Monthly Archives: April 2018

Tabasco’s Diamond Reserve: The “Champagne” Of Hot Sauces

Can’t wait to taste this “Champagne of Pepper Sauces”!


To celebrate their 150th Anniversary, Tabasco just released a new Diamond Reserve Hot Sauce, and it is spicy extravagance in a bottle.

They’ve dubbed it the “Champagne of pepper sauce” and are treating it as such. Namely, the hot sauce comes in a mini Champagne-style bottle, complete with that fancy gold foil on top and everything. 

A six ounce bottle of the anniversary hot sauce will cost you US$35. You know, about how much an actual bottle of Champagne might cost you. Or, like, three bottles of sparkling wine.

What does $35, Champagne-level fancy hot sauce taste like? According to Tabasco, the Diamond Reserve sauce is made with “the finest tabasco peppers on Avery Island,” which were selected based on colour, texture, and robustness. Only the best peppers were picked. The peppers were then mashed and aged up to 15 years. Finally, they were blended with sparkling white wine…

View original post 71 more words

The Motherload of Gifts … Part 3

I love the gold and diamond champagne cork necklace…oh la la!


If you haven’t managed to find a gift that inspires you in Part 1 or Part 2, we’re going to have to pull out the big guns … but be warned, you may have to sell an organ.

View original post 487 more words

The Motherload of Gifts … Part 2

La partie deux! Champagne Gifts recommendations from the Champagne Chick!


If you haven’t managed to find just the right gift in Part 1 … here are some more ideas that might inspire you.

View original post 722 more words

The Motherload of Gifts … Part 1

If you think these are bubbly good, wait til you see Motherload of Gifts Part 2 and 3! Thank you Champagne Chick!


If you’re not good at gifting and always at a loss as to what to buy, and specifically with Mother’s Day almost upon us, I’ve put together the ultimate list for anyone who has to buy a gift for someone who loves Champagne.  So forget about your fall-back of hand cream, a box of chocolates, or heaven forbid … an electrical appliance. If you wanna score some serious brownie points, have a look below.  

View original post 492 more words

Making My Brand Sparkle With Professional Photography

I love photographs of food!  The more colorful and animated the better. When I was just a tiny tot I would sit in my Mom’s kitchen looking at all of the photographs in her cookbooks even before I could read the recipes.  I still choose books not by the cover so much as the number of photos inside. So when I had the opportunity to have a professional photographer photograph me and my culinary creations I jumped at the chance! I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed I felt as the shutter snapped.

My neighbor’s daughter owns Megapixie Photography, a professional photography studio based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  When I saw her photography on the Megapixie website ~ ~ something sparked and I couldn’t wait to start putting together a portfolio.    Megapixie offers a small business package that was perfect for my needs.

Established in 2010, the owner of Megapixie is Annemie Tonken.    Annemie is the Dutch version of Anne Marie and is pronounced like the “onomy” in economy or autonomy.  Annemie specializes in fine art child and family photography. A visit to her website with photos of lots of happy bubbly babies and children will make you smile!  Fortunately she enjoys the art of food photography too.  She made me feel completely at ease by  spending some time getting to know me and my expectations prior to the photo session.  She asked me to send examples of the types of photographs I enjoy ~ photos of food and cooks/chefs.  She was encouraging and gently nudged me towards some things that she knew would work well from her wealth of experience.  I love color and she encouraged me to have several “wardrobe changes” because some colors reflect different levels of light better than others.

I had lots of props ready and we  had great fun changing up the set as she clicked the shutter.   The first thing I did that morning to get ready for the photo session was to collect Spring flowers from my garden…Red Bud branches and tiny Grape Hyacinth flowers.  Did you know that Red Bud flower buds are edible?  They have a fresh, slightly sweet tart flavor.

And of course we had several bottles of champagne ready to pop open over the course of the sunny Friday morning…but just for snappin’ photos not for sippin!  Since country ham biscuits are my signature dish I made some to photograph.

Here’s Annemie taking photos in my kitchen.


One of the first photos she took was a photo of a champagne glass and some blue hyacinths on an antique cobblers bench. My mother bought the bench in the 1950’s at an antique store when they first moved to Roanoke, Virginia.  It made a beautiful backdrop for the photographs.   I was tickled that Annemie chose the cobblers bench because it has always been one of my favorite pieces of furniture. I can just imagine a cobbler sitting on the bench thoughtfully making shoes.  Annemie sat on the floor and then climbed on a stool to get just the right shot.

Here she staged the pouring of champagne into a champagne flute. By using candles lit behind the flute she made it look like an evening of celebration.

I anticipate many uses for my photographs. I will use this photo for future submissions to magazines and other publications.  Thank you Megapixie for this fabulously fun  photo session!

You are invited to visit my Facebook page: bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram: bubblybeeboop

Fire And Ice Kentucky Lemonade ~ Celebrate Derby Day!

What’s shaken’ at the River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia?!

Find out and enjoy some of Shane Lumpp’s fabulous cocktail recipes 

on the Roanoker Magazine’s Blog:


This year the Kentucky Derby is on May 5, the same day as Cinco de Mayo.  So let’s make “Cinco de Mayo Kentucky Lemonade”!  with Kentucky bourbon of course!

Fire and Ice Kentucky Lemonade 

Makes 8 cups

  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from approximately 6 lemons ~ don’t worry about the seeds, they will be strained out later)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves + a few mint sprigs for garnish
  • 2/3 cup Bourbon
  • cups ginger ale
  • large ice cubes
  • 12 slices fresh Mandarin oranges, cut slices in half
  • Maker’s Mark Bourbon Cherries for garnish
  • 8 very thin slices (adjust the number of slices to taste ~  these are hot, so be careful!) Serrano peppers, seeds and membrane removed
  • Fine sugar for cocktail glass rim (fine sugar is available at Fresh Market)
  1. In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water and heat over medium heat.  Heat until sugar dissolves into water and mixture is clear.  Simmer 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.

  2. Add lemon juice, mint leaves, Serrano pepper slices and Bourbon, then let mixture cool.

  3. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a pitcher to remove solid particles and mint leaves.  Rim cocktail glasses with fine sugar.  To rim glasses place fine sugar on a small plate.  Rub the edge of each cocktail glass with a lemon wedge.  Roll the edge of the glass in the fine sugar.  For each lemonade cocktail mix 1/2 cup lemonade mixture to 1/2 cup ginger ale and stir to combine.  Add 2 or more large ice cubes and 2 mandarin orange slices.  Garnish with Maker’s Mark Bourbon Cherries and a sprig of mint.

    April was a happy month of celebrations for our family.  We enjoyed a special food and wine pairing dinner at River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia.  My bubbly sister-in-law Kelly is pictured above with a jeroboam of Billecart-Salmon “Brut Réserve” Champagne. (Jeroboam = 4 standard bottles of champagne).  We enjoyed pairing this champagne with a spectacular seafood display…Lobster, American Sturgeon Caviar service, oysters, shrimp, smoked trout rillette. 









You are invited to visit my Facebook page: bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram: bubblybeeboop



So What’s A “Comet Vintage”

A Comet Vintage! How cool is this! Thank you Champagne Chick!



Have you ever seen this image on a Champagne cork or bottle?  If you have, then you’re drinking a Comet Vintage.

View original post 170 more words

%d bloggers like this: