Archive | Adult Beverage RSS feed for this section

Watermelon Prosecco Slushies

13 Jun

FullSizeRender (27)

Summer 2017 has officially begun– and how better to ring it in than sipping a refreshing champagne slushie with your favorite people? We did a little celebrating this weekend up at the Kef Family Homestead, and these were just the beverages to get the party started.

The company didn’t hurt, either:

FullSizeRender (28)

IMG_8022

And just in case frozen drinks and great people weren’t enough, we had a knee-high magnum of Rose. Gotta have back up.

IMG_8065

Watermelon Prosecco Slushies To Celebrate Summer

Ingredients

  • 4 c seedless watermelon, frozen and cubed
  • 1-3 c ice
  • 3/4 c limoncello (optional– we made batches with and without it)
  • 3/4 c sparkling white wine
  • Fresh mint and lemon slices for garnish, if you’re into garnish

Assembly

  1. Throw your cubed watermelon in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  2. Once frozen, combine all ingredients EXCEPT PROSECCO in blender. Blend just until ice is mostly blended, ~45 seconds.
  3. Pour blended watermelon into glasses, top each off with prosecco. Swirl with a fancy straw and top off with a mint leaf and/or lemon slice.

Wedding Wednesday Finale, Straight Outta Wedding Central

27 Jan

0695

If it had been up to me, MrKef and I would have rented a rec center and had an awesome wedding and party without a single centerpiece or place setting. But it turns out that 99.9% of the world is more formal than I am, and I was flatly overruled pretty much every time I asked, “But do we really NEED that?” Luckily, I have a mother who is the reigning queen of Pinterest’s Budget Weddings for Stubborn and Cheap Daughters scene, and she came to the rescue in a big way.

For about a year, MamaKef referred to her dining room as “Wedding Central” (and sometimes even answered the phone, “Wedding Central, how can I help you?” which gave me particular joy). Let’s review some of her amazing work!

My favorite detail: my bouquet. When I mentioned I really didn’t care to carry a bouquet, MamaKef actually recoiled in horror. But she knows the way to my heart: sentimentality. She doctored up the silk flower arrangement that she carried at her wedding to make this beautiful bouquet that I was thrilled to carry down the aisle with me.

0008

And she also made sure my beloved Grandma Ann was represented, and included this handkerchief in the 2016 version of her bouquet:

0013

Welcome bags were a MUST-have for MamaKef and the out of town guests, so she did up these super cute little inserts and added them to a basket of black & white cookies, a map of DC, and water bottles

0028

She also designed and printed the entirety of our ceremony’s program:

0670

All those amazing photos taken in foam board frames? 100% the work of the parentals, who spent a weekend perfecting these awesome props.

0033

Plus she commissioned this amazing, surprise step-and-repeat for us, which KMBGSKef tells me was quite a feat of engineering to assemble…

0034

But the fun didn’t stop there! She fashioned some beautiful decorations for cocktail hour:

0678

0675

Which included pictures of both our families, because MamaKef is the official family historian:0674

And even made my ultimate cheap-as-anything-bride move look super cute with the help of ChampagneOnlyKef’s perfect penmanship:

0687

MrKef is a proud alumnus of Posse, and they have a tradition of “Warm and Fuzzies” that MrKef wanted to try and recreate for our guest book. So, we made these little note papers on VistaPrint and MamaKef found a creative way to display them

0036

0685

Our seating chart was also a MamaKef original (with a little help from KMBGSKef’s fine hand)–this was a repurposed foam board of my grandmother’s with little tags designed by (who else!) MamaKef:

0669

… and that was all before you entered the reception room! As mentioned above, centerpieces were very low on my priority list, but MamaKef came to the rescue.

 

0810

 

The pictures don’t actually do them justice–the venue gave us the cylinders and mirrors (for free!) and MamaKef came up with this brilliant glitter-sticks-fake-tea-light arrangement. They gave off this beautiful sparkling low light that looked so pretty as the sun set over the Potomac.

… but low-cost don’t mean low-stress… this was the scene until about 1130am the day of the wedding (not pictured but should be: KMBGSKef, ChampagneOnlyKef, CafeKef, BabyKef and TresParisienneKef as WeddingCentralMinions).

