14th Dec2012

Top Tips to Set your Table for Christmas

by Dinah Wulf

One of the biggest parts of Christmas is Christmas dinner. The big Christmas meal is often seen as more important than the decorations and the presents, and this is usually because it’s a chance to over-indulge and enjoy time with the entire family.

However, if there’s one way to spoil a Christmas dinner it’s by not setting your table properly.

Why?

–          Because people won’t have enough elbow room.

–          Because there may not be space for all the side dishes and accompaniments.

–          Because there’s a higher risk of drinks being spilt or plates being knocked off tables when things get crowded.

What’s the right way to set your table this Christmas then?

There’s definitely an art to setting your table just right, but once you’ve got it down pat you won’t have any problems ever again.

So, if you want to get your table just right this Christmas, implement the following tips:

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Fotopedia.

–          Pick a theme

Picking a theme for your Christmas dinner will help you to bring everything together perfectly. Your theme could be based on absolutely anything – different colours, contemporary or old fashioned cookware, etc.

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Christmas Stock Images.

–          Provide the right cutlery

If you’re planning on serving a starter, a main meal and a dessert, you should provide cutlery for each of these courses. This will stop you from needing to jump up and retrieve additional cutlery for everyone at the end of each course, and it can also add a formal touch to your meal.

As a general rule, place dinner knives and forks closest to the plates, then knives, forks or spoons for starters, and dessert spoons or forks on the outside. This means your dinner guests can work from the outside in when choosing their cutlery. Also, include soup spoons if you’re serving soup.

–          Consider using a hostess tray

If your dinner table isn’t very big, you don’t have to rush out and buy a new one just to make sure everything fits on it. Rather than crowding your table with multiple plates full of roast potatoes, turkey, Brussels sprouts and other dishes, think about investing in a hostess tray.

You can use this to transport your dishes from the kitchen to the dining room and can also store them on it while everyone’s eating. Not only will this free up space on your table, but you can also use it to take all of the dirty dishes back to the kitchen after the meal!

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Mo Barrett.

–          Set out napkins

Christmas dinner is bound to get messy with all the food available, so always set out napkins for your guests and have some spare as well.

–          Offer wine glasses and water glasses

Give your guests wine and water glasses so that they can enjoy a sip of refreshing water and a quick tipple at dinner.

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Christmas Stock Images.

–          Remember the Christmas crackers!

Christmas dinner is all about having fun and enjoying a great meal with close family and friends, so Christmas crackers are a must! Place them over dinner plates to ensure your guests know which one is theirs.

Christmas dinner may take hours to prepare and cook, but your guests will take just minutes in devouring it! Make sure your table is set properly to make sure everyone enjoys their meal.

This article was written by Britannia Living, a UK company selling everything from cooker hoods to cream range cookers from Britannia Living.

 

05th Dec2012

Book Folding Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

I am so excited to share one of my favorite tutorials from Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box.  This book folding art is a great way to upcycle an old book.

Written By Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box

Here’s a new craft idea I learned it’s called book folding. I occasionally saw it in store displays and I found it fascinating.  I could never figure out how they made them, then a couple of days ago I took a class and they showed me how it was done. It can be a very tedious job and mind numbing, but the outcome can be fantastic. I use them as decorations on my dining room table and on my fireplace mantle. They are so easy to make and convenient if you find yourself hating the idea of throwing a book away. I love to read and throwing a book away should never be an option. So here is a great way to keep using those books you no longer want or you can go purchase bargain books at your local bookstore. I love all my books and I just can’t see myself damaging them so purchasing $1 books is the next best thing.

Here I did a simple folding which is just folding the pages in half in the same direction. It’s so easy to make! It only took me about 15 min, but it depends on how many pages the book contains. I would like to mention that a book with 600 pages would be too difficult to manage. The first picture on the page was made with a book of 600 pages, but I had to rip out the last 50 pages because the pages started to rip at the top while folding and the book became very heavy.

Now I am going to show you a very simple fold that has a dramatic effect.

Step 1: First, you want to start with using a paperback book. Tear off both covers from the spine.

Step 2: Fold the first page into a triangle.

Step 3: On the following page, fold the top part to form a 90 degree triangle.

