Stylish Entertaining

Welcome to my blog, A place where I can share my ideas with you. From great tips on entertaining to tasty cocktail recipes that make it all easier for you to host with style in a flash. You’ll find lots of projects to inspire you for your home and garden, friends and family. Plus some kitchen gossip, for good measure of course, because everyone needs a little dish now and then.

So visit often!

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Dining Al Fresco

The Huffington Post

Dining Al Fresco: The Essentials

Posted: 07/16/2013 1:54 pm
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Dining Al Fresco is the perfect way to enjoy a meal during the summer months. Chill some wine, whip up tasty summer dishes and enjoy the sunsets in the garden, by the harbor, or at the beach.

Here are a few of my favorites this season for stylish dining under the stars.

The Pour Rose's are the hottest thing from Cannes to California and its the perfect pour for warm weather Al fresco gatherings. My choice this season is Goldeneye 2011 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. Crisp and delightful with hints of grapefruit, strawberry, and watermelon. Divine!

Casual and fun, these seagrass tumblers are a great way to jazz up your outdoor entertaining tableware. From Acme party box.

Table Talk Add a bit of cool tropic tones to your table. Perfect to dress up for a dinner party or for a casual afternoon by the pool. The best part; they are easy to wipe clean. Carousel Placemats Havana Placemat Tropic. From home James! Get the natural look with light toned Bamboo flatware. they add the perfect exotic touch to the table. Juliska Bamboo natural place setting.

Layer it on with this gorgeous eye-catching ikat is an optical feast for your party-before dinner is served! Melamine Ikat Salad Plate, CWonder.

Accent the blues and set your table with lush turquoise and rich colors of handcrafted ceramics without the worry of breakage. I like La Med Melamine Dinner Plates from William Sonoma.

Starry Nights I use these lights to illuminate they create a perfect ambiance, a wonderful golden glow. String them along and you'll linger outdoors all summer long. I like Terrazzo Outdoor Lights from Napa Style.

 

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Mother's Day Brunch and Punch!

 My Huffington Post Feature:

Mother's Day Brunch & Sunday Punch
Posted: 05/10/2013 8:48 am
2013-05-08-DSC00020.JPG Hosting a last minute gathering for Mother's Day? No problem. Flowers first: pick up a few potted plants for a splash of spring color. I love Martha Washington Geraniums -- they are vibrant and look lovely down the center of the table. Tie handwritten name tags on them and they'll double as gifts for the Moms. Next up, what to serve: My favorite go-to is a French Toast bake. It's rich, filling and looks pretty served from a casserole dish. Pair that with a bowl of fresh berries and mini quiches, (made from mini pie shells, eggs, cream, cheese, onions, peas, and asparagus), and you're almost set. For the finishing touch, make a Sunday Punch. It looks pretty, tastes divine and serves a crowd. What more can you ask for? Oh, and do remember to tell all of the great women in your life how much you love them this Mother's Day. Challah French Toast Bake Serves 10 8 extra-large eggs 1 1/2 cups half-and-half ½ cup milk ½ cup Cointreau 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. ground cinnamon Unsalted butter 1 loaf Challah bread Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9x13 casserole dish. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, milk, Cointreau, vanilla, and cinnamon. Slice bread into one-inch thick slices, dip bread into batter and arrange in casserole dish. Pour any remaining batter over the bread. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Serve with toppings such as maple syrup, raspberry preserves, sifted confectioner's sugar. 2013-05-08-34.jpg Sunday Punch Serves 8 4 cups raspberry-peach juice 2 cups apricot brandy 2 bottles chilled champagne or prosecco Fresh raspberries for garnish Ice ring with lemon slices and fresh raspberries Make the ice ring the night before, no ring? loaf size baking tins and filled with fruit and water yield smashing results. In a large punch bowl pour the juice and brandy. Slowly add the champagne or prosecco. Add the ice ring and serve.
 

Take it Outside-Setting up a Chic Outdoor bar

   Featured on iVillage.com:

  Take it Outside: How to Set Up A Chic  Outdoor Bar

Here's how to create the perfect outdoor design for your space
By Colleen Mullaney - April 29, 2013
Photo Credit: Ray Kachatorian/FoodPix/Getty Images
Whether you have a small postage-sized patio, expansive deck, or rolling lawn, setting up a stylish outdoor bar is easier than you think. First, take a good look at your space. Pick a spot that is covered by a big tree or in a corner under an awning or trellis. You can also pick up an inexpensive outdoor canopy from a home improvement store to give you and your guests cover from the sun and summer rain. Bars come in all shapes and sizes. Choose a lighter, rolling cart if it needs to be put away between gatherings. (We’re loving brightly colored retro bar carts.) Or go with a larger more permanent fixture if it’s protected. Checkout big box stores like Costco or BJ’s for stand-alone pieces, which are inexpensive and easy to transport. Seating is key, and can range from fun folding chairs to teak or wicker outdoor chairs and loveseats. Pillows and cushions add a pop of color and also double as extra seating when you have unexpected guests. Lanterns and twinkle lights strung in trees, across patio banisters, and overhead on a canopy or trellis all set the night aglow. Stocking the Bar: Buckets, galvanized or plastic, are great filled with ice for soft drinks, wine, and beer. Keep spirits to the basics- vodka, rum, tequila, and gin. Stock a variety of mixers, seltzer, and juices that will keep. Topical fruit nectars like mango, passionfruit, and guava, mixed with a spirit and topped with seltzer, can be an instant hit. Trying mixing abig signature cocktail , set it out in a dispenser and it becomes a self-serve bar. This allows you to mixone big cocktail instead of many so you can mingle and enjoy the party. I’ve included a few of my summer favorites below. The more colorful, the better. Be sure to have plenty of glasses (good quality plastic) on hand, stock up on bargains from stores like Homegoods and Target. Mix and match for an eclectic look, and have some bowls and small platters on hand as well for snacks and lite bites. Other bar essentials include: ice bucket and tongs, cocktail shaker, fun napkins, bottle openers, and bar towels. Don’t forget a trash receptacle, recycling bin, and bug spray. Music is a must so don’t forget to create your perfect playlist. Most importantly, mix a cocktail, chill and enjoy. Slingshot Adapted from It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere by Colleen Mullaney, Sixth & Spring publishers. Serves 8 16 oz. dark rum 12 oz. Apricot brandy 8 oz. Passionfruit juice 8oz. Orange juice 8 oz. Pineapple juice 2 oz. Grenadine Maraschino cherries and pineapple slices for garnish, if desired Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or drinks dispenser filled with ice. Serve. Nantucket Lemonade Adapted from Punch by Colleen Mullaney, Chronicle publishers. Serves 12 5 cups lemonade 2 cups cranberry juice 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 3 cups vodka 2 cups chilled ginger-ale Frozen cranberries and lemon wheels for garnish if desired Combine lemonade, cranberry juice, lime juice, and vodka in an ice filled drinks dispenser or large pitcher. Just before serving pour in the ginger ale. Garnish with cranberries and lemon wheels if desired, and serve. Need some design inspiration? These picks will motivate you to start staging your perfect outdoor space. Palmetto All-Weather Wicker Bar Console, $299 at PotteryBarn.com Threshold Conservatory 10’ x 10’ Gazebo, $499 at Target.com 9’ Aluminum Patio Umbrella, $93.99 at Target.com Malta Lantern, $27-$199 at PotteryBarn.com Assorted Jonathan Adler Melamine Plates, Bowls and Glasses, $9-$48 at JonathanAdler.com Acrylic Cocktail Swizzle Sticks, $12.95 at Pier1.com Assorted Outdoor Pillows, $17-$25 at Pier1.com Threshold 2-Piece Outdoor Decorative Pillow Set, $29.98 at Target.com

Springtime Saturday Cocktails

Colleen's Cocktails...as seen in the fabulous  HuffPo Taste!

Spring Saturday Cocktails

Posted: 04/19/2013 10:24 am
Spring is here! Finally! Time to get out doors and enjoy the sunshine and mix up some Saturday afternoon cocktails. A springtime favorite of mine is the Blackberry Bramble. Light and refreshing, it's just reward for all those Saturday chores. So, put your feet up on that lounge chair you just hosed off, and enjoy. Mix up a batch. These tasty libations are perfect for that Saturday BBQ with friends. Blackberry Bramble Adapted from It's 5'Oclock Somewhere by Colleen Mullaney, Sixth&Spring publishers (Serves 4) 8 oz. gin 4 oz. blackberry brandy 2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice seltzer to top fresh mint sprigs blackberries for garnish   In a pitcher place mint sprigs and gin. Muddle the mint releasing the flavor. Add the blackberry brandy, lemon juice, ice and seltzer to top. Stir gently. Pour into glasses, garnish with fresh blackberries and serve. 2013-04-17-23_Nigeria_00006.jpg

Oscar Party!!

Oscar Party!

featured on Huffington Post Taste!

              Lights! Cameras! Oscar Party!

Posted: 02/20/2013 7:57 pm
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Lights Camera, Oscar!Invite your inner circle over and raise the curtain for a night of fun and "Unchained" partying Hollywood style. Host your own glam-filled, Hollywood-inspired Oscar bash at home, with tasty cocktails an easy to assemble meal, fun and games, and you're sure to be on the ballot for the best host in a "Zero Fail Mission." Set the Scene Invitations sent via-e-mail or by "Life" boat, with the trailers of the best picture nominations will get your guests excited about coming. Include the time (Countdown to Oscar starts at...), dress (red carpet style) and a ballot that can be printed and filled out beforehand. Go Glam To get in the true Hollywood spirit, pick up a bunch of gold statues, found at your party stores, that can be given out to the winners (those who won best dressed, best couple, "Amour" to them!). Set your table in sophisticated Old-Hollywood style with a black cloth, white lilies cut short and set in small vases or cups, and gems and jewels scattered down the table to add a bit of bling. Here's my fashionable tablescape, use this to inspire your scene.
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Download the movie soundtracks from the nominated movies and put together a play-list that goes from cocktails to coffee. During the commercials have trivia questions ready for the crowd and give fun prizes for each game such as, gift certificates to the local movie theater, a bottle of champagne, or a copy of the evening's play-list are all great choices and will add an air of competition but never escalate to a "Civil War." Signature Cocktail For a "Silver Lining," serve a signature cocktail and infuse your own best picture personality into your Oscar bash! Besides, being easy to assemble and mix-up, it will free you up to enjoy your party and not keep you "Hostage," as the supporting role of bartender.
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The Winner Serves 4 6 oz. vodka 2 oz. blood orange juice 4 oz. ruby red grapefruit juice 2 dashes orange bitters Champagne or prosecco to top In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix all ingredients except champagne. Strain into glasses and top with Champagne.

Fat Tuesday--Mardi Gras Cocktails on Huff Po Taste!

Fat Tuesday -- Mardi Gras Cocktails

Posted: 02/11/2013 2:57 pm
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Fat Tuesday is the last day to live large before lent, so if you haven't had any time to get some fun in during carnival season, now's your chance. Here are some tasty cocktails straight from New Orleans and my friends Ti and Lally at Commander's Palace. Having only been to New Orleans for the first time last June to host a seminar at the Festigals weekend, I had to try NOLA's classic cocktails, the Sazerac and the Hurricane. I am after all, a Lifestyle Expert and this was important research. After tasting, I have to say, I like both equally, as they are so different. The Sazerac is so serious, yet seductive. It lures you in with its deep, complex layers. The Hurricane, on the other hand, is like a disco party in a glass -- flirting like the hot pink boa I fashioned for the Festigals parade. (Speaking of which was too hot for words. Thank goodness the girls at Commander's Palace greeted us along the route with a refreshing glass of Orgeat Punch, how very hospitable!) Now, you see, there are too many favorite choices. I must go back! Pick a favorite cocktail and mix up Mardi Gras!  
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  The Sazerac (created in the 1830's by a pharmacist as a way to deliver a dose of his healthy elixir, Peychaud's bitters. These bitters are still used today. So, here's to your health! Serves 1 Dash Herbsaint 11/2 oz. rye whiskey Dash simple syrup 6 dashes Peychaud's bitters Lemon twist for garnish Pour the Herbsaint into a rocks glass and coat the inside. Discard any excess Herbsaint. Fill the glass with ice to chill. Combine the rye, simple syrup and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it like you mean it. Strain into rocks glass. Rub the rim with the lemon twist, drop in glass and serve. Next up is a cocktail that's a bit more crowd friendly. I have made these many times since returning from the land of cocktails.  
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The Hurricane. Serves 8 8 oz. Light rum 4 oz. Dark rum 2 oz. Triple Sec 12 oz. pineapple juice 8 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice 8 oz. pomegranate juice 4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice 4 oz. grenadine Orange and lime wheels and cherries for garnish Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher filled with ice, mix well. Pour into ice filled glasses, garnish, and serve. Orgeat Punch Serves 4 6 oz. spiced rum, such as Captain Morgan 2 oz. 151 proof rum, such as Bacardi 4 oz. Orgeat syrup 2 oz. limoncello 2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice Lemon wheels for garnish Combine all ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice, Mix well. Pour into high ball glasses, garnish and serve.
Follow Colleen Mullaney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lifemadestylish      

Tropical Cocktails to Melt Winter's Chill on Huff Po Taste!

