Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ice Cream Soda, All Grown up.

Summertime hits and everyone goes into slim & trim mode trying to get themselves looking right before the end of the season arrives. Usually people realize its too damn hot to be running around and working out, so they give up and go back to trying to staying cool while drinking lots of cold libations to stay fueled up.

A great treat that can be made at home for a fraction of the cost of what you find them for at stores is the always classic “Ice Cream Soda” not to be confused with the Rootbeer Float.

Today June 30th, is National Ice Cream Soda Day.
Take a few moments, take yourself back your childhood and make a few of these for yourself and the kids.

If the Ice Cream Soda is going to be for yourself, kick it up a notch with a few dashes of flavored rum such as Bacardi Dragon Berry or any one of the million flavors offered up by Malibu.

Either way, enjoy this drink today, tomorrow and over the weekend when the temperatures are expected to reach 100. 

Whatever you choose to do, do it responsibly.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perfect Puree of Napa Valley - 4th of July Libations

Happy Fourth of July!
Celebrate our nation's Independence Day with festive cocktails. Here are a few recipes inspired by some of our favorite places, icons and flavors featuring ourCulinary Traditions fruit purees and concentrates and Beverage Artistrybeverage bases.
Ginger or Maryanne?
Mark Massie
    Combine all ingredients into a pint glass filled with ice. Shake vigorously in a Boston Shaker for 10 seconds. Pour into a glass and serve.
    Veeva Las Vegas
    Dana M. Bruner/The Perfect Purée
    • 1 oz. Veev Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Perfect Purée Cherry, thawed
    • ¼ oz. Perfect Purée Blood Orange Concentrate, thawed
    • 1/8 oz. Perfect Purée Key LimeConcentrate, thawed
    • ½ oz. simple syrup
    Combine ingredients into a pint glass with ice. Shake with a Boston Shaker and strain into a martini glass.  
    Freaky Tiki
    Dana M. Bruner/The Perfect Purée
    Place all ingredients into a pitcher. Pour into ice filled glasses.
    Apple Pie Martini
    Dana M. Bruner/The Perfect Purée
    • 1 ½ oz. Mount Gay Vanilla Rum
    • 2 oz. Perfect Purée Green Apple, thawed
    • ¼ oz. Perfect Purée Key LimeConcentrate, thawed
    • ½ oz. maple syrup
    • cinnamon sugar rimmer
    Coat the edge of a martini glass with Key Lime. Dip the edge into a mixture of superfine sugar and cinnamon. Place glass into the  freezer. Combine maple syrup, Green Apple, Key Lime and Rum into a pint glass with ice. Shake vigorously with a cocktail shaker for 10 seconds. Strain and pour entire mixture into martini glass. Garnish with a thin wheel of a Granny Smith apple (optional).

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Recipe Of The Day: Jamaican Jerk Chicken

    Everyone loves Jerk Chicken and lately I have been getting hit up by alot of my good friends for a simple but authentic tasting Jerk Chicken recipe. The great thing about this recipe is that the flavors come together without overpowering one another and it is really easy to make. In the Summertime this a real hit by the poolside with a few cold Red Stripe Beers, Some shots of Mango Juice & Patron and some cold Ambrosia. With everyone trying to be healthy the chicken really helps work itself into most diets, that is unless your on the no flavor diet then this isn't for you.
    (Click read more, for the entire recipe)

    Soulful Sunday - The Heath Brothers "Smilin' Billy Suite" pt. 2

    Soulful Sunday - Donald Byrd "Flight Time"

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    National Praline Day

    With tomorrow (June 24th) being National Praline Day, I figured I would take a moment and get your acquainted with one of the most slept on, yet irresistable treats there is on the face of this Earth.
    French settlers brought Pralines to Louisiana, where both sugar cane and pecan trees were plentiful. 

    During the 19th century, New Orleans chefs substituted pecans for almonds, added cream to thicken the confection, and thus created what became known throughout the American South as the praline. Pralines have a creamy consistency, similar to fudge.

    Pralines are usually made by combining sugar (often brown), butter and cream or buttermilk in a pot on medium-high heat and stirring constantly, until most of the water has evaporated and it has reached a thick texture with a brown color.
    Then they are usually dropped by spoonfuls onto waxpaper or a sheet of aluminum foil greased with butter, and left to cool.

