Raspberry Cider Whiskey

Think hard cider can’t be a summer cocktail? You’ll be proven wrong when you take a sip of this Raspberry Cider Whiskey I made for Food Fanatic!



When I was thinking of how to make a summer cocktail with raspberries and not make it too sweet – I have to admit I was getting stumped. Raspberries are sweet by nature and therefore so is any liquor made from them. What I was looking for was a  more refreshing summer cocktail…maybe a little sweet…but definitely something with some punch to it.

We have raspberry bushes that grow wild all along the edge of our backyard. It’s pretty fun to go out with a few bowls and come back with them overflowing with berries. Just sitting down and eating them is good for me, smashed into a bowl of vanilla ice cream – awesome – but fresh fruit mixed into a cocktail? There’s nothing better.

So I had the fresh fruit for my drink, then I grabbed the Raspberry Dekuyper first. Good stuff, but sweet. I had to find something that would cut the sweetness of the raspberry but not totally hide the raspberry flavor. My first thought was whiskey. I guess whiskey seems to be a lot of my first thoughts…but I had just opened a bottle of Crown Royal Apple and it’s been on my brain. A shot or two of this stuff shaken with ice is so good on it’s own I had to try it in a cocktail.

My next thought was hard cider. The tart flavor of the cider would cut the sweetness of the raspberry (maybe?) and play off the apple in the whiskey.

Sometimes you just get things right. The first mix of this drink was a winner. It almost tastes like a candy apple…with raspberry…and whiskey. But you get the idea. Sweet but not too sweet, crisp and seriously refreshing.

This was not a mix it up and dump it out recipe tasting day. It was a just a few more sips, and then just one more taste, until it was all gone tasting day – uh, well, morning that is.




Check out this recipe and other amazing cocktail recipes over at Food Fanatic!


Watermelon Mint Spritzer

Watermelon is one of my favorite flavors – weather it’s in a cocktail, dinner, dessert or maybe even a shot recipe…It’s all good.

This Watermelon Mint Spritzer I whipped up for Food Fanatic is my way of hanging onto summer just a little bit longer.



I actually can’t believe I’m even saying that since it feels like summer just started. The summer bucket list has not gotten a lot of attention since all of our July and part of our August was consumed by going to our son’s baseball games. And practice. And all the celebrating (or cheering up) after the games were over.

August was spent playing catch up and hitting some of those bucket list summer activities…but it never seems like there’s enough time do squeeze everything in.


This drink is so light and refreshing you can definitely make a few and sip on them all night. It’s still nice out on your deck, or balcony or wherever you are enjoying your drinks. So get outside and enjoy the last of the warm weather with a few of these cocktails.

You can start by muddling a few big pieces of watermelon. If you wanted to you could add the mint in there also but I left the leaves whole just to flavor the drink with mint instead of actually drinking the mint too…

Add the muddled watermelon and all the juice, some fresh lemon juice and an ounce of Cointreau into a low-ball glass filled with ice. Then throw in a few mint leaves and give it a stir.

All that’s left is to top it off with seltzer and garnish with some fresh watermelon. You can definitely add vodka to this drink too, or even rum or tequila. It’s really a good base for a lot of different drinks. Or you can keep it simple, like this recipe does and go ahead and catch up on that relaxing you were supposed to be doing all summer long.




Make sure to head over to the Food Fanatic web site for this recipe and tons of other amazing cocktails!

Fresh Corn Succotash

You can use leftover cooked corn or fresh corn from the cob to make this amazing Fresh Corn Succotash!


When fresh corn is in season we’re at the farm stand at least once a week. Where we live there’s lots of places to choose from, but the one that we like getting corn from is about 15 minutes from our house. Not too far but you don’t want to be driving back and forth more than a few times a week.

So when we go we stock up on the corn.

If you leave corn in it’s husks and keep it in the fridge it’ll keep fresh for a week. And usually leftover corn isn’t a problem at my house but when you do have extra, this Fresh Corn Succotash is the best way to use it up!

This recipe works if your corn is uncooked or cooked, totally just use what you have. Obviously you’ll have to give it a little extra time in the pan if it’s not cooked but it all works out the same.

Start by cutting the kernels off the cob. Yep this is a messy job, if you have a large bowl to do this in you might save yourself corn flying all over your kitchen…




Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and start adding in all your vegetables.

Give the onion a head start and add it in first – then after a couple of minutes you can add in the corn and the red pepper.




Cook that all down for about 10 minutes and then pour in a little cream. Butter and cream, I know but seriously it’s only 1/4 cup. And it tastes so good…

If you’ve got little guys that think they don’t like vegetables you should make this for them and watch it disappear.

My little guy says that he doesn’t even like corn and he eats this like crazy! See what a little butter and cream can do?




