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Birthday Festivities & Recipes For National Pina Colada Day

June 10th, yesterday, was National Pina Colada Day, and we may have had one too many to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our favorite sweet cocktail.

One of the most iconic classic cocktails—and our favorite sweet cocktail—the Piña Colada turns 70.

Bartender Monchito Marrero created the first Piña Colada in 1954 at The Caribe Hilton Hotel using Don Q, Puerto Rico’s #1 rum.

Although other rum brands may try and take the credit of being in the OG, Don Q has a document signed by Señor Marrero confirming he used Don Q.

What better way to celebrate this milestone, and toast to Señor Monchito and Don Q?

So we invited friends for a National Piña Colada Day fiesta and made all three of the recipes below.

> Snacks to serve: honey roasted mixed nuts, pineapple chunks, plain and toasted coconut chips, whole strawberries.
> The history of the Piña Colada.

> The history of rum.

> The history of pineapple.

This Piña Colada variation (photo #1) was created by award-winning mixologist Tiffanie Barriere of Atlanta, Georgia, who serves it in a carved-out pineapple shell (photo #1). If you prefer, serve it in a tall glass.

Tiffanie, who you might recognize from Netflix’s “Drink Masters” and “High on the Hog” is eco-conscious like Don Q Rum, an environmental leader in the spirits industry. She says:

“Whenever I can, I default to my no-waste Piña Colada, it looks beautiful and taste amazing.

“But when it’s not an option, then I compost the lime, coconut shells, shavings and pineapple skins for home plants, soil and outside gardens.”

Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1 ounce Don Q Coco Rum (photo #6)
  • 1 ounce Don Q Piña Rum (photo #7)
  • 3 ounce Homemade Coconut Cream (recipe follows)
  • ½ ounce fresh lime, cutting 1 wheel for an optional garnish
  • 3 pineapple chunks
  • Pinch of cinnamon/cinnamon stick for grating
  • 2 dashes Angostura with garnish
    Glass: Fresh pineapple shell (most pineapple fruit removed for enjoyment elsewhere).


    1. MUDDLE In a cocktail shaker, muddle the fresh pineapple. Add the lime, cream, rum and ice.

    2. SHAKE hard for 20 seconds. Pour the entire contents over clean ice into a hollowed pineapple. Grate fresh cinnamon on top and add 2 drops of Angostura.

    3. THREAD a straw through the lime wheel and serve.

    If you don’t have time to make it, buy a can (photo #5).


  • 2 pounds shaved coconut chips
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup white sugar

    1. COMBINE all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring all to a boil. Take off the heat and let cool.

    2. STRAIN using cheesecloth and squeeze out the coconut cream into a glass container. Cover and store cold for up to 5 days.

    A slimmed-down version (photo #2) that substitutes low-calorie coconut water (3 calories per tablespoon) for the coconut cream (34 calories per tablespoon).

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces Don Q Piña Rum
  • 2 ounces coconut water
  • ½ ounces lime juice
  • Optional garnish: 1 strawberry slice
  • Optional: one bar spoon Campari

    1. SHAKE the rum, coconut water, juice and ice, and train into a coupe glass.

    2. GARNISH with the strawberry slice. As an option, stir in the Campari.

    Don Q recommends coconut water from a coconut that’s been freshly cracked open. If you use a bottled brand, they recommend Harmless Harvest.

    Superfine sugar has 15 calories per level teaspoon.
    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1½ ounces Don Q Cristal Rum (photo #4)
  • 2 ounces coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar*
  • 2 pineapple chunks

    1. Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice.

    2. SHAKE vigorously and double strain into a cocktail glass.

  • Piña Colada Mousse
  • Piña Colada Pizza (Yes!)
    *If you don’t have any superfine sugar, just pulse table sugar in a spice mill or food processor.


    Pina Colada served in a pineapple shell
    [1] Keeping It Colada, served in a pineapple shell (photos #1, #2, #3, #4, #6, and #7 © Don Q).

    Bikini Pina Colada with strawberry accents
    [2] You’ll look better in a bikini with this Bikini Colada, which cleverly cuts some calories.

    Skinny Colada, a Pina Colada variation with fewer calories
    [3] Cut even more calories with this Skinny Colada.

    Pina Colada With A Bottle Of Don Q Cristal Rum
    [4] Unlike most clear rums, Don Q uses a multiple distillation system to produce a cleaner, more refined, and more delicate flavor profile. Your drink will sip smoother (photo © Don Q).

