Archive for the ‘entertaining’ Category

The Many Uses: DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN UTILIZE YOUR BAR ESSENTIALS

I recall a few years back when I posted one of my blog series called – ‘The Many Uses’ and I’m bringing it back, y’all! Cause after all, I’m always finding myself using a decor accessory or kitchen essential in a different way than the original purpose it’s intended for.

Today, I’m sharing the many uses on bar essentials, primarily the ‘Wine Rack’ and a ‘Wine Bucket’. Keep reading to see how you can use these items in different ways around your house!

‘The Wine Rack’

The Many Uses: DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN USE YOUR WINE ACCESSORIES

While the product label described this as a wine rack, truth be told when I first laid eyes on it, I automatically thought it was a magazine rack.  I love the gold frame detail and acrylic panels – perfect for showcasing guest towels, a sleep mask, and toiletries your guests may have forgotten!

 

‘The Wine Bucket’

The Many Uses: DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN USE YOUR WINE ACCESSORIES

When it comes to entertaining, I like to use items that relate to the theme.  So if I’m hosting a wine and cheese party, I’ll have more than one wine bottle out for guests to choose from. Therefore, using this slender wine bucket with handles is a great way to display a flower arrangement – coordinates perfectly with the theme.  Another way to use this wine bucket holder is to store your cold ice.  Guests can help themselves when mixing their own cocktail of choice!

I’d like to know – what are some of the ways you would use these two bar accessories?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Cheers!

-Photos by Rose Angel Lopez

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Quick and Easy Meal Recipe: GARLICKY TOMATO PASTA WITH WINE SAUCE

30-MINUTE MEAL RECIPE: GARLICKY TOMATO PASTA WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE

If you love garlic, then you will love my garlicky tomato pasta recipe! You will even love it more because it takes less than 30 minutes to make!

I came up with this recipe one day when we didn’t know what to eat for dinner. I really didn’t want to cook a big meal that would take an hour or more to both prepare and cook. I looked in our pantry and found a box of spaghetti and in our fridge were cherry tomatoes and garlic. Since we didn’t have spaghetti sauce, I recalled watching a cooking show that showed how to make a wine sauce for a pasta dish and since we keep our wine fridge filled at all times – we were in luck!

30-MINUTE MEAL RECIPE: GARLICKY TOMATO PASTA WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE

30-MINUTE MEAL RECIPE: GARLICKY TOMATO PASTA WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE

This meal is in heavy rotation at our house and it’s so easy to make! You can scroll down and check out the video I made below for my step-by-step instructions. For your convenience, I’ve created a printable recipe card for you as well.

30-Minute Meal Recipe: GARLICKY TOMATO PASTA WITH WINE SAUCE
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients
  • 1 1b. of Spaghetti (1/2 of the box)
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 6-10 Garlic Cloves, minced (add as little or as much as you like)10.5 oz. Cherry Tomatoes
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Butter, unsalted
  • ⅓ cup White Wine, dry preferably **If you like a bit of sauce in your pasta, you can add 2 heaping tablespoons of marinara sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese, shaved and Basil for garnish

Instructions
  1. Boil your Spaghetti until al dente.
  2. In a small frying pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil. When olive oil is hot, add the garlic and stir until golden and fragrant. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the tomatoes and stir frequently until tomatoes burst and release their juices. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add wine. (If you want to add a bit of marinara sauce, you can add it at this time). Once the sauce comes to a boil, turn off the heat.
  4. Drain your pasta and place it back into the pot. Pour the sauce in the spaghetti and toss.
  5. Plate your pasta, top with fresh parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!


30-MINUTE MEAL RECIPE: GARLICKY TOMATO PASTA WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE

Pair this pasta with a side salad and/or a warm piece of crusty bread and you have a delicious meal. Oh, and let’s not forget to pour yourself a glass of wine!

