This year has gone by so fast. It’s almost hard to believe a new year is about to begin. Now more than ever is our chance to slow down and enjoy the moment with our loved ones. Relax and let loose a little bit. These festive beverages will help you unwind after a long day and be able to tolerate your nephews playing their new Christmas drum set. Thanks a lot, Santa.
Pomegranate Mimosa will look oh so elegant in your hand as you pretend you’re in an Audrey Hepburn holiday. This simple cocktail is ¼ pomegranate juice and ¾ champagne. Scoop a few frozen pomegranate seeds on top for visual effects and a lightly chilled delight.
It’s not a holiday without Christmas Sangria. In a large pitcher, stir together 2 bottles of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay wine, ¾ sparkling apple cider, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup cranberries halved and 1 cup cranberries whole, 1 Granny Smith apple chopped, and 3 Rosemary sprigs. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
A Traditional Wassail Bowl will surely spice up a quiet evening. Made with a half pound of sugar, one teaspoon of nutmeg, 7 -12oz bottles of Light Beer, and one half pint of Sherry. Mix ingredients and let sit at room temp for 3 hours. Before serving, garnish glasses with apples roasted in sugar and spices as well as lemon or apples dipped in cinnamon. This one increases jolliness by 100% as your cheeks redden.
Peppermint Punch is good for those who have a sweet tooth but cant partake in alcoholic refreshment. Blend 2 cups of eggnog and 5 large scoops of peppermint ice cream in a blender until creamy. Combine in a punch bowl with club soda and you have a minty treat for kids and adults. Add crushed candy cane to the rims if you’re feeling extra. If only adults in the room then you can substitute traditional spiked eggnog or include peppermint schnapps.
Hot Apple Cider is a must have for any seasonal event. It is my absolute favorite drink for a cold day. This super easy recipe will take minutes but give lifetime memories. One gallon of Apple Cider, one cup of orange juice, 4 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons whole cloves, 1 teaspoon whole allspice. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker for and hour and remove spices before serving. Include Butterscotch Schnapps, caramel vodka, or a spiced rum of your choosing for a boost.
If the weather outside is frightful, stay in and get snowed.
Elfie is the newest member to many families these days. He makes all kinds of raucous in the home with crazy antics and surprising pranks. Elfie can be a great gauge for your kids (or husband) to measure how close they will be to the naughty or nice list this year. While Elfie is busy getting into trouble, the little critters are having so much fun keeping up with him or her that they are staying out of it. Let’s see what Elfie is up to lately…
Elfie is tired of walking. Being mischievous is a lot of work. Elfie has borrowed a beautiful Barbie saddle that’s placed on top of Charlie, the family dog. Elfie lures Charlie with treats on the end of a pole in order to lead him around. Elfie doesn’t have to walk so far and Charlie enjoys his snacks so it’s a mutual agreement.
Elfie says goodbye to Charlie because he has to hide 12 candy canes he stole from the Christmas tree before the humans wake up. He can’t wait to see their faces when they read the note he wrote telling them of his maniacal plan. They will never find them all! He is too good of a hider; he won first place in hide and seek at the North Pole Elves Convention.
Elfie is sad. It hasn’t snowed at all here this Christmas. He misses the snow and all the things you could play in it. He has an idea. He pulls down flour, marshmallows, sprinkles and all kinds of finds from the baking shelf and spreads them all over the counters. Elfie brings a little white Christmas to the family with flour snow angels and marshmallow snowmen. It’s starting to feel more like home here every minute.
The humans need a bit of help decorating. They only have ONE tree up. At the workshop Santa has a tree every 20 square feet and garland covering every wall. Elfie finds their wrapping paper. This will do. He starts with wrapping the cabinet doors. It looks pretty festive but it still isn’t enough. He then wraps the table. Much better. Might as well finish it off by wrapping the couch. Perfect. The humans will be so pleased with the redecorations.
It’s almost time for the family to wake. Better hurry. It’s time for Elfie to take a bath so he’s presentable to them. He has bits of paper stuck to his back and streaks of flour in his hair. He rushes to the sink and fills it with cotton ball bubbles. Ah yes. This is the life. He grabs an American Girl robe and a washcloth to wrap his hair. Now to relax after a full morning at work.
Are you feeling it yet? That’s the rush of the holidays flying by. We are already past Halloween and now shortly coming upon Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving you will be prepared. You will not let your Mom and Grandma down by forgetting to bring something to the table. You’re a grown adult now and you can contribute to the feast. How can you possibly do that with such a hectic schedule, you ask? That’s where we come in.
