Dec 072010

Easy Entertaining for Beginners: You Can Throw a Fabulous Party, from Holiday Fiesta to a Romantic Evening for Two

  • ISBN13: 9780979956409
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

You don’t have to be professional chef or nervous wreck to host great casual at-home entertaining. You will have all of your questions answered, from what to serve to what to do. Even if you have never entertained in your life, you can have a terrific time putting together a superb celebration. Included are 13 delicious complete menus with easy-to-follow recipes, full color photographs, ideas for music, activities and drinks. Checklists ease readers step-by-step through every phase of planning,

List Price: $ 18.95


Jul 042010

Rather then toss tea into the Bay, The Red Shakers opted to revisit an old friend and start our festivities with the Earl Grey MarTEAni. As the whistling and bangs from neighbors lighting off fireworks began, we gathered to celebrate the 234th birthday of declaring our independence.

After a long couple of weeks, a relaxing night was very much welcome. The Shakers combined forces to make a little snacky assortment of French Fries, tri-tip mini-tacos with cumin cream and roasted peppers, macaroni and cheese and roasted corn with jalapeño butter and cockdoggies – a lovely little tapas style dinner.

The Earl Grey MarTEAni did not disappoint second time around, but we also had to add another martini to our roster of recipes, so onto a new recipe:

The Pineapple Drop Martini

This was a tasty concoction that was light and not too overpowering in either sweetness or pineapple. The lime was a nice counter to the natural sugars in the fruit.

The Shakers concur, this one rates 4 olives. A really nice summer drink.

Next on deck is a Shaker One Creation (and people, let me tell you, she has moments of sheer genius)

Spicy Lemon Drop Martini

This zippy, kicky concoction is a huge dose of awesome. The perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Basically, it is a cayenne and lemon simple syrup mixed into a martini. Smiles all around and taste buds overwhelmed with glee.

4 3/4 olives for this one.

Dessert was a spectacularly patriotic duo of red, white and blue dipped strawberries and red, white and blue mousse. Both were festive additions to our little celebration. Kudos to Shaker One (as always) for being so creative with the presentation!

Our evening draws to a close and the fireworks are bursting in air. Happy Independence Day and cheers to you.

Oh, and one more thing.. be gentle with martini glasses when drying… those stems can break when you least expect them. This is when you appreciate that lovely first-aid kit your mom said needed to keep around. 😉

Dec 282009

So we find ourselves in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve……all done with candy canes and eggnog but not quite ready for champagne cocktails (ok, Shaker One is always ready for champagne cocktails). We decided to try out a few new ‘tinis, nothing holiday specific.

Tonight’s special guest shaker joining us from wintery Philadelphia: Welcome Cyndy!
After an enjoyable dinner of take out vegetarian Indian food (from Samosa House East in Culver City), we begin our martini meandering with-

The Spicy Big Apple(New York Martini glasses courtesy of Beverly~thanks!!)

First we made it as stated in the recipe. We were not repulsed, but certainly not impressed. Too much orange, not enough cinnamon. We all thought it tasted like a sweetened screwdriver. No.

So we made a few alterations- infused the brown sugar simple syrup with cinnamon, cut the orange juice back to just 1/2 shot and upped the apple cider a bit. The result? Tasty! This would be really enjoyable as a partner to Grandma’s caramel corn. Full of fall flavor, you could drink two.

As written- 1 1/2 olives

(Shaker One would give this 1/2 olive, generously)

Shaker Style-3 olives

Next up is the French Pear Martini

Following the recipe, we found the St. Germain overwhelmed the martini. So we increased the pear vodka and added an extra float of champagne. A lovely true pear flavor, not at all synthetic tasting. Well done Grey Goose Pear Vodka. The champagne float give it a wonderful depth. Overall an enjoyable martini.

As written- 2 1/2 olives

Shaker Style- 3 1/2 olives

Then we move on to the Red Square Espresso Martini

When we visit Red Square at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas we always enjoy this martini. Even Cyndy- who does not enjoy coffee- loves this drink. We found the recipe online without quantities, so we experimented a bit here. We went with equal parts of the five ingredients. The result resembles the original pretty closely. Not too strongly coffee flavored, not overy sweet, a non-coffee drinker’s coffee drink. Delicious! And even better paired with gulab jamun-an incredible Indian dessert ball in a honey sauce.

We give this drink a 3 1/2 olives.

We close out this Shaker night full of food and martinis. Join us again soon for more ‘tini fun.

Dec 162009

Stripe here. Just checking in to let you thirsty RS fans know that though the busy holiday season schedules make for brief and infrequent postings, The Shakers are by no means finished sampling and creating tasty festive ‘tinis. They don’t call it getting into the “spirit” of the season for nothing, so let’s get to shaking. Soon. Santa won’t be expecting a plate of cookies at your houses and you better have something good for him when he comes.

Now, there’s something under there for me, right?
Stripe out.

Dec 132009

……you’re gonna want to taste this gingerbread man! The Christmas season has inspired us to make merry once again with a holiday themed tini. Forget visions of sugarplums, visions of martinis dance through our heads. And we welcomed a friend for his first Red Shaker tasting-hi Ref!

Another friend sent us a link to this recipe (thanks Diane!)

The Gingerbread Martini:

We first tried this as the recipe stated and the unanimous verdict was ok, but not “gingerbready” enough. So we did what the Shakers do and tweaked and twisted. Gingerbread perfection! Basically, we replaced the gingerbread Monin syrup (too sweet from past experiences) with an interesting liquor:Hiram Walker Gingerbread liquor, doubled the quantity and cut the kahlua (overkill and gets lost in the flavor profile). This naughty little man gets blended up with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Garnish with some freshly grated nutmeg and a gingersnap cookie, you have a very enjoyable dessert martini. Creamy, not too sweet, one is perfect for a holiday treat.

Shakers One and Two give this 4 1/2 olives

Ref threw in a solid 4 1/4 (he’s a gin drinker, so don’t hold it against him).

As we wrap up a quick Sunday night shake we send out a special holiday wish to our Shaker friends:

May all your spirits be bright and your martini glasses full.

Dec 082009

This evening’s get together was unplanned. It ended up being a result of new technology not working as well as promised. In other words, the digital transmissions to Shaker 2’s place sucks and she was unable to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” so Shaker 1 offered to open up the Balcony Bar for a special screening.

Could we leave it at just watching this fabulous holiday classic? Of course not.

While Shaker 2 thought it would be perfectly fine to have tried and true classics like dirty and twisted…. Shaker 1, as usual, raised the bar a bit higher. She was again inspired and created:

The Mistletoe-tini!

A combination of Rain vodka, champagne sorbet, pomegranate juice and triple sec.

All I gotta say is “well done, Shaker 1!” {*blush*thank you}

Not too sweet, a slight fruity undertone balanced with the dryness from the champagne. Lovely! This puppy would even rock in the summer. 4 1/2 olives! And it’s a pretty festive color.

As the twinkle lights cast a festive glow on the Balcony Bar, the Shakers enjoyed “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the ushering in of the holiday season.


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