Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Macadamia Gallery

In Saturday's Periscope live broadcast I created a cocktail for the peanut gallery, which loves to leave us nitpicky comments. Since we didn't have peanut liqueur, I used macadamia and the Macadamia Gallery Daiquiri was born!

Macadamia Gallery Daiquiri

2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1/2 oz macadamia liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass whenever you're distracted by the peanut gallery!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday At Last!

It's actually been a good week, but I love Fridays because they mean happy hour and also that we're shooting tomorrow - three episodes! Glendora is coming to visit and rumor has it she may even have a new love interest, though we haven't met him yet.

In other news, I seem to be injured. This has been going on for a few months off and on, but it's more on than off lately. I step on my foot at the wrong angle and I'm limping and in screaming agony. Not fun. I'm seeing the doctor Tuesday and will be taking it easy until then. I need painkillers, preferably in the form of spirits.  Good thing it's almost happy hour! 

If you need an idea for a cocktail to serve this evening, may I suggest the Pisco Fantasia, featured in today's happy hour episode? Click here to watch!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

All This Authenticity Wears Me Out!

I see so much lately about how success on YouTube, in blogging, and in business is based on authenticity. I think "authenticity" is this year's "empowerment." I'm seeing that word everywhere. So-and-so is successful because they're so authentic.  But I can't always tell what that means. I feel like most people I know are authentic - they're themselves. And is someone inauthentic because they put their best foot forward or approach life in a humorous way? I have absolutely no issue with getting on Periscope and admitting I can't tell one cheap red wine from another or addressing issues like burnout in a humorous way, but am I inauthentic because I'm not wringing my hands and shedding tears? That's just not who I am. And isn't there plenty of that out there already? So many food and beverage writers will tell you that your choices in those areas say important things about you and separate the authentic from the inauthentic, as though you're a big phony if you eat a Twinkie or a frozen dinner. Many, many people will tell you that your wine or liquor choices matter a great deal and that they say something crucial about you. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's okay to drink what you like, whether it's cheap red wine or single malt scotch or tropical drinks in hollowed out pineapples! Isn't authenticity the ability to be in the moment and do what feels right at the time? And how can we pronounce judgement on someone's choices like that? I say be true to yourself and, if anyone accuses you of being "inauthentic" or phony, authentically give them a one-fingered salute!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Our 20th AIDS Walk!

I'm pleased to announce that I've registered for my 20th AIDS Walk New York! We love walking on behalf of the show and our friends who've been affected by AIDS. It's wonderful that so many strides have been made toward a cure, so we can't stop now! Please sponsor me if you're able. Click here for the link to my fundraising page. And thank you! Every year we create a special libation for our sponsors and this year will be no exception! Here's to you!

AIDS Walk New York 2015, in our Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en attire

Friday, February 19, 2016

You Know I'm Bad

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately, which is that some folks think our show is naughty or "adult content," since we make cocktails. I agree 100% that we shouldn't target our content to kids, which is why all of our marketing is to people over the age of 30. Kids aren't interested in us, anyway. But in case anyone hadn't noticed, Prohibition ended in 1933 and liquor is legal for those over the age of 21. We don't advocate drinking and driving, which is why we're showing how to make cocktails at home in almost all cases, and we've spoken at length about not being a jerk when you drink. Still, from some of the flagging our posts and ad buys get, you'd think we were doing porn* or showing folks how to make meth. It bothers me because we're not doing anything wrong, yet some entities treat us like we're just a little sleazy. So, just in case it wasn't clear to anyone:

  • Don't drink and drive
  • Don't be a jerk when you drink
  • Don't serve anyone who may become a jerk when drinking
  • Don't drink at work, unless it's your job

Finally, enjoy yourself! It's later than you think.

We're so subversive.

*If we were doing porn we'd be making a lot more money.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Collabing: Everyone's Doing It!

If there's one thing you hear over and over (andoverandoverandoverandover) as a video creator, it's that you have to "collab" with other creators or you're sunk. I've always been open to "collabing" (don't call it collaborating!), but haven't seen how it could work for us until very recently. Well, I'm excited to report that we have a few collab videos in the works with other creators, which I think will be fun for all involved! Stay tuned!

I've also been thinking about possibilities for future road trip episodes. We'll be in Cancun in March and you know we can't resist taking the camera when we travel! I have fantasies about shooting in locations like Disneyland and Graceland and when we're a much bigger deal we'll approach those places. Our episode at Mid-Valley Wine and Liquor (click here to watch) was perfect for us, as it is nearby, we love it and we spend a lot of money there. Another store where I routinely spend obscene amounts of money is Sephora. I wonder if they'd ever let us shoot an episode? If there's one thing that goes great with cocktails, it's makeup shopping! And shoe shopping! DSW, are you listening?

If you have a suggestion for a future "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" road trip episode, please leave us a comment! We love to travel!

Just a portion of a typical Sephora trip. I'd love to shoot an episode there!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day & Happy Birthday!

To me! It's really a birthday week for me, since it's way too cold to go outside, so we'll go out on Tuesday. In the meantime, Paul has been taking excellent care of me. He made Eggs Benedict for breakfast and dinner will be lobsters. I can honestly say there is no place I'd rather be today!

I'm also excited to share a video I made for a contest to win a scholarship to B School! Click here to watch! I've felt for a while that I need some serious business training as we work to grow the Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en and take our little media empire to the next level. I have big plans! Wish me luck! #winBSCHOOL

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Easy Fun Margarita Variation!

