This is a sweet and fruity rum cocktail that really packs a punch. Great for brunch and happy hour alike, The Seducer will transport you to the Tropics with just one sip. Note: This recipe works best if the liquors are stored in the freezer prior to pouring.
The Seducer – What You’ll Need (per drink):
3 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz coconut rum
3/4 oz pineapple rum or vodka
3/4 oz vanilla rum or vodka
3/4 oz dark rum
2 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherries, lime, orange or clementine for garnish
The Seducer – What You’ll Need to Do:
Fill an old fashioned glass or stemless wine glass 2/3 of the way with crushed ice. Add the liquors and pineapple juice to the glass and stir it up well. Float the cherry juice on top by pouring it gently with a spoon. The cherry juice will slowly sink to the bottom and give the drink a sunrise appearance. Add the garnishes gently. Serve with a swizzle stick and enjoy!
I am happy to support a gourmet chocolate manufacturer that specializes in nut free products. Having a brother with a life-threatening nut allergy has taught me that many food items, while not officially containing nuts, are often manufactured in a facility that processes nuts in other goods. This means that anyone with a deadly allergy cannot enjoy any products made in that environment due to the extreme risk that a nut allergy entails. I find it commendable that a company has dedicated itself to ensuring delicious, nut free treats to an ever-increasing population of people with peanut and tree nut allergies.
This Halloween assortment that I’m reviewing is a sampler pack containing both nut free milk chocolate and dark chocolate in fun and festive Halloween shapes, such as bats, ghosts, tombstones, and pumpkins. The Pumpkin Treat Box (pictured top right) would be a great Halloween gift or party favor for someone with a sensitivity or allergy to nuts, or even for someone who just loves chocolate! I also received two Halloween Pops, which would make great gifts for school functions or parties. The Halloween miniatures (available in milk or dark chocolate) (7 oz. package) would be perfect for trick-or-treaters who may require nut free goodies.
The milk chocolate has a mild and creamy chocolate taste without being too rich. The dark chocolate has a deep, intense chocolate flavor with none of the bitterness that some dark chocolates exhibit. I personally enjoyed the dark chocolate pieces more, but I’m more of a dark chocolate fan in general. For both varieties, the taste was not as decadent as some other high-end chocolate brands such as Ghirardelli, but I would say that they are certainly on par with Hershey’s in terms of chocolaty-ness, flavor, and texture. Overall, I would definitely recommend these chocolates to not only those who have nut allergies, but to all chocolate lovers.
I even made fluffernutter s’mores with the milk and dark chocolate tombstone candies, and they were frighteningly delicious!
How to Order
The sampler that I reviewed contained all solid chocolate candies. However, Vermont Nut Free Chocolates has a multitude of delectable treats in their catalog including truffles, creams, caramels, and fudge. I encourage you to check out their selection at www.vermontnutfree.com
As far as shipping is concerned, the chocolates arrived via USPS in an insulated package containing an ice pack. The chocolates were fully intact and solid on arrival. I did not see any indication that the chocolates had started to melt at one point and then re-solidified. Just try not to let the package sit in the hot sun on your doorstep for very long. The ice pack was completely melted shortly after I took delivery.
Vermont Nut Free Chocolates
10 Island Circle
Grand Isle, VT 05458
This Shrimp Scampi Florentine recipe is not only easy to make, but also incredibly delicious. It’s full of healthy and tasty vegetables, and none of the heavy cream that a lot of the shrimp pasta dishes out there rely on. You could easily expect to pay $25 for a dish of this caliber at a fine Italian restaurant, but why not make it at home and save some cash without compromising taste?
This recipe is also delicious minus the shrimp as an awesome vegetarian pasta dish!
This recipe SERVES 2.
Shrimp Scampi Florentine – What You’ll Need:
8-12 large shrimp
One bag fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic
10 Cremini mushrooms
One jar marinated artichokes
One small can sliced black olives
2-4 servings fettuccine
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp dried or fresh thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
A few sprigs fresh parsley
Shrimp Scampi Florentine – What You’ll Need to Do:
Get the water boiling for the fettuccine (do not add pasta yet), cut the mushrooms into quarters, and peel and clean the shrimp. Coat the shrimp with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, and oregano. Then set the shrimp aside. Heat a large skillet over a medium flame and add the olive oil, red pepper flakes, thyme, and oregano. Then cook until mushrooms start to brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Grate two cloves of garlic into the pan, and then add the drained marinated artichokes and black olives. Cook for a couple minutes over medium-high heat, then add the white wine (optional) and reduce to a tablespoon or so of liquid. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the directions on the box.
At this point, add half a bag of spinach to the pan and cook just until it wilts. Then push all the items in the pan to the perimeter and add a tablespoon of butter to the center. After the butter foams up, add the shrimp to the center of the pan and cook on both sides until the shrimp turn pink. Douse with some fresh lemon juice.
When the shrimp are done, remove them from the pan and set aside so that they do not overcook. Drain the pasta and add it into the pan with the vegetables. Toss it all together and add the Parmesan cheese and give it another toss until the cheese is fully incorporated.
Separate the pasta and vegetables into two serving bowls then place the shrimp on top. Sprinkle on some more Parmesan, fresh cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Finally, top with some freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley.