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Category : Entertainment

If you’ve ever seen any of Actor, Pamela Adlon’s work (think Marci in Californication, or Pamela in Louis C.K.’s show Louie, for starters), then you would probably not be surprised to find she is every bit the straight-shooting, refreshingly unfiltered type of gal she portrays on TV. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of catching Adlon on screen, now is your chance. Her labor of love — the show she writes, directs, stars in and co-created with Louis C.K. — Better Things, has premiered on FX Network and it is an absolute gem!

The New FX Show Better Things

We were lucky enough to snag an invite to an exclusive screening of the first two episodes of the show as a part of a fantastic and indulgent mom’s night out event at Estrella Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. An intimate gathering of moms of all ages eagerly accepted the opportunity for a night away from dishes and bedtimes while we sipped craft cocktails and sampled delicious lite bites before settling into a plush screening room for two episodes worth of poignant and laugh-out-loud hilarious mom moments. (Oh, and there was chocolate covered popcorn. Lest I forget the chocolate covered popcorn.)

There were moans, groans, and giggles as we watched Adlon portray the role of a working actor and single mom of three girls (based very closely on her real life) to a point where we could all recognize ourselves in her. Quick cuts between fierce and fresh dialogue showed small (yet never-ending) moments of laundry gathering, dishwasher loading and throwing food in her mouth on the go — details that will no doubt hit home with all moms out there.

Q+A Time with Pamela Aldon of Better Things

The cherry on top of a thoroughly enjoyable night of guilt-free wine and TV (ie. a mother’s dream) was the lively Q + A after the screening with the superwoman herself, Pamela Adlon. Adlon touched on everything from the daily mayhem of raising three teenage daughters to how she got her show made with almost an entirely female cast, especially starring a 40-something single woman, a demographic she says tends to be “virtually invisible,” not only on TV, but in real life, too.

On motherhood, Adlon stated very clearly that she has two major rules that she tries her very best to follow. Firstly, you can’t feel guilty. It is impossible to be mother, daughter, wife, friend, employee/employer, or human perfectly, so let’s all stop trying. Secondly, you can’t take any of it personally. By that, she means your children’s behavior… especially for those with teenagers. They are living their own reality that has very little to do with you. Almost in the same breath, however, Adlon expressed her regret for sometimes spending so much time on set working on a show depicting her screen life with three actresses playing her daughters rather than back in her real life with her real daughters so it’s safe to say she — like all moms — tends to break rule number one.

Better Things centers on Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a single, working actor with no filter raising her three daughters, Max (Mikey Madison), Frankie (Hannah Alligood) and Duke (Olivia Edward) in Los Angeles. She’s mom, dad, referee and the cops. Sam also watches out for her mother, Phil (Celia Imrie), an English expatriate, who lives across the street. Sam is flawed and fierce with her love for her daughters, and her own mother, as well.  Sometimes, heaping the love on when she feels guilty. Sam’s just trying to earn a living, navigate her daughter’s lives, have fun with a friend or two and also – just maybe – squeeze in some private time once in a while.

Better Things airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

 

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Show your love of the red, white and blue with these Memorial Day crafts

Memorial Day Crafts

Memorial Day kicks off summer, which can conjure images of cookouts and tasty treats. The holiday honoring those who have died in active military service also gives parents the opportunity to talk to kids about the ultimate sacrifice made by some military families. While talking to kids about Memorial Day, you can keep it simple and highlight the patriotic nature of the holiday. We’ve rounded up some DIY projects that let your American pride shine brightly — and many of them can pull double duty later in the summer when you’re decorating for the 4th of July.

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The Easy DIY Patriotic Wreath from is gorgeous — and durable. The wreath will hold up for years, meaning the simple craft wreath can become a staple in your family’s Memorial Day decor. My Frugal Adventures has several patriotic crafts you can check out, including a reclaimed wood American Flag that we’re crushing on.

For a quick and easy centerpiece, try the Patriotic Rug Balls from Craft Create Cook. This new sew craft is a simple way to work with little ones to create something colorful and fun for your holiday table.

At the Lolly Jane Blog, we fell in love with the Stars + Stripes Patriotic Flower Pots. The pots are a perfect way to add a bit of patriotism to your porch or deck — and you could deliver a few to your favorite neighbors to spread some red, white and blue love.

Craftiments created the adorable Patriotic Wood Shim and Starfish Flag. It’s the perfect way to adorn your door, and we’re absolutely picturing it at a cottage or beach house with the starfish standing in for the 50 stars on a traditional American Flag.

