Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vampire’s Kiss Cocktail
Antioxidants don’t have to be anti-fun, say some mixologists who jazz up cocktails with fruit and fruit juices like pomegranate, blueberries, cranberries, pears and kiwis for brain-boosting and disease-fighting antioxidants.
Make enough Vampire Kisses, and you can have a set of stylish black Freixenet sparkling wine bottles to make a set of candle holders for your Halloween party.
I tried what makers call the “black bottle bubbly” in the recipe below and loved the colorful presentation and sparkling taste. It’s a looker and a taster:
Vampire’s Kiss Cocktail
3 parts Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut
1 part pomegranate blueberry juice blend
Sliced strawberries and pineapple chunks
Orange peel twists (optional)
Starting with all ingredients well chilled, mix 1 part pomegranate and blueberry juice blend with 3 parts Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut sparkling wine. Stir in ice, sliced strawberries and pineapple chunks. Garnish with dangling orange twist.
Presentation: To add some mystery to your ghoulish concoction, use ice-blocks in Halloween shapes – try jack-o-lantern, ghosts or bats!
For more antioxidant cocktails and other great cocktail recipes, visit

Spice forecast calls for ginger and molasses
Every day of my life is filled with herbs and spices, but the cool weather seems to increase the cravings. I’ve noticed the McCormick Flavor Forecast is always accurate. Reading their 2009 Holiday Edition should put you ahead of what everyone will be talking about this season:
• Ginger & Molasses - The duo behind timeless gingerbread is cleverly reinvented from a childhood classic into contemporary goodies for all ages.
• Warm Spices & Pumpkin – The aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice unites with creamy pumpkin to inspire remakes of its namesake pie.
• Peppermint & Chocolate – This refreshing yet sweet combination comes together in everything from a festive martini to a chocolate tart.
• Vanilla & Red Food Color – The lush, alluring flavor of vanilla and the joyous hue of red transform the show-stopping qualities of red velvet cake into updated indulgences.
• Nutmeg & Rum – The unforgettable essence of eggnog comes out of the punch bowl as inspired treats from breakfast to the dessert table.
McCormick has additional tips:
• Convert a traditional sugar cookie to a nutmeg spice cookie by adding ground nutmeg to the dough before baking. Top baked cookies with cream cheese frosting enhanced with a few drops of rum extract.
• Crush peppermint candies in a small bowl or food processor. Melt semi-sweet Chocolate in a sauce pan, cool slightly and flavor with a few drops of peppermint extract. Dip one half of a large marshmallow into the melted mint chocolate and then in the peppermint pieces. Place on parchment to dry. Serve on a festive candy platter or float in a cup of hot cocoa.
• Transform vanilla milkshakes into a taste of the season. Add a generous spoonful of pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin pie spice to vanilla ice cream and milk to create a smooth ice cream treat.

Measure Up Bowl
I remember my mother used to pack portions into a measuring bowl and dump them onto her plate, leaving food in a perfectly round cylinder. Now I’m a Weight Watchers lifetimer who supports measuring, so I can actually eat more of what I want. I’m loving the Measure Up Bowl in the snack size, a chic white number with discreet measuring lines on the inside, so you know just how much of that mocha ice cream you have served yourself. No cheating or innocent mistakes. It’s just in time for holiday indulgences. The “classic” is for soups, cereals, fruits, pasta, etc. My smaller one is designed for “foods that are calorie dense, high fat (my fave).
Visit for a peek. I know for a fact that this bowl can help you keep your weight down in a very satisfactory way.

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