Thursday, June 29, 2017

The new, cool July the 4th tradition, Buy smoothies then Mold into Icy, Healthy Popsicles, thanks to Jamba Juice.

By Laura Medina

If hauling an huge watermelon then hulling chunks of it, is enough to make you sweat, go to Jamba Juice.

They have all the ingredients.  They'll be more than happy to do all the work for you.

Poolside Fit Smoothie, as the official smoothie of swimsuit season, it’s this drink’s job to keep you looking and feeling cool. The blend of fresh cucumber, watermelon, strawberry and peach will leave you feeling beach body-ready in no time. Pre-boosted with Collagen for glowing skin and healthy joints!

If glowing, youthful, smooth skin ain't your thing, then Watermelon BreezeSmoothie, this refreshing breeze in a cup will blow your mind. Every sip is full of the bright summer flavors of watermelon, strawberry, raspberry and pineapple. Plus, the natural vitamins and nutrients in watermelon will keep your skin hydrated and healthy no matter how hot it gets.

If you really to impress and make folks jealous or just treat yourself this Summer, externally and internally while cooling off a sweat, pour and freeze those Jamba Juice smoothies into this fun and funky popsicle molds, to make your own healthy popsicles.

Pretty nifty for 4th of July, eehhh?!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Copying Barefoot Refresh Spritzer's BBQ Pool Party for the 4th of July, "Canchella."

By Laura Medina

Just in time for entertaining friends and their friends, Barefoot Wines debut their new Barefoot Refresh Spritzers, their version of a wine cooler.

Barefoot Refresh are vibrant, light-bodied spritzers in a can.  Available nationwide this summer in Crisp White and Summer Red Spritzers.  

Crisp White Spritzer

Featuring aromas of peach, lemon-lime, and crisp apple. Chenin Blanc and Riesling wine make a perfect pair in this standout canned sipper.

Summer Red Spritzer

Featuring aromas of raspberries, oranges and ripe berries right in the can. Moscato, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir join forces to make one deliciously fruity spritzer.

They even have Rose in a can...

"This is such an exciting moment for us here at Barefoot, and also for wine fans across the country," said Jen Wall, winemaker for Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. "It's all about making Barefoot convenient. We took this 'step' to give folks summer in a can at any time of year and to take away some of the barriers for enjoying wine when and where people want."
The sleek, fit-in-your-hand, 8.4-ounce cans are able to go many places where wine bottles and glass aren't always welcome. The cans pack easily into coolers and ice chests, and are ideal for poolside, the beach, barbecues and any kickback place when the weather is warm or when you want a taste of summer.

"One of our missions at Barefoot is to make the everyday more fun and to make life, and wine, less serious," said Wall. "I genuinely believe people around the country will love our Refresh Spritzers in cans and they'll love all the places they can take them."

Affordably priced at a suggested retail price of $8.99 for a four-pack or $2.49 for singles, Barefoot Refresh Spritzers in cans are now available at CVS, Ralphs, and retailers nationwide.

Yeah You Can...that's the motto of the Summer.

You can ask your talented, musical or tech-savy kids to provide entertainment, by playing live music or play DJ.

Go ahead and support your local "Mom & Pop" local economy by hiring them for catering or ordering a big batch pf barbecue for your backyard bash.

Since you want a stress-less, more chilling July the 4th, why don't you take that same Barefoot Pinot Grigio bottle, at the same supermarket where you bought those cans of Barefoot Refresh Spritzers, and make some no-cook ceviche, Mexican sushi.

Salmon Ceviche
A delicious and light dish that is easy to make and TOEtally tasty!

Featuring: Pinot Grigio
Servings: 5 Prep Time: 5 to 15 mins Cook Time: 2+ hrs


  • 1 lb Salmon, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Barefoot Pinot Grigio
  • 4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 tsp chives, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  1. Marinate salmon with the lemon juice, vinegar, Barefoot Pinot Grigio, salt, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic powder and let it sit over night.
  2. Before serving, add the chives, pour the olive oil and stir well

Mini Meatballs in Barefoot Pinot Noir Sauce

These Mini Meatballs in Barefoot Pinot Noir sauce are a crowd-pleaser no matter what type of event you’re hosting and are equally delicious served for dinner with some crusty French bread and veggies.
Featuring: Pinot Noir
Servings: 6+ Prep Time: 5 to 15 mins Cook Time: 5 to 15 mins


  • 1 lb ground beef, about 15% lean
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ minced shallot
  • ¾ cup Barefoot Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp grape jelly
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the ground beef, minced shallot, salt, pepper, milk and breadcrumbs together in a large bowl. Mix well until completely combined. Form small meatballs out of the beef mixture and place in the casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until meatballs
  3. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce.
  4. Combine the Pinot Noir Barefoot Wine, water, cornstarch and half a minced shallot in a large pan over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the grape jelly and Worcestershire sauce to the wine mixture. Stir well. Finally, add the butter to the sauce and stir to combine and melt. Continue simmering the sauce for about six to eight minutes, or until sauce thickens greatly.
  6. Pour sauce over cooked meatballs and serve.

Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps

This cool and easy recipe is fun to enjoy as an appetizer or for a light Springtime meal!

Featuring: Riesling

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Barefoot Riesling
  • ½ cup peanut sauce
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1 head of lettuce that has easy, "wrappable" leaves such as Butterleaf, Boston, or Romaine (washed with leaves separate)
  • chopped peanuts for garnish


  1. Warm olive oil in skillet and brown the ground beef along with onion and garlic. Remove from heat.
  2. In a separate small pot over low heat, combine peanut sauce, Barefoot Riesling, and diced cucumber taking care to keep heat low and even.
  3. Spoon ground beef onto prepared lettuce leaves; drizzle with peanut sauce mixture; and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
  4. Serve and enjoy with Barefoot Riesling.

Barefoot Moscato Blueberry Pops

Who doesn't love a posicle? Try these Barefoot Moscato Blueberry Pops!
Featuring: Moscato
Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 to 15 mins Cook Time: 2+ hrs


  • 1 1/2 cup Barefoot Moscato
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1 cup Blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Juice of one lime wedge
  • Extra Moscato if you want a striped popsicle


  1. Combine the ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
  2. To freeze these in layers, pour Moscato 1/4 of the way full and let it freeze for an hour.
  3. Then pour the berry mix 1/4 full and freeze for another hour.
  4. Repeat two more times and then let them freeze overnight.       

You don't need a standing-mixer or a vat of liquid nitrogen to set an ice cream bar.  Just buy those family-sized gallon-sized buckets of ice cream or/and frozen yogurt at Costco, in cool, funky flavors then set up a mix-in buffet of cereals, mini candies, and berries on your dining table, inside your air-conditioned home. Perhaps, bowls and spoons and cones for folks to mix, assemble, then take outside.

Instead of hiring a special effects tattoo artists, find some temporary tattoos in cool designs that can be applied wet then rinsed off later.  Kids love this!

Expect more from Barefoot Wines' Refresh Spritzer's BBQ Pool Party for more 4th of July party ideas...and from Cointreau's refined garden party for art organizations throwing fund-raising soirees.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Forget Happy Hour, It's Lillet Aperitif Hour at Isabel Marant.

By Laura Medina

Spring has sprung at Isabel Marant in the discreet Melrose Place, shopping district, not the fictional apartment complex.

The inventor/innovator of the ultra-comfortable and hip wedge sneaker, this scribe is happy that she finally has a shop of her own.  Currently at her shop, it's red and white prints for Summer then a retro-Nineties Grunge and cozy wool, white sweaters with flannel and plaid, and a "Think" pullover sweater.

Her and Lillet Aperitif celebrate Summer with a "Sip & Shop," perfect timing to get a fresh, new Summer wardrobe, get a jump leap on Fall/Winter preview before anyone else, and enjoy Lillet Aperitif with fresh, ripe strawberries.

Lillet Rosé
Lillet Roseberry
In the serving glass, place
  • 5cl of Lillet Rosé
  • 10 cl of Schweppes Wild Berry
Glass: Highball
Decoration: Strawberry slices
Preparation: Pour 5cl of Lillet Rosé into a glass full of ice. Add 10 cl of Schweppes Wild Berry and decorate with a few strawberry slices.

Real model food, bite-sized, portion-controlled, but pack full of protein and flavor.
Mini avocado toasts, fresh fig on crackers, and a dollop of salad in lettuce leaves.  Easy to serve and easy to save calories but collagen and antioxidant rich.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cointreau's Original Margarita with The Art of La Soirée 2017 Gets Cozy Yet Chic with Ali Larter.

By Laura Medina

Cointreau Soiree's The Art of La Soirée highlights the official start of Summer with celebrating Original Margarita, pure and simple with their shot of their orange liqueur.

The party got started early with a primer...a mixologist class for newbies, dummies, and how to shake a real Margarita. It's Cointreau taking the Mexican cocktail back to it's roots, away from the frozen delights oozing out of alcoholic slushie machines in tacky singles bars.

Cointreau's Master Mixologist, an humble Texan now based in Manhattan, noted that the Mexican/American border/ Tijuana drink is part of Texan pride and heritage that she grew up with, one of the earliest Tex-Mex culinary creation.

