Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tipsy Tuesday: Christmas Trifecta

Hi All!

In my last post I told you all about my Saturday trip to the Christmas Market- and how I had some delicious mulled wine and Drambuie hot apple toddies. Well I have not been able to get them out of my mind since, and have been enjoying some lovely Christmas beverages of my own making!

So today I thought I would share my three favourite holiday drinks this year- they are all SO easy to make, and would be great Christmas party drinks, since they are all different and would appeal to everyone!


The drinks I have been enjoying are: Mulled Wine, Drambuie Hot Apply Toddy, and Egg Nog with Spiced Rum. - as I said these are all ridiculously simple to make and require the minimum of effort- which if you are anything like me, is exactly what you need at this time of year!

They don't require too many ingredients either!










Mulled Wine

1 bottle red wine (something that is full bodied I used a Cabernet-Merlot)
zest of 1/2 a grape fruit
1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 cup mulling spices (star anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon - I got mine at the store pre-mixed)
1/4 cup of honey (or just sugar or sweetener of your choice)

Serves about 4 (or 3 generously)

Mull the wine over medium heat with the zest, juice, spices and honey (I put the spices into a loose leaf tea bag) Don't bring it to a boil, just until it's steaming and nice and hot, and let it steep for about 10 minutes, then take out the zest and spices and serve in cool mugs. It's best if the mug has a cat on it.


This is the perfect warming drink for those wine lovers at your party! or for you- when you come in after a long day :)



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Drambuie Hot Apple Toddy

1 1/2 shots Drambuie (whiskey based, spiced deliciousness)
1 1/2 cups Apple cider

both ingredient amounts are per drink :)













Heat your apple cider on the stove (or in the microwave if you're feeling lazy) until it's steaming.


Add your shot of Drambuie - simple as that. If you're feeling fancy you can float a star anise on the top- but it's not necessary. Also this is another one of those drinks where the number of shots of alcohol can be adjusted to your situation. More shots may be needed depending on the number of relatives in your house at the time of consumption.




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Egg Nog

1 shot dark spiced rum (I used Kraken because it comes in a cool bottle)
1 cup egg nog (I got the 2% in the carton, it is delicious- you can use whatever you like)

each ingredient amounts are per drink :)

And I left the most simple drink to the last. This drink is not very original but it is a classic :) and I feel it rounds out the other drinks since it is both cold and deliciously creamy. And all you have to do is buy a carton of egg nog, and a bottle of rum and you instantly have holidays in your glass. :)


So that is my line-up for this Christmas.... and the weeks leading up to Christmas...

What drinks do you love around the holiday season? Any family favourites- or ones that get you into the Christmas mood?

Hope you're having just as Tipsy of a Tuesday as I am!

xo erin

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Toronto Christmas Market!

Hi All!

The other weekend I went to the Christmas Market in the Distillery District of Toronto with my friend Cael!


It was SUCH a good time, and perfect to get into the Christmas mood- the cute little wooden booths, the christmas music, the lights!


And of course the tree!

I was all over the mulled wine station! Yes please!




 They had these nice warming stations outside with couches around open gas fire places- perfect to sit with some mulled wine or a Drambuie hot apple toddy.


They also had open wood fire places to warm your legs by- and these were most conveniently located near all the alcohol sample booths :) Yay for being over 19!


I was fortunate enough to get some delicious samples of Hendrick's gin, many different years of Glennfidich Scotch, Amaretto, Tia Maria - and many more! mmmmmm

And in a quaint little shop I picked up this cutie for my tree!


An adorable felted wool wolf- I named her Moon.



Between the many drink samples and my little moon with me, it went a long way to keeping me warm :) even when the sun started to set and all the lights came on :)


Such a lovely day in the Distillery District- it got me feeling all festive :) And definitely left me with a holiday craving for mulled wine! Maybe that will be a post for a future Tipsy Tuesday! 


What's getting you into the Christmas spirit? Any seasonal traditions? Are you ready for Christmas yet?

I'm definitely not ready!

xo erin

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tipsy Tuesday: Plum Sake-tini

Hi All! 

Today I have another guest Tipsy Tuesday from my friend Cael, who did the lavender infused gin in September! He is always making the coolest drinks!  


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I'm not sure about all of you, but I'm not ready to let go of summer. 

I know, I know.. December is here, holiday music can be heard on a loop in every department store (and not even the funny ones! ("Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" anyone?), lights and decorations are starting to come out of storage and Grandmothers everywhere are baking up a veritable storm in their kitchens. It really is a wonderful time of year... But I never seem to be able to settle into it all until the holidays are ten feet in front of me. I miss the sun, and the warm summer days. I miss the impromptu day trips to the beach. And I really miss just hanging out on the deck with music blasting in the background, doing nothing but just relaxing spending time with the people I care about most, sipping a beer or a nice cocktail



That's exactly why I love this drink. It's almost comically simple to make, it's refreshing, and it's absolutely perfect for whenever you're entertaining - or  if you just want to sit back, close your eyes, and pretend for a moment that there isn't a blizzard raging outside.

