Amy’s Christmas Punch

A pitcher of Amy's Christmas Punch with cranberreis and orange slices Punch of Cheer
When we got married, we were given a punch bowl as a gift. I loved it. My husband was less enthusiastic. I get it. Your average twenty-something dude does not get excited about a punch bowl that he predicted would take up room in our garage and rarely get used. It pains me to admit he was spot-on with that prediction.

In general, I am pro punch, usually while sitting pool/beachside and with the appropriate tiny umbrella in it but, I also like a good boozy punch for cocktail parties. A big bowl of punch where guests can serve themselves, so you don’t have to play bartender, is a pro move. If I am being honest though, the only time I have enough people in my house to make a punch like that is during the holidays. Even then it’s not always enough people to justify it. Hence the dusty punch bowl in the garage…

That changes this year. This is the year of the return of the punch bowl. It’s the appropriate time for a few reasons. One, the kids are old enough that if they happen to sneak into the punch, I’m not going to freak out about it. Two, I am almost fifty and I’ve decided to do it because I wanna…life is short, live your life and drink the punch.

Amy’s Christmas Punch Recipe
Adapted from Sugar and Soul
Yields 8 Cups Read more…

Amy’s Kinda Almost River Rum Punch

Amy's Kinda Almost River Rum PunchRollin on the River
If you find yourself in the vicinity of the Truckee River this Friday at noon, I am sorry.

What you didn’t know (as you made your reservation to enjoy a relaxing rafting trip floating down the river) is that you would be joined by 50 plus softball players who are in town for a tournament. If you are lucky, they won’t be doing dugout cheers….

Growing up, I spent the majority of my summers at the lake. I rode my bike everywhere and lived in my bathing suit. At least once a summer, we would raft down the Truckee. I loved it. The water fights. The swimming holes and best of all, the ice cream at River Ranch when we were done. Somewhere along the line that changed.

The concept sounds great. Beautiful scenery. Lazy float down a river. Perfect way to spend a summer afternoon, right?

Sure, until the splashing and the boat tipping start. Add in the water cannons and you spend what is supposed to be a relaxing trip with your head on a swivel trying to outsmart teenaged future Navy Seals wondering where the next ambush is coming from. (I call them Seal Teen Six.) I guess I’m just getting old!

There is a nice reward at the end. Besides the aforementioned ice cream, you can find the biggest plate of nachos you’ve ever seen. And, perhaps the most necessary to your sanity, one of my favorite adult beverages, the River Rum Punch.

Fruit Juice and rum has never steered anyone wrong. And, an extra float of rum on top goes a long way to easing the stress of constantly looking over your shoulder.

I don’t know exactly what actually goes into the River Rum punch, but this is pretty close. Even if I had the recipe, there’s something about sitting and relaxing on the deck after your trip, watching people negotiate the final set of rapids that make it taste that much better….

Amy’s Kinda Almost River Rum Punch
Yields 1 cocktail Read more…

Singapore Sling

Singapore SlingTravelin’ Man

I used to think that the people who got to travel overseas for work had it pretty good. Not only did they go to other countries and experience other cultures, they got to do it on the company dime. I had a very “Pan-Am” picture in my mind. I now realize international business travel is not as fun or glamorous as it sounds. Though I have not personally experienced it, my husband has, and does, and is currently in Asia. I get to experience it from the other side, and I think I like my side better.

I will admit that I do get a little jealous knowing that he is enjoying maid service and a quiet hotel room—while I am fighting to get the kids to take a shower while loading the dishwasher. And if he is enjoying a gourmet meal while I am dishing up some mac and cheese that’s cool ‘cause he’ll be ready to jump back in to the fray once he gets back, right?

For the next two weeks, my main squeeze will be traveling. During that time, he will be on six different flights and visit five different countries. While that may sound jet-setting, there will be very little down time (sightseeing and maybe jewelry shopping for his awesome wife). His days will be filled with meeting after meeting, and his nights with client dinners, drinking and the occasional Karaoke event. That kind of fun can wear on a guy. He will arrive home exhausted and wrung out with plenty of laundry. For a couple of days after his arrival, he will not be functioning normally—which is fantastic because that next morning, we have to be on the road early for a softball tournament.

Ah, the glamorous life…

Right now, he is in Singapore. Tomorrow it’s Hong Kong. For me? I think I’ll have one of these in his honor…

Singapore Sling

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Mexican Bulldog Margarita

iStock_000019554803_Bulldog MargaritasThe Bulldog
I’m not a fan of beer, though sometimes I wish I was. There’s something about a cold beer on a hot day that sounds so appealing…until I try to drink it. I’ve always wanted to be a beer drinker—it’s more convenient and less high maintenance than other options. And, of course, it goes together with baseball and hot dogs. The good news? I found a new way to drink beer and it’s name is The Bulldog.

I was introduced to “the dog” on vacation in Mexico last week. While this margarita-like cocktail is nothing new, I was definitely new to it, and was skeptical because it does contain beer. Corona to be exact.

Maybe it was the warm weather, or perhaps I was just having too much fun to care, but I took a chance and fell in love with the Bulldog. It’s safe to say I had a few too many. The good news is there were no cameras to record my encounter for posterity…I think.

Because we were both enjoying them too much, my husband and I neglected to get the recipe from the waiters—who happily brought us just uno mas. I searched online when we got home, and found a number of possibilities. Some call for margarita mix, and others say use lemonade. I am looking forward to trying all versions to find the perfect one, because this is my cocktail of choice not only for Cinco De Mayo but for the rest of the Summer…

Here is my take on the recipe.

Mexican Bulldog Margarita Read more…