Thursday, July 31, 2008

Honorable Order of the Golden Toque Elects a New Leader

The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque recently elected Chef Tom Hickey, Director of Sullivan University's National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS), as Grand Commander at their 46th annual meeting. The Honorable Order is the highest recognition a chef can receive in the United States.

The Order was originally founded in France by Chef Pierre Berard and was brought to the United States in 1961. It was established to recognize skillful chefs who have Executive Chef experience of at least 20 years, have achieved professional accomplishments, have an interest in professional progress and are devoted to the Culinary Profession and Arts.

“It is an honor to be selected as a member of the Golden Toque and to be elected as their Grand Commander is a chef’s lifelong dream.” says Hickey. “To follow in the footsteps of the past Grand Commanders and keep the original standards of the order in place will be my goal.”

The Honorable Order of the Golden Toque has a membership restriction of only 100 lifetime active members. Chefs may not apply for membership; they must be nominated by at least three active members. They are then put through a screening process which is held by the Acceptance Committee that is made up of past Grand Commanders, Grand Commander and the Board of Directors. Final membership must be decided by all members at the annual meeting.

The Order derives its name from the chef's toque, the tall, round, pleated, white hat worn in most modern kitchens.

The NCHS prepares students for careers in the hospitality field by offering five Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees majors and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Students can earn an Associate of Science degree in Culinary Arts; Baking & Pastry Arts; Professional Catering; Hotel & Restaurant Management; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration concentration in Hospitality Management. The University also offers Professional Cook, Professional Baker and Travel & Tourism diplomas. All programs of study are taught by highly qualified faculty using the latest contemporary facilities. For more information, visit

Gift Giving this Year May Be Different

It’s July – time to start thinking about the Christmas Holiday season, right? But, for the corporate gift giver, this year needs to be different.

“We are in the midst of tougher economic times with higher gas prices, inflated healthcare costs and higher prices on everyday items,” notes Hall Hitzig, The Crazy Baker. “This year, corporations will be taking extra care in selecting their gifts.”

In a recent survey by The Crazy Baker and Inside Small Biz, over 50% of corporate gift givers said they prefer giving food gifts.

“In today’s world of consumerism and ‘stuff,’ along with the shift in the economy, we find that gift recipients are most grateful for food gifts because they represent a heart-felt expression of care,” adds Hitzig.

But, it’s not only food gifts that are catching the eye of corporations this year; it’s also food gifts that are healthy and wholesome.

“At The Crazy Baker, we have delicious and luscious desserts like our Sticky Toffee Pudding and X-treme Brownies, which make wonderful gifts and still sell well,” says Hitzig.

But, Hitzig has noticed that his two flavors of Crazy Baker Granola, raisin and cranberry, have started to outpace the premium items.

“One of the key learnings from the survey is that people – both gift givers and gift recipients – want healthy, wholesome food on a regular basis that satisfies not only their nutritional needs, but also a deeper need for wholesome living.” Hitzig notes that corporate gift givers also want to give a message with their gift that they care about the whole person; not just a corporate entity.

As a result, The Crazy Baker has begun offering corporate gift-givers a sample gift pack of its Crazy Baker Granola with Cranberries and its Crazy Baker Granola with Raisins.

“We get ‘love letters’ about our Crazy Baker Granola,” notes Hitzig. “It’s the fresh ingredients that make it so special. It’s a gift that says you really care about someone, not just about the dollars they spend with your corporation throughout the year, but you care about them as a person.”

Crazy Baker Granola contains organic rolled oats, organic raisins or cranberries, walnuts and almonds, and sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds. It’s lightly sweetened with West Virginia honey and a touch of molasses.

The Crazy Baker Granola can be given in bags or as a sampler with a 1 lb. bag of each flavor – raisin and cranberry. The gift sampler is packaged in an environmentally friendly box with colorful interior packing to protect the bags of Granola during shipping. All of The Crazy Baker’s products can be shipped worldwide.

“The feedback we receive on our food gifts is that people love the products, but they also deeply appreciate the love and care that we’ve put into our packaging.” Hitzig goes on to note that their packaging strategy is to use re-usable, recyclable and sustainable packaging.

Hitzig is undeniably passionate about his Crazy Baker Granola and his luscious desserts. And, he is actively involved in the Slow Food movement, which is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justice within the food system. And, as an advisory board member of the Pierpoint Community and Technical College of Fairmont State University’s Culinary Center, Hitzig provides guidance and direction for the next generation of chefs.

In addition, Hitzig is a charter member of Inside Small Biz, an organization specializing in helping Small Business Owners find growth opportunities. In working with Inside Small Biz, Hitzig has used the insights from the survey to focus on healthy, wholesome foods for his customers.

Hitzig says this about Inside Small Biz, “Having someone to talk to about your goals, and more importantly how to reach your goals, is essential. Of course, if that someone is experienced or knowledgeable, so much the better. The teleconferences from Inside Small Biz are excellent for that. On top of that, a one-to-one discussion is still essential. Another person can help you keep on track with all those projects that you can put to the side while searching for the shiny path to your goal.”

The Crazy Baker, established in 2002 by Hall and Amy Hitzig, creates a wide variety of baked goods and confections, handmade with love and the finest natural ingredients. The Crazy Baker also produces traditional and seasonal specialty items and healthy, wholesome items for everyday consumption. All products are available for shipping worldwide. For a luscious and healthy experience, go to or call 866.440.4797.

XX AuNaturale Double Red Ale

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

Grand Teton¹s most recent year-round brew, Au Naturale Organic Blonde Ale,
was first brewed in summer of 2006 as a summer seasonal draft beer.
However, at the end of the summer, it was too popular to discontinue. It
became our next annual brew and 6-packs were introduced in May 2007. Crafted
with organic German malt and hops, it has a clean, smooth character
reminiscent of the best European lagers.

For our 20th Anniversary celebration, we¹ve traded in the blonde for a
redhead while keeping our German roots. Still brewed with all German
organic malt and hops, the XX Au Naturale is bigger, maltier‹and redder‹than
the original.

The reddish Vienna malts that give this ale its color provide a spicy
sweetness and some caramel notes that perfectly complement roast or grilled
chicken, pizza, or pasta. 7.5% alcohol by volume.

The Cellar Reserve series of beers are unique among average beers and even
from other craft 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 Au
Naturale Double Red 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 Au Naturale Double Red Ale will be available starting August at
select locations in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Oregon, Montana,
Washington, New York and now Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri! 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 Bitch Creek Double ESB Ale early this Winter.

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, Washington and now
Wisconsin, Arizona, Kansas, New York and Missouri.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Diva Farms Garlic

It’s a long way from Italy for Margherita Schuller, president of Diva Farms, Ltd., as she sits in her Utica, NY office, overseeing the packing of the latest garlic shipments.

“We’ve been selling garlic since 1994,” Schuller says, with her lilting Italian accent, “ and there isn’t anything we can’t make with garlic. It’s so versatile.”

Schuller and her husband started the business in upstate New York, but shortly after the business started her husband was stricken with a heart attack and Schuller was left with a new business and two small children.

“What could I do but go on,” says Schuller. “It was either run the business or go on welfare and I could never do that.”

So Schuller put in the long hours required to get a fledging business off the ground, and now over a decade later, Diva Farms is proud to be a successful business with national customers in retail grocery chains and in foodservice venues.

Schuller remembers the early days as a struggle, but now worth every minute.

“My children are grown and now I have a new granddaughter, and I am thrilled to have cared for my children and to have grown Diva Farms.”

Garlic has always been a key ingredient in Italian cooking, but Schuller notes that garlic has extended far beyond the Italian culinary realm.

“Our customers use garlic in everything,” says Schuller. “Here at Diva Farms, we think every recipe is made better with garlic.”

Because Diva Farms focuses on garlic, Schuller and her team have taken the core products of whole, fresh garlic and minced garlic in jars purchased in the produce section into line extensions of flavored garlic and garlic spread. An organic line is also available.

“Our flavored garlics have been a real hit,” says Schuller. “Using these flavored garlics give a delightful enhancement to meats, poultry and fish, and of course, any pasta dish. They’re also good in salad dressings or on salads.”

The flavored garlics are available in oregano, basil, parsley and red pepper and are available in a 8 oz. glass jar.

“Chefs love the easy to use flavored garlics because it makes their job easier – it takes out one more step in them having to find the right seasoning,” notes Schuller.

Diva Farms garlic spread makes appetizers easy with its base of high-quality margarine combined with pure Italian Romano Cheese, parsley and garlic. The Garlic Spread can be used on crackers, crustinis or added to any dish to enhance the flavor.

In addition to its culinary uses, garlic has long been favored for its herbal and medicinal properties.

Through the centuries, garlic has been used for coughs and colds, to lower blood pressure and for a variety of infections and digestive disorders.

But, even if garlic didn’t have medicinal properties, Schuller and the folks at Diva Farms would still be selling the market’s best garlic.

“We love garlic here at Diva Farms. Every jar we send out has our love in it. Maybe that’s why it’s so good,” she adds with a smile.

Diva Farms recently joined Inside Small Biz, an organization for Small Business Owners that helps small companies develop new business opportunities.

“We are excited about Inside Small Biz,” says Schuller. “We’re ready to take our business to the next level and to have the whole world know about our garlic.”

Diva Farms, Ltd. sources high-quality garlic grown specifically for Diva Farms and processes it in its Utica, NY facility. The garlic is shipped to retail and foodservice customers around the country. Customers and consumers can order from Diva Farms by visiting or calling (315) 735-4397.

Plum Organics Kids Meals - Fresh, Delicious and Ready in Minutes!

Our nourishing, real foods are designed to fuel the specific health needs of kids, while introducing diverse flavors that the pickiest eater will enjoy.

Bowtie Pasta with Sweet Potato Sauce
(side of edamame, corn and red bell peppers)
Rainbow Veggie Shells with Parmesan Sauce
(side of peas and carrots)
Cheese filled Spinach Tortellini with Marinara
(side of peas and carrots)
Italian Sausage Marinara over Multigrain Pasta
(side of peas, sweet corn, green beans and carrots)

Available nationwide this Fall in Whole Foods Markets and Super Target stores, each frozen meal is served in sustainable packaging and cooks in just 3 minutes.