IMG_4370

One of my other favorite details: the table numbers! We decided to do pictures of each of us at ages that corresponded to the table number. MamaKef and HomeBrewKef tag-teamed to make these amazing placards:

0801

0804

Finally, MamaKef bequeathed us what was 100% the most appreciated detail of the wedding– flipflops! 0808

And that, good people, is the work of the world’s Best Mom, with only minimal input from the world’s Worst Bride.0693

And now, I leave with with just a few moments from the Kef Wedding After Dark:

THE BIGGEST THANK YOU TO EVERYONE AT THE KEY BRIDGE MARRIOTT, who were awesome. Especially our Captain, Cristina– obrigada!

IMG_4408

So many favorites in one spot:

IMG_4448

MrKef’s mom served beignets during the after party, village style:IMG_4422

while DoJobKef entertained my side of the family with her discovery that my dad’s best friend bears an uncanny resemblance to her OB:

IMG_4419 (1)

There is a video of my parents, my dad’s best friend, and KMBGSKef belting out some Irish Drinking Songs… but I will spare you that and give you a blurry picture, instead:FullSizeRender (1)

At about 2:00 am, we piled into two huge Ubers and headed–where else?–to Korean BBQ:

FullSizeRender (2)

…and THAT, my friends, is how I woke up looking like this:

FullSizeRender (3)

How better for the anti bride to end this seemingly-endless blog series?

(Almost The Last) Wedding Wednesday: Reception Kings and Prancing Dads

20 Jan

Today we’re gonna finish up the party pics I couldn’t get posted last week, next week it’s all about the amazing work MamaKef put into this life event, and then its honeymoon in Croatia time. Sharing all these fun wedding moments has been great, but I’m ready to move on. (Part I ; Part II ; Part III ; Part IV)

First things first, I have to crown a King of the Reception. I’d like to think everyone had a great time at our little fiesta, but there was one guest who stood out in a sea of really fun people as the person having the MOST fun: RussianBearKef himself! There was not one single scene the photographer caught without him in, having a blast. A smattering of the many snapshots of one of my dearest friends getting down with pretty much every woman I know:

15621351

1251

Impossibly, we have known each other for TEN years– so because I can, I think we need a before-and-after comparison:

1927684_508964808295_9318_n

1353

I rather think we’re getting better with age (and less Russian Bear!).

It was an extremely tough decision. The runner up goes to SummitKef, for cheering us on SO wholeheartedly as we fed each other beignets and baklava. The whole photo series is priceless, but here’s just one to wet your whistle:

1237

Back to the party:  the FamiliaKef really knows how it’s done:1503

1554

1530

1416

FINALLY, JetSet learns how to Wobble.

While my family was dancing, MrKef and co were up to some very-usual antics

1433

1411

1419

1322

1266

#posselove #brandeis

Naturally, FlailKef, SpeakToSomeoneAboutThatKef and I were picking some apples and putting them in our pocket:

1430

It was just a room full of dancing fools!

1320

The most beautiful couple on the planet, clearly.

1330

I think this is me “dancing” to Makossa

1243

Countless cool points were won and lost that night.

1401

1106

1259

1368

1524

1544

Partying like we should have in 1999.

1375

Things reached a fever pitch when MamaKef’s cocktail hour props made their way to the dancefloor:

1464

1467

 

1452

1482

1458

1441

1463

1192

Not in a frame, but they’re two of my most beloved, so I’m going Blogzilla and throwing it in there, anyway.

In case there was ANY wonder whether this whole night had been worth it, a miracle happened. Our last song of the night was “New York, NY.” Everyone was swaying in a circle, minding their own business and belting it out along with the original Bl’italian when…

1573

… SUDDENLY MRKEF’S DAD AND MY DAD ENTERED THE CENTER OF THE CIRLCE HOLDING HANDS AND PRANCING:

1579

It cannot be understated how happy this made me– my father does NOT dance, does not like attention, and does not touch other humans. My reaction was pretty much the same as KPopKef’s, captured wonderfully in the background to the right.

Once we got over the shock, everyone piled through the dads to form a bridge.

