Quickies Cocktail Challenge for SEXIEST COCKTAIL!

Denise's new cookbook can be purchased here.

Darlings!  You KNOW how La Diva loves a good challenge, especially one involving her beloved booze!  When I heard that Lazaro from Lazaro Cooks! and Denise from Quickies on the Table were doing a sexy cocktail challenge, La Diva just knew I had to participate!

Now, my entry is NOT a new cocktail, in fact, La Diva invented it last summer during cherry season! 

It's my cherry whiskey lime sour, an updated spin on the classic whiskey sour,  and is now known as THE HEARTTHROB!!  Me and the DJ liked it soo much, that I made the whiskey again this summer and the HEARTTHROB has been our refreshingly, tart drink of choice all season.

La Diva says the Heartthrob is tres sexy because:

  • Everyone knows that cherries are super sexy!

  • It's red!

  • It's frothy on top!

  • It's slightly sweet, a little tart and definitely STRONG, the way any sexy poquito cocktail SHOULD be.  (besides, EVERYONE NEEDS A LITTLE TART!!)

  • Whiskey makes you frisky!

  • And finally, my gorgeous 21-year-old nephew from Australia loved drinking them!  (and he's a heartthrob, so he should know!)

Last June, when I posted this photo of him on Facebook enjoying one on our balcony, several of my girlfriends, (ahem, COUGARS!) indicated he was HOT and asked if he was AVAILABLE?  Which of course made the lad blush but he indicated to his Auntie, that HE DOES INDEED prefer a more, how shall we put it, "experienced" lady!!

La Diva's Heartthrob

2 ounces cherry whiskey*
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. raw egg white (use organic free range eggs!)
1 scoop ice

Put all ingredients in a shaker and vigorously shake until frothy.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass and enjoy!  (Garnish with a cherry or two but watch for pits!)

This is what the cherry whiskey looks like on the rocks!  La Diva's Cherry Whiskey has just enough summer cherry sweetness to be enjoyed without mixer.  Just add ice!

La Diva's Cherry Whiskey:

1 750 ml bottle of Canadian or rye whiskey like Seagrams 7 or Canadian Club (bourbon has too strong of a taste and definitely DON'T use Scotch)
1 lb. cherries, washed and halved (don't worry about taking out the pits)

Put whiskey and cherries in a large jug, cover and keep in the refrigerator for two weeks.  THAT'S RIGHT TWO WHOLE WEEKS!  (so be patient!)  Also, for best results:    Keep the whiskey well hidden from untrustworthy housemates, husbands, house guests, bears, lushes and drunks or it will disappear before it is ready.  After two weeks, strain off the whiskey and use as needed.  

The leftover cherries can be  used as a garnish in the cocktail but be sure to warn imbibers about the pits!  Also, you can put  the  cherries in a sassy little fruitcake or serve them to guests as CHERRY BOMBS!!!!!  (Whew, dey shore is strong!)

La Diva's Dating Service:  Tall, dark and handsome and no girlfriend!  HUH?!  Any interested LADIES who'd like to meet this strapping Aussie lad, let La Diva know!  (must be willing to fly to Sydney, Australia!) 

So, what do you think, darlings?  (NOT about my nephew, darlings, THE DRINK!)  Do you think La Diva should win for sexiest cocktail?  Deadline for entry is midnight September 27, so there is still time to enter.  Click HERE to see all the entries and may the sexiest cocktail win!

Ciao for now, darlings!

Darlings if you want to learn how to make DIVINE cocktails like this, come to my small bites, BIG DRINKS cooking and cocktail class in Miami!  More info HERE!
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Have you ever been a victim of OFFICE AGGRESSION?!

Darlings, did this photo get your attention?  Good.   La Diva knows what her readers are like.  

Well, darlings, I was all set to post my SEXY COCKTAIL ENTRY for Lazaro Cooks and Quickies on the Table competition and found that the date has been moved back to September 27.  Boo.  That means La Diva has to THINK and WRITE about something.

And I haven't posted in over a week.

And I got nuthin'.

