Food & Wine

Happy Birthday Cake!

It’s a birthday weekend! I have four friends whose birthday is tomorrow. There is a lot to celebrate!

When your dear pals are celebrating their special day, I highly recommend this fabulous hot fudge sundae cake from Smitten Kitchen. There are a lot of steps, but she graciously offers short cuts (which you would never know were taken). If you have patience for all of the steps, though, you (and your pal, more importantly) will surely be rewarded!

Happy Birthday!

Super Bowl Party: Chips and Dips

Whether you are a Broncos’ fan, a Seahawks’ fan, or just in it for the commercials, it’s not too early to start thinking about your Super Bowl Party. The best place to start is with everyone’s favorite snack: chips and dip. Here are some different takes on the great classic. Bon Appétit!

 

Instead of store bought Sour Cream and Onion Dip try Sweet Onion Dip via Martha Stewart

Instead of Hummus, try White Bean Dip with Herbs via FoodandWine.com

Instead of Charcuterie try Salami Chips with Grainy Mustard Dip recipe via Epicurious

Warm Winter Cocktails

We’ve had a snowy week here in DC. Just the perfect weather for sitting inside and sipping a warm winter cocktail.

 

The Blizzard Cocktail via MarthaStewart.com

 

The classic Hot Toddy gets a bit of a face lift with the addition of orange juice and cinnamon via DivineCarline.com

 

It just simply wouldn't be Christmas without a glass of mulled wine, via Williams-Sonoma.com

 

Why not drink your wintery treat in this Veronese Hot Toddy Glass

Uses for Rosemary

Yesterday I did some long overdue gardening. The herb garden in particular had gotten way too unruly, most especially the rosemary bush. So I took my clippers and chopped away. When finished, I had a garbage bag full of rosemary sprigs and I could have trimmed even more.

I thought it would be a shame to throw it all away so I tried to come up with some uses for it. I made a bouquet out of some and then decided to also make a rosemary simple syrup. I used this recipe from The Kitchn. I plan to use the syrup to make rosemary lemonade or maybe a cocktail of some kind. The simple syrup will keep in the fridge for up to one month so I have time to figure it out.

Have excess herbs you don’t know what to do with? Try drying them, making herb butter, a simple syrup, flavored olive oil… so many options!

Late Night Snacks

As your guests dance the night away, they might long for an extra bit of sustenance. With so many late night snack options, here are a few treats sure to provide satisfaction that will have your guests raving for years to come.

French fries in dotted paper cones, via the knot, photo credit Justin and Mary Photography

 

Give your guests a boost of caffeine - iced coffee topped with cotton candy, via Martha Stewart Weddings

 

There's nothing better than breakfast for dinner! Serve your guests delicious pancakes or French Toast Sticks, via Hostess with the Mostess Blog

 

 

A popcorn buffet allows guests to pick from a variety of toppings, via Pen N' Paperflowers

1920′s-Inspired Signature Drinks

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby provides a luscious, opulent perspective of the 1920′s. Influencing fashion, events, and decor, the movie gives a fresh take on 1920′s flair. As you consider your signature drink for cocktail hour, keep in mind these revamped classics.

French 75 - lemon, gin, and simple syrup topped off with champagne, via Epicurious, Photo Credit Elizabeth Perrin

 

Bee's Knees

Gin, honey and lemon combine to make the Bee's Knees, via LA Weekly, photo credit Eric Alperin

 

Southside Cocktail Recipe

Gin meets lime, mint and seltzer to create a refreshing Southside, via Inspired Taste

 

Highball

With a wide variety of options, the Highball offers a classic your guests will love, via Time Out Chicago, photo credit Martha Williams

Spring Slow Cooker Recipes

I am a huge fan of the slow cooker. It is such a convenient way to put a meal on the table when your schedule is extra busy. It is not easy to find good slow cooker recipes, though. I have found the ones on Williams-Sonoma’s website to be particularly yummy. I wonder how these Spring recipes are from Better Homes & Gardens … the pulled pork sliders look delicious and I think I will need to try them!

Slow cook sliders via Better Homes and Gardens