Cocktails Full of Tequila, Tequila! Because It’s Good For You

By  March 21, 2014

We can literally smell the weekend because it’s just so close, and we’re adding one more thing to our to-do list for this one. Hint: it involves tequila. It seems that a recent study presented at the American Chemical Society suggested that sweeteners derived from agave – AKA the tequila plant – may lower blood suger, aid with weight loss and trigger insulin production. “Hold up!” you might say, but no, thanks – we’re already drinking.  The tests may be preliminary but it’s Friday and when the name of our favorite liquor gets placed in the same sentence as the phrase “aid with weight loss,” you better believe we’re getting right to it. Here are the recipes we’re enjoying (read: downing) this weekend. Bottoms up, people.


Elevated Margarita

2 parts Avión Silver or Reposado

1 part Fresh Lime Juice

½ part agave nectar

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Fine strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.


Avión Lemonade

2 parts Avión Silver

1 part Fresh Lemon Juice

½ part Agave Nectar

Top with Club Soda

Build ingredients in a Collins glass with ice, and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and mint leaf, if desired.


Avión (PO) Loma

1.5 oz. Avión Silver

½ oz. Lime Juice

¼ oz. Lemon Juice

3 oz. Grapefruit Juice

2 Slivers Muddled Jalapeño

Soda Water

Ancho Chile Salt, Jalapeño, and Grilled Lemon Wedge for garnish 

Combine all ingredients and shake. Salt rim of glass with chile salt. Pour contents of shaker into glass and top with soda. Garnish with grilled lemon and jalapeño.

Oprah Winfrey Invites You to Tea

By  March 19, 2014


Forever sharing her favorite things with the world, Oprah Winfrey is coming to Teavana with a one-of-a-kind collaboration that will benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation beginning April 29th.

“I looove tea,” the global media leader and philanthropist said in a statement. “My daily tea ritual is a vital part of my morning. Savory and spicy chai, with its deep flavor, has long been a fan favorite of mine. When Howard Schultz offered to have me come into the Starbucks tasting room and create my very own tea blend, I thought that sounded like such a unique opportunity and fun to the tenth power. To share one of my favorite things with the rest of the world and support youth education at the same time is truly the perfect blend.”

“Partnering with Oprah Winfrey in the creation of this distinctive and remarkable tea is a strong next step forward in accomplishing this objective, while also giving back in a meaningful way through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation,” Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks said. I am personally humbled to work with such an inspirational leader and visionary who shares so many of our core values and beliefs. I truly believe that, together, we will set the bar for a world-class tea experience at Starbucks and Teavana.”

An experience indeed, Winfrey developed the line, called Teavana Oprah Chai Tea, herself in conjunction with Teavana’s leading teaologist Naoko Tsunoda, featuring “a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos,” available in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the U.S and Canada.

Starbucks will make a donation for each product sold to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit education opportunities for youth.

We’ll sip to that!

Throw Your Next Bash With a Packed Party

By  March 18, 2014


It’s never hard to think of a reason to throw a party. But when some of your most party-ready friends live far away and can’t make it to an impromptu gathering, whatever the reason, a Packed Party is a perfect way to get them in on the action. Tucked away inside each little box is all the necessary accoutrement for a themed party. Among the Packed Party offerings are: “Birthday Beb” for the birthday princess; “Miss You, Bitch” for the friend who lives too far away; “Pity Party” for your girl who’s on the down-and-out; “You Don’t Need Him Anyway” for the one who just got dumped; “You Pampered Thing, You” for the lady that won’t leave the house without a fresh manicure.

No matter what the occasion is, one of these little guys is an exciting way to show your BFF that you’re thinking about her. The contents of each box changes monthly, and the sender never knows what’s actually being sent. So, consider a Packed Party a surprise on both ends – because you never really know what the party’s like until someone posts a picture on Instagram, after all.

8 Great Alternatives to the St. Patrick’s Day Pint

By  March 17, 2014

Let’s face it: some people just aren’t into beer. While beer provides a lot of benefits both at and away from the bar, a green-tinged version for the Irish holiday may not be appetizing for everyone. If you ‘re looking to get into the festive spirit without the beer belly afterwards, these cocktails are certain to charm even if there’s no rainbow in sight:

The ShamROCK

2 oz. UV Apple
1 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
1 oz. Cinnamon Whiskey

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with an apple slice.

Irish Milk & Honey

1 oz. Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon
½ oz. Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Whipped Cream and Honey for Garnish

Combine Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon and Bushmills Irish Whiskey in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain contents into a shot glass rimmed with honey. Top with whipped cream.

