Thursday, January 31, 2008

Spark a gourmet conversation

New from TableTopics-Gourmet Edition. A great way to break the ice at a cocktail party, a small gathering or a night out on the town! Show off gourmet knowledge and have fun learning about your family and friends.

TableTopics Conversation Starters are cubes are filled with mini cards each with a different question. They are fun, thought provoking and guaranteed to propel your conversations to new heights. Discover something new about your family, friends and even yourself!

Sample question:
What piece of kitchen equipment do you covet?
If you could only use one cookbook for the next year which would you choose?
WhatIf you had your own cooking show what would be your theme?

TableTopics Conversation Starters

TableTopics Conversation Starters transform the same old cocktail party chit chat, and family dinner conversations to a whole new level. Small cubes are filled with mini cards each with a different question. They are fun, thought provoking and guaranteed to propel your conversations to new heights. Discover something new about your family, friends and even yourself!

Choose from Original, Couples, Girls Night Out, Kids, Travel, Wine, Spirit, Book Club and many more!

Click on this link to see a photo and learn more.

Sold At: Retailers nationwide and on
Retail Price: $25.00

Valentines Day at the Reserve

Give your Valentine a night to remember at Reserve Restaurant & Piano Lounge this year! Reserve is the newest restaurant to open at Newport on the Levee and is located on Third Street, between Brio Tuscan Grille and Jeff Ruby’s Tropicana.

Reserve Restaurant & Piano Lounge will be offering a special Valentine’s Day dinner on February 14th. The Valentine’s Day package will consist of choice of two appetizers- tuna and salmon tartar or beef tenderloin tips, Belgian endive salad, choice of four entrees- marinated chicken breast, pork tenderloin with sweet potato hash, prosciutto wrapped halibut or filet with pommery mustard sauce and Strawberry Cupid Cake for dessert. The cost for the Valentine dinner is $45 per person, which includes a non-alcoholic beverage. Dinner will be served from 4:00 p.m. until midnight and reservations are suggested by calling 859-431-7373. The sweet sounds of live piano music will also be provided.

Reserve Restaurant & Piano Lounge is an upscale restaurant and piano lounge that opened in November and features a full menu with live entertainment seven nights a week. Specialty menu items include Eggplant Stack appetizer; Steak Caesar, creative Italian pasta dishes and a variety of famous flatbreads.

More information can be found at

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mobil Travel Guide Announces the New List for Five Star Properties in Ohio

Mobil Travel Guide, the originator of the Mobil Travel Guide star ratings certifications, today unveiled its list of Mobil Four- and Five-Star hotels, restaurants and spas. This is a milestone year for a company that has defined excellence and quality in the travel industry for the past 50 years. The complete list of Mobil Star award winners and updated comprehensive reviews written by Mobil Travel Guide’s experts are available exclusively at

“Consumers today are inundated with an influx of consumer reviews, online booking engine star ratings and self imposed ratings by properties. Much of this information is conflicting in nature making it difficult for the consumer to make an informed travel decision. For the past 50 years, Mobil Travel Guide has been the trusted source in travel ratings and expert reviews, steering travelers in the right direction,” said Shane O’Flaherty, President and CEO for Mobil Travel Guide. “We are thrilled to share this landmark year with travelers across the world and look forward to another fantastic 50 years.”

Several of Mobil Travel Guide’s Five-Star properties are celebrating record achievements of their own. The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs will mark its 48th year on the Mobil Five-Star list, making it the longest running Mobil Five-Star property in Mobil Travel Guide’s history. Several new additions to the Mobil Five-Star list will be the first properties in their respective states to be awarded the honor, including the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah.

This year Mobil Travel Guide has added eight new properties to the Mobil Five-Star list. Four new Mobil Five-Star hotels join the Five-Star list, including the Boston Harbor Hotel, The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island in South Carolina, the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah. Three new restaurants have been awarded a Mobil Five-Star rating: the Georgian Room in Sea Island, Ga., The Inn at Dos Brisas in Brenham, Texas and Le Bernardin in New York, N.Y. One new spa—the Spa at the Sanctuary in South Carolina—completes the list of only three Mobil Five-star Spas in the United States and Canada. Along with the newest Five-Star properties, Mobil Travel Guide is announcing 50 new Four-Star hotels, restaurants and spas for 2008.

Since 1958 the Mobil Travel Guide’s ratings process has been based on more than 750 standardized criteria for hotels, more than 250 for restaurants, and more recently 450 different criteria for spas, making it the most rigorous and comprehensive in the industry. The process begins with a facility inspection that considers every aspect of the property, including its overall cleanliness, condition and location. To achieve Mobil Four- and Five-Star status, properties must then meet or exceed Mobil’s bar-setting service standards, which are determined through an unannounced, undercover service evaluation conducted by Mobil Travel Guide’s expert inspectors. The service evaluation focuses on a myriad of details that combine to create the overall guest experience, such as whether the inspector was greeted by a valet within 60 seconds upon arriving at a hotel or offered a beverage within 60 seconds after being seated at a restaurant.

A special 50th Anniversary edition of Mobil Travel Guide’s print guides will be distributed by Langenscheidt Publishing Group (LPG) and will be available at all major book stores starting January 29th, 2008.
For a detailed explanation of how Mobil Travel Guide compiles its star ratings, visit

Mobil Travel Guide, originator of the prestigious Mobil Star ratings and certifications, has provided the most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. Mobil Travel Guide's team of anonymous, expert inspectors evaluates properties against rigorous and objective proprietary standards, giving consumers the insight to make better-informed travel and leisure decisions. Mobil Travel Guide is under license from Exxon Mobil Corporation and is headquartered in Chicago, Ill. For more information, visit

Friday, January 25, 2008

Hocking Hills Launches One-of-a-Kind Wildlife Encounters Package

From a kayak trip at dusk to watch a beaver colony at a close-up vantage point to feeding a hummingbird by hand, the new Hocking Hills Wildlife Encounters Package features some of the region’s most unique and unforgettable wildlife experiences. Neatly packaged to offer a truly memorable getaway, the Hocking Hills Tourism Association (HHTA) today unveiled the brand-new Wildlife Encounters getaway package, which is available both weekends and mid-week, beginning May 1, 2008.

Starting at just $193 per person, this extraordinary package includes:
Two nights accommodations in choice of select hotel, inn, B&B or cabin
Wildlife encounter with beavers in their natural environment via canoe or Kayak
Opportunity to feed hummingbirds by hand at Lake Hope State Park (this element available June 18-August 31, 2008)
Complimentary hummingbird feeder and instructions for luring hummingbirds to your own landscape
Close-up visit with birds of prey, snakes and other reptiles
Taxes where applicable
Package price starts at $193 per person, based on four people or $235 per person based on double occupancy
The tour requires a minimum of four people booked during the same dates
An $80 per person surcharge will apply for tours with less than four people
Package price determined by lodging selection and dates of travel

Package reservations are available via Hocking Hills Travel by calling 1-800-824-3598. Additional details and complete area visitor information is available online at or by calling 1-800-HOCKING. Website visitors will uncover specifics of the deals offered by inns, cabins, cottages, hotels and attractions in the Hocking Hills area. Some restrictions and blackout dates may apply, but most offers are good through September 30, 2008.

The Hocking Hills region is located 50 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio and offers some of the nation’s most spectacular natural scenery and outdoor opportunities. Marked by more than 100 waterfalls, craggy caves, soaring rock faces and rolling hills, the area offers a wealth of activities, events and lodging choices. In addition to outdoor pursuits, the area’s arts, shopping, antiquing and other activities are limitless. More information on the Hocking Hills is available at or toll-free at 1-800-HOCKING.

The Newest Bertazzoni Range

Bertazzoni, the leading Italian manufacturer of precision-engineered kitchen lifestyle products, is commemorating its 125-year anniversary with a limited edition Heritage Series of gas ranges. Drawing inspiration from the original Bertazzoni wood burning stoves, the Heritage Series was designed with the classic appeal of traditional styling, while incorporating the advanced technology and sophisticated engineering upon which Bertazzoni has built its legacy.

“Today, more than a century after the family business began, Bertazzoni ovens and ranges are exported to more than 60 countries around the world – carrying with them the passion, precision and unique culinary traditions the company was founded upon,” shared Paolo Bertazzoni, the company’s fifth generation president. “We are pleased to introduce the exclusive Heritage Series to our existing array of product offerings, in honor and celebration of 125 years of innovation and excellence.”

