Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Napkin Swags Giveaway!

Set your Holiday Table to Merry & Bright!

A soft touch on the Traditional Napkin Ring, Napkin Swags are a versatile way to add some color to your tabletop and perk up your plain white napkins!

I'm delighted to say my friend and fellow "Michigan Mitten Girl" Sheila, from Eat2Gather is giving away a set of 8 to one Hip Hostess! 

Enter to WIN your choice of any color or print in my Etsy Shop.

Be sure to check out Sheila's tasty recipes. A more creative cook and beautiful baker, you'll never meet!

 Giveaway ends Wednesday Dec. 12th 
Enter HERE

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New in the Etsy Shop...

 Ultimate Holiday Hostess Aprons

I've ventured out a bit from the "hip" look to a more "heirloom" look. What do you think?

Casually Elegant and Feminine I've made these in a soft to the touch linen blend fabric. The button detail gives the traditional design a chic modern look. Designed with full coverage in mind means no mess on your dress. They're comfortable and durable in the kitchen, yet a charming style pretty enough to wear to the table! 

Available in Moss Green, Paprika, Honey and of course, Holiday Red.

And because it is the season for gift giving...
Each of these aprons comes gift boxed for perfect presentation.

Get all the details HERE 

And a little gift from me to you...

Get FREE Shipping with Coupon Code HOLIDAYFREE at check out!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Simple Strategies for a Sparkling 4th

Everyone that knows me knows my motto is 
"Keep it Simple"

We don't all have the time or the talent to pull off those lavish looks, or stunning soirees we see in "Never Never Land" (aka Pinterest) so with SIMPLE being the keyword... here are some (really, truly) simple ways to add some sparkle to your 4th of July Bash.

For Starters...
Create some fireworks of your own.

"Sunday Picnic" is a perfect fit for the 4th.
Oh and by the way... Promo Code HH15 will get you 15% Off.
Yes, I know. Shameless self promotion.
On to the party...

 Canning jars are like a blank canvas. Add some backyard blooms, dig into your craft stash. Make up just one or a multitude of your own creations and you've got instant homespun charm! 

On the Menu?
Again with the simple... Burgers & Hot Dogs 
But here's how to add a little interest.

Jazz up plain burgers with unexpected condiments.
How about... 
 Caesar Spread or Spiced Tomato Chutney?
Here's 12 Creative Burger Toppings from

3 Ways to Dress Up a plain Hot Dog from again
including this tasty tropical version.

Mix up a batch of 
and say Cheers to Independence!
Nix the Vodka for a virgin version.
Little effort, Big Impact.

via Real Simple
How's this for Clever?
Pop a Popsicle Stick into the rind of Melon Wedges.
And to keep it all clean...

Kids eating watermelon slices on sticks
via Real Simple
 Cupcake Liners!

via Food Network
And for the Grand Finale...   
Fruit Flag Tarts
I'm of the opinion that presentation is everything and this one is so all that!

 Here's the super simple Recipe from Food Network. If you're really pressed for time, I'm thinking Vanilla Pudding would be a tasty alternative to the Mascarpone. 

A few more Hip Tips...
  • Keep things organized on your buffet table by stashing your cutlery in terra cotta pots, small galvanized buckets, or canning jars.
  • Make a quick dash to the fabric store & pick up some festive fabric. (I like simple gingham because it can be used all Summer long) Cut 12" wide strips for table runners on guest tables and or your buffet table. Best part? No sewing required.
  • To avoid watered down punch instead of adding more ice cubes, place your punch bowl or pitcher in a bowl or bucket of ice.
  • Use a colorful colander to hold ice or watermelon with a tray beneath to catch the drips.
  • Dollar Store bandanas make super Summer napkins and will serve you well for many Summers to come. 
  • Here's a great way to cool off your guests on a steamy day and believe me they'll be so grateful & impressed!  Pick up a few sets of inexpensive white washcloths.  Roll up & moisten them, then stash in the freezer. Serve them up on an ice lined tray with lemon slices to wash away the heat of the day. For extra indulgence: Mix a few drops of lavender oil & distilled water in a spray bottle. Give the washcloths a nice spritz before you present them to your guests. 

 Here's to a Festive 4th & a Happy Independence Day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

How cool is this?

