Ginger Spiced Hot Chocolate and “Star Crossed Lovers”

I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic all morning since listening to Pepper Adams play the baritone saxophone.. It’s made me miss my baby.. Unfortunately this whole time since I’ve been home, my horn’s been in the shop.. so, I can’t wait to get it back tomorrow and get back to it. In the meanwhile, I made something super warm and comforting to go along with an incredibly beautiful melody by Duke Ellington, ♫”Star Crossed Lovers”. Here’s my recipe for ginger spiced hot chocolate and a homemade cinnamon whipped cream.

What you need:

  • 4 cups milk (any type your prefer- I used whole)
  • 1 cup chocolate, chopped from the block (combination of dark and semisweet for me- but use whatever kind you like)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or nutmeg powder)

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

In a medium stock pot over medium heat, heat milk, stirring occasionally. Once hot, whisk in chocolate. Then, whisk in ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. In a stand mixer, mix heavy cream and the cinnamon until the whipped cream creates soft to medium peaks. Pour hot chocolate in your favorite mug, top with the whipped cream and enjoy!

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Land of the Kiwis

I am happy to announce that Mr. Bear and  I now have a new traveling buddy (thanks to my sister Katty and her hubby Keyon)… Meet Mr. Kiwi! Yahoooo! Straight from the first stop on the Mrs Carter Show Tour with Beyonce.. Auckland, New Zealand!

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And since this is Adi’s Jazz Kitchen and it’s about food and music, I had to get a picture of LT in the background eating the very delicious chicken teriyaki from catering. Speaking of catering, I have to say New Zealand takes the best catering award of the tour so far. The food has been absolutely delicious here. Everywhere I’ve gone the food was on point. What I loved most about it, is it is simply made and all of the ingredients were able to stand out on their own and really come through in the dish.

Our very first day here Rie, Jennita, and I went out to a great restaurant that we found on the “where chefs eat app”, called Coco’s.

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Coco’s is a really hip spot with a Brooklyn-ish charm that serves rustic italian food. We ended up ordering a few different entrees and antipasti and sharing family style (of course, that’s the best way to taste everything!)

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Bruschetta with mashed broadbeans, pea, mint, and faggotini (ricotta stuffed mozzarella). Bruschetta is such a great vehicle to try out new flavor combinations,. You can go the traditional route of tomatoes, a lovely olive oil, basil, etc.. or you could.. do I even dare say try making dessert bruschetta (you know, you gotta expand your nutella horizons) or even maybe try a savory sweet combination like brie cheese and semisweet chocolate chips? Any takers?

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Grilled cod over panzanella with smoked paprika aioli. I’m a total seafood junkie, especially when we’re somewhere with the clearest and prettiest blue green water I’ve ever seen. Yum. By the way, New Zealand is home to the largest mussels I’ve ever come across.. they almost scared me.

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Asparagus with Pecorino Romano, lemon, and fried garlic chips. Fried garlic friend garlic fried garlic. ESPECIALLY while on tour.. Besides garlic’s amazing health properties.. I’m 13,000 miles from my boyfriend in New York City? I don’t think he can smell me from here. 😉

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An amazing pile of homemade spaghetti… enough said.

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Last but not least,  a perfectly cooked Veal Scallopine with capers. THE END of  a beautiful dinner. mmm mm mmm! Go to Coco’s on K street next time you’re in Auckland!

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Also in that adventure filled day we hit up a quaint, rustic bakery and the most amazing museum!

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For those who are not Kiwis, did you know that NZ is mostly made up of volcanoes?! Don’t worry, the last one erupted 550 years ago.. So Rie and I climbed to the top of one, Mt Victoria!

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The view doesn’t get any better than that! Rie and I had to take a ferry to get over there:

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I would like to conclude this post and my first trip EVER to Auckland, New Zealand with the yummiest lamb burger I’ve ever tasted in my life:

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Thanks for such a blast New Zealand! It was so nice to meet you and experience your culture! I hope you enjoyed the Mrs Carter Show!

Much love,

Adi

PS- Melbourne, I’m comin’ for you next! 😉

Sao Paolo/Brasilia goodies!

Thank you Sao Paolo for giving us so much energy! I loved all of your signs and yellow/black balloons! What an amazing night. With the exception of watching my boss almost being dragged off of the B stage.. err…it was a blast! One of the main things that got us geared up for the show was all of the yummy sweet treats backstage waiting for us when we got there! They were graciously provided for us by the lovely, Andrea Guimaraes. She had homemade truffles, chocolates, a CAKE, nutella jars, fun feathers, and disco balls all labeled with Beyonce stuff for us! You know, it’s the little things on the road that really make me smile and give me energy (and it’s not the obscene amount of sugar I ingested in 5 minutes I’m talking about..or..maybe it is. But anyways.. Thank you so much Andrea!

She can be found on instagram at andreaguima5 ! check her out!

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Earlier this afternoon we arrived in Brasilia! It’s unfortunately our last city in the country 😦 I will miss you Brazil!! I have never before in my LIFE met so many passionate, beautiful, heartwarming people in one place before. Thank you again for having us! For my last day off here, a bunch of us decided to go to this beautiful lake and take in the scenery.

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We also stopped for a little pre-dinner snack at Devassa. We had fish sticks (I loooooove me some fish sticks 🙂 ) and we had cod balls. They were very yummy but the kid in me giggles every time I say “cod balls” out loud. But that’s really what they are! Balls of cod. Ok.. I digress. Cody got a yummy looking drink that I had to take part in as you can see below..

As you can also see.. I love popsicles. ESPECIALLY when they are coconut popsicles.. oh man, that alone made my day. I now present to you.. sticks of fish and cod balls 😀

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Thanks for a beautiful day off Brasilia, and I’m looking forward to playing for you tomorrow night! It’s the Mrs Carter Show’s last stop in Brazil tomorrow night so let’s make it an amazing one!

See you there!
Adi