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THREE GREAT ALCOHOLIC DRINKS AND FOUR DECADENT DESSERTS

I have a sweet tooth and I love trying new shots and cocktails at the bar. So take it from me, there are some drinks and eats I would have every day if I had my way! I’ve taken the time to tell you how to make three of my favorite drinks and four great desserts.

Cocktails

Untitled-1 copyStrawberry Long Island Iced Tea 

When it’s time to turn up the party, I go straight for the Long Islands. It’s been one of my favorite drinks since college and I’ve tried nearly every variation over the years. I was introduced to strawberry Long Islands by the owner of the Atlanta Eagle and it made my trip to Georgia very memorable! You can ask your bartender to make it for you this week. Just tell them how.

Combine the following ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake once, and serve. This recipe recommends strawberry schnapps but if you like vodka, I personally omit the one ounce of schnapps and replace the half ounce of regular vodka with 1 1/4 ounces of strawberry vodka. That’s how I first drank it in Atlanta!

1/2 oz. rum

1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. tequila

1 1/2 oz. sweet and sour mix

Highball glass

1 oz. strawberry schnapps 

 

Banana Daiquiri Untitled-6 copy

This time of year is begging for a frozen blended drink, and while I like my strawberry daiquiris, I always find myself craving the taste of bananas. This is a drink I can see myself enjoying at a cabana bar or poolside, and it makes me thankful that Florida summers last eight months out of the year!

This specific recipe below is for one cocktail. I personally double all of the ingredients and pour the contents into an extra-large sized glass

1/2 large banana, sliced

1 1/2 ounces light rum

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce triple sec

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 cup ice cubes

 

White Russian copy

There are times where I’ll want to go out and socialize with my friends, but I feel like lingering over something rich and sweet. The White Russian is perfect for that. It’s designed to be consumed over great conversation and it’s not conclusive to have too many, meaning you’ll wake up in the morning feeling fine.

Feel free to substitute Kahlua coffee liqueur with Godiva mocha liqueur if available.

1 1/2 ounces vodka

3/4 ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur

3/4 ounce cream

 

Desserts

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Bars Untitled-7 copy

My mother would bake these for me after I would bring home a good report card in grade school. These bars are not only delicious, they evoke a whole set of memories of back home in north Florida when I bite into them. Make your own memories when you bake a pan of these cookie bars.

Yields 20 bars.

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter over burner on a low heat setting. Pour butter into 13″ x 9″ pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top of the butter. Pour condensed milk on the crumbs. Sprinkle chocolate chips and peanut butter chips over milk mixture and press down firmly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

Key Lime Pie Untitled-4 copy

Who doesn’t love this Florida favorite? You weren’t born and raised in Florida if you haven’t eaten your weight in Key Lime Pie. You can tell an authentic pie by its color (it is not bright green!) and its taste (it’s sweet yet very tart!). Use regular (Persian) lime juice if you absolutely can’t find Key lime juice, but I recommend staying as loyal to this recipe as possible!

Makes 1 pie. If you are good at making a graham cracker crust from scratch, by all means, use it. I use storebought.

1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust

3 cups sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup Key lime juice

1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until tiny bubbles burst on the surface of the pie. Do not bake until brown. Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Garnish with lime slices in the middle and whipped cream on the sides if desired.

 

Blueberry Coffee Crumb Cake Untitled-5 copy

This is something my mother adapted to her own schedule. She used to bake blueberry muffins from the box, but they were missing a certain something special. She added her own crumb mixture to the top and decided to make the cake from scratch. It’s good to drink with coffee or hot tea on lazy Saturday mornings. I know from experience!

Serves 6 to 8 people.

1/4 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, cut into cubes

 

Crumb Topping:

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cold butter

For batter, cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add egg, beat it in. Combine 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture slowly and alternately with milk. Toss blueberries with remaining flour. Stir blueberries and cream cheese into creamed mixture (batter will be thick). Transfer to a greased 8 x 8 inch square baking dish.

For topping, in a small bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for five minutes before serving, and cool thoroughly before refrigerating.

 

Chocolate Mousse with Heath Bars Untitled-3 copy

This was a special occasion treat back home! Mom would make this on holidays, like the Fourth of July and definitely for Christmas. When I go back home, I always ask if she will make this mousse trifle, and sometimes she’ll do it. My mother is such a great cook. Pass this recipe along to your mother!

1 prepared chocolate box cake cut into 1 1/2 inch slices

1 prepared box of instant chocolate pudding

1 tub of whipped topping (Cool Whip)

1 package of Heath Bar toffee bits

3 cups of heavy whipping cream plus 1 tablespoon of sugar, whipped

First, layer some of the chocolate cake to cover the bottom of your trifle dish. Next, sprinkle some of the Heath Bar bits over the top of the cake. Combine the instant pudding and the whipped topping by gently folding the two together. It turns into a smooth chocolate mousse. Put a layer of the choclate pudding mixture on the cake and Heath bar bits, and then next, layer on some of the whipped cream. Next, layer some of the chocolate pudding mixture over the cake and then add a generous amount of whipped cream. Top with the rest of the Heath bar bits.