Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch is tasty make-ahead drink for your holiday table or party. It’s low in alcohol, so you can keep the party going all night. Plus, it tastes just as awesome as it slowly melts. You should definitely give it a try.

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love planning party menus. The second someone mentions they’re having a gathering, my brain instantly switches into menu planning mode, even if I’m not invited to the party. What would I make? How much cheese can I get away with serving? What’s for dessert? It’s gotta be something awesome?

A crucial element of the party menu is the drink. You want to be able to offer someone a beverage as soon as they come in and take their coat off. But maybe you also need to be in the kitchen finishing things up. It’s gotta be something simple. Something you can make ahead or something your guests can easily assemble themselves. And it can’t get watered down through the night. That would ruin everything.

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

That’s where this Apple Brandy Frozen Punch comes in. It’s made ahead of time so you don’t have to be mixing fancy cocktails for each guest. It’s not crazy alcoholic, so you can have multiple cups without getting out of control. And it starts frozen so you can serve it almost as a slushy or top it up with sparkling wine for some added glamour. Then as it melts it stays awesome because you’re not adding any water to the drink.

You can serve this in a pitcher or a punch bowl. When it’s really frozen, it’s easier to scoop it out then pour it. Garnish it with apple slices and cinnamon sticks and anything else you think is autumnal and beautiful.

The easiest way to freeze this is in a plastic or silicone resealable bag. You can just go to the freezer every hour or so and kind of squish it a bit to make sure it doesn’t get too solid. I’m cutting back on single-use plastic, so I didn’t have any bags. I froze this in a food storage container, and just took a fork to it, scraping up the ice crystals as they formed. Even if you freeze it over night and it seems a bit solid, the sugar and alcohol will keep it from being a total block of ice. Just keep scraping, and you’ll end up with lovely ice crystals.

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Every party needs a good drink,. This Apple Brandy Frozen Punch is where it’s at. Give it a try. It’ll be awesome.

If you make this recipe, be sure to share a photo in Instagram. Tag me use the hashtag #awesomeon20 so I can see your awesome creation.

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Green Apple Martini

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I meant to write this post yesterday. I left my laptop sitting out while I went into the kitchen to test a new waffle recipe. The waffles were just okay (this recipe is better), but that didn’t stop me eating three of them. When I came back into the living room to sit down and write, I discovered the cat had decided to take a nap on my laptop keyboard.

My cat is clearly some kind of devious genius because she managed to step on just the right buttons to turn off my mouse. If Geoff would have been home, the problem could have been solved in about five minutes because he knows that laptops don’t just work by magic, but alas, he was out for the night. Obviously, I had no choice but to close my laptop and go to bed at 7:30. It actually ended up being a pretty great night.

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

But as you’re reading this, it’s Friday, and we all deserve to have exactly the drink that we really want. I really want a sweet and tangy Green Apple Martini. I’m not apologizing. You know it’s tasty. And the good thing about making this drink at home is that there’s no one around to judge you.

I ordered the green apple syrup on Amazon, but it was worth it. Green apple liqueur is pretty easy to come by here. And of course, vodka is vodka. Shake it all up with ice so that it’s crazy cold, and serve it in a fancy glass because you deserve it.

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You just never know how things are going to go sometimes. This is why you always need to be ready to make a cocktail. This Green Apple Martini will get you through anything with a smile on your face.

Recipe from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson.

Rum and Ginger Beer with a Twist

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Ooph. It’s been a week, kids. I need a drink. Like now. Nothing complicated. No syrups or shrubs to prepare. N fancy rims or garnishes. I don’t want to think. I just want to drink.

One drink, maybe a piece of chocolate. Fifteen minutes to feel sorry for yourself. Then you have to take a deep breath, let it go, and move on. Here’s to saying no to taking onto other people’s emotional baggage. Here’s to pulling back, going internal, and allowing yourself to relax and let go. Here’s to knowing there’s every possibility that tomorrow will be better.

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve made you a real life drink today. Three ingredients, and you’re well on your way to a spicy, flavorful drink that will have you totally chilled in no time. We’re mixing up our favorite spiced rum with ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lime. Pour it all over ice, and you’re done.

Let’s be honest, this is the way we really drink most of the time? I mean, how often do you actually want to stand in the kitchen muddling up fruits and herbs after a stressful day? Fancy Instagram cocktails are beautiful, but this is real life, and this Rum & Ginger Beer is a real life drink. No apologies.

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheers, my friends, to confronting where you are in life right now, and making the most of it. A little rum should help.

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist

Yield

1 serving

Prep time

5 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce spiced rum
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Add ice to a short glass. Pour over the spiced rum, top up with ginger beer, squeeze in a wedge of lime, give it a gentle stir, and enjoy.

