Wednesday, December 9, 2009

how to host a cookie exchange

Invite a group of friends over and have each person make a dozen of one kind of cookie to share.

Assign recipes well before hand and print copies for each guest. By assigning recipes you won't end up with too many of the same kind, such as 12 versions of the classic chocolate chip.

Offer an assortment of decorative plates for guests to display their cookies. Next to each plate include a tent card with the name of the cookie.

Ask guests to help supply the packagine materials such as cardboard boxes, tags, ribbon, tissue, and so on. Keep everything within a single color palette so guests can mix and match.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quintessential bar tools

Bottle openers - for wine and beer

Measured shot glasses - a measuring cup will do as well

Zester - for making fancy twists of garnish

Long handled bar spoon - used to stir cocktails that contain only spirits. creates a smoother drink than shaking.

Shaker - for spirit juice combos.

Hawthorne strainer - secures over a shaker. when pouring place index finger over tab to stop pieces from falling out of shaker.

Julep strainer - has multiple holes and rests inside glass. used for strainng stirred drinks.

Muddler - pestlelike tool used to crush.

Cutting board / pairing knife - for chopping frits and making twists.

Pour spouts - stoppers that fit into liquor bottles helping you measure.

Ice bucket / tongs / ice - the colder and bigger the cubes the snappier the cocktail.

Ice bin - to chill wine / beer.

Glass pitchers - for mixing in advance.

Napkins / stirrers / straws

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Monday, December 7, 2009

The quintessential stocked bar

Here's a comprehensive list of how to stock the bar for your next party:

Beer - Ales and stouts are good for winter, lagers for the summer. Have both light and dark options. Store unopened bottles at room tempand chill before serving. Once its chilled it needs to be consumed before it warms up or the flavor will be spoiled.

Wine - Store on its side at below 70 degrees.

Vodka - Store at room temperature below 80 degrees. Use open bottles in a year.

Whiskey - Bourbons and lighter rye-based are best for sippng and mixing.

Gin, Scotch, Rum, Tequila, Cognac, Brandy, Juices, Club Soda and Tonic Water

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

spirit party calculator

Can't figure out how much libations to buy for your next party. Use these general tips:

Wine - 1 bottle per 2 people per hour
Beer - 2 beers per person per hour
Spirits - 1 bottle per 5 people per hour
Mixers - 3 bottles for each bottle of alcohol
Ice - At least 1 pound per person per hour

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