{Wine Wednesday} Party pumpkins

WineWednesday

Holy cow!! Look at what I found while cruising the interwebs earlier this week: the best party accessory ever (besides a pinata, of course): A pumpkin keg! Yes, it’s not wine per se, but it’s booze-related and it’s awesome and technically if you wanted to fill the pumpkin with wine, you totally could. Or cider or something non-alcoholic, the possibilities are endless!!

2013-10-16 Pumpkin keg

This tutorial is taken from Celebrations. Watch their video tutorial here.

SUPPLIES

  • One large pumpkin
  • Marker or pencil
  • Carving kit
  • Plastic Spigot (aka tap)
  • Lots of Sam Adams Octoberfest beer
DIRECTIONS

Step 1: First, draw a ring around the top of your pumpkin. This will be your guide to carve the lid. Try to keep this pretty close to the top of the pumpkin so you optimize the hollowed out space that will hold the beer.

Step 2: Once that’s done, carve it! If you’re sans carving kit you can use a serrated knife. Whatever your tool of choice, poke it in at an angle and work your way around the ring.

Step 3: Pop the lid off once you’ve gone all the way around and clean out your pumpkin. Make sure you get all the seeds out and most of the pulp, but don’t worry if some of that’s left behind since it’s responsible for flavoring the beer.

Step 4: Now, find the spot where you want to place your spigot. Using your pencil or marker, trace around the rim once you’ve decided upon the spot. Cutting the hole here will require a pretty fine serrated knife, so the carving kit proves really worthwhile at this point.

Make the hole as clean cut as possible, then pop in your spigot. If your pumpkin is as thick as ours was you’ll have to thin out the pumpkin’s inner wall to fit the spigot properly. Don’t be afraid to dig in – the pumpkin can take it.

Step 5: Once your spigot is secured, you’re ready to go! Pour in your Sam Adam’s Octoberfest (because that IS the official beer of fall as far as we’re concerned) and pop the lid back on your pumpkin.

Step 6: Celebrate fall and all your hard work with a cold brew from your pumpkin keg!

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The possibilities are truly endless on this project. I am headed to buy a spigot right now for seasonal gourd/watermelon drinking fun. Have a wonderful, festive Wine Wednesday!!

Birthday party time!

Oregon Duck Pinata

And… I’m a full two days into my 31st year and my birthday party tailgate was a huge success. HUGE.

We put together quite the spread (both breakfast and lunch foods), created some really great decorations and I made a dead Oregon duck pinata! The pinata was such a success that I also may have picked up another part time job as a pinata maker! (I gave out my phone number yesterday to someone who “has to get at least one”!!!)

Oregon Duck Pinata

Here’s the party menu breakdown:

Breakfast eats

  • These egg, mushroom, sausage, cheese, onion muffins that I found on Pinterest (SO GOOD!)
  • Passion Orange Guava mimosas
  • Fruit salad: mangos, pineapple and strawberries with mango sugar. So tasty and refreshing!
  • Top Pot doughnuts

Lunchtime eats

  • Sandwich bar! Rolls with all sorts of meats, cheeses and spreads.
  • UW pasta salad. I used my favorite pasta salad mix and used UW pastas. I’m a genius!
  • Tortilla chips and seven-layer dip
  • Potato chips and french onion dip

2013-10-13-Tailgate2

Sweet treats

  • It’s not a birthday party without cupcakes. And it’s not a tailgate without football rings in those cupcakes.
  • Oreos hand-dipped in chocolate. You’re welcome, guests.

More drinks

  • Purple and gold Jello shots! (Grape and Pineapple)
  • Wine in my special birthday girl glass
  • Bud Light!
  • The silver bullet!

I hope you had a great weekend!

Me & my dead duck friend. Hat from Libby's Paper Party Hats! Thank you, Lib!!

Me & my dead duck friend. Hat from Libby’s Paper Party Hats! Thank you, Lib!!

Birthday eve…

Sorry for the blogging hiatus: it’s birthday week and I’ve been super busy recovering from the cold that’s going around and prepping for the spectacular birthday party tailgate Brandon and I are throwing tomorrow. I’m biased, of course, but it’s going to be awesome. Please think positive, anti-rain thoughts for us!

I hope you have a great weekend. Think of me on Saturday and give me an air cheers!

I believe this photo was taken nearly 29 years ago...

I believe this photo was taken nearly 29 years ago…

{Gone Pinning} Falling into fall

GonePinning

Fall is officially here — it seems like it hasn’t stopped raining since the actual official start of fall — and it gets me in the mood for some down-home, crock pot-style comfort food. And wine tasting. And a weekend day that consists of both, hopefully sometime in the near future.

Brussels sprout mac 'n cheese. Thanks for the pin recommendation, Liz!

Brussels sprout mac ‘n cheese. Thanks for the pin recommendation, Liz!

Lasagna!

Lasagna!

Risotto

Risotto

Butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup

Adorable apple pies

Adorable apple pies

And fall isn't complete without CANDY CORN!

And fall isn’t complete without CANDY CORN!

Check out all of my fall-related pins on my “falling into fall” board. I hope you have a great weekend and I’d love to hear what seasonal deliciousness you’re pinning and enjoying!

{Wine Wednesday} Red wine chocolate fudge brownies

WineWednesday

Yes, you read that right: red wine chocolate fudge brownies. Don’t those sound great? YUM! I haven’t made these yet, but they’re for sure on my ‘to make’ list.

This recipes comes from a friend of mine named Lillie who writes Butter Me Up Brooklyn, an award-winning baking blog out of Brooklyn.

Butter Me Up Brooklyn's Red Wine Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Butter Me Up Brooklyn’s Red Wine Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Red Wine Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Makes one 8×8 pan

For the brownies:

  • 4 ounces (120 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (53 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (62 grams) flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

For the glaze:

  • 2 ounces (60 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter an 8×8 pan and line with two sheets of parchment paper, then butter the parchment. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and then the wine. Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir until the batter is smooth and has thickened slightly. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs attached. You may need to bake the brownies for a few minutes more, but set your timer for 15 minutes and then hang out in your kitchen for the last few minutes of baking time just to make sure they don’t over bake. An underbaked brownie is better than an overbaked one.

While the brownies are baking make the glaze. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water until melted. Add the butter, wine and salt and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze over the warm brownies and spread it to the corners so the top is evenly coated.

Cool completely and cut into squares.

Stella & Dot visits Megan’s Island

The Megans (Look at all my baubles!)

The Megans (Look at all my baubles!)

You’ve probably heard of Stella & Dot, a “social selling company that creates flexible entrepreneurial opportunities for women.”  Take the idea of a Tupperware party and substitute boutique-style jewelry and accessories for containers. If you don’t personally know a “stylist” yet, then you’ll hopefully meet one soon and be invited to a party.

I personally know two stylists and this past weekend I hosted my — and her — very first party. Her name it Megan too, so I hope this doesn’t get too confusing.

Megan is a friend and colleague of mine and she just started “styling” for Stella & Dot. I was honored to be the guinea pig as she pimped out the line.

Here are some photos of the spread:

Megan Erb: Stella & Dot Stylist with the mostest

Megan Erb: Stella & Dot Stylist with the mostest

Stella & Dot goods. Ohhh! Awww!

Stella & Dot goods. Ohhh! Awww!

More Stella & Dot goods

More Stella & Dot goods

More Stella & Dot!

More Stella & Dot!

And the real spread: Meats, cheeses and wines:

The real spread

The real spread

What were my favorites?

Serenity earings

Serenity earings

Haley necklace

Haley necklace

Want to shop with the Megans? Use this link to check out the catalog and place an order. Check it out soon, since the holiday line made it’s debut TODAY! Happy shopping!