Red, White, and Blue Sangria🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I was craving Sangria. I had to work most of the weekend, but was finally able to enjoy the Memorial Day holiday on Monday.

I was feeling patriotic and grateful for all of those who served and are serving in our armed forces. I concocted a patriotic sangria that was perfect for Memorial Day, will be perfect for the 4th of July, and even something delicious to sip on during election night in November!

It was red, white, blue, and delicious! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did! 

Ingredients

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, and halved (quartered, if large)

1 cup frozen sour cherries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 1/2 oz cognac

1 1/2 oz St. Germain liqueur 

1 bottle of chilled, dry white wine, reisling or Sauvignon Blanc work well

Instructions

Add fruit to a pitcher, add cognac and St Germain. Lightly muddle fruit with liqueurs. Let chill in refrigerator for one hour. 

Add chilled wine to pitcher. Serve over ice if desired. Ladle some fruit into each glass!

Sip and Celebrate America, baby! 


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The Coven Party

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! The air is getting crispier, the leaves are rustling, and not so far off in the distance you can hear a witch cackle after she sips her brew!

I’ve always wanted to have a witch-themed party. My favorite Wizard of Oz character was the wicked witch of the west. I loved Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic growing up. I may have (or still) dabble in a little harmless trickery now and then… 😉

So I decided, in July, that this years theme would be “A Coven Party.” I only wanted to invite the women in my family to the event. 13, to be exact.

A ‘Coven’ is defined as a group or gathering of witches who meet regularly. (Thanks Google)

This was the perfect unifying theme for my Halloween party. An evening full of mysticism, great food, and laughter. We scheduled the evening to transpire during the Blood Moon in October.

What a magical night! We were faced with some challenges like heavy rains and wind, but after a spell (okay, and a few prayers) the rain cleared and our party was all set to take center stage.

The menu for the evening consisted of an autumn harvest theme starting with a Caramelized Shallot Soup with sautéed chestnuts and Gruyere cheese. We then served roasted fall vegetables and wild rice with balsamic mushrooms. The main course was a roasted pork loin with roasted persimmons and mustard greens. Everyone loved it!

The decorations were planned and made for weeks leading up to the party! The living room was our tribute to the witch of folk tales with spiders on the walls and ceiling. Ghastly curtains and upholstery covered the windows and furniture.

The dining room was centered as our practicing witch tribute. The dining room table served as an alter with straw, snakes, green eggs, and frogs. Also served as the place where all of our appetizers and desserts would be served. Witch sugar cookies, pumpkin breads, apples, and pumpkin Whoopie pies were all enjoyed after the feast while devilish eggs, cheeses, hummus, and assorted toasts were served prior to the meal.

Since we did the meal outside by our pool, we wanted to make a whimsical and magical environment for the evening, but keeping safety in check so no one fell in the pool. We took the prunings from our trees and bushes and placed them in large planters. We then took holiday lights and wrapped them around the clippings.

The centerpiece of our dinner table were two L Brackets drilled to a plywood base and then two somewhat large pruned branches were drilled into the L bracket to stand on their own. We put faux birds in the tree and laid pumpkins on the base, green of course. Glittered bugs, snakes, and spiders were all over the table with lots of Spanish moss.

The tablescape, the decor, and the food all made this night a smashing success! I hope you all find some inspiring ideas on here to go out and create your own Halloween party!

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I hope you enjoyed our Coven festivities! Happy Halloween!!

Off with His (or Her) Head!!

We’re gearing up for our Halloween party this weekend, and the house looks like a crime scene!

One of my favorite decorations that I made this year are these mummy heads! They look so eerie and so creepy!!

They couldn’t be easier to make though, and they’re so inexpensive!

Keep them handy after Halloween to fire a warning shot to future boyfriends, bad neighbors, and the newspaper delivery service if they keep throwing the papers in your new rose bushes. You might get the “Psycho on the Street” label, but you’ll have beautiful rose bushes! 😜

To make this project a little easier, I’ve included a how-to video!