The Heritage Series Unveiled
Embodying all of the elegance of its rich European legacy, the colorful 36-inch Heritage Series gas ranges come in three matte colors, black, burgundy and cream. Features include stainless steel worktops, different size burners for accuracy and versatility; a child safety ignition system; easy controls; and flexible and accurate cooking performance. Each range carries the signature of Antonio Bertazzoni, the son of company founder Francesco Bertazzoni. Antonio's signature is a symbol of familial pride, as he was the man whose energy and imagination made Bertazzoni wood burning stoves popular throughout Italy at the turn of the last century.
The Heritage Series includes the following features:
· Exclusive triple-ring burners provide high-efficiency power with a delicate low-simmer function
· Six different sized burners that enable cooking versatility
· Best-in-class one-piece worktop styling with uniquely sealed burners and a seamless surface for quick and easy clean-up
· Heavy-duty cast iron grates which allow easy movement of any kind of pot
· Wok adapter and simmer plate
· Special child-safe valves on all burners to stop gas flow if the flame goes out – even in a power outage
· Easy one-touch ignition systems
· Balanced airflow fans to provide even heat distribution for single- and multi-level roasting and baking without flavor crossover
· Capable of being used traditionally or as a convection oven
· Settings include dehydration at thermostat-controlled low temperature, and fan-only defrosting
· Wide-area infrared gas grill perfect for powerful searing and broiling over a large surface area
· Extra-large capacity and multi-rack positions
· Triple-glaze door to ensure minimum heat loss and low-temperature external surfaces
· Internal lights to provide ample illumination at each cooking level
· Full-screen inner glass oven window and special enamel oven space for easy clean-up
· Elegant range hood with three settings for varying steam and heat extraction levels
· Four-inch backsplash for standard installation, or two-inch backsplash for island installation
· Toe kick panel and side trims available in matching colors
· Designed to be installed flush with kitchen cabinets, adjustable feet ensure exact fit with countertop height
· Ample storage space located beneath the oven
The Heritage Series is now available through an exclusive North American distributor network. Manufacturer’s initial suggested retail pricing is $4,849 for the range, $2,198 for the hood and $549 for the backsplash.

About Bertazzoni
Bertazzoni is a fifth-generation family-owned company, specializing in the production of ranges and cooking systems characterized by elegant, ergonomic designs, performance, professional quality, and incomparable value. Throughout its 125 years of operation, Bertazzoni and its stoves have been synonymous with Italian culture, style and engineering. Available first in Italy in 1882 and now sold internationally in more than 60 countries, Bertazzoni products have become an affordable indulgence for the inspired chef – combining streamlined architectural sophistication with precision-engineered cooking performance.

In the Emilia Romagna region of Italy where cooking is culture in the home of balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese, the original Bertazzoni factory can still be found. Today, under the vision and leadership of Paolo Bertazzoni, the same quality craftsmanship and family legacy of entrepreneurial spirit endures. Bertazzoni’s complete line of freestanding ranges, built-in cook tops, ventilation hoods and other design-coordinated accessories are represented through regionally-exclusive distributors and sales offices throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, visit or call (866) 905-0010.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Top 10" Heirloom Tomatoes for 2008

TomatoFest® Garden Seeds today announced that "black" tomatoes rank high in the "Top 10" list of favorite heirloom tomatoes going into 2008.

The "Top 10" favorite heirloom tomatoes are: Paul Robeson (purple/black), Cherokee Purple (purple/black), Brandywine (pink), Amana Orange (orange), Marvel Stripe (red/yellow striped), Julia Child (pink), Black Zebra (green/purple striped), Black Cherry (purple/black), Kellogg's Breakfast (orange), and Aussie (red).

"It's not just not red and pink tomatoes that steal the show on the "Top 10" list anymore," said Gary Ibsen, grower of 600 varieties of certified organic, heirloom tomatoes in California, and owner of TomatoFest® Garden Seeds, one of the largest internet retailers of organic heirloom tomato seeds.

"The purple/black colored heirloom tomatoes continue to rise in popularity at produce markets, with restaurant chefs, and with home gardeners for 5th year in a row," says Ibsen. "Black" tomatoes are fast becoming the new "red" tomato. They're the 'Cinderellas' of the produce markets."

"A survey of our tomato seed sales to home gardeners and commercial tomato farmers, along with a review of our sales of fresh heirloom tomatoes to retailers and restaurants, demonstrate soundly that consumers have discovered the superior and complex flavors of the "black" heirloom tomatoes, and are selecting these bold colors with their mix of favorite red, pink, orange and bi-colored tomatoes."

Ibsen adds, "I've also seen a jump in demand for the "black" tomatoes in China, Spain, Japan and the UK. And it's not just my own experience that supports this growing trend toward the "blacks" and other-colored heirloom tomatoes; other tomato farmers are showing similar results." During recent years, California-based Happy Boy Farms, one of the largest grower/shippers of heirloom tomatoes in the nation, also found a huge increase in the demand for black tomatoes among produce retailers as well as restaurant accounts.

"This is exciting news," Ibsen continues, "because it shows that consumers are being more adventurous in selecting the dark colored varieties of heirloom tomatoes that only a few years ago were next to impossible to find in the marketplace."

"Black" tomatoes are not really black, remarked Ibsen. "They cover a range of dark colors, including deep purple, dusky deep brown, smoky mahogany with dark green shoulders, and bluish-brown. The depth of colors seems to be encouraged by a higher acid and mineral content in the soil."

"Black" tomatoes are native to Southern Ukraine during the early 19th century. They originally existed in only a small region of the Crimean Peninsula. Soon they were showing up as new varieties in many shapes and sizes and began to appear throughout the territories of the former Soviet Union. Then they began turning up in the former Yugoslavia, Germany and the United States.

The Paul Robeson "black" heirloom tomato, ranking high on the "Top 10" list, won "Best Tasting Tomato" for several years at the Carmel TomatoFest® in California. Its deep, rich colors stand it apart from other traditional tomatoes, boasting a dusky, dark-red skin with dark-green shoulders and red flesh in its center. This beefsteak tomato is filled with luscious, earthy, exotic flavors, and has a good acid-to-sweet balance.

TomatoFest Garden Seeds has found a consumer and retailer preference with other "black" tomato favorites, such as: Cherokee Purple, Black Crimson, the pear-shaped Japanese Black Trifele, Black from Tula, Black Plum and Cherokee Chocolate. The Black Cherry tomato has also been on a meteoric rise in popularity due to its jewel-like appearance and pronounced sweet, complex flavors


About Carmel TomatoFest®
Founded and operated by Gary Ibsen in 1991, the Carmel TomatoFest has revitalized the appreciation and desire for true heirloom tomatoes. Ibsen's belief in sustainable, organic farming and seed saving has inspired him to develop and grow heirloom tomato varieties for more than 30 years. For the 2008 season, he is growing more than 600 varieties of certified organic, heirloom tomatoes from seeds originally sourced from family farms around the world. Ibsen's hands-on production and harvest techniques ensure the highest quality product from harvest to table. This year's NatureSweet Carmel TomatoFest takes place at Quail Lodge Resort, Carmel, California on September 14th. Net proceeds from the festivities will be donated to regional and national youth-focused charities. For additional information, visit or call 831-625-6041.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who Chooses What Your Family Eats?

We like to think that we are in control of our lives – that decisions we make about what we’ll eat, or wear, are ours. But it’s just not so.

If pressed, when buying clothes, we may admit that glossy magazines, or TV features, have swayed our choice. But what we eat – the foods we put into our body – surely, one would argue, these are our decisions. Hate to pop your bubble, but again, it’s really not so.
Just as designers and fashionistas control what colors and cuts we’ll be wearing, a small cadre of food experts determines what we’re going to eat.

It turns out, food companies, supermarkets and specialty food stores are just as bent on selling trends as clothing manufacturers. Unlike the fashion industry, though, which proudly boasts about the people who determine fashion trends and then sews their names into the garments, the food industry has traditionally been tight-lipped about who controls what ends up on our plate.

However, veteran food expert with almost 30 years in the industry, and respected food critic, Jim White, has broken cover to lift the lid on the food fashions of tomorrow. This year, high on Jim’s list of Hot New Trends are tasty, authentic, preservative-free ethnic flatbreads.

“Every culture in the world enjoys some form of flatbread. In South America it is the tortilla, in Italy its focaccia, in the Mediterranean its pita,” says Jim. “I believe that the spongy bagel’s time has come and gone… and that the Next New Bread Thing is authentic, ethnic flatbread.”

In fact, Jim is not just telling bread makers to get into the act; he is so sure of this trend that he and a partner bought a bakery three years ago, with the aim of making authentic ethnic flatbreads – to meet the perceived future demand.

In order to make certain flatbreads, though, like India’s tasty naan, the first challenge was to invent, blueprint, and build the world’s first continuous commercial tandoor oven, capable of baking large quantities of flatbread on a clay surface at 1400 F degrees. As they’re made in an Indian restaurant – just not one at a time.

Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan, with distribution across the country, have already been named “Best New Food Product in the US” by a leading food magazine. With Jim’s 30-year, proven track record, it’s a good bet that his latest food predictions – and flatbreads – will be in everyone’s homes before long.


About Jim White

Jim has been responsible for inventing, developing, branding, or marketing more than 8,000 grocery products. Many bear the names of the chains for which they were produced – Wal-Mart, Safeway, Stop ‘N Shop, Vons, Wegmans. As a respected food editor, food writer and professional restaurant critic, with 30 years of experience, Jim was twice named “Best Food Writer in North America” for metro newspapers with circulation over 500,000. Jim has written for, directed and hosted countless TV and radio broadcasts. He has directed films for the National Film Board of Canada and has been a columnist for Canada’s largest newspaper.

The bakery, which Jim and his close friend and partner Sam Ajmera founded is called FGF Brands. The FGF stands for “Functional Gourmet Foods.” Their lead item has been Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan, but they also make focaccia, pizza crusts, and lavosh, authentic to their region of origin. “We make Food with a Purpose,” says Jim. This is, succinctly, the bakery’s Mission Statement. The bakery’s website is

Wholemato Announces Organic Agave Ketchup

Ketchup recipes have been enjoyed in North America for almost 200 years, and these days, 97% of U.S. households have ketchup in their pantry or refrigerator. Wholemato ( has sparked a healthy ketchup revolution by taking ketchup flavor and quality to a whole new level with the launch of their Original Organic Agave Ketchup. This fresh-take on an old classic combines the rich flavor of premium ripe organic tomatoes with an artistic blend of spices and agave nectar - a natural sweetener that is one of the hot culinary trends in the healthy food marketplace.

