Netflix ‘House of Cards’ is Back! We Have The Perfect Bourbon Cocktails For It

HBO Luxury Lounge Featuring L'Oreal Paris And New Era Cap in Honor of the 69th Annual Golden Globes - Day 3

  We are thrilled that the political drama House of Cards has launched Netflix’s expansion into original programming.This whip smart potboiler of power plays, dirty deeds and unbridled lust began two years ago, and was an immediate hit with viewers and my fellow TCA TV critics, giving Netflix the clout and the wherewithal to redefine “television.”The success of this series netted more fantastic efforts, “Lilyjhammer,” “Orange is the New Black” and even emboldened Amazon.com to create new and daring series, to their credit, “Transparent” has officially made gender transitioning a more mainstream topic.Season three debuted early Friday, and fans in […]

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Oregon Gourmet Artisans Create Cheesorizo, A Fantastic Vegetarian Alternative

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Eat This Not That: Meet Cheesorizo®, a vegetarian, all natural and GMO, gluten, grain, and soy free wunderkind that will have you swapping out red meat, textured soy protein and chicken in no time. This must-try find is from a naturally sustaining artisan dairy in Oregon, created by an entrepreneurial family who are vegetarian. This original meat-free cheese sausage tastes and cooks up just like meat sausage. It’s 100% addictive and you will have to order it direct if you live outside of Oregon – the links are provided below.Pholia Farm is an off-the-grid family farm in Rogue River, Oregon, […]

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National Margarita Day: Los Angeles’ Best Tapatio Tequila Fueled Bar Crawl – Details

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Ola! Sunday is National Margarita Day, a time to celebrate the occasion and raise a salt-rimmed glass to toast the cocktail’s clarifying, crisp and sweet palate tease, especially in the snow bound areas of the country.The classic Mexican cocktail of tequila, lime juice and Cointreau or Triple Sec is marked every Feb. 22.  The drink’s creation dates to the late 1930s or early ’40s according to a story in Smithsonian Magazine: As with so many popular things, more than one person has claimed to have invented the margarita. One of the most prevalent stories is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed […]

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Perfect Snow Antidote: February 22 Is National Margarita Day!

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Stop the presses and stop shoveling snow. Please go put on a Tommy Bahama shirt because I’m going to bust out some much needed cocktail news:Sunday, February 22nd is National Margarita Day! The margie is as diverse a cocktail as they come. To make the best – do NOT buy pre-made mixers please! They’re gross, high fructose corn syrup nightmares with fake flavor additives. When life hands you limes, you damn well better use them in a margarita recipe.We’re firing up the vintage, made in the USA Juice-O-Mat Juicer (circa 1950s or earlier, the only way to fly people, get […]

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Drink This Not That: Sia, For Ladies who Love Scotch, Plus Recipes!

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There are ladies who lunch and then there are ladies who scotch!Sia is a new scotch that was launched by a lady (gasp, and clutch the pearls)…. Carin Luna Ostaseski. But this was not a lady who grew up in the distillery ranks or the Appalachian back woods. Ostaseski had a career designing websites and digital products for some of today’s most recognized labels. However, like most trendsetters, she soon realized there was more out there and wanted to find her niche.After being convinced by friends to taste a scotch, (seriously, how much convincing was involved?) she saw that scotch […]

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Small Batches, Fresh Ingredients And Powerful Tools For Best Nut Butters

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If you search for nut butter recipes, technique and wisdom on the Internet, you’ll find a unifying thread of wisdom: All nut butters are not alike, some are more nutritious than others, and some are easier to process at home than others, but they all are fantastic vitamin, alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat, protein and mineral rich ways to eat healthily.  Downside? All “butters” are calorically dense so there’s a strategy to including in your diet daily (recommended for heart health) so your weight is stable. Nut butters usually were one of our first culinary loves as American children, showing […]

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Chinese Lunar New Year Chocolate Limited Editions From L.A. Burdick

