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Culinary Tales

Culinary Tales

Amazon Prime Day Deals

This post contains affiliate links, I m By clicking on a link I may earn a percentage of the sales at no additional charge to you. But, I would never recommend anything that I don’t whole heartedly love myself and all opinions are mine alone!

Prime Day is upon us! Today I’ve put together some of my favorite deals for Prime Day! I’m talking everything from Instant Pots to Vacuumns! Check out these deals below and don’t miss out!

Kitchen & Home Deals

Instant Pot Ultra 3 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use

Prime Deal: $49.99        (List Price: $119.95)

Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker 11 in 1 with Air Fryer, 8 Qt

Prime Deal:  $119.99             (List Price: $179.95)

Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Slow Cooker with Sous Vide, 8 Quart

Prime Deal: $69.99              (List Price:$149.95)

Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set, 12 Piece

Prime Deal:  $119.99          (List Price: $149.99)

Bar Cart

Prime Deal: $109.99              (List Price: $119.99)

Patio Set

Prime Deal: $239.99            (List Price: $299.98)

Vacuums

BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Bagless Vacuum

Prime Deal: $97.99       (List Price: $159.99)

iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa

Prime Deal: $199.99              (List Price: $319.99)

Electronics

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa

Prime Deal:$18.99     ( List Price: $49.99)

 

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, 7″ Display, 16 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case

Prime Deal: $59.99 (List Price: $99.99)

Fire HD 10 Tablet (10.1″ 1080p full HD display, 32 GB)

Prime Deal: $79.99 (List Price: $149.99)

Early Christmas Shopping?

Crayola Inspiration Art Case in Pink, Coloring Set

Prime Deal: $17.49 (List Price: $24.99)

Discovery Kids Gemstone Dig Stem Science Kit

Prime Deal: $8.99 (List Price: $19.99)

Lego Chain Reactions Science Activity Kit

Prime Deals: $17.43 (List Price: $21.99)

Elmer’s Slime Kit

Prime Deal: $19.98 ( List Price: $29.99)

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Lights Groovy Babe Fashion Doll with 15 Surprises

Prime Deal: $19.84 List Price: $24.99

Columbia Kid’s Snow Boots (variety of colors)

Prime Deal: $26.40 ( List Price: $55.00)

Kid’s Winter Coat

Prime Deal: $26.99 List Price: $31.99

Check out these deals and more!

Cocktails/ Culinary Tales

Fireball Caramel Apple Floats

Fireball Whisky is one of my favorites, especially when we’re talking fall. Whisky with the most perfect undertones of cinnamon! I love drinking it and I love cooking with it! So, with September creeping in, I knew I wanted to make these Fireball Caramel Apple Floats!

They are very, very easy to do! All you need for these boozy treats are Fireball Whisky, Vanilla Ice Cream, Caramel, and Apple Cider..

Fireball Caramel Apple Floats

Start with a big old glass, add two-three scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Next, add about a half a cup of apple cider. Pour the cider

And now most importantly add the Fireball! I did about a shot in each. You can make it weaker or stronger depending on how you like it.

You can even substitute the Apple Cider for Hard Apple Cider if you wish!

The final touch is caramel! Drizzle on a nice helping of caramel and garnish with an apple slice.

Fireball Caramel Apple Floats

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Fireball Whisky
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1 Tbsp Caramel
  • 2 Scoops Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Instructions

1

In a tall glass add 2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream.

2

Next, add 1-2 ounces of Fireball Whisky.

3

Fill with Apple Cider.

4

Drizzle generously with Caramel!

Looking for more Fireball recipes? Check out these equally easy & amazing Fireball Glazed Fried Apples .

Culinary Tales/ Meats

Instant Pot Beef with Broccoli

Beef with Broccoli

When I’m not busy cooking away in the kitchen, I love ordering take out just as much. And Chinese Food is one of my favorites! Today I was really craving Beef with Broccoli, and it’s one of my son’s favorites too! So, I decided to make it in the instant pot with this super tender, & deliciously flavorful Instant Pot Beef with Broccoli!

Note: You can also make this recipe in the crock pot. (I’ll include that variation at the end of the recipe.)

Instant Pot Beef with Broccoli

First, start by making your marinade. Make the marinade by combining: soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce, minced onion, mirin, onion powder, ginger powder, garlic, and a little rice wine vinegar. Set one and a half cups aside in the fridge for later! Leave the rest out to add to the steak!

