Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil: The All Season Hydrator

As one who has used an almost immeasurable amount of body moisturizers to keep our skin hydrated throughout the year and through the various and vastly different seasons, we can 100 percent say there is nothing like the hydrating and protective benefits of coconut oil. Of course, the best coconut oil to use is a high-quality one that leaves the raw nutrients intact; that coconut oil is 100% virgin coconut oil, Skinny & Co Coconut Oil.

Skinny & Co Coconut Oil is the only raw, 100% alkaline coconut oil in the world; it is made with hand-picked wild-Harvested, not plantation grown coconuts. What makes Skinny & Co Coconut Oil even more amazing is that is cold-processed, not just cold pressed, thanks to their patent-pending Nutralock System. You already know coconut oil has over a hundred uses. You can cook with it, substituting it for butter and other oils, condition your hair, Oil pulling, and of course use it as a moisturizer on your face and body.

You will immediately notice the difference between Skinny & Co Coconut Oil and other brands. It absorbs much better into your skin and keeps it hydrated and moisturized all day, even on the coldest winter days. We’ve been using Skinny & Co Coconut Oil for two seasons now and our skin couldn’t be happier. It’s become our go-to lip, scalp, and skin moisturizer, makeup remover, cuticle hydrator, and cooking oil.

The 100% raw coconut oil isn’t the only product we’re loving from Skinny & Co Coconut Oil. You’ll love the Coconut Oil Bar Soaps (available in five scents); the deeply hydrating Skinny Shampoo Bars that delivers intense hydration to your hair without creating excess oils (your hair will love you for this); the Whipped Body Butter that’s perfect to use as an all over moisturizer, hair mask or conditioner, or shaving cream; the Skinny & Co. Sugar Scrub, a pH balanced scrub that can be used as an all-over body exfoliant, prep for self-tanner, and as a lip scrub; and a Clarifying Moisturizing Facial Oil for blemish-prone and oily skin types. We know what you’re thinking – why would I put oil on my oily skin? This 100% oil moisturizer helps clarify and balance by removing impurities and congestion from the surface of the skin. These wonderful products are just some of the great skincare products from Skinny & Co, check out their site to see more.

Do you use coconut oil in your beauty or skincare regime? Are you looking to trying a great coconut oil? Don’t take our word for it, check out Skinny & Co’s customer reviews and see who else is loving their coconut oil.

New Restaurant Alert: Chefs Club Counter Launches in New York City

Attention foodies, there’s a new culinary haven now open in the iconic neighborhood of Soho, NYC. Encompassing the famed corner of Spring and Lafayette, at 62 Spring Street, is Chefs Club Counter, the first “fine-fast” concept brought to life by Stephane De Baets, the Belgian entrepreneur behind the game-changing restaurant group, Chefs Club.

Stephane de Baets

An off-shoot of Chefs Club, Chefs Club Counter will offer a quick and affordable fine food options for customers eager to partake in popular dishes from some of the world’s best chefs in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. The menu, curated by Culinary Director Didier Elena, a 20-year Alain Ducasse alumnus, features select dishes available in a limited quantity for a limited time. We had the pleasure of indulging in Chefs Club Counter’s “fine-fast” food concept with the culinary geniuses Chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Eggslut‘s Alvin Cailan, and George Mendes.

George Mendes

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alvin Cailan

The VIP preview of Chefs Club Counter’s decadent bites included possibly the most amazing burger we’ve ever tasted, the JG (Jean-Georges) Burger Sliders, Duck Rice, Grain Bowls, Tomato, and Stracciatella, and Wild Mushroom and Chicory Pizzas, and the celebrated LA favorite, Eggslut Crostini from Chefs Club Counter roster: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, George Mendes, Linton Hopkins, Magnus Hansson, and Eggslut’s Alvin Cailan.

As if these delectable bites weren’t heaven enough, the dishes were paired with Ben Watts’ Watts Up Rosé, which flowed throughout the evening, much to our delight. Almost 600 guests were in attendance to sample the exclusive and limited edition menu, including downtown’s creative luminaries enthusiastic foodies, neighbors, and influencers from all walks of life.

Ben Watts’ Watts Up Rosé – David White

We’re not sure how long the menu will remain the same but we highly recommend you head over to Chefs Club Counter try their delicious fare as soon as you possibly can.

