- Style Guide
A little Americana/Architectural blended together to fashion shimmering holiday sparkle with a splash of red.
This is very kid friendly. (Adult supervision on any project is always encouraged)
What you’ll need:
For Cranberry Ice
Ice trays….yes I still have some.
2 bags of cranberries (I always buy extra and keep in the freezer…one never knows)
Lets the kids fill the trays with water then place two cranberries for each cube.
Freeze and viola!
For added color you can add fresh mint leaves.
For Cranberry Ice Bucket
The hardest part of this is having enough room in your freezer to accommodate the ice bucket.
2 plastic containers, (1 large) i.e. larger than a beach pale but not as large as a mop bucket…unless you have the room or it’s very cold outside.
The other a smaller tubular cylinder that will fit inside the larger and accommodate the beverage bottle of your choice. Wine, champagne or liquor bottle of choice.
2 bags of cranberries, depending on size of container usually 1 bag per layer
Wash containers thoroughly.
1. Fill the larger container with about 2 inches of water and place in freezer to freeze. Making sure that the container is leveled.
When frozen, place smaller container inside larger, and fill 1/3 with water.
2. *Add cranberries to larger container around smaller with just enough water to cover cranberries. Freeze.
When cranberry layer in frozen, add about 1 ½ inch of water and freeze. You will now have a bottom layer of ice 1 layer of cranberries and another of ice. Repeat step 2. and finish with a layer of ice to top.
To remove. This is best done the night before or earlier in the day by an adult, over the kitchen sink.
Bring water to boil in a tea kettle, and pour into smaller container to melt ice. You may need to repeat this several times. Once the ice is melted the smaller container should slide out.
To loosen large container pour hot water on outside and bottom until ice bucket sides out. You can now place back in freezer until ready to use.
* you may need to secure smaller container to larger with tape. Until first cranberry level in frozen.
Adding sparkle to your holiday affair can be as simple as placing cranberries in your ice cubes or flower arrangement. Or letting the kids explore their imagination by decorating their own holiday table
Just like the song says “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”. I’m sure we all agree that the thought behind this is great, but instead of a bird in a fruit tree why not opt for something sweet and homemade that will bring them back for more.
Here are just a few holiday cookies that are inspired from our kathy ireland Style Guides (flavors of the world). With such of an array of holiday cookies this will be the first 12 days of Christmas that will be hard to forget. Now if your favorite cookies recipe is not here and you have a favorite that you would like to share, we would love to here from you. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
Cookies from around the world
White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti / Architectural
Premier Cheesecake Cranberry Bars
Eggnog Snickerdoodles / Americana
Cocoa Coffee Bourbon Balls
Coconut Peanut Butter Balls
Mantecaditos/ Puerto Rico
Coco Cranberry Cookies
White Chocolate Christmas Cookie
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..
White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
1 ¾ cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup unsalted pistachios
8 oz. white chocolate
½ tsp. orange zest, grated
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. On low speed add the pistachios and cranberries and mix in. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Refrigerate about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Divide the dough in half and using lightly floured hands shape each half into a log. Bake about 30 minutes until brown and firm to the touch. Let cool 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice in the diagonal ¾ inch thick. Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet and arrange slices cut side down and bake until golden brown, approx. 15-20 minutes. Cool.
Chop the chocolate and melt in a double broiler or in the microwave (carefully). Dip each cooled cookies in one side into the melted chocolate and place in a lined tray chocolate side up. Refrigerate briefly to set the chocolate.
Makes about 24
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup eggnog, store bought
mix together and set aside
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. nutmeg
In a bowl stir together flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt to combine thoroughly; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F. In mixing bowl combine butter and sugar, and beat until well blended. Beat in egg, mix until fluffy. Add vanilla mix to blend thoroughly.
Add flour mixture alternately with eggnog, mixing until smooth after each addition.
Drop by tablespoon, placed well apart, onto well-greased baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with sugar/nutmeg mixture. Bake until cookies are golden brown 8 to 9 minutes.
Allow to rest on cookies sheet for about 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 3 ½ dozen cookies.
