Tag Archives: holidays

On the receiving end

Happiest of holidays to you! While you can never go wrong with booze (a common gift given and received), Ms. S&C was on the receiving end of a few other shoes and cocktails inspired gifts this year. All courtesy of Mother S&C!

To tell the truth, Ms. S&C doesn’t know a whole lot about wine. She gets her regions confused, her grapes confused, then there’s the Old World vs. New World, wine etiquette, and the science and artistry of wine-making. She wants to know more about these things, so bring on the Wine Wars Trivia Game!

winewarstriviagame

Living in a small house, with tiny closets, and the inherited trait of never wanting to throw anything out (a trait of Mother S&C mind you), additional shoe racks are a welcome gift (and necessity, as clearly one wasn’t enough!).

shoeracks

And lastly, here’s a sassy little stocking stuffer that’s already made its way to the office. While Ms. S&C can agree (somewhat) on the message, she likes to emphasize quality over quantity :)

notepads

Any other fun shoes and cocktails inspired holiday gifts out there? Any self-gifts? Please share!

S&C Gifts: reading material

Need last minute gift ideas for the literary cocktail enthusiast in your life? Here are some titles worth adding to the library.

Humor: check out David Sedaris’ “Holidays on Ice.” It’s quick and funny, and even if you don’t get past the first story “SantaLand Diaries,” about a thirty-three-year-old man applying for a job as an elf, it is worth it.

holidaysonice

History: “Imbibe!” by David Wondrich features great stories and original recipes for tons of classic cocktails. Full of facts and historical contexts, but very readable. And a must-read for any aspiring cocktail expert.

imbibe

Memoir: J. R. Moehringer’s “The Tender Bar” is described as a “raucous, poignant, luminously written memoir about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar.” If you’ve ever felt like a bar was your second home (for good or for bad), this is a story for you.

thetenderbar

Happy gift-giving and holiday cocktail imbibing! (PS: Any other books to recommend? Please share!)

Happy [Vegan] Thanksgiving

The past two Thanksgivings for Ms. S&C have been meat free. This means no turkey, no Virginia ham, and when she’s visiting family in Southwestern Va., it also means no gravy and no stuffing. Some of you may be thinking “What’s left to eat?” Trust me, you can have a rich and hearty vegetarian (or vegan) Thanksgiving dinner that’s reminiscent of the one you know and love. (And it may be one you feel better about eating.)

Start off with a cocktail we’re calling the Old Fashioned Pilgrim. Adapted from Imbibe Magazine‘s Maple-Cranberry Bourbon Smashed, we used the same ingredients as those in our cranberry sauce (yes, the same sauce that’s served alongside the tofurkey).

The instructions are easy: add a tablespoon of the cranberry sauce to two and a half ounces of bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace). Stir well. Fill glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy a sweet and warming seasonal variation of a classic drink.

cranberryorangesauce

oldfashionedpilgrim

The Old Fashioned Pilgrim is a lot like the classic Old Fashioned but made with fresh cranberries, orange, agave nectar, and cinnamon

Enjoy this beverage while you’re putting the finishing touches on this delicious all vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Herbed Tofurkey (we used the Quorn Turk’y and roasted with fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme)
  • Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes (we mostly followed this recipe but eliminated the cream, almost all of the butter — used vegan butter actually — and the brown sugar)
  • Chorizo-style Protein & Apple Stuffing (we used Field Roast protein sausage in this stuffing recipe and subbed veggie broth and beer for the chicken stuff)
  • Roasted Cauliflower (there’s nothing to it: roast cauliflower with salt, pepper, and olive oil)
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce (we fixed this version with agave nectar so it could be used in cocktail as well)

veganthanksgiving

If you’re not used to eating a protein other than turkey and sausage, the taste will surely be different (and the tofurkey on its own could have used a little gravy), but the spicy stuffing and tart citrusy cranberry sauce are more than enough to give this all veggie dinner a lot of flavor.

S&C patriotism

If money were no object, the 4th of July holiday weekend footwear may look a little something like this:

For the picnic, or the baseball game (the Nationals have a double-header on Saturday, you know), let’s don these adorable Kate Spade sandals. That bow, the grosgrain fabric, the basketweave heel — nothing could say casual American holiday better.

For the night out, how about this classic Burberry espadrille paired with a flowy black sundress? Love the combination of red patent leather, espadrille midsol, and the check pattern.

For the wide-leg white linen pants (or the white linen anything), how about these striking Diane Von Furstenberg wedges? Yes, the height, the bold color, the multi-pattern wedge heel would contrast beautifully with white.

And what to drink this Independence Day? Well, we’ll have to get back to you on that, but these Black and Blue Mojitos and this Campari Cup are strong contenders (particularly given the amount of fresh mint we have growing over at chez S&C).

