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While the east coast is getting bombed with snow and cold weather, we’re still enjoying warm weather over here in SoCal. I used to hate it when my friends from Southern California would rub the good weather in my face all winter long when I lived in Chicago, but now I totally understand the sentiment that seasons are overrated. But regardless of where you are right now, it’s technically still winter, and that means hot chocolate season! I tried my hand at making hot chocolate and the verdict around the house? It tastes SO much better than the packaged powders. Of course, I had to make a boozy hot chocolate recipe as well in this case. Not surprisingly, chocolate goes well with alcohol, and it’s officially one of my new favorite winter drinks.

Boozy Hot Chocolate | by The Luxi Look

Boozy Hot Chocolate | by The Luxi Look

How to make boozy hot chocolate + some variations

If you’ve never tried an alcoholic hot chocolate recipe in the winter, you’re missing out! Making boozy hot chocolate is easy (make hot chocolate and add the alcohol of your choice), but there are some different variations you can take with the recipe to suit your personal tastes. Of course, the easiest thing to do is mix pre-made hot chocolate mix with milk or water, and then add booze or liquor, but what’s the fun in that? If you’re feeling a little extra, you can make homemade hot chocolate, which tastes SO much better. There’s nothing better than a mug of hot chocolate during the cold weather months!

Boozy Hot Chocolate | by The Luxi Look

Boozy Hot Chocolate | by The Luxi Look

Ingredients for easy boozy hot cocoa:

+ Chocolate to melt (I prefer semi-sweet, but it’s really up to you!)

+ Milk of your choice (non-dairy is ok!)

+ Booze of your choice (suggestions: whiskey, rum, bourbon, red wine, peppermint schnapps)

+ Mini marshmallows

+ Cinnamon

Directions:

Luckily, this recipe is so easy to make! All you have to do is warm up the milk of your choice in a small saucepan (you can microwave it too if you’re in a pinch) and slowly whisk in the chocolate until it melts. Make sure the milk does not boil! Once the liquid is smooth and creamy (like, you know, hot chocolate), you can pour into a mug, add powdered cinnamon or crushed cinnamon sticks, and stir in the alcohol of your choice. One part alcohol to four parts hot chocolate is the ratio I usually work with, but you can adjust up or down as you prefer. Top with lots of mini marshmallows and whipped cream or the garnish of your choice and drink up!

Variations:

+ Add sugar or honey to taste if you prefer a sweeter drink

+ Toast your marshmallows and rim your mug with chocolate syrup and graham cracker crumbs for a S’mores hot chocolate

+ Add nutella for an extra indulgent drink

Other tips for making boozy hot chocolate: make for friends (how cute would a hot chocolate bar be for a winter themed party?!) and serve with copious amounts of marshmallows in cute mugs. Sit back at an outdoor fire pit (so perfect for après ski!) or in your pajamas at home for a movie night. Make for dessert or an everyday treat. Enjoy! xx

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I’m not the biggest drinker, but I love me a good happy hour. Spritzes are my go-to happy hour beverage at the moment, and it looks like I’m not the only one. Spritzes are definitely the drink of the summer! Before we get into making a spritz, can we take a moment to talk about the European way of life? When we visited the Amalfi Coast last fall we got a real taste of la dolce vita, but recently in Barcelona we enjoyed the Spanish way of life as well! Read: 5 meals a day, siestas, happy hour always. We fell in love with spritzes in Italy last year and had our fair share when we were in Europe last month. Now that we’re back in LA, spritzes are still our summer happy hour drink of choice.  

Did you know the word “spritz” is actually a loose word for cocktails that follow a similar formula? Basically a spritz is 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts liquor, and 1 part soda water. Aperol spritzes just happen to be the most popular variation (it’s the drink of choice in Italy!) but there are countless spritz recipes, which I learned when my boyfriend bought this book. We’ve been slowly making our way through the recipes and each one is better than the last.

Here’s why the spritz is the drink of the summer.