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The Lunar New Year, a massive celebration in many Asian countries, is fast approaching. This year marks the Year of the Sheep (or Goat to some), which, according to the Lunar New Year calendar, will celebrate the charmer of the Chinese Zodiac group. People traditionally gift each other “lucky money” in red envelopes, as red symbolizes fire that drives away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in ancient custom and are meant to frighten evil spirits away. Celebrations around the world are already underway for the Chinese New Year, which begins next Thursday, Feb. 19 and […]

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Review: Fragrant Indian Food With Kitchen Curry Master

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My very first encounter with Indian food, or more pointedly Indian spice, was from my well-intentioned mother who always recreated a “Cosmo Cooks” recipe from her 1960s- 70s Cosmopolitan magazines.  Sometimes she struck pay-dirt (Spaghetti Carbonara Cosmo style was excellent).  Occasionally though, she whipped up a bizarre dish so heinous I would feign illness and stagger off clutching a body part. For me, a cloistered kid in a small town full of Italians and Irish north of Boston during these President Johnson/Nixon years, the smell of this bright orange yellow curry was as foreign and off-putting as could be.  Sadly, […]

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Say I Love You With A Valentine’s Peep

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It’s Valentine’s week! That means jewelry stores in every mall across America are raking it in, restaurants are planning to overcharge for aphrodisiac inspired menus and every man is hoping for a peak at a Victoria’s Secret… but for something a little less G-String and a little more G-rated, why not consider a box of Valentine’s Peeps?By now you know I am a Peeps fan, they are so dang cute and fluffy and sweet. They are now a perfect Valentine’s treat with their seasonal special offerings. They have cute pink chicks and bunnies, they also have cherry, raspberry and strawberry […]

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Cocktail of the Month Part 2: ‘His’ And ‘Hers’ Twelve Five Rye Cocktails!

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February 2015 Cocktail of the Month Part Deux: With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we have two special ultimate lovers “his and hers” home bar cocktails featuring rye whiskey. Our favorite mixologist, Amanda Gunderson, Los Angeles-based Congenial Spirits’ director of product development and education, has crafted ‘his’ and ‘hers’ cocktails that speak to what men and women really want- a sweet, strawberry-laced champagne cocktail adorned with a strawberry and rosemary for her (Rye is for Lovers), and a spin on the Michelada (a popular traditional Mexican beer cocktail), including celery bitters and tart grapefruit, for him (Bulls Rye).With uncomplicated, […]

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Wine of the Month: Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni and Indaba Chenin Blanc

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February 2015 Wine Of The Month is two excellent affordable wines from Italy and South Africa.South Africa is not a newcomer to wine-making as many people think.  The wine business began three centuries ago with the Dutch East India Company and with a forward thinking fellow names Jan van Riebeeck, the first governor of the Cape. By 1659 his wines were being sold and celebrated in Europe. Today the region has many noble varieties that originated in France happily growing in the African sun.  South Africa also produces Pinotage, a grape variety that was born in the region. This is […]

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Cocktail of the Month: rokz Infusions Ginger Cardamom With Starlite Vodka, Recipes!

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Our February 2015 Cocktail of the Month features the American small business rokz, who make fantastic drink infusions and rimming salts, sugar and spices to beef up the bar and add to your mixologist reputation and repertoire.rokz takes rock sugar, herbs, fruits and spices, adds to a reusable beautiful glass apothecary style infuser, where you can pour in your favorite spirits like vodka, rum, gin or tequila (you can even infuse whiskey) …and in less than a week later you have a craft cocktail base liquor to build incredible custom libations! We love to infuse even longer for intense flavor. […]

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Super Bowl Chicken Wings? There’s A New Delicious App For That!

