Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Mashups: Party to Pay It Forward

It’s important to remember what this time of year is really about. To us, the holidays mark a time when we feel inspired to give back, spread kindness and pay it forward, even in the smallest ways. So as you begin to plan your parties and winter celebrations, take a minute to think of how you can use these events as a platform to contribute and give back in some way.

Paying it forward truly has a powerful domino effect. Do you notice how when you lend a helping hand, it changes the tone of your whole day? Kindness is contagious, and can positively affect so many of those around you. Get others on board and this can be something that is done every year to bring extra holiday cheer to those in need.
Support Companies That Spread Cheer

KIND Bars // Snacks with a Pay-It-Forward Message

KIND is a brand that is all about giving back. They believe that kindness is one of the rare forces in nature that leaves both the person doing the kind act and the person receiving it happier afterwards. So, they’ve made it their mission to spread kindness with their #kindawesome campaign, a program that celebrates kind acts everywhere. Participating in #kindawesome is pretty easy: You simply spot someone being kind, then send them a #kindawesome card (which can be redeemed for any KIND snack), and then encourage that person to pass it on. It’s like paying it forward but in the best way because snacks are involved.

Getting involved in #kindawesome is easy, just go to, type in your email address, then check your email for your first #kindawesome card. After that, it’s up to you to start spotting acts of kindness and spreading the love. This is something that can be promoted to your party guests, to take home with them, and watch the chain reaction ensue. We love this idea and can't wait to sign up!
Find a Cause You Care About

Toys For Tots

The holidays are an especially great time to find an important cause that hits home for you. Whether that means having each party guest bring a toy for Toys for Tots, canned goods for a local shelter or gently used clothes and home goods for a great charity—you will find that participating in a cause you care about, instead of receiving gifts for yourself, will fulfill and enrich your life. We know participating in any of these activities can create a life-changing experience for someone in need.

Think of all those who could use a little extra holiday cheer and make sure you do your part to contribute even if it is volunteering your time to read to the elderly, something that doesn't require a monetary donation. It’s also important to find something you want to continue doing during the holidays and beyond. Getting active in your community during the holiday season is wonderful, but continuing to give back the entire year is even better.

Spread the love this holiday season and pay it forward in the best ways possible by devouring the details of your upcoming parties!

Get Acquainted with These 5 New Winter Party Trends

Each season brings about new trends in the event industry. We love seeing the changes and evolving ideas. It is awesome to see what vintage décor makes a comeback and what new designs steal the show. Here are five winter party trends we suggest you get acquainted with!

Pre-Styled Entertaining

<p> Based in Chicago, <a href="">Elliewood</a> has pre-styled entertaining collections called “Party in a Box” or “Party Packs.” The boxes contain disposable...

Based in Chicago, Elliewood has pre-styled entertaining collections called “Party in a Box” or “Party Packs". The boxes contain disposable items like paper place mats, tablecloths, plates, napkins, and utensils. These fun-packed boxes also contain favors such as confetti and poppers. Orderable online, the stylish collections have themes such as “Fete,” which is suited for office birthday celebrations, and are sold in settings of eight to 16. Guests can also place orders for smaller events à la carte. We love this idea--making tablescapes easy and not as time-consuming!

Fairy Tale-Inspired

Pulling at our heart strings and making us feel like a kid again, fairy tale-inspired events will be big this winter. With the resurgence of fairy tale films and additions to the Disney family, the theme is ripe for adaptation by the event world. We are definitely hoping for some over the top events but ones that steer clear of being too childish. When you wish upon a star...

Korean Barbecue

When it comes to catering Korean barbecue is becoming wildly popular. It’s not heavy like Chinese or time-consuming like sushi. Sizzling bulgogi meats look and smell great when sizzling on a food station. People are going crazy for contemporary Korean fusion food items like kimchi tacos. Take the idea a little further by having these delicious bites served from a food truck!

Metallics Forever

Metallics will continue to be important accents, though rose gold and copper will still be pushing their way to the forefront to try to get attention in the winter months. Silver used to be the go-to choice, but gold is becoming more popular. We can't wait to see what designers do with these accents and pops of color at the many upcoming celebrations, especially New Years!

