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

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One Bubbly Birthday

Hi friends!

It’s been a minute. This is largely due to one of the most debilitating colds/infections/sicknesses I’ve dealt with in a while. While my (imaginary) school of medicine believes that cupcakes and sparkling wine cure everything, my “real” doctor squad (the one I pay co-pays to, the pre-med sister, and the ass-kicking intern best friend) kind of aligned that fluids, rest, and meds were a better route.

Squarely in the middle of this cold season fell my 28th birthday! It was hands down the best birthday I’ve ever had. I say this most years, and I think that’s by design. That my friendships, my work achievements, my hobbies, and my adventures keep getting cooler and cooler is, well–COOL!

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The weekend prior, some of my beautiful lady friends treated me to a delicious supper at ClarkLewis. The week of, I kicked things off by cheering on my Blazers from killer seats. I treated my actual birthday as my floating holiday at work (National Jenna Appreciation Day) and headed to Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast. Historically, I’ve been fairly opposed to gambling, but I guess new, 28-year-old me is a fan–and a big-time winner! I returned home on Sunday relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to enjoy a steak the size of my head at St. Jack. Bisous, bisous, bisous to everyone who made the celebrations so special.

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I figured it was in everyone’s best interests if I didn’t bake cupcakes while under the weather–but that didn’t stop a certain special someone from gifting me a truly top-notch bubbles gift.

YAY for Dom! This bottle joins another in my collection that will only be consumed when there’s a diamond ring on my finger, when I check off 100% of my professional goals (probably never going to happen), or–heck–when bubbles + sprinkles opens its first brick and mortar store. Hey, you read it here first!

Dom on its own is a sleek and sassy class act. But vintages like this one and my 2004 Limited Edition Gift Box by Jeff Koons are just next level. The box features designs by iconic artists, this one specifically–Michael Riedel. The bottle features a taste profile of licorice (not normally my jam, but they make it WORK), hay, tangerines, and peaches. It invokes some serious summer vibes, which automatically puts me in an amazing mood. (NOTE–even though I’m not opening this special bottle, I have tried this vintage at a recent shindig. Hence, I can speak to yumminess specifics.)

Closing the chapter on year 27, I have but one wish–a speedy recovery to 100% so that I can share “Then and Now: Funfetti Cupcakes.” Stay tuned…

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

Champagne Cupcakes to Sweetly Send off 2016

Happy New Years! May 2017 be exponentially better than its predecessor. As I catalogued my reflections and chose my resolutions for the coming year, I was able to find solace in many wonderful things that happened to me to this year. bubbles+sprinkles is taking on a life of its own, which is honestly the biggest blessing of all. Besides that, standouts included- running my first marathon, building houses in Guatemala for a week, helping to raise $50,047.80 for the Doernbecher Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program, setting personal record times for my 5k, 10k and half marathons, building and caring for the BEST friendships in the world, and pushing myself professionally at work. When you look at it like that, the positivity pebbles are present.

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The cherry on the sundae — err, cupcake, so to speak, was a second appearance on KATU’s Afternoon Live, this week. The request? Champagne Cupcakes to celebrate New Years Eve. Whether these came in handy for planned dinner parties, or because it truly was a year where you just needed to sit at home and eat 12, there is zero judgement on my end. Thank you Afternoon Live, SO much for having me, back on the show. I had a total blast. You can find the video and the full recipe for the cupcakes, here.  They’re yummy and boozy and DISCLAIMER- NOT meant for children.  

img_1368I do love me a good New Years Eve celebration. It’s kind of the unofficial holiday for my darling bubbles. This year, I chose to indulge in a delicious bottle of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut. It was like an extra Chanukah/Christmas present to myself because it came in such a beautiful box! I’m a total minimalist and like to recycle whatever I possibly can, but this may be an exception 😉

Your Perrier-Jouët fun facts:

  • The company is more than 200 years old.
  • It was first made in Epernay.
  • A joyous union between Pierre Nicolas Marie Perrier and his wife Adèle Jouët are the power couple that developed this bubbler.
  • This stuff flew off the shelves in France, but wasn’t shipped to the US until 1837.
  • The iconic flowers that you see on the bottle (Cuvée Belle Epoque in France, Fleur de Champagne in the US of A) made their first debut at Paris at Maxim’s and Fauchon.
  • Perrier-Jouët owns almost 250 acres in Aÿ and Dizy in Vallée de la Marne; Verzenay and Mailly in Montagne de Reims; and Avize and Cramant in Côte des Blancs.

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Alright, nerd alert done. 

Jenna’s take:  It had spiraling bubbles down the side of the flute, (one more fun fact– that’s a good indicator that your chosen sparkling wine is ACTUALLY a Champagne) and a beautiful melange of apple, pear and citrus on the palate. You’ll get a little bit of butter on the finish, which is a great juxtaposition to the jolt of tartness on the first sip. It’s so crisp, and so light, and by golly- it was gone far too quickly.

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Hipster proof that I was very proud of this bottle, and very pleased with the evening that followed.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful start to 2017!

Xo,
Jenna

Caramel Apple and a Holiday Bubbly

Ethically, the day after Thanksgiving is the first appropriate in my mind for all things holiday. But as the Turkey Day celebrations multiply and scoot earlier and earlier this calendar year, it has only heightened my love for the holidays.

Kicking off the celebrations this week is a Thanksgiving Potluck at work. As the keeper of the contributions list, I know that there will be pumpkin and walnuts and all things classic and traditional. Instead of going outside-of-the-box, I wanted to jump on this train and bring ‘dem apples.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes… count as a serving of fruit 🙂 They are yummy and decadent and creamy and a bit spicy and pretty dang messy. Grab the napkins.

Recipe (makes 12):

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (cupcakes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (cupcakes)
  • 16 oz confectioners sugar (frosting)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (frosting)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (frosting)
  • caramel dipping sauce (you can make your own, but the store-bought-stuff holds a special place in my heart)
  • 2 apples, cut and quartered
  • cinnamon/brown sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Combine cupcake ingredients and beat until smooth. Fill liners and bake for 15 minutes. Combine frosting ingredients and mix until you feel like your arms are going to fall off. We’re talking frothy, fluffy goodness here. Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost using your favorite piping bag. Or two, if your over-enthusiasm rips the first bag. Dip the quartered apples in the caramel dipping sauce, place firmly on top of the frosting and dust. Share with others in the holiday spirit.

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to celebrate successes, both mine and others. There have been a few of those recently so I feel validated in my Champagne choice for the week. That’s right, we went with the real stuff.

Hi, Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV. Le noms. 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier. Long and luxurious texture that really stays with you. The notes were surprisingly fresh- lime, white cherry and nectarine, in addition to the usual suspects of spices and chestnuts. The acidity holds through, but the finish is creamy and sweet. As with the best nights, I have no pics of the bottle, so you’ll just have to take my word for it 🙂

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna

Blueberry Swirl and Champagne from Champagne

Happy 2015 all!

Hope you had wonderful holidays. I was lucky enough to take a couple of weeks off from work and had many adventures with friends and family. Unfortunately for my wallet, four of my best friends have birthday’s back-to-back-to-back the last week of the year, and no energy was spared ensuring that we all had a blast. Rain does not stop wine tasting Oregonians, and these nine had the time of our lives at Stoller Winery and Domaine Serene. Posts of favorites to follow.

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We also explored new restaurants and bars and just really appreciated the ups-and-downs, giggles and tears from the year. Here are candid (I swear), giggles from Kieran’s birthday downtown.

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I even won a pair of these awesome skis from my favorite bar, River Pig Saloon and Montucky Cold Snacks, one of my favorite beer companies, dedicated to giving back. My beloved ski’s were the single thing to go missing during my move this summer so I’m even more thrilled to have won these.

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I could go on and on about how much I loved and appreciated 2014, but the time has come to face forward and embrace the new year ahead! I made lots of resolutions but the top three are- 1) Never become complacent, 2) Appreciate my friends and family and celebrate them as much as possible, and 3) Remember to be proud of myself. Wish me luck!

So I decided to kick off the year with a fruity fave and mix it up a little bit. Blueberry doesn’t strike me as a cupcake flavor, although I have used it as inspiration in the past. Blueberry to me is a muffin flavor. SO. This week I decided to cook down blueberries, vinegar, rosemary and sugar so that they turned into a thick, gelatinous paste. I layered vanilla cupcake batter, blueberry “cordial” let’s say, and brown sugar. Here are before and after shots-

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Love these. They’re perfect for cold, bleh days. Cinnamon and cayenne pepper give them a little bit of a kick to balance out the sweetness and the rosemary complements the sweetness of the blueberry paste well. I’ll probably add a little bit more rosemary next time so that that flavor pops a little bit more. I topped the cupcakes with buttercream frosting and intend to deposit at the office tomorrow. This girl has had beyond her quota of holiday treats 🙂

Recipe:

Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 eggs

Blueberry Cordial:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sprigs rosemary

Frosting:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp greek yogurt

Pre-heat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Combine cupcake ingredients (do not mix in brown sugar) and beat until smooth. Boil cordial ingredients and stir frequently (about 10 minutes on high). In the cupcake liners layer cupcake, cordial and brown sugar. Cook 35 minutes. Combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. Frost as you please and enjoy!

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I thought that the end of 2014 deserved a Champagne to send it out with a bang. Like a real Champagne. Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee hails from Champagne, France. It’s very full-bodied and extremely fruity. It’s made up of several Pinot Noirs. More than several, it integrates 100 crus from the Champagne region. There are tones of pear and light grapes. I tasted a little bit of grapefruit on the finish. As you’ve read, if it truly is a Champagne, it must be made by a strictly controlled process called “Méthode Champenoise.” The grapes are pressed and then fermented for the first time. Then follows the blending phase and the wine is temporarily capped. In the second fermentation a blend of sugar and yeast is added and the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Although some wines are cellared for months or even years, this is one that you should enjoy right away to celebrate good times!

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Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna