March 15, 2017 | by Cyd Converse
At our favorite Irish pub here in town, they serve an Irish coffee that is the stuff that warms the soul on a cold winter day. Dark, rich coffee steaming hot with big splashes of whiskey and Irish cream. Topped with whipped cream and a little dusting of cinnamon, it’s basically dessert meets cocktail meets some kind of heaven. Is Ireland heaven after all? It may just be, friends, it may just be. Today I’m serving up a frothy, thick milkshake version of the Irish coffee classic, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this is easily one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. I’d go so far as to put in my top five favorite recipes I’ve ever created and shared with you. It is so so good. Make these for your friends this St. Patrick’s Day weekend! They will love you more than they already do. Sláinte!
Boozy Irish Coffee Milkshake
Makes 4 small milkshakes
- 4 cups coffee ice cream
- 1/2 cup coffee
- 1/2 cup Irish cream
- 1/3 cup Irish whiskey
- 1/2 cup milk
Place all ingredients in a blender then blend on high until smooth. If you prefer a thicker milkshake, simply add more ice cream or cut back on the coffee and milk. For best results, make the coffee in advance and chill and use either room temperature or cold. Pour milkshake into glasses and top with cinnamon whipped cream. (Recipe below.)
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Add cream and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer or use a mixing bowl and a hand mixer. Whip on high speed until it thickens a bit, then add ground cinnamon and continue whipping until thick. Soft peaks should form when it’s done. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary while mixing. Use right away or make up to two hours in advance and keep refrigerated.
[Recipe + art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
March 14, 2017 | by Cyd Converse
Friends, it’s St. Patrick’s Day week! In addition to making this super cute DIY sequin shamrock shirt to sport the requisite green come Friday, you should also probably consider eating an overload of Lucky Charms. Because it seems like everyone else is doing it, so why not us? In all seriousness though, I kind of love this trend of adding Lucky Charms to basically any and everything to create the most festive of St. Patrick’s Day desserts and treats. Sometimes you just need a little bit of childhood nostalgia in your life and these recipes will give your day just the right kind of whimsy. Scroll through for seventeen of the best Lucky Charms recipes – from ice cream to cookies, from donuts to cannoli! Don’t forget to pin ’em to save them for later.
1. Lucky Charms ice cream [above]
2. Lucky Charms cereal treats
3. Lucky Charms donuts
4. Lucky Charms cannoli
5. Boozy Lucky Charms milkshake
6. Lucky Charms bark
7. Lucky Charms pancakes
8. Lucky Charms chia pudding
9. Lucky Charms cupcakes
10. Lucky Charms muddy buddies
11. Lucky Charms popcorn
12. Fudge whiskey Lucky Charms cake
13. Lucky Charms shamrock shake
14. Lucky Charms magic bars
15. Lucky Charms cookies
16. Lucky Charms cake
17. Lucky Charms ice cream taco
March 13, 2017 | by Cyd Converse
When I shared before and after photos of our living room renovation way back in June, I shared that I was planning to give our fireplace a quick and easy makeover until we decide longterm how we’d like to reface the brick. I’m thinking some kind of small scale marble tile, but I have some time to work that out since we won’t be doing anything like that until we eventually put in a gas insert or something similar. In the meantime, I gave the existing brick a good long time to grow on me and, not surprisingly, it didn’t happen. Wanting to keep things quick, simple and inexpensive, I opted for a paint job to freshen things up! The entire project rang in at under $30 and just took a couple of hours of painting, not including dry time. First up, a quick look back at how this fireplace started out.
The brick started kind of a yellowy speckled color that I always knew wouldn’t be long for the living once we were moved in and settled. The chimney is actually the same color and outside I kind of love it, but inside it was doing nothing but taking away from that gorgeous mantle. It instantly grabbed your eye when you waked in the room and definitely not in the good way. It was quite distracting actually. So finally after months of sitting and waiting and being sure I was 100% on the painting train, a few weeks ago I got the job done!
To get started I cleaned the entire fireplace, inside and out, by first vacuuming it and then wiping everything down with a damp cloth. I opted to paint the firebox black to clean up that charred look. Because we are currently not using the fireplace to burn wood and don’t anticipate doing so (a toddler being the primary reason for that among others), a basic black paint would have gotten the job done. That said, who knows if we’ll ever change our mind on that so I went with a high heat paint meant for painting things like grills and wood stoves. This was by far the bulk of the expense with this little project at around $20 a quart.
Because this paint is not your basic latex, be prepared for it to stink like crazy. I did this while Emerson was out of the house with a sitter for the afternoon to be sure she wasn’t breathing in the heavy fumes. All of that said, you definitely want to ventilate your room as much as possible and be really careful about drips and spills since clean up would be much more of a chore. I picked up a relatively cheap paint brush so I could just toss it after and not have to worry about cleaning it. Then I went to town painting! One good coat covered everything well and instantly made everything look better. I let it dry overnight and the next day I tackled the exterior brick with just one coat of flat white paint that was already hanging out around the house. (It was actually left over from the painting the ceilings in this room and the dining room.) With one coat, a tiny bit of the variation in the brick comes through, which I personally prefer over a thick, opaque coating slopped on there. I didn’t prime the brick, I just used latex paint and got to work. Easy peasy, inexpensive and it makes a world of difference in the room.
Oh, and let’s talk about the elephant in the room, shall we? And by “elephant” I’m sure you know I mean “the huge black television.” I know there’s a lot of debate at times about televisions mounted over fireplaces blah blah blah, but this is real life and in real life we watch television and have been known to Netflix binge on occasion. I would love if there was a way to magically make the giant television disappear when not in use, but there’s not and there’s also no other place for it to go in this room on account of all the huge windows and the wide doorway into the foyer. Unless we wanted to put the sofa inside the fireplace, there’s really no other good way to set up the room so a huge television over a big old fireplace it is. And with that, let’s take one more look at the before and after on this one, because I’m still pretty excited about how it turned out! Anyone else paint a fireplace recently?
[Before photos by Cyd Converse | All others by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
March 10, 2017 | by Cyd Converse
We have a tiny girl who has been pretty miserable this week, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend and hopefully a bit of time to unwind. (You can’t blame the one year old teething and running incessant fevers, but it does make the week feel a lot longer!) We don’t have much on our agenda this weekend, which feels really nice, so we might start getting organized for the next batch of renovation projects we want to tackle around the house. (Ugly ugly ugly kitchen, I’m gunning for you!) Other than that I found myself loving all the prettiest spring-inspired things this week. Tomorrow we’re expecting wind chills as low as -16° (no, that’s not a typo) so I can use all the spring I can get right now. Here’s wishing you a great weekend! xoxo
1 | Sugar & Cloth’s Blood Orange Sangria
We’ve been on such a blood orange kick this winter and, naturally, I’m a sangria fan from way back. This is the perfect, easy sangria recipe for entertaining this week. And that color is just gorgeous!
2 | Say Yes’s DIY Banana Bun
I love this pretty, easy look for an alternative to my go-to top knot on days when I just can’t be bothered to do my hair like a proper adult. (Read: Every damn day.)
3 | Julie’s Edible Egg Nests
Easter practically begs for cute on-theme desserts, and these sweet little edible egg nests are absolutely adorable. I love that these are really easy to make, too, and perfect for little helpers to pitch in a hand!
4 | DesignLoveFest’s Printable Bouquet Wraps
I can’t think of any occasion where giving flowers isn’t a great option. I love giving and receiving flowers! These pretty printable bouquet wraps make a simple bunch of flowers even more special.
5 | Kendi’s Pretty in Pink Look
Kendi has long been my favorite fashion blogger. I’m crazy about her style and love the pieces she pulls together. This pretty pink look for spring is really lovely and it’s also giving me major bag envy.
6 | The Open Shelving in Elsie’s Kitchen
All of Elsie’s kitchen makeover is pretty great (I love all that white and brass), but I particularly love the open shelving. These great glass jars holding pantry staples are my favorite detail. (I do something similar!)
March 9, 2017 | by Cyd Converse
Bob and I have this little tradition of making what we call “fancy grilled cheese sandwiches” for dinner on Friday nights. Not every Friday night (far from it actually), but for some reason a great grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of homemade tomato soup is the perfect way to end the week when you’re too tired to want to cook up a more involved meal, but want to attempt something a bit more than delivery. This sandwich is one of our favorite variations! A grilled cheese made with caramelized onions, dill pickle, havarti and munster cheese all on inside-out ciabatta bread. We have a few other favorites that I’ll be sharing soon, too. A grilled cheese-a-palooza! Perhaps the best kind of palooza there ever was, no? (Side note: Give me all the cheese, please and thank you!)
Caramelized Onion Dill Pickle Grilled Cheese
- Ciabatta bread
- Sliced havarti cheese
- Sliced munster cheese
- Thinly sliced dill pickles
- Caramelized onions
Slice a piece of ciabatta bread in half and butter the inside of each piece. Layer cheeses, dill pickles and caramelized onions on one of the unbuttered sides. Top with the second slice of bread, butter side out. Move to a skillet or griddle and heat over medium heat until crispy on one side. Flip and repeat until the second side is also golden and crispy. Serve hot with your favorite tomato soup on the side.
[Recipe + art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]