Zesty Lemon Cups

You’ll feel pretty hip serving this cool, light summer dessert that’s got plenty of WOW factor and simple prep.  Here’s the best part: you can make this a day ahead and keep frozen until you’re ready to serve, just be sure to make room in your freezer to stash them until it’s time to serve.
Lemons: Purchase 1 lemon per guest & an extra one for practice. Presentation is everything, so try to pick the pretty ones, and all about the same size.
Lemon Sorbet: About a ½ cup per lemon
Berries *optional
Cut off the top 1/3 of the lemon (not the stem end) Keep the top if you’re not using a fruit garnish and want to put a little cap on your cups.
Hollow out each lemon:
Using a grapefruit knife or spoon works best but a teaspoon will work too.  Using your spoon carefully scrape all the flesh from the shell of the lemon, being careful not to puncture the lemon.
Make a slight shallow cut on the bottom of each lemon; again be careful not to cut into the inside of the lemon. This makes your lemon cup sit up straight.
Freeze the shells overnight or at least an hour. Then fill with sorbet and freeze again.
Just before serving top with berries and add a few more on the plate for a fabulous presentation!
Hostess Hint* 
We used Lemon Sorbet & raspberries but you can really get creative with this, try Orange or Raspberry Sorbet, garnish with orange slices, a strawberry with the stem attached, or even a small cookie! For a really festive look add a cocktail umbrella!  How cool is that?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mother's Day Savings

Mom's gift can be just a CLICK AWAY
Now through Mother's Day
Save 15% Off all our Domestic Dresses!

Use Promo Code: MOMHOME at check out

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fresh Spring Giveaway...Pink Lemonade

Well, Spring has sprung up here in the North Country, briefly & prematurely, but I'll take it. Seems we're all itching to ditch the dull & dreary and ready for some fresh! I've got just the thing. An Apron Giveaway, of course and here's what's up for grabs.

A Spring Fresh Domestic Dress...

"Pink Lemonade"
Perhaps some Spring Cleaning motivation?

Are you ready to enter? Here's the dish...

The heart warming Hostess for this Giveaway is
fellow Michigander, Sheila from Eat2Gather.
Isn't she lovely?

I first met Sheila on Twitter and felt an instant connection because...
Sheila & I (and every other Mitten resident) adore & share the charming (or annoying) habit of raising our right hand and pointing to where we live. For me, that would be way up at the top of your ring finger. (Now I'm wondering how many people I annoyed with that gesture on my last trip to Florida.)

Sheila shares the same passion & appreciation that I do when it comes to gathering around the table. It's a tradition I believe is the heart of the family, and Sheila shares that belief, the importance of it, and makes it a priority in her everyday life. She's a foodie who's truly discovered the "joy of cooking" sharing both the tried & true and the new recipes that she brings to the table.

Another reason I love to check out her blog: Well, she just plain cracks me up!

The Giveaway is just a click away... HERE

*You'll also find a Spring Savings Promo Code for both
The Hip Hostess website and the new Etsy Shop!

Oh, and by way don't miss Sheila's recipe for Goulash. A dish I love, but totally forgot about. I mean really, when was the last time you made Goulash? Ah... the comfort of comfort food!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Garnishing Your Products

If you own a budding business that you're striving to grow into a booming, blooming bouquet, here's some FYI from yours truly and I'm delighted to add... a guest post from Denise at Rapid Tag & Label, the maker of all my tags and labels.

I think Presentation is everything.
It's your image, your style, your signature,
and so to speak...your "garnish."

Tags and labels on your product are the finishing touch you put on all your labors of love and creative efforts. Rapid Tags has been helping me put the hip look on my products from the very onset of The Hip Hostess.

Starting out as a very new and very small business owner, Rapid Tags treated me with the same dedication and effort they give to their big clients, providing me not only with ideas and info, but Denise and Ursula consistently accommodate my needs and with speedy replies and outstanding communication. I think working with a company that "gets you" is an invaluable tool to achieving the look you're going for and your path to success. Rapid Tags is all that!

Denise speaks volumes when she says...

It’s all about the garnish!

It’s not enough just to be able to cook like a professional chef. All of your time, effort and money won’t mean a thing if you serve a decadent chocolate mousse pie on a paper plate. The saying goes “God is in the details”. Without adding a beautiful serving plate, whipped cream and chocolate shavings it’s just another piece of pie.

The same theory applies with clothing and apparel design. A clever idea will fall flat without paying close attention to the additional trims that can add pizzazz to anything. Buckles, buttons, zippers and clothing labels may not seem all that important but they embellish your brand. They tell customers who you are and about the quality of your merchandise. They make your apparel or design stand out from the rest.

Rapid Tag & Label has been providing The Hip Hostess with their woven logo labels, care/fiber content labels and hangtags for years.

The Hip Hostess damask woven brand label looks elegant in simple black and white and is perfect to accompany any pattern or color pallet. The labels are sewn on the outside and are part of the Hip Hostess’ unmistakeable look. The satin printed labels are sewn inside of all the aprons to offer the fiber content, country of origin and care of the apron. Finally, the joker hangtag has a classic black and white glossy finish that completes the overall chic look of The Hip Hostess Collection.

We’re the garnish that help makes The Hip Hostess more than just an apron company. Please visit us at www.RAPIDTAGS.