The food science “magic” of agave nectar is that it is a robust natural sweetener comprised primarily of fructose. Therefore, it is sweeter to the taste buds – yet it does not adversely impact blood glucose and insulin. So, while it is a delightful sweetener for everyone, it is ideal for the millions of diabetics in America and parents of hyperactive children that have concerns regarding the glycemic levels in their food.

Wholemato Organic Agave Ketchup has been certified as Low-Glycemic for Diabetics by the Glycemic Research Institute, due to its remarkable low score on the glycemic index of only 7 per tablespoon. Agave nectar is also appealing because most ketchups are sweetened by: high fructose corn syrup, a highly processed substance that has recently been the subject of health concerns; or artificial sweeteners that often leave an unpleasant chemical aftertaste and have also raised health issues.

While all tomato-based products contain healthy lycopene, it is not surprising that a recent study found that organic ketchups like Wholemato Organic Agave Ketchup contain as much as 57% more lycopene than brands using conventional tomatoes. Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that helps to prevent and repair damaged cells. Antioxidants such as lycopene fight ‘free radicals’ in the body and studies have demonstrated that they offer many health benefits including the ability to inhibit DNA oxidation that may lead to some cancers.

Wholemato – A ‘Whole’ New Experience That is More Than Just a Condiment

Wholemato Organic Agave Ketchup was designed to boost ketchup to new culinary heights. While ketchup is often considered to be a simple topping for burgers and fries, Wholemato has added a touch of culinary intrigue with their creative and flavorful blend of spices that merge with the organic tomatoes to produce a gourmet ‘sauce’ that is ideal for grilling or to add a tangy zing to a wide variety of other recipes. It also has a remarkable mouth-feel that is not experienced with other ketchups.

Wholemato Organic Agave Ketchup is offered in a premium glass bottle. The 13-ounce glass bottle provides comfort to the growing number of people concerned about chemicals that may leach out of plastic bottles – especially since tomatoes and ketchup have a naturally acidic pH. The SRP for gluten-free Wholemato Organic Agave Ketchup is $4.99, and it is available at Whole Foods Markets and other retailers around the U.S. Organic condiments are hot. The category grew more than 24% from 2004-2005.

Wholemato is a family-owned business that is committed to enhancing the health of customers and supporting sustainable organic agriculture. All of the ingredients in Wholemato Organic Agave Ketchup are certified organic, and the agave nectar is harvested sustainably by a collective of indigenous people in Mexico. The founders of Wholemato celebrate the great southern tradition of sauce-making and have combined their love of gourmet food with their formal nutrition training and vast culinary experience to produce foods that are wholesome and of the highest quality.

Monday, January 21, 2008

4th Annual Hot Chocolate Celebration

Shake off the winter chill and celebrate Mardi Gras at The Brown Hotel on Fat Tuesday, February 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. for the 4th Annual Hot Chocolate Celebration. The whole family can enjoy a variety of gourmet hot chocolate and hors d’oeuvres created by The Brown Hotel’s executive chef Laurent Géroli and his culinary team in the lobby of the historic hotel. The cost of each cup of hot chocolate is $5 and includes a set of Mardi Gras beads. All of the proceeds will directly benefit The Home of the Innocents and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

This year’s selection of chocolate refreshments includes something exotic, a taste of white chocolate and something fruity. Spanish Chocolate Amore, featuring the sweet and spicy flavor of cumin, red pepper and honey cinnamon, will be available along with White Hot Chocolate, an almond-flavored drink with bourbon chocolate shaving. Make sure to try the Soy Milk Hot Chocolate too. Guests will be able to balance the sweet treats with savory delights, as complimentary tastes of the legendary Hot Brown will be available along with other hors d’oeuvres.

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 children in crisis. For more information, visit

CASA is a private, non-profit organization that trains and supports volunteer advocates who are appointed by the Jefferson County Family Courts to work on behalf of abused and neglected children. Every year in our community more than 2,000 innocent children appear before a family court judge. The Jefferson County CASA Project, founded in 1985, was the first one in Kentucky and is one of more than 900 CASA projects in 50 states nationwide.

The Brown Hotel, located at Fourth and Broadway, has been a Louisville tradition for more than 80 years. For reservations or more information, call 502-583-1234 or visit The Brown’s website at

Friday, January 18, 2008

Columbus Vistitors Enjoy Unforgettable Hands-On Creative Experiences

Travelers who visit Columbus now have unprecedented opportunities to tap into their inner artist through hands-on experiences in everything from fashion design to glass blowing. Columbus is rapidly gaining a reputation for arts, culinary and garden scenes that are ranked among the nation’s best. The city’s creative vibe has given rise to a new crop of entrepreneurs who offer visitors unique opportunities to become involved in the creative process. Participants will not only craft extraordinary memories; they also will leave with one-of-a-kind artistic reminders of their trip.

Blow glass: Glass Axis offers Columbus visitors an unusual opportunity to do much more than just observe the spectacular process of glassblowing. The non-profit organization’s “First Experience Workshops” allow even those with no experience to design and create their own unique piece of art. Gifted glass artists guide participants through the fascinating process of making everything from intricate ornaments to stunning vases and dazzling sculptures. Classes in hot, warm and cold glass processes are offered most Saturdays and should be scheduled at least one week in advance. Costs vary, depending on the project, but range from $25 to $125. Visitors can register by calling (614) 291-4250. Class schedules are found at

Design your own fashion T: Located in the Short North Arts District, the fashion-forward Columbus boutique, Substance, helps visitors put their own creative signature on a top-quality t-shirt. For just $29 per person, Substance offers monthly Design Lab Workshops, as well as custom sessions for any group of five or more -- offering the perfect addition to any girlfriends getaway. Travelers select a t-shirt from the wide Substance collection and then either embellish or batik their own designs with the guidance of Substance fashion designers. Visitors can schedule their fashion workshop by calling (614) 299-2910.

Make and label wine: Whether they’re into red wines or white, couples, groups of friends or even individuals can visit Camelot Cellars winery in the Short North to create their own wine reserve. Not only can visitors make several varieties of wine, but they can also design their very own wine label, featuring a favorite name, design, work of art or family photo. In addition, Camelot offers parties, wine tasting and retail sales of wine and wine-related gifts and accessories. Details are available at (614) 441-8860 or

Create a container garden: The secret to a successful container garden is selecting the right collection of plants that not only look good together, but also will thrive together. The gardening specialists at Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse provide expert guidance while the visitor creates a container garden that is perfectly designed for the conditions at their home – inside or out-of-doors. Travelers can schedule a workshop by calling (740) 881-4237.

Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital city is known for its unique style: an uncommon blend of neighborhoods, events, attractions and accommodations. Free visitors guides, maps and complete information about visiting Columbus are available from Experience Columbus, the region’s convention and visitors bureau, by calling 1-866-EXP-COLS or

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Explore the wonderful pleasures of beer can chicken

Zen and the Art of Cooking Beer-Can Chicken by Cary Black was written to cook beer-can chicken with or without the beer-can. Sure you can use all the new fancy cooking devices if you want to, but if you don’t just grab a six pack and be at peace! Let the creative culinary vibrations of the Universe descend into your humble kitchen.

Here’s a sample recipe for your Zen enjoyment:

Kansas City Bar-B-Que Bird

Basic Stuff:

1 3 to 6 lb chicken
½ c. vegetable or olive oil
1 c. barbecue sauce


2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. sweet or hot paprika
1 Tbs. Kosher or Sea salt
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. ground pepper to taste

Liquid Flavor essence:

32 oz. fine dark beer

Cooking Directions:

- place the bird on flavor tower.
- Using basting brush liberally paint the chicken with the liquid flavor essence.
- Generously apply the rub to the outside and the cavity of the bird.
- Add the beer to the flavor base.
- Cook in a conventional over at 350 degree F. for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the drippings are clear and the leg quarters move easily in their joints.
- Using the basting brush, paint the bird with your barbecue sauce about one hour into the cooking.
- Drink the remaining 24 ounces of beer while the bird is cooking.
- Remove the cooked chicken from over and let stand five minutes, then serve.

Serve with coleslaw, baked beans, biscuits and fresh corn on the cob. Be sure to have plenty of beer hand and avoid any discussions regarding politics, religion or favorite football teams. Enjoy the sunlight and laughter of your friends as you share this fine traditional American meal.

Cary Black has written an absolutely mouthwatering book packed with beer can chicken recipes from around the world. It also includes expert information about brining and injecting that you will find in no other cookbook. The chicken recipes are great and he also includes some absolutely delectable desserts and accompaniments. The cartoons and humor make it a book that is actually fun to cook with

His guide to beer can chicken bliss covers subjects like The Chicakano Cooker, The Jazz on Continuous Infusion, Safety, Tips and Toodles, and four different types of cooking (gas, grilling, conventional ovens, and beer-can chicken). The book also includes recipes for over 20 types of ribs, brines and marinades, 20 different injection blends, over a dozen Zen chicken recipes, and a stellar assortment of appetizers, side dishes and deserts.

