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

Brownie Fudgesicles with Sea Salt

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You know what will make your Thursday a little better?  Brownie Fudgesicles with Sea Salt, that's what.

Summer is wrapping up, and we couldn't think of a better way to end the season than with a chocolate on chocolate fudgesicle.  Cold and creamy with bits of brownie throughout, this fudgesicle is going to rock your world in the best way possible.

With school starting back, late night study snacks are a must.  Sometimes a girl needs chocolate, and she needs it in a big way.  And we thought a decadent pick me up to get you through to the weekend is just what you need.

You are going to love these brownie fudgesicles, we can promise you that.



  • Smitten Kitchen's Favorite Brownie Recipe.  We just added a little sea salt.

Fudgesicle Mix-

  • 2 Cups of Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cocoa Powder


  • Make the brownie recipe according to Smitten Kitchen's recipe.  Let cool.
  • In a saucepan, heat your milk and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Whisk in cocoa powder and take off heat.
  • Break off a few pieces of brownies in the popsicle mold and then pour the fudgesicle mixture into each mold filling to the top.
  • Freeze for 30 minutes and then carefully place popsicle sticks in the middle of each mold so that they stay.
  • Continue to freeze overnight.
  • To remove from popsicle mold, run under warm water for a few seconds and carefully pull the popsicle out.
  • Eat immediately.


You need these in your life.

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

Tags: brownies, Chocolate, Chocolate Recipes, fudgesicles, Homemade, Popsicles, Recipes, Smitten Kitchen Brownies, Summer Recipes, Yum

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?


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


  • 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

Blueberry Crisp Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Do you know what you deserve on this Friday morning? Pie. But not just any ordinary pie. You deserve a pie wrapped up in an ice cold ice cream sandwich. Sounds divine, right? It is. You can trust us on this one. We taste tested quite a few, you know, just to be sure. This ice cream sandwich has a flavor combination like you wouldn't believe. The ice cream is blueberry, goat cheese, and honey. And the cookie is a cinnamon, brown sugar, oatmeal shortbread. Essentially we made you a blueberry crisp, but cold. We loved putting such a sophisticated and unexpected twist on a rather traditional dessert. These would be perfect for impressing the guests at your next outdoor party, or just as a treat to yourself one hot summer day. If you aren't ready to eat your screen after you look through these pictures, there might just be something wrong with you...

Blueberry Goat Cheese Ice Cream:

  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 4 Oz. Goat Cheese
  • 1/4- 1/2 Cup Fresh Blueberry Reduction (1 Cup Fresh berries, 1/2 Cup sugar, 1 tbsp. water, bring to a boil and let simmer until sugar is dissolved and blueberries have burst about 10 minutes. Chill completely.)

In a medium saucepan, combine your heavy cream, milk, and honey and heat until the cream is almost boiling, but not quite.  Remove from heat.  Stir your goat cheese in and whisk until smooth.  Store in an airtight container and chill for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.  After your mixture is chilled thoroughly, stir your cream mixture if the goat cheese has formed a layer on top of the cream, which is completely normal, then add to your ice cream maker and follow your specific ice cream maker's instructions.  When the ice cream is almost finished you will spoon in the blueberry reduction a little at a time, until you have incorporated it throughout the whole batch.  Use your judgement and don't add so much that it makes your ice cream turn liquid again.  Transfer ice cream to an airtight container or to a metal bread pan covered in aluminum foil and freeze overnight.

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies:

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 ounces (2 1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and salt in a stand mixer (using the paddle attachment) or in a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until the butter combines with the sugar but isn't perfectly smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour, oats and cinnamon and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl frequently, until the dough has just about pulled together, about 3 minutes; be careful not to over-mix.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Aim for a uniform thickness to ensure even baking. Using a round cookie cutter (feel free to experiment a little, it doesn't have to be a plain circle) cut out shapes as close to one another as possible. Press the scraps together, roll them out, and cut out more cookies. If the dough becomes sticky, refrigerate it briefly. Arrange the cookies on your parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate until chilled, at least 20 minutes.

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the cookies until golden on the bottom/edges and pale to golden on top, about 30-40 minutes. If the cookies are done before 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees F for the remaining batches.  Let cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Yields about 3 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Assembling your sandwiches:

Assembling the cookies will be easier if you freeze your cookies and your ice cream overnight the night before you are ready to make them.  Your cookies will not break and your ice cream will scoop nicely and stay together.  All you have to do is take one cookie and top with one scoop of ice cream and then top with the other cookie and press lightly.  Feel free to make these sandwiches ahead of time and freeze for up to a day or two in advance, although good luck trying to wait to eat them! 

