Cranberry Orange Moscow Mules

Lets make room for just one more thing on your holiday table, a little something to add some Christmas cheer(s), luckily for you I've got just the thing. Enter.. Cranberry Orange Moscow Mules.. and if you don't have the mules, no worries, these will be just as delicious in a regular 'ol glass. Here's to hoping your holidays are  stress free, and if they aren't, here's to hoping you can at least have a few of these!

Cranberry Orange Moscow Mule  (Print me)
Ingredients (per drink):
*note 1 regular shot glass holds 1.5 oz

1.5-3 oz (1-2 shots) vodka
1.5 oz (1 shot) triple sec
1.5 oz (1 shot) cranberry juice
Ginger ale/ginger beer

Club soda (optional)
Orange slice

Add ice to mule/cup until 3/4 full. Add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, ginger ale/beer and club soda if desired, stir gently to combine. Garnish with orange slice and enjoy!

**If you are looking for a vodka recommendation, I would suggest Chopin or Kettle One.. just don't drink cheap vodka.. it's bad.

Source: See Brooke Cook Original


Perfect Macaroni & Cheese {Gluten Free Option}

It's no secret, I have always been a sucker for mac & cheese, it's like the culmination of carbs and cheese.. which are two of my favorite things! In my younger years the blue box was my friend, but these days if I'm going to indulge, then I like to do it right. And this is mac and cheese done right!

The options are really limitless here, the ingredients are merely a suggestion; I have made this as is or with smoked cheddar and gouda, any number of cheesey combinations would be tasty.  It would be a great base for add-ins, like bacon or pulled pork, you know whatever floats your boat. I'm a bit of a purest when it comes to my cheesy carbs, but I don't judge. Oh, and I will tell you it will feel like an awful lot of cheese for the amount of pasta while you're making it but.. it's not. Enjoy!

Perfect Macaroni & Cheese {Gluten Free Option} (Print Me)

~ 1 cup breadcrumbs (gluten free option)
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 ½ cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (gluten free option)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ½ cups (~18 oz) sharp white cheddar
2 cups (~8 oz) Gruyere (or substitute your favorite cheeses here)
1 pound elbow macaroni (gluten free option)


Shred cheese an mix together, set aside. Heat the oven to 375º F. Spray a 3-quart casserole dish with non-stick spray and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter, toss in breadcrumbs then remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, or in microwave, heat milk.

Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and 4 ½ cups of cheese . Set cheese sauce aside

Fill a large saucepan with water and salt lightly. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle on remaining 2 cups cheese, then scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

Source: Martha Stewart


Fresh Green Beans with Bacon & Onion

Sometimes we take for granted the little things in life, like really good green beans. I made these on Thanksgiving, and they we fantastic! Now, I'm not going to lie, adding bacon to your vegetables definitely takes them down on the healthy scale.. but life is about balance right?! Besides tasting amazing, these are really easy to throw together, I actually cooked the bacon and onion, took the pan off the heat, then just when dinner was about done put the pan back on medium heat, threw in the green beans and finished things up while they were cooking. Voilà! Fresh, crisp, yummy veggies that will not be taken for grated!

Fresh Green Beans with Bacon & Onion  (Print Me)

Oil (I prefer olive or coconut)
~1 lb fresh green beans, washed & trimmed
3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced

Heat a large pan over medium heat, add just enough oil to have a light coat over the bottom of your pan, add chopped bacon and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and releasing fat. Add onions and cook until soft and browning (~ 5 minutes or so). Add green beans and garlic, cover pan, and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until done to your liking (~10-15 minutes).

Source: See Brooke Cook Original


{Gluten Free} Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Once upon a time, in what feels like a lifetime ago, gluten didn't wreak havoc on my body. In this magical time I ate moist, texture-normal treats and didn't think twice about it. But that day is over. Thankfully, a new day is upon us, one where I am navigating converting my old favorite recipes in to new gluten-free versions, and I am glad to report a huge success! 

Now there was a lot of math involved in this, and that's not my favorite, but it was worth it! I also added some notes at the bottom for alterations I made for baking at high altitude, which is another new feat in itself. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

{Gluten Free} Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes  (Print Me)
Yield: 24 frosted cupcakes 

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
(5) large eggs
2 ⅔ cups gluten-free flour (I like KAF all-purpose gf)
¾ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup gluten-free flour
¾ tsp salt
3 Tbsp milk
2½ tsp vanilla extract
~½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 350° F. Prepare cupcake pans with liners and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in bowl or measuring glass. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and alternating with the milk, add both to the butter mixture, mixing each addition until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepped cupcake liners and allow to sit for 15 minutes prior to baking . Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool on wire rack to cool completely.

Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt, then mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended. Add a cup or so of mini chocolate chips to the frosting if desired, if piping the frosting you will want to take that in to consideration when choosing a tip.

When cupcakes are completely cool, frost & enjoy!

**altitude changes for cupcakes: add 3 Tbsp milk, reduce sugar by 1 ½ Tbsp, reduce baking powder & soda to heaping 1/2 tsps, bake at 365º and start checking cupcakes at ~15 minutes

Converted from See Brooke Cook, originally from Annie's Eats


Bourbon Pumpkin Bars {Gluten Free Option}

It's hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow, this year has gone by crazy fast (although I feel like I say that every year)! For the past several years we have spent Thanksgiving with our amazing friends celebrating Friendsgiving; however, with the recent cross country move, obviously that won't be possible. So, this Thanksgiving will be very low key, making this dessert a perfect fit! I wanted something that would satisfy my Thanksgiving pumpkin craving, that I could make gluten free, and that wouldn't have me in the kitchen all day.. this dessert fits the bill! Did I mention it's yummy? And don't worry about the bourbon, the alcohol bakes out while it's in the oven, but if you are still weary about it sub it out with equal amounts of water with a little vanilla extract. Serve with some fresh whipped cream and you're done! Now that was easy! Happy Thanksgiving!

