Thirsty Thursday: BeautyFrosting’s Brandywine Punch

For Thanksgiving this year, I thought it would be cool to create a cocktail that would match my decor. And because I’m me, well, I did just that. The theme? Brandywine, based on the decorative turkey of the same name that I designed my entire Thanksgiving tablescape around (see photo here).

Thirsty Thursday: BeautyFrosting's Brandywine Punch

It was a HIT! So much so, that I whipped it up again for my birthday 70s Soiree the following wee. Now, you can try it for yourself!

BeautyFrosting’s Brandywine Punch

*Makes approx. 12-16 cocktails

1) Sprinkle 1 Tbsp pomegranate seeds in bottom of champagne flutes.

2) In a large beverage container or large pitcher, combine:

1 Bottle of Simply Cranberry

1 Bottle of Simply Apple

1 c BeautyFrosting Brown Sugar Simple Syrup (see below)

1-2 c AppleJack Brandy

1 Bottle Mumm Napa Brut Rosé

Pour cocktail mixture over pomegranate seeds.

Serve with a grateful heart.

BeautyFrosting’s Holiday Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

1 c Brown Sugar

1 c Water

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Maple syrup

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cinnamon and water. Simmer over medium heat, constantly stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add in maple syrup. Cool. Pour simple sugar into cocktail of choice. Or store in refrigerator in pyrex or airtight container for up to a month.

Brandywine punch leaves all in good cheer!


BF Asks: What do you sip on Thanksgiving? 

Recipe Box: Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake – a homespun recipe

A few weeks ago, I had a game night scheduled with my dear girlfriends with whom I used to work at Barbra Streisand’s. I love these girls. I have soooo much fun with these girls. And they love me for everything I am – the bad, the good, the goofy. Heck, they even love my dog more than most people.

But I also knew that no matter how busy I was, I couldn’t show up empty-handed. That was just not an option. They would be expecting something buttery, sweet and delicious. So I knew I had to deliver. But what to bake on a Friday afternoon when you have less than 2 hours to prepare?

My answer? My Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake – a fave of my girlfriends for years. Perfect for an impromptu dinner party, an easy dessert on a beach vacation or the perfect treat to whip up in a jiffy, this cake will tantalize the tastebuds and delight the pickiest of dessert-eaters.

My Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake - serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and your guests will be in heaven


And it’s a homespun recipe which means it’s homemade but with some ready-made products you probably have in your pantry right this second!

So bake it up, have a taste and share with the ones you love!
Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake

1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches in juice (strain juice and set aside)
1 (18.25 ounce) Package yellow cake mix

1 (6 ounce package Peach-flavored Jell-O)

1/2 c Salted Butter

1/2 c Water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan, place drained peaches. Sprinkle the dry peach Jell-O over peaches. Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix over Jell-O. Cut up butter in pieces and scatter over cake & Jell-O mixture. Pour 1 cup of the (previously set aside) peach juice and 1/2 cup of water over the top.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until top is golden.


BF Asks: What is your favorite in-a-pinch dessert recipe? 


Recipe Box: Dawn’s Comforting Egg Custard

Comfort Food. It’s the food from our childhood that soothed us, nurtured us, healed the hurt, made us well when we were sick, mended our broken hearts and made us happy when we were sad. These heart-and-tummy-filling foods are the ones we’ll turn to for the rest of our lives.


My ultimate comfort food: Dawn's Comforting Egg Custard


One of these for me is my mom’s egg custard that she used to make for me. I got chronic sore throats growing up and this was both tasty and soothing going down. It felt like a hug for my throat. I know, I know. That sounded, um, weird.

Nevertheless, it’s the oh-so-comforting dessert recipe I always go to when a friend has their wisdom teeth taken out, has a baby or just needs a little pick-me-up.
I hope you – and your loved ones – find as much comfort in it as me and mine have.

p.s. Serving the custards in cute-shaped dishes, such as hearts, is totally optional but I highly suggest it!

The Chantal heart dishes are optional...but highly recommended


Dawn’s Comforting Egg Custard

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

*Makes approximately 6 individual servings

6 Slightly beaten eggs

1 c sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 c Scalded whole milk

2 c Scalded Heaving Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Extract


Heat the milk and cream just until scalded (very hot) – not boiling. Take off stove and let cool.

Combine eggs, sugar and salt.

Slowly stir in milk and vanilla.

Fill six-ounce oven-safe custard cups, ramekins or bowls. Set in shallow baking pan on oven rack.

Pour hot water into pan 1 inch deep.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm (for a creamy crème brulee-taste) or chilled for a straight-up, comforting custard.

*Note: If you’d like to make one large custard, bake in a 2-quart casserole dish or standard cake pan for 60 minutes.


You know how I love a good bath? Well, even my desserts sometimes love taking a long, hot bath.

Recipe Box: Mama’s Cousin’s Southern Red Velvet Cake

There are a few cakes from childhood that dance deliciously in your memory, forever. They are the beautiful cakes that symbolize nostalgia and will always remind you a little bit of the magic of your youth.

For me, one of these is my Mom’s Southern Red Velvet Cake.

Mama's Cousin's Southern Red Velvet Cake

Actually it’s her cousin’s recipe so I call it, “Mama’s Cousin’s Southern Red Velvet Cake.” Whatever the name, it’s delicious. The rich red velvet cake pairs perfectly with the creamy, cream cheese frosting and it’s sweet, rich and delicious while still having a bit of a refined taste as it’s not too sweet. This might be attributed to the acidic elements of buttermilk or vinegar in the cake (yes, VINEGAR!!) but the two tastes of sweet and tart balance each other out so well.

