Latest articles by Sandy Smith for Plum Deluxe

Sandy Smith

Overhead view of a fruit shortcake with fresh strawberries, dusted with powdered sugar on a white plate. A cup of sugar plum tea syrup sit next to it on a wooden board.

Summertime Sugar Plum Fruit Shortcake Recipe

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Spring and summer are the perfect seasons to enjoy seasonal fruit in new ways. Try your favorite fresh fruit in this pretty fruit shortcake recipe flavored with Plum Deluxe’s own Sugar Plum tea. Creamy Drop Biscuit Shortcakes These shortcakes start with a lightly sweet cream drop biscuit made with heavy cream instead of butter. This […]

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When you think about cookie ingredients, avocados probably don’t spring to mind. This avocado cookie recipe that tastes like a brownie is going to change that!

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookie Recipe

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When you think about cookie ingredients, avocados probably don’t spring to mind. And that’s a shame. This fudgy avocado cookie recipe that tastes like a decadent brownie is going to change that! Make these rich, fudgy, dense, and intensely chocolatey cookies, and no one will know that this avocado cookie recipe swaps out mashed avocado […]

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Here are nine ways to use leftover champagne that will elevate even the unfizziest of forgotten bubbly to its rightful place at your table.

9 Ways to Use Leftover Champagne

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Leftover champagne — like albino alligators, total solar eclipses, and finding a parking spot at the mall on the Saturday before Christmas — is rare, but it does happen. While no one plans for leftover champagne, you might find yourself in the predicament of opening several bottles of bubbly for, say, a holiday party, and […]

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Pumpkin Spice: Hot Buttered Rum and White Chocolate Truffles

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Pumpkin Spice Season is here! How can you tell? First, it’s hard to miss the store displays of pumpkin spice everything, from coffee to chips to beer to room deodorizers. I’m pretty sure I spotted some pumpkin-flavored cat treats in Target. Back-to-school displays are emptied and replaced with Halloween costumes, and folks are breaking out […]

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Spiced Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter Glaze

Pumpkin Scones with Spiked Orange-Pumpkin Iced Tea

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Pumpkin and spice and everything nice make this pairing of Spiked Orange-Pumpkin Iced Tea and rich, tender Spiced Pumpkin Scones a perfect combo for fall brunch or tea time. You can make the tea in advance and let it cool overnight, saving you prep time. Scones are always best made the day they’re served, but […]

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Pumpkin Spice Cider Cocktail and Sorbet

Pumpkin Spice Cider Cocktail and Sorbet

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Fall is apple cider time! Here are two recipes that make the most of the season’s apple cider — be sure to get freshly pressed cider if possible. The Pumpkin Spice Cider Cocktail is a cold cocktail featuring the addition of pumpkin spice tea. It’s extra autumn-y! You’ll want to use the cider reduction that […]

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Piece of Cake Cocktails

Craving a cocktail but saving your calories for dessert? Girl, stop — life’s too short! You can kill two birds with one delicious stone by making up some of these cake-themed cocktails. Celebrate a birthday with a Cake Batter Martini or mix up some Chocolate Cake Shots for your next girls’ night in. Go on…have […]

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3 Hair of the Dog Cocktails for Celebratory Recovery

Hair of the dog cocktails are not to be confused with brunch cocktails. The primary difference? While brunch cocktails are civil and mannered, encouraging enthusiastic dining and convivial conversation, hair of the dog cocktails aim to facilitate basic speech and the ability to make eye contact without crying. Simply speaking, they offer more of the […]

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3 Crispy, Crunchy, and Delicious Gluten-Free Crackers for Your Next Cocktail Bash

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Whether or not you avoid gluten-containing products in your diet, you’ll love this trio of easy-to-make gluten-free snack crackers! If you’re searching for a gluten-free cracker that doesn’t taste like cardboard to serve with your cheese platter, try the Herbed Amaranth Crackers. When you’re craving a salty snack you don’t have to sneak, whip up […]

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Fizz Whiz: 3 Soda Syrups to Make on Your Own

Is soda your guilty pleasure? Not anymore! Mix up a few batches of these delectable soda syrups and ditch the guilt. Enjoy your fizzy favorite sans high-fructose corn syrup and chemicals. You can use one of the new-fangled soda machines to provide your carbonation, or simply add syrup to store-bought club soda or seltzer water. […]

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3 Beer Cocktails to Set Your Summer Scene

Beer: it isn’t just for hipsters and microbrew mavens anymore. This trio of recipes will introduce you to the alchemy that happens when you mix a brewski with various other ingredients you might never have thought compatible. You can use your favorite beers in these cocktails, but remember that their flavors will be layered with […]

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Lemon Shandy Recipe: The Perfect Beer And Lemonade Beverage

