Chocolate Body Paint!

Hah! I knew the title would get your attention! However, I must say that this is a thoroughly good use for this recipe which is really more of a vegan ganache. But because the primary ingredients are coconut oil, cocoa powder and carob, it melts down to the loveliest consistency and would be wonderful drawn all over your sweetie! Come on, don't be shy! All of the ingredients are very nourishing for your skin and the taste is divine!


I created this recipe one evening about a month ago in San Diego when an old friend of mine from high school and his wife were coming over for dinner. My sons girlfriend and I had been at Whole Foods that afternoon and decided to create a wonderful vegan meal starting with watermelon and jalapeno soup and ending with rolls of rice paper  that we stuffed with plum and basil and strawberries, banana and mint. Of course they wouldn't have been complete without a sauce but we couldn't use the traditional butter and heavy cream to make one. What I did use was carob, coconut oil, cocoa powder, coconut milk and some agave nectar all blended in my VitaMix. The  result was a delightful accident, a byproduct of experimentation plus a certain amount of crazy creativity. It was absolutely delicious and a perfect foil for the luscious fruit wraps that we had prepared.

 I have since taken this recipe and modified it a bit adding toasted hazelnuts to make a vegan nutella and at Cassie's suggestion , silken tofu to make a filling for a tart that we poured into a raw nut crust. It is really a wonderful base for so many things. For the record, if you don't already own a VitaMix, this recipe is a very good excuse to buy one and it will pay for itself time and time again. The VitaMix is a very high powered blender and it can take cubes of ice and whole fruits , skin seeds and all and pulverize them into the most amazing smoothies in no time flat! I have created soups in mine that were wonderful and in about 1/4 of the time that I would normally spend. Fresh nut butters and homemade nut milks are easy to make and only take about 5 minutes of preparation! I knew that I could probably make this ganache in my regular blender , but I would have had to waste too much time pulverizing the ingredients first. It can be done and the results should be excellent, but the VitaMix is so strong that it melted everything for me in no time flat, creating a sauce that was as velvety as any ganache that I've enjoyed and without any of the dairy to mask the pure flavors! 

To make about  2 cups of delectable "Body Paint" you  will need:

I bag of sweetened organic carob chips
3  tablespoons of good cocoa powder- I love the Green and Black
A liberal dash of cinnamon
1 cup of coconut oil - The Whole Foods 365 brand is very good
Agave nectar to taste
Coconut milk to thin as needed -about 1/2  cup

The formula is simple! Just put all of the ingredients into your blender or VitaMix and move it through the settings until you are rewarded with a melting and creamy sauce! If I were doing this in the blender I would probably warm the ingredients first over a double boiler and then put them into the pitcher. You really do need the emulsifying effect of the blender though because as the mixture whips it will thicken a bit like mayonnaise. Add the agave to taste and coconut milk to create a smoother consistency and then pour into a sauce boat to serve! Because of the coconut oil and  carob chips the sauce with begin to solidify but it will still be silky and wonderful. At room temperature it's definitely a sauce but once you put it into the refrigerator it will solidify a bit and turn into a creamy ganache. Either way it's wonderful! I hope that you'll enjoy experimenting with this recipe, I haven't tried it yet but I'm pretty sure that a bit of espresso powder would  be a lively addition! Heat it up a bit and you have a fondue to be served with bananas and pound cake! How about marshmallows! The possibilities are endless, but I think that I like it best served up with a silken sable paint brush!

I do hope that you will take some time with someone that you love and enjoy! 



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Frozen Cocktails From Xrated Fusion!

My friend Katrina Taft at the Rose Group sends me fabulous press releases about cocktails all of the time. I though that this one was too good not to share! All of these recipes feature my summer favorite, XRated Fusion Liqueur, a sexy blend of passion Fruit, blood orange and mango. Delicious and refreshing, make any of these your signature cocktail at your next party!

Pink


"Almost everyone remembers cooling down in the summer heat with the Slurpee or the Icee.  Those may have been the good ol’ days, but our predilections have matured since – time to chill with a sexier, more sophisticated, and more tempting bevy of ice-blended drinks.  As the nights heat up this year, prove your party-throwing prowess with a sexy soiree thrown right at home.  The margarita is always a hit, but expand your horizons and earn points for ingenuity with these ice-cold summer libations. 

