Because Therapy's Expensive
Not surprising that our Holiday Cocktail post from last year was one of our most popular. I mean, when you are home with family for days upon end, there are only so many Hallmark movies you can watch before going bonkers. Truth be told, we never NEED an excuse to try a new cocktail, but holiday gatherings, family events and parties are prime opportunities to venture outside the cocktail box. Beyond the Moscow Mule, you might say.
This year, we turned to our friends at The Spruce and their food and drink site The Spruce Eats for recommendations for our Holiday Cocktail round up and the selection didn't disappoint. Coffee drinks, cold weather drinks, festive drinks, there's a LOT to choose from. Our selections were strategic in that they go from morning brunch and coffee to after dinner in front of the fireplace.
Nothing new and spectacular about bubbles and cranberry juice, but the addition of this garnish gives it a bright kick.
This boozy smoothie is the perfect way to kick off Christmas Day. Plus Shauna's kinda partial to the name.
A caffeinated jump start to your day, or as an after meal treat, this liqueur infused coffee drink is at its best whe made with dark roasted beans.
It takes a little extra effort to make the cinnamon simple syrup for this cocktail, but it's worth it. Go ahead and make up a big ol batch to have with your tamales on Christmas Eve.
A lovely alternative to egg nog, this dessert cocktail is a dreamy end to a festive dinner. For a larger party, serve in shot glasses to give everyone a delicious dose.
The first of our hot drinks, this spicy, fruity drink will warm your bones after a brisk walk or snowball fight. Let it simmer on the stove to fill your house with its spicy yumminess.
Picture it: A roaring fire. Christmas Vacation on the TV. A pile of crumpled wrapping paper. A snuggly throw. The only thing missing is this classic cocktail, now warmed up for the longest winter night.
Enjoy responsibly, my friends. And best wishes for a happy and safe holiday!
So, summer is in full swing. And if your entertaining menu is in need of a refresh, we've picked our top five cocktails from our friends from Williams-Sonoma to add to your rotation. Whatever your taste, citrus, bubbly, herbal, fruity, these cocktails are sure to please any crowd. Or just you and your bff on a random Wednesday night. Also shop our essentials in barware, accessories and gadgets also from WS and get 20% off your order with code FRIENDS.
All recipes from Williams-Sonoma. This post contains affiliate links and we are compensated for purchases made through these links.
Ok, so I have to admit, I didn't know the specifics of Galentine's Day. Much to the chagrin of my daughter's I do not watch Parks & Recreation so when researching for this blog I did not realize that IT WAS YESTERDAY! Ugh. Whatever. It's OK because the cocktail recipe I wanted to share with you is so good, you can use it tonight for a Valentine's Day celebration. Or just make up a new holiday. In Japan, Valentine's Day is specifically for women to give gifts to men. White Day, which is on March 14 is when men give gifts to women. So, there you go. Just go make this drink and celebrate the fact that you made it to Friday.
FR Distilling Sparkling Gal recipe:
1oz TX Whiskey
½ oz Cranberry Juice
½ oz Blood Orange Juice
¼ oz Lemon Juice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
Mix whiskey, juices and simple syrup in shaker with ice. Pour in to glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with orange peel curl.
So, Super Bowl on Sunday. I mean, the Pats again? Haven't they won enough? Isn't Tom Brady like a grandpa? A fairly hot grandpa, but a grandpa just the same. Honestly, it doesn't really matter who is playing, the commercials are what everyone cares about. And the halftime show. And how many different ways we can eat bacon.
Fun fact #1: Super Bowl Sunday hold the record for the most avocados consumed on any given day.
Fun fact #2: Super Bowl Sunday also sees an increase in the number of emergency room visits due to hand injuries.
I'll wait while you put two and two together.
So, pro tip, use a cutting board for that guacamole. We want you to save your hands for bigger and better things. Speaking of guac, substitute it for the avocado on top of this Crockpot White Chicken Chili for an extra kick.
I know you can go online and see all the Super Bowl ads in advance but that is cheating. In my house everyone knows that you can chat away all you want during the game but silence is required during the commercials. So, if you come to my house to watch the game, just be prepared. Lots of shushing will be happening. And eating. I can't wait to try this Pickleback Chicken Wing recipe. I'm telling Jeff right now to not drink all the pickle juice. Or the bourbon.
You can't have a Super Bowl party without queso. My favorite recipe is here, but I cheat to make it a little easier and substitute Velveeta queso blanco for the grated cheese, half-and-half and cornstarch. Really, it's just all about the chorizo.
Here's another recipe I can't wait to try. Not your every day sliders, these are mini French Dip sandwiches with that awesome au jus. Pretty sure I can eat about a dozen all by myself.
