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Shamrock Shakes
2

Shamrock Shakes

Back in December, I posted about my love of peppermint and I’m following up that post with this Shamrock Shake knock-off.   Last week, I had a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s for the first time ever and while I enjoyed the minty flavor, the shake was so cloyingly sweet and suck-your-cheeks-in thick that I couldn’t finish the small size I purchased.  And just like virtually any restaurant dish you make as a copycat at home, this shake was [I’m sure] healthier than the original version.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not deeming anything made with ice cream healthy, but by making this shake at home, you eliminate all of the chemicals that restaurant shake contains.  Use whatever kind of milk you have on hand, pick up some of your favorite mint ice cream or make your own, and get your Irish on!

Shamrock Shakes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 shakes

A homemade copycat version of the famed fast food Shamrock Shakes. Add a little booze for an adult kick!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mint ice cream
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup milk, half and half, or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp Crème de Menthe liqueur
  • Green food coloring or gel (if desired)
  • Chocolate mint cookies, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, blend ice cream, 1/3 cup milk, Crème de Menthe, and a couple drops of food coloring/gel (if using) until smooth. Add more milk to reach desired thickness. Serve with crumbled chocolate mint cookies. Yields 2 small shakes.

Source

adapted from Not Without Salt

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http://www.smells-like-home.com/2011/03/shamrock-shakes/

Malted Milk Chocolate Shakes
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Malted Milk Chocolate Shakes

Ever since making those chocolate malt sandwich cookies last month, I have been craving malt. I fell in love with the flavor and have been scouring recipes looking for more ways to use it.  This recipe reared its head one day a few weeks ago and I knew it was a match made in heaven. And after making them last night, it’s difficult to describe how deeply I feel for these milkshakes. Really, it is.

Malted Milk Chocolate Shakes

They are rich and sinful and have truly satisfied all of my malt cravings…for the moment anyway.  Well, at least until tonight because I’ve got some leftover malted milk chocolate sauce and extra ice cream hanging out in the freezer.  I may have to go with a salad again for lunch today if I want to squeeze one of these milkshakes into my menu again.  I suppose you could use any type of ice cream you want – I went with chocolate and I’m not ashamed to admit that I didn’t make my own this time.  Make your own ice cream if you want but if you can’t wait the 24-36 hours it takes to make a batch at home, pick some up on the way home from work.  Nobody would be the wiser…and if you’re going with chocolate ice cream like I did, prepare yourself for one awesome experience!

Cranberry Lime Bellinis for a Virtual Holiday Party
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Cranberry Lime Bellini

The Christmas season is certainly my most favorite time of year and this year it got a little brighter when Annie invited me to her Virtual Holiday Party.  As a blogger, I’ve made some wonderful connections to other bloggers and this party is made up of some of best on my list.  I have known a few of them for about 4 years…even before we started blogging!  Our relationships started on a message board, moved to our blogs and blogging groups, to email and to our personal Facebook accounts…and these ladies have been my cooking, baking, and blogging inspiration for years.  Wanna know who I hung out with at our Virtual Holiday Party??

What a list, huh?  Well, you know as well as I do that if a party involves food bloggers, there’s going to be food.  And this party was no different.  Annie asked us to bring either a cocktail, appetizer, or dessert – the perfect kind of party food to pick on with good friends!  Booze isn’t the normal thing you’d find on Smells Like Home…it’s what I feel like I struggle most with when I host people in my home so I figured this would be a great time to try out a new drink – everyone needs a great holiday drink in their repertoire!  So how about some Cranberry Lime Bellinis?  The recipe calls for prosecco but I think champagne worked just as nicely and I even made a virgin version (made with ginger ale) for those of us who pass on the booze.  I knew the girls would love these…Pass around a tray of these in some fancy glasses with a few frozen cranberries floating in them and you’ve got not only a gorgeous holiday drink, but also such a girlie drink!  All that’s needed now (aside from some great chit-chat) is some more alcohol and of course some food!

Kelsey didn’t let us down on the drink front.  She brought along some Pepper Berry Cocktails – don’t they look amazingly refreshing?!  It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving home from this party because these look just too good to pass up.

Elly is the queen of Greek food and she certainly brought it with these Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves).  I’ve recently tried them for the first time and loved them but I’m sure the ones I had pale in comparison to Elly’s!


Nikki, be still my heart, showed up with Baked Fontina…a recipe I’ve been dying to try for weeks.  Wouldn’t you just love to bury some toasty bread into this?!

No holiday party is complete without dessert and boy were there two doozy desserts at this party!

Josie graced our presence with Raspberry Cream Puffs.  Uh…helloooo gorgeous!  Just look at how that raspberry pastry cream is just itching to be tasted!


And our hostess, Annie, made some of her most delectable treats: Macarons. She of course, upped the ante and made Candy Cane Macarons for this party though!  Being a lover of peppermint myself, I absolutely can’t resist them!

What a fab party this was – great friends and great food making this Christmas season just a little bit merrier.  Thank you, Annie, for hosting and for inviting us to join you!  I have a little surprise for you…let’s call it a hostess gift…since I know how much you LOVE this treat. And don’t ask Ben hide it on you either – its yours to enjoy! :)

Merry Christmas everyone!  Be sure to check out all of the links here for the fabulous recipes that go along with the amazing photos!

Cranberry Lime Bellinis

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

For the virgin version: Swap out the prosecco/champagne for 14 oz ginger ale and increase the amount of cranberry juice to 14 oz

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cranberry juice, chilled
  • 16 oz prosecco or champagne, chilled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Frozen fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, pour in the cranberry juice, prosecco or champagne, and lime juice. Stir to combine. Pour into champagne flutes or tall slender glasses and garnish with a few frozen cranberries in each glass. Serve chilled.

Source

adapted from Giada DeLaurtentiis

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http://www.smells-like-home.com/2010/12/cranberry-lime-bellinis-for-a-virtual-holiday-party/

Watermelon Lemonade
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When given the choice of lemonade or iced tea, I’m of the iced tea camp.  To me, the flavor of lemonade has always been overload for my palate.  Too much sour. Too much sweet.  Just too much.  So you could imagine my excitement when I saw that Ashley chose Watermelon Lemonade for her Project Pastry Queen recipe last week.  So I debated…do I make it or do I skip it?  I decided to go for it – all of the recipes chosen so far for PPQ have turned out so well thus far that I had faith in this recipe.

And I’m so happy I went for it!  Plain and simple, I LOVED this lemonade.  I did need to add a little water (maybe 1/2 cup) to the lemonade because it was just a touch too tart for my tastes but I think I may be a lemonade convert.  Seriously, I’m completely addicted to this stuff!  This drink is just the perfect summer drink and even though summer is starting to draw to a close, I’m definitely bringing this to the next event we’re hitting up before Fall sets in.

This lemonade is a piece of cake to put together and you can hit up Ashley’s blog, Delish, for the recipe.   And be sure to check out what everyone else thought of this lemonade!

Frozen Mojitos
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July 2009 2 006

I’m sure there are some parts of the country that are still experiencing some heat and where a drink like this .  New England is not one of them. Thankfully.  Regardless of where you live, this drink is worth trying.  It was refreshing and exactly what I needed after a long workday this past summer.  And after not having taken a real vacation (save a few weekend trips) for almost 2 years, I was able to close my eyes and will myself to feel like I was somewhere tropical.  You may have some extra mint laying around from your garden crop but if you don’t, pick some up on your next grocery store trip because these mojitos are definitely worth using up that mint.