Old-fashioned summertime lemonade & limoncello

Remind me again, is that a lemon or a lime tree,” my husband asked? My parents gave us a beautiful lemon tree in the spring. It’s finally looking like it will be ready to harvest soon. 

I’ve learned that lemon trees are grateful sun worshipers…ours looks like it’s trying to hug the sun. Thankfully, lemon trees are happy in a container and have been protected from our lemon loving dogs. 

Our family loves the refreshing summer flavor of lemons in iced tea, ice cream, muffins and most of all lemonade.

My daughter and I made a batch last week and have savored every sip.
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Summer’s favorite cocktail: Cipriani Bellini

July feels to me like the pinnacle of summer, days well spent dining with friends and restful moments lounging poolside with a book…always with something fruity within reach. Specifically, a cocktail like this one that is as bright and beautiful as it is light and refreshing, a lovely way to bask in the season. 

Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party makes the viewer feel like sipping something fruity and refreshing while dining alfresco. Look at the peachy colors in this Paris cafe overlooking the Seine, the painting captures a happy afternoon among friends. Doesn’t it make you want a Peach Bellini? Create your own European cafe with a few ingredients…it’s the bubbly parts during the day that are the best to just take a sip, and sit back. 

The Peach Bellini is a famous bubbly cocktail that was created by Giuseppe Cipriani from Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. Cipriani named his drink after Giovanni Bellini, his favorite Italian painter, because the peach color of the champagne cocktail matched the color Bellini used in one of his paintings for a saint’s toga. The Peach Bellini has become one of the most famous and popular of all wine cocktails or champagne cocktails. It’s also difficult to make because of the scarcity of pureed peaches.

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Peppermint brownies

Lingering candy canes still remain from the holidays and I can’t find it in me to toss them. A wintry rainy Sunday calls for peppermint brownies. My eleven-year-old gladly volunteered to smash the candy canes as long as she could occasionally sample several pieces. 

Chocolate and mint together are an amazing duo…really one of the most perfect dessert pairings. The freshness of the mint mixes so well with the sweet richness of the chocolate. We used two types of candy canes and two types of chocolate…really it’s about what you have left over from the holidays. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1  1/2 lb of chocolate (we used Hershey’s dark chocolate and left over Hershey’s candy cane kisses)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 4 candy canes (crushed)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter your favorite brownie pan. 
  • In a double boiler, combine chocolate with the butter. Stir until melted. If you’re eleven-years-old, you’ll want to use your Gryffindor spatula to do this! 
  • Scrape the chocolate into another bowl and let cool slightly. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the chocolate-butter mixture until glossy and thick. 
  • Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until mixed. 
  • Spread the brownie batter in the prepared baking pan. 
  • Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and bake for 30 minutes.

The crunchy bits of candy canes and the gooey chocolate can’t be beat! 

P.S.

Roasting and Toasting with S’mores & a Hot Toddy

Pumpkin brulee cheesecake

 

Ebelskivers (Danish Pancakes) perfect for a winter morning

My daughter made me promise, “Mommy, pinky promise that we can make ebelskivers in the morning?” It’s after the holidays, I still have leftover egg nog and it’s 24 degrees outside…the weather couldn’t be better for ebelskivers! I’ve had my ebelskiver pan for a while now and I use them to make these Danish pancakes but it’s also great for meatballs! Ebelskivers have a light, airy batter, and a sweet jam filling goes nicely in the middle. My son prefers Nutella in his. Serve them hot with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top. Turning them over can be tricky…try using chopsticks or shish kabob skewers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk (or egg nog if you make them during the holidays)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup jam or Nutella
  • confectioners sugar, for serving

Directions: 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, vanilla and 2 tablespoons melted butter until combined. Stir in dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff but not dry peaks form, about 3 minutes. This is my daughter’s favorite part…who doesn’t love using an electric mixer! Fold egg whites into batter.
  • Put ebelskiver pan over medium high heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon butter to each well of the mold (sometimes I cheat and use Pam for baking), add 1 tablespoon of batter. Top each well with 1 teaspoon of jam or Nutella, then top with another 1 tablespoon batter. Let ebelskivers cook until bottoms are golden, about 4 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until tops are also golden, 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Repeat with rest of batter, then serve immediately with powdered sugar on top.

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Cozy winter cocktails

 

We’re in the middle of true winter when we could use a cozy cocktail to warm our insides.  Winter is all about being cozy…I find myself searching for warmth from a fire and a ski sweater but a cocktail may be the best way to help ease the midwinter chill. You can sip on a glass of wine any time, but there’s something particularly pleasurable about a cocktail designed for the colder months.

Hot Toddies and Gloggs have been served for centuries because they warm the body and soothe the soul. My favorite winter cocktails are those that remind me of a great day on the slopes. What better way to end the day than looking at the mountains and watching snowstorm with a steaming Hot Toddy? Another thought would be to start a new tradition of an avant ski drink before it’s time for après with an Irish Coffee…spoon a mountain of freshly whipped cream and zip, zoom, kapow! 

Finally there was the great glacier run, smooth and straight, forever straight if your legs could hold it, your ankles locked, you running so low, leaning into the speed, dropping forever and forever in the silent hiss of the crisp powder. It was better than any flying or anything else, and you built the ability to do it and to have it with the long climbs, carrying the heavy rucksacks. You could not buy it nor take a ticket to the top. It was the end we worked all winter for, and all the winter built to make it possible. ~Ernest Hemingway

These are five winter cocktails that should do the trick…Hemingway would certainly approve of your après ski cocktail! 

Irish Coffee:

  • 1.25 ounce Irish whiskey
  • ounces hot, but not scalded coffee 
  • 5/8 ounce Rich Demerara syrup (combine two parts demerara sugar to one part water and cook until the sugar dissolves; keep until needed)
  • ounce heavy cream, softly whipped

Add the Irish whiskey to a tall, heat-tolerant glass, preferably an Irish Coffee glass. Combine the coffee and 5/8 oz. Demerara syrup separately from the whiskey, then add it to the glass with the whiskey and stir gently. Float the whipped cream over the top and grate a bit of nutmeg over the whipped cream. 

Glogg:

  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 & 1/4 cups brandy
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 orange zest strips
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds

In saucepan over medium heat, combine the wine, brandy, cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the sugar and orange zest. Divide the raisins and almonds among 4 warmed cups or goblets. Pour in the spiced wine through a sieve and serve.

Moscow Mule: 

  • part vodka
  • parts ginger beer
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Fill a glass with ice, crushed or cubed.
Fill the glass 1/3 full with vodka.
Top with ginger beer and squeeze in some lime.

Cherry Lime Hot Toddy:

  • a few dried cherries
  • lime zest strip
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ounces whiskey
  • 6 ounces boiling water

In a mug, combine the lime zest, dried cherries, and sugar. Add the whiskey. Pour in the boiling water, and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Sip and enjoy!

Hot Buttered Rum:

  • ounce dark rum 
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pad of salted butter 
  • 3 cups boiled water
Boil water on the stove.
Place the cloves, rum, and sugar in cup and gently mix; after mixing, place cinnamon stick in concoction. 
Smear butter inside the cup, just above the rum.
Pour the boiled water slowly over the butter and allow it to melt. Cinnamon stick stays in the cup.

Forget the fire and warm yourself up with one of these hot drinks…extra-boozy concoctions guaranteed to keep you warm.

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Champagne chic

I don’t remember my first glass of Champagne but I’ve always love bubbly drinks. My friend Jen and I would drink Clearly Canadian to ring in the New Year when we were in middle school. Ever since then, my drink of choice has always been bubbly. Champagne was and still is linked to celebration, but we should celebrate life every day. Any time is a good time for drinks that sparkle! 

Everything about Champagne feels right…the freshness, the bubbles, and it’s easy to drink at any occasion. Gigi would agree…

The night they invented champagne
It’s plain as it can be
They thought of you and me
The night they invented champagne
They absolutely knew that all we’d want to do
Is fly to the sky on champagne. 

Champagne tends to be in a class of its own. Sparkling wines are the ultimate in chic drinks…like Chanel’s little black dress (or Marie’s pretty pink one). Marlene Dietrich said, “Champagne makes you feel like its Sunday and better days are just around the corner.