Step 4: Again make a triangle on the next page.

Step 5: Now do a 90 degree triangle from the bottom of the following page.

Step 6: Keep alternating and repeating the pattern until you get to the end of the book.

You can make different pattern depending on the fold of the page. The sky is the limit. I hope you have fun with it. Please do post your pic of what you came up with.

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

30th Nov2012

Pumpkin Maple Toddy

by Dinah Wulf

Pumpkin Maple Toddy, Written by David Edessa

Happy Holidays!!!

{Via}

I was asked at work to come up with a hot toddy recipe for the holidays…. After tasting the Crown Royal Maple Finish Whiskey I insisted in combining it with pumpkin butter!!!

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Pumpkin Maple Toddy recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Crown Royal Maple Finish Whiskey
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp. Organic Honey
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Butter (recipe below)
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 strip Lemon Peel
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Hot Water

Instructions:

Pour the honey, boiling water, and whiskey into a mug. Put in a slice of lemon peel. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes so the flavors can mingle. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

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Pumpkin Butter recipe:

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 Pumpkin (small size; equivalent to ½ pound of purée)
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ lbs. Unsalted Butter (real butter)
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Allspice
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 4 oz. Dark Brown Sugar
  • Pure Maple syrup

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Split pumpkin in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle squash with salt and brush with maple syrup. Lay flesh side down on aluminum foil covered sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes or until flesh yields easily to a small knife. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from the skin and purée in a blender. Pass through a cheese cloth to remove all pulp. Blend with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, milk, and brown sugar in a blender until smooth. Pour into glass bowl and refrigerator till cold.

If you do not feel like making a batch of pumpkin butter, then Trader Joe’s offers a tasty pumpkin butter during the holidays.

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Whenever using an electric blender make a cocktail always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!HaPpY HoLiDaYs!!!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Check out all of David’s FANTASTIC cocktail party recipes!  Find the perfect one for any occasion.

 

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28th Nov2012

Homemade Deodorant

by Dinah Wulf

Homemade Deodorant Written By: Denise Nasaar Rice from Edible Harmony

Yes, I have been called a hippy a few times before! This recipe for a homemade deodorant probably earned me that title, but let me tell you that this deodorant works even better than the store-bought ones and just to put it to the test before I shared it with you guys, my skeptical husband applied it to one underarm right before his soccer game, and not the other, and then had me “guess” which one was which. Let’s just say it was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. The results were nothing short of amazing!

There are so many concerns with commercial antiperspirants and deodorants, cancer being one of the biggest ones. Among them breast cancer, mainly because the underarm is very close to the breast tissue and also because many ingredients in deodorants are estrogenic compounds.  One of estrogen’s roles in the body is to promote the growth of breast tissue, so an excess could lead to cancerous overgrowth. Aluminum is used as an antiperspirant to plug sweat ducts; it has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease but is also known to be estrogenic. Parabens are also estrogenic compounds commonly found in deodorants and may act as hormone disruptors in the body.

Some deodorants also contain Triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient that, when combined with water, will form chloroform, a probable carcinogen.

Propylene glycol was originally developed as an anti-freeze but it is now added to deodorants to keep them from drying out. It is a neurotoxin known to cause contact dermatitis, kidney damage, and liver damage. In propylene glycol’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS, workers are urged to avoid skin contact with the toxic chemical as it may cause eye and skin irritation, gastrointestinal irritation and discomfort, headache, nausea, vomiting, and central nervous depression.

This homemade deodorant is made with only 3 ingredients that I normally use for cooking: coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda.

Why does it work?

Coconut oil is a natural anti-bacterial and baking soda is a natural deodorizer

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of arrowroot powder or corn starch
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Preparation:

In a small saucepan gently heat the coconut oil until melted.

Remove from heat

Whisk in the rest of the ingredients until smooth

Transfer to a small container and keep in your medicine cabinet or wait for it to cool down and solidify and scoop it into an empty deodorant container*

*If you are putting it into a deodorant container, you may have to keep it in the refrigerator during the summer months as it will melt easily

For a travel sized homemade deodorant, fill an empty lip balm container with the mixture.

