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August 2009

Don't Miss Out

Just a little note to let you know we are offering FREE SHIPPING at Hostess Jo!! 

Beat the heat and shop from home!  Just enter coupon code "freeship" at checkout.  Hurry-this promotion ends August 31!  Stock up now for the holidays!

Here's a peek at our new Halloween accessories! 

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Scary Skull Cocktail Picks and Scary Skull Swizzle Sticks can be found here!


Cocktail Time

Summer is slowly winding down but there's still time to try refreshing cocktails like this little beauty.

Meloncello

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Ingredients

  • Yellow or pink cocktail sugar or sanding sugar (sold at specialty stores), optional
  • 1 cup cubed seedless watermelon
  • Ice cubes
  • 3 1/2 ounces limoncello
  • 1/2 ounce lemon-flavored or light rum
  • Splash club soda
  • Lemon wedge

Directions

Rim a rocks glass with the sugar, if desired, and put in the freezer. Puree the watermelon cubes in a blender until juicy.

Fill the prepped glass with ice. Add the watermelon juice, limoncello and rum. Top off with enough club soda to give the drink a light bubble. Garnish with the lemon wedge. Drink.

(photo from foodtv.com)


Lollipop, Lollipop

Don't you agree that lollipops are the new cupcakes?  I will always love cupcakes and their many flavors and decorations but lollipops are a lot of fun too.  Turns out, they aren't difficult to make yourself!  You can make a whole batch of your favorite flavor.  Mine is lime!

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 (3-ounce) box cherry gelatin dessert
  • Nonstick vegetable cooking spray

Directions

20 lollipop sticks

Metal tablespoon measure

Candy thermometer

Butter or spray nonstick vegetable cooking spray onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Arrange half of the lollipop sticks on each and set aside.

Cook's Note: When measuring corn syrup, spray measuring cup with nonstick spray as corn syrup will pour out smoother.

In a small saucepan over medium heat add sugar, butter and corn syrup together until sugar has dissolved.

Slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Insert a candy thermometer into syrup and continue cooking until temperature reaches 300 degrees F. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin until smooth. Cook's Note: This sugar syrup is very hot and can cause a painful burn!

Using a metal tablespoon and working quickly, drop heaping spoonfuls of lollipop syrup on end of each lollipop stick. Cool completely. Wrap each sucker in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container.

(photo from foodtv.com)


What a Centerpiece!

Here is the perfect centerpiece for your luaus, tiki parties, or end of summer gatherings.  I love the bold statement it makes!  This would work great outdoors or indoors.  BONUS:  serve the fruit to your guests or make a fruit salad after the party for your family.  You will also get a lot of use out of the galvanized buckets.  For a centerpiece that lasts- look for faux fruit.  There are many realistic varieties in craft stores these days.

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How to:

  • Boxwood clippings, myrtle sprigs, or other fresh evergreens
  • Floral foam
  • Wooden florist's picks
  • 3 shallow galvanized buckets in graduated sizes
  • 1 pineapple
  • 3 kinds of fruit; choose 3 graduated sizes and select 9 to 12 uniform pieces of each variety

Instructions:

1. Pack each bucket full of floral foam. Stack the buckets, aligning the handles.

2. Secure the fruit to the floral foam with florist's picks, arranging them so all pieces point in the same direction. (This creates a pleasing rhythm that leads the eye around the design.) Crown the design with the pineapple, securing it with two florist's picks.

3. Add greenery. Tuck sprigs of boxwood or other evergreens between pieces of fruit to hide the floral foam and soften the edges of the buckets.

More Ideas:

  • Check hardware stores or restaurant-supply stores for galvanized buckets in the sizes you want.
  • Floral foam is available at florist-supply stores

(photo and how-to from lhj.com)


Picket Fence Pots

How many of you grow your own herbs?  I tried to grow an herb garden inside once but was unsuccessful.  I think I watered too much.  It was the Chia Herb Garden which I though was supposed to be foolproof! 

I've been wanting to try again for awhile.  Not only do they make any dish even better, but they are also lovely to look at in a kitchen window. 

I just love this picket fence container idea for your herbs.  Not only would it look cute in your window, you can transfer this to your table for a fresh centerpiece!  This would be great for an outdoor garden party.  Your guests can pinch off a bit of parsley for their pasta!

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Here's the how-to:

To make picket-fence herb gardens, purchase a 5-by-8-inch wooden planter box with a bottom seam for drainage, and about 4 dozen wooden plant markers. Glue plant markers around the outside of the planter with wood glue, lining up the bottoms of the markers with the bottom of the planter. Paint planter with one coat of white latex paint. Line each planter with fine gravel or perlite for drainage, then fill with potting soil and two plants. Settle the potting soil around the plants, and water.


(photo and how-to from marthastewart.com)