Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Celebrating the BAFTAs & red carpet style

Red carpets, high glamour, cocktails and luxury food. And that was just at my house! Last night was the BAFTA ceremony in London and the excitement has spread all the way to my little home in East Anglia where we had an enjoyable little party at home. Of course, it’s ‘my job’ to keep an eye on the red carpet and report back on all the fabulous fashion from the event but this time we actually decided to celebrate ourselves by getting dressed up, pouring a drink and enjoying a few party treats.

It was a rather fun evening as we popped open a mini bottle of champagne (I get so dizzy if I drink any more than that!), mixed up some drinks and nibbled on gourmet popcorn. When we missed the occasional award – while mixing up more drinks and fixing our evening meal – we managed to keep up with all the gossip from the big event on Twitter – thank goodness the winners we’re all announced live on social media!

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Pieday Friday drinks recipe – Fruit cubes for sparkling cocktails

Today’s recipe is a great one for adding a little bit of excitement to your party. If you’re planning a wedding, hen party, birthday or are even gathering together to celebrate the Queen’s 90th at a street party, this little fruity recipe would be a great addition to a glass of something bubbly. Whether you’re drinking soda, lemonade or a sparkling wine, these little cubes of fresh fruit add a little kick to any glass of fizz, turning it from a basic drink into something special for your big occasion. Read on find out how to make fruity cubes for your very own party and how you can WIN a case of sparkling wine from Premier Estates for yourself!wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-32 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-28 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-21Freezing pureed fruit into ice cubes is a simple enough idea, but it’s the fruity combinations that add the wow factor. Popping a couple of cubes into a champagne flute before topping up with fizz creates a cocktail-in-a-glass. The cubes bubble and roll around in the glass before gradually dissolving to turn your glass of wine into a bellini. It’s a no-fuss drink, with no need to pour measures of puree, so guests can easily add their own fruit flavouring to whatever they are drinking.wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-35 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-20Recipe 1 – Peach & apple. I used tinned peaches for this recipe because they are easy to blend but you can use very ripe fresh peaches if you prefer. I used half a tin, which made enough puree for at least 24 cubes, which is enough for 12 drinks, so you can adjust the quantities if needed. I drained away most of the syrup and added 100ml of apple juice instead. Blend into a pulp and then pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-2 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-3 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-36Recipe 2 – Mixed berries & cranberry. For this recipe I defrosted a bowlful of frozen mixed berries but you can use fresh strawberries, blackberries, cranberries and raspberries for this recipe if you like. I added a sprinkling of sugar to sweeten slightly and then poured over 100m cranberry juice. Blitz the fruit and juice together before pouring into the ice cube tray and freezing. You can sieve the seeds out of the puree if you like, but I wanted to keep them in, so that the floating ice cubes would resemble berries themselves. Again, this made 24 ice cubes, enough for 12 drinks.wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-4 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-5 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-6 wedding hen party queens birthday celebration idea diy fruit puree ice cubes recipe-7Recipe 3 – Lime & mint. This is a flavour combination that would work best in a soda or lemonade (you can add vodka or whisky if you like) rather than a sparkling wine. In this instance, mix the juice of a whole lime into 100ml lemonade, and add a big handful of fresh mint leaves. Give it a quick blend to mash in the mint and then pour into the ice cube trays and freeze.

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Galentine’s Day party & flavoured hot chocolate recipes

What better time to celebrate your best friends than on Galentine’s Day? Yes, that’s right, I said GALentine’s Day. If you’ve not heard of it yet, it’s simply putting a name to what we’ve all being doing for years; celebrating our friends. I’ve seen so many more Galentine’s-related treats being shared on Pinterest this year; in fact, I’ve hardly paid any attention to Valentine’s Day at all. Whether or not your pal is loved-up or single, I’m sure you have a wonderful friend who deserves a bit of extra love this February. I certainly welcome the chance to celebrate my girl friends and thank them for all the support they give me throughout the year. And what better way to show them you care, than by throwing a cute Galentine’s party?hot chocolate recipes for galentines day diy party gift idea for friends girlfriends-11 hot chocolate recipes for galentines day diy party gift idea for friends girlfriends-15Today I wanted to share my ideas for a cosy hot chocolate party; a night in with your pals, scoffing all the naughty treats you usually resist during the rest of the year. I know I waffle on about eating healthily, but enjoying a little of what you fancy every now and again is just as important as eating the good-for-you things. Your Galentine’s Day get-together is the ideal time to indulge and provide some tasty treats for your favourite peeps. So here’s a couple of new hot chocolate flavours that I’m adding to my Galentine’s menu:

Salted caramel: Make up a steaming mug of hot chocolate and add a splash of caramel syrup. I had a set of 5 small syrups that I was given as a birthday gift a while ago, but you can buy a similar set at Amazon (such as these Monin Syrups for Coffee). Add one crunch of sea salt (don’t go crazy with the salt otherwise you’ll end up with a savoury hot chocolate). Next is the fun part; stir in chunks of caramel chocolate bar and let them melt for a really indulgent treat. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows and crumbled up flake. Mmm.