    A can of 365 brand coconut cream
    [5] If you don’t want to make the coconut cream from scratch for Recipe #1, you can buy a can (photo © Whole Foods Market).

    A bottle of Don Q Coco, a coconut-flavored rum
    [6] Don Q Coco is rum with coconut flavor added.

    A bottle of Don Q Pina, pineapple flavored rum
    [7] A bottle of Don Q Piña, pineapple flavored rum.





    Castelvetrano Olive Lovers: Here’s Castelvetrano Olive Oil (EVOO)

    A Bottle Of Castelvetrano Olive Oil
    [1] Castelvetrano EVOO in a handy squeeze bottle is great for drizzling. Buy it here (photos #1 and #4 © DeLallo).

    A can of Castelvetrano Olive Oil
    [2] The squeeze bottle option is more flexible than the classic can or bottle. But you might prefer this colorful can for gifting. Note that the can says “Valle del Belice,” where the olives are grown. In the U.S. the olive and oil are known as Castelvetrano (photo © Giadzy).

    A Bowl of Castelvetrano Olives
    [3] The bright green color of Castelvetrano olives from an olive bar. When they are packed and sterilized in jars, as opposed to loose in a tub at retail like the ones above, the deep green color fades to a conventional shade of green (photo © diBruno Bros.).

    A pan of sauteed Castelvetrano olives with cherry tomatoes and crusty bread
    [4] For a delicious snack, side or topping, sauté whole Castelvetrano olives with cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves, in Castelvetrano EVOO.

    A Dish Of Dipping Oil With Sourdough Bread
    [5] The flavors make a delicious bread dipper (photo © California Olive Ranch).

    Bruschetta With Chopped Tomato Topping
    [6] Enjoy the flavor on bruschetta and crostini [the difference] (photo © Vitalina Rybakova | iStock Photo).

    Two salad plates with Caesar salad
    [7] Great olive oil makes any salad taste better. Above, Caeser salad. Here’s the recipe (photo © Safe Eggs).


    Castelvetrano is a commune in the Valle del Belice, in western Sicily, where Castelvetrano olives are grown and traditionally salt-brined or pressed into olive oil.

    Valle del Belice is the home of the Castelvetrano cultivar*, and most of the world’s Castelvetrano olive trees are found in western Sicily.

    Western Sicily has one of the finest olive-growing climates in the Mediterranean, with hot days, cool evenings, and coastal breezes.

  • In Italy and the rest of the European Union, the extra-virgin olive oil is called Valle del Belìce. The table olive and the tree on which it grows is called Nocellara del Belice.
  • Both Valle del Belice olive oil and Nocellara del Belice table olives have a protected designation of origin (P.D.O.) status in the E.U.
  • These olives are marketed as Castelvetrano in the U.S. and elsewhere. Why the name change, we have not yet discovered.

    Over the past few years, these large, meaty, buttery/creamy, nutty, toothsome, and mild olives have become one of the most sought-after varieties. They are subtly briny and have a low salt content compared to other olives.

    In addition to pressing for olive oil, Castelvetrano’s great flavor and texture make it a very popular table olive. (In the trade, an olive variety that is delicious for both oil and table is known as a dual-purpose olive.)

    The mildness gives Castelvetrano great appeal to many Americans.

  • Many of us grew up with blander canned olives, used in salads, on pizza toppings, meat loaf, on a relish tray, etc.
  • Most imported olives and artisan California olives are pungent and briny, a high-impact taste compared to big supermarket olive brands like Del Monte, Goya, and Lindsay.
    The bright green color also contributes to the allure.

  • The Harvest. Like most green olives, Castelvetranos are harvested young, when they reach peak flavor and have bright a green color. The harvest usually takes place from late September through October.
  • Olive Oil. For EVOO, the olives go directly from the grove to the olive press and produce a richly-colored olive oil with a pale green cast.
  • Table Olives. The table olives leave the grove for a meticulous curing process: multiple rounds of processing in a fresh water and lye solution, over a span of two weeks.
  • This process serves two important purposes: It removes the olives’ natural bitter compounds and maintains their crispness and meaty texture.
  • It also contributes to the development of the signature buttery, mild olive flavor [source].
    > All about Castelvetrano olives.

    > The different types of olives and olive oil: a photo glossary.

    > An overview of extra virgin olive oil.

    > The history of olives.

    > The history of olive oil.

    > The different types of cooking oils.

    > Check out more great olive oil information below.

    DeLallo’s Castelvetrano Extra Virgin Olive Oil is packaged in a convenient squeeze bottle, inspired by chefs.

    Made from 100% premium Castelvetranos, it captures the fresh olive flavor for which the variety is beloved.

    Fruity, grassy and pleasantly bitter with a bright peppery finish, EVOO is a terrific condiment for dressing, drizzling and finishing.

    Olive Oil 101: Note that when a specific variety of olive and country of origin is not specified on the label, an EVOO can be made with any type of olives—whether one variety or a blended of varieties, from any country or region.

    Extra virgin olive oil made with the first cold press of olives. Here’s more about it.

    > Get your DeLallo Castelvetrano Extra Virgin Olive Oil here.

    Delicious as a salad oil and a finishing oil, this versatile EVOO is a superior everyday cooking oil perfect for sauteing, searing, pan-frying, roasting and even baking.

    The squeeze bottle makes it easy.

  • Baking. Use in recipes for homemade breads, cakes and cookies. Here’s how.
  • Bread. Use as a bread dipper, and on crostini, bruschetta, and sandwiches: Italian submarine sandwiches.
  • In fact, try it on any sandwich instead of butter.
  • Breakfast. Drizzle over plain or vanilla yogurt for flavor and heart-healthy benefits.
  • Cooking. Use an everyday cooking oil in sautés, pan-fries, and other recipes.
  • Dessert: Drizzle over ice cream and lemon sorbet.
  • Garnish. Drizzle in the center of hummus and soups.
  • Mains. Drizzle it on grilled/roasted meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Pasta. Use it as a sauce for pasta like Cacio e Pepe—just EVOO, Parmesan, and fresh-cracked pepper.
  • Or, make pesto (recipe).
  • Salad. Make your favorite vinaigrette or drizzle directly onto sliced tomatoes or a Caprese salad[4].

  • The Aromas & Flavors Of Olive Oil & The Olive Oil Tasting Wheel
  • Baking, Grilling & Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Plus Recipes
  • Bake With Olive Oil Instead of Butter
  • Beware Of Fake Italian Olive Oil
  • Check your Extra Virgin Olive Oil I.Q.
  • The Different Flavors Of Olive Oil
  • Food Fun: An Olive Oil Martini Recipe
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: An Overview
  • Glossary Of Olive Oil Types & Terminology
  • Healthy Fats For Cooking & Eating
  • How To Taste Olive Oil (And Have A Tasting Party!)
  • Twenty Ways To Use Flavored Or Infused Olive Oils
  • Why You Should Replace Butter With Olive Oil

  • National Olive Day is June 1st.
  • World Martini Day is June 15th.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Day is September 30th.
    *A variety is a naturally occurring genetic variation within a species. A cultivar is developed by breeders to possess desirable traits.




    A Donut / Doughnut Hole Trifle Recipe For National Donut Day

    June 7th, National Donut Day, is an occasion to grab a donut, especially when chains like Dunkin’ are giving one free with the purchase of a beverage. But we have a better idea: a donut hole trifle recipe.

    This easy recipe also counts as food fun. It delights children and adults alike.

    Although the recipe specifies frozen whipped topping, we prefer the taste of real whipped cream.

    Although we used frozen topping for the lemon pudding sauce (we didn’t have time to try making it with stabilized whipped cream), we made some for the topping.

    Stabilized whipped cream added gelatin to regular whipped cream. The gelatin stiffens the whipped cream and keeps it from collapsing—for days!

    You can also use whole milk instead of 2%. Thanks to Taste Of Home for the recipe.

    > The history of donuts and donut holes.

    > Who changed the spelling of doughnut to donut?

    > Check out more delicious donut recipes below.

    If you prefer other berries, you can substitute them for the strawberries and blueberries.

  • 2 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • 16 to 32 plain doughnut holes
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
    1. WHISK the milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let it stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 2-1/2 cups of whipped topping; set aside.

    2. PLACE half the doughnut holes in a 3-quart trifle bowl. Spread half of the pudding mixture over the top.

    3. TOP the pudding with half the strawberries and blueberries. Repeat with another layer.

    4. TOP with the remaining whipped topping (or real whipped cream). Chill until serving.

  • Beautiful Donut Toppings
  • Cereal Donuts
  • Donut Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes
  • Filled Donut Holes
  • Key Lime Donuts
  • Salted Caramel Crescent Donuts
  • Sushi Donuts

    A Donut Hole Trifle with berries and lemon custard
    [1] Yummy food fun: a donut hole trifle with mixed berries and lemon pudding (photo © Taste Of Home).

