The Hip Hostess

Menus, tips and ideas for hosting with style!

DIY Fall Flowers: How to Make $35 Flowers Look Like $120 October 30, 2012

flower arranging tutorial fall party planning

I love having pretty flowers on the table, but ordering arrangements from a floral shop gets expensive so I started making my own.  I hit a corner flower stand (or two) to pick up my supplies and then arrange them myself.  It’s fairly simple and isn’t as hard as it looks: About 15 minutes of shopping and 30 minutes of trimming/ arranging.  For the flowers pictured here, it translated into a savings of about  $85 (3 arrangements at $40 each from a local florist, compared to my $35 worth of flowers – I own the vases so those aren’t included in the cost savings equation).  Here’s how I made these 3 flower arrangement for a fall party. (more…)


Apple Cider Sangria October 23, 2012



fall cocktail signature drink recipe halloween cider

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Sangria is the perfect party drink.  You can make it in advance, vary the ingredients for whatever theme you have (like apples for a fall/ harvest dinner party) and it serves a crowd.  If you like hard cider, you will love this sangria.  There’s just enough apple flavor without it being too strong or too sweet.  It makes about 6 servings when served over ice, which was just the right amount for 4 of us.  It isn’t the type of drink you want to sip all night, but it’s a great way to start off.  Double the recipe (or more) for larger crowds.  This is a nice signature cocktail to serve on Halloween or Thanksgiving. (more…)


Beet & Apple Slaw September 24, 2010

Beet and apple slaw is as delicious as it is healthy.  This simple slaw is the perfect side dish for a picnic; it can be made up to 2 days in advance and it travels well.

This original Hip Hostess recipe was published in Rochester Healthy Living Magazine (June 2010, page 19)

Beet & Apple Slaw

2 raw beets, peeled and shredded (2 cups)

1 large red apple, shredded (1 cup)

½ red onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

juice from 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1 ½ Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 Tbs. agave nectar or 2 Tbs. sugar

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

½ tsp. salt

Fresh-ground black pepper to taste

2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)


1. Toss together beets, apple and red onion in bowl.

2. Blend lemon juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, agave nectar, garlic, and salt in food processor until smooth.  Add to beet mixture, and toss to coat.  Garnish with green onions, if using.

Serves 6 (serving size = 3/4 cup)


Rosh Hashana Favors September 24, 2008

A jar of honey is the perfect favor for Rosh Hashana.  Wish your guests a “sweet” new year by buying local jars of honey from your farmer’s market.  Attach a honey dipper to the bottle with a ribbon tied around the lid of the jar.  Add a homemade label, if you like, with the year (the Jewish New Year is 5769 for 2008) and a greeting.  These are also super practical favors, as your family and friends will have local honey to use throughout the year.


Honey dipper are available at many stores.  Crate and Barrel sells simple wooden honey dippers individually for under $2 each –


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