Friday, December 30, 2011

Recipe: Pomegranate Champagne Punch

I made this punch for our Christmas party with friends and it was totally delicious (and packed a good buzz too)! It would also be perfect for a New Year's party, so here I am, posting the day of, for all your procrastinators out there.

Recipe via Bon Apétit. Serves 12.

I N G R E D I E N T S :

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 bottles chilled brut champagne
1 cup Bacardi or other white rum
1 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Sprigs of fresh mint
Pomegranate seeds (if you'd like, I didn't use any)

D I R E C T I O N S :

1) In a small saucepan, boil the water and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves and simmer 5 minutes (you're basically making simple syrup). Cool it completely.

2) Combine champagne, pom juice, and rum in a large punch bowl. Stir in syrup to taste. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon.

3) Cool with an ice block or serve with ice in punch glasses.

This was light and bubbly and a definite crowd pleaser.

So from here, I sign off for 2011, and will be back with you after the ball drops. Hope you have a lovely New Year's Eve and I'll see you in 2012!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shore Society Christmas Products

I have been so busy lately that I'm clinging to the light at the end of the tunnel—ten glorious days of Christmas break. There's so much to buy, wrap, bake, clean....all while keeping up with holiday shop orders. It's exhausting, but in a great way!

I also want to say a HUGE thanks to designworklife and Burrs & Berries for featuring my holiday gift tags on their sites...thank you, thank you, thank you!

Shore Society is also now selling in Poppytalk Handmade's Holiday Market, which has been both exciting and inspiring—there are so many talented makers selling their goods, I encourage you to head over there and check out all of the amazing shops that are participating. I want to buy everything!

Sets of the aforementioned gift tags are still available in my shop, in case you are a procrastinator and haven't started wrapping yet. I still have some last-minute things to grab but I'm in the home stretch...have you finished your shopping yet?

After I finish my shopping, the holiday parties and get-togethers begin! I'm so excited to hang out with all of my amazing friends and family coming in from out of town, and to take a break from working and sitting behind my computer. Sigh...won't that be nice?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Recipe: Jalapeño Cream Cheese Poppers

I never shy away from trying a new bite-size recipe. I am a perpetual snacker (I would never eat meals if I didn't have to) and these looked perfect for a lazy Sunday during the football game. They were really easy to make, and totally pop-able and delicious. I am not ashamed to admit we ate every last one of these (I mean, they probably wouldn't reheat well...that was my excuse).

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen. Great recipe but I found her instructions really annoying to read (sorry!) So these are much simpler.

Makes 32 little poppers.

I N G R E D I E N T S :

1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/4 cup diced canned jalapeños (mine were in a jar and I diced them myself)
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls (8 oz.)
1 Tbsp. sugar

D I R E C T I O N S :

1. Preheat oven to 375° F

2. Cut about 3/4 of your cream cheese off and place that portion into a bowl. Add in your jalapeños and the sugar and mix with a fork. Be sure to incorporate the sugar very well.

3. Do a little taste test. The sugar adds a nice little sweet element to the spice, so add less or more depending on what you prefer. Add more jalapeños if you prefer a little more heat! I used mild jalapeños and it was a mistake, they weren't flavorful enough, so be sure to get ones with gusto.

4. Once you get the right mixture, set it aside while you prep the dough.

5. Open your crescent rolls, the dough should come out in 2 flat rectangles (with the perforated triangles still attached). Place one of the rectangles on your cutting board and pinch the perforated triangles together to make one solid rectangle of dough. Take a rolling pin and smooth it out a bit.

6. Now, evenly spread half of the jalapeño cream cheese mixture onto the dough.

7. Starting on the long end of the dough, start rolling until you have a little dough log.

8. Using a sharp knife (sharp is key), cut the log in half. Then, cut the halves in half. Continue until you have 16 little pinwheel poppers.

9. Place on a greased baking sheet. Then, repeat the process with the second dough rectangle that you set aside. You should now have 32 little poppers. Bake them for about 13 minutes, keeping an eye on them. They should be golden brown when they come out.

10. Once they're done baking, slide them right off the baking sheet and onto a plate. Serve with an ice cold beer or margarita, and watch them disappear :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

DIY: Christmas Decorating

I do realize I'm jumping full-force into Christmas right from Thanksgiving, but I'm in the spirit so I hope you won't hold it against me! I spent the weekend hauling out the boxes of last year's decorations, and decided to make some new mantle decor (aaaaand this is how everything I do turns into a craft project).

I'm not a huge fan of traditional Christmas colors, so I kept everything gold and glittery and added a touch of soft vintage aqua. Our walls are already very colorful so including a lot of white-on-white helped keep things light and wintery.

I already had a few bottles and jars on the mantle, so I filled them with some aqua glass beads and gold glitter branches. We put the beads in our fishbowl too, so Vince could match ;)

I made three garlands; one of white pom poms threaded on a string, a beaded one that I strung by hand (I recommend patience for this) and a third garland of gold circles that I punched out of glitter paper.

I also picked up some plastic pears at the craft store, first painted them white, then with a thin layer of glue, and dusted them in an iridescent fine glitter. They are really sparkly in person, it reminds me snow!

Our final impulse idea was to write or draw on the mirror, and I'm so glad we decided to do this because it just ties everything together. We picked up a white glass paint marker and after a few rounds of practice on the bathroom mirror, I got it juuuust right on the second try. Thankfully this stuff erases easily! This was really fun, after I finished I started thinking of what else I could draw on.

Our fireplace is non-working, so unfortunately we can't have any cozy fires in our living room. It still felt like we needed something in the hearth, so we added some logs anyway. I can use just a little bit of imagination to see them in a crackling fire ;)

I'm glad that our decorating is finally done, our tree is up, and all I have to do is finish my shopping. Christmas is totally sneaking up on us now...have you started decorated yet?