We know how hard important it is for kids to eat healthy. These time saving tips are great for busy families!

Ditch the unnecessary “extras” and save time – keep ingredients fresh and simple, stay away from battered foods, too much butter or cheese - they will be healthier too.

Keep pre-cut fruits and veggies on hand for a quick snack or addition to a healthy, balanced meal.

Finish off one of our pasta entrees with a mixed berry salad or peanut butter covered banana for a healthy take on dessert.

Go frozen without sacrificing health or taste – the fastest way to whip up a meal is in the microwave. While many frozen options are high in sodium and fat, only PLUM ORGANICS provides optimal nutrition and savory, fresh flavor.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Food E-Commerce Site Launches - Promotes Local Food, a new e-commerce shopping concept featuring local foods from across the country, launches today nationwide.

Developed by two entrepreneurial businesswomen who have a passion for great food, and who care about what their families eat, offers foods that span 16 categories. Included are foods such as artisan cheese and salami from Utah, crab cakes from Maryland, wild American shrimp from North Carolina, wild blueberry jam from Maine, grass fed lamb from Idaho, grass fed beef from Montana, and a bounty of holiday gift giving ideas from coast to coast. There are dozens of foods, all raised, caught or produced by local artisans, farmers, fishermen, ranchers, beekeepers, and other small specialty food companies.

"We searched, tasted, and interviewed consumers, food professionals and potential merchants to find the right foods and artisans for our site," explains Marsha Cade, co-founder, based in suburban Philadelphia. "Superb quality and great taste were our top criteria, plus we support sustainable and eco-friendly, farming and food production practices."

The site offers new foods and old favorites, some all-natural, some organic. Many of the website's merchants started by selling their foods at local farmer's markets, and are now ready to reach a broader audience. provides the resources and means for their expansion. also tells the merchant's "story" -- how they got started, the special care they put into growing or making their products, the awards they've won, and other interesting tidbits about them and their products.

Here are examples of what you'll find:

· Utah's Beehive Cheese Company's, Tim Welsh and Pat Ford, left the fast-paced world of software and real estate to seek a simpler way of life as artisan cheesemakers. Their award winning, and labor intensive, Barely Buzzed cheese is hand-rubbed with a blend of lavender and espresso coffee.

· Lava Lake Lamb is raised with care by experienced shepherds. Located just southeast of Sun Valley, Idaho, the Lava Lake Ranch is dedicated to the proposition that what we eat matters. The ranch produces all natural, grass-fed lamb that is raised sustainably, humanely, and without antibiotics or growth hormones, and is never placed in feedlots.

· Gregg Charbonneau and Barth Anderson of Massachusetts' Barrington Coffee Roasting Company are coffee fanatics. They believe that directly supporting quality-driven producers is the ideal manner in which to promote sound, responsible growing practices, economic sustainability -- and ultimately, the best coffee.

"Our merchants are the heart of," explains Caragh Whalen, Cade's co-founding partner, who is based in suburban Boston. "Their commitment and dedication is amazing, and their stories are unique and compelling. We will continue to offer new products, stories, and blog postings to captivate our visitors. In fact, we're already creating a great community among our providers -- merchants are recommending other merchants to join the site which is very exciting!"

For more information log onto

“The Human GI Tract Is Built To Withstand Acidity

A comprehensive new research review confirms that the upper gastrointestinal tract (GI) is naturally equipped to handle fruit juices, soft drinks, alcohol and other beverages with high acidity.

The research, published in the Journal of Food Science, concludes that drinking liquids that are typically associated with low pH provide little to no harm to natural protective mechanisms of the lining of the upper human GI tract. The author reviewed more than two decades of GI physiology studies focusing on research on the human digestive system from the esophagus to the small intestine.

“The human GI tract is built to withstand the acidity in commonly consumed beverages by having natural neutralizers for acid, cellular repair mechanisms and cells that prevent acid from reaching more sensitive cells. When these actions work in concert, damage is prevented and repair ensues if damage does occur,” says Dr. Ronald Kleinman, pediatric gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Consumption of low pH beverages in moderate amounts should not negatively affect the lining of the upper GI tract. Of course the focus should be on consumption of foods and beverages that are nutrient rich and a diet that matches calorie intake to daily requirements.”

To view this article in its entirety visit:

Marinades May Decrease Cancer Forming Compounds In Grilled Meats

Outdoor cooking season is at its peak, and now there’s even more reasons to marinade meats before grilling. New research published in the Journal of Food Science shows that marinating meats may decrease the cancer forming compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA), which are produced during grilling, by over 70 percent.

Researchers from Kansas State University tested three commercial spice- containing marinade blends (Caribbean, southwest, and herb) on round beef steaks. The steaks were marinated for one hour and then grilled at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Food scientists found that steaks marinated in the Caribbean blend produced the highest decrease in HCA content (88 percent), followed by the herb blend (72 percent) then the southwest blend (57 percent).

“Commercial marinades offer spices and herbs which have antioxidants that help decrease the HCAs formed during grilling,” says Dr. J.S. Smith, principal researcher at Kansas State University. “The results from our study have a direct application since more consumers are interested in healthier cooking.”

To view this article in its entirety visit

VE2 Energy Gum

After unleashing its signature product only weeks ago, VE2 Laboratories is pleased to announce that Chartered Distribution Services (CDS) of Los Angeles, CA, will distribute VE2 Energy Gum to Fry's Electronics customers across the country.

Two pieces of sugar-free VE2 Energy Gum are equal to an 8oz. cup of coffee or an energy drink, and the gum is crammed with energy-sustaining ingredients like vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, ginseng and guarana, delivering increased alertness and endurance without the "crash" of other energy products. Plus, with its environmentally conscious sleeveless packaging designed to minimize the waste of paper, VE2 Energy Gum has already earned legions of fans that have been waiting anxiously for the product to come to their local store shelves.

"When we originated the idea for VE2 Energy Gum, we knew that there was a substantial market for the product," said John Katsoulis, co-founder of VE2 Laboratories. "Signing a distribution deal with such a highly-esteemed chain as Fry's Electronics was the next logical step for us in bringing VE2 Energy Gum to consumers everywhere."

Maria Long, the café division buyer for Fry's, was introduced to VE2 at the 2008 All Candy Expo in May, and knew immediately that it was the perfect product for the chain's high-energy clientele. "We have always prided ourselves on providing our customers with a wide variety of high-quality products that range from computer chips to potato chips," said Long. "Fry's is happy to add VE2 to the great selection of products available to our customers."

With the help of Chartered Distribution Services, VE2 Energy Gum will now be available at all Fry's Electronics locations throughout California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Oregon and Washington.

"We're optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for VE2 Energy Gum," continued John Katsoulis. "Before long, we're confident that rather than saying, 'wake up and smell the coffee,' our customers will be waking up and chewing some VE2 Energy Gum!"

About VE2
VE2 Energy Gum was created by Emergency Room doctor Andres Sasson and entrepreneur John Katsoulis, who recognized a need in the marketplace for a great tasting, sugar-free product with a unique delivery system that did not land you in the restroom after consumption. After two years of market research and packaging R&D, Sasson and Katsoulis launched the VE2 brand at the 2008 All Candy Expo in Chicago. VE2 is the first sugar-free energy gum to boast great taste and eco-friendly packaging. Two pieces are 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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Toast of Ohio Wine Event Returns to Sandusky

The fifth annual Toast of Ohio will take place in Sandusky on Saturday, August 16 with help from the Ohio Grape Industries Committee. This year’s event will once again be held at the Sandusky Bay Pavilion (605 East Water Street) at Meigs and Water Streets, to allow for an open and comfortable festival atmosphere. In addition, fabulous musical entertainment and family fun activities at local museums will be featured for the Toast of Ohio wine heritage festival, which will take place from 11 am – 8 pm.

There is a $1.00 admission fee for this first-class event, which will feature fifteen Ohio wineries – admission fees will benefit the sponsor museums, Maritime Museum of Sandusky and Merry-Go-Round Museum. $0.50 and $1.00 tickets will be available to purchase for exchange of wine tastings and food purchases. Wine tastings are $0.50 and glasses will vary by vendor but start at $3.00. Food offerings will range from $1.00 - $5.00. Ticket packages will also be available for purchase. Packages will include a combination of food tickets and wine tickets for a set price. There will be packages ranging from $5.00 to $20.00. A $20.00 package includes ten food tickets, twelve wine tastings, and a souvenir wine glass.

Wineries that will be showcased include Sandusky's own Firelands Winery and Hermes Vineyards, as well as Quarry Hill Winery in Berlin Heights, Port Clinton's Mon Ami, Matus Winery of Wakeman, Meier's Wine Cellars of Silverton, Stoney Ridge Winery of Bryan, Chalet Debonne of North Olmsted, It’s Your Winery of Fairlawn, Ferrante Winery of Geneva, Breitenbach Wine Cellars of Dover, Viking Vineyards & Winery of Kent, Raven’s Glenn Winery of West Lafayette, Maize Valley Winery of Hartville and St. Joseph Vineyard of Thompson. Wine related merchandise and souvenirs will also be sold at the festival.

What's quality wine without quality food? Gourmet samples from local restaurants will be available throughout the day, including hot appetizers, fabulous entrees and various delectable desserts.

Lively entertainment will add to the event with featured entertainers the Bare Bones Jazz Quartet from 2 – 6 pm. Theatrical readings from the Harlequins Theatre will add to the entertainment throughout the day. In addition there will be artists exhibiting their work during the festival.

Prior to Prohibition, Sandusky was the largest wine-producing region in the nation. Huge vineyards spread from east of Sandusky to the western region near the bay because of the lakeshore climate. The Toast of Ohio event was developed to celebrate Sandusky's winemaking heritage.