Need more reasons to sip, savor and celebrate? Here are ten things you will be thrilled to know about Champagne…

1. Champagne is from a specific region in France (named Champagne) and is considered the pinnacle of sparkling wine. Its production requires extra years of maturation, and the fruit itself is more expensive. Spanish Cavas and Italian Proseccos are refreshing and delicious, but they lack the depth of Champagnes because they are made from lesser quality grapes, produced in tanks rather than bottles, and not aged as long. Champagne is about 90 miles from Paris and it’s so far north that it’s almost too cold to fully ripen the grapes, which explains the finesse and acidic taste of its wine. 

2. There are about 1.000,000 bubbles in a glass of Champagne. 

3. Hold your glass by the stem and not by the bowl because your hands will warm the champagne up too quickly…And, holding the glass by the stem will make you look oh so chic!

4. Vintage matters! The region in France where Champagne is produced has had erratic seasons for the past fifteen years, so there’s a great difference among vintages. 

5. The best vintages are from: 1996, 2002 and 2008.

6. Chill sparkling wine at a temperature between 46 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit but not until you’re ready to drink it. Champagne shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator because the cork dries out and shrinks so that the carbonation is able to escape, and other smells from the refrigerator can get in. Keep the cork damp to ensure a tight seal by storing Champagne (and all wine) on its side.

7. Enjoy champagne throughout an entire meal! Many people think they should only enjoy Champagne as an aperitif but that it is not the only way to drink it. Pair your Champagne with many flavors…chicken, seafood, vegetable dishes, fruit, cheese, risotto, tacos and my favorite…pizza! It can bring out new flavors you’ve never tasted in these foods!

8. If you married a bartender, like I did, you’ll know that the goal to opening a bottle is to do it quietly and gently, without the pop. This way you keep the bubbles in the wine. Hold the bottle in your hand at an angle with the neck pointed away from you and others. Grasp the cork between thumb and forefinger, then turn the bottle. When you feel the cork start to give, slowly pull it to  one side so the gas releases gradually. 

9. Champagne makes you more beautiful! It detoxifies the skin with antioxidants, and its lightening tartaric acid helps even out the skin tone and for those with oily skin, its antibacterial properties can help with breakouts.

10. Drinking Champagne can prevent dementia and memory loss. A study at the University of Reading determined that drinking one to three glasses of Champagne each week can boost brain health. 

 

Bubbles, bubbles fizzing in our coupes…keep on popping bottles. If you have a bottle of champagne in your refrigerator, don’t wait for a special occasion to enjoy it…open that bottle and the special occasion will come to you. Celebrate life every day! Santé! xx

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Champagne in a coupe

Vail: Rites of Spring

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Sunshine, google tans, spring back to winter snow, cold après-ski cocktails on or off the mountain…the only thing not to love about spring skiing is the inevitable end of the season.

The clock bells chimed four times, that meant the lifts were closing. My husband said, “Hurry, we can still get on for one more run.” We weren’t out of steam just yet! The four of us hopped on the Eagle Bahn Gondola to end the day on a high note. If the lifts are running, so were we! It felt like we were the only ones on the mountain. It had just snowed like crazy and it was perfect skiing…powder on top of powder! We wanted to hold on to the day and the season just a little longer. It’s amazing how so much fun can take your mind off your sore feet and bruised shins.

Vail, how I love thee! Let me count the ways…

  1. Thousands of groomed terrain means there’s something for everyone whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert skier. Vail has the best and largest ski schools on Earth to help you get your kids to be future expert skiers. It’s nice to see your kids make friends with kids from around the world. Vail is the giant of ski resorts because it offers 195 named trails and it’s world-famous for its “Back Bowls” that span around 3,000 acres.
  2. Ice skating is a fun activity for the whole family. My daughter even skated with her American Girl Doll, Maryellen. Vail has both indoor and outdoor rinks. The Arrabelle in Lionshead steals our hearts with the beautiful scenery, outdoor fireplaces and twinkle lights.
  3. Vail is a foodie’s haven. These are our favorites: Up the Creek (a treasure by Gore Creek serving seasonal fresh farm to plate meals and signature cocktails), Campo De Fiori (authentic Italian cuisine with fresh and local ingredients), Mountain Standard (enjoy a rustic and relaxed atmosphere where the primal cooking method is over a wood fire), Swiss Chalet (traditional European cuisine in a casual mountain atmosphere).
  4. Vail is known for its relaxing spas. I think it’s nice to start out the vacation with a visit to the spa. After a plane ride and unpacking a massage makes you think, Yeessss! The vacation has just begun! The Spa at the Arrabelle (voted #19 of the top 270 spas in the world) was the perfect way to relax into the vacation.
  5. There’s more to Vail than winter…try hiking and mountain biking during the non-skiing months. Use the staff like you would for ski school and hire a tour guide to take you around so you don’t need the trail map. You can rent a bike and ride downhill. The bonus is that there’s a gondola bike haul.