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

-Photos + Recipe by Rose Angel Lopez / Music: My Italian Summer: Pop Mania by Nino Rapicavoli & Romolo Grano

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FRIDAY’S FAVORITE FINDS WITH ‘HOUSE 15143′

Happy Friday, everyone!  I was recently invited as a guest by Table Magazine to attend a release signing cookbook event by wellness coach and author, Lindsey Smith (stay tuned – I’ll be sharing a post on that next week!).  As part of my ‘Friday’s Favorite Finds’ blog post series, I wanted to first share with you a few of my favorite finds from the beautifully curated shop the event was hosted at… House 15143, located in Sewickley, PA.  After living in PA for nearly 10+ years, I have never visited this borough…shameful, isn’t it!  Upon arriving to Sewickley village, I was impressed by the large beautiful homes (that’s the HGTV part of me) and the quaint downtown area filled with restaurants and boutique stores (I felt like I stepped into a Hallmark movie set!)  I can’t wait to return to Sewickley because we went during the evening hours, so it was quite dark outside.

The lovely ladies, Danielle and Kristin are the owners of this stylish, chic and modern shop. I just love, love, love boutique stores that carry home decor, entertaining essentials and unique gifting and House 15143 was just that and more! If you’re looking for graphic art prints – look no further, they have a wide selection of prints to choose from that suit your personality. If you’re in need of something custom, no problem, they have an in-house graphic designer who can design and create it for you. In addition to the unique products they sell, they also offer decorating services and host cooking classes in their in-house kitchen, featuring local chefs and restaurants! If you live in the Pittsburgh or surrounding areas, you can view their upcoming events, here.

Check out below for my favorite finds that I purchased and a glimpse inside House 15143 via a video snippet I created, at the end of this post.

FRIDAY'S FAVORITE FINDS WITH 'HOUSE 15143'

I was pretty obsessed with all the eye candy that surrounded me as I stepped foot into House 15143. The first thing I noticed was the large floor-to-ceiling display of luxury candles.  You guys know how obsessed I am with scented soy candles, so it was no surprise that one of them was going home with me! As you’ve noticed from the pictures above, I snagged a few other items:

  • Candle-Match Bottles.  An apothecary jar with a built-in, strike-on-bottle design that also features a printed message on the bottle. I also  a tall glass bottle with cork top that includes oversized candle matches. Pairing these candle match bottles with your scented candles is a convenient and beautiful way to display on your coffee table.
  • A Luxury Scented Candle.  There was a wide selection of fragrant candles to choose from and ultimately, I went with a Sydney Hale Co. candle. The scent reminds me of summers at the beach which was probably purposeful, since the name of the scent is ‘Sweet Water’! I’m looking forward to lighting this candle after the winter months have passed.
  • Prosecco Cocktails Recipe Book. Since I love to entertain this cocktail recipe book is perfect for when hosting a brunch – after all Prosecco cocktails and brunch go hand-in-hand! I’ll be sure to share recipes with you on the blog so that you can try them at home too!
  • Brass-plated Wine Bar Sign. I haven’t shared this with you yet but I have recently turned our bar cart into wine cart. When I saw this Wine Bar sign, I knew it would be a perfect addition to the bar cart. I’m going to have to think of a creative way of displaying it since it is meant to be screwed into a wall or cabinetry. Stay tuned for this!
  • Tea Towel. With Valentine’s day just around the corner, I was smitten with the tea towel that an illustration of a tree with a red heart hanging from one of the branches.  The message on the tea towel reads: ‘ love grows here’.  I have another tea towel that was gifted with a purchase of Lyndsey’s cookbook. It read
  • Wooden Serving Board.  Ok, you guys, I’ve been searching high and low for a large wooden serving board and I was ecstatic when I saw this one! At-home entertaining just got more fun – look out for an epic charcuterie and cheese board…a future ‘how-to’ blog post! I can’t wait to use this massive woodend display board.
  • Beverage Napkins.  I collect a variety of bev napkins to have readily available for any occasion and I couldn’t resist the black and white stripe ‘Cheers’ ones that I picked up.

Whenever I can, I like to support local shops and I’m happy I found another store I foresee visiting frequently!