              Tropical Cocktails For The Winter Blues

Posted: 02/07/2013 10:32 am on Huff Po Taste
Flakes and Flurries Falling... and its Freezing! Time to bring a little sunshine in and visit the tropics, via the bar, of course. Mix up some delicious cocktails inspired by warmer climes and melt the winter chill away in a few sips! All with just the right touch of citrus, we need to get our vitamin C somehow, yes? Kick off your boots, slip on some fabulous sandals, turn on the tropic tunes, and get mixing! 2013-02-06-56Mauritius_00013.jpeg Rum Citrus Press Serves 4 8 oz. light rum 4 oz. apricot brandy 4 oz. fresh squeezed red grapefruit juice 4 oz. blood orange juice 2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice Pour all ingredients into a pitcher filled half-way with ice. Mix well, pour into glasses, garnish with a lime wheel, and serve. Rum Swizzle Serves 4 2013-02-06-8_Argentina_00014.jpg 4 oz. light rum 4 oz. dark rum 8 oz. pineapple juice 4 oz. passionfruit nectar 2 oz. coconut nectar 2 oz. cherry juice fresh pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries for garnish In a pitcher filled half way with ice, mix ingredients. Pour into glasses, garnish with pineapple and cherry, and serve. On the wifi: Mambo Kings, Harry Belefonte, Barrington 'Fat Cat" Hawkins, or Bob Marley, Milan & Phoenix (Istanbul)
Follow Colleen Mullaney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lifemadestylish      

Super Bowl Cocktails

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/colleen-mullaney/super-bowl-cocktails_b_2592003.html

Super Bowl Cocktails on Huff Po Taste!

Touchdown! The big game is days away and with the menu of wings, cheese dip, and taco bars all set, now you need cocktails that will have the crowd really cheering! This year, Super Bowl XLVII kicks off this Sunday in New Orleans, and for the first time in history, is the battle between two brother's who are the head coaches, (I'll pass on being their parent on Sunday!) ,in honor of the teams, I put together a festive line-up. So easy, they'll be no penalties, and to avoid a flag, keep it light on the sidelines. Blackbird Brew Or we could call it the Ray Ray! Light and citrusy, perfect for cheering on Baltimores' best! Make a big batch to ensure no pass interference. Serves 10 2 cups Lemon flavored Vodka 1 cup Limoncello 3 cups Blood Orange juice 3 cups Pink grapefruit juice 4-5 dashes Orange bitters 1 cup lemon seltzer Pink grapefruit slices for garnish In a drinks dispenser filled halfway with ice, pour vodka, limoncello, juices and bitters. Mix well. Top with seltzer and serve. Garnish with grapefruit slices if desired. Bay Bomber Just the right balance of sweet and sour, San Francisco style! Use crushed ice, a la the Kaepernick Krush! This cocktail will surely be making a run for the end zone fast, so mix up a big batch, no interceptions please! 2013-01-31-16_LakeComo_00014.jpeg Serves 10   2 cups Pisco or tequila ¾ cup Grand Marnier 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 2 cups Pomegranate juice Lime wedges for garnish Mix all ingredients in a drinks dispenser or pitcher filled half way with crushed ice ice. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
Follow Colleen Mullaney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lifemadestylish

New Year's Cocktails

New Year\'s Cocktails  
  • New Year's Cocktails --The Best on a Budget
Posted: 12/31/2012 2:06 pm
It's time to ring in the New Year with cocktails and confetti. Have no fear, if your holiday budget has hit the brakes, you can still celebrate in high style without breaking the bank. If you're inviting a small crowd over, make a signature cocktail, this way you mix one cocktail instead of many, and you can limit your spending on a mixed bar. Start with a classic like a vodka based cocktail, vodka is a real people pleaser, mix it in a drinks dispenser filled with ice and a colorful garnish, think mint sprigs,lemon, lime, or orange wheels, and watch your guests flock to this colorful, instant self-serve bar. And of course, we need a champagne cocktail with a festive mixer, it is after-all, New Year's Eve. I like any fruit based mixer that has just the right balance of sweet to zippy. Set it out in a pitcher on a side table next to an ice bucket filled with champagne and sparkling wine. As your guests serve themselves, you have more time to mingle and think about your New Year's resolution! Resolution TBD serves 10 16 oz. Absolut Mandrin vodka 4 oz. pear liqueur 8 oz. passionfruit nectar 16 oz. lemon seltzer Mix all ingredients in a drinks dispenser filled with ice, just before serving, add the seltzer. Garnish with lemon or orange wheels and serve. 2012-12-30-IMG_1978.jpeg Glitter Bug Serves 10 2 bottles (750ml) champagne or sparkling wine 3 cups raspberries, more for garnish 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons water 12 oz. orange liqueur In a sauce pan over medium heat, stir raspberries, sugar, and water until raspberries cook and breakdown. Pour this mixture through a fine sieve or strainer removing seeds and pulp.. Let cool. Pour into a pitcher, add orange liqueur, and stir. Set out with champagne and small bowl of raspberries for garnish. To serve: In the bottom of each glass, pour a dash of mixer, top with champagne or sparkling wine, add a raspberry for garnish and serve. 2012-12-30-57Rome_00012.jpeg
   

Christmas Cocktails

Christmas Cocktails  

Tis the Season for Cocktails

Posted: 12/20/2012 8:30 am
Bells are ringing and holiday cheer is in the air. Time to have your friends over and celebrate together over some traditional tasty cocktails. For a trendy twist, instead of setting up a whole bar, whip up a signature cocktail or punch. It's budget friendly self-serve bar that frees you up to enjoy your guests. From Egg Nog to Rum Punch, something to keep all the elves happy! 2012-12-19-19.jpg Egg Nog Serves 10 12 eggs, separated 1 cup sugar 1 cup bourbon 1 cup brandy 1 quart heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons vanilla extract ground nutmeg for sprinkling In a large bowl beat egg yolks for 4-5 minutes. Add the bourbon and brandy and beat to combine thoroughly, about 5 minutes. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, gradually adding the sugar to the egg whites until blended. Add this to the egg yolk mixture. Whip the heavy whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add to egg yolk mixture. Garnish with grated nutmeg and serve in a festive punch bowl.   Rudolph's Rum Punch Serves 10 Delightfully delicious and sure to light the way home, Rudolph not included. 1 bottle of Brugal Extra Dry Rum 8 oz. champagne 6 oz. blackberry brandy 3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice 1 cup pineapple juice 1 oz. Agave syrup 2 oz. Angostino bitters Orange slices for garnish Pour all ingredients into a drinks dispenser or punch bowl filled with ice. Let chill for 30 minutes. Pour champagne on top, stir to mix, and serve.
           

Decorating Outdoor Planters for the Holiday Season

How to Decorate Outdoor Planters

Happy Holidays!

As the holidays have us hustling and bustling around town, we need to find time to relax and enjoy the moments, start your season off right with a colorful cocktail, one of my holiday favorites, easy to mix up, and perfect for tackling the cyber shopping ! So, get your slippers on, and mix and click! Run Run Rudolph! serves 4 8 oz. vodka 4 oz. cranberry juice 2 oz. St. Germain liqueur 2 oz. lemon seltzer to top fresh cranberry sprig and cranberries for garnish Mix all into a pitcher and pour into glasses filled with ice. Enjoy!    

Fabulous Fall Centerpieces


Pumpkin Centerpiece Ideas


Pumpkin Centerpiece Ideas -- powered by ehow

Napkin Rings with a Seasonal Touch


DIY Napkin Rings -- powered by ehow

Wine bottle chic centerpiece


Easy Fall Video Centerpiece

Click on the link below to watch my eHow video on making this quick and chic Fall Centerpiece !   Easy Fall Centerpiece

Skinny Cocktails!! iVillage

 

       Have Your Cocktail and Drink it Too -- 10 Skinny Cocktails (200 Calories or Less!)

Have a healthier happy hour with these 10 tasty drink recipes! Made with ingredients like coconut water, fresh fruit and no sugary mixers, you'd never guess that these cocktails are low-cal (11 Photos)
Colleen Mullaney on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:36AM
   

Spring Fling

Spring has sprung! It's the perfect time to have your friends in for a Spring Fling! Mix up a signature cocktail like this delicious libation, a light mix of  vodka, a dash of passionfruit liqueur, and strawberry juice, stir it up and your good to go! I recently made a batch for a Sip & See, and the ladies were loving it!

Oscar Oscar!

Oscar Cocktails   Lights, Camera, Oscar!   Create your own glamorous Hollywood-inspired Oscar night at home for this years 84th Academy Awards, complete with your Oscar inspired cocktails. The key to winning night? Making everyone feel at home and relaxed to take in the big show.   The Artist With it’s stunning international cast, this modern day black and white film is a must see, with a classic cocktail, of course.   The Starlet 1oz. orange juice 2 oz. peach liqueur 4 oz. champagne Lemon twist for garnish   In a champagne coupe pour the orange juice and peach liqueur. Top with Champagne, garnish with twist of lemon and serve.       The Descendents Set on the majestic islands of Hawaii, the scenery in the movie keeps your senses alive with the lush tropic landscape. This cocktail mimics that perfectly.   Tropic Touch 2oz. light rum 1 oz. freshly squeezed limejuice ½ oz. agave nectar 2 oz. puree of tropical fruits Lime wheel for garnish Seltzer to top   In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine ingredients and shake well. Strain into a glass filled with ice, top with seltzer, garnish with lime wheel and serve.     The Help Set in Mississippi during the 60’s, the help is a collaboration of black women and their stories of working for white women in a small southern town. The messages in the movie are strong and pure, much like the flavors in this southern bourbon and sweet nectar cocktail.   The Skeeter   6 mint leaves plus one for garnish 2 lime wedges ½ oz. agave nectar 1 oz. peach nectar 3 oz. Maker’s Mark bourbon Splash ginger ale   In a cocktail shaker muddle the mint leaves, lime wedges, and agave syrup. Add ice, bourbon, and peach nectar.  Shake well and strain into a glass filled half way with ice. Top with a splash of ginger ale, garnish with mint sprig and serve.       Midnight in Paris Ooh Paris, in the morning, afternoon, or evening is splendid, but Paris after midnight is magical. This cocktail is a combination of Hemingway’s’ go to libations with just the balance of sweet and sour to get your create juices flowing.   Hemingway’s Demise   2 oz. Gin 1 oz. Triple sec 2 oz. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice Squeeze of fresh lime       Money Ball Make sure you get all the stats before you mix up and serve this delightful cocktail. A sure hit, make a batch before this one is going, going, gone!   Home Run   2 oz. Vodka 1 oz. Limoncello 2 oz. Pomegranate juice Ginger ale to top Lime wedges for garnish   Mix all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Pour into glass, add lime wedges and serve.      

Colorful, Tasty Punch, it's Like a Party in a Bowl !

  Punch is a definite party pleaser. A colorful batch of punch adds instant personality and a dash of panache to the party. Best of all, its economical, and self-serve, so it frees you up as host, so you can enjoy the party too!   5 Delicious Holiday Punch Recipes A sparkly favorite for any occasion, this punch has miles of style! Pink grapefruit juice gives the punch great color and sweetness, while the pear nectar balances, adding a smooth finish. Serves 10 8 oz. St. Germain Liqueur 2 cups Ruby red grapefruit juice, chilled 2 cups Pear nectar, chilled Two bottles chilled brut Champagne In a punch bowl or drinks dispenser, pour the liqueur, grapefruit juice and pear nectar. Slowly pour in the champagne and serve. 5 Delicious Holiday Punch Recipes Great for breakfast, brunch, or early afternoons, this tangy mango infused punch has a fresh exotic fruit taste. You can find the tropical juices in the international aisles of most major grocery stores. serves 10 3 cups pineapple juice 2 cups mango nectar 2 cups passionfruit nectar 1 cup orange juice 21/2 cups light rum 1/2 cup Cointreau 1/2 cup Apricot Brandy Orange slices 6 cups ice Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl or drinks dispenser and serve.   5 Delicious Holiday Punch Recipes This yummy gin punch is light enough to serve to the party crowd before, during , and after dinner! Serves 10 3 cups gin 1 1/2 cups orange juice 1 cup apricot brandy 8 cups chilled club soda 6 cups ice cubes 3 limes and lemons sliced 2 tangerines, sliced Combine the gin, orange juice, and brandy in the bowl or drinks dispenser and mix well. Just before serving pour in the club soda. Add the ice cubes, and fruit slices and serve.   5 Delicious Holiday Punch Recipes This winning combination of rum and tropical flavors will have you leaving the coffee behind! Serves 10 4 cups mango nectar 2 cups pineapple juice 2 cups dark rum 2 cups light rum 1 cup guava nectar or juice 1 cup apricot juice 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice Orange slices for garnish Mix all ingredients in punch bowl or drinks dispenser and serve. 5 Delicious Holiday Punch Recipes Mary's Mess This is an old standard with a touch of fresh citrus to round out the flavors. I leave a bottle of hot sauce out next to the punch bowl for those more willing to fire it up!  This Bloody Mary punch is full flavored and some say, the perfect hangover cure! Serves 10 8 cups tomato juice 3 cups vodka 3/4 cup worcestershire sauce 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup horseradish 2 tsp. hot red pepper sauce 1 tsp. each, freshly ground pepper and salt 6 cups ice cubes 12 lemon wedges 12 lime wedges 12 large pitted green olives celery stalks, trimmed and cut lengthwise   In  a punchbowl, whisk together tomato juice, vodka, worcestershire , lemon and lime juices, horseradish, hot pepper sauce, pepper and salt. Add the ice cubes and stir. Garnish each glass with a citrus swizzle and serve.    