 
Since your friends bring all the heat, focus on keeping the temperature down with frosty, easy-to-make cocktails.  Straight from the get-go, greet guests with an explosive and icy treat from X-Rated Fusion Liqueur.  It’s always been great on its own, but when blended with ice and a few easy-to-find ingredients, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur cocktails are undeniable showstoppers – perfect for this bash and the next.  
 
X-Rated Fusion Liqueur is a sensuous blend of smooth, French vodka mingling with blood orange, mango and passion fruit, ideal for quenching your summertime thirst.  June, July, and August are the perfect months to experience this sensual blend in a sensational blended cocktail.  The long-awaited heat should be enjoyed in style, and the sun is best enjoyed with X-Rated Fusion Liqueur with ice – blended and cubed.
It’s the perfect accessory to toast with under the scorching summer sun!" 
 
Blood Orange Freeze  

3 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz Light rum
∏ oz Grenadine
 
Blend ingredients in a blender with ice.  Garnish with a slice of blood orange.
 
Created by Dave Grimes at the Mattison Park in Asbury Park, New Jersey

Racer X
2oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
2 slices of Peeled Cucumber
12 Red Seedless Grapes
Blend all ingredients with ice in a blender.  Garnish with slices of cucumber.
 
Created by Kevin Baker at the Isla Cantina in West Hollywood, California

Rosarita
1 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz Cabo Wabo Tequila
2 oz Sour Mix
2 oz Blood Orange Puree
 
Blend ingredients in a blender with ice.  Garnish with slice of lime and lemon.
 
Created by John Coyne at the Pub 17 in Ramsey, New Jersey


Pink Pineapple
2 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
2 oz SKYY Infusions Pineapple
3 slices of fresh pineapple
1 pineapple slice for garnish
 
Blend all ingredients with ice in a blender for 20 seconds.  Garnish with pineapple slice.
 
Created by Barbi Caruso at Luau in Beverly Hills, California
 

Smooth Fusion
Blend the following Ingredients:
2 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
2 oz Half & Half
1π oz of Simple Syrup
π oz Banana
1 Strawberry for Garnish
1 Scoop of Ice (this may vary based on the quality of ice)
  
Pour into wine glass and rim with pink sugar (dip glass rim in grenadine and then rim granulated sugar). Place a strawberry on the rim of the glass and serve.
Created by Derwayne Chesterman in San Diego, California
 


Volcanix
Blend the following ingredients:
1 Scoop of Ice
1 oz White Rum
3 oz Pina Colada Mix
1 Wedge of Pineapple (no skin) or1 oz of Pineapple Juice
In a frozen Hurricane glass, pour a dash of blended ingredients into the bottom of the glass and then add an ounce of X-Rated Fusion.
Pour more of the blended cocktail to halfway up the glass and add: 1oz X Rated Fusion.
Top off the glass with the rest of the blended cocktail.
The effect should be a swirl of pink throughout the glass.
Created by Derwayne Chesterman in San Diego, California


It's the Preakness! Time for a Black Eyed Susan!

Besdrink07 Streetsense_110406_200x175 Well, it's almost time for the running of the Preakness Stakes, and all eyes are on Street Sense, the gorgeous bay colt  who barnstormed the Kentucky Derby in such an incredible fashion.  WIll there be a triple crown winner this year? Only the fates know for sure, but no matter what, we'll be having great food and excellent drinks to see us through to the last furlong !

Crab Cakes with Louis sauce, smoked oysters and fried chicken, these are the staples for a good Preakness party! But, you've got to have a special drink, and in Maryland on this day it's the Black Eyed Susan!

This is a another classic, and it's so simple to make!

You'll need,

2 parts exceptional Bourbon

1 Part Citron vodka

3 parts sweet and sour mix

1 part freshly squeezed orange juice

Shake together, pour into a goreous tall glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry (preferably homemade!)

Oh HAY! It's post time and I'll be back after the race!


It's the Preakness! Time for a Black Eyed Susan!

Besdrink07 Streetsense_110406_200x175 Well, it's almost time for the running of the Preakness Stakes, and all eyes are on Street Sense, the gorgeous bay colt  who barnstormed the Kentucky Derby in such an incredible fashion.  WIll there be a triple crown winner this year? Only the fates know for sure, but no matter what, we'll be having great food and excellent drinks to see us through to the last furlong !