Have fun and feed your friends with simplicity, low fat, and good taste.

Zen and the Art of Beer Can Cooking
By Cary Black
Illustrated by Don Black

List $14.95
Paperback: 212 pages
Published by Red Owl Publications; 2nd edition
ISBN-10: 0975427911 ISBN-13: 978-0975427910

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

RASCAL FLATTS Kickstarts The MILK ROCKS! "Be A Milk Rockstar" Contes

CMA, CMT, AMA and People’s Choice-Award-winning, multi-platinum country superstars Rascal Flatts are joining up with the successful Milk Rocks! campaign to promote health and nutrition while giving their fans a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing with Rascal Flatts live on stage. The “Be a Milk Rockstar” grand prize also includes a VIP concert experience featuring a private meet-and-greet with the band in the winner’s own “dressing room” for the night – a fully customized Gibson Guitar tour bus parked backstage, from where they will host a concert webcast. After the concert, the lucky winner will also score a meeting with a Lyric Street Records A&R representative.

Beginning on March 1, 2008, fans can register at to pick their favorite of five available Rascal Flatts songs and upload their own karaoke-style video recording of the tune, to be voted on by the Milk Rocks! online community. The Top Ten vote earners will win the first prize of exclusive signed Les Paul Gibson guitars, plus Rascal Flatts CDs and posters signed by the band. From the Top Three, the grand prize winner will be hand-picked by Rascal Flatts themselves on April 15 to receive the unforgettable, deluxe concert experience (performance date TBD).

Rascal Flatts’ involvement in “Be a Milk Rockstar” will also include the band’s prerecorded messages to fans explaining the contest rules as well as nutritional facts about milk, which will be displayed online at and on more than 100 million milk cartons, in excess of 40,000 school lunchroom posters, and at venues prior to the group’s concerts. Impressions are expected to reach one billion views.

Lyric Street Records’ Rascal Flatts, just the latest stars to join the highly successful Milk Rocks! campaign, have become one of the most successful acts in music, with over 15 million albums sold, nine #1 songs and 17 Top 10 hits credited to the trio of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney. Their September 2007 release, Still Feels Good, marked their third-straight #1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, following 2006’s Me and My Gang, which made the trio the top-selling artists in all genres of music that year, with more than five million units sold. Their 2007 "Still Feels Good Tour" closed out the year as the 10th best selling tour in all genres according to Billboard magazine. The band also recently won the CMA “Vocal Group of the Year” for the fifth consecutive year.

“We have the greatest fans in the world,” said Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts. “So giving our songs back to them, with the opportunity to join the band for a night, is the least we can do to say thanks. And since drinking milk is a big part of keeping our fans energized for our show, we’re happy to help Milk Rocks! get their message out there.”

New York-based MilkMedia’s milk carton side-panels and lunchroom posters are table-talk in more than 95,000 elementary, middle and high schools nationwide, spreading the word on health, nutrition and exercise on up to 24 million branded cartons of milk per day. Directed at ‘tweens (ages 9-13) and teens (ages 14-19), Milk Rocks! makes milk “cool for kids” in schools, on the web and in concerts with today’s brightest stars. The Milk Rocks! program, which launched in September 2007, has recently been featured in Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, and has attracted American Idol star Elliott Yamin, Hilary Duff, The Cheetah Girls, Mandy Moore, Aly & AJ and dozens of other artists from many major and independent record labels. These artists direct students to, where they can enter exciting sweepstakes, listen to music, watch videos, download songs and photos, play games and have a chance to brush elbows with their favorite stars — like Rascal Flatts.

There has never been a better time to promote healthy nutrition to kids in a fun way. As childhood obesity and diabetes reach epidemic proportions in the U.S., school administrators are welcoming the Milk Rocks! message and method. “Making pop icons the face of milk consumption, instead of junk food, is very positive for students,” says Katie Rogers, Director of Child Nutrition at the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township. Says Richard Long, CEO of MilkMedia, who pioneered the milk carton program over 10 years ago, “It’s hard to spread the word on nutrition and healthy lifestyles without sounding preachy, but Milk Rocks! positively influences food and beverage choices through music, action sports, games and movies – all the fun stuff kids actually relate to.”

FDA Gives a Thumbs Up to Cloned Milk and Meat

The Competitive Enterprise Institute applauds the Food and Drug Administration’s verdict on the safety of food products made from cloned animals. The agency’s long-awaited final risk assessment concluded that milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring is as safe as foods from animals that have been conventionally bred.

The FDA panel reviewed hundreds of scientific and medical studies, producing an exhaustive 968-page report that found no health or safety risks unique to the cloning process. Despite this clean bill of health, however, the agency is till receiving criticism from activists opposed to the use of biotechnology.

“Since Dolly the sheep became the first successfully cloned animal in 1996, thousands of other healthy sheep, cattle and pigs more have been born, but critics still claim the process will create monstrous new hybrids,” said Gregory Conko, Director of Food Safety Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “The scary predictions of anti-technology activists have been shown to be nothing more than science fiction.”

The current proven method for cloning animals was first envisioned in the 1930s, but its use had to wait until the process was developed and perfected. “Over the past decade, studies have accumulated to the point where researchers now have more data on the health and well-being of cloned animals than they do on conventionally bred livestock,” said Conko.

In response to ethical questions regarding the technology, Conko notes that breeders can produce better and safer food by cloning rare animals that produce leaner meat, for example, or that are especially resistant to common livestock diseases.

“The ability to drastically reduce illness among animals and to improve consumer safety arguably makes cloning more, not less humane than traditional breeding,” concluded Conko.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at

Altar Your Space: A Guide to Restorative Home

What makes a house a home, a sacred living space, a place of joy and grace? Jagatjoti S. Khalsa says that anyone can turn their home into a sanctuary, seamlessly blending form and function into a unique, life-affirming haven. Khalsa offers his inspiring and uplifting look at the sacred home, Altar Your Space: A Guide to Restorative Home ($29.95, softcover, full color photos throughout, 10 1/4” x 8 3/4” inches, 164 pages, November 2007), which will be available this Fall for anyone looking to create a sense of sacred self within their own home.

The book takes you on a journey in “designing a home environment that blesses you, uplifts your spirit, keeps you holy-minded, embraces and supports the fullness of your worldly life, and emanates the energy, atmosphere and fragrance of that which we call the sacred.”

An understanding of the relationship between inner and outer space is key to Khalsa’s philosophy and design sensibility. By reminding his clients throughout the design process that they are in control and are the masters of every aspect of their home, he helps them transform or altar their environments into sacred spaces that nourish the soul.

Chapters include a guide to creating an altar within ones’ home as a way to create a conscious environment, serene and temple-like. Considerations include the placement of furnishings, lighting, textiles and texture, sound, scent and the conscious selection of accessories. “The Front Exterior: The Face Of Home” reminds readers that the front of ones’ home is the face that is presented to the world expressing to others the owners persona. Throughout the book various rooms are used as examples to show how you can “altar” a space to breathe more life into the room, going beyond it’s baseline function.

Khalsa, designer and founder of Tara Home Sacred Furnishings, itself a respite for celebrities in Southern California and Phoenix, shows how simple furnishings like a hand-carved wooded chair, a stone Statue of Ganesh or graceful translucent curtains can transform a basic room into a refuge. Drawing upon the inspiration of a team of craftsmen and artisans in India, Tibet, Nepal and China, Khalsa suggests simple, yet profound ways to fill your home with inspiring materials, art and furniture that bring an Eastern sensibility into today’s modern Western home.

Khalsa offers the term sahej, (yogic term) meaning “Ahhhh…” to explain the feeling that comes over one when their new home environment connects “you to yourself and your vision” and that will be one’s sacred place. Celebrities who have experience sahej with Khalsa include Joely Fisher, Jeremy Piven, Sharon Stone, Robert Wisdom to name a few.

Jagatjoti Khalsa is the founder of Tara Home in Venice, California, which specializes in sacred home furnishings and antiques from the world’s most spiritually rich locations. His goal is to not only focus on the design needs of the client, but also the underlying personal and spiritual needs that clients may or may not recognized within themselves. He has also worked in the natural foods industry at KIIT, the parent company of Yogi Tea. He lives in Venice, California.

OU Sends Free Kosher Kidz Video to Jewish Schools

Here is a recipe for a tasty video that has just been released by OU Kosher:

Take an enthusiastic boy, about nine or ten years old, who seemingly was born to perform in front of a camera, feed him lots of ice cream, add clever animation, and what do you get?

It’s Kosher Kidz, the new 12 ½ minute video just released in DVD format by OU Kosher to explain the intricacies of kosher certification to school “kidz,” and their teachers and parents as well.

The OU is distributing 1,000 copies, free of charge, to Jewish day schools/yeshivot and congregational schools of all the streams of Judaism across North America and even beyond for an audience of nine to fifteen-year-olds, with each school receiving one copy. A delegation led by Rabbi Yaakov Luban, Executive Rabbinic Coordinator of OU Kosher, went to the Safeway Ice Cream factory in Seattle to watch and record every step of the production process as well as the work of the OU rabbinic field representative assigned to supervise the factory.

“The rationale for the video was that it would be important for children to understand why products need supervision and for them to understand the complexity of what it is involved – it’s not just some rabbi stamping an OU on the package,” Rabbi Luban explained. He co-wrote a script based on how Safeway goes about making ice cream, and how the OU certifies it as kosher.

