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Wednesday
Feb072007

Dragonfly Cakes: Explosive Bite-sized Treasures

Dragonfly Cakes' colorful petit fours are almost too pretty to consume. Almost. Created by Brooks Coulson, these darling treasures are meant to be slowly savored over high tea with girlfriends, or lavishly displayed at parties, showers, and weddings.

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One taste of these tiny cakes and you’ll be hooked. Offering six flavors (raspberry, lemon, apricot, vanilla-orange, hazelnut praline and chocolate), each hand-crafted piece is created with oh-so-delicate layers of moist vanilla cake. Filled with layers of smooth buttercream and preserves, they are finished with marzipan (not too sweet, just the right balance of flavor) and chocolate. I personally love the hazelnut praline.

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All flavors can be custom-designed and are beautifully packaged. For online orders, go to www.dragonflycakes.com

The Sweet Life

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Wednesday
Feb072007

Randy Fuhrman's Brownies - Amazing Valentine Treats For Everyone

More last-minute gift ideas for Valentine's Day - Randy Fuhrman's exquisite brownies are the cat's meow. Just for this lovely occasion, they are featuring the Dark Chocolate Raspberry flavor!

Baked fresh, these preservative-free luscious morsels are decadent enough for even the most discerning brownie lover. Randy’s Brownies are can be shipped anywhere in the US, they will arrive in a special Valentine box wrapped with a deep red ribbon.

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Randy’s Brownies also come in these special flavors: Cool Mint, Joyful Almond, White Chocolate Raspberry, Butterfinger, Macadamia Coconut Rum Banana, Kona Coffee, Southern Comfort Spicy Pecan, Heath Bar, Mandarin Chocolate

To guarantee delivery on Valentine’s Day, order by THIS FRIDAY, February 9th. Folks living in the Los Angeles area can also grab their gift boxes at their home bakery.

www.randysbrownies.com

The Sweet Life

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Tuesday
Feb062007

Stage Your Kitchen Seduction with Fork Me, Spoon Me

The average kitchen can be easily transformed into the new bedroom, according to Amy Reiley’s Fork Me, Spoon Me: the sensual cookbook. An international food expert, Reiley's book explains the scientific potency of the world’s top 12 aphrodisiac foods. For example, she explores the feel-good effect of the PEA chemical in chocolate (its effect similar to sexual bliss), and how ginger boosts sensitivity in the erogenous zones.

This sexy cookbook contains ‘in-the-mood’ recipes such as Persian love cake, honey almond home cured snapper, and moist mango meatloaf. It also features recipes from hot chefs of the moment (including James Corwall of the Culinary Institute of America and Master Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim).

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For your next romantic meal, try to incorporate any of the following top aphrodisiac foods:

1. CHILE PEPPERS - While lips swell and tongues tingle, the chili heat sets to work releasing endorphins, the primary pleasure enzyme.

2. PEACHES - Thought by the ancient Chinese to hold magical properties, peaches are rich in potassium, iron, vitamins a and c, all noted nutrients for improving the horizontal salsa.

3. MINT - Noted for increasing appetites of all kinds, mint is the perfect herb to sweeten a meal, for not only does it increase flavor but it also sweetens breath.

4. GINGER - Although it is commonly used to aid digestion, served pickled, candied or in the raw, ginger increases sensitivity in the erogenous zones.

5. HONEY - A sweet decadence colored the hue of royalty and wealth, golden honey is energy-boosting syrup. The Nectar of Aphrodite, this all-natural sweetener is at the root of the term “honeymoon.”

6. CHOCOLATE - The aphrodisiac properties of chocolate are many. Sip creamy hot chocolate for its modest caffeine charge or nibble on a dark morsel for its serotonin boost.

7. MANGOES - The muse of poets and philosophers since the beginning of recorded time, mangoes are prescribed in India to increase male libido.

8. SAFFRON - The most rare and exotic of all herbs, saffron has been used throughout history in rituals of beauty and love.

9. ALMONDS - The almond blossom is considered an international symbol of fertility. These protein-rich morsels are outstanding in helping sustain stamina.

10. ROSEMARY – With flavors and aromas dubbed “invigorating” in the naturopathic world, rosemary could easily be called one of the kitchens most sensual foods.