For this project you will need:

Room Temperature Coffee
Paper Towels
Styrofoam Head
Mod-Podge
Craft Brush.

Pour coffee in a 9×13 baking dish. Soak your paper towels in the coffee and wring them out. Leave them crinkled up though, do not unfold. Let them dry on a rimmed baking sheet. This might take 2 or 3 days.

After your strips are dried, rip them into strips, about 1 to 2 inches in length up the width of your paper towel. Then it’s time to get gluing!

Brush mod-podge over a sizable surface of the head and start layering on paper towel. Brush glue over top the paper towel and keep layering on strips of paper towel. The end game of this project is to cover the entire head and not have any white styrofoam showing through. This project doesn’t have to be nice and neat, it’s a mummy!! The scarier, the better!

Be sure that when you get to the front of the head to really push your paper towel into the features like the eyes, nose, and mouth. This will help the features stand out when it’s dry.

After the entire surface is coated, let your head dry. This will take a few hours, but not too long.

Display your head in the window, on a cake stand, or amongst glasses of red wine to send a chill down your guests spine!

Happy Halloween!!

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Budget Bash Idea: Glittered Spiders and Pumpkins and Bones… Oh My!!

Halloween parties are not cheap! They can get expensive very quickly. Unless you have a home full of spiders, cobwebs, and bones (who doesn’t?!?) you have a lot of accessories to stock up on to create the eerie effect of a haunted house!

I’ve teamed up again with Liz Bell from ‘Mornings with Liz’ on the new Warm103.3 to bring you some really great party tricks and treats to make your Halloween stylish, fun, and oh so budget-friendly!

One of my go-to party tricks is buying a lot of spiders, bugs, bones, skulls, and pumpkins from the dollar store! These decorations are not cute, that’s why they’re a dollar! HOWEVER… That’s the beauty of this craft! You’re taking something ugly, garish, and atrocious and turning it into something beautiful!! Sort of like fanny packs meeting the nearest trash can; That kind of beautiful!! 😉

Just bust out the glue, the glitter, and a large freezer bag! I also grab a craft paint brush to brush the glue on the larger items. That is it! A couple craft and kitchen supplies, some ugly and cheap decorations, and you’re set to repurpose and create some very pretty and spooky creations!

I glitter everything! True: it IS the herpes of arts of crafts BUT some of these tricks will ease the mess, and not have your friends thinking you were a back up dancer in a Ke$ha video…

For spiders. I brush them with glue, Elmer’s Glue diluted with a little water works brilliantly, and drop them into the freezer bag. I then sprinkle glitter in the bag and Shake. Sort of like “shake and bake” but prettier… And zero mess!! The glitter stays in the freezer bag. Remove your spiders with tweezers and let dry completely. Alternatively, let them dry in the bag.

“Shake and bake baby!!!”

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Pumpkins, I stock up on at the dollar store and I’ll use a brush and brush glue on half the pumpkin, I’ll immediately glitter and shake off the excess and let dry. Once dry, usually in an hour or two, I’ll do the other side! Display them on stacked cake stands for a fun effect!

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Another fun idea to try is glittered skulls. Use the same method as used with the pumpkin. Gluing and glittering half of the head. Letting it dry, and repeating with the other side. Display these glittered skulls on cake stands with moss as a bed or on an oversized lantern. I used a portable LED light (for closet lighting) attached at the top of the lantern to cast a glow on these skulls.

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Kids LOVE these crafts! Your adult friends will ooh and ahh, maybe even scream, at your creations! The effort and money put into these projects are minimal, and you can put your money towards other necessary expenses… Like winning best dressed at a costume contest! 😃

Stay classy, and remember glitter makes everything that much better!

