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Basil Lemon Drop Martini

This Basil Lemon Drop Martini is easy peasy lemon-basil squeezy to make. No joke! It’s simply a fun twist on the typical lemon drop martini.

The key ingredient that sets this apart from the rest, besides the basil, is the Paula’s Texas Lemon liqueur. We try to avoid things like triple sec and simple syrup as often as possible, and fresh liqueurs like this are always the best solution. Plus, we love that it is a local Texas brand!

This cocktail is perfect for a pre-night out or even better- get yourself some plastic martini glasses and sip this by the pool! The freshly squeezed lemon mixed with the light touch of basil make this the easiest-to-sip martini you will ever taste. Our favorite part about it though is that it is not too sweet like the typical lemon drop.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

3 oz. vodka – our go to is Monopolowa
1 oz. Paula’s Texas Lemon
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3-4 basil leaves
Sugar for rim

Smash the basil in your hands to release the aroma. Put all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into martini glass rimmed with sugar. Garnish with lemon and basil, if desired.

Enjoy this fun twist on the classic lemon drop martini. And remember- never stop exploring fun ways to change up any cocktail!

Cheers!

May 31, 2017
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Spiced Carrot Cake

This spiced Carrot Cake is the perfect addition to add to your upcoming holiday season feast without that usual feeling of guilt that all the sweets bring.

Our love for carrots is real. Raw, roasted, shredded…. we love them all but our favorite by far is when they are in cake. This Spiced Carrot Cake is great for when you want to treat yourself, but don’t want to be loaded down with all the sugar in a typical carrot cake recipe.

We used organic maple syrup and applesauce to replace the sugar, butter, and oil. You can tweak this recipe in a number of ways. If you like your cake to be more moist and fluffy, use coconut oil instead of applesauce. Since we make ours with applesauce the result is more of a carrot “loaf” than a traditional cake. To keep it on the healthy side we made a cinnamon glaze to go over the top instead of the typical heavy cream cheese icing.

Once you have your cake baked and glazed get your creative juices flowing and have fun decorating the top of your cake! You can use a variety of nuts or seeds depending on your personal preference. We went with pecans & pumpkin seeds for some fall festivity. 

tab-carrotcake3

Ingredients
Cake
2 1/2 cups of flour (Einkorn is great, but you can use regular as well)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt (We use pink Himalayan sea salt)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove
3 eggs
1 cup organic maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans (plus handful of whole pecans to put on top)

Cinnamon Glaze
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs milk (whole milk is best)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (add more to taste)

Preheat oven to 350*.
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: f
lour, baking soda + powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients: eggs, syrup, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Make sure the “wet” ingredients are well combined. Mix together the wet & dry ingredients and gently stir until completely combined. Stir in grated carrots and chopped pecans – let batter rest for about 10 minutes why you prepare the glaze.

Glaze
Stir together powdered sugar, milk and cinnamon until smooth.

Grease a cake pans (we used two 9” glass pie plates) with coconut oil and sprinkle flour over the top. Shake off excess flour – this will help the cake come right out of the pan

Bake for about 15 minutes and then check by piercing center with a toothpick. Because our cake pans were shallow it took about 25 minutes total to bake. Make sure you check regularly after 20 minutes to ensure your cake is not over-baked. Once toothpick comes out clean, remove cake from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, spoon glaze over cake and decorate the top with your choice of nuts.

tab-carrotcake2

Enjoy!

November 18, 2016
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Whiskey Roasted Carrots

These Sweet Whiskey Roasted Carrots will have you re-thinking those childhood nightmares of cooked carrots (or was that just us?). Simply roasting the carrots, instead of boiling them, changes the entire cooked carrot game. We are roasted veggie lovers and roasted carrots are a favorite in our household. That’s how we came up with this simple Sweet Whiskey Roasted Carrot recipe which is perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas side- with just the right amount of naughty.

