Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes That Even Your Little One Will Love!

These Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes take a classic Sloppy Joe recipe and turn it into something the whole family – even your youngest eaters – will love. Sloppy Joe filling is tucked into fluffy crescent cups for a neater, handheld version of the popular weeknight dinner.

If you have questions about starting solid foods, consult a physician or health care provider.

An overhead shot of Not-So-Sloppy Joes laid out on a cooling rack.

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

I hope you’re ready for an easy weeknight dinner that the entire family is going to love, because these Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes totally fit the bill. They’re quick, easy, and so tasty you won’t even know they’re made specifically for tiny appetites.

That’s right, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. to bring you this baby-led weaning-friendly recipe and share all of the amazing benefits of introducing beef as a first food to your babes.

By now you likely know what a huge proponent I am of the baby-led weaning method, which encourages the introduction of ALL foods in their most natural form starting from very early on in a child’s solid food journey. With BLW, it’s recommended that foods like peanut butter, eggs, dairy, and, yes, beef are all introduced before a child turns one in order to expand their palates and set them up for optimal physical and cognitive development.

You can read more about the baby-led weaning method here. In the meantime, let’s dig into some of nutrition benefits of beef, and how it lends itself to these important developmental milestones.

A close-up shot of "Not-So-Sloppy" Joes in their baking pan.

Nutritional Benefits of Beef for Babies

Beef contains high-quality protein, iron and zinc, all of which are essential nutrients for a child’s healthy growth and development. With more than ten essential nutrients, beef can assist in improved recall skills and reasoning abilities, and also support brain health and optimal cognitive development. You can read more about the nutritional benefits of beef as a first food on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

While beef purées are certainly an option for ensuring your baby receives all of these benefits, I wanted to create a recipe with beef in one of its more natural forms for all of my baby-led weaning fans out there. So how did I create a Sloppy Joe recipe that’s baby-led weaning approved?

A "Not-So-Sloppy" Joe on a kids' plate with zucchini and tomato salad.

 

Let me tell you!

Ground Beef Sloppy Joes That are Baby-Led Weaning Approved

If you’re not too familiar with baby-led weaning, there are a few things to pay special attention to when offering foods to your little one:

CHEWING AND SWALLOWING ABILITY

When presenting food to a babe who’s just starting to eat, you want to make sure it’s appropriate for his or her current chewing and swallowing abilities. Ground beef – which I used for these Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes – is a great option as it’s already in small pieces and easy to chew. It’s even “gummable” for babies who may not have many (or any) teeth yet.

SALT

Sodium deserves some special attention when it comes to cooking for your little one. While adults can consume between 1,500-2,300 mg of sodium a day, babies and toddlers should be consuming much less, between 400-800 mg per day. That’s why you won’t see any added salt in this recipe, however, if you feel you want more salt in your Sloppy Joe mixture, feel free to set some “joe” mix aside for your baby and then season the rest as you wish.

SUGAR

While many traditional Sloppy Joe recipes use brown sugar as a sweetener, I try to steer away from pure sugar as much as possible when cooking for new eaters. To sweeten up the sauce a little bit, I recommend adding just enough maple syrup to tone down the acidity of the tomatoes.

THE MESS

If there’s one thing anyone who’s already gone through baby-led weaning can attest to, it’s that it makes a huge mess! In BLW, babies are encouraged to practice self-feeding from the very beginning, so things definitely don’t stay neat and tidy. The great thing about this Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joe recipe is that the mess of the Joe filling will be at least somewhat contained by those fluffy crescent cups, and babies won’t even need to wield a fork to get to the good stuff.

"Not-So-Sloppy" Joes cooling on a rack, surrounded by a blue and white checked napkin.

While the nutrients in beef offer an ample amount of benefits, tomatoes and bell peppers give the recipe an extra dose of nutrition. With less mess and babies’ nutritional needs in mind, these “Not-So-Sloppy” Joe’s will be the perfect addition to your weeknight dinner rotation, not to mention they’ll be enjoyed by the whole family!

For more great family recipes and additional information about the health benefits of beef, be sure to check out BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

I’d love to hear all about your BLW adventures with beef in the comments below!