Cocoa Coffee Bourbon Balls
3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers, 1 (12oz.) box
1 cup powdered Sugar
1 ½ tbsp. cocoa
1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts
3 Tbs. corn syrup
1 heaping tbsp. instant coffee
½ cup bourbon
Thoroughly combine crushed vanilla wafer crumbs, chopped walnuts, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, and the cocoa.
In a separate bowl, blend the bourbon, coffee and corn syrup. Stir this bourbon mixture into the dry mixture; blend well. Cover and chill for at least a few hours. Sift about 1/2 to 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on a cookie sheet.
Shape small bits of the dough into balls and roll them in the confectioners’.
Store in refrigerator in tightly covered containers. Make these a few days in advance for best flavor, and roll in confectioners’ sugar again before serving, if desired. These can also be frozen for longer storage.
Makes about 3 dozen
5 ounces vanilla vodka
3 ounce Peppermint Schnapps
peppermint candy stick
Pour all liquid ingredients into a shaker 1/2 full of cracked ice.
Give a few good shakes and let the shaker rest for half a minute.
Strain peppermint martini into 2 freezing martini glasses.
Add grenadine to each glass and watch it sink to bottom
Garnish with a candy cane
Yields 2 drinks
As with most of your entertaining needs we suggest you plan ahead.
This year as Kathy began her holiday planning, which would include her home and a fund raiser she would also host, we sat down to see what we had, what was needed, the menu and music for the event, and in these challenging economic times, how best to save money.
Kathy loves a traditional Christmas setting and with her family’s collection of ornaments and Nativity scenes we wanted the decor to embrace the true Christmas spirit.
With all the trimming like twinkling lights, poinsettias, garland, pinecones and making sure that all the stocking are hung by the chimney with care, holiday decorating can be family fun, especially if you follow some of these holiday decorating solutions.
Trimming the tree
It’s really up to you and your family when you decide to do this; some people put up their tree as early as the day after Thanksgiving while other may wait until Christmas Eve.
When it comes to lighting your tree, keep in mind that it is not recommended that you use more than 4 light strands per connection. After the 4 strands of lights have been connected you should start a new connection.
Unless it’s a pre-lit tree, hanging of the lights can take quite some time. Kathy suggests you hang your tree lights while the kids are at school or later in the evening when the kids are asleep. This way you can take your time and the kids won’t be bored waiting to hang the ornaments.
If this is not an option, keeping the kids busy with a few of these holiday kid projects might be helpful.
Have the kids make their “what I want for Christmas” list.
Decorate pre-made Gingerbread Men (and women) cookies.
Have them string popcorn and or cranberries.
They can make their own special ornaments; you’ll be amazed with what can be done with a little glue, Popsicle sticks, glitter, Styrofoam balls and ribbon.
Adding fresh or artificial garland to your homes entrance way, mantle, and or buffet table will add greenery to enhance the holiday mood. By adding ribbon, ornaments and or pinecones you can design a holiday theme that all your own.
Make your table sparkle with color, crystal and character.
Crystal: Crystal will make your table sparkle. Use glasses, candle sticks and a single crystal bowl filled with ornaments as a centerpiece.
COLOR: Bold colors, reds, greens, gold and silver are great foundation colors to start with, then add from there.
CHARACTER: For character, add your own personal touch with pinecones, garland, holly, mistletoe, vintage ornaments, or a bowl of cranberries, pomegranates, or red pears.
Remember the only rule that applies here is to have fun.
Don’t forget the chairs and glasses;
Chairs are part of your table, and should not only be comfortable but can be decorated as well. Adding ribbon, artificial flowers and or ornaments are an easy way to incorporate your seating as part of your holiday celebration.
Is the glass half empty or half full?
Fill them with the napkin, tie a ribbon around the base, use them for the place card or as mini-vases for fresh herbs. Identification tags are what’s in at the moment, this way when and wherever a glass is left somewhere you will always know whose it is.
Let’s face it with today’s economy its all about holiday cost saving solutions, so here are a few of ours that we like to share with you.
For less stress entertaining; consider hosting a holiday potluck. Encourage guests to bring one of their favorite holiday dishes. You supply the home, dishes, music and ambience and let your guest bring the rest.
By adding fresh winter greens to artificial garland, center pieces and swags you can liven-up old holiday family favorites.