Now that we are completely stuffed, let's talk about the halftime show. Maroon 5 y'all! I'm so excited. I strongly encourage you to record it because you will want to watch it at least 2 times. Maybe 10 depending on how amazing Adam is.
So, let's recap:
1. Don't cheat on commercials
2. Cutting board
4. Maroon 5 on replay
5. Cheer for whoever is not the Pats
We're always on the hunt for new and inventive cocktails, especially for the holiday season when there is so much entertaining to do. Simplicity is the key so you spend less time shaking and mixing, and more time drinking and mingling. We also figure there is no need to reinvent the wheel and so consulted two of our favorite spirit brands, Tito's Vodka and Firestone & Robertson Distilling (makers of TX Blended Whiskey) for their recommendations on holiday bevvies.
Tito's Cranberry Mule--A festive take on a good ol' standby.
Tito's Pecan White Russian--Vodka infused with toasted pecans adds a warm, smoky flavor
Tito's Harvest Punch--Bubbly and spicy. Perfect for a crowd.
F&R Edelweiss--The addition of St. Germaine adds a slight floral note
Mix ingredients in a shaker, shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with mint leaves and cranberries.
TX Toddy--The perfect remedy for those winter colds. But, don't wait until you have one to imbibe. We like English Breakfast for the tea.
F&R Pumpkin Espresso Martini--Dessert and coffee all in one glass.
Mix ingredients in a shaker, shake with ice and strain into a glass. Sprinkle ground nutmeg on top to finish.
Lastly, Kalen wanted to share a beverage that is a holiday tradition for many, wassail. This recipe came from my family and I distinctly remember walking in to my grandparents' house on Christmas Day to a house filled with the scent of apples and spice. It is a non-alcoholic drink, but we've recently discovered that it tastes pretty amazing with a shot of TX Whiskey.
Simmer apple cider and spices in large saucepan for 3 hours. Add juices and cook until warmed through. To serve, pour in to punch bowl and add sliced oranges. Serve warm.
Last week we co-hosted an event with West Elm Fort Worth where we created some super fun table settings for the upcoming holidays. We even got the crowd in on the fun! Thanks to West Elm and their team for the gracious hospitality, and to Williams Sonoma for the yummy holiday treats! Y'all, both of them have the cutest tabletop stuff right now, we had the hardest time deciding what to use. Check out the party pics and links below to all the great product. Oh, and all Tabletop is now on sale at West Elm, 20% off.
Dapper Animal Salad Plates
Fishs Eddy Scalloped Dinner Plate
Gold Metal Charger
Gold Flatware Set
Luster Velvet Table Runner
Distressed Metallic Dots Napkins
Modern Brass Candleholder
Reactive Glaze Vases
Elegant Blush Table
Pop Art Salad Plates (extra 40% off!)
Reactive Glaze Dinner Plates
Rose Gold Flatware
Luster Velvet Border Napkin
Frayed Edge Placemats
Bormioli Rocco Stemware
Glass Ball Ornaments
Bottle Brush Trees
Holiday Tartan Table
Tartan Dinner Plates
Snowman Salad Plates
Snowman Appetizer Plates
Distressed Metallic Dot Napkins
Metallic Laced Placemats
Promenade Flatware Set
Felt Stocking (used as charger)
Felt Mistletoe (used as napkin ring)
Right now, it's Friends & Family Week at Williams-Sonoma too, save 20% through Thursday!
This post contains affiliate links
We've been setting a LOT of fall tables lately and thought we should share with you some of the details on where you can find some of these great pieces. We love to layer in festive pieces with china, stemware or other pieces our clients already own. Just add a fun new salad plate or colorful table runner and some accessories and you have a brand new look!
This first table is more on the traditional side and all came from Pottery Barn.
Resources: All from Pottery Barn
Charlotte Dinner Plate
Watercolor Leaves Salad Plate
Monique Lhuillier Glass Charger
Kenaf Table Runner
Anton Paisley Table Runner
Schott Zweisel Taste Wine Glass
Monique Lhuillier Avril Coupe Glass
Chester Brushed Candleholders
Turkey Place Card Holders
This client has an amazing Mackenzie-Childs collection that she wanted to incorporate so we found the perfect napkin and other pieces to coordinate. So cute!
Hammered Copper Charger--Pottery Barn
Waterbury Leaves Dinner Plate--Pier 1
Pumpkin Bowl--Pottery Barn
Teal Velvet Placemat--Pier 1
Buffalo Check Napkin--Pier 1
Gold Rimmed Wine Glasses--similar here
Our last table is more on the eclectic side, after all, that is what we do best! Don't you just love that pop of teal?! Oh and those amethyst glasses. So in love with this table.
