BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Straight from the Vine

Noiret Grapes in our vineyard covered with snow

With the holiday parties and cold weather activities taking charge, one might be looking for an easy party punch that smells yummy while brewing yet tasty like warm cider.  Well, here’s one simple recipe to test drive this holiday season. We already whipped up this 'Better Homes and Gardens' punch on Thanksgiving Day in our own test kitchen. You guessed it - this punch was a hit. 

What made it a tad more special was using wine produced from our own vines. But any dry white should do for this warm, sweet concoction. This Hot Scarlet Wine Punch comes straight from a book laden with great decorating ideas, ‘Better Homes and Gardens – Celebrate the Season 2014’. This recipe is a definite must-try if you love to hit the easy button. Isn't that the idea during the busy holiday season?

Hot Scarlet Wine Punch:
What you need:

2 inches stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1 32-ounce bottle cranberry juice (4 cups)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 750 –milliliter bottle white Zinfandel or dry white wine
Whole fresh cranberries (optional)

What you do: Three easy steps:
1) For spice bag, cut a double thickness of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth into a 6-inch square. Place cinnamon and cloves in the center of the cloth.  Bring the corners together and tie closed with clean kitchen string. In a 3 ½ or 4-quart slow cooker, combine spice bag, cranberry juice, and brown sugar.
2) Cover and heat on low-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours or on high-heat setting for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove and discard the spice bag.
3) Remove and discard the spice bag. If using low-heat setting, turn slow cooker to high-heat setting. Stir wine into the punch. Cover and heat for 30 minutes more. Serve immediately or keep warm, covered, on low –heat setting up to 2 hours. Ladle punch into heatproof cups. If desired, garnish with cranberries on skewers. Makes 14 (4-ounce) servings.

When it comes to making holiday cheer easy, this Hot Scarlet Wine Punch should do the trick. 

Grapes ripening in our vineyard

Harvesting the grapes
Taking a skip past the recipe and grapevine talk, here's an image shared yesterday on our FB page. It's a Ben perspective regarding #GivingTuesday. So when you hit those rough spots of light deprivation, keep looking for the positive. Tune into nature and surround yourself with what you love.
And for those that love a daily quote, it's the words of M. Scott Peck that resonate how to celebrate and make the most of the holiday moment. "Share our similarities, celebrate our differences." Until the next post, the next thought, the next photo...look here for garden, design and inspiration overall. The blog train should keep chugging through the winter months. 

© All Images – Property of Bilowz Associates Inc.

If you like this blog, check in for your daily share's worth of garden inspiration, landscape architecture and design tips; always original, not cookie cutter and copied. Just like our design work, we strive for unique! We invite you to contact Bilowz Associates, Inc., or to browse our portfolios. Like our Facebook follow on Twitter or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.  And you can also find us back on our Google+ Business Page. (Landscape architects/Landscape Design/serving Massachusetts and New England.)

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)