The Kosher Program Is Very Complex:

“We did everything with Safeway’s permission and cooperation,” Rabbi Luban said. “They went about their normal business and we shot each phase of production. The video provides a window of insight into how kosher production works and why it’s important to have reliable supervision. Even in a kosher audience, such as in the yeshivot, there is very little understanding of what is involved. It’s important for people to appreciate that the process of making a product kosher is very complex and involves much professionalism. Teachers will find the video to be very informative as well.”

According to Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Vice President of Marketing and Communications of OU Kosher, Kosher Kidz is but the latest in an ever-increasing series of educational initiatives of OU Kosher. They include dispatching rabbis to congregations, yeshivas, schools and seminaries across North America as part of the “OU Kosher Coming” programs, to lead sessions and to answer questions, as well as the ever-expanding “Kosher Tidbits” feature on, in which OU experts have recorded more than 90 broadcasts (with more being added all the time) on every aspect imaginable of kosher production and certification. The Kosher Kidz video will be posted to, where much kosher information is available and is constantly updated.

“The new video is part of a consistent effort to reach out with kosher education through a variety of means, for children and adults,” Rabbi Safran said. “It is part of OU Kosher’s responsibility of not only certifying food but of educating people about keeping kosher as well.”

Besides the ice cream, the star of the video is young Moses Bibi, of Atlantic Beach in suburban Long Island, NY, who sat in his own kitchen as Rick Magder, who produced and directed the video, put him through his paces. Playing a boy named Ezra, Moshe watches wide-eyed as the Safeway production process is shown, then asks questions of a mythical OU Kosher rabbi, played by OU staffer Rabbi Mayer Waxman, who responds to him through a computer monitor.

Madger, who co-wrote the script with Rabbi Luban, chose Moses after holding auditions with boys sent up by talent agencies. Moses has done some acting in the past; based on the way he appears in the video, he’ll do some more in the future.

“He has a real upbeat personality and gets really excited about what he’s doing,” Magder explained. A student at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, not far from Atlantic Beach, Moses has also sung in the Yeshiva Boys Choir.

It didn’t hurt that Moses keeps kosher in his own home. “We were ideally looking for somebody who understands what we were trying to do,” Magder said. “He’s like a real professional, he learned his lines, and he ate lots of ice cream.”

Although the DVD is being distributed to schools affiliated with the various Jewish branches, OU Kosher will also provide a free copy to non-affiliated schools as well.

Families or individuals who want a copy can order one from OU Kosher for a $10 shipping and handling charge. It may be purchased with a credit card at

Giving People the Healthy Facts: CalorieKing Mobile

Almost everyone knows the power of fast food. It’s the easy way out of cooking; It’s fast and cheap; It may be the only option while out on-the-go Now fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Taco Bell can also be HEALTHY with CalorieKing’s new – and FREE – CalorieKing Mobile. A quick search on CalorieKing Mobile,, displays over 50,000 meals, fast food and chain restaurants items, all from any Internet-enabled mobile phone or smartphone.

Here is an example of two different meals you could order at Wendy’s:

Meal 1
Roasted Turkey & Swiss Frescata sandwich – 470 cal, 20 fat g.
Baked Potato, Sour Cream & Chives – 320 cal, 4 fat g.
Medium Coca-Cola soft drink – 213 cal, 0 fat g.

Calories- 1,003 Fat- 24 grams

Meal 2
5-piece Chicken Nuggets – 230 cal, 15 fat g.
Chili – 220 cal, 6 fat g.
Medium Minute Maid Lemonade soft drink – 11 cal, 0 fat g.

Calories- 461 Fat- 21 grams

Obviously there is a huge difference in these potential meals. CalorieKing Mobile is a great tool for the entire family and it’s FREE

Monday, January 14, 2008

Personality Hotels Signs Restaurant Deal with Chef Tyler Florence

San Francisco eat your heart out! Cutting-edge San Francisco boutique hotel company Personality Hotels announced today that it has signed a deal to partner with one of America's hottest culinary stars – Tyler Florence – to open a restaurant in Hotel Vertigo (currently the York Hotel). This will be Florence's first restaurant, and it is highly anticipated to shake up the San Francisco gastronomic scene.

Located in San Francisco's Nob Hill District, the 97-room York Hotel is currently undergoing a $5 million renovation spearheaded by award-winning, LA-based Thomas Schoos Design, Inc., renowned for the interior design of Huntley Hotel and O-Bar, Koi, Table 8 and Tao restaurants. Upon completion in Summer 2008, York Hotel will be renamed Hotel Vertigo after Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 classic thriller staring James Stewart and Kim Novak (Novak's character lived in the York Hotel during the last half of the film). Florence's restaurant will be located in the hotel's former Empire Plush Room space, and is scheduled to open in Summer 2008.

"Tyler is one of the world's most popular chefs, and we are very energized and honored to bring such a talented, creative and fun personality to the San Francisco culinary scene," says Personality Hotels' President and CEO Yvonne Lembi-Detert. "The City is truly gaining a shining star sure to ignite our taste buds and spice up our imagination!"

"I am thrilled to be working with Personality Hotels to bring my first signature restaurant to San Francisco," says Florence. "Having recently moved to the Bay Area from New York City, I wake up every day in awe of this true culinary utopia. I look forward to being a part of it, and bringing something very special to the City of San Francisco."

A recent transplant to the San Francisco Bay Area, Florence's culinary expertise, complemented by his personable style and charisma, has lead to an extremely successful career for more than a decade. Named the "Sexiest Chef Alive" by People magazine, prominent chef, television celebrity and acclaimed author Florence is the star of three Food Network television programs including How to Boil Water, a cooking show for novices, Food 911, his hugely popular "recipe rescue" show and Tyler's Ultimate, showcasing crowd-pleasing classic comfort food. In addition, Florence is the author of three cookbooks - Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen, Eat This Book: Cooking with Global Fresh Flavors and Tyler's Ultimate.

Small Hotels. Big Personalities.
Established in 1982 as San Francisco's first boutique hotel company, Personality Hotels is now the largest individually-owned boutique hotel operator in The City. From a quaint European-style suite to a zenful night's sleep amid sounds of a tropical rain forest, Personality Hotels can oblige. Celebrating the unique personality in all of us, Personality Hotels consists of an eclectic collection of seven San Francisco boutique properties including the SEXY Hotel Diva, VIVID Hotel Metropolis, AUTHENTIC Hotel Union Square, GRAND Kensington Park Hotel, LEGENDARY York Hotel, DISTINCTIVE Maxwell Hotel and TIMELESS Steinhart Hotel. Located in the center of the action, all Personality Hotels are within walking distance of Union Square shopping, theatres and restaurants. For more information and to book reservations, call 800.553.1900 or visit

Vancouver-based FullyLoadedTea, first of its kind in North America

Vancouver-based tea company, FullyLoadedTea, proudly announces the company’s recent launch of their innovative whole fruit, exotic berry, and vegetable blends – the first of its kind in North America to incorporate actual berries harvested from around the globe, unveiling eight bold flavours cited as the newest trend in the tea world.

“FullyLoadedTea fills the vacancy in the premium tea market,” says Katya Popoff, co-founder and co-president of FullyLoadedTea. “We take exotic berries full of vitamins and antioxidants, blend them with whole leaf teas, package them in award-winning designs to create truly innovative, exceptional tea blends that appeal to young urban professionals with a yearning for small luxuries.”

Prior to the company’s official North American rollout in March 2007, Siberian-born sisters and founders of FullyLoadedTea, Katya Popoff and Olga Lenova, tapped Vancouver design firm Subplot Design Inc. to create a complete brand identity and packaging system. Since then, FullyLoadedTea’s distinctive packaging design has won numerous awards, recognizing the brand as a bold, opinionated, full-flavoured, big attitude line.

The passionate, young entrepreneurs develop fresh, exciting and modern tea blends that are as delicious as they are healthy - and with names like Tomato Rebel Black Tea and Bulletproof Currant Fruit Tea, the drinking experience promises to be as memorable as the names in which they were christened.

“Our goal is to drive innovation in the tea industry, creating breakthrough blends that reflect our distinctive company brand,” explains Popoff.

Having recently been selected as the only Canadian company to join the 2007 Emmy Awards “Main Event Red Carpet Lounge” gifting suite this past September, FullyLoadedTea is quickly making its mark in Canada and the US.

The Canadian company’s specialty teas are currently available at select retailers in North America, including Nesters Markets, BC; Meinhardt Fine Foods, BC; Waves Coffee, BC; Chamberlin’s Market, Florida; AKiN’s Natural Foods in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska; and Harvest Moon Food Store in Virginia and New Hampshire, among others, as well as for purchase online at

About FullyLoadedTea
A truly modern drink company, FullyLoadedTea takes exotic berries full of vitamins and antioxidants and blends them with premium whole leaf green, black, and white teas to create eight delicious and energizing gourmet concoctions. Siberian natives and tea lovers, sisters Katya Popoff and Olga Lenova, founded the young, modern tea company. Found in a number of fine food stores and gourmet tea and coffee shops across North America, every FullyLoadedTea brew is also available for purchase online at

Science Shows Soyfoods May Help Win ‘Battle of the Belt’

Scientists have found soyfoods may be a valuable weapon in the weight loss battle. Protein-rich soyfoods, when replacing other sources of protein, may help individuals lose weight and fat—while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. An evidence-based review by Dr. David Allison and Dr. Mark Cope at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Dr. John Erdman at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana, finds soyfoods are equal to other protein sources, such as dairy or meat, in helping to battle weight by promoting fat loss.