The Bandana Placesetting from Celebrating Everyday Life at Uncommon Designs will dress up your table this Memorial Day. The napkin ring is so simple, you’ll be able to whip it together in a snap, and it will tie together red, white and blue utensils and plates — from paper goods to fine china.

The DIY Red, White and Blue Flip Flops from Everyday Dishes will get your feet in on the patriotic action this Memorial Day. The sparkly flips will bring a touch of the holiday to even the simplest outfit, and you can wear them all summer to show your American pride.

The Patriotic USA Map Wooden Door Hanger will show your patriotic spirit from Memorial Day to the 4th of July — and beyond. In addition to the door hanger, Where the Smiles Have Been has 20 other patriotic crafts to crave — including an adorable t-shirt.

Keep your hands busy while the kids play at the park with these Crocheted Patriotic Mason Jar Utensil Holders from Petals to Picots. If you find yourself with leftover red, white and blue yarn, you can try one of the other — free — patterns she offers.

I Should Be Mopping the Floor created the festive — and free — Patriotic Banner Printable, and it’s a fabulous way to decorate for Memorial Day. Whether you’re spending the day with friends or simply want to dress up your mantle with the red, white and blue banner, you’ll love how this one looks.

If you’re hosting a Memorial Day barbecue, send your guests home with these adorable Memorial Day Goodie Bags from The Sweetest Occasion. They’re perfect for snacks like popcorn or potato chips, or you can make a bunch and use them for napkins and plastic utensils at your party.

Do you decorate for Memorial Day?
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This post is sponsored by St. Martin’s Press. All anecdotes and opinions are our own.

Finding the right career — the first time

I worked for a while after getting my Bachelor’s degree, trying on ideas for what to do next. I took a couple GRE exams, sent scores to schools down the street and across the country, tried on the idea of different programs of study. I knew changing careers couldn’t happen every time I got bored. My brain touched lightly again doctoral programs and finally scaled back to a Master’s degree and teaching certification program. When I finally hung bulletin boards in my first classroom, I thought I’d found the right fit. I could see my future as a teacher: in the classroom, maybe later as part of a curriculum team, bringing my (future) children to school events.

making life changes

Making plans, changing plans

Years spun through my fingers, and by the time I was pregnant with my second child, my first still in diapers but quickly dropping her nap, that blueprint didn’t seem to make sense. Long days of teaching and grading, coupled with childcare expenses and an aching desire to spend more time with my young children, began the emotional and practical decision-making process. Eventually, my husband and I decided I would stay home with the kids, with the idea of reevaluating the decision when our youngest started school.

changing careers

Life revisions change relationships

I expected my schedule to change, my priorities to change, my wardrobe to change, but I hadn’t anticipated the changes in my relationships. Through no fault of his — in fact, we’ve had countless conversations to the contrary — I found myself thinking of our household money as my husband’s. I felt like I had less of a say in our finances, less of a voice, without a tangible paycheck. Friendships shifted in dynamic. I was suddenly on the opposite side of a Red Rover game, each side firmly holding onto the hands of the people to whom they related most closely. Suddenly, no one asked questions about me anymore — all conversations centered around the kids or my husband’s career.

changing careers

Finding a new layer to my blueprint

Something that has always been a part of my life became a prominent hobby and slowly shifted into a way to make a little bit of money and to shape a new future career direction. Writing — chronicling our lives and crafting fictional ones — became something I sketched into plans. I held my breath and called myself a writer. Eventually I started to believe it, though with my kids not in school full time, many of my plans have always been in the hazy land of “the future.”

changing careers

Additional changes in the plan

As my kids and I begin the last summer before they’re both in school full time — my little one goes to full-day kindergarten in the fall — I find myself shifting my plans yet again. My hours are opening up a little, yet their lives are getting busier, too. The way I thought their elementary school years would look seems to be an idealized version of the actuality of juggling their lives with a new career.

Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky came across my desk at the perfect time. Two women, a mother and daughter home design team, are forced to change their visions for their careers, through no fault of their own — and the changes are compounded by the ones in their personal lives.

book recommendations
About Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky

Some women are born with an instinct for knowing how things work—and what to do when they break.

Caroline MacAfee is a skilled carpenter, her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. Together they are the faces of Gut It!, a home renovation series on local public television. Caroline takes pride in her work, and in the way she connects with the show’s audience.  But when she is told the network wants her daughter to replace her as host-the day after Caroline’s fifty-sixth birthday-she is devastated. The fallout couldn’t come at a worse time.

