Friday, May 30, 2008

Surprising New Trend in Healthy and Productive College Students

The newest generation of college students will soon be packing their bags and heading off to school. For many of these millions of teenagers it will be the first time in their lives that they will be missing one vital element: mom's healthy home cooking!

Teens depend so strongly on their families to educate them as to what constitutes a healthy meal that when Mom and Dad are absent, they slip into a fast food, instant gratification lifestyle. College can be a pressure cooker of stress and new students who lack proper nutrition risk having a disadvantage at a time in their life vital to their success. How can we ensure that our future generation will turn down the burritos, pizza and wings in favor of healthy alternatives that they have created by themselves, for themselves?

Neal Bertrand, author of the cookbook “Rice Cooker Meals: Fast Home Cooking For Busy People” reveals that a surprising new trend in food preparation is the use of the common rice cooker, a device that many have overlooked in these "fast food times". Rice cookers can easily produce home-style meals that lock in all of the healthy elements that a busy student requires to make the Dean's List. More and more students are turning on to the fact that they can become a "Top Chef" without challenging their short attention spans.

Here Neal shares the top 5 reasons why rice cookers produce quick, affordable meals and also support healthy, nourished minds:

1) A Home-Cooked Meal Combats the Chance a College Freshman Will Put On Weight. When teenagers leave the nest for the first time, nutrition is the last thing on their mind. In the mad dash to find their feet at school, they throw caution to the wind and pack on the pounds consuming greasy and chemical enriched fast food. A rice cooker fights the fat by locking in all of the nutrients and vitamins that a student needs to fuel them through that Geology all-nighter. Got leftovers? Trade in your cold greasy pizza with extra cheese for a well balanced hot lunch cooked in minutes!

2) The Dining Hall, Unlike Mom's Kitchen, Isn’t Always Open. Depending on their schedule, college students always seem to be pressed for time…especially when it comes to eating. If the dining hall is closed, the bevy of fast food chains beckon with flashing neon lights. A rice cooker in their dorm room makes them in charge of when and what they eat. Even after a hell-week, students can whip up a meal in less than 30 minutes with preparation taking less than 5 minutes. Toss it in and turn it on!

3) Fast Food is Expensive. If you are not interested in taking out a second mortgage to cover all of the extra expenses that your freshman will beg you to cover, a rice cooker is an affordable solution. For example, one microwave meal or super value meal at a fast food chain can cost over $5. For that same amount of cash your ace student can pick up all the ingredients for Chicken and Pasta (page 31 in Bertrand’s cook book) and have enough food for two dinners, a couple of lunches and maybe even a late-night snack.

4) I Need a Stove! The tiny average dorm room (only 12’ x 9’) rarely has enough room for a roommate, let alone a kitchen! While a refrigerator and computer are vital elements of the perfect dorm room, it is important to also have a space saving appliance to cook with. Smaller than a microwave, the rice cooker will nestle comfortably within any cluttered dorm room. And you’ll be the envy of the entire dorm wing when students smell the mouth-watering aroma of that Taco Soup (page 63 in Bertrand’s cook book) drifting down the hall.

5) Care Packages Are Made With Love, Not Trans Fat. New freshmen revel in their freedom to enjoy all of the foods that you didn't keep in your well-stocked cupboards. So instead of sending them the chips, cookies and snacks that they are most likely already stocking under their beds, send them healthy alternatives that they can pop into their rice cooker and instantly turn into a healthy and tasty treat. Send care packages that help your child stay healthy rather than shipping them food that breaks concentration and turns your potential "Straight-A Student" into an unproductive slug.

College is the beginning of a new and exciting adventure for your teenager. Ensure that they make this transition a success by continuing to instill in them the importance of healthy eating. The growing popularity of rice cookers amongst college students is a positive trend that could help our next generation of leaders stay on a path that will keep them healthy, wealthy and, hopefully, wise.


About Neal Bertrand

Neal Bertrand was born and reared in Opelousas, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun Country. He has more than a decade of experience in the publishing business. His two previous publications are Down-Home Cajun Cooking Favorites and the bi-lingual (English & French) Cajun Country Fun Coloring and Activity Book. Bertrand readily admits he’s not a chef and has no culinary training, but has been cooking rice in a rice cooker since the 1970’s. All of his books, art prints, rice cookers and other products can be seen and ordered from his website,

Recipe contest for Steak-umm's Victory Circle BBQ

In honor of their new NASCAR sponsored car, Steak-umm Sliced Steaks and Burgers is hosting a BBQ recipe contest. Fans can submit their most creative BBQ dishes using either Steak-umm Sliced Steaks or Steak-umm Burgers (Original, Sweet Onion and Real Cheese). Each recipe will be judged on originality, taste, visual appeal, creative use of the product, and – what else? – mastery of the art of barbecuing.

The grand prize is a Weber Q 100 Liquid Propane Gas Grill. The grand prize winner as well as two runners-up will also receive a 10” limited-edition Steak-umm frying pan. The contest runs from May 20 through August 14. Winners will be selected by August 18. Entries may be emailed to:

One-of-a-Kind Farm in Colorado has Chefs Raving

This Colorado-based company – - is the first commercial aeroponic farm in the nation. Yes, we grow our microgreens in thin air, literally.

Optometrist Larry Forrest was an early investor with a pioneering aeroponic researcher named Rick Stoner and his company Agrihouse – Seeing plants grow in thin air on a very small scale led Dr. Forrest to want to see if he could grow plants via the aeroponic method on a large, commercial scale. (The best information on growing plants via aeroponics is available at Most of this site was populated by Mr. Stoner mentioned above.)

This desire, coupled with the knowledge that microgreens were a sought after item for chefs, made garnishment plants the perfect candidate for an entrepreneurial venture. (See attached pictures and picture description below of the aeroponic growing method.)

With that as his goal, he started Grow Anywhere in mid-2005. The first year was filled with “growing pains” – literally. “We killed a lot of plants in that first year,” recalls Dr. Forrest. Without soil, plants need moisture about every 20 minutes or they die. So, the eye doctor had to become a hydro engineer to make sure the irrigation system would not only work but work consistently. Another of the unforeseen tribulations was the negatives of a water intensive business in a warehouse. “A couple of times we had floods that crept under our party walls and into the neighbors units. Needless to say, they were not happy,” recounts Forrest. The high humidity produced by the requisite misting also displeased fellow tenants as their windows quickly fogged in the winter months. Refining the system of providing correctly balanced water PH also required a lot of persistence and ingenuity.

The rewards of all this innovative struggle became apparent when Grow Anywhere began dropping off microgreen samples to local chefs. (a list of chefs for you to contact is below) “Often chefs would become customers with their first sample,” says Forrest. The key with microgreens is taste, and the aeroponic growing method produces superior tasting greens. “Chefs also tell us our greens stand up to heat better than any microgreens they’ve seen before. They don’t wilt on a hot dish or entrée,” Forrest comments. The shelf life tends to exceed that of soil grown garnishments. Another important quality of microgreens for chefs is the look and texture of the plant. “Our plants get high marks in the physical characteristic category,” said Forrest. “It makes sense because our greens are simply cut and placed in the plastic container for distribution. If we were growing these in soil, we’d have to handle and clean the greens, which just ups the chances we’d damage the plants.”

Grow Anywhere has received a full food safety audit. Next up is to get organic certification. Having already met all the criteria to become organically certified, Forrest said it was just a matter of filling out the paperwork and paying the fee.

For Dr. Forrest, the first goal was growing a great product aeroponically on a commercial scale. With that objective met, the focus now turns to marketing and distribution. Grow Anywhere is already an approved vendor for produce distributors Shamrock Foods and Fresh Point (a division of Sysco) so any chef in the nation can request product via one of these companies. Next up will be specialty gourmet retailers and stores like Whole Foods.

Surprisingly, Dr. Forrest is more than willing to help other chefs or entrepreneurs set up their own “farms” in major cities around the US or internationally. This might bode very well for chefs as a real trend in restaurants is to control supply by growing and raising the ingredients that go into their menu items.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Playful Life" Teaches Kids More Than Just Cooking

When it comes to kids cooking
kits, there is certainly no shortage of products on the market.
But until now none of them have been designed to help parents
incorporate important social skills and practices in the mix.
Playful Life Inc. has now launched a unique line of products and
tools that help provide kids & parents with fun, educational
opportunities in the kitchen

PLAYFUL CHEF COOKING KITS - These kits prove that encouraging
kids to eat healthy food can be fun and easy. Playful Chef
cooking kits help teach children all of the amazing lessons
that cooking has to offer: nutrition, hygiene, science, math,
teamwork, and motor skills. The Playful "Parent Instruction"
recipe cards provide just the right words and steps to walk a
child through a culinary education while creating memorable
quality time together. Playful Chef Kits are available for kids
ages 3 to 5 and 6 and older. The kits includes six educational
and entertaining recipes cards, an apron & backpack, mixing
bowl, baking pan and up to ten kid-sized kitchen tools. All of
these tools make a much more complete system than any other
cooking kit out on the market. All Playful products have been
FDA & toy tested for safety. Recipes range from Chicken Nuggets
to Pita Pizza to Chocolate Lava Cake and more. $39! .99

PLAYFUL CHEF COOKBOOK - The Playful Chef Cookbook is a great
stand-alone product for families or a perfect addition to the
Playful Chef Cooking Kit. All of the 33 recipes are written in
the same format as those included in the Playful Chef Cooking
kit. Color-coding to cups and spoons, shopping list, prepping,
ten illustrated steps - all there. The spiral bound, laminated
covered cookbook includes recipes ranging from appetizers,
salads, entrees and even pet treats - all geared towards healthy
eating. Every chapter also includes an important life skill
needed in the kitchen such as "How to Crack an Egg" and
"Shopping for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables". $18.95

PLAYFUL PLAY DATE - Playful Play Date outlines what children can
learn at each age and outfits parents with easy interactive
activities that create meaningful memories while building social
skills and self-confidence. Playful Play Date is an easy to use
planner for parents and children to work on together to learn
how to execute a successful play date for both the host and the
guest. Featuring eleven parent instructional pages: What to
Expect & What to Say, and 33 ready-to-go kid activities: games,
art projects, discussion lists and two tear-out play-sheets for
each activity. A CD of kid activities is also included. $18.95

PLAYFUL PARTY PLANNER - Let kids be involved in the planning
and hosting of their party. A successful party host needs
imaginative ideas, a talent for talking to people, and
outstanding organizational skills. The Playful Party Planner
will help children channel their creative genius, inner
socialite, and list lover. They will be able to design,
coordinate, and execute the perfect celebration in no time. The
Playful Party Planner includes five tear-out lists for every
party-planning step, easy to follow 10-step process, and a CD
Rom of party lists. Some chapters include: How to be creative:
party themes and decorations and music, How to be socially
skilled: being a good host and guest, guest list and
invitations, activities, thank you notes, etc. $18.95

The entire Playful Life product line is in stores nationally and
on the website. For a listing of retail venues go to:

XXMountainberry Double Wheat Ale

Grand Teton Brewing Company, known throughout the West for
their exceptional microbrews, has introduced their XX Mountainberry Double
Wheat Ale, the latest in their ³Cellar Reserve² series of specialty beers XX
Mountainberry Double Wheat Ale will be available in kegs and 1 liter,
flip-top bottles.

Grand Teton¹s original fruit beer, Huckleberry Wheat, was brewed for about
five years beginning more than a decade ago. It was light and sparkly, with
just a hint of sweet-tart mountain huckleberry.

This year¹s celebratory version is bigger in every way‹more than double the
original¹s malt, fermented to 7.6% alcohol by volume, then flavored with
more than a pound per gallon of fresh Pacific Northwest huckleberries,
blueberries and marionberries.

Bold and flavorful, XX Mountainberry Double Wheat makes a wonderful
aperitif, or try it with a balsamic vinaigrette salad, glazed ham, duck a
l¹orange or fruity dessert.

The Cellar Reserve series of beers are unique from average beers and even
from other micro beers. Grand Teton¹s Cellar Reserves are brewed with
specialty grains and more unusual ingredients than most micro brewed beers.
Most ales and lagers are produced in 2-4 weeks. However, 3 to 8 months are
spent on each of the Cellar Reserve specialty brews. They are also bottle
and cask conditioned, which produces natural carbonation and will blend and
smooth the flavors with age. These beers have a long shelf life and don¹t
have to be rapidly consumed. Proper aging of these bottles creates beers to
be cherished.

Grand Teton Brewing releases four or five different beers a year in the
Cellar Reserve line. The production quantity is very limited. The
Mountainberry Double Wheat Ale is available in kegs and unique brown
one-liter bottles, with captivating silver and gold labels. Each bottle has
a flip-top and wire bale lid that has been sealed in colored wax.

The XX Mountainberry Double Wheat Ale will be available this month at select
locations in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Oregon, Montana,
Washington and now New York! Call the brewery at 1-888-899-1656 for
information and availability on this exciting new product. Watch for our
next Cellar Reserve beer, 20th Anniversary edition XX Au Naturale Double Red
Ale early this autumn.

Grand Teton Brewing Company was founded in 1988 as the first modern ³micro²
brewery in the state of Wyoming. Today, founder Charlie Otto and his company
are in the top 100 craft breweries in North America. Premium microbrews
include the 2X gold-medal-winning Bitch Creek ESB, Sweetgrass IPA, Workhorse
Wheat and the favorites of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks,
Old Faithful Ale (pale golden), Au Naturale (organic blonde ale) and Teton
Ale (amber). From their production facility in Victor, Idaho, Grand Teton
Brewing Company beers are hand-crafted from only the finest ingredients,
including locally-grown grains and pure Teton mountain spring water. GTBC
is a green company utilizing bio-diesel and feeding local farmer¹s cattle
with spent grain from the brew kettle. Discriminating beer drinkers can find
their favorite GTBC brews on tap and in bottles throughout Idaho, Wyoming,
Montana, Utah, California, Colorado, Oregon and now Washington.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One Of Mesh’s Own Gets Lucky On "The Price Is Right"

Emily Hornbacker of Mason Ohio, and an employee of Mesh Restaurant in West Chester, got much more than she bargained for [and ever dreamed of] when she ended up on Contestant’s Row of the Emmy-winning show, The Price is Right, while vacationing with her family in Los Angeles, CA. in mid May. “We were all very excited when Emily sent us a text during the taping to tell us about her new found ‘fame’”, says Chef Paul Sturkey of mesh Restaurant; “the entire staff was rooting for her to go all the way.”

The excitement started when Emily heard her name called to “come on down” to Contestant’s Row. She then secured a spot on stage next to host Drew Carey after placing the winning bid on a Kawasaki ATV off-road vehicle. In the next round, she won a ‘Smart’ Car when she was successful at the “Squeeze It” Game. Emily made it all the way to the ‘Showcase Showdown’ where another contestant snatched the big win.

Says Emily, “I was so excited when my Dad surprised my mom, sister and I with the tickets but I had no idea my name would be called ... it was such a fun and exciting experience and Drew Carey was hilarious!”

Emily’s TV debut can be viewed on the June 3, 2008 episode of The Price is Right, 11 AM on WKRC/Local 12; we will be watching at mesh so join us for lunch, enjoy the show and meet our new game show star, Emily.

Please visit us at for current menus and promotions, entertainment schedule and other restaurant information

'Pure Heart' Organic Yerba Mate Drink

Guayaki has raised the bar in the beverage industry by offering functional organic drinks that are stimulating, refreshing, nourishing, and made with only pure natural ingredients. Pure Heart, a “Raspberry Revolution” blend, is Guayaki’s lastest addition to their award-winning line of Organic Yerba Mate Drinks. Pure Heart features invigorating organic yerba mate (mah-tay) combined with hawthorn and yarrow – all of which are herbs known to promote improved cardiac performance. This heart-healthy blend is combined with organic rose hips, hibiscus, organic raspberry juice and cranberry juice to create a delicious and refreshing grab-and-go drink.

Yerba Mate - A Healthier Buzz from ‘Nature’s Perfect Stimulant’
The unique combination of robust nutrition and balanced stimulation from the brewed leaves of the rainforest yerba mate tree make Guayakí Yerba Mate the healthiest source of energy on the planet. Guayaki Pure Heart contains caffeine comparable to coffee and energy drinks; however, the caffeine is balanced by mate’s content of theobromine (the euphoriant in chocolate), and another mild stimulant named theophylline. Yerba mate is also a good source of B vitamins including pantothenic acid - the "anti-stress'' vitamin which promotes proper function of the adrenal gland. Yerba mate is also a rich source of magnesium, which has been proven to ease anxiety. Many caffeine-sensitive people that drink yerba mate gain vitality and clarity of mind, but don’t experience the jitters, stomach discomfort, energy crash and headaches that are common complaints expressed by people that drink coffee and energy drinks.

A nourishing ‘whole herb’ that offers adaptogenic properties, yerba mate contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, 11 polyphenols and saponins (phytochemicals that bolster the immune system). Unlike other functional and energy drink concoctions on the market today that feature synthetic and isolate ingredients, Guayaki follows a “whole plant - whole health” herbal tradition that unleashes the natural form of these nutrients in a way that the body can easily absorb and process them. Guayaki Pure Heart is mildly sweetened with organic cane juice, and has far less calories (50) per serving than most other drinks in the marketplace. Offered in a 16-ounce premium bottles for a SRP of $2.19, Guayakí Pure Heart can be purchased at thousands of natural foods stores, supermarkets, cafes and gyms throughout North America and at

New Research Highlights How Rainforest Yerba Mate is of Benefit to the Cardiovascular System
For many centuries, the traditional yuyeras (indigenous herbalists) of South America have used yerba mate as the base for their daily herbal medicine. They believe that yerba mate acts as a catalyst to enhance the healing powers of the other herbs in their remedies and helps assimilate the herbs into the body. Now, modern science is backing up many aspects of their cultural beliefs. A compilation of research published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of Food Science* details mate’s many attributes. In particular, the report highlights how modern science has found yerba mate to be of benefit to the cardiovascular system. The supporting research includes the following findings:

· Administering Mate extract decreased the lipid oxidation in the heart by protecting myocardial tissue. (Schinella and others, 2005).
· Mate was also tested against peroxynitrite-induced cytotoxicity, associated with stroke and myocardial ischemia, restriction in blood supply, and Mate tea showed the highest inhibition against cyctotoxicity, compared with green tea and red wine. (Bixby and others, 2005).
· Mate has also been able to reduce ATP, ADP, and AMP (nucleotide) hydrolysis, which can help balance the circulatory system. (Gorgen and others, 2005).
· Mate has shown to be a very potent inhibitor of oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS), considerably so for the liver and heart. (Schinella and others, 2005)

In addition to highlighting mate’s pro-cardiovascular properties, the authors from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, also noted the following:

· Yerba mate possesses a much higher antioxidant capacity than green tea.
· Experiments have shown a protective effect of mate against cancer.
· Yerba mate has been found to be hypocholesterolemic and hepatoprotective.
· [Mate] is a protector of DNA oxidation and in vitro low-density lipoperoxidation.
· Consumption of Mate tea significantly contributes to the overall antioxidant intake and provides high amounts of caffeoylquinic acid derivatives, with biological effects potentially beneficial for human health.
· Mate Tea has been shown to have possible effects in the area of weight loss and management and current research has provided some supportive evidence.
· Mate has also shown to have potential as a digestive aid due to a choleretic effect, increasing the rate of bile flow.

A Heart-Warming Mission: Market-Driven Restoration Supports the Rainforest & Native People
While Pure Heart is worth celebrating for its delicious raspberry and mate taste and its boost of clean energy, the mission behind the beverage is equally heart-warming. Alex Pryor and David Karr started a green beverage revolution a decade ago by bringing a rainforest drink that is a cultural icon in South American to the U.S. and creating innovative styles that suit the tastes preferred by people in North America. Guayaki’s goal is to create consumer demand for healthy rainforest products that can be grown sustainably and profitably in the natural rainforest, thereby providing native people with healthy economic alternatives to destructive land use such as cattle grazing, huge soy plantations and timber harvesting that has wiped out vast swaths of rainforest over the past century.

Guayaki’s success building demand for yerba mate in North America has created vibrant fair trade economic opportunities that empower indigenous communities to protect the rainforest and their way of life. The Guayaki co-founders call this award-winning method of resource protection supported by consumers of sustainable products: Market-Driven Restoration™. Not only does Guayaki create an incentive for people to leave the forest standing, the company also has projects underway to replant native tree species in deforested areas. Guayaki estimates that each person that drinks two servings per day of Guayakí Yerba Mate helps protect approximately one acre of rainforest every year.

