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Cocktails with ROF: Sangria!

12 Jul

There is nothing like fresh Sangria in the summer!  Well, a margarita is pretty good too.  Sure, you can buy the premixed Sangria drinks from Costco, and honestly, it’s pretty good.  But ROF has been making his own Sangria for as long as I can remember.

See video – filmed from vacation in Long Beach Island, New Jersey.  Recipe below.

FRUIT NEEDED:

1 peach

1 plum

3 limes

1 lemon

1 orange

Cut up all fruit into chunks and squeeze the lemon, lime and orange juice into the JUG.  

BOOZE NEEDED:

1 cup of sugar

1.5 cups of Brandy

1 cup of Triple Sec (orange liquor)

2 bottles of cheap red wine/merlot

Mix everything together.  Serve over ice with a splash of club soda on top and a lime or lemon.  ENJOY!!

The Best Steak Recipe You’ll Ever Make: Hawaiian Ribeyes

10 Jul

Last year, ROF and I went to Hawaii with some close friends.  It was my first time in Hawaii and it didn’t disappoint.  You know how people talk a place up for so long and it either disappoints, meets expectations or exceeds expectations?  This exceeded expectations.  Awesome.  

While there, ROF made his delicious Hawaiian ribeye steaks that we grilled. I’m dying for you to try these steaks.  Your mouth might start to water as mine did when you watch this. 

The recipe is below.  If you try it this weekend, please send me a picture! 

Hawaiian Ribeye Steak

the marinade:

1 cup of sugar

3 small cans of pineapple juice

1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 cup of soy sauce

2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped

1 small white onion, chopped

the meat:

4 (12-16 oz) bone-in ribeyes – look for good marbling of fat throughout. 

Mix all ingredients well (with a whisk) except the steaks in a large bowl.  Add two steaks to a large ziplock baggie.  Carefully divide the marinade between the two bags with the steaks.  Marinate the steaks for between (but no longer!) 12 and 24 hours in the refrigerator.  

Grill the steaks over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes on each side for medium-rare.  Baste the steaks on each side with the marinade.  Enjoy!

4 Ways to Entertain With Ease

10 Jul

This quote is the key to entertaining. Memorize it.

I love to have people over.  The whole experience should be smooth, fun and lovely not only for your guests – but for you. Why? Because whether you are having friends over for dinner, your spouse’s colleagues around for a happy hour or a baby shower for 30 – the whole point of the event is meant to be… fun. You want your guests to be left with the feeling of inclusion, warmth, and happiness.

Good luck, I can hear some of you sigh with a harrumph. Entertaining freaks me out, some of you might say. Well, here are 4 things to remember:

1. START WITH WHAT YOU LIKE AND KNOW

It’s no secret that my husband likes cocktails. He likes planning out a signature drink for the evening, buying the ingredients, setting up a bar, getting the ice and serving our guests when they arrive. That’s just one of his things. He starts his dinner party prep there.

I like music and candles. I like creating playlists for the kind of mood I want to create. Maybe it’s a yoga night or we’re going up north or having drinks on the beach– I want to create a feeling with what people hear when they arrive and what they smell – that’s where I start.

Where do you start? Here are some examples to help you decide:

  • Cooking or baking
  • Cleaning and/or decorating
  • Paper and invites
  • Music
  • Place settings
  • Landscapes
  • Planning
  • Making cocktails

Figure out what you LOVE to do and start your planning there.

2. DON’T STRIVE FOR PERFECTION, NO ONE CARES AS MUCH AS YOU DO

Ina Garten said in one of her books something I’ll never forget.  She and Jeffery were young and broke but that didn’t stop her from having people over. She didn’t have the perfect napkins and matching place settings and her furniture was dated, but she confirmed that no one cares about stuff like that.

If you wait to have everything “perfect” you’ll let life pass you by.

Be driven by your guests need to feel welcome, not by your need to impress.

3. PLAN EVERY ASPECT IN ADVANCE + DON’T DO IT ALL

The more you plan, no matter how big or small the event, the easier it is to pull off an awesome party.  Take the time to think everything out – top to bottom – start to finish – write it all down, design a menu, make a grocery list.   I’ve designed an outline for you to use to help. 

Another tip is don’t feel like you have to do it all.  Have friends bring the drinks or food.  Get party platters for appetizers that are already made or just put out some nuts and cheese.  Check out some EPIC party platters here.  

4. YOU SET THE STAGE 

You can either be like this:

or like this:

I Love Lucy!

More reads on entertaining here, here and here.

Best Rose Wine for Summer

5 Jul

I could give you a top 10 list but I just don’t have it in me. 

I also can’t find the little symbol to go over the “e” so it is Rose-A not Rose.  But I think you get it.

Ok. Not going to use terms like peachy finish or well-balanced either.  This is me.

Just get it.  Go to Total Wine or google it.  At only $8.99 a bottle, it’s simply the best.  At that price, get 2.  Or a case.  Thanks Curt for introducing it to us.

I would buy it and drink it with this, this or this.

Top 5 Drinks to Mix When Hot

30 Jun

My boy, ROF, is a cocktail mix master.  It is a balmy 90+ degrees here in Mad Town and here are some cool drinks you can make tonight or for brunch this weekend.

The Blood Orange Martini

The Tidal Wave

Rum Punch

Jalapeno Margaritas (The Best! No Mix!)

Bacardi Rum Cocktail

And if you need something to eat along with all these drinks, throw some of these DELISH steaks on the grill!

 

 

 

4 Great Breakfast Recipes

25 Jun

4 GREAT BREAKFAST RECIPES

There ain’t nothing like a good egg.  My family loves eggs and we make them many different ways.  My sister, Katie makes a mean fried egg.  She can even flip the egg in the pan without a spatula.   She’s cool.  ROF scrambles eggs like no other.  it’s so simple yet so good.  They are just the right consistency and filled with the previous night’s leftovers.  Like salmon and cream cheese.   My specialty?  Poachies.  

breakfast

 

breakfast

 

Sometimes I like to venture past eggs and here are some great recipes!

First is blogger Oh Joy’s rainbow pancakes. aren’t these the best idea ever?  especially if you have kids.  Pop over there to get the recipe that is in video format.

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Second, is something that just made my mouth water a little bit.  Baked baguette french toast by the Dash and Bella blog.  I haven’t made this yet but think I will when I have my next overnight guests.

baguettefrenchtoast

For the third recipe, I’m heading back to eggs.  Check out these awesome egg cupcakes.  Another great company breakfast.  Thanks dine & dish for this recipe!

0b8a1e2d9145dfb6299e5879530fcb85Lastly, how about these amaretto french toast bites by the awesome sweet paul?  Delish!

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Limoncello Cooler Recipe

21 Apr

Because us folks up north need a little sunshine Springtime right now!

1oz gin

1oz Limoncello

1/2oz fresh lemon juice

2-3oz club soda

Lemon wedge

Mix first 3 ingredients in a shaker. Pour into glass with ice. Top with club soda, garnish with lemon. Make now and if you’re in a state that still has snow on the ground, think warm thoughts and make another. Cheers! Here’s the video:

Awesome Birthday Traditions

7 Feb

I love this tradition (plus I love steak see here and here!) After hearing about this a couple of times, I decided all of you needed to know about it too.  Make this tradition your own!  There are so many ideas.  I share some of mine after the interview. 

I interviewed my friend, Sean Sivore and his son Aidan on their favorite thing to do on their birthdays:

Tell me a little bit about why you go to so many Steakhouses(how many?) – what is your tradition and how did it start?  I’ve always loved the experience at steakhouses.  The service and atmosphere are a big part of what makes a great steakhouse great.  My Dad loved great restaurants and since Aidan and I have birthdays one day apart, I thought it would be a fun “father/son” tradition to research the hottest steakhouses around and the two of us go to one for our birthday each year.  We’ve been doing this since Aidan’s 7th Birthday.

Musso and Frank Grill, Hollywood, CA – August, 2016

Now, let’s talk to Aidan.

Is steak your favorite thing to eat? Yes!

What are your top 5 steakhouses and why did you like them so much?

  1.  Bavette’s – Chicago, ILAtmosphere was a little like a bar (dark/quiet),  But the steak was so good, it didn’t matter.
  2.  Prime and Provisions – Chicago, ILSteak was perfect.  The atmosphere was awesome.  The bacon appetizer is off the chain! The service was the best of any steakhouse.
  3. Gibson’s – Chicago, ILFirst steakhouse I went to and finished an 18oz Rib-eye at age 8.
  4. Benjamin’s Steakhouse – New York, NYOld School looking steakhouse, but not that old.  Steaks were awesome.
  5. Chicago Cut – Chicago, ILCool steak place, atmosphere, and great food.

Do you order the same thing at all the steakhouses?   No, I usually order whatever the house specialty is.  When in doubt though I order a Rib-eye.

What is your favorite thing to eat? Steak by far 

Sean: This is a picture of our first annual “Guy’s Steak Night Out.”  This was before the ladies of the family started muscling their way into our tradition.  He finished the whole steak!

December 2012, Gibson’s Chicago

Prime and Provisions – Chicago, 2017 
Thanks, Sean and Aidan!  This is so much fun – what a great idea!  Here are some of my thoughts on how to make this your own.
  1. If steak is not your thing, make it sushi, Italian or even pizza!  Hit up your own city or travel.
  2. If food is not your bag, what about a class?  Take a class with friends or your S.O. on your birthday.  Learn something new every year on your birthday and keep track with a photo.
  3. Do something crazy out-of-the-ordinary every year on your birthday.  Research it.  Swim with dolphins, skydive, bungee jump, swim to Alcatraz * – mark the years you get older by something cool.  *scroll down to read about my mom’s close friend Nancy Moore and what a bad ass she is!
  4. Make it a point to travel to a new place on your birthday.  One year it may be a new town driving distance from you and another might be Europe!  Document it, write it down, snap it up.

Let me know what your traditions are for your birthdays!

Super Bowl Cocktail Video “Boston Cooler”

3 Feb

Since the Cowboys aren’t in the Super Bowl, this isn’t a big deal to me.  ROF is rooting for New England.  In fact, he is giving us all a refreshing cocktail to sip along with this scrumptious dip or these awesome sliders.

the appletini cocktail recipe

15 Dec

i think this may have evolved into a cocktail blog! no, i will be back eventually. to be honest, while i love writing and appreciating i am just a little tired of the whole blogging thing. i read a TON of design blogs and lifestyle blogs and everything is …well… styled. and styled to me is starting to get … well … boring. stop gasping. i know – shocker. i want to aspire to something different and i already know what it is. but it’s secret. tell ya later.

now, on to my main squeeze- ROF. happy friday! he’s been doing these awesome cocktail videos for me. you know why? he makes damn good drinks. he makes what we call “sipping” drinks (insert a wide-eyed “KATIE” here!) this is the perfect cocktail to mix for an intimate holiday get-together. it’s festive with green and red coloring and it’s delicious. remember what they say about martinis:

here’s ROF:

2 oz vodka

1 oz simple syrup

1oz apple liquor like this

for other drink recipes, see ROF’s page here!

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