festivals and events
raves and reviews
the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
This March 17th, you won’t need the luck o’ the Irish to find a perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert recipe. Get the shenanigans started with easy-to-bake, homemade chocolate brownies spiked with luscious Irish Cream. These flavorful, fudgy treats are surprisingly light, so you can indulge and still have room for all that green beer. Cheers!
Irish Cream Brownies (makes approx. 16 brownies)
Recipe from Cooking Light
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And while food is undoubtedly the star of the show, choosing the right wines to pair with your holiday feast can be just as important to having a delicious celebration.
With so many flavors and textures going on in your meal, it can be hard to know which wines work best. In general, you’ll want to select light, crisp wines with delicate aromas, which let the food shine. Also, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a really good bottle. Each variety featured below is tasty, versatile, and typically sold for under $20. And they’re all organic, to boot!
Sparkling: Bubbly is a hit for any occasion and can be enjoyed as an aperitif, for a Thanksgiving toast, or throughout the entire meal. Light and refreshing, sparkling wine will cleanse your palate so you can properly taste all the delicious food ahead. Pop open a bottle of California’s fresh and zesty Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée or the delightfully aromatic Mionetto Organic Prosecco from Italy.
White: To tastefully enhance any course of your Thanksgiving feast, pour a crisp, clean white. Vibrant, citrusy Frey Organic Sauvignon Blanc is excellent paired with everything from turkey and ham (or tofurkey and seitan mains) to potato and veggie sides. Another great option is the creamy Chardonnay from Paul Dolan Vineyards; with hints of crisp apple and vanilla spice, this organic Chard is perfect for holiday sipping.
Rosé/Red: Rosé—whether sparkling or still—crosses the bridge between white and red, and pairs well with turkey, stuffings and most sides. Food-friendly Bonterra Organically Grown Rosé presents a luscious blend of berries and spice, with a nice dry finish. If you prefer red, I recommend a light to medium bodied Pinot Noir. The fruit-forward earthiness and spicy notes will complement your food, without overwhelming it. New York’s Silver Thread Vineyard produces a velvety Pinot Noir, rich with black cherry and plum, that stands up against the tartness of cranberries and chutneys.
Dessert: Room for dessert? It’s always a treat to cap off your holiday meal with a touch of sweet wine. While you savor slices of pumpkin and sweet potato pies, sip on a Port-style dessert wine like Coates Red Cap Late Harvest Zinfandel. Or try bright, fizzy Vittorio Bera Moscato di’Asti for a lighter finish.
The most important thing to remember about pairing is to keep it simple. Selecting wine should be enjoyable, not stressful, so have fun making your selections. Cheers to a happy, healthy holiday!
As featured on Clean Plates.
Photo via FoodNetwork.com
Rich dark chocolate ganache gets kissed by hazelnut liqueur. The result? Decadence at it’s finest.
Celebrated chocolatier MarieBelle has paired up with Frangelico to unveil an indulgent new truffle flavor just in time for the holidays—the Frangelico Ganache. Blending creamy dark chocolate with luscious hazelnut, this melt-in-your-mouth confection also reveals notes of vanilla, coffee and almond. And it’s quite stunning. MarieBelle founder, chef and chocolate artist, Maribel Lieberman, incorporated hues from the Frangelico bottle into the beautiful sunset-colored mosaic design on each truffle.
Last week, I attended an intimate media gathering at MarieBelle, to celebrate the new flavor. The boutique itself is gorgeous. A luxurious chocolate haven, evoking European sophistication and old-world charm, nestled into SoHo’s Broome Street. Attendees settled into the shop’s darling Cacao Bar—a cozy cafe offering sweet nibbles and hot cocoas—to experience the Frangelico Ganache.
Maribel warmly greeted guests and excitedly debuted her latest creation. “These artisanal holiday truffles embody the flavors of the season, blending the hazelnut flavor of Frangelico with the gourmet taste of high-quality dark chocolate.” And to perfectly complement the flavor nuances in the confection, Master Mixologist James Moreland was on hand to stir up three Frangelico-based dessert cocktails (recipes below).