Pie Junkie is a delicious little place where you want something sweet and homemade. The best part about it is that you can order by the slice or a whole pie. They offer frozen and fully cooked pies for your convenience. They have multiple options that makes it difficult to choose just one. There is Apple Crumble, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Crumble, Drunken Turtle, Orange Bourbon Pecan, Coconut Cream, Macadamia Key Lime, Sweet Potato Crumble, and Bird Dog Buttermilk. Stop by here to pick up your preordered holiday pie before heading to Grandma’s and get a little slice for you for the road. The family will never know you didn’t make it yourself, unless you’re an honest person and give all the credit to Pie Junkie because you can’t tell a lie. In that case, good for you. *pat on back*
If you’re tired of the same ol’ traditional desserts, this year you can pick up a dozen of Green Goodies’ seasonal cupcakes. These cupcakes are made with top quality ingredients and various cupcakes available in gluten free and vegan options for the cousin with sensitivities. Seasonal cuppies are Caramel Apple Pie, Chocolate Peppermint, Peppermint Bark, and Pumpkin Spice. Mmmm.
Belle Kitchen is known for yummy donuts and macarons. In addition to that they have a few holiday pastries that may tempt even the saltiest of tongues at your gathering. The Rustic Plum Spice Bar looks festive and delightful. Belle herself requires it be paired with hot cocoa.
Sweet tooth still not satisfied? Grab a pastry from Ingrid’s. If Pie Junkie didn’t have the rare pie you were looking for, then Ingrid’s does. Rhubarb and Strawberry Rhubarb are options for the adventurous. Several fruit pies like Dutch Apple, Apricot, Triple Berry, and Peach for the traditional folk. You can also enjoy some dense cake-like treats of pumpkin bars and cherry pudding bars for a change of pace.
Either way you can’t go wrong with any of these great desserts. Make your family proud.
Ghostly times are upon us. We need to be prepared. We need to make plans to make sure that this October is the spookiest of scares yet. Some of the creepiest places and activities are right here in our own OKC. Read on for more details…if you dare…muahahaha.
Cycling Ghost Tour: Take a 7 to 8 mile tour of the most haunted places in Downtown OKC. Jeff Provine, The Ghost Guy, will thrill you with tales of sites such as the Myriad Gardens, Film Row, Bricktown, The Skirven, Carey Place, The Plaza District, and The Overholser Mansion. You can rent a $3.50 Spokies bike for the trip or bring your own helmet and bike. The cost is $20 per person for a 3-hour ride of stories. For more information visit SpokiesOKC.com.
Cry “Sanctuary”: The Sanctuary is a year round haunted attraction that is sure to psychologically shake you. On its website you can read a full background of its beginnings that will prepare your mind for the story about to unfold. Each level has a specific storyline delving deeper and deeper into Dr. Hammond’s mysterious ways. For $25 each person you’ll have a 40 minute tour of the facilities. If you need a stiff drink to calm the nerves, there’s a full service bar and nightclub in the basement for the faint of heart. Food and refreshments also served on the grounds.
Sit and Screen: “It Came from the VCR!” is a film festival of old VCR days. Come in costume and enjoy frightful nostalgic films. In between films you can partake in free food or place an order at the bar. This event takes place Oct. 27th at the IAO Gallery. Admission is nada, zilch, zero. Prizes and best costume honors will be awarded so dress your best.
Creeping Cruise: On board a Haunt the River Cruise that’s quite a hyped specter. Delight in refreshing snacks, haunting sounds and tunes, some decked out décor, as well as a cash bar. It departs at Exchange Landing. It is $35 per adult. Cruise the river in true horror style while sipping a wicked cocktail.
Got Little Ghouls?: For those with little ghouls looking for something a bit more tame for the tiny beasts, then Haunt the Zoo may be a purrfect pounce. Each year the OKC Zoo holds a trick or treat experience that is a sight to see for young and old alike. It contains over 20 different themed booths with costumed volunteers handing out goodies. There are plenty of photo op stations for your little lion to explore.
Let loose and howl fiendishly into the night. You’ve been waiting all year for this.
Halloween is here again, which means it’s time for fun foods and festivities. This holiday really lets your creativity shine with scary snacks and tricky treats. Everyone knows food is the crux of a great party (besides adult spirits…slow wink). To make your next fright fest a monster smash, follow these easy recipes to trick out old treats in new ways.
