday party, family get together, or on a Sunday night when I watch the kids and husband down cookies. Because while I’m not a huge cheesecake fan, it’s just enough peanut butter chocolatey goodness that I forget I’m watching my carbs and really feel like I’m indulging. 

Now less talking and more sharing recipes…

I’m sharing this one on my dedicated low carb site. You can just click right here to grab it in it’s entirety! Including directions on how to cook it in the Instant Pot. 

Crustless Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

Individual Crustless Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake bite

Low Carb Fish Tacos + a Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

Lettuce Wrapped Mahi Mahi Tacos with Low Carb Tartar Sauce

It is summer and I just do not feel like cooking big, heavy meals. So when I grabbed a box of salmon fillets from Costco a few weeks ago, I was dying to try them out. The fillets go in the oven (boo) but cook really quickly and what you can do with them afterwards is even better! 

We had been just serving the fillets with some veggies or over a salad but I decided to get a little creative and create some mock fish tacos that fit my low carb lifestyle. I’ve been low carb since the beginning of June (actually started last year but that lost steam around the holidays). With my new lifestyle, I also started a blog because… why not? It’s a local blog that covers local restaurants and how to eat low carb around San Diego but it’s also going to be chocked full of the LCHF recipes I try out. Like this lettuce wrapped mahi mahi taco with low carb tartar sauce. 

I’ll make sure to share a snippet and photos of my recipes here with a link over to the full recipe on each post so you can stay in the loop! And if you’re living a low carb lifestyle already, I’d love to hear your go-to food ideas! 

Grab the full recipe here: 

LETTUCE WRAPPED MAHI MAHI TACOS WITH LOW CARB TARTAR SAUCE

Lettuce Wrapped Salmon Tacos - delicious low carb dinner

Two-Ingredient Root Beer Slush Recipe

This two-ingredient root beer slush is the perfect frosty beverage to enjoy while cooling down this summer! 

Root Beer Slush Recipe

Last weekend we headed out to enjoy the San Diego County Fair. While we were there, we enjoyed bites of our favorite fair foods, rode plenty of rides, played games, and enjoyed the rest of the sights and sounds of the fairgrounds. It was quite a fun adventure, as always, for our family and by the time we headed to the exit, we were exhausted.

But before we got to the gate, my husband spied the last place he wanted to stop. The cinnamon roll booth! It’s a tradition to grab a few cinnamon rolls to take home and enjoy the next morning as we reminisce about the fun we had the previous day. And it’s a way to continue to fair food fun. But this time he noticed something else on the menu, a root beer slush! And when I watched them make it behind the glass, I knew we had to try it at home. Because it was SO easy! Just two ingredients and we had a delicious, refreshing beverage to enjoy as a tasty treat after dinner during the hot days of summer.

Plus I can easily turn it into something that fits my LCHF lifestyle by substituting regular root beer for diet root beer. Win-win! And you could totally make this a boozy drink and add vanilla vodka or another delicious choice to the mix.

Root Beer Slush - great way to cool down!

Root Beer Slush

  • 8oz root beer
  • 1 cup ice

Blend ingredients in a blender – we love our Vitamix (affiliate link) – until it’s the consistency of a slush.

Optional: add 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream to create a root beer float slush. SO GOOD!

What’s your favorite way to cool down during the summer?

Love root beer or delicious drink recipes? You may be interested in these great posts! 

How to Make the Perfect Root Beer Float1

The Perfect Root Beer Float

Spiced Citrus Sangria Drink Recipe ready to enjoy

Spiced Citrus Sangria

Boozy Smoothies with Blackberry Arbor Mist

Boozy Smoothies

Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons

Chef Guillas' Strawberry Napoleon

In honor of Strawberry Shortcake Day yesterday, I headed down to Macy’s to check out their FREE cooking demonstration for the month (as I mentioned last week here). I have heard about these free demos for quite a while but never found the time to actually go down and check one out. But boy was I happy I did! We were greeted by Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room here in San Diego and he shared his recipe for Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons. And wow… these were GOOD.