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

-Photos + video by Rose Angel Lopez

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A DAZZLING GLAM BLACK + BLUSH + WHITE NEW YEAR’S EVE TABLESCAPE

A GLAM BLACK & BLUSH NEW YEAR'S EVE TABLESCAPE

Farewell 2017…Hello, 2018!

This will be our 4th year celebrating NYE at home. We have a fun tradition (similar to a date night), we get all dressed up, cook up a fabulous meal and dance till midnight! Oh, the benefits of not having to travel in the frigid cold weather, and being able to just walk up the stairs when it’s all over to get in comfortable pj’s and climb into bed!

I wanted to quickly pop in and share with you a snippet of my black and blush New Year’s Eve tablescape. Cue the sequins and glitter!

A GLAM BLACK & BLUSH NEW YEAR'S EVE TABLESCAPE

A GLAM BLACK & BLUSH NEW YEAR'S EVE TABLESCAPE

I went to my table linen rack and pulled out my black sequin fabric to use as a tablecloth…hey, it doesn’t feel like New Year’s Eve without a good dose of sparkling sequins, am I right?! If you caught my holiday home tour blog post, I used the same faux pink snowed roses that I had used in both our Christmas tree and the fireplace mantel and used it to create a floral table runner. For some ambiance, I nestled two large confetti pillar candles and placed several glittered tea light candles in clear glass votive candle holders. To break up the dark black sequins table fabric, I coordinated my dinner plates, flatware, and champagne glasses in a crisp bright white color. To bring out the pink roses, I used our blush colored salad plates. I found these festive Ten Second Countdown New Year’s Eve beverage napkins from Laura Hooper Calligraphy. Alongside the bev naps, let’s not forget the confetti poppers to use at midnight – a time-honored ode to ring in the New Year!

To see how I styled our bar cart for NYE, click over to my instagram!

Wishing all my wonderful readers a very happy and healthy New Year!!

-Photos by Rose Angel Lopez

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DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

It’s that busy ho-ho-ho! time of year. Last minute Christmas shopping, invitations to holiday parties, wrapping presents and preparing our home for entertaining. The holiday season inspires the entertaining spirit within me. For a casual get-together, I like to keep it easy without all the hustle and bustle. A simple Christmas party idea is to host a ‘Hot Cocoa Dessert Bar’ for family and/or friends! In today’s post, I’ll show you how you can turn your bar cart into a ‘hot chocolate & dessert bar station’. Who doesn’t love a hot cup of cocoa, right?! And for the adult version, make a spiked version. I’ll share later in the post, what I used to spike my hot chocolate.

For some holiday fun, you can coordinate this yummy holiday party idea by inviting your girlfriends over to wrap presents, or set a table and have a gingerbread making contest! Don’t forget to turn on your Christmas songs playlist and have your tree twinkling in the background.

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

What I love about this DIY is – it’s so easy, it’s self-serve (which saves a heck of alot of time on your part) and it’s inexpensive! All the items you see are all store-bought. Between the holidays and the cold weather, this is the time of the year where all the grocery stores and home stores have so many festive gourmet confections and speciality food options from candy cane marshmallows, chocolate dipping spoons, and peppermint everything!

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

Let’s start with the hot chocolate, shall we? While it may be easier to have individual hot chocolate packets available, I like to step it up notch and offer a decadent tasting hot chocolate. My newest favorite is Sarabeth’s Hot Chocolate Parisienne that I picked up at HomeGoods (found it online, here). It has semi-sweet Belgian chocolate morsels inside the dutch cocoa, and pure white cane sugar. All I have to do is add milk and boil! I love the brand’s preserves, so I knew this had to be good too!

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

So how did I spike this hot chocolate, you may ask? Well, I used my favorite creamy liqueur…RumChata! I simplied followed the directions on the back of the hot cocoa tin can, poured the hot cocoa in my mug, added 1 ounce of RumChata and stirred. Your guests will have the option of pouring their desired amount into their mug of hot chocolate.

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

These festive wooden ‘holiday cheer’ stirs from Laura Hooper are perfect for guests to use when stirring their spiked hot cocoa. Or an alternative, are these chocolate spoons.

