Sunday, September 25, 2016

Strawberry Liqueur, Part 2

Our homemade strawberry liqueur is finished and I have to say that it is fabulous! Click here to find the recipe I followed. It's fresh and fruity and perfect for the crawl room we're planning for Ohana Luau at the Lake next year! Be sure to follow the link to recipe and make your own. You'll be hooked!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Homemade Strawberry Liqueur

I'm already planning our crawl room for next year's Ohana Luau at the Lake and the cocktail experiments have begun! I'm making a strawberry liqueur for the occasion, so that I have lots of time to tweak the recipe, if necessary. Here's where I found the recipe, if you'd like to try making your own. Three days until we can try it out! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Strawberry liqueur, part 1

Friday, September 16, 2016

Do you need a cookie?

I'm not going to lie - it's been a rough day here at the Kitsch-en. Nothing truly horrible - no one is sick or anything - but it's been a day filled with frustrating tech issues, a distinct lack of replies to mail and rejection. The good news is that it's time for happy hour! And a day like this demands lovely comforting libations, garnished with a cookie!

The Bucolic Banana

2 oz banana milk
1 oz dark Jamaican rum (I used Coruba)
5 dashes of the Bitter Truth's Xocolatl Mole bitters

Shake with ice and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a cookie on a stick*.

*Be sure to create a pilot hole in your cookie before putting it on the stick, so that it doesn't fall apart.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Storing Bar Paraphernalia

Have you ever noticed how one innocent little piece of vintage bar paraphernalia seems to sprout into a collection, seemingly out of nowhere? You pick up a set of swizzle sticks at a yard sale or uncover a handful of matchbooks in a relative's desk drawer and suddenly you've got collecting fever! And all of that stuff can really take up a lot of space. The good news is that other bar accoutrements and vintage found items often make the best storage! Here are a few ideas - dig around and you probably already have perfect items to store your cocktail-related gems!

How many shakers can you use at one time? Use some to store swizzle sticks!

The same goes for shot glasses - store cocktail picks in them!

Vases aren't just for flowers!  Store swizzle sticks, straws, bar spoons and more!

When they're not holding ice, ice buckets can hold matchbooks and more!

And an ice bucket with a lid lets you keep stuff you don't want seen hidden.

Tiki bowls make great storage, too!

This mail organizer holds swag from various events, but has plenty of room for booklets and more.

Vintage suitcases are well-known storage containers, but don't forget about the little ones! Perfect for playing cards...

Not to mention coasters, picks and so much more!

Are your records overflowing their shelves? File folder racks are a great solution! And, as offices increasingly go paperless, they're easy to find cheaply or free. This one is a street find!

Do you have any great storage tips to share? We'd love to hear them! I'm in an organizing frame of mind lately...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tips For The Harried Hostess (or Host)

Have you thought of throwing a cocktail party, but then said "Eh, too much work," and canned the idea? Well, the time to entertain has come! Find a copy of Good Housekeeping's Appetizer Book (1958, The Hearst Corporation and, yes, those are appetizers sticking out of a candle on the cover), because it has ideas so easy you never even need to turn on a burner, much less the oven!

No serving platter? No problem! Stick your appetizers in a lit candle! It's food AND mood lighting!

(Practically) everyone loves a seafood cocktail! Go bohemian and serve it in the living room! These sauces are all pretty darned quick and easy, but for the truly time pressed, see the final suggestion.

Here's another eccentric serving suggestion for your seafood cocktail - spear shrimp and arrange whimsically around a basket!

For the seafood-abstainers on your guest list, here's an intriguing appetizer from the "slimming" section of the book. I'd never equated canned meat with dieting before.

If you've ever thought you were too much of a kitchen klutz to create adorable raw veggies, Susan is here to show you differently. Don't forget the perky watercress!

Perfect for spearing and sticking into a candle!
With tips like these I'm sure you'll see just how easy it can be to throw a party guests will discuss for weeks! Batch up the martinis ahead of time by the pitcherful and they may even eat!