    Jell-O Instant Lemon Pudding Package
    [2] The lemon cream is made with instant pudding (photo © Kraft Heinz).

    A Pint Of Fresh Strawberries
    [3] Use your favorite berries (photo © Good Eggs).

    Hot Chocolate & Donut
    [4] More donut fun: as a rim on top of hot chocolate (photo © Adrianna Calvo | Pexels).




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    Thai Glass Noodle Salad Recipe For National Salad Month

    A bowl of Thai Glass Noodle Salad
    [1] Thai glass noodle salad. The recipe is below (photo © Taste Of Home).

    Uncooked Glass Cellophane Noodles
    [2] Uncooked glass noodles (photo © Phuumy Noodles | Amazon).

    Cooked glass (cellophane) noodles in a strainer
    [3] Glass noodles turn translucent when cooked (photo © Dangmyeon |Wikipedia.

    Bottle of San-J tamari
    [4] Tamari, a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce. (photo © San-J).

    A Bottle Of Kikkoman Soy Sauce
    [5] Soy sauce. The difference between soy sauce is below.

    A dish of uncooked soybeans
    [6] Soybeans are the base of tamari and soy sauce (photo © House Foods).

    A bottle of NaGro brand ginger sesame dressing
    [7] If you don’t want to make ginger-sesame dressing from scratch, you may come across it at your grocer’s or on Amazon (photo © Canadian Grocer).

    A dish of glass noodles: cooked mung bean threads
    [8] A dish of glass noodles made with vegan chicken. Here’s the recipe (photo © Bittersweet Blog).

    Steak Salad With Cellophane Noodles
    [9] A glass noodle salad with mixed vegetables, topped with sliced steak and a garnish of plain glass noodles (photo © Valeriya | Pexels).


    May is National Salad Month. Take a step sideways from conventional green salads and pasta salads, and try this different approach: Thai Glass Noodle Salad.

    (O.K., glass noodles aren’t technically pasta—they’re not made from wheat.)

    The recipe is from Taste Of Home, where it’s one their Best-Loved Grand Prize Winning Recipes.

    While there are many glass noodle salad recipes, this one was created by Laura Wilhelm of West Hollywood, California.

    It’s a first course or side salad, but you can add poached or grilled shrimp or shredded chicken to create a main course; even leftover steak. We used leftover lamb kabobs and they fit right in.

    > What are glass noodles? Read all about them below.

    > The history of soy sauce and tamari is also below.

    > Plus, the difference between soy sauce and tamari.

    > Related recipe: Vietnamese Cabbage Slaw.

    > The history of pasta.

    > The different types of pasta: a photo glossary.

    Just about anyone will enjoy the fresh, bright flavors in this crunchy Thai-style salad, served at room temperature or chilled.

    Prep time is 30 minutes plus chill time if desired.
    Ingredients For 10 Servings

  • 6 ounces uncooked bean thread noodles
  • 3 cups coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrot)
  • 2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts or cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 green scallions, chopped
  • 1 red chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sesame ginger salad dressing (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • Lime wedges

    1. COOK the noodles according to package directions; drain. Combine the noodles, coleslaw mix, cucumber, bean spouts, nuts, mint, cilantro, scallions and chile pepper.

    2. LET sit to allow flavors to blend. You can place in the fridge to chill at the same time. When ready to serve…

    3. ADD the dressing and toss to combine. Start by using a smaller amount of dressing; then add more as desired.


  • 2 tablespoons smooth tahini, ideally runny
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 table tamari (substitute soy sauce*)
  • 1.5 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or agave, maple syrup, non-caloric sweetener, or sugar)
  • 1-3 tables water

    1. WHISK together the tahini, oil, vinegar, tamari, ginger, and honey with 1 tablespoon water, until smooth.

    2. ADD additional water to desired consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    The ancestor of soy is a sauce called jan or jiang, made in ancient China. It was used for pickling raw materials in salt to preserve them.

    Jiang was a thick paste that was originally a blend of meat and a millet-based fermenting agent along with salt. This was placed in a jar, sealed, and allowed to ferment for at least 100 days. The meat dissolved, leaving behind a strong umami taste and a liquid condiment, jiang [source].

    About 2,000 years ago, Chinese jiang makers began to substitute soybeans for meat.

    This version of jiang is considered to be the ancestor soy sauce.

    It is not clear when that ancestor came to Japan, where it was called “hishio.”

    According to the Taiho Code*, hishio made from soybeans was to be made at the Hishio Institute, part of the cuisine division of the Imperial Household Agency.