For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!

For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. Her ex-husband’s death thrusts her into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there’s Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.

Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they’ve built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.

Have you ever had to shift the blueprint of your life?
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Book and cocktail pairing for your spring book club meeting

As the evenings get longer, book clubs are looking for spring reading. Try one of our book club recommendations, ranging from a funny take on fame-hunting gone too far to a tense page turner. To get the conversations really flowing, we’ve included a few cocktail pairings to convince your friends to join — even if they haven’t completely finished the book.

spring book recommendations

Cool off with an icy drink this summer

Emma Donoghue, the best-selling author of Room, amps up the tension with Frog Music (Amazon, $18). You might not think San Francisco in 1876 can hold your attention, but when a young girl is shot in a railroad saloon, you won’t be able to stop reading until you find out who killed Jenny Bonnet — and why. Her French burlesque dancer friend survives and begins the hunt for Jenny’s killer, but Blanche finds herself navigating a world she doesn’t understand — and the killer is on the hunt for her, too.

Set in the middle of a heat wave and smallpox epidemic, Frog Music swelters between its pages. Keep cool with a Blackberry Moscow Mule, Cake -n- Knife‘s fruity twist on the classic cocktail.

spring book recommendations

Laugh, cry and hug your mom friends with this anthology

Impress your book club with your pick of an anthology this spring. No matter how much time your friends have — or don’t have — to spend on this month’s book, they’ll be able to read at least a few of the unparalleled essays in Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now (Amazon, $20). Edited by Ann Imig, the founder of the Listen to Your Mother show, a series of live readings taking place around Mother’s Day, around the country, this collection celebrates all kinds of mothers and all aspects of motherhood. From the hilarious to heartbreaking, raunchy to reverent, every member of your book club will find an essay — or several — that have her saying, “me, too.”

Much like the way the essays in Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now blend together for a complete experience, you’ll love the way the medley of flavors blends together in the Black Cherry Sangria from Low Cal Cocktails.

spring book recommendations

Stay up all night with this page-turner

When Rachel — a girl on a train — sees something shocking during her daily commute, she shares it with the police. Readers will begin to wonder if she’s done more harm than good as they read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Amazon, $14). The tightly-wound thriller will keep you up at night, and your book club won’t be able to stop talking about the plot twists and turns.

Pair The Girl on the Train with the Pimm Palmer from Chattavore. The cocktail has an added jolt of caffeine to keep you alert — so you won’t miss any of the book’s delicious details.

spring book recommendations

When the quest for fame goes horribly wrong

When the reality show you’ve been dying to land goes to another family, the only thing for a patent mom to do is give up on her nine-year old daughter and set her sights on the fame-potential of the one still in her womb. Pretty Ugly by Kirker Butler, of Family Guy, explores what happens when a family’s priorities get hopelessly of sync. Surrounded on all sides, from their fame-hungry mother to their pill-popping father who gets his fix on the job to a murder-planning grandmother, the four Miller children don’t have many (stable) options. You’ll want to read this instead of watching your favorite reality TV show, which makes this a definite must-pick for your book club.

A family as spicy as the Millers deserves a cocktail that kicks up the heat. Try the Bloody Mary from Home Bar Girl, and you’ll have the perfect drink to read during your Pretty Ugly book club discussion — even if you’re meeting during brunch.

book and cocktail pairings

A non-alcoholic drink for any book club meeting

Keeping a mocktail on the menu ensures that all of your guests have something to enjoy. Whether you have a friend who chooses not to drink, a pregnant reader or a few little ones joining your afternoon book club meeting, a special non-alcoholic beverage is a fabulous way to make everyone feel special. The Strawberry Orange Blossom Sparkler from Baking a Moment is the perfect fizzy fruit treat.

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Do you tailor your book club refreshments to the book you’re reading?
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project nursery-logoSurprise! Melisa, co-owner of Project Nursery, the ultimate children’s design resource website, is having a baby girl. Project Nursery was launched in 2008, and has grown significantly these past few years. They have an engaging and informative community using the Project Nursery platform to solve the challenges of nursery design. Melisa’s surprise baby shower took place in the penthouse of the trendy Mondrian SoHo hotel, on Monday, October 20, 2014. The guest list included seasoned bloggers, magazine editors and top children’s brands.

