Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

100 Layer Cake
Love the paperwhites.

Eat Drink Chic
Tis the gift giving season…why not pair your gift with this cute downloadable card.

Sweet Paul
Perfect time of year for a delicious cup of hot chocolate.

Having trouble finding the perfect gift. Check out InStyle's best of the web.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Prosecco and Raspberry Jellies

Boozy Treat Recipe.

Few people love rich desserts as much me. Give me chocolate, caramel, butter crusts and the like, all day long. But we are smack dab in the month-long period where even I can reach my max-capacity. So should I stop serving dessert at parties? NO!!

This little gem comes from the UK Magazine, Ideal Home...Prosecco and Raspberry Jellies. Consider it a grown up jello shot. Light, fruity, and delicious!

Prosecco and Raspberry Jellies
Serves 8
Time: 40 minutes, plus overnight to set

3 1/2oz fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries
2 Tbsp powdered gelatin
750 ml prosecco (or lemonade if you are making non-alcoholic)
2/3 cup superfine sugar (1/4 cup if using lemonade)
1 tsp gold-leaf flakes (optional)

1. Press the raspberries through a sieve and discard the pips left in it. Pour the juice into a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin powder. Heat 250 ml (about 1/2 a typical bottle size) of the prosecco or lemonade with the sugar over medium-low heat until just warm and the sugar has dissolved.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the juice mix. Whisk until the gelatin has fully dissolved (sieve if there are lumps). Leave to cool.

3. Put eight glasses in the freezer for exactly 20 minutes (any longer and they'll be too cold). In the meantime, whisk the gold flakes and remaining prosecco or lemonade into the cooled jello mixture. Freeze for 10 minutes, whisk again. Dish into glasses and leave in the fridge to set overnight.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Sponsor: Magnet Street

Invitations and wedding paper purveyor.

In the world of weddings, we all want something unique. We might adore what someone else has done and be inspired, but ours has to be different at the same time. Unfortunately, being unique and different can often come at a lofty price.

Our newest sponsor, Magnet Street, can definitely help in your search for wedding individuality. Their site is filled to the brim with invitation designs that can be customized to fit your distinct color scheme. Flat cards, pocket invites, tri-fold, and many more options are available. And the prices are VERY reasonable...especially for all of the flexibility that you have in customization. Here are some of my favorite designs (I love a square invitation)...

And besides the basic invites, Magnet Street offers components that will complete your wedding invitation and reception paper needs. Address Labels, table numbers, place cards, and much much more.

And of course there is their namesake product...magnets. They are a great option for Save the Dates. Instead of getting lost in the ubiquitous pile of mail, these guys will be a constant reminder of fun times to come on your wedding day when your guest go to the fridge for a late night snack.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

I love the look of clustered exposed bulbs as a chandelier. Raw chic.

The Selby
These fabric covered books from Jeanne Lanvin’s private library in Paris are just to die.

What Katie Ate
Baked Apricots with Lemoncello…oh my.

Type Depot
Lovely font for free.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Cocktails

Cocktail Recipes.

During Thanksgiving, I have a really difficult time using my self control when the turkey and stuffing hit the table. In fact, if truth be told...I could eat an entire bowl of stuffing. What usually happens is that I eat my fill and have absolutely no room left over for dessert. I love the idea of pie...but it usually has to wait until breakfast the next morning (healthy...I know).

So when I saw these recipes for cocktails that are inspired by Thanksgiving dessert, I thought they were the perfect solution. They taste just as delicious, give you a little holiday cheer, and take up far less room in my stuffed belly.

I think they are well worth a try on Thursday, don't you?


Caramel Apple Pie Martini

1 oz. 1800 Silver Tequila (dont skimp here...you want the smoothness in this drink)
½ oz. butterscotch schnapps
1 oz. apple cider
1 tsp. lemon juice

Combine ingredients and shake well with ice, strain into martini glass. Garnish with an apple slice.


Pumpkin Pie-tini

1 oz. milk
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 ½ oz. Three Olives Vanilla vodka
1 ½ oz. crème de cacao

Using a small amount of honey, rim martini glass with graham cracker crumbs.

Shake milk and pumpkin puree over ice to combine. Pour in remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into the martini glass.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Make them melt

Food DIY.

My Thanksgiving celebration doesn’t include a lot of kids, but if it did I would be sure to set up a fun project to keep them occupied and intrigued for a couple of hours. I think the DIY hot cocoa dippers in this month’s Good Housekeeping, has all the makings of a great activity.

Set up a card table with brown paper, a fondue pot or bowl of chocolate from the microwave and some wax paper. You will need drinking straws, large marshmallows and red nonpareil sprinkles. Skewer the marshmallows with the straws, dip the marshmallows in the chocolate leaving the tops exposed. Be sure to lift the straws straight up to let the additional chocolate drip off. Cool briefly on wax paper, but dip marshmallow bottoms into sprinkles while chocolate is still slightly soft.