    That hishio was a variant between soy sauce and miso paste, and was served on the dining tables at palace banquets.

    Eventually separate condiments were created, miso remaining a paste and soy sauce, or shoyu, a liquid.

    The next step: The making of miso paste was begun using the Kinzanji method that the Zen monk Kakushin brought back from China in 1254 (source).
    The Creation Of Tamari

    The story goes that as the Zen monk Kakushin was teaching the technique of miso-making method to the villagers of Kishu Yuasa, he noticed that the liquid that seeped out of hishio was very tasty.

    It became what is now known as “tamari soy sauce” [source].

  • Tamari has a richer flavor and taste less salty than soy sauce due to its longer fermentation process. It also has more soy protein.
  • This results in a deeper umami flavor for tamari.
  • Soy sauce tends to be saltier, with a sharper flavor and more pronounced bite.
  • Soy sauce is typically made from 50% wheat, 50% soybeans, plus salt and water. It contains gluten.
  • Tamari is typically made from 100% soybeans, water, salt, and sugar. It is usually gluten-free, but check the label.

    Are glass noodles “pasta?” No. “Pasta” is defined as made from semolina.

    While American and Italian pastas are made from durum wheat (semolina is the ground wheat kernel of durum), pasta can be made from other flours.

    Some northern European countries use other wheats or potatoes. Polish pierogi, Italian gnocchi and German spaetzle, which are generally referred to as dumplings, are also considered forms of pasta.

    They all are descended from the original wheat pasta made in China.

    Asian noodles, also called threads, can be made of rice, soybean, wheat, or other flours. The “glass noodles” used in Thai dishes are made from mung bean starch, potato starch, sweet potato starch, tapioca, and others.

    The opaque white Chinese noodles are made from rice flour or wheat flour, and Japanese soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour.
    Cellophane Noodles AKA Glass Noodles

    Also known as bean threads, bean thread noodles, cellophane noodles, Chinese vermicelli, crystal noodles, or mung bean noodles, glass noodles become transparent when cooked. Harasume is the Japanese word.

    Originating in China more than a thousand years ago they are made from starch: batata starch, canna, cassava, mung bean starch (especially in China), potato starch, sweet potato or yam starch, tapioca, and others.

    Water and a stabilizer are also added.

    All these noodles are made without wheat, and thus gluten-free.

    Glass noodles absorb the flavors of other ingredients in the dish. They’re very versatile.

    Glass noodles spread to other parts of Asia…and out into the world.


    *Tamari vs. Soy Sauce: Because it is fermented longer, tamari has a deeper flavor and is less salty and thicker than soy sauce. While you can swap one for the other. You can usually swap one for the other. Tamari is usually gluten-free, but double-check the label to be sure it doesn’t contain wheat.

    The Taihō Code, established 703 C.E., was the administrative and penal code of Japan (source).



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    The Easiest Grape Ice Pop Recipe For National Grape Popsicle Day

    There’s a food holiday for just about everything, and today is National Grape Popsicle Day. We have the easiest recipe for a grape ice pop.

    That’s right: Only the frozen treat sold by Unilever and trademarked Popsicle® should be referred to by the capitalized name. Everything else is a generic—however delicious—ice pop.
    > The history of the Popsicle®.

    > There are more delicious ice pop recipes below.

    > The different types of frozen desserts and treats.

    Get out your ice pop molds (you can substitute small Dixie cups and wooden sticks).


  • 32-ounce bottle grape juice (we prefer R.W. Knudsen Just Concord Grape Juice)
  • Optional: small grapes, purple or green, washed and patted dry

    1. FILL the ice pop molds with grape juice and place in the freezer.

    2. CHECK in an hour. If the juice is a slushy consistency, add as many grapes as you like to each pop. You can push them down with a chopstick to space them around the pops.

  • Banana Split Ice Pops
  • Beer Ice Pops
  • Bloody Mary Ice Pops
  • Blueberry Ice Pops
  • Cherry Ice Pops
  • Ice Pop Cake
  • Pineapple Chipotle Ice Pops
  • Red, White & Blue Ice Pops
  • Strawberry Ice Pops With Rosé Wine
  • Tea Ice Pops
  • Tequila Watermelon Ice Pops

    A Grape Ice Pop
    [1] Make a grape ice pop with or without grape inclusions (photo © Saraphina’s Coastal Colours [alas, permanently closed).

    A bottle of Knudsen Grape Juice
    [2] Just fill ice pop molds with grape juice and freeze. Voilà: grape ice pops! (photo © Smucker’s | Nexus Capital Management).





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