This past weekend we hosted a Sip and See (funny name, I know) for Geoff’s dear friends from Sun Valley. The weather was perfect and it was a fun day that lasted well into the night. Luckily a friend snapped some nice photos of the spread!

Bloody Mary Bar

Mimosa Bar

Snacks and more snacks



For me a salty or spicy bar snack is almost as important as the cocktail I’m washing it down with. So here’s two to buy and two to try.

MAKE:    Fried Olives      |      Fried Chickpeas

BUY:      Trader Joe’s Cashews     |     Phickles Pickles


Brighten things up and get ready for summer entertaining with these colorful patio additions. I don’t need new outdoor cushions, but sure want these Marimekko for Crate and Barrel ones!



The Bloody Mary is one of my favorite weekend brunch drinks, it acts as hair of the dog AND as an appetizer. I’ve consumed and mixed many, but my favorites come with lots of snacks. If I’m not making my own mix I prefer Whiskey Willy’s Bloody Mary Mix or good old Zing Zang will do. If there’s a stout on hand, add a splash and add clamato juice to get that by the sea clam taste.

A salted rim, a stalk of celery and a variety of pickles and you’re good to go, but why not add even more tasty treats if you have them on hand. I love anything from Phickles Pickles and usually have some homemade pickled goodies from the pantry. Here are a few of my favorite Bloody Mary add-ons:

spicy beef jerky  |  boiled shrimp  |  pickled garlic  |  olives  |  pickled asparagus  |  peperoncini  |  srichacha  |  pickled green beans  | pickled okra  |  pickled sugar snap peas  |  arugula

USE: Homemade Jalapeno & Garlic Vodka

ON THE BAR } Cranberry Mojitos

I made these recently for my work holiday party, and they were a BIG hit. We had about 18 people and every last drop was cleared out of the punch bowl. If you have trouble following my “recipe” or just need to make a couple of mojitos, I found the inspiration for the punch here.

To help infuse the mint flavor into the drink I added fresh mint sprigs to the simple syrup.  You can make the syrup the night before and funnel into  resealable containers and store in the fridge overnight. You could also do it this way and mix up each drink individually for a smaller group.

The ingredients above make approximately 2 1/2 large batches of punch. Mix up a big batch in the bowl and then mix a few pitchers (add club soda separate) to make refilling easy.
I’m not sure it gets much more festive!

Quick and easy weeknight meal…

Having friends over on a Friday night for dinner can be tricky. I work until 6pm and usually need to run around frantically cleaning the house before guests arrive, so a labor intensive meal isn’t always in the cards. We had cocktails and a cheese plate to occupy everyone while the meal was put together, and no one got grouchy or hovered wondering when things would be ready. I try to have my shrimp deveined and peeled before the guest arrive because there is nothing social about standing over the sink with your head down and hands covered in shellfish. The rest of this meal can be prepared while you snack, sip and chat.  Unfortunately I have no photos. We were well into cocktail hour(s) when dinner was served and I didn’t want the guests looking at me funny while photographing their salads.

This spinach salad was inspired by a salad I had at Metro Fresh. It was tasty and seemed ridiculously easy so I made note of the ingredients and gave it a try.

*I don’t enjoy skewering shrimp after shrimp so I use this handy grill grate picked up at Crate and Barrel.


We’re having friends over for dinner and drinks tonight, and I’m looking forward to doing a little entertaining. I’m not quite ready to dive into the wintry fatty foods just yet, and I don’t want everyone looking for a soft place to curl up and pass out after we eat, so I’ve decided on a light main course. Grilled shrimp with an above average spinach salad. Our guests are bringing humboldt fog and red velvet cupcakes to round out the meal. Wine will flow and we plan to mix up a few cocktails as well.

It will be a night of food, booze, friends and music. If it wasn’t strange for me to ask our guests to dress up as if we were beatniks in the 60’s and pretend our home was actually an apartment in Greenwich Village, I would do it. I’d maybe even let them smoke in the house if we were all lounging around being philosophical and looking groovy.

Geoff is extra excited because he gets to show off his new custom record cabinet built by South of Urban. See more pics here.

I’ll make note of the food and cocktails being served up and share in my next post.

Happy Weekend…