The Maritime Museum of Sandusky and the Merry-Go-Round Museum, co-sponsors of the festival, will host tours and activities. At the Merry-Go-Round Museum admission will be free and carousel rides will be available for $1.00. At the Maritime Museum, a special $1.00 admission is being offered during the festival. There will also be an Underground Railroad Trolley Tour at 11 am. Reservations for the tour are required and there is a $5.00 fee. The free Sandusky Main Street Trolley will be available from 11 am – 4 pm to transport festival patrons to the Merry-Go-Round Museum and downtown Sandusky.

Please note, all vehicle access to the Meigs Street Pier will not be permitted during the event.

Other event sponsors include Lake Erie Living, Ohio Magazine, Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center, First Energy Foundation, Sandusky Main Street Association, Buckeye Cable, and Citizens Banking Company.

Mark's Feed Store Experiences a Heat Wave

For years, Mark’s Feed Store has been known for its award-winning barbeque sauces and now Mark’s is blazing a new trail! Mark’s Feed Store is introducing their own hot sauce this month. Their signature hot sauce is now for sale at all Mark’s Feed Store restaurants and is available to top off their famous barbeque at all four locations.

“Our customers love our original and red sauces, and we received so many requests for something to add a little more kick,” said Mark’s Feed Store founder Mark Erwin. “After 20 years in business, we’re still striving to give our guests what they want.”

This scorching sauce is sure to fly off the shelves in all Mark’s Feed Stores. The sauce will run $3.15 a bottle. Customers can also get two bottles or pair a bottle of the hot sauce with original or red BBQ sauce for just $6.

While the hot sauce is only available in Mark’s Feed Store restaurants, the original and red sauce can be found in Mark’s Feed Stores and Kroger’s stores. The original sauce is a spicy mustard-based formula, while the red recipe is sweet and tangy with a touch of honey. Both are made using secret recipes developed by Erwin. His techniques were passed down from a third generation barbeque master. The original and red sauces can be used in a variety of recipes that can be found on

Mark’s Feed Store has four locations (Highlands, Middletown, Dixie Highway and Clarksville, Ind.), which are open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For information about catering, bottled sauces, gift cards and more, visit

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Explorer's Bounty New Line of Premium Organic Coffees

This Christmas is going to be a whole lot jollier for java lovers who make it on to Santa’s “Nice” list. Even St. Nick himself would be hard-pressed to unearth the globe’s most exotic coffees all by himself, but this year he’s getting a little help from his elves at Explorer’s Bounty. The company has searched the world over for the finest premium coffees the earth has to offer. Available in both ground and whole bean varieties, the Explorer’s Bounty line of exotic coffees make the ideal gift for cup of Joe lovers. Retailers can check out the company online at

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.”

Unfortunately for all those coffee lovers, world coffee prices have risen 23 percent over the past six months. The “Los Angeles Times” explains that the culprit is “a weak U.S. dollar that makes imported coffee more expensive.” The cupboard may be looking a little bit barer these days for cost-conscious Americans who are craving their morning cup of Joe. That’s why premium coffee is likely to top the list of most-wanted gifts this upcoming holiday season.

The folks at Explorer’s Bounty are ready and waiting to put a smile on the faces of coffee lovers Christmas morn. Culled from some of the hardest-to-reach locations, their 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 rejoice this holiday season when they unwrap a package 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.
Gift retailers who would like to learn more about the earth-friendly, organic coffee products Explorer’s Bounty offers can do so online at Interested media are encouraged to arrange a personal interview with the Explorer’s Bounty elves 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

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Mocha Flavored Energy Drink Shot

BDI Marketing, distributors of the popular Mini Thin Rush® family of energy products, announced today the August 1st, 2008 release of its new mocha flavored 2 ounce energy drink shot Mini Thin Rush® A.M.™. The announcement was made by Karen Windle-Burcham, President of BDI Marketing.

Designed to provide people on the go with a highly energizing morning pick me up via a convenient 2 ounce liquid shot, Mini Thin Rush A.M. features a tasty mocha flavor, is sugar-free, and contains less than one carb per serving. Most importantly, it provides 6 hours of energy with less liquid and without the commonly experienced crash that is characteristic with competing high-sugar energy drinks.

Delivering renewed and instant energy, Mini Thin Rush A.M. ingredients include mega doses of Caffeine, which acts to increase mental alertness, and helps to provide an increase in energy levels; L-Taurine, an important amino acid involved in a large number of metabolic processes in the visual pathways, the brain and nervous system, and cardiac function; Vitamins B6 and B12, which provide natural boosts of energy; and Niacin, which helps the body process carbohydrates and fat efficiently.

“Following on the popularity and success of our berry-flavored liquid energy shot, we are pleased to announce the introduction of Mini Thin Rush A.M.,” stated Ms. Windle-Burcham. “Although marketed as a morning pick me up alternative to coffee, Mini Thin Rush A.M., like coffee, can be enjoyed anytime throughout the day.”

As reported in recent Mintel reports, energy drink sales continue to rise in the United States. The energy drink market reached $3.2 billion in sales in 2006, and in the last 5 year period alone, the energy drink category has seen a growth of 516%. Furthermore, it is estimated that there will be a 10.2% sales increase in the category through 2011. Mintel's published market research has been helping leading businesses achieve their goals for over 30 years. As a globally recognized market analyst, Mintel produces some 600 reports into European, UK-specific and US consumer markets every year.

Mini Thin Rush A.M. join’s BDI’s existing family of phenomenally popular Mini Thin Rush liquid, gum and capsule energy products which provide 6 hours of energy without the crash generally associated with energy drinks. They are the ideal alternative to consuming high-sugar energy drinks. Introduced late last year the existing Mini Thin Rush® Liquid is a berry-flavored sugar-free energy drink shot that contains less than one carb per serving, Mini Thin Rush® Energy Gum is cinnamon flavored, and provides both energy and breath refreshment, while Mini Thin Rush® Capsules provide a high quality energy formula designed especially with the energy drink consumer in mind in a convenient pill form

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Help your favorite causes generate funds

With gas prices rising and the housing market already in a slump, charities across the nation are bracing themselves for declining contributions this holiday season and people are looking towards innovative and free ways to help their favorite causes.

There is a solution! More than 60,000 nonprofits have partnered with a new Yahoo-powered search engine called, and on-line shopping mall, to enable their supporters to generate donations just by searching the Internet or shopping online. What makes the system so compelling is that it doesn’t cost the users a thing. It’s philanthropy on a shoestring!

Consumers are helping their favorite causes by shopping at where they can choose from more than 700 top online retailers including Target, Apple, Macy’s, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and Orbitz among others. The shopping experience and the prices are exactly the same as going to the retailer directly, but by going through GoodShop, up to 37% of the purchase price is donated the user’s favorite cause.

Similarly, with every search conducted on, approximately one penny is donated to the user’s favorite charity. It’s used exactly like any other search engine and the pennies add up quickly – just 500 people searching four times a day will raise around $7,300 in a year and it doesn’t cost the users a thing!

GoodSearch and GoodShop have grown into a massive grassroots movement online attracting the attention of leaders in the nonprofit industry, students, bloggers, writers, and even celebrities such as Jessica Biel, Montell Williams, and Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 who have all created videos on behalf of their favorite charities and GoodSearch.

Supporters of the ASPCA are shopping on GoodShop and searching on GoodSearch, to date raising more than $16,000 to help animals in need!

A single purchase placed at retailer resulted in a $284 donation to the Motion Mania Dance Theater in Maryland!

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has earned more than $8,500!

An order placed at Adobe Software earned Capri Elementary School in California $191!

Internet users have found GoodSearch and GoodShop to be a compelling idea. Sarah Klein, a doctor in Los Angeles, uses GoodSearch and GoodShop in support of Locks of Love, an organization that provides hair prosthetics for children who have developed long-term medical hair loss. “There is no reason not to use it. I do so much shopping online that it makes me feel good knowing some of that money is going to help children!”

The GoodSearch and GoodShop team is revolutionizing online philanthropy so that no one is denied the opportunity to support the causes most important to them. “The response to this idea has truly been overwhelming,” said Ken Ramberg, Co-Founder of GoodSearch and former President of MonsterTRAK, the largest online career site for college students (now a division of “More than 100 new nonprofits and schools register daily and GoodSearch and GoodShop are helping to make a difference in communities across the country.”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cooking with Les Dames d'Escoffier

What if you could invite Julia Childs, Alice Waters, M.F.K. Fisher, and Marcella Hazan into your kitchen as you make dinner? Imagine Julia looking over your shoulder as you prepare Julia's Lobster Newberg, or Gina Batali giving you her prized recipe for Batali Family Stuffed Artichokes. COOKING WITH LES DAMES D'ESCOFFIER (Sasquatch Books; October 2008; $35.00; ISBN 978-1-57061-530-6) assembles a dream team of culinary stars to share their most essential dishes -- the ones they make at home for family and friends. Members of Les Dames d'Escoffier include farmers, founders of farmers' markets, winemakers, horticulturist, world-famous chefs and restaurateurs, educators, and many others. This book is a compilation of their best recipes.

Les Dames d'Escoffier is the premier association of women culinary professionals, started in 1973 in response to the all-male Les Amis d'Escoffier. Their story parallels the feminist movement that began in the 1960s. At that times the food, wine, and hospitality industries were no different from other fields. A woman's place was squarely in the home, and those who ventured out into the workplace were not recognized, not paid as well as men, not allowed the same opportunities. These Dames are responsible for many of the culinary trends so beloved in America today. Grand Dame Julia Child and Anne Willan encouraged our love of French food, Alice Waters and Judy Rodgers taught us about local and sustainable ingredients, and Flo Braker and Leslie Mackie have introduced us to artisan baked goods. COOKING WITH LES DAMES D'ESCOFFIER gathers favorite recipes and food wisdom from the women who shape the way we eat and drink.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Smart Party-Budget-Friendly Appetizer Options Online

How can the "hostess with the mostest" serve up a great party on a frugal gourmet budget? How about an appetizer only party! Perfect portions, plenty of variety, and priced right. But, do you make your gourmet hors d'oeuvres, hire a caterer, or look to the Internet to save time and money? Perfect party planning with price in mind can be accomplished easily, and sources on the Internet like are the easiest and least expensive method to serve up great food at affordable prices.

