Tag Archives: alcoholic beverages

The Tour of #Italy Party

25 Aug

I was busy last week preparing for an Italian-inspired birthday party!

The menu was a production in itself and I’d love to share it you! We paired the salads with a crisp white wine and the second course with bold Chianti. YUM!

Our journey begins in Venice.

Aperitivo

The Classic Bellini

This blend of white peach puree & Prosecco was created at the legendary Harry’s Bar just steps away from the Grand Canal.

Antipasti

Capocollo, Sopressata, Genoa Salame, Artichokes, Olives & Assorted Cheeses 

Imagine yourself anywhere in Italy. It seems all provinces claim to be the birthplace of antipasto. Antipasti literally means “before the
pasta” & is intended to whet one’s appetite for the pleasures to come.

Insalata

Mixed Greens & Herb Salad with Figs & Walnuts

A variety of figs grow across Italy. This versatile salad
can be found in most coastal regions.

Caprese di Mozzarella with Tomatoes, Basil, & Pancetta

Although some say this simple & popular salad originated
in Capri, it is actually a recipe from the region of Campania.

Pane

Served with Tuscan Bread

Primi Piatti

Penne alla Puttanesca

A fast & easy pasta dish from the Tuscan region and South.  The
ingredients are typical of Southern Italy.

Secondi Piatti

Il Pollo Marsala

This well-known chicken dish originated in Sicily where Marsala wine is produced.

Dolci e Caffe

Tiramisu

Known all over the world as the representative dessert of Italy, this stimulating mixture of espresso,
cocoa, sugar & liqueur actually means “pull me up.” It was created in Sienna.

Digestifs

Lemoncello

A sweet yet potent liqueur made from Sorrento Lemons.

Amaretto

This liqueur is actually infused with almonds, apricots and, in some recipes, traditional cookies.

It’s originates from the Lombard city of Saronno, north of Milan.

Tuaca

Created in Livorno, Italy, this vanilla liqueur with citrus essence was the favorite of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Buona Sera!

Thirsty Thursday #Blogher11 Edition: The Smart Amaretto Sour #Cocktail

4 Aug

This is one of my favorite bevs! It has really evolved over the years. My mom and her pals love this drink for summer porch parties. I’m especially excited to share it just in time for Blogher 2011 conference in San Diego.

How did I smarten it you may ask… Well, think about those tart and overly sweet sour mixes. ICK! I’ve used Tropicana’s Calcium + Vitamin D fortified Trop 50 orange juice with Pure Via to provide the sweet and fresh lime juice to provide the sour. While drinking this deliciously smart sip, you’ll get bonus vitamins and minerals too (~ 17% Calcium, 60% Vitamin C, and 12% Vitamin D based on daily values for a 2000 calorie diet).

Place ice in a cocktail glass. Add…

1 oz Amaretto

4 oz Tropicana Trop 50

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Mix, garnish, sip, and enjoy (careful if you’re blogging and sippin’)! 🙂

This cocktail is approximately 110 calories.

Grape Expectations, a Juicy July 4th #Cocktail

1 Jul

As some of you know, I have a love affair with grapes. I like to eat them and drink them in their fermented form :-). Sometimes we forget about plain ol’ grape juice. When I think of grape juice, I think of snack time as a kid. The little Dixie cup of grape juice with crackers or a cookie was the quintessential snack. However, grape juice isn’t just for kids. Did you know it actually is beneficial for cardiovascular health? Research suggests it may help keep your arteries clear, could aid in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, and has anti-clotting properties. So, why not celebrate grapes’ healthy  and tasty properties in a smart sip!

Try this tasty and colorful cocktail!

4 fluid ounces Welch’s 100% Grape Juice

1 fluid ounce tequila

A splash (~1 fluid ounce) of Ginger Ale

Mix it up…

Put ice in a cocktail glass. Add grape juice, tequila, and ginger ale. Stir and garnish with a couple of grapes on cocktail stirrer. Enjoy this refreshing bev and have a safe weekend!

Approximately 145 calories

Thirsty Thursday’s Chocolate Strawberry Shot

23 Jun

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of the new Godiva chocolate-infused vodka. It’s very tasty. You wouldn’t know the crystal clear liquid provides a velvety smooth chocolate flavor. I’ve mixed it a couple of ways but have found that it’s best super-chilled and all by itself. Well, almost…

This is a perfect after dinner bev!

First, muddle strawberries (one per glass) and place into shot glasses.

You can use whatever small, shot-like glasses you have.

Pour 1.5 ounces of the Godiva Chocolate-infused vokda.

Place on a tray and set in the freezer until ready to serve just don’t let the berry freeze.

Serve!     Sip!     Enjoy!

Approximately 90 calories…

Can I have #wine with MyPlate?

20 Jun

I’m guessing by now, you’ve all seen the USDA’s new MyPlate guide. Goodbye confusing pyramid and hello plate method. Which, by the way, isn’t new unless you’re the USDA. The new food icon comes after the January 2011 release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It’s unlikely you’ll hear that alcohol consumption fits on the new MyPlate placemat. But deep in the heart of Chapter 3 titled, Foods and Food Components to Reduce, you’ll find this statement about alcohol.

“If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.”

So the answer is YES. You can have wine, beer or a coctail with your plate. Just remember moderation is key. Cheers!

The Fresh Watermelon-tini #cocktail

6 Jun

My friends, it’s hot! It’s REALLY hot here in Memphis (we’ve already topped 100 degrees a couple of times). While shopping I picked up two small, or personal (ha ha!), watermelons thinking I know I could make a deliciously smart sip with this! My vodka is chillin’ in the freezer and my fresh watermelon juice cooling in the refrigerator. It’s really that simple, and delicious!

Getting ready….

I have a FABULOUS blender called a Vitamix–it has 2 horsepower. While it’s no Aston Martin, it will pulverize anything!! This smart sip has less than 150 potassium-rich calories!

Cut the small watermelon in half, then cut into managable peices. Peel from the rind and put into the blender. Blend completely until it’s a thin liquid. Put the blender pitcher containing juice in the refrigerator to chill at least 3 hours.

Time to serve!

6 oz very cold, fresh watermelon juice

1 oz chilled vodka

Mix it up!! I’m serving 4 people so I just add the vodka to the pitcher and blend. Pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a thin slice of watermelon. Stay cool!

Don’t worry… I’m still Sippin’

4 Jun

Sippin' on a nice Rose`

Proof-doing a little research 🙂

It’s been a busy month keeping up with travel, friends, and the office. I’m still sippin’ though! May was full of Sippin’ science and concoctions. As we enter the heat, I’m wondering what you would like to read about over the Summer? I’ve got some great posts lined up for you but would love to hear from you in the comments section. Stay tuned…