Founded in 1996, Guayakí is the leading provider of organic, fairly-traded, rainforest-grown yerba mate in North America. In addition to Pure Heart, Guayaki offers six other bottled Organic Yerba Mate Drinks, the new San Mateo Loose Yerba Mate and Traditional Loose Yerba Mate, six Yerba Mate Tea Bag Blends, Traditional Yerba Mate Tea Bags, Gaucho’s Fuerte Espresso Mate, two varieties of Mate Latté Concentrates and traditional yerba accessories.

Tollhouse Becomes Cafe

A cafe has opened at the Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto on the site of a former tollhouse.
Called "Toll Gate Cafe", the restaurant will seat about 15 people with an additional 25 people on the adjacent outdoor patio.

Featuring bourbon-inspired foods with seasonal sandwiches, salads, desserts and beverages and using mostly Kentucky products, the restaurant is catered by Kasey Dendinger of Catering Creations.

"Our visitors have requested an eating establishment on our grounds as many like to spend the day here, enjoying the native plants and our arboretum", said Bill Samuels Jr., president of Maker's Mark.

Overseeing the project was director of visitors relations, Sydina Bradshaw. "We wanted to keep the look and feel of the surrounding buildings as well as the former tollhouse, while making the entire area enjoyable for families and friends."

The first tollhouse was built around 1885, going through the Burks Springs Farm, as most Kentucky roads did. While the "Toll Gate Cafe" has been rebuilt using the original specs, and now with modern conveniences, the place is decorated with old photos of the area and replicas of the old signs at the tollhouse.

The cafe will be open seven (7) days a week from 11:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday thru Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 PM on Sunday. Group reservations are accepted by calling the Cafe at 270.865.4982.

Currently the Cafe is offering 25 items with prices ranging from under a dollar to $5.99, and includes eight (8) sandwiches and six (6) side items along with various desserts and beverages. A kid’s meal is available for $2.99.
For further information and directions, the public (over 21 years of age) also can visit the Maker's Mark website,

A sample of the 25 menu items:




Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cool down your summer entertaining with Northstar!

The hottest news this summer is the expansion of the Northstar retro appliance line. Now accommodating varying available space, budgets and endless color palettes, Northstar is the most extensive and frequently expanding retro appliance line in this niche market. Northstar always maintains its authentic retro styling and is now available to everyone who wishes to cool down their sizzling summer entertaining with a fabulous collection of Northstar retro styled appliances.

The newest and most innovative addition to the Northstar family is Model 1951 – the seventh major appliance introduced and the third retro styled refrigerator! Standing 62” in height, 24” wide and featuring a storage capacity of 11 cubic feet, Model 1951 becomes the ideal beverage fridge for your in-home bar, games room, pool cabana, or boathouse! The newest Northstar refrigerator is also the perfect solution for smaller kitchens in condominiums, apartments, townhouses, cottages, houseboats and older homes where an abundance of space in the kitchen for oversized appliances is not a reality. This refrigerator may be a miniature version but isn’t lacking in modern amenities or cool retro lines. Model 1951 comes standard with an interior light, tall bottle storage, canstor beverage dispensing system, frost free operation and adjustable interior shelvingRetailing for $1,995.00, Model 1951 is an affordable and ultra ‘cool’ addition to the Northstar family.

Elmira Stove Works continually works towards creating solutions to the restrictions offered by our homes. This is why we are proud to welcome Model 1961 to the Northstar collection. The re-circulating range hood is the ideal solution for homes that aren’t built to accommodate externally vented range hoods. Thanks to the always innovative and always expanding Northstar brand, retro ranges can now be vented and accessorized by a sleek retro-styled 30” re-circulating hood, available in any one of the 9 colors making up the Northstar palette, and retailing for $1,100.00.

To further accommodate the various styles and preferences of Northstar lovers, the classic Northstar range is now offering the low chrome option in all three range models. Opt for the full chrome trim package to emphasize the authentic retro range style. Or for a more subdued and monochromatic look, design your range with either partial color-matched trim or a full color-matched trim package; retails starting at $3,495.00. The complete Northstar appliance collection includes three models of refrigerators, 30” ranges available in gas, electric and dual fuel, externally vented and re-circulating range hoods, a microwave/convection oven/broiler, and a dishwasher panel All Northstar appliances are available in White, Bisque, Robin’s Egg Blue, Mint Green, Flamingo Pink, Candy Red, Textured Black and Buttercup Yellow as well as the option to choose a custom color for your Northstar appliances for a truly unique and personalized kitchen.

There is no reason to suffer through entertaining in scorching hot whether this summer. Have fun designing and customizing your own unique set of Northstar appliances and throw ultra ‘cool’ parties all summer long, while your friends and families admire the best accessory in attendance; your set of one-of-a-kind retro appliances. Elmira Stove Works has been manufacturing vintage-styled ranges since 1975, and offers a full line of circa-1850 appliances. The Elmira line of appliances is sold through dealers across North America. Elmira Stove Works is a privately owned company based in Elmira, Ontario, Canada For more information or the name of a dealer in your area visit or call Elmira Stove Works at 800-295-8498.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Elusive Morel Mushrooms are at their Peak

Wild about mushrooms and looking for a special ingredient to take an ordinary dish to the next level?

Intense earthy, smoky and nutty flavors characterize the taste of morel mushrooms. Just coming into season, the wild mushrooms are available fresh, hand-picked from the Pacific Northwest for overnight delivery from Morels can add a very distinct flavor profile to almost any meal ranging from simple breakfast egg dishes to elegant multi-course dinners.

From the same family as truffles, morels are a delicacy packed with flavor and need little, if any, embellishment. They are also visually stunning and will add the “wow” factor to any dish.

“Morels alone can be the star of a meal,” said Justin Marx, CEO of “One of my favorite ways to cook them is roasted whole with heirloom potatoes and onions. Seasonal items like this are available for such a short time, and they’re so flavorful, that they make a truly special wild ingredient that will stimulate any meal. I really look forward to this time of year.”

Morels from are #1 grade, meaning each mushroom is a whole, young specimen with white stems, and free of blemishes. They are pristine and beautiful.

Making appearances in famous restaurant cookbook’s, such as French Laundry’s recipe for scallops with morel and asparagus puree, to being a common ingredient in soups and sauces, wild morel mushrooms are extraordinary enough for special meals or celebrations, but are addictive, yet simple enough to incorporate into every day dishes.

Morels stand out with their unique coral or brain-like, honeycomb shaped caps and smooth stems. The entire fungus, including the stem, is edible and can be cooked whole. The mushrooms vary in size from one to four inches.

“Being that this is a wild plant, the yield can really fluctuate depending on several variables including growing cycles, temperature and rain. Therefore the availability and price can rise and fall throughout the season. Morels are a very special product and it’s worth it to keep an eye on prices and jump on any opportunity when they’re most widely available,” said Marx. “We expect prices to continue falling as availability increases.”

Although morels are traditionally used in French cooking, they have a wide range of applications. Perfect as a side dish roasted or combined with other vegetables or as an ingredient to top steak, poultry, seafood, or a variety of meats, the smoky and earthy flavor will completely change the profile of any meal. Morels are also an ideal ingredient in pasta, risotto, pizza, stuffing, stew, soup, stock, sauces or salad. They made an exotic appetizer and can be stuffed, wrapped in puff pastry, sautéed or fried.

Morel mushrooms will stay fresh for up to ten days if stored correctly, refrigerated in a paper bag. If not cooked fresh, the mushrooms can be dried, frozen, par sautéed in oil and frozen, or canned and will maintain their intense flavor for months to come.

Before cooking, soak or heat the mushrooms in a 140 degree Fahrenheit oven to ensure they’re completely rid of bugs. If bugs aren’t an issue, the whole mushroom can be gently cleaned by using a mushroom or un-used paint brush to remove dirt.

Morels grow abundantly in the few years following a forest fire and can grow in small batches year after year. Pacific Northwest morels can be blonde or grey in color depending on the specific habitat in which they are discovered.

Below is a winning recipe from the mushroom recipe contest. The recipe is simple, yet delicious and the morels really shine. To view all the recipe entries, visit our index.

Morels with Scallops and Asparagus
By Albert J. Casciero
8 large fresh Scallops
36 Morels (this number depends on their size)
(Dry morels, reconstituted in water could also be used)
12 Asparagus
1 tsp of minced Shallot,
6oz heavy cream
4oz of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Brush clean the morels, and slice them length wise or leave whole depending on their size. Clean the asparagus and peel or snap the lower part. Dust the scallops lightly with flour.
Steam or boil the asparagus to an “al dente” consistency. You may wish to sauté them slightly in butter before serving.
On a sautéing pan, melt the butter, put in the shallot and sauté for about 1 min. Add the morels and toss to coat them well with butter, (depending on the freshness of the mushroom, you may want to add some more butter, now or at the end, to have sufficient sauce for the asparagus).
Add the scallops and sauté about a minute on each side (Make sure not to overcook them). Then add the cream, cover the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, turning the scallops once. Watch carefully not to overcook the scallops and if necessary add more cream and butter.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a hot plate, napping the asparagus with sauce.

Wild morel mushrooms are currently in season along with fiddlehead ferns, ramps, Pacific Halibut, and wild Alaskan Salmon.

Individual consumers can purchase fresh morel mushrooms and other seasonal mountain-picked wild produce, online at

Marx, headquartered in Seattle, Wash. is an online specialty food company dedicated to bringing the highest quality epicurean products directly to the consumer’s doorstep. For a decade, it has been selling to white tablecloth restaurants nationwide. Items now available to consumers include a variety of truffles, truffle products, fresh wild mushrooms, Artisanal ravioli, game meat, grass-fed beef & veal, sausage, game birds, seafood, sea vegetables, wild produce, farmstead cheese, oils, grains, seeds, and eco-friendly palm leaf dinnerware. To ensure freshness, most products are shipped via Federal Express overnight.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, special requests are welcome by calling (866) 588-MARX. Not sure what to buy the food lover in your life? Gift certificates are available.

A Jewelry Trunk Show not to Miss!

May 28th, Tulips on Erie is bringing in an incredibly talented new designer for a special jewelry trunk show, local-based
designer Arlene Aranzamendez. Her premier trunk show on Wednesday, May 28th, from 5-8pm, will consist of her brand new Allure Collection, as well as pieces from previous Chakras Collections.

To check out her website in preparation for attending the trunk show, visit Small bites, wine and punch will be served. Hosted by Mina Matthews and Tuba Muftuoglu. RSVP to:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Milky Way ® Station Wagonat the 30th Annual Taste of Cincinnati

MILKY WAY® – the candy that offers comfort in every bite – is taking its 85th Anniversary celebration on the road, visiting festivals and fairs across America. Cincinnati residents can catch the MILKY WAY® station wagon and trailer during Memorial Day weekend at the 30th Annual Taste of Cincinnati.