 

About Denise

Denise is originally from Costa Rica, but has been living in California since 1996. After being diagnosed as Gluten Sensitive in 2009, she began to try new gluten-free recipes. When more and more of her friends began to ask for these recipes, an idea was born. She realized that a lot of people struggle with creating healthy, quick and simple to make meals, so she decided to create her blog, Edible Harmony to share some of her family’s favorite recipes. All of her recipes are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free and refined sugar free.

 

 

19th Nov2012

Upcycled Thrift Store Penny Table

by Dinah Wulf

I’ve said it several times, and I’ll say it again: One of the best parts about blogging is the relationships; the connections you make along the way.  I have fun everyday posting DIY inspirations, projects, and tutorials on my Facebook page.  I get a lot of questions and emails from FB fans, and on great days I will even get a sneak peek of a project that they did themselves.  Today’s post is written by one of those amazing FB friends I’ve made.  She is going to share her Upcycled Thrift Store Penny Table!

Written By: Lilly Meehan, Ventura, California

I went to the local thrift stores in search of a project and found this funky little table.  It was clearly someone’s shop project; it had a terrible paint job, and lots of blemishes.  Having recently become aware of the trend of covering table tops, counter tops, and even floors with pennies, I realized this was the perfect little piece for the penny treatment.

After filling in the nicks and dents and sanding it lightly, I spray painted it.  A trip to the bank brought home about $10 in rolled pennies, it was a little bit hard to estimate how many pennies were needed.  First I sorted through the pennies to find the especially grungy ones; in a project like this you want the variety of clean, dirty, shiny and dull.  Some of the pennies had greenish copper residue and were set aside so they would not be cleaned.

Half of the pennies were washed in Tarnex, which surprisingly yielded an unexpected irregular rainbow tarnish pattern. All the pennies were washed with soap and water.  Using Liquid Nails adhesive in the small tube with the fine point tip, each penny was applied one at a time, much like applying tiles.  In the very center of the table a group of shiny 2012 pennies were placed, all facing the same direction, to denote when the project was done.

All of the directions for doing penny projects had an additional step of applying an epoxy layer over the pennies, making the surface smooth and waterproof, but since this is only a small occasional table I found that step both intimidating and unnecessary.  It was finished off with a clear sealer.   As is my custom I always write in a hidden area the date of the project and my name.  This project was a lot of fun.

Lilly Meehan, Ventura, California

 

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15th Nov2012

Tips on Preparing for House Guests

by Dinah Wulf

As the seasons change and preparations are made for the holidays, it may be time to reevaluate your guest bedroom. Using cozy colors and comfortable amenities will welcome out-of-town guests, adding to the holiday cheer. If it is your turn to host family and friends, consider these seven tips.

Quality Bedding

Give your guests somewhere soft to land with a comfy bed dressed in quality bedding. We chose a seven-piece comforter from Macy’s that can really dress up the room, giving it that hotel feel. Or opt for a mix-and-match duvet cover with throw pillows in seasonal shades that will remind guests of the holidays. Include four pillows — two firm and two soft — to accommodate guests’ preferences.

Closet Space

Arrange the closet and dresser drawers so guests can hang or store their clothing while staying at your home. Stock the closet with a variety of sturdy hangers that are capable of holding the heaviest of winter coats and the flimsiest of dresses. Make room for big luggage, either by clearing space on the closet floor, under the bed or including a luggage rack. Mounting a full-length mirror on the inside of the closet door is a nice touch.

Desk Supplies

Provide a small desk or cleared tabletop stocked with office supplies. Your guests will appreciate having paper, pens, scissors and tape accessible in case they need to jot down a note or cut a tag from a new shirt. Include a waste bin somewhere in the room, either near the desk or by the door. Compile a list of useful information, like bus or ferry times, local restaurants or museums and a weekend itinerary, so guests can schedule things to do on their downtime.

Fresh Flowers

A bouquet of fresh flowers brightens up the room and gives life to a small space. Tulips are an easy choice as they are available year round and have an easy-to-work-with droopy shape. Depending on your preference, a single flower bloom or a collection of three or four roses cut from your garden will do.