Celebrate International Margarita Day with a “Margarita” Margherita Pizza

We have every intention of celebrating the upcoming International Margarita Day by drinking a round or two of delicious Margaritas but believe it or not, there are more ways to enjoying a margarita than just drinking one…….how about eating one. In celebration of International Margarita Day, February 22nd, Patrón Tequila has released the first-ever edible margarita pizza entitled the Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza. Alcohol-infused food is not new, we personally grew up on the alcohol-soaked black cake, but we’re seeing this food trend making a big resurgence in culinary markets we hadn’t before. Just last year we enjoyed Patrón Tequila-infused ice cream and popsicles at their National Tequila Day event.

Here’s what you need to know about this mindblowing and one-of-a-kind pizza:

This amazing bit of delicious food art is inspired by the signature Patrón margarita and was customized by Chef Michael Armstrong of upscale Mexican hotspot, Bodega Negra, located inside the trendy Dream Downtown Hotel. The $500.00 Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza is infused with Gran Patrón Platinum tequila (retail value, $200.00) and Patrón Burdeos (retail value, $500.00).  The colorful pizza pie boasts layers of the most insane, over-the-top toppings, such as Osetra caviar, black truffles, tomato, avocado, glazed lobster, and mango, both cooked in Patrón Burdeos, pickled onions, and crema-infused with Platinum Patrón. All perfectly layered on top of a thin, flour tortilla crust.

They say good things come to those who wait and anything good is worth waiting for, which is good because the Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza takes 45 minutes to create,  and it must be ordered two days in advance. Enjoying this medium-sized culinary journey is ideal for a group of  2-3 friends, preferably accompanied with an equally delicious Patron Tequila Margarita, like the Tropicante Margarita, created by Alexander Kady of Denver, Colorado, which we will highlight in our Patron Margarita write up.

 

Fair warning folks, you can only partake in this indulgence until International Margarita Day; after February 22nd, the limited edition, Platinum “Margarita” Margherita Pizza is gone for good. Are you up to indulging in this indulgent first ever “Margarita” Margherita Pizza?

Here’s How to Celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day

While we never need an excuse to indulge in a slice or two of chocolate cake, the upcoming National Chocolate Cake Day is the perfect reason to enjoy a slice or two in celebration of this most decadent of desserts. That’s right, on Friday, January 27th, two days from now, you are obligated to enjoy the sinful pleasures of chocolate cake. So without further adieu, in celebration of National Chocolate Cake Day, here are original recipes from Epicurious Wine, Veestro, and Terra’s Kitchen. We invite you to try out one or all of these delicious recipes. Here’s a great tip: To make your National Chocolate Cake Day incredibly fluffy, use sparkling water in your cake batter! We love using Sparkling Ice Essence of sparkling waters, an unsweetened, zero-calorie alternative with no artificial colors or preservatives. We promise each bite will be light as air.

Epicurious Wine’s “Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze”

YIELD: Makes 10 servings

For cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour pan. Heat chocolate, sugar, and 1 cup butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate is almost completely melted, about 3 minutes; remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Let this National Chocolate Cake Day cool completely. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add eggs to chocolate mixture 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat until mixture has a mousse-like consistency. Reduce speed to low and add salt and 1/3 cup flour; mix until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake cake until top is firm and edges are slightly darkened, 55–65 minutes (rely on visual cues; a tester inserted into cake’s center will come out clean before the cake is truly done). Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in pan before turning out.

Glaze and assembly:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), finely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Epicurious Cabernet Sauvignon
Special equipment:
9″ springform pan
Heat chocolate, butter, and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate and butter are melted about 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar. Meanwhile, bring wine just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in wine; let cool until slightly thickened and a rubber spatula leaves a trail in the mixture when stirring, 8–10 minutes. Set cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake and spread it across the top and over the edges with an offset spatula. Let cake stand at room temperature until glaze is set, 2–3 hours. Cake can be made and glazed 2 days ahead. Chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Veestro’s SuperFood Chocolate Cake

1 1/4 cups cooked amaranth
1 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup good cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and well incorporated. Place in a cake pan and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry.

Terra’s Kitchen Bundt Cake Recipe

2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup high-quality cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan, room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sour cream
5 tablespoons cold brewed coffee
Butter Coffee Pour Over (recipe to follow)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a Bundt pan with butter (we used a heart-shaped Bundt for Valentine’s Day). Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and light in texture (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the sour cream and coffee and mix until combined. Gradually add the dry JUST until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt and bake until the center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean (about 45-50 minutes). Remove the cake from the oven and pour Butter Coffee Pour Over mixture over the hot cake. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Release the sides and bottom of the cake from the pan with a narrow metal spatula or knife. Invert the pan onto a plate or cake stand. Remove the pan and dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar before serving.

