being a guest, DIY cocktail mixers, and pb graham poppers

blog  /bläg/

  • noun: blog;  plural noun: blogs
  1. a personal website or web page which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.
  • verb: blog;  3rd person present: blogs;  past tense: blogged; past participle: blogged; gerund or present participle: blogging
  1. add new material or regularly update a blog.  “It’s about a week since I last blogged”
  2. write about (an event, situation, topic, etc.) in a blog “”he blogged the Democratic and Republican national conventions and an independent”

Who knew?

“Blog” is a relatively new word for most. Wikipedia cites its first appearance in the late 1990s and only in 2009 did it take off on a more personal level. (Credit for definition and graph goes to google.)index

I never imagined I’d author something with such a funny name, but here I am. (And here you are–you’re probably doing it, too.) Food for Fun was born because it seemed important for a food writer to have a food blog. It’s been rewarding and a favorite part has been the community of like-minded (and some not so like-minded, but fun just the same) folk I’ve come to know.

An unforseen bonus has been having clients bring me on as guest poster for their sites. As it’s all food related, I’ll offer links here–please give them a look-see. The salad alone make them worth the read. Promise.

But I won’t just send you elsewhere to read other blogs. Food for Fun is about content, folks 😉

First up: I’ve become of fan of celery simple syrup, which goes especially well in gin and vodka cocktails. It’s also a great way to use up those last few ribs of celery that always seem to be hanging out in the crisper. For each 2 ribs chopped celery, add 3/4 cup each water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes; drain and voilà! It’s sharply flavored enough that you’ll know the celery is there, but mild enough to be a versatile and interesting addition to lighter cocktails.

celery simple syrup

celery simple syrup

Second: How-To sour mix (margarita, anyone?) posts are everywhere, so this may be old news, but having tried it once, I always keep a stash on hand. It’s tasty enough to drink as-is, but a dilution of at least soda water makes is irresistible. And it shines in tequila-based drinks, absolutely.

D.I.Y.

D.I.Y.

Making the homemade sour requires more muscle than does the celery syrup as it calls for a cup each fresh lemon and lime juice. After much squeezing, the juices are poured into a premade simple syrup (boiling 1 cup each sugar and water until sugar dissolves). Its bright and fresh flavor set it worlds apart from store-bought sour and there will be no going back if you haven’t already made the switch.

Third: Now that your cocktail pantry is stocked, we’ll roll some peanut butter balls. A recent project put me close up and personal with oodles of peanut butter recipes–most of which I want to make immediately as they look so amazing. Because I’m paid for working on the recipes on paper and not in the kitchen, I hadn’t tried any. Until I came across this 3-ingredient, 5-minute recipe that demanded to be made NOW. You’ll like them, too, I think.

three ingredients--all you need

three ingredients–all you need

peanut pyramid of power

peanut pyramid

PB Graham Poppers

adapted from a Skippy® recipe

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Sprinkles, coconut, additional graham cracker crumbs, unsweetened cocoa powder, and/or other favorite coatings

In medium bowl, stir together 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, the peanut butter, and honey. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Roll into 15 (1-inch) balls; coat in sprinkles, etc. as desired. Refrigerate to store.

I’ll be back next week with a more cohesive post, though hoping you enjoyed today’s smorgasbord of goodies.

54 thoughts on “being a guest, DIY cocktail mixers, and pb graham poppers

  1. Yum. Yum, and Yum. I have to try the peanut butter poppers, those look great (and easy), the basil bean salad is a I MUST Try That Soon, Very soon kind of gig, And you had me at cocktail. I want you to know, that I totally see what you are doing here, slipping me tips and tricks to boost my bar-tending abilities. Nicely done, Liz, very smooth!!
    PS..kind of liking the smorgasbord, a little something for everyone and makes the grazers {hmmm…who could that be??} happy!

    • Nice, Bonnie! You’re smooth with the comments per usual 😉 The basil bean salad might work better in CA than in MN as we only have a few months to enjoy fresh basil.

      The pb poppers struck me as brilliant–quick snack and not really all that bad for you. And I just happened to have a leftover stash of graham cracker crumbs. Win, win, win.

      And yes, totally my plan to boost your bar-tending abilities. Not. You’re the one with the fancy tools! You were going to teach me, remember? Though you might want to make these mixers as they’re yum. Glad to have you grazing here, today, Bonnie 🙂

  2. What a fantastic post! I have never heard or thought of celery simple syrup! Being a huge fan of celery I know I would love it and use it. And your homemade sour is so “cool”! Nice to learn of a an alternative to store-bought. Great post!

    • Thanks 🙂 That is high praise coming from a first-rate blogger such as yourself 🙂 Do make the celery syrup as it is too easy to not. Always love alternatives to store-bought–more fun that way.

      p.s. Still haven’t made the cherry cake, but on my list to do so!

  3. The Way Better Black Bean chips sound yummy and I’m glad to hear that they’re healthy! I will look into them!
    Great idea to make homemade sour mix instead of buying from the store! Those PB Graham Poppers look delicious! I especially like how it requires such few ingredients and is easy to make 🙂

    • Thanks, Ada 🙂 I’m all over the 3-ingredient recipes and these seemed such perfect ingredients to combine. You’ll need your strength and energy for squeezing those lemons and limes!