Leprechaun Kick


1 oz. Pinnacle Chocolate Whipped Vodka
1 Dark Beer

Add shot of Pinnacle Chocolate Whipped Vodka into your beer for a true creamy taste.

Lucky Charm at KTCHN NYC


2 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Sour Apple Pucker
¼ oz. Melon Liqueur
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 lime wheels Garnish

Add all ingredients into bar shaker and shake well, serve in a Collins glass. Float lime wheels as garnish.

Good Luck Punch


1 750ml Bottle Cruzan Strawberry Rum
24 oz. Ginger Ale
6 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
6 Rosemary Sprigs, Rosemary Ice Blocks

Pour rum into a punchbowl and add 4 sprigs of rosemary. Give it a quick stir, making sure to fully immerse the rosemary. Let the mixture sit for one hour at room temperature. After one hour, remove the sprigs of rosemary from the bowl and discard them. Next, add the lime juice to the rosemary-infused rum and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Add rosemary ice block and ginger ale to your rum punch mixture and you’re ready to go! Serve over ice in a punch glass. Garnish with a small piece of rosemary sprig.

For the Rosemary Ice Blocks: Fill a couple of round plastic containers with water and a couple rosemary sprigs and put it in the freezer. When serving your punch, float the ice blocks in the punch bowl.

The Irish Espresso


1 oz. Avión Espresso
1 oz. Jameson Whiskey

Pour ingredients into a rocks glass over ice. Stir.

The Fresca

2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz. Cucumber water
1⁄2 oz. Lime Juice
Float 2 oz. NOHO

Shake all ingredients with ice. Serve in Collins glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

Shamrock Shake


1 ½ oz. Belvedere Vodka
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Dash egg white

Combine all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify egg white. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and discard.

Raise a Glass For International Women’s Day

By  March 07, 2014

Since 1911, International Women’s Day has sought to shine a light on the many strides women have made towards equality. While there’s more work to be done, there has been so much progress that deserves to be celebrated. Whether you’re hosting an event for the holiday or want to toast on your own these drinks, one developed by master blender Lorena Vásquez for Zacapa Rum, are sure to delight:

 Zacapa Negroni


1 oz. Zacapa Rum 23
2/3 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/3 oz. Bitter Italian Aperitif
1/3 oz. Semi-Bitter Italian Aperitif
Grapefruit Twist for Garnish

Combine Zacapa Rum 23, sweet vermouth, bitter Italian aperitif and semi-bitter Italian aperitif in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir well. Strain contents into a coupe glass and garnish with grapefruit twist.

Hungarian Forty Five by Joaquín Simó


½ oz. Zwack Liqueur
½ oz. Orange Curacao
½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Sparkling Wine for Top
Long Lemon Pigtail Twist for Garnish

Combine Zwack Liqueur, orange curacao and fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain contents into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with long lemon pigtail twist.



Karl Lagerfeld Has Enough Houses, Starts Designing Hotels

By  March 06, 2014


It’s clear that Karl Lagerfeld has a penchant for interior design.

He creates elaborate sets for his collections—Chanel’s Fall 2014 grocery store, anyone—redesigns hotels and pools, and now the Chanel and Fendi designer is off to build bigger and better things: a hotel!

“Like my own houses and apartments, but I have more houses than I need and I don’t want to do anymore. So I can—how could I say?—get rid of my frustrations by doing hotels,” Lagerfeld told Women’s Wear Daily.

The Kaiser signed a deal for a 270-room signature hotel in Macu, China that will be located in a 20-story building with the future Lisboa Palace luxury development, slated to open in 2017. This news is quite befitting a man who loves hotel living.

“You know, Gabrielle Chanel always said, ‘I only make dresses I would wear,’” Lagerfeld told WWD. “And I make only rooms where I would like to sleep. It’s as simple as that.”

He continued, “when I do a think like this I think, would you live there or not? Do you want to wake up there? Do you think the bathroom is comfortable? It’s very childish thinking, but you know it’s like the song ‘My Way.’”

… Karl’s way is just fine with us.

Here’s Your Oscar-Worthy Viewing Party Menu

By  February 28, 2014


Hosting an Oscars viewing party is no easy feat and to help curate the perfect menu for your viewing party, Glam chatted with Wayne Elias, the top chef behind Elton John’s Oscar viewing party for the last 10 years! Serve your guests Chef Wayne’s suggestions and tell them that they are noshin’ like one of rich and famous.

Chef Wayne advises, “pre-prepare and prep your appetizers, otherwise you will be in the kitchen the whole time instead of watching the show with your guests. Everything should be done so you can just heat and serve, heat and serve.”

What’s not to love about that? 

“I would start with grilled cheese sandwiches,” Elias said—a favorite or Elton Johns (recipe below).

