Low-Cal Cocktail: The Rosy Reindeer Cooler

Hello friends, how was your weekend? I had a very busy weekend but slept in both days, which was JOYOUS. I love sleep. A few weeks ago I was offered some samples of Angry Orchard Hard Cider to review. In general, I’m not a huge beer drinker (it’s too bitter for me), so when I first discovered Hornsby Cider a year or so ago, I fell in love. Since then I’ve dabbled in Crispin Cisder, Hornsby and Widers, but had never tried Angry Orchard so I jumped at the chance. (PS – Lambic is also a great choice for people who aren’t quite into traditional beers yet!)

Best mail delivery EVER!

I was a very happy blogger when this delightful package showed up at my door, and even more so when I cracked open my first bottle at a cool 190 calories and sipped my way to relaxation. The samples came with the below recipe, hand crafted by world famous mixologist Hayley Jenson. I decided to take a crack at it, and with a few minor substitutions, I present to you, the first ever Double Chin Diary cooking show, complete with a misbehaving cat on the counter and i-phone reading awkwardness.

Rosy Reindeer Cooler


2 medium strawberries, quartered (8 cals) (2g)
2 basil leaves, julienned (cut into thin strips – I didn’t have this, oh well!) (0 cals) (0g)
2 lime slices (10 cals) (0.5g)
½ oz (1 tbsp) simple syrup (18 cals) (1g)
1 oz  (2 tbsp) vanilla vodka (I used regular – came out great!) (60 cals) (0g)
4 oz (8 tbsp) Crisp Apple Angry Orchard Cider (70 cals) (7.5g)

=166 calories, 11 grams of sugar

Mixology: Muddle strawberries & basil in simple syrup. Squeeze & add the 2 lime slices. Fill glass with ice . Add 4 oz cider. Stir to incorporate ingredients. Garnish with strawberry & lime slice.

If you prefer watching a professional, check out the official video Angry Orchard sent me.


You can also browse tons of other lighter cider cocktail recipes at their website here – I can’t get enough of the cool angry tree illustration. If you’re in the mood for something lighter than beer and a little sweeter, you should definitely check out Angry Orchard – they even have an apple ginger version that has a great spicy little kick to it.

I’m a huge fan of Bailey’s Irish Cream, but I can’t even think about that drink without packing on about 19 pounds, as one serving is general around 330 calories. I’ll stick to cider this season, thank you very much!

When it comes to boozy beverages, how do you keep yourself calorically in check?

Independence Day Treats

Revolutionary Berries

I’ve got a little bit of Martha in me, because when I see cute food, I swoon, and immediately try to think of a reason why I need to make it. Such was the case for these darling Revolutionary Berries my friend Hilda found. My gracious friend Julie was having a 3rd of July party, so I thought they’d be perfect for a patriotic snack.

Party-goers enjoy berries. (Pic credit: Virginia)

They’re super simple and are made with only three ingredients – white chocolate chips, strawberries and blue decorating sugar. They were kind of a pain in the butt to dip in the melted white chocolate, but the result was super cute and happily, the berries were gone in SECONDS -the best compliment you can get as a chef.

Citrus Squishies

The other thing I just HAD to make after seeing them in Food Network Mag (sorry – no link, but “Not Martha” has something similar here.) were “Fake Fruit”. I have two massive orange trees in my backyard, so a reason to actually use the fruit on my tree was a good incentive for me to make these – and they looked like fab party food.

Some of the things you need



You need these things: Lemons, Oranges, Orange Jello, Lemon Jello, a sharp knife, a muffin tin, and a cutting board.

First, you slice your fruit in half and remove the pulp. I used a sharp knife to loosen the pulp and then a spoon to scoop it out.

Those aren't muffins!

Then you place the empty halves into a muffin tin to balance them. Prepare the jello according to the directions on the back of the box, and use a small measuring cup to fill the rinds up to the top. It’s ok if a little bit spills out because the jello will shrink as it sets. Carefully transfer to the fridge and then refrigerate until firm (let them set longer than recommended – they’re hard to cut). Place wiggly side down and use a very sharp knife to cut them into wedges.

So cool!


Next time, I’ll blot the rinds dry so that the jello sticks a little bit better, but I think for the first time making them, they came out great. Also next time? I’ll add limoncello and orange pucker. Mmmm. Boozy fake fruit – can’t get much better than that.


Scroll down to see some more pictures. I had a wonderful fourth of July – I hope you did too!


Matt and I enjoyed a lime shaved ice!

Yummy! Virginia tries out an orange slice!

Me and my Grad School Girlies - Hostess Julie and Virginia

Happy 4th of July!