in the kitchen

the dark chocolate and cheese plate::with a twist

Cheese-Chocolate-Plate.jpg.jpg Dark chocolate and cheese are such a classic pairing, you can find the two at every gathering, big or small. Typically, they are paired with rich red wines and salty table crackers to compliment the taste.

As much as I love love love a good wine, dark chocolate, and cheese pairing, I wanted a twist on the typical spread for a recent dinner party. Something memorable, yet tasty.

Ghiradelli-Dark-Chocolate

So what’s the perfect pair for dark chocolate? For starters, I selected 72% Twilight Delight  Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Bars. What is it about dark chocolate that makes you think you aren’t eating candy? Whatever it is, Ghirardelli nails it with these bars.

The obvious next choice was cheese. I know Parmesan is wonderful with dark chocolate, and oh my, don’t get me started on Brie, but I wanted a standard cheese that would pair well with my next pick-Salt & Pepper roasted Pistachios. The salt paired perfectly with the cheese, and the pepper with the chocolate.

To round off the spread, I provided a “beer tasting” with a couple different IPAs. These little shot glasses made it easy to try out a few types of beers while pairing with the different bites on the table.

Chocolate-Cheese-Plate

I’d love to know what you pair your favorite Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate with. Share on Instagram with the hashtag #IntenseDark or share it with the Ghirardelli community! You can even discover the #perfectpairing for you!

This Chocolate pairing is sponsored by Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate, but all thoughts, opinions, and tastebuds are my own.

spodee spring cocktail

All the vitamin D this weekend was intoxicating. Does everyone else feel immense joy when the weather starts to warm up? It’s like this wave of happiness simply because the sun is shining and I can take my shorts out from the back of my closet.

Spodee-Wine

Fueled by merriment and clinging onto the last few hours of the weekend, I concocted a Spring cocktail recipe with the help of my new friend Spodee. I sure do love a brand with good branding, and Spodee is chock-full of it, but they are also chock-full of “wine with a kick.”

Spodee-Spring-Cocktail-Recipe

I can drink this stuff straight, but to add in some fresh flavors of Spring, I mixed together Spodee with sparkling raspberry lemonade, blueberries, and ginger beer to even out all the sweet.

Spodee Spring Cocktail

Oh my, I could drink this recipe all season long. I just might.

Spodee is just fresh on the shelves in Atlanta, but you can also find this homemade country wine in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Or you could hound them with emails begging to come to city near you because goodness, it’s delicious. Spodee was very gracious to provide me with a bottle to try, but all opinions are my own. In continuous disclosure, I also highly recommend Spodee and Sodee (equal parts Spodee and Coke). Ok, now I’m thirsty. 

 

 

 

irish mule cocktail recipe

irish-mule-cocktail-recipe Last night, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Josh and I whipped up a new cocktail: Moscow Mules with an Irish twist. I’m smitten with ginger beer lately, so any excuse to drink a mule, and I’m hooked. To make it a bit more “Irish,” we subbed out vodka for whiskey. The lime was perfect to marry the two together.

moscow mule recipe

Since the weather is starting to warm up, we love to enjoy our drinks out on the porch. It’s the perfect excuse to enjoy the weather and talk about our day. It does, however, lead to faster melting ice cubes and quickly watered down drinks. I prefer my cocktails to taste the same as when I first made them, so lately I’ve been on the look out for a good ice cube alternative.

irish-mule

Enter Balls of Steel. BOS are whiskey and spirit chillers that cool down your libations without watering them down. I can’t recommend this brand enough. Besides having a sense of humor with their brand, they also are huge proponents of giving back. Proceeds of all profits go directly to financial funding for testicular cancer support (balls? get it?), plus they get their hands dirty through community and charity events.

So basically, you get to feel good about drinking chilled whiskey. :)

irish mule cocktail ingredients irish mule cocktail recipe

 

valentine’s day cocktail

Valentine's Day Cocktail

Dare I say the day of love is incomplete with out a Valentine’s Day cocktail? While every restaurant in town will be serving up expensive cocktails, you can prepare this one before your night-time festivities begin. Super simple cocktail recipe, and it’s delicious to boot!

Valentine's Day Cocktail1::: start with champagneValentine's Day Cocktail2::: pour said champagne over raspberry sorbet and fresh berriesValentine's Day Cocktail3::: drink up!

Simple. Pretty. Delicious.

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day cocktails?

 

what’s cookin’:: raspberry and brie panini

Valentine's Day RecipeLast week, I shared my valentine’s day party complete with the most delicious raspberry and brie paninis. It was too good not to share, so I had to divulge the recipe with you this week! Raspberry Panini Recipe I love recipes with minimal ingredients. All you need for this recipe is cibatta bread, brie cheese, raspberries, and honey. This local Atlanta Honey Company Wildflower Honey I got in my Georgia Crafted box is out of this world, I definitely recommend it!

Ingredients:::

Cibatta Bread

Brie Cheese

Raspberries

Honey

Directions:::

1::: Cut cibatta bread into enough pieces to make sandwiches

2::: Cut thin slices of brie cheese

3::: Wash raspberries

4::: Spray panini press (or skillet!) with cooking spray and add cibatta bread and brie cheese.

5::: Drizzle with honey and close panini press (or flip sandwich on skillet)

6::: Remove once it has browned slightly

Something Southern Valentine's Day_12 I won’t lie, this was too easy and such a treat. Probably not the healthiest recipe I’ve ever cooked up, but one of my all-time favorites. :)

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day recipes?

 

georgia crafted (& a giveaway!)

Georgia Crafted Subscription BoxIt’s no secret that I have a huge crush on this city of mine, and I love to brag about the wonderful people, places, and companies that hold their roots here. One such company in particular is Georgia Crafted.Georgia Crafted

Georgia Crafted is a monthly subscription service, similar to Birchbox and the like, however GC delivers products made by artisans all over Georgia. These products can be yummy treats, body & bath products, music, stationery, art and more. Whether you’re looking to discover new local favorites, or you want to learn a little more about Southern products, Georgia Crafted is perfect.

Souvei_PureBlissOrganicsAtlanta Honey Company_Just Add Honey

I was so lucky to get the chance to try out Georgia Crafted with their January box  filled to the brim with local goodies. The box contained Souvei Tangy Tomato Chutney, Pure Bliss Organics Naughty but Nice Granola, Atlanta Honey Company Wild Flower Honey, and Just Add Honey Georgia Peach Tea.

Naughty but Nice Granola_Tangy Tomato Chutney Peach Tea_Just Add Honey

I can’t begin to describe how good everything was. The Naughty but Nice granola tastes exactly like coco puffs aka I could eat like a kid but not actually look like I’m eating like a kid ; ) And the peach tea? No exaggeration, I brewed three cups the first day. My kitchen smelled amazing for two days. The wild flower honey was great with both my tea and granola, and I paired the tomato chutney with brie cheese and crackers for an afternoon snack.

Georgia Crafted Giveaway

Now enough bragging about my box, how about a chance to win the February box all for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Please note this is not a sponsored post, and all opinions are 100% my own. The January Georgia Crafted box was provided to me by Georgia Crafted.