Labor Day weekend is in full swing and we are getting ready for some fabulous parties today. From backyard barbecues to beach picnics it is time to toast a glass in the air. Here are some of our favorite selections.
For a perfect way to start the party in style for tequila lovers-
Maestro Dobel has created something magical that will impress your party guests.
The debut release of Maestro Dobel 50 1967 is something that should be grandly saluted. Commemorate this beautiful weekend with the superbly beautiful extra añejo tequila aged in American and French oak barrels with a sherry cask finish. Handcrafted in the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico, using 100% Blue Weber Agaves expertly grown and sourced from a single family-owned estate, Maestro Dobel 50 1967 is twice distilled in copper pot stills — achieving the smoothness for which Dobel tequilas are known. This is not just another drink – this is a holiday haven for tequila lovers!
For vodka lovers –
From renowned producer, songwriter and radio station owner, Polow Da Don, YoCo Vodka is all natural, gluten free, made from corn and uses activated carbon to create the best tasting, ultra-smooth vodka.
We love everything about this refreshing spirit that is smooth and full of dynamic marks. It’s purely creative in presentation and not surprising it comes from such a genius mind like Polow who has worked with Fergie, Nicki Minaj, Usher and more to created numerous No. 1 hits. This new drink certainly tops the charts!
Peak 7 Vodka is another fun way to celebrate the holiday. Born from the idea that a small group of friends wanted to make Vodka that symbolizes America and Colorado the brand come about.
Whether it’s spending time with friends on a sunny patio or enjoying a drink after a day in the mountains, they want to make the perfect spirit to celebrate a perfect day. They start with the best ingredients, including pure Rocky Mountain Spring water and 100% high quality American corn mash. Using a hand crafted process they then distill their Vodka seven times producing a spirit that has a pleasantly sweet aroma and an amazingly smooth, and crisp taste.
Another great vodka choice is Mulholland Vodka.
For wine lovers –
Fresh Vine Wine now has a premier Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine that is truly special.
Everything about these beautiful bubbles in a bottle will make you smile this holiday weekend! Produced in Napa, California, all across America your party guests will enjoy all the flavor with less calories. We are in love with this brand that showcases wild strawberry and peach notes that have a luscious finish. Best of all this Brut Rosé has just 94 calories, 1.0 grams of sugar, 3.8 carbs, and an ABV of 11.5%. Talk about an amazing way to celebrate with friends!
For those looking to tap into the red of red, white and blue try the heavenly Kenwood Discoveries Cabernet Sauvignon with flavors of black cherry, savory notes and white pepper on the finish. The entire portfolio of the brand in fat has several amazing components that bring life to the party atmosphere and is memorable long after the holiday weekend.
Campo Viejo Red Blend has a bright overall spectrum with hints of blackberry, cherry, plum, and fresh spice. This fantastic line is always a crowd-pleasing selection. From intimate poolside events with a few close friends to hundreds of people around the holiday beach bonfire, this bottle will bring joy to all.
We love the way this brand produces a fruity taste without being overwhelmingly sweet.
To add to the party –
Of course no Labor Day Party can be perfect without an amazing way to cook up the best in meats and veggies. Your hamburgers and corn on the cob will never taste the same after one try of The Good Charcoal Company.
This charcoal is superior and makes the cooking process a smooth and delightful. And to add, since The Good Charcoal Company’s inception, giving back to those facing food insecurity across the United States was a top priority. The company began hosting free BBQs via local food trucks across the country, in partnership with local food banks/community centers, in February 2021 and this month they’re commemorating 20,000 meals sponsored. Next up they are doing a free give-back BBQ event on September 7th at St. Jerome HANDS Community Center located in the Bronx.
During all these amazing Labor Day parties full of drinks and food also try Confetti Snacks.
These crunchy chips are just incredible. What an amazing treat that helms from Betty Lu, an entrepreneur and frequent traveler who saw a necessity for a healthy snack while on the road. Minimally processed and never deep-fried, like other veggie chips and extruded “puff” style snacks, these truly wonderful bites include creative and inspirational flavors like Green Curry, Tandoori Curry, Teriyaki BBQ and Summer Truffle. Mushroom chip flavors include Green Curry, Tandoori Curry and Black Truffle.
