BOOZY HOT CHOCOLATE — THREE WAYS

Dallas didn’t get too cold (yet) this year, but on the days it has, I found myself craving something warm and boozy. Once I had gotten past my hot toddies and it was too late in the day for an Irish Coffee, I turned to hot chocolate cocktails!

I put together a few different spirited options for y’all … from the traditionally spiked vodka, then went to tequila and scotch options. Because it’s always fun to try something different, right?

PEPPERMINT WHITE CHOCOLATE (VODKA)

½ C Absolut Elyx vodka
½ C white chocolate chips
1½ C milk*
¼ C sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla extract or vanilla paste
whipped cream (if desired)

Add chocolate and milks to a medium saucepan and summer, stirring constantly, until chips are melted. Once melted, remove from heat and add vodka. Top with whipped cream and peppermint pieces, if desired.

SPICY HOT CHOCOLATE (TEQUILA)

3 oz Patrón Tequila (more if desired)
3 C milk*
3 T cocoa powder
3 T tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of sea salt
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients (except for tequila) to a saucepan and whisk until combined. Heat on low until it’s slightly boiling, then remove from the stove. Add tequila, then pour into mugs and top as desired. (I added cinnamon marshmallows and a pinch of cayenne pepper on top.)

HIGHLAND HOT CHOCOLATE (SCOTCH)

3 oz Highland Park Magnus Scotch whisky (more if desired)
3 C milk*
3 T cocoa powder
3 T tbsp granulated sugar
1 t Sugar in the Raw (or any coarse brown sugar)
Pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients (except for whisky) to a saucepan and whisk until combined. Heat on low until it’s slightly boiling, then remove from the stove. Add whisky, then pour into mugs and top as desired.

… you can also whip up my famous HAUTE CHOCOLATE and add whatever spirit sounds good to you.

HAUTE CHOCOLATE
¼ C cocoa powder
½ C hot water
20 oz semi-sweet chocolate
10 C whole milk
2½ C heavy cream
12 oz can evaporated milk
¼ t salt

Either in a crock pot or a large pot, whisk cocoa powder with hot water until mixed. Add in chocolate, milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, and pinch of salt. If using a crock pot, cook for at least 2 hours on high OR low for 4 hours and stir occasionally. Keep on warm to serve.
If using a pot on the stove, heat for about 15 minutes on medium and stir often. Then, keep on simmer and continue to stir occasionally.
Makes about 20 servings.


*the higher the fat content of the milk you use, the richer your drink will be

t = teaspoon
T = tablespoon
C = cup
oz = ounce

Edith’s French Bistro at CityLine

I stopped into Edith’s French Bistro in Richardson’s CityLine, and will say … it was parfait. With it’s third location in DFW, this restaurant has a lot going for it! With an approachable menu with a French flair, it has options for anytime of day. I wish I could have ordered one of everything and eaten my way through their entire menu … so it looks like I’ll be coming back to do just that. I’ll also be looking for a chance to enjoy their high tea service, and will be keeping an eye on their unique special events!

Of course, you’re here to hear about the booze. So, here we go …
The Death Proof was clean, crisp, refreshing and a definite sipper since it has TWO kinds of liquor in it. (But still lovely to drink for the less hearty drinkers out there.) The honey-ginger syrup is refreshing with just the right amount of kick.
The Rhubarb Gin Sling  was the perfect brunch drink … and perfectly Instagrammable thanks to the flower garnish. Perfect for sweet and non-sweet drinkers.

The Brie & Fig Tartine was an perfectly balanced dish that I’ll be craving all week. The toasted bread makes this dish perfectly crunchy … and it’s sweet thanks to the roasted fig jam, sour and salty from the pickled rhubarb, and creamy from the melted brie. There were so many textures and flavors to love on this dish.
My husband indulged in the Flounder Pappardelle—the pasta was perfectly cooked with the blackened seasoning from the fish, and there was a fresh acidifying from the tomatoes and arugula.
I had the Chicken Paillard, and the breading on the chicken is the most flavorful I’ve ever had. With the finishing pan sear it’s texture was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The accompanying salad with arugula, tomato, fennel, orange, and avocado added a bright, fresh touch.

