{Food & Entertaining}

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait Recipe - www.thebudgetsocialite.com

I’ve never been a fan of tooting my own horn… Ok, that’s a lie. But in this case, it’s not just me. It’s all of France. Parfait is French for “perfect”.  So when I tell you this strawberry shortcake parfait is the perfect dessert, I have an entire country backing me up.

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

Most strawberry shortcake parfait recipes you see floating around use store-bought pound cake. That works, but I like to get wild and crazy and use shortbread cookies. What can I say? I like the crunch and I’m a recipe gansta.

This dessert is as easy as it is delicious. It’s just layering things you picked up at the grocery store. If you wanna put a bit more effort in, you can make fresh whipped cream and your own strawberry balsamic sauce. Both are mouth-watering, choose your own adventure.

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait Ingredients - www.thebudgetsocialite.com


  • Pudding mix
  • Milk
  • 12 oz frozen strawberries in syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Cool whip
  • 11 shortbread cookies

This is how we do it

  1. Defrost the strawberries
  2. (Optional) Add balsamic vinegar to the strawberry syrup
  3. Make the pudding as per the instructions on the package. Usually there’s some milk and whisk action involved.
  4. Crush up those cookies. You can use a food processor or put them in ziplock and go to town.
  5. Layer ingredients in a glass. Start with the crushed cookies, then the pudding, then strawberries in syrup and lastly the cool whip. If you are using a big glass, repeat.

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait - www.thebudgetsocialite.com

Party Food

You can easily make this parfait the night before, if you are throwing a party. Simply cover your glasses with cling wrap and refrigerate. Speaking of glasses, I’ve served this in hurricane glasses (pictured) for a dinner party type situation OR using my shot glasses and spoon set and put it out buffet style. You have options aplenty.

Do you have a go-to party dessert recipe? Let us know in the comments.

Images by Trinidad Pena – Branding + Design


Co-founder | Trinidad Pena
Trinidad Pena is a blogger, foodie, and design superhero bent on helping others kick-ass online, world domination and convincing the world that wine belongs in the fruit food group since it’s made from grapes.


{Food & Entertaining}

Winter Sangria Recipe

Winter Sangria Recipe - www.thebudgetsocialite.com

I dunno about you, but this girl is OBSESSED with sangria. It’s a summer drink, but my love cannot be contained to just one season. It’s not possible. So, I did what any crazed wino self-respecting sangria drinker would do. I winterized it! Now, you can sip sangria whilst sitting by the fire. Yeah, I said it whilst.  Let’s do this!

Winter Sangria

Instead of a summery juice, we are going to use apple cider; Lemon/lime soda? Nope, Ginger Ale. More you say? Ok, how about a winter-spiced simple syrup, some dried cranberries and cinnamon sticks? Yeah, baby…That sounds about right. It’s winter sangria time!

Winter Sangria Yum! - www.thebudgetsocialite.com

I usually serve this cold, but really… it’s your world. Room temp works, it’s red wine after all. You wanna throw it in a crock pot and serve it warm? No one is gonna stop you. Pretty much the only thing I wouldn’t recommend is boiling it, because then the alcohol would burn off and that would be an epic tragedy.

Winter Sangria Close-up - www.thebudgetsocialite.com


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground Cloves
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 1 pear chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 bottle of red wine ( I used Trader Joe’s Syrah)
  • 2 cups Ginger Ale
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ¾ cup brandy or cognac
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)


We start by making a simple syrup. Emphasis on the word simple.

  1. In saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Simmer that bad boy for 10 minutes.
  2. Let cool. It will magically turn into a thick syrup that smells like everything that has ever been good in life.
  3. In a pitcher combine your syrup and fruit.
  4. Add the cognac/brandy.
  5. Let that soak overnight. Impatient? Try streaming a netflix movie and wait at least 2 hours. It’s worth it, I wouldn’t steer you wrong.
  6. Resist the urge to eat the fruit, right then and there… or just do and make another batch. No judgments.
  7. Add your wine, ginger ale, apple cider and orange juice.
  8. Garnish glasses with cinnamon sticks and serve.

It’s delish! And it’s a great party drink. You can make a big batch of the fruit/syrup/cognac mixture and keep it in the fridge, then just add your liquids as needed. Perfection.

What’s your favorite winter drink? Let us know in the comments!

Images by Trinidad Pena – Branding + Design


Co-founder | Trinidad Pena
Trinidad Pena is a blogger, foodie, and design superhero bent on helping others kick-ass online, world domination and convincing the world that wine belongs in the fruit food group since it’s made from grapes.


{Food & Entertaining}

Thanksgiving: 5 Cocktails To Wow ‘Em!

Happy Harvest, Socialites!

Here we are, in mid-November, planning big dinners, detailed tabletops, and please-no-one-kill-each-other seating arrangements. You’re thinking of it all to make sure everyone has a good time and avoids jail time eats well! But while you’re choosing side dishes and weighing giant fowl, don’t leave out one of the most important ingredients in dealing with family: what is everyone drinking?

Sure, wine with dinner is traditional, classic, and easy. But why not kick it up a bit with all of one of these 5 fall flavored cocktails? Before dinner drinks, or for cozy after dinner convo, I’ve got you covered! Each recipe serves 2, because you’ll DEFINITELY want a refill.

The Pomegranate Martinipomegranate martini

  • 3 oz. plain vodka of your choice
  • 5 oz. POM Wonderful (antioxidant alert!!)
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • pomegranate seeds and orange rind for garnish

Combine in an ice filled shaker and strain into martini glass. Garnish with an orange rind curl on the side and loose pomegranate seeds in the bottom. They look like rubies!

The Caramel Apple Martini

  • 3 oz. apple flavored vodka
  • 1 oz. butterscotch liqueur
  • 4 oz. apple juice
  • caramel cube for garnish

Combine in an ice filled shaker and shake vigorously. Place an old fashioned cube of caramel at the bottom of each martini glass and strain your libation over it. Not only will it add flavor as it melts, but when the drink is done, there’s a treat!

The Pumpkin Pie Martini

  • 3 oz. vanilla flavored vodka
  • 3 oz. Godiva white chocolate liqueur
  • 4 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • whipped cream to garnish

Spread a healthy spoon of whipped topping around on a saucer and dip the rim of your serving glass into it, akin to how you might dip a margarita glass into sugar. Shake measured ingredients together over ice and strain into the glass. This one makes a great dessert drink, served in martini glass or with extra whipped cream as a decadent shot sized serving to sip. Ta-da! Talk about a no-bake recipe!

Haute Toddy

  • 4 oz. Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • enough boiling water to fill the mugs
  • ground cinnamon to taste
  • 2 lemon wedges for garnish
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks for garnish

Pour the bourbon into two stylish mugs or Irish coffee glasses. (Tip: I love the homey size of clear glass coffee mugs and they’re easier to find at big chain discount or dollar stores!) Add 2 cloves and a little ground cinnamon to each. Fill mugs the rest of the way with boiling water, adding a wedge of lemon and a stick of cinnamon to each as garnish. Perfect accompaniment to board games after dinner!

Fig Infused Vodkafresh figs

  • 4 whole fresh black figs
  • 1 750ml bottle of your favorite vodka, resealable

Wash, then cut your figs into quarters. Add them to the bottle of vodka, close, and keep it out of sunlight for about 5 days. Every day or so, agitate the bottle. Think swirls to spread the flavor around, rather than froth-inducing martini shaker style. At the end of the 5th day, strain out the solid fig bits…and you’ve got artisanal vodka! But be warned, you’ll have to start this one early if you want to sample it at Thanksgiving! The longer the infusion, the more flavor it will have. So, no Socialite, an overnight infusion won’t do. Plan ahead!

As with the recipe for anything, play around with these and make them your own. Maybe add a special touch that’s just yours. For example, try a green tea bag in your Haute Toddy. Add a Madagascar vanilla bean to your fig infused vodka batch. What about a raspberry flavored vodka in your pomegranate martini? Also, I’ve used brands that I favor through the years – use what YOU like! The sky’s the limit for fall flavor in your glass!

So, now that that’s solved…where’s your mother-in-law sitting? Need a cocktail, Socialite? ::smirk::

Till next time, cheers!


Contributor | Eva Said It
Eva is a mother, writer, entertaining doyenne, and snark expert based in New York City. Money can’t buy happiness, but it buys her lots of wine and stinky cheese…which is close enough. Catch more of her stiletto clad sarcasm at www.evasaidit.com.