We love the taste and because they are baked using a low heat method, the nutrients are not lost. Enjoy a colorful bag today full of such vibrant veggies as carrots, radishes, purple sweet potatoes and mushrooms in the mix.
For the day after the party,
Yes, we do have to add this! Labor Day is that day when many of us have our last big summer big bang bash of 2022. So, the next day when you actually have to be at work on Tuesday you may want to try something that will perk you up without the sugar.
Our new favorite cold brew coffee for that day after the weekend and beyond is STōK Cold–Brew Coffee.
There are a variety of amazing flavors in the portfolio – including the fall sensation return of STōK Pumpkin Cold Brew. Of course, the day after Labor Day you may just need some sugar free caffeine love. The bold and fantastic Un-Sweet Black will wake up your senses and start your week off was a bang like the fireworks you saw over the holiday weekend.It’s a perfect choice to get the concentration rolling as you slowly get out of you summer slumber and into an autumn full of activity.
Happy Labor Day weekend!
White Wine for Summer Send Off
It is hard to believe that summer is officially wrapping up. But as days get shorter there is still plenty of time to toast the season in style with these favorite white wines.
This refreshing chardonnay crisp apple and crunchy peach flavors is electrifying and oh, so yummy! It brings out the feeling of velvet caressing you. This is simmply all of the best the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County has to offer.
Divinely balanced wine with zesty aromas and highlights of pink grapefruit, melon and gooseberry. It refreshing and perfectly sweet. Every sip will have you singing praises to the wonderful summer you just had.
Beatles Brunch at City Winery Where Strawberry Fields Lives Forever
I was taken to City Winery by Eli Marcus for the Beatles Brunch with Strawberry Fields.
This show plays every Sunday with an unlimited brunch buffet that includes coffee, tea and juice, starting at noon. A bottomless brunch cocktail package is also available and children get in free. Here tourists mingle with New Yorkers, eating scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, dried out French toast, spicy potatoes with onions and peppers, perfectly done chicken, salad and fresh fruit. What is so nice, is that everyone seems happy to to be here, to see and hear the Fab Four.
The show starts off without fan fare. The lights dim and four men enter, not quite looking like the originals. Tony Garofalo (John Lennon), Billy J. Ray (Paul McCartney), Ira Siegel (George Harrison), and Michael Bellusci (Ringo Starr) and their costumes and wigs have seen better days. Then the music starts. You can watch one of our video’s here.
From the early hits like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Ticket To Ride” “Eight Days A Week” and more the first act is nostalgia at it’s best. It was adorable to watch the audience, especially the young ones “Twist and Shout.”
After a break in came the Sergeant Pepper era, clothing and all. From that we got “Nowhere Man,” “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “When I’m 64,” “Penny Lane” and songs that dig into your soul. They are done well and the Beatles live again. You can see our video here.
Then the later songs like “I Am The Walrus” and “Don’t Let Me Down” end a show that is almost two hour long of music, that is classic. I have to admit I wanted to hear “Blackbird” and “Norwegian Wood,” but what you get is a well rounded assortment of those songs that shaped several era’s.
Ira Siegel stands out with his guitar playing that is out of this world. I really loved all the songs he sang as well.
Michael Bellusci, gives Ringo a run for his money on the drums.
Tony Garofalo is the founder, creator and producer playing rhythm and lead guitar and singing lead vocals along with Alan LeBoeuf from the original Beatlemania playing bass guitar. Ray looks the most like the Beatle he is playing.
Strawberry Fields has been covering The Beatles for over three decades. They used to have a residency at B.B. Kings, but these days their home base is City Winery and it is definitely a great way to spend a Sunday. All four are consummate musicians and obviously have a love for what they do and that rubs off on their audience.
For a souvenir up a City Winery Strawberry Fields Rose Wine and have it signed by the cast. With its is its strawberry pink color, you get a combination of kiwi, watermelon and the taste of strawberry that lingers.
City Winery is right next to Little Island, Chelsea Market, The Highline, the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, and West Village. Everything is nearby to make a perfect outing for the whole day and this is one brunch where you definitely get your money’s worth. Click HERE for tickets
A Fun Night at Dave and Buster’s 42nd Street
Thank-you again to Eli Marcus and the staff of Dave and Buster’s, at 234 West 42nd Street.
Eli was sending the concierge’s to the show The Shark Is Broken.
There were lots of new friends to be made such as Carol Mennie, Caroline Rosado from the Hilton, Dinnella Collado from the Washington Square Hotel, Benjamin Maddy from Dave and Buster’s and Michaela Paratore of Benjamin Steakhouse Prime
This destination for sports enthusiasts, foodies, and arcade offers space, fun and some fabulous happy hour deals.
All across the multiple screens were football, basketball, and hockey games from across the sporting world. At the sports bar an impressive selection of drinks, including craft beers, signature cocktails await. I sampled some their tasty bites and was impressed.
To sooth your inner child air hockey and arcade games are waiting to be played.
If you are looking for entertainment they have a legendary Trivia Night with fantastic prizes.
This is actually a great place to throw your holiday parties.
I am so glad the Mayor of Times Square invited me to his event.
Labor Day Recipes to Get You Through The Week
Herbed Potato Salad
This potato salad is for last-minute people. This recipe is surprisingly simple and quick to make. This healthy potato salad recipe is mayo-free, easy to make, vegan, egg free and gluten free. Recipe yields 6 side servings.
- 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus about 2 tablespoons more for garnish
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped green onions, plus about 2 tablespoons thinly sliced for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine sliced potatoes and salt. Cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are easily pierced by a paring knife and pulled out with little resistance, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain. Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
- In a small food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, ⅓ cup parsley, ⅓ cup green onions, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Process until the herbs and garlic have been chopped into little pieces. Then, while running the food processor, pour in the reserved cooking water and process just until blended. (If you don’t have a food processor or blender, just finely chop the parsley and onions and whisk the dressing together until the oil is fully incorporated.)
- Drizzle the potatoes with the herbed olive oil mixture and gently mix to combine. (It will look like you’ve poured in too much dressing, but don’t worry, the potatoes will soak it up!) Let the potatoes rest for ten minutes, gently tossing every few minutes.
- Add the celery to the bowl, along with a couple tablespoons each of additional chopped parsley and green onions. Toss again. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. This salad is best served within a few hours, but will keep in the refrigerator for about three days.
Corn season is here! Corn is never better than right now. I love sweet fresh corn on the grill with charred crispy kernels. I especially love the versatility of corn.
- Vegetable oil for brushing
- 6 ears corn, shucked
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup queso fresco or cojita cheese crumbles
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- kosher salt
- lime wedges
- In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and garlic. Mix until well combined, set aside. Spread cheese crumbles on a plate, set aside. In a small bowl combine chili powder, cayenne paper, and 1 teaspoon salt, set aside.
- Brush grill grate with vegetable oil. Heat grill to high heat. Place corn directly on the grill. Grill corn, turning occasionally until cooked and lightly charred, about 10 minutes.
- Immediately brush the corn with mayonnaise mixture. Roll corn in cheese crumbles sprinkles with chili powder mixture and cilantro. Squeeze lime over corn and serve immediately.
GARLIC BROWN SUGAR FLANK STEAK WITH CHIMICHURRI
- 2 pound flank steak, about 1-inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 2/3 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Add the flank steak to a large baking dish and season it with the salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, brown sugar and garlic cloves, then cover the steak with it and place it in the fridge to marinate. I marinate anywhere from 2 hours to overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook the steak, you can grill, broil or pan sear it to your liking. I tend to broil it as I find that easiest. Preheat the broiler in your oven and move the oven rack as close as possible. Place the steak on a broiler pan or baking sheet and broil on each side for about 5 minutes. This will result to a medium to medium-well doneness in my oven.
- Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain. Serve it immediately with the chimichurri.
EASY RED, WHITE, AND BLUE TRIFLES
- 1 angel food cake About 12 ounces, store bought or homemade
- 2 pounds strawberries
- 12 ounces blueberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place your bowl and whisk for the whipped cream in the freezer for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Remove the tops from the strawberries and dice into cubes. If you are making the strawberry stars for garnish, make those first so you can use the prettiest parts of the strawberries. To make the stars, cut a strawberry in half and use a small star shaped cookie cutter to cut out a star shape. Cut as many as you need. Scraps can be tossed in with the diced strawberries. Set the strawberry stars aside. With the rest of the diced strawberries, toss with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and set aside for 30 minutes to macerate.