So when my friend, stylist Jennie C., was having a birthday party and I found out that her favorite cake was red velvet. I knew immediately the recipe I would use. I promptly got on the horn and called Mama for the recipe.

While it’s messy to make – it seriously looks like an episode of True Blood at points…

– in the end, this cake beautiful to look at, gorgeous to display or take to a shindig and scrumptious to eat.

Mama's Cousin's Southern Red Velvet Cupcakes

Without further ado…

Mama’s Cousin’s Southern Red Velvet Cake or Cupcakes

2 ounces red food coloring (I prefer the Wilton No-Taste Red)

3 tablespoons cocoa

½ cup vegetable shortening

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix food coloring with cocoa and set aside.  Beat shortening with sugar; add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add food coloring mixture and vanilla.  Alternately add flour, salt, and buttermilk, beating well.  Stir in vinegar and baking soda. For cake, grease bottom and sides of three pans and line each with wax paper (cutting off excess at top). Bake in 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Makes one 3-layer cake or one large loaf cake. For cupcakes, Bake for 18-24 minutes (makes approx 28 cupcakes). Let cake cool before frosting.


Cream Cheese Frosting:  Cream together 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, 1 bag of confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 stick butter, softened.




BF Asks: What cake from your childhood dances deliciously in your memory?

Foodie Friday: BeautyFrosting’s Jalapeño Popper Dip

Dippity-do-da!! Do I love a good dip!!
After considering a variety of jalapeño dip recipes, I decided to come up with my own.

I then baked it for my friend Dave’s Super Bowl Party a few weeks ago and waited for the feedback. It was a hit! Everyone wanted the recipe.
I may not play football but – in my world – that’s a field goal, folks!

Try it out yourself and enjoy!

BeautyFrosting's Jalapeño Popper Dip

BeautyFrosting’s Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 – 8 oz packages of Cream Cheese, room temperature-softened
1 c of Mayonnade
2 cans diced jalapenos
1 can diced green chiles
1 1/2 c Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/2 c Mozarella cheese
1 c Panko bread crumbs
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/2 c of grated parmesan cheese
Sliced fresh jalapneo for topping garnish
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients, except for topping ingredients, in a medium mixing bowl. Stir well. Use fingers if necessary to combine thoroughly.
Spatula the mixture into an oven safe dish. I use an 8x8x8 or an oval dish but it just depends on the desired depth.
Combine topping ingredients and top dip with topping.
Slice jalapneos and place on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until top is golden and the dip is bubbling.

Recipe Box Friday: BeautyFrosting’s Avocado Pie

This is for Caitlin. And Hope. And everyone else who looooooooves my Avocado pie.

BeautyFrosting's Avocado "Lizard" Pie

I know it sounds weird, I do. But oooooooooooooh is it tasty!!!!
You can also call it froggie pie or lizard pie or ALIEN pie. The kids end up loving it simply because it is a total avocado green color.

And the adults love it because it’s delightfully different and utterly delicious!

Perfect for a fiesta, BBQ, beach party, taco night or any night, this pie is sure to please!

And it’s perfect for a dinner party with new friends because it’s an instant conversation starter.


Avocado Pie with Tequila Whipped Cream & Toasted Coconut

Avocado “Lizard” Pie with Coconut Graham Cracker Crust, Tequila Whipped Cream & Toasted Coconut

(Takes about 45 minutes to prepare and needs to be chilled for at least 3 hours)
1 1/2 c Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1/3 c Melted Butter
1/2 c Flaked, Sweetened Coconut
2 Medium Avocados
1 14-ounce can sweetened, condensed milk
5 Tbsp Fresh Key Lime Juice
1 8-ounce package Cream Cheese (softened to room temperature)
Dash of salt
Tequila Whipped Cream:
1 c Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Tbsp Confectioners Sugar
2 Tbsp Tequila
Toasted Coconut Topping
1 c Coconut
Preheat oven to 350.
Put graham crackers in a ziploc bag. Grab a hammer (I knew that was good for something!). On a chopping board, hammer away at the crackers until you’ve got your crumbs.
Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugars. Brush a glass Pyrex pie dish with some of the butter. Be sure to coat the sides and bottom.
Add rest of butter to crumb & sugar mixture. Add coconut. Mix well.
Press mixture into butter-coated pie pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350.
Make the filling while crust cools.
Cut avocados into halves. Scoop out the insides and toss in blender. Add condensed milk and lim juice. Blend well. Add cream cheese and salt. Mix until smooth and green.
Pour the filling into prepared crust.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge (preferably for at least 3 hours).
Prepare whipped cream.
In a large bowl, whip cream until heavy and stiff peaks are about to for. Beat in vanilla and sugar. Add tequila. More sugar can be added as desired. Be careful not to overbeat as you don’t want lumps.
For toasted coconut, place coconut on foil. Make a little dish of the foil by folding up edges. Bake at 350 on top rack for 5 minutes or until coconut is toasted.
*If you’re short on time, you can cool crust and pie in freezer for 30-45 minutes to cool quickly.

The Crust Makings

The crust ready to bake!

The "Froggie" filling part

Fresh Tequila Whipped Cream

Avocado Pie: A slice of summer heaven