Coquito Puerto Rican Holiday Drink Recipe

 

We all have traditional comfort foods and drinks that taste like the holidays to us. You know, the ones that you just can’t do without and look forward to having once a year, every year? For my husband it’s Coquito, a creamy Puerto Rican coconut and rum based drink. For him it’s just not really Christmas without it.

Every family has their own recipe and preferred way of making it, some use egg yolks making it more of an eggnog-like drink, but the mainstays are always coconut cream and rum, and lots of it.

coquitoHere’s our favorite recipe given to us by my husband’s aunt. Thanks, Titi Pily!

COQUITO

1 (12 fluid ounce) can Evaporated Milk

1 (14 ounce) can Coconut Cream (unsweetened)

1 (13.5-ounce) can Coconut Milk

1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 cup White Rum

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

4 Cinnamon Sticks

1 teaspoon Whole Cloves

1 2″ to 3″ piece of Fresh Ginger

2 cups Water

Directions

You’ll be making a sort of tea with the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. First, peel the ginger and chop into large chunks. Place the ginger in a medium saucepan and muddle until all pieces are smashed. Then, add the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and water to the pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, lower heat, and simmer until the water turns brown, about 20 minutes.

Once the tea is ready, strain into a large measuring cup, you should be left with about 1 to 1.5 cups of liquid.

Add evaporated milk, coconut cream, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, rum, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the tea to a blender (or a large bowl if using immersion blender) and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until everything is well blended.

Pour the Coquito into glass bottles or mason jars and refrigerate until it’s cold. Once it’s ready to serve, shake the bottle or jars to make sure everything is well combined, pour into small serving glasses, and top with a light sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

 

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Poached Pear Mummy Pies

Awhile ago I was watching The Great British Bake Off and Paul Hollywood challenged the contestants to recreate his mini pear pies, which are poached pears wrapped in pastry. My husband and I immediately commented on how we wanted to make them, but then as I watched the bakers wrap the pears in strips of dough like little pear mummies a light bulb went off in my head…PEAR MUMMIES!

poached-pear-mummy-pies-5This adorable dessert will take your Halloween shindig to the next level. Here’s how you make them.

Adapted from Paul Hollywood’s Mini Pear Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

Store bought puff pastry
6 large, firm pears (preferably ones that are straight and tall)
10½ oz caster sugar
18 oz white wine
14 oz water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zest only
12 whole cloves

Directions

Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. In a large saucepan combine the water, white wine, cinnamon and orange zest and slowly bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for three minutes.

Poached Pear Mummy Pies Add the pears to the pan. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Reserving the syrup, remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool on kitchen paper. Use a melon baller or small teaspoon remove the core from the pears.

Return the syrup to the heat and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half and the syrup is thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

When the fruit and syrup are cool, roll out the chilled puff pastry to a thickness of no more than 1/4 inch. Then use a knife to cut into thin, long strips, about 1/3 inch wide.

Poached Pear Mummy PiesBrush the pears with the cooled sugar syrup and starting from the bottom, wrap the pastry strips around the pears. When you come to the end of the pastry strip, brush the end lightly with syrup and press to adhere to the next pastry strip. Leave an opening near the center of the pear for the eyes. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear. Place two cloves into the pear where you want the eyes to be.

poached-pear-mummy-pies-3Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the pastry covered pears on a baking tray. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes then serve with a drizzle of the reduced sugar syrup.

poached-pear-mummy-pies-4

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Are you guys ready for a fun and easy sweet treat? I know you are!

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

One of my husband’s favorite desserts is cookie ice cream sandwiches and he’s always asking if we can make them. I’m always hesitant because I don’t usually feel like baking dozens of cookies and store bought cookies aren’t usually the right texture for optimal ice cream sandwich making. At least that’s what I thought until I found out about the new Otis Smunkmeyer cookies! Click here to find them in a store near you.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Their cookies are honestly delicious and are the perfect size and texture for cookie sandwiches. They also have “No Funky Stuff”, meaning they’re made without artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup, or partially hydrogenated oil. With cookie baking out of the picture, I have no excuse to not make cookie sandwiches at home. This is such an easy and fun dessert to make and the extras can easily be stored in the freezer for later enjoyment. This is also a great dessert to make with kids! They’re the perfect weekend or after school snack for those days when your kids particularly deserve it.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

What you need:

Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies

Ice cream

Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toppings

 

Some of my favorite toppings are snowcaps, crushed potato chips, toffee bits, coconut, sprinkles, and sea salt.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

First you’re going to make the sandwiches. Just put a scoop of ice cream in between two cookies and lightly press together. Place them back into the freezer until you get your dipping chocolate and toppings ready.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Empty a bag of chocolate chips into a glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir for 30 seconds. Repeat this until the chocolate is melted and glossy.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dip half of the cookie sandwiches in the melted chocolate and then dip in your toppings. Place them on a cookie sheet and put them back into the freezer until the chocolate is set.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you have left over sandwiches you can store them in your freezer in ziplock bags or air tight containers.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream SandwichesBut wait, there’s more! WANT A CHANCE TO WIN $250 VISA GIFT CARD??  Otis Smunkmeyer and I have a challenge for you! We want to see your Otis Smunkmeyer recipe hacks. Show us what you can come up with using the new line of Otis Smunkmeyer “No Funky Stuff” products by posting a picture of your recipe and tagging us on social media (handles below). Be sure to use the hashtag #OtisSnackHack. Contest ends 9/28/2016, so hurry up and get your snack on!

Instagram: @melodrama & @OtisSmunkmeyer
Twitter: @melodramablog & @Otis_Spunkmeyer

 

This post was sponsored by my friends at Otis Spunkmeyer, but all opinions are my own.

IZZE® Friendsday Night Party and Cocktail Ideas

One of my favorite things to do when I haven’t seen my friends in a while is host a friend’s night with good drinks, yummy snacks, and hilariously inappropriate games. I pride myself in being the hostess with the mostest (alcohol) so I always have to be equipped with quick and easy ideas that I can whip up at a moment’s notice. I teamed up with my friends at IZZE® to share a few ideas for your next #FriendsdayNight.

 

Making a tassel garland with leftover colorful tissue paper is easy and super cute. All you have to do is cut long strips of paper, bunch them together, fold the bunch in half around a piece of string, and twist. Easy peasy!IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas

 

Snacks are easy too. Cut up some fresh fruit and mix up a bunch of fresh guacamole with chips. My favorite guac recipe is sooo easy. 4 medium haas avocados, half of a red onion (chopped), a handful of cilantro (roughly chopped), juice from half of a lime, and salt to taste.

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas Don’t forget the drinks! This is my favorite part.

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas

I like to have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. The flavored sparkling beverages from IZZE® are perfect for cocktail mixing or drinking plain. My personal favorite is IZZE® Sparkling Grapefruit juice mixed with a shot of white tequila and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and lots of ice!

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas Enjoy your next Friendsday Night!

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas

 

This post was sponsored by IZZE® through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about IZZE®, all opinions are my own.

Prosciutto, Fig Jam, Fontina, Provolone Grilled Cheese

Did you guys know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? And today is National Grilled Cheese Day?! To celebrate I teamed up with my pals at La Brea Bakery (who just so happen to hold a special grilled cheese night every Thursday night in LA during the month of April) to create my own perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

What’s not to love about a grilled cheese sandwich? It’s buttery, grilled slices of bread filled with gooey, delicious, melted cheese! There are a lot of ways you can make a grilled cheese, from the classic American and white bread combo to a more artisan variety.

For this version I was inspired by a cheese and charcuterie board I sampled from once. I can’t remember where I had it, but I do remember it had prosciutto, Italian cheeses, figs, and crostini. The combo is out of this world and I figured it would make a great sandwich. Plus it goes well with wine so that’s a major bonus!

What you need:
Prosciutto
Provolone Cheese
Fontina Cheese
Fig Jam
A good hearty bread (like La Brea Bakery’s French Loaf)
Butter

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese
What you do:

Slice your bread into even slices and spread a layer of fig jam onto one side of each slice.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Next, layer 2-3 slices (depends on how gooey you want it) of each meat and cheese on the jam side of the bread and close it up.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Heat butter in a pan on medium heat until it’s sizzling. Put the sandwich in the pan and grill until each side is golden brown. Stay low and slow so the cheese has time to melt before the sandwich gets burned. If you need more melting time, go ahead and pop the pan into a 300 degree oven for a few minutes.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Serve with an extra little dollop of fig jam (and wine) and enjoy!

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Cranberry Sauce Cocktail Recipe

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and you’re probably already busy prepping your meal and getting ready for guests. Well I’ve got a cocktail for you to add to your Thanksgiving menu, and it’s made with things you probably already have in your kitchen right now.

If you get tired of arguing with your family about politics and where you’re going with your life, just put on your Adele records and start mixing up this drink for everyone. Actually you might want to go ahead and mix one up for yourself right now.

Cranberry Sauce Cocktail RecipeCranberry Sauce Cocktail (Makes one cocktail)

Ingredients:
2 oz vodka
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 heaping teaspoon of cranberry sauce
Dash of blood orange bitters (if you have it)

Shake everything in a shaker with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

Cranberry Sauce Cocktail Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you have tons to be thankful for and lots of food to eat. Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes Two Ways: Goat Cheese Mash and Sweet Potato Mash

Mashed potatoes are one of the most quintessential holiday side dishes and everyone seems to have their own favorite recipe and technique for them. I pretty much like mashed potatoes any way you give them to me, but these two recipes happen to be my favorite.

Mashed potatoes two ways! Thanksgiving recipes from MelodramaHosting a dinner can be stressful, especially when everyone these days has different dietary restrictions. Hopefully this helps you out!

The first is a yukon gold and goat cheese mash that is full of amazingly creamy and full of flavor. The second is a delicious sweet potato mash that is on the healthier side, suitable for vegans, and equally as delicious.

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup of milk
1/2 stick of butter
2 oz goat cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp of salt (plus more to taste)
Fresh thyme (optional)

Peel and boil potatoes until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. In a small sauce pan heat butter, milk, and salt over medium heat. Run potatoes through a potato ricer. Add goat cheese. Slowly add the milk/butter mixture (you may not need to use all of it) and whisk until you reach a creamy fluffy texture. Season to taste with more salt if needed. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.

Sweet Potato Mash with Pecans

3 large sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup pecans
1 tbs brown sugar

Lightly toast pecans in a pan and place into a small bowl. Roughly chop pecans and toss with brown sugar. Set aside. Peel and boil sweet potatoes until fork tender. Use a potato masher to smash potatoes. Add olive oil, cayenne pepper, and salt and mix together. Top with pecan mixture.

Mashed potatoes two ways! Recipes from Melodrama

You can keep these warm over a double boiler until you’re ready to serve. They also reheat over a double boiler quite nicely. Enjoy!