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Sweet and Salty White Chocolate Popcorn

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On Wednesday night the Rodéo girls took a trip to Movie Tavern to see a Christmas movie and grab some snacks. Did you really see a movie if you didn't get popcorn?! Inspired by our trip, we decided to put our own spin on popcorn. The result was delicious. It was too good to keep to ourselves, so we decided to package it up and give it to friends for the holidays! What better way to say Happy Holidays than with a dessert disguised as a snack? 

We kept a bowl of this popcorn on the counter at the store and had to refill it constantly! A few people coined this popcorn "Christmas crack." We couldn't stop eating it!! 

What you'll need...

2 bags of popped popcorn (We used the Cooking Light pre-popped salted popcorn)

1/2 to 1 bag of pretzel sticks 

1 package of candy coating white chocolate (or almond bark if you prefer)

1 bag christmas M&M's  

Red, green and white sprinkles

Bowl, Spatula, Wax Paper

 

How you'll do it… 

Mix your popcorn and pretzels in a large bowl. Melt your white chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals until its all melted. Pour melted chocolate over popcorn and pretzels. Stir to coat all the popcorn. The goal is to lightly cover all the pieces with the white chocolate. While still warm, add the M&Ms and sprinkles so that they stick. Then spread the mixture out on wax paper to dry. Once dry, you can break it up into pieces. At this point you either commit to packaging it up for family and friends or just abandon the good intentions and eat it yourself. 

This popcorn recipe is really more of a loose guideline. Once you know the process you can change out the ingredients or amounts to whatever your heart desires. (Trust us, you can't mess this stuff up.) You could swap out the M&Ms and sprinkles for dark chocolate and peppermint pieces or throw in some Reese's candy and salted peanuts. The combinations are limitless. Enjoy it! We sure did. 

Keep dreaming, 

-xo The Rodéo Girls 

Tags: Christmas, Dessert, DIY, Popcorn, Recipes, Sprinkles, Sweet and Salty, White Chocolate

Painting Pumpkins with Brandee Sandusky

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="3600.0"]                                            Our artist and teacher for the night -- Brandee Sandusky and one of her adorable pumpkins!                                             Our artist and teacher for the night -- Brandee Sandusky and one of her adorable pumpkins![/caption]

On the week of Halloween, we decided to host a pumpkin painting party with one of our favorite local artists, Brandee Sandusky. Brandee is an abstract painter here in South Louisiana. (She's got big talent and an even bigger heart!) On Monday night, she brought her paints and paint brushes to our store to teach our customers how to take pumpkin decorating up a notch. We are always on the look out for new ways to make things pretty! We had such a great time learning from her and enjoyed getting to create beautiful pumpkins to adorn our front steps in the process.

And as always, Anna Grace stole the show! :) But how could she not, with the cutest Halloween dress and the prettiest pumpkin to match. Watch out Brandee, you may have some competition in the future. Ha! 

A big thank you to everyone who came out the the event, to Brandee for teaching us your ways, and to the ladies of Julep Studio for photographing the event!

You can check out Brandee's art on her website!

Keep Dreaming,

-xo The Rodéo Girls

Photography by Julep Studio

 

Tags: abstract art, art, Artist Feature, decor, DIY, fall 2015, inside scoop, painting, pumpkins, Rodéo Boutique, Rodéo Events

Blackberry Gin Fizz + DIY Swizzle Sticks

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Honestly, we can't get enough of fun cocktails this summer.  Ingredients like berries, are so fresh right now that making a cocktail for a party or a girl's night out can be super easy and delicious!  Blackberries are kind of gorgeous and we couldn't resist making them our star ingredient for our blackberry gin fizz!

All you need is five ingredients and you can whip up happy hour any night of the week. Who needs a fancy cocktail lounge, when you can create a drink that's just as special right at home?

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Blackberries
  • Gin
  • Soda Water
  • Fresh Lemons
  • Agave Nectar
  • Crushed Ice

Directions:

  • With an immersion blender or regular blender, mix about a cup of blackberries with 2 tbsp. agave nectar and blend until smooth.  You can add a tsp. of water if you need a little more liquid.  (You could also just muddle the berries and agave in the bottom of a cocktail shaker if you don't have a blender.)
  • For each glass, use about 2 tbsp. of blackberry puree, 1 oz. of gin, juice from one lemon and shake vigorously in cocktail shaker.
  • Fill a glass with ice, pour blackberry mixture over ice.
  • Top the drink off with soda water and garnish with cocktail stirrer and fresh berries. 
  • Repeat with each glass until they are all full.

*To crush your own ice, place ice cubes in a pillow case and crush with a rolling pin, hammer, or something else that will crush the ice.  You could use a plastic Ziploc too, but it could break through the bag, so the pillowcase is less messy!

How gorgeous is this drink? 

Now that you've had your fill of this delicious cocktail, let's move on to our DIY project! Cocktail stirrers, also known as swizzle sticks, are such an easy way to make your drink a bit more festive. Whether you are throwing a party, going out with the girls, or just enjoying a cocktail on your own, adding something bright and fun will make drinking that cocktail even more exciting. We have two different types of stirrers to show you today. And you might recognize them, as they are the same ones we made for our Girls Night Out!

First lets discuss the materials you need...

You will also need an Elmer's glue stick, a hot glue gun (with glue sticks), and scissors. But we figured you already knew what those looked like. These two DIYs are super simple and easy, so let's get started....

Glitter Heart Swizzle Stick:

  1. Use your heart punch (we used a 1 1/2" punch) to punch out hearts. You will need two hearts for each stick. One for the front and one for the back. Punch as many as you need. 
  2. Take two hearts and cover the white side/non-glitter side with Elmer's glue. Then grab your skewer (ours were 5 1/2" in length) and adhere it to one of the hearts. Take your second heart and line it up with the other and press down. Make sure your skewer is nice and snug in the the middle of the hearts. 
  3. Continue until you've made the amount of swizzle sticks you need.

Paper Fringe Swizzle Stick:

  1. Plug in your hot glue gun, so it can get nice and hot.
  2. Take your tissue paper, and cut it into pieces that are about 3" wide x 2" high. Take these pieces and cut vertical strips into them. Make sure to stay about 1/4" away from the edge or you will cut/tear through your piece. For each swizzle stick you will need 2 gold pieces and 1 pink piece. Let's call these pieces your fringe.
  3. Take your skewer and place a dot of hot glue at the top of your stick. Next, take a gold fringe piece and adhere the bottom/un-cut edge to your dot of glue. You want the fringe to be sticking up above the stick. Then wrap it around the skewer, until you are out of fringe. Place another dot of glue to secure the piece. Try to wrap the paper around itself instead of moving vertically down the skewer, this way the fringe will be fuller once you are done. 
  4. Next, use the same process with your pink fringe piece and your second gold fringe piece. You want to keep each piece you adhere pretty much on top of the one before it. When you are done, you will have only covered about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of the skewer.
  5. Once all three fringe pieces are attached, use your fingers to fluff it up so it's nice and full! 
  6. That's it! Now, go pour yourself a drink! You've earned it!

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

For more cocktail recipes, you can visit Leigh Ann's personal blog, My Diary of Us.  DIY cocktail stirrer by Carol.

Tags: blackberry, cocktail, cocktails, DIY, diy stirrers, gin, lemon, Recipes, swizzle sticks