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Easy Strawberry Bellini Champagne Cocktail

Easy Strawberry Bellini Champagne Cocktail


We've made it to Friday! Another week behind us, and the weekend ahead! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday. With the holiday on a Thursday this year, I feel like that lends itself to being celebrated all weekend, don't you? And these strawberry bellinis are a perfect weekend brunch cocktail!

I love a good mimosa, but sometimes it's fun to mix up the brunch routine. Bellinis are traditionally made with a fruit puree, and topped with champagne. What that means is that unlike mimosas with orange juice, you can really control how much sugar goes into these. Perfect if you're like me, and like your drinks on the dry side!


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I love that this is an easy cocktail for a crowd - ladies brunch, anyone? But you can also make the puree and store it in the fridge for a few days, so whenever your fancy strikes for a champagne cocktail, it's prepped and ready to go! 


Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
Your favorite sparkling wine (I'm currently loving this one!)

Directions: 

Puree the strawberries, lime juice and sugar in your blender or food processor. Top with champagne or sparkling wine and serve!


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Kirsten Bell
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Orange Scented Shortbread Cookies With Rose Water Glaze

Orange Scented Shortbread Cookies With Rose Water Glaze


I am so excited to share this shortbread cookie recipe with you today! These melt-in-your-mouth delicious cookies are beautiful, quick and easy. You seriously won't believe how easy these are. And the flavor combination of orange and rose? Un. Real. You'll have to try them to believe it, and then you'll never go back!


Let's talk special ingredients. In the cookies, I used orange blossom extract along with orange zest. The flavor of orange blossom extract is softer and more delicate than traditional orange. I really like how subtle the flavor is in the cookies, and how the orange zest brightens is up just a tetch. Honestly these cookies could totally be eaten alone (I'm your witness, I probably ate 5), but oh my gosh they are made even more outstanding by the glaze. Which brings me to the next special ingredient - rose water extract. This extract smells very perfumy, and you definitely have to toe the line between soap and delicious. But when you hit that balance, it's total perfection.


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Makes about 18-20 small cookies

Cookie Ingredients: 

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one orange (keep the rest of the orange for the glaze)

Glaze Ingredients:

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rose water extract

Directions: 

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cornstarch, mixing until well combined. Add the flour, extracts and orange zest, and mix until just combined. It may look too dry, and like it won't come together. Just keep mixing - it will!

Roll the dough into two logs, and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or until the dough is cold. Preheat the oven to 300, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the cookies on the lined baking sheets, and bake about 30 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just beginning to color. Be sure not to overbake! Remove from the oven, and let cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

For the glaze: When the cookies are completely cooled, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. I like to use a fork to combine the powdered sugar with the orange juice. Dip each cookie into the glaze, and allow to dry on the cooling rack until the glaze is hardened. Garnish with dried rose buds (just make sure they're food grade like these), and serve!




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Kirsten Bell
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Easy Healthy Raspberry Mint Sorbet with Mango Coulis

Easy Healthy Raspberry Mint Sorbet with Mango Coulis


You know I love a good dessert! Chocolate cake, red velvet cookies - keep them coming! But sometimes something lighter is exactly what we need, especially for an easy weeknight treat. I love that this sorbet is so quick and easy to make, and with very little (or no) sugar, it's a naturally sweet dessert alternative.

Mango coulis sounds so fancy, doesn't it? It's just as delicious as you think, but probably a lot simpler! I love the bright tropical fruit flavor paired with this raspberry sorbet, and I love the color too!

Used in this post: 


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I make this sorbet in our Vitamix machine, which I love! If you don't have one yet, what are you waiting for? I love that it's so versatile and can make pretty much everything! In case you missed it, be sure to check out my Green Smoothie recipe from last week!


Ingredients: 

1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)
5 mint leaves
4 cups frozen raspberry
1 cup mango

Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the mango into your Vitamix machine in the order listed. Select Variable 1, and start machine. Slowly increase to Variable 10, and mix for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, if your machine has a frozen dessert setting, select the setting and press start.

For the mango coulis: puree the mango in the Vitamix until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

The sorbet may need to be frozen for an hour or two. Garnish with mango coulis and mint leaves, and serve!



Trying this recipe? Be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see it! I love to see and share what you create!

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Kirsten Bell
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Dense and Fudgy Brownies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Dense and Fudgy Brownies With Cream Cheese Frosting


Valentine's Day is this week, can you believe it? If you haven't started thinking about a dessert yet, fear not! These dense and fudgy brownies are so quick and easy to make, and are even delicious with or without the cream cheese frosting. 

Brownies from scratch are incredibly easy - I'd actually say they are just as easy as boxed brownies. But you have so much more control over the ingredients, and they're also way less expensive. What I love about these brownies is that they're not overly sweet, especially if you opt to skip the frosting. They taste like you're biting into real chocolate!


If you love chocolate as much as I do, check out the following recipes too!

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Raspberry Dark Chocolate Ganache

S'mores Cupcakes with Smoked Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake



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Brownie Ingredients:

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Brownie Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f, and grease an 8x8 baking dish. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the coffee, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly into the greased baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Cut into squares, or use a festive cookie cutter and snack on the scraps (waste not, right?).

Frosting Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add two cups of powdered sugar and vanilla, increasing speed to high for 2-3 minutes once all the sugar is incorporated. Add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too soft to hold a peak.

To achieve this festive Valentine's Day look, I used three different Wilton decorating tips. The first tip which made the light pink, larger flowers was Tip No. 224. The star tip that made the brighter pink stars was Tip No. 18, and the cream circles was Tip No. 5. I have this decorating piping tip kit, which I love! It has all the basics and I love the storage case. Plus it's way more cost effective to buy the kit rather than individual tips.

For the coloring, I used Americolor Deep Pink gel color in varying amounts for the different shades of pink. I always use gel colors instead of liquid food coloring, because you don't need to worry about messing up frosting consistency. If you haven't used gel before, I recommend putting the color onto a toothpick, not directly into the bowl. That's because gel coloring is really strong, and I've messed up by adding wayyyy too much. It's easy to do!


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Kirsten Bell
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Mango Elderflower Martini

Mango Elderflower Martini


Happy Friday everyone! We're only a few days away from the weekend, and boy am I ready! It's been a doozy of a few weeks with colds in our house, and we are finally on the mend! To celebrate, I'm sharing my new favorite cocktail with you! This mango elderflower martini is fruity, flowery and not too sweet - a perfect cocktail recipe in my book!


You may remember last week I shared my Galentines's Brunch Tablescape, which was inspired by the pantone color of the year - coral! When I was putting together this martini, I had in mind that it would be the Valentine's Day cocktail to coordinate with that event!

I think these love cocktail picks are too cute! It's a funny thing - ever since I ordered them, I've been seeing them everywhere! Does that ever happen to you? For these martinis I cut out hearts from fresh mango, which added such a fun touch. Then I coated the martini glass rims in some red sugar sprinkles. Perfect for a fun celebration with friends!


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Ingredients: 

1 shot St. Germaine Liqueur
1 shot gin (I prefer Bombay Sapphire)
1 shot mango juice
Ice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and shake well. Pour into a martini glass, and serve immediately. Cheers!




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Kirsten Bell
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