Holiday White Wine Sangria


This time last year: Mexican Hot Chocolate (2013)


Friends, it is Day FOUR of “6 Drinks that aren’t Eggnog.” My how time flies. I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have!

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, scroll through the last there days of posts, because this week is all about fun drink recipes! You don’t want to miss it!)


A few nights ago my family went to dinner with some family friends of ours. They were providing the entree, so we offered to bring a drink and some dessert as a contribution.

This is when having a food blog gets tricky.

Due to the fact that I am coooonstantly trying new recipes, and looking for new scrumptious dishes I can share with you all, anytime I have the opportunity to try out a new recipe on a crowd- I do! Crowds provide the best food blog feed back. You can tell if something is a total hit or if it’s not the most popular dish in the room.  It’s like having a bunch of food blog guinea pigs, which is super helpful!

Despite this obvious benefit to me and my blogging efforts, constantly cooking new recipes for parties is a high-risk, high-reward way to live. Sometimes I find myself bringing new dishes to a social setting and being a little nervous about how they will go over!

Last night was one of those situations.

Although I do love sangria, I will admit this was my first time ever making it! Thus, as I stirred together these delicious ingredients I started to get anxious that it would be a bust- there would be too much fruit, or people would find it too sweet, or find the wine too bitter, etc.

I carried the pitcher into our friend’s home with lots of apologies and excuses that I had yet to try it, and it really might not be all that great! (Such a human move, am I right?)

However, to my delight, every member of the party drank a large glass with nothing but compliments! The fruit was the perfect amount, the wine was fresh and crisp, and the drink was a wonderfully festive fit.

For my first round of sangria, on a group of food-blog guinea pig testers, I got lucky. This recipe is delicious. It’s so easy to make, and was a total crowd pleaser!

Give it a try yourself! I am confident you will love it.

And make sure you come back tomorrow! More drink recipes on the way!

XO Sarah



  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped into small bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 red apple, chopped into small bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen cranberries
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh Rosemary (+ sprigs for garnish- optional)1 bottle white whine
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • 1 cup sparkling apple cider
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Add your apple slices and cranberries to a large pitcher.
  2. Bruise your rosemary to allow the flavors and juices to escape the leaves more. Do this by laying your rosemary on a cutting board, and using the backside of your knife blade, press down on the leaves.  Add the sprigs to the pitcher.
  3. Pour in the wine and stir. (At this point, you can put the pitcher in the refrigerator, and allow the fruit to marinade in the wine, or if you’re impatient like I am, you can skip to the next step!)
  4. Add the ginger ale and sparkling cider, and stir well.
  5. Optional garnish: Dip a few rosemary leaves in the wine, and then roll in a thin layer of granulated sugar. Place one in each glass, drink, and enjoy!
Notes and Tips!:
  • Serving recommendation: Best served chilled as an appetizer drink.
  • Source: Picture the Recipe
  • Like this recipe? Make sure you don’t miss this week’s other posts for “6 Holiday Drinks That Aren’t Eggnog” (Recipe links below photos):


Creamy Mimosas


This time last year: Ginger Hot Chocolate (2013)



Well friends, it is day two of this mini-series: 6 Drink Recipes That Aren’t Eggnog.
I’m pretty excited about it, so I hope you are too!

no sleepin thecity

Yesterday was day one of the series, opening with my favorite Cranberry and Whiskey Cocktail! It is an incredibly simple drink to make, but your guests won’t know that!

Today, I am bringing you yet another mix drink (I promise the whole week will not be alcohol related).

Day Two brings you my new favorite mimosa recipe!

If you love mimosas you will love this! This drink is almost identical to the classic mimosa recipe, however with an added one ounce of whipping cream. That tiny ounce of whipping cream, although small in proportion, goes a long way, making the entire beverage creamier and richer.

Who knew that one ounce of whipping cream could turn this basic mimosa into the most delicious, alcoholic creamsicle, ever?

Planning a New Years Day brunch? Have a new years goal of spending more time with your friends? Add this recipe to your list, have the group over, and enjoy!