Vail is known around the world as one of the most popular destinations for skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, fine dining, hot air balloons, spas and more. The relaxing vibe and town of world-class athletes makes Vail the perfect place to vacation. It’s the favorite place for serious athletes, foodies, and spa junkies. Experienced skiers and outdoor enthusiasts will agree that Vail is the best and most varied resort. No matter the season, it’s like nothing on Earth!

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It’s not New Year’s Day without Black-Eyed Peas and Cabbage

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It’s time to eat that famous southern dish to assist in your New Year’s good fortune. All the best superstitions are gastronomic. Most American’s know that black-eyed peas and cabbage are a must for good luck and good fortune for the New Year. I don’t think that I’ve ever had a New Year’s Day without them.

For the New Year’s good fortune, a plate of black-eyed peas or other beans is considered auspicious, forecasting wealth and prosperity. We all need luck and money! In the American South, they are traditionally to be enjoyed either just after midnight or sometime on New Year’s Day. Adding cooked greens (the color of money) is said to make them even luckier. Simmered with onion and a meaty ham bone (other options are salt pork, bacon, pig’s feet, hog jowl and ham hock), black-eyed peas are often seasoned quite simply, with just salt and pepper. They may also be made highly seasoned with hot pepper and spices.

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Black-Eyed Pea and Cabbage Soup

  • 1 smoked bone-in ham (about 10 lbs)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 1 lb dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T whole cloves
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1 C coarse German style mustard
  • 1 large head of cabbage, cut into 8 even pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, soak beans overnight covered by at least 2 inches of water. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Place peas, onions, garlic, salt, and bay leaves in a large pot and add water to pot just to cover beans. Place the ham on top of the black-eyed peas. Combine the honey and mustard, and brush a small even coat on the surface of the ham.
  4. Transfer to the oven. Baste about every 45 minutes with the remaining honey mustard mixture. Bake for about three hours.
  5. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper and add to the pan with the peas. Cover and return to the oven, cook until the cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

Every New Year’s Day, my mom would have a pot of black-eyed peas, cabbage and ham cooking on the stove. Aside from their potassium and fiber, the beans impart a bit of luck and the ham and cabbage…the promise of prosperity. This hearty dish delivers dreams in a bowl. Even if you’re not superstitious, having a batch of this soup on hand will feel like a stroke of good fortune.

Hopping John Soup

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TRÈS ASHLEY GIFT GUIDE 2015

 

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It’s not too late to find the perfect gift! Here are some of the most exciting gift options around…each and every item is something mothers, fathers, husbands, kids, best friends, brothers and sisters would love to receive. I really hope you like it. Happy Shopping! xx

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GIFTS FOR THE KIDS 

Stacking Monster Blocks $54.  Stack and create your own monsters with these colorful blocks. Notice the detailed scalloped dowels, scales, robotic diodes, monster heads, hands, feet, patterns and much more. Mix and match to create endless monster combinations.

BB-8 App-Enabled Droid by Sphero $149.95  Bringing a new part of Star Wars: The Force Awakens into your home, BB-8 is the app-enabled Droid whose authentic movements are at your control with iPhone or iPad. BB-8 relates to your interactions, showing a range of expressions and actually perking up at the sound of your voice commands.

Dartboard $140. Five color silk-screened cork with a key hole on the back for easy hanging.  The dartboard will probably be the most popular activity (for children of all ages) in your house.

Elephant Doll House $170. The most charming elephant doll house…notice the trunk is up (that’s good luck). All the best toys are made of wood. These sweet little peg people $24. can be dressed in the design of your child’s choice. A pop up doll house book $24.95 would be a treasure to add to your favorite little person’s library and add to her doll house enjoyment.

Warm up Booties $36.40 For your little dancer or athlete who needs to keep her feet warm in a stylish way.

Rosie Revere, Engineer $9.28 Rosie is a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. You can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit.

Playing Cards $12.95 Housed in a pretty box with foil stamping, these cards feature a full spectrum of colors on their face and a uniform black and white pattern on their backs.  The package also includes a mini booklet with history and lore, game instruction, and information about the artists.

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GIFTS FOR EVERYONE 

Black Tipsy Writer $35. The Tipsy Writer is a pen holder weighted by a half brass, half wooden ball. You would amuse your boss or child’s teacher…no matter how much you tip it over, it always finds a way back up.

Matchbox Puzzles (set of three) $12 The Matchbox Puzzles are handmade in Germany and make for a universally appreciated spatial diversion. Matchbox Puzzles are worth stashing in a stocking to give sweet little hands creative potential.

Small Ships $74. Christmas break is the time to create! Pick up the hammer, choose your paints, the nautical vessel of your choice awaits!

Copper Mug $30 (each) Imagine drinking Moscow Mules this winter in front of the fireplace…they are so handsome that you’ll be begging your recipient to invite you over for cocktails!

World Magnetic Travel Map $199. This is a fun way to track your families adventures. It’s easy for young children to use because it’s magnetic…not push pins.

Panini Press $99.95  This Breville panini is a family-friendly machine that accommodates up to four sandwiches at once.  A great choice for that busy family that needs a quick weeknight meal after basketball practice.

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GIFTS FOR MOM, SISTER, BEST FRIENDS… 

Telephone Dial Compact Mirror $30. How cute is this! I imagine the ladies from Downton Abbey would have something like this in their clutch.

Lace Ring $315.  I can imagine my Mom gasping as she opened this beautiful rose gold-plated ring. Aurelie Bidermann’s laser-cut jewelry also comes in silver.

Floppy Brim Fedora $136.50 This navy fedora is classic and chic for that best friend or sister that is super stylish and hip.

Paris Cocktails $19.95 This book is sure to pique the interest of any female Francophile. Paris Cocktails provides an inside guide to celebrating, entertaining and drinking like the French.

Satin Macaron Tea Tin $8.95 For your stylish tea drinking friend that has a fetish for all things French…and tea!

Pajama set $95. These polka dot pajamas are the comfiest and chicest way for your sister to get her eight hours of sleep.

Miu Miu Parfum $86. This is a classic and stylish fragrance…the first for Miu Miu. The girl you give this too must be stylish, sporty, intelligent, feminine, strong, quirky, and playful.

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GIFTS FOR DAD, BROTHER, BEST FRIEND… 

Morning After Cocktail Mix $56. This holiday season, give that notoriously boozy boy their choice of two delicious hair-of-the-dog options…Hellfire Bloody Mary Mix and Giovanni’s Nectar of the Gods Bellini Mix.

Solo Kayak $799.20 Your guy can break this kayak into two pieces, allowing him to easily haul his kayak to his favorite paddling spot and back again in a tight space at home.

Zojirushi Travel Mug $32.77 These new, bigger Zojirushi travel mugs are wide enough to fit your coffee filter holder inside the rim, avoiding messes.

The Golden Age of American Football $33.79 This beautiful book will be very popular on your coffee table.

Leather Football $150. These footballs are built to be used. Individually hand cut and sewn with highly durable thread by Leather Head Sports in Glen Rock, NJ.

Flask Funnel $10. A must-have accessory for your flask. Engraved with the saying, “Don’t waste a drop.” Equipped with a chain to hang over bottles or the top of your flask.

Pomade for his beard $38. This tin should last your man 3 to 5 months. It’s just what he needs for grooming his beard…you can use it on the ends of your hair!

Have a holly, jolly Christmas; It’s the best time of the year. I don’t know if there’ll be snow but have a cup of cheer.

