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  • Blog

    Coastal Christmas Blog Hop – Sunshine, Christmas and Cosmos

    11/26/2017

    Coastal Christmas Blog Hop Banner
    – CLOSED – The winner of my giveaway is Lesley Walsh – Merry Christmas and congratulations.

    As an Australian, one of the biggest challenges I face in the festive season is the heat.

    I know my Northern hemisphere readers have their own challenges but they don’t have to cook a turkey in a heatwave, they don’t have to panic because they can’t fit everything in the fridge and they certainly don’t have to worry about the roof of their gingerbread house sliding off because the icing has melted.

    One the other hand they don’t eat cherries and mangoes for breakfast, they probably don’t wake to the sound of cicadas singing and their Christmas morning probably doesn’t involve a trip to the beach to test drive new flippers, or a surfboard. Our Christmas traditions are no less important but they are well less known.

    If an American came to Australia they’d likely have a fish out of water Christmas My novella – Snowbound is the story of an Australian girl Zara who finds herself stranded in Colorado for Christmas and she throws herself into all the activities a White Christmas would entail. It’s a really fun read and I’m giving a copy of Snowbound and the Romancing the Holidays 2 Box Set to a lukcy reader randomly chosen…just comment below and tell me your favourite cocktail.

    My own family has a lot of traditions. We put our Christmas tree up the weekend before Christmas because someone (yes-that’s me) insists on having a real tree and if we get it too early t would die before Christmas. We always drive to the local Scout Hall and but our tree from the Scouts. (Two years ago I had the cutest Girl Guide sell me my tree and before she did so she leaned in close to the tree, listened to it’s trunk and said “This tree chooses you!” I feel like that child and I should have been life-long friends.)

    Another thing my family does a lot at Christmas is entertain. We love having people over. We have a huge party the weekend before Christmas for fifty to sixty of our closest friends. I think we’re up to maybe out thirteenth one now. Think lots of kids, an outdoor movie, water pistols and ridiculous amounts of food. (I’m famous for my over catering). I do a baked ham and the classic Australian sausage sizzle, we do spaghetti and meatballs for the kids, my husband makes paella and there’s a make your own ice-cream sundae bar for the kids. It’s big crazy, chaotic fun and we love it.

    Every year I make a signature cocktail. I’ve done a few over the years and the best on yet was a champagne comsopolitan…how could that not be amazing? Champagne and a cosmo in one cup, has to be awesome!

    Here’s my recipe:
    Champagne Cosmopolitan

    250ml (1 cup) cranberry juice
    2 tablespoons Cointreau liqueur
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    6 sugar cubes
    750ml pink Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
    Frozen cranberries to decorate (optional)
    Step 1

    Place cranberry juice in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

    Step 2
    Combine the cranberry juice, Cointreau and lime juice in a small jug. Place a sugar cube in each serving glass. Pour the cranberry mixture over the sugar. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine and serve immediately. Throw a couple of frozen cranberries in each glass to decorate (also helps keep it cool).

    Don’t forget to enter to win the Grand Prize of on the Coastal Christmas Blog Hop and enter my giveaway for a copy of Snowbound and Romancing the Holidays 2 by telling me your fave cocktail!
    Romancing the Holidays Box SetSnowbound - Cover

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Comments

    Elizabeth Ellen Carter
    12/4/2017 03:23:10 am

    That is definitely a cocktail to try this summer! Thank you Monique!

    Brooke Bumgardner
    12/4/2017 12:02:15 pm

    That cocktail sounds delish! I love raspberry peach bellinis. Also, I love your Girl Guide story.

    Susanne
    12/4/2017 03:42:19 pm

    Love the sound of that cocktail! Always on the lookout for a new recipe to try!

    Mary Preston
    12/4/2017 06:38:17 pm

    Thank you for the delicious sounding recipe.

    Renaye
    12/4/2017 07:32:01 pm

    We enjoy satsuma vodka-tini made with fresh mandarins and cranberries😊
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:06:34 pm

    That sounds yummy!

    Victoria
    12/4/2017 07:56:30 pm

    Your recipe sounds amazing, I’ll definitely be trying it out 🙂

    Carla Caruso
    12/4/2017 08:51:16 pm

    Yummo! And such gorgeous book covers 🙂
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:06:57 pm

    Thanks Carla.

    Jenn J McLeod
    12/5/2017 01:30:18 am

    Yum. Tipsy just reading that post!

    Robin Thomas
    12/5/2017 01:43:38 am

    That sounds delicious! My favourite cocktail is a Tom Collins – which is an American one made with lime and vodka. And the glass should have a frosted sugar edge.

    Ann-maree Howarth
    12/5/2017 02:20:45 am

    I love Salted Caramel Baileys that you can mostly only get at Christmas time.

    Rose
    12/5/2017 09:09:48 am

    For Christmas we love Poinsettias. Champagne, Triple Sec and cranberry juice with cranberries in the bottom of the glass.
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:07:32 pm

    Yummy!

    Lesley Walsh
    12/5/2017 09:39:40 am

    I love Bailey’s and ice
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:08:05 pm

    In my new Jewel Sisters series the sisters drink quite a bit of Bailey’s on Ice.
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/25/2017 07:56:07 pm

    Hi Lesley,

    You’re the winner of my books…email me at mcdonellmonique@gmail.com with your email and I will send them to you.

    Suzanne Cass
    12/6/2017 12:39:35 am

    I love a real Christmas tree for Christmas. There is absolutely nothing compares with the smell of a real tree

    Joye I
    12/7/2017 12:21:01 pm

    I love a good Margarita

    sandy haber
    12/7/2017 02:45:11 pm

    I could use one of those right now — thanks!
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:08:42 pm

    I won’t tell anyone.

    Debbie Martin
    12/9/2017 11:25:53 pm

    I love to make mint jelups in silver jelup cups!

    Suzannah
    12/10/2017 01:21:58 pm

    Well, I don’t drink alcohol however I do love a cranberry spritzer. Sprite and cranberry juice mixed. It’s lovely.

    Deborah Sisk
    12/11/2017 05:27:24 pm

    Thanks for the chance. The recipe sounds lovely.

    Lori Raines
    12/11/2017 07:05:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

    Laura Boon Russell
    12/15/2017 12:47:50 am

    We need to take something to our friends for Christmas. I’ve decided your cocktail is it!

    Kara Vaughan Marks
    12/18/2017 09:41:37 am

    Your cocktail sounds great. I’m a margarita girl, but something different and special is fun for the holidays.

    Nancy Luebke
    12/23/2017 05:10:16 pm

    Sorry, I used to like singapor slings but my health doesn’t allow me to drink those kind of drinks anymore. My splurg now is Root beer or a Strawberry shake. Usually it’s just ice water. Happy Hollidays from Indiana, USA.

  • Blog

    Guest Post by Author Ce Ce Osgood – author of Murder & Margaritas – including a great recipe

    10/14/2016

    Austin TexasAuthor CeCe Osgood Shares the Secrets of a Scrumptious Margarita
    Thank you Monique for letting me post a little ditty to celebrate my new chick lit cozy mystery series. The first book in the series is MARGARITAS & MURDER: A Sunny Truly Mystery.

    The main character, Sunny, is an apprentice private investigator in Austin, Texas. I chose Austin for the setting of the book because I lived there for many years, and it’s where I tasted my first margarita.

    When I was in college in Austin, my pals and I always enjoyed Friday night gatherings at a Tex-Mex restaurant that served okay food, but fantastic margaritas. They were super limey, ice-cold and refreshingly delicious when served with spicy tamales, sour cream enchiladas or cheesy nachos. But as good as those margaritas were, the best I’ve ever had was just recently at a friend’s house. She often vacations in a lovely town in Central Mexico and brought back a terrific recipe for margaritas.

    The first thing she told me was to get a top-notch (expensive) tequila because then you wouldn’t get a headache if you over imbibed. (FYI: I was staying at her house that night so no drinking and driving as that is never a good idea.)

    Here is my friend’s recommendation for a great tequila: Gran Centenario Plata. I had never of it before, so the writer in me wanted to do a little research.

    Gran Centenario Plata (owned by Jose Cuervo) is 100% blue agave silver tequila. Growing up in Texas, I’d heard of blue agave, but I couldn’t really tell you what it is.
    Agave
    A digression: Agave is also the name of a character in Greek mythology and means “illustrious.” She was the daughter of Cadmus, the founder and king of the city Thebes – the major rival of ancient Athens. Agave was a follower of Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, wine and intoxication.

    Returning to the subject of tequila, I found another factoid. Unlike other plata (silver) tequilas, the Gran Centenario Plata rests for 28 days in French Limousin oak barrels. Intrigued, I looked it up and it turns out that the oak trees come from a region in France called Limousi. Duh. I had imagined something more flamboyant.

    Still, I wondered why the Limousi oak barrel was so important. Then I read that the storage in these oak barrels softens the tang of the alcohol giving it a smooth finish, and it is the smooth finish that makes this tequila so superior. And expensive. I have had my share of cheap tequila burning like a slice of hot pizza in my mouth, so yeah, smooth is better.

    Now, how about that recipe?
    First, of course, is to fill your blender with ice.
    Then pour in:
    6 oz. tequila
    2 oz. triple sec
    The juice of six limes
    Then add Simple Syrup to taste.
    (To make simple syrup: add one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan. Heat until dissolved.)

    I’ve gotten to where I don’t care much for salt on the rim of my glass, but if you do, sprinkle the salt, kosher for a lighter taste, into a shallow plate.

    Moisten the rim of your glass with a cut lime (or lemon) wedge. Notch the wedge for it to slip easily around the rim. Then turn the glass upside down and dip it into the salt. Sssh, here’s a secret. If you prefer a less salty taste, mix sugar into the plate of salt, say 50-50, and then dip the moistened rim into it.

    This recipe is for lime margaritas. For fruity drinks, simply blend the fruit first, then add the ice and other ingredients and blend until smooth.

    For this Texan, enjoying a scrumptious margarita with spicy cheese nachos topped with thin slices of avocado is divine.
    (There’s a legend in Texas that if you drink too much tequila you might see God. That’s never happened to me, but then I don’t drink more than one or two margaritas. If it does happen to you, do let me know, and please say “howdy” for me.)

    Margaritas & Murder - Cover
    Margaritas & Murder: A Sunny Truly Mystery is FREE on Amazon – Friday Oct. 14 thru Tues. Oct. 18. (Pacific Standard Time USA)

    AMAZON
    AMAZON UK

     

     

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    CeCe Osgood’s debut novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, was awarded a Crowned Heart for Excellence by InD’tale magazine. It’s a chick lit romantic comedy about a dating workshop during a cruise to Cabo. www.myBook.to/TDNDW

    Her new work is the Sunny Truly Mystery series. The first book is MARGARITAS & MURDER, which is FREE on Amazon from Friday Oct. 14 thru Tuesday Oct. 18, 2016. (Pacific Standard Time USA).
    The second book in the series, MERLOT & MURDER, is also available on Amazon. www.myBook.to/MerlotCozy
    Find CeCe Osgood here: WEBSITE    FACEBOOK….TWITTER