DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR PUMPKINS!

Picture this :: Frosty the Snowman was a happy, jolly pumpkin! There’s an easy way to transition your pumpkins into the Christmas season. You can make a Pumpkin Snowman! Recycle your fall pumpkins with just a little white paint, an old scarf and a hat. It truly is that easy, so follow along and we’ll show you how to brighten up your front porch this season.

I know this is a big stray from my cocktail posts, but if you’d like to sip on a lovely holiday libation while building your Pumpkin Snowman, check out my Pumpkin Shandy or The Queen’s Men, both delicious and on point for the season.

While the list below looks like a lot of steps, it’s really quite easy and you’ll be pleased with the results. Read through the instructions once before diving in so you can have fun while creating your Pumpkin Snowman. Your friends and family will love the result!

Frosty the Pumpkin Snowman & his buddies

Frosty the Pumpkin Snowman & his buddies

MATERIALS NEEDED ::
3 pumpkins
White or light ivory paint {acrylic or spray enamel – Satin finish}
Painters tape {if you’re using orange pumpkins}
Paintbrush
Wood glue
Round sponge brush
Black acrylic paint
Orange acrylic paint {if you want to paint your carrot nose}
Thin paint brush
2 sticks for arms
Scarf
Felt hat

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
IMG_2798Select three pumpkins that can easily be stacked on top of each other. Play around with your pumpkins to find the best combination. You can either choose pumpkins that are all the same size or use one large, one medium and one small pumpkin.

*  Using a damp paper towel, wipe down each pumpkin to be sure they are clean and ready for paint. Let dry. 

IMG_1839*  If you’re using bright orange pumpkins, grab your painters tape and tape off a nose. Be sure to rub down along the cut edge to be sure your tape is stuck to your pumpkin so paint won’t seep through.

*  Cover the area you will be painting with a tarp or old sheet and spread out your pumpkins so you can paint them individually.

IMG_2800

*  Using your spray or acrylic paint, coat your pumpkins with a light first coat of paint. Let dry. The acrylic paint can go on a bit thicker so a second coat may not be needed, but the spray paint works well if you spray a light first coat, dry and then come back with a second coat.

*  Make sure to let the paint dry completely before continuing. This can take between an hour and a half to two hours.

IMG_1847*  Using black paint and your round sponge brush, paint your face and buttons.

*  If you’re painting on your nose, grab that orange paint and paint an elongated triangle, then paint your eyes and smile.

*  Once this detail painting is done, take your painted pumpkins to wherever you’ll be displaying them and get ready to build your Snowman!

Pumpkin Snowmen Painted*  Grab your sticks and position them on each side of your middle pumpkin, marking the spot with a pen or Sharpie.

*  With a nail and hammer, pierce a hole where your arms will go, being careful to only punch a hole slightly smaller than your stick arms. Poke the arms into the pumpkin.

*  Stack your pumpkins. If they are a little wobbly, you can use wood glue to keep them stuck together. Simply place a line of glue where the pumpkins touch and secure in place, holding for a minute or two to let the glue set. If your pumpkins fit nicely on top of each other, you might not need the glue at all.

Pumpkin Snowmen on Sleigh

Time to dress up your Snowman. I used wired ribbon and a felt hat from Michaels Craft Store for mine, but any scarf or hat will do. This is the fun part of creating the personality of your Snowman so get creative! You can also add fake snow, greenery or fun holiday picks around the base of your Snowman Pumpkins for added decoration. Now sit back, have a holiday cocktail and smile at your creation!

HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR means CHAMPAGNE

The Oscars have so much hype and publicity around them that we figured everyone was a little tired of the “Oscar pre-game”. Of course, we’ll be watching the Oscars tonight, cocktail in hand! But this year we decided to keep things simple, and what could be more classic than an elegant glass of Champagne? So before the Red Carpet shows start, here’s a little prep for you to thoroughly enjoy that lovely bottle of bubbly.

Champagne – always delicious and always makes you giggle

Champagne should be served in a long-stemmed flute or tulip shaped glass. These are designed to enhance the flow of bubbles. Interestingly, since the surface texture of crystal is rougher than ordinary glass, you’ll get more bubbles if you bring out your beautiful crystal for the occasion. Live a little! Next, make sure your bottle is chilled to perfection to fully appreciate the taste and smell of the wine. Champagne should be served between 43 to 48°F. Since that isn’t easy to measure, the best way to obtain the temp is to place your unopened bottle in an ice bucket – filled with half water, half ice – for about 20 minutes.

Now you’re all set. Sit back with your champagne and watch another year of Oscar history unfold.   Cheers from G+LaR!