To accompany the sandwiches, “I would make majewel dates, stuffed with walnuts and wrapped in Maplewood bacon—delicious, something that can be pre-prepped at home,” Elias adds. “Fire them in the oven for 5 minutes before your guests come. As far as the entrees, they are a little more involved but you can buy New York Steak (or filet mignon, if you like) season it with salt and pepper and sear it. Pre-cook it to be medium rare or however they prefer it, serve it chilled, sliced and on platter. You can do creamed spinach if you like with smashed fingerling potatoes that are tossed with truffle oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. That can be pre-done, chilled and then re-heated in the oven and served right from the oven to the table! Simple!”

Chef Wayne also likes serving finger foods like sliders, shrimp cocktails, chicken meatballs, braised short-rib sliders with shredded cheddar cheese and barbeque sauce on a mini-briosh bun for easy-to-serve appetizers.

… And there you have it! Your simple and easy to serve menu for your viewing party, so good your guest will want to nominate you for host of the year!

Elton John’s Favorite Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Need: 6 slices of thin sliced raisin bread, 3 ounces of marscapone cheese, 3 ounces of gorgonzola cheese, one Asian pear peeled, cored, sliced think, 2 ounces of butter for pan grilling.

Directions: Place 6 slices of raisin bread on work table. Spread the marscapone cheese evenly on all slices sprinkle the gorgonzla evenly on three of the raisin bread slices. On top of the cheese, place three slices of pear. Place the other slice on top and close the sandwich. In a sauté pan, melt two ounces of butter and over low to medium heat grill the sandwiches on both sides until golden brown.

Serve: Trim the edges off of the sandwiches and cut into a criss cross to form four little triangle pieces. Place on plate, server and garnish with fresh herbs. 3 sandwiches will serve 12.

Oscar Bites with Giada De Laurentiis

By  February 28, 2014


It seems everyone has plans for Oscar Sunday with a social calendar filled with viewing parties, even Giada De Laurentiis. The celeb chef told Glam she’ll be whipping up delectable delights for her aunt’s soiree and even served up a few savory suggestions for your party to close out awards season deliciously.

The foodie and face of Clairol’s Natural Instincts was waiting to find out what her duties would be for Sunday’s festivities, but already had a plan to prepare her dishes once they were assigned. “I get home Friday night, and I’ll be cooking on Saturday for her party on Sunday,” she said.

For anyone hosting their our awards season soiree, de Laurentiis recommended serving up light bites that everyone can enjoy. What would she put on her menu? Chicken Orzo Meatballs, Mini Eggplant Parms, and Sweet And Spicy Skewers. “I put orzo inside the ground chicken while it’s raw so when I cook it, the actual moisture cooks the orzo inside,” she explained. “I also have these great little skewers of melon, mozzarella, and olive, and I make a pepper honey that I pour over, so it’s kind of spicy but sweet. Those are really easy to eat, but yet again light, refreshing, colorful, a variety of foods that [offer] something for everyone.”

But don’t let set recipes hold you back, as De Laurentiis noted that she finds inspiration everywhere. “I think my family always inspires me, my travels, tasting other people’s foods, and my mood, depending on where I am,” she said.

7 Oscar Cocktails to Shake Up for Your Viewing Party

By  February 27, 2014

Awards season will come to a close on Sunday as the Oscars take over not only your TV screens, but your social media feeds as well. As you play red carpet bingo with your besties and mark your picks for best dressed, be sure to have one of these cool cocktails on hand:

Coco Light Martini  — The Official Academy Awards Cocktail


1 ½ oz. CÎROC Coconut
1 ½ oz. Unsweetened Coconut Water
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
¼ oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Combine all ingredients in martini shaker with ice. Shake and strain into coupe glass, and garnish with lemon twist.

The Ultimat neuro Bliss – The Official Cocktail of Elton John’s AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party


2 oz. Neuro Summer Citrus Berry
1.5 oz. Ultimat Vodka
1 oz. Orange Juice
Orange Twist for Garnish

Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Then pour over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Hollywood Starlet


1 oz. Pinnacle Peachberry Cobbler Vodka
2 oz. white peach puree
2 oz. Prosecco

Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass, and then gently pour over ice in a mixing tin then back and forth with the mixing glass. Strain into a chilled champagne flute.


Glamour Shot



1 oz. of Baileys Cinnamon Liqueur
½ oz. of Goldschläger Cinnamon Schanpps
Edible Gold Flakes for Garnish

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled shot glass rimmed with edible gold flakes.