    • You could totally make these pb balls, Mimi, even with a small rambunctious puppy around 🙂 And I’d take them WITH the cocktail party, though not sure the flavors would mix. Probably would go better with milk. Thanks for coming by and spreading joy, friend!

  4. Thanks for the definition of the word blog….a very interesting word this one! Why was it not glob instead of blog? To me, glob sounds more fitting as it makes me think of a globular of ideas or writings?

    • could just have as well been and then I would have had the same def’n for “glob.” Blog really makes no sense and for years I thought it was the dumbest word. And here we all are, writing posts for and commenting on blogs. Still a dumb word, my opinion. Should have known that part would have been up your alley 😉 Thanks for hanging here, Stephen! Good to see you.

    • Thanks, Princess. Though notice I did not offer a recipe for a ‘rita–hoping you can help me with that 🙂 Looked online and so many of them seemed so fussy. Ended up using equal parts sour and tequila, then added soda water (sacrilege!) as it was too strong/thick. Would love to know how you make them. (Wait a minute: you have a post on this, yes? Must go check.)

      Larry’s mom is our Peanut Butter Ball Queen, but hers are much more decadent with powdered sugar and butter and the lot. I like how these are simple and could pass for a healthy snack.

  5. A great post, Liz. Never having heard of celery syrup, I look forward to making & using this one. ANd I’ve got the Meyer lemon juice frozen so now all I’ll need is lime to make the sour mix. Half the squeezing is done! Thanks for the tips!

    • Thanks, John. Sounds like you’re fired up and ready to go! If you do make the celery syrup, would love to know what you make with it. Thinking it needs to star in some sort of “salad in a glass” cocktail. Or how about that bloody Mary? Oh, the possibilities!

    • Hey, Jayne–thanks for your visits 🙂 Glad you find inspiration here. I can say the same about your posts. Simple syrup is aptly named, though I often use agave as sub when it’s just a tablespoon or so in a cocktail as that’s even easier. But I do like the idea of infusing flavors. Have also seen a recipe for honey simple syrup (boiling honey with water, I think) and that sounded amazing. Let me know if you come up with fun flavors of your own.

  6. Those PB Graham Poppers sound incredible. Do they go well with milk, much like milk and cookies? I’m always looking for an evening snack that will calm the hunger after supper but a few minutes before bed. The PB would probably do it ’cause of the protein! Great recipe! 🙂

  7. Liz !!! I’m so sorry I didn’t get to this yesterday – you know I’d never miss peanut butter treats if I can help it 🙂 Loved this whole post, as it was perfect to put me in a “Friday night snacks and cocktails” kind of mood. Doesn’t matter that it’s not even noon here yet – it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? 😉 TGIF, my friend!

    • ah, amb. I will admit to being perplexed when you didn’t comment as you never have nothing to say, especially when pb and well-crafted cocktails are involved 😉 Even Jack is here!!!!! Appreciate you circling back 🙂

      This weekend seems to have been well-earned by all, so yes to TGIF. Cheers and enjoy your Fri night fare 😀

  8. Wonderful post, I love making simple syrups and celery, never thought of that, great idea and perfect for cocktails, I would love it in a mojito, muddled lime, celery simple syrup I think it would be so tasty!!

    • You have me so excited with the mojito idea 🙂 My mind hadn’t got there, though don’t know why not as it seems a natural. Thanks for coming by, fellow blogger!

    • Thanks, CC 🙂 Though the mixers mix well with club soda, lemonade, or flavored seltzer as well. I’m still marveling at the simplicity of those poppers!

  9. That celery syrup sounds really fun- I bet that would be good in a bloody Mary or maybe a dirty martini. I also really want to try those poppers. So much fun in today’s post!! Thanks Liz!

    • Appreciate your comments always, Lilly Sue. Another commenter had mentioned the Bloody Mary for the celery syrup and am not sure why that had not occurred to me. Sounds like the perfect match. Though would the sweetness be a problem? Maybe a bit extra of another sour or tang ingredient? A fun experiment for sure 🙂

      I bet those poppers would mix nicely with a stout! You’ve been baking up a storm it seems…

      • It would be a fun experience indeed- I guess if it is kind of sweet it might throw off the Bloody Mary a bit but it could maybe work with something to balance. Making it tangy sounds like a good approach.

        The poppers would be great with a stout! 🙂

    • agreed–blog is about as dumb of a word you could form out of all those alphabet letters. Foodie seems kind of silly, too. Let’s make up our own food vocab, Andi 🙂 What should we call them instead of blogs?

      For you to call me busy in the kitchen is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, yes? 😉 heehee. Those pb balls win the medal for most reward for least effort. Perfect for a weary chef such as yourself. Bet your boys would love ’em. Ours were gone first day.

  10. Ohhhhhh Liz, those little balls of cracky peanut butter happiness are so divinely simple that I could cry. I want to make them NOW. But I have NONE of the ingredients. This makes me sad. Very, very sad.

    • Oh, Becky. I have made you sad, which makes me sad 😦 How can I make it up to you? What if I sent stick out for honey, graham crackers, peanut butter and sprinkles? Would that help?

      Thanks for visiting, dear Becky. Hope the novel goes well 😀

    • Thanks, Suborna 🙂 Glad if you like and will use recipe. A fave of little kids for sure. (kids of all ages, really) Appreciate your visits and comments always.

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