Inexpensive scented candles are a great way to add aroma and ambiance to your holiday soiree.
For some low-cost solutions, sometimes you don’t need to look any further than your own backyard.
Painted leaves: spraying leaves white, gold, red or silver is an inexpensive way to add to your décor.
Outdoor fun? When you don’t have snow, from our outdoor expert Nicholas Walker of Jadin we suggest Painted Tumbleweeds*.Make your own snowballs and snowman from tumbleweeds painted white.
The snowy days of winter can be a child’s delight; sleighing, snowball fights and building a snowman, can make the cold frosty white blanket of snow a winter wonderland. But what if your winter wonderland is more like a day at the beach? For our warmer friends we offer Thomas the Tumbleweed Snowman
3 Tumbleweeds, 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small
semi-gloss white spray paint
2 small pinecones
White lights (optional)
A pole or long stake to secure tumbleweeds together and anchor your snowman to the ground.
Make sure you spray the tumbleweeds in a well ventilated area (outside would be best). Cover area with newspaper or a drop cloth.
With hedge clippers, carefully shape the tumbleweeds, rounded on the outsides and flat on the ends that will stack on top of each other.
Spray tumbleweeds with white paint, allow to dry.
In the desired location (outside), assemble your snowman. Place tumbleweeds on top of each other, starting with the largest on the bottom, then medium and the smallest on top. Put the stake through the tumbleweeds to anchor them, from top to bottom.
If you chose to light your snowman, apply lights at this stage. Finish your snowman with spray snow. Add the pinecones as eyes, carrot for the nose and top him off with a festive hat.
Have fun with your snowman; by adding a scarf, corncob pipe, stick arms or even a Mrs. Tumbleweed snowwoman
Whether you’re hosting a tree-trimming party, a big holiday bash, an open house or just entertaining a small number of family and friends, remember the best affairs should awaken all of your senses…don’t forget you have 5 of them! Aromas (scented candles or simmering mulling spices*), Visuals (colorful decorations), Touch (soft napkins), Sound (holiday music*) and yes …TASTE (delicious holiday favorites)!
Have a fabulous Holiday Season!
Mixing traditional holiday music with a little modern jazz it sure to please everyone’s palette. We invite you to enjoy the sounds of the season with few of our favorites;
Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection
Let It Snow / Michael Buble
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
Diana Krall Christmas Songs
Fill your home with the aromas of holiday flavors, by combining cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, orange and lemon peel or zest, allspice, cloves and a little brown sugar.
You can steep the spices in either low boiling water, allowing the scents to fill the air; or you can use it for mulling wine or cider, and serve as a warm winter beverage. Place in double layers of cheesecloth and start your simmering!
National Fruit Cake Month
December 1 World AIDS Day
December 1: National Pie Day
December 1: Eat a Red Apple Day
December 2: National Fritters Day
December 3: National Apple Pie Day
December 4: National Cookie Day
December 5: Repeal (of Prohibition) Day
December 5: National Sacher Torte Day
December 6: National Gazpacho Day
December 6: Microwave Oven Day
December 7: National Cotton Candy Day
December 8: National Chocolate Brownie Day
December 9: National Pastry Day
December 10: National Lager Day
December 11: National Noodle Ring Day
December 12: National Cocoa Day
December 13: Ice Cream and Violins Day
December 14: National Bouillabaisse Day
December 15: National Cupcake Day
December 16: National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day
December 17: National Maple Syrup Day
December 18: National Roast Suckling Pig Day
December 19: National Hard Candy Day
December 20: National Fried Shrimp Day
December 20: National Sangria Day
December 21: National Hamburger Day
December 21: Kiwi Fruit Day (California)
December 22: National Date Nut Bread Day
December 23: National Pfeffernuesse Day
December 24: National Egg Nog Day
December 25: National Pumpkin Pie Day
December 26: National Candy Cane Day
December 27: National Fruit Cake Day
December 28: National Chocolate Candy Day
December 29: Pepper Pot Day
December 30: National Bicarbonate Of Soda Day
December 31: National Champagne Day
Give the Easter bunny a run for his money by dyeing Easter Eggs the Natural way…
(These amounts will color approximately 6 eggs):
ORANGE: Paprika, 4 tablespoons per quart of water
BLUE: Red cabbage, about 4 cups, shredded, per quart of water
RED: Pomegranate juice in place of water OR 4 cups red onion skins
VIOLET: Water boiled with violet blossoms
LAVENDER: 1 quart Grape juice
YELLOW: A mixture of 3-cup hot water, 3 to 3 ½ tsp. turmeric and 1 tsp. of white vinegar.
