Downloads: Robot of Leisure 2014 Calendar

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Boris and his sock puppet sidekick Beryl want to help you keep track of 2014. Download this business card-sized calendar and never miss a deadline this year!

Click the image to download the two-page PDF.

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Materials:
White cardstock or 28lb (brochure-weight) paper
desktop color printer
Scissors
small hole puncher
tiny brads (available at most craft stores)

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Instructions:
1. Print on white cardstock.
2. Cut out calendar sheets.
3. Punch small hole in top of each sheet.
4. Put calendar sheets in order.
5. Affix together with small brad.
6. Punch small hole in calendar cover.
7. Affix sheets to calendar cover.
8. Fold over front of calendar cover.
9. Fold under bottom 3/4” of cover back
to create calendar stand.
10. Set on desk.

Keep it in your wallet, on your desk, or wherever you most need to know the days of the week.

Happy 2014!

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Cocktails of Leisure: Cold Schnapp

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As the old year winds down and the New Year’s champagne chills, you may find you’re ready for a break from the egg nog yet still need a festive beverage. This frothy delight will take the edge off those end-of-the-year blues.

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Cold Schnapp combines milk, vodka, and Peppermint Schnapps in a concoction that will simultaneously cool and warm you while filling you with the proper amount of cheer.

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Ingredients:
4 oz milk
1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 oz Iceberg Vodka
half scoop of whipped topping

Instructions:
Pour milk, Schnapps and vodka into shaker. Add whipped topping. Shake for one minute. Pour into cocktail glass. Top with tablespoon of crushed candy canes.
Garnish with full candy cane.

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Downloads: Holiday Gift Tags

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The gifts are wrapped and ready for the tree. But wait! You forgot to label them! How will you remember who gets what? Boris has anticipated such a moment and posed for these cute gift tags for you.

Download the free PDF printable gift tags.

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Nibble ‘n’ Nosh: Perfect Peppermint Parfait

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Peppermint is a tricky flavor to get right in desserts. You’ll often find it paired with chocolate, white chocolate or vanilla during the holidays but rarely does it get a chance to stand on its own. After lots of experimentation in the Zükünfthaus kitchen, Boris has finally created the perfectly peppermint dessert.

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This peppermint custard parfait makes a great after-dinner dessert for any season. It’s sure to please hard core peppermint fans and turn the tastebuds of people who claim they hate minty foodstuffs.

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Peppermint Custard

Ingredients:
15 crushed peppermint candies (star brites red & white or plain white/clear)
1/4 c sugar
2 1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 egg
1 1/2 c milk
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

optional:
drops of red food coloring
1 tsp of extra peppermint extract (recommended for strong mint flavor)

Instructions:
1. Whisk sugar, corn starch and egg in medium saucepan until mixed
2. Whisk in milk
3. Slowly add crushed mints
4. Bring to a boil, gently stirring to prevent candies from sticking to bottom of pan
5. Boil two minutes, stirring constantly
6. Pour mixture into medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate 2 hours, then fold in whipped topping. Let refrigerate overnight for best peppermint flavor. Custard will keep for up to one week.

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Peppermint Custard Parfait

Serve:
small parfait glass
4 tsp Rice Krispies cereal (or other puffed rice cereal)
4 tsp custard
1 tsp crushed peppermint candies

Garnish with small candy cane. Makes 6-10 servings, depending on portion size.

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Downloads: Printable Holiday Ornaments

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Bored with your same old Christmas decorations? Celebrating your first holiday season and starting new traditions? Too lazy to go dig out last year’s decor? Why not print this set of holiday ornaments from Robot of Leisure?!

Boris poses as a Nutcracker, an elf, and two snowbots in this set of four ornaments. Print, cut, glue, and display! Use them as ornaments for your tree (or tree-like display) or string them together as a festive garland for your mantel.

Pair these with our Marshmallow Snowbots and you’ll have your holiday planning nearly sorted!

Download the free PDF printable ornaments.

