Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Show them some love… quick as Santa sliding down the chimney!

December 22, 2011

Family feeling neglected, ’cause you’re busy with holiday tasks? Here’s a warm cuddly dessert that they’ll think you spent hours on! This recipe practically makes itself using a mixture of fresh and dried fruits (no peeling, less chopping) and Read the rest of this entry »


Punch up your parties… and your decor

December 15, 2011

The absolute, bar-none (I’ll get to the pun in a moment) recycled holiday purchase you can make is a punch bowl. A punch bowl with cups is even better.Punch bowls hold eggnog... and much more!One of the best reasons to shop first in local consignment, resale, and thrift shops is to save money, and resources, on possessions that are used so seldom, it simply doesn’t make sense to pay full price. And most folks drag out their punch bowl sets only a few times a year.

And punch, or eggnog, or grog, or any colorful flavorful concoction, is perfect for the holiday entertaining season. No messing around with a full bar, no pre-guessing how many bottles of this or that you’ll need… and an opportunity to do some beautiful beverage decorating!

Here’s my favorite recipes for holiday punch, all of which do equally well with or without alcohol.

PS: To keep a punch cool, freeze some of it (perhaps with the appropriate fruit garnish) in a Bundt pan*. As the ice melts, the punch doesn’t get diluted, so the last cup’s as tasty as the first.

* And there’s another thing that’s perfect to buy secondhand: a Bundt pan!

20 Days ’til Christmas, 20 Things to Buy

December 5, 2011

Okay, time to get serious. Twenty days, and at least twenty more things to buy…

at your favorite consignment, resale, or thrift shop.

Some of these might be gifts, some might make your life a bit easier, and some… well, heck, you need a little gift too, don’t you? You’ve been good!

So head your sleigh in the right direction, bring along a few carrots for the reindeer and a little bit of money, to find:Turn a thrift-store birdhouse into a holiday centerpiece

Entertaining supplies. Punch bowl? Extra wine glasses?

The perfect party outfit. Dancing shoes. Hostess gown. LBD.

The perfect decor items. Vintage, glamourous, or tongue-in-cheek.

Blasts from the past. A Parcheesi game, Rubik’s cube. Great hostess gifts.

Books. Rather than a single best-seller, gift your reading friends with a bundle of 5 great books.

Cold-weather gear for the sleigh ride or ski slope.

Kitchen gear you might only use once. A Bundt pan or trifle bowl.

Warm-weather gear for the resort-bound. Great beach bag? Diaphanous cover-up?

Christmas stockings. From simple to silly ornate, for use or to hang from every eave of your house.

Stocking stuffers. Teeny toys, funky sit-arounds, amusing bibelots.

Party clothes for the kids (red velvet’s adorable, but really, to buy new? Not so much fun.)

Serving pieces. Gravy boat, turkey platter.

Sparkly accessories. Rhinestone chandelier earrings? Cut-velvet evening bag?

A birdhouse. Spray it white and sprinkle with glitter, it’s an instant holiday centerpiece. Imaginative and budget-friendly.

Your wallet will love you almost as much as your friends and family will, for your thoughtfulness and imagination, when you shop resale, shop local, shop earth-friendly.

The birdhouse photo’s from A Stroll thru Life.

The Perfect Hostess Gift this Holiday Season

December 3, 2011

Whether or not you do the hostess-gift thing throughout the year (and if you’re coming to my house, why yes thank you), the holidays just seem to call for a little something.

Here’s how to make a little something into a bigger one:

Bring something yummie to eat on a dish picked out especially for your hostess.

First, choose one (or more) of the recipes from The Picker Who Perished, a TGtbT Consignment Shop Mystery. The recipes are here.

Use a recycled plate for those hostess goodiesThen, with all the time you’ve saved by using one of Wendy Sam’s simple recipes, hustle over to your favorite consignment, resale, or thrift shop, and pick up a serving plate. It might be holiday-themed, or it might complement your hostess’s decor, or it might be a giggle (“Razorbacks” plate, anyone?)

That way, once the goodies have all been nibbled, the hostess gets to keep… or re-gift… the platter.

The Arkansas plate was one of Style Gallery’s offerings on Etsy.

Gifts from the Heart

November 12, 2011

090926crazy-chef-cropThis great recipe is infinitely variable.* Try one version for Thanksgiving, then make a batch for holiday gifting. Find the perfect presentation plate or tin at a thrift store, resale shop, or consignment boutique!

Rum, Bourbon, or (if you must) Teetotaler’s Balls

The basic recipe from

* 3 1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafers
* 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder Read the rest of this entry »