Sunday, February 28, 2010

Irving Farm Haitian Coffee

As part of the Haitian Relief Effort, Irving Farm Coffee Company will donate 100% of the profit from their new Reserve Select Haitian Highland Pic Macaya coffee to Konbit Sante, a Maine-based volunteer partnership working to save lives and improve healthcare in Haiti. The limited supply "in season" coffee is grown by small landowners in the Pic Macaya National Forest, one of only two national forests in Haiti. Bird friendly and wet processed in micro lots by coffee farmer Pievy Polyte, when roasted the beans create a dark coffee with hints of almond, chocolate and ripe fruit. The beans are sold to Irving Farm Coffee Company under Direct Trade guidelines. The coffee is available packaged in eco-friendly ½ lb bags. For additional products and ordering information visit

About Irving Farm Coffee Company
"All About the Bean"
Located in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, Irving Farm Coffee Company is committed to directly sourcing beans from growers on small estate farms from around the world. Micro lot batches of beans are roasted fresh daily according to a profile that enhances the flavor, aroma, and body of each bean. Irving Farm Coffee Company embodies the philosophy of "farm to farm" and "farm to cup", constantly seeking seasonal and micro lot coffees from unique growers and origins around the globe. Irving Farm coffee is available packaged ground or whole bean in ½ lb (Reserve Select) and 1 lb bags. All of the coffees are roasted to order for guaranteed freshness.

About Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership
Started in 2000, Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership is a Maine-based volunteer partnership working to save lives and improve healthcare in northern Haiti. Rather than developing a second, parallel health system, Konbit Sante works with the Haitian Ministry of Health and with Haitian colleagues to build capacity within the public system for Haitians to care for Haitians. To date the partnership has created specialized programs to improve care in pediatrics, internal medicine, infection control, neighborhood outreach, and women's health. To learn more about Konbit Sante visit

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recipes from "The Soup that Made Seinfeld Famous"

One of the perfect ways to quickly whip up a delectable, inexpensive meal is to combine classic favorites into one tantalizing dish. For many, soup is often viewed as a side dish for the main course or a quick snack-on-the-go, but classic soup varieties can easily transform into the perfect main event by adding a dash of pasta, stir-fry vegetables and other ingredients.

Below, you will find several recipes that incorporate various kinds of soups to make a full meal with several servings per recipe. These quick and easy meals are not only delicious, but also perfect for the budget-savvy as their price tag averages a mere $5 per meal. Each recipe calls for one of the brand new “Original SoupMan” frozen varieties, which can now be found at various grocery chains nationwide. (

The Original SoupMan – also known as the “Soup that Made Seinfeld Famous” – is well-known for delivering premium soups to consumers at the NYC flagship over the past several decades. With requests for expansion and availability demands pouring, the Original SoupMan began a lengthy development process in order to bring the same quality of soup available in the Big Apple into the home of consumers across the country.

Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli:
1 lb of macaroni elbows ($1.59)
1 Original SoupMan Broccoli & Cheese Soup ($3.49)
For $2.54 each you can have Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli for two or more

Seafood Pasta:
1 lb. of pasta of your choice ($1.59)
1 Original SoupMan Seafood Bisque ($4.49)
For $3.04 each you can have Seafood Pasta for two or more

Chicken Vegetable and Rice:
16 oz. of rice of your choice ($1.00)
1 Original SoupMan Chicken Vegetable Soup ($3.49)
For $2.25 each you can have Chicken Vegetable and Rice for two or more

Italian Wedding Parmesan Linguini:
1 lb. of linguini ($1.59)
1 Original SoupMan Italian Wedding Soup ($3.49)
2 Tablespoons on aged parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top ($2.99 for 8 oz. container)
For less than $4.00 each you can have Italian Wedding Linguini with Parmesan for two or more

Spicy Beef and Tomato Pasta:
1 lb. of pasta of your choice ($1.59)
1 Original SoupMan Tomato Basil Soup ($3.49)
1 lb. of Lean Ground Beef ($1.89)
1 Teaspoon of few red pepper flakes ($.99 for 2.12 oz. container)
For $3.98 each you can have Spicy Beef and Tomato Pasta for two or more

OU Passover Guide for 2010 Now Available

Those charged with cleaning the house for Passover, shopping for seders and eight days of bread-less meals and snacks, and cooking and baking those meals would be a lot more frantic and frazzled if not for the annual OU Guide to Passover A special issue of Jewish Action, the family magazine of the Orthodox Union, this year’s Guide, for 5770/2010, is now available to help facilitate Passover preparation and observance.