-B

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Autumn Magic

First impressions are lasting ones. We’re having a Halloween party in a few weeks, and I wanted to leave my guests spellbound. It’s a bit witchy, the theme, and whimsy and nature is a big part of witchcraft. (They’ve gotten a bad rep over the years, lol)

So when looking at the entranceway to our home, marked by two large, black concrete urns, I could either spook it up with some pumpkins, glittered bones, and Spanish moss, OR I could class it up by using ferns, lights, and a little bit of magic… C’mon…. Crafting IS magic people! 😉

You’ll need a fern, some garden stakes, mini holiday lights, cafe lights, garden twine, and an extension cord.

Place the fern in the urn. (RHYMING SKILLZ) Insert your stakes into the fern and make a tripod. Tie the top with garden twine. Start wrapping your mini holiday lights around the stakes, starting from the top and working down. Then go back up and onto the next stake. Repeat until all of the stakes are covered in lights. Any excess lights work into the fronds of the fern at the base of your tripod. Then wrap your tripod in the larger café lights. Plug in your creation and redefine Autumn glow!!

Good luck you crafty witches!! Xo

-B

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A Ghoul’s Night Out

Halloween is almost here!! Well not almost, but will be here before you know it!

I’ve teamed up with Liz Bell, host of ‘Mornings with Liz Bell,’ on the new Warm 103.3 to provide you with a party full of cocktails and crafts to keep the “Ghoul’s Night Out” a tradition that lasts for years to come!

Send me your creations on Instagram @morbidhomemaker, I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

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Bloody Scary Cocktail and Bloody Mary Mix (serves 8)

4 cups tomato juice
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp prepared horseradish
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
Celery (for garnish)
Radish eyeballs (recipe follows)

Mix all ingredients, and store in an airtight container for up to one week.

To make the Bloody Scary cocktail, fill a tall skinny glass with ice. Pour 1 1/2oz of icy cold vodka and 6oz of your homemade Bloody Mary mix over the ice and stir. Garnish with a stalk of celery and/or a radish eyeball on a skewer if you dare.

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Radish Eyeball garnish

8 Radishes
8 Green Stuffed Olives
8 Black Whole Peppercorns (optional)

Wash, lightly scrub, and dry your radishes. Peel the radishes leaving small strips of the skin on the radish to mimic broken blood vessels.

Take a small melon baller or paring knife and cut a small circular hole in the radish.

Place the olive inside the cut hole of the radish, and stuff a black peppercorn in the center of the red pimento in the olive.

Place your radish eyeballs in a small dish or on skewers to stir a bloody scary cocktail! These also make an awesome, show stopping garnish to a martini, or more appropriately, a “Boo-Tini.”

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Devilish Eggs
(Served 8 to 10)

10 hard boiled eggs
1 roasted red pepper
3Tbsp mayonnaise
3tsp Dijon mustard
1-2tsp hot sauce
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Poppy seeds (optional)

Slice the hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise and place the egg yolks into a food processor. Set egg whites to the side. Add remaining ingredients and put on high speed until combined and puréed, about 30-45 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the egg white halves onto a serving platter. Transfer the roasted red pepper yolk mixture to a heavy duty ziploc bag. Close the bag, and snip a bottom corner of the bag, allowing you to pour the mixture into your egg halves without making a mess.

Garnish with poppy seeds. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until guests arrive, but no more than 3 hours. Enjoy this spooky snack with a bloody scary cocktail!

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Découpage Pumpkins

Découpage is one of my favorite ways to embellish pumpkins during the Autumn months. I like black lace on an orange or white pumpkin because it mimics an intricately spun spiderweb. Feel free to make this craft extend well into Autumn by using fern fronds or other small greenery to découpage on a pumpkin instead of lace. This makes a great centerpiece or decoration for the Thanksgiving table.