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

These creme filled rolled Pepperidge Farm Piroutte wafers are perfect on its own or to use as a garnish for your mug of hot chocolate.

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

I scored these jumbo candy candy dipped marshmallows at Walmart. To satisfy your guests preference, you can display both large flavored marshmallows and plain mini marshmallows. Check out these green and white puffy poles marshmallow twists and these flavored Irish Cream marshmallows. Target also has a variety of holiday marshmallows like these dark chocolate peppermint marshmallow pops, these festive snowflake marshmallow hot chocolate toppers and these assorted hot chocolate toppers in peppermint, salted caramel, or chocolate chip.

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

Since sprinkles are just for garnishing the top of your hot chocolate, you don’t need a lot of it. So I decided to use my mini salt and pepper shakers that I had extra pair of. I adhered my gold foil alphabet letters to identify the contents inside…’p’ for peppermint and ‘c’ for cinnamon. The chocolate shavings were a bit thicker in texture, so I housed that in a small glass votive candle holder – alongside an appetizer-sized spoon.

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

I purchased this pretty calligraphy ‘Hot Chocolate bar’ stand, back in January from PS Weddings and Events. This Etsy store owner offers many color options. I went with the rose gold color option that mimics the hue of hot chocolate. I love that I can reuse this sign many times!

DIY: HOW TO USE YOUR BAR CART TO CREATE A FESTIVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND DESSERT BAR

How to use your bar cart to create a DIY Hot Chocolate and Dessert Bar Station:

ITEMS NEEDED: 

  • Create, purchase or download a Hot Chocolate bar sign.  There are so many free downloadable hot chocolate bar printable options on Pinterest. Not only is having a sign fun and festive, a sign will also allow your guests to easily identify your hot chocolate station.
  • Use a carafe to hold your hot cocoa. Have your hot chocolate already prepared, hot and ready for your guests to self-serve.
  • Set of Mugs. I used my vintage milk glass mugs but you can use any type of mugs you have.
  • Store your sprinkle garnishes in a shaker. No need to buy special shakers – if you have an extra pair of salt and pepper shakers, use those to house your ground cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate shavings, and/or peppermint dust sprinkles.
  • Store your liqueur in a glass carafe or decanter. Optional if offering spiked hot chocolate. This is not entirely necessary but since I like to style items in a cohesive look (wink, wink) so I prefer to pour some of the liquor out of its original bottle. You can use adhesive alphabet letters or print labels.
  • Use platters, cake stands and/or footed bowls. When using a combination of platters, cake stands or footed bowls, you are giving dimension and height to your display.
  • Use your glassware. House your dessert treats in individual glasses. Whether it’s champagne or martini glassware – anything goes!
  • Festive Beverage Napkins. I collect all kinds of seasonal, holiday, birthday, and cheeky bev naps so luckily I had the perfect pink color to coordinate with colors in the Christmas tree.
  • Appetizer plates (not to be confused with dessert plates). Perfect size for personal tasting dishes.

 DESSERT/GARNISH OPTIONS:

  • Pair your decadent and rich hot chocolate with delicious confections. I displayed a variety of six dessert treats that included cookies, chocolates, madeleines, and macaroons.
  • Some garnishing and/or toppings suggestions would be ground cinnamon, crushed or crushed or dusted peppermints, chocolate shavings, whipped cream, marshmallows, and caramel.

DISPLAY:

  • Since our bar cart is a two-tier, I prefered to keep all the dessert treats on the top tier since guests are more likely to revisit the hot chocolate station to nibble on a few more treats.
  • I used the bottom tier to hold the hot chocolate, liqueur, mugs, stirs, and additional marshmallows.
  • Keep it festive and style your bar cart with holiday decor. A few items I used are a couple of tree ornaments, some fresh greenery, and twinkly LED fairy lights.

I hope you are inspired to create your very own DIY hot chocolate and dessert bar party and may you enjoy this season, creating new memories.

Happy Holidays!

-Photos + Styling by Rose Angel Lopez

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