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The Importance of Toasting

24 Apr

The celebratory tradition of a toast transverses virtually all backgrounds and cultures.

My husband and I hosted a small brunch at our house this Sunday. We made Mimosas – always brunch favorite. When make a toast, we not only express the jubilant spirit of the season, but can do it in a way that includes everyone. Our small family gatherings include several diverse beliefs – Atheists, devout Catholics and Pagans and so I have especially come to enjoy our holiday toasts, when we all take a moment together, raise our glasses and pause to acknowledge this special occasion – for which ever reason we find it special!

Spring Celebration Mimosas

Mimosas on the deck, Sunday morning

The fun stuff – Mimosas!

Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Prosecco or Cava, select around a $10-12 bottle. You want something that you won’t feel bad about mixing, but something that is still tasty enough for those who prefer to for go the juice and just sip the bubbly. Skip the Brut and try a Blanc de Noirs or something of a similar style. The slightly less tart profile mixes better with the acidic orange juice.

For the juice, when you can go for fresh squeezed orange juice. Fresh juice has more flavor than juice from the carton, so you may want to use a smaller amount. We are fortunate enough to have two orange trees, loaded with sweet fruit and used this occasion to break out our juicer. Also try juice blends like Santa Cruz Organic orange-mango or orange-pineapple, for a slight twist.

For the presentation, a rimmed metal tray is an excellent choice. It makes for easy clean-up and prevents soaked table cloths if your bubbly happens to bubble over!

Our Orange Tree


Part 1 ~ Girls Night In

1 Oct

The Bar

My favorite part of the bar was the signature pink drink of the night, French Martini’s.

Fill your shaker with ice, 1 1/2 ounces of Vodka, 1/2 ounce Chambord, and 2 ounces of pineapple juice. Shake what your mama gave you then pour into a beautiful martini glass. I rimmed my glasses with cocktail candy I purchased at BevMo and garnished with 2 fresh raspberries. Delish!

Dark chocolate Ghiradelli raspberry squares, perfect to pair with Ancient Peaks wine.

In addition to the signature cocktail, I had an assortment of wine, champagne, and ice lemon water. Here is the full bar set up, everything was easy for self-serving, in exception to the French Martini (I was the official martini shaking mama).

My BFF’s insisted I needed a “Modern Hostess” picture. They also demanded photo credits: Shayna & Katie photography.



Pink Your Drink

21 Sep

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and I plan to kick it off with a “Girls Night In” next week. I’ve been busy planning and organizing all the details, including a signature “pink” drink (or 2) at the party. I love that Chambord has generated more than $50,000 in donations to Breast Cancer awareness with their Pink Your Drink campaign. Bravo!

Here is one of my favorite recipes on the Chambord website, the French Martini.

I also love the Chambord & Champagne…a perfect cocktail to toast to my lovely friends.

Stay tuned for my blog postings next week to kick off October’s Breast Cancer awareness month.