You will need:
Mod Podge, or other découpage adhesive
Craft Paint Brush
Scissors
1 yard of black lace
2 White or Orange pumpkins and/or funkins, small and medium sized.
Decorative Ribbon (optional)

To make the small pumpkin:

Apply a thin layer of Découpage glue with your craft paint brush around the top of the pumpkin, ideally where you’d like the lace to set.

Using the scissors, cut the lace into triangular pieces, and arrange around the pumpkin with the sharp point of the triangle facing downwards. Apply more glue to the adhered lace to secure it to the pumpkin. Continue arranging the lace pieces around the pumpkin until your desired pattern is achieved. Let dry. You may tie a bow in black ribbon and tie it to the stem of the pumpkin, if desired.

To make the large pumpkin:

Apply a thin layer of Découpage glue with your craft paint brush around the top of the pumpkin, ideally where you’d like the lace to set.

Using the scissors, remove any thick wired border that may be attached on your lace, and trim, if needed, to fit around the pumpkin.

Start laying the lace onto the pumpkin, brushing with glue as you go. You will need to curve the lace to create a circle of lace around the pumpkin, so make small pleats in your lace as you work your way around the top of the pumpkin. The Glue will hold your lace into place. Continue working your way around the pumpkin, pleating the lace as needed until the ends of the lace meet each other. Brush with more glue as needed. Let dry.

**Tip: if you’ve never worked with Découpage glue, remember this… It goes on white and dries clear. Don’t fret if your lace looks like it’s saturated with glue. In about an hour or two, the glue will dry and your pumpkins will be ready for those trick-or-treaters! Now go get that candy…

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Have a happy Halloween and a great start to your Autumn season!

Don’t forget to send me your autumn creations and Halloween party tips and tricks on Instagram @morbidhomemaker. Can’t wait to see what you are brewing up this Halloween!

– b –

Saturday Sip: The West Coast

It’s 80 degrees, low humidity, and not a cloud in the sky. Your friends are coming over to lounge by the pool and expect to be quenched. Instead of opting for bottled varieties, why not make your own tipper? They’re much more satisfying than a sugared down bottle of soda and way more classy than wine coolers or god forbid, Beer!

I like to experiment with my food. Complimenting tastes and textures is a hobby of mine when I’m in the kitchen.

The rules stay the same when I’m mixing up a cocktail or baking
for an occasion. It has to taste great, and look pretty! (Also requirements for the future husband)

This spin on the cape cod, a traditional summer drink with cranberry juice, vodka, and citrus is one that I know you will love, and a drink you’ll be making all summer long!

I named it ‘The West Coast.’ It’s lime juice, pomegranate juice, and an infused cucumber syrup with the best quality gin make this drink memorable and festive. Perfect for graduation parties (college graduations,) birthday parties, 4th of July, and any other reason to drink! 😉

You will need a large pitcher. I like the skinny tall varieties with a stir stick.

Cut up on cucumber into slices.

Bring one cup of sugar and one cup of water to a boil until sugar dissolves and mixture gets syrupy. This is your simple syrup. If you want a strong cucumber flavor add your cucumber in while it’s being boiled down. If you prefer a subtle cucumber flavor, add the cucumber as soon as it becomes syrupy and you turn off the heat. Once the mixture has completely cooled remove the cucumber by straining your simple syrup into a Pyrex pour pitcher. You should has close to a cup of syrup.

In your large pitcher, add 1 1/4cups of Hendrick’s Gin. Do not use that bottom shelf shit!! Splurge on the best of the best for this concoction. To that add 1 1/2 cups of POM Pomegranate Juice, your cooled syrup, and the juice of 4-5 limes. Stir it up and chill it until the guests arrive!

You can serve this in iced Weck Jars, in highball glasses, or in Tom Collins glasses. If your albeit on the trashy side, plastic chinet will do the trick. These drinks are strong enough that nearly everyone will enjoy your poolside or summer party entertaining! Garnish with fresh mint, and place them on a napkin lined tray. Seersucker napkins would be perfect to serve these with as well!

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