Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cozy Autumn Cocktails

Cardamom Hot Toddy
The smell of fallen leaves, a fire in the hearth, the scents of apples and pie crust, a slow cooked roast...These are the things that let us know that Autumn is edging ever closer to Winter. During these darkening months, comfort often comes in ways that are different than the ways we achieve comfort in, say, Spring or Summer.

One of the ways I feel soothed in the Autumn is by the occasional after work cocktail. My favorite drinks to get while I'm out at this time of year are The Whiskey Fig at the Pour House and The Drunken Butterfly at the Shady Lady Saloon. But in an effort to save money it's always fun and frugal to create our own adult beverages at home.

These are some goodies I have found!

The Jonathan Chapman Cocktail: I call it Spiked Cider. I really like Food Republic.
Nutella Melt with Frangelico from "Winter Cocktails": More a dessert than a beverage.
Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
Pomegranate Vanilla Sangria
Pear and Ginger Sage Sipper

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Human Marvels

Every year the husband and I throw a big Halloween Event. This year, in an effort to move away from my usual vampire theme, I decided to do "Freak Show" as a nod to Geek Love, A book I read this year and absolutely loved. You saw the invitations. In doing research for this party I became fascinated with the side show and with the glossary attached. The advent and history of the physically unusual accepting money for people to gawk upon their malformations has become somewhat of a little past time for me and a great addition to my abundant admiration of the macabre.

Happy Halloween! 
Enjoy "The Human Marvels" and this outstanding website called Montrous.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Welcome to the Freak Show

So I really dig making stuff. And when I came up with the idea to do a Halloween Party this year I must say I was a tiny bit influenced by last years reading of Geek Love in developing the invitation. And now this year, American Horror Story is doing "Freak Show," I felt it only appropriate to celebrate with the same.

Instead of sending flat cards I did a three dimensional invite and thought to hand them out when I saw folks! It was a blast to make and the husband really enjoyed getting in on the engineering of it. Our kitchen table was laden with tiny legs and arms to create the conjoined twins.

I wrote a special poem for the invitation itself.

Meet Arthur and Anslemo, The Siamese Twins
You'll shriek, you'll gasp, you'll wheeze and spin.
Come one, Come all for only one night.
A carnival of Freaks, my what a sight.
The Three Legged Man, The Bearded Lady
Everyone there, just a tad shady!

Please Join Gwen and Bulent
The Ringmasters, Under the Big Top
When: Saturday October 25th
What Time: 7:30 to Midnight
Where: Our House
Attire: Dress as Your favorite Freak or
 Side Show Pass Around
Other: Bring some food or drink to share.
PLEASE RESPOND by the 20th of October.

And then the entire little ditty:

Sorry about this one. I wish it was more in focus.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Gift Giving

Yeah so, it's here. The proverbial ship has sailed and we're now headlong into the holiday season.

There are no rule books anywhere that says how to do things but it feels so good to give and give and give.

Every year the husband and I have a party. I love to give gifts to the wee ones that friends bring over, and give cookies and mulled cider to the grown ups.

Once in a while a guest a will bring a hostess gift to me which is always unexpected and well loved.

I visit a website often called Creature Comforts. Ez has a list of some really cute stuff that she written about for the holidays. I've included them here and for the shopping guide, visit her! If you really want to thank your hostess, these are superb!

Monday, October 22, 2012

One Bad Bird

Today is my birthday! Twenty Nine and counting!

On Saturday night my husband and I threw an epic birthday party for me and had 50 friends join us in the celebration.

This post however, is not about the birthday festivities. Oh no. This post is about my birthday invitations. They were designed by One Bad Bird Design Studio.

Penelope, the owner/designer of these sensational creations, is an absolutely wonderful person who will literally bend over backwards to get you exactly what you want! I have never had so many complements on an invitation in my life. I loved them and my guests did too. So festive! With Halloween right around the corner, you could have an epic party, too. I think our party was a success because of the invitations. Paper goods set the tone for the fete!

One Bad Bird has no limitations on what she can do for you. On her Etsy site she has a $20 custom design fee. For $20 and $10 more at Target for printing, you can have yourself awesome invites that will not break the bank.  Check these out! And for your next party, I am telling you One Bad Bird is your invite destination!

(I have not included my actual invitations as my address is on them...I know you all want to hang out with me but for privacy purposes, I have included OBB's originals).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exotic Ahi Tuna with Mango

I love sushi. But it's pretty pricey to be going out and eating it with any frequency. So, sometimes I buy a sushi grade Ahi steak at Costco and play around with ingredients. It's cheaper than going out and it's always a charm when I get a high five from the husband for something delicious. I only wish I could think of a better name for this one!

This would be a super treat to serve at your next gathering!