This easy snack will be a delight for the young ghouls and young at heart. A cool twist on Pigs in a Blanket is Mummy Wrap Dogs. You’ll cut your crescent rolls into strips and wrap around your hot dog in typical mummy like fashion. Bake as directed on package. Then when all cooked, add eyes with your favorite dipping sauce.
Poison apples are an advanced version of candy apples. They are beautiful black and blue sheens. These will be sure to give all the neighbors chills. Recipe to follow:
2 cups white sugar
½ cup corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon purple gel food dye
1 teaspoon black gel food dye
6-8 granny smith apples
Wash and dry apples thoroughly.
Place on a baking sheet and poke firmly with candy sticks.
Line a second baking sheet with buttered parchment paper, and set aside.
Place a candy thermometer in a medium saucepan and add sugar, water, and corn syrup.
Place over medium heat; whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Let the temperature rise without stirring until it reaches the hard-crack mark at 290-310F.
Remove pan from heat and carefully remove thermometer, and stir in food coloring.
Holding the pan at an angle to gather the syrup in one side for easy dipping, dip and swirl each apple in the syrup, let excess drain off back into the pan, and then dip, swirl and drain a second time.
Place on buttered baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining apples.
Bubble bubble, toil and trouble. Now all you need is a perfect concoction to poison your guests…whoops, I mean serve your guests. You can use your favorite punch recipe, lemonade, or cocktail to make this delightfully dark drink. All you have to do is break open activated charcoal tablets and stir into your beverage until you have a black potion of your desired ebony. Bonus points because charcoal is cleansing to the system.
Back in my day, my mother would mix peanuts and candy corn and that was our Halloween treat that we would munch on for days. Now there is fancy Harvest Hash, which sounds amazing. This will be the first recipe I try this year.
1 12 oz Box Chex Cereal, flavor of your choice
1 7oz bag of Bugle Chips
4 cups Pretzels
3/4 cup Melted Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Candy Corn
1 cup Candy Corn Pumpkins
1 8oz bag of Reese’s Pieces
In a large bowl you will mix 1 box chex cereal, 1 bag of Bugles, and 4 cups of pretzels. Melt ¾ cup butter mixed well with ¾ cup brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp vanilla extract. Pour this sauce over your cereal mixture. Combine well then spread over cookie sheets lined with parchment paper to bake for 45 min on 275 degrees. Once baked and cooled you can add 1 cup candy corn, 1 cup candy corn pumpkins, and 1 bag of Reese’s Pieces. Mix well and enjoy some harvest time.
When your barbecue just isn’t bringing the guests to your shindig, you need to up your entertainment game. Some good old fashion competition should rile up your audience. Here is some backyard business that everyone can get on board with. Now let’s get the ball rolling…
Yard-zee is an oversized version of the classic dice game your grandparents used to make you play when you were young and they’d beat you every time. You’ll have a blast wrestling a large bucket to “shake” your dice in and chasing your steroidal cubes all over the lawn. When tired of all that winning, you can switch to Farkle, another household favorite with a questionable name. Now that you’re an adult, you can beat your children, nieces, and nephews. Maybe let them win just once to show good sportsmanship…Nahhhh.
Corn Hole is a personal favorite at my house. There is nothing like getting a group of family together for a tournament. The rules are fairly simple; just toss your corn bag across the yard in attempt to make it into the hole. Don’t judge. It’s harder than it sounds. Make sure everyone is playing by the same set of rules with a unbiased score keeper in order to prevent major family rifts that end with not talking to Aunt Sally for months. Then when all is said and done the winner is named Corn King or Queen. Okay, so its not a fetching title but your family won’t forget who won the year of 2017. Boo-yah.
To put a twist on the traditional “Potato Sack Race” and “Three-legged Race,” go to a local thrift store and buy four to six of the largest sets of jeans or pants you can find. Each person will slip inside a pant leg in teams to work together to hop across the finish line. Kids and adults alike will not be able to stop laughing by how silly this game is. Goofy? Yes. Fun? Absolutely. The videos will go viral on YouTube.
The sun is going down, but no one is ready to end the fun. After all, now that it’s evening it is the perfect summer temperature. That’s when you break out the Glow in the Dark Bowling. Take small bottles for children or two-liter bottles for adults then fill with water and place glow sticks in them. Grab your favorite basketball or soccer ball and you have a rager of an evening. A great way to end the night and you’ll gain brownie points with your Grandpa who’s in a professional bowler’s league. The summer fun has just begun.