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E! Serves Up New Culinary Series ‘Playing With Fire’

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Playing With Fire

Now that Top Chef, The Taste, and Kitchen Nightmares are over, it’s time for this foodie to find another show to watch. And wouldn’t you know it, E!’s got a new series Playing With Fire that premieres on March 17th!

The unscripted show focuses on the movers and shakers of New York’s exciting restaurant industry as they work to strike a balance between busy professional and personal lives in a city known for its cut-throat competitiveness, vigorous pace and of course delectable cuisine.

The 6-episode, one-hour series features a cast of New York’s star “foodies” that includes Chef Boyardee heiress, brand ambassador and cookbook author Anna Boiardi; nightlife impresarios-turned-food-entrepreneurs Derek and Daniel Koch; Julie Elkind, a pastry chef extraordinaire with a little edge to go along with her sweet touch; Candice Kumai, a former model and Top Chef competitor who aims to keep foodies’ waistlines trim with her calorie-conscious cuisine.

Actress/baking connoisseur Jennifer Esposito and celebrity chef/restaurateur Todd English will also make appearances in the series.

This fascinating bunch is a cross section of players who reside atop New York’s glamorous food scene. Reservations at an elite chef’s dining room are as sought after as tickets to the hottest Broadway show, and writers covering food, gossip and business wield tremendous power as they keep close tabs on the volatile professional and personal lives of the revered leaders. This all results in a city that brims with a variety of delicious food choices, from haute cuisine to simple fare that inspires the palates of food lovers around the world.

Playing with Fire illustrates what New York City’s food scene is known for – big helpings of high energy and the drive for success, with a side of drama.

I’ll be tuning in this Sunday.. Will you?

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Food

Starbucks Just Took Two Of Their Classic Frappuccinos And Made Them Way Better

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Starbucks Introduces Two New Frappuccinos

Get excited people, because Starbucks just took two of your favorite Frappuccino varieties and took them to the next level, with “extra texture, beautiful layers, and tons of flavor!”

The Ultra Caramel Frappuccino and Triple Mocha Frappuccino are essentially upgrades to Starbucks’ classic Caramel Frappuccino and Mocha Frappuccino, hence the addition of the “Ultra” and “Triple” monikers.

The Ultra Caramel Frappuccino is made by layering dark caramel sauce and whipped cream in a dark caramel-flavored coffee Frappuccino. The Triple Mocha Frappuccino sports ribbons of dark mocha sauce and whipped cream layered into a mocha-flavored Frappuccino.

Both of the Frappuccinos feature Starbucks’ all-new sweet cold brew whipped cream, infused with cold brew, dark caramel sauce and white chocolate mocha sauce. The new delicious cold brew whipped cream topping can also be added to any Starbucks beverage for 50 cents.

“Right away, you taste something different with the sweet cold brew whipped cream. Sip after sip, you get the blended coffee and the lighter whip with the dark caramel threaded all the way through,” Debbie Antonio, senior manager for Starbucks R&D, said in a press release.

Sounds pretty good, don’t you think? The new Frappuccinos are now available for purchase at Starbucks, so give ’em a try and let us know what you think!

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Drinks

From Cocktails To Mocktails: 3 Boozy Drinks With Non-Alcoholic Variations

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The summer season is fast approaching, and many people choose to enjoy it by drinking nice, cool cocktails under the warm, summer sun. Of course, there will be days when an alcoholic drink won’t work for any number of reasons. Maybe you want to enjoy the taste of a mimosa but not the late-afternoon hangover or drowsiness. Perhaps you really want that screwdriver at your favorite cocktail house, but you already volunteered to be the designated driver. Or maybe you could choose to avoid alcohol altogether as part of a sober lifestyle.

Even if consuming alcohol is a no-go, the idea of a delicious, mixed drink on a relaxing day or energetic night out still could sound appealing to you or someone else. Mocktails are a safe and healthy alternative to the original concoction.

The term “mocktails” originated during the 1970s and ever since has been a savior for people who want the delightful taste of a mixed drink but with one specific ingredient missing.

A few classic alcoholic recipes can be tinkered with to create non-alcoholic masterpieces. These variations of popular cocktails either replace alcohol with the ideal replacement ingredient or drop the booze altogether. Vodka becomes ginger ale. Champagne becomes grape juice.

In the end, the alcohol might be missing but the taste is nearly identical to, if not better than, the original.

The Mockmosa

The Recovery Village has a useful summary of how to craft the non-alcoholic version of this brunch-time favorite. They also offer treatment for anyone struggling with substance abuse like the Ohio drug rehab. Mimosas are usually created by combining orange juice with champagne or sparkling wine.

This Mockmosa recipe trades the champagne out for some sparkling white grape juice, which makes a perfect non-alcoholic replacement. Look for grape juice brands that are dry in flavor, with little or no sugar or corn syrup, to replicate the champagne taste. Combine them in a champagne flute and, if you want to add a unique touch, garnish the drink with a mint sprig.

Non-Alcoholic Screwdriver

Usually, screwdrivers are made by combining vodka and orange juice. Replacing the alcoholic ingredient with ginger ale doesn’t drop the tastiness level at all. Leaf.Tv shows how to prepare this variation of the simple two-ingredient mixture.

Start with ice cubes, fill half the glass with ginger ale, and then top it off with a pulpy orange juice brand of your choice. Finish the process with a swizzle stick to combine the two liquid ingredients until the colors have swirled together to mimic a screwdriver. Before the ice melts, sit back and drink up.

Virgin Cucumber Mojito

This smooth-tasting drink is a favorite when temperatures rise and the summer season hits its peak. The alcoholic version includes rum, but it’s not really necessary to create the drink’s refreshing taste. A Frugal Chick has a great alternative to this classic, and the only change is dropping the alcoholic ingredient. Combine one lime, some mint leaves, white sugar, two cucumber slices, ice cubes and soda together for another version of perfection.

Cocktails are a staple of American drinking culture, especially at restaurants or bars with a group of friends or on a date. In the summer, they become staples for days spent by the pool or on the beach. But don’t give up — or give in to temptation — if you originally hoped to spend your day or night without any alcohol. These mocktails not only flatter the originals with their imitation, but they sometimes raise the bar even higher.

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Drinks

Space Beer Is The Final Frontier Of Beer

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Vostok Space Beer

If you’ve ever seen people drink those little travel bottles of booze on an airplane because they are nervous about flying, imagine what you’re going to need when you are flying toward outer space to stay in one of those fancy space hotels.

Space Beer, that’s what you need. It will help you to blast off while you’re blasting off. Hailed as the world’s first beer for space, Vostok Space beer is specially designed to be drunken in space. Is that proper English? You’ll get drunken in space alright.

Anyway, 4 Pines Brewing Company and Saber Astronautics have teamed up to not only create a space beer but also a space beer bottle so people can drink it in space. Why? Because, beer.

These guys know that space travel is our destiny and they want to be ready with the necessary beverages. As they point out on their Indiegogo page, there is now more recreational space flights that have been booked than there have been astronauts in space in the last 57 years.

Vostok Space Beer

Space tourism is happening, and soon. Do you want to take your trip without beer? Of course not. Whether it’s a suborbital flight or a trip to Mars, a beer would be great. You need a space beer bottle because physics are different in space. There’s no gravity for the liquid to pour. They equate it to making a fuel tank for beer.

This is a noble cause. When you are that first tourist on the moon, you’ll stop and say, *BURP* “That’s one small burp for man, one giant burp for mankind.”

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