11. VANILLA - Its scent is found to be arousing to both sexes.

12. FIGS - Rich in iron, the fig is said to resemble the female genitalia.

Check out www.eatsomethingsexy.com or www.lifeofreiley.com for more info.

See ya in the kitchen!

The Sweet Life

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Tuesday
Feb062007

Quady Winery's Deviation: Modern-Day Love Potion

Magic and passion are successfully melded into Quady Winery’s Deviation dessert wine. A delicious Orange Muscat that’s beautifully infused with the fragrant Scented Geranium (used in witchcraft for love potions), this lovely indulgence makes for a surefire tool to woo the sweetheart of your dreams. Layers of honeysuckle and white peppercorn also add to the very seductive floral perfume. Complimenting the orange apricot tea notes, the minty Damiana is added (reputed to possess aphrodisiac properties), to seal the love match.

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A light texture, it doesn’t overwhelm the palate with the usual heaviness of many dessert wines. Serve it by itself, or pair it with either chocolate or citrus desserts. Shared with your darling, this will definitely put you in the mood for love.

Singles, take heart - you never know what will happen when you drink this with others...

www.quadywinery.com

The Sweet Life

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Monday
Feb052007

Suki - Pure Organic Goodness for Face & Body

For those interested in safer, natural skin care alternatives, Suki skin care is really worth a try. Created by Suki Kramer, who had a lifelong struggle with skin issues, her skin & body care products are carefully formulated with pure, organic ingredients that are free of synthetics, gentle and profoundly effective. Kramer is also a strong advocate of educating the consumers on the quality of ingredients available and providing the latest information in the natural skin care industry.

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Mini Skin Care Kit

I suggest getting the Mini Skin Care Kit to get an overall sense of the main line. It includes the exfoliating lemongrass cleanser, moisture-rich cleansing lotion, concentrated facial toner-shitake, facial moisture serum-carrot, complexion brighteining cream, delicate mositure body oil, hand & body velvet creme, and hand & body butter creme.

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Lemongrass Cleanser

I liked how the Cleansing Lotion hydrated my skin. It wasn't greasy upon application, and provided an ample layer of moisture. If your skin is oily, you might be tempted to skip the moisturizer. The Exfoliating Lemongrass Cleanser is another great product. Smelling like an exotic lemon drop, it encourages cellular turnover with chamomile and natural vitamin C. The Velvet Facial Creme has a wonderfully light texture, without any heavy residue. This creme is especially powerful with its healing antioxidants, which helps with blemishes, redness and inflammation. The Carrot Facial Serum is great for dry winter skin, and is particularly helpful with sun damage, general skin irritations, rosacea and eczema.

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Cleansing Lotion

To learn more about Suki's entire line, check out www.sukisnaturals.com

The Sweet Life

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Monday
Feb052007

Ageless Beauty Starts with Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30

Although it's only winter, it's always a smart idea to get proper year-round SPF protection. Afterall,that's the foundation for ageless beauty. If the idea of carrying a leaky bottle of greasy sunscreen sounds icky, definitely consider the powder brush from Colorescience's Sunforgettable SPF 30 line. Available in a body brush, roller ball and shaker jar packaging, it's super easy to keep that precious skin layer safe from all the UV rays.

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I love how it's completely water-resistant for up to 6 hours, and you don't need the 20-minute wait after application. Just brush on and go! One application provides full spectrum protection for the entire day. How conventient is that? Now there is no excuse for sun damage.

www.colorescience.com or call 866-4COLORE for spa retailers.

The Sweet Life

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Saturday
Feb032007

Dance Your Way To Your Lover's Heart With Dancing Deer Cakes & Cookies

If you're still confused about Valentine's gifts, take a gander at Dancing Deer's yummy selection of sweet goodies. Using only pure and fresh ingredients, this woman-owned enterprise churns out awesome, award-winning cookies, cakes and brownies. Your sweetheart will adore these freshly made products, and so will you.

Start with the Conversation Hearts Gift Set, which contains hand-dipped, hand-stenciled buttery vanilla cookies that read “Real Love”, “Sweet Talk”, “xOxOxO”, and a dark pink stenciled heart. The 12 cookies are lovingly packaged in a wooden gift box with a fuchsia ribbon ($19.95).

