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Laloom’s Guide to…The Party Season!

Christmas is only 9 weeks away, and parties to celebrate will come even sooner than that!  Have you got some events you're looking forward to?  In one of our previous blogs, I introduced you to some of the most valuable friendships in my life, the sisterhood, aka 'The Book Club'.  We're already planning our Christmas meetup.  It will involve Summer Cocktails with a Christmassy spin (aka with red and white candy cane-like straws sticking out) and no doubt a bit of singing (befitting of the season and in light of the liquid confidence) on the Noosa Ferry or River Cruise, followed by a Dinner at a local restaurant by the river.

Fun Traditions
Our 'Book Club' has always had a much debated Kris Kringle tradition...The rules change from time to time but the basic principle is that we each buy a present to a pre-agreed value (never a great amount, making it more challenging to be creative).  Each gift is wrapped and one by one our names are pulled out of a hat to draw a mystery pressie.  Each consecutive person can exchange their present with anyone else, or keep what they've drawn.  Then, at the end, the first person drawn out of the hat can choose between all the gifts.  As you can imagine there's a bit of hiding presents, friendly arguments, and garbled laughs.  I can imagine what a funny sight we make - a room full of ladies wearing flashing Santa earrings, Christmas hats, shiny tinsel and what not.  We have so much fun and laughter!  At Laloom, this is what we believe the festive season should be about, friends and family.  Get together, create fun memories full of love and laughter, relax, let your hair down and just have fun...of course relaxed dress code - cool, comfortable and effortless.  Kaftan dresses are perfect for these times, not to mention their bright colours reflect the jolly mood.

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In this photo:  Liberty Long Kaftan Dress

We're inspired by that summer festive feeling and in this week's blog post wanted to share with you some delicious (and healthy too) cocktails and canapés you can indulge in without the guilt!

Summer Cocktails and Canapés
The summer holiday season means parties with friends, family gatherings, and lots and lots of yummy cocktails and food!  Here are some recipes you'll love (that won't break your resolve to adhering to a healthy lifestyle).

Cosmo

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Sip away in your favourite kaftan dress, this low-calorie version (just 218 calories) of a summer favourite:  In a cocktail shaker (or ask the bartender for) - 1 shot (2 ounces) of citrus flavoured vodka, 1 splash of club soda, 1 splash of cranberry juice, juice of 1 lime.  Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.

cosmos for guide to party season blog

In this photo:  Cosmos Long Kaftan Dress

Smoked Salmon Bites

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Here's a simple appetiser you can throw together in no time (just like the kaftan style) and the perfect 'introduction' to your holiday celebration.

Choose your favourite light biscuit wafers
DIY topping - Greek yoghurt, cream cheese, freshly chopped dill, fresh lemon juice and salt to taste or another creamy dipping you like at the supermarket (low in fat, greek yoghurt based)
Slices of smoked salmon
Capers or fresh dill for garnish

Mojito

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Fill a martini shaker with 1 cup of ice.  Add 6 lime wedges, 1 1/2 tbsp of lime juice, and 2 tbsp of torn fresh mint leaves.  Grind some lime and mint with a pestle or a long spoon until well-bruised and fragrant.  Next combine 1/2 tsp warmed honey, 2 ounces of rum, and 4 ounces of club soda; stir gently to dissolve honey.  Add to mixture; stir until mixture is well-chilled.  Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice; garnish with mint and lime slices, if desired.

Vegetarian Summer Rice Rolls

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These spring rolls are really healthy and not fried (you won't worry about one of your silk kaftans getting stained).  They make a lovely change for a summer party, served with one or both of the dipping sauces.

The Rolls:

8 small rice paper wrappers
1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 medium Lebanese cucumber, peeled and cut into ribbons (see note)
1 medium avocado, peeled and cut into strips

Step 1 - Pour warm water into a heatproof bowl until half full.  Dip 1 rice paper wrapper in water.  Place on a flat surface.  Stand for 20 to 30 seconds or until soft enough to roll without splitting.

Step 2 - Place one-eighth of lettuce along 1 edge of 1 wrapper.  Top with one-eighth of carrot, cucumber, and avocado.

Step 3 - Fold in ends.  Roll up firmly to enclose filling.  Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent roll drying out.  Repeat with remaining wrappers, lettuce, carrot, cucumber and avocado.

Serve with homemade dipping sauce

If you wish to make the rolls more filling, add 1 cup of cooked thin rice noodles to the fillings.

Homemade Dipping Sauce:

1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 - 1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon/lime juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar

In a small bowl, mix all together

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

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Imagine relaxing in your beach kaftan with a gorgeous cocktail like this - and it's easy to make (don't wait to get to some exotic resort to enjoy it).  Puree 1 1/2 cups of cubed watermelon, 1 cup of tequila, 1/2 cup of lime juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3 cups of ice in a blender.  Divide amongst glasses; garnish with lime and watermelon.

Share with us some of your summer favourites by visiting our Facebook page.

(note:  all images used in this blog post other than Laloom kaftan dresses are stock free to use images from Canva)

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