Author Archives: K Engels

Hosting a cocktail party? Follow these simple tips to make it a success

Throwing a party is the easy part – invite a few friends and it’s an event! Successfully hosting your gathering and making sure your guests are well taken care and entertained, is another thing altogether.

Below are a few tips to consider as you write your guest list and menu to ensure that you create both an unforgettable experience and lasting memories.

Know Your Audience

Most of us have different groups of friends. Our weekend ball crew for sporting events, family and friends for special events and backyard cookouts, work friends and colleagues and then there’s the swanky, after-hours cocktail crowd. Keep your party theme appropriate for your guest group with food, drinks, and music, setting the overall ambiance for the evening.

  • Music is one of the most important components of the evening. Keep it just low enough to encourage conversation and in relative theme of your guests likes and dislikes.
  • Stock the bar: Knowing in advance what your guests prefer goes a long way. Whether you are setting up a self-host bar with premade cocktail pitchers and their favorite beer and wine or you’ve a skilled bartender on hand, your guests will appreciate this small attention to detail.
  • Scheduling: If you’re scheduling an after-hours networking cocktail event, weeknights directly after work are preferred. If your event is pleasure only, weekends are best. Keep in mind if your event is late afternoon/early evening dinner hour, you should have foods heavier than light appetizers available. After 7? Appetizers and dessert items should be available.
  • Special Diets: Know your guests. Allergies? Vegetarian? Vegan? Dieting? If any of your guests are following a preferred diet, make sure there are delicious food options available. Again, this attention to detail makes an impression.
  • Time: Send out invitations within one week to 4 weeks before the party. Give everyone plenty of notice and touch base with your guests 2 weeks out and again a couple of days before your cocktail event.

The Menu

Keeping your guests happy and satisfied is key to a successful cocktail soiree. Everyone should feel welcome and well attended to. Mix, mingle and pull people into conversations.

  • Make sure you cater to everyone’s needs, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
  • Finger foods that can be taken in 1-2 bites are excellent options for cocktail parties.
  • Creating a beautiful and well-designed charcuterie board shows attention to detail, offers many flavor and texture combinations, and will be photographed often. If you have more than one room where guests gather, ensure food platters are sprinkled evenly throughout each room, are easily accessible and refill them before they reach ¾ empty.
  • If your party falls during mealtime, make sure you have some heavier alternatives on hand, serve with crackers and/or bread. 

The Bar

A fully stocked bar is essential.

  • Serve a variety of spirits including vodka, rum, tequila, and whiskey, as well as mixers like soda, tonic, fruit juices, and syrups.
  • Make sure you have a few bottles of wine on hand. White, red, or rosé. Your wines will taste as they should as long as they are served at the proper temperature. This is why a wine cooler or beverage center is a must-have! 
  • Always keep mixers and carbonated options on hand. You may want to get a kegerator – it keeps ice cold beer on tap and allows you to serve your guests efficiently.
  • Make a signature cocktail and give it a name.
  • Have plenty of ice! You can always buy ice bags from your local store and keep them in refrigerators or make your own with ice makers.
  • If you decide against a self-host bar and don’t wish to play bartender all evening, consider hiring a professional.
  • Non-alcoholic mocktails should be an option.

These minor details may seem insignificant, yet they have the biggest potential to make or break your celebration.

The Playlist

Setting the mood is crucial. Again, know your guests. If swanky, jazzy cocktail tunes are their preference, set your playlist accordingly.

  • Your playlist should be long enough to last the duration of your event, so it never repeats.
  • If possible, use a separate device to stream the playlist instead of your phone. 
  • Start with soft music and work your way up to the bigger bounce once the party gets going.
  • Include pop or retro songs that people remember and will sing along to, for later in the evening.
  • If you’re not sure you’re up to the task of creating a successful playlist, consider hiring a professional for the evening.