Living Décor and Interactive Surprises

There is a great interest in live, surprise entertainment. That doesn't necessarily mean celebrity entertainment; it could mean the right musician, the right magician, the right guerilla performance artist—interactive surprises that become living décor. For instance, the actor dressed as a crash dummy for this automobile presentation pictured above is a great way to interact with guests!

Take on the chilly months with a fresh perspective of winter trends and devour the details of your next event!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: 11 Brides and 120 Years Later

A number of brides dwell on what their 'something old' could be. A grandmother's brooch, a mother's pearls, a great aunt's lace gloves--sometimes the options can be overwhelming! For bride Abigail Curtis, however, this was never an issue. In the ultimate use of 'something old', Abigail decided she would try to be the 11th bride in her family to wear her great-great-grandmother's wedding dress from 1895. A 120-year old dress!

Abigail knew she wanted to incorporate a special family heirloom or two into her wedding ensemble for good luck and sentimentality. But she never thought it would be possible to restore her great-great-grandmother Mary Lowry Warren's wedding dress. Abigail was only eight-years-old when she first saw the dress. During piano lessons, her eyes wandered above the piano to the photographs of the 10 other brides in her family—including her mom, Leslie Woodruff Kingston—posing like royalty in the very same Victorian gown.

So when Abigail was proposed to by her ever-so-romantic then fiancé Jason, and wedding planning was underway, there was no doubt in her mind, she needed to track down that infamous dress! Leslie's great aunt had it tucked away in Vermont and sent it to Pennsylvania in two boxes (one for the skirt and one for the bodice). Abigail admits her first glimpse of the dress wasn't exactly magical. The garment had undergone its fair share of alternations. Even still, Abigail hoped to return the dress to its original state—as close to her great-great-grandmother's dress as possible.

Abigail and Leslie connected with designer Deborah LoPresti of Easton, Pennsylvania, a master in high-end couture and experienced with vintage gowns. After 200 hours of wedding dress surgery, LoPresti and her team managed a miracle! They removed extra trimmings, purged the fragile silk and lace of over a century's worth of champagne spills and dance floor wear and tear, found the exact materials to match the original, and worked until it was good as new. How amazing is that?

Trying on the dress was a surreal experience for Abigail. But due to the delicate condition of the dress, Kingston decided to wear it for the cocktail hour only, but it was more than enough to feel the magic of the dress and show off the stunning family treasure to her guests. As a special touch, photos of the 10 other brides decorated the walls at her wedding too. Of all the family wedding traditions we've seen and heard, this one might be the most special ever! Check out all of the brides wearing this stunning gown!

Mary Lowry Warren wedding dress 1895

Mary Lowry Warren, December 11, 1895

Jane Woodruff Kearns wedding dress from 1946

Jane Woodruff Kearns, February 20, 1946

Virginia Woodruff MacConnell wedding dress from 1948
Virginia Woodruff MacConnell, October 13, 1948

Sara Seiler Ogden wedding dress from 1960

Sara Seiler Odgen, June 15, 1960

Laird MacConnell Hensler wedding dress from 1976
Laird MacConnell Hensler, October 16, 1976

Leslie Kingston wedding dress from 1977
Leslie Kingston, August 6, 1977
Janet Kearns Daigle wedding dress from 1982
Janet Kearns Daigle, October 30, 1982
Jane Ogden Houston wedding dress from 1986
Jane Ogden Houston, June 2, 1986

Virginia Kearns Stinnett wedding dress from 1989
Virginia Kearns Stinnett, August 26, 1989
Ann Ogden Hausslien wedding dress from 1991

Ann Ogden Hausslien, July 4, 1991
Abigail Kingston Curtis wedding dress in color from 2015
Abigail Kingston Curtis, October 17, 2015
We hope this tradition carries on a little longer with maybe a 12th, 13th and 14th bride wearing this gown! A special thanks to Abigail for sharing the beautiful devour-the-detail-worthy moment with the world. Cheers to many years of happiness with Jason!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Winston Flowers Goes Gourmet

Looking to add to that floral arrangement you plan on delivering to someone this holiday season? Check out Winston Flowers and the upscale approach they're taking to crafting a 'thank you', 'thinking of you', or 'happy holiday'. Their gourmet gift collection celebrates the flavors and talents of New England. A commitment to forming relationships with small-scale, local artisans are reflected in every product Winston Flowers brings to your table.

Launched just in time for the holiday season, most packages include a small-batch of food and drink offerings. Each crate is conceived and assembled by in-house curator Bob Sances, who works closely with local purveyors to assemble thematic collections of the region’s best cheese, fruit, chocolate, craft beer, and wine. Boxes that contain alcohol can only be hand-delivered around the Boston area, but all others can be shipped nationally.

Winston Flowers is as much about their longstanding relationships as it is about their designs. They are honored to be involved with many of their clients' families through the generations, celebrating their weddings, birthdays and holidays and supporting causes that are important to these people. As you can tell, Winston Flowers also maintains close ties with their vendors and visits them all on a regular basis, whether they're flower and plant growers based here in New England, exporters from around the globe, or artisans who provide their unique home accessories and gourmet gifts. Many of these businesses are family-owned, and like Winston's, have been passed down from generation to generation. They share the same passion for excellence and desire for innovation. There is much value in these trusted longtime relationships and Winston's is always excited to discover and develop new sources that keep their products fresh and cutting-edge.

Thoughtfully compiled to order, these crates start at $95. Enjoy the holidays with these brimming boxes and devour the details of these gourmet gifts thanks to Winston Flowers!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Mashups: Make Your Thanksgiving Leftovers A Family Favorite

We all know how much stuffing and turkey we always have leftover from Thanksgiving. It's rather impressive how one meal can feed a family and friends for a whole week. If you want to get creative and not just microwave some leftover mashed potatoes, these delicious alternatives are worth trying! From biscuits to soup, there's so much you can do with Thanksgiving leftovers!

Cheddar-Cranberry Sauce Corn Meal Biscuits

Good Eats: Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes:

3 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of corn meal
4 Tbsp. baking powder
1/8 cup of sugar
1 stick + 2 Tbsp of butter, cold + small cubed
½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 ¼ cup of buttermilk
4 Tbsp. of cranberry sauce
1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, corn meal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Work butter into flour mixture with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Gently stir in leftover cranberry sauce into flour, but do not overwork, you do not want it turning red. Add cheddar cheese and buttermilk and stir using your hands until dough comes together.
Dust your counter with some flour and place dough on it. Form dough into a rectangular shape, about 1 – 2 inches thick.
Using a round cookie cutter, cut large rounds. Place on parchment paper-lined sheet pan, brush with a little buttermilk and bake in oven for 12-17 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Harvest Turkey Soup

Good Eats: Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes:

2 leftover turkey thighs, shredded (approximately 2 cups)
9 carrots, peeled + cut into ½ in. circles
6 celery sticks, small chop
1 onion, medium chop
½ fennel bulb, sliced thin
2 Qt. of vegetable or chicken stock + 2 Cups of Water
1 ½ Tbsp. of merchant (Savour This Kitchen Merchant Spice Blend)
8 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4oz white wine or white balsamic vinegar
½ bunch of fresh parsley
½ bunch of fresh cilantro
2 cups of egg noodles

Coat 2 sauté pans with olive oil over medium heat. Divide carrots, celery, fennel, and garlic into two pans and sauté until golden. Season with salt and pepper.
Deglaze with 2 oz. of white wine in each pan. (Note: We do this because we want the vegetables to get some color and not steam. Overcrowding the pan can cause the vegetables to steam.)
Combine sautéed vegetables into large stock pot or Dutch oven.
Coat sauté pan with olive oil and sauté onions and leftover shredded turkey. Season with salt and pepper. When onions are caramelized, add to Dutch oven.
Now pour vegetable stock and merchant spice blend into the Dutch oven. Add salt and pepper to desired taste. Cook soup for at least an hour at medium-low heat. While the soup is cooking boil your egg noodles in a separate small pot.
After an hour of cooking, add egg noodles and right before service throw in cilantro and parsley.

