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January 2009
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March 2009

February 2009

SALE

Everything 10% OFF now through the end of February at Hostess Jo!!  Enter coupon code: FEB09 at checkout! 

Don't forget to check out our new WINOS (Women In Need of Sanity) items like this appetizer cookbook!

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Spring and Summer items coming soon!


Romantic Chocolate Cocktails

Enjoy these cocktails Valentine's Night or anytime you are in the mood for chocolatey goodness!

Chocolate Covered Raspberry

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raspberry vodka
vanilla vodka
light Creme de Coco
dark Creme de Coco
white chocolate liqueur (or cream)
fresh raspberries
chocolate syrup

Preparation:

  1. Add ice to mixer.
  2. Pour raspberry vodka (2 count).
  3. Pour vanilla vodka (1 count).
  4. Add both light and dark Creme de Coco (3 count).
  5. Add a good splash of white chocolate liqueur.
  6. Add small splash of raspberry liqueur.
  7. Shake.
  8. Drizzle chocolate syrup in martini glass.
  9. Drop 1-3 fresh raspberries in glass and add more chocolate syrup.
  10. Pour mixture in glass.

Brownie Cognac

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1 1/2 oz. Courvoisier® VSOP cognac
1 oz. amaretto
Dash of chocolate syrup

Preparation:

  1. Fill pint glass with ice.
  2. Add1 1/2 oz. cognac.
  3. Add 1 oz. of amaretto.
  4. Add a dash of chocolate syrup.
  5. Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass.

Candy Bar Inspired Martinis

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Almond Joy Martini

1 oz. Three Olives chocolate vodka
1 oz. Frangelica
1 oz. coconut rum

Shake together while chilling and pour.

Milky Way Martini

1 1/2 oz. Starbucks Cream Liqueur
1 oz. Three Olives chocolate vodka
1/2 oz. cream

(photos and recipes from fineliving.com)


 


Last Minute Valentine Napkin Rings

If you are like me and Valentine's Day has snuck up on you, here is an easy way to dress up your napkins for the special day.

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Buy faux or real roses and sew or glue them to ponytail holders.  How pretty and easy is that?  OR if you are in an even bigger hurry, you could purchase a ponytail holder that already has the rose attached!  These are sold in many accessory stores. This would also be great for Springtime with all of the great Spring blooms to choose from.


(photo from countryliving.com)


Wine Tasting

Well the wine tasting was a success!  We all really enjoyed it.  I hosted it but had it at a friend's apartment because she lives closer to everyone than I.  We had six ladies who attended and six bottles of wine.  We all brought a bottle of red wine for this one.  I would love to have another one this Spring with white wine.  We all learned a lot about wine and each other thanks to Kira (Tangarang)!  Enjoy the pictures and please let me know if you have any questions about having one of your own.

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This was taken before all of the bottles arrived.  We all sat around this table to taste and score our wines. I purchased an inexpensive table cloth to protect the table from spills. 



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Here is a close up of the numbers I constructed for our bottles.  I used mailbox numbers and glittered them then cut them out and tied ribbon to them.

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These are the score cards I purchased from Tangarang's Etsy Shop that I highly recommend.  They were easy to follow and had fun humor in the descriptions.

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This is the conversation starter game I also purchased from Tangarang.  It was so much fun!  Each card is laminated so you can use it over and over and just wipe clean.

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These soaps I purchased at Pier 1 for $1 each and they are actually named after Chardonnay and Sangria.  They were perfect favors for the tasting.


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The cheese, fruit and chocolate tray was delicious.  I went to Whole Foods and they helped me select the cheese to go with my wine and also the fruit.  You would be amazed how differently your wine tastes after a bite of cheese or chocolate. Next time I will purchase cheese tags to keep track of the names of the cheeses.

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I also used my "Get Lit" Wine Bottles to add to the ambiance.

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We used an aerator that my dad sent to us for the occasion.  It circulates air into the wine as you pour so that you don't have to wait on your wine to breathe.  Also, I used the Girls Night Out Glass Stick ems from Hostess Jo.  They were a lot of fun.

I would recommend having a wine tasting to everyone who enjoys wine.  It was pretty inexpensive and easy to set up and most importantly- a lot of FUN!


More Green Apple Inspiration

Be sure to check back tomorrow for all the details from the wine tasting.  It was so much fun and I'm already thinking of planning another one with white wines for Spring and Summer.

For now take a look at this fresh green inspiration board from Snippet and Ink.  I love the bright green and white used here.  I might actually make these apple centerpieces for the wedding shower instead of the others I found.  I really like how they used white instead of pink with the green apples.  My friend whose house we are having it at has an outside living area that these pillows would look fabulous in for the shower.

You could incorporate these colors and ideas for any wedding shower, baby shower or general party.  So crisp and fresh!

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Sweet Treat

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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What a festive cupcake for Valentine's Day!  Red Velvet is my favorite cake, mostly because of the cream cheese icing.  My mother's birthday is on Valentine's Day and I think these would be perfect for the occasion.

Prep:  15 min.

Bake:  20 min.

Cost per serving:  76 cents

Yield:  16 cupcakes

CUPCAKES:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks

1 1/2 Tbsp. red food coloring

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

FROSTING:

6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1. Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350┬░F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin and 4 cups of a 6-cup muffin tin. Fill 2 empty muffin cups halfway with water.

2. Mix flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yolks, food coloring and vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat just until all ingredients are incorporated.

3. Divide batter among cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans to rack to cool completely.

4. Make frosting: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add sugar and beat until easy to spread.


(photo and recipe from allyou.com)