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Make Flavored Spa Water Infusions: Water Cocktails!

5 Feb

Plain water is a thing of the past

At Evian’s Spa, their programs offer a different herbal water each day.  The idea is that different herbs have unique restorative properties and complement the spa treatments prescribed for each step of their guests’ health and beauty transformations.

We love this because let’s face it, plain water for many of us is so boring and we have trouble getting our 8 glasses a day.  That’s why we shared the Spa Water Infusion ideas below with our eHow audience.  Enjoy!  Once you try our versions, get creative and make your own water cocktails.

How to Make Spa Water Infusions for Young Glowing Skin and More Energy | eHow.com.

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Les Sources de Caudalie Video Cooking Class via Gourmandia

29 Jan

Caudalie Chef Franck Salein gives video how tos for several spa favorites on Gourmandia.  Get ready to salivate over sumptuous and healthy dishes such as:

Bon Appetit!

Tajine Cooking a la Sultana Spa

21 Jan

A tajine is a pot used in moroccan cooking, it sort of looks like a teepee. A flat dish with a triangular lid on top. It’s a beautiful table centerpiece and serving dish in one. And best of all, it’s a super healthy way to cook. Simply pop ingredients onto plate of tajine, cook for around 1.5 hours over low heat & voila!

Use the Tajine recipe from http://www.grouprecipes.com below as a guideline, but feel free to change the meat, spices, veg to your faves!

We really like the Cherry Moroccan tajine by Le Creuset available at Sur La Table

Le Creuset Tajine

Chicken Tajine from Group Recipes

Ingredients
4 x chicken thighs
1 x leek
2 x red onions
1 x courgette
1 x yellow bell pepper
turmeric, cumin, coriander, Red paprika, Fenugreek, cayenne
spice powders
1 x can chopped tomatoes
vegetable oil

1. add approx 2tbs oil to base of Tagine or Casserole
2. Slice onions thinly and form a layer at bottom of pan
3, Remove skin from thighs and place on top of onion slices
4. Slice leek thinly and lay on top of onion slices
5. Open tomato can and pour contents over the veg and chicken
6. Slice Courgette and make another layer (also yellow pepper)
7. Sprinkle 1 x tsp of the Turmeric,Cumin,Coriander & Paprika over
the contents,add Half tsp Fenugreek and pinch of Cayenne
8. Turn on heat (low) and leave to cook for approx 75 mins stirring
occasionally.

Live, love and lounge!

Candy

Taro Cake from Chiva Som

13 Jan

This Chiva Som dessert uses Taro root. What’s a Taro you may ask?  It’s a plant common to Thailand often the root is shredded and stir fried tempura style and served as a vegetable.  But it also makes a delicious cake as you’ll see below.  Did you know Taro Root is also a substitute for potatoes?  I wonder how potatoes would be in this recipe?  Hmmmm

Ingredients
500 ml (18 fl oz/2 ½ cups) coconut milk
350 g (12 oz) grated palm sugar
150 g (5 ½ oz) taro, peeled, cubed and streamed for 15-20 minutes
35 g (1 ½ oz) rice flour
10 egg whites
3 whole eggs

Taro Cake

Method
Mix all ingredients by hand using a shredded banana or pandan leaf. Strain, and pour the mixture into a square baking dish, or into separate ramekin dishes. Place on a deep baking tray in 2.5 cm (1 inch) water. Place the bain-marie in the oven and bake at 145°C (300°F) for 20 minutes or until the cake is cooked. Leave to cool and cut cake as desired.

Nutrients Per Piece
428.32 cal
Protein 8.88 g
Carbohydrate 53.07 g
Fat 19.81 g

Baked Marinated Sea Bass With Turmeric Served With Spicy Green Mango Relish

13 Jan

Direct from Chiva Som – I know what I’m cooking for dinner tonight ; )

Ingredients:
Marinated Seabass
200 g Seabass fillet
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey

Green Mango Relish
200 g green mangos, peeled and julienned
30 g carrot, peeled and julienned
30 g shallots, finely sliced
1 bird’s eye chilli, or red chili pepper finely chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lime juice
Coriander, for garnish

Method
Marinated Seabass
Preheat the oven to 100C. Marinate seabass with turmeric, coconut milk, soy sauce and honey then bake for 10 minutes or until medium cooked. Set aside.

Green Mango Relish
To prepare dressing, whisk soy sauce, honey, lime juice and chilli in a bowl until well mixed. Add all remaining relish ingredients to the bowl with the dressing. Gently toss until evenly mixed.

To Serve
Arrange the baked seabass on the centre of plate, put the green mango relish on top of the fish, and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

Nutrition per serving
calories 341.1 kcal
Protein 52.1 g
Carbohydrate 25.0 g
Total Fat 3.2 g

Five Flirty Fall #Spatinis

22 Oct

First thanks everyone for all the love for our summer martinis!  But guess what?  We get thirsty in the fall too!  Sip these babies while passing out candy to the kiddos or at your next tailgate!

Or at this week’s #SpaWeekGossip Spa Halloween Masquerade Party!


1. Spiced Caramel Apple Martini from  JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Phoenix via Phoenix.About.com

1/2 ounce Crown Royal
1/2 ounce Skyy vodka
1/2 ounce Concentrated apple juice
Pinch Ground cinnamon
Splash Apple Pucker schnapps
Splash Cranberry juice
1 slice Caramel-coated apples

Shake all ingredients and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sugared rim and the caramel-coated apple. Servings: 1 martini.

2. Pecan Pie Martini from Rachel Ray

½ cup dark corn syrup, plus more for garnishing rim
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
Ice cubes
4 ounces (½ cup) vodka
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. On a small plate, stir together 1 teaspoon corn syrup and the brown sugar. Dip the rims of 4 martini glasses in the mixture, then in the chopped nuts.
2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 1/4 cup vodka, 1/4 cup corn syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Strain into 2 prepared glasses. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

3. Pumpkin Pie Martini from Haunted Bay

• 4 oz of Smirnoff vodka
• 1 oz Stolichnaya Vanil vodka
• Cocktail Candy Vanilla Shake cocktail sugar
• Pumpkin spice

Pour liquid ingredients into a shaker 1/4 full of cracked ice and shake. Allow shaker to rest while rimming two iced martini glasses with Vanilla Cocktail Candy Rim Sugar. Strain martini into glasses. Garnish with a shake of pumpkin pie spice.

4. Spiced Pumpkin Vodka from The Four Seasons New York (via Epicurious)

Drink on it’s own as an after dinner drink or create your own autumn libations. Fills a one-liter bottle (a scant quart).

1 1/2 cups (750 ml) Stolichnaya cinnamon vodka
3/4 cup (175 ml) Stolichnaya vanilla vodka
3/4 cup (175 ml) Stolichnaya vodka
2 whole vanilla beans
2 cups raw pumpkin meat, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Combine vodkas in bottle or other glass container. Add pumpkin meat and vanilla beans and let sit for 1 week. If necessary, when mixing cocktails strain the vodka as you pour it into the shaker. Consider using toasted pumpkin seeds or some of the vodka-soaked pumpkin as garnish.

5. Candy Corn Martini from the Martini Diva

Live, love and lounge, Candy

SpaHome Entertaining: Grilled Cheese and Wine Bar

7 Oct

The Food Network show Man v. Food inspired this idea to elevate your next wine and cheese party. The spa twist is, of course, ours ; )

Instead of cheese cubes and crackers at your next wine party, have a grilled cheese bar to accompany your wine selections. Lay out the fixin’s below, let guests concoct their sandwich and grill. (Just think of all the cubing you’ll avoid!)

If it’s not grill weather, a grill pan allows you to cook multiple ‘wiches for fast prep. Or let your guests grill their own.

Bread –
Rye
Wheat
Sourdough
Rosemary Focaccia

Cheese –
Sharp Cheddar
Mozzarella
Gruyere
Gouda
Feta
Blue Cheese
Manchego

Optional – Go Gourmet! Add a few bowls of fresh herbs & spices to the bar. Try basil, horseradish, garlic, cilantro and/or paprika.

WineBath Favors

Here’s a fun spa way to recycle all those empty Wine Bottles and create inventive guest takeaways:

Buy your favorite bubble bath or bath salts in bulk at Costco or other retailer. WITHOUT RINSING the wine bottle (wine is good for the skin) funnel liquid bubble bath into the bottle and recork.

Print labels from your computer like:

Cooking with Caitlin
Wine Bath
Vintage: (date of party)

& stick over the back label. See guests grin.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

PS:  Don’t forget to hang out with us on Monday 1PM PST for Foodies Night In #fni on twitter.  This week’s topic wine and cheese!

Top 5 Spa Margaritas to Beat the Summer Heat

9 Aug

WoW it’s hotter than Mexico out this Summer and with all the love you have shown for our Spatinis we thought you might enjoy a cool Spagarita (that’s a Spa Style healthier version of a margarita). Ole!

Spagarita
Mijares Restaurant Pasadena

2 oz of clear Agave Tequila
2 Tblspoons Lime juice
Triple Sec to taste

Mix & serve – for a frozen version blend w/ 1 cup of ice.

Spa-Garita
(Mocktail version from Red Mountain Spa via Healing Lifestyles and Spas)

4 ounces limeade
2 ounces orange juice
1 wedge lime, dredged in salt

Mix the limeade and orange juice. Serve over ice, blended with ice, or blended frozen.
Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Watermelon Spagarita
(from Saveur)
Serves 2

FOR THE WATERMELON-INFUSED TEQUILA:
* 1 medium-size seedless watermelon
* 1 750-ml bottle of silver tequila

FOR THE MARGARITA:
* 4 oz. of the watermelon-infused tequila
* 2 oz. frozen limeade
* 2 cubes of the infused watermelon
* 1 1⁄2 oz. Cointreau
* Watermelon wedges

For the infused tequila, cut a watermelon into 1″ cubes (rind removed) until you have roughly 2 lbs. of fruit. Transfer to a glass jar, pour in tequila, seal jar, and let steep for 2 days.

To make drinks, combine the watermelon-infused tequila, 2 cups crushed ice, frozen limeade, infused watermelon, and Cointreau in a blender. Purée until slushy. Garnish with watermelon wedges.

BlueBeauty Spagarita
(from yours truly)

Mix the basic Spagarita recipe at top. Add 1/2 cup of blueberries blended & subbing the clear Agave tequila for Blue Agave tequila.

Watermelon Cucumber Spagarita
(from Epicurious)

1 1/2 cups 1-inch chunks rindless watermelon
6 (1/8-inch-thick) slices English hothouse cucumber
15 large fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup 100% blue agave silver tequila
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Simple Syrup
1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange liqueur
2 cups ice cubes, divided
2 small watermelon triangles, each skewered with 1 cucumber round (for garnish)
2 fresh mint sprigs (for garnish)

Place first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Press firmly on solidswith muddler or back of wooden spoon until mashed. Mix intequila, lime juice, Simple Syrup , and Cointreau, then 1 cup ice.Stir to blend well. Strain into large glass measuring cup. Divideremaining ice between 2 tall glasses. Pour Margarita mixtureover. Garnish with watermelon skewers and mint sprigs

*BONUS Spa-garita Cicles

Super icy way to enjoy – pour drink into popsicle molds like these from Tovolo and chill!  Do you have a favorite “Spa” Cocktail that’s lower in sugar/calories than it’s secular sister?  Feel free to share in the comments links welcome!

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Virtual Cooking Class: Italian Summer Recipes from Essex Resort & Spa

3 Aug

What foodie wouldn’t love a spa retreat at the Essex Resort and Spa?  A Vermont culinary destination renowned for acclaimed dining at Butler’s (with a wine list named one of the top by Wine Spectator magazine), it also boasts a myriad of cooking classes. Just look at the August schedule.

One of my favorite is the World Specialty series, which recently featured Italy. The resort was kind enough to share the recipes from this amazing class for ourcooking (and eating) pleasure. Mange!  Don’t forget to pay a visit to the spa – you’ll have earned it after prepping this gourmet feast – try the Muscle Melt Massage.

Italian Summer Menu:

Panzanella Salad with Tomatoes, Parmasan Cheese, Lemon Juice and Basil

Ricotta Gnocchi with grilled Shrimp served in a Lemon Caper Sauce

Summer Peach Tart with Almond Crust

Panzanella Salad                     Serves 4-6

2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt
Several grinds black pepper
Panzanella Croutons, recipe follows
2 cups trimmed arugula
Wedge Parmesan, for shaving

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper. Add the croutons and toss well. Divide tomato mixture among 4 plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of greens. Using  a vegetable peeler, shave some Parmesan cheese on top of the salad.

Panzanella Croutons:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups crustless cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)
Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and preheat a cookie sheet in it.

Add the bread cubes to a large bowl and toss to coat with the olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Ricotta Gnocchi

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
12 ounces whole milk Ricotta
3 ounces parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
2 teaspoons Sea salt
½ teaspoon white pepper

To make the gnocchi:

Combine the eggs, yolks, and ricotta in a large mixing bowl and whisk until completely smooth. Add parmesan cheese and fold with a spatula. Sift together flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper, then fold into egg mixture until just combined. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a log.