Family Friendly Mocktails to match your Holiday Meal

Family-Friendly Mocktails to Match Your Holiday Meal The Mayflower serves 4 8oz. Cranberry juice 8oz. Sparkling red grape juice 8oz. lemon-lime soda Pour all ingredients into a pitcher filled half-way with ice. Serve immediately. Family-Friendly Mocktails to Match Your Holiday Meal   Appletastic Mocktail Serves 4 16oz. Apple cider 8 oz. Gingerale Dash of cherry juice   Pour all ingredients in a pitcher filled half-way with ice. Stir well and serve. Family-Friendly Mocktails to Match Your Holiday Meal   Pilgrim Sparkler Serves 4 16oz. Sparkling white grape juice 8 oz. Pineapple juice dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice   Pour pineapple and lemon juice in a pitcher filled with ice. Let chill at least 10 minutes. Strain or remove ice cubes and add sparkling white grape juice. Serve immediately.  

Halloween Cocktails

Boo! Are you Ghost Hosting? Entertaining Trick-or-Treaters and their bigger goblins? Take a look at these fun and easy cocktails and pick your poison! Bloody Red Martini Vampires everywhere would kill for a sip of this tasty temptation, complete with bloody rim! Serves 4 80z. vodka 4 oz. triple sec 4 oz. pomegranate juice 20z. freshly squeezed lime juice ice Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Strain into glasses. For Bloody Rims: In a shallow dish, mix 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, I tablespoon lemon extract, and 1 drop red food coloring. Turn glasses over and swirl the rims to coat the edges. Turn glasses up right and set aside to let bloody rims dry.       Witches Brew Stir up a sinister batch of these colorful cocktails, they'll be no skeletons in closet after one or two! 8oz. Gin 2 oz. limoncello 20z. peach liqueur 20z. passionfruit nectar ice In a cocktail pitcher filled half-way with ice  mix all ingredients, pour into glasses and serve.

Oscar 101

 

Lights, Camera, Oscar!  There’s still time to create your own glamorous Hollywood-inspired Oscar night at home for this weekend’s 83rd Academy Awards, with tasty cocktails, and an easy but divine meal, all for your guests’ viewing pleasure. Add a few stylish decorations and you’re sure to top the ballot for best host along with Anne Hathaway and James Franco. 

Invite your Social Network over and open the curtain for a night of fun and partying Hollywood style. The key to a winning night? Making everyone relaxed to take in the big show.

Signature Cocktail: No event would be complete with out a signature cocktail. My Chocolate Martini, aka “The Black Swantini,” is delectable, easy to whip up, and has a dark and light side, just like Natalie Portman’s character in the film. It’s a winner for sure!

“Black Swan”tini

8 oz. Absolut Vanilla vodka

4 oz. Kahula

Chocolate shavings for garnish

Raw sugar crystals for garnish

Pour vodka and Kahula into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and mix well.  Wet rims of glasses and dip in sugar. Strain shaker evenly among glasses. Garnish with chocolate shavings. 

 

Menu:  Mini Crabcakes with Cajun dip, Beef Tenderloin, Fruited Wild Rice, Mixed greens with champagne mustard vinagrette, Chocolate Mousse Flutes, Fresh berries and Cookies will do the trick. Serve the food buffet-style, so guests can help themselves at commercial time. Most of the menu can be ordered in advance or picked up day of from your local market. I also make buckets of cheesy popcorn beforehand to put out on a snack tray with bowls of candy favorites like chocolate covered raisins, Sweedish fish, and non-pareils. This is a favorite with the Toy Storycrowd, Yum! 

Invitations: Send out an e-mail invitation with attachments of some of the Best Picture nominees. Be sure to include the time, dress (I love “Red Carpet Relaxed” which means anything with sequins) and a ballot that they can print and fill out before-hand.

Décor: Go for a bit of glam with sparkles. Gold statues can be found at party stores, pick up a bunch and place them around for accents. This black and white setting tablescape takes a cue from old Hollywood and is suited for our Black Swan dancers or royalty like the divine Colin Firth. Add some feathers and send it twirling or mini gold tiaras fit for a King’s Speech.

Music: Download the soundtracks for the nominated movies and make a playlist to go from cocktails to coffee.

Ballots and Hollywood triviaDuring the commercials, have trivia questions ready for the crowd, I had fun here with equations and data from The Social Network, (good luck my friends) fun prizes that are always welcome, a bottle of champagne or gift certificates to the local movie theater or a disc with the evenings playlist are all great choices.

Most of all, relax and enjoy, and you’ll feel like a star.  



Love Potion #9

 Love is in the air!  It's all around us......and what better time of year to mix up a batch of these deliciously sublime cocktails, and drink to love.....lost, found, or yet to be discovered...

Love Potion #9

serves 4

8 oz. Absolut vodka

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

2 oz. limoncello

Prosecco to top

 

In a blender puree frozen berries. Strain into cocktail shaker or small pitcher. Add in vodka and limoncello, fil with 2 cups ice and shake or stir well. Strain evenly among glasses, top with Prosecco and serve.

Here's to love!

Cheers

Colleen

 

 


Hearts on a String

 Hearts are all around in bright cheery colors to wake us from our winter blues. Craft them, hang them, watch them twirl....and behold the magic of hearts on a string.

 

The heart is our most resilient muscle, use it for good, for love, and for living a life made stylish!

Who has your heart on a string?

Colleen

 

 

 


Happy Chinese New Year!

 

 

We were invited this past weekend to celebrate the Chinese New Year at the home of family friends. What a lovely time we had sharing in their festive, fun, and very colorful New Year. It is the year of the golden rabbit, who is supposed to saunter in quietly following the year of the ferocious tiger. But the energy at this party was like an oversized paper dragon, ready to roar!

 

 

 

Huge red lanterns on golden posts lined the driveway, like red balloons floating on top of piles of white snow. Red, the traditional color in Chinese celebrations, is said to ward off evil spirits, was everywhere! Red balloons lined the entrance and back lit by more red lanterns seemed to glow like a garden of lights in the moonlight.

 

Touches of Chinese culture were everywhere. A giant bonsai tree nestled under a group of red lanterns makes a dramatic centerpiece landscape, while blooming cherry blossom branches adorned mantles and tables.

Boxes of red carnations blooming from chinese take-out containers were my favorite! So easy, elegant, and inexpensive, a must-try at home.

A feast of seafood and dumplings, set out buffet style, all signified different good wishes; prawns for liveliness and happiness, dried oysters for all things good, dumplings for luck and good wishes for family, and fish dishes for luck and prosperity.

Lychee martinis were served and were the perfect cocktail to toast Gordon and Grace for welcoming us into thier home to celebrate with them. Here's to an illuminating start to the new lunar new year, the Year of the Rabbit!

 


Appletastic!

It's my favorite Fall cocktail! Back by popular demand, my recipe for Appletastic cocktails tastes like a caramel apple, with its vanilla and citrus tones, mixing deliciously with tangy sweet apple flavors in fresh apple cider. And it's sure to be a hit for all your parties all month long!

Make a batch for your friends and family, and they will be very thankful for you!
 
Serves 4
6 oz. Absolut Vanilla
4 oz. Tuaca (an Italian liquor)
8 oz. fresh apple cider
lemon flavored seltzer to top
apple slices for garnish
apple twists for garnish
 
To Make:

In  a pitcher filled halfway with ice, pour ingredients. Let the flavors marry and chill a few minutes. Strain into glasses. These are wine goblets, but I think they are perfect! Garnish with apple wedge and twist, and serve.  Cheers!

 


Fall Couture

Fall's intoxicating. Just when your flip-flops have fallen apart, it's time to return to grownup glamour and the colors of autumn. Dig out those great ankle boots, grab a scarf and your new military inspired jacket, and get ready to meet friends for cocktails!

While Fashion Week came and went faster than a Chanel bag at a sample sale, I love fall for taking a fresh look at your closet and your cocktail couture.

For great ideas to spice up your Fall wardrobe, I'm craving the new vogue.com. As the hues change from summer's bright citrus to plums and earthy tones, cocktails change too. Just like the perfect camel coat, there are key staples for your cocktail wardrobe that you need to have ready to kick off the season with a bang. So what's the hot new trend? Two of my favs to get your cocktail fashion fix are Prosecco and Avion Tequila.

Just as we're seeing a lot of military details this season, there's also been a real resurgence of bubbles. A true classic, they're always in style. And this year, it's all about Prosecco. It's easy to mix and perfect to pour, so keep your cocktail closet stocked. At the moment I love Prosecco with a bit of pear or St-Germain liqueur, just enough to give this bubbly a kick and a permanent spot in your closet. It's also a perfect topper for an assortment of brandies - think apricot, raspberry or plum. Fall Fabulous!

 

Avion Tequila is also quickly becoming the rage thanks to a starring role in HBO's hit Entourage with Adrian Grenier's Vinny Chase and the gang. As Turtle and Drama were pouring shots poolside, bartenders in NYC and LA started doing the same. With both coasts covered, look for Avion to make a VIP appearance at your local hotspot soon.

While the season finale left Avion on the rocks, this smooth tequila is sure to make a splash until the series returns. Whether straight up, with a kick or in your favorite marg, look for Avion to match perennial favorite Patron shot for shot for the title of "must have" tequila this season.

Here's an easy Prosecco pleaser. And for some other great cocktail recipes to add to your couture collection, visit me!

Prosecco Pearfecto

  • 4 oz. Belle de Brillet pear liqueur
  • 1 bottle Prosecco
  • Pear slices for garnish


Pour a splash of pear liqueur into the bottom of each glass, top with Prosecco, garnish with a sliver of pear and serve.  

And have you tried Avion yet? Let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 


Pick Your Poison!

As Willy Wonka says, "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker!" So this year, add a stellar signature cocktail to your party to take it up a notch! Here are 10 tasty temptations to serve this Halloween. Pick your poison!

 

Bloody Red Martini

Vampires everywhere kill for just a sip of this stellar martini with signature oozing bloody red rim.  

 

8 oz. vodka

4 oz. triple sec

4 oz. pomegranate juice

2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup ice

Mix first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 minute, giving time for the flavors to marry. Strain into martini glasses and enjoy. Serves 4. For bloody rims: In a shallow dish, mix 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, 1 drop lemon extract, and 2 drops of red food coloring together. Turn the glass upside down and swirl the rims in coating well. Turn the glass upright and fill.  Adapted from the Ruby Slipper from The Stylish Girl’s Guide to Fabulous Cocktails by Colleen Mullaney.

 

 

“The Morticia”

Can’t you just see Morticia and Gomez toasting the ghouls and goblins with one of these devilish champagne cocktails in hand? A whisper of black sugar on the rim makes it extra wicked. Be afraid, be very afraid! 

 

2 cups ice

8 oz. St-Germain liqueur

4 oz. acai berry juice

4 oz. Absolut Citron vodka

Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed

1 bottle champagne, chilled

 

In a small pitcher filled with ice, mix together St-Germain, acai berry juice, vodka, and lime juice. Strain about 1-½ oz. to fill the bottom third of each champagne flutes. Rim the glass with black sugar (easy to make with black food coloring and sugar if you can find it in your local store). Top with champagne. Serves 4. Adapted from Show Stopper from The Stylish Girl’s Guide to Fabulous Cocktails by Colleen Mullaney.

 

The Confession

No secrets are safe with this devilish concoction of gin, limoncello, peach and raspberry juice. There’ll be no skeletons in the closet after these, we promise!

 

8 oz. gin

2 oz. limoncello

2 oz. peach nectar

2 oz. raspberry juice

2 cups ice

 

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and mix well. Strain into ice-filled rocks glasses and serve.

 

 

Dark and Stormy

The perfect potion for All Hollow’s Eve. Ginger beer and dark rum blend together for a killer good brew!

 

1 cup ice

8 oz. dark rum

Two 8 oz. bottles of ginger beer

Pour rum evenly among four glasses, fill with ice, and top with ginger beer. Serves 4.

 

 

Ghoulish Grape Soda

Goblins of all ages will swoon over this mocktail grape pleaser. Add in an easy-to-make foam ghost straw and sip to your devilish content!

 

2 cups ice

16 oz. grape juice

16 oz. lemon flavored seltzer

 

Mix juice and seltzer in a pitcher. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with ghostly straws and serve. To make ghosts, cut shapes from white foamy sheets. Affix googly eyes with tacky glue. Let dry. Use a hole punch to make the mouth and insert the straw. Makes a great kids’ activity during your party.

 

 

Ghouls’ Grog

Get ready to rattle some skulls and bones with a few of these old school gelatin shots.  One taste and you’ll be screaming for more.