Midnight Snack

A dish of brightly colored apples brightens the room and gives guests something to munch on before dinner. Clearly label a midnight snack box for guests who might crave something after everyone has gone to bed. Fill it with crackers, chocolate and dried fruit. Place a few water bottles nearby.

Appliance Manual

A stereo, personal climate control, an alarm system and TV are all great features for overnight visitors to appreciate. But if the guest room is equipped with confusing technology, include an easy to read, homemade appliance manual. Mark each section with color-coded tabs for easy equipment access. Guests will appreciate a step-by-step guide they can flip through instead of having to ask you to help them turn on the DVD player.

On the Clock

Keep an easy-to-read alarm clock near the bed for guests who need to catch an early flight or don’t want to sleep through any morning festivities. Opt for one that is equipped with a radio or CD player for guests who want to listen to the morning news or wake up to peaceful music. If it has a CD player, include a small selection of music for guests to choose from.

 

09th Nov2012

Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes

by Dinah Wulf

Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes

{Via}

Pumpkin flavored pie, muffins, bread pudding, lattes, beer, and cocktails!!!!

I love this time of year!!!

•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•

White Pumpkin Cocktail recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • ¾ oz. White Crème de Cacao liqueur
  • 1½ oz. Pumpkin Butter
  • ½ oz. 2% Whole Organic Milk

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine rhum, pumpkin butter, liqueur and milk. Shake well and pour all contents including the ice in a tall mug.

Spiked Nutty Pumpkin Hot Chocolate recipe:

Ingredients:

  • ¾ oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • ¾ oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
  • ½ oz. Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
  • 1½ oz. 2% Whole Organic Milk
  • Hersey’s Caramel syrup

Instruction:

Warm the finished pumpkin butter and milk on the stovetop (be careful not to burn). Stir till mixture is completely dissolved. Pour the rhum and liqueur into a footed mug. Finish mug by filling with pumpkin milk and top with whipped cream. Drizzle whipped cream with caramel syrup.

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Pumpkin Butter recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pumpkin (small size; equivalent to ½ pound of purée)
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ lbs. Unsalted Butter (real butter)
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Allspice
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 4 oz. Dark Brown Sugar
  • Pure Maple syrup

Instructions:

Heat oven to 400°F.

Split pumpkin in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle squash with salt and brush with maple syrup. Lay flesh side down on aluminum foil covered sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes or until flesh yields easily to a small knife. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from the skin and purée in a blender. Pass through a cheese cloth to remove all pulp. Blend with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, milk, and brown sugar in a blender until smooth. Pour into glass bowl and refrigerator till cold.

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Whenever using an electric blender make a cocktail always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!HaPpY HoLiDaYs!!!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Check out all of David’s FANTASTIC cocktail party recipes!  Find the perfect one for any occasion.

15th Oct2012

Add New Life to Everyday Objects with ‘Upcycling’

by Dinah Wulf

If you are looking to upgrade but don’t want to discard, it’s possible to add new life to everyday items by “upcycling” them. Whether they are boring, broken or just taking up unnecessary space, here are three easy Do-It-Yourself crafts using materials you already have in your home.

Problem: Drab Light Control

If your living area needs a face lift but you don’t know where to begin, think lighting. That paint in the store may look perfect under the fluorescent lights of a warehouse, but it will undergo a dramatic transformation in your home’s natural light. You can control how much sunlight streaming into your home will affect your decor by using Blinds.com window blinds and other window treatments. Shutters help regulate light and offer privacy, but all that fancy light control can sometimes be pricey. Why not revamp what you already have?

Solution: Paint Your Curtains

Yes, it’s possible. All you need is fabric paint, tape and a small roller with a thin sponge. If you don’t have fabric paint don’t fret; using that regular wall paint you have stored in the garage will work too. All you need to do is add textile medium to the paint. Its a $2- $5 acrylic paint additive that allows for proper adhesion and permanence on a fabric. AKA it helps them not flake or fade. Now just tape off whatever design you want – stripes and chevron are bold choices – and get sponging.

Problem: Glass Overload

When you’re creative or crafty, a common problem is having a shelf, closet or pantry full of items you can’t bear to toss out. These items aren’t keepsakes, but materials that could someday come in handy when creating. So if you have a closet such as this, here’s a solution for something that’s bound to be in your collection: glass jars.

Solution: Upcycle Old Jars

You’ll need your jars of all sizes, yarn, masking tape, white spray paint, ribbon and tea lights. Tightly wrap yarn in a crisscross pattern around a jar, then tape the ends on the underside or inside of the jar. Don’t place tape anywhere you’ll be painting. Lightly spray the jars with three coats of white paint and let dry. Remove the yarn, wrap the tops with ribbon and add your tea lights for a chic twist on DIY candles and light.

Problem: Outdated or Broken Frames

You probably have some outdated or broken frames somewhere in your home waiting to be used or thrown away. But instead of wasting or willing them away, upcycle them into something new. Whether they are cracked, an awful color or outdated design, this crafty tip will transform them in no time. And bonus, they don’t necessarily need to be used as frames, but maybe trendy wall décor instead.

Solution: DIY Yarn Frames

Mkae sure you have enough yarn knowing that one skein would probably cover five 8-by-8-inch frames. Besides yarn and your frames, the only other thing you’ll need is a light-duty staple gun. Start by stapling the loose ends of the yarn to the top left corner on the back of the frame. To prevent unraveling, loop the yarn around the frame twice, pulling it tight. Then start wrapping, working in a clockwise motion and every so often scrunching it toward the wrapped end to make the effect more substantial. Once you’ve covered the frame, staple the end to the backside of the frame, making sure it doesn’t unravel.

Getting crafty to reuse common items around your home doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be pricey. By recycling something the average person would throw away you are revamping your space in a spunky, eco-friendly way.

Authored By: Justin Greig A self-proclaimed “21st century hippie,” Justin studied Journalism at Berkeley and freelances for many environmental publications. He has a special interest in conservation, and he and his wife recently added solar panels to their home.

 

 

11th Oct2012

Halloween Skeleton Frame

by Dinah Wulf
Welcome, Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box!  So glad to have you again!
I’m so glad you decided to share this AWESOME tutorial!

 

 

The spirits of the other side are ready to come out and play here at DIY Inspired!  Are you prepared the mischief they will cause? I did warn Dinah if I was going to guest blog I was going to bring something spooky and creepy but I am so glad she did!My skeleton is using the a painting as a portal to the world of the living the evil spirits reaches for any passing soul to posses.

 

Watch out it might just me you.
Would you like to make one? Here are a few thing you will need.
Materials:
1. Cardboard (Free)
2. Skeleton (Michaels 14.99)
3. Modge Podge (own or 4.99 at Michaels)
4. Black paint & red paint  (.59 cent)
5. Burlap ($2.00 for half a yard)
6. foam brush (.10 cent)
7. Frame (Michaels on clearance $9.99)
8. Clay ($8.99 Michaels)
9.Tape (own)
10. 24 gauge wire (own)
11. Scissors (own)
12. Saw (own $4.99)

 

 

The first thing you will need to do is to cut the back of the skull of your skeleton because you want him to lay flat on the cardboard. Measure the cardboard to fit the inside of your frame. My frame is 8×10.

 

 

Position your skeleton, my skeleton name is Joe where you want him to be.

 

 

I felt bad cutting Joe up but he feel much better once all the extra weight is off.
I cut through the spice of Joe to make sure he could fit in the frame.

 

Mix modge podge with black paint with a foam brush.

Now the messy part starts, use the mixture and paint the burlap with it.

I told you it was going to get messy! Its going to look a little muddy but it will be worth it once it dries. You will need to cover the entire cardboard. Don’t lay the burlap flat on the cardboard because you will need some depth with it to make it look realistic.

 

Also use the modge podge to clue the down the skeleton. Let the burlap dry for at least 24 hours.

 

 

 
I wanted to have Joe reaching out for someone, so I took masking tape to hold the joints in place. I then used the burlap with modge podge to cover masking tape.

 

 

 
I did not stop there I also cut all the finger off and used the 24 gauge jewelry wire to reattach all the  fingers. Can you believe that Joe had to right hands before I did the surgery? haha. Now his finger can bend and point at you. 

 

 

 
The last thing I did was make a heart out of clay to be place in rib cage. 

 

Imagine that you are done with your skeleton frame tutorial. !!!

 
I think my puppy liked it. 

Happy Haunting’s from Pandora’s Craft Box.

Thank you for having me DIY Inspired.

 

05th Oct2012

Salted Butter Pecan Martini

by Dinah Wulf

Salted Butter Pecan Martini, Written By David Edessa

Check out all of David’s FANTASTIC cocktail party recipes!  Find the perfect one for any occasion.

Many years ago a friend turned me on to dipping salted potato chips into soft pecan ice cream. I was reluctant to try at first, however, the salt and sweetness of the ice cream made me a fan. This Salted Butter Pecan Martini recipe is reminiscent of that taste for me…enjoy!!! :)

Salted Butter Pecan Martini recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka ( your favorite brand will due in a Vanilla Vodka)
  • ¾ oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
  • ¾ oz. Frangelico Liqueur
  • ½ oz. Baileys Caramel
  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • Torani Salted Caramel syrup

Glass Prep Instructions:

Place martini glass in freezer for 15 minutes to half an hour. Pour the caramel syrup into a shallow plate and in another plate crushed candied pecans. Then, dip the rim of a chilled martini glass into the plate with the caramel syrup and then dip the chilled glass into the plate with the crushed candied pecans. When done place prepped glass on parchment paper for easy release and place in freezer until ready to use.

If you feel you need more of a salted rim. Try the following rimmer mix along with the crushed candied pecans.

Rimmer Mix Instructions:

  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup crushed Maldon sea salt
  • ¼ cup crushed candied pecans

Instructions:
Place all liquid ingredients in a shaker tin (except syrup) with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 20-30 seconds or tin is frosted. Pour ingredients into prepped glass.

•••••••••••••• DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!!  ••••••••••••••••••

 

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21st Sep2012

Iced Java Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

Iced Java Cocktails!!!! Coffee Cocktail Time!!!

Written By David Edessa

It’s been a hot summer and this September there has been both hot and temperate days. Therefore, I thought it would be a great idea to work on some cold after dinner drinks.

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Iced Nutty Jamaican Coffee Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Tia Maria liqueur
  • ½ oz. Dark Rhum
  • ½ oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 oz. Cold Coffee

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine coffee, Dark Rhum, Tia Maria and milk. Shake well and pour all contents including the ice in a tall mug.

Iced KGB Coffee Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier
  • ½ oz. Kahlua liqueur
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s Caramel Irish Cream
  • 4 oz. Cold Coffee

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine coffee, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua and Grand Marnier. Shake well and pour all contents including the ice in a tall mug.

Iced White Chocolate Russian Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • ½ oz. Kahlua liqueur
  • ½ oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
  • ½ oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3½ oz. Cold Coffee

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine coffee, vodka, Kahlua, milk and Godiva. Shake well and pour all contents including the ice in a tall mug.

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Cold Coffee Brewing procedure:

Simply combine cold water with ground dark roast coffee, cover, and let sit overnight or at least eight hours. Use one tablespoon per cup of water. When you are ready to serve the coffee, strain it two times through a coffee filter or a very fine mesh strainer to remove coffee grounds.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

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07th Sep2012

Hazelnut After Dinner Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

Written By David Edessa

Many moons ago when I first turn 21, a bartender friend turned me on to these two Hazelnut After Dinner Cocktails. There those that will substitute the Frangelico liqueur on both drinks with an Amaretto liqueur. That combination also will create a delicious cocktail.  Also, I made one drink as a martini and the other in a tall glass. I wanted to show that you do not have to be limited by glassware.  Furthermore, both drinks work great as blended after dinner drink. I usually will add one scoop of French vanilla ice cream with all the ingredients including the cup of ice.

 

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Russian Quaalude Martini:

Instructions:

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • ¾ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • ¾ oz. Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 oz. Whole Cream

Instructions:

Pour over ice; shake vigorously, Strain into hazelnut prepped martini glass.

Jamaican Quaalude Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Coconut Rhum
  • ½ oz. Dark Rhum
  • ½ oz. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Whole Cream

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the hazelnut prepped old fashioned glass with crushed ice.