If you have a chance to try out this recipe, do! But make sure you make the puff pastry right before you’re going to assemble and serve it. Not only does it make an amazingly delicious dessert, it’s also a beautiful one as well. A great treat for any summer party or barbecue. And there are so many ways you can customize it!

Chef Guillas' Strawberry Napoleon demo at Macy's

Strawberry Napoleons

by Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room San Diego

Puff Pastry

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk (can also substitute half and half or heavy whipping cream)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Thaw dough just enough to be able to cut with a sharp knife.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 equally sized rectangles, 5 inch x 2 1/2 inch. Transfer rectangles to baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each. Brush with egg yolk mixture. Prick dough with fork all over to prevent over rising. Refrigerate 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle with sea salt and sugar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and flakey. Remove from oven. Transfer puff pastry to a rack to cool.

Creme Patisserie

  • 1 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons St. Germain liqueur

Bring 1 cup of half and half to simmer with vanilla in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add egg yolks and sugar to large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until mixture is smooth, ribbony and pale. Whisk in flour and salt. Add remaining half and half. Whisk until smooth.

While stirring the yolk mixture, slowly pour 1/4 of the hot half and half into the yolk mixture to temper. Transfer yolk mixture into sauce pan. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, whisking constantly. Whisk in St Germain liqueur. Cook an additional minute, whisking constantly. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Cool completely. Remove vanilla bean.

Presentation

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup St Germain liqueur
  • 1/8 teaspoon star anise powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate shavings
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Combine strawberries with St Germain liqueur, star anise, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Marinate for 30 minutes. Strain strawberries. Reserve liquid syrup for presentation.

Spread 2 tablespoons of creme patisserie evenly onto 8 rectangles of puff pastry. Top with pistachios and strawberries, divided evenly. Place one on top of another, to form 4 double stacks. Top each with the remaining 4 rectangles. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Dust with powdered sugar. Spoon strawberry syrup on top of plate.

Enjoy!

Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons by Chef Guillas

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh strawberries?

Celebrate Strawberry Shortcake Day with these Strawberry Recipes

This post featuring strawberry recipes perfect for Strawberry Shortcake Day is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Strawberry Shortcake Day recipes

Join Macy’s as they celebrate the joys of summer and American Icons with one of the most iconic dishes of them all – Strawberry Shortcake! It’s a dish that’s meant for summer. But you don’t just have to stick with the classic Strawberry Shortcake to enjoy the flavors. In celebration of Strawberry Shortcake Day, we’re sharing a few strawberry recipes that evoke the flavors of strawberry shortcake but in a fun and creative way!

A Spin on Strawberry Shortcake Recipes

The Perfect Pairing Strawberry Black Pepper Scones + a Chai Latte

Strawberry Black Pepper Scones

These Strawberry Black Pepper Scones from Simmworks Family are perfect to enjoy the flavors of strawberry shortcake but for breakfast! Just add a dollop of whipping cream or some clotted cream and you’ll be enjoying the goodness of shortcake in a new way.

shortcake-1-of-1-12

Paleo Strawberry Shortcakes 

If you’re following a paleo diet, these Paleo Strawberry Shortcake from Busy Creating Memories will give you all of the goodness of strawberry shortcake but within your diet limits.

no-berry-on-top

Strawberry Shortcake Pinwheels

And we love this creative take on the classic.Midlife Boulevard created Strawberry Shortcake Pinwheels  to enjoy this summer. How delicious do they look?

That’s not all! We’re also celebrating Strawberry Shortcake Day in person with Macy’s and attending a cooking demo.

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

If you don’t want anything but the original, try this easy strawberry shortcake recipe from Nepa Mom.

blueberry-coconut-shortcake

Blueberry Coconut Shortcakes

Not a strawberry lover? Blasphemy! Just kidding… we still have some shortcake love for you. Try this blueberry coconut shortcake from Mama Harris Kitchen and be taken back to an island paradise during vacation. YUM!

