The perfect 21st Birthday Dessert Menu

Desserts, Recipes

You’re 21st birthday is something you’ll either

A) always remember,

B) forget as early as the next morning,

C) or remember but want to forget as early as the next morning…

We can all silently say which answer we apply to ours, me included, but this isn’t about my 21st birthday. My best friend, Jill, turned 21 FINALLY the other week and I relived my own 21st birthday a little for the occasion. It’s possible I may have been more excited for the event then she was. I made it my mission to make sure she had a unforgettable/forgettable birthday. But honestly, it was more about the food then the going out and drinking.
Her mom made us a nice little dinner but I wanted to make dessert. It’s a 21st birthday, so obviously everything I made had to contain alcohol. So that’s what I did, I made cupcakes and jello shots and vodka gummy bears, it was very fun and delicious as well. So I’m going to share with you my ultimate 21st birthday dessert menu.

I did the baking with my other best friend, Alyssa and her Momma, we had a fun time.

1. Margarita Cupcakes. I tried to go with all of Jill’s favorite things, one being tequila. These were fun to make, the smell of the cupcakes alone were so good. The icing was insanely good. The only thing was you could tell there was a lot of butter used and maybe thats because my butter wasn’t exactly room temperature but hell who doesn’t like butter. I added more tequila than the recipe called for because well it was her 21st birthday.. So add the alcohol to your taste.

Margarita Cupcakes: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

Margarita Cupcakes: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I added the sprinkles and lime zest as a garnish and a lime wedge to make it cute =)

2. Coffee Chocolate Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes. These were interesting because the recipe was poorly written- not very detailed and I had no where to check my questions. For instance, the recipe called for coffee, not sure if that meant liquid coffee or coffee grounds. I used the liquid version because I assumed they would write grounds if that’s what they meant. Not exactly sure if I was right or not. It seemed fine in the icing but the cupcakes turned out more like brownies than cupcakes, which isn’t necessarily a bad things but the batter was very liquidy and I’m not sure if that was right. Again, I was very generous with the liquor in the icing, which was insanely good as well. I doubled both of the icing recipes because I didn’t think there would be enough but I had some left over, I think one batch is enough.

Coffee Chocolate Bailey's Irish Cupcakes: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

Coffee Chocolate Bailey's Irish Cupcakes: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

Note the “broken” one in the front that we just had to eat because it was “ruined”.

Coffee Chocolate Bailey's Irish Cupcakes: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I added a chocolate chip for garnish but I wanted to add a coffee bean, just didn’t have one.

3. Strawberry Lemonade Jello Shots. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile it won’t surprise you that I made these again, they were such a hit the first time that I had to make them again.

4. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Jello Shots. These were so interesting to me I had to make them. I used the same jello recipe as the Strawberry Lemonade Shots but you can certainly do a different flavor or alter the recipe to how you normally make jello shots.
All you need to do is buy this, I bought it at Micheal’s Craft store, I think they were like $1.50, and melting chocolate which I also bought at Micheal’s. Melt the chocolate however you normally do, or follow the directions on the bag, pour into the molds and harden. The only thing is, I could only find a mold with different sized domes so if you wanted them to be all the same size, you have to buy a coupe molds or do several batches. I didn’t really care if they were different, plus it made some pretty big shots.

Chocolate Coverd Strawberry Jello Shots: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I waited a little longer than normal before pouring the jell into the molds so it wouldn’t melt them. Then let sit again in the fridge. They tasted so good. If you use cherry jello they would taste just like chocolate covered cherries.

Chocolate Coverd Strawberry Jello Shots: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

5. And finally Vodka Gummy Bears. Very simple recipe. Put gummy bear in a GLASS bowl (very important), and pour vodka over them until all the gummy bears are submerged. This takes a couple days to infused so get started ahead of time. Wait until the vodka is gone or almost gone, taste and add more if needed. The bonus, you may get some gummy bear flavored vodka at the end too.

There were many other things I wanted to make, I just didn’t have the time. For instance I also wanted to make, Margarita Jello Shots in lime wedges, similar to the Strawberry Lemonade ones, Pumpkin Pie Jello Shots, and Mimosa Jello Shots (which I really did mean to make but never did). There are plenty of things I could have made but our plans for that weekend were thrown off because of Sandy and we had fun anyway.

Happy Birthday Jillie: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

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Spicy Shrimp and Corn Soup

Recipes, Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope you were safe last night during the biggest party night of the year. In honor of the holiday I just want to express my thanks to all my blessings in life.

1. My great friends. I have two of the best friends anyone could ask for, not to mention all the other great friends I have. I’m thankful for all they’ve done for me and every time they’ve been there for me. You’re the best.

2. Momma and Lannie. Speaking of my two best friends, I am thankful for their hilarious and fun mothers who I know I could go to for anything.

3. My sister.  My sister and I have gotten closer over the past few months and I am thankful that she kicked my ass into getting in shape. Sorry I yelled at you those many times in the middle of the gym.

4. My job. I was one of the lucky few to not have much difficulty finding a job right out of school so I am thankful for the opportunity to work at such a great company with great co-workers and such a nice and appreciative boss.

5. My mentors. Okay so maybe mentors is not the right word but it sums up everyone I’m talking about. All the people who have gotten me to where I am today. Some of my favorite teacher and professors who have taught me so much along the way. (Beach, Powell, Zatz, Shanks- just to name a few)

6. My adventures. This might be a little selfish, but I am thankful for all the wonderful and exciting things I have gotten to do throughout my life- skydiving, going on a road trip with my two favorite people, putting my life on hold to move to NY to be a live-in nanny so I could figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

7. The Capellas- the family I worked for in NY. Without this wonderful family I would not be who I am today. I hope we never lose touch.

Keep in mind all that you have because live turns on a dime (a quote from the book I’m currently reading).

Now it might be Thanksgiving, but I’ve been a little slow on the post recently so we’re going to back track to Halloween, and why not everyone else to fast forwarding to Christmas already (if you couldn’t tell, I’m not for playing Christmas music, hanging Christmas decorations or acknowledging Christmas at all until after Thanksgiving at the very least- although.. Christmas is my favorite holiday, I’m still a child when it comes to Christmas).

Every year my neighborhood has a Fall block party which usually falls around Halloween, this year it got a little crazy with Sandy but we managed to have it the Saturday after Halloween. Every year my sister makes this soup that is usually a huge hit. Well this year she really didn’t want to make it and I really did. Mainly because I wanted to share the recipe with you all, you’re welcome =)

Soup is something you can have all year round but it really works well in Fall especially this soup, it’s very Fall. And its very easy. The only thing is, it takes a while to cook- the preparation is easy and short but it needs to cook off for a couple hours. It also makes a lot. There isn’t much to it so you can alter the recipe to make a smaller amount but it’s meant to feed a lot of people, so make it for a party, everyone will love you, I promise.

Ingredients

4 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
4-5 peppers red, yellow and orange chopped
4 onions chopped
4-6 lbs of frozen large peeled shrimp
4 large bags of frozen corn
Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper

You’ll need a large pot, so everyone can have some.

Add a stick of butter to the pot and sautee the peppers and onions, not too long, they will continue to cook while the rest of the soup does. Since this soup makes a lot, theres a lot of seasoning that goes into it. So every time you add something add a little bit of salt a pepper. So onions and peppers, salt and pepper.. Next you add the cans of tomatoes and break apart the tomatoes to get the juice out, they will break down more when it cooks but you do want to get it started. Salt and pepper. Then add the bags of corn one at a time, stirring after each to mix it through. Salt and pepper. Then add the bags of shrimp, again stirring after each because at this point the soup isn’t very soupy. With all the ingredient there won’t be much liquid yet, trust me it will get liquidy after it cooks.

I apologize, I really need to work on my photography skills while cooking. It’s just so difficult in the middle of cooking.

When everything is in the pot add your spices, add as much or as little as you want. I like mine spicy, it makes it much more “Fall” I think.

Like I said, it might look really thick but it will thin out after you cook it, which takes about an hour and a half, but keep testing it, especially if you alter the recipe to make less. It really just needs to get hot all the way through and the shrimp needs to cook, so keep stirring it occasionally. It’s something that can definitely be made the day before and then heated in a crock pot the day of, that’s what we usually do for the block party.