If you have a variety of age groups at your gathering this is a great way to get the older kids and younger kids mingling. Designate the older kids to supervise the project and then everyone has great hot cocoa dippers for dessert or a take home gift to celebrate the holiday season.

Friday, November 19, 2010

British Invasion - Living Etc Magazine


While waiting for my gate to be announced at Heathrow, I popped into a newsstand to buy a ridiculously large bag of Cadbury chocolates and happened to catch a glimpse of the cover of Living etc Magazine. The cool styling on the cover reminded my of my dearly departed Domino Magazine. I snatched a copy for the plane and made my way through the terminal.

One hour later, my copy of the magazine had more rabbit ears than the holiday section of target in March...and surprisingly not a drop of caramel or smudge of chocolate on any of the pages. The perfect mix of interior design advise, fun product finds, and food & bev ideas, Living etc Magazine is now officially added as a regular source of inspiration for yours truly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

British Invasion - Russian Spring Punch

Cocktail Recipe.

One of the cocktail lounges that we visited in Piccadilly featured famous contemporary London cocktails. And luckily I decided to give Russian Spring Punch a try. Don't let the "Spring" in the title fool you. It is perfectly lovely to drink it in Fall, Winter, and Summer as well. Add it to your repertoire...you'll be glad that you did!

Russian Spring Punch
Serves 1

3.0 fl. oz. of Vodka
1.0 fl. oz. of Lemon Juice
1.0 fl. oz. of Creme de Cassis
1.0 fl. oz. of Sugar Syrup
Sprig of Mint

Combine all ingredients (except Champagne) in a cocktail shaker with the ice, shake, strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with Champagne. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Garlicky Kale and Spinach Dip


This is my go-to healthy dip. It is literally just a few fresh ingredients with a kick of garlic. I always like to have one super healthy snack at all of my get-togethers. My personal way of eating my way through a party is to start with the healthy snack and try to fill up as much as possible and then move on to say, “the cheese tray.”

I’ll be very honest about this dip. It looks beautiful and sometimes that can be deceiving. It doesn’t taste like spinach and artichoke dip. It tastes like kale and spinach. I happen to like both of those flavors so this dip works for me. However, I suggest labeling it for your guests so that they are aware that it is a HEALTHY choice. That way people like my husband who are perfectly happy just eating sliders all night will not make the horrible mistake of eating something that tastes like fresh vegetables.

It’s easy to make and lasts for up to 5 days in the fridge. It is inexpensive and should give you enough iron to power through holding your glass for the entire night.

Makes 1 ½ cups.

• 1 bunch kale, washed and tough stems removed (about 7 ounces)
• 1 bunch spinach, washed and tough stems removed (about 5 ounces)
• 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
• 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
• 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 cup olive oil


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside.

2. Add kale and spinach to the boiling water and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and plunge into the ice bath. Once the greens are cool, remove them from the ice bath, shake off any excess water, and place in the bowl of a food processor.

3. Add garlic, pine nuts, and vinegar and, while puréeing, slowly pour in the olive oil. Continue puréeing, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary, until all of the oil is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and serve.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Love and Lavender
Engagement photos inspired by the movie Up.

Dessert for Breakfast
The perfect fall dessert…cognac, caramel, pecan and pear pudding.

The Cinderella Project
Great use of flea market finds.

A Cup of Jo
Check out the DIY on how to get this chic, party- ready side chignon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

British Invasion - Limited Edition Twinings Tea

UK Tea.

Wandering up The Strand, you'll pass the posh Savoy Hotel and Theater (celeb central), St. Mary-le-Strand church (where Charles Dicken's parents were wed), the Australia House (site of Harry Potter's Gringott's Bank on film), and a very special store...Twinings Tea.

This narrow little store first opened it's doors in 1706 and remains in the Twining family. If you have the opportunity to visit London, explore the store and even schedule a tasting in their lovely tasting room at the rear of the store.

Luckily for us, you can get a taste of Twinings without a Trans-Atlantic flight too. Twining does export to the states in great volume and their Earl Grey has been a favorite of mine for some time. But these beauties below are a bit special...

Currently only available online, Twinings is offering three Limited Edition teas for the holidays - Rose Garden (rose infused black tea), Blossom Earl Grey (infused with Orange Blossom), and Mulled Spiced Tea. And talk about gorgeous packaging...so lovely. Wouldn't one of these be perfect to serve at a holiday luncheon?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trend Alert: Russet Lips


Normally on Hip Hostess we talk about ways to make your entertaining process easy and affordable but with the holidays approaching…fashion plays a bigger role in party going. This season the Russet lip is the way to go. I’m not sure what to call the hue? Is it brown, terra-cotta, orange or just a mixture of all? The great thing about it is that it works on dark and light complexions. It is understated yet adds a little color so you don’t look totally washed out. It is going to be my go-to for holiday events. What do you think?