La Diva DID make a FABULOUS VIETNAMESE LEMONGRASS CHILE CHICKEN last night but as per usual, DJ Nevah L8 and I inhaled the divine dish before any photos were taken.  However, I DID get a funny email from my friend Lady Fifi from Sydney today and I think it is just hilarious.  For any of you that have worked in an office,  I'm sure you will "relate."  Enjoy, darlings!



I love this one.  When I worked at a tradeshow company in L.A. I remember someone walking by and commenting on the production girl from Thailand's lunch saying it "smelled worse than the Santa Monica Pier."  In another Los Angeles office, La Diva was also cursed out by an office manager for having a "stinky meal."  I was re-heating a yummy Indian fish curry and it was damn tasty.  Funny enough, that never happened to me when working in downtown Sydney!  Those Sydneysiders are quite familiar with various Asian dishes and and their "pungent" scents and  many times the smell of a curry or "ethnic" dish would trigger the appearance of a nose over my compartment divider with the query:  What's for lunch today, Diva?

This one, naturally, is my favorite!  From what I've read, a "donair" pizza is a Nova Scotian variation on a doner kebab but the sauce is made with condensed milk, sugar and vinegar.  (Ick.)  You know, La Diva likes the word Soyf*cker so much I just might have to make up an excuse to use it one day!

Ciao for now, darlings!

Don't forget:  If you want to learn how to make smashing cocktails and have a smashing time, check out my "small bites, BIG DRINKS" cooking and cocktail classes HERE!
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Meatless Mondays: Arancini!

Darlings!  What DOES one do when they have loads of leftover risotto?

Why, make arancini, of course!

What, pray tell is arancini?  (pronounced are-an-CHEE-nee)

They are lovely little parcels of crispy fried goodness on the outside with scrumptious savory surprises inside!  The classic Sicilian arancini usually consists of rice and peas stuffed with a meat and tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese.  

Back a few months ago, I had posted a divine vegetarian risotto recipe for Meatless Monday; a savory and more-ish mushroom and asparagus risotto.  DJ Nevah L8 (4 dinnah) and I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner the first time, the second night it was even better.  But by lunchtime on day three, La Diva was feeling that the risotto was like Willy Wonka's Everlasting-Gobstopper and just could not be finished!  Seemed like every time I'd take a serving out, the same amount would be left in the bowl!  As you know, La Diva LOATHES waste (it's SO last century to waste food!) so I decided to try my hand at something I'd been wanting to experiment with for a while.

So, here 's what I did:

La Diva's Mushroom Asparagus Arnacini

6 appetizers

3 cups leftover mushroom asparagus risotto (recipe is at link above!)
6 ounces fontina cheese
flour, bread crumbs and one egg for the breading mix
Oil for frying
Freshly grated parmigiano (for garnish)
Dressed mixed salad greens

Taking a half cup measuring cup as a mold, I filled the bottom half of the cup with the risotto, making sure to press down firmly, forming half of a cake.  I inserted a one ounce piece of fontina cheese and then put more risotto on top, again pressing down firmly.  I turned the cup upside down and plopped the cake onto cling wrap, double wrapped it, and put into a freezer bag.  I repeated five more times and put six half cup cakes into the freezer.  (Alternatively, if you want to eat straightaway, continue to the breading stage!)

I thawed the cakes out and then carefully breaded them using the flour, egg wash and bread crumb method.  (I used plain crumbs but you could season them if you wanted)  I then took out my trusty wok (cuz it's deep and would use less oil) and began to heat the oil.  When the oil was hot (but not too hot!)  I carefully cooked each cake individually for about 3-3 1/2 minutes.  Carefully remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

When cooled, place a cake over dressed salad greens, garnish with cheese and serve for a light lunch or supper or as an appetizer.

RESULT:  I had a foodie friend for lunch and we both just LOVED the crunchy texture of the breading outside of the cake combined with the creamy, succulence of the rice inside!  The melted fontina cheese adds a layer of luxury and sultriness to the risotto cake.  I noticed no loss of texture or flavor from the frozen risotto but it would depend on what ingredients you were using.  Seafood, for instance, probably would not hold up well after being frozen.  I would like to try this recipe with my pumpkin risotto and think that would take to the freezer quite well.

Perfect for a light lunch or grab and eat at room temperature for a filling and compact lunch to go!