Enjoy your holiday and enjoy your soup =) Happy Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipes, Uncategorized

Fall is my absolute favorite season. There is so much about the Fall that just makes me so happy.

1. I love the weather. I’m one of those few people that hates the summer because I hate the heat. I’m usually the one who is always hot no matter how cold it is. I love that Fall has the perfect temperature- the other day I sat outside by a fire and it was so nice.

2. Speaking of the weather, I love to snuggle up in comfy clothes and Fall clothes are the best. The colors are my favorite, I love Fall palettes. But I also love the style of Fall. Scarves that you wear more for fashion than for warmth. Sweaters are also my new favorite thing. I’ve recently bought many sweaters. And most of all boots. I have a major shoe obsession which only emphasizes my boot obsession. I recently bought a pair of brown boots that I’ve been looking for for 2 years. They are the kind of boots that you will spend a lot of money on if they are exactly what you want. Well I’ve been looking for a pair of no heel, cognac, knee high, with not too many “gadgets” boots for about 2 years, so I bought these shoes without even asking the price. :/ whoops.

3. Another reason that Fall is the best, is because of the activities. Fall activities are the best. Now, I haven’t gotten around to doing many Fall activities this year but they are the best. Pumpkin picking, haunted hayrides and houses, Halloween, bonfires. Everything in the Fall is just so much fun.

4. Unlike most people I don’t like adding pumpkin flavor to everything but there are certain things that I do like pumpkin flavored. So when I stumbled upon a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I wasn’t sure if I would like them but oatmeal cookies are my favorite so I decided to make them to bring into work as a “Happy Halloween” treat. However, thanks to Hurricane Sandy and the lack of power at my house I couldn’t make it for Halloween but I did make them. And they were delish. I doubled the recipe and made a lot! Then I had to get them out of the house so I wouldn’t eat them all so I gave them out to a few friends who found them equally as delicious.

So in case you’re looking for a delicious Fall cookie to make here is the recipe..

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin
1-3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins or chopped nuts, or combination of both (optional) I didn’t add these because I thought they would be too much but its up to you
additional chocolate chips or Baker’s chocolate to melt for drizzle (optional) I didn’t do this either because I didn’t have any but it would certainly taste great
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar.  Add the butter and mix.  Add the egg and pumpkin and mix.  Add the oats and chocolate chips (and nuts/raisins) and stir to combine.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the dough is firm (30-45 minutes).
On a greased baking sheet, scoop the dough into cookies.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the tops of the cookies are lightly browned.  Do not over bake. Cool on rack. Drizzle with melted chocolate after cooled, if desired.

I doubled the recipe because I wasn’t sure how many it would make. It made a lot of one batch is probably plenty. Doubled, I think I did about 5-6 baking sheets.

I didn’t count but two cookie sheets apparently makes 30 and one batch would certainly have made two cookie sheets.

The recipe emphasizes not to over cook them, well that made me scared and I think I may have undercooked them. Of course undercooked cookies are never bad.. that’s why cookie dough tastes so good. They were a little cakey which I think would be solved by cooking them a little longer but again, cakey is not necessarily a bad thing either, like I said they were still delicious.

Happy Fall =)

Hurricane Sandy

Uncategorized

My plan for this week was to make pumpkin oatmeal cookies on Tuesday to bring into work for Halloween, but fortunately I lost power and was unable to make them- and yes I mean fortunately. Not because I didn’t want to make these cookies and share the wonderful recipe with you all here. I say fortunately because power was the only thing I lost this week. This of course is not that first time a natural disaster has brought down a city/cities but I’m from PA, and I grew up going to the NJ beaches and visited NYC very often. This time it has hit home, literally.

The first day, Tuesday, I wasn’t able to watch the news- no power- so I wasn’t aware of all the destruction that Sandy caused, but once I was able to watch a TV and access the internet the photos were heartbreaking. My heart goes out to all the people that lost more than I did.

I know I’ve shared this website before but I think a lot of Brandon’s photos show the emotion of what happened and also tell the stories of the people of New York.

I’m going to keep this post short and just end it by saying- you should be thankful for what you have, because very easily and very quickly it can be taken away from you. I want to say thank you to all the first responders who selflessly risked their lives to save others.