 

1 3-oz. pkg. lemon flavored gelatin

1 3-oz. pkg. cherry flavored gelatin

8 oz. Absolut Citron vodka

8 oz. peach liqueur

 

Mix lemon gelatin with one cup of boiling water and 8 oz. of vodka. Pour mixture into shot glasses until each is ¾ full. Mix cherry-flavored gelatin with one cup of boiling water and 8 ounces of peach liqueur. Top off each shot glass with the cherry mixture. Can also switch the order, with the cherry on the bottom of the shots topped with lemon gelatin. Chill shots until just before serving. Serves 10.

 

 

Creepy Crawly Concoction

Kids will crave this delightful non-alcoholic bubbling brew of lemonade, mango and orange flavors.  Add in some gummy worm ice cubes and watch their skin crawl!

 

24 oz. lemonade

8 oz. mango nectar

16 oz. orange flavored seltzer

 

Mix all ingredients together in a punch bowl. Add a scary touch with wormy ice cubes and serve. To make wormy ice cubes, cut gummy worms in half, place into ice cube trays, and fill with water and freeze. Serves 10.

 

 

Green with Envy Apple Margarita

Just a sip, my pretty! A jealously delicious twist on a classic with green apple liqueur and a ghoulish green salt rim your guests will covet. Just a drop of food coloring to your regular margarita salt is all it takes.

 

4 cups ice

8 oz. Blanco tequila

4 oz. Green Apple liqueur

2 oz. lime juice

2 oz. lemon juice

 

Combine the first four ingredients in a pitcher. Fill with ice and mix well. Salt the rims of glasses, and fill with cocktail. Serves 4.

 

Skeleton Sangria

Don’t be scared to try this easy to make, sinfully delicious sangria. It’ll rattle your senses for sure!

4 cups ice cubes

Two bottles chilled dry red wine (Zinfandel, Merlot or Pinot Noir)

8 oz oz. pineapple nectar

8 oz. Cointreau

8 oz. sparkling water

2 oz. fresh lime juice

2 oranges, thinly sliced

 

Combine the wine, nectar, Cointreau, lime juice and fruit slices in a drink dispenser. Chill for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors marry. Just before serving, pour in sparkling water and add the ice cubes. Serves 10.

 

 

Witches’ Potion

All eyes will be on your table when you serve this bubbling cauldron of purple Witches’ Potion. The secret is in the smoke created from dry ice. (Note: please wear gloves and handle carefully!) 

 

8 oz. light rum

8 oz. dark rum

4 oz. crème de banane

4 oz. blackberry brandy

24 oz. cranberry juice

24 oz. pineapple juice

2 oz. grenadine

6 cups ice cubes

 

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and mix well. Serves 10. 

 


Pop-Up Party

I do love parties, any type of party -- a holiday party, birthday party -- but in the summer, I just absolutely love any party outside. The pool, beach, patio or porch ... any fun place will do. The sunshine-filled days and lazy afternoons are perfect settings for hosting a pop-up party! 

Last weekend I had a group of friends in for cocktails and snacks. We ending up chatting and dancing on the patio until midnight. Now that's a pop-up with staying power! For you own party, no formal invitations are needed. Just call around to get a group together at the spur of the moment, invite neighbors over spontaneously and host your friends with easy summer style. After all, it's not about being a perfect host. It's about having fun and great conversation. That's the kind of party everyone remembers.

It's easy. Just make a big batch of a crowd pleasing cocktail and let it go from there. I usually whip up a yummy punch and served it in a drinks dispenser, self serve style to quench any summer thirst. The rum mixes swimmingly with the fruit juices with just the right hint of blackberry and sure to help everyone beat the heat. So get up, get mixing and get dancing!

Dockside Delight

serves 10

adapted from PUNCH

  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup creme de banane
  • 1/2 cup cherry juice
  • 1/2 blackberry brandy
  • ice cubes to fill vessel
  • Maraschino cherries and pineapple chunks for garnish

Combine all ingredients in drinks dispenser, add ice, let chill and serve.

 

Keep the scene and menu light, adding to the fun festive atmosphere. I love to set out cheese and fruit to pick on, or make a batch of fresh guacamole with lots of cilantro from the garden. If dinner is on the menu, grill something light, like fish and supplement with store bought salads and dessert. Keep it light and easy, it's summer after all!

Night Lights

Glass hurricanes cast a summer glow. Simply fill the bottoms with shells or sand for a beachy look that will also keep the candles secure. I put out a bunch of different sized hurricanes, grouping them together or lining steps to the patio.

Continue the soft natural tones with the table. Here, curly willow stands perfectly in glass vessels that have been wrapped in corugated paper. Raffia ties it all together for a chic, easy summer table, ready for a pop-up party anytime.

Keep the party going with fun dance tunes. I love George Michael, Black Eyed Peas, or Madonna. Grab a cocktail, strike a pose and party on!

 

 


4th of July--Party in the U.S.A.!

 Party in the U.S.A.

You don't need fireworks to show your patriotic colors this weekend. At my house, cool drinks add just the right splash to our annual party. I love the long holiday weekends, and especially the 4th when the kids are done with school and ready to let summer really begin. Independence Day is all about family, friends, and neighbors getting together to celebrate country pride. So get hosting this 4th of July and create your own Classic All-American Bash!

It's easy ... No need for formal invites. Ask friends you see in the next few days or make a few quick calls. Then, mix up some chilled cocktails, set out an easy buffet, add a few fun projects for the kids, and you'll be off and running in Star-Spangled style.

This year I'm seeing stars! To add sparkle to my outdoor space, I'm adding star shaped lights in my shrubs lining the patio and red, white and blue paper lanterns hung in bunches from the trees and umbrellas to cast a soft glow and help light up the night. (Check www.pearlrivertrading.com or your local party supply store). Set a stylish table with bunches of garden flowers (my favorites are hydrangeas and zinnias) in low glass containers, and add hurricanes with pillar candles to illuminate your tabletop.

Set up a self-serve bar, with big ice-filled galvanized bins of sparkling waters and sodas, and drinks dispensers filled with lemonade for the little ones and Nantucket Lemonade for the adults! This frees you up as the host, allowing for more time to enjoy your party, and isn't that what summer entertaining is all about?

Serve the meal buffet style, so guests can help themselves whenever they want, and will feel instantly at ease. Keep the menu simple, and transportable to the patio, park, beach or wherever you might be going. Some of my favorites are marinated flank steak, which can be grilled and sliced ahead of time. I put out a basket of French rolls for a grab and go steak sandwich. Paired with potato salad and a simple mixed green salad with hearts of palm and fresh corn makes for an easy, fresh from the farmstand meal.

Desserts should be simple, have guests bring cookies or brownies, or pick up a trayful at your local market. I baked these star shaped sugar cookies and covered painted stripes of frosting with sprinkles in patriotic hues for a delish and colorful dessert, how easy is that?

Keep the little ones happy with foamy pinwheels that are perfect for any parade or patriotic bike ride. Set up a little crafting table and watch them go!! These have clothespin bases for easy clipping to bike baskets or wagons, or backpacks. For a hand held pinwheel, simply use a lollipop stick.

I hope these ideas inspire you to wave your flag high and enjoy the holiday. Not hosting this year? No problem, bring is a big batch of my delicious Nantucket Lemonade--just mix it up in a drinks dispenser...you'll be a star!!

 Nantucket Lemonade

Serves 12

5 cups lemonade

2 cups cranberry juice

¼ cup lime juice

3 cups vodka

2 cups ginger ale

4 cups ice cubes

Frozen cranberries and lemon wheels to garnish

Combine the lemonade, cranberry juice, lime juice, and vodka in the punch bowl and mix well. Add the ice cubes, pour in ginger ale, add the frozen cranberries and lemon wheels and serve.

Tip: For a picnic or harbor cruise, mix the punch directly in a small insulated cooler for instant and easy transportability.

Easy 4th of July Menu

Nantucket Lemonade

Marinated Flank Steak

Potato Salad

Mixed green salad with hearts of palm and fresh corn

Starry sugar cookies

All-American lemonade 

Kids Crafts

Foamy Pinwheels

Foamy star straws

 Add a festive touch to a simple starw. Garnish summer drinks with starry shapes, and have a star spangled sip!

 

Starry Straws

You’ll Need:

Red, white , and blue foamy sheets

Star cookie cutters in different sizes

Pencil

Sissors

Hole punch

Straws

 

 

Trace star shapes onto foam sheets using the three different sized cookie cutters. Cut out star shapes and  hole punch the centers. Stack stars and push top of straw through holes.

 

Pretty Pinwheels

 

You’ll Need:

Foamy Sheets in red and blue

Pony beads

Pipe cleaners

Clothes pins

Ruler

Pencil

Sissors

Measure and cut an 8-inch square from a foam sheet . Cut from the corners diagonally towards center, stopping just before center.
Push and end of the pipe-cleaner through the center of the foamy square, push out about 1-inch length. Bend every other corner of the foamy sheet toward the center and push the pipe-cleaner through so that you have 4 corners or points stacked. 
Thread a pony bead through the pipe-cleaner and twist pipe-cleaner to secure. Pull other end of pipe-cleaner to tighten, and wrap end around clothes pin to secure.
 

 


WISHing for Cocktails in Rye!

It seems the stylish girl is very busy these days! I had a fantastic day in Rye at WISH signing my new book, The Stylish Girl's Guide to Fabulous Cocktails. There was all kinds of chatter going on about cocktails and entertaining, two of my favorite subjects! It was Thursday and everyone was gearing up for the holiday weekend, I was deciding whether to make a batch of Strawberry Mojitos or Mango Margaritas.....the Mojitos won...and they were divine I tell you......and yes, I will absolutely share the recipe. Thank you to all who came from near and far! Cheers! Colleen


Bubbles, Baubles, and a Book Signing for Stylish Girl's Guide to Fabulous Cocktails!

 

 It was a perfect warm summer evening in Greenwich Wednesday for the launch of my book, The Stylish Girls Guide to Fabulous Cocktails. Generously hosted and by Dawn of Peridot Jewelry, and Serendipity magazine, Greenwich's new resource for the stylish family.

We cocktailed on the Ruby Slipper and the Love Hangover, 2 of my favorites from the book, and chatted about the summer, the SATC2 premiere and of course, spending more time with girlfriends, which is what the book, with lots of cocktail recipes and funny sidebars to boot, is really all about. Celebrating friendships and creating more intimate entertaining moments in a fast paced technology driven modern world.  

and you know we do love parties! So, get your friends together and mix up a batch of cocktails and enjoy the time together!

Cheers!


Sex and the City 2 Premiere Party!

                                                                      Get ready to Carrie on!

If the first movie is any indication of how fabulous this one will be, start planning your Sex and the City 2 Premiere Party now! While guys tailgate, this is our Super Bowl of fashion, flirting and fun! True fans of the fab foursome -- Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha -- have circled the May 27th premiere on their calendar for months and advanced tickets are already selling at a hot pace (get yours now!).
  
Hosting a great party is easier than you think. Gather your Stylish Girlfriends for a night in and then out on the town!  Start the festivities early with cocktails at someone's home to refresh everyone on where we left off with a pre-theater screening of the first movie(Carrie and Big eloped in case someone missed the first one ... gasp!).

 
Mix up a batch of Love Hangovers from my new book,The Stylish Girl's Guide to Fabulous Cocktails. These stunning champagne cocktails are the perfect pour - colorful, tasty, and stylish party starters. Take two and don't call him in the morning!
 
LOVE HANGOVER
Serves 4

  • 2 ounces passion-fruit nectar
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 bottle Brut champagne, chilled


Combine the juices in a cocktail shaker or small pitcher. Pour juices in champagne flutes to cover the bottom third of each glass. Top with champagne and serve.

Set a fashion-sexy mood with lots of candles and decorate your table with a batch of bright pink peonies picked up from your local market. Cut the stems short to let the blousy blooms show off. With blossoms this beautiful, any low vase is a fashion do.
 
The girls head to Morocco in this sequel, so set out a tableful of light bites, such as olives, dates, assorted cheeses and nuts arranged in small bowls. You can also add rice pilaf or couscous with saffron, chicken, beef or lamb kebobs. True foodies, now's the time to dig out your tangine. I'm happy to just cocktail!
 
Download the Sex and the City 2 movie soundtrack, sure to get everyone in a flirty mood.  I can't stop playing Alicia Key's Empire State of Mind and Cee-lo'sLanguage of Love. Then, dish about old loves, new ones, and the ones that got away. Most importantly, wear something stunning -- shoes to die for, and your favorite dress and accessories, natch.
 
With coveted movie tickets in hand, take the party on the road. Dressed to the nines, you and your girlfriends will revel in the spotlight. Carrie & Co. would be proud!

 

 


Preakness Party!

 THE PREAKNESS STAKES: Party for the People

 

On your mark, get set, let the party begin this weekend for the 135th running of the annual Preakness Stakes in Baltimore.

 

Called the “People’s Party” and “The People’s Race,” the Preakness is the middle jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown, falling between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and with a storied history to rival them both.