The MILKY WAY® Road Trip features:

Retro-style MILKY WAY® station wagon and trailer
Country Karaoke on the MILKY WAY® stage
Family photos with the MILKY WAY® wagon (printed on site)
Official standee of MILKY WAY® NASCAR driver Kyle Busch for fan photos
MILKY WAY® product samples and giveaways

WHEN: Saturday, May 24 – Monday, May 26 2008

10 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST

WHERE: 30th Annual Taste of Cincinnati

Fountain Square (Fifth Street between Vine and Walnut Streets)
Downtown Cincinnati

B.R. Cohn Winery Announces Winemaker Dinner and Tasting at The Party Source

B.R. Cohn Winery is pleased to announce the upcoming winemaker dinner and wine and olive oil tasting at The Party Source, a one stop destination for over 20,000 product selections to service nearly any conceivable party or event plan. Building on the winery’s commitment to providing a fun-loving, relaxed tasting experience, the dinner will feature several of B.R. Cohn’s quality wines as well as their gourmet vinegars and olive oils.

The in-store tasting will feature the following BR Cohn Wines, olive oils and vinegars:

Pinot Noir
Olive Hill Cab
California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Champagne Vinegar
Balsamic and Herb Dipping Oil

The soils of Olive Hill Vineyards at BR Cohn are warmed by underground natural hot springs and gentle ocean breezes which create a unique microclimate resulting in the ideal growing conditions for ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Merlot, Pinot Noir, SyrCab, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Port, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. These award-winning wines have placed B.R. Cohn among the leaders of great California wine producers.

WHEN: Friday, June 6, 2008
6:00 p.m. (dinner)
$55 (Includes a $12.00 Party Source gift card)

Saturday, June 7, 2008
2 p.m. – 4 p.m. (tasting)
$20 (Includes a $12.00 Party Source gift card)

WHERE: The Party Source
95 Riviera Drive
Bellevue KY 41073
(859) 291-4007
WINERY: B.R. Cohn is a family-owned and run Sonoma winery that prides itself on producing consistently excellent, elegantly crafted, well-balanced award-winning wines. Founded by Bruce Cohn in 1984 in the heart of Sonoma Valley, BR Cohn Winery is renowned for producing balanced, elegant wines that maintain a standard of excellence from year to year. Cohn purchased the property in 1974 and named it Olive Hill Vineyards, after the rare French Picholine olive trees that surround the property.

Park Place on Main Celebrates Summer Throughout the Week

Park Place on Main is welcoming the arrival of the hottest season of the year with a celebration. Every Tuesday through Saturday, chef Jay Denham and his team are offering their guests specials on food and drinks! The celebration begins Tuesday, May 27 and lasts through the summer.

Start your week with real savings as chef Denham is offering a three-course meal for only $30! Guests can choose from anything on the menu including the salads, appetizers, entrées, or desserts. Have each course paired with wine for an additional $10.

Come check out the bar plates and new ball park menu. Chef Denham will be sending out complimentary samples from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays for bar guests. This is in addition to Whiskey Wednesdays which means all bourbon flights are $5 off.

Bring the entire household and sit down to a Farmers Market Family-Style Meat and 3 Dinner on Thursdays. The cost is $20 per person and includes a choice of an entrée and three family-style sides for the table. Additional sides are available a la carte. Enjoy your family’s company while dining on the freshest produce brought in by local farmers.

Celebrate the weekend with a boutique wine or upscale spirit without the fashionable expense. On Fridays, Park Place on Main will offer special bottles of boutique wine by the glass at a fraction of the cost. They will do the same on Saturdays with spirits. For example, guests might be served a glass of Silver Oak, Schramsberg "J Schram" Sparkling or Walter Hansel Chardonnay on Friday. Saturday’s selection could include any of Park Place’s cocktails made with liquor such as Herradurra Tequila, Woodford Bourbon or Cruzan Blackstrap Rum. Stop by to see which delight will be offered each week.

Park Place on Main is located at 401 East Main Street. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Private parties can be arranged for special hours. To make reservations, call (502) 515-0172. For more information on Park Place on Main visit

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gelato Still A Well-Kept Secret in the U.S.

Italians have indulged in the rich, intense taste of gelato for centuries, yet one in two Americans haven't even heard of the creamy frozen dessert, according to a new poll of 1,000 adults nationwide.

Gelato Master Wants to Turn on Americans to Gelato

It's that lack of awareness that brought "Gelato Amante” (Gelato Lover) Marco Casol to the United States in 2002. In many ways, Marco is the soft-spoken embodiment of the romance and charm that are quintessential Italy. He is a native of the region in Northern Italy where gelato was first invented, and his family has owned and operated gelato shops throughout Europe for over 100 years. It's his dream to introduce Americans to the fresh taste and artisanal quality of gelato, and to spark in them a love affair with it that will ignite a passion equal to his own.

"I was basically born in a gelato pan,” said Marco, Gelato Master, president and CEO of PreGel AMERICA, the specialty dessert ingredient company that conducted the recent survey. "My earliest memories are of the scents of vanilla, lemon and coffee in my family's gelato shop, and of the smiles their tastes would bring to our customers each day.”

Like Marco, Americans understand passion. More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they believe eating certain foods can elicit strong emotions. In fact, nearly one in five equated eating gelato with kissing a beautiful woman or handsome man. With beliefs like these, Marco's passion could be contagious.

"Eating gelato is like taking a delicious little Italian vacation without ever leaving home,” Marco said. "All it takes is one taste and experience to make someone fall in love with gelato and come back for it over and over again.”

Most Have Never Tasted Gelato

In recent years, gelato has been named by some as a hot trend in the United States, particularly along the East and West coasts. But despite the fact that shops offering this little taste of Italy are popping up on more and more American street corners, fewer than one in three people surveyed have actually tried it.

Of those polled who have heard of gelato, nearly half don't know the difference between gelato and other frozen desserts. What's more, two-thirds don't know it's made with natural ingredients from all around the world. An equal number of survey respondents are unaware it is lower in fat, and more than three-quarters are unaware it is lower in calories than other frozen desserts.

In fact, while most Americans choose to eat it as a snack, many Italians eat gelato in place of lunch or dinner in addition to as an afternoon or evening treat – which, admittedly, is equally due to the social experience as it is to gelato's nutritional value.

"In Italy, eating gelato is as much about the pleasure of the company you're in and where you are as it is about enjoying its delicious taste,” said Marco.

We Crave Social Experience as Much as Taste

American survey respondents – particularly 18- to 24-year-olds and those with children – agree. Of those who eat frozen yogurt, ice cream or gelato, two in three young adults and seven in 10 of those who have at least one child at home said they'd prefer to enjoy it at a shop where they could be with friends and family and have fun.

When asked which flavor they would choose if they could only eat one kind of frozen yogurt, ice cream or gelato for the next month, nearly two-thirds still stuck to the old favorites – chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla – in that order.

Seven in 10 survey respondents who've had the chance to find their favorite gelato flavor said they've done it in the United States. An equal number of those who haven't yet savored its unique, creamy taste said they'd be most likely to do so by sampling it at a local shop.

And if the American palate's affinity for Italian wine, food and specialty coffee is any indication, it might not be long before more people enjoy their first taste and gelato becomes a staple of U.S. culinary culture.

About PreGel AMERICA
PreGel AMERICA is the U.S. division of PreGel S.p.a., a global ingredient company headquartered in Reggio Emilio, Italy. PreGel develops, manufactures and distributes all-natural ingredients, toppings and fillings of the highest quality from Italy, including flavors, powders and pastes used in gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbetto and other frozen desserts. Based in North Carolina since 2002, PreGel directly sells to restaurants, gelato cafes, coffee shops, frozen yogurt shops, bakeries, pizzerias, hotels, resorts, grocery stores and universities, as well as a few distributors in the United States. The company headquarters is in Concord, N.C., just northeast of Charlotte. For more information, visit www.pregelamericacom.

# # #

The gelato survey was commissioned by PreGel AMERICA and conducted online by Synovate eNation. The sample of 1,000 adults ages 18+ has a margin of error of + 3 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Perfect Pizza for Picky Eaters

Everyone loves pizza, but few people can agree on the
same toppings. Finding a way to satisfy several individuals with one pizza
used to be a challenge. Now every picky pizza eater can have their own
personalized slice with the Original Perfect Pizza Pan, currently selling through

The Original Perfect Pizza Pan produces made-to-order slices every time. This
practical product features a segmented, carbon-steel baking pan, which
enables users to make completely customized slices on one pizza.

Prior to baking, users simply trace the provided cutting grid to segment the
pizza slices. Each slice can then be completely customized with individual
toppings. Adding panache to a pizza party was never so easy! Children and
adults can enjoy making their own special slices with the Original Perfect
Pizza Pan.

Pizzas made with this product bake to perfection. The pan cooks each slice
evenly, producing a crisp and tasty crust. The pre-cut slices are easy-to-
remove and the cheese stays in place. When the baking fun is over, users
needn't worry about messy clean-up. The product's non-stick pan makes for
effortless cleaning.

This handy pan caters to a number of other baking needs. It can be used to
make stuffed pizza, double-layered pizza, calzones and pizza pockets, fruit
turnovers, pies and breakfast pockets. The segmented tray also functions as
a convenient way to separate and serve appetizers and hors d'oeuvres.

Available in 12-inch and 16-inch diameters, this product can accommodate
individual or family needs. The Original Perfect Pizza Pan is produced by
Xtraordinary Home Products. The product is selling through QVC, at Home
Outfitters,, Brylane Home, Kmart, local grocery stores and the
Lillian Vernon catalog. The 12-inch size retails for $7.99, while the 16-inch
size retails for $9.99

Celebrity chef Joe Ciminera of "Taste this TV!" is getting in on the pizza pan
fun. He offers pizza recipes for use with the Original Perfect Pizza Pan on the
product's official website,

This ingenious device was created by Frank Vescio, a former client turned
employee of Davison, the new product development firm that designed the
pan. Other products designed by Davison have sold in stores across the
United States—in Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, CVS,
Sears, Kmart, Lillian Vernon, FAO Schwarz, JCPenney, Cabela's and QVC. In
2006, Davison received two Industrial Design Excellence awards from the
Industrial Designers Society of America and BusinessWeek magazine. For more
information, please visit

VE2 Energy Gum

Created by an emergency room doctor, VE2 Energy Gum makes its debut today among a crowd of 15,000 confectionary and snack professionals gathered in Chicago for the industry's annual North American trade show, the All Candy Expo, running from May 20 - May 22.