It’s almost summer. The asphalt in the driveway is melting, you’re perspiring in entirely unpleasant and undignified places, and you know that the number of beers it will require to take the edge off your heat-indexed misery will make it impossible for you to safely maneuver your lawn mower. Enter, the shandy. Made up of […]

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Cooking With a Coffee Kick

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Joe, java, jitter juice, nectar of the gods, lifeblood — whatever you call it, we like our coffee. In the morning, it makes daylight bearable. On the road or on deadline, it keeps things moving. And it’s not just for drinking. Coffee has long been a popular flavor enhancer in both sweet (think tiramisu) and […]

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Relax, Baby: The Best Brunch Cocktail Recipes (with a Twist)

Why is brunch the best meal of the week? Because you can’t get it wrong. You can wear pajamas or pearls. Want dessert with your eggs? You got it! Want a cocktail or two with your French toast? Super! Brunch understands. Brunch just wants you to be happy. And that’s why brunch rules. Spiked and […]

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Boozy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts to Make Irish (Real and Wannabe) Eyes Smile

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You’ve polished off the corned beef and cabbage, eaten your way through a mountain of colcannon, and devoured every last crumb of Irish soda bread dripping with Kerrygold butter. You’ve drained the last drop of Irish stout and there’s a fragrant Irish coffee steaming in front of you. Now what? Dessert! Cap off your St. […]

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The Luck of the Irish: St. Paddy’s Day Beer Sampler

This St. Patrick’s Day, liberate yourself from red Solo cups and green-dyed house beer. Gather your friends and leprechauns and bend an elbow with one of these authentic Irish beers, all of which I found at my local beer distributor (and unfortunately did not require a field trip to Ireland). Slainte! Murphy’s Irish Stout This […]

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Pastry Chef Secrets: Building a Perfect Pie Crust

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If you’re intimidated by the prospect of making pie pastry, you’re in good company. But think about it: grannies everywhere have been baking blue-ribbon pies without breaking a sweat for years. Your time has come. Preventing Disaster First off, let’s look at what can go wrong — forewarned is forearmed, right? With pie pastry, there […]

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After-Dinner Delight: Set Up a Coffee Bar that Will Make You a Legend Among Hosts

You’ve nailed the appetizers. Your entrée brought water to the mouths of angels with its heavenly aroma. The craft beer and wines you paired with both showed absolute genius. Now, how are you going to finish off your epic feature of culinary quintessence? The after-dinner coffee bar, of course. Your guests will rave, and you […]

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4 Fab International Holiday Cocktails

’Twas the month before Christmas and all through the world, people were mixing their favorite holiday cocktails in hopes of making spirits merry and bright. Here’s a sampling of international cocktails that will light the star on your tannenbaum. Gluehwein — Germany Germany’s version of mulled wine is spicy, sweet, and lushly festive. Enjoy this […]

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Apple and Spice and Everything Nice: 3 Cocktails for Autumn Sipping

It may be time to bid farewell to the frozen margaritas of sultry summer nights, but don’t despair. This trio of cocktail recipes featuring the favorite fall flavors of lush ripe apple, warm cinnamon, and sweet apple pie will help make the transition to chilly nights and falling leaves considerably more enjoyable. Three Apples Cocktail […]

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Harvest a Collection of Great Seasonal Pumpkin Cocktails

’Tis the season for pumpkin picking, carving, and … cocktailing? Maybe you’ve never had a cocktail featuring this bright orange fall favorite. It’s high time to change that. Here’s a sampler of cocktails that utilize pumpkin puree (make your own or use store-bought) to bring autumn’s harvest to your next cocktail party! Pumpkin Pie Olé […]

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Ciao Bella! Surprisingly Sexy Classic Italian Cocktails

If classic Italian cocktails make you think of ill-tempered older gents wearing dark suits and smoking cigars in a soundproofed back room with dramatic overhead lighting, you could be forgiven. But consider that the Italians are professionals when it comes to sexy. Think cars, fashion, food. It’s no real wonder that these favorite libations of […]

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Sangria Sampler: Four Luscious Sangrias You’ve Never Tried Before

Sangria, a wine punch famous as a hot-weather cooler in Spain and infamous as a popular way to get rid of the leftover dregs of post-party bottles, is worth getting to know regardless of the season. The name “sangria” derives from the Spanish word for blood, sangre, and it earns that name with the ruby […]

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Mint Condition Cocktail Favorites: Brighten Up Classic Cocktail Recipes with Fresh Mint for a Summer Sensation

Throwing a midsummer’s eve cocktail party or simply serving drinks with dinner? Surprise your guests with these updated versions of favorite cocktails flavored with fresh mint, the “hospitality herb.” Fresh mint — and fresh is nonnegotiable in these cocktails; don’t be tempted to use the dried stuff — adds a sweet, lively, aromatic element that […]

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