martini

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MARTINI

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur
1 1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz Vanilla Vodka
2 1/2 oz half and half
Chocolate Syrup
Crushed peppermint candies or candy canes

Directions: 

Crush peppermint candies or candy canes into a ziplock bag then pour on a plate.  Wet rim of martini glass with water then dip in crushed peppermint candy.  You may also pour some chocolate sauce on a separate plate and dip the glass in chocolate, then crushed peppermint candy for another option.  Drizzle chocolate sauce in the bottom of the glass. Place the glass in the freezer to chill, if desired.  Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, then combine Godiva chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka, Creme de Cacao, half & half and shake well.   Strain ingredients into glass and enjoy!

martini

It’s a hard task trying to choose between a dessert and a cocktail. Luckily, we can have the best of both worlds with Chocolate Martinis. This cocktail is so delicious that it’s like drinking dessert in a glass, a must-try for chocolate lovers!

This Martini is made with Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur that is smooth and creamy with a rich, silky finish. If you prefer dark chocolate, try it with Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur.  An extra layer of flavor is added by the Creme de Cacao, which is a chocolate liqueur with an essence of vanilla.

Presentation wise, drizzle chocolate syrup in your martini glass to form a swirling design, then place the glass in the freezer.  For a “Wow” factor, rim the glass with crushed peppermint candy canes.  This adds a peppermint twist with every sip! 

This recipe is perfect for cold days, holiday parties, date night, and much more.  Please beware: one cocktail will likely turn into two (maybe more)!

Caramel

Caramel

Caramel Apple Martini

Recipe:

1.5 oz Butterscotch Schnapps (3 Tablespoons/1 shot glass)
1.5 oz Sour Apple Pucker (3 Tablespoons/1 shot glass)
1 oz Tito’s Vodka (2 Tablespoons/ 3/4 shot glass)

Place all ingredients over ice in cocktail shaker. Drizzle martini glass with caramel sauce, then pour!

Caramel

Caramel

Fall days ask for sweet treats. After all, who doesn’t love to sink their teeth into a crisp and sticky caramel apple? Honestly, we can’t get enough of this traditional and classic Fall treat, so it’s no surprise that we would enjoy a cocktail infused with the same flavors, a Caramel Apple Martini!

Practical girls, we love recipes that are both simple and delicious. Follow our steps and enjoy a cozy cocktail that will warm you right up!

The ingredients represent our favorite Autumn flavors at their best: Butterscotch Schnapps that are sweet as candy; and Sour Apple Pucker that sort of tastes like a Granny Smith Apple. You’ll feel a burst of sweetness followed by a mouth-puckering sour taste.

Simply add your favorite vodka. Yes, any type will do. Drizzle your glass with a smooth, creamy, and delicious ooey gooey caramel sauce. Then, pour it into your Martini Glass and serve.

We think of this as the ultimate fall & festive inspired cocktail, where sour and sweetness are perfectly balanced. This is the textbook choice for your next fall party, holiday, or girls’ night out. Not that you need excuses to treat yourself with one of these!

Pasta & Beans

Pasta & Beans

Pasta & Beans: Pasta e Fagioli (Rachael Ray)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 pound (about 3 slices) pancetta, chopped (omitted)
Two 4 to 6-inch sprigs rosemary, left intact (omitted)
One 4 to 6-inch sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact  (omitted)
1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
Coarse salt and pepper
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
1 cup canned tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1-quart chicken stock (replaced with chicken broth)
1 1/2 cups Ditalini pasta
Grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese, for the table

 

Directions:

First, heat a deep pot over medium-high heat and add oil and pancetta. Brown the pancetta bits lightly, and add herb stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomato sauce, water, and stock to the pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a rapid boil and add pasta.

Reduce heat to medium and cook the soup, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Rosemary and thyme leaves will separate from stems as the soup cooks.
Remove herb stems and bay leaf from soup and place the pot on table on a trivet. Let it rest and begin to cool for a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with lots of grated cheese. Pass crusty bread for bowl mopping.

Pasta & Beans

Pasta & Beans

Pasta & Beans

Pasta & Beans

Chilly Autumn and Winter days ask for comfort food and what can be more comforting than a classic pasta and beans meal, Pasta e Fagioli? Growing up, Pasta e Fagioli was a staple recipe that was made year round. It’s an economical way to feed the entire family and often times, you can throw in whatever leftovers you have from the refrigerator or the garden. That was the case with our parents and grandparents. Today we try an original recipe by Rachael Ray, with a twist. We did follow this delicious recipe by using the main ingredients, but decided to tweak it a little to our liking, 2Orchids style!

Although herbs like rosemary and thyme, as well as pancetta (Italian bacon), can add extra flavor to the recipe, we decided to omit those from the dish.  You can substitute Italian sausage for pancetta and still have a flavorful soup or, go meatless like we did without sacrificing flavor. We also added tomato paste to thicken up the soup and used chicken broth instead of chicken stock. After all, cooking is all about going with your gut.

There is something to be said about soup on the second day, therefore we like to make a big pot to enjoy leftovers and the flavor definitely improves overnight!  For us, everything is better when topped with cheese, so sprinkle a little Pecorino Romano and grab a fresh loaf of Italian bread.  Enjoy this rich and hearty meal by yourself or with loved ones. Warmer hearts ♥♥ guaranteed!

Cooking Italian Soup, Chit Chat & A Dash of Our Favorite Beauty Products/The 2Orchids YouTube

 

Toffee-Apple Dip

Fall Season Sweet Toffee-Apple Dip Recipe & Video

Toffee-Apple Dip
Fall asks for family and friend gatherings around delicious food. Today we bring you a super-easy to make toffee apple dip. Try this simple recipe the next time you are entertaining guests and see why this classic combination never gets old.

Toffee dips pair perfectly with fresh fruit, but it’s no coincidence that apples are its best friends. Pick your to-go apples for dipping. Ours is Granny Smith apples because their sour distinct tart flavor compliments the sweetness of the dip so well. Gala and Honeycrisp apples are also delicious! Now that you have the apples, let’s look at the ingredients for the dip:

Ingredients needed:

1 8oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 8oz package Milk Chocolate Heath Toffee Bits

Start by softening the cream cheese. Mix all the other ingredients, except Toffee Bits, in a mixer until blended. Then just add the candy bits and fold them in. Pro tip: you might want to save some bits for garnishing later.

This recipe is easy enough even for two busy orchids like ourselves. Just imagine how those toffee bits offer crunchiness to the dip. It’s sweet perfection. Every bite tastes heavenly since the creamy texture of the dip clashes with the rawness of the apples. Remember you can use lemon or pineapple juice over the apple slices to keep them from browning. I read from eHome Remedies that pineapple juice can have lots of health benefits.

The difficult part is not standing there and devour the whole thing with a spoon before it ever meets an apple slice. To eliminate double dipping, we suggest you slice the apples thin. Caution when consuming: highly addictive.

No doubt this is a yummy recipe and will be guaranteed to be a hit at your next party. A crowd pleaser, like most classics, this will soon become your favorite apple dip. Beware: guests will go nuts over it!

Autumn Harvest Salad

 

Autumn Harvest Salad

Autumn Harvest Salad

Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe & Video

Autumn Harvest Salad

Autumn Harvest Salad

Autumn Harvest Salad

Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe & Video

Wait. Before scrolling away, give this salad a chance! We can tell what you’re thinking: when it comes to making a salad at home it never tastes quite as good as the one from your favorite restaurant. Wrong!

Have you met our delicious Autumn Harvest Salad? Loaded with a wonderful combination of ingredients and topped with a dressing that’s bursting with flavor, this recipe will make you rethink your approach to salads.

Being truthful to the season, we pick our ingredients accordingly: romaine lettuce, arugula, shallots, sliced pears, blue cheese, and pecans. For the dressing, we go for a mix of white balsamic and Dijon mustard.

As you can see from the list, we keep it simple. We love the combination of tender greens and crisp romaine. The cheese provides the smooth and the nuts for crunch, so it has plenty of color and texture.

Proof that vibrant salads are real, our Autumn Harvest Salad is full of flavor and perfect for a cozy evening at home or a special occasion gathering. A light salad like ours won’t leave you feeling weighed down with the advantage of still being flavor-packed, healthy, and satisfying. It also does wonders as a compliment to any meal.

Out homemade dressing is made of white balsamic vinaigrette, Dijon mustard, olive oil, honey, and seasonings. It has the right combination of sweet and tangy goodness. When added to the salad it creates the perfect balance of flavors with every bite. Can a salad be indulgent? Your 2 Orchids say so!

Recipe:

Romaine Lettuce
Baby Arugula
1 Red pear (sliced)
1 Brown pear (sliced)
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Pecan Pieces ( We used Honey )

Directions:

Start by washing the lettuce. Chop the Romaine and add Baby Arugula in a large bowl. Combine and toss all ingredients together then add dressing.

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing:

I medium shallot chopped
3 TB. Honey
2 TB. White balsamic vinegar
1 TB. Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk constantly until mixture is emulsified.