- Cut or tear the angel food cake into 1/2 inch cubes. If making the angel food cake stars, use a small star shaped cookie cutter to cut star shapes out of a flat slice of cake. Scraps can be used in the trifle along with the cubes.
- Make the whipped cream. Remove bowl and whisk from freezer. Pour in heavy whipping cream, sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on top, and add vanilla extract. Beat until soft peaks form (1–2 minutes in a stand mixer, 6-7 minutes by hand).
- To assemble the trifles, use 6-8 small glass containers such as mason jars, drinking glasses, or wine glasses. I recommend using smaller sized glasses, about 4-6 ounces.
- Cover the bottom of the glass with a layer of angel food cake cubes. Top with a layer of the macerated strawberries. Top that with a layer of whipped cream, then a layer of blueberries. Repeat until you reach the top of your glass. Top with more whipped cream and garnish with strawberry and angel food cake stars.
Aussie Beef VS American Beef: Which Is Better
Beef all over the world has different characteristics, from Europe to Asia and even the Americas. But between all continents in the world, Australia and America are two countries that have a thriving barbeque culture with both sporting high-quality beef compared to the rest of the world. While it is debatable which one has the best beef there are some objective facts that make the meat quality stand out compared to other countries. Let’s compare both and see what we find.
The Australian and American Beef Markets
Australia and America are giants in the worldwide beef market, from prized cuts of rib-eye to bulk beef jerky both have their own specialties. The Australian markets are known mainly for their quality-control and grass-fed options, due to their high-quality natural environments. While in America the beef market is predominantly corn-fed cattle that are either in feedlots, known for its higher fat content and marbling.
Both countries import their product all across the globe, with most of Australia’s beef being exported to Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and even Thailand. The market in America predominantly exports to countries like Mexico and others in a closer vicinity. The export markets do also play a role in the kind of meat being produced so keep that in mind.
Farming Conditions in America and Australia for Beef
The first and most important factor that we look for when determining beef quality is the farming conditions of each country. This has a significant impact on everything from the flavour, nutrition and health of the animals and geography plays a big part in these differences.
Luckily, Australia is blessed with an array of green pastures, fresh unpolluted areas and an abundance of space for raising animals. This means that the majority of the exports that do come from Australia are from pasture-raised grass-fed beef of extremely high quality. The fact that Australia has stringent quality control also means that this standard is maintained.
In America, cattle are raised slightly differently. While the country has an abundance of outdoor areas the cattle are usually kept outside for a period and then before slaughter, they are sent to feedlots where they are corn-fed to increase fat and marbling. This process may give a better texture but the natural environment might cause lower nutritional quality for the beef cuts.
Taste Difference Between Aussie and American Beef
So the biggest differences between both kinds of beef are the environment and the way they are raised which produces drastically different flavours. When eating Australian beef most describe the flavour as more earthy and leaner since the grass-fed cattle don’t accumulate as much fat, the meat also has a richer taste. American beef, on the other hand, doesn’t have that same rich and earthy flavour since most are grain and corn-finished. The advantage though, is the marbling and fattiness are higher for American cuts.
Comparison of Australian and American Beef Nutrition
The nutritional content of Australian beef is considered much higher compared to American beef due to quality control and the majority of grass-fed pasture-raised farms. This doesn’t mean that all Australian beef or American beef are the same quality so careful attention needs to be paid to the farms you’re buying your beef from. But overall since the majority of Australian conditions are superior you’ll be looking at better nutrition compared to America.
Grass vs Grain-Fed Beef
While both countries can have either grass or grain-fed beef it’s important to understand why they are different before you can make an informed choice. Grass-fed beef is known to be lower in omega-6 fatty acids and higher in omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to health benefits such as improved brain function and reduced risk of heart disease. The large amounts of grains fed can contribute to higher levels of omega-6 which reduce the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids which is another reason you might want to avoid grain-fed.
Who Wins the Beef Battle?
It’s difficult to compare two different types of meat with unique characteristics and depends on what standpoint your comparison comes from, if you’re looking for pure nutrition and quality then it would have to be Australia. But if you want some luxurious flavour with delicate fatty cuts then American beef is a must-have. All in all, both have fine cuts that are prized all around the world so either way you can’t go wrong.
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