Ingredients
1-2 bunches of fresh carrots (for larger bunches add a tiny bit more of each ingredient for the glaze)
1 tbs butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup whiskey (we used good o’le Jack Daniels)
½ cup chopped pecans (optional for nut allergies)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and cut your carrots in half vertically (lengthwise). Note: baby carrots will also work for this recipe, you will just need to judge roasting time accordingly.

Lightly toss carrots with olive oil + salt and pepper- put on non-stick baking sheet and place in oven.

Meanwhile, get a small saucepan and add in 1 tablespoon of butter – let brown, but not burn. After butter is melted, pour whiskey in (use extreme caution near open flame) – let it lightly simmer and “evaporate” to help take out a bit of the alcohol taste. After it has simmered for a few minutes, add in brown sugar and chopped pecans (optional). Allow the glaze to get to a light bubble, and stir frequently for about 5 minutes. Use your judgment, but you want the glaze to have a slightly thick consistency.  

TAB-RoastedCarrots

After carrots have roasted for about 20-30 minutes (depending on size-should be nice and roasty), take out and spoon glaze over the carrots. *#1 cooking rule: remember you can always add more, but you cannot take away

Pop back in over for additional 3 minutes.  Take ‘em out, and  you should have roasted, sweet whiskey carrot perfection.

TAB-RoastedCarrots

Enjoy!

November 10, 2016
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FireCRACKer Pretzels

These Firecracker pretzels don’t actually have crack in them, obviously. But, they are so addicting you might think otherwise! This is such a quick, easy snack to whip up for: lounging poolside (perfectly pairs with an ice cold beer), the Super Bowl party you are hosting, any holiday get together, or if you just want to be that person who always has really good snacks at work. You can make this in big batches or small. The secret to this recipe – gluten free pretzels. They are so much more crunchy, which is perfect, because regular pretzels can tend to get a little soggy after they have soaked for a while. If you are sensitive to spice; you can tone down the cayenne just a little or just add more of the ranch powder to the mix.

TAB-pretzels

Side note: We are one day hoping to perfect a homemade ranch powder recipe- eliminating the need for this packaged ingredient. Do you have one? Share it!

Ingredients
1 (1-ounce) packet dry ranch dressing mix (only add ¼ at a time until it has the taste you prefer…1/2 packet is about right, give or take some)
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper… or more, if you love LP like we do!
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon cayenne depending on how much spice you like
1/2 cup canola oil
2 (8-ounce) bags gluten free mini pretzel twists (Snyder’s is our favorite brand for these)

In a good size mixing bowl add the oil + all spices, stir until well combined. Pour bag of pretzels into bowl stirring until coated. Let the pretzels sit stirring every hour for at least 3 hours. Taste as you go to see if you want to add anything else. So easy!

Enjoy

November 8, 2016
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Lemon Pepper Pumpkin Seeds

These lemon pepper pumpkin seeds will make you think twice before throwing out those “guts” from your carved pumpkin this year! Not only do these fresh seeds make a tasty and quick snack, they are also healthy. Pumpkin seeds contain a wide variety of nutrients including magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc.

We love to eat them, shells and all. If they’re properly toasted- and are small to medium sized, they have the perfect crunch and are easy to eat. 

The secret to this recipe is getting the salt inside the shells straight to the seeds. It’s easy enough to salt the outside of the shells, but if you want the salt to permeate to the seeds, this method does the trick! 

Boil the seeds first in salted water, then roast them in the oven. This way the salt gets inside too.

TAB-pumpkin-seeds

Ingredients
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon pepper
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (if you like a hint of spice)

Use your hands to roughly pick out all of the seeds from scraped pumpkin pile you have before carving. No worries if you have some extra pumpkin & strings mixed in.

Place the pumpkin seeds in a colander and run under water to rinse and separate the seeds from everything else.

Boil pumpkin seeds in salted water for 10 min: Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds.

Bring the salted water and pumpkin seeds to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Mix your pumpkin seeds in a bowl with olive oil & spices.

Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan in a single layer.

Bake seeds in 400°F oven until browned.

Place on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 8-15 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Watch them closely because once they are warm they cook fast! Ours ended up a bit too toasty.

Enjoy!

 

October 27, 2016
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