Project Nursery, Project Baby Girl

Melisa and Pam Project Nursery Baby ShowerRosie Pope, parenting and maternity guru, was the sweetest host, giving Melisa hilarious real life advice on having a third child, and her first baby girl. Her best tip was, learn the art of dip and dry, your third child rarely gets a full bath, just a fast dip in the tub. Melisa even wore one of Rosie’s must have maternity dresses, and looked as beautiful as ever.

Rosie Pope was a perfect baby shower host

Rosie Pope Host Project Nursery Baby ShowerMelisa’s baby shower was styled by Natasha Lawler from Minted and Rock Paper Scissors Events, every detail was thoroughly thought out. From pink tinted water glasses to chic spotted fabric runners to glittery garlands and baby bottles holding drink straws. The decore was pure perfection with icon New York City as the backdrop.

It is all about the details with Project Nursery

Beautiful Baby Shower Project NurseryThe baby shower game was totally what you would expect from Project Nursery. Magnetic boards were passed out, and each team designed a nursery using magnet photos of products from Amazon, Minted and The Project Nursery Shop to create a dream baby girl nursery.
Baby Shower Games Project NurseryMelisa’s “must-have” Amazon Baby Registry was also on display. She is an experienced soon-to-be third time mom, and her registry clearly reflects that, no tutu’s or wipe warmers in sight. If Melisa’s baby shower was not perfect enough already, she was then gifted everything on her registry from Amazon and top children brand sponsors. The guests also walked away with a gorgeous Skip Hop diaper filled with products from the sponsors.

All of your baby registry needs can be bought on Amazon

Baby Registry Project Nursery

Thank you Project Nursery for including Savvy Sassy Moms in your special celebration. You can find Project Nursery’s recap from Melisa’s perspective here.

Photography Credit: Charlie Juliet Photography

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Book club recommendations

Now that the kids are back in school, moms can start checking books off their own reading lists. Book club recommendations for this fall range from the romantic to the thrilling — and don’t forget the ones with movies coming out soon.

fall book recommendations

Books from your favorite authors

fall book recommendations

Jojo Moyes practically owns the New York Times best seller list. One Plus One follows Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, and Moyes doesn’t disappoint with her story about a dysfunctional family and a maybe-knight in shining armor (Barnes & Noble, $18). Frazzled moms will relate to the hoops through which Jess will jump as a mother trying to do the best for her kids after her husband ducks away from their lives.

fall book recommendations

No one tackles the hidden tarnish beneath the sheen of suburbia like Liane Moriarty, and Big Little Lies is no exception (Barnes & Noble, $17). An annual event turns deadly, and the homicide investigation delves into the secrets hiding within the families entrenched in the school community.

Book club picks for fantastic discussions

fall book recommendations

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s After I Do is written in a fun, conversational tone, but the quick read has a lot of discussion points beneath the whimsical exterior (Barnes & Noble, $11). Lauren and Ryan have the perfect relationship — until they don’t. Their decidedly untraditional marriage experiment offers an alternative way of looking at marriage. Gathering together a group of women is the perfect place to talk about how the traditional expectations of marriage might not work so well for every couple.

fall book recommendations

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie takes readers from Nigeria to America and London, and back to Nigeria (Barnes & Noble, $11). A young, passionate couple leaves their homeland and end up on separate continents before finding their way back to each other and the land of their birth. Adichie tackles love, skin color, and the idea of home in this stunning novel.

Mysteries and thrillers are better with friends

fall book recommendations

Two of Gillian Flynn’s books are hitting movie theaters this fall — Gone Girl and Dark Places — so continue your book club’s thrills with Flynn’s Sharp Objects (Barnes & Noble, $9). The chilling story follows a woman back to her home town, where her questions about the murders of two pre-teen girls take her uncomfortably close to her hypochondriac mother.

fall book recommendations

While your kids are diving into the Harry Potter books, check out J.K. Rowlings’ alter ego, Robert Galbraith. Galbraith’s second novel, The Silkworm, has detective Cormoran Strike looking into the disappearance of a novelist who wrote his latest book with a nasty, personal look at the people around him (Barnes & Noble, $17). When the novelist is murdered, Strike’s investigation becomes decidedly more urgent — and compelling.

