Pomegranate, Cider + Lemon Mocktail

Pomegranate, Cider + Lemon Mocktail

Well, shortly following my announcement over a week ago on Instagram that "I was back!", the kiddos and I went down for the count for another week. After a nasty stomach flu (which I won't go into too much detail about), a trip to urgent care, more bananas, applesauce, and toast than I care to ever see again for a while, and being quarantined for what felt like months, we are back to normal. All that to say...now I need a drink. 

But pregnancy with Baby #3 means it's a season of mocktails for me - which, to be honest, hasn't been all that bad. I've craved sparkling cider the last couple weeks, and there's something special about making a fun drink in a fancy glass...even if it lacks your favorite spirit. 

This mocktail is a combination of sparkling cider, pomegranate juice, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. I prefer it on the tart side, but if you like your drinks sweeter, add a splash more cider. It's garnished with a sprig of rosemary, but to get more herb flavor, try muddling a few rosemary leaves in the cocktail shaker before adding the pomegranate and lemon juices. (And of course, if you're not avoiding alcohol feel free to add a shot or two of vodka.)

Cheers!

Pomegranate, Cider + Lemon Mocktail
Pomegranate, Cider + Lemon Mocktail
Pomegranate, Cider + Lemon Mocktail

Pomegranate, Cider + Lemon Mocktail
Yields 1 drink

1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce 100% pomegranate juice
3-5 ounces sparkling apple cider
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Ice

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the lemon and pomegranate juices. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds. 

Strain into a cocktail glass and top with sparkling cider to taste. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary. 

Notes: Want more rosemary flavor? Muddle a few fresh rosemary leaves in the cocktail shaker before adding the lemon and pomegranate juices. 

To serve a crowd, just add 1 part lemon juice, 1 part pomegranate juice, and 3-5 parts sparkling cider to a pitcher with ice. Stir gently, and serve with rosemary sprigs.


Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup

Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup

I have all these romantic, fond memories of Christmases when I was a kid. We’d drive about an hour away to a tree farm to chop down the “tallest of allest” we could find, then spend half the afternoon struggling to get it inside the house. My dad would carefully string the lights, determined to fix any tiny broken bulbs and bring 10-year-old strands back to life. We’d unwrap cheesy handmade ornaments (which I can’t believe my mom agreed to save) as we listened to anything from Bing Crosby to Handel’s Messiah.

On Christmas Eve, I’d gently shake the boxes under the tree, trying to choose the one gift I was allowed to open that night. The next morning, I’d run to the family room and stand in awe of the overflowing stockings and sea of boxes waiting to be unwrapped, counting down the seconds until I was allowed to wake everyone else up. Eventually, with plates of scrambled eggs and Mom’s homemade Swedish Tea Ring in hand, we’d begin the rounds of gift opening.

Over the years, the magic of the season has waxed and waned. Some years, the snow falls at the perfect moment on Christmas Eve while I’m sitting in front of the fire drinking eggnog, and it’s like I’ve stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting. Other years, it’s anything but magic. Christmas Day is spent unexpectedly in a hospital waiting room, or the grief of an absent loved one is tangibly felt. Sometimes, the monotony of everyday living takes over – kids still get cranky on holidays, the flu sweeps through the family, the house needs to get cleaned, and any attempts to savor the season seem futile.

Keep reading and get the recipe at Coffee + Crumbs!

Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup
Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup
Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup
Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup

Full post and recipe instructions can be found at Coffee + Crumbs!


DIY Whipped Body Butter [with Apricot Oil + Mango Butter]

DIY Whipped Body Butter [with Apricot Oil + Mango Butter]

We've had a handful of painfully cold days around here lately. I don't mind winter entirely. I love having a white Christmas, running around in the snow with my kids, and generally avoiding the feeling of overheating. But sometimes, the cold and wind hit so hard it actually hurts. That, I mind. Not to mention the super dry air that can leave my knuckles cracked and skin itchy. Not fun. (I'm guessing you Florida and other warm-weather readers are thankful you don't live here right now!)

DIY Whipped Body Butter [with Apricot Oil + Mango Butter]
DIY Whipped Body Butter [with Apricot Oil + Mango Butter]

A couple years ago for my baby shower, my sister made small jars of whipped body butter for party favors, which considering it was the middle of January, was the perfect gift. Body butter goes on a thicker than many lotions, so you don't need to use very much at a time. Homemade versions also don't have harmful additives that many store bought ones have, assuming you're starting with quality ingredients. 