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Fabulous Day At Prohibition Distillery

Tuesday's "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" episode features a visit to the fabulous Prohibition Distillery, in Roscoe, New York! If you'll be in the Catskills for any reason and enjoy booze, we highly recommend stopping in for the free tastings in their tasting room, along with the tour and a few cocktails. They're incredibly nice people, making amazing vodka, gin and bourbon, and they really know their stuff. It's a great way to spend a day!

So many lovely libations!
Relaxing on a beautiful day
REALLY relaxing on a beautiful day!
Roscoe, NY: Fly fishing capital of America

Thursday, September 8, 2016

"Saucy" Baked Beans

And by "sauce" I mean that kind of sauce. As in hooch!

Let's face it: we don't always have all day to let beans cook in the slow cooker, or all night to let them soak. Sometimes you just need to eat dinner, soon. Here's a, dare I say it? hack for a can of baked beans that will feel special, especially if you're pairing it with a nice ale or glass of wine.

"Saucy" Baked Beans

1 28 oz can of vegetarian baked beans (I used B&M in this case)
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1/4 tsp onion powder
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
1 1/2 oz bourbon
3/4 oz Ancho Reyes liqueur

Combine all ingredients and allow to simmer for 10 minutes or so.

Booze, is there anything you can't improve?!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kitschy Kitchens!

Have you ever stood in a boring, modern kitchen and wondered, even for just a moment, what it would be like to cook in a kitchen of Brady Bunch-era splendor (or am I the only one who's ever done that)? If so, the booklets from the Doubleday Home Decorating Program are just what you need to provide the inspiration to slap up a little wallpaper or maybe hunt down an avocado or harvest gold stove! The Doubleday Home Decorating Program was a subscription service which mailed subscribers, "once a month, a whole packet of decorating guidance and ideas" in the form of "a colorful new Handbook (prepared exclusively for our members) that gives you concentrated, in-depth treatment of a specific part of your home."

I wonder what would happen if I mailed this in now?
If you value kitschy, fun, vintage late-'60s-early-'70s decor, these books will blow your mind! Here are just a few of the kitchens I found in this amazing series:

Here's a resplendent gold kitchen for the space-challenged, with a laundry area to the left. Is that toy truck in a portable sandbox?! That's really making the most of apartment living!

This one is a little dark for my taste, but I admire their complete commitment to paisley. And that avocado and paisley range - wow!

So many seating choices here: love seat, cushioned chairs, tasseled bar stools. You could throw a party in this kitchen!

The striped wallpaper in this kitchen makes me nostalgic for my mother-in-law's house, although her striped kitchen wallpaper was brown. 

There are so many patterns and styles going on here that it's tough to know where to begin! I think my favorite part is the canisters that match the wallpaper. Why waste extra wallpaper?!

Call them tacky, call them horrible, but I love these kitchens! My personal tastes run a little more mid-century modern, but I adore the fact that these designers weren't worried about fitting in or being tasteful. Our homes should be fun, not a showcase for conformity! If you love it, it belongs in your home!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 18th anniversary! We've been celebrating for a couple of days at our favorite spot in New York - home! Between being in California recently for Tiki Oasis, being in NYC a lot and heading to California again at the end of September, there's been a lot of "outness" lately, so we both just really wanted to stay home.  Paul prepared a special breakfast this morning - Waffle Benedict - and last night we had my favorite thing on earth, lobsters!

Waffle Benedict a la Paul

Sorry, food police, but I cannot resist
I made Bongo Bongo Soup and Lime Mousse from the Trader Vic's Tiki Party book to go with the lobsters and made a sauce to have with pasta out of some of the leftover broth.

Lime Mousse

Bubbly cocktails have been and will continue to be consumed and we're thinking of more seafood for the grill tonight.

I can't imagine a better anniversary!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Vintage Recipes for September!

I just added new (to the site, anyway) vintage recipes to our website, this time with a disco flair! Click here to check them out. Get those boogie shoes out of storage - it's time to dance (and drink. A lot.)!

Time to boogie-oogie-oogie 'til you just can't boogie no more!