Friday, September 16, 2011

DIY Yummie: Baked Banana

With Rum-Spiked Crème Fraîche
Wrapped in their skins with butter and brown sugar, bananas can be placed over dying coals to be ready for dessert when you are.

10 large firm bananas
1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons dark rum


1. With a sharp knife, slit the peel open on each banana. Carefully remove peel, reserving it.

2. Roll the bananas in the melted butter and then in the brown sugar. Return each banana to its peel.

3. Using lengths of kitchen string that have been soaked in water, tie each banana. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, blend the crème fraîche with the rum. Set aside.

5. Grill the bananas over low coals, turning frequently, for 15 minutes, or until heated through.

6. Remove the strings and peels from the bananas and serve them on individual dessert plates with some of the crème fraîche on the side.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: The Tot (non-alcoholic)

6 large strawberries
1 scoop of ice
1 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
1/2 ounce grape juice


1. Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth consistency.

2. Pour over cubes in a highball glass.

3. Garnish with candy or fresh berries.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Harvey Wallbanger

1 ounce vodka
4 ounces orange juice
1/2 ounce Galliano


Pour the vodka and orange juice into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Stir. Float Galliano on top.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Fresh Pear & Ginger Juice (non-alcoholic)


8 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
8 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 ripe pineapples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled


Pass thd pear, apples and pineapple chunks and the ginger through a juicer according to manufacturer’s instructions. Chill.

Source: Colin Cowie

Happy Hour: Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)

2 pounds plus 1/4 cup sugar
1 pound fresh ginger, shredded
1 pack compressed yeast
1 cup black raisins
2 lemons, juiced
60-72 white raisins


1. In a large pot soak the sugar and ginger in 3 quarts water overnight. In the morning, bring the liquid to a boil and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. Pour the liquid into a clean pail and add enough water to total 2 gallons of liquid. Add the yeast and black raisins. Cover the pail and allow to stand airtight overnight.

3. In the morning, through a strainer, add the juice of 2 lemons. Cover and set aside for 6 days. Do not stir.

4. Siphon and strain all but a few inches of the ginger beer into a clean pail. Discard the remaining liquid, ginger, and raisins.

5. Bring to a boil 1/4 cup sugar with 2 cups water. Add to the ginger beer and stir.

6. Pour the ginger beer into 10 to 12 750-ml bottles leaving 1 inch of air space at the top of each bottle. To each bottle, add 6 white raisins and cork tightly. When the raisins rise to the top, the ginger beer is ready to be served.

Note: Be careful, the corks may pop for the first few days while waiting for the raisins to rise. Place a towel on the cork when opening bottle. This is a non-alcoholic beverage.

Source: Colin Cowie

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Etsy Find :: Rustic Engraved Keepsake Chest

It's been awhile since I've done an 'Etsy Find' post, so I thought today would be fitting to post one of my favorite recent rustic finds (wow, say that 3x fast!). The shop responsible for this adorable keepsake chest is Bragging Bags. I have to say, this may be one of my favorite Etsy shops ever. If you're having a rustic/woodland themed wedding, then this is definitely a shop you won't want to miss - SO many fun engraved items available for purchase! Check out all of the details for the chest here, and then check out the rest of the personalized items here

Tip :: Use this keepsake chest as your card box, then display in your home as a decorative piece. 

Photo credit :: Morgan Hill Designs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Once again, a huge thank you to Derrick Rice of Union Eleven for capturing these amazing images of Jessica & Martin's ceremony and reception at The Westin Ottawa. Viva always has such a great time working with Derrick, The Westin, and the many other vendors who helped make Jess & Martin's dream day come true... All Seasons Weddings, Flowers Talk, Mikaza, Wedecor, The Cupcake Lounge and Quality Entertainment. Enjoy!