"As an ER doc, I work crazy hours yet have to stay sharp, so I can appreciate the need for a quick boost," said VE2 co-founder, Andres Sasson, M.D. "Two years ago, a friend and I decided to develop something more convenient and less expensive than energy drinks. I wanted something that fit in my lab coat pocket, didn't need to be refrigerated and didn't make me need to find a bathroom 10 minutes later." A rigorous research and development process yielded VE2 Energy Gum.

Because caffeine is absorbed rapidly through your oral membranes, VE2 delivers energy more rapidly than energy drinks, which are eventually absorbed only after passing through the stomach. And VE2 is also crammed with energy-sustaining ingredients like vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, ginseng and guarana, giving you increased alertness and endurance without the "crash" of other energy products.

Two pieces of gum are roughly equal to one 8-oz. energy drink or one cup of coffee. With a suggested retail price of $1.69 for a 10-piece package, a pack of VE2 Energy Gum costs less than a single energy drink, yet that one pack has the equivalent of 5 energy drinks in it. Plus, VE2 is great-tasting, sugarless and gives you minty fresh breath.

"We also want to be green," adds co-founder John Katsoulis, MBA, referring to VE2's environmental consciousness. "Conventional gum packaging generates lots of trash, but our innovative packaging does away with the paper sleeve and therefore saves trees." This revolutionary package demonstrates how VE2 Laboratories thinks outside the box.

This innovative gum is so good, it is expected to be a trendsetter that explodes its category. VE2 Energy Gum is the perfect pick-me-up when you're partying late, working hard or playing sports – or any time you need a boost. Throw some in your pocket, purse, glove compartment or desk – so you're always sharp when you need to be.

Do you VE2? Find out more information at

Monday, May 19, 2008

The ADD Diet Battle Plan

Prescription drugs have long been the main weapon for children – and increasingly adults – when battling Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Side effects for various medications can range from anxiety or nervousness to insomnia. “Before settling for the quick fix of pills, there are natural approaches that should be considered,” contends nutritional expert David Sandoval, author of “The Green Foods Bible.”

The causes of ADD, which is a recurrent pattern of behavior characterized by short attention spans, impulsivity and may include hyperactivity, are hot topics for debate and speculation as to whether it is environmental or genetic.

Years of research and studying, consulting with the world’s premiere authorities in holistic medicines and promoting raw food nutrition led Sandoval to create the “Plant-Based Nutrition Program,” which he believes can potentially help ADD sufferers (and/or their parents). He says there is most definitely a relationship between diet and disease, “Everything the human body needs to live a long, disease-free life has been provided by the Earth.”

Sandoval wants the public to consider three possible food-related ADD risk factors; starting with high sugar consumption, “Destructive, aggressive and restless behavior has been found to significantly correlate with the amount of sucrose consumed.” While it may prove difficult at first, his initial recommendation is to eliminate all refined sugars and food allergens from the diet. Additionally, limiting the consumption of processed foods and additives – like food colorings and artificial flavoring – needs to be considered.

“In many cases, identifying and eliminating clear causative diet factors will often bring about dramatic improvements within the first few weeks,” exposes Sandoval. He adds that improvements will be more subtle and not as great if food reactions are not the cause of ADD.

According to Sandoval, CEO of Purium, the ADD sufferers who see the faster results easily maintain the lifestyle change because they feel so much better, “Initially it’s going to take some discipline, but switching to whole, unprocessed and, preferably, organic meals will cleanse the body and help in re-harnessing the power of your own mind.”

This is crucial when taking into account that nutrient deficiency could be another risk for American children suffering from ADD, continues Sandoval, “Decreased attentiveness is commonly associated with a lack of iron.” Poor nutrition may be most harmful in the early development stages of life so he believes parents should feed their kids organic produce, “It has the maximum nutrient density and a minimal amount of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.”

The body’s storage of heavy metals - particularly the toxic metal lead - has also been linked by studies to childhood learning disabilities. Sandoval recommends screening children for heavy metal poisoning using hair mineral analysis and EDTA challenge rather than blood tests to properly assess the long term affects on the brain.

Sandoval offers insight on chelating the heavy metals from the body, “Increase consumption of foods high in sulfur such as garlic, onions and eggs; provided your child is not allergic to them.” Additionally, he prescribes Chlorella and C from Nature, which contains naturally occurring Vitamin C. Sandoval says both are also helpful in combating heavy metal poisoning.

To Sandoval, the option to take a holistic route needs to be seriously weighed before resorting to pills that offer a hefty price tag and a litany of side effects, “There is no safer approach to getting well than nature’s approach.” That’s why he offers an ADD Battle Plan – and others including Lupus, Diabetes and Weight Loss Battle Plans – on his website

Specialty Gourmet Coffee Goes Organic!

As the world continues in its quest to be earth friendly, Explorer’s Bounty announces that Nigel, the brave adventurer and his beloved companion, Mortimer have been successful in their journeys throughout the land to discover the finest premium organic coffees. Relying on Mother Earth to reveal her natural bounty, the duo has discovered the richest coffee beans resulting in a dynamic new organic coffee offering.
The National Coffee Association’s National Coffee Drinking Trends market research survey showed that “82 percent of American adults overall drink coffee,” and that those who drink coffee weekly is increasingly on the rise. The survey further revealed that “the average coffee consumption in the United States is 3.1 cups of coffee per day.”
Culled from some of the hardest-to-reach locations, Explorer’s Bounty premium coffees are available in ground and whole bean varieties and are USDA certified organic. Discerning coffee drinkers will savor such choices as Expedition El Dorado from Colombia, Expedition Blue Nile from Ethiopia, Expedition Inca from Peru, Expedition Silk Road and Expedition Adventure from Sumatra, and Expedition Grano de Oro from Costa Rica. All varietals are single-origin which ensures their consistent profile and taste. The company also employs fair trade practices by partnering with non-profit organizations throughout the world in an effort to promote a higher quality of life and sustain the earth’s resources.

Wherever their adventures take them and regardless of whether they favor dark, medium or light blends, coffee lovers will love the rich, deep flavor of Explorer’s Bounty premium organic coffee. These exotic java’s are sold at local natural food and grocery stores, or they can be purchased online through the Explorer’s Bounty store.
Retailers who would like to learn more about the earth-friendly, organic coffee products that Explorer’s Bounty offers can do so online at Interested media are encouraged to arrange a personal interview with Explorer’s Bounty by calling (512) 514-6045.

About Explorer’s Bounty
At Explorer’s Bounty, “exploring the planet for nature’s finest bounty” is a commitment the company holds true. Explorer’s Bounty markets and manufactures premium certified organic food products found throughout the world. Committed to local and global community well-being, Explorer’s Bounty has donated to marine wildlife charities in the U.S., has partnered with a Costa Rican plantation gone organic and endeavors daily to build direct trade. For more information on Explorer’s Bounty, visit

Add Tropical Flavors with New Organic Chutney

Looking to add some authentic tropical flavor to your favorite dishes?

How about trying new Edward & Sons’ Native Forest Organic Chutneys?

These versatile Sri Lankan condiments are crafted from freshly picked, USDA-certified organic fruits, herbs and spices.

Originating on the Indian subcontinent and introduced to Europe and the world over three hundred years ago, chutney has become an important component of cuisines from India to England, and from Africa to the Caribbean. Chutney is great as a dip with crackers, but it is also a completely unique condiment to enliven rice, curries and numerous other dishes.

Fruity, tangy and slightly spicy, each Native Forest Organic Chutney features its own delicious blend of complex, exotic flavors:

Organic Pineapple Chutney
Organic Papaya Chutney
Organic Mango Passion Chutney
Organic Hot Mango Chutney

Native Forest Organic Chutneys are sold in 10 oz jars with an SRP of $3.99 and are available nationally in both mainstream and natural food stores.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vegetarian Alernatives for Summer Grilling

Guess who’s coming to your summer BBQ this year? Over five million vegetarians, that’s who! According to a Zogby poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, over 2.5% of North Americans (about 5 million people) now classify themselves as “true vegetarians."

How about a look into some vegetarian alternatives for this year’s grilling season? If you’re interested, please keep in mind Tofurky Franks, Sausages and SuperBurgers.

Tofurky recently introduced their “Foot Long” Veggie Dog - the longest vegetarian hot dog available – measuring up just under 11 inches and weighing in at a full 3.5 ounces. With a firm, meaty texture and rich poultry style taste, the Tofurky Franks come available in Original and Chipotle flavor, are made with a blend of organic tofu and expeller pressed, nonhexane extracted soy protein isolates and concentrates, and perfect for sizzling on the grill!

Also keep in mind Tofurky’s sausages, available in Kielbasa, Beer Brats and Sweet Italian with Tomato and Basil (recipe ideas here), or their SuperBurgers in Original and TexMex flavors.
Visit for more information.

Domaine Restaurants Introduces, A Restaurant

omaine Restaurants powerhouse proprietors Tim and Liza Goodell have championed the Southern California dining scene with trend-setting establishments such as Dakota, Meson G, Troquet, Aubergine, Red Pearl Kitchen and 25 Degrees. Their newest project, A Restaurant, is set to launch May 2008 in their home town of sunny Newport Beach, California.

Tim, an Orange County native, and local investors acquired the region's oldest restaurant The Arches, which first opened its doors in 1926The legendary restaurant experienced many changes over the decades but despite all the transformations, the space has remained a Newport Beach institutionTim and Liza's acquisition of the property last August preceded the biggest and most anticipated transformation to date.

Together with Tim's former schoolmate, well-known director McG (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, We Are Marshall, and Terminator 4), local real estate developer Chris Brigandi and singer Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), the versatile Goodell duo has breathed life into the old-school landmark with a culinary makeover.

The menu at A Restaurant is exemplary of Tim and Liza's progressive approach to fine dining: Simple and delicious updated American-style classics. Executive chef Vartan Abgaryan whips up signature entrees like the "Vintage Natural" Prime Steaks, Abalone Club Sandwich, Beef Stroganoff with Egg Noodles, and other dishes that exude "refined comfort food". But what's a meal without the perfect glass of vino? Tamira Clayton, Beverage Director, has created a fun exercise for both the oenophile and the occasional sipper. Pick your pleasure from an extensive wine list separated into two categories of wines marked under $100 and over $100 -dubbed the "Captain's List."

