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Thursday
Mar152007

Brookfarm - Healthy & Gourmet Macadamia Goodness

Foodies looking for another line of gourmet foods should take serious note of Brookfarm. Recently introduced to the US market, this award-winning Australian company focuses on superior macadamia products, from the delicious Macadamia Muesli to their fantastic Macadamia Oil collection. Big on flavor and quality, they are dedicated to using only the finest local ingredients such as Australian Ocean Sea Salt, Lemon Myrtle and Bush Tomatoes from the Central Australian desert.

Cholesterol free and high in monounsaturates, the premium cold-pressed Macadamia Oils are infused with clean flavors of Lemon Myrtle and Lime and Chilli. Offering a multitude of culinary possibilities, you can use it in salads, veggie stir fries, or as a base in pesto sauces. Great for enhancing seafood and meat dishes, it's also perfect as a dipping oil for appetizers or hors d'oeuvre platters (For cooking inspiration, see award-winning chef Sally James' pesto recipe below).

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The oven roasted Macadamia Nut collection is a great example of the slow-food production method, ensuring full flavor and nutritional integrity in each bite. Perfect as a cocktail snack or pre-dinner appetizer, the Kashmiri Chili and Sea Salt flavored nuts add a nice warm zing to the tastebuds. Another popular favorite is the Bush Pepper Spice and Sea Salt flavor.

I'm a big fan of the Natural Macadamia Muesli. By far one of the most flavorful muesli's I've ever tasted, it is a literal flavor explosion in your mouth. Packed with more than 17 ingredients, it includes buckwheat, bran, brown rice, natural sultanas, currants, and Brookfarm’s sun-ripened macadamia nuts. GMO-free and low in fat, it is truly a healthy gourmet breakfast indulgence.

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For folks who can't tolerate gluten, you're in for a tasty treat. The Gluten Free Macadamia Muesli has a wonderful wholesome flavor that is rare in many other 'healthy' muesli brands. As promised in their product label, it doesn't taste anything like cardboard. Loaded with macadamia nuts, sunflower and pumpkin kernels, and delicately sweetened with unprocessed Australian Bush Honey, it's only about 150 calories per serving.

For more recipe ideas: www.brookfarm.com.au

SALLY JAMES’ MACADAMIA CILANTRO PESTO

Ingredients:

2 ounces (60g) Brookfarm oven roasted macadamias

1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 – 1/3 cup Brookfarm Premium Grade Natural Macadamia Oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method:

Place the macadamias, cilantro and Parmesan in a blender and process until coarsely chopped, scraping down sides. With motor running add enough of the macadamia oil to reach desired consistency. Add lemon juice to taste and mix well. Serve spread on bread, tossed through rice or pasta or serve on fish or chicken.

See you at the gourmet stores,

The Sweet Life

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Thursday
Mar082007

Palette Fine Foods: A Rainbow Assortment of Flavor-packed Condiments

Palette Fine Foods, a new label under Dave's Gourmet, has a great array of preserves and honeys to add to your condiment cupboard. The Lavender Honey makes a great substitute for plain honey - use it in baking, or drizzle over ice cream, pancakes, french toast or other baked goodies. I love it with my herbal teas.

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For Asian-inspired dishes, the Star Anise Honey can boost the exotic flavor factor. The licorice flavor is fantastic as a glaze for meat dishes, or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls/appetizers.

For an impressive cheese platter, you can match it with The Sour Cherry and Lemon Balm preserve, Peppered Black Mission Fig preserve, or one of my favorites, the Spiced Quince. The Golden Raspberry Jam has a unique, delicate flavor, making it perfect for toast, or paired with goat cheese.

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http://davesgourmet.com/

The Sweet Life

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Tuesday
Mar062007

Chalmers Ganache - Loving Spoonfuls of Cocoa Bliss

If you're an aspiring home baker like me, you might entertain fantasies of making and tempering your own chocolate confections. Why torture yourself into making a potential chocolate mess when you can fake it with a lovely substitute?

Chalmers Ganache should be the secret weapon in your kitchen for your next dinner party. Made with fine European chocolate (no high-fructose corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners), this rich and sinful ganache can transform itself into many delicious things, from a Chocolatini cocktail to mochas or a cupcake frosting. No time to make a fancy dessert? Not a problem. Just freeze the ganache and roll them into truffles for a quick sugar fix. Your guests won't know the diference.

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You will have your hands full experimenting with the three great flavors: Luxe Dark, Ultra Mint, and the new Mucho Mayan Spice. No need to fret over the calorie content (110 calories per serving, and NO trans fat!), so splurge away!

For more info and recipes: www.chalmerschocolate.com

The Sweet Life

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Friday
Feb232007

Poco Dolce - Petit morsels of artisan sweetness

Hand-made in small batches, Kathy Wiley's confections are like modern pieces of art. They're so edgy-looking you almost don't want to taste them. If you haven't tried pairing sea salt with your sweet nibbles, you're in for a treat. Her signature Bittersweet Chocolate Tiles are topped with grey sea salt, which lends a nice intensity to the other ingredients.

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These 2-inch bites are intense teasers for your taste buds. Hailed by Saveur magazine as one of their top ten picks, you can't go wrong with any of the flavors: Almond, Aztec Chile, Burnt Caramel Almond Toffee, Ginger, Coconut Almond, Hazelnut. Also try the new Cortina collection, an Italian-inspried assortment of filled chocolates.

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See you at the candy store!

The Sweet Life

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Thursday
Feb152007

Pluck & Go with EstheticPlus Mini Tweezers

The EstheticPlus Mini Tweezers is like a girl's other best friend. Just 2 inches tall, this little tool of wonder can tame the bushiest of brows. Ingrown hairs? Not a problem. These hand-crafted (made in Italy) tweezers can grab even the most troublesome hairs with precision. The best part about it, of course, is the size. Great for small makeup bags, travel, work, school, etc.

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Available at www.estheticplus.com or call 877-643-7900

The Sweet Life

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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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