This morning we got up bright & early, despite the frigid temps, to talk Golden Globes fashion with our fav–Abby Ham! Check out the video below.
Our annual Cocktails & Carols party has become my favorite way to celebrate the season. Having all the people we love take the time to get dolled up and spend an evening gathered around our piano during the busiest season of all is such an honor!
My new year’s resolution last year was to spend more time living in the moment. So while I didn’t take any pictures during the party, I did snap a few of our outfits that I think you’ll love. Husband’s midnight blue tux is custom, of course, and those slippers were acquired during his summer in New York. My fancy baubles first belonged to two of my favorite ladies—outfits with a story are always better, no?click here. Below, you’ll find my spin.
Poinsettia Punch Parker
Two 1-liter glass carafes (preferably with lids)
1⁄2 pint raspberries
1 bottle Tanquerey (or other fairly smooth) gin
1 bottle (no sugar added) cranberry raspberry juice
1 bottle Prosecco
At least five hours before, slice fruit and divide evenly between the carafes.
Cover the fruit with juice (about 1 cup)
Then, fill the rest of the carafe with gin.
Refrigerate until serving.
Serve the chilled gin mixture over ice and top with prosecco.
*Note: We went through the gin base very quickly even though we made a double batch so we simply refilled the carafes (that still had fruit in them) with the gin and juice mixture. After the first, no one really notices if it’s a little stronger 😉
Each year I set aside one day during the third week in December to catch up, buy those last few Christmas gifts, and add some final decorating touches before our annual Cocktails & Carols soirée. Today is that day and when I’m at home, I can promise you that A Very Murray Christmas will be playing the background. To say I was giddy the first time we watched it would be an understatement. If you’ve seen in or plan to, here are a few fun notes/facts to save you from the post-Netflix google rabbit hole!
Bemelmans Bar, located on the first floor of The Carlyle, has kicked off more than one magical evening for us in New York City. I’m particular to this bar for a few reasons but the main one is the incredible artwork that covers every inch of the place down to the lampshades.
The murals were painted by Ludwig Bemelmans, best-known for his Madeline series, in exchange for lodging when he and his family lived at the Carlyle for a year and a half. My very favorite scene in the bar depicts winter in Central Park complete with snowing and ice skating. Bemelmans hand is unmistakable.
While I would argue that A Very Murray Christmas is best enjoyed while sipping champagne, here’s another idea. Maya Rudolph refers to her drink as a “soiled kimono,” and being the cocktail hour devotees that we are, we needed to know what that was.
The drink is a reference to one of the original writers and creators on SNL: Michael O’Donoghue. It’s a cocktail referenced in one of his “Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Bedtime Tales,” and when Bill Murray announced his death on stage at SNL, he toasted with a Soiled Kimono. The drink is meant to be garnished with a butterfly but Maya’s is garnished with olives. To each his own.
The Soiled Kimono
Mix 2⁄3 glass costly French champagne
With 1⁄3 glass Japanese plum wine
He’s the taxi driver.
If you spent the first half of the movie looking at the bartender (& his fabulous hair) wondering, “Why do I know that guy?” It’s because David Johansen played the taxi driver in Bill Murray’s other holiday hit circa 1988: Scrooged.
Real Life Conversations Between Hannah & Husband
Me: */gasp/* This is what the inside of my brain looks like.
Husband: Everyone is wearing either red or sparkly, and there’s a bari sax playing.
Me: And George Clooney serving cocktails.
Obviously I will be needing everything Miley is wearing. And silver glitter reindeer antlers.
Alright, I’m off to run errands. If you’ve seen A Very Murray Christmas: Did you love it as much as I did?
Happy Holidays! Today I created an anti-gift guide to help you treat yo self. Because while it’s important to get just the right thing for that cousin-once-removed-who-lives-in-Poughkeepsie, my main concern is that you, my dear friends, are enjoying the holidays. So in the spirit of that creepy classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” I suggest going home tonight and distracting yourself and the one you love with mistletoe, libations, and vinyl. Here are a few suggestions to get things started…
Mistletoe: I made this mistletoe years ago, here’s a link to the how-to if you want to make your own!
I apologize for my absence last week from the interwebs. Between work, colds, and an oh-so-necessary staycation, I found myself taking time away from the cellphone and the laptop in favor of cut paper, yarn, and lots of books. But, I’m happy to report that I missed you! So this week we’ll get back on a regular blogging schedule. I’ve been thinking about Christmas content a lot so please consider yourself warned!
*While I usually don’t have sponsored posts, you should know that Wood Underwear called me up about including them this season. We met them on our last trip to NYC and genuinely love their stuff. Thank you for sponsoring the links that are included on Hannah & Husband!
It seems like the first week in December is the busiest for me this year, but I have no complaints! Holiday designer-ing is in full swing as exhibited in this little snapshot above. So here are a few peeks at the week so far.
Monday night I made Joe’s Leftover Turkey Gumbo while sipping martinis and dancing in the kitchen. With Husband playing Christmas tunes in the parlor, I confess that I was in such a blissful state I accidentally doubled the roux. So I just made twice as much gumbo! That little happy accident is now safe in the freezer waiting for another rainy Monday.
If it is cold and rainy where you are, might I suggest spending tonight cuddled with bae watching Netflix and coloring? Hanukkah begins on Sunday, and I doodled a couple of Hanukkah-themed coloring pages for DIYNetwork.com. The one above may be my favorite yet!
Speaking of the holidays, I sent out the invitations to our annual Cocktails & Carols party today! Fa-La-La-La-La!
I’ve had so much fun making holiday pretties using different mediums lately. I painted this little couple on a mini canvas for the AIGA Knoxville ornament auction on Friday night. If you’re in Knoxville, come on down to The Basement Art Studio and bid on ornaments from local artists!
Finally, if you’d like a little more crafty inspiration, I profiled The Crafty Lumberjacks for DIY’s Made + Remade blog this week. This pair make me want to spend an evening drinking whiskey and crafting in Queens!
Hello! I hope you have recovered from a lovely Thanksgiving weekend and are ready to jump into December (TOMORROW OMG!). I am happy to report that our first holiday in the new house was a success! We had a relaxing day with family and even managed to set up my favorite tripod and snap a few pictures this year. I’m usually terrible at remembering–Thanks, Haley!
We captured both of these by hanging my favorite tripod with an iPhone mount from a branch and a curtain rod. Then, we just used the timer on the iPhone. With the holidays coming up, I highly recommend this set-up: JOBY Gorillapod + Jellyfish iPhone tripod mount. The idea of the Gorillapod is that the bendable legs can balance anywhere or wrap around things to suspend your set up.
I use it all the time! We’ve even set it up during parties to capture time-lapse videos. So rad!
Before I go, I thought I’d also share this video from Thanksgiving morning! Just me and Abby Ham chatting it up about recipes at 8am. Click here to check out all of the recipes from the Stories from the Kitchen series!
Happy Wednesday! At this time tomorrow you’ll be snuggled up on the couch watching Al kick off the parade at 77th & Central Park West. But today? Today you’re stuck in your cubicle counting down the minutes until you can make a run to the grocery store for (insert random item here). So I thought it would be fun to share few random links I found as well as a few pictures from Rivermont.
I posted this instagram the other night so I thought I’d share a few more pictures. Basically, we’ve decided that the kitchen is going to be a long process, but we’re determined to go ahead and start redoing it little by little. First up, we’ll be switching out the old appliances for some used ones that we bought. Then, we’ll be moving the laundry from a small room in the kitchen to the second level. Since we plan on taking down the walls anyway, I came home to this set up the other night.
The ladder made cooking dinner a little hilarious. But demo has begun, and I’m so excited! There’s a plumber here this morning running a gas line to the kitchen. Huzzah! So here’s the view from today’s workspace. That dog always manages to find the sunshine.