Compare the price of the popular and upscale appetizer Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Gorgonzola Skewer - at a national average of $2.50 to $3.00 per piece by a caterer, to $3.25 per piece when purchasing all of the ingredients and making the appetizer yourself (not to mention the price of gas and the time to make and bake), versus a very reasonable $1.18 per piece when purchased from an online purveyor of gourmet appetizers like

Have a crowd of kids, a beach party or football fans to feed? Even the ever-popular Sliders are available online and made more affordable at just $2.49 each through AppetizersTogocom. Delicious Cheddar Cheese Slider Burger w/Carm Onion is perfect for a backyard pool party with the neighbors and all of their kids. But made from scratch just doesn't cut the mustard! The trip to the store for mini potato buns, ground sirloin, cheddar cheese, Russian dressing, onion, Dijon mustard and Sweet Relish will set you back at least $3.50 a burger, not including running all around town to find those cute little potato buns that make Sliders so fun!

"Appetizer dining is a great way to save money when entertaining," noted Karen Wolf Brown, co-owner of "Appetizers provide a variety of tastes, are great conversation starters, and priced right for those trying to save money."

Another reason to have an appetizer only party is to provide guests a unique dining experience with the latest and greatest offerings. offers chef inspired and created appetizers such as its new line by Michael Schulson, who is the acclaimed chef and star of Style Network's "Pantry Raid," former chef of Buddakan NYC, and the talent behind soon to open, Izakaya-Modern Japanese Pub in Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel & Casino. You can serve up Schulson's unique culinary style at home that incorporates American ingredients with Asian technique. Food critics have called Schulson's approach to food a "breakthrough" and a "masterpiece." Try the Schulson Edamame Dumpling, General Tso's Chicken Dumpling or Shrimp & Bacon Wonton for just $1.72 per piece, or the Philly Cheesesteak Springroll for $2.62 per piece. Priced much less than going out to a restaurant and considerably more affordable and delicious than what a local caterer would charge.

When hosting an appetizer party, the rule of thumb for serving enough food is five-to-seven appetizers per person. Hosting ten people? Offer approximately 70 appetizers; hosting 40? Then 200 to 240 pieces would be just right. To determine quantity, offers a party calculator online that can do the math for you.

Hosting a sit-down dinner party? Then can help keep that warmth and goodness of a home-cooked meal. Wolf pointed out that you don't have to slave away in the kitchen all night to prepare a great dinner. Wolf offers guests delicious and affordable Chicken Pot-Pies, Chicken/Apple Empanadas, a Farmhouse Cheddar Mac & Cheese, or the traditional Italian Sunday dinner with Mama Mancini Meatballs and Sunday Sauce, which all taste (better than) homemade, but are delivered directly to your door (frozen) by and only require minimal attention while cooking.

Want to create a festive or themed-mood for the party but not break the bank with costly decorations? Scented candles work extremely well to set the mood - the look beautiful and smell good too. Music always sets the tone for a party and you can spice it up with Salsa dance music, have a backyard barbecue complete with the latest country music ditties, or offer sophisticated cocktail mixed music direct from your iTunes library.

Wolf also advises sticking to a budget. If finances are a real concern, have a potluck party where everyone brings a dish or a cooperative party where everyone pitches in for a percentage of the costs. Just let people know in advance. And these days, no need to invest in costly stationary to send out the invites - ecards do the job beautifully! also offers a great variety of ecards right on its website, so when planning your party, you can send the invites and order the food all at the same time. is an internet-based purveyor of fine gourmet appetizers. In business for six years, has recently updated its offerings to provide hot, new appetizers handmade from the freshest ingredients from award-winning, time-tested recipes, perfected by Master Chefs, such as its new Michael Schulson line of appetizers and its Mama Mancini Meatballs and Sunday Sauce by Daniel Mancini. offers more than 100 hors d'oeuvres shipped directly to the consumer, ready for any occasion whether it is an elegant anniversary, engagement or wedding reception, or a casual backyard barbecue, sophisticated New Year's Eve extravaganza, hip Halloween Party or creative children's party. can be found on the web at or by calling 1-800-757-0058. is a family-owned business with more than 25 years experience satisfying the discriminating palates of chefs, caterers, hoteliers and country clubs, and is managed by husband and wife team Matt Brown and Karen Wolf Brown, who have taken their years of experience in the foodservice industry and brought restaurant and cater-quality hors d'oeuvres directly to the general public via the internet.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Upgrade Your Recipe For Penne alla Vodka with Three Olives Tomato!

A staple at restaurants, events, family dinners and date nights, Penne alla Vodka is a classic dish that is simple to make and highly sought both here and across the pond. Now you can add some extra pizzazz to your favorite recipe, with the new tomato flavored vodka from Three Olives.

Sure to please your guests, Three Olives Tomato Vodka will spice up your dish with some added kick. Infused with tomatoes, pepper, horseradish, and spices, our recipe is sure to add some zesty flavor to this classic dish.

Penne alla Three Olives Tomato Vodka
1 pound penne
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 chopped tomato
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Crushed hot red pepper
½ cup Three Olives Tomato Vodka
¾ cup canned tomato puree
½ cup heavy cream
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt to taste

Simmer olive oil in a large skillet over moderately low heat. Add tomato, onion and crushed pepper and simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in vodka and bring to a lively simmer for about 5 minutes. Add tomato puree and heavy cream and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted, and add parsley, salt, and pepper. Keep sauce warm over very low heat until pasta is ready.

Roosters Opens Monday in Milford

Roosters restaurant makes its Milford debut on Monday, July 14th with a ribbon cutting and grand opening. Roosters is known for its variety of chicken wings, pizzas, burgers, salads and FUN!

The grand opening celebration kicks off with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 am. The restaurant will open to the public at 11:00 am. The first 100 customers will receive a free Roosters t-shirt and a Fun Card that allows them a 10% discount on in-store meals through the end of the year.

Roosters is well-established in and around Columbus, but is a new concept for many people in the Cincinnati area. “Roosters is a family-friendly sports restaurant that provides great food and an even better value,” said Melissa Richter, Roosters co-owner. “At a time when people are watching their wallets, a family of four can have a great meal and a great time at Roosters for around $25,” added Richter.

As one might expect in a restaurant named Roosters, the signature dish is the chicken wing. Wings are cooked fresh in pure soy oil. Customers can choose from a variety of original sauces, including teriyaki, BBQ, garlic, mild and hot. For customers who like their wings extremely hot, they can venture into “Donkey,” “Killer” and “Super Killer” wings. “Even people who love hot food will be lucky to make it through five “Super Killer” wings,” says Richter.

In addition to wings, other signature dishes include the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, the Red, Bacon & Blue Salad, and the Parmesan Chicken Sandwich.

While they dine, customers can view their favorite sporting events on more than three dozen 42” high-definition plasma televisions.

The new Milford Roosters will be owned and operated by BRF Management Group.

BRF Management Group has the rights to open seven Roosters restaurants in a three-county area in and around Cincinnati. The Milford location will be the group’s second Roosters. BRF’s first Roosters is located in Springdale.

BRF is made up of a group of Chillicothe, Ohio residents with a broad background of business experience. Mark and Cheryl Frazier are long-time residents of Chillicothe. Mark is a CPA and financial planner, and the couple has been operating a successful financial planning business for the last 17 years. Rich and Melissa Richter are also long-time Chillicothe residents. Rich is president of his family’s home improvement business that has served Chillicothe for 50 years. Melissa has extensive restaurant experience, having worked in management with Red Lobster, Applebee’s and Tumbleweed restaurants. Marketing Manager Kristi Burns is also a native of Chillicothe and has owned and operated a salon and spa for almost 20 years.

The new Roosters is located at 101 Old Bank Road in Milford. The phone number is 513-576-WING (9464).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Simple tricks & treats for home design

As Halloween becomes more of a national holiday every year, be prepared this October 31st with simple, homemade treats for your family, friends and home with the new book, Halloween Tricks & Treats.

In this creative and fun read, renowned stylist Matthew Mead shares his inspired ideas for creating simple crafts and edibles for tricks-or-treaters of all ages.

From Ghoulish Grin Candleholders (made from squash!) and spooky Mummy Lanterns to tasty treats like Death-by-Chocolate Cakes and Candy Corn Milkshakes, everything is easy-to-make and can be found amongst your everyday household items.

Gorgeous photographs are accompanied by step-by-step instructions for:

throwing a ghostly gathering
tricking-out your home
preparing delicious (and scary!) sweets
ghoulish games that friends and family can enjoy

Halloween Tricks and Treats hits bookstores in early September.

About the author: Matthew Mead is an author, editor, photographer and stylist living in New Hampshire. His books include Easter Eggs, Cakes for Kids, Gifts from Nature and Entertaining Simple. For more projects, tips and information, visit his website:

New Food Finds

GrillCharms: For Backyard BBQ Kings…Now there is a simple solution to distinguishing whose dinner is hot off the grill this summer! Grill Charms™ are similar in concept to the wine charm. These dime-sized solid stainless steel charms are placed in your food before grilling and have serrated stems for a secure hold while flipping. Prior to cooking, place a Grill Charms™ on your food to distinguish flavors, steak temperatures, or to avoid health/allergy issues.

WineStems- WineStems™ solve the problem of juggling your wine glass along with your picnic dinner. These outdoor wine glass holders are partnered with an elegant carry bag. WineStems™ are height-adjustable, complimenting a chair or blanket seating. WineStems™ hold any size stemware, and are ideal for concerts, beach, camping, picnicking, and backyard

The Wing Dipper: There are guys who enjoy their Buffalo wings, and then there are those who take eating wings VERY seriously! The Wing Dipper was created for dunking novices who want to maximize sauce coverage. Specifically designed with the shape of the Buffalo wing in mind, the Wing Dipper completely covers each wing when dipped. Now, the perfect amount of dressing can be enjoyed with each bite!

PizzaPro: The Pizza Pro makes entertaining easy! The Pizza Pro is the ultimate 2 in 1 Pizza Slicer and Server. This handy device ensures that pizza, quesadillas, and more are sliced in equal portions with one swift, easy motion. No more wheel, knife, or spatula needed to serve. Pizza Pro is kitchen shears with a wedge shaped spatula so you can slice and serve with one hand without ever losing toppings.

Beer Chips® : These thick-cut kettle style potato chips are coated with a major dose of the world's most perfect beverage: BEER. These tasty crunchers get even better with a serious coating of sugar, honey and salt. It's a party in your mouth! Also available in Margarita and Bloody Mary flavors.

The Beer Belly® and WineRack: Stealth Beverage Systems, bringing Freedom to the Beverage. Now you can drink what you want, when you want it, where you want it! The Beerbelly® and The WineRack are portable, concealed beverage systems that allows the user to take their favorite drink wherever they go, even where they are not supposed to! Margaritas at the movies, beers at the ballgame, cosmos at concerts! Made of top quality materials, insulated so the beverage of choice stays cold or warm for hours. They're hilarious and practical!

Pints for Prostates Campaign

The symptoms of prostate cancer rarely show before the
disease has progressed, but a simple PSA blood test can serve as an early
warning and save men's lives. But how do you reach men in their late 30s and
early 40s, when statistics show they often skip regular physicals and avoid
doctor's offices?

"Pints for Prostates is an awareness campaign designed to reach men through
the universal language of beer. We want to communicate with them in a
friendly and non-threatening way about the need for regular PSA testing,"
says Rick Lyke, a 47-year-old Charlotte, N.C., marketing executive and drinks
journalist who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February. "Early
detection is the key to fighting prostate cancer and a PSA test and a
physical exam are the best method to catch it early."

"There are more than 230,000 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the US.
each year, more than the number of new breast cancer cases in women. The
problem is that prostate cancer does not get the same level of media
attention as breast cancer and most men never discuss the subject with
friends or family," Lyke said. "Luckily I insisted on having a PSA test during a
routine physical because a good friend is being treated for the disease. Time
is precious when you are fighting prostate cancer. I received the gift of time
from a friend. I felt like I had a responsibility to warn other men."

After successful prostate surgery in April at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in
Chicago by Dr. William Catalona, Lyke started to think about ways to reach
as many men as possible with a message about prostate screening and PSA
testing. That is when it occurred to him that one of the best ways to reach
men is over a pint of beer.

Lyke started Pints for Prostates after talking to a couple of editors at
magazines where he writes. The idea was well received and he contacted Us
TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, a not for
profit group founded and governed by prostate cancer survivors that works
to support, educate and advocate for men with prostate cancer.

"The idea of reaching men about health issues through beer sounded a little
strange at first, but it makes perfect sense," said Thomas Kirk, President and
CEO of Us TOO International. "Our mission and program goal is to educate
and empower men and their family members so men and their loved ones can
take an active role in their health care. One in six men is at risk of developing
prostate cancer during their life time and early detection through the
monitoring of PSA levels is critical to getting the disease under control. Pints
for Prostates will help us reach more men at a time when a growing number of
men are at risk."

Pints for Prostates is focused on reaching men during September, which is
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. So far 10 beer and beverage related
publications have pledged a combination of advertising space, news
coverage, website marketing and special event support. The media involved
include: All About Beer (, DRAFT magazine
(, the seven regional Brewing News newspapers
(, Imbibe (, Beer
Advocate (, Celebrator Beer News
(, Bartender Magazine (, Modern
Brewery Age (, Beer ( and Beer
Northwest (

Creative development and design for the advertising materials and logo for
Pints for Prostates was donated by Eric Mower and Associates, a marketing
communication agency with offices in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and
Albany, N.Y.; Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Sarasota, Fla. Lyke is a
senior partner with the firm and heads up the agency's southeast public
relations operation.

Work is now underway to reach out to breweries, brewpubs and on-premise
retailers to get their support in a cooperative effort among industry partners.
The aim is to raise funds for Us TOO's outreach efforts and to spark a
grassroots effort to reach men that might be missed through traditional
health education programs.

"One of our goals is to get brewers to print a PSA testing message on the
back of beer coasters they use to promote their brands in restaurants and
taverns around the country," Lyke said. "Men can tell you about their favorite
IPA (India Pale Ale), but few know about their PSA (Prostate Specific
Antigen). We need to help educate them about getting the simple blood test
that measures prostate specific antigens because it can save their lives"

Us TOO Board Chairman, prostate cancer warrior and support group leader Jim
Kiefert says "Early diagnosis is essential. When I was 50-years-old a PSA test
was the first step in my successful battle with prostate cancer. We envision
Pints for Prostates will help reach millions of men with the PSA testing
message. It is anticipated that many of Us TOO's 325 local chapters will get
involved with special events held around the country as part of the effort."

For more information on the program please visit

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Orleans to Welcome Top Chefs

Hundreds of chefs and restaurateurs from North America's finest restaurants will converge in the famous Crescent City, New Orleans, October 19 - 21, 2008, for the Distinguished Restaurants of North America's (DiRōNA) 2008 Gala and Educational Conference. The annual event is a three-day celebration of fine food, vintage wines, education, networking and culinary excellence.

This year's Conference Chair, Chef John Folse, a local and national celebrity chef, has taken the event to new heights and is working with a team of volunteers and staff to create a unique culinary and historical experience for conference attendees. From the opening night reception in Jackson Square and the Cabildo, to a black-tie gala at the Plimsoll Club that affords breathtaking views of the mighty Mississippi and the French Quarter, the event truly will offer something that appeals to all.

The conference theme, "Can't Blow Us Away," speaks to both the strength and resilience of the people of Louisiana as well as the transition of DiRōNA to a membership-based organization and the major adjustments the change required. Conference educational sessions will support the "Can't Blow Us Away" theme by addressing these times of economic uncertainty and how high-end restaurants are coping with issues like rising energy costs and decreased consumer discretionary income.

Registration to the conference is available on DiRōNA's website, as well as a hotel reservation link for the Royal Sonesta, DiRōNA's headquarters hotel. The website also includes a full listing of DiRōNA restaurants.

Chocolate Gift Ideas for the Holidays 2008

A deep, fruity and full chocolate experience is always a good holiday gift bet. As you’re making your list and checking it twice, Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate has something special for everyone – from the Foodie in your life to your Eco-Friendly best friend!

Green & Black’s sources only the finest organic cocoa beans to deliver the most intense and best tasting chocolate. With a wide range of unique flavors – White, Milk, Dark 70%, Dark 85%, Cherry, Mint, Ginger, Almond, Espresso, Toffee, Caramel, Maya Gold, Hazelnut & Currant – Green & Black’s offers a stylish selection that delivers the best of both worlds – great taste and the finest organic ingredients – for everyone on your shopping list!

For the Milk Chocolate lover: Some flavors just never go out of style. For the person on your list with a sweet tooth, the Green & Black’s Milk Collection will tickle their taste buds. The collection includes the popular flavors Milk, Caramel, Almond, and Green & Black’s latest indulgent offering Toffee.

For the Dark Chocolate lover: Nothing says “Happy Holidays” better than the Green & Black’s Dark Collection. With 8 delicious flavors to choose from – Dark 70%, Dark 85%, Cherry, Espresso, Hazelnut & Currant, Maya Gold, Mint, Ginger – the chocolate connoisseur on your list will be thanking you for months to come.

For your special someone: Everyone knows that chocolate is one of the most romantic foods on the planet. And nothing says “I Love You” better than the Green & Black’s Romance Collection. Whether you’re looking for something traditional such as our popular Cherry flavor, or want to let your special someone know they are as good as Maya Gold, Green & Black’s has got you covered in the romance department.

For your younger siblings: If you’ve been racking your brain for gift ideas for your wacky younger sibling that is impossible to shop for, look no further than the Green & Black’s Nut collection. Old favorites such as Almond and Hazelnut & Currant make the perfect gift for you to enjoy all the “nutty” moments you’ve shared together

For your best friend: Lost on an idea for your very best friend? Why not make a personal statement about your friendship with the unique flavors of Green & Blacks Chocolate. Let your best friend know that your relationship is Mint and that you enjoy the outrageous, spicy, and Ginger times you’ve had together.

For your boss/co-workers: Shopping for your boss and co-workers is always difficult. Finding a thoughtful, satisfying and appreciated gift isn’t easy, but the Green & Black’s Office Collection has something for the entire staff. If you’re trying to smooth things over with your boss, go with the silky Caramel. For your buddies that you chat with over coffee every morning, go with the Espresso bar – a wonderful compliment to coffee. And for your cube mate go with the new, crunchy Toffee bar.

For the Eco-Friendly: Green & Black’s is the perfect gift that gives back for the Eco-Friendly! Green & Black’s uses only the best tasting organic beans that are grown free of pesticides, sprays and chemicals. Your Eco-Friendly loved ones will thoroughly enjoy the complex taste of our Fair Trade Maya Gold bar– a unique mix of dark chocolate with orange and spices – as well as appreciate that Green & Black’s pays fair prices directly to the cocoa growers.

For the Undecided: Unsure of what to get your babysitter? Dog walker? In-laws? Why not take advantage of the holiday season to introduce them to Green & Black’s. Pick up the entire range of bars – from White to Dark 85% – or mix and match based on that person’s tastes.

For the Party-Goer: Heading out to the annual holiday party and don’t want to arrive empty handed? Green & Black’s has recently introduced special bags featuring 23 individually wrapped bite-size pieces of delicious organic chocolate, available in both Milk and Dark 70% and perfect for sharing with friends. The bags are available at retailers such as CVS, Target and Rite Aid across the country. For more information, log on to

Nine Varieties of Exotic Sausage in One Box

Have you ever tried truly wild, wild boar sausage? How about venison paired with merlot and blueberries or rabbit and white wine sausage? is offering a sampler box of their nine most popular specialty sausages.

