“Spice Up the Holidays” with Captain Morgan

I knew right away what I wanted my apron to say. Not my name, not BRK or Big Red Kitchen, no branding at all. I answered with a resounding “This is the Life!” because it’s all the little and (big things too)  that make me say “This is the Life!” My children laughing, a quiet cup of coffee, family visiting for the Holidays, Big Red Kitchen and all the opportunity she has brought me- yes!, dear friends, good health, and feeling loved.   Now wait a minute Robin Sue, what on earth are you talking about? What apron?

Well here it is, I have jumped into something I have never done before- a cooking competition. Nine other Food bloggers and I are competing against each other in Captain Morgan’s “Spice up the Holidays” food joust where we have to create an original cocktail, appetizer, and dessert, all using Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum or Black Rum. Thank you Captain Morgan for the 3 bottles of rum, apron, and $150 gift card!  But I somehow think we are competing with, not against each other though, because the real real winner is a charity, the charity of the champion’s choice that is. $1000 to a charity! There are a few other nice prizes as well, but a chance to win money for my charity the Wounded Warrior Project is what really drew me in to the competition and way out of my comfort zone.

So here’s the deal, next week I will post my recipes and entertaining tips for the party I will host, week three I will be posting a recap of my big “Spice up the Holidays” cocktail party (I’ve invited 40!), and then on the 4th week I will announce the winner of the competition- all judged by Spike Mendelsohn (oh my golly, Mister-Top-Chef-Contestant-owner-of-two-restaurants-Spike, yeah him- gulpity gulp!) Be kind Spike, I’m as tender as a kitten.

Help me “Spice up the Holidays” and win $1000 for my charity by sharing in the comments…
1. Your #1 all time best entertaining “Budget Tip” or
2. Your #1 all time best entertaining “Time Management Tip” or
3. Your #1 all time best entertaining “Decoration Tip” or
4. Your #1 all time best entertaining “Hospitality Tip”

I will share many of your tips in next weeks blog post!

Spice- the little touches and sprinklings of seasoning we add to make our Holidays special, allowing us to sit back and proclaim “This is the Life!”


  1. sabrina
    Posted November 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    my best ‘time management’ tip came from you long ago when we were in MOPS. Have the dishwasher empty before people come so you can just put the dishes in and run it when the party is over. I have whispered many a prayer of blessings on you for that tip. It has been the most helpful.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Sabrina! Now if only I can remember that one;-)

  2. Posted November 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    That’s awesome Robin Sue!!!

  3. Posted November 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    For time management for a big event I make a list of everything that must be done the day of the event and what time it will occur, then post it and follow it. I rarely miss things when I do it and food gets done when it supposed to be.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 24, 2012 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

      Good tip Larry! If I don’t write anything down, it never gets done!!

  4. Posted November 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Write down a list on all that needs to be done. Every time you remember what needs to be done or bought, add it to your list. Also do as much ahead of time as possible,and then check it off your list. Check your list as you do it but the day of your party, cross it completely off so that you know you haven’t forgotten anything. Make a copy and save a to do list on your computer, ready for the next event. Enjoy your party and guests for you have prepared well. MA

  5. Posted November 24, 2012 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    My biggest tip would be “don’t stress”. You are the only one who will know if everything got done for the party or anything is missing. No one else will know if you don’t tell them!

  6. Posted November 25, 2012 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Best budget tip – don’t try a new to you recipe on the big day – I’ve done that before and its not gone well! Tried and true wins the day.

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Robin!!

  7. Jane Cote
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Hi Robin – how cool is this competition! Spike M seems like such a nice guy when he is on the food network. A tip that has been working for me is to leave my scrapbook & photo albums out and about, strategically placed within eye shot of the guests. They’ll enjoy peeking through, & it will distract them while you get to finish up your last minute tasks. Best of luck!

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