~Denise Newton of Rapid Tags & Labels

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Soup for all Seasons

I have a french Mother-in-law. If that's not intimidating enough... over the last 36 years, I've actually had the courage to attempt many of her recipes. This is my family's favorite. After years of tasting and testing I think I've finally got it right and as close to hers as I'll ever get.

Served warm I just call it Potato Leek Soup, 
but served cold I like to get all fancy 
and call it Vichyssoise! Delicious both ways.
A tasty soup for a cold winter night 
or a hot summer day.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dishsponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset 


6-8 Potatoes peeled & quartered
6-8 Leeks
1 Medium Onion chopped
1-3 Scallions (green onions) chopped
1 Cup Chicken Broth
Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1/2 Cup Half & Half
1/2 Cup Milk
¼ TSP Thyme
¼ TSP Marjoram
¼ TSP Dill

Cut the roots off the leeks
Cut about 1-2 inches of the green ends off the leeks
Slice each leek down the center lengthwise
Lay leeks on paper towel & dry throughly
Chop the leeks in 1/2" chunks
Chop the onions & scallions

Cut up the potatoes, cover with water and add 1 bouillon cube and cook until tender.
Saute the leeks, scallions and onions in 1 Tsps Olive Oil and a few Tsps of butter.
Cook over medium heat stirring & mixing often until leeks are soft & translucent.
When Potatoes are done: pour into large colander to drain.
*I don't use the water the potatoes are cooked in.

Let them sit for a few minutes then add the cooked leeks, onions & scallions.
Mash entire mixture with electric mixer or immersion blender adding milk & butter until they look like whipped potatoes.
In large pot, add the potato mixture, chicken broth, half & half, Thyme, Marjoram, & Dill.
Stir throughly over low heat and continue stirring until heated through.

*At this point I taste it and add a chicken boullion cube one at time if needed for more flavor.  It's kind of like a work in progress, and you may want to tweak it.  You can also add a bit more of the spices, add more milk, broth, or half & half until you get the desired consistency,you don't want it too thick or too thin.

*Serve immediately or store in the fridge and reheat it later.
Remember, this can also be served cold, but be sure to stir it well before serving.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Mint Giveaway...

Putting a trendy twist on traditional Toile

with a cool color combo of Chocolate & Mint.

Sachet on over to Silver Magpies and enter
to win this little lovely!

Nancy at Silver Magpies is one savvy lady when it comes to all things silver
and is the Hip Hostess of this sweet giveaway.

Be sure to check out her delectable recipe for Chocolate Mint Brownies!

Get in on the Giveaway HERE

This Giveaway has Closed.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Divan from Aunt Carol's Cookbook

Here's a book that's been serving me well for... well, I guess since 1979.

Geez, I wasn't even 30 then. Tells you how long I've kept it, used it and loved it.

Given to me by my Aunt Carol, all those years ago, it's filled with comfort food & 50's recipes from her fellow church ladies.

Passing on the jello & chip dip, I've turned to this little lovely time and time again, but my hands down flat out favorite recipe from the book (and made more than times than my current age) is ...

Chicken Divan
It's a go to dish that works for an everyday meal, but impressive enough to serve to guests for a family gathering or casual dinner party.

A great "starter dish" for the hesitant hostess. Add a simple green salad, a french baguette and dinner is done!

An added plus is that you can prepare most of it early in the day and then store it in the refrigerator until it's time to bake. Any recipe you can make ahead is a must for me!

Hope you try it... I know you'll love it.

Chicken Divan

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts or 8 Chicken Tenderlions
1 ½ Cups Fresh Broccoli
¾ Cup Mayonnaise
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
½ to 1 Cup Milk (depending on how thick you want the sauce)
½ Cup Chopped Onion
¾ Cup Chopped Celery
2 Slices Bread (toasted and cut into croutons)
*I usually use plain white bread, but whole grain is good, too.
½ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or more if you like)
1 Slice Swiss Cheese (torn into small pieces)
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbls Butter
Olive oil

Simmer chicken breasts in water until thoroughly done.
Sauté onions & celery in olive oil until slightly tender.
Combine mayonnaise, cream of chicken soup, milk, sautéed onions & celery & lemon juice in mixing bowl.
Spray 9”casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.
Place chicken in bottom of casserole dish.
Layer broccoli evenly over the chicken.
Pour soup mixture over the top.
Bake at 350* for 25 minutes. (I cover it with foil)

While it’s baking or earlier in the day...
Toast the bread. Let it cool, then cut into crouton size pieces. Melt the butter, then pour it over the toasted croutons and mix well.

When 25 minutes is up, add the cheeses on top, then the croutons.
Bake for another 5-7 minutes uncovered until cheese is melted and croutons are golden brown.

Serves 4
Double the recipe and use a 9x11 casserole dish for 6-8 servings.