A Berry Good Week

‘Twas a week full of berries, hence the post title. I was fortunate enough to return to Afternoon Live with the always fabulous Tra’Renee Chambers. I stuck my toe over the Oregon college rivalry border (Go Ducks!) and experimented with Marionberries. So many fun facts about Marionberries. 1) Created in a partnership with Oregon State University. 2) A variation of the blackberry, so those are a good alternative to the berries of Marion if you can’t find them; and 3) A combination of Olallie and Chahelem blackberries. (I can continue if you want… don’t hesitate to reach out!) 😉 Also fulfilled a request for both raspberry and blueberry cupcakes for a dear friend. Sensing the theme? Other berry good activities included my mum in town for lots of eating and sipping and some excellent cosmic bowling.

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Recipe for Marionberry Delight cupcakes can be found at this link. Enjoy!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

bubbles+sprinkles Does Frosé

Oooowheeee it’s hot!

It’s been one of those years when Portland is simply not equipped for extremes. Does it feel like just yesterday you were reading a bubbles+sprinkles post about Snowmageddon? (That may be because I’ve been super MIA, but we’ll gloss over that). You DID just read about Snowmageddon because we jumped from 20 degrees to 100 degrees real quick.

Alright, no complaints. I frolicked at Sauvies Island with some besties, celebrated the OHSU Intern year graduation of some other besties, went wine tasting with some other besties– I got to see many, many good peeps. And I don’t think I’ve introduced the most important bestie of all– Nora! Nora, meet bubbles+sprinkles readers. She’s a 5-pound, 4-month Maltese who has stolen my heart and made my year.

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(She says hi back!)

Nora and I thought that today would be a good day for bubbles+sprinkles to contribute to the Frosé phenomenon. We know that it’s been going on for a while, but hey– I know I’m a late adopter in some arenas– no shame. Frosé is a wonderful combination of Rosé frozen with ANYTHING mixed in. We went for strawberries, pineapple and La Croix (mango style). It turned out super delicious and I’m calling it my fruit salad for the day. You can mess with the quantities depending on taste and desire of booze for the day. (Mine was pretty high).

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Recipe (makes 4-6 pint sized drinks):

  • 1 bottle Rosé of your choice
  • 15-20 strawberries halved
  • About half a pineapple, cubed
  • 1 can La Croix or sparkling beverage of your choice
  • Spritz of lemon

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Blend everything except the sparkling beverage of choice on high for about a minute. Stir in sparkling beverage of choice. Spritz that lemon, or drop it right in. Dig out cute silver straws that you only use for *fancy* beverages and garnish as you please. Enjoy and wear sunblock!

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Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

Bubbly Snack Round-up

One of the many benefits of cultivating this passion project, is that my friends and colleagues love to share gifts of the bubbles+sprinkles persuasion. Birthdays and major holidays aside, I’ve begun to amass quite a collection of foods, beverages, clothes, trinkets, everything you can think of– with some link to sparkling wine or cupcakes. Some gifts have been downright amazing (I’m looking at you 2004 and 2006 Dom Perignon special editions), others I have loved for sentimental value (a favorite is a cupcake painting by one of my best friends). I’ve also received some kooky winners, which I still file away and cherish immensely.

Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of candies either infused with sparkling wine, or the flavors of. I thought it would be fun to profile my fave five— each of which I recommend as favors at your next party or gifts for your closest peeps.

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1) Champagne Bears by Sugarfina. Sugarfina knows what’s up. They’re currently offering a gummy bear detox AND you can design your own bento box of sugary goodness. My kinda haven. Their Champagne Bears are infused with the Dom and come in single-sized cubes for….portion control… 😉

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2) Champagne Dreams Gourmet Gummies by Project 7. Though not infused with actual alcohol, these gummies are super tasty and available at most local Starbucks. One of the best girls in all the land gave me these for my last birthday and I’m forever grateful.

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3) Champagne Bottle Jelly Beans by Jelly Belly. It’s all about the packaging for these love bugs, but the packaging is on point. One of my all time favorite memories growing up was visiting the Jelly Belly bean factory. They even had bags of “misshapen jelly beans” for a whopping $2. It’s only fitting that ma beans grow up with me.