This standout team also welcomes dessert-extraordinaire pastry chef Shelly Register who will also oversee A Restaurant's gourmet market next door, A Market, as the culinary director. The market will be stocked with delicious prepared foods and goodies for a take-home experience.

Keeping to tradition and paying homage to history, Liza and designer Betsy Van't Hoff have maintained the restaurant's former old world flair. The speakeasy-meets-clubhouse interior transports you to the 1920s; vintage plaid carpeting and chestnut paneling takes you miles away from its beachside location to an era of the unapologetically cool.

A Restaurant is located at 3334 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, California; (949) 650-6505.

Bourbon Barrel Foods to Host Grand Opening Friday, May 30

Bourbon Barrel Foods is hosting a grand opening of its new retail presence and manufacturing facility in the Historic Butchertown Market from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 30. The open-to-the-public event will include tastings of products, giveaways, tours of the facility and live music by Kentucky Fried Pickin’ bluegrass band.

Butchertown Market, which is located at 1201 Story Ave., will also serve as a stop on the Frankfort Avenue Friday Trolley Hop taking place that evening.

“Our products are available in a number of stores, but we wanted to create a special place for people to shop that celebrates Kentucky’s bourbon heritage,” said Matt Jamie, president of Bourbon Barrel Foods. “We have a beautiful shop with many nods to the bourbon industry with aged bourbon barrels and items salvaged from shuttered distilleries.”

According to Jamie, Butchertown Market was the perfect fit for Bourbon Barrel Foods because it allows the company to share a retail presence with other local businesses and artists for a unique and charming shopping experience.

Products by Bourbon Barrel Foods include Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire Sauce; Bourbon Barrel Aged Soy Sauce; Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt, Peppercorns and Paprika; Kentuckyaki; and a line of Sorghums including Sweet Sorghum, Blueberry and Bourbon Vanilla flavors.

Bourbon Barrel Foods mixes and ages many of its products on-premise at the facility, including the Worcestershire and Soy sauces. In addition, products aged in bourbon barrels are stored on-site.

”We also wanted to create an opportunity for people to see our products being made,” said Jamie. “So we located our plant in the same building as our retail space and built a special window into our incubation room. Bourbon lovers will appreciate this opportunity to see how we use the spent barrels and how we microbrew our sauces.”

In fact, Jamie is preserving a special part of bourbon history in the plant. “We recently acquired a historic rick system from the Old Crow Distillery in Woodford County,” he said. “Ricks are a special bourbon shelving system, and we were thrilled to reclaim some from the shuttered distillery. The ricks are 150 years old and made from heartwood pine. We’ll be able to store up to 42 barrels on them.”

Butchertown Market is located in an historic building that previously served as a warehouse. The brick building is more than 100 years old, and has been a tannery, a paint factory and a soap factory. More than 30 artists and retailers currently have retail, office and manufacturing space in the building.

Bourbon Barrel Foods products are also available at retailers, such as Whole Foods, Paul’s Fruit Market, Liquor Barn, Doll’s Market, and Taste of Kentucky, to name a few, or online at

Tours of the Bourbon Barrel Foods plant can be scheduled by appointment only by emailing

Bourbon Barrel Foods retail space is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information on the Frankfort Avenue Friday Trolley Hop, visit Participants can park at one of the free and public parking areas, board the Frankfort Avenue Trolley at any designated stop between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and visit a variety of participating retailers and restaurants.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wild Sockeye Salmon to your Door in Less than 24 Hours

Sometimes running all over town from the specialty food store to the wholesale club, and then making one last stop at the regular grocery store to pull together all the ingredients for a menu can not only be exhausting, but take hours.

If you’re often scrambling to take care of last minute details for a dinner party and it becomes more stressful than fun, consider skipping the errands and having delicious ingredients delivered from directly to your doorstep—in most cases less than 24 hours after the order is placed.

“We can’t help you get your house clean or the kids to bed early,” laughed Justin Marx, CEO of, “But, we can save you a ton of time by delivering really amazing food on short notice. And we’re confident that our products will be the star of your meal.”

Regardless of if you’re planning to make wild salmon, Kobe beef tenderloin or something more unique along the lines of ostrich, rabbit, or geoduck, has the hard-to-find, delicious, high quality ingredients you’re looking for. is ideal for people who live outside of urban areas, but appreciate hard-to-find food. By ordering online, home cooks, who normally would have to travel several hours to access whole or specialty food stores, can have items such as grass-fed beef, grain-fed veal and fresh seafood delivered directly.

“When in a cooking rut, is also a great place to find inspiration,” said Katy Springer, General Manager. “When looking for unique items for my wedding, I decided to serve my guests Wild Boar with Cremini and Portabello Pansotti for dinner—I think this dish will far exceed typical wedding fare.”

For home cooks who enjoy trying to recreate meals they’ve had at a favorite restaurant, this is the place to find the exact items restaurants purchase. After all, is a division of a high end restaurant distributor. From osso bucco to lobster-filled ravioli, gives consumers access to items traditionally only distributed to restaurants.

Here are a few menu ideas:

Appetizer: With local Washington farmstead cheese; beautifully, hand-crafted 3x 4-inch “Maximus” ravioli filled with braised short ribs, roasted peppers or asparagus; or wild game sausage simply skewered with figs or fresh fruit, the first course can be effortless.

Salad: Miner’s lettuce, stinging nettles or seabeans will bring a salad to the next level. These flavorful greens will only need to be simply dressed with Camelina seed oil and balsamic vinegar.

Soup: A fresh healthy watercress soup, warming porcini mushroom bisque finished off with truffle oil, or Kombu enhanced stock will have dinner guests slurping up every last drop.

Main: The possibilities will cater to whatever delicacies you’re in the mood for—fresh seafood, shellfish, wild game, specialty meat, game birds, sausage, or Artisanal pasta.

Side: Morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns or multi-colored pasta will make stunning side dishes.

Dessert: Wild huckleberries are a refreshing way to end a large meal and have numerous applications including pie, cobble or even milk shakes for a fun summer dessert. Strawberries marinated in aged balsamic vinegar are an elegant way to top vanilla ice cream. caters to carnivores, vegetarians, raw food eaters, people who care about animal husbandry, and everyone in between.

Marx, headquartered in Seattle, Wash. is an online specialty food company dedicated to bringing the highest quality epicurean products directly to the consumer’s doorstep. For a decade, it has been selling to white tablecloth restaurants nationwide. Items now available to consumers include a variety of truffles, truffle products, fresh wild mushrooms, Artisanal ravioli, game meat, grass-fed beef & veal, sausage, game birds, seafood, sea vegetables, wild produce, oils, grains, seeds, and eco-friendly palm leaf dinnerware. To ensure freshness, most products are shipped via Federal Express overnight.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, special requests are welcome by calling (866) 588-MARX (6279). Not sure what to buy the food lover in your life? Gift certificates are available.

The Clifton Center Proudly Presents the 16th Annual Taste of Frankfort Avenue

Join the Clifton Center Sunday, June 22 for a unique evening of dining. From 4 to 7 p.m. the Clifton Center, at 2117 Payne Street, will host its 16th Annual Taste of Frankfort Avenue featuring signature dishes from 25 of Louisville’s most popular restaurants. The event, which is sponsored by Brown-Forman, will include a Tasteful Silent Auction and two drawings for the Frankfort Avenue Taste Tour, in addition to the cuisine of participating restaurants. Taste tickets are $40 and may be ordered online at or at (502) 896-8480.

Restaurants participating include: 60 West Bistro & Martini Bar, Bourbons Bistro, Brendan's, Caffe Classico, Clifton's Pizza, Consumers Choice Coffee, Crave Café & Catering, Fat Jimmy's, Gerstle's, The Grape Leaf, Havana Beverages, Heine Brothers' Coffee, The Irish Rover, Java Brewing Company, Kentucky BBQ Co., L&N Wine Bar and Bistro, North End Café, Porcini, Ray Parrella's Italian Restaurant, Sweet Surrender Dessert Café, The Sweet Tooth, Tony Boombozz Pizzeria, Varanese, Volare Ristorante, and Zen Garden.

In addition to the support provided by these restaurants, 90 other individuals and businesses will participate in the event through the Tasteful Silent Auction and donations. Underwriters include Bluegrass Brewing Co - Main Street Brewery, CBS Outdoor, CSX Transportation, Consumers Choice Coffee, D.D. Williamson & Company, First Capital Bank and Havana Beverages.

This year’s co-chairs are Bob Patterson of Consumers Choice Coffee and Melissa Buddeke, President of the Junior League of Louisville.

All proceeds from the 16th Annual Taste of Frankfort Avenue go toward enabling the Clifton Center to provide its meeting and performance spaces at reduced rates to nonprofit organizations. The Center is used by numerous Louisville organizations which encompass a wide variety of interests.

The Clifton Center is a nonprofit organization, governed by a 25-person board of community leaders. Its mission is to serve the Greater Louisville area with a quality facility for artistic productions, meetings, and programs that will further an enriched sense of community. For additional information, please visit the Clifton Center website or call (502) 896-8480.


In the spotlight:

Each radicchio variety is named after the Italian town that boasts its birthplace. Radicchio di Chioggia is the best known variety. This variety has a sharp, intense flavor that is pleasantly bitter. It has tender but firm leaves and is a popular green in salad mixes. Commonly, the name “radicchio” refers to this variety with dark maroon leaves and white ribs growing in a round head about the size of a large grapefruit.

Serving: The round Chioggia head lends itself more to shredding and its leaves as pockets for stuffing. Radicchio can be used raw in salads or slaws and as an ingredient in a variety of cooked dishes such as pasta or risotto.

Buying tips:

With radicchio, size is a measure of freshness. A small, dry head of radicchio has had a long, hard life; it’s small now because it’s been trimmed time and again to keep it looking good.

Here are some tips about selecting a fresh head of radicchio in the produce aisle:

Look for dark red to purple leaves with small white veins.
Select tight, firm radicchio heads that feel heavy for their size.
Avoid very small heads (less than 1/2 pound) – they’re old.
Avoid heads that are pointed, misshapen or ones with loose leaves.
Royal Rose Radicchio is fresher because it is field-packed and shipped directly to distributors and retailers. Foreign grown radicchio often spends up to four weeks in route to local American distributors and retailers. Royal Rose Radicchio is available year-round.

Slaws with radicchio:

Radicchio, with its fresh, assertive bite and brilliant ruby color, gives slaw a stylish look and fresh flavor. The bitter flavor of radicchio pairs well with other strong flavors featured in slaw. Coleslaw, from the Dutch koolsla or cabbage salad, is delicious and refreshing in any culinary tradition. Here are just a few ways to create a world of slaws:

• Toss radicchio with shredded Napa cabbage, green onions, chopped almonds, mandarin orange segments and a sweet-sour vinaigrette with a touch of mustard.
• Shred radicchio, toss with some chopped green cabbage, diced mango, minced jalapeno, sliced red onion and a fresh lime juice vinaigrette with a drizzle of honey and pinch of chili powder.
• Chop a tart-crisp apple; toss with shredded radicchio, raisins and pecans; dress with a creamy buttermilk dressing.
Coarsely shred radicchio and carrot; toss with a vinaigrette spiked with a bit of sesame oil and hoisin sauce. Garnish with sliced green onion, fried wonton pieces and toasted sesame seed.
• Peel, seed, thinly slice cucumber; toss with shredded radicchio and a creamy poppyseed dressing; garnish with sliced strawberries.
• Coarsely shred radicchio and carrot; toss with a vinaigrette spiked with a bit of sesame oil and hoisin sauce. Garnish with sliced green onion, fried wonton pieces and toasted sesame seed.
• Toss coarsely chopped radicchio with baby spinach leaves, fresh grapefruit segments, golden raisins, thinly sliced onion; dress with a balsamic vinaigrette.
• Gently combine shredded radicchio and green cabbage, chopped dates, sliced oranges and toasted almonds; dress with a walnut oil and lemon juice vinaigrette. Top with a little crumbled bacon.
• Combine shredded radicchio with cabbage-and-carrot slaw mix, add sliced green onion; dress with a Thai peanut dressing and some fresh lime juice, garnish with toasted peanuts and lots of chopped cilantro.
• Toss finely chopped radicchio with baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced red onion and chopped toasted hazelnuts; dress with sweet-sour vinaigrette, crumbled bacon and celery seed.
• Coarsely shred radicchio, toss with cooked & cooled wild rice, halved green or red grapes, chopped pecans, chopped green onion; drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette and top with crumbled blue cheese.
• Dress coarsely shredded radicchio and shredded carrot with a sweet-sour vinaigrette; add chopped apple, toasted walnuts and fresh dill.

Santa Fe Slaw with Radicchio
Makes 6-8 servings

This spicy slaw pairs bitter radicchio with spicy chili powder and cilantro – a true fusion of cultures and flavors.

1 head radicchio, cored and coarsely chopped or shredded (about 6-8 cups)
2 cups peeled jicama, cut into julienne strips
1 cup minced fresh cilantro
¼ large red onion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt

1 orange, peeled and thinly sliced

Place radicchio, jicama, cilantro and onion in large bowl. Stir all Dressing ingredients together in small bowl; pour over vegetables and toss to coat well; place in serving bowl. Garnish with orange slices. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Shortcut tip: Substitute bottled Buttermilk dressing for homemade dressing; add a teaspoon or two of sugar and some crushed red pepper flakes to the Buttermilk dressing before tossing with slaw.

INFO: Royal Rose Radicchio

Monday, May 12, 2008

“Spring Awakening” Stay Hydrated During June’s National Iced Tea Month

As the weather warms up, local parks and cafés swell with those looking to enjoy the sun and fresh air.

During this “Spring Awakening,” it is common to add more outdoor activities to the daily routine. While some relaxing activities may include a picnic with friends or family, for the athletically inclined it’s also a good time to begin a walking or running routine or to participate in outdoor sports.

While enjoying the sun and working up a sweat, be sure to have some “tea on ice” ready and waiting for your next “beverage” break.

Iced Tea is a refreshing beverage that will keep you hydrated as well as provide you with numerous health benefits like reducing the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
In addition, June is “National Iced Tea Month,” and the perfect time to add this delicious drink to your repertoire. Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world (after water), and it contains zero sodium, fat, carbonation or sugar, and many consider it a refreshing alternative to sodas and sports drinks.
While engaging in your next beach volleyball or softball game or even just a walk in the park, quench your thirst and stay hydrated with a glass of tea.

Traditional Iced Tea Steeping Method
15 teabags will make one gallon of iced tea
1. Place teabags into a clean, gallon-size container.
2. Bring two quart of water to full boil, pour over teabags and steep for 3-5 minutes.
3. Remove teabags and add two additional quarts of fresh, cold tap water to fill gallon container. Refrigerate promptly.
4. Pour tea into a tall glass filled with ice and serve.
Optional: Garnish with lemon or mint as desired.
Note: Fresh brewed tea should be consumed within 24 hours

Tea Tip: Store tea bags in a dark, cool and dry place away from strong odors and moisture. Do not refrigerate.

For a day at the park or beach bring the cooler and take a few moments to enjoy your first rays of sun for the season and don’t forget to have a refreshing pitcher of iced tea on-hand.

Happy National Iced Tea Month!! For more on tea and health, please visit

Tea May Reduce Carotid Plaque Formation in Women

Research published in a recent issue of the American Heart Association Journal found significantly less plaque in the carotid arteries in women who regularly consumed tea (p=0.0001). The cross-sectional study involved 6,597 adults aged 65+ years. Greater benefits were seen in the highest tea drinking group – those who consumed three or more cups per day. For this group, 33.7 percent of the women had carotid plaques, compared to 42.5 percent and 45 percent of women who drank one to two or no cups of tea a day, respectively.

The results remained consistent after adjusting for potentially confounding factors such as smoking, coffee intake, diet and education. This association between tea consumption reduced plaques has new implications for heart disease prevention. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women. Debette S, et al. Tea consumption is inversely associated with carotid plaques in women. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2008;28;353-359.

Green Tea’s EGCG May Inhibit Breast Cancer Growth

Researchers from the University of Mississippi Medical Center found that green tea’s main antioxidant, EGCG, significantly decreased factors associated with breast cancer: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, tumor angiogenesis, and growth of the breast cancer tumor (p<0.01).

In the study, seven week old female mice were given approximately 50-100 mg/kg/day of EGCG in water; the control group received regular drinking water. Breast cancer cells were injected in the second week of the five week study.

At the end of five weeks, several differences were seen between control and treatment groups. The tumors in the EGCG group were significantly smaller (66%) and weighed less (68%); in addition, this group had significantly lower levels of VEGF (p<0.01 for all results).

These findings were presented at April’s Experimental Biology meeting, a multi-society, interdisciplinary, scientific meeting featuring plenary and award lectures, symposia, oral and poster sessions, career services, and exhibits of scientific equipment, supplies, and publications. Gu JW, Young E, Covington J, Johnson JW, & Tan W. Oral administration of EGCG, an antioxidant found in green tea, inhibits tumor angiogenesis and growth of breast cancer in female mice. Poster session presented at the annual Experimental Biology scientific conferences, San Diego, CA. 2008.

America's Largest Corporate Dairy Processor Muscles Its Way into Organics

After a three-and-a-half year battle with Dean Foods
regarding the legality of milk it labels as Horizon Organic, the
country's most aggressive organic industry watchdog filed additional
legal actions today. Dean, the nation's largest dairy processor,
with nearly $12 billion in sales and controlling 50 different milk
brands, has obtained a large percentage of its organic milk supply
from giant factory farms milking thousands of cows each.

The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group and family
farm advocate, filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA claiming
that one of Dean’s Horizon suppliers, a dairy in Snelling,
California, was skirting the law by confining the majority of their
cows to a filthy feedlot rather than allowing them fresh grass and
access to pasture as the federal organic regulations require.

Cornucopia has also asked the Inspector General at the USDA to
investigate appearances of favoritism at the agency that has
benefitted Dean Foods. Cornucopia charges that past enforcement of
the Organic Foods Production Act, the law governing organic food
labeling and production, has been unequally applied toward major
corporate agribusiness by the USDA.

“We are asking the USDA, once again, to investigate serious alleged
improprieties at dairies that produce Horizon organic milk,” said
Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst with the Wisconsin-based
Cornucopia Institute.

Besides the legal issues that Cornucopia raised, they suggest Dean
Foods has seriously injured the value of its Horizon label and the
reputation of organic milk. “In the eyes of consumers, factory farms—
with questions about humane animal husbandry and records of endemic
pollution—do not meet the ethical litmus test,” Kastel added.

Cornucopia's most recent complaint is the third filed with the USDA
alleging Dean Foods has broken the federal law that governs organic
production. Prior complaints also charged Dean was confining cattle
on their two corporate-owned dairies, managing as many as 8,000 head
of cattle each.

Although the USDA, based on Cornucopia research, sanctioned or
decertified two independent factory farms supplying Horizon, the
federal agency dismissed both legal complaints against Dean Foods
itself. According to documents obtained under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) by Cornucopia, the USDA never investigated or
even visited Dean's largest corporate-owned industrial dairy, in the
desert-like conditions of central Idaho.

“It appears that Dean Foods has more political clout in Washington
than the two independent factory farm operators that were found to
have been abusing the trust of organic consumers,” according to Will
Fantle, Research Director at Cornucopia.

According to FOIA documents, Dean Foods hired lawyers at Covington
and Burling, one of the capital’s most powerful and influential legal
and lobbying groups, to plead their case. “The USDA closed
complaints we filed in 2005 and 2006 without ever having visited the
Horizon dairy in Idaho, and warned Dean Foods in advance before
inspecting their Maryland farm,” stated Fantle.

In a letter to USDA Inspector General Phyllis K. Fong, Cornucopia
asked her to investigate why the agency arbitrarily chose to
adjudicate some of the formal legal complaints filed by Cornucopia
but looked the other way when it came to the largest corporate dairy
processor and marketer in the country for almost identical alleged

Cornucopia's letter stated, “Conditions on the 8,000-head factory
farm operated by Dean/Horizon in Idaho were very similar to the
factory farms that the USDA has already sanctioned. The only
discernible difference appears to be how much money Dean Foods has
spent on lobbyists and campaign contributions in Washington.”

The Cornucopia Institute's latest complaint against the Fagundes
dairy in California calls into question Dean Foods’ marketing claim
that "80% of our milk comes from … family farmers."

“We have been challenging Dean Foods’ greenwashing of their Horizon
label for a number of years now,” stated Kastel. One of Horizon's
decertified suppliers, milking 10,000 cows, in a feedlot in Pixley,
California, was categorized as a "family farm" by Dean.