Create a Master Plan List

Creating a list will take a lot of stress out of party planning. The following list types will assist in keeping you on track:

  • Menu and food
  • Spirits, beer, wine and cocktail ingredients
  • Preparations, décor, etc.
  • Timeline: Shopping day, food prep day, décor, etc.

Flow and Set-up 

To ensure traffic moves with ease, keep the following items in mind:

  • Place potential bottlenecks away from each other. The bar and food should be in completely separate areas.
  • Seating should be moved to “clusters” for conversation and out of foot traffic areas.
  • Collection trays for plates, cups, glasses should be placed in several areas and emptied often. Discreet trash bins should be in multiple locations and again, emptied often.

Visual Cues

Creating a restroom sign for your guests is a small touch that makes a big difference.
If you’ve added foods for your guests’ diets, gluten-free, vegetarian, etc., make sure they are well defined. Small chalkboards are simple and can be altered and utilized event to event.


Create a great ambiance, circulate the room and chat with your guests often. Most of all, relax and enjoy yourself.

Content provided by: Wine Coolers Empire
Edited by: Karie Engels
This is NOT paid or promoted content, basil & salt magazine did receive compensation in any form, payment or product for publishing this post.

angel food strawberry shortcake

Warm weather is for celebrating the summer berry and all its companions.

The best part of summer is picking fresh berries and using them in culinary creations or simply eating them fresh off the vine. While strawberries are readily available at your local grocer, picking them up at a farmers market or simply picking them yourself, supports the local farm and farmer.

Note: Angel Food Cake “sets” during the cooling process. Turn your cake upside down on wire rack to cool, otherwise your cake will collapse.

angel food strawberry shortcake

  • Difficulty: involved
  • Print

Angel Food Cake


  • 1 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c + 2 Tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (real if you have it)


  1. Bring your oven rack to the lower middle position and set oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Add sugar to food processor and pulse until fine and airy. Pour out and set aside 1 cup. Leave remaining sugar in processor.
  3. Add cake flour and salt to remaining sugar in the food processor and pulse 5 to 10 times until well mixed and light.
  4. Using a large bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar together with a whisk attached to a hand mixer. Mix on med-low, until foamy, about a minute.
  5. When mixture is foamy, slowly add the 1 cup of sugar you set aside earlier on med-high until soft peaks form. This takes about 5 to 6 minutes. Be careful not to beat too long. Peaks should be soft and droopy, not stiff. Stiff peaks will ruin your light and airy cake.
  6. Add vanilla and mix until just incorporated.
  7. Separate cake flour mixture into three parts. Using a fine mesh sifter, slowly sift mixture on to egg whites, gently folding with a spatula after each addition.
  8. Pour mixture into an ungreased 9″ or 10″ tube pan. Wiggle pan back and forth quickly on counter top to evenly distribute batter and smooth the surface.
  9. Bake 40-50 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking. Cake is ready when toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and cool cake in pan. Turn cake pan upside down on wire rack and cool completely for about 3 hours. Do NOT turn pan upright until cake has completely cooled.
  11. To remove cake, gently tap pan on counter and using a serrated knife, gently use around edge of pan to loosen cake.



  • 1/2 quart fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Note: Generally 2 Tablespoons sugar to 1/4 cup berries is the norm, add or subtract sugar to suit your taste or dietary needs.


  1. Wash and cut berries.
  2. In glass bowl, mix berries and sugar together, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  3. Stir well before serving.

Whipped Cream


  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or flavoring of your choice


  1. Add all ingredient to a cold mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer with whisk attachment, beat on high until medium to stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
  2. Serve immediately.

Enter to win gorgeous embossed rolling pin by Embossed Co.