This comprehensive review, published in the November issue of Obesity Reviews, examines current research on animals, human populations, and clinical trials related to soy protein and weight control. Researchers sought to determine the strength of the evidence on four proposed mechanisms by which soy may aid weight control: 1) soy increases weight loss when consumed at an equal calorie level as other foods, 2) soy aids weight and fat loss by decreasing caloric intake, 3) certain soyfoods benefit glucose control and heart health during weight loss, and 4) certain soyfoods will minimize the loss of bone mass during weight loss.

The review, including results from eight human studies, finds that individuals lost equivalent amounts of weight and, in some cases, equal inches of fat around the waist, using soy protein, dairy milk meal replacements, beef or pork at equal calorie levels. This illustrates the value of soy protein in a varied diet for weight control. Findings also support the possibility that soy protein decreases short-term appetite and calorie intake. Extensive follow-up trials are needed to prove the satiety, or feeling of fullness, factor of soy protein.

Researchers also examined whether soy isoflavones reduce diabetes by stopping fat tissue build up and enhancing fat breakdown. Limited animal trials and human studies suggest soy-based diets and isoflavones may lower blood glucose and insulin levels. If proven effective, a soy-based meal replacement could provide additional benefits to diabetics during weight reduction. Researchers confirmed soy-based diets, compared to other low calorie diets, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Findings indicate soy may reduce bone loss in women, but additional clinical trials on soy and bone loss are needed.

Consumers battling extra pounds should try soyfoods to curb cravings and replace foods high in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. Armed with soyfoods, dieters may be a step ahead in the weight loss battle. For more information, please visit

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Sauce Lab

Innovators with over thirty years experience in the commercial food manufacturing and co-packing business are turning their attention to the consumer. THE SAUCE LAB offers home chefs, restaurateurs and foodies a chance to have their signature recipes turned into commercially packed products.

THE SAUCE LAB is a one-stop resource for professional specialty food product development, design and manufacture.

THE SAUCE LAB will manufacture, bottle, label and package a home or restaurant recipe using the most up to date standards and commercial equipment in compliance with all government regulations.

THE SAUCE LAB specializes in pasta sauces, salad dressings, salsas, cooking/grill sauces, marinades and bbq sauces. All products will be packed in glass bottles or jars.

“Large food manufacturing companies are not equipped to accommodate individuals looking to break into the specialty food business,” says Philip Hoffman, Chief Creative Officer. “The SAUCE LAB was created to address this important need.”

THE SAUCE LAB is unique because it handles every aspect of the project – bringing together, for the first time under one roof, all of the dozens and dozens of procedures, tasks and bits of minutiae that, before now, have been overwhelming and near impossible for the consumer or even the most ambitious entrepreneur who has the dream of getting products out into the world. From product development through test batches, government safety regulations, manufacturing, label design and printing and packing – THE SAUCE LAB handles it all!

For more information on bottling your dream:

New Dish Cleaning Product Saves Time, Money & The Environment

What sets Magic Sheets apart from possible competition is that
they are completely organic, nontoxic and will biodegrade 100%
in just 21 days. Magic Sheets cleaning capabilities have been
designed for maximum ease, power and speed. Although initially
designed for the home-use market, Magic Sheets are also ideal
for cleaning grimy BBQ grills and are equally useful for the
commercial kitchen/restaurant market.

How Do Magic Sheets Work: Even if a lubricant is used before
baking, a considerable amount of debris can stick to the surface
of most pans. Instead of soaking the dirty pan overnight, simply
wet the sheet wipe the item, fill the pan with water, drop a
Magic Sheet in the center and continue to clean the rest of the
dishes. After just 15 minutes or so all of the debris will have
been loosened from the surface, much of it latched on to the
Magic Sheet. The composition of the sheet is such that it
literally pulls the debris away from the pan

Each Magic Sheet is strong enough to handle the toughest debris
of any pot or pan. Besides the timesavings and ease of use,
Magic Sheets eliminate the need for purchasing scour pads,
abrasives, and other high intensity dish care products that are
typically used for pots and pans

A packaged box of 40 Magic Sheets sell for $5.95 and are
available at:

For more information go to:

Perfect GUILTLESS Snack for the New Year

For almost 20 years, Guiltless Gourmet® has been the leader in the “Baked Not Fried” tortilla chip category. Guiltless Gourmet re-launched their popular baked tortilla chips to be better than ever. The newly formulated chips have a better overall appearance, aroma, flavor, texture and liking—all preferred by current consumers. NEW Guiltless Gourmet Baked Tortilla Chips recently hit the supermarket shelves.

The new and improved baked tortilla chips will exceed consumer’s expectations. New Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips:
- Have improved flavor, a bolder taste, better texture and a crispier crunch
- Are baked, not fried
- Are all natural with no preservatives or artificial ingredients
- Have only 120 calories and 3 grams of fat or less per serving and 0 trans fat

Each of the nine chip flavors will be packaged in new metalized bags to keep the product fresher longer. Guiltless Gourmet continues to use only the finest ingredients such as certified stone ground organic corn and expeller cold pressed oils. In addition, chip flavors come from real food including peppers, beans, chili, cheese and spices. The newest chip flavor is Smoked Cheddar chosen by the consumers themselves! Some other unique flavors include Chipotle, Chile Verde and Spicy Black Bean on Blue Corn.

Retailers nationwide such as Shoprite, Kroger, Safeway and Publix will carry new Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips in the snack section. The suggested retail price is $2.69.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Introducing New Yo-Crunch Light

YoCrunch, the smooth and crunchy yogurt mix-in pioneer, today announces the launch of the new YoCrunch Light line, featuring a winning blend of delicious smooth nonfat yogurt and crunchy toppings with 1/3 fewer calories than the original YoCrunch yogurt.

Created in response to a fast-growing demand among consumers for products which go light on calories without going light on taste, YoCrunch Light debuts in three popular flavors: Cookies n’ Cream, featuring nonfat vanilla yogurt with Oreo® cookie piece toppings; and Strawberry and Peach with Granola, featuring nonfat yogurt with all-natural, lowfat granola topping. Each of the flavors contain approximately 120 calories per serving.

YoCrunch Light will be available come May/June 2008 at leading grocery, health food and specialty stores nationwide for an SRP of $.99 - $1.19 for each 6 ounce cup.

YoCrunch Light contains live and active cultures perfect for digestion and replete with an essential mix of health benefits, along with added Vitamins A and D. As a result, the new line is ideally suited to health-conscious consumers of virtually all ages and taste preferences, especially Moms anxious to reduce calories in their child’s diet or in their own.

According to Chuck Marcy, president of YoCrunch, “We have worked hard to create a new lower-calorie product that offers consumers the same unique blend of rich, smooth yogurt and deliciously crunchy toppings, which have always defined the YoCrunch brand. Since active adults and conscientious parents are increasingly looking for foods with fewer calories that don’t compromise on taste and quality, I feel confident YoCrunch Light will be one of our most popular lines to date.”

The launch of YoCrunch Light follows the 2007 introduction of YoCrunch Naturals, another line created for people seeking great taste, nutrition, and quality all-natural ingredients in one convenient and innovative package.

About YoCrunch
YoCrunch, a part of the Breyers® Yogurt Company, is America’s best-selling line of smooth creamy yogurt conveniently packaged together with a wide variety of brand name crunchy mix-ins including Back to Nature® Granola, M&M’s®, Nestle®, Reeses®, Oreo®, Tree-Top®, Butterfinger®, and SunSpire®. For more information please visit

Eat Salad for Super Bowl

an football fans cheer as enthusiastically for salad on Super
Bowl Sunday as they can for chips and salsa? They can when it's Newman's
Own® Super Pile-On Salad that is a hunky, chunky recipe of grilled chicken
marinated in Newman's Own® Mesquite Lime Marinade, chick peas, chunks of
tomato and cucumber, a handful of Newman's Own Organics® dried
cranberries or raisins, and shredded cheddar cheese piled high on a bed of
romaine lettuce and topped off with Newman's Own® Beta Feta dressing.

To celebrate Super Bowl 2008, Newman's Own® developed tasty, easy-to-
make, eat, and serve recipes for game-day get-togethers that are a bit
healthier than traditional big-game fare. The company is also launching a print
advertising campaign that will promote a healthier Super Bowl with snack and
meal ideas that include:

(all recipe quantities serve 4)

First Down Dip
Newman's Own® Black Bean and Corn salsa
Open salsa jar. Open bag of chips. Sit on sofa. Eat and watch game.

Undefeated Dip (otherwise known as Artichoke and Goat Cheese)
Goat Cheese (one package or 1 ½ cups)
Mayonnaise (1 cup)
Artichoke hearts (approx 2 cups chopped)
Parmesan Cheese
Combine all ingredients except parmesan cheese; spread in a baking tin and
sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for approx.
20 minutes or until top is lightly brown. Top with Newman's Own® Chunky
Salsa with Roasted Garlic. Serve with chips or bread.