PLUM SAKE-TINI 

  • Half a plum, muddled
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Sake
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

MethodMuddle the plum in your shaker. Add all of the other ingredients. Add one or two cubes of ice, and shake vigorously until the sugar has dissolved, and everything is nice and combined. 

                                                                                                         




Now I know there is a bit of an odd ingredient in there - Sake.

I have to admit, I didn't know too much about the drink until I had the opportunity to visit the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company in Toronto, a few weeks ago. The lovely bartender (who's name I simply cannot remember.. probably due to the three or four samples I decided to try!) was very informative and was quite enthusiastic when it came to explaining the basics of the drink.

Sake is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin, that is made from fermented rice and spring water. It is sometimes referred to as "rice wine" in English speaking countries, but really doesn't share any properties of this namesake. Instead, it is created via a brewing process similar to the way beer is brewed. The final product can be dry, light and fruity, and fairly bold, boasting an impressive alcohol content that can range between 12 - 20%, depending on the bottle.  


All I can tell you is that it is absolutely heavenly! It is usually served in small little ceramic cups (ochoko) that measure about an ounce each. It really drives home the fact that this is the type of drink that you sip slowly and savour, holding it in your mouth to allow each and every little flavour profile to present itself before swallowing. If you want a real treat though - try some sake that had been warmed. It is my new favourite drink for those colder evenings. 



OSW Sake Company is the only sake brewery on this side of North America to offer the luxury of unpasteurized sake, which is rarely seen outside of Japan. Tucked to the side of the Distillery Districts' red brick walkways, it is one of Toronto's many hidden gems, and happens to be where I bought the sake used in this weeks recipe.

And that's that! Less than five minutes and you have a delightfully tangy cocktail with a mellow, sweet, and fruity finish. Now all you have to do is garnish with a slice of plum and a twist of lemon, find your favourite person (because something like this is just too good to keep to yourself), and spend the rest of your day watching the snow fall, and daydreaming about nicer weather.
Cheers!



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Well, now I'm thirsty. How about you? Are you pretending it's still summer and warm? or are you embracing the winter and getting excited for Christmas?

xo erin

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

the cannon

Hi All!

Today I wanted to do something different and show you a little hometown hidden gem- and no- Hamilton, Ontario is not actually my hometown, but it is the town that I call home now! And I've definitely found a gem! - my new favourite little cafe called 'the cannon'


I got the idea for this post when RelayRides contacted me and asked if I wanted to be in on their new campaign. They are a car-sharing service where you can either rent a car or rent out your car to people who are traveling in your area- which I think is a pretty neat and affordable idea. They even have a service now where you can meet people at the airport when you land on holiday! Anyways, they wanted to make a pinboard of good places to go when you're traveling and asked if I had any thoughts on Hamilton- and I thought it would be the perfect time to tell you about this cafe that I've been loving!


You know one of those restaurants that whenever you have friends in town you want to bring them? Well this is that restaurant for me :) - 'the cannon'

179 Ottawa st. north, Hamilton Ontario   //   289-700-0088   //   cannoncoffeeco@gmail.com

the cannon is a little cafe-style restaurant, where they have all the fancy coffees, teas and lattes- but they also have the most amazing waffles!

 (beautiful latte art for me)

(Making our Chemex - a fancy slow-filter coffee)

 Iced for Cael

Hot for Kristie

But now for my favourite part- the waffles. And these aren't just regular waffles (although you can get regular waffles) -these are fancy dinner waffles! 


This is one of their 'Brunch Plates'- my favourite the 'Merican Brunch plate, which is a pesto waffle, topped with grilled veggies, goat cheese, avocado, two poached eggs and balsamic reduction (and of course I added a side of bacon).


I think I could live off this, definitely on my top 10 list of favourite meals of all time. 

Other than the amazing food, it's just a really relaxed atmosphere, very quaint and friendly!


Perfect for some sisters coffee time, or even just hanging out with your laptop for a bit- I feel like I could just spend hours relaxing here :)


Love love love this place! So much that I thought I should share it with you all. So if you are ever coming to Hamilton- you know my recommendation.

I have definitely given myself a serious waffle craving right now...


What are your favourite hometown (or current town you call home) places to go?


xo erin

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tipsy Tuesday: Pumpkin Spice Martini


Hi All!

It's time again for a Tipsy Tuesday. With this one I'm clinging to the last bit of Fall that I can manage to hold onto- and I'm doing that with a Pumpkin Spice Martini- because really, how much more fall can it get than anything pumpkin spice?



This is a slightly more involved drink- but who could really resist it, it's delicious.