Butter Coffee Pour Over (Makes 1 ¼ cups)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brewed dark roast coffee
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
Add ingredients to a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

We’re sure one of these decadent chocolate cake recipes will help you celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day properly. We know our favorite (all of them), which chocolate recipe is your favorite?

#SprinkledWithCare: Care Bears X Sprinkles Cupcakes Decorating Event

There’s something a bit magical when you get to relive moments from your childhood. For us, it was celebrating the collaboration between childhood Saturday morning cartoon favorite, the Care Bears, and the decadent Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. To honor the 35th Anniversary of the iconic children’s characters, we had the pleasure of attending a Care Bears X Sprinkles Cupcakes Decorating Event held at Sprinkles Bakery.

Don’t worry dear readers, you get to participate in some cool Care Bears X Sprinkles Cupcakes activities as well, where you can win prizes. From January 5th through January 25th, Sprinkles is offering limited-edition, regular and mini Care Bears cupcakes and sweet surprises to satisfy your cupcake cravings, at all their bakery locations nationwide.

In addition to limited-edition Care Bears cupcakes, special “whisper words” will be revealed on the Care Bears and Sprinkles Instagram pages every week, with instructions on how you can redeem them for freebies and special goodies at all Sprinkles checkouts. A huge celebration will also take place at select Sprinkles stores on January 21st for National Hug Day. On this special day, Care Bears X Sprinkles Cupcakes fans of all ages can enjoy product giveaways and lots of cheerful activities.

”Our freshly baked, handcrafted cupcakes bring our customers cheer and delight, and we think the loveable, huggable Care Bears evoke those same feelings,” exclaimes Nicole Schwartz,VP of Marketing, Sprinkles. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Care Bears!”

As we stated above, guests not only had the pleasure of enjoying Sprinkles’ amazing vanilla, chocolate, red velvet and banana cupcakes, already decorated with edible Care Bears decoration, we got to customize our own. For our Care Bears X Sprinkles Cupcake (which you can see above), we chose an incredibly delicious banana cupcake and topped it with vanilla buttercream, fondant stars, and a heart. As you can imagine, it was addictively yummy and we can’t wait to go back for more.

”We are thrilled to kick off the Care Bears 35th Anniversary celebration with Sprinkles and know fans of both brands are in for something truly sweet,” shared Sean Gorman, President of American Greetings Entertainment, the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings. “We look forward to celebrating our 35 years of caring, sharing and hugs with Sprinkles and other great partners in 2017.”

For more information regarding the Care Bears x Sprinkles cupcakes, including the select stores participating in National Hug Day, please visit www.carebears.com and www.sprinkles.com and follow the #SprinkledWithCare hashtag on Instagram. We’re really looking forward to stopping by Sprinkles on January 21st, although we can’t wait that long, we’re keeping an eye out for those special “whisper words” on Instagram, will you?

 

Restaurant Review: Savor Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club

We’ve enjoyed many amazing culinary journeys but our culinary adventure of Hakka Chinese cuisine at The Chinese Club may just be the most flavorful yet. For those non-foodies who are not aware of the Hakka Chinese food served at The Chinese Club, all meals, from appetizers to main dishes and desserts combine Indian spices with Hakka Chinese cooking techniques, and finessed with a modern twist. As foodies who love everything spicy and flavorful, this marriage of cultures is absolutely brilliant. A brainchild of married couple Chef Salil Mehta and Stacey Lo, known for their Michelin star and Bib Gourmand designated Malaysian restaurant Laut in Manhattan, the food at this barely a year old foodie heaven will blow you away.

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To say we were in for a treat would do The Chinese Club a great injustice. This was truly an epic culinary experience. The significant aspect of Hakka Chinese cuisine is its texture. Another is how the cooking technique highlights the natural savory flavors of meats. We started off with several amazing appetizers that really stirred our taste buds. Our Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club started with the following four appetizers:

Organic Salt & Pepper Mushroom

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Although I could not enjoy this vegetarian dish because of an allergy to mushrooms, the consensus of the level of deliciousness of this tempura mushroom with scallions was one of utter delight. The unanimous and very audible sounds of yums came from all sides of the dinner table.

Aloo Chat (Indian Street Snack)

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There is so much amazing texture and color in this vegetarian and gluten-free tangy crispy potato dish with crispy noodles. This delightful dish is savory, fresh and tangy all at once. You may not be able to tell from the photo but for us, this dish perfectly captured the amazing combination of Indian and Chinese spices that are found in the Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club.