Pumpkin Pie Filled Donuts with Maple Glaze

Good Eats: Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

Ingredients for the donut dough:
4 ½ tsp of yeast
1 cup of warm water
½ cup of brown sugar
1 Tsp. cinnamon
½ Tsp. of cardamom, ground
¼ Tsp. of clove
2 Tsp. of salt
4 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup of butter, melted
3 eggs yolks
1 egg white

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup of Leftover Pumpkin Pie
Frosting ingredients:
2 Tbsp. of butter
¼ cup of maple syrup
½ cup of powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. of cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine yeast, warm water, and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Whisk until the mixture forms air bubbles.
In a separate bowl mix flour, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar.
Whisk together yeast mixture, egg and melted butter. Then stir in dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once dough is formed, let sit in a warm area for an hour until dough has doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, scoop out leftover pumpkin pie into a small sauté pan and cook on low heat until more of a think puree. Then fit a pastry bag or plastic bag with a large round piping tip and fill with leftover pumpkin pie puree.
Place dough on a floured work surface and form dough into a rectangular shape about 1 – 2 inches thick. Using a round cookie cutter, cut large rounds. Place on parchment paper lined sheet pan. Let sit for about 15-30 minutes.
Fill medium sized pot with canola oil. (Note: Test the temperature of the oil by dropping a small piece of dough in, if it floats to the top immediately you can start frying your donuts).
Drop donuts in oil until golden brown then remove with a slotted spoon. Place on paper towel lined sheet pan. Once all the donuts have been fried. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and place donut on top, cover donuts with foil and place in oven for 10 -15 minutes until center of donut is completely cooked, then remove from oven.
Prepare brown butter maple glaze by heating butter in a small sauté pan until it becomes golden brown. Then add maple syrup, powdered sugar and cream. Stir until fully incorporated.
Allow the donuts to cool slightly. Using the pastry bag fill each donut with leftover pumpkin pie puree. Then dip in brown butter maple glaze and serve.

Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles

Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles | 31 Delicious Things To Cook In October:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 cups mashed potatoes
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. As the butter melts it will begin to crackle and pop.  That’s the water evaporating out of the butter.
Continue to cook the butter until the crackling subsides and the butter begins to brown a bit. The butter will smell nutty. Immediately transfer the browned butter into a medium bowl.
Whisk in buttermilk and eggs until thoroughly combined.
Add the mashed potatoes and 2 tablespoons chives and gently stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Use a spoon to mix until all of the flour is thoroughly combined. Try not to overmix the batter. Just stir it until the flour is combined.
Heat a waffle iron and grease if necessary.
Dollop batter (about 1/4 cup per waffle) into the waffle iron. Cook until golden on each side. The amount of time depends on your waffle iron.
Remove waffles from  the iron and place on a cooling rack to rest. The cooling rack will keep the waffles from getting soggy on the bottom as they cool.
Just before serving the waffles, turn oven to the broiler setting. Place waffles on a baking sheet and top with cheddar cheese.
Place waffles under the broiler until cheese is melted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with remaining chives and serve warm (with salsa is delicious!). 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Turkey Tacos

Roasted Butternut Squash & Turkey Tacos | The perfect recipe for those Thanksgiving leftovers!

Roasted Butternut Squash Ingredients:
1 butternut squash (about 1 pound) ~ peeled, seeded & cubed
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Turkey Ingredients:
1 pound boneless turkey breast or cooked leftover turkey, trimmed into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Toppings & Tortillas Ingredients:
8 six inch corn tortillas
3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
3 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle. Place squash on a baking tray and add all the ingredients for roasting. Toss well until all the pieces are well coated in the oil and seasonings. Bake for 30 minutes turning pieces with a pair of tongs once during cooking.
While the squash is roasting, if you are using leftover turkey, reheat it in the microwave or oven. Season with some garlic salt, pepper and parsley to taste.
If using fresh, uncooked turkey breast, heat oil and garlic over medium high heat for 30 seconds. Add the turkey pieces. Season and cook for about 8 minutes, until it is browned, cooked through and juices run clear.
Place tortillas on a serving tray. Add some butternut squash to each. Top with the turkey, goat cheese, cranberries and chopped parsley.