There are also many new and interesting features with beautiful photos accompanying them – and the heart of the Guide remains the same: listing food and other products that are certified kosher for Passover by the OU.

The Guide has two basic lists: one with items that must have an OU-P appear on the label, such as baking mixes, baked products, beverages, candy, condiments, dairy products, matzah products, meat and poultry, olive oil, snack food, wine and liqueurs; and one with items that do not need a special Passover certification, such as aluminum foil, candles, cleansers, and paper goods, where the regular OU symbol is sufficient for year-round use.

The Guide also discusses halachot (laws) of dealing with the sick, elderly, and small children; basic frequently asked questions on Passover; Passover recipe substitutes; and a primer on koshering common items around the house

Some of the new feature articles that appear in this year’s Guide are “Haggadah Insights,” an excerpt from OU Press’ new book, The Royal Table, an interpretation of the Passover Hagaddah based on Rabbi Norman Lamm’s teachings; “How Mechirat Chametz (selling your chametz) Works,” by Rabbi Dov Schreier; and “Gebrokts (matzah pieces mixed with water) – A Popular Minhag (tradition) Moves the Marketplace,” by Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz. Rabbis Schreier and Rabinowitz are both rabbinic coordinators at OU Kosher.

Rabbi Rabinowitz declared, “This year’s OU Passover Guide is new and improved, with original articles appearing alongside the regular features that address Pesach- related topics: mechirat chametz, yashan (last year’s crop grains), and gebrokts. A graphically-enhanced and newly-indexed Passover Consumer Guide provides the list of Passover-approved and certified products. We are delighted to be a part of your Pesach preparation.”

The Guide, with a press run of close to 75,000 copies, will be available at ShopRite at the customer service desk and at many smaller kosher supermarkets as well. Yeshiva/day schools and OU synagogues have also received copies of the Guide, and it will be directly available through the mail to all OU members and Jewish Action subscribers. View online at To order individual copies for $3 each, contact roberta@ouorg or 212-613-8125.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gulfood Organiser Launches First Fine Foods Trade Exhibition in the Middle East

The first trade exhibition in the Middle East dedicated to providing the most exclusive, high-end food products sourced from all over the world will launch in Dubai in October this year, Dubai World Trade Centre announced today.

Many companies have expressed huge interest in participating at this inaugural event with pavilions from both France and Italy already on board.

The speciality food show will bring together the finest food producers to showcase the most unique, high-end, luxury food and drink products on the market. Catering to the exclusive food and hospitality sector and specialist buyers of premium produce across the Middle East, Gourmet: Speciality and Fine Food will deliver an array of indulgence and sophistication.

Taking place from 31 October – 2 November 2010 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), Gourmet: Speciality and Fine Food will offer an extraordinary selection of artisan food from caviar to wagu beef, boutique delis, bespoke provincial suppliers and international brands.

“The Middle East has a very refined culture and visitors from all over the world come to Dubai in particular for the best culinary delights,” said Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre. “We recognise the market demand from our many connections in the food industry and this speciality food show will provide an ideal platform to source the best products and services for the very top clients.”

Gourmet: Speciality and Fine Food will provide a presentation and marketing environment commensurate with leading company’s premium brand positioning.

The show will bring elite suppliers from the gourmet and luxury food market including the Halal, Seafood, Organic and Health & Wellness sectors providing a focus for specialist buyers in a refined and relaxed environment.

“Dubai is in desperate need of a Gourmet show to provide a one-stop-shop for the exclusive hotels, cafes and boutiques,” said Francesco Alfonsi, Italian Trade Commissioner. “Gulfood is the most comprehensive food and drink show in the Middle East, but Gourmet: Speciality and Fine Food will cater for a bespoke market. We are delighted Dubai World Trade Centre has launched this show and Italian companies will play an integral part of the show’s future success.”

For more information, please contact Ingrid Kromberg, Project Manager, Gourmet: Speciality and Fine Food on

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vegan Meatout, March 20

On March 20th, caring people in a thousand communities in all 50 states and 30 other countries are welcoming spring with public educational events. They are asking their friends and neighbors to “kick the meat habit and explore a wholesome, nonviolent plant-based diet.” The events include colorful festivals, walks, public dinners, lectures, cooking demonstrations, food sampling, and information tables.

The occasion is the 25th anniversary of the Great American Meatout, the world’s largest annual grassroots diet education campaign. Its explosive growth since the dietary dark ages of the mid-1980s has been due largely to strong support from consumer advocates, health authorities, and food editors. The date, March 20th (first day of spring), is symbolic of rebirth and renewal.

Recent developments are paving the way for a substantial dietary shift:

Jonathan Foer’s “Eating Animals” and two other vegan books have made the bestseller list.

In March, the respected National Cancer Institute reported that people who ate the most red meat were "most likely to die from cancer, heart disease and other causes."

In July, the conservative American Dietetic Association has affirmed that “…vegetarian and vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

Reports of meat consumers infected by the deadly E. coli strain continue to accumulate.

In the November issue of World Watch magazine, two World Bank scientists have claimed that meat production may account for more than half of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of animals killed for food in the U.S. in 2009 is expected to have dropped by 6% from 2008.
Celebrities Alicia Silverstone, Paul McCartney, Natalie Portman, Bill Maher, and other public figures are passionately speaking out in favor of a vegan diet. Now more than ever, Americans are recognizing the benefits of and transitioning toward a healthful diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains.

Governors and mayors across the nation are issuing special proclamations recommending increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Hundreds of bus ads and billboards, TV ads, newspaper stories, and letters to editors will carry the Meatout message to millions.

Check out the Meatout recipe page featuring a Meatout 7-Day Menu, celebrity recipes, and more. Your special page contains a general introduction, background material on veganism, and links to selected sites. We encourage you to also visit the Events Directory for a listing of community events.

Entertain Guests at Home with Genuine Italian Cheeses from Di Palo

Thanks to Di Palo, now food lovers everywhere can entertain guests at home this winter with authentic Italian cheeses, transporting family and friends back to Italy. Enjoy the distinct, unique tastes of cheeses such as Grana Padano or Gorgonzola Dolce while feeling as if you are traveling through Italy’s various regions.

The signature Fresh Cheese Basket – available now with FREE overnight shipping (a value of $30) - contains a variety of genuine Italian products from meats to sweets to cheeses… perfect for impressing friends and family. These fresh cheeses, handpicked by Lou Di Palo of Di Palo’s Fine Foods in NYC, are sure to please a wide array of palates. The basket highlight is a fresh ball of mozzarella, homemade from the generations old Di Palo family recipe.

The basket includes:
A Fresh Ball of Di Palo’s Famous Homemade Mozzarella (1 lb.)
½ lb. of Gorgonzola Dolce by Gelmini
½ lb. of Taleggio
½ lb. of Grana Padano
1 box of Traditional Sardinian Pane Carasau
1 jar of delicious Calabrian Orange Blossom Honey
1 large link of Salame Calabrese

Order your basket from and start entertaining guests with a taste of Italy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bluegrass Chef Jonathan Lundy Publishes Innovative Southern Cookbook

Jonathan Lundy, chef/owner of the Lexington restaurant Jonathan at Gratz Park is pleased to introduce his new cookbook, Jonathan's Bluegrass Table: Redefining Kentucky Cuisine (ISBN 978-19354910-3, $35). The glossy hardcover 240-page volume features more than 147 recipes accompanied by 100 full-color photographs. Lundy's sophisticated take on Kentucky cooking is presented in the context of the Bluegrass region's agricultural and culinary heritage to provide a definitive resource for innovative Southern food.

