Thursday, July 21, 2016

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Simple Sparkling Tea Cocktails + Giveaway

Hey, friends!

The weekend is just about here! Woohoo! I hope you have something fun and exciting planned for it. I actually have a busy weekend ahead. Listen to this packed agenda: Trip to the aquarium, an overnight on Cape Cod, a pool party, date night with Mal, and potentially driving to L-town to visit family. Phew. I hope I can fit it all in! Anyway, with the weekend right around the corner, I wanted to share some super simple and seriously delicious recipes for sparkling tea cocktails. Oooh, yes. They’re incredible, so you are definitely in for a treat. Please add them to your “To Do list” for the weekend! 🙂

Summer is absolutely my favorite time of year, and I truly love everything about it, especially getting together with family and friends at barbecues, parties, and other get-togethers. I mean, who can resist all of that eating, drinking, and being merry when the weather is nice outside?! And there’s nothing better than an iced cold cocktail on a hot summer day. Am I right?

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That’s why I am especially excited to partner with Bhakti to help spread the word about their wonderful company and new sparkling teas. Bhakti means “devotion through social action” and the brand has given $350,000 to organizations all over the world that empower women and girls and support the environment and sustainability via their gitagiving.org website. (Learn more about The Gita Project.) I love supporting companies that prioritize giving back and inspiring others to live their “Bhakti” by doing the same, and I hope you consider purchasing Bhakti products for these reasons too!

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Bhakti’s sparkling teas (they’re different from seltzer) are carbonated carbonated Fair Trade tea blended with fresh organic juices. Each one has a different tea “base” (black, matĂ©, matcha, rooibos) blended with fresh organic juice and all of their flavors have less than 60 calories and 14 grams of sugar per bottle. They’re light and refreshing with a hint of fizz, so it’s no surprise they also make a great mixer for cocktails, especially since they’re so fresh and flavorful on their own. When mixed with alcohol, they actually remind me of those super fancy drinks you get at an upscale restaurant in the summer! That said, here are 3 simple recipes for truly delightful sparkling tea cocktails that are guaranteed to wow your taste buds and impress guests! FYI: These cocktails travel well to the beach and parties too! You can find them at Whole Foods Markets nationwide or online with the brand’s Store Finder.

Summer Entertaining Easy Sparkling Tea Cocktails

Berries & Cream Sparkling Tea Cocktail 

Whipped cream vodka is blended with Bhakti’s caffeine-free rooibos tea, fresh-pressed ginger, organic tart cherry juice, and finished with ripe blueberries to create a cocktail that is fruity, sweet, and tangy all at the same time! 

  • 8 ounces Bhakti Tart Cherry Rooibos Sparkling Tea
  • 2 ounces whipped cream-flavored vodka
  • fresh blueberries

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Lemon Ginger Sparkling Tea Cocktail

Carbonated black tea combines with Bhakti’s signature fresh-pressed ginger, a splash of fresh, organic lemon juice, and lemon-flavored vodka. The combination of lemon and ginger never tasted so delicious! 

  • 8 ounces Bhakti Lemon Ginger Sparkling Tea
  • 2 ounces lemon-flavored vodka
  • slice of lemon (optional)

bhakti sparking teas

Mint MatĂ© Sparking Tea Mojito

Fizzy yerba matĂ© tea is fused with organic spearmint leaves and Bhakti’s signature fresh-pressed ginger juice, white rum, freshly squeezed lime juice, and muddled mint. This cocktail is a tea-infused version of a traditional mojito! 

  • 8 ounces Bhakti Mint MatĂ© Sparkling Tea
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • fresh mint leaves, muddled (optional)

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Giveaway time! Here’s your chance to win some Bhakti gear and sparking tea!

Bhakti Giveaway Sparkling Gear

One lucky CNC winner will win:

  • Bhakti hat
  • Bhakti t-shirt
  • 10 coupons for free Bhakti Sparkling Tea

To enter: Click over to the Bhakti website and leave a comment on this blog post about which sparkling tea flavor you would most like to try. I’ll randomly pick a winner next week.

Good luck!



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7 Summer Salads That Put a New Spin on Corn

Let’s talk about corn. And we don’t mean boxed muffin mixes or the oily hardened batter that separates basic hot dogs from “corn” dogs. We’re talking fresh-off-the-cob kernels of golden summer corn — or “maize,” as it’s known in its native Mexico. After decades of commercialized farming, we’ve come to think of this ubiquitous crop as the bane of our healthy-eating efforts, reduced to greasy convenience foods and high-fructose corn syrup — the insidious sweetening agent hidden in many shelf-stable products. It’s safe to say the crop’s image is in a state of crisis. We’ve forgotten that, in its purest incarnation, this ancient grain was destined for greatness. Take these seven corn salads, for example, each one paired with more peak-season produce, such as juicy tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and fresh basil. This is exactly the kind of corn renaissance we’ve been waiting for.

Fresh Corn Salad
It doesn’t get any fresher than Ina Garten’s crunchy corn salad. Submerging the quick-boiled cobs in an ice bath may seem like a tedious extra step, but we swear by it. Not only does it stop the cooking right away, but it also preserves the beautiful yellow color for your salad.

Grilled Corn with Lime, Red Chili Powder and Cotija
Bobby Flay likes his corn salad hot off the grill and, preferably, piled onto a juicy steak. Grill the corn in its own husks to protect it before taking the smoky kernels off the cob and tossing them with Cotija cheese, lime juice, ancho chili powder and creme fraiche.

Fresh Corn-Tomato Salad
This hearty summer salad showcases two peak-season crops: corn and tomatoes. For optimal flavor, use the freshest corn and tomatoes you can find, and toss in chunks of silky mozzarella cheese for the perfect milky complement.

Black Bean and Corn Salad
Rachael Ray’s foolproof cookout side requires just 10 minutes of prep work with the right vegetables on hand. Combine the corn kernels, black beans, red onion and whatever other vegetables you have on hand, then brighten it up with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Confetti Corn
Ina creates this beautiful sunny salad by combining only the freshest corn with orange bell pepper. The earthier flavor notes of fresh basil, parsley and minced chives help to balance the sweet produce.

Farro and Corn Salad
Food Network Magazine’s recipe pairs juicy charred corn and tomatoes with nutty farro for a hearty summer salad with great chewy texture. You’ll likely find farro with the whole grains in your grocery store (near the quinoa), but if you can’t, barley is an excellent stand-in.

Charred Corn Panzanella
Food Network Kitchen chefs put a healthier spin on this filling summer salad by using whole-grain boule in place of refined white bread. Sweet balsamic vinegar and serrano chiles lend bold flavor notes to this otherwise delicate mix of corn, tomatoes and cilantro.

Get your fill of fresh summer corn with more great recipes and ideas from our friends:

The Lemon Bowl: Pesto Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Corn
Devour: Fire Up the Grill for a Mexican Grilled Corn Fiesta
Feed Me Phoebe: Sweet and Spicy Gluten-Free Corn Pasta with Ricotta and Chives
Creative Culinary: Grilled Corn Salsa with Poblano Chiles, Cilantro and Honey
TasteBook: Esquites (Mexican-Style Corn Salad)
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Corn, Pluot and Grape Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: A Cornucopia of Corn Recipes For Summer
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Easy Homemade Creamed Corn
FN Dish: If You Cook Any Corn This Summer, Make It One of These 5-Star Recipes



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