Monthly Archives

October 2009

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Last-Minute Recipes for Halloween

halloween pumpkin soup and spooky spider deviled eggs

In case you are looking for more inspirations on what to serve at your Halloween party.

+ This Pumpkin Soup in a small pumpkin bowl is elegant. You could recycle the idea for Thanksgiving. Via Noob Cook.

+ Devilled egss are back in vogue. The Spooky spider eggs are a cute adaptation of the classic. The decoration is super fun. Via Sunset magazine

home cooked halloween treats seen on sunset magazine

+ Start making the Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle at least 70 minutes before serving as you need to allow a cooling period. Via Sunset magazine

+ Plan an hour to make 30 Cheddar Witch’s Fingers. Except for one person, everyone who tried the recipes said it was a success. Via Sunset magazine

Even if you don’t host a party, you could serve any of these recipes to your family tomorrow for Halloween. They would thank you for that special attention.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Glamorous Halloween Party

Photographer Meg Baisden already hosted her Halloween party. And what a fabulous party it was! Her Halloween decorations were fun, festive and so sophisticated. It has just the right amount of glitter to suit an evening event.

You can add glitter to any objects. This allow you to buy less expensive props knowing that you can upgrade their look. It can be messy, so choose the right spot in your home.

mixing your halloween decorations with your home accessories

The event was planned by Meg and her employee Jamie. I like how they integrated Meg’s home decor into their festive decor. When you host a party at home, it is an important consideration. By making them a part of your party decor, you send a warmer welcoming message to your guests. This is not always possible to accomplish. The easiest way is to consider the style of your home decor before planning your party theme and decorations.

Since they are professional photographer, it comes to no surprises that the pictures they took of the decor and the food are stunning. Since I envy the quality of her party photos, I feel inclined to mention it anyway.

MORE:
+ photos by Meg Baisden Photography

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

True Blood and Vampire Wines for Halloween

vampire and true blood wines for halloween

Another proof that Halloween is influencing the market at all levels is the wine business. Really, one key difference between the wineries in the United States and the wine makers in Europe is that the American wine makers explore other avenues than the wine connoisseur language. Let’s face it, when I host a party I am looking for a wine in the $13 to $20 price range to serve my guests. I go for a crowd pleasing wine in red and in white.

Going back to Halloween, vampires are in. There are many TV series and movies on vampires. In fact, we almost selected True Blood as the theme for my husband birthday party (more on that, later). It is sad that at the time, I did not know that I could have ordered a True Blood wine from Vampire Vineyards. Although $30 is too much to serve at a 35-guest party, I might have bought 2 or 3 bottles as a display.

Vampire Vineyards produces several wines with names that scream Halloween. You can choose between Vampire, Chateau du Vampire (Vampire Castle) and Dracula. The advantages with these is that you do not have to made your own wine label. Hopefully for us, that line ranges from $9.99 to $19.99.

For more ideas, check out The Kitchn. They dug more spooky labels and scary names wines for us.

SOURCING:
+ TrueBlood Napa Valley Syrah $29.95 USD
+  Vampire Wines at Wicked Wines

LIVING TRAVEL

Opera: the chic return of the folding camper

opera folding camper :: next step of glamping

I am curious about this upscale folding camper that comes with luxury beds and an enclosed teak veranda. I perceived it as an extension of the glam camping (also known as glamping) trend that grows over the last couple of years. But Opera has the advantage of delivering comfortable camping wherever you wish to camp. It is called Opera because the Sydney Opera House was the design inspiration.

Opera is scheduled to launch this December. I will be looking for more details. For now, you can watch a promotional slideshow on Your Suite in Nature.

+ photo: Your Suite in Nature

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Kroom Makes Toy Storage and Furniture with Recycled Cardboard

kiddy set and toy storage recycled cardboard solutions by krooom

Founded in 2006, Kroom transforms recycled cardboard in adorable kid furniture and toy storage solutions. Cardboard can be durable and strong. You or the babysitter will be able to sit for playing with your kid since the stools of the table and stools set can hold 220 pounds.

I enjoy the illustrations printed on the furniture and the storage boxes. I feel that Krooom updated classic kid themes. Tris, in particular, is gender neutral.

recycled cardboard tris table and stool set by krooom

Each series has several components. Items come absolutely flat in the package, they have a moisture resistance and are free of hazardous chemicals. Plus, no tools are necessary for assembly. I read on Inhabitots that they are laminated to protect against accidental spills and splashes.

recycled cardboard storage box on wheels by krooom

Barnes & Noble and Target are listed on Krooom as the only US retailers who carry the line for now. Sorry but I do not know how much they cost. You may like to know that Kroom also makes home accessories that could appeal to students or to decorate your first apartment.

MORE:
+ Krooom Kids Collection
+ Store Listing
+ via Inhabitots

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

My Branded Cupcakes by Sweet Things

cupcakes with my logo by sweet things

When Juanita Koo saw on Twitter that I was going to Toronto, she decided to give me a sweet treat. She sent me 6 cupcakes that she decorated with the 2 logos of the KimVallee.com brand. It is fun to arrive after a day of meetings to your hotel room and see those waiting for you.

branded cupcakes baked by sweet things :: cupcake shop in toronto

I tasted her chocolate sour cream and her strawberry vanilla cakes. Both were excellent. I was pleased that they taste as good as they look. The size are her cupcakes is just perfect; not too small, not too big. Plus, she does not put too much icing and her icing is not too sweet.

cookware cupcakes by sweet things

I like the tiny potholders and oven mitts she crafted for the Calphalon Culinary Center in Toronto.

If you are in the Toronto area, do not hesitate to contact Juanita of Sweet Things. She does cakes and cupcakes. I am glad that her business since to be doing fine.  For more inspirations, you can have a peek at her adorable baby cakes.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

David Stark Greener Holiday Collection at West Elm

comfort trend represented by David Stark holiday collection

The way I decorate for Christmas has changed a lot over the years. The cool Christmas looks are miles away from what Christmas decorations were when I was a kid.

It is evident when we look at these pictures. In fact, the top picture constitutes a good example of the Comfort trend, one of the 4 Holiday decor trends for 2009. I love it!

David Stark Sparkly Decor Wreath

Over the last few years, nature plays a big element in my Holiday decorations. This year, you could show that you care for the planet by getting decorations from 100% natural and recycled materials. A stylish collection is the one designed by David Stark for West Elm.

David Stark natural weave trees

On my wish list are the Lupis twine trees and the sparkly decor wreath. The trees are available in a table version and a floor version. You do not need to add a lot to make an impact. See how adding a simple ribbon and a few Christmas baubles enhances the overall look.

MORE:
+ David Stark Natural Weave Tree 2 foot $24, 6 foot $99
+ David Stark Sparkly Décor Wreath $59

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Everyday Housewares on your Thanksgiving Table

repurposing daily housewares items :: Thanksgiving tabletop

Here are two super affordable ideas to show creativity on your Thanksgiving tabletop without breaking the bank. At Bistro Chez Roger in Montreal, they use a 12-inch bread pan to serve bread. A clothespin becomes a casual napkin ring. So after the party, you are not stuck with 20 napkins rings that you will never use again.

Plus, using everyday housewares will leave you more money to make sure everyone has the same glasses, plates and flatware.

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

How to Make Spider Web Icing

how to make spider web icing :: bake at 350 halloween cookies

To conclude today’s marathon on Halloween treats, I am leaving you a link to a tutorial I spot on Bake at 350. You can learn how to make this awesome two-color spider Web icing. The technique is demonstrated on cookies but it could be adapted for decorating cupcakes.

Bridget of Bake at 350 is a source of information for any baker. She shows us how to make cute candy corn cookies.

+ photos: Bake at 350