Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'holiday'

Hostess Tips for Holiday Party Planning!

November 17th, 2014 · 5 Comments

Kahlua 7.Final
17
The holidays are a wonderful time to catch up with family and friends, and one of the best ways to get into the spirit of the season is to throw a holiday party!  Even if you don’t host friends regularly year-round, everyone’s inner host or hostess comes out as the holidays roll around.  But the trick for entertaining with a smile is to keep things festive but still relaxed — so I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite tips for holiday hostessing!

Set the Tone with a Festive Theme

Holiday parties come in all shapes and sizes: from a fancy catered office party to having a few girls over at home.  If cocktail parties are your thing, go right ahead, but also consider some outside-the-box that your friends will enjoy: anything from a cookie-decorating party, a tree-trimming bash, or a girls night in with your favorite holiday movies. 

Think Beyond Saturday Night

Inevitably, everyone wants to throw their holiday party on the same Saturday night: before everyone goes out of town, but after everyone gets into the feel of the season.  Unfortunately, that means that people get booked for those prime holiday weekends way in advance, and your guests will likely be party-hopping all night.  My solution?  Pick an “off” night — a Thursday or Friday evening or even a Sunday afternoon — to avoid fighting for prime holiday hours and ensure all your friends can be in attendance!

Serve a Signature Beverage

Sure, you can serve wine and beer and call it day… but this is a holiday party, so why not try something a little more creative?  One way to enjoy festive drinks (but not turn yourself into a one-woman bartender all night) is to pick one signature beverage and do the prep work ahead of time.  If you’re serving, say, mulled cider with cinnamon sticks and a splash of Kahlúa (and now that I’ve mentioned it, gosh, doesn’t that sound like the perfect thing to serve?), you can prep it a day in advance and then just warm it up before your guests arrive. 

Get a Helping Hand

And on that note: if you’re having more than, say, twenty people, consider getting a little help.  A helping hand can go a long way, whether it’s some prepared food that you pick up before the party, a bartender to make sure everyone’s glass is full throughout the night, or hiring a cleaning service to swing by the next morning. 

When the Doorbell Rings, Enjoy Your Own Party!

It’s tempting to be the perfect hostess who stays up all night whipping up canapes from scratch, and some of us really enjoy spending time and energy on homemade treats.  But, you know what?  Your guests might oooh and aaah over those fancy dishes you spent hours on, but at the end of the day, what they really want is time with you.  Not the exhausted, up-all-night, can’t-leave-the-table-unattended-for-ten-seconds you, but the you who’s ready to catch up, to ask them how work is going, and to sip a cocktail with a smile.  Sure, parties take work, but they should be fun, too.  Don’t be too busy throwing your holiday party to enjoy it.

You know my favorite part of every party?  When there are a few friends left, at the very end of the night.  When you’re done answering the door and refilling people’s drinks, and you can just sit down, relax and just talk.  And you know what?  That’s the best time for one last drink, that you can sip slowly and linger with over good conversation.  So for that moment, when it’s just a few of your good friends left, when you want to keep the party going a little while longer, I give you: the Midnight Kiss.

The Midnight Kiss

INGREDIENTS

4 parts hot coffee
1 part Kahlúa
1 part vanilla vodka
1 part skim milk
Whipped cream
Chocolate Sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

Stir together the Kahlúa, coffee, vodka, and milk and pour into teacups.  Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, and serve.

The best cocktails are sipped responsibly.  When you’re hosting holiday parties and all year round, don’t overindulge and never drink and drive!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kahlua 5.Final

Kahlua 10.Final

Kahlua-3.Final

Tags: cocktails · holiday

the perfect cocktail for an adult halloween party!

October 10th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Kahlua-Halloween-Final-3

Halloween has always been one of my absolute favorite holidays.

See, it combines all my favorite things: Candy?  Check.  Playing dress up?  Check.  Staying up late?  Obviously!

And as an adult, I’ve added one more item to that list: Cocktails!

I’ve partnered with Kahlúa for the holidays to bring you guys some delicious, fun, easy recipes that are perfect for this time of the year.  This month, I’m kicking off with a delicious Halloween cocktail recipe for… dum dum dum… the Choco-Pumpkin Freeze!

Here’s the thing about this cocktail: it has two ingredients, and they’re both *amazing.* Chocolate ice cream and Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice, a special limited edition flavor that blends natural pumpkin and delicious autumnal spices with 100% Arabica coffee and sugarcane rum. In case it’s not obvious from the description, it is mind-bogglingly good.

And once you add chocolate ice cream? It’s out of this world.

So this Halloween, grab a few of your favorite grown ups for tricks, treats, and libations!  For more ideas on how to throw a wickedly amazing Halloween party, check out KahulaHoliday.com, which has custom recipes, entertaining tips and expert advice!  Or check them out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram — happy trick or treating!

Kahlua-Halloween-Final-2

Choco-Pumpkin Freeze

INGREDIENTS
1 parts Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice
1 part chocolate ice cream

DIRECTIONS
Blend together in a food processor or blender, and serve over ice in a highball glass. Enjoy!

Of course, the best cocktail is one that’s sipped responsibly — don’t overindulge and never drink and drive!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kahlua-Halloween-Final-4

Tags: cocktails · holiday · sponsored

peanut butter bars

January 3rd, 2014 · 1 Comment

photo 1(11)

Oh, I know.  You’re *so* over baking right now.  You made Thanksgiving dinner, and then Christmas cookies, and then Christmas dinner, and then a few special treats for New Year’s, and now you’re ready to hang up your oven mitts until Valentine’s Day, thank you very much.

But… I bet I can tempt you into one more recipe.  Just one more.  An hour of your time, tops.  A few more dirty dishes.  And in exchange for that tiny little bit of effort… Peanut Butter Bars.

Still not convinced.  Here’s my clincher: No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Yup, you can have these delicious bars without even turning on the oven!  So if anything can get you back into the holiday spirit, it’s this recipe. 

Also, can I brag for a second?  These plates are from two different Noritake patterns, and I fell in love with how they looked together!  The black and white BoB and WoW patterns are a little more casual, and perfect for taking my longtime favorite (Cometa) into more low-key parties.  One of my favorite things about Noritake is how easy it is to mix and match their patterns — I feel like I get so many different options just by owning a bunch of pieces from a selection of different patterns!

And, as a quick reminder, you can always use the coupon code SUGARLAWS for 15% off!  (And check out some of my favorite patterns on their site here!)

photo 2(10)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

Melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter (I did mine in the microwave on 20-second intervals), stirring until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

photo 3(9)

Tags: food · holiday · sponsored