 Wings On Fire

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Although you can’t tell by this photo which surely doesn’t do it justice, these lollipop chicken wings with spicy mayo will transport you into an instant out of body experience. If you love food that’s full of bold flavor, these make a perfect starter to begin your culinary adventure.

Chinese Bhel Salad

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This perfect little salad crispy noodle salad is all vegetarian and gluten free. The Indian-Chinese style salad boasts a cornucopia of colors and textures that included avocado, pomegranate seeds, puffed rice, carrots, etc. You’ll love every bite for its mixture of smoothness and crunch.

Hakka Chili Chicken

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If you love fiery spicy flavor then The Chinese Club Hakka Chili Chicken offers the perfect amount of flavor excitement you love. These crispy hunks of boneless chicken are seasoned with green chili, onion, bell peppers and soy sauce. They’re so delicious, you won’t be able to stop eating until your plate is completely empty.

Vegetable Manchurian

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The extensive menu continues with the vegetarian Manchurian dish, a divine and flavorful set of vegetable dumplings in a spicy brown sauce featuring garlic, onion, chili, and cilantro. Meat lovers won’t care that this dish has no meat and vegans and paneer fans will be blown away by the flavor.

Schzwen Chutney Vegetable

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Fans of paneer, the decadence continues with this vegetarian delight. You’ll love the Schzwen Chutney vegetable’s mix of spicy vegetable fritters, celery, peppers, onions and scallions with paneer. Like the Chinese Beil Salad, it is a wonderful blend of color and texture.

Fish with Hot Garlic Sauce

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It was very difficult to select a favorite dish from our Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club culinary adventure but the above Fish with Hot Garlic Sauce was at the very top of our seconds and third helpings list, thanks to the perfectly fried fish fillet in a bold garlic, ginger, chili, scallion sauce.

Rice three ways: Cumin, Brown, and Jasmine

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We’d have the pleasure of enjoying Jasmin and brown rice, but thanks to our experience with Hakka Chinese Cuisine at The Chinese Club, we’re adding Cumin rice to our list of must enjoy again over and over.

DESSERTS

Fried Ice Cream with Fried Noodles 

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Words cannot fully describe how amazing The Chinese Club’s take on Fried Ice Cream is. Instead of the traditional breaded ice cream, their version has coconut ice cream surrounded by crispy deep fried noodles. It is incredibly delicious.

Chinese Fortune Waffle

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And the last and certainly not least desserts is this marvelous Chinese Fortune Waffle you see above which features huge egg waffles with coconut and taro ice cream, chocolate pocky sticks, fresh fruits (we love the strawberries and lychee on there), sprinkled fruity pebbles, and of course fortune cookies.

Chef Salil Mehta and Stacey Lo

Pasar Malam - Brooklyn, NY

Pasar Malam – Brooklyn, NY

Stacey’s great grandfather, Lo Fung Sho was an immigrant worker in Darjeeling, India, who at the turn of the 20th century founded the “Darjeeling Chinese Club” as a cultural refuge for Chinese immigrants and expats living in India. This cultural refuge is the inspiration for The Chinese Club. The couple has reincarnated his recipes with Indian spices, Hakka Chinese cooking techniques, and modern interpretations of both cultures.

The menu for The Chinese Club changes every three months and secret, off-menu items are posted on their social media; many with limited availability. Want to try these dishes for yourself, head over to 208 Grand St in Brooklyn, NY. If you have tried Hakka Chinese Cuisine or visited The Chinese Club, then share your experiences in the comments.

Meatless Monday: Delicious Vegetarian Meal Options for Fall

When most people think of fall comfort food, they tend to think of hearty meat soups and stews, cuts of steak or chicken bathing in gravy, and so on. But there’s nothing that says vegetarian meals can’t be hearty or fall under the comfort food category.  Today, for meatless Monday we sharing two vegetarian meal options from CedarLane Natural Foods and Pereg Natural Foods to show you just how delicious and hearty vegetarian foods can be during the cooler season.

CEDARLANE NATURAL FOODS

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As the weather gets colder, we sometimes tend to hibernate in the warmth of our homes and binge of meat-filled meals. Why not warm up with a full meal that contains less than 400 calories and is made from natural ingredients.  This way you can feel good about what you’re eating without missing out on enjoying a delicious meal. CedarLane Natural Foods offers ten delicious vegetarian entrees, five of which are gluten-free, that are perfect for the colder fall and winter seasons. With amazing meal options like Eggplant Parmesan, Three Layer Enchilada Pie, Burrito Grande with Salsa Roja, Burrito Grande with Chili Verde Sauce, and Roasted Chile Relleno, there are enough delicious varieties to keep you satisfied every night of the week for lunch and dinner. Each entree is ready in about 5 minutes, the amount of time it takes us to decide what to eat. We got the chance to try a few of the meals and as meat eaters, we were blown away. There were so many favorites but we admit when it came to the Quinoa and Vegetable Enchiladas, we were in foodie heaven. Gone are the days of bland tasting vegan food options, get ready for an abundance of taste and flavor with every bite.

PEREG NATURAL FOODS COUSCOUS

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We continue our meatless Monday post with something a little bit lighter. Pereg Natural Foods introduced four new couscous flavors to their lineup. Couscous with Mushrooms (not pictured), Couscous Pearl Pasta Pumpkin Seeds, Couscous with Cranberries, and Couscous Pearl Pasta with Vegetables, join the range of already popular Pereg Food couscous offerings. Did you know Couscous is amongst the healthiest of the grain based products in the world? Mixed with Pereg spices and herbs, these light and fluffy vegetarian meals create an amazing combination of texture and flavor. We love these flavors because they can be enjoyed as a healthy snack, a side dish or a full meal. The couscous mixes are easy to prepare, taking only 10-20 minutes for prep, depending on variety. The above flavors, and much more, are available now.

we hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these wonderful vegetarian food options, and hope your meatless Monday is a delicious one.

Cynar Italian Liqueur: For the Love and Power of Artichokes

When one thinks of artichokes, it’s usually “that weird vegetable that looks like a flower bud”, not delicious cocktails, but that is no longer the case. We had the amazing pleasure of attending an event celebrating the artichoke or as it’s scientifically known, Cynara cardunculus. The event, held at the wonderful Speedy Romeo Pizza, promised an evening full of Cynar Italian liqueur cocktails, artichokes, and pizza……and didn’t disappoint. You may notice that the name of the Italian liqueur comes from the scientific name for artichokes, there’s a very good reason for that.

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Cynar is a dark brown, Italian bitter liqueur made from 13 herbs and plants, most predominant among these herbs and plants is the artichoke. Cynar is considered a digestif, a traditional Italian spirit consumed after a meal to aid in digestion and boasts a unique bitter and herbal taste. The event’s menu consisted of four delicious Cynar Italian Liqueur cocktails: the Giovanni, Cynar Julep, Carciofo Fizz, and Italian Pechuga, to-die-for artichoke pizza, Paccheri, and dessert. First, the cocktails of which the Giovanni and Cynar Julep was easily our favorites (we highly recommend trying them at home. Here are the drink recipes):

Giovanni

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2 oz. Cynar
1 oz. Tequila
3 oz. San Pellegrino Pomelo (grapefruit)
Shake/Top/Collins/Grapefruit Wheel

Cynar Julep

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2 oz. Cynar
3/4 oz. Lemon
1 oz. Grapefruit
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
Julep cup/Mint/Crushed Ice

Carciofo Fizz

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2 oz. Cynar
1 oz. Lemon
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Ginger Beer
Highball/edible flowers

Italian Pechuga

1 oz. Mezcal
3/4 oz. Cynar 70

The event’s culinary delights were a foodies dream. We had the pleasure of enjoying a pizza making experience by the Chef at Speedy Romeo and delighted in the epic finale of the artichoke dessert.

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The evening’s savory menu was as follows: Wood Grilled Artichoke with lemon aioli, arugula, watercress, sesame toast, and mint; The Cynar Thistle Pizza with wood roasted artichoke hearts, bechamel, smoked mozzarella, farm egg, and sage; and a Wood Fried Artichoke Paccheri with Cynar fonduta, artichokes, porcini mushrooms, and spinach.

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And for dessert….oh goodness, the dessert. It was as delicious and amazing to experience as it was to see it created. For dessert, we had a decadent Burnt Cynar-Vanilla Espuma with candied artichoke and graham crumble.

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Check out some video of this amazing dessert’s freshly made marshmallow fluff being branded

Isn’t that simply divine? From delicious cocktails to amazing culinary highlights, Who knew artichokes, could be so decadent. Loved you saw? Always loved artichokes? Are you a fan of Cynar Italian Liqueur? Share your thoughts with us.