Archive for October, 2010

Hot Chocolate Cocktails

The Christmas season tends to host some pretty chilly nights that aren’t always so inviting as far as cold cocktails go.

Recently, my close friend was up in San Francisco visiting with friends at a sports bar. The bay area isn’t the warmest place, especially right now during the rainy, fall season. Her and her significant other were enjoying Sunday football at a local sports bar. It was freezing outside and she wasn’t up for a cold beer so she asked the bartender to recommend a few drinks,

He recommended hot chocolate-scratch that, “special” hot chocolate:

Ingredients

1 Ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 Nestle Hot Chocolate instant packet

Directions

Pour the Bailey’s into a mug and fill the rest of it with the prepared hot chocolate. Mix and enjoy!

Try our Christmas Themed Paper Beverage Cups! (They’re hot/cold drink friendly).

My friend claims this drink is the best thing that happened to her holiday season. Let’s hope it’s as magical as she claims. :-)

Edible Decorations

Thanksgiving is exactly one month away and the weather is finally admitting it is fall. I had to hop through a pile of colorful leaves to get to my car this afternoon. For a minute there, I thought we would be spending this autumn on the beach. Now that the leaves are here, it’s time we bring out the seasonal decorations to get the house fall-ready.

I’ve stopped by the arts and crafts store a few times in the past couple of weeks just to take a gander at their decoration selection. It’s okay, but I realized a lot of the decor items they offer are artificial versions of things I can use so I decided to change it up this year. I sent the kids on a pine cone hunt, which kept them busy and out of my hair for an hour or so. Since Halloween is already this weekend, grocery stores everywhere have bins of pumpkins they could do without so the prices are just right.

This year, pick up some pumpkins and/or squash, pomegranates, apples and pears. Grab wooden bowls (optional) in which to place a simple arrangement of the above with some pine cones. These can be placed on table runners as centerpieces at the dinner table or as accents above the fireplace mantle. Artificial oak leaves look great laid out like confetti. Not only are these decorations very season friendly, but your guests can enjoy some of them after dinner.

As far as the pumpkins and squash go, you can make pie for Thanksgiving dinner…or just for kicks. Below is a Fresh Pumpkin Pie Recipe (www.allrecipes.com) that is just perfect:

(8 Servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup honey, warmed slightly
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Cut pumpkin in half, and remove seeds. Lightly oil the cut surface. Place cut side down on a jelly roll pan lined with foil and lightly oiled. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Cool until just warm. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peel. Either mash, or puree in small batches in a blender.
  2. In large bowl, blend together 2 cups pumpkin puree, spices, and salt. Beat in eggs, honey, milk, and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F ( 205 degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Remember to stop and count your blessings this Thanksgiving.

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

Halloween Costume Swap Party

Halloween is probably my in my top 5 favorite holidays. Sure, the history is interesting, blah, blah, blah. Modern day rituals, though, are so much fun. People’s creative minds definitely work overtime and produce magical costume and party ideas.

Dressing up every year really takes a toll on your wallet after a while. Depending on your disguise aspirations, costumes start at a minimum of $50. The last couple years, I’ve attempted to be a little more economically savvy since “costume” probably falls under “survive” on my list of priorities. I’ve gone to the fabric store and made my own costume or borrowed one from a friend, which leads me to my next point. This year, invite a few friends over and ask them to bring all of their old Halloween costumes along. Put a few snacks together or order takeout and turn your living room into a Halloween Super Shop! This way, everyone can wear a new (to them) costume and only spend a couple bucks on accessories or tweaking the costume.

Shop our Halloween Party Supplies & Decorations to get you and your guests in the spooky spirit.

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