Place your steak on the cutting board and slice it into one inch strips. Next, marinate your steak overnight.

Place the steak in a ziplock bag; Add the marinade you made above. Zip the bag and place it in the fridge over night.

When you’re ready to make it, remove the steak from the fridge.


On the Instant Pot, turn the Sauté setting on. Add half of the steak strips, browning them for a few moments on both sides. Place them on a plate/bowl and put the rest of the steak into the pot to sauté. Repeat until they are all browned.
Then add the first batches back into the pot as well!

Next, add the extra cup and a half of marinade (The one you set aside in the fridge yesterday) into the pot as well. Add the broccoli. Switch to the Slow Cook setting and place the lid back on. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes. Release the steam!

Let it cool for a few moments and Serve with rice!

Optional garnish: Green Onions & Sesame Seeds!

Instant Pot Beef with Broccoli

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Small Sirloin Steaks (or one Flank Steak)
  • Bunch Broccoli
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger Powder
  • Minced Onion
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Mirin
  • Cornstarch

Instructions

1

Make the marinade: combine soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce, minced onion, mirin, onion powder, ginger powder, garlic, and a little rice wine vinegar.

2

Set one and a half cups aside in the fridge for later! Leave the rest out to add to the steak!

3

Place your steak on the cutting board and slice it into one inch strips. Next, marinate your steak overnight.

4

Place the steak in a ziploc bag; Add the marinade you made above. Zip the bag and place it in the fridge over night.

5

Remove the steak from the fridge.

6

Turn the Sauté setting on. Add half of the steak strips, browning them for a few moments on both sides.

7

Place them on a plate/bowl and put the rest of the steak into the pot to sauté. Repeat until they are all browned.

8

Then add the first batches back into the pot as well!

9

Add the extra cup and a half of marinade (The one you set aside in the fridge yesterday) into the pot as well. Add the broccoli. Switch to the Slow Cook setting and place the lid back on.

10

Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.

11

Release the steam!

Notes

To make this in the crock pot: Prepare the steak as you would above, by marinating over night, When you're ready to cook it sear the strips of steak on the stove top. Once they're browned place them in the crock pot. Add the extra marinade and the broccoli. Cook on low for about four hours! The meat and broccoli should be nice and tender and ready to eat!

Culinary Tales/ Sweet Things

Espresso Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

ALL about coffee in the morning over here! In fact, I’m definitely one of those people that just feels like I’m not awake yet, until after that first cup! To celebrate National Coffee Day I’m making these fabulous little Espresso Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins. Not only do they have coffee in them but, they will also pair perfectly with your morning cup!

They have a dark chocolate base with Espresso Chocolate Chips that have a subtle but, delicious coffee flavor! The chocolate chips are made with real coffee too.

These also freeze perfectly! Which I love, because that means I can pull one out whenever I want!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

To make these yummy mocha-licious muffins, you’ll need: flour, salt, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, coffee, espresso chocolate chips, brown sugar, butter, sugar, eggs, & milk.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, and brown sugar) together in a large bowl. Now in a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (vanilla extract, milk, butter, eggs, and coffee together.

Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the dry, mixing thoroughly with a hand mixer.

Scoop the muffin batter into each individual muffin liner, leave about a half an inch of room from the top in each.

Add a handful of the espresso chocolate chips on top of each scoop of muffin batter.

Place pan in oven. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, turning the pan half way though (at about 5 minutes). This will help them bake evenly! When the timer goes off, do the toothpick test by taking the pan out and sticking a toothpick through the middle of the muffins, if it comes out clean they are ready! Allow them to cool and remove from pan!

Any muffins not eaten within a few days can be kept frozen for 2-3 weeks! Amazing alone and the perfect coffee companion!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Print Recipe
Serves: 24 Cooking Time: 30 minutes total

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 6 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Butter (melted)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Coffee (Brewed & Cooled)
  • 1 Cup Espresso Chocolate Chips (I used Nestle Tollhouse)

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2

Place mini muffin liners in a 24 cup mini muffin pan. Set aside.

3

Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, and brown sugar) together in a large bowl.

4

In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (vanilla extract, milk, butter, eggs, and coffee together)

5

Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the dry, mixing thoroughly with a hand mixer.

6

Scoop the muffin batter into each individual muffin liner, leave about a half an inch of room from the top in each.