With these delicious recipes, devour the details of your Thanksgiving leftovers and treat your family and friends to an even tastier meal!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shipping Up to Boston

Happy Thursday! Is this week over yet? In better news, if you're in Boston and you're hungry--we've got an awesome new dining experience for you to try! As an upgrade to the Innovation and Design Building, this trendy food court was born and you will have to try it out. Check out these former food trucks' new digs as they 'ship' up to Boston.

After months of waiting, Mei Mei began serving customers Monday from its newest location inside a 160-square-foot shipping container kiosk on the waterfront. Mei Mei’s new spot, called Mei Mei by Design, was originally slated to open at the Innovation and Design Building in late September. The delay was due to license, inspection, and permit requirements, said restaurant co-owner, Mei Li.

The kiosks are part of a $100 million in upgrades to the Innovation and Design Building. Mei Mei joins Triangle Coffee and Jubali, which have already opened their shipping container kiosks. What's even more exciting? Additional shipping container kiosks will open within the next couple weeks, including one of our absolute favorites--Roxy's Grilled Cheese--which will open this Thursday. We are so excited for Roxy's who have been expanding and growing since their stint on The Great Food Truck Race. Awesome to see locals crushing the industry!

Mei Mei, Triangle Coffee, Jubali, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and Yankee Lobster Co. will make up a mini food court on the northern edge of the building. Other businesses slated to set up shop in the kiosks include Niche Urban Garden Supply, Drydock Exchange, and the hair salon Cut-Splice. The kiosks will be open year-round and the space will offer indoor and outdoor seating. We are hoping to get over there before snowfall.

Hungry? Devour the details of these shipping container kiosks next time you're in Boston!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: Brides Across America

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Boston Bruins Military Appreciation Night game with my family. My grandfather, who is a World War II vet, had the best time watching the game and meeting Dorchester's very own Jimmy Hayes afterwards. As part of these events, the Bruins invited a number of military support groups to attend the game and raise money or handout marketing materials about their organizations. One group I was able to speak with is Brides Across America. I told them I would feature them on my blog because of course they fit in perfectly for a Wedding Wednesday segment!

Deployments, financial hardships, and other challenges unique to servicemen and women can make it difficult to plan a wedding. Military brides, just like brides everywhere, dream of having the perfect gown for their wedding day. Brides Across America plays a role in making their dreams come true by giving them the opportunity to receive a free wedding gown during a Brides Across America's Nationwide Gown Giveaway. The giveaways take place twice a year, in July and November, to honor our troops around Independence Day and Veteran's Day. To attend, brides must first make sure that they meet all of the qualification requirements.

Brides Across America was founded in 2008 by Heidi Janson as she was inspired to do something special to express gratitude for the dedicated men and women of the United Sates Armed Forces.   Brides Across America began its work with a small network that donated time and resources to head up the inaugural program. In that first year, fifty gowns were given away to military brides.

The organization garnered the attention of ABC's Nightly News in 2011 and 2012, and People Magazine article in 2013. However, the highest honor was received during a 2012 White House event by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. The event recognized twenty organizations for their contributions to improving the lives of military families, Brides Across America being one of them. How special is that? The organization continues to support wounded warriors, post traumatic stress and employment for veterans.

There are three specific ways to get involved. You can host an event--meaning a gown giveaway if you are a bridal salon. You can donate to Brides Across America directly in which your contribution will go towards giving a military bride her dream wedding. Lastly, you can give a new or slightly-worn wedding gown to Brides Across America to use in their gown giveaway events. They accept gowns less than 5 years old, veils, tiaras and accessories. All donations help! The goal each year is to give over 2,000 dresses to military brides and your generosity makes it possible.

Recently, Brides Across America and have partnered to create a special collection of engagements rings with a portion of proceeds donated back to Brides Across America. From designer gowns to financial contributions, this organization's mission could not be possible without the help of the BAA sponsors including: Microsoft, Allure Bridals, The Ritz-Carlton and many more. Since Brides Across America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all donations are tax-deductible so I encourage you to consider donating today.

