Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Best Day of the Year!

It’s hard to argue with me about what the best day of the year is. July 24th is not only my birthday, it’s National Tequila Day!

This year I received some appropriate presents in the mail and, of course, I had to give them a spin on this special day.

Three bottles showed up on my door from Herradura Tequila, Reposado, Anejo, and Silver. In case you don’t know, these tequilas are classified by how long they were aged in wood casks. The Silver is not aged, the Reposado was aged 11 months and the Anejo was aged for two years.

Aging tequila, as it does with wine, whiskey and other spirits, changes both the color and taste as it picks up a bit of the characteristics of the wood. In the case of Herradura, I preferred the Reposado. It didn’t have an overpowering oaky flavor, but did pick up the characteristics of vanilla and a bit of sweetness.

The Herradura Silver was my next favorite – tequila in its purest form – while the Anejo was a bit more for whiskey lovers, who would say they appreciate the finest things in life.

Herradura wasn’t the only one sending me birthday tequila. Sauza’s 901 Silver, co-founded by Justin Timberlake, has quite a story. It’s said to be triple distilled, from agave that is at least seven years old. It’s also gently extracted and steamed, to get out all of the flavors.


I confess that this all seemed a bit over the top to me. Although it’s hard not to trust JT, I had to try it for myself. The truth is, it’s the best 901 Silver is the best tequila of its kind I have tasted. 

It retains the agave fruit and goes down smooth as silk. I could sip this, preferably over ice, all night long. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Snacks, Drinks and Organic Beauty

I've received samples of lots of stuff for summer. Here are some I really liked and I'd like to pass along.

Sam Adams Beers of Summer…
I gathered some beer lovers to test out the Sam Adams Beers of Summer variety pack and they weren’t disappointed. The variety includes six very different brews, with something guaranteed to satisfy everyone in your group so it’s the perfect addition to your summer barbecues, picnics, and other events.

Sam Adams Boston Lager
This light beer is a bit sweeter than bitter, making it a light drinking summer choice.

Sam Adams Summer Ale
You’ll find lots of citrus, from lemon to orange, in this summer ale, which also has a bit of spice. Even better than last year’s version.

Sam Adams Whitewater IPA
Lots of wheat and hops in this complex beer, which combines fruit and spice. Might be a bit much to have more than one on a hot summer day.

Sam Adams Got to Gose                                                                           
This is a real beer lovers’ beer, easy on the fruit and spice, but heavy on the bread-like malt.

Sam Adams Belgian Session
For something completely different, give this Belgian beer a try. It’s quite yeasty, but you’ll also get some coriander spice.

Sam Adams Heaven or Helles
“Helles” in German means light and blonde, and that’s what this slightly sweet and floral beer is.

Fittingly, it was the Summer Ale which was the overall favorite.


Looking Good with Truly Organic…
I received a big bag filled with Truly Organic products and I am hooked. Their shampoo, conditioner, soap, super lotion, face lotion, and serum are all amazing. They make my skin and hair soft and the smells are incredible.

Truly Organic uses fresh, organic ingredients such as coconut and olive oil. Check out their selection, and their automatic delivery system.


mifold Booster Seat...
I love hanging with my friends’ kids when I get a chance. We’ll often go to the park or a museum. Since I don’t have any small ones of my own, there is no need for me to permanently keep a booster seat in my car so I am excited about mifold.

This booster seat is compact and easily portable, but it holds the kids in safely (they recommend 40-100 lbs., age 4 and up). It takes up so little room it’s perfect for people who transport kids, whether it’s a friend or relative. It’s even small enough to pack in your suitcase so you are all set for your rental car.

elit by Stoli and Blue Ice Vodkas…
These two vodkas are about as different as you can get, but I happen to like them both for different reasons.

elit by Stoli Elit is a special occasion vodka that’s an ideal gift for a spirits lover and something you should have on your bar (the bottle also happens to be beautiful). It’s super smooth and tasty, having been filtered with charcoal in similar fashion to bourbon. You’ll love mixing elit by Stoli in all your favorite drinks.

Blue Ice American Potato Vodka is a gluten-free option made from Idaho Russet Potatoes, but you won’t be tasting spuds. Thanks to a five stage filtration process, Blue Ice is sweet, smooth, and even has a bit of spice.

Books for Healthy Meals…
I’m always looking for new, healthy recipes to try out so I was excited when I got these two books.


The Quick Six Fix: 100 No-Fuss, Full-Flavor Recipes by Stuart O’Keefe includes recipes with six ingredients that only take six minutes of pre and six minutes of cleanups. He includes a pantry list and I like the way the recipes are broken down. Instead of “breakfast, lunch, and dinner…” his chapters are “Soup, Salads, Pasta…” The recipes are interesting too. My only complaint about this book is that the majority of the recipes have a lot more than six ingredients, not fitting with the theme. On further reading, you’ll see that it’s supposed to be six key ingredients.


Lose Weight by Eating by Audrey Johns supports a theory of mine by not suggesting a specific diet and not starving yourself. Johns simply does recipe makeovers for clean eating. I like her suggestion, especially the salad chart that breaks up dressings, greens, crunch, fat, and protein.


Patriotic Popcorn…
Whether it’s for July 4th, Labor Day, an election party, or just fun with friends, you need to check out The Patriotic Popcorn Tin at GourmetGiftBaskets.com or KingofPOP.com. The popcorn is red, white, and blue – cherry, kettle corn, and blueberry. The flavors are delicious and you’ll definitely want to hold on to the King of Pop canister