Friday, January 27, 2012

Limoncello Cocktail

Whenever I hear the term Lemoncello I picture Danny Devito a mess back in 2006. Hair sticking up and noticeably intoxicated on The View. He chocked up his inappropriate jokes, slurred speech and unsteady walking to too many shots of the traditional Italian lemon-flavored liqueur known as limoncello. "I knew it was the last seven limoncellos that was going to get me," he said. I can see how the drink got him. Tastes like a yummy sweet lemonade. Since lemons are going crazy this time of year, I decided to make a sugar free version of this classic drink. 
Sugar Free Limoncello
10 lemons
2 cups vodka
3 cups water
2 cups splenda
1 tsp vanilla
Juice your lemons.
Add 3 cups filtered water and stir. 
Add 2 cups splenda and 1 tsp vanilla and stir. 
Store in the fridge in a glass bottle until well chilled. 
It will last 3 weeks in the fridge. 
*note if you want a regular sugar version, add 2 cups sugar to water on stove and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Then proceed with the above recipe. 
Romantic Tip:
Anticipation can be a huge turn on for a man. Believe it or not a huge part of their thought process is "am I going to get sex or not?" If he knows he is, but can't act on it... it can make the sexual tension amazing and make for some great time together when the time is right. This can be a very fun game to play with your man. Plan a public event, a party, a concert, a dinner party... give him little signals all day and night that you are going crazy with anticipation for him to take you. Be subtle so no one else but you two know what is going on. Send him little texts or tease him with your hand under the table. Be brave! The results are priceless.
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Pan-seared Scallops

There is something about food that is in circles. They make me happy. When it entertains my eyes, I want it to entertain my stomach. So naturally Scallops make me happy. =)
This simple dish is the perfect dish to serve on a romantic evening. Put on a dress and heels and get ready to make your man happy with this one. 

Romantic Tip: 
Take care of yourself. Make sure you keep clean and smelling pretty. Scent is one of the strongest forces behind actions. Find the smell your Man likes, perfume, soap, lotions, shampoos and oils. Don't over do it. Almost everyone just loves the smell of clean. It is indescribably sexy.

Pan-seared Scallops

adapted from Use Real Butter

4 large dry scallops
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine
1 roma tomato sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Salt lightly and place pan in the oven for 10 minutes. 
Pat the scallops dry with towel or paper towels. 
Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the scallops. 
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed steel frying pan over high heat. When oil is hot, place the scallops in the pan with one inch between them.

After two minutes, the base should be browned nicely. Flip the scallops and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside briefly. While still on high heat, drop a pat of butter into the pan. Move the pat around the pan until melted completely. Pour in the wine and use a whisk or spoon to scrape the fond from the pan and stir it into the liquid. Leave the heat on high and let the sauce boil until it reduces to desired consistency. Immediately remove from heat and serve with scallops. I served mine over baked tomatoes and garnished with watercress. Pour the deglazed pan sauce over scallops and serve.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail
It is Citrus Season here in Southern California. We are blessed with free lemons, limes and oranges this time of year. There is nothing better than fresh squeezed Orange juice. Yum. 
One of my favorite flavors is the combination of Orange and Vanilla. At Jamba juice I order the Orange Dream Machine. This drink tastes just like it... but with some alcohol added. I love handing a cocktail to my husband when he comes home from a long day of work. Just enough to relax him and make him feel at home. This cocktail tastes like orange sherbet with a touch of vanilla and cream. I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as we do!

Romantic Tip:
Have confidence in yourself and believe in yourself. Tell yourself over and over again, "I am a hottie!" No matter whether you are short, tall, skinny, or heavyset, just look in the mirror and say to yourself that there is no one else in the world just like you. You are unique and fabulous - and now is the time to believe it! Remember, men are drawn to women who are cool and are self-assured. Be one of them.

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail Directions:

1 oz vodka 
1 oz whipped cream vodka
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
4 oz orange juice (hand squeezed is the best)
Fill a mixing cup with 1/2 way with ice. Shake all ingredients well and strain into a cocktail glass.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Today I am bringing you a nice side dish or appetizer. I find they bring great color to any dish as a side. Sometimes there is more to garnishing your plate than just parsley.   Here you can see how I used them as an edible garnish on a plate of Swedish meatballs.

The perfect side dish when you are wanting to eat healthier.

Romantic Tip:
This is a fun one. Men need to think they seduced you. Yes, we know we work hard at it. We seduce our men, we read articles and study up on how to keep our man interested in us and only us. Here is the trick. Men want you to seduce them, but they want it to be their idea. Like they have this power over you. Sometimes playing hard to get in a romantic atmosphere is the perfect little tool. He does not have to know you spent the day planning what you would wear, how you would do your makeup, what food to serve, what nightie to wear etc... I love to do all the right romantic things, look sexy, romantic music, candles, food... but leave the flirting up to him. It can be fun to watch. To go from being distant, pretending it is all about the food, then slowly coming around to it being all about him. He will feel like he conquered you. Give him his Victory.

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes 
adapted from eating well

4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 450° F.
  • Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil 
  • and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Serve as a side to any dish, or you can add your favorite cracker or toasted bread to make a great canape.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Orange Dreamsicle Ice Cream

It is Citrus season here.  I still can't get over the fact that where it is Winter everywhere else, here my citrus trees are going crazy. My lime tree is popping out 12 limes a day. My Orange tree gave me 12 ripe oranges over the weekend and my lemon tree is at about 4 lemons a day. My friend was over this weekend and we were saying how nice it would be to be able to fully use the orange. Not just the juice and the flesh. So I started dwelling on what I could serve in the orange to use it like a bowl. My mind kept going back to when I order Orange dreamsicle drinks from Jamba juice. Something about having the orange, cream and vanilla together that makes it amazing. It turned out to be the perfect thing to fill the oranges with. My husband went crazy. He raved on and on about the ice cream and even said the bowl made it extra special. 
Romantic Tip: 
I hear a lot from Women that they are discouraged that their man doesn't plan anything romantic. Men learn by example. Plan a trip to his favorite place. Plan details all by yourself. He will love the feeling of being pampered and he will in turn want to plan one for you. It may take a few times. That is ok. You are still having fun spending time with your man. Put forth the effort and you will get it in return.

Adapted from Fulfilled Homemaking
Orange Ice Cream Recipe
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Juice your oranges.

Whisk the sugar in the orange juice until dissolved and then add all other ingredients. Then pour in your ice cream maker and mix until it is frozen.

It took me 8 oranges to get 2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice. But oh my was it worth it! 
You can serve in the empty orange skins that you have from juicing. 
Then eat!
You can store the ice cream in a freezer safe container. It is a great base for a smoothy with protein powder too. 

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