I know a number of couples who are both in the armed forces or just their significant other is serving and they face these challenges all the time as their relationship moves forward. It is amazing to see such initiatives as Brides Across America and people willing to contribute to this important cause. I want to personally thank this organization and wish them the best of luck as they continue to help our servicemen and women. Please devour the details of a donation today!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mint and Mules--Cheers to Thanksgiving!

We know to be thankful for our family and friends of course on this holiday but after a constant few months of work with no days off, we can be thankful for cocktails too! Don't worry, the focal point will always be the turkey but shake up the adult beverages this year by taking a step back from beer and wine and going with a variety of cocktails. That's what we're going to do! In preparation, we've sifted through our favorite Pinterest boards and have found six cocktails for the perfect Thanksgiving celebration. Concoctions with hints of cinnamon spice to tart cranberry garnishes and pre-dinner delights to dessert-like sips; your meal will only taste better after one or two or three of these!

Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail

Cranberry Ginger Fizz

¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 lemon, cut into wedges
½ orange, cut into slices
1½ cups dry gin - Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater or Tangueray suggested
1 cup chilled Ginger Ale (or Ginger Beer for a more pronounced ginger flavor)
4 mint springs

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; pour off all but one cup of syrup, reserving any extra for another use.
Heat the syrup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they just begin to burst. Remove from heat and let cool in syrup.
Place 2 Tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 Tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher; add the lemon wedges and orange slices.
Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit.
Stir in gin and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
Strain into a medium pitcher.
Fill 4 glasses with crushed ice and ¼ cup ginger ale.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then pour half the cranberry mixture into the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds, strain liquid into two glasses. Repeat.
Mound additional ice on top of each glass and garnish with 3 candied cranberries and a mint sprig.

Get the full recipe here.

Holiday Mule

1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
2 oz chilled ginger beer
1 rosemary sprig
orange slice, for garnish
sugared cranberries, for garnish

Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin.
Pour over ice and top with ginger beer.
Serve garnished with rosemary, orange wedge and sugared cranberries, if desired.

Find out more here.

Candied Kumquat Bubbles

1 bottle of sparking white wine
1 little basket of kumquats
6-10 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup of sugar

Cut kumquats into thin rounds, put the rounds and any left over juice into a small bowl.
Pour half of your sugar over the cut kumquats, cover, and set aside in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Pour left over sugar onto a small plate.
Wet just the rims of your champagne glasses and dip them rim side down onto the sugar plate, set sugar rimmed glasses aside.
Uncork chilled sparkling wine and pour it into a glass vessel.
Place sugar soaked kumquat rounds and their juice into the vessel of wine, stir thoroughly.
Pour sparking wine mixture into your sugar rimmed glasses ¾ of the way full.
Put about 4-6 candied kumquat rounds into each glass.
Add washed rosemary sprig into glass.

Get the big picture behind using kumquats here.

The Frozen Turkey

1 pint container Häagen-Dazs butter pecan ice cream
1 oz Wild Turkey 101
1 oz Amaretto

caramel sauce:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cream
pinch of salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Make the caramel sauce by mixing the sugar, cream, butter and salt in a saucepan and heating to a simmer.
Cook for 5 minutes, then pour into a jar and let cool.
If the sauce thickens too much after cooling, microwave it for a few seconds.
For the cocktail, blend the ice cream, the Wild Turkey and the Amaretto in a blender until smooth. Serve in fancy glasses garnished with a drizzle of the sauce.
If you'd like to make this ahead, put the whole blender back in the freezer after blending and then give it a quick re-blend right before serving.

Quite the cocktail name. Learn more here.

Apple Mint Sangria

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 pink lady apples, cored and sliced thinly
1 large Asian pear, cored and sliced thinly
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed and roughly torn
3 bottles of light fruity red wine (such as a gamay, beaujolais, or pinot noir)

First, make the brown sugar syrup by combining a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar with 1/2 a cup of water in a small pot.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cook until the sugar has melted (about 5 minutes), and remove the pot from the heat.
Let it cool to room temperature.
Combine the apples, Asian pear, mint, and wine in two pitchers.
Add the sugar syrup a little at a time until it’s at the desired sweetness.
Pop the pitchers in the fridge for 2 hours (up to 2 days) to let the flavors mingle.
Fill the pitchers with ice and serve.

Enjoy putting this together with help from this recipe.

Sugar and Spice White Russian

1 oz Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Twist
.5 oz Kahlua or any coffee flavored liqueur
.5 oz half and half
Cinnamon sticks or cinnamon spice to garnish

Add vodka, Kahlua, and half and half in ice filled shaker.
Shake well.
Pour over ice, garnish with cinnamon, and enjoy.
Shake it up with more information here.

There are so many different cocktails out there, we wish we could share them all with you! We recommend testing a few out before serving to your guests. You'll want them to pair well with your meal but also to taste good. Devour the details of your Thanksgiving with these six cocktails for the perfect celebration with family and friends!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Mashups: Social-Powered Photo Printers

Need something new and fresh at your events? We've got an idea for you! Along the lines of photobooths, which now-a-days are a huge hit amongst attendees, upgrade the picture-taking experience with customizable photo printing services. Developing interesting ways for brands to stand out and connect with their fans in a digitized and mobilized world, tech company Fotofwd motivates event guests to post on social media by providing on-site photo and print options.


The first on-site printing device for venues, festivals, trade shows, and more, Fotofwd collects guests' photos across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and allows attendees to scroll, select, and print their favorite moments. The Fotofwd team provides setup and operation services with an attendant on site, plus the unit’s faceplate can be customized to fit the event. What a neat way to turn social media tangible right in front of your eyes!

Fotofwd is great for event engagement. They not only keep attendees engaged and delighted, but they also cultivate and curate content that extends moments into movement by inspiring audiences to participate and share, all while measuring success behind the scenes. Essentially they partner with you to provide custom technology that integrates seamlessly with your social and experiential strategies, offering full production capabilities and powerful backend campaign management and data analytics.

Best part? You can custom design the look of your Fotofwd device. Their unique user interface is perfect for event branding, artist branding, QR Codes, Sponsor Ads and Hashtags. While the photo is being printed, you have the option to play a custom 30 second video message to your attendees. If you choose the crowd shot feature, their photographer captures your event and photos load instantly onto Fotofwd devices for printing. You can get a digital copy of every photo taken using the Fotofwd proprietary software and secure network. Attendees receive free branded photos with pre-approved ads and custom actions to unlock perks and privileges. Each Activation is custom designed to infuse a brand’s unique spirit through every sight, sound, and interaction in a real-world environment.

Based out of New York, this company is having huge success and we only see positive things for them in the future. Pricing for their event services is available upon request because they really want to cater to your needs and customize the right experience for you. Check out Fotofwd and devour the details of your next event!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Sides to Dine For

As we've grown into this health-conscious age, it is important to take a step back from traditional Thanksgiving sides and create something a little more nutritious. I mean, we're still okay with canned cranberry sauce haha but you can use fresher ingredients for your other sides that will give your guests a taste of fall. From quinoa to brussels sprouts, we're drooling over these Thanksgiving sides to dine for!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Fruit Salad

Shaved brussels sprouts

This one’s a mix of Brussels sprouts, apples, cranberries, and pears. Enjoy making this fresh recipe found here!

Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash

This tasty veg is packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber, and vitamin A. No need to mash it, serve in cubes for a heartier bite. Get the recipe here!

Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Farro is a grain popular in rustic Italian cooking. It has a nutty flavor and works well as a substitute for rice or pasta. Farro also has four times as much fiber as brown rice, so if the turkey doesn't fill you up, this sure will! Fill up on this recipe here!

Hummus Mashed Potatoes

Two things you may not typically blend together--hummus and potatoes--but you'll wish you had tried this sooner! The hummus replaces the heavy cream for a healthy substitute. Try this recipe here!