Ground Beef "Not-So-Sloppy" Joes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
42 mins
 

These Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes take a classic Sloppy Joe recipe and turn it into something the whole family - even your youngest eaters - will love. Sloppy Joe filling is tucked into fluffy crescent cups for a neater, handheld version of the popular weeknight dinner.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, beef, entree, kid-friendly, main course, weeknight
Servings: 24 cups
Calories: 212 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons coco aminos
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste (for adults)
  • 3 cans refrigerated crescent dough (enough dough for 3 dozen crescents)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven according to crescent dough package directions. Spray cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until just translucent, about 3 minutes, then add bell peppers. Once bell peppers begin to soften, add Ground Beef. Stir in pan until it begins to brown, then add garlic powder and ground mustard. Continue stirring until most of the meat is browned.

  3. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to pan and stir until combined, then stir in the coconut aminos, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. If you want to add some salt for the adults and older kids in the family, now’s the time to do it, but go as light as you can. Turn the mixture down to low and let it simmer while you prepare the crescent cups.

  4. Unroll the crescent dough from its package and separate each triangle. Cut the top off of each triangle and then reattach it to the side to make a rectangle (as shown in the photos). Press rectangles one by one into the cupcake molds.

  5. Take a tablespoon measure and scoop 1-2 tablespoons into each crescent cup. Place cupcake pans in preheated oven and bake according to the crescent package directions (typically at around 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes), or until golden. Leave in pan until cool enough to touch, then gently remove, using a butter knife to gently ease them out if necessary.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low

Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses

Vanilla-laced homemade marshmallows are covered in a soft yet chewy caramel to make the perfect sweet treat for the holidays and beyond!

Homemade Caramel Covered Scotch Kisses are the perfect holiday gift.
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co.

I can guarantee you won’t be able to eat just one. If you’re at all familiar with a certain popular candy store’s holiday offerings, these little nuggets of heaven I’ve dubbed “Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses” likely look like something you’ve seen before gracing their shelves before. If not, then prepare to be wowed by a delicious homemade holiday goodie that will put your standard cookie and fudge platters to shame. You’ve been warned.

I generally claim to have no preference between cooking and baking (yes, I’m one of those rare birds), but when the holidays roll around, all I want to do is bake up tasty treats and goodies. I’m a sucker for everything from cookies to coffee cakes, and would happily give up candy bars in exchange for baked goods any day of the week.

Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses are a great addition to any holiday cookie trays you plan on handing out to friends this year.

That’s why I’m so lucky to have partnered with Sonoma Syrup Co. this holiday season to create some super tasty treats using their syrups, extracts, etc. I kicked off the fall season with these Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Floats, then took advantage of my pumpkin obsession by whipping up this Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble. For the month of December, I wanted to showcase their super-fragrant and fresh Pure Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush,” and what better way to do so than with some Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses?

To be honest, this was also somewhat of a self-challenge on my part. You see, homemade marshmallows (and heck, even homemade caramel) have been on my list of “Things That Intimidate Me” for quite some time now. But heck, that’s one of the reasons I started this blog, to not only challenge myself with new projects in the kitchen but also encourage you, my dear readers, to challenge YOURSELVES with cooking adventures that may have previously been holding you back.

Sure, homemade marshmallows require some special ingredients like silver gelatin sheets and acetate (thank goodness for Amazon Prime!) and a careful eye on the stovetop, but when you break things down they’re really not that complicated…and so much tastier than the store-bought stuff! And who better to turn to than the man Thomas Keller for guidance? I referred to his Bouchon Bakery marshmallow recipe for this first little foray into the ‘mallow world, and as usual was thankful for his overly detailed instructions and step-by-step guide.

These Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses are a fun and festive treat for the holidays.

To give the marshmallows an extra-special hit of flavor, I turned to the aforementioned Sonoma Syrup Co. Pure Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush”. I tell ya, it’s amazing what just a little dash of this stuff brings to the table when dressing up a holiday goodie! I’m not even exaggerating when I say you can easily tell that they use only the highest quality Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla as the ingredients. It puts any other mass-produced vanilla extract to shame!