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Did you know that some hongray hongray food loving genius came up with the free NFL Homegating app?What IS homegating you may ask? Why, you gather up all your friends and family and whip up insanely calorific treats and gorge and drink until your pants don’t fit. Football is just the tasty glue that holds it all together. Then you gloat your team’s triumphant win over your loser friends and hopefully pass out on the couch and don’t drive anywhere until you sleep it off. You can download the free app from iTunesIn celebration of Super Bowl 49, the free […]

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Liquor Is Quicker: New Easy Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes

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Stop the presses. Valentine’s day in about two weeks away, and we have to say chocolate and candy are dandy but liquor, as they say, is much quicker in getting the object of your desire in the mood for love. We’ve tested and tried some lovely sparkling wines to 80 proof Moonshine and found some amazing new recipes from top mixologists who crafted some perfect pours for this holiday that stresses some people out. Pour yourself a drink and save the Whitman’s Sampler heart shaped box for Nana. It’s time to get that shaker out.Let’s start with some hardcore pours:Stillhouse MoonshineThere’s […]

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Lobster To Tacos: Best LA Food Trucks Roll to Northern Trust Open

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A perfect storm of lobster rolls, sushi, tacos, badass grilled cheeses and Texas style Barbecue are converging on the PGA TOUR event of the season, the Northern Trust Open which is poised to be duffer Valhalla for Angelenos hungry and in the know. As fans get ready for one of the most anticipated outdoor sporting events in LA, they’d better bring their appetites because the Northern Trust Open is featuring six of the most popular food trucks the city has to offer. A new addition to this storied PGA TOUR event, the food trucks will be located in The Promenade […]

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Kombucha All Grown Up, Reed’s Varieties Mix It Up

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Kombucha.  It sounds like an exotic travel destination or a tantric sex position, I love saying the word… I just don’t know what it is.Kombucha is actually one of the world’s oldest tea-based soft drinks that was originally fermented by the Chinese about 2000 years ago. It was thought to help prevent illness and fight degenerative diseases.It is only in recent years that Western cultures have discovered the health benefits of Kombucha that include: detoxification, arthritis treatment, digestive aid and it helps boosts your immune system. This is all great, but come on, if it doesn’t taste good, then no […]

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Pretty In Pink: Five Rosé Winners For Valentine’s Day

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I Heart February Pours: An early “wine of the month” entry shows that well-priced pink vino rules for the month, and there’s five fabulous choices to select that won’t break the bank. A romantic blushing rosé – whether sparkling or not – is a lovely accompaniment to any meal for Valentine’s day.Roses are red, violets are blue and a crisp lush rosé will totally set the mood. Show your wallet some love and consider a well-curated set of alternatives to ultra pricey champagne with the wines presented below – listed from most expensive to least – that that feature nuanced […]

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Wine Of The Month: 2012 Klingon Bloodwine A Tasty Robust Red

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January 2015 Wine Of The Month is….Klingon Bloodwine! Yes, fans of “Star Trek,” there is a fabulous affordable red wine ($19.99) for you to party down wearing your best prosthetic forehead and snappiest Fu Manchu mustache, as The Federation’s age-old arch nemesis quaffable drink is on Vinport.com Klingon Bloodwine (tlhIngan ‘Iw HIq), is now available for Star Trek fans and wine lovers alike. A stark near black bottle adorned with the symbol comprised of the bat’leth or “sword of honor,” a traditional Klingon weapon, Klingon Bloodwine was meant to be enjoyed in celebration and victory. Whether sipped while reveling in triumph […]

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Counting Sheep Coffee Sweeping Across North American Groceries

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A savvy Canadian entrepreneur has devised a delicious coffee, Counting Sheep Coffee, that is drinkable before bed, and safely promotes a deep sleep.  Monsters and Critics reviewed it a few months ago, and found the brew to be extremely effective in knocking you out for bed.  This coffee will get you in ready to fall asleep mode fast. Specifically the “Lights Out” version, the stronger of the two blends available. Counting Sheep Coffee was founded in Vancouver, B.C. in 2013 by entrepreneurs Adam Cooper – Sheep Product Officer, Deland Jessop – Sheep Executive Officer, Joseph Fernandes – Sheep Operations Officer, […]