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Reap the Healthy Goodness of What You SOW

Benexia Launches Seeds of Wellness: The Leading Line of High-Quality Sustainable Chia Seed Products in the World

Seeds of Wellness

Many have heard of chia seeds, but no other brand delivers high-quality, diverse, and sustainable chia products like Seeds of Wellness. Seeds of Wellness (SOW) is a new line from the largest producer of high-quality chia seeds in the world, Benexia, which harnesses the nutritional properties of chia in its seeds, oils, pastas, alternative milks, and flour. Benexia believes chia can be incorporated into every diet, which is why they are launching this new product lineup through SOW. While there’s a general awareness about the benefits of chia, SOW is amplifying the way they’re used as the only chia-based brand that covers the alternative milk, pasta and oil categories. These delicious products can be found at healthy markets nationwide such as Sprouts and Albertsons Market.

What are the powerful benefits of Chia Seeds?

Chia is the perfect food. It’s an ancient grain, nutrient-dense superfood, rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and good-for-you fats. Chia’s superpower is its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps with gut, immune, heart and brain health. These properties work together to make chia one of the most beneficial nutrition sources to improve your health, fight, and even prevent chronic disease.

“This tiny but mighty seed is packed with healthy fat, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that impart quite a number of health benefits. And because of its neutral taste, you can add them to almost anything! Just two tablespoons of chia seeds provide 11g of fiber, which is almost a third of what we need in a day,” said Leigh-Anne Wooten, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, LSS BB.

Benexia Launches Seeds of Wellness: The Leading Line of High-Quality Sustainable Chia Seed Products in the World

Seeds of Wellness products provide healthy and versatile alternatives to replace wonderful products that can be used day-to-day. SOW products are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and sodium-free. SOW’s diverse range of chia-based products include:

  • Chia Beverage (Milk Alternative): SOW created the first non-dairy chia beverage made from the ancient grain, and the only milk alternative that has protein, fiber, and omegas. This new plant-based beverage is smooth, naturally creamy and satisfying. Delicious on its own, tasty poured into cereal, exquisite as a coffee creamer, and useful for adding to recipes as a milk alternative.
  • Chia Pasta: SOW gluten-free pastas are made from only three ingredients: Chia, corn, and rice flour. Together, they create the delicious consistency of regular pasta (and has a texture that no other pasta alternative has because of the gumminess of chia) with incredible nutrition. Chia Pasta is non-GMO and rich in omega-3 which is great for cardiovascular health. The line is available in Spaghetti, Penne, Elbows and Fusilli.
  • Chia Oil: Chia Oil is easy to love and easier to use. Just add it to your salads, rice, vegetables, dressings, vinaigrettes or any recipe as a finishing touch, to get its benefits. Seeds of Wellness Chia cold-pressed Oil is great for cardiovascular health as it reduces blood cholesterol concentrations and also attenuates inflammatory reactions. It contains 63% of omega-3, an ideal balance of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and it’s rich in important bioactive substances: tocopherols, polyphenols, and phytosterols.
  • Chia Seeds: SOW’s Chia Seeds line is available in White Chia Seeds, Black Chia Seeds, and Black Toasted Chia Seeds. They are ready to be included in all your recipes and are easy to add to every type of preparation; smoothies, salads, yogurt, egg, rice, muffins, cakes, pancakes, and oatmeal.

Good for you, Good for the Planet

SOW is a brand of the Benexia group, a company that was born in the fields of people passionate about chia seeds and concerned about nature, people and life. With a methodology “from the field to your plate,” SOW controls the entire process from the chia they plant to how it is cleaned, processed, and how the products are packaged and distributed. With a state-of-the-art extraction plant in South America, SOW produces high-quality ingredients – chia oil, powders and extracts – under the highest standards for the food and nutraceutical industries. Concerned about delivering a better world to future generations, they actively participate in the production and challenges of a sustainable supply of chia seeds in Latin America.

For more on Seeds of Wellness, visit, and follow on Facebook and Instagram.

SOURCE Seeds of Wellness

Bel Brands USA Partners With Dairy Farmers Of America to Pilot Sustainable Milk Cooling Program

Information gained on energy-efficient milk cooling practices will help make dairies more sustainable

Bel Brands USA is pleased to announce a new program in partnership with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) – a national dairy cooperative of farm families – to implement and measure sustainable cooling practices designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by cutting on-farm energy usage.

