Thursday, December 27, 2012

{Tea time?}

Do the holidays compel anyone else to fix this type of tea?

Monday, December 24, 2012

{You'll Shoot yer Eye Out}

Holiday Traditions.
Some people love them--some hate. For my part, I love hearing about what other folks do, give and receive. Here are a few I remember growing up. What were some of yours?

The Radio City Rockettes
Apart from the drag queens I first saw in Provincetown, when I was little I thought these dancers were the most glamourous creatures on Earth.

Busche de Noel
My mother actually made this every year with the knot on top and all. Unbelievable!

(still love a red shiny nose)

NEW Christmas PJ's 
(Though I don't think I looked exactly like this)

A stocking well stuffed...
My Grandmother gave little roll-ups like these...

NYC Department Store Windows
When I was little I loved going up to the city and seeing the Christmas windows. Macy's was a favorite then but when I got older it changed to Barney's for the avant garde and Bergdorf's for the glamour.

A 1lb. box of Chocolate Turtles from Strawbridge & Clothiers
For some unknown reason my Grandmother gave these to all her grandkids. I don't have any idea where the tradition started. My sister once polished off her entire box by the end of Christmas day.

Droste Chocolate Apple
Sometimes we got these in our stockings. You crack them hard on a table and all the little chocolate apple slices are perfectly presented.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

{Butter's Holiday Gift Giving Guide}

What's the best kind of present? For me it's something pretty and indulgent. Something I wouldn't ordinarily buy myself but something I just love. Here are some ideas for Butter readers...

Butter's annual Gift Giving Guide

I was first introduced to these special delicious chocolate when a friend gave me the glamorous pink box for my birthday one year. They are the ultimate for lying around in a bed jacket and living life eating bon bons all day. Thanks Teens!

This is the most sophisticated, smooth running and lovely little bike.

What could be more tranquil than a jellyfish tank??

The iconic Baggu in luxe gold leather.

Just pretty.

Always a welcome gift

Rest like Holly Golightly

Cashmere anything is made for gift giving.

The best present I ever bought myself. A pet adoption from the Oakland Animal Services, Sugarbear.

Shop these items: 1. Charbonnel et Walker Truffles/ Neiman Marcus, 2. Public Bicycles/, 3. Mac Lipstick
4. Desktop Jellyfish tank/ 5. Baggu in gold leather,
6. Diamond Tear edge on headphones/ 7. Scratchers/ California Lottery
8. Holly GoNightly sleepmask/ 9. Raspberry 100% cashmere gloves/ Barneys New York 10. Sugarbear Oakland Animal Services

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It's a rainy November evening in Oakland. The perfect setting for my all time favorite...

Drinking chocolate is not to be confused with hot cocoa or even hot chocolate. It's a totally different animal. Whereas hot cocoa is made from a powdered mix of cocoa, sugar and thickeners it does not incorporate cocoa butter. Hot chocolate is made directly from bar chocolate, which already contains cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter. Drinking chocolate is that only darker, richer and more intense. Usually made with the finest chocolate available it is broken into small pieces or shaved and melted into a thick and smooth drinking elixir. 

I consider the Queen Bee of drinking chocolates: Maribel Lieberman of MarieBelle Fine Chocolates in New York City. I first came upon her shop by accident while walking around in SoHo. Upon entering it was like I had fallen down the most wondrous rabbit hole into a heavenly French chocolate boutique complete with sparkling chandeliers and light-blue silvery cushions which perfectly matched the square tins holding the chocolate mixtures. The philosophy there is one I strive to live by...

When I'm ready for a night cap I heat up a large cup of whole milk. (Just enough for small bubbles around the edges--no fat rolling ones). Then I add four large tablespoons of MarieBelles Aztec Hot Chocolate to the pot. The ratio should be 2:1. Next I take my whisk and froth it up until it's nice and smooth. I usually like to plop in a homemade marshmallow from Whole Foods with a dash of cinnamon on top OR for a true night cap I add a couple of splashes of Peppermint Schnapps. 

