Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

I have a great friend, Tyler, who is amazing with ingredients. I mean I love to cook, but Tyler loves to cook and isn’t afraid of anything. Pig’s belly? Sure! Lobster tails? Why not!

So, whenever I get to see him I grill him with questions about what he’s concocted last. Last weekend he  was telling me about a cocktail he made for his family at Thanksgiving that sounded so fabulous I had to try it myself.  This cocktail doesn’t use crazy ingredients, but it is crazy good.

Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Cups of Cranberries

Simmer all ingredients together for 15 minutes. Let cool. Put all ingredients in a container in the fridge overnight and strain in the morning. You will have a bright red delicious syrup perfect for cocktail experimenting.

Ty’s Cranberry Cocktail

  • Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • Vodka
  • Ginger Ale
  • Sparkling Water
  • Orange, Lemon or Lime Slices (I chose lime to get the red/green theme)

The “skinny” Version

  • Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • Vodka
  • Sparkling Water
  • Orange, Lemon or Lime Slices

Pour. Cheers. Drink. Enjoy. Happy Holiday-ing!

P.S. Lucky for us Tyler has a blog, tyskitchen.com, where he documents the meals he’s made during the week. Check it out!



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‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through DC

Tiny lights were strung among streets lamps, windows and trees

The shops were all buzzing with a last minute rush

I even saw a caroler (or perhaps a mid-day lush)

With three holiday parties and only hours to spare

I needed something quick, but with holiday flair

Away to the market I ran like the wind

White chocolate, cream cheese and Oreos (peppermint!)

I crushed up the oreos and mixed in the cream cheese

(I left a few oreos on the counter as a tease)

I rolled them into balls (smaller than a quarter you’ll see)

With my budget double boiler I melted with glee

With a dip and some sprinkles my hostess gift was all done

Super easy, delicious and festive and fun!

With these cute oreo pops I could pull any fella,

Merry Christmas to all and THANK YOU Bakerella!

Bakerella’s Oreo Truffle Recipe: http://www.bakerella.com/grocery-item-goes-gourmet/

* My budge double boiler is pan with water, a colander and a bowl that is microwave safe, but not stovetop (whoops!)

* When you realize that you can’t let these dry top down, you can dump all your eggs into tupperware (and break 2) and then use the styrofoam egg carton to hold up the sticks

* I used Trader Joes peppermint Joe Joes, Wilton white chocolate disks, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and CakeMate Peppermint Sprinkles I found when I couldn’t find regular candy canes anywhere

* The truffles melt easily in heat, so my advice is to freeze them prior to setting them out so that they melt slower

~ c

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1. Retro striped drinking straws to make drinks a little more fun.

2.  Fleur de Sel-– a nod to one of their semesters in France

3.  CSA membership— because you aren’t you always looking to share a box, and don’t you  need a consult on what to do with that mystery root veggie?

4.  Mulling spices, with some apple cider and a bottle of bourbon– and the hope that you are invited too 🙂

5.  A mix of pretty nail polish colors for roommates to share (because that’s what roommates are for)

6.  Candles for inside (this set looks striking together or separate, at every stage of melting.  For a cheaper version, try these on Etsy)  or tin votives to make their porch feel dreamy

8.  Japanese Washi masking tape– so. fun.

9.  Cheese making kit— A strange new journey for them to embark on together

(*all images via product websites or pinterest)

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1. Hidden Message Collar Stays (Pick them out for him in the morning and act on them at night…)

2. Super Vacuum Insulated Travel Coffee Mug (For those long nights in the library)

3. Vintage Map (Maps = Manly Art)

4. A (self indulgent) cashmere sweater (Because you think he looks hot in blue)

5. Hockey Tickets (Because watching people beat the crap out of each other – on skates – on ice – is apparently awesome)

6. A classy night out on the town (Filled with one or two too many martinis and serious flirting)

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1.  Thymes Frasier Fir Candle so that every day reminds her of Christmas morning with the family

2.  A bar of soap that actually moisturizes, and smells like a dream

3.  A houseplant so that she does not have to forgo her love of gardening in the winter months.  (maybe the Peace Lily— in addition to its lovely name, NASA has tagged it as an air purifier!)

4.  Two Movie Tickets plus gift cerficate for popcorn and soda to her local theater.

5.  A pretty pillow for her bed (a gentle nudge for her to replace the one you made at age eight in the needlepoint lesson in Art Class)

6.   A statement necklace that she would never pick out herself, but will make her look glamorous and hip.

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1. J.Crew wool tie (So very “Dead Poets Society”)
2.  Harry Allen Hand Hook (Creepy yet functional)
3.  Balloon Speaker (To rock out on the quad)
4.  The most comfy blanket ever (Because while he loves college, he also misses the comforts of home)
5.  Mustache pint glasses (When you drink out of them it looks like you’ve got a ‘stache!)6. Pi Ice Trays (“I’m a math/science/Russian major who likes to have a good time”)
7. And finally, as a gag gift that is actually useful– Curly Hair Shampoo and Conditioner.  Our cousin once got this for our little brother and his crazy curls never looked better (although we are pretty sure he hid the products from his teammates in the very bottom of his swim bag.)

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Starting today we will be posting Cait and Allie’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. We’ve always loved looking at blogger’s gift guides because they have really interesting and fun present ideas that we would have never thought of ourselves. That said, we both pride ourselves on being a pretty good gift-givesr, so this year we’re taking a crack at it ourselves.

Over the next few days we’ll be going through our own family members and friends sharing our thoughts for gifts this year. Enjoy!

~ c & a

Image Above: DIY Ornament Wreath from Good Housekeeping

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