FISH FRY FRIDAY

Some people are heading into the Easter season (no meat Fridays) while some of us are just so tired on a Friday night that we want something simple to munch on before dinner. In bringing back the classics, we at G+LaR are re-introducing FISH FRY FRIDAYS. We aren’t actually going to FRY anything, but there’s history to the catchphase so we went with it. Did you know that during the Prohibition era story has it that restaurants and taverns created a “Fish Fry” weekly social event as a catchy marketing concept to attract and keep customers? Interestingly, boasting a Fish Fry is said to have originated in Wisconsin where it became very popular and the Fish Fry phenomenon is still a fun time for families everywhere. Besides being a tasty meal, it creates a festive party culture and friendly ambiance where friends, family and neighbors mingle and exchange stories while sharing comfort food and drinks (see why we love this concept?!).

Here at G+LaR we keep things simple yet elegant, so our version of the Friday Fish Fry couldn’t be any easier. It all starts with a quick trip to Trader Joes. We hope you enjoy this simple hors d’oeuvre to kick start your new Fish Fry Friday tradition.

 

Delicious + easy, try this ‘appie’ any time!

TEMPURA SHRIMP AND COCKTAIL SAUCE

TOOLS ::  Your favorite platter + small glass bowl

INGREDIENTS ::
1 box Trader Joes frozen tempura shrimp (enough for 2-3 people)
6 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons of horseradish
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco sauce (adjust to taste)

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Cook the shrimp according to package directions
In your small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients
Chill until ready to serve
Transfer sauce into fancy bowl to match your platter

Enjoy!

Sugar + Champagne + Gin = Romance

At Gidget + LaRue we think there’s nothing more romantic than all things French. Champagne, the Eiffel Tower, chocolates and the perfect perfume. Oh la la! So for this Valentines Day, we’re giving you a French spin to celebrate the holiday. Get ready for the delicious French 75 cocktail, partnered with the perfect (and easy!) pastry.  The pastry is ready to serve in 5 minutes so get those in the oven and while you mix up your cocktail.

Cheers to LOVE from G+LaR!

FRENCH 75

The French 75 – Oh la la!

YOU’LL NEED :: Ice, shaker
GLASS :: Collins
EXTRAS :: Maraschino cherry  + lemon wedge and garnish
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 oz. Gin (Hendricks or Bombay Sapphire work great)
2 teaspoons of powdered sugar
Bottle of chilled Champagne

Pour the first 3 ingredients into the shaker with a little ice and shake it like you mean it! Fill your Collins glass to the top with ice. Strain shaker contents into glass. Top with your Champagne. Garnish with cherry and lemon wedge and serve. Straws recommended just because they’re so fun.

 

LOVE Cookies

TOOLS :: cookie sheet, heart shaped cookie cutter

The perfect nibble to go with your French 75!

INGREDIENTS ::
1 frozen pie crust, softened
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar
Unroll dough onto a lightly floured surface
Cut hearts into the dough using a cookie cutter
Brush butter (we use a paint brush – new of course) over the hearts
Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on top of each

Bake for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned

A Treasured Classic Mocktail

We hope you all enjoyed Mardi-Gras yesterday. Was it filled with Zydeco music, jambalaya and our featured Hurricanes? Based on the many stories we’ve heard about the Hurricanes, let’s hope you didn’t have more than 2 because after that, the stories and the headaches get pretty interesting! While we haven’t found the perfect remedy for a hangover yet, we do have a classic Mocktail that will help you enjoy all the pomp and circumstance of making a cocktail tonight, without any of the lingering “effects” of having a few too many. And in true Gidget + LaRue style, this one’s a perfect balance of easy and elegant.

One of our favorites is a time-tested recipe every bartender on the planet knows to make and you’ve probably got some cherished childhood memories ordering it. Interestingly, its namesake is one of the biggest child stars in history: SHIRLEY TEMPLE. She danced, sang and smiled her polka-dot clad way right into the hearts of America in the ‘30s.

Gidget and LaRue know this might be a kid cocktail memory, but even without alcohol*, you can enjoy this thirst quenching classic any time and still look cool drinking it.

YOU’LL NEED :: Ice
GLASS :: Collins
EXTRAS :: Maraschino cherry for garnish
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

1 oz. Grenadine
7up or Ginger Ale soda

Pour the grenadine into the glass. Fill to the top with ice. Top with either the ginger ale or 7up. Garnish with cherry and serve!

*If you feel like revving up your Shirley Temple, we recommend adding 2 oz. of vodka before topping off with the soda. 

 

Welcome

Welcome to Gidget + LaRue!

Today is the day we decided to dive head first into WordPress and put our dreams a step closer to reality. In reality, however, we have absolutely no idea how to work with this wonderful world of blogging and site development. What we DO have is a lot of great ideas we are ready to share with all of you. Our mission: to bring back cocktail parties. We are dedicated to bringing back the classics including vintage cocktails + hors d’oeuvres for your entertaining pleasure. Life is complicated – parties shouldn’t be.