The mixologist is happy to note that, out of all the orange liquors out there, Cointreau has the lowest amount of sugar while being 80% proof.  It's always been that way when it was invented by a bunch of confectioners who wanted to make the most exotic liquor in the 1800s, orange essence.  Diabetics rejoice.  You all got the gourmet quality, culinary heritage, and lowest sugar amount without skipping out on the quality and legacy.

There have been many a muses but according to Cointreau, of course, The Original Margarita was the result of a chic socialite, Margarita Sames, mixing her favorite spirits together until she made the perfect drink while entertaining at home. 

It was pretty and simple, pre-dating the slushie machine.

The Margarita class was outfitted with the necessary ingredients and equipment in concocting the true Margarita...

2 oz Blanco Tequila

  • 1 oz Cointreau

  • 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice.
    Shake and strain into a margarita glass.
    Garnish with salt and a lime wheel.

    First, scoop ice cubes into the cocktail shaker.

    Pour tequila into the larger half of the jigger then into the shaker.

    Pour Cointreau into the smaller half of the jigger then into the shaker.

    Squeeze a halved lime into the shaker then shake the ingredients all together, strain and pour into a simple glass.

    There you got it, the Original Margarita.

    Like anything successful, the Margarita permutated then evolved with California fresh strawberries and sugar.  As it spreads through America, it meet its match in peach and sugar.  Blending it with ice in slushie machines only made it more popular and more accessible, especially in hot, humid states.  Essentially, any fruit can be used with the addition of some sugar for a sweeter, fruitier margarita.

    Cointreau has evolved beyond getting smashed on cocktails.

    Thanks to cooking gourmet, organic, and healthy, the orange liqueur or any liqueur for that matter, is now added as a flavor booster or as a sugar substitute or returning it as an olde fashion preservative. 

    This is why Cointreau's new spokeperson is actress Ali Larter.

    No longer a starving, struggling actress but an homebody who can cook with liquor without setting the house on fire.  A celebrity who can cook with liquor, this is the direction Cointreau wants to go, reaching a greater audience who want to stay home and entertain while impressing or making folks jealous with quality ingredients and fancy meals with that extra kick.

    Cointreau's dessert bar showcased with what you can do with a dash of Cointreau as a sugar and flavor substitute.

    Horchata Ginger Cakes

    Coconut Lime Meringue Tarts with...

    Passionfruit Tartlettes with Lime Meringue...

    There tons of these Mexican Doughnuts, dusted in cinnamon sugar and drizzled in passionfruit glaze.  Plenty for the taking for breakfast hangover or as an afternoon tea souvenir.

    Pleasantly surprising, the interior of the doughnuts themselves aren't sweet at all.  All the sugar is on the outside, the cinnamon sugar coating and the passionfruit glaze syrup.

    Cointreau's chefs might had splash a dash of Cointreau in the Salted Caramel Brittle Flan.  Flan is Spanish/Latin custard, usually with a runny syrup dollop on top.  Not with Cointreau's chefs.  They make it nice.  The orange flan was resting on a bed of blood orange and toffee bits topping the Spanish custard.  This was Spanish Crème Brulee. 

    This came directly from Ali Larter's "Kitchen Revelry."  Her recipe for Tequila -Marinated Grilled Pineapple, with a dash of Cointreau of course.  Easy and perfect for July the 4th BBQ.  This one is from



    1. Cut the pineapple lengthwise into 8 wedges. Place the wedges into a sealable plastic container or sealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, stir together the cilantro, tequila and chipotle. Pour into the container with the pineapple. Cut lemon and lime in half, squeeze out some juice and put the juice and fruit into the container. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour, turning pineapple once.
    2. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. When the coals are hot, brush a light coating of oil on the grate.
    3. Grill wedges for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. If you like you can make a sauce by cooking the marinade in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce is thick and syrupy. It will be very spicy!

    Iced Orange Cointreau Cake

    Unlike the other "showcase" cakes tempting the guests crazy, Cointreau was kind enough to share slices of their timeless, classic, plain and simple yet elegant Iced Orange Cointreau Cake.  This scribe swear this was the fluffiest cake ever far....

    Orange Cointreau Cake


    1. For genoise: Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Lightly butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan.
    3. Beat eggs and sugar in large, heatproof bowl until well-blended.
    4. Place bowl over low heat and whisk mixture by hand 40 times (about 1 minute).
    5. Return bowl to mixer and beat until cool and quadrupled in volume.
    6. Gently fold in flour, then butter, do not overmix.
    7. Pour into prepared pan.
    8. Bake until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and top feels springy to the touch, 20-25 minutes.
    9. Invert onto rack and let cool.
    10. For custard: Finely grate zest off the 2 oranges; reserve oranges.
    11. Blend yolks, sugar, cornstarch and flour in medium bowl of mixer until smooth and lemon-coloured.
    12. Scald milk.
    13. Whisk thin stream of hot milk into yolk mixture and pour custard back into saucepan.
    14. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth, about 10 minutes.
    15. Add peel.
    16. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface and cool completely.
    17. To assemble: Cut cake into 3 even layers using a long, serrated knife.
    18. Brush each layer with some of the Cointreau.
    19. Set 1 layer on a cake plate and spread with half of custard.
    20. Repeat with second layer.
    21. Add third layer.
    22. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    23. Decorate top of cake with these if desired.
    24. Try to make attractive pieces.
    25. Thinly slice and remove membranes from sections of reserved oranges.
    26. Frost top and sides with whipped cream.

