ALL POSTS TAGGED "Entertaining"

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Have a flapjack lover in your house? This may be the perfect holiday gift for him or her.

Designed with a raised edge that gently slopes the plate toward you and an ingenious reservoir for pooling loose syrup, this plate was made for slicing, dipping and delighting in each bite of pancake goodness.

Pancake Plate

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As the resident happy hour blogger around here, I get emails from my fellow Design Happens bloggers all the time with great new recipes for drinks that they have made and loved. Briana recently sent a recipe for an eggnog martini that is now on my list of go-to holiday drinks. A martini? With eggnog? Does it get any better than that? Decide for yourself:

Polar Eggnog Skinny 'Nog-Tini

Eggnog Skinny ‘Nog-Tini

Skinny ‘Nog-Tini
1 part high quality bourbon
1 part spiced rum *we used what we had on hand, blackstrap rum
1 part maple syrup
2 parts almond milk (or whole milk) *we used unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 parts Polar® Eggnog Seltzer
Fresh grated nutmeg (garnish)
Combine all ingredients, except the seltzer, until foamy and aerated (you can always froth with a mini blender). Add ice, and swirl to chill. Strain into large festive glass; top generously with Polar® Eggnog Seltzer. Top with grated spice.

A note from Briana: I was skeptical at first, but it ended up tasting pretty decent! That said, this is coming from someone allergic to real eggnog who drinks SilkNog every year. The fiancé liked it, too, though, so I think it passes the test.

We’ve got more delicious holiday cocktails to the rescue. Infuriating in-laws? Kitchen woes? Long lines at the mall? Yep, there’s a drink for that. Here are our favorite holiday cocktail pairings to soften any situation the season throws your way.

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It’s just 1 week till Thanksgiving — is your dining room ready for the big event? If not, don’t worry, there’s still time for a guest-impressing makeover. From disguising a past-its-prime dining table to an easy way to give stock white plates a high-end look — we’ve got you covered with five easy project ideas, each with complete step-by-step instructions.

A plain white tablecloth is great for covering up a scratched or discolored tabletop. For a sophisticated look, stitch on a row or two of ruffled burlap or linen: Give a Basic Tablecloth a Custom Makeover

Enlist help from the kids to glue real or silk fall leaves onto fishing line to create a magical falling-leaf effect over the dining table or buffet:How to Make Fall Leaf Streamers

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Update: Congratulations to Lillian, whose favorite Thanksgiving traditions include chocolate truffle tart and apple-cranberry crostata. Yum! Come back the first Friday of each month for a new giveaway.

The start of November marks the beginning of the hectic holiday season. Thanksgiving will be here in the blink of an eye, and in another blink, it will be Christmas and then a whole new year. Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving for 20 or an intimate Christmas brunch, this month’s giveaway — a stylish stacking dish from Layla Grace — will help you serve food like a pro.

La Pattisserie Serving Tray - Layla Grace

A modern approach to the Victorian compote, this footed bowl is a versatile and stylish statement piece. Stack the three footed bowls to add dramatic height to your buffet table, or use them individually for side dishes or salads.  Our lucky winner will get one of each size — small, medium and large.

To enter for a chance to win, just answer this month’s question in the comments below: What are your Thanksgiving traditions? A favorite holiday tune? A memorable recipe? Tell us about it.

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on November 2, 2012 and 12:00 p.m. ET on November 5, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $152. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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There are football fans and there are FOOTBALL FANS. Then, there’s me. My devotion to the sport is extremely questionable, but I still look forward to the season. Why? Two words: football food.  Nachos, salsa, chips, wings — it’s all good. But whether I opt to make chili and cornbread or creamy crab dip, guacamole is one thing that’s always on my table. Here’s what you need to know to make delicious guac every time.

Guacamole Recipe
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Remember Bomb Pops? Growing up, those icy red, white and blue pops tasted like summer on a stick. But now that I’m older and slightly wiser, I set out to make a better-tasting version with real fruit — think strawberries, coconut and blueberries versus blue raspberry (whatever that is). And, oh look, it’s just in time for the Fourth of July!

Red White and Blue Popsicles

I’ll be celebrating America’s (probably sweltering hot) birthday with these icy pops (and maybe some of these spiked ones, too). Read on for the recipe so you can, too.

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It’s Friday afternoon and the work bell is about to ring. We all know what that means – happy hour! It’s that time to grab some friends, your favorite drinks and gather to celebrate having survived the hectic workweek.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

If it’s as hot outside where you are as it is where I am, you may want to consider adding a twist to tonight’s happy hour. Instead of drinks for everyone, go for ice-cold popsicles. “Popsicles?!,” you ask. Oh yes! These aren’t the popsicles you slurped as a child. No, these are specially made for the over-21 crowd. Just look at these tasty treats.

Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Popsicles: EndlessSummer.com

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Let’s be honest: Whatever you’re doing right now, you’d rather be at the beach. I know I’d like to get some sand between my toes. If you’re land-locked like me but longing for the ocean, channel that into a beach-inspired picnic at the park (or at the sandy lake shore.)  Here’s what you’ll need.

Picnic Food Ideas and Recipes

The Menu Game Plan
Fresh, easy-to-prepare recipes are ideal picnic fare. Here’s what to serve at your beachy meal:

Eggplant Chips With Cilantro Pesto: This sweet, baked take on potato chips uses in-season eggplant. Pack the pesto in a screw-top jar for easy serving at your picnic.

Pressed Italian Sandwiches: These sandwiches from The Cilantropist were practically designed to be picnic fare: You “press” it overnight under something heavy in the fridge (think a can or two of tomatoes), then slice, wrap in paper and tie with twine. The result: an easy-to-eat, delicious sandwich that won’t be worse for the wear if the pasta salad shifts during transit.

Tuscan Pasta Salad With Grilled Vegetables: It’s the picnic staple…with an Italian twist. Make this pasta salad, studded with bits of sweet grilled fennel and bell peppers, up to 6 hours before you plan to serve it.

Cheesecake In a Jar: A picnic is the perfect time to cash in on the “food in jars” trend. Individual cheesecakes tucked into jars are easy to transport and easy to eat. Top with your favorite in-season fruit. Make at least 5 hours before your picnic, or the night before.

Sand Dollar Cookies: How adorable are these sand dollar cookies?! Give homemade snickerdoodles a beachy touch with a few slivered almonds like Elizabeth from Delicious Inspiration did.

Coastal Citrus Punch: Mix up this summery take on sangria in a glass jug for easy transport.

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Got a case of the Monday blues? I’m right there with you. But you know what? I’m going to employ a move from the lemon playbook and take the blues I’ve been handed and make — pie! That’s right, blueberry pie.

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

A bit of a stretch? Oh, perhaps. But blueberry season is just around the corner — and that, my friends, is lifting my spirits on this cloudy Monday afternoon.

More blueberry recipes:

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Scones
Appleberry Pie Cocktails
Also, tips for: How to Grow Blueberries

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