“My family and 1800 or so other organic farmers around the country
have worked hard to build the stellar reputation organic dairy
products deservingly enjoy in the eyes of consumers,” lamented Tony
Azevedo, one of the first organic dairy farmers in California milking
350 cows near the town of Stevinson. “Virtually every other name-
brand organic dairy product in the country depends exclusively on
real family farmers to produce their milk. We don't want subterfuge
by confinement dairies giving us all a black eye and endangering our

"Ninety percent of all participants in the marketplace are
approaching organic dairy production ethically," emphasized
Cornucopia's Kastel. A comprehensive report and scorecard, listing
organic brand-name and private-label organic dairy products, can be
found on The Cornucopia Institute website:

In addition to filing a formal legal complaint against Fagundes dairy
with regulators at the USDA, Cornucopia also sent the complaint to
the California Department of Agriculture that also oversees organic
production in the state.

Although past complaints regarding the integrity of organic
production have sometimes taken months or even years to adjudicate at
the state and federal levels Cornucopia's concerns elicited a
response in less than 24 hours from the dairy’s organic certifier,
CCOF, based in Santa Cruz, California. In a letter to Cornucopia
CCOF said, “Please note that CCOF takes organic livestock living
conditions extremely seriously.’ They added, “We will immediately
initiate a full investigation which will include an on-site
inspection of the operation.

Organic certifiers are on the front lines of efforts to protect
consumers and ethical farmers from fraud. “The immediate and serious
tone from CCOF should not be surprising as the certifier has been one
of the most highly respected organizations in the organic movement
since its founding in the early 1970s, said Fantle.

The letter sent to the USDA Office of Inspector General can be viewed

The formal legal complaint filed with the USDA regarding alleged
violations at the Fagundes organic factory farm dairy can be viewed at:

Images of the Fagundes operation can be viewed at:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Phoenix Restaurant Group News

The National Exemplar Restaurant is now hosting Friday Nights: The After Work Social in our lobby bar, Southerby's. Mix and mingle with old friends and new faces every Friday from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. and enjoy complimentary appetizers, drink specials, and ½ price wines by the glass. The National Exemplar is located in the historic Mariemont Inn and is celebrating 25 years of great food and service. (513) 271-2103, 6880 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, OH;

The Phoenix invites you and your family to join us for The Mother's Day Brunch, May 11, for a bountiful spread of delicious food and spirits. Enjoy Prime Rib of Beef, Fresh Baked Honey Glazed Ham, Belgian Waffles, Omelets, Vegetable Strata, Smoked Salmon, Fresh Mixed Greens, Fresh Fruit, Pastry & Danish, Bacon, Sausage, and everything else! Music by Harpist Elizabeth Motter. $ 29.00. Ages 5 – 12 are $20.00. Ages four and under are complimentary. Gratuity not included. Reservations Required. (513) 721-8901, 812 Race Street, downtown;

The National Exemplar Restaurant, celebrating 25 years of great food and service, invites you to join us for Friends & Family Nights every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in May. Enjoy your choice of one of the following entrees for $25: Prime Rib Au Jus, Veal Suzanne, Exemplar Chicken or Fettuccini Bravo. All entrees include a choice of soup or salad, and we offer fresh hot bread with every meal. Also, enjoy a glass of red or white wine and a "World's Smallest Sundae" for dessert. Dinner reservations accepted. Tax and gratuity not included. – (513) 271-2103, 6880 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, OH;

The Phoenix is now offering Box Lunches and Brown Bag Sandwiches for lunch. Monday – Friday. Choose a selection from one of our menus or let us help you create your own. Contact our sales department for more information. We help build good reputations at work…let us help you with your next event. Consistently good food delivered on time and with a smile. "We cater, we serve, and we love taking care of you." (513) 721-8901, 812 Race Street, downtown;

Jazz at The Phoenix Restaurant Live music every Wednesday through Saturday from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. Call (513) 721-8901.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Special Mother's Day Recipe from Ciao Italia

Mom's Walnut Pastry Logs

A not-too-sweet yeast dough encasing ground walnuts and egg whites are the signature ingredients for my mother's walnut pastry logs. Delicious with tea or coffee, make them for the special women in your life this Mother's Day.
Makes 5 logs


1/2 cup warm water
2 packages dried yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-7 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 egg whites
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
5 cups ground walnuts plus a few extra whole shelled walnuts for garnish
1 teaspoon vanillla extract
1 - 2 teaspoons milk
Maraschino cherries (optional)


For the dough

Pour the water into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, butter and sugar. Mix by hand or on low speed to blend the ingredients. Blend the egg yolks into the mixture, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Begin adding the flour a cup at a time and mix until a soft, non sticky ball forms. You may not need all the flour. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size.

For the filling

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar a little at a time until soft peaks form. Fold in the butter, ground walnuts and vanilla. Set aside.

Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces and work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered. Roll each piece into a 14 inch square. Spread about 1 cup of the filling over the dough,then roll it tightly like a jellyroll. Make sure to tuck in the ends as you roll. They should be about 12 inches long.

Place two logs, 4 inches apart on a lightly butter baking sheet or on a parchment lined baking sheer. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Continue making 4 more logs. Place them on baking sheets as above.

Preheat the oven to 375F

When ready to bake brush the tops with millk and make a few decorative slashed in the top of the dough.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until nicely browned.


1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon of milk or more for a thin consistency

Combine in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle on logs as they cool. Decorate with the cherries and walnuts.

Cut on the diagonal into thick slices.

Beringer Wines to Take Center Stage

On Thursday, May 22, The English Grill at The Brown Hotel will captivate the palate with a dinner featuring wine pairings from Napa Valley’s oldest continuously operating winery, Beringer Vineyards. The five-course dinner by chef Laurent Géroli will be enhanced by a discussion of the vineyard’s merits by guest speaker Jamie Stewart, sommelier for Foster Wine Estates. The dinner begins at 7 p.m. and the cost is $95 per person plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, please contact Neal Ward at 502-736-2998.

The menu for the Beringer Wine Dinner is as follows:

White Asparagus Terrine with truffle oil vinaigrette, sorrel tomato sorbet and micro basil salad
Alluvium Blanc 2006

Poached Dover Sole with sweet lavender crayfish sauce and leek and fennel fondue
Sabraga Vineyards Chardonnay 2005

Charred Bluefin Tuna with baby zucchini, corn, carrot and fennel salad with Pixie tangerine essence, topped with micro beets
Alluvium Red 2004

Cast Iron Roasted Cervena Elk with fava bean and wild ramp casserole and citrus anise sauce
Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Cavaillon Melon with chocolate mint and ginger grapefruit sorbet
Nightingale Late Harvest 2003

Freshly Brewed Regular or Decaffeinated Coffee

Jamie Stewart’s wine experience spans continents and languages. Having earned his Australian sommelier qualifications at age 17, he subsequently studied in Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia and New York City. He is currently On-Premise Manager in Chicago for Foster Wine Estates and is studying American Sign Language in order to develop wine education programs for the hearing impaired.

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Taste of Cincinnati Event Spectacular

For the first time at the Taste of Cincinnati the WAHL "Let It Grow!" tour will help Cincinnatians get a handle on their facial hair. Hitting the road with the WAHL "Let it Grow!" tour will be Ben Phillips, a celebrity stylist and salon owner, who will be giving free professional trims and hands-on advice for getting a grip on your mustache, beard, or goatee.
WAHL’s 30-foot mobile barber shop will be at the Taste of Cincinnati May 24, 25, and 26 on 5th Street near Vine St. from 12:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. On May 23, the tour will also be at the Cincinnati Wal-Mart located at Colerain Ave. from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
On-site professional stylists will work with men on how to choose the right tool for the job and on mastering techniques for making the most of their look. WAHL trimmers are the choice of professionals, and stylists will be on hand to educate men on how to best trim and style their facial hair.
"While a lot of men may have learned to shave from their dads or older brothers, many of them never really learned how to maintain their facial hair,” explains Phillips. “They have often figured it out through trial and error which can sometimes end with disastrous results.”
The WAHL "Let It Grow!" Tour in Cincinnati will include:
Charity Trade Up to Wahl Trimmer: Bring your razors, scissors, or out-of-date trimmers - and for each item that WAHL collects, the company will donate $1 to the YMCA to support their efforts to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities. Product donators will also receive a $5 coupon to buy the right WAHL trimming "tool."
Mobile Barber Shop: where 2 professional stylists will trim and detail guy's beards, mustaches and goatees.
WAHL Welcome Area: Visitors can pick up product information, surf the website and purchase WAHL products directly from Visitors can also play a variety of games and win WAHL giveaways as well as look into WAHL’s special mirrors that allow them to see how they would look with a beard, mustache or goatee.
WAHL Men of the Year Center: Straighten your 'stache or buff your beard and strike a creative pose for your photo to enter the WAHL Men of the Year competition.
WAHL of Fame: Check out the competition - see how your facial hair stacks up against other Men of the Year entries.
Throughout the summer, the WAHL “Let It Grow!” tour will travel across the country in search of the “Wahl Men of the Year.” Along the way, the tour will stop in 14 cities to educate today’s men on how to find the right look to suit their own personal style. Look for the 2008 tour in Cincinnati, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Dallas, Texas; Washington, D.C.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Detroit, Mich.; Chicago, Ill.; Minneapolis, Minn.; St. Louis, Mo., Las Vegas, Nev.; San Francisco, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and Denver, Colo. For a detailed schedule of stops and events, visit

WAHL Men of the Year Competition
WAHL Trimmers is hitting the road in search of the WAHL men of the year sporting the best mustache, goatee and beard in America. The grand prize winner in each category will receive a 60 inch HD Flat Screen TV. Entering the competition is easy – simply submit your photo and a brief explanation as to why you let your facial hair grow and what makes you a WAHL Man that is Well-Groomed, All-American, Hardworking, and Loyal. Entries will be accepted at or on site at the WAHL “Let It Grow!” mobile tour. Following each event, all eligible entries will be posted to for online voting to determine the local finalists. The final winners in each category – beard, mustache, and goatee – will be announced in December 2008.

Now in its 89th year, WAHL Clipper Corporation is an international industry leader in the manufacture of products for the professional beauty and barber trade, consumer personal care and animal grooming. Headquartered in Sterling, Ill., WAHL currently employs some 2,000 associates worldwide in Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Japan, Spain, and the United States. WAHL products are available in 150 countries around the world. To learn more about WAHL, please visit