So, after we have the marshmallows made and chilled (carefully following the instructions – I promise it’s not too hard!) we make our super-simple caramel coating. And when I say super simple, I mean super simple – we’re talking just two ingredients and a saucepan away from having a huge batch of Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses ready for all your holiday gift-giving needs. Simply melt together some store-bought caramels with a little bit of heavy cream, let it cool slightly, and you’re ready to dip!

It’s important that you start with the marshmallows frozen so that they don’t melt into a gloppy puddle as soon as you dip them into the warm caramel. It’s equally as important to use parchment paper rather than wax paper when letting your caramel-dipped marshmallows set in the refrigerator and for wrapping them once they are ready to go (I learned this the hard way!)

I know this may all sound intimidating and time-consuming, but I promise, promise, PROMISE these Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses are well worth the little extra TLC they require. I also pinky promise that throwing a handful of these on any cookie or treat platter you happen to be bringing over to a friend or neighbor this season will be very well-received. Don’t be surprised if you leave them asking for more!

Change up your usual cookie platter this holiday season by adding some of these Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses!

You can find the recipe below, and head on over to Sonoma Syrup Co. to order their Pure Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush” ASAP for all of your holiday baking needs!

This post contains affiliate links.

Homemade Caramel Covered Marshmallow Kisses
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Vanilla-laced homemade marshmallows are covered in a soft yet chewy caramel to make the perfect sweet treat for the holidays and beyond!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candy, caramel, christmas, kid-friendly, make-ahead, marshmallow, winter
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the vanilla marshmallows*:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 4 sheets Silver Leaf gelatin
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Pure Vanilla Bean Extract "Crush" (or other vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Special equipment for marshmallows:
  • 8 inch square baking dish
  • 8 inch square piece of acetate
  • Candy thermometer
For the caramel coating:
  • 22 ounces individually packaged caramels
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. First, make the marshmallows. Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.

  2. Line 8-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap and sprinkle the wrap generously with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. Set the rest of the powdered sugar mixture aside.

  3. Place the gelatin in an ice bath to soften.

  4. Spray one side of the acetate with nonstick cooking spray, set aside (sprayed side up.)

  5. Prepare a bain marie by placing a metal mixing bowl over a saucepan filled with just two inches of water over medium high heat. 

  6. Remove the gelatin from the ice bath and squeeze dry, place in prepared bain marie. Cook until the gelatin is melted, the reduce heat and keep warm. 

  7. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

  8. Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then simmer an additional 5 minutes or so, or until the temperature reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  9. Let the syrup continue to cook and turn the stand mixer on medium speed to start whipping the egg whites. The goal is for the egg whites to be forming medium peaks around the same time the syrup in the saucepan reaches 281-284 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the syrup reaches this temperature, remove it from the heat. If your egg whites start forming medium peaks before the syrup is done, lower the speed on the mixer slightly.

  10. Add the syrup to the egg whites by slowly pouring it down the side as you have the mixer on low. 

  11. Pour in the prepared gelatin and increase the mixer speed to medium-high, about 5 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and glossy, warm but not hot. 

  12. Spray a spatula with nonstick cooking spray and use it to spread the marshmallow mixture into the prepared baking pan that has been lined with plastic wrap. 

  13. Top the spread out mixture with the prepared piece of acetate, sprayed side down, and gently press it down. 

  14. Let mixture stand at room temperature for a few hours to set. 

  15. Once mixture is cooled and set, remove the acetate and coat the top with the reserved powdered sugar mixture as necessary. 

  16. Spray a chef’s knife with nonstick cooking spray and cut the marshmallows into squares, cleaning and re-spraying the knife between each cut. 

  17. Coat the marshmallows with more of the powdered sugar mixture as needed so they are not too sticky. 

  18. Place marshmallows on a cookie sheet or two lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least one hour before dipping in caramel.

  19. Once marshmallows are sufficiently frozen (this will help ensure they don’t melt into nothing as soon as you dip them in the caramel), start preparing the caramel.

  20. Remove the wrappers from the caramels and add them to a small saucepan with the heavy cream over medium heat. Stir occasionally as the caramels melt. 

