Spring Mocktails

3 Spring Mocktails @themerrythought Back to share a few more tasty mocktail recipes! These refreshing drinks are perfect for this spring season that seems to finally be coming around. Be sure to try these out at your Easter get-togethers this weekend!
Italian Cream Soda @themerrythought Italian Cream Soda

3 tbsp flavor syrup
1 tbsp heavy cream
Ice
Sparkling mineral water

Add the syrup to a glass then fill the glass 3/4 full of chopped ice. Slowly pour in the sparkling water until the glass is almost full. Add the heavy cream to the top of the drink. Mix to drink.

How to make your own flavor syrup:
1 cup fruit (I used raspberries)
1/4 water
Bring to a boil and continue cooking until fruit has lost its texture. Strain liquid into a bowl and discard fruit. Put liquid back in pan and add 1/3 cup of sugar. Boil until the sugar dissolves. Remove from stove and let cool.
Ramos Non-Gin Fizz @themerrythoughtRamos (Non)Gin Fizz

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 egg white
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp Polar Orange Dry Soda

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice (or just use a big mason jar) Vigorously shake for a few minutes until completely mixed and frothy. Pour into a glass without ice. This fresh, lemony drink pairs perfectly with brunch!
Spicy Cool Cucumber Cocktail @themerrythoughtSpicy Cucumber Cooler

1/4″+ jalapeño (adjust according to heat of the jalapeño you get)
1″ cucumber chopped
8 leaves cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice
Combine these ingredients and muddle them.
Add this mixture into a cocktail shaker 1/2 full of ice and add:
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp Polar Half & Half (grapefruit/lemon juice)
Shake well and strain into a glass 3/4 full of chopped ice.

This guy would be a nice addition to your Cinco De Mayo festivities!
3 Spring Mocktails @themerrythought Don’t forget to top them off with some of these adorable Rabbit Drink Stirrers!

xo. Caitlin

Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers

Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
If you’ve been a reader for a while you may have noticed our mocktail kick…Caitlin is turning out to be quite the pro at whipping up some delicious beverages!  She has some spring inspired drink recipes to share this week and I thought a rabbit drink stirrer would be a fun touch to add to drinks served at an Easter dinner.
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
I was inspired by a wood rabbit mask necklace that Mike had made for me a while back, and used that necklace as the template for my rabbits (I’ve included a download for that rabbit silhouette below if you want to use that).  I’ve used thin birch plywood for a couple other projects (like these earrings) and thought a simple wooden rabbit would be fun.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cut curves into the wood without it cracking, but with some scoring first, it cut easily!  I love the simple, natural look of the plain wood, but you could definitely paint the rabbits different colors or paint simple faces on them.  They’d also be cute place cards – wrap some washi tape or paper around the skewers with guests names on it – or print right on the rabbit, and pop them in a drink at each place setting.
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
What you need:

      • thin birch plywood – 1/64 width (I found mine at Michaels)
      • wooden skewers
      • rabbit silhouette to trace (download the one I used here. Mine measures about 2″ x 1.25″, you can adjust the size it prints in your printer settings.)
      • scissors
      • x-acto knife
      • pencil
      • super glue
      • paint – optional

Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
How to do it:
Trace your rabbit silhouette onto the plywood. Using the x-acto knife, score along the lines you traced. (I found that my lines cut much neater if I scored the wood before cutting). Cut out with scissors – using sharp, small scissors will work best for this. If desired, paint the tops of the skewers or the rabbit silhouette – do not paint the end of the stick that will be in the drink! Super glue the top of the skewer to the back of the rabbit and let dry.
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought

Be sure to check back tomorrow to get the recipe for this delicious drink and a couple more mocktail recipes!

-Manda

Kraft Paper Easter Egg Piñata

DIY Kraft Paper Easter Egg Piñata @themerrythoughtStill looking for some Easter activities for your festivities this weekend? String one of these Easter Egg Piñatas up and the kiddos will be thrilled! It’s quick and fun to make. I used some kraft paper to add a more muted, natural feel to it. I know it’s hard not to go for crazy, cutesy colors everywhere for Easter, but I wanted something that would fit in at my apartment until we use it on Sunday! You could even just keep it as holiday decor if you can’t bear to see it destroyed.
DIY Kraft Paper Easter Egg Piñata @themerrythought What you need:
-Balloon
-Kraft Paper
-Flour
-Water
-Paint & Paintbrush
-String

How to make it:
-To make the paste, mix 1 cup of flour with 2 cups of water.
-Cut up a bunch of strips of the kraft paper. (I used packing paper from Dollar Tree because it is a lot thinner than the packing paper I usually buy.) Blow up the balloon and tie it off. Dip the strips into the paste and slide it between your fingers to remove excess paste. Start applying them around the balloon. Be sure to cover all of the balloon. Let the first layer dry and then repeat for a second layer.
-Once everything is dry, pop and remove the balloon. You may need to cut the hole in the top a little wider to fit the candy in.
-Poke a hole on two sides of the hole on top (I used a nail) and then push your string through one. Pull it through the hole and tie a secure knot in it and then pull it back out so the knot it inside of the piñata. Repeat with the other end of the string in the second hole. Use more paste and kraft paper to seal off the hole once the candy is inside. And let it dry.
-Paint your design on and then hang it up and watch it get destroyed ;)
DIY Kraft Paper Easter Egg Piñata @themerrythought This would be a great surprise to end your Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt with!

xo. Caitlin

Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes

Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes @themerrythought
Every year around this time I start craving lemon desserts. I want everything I eat to taste like spring! Especially this year, when it seemed to take so long for any kind of spring-like weather to show up around here. (And we still have snow predicted in our upcoming forecast…nooo!). If we can’t get mother nature to bring spring to our doorstep, we can at least have it on the table!
Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes @themerrythought
I spotted this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens and thought it sounded like a perfect spring-y dessert. I’ve been wanting to try lavender in a recipe and I’ve never made pudding cake before.  The texture of pudding cake is not exactly my thing, but the flavor of these cakes is delicious and tastes like spring on a spoon!  The lavender was pretty subtle, although I did add extra lemon juice to mine, so that may have over-powered the lavender more than it should have, but I just can’t get enough of that sweet, tart lemon flavor, so I had to add more!  These would make a perfect addition to your Easter menu!
Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes @themerrythought
Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon dried lavender
2 lemons
6 tablespoons granulated sugar (+ more for baking dish)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 eggs, separated

coarse or rock sugar + 1/2 tsp. dried lavender – optional
powdered sugar – optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan combine milk and 1 tbsp. lavender over medium heat until just simmering. Remove from heat; let stand for 15 minutes. Strain; discard lavender.
Finely shred 1 tbsp. peel from lemons. Juice lemons (about 1/4 cup, I used a little extra). Set aside. Grease ramekins, custard cups, or baking dish, sprinkle each with sugar tapping out any excess. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine 2 tbsp. granulated sugar and the flour. Whisk in lemon peel, lemon juice, and melted butter until smooth. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks and strained milk. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until smooth; set aside.
In a small bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (the tips will curl). Gradually add remaining 4 tbsp. sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (the tips will stand straight). Stir a small amount of the egg whites into the lemon mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg whites (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into prepared dishes, filling each three-fourths full; place in a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove pan from oven and cool cakes on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Optional – Place remaining dried lavender and rock sugar in a blender. Cover; blend until fine. Sprinkle over cakes. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Barely adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens
Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes @themerrythought
Lavender Lemon Pudding Cakes  @themerrythought

What’s your favorite spring treat?

Happy Monday!

-Manda

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