 

The Preakness has the honor of bestowing the most expensive trophy in all of sports. Called the Woodlawn Trophy, it was created by Tiffany and Co. in 1860 and valued over $1 million shortly thereafter. Buried during the Civil War to prevent it from being melted down for its silver, the Preakness’ trophy is now on permanent display at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Each May, it’s traditionally brought to the track for a symbolic presentation while the Preakness winner takes home a $30,000 replica to keep.

 

Along with the trophy, the winning horse and jockey are adorned with a stunning blanket of Black-Eyed Susans, the official flower of the Preakness and the State of Maryland. Similar to a daisy, the colorful yellow and black flower has 13 petals, like the original 13 colonies, of which Maryland was one. It takes an impressive 80 bunches of Black-Eyed Susans and three people two days to make the vibrant flower blanket which is bestowed upon the winning horse. Since the flowers aren’t in season in Maryland until June, florists often dab black paint onto the centers of Black-Eyed Susans to make them more recognizable, then mist the blanket with water and keep it safely refrigerated until after the singing of “Maryland, My Maryland” and the race begins. 

 

Immediately after the Preakness concludes, and the official winner is declared, a painter climbs to the top of the cupola and repaints the Old Clubhouse’s weather vane with the colors of the winning horse and jockey’s silks where it stays until next year’s winner is crowned.

 

The Preakness is a great reason to host friends and family on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. Decorate with a simple Black-Eyed Susan wreath on your  front door or garden gate to welcome guests. You can also casually display these sunny, cheery flowers in small vases around your home, or use the bright rainbow colors of the horses’ silks to set the perfect tone.

 

Traditional fare of a Preakness party is crab dip, Spicy Honey Toasted Pecan Shuckers (try Blue Crab Bay Co.’s), crab cakes or claws, oysters, and other Chesapeake Bay seafood favorites ordered in from your local seafood market. Or, mix it up with an infield buffet of comfort food such as potato salad, hamburgers and hot dogs for the landlubbers and little ones. Drinks should include the traditional Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail (made with rum or bourbon) or my twist on Bloody Mary’s – the Red Eyed Susan – and lots of cold beer. Grammy-Award winning Zac Brown Band is the featured guest on the Infield Stage this year, so load up your iPod with some fun favorites, don’t forget the racing forms for some friendly wagering and let the People’s Party begin!

 

 

 

EASY CRAB DIP

It’s a great dish to prepare ahead and pop in the oven when guests arrive.

 

Serves 8

 

6-1/2 oz. of canned or freshly chopped crab meat

8 oz. block of cream cheese softened

¾ cup of mayonnaise

½ tsp. horseradish

2 Tablespoons minced onion

1/4 tsp. salt

Dash of pepper and cayenne pepper

 

Cream mayonnaise and cream cheese together. Add remaining ingredients and bake in ovenproof serving dish for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  Can top with either silvered toasted almonds or fresh herbs such as chives or flat-leaf parsley and serve warm with crackers.

 

 

BLACK-EYED SUSAN COCKTAIL

This citrus filled libation is right up in the winner’s circle as it is light, refreshing, and a definite crowd pleaser!

Serves 4

 

4 oz. vodka

4 oz. light rum

2 oz. orange liqueur ( such as Grand Marnier)

8 oz. orange juice

4 oz. pineapple juice

Garnish with a slice of orange and cherries

 

 

Mix together all ingredients in pitcher. Pour into glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish with orange slices and cherries, and serve.

 

THE RED-EYED SUSAN

Perfect to get  the party started, the old bay seasoning on the rims and the over the top garnish give this cocktail an extra bite!

Serves 12

 

12 lemon wedges

12 lime wedges

12 pieces of fresh crab

8 cups tomato juice

3 cups vodka

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

½ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup prepared horseradish

2 tbsp. hot red pepper sauce

1 tsp. freshly grounded black pepper

2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

8 cups ice cubes

6 celery stalks, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

 

Thread 1 lemon wedge, 1 lime wedge and a piece of crab on each of 12 cocktail picks or small skewers. Set aside. (These colorful garnishes can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept in the refrigerator covered with a damp paper towel.)

 

In the punch bowl, whisk together the tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, lemon and lime juices, horseradish, hot pepper sauce, black pepper and the Old Bay seasoning. Add the ice cubes. Rub the top of each glass with a lime wedge and then rim with Old Bay Seasoning. Garnish each glass with a celery stalk and citrus-crab swizzle and serve immediately.

 

 

 

 


 

                                                                               Cinco de Mayo: Get your Fiesta On!

 

Ay Caramba! This Wednesday is one of my favorite party days the year – Cinco de Mayo. This annual fiesta celebrates Mexican history and culture that’s played such an important role in enriching our nation with their colors, flavors, music and art. It’s a love song to our neighbors to the south. And I personally circle the date on my calendar. After all, no matter your background, everyone has a little fiesta in them.

 

My best Cinco de Mayo parties are the easiest to plan. Start with a too-die-for pitcher of Margaritas (my favorite recipes follow) and a colorful buffet of great snacks – crispy tortilla chips, salsa, chiles, guacamole, queso – and add in some of your favorite Mexican entrees either homemade or picked up from your favorite local restaurant.  Hang some paper flowers or streamers in rainbow brights. Put on some Gipsy Kings and dance the night away.

 

 

I love a good margarita! I mean, any party is more festive with tequila. As a true cocktail aficionado, I’m known for my margs. Classic and mango are always staples in my party repertoire. This year, I’m all over the acai berry and its legendary healthy benefits. Mix that in and it’s like you’re drinking Botox in a glass – how great is that?!?

 

So call your amigos, pour a pitcher and let the party begin. Arriba!!

 

 

 

Margarita Madness

This classic margarita is filled with robust flavor, the addition of lemon juice completes its clean, crisp citrus tones. For a splash of sweet, try adding 2 oz. of pineapple juice.

 

Serves 4

 

8 oz. Tequila Blanco

2 oz. Grand Marnier

2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cups ice

Coarse salt for rims

2 limes cut into wedges for garnish

 

Combine first four ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice. Salt the rims of glasses by first rubbing with a lime wedge and then dipping in a saucer of coarse salt. Pour margaritas and garnish with lime wedges.

 

Mango Margarita Madness

Using the above recipe, substitute 4 oz. mango nectar for the lemon juice

 

AY! Acai Berry Madness Marg

Using the above recipe, substitute 4 oz. of 4 oz. acai berry juice for the lemon juice

 

 


It's Derby Day!

The Kentucky Derby, or "Run for the Roses," is a perfect excuse (not that we need one!) to have your friends over. Besides being the most exciting two minutes in sports, it's the start of the warm weather social season. Hosting the party outside in the afternoon sun makes it a great family friendly event.

I've put together a few tips and recipes to get you off to the races in no time!

 

Get started by going to the official site of the derby, www.kentuckyderby.com, there you can order glassware, get a listing of all the contenders and their colors for some friendly wagering, and other Southern lore to entertain your guests this weekend.

Since the Derby is all about the run for the roses, I usually make a centerpiece of red roses. This year, I added whimsical glittery horses, (they are cardboard cut outs I found in the craft store and painted and glitterized them, is that a word?). The winning horse gets a garland of over 400 red roses, so I go with the red, and because its off season for red roses, they were under 10 dollars a dozen, seriously, I kid you not.

 

 

Other festive accents I put around are play horses, trophies and ribbons to help decorate your space. Anything colorful and festive works here, and don't forget, with the party outdoors, you have nature's beautiful spring backdrop to help you.

Continue your Southern hospitality with an easy buffet. Ham, cheesy biscuits, fried chicken, and slaw are perfect. Finish off with a Derby pie and some Bourbon balls (my girlfriend Alissa makes the best). The key here is easy, family friendly fare that is self serve and frees you up as host so you can enjoy the party!

On to the all important cocktails: For the traditional mint julep and my twisted peach julep recipes that I shared with iVillage, click onto this link  and get mixing! http://www.ivillage.com/what-drink-kentucky-derby-day/3-a-154018

One of my favorite Derby cocktails of late is the Bourbon Slush.  I have my fabulous friend, Kelle, to thank;  she is a gracious, a true Southern lady, and by the way throws a Derby party to rival Louisville's best!

The slush has citrus overtones, with a refreshing bubbly finish, perfect  a warm afternoon. Get your batch in the freezer now!

Bourbon Slush

serves 8

1 4oz. can frozen lemonade

1  4oz. can frozen orange juice

4 tea bags (Lipton)

1 cup sugar

3 cups Bourbon (Maker's Mark)

16 oz. lemon-lime soda

 

In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups water with 4 tea bags. Once water comes to a  rolling boil, remove from heat. Let steep 15 minutes.

Add frozen lemonade,orange juice sugar, Bourbon, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil. Let cool. Pour into plastic containers and freeze overnight or up to 48 hours. 

To serve:

Remove from freezer, let melt slightly until slushy, scoop into glass, top with lemon-lime soda, garnish with cherries and serve with a straw. 

 

Derby Style is a must here.  Hats are the tradition, whether big or small flowery or feather-topped, they are all fabulous. I love to give a prize for best Derby diva hat, a little competition on and off the track is a good thing.

Play a little country music to keep the party atmosphere festive, try Rascal Flats or Carrie Underwood. Make a playlist and make it easy!

To place bets, I like to have a silver ice bucket passed around filled with strips of paper with the horses names, guests put in money, and take out a contender. The guest with the winning horse wins the pot!

To entertain your little jockeys, have a crafts table set up with straw hats and faux flowers for the little ladies and caps with markers and paint pens so they can mimic their favorites. Afterwards, when the adults are still going strong, put a classic horse movie on and let them all be entertained. Black Beauty, or my favorite, Racing Stripes.

Most Importantly -- Have Fun!

 

 

 


 

Spring Cocktails!

Spring is the perfect time to entertain, and these gimlets are ideal from brunch, to afternoon entertaining, to evening cocktails. They are easy to mix, colorful, and very tasty!

I made a few batches last weekend for friends that popped in, I set out an array of light cheeses ( soft goat with fresh dil), put some music on ( John Legend), popped some  fresh cut lilacs into a few vases (actually they were the kids watering cans- very garden fresh!), dusted off the croquet set and instant party!  I must say my game improved after a few gimlets!

Need more stylish party ideas? Check-out my Easy Entertaining article in Westchester Magazine's May Issue!

 http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Westchester-Magazine/May-2010/Easy-Entertaining/


Raspberry Gimlet

serves 4

 

12 oz. Lemon flavored vodka

2 oz. Raspberry Liqueur

1 cup fresh mint leaves, more for garnish

Juice of 2 limes

1 cup fresh raspberries

lime wheels for garnish

club soda to top

 

Wash and dry mint leaves. In a cocktail shaker pour vodka, add mint leaves and muddle together using a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon. Squeeze the lime juice into the shaker, add raspberry liqueur and shake. Pour into ice-filled glasses, garnish with lime wheel,fresh raspberries, and mint sprig. Top with soda and serve.


Spring Blooms for the Table

 Brightly colored spring flowers are the ultimate decorating accessory. and paired with simple votive candles make pretty accents for your spring table.

I love to bunch a group of them in the center of my round outdoor table, and scatter them down the center of my kitchen table for a vivid tablescape.

I have also fashioned about sixty bright yellow ones for a wedding cocktail reception, they were gorgeousness! ( not to mention easy to make and very affordable)

These vibrant melon colored faux dahlias are perfect to welcome the new season. Dahlias are a showy flower, and available in a wide range of colors, so choose any shade that compliments your spring decor or party theme. These are made with faux dahlia blooms found at the local craft store, but other blossoms like large garden roses, peonies, and small cabbages would make fantastic flowery votives.

 

 

 

How-To

 

You'll Need:

Faux Dahlia blossom

glue

glass votive and candle

Wire snips

 

How-To:

Cut the entire stem from the blossom snipping right under the bottom of the flower, so that it sits flat.

Remove the center of the blossom, glue layers of petals together in center,

Glue bottom of glass votive to center of blossom, add candle. Done! a vivid floral accent for your spring table!

How easy is that?


Happy Spring!

The sun is shining, time to get outside and enjoy the longer days. Get digging in the garden, plant some color to make your house, and you, happy.

Put away the snow boots, and order those must have spring shoes, make your feet and you, happy!
Arrange a bunch of delightful daffodils, let them glow their bright yellow color of spring, color of, happy.
Invite friends over for afternoon cocktails, toast a new season with old friends, that always makes me, happy.
 

 


St Patrick's Day Fun

 Here's a few ways to add a bit of green to your St. Patrick's Day!

 

These 'Pots of Gold' are easy to make, and fun for the kids. Every year I make a bunch and hide them around the house for the kids to find on St. Patrick's Day morning.

They're also a perfect craft for a festive playdate, quick and easy, they are ideal for wee ones to your bigger lads and lassies!

 

 

To Make:

cardboard pots

gold spray paint

green easter grass

green and white pipe cleaners

craft glue

gold foil wrapped chocolate coins

 

 

1. Spray pots gold, let dry.

2. Twist green and white chenille stems together. Cut an 8-inch length. Form a handle over pot and glue ends on either side to secure. Let dry.

3. Fill with green grass and add coins. 

 

Fun Floral and Flirty!

 

Get some green going! This adorable arrangement is a happy addition to your table, counter, or sideboard. Decorative stripes of sand add just the right irish touch.