  21. Once the caramels and heavy cream have melted together and combined to form a creamy caramel, turn off the heat. Using two forks (or spoons, or a combo of both) dunk the marshmallows in so they are sufficiently coated. Place dipped caramels back on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets and refrigerate until caramel is hardened even to remove the kisses from the parchment paper.

  22. Individually wrap the caramels in small pieces of parchment paper and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. (They can stand a short period of time at room temperature, but for longer periods be sure to keep them cool.)

Recipe Notes

*Recipe for vanilla marshmallows adapted from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery Cookbook.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble

This Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble is flavored with both pumpkin puree and pumpkin syrup, and laced with delicious almond flavor.

A delicious Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble is the perfect baked good for fall.
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co.

I’m 100% confident that after tasting this Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble, you’ll never want to try another coffee cake recipe ever again. It’s dense and perfectly moist (thanks to Sonoma Syrup Co.’s seasonally appropriate Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup AND good ol’ pumpkin purée), studded with toasted almonds and topped with the most delicious amaretti and brown sugar crumble you can imagine. Did I mention there’s also a touch of amaretto liqueur? You guys, fall never tasted so good.

But before we get to the main event, let’s first talk about this amazing-ness that is Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup. I had never been so excited to learn that I could make my own PSL’s at home with the simple addition of this thick orange syrup made from organic pumpkin and spices. And TBH, even when I’m too lazy to whip up a full-on latte and resort to a cup of coffee instead, I still add a dash of this syrup along with my unsweetened almond milk to spice things up a bit.  Often, the PSL’s I get at Starbucks or Peet’s are much too sweet for me, so I love that with this Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup I can control how much I add and just get that perfect hit of flavor without all of the sweetness overload.

So, when Sonoma Syrup Co. asked if I’d be interested in creating a recipe using said syrup, I naturally jumped at the chance. Whenever fall rolls around, I immediately start thinking about all of the seasonal recipes I want to make for the next few months. Without fail, one of the very first recipes that always pops into my head is a Pumpkin Coffee Cake recipe I got from my friend Meghan way back when I was living in Napa and we had an annual Pumpkin Party.

A wedge of Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble ready to be consumed on a chilly fall morning!

That’s right – we had an annual Pumpkin Party! And I seriously have missed it so much since we moved to Santa Barbara. I tried throwing one on my own the first year I lived here, but it just wasn’t the same without all my foodie friends contributing (and, subsequently, all the delicious wine that would be consumed throughout the course of the evening.) Meghan and I still text each other every year reminiscing about those good ol’ days (we also hosted an annual Sausage Fest, which was another huge hit.)

Anyhow, one thing I could continue to make even as the annual Pumpkin Party faded away was the delicious Pumpkin Coffee Cake Meghan made that first year we hosted it. I knew that creating my own special version, with the help of Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup, would be the perfect way to kick off the season and start a delicious new tradition that would make me miss our Pumpkin Party just a little bit less.

This Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble is incredibly moist and dense from multiple forms of pumpkin added to the batter.

I played around with the batter a little bit, making room for both the Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup AND fresh pumpkin (the more pumpkin flavor, the better!) I also decided to sub in slivered almonds for the originally called-for walnuts and use a delicious amaretti cookie crumble topping instead of the oatmeal-brown sugar topping from the original recipe. In case you’re unfamiliar with amaretti cookies, they are a crunchy Italian cookie often dunked in espresso. Their crunchiness also makes them very well-suited to be blitzed into a topping, and their rich almond flavor is just to die for. Naturally, because of all this almond, I thought a touch of amaretto liqueur in the batter would also be just the perfect little touch to my new take on this already delicious recipe.

Well, I’m proud to say that, after playing around with things a bit, this Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble turned out better than I could have ever imagined. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee (maybe even a PSL?) on a cool fall morning – the best way to ring in the season. We ate the first one up in record time, so I’m pretty sure I need to make another one of these to have on hand once Baby D is born in just a few short weeks.

A slice of Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble showcases the density and perfect crumb of this delicious fall-themed treat.

