Hello Monday – Coffee and Cocktails at the Casa
Monday 23 November 2020 We should already be taking a break but we still have today and tomorrow to do. These two days are always awkward (2 day week) and I would always like us to have the whole week like many schools do. I connect with Heather, Tanya and many more here! Friday I […]

Monday 23 November 2020

We should already be taking a break but we still have today and tomorrow to do. These two days are always awkward (2 day week) and I would always like us to have the whole week like many schools do.

I connect with Heather, Tanya and many more here!

Friday I worked and my friend came for a quick 5-7 at my place from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. I left at 4:30 PM and my husband and I met to help get Jack out. Go out during the day! The students are at home until the first week of January. They'll do a little more home class stuff, win home finals, and finish with the first semester on December 9th. My break starts on December 18th, but we end the first semester in mid-January.

Her dorm is below. It took a candy forever. We weren't allowed in and it looked like he was packing on the way in - lol. They didn't have to bring everything home but he had a lot of musical material that he wanted and needed to have at home.

These IKEA bags are amazing!

We packed my car first and it took maybe 5:00 to 6:30 pm I left and we ordered pizza and Tom and Jack finished. We finally sat down to eat at the house around 8:00 am. I was so happy and Jack was in a really good mood and you could tell he was happy to be home.

Mason had rehearsed until 9:00 am and then plans to go out with friends, so moving was Saturday morning for him. This chapel has been seen from his window this semester. He basically only moved books and clothes.

Front view of his dormitory.

This beautiful fountain is in front of its entrance.

We were loaded in 15 minutes! Such a difference compared to Friday evening!

At 11:00 am, my two children were in the nest! I had done a 7:15 am grocery run to move food around the house, then made an omelet for one and fried rice for the other. Happy to be a short-term cook!

Saturday Mason and I chatted from 11am to 4pm with only a break of about 30 minutes while Tom needed help putting on my new patio lights. We sat on the patio with the heat on most of the time. It was really cool. Jack had a virtual class much of that time, but when he was done, he and Mason finally managed to catch up. It has been a strange semester. They weren't allowed into any other dormitory and they didn't spend much time together.

They ordered Mediterranean Shiraz take out and we went out to eat in a bubble with our friends. I knew they were happy to be without us for the evening! I took this photo on my morning run with Kroger to show you the bubbles. Our state does not allow dining inside until December 13th.

It was raining but we were fine inside the heated bubble with ventilation on both sides too!

I had a cocktail called a paper plane. It was good!

Focaccia they give you.

My friend and I split a fig and pork pizza with fig jam for the sauce and a special type of bacon topping.

My new patio lights are controlled from my phone!

Sunday was super lazy but I was so happy that my kids were sleeping in the house. They both slept until noon and I made chocolate chip pancakes for them. There was light rain most of the day and I read and had coffee on the patio and

used this little radiator. I thought of a fire but the rain lasted a good part of the day.

Mason went to hang out with a friend, unfortunately - ha! Jack and I had a chai latte for me and a smoothie for him and a few other things from Kroger that we forgot about. Tom has been working on our main bath project most of the day getting ready for our plumber who is coming this afternoon to do some plumbing.

My heart is happy and I don't want to speak too soon, but I think I have seen tremendous growth in my children from their experience so far.

We decided to stay home for Thanksgiving and just be the four of us. I ordered our meal from a local barbecue and will make a few more sides. I will miss seeing my family and my in-laws. But, our governor has requested that we keep it to a maximum of two families and that seems like the best idea given our numbers.

How was your week end? Tell me the highlight! I think of all of you this week as we go through a weird and sad holiday. I don't know how many posts I'll be posting this week but I'll let you know!


A little time put into preparation makes for an enjoyable evening. Drinking cocktails should be a fun and relaxing experience, so take a while to think about ingredients in advance, to avoid any rushing around last minute.

One of the foundations of many cocktails is sugar syrup. This can be prepared in advance. Here’s my tip for easy to prepare simple syrup : Add 200 gm white sugar to 200 ml boiling water. Stir till sugar is dissolved, and liquid is clear. Allow to cool then bottle

If you mix lemon juice 50 : 50 with simple syrup, you should have a solid mid-line sweet-sour balance. But remember, every palate is different. to find your own point of balance, mix 15ml fresh lemon juice with 15ml simple syrup, and then dilute the mix with up to 90ml water. Congratulations, you’ve just made fresh lemonade ! If this tastes too sweet or too sour, adjust by adding a little more citrus or syrup. Using this method of calibration, you can adjust any cocktail recipe to suit your own palate.

Ice is the solo most over-looked ingredient at any home bar - you’ll be surprised how much you can go through. Cocktails need ice like baking needs ovens. If popping to the boutiques for ice isn’t an option right now, keeping a freezer bag topped up with ice will ensure you don’t run out unexpectedly. For best quality home-made ice, try using a silicone ice tray with a lid, to prevent your ice from absorbing unpleasant odours. And wash your ice tray after each use.

Where possible always go for premium spirits, the freshest herbs, and the best juices you can get your hands on. For instance, the taste difference between cheap juice and pressed juice is more than worth the small extra expense.

Try to use glassware appropriate to your drinks. It’s entirely possible to drink a martini from an old coffee mug, but that misses the point of drinking a martini !

If you can make a Whiskey Sour, you can make a Daiquiri. If you make a mean Negroni, you can riff on a Boulevardier. Once you’ve mastered the Manhattan, have some fun in Brooklyn on your way to Martinez. Cocktails exist in family trees. Once you are comfortable the basics of each category the world is your oyster !

You can pre-mix punches in advance - an old trick from the godfathers of bartending in the 19th century. You can bottle punch and store it in the fridge, ready to use on the day, or later that week. If done properly, quality and consistency are assured. If your punch has a fizzy ingredient, such as clairette, only add this your glass just before serving.

If you follow the Punch Ratio, you can’t go far wrong : 1 part sour ( citrus ) 2 parts sweet ( simple syrup ) 3 parts strong ( spirit ) 4 parts weak ( juices etc ) And don’t shy away from warm spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and mace, to make that punch really sing. Don’t have those spices to hand ? No problem, a few dashes of Angostura bitters will do the trick.

We all have a few unloved ingredients lying around that need using up. For instance, that last bit of red wine in the bottle ? Try drizzling it over your Whisky Sour, and voila, you’ve got yourself a delicious New York Sour ! Do you have some nice but neglected spice mix in the kitchen ? Try mixing a teaspoon or two into your simple syrup as it cools to give your next cocktail an added dimension. Seasonal fresh herbs make a wonderful aromatic petit cocktail garnish.

So now, you’ve hit your stride and you’re getting creative in your home bar. Great ! Our top tip for petit cocktail creation ? Write down the juste specifications as you are making it. It’s not always easy to perfectly recall the recipe for that killer petit cocktail the next day !

If all this sounds like a bit of a chore, then keep an eye open for delivery services available from many local petit cocktail bars. After all, with the finer things in life, it’s nice to sit back, relax and let the professionals do all hard the work.


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