 

To Make:

6-inch square glass vessel

plastic cup

glue

decorative art sand in white and green

bunch of white carnations and white mums

sissors

garden snips

 

 

1. Secure plastic cup on the bottom of the center of glass vessel. 

2. Pour green sand around glass filling up evenly about 2-inches high. Layer white sand on top of green, about 2-inches high. Finish with green.

3. Fill the cup 2/3 full with water. Cut the flowers and place them in the cup. Be sure to work the blooms to the outside of the vessel to cover the top of the sand. 


St Patrick's Day

 May the luck of the Irish be all around you!

Invite some friends over and toast to finding your pot of gold under the rainbow! 
 
Lucky Lady St. Patrick's Day Cocktail
 
Toast your friends with a Lucky Lady this St. Patrick's Day and all eyes will be smiling! My secret to making
this delicious green cocktail comes from mixing key lime juice( I just love its power-packed fresh flavor)
with a dash of juice from green maraschino cherries. Everyone loves a batch of festive cocktails
and who doesn't need a little luck of the Irish to welcome in Spring! 
 
Lucky Lady
Key Lime Martini
serves 4
 
8 oz. vodka
juice of 2 freshly squeezed key limes
2 tablespoons juice form jar of green maraschino cherries 
1 cup ice
 
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker that's filled 1/2 way with ice. Shake well and strain into glasses.
Garnish each with a candied lime fruit. For a non-alcoholic version for the wee ones, substitute lemon-lime soda
or lime flavored seltzer for the vodka.
 


Oscars!

 Lights Camera, Oscar!

Invite your inner circle over and raise the curtain for a night of fun and partying Hollywood style.

Host your own glam-filled Hollywood inspired Oscar bash at home, with tasty cocktails an easy to assemble meal, fun and games, and you’re sure be on the ballot for best host!

 

 

Set the Scene

 

Invitations sent via-e-mail with the trailers of the best picture nominations will get your guests excited about coming. Include the time, (countdown to Oscar starts at..) Dress, (red carpet style), and a ballot that can be printed and filled out beforehand.( note: link to ballot on iVillage)

 

Go Glam

 

To get in the true Hollywood spirit, pick up a bunch of gold statues, found at your party stores, that can be given out to the winners, (those who won best dressed, best couple etc). Set your table in sophisticated Old-Hollywood style with a black cloth, white lilies cut short and set in small vases or cups, and gems and jewels scattered down the table to add a bit of bling. Here’s my fashionable tablescape, use this to inspire your scene.

 

Download the movie soundtracks from the nominated movies and put together a play-list that goes from cocktails to coffee.

 

During the commercials have trivia questions ready for the crowd and give fun prizes for each game such as, gift certificates to the local movie theater, a bottle of champagne, or a disc with the evening’s play-list are all great choices and will add an air of competition and fun!

 

 

Signature Cocktail

 

Serve a signature cocktail and infuse your own best picture personality into your Oscar Bash! Besides, being easy to assemble and mix-up, it will free you up to enjoy your party without playing the supporting role of bartender. Here’s a few easy examples from my book, It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere:

 

 

Nominated for best film, this tasty cocktail will be sure to get your party in flight, and have you and your guests Up in the Air and not coming down for a landing anytime soon.

 

Red Sky

Serves 4

 

8 oz. vodka

4 oz. Chambord

4 oz. pomegranate juice

2 oz. lime juice

Splash of club soda

Twist of lime for garnish

 

Mix all ingredients in a shaker filled with 1 cup of ice. Strain into glasses. Top with a splash of soda, garnish with a lime twist and serve.

 

 

 

Showcasing a bit of the surreal world, Avatar is one of the academy’s favorites. This cocktail is perfectly suited for the movie, in taste and in color!

 

Stardust

Serves 4

 

8 oz. Absolut Citron vodka

8 oz. peach schnapps

4 oz. blue curacao

2 oz. sour mix

2oz. pineapple juice

Starfruit or kiwi for garnish

 

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher filled with ice. Mix until well-chilled and frothy.

Strain into cocktail glasses, garnish with kiwi stars and serve.

 

 

 

 

Mix UP! a batch of these tasty cocktails which hail from the land of waterfalls and tango dancing, and you’ll feel like you’re floating on air.

 

Slinsgshot

Serves 4

 

8 oz. dark rum

6 oz. apricot brandy

8 oz. orange juice

4 oz. pineapple juice

Dash of grenadine

Cherries and pineapple wedge for garnish

 

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and mix well. Pour into glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish with cherries and pineapple and serve.

 

 

The Oscars would not be complete without a champagne cocktail. This one is colorful with a light sweetness, a most perfect celebration cocktail. I’ll be serving these up!

 

 

La Vie En Rose

Serves 4

 

1 cup sliced strawberries

2 teaspoons sugar

1 oz. fresh lime juice

4 oz. Absolut Kurant vodka

1 bottle ( 750ml) dry champagne

 

Muddle together the strawberries, sugar, and lime juice in a shaker, you can use a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon to mash fruit. Add the vodka and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into champagne flutes, covering the bottom third of each glass. Top with champagne, garnish with a sliced strawberry and serve.

 

 

All recipes are from Colleen Mullaney’s book, It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere. For more recipes, tips, and ideas on how to live your life more stylish, visit

colleenmullaney.com

Photos: Jack Deutsch Photography, Jack Deutsch.com


Valentines Day

  It's a LOVELY time of year!

 
It's almost Valentine's Day, and love is in the air!
 
It's takes little effort and time to throw together the basics of love, pick up some
Flowers, there is no need to order roses from a florist, go for a bunch of tulips in a bright pink or red, cut the stems short and arrange them in a short glass vase or container. Easy on the budget, beautiful to look at, and not to mention a little touch of spring. Candles, scatter them down the table, along the mantel, or wherever you want a little glow, use what you have, votives, pillars, tapers, all work well in a mix and match scene, the different heights add interest and more levels of glow, and I say, get your glow on!
Let's not forget the cocktails! 
Take time to celebrate this festive holiday with a few of your closest sweethearts......
whip up a batch of this bubbly punch with that bottle of champs leftover from the holidays, I know you have one,  and get a little Love Drunk!
 
 Love Train Punch
(taken from my book, Punch
Serves 4
1 cup creme de cassis
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1 Bottle Brut champagne, chilled
Fresh blackberries for garnish
 
In a punch bowl pour creme de cassis and Grand Marnier, slowly pour in champagne, add decorative ice forms if desired, and serve. 
 
Feeling a little fancy?
 
Fill heart shaped cake forms 1/2 way with water, place in freezer for 1 hour, remove from freezer, add a few blackberries to each form, fill with water and place back in the freezer for up to 2 hours or overnight. To pop out, run under warm water for a few seconds.
 
As for dinner, order in! 
 
Enjoy! 


LoCal Cocktails

 Happy New Year!

 
It's that time of year when we're all trying to shed a few holiday pounds, but still trying to enjoy life.
 
On that note, I am here to tell you that yes you can enjoy your cocktails! Let me share my colorful local cocktails that will have you having a healthier happy hour!
 
A few things to remember before you go about mixing it up:
 
 Mind the juices, they tend to have a high sugar content, so use a splash or two.
 Mixers also are high in sugar, as are nectars, which I love, so again just use a splash, a little flavor goes along way!
 and fresh, fresh,fresh, always try to find and use fresh ingredients, limes, lemons, oranges, basil, mint etc, all lend great flavor to cocktails with little calories. 
 
Also, when you're out at a bar or fine drinking establishment, order smart, a gin with a splash of flavored seltzer, or juice, a vodka and diet red bull( sure to keep you dancing the night away), or cut the sugar in your wine by ordering a spritzer, all good choices, and your jeans will thank you for it. 
 
 
 
I start with vodka, a great spirit to mix with, as it generally has 65 calories per every 1 ounce. I just love these grapefruit basil martinis, so colorful, fruity, and fresh, whats not to like?
 
Grapefruit Martini
 
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice 
4 basil leaves
1/2 oz. lemon juice 
 
In a glass muddle the basil and grapefruit juice. Transfer to cocktail shaker, add vodka, lemon juice, and 1 cup ice. Mix it up!
Strain into martini glass, garnish with basil leaf, and serve.
 
 
The next cocktail, a raspberry gimlet, is full of sweet raspberries and citrus tang. Substitute the raspberries for blueberries or blackberries, or strawberries.
 
Raspberry Gimlet 
2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. faux simple syrup
6 raspberries 
6 mint leaves
seltzer to top
In a glass muddle raspberries and 4 mint leaves. Add gin and simple syrup. Add ice and top with seltzer, garnish with mint, and serve.
 
Faux Simple Syrup
Combine 2 packets Splenda sugar substitute with 1 oz. water, mix well.
 
And alas, we can't forget the trendy Mojito, who says we can't be stylish sippers?
 
Mojito
 
2oz. light rum
1 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. seltzer to top
4 lime slices, 2 more for garnish
4 mint leaves, 2 more for garnish
 
 
 
In a glass, muddle together 4 lime slices, 4 mint leaves, and 1 oz. faux simple syrup. Add ice, rum, and seltzer. Enjoy! 


Red Rose Centerpiece

 Red Rose Centerpiece

 
Modern, festive, and oh so stylish, this globe of lush red roses makes a chic accent for the holidays. Low on effort and high on impact. Make one for the centerpiece, or several to flank the mantel corners or sofa tables, or group a bunch in different sizes to a tablescape tres chic!
 
Scatter votive candles down the table or mantel for instant glow. To be budget friendly, red or white carnations make a divine alternative.
 
 
 
 
 
You'll Need:
 
1 block of oasis foam
4 dozen red roses
knife
sissors or floral snips
candle pedestal for base
 
 
To Make:
 
Soak floral foam until completely wet. It will turn a darker shade of green and be heavier.
Cut the block in half , and then with the knife, cut the foam into a ball shape.
Using the snips or sissors, cut the roses to about 3-inches in length. Start with a rose at the top 
point, and begin working out from there. Be sure the blooms are touching each other to create a lush full look.
 
When ball is covered with roses, place it on a candle pedestal or other footed display piece.


Red Sky Cocktails

 Red Sky Cocktail

Fruity fresh and brightly colored, this is a holiday must mix! Taken out of my latest cocktail book, It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere, it is a tangy combination of Chambord , vodka, and pomegranate juice. It is sure to kick the holiday season off in high style and turn any holiday blues to red!

 Please the crowds and serve this chic cocktial by the pitcherful, or in a decorative drinks dispenser--always a great way to free you up to enjoy the soiree!

 

 

 

To Make:

Recipe from It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

 

Red Sky

serves 4

8 oz. chilled vodka

4 oz. Chambord 

4 oz. pomegranate juice

2 oz. fresh lime juice

twists of lime for garnish

 

Pour ingredients into a pitcher filled halfway with ice. Mix and let chill for a few minutes. Strain into glasses. Garnish with lime twist and serve. Cheers!


Countdown to Christmas

 The Most Wonderful time of the Year!

 
We're busy decking the halls with greens and berries, trimming the trees with glistening ornaments and lights, and baking sweet treats with the little ones.
 
Speaking of little ones, I remember making gumdrop trees when I was little, now I make them with my kids, but use green jellybeans and red Skittles for ornaments.
 
These are perfect for a holiday playdate, easy to assemble, and are tons of fun to create! Make a bunch, put them on a platter and you've created a holiday centerpiece!
 
 
 
For one tree you'll need:
 
1 styrofoam base
1 tub vanilla frosting
2 cups green jellybeans
1/2 red Skittles
swirly lollipop
3 cups coconut flakes for decorative snow


Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year. So much to be thankful for...our friends, family, children all make our lives beautiful.
Let's thank them all with these easy, colorful, and tasty projects and recipes which will leave them thankful for you!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Tom Tom Turkey
I remember growing up making these pinecone turkeys with my brothers, and now I can't resist making them with my children! Make a bunch and use them for placecards at the table, or line them on a mantel or windowsill for a grouping of gobblers!
You'll Need:
Large pinecone
feathers in bright colors
red and brown chenille stems
google eyes
medium pom-pom
orange fun foam
sissors
glue

Step 1:
Glue the feathers into the back of the pinecone to create plume.
Step 2: Glue eyes on the pom-pom. Cut pipe cleaners and twist to make feet and gizzard. Glue on all turkey parts.
Cornacopia Centerpiece
Colorful, and easy to make, and filled with lush autumnal ingredients, all of which were found at the local market or in the backyard, yes really!
Everyone at the table will be thankful you are so very florally fabulous!
I found the cabbages at the local market, but if they are not available, try the local garden center and buy potted ones, cut the stems and remove the lower leaves.
Skewer the bottom end of the pears so the pretty top side shows.
For a tablescape, toss chestnuts down the table and sprinkle in some pears for an organic look that would make any pilgrim proud!
You'll Need:
cabbage heads
peach roses
alstromeria
seckle pears
chestnuts
cedar clippings
sage
block of oasis
container
wooden skewers
Appletastic!
My new favorite fall cocktail! It tastes like a carmel apple, with its vanilla and citrus tones, mixing deliciously with tangy sweet apple flavors in fresh apple cider.
Make a batch for your friends and family, and they will be very thankful for you!
Serves 4
6 oz. Absolut Vanilla
4 oz. Tuaca
8 oz. fresh apple cider
lemon flavored seltzer to top
apple slices for garnish
apple twists for garnish
To Make:
In a pitcher filled halfway with ice, pour ingredients. Let the flavors marry and chill a few minutes. Strain into glasses, these are wine goblets, but I think they are perfect!
Garnish with apple wedge and twist, and serve.

Autumn Cheese Platter


Fall's cool days filled with brilliant color and crisp afternoons are perfect for having friends over for wine and cheese. This easy to assemble platter is bursting with color, texture and taste. Paired with my favorite Sangria, you have the makings for a fabulous autumn afternoon!
The key for creating a tasty cheese platter is variety, in taste, texture , and color.
For this platter I chose a creamy St. Andre, a nice big wedge adds height and shape. Next, a Huntsman for the unique combo of a tangy blue cheese and a sharp cheddar, it also is a great color addition. Goat cheese are among my all-time favorites, I add goat cheese to salads, toasts, and stuff chicken breasts, all delicious! Here, I added a nice round wheel to compliment the other cheeses.
For height and to mix it up, add a glass and fill it with nuts or dried fruit. I season and toast these pecans and keep them in my pantry in an air tight container. I love them in salads and just to snack on, yes, I do like accessories!
Next, place grapes around the glass, and then add crackers, again, variety in texture, taste, and color. I used a mix of hearty wheat, light water crackers, and mini cheese biscuits. To top it off I sprinkle on dried apricots and add a few lady apples for color and a little wow!
Add the wine and it looks like a party to me!
Tip:
Look for a local cheese shop and don't be afraid to ask for help, just remember to get a variety, best of all, they give samples!
Wine Pairings:
Go for a full bodied, fruity chardonnay, many of my favorites are from California.
Choose a lighter red, one that won't take over the flavors of the cheese, Chile has great offerings that are bursting with flavor and light on the wallet.
Tasty Pecans
You'll Need:
2 cups pecans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
In a shallow bowl soak pecans in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain well. Place on a baking sheet and toast for 45 minutes at 300 degrees.
Remove from the oven, whisk together with remaining ingredients and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Let cool. Pecans keep in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.
Sassy Sangria
Colorful, lively and full-flavored Sangria is a perfect compliment for the cheese platter.
You'll Need:
Two bottles dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir
2 cups orange juice
1 cup Cointreau
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 each oranges,limes, and lemons sliced thin
2 cups chilled sparkling water
Combine wine, orange juice, Cointreau, lime juice and fruit slices in the pitcher and mix well. Chill for up to an hour. Just before serving, slowly pour in the sparkling water. Add the ice cubes and serve.

Boo Lights


Happy Halloween!
It's time to get ready for the ghosts and goblins! Here are a few easy ideas for tricks and treats
Boo Lights!
Light-up the night of fright with these easy to make boo-lights. Made from empty milk jugs with stick-on felt faces.
Perfect for adding a ghostly touch to the season.
You'll Need:
Empty milk jug that has been washed and dried.
black acrylic paint
self adhesive black felt
sissors
strand of twinkle lights.
How-to:
1. Cut out the back of the jug.
2. Paint the top of the jug black. Let dry.
3. Draw a face on the back of the felt, cut-out and adhere to jug. Fill with lights and enjoy!

Spider Wreath


Set a stylish scene with these creepy crawlers! Easy to make and looks spectacularly spooky on a front door, archway , or mantel.
You'll Need:
14-inch foam ring base
3 3-foot long feather boas
8 black pom-poms
1 package black chenille stems
1 package 30mm google eyes
pearl head floral pins
tacky glue
decorative ribbon for hanging
How-to:
1. Pin the end of one boa to the ring with the floral pins. Continue until ring is covered.
2. Cut the chenille stems in half and in groups of four twist centers. glue group on the back of a pom-poms. Glue eyes to center of pom-poms.
3. Glue spiders onto wreath in a pleasing pattern. Pin a length of ribbon to the back of the wreath to hang.

Boo! Tricks and Treats for Halloween


Creepy Cocktails!!

Spookatini
Festive, colorful cocktails with a light citrus tones, are sure to be a favorite among the older trick-or-treaters.
Make a back-up batch and be re-fill ready!
Sppokatini
serves 8
1 cup mandarin orange vodka
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 cup grenedine
seltzer to top
In a pitcher filled half-way with ice, pour all ingredients except seltzer. Let chill.
To sugar rims: rub rims of glasses with lemon juice, flip over and lightly rub rims into shallow bowl or plate filled with decorative black sugar.
Strain into glasses, top with a splash of seltzer, and serve.

Autumn in Bloom


Autumn in Bloom
To market to market, the local market that is!
These vibrant arrangements that show off the seasons best mix of texture and color, are fashioned with flowers found in the grocery store.
A cheerful mix of mums, sunflowers, roses, hydrangea, and dahlias all set the festive tone. Easy to make, and budget friendly as one bunch of each variety makes several arrangements.
I like to cut stems on the short side, as the blooms look cozy together and a low arrangement can be used pretty much anywhere, from a formal table to a bar.
These were made for a suprise birthday party, and accented with the cylinders filled with mini-pumpkins and pears, presented an elegant autumnal look.
For a stylish tablescape that brings it all together, scatter small gourds and votive candles down the table around the flowers. Gorgeous!

Witches Brooms


For a Holiday filled with more treats than tricks, these easy to make Halloween party pleasers.
Make a batch and keep your little trick-or-treaters ready for tons of spooky fun!
!
You'll Need:
Fruit roll-ups
Pretzel rods
To Make:
Unroll the fruit roll-up and cut into 6-inch lengths. Make cuts from the top down to create fringe.
Wrap the top of the strip around the end of a pretzel rod. Press roll-up into rod until it sticks.

Happy Fall / Summer Treasure

Pirates Treasure!Happy first day of fall!
Having said that I wanted to share a few summer fun memories.

Pirate's Treasure!

My little one's birthday is in August, usually when we are at the beach, so this year he decided he wanted a pirate party, so I orchestrated a treasure hunt on the beach, complete with maps, X marks the spot, and yes a treasure chest filled with treats!

This is a perfect activity for kids of varying ages, the big ones can help the little ones to decipher the clues, while the little ones dig with abandon!

I brought the treasure with me, and found a box suitable at the beach house. The kids had a ball and enjoyed the costumes as much as the treasure. This party is perfect for any time of year, you can use your local park, or back yard, or local beach to stage the hunt. Ahoy!

Pirate's Treasure!


Stylish Entertaining


Fashion, Friends, and Cocktails!
All to benefit Maria Fiori's Children's Hospital in Westchester, New York.
After the gals from ETC clothing line gave their fall fashion basics, I shared my basics for entertaining with style. After all, you must look fabulous while mixing up a batch of Stardust's ( from Capetown, South Africa, from my book It's 5 o'clock Somewhere). You'll look on top of the trends wearing your touch of teal blue, stirring a batch of cocktails, sashaying about to the tunes from your playlist, admiring your flowers from the corner market you artfully arranged, nibbling on a cashew you set on in
pretty bowls, you know everything looks better dressed up in silver, and you'll think to yourself, I do entertain with style!!

Girls Gathering


One of my friends was back in town for a visit, she and her family had moved back to Australia last October, and my cocktail hours have been missing an element ever since.
So, I decided to celebrate her, and summer, and friends, that I would host a dinner party. A perfect reason!
I went to work, sending out invitations, setting a menu, and then setting the scene.
Vibrant tropical hues lined the table and were illuminated by the many candles sprinkled down the table.
We started with cocktails on the patio, since she is a fan of champagne, I made a mixer with fresh peaches and cherry liqueur, very delicious, and very popular with the ladies!
Dinner inside was spinach salad with spiced pecans, baked swordfish with crusted tops, rice salad, grilled vegetables, and mashed potatoes.
Dessert couldn't have been more spectacular, a chocolate raspberry cake, and chocolate covered strawberries, both made and brought by a few fine ladies.
All in all, a fine summer evening of friends, laughter, and bubbles!

Book Signing Party

Cathy O'Brien Yaffa, Colleen Mullaney, Denise MacDonald (proprietor extraordinaire)What a great day today at WISH a most stylish home store in Rye, New York. The crowd was a happy one, cocktailing and retailing, a beautiful combination.

We served the Stardust, from Capetown out of It's 5o'clock Somewhere, and a refreshing Fruit Smoothie punch, from Punch.

We mingled and chatted about summer entertaining tips, why its so fabulous to have a signature cocktail at your party, in case you're wondering it adds instant personality, and gives everyone something fun to drink!, and why you should serve big batches of luscious libations, like a punch, and ok I'll tell you, it creates a self-serve bar and enables you to relax and enjoy your guests. But most of all we had fun!

See you at our next event. Life is short, must make time for sipping and shopping!

A special thank you to Denise for hosting the soiree, and if you are in Rye, you simply must stop by!

WISH
3 Purdy Lane
Rye, New York 10583


Party Lights

Rosy Glow

Set in a colorful rose blossom, these votives make perfect garden-party lights. Line a walkway, or set a bunch down the table and scatter extra petals for a chic tablescape that's all abloom.

You'll Need:
1 large pink rose
Glass votive
Votive candle
Clear tacky adhesive

How to:
1. Cut rose blossom from stem so that the bloom sits flat.
2. Cut out the center of the bud and a few surrounding petals.
3. Glue glass to center of blossom, let dry.
4. Add candle


I Don't Know How She Does It

I was the celebrated author at a book signing party last night, graciously hosted by the owners of a restaurant in town, it’s a great working relationship, she runs it, and he is the renowned chef. I was honored to be part of their “book and cook” series, featuring my latest book, It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere, Your global guide to fabulous cocktails.

It was a beautiful spring evening, and the windowed room was glowing in soft green light. Cocktails from the book were served, Raspberry Dawa’s from Kenya, they were a bright pink in color, just perfect for the evening spring soiree, putting everyone in a festive mood.

As I made my way around the room, mingling and chatting, I was frequently asked, how do I do it--, write books and columns, and have to time for a career as a lifestyle expert, while juggling the demands of three young children and a husband and all that comes with it.

A group of women, other school moms who I see at drop-off and pick-up and school events, didn’t know I wrote books, or had a career, they were blown-away, at the secret life I had, as they called it, to be honest, I use my married name for family/school/life events and my maiden name for my career, but other than that I’m really not out to allude anyone…

They were perplexed and asked how do you do it? Waiting for an answer.

Baffled, I replied, I just do. Clearly not an answer they were looking for.

But, it got me thinking how lucky I am because I have found my passion in life, what makes me tick, makes me complete, besides my family of course. And I fit it in, because I have to. When? Whenever I can. In the mornings after drop-off, and after lunch when my preschooler is playing with trucks on the floor of my little office in the front of the house.

And I fit in after pick-up for the elementary school kids, and at night, when I am so very tired, I try to find some sort of energy to add something to what I’m finishing or working on, another thought, centerpiece, craft, recipe, something, anything to keep the wheels moving forward.

There are of course, days of shooting, projects to be made, supplies everywhere, and my house just works around my chaos, perhaps my children have realized by now this is a normal chain of events here, or they think they create enough chaos on their end, that I’m entitled to a little too.

I decided to make a change from full-time to dream pursuer when my middle one was born, I thought that its time now, to find out if you can go, make it on your own, I could go back to full-time, working for someone else, or I can challenge myself. Easy, no, but nothing in life ever is, and on top of the stack of rejection letters in my bottom right desk drawer, there are a few contracts and a few framed book and magazine covers on the walls of my office, making it all worth it. I don’t frame them for me so much as my children, so that everytime they come in, they see what I do, the result, it’s a very visual example of achievement that they had a role in, they are a part of. Looking around my tiny office, its good for me, no actually, it’s pretty fantastic.

So, I’m still not sure how I do it, but I do.


Springtime Soiree

Spring is here, time to clean the patio furniture and have friends over for cocktails!

So, get sweeping, and then get mixing. A pitcherfull of colorful libation is always a crowd pleaser, whenever its served. One of my favorites for this time of year is the Lake Como, from my latest book, It's 5 O'clock Somewhere. These cocktails are ideal for an impromtu gathering, BBQ, or wine and cheese. The tangy juices blend perfectly with the vodka, and the citrus adds just the right finishing touch.

And while you're mixing, put on the tunes, try Rascal Flats new CD, Unstoppable, or if dancing is required, and it often is, download V Factory's, Lovestruck, (just invite the neighbors).

These cocktails are like the perfect pair of shoes, they go with everything!

Lake Como
Serves 4
8 oz. vodka
4 oz. red currant juice
4 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. lime juice
2 tsp. brown sugar
Fresh lime wedges for garnish
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with lime wedge and serve.


Valentine's Heart Tree

Valentine’s Heart TreeA perfect project for all of your little valentine’s. What child isn’t excited about working with foamies? Soft, safe, and colorful foamy hearts look like works of art swirling from winter’s branches. Set in a glass cylinder in a bed of crystal beads, it is a welcome cheery accent, and a wonderful way to display your child’s work.

