Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup

This soup is a hearty, cozy bowl of comfort food perfect for warming up a chilly day. Black bean sweet potato soup requires some chopping, but the flavor it packs is worth a little effort. This recipe will help you eat up those extra veggies, and is thickened with black beans making it naturally gluten free.

Ingredients for Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup

4 Tbsp olive oil – divided
1 medium onion – diced
1 red bell pepper – diced
2 large carrots – peeled and diced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 large sweet potato – peeled and diced
2 – 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed – divided
32 oz low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 roma tomatoes – diced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
3 cups baby spinach – washed and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp cumin 
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Place 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

Add onion, bell pepper, carrots and dried parsley. 

Cook until onion is translucent (3-4 mins).

Add sweet potato, 1 can of black beans, and broth. 

Stir and cook until soup reaches a bubble. 

Reduce heat, cover and cook until carrots and sweet potatoes are tender. (About 10 minutes)

While soup is cooking, place remaining 1 can of black beans, remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, and garlic powder in a food processor

Pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the food processor as necessary. 

Set aside. 

Once carrots and sweet potatoes are tender, add tomatoes, spinach, corn, chili powder, cumin, nutmeg, salt, and black bean mixture to the pot. 

Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted and soup is heated through. 

Enjoy! 

Tips on Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup

  • If using fresh corn, cut it off the cob and add it in with the sweet potato. 
  • This recipe is vegetarian and vegan when using vegetable broth. 
  • Do not use frozen spinach instead of fresh. If you don’t have fresh spinach, just leave it out of the recipe. 
  • You can use any kind of onion or color pepper you’d like.

Enjoy Your Soup with…

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

A side of fluffy, garlic cheddar biscuits goes deliciously with this soup.

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Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup

Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup


  • Author: MittenGirl
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 50min

Description

This soup is a hearty, cozy bowl of comfort food perfect for warming up a chilly day. 


Scale

Ingredients

4 Tbsp olive oil – divided
1 medium onion – diced
1 red bell pepper – diced
2 large carrots – peeled and diced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 large sweet potato – peeled and diced
2 – 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed – divided
32 oz low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 roma tomatoes – diced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
3 cups baby spinach – washed and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp cumin 
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar


Instructions

Place 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

Add onion, bell pepper, carrots and dried parsley. 

Cook until onion is translucent (3-4 mins).

Add sweet potato, 1 can of black beans, and broth. 

Stir and cook until soup reaches a bubble. 

Reduce heat, cover and cook until carrots and sweet potatoes are tender. (About 10 minutes)

While soup is cooking, place remaining 1 can of black beans, remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, and garlic powder in a food processor

Pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the food processor as necessary. 

Set aside. 

Once carrots and sweet potatoes are tender, add tomatoes, spinach, corn, chili powder, cumin, nutmeg, salt, and black bean mixture to the pot. 

Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted and soup is heated through. 

Enjoy! 

  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: black bean, sweet potato, soup, vegetable soup, vegetarian, gluten free

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Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

Admittedly, the method for making this soup is a little unusual. But thanks to some time in the oven, my Roasted Tomato Soup is full of big flavor and comes together easily. You even get a break while it’s hanging out in the oven to do something else. Like make biscuits. Or a cocktail. Or take a nap. Your choice!

Ingredients for Roasted Tomato Soup:

8 roma tomatoes (or 4 large tomatoes), chopped
1 cup sweet onion, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place tomatoes, onion, garlic and carrots into a high sided, metal 9×13” pan

Chopped vegetables ready to go in the oven

Sprinkle veggies with pepper, salt, basil and oregano. 

Pour balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the vegetables. 

Toss well to coat every vegetable piece with oil and spices. 

Chopped vegetables, covered in olive oil and spices, ready to go in the oven.

Put in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. 

Remove veggies from the oven. 

Toss the vegetables in the pan and add the chicken broth.  

Pouring chicken broth in a pan of roasted tomatoes and other vegetables

Return the pan of veggies to the oven and roast 20 minutes more, or until carrots are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. 

Remove from the oven and allow the veggies to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Carefully pour the contents of the pan into a blender. 

