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    Rosemary Pear Mocktail + Party Recipe Printable

    The days of ordering cocktails are so close I can almost taste them! I really love mixed drinks…I love the originality of them, I love garnishing them, making them look beautiful, and I just love holding them. They add such an air of elegance. I imagine Jay Gatsby had amazing craft cocktails at his parties, with hand cut ice cubes you could see through and no one was asking anyone if they wanted “white or red?”. This is why, for me, being able to have an occasional glass of wine over the course of 9 months doesn’t always cut it. Yes, it goes marvelously with a cheese plate and there’s certainly a place in my heart for that but it just LOOKS kind of boring, especially at a party. While I’m not cutting my own perfectly clear ice cubes over here I did find a solution! This Pear Rosemary mocktail fits the bill wonderfully. It’s sweet enough but the ginger beer allows for a spice that kind of mimics the kick of liquor – it’s not overwhelmingly too sweet and most importantly – it’s garnishable!

    This recipe is also a great baby shower beverage option. I’ve used it multiple times and will add a bottle of champagne next to the mix just in case our not pregnant friends want to really get wild and add a bit on top. The easiest way to execute it for a party is mix the simple syrup, lemon juice and pear juice as the mixer, keep the ginger beer on the side and let people make their own. I’ll also add a plate of sugar and a small bowl of lemon juice to the side so people can sugar the rim.

    It’s great because it adds a fun activity to the party that doesn’t feel cheesy or forced.

    To make things extra festive I have a downloadable sign below that you can print out and add next to the set up so people know what to do. There are two versions – one with the option of a wine floater and one that
    keeps it simple (no wine option).

    For a single drink:

    sugar for the rim

    lemon wedges to rugar rim

    2 Tbs lemon juice

    4 Tbs pear juice

    1 Tbs Rosemary Simple Syrup

    6 Tbs ginger beer

    Rosemary and Pear slices to garnish

    To make the rosemary simple syrup: put equal parts sugar and water in a pot with a few sprigs of rosemary on medium heat. Stir occasionally and allow the sugar to melt. Once the sugar has melted, turn off heat and let the rosemary infuse until syrup has cooled.

    For a party you can easily multiply it out but heres a starting point

    To make the mixer for approx 40 beverages (15-20 people):

    5 cups lemon juice

    10 cups pear juice

    2.5 cups rosemary simple syrup

    ** generally I will start with the lemon juice, add about 8 cups of pear juice and taste it from there. depending on what brands you buy and personal taste, the ratio may be different**

    **for big batches like this I usually buy the lemon juice rather than squeezing dozens of lemons but that’s up to you!”

    Party Mocktail Station Set Up:

    Recipe print out

    Mixer in a pitcher

    Bottles of ginger beer (I usually assume 3-4 drinks can be made per bottle if you are using cocktail glasses or the small clear plastic disposable cups for a party)

    Bowl of lemon juice for the rim

    ** depending on the size of the party you could also leave lemon wedges to use instead of dipping the rim in lemon juice**

    Small plate with sugar for the rim

    Ice bucket

    Extra rosemary and pear slices for garnishing

    And thats about it! Obviously it’s also a huge crowd pleaser among the kids…Margot was so excited about it while I was taking photos I had to give her a taste…for about 2 seconds…until she almost dropped my favorite cocktail glass that isn’t聽made anymore…But let me tell you, she LOVED it.

     

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    DIY, Family, Home

    Margot’s Playset!

    When we first moved into our house we knew that having a playset for Margot was a huge priority. Especially with me being pregnant, I don’t always have energy to get to the park and I don’t foresee that changing when the newborn comes along! I scoured the internet and pinterest for playsets but I kept finding that the only ones I really liked were custom built. We played out the logistics of building our own playset but when it came down to it, it just wasn’t really worth it for us. Julian is pretty good at building things but between weatherproofing all the wood first, planning out a design, cutting all the pieces just right, etc; it didn’t seem easily feasible (and we didn’t want this to be a project going on for months). Next we looked further into the pre-fab options that I liked… and all I can say is; holy cow, I had no idea how much a playset could cost! So, he told me that if I could find a pre-fab playset that I liked that was a reasonable price, we could customize it however I wanted. As it turns out that was a great idea! it was a total win/win for everyone including our pocketbook! I also had a lot of fun planning out changes I wanted to make and seeing them make such a big difference! It ended up looking more like a play house than an actual play set which I really love! . I have had a lot of questions about it so I thought I’d do a quick post with the details and changes we made 馃檪

    Don’t mind the avocado stain on her shirt and dirt all over her knees…she’s a messy kid.

    This is the playset we used

    Online they have it listed for $1299.99 but in the store they were selling it for $999. So definitly worth looking into getting it at your local store.

    • We didn’t instal the front slide. This was mainly began as space issue rather than a problem with it aesthetically, however I really ended up liking how it looks more like a little house. -We then blocked off the opening with extra wood we had, it doesn’t matter if the wood matches if you are going to be painting it anyway.
    • The most obvious alteration: We painted it white – Julian and his dad used a paint sprayer to make it a bit easier and we painted everything except the door.
    • We Removed all of the green window accents and added wood crossbeams to the large upstairs window and the opening where the slide would have been. I stained them to match the door.
    • I changed the door handle to a more modern gold handle that I had left over from our kitchen cabinet remodel.
    • Spray painted the bell gold and moved to to the side of the door instead of on top.
    • Didn’t install the A-frame molding about the door or the flags above the slide- I still have a plan to put a real flag on there but I haven’t quite gotten there yet.
    • One of my favorite changes that we made was moving the grill set to the side. We thought it would be more fun (since the slide was gone) to use the spot the grill was supposed to go as a serving station/open window.
      • To do that we cut a 1×8 piece of wood to fit and used shelf brackets under to hold it in place. I had some marble contact paper on hand so I jazzed up the shelf with that. It seems to be fairing well even with the sprinklers! (More photos below)

    • Since our playset backs right up to some bushes (with just enough room to climb) I wasn’t all that concerned with aesthetics of the rock wall BUT if yours was in the middle of the yard and you wanted something other than the green, yellow, and red ones it comes with, you could look into getting some better looking climbing rocks, I know they sell grey ones etc. Just another idea!
    • Because of my obsession with plants I planted some vines at each corner – my hope is that it will eventually look like a magical fairytale forrest tree house. But thats still TBD. I also hung a little airplant at the “serving area” just by screwing in a hook.
    • Instead of putting the hanging bar between the swings we put our baby swing, which would only be a necessary change if you have a baby, of course.
    • Lastly, I made the upstairs fun by adding some bunting along the top, an outdoor rug and some pillows.
    • I looked into painting the slide so it wasn’t yellow but came up with no good ideas so yellow it is! I actually ended up kind of liking the pop of color but would still be open to something more mellow like a grey…If you come across any options that don’t involve buying a whole new slide- let me know 馃檪

    And that’s it! The painting was a labor of love but most of those customizations were really easy and didn’t require a ton of effort. If you guys are putting it together yourself definitely plan on needing a couple or 3 days to get the whole job done – but you can do it!

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    Food & Drink

    Drink for Good: One Hope Wine (plus dinner party menu)

    We have been so excited about our backyard and hosting friends that for a few weeks there it was a non-stop party at the Hollar home! No complaints about that but we finally took a minute to slow down and have a smaller dinner party with just a few, a menu inspired by Ina Garten (you know that’s always a good sign) and the yummiest wine from One Hope.

    Side Note: Flower arrangement cameo apperance is from the floral arranging 聽tutorial with Hello Honey.聽

    First off, have you guys heard of One Hope wine?! It’s is such a great business! A percentage of every bottle purchased goes to various non-profit organizations. Printed on the back of each bottle it says where exactly the proceeds are going – how cool is that?! They partner with organizations to help end childhood hunger, provide life saving vaccines, provide people with clean drinking water, support cancer medication development, aid veterans in finding a renewed sense of purpose, 聽and the list goes on and on!

    Admittedly, I was skeptical at first that the wine would be any good- don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoy a nice two-buck chuck now and again but I have also learned to appreciate delicious wines as well and I can tell the difference! Starting at the first sip we were all blown away at how great聽this wine is! I mean really! Bottle after bottle, red after white, it never let us down. Everyone kept saying how impressed they were with it! You really need to give it a try! If you are already buying wine – might as well enjoy it while helping others right? It’s a win/win for everyone. They also have these suuuuper cute glitter bottles that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

    OK, have I won you over yet? I just really want everyone to try this wine because I know you’ll keep going back for more and so much good can come from it!

    You can learn more about it and purchase it here, through conultant Melissa Ferber, who generously provided all of the wine for our party 馃檪

    (In case I need to clarify, I think this is a good time to point out that I only had a few sips of each wine, it probably equated to a glass or so in total. Don’t worry – I didn’t forget that I am pregnant 馃檪 )

    Wine is great on it’s own but as we all know – it’s even better with food. I know, dinner parties can be A LOT of work but they are also A LOT of fun! So, to make things a bit easier I broke down all of the things I made and even how to prep for the party to make its easy-peasy. All of the recipes are inspired by or taken directly from Ina Garten, which means they will be your new favorites. Links to the recipes are below along with some of my own tips and a schedule that allows you to do almost everything before anyone even arrives allowing you to fully enjoy your party and your friends!

    Camembert & Prosciutto Tartines.聽聽

    **alteration: I drizzled some honey on top because I figured, why not, and oooooh man – it was SO good! Do that.

    **tip: make sure all of the prosciutto gets a bit crispy – some of mine didn’t get roasted all the way and the crispy ones were definitely better!

    **alteration: Camembert is like brie but it is a bit stronger, if you would prefer a lighter taste to the cheese you could substitute with brie.

    Filet of Beef with B茅arnaise Mayonnaise

    OK so for this one, I didn’t want to make the mayo myself 聽because of the raw eggs and being pregnant. So, if that is a concern for you here’s what I did and it came out great!

    Saut茅 the tarragon, shallots, & wine (I use One Hope 馃檪 ) as she says to do. I left the vinegar out because store bought mayonnaise already has vinegar in it. Then combine saut茅ed mixture with tablespoon of mustard and 1 cup of store bought mayo in a food processor. Voila!

    **alteration: A beef tenderloin isn’t really an inexpensive piece of meat but it is DELICIOUS and is the consistency of butter. It’s really great for a special occasion. But you could also make the same bearnaise mayonnaise with your favorite cut of steak to make it more of an everyday meal.

    Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes

    Butter Lettucewith Mustard Vinaigrette (below)

    Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe (Hollar Family Recipe):
    2tsp salt
    tsp pepper
    3tbs Dijon mustard
    1c apple cider vinegar
    1tbs honey
    1c olive oil
    1c vegetable oil (or canola)

    In dressing shaker, using a blender or hand mixer, mix first 5 ingredients.
    Add olive oil and Vegetable oil and mix again.

    Chocolate Creme Br没l茅e

     

    Day before:

    • Make mayonnaise cover & refrigerate (can be done 2 days in advance)
    • Make creme br没l茅e custard, cook, let cool, cover, & refrigerate.
    • Prep/wash lettuce, dry, cover & refrigerate.
    • Make dressing and refrigerate. (can be done 5 days in advance)

    Day of:

    • Afternoon:
      • Boil potatoes & smash on baking sheet. Cover & set aside until time to cook.
      • Prep chives & parmesan
    • About an hour before guests arrive prepare the tartines and stick in the oven a few minutes before they arrive.
    • About an hour and a half-ish before you want to eat (probably 30 minutes before guests will be arriving) butter meat and stick in the oven.
      • If you have two ovens this works. If you don’t have 2 you can just put roast in immediately after the tartines come out and eat a little later.
      • Another option would be to put the meat on the grill rather than in the oven; this is actually what we did because Julian really wanted to cook it in his Big Green Egg.
      • You can also do what Ina recommends to do and cook roast up to 2 days in advance (store in fridge) and serve at room temp with mayonnaise – she says it’s delicious.
    • When meat has about 20 minutes left stick potatoes in the oven. (If cooking meat in advance just do this 30min before you want to eat)
    • After dinner caramelize sugar on creme br没l茅es.

    **Notice that all you are actually doing while the guests are there is sticking potatoes in the oven and crystallizing sugar for the creme br没l茅es! That gives you the ability to actually enjoy your guests!

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