Getting ready to throw down Turkeytinis at AngelPoints
I hope everyone had a great, conversation and turkey-filled Thanksgiving! Matt and I are currently sitting on our new couch [finally!] recovering from a delicious night.
For the second year in a row, Matt and I celebrated Friends-giving, since both of our families are far away! For Friends-giving, each person brings a couple of different dishes to take the load off of the host and add some of their favorite dishes from home. Matt and I brought appetizers and Matt’s infamous scotcheroos. We made mini-caprese, pumpkin dip, and a pistachio-cranberry goat cheese log. All were really delicious and I recommend them for any holiday occasion/party! In addition to stuffing ourselves, an intense game of RISK went down, with the winner TBD! Our extra naughty puppy also joined us for the celebration.
Friendsgiving was actually Matt’s second Thanksgiving dinner. AngelPoints, the company Matt works for, had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday with loads of leftovers that even I got to enjoy! He also brought scotcheroos to this party, but his main feat was to concoct a turkey-inspired cocktail. I can’t imagine ingesting this beverage, but Matt said that the office really enjoyed it!
Without further ado, I present to you mixologist Matt’s finest beverage:
- turkey stock
- garnished with a turkey olive
Per Matt, mix the first three ingredients together in a martini shaker. Pour & garnish with piece of the turkey wrapped around a pimento.
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The Boneyard Drinkery in Houston, TX is an establishment based on pure genius. I found a picture of it hiding in the depths of my iPhone and wanted to give it a shout out. It opened right before I moved to California, but the couple of times I went, I loved it and so did Steve. The Boneyard Drinkery is a dog park and….a bar! Brilliant! It is the perfect locale to socialize with a delicious craft beer or glass of wine on the patio, while your dog burns loads of energy in the 7,000 sq ft fenced in property. I’d love to shake the hand of the genius who thought this up!
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I was really nervous about raising $2500 in order to participate with Team in Training and run the Nike Women’s Marathon. I had flashbacks to middle school when I had to sell candy bars in order to go to Montana and West Virginia on mission trips with my church. I ended up selling a pathetic number of candy bars and just started eating a ton of it causing me to be indebted to myself…loser! The fundraising costs to go on those mission trips was a fraction of the $2500 sum I was supposed to raise by October for TNT. Being the world’s worst fundraiser I had to come up with some ideas and fast!
One of my most favorite ideas and one of my most fun times in Houston was hosting a wine-tasting and food pairing party at my apartment. My friend Nikki had found this wine and cheese party inspiration, and I thought it was perfect for a girlie fundraiser. I fronted the wine and cheese and then asked my guests to make a donation. My original plan was to go to local grocery stores and wine bars to see if they would donate a bottle of wine to our cause, but I ran out of time. If I were to do it again, I would definitely man-up and petition vendors for free wine.
I had such a blast learning about different wine pairings and decorating with butcher paper and chalk (easiest decorating tools ever!). I even made little introduction cards for my guests that said their name and then two bullet points of interesting conversation starters about themselves, so everyone could get to know each other. I attached the card stock name cards to wine corks (that I sawed in half…that took forever…that I’ll be never doing again…) and we drank, and ate, and raised money for LLS! We raised $155 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that night, which is a pretty good fundraiser if you ask me!
Other ideas that I had for fundraising:
- Spring clean and host a yard sale
- Jeans/Flip Flops day at work- $3 to wear jeans & $2 to wear flip-flops on a non-casual day at the office (caution: clear with boss first)
- Zumba-a-thon- this one was courtesy of Rachel. If you have a friend who is a pilates, zumba, yoga instructor, etc, ask them to volunteer to host a class for your friends while collecting a $5 donation
- Car Wash (old school)
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I was talking to my Aunt Ellen a couple of nights ago on the phone, and towards the end of our conversation she kindly asked me, “Do you and Matt have any friends in Houston?” My reply was a confident, “Oh yes!” After we hung up, I couldn’t quite figure out what would make her ask such a question and then I realized that all we’ve been posting about is how we make moonshine in our apartment (alone) and are aggressive book nerds (alone).
Ellen, fear not! We have friends!
Both of those glasses aren't mine. One is Matt's, I swear.
At the end of September, with the help of our trusty Groupons, me, Matt, and our Houston friends, Rachel and Billy, hauled it to the First Annual Houston Wine Festival. Although it was rumored to be fall in some parts of the country, it was still very much summer in Houston with the temperature hovering at a comfortable 95 degrees with a hint of back sweat. As we walked into the festival, we spied someone with either a) alcohol poisoning b) heat stroke or c) a dynamic duo of both, sprawled out on a stretcher. I vote (c). Wine festivals seem to really bring out the best in people.
The wine fest took place in Sam Houston Park, which is a really pretty and serene place at the edge of downtown equipped with fountains and duck ponds. In addition to wine, there was live music and a variety of jewelry/art tents and food tents (read: Panda Express), which Matt kept me out of for fear of losing me to orange chicken. To my dismay, I also spied a Budweiser tent. I was sure to give anyone caught drinking a Bud Lime an aggressive thumbs down for their poor performance at the WINE festival.
With our combined 20 drink tickets, we were able to sample some delicious wines from around Texas. Matt’s favorite was a Syrah from Calais Winery. Mine was a Prosecco-like sparkling wine, cleverly named “Sparkles.” We also tried a variety of Mead that made me really want a turkey leg and to challenge someone to joust.
We had a great time at our (and Houston’s) first ever wine festival and are proud to say that we left on our own two feet without the assistance of the emergency stretcher. Win!
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High Class Target-brand Espresso Grounds
There is a McCormick & Schmicks shi-shi steakhouse down the road from our apartment. They have bangin’ happy hour specials; however, the most delicious drink I’ve ever had- their espresso martini- is naturally, not one of those “bangin’ specials.”
My mom and I used to joke that when shopping, we had the uncanny ability to fall in love with the most expensive thing in the store or the only sweater in the store not on sale. Turns out I have this talent with food and drinks, too.
At $13.00 a pop, these delicious drinks quickly add up, tossing them in the non-economical range. After infusing our own chipotle vodka, Matt and I decided that attempting to make espresso-infused vodka was the only logical next step!
It’s pretty painless to infuse vodka with espresso. The only materials you need are:
- Coffee press
- Medium shelf vodka (we like to stick with the Tres Olives, for good measure).
- Espresso grounds (I’m sure you can find classier grounds than Target Brand…)
- Coffee Filter
Pouring espresso infused vodka back into bottle via funnel & coffee filter
- Fill coffee press with 4 scoops/tablespoons espresso per 750 ml vodka
- Pour vodka in coffee press and cover. (Do not plunge the coffee at this point).
- Wait 10 minutes (no more, no less to prevent the vodka from becoming too bitter)
- Slowly push/plunge the grounds to the bottom of the coffee press
- Pour the vodka back into vodka bottle via funnel with coffee filter inserted to catch any loose grounds and…
…TA DA! You have delicious espresso infused vodka!
We like to shake up two shots of the infused vodka and one shot of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur for our DIY, <$13.00 martinis. You could even add some milk for extra deliciousness!
Give it a shot and let us know what you think!
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