Simple Pumpkin Syrup:
1C sugar
1C water
1C pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 tsp pumpkin spice (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon) 



Over the stove heat the sugar and the water until it is fully dissolved and slightly thick (5-10 min). Then add the pumpkin, vanilla and the spices. 


Martini:

3 tbsp Simple Pumpkin Syrup
1oz vodka
1oz cold coffee/espresso
1/2oz half & half (10% cream)



Mix all these together in a cocktail shaker and strain into a martini glass that has been rimmed with some sugar and spices. 


This was incredibly delicious, and there was enough of the pumpkin puree to do MANY martinis, you could even keep the leftovers in the fridge for something pumpkin flavoured later. If you want you can get all artsy like this and put some coffee beans and a cinnamon stick around for effect, that is before you knock them all out of the way to drink it!

How are you holding on to your last bit of fall? 

Hope you're all having a very Tipsy Tuesday! 

xo erin

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tipsy Tuesday: Hot Spiced Rum Cider

Hi All!

I hope you're all getting into the fall spirit! I have been soaking in the cool evenings and colourful changing leaves- I forgot how much I love fall.

One of those fall experiences that I have been definitely been taking advantage of is apple picking. And the last time I was out apple picking I picked up some apple cider- for some hot spiced rum cider! mmm


This is absolutely one of the most seasonal, most delicious and most downright simple drinks you can possibly make :) and I love it.


To make this spiced cider all you need is some delicious apple cider, some chai or otherwise spiced tea (can be herbal), cinnamon sticks (which you can use to steep or just to garnish), and of course some rum!

For about 3 drinks I took 4 cups of cider and put it in a saucepan over the stove on medium-high heat. Then I took 2 tea bags and let them steep in the cider (you could also put in a cinnamon stick for extra cinnamon flavour). Heat the cider up until it's steaming and hot, but not boiling. Stir it around a bit infusing the spices! I did this for about 10 minutes.


Measure you're chosen amount of rum into your favourite mug- this amount will vary depending on how cold it is, how many exams you have coming up, or how many relatives are visiting your house. For hanging out with friends I opted for about 1 1/2 ounces.


Then ladle your hot spiced cider over your rum, and into your favourite glass, possibly with a cinnamon stick to make it look festive!


So simple, so tasty, so fall appropriate!


Definitely one of my favourite things right now!

How are you enjoying the fall season? Do you have any favourite drinks to warm up with?

Hope you're having a very Tipsy Tuesday!

xo erin

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TBT: Bra History

Hi All!

Today I have something really cool for Throwback Thursday! Instead of a throwback to a project that I've sewn, I want to show you a throwback WAY further in time!


I've been sitting in on a couple classes at Bra-Maker's Supply and in one of the classes we did a little lesson on Bra History, so I thought I would bring in a couple vintage pieces from my collection!

The first thing was an old brassiere (before they were called bras), I'm not really sure how old this is, but I'm thinking early 1900's -

You can see how it goes around your arms and fastens in the back, and has a little strap that would attach to your girdle in the front!


The whole front of the bodice is boned inside, and has these little straps with sliders and rings for shaping! SO cool! but definitely give a bit of a uni-boob effect.


The next vintage piece I had was a children's corset- which I would say was cute if the idea of a child wearing a corset wasn't completely against the comfort level I feel children should have in their clothing!


So itty-bitty, with only four hooks on the busk!

With the proper lace-up in the back and some pretty lace trim top and bottom


The next two things I brought in are probably my favourite! Two Eaton's Catalogues, one from 1928, and one from 1966. - It's amazing how much changed between the catalogues, and again to today!




The 1966 catalogue was my grandmothers, and is from the year my mom was born, and the 1928 catalogue was given to me by a wonderfully generous lady I met in a 'learn to use your serger class'- to whom I will forever be grateful

Just look at the contraptions that they wore back in 1928!


and the prices lol!

$3.95 for the FlexOsteel Corset with Abdominal Belt!!


They had such cherub faces- and straight figures!


'Health-Style Corsets'


Even maternity corsets! - Can you believe that! 



Things really changed when it came to 1966!


All about the hourglass figures, new stretch fabrics, and pointy boobs!



Look at the point on those cups!



It so interesting how the styles change, and even how the 'ideal woman' changes- there were definitely no straight-figured, cherub-faced ladies in Spring/Summer 1966!

I also got quite a chuckle at the Men's underwear section.


'I say chap, your onsie is the bee's knees!'


'Golly gee! these boxers are quite swell!'

Anyways, I thought these were so cool, I was thinking that I might do a series of posts focusing on different parts of the catalogues, - it's just too much for one post, and I really wanted to focus on the bra history!

Hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past! What was your favourite style?

I would love to make myself a bullet bra out of the 60's!

Hope you're having a great Thursday!

xo erin