Crop production and animal health are critical to the health of the people and the planet, and the changing climate can have impacts on both. Addressing these impacts requires investment in farm animal innovation to reduce the environmental footprint of each step of the production process.  

Bel and DFA, who joined forces to help improve on-farm practices, have identified an opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint on dairy farms by integrating more energy efficient and economically viable milk cooling systems in line with the Net Zero Initiative (NZI), an industry-wide effort led by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

Throughout the 12-month pilot program, Bel and DFA will support the adoption of energy-efficient and cost-effective on-farm milk cooling methods, including natural well water cooling methods, by a dairy farm in Iowa that supplies milk to Bel Brands; with Bel co-financing the cooling mechanism. As a secondary benefit, the warm well water used to cool the milk will be fed to the cows at their preferred temperature.

The farm will work with DFA’s sustainability team to capture data on the energy and economic savings of the innovative sustainable milk cooling practices compared to the high-energy flash chillers, with the goal of replicating these practices on other U.S. dairy farms in the future, if proven successful.

“At Bel Brands, we are actively working to promote sustainable farming, including responsible dairy production – and have for over 15 years – to help drive a more sustainable and regenerative agriculture industry,” stated Bill Graham, CEO, Bel Brands USA.

The findings of the program will ultimately help inform future best practices for dairy farm sustainability throughout the supply chain, specifically management and mitigation practices to help address the seasonal spike in energy use without compromising cow care.

Jean Michel Dos Remedios, Sourcing & Supplier Develompent Senior Director, Bel Brands USA added, “we are committed to nourishing communities while reducing the impact our products and processes have on the environment. Our partnership with Dairy Farmers of America exemplifies that commitment and gives us an opportunity to partner with dairy farmers to make the industry more sustainable.”

“For our farm families, animal care and environment stewardship are a way of life,” stated David Darr, senior vice president and chief strategy and sustainability officer, Dairy Farmers of America. “We are proud to be part of a program that is aligned with those values and helps further support our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Follow this link for more details about Bel Brands USA and their commitment to sustainable farming

About Bel Brands USA: 
Bel Brands USA Inc., a subsidiary of Bel Group. Headquartered in Paris, Bel wants to promote healthier, responsible and accessible food for all consumers worldwide. Bel is a major player in the healthy snack market. Bel produces more than thirty local and international brands that are sold in more than 130 countries around the globe. In addition to The Laughing Cow®, other USA favorites include Boursin®, Babybel® and popular cheese spreads marketing under Kaukauna®, Merkts® and Price*s® labels. Bel Brands delivers fun snacks to over 400 million consumers globally.

About Dairy Farmers of America:
Dairy Farmers of America is a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative focusing on quality, innovation and the future of family dairies. While supporting and serving more than 13,000 family farm-owners, DFA manufactures a variety of dairy products, including fluid milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, dairy ingredients and more that connect our Cooperative’s family farms to family tables with regional brands such as Alta Dena, Meadow Gold, Friendly’s Ice Cream, Borden® Cheese, Plugra® Butter and Kemps® to name a few. On a global scale, we work with some of the world’s largest food companies to develop ingredients their customers are craving, while staying committed to social responsibility and ethical farming. For more information, please visit

Consumer Appetites Shift Towards Plant Based Options

The move toward plant-based foods is in large part due to demographic shifts and easier access, as well as innovations in the food industry.