We hope that you will give these a try and let us know if you do!  

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

For more recipes you can visit our personal blogs (Crème de la Carol and My Diary of Us)

Tags: blueberry, brown sugar oatmeal shortbread, Dessert, goat cheese, honey, ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, Recipes, summertime

Dinner in Grand Isle

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC  Photo by Julep Studio LLC [/caption]

Now that you have seen our amazing look book that we shot in Grand Isle, we wanted to give you a peek into the magic of this island town where it was shot and the yummy dinner that we ate, cooked by a man named Troy Morain, who has a passion for cooking and the island he loves so dearly.  

Grand Isle has truly become a central part of Troy's family and social life.  Troy said, "it's hard to speak of in modern terms without acknowledging the effects Katrina and the BP oil spill has had."

There is a line from Robert Penn Warrens ALL THE KINGS MEN that goes something like..."sometimes you gotta get good from evil cause there ain't nowhere else to get it from".

For Troy, this describes the modern day Grand Isle.  

He said, "After having been confronted with the possibility of total loss, the island has returned with a vitality never experienced before. The beaches have never been more beautiful and as will be seen this 4th of July, the island will be packed with island lovers basking in the sun and enjoying fireworks in between the many fishing and crabbing adventures."

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

Here are Troy's top 10 Reasons why Grand Isle is his happy place:

10. Cocktails on the deck of Artie's Big Daddy's after a day of fishing the Tarpon Rodeo can't be beat;

9.  The 4 seasons of GI... Snapper, Shrimp, Crab and oyster;

8.  Sunday's Mardi Gras parade is a gas;

7.  Megan's snowballs;

6.  The Mayor's annual Christmas party;

5.  The smell of shrimp...they're beginning to boil;

4.  Saturday night at our camp the "Sue Happy" cooking for a crowd of family and friends(25 person minimum);

3.  Golf cart progressive dinners;

2.  GRAND ISLE INTERNATIONAL TARPON RODEO the oldest saltwater fishing rodeo in the USA; and

1.  No better sunset in the world than off the back deck of our camp!

After only visiting for just a night, we all fell in love with this island that Troy loves so dearly...the people, the houses, the fishermen, the history that it holds.  It truly is unique and there is no place like it anywhere.

As I mentioned earlier, Troy loves cooking.  So we took full advantage being that he offered to cook for twelve hungry ladies!  Troy is a good friend of Shanna's and made up a special dish just for us called "Shrimp Shanna" of course!  

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2333.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

It was delicious and full of flavor with fresh shrimp caught locally.  To start we had a blueberry and kiwi cocktail, plenty of cheese trays along with a gorgeous caprese was almost to pretty to eat...almost. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2333.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

Now for the recipe for the pasta...


  • 2 Lbs. of Cleaned and Peeled Shrimp
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Andouille Sausage
  • 1, 28 oz. Can of San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Onions
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Bell Pepper
  • 1 Pint of Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Dubon Baby Peas Drained
  • I Can of Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1 Cup Pasta Water or Chicken Stock
  • 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Bos Rotini Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
  • Fresh Basil
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]


Boil rotini according to package directions. When done, drain and retain water for later. In a heavy bottomed skillet or Dutch oven sautee andouille till brown over medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic and cook till tender. Then add San marzano tomatoes crushing them with you hands into the pot. Now add shrimp blending well into the vegetable mixture seasoning with a tablespoon of Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. After sautéing for about 7 minutes add the cream of mushroom soup. Add grape tomatoes and strained peas and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Bring to a simmer and add a cup of pasta water or chicken stock to retain moisture and create sauce. After stirring all completely incorporate the pint if heavy whipping cream and let simmer. Add grated parmesean cheese and fold in gently. When ready to serve add fresh basil and pasta and insure all is well coated with the sauce. If too dry add reserved pasta water for right consistency. Then season to taste with salt and pepper or favorite creole seasoning.  Goes great with a nice Pinot Noir and a chunk of crusty bread.

This dish was so tasty, it really encompassed the flavors of the island in one dish.  We all devoured every bite on our plates!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

We cannot thank Troy enough for showing us such amazing hospitality while we were there and sharing his recipe with us so that we could share it with you!  

And thank you to Julep Studio for capturing this night for us!

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

Tags: behind the scenes, cocktails, dinner, grand isle, inside scoop, look book, Recipes, shrimp