IMG 7371 thumb Repurpose Wine Bags For More Gift UsesWe drink wine. We give parties. A LOT of wine gifts come thru our door, no complaints! The wine bags? I often repurpose them into smaller gift bags.  Here is the easy 1, 2, 3…

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Kahlua Pecan Pie Four Best Thanksgiving Sides (as in, BETTER than what you usually serve)As years pass, who sits at your Thanksgiving table will NOT be just the people you grew up with. You’ve got new in-laws, step-families, brides, grooms, neighbors, friends.

Everyone has favorite foods for this holiday. I hate dressing, so I’ll never cook it and serve it. Larry hates it, too. Yet, our nieces cannot dream of Thanksgiving without it (so, they bring it).

If I were to wipe the slate clean of our family “standard” Thanksgiving fare, yet still serve familiar and delicious stuff, I’d go with these:

  • Instead of chips and Lipton onion dip, I’d MUCH prefer shrimp cocktails with This Unbelievebly Best Cocktail Sauce Ever. Agreed that it’s a much more costly option, so maybe save this idea when you’re doing a tiny group. But definitely make this sauce.
  • Instead of green beans, you will thank me when you make The Best Baked Corn I’ve Ever Tried.  I am not lying, this veggie is soooooo yummy.
  • Instead of mashed potatoes, serve Perfect Restaurant Baked Potatoes.  No lumps, no drying out, no runny spuds.  And no stress trying to make good enough gravy.
  • Instead of pumpkin pie, which I adore, try a Kahlua Pecan Pie. It’s the original, classic pie.  OK, I would still serve the pumpkin pie, AND the Kahlua Pecan Pie, which Larry has mastered preparing himself.

 

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closeup fudge 2 thumb Kahlua Holiday Fudge + Drawing: Win 2 Vintage Kahlua Recipe Books

My cousin, Jeff, is horrified that I would post a Christmas Fudge recipe in the middle of October.  Sorry, Jeff, this is important. People have LOST their Kahlua Recipe Book!  Here is Kahlua White Chocolate Holiday Fudge… and a drawing for two of my vintage booklets. {And yes, those walnuts are naturally red.}

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Patricia Londre Renaissance costume thumb Renaissance Halloween Costume Secret: eBay + Old Duvet + The Cat’s Toy (P.S. Read How I Made The Hat)

This is sewing. Cheap project, but still requires knowing how to use a sewing machine, read a pattern, cut fabric and follow instructions. Here’s how I made my Renaissance Halloween costume for about $70.

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potato salad thumb Patricia Rose’s Bacon & Potato Salad ~ A Real Crowd PleaserI tripled Patricia’s recipe to fill this big-ass container for my mom’s birthday party. Friend, Chef Patricia Rose, blogger at Fresh Food In A Flash served this dish at her OWN birthday and it was exactly what I needed for the Mom Gig. I’m thinking it was the TANG that caught my attention. Slurp.

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IMG 5793 thumb Postcard From the Land of Juan Valdez ~ ColombiaSome TV commercials stick in my memory for decades. JUAN VALDEZ, remember him? He taught us about “the richest coffee beans in the world.” Sort of cartoony, he did his thing hand-picking coffee beans in the mountains of Columbia, always accompanied by his donkey.

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Mind-Blowing Dessert ~ Bogota!

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Criterion Restaurante, Bogota, Columbia   Watch and drool. Dessert at Criterion in Bogota, a gastronomic masterpiece. Brothers Jorge and Mark Rausch, chefs and brains behind the brilliance –attentive, warm, funny, genuinely deserved their honor as #19 of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.  And the “Best Restaurant in Colombia,” per Ron Zacapa Rum.

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Meet Bogota’s Power Couple (And Savor a Little Food Porn, Too)

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Departing Bogota, my heart was heavy… I was leaving CRISTINA. I love her. She’s half of power couple Cristina Botero, Executive Director of the Corazon Verde Foundation, and Chef Harry Sasson, multi-restauranted culinary icon of Bogota. Now that I think of it, I LOVE Harry, too.

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OMG, Bogota!

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So, you and I are chatting, and I mention I’m packing for Bogota, Colombia. “BOGOTA? Seriously? WHY?” {insert concerned facial expression here.} The short answer… food.  The long answer…

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LaLoop ~ My Travel Must-Must-MUST-Have

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If you follow my travel posts, pretty much any shot of moi shows an elegant tortoiseshell (faux) necklace with gold (faux) loop. LaLoop. It’s my fav eyeglass / sunglass carrier. And once you try one of these, you’ll travel everywhere with it, too. (There are manly versions, too, guys.)

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Simple Yellow Cake From Scratch ~ No Deep Thoughts Here

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It may be August, but I felt like baking. Six men have been crawling all over our home for weeks, painting its exterior. “Thank you” and “such a great job” are words; a cake will make ME feel better. I baked them a Scratch Yellow Sheet Cake with Pink Peppermint Icing. 

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Glamping at El Capitan Canyon – Looks Like Just A Tiny Cabin, Right?

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El Capitan Canyon

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Classic Kahlua Chocolate Mousse ~ Can You Dig It?

Classic Kahlua Chocolate Mousse

Kahlua Chocolate Mousse – do you CRAVE deep, dark, thick mmmmmmousse with the flavor of Kahlua? This mousse is “classic” because it put Kahlua on the map when it came to cooking with it. Decades ago, one restaurant, brilliant idea, spread like wildfire, history.

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