Author: Kelly Loubet

Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe

This might be the world’s easiest cocktail recipe. It’s not a margarita, but it sure does remind me of one! It’s called a Salty Dog and it’s already one of 2016’s trendiest drinks. That’s not a scientific statement or really based on any fact… but all of my friends seem to be drinking them as it warms up here in Phoenix.

How do you make one? It’s easy! It has 4 ingredients.

Crushed ice.

Sea Salt.

Vodka.

Grapefruit juice.

In this version, I used Cascade Ice Pink Grapefruit because it has ZERO calories. That makes this a *skinny* drink!

Normally, you’d shake your juice and vodka in a shaker… but Cascade Ice is a sparkling flavored water… so shake gently!

Salty Dog

*much love*

Kelly

Grapes and Caicos: A tropical cocktail recipe

Grapes and Caicos: A tropical cocktail recipe

This week, the whole family will be in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean! I visited the amazing Beaches resort last year, but I was on my own with some other bloggers. One of the supremely talented bartenders showed our group how to mix a few drinks! I’m going to share this tropical cocktail recipe with you. Grapes and Caicos! It reminds me of one I recently got hooked on… at of all places… Applebees. Their version is called Bourbon and Berries. Anyway…

cocktail recipe

Grapes and Caicos

(there isn’t actually anything grape-like in the recipe)

Add the following items into a cocktail shaker + shake well:

  • Blackberry Brandy
  • Lemon-Lime Soda
  • A Squeeze of Fresh Lime
  • Ice

After a good shake… top off with another dash of soda + garnish with a blackberry and lemon zest!

I’m sure I’ll have more delicious recipes to share after we return from this trip! Follow along by searching #beachesmoms on Instagram and/or Twitter!

Kelly Loubet can be found on Twitter @kellyloubet and Instagram @kellyloubet.

Arizona Craft Beer in Tucson

Arizona Craft Beers in Tucson

Looking for a quick getaway in Arizona? We highly recommend Tucson! Just 2 hours south of Phoenix, the city of Tucson offers golf, spas, resort living, and amazing craft beers! We booked a weekend stay at Loews Ventana Canyon and couldn’t have been happier! On our way in… we stopped at Barrio Brewing Company. The food was delicious, the atmosphere authentic, and the beer oh so tasty!

It was hot outside that day, so I ordered Taylor Jayne’s Raspberry Ale. Although the menu says that this beer was brewed for those who don’t like “real beer”… I happened to enjoy it very much… and I *love* real beer! The raspberry flavor is light and not overly fruity. My guy had the Barrio IPA. This beer has a higher alcohol content and is quite hoppy but finishes quite cleanly!

We were pleasantly surprised upon arriving at Loews that they carry a wide variety of local Arizona craft beers- including some from Barrio Brewing Company! Here are some additional local craft beers that are served in restaurants on the property:

Thunder Canyon

  • Deep Canyon Amber
  • IPA

Dragoon

  • IPA
  • Stronghold Session
  • Seasonal

Nimbus

  • Blonde

Barrio

  • Rojo
  • Blonde
  • IPA

Borderlands

  • Horchata Cream Ale

Four Peaks

  • Hop Knot IPA

Beyond the fabulous selection of local beers and delicious food offerings at Loews Ventana Canyon Tucson… We enjoyed fabulous service! Their social media team is really on it and provides not only social media support to guests, but also takes genuine interest in their adventures! Give them a tweet today @Loews_Hotels and use #LoewsVentana!

Jägermeister + Tea = Delightful

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We *love* entertaining at home! What better way to show off your new fancy pants bar set than by serving up a custom cocktail!? This recipe was shared with us by the awesome people at Jägermeister. We’re often sent fun things to share with you by a variety of people… but this one was so unique… we couldn’t pass it up.

Awaken your senses this spring by pouring a Jägermeister cocktail with tea! Imagine your guests sipping this drink while the sun is setting, the air is cooling off, and the food is grilling. How do you make it? I”m so glad you asked…

Ingredients

1.5oz Jägermeister

.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice

.5oz Black Tea

1 barspoon Maple Syrup

1 barspoon Orange Marmalade

Orange Peel to garnish

 

Now What?

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and give it a few good shakes. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with orange peel. Then sit back. Sip + enjoy!

 

A brief history of Jägermeister

Jägermeister, the favorite shot of millions, is an iconic and legendary German tradition with a rich and mysterious heritage of craftsmanship. Jägermeister’s name and trademark derive from the legend of the Patron saint of hunters, St. Hubertus.  As legend has it, while on a hunt, the wild and unrestrained hunter Hubert was moved to devote his life to good work after he was confronted by a white deer carrying an illuminated cross between his antlers.  It is this story that inspired the prominence of the stag in Jägermeister trademark and poem around the label, which was trademarked in 1935.

*Note- This was not a paid endorsement. It’s actually not an endorsement at all. We’re just in the sharing kind of mood and thought you might like an interesting new cocktail.

