Cocktail: Mango Colada

This elongated winter weather has me dreaming of warmer days and tropical drinks. A classic piña colada is definitely a "vacation splurge" cocktail for me. It's not really something I make at home or order in a city bar. It's saved for those vacation moments when you're ordering from a pool boy or drinking for a coconut with your feet buried in the sand.

So today we are breaking out the rum and limes and throwing together a quick and easy cocktail that will have you dreaming of palm trees and rolling waves. Here we go...

Mango Colada

Makes 2 drinks

1/2 cup white rum
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, stirred if separated
3/4 cup frozen mango
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup ice
splash of mango, pineapple, or (in a pinch) orange juice
pineapple or lime slice (optional)

In a blender, add the first 6 ingredients and pulse until cocktail is smooth with no large pieces of ice or mango. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with pineapple or lime slice and a colorful straw. Cheers!

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5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

I can safely say that I've been struggling to write this post for weeks now. Not really sure why, it really shouldn't be too hard to come up with 5 things but here we are. We did it.

We're still living in perpetual winter time over here in Philadelphia, but I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that it will finally stop snowing and start heating up a bit. Thankfully, we have had 2 decent Saturdays in a row, which has helped clear my head and shaken up my usual routine. It's amazing what a little fresh air, some sunshine, and being with friends can do for you. 

Button-down shirts: I'm currently having a love affair with colorful or patterned button-down shirts. I haven't been purchasing a lot of clothing lately, but I've been making an exception for a good button down. I think my obsession started when I purchases this around christmas time, then a vintage one from a consignment shop, and then bought this pj shirt a few weekends ago. Tucked into high waisted skinny jeans has been my uniform lately. 

LipSense: I know I've included this on another 5 Things I'm Loving list, but after years of trying to find a longwear lipstick that would actually work for me (liquid lipsticks always wear off the center of my lips no matter what brand), a friend recommended LipSense and it's a GAME CHANGER. I purchase from Becka at Feeling Fancy Shop and she's incredibly responsive, helpful, and super sweet. If you're looking for a lipstick that actually wears for 5+ hours—through drinking and tacos and sweating—give LipSense a try.

IGK Hair Products: So, you definitely know by now that I love a good dry shampoo. I think I've talked about dry shampoo in several of these 5 Things posts, all different brands, but today we are diving a little deeper. I'm pretty particular about hair products because my hair doesn't always agree with them. I look for products that give volume and keep my hair looking fresh without weighing my hair down or building up so that it gets greasy. After hearing a ton of great things about IGK, I tried a bunch of different products and loved all of them. Jet Lag and Direct Flight are awesome dry shampoos for bringing my hair back to life (I think I prefer Direct Flight since it's a little more intense). Expensive is an AMAZING deep conditioner. And I recently tried a tester of Mistress while out and about on Saturday and I can't stop thinking about it. I think I feel a new obsession going on...

Black Denim Jacket: Before we left for our trip to Nepal, I picked up this denim jacket and have been wearing it ever since. I have a lot of tighter cropped jackets and this slightly oversized one is perfect for layering or a more casual look. Plus, because it's black I can wear it with jeans without looking like I'm in full denim.

Fake Plants: I know, I know. But sometimes you just need a fake plant! Because our house has houses on either side of it, we only have windows on the front and back of our house. So, the middle just doesn't get enough light for real plants. I've tried countless times and killed them all. So among my real plants, there's a few fake ones in places where you can't get to close to spot the fakers. They just add a little something something to the space without me having to worry about them. Win, win!

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Recipe: Key Lime Pie

A few weeks ago, we celebrated #PieDay and I tried to cull a handful of pie recipes from my archives. It was quickly made apparent to me that I have barely posted any pie recipes over the years. WHAT?! Being that pie is one of my top 3 desserts. (1. ice cream, 2. pie, 3. cookies, i think) I thought I would make a conscious effort in 2018 to make more pie.

We're kicking off this ✨dreamy✨ endeavor with a classic Key Lime Pie, but turned wayyyy up. This Key Lime Pie is packed with limey flavor. It's intense and needs the sweetness from the crust and whipped cream to make it work. I tend to like my citrus flavors pretty dominate and this hits that nail right on the head. 

Key Lime Pie

Yields 8 slices

Graham Cracker Crust:
12 graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Key Lime Filling:
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup lime juice (if you want bottled, King Arthur has a recommendations & we trust them)
zest from 2 limes
4 egg yolks
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Make your crust: In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, melted butter, salt, and sugar until you have a sand-like consistency. Press the crumbs into a pie dish until you have a 1/4 inch thickness on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Use the bottom of a glass to press and smooth out the crust. Bake for 10 mins or until slightly darker and fragrant. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely before adding filling.

Make your filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks and lime zest for 5 minutes. Mixture will become lighter in color and slightly thicker. Add in sweetened condensed milk and whisk for 5 minutes until combined and thick. Add in lime juice and whisk quickly until just combined. Pour mixture into cooled crust and bake for 25 minutes. Finished pie will have a slight wiggle when you take it out. Let cool completely before serving. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.

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Recipe: Carrot Cake Donuts

Here's the thing: jetlag is a killer.

Anyone who follows me over on Instagram knows that G and I spent the end of February/beginning of March in Kathmandu, Nepal for a wedding/vacation. This is by far the furthest from home I've ever been and I knew jetlag would be an issue coming home. We planned to land home on a Friday afternoon so we would have a full weekend to sleep and get back up to speed. By I severely underestimated this jetlag. After an initial weekend of sleeping, we spent all of last week going to work and sleeping. By the end of the week I found myself on a wonderful schedule where I would fall asleep at 8 pm and wake up at 4am ready to go for the day. 🙄

Saturday was the first day I started to feel like a normally functioning human being and I made you these Carrot Cake Donuts in celebration. Happy first week of spring!

Carrot Cake Donuts

Yields 18 donuts

For Donuts:
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
rainbow sprinkles
toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a donut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make your donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to combine and aerate the flours. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in yogurt and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Once dough comes together, fold in grated carrot and walnuts and mix until combined.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make your frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together softened butter and cream cheese. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until all is combined. If your frosting needs to be softer, add in milk one tablespoon at a time until you have your desired consistency. Using an off-set spatula, frost your donuts and top with toasted coconut or rainbow sprinkles.

Keep donuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cocktail: Elderflower & Pomegranate Spritzer

It's Valentine's Day week y'all! For me, it's another excuse to eat all the sweets, tell my friends how much they mean to me, mail a bunch of valentines, and cook an indulgent meal at home with G. 

This cocktail is a simple & sweet drink you can easily throw together at home for a pre-dinner treat or for brunch. I try a decent amount of cocktails at home and while I'm out and about, but I'm always drawn to elderflower + gin combinations. Add a few bubbles and count me in. Let's get shaking!

Happy V-day, my loves!

Elderflower & Pomegranate Spritzer

Makes 1 cocktail

3 oz pomegranate juice
2 oz floral gin, such as Hendrick's
1 oz elderflower liqueur
champagne 

This is a easy one. Fill a high ball glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, shake pomegranate juice, elderflower liqueur and gin and stir over ice. Strain into glass. Top with champagne and pomegranate seeds. Cheers!

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