Rustic Fatima Dinner Plates--World Market
Pumpkin Bowls--World Market
Jute Table Runner--World Market
Ikat Table Runner--similar here
Amethyst Glasses--similar here
Glazed Salad Plates--similar here
Velvet Pumpkins--similar here
Want more tips and tricks on creating these amazing tables? Join us at our next event at West Elm Fort Worth for a Table Setting Demo, sips and snacks. More info and RSVP here!
You know that place you love to go to have a glass of wine with your friends? It has a relaxing vibe, eclectic decor that is totally different than you home, furniture that is both chic and comfortable and has neither cup holders or queso stains from last year's Super Bowl. Well, one of our recent clients wanted one of those exact kind of spaces in her own home to entertain, lounge and well, just be a grown up! Since her formal dining room was not frequently used, we transformed it in to a chic lounge that rivals the swankiest of hotel bars. "Waiter, another prosecco, please!"
Even though there was decent natural light coming in to the room, it was sucked up by the dark walls and ceiling. By replacing the wallpaper and painting the ceiling, we immediately brightened up the room.
Pale gray club chairs from Wayfair form the main seating area. We added mirrored panels from Wisteria on wall opposite the window to reflect the light and make the room even brighter.
We used a deep cobalt blue as an accent color on the neutral palette with this lacquered sideboard from All Modern. The Pottery Barn drapes are customized with the addition of a blue Greek key design tape and our favorite DIY dot painting also adds blue accents. Artwork over sideboard is from Virginia artist Juniper Briggs.
I think this girl has found her happy place. What about you? Do you have a space in your home that needs a refresh? We'd love to help you create your own happy place. Contact us for more info.
The mercury is supposed to rise to 104 today. Welcome to the Texas summer. I for one cringe at the thought of cooking, yet that tub of spring mix keeps glaring back at me from the fridge in a challenge. "What are you gonna do with me, huh? Tomatoes again?!" So, a quick peruse of the recipes from our friends at Sur la Table got me inspired with some fresh summer salads, pizzas you can bake on the grill and refreshing summer bevvies to keep you cool and relaxed. OH, and might want to dust off the slow cooker, you'll never believe what we're gonna use it for!
If your garden overfloweth, or you just go a bit nuts at the farmer's market, these salads are just the remedy you were looking for. The Summer Salad with Apricots and Burrata combine that tub of spring greens mix with arugula, prosciutto and all kinds of other goodies from the garden in a taste explosion that rivals the best fireworks. The Grilled Corn, Asparagus and Tomato Salad will use up all those other fresh finds in a unique grilled salad. Serve them up on the gorgeous Positano melamine dinnerware and wait for the oohs and aahs.
The idea of pizzas cooked on the grill seems like a no brainer. Who really wants to heat their oven up to 500 degrees in the middle of summer? This outdoor pizza stone is the trick to creating amazing gourmet pizzas in a flash. While I love a good ol traditional sausage and mushroom pizza, it's also fun to try a mashup of different ingredients. The Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Pizza adds leeks for a subtle onion flavor. And to be honest, everything is better with goat cheese. For a bit more spice, try the Leek, Chorizo and Manchego Pizza.
That deep orangy-red drink you see on cafe tables around 5:00 all over Italy and France is an Aperol Spritz. Technically an aperitif, it's slight bitter taste is supposed to increase your appetite for dinner, it has become one of my favorite summer cocktails. Switch out the lemonade at your next pool party for this Grapefruit Faux-jito served in a glass beverage jar. We won't tell if you decide to spike it a bit.
Oh So Sweet!
Have you been waiting for us to get back to the slow cooker? Wait for it. It's brownies. No, I haven't tried them so let me know if you take the plunge. Again, who wants to turn on the oven these days? The other cool as a cucumber treat is just that, Cucumber Mint Pops made in this handy dandy pop mold. These are a grown-up version, but you can easily leave out the tequila. (Said no one, ever).
Ok, when do we eat?
It's summer time, June is flying by and July is quickly approaching. We have put together some ideas for your Fourth of July party. Whether it's at your lake house, beach house, or your backyard pool, these are some fun and creative ideas to celebrate the good 'ol USA.
Fun, festive and fizzy beverages will liven up any party!
C'mon, everyone comes to the party for the food!
Setting the table is my favorite part. How cute are those painted pineapples?
Party games will keep the kids entertained. And might just engage the grown-ups too.
Speaking of the kids, they will LOVE this dessert table!
Keep beverages cool all day long with these great ideas!