Trick or Treat: Caramel Apple Cocktails

Happy Halloween!

Things are a little different this year without the kids at home for this fun holiday. Trick or Treating went by the wayside years ago, but you’re never too old for a bonfire or holiday themed food with teenagers.

But here we are; our first empty nest Halloween!

And Audley and I plan to treat ourselves!

One of my favorite fall highlights is apple season. This year I didn’t get to pick my own, but I still made a trip up to my favorite north Alabama orchard with Momma. Crow Mountain really has the best apples!! It’s always fun to decide how to use them, and this year I changed it up from dessert to a delectable and over-21 grown-up Halloween treat ….

Caramel Apple Cocktails

The ingredient list is short: large apples (I love a Granny Smith) that you’ve hollowed into a “glass”, melted caramel to rim your apples, apple cider (try to find local), Crown Royal Vanilla, Ellington Reserve Salted Caramel Whisky (use airplane bottles), and brown sugar.

Wash and dry your apples, then slice the tops off and hollow out the inside of the apple. Don’t go all the way to the bottom or your cocktail “glass” will leak. I used a spoon for hollowing out the apple.

Rim the edge of your apple with melted caramel. Since you will be working around juicy apples, this works best when spooned around the edge. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Also sprinkle a little brown sugar inside the apple.

To mix the cocktail (for 2) heat 5 ounces of apple cider, then add 1.5 ounces of the caramel apple whisky, 1 ounce vanilla Crown, and stir. Pour into the apples you’ve made into glasses.

Pour into the apple glasses, garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy!

These take just a few minutes to prepare; keeping you in a Halloween frame of mind while toasting an empty nest!

And don’t waste your apple! When you’ve finished your drink, slice the apple to eat for a spiked caramel apple treat!

McCray’s Tavern East Cobb; A Review

Last weekend Tammie and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner out in Marietta at McCray’s Tavern and Pour House. Since moving to the northwest-side of Atlanta over the summer I’ve not been out much to see what all the area has to offer, so I was excited to go to dinner… and who doesn’t love a girlfriend’s night out?!

This was not my first visit to McCray’s; they have four locations throughout metro Atlanta and I have eaten (and thoroughly enjoyed my visit) at the location in Lawrenceville. McCray’s East Cobb is brand new, braving the coronapocalypse to open this year!

With a new chef on board, McCray’s is showcasing a modern twist on old tavern fare with a new menu, exciting original cocktails and local craft beers. McCray’s has also reached out to local sources for beef, chicken and even bringing in seafood from the Gulf for the freshest and tastiest of menus.

McCray’s East Cobb creates a modern but inviting atmosphere and is family friendly. If you want to catch the latest televised sporting event, McCray’s has you covered with flat screen tv’s conveniently placed where everyone can watch! Our server was delightful and the food was absolutely delicious!

For appetizers Tammie enjoyed a grilled shrimp salad while I savored the tuna tartare.

For our entrees Tammie tackled the double cut pork chop with mashed potatoes and green beans.

I went with traditional tavern fare and enjoyed the “Tavern Dip” (prime rib, horseradish cream, caramelized onions and au jus) and fries.

We were so satisfied … ok, we were stuffed … with just dinner, but enjoyed dessert anyway; splitting the Creme Brûlée with berries.

McCray’s East Cobb will definitely be a restaurant I’ll return to in the future, and soon, as they are hosting Sips & Stogies on October 22!  Audley says make reservations, so I’m looking forward to date night as well! You can make your own reservation for Sips & Stogies by clicking here.

If you’re on the northwest side of Atlanta, or just passing through looking for good food in a welcoming environment, definitely visit McCray’s!

Make a reservation at 404-800-3553 and check out McCray’s today!

4880 Lower Roswell Road, Ste 850

Marietta, Georgia 30968

Make Your Own Pumpkin Cream Coffee

I absolutely love coffee.

Savoring a large cup or two in the quiet morning hours has become a necessary and important part of my daily routine. There are mornings I even wake up early to make sure I have this coffee time before we have places to be, including Sunday mornings before worship.

I’m also quite fond of pumpkin spice season at Starbucks. That first sip of pumpkin cream cold brew is the highlight of September 1 each year and I relish each cup throughout the fall. Living just outside Atlanta I don’t go out for just coffee though, unless I have plans. With the kiddos grown there isn’t as much running around going on. Besides paying $5 for coffee every time I go out the door definitely adds up.

But, I still want to enjoy pumpkin spice during this fall season.

So I’ve come up with my own “copycat” recipe to enjoy at home or on the go.

It’s super easy to make and fits in our budget much better. The best part of all is it is delicious on hot as well as iced coffee!

The ingredients for the cream topping are simple: You’ll need heavy whipping cream, pumpkin purée (homemade is best so that you are getting actual pumpkin & not a “squash mixture”), brown sugar and of course pumpkin spice.

This works best made in small batches; in other words, coffee for one.

For one cup of 8 ounce coffee, using a frother whisk a 1/4 cup cream, 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin purée, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, a one pinch pumpkin spice. This should be slightly thickened and easily pourable. This is how your coffee is sweetened and needs to drift to the bottom some.

Pour your hot coffee into a mug. Then top with the cream. Garnish with pumpkin pie spice and enjoy alone or with a friend if you must.

BTW, this is really delicious when made with vanilla coffee.

The iced coffee is similarly assembled; add ice and 8 ounces of coffee, then pour the pumpkin cream over the top. Give it a quick stir to help the cream drop.

Just a couple of quick notes:

First, don’t over spice the top. It should be very subtle & when drinking you DO NOT want to inhale or sip pure pumpkin pie spice! Second, there is a reason Starbucks doesn’t give you a straw for your ICED pumpkin cream coffee … if you sip through a straw you only get a mouthful of Cold. Black coffee. If you drink from the top, you will relish the rich pumpkin cream with each sip.

Learn from my mistakes people.

And enjoy your coffee.

Wonderful World of Disney — Sweet Treats Edition

In the last five years we’ve been able to visit Disney in several forms from a Cruise, parks, resorts to just stopping and shopping at Disney Springs while passing through. One thing is for certain, the wonderful world of Disney loves its sweet treats and puts so much effort into every confection no matter where you are!

Recently while in Orlando visiting Hollywood Studios I couldn’t help but capture some of these delights to share with you!

“This much I know. If you are what you eat, then I only wanna eat the good stuff.” — Ratatouille

From marshmallows to apples dipped in chocolate the Mickey theme is everywhere you turn!

And Mickey tastes delicious!

Of course many of your other classic characters make an appearance in sweet shops as well. Goofy’s Candy Company in Disney Springs is one of my favorite stops.

I’m a firm believer that calories don’t count at a Disney, so while I did enjoy some of these treats, I brought home the rest for Audley to enjoy!

As Winnie the Pooh says, “I wasn’t going to eat it, I was just gonna taste it.”

Sweet treats in the parks are often themed to match where you are. While in Galaxy’s Edge I stopped by the Milk Stand and shared blue and green milk with ” The Child “.

In case you’ve wondered (and the Instagram poll I conducted proved it), blue milk is the best!

Regardless of your preference for blue or green milk, it’s a very refreshing treat on a humid Florida afternoon.

Fantastic confections were also found at the new Riviera Resort. Made fresh daily you could grab a cupcake to eat while savoring your coffee or a delectable cheesecake to enjoy for dessert after a Tuna Niçoise salad.

 

And while the sugary treats are mouth-watering and hip expanding, you can’t visit Disney without enjoying Mickey Mouse shaped waffles. They are my most favorite treat of all!

A happy way to begin the day indeed!

“You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces.” — The Princess and the Frog