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If that isn't enough to show your love, go the extra mile and get the Sweet Talk Cake & Cookie Tower, which includes two 5" heart-shaped chocolate ganache cakes and twelve of the same conversation heart cookies ($39.95). Serious chocolate lovers will be lusting after the Chocolate Lover's Medley, which includes the popular Chocolate Chunk Brownies, a heart-shaped Chocolate Ganache Cake, a Chocolate Espresso Cake, whimsical Chocolate Decorated Hearts, amazingly Chewy Chocolate Tangerine cookies, and the famed Chocolate Chip Cookies ($49.95).

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Available at Whole Foods Markets, Wild Oats and Williams-Sonoma.
Order online at www.dancingdeer.com, or call 1-888-699-DEER.

The Sweet Life

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Saturday
Feb032007

Say 'I Love You' with Recchiuti Confections

The 'Picasso of Chocolatiers' has done it again with his seasonal picks for Valentine's Day. Recchiuti Confections has a très delicieuse collection of treasures to stimulate the senses. Choose from their standard collections, or try the following seasonal offerings:

Valentine's Box - Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than these bite-sized pieces of heaven. This special assortment includes the popular Fleur de Sel Caramel, Ginger Heart and Lavender Vanilla. Also featuring the following scrumptious flavors: Tarragon Grapefruit, Burnt Caramel, Lemon Verbena, Spring Jasmine Tea, Pearl Mint Tea, Star Anise & Pink Peppercorn, Sesame Nougat, Rose Caramel, Bergamot Tea and Piedmont Hazelnut.
Large: 32 pieces ($75); Medium: 16 pieces ($40)

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The Champagne Truffles are a divine version of a classic favorite. Creamy dark chocolate is perfectly perfumed with Napa Valley’s 2001 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs. They are then kissed with confectioner's sugar. Don’t pass up on this seasonal treat. It’s guaranteed to make your valentine squeal with delight. (24 pieces; $18)

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www.recchiuticonfections.com

The Sweet Life

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Friday
Feb022007

Robert Lambert's Heavenly Condiments Literally To Die For

I've had the good fortune to discover the YUMMY chocolate sauces, syrups, marmalades and fruitcakes from Robert Lambert at a recent food show, and I've been raving them to everyone and their grandmother ever since. You can see the passion and refined artisan sensibilities behind each and every product, from the flavor concept to the actual ingredients used in each batch.

For example, the flavored syrup collection has just about any exotic flavor you can imagine, from Bergamot to Thai Ginger to Rangpur lime. Great for pancakes, iced teas, baking pound cakes, yogurts, salad dressings, cocktails, and marinades. You can even combine the different flavors to make your own special creation.

Bergamot

Bergamot Syrup

The stellar chocolate sauce collection is something every choco-lover should try. Robert only uses fine dark chocolate, instead of the typical cocoa powder and corn syrup combo. My favorites were the Raspberry Rose (infused with French framboise liquer), Mojito Mint, and the Malted Milk. The Mexican and Ginger Pear are also popular flavors. But who am I to tell you what you should try? Just get them all! Great for ice creams, toast, hot cocoa, fondue, or for dipping fruit.

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Raspberry Rose Chocolate Sauce

For those who aren't big fans of fruit cake, Robert's fruit cake collection will totally change your mind. I like the Summer Fruit Cake, with its cherries, mango, pears, almonds, guava and peach juice, macadamia and pine nuts, candied Rangpur lime, etc. Lushies will be happy to note that this is soaked in apricot brandy. Decorated with a California bay leaf and geranium blossom, it's such a pretty snack to bring to a housewarming, afternoon tea or dinner.

Don't overlook the incredible marmalades. With flavors like Calamondin, Seville Orange and Grapefruit Trio, you will be instantly hooked.

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Summer Fruit Cake

For recipes and more info , check out www.robertlambert.com

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Tuesday
Jan302007

Arouse Your Sweetheart's Ardour With The Plymouth Passion

There's no better way to say those three little words than presenting this aptly-named drink, The Plymouth Passion. Easy to make, the smooth taste of Plymouth Gin and the exotic combo of pomegranate and passion fruit will definitely stir up more than enough passion between you and your sweetheart.

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1.5 oz. Plymouth Gin

1.5 oz. Pomegranate Juice

1.5 oz. Passion Fruit Juice

Squeeze of lime

Fill a tall glass with ice, add Plymouth Gin and top with equal parts pomegranate and passion fruit juices. Add squeeze of lime and then stir.

Enjoy!

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