1583

1589 I honestly think this is the happiest moment of my whole life. I bemoaned the process of putting together a wedding for a price below the Federal Poverty Line for an entire year, but  I would happily pay twice the cost of the wedding just for this amazing memory!

Beautiful MakeUp and Emergency Hair Touchups: Colleen the Stylist
Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Alterations that kept the bride IN said dress: G2G Couture
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

7 Jan

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, NYE 2015 was not all about the subtleties of orange blossom water and cardamom– we all had some dranking to do, too.

I will consume just about any champagne cocktail put in front of me, so I was bound and determined to make a bubbly punch. Again- there wasn’t a whole lot of time for trial and error, so I thank the interwebs for providing once again–this time, a Sparkling Pomegranate Punch from Food & Wine. Per usual, there was a bit of a styling gap:

My version:

IMG_5396

Their version:

Capture

But here’s the great part– what my take on the punch lacked in style was SURELY made up for in taste and potency. So, there’s that.

In more stylish news, we had our very own Hipster Bartender, #1KnicksFanKef, who served up some strong cocktails with all the flair of a man dressed head to toe in Bonobos.

IMG_5398

And then, suddenly, it was the New Year and all recipes went by the wayside:

IMG_5402

Tomorrow: we’ll finally get to the cardamom cake that will change your life!

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 c pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 c late-harvest white wine, such as late-harvest Riesling, chilled
  • Ice cubes, for serving
  • Two 750-milliliter bottles sparkling wine, chilled
  • 3 TBS sugar (I did not include this and the punch was plenty sweet- you choose your own glycemic adventure)
  • 1 c diced fresh pineapple (1/2 inch)
  • 1 c pomegranate juice

Assembly

  1. Dump all the ingredients together in whatever vessel you have available (alternatively: stylish place each little pomegranate seed and orange slice just where you’d like it before taking a beautiful picture and sharing it with the world). Let sit for about 30 minutes, then serve over ice.
  2. For refills: keep mixing whatever combination of wine and gin you’d like over the fermenting fruit– it’s great as a brunch drink!

 

FIG Appetizer and Apple Cocktail for Your Awesome Fall Dinner Party

31 Oct

Happy Halloween, Keftanis! It’s been a minute, but I’m back. Today we’re working with a recipe from KimmieKef (formally ContessaKef), who threw a stunning soiree on JetSet’s NYC rooftop a few weekends ago.

c0dbc8ea1b0c82fa2f0e9c372c7869de

Clearly, this photo does not qualify for #nofilter, but it really is lovely, isn’t it?

Anyway, this hostess with the mostest rocked two blog-worthy recipes: figs wrapped with pancetta and stuffed with goat cheese, and a yummy apple beverage perfect for festive adult gatherings. Plus, she wore some awesome pants:

photo 2The FIGS are an epicurious recipe and so is the associated picture (thanks, epi!). The cocktail seems to come from Cosmopolitan, of all places, so-uh- thanks, Cosmo, for woman-generated misogyny and this awesome drink?

FIGS with Pancetta and Goat Cheese
figs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c crème de cassis or other not-too-sweet fruit liqueur, such as crème de mûre, or Calvados
  • 1 TBS cracked black pepper
  • 8 large, ripe black or green fresh figs, cut in half lengthwise, stems left intact
  • 8 thin slices pancetta
  • 1 c crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • honey for drizzling

Assembly

1.Preheat oven to 450F.  Pour the liqueur into a shallow dish. Sprinkle the pepper on a saucer. Dip the cut sides of the figs first into the fruit liqueur, then into the pepper, and place, cut side up, on a baking sheet to marinate for 20 minutes.

2. Cut each slice of pancetta lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Loosely wrap each fig half with a strip of pancetta. Fry the rest of the pancetta until crisp and crumbly and set aside.

4. Place the planked pancetta-wrapped figs, sprinkled with goat cheese and fried pancetta, in the middle of the oven. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the figs are scorched around the edges.  Drizzle with the honey and serve.

Smokin’ Apple Cocktail

photo 1

Ingredients

  • 2 oz whisky (such as The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Years Old).
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice.
  • 1.5 oz hand-pressed apple cider.
  • 2 fresh figs 2-3 sage leaves


Assembly

1. Add ice.

2. Shake.

3. Strain over double rocks or martini glass.

4.Garnish with a sage leaf.