Cherry bakewell: There are two options for this hot chocolate flavour – saintly or boozy! Add a splash of vanilla syrup to a mug of hot chocolate and then decide whether you add a splash of amaretto-flavoured syrup or a shot of Disaronno! Stir it into the hot chocolate to get that really cherry-marzipan flavour before topping with cream, chocolate and cherries. If you have a bakewell tart hanging around you could crumble some of the cake onto the cream too. Yum!

How cute are these smiley mugs? I got them from Continue reading “Galentine’s Day party & flavoured hot chocolate recipes” »


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DIY Christmas drinks cart project

With the festive season just around the corner I’ve started to tackle some DIY projects to get ready for the big day in advance. After finding a cute little kitchen trolley at Wayfair, I was inspired to create a Christmas cart – a place to store all my festive ingredients for hot drinks and somewhere to serve up mulled punch all winter long! custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-16custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-27 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-14 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-21I wanted to give the simple white trolley a festive makeover to incorporate it into my Christmas decorating. So rather than just loading my hot chocolate, coffee and candy canes onto the cart, I decided to add a back-board to the trolley, which I’ve covered in pretty polka dot wrapping paper. It will look cute in the kitchen all year round and the red-and-white paper fits in especially well with my Christmas theme this year.custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-2 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-17custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-32 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-28 I also added some mug hooks to the shelf in order to turn it into a dedicated drinks trolley and picked out a mulled wine pot with matching cups to help keep the drinks flowing. The fitted wheels mean that I can easily move it around the house, from the kitchen to the dining room, beside the Christmas tree, or wherever the best location is for it during my winter parties. Having all the ingredients for some seasonal hot drinks in one place allows my guests to help themselves to mulled cider, spiced latte or candy cane hot chocolates during every event.

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Festive drinks recipes round-up – including hot drinks too!

I’ve already posted a few recipes for making my favourite festive drinks and cocktails so I thought that I would compile each of these articles into one post so that you can find all the Christmas drinks recipes in one place! It’s not just boozy beverages that I’ve been concocting, but lovely hot drinks too so check these out to keep you warm this winter:

Christmas hot chocolate recipes – including boozy cherry, spiced and mint candy cane! 

cheeky christmas cocktails by cassiefairy ginger fizz with rum and lime

Christmas cocktails recipes including Christingle G&T and ginger fizz!

My top 7 cocktails for a Christmas Party

my retro living room autumn decor harvest floral arrangment and spiced apple juiceSpiced mulled drinks recipes

Let me know if you give any of these recipes a go and I’d love to see snaps of your festive hot chocolate creations so please tweet me a photo @Cassiefairy.


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Cherry good cocktail recipes

At this time of year I really enjoy having nights in with my friends, watching cheesy Saturday-night TV and enjoying a good home-cooked meal. We also like to mix up the occasional cocktail and this week I tried out a new ingredient for our evening cocktails: cherry juice. When I picked up some cocktail ingredients at the supermarket, I came across Cherry Good and my mouth started watering! I was sure it would go nicely with the limes, lemons, juices and mixers in my trolley so when I got home I looked up drink recipes on their website and tried out a few.

The first recipe I tried was a cherry sour, because whisky sours is one of my favourite drinks ever and I wanted to know how it would compare if mixed up with cherry juice. Thankfully it was delicious and I tried a couple more of these cheeky cocktail recipes over the course of the weekend. Here they are, and I hope that you’ll enjoy them too:cherry sour cocktail recipe using cherry good juice cherry sour cocktail recipe using cherry good juice-2

Cherry Sour: 2 measures vodka, 6 measures cherry juice drink, 1 measure freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 measures lemonade, garnish with a fresh cherry on a stick or a slice of lemon. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over vodka, Cherry Good and lemon juice. Shake to mix and chill. Pour into a tall glass with ice and top up with the lemonade. michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice-2 michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice-3 michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice-5