Puree the mixture until smooth. 

NOTE: If you are making this for meal prep, stop at this point and put the soup in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. Then remove it from the fridge and follow the directions below.

Pour the soup into a large pot and warm on the stove to desired temperature before serving. 

Enjoy! 

Tips on Roasted Tomato Soup 

  • If your soup is too thick for your preference after blending, add in up to 1 cup of additional broth. 
  • Low sodium broth is important in this recipe.  
  • A metal pan is important for browning and developing flavor during roasting. A glass pan will work, but you’ll lose the depth of the flavor that roasting gives the veggies. 
  • Do not use a sheet pan for roasting the veggies. Your pan needs to have high sides on it in order to contain the broth. 
  • Chop the carrots into 1” or smaller pieces. Otherwise they won’t cook completely with the other veggies and your soup won’t be smooth.
  • Enjoy with your favorite grilled cheese sandwiches, and lots of Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy it with…

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

This soup is fantastic with a side of fluffy garlic cheddar biscuits.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup


  • Author: MittenGirl
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 45 min

Description

But thanks to lot of oven time, this Roasted Tomato Soup is full of big flavor and comes together easily.


Scale

Ingredients

8 roma tomatoes (or 4 large tomatoes), chopped
1 cup sweet onion, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth


Instructions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place tomatoes, onion, garlic and carrots into a high sided, metal 9×13” pan

Sprinkle veggies with pepper, salt, basil and oregano. 

Pour balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the vegetables. 

Toss well to coat every vegetable piece with oil and spices. 

Put in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. 

Remove veggies from the oven. 

Toss the vegetables in the pan before adding chicken broth.  

Return the pan of veggies to the oven and roast 20 minutes more, or until carrots are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. 

Remove from the oven and allow the veggies to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Carefully pour the contents of the pan into a blender. 

Puree the mixture until smooth. 

NOTE: If you are making this for meal prep, stop at this point and put the soup in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. Then remove it from the fridge and follow the directions below.

Pour the soup into a large pot and warm on the stove to desired temperature before serving. 

  • Category: soup
  • Method: roasting
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: roasted tomato soup, tomato soup, vegetable soup. roasting vegetables in the oven

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Roasted Tomato Soup

Lavender Bee’s Knees

Bitters give a cocktail that certain something, and in this Lavender Bee’s Knees they are the key ingredient. The addition of lavender bitters creates a delicious twist on a classic gin cocktail. Garnish with a sugar rim to make your cocktail extra special.

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz gin (I love New Holland’s Knickerbocker Gin)⁠
1 oz fresh lemon juice⁠
1 oz honey syrup
4 dashes lavender bitters (I use Scrappy’s)

Combine everything together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake well. 

Strain into a glass.

Enjoy! ⁠

Tips on Lavender Bee’s Knees 

  • Fresh lemon juice is a must in this drink.
  • Make the honey syrup ahead of time so it has lots of time to chill before you make your cocktail. 
  • Add a little sweetness with a sugar rim. Before you make your cocktail, run a lemon slice on the edge of your glass and dip the glass into a shallow plate of raw or colored sugar.

Snack Pairing

Bacon Wrapped Dates

The tartness of this Lavender Bee’s Knees cocktail goes perfectly with the salty richness of Bacon Wrapped Dates.

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Lavender Bee's Knees

Lavender Bee’s Knees


  • Author: MittenGirl
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x

Description

The addition of lavender bitters creates a delicious twist on a classic gin cocktail


Scale

Ingredients

2 oz gin (I love New Holland’s Knickerbocker Gin)⁠
1 oz lemon juice⁠
1 oz honey syrup⁠ 
3 dashes lavender bitters (I use Scrappy’s)


Instructions

Combine everything together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake well. 

Strain into a glass.

  • Category: Cocktails

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1

Keywords: gin cocktail, lavender bitters, bees knees, lavender bees knees, gin drinks, classic cocktail, classic drink

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Lavender Bee's Knees

Goal Setting 101

Having a set of actionable goals to guide you throughout the year builds confidence and creates a sense of personal pride and accomplishment. But goal setting can be tricky. Let’s walk through it together.

Do you set goals for yourself? 

Do they stick? Or do you find yourself forgetting about them?   

2021 marks my fourth year setting multiple, year-long goals for myself. I focus on the parts of my life where change feels the most needed and aim to make a significant, permanent change. 

Since goals are not resolutions or wishes, each goal is specific and gets broken down into the steps I’m going to take to accomplish it. Breaking it down into the “how” is what gives me the ability to make a goal happen. 

How I Set Goals

If I’m having trouble choosing goals to set, I’ll look at broad areas of my life – professional, personal/hobby, health, etc – and brainstorm a goal for each area. This has helped discover and define where my priorities are at that moment. 

Here are some of the goals I’ve set over the past 3 years along with their “how” steps: 

Goal: Improve my mental health.

How: 

  • Schedule med checks with my doctor to discuss/improve my Rx regimen.
  • Schedule appointments with a therapist and begin counseling sessions.

Goal: Build a regular exercise routine and stick to it. 

How: 

  • Morning workouts: 30 mins; 5 days/week. 
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night (bedtime: 10pm; wake up: 5:30am) 
  • Accountability – Track the number of consecutive weeks of exercise. 

Goal: Cultivate and grow more professional connections. 

How: 

  • Schedule at least 1 lunch or coffee date per week with a past colleague or contact. 
  • Find and join a committee for a non-profit I like and volunteer my time. 
  • Research local conferences in my field and attend 2 by the end of the year. 

Goal: Reduce stress and anxiety. 

How: 

  • Build a guided meditation routine = Start with 10 mins/day, 3 days/week.
  • Read 1 fiction book per month just for fun.

Goal: Reduce my alcohol consumption. 

How: 

  • Limit alcohol to 8 total drinks per week. 
  • Have 2 alcohol-free days per week. 

I don’t set a large volume of goals. No more than 3-4 per year, total. The point is to succeed by the end of the year, even if (when!) I have to reset/restart my work a few times to get there. That’s also why I print off my goals and put them in a frame next to my bed. Literally!

My goal sheet sitting next to my bedside.

At night when I go to sleep, I look at my goals list, think about the ways I’m accomplishing them, and remind myself that this is for long term gain. It’s about taking small steps, consistently and continuously, which will lead to accomplishing the overall goal. 

Continuing Previous Goals 

Because many of my goals don’t have an end date to them, I’ve run into the issue of not wanting those I’d already started to get lost among a set of new goals. So I’ve added a continuation section to the bottom of my goals list. 

That list includes continuing to: 

  • see my therapist
  • read 1 fiction book a month. 
  • exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
  • have 2 alcohol-free days per week. 

Flexibility in Goal Setting is Important

What you think will work at the beginning of the year – or whenever you’re setting a goal – may not hold true as the year progresses. Curveballs are inevitable. (Pandemic!)

To keep myself on track, I added a few “rules” to some of my goals. 

For example, any kind of exercise counts – yoga, walking, weights – as long as I’m moving my body for 30 minutes. And while a weekly lunch with a current or former colleague is great, lunches to connect with family and friends count too. 

I also adjust the “how” part of my goals throughout the year, so long as the new steps continue to help me achieve the goal. 

Early on, I changed “build a guided meditation routine” to “build a regular yoga practice” when I realized that I liked yoga WAY better than meditating and both achieve the same goal of reducing stress. 

You Can Do This

Giving yourself a year to achieve a few, actionable goals gives you lots of chances to start again. And if you find yourself starting over repeatedly, then it’s time to take a hard look at that goal and determine if now is the right time for it, and/or if your how steps need to change. And if they do, CHANGE THEM! 

Goal setting can seem daunting, but it’s about mastering the tiny steps. Because a lot of tiny steps make a big step, and a lot of big steps achieve a goal. 

You’ve got this! Now it’s time to take that first step. 

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How to set and achieve your goals

My Favorite Recipes for Meal Prep

Spending a couple hours of the weekend doing meal prep and planning out dinners pays off big time during a busy week. Below are some of my favorite recipes for meal prep that help me put together quick, weekday dinners.

