Entertaining

{Cocktail Hour} Rosemary’s Blush

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Rosemary’s Blush

2 oz grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz honey simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 oz lemon juice
rosemary sprig (and more for garnish)
sea salt
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add juice, gin, honey simple syrup, lemon juice, rosemary sprig and salt. Shake until thoroughly chilled, around 20 seconds. Strain into an old fashioned glass (rimmed with sea salt) and garnish with another sprig of rosemary and grapefruit peel. Serve.

Honey Simple Syrup

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
Combine in small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Stir until it simmers, take off heat and let cool.

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GAME DAY {Pomegranate guacamole}

 

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The Breakdown:

INGREDIENTS
4 medium ripe avocados, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ medium red onion, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, mostly leaves, chopped
1 to 2 jalapeños {seeded and chopped}
1 medium pomegranate, deseeded {about 1 cup worth of pomegranate arils}
Entirely optional: ½ cup crumbled feta
INSTRUCTIONS
With a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, garlic and salt. Mash the ingredients together with a large fork or potato masher until the avocado is nice and creamy.
To ensure that the onion flavor doesn’t overpower the guacamole, rinse the chopped onion under running water (I used a fine mesh colander). Pat the onion dry with a paper towel.
Add the onion, chopped cilantro and jalapeño to the bowl and mix well. Gently stir in ½ of the pomegranate arils. For extra presentation points, transfer the guacamole to an appropriately sized serving bowl now. Sprinkle remaining pomegranate arils over guacamole, along with some additional chopped cilantro and totally optional feta, if you’d like. Serve immediately.
NOTES
Recipe adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless.

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Pumpkin baked brie with toasted pecans

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Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes The easiest baked brie ever! All you need is 5 min prep, but be warned that you’ll probably want to make this all year long!

INGREDIENTS

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter, homemade or store-bought*

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 (8-ounce) wheel brie cheese, rind trimmed 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1 large egg, beaten

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. Place puff pastry onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread pumpkin butter evenly over the top, leaving a 1-inch border, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Set the cheese in the center of the sheet and top with pecans and cranberries. Fold the puff pastry over the sides of the cheese, pleating the edges to fit snugly around the cheese. Pinch the dough together in the center to seal and brush evenly with the egg. Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with crackers.

Adapted from Lemon Tree Dwelling

Quick and easy guacamole

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 Shopping list:

4-5 ripe avocados
1-2 lime(s), juiced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced, lots of fresh cilantro chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (purple or white)
1 tomato, diced

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl, slice each avocado from stem to tip, rotating the knife around the pit. Twist, and then turn the avocado, pulling apart as you do so, and the pit should remain on one half. If the avocado is sufficiently ripe, you should be able to pop out the pit by grasping/gripping with your fingers. Or alternately, carefully using a sharp knife, bring swiftly down onto the pit, so it adheres, and then remove then knife, that will take the pit with it.
Using a spoon, scoop out the ripe fruit of the avocados, and place in the bowl, and then mash it all up up with fork. Add the juice of the lime, minced garlic, as well as the salt & pepper, and mash some more.  I like my guacamole to be on the chunky side, either way is delicious.  Finally add the chopped onion, cilantro and tomatoes, and stir to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt & pepper, or lime as you wish. Serve straight away, accompanied by tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

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DIY Event decor: Painting bottles

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When planning a special event, things can add up quickly.  It’s easy to have a vision and various Pinterest  boards, but when you actually start putting these ideas to paper… the cost can be frightening.  It’s important to spend your budget wisely and focus on the things that are most important to you and your guests.  When attending a special event I’m always most excited about the food and beverage.  The decor is secondary but it’s important to create that WOW factor and still create a sense of originality.

I’m a bridesmaid in two weddings this summer and I’m very excited to be part of some of the planning process.  One of the weddings is taking place in the evening, in a beautiful backyard that is covered with vines, massive oak trees and endless strings of fairy lights.  I spent the day with the bride and groom a couple of weeks ago and we brainstormed ideas to incorporate more decor without breaking the budget.  After raiding the recycle bin, we started spraying several bottles of various sizes and shapes.  With one paint can spraying at least 30 bottles and costing only $10, we found this is to be a very inexpensive way to add that final touch to the decor.  I used bricks and stumps that were laying around the property to add levels and dimension to the bottle displays.  The bride picked up several bundles of silk roses from the Dollarama, as well as wooden letters and phrases that we sprayed as well.  I have to say that it’s all coming together quite nicely.  Stay tuned for more photos of the big day and keep this idea in mind when planning your next event.

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Tea cup candles

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When I first laid eyes on these adorable little tea cup and saucer candles, my DIY wheels started turning.  What a wonderful way to blend my love for candles and secondhand shopping into one inexpensive, personalized creation.  I’ll admit… I find it hard to walk by the tea cup isle at Value Village and Goodwill stores and not stop to browse.  There is something about those odd, mismatched little patterns and delicate bone china handles that screams BUY ME.  My tea cup collection has grown over the years… and yes, I love drinking tea.  However, I’ve discovered that it’s rare that I’ll call a bunch of girls over to sip earl grey and eat tiny sandwiches.  My ladies nights usually consist of bricks of gourmet cheese, crackers and several glasses of heavy red wine.  Lets be real, after a nights like these… a little tea cup isn’t going to cut it.  I usually need a large bottomless mug with a cheesy saying on it like “I only drink wine in days that end with Y.”  So I guess what I’m saying is… what the heck am I going to do with all of these tea cups and my growing obsession to acquire more?

The answer… Make candles!

Have a look at how fabulous these tea cup candles are.  What a perfect gift to give to your guests if you’re hosting a dinner party, bridal shower, or a tea (or wine) party.

Try this out at home!
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