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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Road Trip to Tiki Underground in Akron - Mai Tai on the Menu!



Are you ready for a happy hour cocktail? Me, too! Today I'm enjoying the fabulous Mai Tai from Tiki Underground in Akron, Ohio. The recipe is in the video and highly (no pun intended) recommended. Be sure to drop in when you're driving through Ohio. Their decor is beautiful, their food is great and their drinks are spot on!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

(Night Before) Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving hosts: Have you ever had the experience of working for days and even weeks on Thanksgiving dinner, only to remember at the last minute that, oops, your guests are arriving on Wednesday?! It is easy to be so focused on the big meal that dinner the evening before gets forgotten but, as my mother-in-law once said in a different context "You can't starve these people!" This would be an ideal time to order some pizzas, but if you want to spare yourself those calories the night before the biggest meal of the year, or maybe you'd like a retro cooking challenge that's still pretty easy, Better Homes & Gardens Best Buffets (1963) has some options with shrimp. At the very least they'll get the conversational ball rolling!




I'll bet they didn't see that meal coming! Be sure to pick up some extra wine for the imbibers. You don't want to consume all the wine you meant for Thanksgiving dinner the night before!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Kate's Lazy Meadow - Road Trip with Cocktails!



Joining us for a visit to Kate's Lazy Meadow, in Mt. Tremper, New York! We have a cocktail inspired by lazy meadows and a 1958 appetizer so easy you could assemble it blind drunk. Who knows? It could come in handy someday. 😏 Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Mocktail Monday: Winter Fruits



It's Mocktail Monday and today we have a super easy drink that's perfect for the non-drinkers at your holiday parties! Only two ingredients, but extremely festive!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hidden Harbor Pittsburgh Tiki Bar - Road Trip!



Today we're excited to bring you along on our recent to Hidden Harbor, Pittsburgh's fabulous tiki hot spot! Head bartender Max Stein makes three drinks, all of which are delicious, and their decor and ambiance are to die for! I wish I was there right now!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Thanksgiving Kitsch

Thanksgiving is not the easiest holiday to decorate for. It's like the forgotten child between Halloween and Christmas, both of which I love, but Thanksgiving is the holiday we get to host, so I want to make it count! I'm very pleased with my display, especially since I spent a total of $2 in new items to pull it together. It has a slight "poultry" theme, since I happened to have the Miss Chicken Big mug and Foghorn Leghorn glass already. I definitely use what I have!






Mocktail Monday: Toasted Coconut & Maple



It's Mocktail Monday and I have to say today's drink is especially delicious! I hardly even miss the booze! Perfect for Thanksgiving and autumn days. Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween! You're Being Watched...



The big day has arrived, along with the dreadful knowledge that you're being watched. Our terrifyingly delicious cocktail and eerie eyeball appetizer will help you to look evil straight in the eye (then devour it)! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mocktail Monday: Pom-Ginger Toddy



It's Mocktail Monday and today we have a warm, non-alcoholic toddy with just two ingredients - perfect for a gray autumn day! Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halloween Cocktail Recipe - She Gods of Shark Reef!



It's time for happy hour and today we have a cocktail that's perfect for both Halloween AND tiki parties (and Shark Week), She Gods of Shark Reef! Having a Sharknado party? Serve this!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Deck the Halls for Halloween!

You know I love decorating with records! Here's our Halloween record display, with a bunch of tiki mugs thrown in for good measure. I consider it a warm up for Christmas, when I will go really berserk with the hall decking. Have you decorated for Halloween? I would love to see what you've done!





Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Crawling Hand!



Today's horrific Halloween recipes are inspired by the 1963 low budget classic, "The Crawling Hand!" Horror never tasted so good. πŸ˜€πŸΈπŸŽƒ

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mocktail Monday: Ginger-Pear Bubbles



It's Mocktail Monday and today we have a ginger and pear concoction that's a lovely way to kick off an autumn week! Hope yours is fabulous!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cocktail Recipes with Beer and More!



Did you miss tonight's live broadcast? No worries, it lives here! Click the link above and spend Saturday evening with us!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Visit to the Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft & Magick!