+ They’re light and refreshing

+ They’re relatively low in calories and alcohol

They’re good for digestion. The liquor in spritzes are meant to “open your palette” and prepare you for your meal. (Technically, you’re only supposed to have one, but who’s counting?)

+ They make for good photos ; )

Try one for yourself! Start with this classic variation of a spritz. Recipe below:

Aperol Spritz Recipe

  • Aperol
  • Prosecco (use DRY prosecco!)
  • Soda water
  • Orange

Instructions: Pour together 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts aperol, and 1 part soda water into a glass. Add ice and stir gently. Garnish with an orange wedge. In true apertivo style, serve with light bites (olives + potato chips are common in Italy)

Enjoy!! xx

Stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW. Have you heard of FROSÉ? If you have, then you’ll want the recipe below to make at home. If you haven’t yet, you’re welcome : ).

Rosé has been the ‘it’ summertime drink for years now – there’s nothing better than a chilled glass of dry, crisp Whispering Angel during the warmer months (although let’s be honest, rosé is acceptable any time of year in my book). The term “summer water” is very accurate.

Now imagine the frozen slushy version of rosé, known as frosé.

Frosé is arguably the best drink of the summer. Think I’m crazy? Then you need to try it for yourself. The frozen and slightly versioned of rosé is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. You can find it at bars across the country, OR you could make it yourself at home. You can probably imagine how excited I was when I stumbled upon this frosé recipe from Bon Appétit.

Disclaimer – I am not the best in the kitchen, but this I can handle. You’ll definitely want to drop everything you’re doing and make this right now.

Yes Way Frose - Frozen Rose Recipe | by The Luxi Look

Frozen Rosé aka Frosé Recipe from Bon Appétit

  • 1 750 ml bottle hearty, bold rosé (note: stay away from the usual dry, crisp rosés that are good for easy drinking, like your Whispering Angels or Miravals. Be sure to choose a darker, pinker, sweeter version of rosé – the flavor will be diluted when you make the frosé)
  • ½ cup sugar (substitute with any sweetener you prefer)
  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered (+ more for garnish)
  • 2½ ounces fresh lemon juice

Put rosé in a pan or Ziploc bag (we opted for a bag) and place in freezer. Wait impatiently for rosé to freeze. It took about 4 hours for a bottle to almost solidify in our freezer.

At the same time or in advance, make the simple syrup! Sounds fancy but it’s really just taking the sugar + 1/2 cup water and mixing together over low/medium heat until it dissolves completely. Take the syrup off the heat and add strawberries for 30 minutes before draining out the seeds. Yep, you just made fancy STRAWBERRY infused simple syrup.

If you’re feeling lazy/don’t want to commit to becoming a mixologist, you can also buy premade simple syrup or just make the syrup and then purée strawberries and mix them together. Or not use any sugar at all. Totally up to you!

Take frozen rosé, lemon juice, and simple syrup (add to taste, although the recipe calls for 3 1/2 oz) and blend in a blender. Add ice and continue to blend until you’ve achieved the optimal slushy consistency.

Pour into glasses, garnish with a strawberry or wedge of lemon, and serve! Enjoy!

Make it for yourself + all your friends and thank me later. Hope you love frosé as much as I do!

xx, Amy

Back from Coachella and I am so excited to share photos from the weekend with you guys!! But first, a little much needed detox recipe – vegan coconut ceviche. I first tried coconut ceviche at Gracias Madre, a vegan Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood (best spicy margs and guac!!) and fell in love instantly. It tasted just as good as the real thing.

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Note – I’m not vegan. I’ve tried it in the past and it wasn’t for me. But I think the principles of veganism – more fruits, vegetales, healthy grains – is good for you. However, I found myself missing a lot of vital nutrients when I tried a vegan diet. AND I think a lot of vegan substitutes aren’t really that healthy for you! If it says it’s vegan, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. With that said, this recipe is delicious and super good for you. Why?