DIY Whipped Body Butter [with Apricot Oil + Mango Butter]

I have a small jar of whipped body butter that I currently keep in my car. It seems like when I put my hands on the steering wheel, I suddenly notice how dry and cracked my hands are, and I love having moisturizer easily accessible. I also use the recipe below as a belly balm during pregnancy (SURPRISE, I'm pregnant again!), and put it on my kids as needed. And I know there are only a few days until Christmas, but you can whip up a batch if you need a last minute gift or stocking stuffer! (Many Better Shea Butter products are Prime eligible on Amazon, so you can get them quickly!)

DIY Body Butter

This recipe uses organic mango butter and organic apricot oil from Better Shea Butter. Mango butter is nourishing and slightly lighter than shea butter. Apricot oil also feels light on your skin and gets quickly absorbed, so you don't have the greasy feeling some other oils have. Apricot oil is also safe for all skin types, including infants!

I adapted my recipe from Wellness Mama, so if you're looking to change up my version to use shea buttercocoa butter, or other oils you may have on hand, make sure to check out this link


DIY Whipped Body Butter
Yields enough to fill about a 16 ounce jar (once whipped)
Adapted from Wellness Mama

4 ounces (by weight) coconut oil
4 ounces (by weight) mango butter
2 ounces (by weight) apricot oil
20 drops therapeutic grade essential oil (I used Young Living's Gentle Baby blend)

Melt the coconut oil, mango butter, and apricot oil in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring constantly. When everything is melted and combined, remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes, and then stir in the essential oil. 

Put the mixture in the refrigerator and cool to a soft stage, about 1 hour. Then, using a hand mixer, whip everything together until light and fluffy. It'll take about 8-10 minutes of whipping. 

Transfer the body butter to the containers of your choice. Return the body butter to the fridge to set completely, about another half hour. You can store the body butter at room temperature, if your house is cooler than 75 degrees. However, if your home is warmer than that, store in the refrigerator. 

Note: When using this body butter, a little goes a LONG way. Start by rubbing just a tiny amount into your skin, and add more if needed. 


Mango butter and apricot oil for this post were provided by Better Shea Butter. All opinions are 100% my own.


Eggnog Latte Cocktail [featuring FreshGround Roasting and Heritage Distilling Co.]

Eggnog Latte Cocktail

Can you believe Christmas is in a week?! I can't. Every year, I try to get the bulk of my shopping, prepping, and cooking done in advance, and yet every year it feels like I'm scrambling at the last minute. Oh well. I suppose if you wait until the last minute it only takes a minute, right? 

I need to make at least one more trip to the grocery store, and I'm kind of dreading it. It feels like it's about negative 47 degrees outside, drivers are crazy this time of year (especially in parking lots, it seems), and checkout lines seem about a mile long. I have to give myself a pep talk in the morning if I'm ever actually going to get the whole crew bundled up and out the door. Otherwise you'd just find me in my sweatpants the rest of the week - which I guess isn't all that out of the ordinary for me, anyway.

Anyone else in the same boat? Trying to get yourself motivated to finish those last few errands, but the warm house is just too inviting? Or maybe you've already gotten everything checked off your list, and you're ready to crash. Regardless of where you're at with your Christmas prep, you could probably use a good drink.

This cocktail is made with eggnog, vodka (it's extra good if you use vanilla flavored vodka!), and cold brew coffee. It's comforting, creamy, and has the hit of caffeine you need (or use decaf cold brew if you prefer). Make a batch for a crowd if you're entertaining, or just shake up one drink for yourself. (And if you're looking for the mocktail version, you can omit the vodka. The combo of cold brew and eggnog is still soooo good!)

Cheers!

Eggnog Latte Cocktail
Eggnog Latte Cocktail

Eggnog Latte Cocktail
Yields 1 cocktail

4 ounces eggnog (try this homemade version)
2 ounces cold brew coffee (such as FreshGround’s Black Ice Brew)
2 ounces vodka (such as Heritage Distilling Co.’s Elk Rider Vodka)*
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Strain into a glass. Serve and enjoy!

*This also tastes great with vanilla flavored vodka in place of the regular vodka and vanilla extract.   


For this post, cold-brew coffee was provided by FreshGround Roasting, and vodka was provided by Heritage Distilling Co. All opinions are 100% my own.