If I’ve succeeded in convincing you that you can’t live another second without this Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble (or if you’ve just been really craving a PSL without a trip to your local coffee shop), you can purchase some of the delicious Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup I used here.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week filled with alllll the pumpkin things!!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble with a big slice cut out of it.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This perfectly moist and dense coffee cake is flavored with both pumpkin puree and pumpkin syrup, and laced with delicious almond flavor in both the cake and topping.

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the Amaretti Crumble:
  • 1 cup amaretti cookies
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
For the cake:
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup Sonoma Syrup Co. Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-inch springform pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a 9-inch circle and place it in the bottom of the greased pan. Set aside. 

  2. Now, make the crumble. Combine all crumble ingredients in a food processor and pulse until ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.

  3. Next, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. 

  4. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Beat in the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, pumpkin syrup, vanilla extract and amaretto and beat until combined.

  5. Add the dry ingredients and beat to combine, then add the milk. 

  6. Stir in the almonds and pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle generously with the topping, being sure to use it all. 

  7. Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, then release the cake from the pan and onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Amaretti Crumble | CaliGirlCooking.com

Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Float

This Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Float features easy homemade pomegranate soda and fresh vanilla ice cream – the perfect way to send off summer!

Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Floats are the perfect way to bridge the gap between summer and fall. Plus they're easy and so refreshing!
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co.

The perfect drink and dessert all in one, this Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Float just might have to make an appearance at any end-of-summer festivities you’ll be hosting over the next couple of weekends. Because we can’t say “sayonara” to summer without a proper send-off now, can we?

I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared it here on the blog, but the hubs and I are just a bit obsessed with root beer floats. I’m not too sure what brought our obsession about, I think one day early on in our relationship we were talking about how it had been so long since either of us had enjoyed the favorite childhood dessert, so we then proceeded to go out to the grocery store and get all the fixin’s. Since then, root beer floats have been a go-to special treat for us. So much so that we even served them at our wedding last summer!

So when the folks at Sonoma Syrup Co. asked me to create a fun Labor Day-themed recipe using their Pomegranate Grenadine Simple Syrup, a float was the first thing that came to mind. I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate the last long weekend of summer with ice cream and the sweet, delicious flavor of pomegranate, which just so happens to be coming into season as we speak? The Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Float was born.

A Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Float is the perfect end-of-summer treat to kick off the weekend. And it's so easy to make!

Now, you could be really fancy and whip up some of your own vanilla ice cream for the float, but if you’d rather spend your weekend enjoying friends, family, the outdoors, etc., you’ll be just as well off by grabbing some high-quality premade stuff from your local grocery store.

Aside from the ice cream, all you’ll need for this show-stopper of a recipe is some soda water, Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Pomegranate Grenadine Simple Syrup (the real star of the show) and fresh pomegranate arils to add some festive color and a little tart crunch to the drink.

Fresh pomegranate arils are the perfect topping for these super-easy Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Floats.

If you haven’t made your own soda before, prepare to have your mind blown. Even if you don’t own a fancy SodaStream, as long as you have a good stock of flavored simple syrups and some bubbly water on hand (store bought is a-ok), you can make a myriad of flavors. All you have to do is stir together the syrup and soda and you have a tasty, refreshing drink in no time at all!

So that’s our first step: mixing together the Pomegranate Grenadine Simple Syrup and some soda water to make the perfect topper for our vanilla ice cream.

The next step is to load up a big glass with said ice cream (I’ll let you decide how much, I know the ratio of ice cream to soda is definitely based on one’s personal preference) and then top with the pre-made soda.

Finally, sprinkle your fresh pomegranate arils over top and be sure to serve your floats with both a straw and a spoon for maximum enjoyment.

All you need to enjoy these easy and delicious Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Floats are a straw and a spoon!

Whether you mix these up today or wait until Labor Day weekend comes around, I’ll bet there will be no dreading going back to school when there are Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Floats involved!

Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Floats
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This new take on the classic float features a delicious pomegranate flavor and fresh vanilla ice cream - the perfect way to send off summer!

Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dessert, ice cream, kid-friendly, pomegranate
Servings: 2 floats
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 cup soda water
  • 2 tablespoons Sonoma Syrup Co. Pomegranate Grenadine Simple Syrup
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Fresh pomegranate arils, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large measuring cup, gently stir together the soda water and pomegranate simple syrup.

  2. Fill two large glasses with desired amount of vanilla ice cream. Pour even amounts of pomegranate soda over each mound of ice cream.

  3. Garnish with fresh pomegranate arils and serve with both a straw and a spoon!

Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Floats | CaliGirlCooking.com

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler

How many reasons do we need to celebrate?

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

This post is brought to you in partnership with Drizly. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Not too many, in my book, especially at this time of year! That’s why I’m so excited to be partnering with my friends at Drizly once again to bring you this super-festive Citrus Vanilla Sparkler. It’s perfect for Christmas, New Year’s and any other time you have a little something to celebrate.

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of sparkling wine in any way, shape or form. Most of the time, I’m a straight-up bubbles kind of gal, occasionally adding a splash of OJ if it’s before noon (just to be able to call it “breakfast.”) But every once in a while (oh hello, holidays) I want to spice things up a bit and make something that’s truly show stopping. This Citrus Vanilla Sparkler is just that!

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

The combination of fresh orange and lemon juice, easy-to-make vanilla simple syrup, gin and sparkling wine is the perfect complement to any celebration. It’s festive and tastes incredibly complex, yet is so simple to make, with just a few ingredients.

Speaking of ingredients, what if I told you you could have all of the ingredients you need to make this Citrus Vanilla Sparkler delivered right to your door in no time at all? Thanks to Drizly, this is a complete reality. All you’ve got to do is head to their website, order all of the ingredients (yes, even the oranges and lemons!) and they’ll deliver them straight to you. Mixing up some fab cocktails on any given night has never been so easy.

So let’s talk a little bit about my inspiration for this cocktail. It’s no secret that Christmas is right around the corner, but I’ve felt a bit over-saturated with cranberry, peppermint and pomegranate recipes in the past few weeks. I wanted to come up with a festive sparkling wine cocktail that would be perfectly fitting for the Christmas holiday, but would be something you’d want to make for New Year’s and beyond as well.

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

To me, citrus and vanilla were the perfect answers. If you’re familiar with sparkling wine cocktails, you may have gathered that this Citrus Vanilla Sparkler is based off of the OG French 75, with a little extra twist. I’ve LOVED French 75’s for as long as I can remember (they were a specialty cocktail at our wedding, after all) and I’ll take any excuse to make a new version of the classic. Let me tell you, after making this Citrus Vanilla Sparkler, I may never be going back!

The only (semi-) complicated part about this recipe is the vanilla simple syrup, and by “complicated,” I mean you’re going to have to watch some sugar, water and vanilla bean seeds boil on the stove for about 15 minutes. Orrrr, you could make it even easier and simply add some vanilla extract to a pre-made simple syrup. Sounds manageable, right?

After you have your vanilla simple syrup in hand, all you have to do is combine the orange and lemon juices, gin and syrup in a cocktail shaker with some ice, give them a good shake, add them to a glass and top with sparkling wine. Deliciousness is yours in five minutes or less.

Now, I don’t know about you but I’m ready to get this weekend started. We’ve got Christmas parties up the wazoo, my mom’s in town visiting, and we’ll be getting organized for our trip up north next week! I think a Citrus Vanilla Sparkler is just what this night needs to get us going in the right direction. Happy Friday friends!

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This spin on the classic French 75 combines fresh lemon AND orange juices, gin and vanilla simple syrup, all topped with sparkling wine. 

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce gin (I used Hendrick's)
  • 3/4 ounce vanilla simple syrup (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 3 ounces dry sparkling wine (I used Nicola Feuillatte Champagne)
Instructions
  1. Combine gin, simple syrup, lemon and orange juices in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.

  2. Strain into champagne flutes or coupes (minimizing the amount of ice that gets through) and top with sparkling wine. 

Recipe Notes

To make the vanilla simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan with the seeds of a vanilla bean scraped into it. Stir and bring to a boil, then let simmer until reduced and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can add some vanilla extract to pre-made simple syrup.

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com