DIY Ikat Christmas Cracker Party Favor

Crafting, cooking and celebrating is what we love most about the holidays. And as the year nears it’s end, it’s time to revel in style by making festive party favors! Christmas crackers are deep rooted in many holiday traditions – crackers are typically pulled at the dinner table or at parties. Guests pull them at each end until they POP! with a loud cracking sound, with treats, games, confetti, and candy spilling out. With the help of our friends at Castle In The Air, we are adding our own little colorful twist by adding an ikat pattern with an amazing and surprisingly easy technique that is ridiculously fun to do.

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You’ll need:

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Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies & A Virtual Cookie Swap!

It’s my favorite time of year– cookie season! I’ll admit I’ve never taken part in a cookie swap party but I imagine eating cookies all night long is pretty much the best thing ever. So we’ve decided to team  up with some incredibly talented bakers and host a virtual cookie swap! Just click on the picture to get the recipe. Sure, it doesn’t have the “eat cookies all night long” component, but its great inspiration for your holiday baking.

I contributed a salted white chocolate oatmeal cookie. I’m not a big fan of white chocolate, but for some reason it is fantastic when combined with flake sea salt. I hope you’ve got some napkins handy because these cookies are gonna make you drool!

Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies | HonestlyYUM

Salted white chocolate oatmeal cookies

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Gift Guide 2014: The Bartender

It’s that time of year again. That right, the time of year where I get to show you all the exciting new spirits, supplies, gizmos and gadgets that would make any bar enthusiast shake with glee! And let’s face it, who doesn’t like fancy drinking supplies. I know I do. So whether you’re the one making the drinks, sipping the drinks, or both (like me) this guide is my gift to you.

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Porcini-rubbed Rib Roast

Every year for Christmas I make a rib roast with this marinade. But this year I decided to switch it up and made a porcini-rubbed rib roast. This was my first time making a porcini rub and the flavors are just outstanding– this recipe is a keeper! I typically make the roast with bone-in rib roast, but this time I removed the bones which helped to cook the roast faster. The key to getting an evenly cooked interior without overcooking the exterior is roasting the rib roast on a low temperature and searing the outside. Serve this with a side of the perfect mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts, and you’ve got a classic holiday dinner!

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Next time, I’m making this with dried shiitake!

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Yuzu Sidecar + Umami Mart Giveaway

*** CONTEST CLOSED, CONGRATULATIONS SONIA LUCYGA! ***

I’m not exactly sure why, but the sidecar is always the first cocktail that pops into my brain. I think it may have been one of the first cocktails recipes I ever memorized back when I was getting started behind the bar. Which is weird considering I was working at a Spanish tapas restaurant, and sidecars were nowhere to be found on the menu. Regardless, the sidecar remains one of the all-time classics; the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Strangely I’ve never made one for the blog. So today, in honor of our special giveaway I’m finally shaking up a sidecar.

That’s right, we’re giving away this stunning Goldfinger bar set from Umami Mart!! This is the real flippin’ deal – a full set of gold-plated barware from Japan. To enter, simply (1) leave a comment on this post letting us know what cocktail you’d make with these classy new tools (2) like Umami Mart on Facebook OR follow on Instagram. A winner will be randomly chosen on December 9, 2014. (Limited to US & Canada residents only. Winner will be contacted by email. Good luck!!!)

Yuzu Sidecar | HonestlyYUM

The sidecar is definitely a simple drink to learn, having only three ingredients: cognac, Cointreau, and lemon. In fact, it’s thought by many to be the precursor to the margarita.

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