Manhattan Cocktail | Mix a Manhattan

Published on May 8, 2013, in Cocktails.

Esquire Magazine says to mix a Manhattan cocktail you should shake the rye, vermouth, and bitters well with cracked ice. Strain into in a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with twist or, of course, maraschino cherry. If you are used to using the bright red Maraschino cherries, try a jar of Les Parisiennes brandied cherries or Amarena Fabbri Wild Cherries.

There are a variety of Manhattans; lose the Angostura and pitch in a splash of Amer Picon and it’s a Monahan; a splash of anisette and it’s a Narragansett; 2 dashes of cherry brandy and a dash of absinthe and you’ve got a McKinley’s Delight. Leave a dash of the Angostura in, add a dash of orange bitters and 3 dashes of absinthe: a Sherman.

Or you can tinker with the vermouth. Replace half the Italian vermouth with French for a so-called Perfect Manhattan. Equal parts of rye, French vermouth, and Italian vermouth: a Jumbo. Make that with bourbon: a Honolulu (no bitters at all in those last two). Cut the Italian vermouth entirely and make it half bourbon and half French vermouth: a Rosemary. To turn that into a Brown University, just add a couple dashes of orange bitters. Coming almost full circle, if you make your classic 2-to-1 Manhattan with French vermouth instead of Italian and a dash of Amer Picon and one of Maraschino, you’re in Brooklyn.

For more on this topic on how to mix the perfect Manhattan cocktail, visit


Manhattan Cocktain


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Seasonal Cuisine Restaurant Houston TX | Farm to Table Restaurant Houston Texas

Haven Restaurant is dedicated to rural Texas and nature in its purest form. Chef Randy Evan’s green-inspired seasonal farm to table restaurant has a spacious organic garden providing produce and herbs used in the kitchen’s acclaimed dishes. What Haven does not produce itself is sourced from local farmers, boatmen, ranchers and artisans.

Haven’s seasonal menu is described as Modern Texas Cuisine but the key word is modern as Chef Evans looked at Texas as it is today and developed a menu to represent the rich ethnic contributions of the state’s Vietnamese, Mexican, Acadian, German, Czech and Polish communities.

Haven also offers a creative menu of drinks from its full-service bar and admirable wine list, including many Texas wines as well as organic.

In 2010, Haven was selected one of the “Top 20 Best New Restaurants in the Nation” by Esquire and “Best New Restaurant in Houston” at the Houston Culinary Awards. In 2011, it was Texas Monthly’s “Second Best New Restaurant in Texas,” and one of Southern Living’s “5 Best New Restaurants in the South.”

To learn more about this seasonal restaurant offering modern Texas cuisine, visit  For restaurants providing gift cards for all special occasions, follow

Haven Restaurant

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Summer Squash Recipe | Summer Vegetables

Summer squash is one of the season’s most popular vegetables. Mashed, fried, puréed, roasted, steamed or grilled, it can be added to many mouth watering and healthy recipes.   Summer squash comes in many shades of yellow and green and can add substance and flavor to everything from muffins to tacos to stews.  The delicate flavor, soft shell and creamy white flesh of summer squash is a perfect addition to any summer meal.

For a great recipe idea that will help you take advantage of the abundance of summer squash, consider the following  for Zuccini Curry.


  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh jalapeño chile including seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 medium green or Cocozelle zucchini (3 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 (13 1/2- to 14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped
  • Accompaniment: cooked basmati rice

Pound garlic, jalapeño and ginger to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt, then stir in curry powder, coriander, and mustard and cumin seeds.Sauté onion, stirring until golden, add curry paste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, 2 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook, stirring, until it begins to appear moist, 3 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and remaining teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with cilantro and cashews.

 Makes six servings

To find more wonderful summer squash recipes, visit





Summer Squash Recipes


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Seasonal Menu Portland OR | Wine Bar Portland Oregon

Perched atop a building in Portland, OR,  Noble Rot offers a  a stunning view, a daily changing menu and wine flights and pours that harmonize with the surroundings of the season. When their 3000 square foot rooftop garden is flourishing, it supplies most of their vegetables and herbs.  The extensive wine list offers unusual choices from around the world emphasizing Oregon and Washington wines.  Diners can order themed flights, or by the glass. You can also purchase over 30 bottles to go.

For more information on this  great neighborhood restaurant and winebar with a spacious outdoor patio and the finest views of the city, visit  To find more restaurants offering seasonal menus and online gift cards, click on

Seasona Cuisine Restaurant

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Margarita Cocktail | Agave Nectar Margarita

Many restaurants and bars serving margarita cocktails drown out the natural flavors of the Agave with Triple Sec, Cointreau, and sugary mixes. By following this simple margarita recipe from, you’ll find that the Tequila will control and enhance the flavor of your cocktail.

With just 3 main ingredients, this all natural margarita is so simple to make, and once you’ve perfected this cocktail it will be hard to return to any pre-mixed product.

  • Tequila: 1.5 oz
  • Agave Nectar: 2 tsp.
  • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice: 2 oz

Mix contents, swirl or stir to dissolve Agave nectar, add enough ice to fill your preferred margarita glass, shake and serve. Garnish with lime slice or wedge, salt glass rim (optional).

For more on how to select the right Tequila and Agave Nectar for this perfect margarita, visit  To find restaurants offering Mexican cuisine, margaritas and easy online gift cards, visit


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Guide to Saving Money Buying Seasonal and Organic Produce

Published on April 19, 2013, in Seasonal Food.

Would you like a simple guide to purchasing seasonal and organic fruits and vegetables, you will find great money saving ideas on the Spa Finder Wellness Blog.  Guidelines help  you keep your food budget inline by listing what conventional produce you can buy to limit your pesticide exposure.  Other guidelines include how and when to wash, clean and prepare conventionally grown foods.

You can save money and choose a smart balance between organic, local, seasonal and conventional fruits and vegetables.

Follow Spa Finder Wellness Blog for tips on healthy living.  Follow eGiftHotline for discount coupons, giftcards and sweepstakes for restaurants, spas and retailers.

Seasonal Food

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