Revisit the books, then see the movies

fall book recommendations

Gayle Foreman’s If I Stay looks at the tenuous place between life and death (Barnes & Noble, $7). Mia wakes up after a car accident, watching from outside of her body, and she must wade through memories and flashes of the accident to understand the state of her physical body — and the choice she must make about it. Though If I Stay is a young adult novel with a decidedly romantic slant, the quick, poignant read offers a wealth of material for a book club discussion.

fall book recommendations

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James might have been the most whispered-about book of 2012 (Barnes & Noble, $11). Between the clandestine Kindle downloads and sneaking peeks while waiting in the school pick up line, women had the chance to mentally cast their perfect Christian Greys. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson won’t officially hit the screen until Valentine’s Day, 2015, but the trailer for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is encouraging fans to dive back into the trilogy. Be sure you’re comfortable with the members of your book club before recommending this one!

What is your book club reading this fall?
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The This Is Where I Leave You movie wants to set a date this September

Jonathan Tropper’s novel This Is Where I Leave You is coming to theaters on September 19, and the dramatic comedy promises to prod every bit of funny out of the dynamics of family dysfunction in the aftermath of a father’s funeral. The all-star cast — seriously, we would watch Tina Fey paint a house — combined with Jonathan Tropper’s adapted screenplay of his own novel, makes the This Is Where I Leave You movie a must-see this fall.

This Is Where I Leave You

Chat about #TIWILY every Wednesday

Book lovers know reading the book before seeing the movie is one of the commandments of reading and movie watching. Gather your girls together, snag a copy of This Is Where I Leave You, and schedule a book club meeting for your next girls’ night in. If you’re between book clubs — or just want a little extra discussion about the hilarity of family dysfunction — join Warner Bros. Pictures’ #TIWILY book discussion on the film’s Facebook page each Wednesday, and take part in the conversation for a chance to win signed movie posters and a trip to the premiere in Hollywood!

TIWILY Book Club

Savvy readers are getting ready for #TIWILY

I’ll be hosting a This Is Where I Leave You book club discussion in early September, and I already can’t wait to chat about it with my girlfriends. Between the characters in TIWITY and the real-life stories that always weave their way into our book chats, I know it’s going to be a smart, funny and fabulous conversation. Sometimes family shenanigans seem overwhelming, and there’s nothing like a little commiseration and conversation to make you realize all families have their own catalog of cringe-worthy stories.

This Is Where I Leave You

Join the countdown to the This Is Where I Leave You movie

Follow along with the #TIWILY book club conversations and get more information about the film’s release by liking, following and participating in the social media conversation surrounding the movie.

Watch the This Is Where I Leave You trailer

Have you read This Is Where I Leave You? Will we be seeing you on Wednesday nights?
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recommended books
When recommended books become movies

It seems 2014 is a huge year for movies based on best-selling books. Catch up with your book club before having a girls’ night out to see one of the movies and decide if the film measures up to the book. Recommended books being made into movies this year range from a harrowing memoir to young adult classics, so all readers — and viewers — will be able to compare some favorite reads to their corresponding movies this year.

Thrillers keep you up at night

Best-selling thrillers keep you reading late into the night, the nightstand light the only thing protecting you from what lurks in the darkest parts of your imagination. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl took the reading world by storm, and the page-turner caused readers to backtrack to her first two books. Hollywood took note, and two of Flynn’s books are coming to movie theaters this year. Dark Places is slated to release in September and Gone Girl in October, and movie-goers will be on the edge of their seats if the movies are nearly as chilling as the books (available on Amazon, $9).

recommended books

 Tackle tough subjects with your kids

When it comes to talking about tough subjects with your kids, books can truly open a door to conversations. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is a book about kids with cancer that’s about so much more than cancer (Amazon, $8). Let Hazel and Gus, the novel’s main characters, help you discuss being different, feeling alone and hope that blossoms through pain. The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is a children’s lit classic that can help parents and children talk about death, memory and the connection between joy and pain. Read the books with your kids, or read them on your own and take them to the movies, letting the fictional characters lead your very real conversations.

recommended books

Anglophiles will love this dramatic comedy

When three Brits and one American — all suicidal — connect on New Year’s Eve, their conversations cut to the marrow of the twists and turns of life. In Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down, four compelling first-person narratives draw in the reader (Amazon, $11). The movie will attempt to entertain in the same way this spring.

recommended books

A day out with your teens

Divergent (Veronica Roth) and Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead) are both voraciously-read book series whose first movies arrive in theaters this year (Amazon, $5). Your teens will likely want to see these movies — and you will, too, after reading the fun, quick-paced books. Whether or not they’re going to share their popcorn with you might depend on their moods, but you’ll definitely have something to discuss at dinner for a few nights.

recommended books

 