Divide log into quarters with a pastry cutter or knife. Cover with a dry towel. Clear excess flour from the work surface. Working with one quarter at a time, roll the dough into long thin logs. Cut logs into bite-size pieces. Dust with flour and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour.

Refrigerate gnocchi to use the same day or freeze in a single layer then store in a ziplock bag in the freezer for up to two months.

To cook the gnocchi:

Bring slated water to a boil in a large pot. Add gnocchi and return to the boil. Cook gnocchi at a rolling boil for two minutes. They should be floating. Check for doneness by removing a gnocchi and cutting it in half. The texture should be uniform and cooked through the center. Remove the rest of the gnocchi and serve with tomato sauce.

Summer Peach Tart with Almond Crust            Makes one 9-12” tart

Preheat: 375 degrees

Pastry Cream

1 ½ cups milk
½ vanilla bean, split
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter

Assembly

½ cup red currant or apricot jelly
1 recipe tart dough
3 ripe peaches sliced

Tart

Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and roll out pie dough to about 1/8” thick, being certain to lift and turn the dough occasionally to ensure it does not stick. Roll dough onto rolling pin, lift, and place in 12” circular tart pan. Gently push dough to fit pan, lifting the edges to allow dough to settle downward without tearing. Chill for 10-15 minutes to rest dough.

Trim excess at the edge of the pan using a rolling pin. Prick bottom of the tart shell several times with a fork. Line entire tart shell, bottom and sides, with a sheet of parchment paper. Add beans or pie weights to the shell. Bake until light golden brown around the edges 15-20 minutes, remove weights and parchment and bake until center is light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

Pastry Cream

Combine milk and vanilla bean in a heavy saucepan and heat over a medium flame until barely steaming.

Beat together yolks, cornstarch, flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Pour hot milk into egg mixture gradually while whisking constantly. Scrape mixture back into saucepan. Heat over a medium flame, whisking constantly, until thick and boiling. Whisk for one more minute, remove from heat and strain mixture. Add butter, allow to melt and whisk to combine thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap touching the cream and place in refrigerator to cool.

Assembly

Place jelly in a small saucepan, heat until jelly liquefies and remove from heat. Spoon pastry cream into cooled tart shell and even out. Arrange peaches decoratively on top of pastry cream. Brush fruit with jelly until glistening. Chill about 10 minutes to set jelly and serve.

Almond Crust Make 1 tart

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 egg yolk
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon almond flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until well combined. Add egg and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

In a medium bowl, combine both flours and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add flours all at once; mix until well combined.

Turn dough out onto work surface and form into disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to overnight

Spa wishes, Candy

Spa Flick Friday: Death Becomes Her

30 Jul

Screen

Just saw Death Becomes Her at the Pasadena Film Festival and forgot how fun it was! Definitely a “Fountain of Youth” genre dark comedy – Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep star as two gals who refuse to age – finding the magic potion from Isabella Rosselini.   However, there’s a catch and in the end they all fall to pieces!

Spa

Since the gals in the movie become instantly younger, why don’t we do the same?  This week’s DIY spa treat is super simple – just one ingredient.  Separate 2 egg whites into a bowl and using a craft brush or small paint brush paint it on your face.  Let dry about 15 minutes.  Voila! Instant, but temporary, face lift.

Sip & Snack

 

 

 

 

In honor of the Hole in One in the film, how about a doughnut? Don’t forget the milk ; )  But wait, don’t run to Krispy Kreme just yet – here’s a healthier baked version from  101 Cookbooks, an amazing cooking site:

Baked Doughnuts

Don’t over bake these, if anything, under bake them a bit – they will continue baking outside the oven for a few minutes. You want an interior that is moist and tender – not dry. Also, be sure to cut big enough holes in the center of your doughnuts – too small and they will bake entirely shut. Remember they rise, and they rise even more when they are baking. These really need to be made-to-order, but you can make and shape the dough the night before if you want to serve them for brunch. Instructions: after shaping, place doughnuts on baking sheet, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out an hour before baking, and let rise in a warm place before baking.

1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work – haven’t tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments – if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don’t have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes – start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.

Makes 1 1/2 – 2 dozen medium doughnuts.

Live, Love and Lounge, Candy