Corn Succotash
  • 4 c. fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ c. onion, chopped
  • 2 t. fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. butter
  • ¼ c. heavy cream
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. fresh ground black pepper
  1. Add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted add the onion and cook for 3-4 minuets until softened.
  3. Add the corn and bell pepper to the skillet and cook for 5-10 minutes. Shorter if the corn is already cooked and longer (closer to 10 minuets) if the corn is frozen or raw.
  4. Stir in one tablespoon of the fresh basil.
  5. Pour in the cream and season with the salt and pepper.
  6. Cook 5 minutes until the cream has reduced, then top with the other tablespoon of fresh basil and serve.


Cheesy Corn Dip

I’m sharing these epic moments and recipes here thanks to Schick Hydro® as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #MakeItEpic

This hot and spicy Cheesy Corn Dip is an easy and delicious appetizer to bring to any party!



It seems that when we get older we have all these different party nights. We have our family party nights, our couple party nights and then those nights when random friends just stop over.

The “couple” nights are never the plans that I ever really get involved in. Christie makes all the plans for those nights and I just follow along. Totally fine with me as long as she tells me the where and when…that’s all I need to know.

Even though our couple nights are usually with friends that we’ve known a long time, you still want to make sure you take time to look like your best. Using my new Schick Hydro® Razor helps me get it done quickly and effectively and only Hydro® has hydrating gel with shave oils that work with skin guards to reduce friction and irritation even when you’re in a rush.

…and as Christie can tell you I’m usually home from work with about 15 minuets to spare, so quick and effective is the way it needs to be.




One of the tips that I have learned working with Schick® for the last several months is that you need to take time for is the shaving cream to sit on your face at least 3 minutes before you shave. That allows the whiskers to soften and adds moisture to your face before shaving. No one wants to see tissue stuck all over your face at your get together – that’s not so appetizing.




So if you follow a couple of easy steps like I do, you can be showered and perfectly shaved in about 10 minutes – out the door in 15 – and no one is yelling at me about being late.

OK now that we’ve got your appearance covered, let’s bring on to the food!

All you need to make this Cheesy Corn Dip is a few ingredients, frozen (or fresh) corn, cheese, mayo, onion, hot sauce and worcestershire sauce.




That’s it – stir it all together and get it in a dish – it’s ready to bake.




25 minutes in a 350º oven and it’s done. Hot, cheesy corn dip ready to cover and take to your party. Just grab the tortilla chips and you’re out the door ready to take on an epic night with friends!





Cheesy Corn Dip
  • 2 c. frozen corn
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ c. chopped red onion
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 1½ t. hot sauce
  • 1 T. worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ c. pickled jalapénos
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the jalapénos in a large bowl.
  3. Pour into an 8" x 8" baking dish, top with the pickled jalapénos and bake for 25 minutes until bubbling.
This is also a great way to use up leftover fresh corn!


Artichoke Pesto Pasta

I’ve got your Meatless Monday dinner covered with this Artichoke Pesto Pasta!



We took a short cut with this recipe and used a jarred artichoke pesto from Trader Joe’s but you can grab your favorite jar of pesto, or whip up a batch of your own. Today we’re just keeping it simple and taking some store-bought help.

Christie always looks for “Meatless Monday” dinner options for the family…I’m OK with a meatless meal every now and then but every single time she makes one I say something like “This would be awesome with sausage in it” Or the same sentence swapped out with chicken…whatever I think would go better. Basically I try and sabotage every meatless meal she tries to put on he table.

So…even though I still say that this pasta would taste awesome with spicy sausage it tastes pretty darn good all on it’s own too.

You can also easily adapt this recipe to your liking, or anything you’ve got going on in the fridge. It can definitely be a clean the fridge out recipe if you need it to be…grilled chicken, ham, different vegetables. Yeah, see I added the meat back in – but you get it – whatever you want to throw in go ahead and do it.




The method here is really cooking the pasta in the chicken broth. Obviously doing it this way adds a ton more flavor than just boiling your pasta in water and you save a whole big pot to wash so it’s a win win.

Once the pasta is cooked you can start adding in the rest of the ingredients…in this case the artichoke pesto, artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes and cheese.

Stir it all together and dinner is served.

Meatless or not – it’s going to be a hit!




Artichoke Pesto Pasta
A one skillet meatless meal that's perfect for busy weeknights!
  • 1 lb. tube shaped pasta
  • 1 can (3.8 oz.) sliced black olives
  • 3 T. chopped parsley
  • 1½ c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz. jar of artichoke hearts
  • 12 oz. jar of artichoke pesto
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 c. shredded asiago cheese
  1. Pour the chicken stock into a 13" round skillet.
  2. Slowly add in the pasta, stir and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir again, turn the heat down to a simmer then cover the skillet and cook the pasta for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and stir the pasta making sure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan except for the asiago cheese, stir to combine and cook another 8-10 minutes until the pasta is through.
  6. Top with the asiago cheese and serve.