Friday, November 30, 2007

Mama Lucia Frozen Precooked Meatballs

When it comes to holiday cooking, you need all the shortcuts you can get. So instead of seasoning, rolling and cooking your own meatballs for your favorite meatball hors d’oeuvres this year, try Mama Lucia Precooked Italian-Style Meatballs from Quaker Maid Meats — frozen heat-and-serve ground beef bites so tasty that even your Mama won’t know you didn’t make them yourself.

Just grab the package from the freezer, remove as many meatballs as you need, and heat them with or without sauce. No muss, no fuss, and infinite flexibility.

Each meatball contains both Romano and Parmesan cheeses for extra flavor, and each can absorb the character of any cuisine or sauce from sweet and sour to Swedish and beyond. And they’re good for more than hors d’oeuvres.
These bite-sized meatballs can either be sliced or used whole in soups, stews, omelettes, salads, pizza, chili, and a variety of other fare. Try spaghetti and meatballs, pizza with meatballs on top, meatball sub sandwiches, and more. They can be heated in a microwave, baked in the oven, or even slow-cooked in a crockpot for the day.

Bonus: there are no soy-based protein extenders, so you won’t have to worry about guests with soy sensitivities.
Mama Lucia Precooked Italian-Style Meatballs are available in a 15-ounce box of 1-ounce meatballs, and in 3- and 5-pound bags of 1/2-ounce meatballs. They can be found in the frozen meat or frozen food department of local grocery stores.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Drink like a Brazilian

From blueberries to acai, purple still reigns supreme

It's time to start feeling good about the blues again; blueberry that is.

Once revered for its powerful antioxidants and other healthy properties,
blueberries were considered one of the original "super fruits." In recent
years, blueberries were pushed aside to allow room for new and more exotic
fruit that offer even more health benefits. However, there is a commonality
between blueberries and their successors; they all provide "purple power."

Acai is the newest "super" fruit in the increasingly popular food category:
functional foods, meaning they provide some benefit outside of basic
nutrition. In fact, studies have shown that this little purple berry is one of
the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world.

Bolthouse Farms decided to combine this alpha and omega duo of purple
power fruits to create their newest addition to the Bom Dia juices; Acai Berry
with Blueberry.
Bom Dia, which means "Good Morning" in Portuguese, offers drinks that are
different than their acai counterparts because Bolthouse has developed a
proprietary process to retain more of the nutritional aspects of the acai while
eliminating the gritty texture, normally found in the pulp of this berry.

The Bom Dia juices come in three other exotic flavors including mangosteen,
pomegranate and cacao, ensuring an acai juice for every taste. The cacao
provides a smooth flavor chocolate lovers will appreciate and the mangosteen
or "Queen of Fruits" offers an unique pear-like flavor and promising health
benefits. And with the increase demand for drinks that offer more bang for
your buck, in the nutritional and antioxidant sense, Bolthouse Farms mixed
acai with another one of nature's most nutritious fruits,

Bom Dia Acai juices can be purchased in major grocery chains and health food
stores across the country. You can learn more about Bom Dia acai juices and
Bolthouse do Brasil (see sidebar) at

NOTE: Received samples of this product and enjoyed it greatly!

New Breyers Light Yogurt Boosts Immu

Breyers Yogurt (, one of the nation’s leading yogurt brands, is introducing a new lowfat yogurt with the immunity boosting benefits of probiotics. Breyers Light is a rich, creamy and deliciously indulgent non-fat yogurt, full of probiotics, 100% fat free, and with only 80 calories!

Offering consumers that extra healthy boost, Breyers Light:

- Contains a special natural probiotic clinically proven to support and boost your immune system – Breyers Light is the only nationally branded cup yogurt offering this benefit
- Is fortified with extra helpings of vitamins A & D and extra calcium
- Has 70% less sugar than the leading low-fat sweetened yogurt (only 7 grams of sugar per serving)
- Is available in delicious flavors inspired by everyone’s favorite desserts, including Blueberries N’ Cream, Lemon Chiffon, Key Lime Pie, Peaches N’ Cream, Black Cherry Jubilee, Strawberry Cheesecake and traditional favorite Strawberry.

Breyers Light will be available nationally come March 2008 at select grocery stores and health food stores across the country for an SRP of $0.79-$0.99 for each 6oz cup.

Gourmet Coffee For a Cause This Holiday Season!

Looking for new ways to give back this holiday season? How about ordering foodie gifts like gourmet coffee and preserves from, an online retailer that dedicates part of its business profit toward national charities, local schools, and even families in need... all based out of their small monastery in Wisconsin!

For over 900 years Cistercians have worked to provide for not only their daily bread, but to provide for the needs of others as well. LaserMonks: The Business Story Nine Hundred Years In The Making (McGraw-Hill, Fall, 2007) tells the story of Cisterian monks who are thriving in the competitive world of e-commerce with their original online enterprise,, but have not lost sight of the Rule of St. Benedict - a centuries-old tradition of kindness, hospitality, and charity. After the modest expenses of the monastery are met, the remaining funds are used for charitable works in the local community and around the world!

Though is the primary source of income for the monks and for their charitable works, the company's online store now also sells fresh roasted, gourmet coffee from their microsite,, and a full line of products from other monasteries including cakes, bread, jams, fudge, books, videos and CDs from

Benevolent Blends is committed to promoting the public's awareness and recognition of environmental, agricultural and socially responsible initiatives The company supports programs which improve the quality of living for farm workers and their families in coffee producing regions, by donating proceeds from each sale of Benevolent Blends Coffee either directly to the farmers themselves or to the organizations which assist these hard working families. This year, Benevolent Blends provided scholarships to students in Panama, helped build a computer and art classroom, allocated funds to a health clinic in a coffee-growing community, and donated to groups such as Coffee Kids, Grounds for Health and TechnoServe.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Leader of grass-fed dairy products announce the release of their full product line

Grass Point Farms, the leader in grass-fed
dairy products proudly announces the release of their full product
line, available for distribution starting January 1st, 2008, throughout
the Midwest including the states of IL, IN, MI, WI, OH, MN, IA, KS, MO.
Based in Clark County, Wisconsin, known as the dairy capital of the
country for nearly a century, Grass Point Farms is the first line of
dairy products to be awarded the "certified humane raised and handled"

Grass Point Farms' full line of pasture based dairy products includes
a variety of cheeses (cheddar, sharp cheddar, Monterey jack,
mozzarella, Monterey with jalapeno, feta and blue), butter and milk
(whole, 2% and fat free). The cheese products will be available in 40
pound blocks for the foodservice industry, five pound deli loaves, and
retail packaging available in eight ounce to two pound units. Butter
comes in pound and 1/4 sticks for retail and deli, and forty pound tubs
for the foodservice industry. Milk will be available by half-gallon
cartons with an extended shelf life of 57 days, and plastic jugs with a
shelf life of 22-25 days.

"We are excited to be offering a full line of pasture based dairy
products and growing this specialty niche for national distribution,"
says Chad L. Pawlak, president. "By offering initial distribution
throughout the Midwest, consumers will come to know the benefits of
locally raised pasture based dairy products and demand is sure to

Scientific studies suggest that pasture raised dairy products and
meats have a more beneficial ratio of "good fats" to "bad fats" when
compared to dairy and meat products that come from animals on high
grain diets. Omega 3 fatty acids are considered the "good fats" while
Omega 6 fatty acids are thought of as the "bad fats." Studies also
recommend that maintaining a balanced ratio of Omega 6 fats to Omega 3
fats is a very important component in a healthy diet.

Another key nutritional difference between grain-fed and grass-fed
dairy products revolves around another type of "good fat" known as
conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. Like Omega 3 fats, pasture raised
dairy products tend to have higher levels of this "good fat." Ongoing
studies continue to document the health benefits of CLA, suggesting
that CLA may be beneficial in combating arteriosclerosis (clogged
arteries) and reducing the risk of cancer.

The milk for Grass Point Farms' dairy products comes from farms where
the cows graze on the lush pastures of Wisconsin's rolling hills. This
ancient approach to dairy farming allows cows to spend their days
roaming the pastures and grazing on their natural diet of grasses. It's
this diet that produces cows that live longer, have fewer health
problems and produce the purest, most wholesome milk possible, free of
artificial growth hormones and regular antibiotics. Grass Point Farms
are also exclusively family farms, where the family provides more than
50 percent of the farm labor. "We put the family back into farming,"
said Pawlak.

Grass Point Farms, a brand of Organic Farm Marketing, Inc., brings the
simple goodness of pasture raised dairy cows to today's consumer. All
Grass Point Farms products have been made solely from the milk of
Certified Humane, pasture raised, grass fed cows.

Headquartered in Thorp, Wisconsin, the company can be reached at
888-299-8553, or

Frontgate To Carry Culinary Prep

Creative Culinary Marketing Solutions (CCMS) today announced that leading direct marketing company Frontgate will carry the CulinaryPrep™ kitchen appliance in its pre-holiday catalogs.

Frontgate, which is the recognized leader in catalog and online shopping for the home environment, will promote the CulinaryPrep™ in its holiday season catalogs in anticipation of high demand from safety and taste-conscious families who want direct control over the food that they serve to their family and friends. Prior to this exclusive relationship with Frontgate, CulinaryPrep™ was available only online at

CulinaryPrep™ is the only kitchen appliance available today that applies a patented process to remove dangerous impurities from food, including E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. CulinaryPrep™ uses the patented Grovac™ Process to remove unwanted bacteria and food borne pathogens from meat, fish, poultry and produce. Removal of impurities also enhances the natural flavor of food and extends its shelf life.

Jeff Schroeder, CEO of CCMS said, “We are delighted that Frontgate will carry our product. Frontgate customers are the same families and individuals that we believe want more control over the safety and taste of the food they eat. Our relationship with Frontgate will greatly enhance our ability to make CulinaryPrep™ more widely available to concerned consumers.”

Paul Tarvin, co-founder and President of Frontgate, said, “We are excited about the opportunity to carry the CulinaryPrep™ on an exclusive basis, and believe that the CulinaryPrep will do very well during the holiday shopping season. This is a unique product in a completely new category which is a great fit with our merchandising strategy and loyal customer base. In the face of near constant food scares, we anticipate that our customers will see the value in the ability to control food-safety from their own homes. Customers will also be able to enhance the flavor and taste of their food and prepare better, more flavorful holiday meals.”

CulinaryPrep™ is manufactured and distributed by Creative Culinary Solutions, Inc. and marketed by Creative Culinary Marketing Solutions. The product is available exclusively through Frontgate and online at

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Feast on a Fromage Plate for the Holidays

Make your holiday get together memorable and a little Je ne sais quoi with the addition of a scrumptious Fromage Plate. Presentation of a mouth-watering, visually arresting selection of unique cheeses from France is an easy way to entertain with style this holiday season. France produces a broad variety of cheeses made from goat, sheep and cow’s milk. Brie, Camembert, Comté and Roquefort are just a few of the most recognized names in fromage but there are literally hundreds of French cheeses to choose from, making it easy to find a crowd-pleasing selection for the most discerning of guests.

“The Fromage Plate is a celebration of the remarkable diversity of French cheeses––the abundant variety of flavors, textures, colors and aromas that characterize the ‘taste of place,’ or ‘terroir,’ unique to each region in France,” said acclaimed cheese expert and James Beard winner Max McCalman, author of The Cheese Plate, the definitive book on the art of creating the perfect cheese course, and of Cheese, a Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Best. “It’s easy to create your own distinctive combination and pairings for the holidays,” said McCalman. “Making a Fromage Plate is a great way to express your personality and style, and it makes a wonderful conversation piece. Parlez-Vous Fromage anyone?”

According to McCalman, specialty cheese shops, major grocery stores, as well as many on-line cheese purveyors offer wonderful selections of superb French cheeses all year round, but will also have special seasonal selections for the holidays. “Just make sure you buy only what you need for a short time, because it’s best to serve cheese at its peak of freshness. Also, don’t be shy in asking for a taste or for a fresh cut. Fromagers love cheese and want to share their passion for cheese with you so ask away!”

Max McCalman’s Simple Steps to the Perfect Fromage Plate
Presentation ⎯ Remove cheese from the refrigerator about one hour before serving. Offer diverse flavors by varying the type of milk content in the cheese, from goat’s milk to sheep’s milk to cow’s milk. Also mix the textures from soft to hard and experiment with different shapes. Showcase three to six cheeses, around 2 ounces per cheese per person. Arrange the cheeses in a clockwise fashion starting with the mildest cheese at 6 o’clock and continue clockwise around the cheeseboard proceeding through the more pungent and complex cheese and ending with the blues. “Remember, it’s all about quality not quantity,” said McCalman.

Pairings ⎯ According to McCalman, wine is a favorite pairing for cheese. “Pair a mild cheese with a lighter, milder wine and a more robust, stronger cheese with a bolder wine,” said McCalman. “Cheese is so wonderful you can also create Fromage Plates that go with coffee, cognac, beer or even sake!” continued McCalman.

If you accompany the cheese with food, McCalman suggests simple fair like fruit, nuts, plain crackers, baguettes, or toast points. “Remember, the cheese is the star,” said McCalman. “Food is just a vehicle from transporting the cheese to your mouth!”

About The Cheeses of France
Visit to see Max McCalman’s picks for special holiday Fromage Plates, ideas for seasonal Fromage Plates, everyday favorites and unique pairing ideas with wine, liquor, coffee and more. Max offers expert tips on the art of creating the ultimate Fromage Plate experience.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Government links holiday weight gain to obesity epidemic

Recently, the National Institutes of Health released the results of a study indicating that the weight gained during the holidays is a major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. According to Dr. Jack Yanovski, M.D., Ph.D. of the NIH, "Although an average holiday weight gain may seem unimportant, that weight was not lost during the remainder of the year." And therein lay the problem: Americans gain a pound or two during the holidays, and those pounds never come off. Over the years, those pounds add up to serious health problems. "these findings suggest that developing ways to avoid holiday weight gain may be extremely important for preventing obesity and the diseases associated with it," concluded NIH Director Duane Alexander, M.D.

In response to the report, BeneOmega announced today a program to encourage Americans to take action to combat the serious problem of holiday weight gain. By signing up for the IntelliTrim Holiday Weight Gain Challenge, consumers will receive special discounts, health information and complimentary wellness coaching.

"We're excited to see the National Institutes of Health focusing on this important issue: the connection between holiday weight gain and obesity-related health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease," stated Mark Nottoli, co-Founder of NourishLife. "The unique ingredient in our IntelliTrim product was recently proven to prevent holiday weight gain by University of Wisconsin researchers, and so the NIH report has given us a great opportunity to spread the word about our solution to this significant problem."

"The holidays are supposed to be enjoyable. We want people to take care of their health, and enjoy themselves in the process," said Jason Way, VP - Customer Experience of NourishLife. "That is why we launched the IntelliTrim Challenge. It is possible to practice prevention without having to give up the good things in life." More information about preventing holiday weight gain and the IntelliTrim Holiday Weight Gain Challenge can be found at the company's website: (

About NourishLife:
NourishLife ( is contributing to a major improvement in health and wellness by addressing nutritional deficiencies. The firm expects to help significantly reduce healthcare costs. Founded by nutrition industry veterans, the firm employs expert scientists and nutritionists passionate about health.

The BeneOmega division of NourishLife ( is the web's premier source of products and information designed to help people lose fat, increase lean muscle and live the lean and healthy lifestyle.

King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion Selected In Top 20

King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion named as one of the 20 Essential Books to Build Your Culinary Library.

On November 12th, the James Beard Foundation Book Awards Committee announced its list of essential cookbooks. Whether you're a new cook or an experienced chef, 20 books have been identified as the core books for any cook's permanent library. All of the books chosen for the Beard list are currently in print, were written by established authorities in their fields, and will endure as basic cooking resources for many years to come. The 20 Essential Books to Build Your Culinary Library selections are the product of more than 250 years of combined culinary publishing experience!

"We tried to make the list both broad and deep by including various types of cooking, major international cuisines, and reference," says Kathleen Purvis, Chair of the James Beard Foundation Book Awards Committee. "We've included several general cookbooks, too, which could be considered 'the core of the core.' That group of books contains answers and inspiration for just about any cook, any day, in any kitchen."

The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion (The Countryman Press 2003) is included on this prestigious list of kitchen 'must have' reference books encompassing the complete scope of the craft of cooking.

USA Today on November 15th, 2007 ranked King Arthur Flour's Bakery and Baking Education Center among the Top 10 best sources of artisan breads in the country. The Bakery and Baking Education Center is presided over by Master Baker Jeffrey Hamelman, who recently completed a holiday baking theme radio tour. In addition to The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, the tour highlighted the other King Arthur Flour cookbooks: The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion and King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, all published by The Countryman Press.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Helen’s Introduces a New Line of Comfort Meals

Helen’s Foods, a family-owned business, and one of the nation’s few health food companies to offer complete pre-baked meals ready to be heated and served, today introduces its new line of Comfort Meals. The line includes Mac & Cheese with Tofu Steaks & Broccoli and a vegetarian Hearty Chili, each featuring their original protein-rich Tofu Steaks
The Mac & Cheese with Tofu Steaks & Broccoli combines the classic creamy flavors of “real” (not powdered) butter, milk and white cheddar cheeses with a touch of gourmet Asiago. The cheese sauce is smothered over delicate 100% whole durum wheat small shell pasta and is combined with Helen’s protein packed Vegetarian Chicken Tofu Steaks and green broccoli. The meal is free of antibiotics, steroids or genetically modified substances. Helen’s Mac & Cheese provides 15 grams of protein with only seven grams of fat.

Helen’s vegetarian Hearty Chili is a rich bold tasting chili made from only the finest organic ingredients. These include: organic tomatoes, onions, yellow super sweet corn, green bell peppers, red beans, black beans, and Helen’s GardenSteak™ Tofu Steaks, which give the meal a tasty and meaty texture. Helen’s Hearty Chili provides 14 grams of protein with only six grams of fat.

Both meals offer a complete source of protein, a good source of calcium, are high in fiber, and contain iron, vitamins A & C. Helen’s new Comfort Meals are certified organic, meat-free, and completely free of trans-fats, MSG and GMOs.

The new Comfort Meals will be available in health food and specialty stores across U.S. and Canada, for an SRP of $4.89.

About Helen’s Foods
Helen’s Foods was founded by Stephen Moore in 2002 and named after his mother, Helen. Always a strong believer in blending great taste and great nutrition together, Helen started serving her self-created Tofu Steaks years ago to Stephen, and soon both he and even his non-vegetarian friends were hooked. Five years later, Helen’s Foods has become the little food company that could: youthful, passionate, creative, caring, and absolutely inflexible when it comes to meeting the highest possible standards of excellence. And like Helen herself, the company is full of personality, perhaps best expressed in Helen’s Simple Health lifestyle: Enjoying Life, Delicious & Simple Gourmet Food, Balanced Nutrition, and Smart Choices. For more information, please visit

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beaujolais Nouveau celebration kicks off at Paris Las Vegas

Jennie Garth, current contestant on ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars" and former "Beverly Hills, 90210" star, flipped the switch lighting Paris Las Vegas' 50-story replica of the Eiffel Tower red at 12 midnight on the morning of Thursday, November 15th. Garth's appearance launched a week of Beaujolais Nouveau festivities celebrating the release of the 2007 wine.

Honoring the long tradition regulated by French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is released no sooner than the third Thursday of November, when it is ready for consumption just six weeks after the harvest. Thus, at one minute past midnight, huge celebrations are held all over the world to taste the latest wine of the harvest. More than 65 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau will be consumed in the months to follow.

The unique tower lighting activated by Garth launched a bevy of resort events. As the tower was bathed in red light, Garth joined her "Dancing with the Stars" partner, Derek Hough, traveling down the famous Las Vegas Strip and arriving at Paris in a European style horse-drawn carriage delivering the cask of Beaujolais Nouveau to the base of the Eiffel Tower. Immediately following the kick-off, award-winning chef Jean Joho and world renowned Chef Guy Savoy led invited guests in a festive ceremonial tasting at Mon Ami Gabi, the resort's sidewalk café.

Guests throughout Paris Las Vegas will enjoy the week-long festivities. The hotel is offering samples of Beaujolais Nouveau to guests upon check in, and three of the property's restaurants - The Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi and Les Artistes Steakhouse - will feature specialty menus.

Paris Las Vegas is a Harrah's Entertainment resort. From its dramatic 50-story replica of the Eiffel Tower to authentic architectural reproductions, elegant décor and superb convention facilities, to its fine cuisine, European-inspired boutiques and world-class entertainment - Paris Las Vegas celebrates the romance, excitement and savoir-faire of the European City of Light.

Park Place on Main Welcomes the Season for Giving with a Winter White Party

As the frosty month of December approaches, Park Place on Main is mixing cuisine and white hot fashion with an event to warm the heart on Thursday, December 6 at 7 p.m. The dress code is swanky white dress and proceeds will benefit the Home of the Innocents, which helps thousands of families and children in crisis each year. The event costs $50 per person and includes cocktails and food stations. Tax and gratuity are additional. Space is limited for this special event and reservations are required. To save a seat, call (502) 515-0172.

Chef Jay Denham has created several inventive stations for this winter event. Taste a variety of marinated meats cooked to perfection on large heated stones at the Hot Rocks Station. Chef Denham’s “Clay Pigeon Station”, squab cooked in a clay casing and then broken right before serving, is a fun and unique treat. Other stations include salad, festive eggnog cocktails and desserts. A special station will also be designated for guests to donate extra funds or gifts to the Home of the Innocents.

The Home of the Innocents was founded in 1880 to meet the needs of young, underprivileged children. Over the years the Home has grown and expanded to meet the changing needs of more than 2,500 children and families in crisis. For more information, visit

Park Place on Main is located at Slugger Field at 401 East Main Street. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and then until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information or reservations, call (502) 515-0172 or visit

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Alabama Releases Final Album At Cracker Barrel Coutry Stores

Alabama, the most successful group in the history of country music with 42 number one singles, has selected Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ("Cracker Barrel") as the exclusive home of its final concert tour recordings. On November 13, Cracker Barrel will release Alabama: The Last Stand, a collection of previously unreleased recordings made during Alabama's 2003 farewell tour.

Available at all Cracker Barrel locations and online at, this twelve-song, exclusive CD features several of Alabama's biggest hits, including The Closer You Get, Old Flame, Forty Hour Week, Feels So Right and The Fans.

"There are magical moments on this CD because these songs come straight from my heart," said lead singer Randy Owen. "I remember seeing the lights on the crowd when we did Feels So Right. We started the song with a piano and the crowd went wild when we got to the melody. I feel like we owe it to our fans to share this music with them."

Through three decades of recording and touring, Alabama sold more than 73 million records. Shortly after signing their first record deal, Alabama charted its first number one single, beginning a string of 21 consecutive number one hits. The band received more than 150 country music industry honors including an unprecedented five consecutive "Entertainer Of The Year" awards from the Academy of Country Music. In 2005, Alabama was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

"Having this CD at Cracker Barrel is a natural for us," said bassist Teddy Gentry. "I remember eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel when Randy told us we were being inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. I am in Cracker Barrel just about every day, and we're proud to have our CD at Cracker Barrel."

The Last Stand is the fourth exclusive CD released by Cracker Barrel in 2007, following Josh Turner's Live At The Ryman, Merle Haggard's Working Man's Journey, and Lonestar's My Christmas List. Previous Cracker Barrel releases include Alison Krauss & Union Station, Sara Evans, Charlie Daniels, Amy Grant and Songs Of The Year. The Alabama release further builds Cracker Barrel's growing reputation as the home of authentic country music. Since creating its own music label in 2003, Cracker Barrel has sold more than three million CDs.

"Cracker Barrel has great food and I've noticed how people are always checking out the music in the store," said guitar & fiddle player Jeff Cook. "This is the first new record from Alabama in three years and I think it will do very well."

"This Alabama CD continues our tradition of offering unique country music to our guests," said Simon Turner, Cracker Barrel's Chief Marketing Officer. "Millions of people attended Alabama concerts during the band's three decades of touring. These songs will bring back the memories of a night filled with great music and entertainment."

Historic Corydon Lights up for the Holidays

The holidays officially begin on November 24 in historic Corydon, Indiana, as the city hosts its 22nd Annual “Light Up Corydon.” The festivities begin at noon with live music, entertainment, and carriage rides. Visitors will get a head start on their holiday shopping by perusing local stores during the Merchant’s Open House. One lucky shopper will even win a $500 shopping spree for all of his or her holiday gifts.

To get into the Christmas spirit, The United Methodist Church will host a Living Nativity Scene from 5-8 p.m. A scene from “A Christmas Carol” will be performed at 6:20 by the Hayswood Theatre. Then, at 6:35, a reading of “T’was the Night Before Christmas” will announce Santa’s arrival to town. Upon his entrance, the city of Corydon will ‘light up’, and the holiday season will be underway.