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Use This Not That: Freeze Glass! Brrrrr

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Product spotlight: Freeze Glass; Your last sip will be colder than your first!Every once in a while an item comes along that makes me happy, genuinely happy.That item is the Freeze Glass… I am in love with the Freeze Glass. No, not in a creepy “objectophilia” kind of way, but in a “how did I ever live without this” kind of way. Freeze Glass is a hand blown, double walled borosilicate glass that contains a specially engineered, safe liquid within its walls. The liquid-filled glass acts as a drink chiller so you don’t need ice anymore.Let me explain…. If you […]

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Hornitos Black Barrel’s Super Bowl Touchdown Spike, Recipe

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I was at a football game a few weeks ago and a very cute man sitting next to me gave me a nudge and offered me a nip of his tequila. Cute guy, cold night at a football game, tequila… how could I say no?? And while we celebrated the win with high-5s and hugs, I never got the guy’s name, albeit, his not-so-pretty first date was nearby. The important thing is that I did get the name of the delicious tequila I have never tasted before. Hornitos, Black Barrel.Sorry, but every time I hear the name Hornitos, I giggle […]

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Review: Made in The USA Champion Juicer Is Versatile, Best In Category

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Bottom Line: The Made in the USA Champion Juicer is a quiet powerhouse that will make 2015 a veggie-full year!  A classic like the ubiquitous KitchenAid Stand Mixer, The Champion Juicer was invented in 1954. This American made beauty has been continually refined and enhanced to extract every bit of nutrition and flavor from fruits, vegetables and nuts. The Champion produces ‘living’ foods and juices. Living foods and juices retain the maximum nutrients and fiber so that you get the full benefits from fresh fruits and vegetables.Unlike centrifugal juicers (Breville), the Champion is high RPM masticating juicer designed to avoid […]

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Rare Limited Edition: Burdick’s Chocolates Robert Burns Assortments Are Back!

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Two magical things, fine artisanal chocolate (ethically sourced) AND fabulous scotch whisky, are back for the annual event from Burdick’s Chocolates. They are unbelievably delicious and rare as a striped unicorn, so don’t miss out. Meet your new foodie obsession for January: Our favorite American chocolatier Burdick’s Chocolates special Robert Burns Assortment and Basket, limited supply so strike while the iron is hot.Robert Burns is one of the most fascinating of Scotland’s notable citizens. His rural Scottish background was not easy, he suffered many hardship and disappointments.Author Hilton Brown noted in his 1949 book “There Was A Lad” and said of Burns:‘Small […]

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Celebrate Hot Toddy Day On January 11, Recipes

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National Hot Toddy Day is on Sunday, January 11, 2015! Watch the Golden Globes with a cup of good cheer.Following up our robust “Spirits of the Season 2014″ coverage, we would be remiss to forget to mention that January brings the worst cold blasts, and that when you feel a tickle in your throat, forget over-the-counter remedies.  We recommend a tasty classic Hot Toddy to knock that back. Hot liquids like homemade chicken soup, herbal teas and good old hot toddies act as an anti-inflammatory soothing nose and throat membranes, helping you breathe and feel better naturally by moving all […]

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Happy New Year 2014! Cocktails From Hornitos’ Mixologist Christian Sanders

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Our very last Spirits of the Season 2014 is here, and we couldn’t end it without imparting some specialty cocktails with Hornitos® Tequila and renowned mixologist, Christian Sanders, so you are armed and ready to be the best bartender this holiday season. They have a new varietal, Hornitos Black Barrel that has a whiskey finish, a different experience than the regular Hornitos silver tequila. You taste the oak, ginger spice and brandied cherries, a hint of chili and vanilla when the agave eventually opens up in the glass. Perfect tequila for colder weather and the holidays!Black Barrel is more like […]

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