Beginning November 15th, Frangelico Ganache truffles will be available at the MarieBelle retail location in New York City, online at MarieBelle.com and at select department stores nationwide. They come packaged in a variety of sizes, each wrapped in an exquisite ribboned box that is uniquely Mariebelle.
Life is always sweeter with chocolate, and these truffles make a delightful gift that any chocolate lover will enjoy. And to sip while you sweet, try these tasty dessert cocktails from James Moreland:
Frangelico Truffle Cocktail
1 oz Frangelico
1 oz SKYY Vodka
¾ oz cold espresso
Shake with ice and serve up in a cocktail or martini glass. Dust with dark chocolate shavings.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
1 ¼ oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Grand Reserve Rum
1 ¼ oz sweet vermouth
Shake with ice and pour over ice into rocks glass.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
2 spoonfuls sour cherry macerate
¾ oz cherry brandy
Shake hard and strain over rocks in a Collins glass.
Friends and family, beaches and barbecues, fireworks and fun. Nothing screams summer like Fourth of July weekend. For a festive treat that’s sure to be a hit at any celebration, try whipping up this simple, refreshing layered fruit parfait. In patriotic red, white and blue, this cool, creamy dessert is perfect for all your Independence Day picnics and parties.
Red, White and Blueberry Mascarpone Parfaits (serves 4)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and whip together with an electric mixer. Slowly add the whipping cream, a little at a time, and continue beating until the cream is incorporated and the mixture is fluffy. Fold in the lemon zest, cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour.
Using parfait glasses or Champagne flutes, spoon some raspberries or strawberries into the bottom of the glass, then add a dollop of the chilled whipped cream mixture. Add a layer of blueberries, then another dollop of whipped cream. Continue layering until glass is full, then playfully arrange berries on top. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!
Strawberry season is officially upon us. As if this time of year isn’t sweet enough, Sunday also happens to be my very lovely mother’s birthday! Since chocolate covered strawberries are one of her all-time favorite treats, I couldn’t resist dipping a few berries in her honor.
At the peak of ripeness, juicy strawberries are luscious enough on their own, but we all know that chocolate makes everything better. These cocoa-covered beauties are incredibly simple to make, and each time I bite into one, I think of Mom. And smile. Happy birthday to the best Mom in the world! xoxo
To dip your own, just follow the directions from my Chocolate Smothered Oreos post here. Simply swap out Oreos for a couple dozen strawberries (be sure to dry completely after washing) and get creative!
Spring has finally arrived here in New York. And since warm weather calls for cool treats, I wanted to share this refreshing recipe to beat the heat and showcase my favorite seasonal flavor—blood orange.
After peeling my first blood orange in Italy years ago, I was seduced by the fruit’s sweet, raspberry-kissed flavor and deep, crimson-colored flesh. Clearly, one of nature’s most glorious creations. Pure giddiness came over me when I discovered a heap of the striking citrus at the market last week (blood oranges are still being imported, but are also now grown in the US), so I scooped up a dozen and broke out the Cuisinart. Mmm…blood orange sorbet.
Ready for a twist? SKYY Vodka recently launched an all natural Infusions flavor made with real blood oranges, which served as the perfect enhancement to my frozen treat. Bursting with bittersweet juiciness, this smooth, refined spirit added a zesty pop of flavor—and helped take the edge off after a stressful day!
Made with just three ingredients, this luscious (adults only) sorbet is incredibly simple to make and the rich, vibrant hue couldn’t be any more stunning. Enjoy!
Blood Orange Cocktail Sorbet (serves 4)
Combine the blood orange juice, agave syrup and vodka into a medium bowl and mix well. Pour mixture into the well of a standard ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions until properly frozen. Since vodka doesn’t completely freeze, I suggest pouring the sorbet into a sealed container and putting it in your freezer for an additional hour or two to firm up before serving.