Exotic Ahi Tuna with Mango

  • 12 Oz. Ahi Tuna steak
  • 1/2 ripe mango
  • 3 Scallions (green onions), cut into slivers
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 4 Tbs sesame oil
  • 4 Tbs Soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs Chili sauce
  • 2 Tbs roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs black sesame seeds (not to be confused with Nigella seeds most often found in Moroccan cuisine)
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds or toasted mac nuts
  • White pepper and Himalayan pink salt to taste
  • 1 Package Wasabi Rice Crackers
  1. Chop (small) tuna, cucumber, 1/2 mango and green onions.
  2. After chopping place all in a bowl and refrigerate.
  3. In a food processor, combine Chili sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce and bunch cilantro.
  4. Pulse until you have a sauce.
  5. Remove bowl of mixed ingredients from fridge and add sauce.
  6. Mix to coat.
  7. Add sesame seeds, almonds (or mac nuts) and salt and pepper.
  8. Plate, garnish with radish sprouts and add crackers.
  9. Enjoy!
4 Servings
Nutritional content includes the crackers: Calories 434, Fat 22 g, Carbs 34 g, Protein 25 g
Nutritional content without crackers: Calories 333, Fat 20 g, Carbs 14 g, Protein 24 g 
Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Big Hit! Trix Krispies...

It's been a big food week here at P&P. A dinner party on Tuesday and Book Club on Thursday warranted yummy food.

I made these special little delicacies (a treat I found on Pinterest - go figure) on both Tuesday and Thursday.

Trix Krispies: I'll be adding pics soon!

Trix Krispies

A fun twist on a classic!

  • 1 1lb bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1 box Trix cereal
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Place the butter and marshmallows in a large pot on medium heat and stir to melt.
  2. Turn off heat.
  3. Mix in your trix and stir making sure the cereal is well coated
  4. Spray a 9x13 in pan with cooking spray.
  5. Pour into greased pan and press down with a spoon.
  6. Cut into squares.
  7. Serve to a cheerful crowd with a twinkle of moxie and mirth.
You can use wax paper to press down Krispies or spray cooking spray on the back of the spoon you are using. It's a handy trick. Also, I use a 1lb bag of marshmallow (I am brand loyal to Jet Puffed) because I like a marshmallowie treat - feel free to adjust!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fancy Adult Beverages


Honey Oat Vodka (pictured on the right and recipe here), Lavender simple syrup and the peel of an orange (for garnish). You also might want to get some edible flowers, just for the fancy factor!

"The Hustle"

Vodka, bloody mary mix, Porcini Mushroom Salt, stewed mushrooms and Frog Balls (pickled Brussels sprouts) Mix two parts vodka with 2 Tbs mushroom consomme and float 1 Tbs BMM. Garnish glass with salt and skewered brussels sprout and a fresh cherry tomato.

Sometimes I get sort of daydreamy. I'll doodle the day away thinking of all kinds of goodies - gardening, painting, pinterest...

Three days ago I found myself daydreaming about 42 Below's Manuka Honey Distilled Vodka! It's my all time favorite alcoholic beverage. So I got out of bed, worked out and drove myself to BevMo. I walked to the aisle where the 42 Below is and...GONE! There was no Manuka Honey Vodka there, much to my chagrin. I asked the store manager when they might get some in stock. Shock and horror...according to him there has been a manufacturers discontinuation of the product.

I became obsessed and sought out a way I could recreate a similar taste. I followed a recipe on Chow and made my own. The difference is that this is Honey Oat Vodka.

And then I concocted a refreshing cocktail. For the "Misbeehaving" you'll also need to make your own lavender infused simple syrup.

Lavender Simple Syrup:

2 tsp lavender buds
1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
cheese cloth
fine mesh sieve

In a small sauce pan bring mixture to a boil. Turn heat off. Cover and steep 30 minutes. Strain  until there are no bits and refrigerate. Best used within the week.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A New Blog for My Dailies

I love love love to run around and see other bloggers online real estate. I think its a great way to learn about new trends in lifestyle, new cleverness in interiors and interesting techniques in cuisine, among other things.

This weeks find is a blog I found by screwing around on Instagram. It's called Mint Love Scial Club. Besides the awesome title, it's written by a young, fashionable woman who has a got her finger on the pulse of coolness. She provides us with excellent drink recipes (I've tried a few!), very useful and fun DIY projects and a home tour that is on Apartment Therapy! But where am I going to categorize her? She has everything!

I love to visit the Mint Love Blog because I want to do some of the things she's done. Not terribly creative but why re-invent the wheel? So in the next few weeks look for our house tour and a cocktail recipe that I call The Ccicero and another I call the Velvet Hive. I'm also coming along with a new 8tracks mix and will be doing a giveaway (hair products) from Mosaic Salon!

Meanwhile check out some of the stuff she has...

She includes Gastronomy(me too). Donuts made using a donut pan. So sweet and an excellent photo. My mouth is watering! Go see the whole post here!

This photo is quite cool and has such clarity, my goodness! She took it herself in a step by step to make her Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail. The recipe follows....

This is one of the most clever DIY's I've ever seen, and I've seen some. As a crafter a "creative" person never reveals their sources, but I just can't keep this one to myself. In fact, now I want to have a dinner party too! These are "Faux Polaroid Placecards!" Perhaps I can put the directions here? Nah. If you'd like to make these for your next venture in entertaining get the directions right here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Throw a Real Garden Party!

I love the idea of a garden party. It's so English. So romantic. Let's face it, how fun to dress up with all your friends and drink champagne and eat cupcakes in the shade of a big tree on a warm day? Um, great!

Make simple invitations, create a simple menu and set the date, time and place. Voila! Fun at your fingertips!


Champagne Cocktails with homemade bitters
Mango Iced tea
Cucumber tea sandwiches
Smoked salmon finger sandwiches
Date canapes with goat cheese
Cocktail weiners with a maple glaze
Cupcakes with Earl Grey gelato

Photo Credits