XO

Kelly

Oreo Nutella Wine Cupcake Recipe!

No. Really. We have a recipe for Oreo Nutella Wine Cupcakes! This little gem came to us from Illumination PR and their client Nuvino. We tried to secure a sample of Nuvino, but one wasn’t available. We still think the recipe is pretty cool and would make for some good content… so here it is! This isn’t a paid endorsement or brand recommendation… so feel free to substitute with your favorite *red wine*!

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup of your favorite Red Blend Wine
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Nutella
  • 10 Oreos
For the filling:
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 5 Oreos
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup red wine, any kind you like
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Oreo-Red-Wine-Nutella-Cupcakes.jpg

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 10 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. The cupcakes: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in Nutella and Nuvino’s Red Blend until evenly combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Place an Oreo cookie on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Pour batter over each Oreo cookie and fill each cupcake liner about ¾ of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. The filling: In a ziplock bag, place the Oreos and use a mallet to crush the cookies into small pieces. In a small bowl, combine Nutella with crushed Oreos. Set aside.
  4. The frosting: In a small saucepan, combine Nuvino’s Red Blend and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves and wine comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes (until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ cup or a light syrup texture). Let to cool.
  5. Beat the butter until until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar (1/2 cup at a time), vanilla, and ¼ cup of prepared wine syrup. Beat until no lumps remain. Taste the frosting and add salt to cut the sweetness, if you prefer.
  6. Assembling the cupcakes: Cut out the center of each cupcake with a sharp knife. Fill the cupcakes with Nutella & Oreo filling. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake. Enjoy!

Arizona Craft Brews

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Arizona craft breweries are springing up all over! We recently got an email (as did all BevMo enthusiasts) about their local craft brews. Did you know that you can choose from over 80 Arizona craft brews at BevMo alone? We’ve been local enthusiasts for years now. I (Kelly) can pretty comfortably say that my cohort, Cassandra, would order a Four Peaks Kilt Lifter almost every time. It’s a 4-time award winning Scottish Ale. Full bodied + amber in color. That’s her go-to brew. I’m more of a seasonal kind of girl. If it’s summertime… I’ll undoubtedly go with a Papago Orange Blossom. It’s a wheat ale made with mandarin orange and vanilla. It tastes just like a creamsicle! If it’s cooler out… I prefer a nice milk stout! Bold + filling + with milky characteristics… it’s like dessert in a bottle! One of my favs? Left Hand Milk Stout. They’re in Colorado… but I love them just the same. :) What are your favorites?

St. Francis Restaurant Phoenix

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Brunch at St. Francis in Central Phoenix is ridiculous. In an amazing kind of way! The portions are generous and the flavors are on point. We started our culinary adventure with the Cinnamon Roll and Caramel Sauce. WOW! It’s HUGE! We were digging in before I realized we hadn’t taken a picture of it! But trust me… It’s *delicious* and a must have!

We chased it down with a Bloody Mary. It’s not really Brunch if you don’t have a Bloody Mary! We ordered ours spicy and it didn’t disappoint! Made with Finlandia Vodka, a mix of house spices and fresh citrus… you can’t go wrong.

For our main Brunch course… I decided on the Housemade Biscuit- with Schreiner’s fennel sausage and fried eggs. It’s not my mama’s biscuits and gravy, but it was delicious in its own special way! I’m super picky when it comes to biscuits and gravy. I’m confident in saying that the Housemade Biscuit at St. Francis rivals any I’ve had. It’s rustic, yet refined. The sausage gravy was creamy. Decadent. Not greasy. And not overly salty, as you often find in this dish. I love this dish because it had everything I crave at breakfast- eggs, carbs, meat and creamy gravy as a bonus!

My counterpart ordered the Mushroom Omelette, but prefers all egg whites. That’s not a problem at St. Francis. Just ask! It comes smothered in a tasty combination of braised leeks, roasted mushrooms, thyme and goat cheese. It also comes with a nice piece of homemade bread. Yum! Let’s talk flavor. One word. Savory! If you enjoy eating on the lighter side but don’t want to miss out on flavor… this is your dish!

Before we left… we ordered the signature Brick Oven Baguette to go. At only $3- it’s a no brainer. We lightly warmed it up and enjoyed it with our dinner at home that evening!

St. Francis sources their ingredients from the local farming community. This is something we truly love about them. The food is fresh and we’re supporting our neighbors by eating local. The heart of St. Francis is their brick, wood burning oven. It’s this authentic method of cooking and freshly sourced ingredients, that keep us coming back to St. Francis. Try them!

Beer and Golf Always Mix

beerWe spend a good amount of time playing golf… especially Cassandra. She’s the Thelma to my Louise. It’s kind of a given that golf and beer go hand in hand. Recently, we were in Sedona at the Hilton Golf Resort. I couldn’t help but snap a quick photo of my classy beer to go. I *love* this. Thank you so much Hilton… for making it easy to enjoy a cold beer on a hot day.