Best Buy makes planning your wedding registry fun with these top five picks

Some think that picking out the engagement ring is tough – and in some cases it is. The right “size, shape, color”, is it new or something that is a family heirloom. When it comes to picking out your registry, you can breathe a sign of relief because Best Buy wedding registry takes all the stress out of your wedding planning with home goods that you’ll both enjoy. These are my top five picks from Best Buy to help any engaged couples new life together the best.

1 – TV anyone? This is awesome for gathering around for date night, simple movies and let’s not forget all the sports that your spouse (and possibly you too) will love to watch with family and friends.tv1112 – Technology is key in the 21st century. How about new matching mobile devices, music players or laptops? This makes staying in touch and getting those thank you notes off to your guests easier.  They also have an awesome “Geek Squad”, that can help you with any of your computer related questions. phone11

3 – New appliances may be needed in your new home and how about that washer, drier or stainless steel wine fridge you’ve had your eye on. While these may seem big-ticket items, they are great for “Group Gifting”. What’s that you ask? It allows gift-givers to give any amount they want, so couples can ask for the gifts you really want and not worry about price point. Great for your officemates or bridal party who want to pool funds for your gift.wine22

4 – It’s party time and a new stereo and/or speakers will set your party off right! Music systems will help with amazing surround sound for parties both in and out of your home. Placing your speakers near or via blue tooth, will have your guests enjoying every moment.musicsstem1

5 – I don’t know about you but nothing makes for a great party but awesome food and cocktails. That’s why a microwave, toaster, blender or coffee maker must be on your registry. Fun food just completes your new home and cocktails  or coffee make everything meal perfect all year round.coffee1

Best Buy has a great choice of gifts that will fit any registry request. Remember that all items $199 and over can be considered for their “group gifting” option. This allows you to ask for what you really want, without asking your guests to spend more than they are comfortable with—so dream big. Remember Best Buy Wedding Registry has Free Shipping, No Minimum.  So whatever your “Top Five” products, big or small, expensive or affordable, all ship for free saving your guests money.

So check out Best Buy and take the stress out of your registry planning. Now back to finding the perfect dress….

While a huge Best Buy fan, this is a sponsored post and I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

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On a hot Labor Day think cool Cocktails from Snow Leopard Vodka

Can you believe it’s ALREADY Labor Day?! During these last hot days of summer, there is no better cocktail to help celebrate than Snow Leopard Vodka. It’s cool, refreshing and these cocktails will go down oh-so-refreshingly smooth. Are you planning your engagement party this weekend? Why not make one of these your signature cocktail. If you’re not feeling like cooking or are looking for a fun evening out, then you really have to try either Trattoria Il Mulino (36 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003) or Pergola (36 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001) where you can experience the SnowHound and Bright Lotus respectfully there and then re-create it at home.

If you are a vodka lover (like I am) you will truly enjoy Snow Leopard Vodka. So be cool, think cool and have a “snow” kind of Labor Day.

Remember…drink responsibly.

SnowHoundSnowHound
Trattoria Il Mulino (36 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003)
Snow Leopard Vodka
Grapefruit Cordial
Fresh Lemon

BrightLotusBright Lotus
by Scott Fitzgerald at Pergola (36 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001)
2 oz. Snow Leopard
.75 oz. Passionfruit Puree
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
.5 oz. Lime Juice
3 drops Creme de Cassis

drinkSnow Leopard Garden

Created by John Christie
1.5 oz. Snow Leopard Vodka
2 oz. fresh watermelon juice
.5 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. agave nectar
.25 oz. elderflower cordial

Glassware: Coupe,  Garnish: Frozen Watermelon Ball

SS5Sparrow Swizzle
Created by Garrett Mikell at Eveleigh in Los Angeles, CA
1.5 oz Snow Leopard
1.5 oz Lavender Lemonade
Build in a collins glass, add crushed ice, swizzle and a lemon twist

JewelAsiaJewel of Asia
1.25oz Snow Leopard Vodka
1oz Lychee Liqueur
1oz Lime Juice
0.5oz Pomegranate Syrup
Top with Champagne
Add ingredients into a rocks glass fill with cubed ice and swizzle garnish with pink grapefruit and serve

HimalayanHimalayan Spritz
1oz Snow leopard Vodka
1oz Aperol
1oz Cherry Brandy OR Maraschino
Top with chilled Prosecco
Add ingredients into a rocks glass fill with cubed ice and stir. Garnish with lemon wheel and cherry then serve.

Festive Martini Sparkling Wines at 60 calories so indulge

Spring is finally here, or at least that’s what the calendar says.  In preparation for your Easter or Mother’s Day brunch how about some delicious brunch sips from MARTINI Sparkling Wines. Take the pressure off creating the perfect brunch by serving up some of these signature crafted cocktails, created with family and those you love in mind.  Whether celebrating at home with breakfast in bed or cooking for the entire family, elevate your celebration with Martini Prosecco. Martini is not only the number one selling sparkling wine in the world, it’s the most affordable too. At only $14.99 for a bottle of Prosecco, it’s the ultimate way to enjoy a delicious bubbly beverage!

You know how I love to pair cocktails and food, so if you are heading out for brunch in New York City don’t forget to stop by Donatella Arpaia’s new Italian eatery, Prova, to try out the exclusive Martini Belle View cocktail. Prova  is located at 184 8th Avenue, New York, and is the only location in New York City to sell this specialty cocktail.  So why not try it and have some amazing nibbles while you’re there.

MOTHER’S DAY AND EASTER BRUNCH COCKTAILS:

Serve mom breakfast in bed with these delectable cocktails

MARTINI® Mom-osa

2 parts chilled MARTINI® Asti

1 part Orange Juice

Pour orange juice into a flute glass. Top with MARTINI® Asti and garnish with strawberry.

