Stocking Stuffer Sundays- Homemade Irish Cream with FREE downloadable labels


Oh I’m so excited for Stocking Stuffer Sundays! They were easily one of my favourite series I’ve ever done on the blog and, perhaps because I am such a huge lover of all things Christmas, I’m so jazzed to be starting it up again!

Just like last year every Sunday I’ll post a fun edible gift that you can make and give. And just like last year there will be a cute fun free downloadable gift tag option! Only this year, with my mad new photoshop skills that I learnt at Blogshop a couple weeks back, I was able to design the tags myself.

On a side not, how fun is photoshop? I was so intimidated for so long, but no longer!

So without further ado here is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever find on this site- Irish Cream. Sometimes known as Bailey’s, it literally takes 5 minutes to make, but instead of being full os preservatives this stuff is just cream, condensed milk, whiskey, vanilla and coffee.

But I hope you look at this as a jumping point- add in more coffee if you want a darker flavour, stir in some melted chocolate, or caramel for a more dessert flavour. Basically, mix it up as you like, this is just the beginning!


Click here to get the FREE downloadable labels!


Irish Cream

1 cup Cream

1 cup Whiskey

1 can Sweetened Condensed Cream

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 oz. Very strong coffee, or a shot of espresso

pinch of salt

Mix all your ingredients into a blender and mix for 30 seconds. Don’t over mix of it 


Cocktails Cocktails Cocktails!

It has been a long week. It’s been a good week, don’t get me wrong. No complaints here. But none the less, a long and exhausting one. I for one and very excited about leaving this coffee shop that I have been calling home these days, and heading back to my actual home, and pouring something stronger than the green tea that is currently sitting beside me. 

And in the name of sharing, I thought I should mention a couple good ones, ones in fact that I have made and written about in the last couple weeks over at HelloGiggles. 

First is the Rosemary Lime Gin Spritz, which tastes like a crisp fall day in a glass. It’s a thing of beauty. 

The second is what I’ve been drinking perhaps too much of lately. Maple bourbon sours. Need I say more?

And lastly is the Rainmaker, which is just a bit of gin and earl grey tea happiness. I think you’ll be into it. 

And with that in mind, happy friday! See you on Sunday with a salad! 

hello giggles- rosemary cocktail

Sometimes I look at my life, and just feel so lucky. Do you ever get that? 

Don’t get me wrong, my life is certainly not without it’s work dramas, and bad ankles, and the odd just absolute crap day. I have those. 

But I also have an extraordinary amount of love in my life. That sounds cheesy but so be it. I do. 

And lately more than ever, I’ve been feeling the friend love. There have been some great phone chats, some wonderful conversations over a mug of tea (or glass of wine, or cup of whiskey…) 

So when two of my favourite people on the planet were both in Vancouver on the same day a couple weeks ago, we made brunch, drank cocktails, gossiped for hours, and then made a little stop motion video. 

The cocktails in question were Strawberry Rose Mimosas, and it is with great pleasure that I tell you that you can find the recipe here, on my new cocktail column I’m writing for the cutest site (co-founded by Zooey Dechanel) Hello Giggles. So make them this weekend!image

I thought that it would be fun to just have the camera going and it would catch some great stills of us just begin goofy, but it ended up being an adorable little video, I think. Remember when I did that cake photoshoot with the pink ribbon behind it?

Well I used that same technique but brighter colours (and some gold sequins!) and used that as a backdrop, set up my tripod, and we just made goofy faces and danced in front of it. I have some truly great photos of us from it, as well as the video. 


A big thanks to two extraordinary woman Natasha and Maudie, for letting me put pictures of them on the internet. 

Gin, Elderflower, Mint Spritz


Guys, my neighbourhood is the best. I don’t want to rub it in or anything, but it is. There is no where else in Vancouver I would rather live. In a city famous for being cold and shiny, Commercial Drive is surprisingly warm. It is full of old Italian coffee shops, parks full of drum circles, and the best butchers in the city. I know all my neighbours, all the people who work at my local green grocers. It is full of the kind of warmth I associate with small towns, but I can still bike downtown in 10 minutes. It is the best. It completely amazes me when I meet people who live anywhere else. Honestly.

The best part about Commercial Drive though, is the summer time. And the best part of the summertime on Commercial Drive, are Drive Days. It’s when nearly 20 blocks are shut down and hundreds of thousands of people flood the streets to eat grilled sardines, drink fabulous coffee, and much to much beer.

It is totally overwhelming, but the best part about our apartment is that is directly on The Drive, which means we can watch the excitement from the fire escape when it gets overwhelming. It also means, that our house is full of people coming and going, and that means, we need lots of drinks on hand.

Jordan, my resident bartender, made these super simple cocktails this time, and I’ve been drinking them every weekend since. They take almost no time to make, easily scale up so you can make them for however many people show up on your door step, and are the perfect refreshing cocktail after eating oysters and getting pushed around in the crowd.


Gin, Mint, and Elderflower Spritz

Per Drink you Need:

1 1/2 oz Gin

3/4 oz Elderflower Syrup

1/2 oz Lemon Juice

3 Mint Leaves

1 dash Lemon Bitters

Soda to Top up Glass

If you are making just a couple drinks:

At the bottom of the glass muddle 2 of the mint leaves. (Press them down with the back of a wooden spoon to release their oils)

Add in the gin, lemon, and elderflower syrup and some ice. Stir until the liquid is very cold.

Top with soda and the bitters.

If you are making these for a crowd (as we often are):

The easiest way to do it it so mix the gin, syrup, lemon, and mint with ice in a martini shaker and shake for a minute or so. Pour them into the glasses top with soda, fresh ice, and the bitters.


Cherry Infused Bourbon Mint Juleps

It’s a funny thing, but in the winter time, I don’t really drink much. I don’t have much of a desire to. People always talk about glasses of red wine and books, and sometimes I agree with them, but mostly I drink tea. Or sometimes hot chocolate. That’s about as crazy as I get.

Summertime though is different. It’s so hot out all the time, and I just always want a cold beer, or a crisp glass of white in my hand. Perhaps too much. Which is why, as I write this, I’m on a cleanse.

Nothing crazy- just 5 days of no booze, no sugar, no flour and no caffeine. Oh, and no dairy.

I’m just feeling like perhaps a bit of a reboot to the system might not be a bad idea. I think my body needs a recharge.

However, on Friday, that will be done. And a long weekend full of long weekend parties will be waiting for me, and I think it will feel good to go into it with my body at full strength. You, however, should go into this weekend with one of these in your hands.

These are Jordan’s creation, and a great one at that. They’re a play off a drink we had at a fabulous bar in Portland a few years ago- the simplest old fashioned with one little twist- the bourbon was infused with perfect summer cherries.

The result was a drink so well balanced and sweet without hardly any added sugar. It was a thing of beauty. So we started playing around with cherry infused bourbon a while back, and this is what we learnt- to do this the proper way, you need to infuse the bourbon for over a month. If you cheat a little and slowly warm the bourbon, while keeping it airtight, you can be drinking these tomorrow.

This was one of the cocktails for Jordans parents big 40th wedding anniversary (lots of pictures to come from that soon!), he played around with it and went away from the super boozy old fashioned into something a bit easier for most to sip- a mint julep with cherry infused bourbon.

He also, being the clever man that he is, omitted the muddling step tradition to a julep and just made a mint simple syrup, but you can do it up proper if you prefer.

Cherry Bourbon Mint Juleps

1lb Fresh Cherries

1 750mL bottle Bourbon

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Water

10 stems of Fresh Mint

Soda Water

Lemon Juice

Remove the stems from the cherries and wash them carefully. Split them into 2 1 litre mason jars.

Pour the bourbon over top, filling until just under the lip.

Close the jars and put them in the bottom of a large pot.

Fill the pot up with water until just below the lids, and put the pot on a burner with medium heat.

Slowly bring the pot to a simmer, let it stay, barely bubbling for 10 minutes, and then allow to cool in the water. The jars should seal.

Wait until they are completely cooled before removing.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Remove from the heat and put the mint in. Let steep for 20 minutes, and then remove. Transfer to a sealable container and store in the fridge.

When everything is cooled you’re ready to make the drink!


1 1/2 oz Cherry Bourbon

1 oz Mint Simple Syrup

1 oz Lemon Juice

Stir together on ice and top with soda water!

For the party Jordan made a big jar full of the bourbon, simple syrup and lemon combined, and people just poured it on ice and topped with soda themselves!

Stocking Stuffer Sundays- Apple Spiced Bourbon

At the restaurant I work at I recently served a couple who were seeing each other for the first time since they had broken up. It wasn’t going well, and the guy was clearly trying to combat this the way, let’s be honest here, many of us do, by drinking. He wasn’t drunk by any means but he was definitely out pacing the pretty girl across the table, and after one particularly long silence between them he decided he wanted a shot. She said she didn’t want to join him in that, so I did instead, and when he asked what I wanted to drink I said bourbon.

“Oh, uh, okay… bourbon. Man I’m emasculated right now.”

He shuddered but took it down like a champ, albeit an unhappy one.

I love bourbon. Don Draper drinks Old Fashioneds, and you always read about Hemmingway in his pre-Cuban years sitting down with a bottle of the brown stuff. I’ll confess here, I decided I wanted to be the kind of girl that went to a bar and ordered bourbon, so I drank it until I liked it. This stubborn method has also made me like blue cheese and olives, tastes that are a bit harsh to the uninitiated. I now thoroughly enjoy it, it’s what I always order when I go out, and it’s what disappears the fastest from out liquor cabinet.

Good bourbon is very smooth and round and soft , but also very pricey, so here’s the trick to make even Wild Turkey palatable: you spice it. Several years ago this was told to me by a very talented pastry chef, who said if you bought cheap bourbon and stuck a vanilla bean in it for a day, at the end you would get significantly smoother bourbon, and over the years I have learnt that the more you add, the mellower it gets.

Spices cover a magnitude of sins when it comes to bourbon.

It also, with these spices, tastes just like the holidays. The warmth, the cinnamon, the hint of apple, all makes me forget my tiny messy apartment and fills my head with visions of crackling fireplaces, deep voices, and someone else making dinner. Add a little apple cider to the mix, and you’ve just about got Christmas in a glass.

Once again, the amazing Jen Cook has kindly made us some beautiful labels which you can download for free here. She is all kinds of talented, she made my site here, and she sells vintage clothing here

Apple Spiced Bourbon

1x 750mL Bottle of Cheap Bourbon

2 Apples

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Vanilla Bean 

1 Black Cardamon Pod

1 Clove

Wash the apples thoroughly, I used soap to make sure all the pesticides were off, or you can buy organic. Either way make sure the flavours of the sprays they use aren’t going into your drinks.  

Chop them up and put them in a large jar. Cover with the bourbon, close the jar firmly and let sit for 2 days.

Carefully split the vanilla bean in half, and scrape the seeds out with a small knife. Put the seeds and the pod into the jar with the cinnamon, clove and cardamon. 

Let these meld in there for another 6 hours, and then strain out, pour into jars. Print up the labels, these can be used as stickers, like I did, or you can tie them on with string.