Plant-based diets are quickly becoming more and more popular. The move toward plant-based foods is in large part due to demographic shifts and easier access, as well as innovations in the food industry. For example, the emergence of plant-based meat, or vegan-meat, in recent years has proven that there is demand for meat alternatives. According to data published by Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institute (GFI), the growth rate for the U.S. plant-based food market more than doubled in 2020, as sales surged 27% to USD 7 billion. The plant-based meat segment is a major portion of that, as it had hit the USD 1.4 Billion mark in 2020, with sales growing 45%, up from USD 962 Million in 2019. The plant-based meat category grew twice as fast as conventional meat and now accounts for 2.7% of retail packaged meat sales. Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp. (CSE: ZOG), Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND), Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL)

“The data tells us unequivocally that we are experiencing a fundamental shift, as an ever-growing number of consumers are choosing foods that taste good and boost their health by incorporating plant-based foods into their diet,” PBFA Senior Director of Retail Partnerships Julie Emmett said in a statement on the 2020 market performance. “As this industry surpasses the USD 7 Billion threshold, PBFA is excited to continue our work to help build a sustainable infrastructure, including domestic ingredients sourcing, for this growing demand to expand access to plant-based foods.”

Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp. (CSE: ZOG) just announced breaking news that, “it has signed a non-binding letter of intent (“LOI”) to acquire a leading European-based developer and manufacturer of innovative plant-based food alternatives, Monday Swiss UK Ltd. (“Monday Swiss”). The proposed acquisition of Monday Swiss will enhance Zoglo’s competitive edge and growth opportunities.  Monday Swiss’ experience in new product development will ensure that Zoglo’s product portfolio continuously evolves to lead the category in Canada and globally.

Established in 2012, Monday Swiss is a leading producer of a wide variety of plant-based food products and technology, including the Veggie Day and Monday Swiss lines, with a dedicated state-of-the-art facility. Monday Swiss has invested over $3M in R&D over the past 5 years, servicing major customers such as Tesco, Holland & Barrett, Co-Op and leading on-line grocery retailer, Ocado, with leading edge whole-muscle plant-based technology.

The proposed acquisition will provide Zoglo’s the capacity to expand globally and provide its customers with the next generation of plant-based foods and increase annual sales by $6M CAD from Monday Swiss, resulting in Zoglo’s annual revenue increasing by 100%.  

“The proposed acquisition of Monday Swiss represents Zoglo’s commitment to sustainable global expansion and leading plant-based food innovation,” said Anthony Morello, CEO of Zoglo’s. “This acquisition creates a strong business for Zoglo’s in Europe and the U.K. in conjunction with its current evolving business in Canada and existing US business.”

Pursuant to the LOI, Monday Swiss founder, Alon Cahn, will also join Zoglo’s as Chief Executive Officer of its European Operations strengthening the Company’s positioning within the European market. Cahn is an experienced manager, having worked in key positions in leading companies such as Wrigley’s and Nestle and has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Cahn, a lifelong vegetarian and food enthusiast, founded Monday Swiss after difficulty finding quality plant-based meat alternatives that were high in protein, versatile and great tasting. Since inception, Monday Swiss has made significant advances in key product development areas such as Clean label, sustainability in production and sourcing and alternative plant-based proteins.

‘With a production capacity of over 500,000 kg. per month, and the ability to double our capacity by 2023, Zoglo’s is poised to become one of the leading plant-based meat alternative companies globally’, said Alon Cahn…”

Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) launched on July 8th, its new, awarding-winning Beyond Chicken® Tenders. Crafted to look, cook and taste like traditional chicken tenders, the delicious plant-based Beyond Chicken Tenders are breaded to perfection for a crispy outside and irresistibly tender bite. Starting today, consumers can find the latest must-try product from Beyond Meat at select restaurants across the country. “We’re innovating the poultry market with the new Beyond Chicken Tenders—the result of our tireless pursuit for excellence and growth at Beyond Meat,” said Dariush Ajami, Chief Innovation Officer, Beyond Meat. “As with all our products, Beyond Chicken Tenders offer delicious taste and an exceptional culinary experience, along with strong nutritional benefits. Innovation is at the heart of Beyond Meat, and Beyond Chicken Tenders are the latest example of our mission to create groundbreaking, tasty options that are better for people and for our planet.”

