BOOzy Brunch Bunch: Caramel Apple Sangria

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dessertLike any good toddler mom, I head to Pinterest for basically everything party related! Every month or so, I host a “Boozy Brunch Bunch” because well, if you play with kids all day and never see your friends, there is a chance you will lose your sanity. With “Boozy” in the title, I like to have a couple of options available, so thanks to #itsfallyall and Pinterest, I can bring you today’s concoction!

 

This month, I decided to host a BOOzy Brunch Bunch, because of Halloween. Unfortunately, Raleigh got hit way harder than expected by Hurricane Matthew, and my freezer got wiped out, so I didn’t have most of my normal go-to’s, like all the mini muffins I’ve crafted over the years, or the tiny eggos the kids love so much. (I’m seriously not complaining about this; there are towns in North Carolina that people still can not get into their homes, so my freezer is the least of my worries right now). But since I couldn’t just defrost a handful of muffins and throw eggos in the oven, I started to think about my favorite breakfast foods and realized: toasts are so hot right now!

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My favorite restaurant up in Rhode Island is called Persephone’s Kitchen, and the owner, Persephone, has a delightful selection of toasts every morning that I decided to emulate. So for the guests at my home, there were avocado and cayenne pepper sprinkled with goat cheese toast, goat cheese and mini heirloom tomato toast, and the gold standard of Nutella and banana slices on toast! Of course, I provided mimosas and coffee, but I wanted to have a special beverage on hand as well. My sister-in-law and I had thrown a joint birthday party for our new one-year-olds at the beginning of October, and we tried this recipe for the first time then. I just knew it had to make another appearance this fall!

Caramel Apple Sangria

sangria-1This recipe is super easy and takes 5 minutes to put together! Deceptively sweet, so make sure kids don’t accidentally drink it (a valid concern) and make sure your adult friends know they just got sloshed before you let them hop into a car and drive home! It’s the perfect warm fall day beverage, as the sun is shining and you don’t want anything too heavy! Ideal for a southern fall day, for sure!

 

 

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The first step is to cut up 2-3 apples and add them to your pitcher! I started this in a juice jar, and realized I needed something bigger midway through and transferred! Next, add a bottle of your favorite chilled white wine (I used chardonnay), a container of apple cider (I prefer Trader Joe’s  version), and then the coup de grace, is one cup of Smirnoff’s Kissed Caramel Vodka.

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Everyone who has tried this loves it! I’m thrilled for the leftovers to share with my neighborhood tonight as the kids are out Trick – or – Treating!

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Katie Livingston

I am a New England girl who has bounced between Connecticut and North Carolina her whole life! Raised by busy parents and with 3 siblings, we often ate very simple meals together, and would come together on Sundays after church for a big meal. In the summers we would head out to a small town in Rhode Island, where there are no chain restaurants. That really established my attitude that it is so important to support small business and source locally grown products. Even to my pre-teen self, you got to know the restaurant owners and their success made you proud! The majority of my developmental jobs were in the restaurant industry. I scooped ice cream. I made sandwiches. I worked in the kitchen at a summer camp, doing hundreds of dishes a night! I managed a snack bar, waited tables, served. Through all these years it instilled many simple and critical habits. How you plate a meal. How it should taste. How you treat people. How the quality of the food is the most important thing. Today, I am happily married with two kids and a full-time job, commuting about an hour a day. We still love eating out and have established a “family date night” every Friday night. It’s our time to come together and breathe. Our kids are 2 and 6 months. We eat at 5:30 – it doesn’t matter how fancy the restaurant is if you go early enough! This gives my husband and me the opportunity to try out new restaurants. It gives us time with the kids and each other without any distractions. We feel normal and fun! The rest of the week I try to get a healthy dinner on the table every night. I love looking at recipes and tweaking them! There’s a lot of crock pot meals and meal prepping. It’s so much fun! I’m so excited to be joining the Girls on Food community and sharing recipe ideas and fun restaurants in and around Raleigh, NC! Follow me on Instagram @RealFood2015 for my day to day!

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