BROWN: A mixture of 3-cup hot water, 3 tbsp. instant coffee and 1 tsp. white vinegar.
PINK: Cranberry juice or juice from pickled beets in place of water OR 4 cups shredded beets per quart of water.
GREEN: Spinach (fresh or frozen), 4 cups per quart of water.
MOCHA: ½ quart of strongly brewed coffee and 1 tbsp white vinegar.
There are two ways to color eggs with natural dyes: boiling and cold dipping. Boiling allows dyes to penetrate the eggshell and results in darker, more even colors. The cold-dip method can be better if you want to eat the eggs and safer if children are helping out.
Place 6-8 eggs in a single layer in a large pot and add enough water to cover eggs by one inch. Add some white vinegar (2 tablespoons per quart of water). Add dye ingredients (up to 4 cups vegetable solids or 3-4 tablespoons of a colorful spice, like paprika or turmeric, per quart of water or replace water with any all-liquid ingredient) and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The motion of the eggs in the boiling water ensures that the color will be even on the egg. The resulting egg will be very hard-boiled and inedible, as it picks up the flavor of the dye.
Combine dye materials, vinegar, and water in the same proportions as the boil method above, in a large pot. Simmer 20-30 minutes, then strain and cool. Dip hard-boiled eggs in cold dye until desired color is achieved, soaking anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours in the refrigerator. Turn eggs occasionally to ensure even dyeing. Dry on paper towels or in egg cartons.
Have a wonderful Easter Holiday!
The New Year offers great hope and promise of things to come…like a gourmet meal or a fine wine. There’s an old adage that says…people remember the first and the last bite of a meal. So what better way to celebrate the New Year than by biding a sweet goodbye to the old year with a delicious decadent Dessert & Champagne Buffet, NYC Style.
Invite your guest to join the celebration buy adding their own personal flavor to the buffet, as they bring their favorite dessert to share. For those that enjoy baking please checkout our dessert section in ACafe recipes / desserts and sweets.
For those that leave the baking to others below are a few of our favorite bakeries from LA to NYC (remember to order early).
The evening will be bubble-licious as you supply the bubbly, hot cider, and appetizers. Add fresh strawberries w/ whipped cream, confection sugar, and a little melted dark & white chocolate to round things out.
Set the ambiance with décor, music and shimmering crystal. Don’t forget a little fire light and appetizing aroma with our Kathy Ireland ACafe Home Bakes Candles from kathyireland home by Hanna’s Candles available online
Make this years resolution simply to enjoy life and the moments you share with others.
Wishing all the sweetest of celebrations and a Happy New Year!
Little Pie Company
424 West 43 Street
(between 9th and 10th Avenues)
New York, NY 10036
184 Ninth Ave
75 Frankin St
Sweet Lady Jane’s
8360 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Special thanks to our friends at Sweet Lady Jane’s for sharing some of their beautiful mouth-watering desserts.
recipes by chef andre
Red Bell Pepper Soup
featured in Janet Jackson’s NY Times #1 best seller book True You
get this book >
4 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tsp. dried cilantro
Salt and ground black pepper
Cilantro leaves to garnish
In a large saucepan, cook peppers and onion gently in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garlic, dried cilantro and tomato paste. Add in half the stock, then bring to a boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. Return to the pan; add the rest of the stock. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the soup back to a boil, and then serve at once with cilantro leaves placed on top of each serving.
Roast Tenderloin of Beef
1 whole tenderloin of beef (5 to 7 lbs) untrimmed
2 tbsp olive
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Trim tenderloin and remove excess fat from tenderloin.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place rack in middle level of oven. Line a 12 x16-inch rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier. Place a roasting rack in the baking sheet. Rub oil over all sides of meat. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place roast on rack, and tuck small “tail” under so thin end of roast becomes thicker and cooks evenly. Secure with kitchen string.