“This combination will be perfect for summer barbeques and Oktoberfest celebrations alike. It’s a great opportunity to try several varieties of sausage,” said Justin Marx, CEO of

The Specialty Sausage Sampler is seven pounds and includes 4 links of each of the following:

Venison Sausage with Merlot and Blueberries
Lamb Merguez
Buffalo Sausage with Chipotle Chilies
Duck Sausage with Foie Gras & Sauterne Wine
Duck Sausage with Orange Liquor
Rabbit Sausage with White Wine
Wild Boar Sausage with Cranberries and Shiraz
Smoked Duck Sausage with Apple Brandy
Wild Boar Beer Bratwurst
This sausage is great skewered as an appetizer, grilled, sautéed or paired with pasta for a main course. The sausages cook quickly (less than 10 minutes on the grill) making them a simple, yet elegant, dinner option.

“My favorite way to make the sausage is grilled, sliced and skewered with a fig and watercress. It’s an effortless appetizer that’s delicious and results in an impressive presentation,” said Katy Springer, General Manager of

Green & Black's New Toffee Flavor

Green & Black’s is excited to introduce a new flavor to its family of organic chocolate bars. Toffee, available to confection lovers in the U.S. in August 2008, is a delectable blend of 34% milk chocolate with crisp, crunchy pieces of organic toffee.

Made with the very best organically-grown cocoa beans, specifically Criollo and Trinitario varieties, Green & Black’s Toffee is crafted with masterful precision, with every step from bean to bar given equal importance. The result, an intense flavor the brand is known for and toffee pieces, prepared at just the right temperature so they please the palate without sticking. Green & Black’s Toffee shares the deep, fruity and full flavor found in all Green & Black’s chocolate while proving that the best things in the world can actually be good for it too.

Green & Black’s Toffee joins the popular collection of organic chocolate flavors already available in 3.5 oz bars: Almond, Caramel, Cherry, Dark 70%, Dark 85%, Espresso, Ginger, Hazelnut & Currant, Maya Gold, Milk, Mint, and White.

In addition, Green & Black’s has recently introduced special bags featuring 23 individually wrapped bite-size pieces of delicious organic chocolate. The bags are available in the popular Milk and Dark 70% flavors and are available at retailers such as CVS, Target and Rite Aid across the country. For more information, log on to

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Garden Designer to the Stars Jon Carloftis Creates Rooftop Garden

Kentucky native Jon Carloftis, the renowned landscape designer who has created urban gardens for such celebrities as Julianne Moore, Mike Myers and Edward Norton, is working with Proof on Main to bring farm-fresh produce to downtown Louisville. Proof chef Michael Paley always insists on the best when it comes to the ingredients on his menu, and with the newly installed rooftop garden at the restaurant, his kitchen will be leading the way when it comes to earth-to-table freshness.

On Wednesday, July 23, Carloftis will be at Proof to celebrate the fruits (and vegetables) of his labor! At 5:30 p.m., he will give a free talk and book signing in the atrium of the 21c Museum Hotel. Afterward, those who reserve a seat at the exclusive dinner prepared by chef Michael Paley will be treated to a 7 p.m. private tour of the garden on the penthouse level. At 8 p.m., Chef Paley will serve up a three course summer feast using ingredients grown in the garden, and the meal price includes wine, tax and gratuity. The cost is $75 per person, and a portion of the proceeds benefit Brightside, a local organization that unites people in clean and green activities to beautify the city and foster community pride. Seats for this intimate evening are extremely limited, so please make reservations today by calling 502.217.6374 or via email to Due to the limited seating at this dinner, a credit card will be required to make a reservation.

The rooftop garden at Proof on Main sets an example for urban gardeners. In this day and age of rising gas prices and food quality issues, there is increasing interest in local eating, and the United States is experiencing a resurgence of the home garden similar to that of the Victory Gardens of World War II. Carloftis and Paley are showing how anyone can supplement their diet with home grown ingredients, even if their home does not include a yard.

“A lot can be harvested in a small space” says Carlofitis. “Have fun and share the bounty.”

True to Carloftis’ philosophy, the rooftop garden at Proof reflects the culture of its location-recycled whiskey barrels and pig water troughs anchor the design and pay tribute to the agricultural heritage of Kentucky. Produce to be grown in the garden includes heirloom tomatoes, chard, Chinese spinach, a variety of chilies and several herbs. Chef Paley expects to use items from the garden in several dishes throughout the season, beginning with currently available herbs like lovage, rosemary, opal basil, sage and thyme. He looks forward to using the garden’s bounty to enhance the many locally-harvested ingredients on Proof’s menu.

Jon Carloftis’ other clients include the Lauder family of Estee Lauder cosmetics, Sotheby’s auction house, and actor Edward Norton. Carloftis’ work has been featured in several publications including House Beautiful, Country Home, and The New York Times. He has also made television appearances on the Style Channel, Home and Garden channel and ABC’s Good Morning America. Carloftis is an author as well, having published two books, Beyond the Windowsill and First a Garden.

For more information or to make reservations for dinner, call Proof on Main at (502) 217-6360. Proof on Main is located at 702 West Main Street. For more information visit

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday

Dinner: 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Bar Menu: 2 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday
2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday
5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday
5 p.m. to midnight Sunday

Bar: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday
11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday
5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday
5 p.m. to midnight Sunday

Oatmeal on the Run Makes its Debut!

As busy families
search for healthy on-the-go foods, their expectations around taste and
convenience remain high, and they are unwilling to sacrifice when it comes
to flavor and quality. With this in mind, Country Choice Organic, a leading
national maker of organic oatmeal and cookies, has created a healthful
organic treat packed with flavor: introducing Oatmeal on the Run. Oatmeal on
the Run’s soft and chewy ‘grab and go’ oatmeal bars are available in
three tempting flavors — Oatmeal Raisin, Maple, and Apple Cinnamon.
Country Choice Organic thinks its latest offering is perfectly suited for
today’s hectic lifestyles. “Oatmeal on the Run is a nutritious and
satisfying breakfast because there’s a bowl of instant oatmeal baked into
every moist, delicious bar,” says John DePaolis, Chief Cookie Officer at
Country Choice Organic. “Enjoyed as an out-the-door breakfast or on-the-go
snack, our Oatmeal on the Run is a simple way for consumers to go

While formulated as a convenient breakfast, Oatmeal on the Run is also a
perfect snack for kids running to sports and activities, family outings,
hiking…you name it. For anyone ‘on the run’ �and who isn’t these
days?– this tasty new product is the perfect fit.

Suggested MSRP for the five count package is $3.99 (natural stores) to $419
(grocery). Additionally, a nine count convenience store pack/display is now
available in each of the three flavors to allow resale of individual bars;
each single pouch will retail for an MSRP of $.99. The new product is now
available for retailer and distributor orders, and is already arriving on
store shelves nationwide.

“Organic industry growth is driven in large part by mainstream shoppers
looking for healthy products that deliver the same taste and convenience
they get from conventional products,” states DePaolis. “For these
consumers, ‘going organic’ also literally means adding convenient
organic products into their active lifestyles.”

This quest for convenient health has resulted in an explosion of portable
organic beverages and bars designed for away-from-home consumption. This
trend is also found at the drive-thru window, with organic “fast food”
popping up on menus around the country.

“We think Oatmeal on the Run is the best-tasting product available, and it
truly stands alone in the marketplace for its organic content and
nutritional profile,” says DePaolis. “With this combination, we fully
expect this product, if you will excuse the play on words, to run right off
the grocery store shelves.”

Here's To Your Health

With food allergies severely on the rise, many people are choosing to make drastic changes in their diets and what they eat! Consumers are choosing less synthetic, processed foods, avoiding known allergens and choosing Chia Goodness - Breakfast Cereal: Start a super day with super RAW foods! Based on chia, one of Dr. OZ Devya Indian Gourmet products:

Looking for a healthy, delicious, and nutritious meal solution for dinner tonight without added junk? Devya Indian Gourmet introduces their Certified Organic, Vegan, Ready to Eat Meals, Gluten Free Indian Simmer sauces or marinades, and Pappadums. These tasty meal solutions make preparing an ethnic dish for the sophisticated palate quick and simple!

Pure Fun
Organic Hot Chocolate: Craving a rich mug of Hot Chocolate? Finally, a tasty organic and healthier option is available, and this line is a chocolate lover's dream!

The brothers of Boulevards Organics have created a flavorful and aromatic dark hot chocolate mix to dazzle!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Keep it Local with "Eat Where You Live"

With the terms “locavore” and “foodshed” finding their way into the American vernacular, discovering fresh and local foods is no longer just for botanists, chefs or farmers. Eat Where You Live: How to Find Local and Sustainable Foods No Matter Where You Live (Skipstone, $18.95, Paperback, 978-1-59485-074-5) is the answer for the everyman who wants the health and community benefits of farm raised, free-range chicken, rather than a frozen chicken patty from the grocery store.

Lou Bendrick’s how-to guide is filled with easy-to-follow tips, simple recipes, sidebars, informative interviews with farmers and, of course, tons of resources for finding, cooking, storing, growing and enjoying fresh, healthy and delicious food.

This book approaches local eating as a fun and healthy choice that serves a beneficial purpose for both the local farming community, as well as the consumer. Kitchen tables everywhere can rejoice in fruits and vegetables from a CSA, co-op or farm store supported through the local economy, instead of chemical-laden, mass-produced products shipped across continents via trucks and boats. Eat Where You Live is local food for “mere mortals”—busy parents and working professionals who want health-conscious choices but don’t have culinary credentials, large food gardens, or green thumbs.

Bendrick includes tips on storing fresh food and how to create pleasurable local meals that include the kids participation, as well as the low-down on how to eat sustainably without guilt or added stress. Eco-savvy moms will enjoy strategies to get children involved in local berry and apple picking, while teaching them to become familiar with farms where their food is raised and harvested. Distinctly unpreachy, this book concludes that with a little know-how, you can eat sustainably wherever you live.