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) brand, Raised & Rooted announced on June 21st, the launch of its new Plant Based Bites. The snackable bites meet the growing demand and desire for plant-based products with delicious taste and fan favorite flavors. “Our new plant-based bites deliver the taste that will wow taste-buds in a better-for-you alternative,” said David Ervin, vice president of marketing, Raised & Rooted. “We are excited to continue to grow our offerings and provide people with the alternative protein options they seek for meal or snack-time with beloved flavors.”

Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) announced launch of its new line of next-generation plant-based protein, Incogmeato™ by MorningStar Farms. The Burger Patties, Original Bratwurst and Italian Sausage are made with non-GMO soy and have 100% plant-based protein making them a must-have when that meat craving strikes. Take it from a cow with a bowler hat, mustache and monocle, Incogmeato™ is the most ingenious way to eat more plant-based protein, help the planet or just try something new. It’s no secret Americans are embracing eating less meat, and the new Incogmeato™ line from the plant-based category leader for more than 40 years delivers on the brand mission to make meatless eating more accessible for everyone. “Our great-tasting, ready-to-cook Incogmeato™ lineup offers the most meat-like experience yet. Our Burger Patties, Original Bratwurst and Italian Sausage are the first of many new plant-based foods coming this year from Incogmeato™ so that people who are looking to sneak more plants on their plate can do so deliciously,” said Sara Young, General Manager, Plant-Based Proteins at Kellogg Company.

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) announced last year, the launch of its Happy Little Plants® pepperoni style topping at select Papa Murphy’s locations across the country. “Chefs and restaurateurs are very aware of today’s dynamic food landscape and consumers’ desire to add more plant-based foods to their diets, and we are very excited to bring this great-tasting, plant-based option to our partners at Papa Murphy’s,” said Anthony Panichelli, foodservice pizza toppings brand manager at Hormel Foods. “The new Happy Little Plants® brand pepperoni style topping was developed with foodservice operators to ensure pizzeria-level taste, convenience and quality, so much so, that many people may have a hard time tasting the difference between Happy Little Plants® brand pepperoni style topping and traditional pepperoni. Our team worked closely with pizzerias, chefs, foodservice operators and pizza experts to develop a plant-based pepperoni style topping that cooks and tastes exactly like traditional pepperoni.”  “We know our customers are looking for plant-based options to shake up their normal pizza routine and incorporating the benefits of plant-based foods into meals they’re familiar with,” said Kim McBee, senior vice president, customer experience and brand marketing at Papa Murphy’s. “The new Happy Little Plants® brand pepperoni style topping is perfect for our Cowboy pizza or as a switch to our traditional pepperoni pizzas.”

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try our new favorite summer whiskey cocktail, high west’s “the horse’s neck”.

Simple and delicious this whiskey cocktail is perfect for summer sipping on the front porch while you watch the world go by.

the horses neck


  • 2 ounces high west double rye
  • .25 ounce ginger juice, fresh
  • .25 ounce lemon juice, fresh
  • 2 ounces ginger beer
  • lemon twist for garnish


Add ingredients to chilled cocktail shaker, shake and pour into an old-fashioned glass with chip ice. Garnish with lemon.

Gaea’s Creamy Pumpkin Soup

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

With autumn on the horizon, we begin to change colors and scents inside our homes to coordinate with Mother Nature’s canvas outdoors.

Warmer colors, spicier scents and rougher textures dominate our décor choices and our selection in foods follow the same pattern.

Prepping the kitchen for cozy fall dishes, means heavier, heartier flavors and Gaea’s Creamy Pumpkin Soup will be on our dinner table this fall season. Gaea’s recipe is loaded with vegetables which makes it both a delicious and healthy way to stay warm as temperatures drop.

Gaea’s Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4


  • Soup II4 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery with stem, chopped
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons Gaea Sitia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1⁄2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (or hard cheese)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger


  1. Place the chopped pumpkin, zucchini, onions and celery in a large soup pot and add the vegetable stock until at least half the vegetables are covered.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil then let simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool to room temperature before pureeing vegetable and broth in a blender.
  3. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pureed mixture and return the soup to the pot and let simmer for 15 minutes before serving in individual soup bowls.
  4. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the pumpkin seeds, crumbled cheese, and ginger.