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4) Jelly Belly Champagne Jelly Beans. These guys are one step beyond the above, a perfect visual representation of the tiny rose gold bubbles that we all find in our favorite beverages. Sweet and sassy and alcohol free, these are a great way to start Friday a little earlier than 5pm.

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5)Champagne Bubbles Gumdrops. The site even says that these things have a ‘je ne sais quoi’. It ain’t lyin’. Again, no booze in these babies, but they do have a great light grape flavor and a cool texture. These are an awesome choice if you’re looking to do a candy bar at your next event.

Hope that y’all have sugar-filled dreams a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

Happy Easter!

Man oh man, do my teeth and stomach currently dislike me. They’re so over sugar-laden snacks that just NEED to be sampled. (Market research, right?) Even with the reprieve of my recently-shared Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes, they’re feeling quite disapproving.

Luckily, after this weekend, the Hallmark holidays take a breather for a minute. So I, and the rest of the five-year-old population of Portland, just HAD to indulge in all of the sweets I possibly could for Easter.

Pre-Easter, I was lucky enough to visit Tra’Renee Chambers and the team at Afternoon Live. So I brainstormed. I phoned a friend. I played the 50-50 game. And I asked the audience. The audience (thanks, Lori and Debbie!) was immensely helpful. With their recommendations, Easter Surprise Cupcakes were formulated. Inspired by the (sometimes polarizing) Peep, this dessert is so light and airy, you might feel like you’re floating away. Full video and recipe shared here.

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday, and that you’re looking forward to an amazing week ahead.

Xo,
Jenna

Chocolate Cupcakes for my Paleo Friends

When this blog was but a young baby blog, my dad used to pester me about sharing healthy recipes for my beloved cupcakes. I would shoo him away, my cupcakes would be grandiose, full of sugar and fat, a treat after an active and healthy week.

But over time, it wasn’t just my dad. My friends on detoxes would stare longingly at the Sunday cupcakes, the acquaintances and work buddies who were celiac or on gluten-free diets would have to shun my cupcakes when I brought them in on Mondays. Slowly the weights shifted to a world where I was the fatty, glutinous outcast.

I’m being slightly dramatic, but it was definitely a great wake-up call. Here was an opportunity to bring my darling cupcakes into an arena where friends and family wouldn’t feel bad after inhaling two or three. So yes, you read that title right. Tonight, I delved into paleo, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. Disclaimer– I know that I have readers and friends who would still see this recipe as not 100% paleo or gluten free. Just know that I tried. I stuck my toe in the pool. I promise to continue to refine the recipes that I regularly post so that they’re appetizing to each and every one of you.

It was easier than I thought. I have so much respect for those of you that operate on a selective diet, because your shopping list is probably much shorter than mine. It was more about removing ingredients from the cupcakes and the frosting, and then making a couple substitutions. I only added one important ingredient, and that was a crumble from Paleo Eats. Paleo Eats is a company based out of Bend, Oregon, a place truly special to me. The Paleo Eats team sent me three different paleo bars to try– Coffee Bean Bar, Chai Spice Bar, and Coconut Cacao Bar. These three snacks were not only the inspiration for my cupcakes this week, they were also a delicious post-run snack as I kick off training for my next marathon. They’re chewy, flavorful and filling on their own. But as I nibbled away on Chai Spice after a run, I realized that these three bars could serve as the final touch on my paleo cupcakes.

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Cupcakes (makes 12):

  • 1 cup  cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paleo baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Frosting:

  • 3 sweet potatoes or 16 oz butternut squash
  • 2 cups melted dark chocolate
  • Paleo Eats bars for garnish

^easiest frosting ever, am I right?

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Heat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tin. Combine all cupcakes ingredients, first the dry, then fold in the wet. The mixture will be pretty thick, but it will resemble chocolate cupcake batter to a T. Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 liners full and bake 20 minutes. The cupcakes will resemble ooey gooey chocolate brownies, a welcome sight in my eyes. While they cool, boil 3 sweet potatoes or microwave butternut squash cubes. Then melt your dark chocolate. Combine dark chocolate and squash or potatoes. Finely break bars into small pieces. Dip cooled cupcakes first into frosting mix and then into crumble. Share with friends… or don’t…

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No bubbly this week, but a few on the horizon that I’m excited to share. Stay tuned…

Xo,
Jenna