St. Patrick’s Day Pot O’Gold Cupcakes

St. Patrick’s Day Pot O’Gold Cupcakes

Here is a fun twist for an easy St. Patty’s cupcake recipe that anyone can do. No major baking skill required!!!! This is just a basic store bought butter yellow cake mix topped with a store bought pre made caramel icing, green sprinkles to make them festive. The trick is adding a few caramel Rolo’s to the center, half way through cooking. This will create a surprise gooey chocolate caramel center or a hidden pot of gold. 

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Breakfast in Bed, for the Birthday Boy!!!

Breakfast in Bed for the birthday boy!!! Happy Birthday to my better half of JENRON DESIGNS, Ron Gainer!!!

“As you wish, you shall have your favorite breakfast, in bed. What shall I make you?”

I feel that if you are making breakfast in bed for the birthday boy, it should really be something he loves. Ron’s favorite breakfast meal as a child was “Toad in the Hole”. For those of you unfamiliar with “Toad in the Hole”, it consists of a sunny side up egg dropped into a piece of toast with a hole torn into it. Personally,  I would like to make him something a little more grown up, so how about a double sunny side up fried egg.

Culinary Tip: You can create different egg shapes with a cookie cutter. Just place the cookie cutter into your lightly greased skillet and drop egg or eggs inside to create a fun breakfast shape. I picked a heart shape cookie cutter to show my love!!! 

I placed the egg on top of toast, instead of inside, to keep the toast from getting soggy. It provides him with extra toast for  dipping, since in a traditional toad in hole you tear out the center the toast. I  added a double side of applewood smoked bacon which happens to be another one of his favorites.  I rounded it out with a side of yogurt topped with granola, coffee and juice for the perfect breakfast in bed. So did you notice that I arranged the food to spell out xox, for hugs and kisses……yeah it’s the details and little things for me. 

I love this sweet little juice carafe, it is actually a 2 pc.Water Carafe Set, from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I find myself using this style carafe in so many places. You know, I really love a good multi tasking item, two differnt uses minimum. Over the years I have used this one in the bathroom for mouthwash, and in a guest room for water. In this scenario it makes a perfect juice dispenser for breakfast in bed.

The Beechwood Folding Bed Tray above was actually a wedding gift. Can you believe it is  still available today, almost 20 years later? This just shows that when it is a good quality product, with classic style, it truly can last forever. I guess it is true- “Good Design Never Goes Out of Style, It’s a Way of Life”- Jennifer Gainer 

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WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford  CEILING FAN- Mystique 52″ 5 Blade Progressive Lighting LAMPS – HomeGoods  CURTAIN PANELS- West Elm Cotton Canvas Stamped Dot CURTAIN ROD- Bali Mercury Glass Rod JC Penney RUG- Pottery Barn Braylin Tufted BEDROOM SUITE- Haverty’s Bahamian Classic- Tobacco Cherry (Discontinued) WALL QUOTE- Loved You for a Thousand Years Huckleberry Creations 

Cocktail Concoction Part 2, Lavender Honey Sazerac

Drink your Flowers? Cocktail Concoction Part 2, Lavender Honey Sazerac

Flowers aren’t just for bouquets anymore, try a savory herb based cocktail.

As I mention previously, in the part 1 of this article (Click to link to part 1), I have recently been drawn to the idea of edible flowers, herbs, and floral extracts to use in recipes for savory cocktails. Lavender is technically an herb, but it does contain a lovely purple cone shaped flower. Traditionally it has been used to induce a calming effect in the user.  

Today I have decided to share a twist on the retro cocktail of the Sazerac. The Sazerac is a very masculine drink that has been around for decades. Traditionally it uses orange bitters to flavor rye whiskey, today we will use lavender extract in lieu of bitters. Lavender has a natural bitter quality and will be a perfect replacement. You can buy dried, food grade lavender as seen above at specialty markets I picked these lavender grains up at World Market

Also, as I mentioned before in this weeks previous post on Rosewater Lemonade, you can make your own floral syrups if you choose to be so industrious, but for time sake you can purchase Nielson Massey lavender extract, I picked mine from the local Sur La Table. 

I love pairing lavender and lemon, the freshness of the lemon complements the floral notes of the lavender and together they create a very clean herbaceous taste. To dress  my cocktail, I used a vegetable peeler to make lemon zest curls. These are super simple and can really dress up any basic cocktail. Just make sure when peeling not to cut to deeply in the plinth of the lemon which is overly bitter and will ruin your drink. 

CULINARY TIP:  Make your lemon curls first, then you cut your lemon to get the 2 Tbls of juice. Believe me it is so much easier to zest a full lemon. Plus citrus zests are very versatile, you can use them to flavor sugar, candy them as treat, add to potpourri, or even float them in a hot steamy bath.

Lavender Honey Sazarec

  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
  • 3/4 cup Sparkling Water 
  • 1 1/2 oz Jack Daniels Honey
  • 1 tsp Lavender extract
  • 2 tbsp Honey

Mix all item above into a drink decanter, Shake with ice and garnish with:

  • 1/2 tsp Lavender Herbs to float on top or place into ice stick molds
  • 1 Lemon Zest Twist

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Drink Your Flowers? A Valentine’s Day Cocktail Concoction

Did you say, Drink your Flowers?

My Valentine’s Day Cocktail Concoctions Part 1, Rosewater Lemonade

Flowers aren’t just for bouquets anymore, try a fun floral based cocktail.

I have recently been drawn to revisit the idea of edible flowers and floral extracts to integrating into recipes for special occasions. As a small child I loved to drink lebanese Rosewater, and that passion has never left me. Imagine it, the mid 80’s in Atlanta, GA. My family, which aired a bit more on the progressive side, would journey regularly downtown Atlanta to the most amazing little Lebansese Restaurant called Nicola’s. The owner Nic, a dear friend to this day, would ply me up with one of my favorite drinks on the planet, rosewater. As he would deliver me the beautiful red goblet of sweet rosewater, he would say “a rose for my little rose” which as a small child would tickle me with great delight. Well I still frequent Nicola’s restaurant, and I still have my rosewater, because no body makes them quite like Nic.

Today I have decided to share a spin off recipe of the rosewater in the form of a rosewater lemonade cocktail. Keep in mind there are several ways to make your own rose syrup. You can purchase hydroponic food grade roses, which are grown only in water, no dirt, and are never sprayed with any type of pesticides. This type of rose petal can then be boiled and reduced down into a rose water extract. I actually did not go down this route, for sake of time. I was simply able to purchase this lovely Nielson Massey rose water extract from my local Sur La Table. 
Now as I mentioned above you can get food grade edible flowers, Gourmet Sweet Botanical offers some great ones. I have added them to water in a large block ice cube tray to create a stunning visual appeal. Let these set up over night for a show stopping addition to your cocktail. 

  • DESIGN TIP: You can do this process with lots of things besides flowers, to create pretty ice cubes. Try frozen strawberries for a festive Margarita on the rocks, or frozen lime slices for a retro Cuba Libre. 
    If you are not very skilled in bartending, or find yourself short on time, you can actually purchase ready made Rosewater Lemonade at your local World Market. I do find that if you use the premixes you may still wish to add splash more rose extract and lemon juice to give a fresh vibe. 

Rosewater Lemonade

  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
  • 3/4 cup Sparkling water
  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 2 tbsp Rose water extract
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Splash of Grenadine (for color)
  • Ice Cube

Be sure to check in later this week for part 2 of the Cocktail Concoction.

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