Halloween Creepy Cocktails!

DSC_0164So lately we’ve brought some great ideas for Halloween, from table scapes and decorations to some yummy treats. The only missing piece? Cocktails! Cap off your spooky Halloween 2013 with one of these delicious, yet devilish, drinks:

Caramel Apple Punch

Serves 6

 6 oz Spiced Rum

6 oz Caramel Flavored Vodka

1 bottle Sparkling Cider (refrigerated)

1 apple, thinly sliced

In a pitcher, combine the rum and vodka and stir. Put in the fridge until ready to serve. When guests arrive, add the entire bottle of cider, and very gently stir.

Divide punch between six, ice-filled glasses. Wedge a few apple slices along the side of the glass or on top and serve.

Black Magic

Serves 1

 1.5 oz Patron XO Café Liquor

1.5 oz Vanilla Flavored Vodka

1.5 oz heavy cream or half and half

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously to make the cream nice and frothy. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

We hope these drinks add (safe) some fun to your Halloween party this week!

Happy Halloween from Christina Logan Design!

DSC_0141

 

Advertisements

Halloween treats are not just for kids…

Ok, I cannot tell a lie: I get a little bit jealous of kids when Halloween comes around. Yes, it is somewhat acceptable for adults to dress up for the holiday; however, gorging on copious amounts of candy is not. To address this problem, I set out to make one of my favorite treats (whoopie pies), but with a Halloween twist. Whoopie pies are fantastic because they combine the soft chewiness of a cookie with frosting all in a compact little treat that’s perfect for parties (or just for yourself!)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

DSC_0095

Makes about 18 cookies for 9 pies.

 1.5 cups all-purpose flour

0.5 teaspoon baking powder

0.5 teaspoon baking soda

0.5 teaspoon salt

0.5 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

0.5 tablespoon ground ginger

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted & cooled

1.5 cups pumpkin puree, chilled

1 large egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat. Combine the first seven dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until well mixed. Add pumpkin puree and whisk again until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk again. Finally, slowly whisk in the flour mixture until well combined. Drop large tablespoons onto the baking sheet, keeping cookies about 1 inch apart. (A small ice cream scoop is a great tool for this step!). Smooth the tops of the cookies down with a finger. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops crack a bit. Transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool.

Filling options are endless! Cream cheese is a traditional favorite (Recipe), although chocolate is divine too (Recipe).

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

DSC_0097

Makes about 20 cookies for 10 pies.

 1.5 cups all purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocao powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 cup unsweetened applesauce (helps cut down on sugar!)

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, whisk together the first 5 dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat again until smooth. With the mixer going, alternate adding small amounts of the flour mixture and then adding the applesauce, ending with the flour mixture. Mix everything until smooth, but not overly mixed. Drop large tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet, keeping cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until tops begin to crack, about 12 minutes. Transfer immediate to a wire rack to cool.

These are great with cream cheese filling or vanilla filling (recipe). Add orange food coloring or orange sprinkles for that Halloween twist.

And stay tuned for next week’s blog for a few delicious Halloween cocktails to go with these scrumptious treats!

 

Halloween Haunted Home!

We love Halloween!  It is somewhat because I, personally, am a candy addict, but it is also because it is another excuse for us adults to act like kids!  To dress up and be creative and wear costumes that we only get away with one day a year (I’m not sure what your excuse is those other days…).

While it’s always fun to go out to parties, sometimes you want to bring the party home and have people over.  We don’t all have the wallet to buy extraordinary Halloween decor, so we have scoured for some of the easiest items to make and put around your home to add a little flair without breaking the bank. Thanks to Martha Stewart for her never-ending source of ideas and images to bring events to life!

la100282_fal04_spidersill_xlUse candles and votives you have around the house already and add plastic bugs … to really freak people out, be discreet and just use a few!

la100925_fal04_rotteneggs_xlUse those bugs in your bowls of fruit too or hide them in the middle of a bowl of mixed nuts!la102781_1007_blcandles_vert Already have white candle sticks?  Grab your markers or red ink pens to drip “blood” down the stick.mld104879_hal09_table_wicks_hdGo to your local craft store or party store and you can find affordable bags or spiderwebs.  They’re easy to spread about in different parts of your house and allow you to incorporate them straight into your food in drink display.
msd104470_hal09_pumpkinfaces_vertIf you already have orange balloons from a kid’s birthday party, grab your markers and make those jack-o-lantern faces on them!  Otherwise you can buy different balloons at the store in a variety of colors with pumpkin faces, ghosts, bats and more.sheet-cover-up-1010sip9100_vert

How easy could this be? Drape your white sheets over your furniture so it looks like an abandoned house.

a98100_1000_windows_hdLastly, add some silhouettes in your window so the ambience already begins when your guests pull up to your front door.  Using paper and a cutout, attach to your sheer drapes and leave the lights on … this is sure to make people know where the party is!

