It’s my birthday!

I decided writing my 1st Wine Down (aka Happy Hour) post would be a great way to celebrate!

Come back every Friday to check out the new recipes I’ll share from so many great cooks. Some weeks the Wine Down will feature a certain theme and some weeks will be a hodgepodge of recipes that looked so scrumptious I couldn’t resist.

This week the theme is all about my FAVORITES because it’s my BIRTHDAY!

Don’t have time to read it now?  Pin it for later!

the cocktail

Let’s begin with the perfect cocktail.  One of my all-time faves is the Champagne Cocktail. It’s old school, but let’s face it, a birthday is the perfect time to drink champagne (honestly, in my world champagne goes with everything and is particularly delicious with spicy Asian food). Sonja & Alex from A Couple Cooks have a recipe for this cocktail exactly how I like it.

a perfect champagne cocktail with sugar cube, bitters & a lemon twist
A Couple Cooks - get the recipe

the dip

Another favorite cocktail of mine is what I call an Attitude Adjuster and I have a few bartenders who know what I want when I ordered that cocktail. My Attitude Adjuster is a Dirty Tito’s with blue cheese olives so when I saw this recipe for a Dirty Martini Dip from Cathy at Lemon Tree Dwelling I knew I had to try it.  It’s yummy – I use gluten free crackers as my vehicle to hold the dip.

crock filled with dirty martini dip topped with skewered olives surrounded by melba toast
Lemon Tree Dwelling - get the recipe

The Veggie

You know we’ve gotta get some veggies in us to meet our daily quota. I love a good aioli and this lemon herb version from Kaylene at Sage to Silver is fresh, light, and delicious.  You can use any veggie you have on hand. I adore the tiny individual crudites, however, the presentation takes some time so if you’re short on time you can lay them out on a platter – I promise they’ll taste the same. [can you see me winking?]

mini mason jar filled with herb aioli and julienned veggies
Sage to Silver - get the recipe

the protein

Shrimp cocktail is always a nice menu item for any Wine Down or party.  When they’re served in individual little cups they are soooo cute and irresistible. Pat & Dahn at Savor the Best are pros at getting the shrimp just right.

small platter with mini cups of cocktail sauce topped with a dill sprig and a chilled shrimp
Savor the Best - get the recipe

Honey & I live in Florida and we have found that oftentimes the shrimp are limp after cooking in Florida tap water. Our solution is to use bottled water (we keep a couple gallons of spring water on hand). When we cook them this way the shrimp are crisp like they should be. We’ve tried many commercial cocktail sauces, but never found one we loved as much as our homemade version. 

The Sweet

Instead of birthday cake, I’ve found a way to keep the champagne theme going…these champagne jello shots will satisfy my sweet tooth and I’m excited to try them!  Don’t they look fantastic?  This is a cool dessert for any adult party.  The sister team from Cookies & Calligraphy have a real winner on their hands.

a platter of jello squares topped with golden sugar
Cookies and Calligraphy - get the recipe

Thanks so much for spending a part of my birthday with me and I hope you enjoy the recipes!  Come back next Friday for another round of Wine Down recipes and hope you try them out the next time you entertain.

Keep Dancing, Darlene