PS:  Apple STILL has my computer!  It's been nine days!  Been using hubby's sloooow computer that is old and with mouse issues!  I have to click everything three times!  ARGH!  (I promise I won't use any more exclamation marks and will C U soon. xo)

My computer, my love, my life.....

Darlings!  I am in love with my Mac and I make no apologies for it.  It was, I'm quite certain, the BEST investment of anything I've purchased for my business.  I have produced my own marketing materials with Pages, submitted promotional videos with IMovie, built my own website with IWeb and shared photos via Facebook with IPhoto.  I just LOVE how all the programs work so well together, complement each other and are so easy to learn. 

At one time in the not so distant past, a query would result in a time-consuming visit to the library and you were damn lucky if you owned a bulky set of encyclopedias.  Now for inspiration or information, I am able to quickly and methodically rummage through the Internet for recipes and ideas.  I also use a variety of social networking sites and events pages to promote my classes and demonstrations,  not relying on or utilizing classified ads in the local newspaper or any print media.

When I think about how quickly and easy it is to communicate and get information to clients and associates, I am not sure how I managed to conduct business before email, Skype, Linkedin, Biznik, Twitter and all the other amazing technology that never existed just a few years ago.  Communication is so much quicker and efficient now.

And, did I tell you?  I love my Mac!


But, lately when I noticed that I was working with sluggish programs that took forever to open and close, along with the inability to save anything on a one terabyte hard drive, La Diva knew something was just not right.  I took my precious love to the Genius Bar and after a diagnostic, found my baby needed a new fan.  I also found that the 7000 photos that I thought I had deleted and were still languishing in the Iphoto trash, taking up precious memory! (duh!)  And then there were the Time Machine hard drive issues.  sigh...

I deleted the photos, got the number of an approved Mac consultant that would help me organize my precious files more cohesively and arranged to get a new fan, no biggie.  They had one in stock and best of all,  my computer is still under warranty and this would not cost me a dime, thank goodness.  But when the Mac "genius" told me he would need my computer for five to seven days, it was like a blow to the gut and I felt physically ill.

"What?  NO computer?  For a week?  ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?  I have a business to run!"

Of course, I didn't HAVE to leave my computer there.  I could take it to an outside repairman but it would cost me and it would not be covered under the warranty.  But what alarmed La Diva the MOST was the fact that I actually PANICKED at the thought of not having my trusty Mac to get me through the week!  Questions loaded with hysteria went racing through my head:

How would I talk to anyone?  I would be isolated!!!!

How would I access my business information?

What if I needed to look up something on the Internet?

What about my blog?  What about my blogging buddies? 

Oh no....!!!!!

It was then I realized that I WAS ADDICTED to my computer.  Why hadn't I seen the signs earlier?  They were all there of course.  Every time my baby went PING, I knew I had an email and raced over to read it!  When I saw something on TV that I wanted more info on,  I would immediately go to my computer and look it up, lest I forget (and bookmarked it, naturally.)  Before I even HAD MY COFFEE, La Diva would check her blogging comments, Facebook page and emails each and every morning.  Sure enough, the signs HAD been there all along.  How could I have not noticed?  How could my husband have not noticed?  What would La Diva do now?

With a resigned sigh, I began to plot my strategy for dealing with next week's withdrawals:

  • Put my business info on the portable hard drive so I could access it.
  • Send out an auto reply from all my email addresses stating that I would have limited email access and if you wanted or needed to talk to La Diva you would have to, gulp, CALL ME.
  • Write a few blog posts ahead of time so, God forbid, I don't miss posting.
  • And work on new recipes for my themed classes for the upcoming holiday season.  Yep, get AWAY from the desk and get thee into thy kitchen.

 Ahhh fresh air and sunshine!  What's that?

Maybe I'll even get down to the beach and get some color on my pasty, white skin.  Or perhaps have a long overdue visit to our friends to see their new baby?  Heck, I guess I'll just LIVE MY LIFE, like I used to, about 10 years ago before all the madness began......

Recovery is a BITCH.

Ciao FOR NOW, darlings and I hope to see you again real soon.  Call me!

Did you know that La Diva offers cooking and cocktail classes for VEGETARIANS?  Delicious and delightful, you can check out more info by clicking HERE!
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