For tonight's happy hour we're featuring Aperol Margaritas with Tabasco-infused salt! It couldn't be easier to change up your Margaritas if you want to play and add different flavors! All you do is substitute your chosen liqueur (in this case Aperol, which is technically a bitter, but same idea) for the orange liqueur in the Margarita recipe. Have fun and try different liqueurs! We've used ginger, elderflower, pomegranate and many more!

To make the Tabasco-infused salt, all you do is pour some salt into a plastic bag, followed by several large dashes of Tabasco.  Agitate until the Tabasco is incorporated with the salt, then spread out on waxed paper and allow to dry completely. It sounds crazy, but adds only a subtle spicy kick, which is tremendous fun! Bottoms up!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Could Be Better Than Cupcakes?

Booze infused cupcakes, that's what! I got these little cocktail glass infusers, made by Wilton, at Michael's the other day and I'm pleased to say they work like a charm! All you do is cut off the bottoms and squeeze in your favorite liquor to fill them, then stick in cupcakes (or whatever) and squeeze again to release your boozy goodness! Cupcakes are suddenly even more fun!

Elegant black and white or pretty in pink?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Everything Old Is New Again

One of my favorite things to do on a busy and stress-producing day is to take a moment to just look around the house and re-appreciate our collections and all we have. When life gets crazy we can sometimes forget to even see it all. Our stuff represents years of collecting and curating and what's the point of having it if we don't enjoy it? Make a drink in that tiki mug or pour some candy into that candy dish or whip up a recipe from that vintage cookbook! It's therapy for $0!

Some of my treasured collections!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Retail Therapy

I had a moment today when I really needed to get out of the house. We've both been working very hard and things just seemed a little intense, so we got in the car and went to a few of our "happy" stores - Harbor Freight for Paul and Michael's, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Home Goods for me. And look! I left with early birthday presents! Not pictured is the "I love not camping" makeup bag that I also had to have, since it was buy one, get one 50% off. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to bake, then booze-infuse some cupcakes!

My early birthday haul

Friday, February 5, 2016

Desserts Spelled Backwards

What do you do when your day takes a turn for the stressful and it's just too early to start in on the lovely libations? Say, for example, that you realized that the meta data on all of the pages of your website was hopelessly out of date and that your site was likely being missed in online searches because of this, so suddenly your carefully planned day suddenly becomes about fixing over 100 pages and re-uploading them, in addition to your other tasks. Let's just say you may not be feeling as perky as you might otherwise. What do you do? Panicking doesn't solve anything. Grumbling and complaining may feel good in the moment, but they don't fix the problem. And throwing things only leads to breakage you probably don't ultimately want.

The solution, of course, is to do what you need to do, but in a way that doesn't further add to your anxiety. This isn't the time to expect yourself to prepare an elaborate dinner or complete tasks that aren't urgent. If possible, take a break and go for a walk (if it's not freezing), listen to some music, read or watch That Girl (my surefire stress reducer). Return to your tasks when you've pulled yourself together and push through, knowing that there is a lovely libation with your name on it at the end of the day! If you need an idea for tonight's menu, click here for this week's happy hour cocktail!

And remember:

Have a slice of cake while you're at it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Door Knock Cocktails

Does anyone else remember the TV show Door Knock Dinners, where Gordon Elliott and a chef would show up at some unsuspecting person's home and the chef would make dinner using only ingredients that the homeowner had on hand? I loved that show! It was such an inspiration, not only for taking a second look at your pantry, but for seeing the items you already have in a whole new way. There are many lists available online for suggested pantry ingredients to keep on hand although, sadly, Door Knock Dinners is no more. Gordon Elliott and the chef du jour may not show up at your house ready to whip up a meal, but a well-stocked pantry means that you'll always be prepared to throw dinner together.

However, what about your liquor pantry? Suppose you've invited a few friends for drinks, but one requests a Martini and you have no gin? You don't need dozens of bottles of hooch to offer a wide selection of lovely libations! By keeping these items stocked you'll be prepared to make many of the classics and you can expand your collection as you discover new liquors that strike your fancy!

The Basics

A blended whiskey
A light or amber rum
A silver or gold tequila


Fresh limes
Dry vermouth 
A nice orange liqueur
Simple syrup
Club soda

With the above you can make Martinis, Sidecars, Daiquiris, Margaritas and all kinds of sours and highballs! Add wine and you'll have sangrias and spritzers in your arsenal as well, not to mention the many variations on the French 75 if you have champagne! And, the more juices you keep on hand, the more you can play! As you add new liquors and liqueurs to your collection you'll find that your choices grow exponentially! But, with just these items available, you'll have plenty of choices to please just about any visitor to your home and keep yourself in lovely libations for quite a while! Bottoms up!

The world of liquor is your oyster!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Help For Valentine's Day!

I just updated the vintage recipes on our site for February, with some suggestions for Valentine's Day you'd probably never considered! I'll bet your special someone has never been presented with an Elegant Chicken Loaf on this occasion!

If you find yourself between significant others at the moment, single girl Glendora, the special guest host of our Valentine's Day episode (online February 9), has you covered! You deserve the best and Glendora is just the gal to show you how to treat yourself right! Yes, Franzia Merlot will be served!