Michigan Impossible 2 measures whisky, 4 measures Cherry Good juice, 1 measure freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 measure sugar syrup and optional 2 measures of lemonade to make a taller drink with ice. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over whisky, cherry juice, lime juice and sugar syrup. Shake to mix and chill. The lemonade is optional, to make a longer drink in a taller glass with ice. Sugar syrup is easy to make, by dissolving sugar into water (50/50) and heating it. Even simpler is pouring boiling water onto sugar and stirring, but make sure it’s cool before you use it!cherry and honey non alcoholic juice cocktail recipe cherry and honey non alcoholic juice cocktail recipe-2

Non-alcoholic cherry and honey: 200ml Cherry Good cherry juice drink, 100ml water, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons honey, a pinch of salt (preferably unprocessed sea salt) Mix all the ingredients together, until the honey is dissolved. Add the salt last and adjust the amount to suit your own taste – not too salty.

These recipes are fast becoming my firm favourites and I will definitely be adding these to my Christmas party cocktail list too. Let me know if you give them a try and remember to drink responsibly! I also tried mixing up my own cocktail using the juice and here’s what I came up with:cherry apple juice cocktail recipe michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice

Cherry Apple 1 measure apple schnapps, 2 measures Cherry Good, 2 measures apple juice.  Fill a tall cocktail glass with crushed ice and pour in the ingredients and stir to mix.

Of course there are many more cocktails and mocktail recipes that you can find online and mix up so let me know if you find any other interesting recipes containing cherry juice. And if you’re interested in learning cocktail-making skills for yourself why not consider taking a course to develop your knowledge? Search for bartending courses from training providers such as CHT Melbourne and take the first step towards learning new skills and possibly creating a new career for yourself. Studying on a course is a great way to learn more about mixology and bar skills – plus you can meet new friends at the same time. Best of luck!

 


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Pieday Friday ~ Autumnal peach crush

I know were hovering at the start of Autumn but I wanted to share this unseasonably summery recipe for a peach cooler drink. The weather reports are promising that it’ll be warmer over this coming weekend and I’m planning a couple of days away so I’m in the holiday mood! Hence this tasty, if rather summery, drink!

I actually think that the colours are kinda autumnal and the cranberry almost makes it festive drink… ahem. But who am I kidding? It’s got crushed ice in it, so I’m pretty sure it’s for warm weather only! So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this weekend is as warm as the forecast promises!

pieday friday peach and cranberry crush cooler drink for summer

Blend up 3 peaches – you could use fresh peaches, but it’s just as lovely to use canned peaches – which I find make a smoother pureé than fresh. Add a tablespoon of honey (or some of the syrup from the canned peaches) and a handful of ice before whizzing up again in the blender to crush the ice and combine it with the peaches. Next add a litre of cranberry juice and give the mixture a quick pulse with the blender to mix. Pour into glasses and watch the peach pureé separate from the cranberry juice and float to the top. My preference is to top up the drinks with a little fizzy water or lemonade (which is why you can see bubbles in the photos) but you might be just as happy as it already is so give it a test to see if you prefer the non-fizzy version or fancy adding a few bubbles. By the way, it’s just occurred to me that you could even top up with a bit of sparkling wine, so let me know if you give that a go!

Cassiefairys free pieday friday recipe book blurb ebook cookbook

If you fancy more food-based recipes for the weekend, how about checking out my FREE Pieday Friday E-Book? No longer will you have to search through my archives to find your favourite recipe – it’s all there in the book, and it not only contains pie recipes, but all of my favourites including soups and snacks, sweet treats and main meals! I want to give something back to my lovely readers so I’ve published it as a free PDF e-book as a ‘thank you’ for sticking with me all this time soooo…  Preview the entire E-Book here and email me cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk and I will send you the PDF e-book directly to your inbox, completely free for you to enjoy!


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British summer classic drink – Pimms goes patriotic

If anyone ever asked me what the best British summer drink is, I’d always plump for Pimms. As a summer spritzer drink it’s pretty universally adored; it’s girly but not too girly that the lads won’t drink it, it’s a refreshing long drink, and it’s always nice to have a bit of fruit floating in your glass!

And now, the clever-bods in the Pimms marketing department have added a union jack design label to their classic bottles in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics. So snap up one of these limited edition bottles and pour yourself a long, cool drink (and don’t forget to add your fruity ice cubes from previous recipe post!)

 

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