The Red Carpet Cooler


6 oz. of Sauza Blue 100% Agave Silver Tequila
2 oz. Dekuyper 03 Premium Orange Liqueur
16 oz. cran-raspberry juice
8 oz. lemon-lime soda
2 tbsp. sanding sugar
Sugar (optional)
1 lime for garnish (optional)
*Serves 5

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice. Run a lime wedge around half the lip of each glass and dip in sanding sugar to rim. Fill glasses with ice, pour margarita into each glass, and garnish with a lime wedge.

The Show Stopper


2 oz. Red Stag by Jim Beam Black Cherry
1 oz. Strawberry Liqueur
1 oz. Passion Fruit Juice

Pour into Champagne Flutes. Garnish with a strawberry or lemon twist on the rim.

Classic American Hustle


1 ½ oz. Belvedere Vodka
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Dash egg white

Combine all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify egg white. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and discard.

Easy, Delicious Winter Recipes To Get You Through Any Snowstorm

By  February 25, 2014


To steal a phrase from Sister Souljah, this has been the coldest winter EVER. I don’t know about you, but I am over it dot com, dot org and dot edu. Every few days there’s another report about sub-zero temperatures, another weatherperson predicting multiple inches of snow. Besides the usual dreaded terms like “black ice” and “polar vortex,” there are new things to dread like “ice fog” and “thunder snow.” It’s not a time to panic. It’s a time to get groceries, hunker down, and come up with some yummy recipes to make to tide you through your time of hibernation.

The ideal winter recipe will make you feel warm, full and content. It will be nutritious, it will be delicious, and there will be leftovers. All winter long I’ve been making great use of my oven, my stove top and my slow cooker. Allow me to share some recipes I’ve tried and want to try, as another winter storm looms.

Meat Lovers

1. Brazilian Fejoada — The beloved black bean stew of Brazil makes an amazing winter stew for meat lovers. Bacon and pork and chorizo, oh my!

2. Trinidadian Corn Soup — My sister’s tried, tested and true recipe for Trini corn soup. Spicy, filling leftovers for the win.

Poultry Lovers

3. White Bean Chicken Chili — I love Giada de Laurentiis, her recipes always throw in some greens where they don’t really need to be. It’s a good thing and increases the nutritional value of your comfort food. This white bean chicken chili features Swiss chard as the random green of choice, but it’s just as good with spinach or kale.

4. Slow Baked Turkey With Leek and Mushroom Stuffing — People act like turkey is this special occasion only poultry. I’m here to tell you that you can make a delicious turkey breast or turkey thigh recipe any day of the week. Why not make a feast fit for Christmas for your Tuesday night dinner?


5. Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp Banh Mi — Banh Mi sandwiches are so incredibly delicious, and so easy and fun to make at home. You can even make some of the toppings ahead of time so it’s not a whole bunch of chopping veggies at the same time. I like to make my own bread at home for a hot, fresh banh mi experience, so if you’re down with Pillsbury Artisan French Bread, I recommend you give that a whirl.

6. Spicy Fish Burrito Bowls — The quest for this recipe began when I became obsessed with the tilapia burrito bowl from Carbon in Chicago. They serve a burrito bowl with spicy beans, rice, guacamole, creamy and delicious elote dip, and tortilla encrusted tilapia. It is amazing. This recipe is a healthier at home alternative.

Clean Eating

7. The Giant Pot of Spaghetti — I get much of my food and fitness inspiration from A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, Erika Kane’s blog about the tips and techniques she learned from her over 150 pound weight loss. Kane believes in eating hearty and healthy, and her recipes are always delicious. This recipe calls for her DIY spaghetti/pizza sauce which is to die for.

8. Southwest Salmon and Sweet Potatoes — If you’re trying to eat more fish, this recipe will get you hooked. Spicy salmon, roasted sweet potatoes and a bright orange splash of citrus makes this recipe memorably delicious.


9. Winter Vegetable Pot Pies — Everyone’s favorite comfort food made easy with pre-purchased pastry and made wholesome with winter root veggies.

10. Vegetable Lentil Shepherd’s Pie — My husband loves meat and tends to feel like he hasn’t eaten enough if he doesn’t have something meaty for dinner. This shepherd’s pie was a hit, and there isn’t anything meaty about it. Roasted veggies add a robust flavor to this dish and I recommend the roasted veggie recipe from The Wednesday Chef, to add life to this dish and many others.


11. Deconstructed Samosas — Such a versatile and healthy version of a classic Indian delicacy! Substitute Boston lettuce leaves or naan for the traditional pastry, wrap em up and fall in love.

12. My Sister’s Phenomenal Grilled Green Chicken — I get my paleo recipes from Nom Nom Paleo, the new cookbook is so cute and well done! Her recipes are always healthy and super yummy and this chicken packs a wallop of flavor.

Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.