Simplify Sunday- Strawberries and Cleaning

bedroom 1bedroom 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I would check cleaning out the bedroom off my list this week. As it turns out, there was not a single thing to get rid of in the bedroom. It is already really minimal. There isn’t even anything in that closet except two summer weight coats that I’m not currently using. I still feel good knowing that’s it’s been gone through, but I got off way too easy on this week’s project. That being the case, I decided to also provide you with a cocktail recipe!

ingredientsstrawberry sunset
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I love to make up drink recipes, but I try to keep them as simple as possible. This has a few steps, but the ingredients are basic, with no extra sugar or pre-made mixes involved. It’s important to me to know what I’m drinking 🙂

Strawberry Sunset (serves 1 strong drink)

  • 5 strawberries
  • 3 ounces whipped cream vodka
  • 1 tablespoon limeaid (or just lime juice)
  • 3 ice cubes

Muddle the strawberries (save one for a garnish, if you like) until they are all smashed up! Then muddle in the vodka and limeaid. At this point, if you’re okay with the texture, you can just stir in the ice cubes for a few seconds to cool down the drink, then pull out the ice cubes and pour into a glass. If it’s too chunky, pour it in the blender for a few seconds (I ended up doing this). If you leave the ice cubes in when you’re blending it, you will get more of a daiquiri like texture. I took them out and got a thinner texture (I’m not crazy about frozen drinks).

Bottoms up!

Jillian

 

Top 10 Reasons Your Bartender Loves You (or at least doesn’t hate you)

chelle and jillWe see so many posts about why your bartender hates you. As a “retired” bartender, I thought I would put my positive spin on it. You want your bartender to love you? Do this!

Also, maybe I’m supposed to put a disclaimer about drinking responsibly? *play nice, y’all. Don’t make me pull this car over.*



 

How to Make Friends With Your Bartender

  1. Know what you want to drink, and have your money and ID ready. She has to check your ID. This is the law, it’s not a conspiracy. If you are underage and she gets caught serving you, she will never work in the industry again. No, really.
  2. If you HAVE to ask her to recommend something, try to do it when there aren’t 18 people behind you- and give her something to go off of. Don’t just say you need a recommendation, then have her list off eight things and shoot them all down. Tell her you like rum and fruity flavors. Then she’ll be able to make you something fun that you will actually like.
  3. If you’re going to open a tab, tip in cash on the first drink right then. This isn’t totally necessary, but it makes you look super cool and lets her know you do plan to tip her. She will remember and take care of you.
  4. Absolutely do not hit on her while tipping her. She’s not a prostitute. She will be so creeped out.
  5. Bring back your dirty glasses when you come for another round. She spends her life looking for glasses, and is happy to have them back. She can never find her bar back that was supposed to bring glasses. He’s probably either smoking out back or cleaning up whatever you did in the pool room.
  6. If you want a strong drink, order a double. If you’re nice, maybe you’ll get the next one for the price of a single. You will not get a stronger drink by asking her to pour heavy. You will get a weaker drink.
  7. Tell her your name every time you come back for another drink if you have a tab. She may remember, but maybe not. At the beginning of the night, everyone looks the same and she only knows your drink, not your name. If you keep telling her, it won’t be awkward and she will then remember because you made it easier.
  8. Ask her how her night is going. MEAN IT. For extra points, mention the drunk girl in the corner that’s been giving her drama, or the old guy that keeps staring at her. Feel her pain. Remember, she’s the only sober one in the room (and she feels right now that she may be the only sober person in the world). She can tell if you’re faking it or not.
  9. Say thank you. Again, mean it. It’s not a big deal, everyone can do this.
  10. Have fun! The bartender is there to help you have a good time. If you’re happy (and you’re not being a douche!), she is probably happy and thinks you’re just great.

Hey, guess what?! It’s Friday Eve! Time to go out and practice these skills 🙂

Jillian

How To Set Up a Home Bar

full barI have always loved to be prepared for visitors. I like to have something cool to offer when people come over. Having a fully stocked bar isn’t something most people do at home, and maybe that’s why I think it’s so fun. Plus, you know, I like drinking 🙂

This is what my bar looks like. I couldn’t find an actual bar that I really liked, plus they all looked kind of lame and didn’t fit in our great room. I had been begging for one for ages, and J and I finally agreed on this sideboard from Dania. It works well because I just keep everything on top, and use the cabinets for extra dishes and cookbooks. However, you can use anything. In my old studio apartment I used a cool wine rack/cart (similar) that I got off craigslist for $20. You could also use a shelf in your kitchen, the counter top, and old dresser- anything!

starting a barWhen you’re starting out, just go basic. Liquor and supplies are really expensive! I drank cheap liquor until I was about 25, and then I started feeling really hungover from it. Apparently when you get old you need that extra filtering! If you’re young, you can probably get away with it 🙂

This is a basic starter kit idea. You’ll need glasses of some sort. I’ve seen cool glasses at the Dollar Store for $.50 each. The most important are rocks glasses, shot glasses, and martini glasses (add wine glasses if you drink wine). I added a shaker because they are so useful for so many drinks, a wine/bottle opener for obvious reasons, and straws. Having straws takes your drinks up a notch!