Today's happy hour features a Halloween treat - a visit to Cleveland's Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft & Magick (cocktail included, of course)! It's the perfect place to catch the Halloween spirit, so be sure to drop by when you're in Cleveland!

Become a Patron of the Arts!

I just created a "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" Patreon page! If you've never heard of Patreon, it's a way for creators of all sorts (filmmakers, writers, podcasters, musicians, etc.) to get paid for what they do. Our show is free and always will be, but we do have exclusive content especially for anyone who becomes a monthly patron. We have levels starting at just $5 a month so, if you'd like us to create a custom cocktail for you every month or you'd like to attend an online happy hour at our bar, please consider becoming a patron! Thank you for your support of the "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en!"


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Our Autumn Road Trip Part 2: Cleveland, Buffalo and Beyond!

Welcome back to our autumn road trip travel-blog! When we left off we'd just pulled out of Akron and a fabulous afternoon at Tiki Underground. Next stop: Cleveland!

Cleveland:

I admit that I was a little anxious about our day in Cleveland, since we were scheduled to shoot at three locations, all carefully scheduled and coordinated. We got a bit of a later start than anticipated, due to some last minute shopping needs for our first shoot, at A Christmas Story House, but we needn't have worried. The people at A Christmas Story House were wonderful and I can honestly say that shooting there was one of the best experiences I've had doing this show. We were in the house from "A Christmas Story!" Sitting at their table! Pretending to taste Lifebuoy soap! It was unbelievably fabulous.











Rowley Inn, the bar and restaurant across the street from the house, HIGHLY recommended!
Our next stop was Porco Lounge and Tiki Room, which was chosen by Food Network as one of the best tiki bars in the country in 2016.  We always like to get our initial shots at a bar during the day, before they open, to avoid copyright issues with any music they have playing during business hours. Owner Stefan Was was there to greet us and we got our shots, although the real Porco fun came in the evening. Stefan and his crew were amazing to us. We sampled delicious cocktails, local liquor and...malort! We'd heard legends about malort, which is considered a dare in most circles. Malort is Swedish for wormwood and malort is incredibly bitter. However, it was not nearly as bad as I'd feared. We also sampled an amaro that was even more bitter, which, heaven help me, I actually liked! My taste buds must be seriously out of whack!


The sampling of the malort.






In between visits to Porco we shot an episode at the Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft and Magick, which will be online tomorrow, cocktail included! The Buckland Gallery, which packs a lot into a very small space, is the collection of Raymond Buckland. He began collecting in 1966 and the collection boasts everything from Ancient Egyptian ushabtis to documented items from the Salem witch trials. Pretty amazing! The museum also happens to be inside of A Separate Reality Records, so you know some record shopping happened! I don't know how, but I managed to get zero photos of the experience.

Speaking of shopping, we also managed to wedge in a visit to Suite Lorain, the "vintage department store" which I've been hearing about for years. Department store is right! There were rooms I didn't even get a chance to visit! I did, however, emerge with some Christmas and Thanksgiving items I can't wait to use!

After our whirlwind day in Cleveland we set off for Tonawanda New York and Cats Like Us, a store I've been visiting online for years and which I eagerly anticipated seeing in person. It did not disappoint. Andrew and Julie Ann were so sweet and welcoming and accommodated our every need. Some shopping happened there, too. It was a good trip for shopping!




We were hungry after all that shooting and shopping and took one of Andrew's suggestions and hit Swiston's Beef & Keg for lunch, which was nearby and the sort of place I adore: a time capsule with great food and drink. We sampled two Buffalo food legends in situ: beef on weck and wings.





We even managed to squeeze in an unplanned bonus visit to Niagara Falls! I'd never been before and can now check that one off of my kitsch travel card!


We followed that with a lovely evening with Andrew and Julie Ann. I would return to Buffalo in a second. We had a great time!