Coffee Bean Popsicles

Coffee Popsicle IISprinklers are running in the morning to quench the lawn’s thirst and fans are blowing in the afternoon to quell the heat indoors. Summer is here and it’s time to head to the freezer for a frozen treat.

As the afternoon closes in my caffeine level begins to wane. These cool, tasty refreshments add a bit of life back into my work-filled day. I nab one out of the freezer and head out to the patio for a coffee break.

There are several options other than one solid color. For instance, you can freeze the cream, then add a small layer of coffee, freeze, add more cream, etc. Get creative and make this your own unique recipe.

Toss in a few coffee beans or chocolate chips for added texture and flavor.

Note: Use the amount of cream and sugar to taste. Less cream will give your popsicle a more robust coffee flavor, while more cream and sugar will sweeten it. Your choice. The amount of cream below is a gentle “guideline”.

There are several different types of popsicle molds available, simply google and find one that is right for you.

Coffee Bean Popsicles

Coffee PopsiclesIngredients

  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup Darigold heavy cream
  • Sugar to taste
  • A handful of coffee beans and chocolate chips


  1. Combine cream and sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Pour a bit of cream in the bottom of each popsicle mold and freeze until solid, about an hour.
  3. While your cream is freezing, brew your coffee, add in your cream and sugar mixture and stir until well combined. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  4. Remove molds with cream from the freezer and slowly pour cold coffee mixture into mold, filling to the top. Follow the mold directions, as they have different types of tops. Some may direct you to fill to top, while others need a bit of space.
  5. Place top on the mold, insert stick and freeze until solid.

Bowmore® Single Malt Scotch Whisky introduces Designed by Aston Martin collection

Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has unveiled the first range of its Designed by Aston Martin limited-edition collections exclusively in Global Travel Retail.

The launch signifies the coming together of Bowmore’s GTR whiskies with the design team at Aston Martin to create a striking bottle and pack design, giving the existing range a stylish and eye-catching new look.

Part of an annually released collection, Aston Martin’s design experts showcased the distinctive character of the existing Bowmore 10, 15 and 18-Year-Old single malts, and paid homage to iconic cars from the prestigious brand’s history.

The Bowmore 10 Years Old is paired with the game-changing Aston Martin factory team car, the LM10, which first raced at Le Mans in 1932. Clearly expressing a bold and confident style, these two creations encapsulate exceptional technical prowess as the whisky boldly fuses spice with signature smoke flavours.

Bowmore® Single Malt Scotch Whisky introduces the Designed by Aston Martin collection

Inspired by the iconic Aston Martin Atom, the beautifully refined Bowmore 15 Years Old captures a definitive moment in time and pays homage to the craftsmen’s creative flair and passion. The whisky crafted from exquisite first fill bourbon casks and hogsheads reveals a refreshingly uplifting and stylish character.

Performance and exceptional attention to detail is what unites the Aston Martin DB Mk III and Bowmore 18 Years Old. The high performing single malt is rare and dignified from time spent in the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks.

Manuel Gonzalez, Brand Director for Global Travel Retail, said: “Our partnership with Aston Martin is a further example of how we are investing in the premiumisation of our GTR portfolio through a combination of exciting innovations and special limited editions. The Designed by Aston Martin collection continues to highlight the ambition that we have for the Bowmore brand and provides our clients with new concepts with strong consumer appeal, alongside vital growth opportunities.”

The first range from the Designed By Aston Martin series exclusive to Global Travel Retail goes on sale from August 2021. The Bowmore 10 Years Old is available for $59 RRP, the Bowmore 15 Years Old is available for $80 RRP and the Bowmore 18 Years Old is available for $121 RRP.

The limited-edition bottle and packaging design will be available in Duty Free worldwide, with activations in key airport locations including London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Hainan, Istanbul and Taiwan.

Alaska Airlines expands First Class and main cabin meals, snacks and drinks, offering the most comprehensive onboard food and beverage program of any U.S. airline

Guests in all cabins can now leverage our industry leading pre-order functionality to select meals and snacks and store payment for convenient onboard purchases

As more of our guests fly again, Alaska Airlines is thoughtfully and safely expanding food and beverage service on our flights, part of a process that started earlier this year. With our reinvigorated service, we’re now offering an expanded selection of freshly prepared, West Coast inspired First Class meals on all flights more than 670 miles and hot meals on flights longer than 1,100 miles. Premium Class and main cabin guests can pre-order freshly prepared wraps or our famous Fruit and Cheese platter on all flights over 1,100 miles and packaged snacks on shorter flights. A full beverage service including Starbucks Coffee, Teavana Tea, individual cans of soda, craft beer West Coast wines and premium spirits are available in all cabins on flights more than 400 miles.

Alaska Airlines’ Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter.

“We’re excited to welcome our guests back on board and want them to have a great experience with us,” said Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products at Alaska Airlines. “We’ve put a lot of thought and planning into safely adding additional food and beverage service on our flights, while getting back to fresh and local menu items that our guests love.” 

Enhancements to our food and beverage service include:

  • Expanded hot meal options in First Class during breakfast, lunch and dinner service on mainline flights longer than 1,100 miles. New seasonal entrees include Guajillo Chile-Lime Salad with ancient grains, roasted broccoli and sweet potato with a roasted lemon crema, and Miso Marinated Cod with sesame garlic farro, sauteed yu choy, bell peppers and shitake mushrooms in a sesame-miso butter sauce. Guests can choose from three menu selections on all meal flights.
  • Full tray service in First Class – including Schoenwald porcelain and compostable linen and silverware – has resumed on routes longer than 670 miles.
  • We offer a full selection of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages available in all cabins with multiple cart services on flights more than 1,100 miles. We feature craft beer by Fremont Brewing, and as a new summer beer option we’re serving Kona Longboard Island Lager on board. Plus, we serve West Coast wines curated exclusively for us from Broken Earth Winery in Paso Robles, California, and Canoe Ridge Vineyard in Columbia Valley, Washington.
  • We make pre-ordering easy so our guests can rest assured they’ll get their favorites. With our industry leading pre-order program, selecting First Class and main cabin meals from our mobile app can happen two weeks before a flight and up to one hour prior to departure. That includes pre-ordering our popular Fruit and Cheese Platter.
  • On our shorter flights between 670-1,099 miles, we’ve added more snacks. We’ve brought back our popular Northwest Deli Picnic Pack which includes Deep River potato chips, Old Wisconsin Turkey Stick, Madi K’s Whole Natural Almonds, Gilman White Cheddar Cheese Stick and Mandy’s Dark Chocolate Cookie Thins. The picnic packs can be pre-ordered up to one hour before departure and can also be purchased on board with a credit card or stored form of payment.
  • In First Class, guests are treated to a fully recyclable, box-shaped carton of water, sealed with a plant-based cap. Each Boxed Water carton is made from sustainably harvested trees and the multi-filtered water goes through a proprietary eight-step purification – giving it a clean, crisp taste.
Alaska Airlines’ Marinated Miso Cod entrée.

Safety will always remain our top consideration on board. We’re partnering closely with epidemiologists and our internal safety experts as we implement new food and beverage service on our flights. We’ll continue to enforce the federal mandate requiring our guests to wear masks over their nose and mouth during travel. Guests can briefly lift their masks for eating and drinking. Our mantra: “After you sip or snack, please put your mask back.” 

Get the latest on our food and beverage offerings in the Food and Beverage section of  

Alaska is the newest member of the oneworld global alliance. With oneworld and our additional airline partners, guests can fly to as many as 1,000 destinations around the world. Flyers can also earn and redeem miles with our highly-acclaimed Mileage Plan program to fly on more than 20 oneworld and airline partners.

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