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Vegan, Gluten Free, Grain Free and Paleo friendly Green Bean Casserole. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

We love how delicious this looks! It is a step above a standard casserole for sure being that it is vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly. With tons of added flavor and nutrients, this is much better than the canned mushroom variety. Check out the recipe here!

Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato and Hazelnuts

Quinoa Stuffing | Gluten Free Recipe on ©

For those who love quinoa, or those that might be on a gluten free and grain free diet, this stuffing is for you! Super healthy and super delicious, all of the flavors tie together seamlessly, making this a side everyone can enjoy. Test the recipe here!

Get inspired and devour the details of these Thanksgiving sides to dine for! I know we will be eating well this Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: Bridal Party Upgrade

Aside from the usual wedding day primping--manis, pedis and an up-do or two--brides are taking their wedding weekends to the extreme with some new bridal party upgrades. Brides are now heading down a more unexpected route with really 'out-there' day of activities. And we are pretty intrigued by them! For example, Lindsay Schropp Brean of San Diego took her bridal party forest bathing at L’Auberge de Sedona Resort & Spa in Arizona before her big day. (Forest bathing, for the uninitiated, is a Japanese meditative practice known as shinrin-yoku, involving contemplative walks through the wilderness).

Have we got you interested? Here are some other exciting ideas. Those who prefer soaking up the night sky are opting for two-hour moonbathing parties. One place you can go for these is The Palms Turks & Caicos on Grace Bay Beach. Essentially, the hotel sets up an entire evening experience for the bridal party, complete with mini spa treatments and cocktails.

Many brides are looking to take the party outside. For example, Julia Geisler, owner of Park City Yoga Adventures in Utah, leads bridal parties on all sorts of outdoor recreational experiences, including stand-up paddleboard yoga inside a 10,000-year-old crater, aerial yoga at The Ranch at Blue Sky, and yoga hikes.

In Denver, The Art Hotel just started organizing urban art runs for brides and their bridesmaids, where they do a curated jog through the city to check out the city’s best public art pieces. In Jamaica, at Half Moon, A RockResort, brides and their girlfriends swim with horses in the morning before saying their “I do’s.” And at The Lodge at Glendorn in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the classic wedding day hair and makeup sessions are being preceded by a little fly-fishing, trapshooting, and snowmobile scavenger hunts.

For brides seeking a little Zen or adventure before putting on their wedding gowns, the options seem to be endless: like relaxing Himalayan salt cave meditation sessions in Santa Barbara (breathing in salt-saturated air is said to have many healing properties) to crafting Canang Saris with indigenous flowers (these are a traditional offering for well-wishes of love on the big day) in Bali. These wedding day activities with friends and family are not only about fun, but also about differentiating your “I do” moments from everyone else’s. And brides these days are willing to go all-out to make sure that happens. Get on board with these unique experiences and devour the details of your very own bridal party upgrade!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Three Catering Ideas for Thanksgiving at the Office

We are already drooling over the idea of Thanksgiving dinner. So why not celebrate more than once by also hosting a Turkey Day at the office? From stuffing and pies to squash and peas, and everything in between, we've got three great catering ideas for your workplace. Get ready to give thanks with these holiday eats!

Turkey Theme Appetizers

Turkey-Theme Appetizers

Chicago's Blue Plate Catering has appetizers such as mini popovers with turkey, which staffers refer to as "Thanksgiving wrapped in a bite". Your co-workers would totally appreciate these!

Traditional Sides with a Twist

Traditional Sides

Chicago-based company, Paramount Events, caters office events with whole turkey dinners, including the traditional sides. Paramount's holiday stuffing is made with assorted artisan breads, applewood-smoked bacon, onion, garlic, thyme, and sage. Delicious!

Fun Fall Theme Cookies

Theme Cookies

For a more portable dessert option, which could also serve as a gift, Catering by Michael's in Chicago offers Thanksgiving cookies. The treats come shaped like turkeys and maple leaves. We love how sweet these look and bet they taste even better!

Yum! Thanksgiving is on it's way; devour the details of office catering with these treats and enjoy a Turkey Day feast your co-workers will surely be thankful for!