Place tenderloin in oven and roast until done to your preference. Approx 1½ hours
Sweet Potato Orange and Ginger Puree
4 large sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs)
2 juice oranges
2-inch piece fresh ginger
2 tbsp light brown sugar
Scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Place in pot with cold water to cover. Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium. Cook for 50 minutes, or until potatoes are very soft.
Meanwhile, grate rind of 1 orange so that you have 1 tsp. grated zest. Cut orange in half and squeeze 2/3 cup juice. Set aside.
Drain potatoes in colander and peel under cool water. Cut into large chunks and place in food processor.
Peel ginger and mince. You should have almost ¼ cup.
Add grated orange zest, orange juice, minced ginger and brown sugar to food processor with potatoes. Process until very smooth. Transfer mixture to saucepan and add salt to taste.
Reheat gently before serving.
Brussels Spouts with Toasted Pecans
this has become one of our holiday favorites, for an added treat add crispy bacon
3/4 cup pecans
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chicken broth
In medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, cook pecans, tossing often, until lightly toasted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool. Break up pecans with fingers.
Cook Brussels in 6-8 quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, just until tender, (5-7 minutes). Drain in colander.
In the pan you cooked sprouts in or in large deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots, cook for 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to mix. Cover and cook, stirring often, until heated through and flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pecans and serve.
Apple Pecan Bread Pudding
a twist on a old family recipes
2 medium apples, peeled, chopped
1-cup pecan, chopped, toasted
5 cups French bread cubes, ½ inch square
¾ cup dark raisins
2 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
5 large eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven at 350 degrees
Place toasted pecans, apple, bread cubes and raisins in an 8 inch-square baking dish. Toss to mix.
In a medium mixing bowl, blend milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Use a whisk to blend eggs well.
Pour egg mixture over bread cubes and allow to sit 15 minutes.
Place in oven and bake until puffed and brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
Creamy Grand Marnier Sauce
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp butter
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup Grand Marnier or brandy
In a small saucepan, over low-heat, melt butter, add sugar and dissolve.
Add cream and bring to a simmer. Slowly add Grand Marnier while stirring.
Serve warm over individual servings.
To rewarm, cut pudding into 8 servings. Place each serving in an individual ovenproof dish and warm in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.
Pudding can be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before rewarming. Rewarm as indicated above.
Hot Apple Cider
Well the easiest thing to do, is just go and buy cider and heat it up. But I know we can do better than that so lets doctor it up a bit.
2 quarts apple cider or apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks (3 to 4 in.)
1 tbsp cloves (about 12)
¼ tsp ginger
½ cup sugar
or if you can find mulling spice, all you need is
½ cup sugar
and prepare as directed
Cut orange in half. Use 1 half for juice the other cut into rings to float in cider and add favor.
In a large saucepan combine sugar, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves, juice from 1 half of orange and orange rings.
Add cider and place over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors.
Ladle into heatproof mugs or cups.
Serves 10 to 12
this is a quick and easy recipe with little fuss and lots of flavor
recipe by chef andre
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ¾ cups (16 oz. can) pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 ½ cups (12 oz. can) evaporated milk
1 store bought pie crust
Preheat oven to 425° F. In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, eggs and milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F, then bake an additional 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool. Serve with whipped cream.
About kathy ireland Worldwide® (kiWW®):
Founded in 1993, the kathy ireland Worldwide® brand, celebrates a lifestyle. The missions of “...finding solutions for families, especially busy moms™,”
“...finding solutions for people in love™,” and
“...finding solutions for people in business™,” translate to all kiWW® collections, including: fashion, fine jewelry, intimate apparel, skincare, accessories, weddings, home, office and more. kiWW’s unique capability to design and translate fashion trends for all markets and price points allows it to develop product for a wide variety of customer tastes.
Listed as the 28th most powerful brand globally, by License Global Magazine, with annual merchandise sales of $2 billion, according to Forbes Magazine, the success of kathy ireland Worldwide® is the result of teamwork and dedication. According to Fairchild Publications, Kathy Ireland is one of the 50 most influential people in fashion.
Kathy and kiWW® support many non-profits including; YWCA, Dream Foundation, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids/AEFK, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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