Mouth Tripping with the Verbena

on January 15, 2017

 

As an avid traveler, I love trying new foods and drinks wherever I go.  This past year, to celebrate my 40th birthday, I went to Las Vegas. A fellow guest at one of the bars in the Aria mentioned there are a few secret, off the menu drinks at The Cosmopolitan. Needless to say, I decided to investigate, all in the name of research for future books, of course.

Me and with a few of my nearest and dearest took a short walk to the beautiful, ultra-modern hotel. Instead of loitering to gawk at the interior, I made a beeline to the third floor of the Chandelier Bar and ordered the secret, hush hush drink, Verbena.

When the bartender placed the drink in front of me, it didn’t look very scary. It looked like a pretty margarita with a flower on top.

The flower was the part of the drink we all should have feared! It is known as the “Szechuan Button” but also goes by many other names, including “buzz button,” “toothache plant,” and its scientific name, Acmella oleracea.

We were told to take a sip of the cocktail, nibble on the flower for a few seconds (30 to be exact), and then sip our drink again.

Well, once we followed the directions, it was all over. First, I couldn’t stop salivating. Seriously, it was the strangest sensation.  Then my tongue felt like it had pins and needles, followed by a numbing sensation of my whole mouth. In other words, it was total sensory overload for my mouth and taste buds. The drink went from a regular cocktail to something undesirable, every flavor in the drink enhanced, from the tartness of the lemon to the sweetness of the mixer.

I drank the remainder of my cocktail, nibbling on the flower after each sip and feeling as if I was on a crazy rollercoaster of flavors.

It took a good forty minutes for my mouth to calm down back to its normal ho hum ways. Now I can say, I checked of trying a crazy cocktail in Sin City.  If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas, make sure to venture out and try the Verbena. Your taste buds will thank you! Or say what the **** did you do to me.

Holiday Traditions

on December 29, 2016

HAPPY DECEMBER EVERYONE!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love all the excitement of the season and the anticipation of getting to spend time with my family. The chaos of organizing my insanely large family can get daunting at times, but it is so well worth all the effort when my house is overflowing with cocktails, food, great conversation, and laughter.

Family is the center of our Christmas season. This includes the family I was born and married into, as well as the one I chose through friendship. It’s a tradition for everyone to come to my house at Christmas, and when I say everyone, I mean everyone, from both sets of parents to all siblings and children on both sides. It is mass chaos with twenty-four people under one roof. Thank God, my in-laws live close by so not everyone has to sleep on air mattresses.

For me, planning starts weeks in advance with menus, activities, cocktails, and gifts. It is a tradition in my house to give each kiddo pajamas to wear for Christmas Eve.

When the time comes for everyone to arrive, I am ready to celebrate. We spend our time together eating and playing games. On Christmas Eve, my family and I attend Christmas Eve service at our church and then come home and open one present. That night, we also have butter beer (I found a recipe on the internet that rocks), make s’mores, and say goodbye to our elf on the shelf, Pie (like apple pie).

Christmas morning is brimming with activity. I wake up super early, usually around 5 a.m. and start cooking. Yes, I am that lady who sees something on Food Network and finds a way to make it at home. Every year I pick a breakfast dish I found and recreate it for everyone. Then I start the preparations for what my family has named the “untraditional Christmas dinner.” Some of the items on my menu are Lobster thermador, garlic crostini, potatoes au gratin, mushroom and tarragon rice, honey carrots, and garlic and Servecchio asparagus. It is safe to say that by the end of the day, everyone is stuffed.

As you can see, food, family, and chaos are the center of our Christmas holiday. Without one of them, it wouldn’t be the perfect Christmas.

In 2017 readers will find the second two books in Sienna’s Rules of Engagement series, RULE MASTER, due out March 7, and RULE CHANGER on sale July 11.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the link to the original post on Scandalicous: http://www.scandaliciousbookreviews.com/family-traditions-with-sienna-snow/

Fun and Games Mad-Libs style – Love Libs

on November 29, 2016

Everyone loves games and Mad-Libs gives a tribute to the days before handheld electronics.  Take a crack at this fun game I created for Heros and Heartbreakers:

 

Here’s how to play: Fill out the list below with the appropriate (or totally inappropriate) noun, verb, adjective, or name. Complete the Love Lib by selecting the word from your list that corresponds with the bolded direction in the parentheses, and let hilarity ensue! Share your results by copying and pasting the list/Love Lib—that might make filling it out a little easier, too!—down in the comments, and/or tag us on Twitter with the funniest snippets at @heroesnhearts or share the whole story by tagging us on Facebook.

Adjective:
Female name:
Noun:
Noun:
Noun:
Male name:
Verb:
Verb:
Noun:
Noun:
Same male name:
Same female name:
Noun:
Noun:
Noun:
Noun:
Verb:
Noun:
Noun:
Adjective:
Same female name:
Same male name:

To the ­­­(adjective) world, (female name) is a take charge business (noun), but in private, she’s a submissive. She wants two things, to feel  a (noun) against her (noun) and to be dominated by (Male name). She’s waited two years to (verb) with him and tonight she’d get her chance to (verb) the sweet kiss of his (noun) and see if he is the true (noun) she desires.

From the moment, (same male name) set eyes on (same female name) from across the (noun), he knew she was his. He saw beneath her controlled (noun) to the (noun) underneath. He’ll have one chance to prove he is the (noun) strong enough to (verb) her into submission, to give her what her (noun) desires or risk losing her to another (noun).

Tonight, two (adjective) rivals, (same female name) and (same male name) would learn who is the true Master and who is the slave.

 

 

Here is the original post: http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2016/11/love-libs-2-fill-in-the-blank