Don’t forget to turn down the lights in the main level and get some haunted music!  Food and drink help are up next!

Hollywood’s Hottest Wedding Spot?

For the last decade or so, scores of hot celebrity couples have retreated to one foreign locale for their star-studded nuptials. From Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biels, Italy has time and time again proved to be perfect for a destination wedding.  And why? Because Italy has so much to offer! From lavish weddings in ancient cathedrals to intimate ceremonies in private villas, almost any location in Italy provides a scenic backdrop.

Italy is also the locale for this month’s celebrity wedding special!

On Saturday, September 14th, singer John Legend married model Chrissy Teigen overlooking the outrageously beautiful Lake Como. As per any celebrity wedding, the guest list featured an abundance of stars including Kanye West, Quincy Jones, and model Brooklyn Decker (who also served as a bridesmaid!). The party of 125 guests later dined on Italian fare, including truffle risotto.

Chrissy Tiegen's wedding day selfie posted on Instagram!

Chrissy Tiegen’s wedding day selfie posted on Instagram!

The 2 major highlights of the wedding? The music and the dress(es)! Not only did the groom serenade his bride with a piano rendition of “All of Me,” but guest Stevie Wonder treated the entire crowd to a performance of “Ribbon in the Sky.” And yes, we did say dresses (plural) as the bride slipped into not one, not two, but three Vera Wang dresses throughout the day! She started the day in a stunning ivory strapless ball gown, which featured hand-cut petal embroidery. For the reception she donned another ivory dress, but switched to a mermaid style with an organza full skirt. Finally, she stuck with the mermaid style but went with a colorful frock of crimson to cap the evening. What a lucky lady!

We just want to know with the wedding being in Lake Como, who stayed at George Clooney’s house??

Letting Go

We’ve said it before.  I know we have, but something this important bares repeating.

It’s finally here; your wedding day! Woohoo! You’ve probably spent months researching, emailing, calling, meeting, and stressing to get it all pulled together. Hopefully, you have an awesome planner or coordinator who has helped reduce all that stress and has prepared everyone for the big event.

But now it’s today, the day where all of your hard work is complete and your vision comes to life. Over the years, we have met many couples whom have one final obstacle to face on this day: letting go. After all this time, many people have difficulty handing over the reins to their wedding-day-rodeo.  And this isn’t limited to the happy couple—we’ve seen parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and even an anxious musician still want to be in absolute control over every little detail. We get it. We totally do. We have been there (quite literally).

Just remember this: you have hired a coordinator or planner for a reason. We are here so you can forget about all of the details and simply enjoy your day. You are getting married!

Stop. Repeat. You are getting MARRIED. I mean seriously, how amazing is that?  You have found someone who loves you enough to put up with your OCD behavior on how to make a bed and load the dishwasher properly, not to mention your unhealthy addiction to Bravo TV.

And now, you get to have a huge party! You look amazing! Those are the things we want you to remember and revel in, not what time you were supposed to cut the cake or if someone remembered the offering flowers for your Catholic ceremony. Trust your coordinator, everything will fall into place.  Have you ever seen the inner workings of a Broadway Theatre?  No!  (okay, maybe you actors have) It is mayhem and crazy and adjustments are being made and lights are changes and costumes are being re-sewn.  And as an audience member, you’d never know the difference.  This is how the bride and her party should feel.  You don’t have to worry about the behind the scenes – we will do it all for you.

That said, we need your help before the big day to make that happen. Here are a few things you can do to prepare and things to do on the actual day:

  • Remember, you only have one job for the day of your wedding: get married. Do your job well, and trust that everyone else will do their job well too!
  • Request an extended meeting the day of your rehearsal. Your planner should be at your rehearsal, but ask for some extra time either before or after. Ask for at least 30 minutes to review your timeline, point out any discrepancies that may have come up in the final days, and go over your last-minute questions. You will get to go to bed with peace of mind. At CLD we require a 1 hour meeting to touch over everything.
  • Deflect and delegate. Designate a member of your bridal party as your question “gate-keeper,” that will deflect unnecessary questions and delegate any last minute tasks. Of course, there will be some practical and necessary questions during the day, but some pre-wedding delegation will help.
  • Have something fun planned for the morning-of. Start your day with a light brunch with family or friends. Yummy food, along with a CLD-approved mimosa, will set a good mood for the day.
  • Remember that in ten years from now, you are more likely to remember how beautiful your now-spouse looked and how they made you feel compared to anything else that happened that day.

Whew! Now take a deep breath and go enjoy your wedding day!!