Happy fireworks, barbecues, picnics, baseball games, Declaration of Independence reading, patriotic song singing, parade going, blue-and-white sprinkled, sparkler waving holiday!

posted by Ms. S&C

Heartstrings

The OED Word of the Day — on the day before Valentine’s Day — was “heart-strings.” If heartstrings are meant to be pulled, here are a few things tugging at Ms. S&C’s.

Ms. S&C’s heart is aflutter over this adorable kissing birds ring from Juicy Couture. Apparently she has a thing for wearing small whimsical birds on her fingers, because she picked up a super cute owl ring before the Christmas holiday, and now wants this as part of her collection.

Ms. S&C is also coveting this lace print shirt from Sundance, which has a kind-of bohemian elegance. There are actually quite a few lovely, silk printed blouses over there, but this one is particularly très romantique and fitting for February 14th, don’t you think?

And it wouldn’t be a wish list — and it would be a Valentine’s Day wish list (those red soles!) — without a pair of Louboutin’s. Ms. S&C has already declared her recent affections for neutrals, and she would like to add this nude patent pump to the mix, pretty please.

Wherever your deepest affections lay on this day of love, we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.

posted by Ms. S&C

Holiday party fashion

Everyone is starting to get in the holiday spirit. Miss Mojito is filled with festiveness. Ms. S&C is on her way. But she’s making a quick stop in holiday party wonderland for a little bit, okay? She is going to pretend that against a backdrop of twinkling white lights and bright red poinsettias, she will be drinking a glass of sparkling wine and wearing this outfit.

The little black dress is Nanette Lepore‘s sleek and sophisticated little number, made a little bit sexy with those strappy back cutouts.

The clutch, found at Nordstrom, is an artful display of woven ribbons that compliment those strappy back cutouts on the dress quite nicely.

And the shoes — no one does holiday party shoes better — are Kate Spade‘s new york ‘guest’ slingbacks. That beautiful red bow adds a bright and cheery splash to the satin slingback.

An imaginary land full of wonders, don’t you think?

posted by Ms. S&C

What to drink on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from S&C!

Over here at S&C, we are grateful for a lot of things this Thanksgiving. We’re grateful for loving family and friends. We’re grateful for our good health. We’re grateful that we continue to be inspired. We’re grateful for you!

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. It is a great holiday filled with some really great food. (Ms. S&C *loves* Thanksgiving Day food.) In addition to that turkey you’re brining, that homemade cranberry sauce you’re making and that pumpkin pie you’re baking, there are beverages to think about! Don’t get overwhelmed though, Ms. S&C is here to help.

PUNCH

Why not start off the afternoon with a seasonal punch? Your guests (especially if you have a lot of them) will think it is festive and fun and delicious. You can go with the Autumn Spiced Punch (a S&C fave that has been referred to as “autumn in a cup”). Or, you can try this new S&C punch recipe (which is good with or without the booze). It is another crowd-pleaser, not to mention it looks so pretty with the floating apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

Sparkling Cinnamon Apple Punch

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider , chilled
  • 4 cups cranberry-apple juice, chilled
  • 12 bottles sparkling wine , chilled (or sub one liter ginger ale for mocktail version)
  • Fresh apple slices
  • Cinnamon sticks

Directions:

In a saucepan, bring the water, sugar and cinnamon to a boil; stir until sugar is dissolved. Chill (preferably overnight). Just before serving, combine the syrup mixture, juices and sparkling wine in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Garnish with fresh apple slices and whole cinnamon sticks. Serve over ice, or use an ice block to chill.

BEER

For those non-punch-drinkers, offer them beer before dinner. And if you are going to drink beer on Thanksgiving, you might as well drink a pumpkin beer, right? There are some good ones out there. There are a lot of good ones, actually. There are some mild ones and there are some full-bodied ones. Ms. S&C gave a rundown of her faves awhile back. (And yes, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is still high on the list.)

WINE

Opinions run far and wide about what wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. Some say Zinfandel goes best with turkey. Others say Riesling, for its acidity and touch of sweetness, is a good match. You could have the best of both with a rose. Or, Beaujolais Nouveau is often a popular choice because it is light and fruity, and it goes well with turkey and the melange of side dishes. Ms. S&C says drink what you want! (But you should probably have a mix of red and white. And don’t forget the champagne! Because: it truly goes with everything.)

NIGHTCAP

Have a bourbon. Or a glass of prosecco. Or a cognac like B&B.

Ms. S&C wants to know: What’s on your Thanksgiving dinner menu? What will you and family and friends be drinking around the dinner table?

posted by Ms. S&C