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

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

Reflecting on Christmas


I feel like there are so many little Christmas things that I didn’t get to share on this blog, partly because it is such a busy time of year, but also because they all seemed a little small and insignificant for posting. So before it is altogether TOO late- I am going to reflect over a few little things from this Christmas.

Firstly- my minimal apartment decor- which was simple and fleeting- as I generally go home for the weeks surrounding Christmas- but none-the-less I feel like I did a good job at creatively adding some festivity to the apartment. My favourite decoration had to be the bats- a leftover decoration from Halloween that I decided to Christmas-ify with some little hats and antlers.

Before:

After (aka- instant Christmas)

Then I had my little tinsel tree, that I decorate in full girly style with all my bling:

And then, what had to be the BEST part of all my Christmas holiday: A crafty visit from my best friend Claire! – It was three days of bliss- all day crafting, wine-drinking & delicious food eating in our pjs!
She brought her very impressive collection of card making supplies:

 And showed me how to make the most beautiful and festive cards- I ended up with these five most beautiful cards!

She had so many nice stamps and an amazing organization system they were all sorted in binders with a page of them stamped beside so you could see what they would look like- such a smart crafter!

We also did quite a bit of cooking, making up a batch of my vegetable beef soup & cheddar biscuits. Along with some deluxe hummus/guacamole/chicken/sprout sandwiches with spiced black beans on the side.

 SO GOOD- and I can proudly say that we were very healthy during our 3 day crafting marathon! Especially being so close to Christmas!!

She also got me an amazing book for Christmas:

which I have been pouring over during my free time this holiday!

Also- more about my Christmas at home–> my mom got me some gorgeous estate earrings:

and we put up our crazy- overloaded fake tree!

All the Christmas things!

Hope you all had wonderful Christmases with friends and family- and most importantly stuffed yourself with delicious food! 

xo erin

Felt Ornaments


This weekend I got into the Christmas spirit!- and I started off with some felt ornaments- aren’t homemade decorations just the best!

I love making these, sitting watching a favourite movie and doing all the little stitches- placing the beads and laying it all out! 
You can get so creative with them too- it is such an easy fabric to work with because it lays flat and doesn’t slide, and there are so many different stitches that you can do. This snow man has lovely little french knot eyes and smile and has a blanket stitch around the edge!
This one might be my fav – with the gold studs and the pink tassel! Festive with flare! – I feel a little nerdy being so into these embroidery stitches, but they do really look nice, and it is so cool how many different stitches you can do so easily! Crafty enthusiasm!! 
These would also be a great gift idea if you personalized them with the name of the person you were gifting them to! just saying…. 
I always like to put the year on the back too- just so I can remember when I made it! I hope this is getting everyone in the Christmas spirit! I know that it got me in the Christmas spirit, and now I’m off to plan more gift ideas, do some decorating and possibly pop a batch of gingerbread into the oven! 
There will definitely be more Christmas themed posts coming soon! 
Happy Holidays- and I hope that everyone is doing their favourite Christmasy things right now! 🙂
xo erin

Friendship Cake


Around this time every year, if I am attentive enough, I will remember to start the best 30 day process -the process of friendship cake.

Friendship cake is one of my grandma’s recipes. It takes 30 days to make, and it is usually started in late November so that it can be ready for Christmas. Friendship cake starts, as all good cakes start, with alcohol, which is either in the form of brandy (if you are starting the friendship cake) or in the form of starter – given to you by someone who just finished making their own friendship cake. 

This is where the ‘friendship’ comes into friendship cake, because at the end of the process you are left with not only lovely cake, but also the ‘starter’ for more friendship cakes that you can give away to your friends so that they can start their own friendship cake- spreading the love of cake.

Making this cake involves 30 days where you ferment fruit with sugar and alcohol on your counter. At the 30 day mark you drain the liquid (giving it away to your closest friends) and add fruit to cake batter, making delicious, boozy, fruit filled cakes, ready to be enjoyed and shared on Christmas.

The best part of friendship cake is that it is the ultimate Christmas present.  
-To make 6 lovely and thoughtful presents – I make my cakes into 6 loafs, wrap them beautifully, and put the 1 1/2 cups of starter into a jar with a nice handwritten recipe card with the instructions for friendship cake. Not only are you giving delicious cake, but you are giving them the chance to be part of a chain of ongoing friendship cakes. And they will also know that you spent 30 days on their present! But let’s be honest, only 5 friends will get this for Christmas because I have to save at least one loaf for myself!

Friendship Cake

1 1/2 cups of ‘starter’ or Apricot Brandy (or if you aren’t particular like me, any fruit brandy in your possession)
6 1/2 cups of sugar
1- 28oz can of sliced peaches in syrup (not drained)
1- 19oz can of chunk pineapple (not drained)
1- 28oz can of fruit cocktail in syrup (not drained)
1- 375ml jar of maraschino cherries (drained and halved)

For each cake: (batch makes 3 cakes/ 6 loafs)

1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 small pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 c chopped walnuts

Day 1 – Combine starter, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and peaches into a very large bowl. Cover and stir once everday.


Day 10 – Add 2 cups of sugar and pineapple with juices. Cover and stir once everyday.


Day 20 – Add 2 cups of sugar, fruit cocktail and cherries. Cover and stir once everyday.


Day 30 – Drain fruit, divide juice into 1 1/2 cup portions (of friendship cake starter) and give away to very lucky friends. Divide fruit into 3 portions (one for each cake). 


For each cake, mix all of the ingredients for the cake together mixing it at a medium speed until well combined, add the fruit and stir in until fully incorporated. I suggest doing each cake separately since it would be a very large amount to do all 3 at once, but you can definitely do all 3 at once if you have a bowl big enough. 


For each cake, grease either 1 bundt pan or 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350 °F for 65 minutes (if using a bundt pan) or 50 minutes (for two loaves).

Today is the day that I start my friendship cake!

First step – the brandy. So this is either starter that you were given, or the recipe says apricot brandy, but I didn’t have apricot brandy, I had “Old Plum Brandy” which has been sitting on my bar cart for a little too long and I figured that it wouldn’t be too different- so 1 1/2 cups of that!

Next sugar, 2 1/2 cups of that…

And finally peaches in their syrup… yum

Now to be mixed in a very large bowl! 

And I will let this sit, covered on my kitchen table, stirring once everyday, until the next step on day 10!  Always dreaming of the cakes that are to come 🙂 !
– And now back to the sewing cave, to think up more Christmas sewing ideas!
Erin