You’ll Need:

Foamy sheets in purple, pink, red, and white
2 sizes plastic heart cookie cutters
Pencil
Scissors
Assortment of pre-cut foamy hearts
Hole punch
Ribbon for hanging
Cut branches
Glass beads
Glass cylinder

Cut branches and arrange in the glass cylinder filled with glass beads.

For hearts:
1. Trace cookie cuter template on foamy sheets. Cut out heart shapes and decorate.
2. Punch a hole in the top center of the heart. String ribbon through and tie to a branch.


Hosting a Holiday Cocktail Party with Style and Panache

While the economy has everyone watching budgets these days, you can still host a fabulous cocktail party by taking the smart and sassy approach. Here are a few tips you’ll need to kick off the holiday season in high style without breaking the budget.

First:

  1. Be organized and prepared
  2. Be realistic with your budget and time
  3. Use what you have
  4. Buy in bulk from warehouses and clubs

Start with guest list

  1. Mix it up for interest and added layers with different players

Bar Basics:

Set up stations
This frees you up as a host to enjoy the party, so you can mix and mingle and do other things....I suggest three, a signature cocktail, wine and champagne, and a punch.

  1. Offer a signature cocktail---its fun, people really love them and they add personality to the party.
    a. Move beyond the beer and wine
    b. Makes it festive, have fun with it, chose something colorful with a whimsical garnish.
    c. The basis of the signature cocktail can be a yummy mixer with seltzer for an alcohol free cocktail.

A colorful self-serve punch has great advantages:

  1. Attention getter
  2. Becomes the water cooler of the party
  3. Frees up the host
  4. Economies of scale- made in large batches saves time and money
Champagne
It’s the holidays, so enjoy the bubbles on a budget!
Prepare a mixer that is festive and colorful, my favorite of the moment is the Ladies Blush from my book, It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere, a delicious blend of vodka, lemoncello, and fresh raspberry puree. Set it out next to the chilling bubbles and you’re all set. Snacks
  1. Anything looks good in a silver bowl—take it out and polish it up. So important to have bites…small bowl of nuts, little chips or pretzels spread around. One of my favorites is flavored popcorn, so easy, and so tasty.
  2. Assortments of cheeses and crackers.
  3. Something hot and homemade, I love to keep pizza doughs and puffed pastry dough on hand. Pinwheels are terrific for a crowd.
  4. I make a quick and very easy, Drunken Brie so easy and quick…saute ½ cup orange juice and ½ cup grand marnier with cranberries until soft. Take a sheet of puffed pastry, a wheel of brie n the center, pour cranberry mixture on top, wrap pastry in a twist on top, and place in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with bread or crackers.
  5. Don’t forget the classics---deviled eggs, pigs in blankets…these are always crowd pleasers.
  6. Cookies and candy… afterall, it is the holidays!

Ambience

  1. Flowers
    Place bunches of red carnations- found in most grocery stores- in small vases around, they look festive and add panache to the party zone.
  2. Lighting
    Turn it down, and light it up…candles are the play, especially in the colder months, they make spaces look warmer and cozier.

Presentation

  1. Putting it all together, use what you have for instant holiday style.
    Ornaments in glass hurricanes and bowls look festive and chic anywhere, from mantels, to bookshelves, to the kitchen table for a centerpiece that sparkles.
  2. Music
    Start with the holiday classics, then move to non-traditional fun music to really get the party started!

It’s easy to put together a party to remember…

Cheers!


Autumn Delight

Surround yourself with a burst of seasonal color. Golden sunflowers with rich brown centers and bunches of red berries are set against a blanket of green moss; twigs and terra cotta add texture, making this a vibrant autumnal presentation.

This topiary is a perfect seasonal accent for your home. Great for out door entertaining, or indoors on a holiday table. Easy to whip up; make a pair to anchor a long hall table, bookcases, or dining buffet. The best thing about this colorful topiary is that it can go from year to year looking fresh and fantastic.


You’ll Need

2 ½ inch foam ball
1 bunch faux sunflowers
1 stem faux leaves
2 bunches red pepper berries
1 block foam for arranging faux flowers
Wire cutters
Knife
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Several lengths of grapevine twigs
8-inch terra cotta pot


1. Cut foam to fill terra cotta pot. Glue in place, let dry. Cut the sunflower blossoms from the stem, and use this stem to create the trunk. Push trunk into the foam center until secure.
2. Glue sunflowers onto foam ball. Cover completely. Take leaves and at several points around the ball fold up and glue in place, so that they look tucked in between the sunflower blossoms.
3. Push flower covered ball onto trunk until secure. Glue moss onto foam around trunk. Glue on a few leaves, sunflower blossom, and berry clusters. Push twigs into foam and twist around trunk for a wispy effect.


Kitchen Dish

I thought of course my first dish would be just that, very dishy…..and there will be plenty of that. But as luck would have it, something happened that made me rethink my first entry here. Something I wanted to share.

Last week, I was running out the door to pick my daughter up from her friend’s house, she had gone over for a short while after school, and, just as I was walking out the door the phone rang…”do you have a daughter Grace?” Yes I said with caution. Was she playing on Elm Ave? Yes, I said, now my heart is racing so fast I am beginning to not think…she fell off her bike, her two front teeth were knocked out, and I have her here you need to come now…

You need to come now she said, this voice on the other end of the phone.

I jumped in the car, and drove to the house, not very far, and in a minute I was there, she was crying and covered in blood, and I had not a clue what to do, I gave her a hug and told her I had to call people to help, and as the world was spinning around me, a voice, the same voice from the phone, asked gently, is your doctor so and so? And I said yes, and then I heard the number, slowly from her mouth, she was telling me the number to dial, and when she saw my hand shaking too much to dial, she took the phone and dialed for me.

And I don’t know her, never met her, but she was there for me, and I was nothing to her. But, she was there for me.

And so I write this because we live our own lives and in our own worlds and perhaps we don’t let other people in enough, have them over for a bbq, or glass of wine or beer, but in reality, we should, because our neighbors are our community, the houses that surround us are filled with extra-ordinary people, the kind that will take in your paper when you’re away, the kind to pull in your garbage cans from the street, and the kind that will dial the number when you just can’t.


Infusion Confusion

Lately I have been on a kick, an infusion kick, I have these fabulous glass containers with spickets on them, and I have been filling them up with vodka and fruit, any kind of fruit really. I am partial to berries, raspberries especially, their colors seems to explode and they give off a sweet taste that is just delightful. It’s like jello colored botox in a glass. Making infusions in large batches have many benefits, you throw everything in there and the flavors do the work for you, and they are perfect for entertaining especially in the warmer months, I just bring my latest infusion out to the patio, grab some glasses and presto-instant party!

Infusions are also great with a topper of champagne, because it’s really like adding another fruit, and we’re all after a healthier lifestyle here, so get going. I recommend a good quality vodka, I usually use a non-flavored one and them rely on what I add for the flavors, but go for it, the more flavors the better. Here are a few of my favorite combos:

Vodka with
Pineapple slices and mint
Strawberries and mint
Orange slices and basil
Lemon slices and mint or basil or sage
Lime slices with mint
Raspberries and blackberries


Pour the vodka into the glass container, and add the fruit, cover and chill.
How easy is that?

Shell Seekers

What is our fascination with shells? Perhaps it is their one-of-a-kind beauty. Each is unique-a tiny treasure sculpted and colored by nature, each one perfect in its own way. Shells have a soothing beauty. Looking at them calls up memories of lazy weekends by the sea, the warmth of the sun and the salty scent of an ocean breeze. Shells lend themselves to endless crafting possibilities. They can be scattered across tabletops, arranged in glass bowls, pressed into candle wax, or glued into intricate sculptures. No matter how we use them, shells are the perfect reminder of summertime.

Napkin Rings Napkin RingsHandcrafted Shell CandlesShell CandlesShell Place Card HoldersPlace Card Holders

Table talk
Napkin rings crafted from minature grapevine wreaths studded with seashells recall a tangle of driftwood washed ashore.

Glow for it
Create a magical dance of light with pillar candles surrounded by handcrafted shell candles. Simply place the wick in the center of the shell, and pour melted paraffin wax into the shell. Use a variety of shells that have ample space to hold the wax. Use scented or colored wax to create your unique beach style.

At Your Place
Shells when used with a combo of different sized shells can make delightful place cards. Here, I used a rams horn as a base and filled them with smaller shells, gluing two together to create a clam shaped base for the place card.

Shell Chic
I love shells displayed in clear bell jars , I keep a collection of them on top of the tv cabinet as a reminder of our family vacations and the places that we’ve gone together. Group them together for instant shell chic.

I also love to put a collection of shells around a pillar candle in the bottom of a hurricane vase. These make for a nature –inspired table ready for summer entertaining. Easy-to-assemble, make a bunch and line a walkway or deck for a summer night sure to glow.

There is no end for what you can do with shells, and setting a shell seeking summer table tops my list anyday.


Entertaining: What’s on TAP for a great summer night

Taste**** Ambience***** Presentation

Summer is the best time for impromptu cocktail gatherings, the weather is warm, the night sky is bright, and life just seems to take on an easy air. So take advantage of it by having a few friends over for drinks! Mix up a batch of passionfruit martinis, and whip up these delectable pinwheels, serve them with a bowl or two of nuts and olives and your menu is complete! With Taste covered, add a little Ambience, If you’re hosting outdoors, I suggest twinkle lights (get yours out of the attic), simply strung up in trees, off an awning or an umbrella; or placed along the railings. Another option for lighting are lanterns, they can be found in most housewares stores and make great accents, while lighting up the night with style. Music is a must, so bring your ipod outside and let the music fill the air, you’ll be surprised at how fast a full-fledged disco will erupt. To finish the Presentation, Add a few flowers—anything in season—snapdragons or zinnias are great in short glasses, and add a dash of summer color while keeping the budget in check. And Presto! A Cocktail Soiree!


Blue Cheese and Fig Pinwheels


Blue Cheese and Fig Pinwheels
Blue Cheese and Fig Pinwheels
These tasty bites are perfect for stress-free summer entertaining. The puff pastry is available in most grocery stores, and a snap to put together.
The best thing about these bad boys is that they are different, a fresh take on the trusty puff pastry bite, and tasty with the combo of the creamy blue cheese and fresh fig.

Recipe:
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
6 oz. Blue cheese, at room temperature--Roquefort
2 fresh figs, peeled and chopped
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Butter or coat with cooking spray a cookie sheet
Open the puff pastry sheet and flatten with a rolling pin. Spread the blue cheese crumbles evenly over the pastry, repeat with the fresh figs. Roll up the pastry the long way; cut into twelve or so ½ “ thick slices. Place the rounds onto the coated sheet and brush with the egg. Bake 12 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Transfer to serving tray.

Its 5 o Clock Somewhere

Welcome to my new blog, It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere, the global guide to fabulous cocktails. It is here you will find the worlds most popular cocktails, and the recipes to mix them in your own home, allowing you to host your friends in global style!  I will be updating the cocktail with recipes and tips weekly, but for those of you who want the complete global guide, just click below and order the book, a supreme collection of tasty libations from the hottest spots around the globe. So, for all of us who can’t wait for Happy Hour, your time has come, because, It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere.

 

How it began... It all started for me at 5 o’clock on a trip to Paris a few years ago. I was sipping a champagne cocktail in a fabulous hotel lobby bar, listening to music and munching on delectable bar snacks. I suddenly thought, this is what we all need--to visit all the luxe and fabulous places around the globe and sample what they serve for their 5 o’clock cocktail. But then I  thought, who but the jet set could manage this world tour of mixology?

At that moment, my quest turned into a more important one: Could I re-create this global cocktail experience and make it one that everyone could enjoy? It would have to include four most important details: exotic locales around the globe; the consummate local cocktail; snacks or nibbles; and of course, the music playlist-because it really isn’t a party unless there is music on the hi-fi, or, in this day and age, a docked iPod.

So, I set out to write a book that travels for you, complete with a playlist of world  rythmns. After all, if it’s all about entertaining your friends why not do it with international flair!

And the book has transformed into a blog, a place where it’s always 5 O’clock Somewhere, find the perfect global libation to mix-up and have some friends over.

We’ll start in London as the book does, the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the first 5’oclock bell, tolled by none other than the worlds most famous clock, Big Ben.

So, take a look, get inspired and get mixing! And remember to visit often...because its 5 o’clock somewhere! Cheers! London, England

Passionfruit Martini

Always hip and happening, London is an ever-trendy destination for all the latest in fashion, music, and fabulous food. This tangy libation is fashioned after a version found in a sleek and stylish boutique hotel bar in the hub of the West End. Of course, this one is slightly lighter on the fruit and heavier on the passion, all good.

Mix up a batch, have some friends in, and see what a little passion can do for your party.

Passionfruit Martini

Serves 4  8oz./237 ml Absolut Mandarin Vodka 8oz./237 ml passionfruit nectar 8oz. 237 ml pineapple juice Pineapple chunks for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a shaker or pitcher filled with ice and mix well. Strain into glasses. Garnish each with a chunk and serve.

Serve with Huntsman cheese and water crackers

On the HI-FI  Cold Play or The Style Council


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Copyright © 2010 Colleen Mullaney, All Rights Reserved.