Because coconut does wonders for your bod!

Benefits of eating coconut:

+ Coconut meat is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

+ Coconuts are full of healthy fats!! If you want to glow from the inside out, healthy fats including coconut and avocado are some of the best foods you can eat

+ Good for your skin and hair

+ Easy to digest

+ Full of MCTs (<< will do an entire post on this!) which may help with weight loss

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

The meat from a young coconut has a texture and taste that very closely mimics ceviche (the version at Gracias Madre almost tastes like octopus!) when you marinate it. It can be tricky to find the right consistency of coconut – you don’t want it to be too firm or soft. Whole Foods has pre cut young coconut if you don’t want to cut open your own. For this recipe, I asked my boyfriend (nicely) to assist with cracking open the coconut : ).

Once you figure out how to crack open a coconut and scoop the meat out, the rest of the recipe is easy peasy. Be sure to drink the coconut water inside as well!

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe

  • 1 fresh young coconut
  • 2-3 limes, juiced (depending on how much lime you like)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 cucumber (diced)
  • 1 avocado (cubed)
  • 1 jalapeno (diced)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Optional add ins: onion, cilantro, zucchini, mango

Scoop out coconut meat or take pre cut coconut and cut into small squares. Mix with chopped veggies and cover in lime juice. Marinate until ready to serve (recommend at least a couple of hours). Add avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more lime juice as needed. Enjoy!!

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

 

Acai bowls have been trending for some time now – it seems like a new acai bowl spot is opening up every other week in LA. If you’ve never had an acai bowl before – you’re missing out. They are so. damn. delicious. My good friend and photographer, Lauren, got me totally hooked on making homemade acai bowls. We made these last weekend and I immediately bought the ingredients (all available at Trader Joe’s!), and have been making them practically every day since then. This really is one easy acai bowl recipe! If you’ve ever been intimidated by the thought of making a homemade acai bowl, trust me when I say it is actually super simple.

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

What is acai?

Acai is a popular tropical fruit from Brazil. In the US it is widely available as a puree, which has led to the popularity of acai bowls. Typically consumed in a smoothie or a bowl, acai makes a delicious, quick, and healthy breakfast or snack.

Are acai bowls healthy?

Acai itself is a superfood – filled to the brim with antioxidants! Acai berries are believed to improve skin, digestion, your heart health, and boost your immune system.

BUT – it is important to note that the actual health factor of acai bowls are somewhat mixed. The acai puree itself can contain sugar (when buying frozen packets, be sure to look for ones with no added sugars or additional ingredients other than acai!), and once you add in all of the fruit, juice, and granola, you’re looking at a breakfast that is very high in sugar. Even if it’s natural sugar, it’s something to be aware of. So while you might think you’re having a “healthy” breakfast, once you load it up with toppings, acai bowls can be high in calories and sugar!

One of my health goals for the year was to consume less sugar – so that is something that I have to be aware of when crafting my bowl. With that said, I still absolutely love acai bowls and am so excited to share Lauren’s recipe with you – she seriously has it down to a science!!

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

Easy Acai Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 packet frozen acai puree
  • 1 cup all-natural apple juice (make sure apple is the ONLY ingredient! No added sugar or preservatives)
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 banana
  • Topping ideas: fresh berries, sliced banana, mango, bee pollen, granola, hemp seed, shaved coconut, honey

Blend frozen acai, frozen fruit, banana, and apple juice together until desired consistency (depends on how thick you like your acai bowls – I like mine thick). Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings. My favorite combination is bananas, strawberries, blueberries, granola, bee pollen, and a little honey drizzle.

Optional add ins to the acai include: protein powder, all natural almond butter, spinach, coconut milk, almond milk, mango, pineapple. Make it your own! Enjoy anytime – breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner : ).

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

How to Make a Homemade Acai Bowl - Easy Acai Bowl Recipe | by The Luxi Look

photos by Lauren Alexandra Photography

 

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