Mistletoe Mocktail

Mistletoe Mocktail | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Christmas is almost here, and I can’t wait. As I write this, I have basically another half day of work left before I get to take over two weeks off. I’m looking forward to being utterly idle for hours at a time, watching all the movies and tv, reading all the books, and cooking something every day. Come by for copious leftovers.

It’s just Geoff and I for Christmas this year, and Geoff doesn’t have much time off work, so this will be an oddly solitary holiday season. I’m not remotely mad about it.

For most, though, Christmas break is all about getting together with family. From newborns to centenarians, you’ll likely be feeding people of all ages all at once during the holidays. So today, I’m offering you a versatile drink that can make a lot of people happy.

Mistletoe Mocktail | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Mistletoe Mocktail is a lime and ginger delight. If you’re too young to drink or don’t drink for any reason, this will be absolutely awesome. Sweet and tangy, with a touch of heat from ginger beer, you can easily make this for one person or twenty. 

If spending so much time with your family is making you desperate for a bit of booze, or if you just want to make your holidays a little more merry, you could easily add a shot of vodka or maybe even rum to your glass to make this a legit cocktail. 

Happy holidays, friends. May your days be merry and bright.

Mistletoe Mocktail

5 minutes

Easy

Adapted from Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson

40+ of My All Time Favorite Recipes

It’s my 40th birthday today. I don’t have any words of wisdom about getting older. I’m not sure I’m handling it as gracefully as I should be, to be quite honest. I’m just trying to carry on and stay awesome and look ahead to the adventures that await. And trying to remember to put on eye cream every night. 

I thought I’d share with you some of my all time favorite recipes from the past five and a half years on my site. It was really difficult to pare it down, and I couldn’t quite make it to just 40. These are all things that I get really excited about cooking and eating. I hope enjoy them as much as I do.

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For Breakfast

Breakfast Pizza is a recipe I learned from a dear friend, and I love it almost as much as I love her.

The first time I made Cheesy Sausage Squares, I knew I had a winner.

Herbed Biscuits and Creamy Sausage Gravy is completely heavenly.

Buttermilk Pancakes have been a lifelong favorite.

You can put this Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup on a car bumper, and it would taste good.

These Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes will definitely brighten up your morning.

This Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit with Apple Butter is a revelation of sweet and savoury.

Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Something to Start

Garlic & Thyme Camembert is stupid easy to make and impossible to stop eating.

Swiss & Bacon Dip is the one recipe people ALWAYS ask me for at the end of the party.

Pillow Dogs are supposed to be for the kids, but give me a bottle of mustard and leave them all to me, and I’ll be so happy.

This Holiday Brie never gets boring. 

Mini Cheddar Meatloaves | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For Dinner

Cowboy Spaghetti features hot sauce, bacon and cheddar cheese, and it’s just ridiculous.

This Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese has so many great flavors and so so so much cheese.

I want to make this Cheesy Potato Soup for everyone ever. You’ll want to lick the bowl.

The sauce on these Mini-Cheddar Meatloaves is like magic, delicious, addicting magic.

Risotto Bolognese is so hearty and satisfying, you’ll wish your bowl would never end.

We just had Spicy Southwest Burgers last week, and I’d have them again next week if I could.

Cornbread-Topped Chili Mac brings so many beautiful things together in one dish.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf has earned its place as the star of our holiday table for good reason.

Put these Ridiculously Awesome Mashed Potatoes on your plate and be happy.

Sloppy Joe Casserole is a childhood favorite that I’ve never gotten tired of.

I could eat Bacon Carbonara every day of my life.

Chicken Parmesan is a classic for a reason.

I would not have a problem eating this Lemon Linguine from a bucket.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Have a Drink

This Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail will keep you young and merry.

A pitcher of Poinsettia Champagne Cocktails makes any party perfect.

I’m crazy for Amarula, and this Brown Elephant Cocktail is where it’s at.

Pour me a Pomegranate Margarita any day, please.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The Sweet Stuff

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is legit for real the very best.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is a retro classic that should never be forgotten.

Your guests will think you bought this White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake, but you totally made it yourself.

These Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best cookies you’ve ever eaten.

These Sour Cream Scones are remarkably tender and the perfect vehicle for your favorite jam.

Practically Perfect Chocolate Cake – the name says it all.

These Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are unstoppable.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies make a good thing great.

Molten Chocolate Cake is everything.

This Pumpkin Cake is the definition of tender, moist, and flavorful.

White Chocolate Chip Brownies totally surprised me with their awesomeness.

Classic Fudge because there’s never enough chocolate.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes transform possibly my all-time favorite food into a gorgeous dessert.

Triple Lemon Yogurt Cake is perfectly sweet and tart.

I can’t be in the same room as this Peanut Butter Fudge without eating it.

Salted Caramel Pudding features layers of absolute delight.

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