Super Pile-On Salad
Romaine Lettuce (1 head, rinsed and chopped)
Tomatoes (1 medium size, chopped)
Cucumbers (1 small, chopped)
Chick Peas (1 cup)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Newman's Own Organics® dried cranberries and raisins
Grilled Chicken (2 breasts marinated in Newman's Own® Mesquite Lime
Newman's Own® Beta Feta Salad Dressing
Marinate chicken breasts with Newman's Own® Mesquite Lime Marinade. Grill,
sauté, or bake chicken. Cut into small bite-sized chunks. While baking (or
grilling) rinse and chop romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and toss in
bowl. Add chick peas, dried cranberries and raisins and sprinkle shredded
cheese. Top with Newman's Own® New Beta Feta salad dressing.

Passing Touchdown Pizza (otherwise known as Paul's Easy Hawaiian Pie)
Ready-made pizza dough
Newman's Own® pineapple salsa
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Applegate Farms Pepperoni
Prepare store-bought ready-made pizza dough; spread Newman's Own®
pineapple salsa; sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese and top with slices of
Applegate Farms all-natural pepperoni (I like to add extra chunks of
pineapple). Bake on a cookie sheet at 475 degrees until crust is lightly
browned and crispy (usually about 10 minutes).

Linebacker Lasagna
1 lb. Ground Beef (for a healthier lasagna substitute beef with ground turkey)
1 lb. Ground Pork
Onion (1 small)
Carrots (1 cup chopped)
Celery (1 cup chopped)
Garlic (1-2 heaping tablespoons)
Newman's Own® Marinara with Mushrooms Pasta Sauce
Newman's Own® Garlic Red and Green Pepper Sauce
Lasagna Noodles (2 boxes)
Ricotta Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Boil lasagna noodles per box directions. Meanwhile, sauté ground beef and
pork until lightly browned; drain grease from pan. In separate pan, sauté
onion and garlic in olive oil; add carrots and celery. When finished, combine
meat, vegetables, and 1 jar each of Newman's Own® pasta sauce. Line
baking pan with one layer of noodles; spread meat and veggie mixture; add
another layer of noodles and add ricotta cheese; place last layer of noodles
and spread a thin layer of meat, sauce, and veggie mix; top with grated
parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Baked Spaghetti Cakes
Newman's Own® Tomato and Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
Parmesan Cheese
Cook spaghetti. Heat up sauce. Combine together in pan and then drop
circular "cakes" of spaghetti onto a tin-foil-lined baking sheet. Top with
parmesan cheese and bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or
until slightly crispy. (The outside of these should be crispy, while the inside
remains soft making them a bit "neater" to eat while watching the Big Game.)

Bite-Sized All-American Dipper Wraps
Soft Tortilla Wraps
Sliced Ham
Sliced Turkey
American Cheese Slices
Chopped Romaine Lettuce
Combine ingredients into a wrap and roll. These wraps can be made as
sandwiches with Newman's Own® Two Thousand Island Dressing or as bite-
sized versions that can be dipped into Newman's Own® Chunky Salsa and
Roasted Garlic.

More recipes and Game-Day Party tips at

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Turks & Caicos Sporting Club Announces New Chef!

Turks & Caicos Sporting Club at Ambergris Cay is pleased to announce its new Executive Chef, Ulrich A. Sterling. A native of Beaufort, SC, “Rich” comes to TCSC with a vast history of creative and innovative experience from the top restaurants in the US.

Most recently working as a private chef/consultant with SmartCatering in NYC, Rich took his first kitchen job as a dishwasher and fry cook to earn money for a new car, a simple beginning only launching a long and successful career. In 2001, Sterling moved to New York and worked at several of the city's most exciting restaurants, including Pipa, known for its award-winning tapas and the cafes at the Museum of Modern Art. At MOMA, Rich worked closely under the direction Danny Meyer, the world famous restauranteur/hospitalitarian who paved the way in customer service and quality cuisine for New York’s top restaurants including Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe.

In March 2005, Sterling was named Sous Chef at Sushi Samba Park, and just a few short months later, was promoted to Executive Chef at Sushi Samba's Seventh Avenue outpost, the highest grossing location of this Nationwide Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian fusion restaurant. Shortly after his promotion, in March 2006, Rich was invited to join the prestigious James Beard House Foundation, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America's culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of culinary excellence.

The James Beard Foundation was first initiated in 1986 by Peter Kump, a former student of James Beard and founder of the Institute of Culinary Education. The Foundation hosts frequent dinners in the headquarters, Peter Beard’s original townhouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village, purchased by Mr. Kump, at the suggestion of Julia Child. Participating chefs have included notables such as Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, Nobu Matsuhisa, and Turks & Caicos Sporting Club’s very own Rich Sterling.

“Rich joins DPS Sporting Club Development with a wealth of knowledge, incredible depth of innovative experience, a great attitude and energy. He is a vital addition to our team and members are in for a very special personalized treat of memorable meals.” says Peter Pollak, Managing Partner, DPS Sporting Club Development “With his experience of haute-cuisine, fusion cooking and emphasis on hospitality there was no competition when looking to fill this position, Rich blew everyone out of the water with his 8 course ‘interview’ meal.”

In his new post as Executive Chef at Turks & Caicos Sporting Club at Ambergris Cay, Rich’s responsibility will include creating unique menus combining local specialties with the highest quality of ingredients from around the globe. One of his favorite sayings is “eggs and truffles, like peanut butter and jelly.” He will be based and live on Ambergris Cay.

Turks & Caicos Sporting Club at Ambergris Cay is an 1,100 acre private island residential community offering distinguished home sites ranging from $600,000 to $6 million USD and world-class amenities such as the longest private airstrip in the Caribbean, world-class fishing, big boat marina, environmental learning center, spa, and fine-dining.

Turks & Caicos Sporting Club at Ambergris Cay is a residential sporting community created by DPS Sporting Club Development Company, LLC. DPS develops private, environmentally sensitive, single-family residential sporting communities on historic and unique properties, with a commitment to preserving the distinct character of each location. These clubs are managed by DPS Management Company, the exclusive service provider for the renowned Greenbrier Resort & Club Management Company, combing world class services, amenities and outdoor pursuits for all ages and skill levels. The award-winning DPS Sporting Club Collection includes The Greenbrier Sporting Club, White Sulphur Springs, WV; Turks & Caicos Sporting Club at Ambergris Cay, British West Indies; Snake River Sporting Club, Jackson Hole, WY; The Ford Plantation, Savannah, GA, and Deep Water Cay Club, The Bahamas.
Live The Sporting Life!

Visit Turks & Caicos Sporting Club at and DPS at

Tea Tidbits

• Tea May Help Strengthen Bones Among Older Women
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat, affecting over one in every two adults ages 50 and over. One in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime. These fractures often result in a reduced quality of life or even loss of life among older Americans.
However, diet and exercise can help prevent thinning bones. Australian researchers published findings from a five-year bone health study in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that among older women, those who drank tea, preserved more bone mass of the hip compared to those who did not enjoy tea in their daily diets.
In a study that included 1,500 women aged 70-85 years old, researchers followed them for a five-year timeframe while providing calcium. In addition, at the end of the study, the researchers also implemented a diet recall questionnaire and asked about tea drinking habits. Among the tea drinkers, bone density was found to be 2.8% greater in tea drinkers than in non-tea drinkers. The authors suggest that tea drinking, combined with calcium supplementation, may help preserve bone density as we age.
Devine A, Hodgson JM, Disk IM and Prince RL. Tea drinking is associated with benefits on bone density in older women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86(4):1243-7.

• Cancer-Fighting Properties Identified in Green Tea Extracts
Researchers from Rutgers University presented a study at the Sixth Annual American Association for Cancer Research held in December. One study presented highlighted an association between the green tea polyphenol, EGCG, and the development of human colon cancer cells in an animal model study.
According to the researchers, animals fed typical Western diets (similar to the US average intake) and half of the animals received green tea polyphenols and the others did not. Those receiving green tea extract reduced their risk of developing a colon cancer tumor by over 50 percent and weighed 5% less than animals fed the same diet but without the green tea polyphenols.
Based on the size and weight of the animals, an equivalent amount of tea in a human adult diet would equal four to six cups a day. The researchers theorize that the EGCG polyphenol present in green tea was responsible for the reduction in colon cancer risk.
This study adds to the growing scientific literature around the role that green tea may play in inhibiting specific types of cancer. Numerous experimental and several population-based studies have shown that green tea exerts anti-cancer mechanisms. For example EGCG is known to induce activity of compounds that inactive free radicals that are often implicated in carcinogenesis or the development of cancer.
Douaud, Clarisse. “Plant compounds for cancer shine at conference.” Decision News Media SAS. 2007. 10 Dec. 2007 .
With 2008 off to a bang, many Americans are making their best attempts at sticking to the many New Year’s resolutions that we typically make – and break – every year. Whether it is to eat better, get back to the gym, give up unhealthy vices, or all of the above, many of these all-too-familiar resolutions will be abandoned by February 1st, if not earlier. However, there is one resolution that can help in maintaining an overall healthier lifestyle and so much more: Drinking tea!
New research presented this past fall at the USDA in Washington, D.C., associates drinking tea with maintaining a healthy body weight, reduced risk for several chronic diseases, such as heart disease and certain cancers, and also found that drinking tea may support healthy brain function.
Boost Your Mind in 2008 with a Cup of Tea
Start the New Year out right with a healthy “brain-boost” to help get those brainwaves flowing clearly in 2008. New research suggests that the effects of theanine (found in tea) used in combination with caffeine may improve attention and induce a relaxed state that also allows the mind to focus and concentrate better at tasks.
Tea May Help Fight the Battle of the Bulge
It’s never too early to start thinking about swimsuit season and with over two-thirds of the U.S. adult population overweight or obese, scientists are looking for medically sound ways to help consumers manage their weight. Since Green and Black Tea can be enjoyed without added calories, tea drinkers may find that they can eliminate liquid calories in their diet by drinking tea in lieu of sugar-laden beverages that are nutrient-poor but calorie-rich.
Tea’s Potential Role in the Fight against Cancer & Cardiovascular Disease
Everyone is looking for a way to help fight heart disease and cancer. The latest human clinical trial suggests that bioactive compounds in tea may provide significant benefits against oxidative stress and cancer susceptibility.
Plus, new developments in artery endothelium research suggest that drinking as little as two to four cups of tea daily can promote cardiovascular health.
Adding tea to a healthy diet may be one of the easiest and healthiest resolutions to start the New Year out right; and to top things off, January is also National Hot Tea Month! So toast the New Year – and the rest of the year – with a hot cup of tea!
For more on tea and health, please visit

What you don’t know about genetically engineered food could harm you

Would you buy and eat food that hasn’t been proven safe? Probably not intentionally, yet that’s exactly what we are doing every day because we eat foods that have been genetically engineered.

Beth Harrison, Ph.D. author of the new book Shedding Light on Genetically Engineered Food says research by independent scientists shows that genetically engineered (GE) food, which has infiltrated the foods we eat, may pose serious risks to our health.

Biotechnology scientists can freely take the genetic material out of one organism and place it in another, creating new life forms that would not otherwise occur in nature (e.g., flounder genes in tomatoes). They are changing the most fundamental characteristics of the very food we eat without knowing what it will do to people who eat it. Furthermore, because GE food is unlabeled, we’re being kept uninformed about it by companies that are making billions of dollars in profits.

This novel technology has virtually invaded the grocery store and taken over the food on our shelves. An estimated 70-75 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves—from soda to soup, snack food to microwave food, even baby food and infant formula—contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Genetically engineered foods have never been proven safe for human consumption. In fact, there are no regulations or laws requiring safety testing of GE food. Scientific studies have revealed that animals fed GE food developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth; smaller brains, livers, and testicles; damaged immune systems; partial atrophy of the liver; lesions in the livers, stomachs, and kidneys; inflammation of the kidneys; and problems with their blood cells.

“We just haven’t seen outward physical effects yet,” says Harrison. “It could well be that we’ve got a ticking time bomb in our systems.”

The biotech industry has spent millions of dollars to fight proposed labeling laws and laws to ban genetically engineered food in America. GE food is simply a profitable product to be bought and sold on the global market. According to its largest trade organization, the biotech industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with the goal simply “to build revenue and a profit-generating business.” So in reality, GE food is about corporations altering, patenting, and owning the food supply. Biotech corporations benefit while society and individuals bear the health risks.

Harrison says, “Only when people learn about GE foods can they make conscious choices about what they eat. Fortunately, eating GE-free is easier than you might think.”

Currently, the most commercialized GE foods in the United States include non-organic soy, corn, canola, cotton, and dairy products. All of these foods exist in the American food supply, most often in their various derivative forms in processed foods such as soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, cottonseed oil, canola oil, etc. As a starting point, either eliminate them from your diet or buy organic equivalents.

Considering that the majority of conventional processed foods on the market have some GE ingredients in them, eating organic food is your best bet to avoid them.

When you buy organic, no animals are permitted to have been given antibiotics, growth hormones, or feed made from animal byproducts. No GE ingredients, irradiated ingredients, synthetic ingredients (pesticides, herbicides, etc.), or fertilizers made with sewage sludge are legally allowed in organic food. All of these are permitted in most conventional food production.

“It’s important to realize that unlabeled genetically altered food is an attack on your health freedom every time you eat. It is personal,” she says. “Become informed and look for the truth. Only then will you be empowered to make the right decisions for you and your family.”

Shedding Light on Genetically Engineered Food explains what the biotechnology industry and the U.S. government haven’t told you – and why you’ve been intentionally kept in the dark – about the genetically modified foods you are eating.

Park Place on Main Offers Flights of Fine Bourbons

Park Place on Main invites guests to delight their palates and celebrate Kentucky’s signature spirit with a choice of five flights of bourbon and one flight of Kentucky Rye whiskey. Each flight has been hand-selected to showcase a range of product within such themes as small batch, Beam Batch and Woodford Reserve, which includes the exclusive Park Place Select Woodford Reserve. Prices for the flights range from $16 to $33. Stop by mid-week for “Whiskey Wednesdays” and get $5 off all flights.

Park Place commits to showcasing Kentucky flavor by working closely with local farmers and producers to procure the finest regional ingredients for the menu. Likewise, the bourbon flight menu offers an authentic local experience for novices and connoisseurs alike. Several price points are represented, providing the opportunity to sample new varieties or revisit old favorites. Accompaniments are served with each flight to encourage experimentation.

The six flights available are:

Van Winkle, $33
Van Winkle 12-Year “LOT B”, 90.4°
Pappy Van Winkle 15-Year, 107°
Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year, 90.4°

Woodford Reserve, $23
Woodford Reserve, 90.4°
Park Place Select Woodford Reserve, 90.4°
Woodford Reserve, Sonoma-Cutrer Finish 86.4°

Vintage, $30
Vintage 17-Year 94°
Vintage 21-Year 94°
Vintage 23-Year 94°

Kentucky Rye, $16
Sazerac Rye 90°
Van Winkle 13-Year 95.6°
A.H. Hirsch 21-Year 93°

Small Batch, $17
Corner Creek 8-Year 88°
Rowan’s Creek 12-Year 100.1°
Noah’s Mill 15-Year, 114.3°

Beam Batch, $18
Basil Hayden 8-Year, 80°
Baker’s 7-Year 107°
Booker’s 126.7°

Park Place on Main is located at 401 East Main Street at Louisville Slugger Field. Parking is free. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday dinner, 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended. For more information or reservations, call 502-515-0172 or visit

Ruby Lane Launches Premier Blog Site for Buyers and Sellers of Antiques, Collectibles, Fine Art and Jewelry

Ruby Lane (, the premier online venue for antiques and art, vintage collectibles, and jewelry from around the world today launched Notes from The Lane, (, a content-rich blog with topics relating to antiques and art, collectibles, jewelry and everything vintage. Notes from The Lane offers educational articles on buying and selling antiques and collectibles and offers ongoing tips on how to succeed as a seller in the online marketplace. In addition, the site features specialized vendors, events and resources to find everything from appraisers to museums, historical societies to salvaged architectural structures, and everything in between.

Ruby Lane has become the premier online shopping site for antiques, collectibles, fine art and jewelry, since its launch in 1998. The site features over 1,700 vendors from around the world offering museum quality pieces by artists such as Salvador Dali to fine Limoges porcelain, rare sports memorabilia and vintage, estate and handcrafted jewelry and adds thousands of new items daily.

“Over the past 10 years we’ve been able to offer a one-of-a-kind experience to buy and sell high quality and rare antiques and collectibles through Ruby Lane,” explains Ruby Lane founder, CEO and president, Tom Johnson. “Notes from The Lane blog is an evolutionary step for us, our vendors and our customers, providing a more interactive and personal experience with expert commentary, educational advice and active participation to discuss everything from antiquing to buying and selling unique pieces.”

Notes from The Lane featured sections:
· Educational articles – offering content relating to the all-important Lanes found on Ruby Lane, as well as tips for those who want to attain online sales success, regardless of what type of product offered. Blog visitors are also invited to contribute content to share experiences, tips and tricks with fellow shoppers, sellers and collectors.
· Expert columnists - Ruby Lane shop owners will regularly contribute content on topics such as collecting and/or selling online, personal experiences in the field, tips for e-commerce success, tips for shoppers to help find what they’re looking for and much more.
· The Buzz – featured news from the Ruby Lane staff and founder, Tom Johnson, reviewing the state of the online and collecting markets, trends, and other newsworthy insight.
· Shop spotlight – showcasing featured Ruby Lane shops.
· Resources - offering hundreds of links to resources relating to antiques and art, collectibles, jewelry, everything vintage, online sales, and hundreds of variations of these topics. This section includes links to appraisers, suppliers, museums, business councils, industry organizations and historical societies, clubs, and much, much more.
· Events – featuring upcoming events including exhibitions, sales, showcases and more.
· Advertising – Appraisers, restorers, shippers and all professionals in the trade are invited to advertise their specialized services on the blog for maximum exposure to a specifically targeted audience.

About Ruby Lane
Founder Tom Johnson combined his passion for collecting with enterprise technological know-how to create Ruby Lane, the world’s premier online shopping destination for antiques, collectibles, fine art, and jewelry. Named after his mother, Ruby, and bringing together over 1,700 individually-owned shops offering unique items from around the world, Ruby Lane offers more than 300,000 items in inventory ranging from antique furniture to depression glass, fine china, vintage jewelry, heirloom linens, books, stamps, paintings, sculpture, hand-blown glass, ceramics, and more. Ruby Lane goes beyond a typical e-commerce website and offers a user-friendly shopping experience, similar to actually strolling within a romantic European shopping district in an exclusive neighborhood of an old-world city. For more information please visit and