Friday, December 31, 2010

swanky cocktails to ring in the new year

Ty is on duty tonight, helping to keep Boston Harbor safe for all the New Year’s Eve revelers. So my rockin’ plans for the evening include watching Scooby Doo and the Lake Monster (zoinks!) with Aidan, stealing bites of his Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and experimenting with Enfamil and Similac in an attempt to try and discover if one makes Paige spit up less than the other.

Don’t hate me.

So in the spirit of festive New Year’s Evenings of past, spent with family and friends raising our glasses at midnight and wishing that ‘old acquaintances never be forgot’ … here are some super delish-looking cocktails, care of Martha, that I’d love to be sipping tonight. Eventually I’m going to try each one, whether it be on some New Year’s Eve in the future, or on a random Tuesday night in June.

Sparkling Pear and Cranberry Cocktail

pear cranberry
  • 2 tablespoons dry cranberries
  • 1/2 cup organic pear nectar
  • 32 ounces Moscato d'Asti wine
  • 8 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Coquito
  • 1 coconut
  • 3/4 to 1 bottle (750-ml) dark or light rum, preferably Brugal or Bacardi
  • 1 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk, preferably Coco Lopez
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut, preferably Coco Lopez
  • 2.5 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • Ice cubes, for serving
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Martha’s Berry Little Cocktail
    berry little
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 ounce ruby red grapefruit vodka, such as Charbay, chilled
  • 2 ounces champagne, chilled
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice, chilled
  • 1 ounce black currant juice or blackberry puree, chilled
  • Brandy Alexander
  • 1 1/2 ounces brandy
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 cup ice
  • Classic Martini
  • 1 dash dry French vermouth
  • 3 ounces gin or vodka, chilled
  • Ice cubes
  • Green cocktail olive, lemon/lime-peel twist, or tomolive, for garnish
  • Thursday, December 30, 2010

    * flurries *

    Over the past week, we’ve had a blast playing in the snow. It’s magical for our entire family since none of us grew up with [significant] snow on a regular basis.
    Items that I’ve already grown to love on my snow list are numerous and varied. Watching Aidan play and create is definitely towards the top. And thawing out by a warm fire after spending time out in the cold is the best. But my favorite part of the snow season is the excitement that comes just as the first few flakes start to fall … and then watching the transformation of everything as it continues to pile up and make the world seem clean, fresh and new.

    Here are some of my favorite shots from recent days. I can’t wait to add more good stuff to my snow list.

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    o holy night

    And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

    --Luke 2:8-14

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    dasher, dancer, prancer, vixen, ...

    ... and Hope?

    Yep. That's right. Despite the frigid temperatures (wind chill hovering close to zero), Hope the Reindeer visited Aidan's preschool this morning.

    As the kids were lining up to go back indoors -- their precious little noses were all very Rudolph-like due to the cold -- a dusting of flurries began to fall.

    It was a quintessential Christmas snapshot in time -- I "hope" (hehe) he remembers it when he no longer believes in Santa Claus, and gets caught up, as we all manage to do, in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

    Now dash away, all.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    my favorite pastry chef

    ... is four-years-old.

    You just can't beat Christmas cookies -- especially on a Tuesday with a little boy who has the gaudiest taste this side of Las Vegas (when it comes to combining icing and sprinkles, anyway).

    Yummy and fun. All is calm, all is bright.

    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    warm and toasty

    Baby, it's cold outside.

    Really cold.

    It's currently 18°, and I can't imagine it getting any colder. But the local weather gurus are forecasting temps as low as 11° are on the way (not accounting for the wind chill, which will make the air temp feel close to 0°).

    What exactly does 0° feel like?

    And I'm wondering at what point your eyeballs freeze?

    Blessedly, my little ones are happy, healthy, comfy and warm.

    Put another log on the fire....

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    first flurries

    Snow is so much more fun when you're watching it fall with someone you love -- and if that someone is a child, it's even better than the best!

    Saturday, December 04, 2010

    tin tradition

    ¡Feliz Navidad!

    My one and only collection (if you don't count the ridiculous amount of Twilight paraphernalia, books and DVDs I've acquired over the years) is my Mexican tin Christmas ornaments.

    I've blogged about my passion for them on several occasions, and shared my tin ornament tree pictures last Christmas. This year, up in the far northeast, my collection means more to me than ever -- it's a little touch of home in an area that doesn't know chile con queso from chile con carne. So looking at the festive colors brings me much happiness.

    Each one I unwrapped from the storage box had me saying, "Oh! This one's my favorite!" until it became abundantly clear that I really have no favorites -- they're all divine.

    So, again, here's my gaudy Christmas display, festively perched on top of my kitchen table, just waiting for me to gaze at it's splendor ... while I munch on tortilla chips and pico de gallo with a good bowl of chile con queso (in my mind) ... and listen to traditional carols and hymns sung by King's College, Cambridge ... while visions of San Antonio dance through my head -- ahhh. What a perfect blend.