Rebekah Pizana
my food & fashion journal

Apricot Ginger Cocktail with Brewed Tea

It’s not every week you get featured TWICE on Style Me Pretty Living… I had the absolute privilege of working with Carlene of Healthfully Ever After, and fabuloso photographer Yvonne Rock for this shoot. This refreshing cocktail is spicy, tangy, and I would like to think… jam-packed with antioxidants! Made with an apricot brandy tincture and ginger-apricot brewed organic tea, you can’t go wrong! See the full recipe here

Cheers!

Rebekah

April Showers Bring Strawberries ‘n Cream

Strawberry, Vanilla Bean & Brandy Gelato

I have recently become obsessed with Wilderness Poets' Superfood products. I picked up a jar of their Pure Vanilla Powder at the Home Farm Store in Middleburg, Virginia. This whole, raw, powder is created by pulverizing wildcrafted, sun dried vanilla beans.

"Vanilla stimulates general feelings of well being. it is a known mood enhancer in aroma therapy. Vanilla is used medicinally to calm nerves and an upset stomach, its soothing fragrance helps to relax in moments of stress and anxiety," says Wilderness Poets.

My favorite way to use this powder is in gelato - that first mouthful just pops, and the gelato is beautifully specked with vanilla, maintaining the benefits of the raw bean.

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I prefer not to use stabilizers in my ice cream and gelato recipes (i.e. corn starch or Xantham Gum), but still want to enjoy a smooth, creamy dessert. A little bit of alcohol does the trick. For this particular recipe, vanilla and strawberries call for a touch of something sweet and caramelly. A dash of E&J VS Brandy gives just the right touch. Their flagship brandy is light bodied, with flavors of toasted brown sugar and dried fruit, adding a slight kick while also keeping the gelato from forming ice crystals. 

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Recipe

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Powder (or 2 vanilla beans, scraped)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup diced strawberries

1 TB E&J VS Brandy

I often substitute coconut milk and cream for the dairy. It comes out slightly richer, and obviously delicious.

Blend cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla together. Add to ice cream maker (I use Cuisinart) and let churn for 25 minutes or until fluffy. Remove and with a spatula, stir in brandy and strawberries. Put in freezer for about 20-30 minutes before serving. 

Cheers! 

Rebekah

On a blustery day in March, Malbec, Sangria and Cava was flowing inside Sofitel Hotel Washington, DC’s iCi Urban Bistro. The lively, fast-paced tempo of tango music filled the hotel restaurant. Led by Claudia Gargiulo, and backed by bandoneon, double bass, and guitar, and sexy tango dancing by René Davila and Andrea Moragues of Tango Brillante

The Grand Opening on March 18 launched the week-long “Argentina Through Flavors and Sceneries” event featuring the traveling exhibit ”Deep Silence” by Argentine photographer Marcos Furer of his native (view select images here) untouched landscapes. Visiting chef Olivier Falchi, of Sofitel Buenos Aires Arroyo, collaborated with iCi Urban Bistro’s executive chef Franck Loquet to create traditional Argentinian dishes to coincide with the exhibit. 

Falchi and Foquet’s sophisticated menu selections included beef empanadas and dulce de leche pot de crème on the lunch menu, and duo of lamb or sea trout carpaccio; chimichurri, espuma de humita and chipa; and goat cheese and dulce de leche mousse on the dinner menu. 

No puedo esperar para más eventos at Sofitel!

- Rebekah

Hotel Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, 806 15th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 202-730-8800. iCi Urban Bistro, 202-730-8701.

I was honored to be a part of Elie Tahari's 40th Anniversary - celebrating Tahari as an internationally acclaimed designer, known for his iconic silhouettes, unique fabrics, and luxurious trends.

The sold out trunk show and lunch was hosted by dear friend and style blogger April Yvonne at Capella Georgetown, one of Washington, D.C.’s most sophisticated boutique hotels.

Photos by Laurie Bracewell Photography, Elie Tahari, and Revamp.com

Candied Kumquats dipped in Dark Chocolate

Kumquat season can’t start soon enough for me. Beginning in January and lasting until almost April, these mini orange-like fruits are delicate and gorgeous, and a fabulous healthy snack.

Full of Vitamins A, C, and E, kumquats are incredibly rich sources of healthy dietary fiber, minerals, and flavonoid (i.e. pigment) anti-oxidants. The peel is not only a zesty snack, its also a bite of essential oils. Combined with dark chocolate, you might as well eat them all.

 Recipe:

1 pint kumquats, sliced into 3 or 4 pieces

1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or similar Cane Syrup)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

2 TB granulated sugar

2 oz. 60% dark chocolate

In a small pot over low heat, stir together honey, syrup, and water. Add kumquats and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until kumquats begin to appear translucent. Remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, move each kumquat piece from the pot to a cooling rack.

Heat oven to 180 degrees. Place rack with kumquats over the same size baking sheet, and put in oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until pieces are slightly dry. Sprinkle with sugar. Allow to cool for at least two hours.

Melt chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of bowling water. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt, remove from the pot and stir until completely melted. Dip each kumquat piece halfway in chocolate and place on cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until set.

Cheers!

Rebekah

THRILLED to be a judge again at Loudoun County YMCA’s 27th Annual Chocolates Galore and More! gala. This will be my third year participating as a Critic’s Choice judge, and my fifth year attending the event. There’s still time to register!
Hope to see you there,
Rebekah

THRILLED to be a judge again at Loudoun County YMCA’s 27th Annual Chocolates Galore and More! gala. This will be my third year participating as a Critic’s Choice judge, and my fifth year attending the event. There’s still time to register!

Hope to see you there,

Rebekah

Absolutely ECSTATIC about yesterday’s feature with Healthfully Ever After on Style Me Pretty Living, with photography by the fabulous Yvonne Rock

We developed this recipe to be healthy and delicious, with a bourbon caramel (made with local Catoctin Creek whiskey) you can easily make with coconut oil, to top a soft cookie encrusted in walnuts, and fattened with pear sauce. Bon Appétit!