    These days companies such as Praline d’Antie, have upped the ante and taken Pralines, coffee drinking and afger dining desserts to a whole other level.
    With flavors such as Vanilla Green Tea Pistachio, Irish Cream Macadamia, Orange Pecan and many many more, candy lovers and non candy lovers alike will find themselves searching for more once they have had a single bite. The deliciously rich texture the Pralines made by Praline d’Antie contain is something EVERYONE (especially those with a heightened palate who love coffee or tea after dinner) can enjoy.
    Celebrate National Praline Day accordingly and get some quality Pralines tonight.

    For more info on Praline d’Antie check out their website: Praline d’

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    On Another Note... Happy Birthday Tupac

    in his Honor here is one of favorite Tupac videos.

    #FoodHoliday National Fudge Day

    Today being National Fudge Day, I figured I would share a recipe that 3 things; easy to make, not the slightest bit healthy and so damn delicious no one will be able to put the finalized product down. 
    Classic Chocolate Walnut Fudge is something my Grandmother taught me to make when I was child and we would make it every year around the Holidays.
    It stuck with me, my entire life and as I got older I realized it was those moments, spending time in the kitchen with my elders that really turned me into the individual I became today.

    Often times Parents and Grandparents have little to no time to teach their children these kinds of classic recipes, resulting in the loss of tradition and more importantly the loss of bonding that can be achieved.
    I’m not going to get all sentimental on you, cause that isn’t how we get down over here, but take a moment and reflect on what kinds of things stuck with you, your entire life. I am sure a few of those memories came from spending time with your older loved ones.

    Nine times out of ten people are scared to make Fudge or things of that nature because they fear they might eat it all or the science of boiling sugar to the correct stage mystifies them. With everyone being so self conscious about how they look, these kinds of classic desserts have had to take a back seat to healthier, lighter treats. Well forget your diet today, make some Fudge, spend some time with your loved ones and maybe even make a care package for your Grandparents, I am sure they will love it.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    National Herbs & Spices Day

    June 10th is National Herbs & Spices Day.

    Herbs & Spices are to some extent the basis on which many nations were built. At one point and time believe it or not, Spices such as Black Pepper were far more valuable than Gold. Culinary use of the term “Herb” typically distinguishes between herbs, from the leafy green parts of a plant and spices from the other parts of the plant including seeds, berries, bark, roots, and fruit. Culinary Herbs are distinguished vegetables in that, like spices they are used in small amounts and provide Flavor rather than Substance to food.

    Great Culinary Herbs such as lavender, thyme, basil, rosemary, bay laurel should to highlighted as some of the most flavor enhancing herbs that are commonly used.
    Spices on the other hand are dried seeds, fruit, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents growth. 
    Many spices, like herbs, are used for their medicinal effects;
    for example, tumeric is used as preservative, liquorice is used as a medicine, garlic as a vegetable and numerous other cases can be found around the world of just such uses.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Sugar Fix Desserts

    I slid through this fresh bakery in Pasadena the other day and got some treats. Everything was great but what especially stood apart from the rest where the Pineapple Upside Down Cupcake and the Campfire Cupcake. It truly takes a bit of skill, patience and know how, to create something as light and fluffy yet full over natural fresh flavors like Sugar Fix does with these two delights.

    I also noticed that their boxes don't have that typical slick layer on them like most bakery's, which I don't know about you, but I feel like sometimes that stuff comes off under moist cupcakes.
    Anyways check em out and enjoy some great desserts, from pies, to cupcakes to tea cakes and oatmeal cookies, they do things right.

    For more info on where to find them check out their website: Sugar Fix Desserts
    And also check back next week when we do a full review of all the goodies they have to offer.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Classic Recipe Of The Day: 4 Pepper Deviled Eggs

    There is nothing like some chilled but spicy Deviled Eggs. It is one of those treats that you can mess around and eat about 10 or 15 by yourself if you don't pay attention to what your doing. The great thing is about these that makes them so great is the added kick of heat the 4 pepper blend combined with the creamy egg mixture and hint of Dijon to back it up.

    As with any other food that contains the ingredients included in these beauties, make sure you keep them cold and out of direct sunlight. Nothing ruins a party faster than a case of Eggs Gone Wild.
    Enjoy them by dozen this evening, regardless of who is watching or who sleeps next you come the end of the night

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    In Honor Of National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day We Present: The Supreme Plate Sundae

    Many of us were unaware that today was actually National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day, but none the less we are always in support of any food holiday regardless of it's origin. There are very few people who don't love old fashioned Rocky Road Ice Cream. But when you hook it up with the waffle cone, some chocolate syrup and a few other key ingredients, it is like an instant trip down memory lane that cant be resisted.
    Get your instant vintage on with this great recipe for a sundae tonight.