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Music to Sip Cocktails By: Holiday Edition

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The local shops have been piping in holiday cheer over their loudspeakers since the last trick-or-treater went home. As such, we suffer from Bing burnout earlier in the season each year. If you are hosting a festive fête or need some tree-trimming tunes to set a merry mood but want to avoid the worn out Wham and the immutable Mariah, Boris has selected several season-appropriate alternatives for your hi-fi. Keep your holiday merry and bright with these five out-of-this-world records where the holiday standards are anything but standard!

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1. The Ventures’ Christmas Album

It’s beach blanket jingle bells when The Ventures bring their rockin’ surf vibe to the old holiday classics. Blast this record while you’re untangling those maddening strings of lights. Mid-century nostalgists may get a kick out of the mash-ups of “Tequila” with “Frosty the Snowman” and “I Feel Fine” with “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

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2. Merry Xmas From the Space-Age Bachelor Pad – Esquivel!

This record is everything you expect from an Esquivel production—whimsical arrangements, space age sounds, and just the right amount of zu-zu-pows. Some holiday tunes get a bit maudlin, but Juan Garcia keeps it all lighthearted and brisk. Perfect for rockin’ around that aluminum Christmas tree.

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3. Christmas Favorites – Hollyridge Strings

Set a more traditional musical mood with the Hollyridge Strings, a studio orchestra for Capitol Records best-known for orchestral versions of pop music artists of the 1960s and 1970s. Christmas Favorites is purely easy-listening and presents those familiar favorites in recognizable arrangements but has enough ’60s mod style to keep this instrumental album interesting.

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4. Ultra-Lounge: The Best of Christmas Cocktails

If you can’t get through the season without Dean and Bing and Nat “King,” you can pick up this album and still retain your hepcat cred. Ultra-Lounge’s The Best of Christmas Cocktails offers a collection of holiday standards by the usual suspects in a jazzy, lounge lizard environment. Put on your best smoking jacket and Santa hat and spin this record at your next shindig.

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 5. The Swingin’ Nutcracker – Shorty Rogers

Keep the jazz vibe going with another seasonal tradition presented in a non-traditional fashion. Shorty Rogers’ rendition of The Nutcracker gets you toe-tappin’ and finger-snappin’ in ways Tchaikovsky only dreamed.

Cocktails of Leisure: Chai One On

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In the cold months, happy hour tends to start a little earlier. Bring a little warmth to your cocktail hour with this brewed tea cocktail.

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One might not ordinarily consider mixing hot tea with alcohol, except for the occasional hot toddy, but it’s one of the easiest cocktail combinations. Even a simple black tea and vodka can take the edge off Jack Frost’s persistent nips.

This particular tea-based cocktail is a little more complex in its flavors yet simple in preparation. A bonus perk is its versatility from colder seasons to warmer as it can be served warm or chilled. Whether you’re snuggled up next to a fireplace or relaxing next to an outdoor fire pit, you can definitely Chai One On.

Chai One On is a milk tea with a kick. Chai tea gets a subtle boozy boost from the white rum and the milk heightens the flavor of the tea’s spices.

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Ingredients:
one chai tea bag
sugar
white rum (Bacardi)
milk (vanilla soymilk)

Instructions:
Brew tea as normal. Let steep for five minutes for strongest flavor.
To the cocktail glass, add the ingredients in the following order:
1. Add 1 oz. white rum to bottom of glass
2. Add 1-2 tsp of sugar (depending on your sweetness preference)
3. Pour warm chai tea over mixture
4. Slowly pour 2 tbsp of cold milk (straight from refrigerator, no special treatment needed). DO NOT STIR.

To get the effect as photographed, do not stir. The milk will sink to the bottom as the tea rises. The flavors will mix as you sip.

Experiment with variations. If you choose to serve piping hot with warm milk, try serving in a mug instead of a cocktail glass. To serve cold, chill the tea in the refrigerator after brewing.

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• Music to Sip Cocktails By: Martinis With Mancini

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