National Strawberry Day Celebration at Macy's

Join us here in San Diego to see Chef Bernard Guillaume from The Marine Room here in San Diego for a FREE cooking class!

Date/Time: Tuesday, June 14th at 6pm

Location: Macy’s Mission Valley

Tickets to the demo are free and while not all events require RSVPs, some do! You can find the RSVP info is listed here: www.macys.com/events.

Macy's Culinary Council

What’s your favorite way to enjoy strawberries?

The Perfect Pairing: Strawberry Black Pepper Scones + a Chai Latte

Starbucks disclosure
Strawberry Black Pepper Scones - the perfect pairing with a nice hot chai tea latte

After each kid there’s always been this awkward transition from being in bed by 8am because I’m exhausted from pregnancy or having a newborn, to becoming a night owl again and finding my rightful place back with those who do their best work while burning the midnight oil. So it’s only fair that I help my body out a bit with a night-time indulgence or two. And these strawberry black pepper scones paired with the rich, creamy taste of an authentic TAZO® Chai Latte fit that bill perfectly. Every sip and bite providing a spicy and sweet escape.

I used to just sip on my favorite TAZO® Refresh when I was working through the night – after getting hooked during those long nights of class at college – but then I heard about the new TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods and wow are they good. A creamy, spicy drink that immediately relaxes me and allows me to focus on my work is exactly what I need whether it’s morning or night! And the fact that I can easily make it at home with my Keurig®? Double bonus!

It reminds me of how my grandmother used to make us tea when we were growing up – the English way with cream and sugar – but with the fun spicy twist of chai.

Tazo Chai Classic Latte in the KeurigTazo Chai Classic Latte

This delicious drink is part of the new Sweet Meets Spicy Collection and totally inspired me to think outside of the box when I was considering treats to pair with it. Sweet and spicy combos are one of my favorite so when I settled on one of my favorite scone recipes, I knew I had to bump it up a notch. I grabbed the carton of strawberries from my fridge – LOVE strawberry season! – and then headed to the pantry to find my next ingredient… black pepper!

Strawberry Black Pepper Scones ingredientsStrawberry Black Pepper Scones doughStrawberry Black Pepper Scones ready to bake

Strawberry Black Pepper Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 350 with pizza stone inside.

Using a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and baking powder together. Then add the cold butter and pulse until pea size pieces form in the dough.

Add vanilla, heavy cream, and egg to dry mixture and pulse until combined and dough forms.

Transfer dough to a bowl and fold in strawberries. Chill for 30 minutes.

Scoop dough onto the preheated stone and cook for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy with a cup of chai tea!

The Perfect Pairing Strawberry Black Pepper Scones + a Chai Latte

We’re definitely a TAZO loving family. As I mentioned before, I’m a Refresh. And my husband is definitely an Awake. There’s nothing like a good cup of tea and luckily we get just that with ever cup of TAZO we brew.

TAZO has partnered with New York Times Bestselling author and host Padma Lakshmi to celebrate the release of the new K-Cup® pods. Learn more at TAZO.com/chaiFind where to buy TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods at TAZO.com/wheretobuy.

Strawberry Black Pepper Scones and a Chai Latte for breakfast

What’s your favorite sweet meets spicy combo?

Homemade Microwavable Popcorn in a Bag

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag

 Summertime is near. And that means a lot of outdoor time. This summer I plan on bringing a lot of things outdoors – including our weekly movie night -so that we can fully take advantage of the amazing weather and comfortable SoCal evenings. How do I do it? Well, we turn the trampoline into a theater and throw a sheet over the net! It’s a blast for the kids and adults. 

And what does every movie night need? Popcorn! 

We don’t always have microwavable popcorn on hand ready to go but we do always have a good supply of popcorn kernels. My husband prefers to make his on the stovetop. But for me? I like to use this shortcut and let the kids make homemade microwaveable popcorn in a bag. Plus I have an awesome tip to kick it up a notch! You only need 4 ingredients (plus a paper bag)! 

Homemade Microwavable Popcorn in a Bag for movie night

Pro Tip: Add seasoning, like ranch or dried herbs, to add a little kick to your popcorn.

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag ingredients

Homemade Microwavable Popcorn In A Bag

  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon ranch dip mix (depending on preference)

Add all ingredients together in a bowl and stir to combine and coat the kernels with oil and seasoning.

Put coated kernels in a paper bag and seal well at the top by folding over twice, then folding the top into a triangle (see photo below).

Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until there are about 2-3 seconds between kernels popping.

Remove carefully from microwave (bag will be hot!), shake up a bit, then pour popcorn into a bowl to share.

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag pour seasoned kernels in bag

Homemade Microwavable Ranch Popcorn in a Bag ready to enjoy

What’s your favorite movie treat?

Science in the Kitchen: Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag

We’re getting creative in the kitchen with this fun Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream in a Bag recipe brought to you thanks to our partnership with Hershey’s via MomTrends.  

Science in the Kitchen Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag

This weekend the kids and I got a little creative in the kitchen. After finding that my husband ate the last of the ice cream, they were determined to make a fun sweet treat to enjoy while we watched movies together. So I suggested we make ice cream. Now their first reaction was one of disbelief. Not that they hadn’t made ice cream before, but because our ice cream maker has been in the garage since we’ve moved here and they knew that wasn’t going to happen. So when I suggested that we shake and make our own homemade ice cream in a bag like I used to with my grandma, their eyes lit up and they were 100% on board to try things out.

While we were going over what ingredients we needed – ice, ice cream salt, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, sugar – my son spotted the HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup and asked if we could turn our ice cream into chocolate chip ice cream like the kind we’ve made before with a ribbon of homemade ganache. Instead of nixing the idea right away, I asked him what he’d do to make chocolate chip ice cream from the syrup. His mind started going and the ideas started cranking out.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag ingredients

He settled on an experiment he wanted to try out: If we squeezed a ribbon of HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup onto wax paper and froze it, would it become hard so we could break it up into our ice cream?

So I let him set everything up and try it out. After about 3 hours in the freezer, though, the syrup was very cold, but not solid. So he decided that we’d just drizzle the chocolate in the ice cream mix to make a chocolate ice cream. Even though his hypothesis was wrong, he still ended up with a pretty yummy outcome!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag with Hershey's Simply 5

Each of the older two had their own bags of ice cream and both decided on stopping when it became the consistency of soft serve vs. waiting until it became a more formed ice cream (see the photo below). If you don’t like a little melted ice cream, feel free to shake until the ice cream turns harder.

Just a little squeeze of the HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup, brings back cherished childhood memories I created with my family so it was fun to do this with my kids. It’s an easy way to share a sweet and simple moment with my family. We also love enjoying a glass of milk with a little swirl of syrup inside!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag and just right

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 drizzle of HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup
  • 6 tablespoons ice cream salt
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 gallon size zippered plastic bag
  • 1 quart size zippered plastic bag

In the quart size zippered plastic bag, add heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup. Seal tight making sure to get most of the air out.

In the freezer size zippered plastic bag, add the ice and ice cream salt. Then add the ice cream mixture bag. Shake, shake, shake like crazy until your ice cream starts forming (about 3-5 minutes of shaking). I suggest putting on some dance music to make it more enjoyable!

Once your ice cream has formed, wipe off any excess salt from the bag and snip a corner of the bag with some scissors (if soft serve consistency) to pour into a cup or bowl. Or use a spoon to scoop out (if harder consistency). Drizzle with more HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup and enjoy!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag with Hershey's Simply 5 syrup

HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup is a sweet and simple take on the HERSHEY’S classic, now made with five simple ingredients. You can find more recipes and fun things to do with HERSHEY’S by visiting them on Facebook or following along on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Hershey’s via MomTrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hershey’s or Momtrends.



© A Crafty Spoonful - All Rights Reserved
It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at danielle@acraftyspoonful.com

.