Two Holiday Helpers

If you, like me, sometimes browse through your holiday food magazines and find all of the choices a bit overwhelming and difficult to mentally organize, I am about to share with you a life changing gift. Zach and Clay of The Bitten Word have thoughtfully organized every Thanksgiving recipe from 2012’s Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated, Cooking Light, Everyday Food, Fine Cooking, Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Southern Living and Whole Living (that’s eleven magazines!) and with the exception of those snobs at Saveur and Cook’s Illustrated, every single recipe is linked online. Today I will be trying a yet-to-be-determined stuffing recipe from the index, and if it’s worthwhile, I promise I will share it. You can find The Bitten Word’s extremely helpful index here.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, did you know that Thanksgiving Eve is considered the biggest drinking day of the year in terms of liquor sales at bars and restaurants everywhere? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to why.

My extremely talented friend Beth, founder and CEO of SIPP, an organic soda company, is a true cocktail savant with genius instincts. She is always creating fabulous, original cocktails which she never bothers to write down, much to my dismay. Last night she whipped up a delicious, fragrant, goes-down-way-too-easy cocktail with apple cider and vanilla vodka, and I insisted she write it down so that I could hopefully serve it again. But what to name it? We had many ideas, ranging from Apple Crisp (too desserty) to Autumn Dream (too Glade air freshenery), and let’s just say the ideas did not improve with each subsequent cocktail. But in the middle of the night, like all good ideas, it suddenly came to me: Holiday Helper! I hope you will try this, and I hope this will help your holidays.

Holiday Helper

1 oz. Vanilla Vodka

2 oz. Apple Cider

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1/2 oz. ginger ale (preferably SIPP ginger blossom if you can get your hands on some)

Combine vodka and apple cider in a cocktail shaker. Top with sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, then splash of ginger ale. Garnish with apple, if desired. Cheers, friends!

p.s. I finally entered 2005 and created a Facebook page for Mom Mom’s Apron. You can like me by clicking the box in the right hand column. As always, thanks for your support!

p.p.s. If you are having a bit of a hostess meltdown, check out this.

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Might as well face it, you’re addicted to…cocktail napkins.

Startling confession:

I am addicted to cocktail napkins. Usually I keep my addiction quietly in check, but this week the floodgates opened. It started innocently enough with a little trip to Home Goods on Tuesday in search of supplies to make Limoncello (more on that fun project coming soon). I was doing so well and not even seeking them out, but they were thrust in my face while waiting in the notoriously slow Home Goods checkout corral lined with pear scented sparkly candles and athletic socks and organic coffee and…whimsical cocktail napkins. I had a lot of time to contemplate my selection. On Wednesday, I hit kitchen mecca Sur La Table and wound up with a couple more packs (at full price, ugh, what a sucker), and then finally today I “bought my last pack, I SWEAR” with a little something from quirky discounter Tuesday Morning. That’s six packs in one week, in case you’re keeping score and now possibly wondering, “Gee, when’s the big party?” The answer is, “I don’t know.” Does one need a party to buy multiple packs of cocktail napkins?

I would show the napkins to you, but I like to surprise our guests with my colorful whimsy. Instead, I will share two actual cocktail recipes, courtesy of my friend Beth, the official Hostess with the Mostess. Beth founded Sipp, her own organic beverage company. Her products are phenomenal and have received numerous awards and accolades from the beverage industry, celebrities like Tori Spelling, and little old me.

I have had both of these cocktails, and warning — they go down easy! Sipp is expanding their distribution, so hopefully you will able to get your hands on some soon. Of course you can substitute if necessary, but it is worth it to use the best products you can manage to find. Cheers!

Posmo Berry Sparkler

2 oz. organic vodka
4 oz. organic pomegranate juice
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. organic agave nectar
1 oz. SIPP – Mojo Berry

In a shaker add ice, vodka, pomegranate and lime juice with agave nectar.  Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.  Strain into a highball glass with ice.  Top off with SIPP and garnish with a thin lime wheel. Enjoy!
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Ginger Blossom Gimlet
2 oz. organic cucumber vodka
4-5 leaves of fresh basil
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. SIPP – Ginger Blossom

In  a shaker muddle basil slightly with a muddling stick.  Add ice, vodka and lime juice.  Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.  Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Top off with SIPP and garnish with a thin cucumber wheel.  Enjoy!
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p.s. Not only do I hoard cocktail napkins, I also take pictures of cute ones I see at different parties, as seen below. Yes, I know I have a problem.