Pictured here are vodka, light rum, whiskey, and a specialty liquour. Start with what you like to drink, and then expand by watching what your friends drink or what looks cool on drink menus. With vodka, rum, and whiskey you can make a lot of stuff. A specialty liquour just makes things more fun. You can get fruity flavored things like peach schnapps, or something creamy like Bailey’s Irish Cream (I personally buy cheaper Irish cream because I think they all taste the same).

Let me know if you decide to stock your bar! It’s also a really cool idea to have a “stock the bar” housewarming party. Just have everyone bring their favorite bottle and mixer, then you keep what’s left over. Happy mixing!

What’s your favorite cocktail recipe?

Jillian

My Favorite, Simple Cocktail Recipe

Eye Candy CocktailI’m just going to say it- I love Tuaca. My partner in crime (Bunniey) and I discovered it in our early 20s, and life has been that much better since. It is a vanilla citrus liqueur, but it is brandy based and 35% alcohol. This makes it the same strength as most liquors, so beware that it is much stronger than the “liqueur” in the name implies. It’s good in pretty much anything, but this is my go to cocktail.

 

 

 

Eye Candy PrepEye Candy

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Tuaca (substitute Pinnacle Whipped Vodka for a lemon meringue pie taste- my second favorite)
  • 3 lemon wedges
  • ice

Directions:

Cut your lemon into eight wedges (or four if it’s a tiny lemon). Muddle three wedges. If you do not have a muddler, you can use anything to smash the juice out of the lemon. Try a wooden spoon or the handle end of another cooking utensil. If you just really don’t want to muddle, you can use lemon juice instead (about half an ounce, to taste). For the best mix of flavors, pour this into a shaker (you can leave the lemon peels in for extra flavor and more of a mojito look) with the Tuaca and ice, then shake. Pour everything into a glass and garnish with a lemon wedge. You can also stir all of the ingredients, it’s up to you.

If this tastes too strong for you, add some lemonade or soda water.

For a mocktail, you could try adding the muddled lemon to a vanilla cream soda, and add a dash of orange juice.

Enjoy!

Jillian

How to Make an Easy to Choke Down Green Smoothie

green smoothiesI love the idea of green smoothies. Low calorie breakfast or snack, get a bunch of veggies- it’s a great deal. However, when I first started, some of the recipes I tried were just SO bad. I think it’s something you need to work up to. The first thing I did was buy a six pack of 16 ounce mason jars. Having cute jars to easily bring them with me and make several at a time made it much easier.

I also have an amazing blender. I wanted to get the Vitamix like all the other cool bloggers, but holy wow is that thing expensive. I found the Oster VERSA (Amazon affiliate link, if you purchase this I will get a small commission) to be a great alternative. It was about $200 when I bought it, but Amazon has sales all the time. The one I linked to is the low profile, which is better for short girls like myself. This is a big blender and if I had bought the regular version I think I might need a footstool! This blender is tough enough to pulverize the greens, and has been a trooper so far. I’ve burnt out the motors of blenders before, so I know that I need something strong!

Here is my basic smoothie recipe that I find to be a) simple b) if not delicious, tolerable. This recipe makes two 16 ounce smoothies, give or take a little. I use organic produce whenever possible.

  • two large handfuls of greens (spinach may be the easiest to start with- other ideas are collards, chard, kale, lettuce, or cilantro)
  • one small banana
  • one cup frozen fruit (I usually do strawberries or peaches)
  • 12 ounces of water
  • (optional) 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed for omega 3s

Throw it all in the blender until pureed and pour into jars. They will keep for two-three days, but I try to drink them the day of (or the next day, since I try to do prep the night before for a day’s food to take to work). Another thing that I have trouble with regarding green smoothies is texture. If the thick texture bothers you, just add more water. When I first started drinking them, making the consistency more like juice really helped me get used to it. If you want to drink them every day, switch up the fruit and the greens to get a better variety of nutrients. I always put in the banana for sweetness, but that is optional as well. The fruit is really only to make it taste good.

Note: if you buy a bunch of greens, then find a few days later that you didn’t get as into smoothies as you thought, you can wash and freeze them! I didn’t realize this at first and wasted some veggies, but you can freeze them to save for later and just throw them in the blender frozen. This tip was great for me, because I’m no longer afraid to buy the greens and possibly waste them.

Enjoy- let me know if you try it!

Jillian