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Glass Prep Instructions:

Start by placing the glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Place the crushed hazelnuts on one side of a plate. Squeeze about a tablespoon of agave syrup on the other side of the plate. Invert the chilled martini glass and rub it through the syrup to coat the rim. Once coated, rub the rim through the hazelnut until the rim is completely covered. Once you are done, place glasses in freezer until ready to pour and serve the drink.

Hazelnut Rimmer Procedure:

Spread shelled hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in an oven that has been preheated to 275 degrees. Let them bake until the skin cracks, usually 20 to 30 minutes. Use a clean towel to rub the skin off of the nuts. Leaving some skin on is not a reason for concern as long as the majority of it is removed. Make sure to use an old towel when cleaning the skin from the nuts as hazelnuts may stain the fabric. Place the hazelnuts in a freezer bag and lay the bag on a flat surface. Zip partially shut and use the palm of your hand to push any excess air from the bag. Close the bag the rest of the way. Use a rolling pin, or a can, to roll the nuts until they are crushed. Turn the bag over several times while crushing to make sure you are crushing evenly.

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Whenever using an electric blender to crush or make a cocktail with ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

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Photo Source: ScienceOfDrink.com

 

24th Aug2012

Java Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

Java Cocktails!!!!

I love coffee. The flavor leaves me wanting another. I enjoy coffee flavored ice cream and enjoy it as an after dinner cocktail.

“Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.”

Talking about coffee, French statesman Talleyrand (1754-1838).

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Espresso Cocktail Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Vodka
  • 1½ oz. Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz. White Crème de Cacao
  • 1 oz. Espresso or Strong Black Coffee (cold… But not iced)

Cocktail Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the cold espresso, crème de cacao, Kahlua, and vodka, and cover and shake vigorously until the shaker has frosted over, strain into a chilled martini glass. You are ready to serve.

Mocha Heath Bar Cocktail Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Dooley’s Toffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Dark Crème de Cacao
  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1 Heath Bar
  • Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup

Glass Prep Instructions:

Place the Heath bar and the martini glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Take a hammer and smash the Heath Bar while in its wrapper into fine pieces on a hard safe hard surface. Place them on one side of a plate. Squeeze about a table spoon of chocolate on the other side of the plate. Invert the chilled martini glass and rub it through the chocolate to coat the rim. Once coated, rub the rim through the Heath Bar pieces until the rim is completely covered. Next, turn the glass upright and hold at an angle. Twirl the glass as you drip chocolate on to the inside. Finally, place the glasses in the freezer until you are ready to pour and serve the drink.

Cocktail Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the toffee liqueur, crème de cacao, Kahlua, heavy cream, and vodka, and cover and shake vigorously until the shaker has frosted over, strain into a prepped martini glass. You are ready to serve.

I did this one because I really like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

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Wanted to add a two minute video I made of the projects featured on this blog over the past 16 months. Thanks for watching! -Dinah

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIVsDIpHi0A&feature=plcp

 

 

21st Aug2012

Styling Rooms by Zoning

by Dinah Wulf

Styling Rooms by Zoning , an exclusive Interview with Julia Kendall from DIY SOS talks through how to create open plan designs

“With the growing trend for open plan living and large wet areas, there are endless possibilities to creatively zone areas by adding character and distinctive style with tiles, mosaics and warm woods. Zoning multiple areas to identify individual functional spaces can work just as successfully in large rooms as it can in the most bijoux of spaces.

 

“As kitchens and bathrooms have become multifunctional spaces in the home, creating separate, distinct zones will keep a sense of order and create boundaries. Tiles are an excellent design tool for zoning each function of an open plan room to suit your needs and a must have feature in today’s open plan living designs.

 

“For kitchen and dining areas, consider the function of each area and define it by choosing a practical flooring option suitable for cooking, eating and socializing.

 

“For wet areas, a wet room allows the showering area to blend naturally with the rest of the room and with the use of mosaics you really can create something to be marveled at, whilst still providing slip resistance.”

A special thank you to ToppsTiles for sponsoring this post.

 

17th Aug2012

Cocktails Inspired by Pears

by Dinah Wulf

Pear of Aces: Cocktails Inspired by Pears

I’ve always enjoyed pears. In fact the pear had been on my top ten favorite fruits.

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Canned Pear Purée recipe:

In a blender, purée the entire can of pears including the syrup and two ounces of Marsanne wine (Pinot Gris will also do). Set pear purée aside in a separate bowl. Rinse blender bowl and return to base.

Pear Mint Lemonade (non-alcoholic) recipe:

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ cup White Cranberry juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 oz. Lemon-lime soda
  • 6-8 Fresh Mint Leaves

Instructions:

Scoop the pear purée and blend with the white cranberry and lemon juice in a blender until well mixed. Stir in mint leaves (tear with hands first) with a spoon. When you are ready to serve add soda and serve immediately over ice.

This recipe will also work as a mixer with your favorite vodka or rhum.

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Drunken Pear Lemonade:

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. of Pear Mint Lemonade
  • 1½ oz. Vodka
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec
  • ½ oz. Agave syrup
  • 5 oz. of Pear Mint Lemonade
  • 16 oz. glass

Instructions:

Add ice to glass then pour into shaker. We will build the drink in the shaker. Pour the vodka, triple sec, agave syrup, pear lemonade in the shaker and shake at least three times. Transfer contents from shaker including the ice back into glass and top with ice and soda water.

Pear Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ Agave Syrup
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Pear, slice (garnish)

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the pear puree, agave syrup, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add the vodka and Cointreau then ice scoop. Shake vigorously at least 10 shakes or shake until the shaker has frosted over. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and add a slice of pear in the center of glass then serve.

Pear Spritzer Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • 2 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ Organic Honey
  • 1 oz. White Cranberry juice
  • Soda water

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the pear puree, honey, white cranberry juice, rhum and then a cup of ice. Shake vigorously at least 3 shakes then pour ice in all into cocktail glass. Then add ice if needed and top of with soda water.

Pear Berry Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Strawberry Vodka
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ Agave Syrup
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lemon juice
  • ½ oz. Sprite
  • ½ oz. Hennessy Chambord liqueur

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the pear puree, agave syrup, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add the vodka and Cointreau then ice scoop. Shake vigorously at least 10 shakes or shake until the shaker has frosted over. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and then in the side of the glass add half an ounce of Chambord liqueur to create a layering visual effect. Then you are ready to serve.

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Whenever using an electric blender to crush or make a cocktail with ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

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10th Aug2012

Frozen Summer Fun Day Part Two

by Dinah Wulf

Written by David Edessa

Frozen Summer Fun Day Part Two

You do not always have to use fresh fruit to make a delicious cocktail. Canned fruit are a great substitute if fresh is not accessible or if unripe fruit is the only produce to your grocery store currently carries.  In fact I find more often that grocers will carry unripe sour fruit. That should not stop you from creating your favorite cocktails or desserts. Here are some recipes inspired by peaches.

 

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Canned Peach Purée recipes:

In a blender, purée the entire can of peaches including the syrup and two ounces of pineapple juice. Set peach purée aside in a separate bowl. Rinse blender bowl and return to base.

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Strawberry Peach Daiquiri:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Silver Rum
  • ½ oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 2 oz. Peach Purée
  • 2 Fresh Strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. Organic Honey
  • 1 Fresh Lime

Ingredients:

Juice one lime, and pour juice into blender. Add rum, schnapps, peach purée, strawberry and honey. Fill serving glass with ice, add ice to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into cocktail glass. Garnish with whipped cream.

 

Banana Peach Daiquiri:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Silver Rum
  • 2 oz. Peach Purée
  • ½ Fresh Banana
  • 1 tbsp. Organic Honey
  • 1 Fresh Limes

Instructions:

Juice one lime, and pour juice into blender. Add rum, peach purée, banana and honey. Fill serving glass with ice, add ice to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into cocktail glass.

Peach & Mint Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 2½ oz. Citrus Vodka
  • ½ oz. Agave Syrup
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • 2 oz. Peach Purée
  • 2 Mint Leaves

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the peach purée, agave syrup, and two mint leaves (torn to pieces). Add in the vodka, lime juice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Whenever using an electric blender to crush or make a cocktail with ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

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For more frozen drink recipes, check out Frozen Summer Fun Day Part One!

 

Photo Source: Amazon.com

 

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