    Too bad, this Cointreau Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake wasn't never sampled.  They just displayed it then took it away.  Darnit!

    Blood orange and Cointreau upside-down cake
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    This easy blood orange and Cointreau upside-down cake has a dense and moist crumb, topped with zingy booze-soaked orange slices
    Recipe type: cake
    Serves: 6-8
    • 2-3 blood oranges (or other citrus of your choice), sliced very thinly
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 60ml orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
    • 60ml water
    • 200g butter
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 200g almond flour
    • 62.5g plain flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 125ml Greek yoghurt
    1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease a 25cm springform cake tin and then line it with baking paper. Cut a piece big enough to cover the base and sides, then scrunch it up in a ball and flatten it out again to make it more manageable. Cover the base and then fold pleats into the sides to make it fit as well as possible.
    2. Put the water, Cointreau and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and add the blood orange slices. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the pith and rind starts to become translucent. Carefully remove the orange slices with tongs or a slotted spoon, then boil the syrup for a few minutes so that it becomes thickens slightly. Allow the orange slices to cool until you can pick them up with your bare hands.
    3. Brush a little of the syrup on the the baking paper lining the cake tin to make it sticky, then cover the base and sides of the tin with the orange slices. It's up to you whether you want to overlap them or continue them up the sides of the tin or not - get creative! Reserve the rest of the syrup to brush over cake before serving.
    4. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time. Stir in almond flour, plain flour, baking powder and yogurt and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the lined cake tin but be careful not to dislodge the orange slices. Bake for 60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    5. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Cover the springform tin with an upturned serving plate, get a firm grip on the tin and the plate and quickly invert the cake onto the plate. Peel off any parchment paper, then brush the top and sides of the cake with the reserved glaze. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
    Don't you all savory-tongueds and sugar fear-mongers worry.  There was real food served at the Cointreau Soiree...

    This no-cook snack should be a new 4th of July tradition on a sweltering, sweaty Summer day, Ceviche.  Don't worry, the acids from the marinade will kill the germs.


    • 1 pound fresh, skinless snapper, bass, halibut, or other ocean fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
    • 1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 2 medium-large tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
    • Fresh hot green chiles (2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
    • 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives (manzanillos for a typical Mexican flavor)
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
    • Salt
    • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
    • Tostadas, tortilla chips or saltine crackers, for serving

    How to make this recipe

    1. In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float freely; too little juice means unevenly "cooked" fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Drain in a colander.
    2. Make Ahead

      Working ahead: The fish may be marinated a day in advance; after about 4 hours, when the fish is "cooked," drain it so that it won't become too tangy. For the freshest flavor, add the flavorings to the fish no more than a couple of hours before serving.


      There are many ways to serve ceviche. Here are some of our favorites: Place the ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines; spoon the ceviche into small bowls and serve tostadas, chips or saltines alongside; or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. Garnish the ceviche with cilantro leaves before serving.

      Suggested Pairing

      Chile tends to be known for inexpensive reds, but the real secret is the country’s terrific Sauvignon Blancs. The cold winds off the Pacific give Sauvignon Blancs like this one a finely-tuned citrus zestiness, perfect for ceviche (something else they do extremely well in Chile).

    But the biggest hit that will make you the most popular at your party...


    1 cup cornmeal

    2 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/4 tsp black pepper

    1/8 tsp white pepper

    1/3 cup minced onion

    1 egg, beaten

    1/4 cup milk

    vegetable oil, for deep frying

    Mix the cornmeal with the baking powder, salt, black and white pepper, and onion.
    Mix the egg with the milk and whisk into the cormeal mixture.
    Preheat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer.
    Drop spoonfuls of the batter carefully into the hot oil and deep fry the hush puppies until golden brown. Remove and put on a paper towel covered plate to absorb oil and to cool. Serve with a favorite dip.

    Then stick the lobster hush puppies on lollipop sticks to make it "chic."

    Cointreau Soiree's was also a "social cocktail mixer," a delightful place to mix and mingle to a live Latin Jazz band, doing their Spanish spin on Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly."

    Cointreau Soiree's homage to the Original Margarita was like the cocktail itself, light and refreshing, no pressure. Just relax.