MARTIN® Prosecco Bellini

2 parts white peach puree

MARTINI® Prosecco

Pour white peach puree into a glass. Top with chilled MARTINI® Prosecco and serve.

For an extra special treat, garnish with your favorite fruit

MARTINI® Bella

1 ½ parts Bombay

½ part Saint Germain

½ part Lemon juice

½ part Amarena syrup

¾ part Kir royal- blended tea

Top off MARTINI® Prosecco

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker except for the prosecco.  Shake and double strain into a coupe. Top it off with Martini prosecco.  Garnish with Amarena, lime and lemon zest.

Created exclusively for PROVA Resturant by New York’s Most Imaginative Bartender 2014, Enzo Cangemi

Wine Wednesday: Wine-Braised Pork with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes

Legendary chef Jacques Pépin sears pork shoulder to make a terrific crust, then braises it slowly with stock, wine, chestnuts and sweet potatoes until it’s meltingly tender.

 

braidespork

  1. One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder
  2. 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  3. Pepper
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  8. 5 parsley sprigs, plus chopped parsley for garnish
  9. 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound vacuum-packed roasted peeled chestnuts (3 cups)

Season the pork with the 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Heat a large cast-iron casserole over moderately high heat. Add the pork, fat side down, and add 1/2 cup of water. Cook until all 
of the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook over moderate heat until the pork is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes longer.

Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, wine and parsley and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the pork is just tender, 2 1/2 hours. Add the sweet potatoes and chestnuts, cover and cook until the pork and sweet potatoes are very tender, 30 minutes.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sweet potatoes and chestnuts to a platter. Strain the jus into a bowl and degrease with a spoon; season with salt and pepper.

Slice the pork and arrange it on top of the vegetables. Garnish with parsley and serve with the jus.

Make Ahead The braised pork can be refrigerated overnight and reheated before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Medium-bodied Côtes du Rhône is rich enough to go with this pork and has enough fruit to go with sweet potatoes.

 

Wine Wednesday: Spicy Korean Grilled Pork

Pounding slices of pork tenderizes the meat, making it thin enough to take on the flavor of the marinade and allowing it to cook fast enough to stay moist.

Bill Kim Spicy Korean Chili Marinated Pork w/Soba Noodles. A120306 Food & Wine Grilling Olympics June 2012

  1. 1 cup Chinese fermented black beans (5 ounces); see Note
  2. 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
  3. One 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  4. 1/2 cup Korean chile paste (gochujang); see Note
  5. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  6. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  7. 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  8. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  9. One 3-pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder roast, cut crosswise into twelve 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

Put the fermented black beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the beans.

In a food processor, combine the black beans, garlic and ginger and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chile paste, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar and blend well.

On a work surface, pound the pork slices 1/8 inch thick. Lay one-fourth of the pork slices in a large, shallow dish and coat with one-fourth of the black bean marinade. Repeat with the remaining pork and marinade for three more layers. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the pork from the marinade, leaving just a thin coating on the meat. Brush the pork with oil and grill over moderate heat, turning every 2 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Chinese fermented black beans and gochujang are available at Asian markets and from amazon.com. Or substitute an equal amount of Chinese black bean sauce or any kind of Asian chile paste.

Serve With

Vegetables or chilled noodles.

Suggested Pairing

Tannins in red wine can intensify the heat in chiles, so for this dish, look for a fruit-forward Grenache-based wine.

Best Buy has a wedding registry with your name on it.

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With so many things to do before your big day, how about making life a little easier when it comes to your wedding registry? Did you know that Best Buy now has a wedding registry?!? I KNOW!!

I’m a real fan of Best Buy. It’s been a long time since a store has the latest products that fit my lifestyle and me. I have a feeling it’s the same for you. So when you and your partner start to build your registry, think about what you really need and your lifestyle. Best Buy really has the best selection of things you may need for you home and if you need help setting up your new device, the geek squad is always available. Now that’s service!ProductGroup

So why Best Buy? Look, do you really need another set of sheets or dishes? I didn’t think so. Giving your guests your registry from Best Buy will assure you that you get what you want and need to continue to build your home. You will also get the items you are truly excited to receive. That great new camera (to use on your honeymoon), perhaps that fitness tracker (to help keep you fitness goals on track) and my personal favorite Bluetooth speakers so you can play your favorite tunes on beach days or outdoors.

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One of the key benefits to this registry vs others is “group gifting”. This means your guests will spend what they want, and you’ll get what you want. There is free shipping, which is an added bonus so no gift, no matter how big or small will get to you AND there is NO minimum PURCHASE required. That’s a win-win for everyone.

So when you’re looking for the best in products, best in sales staff, the best for you, look no further than…Best Buy!

 

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Wine Wednesday: Short Rib Stew

I got this from a chef in my neighborhood. I’ve tried it and OMG!! This is sooo rich and amazing.  What chef does the day after (if there is any left) he makes sliders. So…if you try this on Friday night…how about some sliders for the weekend football game?  Hmmmm.  Enjoy!

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3 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups dry red wine

3 cups veal or chicken stock

6 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped

8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

In a large bowl, toss the short ribs with the flour. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Working in batches, cook the short ribs over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes per batch. Discard the oil.

Return the meat and any juices to the casserole. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, 8 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is tender, 2 hours.

Skim any fat from the stew. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onion, mushrooms, thyme and sage. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, berry-rich Shiraz. Southern French Reds. Chilean Cabernet Sauvigno or Sangiovese from Tuscany. With the Sliders – any wheat beer goes well.