Home:

The next day it was time to head home. The day started out pretty uneventfully - a fairly long drive on I-90 on which we saw some pretty fall foliage but not much else. But Paul had suggested we have lunch at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, so we had to get off the nice even highway. If I'd known what I was getting into I might have protested, but I was eventually (after a couple of beers) glad we did. Brewery Ommegang was a long way from I-90 on some of the dinkiest country roads I have ever seen and I've driven across the country many times. I was pretty sure we were on private property at some points along the way. I expected Ned Beatty to pop out in front of us at any moment, but the only thing that jumped in front of our car was a stag. Yes, I was able to stop, but I was ready for that beer.

Thank heavens.



After Ommegang it was another FIFTY MILES on country roads to the highway that took us home! Highlights of that leg were times when the pavement ended and the goat. Believe it or not, the stag was not the strangest animal we saw in the road that day. A little black goat, just as proud of itself as it could be, was hanging out in the road, causing what passed for a traffic jam on that little highway. At that point in the journey I was ready to see a UFO land. However, I was glad we took that route, in spite of the seeming endlessness of it, because it DID eventually end, in Roscoe New York, home of Prohibition Distillery!

We shot an episode at Prohibition Distillery last year and love them to pieces! It was about 6:00 PM on Saturday and we weren't sure the tasting room would still be open. Happily for us, it was! We were able to (re)sample all of their offerings, replenish our supply of Bootlegger 21 gin and bourbon and they even gave us tacos! It was the perfect way to wrap up our trip!

We're home now, which is great, but I have to say I love being on the road. I really want to incorporate more road trips into our show. If you have a place you'd like us to visit, please let me know! We just might!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Halloween Shopping at Cats Like Us!



Join us for Halloween shopping at the fabulous Cats Like Us store in Tonawanda New York, cocktails included! And be sure to visit their site for everything you need to create a stylish Halloween!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Our Autumn Road Trip Part 1: Pittsburgh and Akron

We've just returned from a whirlwind tour that took us through Pittsburgh, Akron, Cleveland and Buffalo and what an amazing time it was! We managed to shoot upcoming episodes at six different locations, met wonderful people and had experiences we'll never forget. You never know what will happen when you hit the road. This time we were very, very fortunate. Here is a little travelogue of our first two stops, Pittsburgh and Akron.

Pittsburgh:

The morning we started out was not promising. Torrential rain, road work and traffic made for a nerve wracking first couple of hours on the road. The rain eventually let up and we were able to relax a little and take in the sights.

If I'm smiling that means the rain has stopped.

We stayed at the Hotel Indigo, in the area known as East Liberty, and it was gorgeous. I loved our room. The view left a little to be desired, but I kind of enjoyed the juxtaposition.



The hotel had a vague "old Hollywood" theme happening, which I loved. I would stay there again in a second. It also happened to be within walking distance of a Primanti Bros., so we got our fix of huge, overstuffed sandwiches.

There's just no way to do this neatly.

That night we dropped in our master mixologist friend Lucky at Acacia, where he works his liquid magic. A number of lovely libations were consumed (thank heavens for Uber!).


The next day we shot an episode at Hidden Harbor, a fabulous tiki bar with a touch of modern inspiration. They were so kind to us and shared recipes for three of their cocktails! It's truly a beautiful place and we were delighted that our friend Paul could join us for a couple of rounds.






The ladies room. Hysterical! 

Of course, we'd be forced to turn in our record collector cards if we didn't visit Jerry's Records. Happily, Jerry's was easy walking distance from Hidden Harbor, so we were able to drop in after our shoot, then return to Hidden Harbor later for more tiki goodness!
Akron:

Akron was a quick stop for us, but we had such a good time that we stayed far longer than we'd originally intended! We shot an episode at the fabulous Tiki Underground, opened earlier this year by Sean and Jessie Coffey. They're wonderful hosts and Tiki Underground is gorgeous, with delicious food and drinks and, among more upscale selections, an impressive collection of Old Man Beer:

Old Man Beer connoisseur Paul ordered a Hamm's. 






Thank you so much to Sean and Jessie, Tim, Carol, Julie, John and Elaine for showing us a great time in Akron! We will be back!

Up next: Cleveland, Buffalo and the bizarre drive home.