Lou Bendrick is a former newspaper reporter who went on to write for the Aspen Times, Northern Sky News and the High Country News syndicate, Writers on the Range. Her current work appears in publications such as Grist, Plenty, Whole Life Times and Orion Magazine. She lives and eats locally in the western Massachusetts town of Great Barrington with her husband, author Hal Clifford, and their two children.

Mountaineers Books publishes outdoor books focusing on recreation, activity, and adventure for those who participate with nature. Skipstone, a lifestyle imprint, celebrates the freedom and beauty of an outdoor lifestyle with humor, fun, friends and food. Braided River is a conservation imprint dedicated to inspire and motivate people to preserve wild places on which all life depends.

Halloween Cookie Cutters

If you are working on Halloween-themed stories, take a look at these hand-crafted tin cookie cutters from Ann Clark Limited.

In scary shapes like ghosts, bats and cats, cookies are sure to be everyone’s favorite treat, and the cutters make great party favors or goody bag stuffers.

Ann Clark products are available at, where you can see the entire collection.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stay “Healthy & Hydrated” by including Iced Tea!

Well into the summer social season, and with two more long weekends left before autumn hits, party planners are not wasting any time revving things up for this summer’s celebrations.

To make your summer celebrations a hit with family and friends, here are a few tips to make your party or gathering both memorable and healthy!

“Fun in the Sun” Hydration: For a refreshing, great tasting and calorie-free beverage, serve your guests freshly brewed Iced Tea. Not only does tea offer a range of potential health benefits, such as inhibition of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases, it’s also inexpensive when compared to other cold beverage choices, which is a great option for party planners on a budget. The world’s most widely consumed beverage (second only to water), tea is a great-tasting, calorie-free beverage that can be a satisfying part of a healthy diet – and a hit at your next party.

Fit & Healthy Snacking: Skip the chips and offer a bounty of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies for guests to snack on between swims. Your guests won’t get bogged down by heavy snacks or foods, and a diet rich in fruits and veggies can help protect them against a wide range of potential ailments, as well as helping to keep appetite in check. Offer a range of low-fat, low-sodium dip options to accompany the fresh produce.

All about Proteins and Safe-Grilling: Offer your guests lean poultry like turkey burgers and grilled chicken, or try fatty fish like salmon or mackerel, which are naturally high in healthy omega-3 fats. Just keep in mind the basics when it comes to food safety. Poultry must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F (74° C), while fish should be cooked until it is opaque and flaky.

Good luck with your summer celebration this year, and don’t forget to make it a safe AND healthy one!

For more info on tea and health, please visit

Tea May Offer Protection Against Sun’s Harmful Rays

Dermatologists and skin cancer specialists have recognized for years, in laboratory, animal and human studies, that black and green tea polyphenols are effective at helping to protect the skin against UV radiation from the sun. So while you may want to drink tea to stay hydrated in the sun, perhaps it can offer some other important benefits this summer.

To date, the research on tea and skin cancer protection has primarily focused on applying tea topically. What researchers have seen is that treating skin with gels or extracts made from tea polyphenols helps reduce the number of sunburn cells and damage to DNA that forms after UV radiation to the skin.

There have been several laboratory cell culture studies that show tea polyphenols induce cell death and cell arrest in tumor cells, but spare normal cells. In addition, animal studies have revealed that treatment with green tea inhibits tumor incidence and multiplicity in different organ sites, including the skin. Recent studies at the University Kiel in Germany have isolated a pathway by which green tea polyphenols reduce DNA damage in human living skin cell equivalents. And University of Arizona researchers have even found that drinking black tea significantly lowered risk of squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.

At this time, it’s still recommended to use broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin against UV rays. However, for potential added protection, enjoy your iced tea—made from brewed black or green tea. And if you do get burned, you can always soothe your skin with black or green tea. Brew tea at full strength and allow to cool; remove any clothing that could be stained by tea; dab a cloth into the tea then pat onto the areas of burned skin.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Win 10 Lbs. of Kobe Burgers

It’s time to fire up the grill and is looking for new and exciting burger recipes. Recipes can be submitted to

“With over eleven burger types to choose from, we are looking for as many new applications as we can collect,” said Justin Marx, CEO of “These contests result in an online cook book of sorts… a fantastic collection of recipes, many including side dishes and photographs.”

The “burger” is not limited to ground beef and buns. We’re seeking out the best burger—any kind of burger—regardless of it is made from seafood, veggies, black beans, chicken, lamb, grass-fed beef or sandwiched between a bun, mini-buns, tortilla, or ciabatta bread. The creative possibilities are endless. And don’t get us wrong, we do like beef!

The creator of the winning burger recipe will receive their choice of Ten Pounds of burger meat from or a $100 gift certificate. A set of Palm Leaf Dinnerware will also be included in the prize There are 11 burger varieties to choose from including Kobe, grass-fed beef, antelope, yak, llama, ostrich, elk, venison, kangaroo, bison, wild boar, and a mixed sampler box.

The winning recipe will be judged by the staff on deliciousness and originality. Each contestant is limited to entering one recipe.

Contest Rules & Regulations

The past two recipe contests were a big hit. Jasmin Baron, from Livonia, New York won 15 pounds of wild salmon with her recipe for Thai Salmon “Sliders” with Mango Red Pepper Salsa. Two creators won two pounds each of morel mushrooms in the mushroom recipe contest for entering recipes for Morels with Scallops and Asparagus; and Mushroom, Ramp, and Spinach Tart.

A collection of over 100 mushrooms recipes and over 200 salmon recipes can be found at

Baron was thrilled to learn her slider recipe took the prize,

“Wow. Thank you SO much for selecting my recipe. My husband is doing a super happy dance right now as he spent 10 years living in Alaska near Bristol Bay and the Copper River (he’s a bit of a salmon snob). We can’t wait to try your salmon!”

She and her husband will receive their wild Copper River Salmon on July 2, just in time to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Thai Salmon “Sliders” with Mango Red Pepper Salsa
Recipe by Jasmin Baron
Livonia, New York

For the sliders:
1 lb salmon fillet, skin removed
1 egg
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup green onion, chopped (light green and green parts only)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp red chili flakes
olive oil (for frying)
1 package (12) small, soft dinner rolls (such as King’s Hawaiian)
butter or mayo as desired (for the rolls)

For the salsa:
1 medium mango, peeled and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
juice of one lime
¼ tsp red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the salsa first to allow time for the flavors to blend. Mix all of the salsa ingredients in a small bowl and chill, covered, for at least half an hour.
Using a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse salmon until coarsely ground. Add egg and pulse until well mixed. Transfer salmon mixture to a bowl. Add garlic, ginger, green onion, cilantro, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and chili flakes and mix together thoroughly. Shape salmon mixture into 12 small patties and refrigerate, covered, for at least half an hour.

In a non-stick pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry salmon patties until lightly browned on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip patties over and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 2 minutes. Check to see patties are cooked through.
Toast rolls if desired and spread with butter or mayo or both Place one patty on each roll and top with a tablespoon or two of salsa.

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls introduces new “Taste of Ohio” culinary, artist offerings

Long known for a commitment to sustainable tourism, and for offering one of the Midwest’s most unique relaxing, scenic escapes, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls has just launched a new program featuring local and regional artists and food offerings. A new art gallery has been added to the renowned Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls gift shop, featuring a wide sampling of some of the region’s fine artists. In addition, The Inn will now offer a host of Ohio gourmet specialty foods in both the gift shop and at the table. For example, the roast beef Panini served at lunch features slow-roasted beef, Heine’s Amish Vidalia onion cheese and watercress greens topped with Coopers Mill Vidalia onion relish and served on whole wheat bread

“We have a strong commitment to buying local and to introducing our guests to the very best the area has to offer,” said Innkeeper Ellen Grinsfelder. “We hope to not only share some of the treasures we’ve discovered with our Inn and Spa guests, but also to help our local economy by supporting the region’s finest artists and food purveyors.”

Some of the fine foods that will be featured in The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls Gift Shop and kitchen, as well as being available in special gift baskets, include:

· Ben’s Sweet & Hot Mustard
· Coopers Mill jam, jelly, fruit butter, etc.
· Tonn’s Apiaries Amish honey products
· Herbal Sage Tea Company
· Red Onion Kitchen
· Heini’s Cheese Chalet Amish milk-based artisan cheeses
· Jose Madrid salsa and tortilla chips
· Misty Mountain Estate herb blends
· Vino de milo pasta sauce

The Inn Gift Shop Gallery and dining room décor will feature a number of area artists, including:

· Photography: Eric Hoffman, Jeff Shaw and James Crotty
· Pottery: Lisa Jollic, Carmen Schulz and Marietta Run Clay
· Watercolor painting: Dennis McCann and Lisa Schorr
· Acrylic painting, wood carving: Eric Murphy

· Blown glass: Nick Delmatto
· Stained Glass: Bonnie Proudfoot
· Glassworks: Janet and Dave Gustafson Woodturning: James and Suzanne Hizer
· Poetry Books: Stephen Emerick
· Hand-made soaps: With Nature in Mind
· Glassworks by Janet & Dave Gustafson

Perched on the edge of a craggy gorge in southeast Ohio's spectacular Hocking Hills, The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls offers visitors an unprecedented opportunity to turn off their cell phones and laptops and reboot their spirit. Crafted from several log cabins that date back to the 1800s, the inn and the spa are barren of phones, fax machines and data ports. Guests find only breathtaking scenery and miles and miles of trails for bird watching, hiking, horseback riding and more. The Inn’s Chef prepares wonderful meals using produce from The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls garden. Even the herbs and flowers that decorate the place are rooted just outside the kitchen door.

Harrison County, Indiana Region Now Boasts Five Wineries

The opening of two new wineries in and around Harrison Country, Indiana brings the area’s total winery offerings to five, providing visitors plenty of opportunity to experience winery tours and sampling. Huber’s, open for more than 150 years, and Turtle Run, open for more than a decade, are now joined by Best Vineyards, Indian Creek and Winzerwald wineries, with another winery opening at Scout Mountain Farm & Hideaway next year. Complete information and a free visitors guide are available at or (888) 738-2137.