It really helps if you have a pretty cup and saucer. 
Ah the pleasures of LIFE! 

Mariebelle Fine Chocolates NYC

Sunday, November 11, 2012

{I LOVE being a girl}

This is the best post ever written {slightly edited for Butter readers}...thanks Buzzfeed!
16 ways to add *Glam* & *Glitz* to your life...

1. Make chocolate bling

2. OR...! 
Make any food sparkly with edible glitter

Get the recipe HERE

3. DIY Starbucks Glitter Travel Mug

Find out how HERE

4. Glitter Wallpaper

You can buy it HERE

 5. Make a glittery balloon

Here's HOW

6. Galaxy Play-Doh! for the kids 
(OR as a de-stress ball at work!)

Get the Galactic recipe HERE

7. Give yourself diamonds on the soles of your shoes

Learn how HERE

8. Walk on a glitter floor

Get the directions HERE

9. Glitz up your old sneakers

HERE'S the Tutorial

10. Glam up a cake

Find the recipe HERE

11. Glitter your heels

Get the tutorial HERE

Learn how to make glitter keys HERE

12. Make your own glitter polish

Get directions HERE

13. Glam up a wall

Get the tutorial HERE

14. Glitter your grandpa sweater

15. Bling out your Champers

16. Design a disco ball ring

Want the tutorial? Leave it to MARTHA

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{a Sugary Skull}

I guess there are folks who don't enjoy Halloween but I don't know many of 'em. What's not to like? Any holiday who's main focus is on the obtaining and consumption of copious amounts of chocolate is great by me. I was inspired this year by Sugarbear and the iconic Sugarskull of Mexico's Dia de los Muertos. The question was...what would Sugey look like if he were ghoulish and frightful? Impossible to imagine I know...

Here--the final result...similar to a Sugarskull... but more a Sugeyskull.

Hope your Halloween haul fetched a bounty of Snickers, Kit Kats, Butterfingers and Almond Joys..

Sunday, October 21, 2012

{An Autumn Cookie}

There is truly nothing more delicious anytime of year than that purely American flavor combination: chocolate and peanut butter. In cookie form, it's my favorite. The problem though is that I can never find a recipe that heightens these flavors to their ultimate potential. Most recipes out there create cookies that turn out with too subtle a peanut butter flavor or just not enough chocolate. Or sometimes the consistency is too puffy and light--again detracting from this most simple and classic combo. After experimenting with all sorts of variations; trying dark chocolate chips instead of milk (too overpowering), using more vanilla and less baking soda, and finally deciding to go flourless, I have finally achieved the most rich and delicious cookie ever baked!

Since these are easy as pie to whip up in only one bowl (without even a mixer necessary), I like to make them after dinner when I want something sweet--they take the place of anything store bought. Since they are flourless they yield a small batch (only a little over a dozen) perfect for sharing with your loved one (these are a mature cookie--kids probably won't like them). I also like to stick them in the freezer and eat them frozen--for some reason the peanut butter tastes even more peanut buttery. Enjoy!

Butter's Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup smooth peanut butter (Skippy or Jif)
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
1 cup Guittard milk chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) together in a big bowl. When well combined add-in the chocolate chips. With moistened hands, roll a generous tablespoon of dough into a small ball and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Use tines of a fork to push the dough down to form a cross hatch pattern.

Bake for 9--10 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, September 21, 2012

{Etsy Spotlight} Jenn Lee Design

I love Etsy.
I have purchased everything there from a bird wing fascinator to custom clothing to craft supplies and more. I have the most fun though hunting for show stopping jewelry pieces. You can find great buys from talented and emerging otherwise unknown designers there. A favorite Etsy shop of mine is Jenn Lee DesignHer pieces are characterized by bold chunky glamorous stones in their own naturally outrageous colors set in 18k dipped gold or a vibrant colored Tagua nut band.  So Earthy-Glam!