Friday, November 12, 2010

LetterBox Co

Via Lushlee

With the holidays fast approaching I love to find stores that have unique items at affordable prices. LetterBox Co. has these in spades! Check it out here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

British Invasion - Dorset Knob Biscuits

UK Goods.

My husband and I recently sojourned in London and I came back to the states totally inspired. So for the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing my finds with you as I'm sure you'll love some of these ideas from over the pond as well.

My first find is Dorset Knob biscuits.

Packaged in this absolutely delightful tin, Dorset Knob Biscuits have been crafted by hand using the same Moores family recipe for 150 years. These biscuits are twice baked in a wood fired oven to create a crisp texture that is just begging for your favorite jam and butter...or even a slice of extra sharp cheddar and chutney. Yum!

And going back to the tin design, I am just as excited to use it after the biscuits are gone. Don't you think it would be the perfect tin to store half open packages of Carr crackers or flatbreads?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Naturally Simple


It’s no secret that at Hip Hostess we like to use everyday items that do double duty as décor for your home, centerpieces or even buffets. We love the idea of not having to store a lot of seasonal objects. Last year we showed you how to dress up an orange using cloves. This year how about giving your apples some character using brass brads (available at craft stores).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Link Love.

What Katie Ate
Chocoholics everywhere will drool over this Choccolatine bread with nutella.

Fabric of my Life
I love this mix of different barstool styles.

A stack of vintage cases makes a lovely bedside table or storage unit.

Snippet and Ink
This unconventional wedding dress is just so amazing. Love. Love. Love.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Etsy: Alexandra Ferguson

Etsy Find.

I love a little humor in home decor. So when I saw these adorable pillows from Alexandra Ferguson's Etsy Shop, I thought they were the perfect mixture of cheekiness and chic. Don't you agree?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Napkin Folding


If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year but are looking for a way to make an impressive table and not spend a lot of money, this idea’s for you. This napkin fold is used by famous chef Auguste Escoffier when presenting rolls on the table. The roll is slightly visible at the top to prevent runaway rolls as people pick up their napkins.

With a few folds this little beauty can create a wow factor. The best part is that it can be done ahead of time and all that needs to be dropped in is a fresh hot roll. I thought I would make sure this post was good and early to give you plenty of time for practice. Take a look at the tutorial here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

ASOS for the US


It's hard to believe that Halloween has passed. Before we know it, Thanksgiving will be upon us. And I hate to hasten us along even further, but we have to start thinking about holiday parties. I'm already worried about what I'm going to wear to parties that haven't even officially been announced…and god-forbid that I show up wearing the same thing as someone else.

Thankfully I've found a new wardrobe weapon that is chock-full of a ton of great finds - ASOS.com. This UK online retailer is FINALLY available to those of us in the US. And no need to worry about expensive shipping...it's free for both purchases and returns. I took a quick gander at some of their party dresses, and I'm kind of loving these

And make sure to peruse the other areas too. There are a few outerwear pieces that I'm drooling over too...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Homemade Cracker Jacks

Snack Recipe.

Nothing says sporting event like peanuts and cracker jacks…besides maybe an adult beverage or two. With the World Series underway and your Sundays filled with football games why not make your own cracker jacks. It is super easy and once you have tasted this recipe you definitely will never eat them out of the box again.

Not only do I love popcorn, peanuts and caramel but I like the idea of being able to put the treat into a fun personalized container. Next time you order Chinese food, ask the delivery person to bring a few extra containers. The containers they sell at the craft stores are not usually food safe. I also love the cute red and white striped paper bakery bags from here or just put them in some bowls that you already have around the house.

Anyway you serve ‘em they are delicious.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Muffiin Makeover


A couple of years ago, NYC started forcing chain restaurants to display calorie counts for food right on the menu. That was the day that I lost breakfast muffins forever. I quickly found that it didn't matter if it was a bran muffin or a low fat blueberry muffin, there were still way too many calories. Every time I looked at them, I imagined an hour on the elliptical machine and then quickly lost my appetite.

But there is hope!! Fitness magazine featured a recipe for Apple Struesel Muffins that sounds absolutely delish. And each muffin only has 163 calories and 6 grams of fat. I'm totally trying these this week...and with no guilt!

Low Fat, Low Cal Apple Streusel Muffins

Makes: 12 muffins

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup shredded apple with skin
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork; stir in buttermilk and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in apple. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters of the way.

3. In a small bowl, combine pecans, flaxseeds, and remaining brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon pecan mixture on top of muffin batter.

4. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack 5 minutes; remove from cups.

Nutrition facts per muffin: 163 calories, 4g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 6g fat (1g saturated), 2g fiber

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Whimsical Wonderland Weddings
I love this photo…the eyes are so expressive.

Awesome paper installation.

hello naomi
This site is filled with lovely cakes

Mint Design
The perfect fall cocktail. Mexican Pumpkin Punch.