“Light Up Corydon” is just the beginning of the city’s Christmas celebrations. Santa will make his appearance every weekend for pictures and visits at the Corydon Capitol Building. Apple Valley Greenhouses will have a Poinsettia Open House December 1-2 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for everyone’s Christmas décor and country gifts needs. On December 2, Magdalena’s Restaurant will host a breakfast on the Square, and on December 17 from 2-6 p.m., the restaurant will serve Christmas Tea at its location on Chestnut Street.

Beyond the festive holiday events, Corydon offers travelers an incredible collection of historic sites and attractions. Visitors marvel at the natural wonders of the historic Wyandotte Caves a National Natural Landmark where enormous passages are highlighted by dazzling formations and crystals. The State Historic Site marks Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first capitol. Travelers also enjoy touring the Leora Brown School, one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses, and visiting the Constitution Elm site, under which Indiana delegates met to draft the state’s first constitution. Visitors will also find plenty of diverse lodging options in the area, including a historic bed and breakfast, affordable modern hotels and even a riverboat casino. Complete visitor information and a free visitors guide is available by logging on to or calling (888) 738-2137.

New Years Cocktails

Ring in 2008 with Hpnotiq’s Ball Drop or the festive Auld Lang Syne. You can even drink your Resolution or keep things simple with the classic Bubbles ‘n Blue (a favorite of Mandy Moore, Ana Ortiz, Justin Timberlake, Victoria Beckham, etc.). Or you can get creative and cultural and serve the Bonne Annee which pays homage to Hpnotiq’s native France. Anyway you pour it, adding Hpnotiq to your party will sure to keep the bubbles flowing well into the New Year!

HPNOTIQ’s Bonne Annee
2 oz. Champagne
1 oz. Chambord®
Pour chilled HPNOTIQ and Champagne into a Champagne flute. Slowly add Chambord. Garnish with cherries.

The Ball Drop
1 1/2 oz. HPNOTIQ
1 1/2 oz. white cranberry juice
Pour chilled HPNOTIQ, white cranberry juice and Champagne into a Champagne flute. Garnish with a cranberry or a strawberry.

Bubbles ‘n Blue
2 oz. Champagne
Pour chilled Hpnotiq and Champagne into a champagne flute.

HPNOTIQ’s Resolution
1 oz. lemoncello
1 oz. Champagne
Splash of lime juice
Pour chilled HPNOTIQ, lemoncello and Champagne into a Champagne flute. Add a splash of lime juice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Auld Lang Syne
2 oz. Champagne
Splash of Grenadine
Pour chilled HPNOTIQ and Champagne into a Champagne flute. Slowly add a touch of grenadine. Garnish with a strawberry.

Dreamy Bellini
1 oz. peach schnapps
1 oz. Champagne
Pour HPNOTIQ and peach schnapps into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne. Garnish with a peach slice.

½ oz. super premium gin
1/4 oz. amaretto
Splash of Prosecco
Pour chilled gin, HPNOTIQ, and amaretto into a Champagne flute. Top with the prosecco, and stir just to mix. Garnish with a lemon twist.

The New Years Day
1/2 oz. HPNOTIQ
1/2 oz. super premium vodka
1 oz. orange juice
Top with Champagne
Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a flaming orange peel.

Lost Recipes Come Home for the Holidays

Seeking to recapture fond holiday memories, many Americans turn to vintage and out-of-print cookbooks for holiday recipes that are a long-standing family tradition.

Every year comments like "For twenty years my Mom made a recipe from an old Crisco cookbook -- I have to have this book by Christmas!" send the experts at scurrying to identify cookbooks and get them to their customers on time.

Cookbooks and recipes are lost to "fires, floods, and family feuds", says owner, Eddie Edwards. Family feuds (usually friendly) over cookbooks are a common theme. "My daughter-in-law lost it; my husband got it in the divorce; my sister got it in the will..." are reasons commonly cited for missing recipes. Floods and fires are another reason given for a missing treasure.

"The holidays are our busiest season, not just for gifts, but for locating a misplaced family cookbook or a recipe that just HAS to made every year.", says Peter Peckham, who along with his wife "Eddie" Edwards, co-founded

The couple's hobby turned business relies on their extensive knowledge of 20th century cookbooks and their constantly changing stock of 15,000 cookbooks and recipe booklets. "If the customer can describe the book, I sometimes know immediately what cookbook they are searching for" says Edwards, "because nearly every cookbook that comes in the store crosses my desk." Other requests may mean years of searching. "Recollections are not always accurate and sometimes I'm off on a wild goose chase Right now I'm trying to locate a particular Spry cookbook for a customer who fondly remembers a "Fresh Apple Cake". But I've had no luck despite months of searching."

Sometimes the requests are urgent, bordering on desperate, indicating the power of a food tradition. Edwards recalls, "Last year, a customer asked me to call her cell phone on Christmas Eve if we were able to locate her cookbook." While you can probably find just about any recipe on the internet, owning and using the actual cookbook continues to be a meaningful ingredient of a holiday tradition.

Start a family tradition with this old recipe offered by

Chestnut Yule Log
(Bûche de Nöel aux Marrons)

A rich and relatively easy traditional French Christmas Cake.

1 1/2 pounds chestnuts
1/4 pound soft unsalted butter
4 squares bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
candied cherries

Cut an X on the flat side of each chestnut and put them into a large pan of rapidly boiling water. Boil the chestnuts 30 minutes. Drain and peel them, removing the inner skins as well as the shells. Force the nuts through a food mill. Add the butter and the chocolate, which has been melted and blended with the water, sugar and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Roll into a long thin log and wrap in buttered wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours.

Unwrap the log from the wax paper and place on a long serving platter Run the tines of the fork lengthwise over the surface of the cake, to give the appearance of bark and decorate with candied cherries and angelica.

-- from the 1954, Tante Marie's French Pastry translated and adapted by Charlotte Turgeon

Monday, November 12, 2007

Noodles & Company Opens First Restaurant in Cincinnati

Noodles & Company, the quick-casual, globally inspired eatery that serves a balanced menu of freshly sautéed Asian, Mediterranean and American cuisine like Japanese Pan Noodles, Penne Rosa and Wisconsin Mac & Cheese, will open its first restaurant in the Cincinnati area on Friday, Nov. 16. The restaurant is located in the Hyde Park area at Paxton Ave. and Wasson Road and will be open for business at 11 a.m. The company has plans to open additional restaurants in Reynoldsburg and West Chester before the end of the year.

“We’re thrilled to open our first restaurant in the Cincinnati area and serve fresh and flavorful noodle bowls, soups and salads to the people who live in this area,” said Kevin Reddy, president and CEO of Noodles & Company. “Noodles & Company strives to nourish and inspire our guests as well as our employees, and we look forward to being an active member of the Cincinnati community for many years to come.”

At Noodles & Company there are no freezers, no microwaves, and no can openers – only fresh vegetables, grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu and sautéed pastas, all prepared to order in minutes.

Noodles & Company recently launched its Good Balance education program to help guests make tailored food choices that are best for their own balanced dietary and needs. The program educates guests on nutritional information and offers suggestions on how to manage calories, fat and sodium, increase daily fiber intake, dine vegetarian, manage allergies, achieve good balance for kids and more.

From healthy to indulgent and spicy to comforting, Noodles & Company favorites include Penne Rosa, Mushroom Stroganoff and Whole Grain Tuscan Fettuccine, a dish that features 100 percent whole wheat noodles and 15 grams of fiber. The restaurant also features a TRIO option which allows customers to combine any small noodle bowl or soup with grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu, and a tossed green or Caesar side salad. The restaurant blends its global influence with quick, convenient and welcoming service, honest value, and a comfortable atmosphere where everyone feels at home.

Noodles & Company is a tip-free zone and is open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Convenient carry-out via counter, phone-in or fax-in order also is available. Customers may reach the Hyde Park Noodles & Company restaurant by calling 513-351-3451or faxing 513-351-3842. For more information, visit the company’s website at

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Creative Twist to Memorable Holiday Gifts

It's a challenge we face every year -- what to do about gifts for Christmas. Our loved ones and friends need some TLC, but how best to show it? Creativity and innovation expert Gregg Fraley put together some fun and thoughtful ideas for everyone on your gift list, items that are great for even the thinnest of budgets and more meaningful, too.

Fraley said, "It's daunting; it's complex; and it is often something we find hard to be inventive about. Panic, procrastination, and, yes, fear get in the way of creative thinking. You don't have to buy something awful just to cross someone off your list; there is no heart or creativity in that."

