Archive | December, 2011

Make Fancy Jello Shots

30 Dec

I like to think of all my readers as dazzlingly classy and sophisticated, so some of you may be cringing at the words “jello shots,” which you may not like on their own let alone joined together to create a phrase that’s sure to inspire images of frat parties and beligerent girls in shiny dresses.  But jello shots can have a classy side, especially when they’re not dyed grotesque rainbow colors and are garnished with edible glitter. 

Fancy Jello Shots

  • 2/3 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 envelopes (1/4 oz. each) gelatin
  • 2/3 cup vodka
  • edible glitter, for garnish (available online)


  1. In a large measuring cup, combine the lemonade concentrate and 2/3 cup water; strain into a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid and let soften for 2 minutes. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes; stir in the vodka.
  2. Pour the mixture into a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. Cut into 24 pieces. Garnish each piece with the lemon zest.

Make Chipotle Maple Roasted Nuts

28 Dec

I’m busy visiting with family and friends in Chicago, but I thought I’d write a quick post to share a recipe for Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts courtesy of Ina Garten in the event your looking for some New Year’s Eve party snacks. We made them for last week’s holiday party and they were super popular.  We made a double recipe and they were all gone by the end of the evening.  If you’re looking for drink ideas, check out my post at Offbeat Home.

Maple Chipotle Maple Roasted Nuts

  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder on the sheet pan; toss to coat. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.

Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a week.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity page.

Holiday Cocktails: The Long Hello

23 Dec

For the last of my holiday cocktail posts, I’m sharing a punch recipe from our party this weekend, courtesy of Bon Apetit.  It’s easy to make and super delicious.  Instead of the ice mold they suggest, I used a spherical ice mold with apple and clementine slices inside.

The Long Hello
Ingredients (for 16 servings)

  • 1 3/4 cups Calvados or other apple brandy
  • 1 cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)
  • 10 dashes bitters, preferably Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters or Angostura
  • 1 750-ml bottle Champagne, chilled
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
Stir Calvados, St-Germain, bitters, and 1 cup water in a punch bowl. Add ice ring, then Champagne. Ladle punch into glasses and grate nutmeg over.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity page.


Holiday Cocktails: Herbal Hot Toddies

21 Dec
I have one more holiday cocktail from my class at Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm  for you today!  This one’s for those of you who are feeling a little under the weather.  A hot toddy is the perfect remedy- lemon and honey for your throat, hot tea to make you cozy and bourbon to make you forget how bad you feel.  This homemade tea is great for a hot toddy, but feel free to use any tea you like!

stunt pour

coffee filter come homemade tea bag

Homemade Hot Toddy
  • 1 bag spiced anise tea (4 parts anise hyssop, 1 part crushed cinnamon sticks, 1 part vanilla bean, 1 part cloves)
  • 1 T cinnamon honey  (1 cinnamon stick per 1/2 C honey)
  • 1 oz whiskey or bourbon
  • juice of lemon slice
Heat honey and cinnamon stick in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, boil enough water for one cup of tea.  Combine dry tea ingredients and brew using hot water and tea ball or reusable linen tea bag.  Remove honey from heat.  Add whiskey, hot cinnamon honey and lemon to tea.  Stir and garnish with roasted lemon slice.
Photos by Shawn Poynter
For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity Page.

Holiday Cocktails: Rosemary Pear Sparkles

20 Dec
Today I bring you another cocktail for your holiday entertaining pleasure.  This one also came from the holiday cocktail making class I taught at Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm.

Rosemary Pear Sparkles

Rosemary Pear Sparkler
  • 1/2 ripe pear cut into 1 inch chunks
  • juice of lemon slice
  • 2 oz rosemary vodka (2 cups of water infused for two weeks with 4 springs rosemary)
  • ginger beer to taste
Muddle pear and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.  Add ice and rosemary vodka and shake.  Strain into glass and top with ginger ale to taste. 

pear cutting prep

Rosemary vodka

Photos by Shawn Poynter.

Thanks to Kelly for helping me with the class.

Holiday Cocktails: Chai Eggnog Martini

19 Dec
A few weeks ago I taught a holiday cocktail making workshop at the fabulous Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm in Clinton, TN.  As we get closer to Christmas, I thought I’d share some of the drinks we made wit you.   First up: Chai Eggnog Martini

Chai Martini

Chai Eggnog Martini
  • mixture of 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 oz chamomile chai  vodka (recipe below)
  • 1 oz cinnamon honey (1 cinnamon stick simmered with 1/2 C honey)
  • 2 oz egg nog

Add a small bit of honey around the ring of a cocktail glass.  Dip in nutmeg, sugar and cinnamon mixture to create a ring.  Combine all in ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker.  Shake and strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick or star anise.

Sugar Cinammon Nutmeg rim

Chamomile Spice Vodka

  • 2 C vodka
  • 3 t fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 t coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1/2 c chamomile

Combine all ingredients and let infuse for two weeks.  Strain before using.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity Page.

Make Sparkly Glam Drink Stirrers

13 Dec

We’re planning a little holiday gathering this weekend.  I’m excited since it’s been awhile since we’ve thrown a proper shindig.  To make things a little more glamorous, I decided to make some sparkler drink stirrers I saw in Living.  These were super easy and cheap (the opposite, really, of my lovely little felt ball wreath).


  • bamboo skewers
  • tinsel garland
  • hot glue gun

Cut a small (3 inches or so) section of tinsel from the garland.  Fold in half and apply hot glue to ends of garland.  Adhere to bamboo skewer.  Repeat.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Entertaining section of the Domesticity Page.