Are you still clueless about what you’re going to be this Halloween? We’ll I’m in the same boat! One of our friends keeps trying to convince us to be Fred and Carrie from Portlandia, and of course, put birds on everything!
To help us both out, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite couples costumes that you can DIY or buy. And yes, I did include 2 Wes Anderson costumes because Kevin and I are both big fans!
The book is loaded with delicious looking recipes and gorgeous photos. The recipes range from super simple (I’ll share my favorite one in a minute) to way fancy and just about everything in between. It’s definitely going to be my new resource next time I host a get together…or just want to have finger foods for dinner.
I decided to try one of the simpler recipes, because though I love to cook, sometimes you just need to make something in a jiffy. These spiced cream cheese dips are so simple—they can be made in just a couple minutes—and can be customized according to your taste. I used a fresh, local tomatillo salsa in one (though the cookbook is loaded with recipes) and a pear hot pepper jam in the other. Just blend everything together and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Ingredients: 2 bars of cream cheese, softened / 3/4 tsp coarse salt / 1/2 cup chopped scallons + more for serving / 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa / 1/2 cup hot pepper relish / tortilla chips
Beat both bars of cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high until fluffy, about 1 minute.
Beat in the salt and 1/2 cup scallions.
Divide the mixture into two small serving bowls. Fold in the tomatillo salsa into one and sprinkle with the remaining scallions. Fold the pepper relish into the second. Serve both with tortilla chips.
In addition to the new book, they’ve also released a new line of serving boards that are so simple and so functional. My favorite is the large paddle board with dip bowls. It’s a whitewashed rubberwood board with two nooks at the end of the board so the bowls stay put. It’s also got a tiny little cut out on the underside of the short edge so you can easily move it around.
This recipe is my version of a classic gin and juice. Although it’s a bit sweeter than the typical cocktail, it’s full of flavor. It has a delicious fall taste, if you know, you can image what fall taste like. To me it’s a combination of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
You start by making a spiced simple syrup and then adding the best juice (Natalie’s of course) and some equally good gin. It’s the perfect cocktail to serve this Halloween, especially if your Halloween will be a little bit warm like it will be here in L.A. And because every Halloween drink needs some festive barware, I’ve created these super easy to make spider web glasses. The tape removes easily which means after Halloween your glasses can be reused for the next holiday!
Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar / 1/2 cup water / 2 cinnamon sticks / 2 whole nutmegs / 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise / 3 oz. Natalie’s Orange Juice / 1.5 oz. gin / optional: orange slices for garnish
To make spider web glassware: Wipe the outside of the glass with alcohol and allow it to dry. Then apply the graphic tape in a star like pattern making sure to stop about 1″ below the rim of the glass. Apply more tape horizontally to connect the lines to create a web-like pattern. Tiny scissors make this part really easy!
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the cinnamon sticks, nutmegs and vanilla bean. Let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.
Remove the spices from the syrup. Transfer the syrup to a small bowl or measuring glass and allow it to cool completely.
Once the syrup is cool, mix 1 ounce syrup (use less if you don’t want it very sweet), 1.5 ounces gin, and 3 ounces of juice in a cocktail shaker for a 10 seconds. Strain and serving in a glass over ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and fresh orange slices. Cheers!
The extra spiced simple syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I use a tiny measuring cup for mixing drinks because it has ounces, tablespoons, and milliliters. Super helpful when making cocktails! I also adore the large sizes for cooking because they can be microwaved (perfect for melting chocolate) and washed in the dishwasher.
Check out the other Natalie’s recipes I’ve created, including more delicious cocktails, here and learn how to make your own grid placemats here.
Paper straws may seem like they are so last year but I still adore them.
Now that they can found just about everywhere, they’re popping up in so many great patterns and colors. They are a fun and easy way to add color to a cocktail or make a party buffet look festive. And I think adding your own custom flags makes any occasion even more special. I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a cold glass of lemonade with a fun straw! My straw flags are one of my most downloaded printables to date so check out the video below to learn some tips and tricks to assembling them.
Hello weekend! I’ll be catching up on work while exploring a little more of the city this weekend. Thanks to Amy’s advice, we’re picking one neighborhood to explore each weekend we’re in town. This way we can get really see all this big city has to offer!