Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beat the Heat: Summer Cocktail Party

Beat the Heat Summer Cocktail Party
If you’re like me, these hot humid days of summer are getting the best of you. Not only does it make it difficult to choose a dandy outfit, but it is also wilting my desire to entertain. But you can’t let the weather get the best of you, so I say beat the heat with a summer cocktail party. Nothing gets one in the mood like gathering together with well-dressed friends for a sultry evening of drinks, food and fun.  

To keep your evening gathering simple and hassle free, begin with a tasty signature cocktail. One of my favorite summer drinks is a John Daley, the traditional Arnold Palmer with vodka. Simply add 1 part lemonade to 1 part tea with 1.5 ounces of vodka. Add ice and you have a refreshingly easy drink sure to please one’s guests. When making my version, I like to use flavored vodka to add a little pizazz. My favorite is citrus vodka, but I would be tempted to use a berry flavored one as well. 

So that guests have something to nibble on while discussing their summer antics, I suggest making an easy dessert such as the “Lazy Peach Cobbler” (recipe below). This recipe was given to me by a good friend when I had an abundance of peaches due to an overzealous day at the orchard. It’s simple to make, yet tastes so good your friends will thank you for slaving away in the kitchen just for them! Don’t worry though, I won’t tell.

Keep cool!

Lazy Peach Cobbler
6-8 servings
¾ cup sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
½ cup milk
1 stick butter
4 cups peeled sliced peaches

Melt butter in 1.5-2 quart casserole dish.
Mix flour, sugar and milk together.  Pour over melted butter into casserole dish (DON’T STIR INTO BUTTER).
Place sliced peaches on top of batter (DON’T STIR INTO BATTER).
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sea Side Literature

If you're an avid reader like me, you may have already finished the dandy reads I recommended back in June. To keep your summer rolling, here are two more books I recently finished while sitting seaside.

The House of Velvet and Glass, by Katherine Howe
This lush piece of historical fiction tells the tale of an old moneyed Bostonian family torn by tragedy, who are trying to connect with the living and the dead. Sibyl Allston has lost her Mother and younger sister to the Titanic disaster and while she tries to reach them at her weekly seance meetings, she also yearns to connect with her father and brother who are lost in their own world of grief and pain. It is a story of love and loss in an age of spiritualism, strict societal rules, opium dens and a world on the edge of war.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
As Crazy Rich Asians opens, you are thrown into a world of power, money, and pedigree. As the story unfolds, Nicholas Young, heir to a massive family fortune, brings his ABC (American Born Chinese) girlfriend, Rachel, on an asian tour to meet the family and attend the wedding of the season. As Rachel tries to find her way in the very wealthy world of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, there is nothing that will stop Nicholas' scheming, backbiting and gossiping "friends and family" from trying to stop the "deficient" Rachel from marrying him. Quick and delightful, filled with extravagance, this is a perfect summer beach time read!

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