Runner’s Low and Boozy Blueberry Banana Bread

30 Jun

Eventually, we’re gonna get to this:

photo 2(1)But first, I have some whining to get out of the way.

Coming off the runner’s high of the RnR Half and delving right into another intense training cycle for the NYC Tri may not have been my best idea. Actually–scratch that. Delving right into another intense training cycle while ignoring the basic tenets of training was definitely not my best idea.

Rest, stretch, listen to your body, they say. And what do I say? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don’t feel like resting, no time for stretching, and my body says another mile is a really great idea.

This training cycle has proven in exactly how many ways an attitude like that can (and will!) come back to bite me in my big ol’ butt. First there was an MPL sprain in early April. Next, more fueling issues in May. June brought some high temps, hydration woes that I can’t get into, and finally a nasty muscle pull in my lower leg that had me limping around. And then, because the triathlon Gods hate me, I woke up on Friday with a summer cold just as everything else was resolving. How cruel it is that people sitting on their couch eating bonbons have to wait 50 years for the error of their ways to catch up with them, while those of us trying to do something about the American obesity epidemic get rained on with instant ramifications. Granted I’d rather a pulled calf muscle than a CABG surgery–but the point remains.

I’ve had some really good training weeks, and I know that when push comes to shove I can complete the course and will have fun. I’m mostly frustrated by this up-and-down training experience, which pretty much leaves me feeling like this:

Gone_crazy

For awhile there I was riding the runner’s low, and that hole got pretty deep and dark. But I woke up this morning and decided to bump that, as a bad attitude isn’t going to get me across the finish line any faster.  For all of you who enjoyed the picture-perfect running weather this weekend, I’m gonna let yall enjoy it… but I’m still gonna pass you in the swim.

And with that, I present you this really amazing boozy blueberry banana bread that would fool any gluten and sugar lover. This recipe comes from the fancy folks at So Let’s Hang Out, and I cannot wait to make this bread again–perhaps I’ll even give someone else a slice next time!

PS: I’m looking for some guest bloggers! Check out the details here if you want to be part of the fun.

Boozy Banana Bread that Makes Up for a Bad Run

Ingredientsphoto 1(1)

  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBS spiced rum
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan (or two mini loaf pans) with parchment paper.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Combine wet ingredients (except blueberries) in a food processor until smooth.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Pour into loaf pan(s) and smooth with a spatula.

4a. Optional: combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of loaf.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of loaves), or until center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle.  Use the parchment paper to lift your loaf out and allow the bread to cool in the parchment paper for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Some New Favorite Things

10 Apr

Last time I told y’all about some of my new favorite things, it was full of Solid Gold Sh!t. I’m back with some more favorites and, this time, some even have nutritional value!

img57o

If your life hasn’t been changed in awhile, it’s time to try using Cup4Cup gluten-free flour in your favorite recipe and see if you can tell the damn difference– I’m gonna tell you right now (να σας πω κάτι): you will not be able to tell the difference. If Cup4Cup made a GRAINFREE flour, I’d pay $100/lb for it.

Cara-Cara-Orange-Semi-dwarf

Cara Cara oranges are friggin KILLLLING the snack game these days. LordyLOU I could eat a dozen of these. Hurry up and find ’em– season ends this month!

Sukhis-Gourmet-Indian-Foods-Classic-Sauce-Indian-Curry-767226001654

Sukhi’s Indian Simmer Sauces are the fastest way to get a delicious meal fast. I love, love, love these sugar-free/gluten-free pastes–throw the veggie of your choice t + 1 can of coconut milk (or water…but why?), simmer for 15 minutes, and–voila!– dinner is served. Disclaimer: these guys are NOT sodium free.

112761l

 

BFKef loves his nickname, “Big Easy,” and I love South Africa–so this totally delicious red with ” a succulent bouquet of dark cherries, mulberry, dark plum and honey” is totally our bag.  If it’s good enough for the WineAdvocate, it’s definitely good enough for CasaKefi. We’ll really know we’ve made it when our new favorite wine is feature on my still-favorite wine site VinePair.

%d bloggers like this: