Showing posts with label July Fourth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label July Fourth. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Make Virgin Sangrias and Virgin Mojitos from Cleo Coyle for a Happy #July4th!



Got overripe fruit?  Waste not! This virgin sangria is a nice way to make use of it. 


Why virgin? 
A white wine sangria is delicious, and one of my favorite drinks, but on a workday, I prefer that my fingers hit my laptop keyboard rather than my forehead, which means no firewater until the day is done. 

A virgin sangria is also a good solution for households with kids because the drink can be converted into an adult beverage at the time it's poured, which means one pitcher can conveniently serve drinkers and non-drinkers.

Want a Happy Hour Cooler? 

Spike it...


To turn this drink into an adult beverage, Marc and I recommend mixing the virgin sangria in a glass with a generous splash of port, sherry, brandy, grappa, cognac, or your favorite fortified wine. Fruit liqueurs (and amaretto) work well, too. 

The virgin sangria will dilute the alcohol, which is why a more concentrated choice works better for mixing this cooler than using a standard red, white or sparkling wine (although your mileage may vary). 

While we’ve never tried vodka, it should work well, as should rum. Unfortunately, as I’ve written in the past on this blog, white rum sends me to the dark side, so it’s a non-starter for me. That’s why I drink a virgin mojito.

To get my Virgin Mojito recipe (pictured above),
see my "Tale of the Virgin Mojito" post by clicking here.


For my Virgin Sangria recipe,
scroll on down...




Cleo Coyle's 
Virgin Sangria - Makes 2 quarts

Ingredients:

- 1 (11.5 fluid ounce) can of frozen
   white grape juice concentrate

- 1 quart bottled or sparkling water
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 4 to 5 peaches or nectarines, chopped
- 2 cups chopped watermelon

MIX IT: Empty concentrate into your pitcher or container and stir in the water. When the concentrate is melted into a smooth liquid, add in the fruit. Stir well, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight. The fruit will fortify the white grape juice, making it refreshingly delicious. It will also blush the color from an unappetizing dark yellow to a pretty shade of deep pink. 





SERVE IT: Serve chilled in a frosty cold glass and garnish by a triangle of watermelon or small strawberry (see photo above for ideas).

SPIKE IT, IF YOU LIKE: This is a versatile drink for a household with children or one with drinkers and non-drinkers. To serve this drink as an adult beverage, simply mix half a glass of the virgin sangria with a generous splash of port, sherry, or your favorite fortified wine. Brandy, grappa, cognac, vodka, rum, and fruit liqueurs are other possible ways to spike this refreshing summer cooler. (A concentrated wine or hard alcohol will give you better results than standard wines or sparkling wines, which may taste too diluted by the virgin sangria.)





And to all of our readers in the USA...




Happy July 4th!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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* * * 



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The hardcover bestseller

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See the Recipe Guide
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*** 



Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries

Free Title Checklist,
with mini plot summaries,

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Win on Independence Day!!!


Happy Independence Day! 


May you be enjoying the freedoms of our great country. Family. Friends. Good food. Fireworks.

To celebrate...


I read Jenn McKinlay’s RED VELVET REVENGE (and was asked to blurb it). It was such a fun read. 


It just launched yesterday!  In the book, she highlights cake pops.

For 40 years (or something like that), chocolate cake with white frosting has been by far my favorite cake. (Of course, I also love strawberry shortcake, white cake with chocolate icing...all sweets...) 


Now that I’m gluten-free, and inspired by Jenn’s delicious delights, I thought it would be a great idea to offer a gluten-free version of cake pops.  Enjoy the recipe.



GLUTEN-FREE CAKE POPS

Ingredients:
    1 Betty Crocker super moist GLUTEN-FREE chocolate cake mix
    1/2-3/4 cup Cream Cheese frosting (gluten-free) (see below)
    1 (24 oz) package of white chocolate candy coating
    1/2 cup chocolate or colored sprinkles
    25-30 Lollipop sticks
One Styrofoam box or box of some sort to slot the cake pops into.



Instructions:
    Start by baking the Gluten-free chocolate cake mix by following the instructions on the package. While the cake is baking, MAKE the cream cheese frosting (recipe below). Set aside.  THEN place the sprinkles into a bowl. Set aside.
    Once your chocolate cake is fully baked and cooled (about 30 minutes to cool), crumble it entirely in a large bowl (plastic or metal) while adding 1/2-3/4 cup of cream cheese frosting. That’s right, crumble it. Mix it all together until thick. Once thick enough, start making round 1-2 inches cake balls. Place each of them on a large baking tray, which you will cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge (overnight).
    The next day. Place all the white chocolate candy coating into a microwaveable bowl and follow the melting instructions. Next, dip the tip of a lollipop stick (about half a inch) into the chocolate candy coating and then insert it into a cake ball (about halfway). Repeat this operation for each cake ball.
    One cake ball or cake pop at a time, dip it entirely into the melted white chocolate coating. Use a spoon to fully cover each cake ball. Tap gently to remove any extra coating (if too much). Repeat this operation for each cake pop and set them balls up on a styrofoam box.

Immediately sprinkle the cocoa powder and sprinkles on the melted coating. Once done, place your cake pops into the fridge. Let them cool for about an hour. The only thing left to do now is to enjoy them!

Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Blend all together until smooth.

********


BAKER'S NOTE:  These were so much fun to make that I wish I had a passel of little helpers!  Get your kids into the mix!! However...they were messy!  The warm chocolate dip was a little thick. Not sure if I should have thinned with a little water so the cake pops dipped easier. And because it's warm, rolling the balls immediately in sprinkles made the sprinkles sort of melt, so if you can bear it, wait a few minutes before rolling. I'm sure they'll stick.  Also, I froze half of the cake balls for use at a later time. I've eaten one since, plain, and it's yummy!

***

BY THE WAY, my protagonist from A Cheese Shop Mystery series, Charlotte Bessette, has taken over the blog at Killer Characters today. F-R-E-E-D-O-M!!  Chime in, won't you?  




***
COOKBOOK NOOK
KITCHEN GRIPPER
AND LASTLY...I'm starting some mini-contests to promote THE COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES which come out one year from today!  


feature a cookbook store owner
who is an avid reader and admitted foodie - 
set in picturesque coastal California town!


The first contest runs this week until next week. Leave a comment on this MLK post with your favorite ADULT OR KIDS DESSERT COOKBOOK TITLE and you're entered to win a book of your choice from A CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY series and lots of fun swag, including the new COOKBOOK NOOK kitchen gripper. 

*************



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She doesn't say all the same things Avery does. Promise.

Say cheese!

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