Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of The Desk and The Stove
This super easy chocolate mousse recipe both looks and tastes incredibly impressive. With a kick of Grand Marnier and espresso, it might be more naughty than nice – but I’m pretty sure that Santa won’t mind. The Hostess Handbook suggests you serve in cute cupcake holders and garnish with crushed pistachios and raspberries – it’s definitely the only thing your guests will want for Christmas this year.
170 g of dark chocolate
150 ml whipping cream
4 tablespoons of espresso, cold
2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
2 teaspoons of sugar
1- Melt the chocolate with a bit of butter in a double boiler (place a small amount of water in a pot, bring to a boil and place a heat resistant bowl on top of it – the chocolate/butter will melt from the steam). When melted, remove from heat and set aside.
2- Divide the egg. Whip the egg yolks with the sugar until you reach the ribbon stage – it will become light and creamy. Add the melted chocolate, Grand Marnier and espresso.
3- Whip the cream in a metal bowl until it becomes stiff (it helps if you put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes first!). Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture with a spatula.
4- Whip the egg whites until they become stiff and form peaks. Fold it into the chocolate mixture until you have a light, frothy uniform consistency. Place into cups, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to set.
5- Garnish with ground pistachio and raspberries.
Santa’s Helper- Nicole Garvey
There’s nothing like making a homemade gift for the holidays, and this festive holiday Cranberry Sauce is a treat for all of the senses!! On top of everything, its fun and very easy to make – your kitchen will smell like the Christmas for a week! The Hostess Handbook suggests you use as jam on toast, with a bagel and cream cheese or as a side or sauce to any meal (especially pork or turkey!). Its also delicious mixed into yogurt!
All you need are some jars (see one above which you can buy at any department or grocery store), some festive ribbon and the below recipe:
4 bags of fresh Cranberries
1 Litre of Orange Juice
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Directions: Pour the cranberries into a large pot. Pour in enough orange juice to almost cover the cranberries (should be about an inch from the top of them). Bring the pot to a boil while zesting and juicing one orange into the pot, then add the cinnamon sticks. Bring the heat down to a simmer and the cranberries will start to pop and form a sauce. After about 15 minutes, add in a cup of sugar. Let simmer and thicken another 10 minutes and taste. If still tart, add more sugar to your liking and voila!! If you want to make it really special, add a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and ground cloves each. But no need to break the bank if you don’t have these on standby in the cupboard.
Fill the Jars and decorate away!!
(Note – the sauce will thicken as it cools, so if its a little runny, don’t worry!)
Greystone Mansion is one of Beverly Hills’ most exquisite hidden gems! This home, straight out of the Great Gatsby, is owned by the city and open for a national interior designer showcase this month! Luxe Magazine is sponsoring the show! The Hostess Handbook has your backstage pass to the chic launch party!
The courtyard of the mansion had “caged bird” displays that were a main attraction!
It was a Parisian themed affair with black and white striped drapes that made a canopy over the central fountain! Tons of large candles were scattered around the party area to create an intimate atmosphere!
Grey Goose provided the alcohol for the event and prominently displayed the brand with “glowing bottles”
I, of course, had to get my picture taken on the red carpet step and repeat!
Los Angeles based jewelry designer, Jen Ahdout has just launched her long awaited jewelry line, Brace Yourself LA. It’s main pieces consist of semi precious stones and champagne diamond bracelets with leather cord or gold chain bands. She has always wanted to design jewelry that was simple, chic and wearable on all occasions. The Hostess Handbook loves that her pieces are not only light and comfortable, but you can also shower in them, which means never having to take them off! If you’re gonna splurge, make sure you’ll get a lot of bank for your buck! You can find these pieces at www.BraceYourselfLA.com or ask your local retailers.
Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of The Desk and The Stove
Dreidel dreidel dreidel….I made it out of …potato? Almost everyone is familiar with this yummy Chanukah treat: latkes! These fried little potato pancakes get a sophisticated face-lift with the addition of paprika. Befitting the new taste, The Hostess Handbook suggests dressing them in style: Apple-walnut chutney and Crème fraîche are elegant substitutions for the applesauce and sour cream of our childhood.
1 pound potatoes, peeled, grated and in a bowl of cold water
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbl paprika
¼ cup of flour, if wanted
½ to ¾ cup olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper
1- Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a bowl with a thin tea-towel. Drain the grated potatoes from the water and place them in the tea-towel lined bowl along with the finely chopped onions. Twist the towel to wring out as much excess water as possible. Transfer to another bowl.
2- Add in the egg and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. If you like slightly doughier latkes, add in the flour.
3- Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat – you want it very hot but not smoking! Drop 2 tablespoon measurements of the mixture onto the skillet, press it down slightly with a fork to create rounds. Bring down the heat a little and fry on each side for 3-4 min or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain off the excess oil and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven.
4- Serve them with apple-walnut chutney and Crème fraîche for an elegant flair.
Tiss the season to shower people with gifts! Sooo, The Hostess Handbook is giving away an item from this gift guide at random to someone who “likes” the Facebook Fan Page and Follows The Hostess Handbook On Twitter today! So easy, so fab, so get going!
1. Mini Emergency Kit- Every girl needs a fairy god mother; this one comes in a super cute pouch!
2. Stirring Cocktail Connoisseur – This gift is perfect for the person who loves to entertain! An array of cocktail mixes? Um, Yes Please.
3. Vinyl Record Bowl- A bowl made out of legit vintage vinyl records! The perfect gift for the man in your life! So unique and fun!
“Floating” displays are so in right now and really simple to do yourself. Be a DIY Diva! The Hostess Handbook suggests you use glass balls and fill the globes with budget items such as fresh cranberries, instead of flowers!
Here, I have taken three glass balls and hung them from a banister with fishing wire!
Inside two of the globes are fresh cranberries and a tea light. The other globe is filled with glitter branches/ornaments and flameless candle!
If you want to add another element to the design you can place mercury glass candle holders with tea lights under the globes!
The Hostess Handbook reviews our Favorite Things from Last Week! Enjoy!
1. Mango knit dress with scoop back
2. Doctors Note Candle from Aromapharmacy
3. Kluer Nails- Get 10% off at Kluer if you comment here on what designs you like best!
Kluer takes nails to a whole new level by transforming them into an artist’s canvas! Enter to win a 10% off gift certificate if you comment on which designs you like the best!
Rock Star Contributor: Rachel Charlesworth
When venturing to The Gibson, you tend to go for one reason and one
reason only: the cocktails.
With its unassuming and unmarked metal door, The Gibson doesn’t
exactly announce its presence to every passerby. This hot spot speakeasy is an
urban oasis for the sexy intellectual who enjoys indulging in some
strong cocktails in a sleek setting.
This is not your average bar. The Gibson had a no standing policy,
meaning that you either need to have reservations or see the hostess
before you can be ushered to a table and served. Don’t worry though,
if there are no open tables available when you arrive you can give
your name and number to the hostess and she will give you a call when
your table is ready.
The Gibson’s prohibition era cocktails are certainly unique for the
Young, Broke and Fabulous crowd, as there is no ordering of vodka-soda-lime here. Instead,
opt for one of the drinks from their original cocktail list. Options like the Glittery Bitch (A Hostess Handbook favorite) made with crime de cassis or Pixie’s New Parlour Trick made with bourbon and raspberry syrup will have you wishing you could always drink this well. If you’re the adventurous type, The Hostess Handbook suggests you have one of the expert bartenders make you a custom cocktail! Just let your server know what kind of liquor and flavor profile you enjoy, and you will be presented with something tailored to your preferences.
With it’s low lighting and unique cocktail offerings, The Gibson is
definitely a place where the young, broke and fabulous mix with the
power elite of DC. Just make sure you keep that conversation low, you
could be sitting next to a senator or two.
Congratulations to Jen Mathews of “My Beauty Bunny,” who has won the Kitson candle from The Hostess Handbook *Gift Guide Give Away*! I hope this helps you relax! It is doctor recommended after all!
This Mango knit dress with scoop back is the perfect party dress for winter time! The long sleeves and high neck will keep you warm and create an understated look, until…..you turn around! Bazam! I love open back dresses and this one is able to achieve a laid back style while still being sexy! The red stripes also give it a hip holiday flair!
The Hostess Handbook suggests you pair this Mango Knit Dress with some black glitter flats or heels!
This item is soooo on your budget at $80!
Chef to the stars and lifestyle guru, Lulu Powers, shares her insights and expertise on everything party! After founding her catering company in 1994 and delighting the palates of many stars such as Madonna and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Lulu expanded into entertaining. Her design and style are fun, flirty and always Fabulous! I am so happy to have her words of wisdom!
1. Spruce up your presentation by simply placing a couple flowers on the serving plate!
2. Make drinks into an art and a presentation by adding drops of flavor from cute bottles!
3. Mini finger food can still be hardy and chic! Steak=yummazing