Crab Cakes with Louis sauce, smoked oysters and fried chicken, these are the staples for a good Preakness party! But, you've got to have a special drink, and in Maryland on this day it's the Black Eyed Susan!

This is a another classic, and it's so simple to make!

You'll need,

2 parts exceptional Bourbon

1 Part Citron vodka

3 parts sweet and sour mix

1 part freshly squeezed orange juice

Shake together, pour into a goreous tall glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry (preferably homemade!)

Oh HAY! It's post time and I'll be back after the race!


Classic Mint Julep with wink to Southern Living Magazine!

Julep I love Mint Juleps! I'm one of those "horsey girls" with a deep appreciation of Kentucky racing tradition, and the Mint Julep is definitely part of that! There's something about that alluring combination of mint syrup with the crushed ice and the best bourbon, as the band plays "My Old Kentucky Home" that sets me to tears. There's almost nothing that I love more than a Kentucky Derby Party and it's the perfect occasion for this drink. Fast horses, Gorgeous hats, a bit of bourbon, a fine gentleman and a wager or two creates a perfect day!    

Because I am so "equestrian" (my cousin's nickname for me was "horse") only Blanton's BourbonBlantons,with the cute pewter horse on the stopper will do! Blantons has a lovely smoky flavor, laced with burnt caramel that is absolutely luscious with the mint and sugar!

  I have one other requirement for my Mint Juleps and that is that they MUST be served in a proper Julep cup. It can be silverplate, sterling or pewter, but a metal cup is a must. Quite simply, it keeps the drink colder longer. Also, the metallic tinge of the glass provides a delightful  top note to the drink , a bit like what a touch of jasmine does to a predominantly rose perfume. Please trust me on this one!

I wish that I could take credit for this recipe, but this is the classic Julep recipe from Southern Living Magazine. It is simply the best version that I've found. To start, you must make a simple mint syrup which is very easy. Take a cup of water and a cup of sugar and bring it to a boil stirring often until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add about 12 fresh sprigs of mint and refrigerate for 24 hours in a jar with a lid.  Remove the mint  after the infusing period and you are ready to go!

Next.......

3 fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon simple mint syrup

Crushed ice

1 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon

One 4-inch cocktail straw or coffee stirrer

fresh mint sprig

Powdered sugar (optional)

Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

It's that simple...gentility in a glass!

Mint Juleps are amazing stirred and served with good friends and horse races, Hunter Trials in autumn, homemade cheese straws and ham biscuits!

Tally Ho!

Photographs  are from Blantons Bourbon and Southern Living online.


Classic Mint Julep with wink to Southern Living Magazine!

Julep I love Mint Juleps! I'm one of those "horsey girls" with a deep appreciation of Kentucky racing tradition, and the Mint Julep is definitely part of that! There's something about that alluring combination of mint syrup with the crushed ice and the best bourbon, as the band plays "My Old Kentucky Home" that sets me to tears. There's almost nothing that I love more than a Kentucky Derby Party and it's the perfect occasion for this drink. Fast horses, Gorgeous hats, a bit of bourbon, a fine gentleman and a wager or two creates a perfect day!    

Because I am so "equestrian" (my cousin's nickname for me was "horse") only Blanton's BourbonBlantons,with the cute pewter horse on the stopper will do! Blantons has a lovely smoky flavor, laced with burnt caramel that is absolutely luscious with the mint and sugar!

  I have one other requirement for my Mint Juleps and that is that they MUST be served in a proper Julep cup. It can be silverplate, sterling or pewter, but a metal cup is a must. Quite simply, it keeps the drink colder longer. Also, the metallic tinge of the glass provides a delightful  top note to the drink , a bit like what a touch of jasmine does to a predominantly rose perfume. Please trust me on this one!

I wish that I could take credit for this recipe, but this is the classic Julep recipe from Southern Living Magazine. It is simply the best version that I've found. To start, you must make a simple mint syrup which is very easy. Take a cup of water and a cup of sugar and bring it to a boil stirring often until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add about 12 fresh sprigs of mint and refrigerate for 24 hours in a jar with a lid.  Remove the mint  after the infusing period and you are ready to go!

Next.......