He adds, "First, get out of panic mode and start thinking creatively by writing down some facts and feelings you have about each person. Keep a little notebook for your creative gift project. Jam ideas at every odd moment of the day, look to those facts and feelings for inspiration. If you continue your personal brainstorming for a few days, you'll get breakthrough ideas. Finally, take action on those ideas and you'll get through the season without last minute hysteria."

Fraley's approach offers some creative ideas to address the Christmas Challenge. It's not about money; it's about creative thinking! Following, in no particular order, are 23 creative ideas for this year's holiday gifting challenge, for more details on each idea, visit Gregg's blog, www.

1. Write Something Personal in a Well-Selected or Handmade Card. Why not make a card a very personal and meaningful gift? Don't just sign your name, write a real note. If you have time, make a card yourself.

2. Send Pictures. Pictures are personal and make meaningful gifts. Find, or create, a really good photograph for your inner circle. The web makes it easy to post pictures for sharing, and you can do that (if you do, try; it's so easy), but an old-fashioned printed photograph is something that is treasured.

3. Create a Cool Package of Themed Stuff. Combine several small gifts into a cool package designed around a person's interests. For instance, how about golf themed package with balls, tees, glove, and markers?

4. Give Fine Art. Museum shops are great places to find small gifts with class. Find out the favorite artist of your gifted. A coffee table book or a pack of cool Monet thank you cards are useful and personal gifts.

5. Give Art Supplies. An under-rated place to shop for Christmas gifts is a good art supply store. I mean, who couldn't use a nice fancy pen? For kids, there are a lot of new-fangled art supplies like Crayola's Model Magic – a hipper and easier sculpting media than Play Dough.

6. Help Decorate the Tree by Giving Christmas Ornaments. It's rare that they come as a gift; people usually buy their own. It's a nice way to participate in someone's Christmas every year!

7. Christmas Tree Surprise Party, or, Put up a Tree. Whacky idea, but many people don't have time to put up a tree. If you know somebody who would like one but is short on time, sneak into their pad and put one up for them, and keep it simple!

8. Make Your Own Ornaments. Go back to that art supply or crafts store and pick up some unique supplies and create something highly artistic and individual.

9. Donation in Their Name. Many people have everything they need, and, in truth, gifts are pouring gravy on potatoes that are already swimming. Find out their favorite charity and make a donation in their name. Find or make a nice card and let them know.

10. Create a Quilt for a Sick Child. Sewonderful Quilts will provide you with free fabric (very beautiful sample material otherwise destined for the landfill) and instructions. Go to for more information.

11. Give Time. Many of our best friends and family pine for our company. Why not gift a juicy chunk of time, an afternoon, or a whole day? Wrap up a small box with a clock inside and enclose a note suggesting a day and do something you both like.

12. Write a Poem. A poem about someone you know is a highly personal and special thing, so get out the pen, get reflective, look into your heart and just write it. Take some care and package your poem well, maybe combine it with candles and a reading.

13. Write a List of Acknowledgements. List 10 things you love about somebody It's hard to go wrong when you say out loud what you almost never do, but honestly feel.

14. Gift a Special Meal. And make it special and all about them. Use your imagination and go the distance with favorite types of flowers, wine, deserts, music – everything.

15. Give a Florescent Fish. Beta fish are beautiful and easy, only need to feed them once a day. Put together a friendly fish package of a small fish bowl, food, fish, and some decorations.

16. Share Your Favorite Recipes: Put together a fave recipe compilation for a personal gift. The more love you put into it, the more it will be appreciated.

17. Share Songs. On the low budget end, you could record a song on your computer, using a free audio package like Audacity (see ) and email an MPG file. You can even gift a favorite set of songs, a playlist.

18. Share an Audio Book, a Movie, or a Favorite TV Show. iPods playback audio books, movies, and TV shows as well as songs that would make nice gifts. It's easy; go to for help.

19. Say It with Flowers. We don't normally think of flowers as a Christmas gift, and yet, why not? Don't rule out a nice potted plant, or even a bonsai. It's all online.

20. Give Fairly. There are several websites out there with unique Fair Trade gifts from craftsman all around the world. See also these sites: and

21. Give Your Heritage. For the older folks reading this maybe this is the time to pass along that ring your great grandmother wore to a younger generation, or that hand-carved butcher block your grandfather made himself.

22. Hand Write a Miniature Book. Buy a blank notebook and fill it with whimsical thoughts you are having around the holidays, or thoughts you have about the friendship or love you have with someone. I can practically guarantee that you'll be the first and only giver of a handwritten book.

23. Gift an Historic Tree. I ran across a nursery that has trees that are offspring of Apple trees that Johnny Appleseed planted, Oaks from Elvis's Graceland, etc. A tree is a gift that keeps giving for generations, providing shade, fresh air, and beauty. Here's the site address: .

Author Gregg Fraley works as an innovation expert and new product development consultant to Fortune 500 companies and does keynote speeches and workshops on creative thinking, innovation, problem-solving, and new-product development. Fraley had his first book, Jack's Notebook, published this year. The book is a fast-paced, inspirational story that reveals the principles of a proven process for deliberate creative thinking – CPS (Creative Problem Solving). He is also a partner in The Innovise Guys, a creativity and innovation podcast with a humorous edge. The Innovise Guys are blending classic problem solving methods with comedy improvisational tools. Fraley is currently working in Great Britain as an Artist in Residence, but resides permanently in Three Oaks, Michigan.

More of Gregg Fraley's musings can be found on his website and blog at

A healthy and delicious Thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving is the time for mashed potatoes, turkey, sweet corn and apple pie- but if you are trying to keep fit this year without sacrificing taste, how do you trim the table while keeping taste and cutting the fat? The Complete Book of Raw Food does just that- including over 350 delicious vegetarian recipes from the world's top raw food chefs; it is the perfect guide to hosting a deliciously healthy Thanksgiving feast.
From soups and salads to main courses, breads and desserts, eating well has never tasted so good. The book also includes advice on choosing ingredients, resources to buy the tools you need to create raw dishes, and a comprehensive Raw Food Glossary. Whether you're a raw food devotee, a seasoned vegetarian or simply want a guide to simple and healthy recipes, The Complete Book of Raw Food is a kitchen essential. Try this recipe with a baguette as a simple main course for two or as an appetizer dish to serve up for your Thanksgiving guests.

Squash and Kumquat Soup:

½acorn squash (or whatever squash you can find)
6 kumquats
1 carrot
1 yellow or
orange bell pepper
1 teaspoon freshly peeled lemon rind
1 small hot chili
1 tablespoon fresh coconut meat
1 clove garlic
5 dried apricots, soaked 2 to 12 hours
1 sun-dried tomato
1 cup sunflower or Almond Milk (raw)

If you don't have a juicer, chop the squash, kumquats, carrot, bell pepper, lemon rind, chili, coconut meat, garlic, apricots, and sun-dried tomatoes, and place the chopped vegetables in a blender. Blend to a liquid with 1 cup sunflower or almond milk, then strain. If you want a thicker soup, add in some of the pulp.
If you own a juicer, juice the kumquats, bell pepper, coconut meat, and apricots, then add all the ingredients to the blender and blend to a liquid.
Serve the soup with a little grated squash, some sunflower seeds and some chopped green onions on top.

The Complete Book of Raw Food
Julie Rodwell, Lori Barid
List Price $17.95 paper (Can. $25.00)
Paperback 448
Published by Hatherleigh Press
ISBN-10: 1-57826-194-5

In bookstores Everywhere
About the author:
Julie Rodwell, Contributing Editor, became a raw foodist in 2001 after attending a weeklong raw food retreat where she was inspired by the high energy and good health of the raw foodists in attendance. She resides in Ashland, OR, where she works as a transportation planner.

Spice of Life & Food for Thought Fills New Chicken Soup for the SoulDelectable Series

Nearly two hundred story writers from the US and Canada each wrote an original short story that has been published in the newly released Chicken Soup for the Soul Delectable Series—Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Wine, the latest books in the New York Times best selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Each story was selected from thousands of potential stories and was included in the Chicken Soup for the Soul Delectable Series because of the writer’s ability to deliver clever, humorous insights and the important lessons learned through life experience.

This flavorful series of books offers life-affirming stories blended with interesting trivia, humorous anecdotes, and helpful information that will assist readers in selecting, preparing, and enjoying their favorite indulgence.

Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover’s Soul:
Indulging in Our Sweetest Moments
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Patricia Lorenz

This compilation is a tribute to the chocoholic’s undeniable passion for indulgence in all things chocolate.

Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’s Soul:
A Toast to the Perfect Occasion
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Theresa Peluso

The bona-fide wine connoisseur, and the neophyte alike, will enjoy these stories that celebrate both the art and science behind every bottle.

Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul:
Celebrating the Perfect Blend
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Theresa Peluso

It’s clear from the stories featured in this compilation that any experience is better served with coffee; from meeting a blind date to sharing quality time with treasured family and friends,

Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul:
Stories Steeped in Comfort
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Patricia Lorenz

Filled to the brim with stories that are a perfect accompaniment to that English breakfast, delightful Darjeeling, French vanilla, spicy chai, or comforting chamomile.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul books were first published in 1993 and quickly rose to number one on the New York Times bestseller list. With over 100 million copies sold and 145 titles in 37 languages, Chicken Soup for the Soul has made international publishing history and garnered numerous prestigious awards for creators, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the creators of the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Canfield and Hansen are joined on these books with coauthors Theresa Peluso and Patricia Lorenz.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Delicious for Thanksgiving & the Holidays - Zabar's Chocolate Espresso Truffle Cake

Not everyone likes pumpkin pie as dessert for their Thanksgiving feast but everyone loves chocolate. This year serve Zabar’s newest dessert -- Zabar’s Chocolate Espresso Truffle Cake.

Culinary giants, dessert extraordinaire David Glass and gourmet coffee connoisseur Zabar’s have combined the sensuality of a dark chocolate truffle cake with the richness of a cup of hot, steamy Zabar's espresso coffee to create the ultimate dessert. The 6” Zabar’s Chocolate Espresso Truffle Cake is made from all natural ingredients, serves 6-8 people, stays fresh in the refrigerator for one week and can be kept frozen for six months. It can be shipped to any location. Zabar's Chocolate Espresso Truffle Cake is currently sold online at for $18.98 and will soon be available at Zabar’s store on the Upper West Side in New York. This also makes a great holiday dessert.

While online, don’t forget to view Zabar’s enticing coffee selection. Choose from a variety of aromatic flavors including Kona Style, Zabar’s Special Blend and their latest coffee, Zabar’s Rainforest Columbian.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Craft Beer and the Holidays – A Perfect Pairing

Craft Beer and Food for the Holidays, a free program from the Brewers Association, highlights the ways in which craft beer styles complement many traditional American holiday foods. The program delves into pairings such as ale with traditional American foods, a pairing frequently mentioned in reference to the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. The website,, is for beverage and food lovers interested in complementary flavors at the holiday dinner table.

The web site was created in 2006 to encourage those hosting holiday celebrations to include craft beer in their holiday dinner menus. At is information for beer and food enthusiasts who want to learn “what to drink” and “how to serve” craft beer at their holiday meals. The web area also allows craft breweries around the nation to post their holiday release beers and beer and food pairings associated with the breweries.

The caramelized and toasted grain flavors in many beers complement the flavors of roast turkey while herbal hop additions pair nicely with popular holiday seasonings such as sage. Furthermore, the carbonation, fruitiness and balanced bitterness of many craft beers allow them to stand up to creamy, butter-rich preparations like mashed potatoes, creamed corn and similar fare.

Julia Herz, a spokesperson for the Brewers Association stated, “Our country’s history is rich with stories of beer and food and craft beer picks up where wine leaves off. Many styles of beer both complement and contrast the food they are paired with, whereas wine mostly contrasts. The holiday dinner table is a very appropriate place for beer made from America’s small, independent and traditional brewers.”

Here are some suggestions listed on for beer styles to pair with various main courses:

Traditional Roast Turkey: The roasted and caramelized skin matches well with amber ale, a strong golden ale or an amber lager in the Vienna style.

Ham: Like the fruit and cloves often used to prepare ham, the fruity, clove notes in weizen or the stronger weizenbock complement ham at the dinner table.

Duck: The darker meat of duck offers a richer flavor than turkey and can stand up to a richer beer as well. Here a Belgian-inspired dubbel or a hearty Oktoberfest lager would go well.

Goose: Here a richer beer than you would choose for turkey is in order. A Belgian-style triple or biere de garde would work well as would a bock or Scotch ale.

Salmon: A dunkel lager or Scottish ale can offer a clean toasted malt note to offset the firm flavors of salmon without a lot of bitterness that would overwhelm the fish. Other options would include a mild ale or steam beer.

Leg of Lamb: Pale ales provide a pleasant foil to lamb with a spicy or herbal character to complement the character of the meat along with some toasted malt notes. Or for more harmony with the roasted flavors of the meat, try a hoppy brown ale or porter.

Beef Tenderloin: This rich hearty cut of meat deserves a robust beer as a counterpoint but also calls for some contrast to clear the palate between bites. The ideal companion would be an IPA or Imperial IPA. Other options might include a tripel or old ale.

First Soby’s Cookbook Shows off Southern Charm

Soby's restaurant has been attracting patrons to Greenville, SC, with its innovative Southern cuisine for 10 years. Now, guests who enjoy such New South fare as She Crab Soup; Fried Green Tomato Napoleon; Clemson Blue Cheese Fondue; Baked Oysters; Thompson Farms Peachwood Smoked Pork Chop; Pimiento Mac and Cheese and Smoked Port Royal Shrimp, can make these dishes at home.

Soby's New South Cuisine (hard cover, ISBN 978-0-9797945-0-6, $37.50), which debuted on Sunday, November 4th at the restaurant's 10th anniversary gala event, not only has 224 four-color pages of enticing recipes from the award-winning restaurant, but also pays tribute to the Southeast and the nationally acclaimed revitalization of downtown Greenville, SC. The book also tells the story of how Chef David Williams and restaurateur Carl Sobocinski created Soby's in 1997 from an old shoe store and how downtown Greenville has become a tourism destination since that time with unique restaurants, hotels, boutiques, art galleries, concert halls, and parks.

Authors Rodney Freidank, Carl Sobocinski, David Williams and Richard Peck teamed up to develop a book that includes recipes that have made Soby's a dining destination. The recipes are simple enough for a home cook to prepare, yet elegant enough to impress friends at any dinner party. Each recipe is accompanied by a suggested wine pairing, to make the dish even more memorable.

"We wanted this book to be more than just recipes," said Carl Sobocinski, partner, Soby's. "We wanted it to capture the transformation that has made Greenville, SC a tourism destination for the Southeastern U.S. While we draw guests from all over the country to our restaurant to enjoy our unique New South cuisine, this book is dedicated to our customers who have supported us over the past decade."

South Carolina native and Food Network star chef Tyler Florence wrote the foreword to the book. Southern chefs Louis Osteen of Louis's at Pawley's, Pawley's Island, SC and Louis's in Las Vegas, and Frank Lee of S.N.O.B., Charleston, SC, and cookbook author and TV personality Nathalie Dupree have also given it praise.

About the Authors
Soby's owners Carl Sobocinski and David Williams have both put a lot of themselves into this cookbook. They narrate much of it, and explain why and how everything that is Soby's came to be. Corporate Chef Rodney Freidank is also a major contributor, as many of his recipes are featured. Chef Freidank and the Soby's staff have won many awards, and chef Freidank was given the pleasure of hosting a dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City in 2000. Soby's wine director Danny Baker offers his knowledge in listing a suggested wine pairing for each recipe, and they are worth trying as his wine lists have won several Wine Spectator awards.

Collaborating author and project manger, Richard Peck guided the book's development, using his experience as an author of several books to translate the experiences of Sobocinski and Williams into interesting and informative stories. Photographer Stephen Stinson truly captures the magic of Soby's and its cuisine with his up-close-and-personal photographs of each dish.

Soby's New South Cuisine is available at all Table 301 restaurants, and book stores and gift shops around the south. For more information about this cookbook call (864) 232-7007, or visit

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

America’s Holiday Baking Features Spices from Around the Globe

Whether you’re baking pumpkin pie, Chanukah sugar cookies or empanadas this holiday season, chances are your recipes call for spices. And, just as today’s American cooks hail from all corners of the globe, so do the spices in your spice rack.

ACH Food Companies, maker of such well-known American baking standbys as Spice Islands®, Fleischmann’s® yeast, Karo® corn syrup, Mazola® cooking oils, Mazola Pure® cooking spray, and Argo® and Kingsford's® corn starch, shares some “spicy” tidbits for fall baking, along with a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake. (Bakers also can exchange the recipe online at to raise funds for Komen for the Cure.)