Do you find yourself running out of time to make healthy, home cooked meals during the week? Or just not wanting to cook by the time dinner comes? I do. So I started meal prepping on the weekends so I could stop relying on prepackaged, frozen food and takeout for dinners.

Check out my tried and true meal prep recipes that keep us eating well at home.

Hidden Veggie Meat Sauce

Hidden Veggie Meat Sauce

Hidden Veggie Meat Sauce is a large batch recipe that’s my go-to for those “I don’t want to cook” nights. It’s also great for the “I forgot to thaw something out” nights, because you can freeze it flat and thaw it in a sink of water. Warm the sauce, and toss it with cooked pasta or gnocchi to have dinner on the table in no time.

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal is one of the recipes I make the most. My 5 year old loves these “muffins” for breakfast and has no idea that they’re actually really good for her. Full of oatmeal and flax seed – and naturally sweetened – baked oatmeal freezes really well and is super easy to reheat for an easy grab-and-go breakfast.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled pork cooked in your slow cooker is an easy way to get a jump start on dinner for the week. Get the recipe for slow cooker pulled pork plus 3 ways to use it – tacos, sandwiches, and gnocchi. That’s 3 different meals from cooking 1 pork roast. Serious meal prep win!

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce is rich and creamy, but contains no dairy. It’s actually vegan! Roasting tomatoes, onions and garlic in the oven until they’re super soft and tender creates a depth of flavor that you can’t get any other way. Use this sauce on pasta, tossed with pan-fried gnocchi, or as pizza sauce.

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is a meal prep secret weapon. I know – it’s not a meal – but having a jar of roasted garlic on hand will make anything you quickly toss together taste like it’s been slow cooking all day. Smash up roasted garlic cloves and mix into butter for THE BEST garlic bread. Toss mashed cloves into potatoes, rice, quinoa, or any cooked grain to up the flavor.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Did you know you can roast a whole chicken in your slow cooker? This was a game changer for me. I love having shredded, cooked chicken on hand for using in salads, sandwiches, and pastas. Or just having a super juicy, tender chicken for dinner. This completely replaced stopping at the store for a rotisserie chicken after work.

Meatballs

Meatballs

Meatballs were one of the frozen foods I was relying on a lot before I started meal prepping, so it became the first thing I wanted to make myself. This recipe makes 3 dozen meatballs that freeze perfectly and can be reheated in 10 minutes. Toss with store-bought BBQ sauce, a jar of Alfredo sauce, or my roasted tomato sauce for a super quick meal.

Roast Veggies

Roast Vegetables

Roasting veggies in the oven is a great way to get more vegetables in your diet. Keep them in the fridge and you have a simple, easy meal or side dish when tossed with cooked pasta, rice, or quinoa. Bonus: Cooked produce takes longer to spoil, so you’re more likely to eat up all those veggies you bought.

Do you prep your meals ahead of time? What are your favorite recipes for meal prep? Let me know in the comments below!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a small commission. 

Elderflower Margarita

A subtle twist on a classic cocktail, this elderflower margarita will definitely level up your Taco Tuesdays. This is a great cocktail if you’re unfamiliar with elderflower liqueur. The flavor enhances but doesn’t overpower the lime.

Makes 1 cocktail

2 oz silver tequila
1 oz elderflower liqueur (I use St. Germain)
2 oz fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
1 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz triple sec 
Lime wedges for garnish

Prep your glass: 

Run a wedge of lime around the rim of your glass. 

Pour some salt into a shallow dish and gently run the rim of your glass through the salt. 

Fill your salted glass with ice. 

Set aside. 

Make your margarita:

Combine everything in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake well. 

Pour into the prepared glass. 

Enjoy!

Tips on Elderflower Margarita

  • Fresh lime juice is important here! Don’t use bottled lime juice. Buy some limes and juice them right before you make the cocktail. Roll the limes on the counter while pressing down firmly to get the most juice out of them.
  • Skip the salt if you don’t like it on your rim, or swap the salt for sugar.
  • Love a twist on the classic margarita? Try my Citrus Margaritas and Watermelon Margaritas recipes.

Snack Pairing

Corn and Avocado Salsa

Enjoy your elderflower margarita with this fresh and creamy avocado corn salsa.

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Elderflower Margarita

Elderflower Margarita


  • Author: MittenGirl
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x

Description

A subtle twist on a classic cocktail, this elderflower margarita will definitely level up your Taco Tuesdays.


Scale

Ingredients

2 oz silver tequila
1 oz elderflower liqueur (I use St. Germain)
2 oz fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
1 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz triple sec 
Lime wedges for garnish


Instructions

Prep your glass: 

Run a wedge of lime around the rim of your glass. 

Pour some salt into a shallow dish and gently run the rim of your glass through the salt. 

Fill your salted glass with ice. 

Set aside. 

Make your margarita:

Combine everything in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake well. 

Pour into the prepared glass. 

Enjoy!

Notes

Fresh lime juice is important here! Don’t use bottled lime juice. Buy some limes and juice them right before you make the cocktail. Roll the limes on the counter while pressing down firmly to get the most juice out of them

  • Category: Cocktails

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

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Elderflower Margarita

Goodbye 2020

Like so many, I could never have imagined how incredibly different my world would look from January to December.

Wow, 2020. You really packed a punch.

In January, I was happily working a job I loved with the best team of people on the planet. I sent out the very first MittenGirl newsletter to my brand new mailing list. Goals were set. I was ready to make 2020 the best. year. EVER. 

By mid-March our office was closed. I picked my daughter up from preschool for what would be the last time, and we started the parenting-while-schooling-and-working-from-home game. 

In June I was furloughed from my job.

Final Day with the Best Team of People
{Our final team picture. I’m so glad someone thought to take it.}

To keep myself occupied during the summer, I took on an idea that had been floating around in my head for a while and began working on my first cocktail book

Editing Homemade Happy Hour book
{Content editing for Homemade Happy Hour}
Photo set up for blackberry vanilla martinis
{Photo set up for Blackberry Vanilla Martinis}

In August my daughter started her much anticipated first day of kindergarten on an iPad in our basement. And in October I published my cocktail book

Published in 2020, my cocktail book - "Homemade Happy Hour"
{My cocktail book, Homemade Happy Hour}

Now it’s December.

Last month, I was permanently laid off from my job. 

And I’ve sold 60+ printed copies of my cocktail book that I originally intended to be digital only. 

I’ve also decided to focus my 2021 efforts on blogging. Can I make it a business? Pay my bills working an unconventional job? I’m more than ready to bring on a new year of focus, energy, and possibilities.

Change can be terrifying and exciting all at once. 

This website has been taking up space on the internet for 5+ years. But only since September 2019 have I focused in on my content, and committed myself to the consistency and work it takes to build a blog into something special. That effort has led to some encouraging statistics. 

What you want is on the other side of consistency - my 2020 mantra
{My 2020 mantra ended up being pretty on point.}

Since that first newsletter in January, I’ve doubled the size of my mailing list.

From 2019 to 2020, I’ve seen an 800% increase in pageviews and a 900% increase in visitors.

MittenGirl website statistics by year
{Annual page views (lighter color) and visitors (darker color) for MittenGirl.com}

I had more website traffic in the first 4 days of December 2020, than for all of December 2019.

I’m doing something right here, and I want to keep it going. Let’s see where it will lead. 

Getting Personal

This year I’ve written more personal pieces than ever before. And they’re some of the most popular posts on my site. It makes me SO DANG HAPPY when someone reaches out to say “I shared this with my sister/coworker/friend because this is my situation too, and this is how I feel.” 

I get needing to have someone else say it in order to recognize those feelings in yourself. 

Years ago, when struggling to understand what would later be diagnosed as postpartum anxiety and depression, I started Googling how I was feeling. I came across a link that led to a blog that led to an article describing exactly how I felt. I sobbed reading that article. 

For the first time, I didn’t feel like it was just me or something I needed to “get over.” It gave me courage. It gave me the words I needed to talk to others about what I was experiencing. 

One person sharing their experience did so much for me. 

So I’ll keep posting lots of recipes, but I’ll keep sharing the personal stuff too. The articles that some will think of as “too much.” Because for someone else, it might be just what they need to know they’re not alone.

And I’ll keep working on cocktail books, and making yummy food, and shaking up drinks, and taking lots of pictures. 

Photographing cocktails for features in 2021.

Saying “Goodbye 2020” is easy. Heading into the unknown of 2021 is daunting, but I’m ready.

2021’s mantra wil help push me along:

Maya Angelou Quote - Nothing will work unless you do.

If you’re still with me, thank you. For the support, the encouragement, the time spent reading this post. You matter so much to me and I appreciate that you’re here. 

xo

~ Katy 

Got a recipe you want to see? A liquor you want more recipes for? Ideas for a collaboration?  Drop me a comment and I’ll get to work. 

DIY Gifts for the Holidays

DIY gifts are some of the most fun gifts to receive. When someone uses their talents to make a gift just for you, it’s extra special.

It also makes for a unique present and will lead to you finding new recipes and treats that you’d never otherwise try. Below are options for a variety of DIY holiday gifts for the snack lovers, cocktail makers, chocoholics, and sugar addicts on your list.


Sweet Body Scrubs

These two sugar scrubs are made from ingredients you already have in your pantry. This three ingredient grapefruit scrub is easy to customize to your gift recipient’s favorite citrus scent. Or whip up this fragrant sugar and spice scrub – it’s packed full of warm holiday spices.

DIY Cocktails and Mocktails

Liquor infusions are fun to prep and make great gifts. Click through for vodka, rum, and gin recipes, each with a printable cocktail recipe card. Attach it to a jar of infused liquor and your recipient will be mixing up a fun new cocktail in no time.

Cocktail syrups are perfect for the cocktail and the mocktail lover in your life. Create a delicious mocktail by adding fresh citrus juice, mint, and soda water to berry syrup. Or muddle fresh blackberries and sage with honey syrup, before topping with ice and ginger ale.

Jars Full of Gifts

A mason jar can hold so many tasty DIY gifts. Two of my favorite are these garlic and rosemary slow cooker spiced nuts and my family’s blender salsa. Add a bag of your favorite tortilla chips to a jar of salsa for an easy present.

Baked DIY Gifts

Homemade baked goods are a classic holiday gift. Both of these recipes can be made ahead and frozen for super quick and easy gift giving. Mail them in care packages while they’re still frozen to help ensure they arrive fresh and ready to eat!

Homemade Chocolates

Making chocolate treats is easier than you think. It starts with high quality chocolate – I use Ghirardelli in both of these recipes. Each of these treats uses just 4 ingredients, take a very short amount of time to make, and are delicious gifts.

What are your favorite DIY gifts to make or receive? Leave a comment below and let me know!


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DIY Gifts

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a small commission. 

Holiday Shopping for Cocktail Lovers

Holiday shopping is even more online this year than usual. And depending on how your family’s budget was impacted by the pandemic, it might be a bit of a DIY holiday season as well.

Holiday shopping for the cocktail lovers in your life doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. And you can easily go DIY with infused liquors and homemade cocktail syrups.

Cocktail Recipe Book

Grab a copy of my new book “Homemade Happy Hour!” 18 cocktail recipes and 5 cocktail syrup recipes for the cocktail lover in your life. I have the ebook for sale on my site or you can grab a Kindle or Paperback edition over on Amazon.

Barware

Having nice cocktail glasses in the cupboard will go a long way in inspiring a home bartender. Treat the cocktail lover in your life to a new set of beautiful glassware.

Round Ice Cubes

Are round ice cubes necessary? Nope. Are they super fun and make drinks feel more special? Yup. Does the cocktail lover in your life have round ice cubes in their freezer? Probably not. Change that with a round ice cube tray!

Stainless Steel “Ice” Cubes

These are perfect for the cocktail lover who likes to sip high end spirits. Stainless steel cubes are stored in the freezer and keep drinks cold without watering them down.

Mixing Glass

There’s nothing like a mixing glass to make your favorite home bartender feel like a professional mixologist. Pair this up with bar tools and you have the perfect set for someone looking to up their home cocktail game.

Bar Tools

Can you make cocktails without fancy bar tools? Yes. Is it way more fun to make cocktails with fancy bar tools? Also yes. These display nicely, and keeping them in view will definitely lead to cocktail inspiration.

Bitters Sets

Bitters are fun to use in cocktails, but can be expensive and intimidating to buy in large bottles. These sets of small bottles are a great way to introduce someone to bitters so they can discover their favorites.

Luxardo Cherries

Luxardo maraschino cherries are the gold standard cherry garnish for Old Fashioned cocktails. These are the perfect addition to a cocktail themed gift basket or give to the bourbon lover in your life.

Cocktail Picks

Stainless steel cocktail picks are an inexpensive way to dress up any cocktail garnish and something that the cocktail lover in your life likely doesn’t have (because they just haven’t thought about buying them).

DIY Liquor Infusions

Holiday Shopping for Cocktail Lovers - DIY Liquor Infusions

Infusing liquor is an easy way to custom make a gift for the cocktail lover in your life. I have recipes for Strawberry Vodka, Apple Cinnamon Gin, and Lime & Mint Rum along with a free, printable cocktail recipe to go with each liquor infusion. Give them a try!

Don’t forget to package your infused liquor in a pretty jar for gifting!

DIY Cocktail Syrups

Holiday Shopping for Cocktail Lovers - DIY Cocktail Syrups

Cocktail syrups are easy to make, and use ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. Get the instructions for making honey, brown sugar, and berry cocktail syrups on my DIY Cocktail Syrups page.

Package your homemade syrup in nice bottles for gifting!

Cocktail Napkins

Another little thing that’s perfect to tuck into a gift basket. Nice cocktail napkins make drinks feel special and definitely elevate a happy hour at home.

Are you holiday shopping for cocktail lovers on your list? What would you add here? Do you love making cocktails? What’s on your holiday wish list?


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a small commission.

Cranberry Gin Cocktail

Simple, delicious, and festive, this cranberry gin cocktail is perfect for the holidays. The rosemary syrup gives it an unexpected twist.

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz cranberry juice
2 oz gin (I love New Holland Knickerbocker)
1 oz rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
3 dashes orange bitters 

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake it up and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. 

Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and/or some frozen cranberries

Enjoy! 


Rosemary Simple Syrup

¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 – 1 inch pieces of fresh rosemary

Rosemary Syrup for Cranberry Gin Cocktail

Heat the water to boiling. Add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. 

Wash the rosemary and break into pieces that will fit into your jar. 

Add the rosemary to the hot water and sugar mixture. 

Allow to cool to room temperature. 

Cover and place in the refrigerator until chilled. 

Notes on Cranberry Gin Cocktails

  • The longer you leave the rosemary in the syrup, the stronger the flavor. If possible, make the syrup a day or two ahead of making cocktails to allow the rosemary more time to infuse the syrup. 
  • If you don’t have rosemary on hand, you can substitute simple syrup or honey syrup.

Snack Pairing

Slow Cooker Savory Spiced Nuts

Salty and spicy Slow Cooker Savory Spiced Nuts pair well with a Cranberry Gin cocktail.

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Cranberry Gin Cocktail

Cranberry Gin Cocktail


  • Author: MittenGirl
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Total Time: 5 min

Description

Simple, delicious, and festive, this cranberry gin cocktail is perfect for the holidays. The rosemary syrup gives it an unexpected twist.


Scale

Ingredients

2 oz cranberry juice
2 oz gin (I love New Holland Knickerbocker)
1 oz rosemary simple syrup
3 dashes orange bitters 


Instructions

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake it up and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. 

Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and/or some frozen cranberries. 

Enjoy! 

  • Category: Cocktails

Keywords: cranberry, gin, gin cocktail, rosemary syrup, holiday drinks

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