For dessert we shared the Pineapple Lemon Meyer Tart. It was a dream! The texture was perfectly pillowy and both flavors were balanced and bright … just exquisite, and the soft yet crisp cookie on both sides has just the right touch of sweetness. We also made sure to grab a croissant, which they make from scratch daily! Our was red for Valentine’s Day … and I’ll be sure to grab a few more to start off this Friday in the right spirit. It was everything a croissant should be: light, flakey, chewy, crisp, not overly buttery, and made with care. (And if you have ever made a croissant yourself, you know that it’s not something that you’ll ever do again.) The perfect end to a meal if you’re not a fan of sweets, or the perfect take away to reminisce over the next morning.

Put this place on your must-eat list ASAP. Be it Valentine’s Day, a date night, or a working lunch! We will for sure be back for brunch very soon since dinner was this good!


EDITHS FRENCH BISTRO
edithscafe.com
3551 Wilshire Way, Suite 100 (CityLine in Richardson)
469-697-6105

Happy Hour: Monday – Sunday, 3-6pm
Reverse Happy Hour: Fridays & Saturdays, 9pm-close

Event Recap: Sangria & Paella Making Class at Bulla

I was invited to join a paella and sangria class up the road at Bulla Gastrobar in Legacy West. Needless to say, I have a new appreciation for the giant skillet of seafood and rice … and for this amazing restaurant.

Starting off the night, we enjoyed a few passed appetizers and cava  while we learned about the head chef, the background of the restaurant, and how to make paella and three different types of sangria.

I’ve always been a little intimidated to make paella, but … fun fact, this dish gets its name from the pan used to make it. Anyone else intrigued by that? I’ll say this … it’s a good thing I didn’t try making this on my own. The ingredients are simple, but the process needs a little finesse. The dish is created with love, and from start to finish it takes about 30ish minutes … and that’s great because the smells were almost as intoxicating as the sangria and none of us could wait to eat.

Whether you are a microwave master or home chef, this class was perfect for all levels. Coming around a table, sharing, and conversing with fellow classmates made the evening an enjoyable and  relaxing experience that I highly recommend attending … and make sure you’re hungry!

Bulla is hosting this exact class, “Lovers & Friends, Sangria and Paella Making Class” on February 13th at 7PM. If you don’t have plans yet and are still on the hunt for a fun night, grab tickets on their website for $200 for two people!


BULLA GASTROBAR
bullagastrobar.com
6007 Legacy Drive (Plano)
972-805-4590
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Ocean Prime Rings in 10 Years with 10-$10 Menu Items

Dallas’s Ocean Prime just hit its 10th Anniversary in the heart of Uptown, and to show their gratitude to all of the thirsty (and hungry) Dallasites that have showed them the love the last 10 years, they offered a 10 Years, 10 Items, $10 special menu during the month of January in the OP Lounge and on the newly renovated terrace.

The Ocean Prime favorites that graced the menu were their best-sellers, and for a good reason. The OP experts I’m sure could rattle them off … but for those that are less familiar with their steak- and seafood-heavy menu, we’ll list them so you can seem like you know JUST what you’re doing next time you visit.
> Cocktails: Berries & Bubbles, Black Orchid, Cucumber Gimlet, Pine Fin Martini
> Food: calamari, goat cheese ravioli, sushi, ahi tuna tartar, 10 layer carrot cake, peanut butter torte

Although everything on the 10 Years, 10 Items was delightful, The Berries and Bubbles cocktail shines as the MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE in the lineup. The secret ingredient is dry ice that creates a bubbly, misty and energetic drink that not only tastes delicious, but will have everyone in the bar asking what it is so they can get one, too. (Susie’s note: Make before you set the trend to let all the dry ice smoke off or be VERY CAREFUL sipping it … because that s**t’s dangerous if ingested.)

> BLACK ORCHID (14): Three Olives Berry, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, lemon, white cranberry juice
> BERRIES & BUBBLES ($14): Belvedere Citrus Vodka, marinated berries, house made sour, Domaine Chandon Brut, dry ice

Ocean Prime recently unveiled a new spin on their calamari appetizer. The calamari is still marinated in buttermilk for 24 hours before crisping up in the fryer, but now they’re using a special blend of chili, hoisin and light soy sauces to add extra, deep flavor to the seafoodie favorite. The addition of julienne carrots, scallions, red bell peppers, Mung bean sprouts and candied cashews on top is unlike any calamari we have tried. THIS IS A MUST ORDER!

If you have room (I mean … you kind of have to save room), then you can’t pass on the 10 Layer Carrot Cake. This is another OP fan favorite. With just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth, this cake will guarantee you go home with a smile on your face.

Ocean Prime is a PRIME spot for happy hour or even just a quick glass of red to wash down their ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY DELICIOUS TRUFFLE POPCORN. No need for reservations, just pop in during happy hour after work to eat, drink and enjoy the mild Dallas winter on the newly renovated enclosed terrace oasis! (Susie’s note: Make sure you say hi to the Marcos at the bar … both will show you some really incredible hospitality.)

Bon Appetit!


OCEAN PRIME
2101 Cedar Springs Rd. #150 (Uptown/Harwood)
ocean-prime.com

Arctic Buzz Boozy Ice Cream

📸: @katherinegailco

Sometimes you get to the end of the night and you can’t choose between a nightcap and dessert. Our friends at Arctic Buzz have you taken care of with their boozy ice cream!

With ABVs (alcohol by volume) from 6.6% to 8.9%, their flavors are stout enough to taste the booze, but flavorful and well balanced. From traditional flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and cookies and cream to a little more exciting options like key lime pie and birthday cake, there’s a flavor for every ice cream lover.

I’ve tried quite a few alcoholic ice cream options and they are often not well balanced and often too strong. All of the flavors I’ve tried are delicious and surprisingly creamy, but I absolutely loved the birthday cake and am WILD about the chocolate.

While ice cream is delicious on its own, I thought that coming up with a way to get it into cocktails would be right on-brand for SusieDrinks.

RASPBERRY CREME
2 scoops Arctic Buzz Raspberry ice cream
2oz milk (try to use at least 2% or it will be too thin)
1oz Chambord
1/4 cup of frozen raspberries
Whipped cream and crushed vanilla wafer crumbs

In a blender, combine all ingredients except whipped cream and cookie crumbs. Blend until smooth. (Add additional milk if needed.) Top with whipped cream and cookie crumbs.

MARGARITA MILKSHAKE
2 scoops Arctic Buzz Key Lime or Coconut ice cream
1.5oz tequila
1oz orange liqueur
2oz cup milk (try to use at least 2% or it will be too thin)
Whipped cream
Lime zest (grated)

In a blender, combine all ingredients except whipped cream and lime zest. Blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and grate lime zest over the top. Add lime wedge if desired.

ARCTIC BUZZ ICE CREAM
arcticbuzzicecream.com

Available in the DFW area at:
– Spec’s Dallas – 9500 N Central Expy (North Dallas)
– Mr. Sugar Rush – 1408 N Riverfront Boulevard (Design District)
– Chocolate Lounge – 4222 W Camp Wisdom Road (North Dallas)
– Old Hag’s Pizza Pasta – 1315 W Davis Street (Bishop Arts District)
– Urban Donut – 2805 Allen Street (Uptown)

Please eat responsibly.

Fancy AF Cocktails

Do you ever wish you had the perfect cocktail to match your mood?
Do you sometimes feel classy but sometimes feel trashy?
Are you in search of some fancy AF cocktails?
… well buckle up, because Ariana Madix and Time Sandoval have a treat for you.

The “Vanderpump Rules” stars and couple have been creating cocktails for years at reality TV hit places such as SUR, TomTom, Villa Blanca, and PUMP, and they’ve finally collected their favorite ones to include in their new recipe book: Fancy AF Cocktails. The 80+ cocktails in the book run the gamut from “classy” to “trashy” and feature ingredients like caramel liqueur and wasabi-infused white rum on the class end, and BBQ sauce packets and Taco Bell FIRE sauce on the trashy end.

I took the liberty of selecting two that would be the absolute hit of any holiday party: the Naughty Holiday and the Nice Holiday. (I’ll leave it up to you to decide which category you fall under.) These cocktails are competing cocktails that Ariana and Tom made to help people enjoy the holidays whether throwing an extravagant Christmas party or just “boozing solo”.

NAUGHTY HOLIDAY
1.5oz chocolate liqueur
1.5oz Chili Chocolate Kahlúa
1.5oz vanilla vodka
Chili powder
Garnished with mini candy cane


NICE HOLIDAY
2oz white chocolate liqueur
.5oz crème de menthe
1oz vanilla vodka
Garnished with peppermint chocolate

Whether you’re feeling naughty or nice is really no concern of mine … I’m just here to make sure you get the drinks you need to survive this holiday season. Luckily, Ariana and Tom were kind enough to include some “Recovery Drinks” in their book to help keep you ready for the next night out.

… I would suggest trying the Leggo My Ego.

FANCY AF COCKTAILS: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers
Written by Ariana Madix & Tom Sandoval with Danny Pellegrino
NOW ON SALE: FancyAFCocktails.com | Amazon.com
#fancyafcocktails

Restaurant Review: CraftWay Kitchen

CraftWay Kitchen is unique in many ways, but most due to the fact that the chef highlights the food by letting it speak for itself. I feel like we now often find long flavor profiles that are well-developed and unique, but sometimes simplicity is just as important, which is the case here.

We tried the crab stuffed mushrooms, flash fried asparagus, candied bacon, French onion soup, filet, ahi tuna, and grilled Verlasso salmon. Delightfully, it was all delicious.

I’m always impressed when a restaurant’s vegetables get the same attention as entrees. The crab stuffed mushrooms had the perfect amount of filling and umami and the asparagus was crisp and fresh even after its visit to the flash frier. Meat is difficult, yes, but when you can make a veggie sing, I’m here for it.

Unsurprisingly, the candied bacon was delicious—gooey, crunchy and packed a little bit of heat. The onion soup was classically prepared, and should be on your list if you want something comforting.

As for the proteins, the chef once again displayed his perfect preparation with exactly the right balance of salt, fat, acid and heat that was given to let the food speak for itself without having to add sauces and such. The filet, again, cooked perfectly, was accompanied by whipped garlic mashed potatoes. The ahi tuna was beautifully simple—and when you get an ingredient like, that you have to focus on quality and thoughtful preparation, which the chef executed amazingly. The grilled Verlasso salmon was my favorite thanks to its decadent flakiness, and the the sauce and broccolini it was served with were perfect compliments.

Their cocktail list was very inspired and creative. If more than one thing catches your eye (which it will), get your waiter’s opinion because they have something for everyone and the staff is very knowledgable. I heard great things about the Spring Gimlet and Cucumber Fizz, but I went with the Bonfire. It left me wanting a little more smoke and a little more sweetness as it has the potential to be fantastic.

One really unique feature of Craftway is that they offer Michael David’s Freakshow Cabernet and Chardonnay on tap! Yup, you heard right. I am a big wine (and environment) lover, so this hits both marks for my hippie wino self.

The atmosphere is a fun, date night feel, but you could also visit and enjoy a casual dinner. The bar area is quaint with a electric energy … of course, depending on the game that’s happening or what young professional company may be hosting a happy hour. I’d recommend going for happy hour, dinner, and maybe even brunch.

While we enjoyed sampling their dinner menu, I bet you their brunch is just as good! And again, a great location for the north Dallas crowd. If you’re in the neighborhood I would definitely give it a try!

CraftWay Kitchen
CraftWayKitchen.com
Facebook | Instagram
5809 Preston Rd., Suite 578, Plano, TX 75093
972-403-0555

Drink well. Travel often.