Holiday Spice Tidbits from Around the World

· Cinnamon: Possibly most the common baking spice, cinnamon is used in cakes, cookies, and desserts throughout the world. Cinnamon’s warm, distinctive flavor was a prize of ancient trade routes, so much so that savvy spice traders invented elaborate tales to keep their sources a secret, for example, that cinnamon sticks fell from bird’s nests! Cinnamon actually is harvested from the bark of tropical evergreen trees. There are two main varieties of the bark: Ceylon cinnamon and cassia. U.S. cooks traditionally prefer cassia, while Ceylon cinnamon is the norm in Europe. Cassia is grown in Vietnam, China and Indonesia.

· Vanilla: Anyone who bakes considers whole vanilla beans and pure vanilla extract pantry essentials. The process used to grow and harvest this sweet, aromatic spice is painstaking and labor-intensive. Vanilla beans are the long, greenish-yellow seed pods of a tropical orchid plant. Each and every orchid must be hand pollinated the very day the flower blooms and the beans must be harvested at the peak of maturity. Curing the beans develops the characteristic complex flavor notes. Vanilla is native to Mexico and Central America, where the Aztecs used the beans to create a delicious beverage of chocolate and vanilla sweetened with honey. Today vanilla is cultivated on the Island of Reunion, Madagascar, Indonesia, Tahiti and Mexico.

· Pumpkin Pie Spice: Breathe in the warm, heady aroma of this blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and you’re transported to the early days of the spice trade, where wondrous sights and smells vied for your attention amidst merchants’ noisy chatter. Despite its exotic allure, pumpkin pie is distinctly American. It’s been a staple of holiday feasts for centuries alongside other classics such as turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce. But, think beyond pie. Add pumpkin pie spice to breakfast batters, hot cocoa, sweet potato pie, custards, or even baked apples or pears for an irresistible touch of fall flavor. Or, add pumpkin pie spice to the many Latin American recipes featuring pumpkin: empanadas, flan and even sweet pumpkin tamales.

ACH Food Companies encourages bakers to Bake for the Cure™ this holiday season. Log on to to upload your favorite holiday baking recipes or send one of the posted recipes, such as Pumpkin Spice Cake, to a friend and ACH will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. The company also will make a 25-cent donation to Komen for the Cure for each proof of purchase of participating products submitted through Oct. 31, 2008. Minimum donation of $250,000 up to $350,000.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 16 Servings

· 1 package (18.25 ounces) spice cake mix
· 1/2 cup Argo® or Kingsford’s® Corn Starch
· 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
· 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pumpkin Pie Spice
· 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
· 1/2 cup orange juice
· 1/4 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
· 4 egg whites
· 1 1/2 cups chopped dates or raisins

· 1/2 cup (4 ounces) light cream cheese
· 1/4 cup Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrup
· 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
· 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
· Additional orange peel for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 10 x 4-inch (12-cup) fluted tube cake pan; set aside.
2. In large bowl combine cake mix, cornstarch, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Add pumpkin, orange juice, oil and egg whites. With mixer at low speed, beat until combined; then beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Stir in dates. Pour into prepared cake pan.
3. Bake 55 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

FOR GLAZE, in small bowl beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup Karo® syrup, brown sugar and grated orange peel until smooth. If necessary, add 2 to 3 teaspoons milk or orange juice to make desired consistency. Drizzle over cake. Garnish with additional orange peel.

About ACH Food Companies
ACH Food Companies, Inc., based in Memphis, Tenn., markets a broad range of products to the consumer and commercial food channels across the United States and in Canada and Mexico. ACH branded products include Mazola® Cooking Oils, Mazola Pure® Cooking Spray, Spice Islands® Spices and Seasonings, Tones® Spices and Seasonings, Karo® syrups, Fleischmann’s® Yeast, and Argo® and Kingsford's® Corn Starch. The company’s consumer products division is located in Chicago, Ill. ACH is a subsidiary of London-based Associated British Foods plc, a diversified multi-billion dollar international food, ingredients, and retail group.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested nearly $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-800 I’M AWARE.

Arrowhead Specialty Meats Adds Japanese Akaushi Wagyu Beef Raisedin the United States to Their Already Outstanding List of Meat Offerings

John Telge, vice president of sales and marketing at Arrowhead Specialty Meats, announced that his company has partnered with HeartBrand Beef of Texas to add Japanese Akaushi Wagyu Beef to its already impressive list of gourmet meat offerings for chefs and restaurants. HeartBrand is the only company that has 100% Akaushi Wagyu beef from cattle raised in the United States. The original Akaushi cattle came from Japan to Texas in 1994 in a specially outfitted 747 airplane. The cattle are currently raised with exacting breeding programs, management practices and production systems that have earned HeartBrand Beef the trust of the Japanese Association of Akaushi. Arrowhead has been selected by HeartBrand to sell this excellent beef. Arrowhead is offering a wide variety of cuts of Akaushi Wagyu beef to its foodservice customers. Retail customers can obtain the Akaushi beef through Paradise Meats which is supplied by Arrowhead.

"The addition of this Japanese Akaushi Wagyu beef to our gourmet product line is quite exciting," said Telge. "We simply could not say that we offer the very best beef unless we could procure this meat. It is truly the most exceptional beef a chef can put before his patrons."

In Japan, cattle breeds are divided into dairy cattle and Wagyu. The first syllable "wa" means Japanese and "gyu" means cattle. All Wagyu cattle are indigenous to Japan and have been genetically improved for over 90 years. Wagyu are further divided into four breeds, one of which is Akaushi. It is the only free-grazing cattle found in Japan. Due to the scarcity of land in the Mt. Aso region where they graze, the herd is kept to 58,000.

Less than a dozen Akaushi cattle came to the United States in 1994 due to a loophole in a 1992 trade agreement between Japan and the United States. It took over two years of litigation, protests and finally a specially equipped 747 plane to get the cattle to Texas. Now after over 10 years the herd has grown to 5,000. This is the only Akaushi cattle outside of Japan and the trade loophole was closed long ago.

Because of the excellent working relationship between HeartBrand Beef and the Japan Association of Akaushi, each member of the Texas herd can have its lineage traced back thirty generations. It also allows HeartBrand to select the best cattle as they expand the herd. HeartBrand can proudly claim that it is the only all-natural, 100% source-verified kobe/wagyu beef available in the United States.

Wagyu beef ranks above USDA Prime in the category of marbling content and is revered for its tenderness and flavor. In addition, this beef has an enviable health profile that includes a unique fatty acid composition that makes it healthier when compared to all other domestic beef.
Arrowhead Specialty Meats is a purveyor of high quality meats and specialty food products to the foodservice industry. They are located at 404 E. 13th Ave., North Kansas City, Mo. They supply to top chefs and restaurants in 48 states. For more information about the company, or to place an order, call (816) 889-9333 or visit the website at

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hostess Sno Balls Celebrate Sweet 60

Hostess® Sno Balls®, America’s most famous pink snack cakes, are celebrating 60 sweet years as one of America’s favorite treats. Since being introduced in 1947, Sno Balls have become an enduring icon enjoyed by generations of snack cake lovers who can’t get enough of the delicious and distinctive marshmallow, coconut and chocolate cake combination.

- Over 25 million Sno Balls are sold each year.

- With flour and sugar rationing during WWII, Sno Balls became an instant hit with Americans looking to indulge in a sweet treat.

- Sno Balls were not always the pink crème filled treats we know today. Original Sno Balls were white marshmallow and shredded coconut covered chocolate cakes – it wasn't until 1950 that the crème filling was added.

- Not long after the crème filling was added, in an effort to add a little pizzazz to the humble white Sno Ball, Hostess decided to tint the shredded coconut pink. And for added effect, each Sno Ball package included one white and one pink Sno Ball. Later, for efficiency's sake, two of the same color were coupled.

- Today, the original white Sno Balls are produced mostly around the winter holidays.

- Sno Balls are now produced in different colors for different seasons – You can find Glo Balls (glow-in-the-dark Sno Balls) for Halloween, Lucky Puffs (green Sno Balls) for St. Patrick’s Day and Hoppers (lavender colored Sno Balls) in the Spring.

- Even though St. Louis is not known for record snow falls, residents of the Gateway City love Sno Balls. St. Louis residents eat more Sno Balls per capita than any other U.S. city. Rounding out the top five Sno Ball-loving cities are:

Louisville, KY
Grand Rapids, MI
Roanoke, VA
Hartford, CT

- Sno Balls are no strangers to celebrity. The marshmallow-and-coconut snack has had supporting roles in episodes of The X-Files and Gilmore Girls and in the film The Mirror Has Two Faces.

