Mad Men Final Season | 4.12.14

4.12.14

It’s time again for the new season of Mad Men to begin, and this is the beginning of the end. The final season comes on tomorrow night and it’s definitely cause for a celebration.

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What better way to celebrate than to throw a little themed party to start the new season off. We’re going to share with you some retro inspired treats and some classic cocktails, as well as fun decor touches to add to your party.

1. Pink Deviled Eggs – Something that I haven’t seen in a while are the colored deviled eggs that were prominent at a 60’s dinner party (via The Year in Food). Thought of as chic and modern back then is still classy and fancy today. Their pink hue comes from beet juice!

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2. Printable Coasters – These coasters are sure to add a little conversation at your party (via Second City Soiree)

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3. Homemade Bitters – If you’re a little more adventurous, try these homemade crafted bitters recipes. They will surely make your classic cocktails stand out (via How Sweet it Is).

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4. Swedish Meatballs – These meatballs are always a good go-to for an appetizer. They are timeless and go with any theme party (via Bon Appetit).

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5. Classic Old Fashioned – The Old Fashioned is one of the most classic drinks from the 50’s and 60’s, you can’t go wrong with an original (via Food52).

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6. DIY Chalkboard Martini Glass – These custom martini glasses are great for guests to keep track of their drinks, and can also serve as a party favor (via Something Turquoise).

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7. Dyed Simple Syrups – These simple syrups aren’t just pretty to look at, they add unique flavors to any cocktail (via A Subtle Revelry)

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8. Advertising – Of course you can’t have a Mad Men party without advertisements. This ad shows the culture of advertising at the time of the show.

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9. Mad Men Masks – Set up your own photo booth for your guests to have a little fun before the show, or between commercials. These printable masks are like an instant costume, or you can just use them as decorations (via AMC).

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10. Classic Martini – You can’t have a Mad Men viewing party without a martini. This is a classic martini recipe. It’s simple and just perfect (via AMC).

mm-cocktail-classic-martiniI’m sad that this is the last season of Mad Men, but I will be sure to watch the madness of Sterling Cooper & Partners. Who is your favorite character? What’s your favorite cocktail? How will you watch tomorrow?

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Limoncello | 12.17.13

12.17.13

You know that saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, for this holiday, use those lemons to make Limoncello. Limoncello is a lemon liqueur made of lemon peels and vodka. When I first came across Limoncello, I thought it was something fancy and only Italians were privileged enough to know the formula. Well I came across a few recipes and realized how simple it is to make your own limoncello.

A while back, I posted a recipe I learned in culinary school for making vanilla extract. Well, yeah it’s that simple. All you need are lemon peels (no piths…white layer under the peel) and a good, stiff vodka.

The Kitchn suggests 100 proof, or higher grain-alcohol, for best results. The reason why is purely scientific. The higher proof the alcohol, the more flavor will be extracted to yield a smoother flavor.

One recipe that was easiest to follow was Giada De Laurentiis.

Giada-Limoncello

Limoncello

Ingredients

10 lemons
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar

Directions

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.

Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.

Since it’s the holiday season, this recipe is good for hostess gifts or little guest take-aways. Use swing-top bottles to store and share. They keep well and look presentable too.

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If you want to be fancy, try using specialty labels and personalize them to your specifications. I think anyone would be glad to get this gift.

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They can sip the limoncello on its own over ice, or in a specialty cocktail. Try adding the limoncello to sparkling wine or sparkling water.

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine
Mulled Wine

Ingredients:

  • 12 whole cloves
  • 2 nutmegs, cracked into pieces with a hammer
  • 2 bottles (each 750ml) dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Stripped zest from 2 oranges and 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

Tie the cloves and nutmeg pieces in a small square of cheesecloth, or put them in a large metal tea ball.

In a large nonaluminum pot, combine the wine, sugar, orange and lemon zests, orange and lemon juices, and cinnamon sticks. Add the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Heat over medium-low heat until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes; do not let it boil. Remove the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Keep the wine warm over very low heat until ready to serve.

Ladle the wine into cups or heatproof glasses, garnish with the citrus zest and serve warm. Serves 8 to 10.

*Note: Try Williams-Sonoma Mulling Spices to make things a little simpler.

Signature Drinks | Ke Event Designs

08.29.12 It’s Wedding Wednesday! Adding a personal touch at wedding receptions is something unique and that your guests will definitely remember.

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Another benefit to signature drinks is that they are budget friendly. Having a bar that is set reduces the bar costs, making it one less issue for the couple.

The drinks can be meaningful, like the first drink you had as a couple. Or the drinks can be named after something special to both the bride and groom, like the local drink of the honeymoon destination. The theme could be color coordinated with the wedding party, or even have a romantic name like Cranberry Kiss.

Whatever the theme, a cocktail (or two or three) can be crafted that fits the personality, theme, or creativity of the bride and groom. It will be special no matter what because it is all for the couple, but the guests will surely enjoy the personal touch.

Here are a few ideas for wedding specialty cocktails.

Cranberry Kiss

3/4 ounce(s) Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum

2 ounce(s) Collins mix
2 ounce(s) cranberry juice
1 wedge(s) lemon

Add Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, Collins mix, and cranberry juice to ice-filled highball glass and stir.Garnish with lemon wedge.

His + Her Cocktails
A tall Gemini, the bride’s signature drink (made with St. Germain liqueur), stands beside the groom’s Old Fashioned.
Golden Raspberry Prosecco

Ingredients

3 cups golden raspberries, plus more for garnish
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bottle Prosecco (750 ml)

Directions

  1. In a medium heatproof bowl combine raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice; cover tightly with plastic wrap. With a small paring knife, poke three holes in the top of the plastic wrap.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Place the bowl with the raspberry mixture on top of saucepan and let cook without stirring for 1 hour. Remove bowl from heat, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve (do not push on the berries); let cool. Divide the syrup among Champagne flutes and top each with 4 ounces Prosecco. Garnish with raspberries and serve immediately.
    Yields: 8