7

Add a handful of the espresso chocolate chips on top of each scoop of muffin batter.

8

Place the pan in the oven.

9

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, turning the pan half way though (at about 5 minutes). This will help them bake evenly!

10

When the timer goes off, do the toothpick test by taking the pan out and sticking a toothpick through the middle of the muffins, if it comes out clean they are ready!

11

Allow them to cool and remove from pan!

12

Enjoy!

Looking for more muffin recipes? Check out these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins !

Culinary Tales/ Sweet Things

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cake is a sweet combination of Chocolate and Cherry, a classic cake choice. Making it in a handheld cupcake form only seems right! These moist, chocolate cupcakes are topped with a creamy, cherry frosting and filled with the sweet cherry cream! Read on for the full recipe to make these Black Forest Cupcakes!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in a pan.

In a large bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Gradually add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and butter. Mix well until there are no lumps.

Fill the cupcake liners leaving about an inch from the top.

Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let them cool completely.

Once they’re cool you can use a cupcake corer (or a knife) to remove a small circle out of the middle of each cupcake.

To prepare the frosting you’ll need cool whip, frozen cherries, and brown sugar. Mix them together in the food processor. Once it’s thoroughly mixed you can spoon some into the middle of the cupcke.

This frosting is so yummy, try not to eat it all before you get it on the cupcakes! Use the rest to cover the top!

This frosting is a little thin, but it really does stick to the top (kind of like the frosting on hostess cupcakes). It’s perfect because it pairs so well with the chocolate!

Finally, Garnish them with a cherry. Refrigerate for about twenty minutes before serving!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Print Recipe
Serves: 24

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes
  • 1/2 Cup Butter (softened)
  • 3 Eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • Frosting
  • 1 Cup of Cherries (Frozen or Fresh pitted)
  • 1 Tub Cool Whip
  • 4 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners!

2

In a large bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

3

Gradually add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and butter. Mix well until there are no lumps.

4

Fill the cupcake liners leaving about an inch from the top.

5

Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6

Let them cool completely.

7

Once they're cool use a cupcake corer (or a knife) to remove a small circle out of the middle of each cupcake.

8

Prepare the frosting you'll need cool whip, frozen cherries, and brown sugar. Mix them together in the food processor. Once it's thoroughly mixed you can spoon some into the middle of the cupcake.

9

Then cover the top and garnish them with a cherry.

10

Refrigerate for twenty minutes or more!

Cocktails/ Culinary Tales

Pina Colada Sangria

Pina Colada Sangria is the Summer Drink you didn’t even know you needed! Mix up one of these and sit back & relax!

Coconut, Pineapple, and Cherry rounded out with Riesling and some other tropical flavors. This summer cocktail is refreshingly satisfying !

Pina Colada Sangria

You’ll need Malibu Rum, Banana Liqeuer, Grenadine, Roscato, Pineapple Juice, Cherries, Shredded Coconut, & Pineapple Chunks.

First, get ready to rim your glass. Pour a little bit of the shredded coconut on to a plate. Using a pineapple slice run it along the top of your glass’s rim. Dip the rim into the shredded coconut. It should stick to the rim.

Next, add the grenadine, cherries, and pineapple juice to the glass. Muddle the fruit, using a muddler or a spoon!

Add ice to the glass. Pour in the Malibu Rum, Banana Liqueur, and Pineapple Juice.

Stir well. Fill the rest of the way with Roscato.


Garnish with a pineapple slice and a cherry!

Pina Colada Sangria

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Coconut Rum
  • 1/2 oz Banana Liquer
  • 1 Cup Roscato
  • 1/2 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • Splash Grenadine
  • 2 Cherries (one for garnish)
  • 3 Pineapple Slices (one for garnish)
  • Shredded Coconut for garnish

Instructions

1

Rim glass. Pour a little bit of the shredded coconut on to a plate. Using a pineapple slice run it along the top of your glass's rim. Dip the rim into the shredded coconut. It should stick to the rim.

2

Add the grenadine, cherries, and pineapple juice to the glass.

3

Muddle the fruit, using a muddler or a spoon!

4

Add ice to the glass. Pour in the Malibu Rum, Banana Liqueur, and Pineapple Juice.

5

Stir well. Fill the rest of the way with Roscato.

6

Garnish with a pineapple slice and a cherry!



