Once upon a time, I stayed up past my bedtime and put on a pretty dress and went to the Cheeseburgher Party at BlogHer12. I could’ve gone to bed but I’m so glad I put on my party shoes and got going. Not only did I have a great time but I met a bunch of super cool people.
One thing I’ve learned from meeting bloggers is that your blog name matters. When I tell people I write at “Don’t Mind the Mess,” I tell someone a lot about myself and my blog right away. I love that. It was the same kind of thing when I read a business card and saw “Muffin Top Mommy.” I thought, this is someone I want to be friends with. And then I turned the card over and it said she’d written a book called Mommy Mixology and I thought, I MUST attach myself on to this woman and never let go.
Janet, aka Muffin Top Mommy, is pretty darn great. And so I wasn’t surprised when her book was pretty darn great. So this week at Friday Reads I’m featuring a totally different kind of book so you can get to know Mommy Mixology: A Cocktail for Every Calamity.
The book has a story with each cocktail recipe and goes from pregnancy through Kindergarten. The subtitle isn’t kidding, these cocktails are all paired with one of those parent rites of passage. Did your kid draw on the walls? Time for a Markerita. Somebody have a lego stuck up their nose? When you’re back from the ER, you’ll need an Emergentini. Did your kid just cuss on the playground? That calls for the Son of a Beach.
I’m guessing I sold a bunch of you based on those drink names alone, right? Even better, Janet’s stories are funny and heartfelt. As the mom of 3 boys she’s been there in pretty much every situation, and she’s picked up some good nuggets from her friends, too. You’ll definitely be able to put your feet up, have a drink and know you’re not alone.
This is a great gift for baby showers, especially since the first section is on pregnancy and has all non-alcoholic drinks. The book is small and super-cute, with some great pictures to go along with the great recipes.
You may be wondering, what about the drinks? Janet obviously worked hard to include a good variety. There’s a lot of good standards, like her versions of the Cosmo and the Mojito, but I was impressed at how many different kinds of cocktails she features. Vodka, gin, bourbon, tequila, rum. Drinks with juice. Drinks with mixers. And several wine or beer based drinks as well. As someone whose only other cocktail book is of the fancy make-your-own-syrup variety, I was pleased with the options available. I also didn’t feel like I had to buy a whole new set of mixers, either. Lots of simple ingredients.
I definitely wanted to feature a Back to School recipe and I settled on the Kindergarten Kooler. (Janet suggests you sip on one while trying not to think about your kid bouncing around on the bus without a seatbelt.) This is one of my very favorites in the book because you can drink it with a bendy straw!
I made the Kindergarten Kooler with Adam & Eve fruitables juice boxes (fruit punch flavor) to keep the sugar down just a little. It was a lovely, light drink, perfect for late summer, but with plenty of kick. I used my Bota Box that I keep in the fridge and Bacardi, but you’re welcome to be all fancy and use the expensive stuff.
And lastly, to help you get to know Janet a little better, I asked her a few questions about her book.
How did you come up with the cocktails?
I thought, okay, what are some recipes most moms are familiar with that I can put a spin on, like “Cosmopolitan.” Clearly, that was begging to be called a “Cosmopotty” for the potty training essay. I really tried hard to vary the recipes to please many palates….I have some recipes that are sweet, ,sour, chocolatey, etc. I also tried to make sure there were plenty of recipes that didn’t require 498 ingredients, bearing in mind, if you’re in the trenches, you might not want to drag your little kids to the story to buy a bunch of ingredients or even have the budget to do so. (I know how much Pull-Ups cost, Grr!)
How did you test your recipes?
My hubs and I did quite a bit of testing, as did my friends. Some of the recipes are actually favorites of mine from my friends that I cajoled them into sharing. (I’m persuasive, thankfully!) I’m also fortunate to have a wonderful bartender friend who helped me vet the recipes. 100% Muffin Top approved!
As a mom, what’s been your go-to drink once the kids are finally down for the night?
Doing my book research, I really fell in love with the Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka. I mean, really? Who invented that? I want to give them a “squeezey hug” as my kids would say–they so deserve it.
What do you really want moms to take away from your book? (Besides the recipes, of course.)
When I wrote it, I envisioned my stories were the stories of every day moms slugging it out. I tried to speak the truth! Mostly though, in my heart of hearts, I want moms, particularly new moms, to realize that if they love their babies and truly have their best interests at heart, that everything will be okay–they will succeed at this thing called motherhood.
I know this is going to be a go-to book for me, whether I’m just looking for a new drink or whether I want a laugh for my latest Parenthood Disaster. I have a feeling you’ll all enjoy it, too.
Thanks to Ulysses Press for providing me with a copy of the book. And, of course, many thanks to Janet! Mommy Mixology is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and is available for your Kindle or Nook.