3 fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon simple mint syrup

Crushed ice

1 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon

One 4-inch cocktail straw or coffee stirrer

fresh mint sprig

Powdered sugar (optional)

Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

It's that simple...gentility in a glass!

Mint Juleps are amazing stirred and served with good friends and horse races, Hunter Trials in autumn, homemade cheese straws and ham biscuits!

Tally Ho!

Photographs  are from Blantons Bourbon and Southern Living online.


Southern Sweet Tea!

Sweettea

I love Southern Sweet Tea! To me, there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day although I'll happily drink it at any time! I've put it in the magical potions category because that's truly what it is, a drink made with care and love that gives as good as it gets. Southern hospitality is laced with so many wonderful things, old silver, fresh biscuits, lazy days and a wraparound porch, but the blood of the South is definitely made up of sweet tea and perhaps a touch of Bourbon!

I'm not a southern girl by birth, but just in my heart. I love my southern girlfriends with their naughty charm and their flirtatious ways. It is in their honor that I give you this recipe, simple as can be yet as potent as Mardi Gras! A huge plate of homemade cookies or a delicious Lane cake, and you are only a friend or two short of a party!  Store bought dessert on a gorgeous cake plate is fine too, "cause sugar it's the thought that counts!"

By the way, don't balk at the amount of sugar in this tea, because that's what makes it grand. Add some organic storebought lemonade and you've got an "Arnold Palmer"! Steep some fresh mint in it along with the tea and you've got ambrosia! Most importantly, serve it in a long tall glass, with ice made from branch water (a fancy name for pure stream water!) and a squeeze of lemon or a sprig of mint.

For a good pitcher of tea you will need to bring about a quart of water to boil, turn off the heat and add 4 tea bags. In spite of all of my "fancy" teas, I use Constant Comment, which is a basic "good ol'" orange pekoe spice blend.   A lovely country music star who came into my store one evening swore by Pappy's sassafras tea concentrate  https://www.sassafrastea.com/, so much so that when she got back to Nashville she sent me some!  No matter what you use,  let it steep and add about a cup of sugar, stirring the sugar until it's melted. This is the key, adding the sugar when the tea is hot, otherwise,  it just doesn't taste right!  Let the mixture cool, and put it into a pitcher, adding spring water to taste. Stick it into the refrigerator and wait for intense heat and real good company!

PIcture courtesy of teamuse.com


Southern Sweet Tea!

Sweettea

I love Southern Sweet Tea! To me, there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day although I'll happily drink it at any time! I've put it in the magical potions category because that's truly what it is, a drink made with care and love that gives as good as it gets. Southern hospitality is laced with so many wonderful things, old silver, fresh biscuits, lazy days and a wraparound porch, but the blood of the South is definitely made up of sweet tea and perhaps a touch of Bourbon!

I'm not a southern girl by birth, but just in my heart. I love my southern girlfriends with their naughty charm and their flirtatious ways. It is in their honor that I give you this recipe, simple as can be yet as potent as Mardi Gras! A huge plate of homemade cookies or a delicious Lane cake, and you are only a friend or two short of a party!  Store bought dessert on a gorgeous cake plate is fine too, "cause sugar it's the thought that counts!"

By the way, don't balk at the amount of sugar in this tea, because that's what makes it grand. Add some organic storebought lemonade and you've got an "Arnold Palmer"! Steep some fresh mint in it along with the tea and you've got ambrosia! Most importantly, serve it in a long tall glass, with ice made from branch water (a fancy name for pure stream water!) and a squeeze of lemon or a sprig of mint.

For a good pitcher of tea you will need to bring about a quart of water to boil, turn off the heat and add 4 tea bags. In spite of all of my "fancy" teas, I use Constant Comment, which is a basic "good ol'" orange pekoe spice blend.   A lovely country music star who came into my store one evening swore by Pappy's sassafras tea concentrate  https://www.sassafrastea.com/, so much so that when she got back to Nashville she sent me some!  No matter what you use,  let it steep and add about a cup of sugar, stirring the sugar until it's melted. This is the key, adding the sugar when the tea is hot, otherwise,  it just doesn't taste right!  Let the mixture cool, and put it into a pitcher, adding spring water to taste. Stick it into the refrigerator and wait for intense heat and real good company!

PIcture courtesy of teamuse.com