And now the links…
I didn’t think it was possible to love Julia Child more after reading My Life in France, but this article by Julia Moskin in the New York Times did just that. It recalls how the Childs’ phone would ring incessantly on Thanksgiving with strangers that had questions about their turkey.
“But Mrs. Child refused to unlist her number or turn off the phone; instead, she embraced the role of national Thanksgiving commander in chief.”
The Times also tweeted out this 1971 snippet…
— NYT Food (@nytfood) November 19, 2015
Finally, we are watching West Wing again. (YES, AGAIN! Don’t judge me!) So here’s a little Thanksgiving clip to remind you that while Julia is no longer with us, someone is still waiting by the phone to assist with your Thanksgiving questions and concerns.
Happy day before Thanksgiving!
With only 2 days to go before the big day, I’ll be spending my evening prepping pie crust and polishing silver. With that in mind, I made a new playlist yesterday suitable for all your baking, cooking, and dancing in the kitchen needs. Listen below or click here to follow this playlist on Spotify.
We all have those talented friends that make us envy their style as well as their DIY prowess. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of mine. Liz Gray has impeccable taste, and she is always up for a party. She also happens to be a senior editor for HGTV.com and is one of the lovely ladies behind the blog I Heart HGTV. Liz always manages to bring a little sunshine wherever she goes so when she sent me the recipe for Cranberry Thankagiving Jello with the note that it is usually made in “Grandma Pat’s copper chicken and lobster molds,” I couldn’t help but smile. Of course it is. This retro sparkly dish is delicious, and will also give you an excuse to add a new character to the Thanksgiving table.
My first memories of cookbooks are of my Grandma Pat’s 1950s cookbooks, from Julia Child’s the Art of French cooking to the 1955 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Each member of my family had their own section they gravitated to: My dad and sister were the bakers, making piled-high fruit pies. I loved the fashion and the almost lacquered look of the food in the photos — have you ever seen a ham shine like that in real life? My mom, though, was all about the aspic chapter. Tomato aspic. Beef consumme. They were all good jelled, she assured us.
I can’t say I’m a fan of either of those, but I am most definitely a fan of her annual Thanksgiving Jello mold, always made during the dead of night on Thanksgiving Eve. Think of an apple-cranberry salad suspended in cranberry jello; it’s equal parts jello mold and cranberry sauce. To bring it full-circle, my mom always uses Grandma Pat’s copper chicken and lobster molds. It tastes better than chicken or seafood gelatin and is much more dramatic with its deep cranberry hue atop lettuce leaves. Here is the recipe, as written by my mom.
Cranberry Thanksgiving Jello
3 packages strawberry Jello (3 oz each)
3/4 bag of cranberries
1 cup of pecans
5-6 tablespoons sour cream
Boil water. Dissolve Jello in 3 cups boiling H2O.
Put 1 tray of ice cubes in measuring cup. Cover with cranberry-raspberry juice to make 3 cups. When ice dissolves, add to Jello mixture. Set about 1/4 of the Jello liquid aside and leave out of fridge.
Put the rest of the Jello into 2-3 molds and place in fridge for 1- 1.5 hours, until somewhat thickened. In the meantime, pulse the food processor to chop apples, cranberries and pecans until finely chopped. Add 3 teaspoons of sugar to this mixture and stir.
When jello is thickened slightly, add the cranberry/apple pecan mix. ( I just blend it in to the top in the mixture, rather than all through it, to leave some plain Jello on the bottom.) Mix the reserved jello with the sour cream (or yogurt) and pour a layer over the top of the fruit and nuts in the Jello.
Return to the fridge for about 4 more hours, or until firm. To unmold, dip mold into lukewarm water just until sides loosen… but not until liquid:-( Unmold quickly on a bed of greens.
VOILA!! There you are!
To reduce recipe: For each packet, you need one cup of boiling water and 1 of cold liquid. The ice is not necessary, but helps it to gel faster. Decrease your additions accordingly. Last year I used too much stuff, so be careful. A nice even layer spread over the top of the jello is best. Then mix in slightly.