Just opened, Best Vineyards is a relaxing family owned oasis that is open Friday through Sunday, noon to 7:00 p.m. Located in Elizabeth, Indiana, Best Vineyards offers unique wines labels, such as Hummingbird Red and Black Raspberry Mead. Owned by Wilbert Best and his two sisters, Rachel and Berretta, the trio is anxious to tell the bizarre story of how Best Vineyards came to be.

Also new to the area, Indian Creek Winery in Georgetown started as a hobby and turned into a full-time wine-making business. Indian Creek is currently making eight varieties of wine, including dornfelder, white chambourcin, Cardinal Red and raspberry wine. This new winery offers complimentary tastings in a relaxed setting Friday through Sunday.

Founded in 1997 by Jim and Laura Pfeiffer, Turtle Run Winery guests are greeted by an arbor of chambourcin grapes that flank the driveway. Wine tasting is always free and visitors will discover how the palate will absorb and detect different flavors. Turtle Run Winery is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon until 6 pm and is located at 940 Saint Peters Church Rd. Northeast in Corydon.

Indiana’s oldest winery and largest wine grape producer, Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyards, were launched in 1843, when Simon Huber settled a southern Indiana farm. Huber brought years of experience in fruit growing and wine making with him from Baden-Baden, Germany. From its humble 80-acre beginning, the farm has expanded to more than 600 acres and 18 different varieties of grapes, and the Huber fruit and wine business is now in its 7th generation.

Just a little further from these three wineries, Winzerwald Winery (German for vintners of the forest) celebrates area heritage, offering more than 25 varieties of German and Swiss-style wines, including Lemberger, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Muller-Thurgau, as well as ice and fruit wines. A gift shop, festivals, educational tours add to the popularity of Winzerwald’s family wine garden.

Beyond the area’s memorable wineries, Corydon visitors enjoy a vast collection of sites and attractions, from spectacular historic caves: Wyandotte, Marengo and Squire Boone, to nostalgic old-time ice cream parlors. The State Historic Site marks Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first capitol, while the Constitution Elm, a Civil War battlefield and tours of one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses fascinate visitors. Diverse dining and accommodations include a historic B&B, affordable modern hotels, country cafes and even a luxurious riverboat casino.

Celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month with a Bourbon-Inspired "Man-cation"

If girls just wanna have fun, guys just wanna man-cation! According to a recent national survey, 42 percent of men ages 25-55 have enjoyed or would like to experience a “man-cation” – the widespread trend of a male friends’ vacation without women. Of this group, two-thirds said they’d prefer a Kentucky bourbon-themed trip over a luxury, “Vegas-type” experience.

To celebrate this trend in guy-only getaways, Jim Beam® Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Knob Creek® Straight Bourbon Whiskey are offering an insider’s guide to Bourbon Country and Louisville, Ky., hotspots that are guaranteed to bring the fun and not break the bank during September, National Bourbon Heritage Month.

“It doesn’t surprise me that the majority of men chose Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail over other, better known upscale destinations,” said Fredrick Booker Noe III, seventh-generation Jim Beam family member and native of Bardstown, Ky. “Men like to hang out with their friends and sip a little bourbon. Add some great food, maybe some sports, and history, and it all adds up to a perfect guys’ getaway, especially this September, which is National Bourbon Heritage Month.”

Survey respondents agree with Noe; results show that more than 40 percent of men are interested in learning more about the history of their favorite alcoholic beverages. What else is on their man-cation wish list? A destination boasting affordable prices (62 percent), sporting events (37 percent), recreational activities such as hiking or boating (35 percent) and a quality food and restaurant scene (35 percent.)

Enter Louisville, offering neighborhood bars where a good bourbon cocktail and deep conversation are easy to find; late-night hotspots where live music plays and man-sized meals are served; and sporting destinations for nearly any interest.

“With the rising costs of gas and food, destinations like Las Vegas and Miami aren’t always practical,” said Bernie Lubbers, Louisville native and Knob Creek Whiskey Professor. “Louisville offers an affordable guys-only getaway that blends heritage, entertainment, sports and spirits to have the guys talking for years to come.”

Among the highlights on a Louisville man-cation:

Muhammad Ali Center – Find greatness within as you watch legendary Ali fights On-Demand and revel in the aura of a living Olympic champion
The Louisville Slugger Museum – Experience history in-the-making as you stroll through the factory where world-famous Louisville Slugger bats are created
Jim Beam Distillery – Discover what The Stuff Inside means to you on the self-guided tour of the distillery process. Sample the rich, distinctive tastes of Jim Beam Black® Bourbon and Knob Creek® Bourbon in the historic T. Jeremiah Beam home, and walk the distillery grounds to experience the 213 year Jim Beam history
Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and more!
Men who are unable to get away this September can still enjoy a piece of the Bourbon Trail while waiting for next year. The America’s Native Spirit Web site boasts an in-depth user experience to bring bourbon culture to life. For more information on “America’s Native Spirit” visit

About National Bourbon Heritage Month
In 2007, the U.S. Senate declared, by unanimous vote, September as “National Bourbon Heritage Month.” This resolution reinforced bourbon as “America’s Native Spirit” by celebrating the family heritage, tradition and deep-rooted legacy that the bourbon industry contributes to the United States. The resolution calls for consumers who enjoy bourbon to do so responsibly and in moderation.

About Beam Global Spirits and Wine
Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., is building brands people want to talk about. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, Teacher’s® Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper® Cordials and Liqueurs, Knob Creek® Bourbon and Starbucks™ Liqueurs. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company with annual sales exceeding $8 billion. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

Carl Lewis, Rafer Johnson Inspire Youth Athletes at Eugene 08 YouthDay

The Hershey Company brought sweet inspiration to young athletes at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. In celebration of this Olympic year, Hershey provided young athletes with a once–in–a–lifetime opportunity to learn track and field tips from Olympic legends Carl Lewis and Rafer Johnson at the Eugene ‘08 Youth Day presented by Hershey’s Track & Field Games held on July 1. Hundreds of children received hands-on skills demonstrations and instruction from track and field’s greatest stars During Youth Day, Hershey also announced the expansion of Hershey’s FastTrack to Sports, a track and field program designed to make it easier for families to live active and healthy lifestyles.

“The Hershey Company’s partnership with Eugene ‘08 Youth Day is an extension of our 31-year commitment to supporting youth fitness through the Hershey’s Track & Field Games,” said Jody Cook, Director of Product Publicity, The Hershey Company. “We are proud to partner with these Olympic champions to demonstrate the importance of physical fitness, not only at the Olympic Trials, but also in schools and homes throughout the United States.”

Along with partners Nike, Oregon Track Club and the Eugene Recreation Department, the Hershey’s Track & Field Games provided an action-packed event for youth track and field enthusiasts including the Oregon Track Club All Comers Meet, Youth Clinics and an autograph session with Lewis and Johnson. Eugene ‘08 Youth Day took place from 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Hayward Field, site of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

During the event, Hershey also announced that its Hershey’s FastTrack to Sports program is now available for any parent, coach, educator or child interested in living more active and healthy lifestyles. Hershey’s FastTrack to Sports was developed in conjunction with Lewis and Athletics Canada to instruct children in the basics of track and field, which serve as the fundamentals for all sports and many everyday activities. It was first launched in 2007 as a pilot program for the National Recreation and Parks Association and is now available by visiting In addition to allowing enthusiasts to sign up to receive the program, the site also offers an abbreviated online instructional video that teaches adults and children basic track and field skills.

“I’m proud to be associated with such a worthwhile program,” said Lewis, nine-time Olympic gold medalist. “Both the Hershey’s Track & Field Games and Hershey’s FastTrack to Sports introduce children to physical fitness through basic events like running, jumping and throwing. The programs encourage children to reach their potential and develop a sense of accomplishment.”

The Hershey’s Track & Field Games is the longest-running youth program of its kind in the United States and Canada. For 31 years, Hershey’s Track & Field Games has offered fun and quality recreation and school programs, introducing children to physical fitness through basic track and field events like running, jumping and throwing Open to boys and girls ages nine to 14, the games attract more than 400,000 participants annually who compete in local, district, state and provincial meets held across North America from April through July. Hershey’s Track & Field Games brings at least five finalists from each of the 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces and three Canadian territories to the North American Final Meet, held July 31 – August 3 at Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa. In total, 560 child athletes participate in the final event and get the chance to meet some of the greatest athletes in track and field.

Individuals looking to participate in or host a local meet should visit

About Hershey’s Track & Field Games
Founded in 1975 by Dr. Donald P. Cohen in Charleston, W.V., Hershey’s Track & Field Games has grown from a local playground event in a single community to an international program encouraging physical fitness among youths and sportsmanship between peers. More than 10 million children from the United States and Canada have participated in the Hershey’s Track & Field Games to date. Children interested in participating in the Hershey’s Track & Field Games or adults interested in hosting a qualifying meet in their town can visit The Hershey Company provides national funding for Hershey’s Track & Field Games. Additional partners are the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), USA Track & Field and Athletics Canada. Hershey’s Track & Field Games is the largest youth sports program of its kind with more than 400,000 children participating in the program yearly, representing more than 3,000 communities.

About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and sugar confectionery products. With revenues of nearly $5 billion and approximately 13,000 employees worldwide, The Hershey Company markets such iconic brands as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers. Hershey is the leader in the fast-growing dark and premium chocolate segment, with such brands as Hershey’s Bliss, Hershey’s Special Dark, Hershey’s Extra Dark and Cacao Reserve by Hershey’s. Hershey’s Ice Breakers franchise delivers refreshment across a variety of mint and gum flavors and formats. Hershey’s partnership with Starbucks offers a premium chocolate experience that combines the highest-quality chocolate with Starbucks coffee-house flavors, for a range of delicious and distinct chocolate products. In addition, Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company, markets such premium chocolate offerings as Scharffen Berger, known for its high-cacao dark chocolate products, Joseph Schmidt, recognized for its fine, handcrafted chocolate gifts, and Dagoba, known for its high-quality natural and organic chocolate bars. Visit us at