To learn more about Hostess and to find Hostess Sno Ball recipes that are sure to sweeten any occasion visit

Interstate Bakeries Corporation, the maker of Hostess products, is one of the nation’s largest wholesale bakers and distributors of fresh baked bread and sweet goods under various brand names including Wonder®, Hostess®, Dolly Madison®, Baker’s Inn®, Home Pride®, Merita® and Drake’s®. For more information visit

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Honors Seven Women Who Inspire

In conjunction with its national conference, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) honored seven women who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the culinary industry at its 8th Annual Women Who Inspire Awards gala dinner at the Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel & Spa on Sunday, November 4, 2007.

The annual WCR Women Who Inspire Awards, presented by FOOD ARTS, are meant to inspire present and future generations of women chefs and restaurateurs. WCR strives to recognize achievement within the industry and pay tribute to those women who have demonstrated excellence in the kitchen, dining room, beverage profession, baking and pastry arts, community affairs, farming and food production, and for a lifetime of culinary excellence.

"These Women Who Inspire Award recipients are characterized by passion, service, dedication and innovation within our industry," said Helene Kennan, president of WCR. "They serve as important role models for our membership and the women of food across the globe."

For the first time, this year's recipients were selected through a vote of the membership from a group of 22 finalists. To be considered for an award, each finalist's professional work must have served as an inspiration to other women in the industry. All women involved in the foodservice industry were eligible for nomination.

The 2007 Women Who Inspire Award recipients are:

WCR Golden Fork Award sponsored by The Culinary Institute of America
Recognizing excellence in the dining room and honoring a woman whose front-of-the-house service or management skills demonstrates a commitment to excellence.

Karen Waltuck
Owner/General Manager
New York, New York

WCR Golden Whisk Award sponsored by The Institute of Culinary Education, NYC
Recognizing excellence in the kitchen and honoring a woman whose passion and excellence as a chef or cook serves as a role model for others.

Tracy O'Grady
Willow Restaurant
Arlington, Virginia

WCR Golden Bowl Award sponsored by The French Culinary Institute
Recognizing excellence in baking and pastry arts and honoring a woman whose skill in the baking and pastry arts inspires others.

Thursa Evens
Pastry Chef
Almost Home Tea Room
Greencastle, Indiana

WCR Golden Goblet Service Award sponsored by Acqua Panna and S.Pellegrino
Recognizing excellence in the beverage profession and honoring a woman whose making or serving of wine, spirits, coffee or tea enhances the dining experience.

Helen Turley
Marcassin Winery
Calistoga, California

WCR Golden Plow Award sponsored by Bon Appétit Management Company
Recognizing excellence in growing or producing from nature's bounty and
honoring a woman whose skill in farming or making artisanal products results in food that graces our plates while respecting the environment.

Judith Redmond
Full Belly Farm
Guinda, California

WCR Community Service Award sponsored by L'Academie de Cuisine
Recognizing outstanding contributions in community affairs and honoring a woman whose contributions in community or civic affairs have made a strong impact on the lives of others.

Alison Costello
Executive Chef
Capuchin Soup Kitchen
Detroit, Michigan

WCR Barbara Tropp President's Award sponsored by American Roland Food Corp.
Recognizing a lifetime of culinary excellence and honoring a woman who has made exceptional and lasting contributions to the restaurant industry.

Leah Chase
Dooky Chase Restaurant
New Orleans, Louisiana

WCR was founded in 1993 by eight prominent female chefs and restaurateurs with the mission of promoting the education and advancement of women in the restaurant industry and the betterment of the industry as a whole. Today, WCR's membership includes more than 2,000 professionals who represent all sectors of the industry, from culinary students to restaurant owners. To learn more about the opportunities offered by WCR, visit or inquire toll-free at 877-927-7787.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

New Preserve Kitchen Line of Eco-Friendly Products

Designed for you – and the Planet Preserve® Kitchen by Recycline

Waltham, MA, October 3, 2007 – Just as purchasing organic foods and
supporting local growers help sustain the planet, now everyday cooks
can do their part by using kitchenware made from recycled plastics and
paper.Recycline, one of America's premier brands for design-oriented,
environment- friendly products for the home since 1996, will debut its
durable, stylish, dishwasher-safe Preserve® Kitchen line consisting of
colanders, cutting boards and food storage containers at Whole Foods
Market November 1, 2007. The line will expand further in 2008.

The Preserve Kitchen line is driven by thoughtful, sophisticated product
design—a result of an unconventional business partnership with Evo Design, a
leading product design firm. "Green products aren't traditionally known for
high design. Preserve products deliver high performance at a competitive
price and look great in every kitchen," says Eric Hudson, founder and
President of Recycline.

Initially the line will be sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market – a retailer
widely known as a leader in the organic and natural food marketplace.
According to Bruce Silverman, Global Vice President of Private Label at Whole
Foods Market, "Our customers look to us as a destination
for 'greener'offerings and the environmentally-friendly Preserve Kitchen line by
Recycline is a wonderful alternative."

Known for its revolutionary toothbrushes, razors and tableware made from
recycled plastics, Preserve by Recycline has proven that products we use
daily can be designed to perform flawlessly while also respecting the planet.
Eric Hudson, the founder and President of Recycline imagined the Preserve
Kitchen line as going hand-in-hand with consumers' commitment to organic
foods. Just as organic food production is gentler on the environment, reusing
and recycling materials uses less energy and leaves a smaller environmental
footprint than manufacturing products by conventional means. Additionally,
Recycline's Preserve products are made in the USA so that they can be
shipped shorter distances, using less fuel and limiting their carbon footprint.
Preserve products offer consumers environmentally friendly choices so that
today's kitchen can be greener than ever—and look great, too.

Evo Design took their design cues from nature. For instance, the food storage
container gets its inspiration from an apple, the colander resembles a
strawberry. But beyond the simple organic designs, making sure that the
design and the design process met environmental standards every step of the
way was challenging. "We are working hard to ensure that the design
supports sustainability," says Aaron Szymanski, President of Evo Design.

Made in the USA out of 100% recycled materials, the Preserve Kitchen line

• Preserve Colander ($12.99 MSRP) – 3.5 quart, easy-gripping, fast- draining,
and dishwasher-safe colander made from 100% recycled plastic and
recyclable in communities with #5 recycling. Available in Milk White, Berry
Blue, Apple Green, and Ripe Tomato.

• Preserve Cutting Board - Small (10 x 8 in., $10.99 MSRP) and Large(14 x 11
in. $14.99 MSRP). The unique curve of its handle makes food transfer easy. It
is also knife-friendly and dishwasher-safe. Made from 100% recycled plastic
and recyclable in communities with #5 recycling. Available in Milk White, Berry
Blue, Apple Green, and Ripe Tomato.

• Preserve 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper Cutting Board – Bar board(8
x 6 in., $11.99 MSRP) and Prep board (13 x 8 in., $24.99 MSRP) made with
Forest Stewardship Council certified Paperstone™. Features a
knife-friendly surface with non-porous, petroleum-free coating that
makes for easy cleaning. Available in Black Olive.

• Preserve Food Storage containers in 19 oz. (two per package, $5.99 MSRP)
and 25 oz. (two per package, $6.99 MSRP). Their innovative lids
screw tightly and the containers are stackable. Made from 100%
recycled plastic and recyclable in communities with #5 recycling. Available in
Apple Green.

"Small everyday steps like using a 'green' colander, cutting board or food
storage container can make a big impact, leading us all to think about the
other steps we can take to preserve the planet," notes Eric Hudson.

# # #

About Recycline:
Recycline is a pioneer in green product design and has been at the forefront
of cutting edge, environmentally-friendly home goods for more than 10 years.
Originally founded in 1996 in response to the rise in recycling programs and
overall interest in the environment among U.S. consumers, its mission is to
deliver consumer products that offer great looking design, high performance
and are better for the environment than alternative products.

About Evo Design:
A strong proponent of sustainable design, Evo Design's headquarters is a
reclaimed sewage treatment plant. The full-service, award-winning product
design firm, founded in 1997, is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of
experienced design, engineering and business experts whose goal is to
provide successful design solutions to maximize their client's product
positioning. Leveraging their expertise and vast experience in form and
product development, their work has been lauded in a variety of categories
including toys, juvenile products, house wares, industrial equipment, medical
equipment, consumer products, consumer electronics and more.