This week, David in San Antonio writes: "Brini, I recently moved into a new space. The office area has built-ins (which are great) and a desk area. The desk is a very unattractive 'white' formica. Besides replacing the whole piece of formica, is there anything I can do to jazz it up? Something to make it more Brini? David in San Antonio"
Sprucing up our new home with temporary fixes until we can afford to go whole hog is as American as apple pie. Many an old laminate surface has mucked up an otherwise charming room. Until you can get to replacing the top completely, why not try contact paper? This self adhesive wonder is available in many different styles and colors. If you can't find any you like, search eBay and Etsy for vintage varieties.
Careful application is important to achieve a clean look and avoid bubbles. This may not be the desktop you want to live with forever, but it will certainly do until you can replace the surface!
It's that time of year when Christmas music starts to be the soundtrack of our lives. This little number is from the 1974 Rankin & Bass special, Twas the Night Before Christmas starring Joel Gray & Tammy Grimes. It's fresh and bubbly and has a nice holiday theme to it.
This week, Timothy from Ontario asks: "Hello Brini, I can't seem to get my bathroom plumbing as clean and sparkling as I would like. Do you have any clever tips for cleaning taps and faucets?"
Keeping your faucets festive shouldn't be a problem. Mine wipe clean with just a touch of foaming bathroom cleaner and a few passes of a sponge. This may not be the case if you have hard water stains. These pesky white spots cling to your chrome and brass like nobody's business. They can be polished away, however, with a little toothpaste. Keep them sparkling by drying them after use or applying a little automobile wax.
Here's to a shine you can see your face in!
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This week we're celebrating Thanksgiving. Mary Ellen and I have combined forces to host friends and family for a traditional dinner. To kick it off I'm serving Raleigh Old Fashionds paired with an aged Gouda and spiced almonds. For the Old Fashioneds you'll need:
El Dorado 15 year old
Maraschino cherry juice
Wedge of peeled orange
El Dorado 12 year old
Maraschino cherry & orange peel for garnish
Begin by putting a teaspoon full of the sugar in a rocks glass. Add a splash of the 15 year old rum, two dashes of the bitters and a small splash of the cherry juice and orange wedge. Muddle the ingredients until they're well combined and fragrant. Then add a jigger of the 12 year old rum and top it off with the club soda. Add three ice cubes and the garnish and serve.
Why didn't you think of that?
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ABOUT BRINI MAXWELL:
Described as part Donna Reed, part Mary Tyler Moore, Maxwell makes kitsch feel classy through her unparalleled personal flair for home design, entertaining and savvy household tips. Inspired by a divine thrift shop purchase of 1950's nesting bowls, she first began sharing her vintage/classic know-how with other Manhattanites in 1998 through her self-titled cable access television show. With an emphasis on uncompromising fabulousness, Brini quickly garnered a devoted fan base and established herself as the go-to-girl on vintage fashion and mid-century modern treasures. After five years on the local airwaves her show was picked up by the Style Network. The subsequent series has been called a delightful success and has attracted a diverse audience thorough its national platform.
El Dorado Rum is a Rum brand produced by Demerara Distillers in Guyana.
Lured by the legend of a City of Gold ruled by a gilded King, his body dusted with gold, early explorers braved the ancient heartland of old Guiana in search of 'El Dorado' (the Golden One).
The legendary city of gold is reputed to have been Manoa, in the Rupununi region of the country.
Today you can discover the true gold of Guyana, El Dorado Rum -- a range of superb Demerara rums of unequalled quality and variety which have consistently won the highest International awards.
Their unique flavour and taste is much due to the tropical climate of this lush country of Guyana - which translates from its Amerindian name "Land of many waters" - and the three centuries of rum production along the banks of the Demerara river.
The flavours of the oak wood from the barrels and the complexities of the interaction between wood and spirit are greatly enhanced by the tropical climate of Guyana. The ageing process there is greatly speeded up by the high humidity and steady temperature -- resulting in an El Dorado 8 year old rum, for instance, having a maturity equal to that of a 16 year old spirit produced in colder climates.
El Dorado rums are blended selections of different 'vintages' or batches of rums from different stills - aged in oak barrels. The age statement specifically indicates the youngest rum in the blend, even though the oldest may be many years older. This rule is the same as the one for Scotch Whisky and is used for rums produced in English-speaking countries. In contrast, the age statement on the label of rums produced by the Solera system indicates the oldest rum contained in the blend. This is a traditional method of ageing used in Sherry production and is usually associated with rums from Spanish-speaking countries.
El Dorado Rum Cream Liqueur - 16.5%
El Dorado Black Label - A low-aged rum
El Dorado Spiced Rum - A blend of aged Demerara rums and carefully selected natural spices
El Dorado Superior White Rum - A light, dry rum
El Dorado Superior Gold Rum - A light, dry rum
El Dorado Superior Dark Rum - A full bodied lightly aged rum
El Dorado Superior High Strength Rum - 151 proof
El Dorado 5 Years - Aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 5 years
El Dorado 12 Years - Aged in oaken casks for a minimum of 12 years
El Dorado 15 Years - A blend of select aged rums, each of the constituent rums is at least 15 years
El Dorado 21 Years - A blend of select aged rums, each of the constituent rums is at least 21 years
El Dorado 25 Years - Aged in oak casks for a minimum of 25 years