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Hello Fall! What’s new at basil & salt

New season, new issue. Come on in and see what we are up to at Basil & Salt Magazine. You’ll be glad you did.

Zipline over the fall colors of West Virginia

Outdoor adventures in an idyllic autumn setting await

In the autumn, the mountains and forests of West Virginia come alive with spectacular colors, and the most exciting way to experience the fall foliage is ziplining through the mountains and over the gorges in southern West Virginia. As the third most forested state, West Virginia provides a lush tableau of colors that are especially vibrant for fall travelers.

Ziplining Under A Canopy of Leaves at Pipestem Adventures

Fly 300 feet in the air under a canopy of leaves, and as you zip from tree to tree you can see for a mile across the Mountain State. The cooler weather in the fall makes it the perfect time to zipline, and Pipestem offers breathtaking views as visitors sail on lines that cross over the Bluestone River Gorge three times at speeds up to 50 mph.  Nine ziplines up to 1,700 feet in length, have travelers ‘sailing’ September through the end of October, the perfect time to experience peak fall colors at Pipestem Adventures, open through October 31st.

Pipestem State Park is an adventurer’s paradise. In addition to ziplining, visitors can enjoy other adventures such as hiking, mountain biking, archery and skeet shooting  As the autumn forests explode with rich colors of red, orange, and yellow, West Virginia’s beautiful vistas engage the senses with their visual splendor, the scents of fall and the sound crunching leaves as you walk forested paths.

Among the prime destinations for leaf peeping is the state’s only National Park – the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. The second week in October is the ideal time to view the colors in the most photographed and iconic sites in the state and for six weekends September through October, serious rafters from around the world visit West Virginia to take on the challenge of whitewater rafting on the Gauley River. During this distinct time of year, the dam at Summersville Lake is released, creating guaranteed flow on the Gauley River. The river consists of two distinct sections –The Upper and Lower Gauley – and each is typically run separately as a full day trip.

View all of the Pipestem Adventures activities at  Pipestem activities can be booked by calling 1-833-WV-Parks (1-833-987-2757) or visiting  Some activities require advanced reservations and other considerations.

Experiences at New River Gorge National Park and on the Gauley River can be explored and booked at or by calling 800-787-3982. 

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Simple and delicious, the secret ingredient in this dish is black garlic.

Our suggested wine pairing is a viognier or a chardonnay. Happy Cooking!

Pasta, potatoes, rice, greens, what’s your side? We would love to know!

Creamy Tuscan Chicken


  • 2 large chicken breasts sliced lengthwise
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves black garlic pureed with 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce jar water packed quartered artichoke hearts, well drained (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped


  1. Cut the chicken in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Coat in flour.
  2. Melt the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes/side or until golden. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and Dijon mustard. Scrape up any brown bits and let it simmer with chopped garlic and black garlic puree, for 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the cream, spinach, artichoke hearts (if desired) and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the chicken back to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce reduces a bit.
  5. Stir in the basil and season with extra salt & pepper if needed. Serve immediately. 


We used The Black Garlic Market’s Black Garlic for superior quality and flavor.

If the sun-dried tomatoes are not packed in oil, you may want to add a bit more – the oil-packed ones taste more concentrated. I drain the oil prior to adding them to the pan.

If you have particularly small chicken breasts, I recommend leaving them whole and cooking them for a few minutes longer.

BONUS Recipe to make ahead or the night before

The perfect romantic Italian dessert for two. Prepare it together and chill 4 hours or overnight.

Classic Tiramisu

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


For the Cream

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone, 8-ounce container

For the Assembly

  • 1 ¾ cups espresso or very strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons rum or cognac
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  About 24 ladyfingers, one 7-ouncepackage
  • 1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, for shaving, optional


  1. Using an electric mixer in a medium bowl, whip together egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until very pale yellow and about tripled in volume. A slight ribbon should fall from the beaters, or whisk attachment when lifted from the bowl. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it creates soft-medium peaks. Add mascarpone and continue to whip until it creates a soft, spreadable mixture with medium peaks. Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg yolks until combined.
  3. Combine espresso and rum in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  4. Using a sifter, dust the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish or an 8×8-inch dish, or a 9-inch round cake pan, with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
  5. Working one at a time, quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture — work quickly, if you leave them too long, they will fall apart, and place them rounded side up at the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat, using half the ladyfingers, until you’ve got an even layer, breaking the ladyfingers in half as needed to fill in any obvious gaps, a bit of space is okay. Spread half the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers in one even layer. Repeat with remaining espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
  6. Dust top layer with remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. Top with shaved or finely grated chocolate, if desired.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (if you can wait 24 hours, all the better) before slicing or scooping to serve.

Armani Beauty Hosts An Exclusive Dinner To Celebrate The 78th Venice International Film Festival Of La Biennale Di Venezia

Last night in Venice, Armani beauty, main sponsor of the 78th Venice International Film Festival, hosted an exclusive dinner to honor cinematography and celebrate the brand’s newly launched longwear lipstick LIP POWER. 

Madisin Rian, Adria Arjona, Barbara Palvin and Greta Ferro at the Armani beauty dinner

In presence of Roberta Armani, the event gathered the Film Festival’s godmother Serena Rossi and member of the jury Sarah Gadon; the brand’s faces Adria Arjona, Greta Ferro, Nicholas Hoult, Alice Pagani, Barbara Palvin, and Madisin Rian; actors and notable guests amongst whom Maude Apatow, Antonia Gentry, Hailee Steinfeld, Chase Stokes, Lexi Underwood, Esther Acebo, Jaime Lorente, Eugenia Silva, Laura Haddock, Ruth Wilson, Victoria Magrath, Shirine Boutella, Tina Kunakey, Caroline Receveur, Matilde Gioli, Levante, Ludovica Martino and Beatrice Bruschi.

Slideshow below

Armani beauty – Main Sponsor of the 78th Venice International Film Festival

Armani beauty’s renewed partnership as a Main Sponsor with the 78th Venice International Film Festival further strengthens the relationship the brand has with the world of filmmaking and comes as a celebration of Giorgio Armani’s life-long love of the cinema.

As a Main Sponsor of the Biennale Cinema 2021, Armani beauty is providing the official make-up service to the festival’s guests among whom celebrities walking the red carpet.

This year, Armani beauty strengthens its relationship with the Biennale Cinema even further with the introduction of a new award: The Audience Award – Armani beauty, Orizzonti Extra. Orizzonti Extra is an extension of the competitive section focusing on latest trends in the cinema world. The newly introduced prize will celebrate the best picture of the new section according to a jury of spectators.

To further contribute to the city of Venice’s culture, education, and future generations, as well as to promote beauty and the world of arts, Armani beauty is also continuing to support the restoration of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia collection of plaster casts.

Blackberry Cake

The beauty of late summer. Large berries bursting with sweetness!

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy Mother Nature’s late summer bounty than with scratched up arms from picking berries.

Blackberry Cake


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease springform or tart pan – 9″ or square baking pan.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar, making a well in the center.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Add sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Whisk until blended. Slowly add melted butter, whisking constantly until combined. Pour mixture into the well of the flour and sugar mixture. Stir with spatula until dry ingredients are moistened. Note: Batter will be thick.
  4. Pour two-thirds of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of blackberries over the batter. Using a large spoon “dollop” the remaining batter over blackberries and smooth with spatula. Top with remaining berries, lightly pressing berries into the batter.
  5. Allow cake to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Sprinkle course sugar on top (optional)
  6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with no wet batter.
  7. Cool cake for 20 minutes, then remove sides of springform for serving or serve directly from tart or baking pan.

Can you freeze blackberries? Of course you can!

Freezing your freshly picked blackberries is a breeze! Do not wash, lay out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and simply place in the freezer. The berries will freeze individually for easy storage. I measure out 5 1/2 cups of frozen berries and place them in a large, gallon size zippy bag, seal well and quickly put back in the freezer.

When I’m ready to make a pie or other dessert, I remove the bag, add berries to a strainer and rinse with cold water to remove stems, leaves and (gasp!) any stray bugs.

Blackberries are my favorite berries and I have been cooking with them as long as I can remember. This year after canning jam, baking a tart, pies, hand-pies and using the berries in salads, I wanted to bake a blackberry cake. I tried a few difference recipes on the web and ultimately fell in love with the Blackberry Breakfast Cake by Saving Room for Dessert. If you have a chance, pop over and look at the pure deliciousness on her site. The only change I made, was not using the coarse sugar on top.

Crystal Head Vodka MOJO

Tasty and refreshing, this delicious MOJO recipe is perfect for summer’s last hurrah.

Crystal Head Vodka’s version of the Mojito is pure deliciousness and perfect for the last 3-day weekend of summer. Raising a toast to all of you this Labor Day weekend with Crystal Head Vodka’s refreshing MOJO.

Crystal Head Vodka MOJO


  • 2 ounces Crystal Head Vodka 
  • ¾ ounces fresh lime juice 
  • ¾ ounces simple syrup 
  • 8-10 mint leaves


  1. Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and gently muddle mint.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously for 8-11 seconds.
  3. Double strain into a tall collins glass over ice.
  4. Add fresh mint crown and lime wheel for garnish.

A Basil & Salt Travel Quick-Bite: Inns Of Monterey Announce New Adventure Package

Play by the Bay this Autumn

Inns of Monterey make exploring the Monterey Bay a breeze with the new Adventure Package. Available at Spindrift Inn, Monterey Bay Inn, and Wave Street Inn, the package includes overnight accommodations for two and two tickets for either paddle board rental, traditional bicycle rental or kayak rental from Adventures by the Sea.

Inns of Monterey and Adventures by the Sea are committed stewards of the environment and create experiences without negatively impacting nature.  Whether guests paddle, peddle or kayak, they have a rare opportunity to get a closer look at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, see playful marine life up close, experience Monterey’s living history and view the area’s iconic sights.

Adventures by the Sea, Monterey’s premier recreational company, is located on Cannery Row within walking distance of each hotel.  Their experts provide professional assistance to ensure riders, paddler boarders and kayakers are properly outfitted for their excursion and are taught safety protocol to make a day on the bay or on the bike trail successful.

Spindrift Inn boasts a beachfront setting over Monterey Bay with a traditional, Mediterranean coastal décor. Located at 652 Cannery Row, this romantic hotel has 45 guestrooms and suites with plenty of natural light and serene ambiance. Complimentary continental breakfast is served each day, complimentary wine served each evening and paid valet parking is available.  Spindrift’s Adventure package for two starts at $389.00 per night, based on space available.
For reservations, call (800) 841-1879. Book online at

Monterey Bay Inn is located at 242 Cannery Row, adjacent to San Carlos Beach and is near the Coast Guard Pier, Cannery Row Shopping and Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The contemporary-styled 49 guest rooms are eco-friendly with sweeping views of Monterey Bay, abundant natural light, and balconies.  A rooftop hot tub overlooks the bay and there is easy access to the beach. Complimentary continental breakfast served daily and paid parking on-site available. Monterey Bay Inn’s Adventure Package starts at $354.00, based on space available. For reservations, call (800) 424-6242.  Book online at

Wave Street Inn‘s beachy décor is inspired by the area’s natural beauty and Cannery Row’s fishing heritage. Contemporary art, pops of ocean-blue and starfish orange accents create a sunny, laid-back vibe.   Amenities include complimentary welcome snack, paid parking on site and outdoor fire pits. Wave Street Inn’s Adventure Package starts at $249.00.  Just steps from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wave Street Inn is located at 571 Wave Street.  For reservations, call (800) 764-2595. Book online at

Ian Somerhalder’s and Paul Wesley’s Brother’s Bond Bourbon is one of the fastest selling ultra-premium Bourbon brands

The brand shipped 50,000 cases in first 4 months of launch

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley held a special toast on Wednesday, September 1st on the Brother’s Bond Bourbon official Instagram Channel (@BrothersBondBourbon) to kick off National Bourbon Heritage Month.
Read more about Brother’s Bond here.

Brother’s Bond Bourbon

Ian Somerhalder’s and Paul Wesley’s Brother’s Bond Bourbon, their hand-selected straight bourbon whiskey, continues strong momentum and growth in the first four months of launch, shipping 50,000 standard cases.

The Tasting Panel Magazine (June 2021 edition) concluded that Brother’s Bond Bourbon taste profile is exceptional giving it a 93 Rating.

“50,000 cases shipping in the first four months, is well ahead of plan,” says Vincent Hanna, CEO. “The response with roll outs in every market is overwhelming, the ReserveBar presales sold a retail value of over $1.4 M, within 2 x 24-hour periods, these record-breaking presales set the stage for unprecedented demand. Production has been scaled up to accommodate demand and reorders as online and instore retailers continue to sell out due to the consumer frenzy.

Brother’s Bond is the most followed alcohol brand on Instagram, with over 1.58 million followers.  The Brother’s Bond IG Live session with Ian and Paul was Whisky Advocate’s most viewed session, surpassing 20,000k views. This trend of exceeding expectations continues in many other media experiences, even the Whiskey Neat Podcast has well over 400,000 views to date.

September is National Bourbon Heritage month and Brother’s Bond will be part of Bourbon Heritage history. Rolling into many markets with the Time to Bond™ campaign through social media will drive excitement to the bourbon category.  By September 1, 2021, the brand will be available in 27 states including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Brother’s Bond is now one of the fastest selling ultra-premium bourbon brands shipping 50,000 cases in first 4 months

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley by Dean Bradshaw

Select Spritz, featuring Select Aperitivo

Welcome to basil & salt’s first ever cocktail week!

I know what you’re thinking. How is this different than any other week?

This week is editor’s choice and I thought I would share my favorite cocktail recipes with readers, and I would really like to know what your favorite cocktail is!

If you would like to share, find the menu tab at the top of the page, poke ‘cocktail questionnaire’ and fill out the form. I look forward to reading your responses.

The Select Spritz


  • 3 Parts La Marca Prosecco
  • 2 Parts Select Aperitivo
  • 1 Splash Soda Water
  • Garnish: 1 Large Green Olive


  1. Pour Select, La Marca Prosecco, and soda water into a wine glass over ice.
  2. Top with a large green olive.

A PROPER Coffee, featuring Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey

Here at basil & salt we LOVE our coffee, so when I was kicking around inclusions for Cocktail Week, I made sure a few coffee cocktails made the cut.

Technically, basil & salt’s cocktail week doesn’t kick-off until September 1st, but I thought I would sneak this one in early.

Created by: Sonnu Verdini – Bar Manager, TRADE | Boston, MA


  • 2 ounces Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
  • 1.5 ounce Boston Harbor Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 ounce Mandarine Napoleon
  • .5 ounce Benedictine


  1. Shake/strain into a Nick and Nora glass.
  2. Garnish with hand-whipped cream and coffee beans.

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