Refreshing Summer Cocktails and Beverage Recipes

Here are five delicious summer cocktail and beverage recipes that are great for entertaining or simply to enjoy after a long day of work.  The stacked beverage server from Horchow is also the perfect container for dispensing your refreshments of choice.

Tabernacle Crush from Food & Wine


Mango Sangria from
Bobby Flay’s Coconut Ice Tea
Rye and Pomegranate Punch from Bon Appetit
Stacked Optic Glass Beverage Server from Horchow

5 Hearty and Exotic Chicken Soups

Remember when you were sick as a child and your mom fed you a bowl of homemade chicken soup?  It made you feel warm and comforted on the inside.   Often times the recipe was handed down from your grandmother to your mom and eventually to you as you grew older.  These five, soup recipes from Food and Wine are just as hearty and comforting as grandma's but with an enticing international  flavor.  Quick and easy to make, the  five recipes make a wonderful opening course.

And after your guest are gone, have a relaxing bath while you enjoy a JenSan scented pillar candle.

Recipes to Help You Live with and Beat Diabetes

A few weeks ago I saw Sherri Shepherd from The View, on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Sherri was on to promote her book, Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don't Have It).  Sherri recalled that when she was young, she would hear family members talking about someone having Sugar, but not paying too much attention to what Sugar was.  Even when someone showed up with a missing leg, it didn’t register.  The same with me.  As a child in Barbados, the term Sugar was often used.  No one used the word diabetes.  I now know the correct name for Sugar and as it was when I was a child, I also have friends and family members who are living with the disease. 

Diabetes is very prevalent in the African-American Community.  Many African-Americans eat too many fatty and fried foods, imbibe too many sweet drinks, use too much salt and don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.  Like a lot of other Americans, many of them are also overweight or even obese.

On a trip to the supermarket about three years ago, I discovered some canned goods sold by an African American-owned company.  I had read a few articles in the business press about the success of this company.  I was happy that they were able to get their products on the shelves of this particular supermarket chain.  So I went ahead and purchased a can of one of their products.  However, when I opened the can at home and tasted its contents, I immediately spat them out!  The salt was overwhelming.  It seemed like at least a ½ lb of salt was added to the can.  This particular company sells a lot of product to the black community.
Image credit: sam74100 / 123RF Stock Photo
I attended a Health Fair given by my former employer a few years ago and was shocked to discover that each can of soda contains 10 tablespoons of sugar!  My then employer provided free sodas and I used to drink at least 2-3 cans of Coke or Pepsi per day.  A lot of my co-workers drank even more.  Today, I seldom drink soda.

Currently, we’re not only contending with obese adults, but also obese children.  There has also been a rise in Childhood Diabetes.  Both Type 1 and Type 2.  According to the American Diabetes Association, the increase in type 2 is linked to the prevalence of obesity in youth.

First Lady, Michelle Obama deserves a lot of credit for starting her Let’s Move campaign.  I have read that her campaign has actually produced positive results.  More kids and adults have included some form of exercise in their daily routine and are eating more fruits and vegetables.

Diabetes is not a disease that touches just overweight people.  It is an equal opportunity disease that can touch anyone who ingests too much sugar and doesn't have a healthy diet.  Many famous celebrities like Patti Labelle, Halle Berry and Mary Tyler Moore are living with diabetes.

Having diabetes or working to prevent the onset doesn't mean you have to give up desserts or other meals that you love. If you would like to prevent the onset of diabetes, watch what you eat.  Start by eating more fruits and vegetables, follow a diet with less sugar, salt and carbohydrates.  You can also pick up a copy of Sherri Shepherd’s book or any other book on living with or preventing the onset of diabetes.  To get you started on healthier eating habits, we've rounded up 17 amazing recipes from Diabetic Living just for you.  From appetizers to entrees, desserts and cocktails, we've got you covered.

Written by Jennifer!

Recipe Thursday: Tempting Fall Desserts

As the big entertaining season approaches, I've been on the hunt for new dessert recipes to test out. Yes, we will have mom's traditional favorites at our holiday table but both she and I like to try something new each year.  Actually, I'll be truthful and admit that I'm on the hunt for new recipes for mom.  Even though she doesn't do it as much as she did in the past, at 83 she is still a great cook and come the holidays, the kitchen belongs to her.

Our mom Marjorie

She plans the menu and cooks almost everything herself.  Jennifer and I just help as needed. We know that we should be the ones doing all the hard work while mom rests.  However, cooking for the family has always been one of mom's greatest joys and so as long as she can still handle doing the work, we let her have at it.  She would be hurt if we told her that we were taking over and we are so happy to still have her with us that we would never take the joy away from her. We are happy to just handle the clean up. So in my hunt for some new deserts to try this year, here are some yummy delights that I've discovered

Pumpkin Cheese Cake from Martha Stewart

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel from Food & Wine

Harvest Mousse with Spiced Almond Tuiles from Food & Wine

Apple Cranberry Pie from Whole Living

Spiced Blackberry, Quince and Apple Pavlova from Cooking Channel

Granny Smith Cobbler with White Cheddar Biscuits from BHG Written by Sandra

Death by Temptation: 3 Cheesecake Recipes to die for

Ginger Orange Cheesecake from BHG Savory Cheesecake Appetizer from Pham Fatale No Bake Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake from My Baking Addiction

A Sunday Brunch Treat: Ham-Asparagus and Cheese Strata

One of the favorite pastimes of New Yorkers is to meet for Sunday brunch to catch up with friends and have a mimosa or two.  The brunch menu would be missing something if it did not include a traditional strata dish.  I recently discovered this scrumptious  Ham-Asparagus and Cheese Strata

Cool off with Some Homemade Popsicles

It’s 100 degrees in the NYC area today but it feels more like 105.  When it’s this hot, I find the best way to cool off other than drinking water is enjoying a nice cool popsicle.  As HuffPost Taste noted in their recent article, nothing quite beats a homemade popsicle. They surfed the web and came up with 31 amazing popsicle recipes.  Some of them are adult fortified while others are tasty refreshing treats for the whole family. We’ve previewed three below but you can find the full listing over at the HuffPost Taste blog. image Melon Berry Diablo Cocktail Popsicle recipe by Bakers Royale   image  French 75 Popsicles recipe by Petite Kitchenesse   image  Mango Lassi Popsicle recipe by A Spicy Perspective    

Entertaining Ideas: Delicious Quick and Easy Salads for Those Hot Summer Days

Here are 4 quick and easy summer salad recipes that are anything but ordinary.  These light and refreshing recipes are sure to be enjoyed by your guests at your next picnic or barbecue.


THAI CRAB SALAD by Daniel Boulud on Elle Decor

Served with crisp slices of cucumber, ripe mangoes, and papaya, the kicky salad can be premade and presented on individual plates or arranged buffet style so guests can create their own.  Click here for recipe.



Summer-ripe sweet corn blends with fragrant basil and the zip of jalapeno in this mouthwatering summer salad recipe.


CUCUMBER AND RADISH SALAD by Michael Lindley - from Bon Appetit

Cool and refreshing cucumbers are the perfect ingredient for a summer salad. They stay fresh for a long period of time and so work wonderfully in picnic salads.  Click here for recipe.

AVOCADO FRUIT SALAD from Southern Living

This fresh summer salad combines avocado, fruit and mint.  Click here for recipe.

Roast Chicken and Apricot Salad


Now that those luscious fruit and vegetables from your new kitchen garden are ready to be picked, you might want to try using them in these enticing healthy recipes from House & Home.