Need more gift-giving inspiration? Check out gift guides from 20142013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 if you need more inspiration. subscriptions are also great for last-minute shopping. Wishing you a holly, jolly Christmas now GET GIFTED!! xx

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Frank Sinatra: Five things you might not know

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This year marks the centennial of the birth of Frank Sinatra, who came into this world on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey and died on May 14, 1998. Sinatra had many nicknames…The Voice, Ol’ Blue Eyes and The Chairman of the Board were a few. Each name represented different sides of his talent, good looks, charm and presence. Sinatra won nine Grammy Awards, performed on more than 1,400 records during his six-decade plus career. It was his honest voice that made the audience feel that he understood them.

When I think of Frank Sinatra, I think of my grandmother. I remember when I graduated from college in May, 1998 (the very month that Sinatra died)…my grandmother kept disappearing to the bar so she could talk to the bartender about Frank. It was as if she was in mourning for the loss of that time in her life.

I imagine that my grandmother would have loved to have been in the audience at The Copa Room in Las Vegas when Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were on stage…sipping cocktails and smoking cigarettes. This beautiful generation seemed to know how to enjoy life to the fullest.

My grandmother would have loved to have read this book to her great-grandchildren and elaborate on his life and his songs.

My children like to listen to Seriously Sinatra in my car on the way to school. I knew they would enjoy the John Seven book, Frankie Liked to Sing. This is a spunky biography that follows Sinatra as he moves from his humble childhood across the river to New York City, begins a recording career and makes it in Hollywood.

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Reading the book, Frankie Liked to Sing, is a beautiful way for grandparents and parents alike to pass on their love for Ol’ Blue Eyes to a younger generation. “Frankie’s voice made people feel like they could get through hard days and have fun on better ones.”
Perfectly timed to celebrate Sinatra’s one hundredth birthday…here are five things you might not know about Frank.
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1. Frank’s signature cocktail originated in Philadelphia. This drink can be considered a martini, but make sure to hold the olive. It is a rather refreshing, sweet cocktail that is popular in the summer time.
3 oz dry gin
3/4 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 oz sweet and sour mix
 
Get a martini shaker. Add a few ice cubes, then add all ingredients. Shake for ten seconds and serve in a martini glass or cocktail glass with a lemon twist.
  

 2. The song My Way is thought of as Sinatra’s signature song but he didn’t want to record it…thinking it was self-indulgent. Remember that scene with Peggy and Don in Mad Men? It’s a perfect moment when Sinatra’s “My Way” comes on the radio, and the two share a dance; it’s a magic moment for Don and Peggy.

3. Frank’s favorite color was orange. He used to say, “Orange is the happiest color.”

4. Frank inadvertently helped name Scooby-Doo. CBS exec, Fred Silverman, found inspiration in Frank’s signature, “Scoo-Be-Do-Be-Do!”

5. Born in a New Jersey, apartment, Francis Albert Sinatra was not breathing when he was born. Baby Frank was thought to be dead and was laid on the kitchen counter while the doctor attended to his mother. His grandma picked up the newborn, stuck him under some cold water, and little Frank sang his first song. Thank goodness for grandma!

His music crossed the decades from World War II to the 1990s. He defined the classic American songbook for decades with verve and panache.

Any song that Sinatra sang was most likely the very best rendition of that song. These are just a few that are linked to this amazing entertainer over his career.

Fly Me to the Moon Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” was the first song ever played on the moon.

I’ve Got the World on a String There have been many artists who have recorded their own versions but Sinatra’s is the most memorable.

Swinging on a Star “Swinging on a Star” was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke and originally sung by Bing Crosby in the 1944 film Going My WayIt has been covered by artists including Burl Ives, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.

New York, New York This love song to New York makes you want to be in a Broadway show.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas This is the gold star of Christmas songs.

Let it Snow This song helps set the mood for holiday festivities. It’s romantic, happy and everyone likes to sing along.

Luck be a Lady Hearing this song reminds me of when I was in the musical “Guys and Dolls.” It’s full of energy and spunk.

Strangers in the Night Frank Sinatra’s version of Strangers in the Night, can’t be beat…it’s smooth and I imagine my grandparents slow dancing to it.

My Way This song was not Sinatra’s favorite but it sure is a favoirte of fans…one of his most popular hits.

Mack the Knife This song is pure New York!

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May you live to be one hundred, and may the last voice you hear be mine. 

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