Cocktails and Food that Will Make Your Holiday Weekend Something Special, Healthy and Tasty!

It’s a holiday weekend and maybe you are having guests over–or going to a party elsewhere. Maybe you decided to make it a low-key day or weekend and stay home. No matter what you are doing, you can create something a little different for sipping or snacking that’s fun, tasty and pretty easy to do.

I have collected a couple of cocktail recipes and tasty food recipes are fabulous. These two food recipes would be perfect for any gathering and no one would know (kids) that it’s healthy– and it can even be used as a filling for a sandwich.

I found some of these recipes in my newspaper (GASP!! YES!! I read two newspapers every day!! I love print)– but wouldn’t have been seen by everyone because a lot of people don’t get the LA Times (mostly because you all don’t live around here). One recipe– the mashed garbanzo beans and avocado I had seen elsewhere but Planet Shark Fitness ran it on her Facebook page.

From USA Weekend/Food Archive:
Recipe: Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip

Credit: Ocean/Corbis for USA Weekend!

Claire Thomas, host of TV’s Food for Thought, says: “For many, the idea of foregoing bacon and cheese is too much (and I am firmly in that camp). However, this doesn’t mean that vegan food is intrinsically boring, tasteless, and gruel-like.” In fact, one of her favorite recipes is a simple dip that’s “vegan by accident.”

2 cups cannelini beans (canned or cooked)

1/2 cup reserved liquid (from cooking or the can)

1 tsp. rosemary, chopped

1 head garlic, roasted

1 Tb. balsamic vinegar

To roast garlic, cut the top off of a garlic head, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap in foil and roast in a 425-degree oven for 45 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
(This will cook fast! It takes longer to heat the oven to 425 than it does to roast the garlic. Smells fabulous too!)

Using a food processor, purée beans, rosemary, pulp from the roasted garlic and balsamic vinegar. Add liquid a little at a time until you’ve reached a desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

The white bean dip is yummy good.

Here’s another one in the same vein of opening up a couple of cans, and adding in fun things that will spice it up or keep it mellow. It also requires the use of a food processor unless you want to work your shoulders, arms and triceps by mashing the beans by hand.

It’s based on a recipe found at
(You can find their recipe at that link attached to their name)


2 cans of garbanzo beans– preferably unsalted and organic- but neither is required.

1-2 ripe avocados

Peel the avocado, remove pit and dump it (unless you are into growing an avocado tree), mash avocado up a bit.
Open the can of the garbanzo beans and drain the beans from the liquid. You can dump the liquid.

Pull out a potato masher or dump the garbanzo beans and avocado into a food processor to chop it up into a rough mixture. Do not finely whip this up– it will lose the chunky texture which you want to maintain.

Once out of the food processor, think about adding one of the following things to the mixture for color and taste!
Chunky salsa- in either red or green (preferably green) in any heat you wish),
Chopped olives,
Chopped bell peppers or sweet peppers in any color make this colorful,
Chopped or thin sliced beets,
Chopped red or yellow onion (preferably a Walla Walla, Maui or Vidalia onion) or chives/green onions,
A dash of spicey hot sauce– not tabasco or bbq sauce-but something with a bit of zest or pop to it,
Also you could add a pinch of Hawaiian pink salt or coconut salt to give the mixture a more unique tropical flavor.
If you want to really get crazy, try chopped mushrooms and/or crisply-cooked crumbled bacon!

Mix anything you add in to the garbanzo and avocado mixture well and then put it into a bowl and serve with chips.

Also this makes a GREAT sandwich and if you add some lettuce or kale on top and use toasted whole grain bread, you will have a REALLY healthy sandwich.

Here are the two cocktails– and they are VERY different!!

Courtesy of the LA Times and Stella’s of New Orleans


Stella! Sazerac

Total time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Note: Adapted from Stella! Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, heated until the sugar dissolves, to form a syrup.

1/4- to 1/2-ounce absinthe, preferably Obsello

2 ounces Cognac, preferably Tiffon

1/4 ounce simple syrup

4 dashes bitters, preferably Peychaud’s

1 lemon twist, garnish

1. Fill a small rocks glass with ice to chill and add the absinthe. When the glass is chilled, stir, then discard the ice. Pour out the absinthe, but first swirl it around to make sure the interior of the glass is coated.

2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the Cognac, simple syrup and bitters. Vigorously shake with ice, then strain into the prepared rocks glass. Run the rim of the glass with the lemon twist, then serve the cocktail straight up, garnished with the lemon twist.
In the Aug. 5 (2012)Food section, a recipe title referred to a cocktail as a Sazerac. The cocktail is served by New Orleans’ Stella! restaurant, but the ingredients do not include Sazerac rye whiskey. It should not have been referred to as a Sazerac.
Ok so technically this isn’t a Sazerack- but I can tell you it’s a might fine cocktail. Next time, I promise I will have tried and tested a Sazerac for SURE!!

Courtesy of the LA Times (yes again!) and Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’s Daniel Nelson created this sinful cocktail, the Coquito!
This is Nelson’s spin on a classic coquito which is more like a creamy, tropical version of egg nog from Puerto Rico.
Rum spikes a mixture of rich cream of coconut along with evaporated and condensed milk before being sprinkled with belly-warming spices and spun with a touch of sweetness courtesy of a rich vanilla extract.

Classic Coquito


(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Total time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time Servings: 10
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing in Venice.

2 egg yolks

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (14-ounce) can cream of coconut

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup rum

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus extra for garnish

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated semisweet chocolate, for garnish

1. In the top of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks and evaporated milk. Cook over lightly simmering water, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, allspice, nutmet, cinnamon and vanilla, and blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into a glass bottle and chill overnight.

3. Fill 10 wine glasses with ice, and add 6 ounces coquito to each. Top with freshly grated nutmeg and semisweet chocolate.

As you lift that glass or bottle of whatever you are drinking, please toast those for whom the holiday is commemorating. They gave us their lives and their time– the military

Have a great weekend

Stevie Wilson,

100% Costa Rica Gourmet coffee.


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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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