Tip

Going camping or to the beach? Make the sangria ahead of time rightt in a mason jar. Simply pack it in your cooler and stick a straw right on in or pour into a cup over ice from the cooler!

Culinary Tales/ Sweet Things

Cherry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Bars

These sweet bars are the best of both worlds! Sugar Cookie meets Cherry Cheesecake. Cherry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Bars are easy to make and oh so yummy! These don’t last long in our house, and Christmas or Thanksgiving watch out, these desserts are the first to go.

Cherry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Bars

I’ll be using prepared sugar cookie dough, neufchatel cheese (Which is basically the same as cream cheese, it just has less fat. You can use either.), sugar, cherry pie filling, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. Spray with non stick spray.

In a bowl mix the sugar, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and neufchatel cheese. Set aside.

After that take your cookie dough out of the fridge and spread it out evenly on the bottom of your lined pan.

Then, add the cream cheese mixture on top.

Finally, place the pan in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. You can tell the bars are done when it starts to brown on top and after you place a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean!

Let the bars cool completely. Cut them into squares and add the cherry topping.

They taste best eaten within a day or two but, they can easily be frozen for a few weeks as well!

Cherry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Bars

Print Recipe
Serves: 12 Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 16 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Can Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Tsp Sour Cream
  • 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Eggs

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2

Line a 9x13 Pyrex Dish with parchment paper.

3

Spray with non stick spray.

4

In a bowl mix the sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon juice, sour cream, and cream cheese. Set aside.

5

Take your cookie dough out of the fridge and spread it out evenly on the bottom of your lined pan.

6

Add the cream cheese mixture on top. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes.

7

Turn the pan around halfway through.

8

Place a toothpick in the middle and when it comes out clean they are ready!

9

Let the bars cool completely. Add the cherry topping.

10

Cut into squares!

Cocktails/ Culinary Tales

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

There is nothing better then an icy, slushy, beverage to keep cool while enjoying these Summer months. These Frozen Watermelon Margaritas are one of my absolute favorites.

To make these Frozen Watermelon Margaritas you’ll need Silver Tequila, Margarita Mix, Fresh Watermelon, and some limes!

If you prefer you can make a Margarita Mix from scratch. Super easy , in fact you can follow my Easy Margarita Mix Recipe .

Or you can also buy a premade margarita mix, when making frozen margaritas – I really prefer the Bacardi Mixers Margarita Mix you find in the cans at the grocery store, in the frozen section by the juices.

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

Start by rimming your glass, you can use salt or sugar. I love sugar on mine so, I used a red sugar I had on hand.

Next, slice up some of your limes – you’ll use some of them to squeeze fresh lime juice in to the blender. But, set a few aside that you can serve with your finished drink!

Finally, Cube up some watermelon! Make sure you use seedless.

Now you’re ready to start mixing! In a blender, add the margarita mix, watermelon cubes, and tequila. Squeeze about 4 lime wedges in to the blender, discarding the rind. Add ice and blend well.

Pour your frozen drink into the rimmed glass! Add a watermelon cube and lime slice for garnish. Voila! A delicious and fresh Frozen Watermelon Margarita to help you beat the heat!

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Watermelon Chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Silver Tequila
  • 4 oz Margarita Mix
  • 2 Limes
  • Ice

Instructions

1

Rim your glass with sugar.

2

Combine Tequila, Margarita Mix, & Watermelon Chunks in blender.

3

Add ice and squeeze in limes.

4

Blend well on high until ice is completely blended!

5

Pour in glass and garnish with watermelon chunk and a lime slice.

On a Watermelon kick? Check out my luscious Watermelon Daiquiri recipe!

Cocktails/ Culinary Tales

Red, White, and Boozy Cocktails

Growing up Bomb Pops or Firecracker Popsicles were an essential part of Summer. Especially on the Fourth of July! Today reminiscent of that I’m making a Boozy version for all the adults out there! These Red, White, and Boozy Cocktails are so delicious with layers of Coconut, Strawberry Watermelon, and Blue you can’t go wrong!

To make these Boozy Bomb Pops, I picked up a bottle of Smirnoff Red, White, and Berry Vodka, Blue Cuaraco, and some Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka.

This one takes a little more effort then my other recipes but, it is oh so worth it! If you’re making them for a crowd you can make a larger quantity of each “layer” at a time. Pouring it in the cups as you go. Read on for the full recipe!

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