Cheers to you, and to the New Year, and come back tomorrow for another beverage that isn’t eggnog!

xo A Rented Kitchen

  • 18 oz. champagne
  • 18 oz. orange juice, no pulp
  • 1 oz. whipping cream (1/8 cup)
  • Ice cubes
  1. Pour the champagne, orange juice and cream into a large blender.
  2. Add enough ice cubes to raise the liquid to 46 oz. (This should not take many!)
  3. Blend until the ice is thoroughly crushed and the mixture is frothy. (If you add any sugar, you will need to blend a little longer, until the sugar is dissolved).
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Notes and Tips!
  • Source: Gluten Free Recipe Box
  • Not sure about champagne? Feel free to add 2 Tablespoons of sugar to the blender to sweeten this drink up a little! I did not use it, but follow your taste buds!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious drinks from A Rented Kitchen (recipe links found below photos!):

Cranberry Whiskey Cocktail


This time last year: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate (2013)


Well, Christmas has passed, but this holiday season is far from over- at least that’s the case in my house. Why let such a good thing end so soon?!

In celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, and a continued season of festivities, I am going to bring you six drink options for this holiday season that are NOT eggnog- starting today!

I will admit, I really don’t have anything against eggnog. Eggnog and I don’t go way back, but I don’t hate it.

However, I like getting a little more creative with my cooking choices than eggnog. It just makes life more fun! Thus, this week, from Christmas to New Years, I am going to bring you a handful of new drink recipes that you can use for a variety of occasions- from happy hour to early morning coffee.

Cheers to you!

And cheers to the holiday!

Love, Sarah


  • 1 oz. Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Ginger ale
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • Fresh Cranberries and ice for garnish
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the liquids into the shaker and mix (shake or stir to your desire).
  2. Strain the liquids into a glass full with fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with cranberries and enjoy!
Notes and Tips!:
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Source: Your Southern Peach 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other beverages from A Rented kitchen (Recipe links below photos!):

Sage Polenta Bowl with Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms


This time last year: Fall Harvest Vegetarian Stuffing (2013)


Man, time flies, doesn’t it?

It feels like just yesterday I was at home, filling my plate full of sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, and homemade rolls. Oh my goodness gracious, it was SO good!

I’m telling you all, veggie Thanksgiving is where it’s at. No turkey to make you sleepy, and all of the carbs and homemade goodness you could ever dream up. I can feel myself drooling now.


When the weather gets cold and the work load keeps getting harder, I dream of home. I dream about those moments around the table with my family, maybe some jazz music floating therough the speakers, always some kind of sweet potato dish being served (duh!).

When going home is not an option, which is unfortunately, almost always the case, I find myself eating soup instead. (Yes, some of us eat our feelings, and no, soup can not replace the comfort that comes with a family home cooked meal).

I think the warmth of a bowl of soup can push back the coldness of winter just a little bit, which can make the warmth of home feel a whole lot closer.

However, since leaving home 6 years ago, I’ve had a lot of soup, and sometimes you need something else warm.

CUE the Sage Polenta Bowls with Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms.

This bowl is seasonal, warm, simple, and delicious. It is filling, while still healthy, and it meets all vegetarian and gluten free diets (two points for the picky eaters!).

Buy the ingredients and make this recipe this week. I promise, you will be so glad you did!





  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts- rinsed, trimmed, and quartered
  • 1- 8 ounce package assorted wild mushrooms (fresh)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
2. Toss the Brussels Sprouts and mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then arrange into one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk the polenta into the water. Continue to whisk, without ceasing, for 3 minutes.
4. Remove the polenta from the heat, and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, the sage, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Divide the polenta into four bowls, and top each with 1/4 of the roasted vegetables + 1 Tablespoon of parmesan cheese.



Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Oh My Veggies!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!):

Mexican Corn Dip


This time last year: Crispy Butterfinger Cookies (2012)


Sometimes it is cold outside and you just need something warm and delicious in your belly.

Today is one of those days.

The leaves have turned here in Atlanta, and fall has officially made its’ appearance. However, fall was ushered in along with two straight days of cold rain, chilling all of us southerners to the bone.

Thus, my weekly lunch needed a little pick-me up, and this recipe is the perfect amount of warmth and kick to make your head-down, windy, rain soaked walk a little bit warmer 🙂

Happy cooking, and come back soon!

Love, A Rented Kitchen



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ears corn, shucked and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over high heat.
  2. Add the corn and the jalapeño to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly charred. (About 8-10 minutes).
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and serve warm!


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Damn Delicious
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below):