Valentines day – love it or hate it it comes around every year and every year I am unprepared. Probably because all my life I sort of glazed over it, when I was little I was only in it for the candy and when I was in high school all it did was remind me that I probably didn’t have a boyfriend. In college I began to welcome the day because I was dating my now husband, Julian, but it was still not an overly exciting day. However, as of recently I have realized that Valentines day doesn’t have to be about a specific KIND of love, romantic love is wonderful but I love and appreciate a lot more people than just Julian and that is just as worth celebrating! This year I am making a vow to be prepared and shower my friends and family with tasty treats. I have THREE exciting things for you here today, my simple yet glorious champagne cocktail, the Vanilla-Lavender Fizz, watercolor tags for you to attach to wrapped up cookies and gifts, and a cookie recipe for Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies from my good friend Kate Wood, of The Wood and Spoon blog.
This past weekend I flew coast to coast to spend some time with my besties from college. We met in 2005 and didn’t leave each others side for the next 4 years. Much to our dismay we did have to peel ourselves away from one another at some point and begin our adult lives. Over the past 12 years they have helped me grow into who I am today; they have encouraged my dreams, taught me how to truly care for my friends, and they definitely keep me silly. During the post college years we have all moved to different states, we have different lives, and have made new friends along the way but these ladies have remained such an integral part of my life. We met up in Flager Beach, Florida; the air was chilly, the sun was warm and the beach was all but deserted. This year I thought ahead and was prepared to celebrate how much I love them all! We layed a blanket on the sand and had a valentine’s day themed beach picnic (I know it’s still January… I’m just over compensating for years of being under prepared). One of these ladies is Kate Wood of the amazing baking blog, The Wood and Spoon. Kate is just as sassy as she is beautiful and she makes magic happen in the kitchen. She and I teamed up for our galentine’s afternoon – we made my Lavender Vanilla Fizz cocktail and ate her Lavender Vanilla Bean sugar cookies. If that doesn’t set the stage for a perfect afternoon with the girls I don’t know what would! We sipped, laughed, devoured cookies and took a series of photos that made the most ridiculous stop motion video.
Maybe one day if you’re lucky I’ll embarrass us all and post it…
But, how beautiful are these cookies?! I’ve made my fair share of sugar cookies in my life and usually the dough is finicky and the decorating process takes hourrrrssssss. But GUESS WHAT the dough for this recipe is the easiest sugar cookie dough I have ever worked with – I didn’t have to refrigerate it even once! The dough 100% keeps it’s shape in the oven and Kate shares a decorating technique that is beautiful and super quick! Be careful tasting the dough though because you may end up eating all of it…I probably ate about 5 cookies worth of dough…You can get the recipe and tutorial for them here on the Wood and Spoon Blog.
The Vanilla Lavender Fizz is a delicious concoction consisting of champagne, vanilla bean and lavender bitters – it’s not too sweet, not too floral and bubbly enough to make it feel like you’re celebrating.
It’s creation was inspired by a drink I had a few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to go to a “luxury whiskey bar” in Beverly Hills called Ten Pound, it is one of only two in the entire world! We were led inside in a speakeasy type fashion, the door man took our name and introduced us to the hostess who then led us through a long hall and up a flight of stairs. We ended at an unassuming door which opened to a quaintly sized Old Hollywood feeling bar. The bartender named Cash showed us to our couch on the patio. He explained that he would be preparing our drinks and gave a description of every whiskey and cocktail on the menu. I stuck to the cocktail menu (because I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to straight liquer) and I went for the “Filigree”. He brought it to me and if I wasn’t worried about being able to walk out of the joint I probably would have had 15 of them. Simple, understated and so delicious I needed it to be a part of my cocktail repertoire, so, I created the Lavender Vanilla Fizz
Champagne – use one that you wouldn’t mind drinking straight
Lavender Bitters – I used Scrappys
Add 1 tsp vanilla bean simple syrup & 4-5 drops of lavender bitters (a bit less than 1/8 tsp) to champagne glass.
Pour champagne into glass
drop sugar cube into glass
Thats all there is to it! Enjoy with those you want to love on and be sure to tell them all that you appreciate about them!