Bourbon Pumpkin Bars  (Print Me)
1 1/2 cups pretzels, ground (option: gluten free)
1/2 cup graham crackers, ground (option: gluten free)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
Pinch salt

6 large eggs (3 separated, yolks only)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9inch x 13inch sheet tray with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper overlapping the sides by a couple inches, to create handles.

In a large bowl, add the pretzels, graham crackers, sugar, melted butter and salt, mixing to combine. Press into the bottom of prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool and increase oven temperature to 425ºF.

For the Filling:
In a large bowl, add the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, brown sugar, bourbon, molasses, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla extract and butter and whisk until smooth.

Pour into the crust and bake at 425ºF for 10 minutes then decrease the oven to 350ºF. Continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the filling is set but slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven to a baking rack to cool completely before refrigerating.

When ready to serve, cut in to bars and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, enjoy!

Source: The Chew


Pomegranate Mint Moscow Mule

Designer drinks are all the rage these days, and I won't lie I love to indulge in one every now and again when we are out, but man are they expensive! We were having dinner a few weeks ago at a local brewery and they had several specialty moscow mules including one that inspired this, but at ten bucks a pop I knew I could recreate it at home. Not only is this drink delicious, it is so pretty! I think it would be great for an upcoming holiday party, the flavors and colors are so festive. Or, you can just be like me and whip a couple up on a regular ol' Sunday night! Either way, you won't regret it!

Pomegranate Mint Moscow Mule   (Print Me)

Ingredients (per drink):
*note 1 regular shot glass holds 1.5 oz

4-6 Mints Leaves
3 oz (2 shots) vodka
3 oz (2 shots) pomegranate juice
4.5 oz (3 shots) ginger beer (or ginger ale)
Juice of 1/2 Lime
Club Soda (optional)

Muddle mint leaves in bottom of cup, add ice until 3/4 full. Add vodka, pomegranate juice, ginger beer and lime juice, then top with club soda if desired. Enjoy!

**If you are looking for a vodka recommendation, I would suggest Chopin or Kettle One.. just don't drink cheap vodka.. it's bad.


{Gluten Free} Cinnamon Rolls

It's See Brooke Cook's 5 year anniversary, and for that I made cinnamon rolls! One of the hardest things for me about going gluten free was giving up my "cheat foods". For the most part I have always been a fairly healthy eater as an adult so much of what I was eating already fit into my new meal plans or required only minor substitutions. But when it comes down to having an indulgent treat, once you take out gluten you have REALLY minimized the options.

There is a kind of grieving you go through when you have to give up gluten, a little jealousy anytime you see someone eat one of your favorite foods and you can't partake, that has been the most difficult part of this journey for me. Now, prior to kicking gluten to the curb I already loved King Arthur Flour, so when I went looking for gf baking tips you can bet that is where I turned. I love their gf baking mixes, they really couldn't be any simpler, but the baker in me still wants the homemade option. Enter these:

Now, long overdue on my "to make" list were Ree Drummond's cinnamon rolls, but alas I never made it around to them. So when I decided to tackle a gluten free version I knew I wanted to make some kind of hybrid to incorporate my original inspiration. So I stuck with the dough and filling from King Arthur but used Ree's maple frosting instead of the traditional cream cheese version. They were amazing!

A few tips on these:
1. They are time consuming, they don't require a lot of labor but you kind of have to be around to tend to them since they rise twice (like most yeast breads), so while you are at it, just go ahead and double the recipe! Thats what I did, when it came to rolling it out I just divided the dough roughly in half and proceeded from there. I am experimenting with different freezing methods so as we see what works best I will report back!
2. Gluten free dough and gluten full dough are two different beasts, this will be more puffy and less elastic then it's gluten filled counter part, just know that is normal.
3. The filling seems to a bit more than needed and maybe a touch too sweet so I will probably scale things back a bit next time, but until then I will leave the ingredients as they are until I can experiment, just know that if you don't like things overly sweet you may skimp on the sugar some. 
4. I had some leftover frosting, but the batch is already quite small so just know I didn't use it all, use as much as you like.

Cinnamon Rolls {Gluten Free} (Print Me)

2 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 Tablespoons soft butter
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup warm milk, plus extra for brushing on the dough
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor*

1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
6 Tablespoons soft butter

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/8 cup milk
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 Tablespoon brewed coffee
Dash salt

In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer combine all the dry ingredients; add the soft butter, blending on low until you have coarse crumbs. Add the oil, milk, egg, and flavorings, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then eat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes; scrape the bowl again. Cover the dough and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until visibly puffy.

While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon filling by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon, and soft butter until it's spreadable.

When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper and press it gently into an 8" x 16" rectangle (I marked the under side of the parchment paper to get a better idea of the size I needed). The dough will be sticky, but as it is exposed to air it will become easier to work with. 
Brush milk over the surface of the dough to help the rolls and filling from separating as they bake. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2" to 1" border of filling-free dough around the edges.

With the long edge of the parchment closest to you, roll the dough forward, allowing the paper to do the work for you (the dough should release from the paper as you roll it). Cut the dough into 8 roughly 2" slices using a sharp knife. 

Grease a muffin pan and place rolls into wells of the pan (using a muffin pan with help them rise higher and cook thoroughly). Allow the rolls to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're golden brown.

While baking, make the maple icing by whisking all ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency, it should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.

Remove rolls from oven, ice immediately and enjoy!

*I found this on amazon and added it to an order that I already needed so I got free shipping, apparently it is available in some store but I could not find it. I referenced their website and it is gluten free.

Source: King Arthur Flour and Pioneer Woman