The eleven-hundred mile memoir

Wild, by Cheryl Strayd, is a memoir made for book clubs (Amazon, $7). The overarching theme through the book is the question of how to rebuild your life when you’ve lost everything that meant anything. With Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon lacing up Strayd’s shoes for the movie version of Wild, the film promises to deliver the emotional journey within the pages of the book.

recommended books

What recommended books would you love to see made into movies?
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Super Bowl Sunday usually consists of football, food and beer. While we’re fine with the first two, we prefer to sip on something a little more fancy while enjoying the big game. And that’s exactly what we get with this Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch. It’s light, refreshing and only takes minutes to make — so you’ll have more time to root for your favorite team.

sparkling lillet rouge punch for superbowl

Because the Super Bowl is a long game, we decided to keep the alcohol level of this Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch pretty low. The base of the punch is Lillet Rouge, a fortified red wine made in France. It can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or in various cocktails. The sparkling part of the punch comes from an extra dry prosecco. Add in some fresh-squeezed lemon and orange juice and your punch is ready to serve. Although, if you’d like to develop a little more depth in the drink, add in some Angostura bitters.

lillet rouge punch recipe

While we decided to make this Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch in a pitcher, it could also be served in a punch bowl with a large block of ice. If you serve in a pitcher, have a plate of sliced oranges near the glasses so guests can garnish their own glasses. If you serve in a punch bowl, add the slices of orange to the punch bowl. Either way, we hope you and your guests enjoy this Super Bowl punch as much as we do!

Sparkling Lillet Rouge Punch

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chilled Lillet Rouge
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 bottle chilled extra dry prosecco (I used Val De Brun Estate Prosecco)
  • Optional: 10 to 12 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange slices for garnish

Directions:

  1. Add Lillet Rouge, lemon juice and orange juice to a large pitcher.
  2. Slowly add the prosecco, being careful that it doesn’t overflow as the sparkling wine reacts with the citrus juices.
  3. To serve, pour into desired glassware (wine glasses or champagne flutes would both work great for serving) and garnish with a slice of orange.
Cheers!
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Stout-Beer-Brownies-with-Stout-Whipped-Cream-Title-ImageApparently there is some big football game coming up. I’m not a sports fan. But game day seems to be a great excuse for yummy food.  My husband has really been in to beer lately so I decided to try out some Stout Beer Brownies with Stout Whipped Cream. I felt like the men would be into it and non beer drinkers might even think it is kinda fun too. And who doesn’t like brownies!?

stout-brownie-ingredientsThese are super easy to make, especially if you use a boxed brownie mix. All you do is use beer instead of the water the box calls for. I found this Chocolate Stout at my local grocery store. It seems that beer is pretty popular everywhere right now, not just in my house. You can always use Guinness if you can’t find a Chocolate Stout, you should be able to find that pretty easily. Of course you can make the brownies from scratch if you have the extra time and ingredients.

add-stout-to-brownie-batterSo simple. And the great thing about these larger bottles is that there is plenty for you and the brownies…pour-brownie-batter-into-prepared-dishPour the brownie batter in to a prepared pan and bake as directed on the box. The brownies come out very soft and cake-like. I wouldn’t be afraid to cook them on the more well-done side to make sure they aren’t too moist.  stout-whipped-cream-ingredientsFor the Stout Whipped Cream you will need a little more of the beer, a little whipping cream and some powdered sugar. Don’t be afraid to make your own whipped cream. mix-beer-in-to-whipping-creamYou can make whipped cream with a whisk (and some killer arm muscles), a hand mixer or a stand mixer. All I did was mix the ingredients for about 3 minutes and it was perfect.  finished-brownieThe stout brownies are good. But really they have hardly any beer flavor at all. I think people do these kinds of recipes just to say there is beer in them. But the real star of the show is the whipped cream. Like, SO good. When you pair the two together you have this amazing little dessert that was super easy. Men will love it, women with love it and chocoholics will LOVE it. And now my head is trying to figure out what else should have beer whipped cream on it. The answer is most likely, everything.

Stout Beer Brownies with Stout Whipped Cream
Stout Beer Brownies Recipe

1 Boxed Brownie Mix plus the ingredients listed on the back (usually eggs and oil — my recipe called for 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of oil)

Substitute a stout beer for the amount of water called out on the back of the box (my brand called for 1/4 cup).

Follow baking directions found on boxed mix (be sure to spray your baking pan).

Stout Whipped Cream Recipe

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Stout

Add all ingredients to a mixer and beat on medium for about 3 minutes.  You are looking for “soft peaks” to form.

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