Jonathan's Bluegrass Table is organized into nine chapters, including "Gracious Greens" salads, "It's Suppertime!" entrées, "Dramatic Endings" desserts and "Un-Commonwealth Cocktails" spirited beverages. Featured native ingredients, including Weisenberger Mills grits, sorghum, country ham, Kentucky bison and farm-fresh produce reinforce the authenticity of Lundy's recipes. Kentucky bourbon fortifies a variety of meats, sauces and sweets and also takes a starring role in such cocktails as the Belle Brezing Martini, named for the Lexington madam who is said to have inspired the Belle Watling character in Gone With the Wind. Brezing operated her bordello for a short time in the building that now houses Jonathan at Gratz Park Inn.

Classic recipes that inspire nostalgia for horse races and mint juleps include Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Beer Cheese, Jonathan's Kentucky Burgoo, the Hot Brown and the Calumet Baking Powder Biscuits, made with the very same baking powder from the company established in 1889 by Lundy's great-great grandfather William Monroe Wright. Lundy's lineage is also tied to Wright's Calumet Farm, a Kentucky thoroughbred farm that produced two Triple Crown winners and eight Kentucky Derby winners.

Inventive dishes put a new twist on Kentucky ingredients to make Lundy's book a contemporary reference on Southern cooking. Standout recipes include Country Ham Pot Stickers with peach sweet and sour and bourbon soy sauces, Sea Scallop Hot Browns, Grilled Lamb Rack with Mint Julep Jelly and Goat Cheese Scalloped Potatoes.

As a Kentucky native who grew up in Midway on Lundy Farm, Lundy is a culinary ambassador for the Bluegrass. He and his wife Cara opened Jonathan at Gratz Park in the historic Gratz Park Inn in1998. The restaurant has been featured in such publications as Southern Living, Cooking Light, the Chicago Tribune and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Jonathan's Bluegrass Table: Redefining Kentucky Cuisine, by Jonathan Lundy.
Photographed by Lee Thomas.
240 pages, 100 photographs, 8 x 10 paper.
ISBN 978-19354910-3 $35

Maker's Mark named the official bourbon of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Maker's Mark, the world's oldest operating bourbon distillery, has been named the official bourbon of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The Games will make their American debut Sept. 25 - Oct. 10, 2010, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

"Our Maker's Mark traditions and heritage are rooted in Kentucky, which is why we're so thrilled to be a partner of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games," said Bill Samuels Jr., president and chief executive officer of Maker's Mark. "Bourbon and horses are a natural pair – especially in Kentucky where their histories run deep. We're looking forward to making our 'mark' on the games."

Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear also noted the significance of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games' announcement. "Bourbon is a part of the fabric of Kentucky and Maker's Mark is a world-class spirit," she said "It's only fitting that they are part of this international event that showcases our wonderful Commonwealth."

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Federation Equestre International (FEI) and are held every four years. The Games have never before been staged outside of Europe, nor have all eight disciplines competed at a single site – both firsts that will be achieved at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

"Having the Games' American debut held right here in Kentucky makes this an historic occasion," said Terry Johnson, vice president of sales for the Foundation. "We're proud that Maker's Mark is part of an event that not only has worldwide recognition, but will also have a very positive economic impact on the state of Kentucky."

Maker's Mark will sponsor the Games' main hospitality tent that will be visited by thousands of horse and bourbon enthusiasts from around the world. The tent will feature the "world of bourbon" and include a wide variety of brands.
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The Games are held every four years and this will be the first occurrence in the United States. The Games will be broadcast on NBC Sports, which has marked the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $150 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International, Inc., Meydan and the University of Kentucky. For more information on the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, please visit

About Maker's Mark:
In 1954, at a small Victorian distillery in Loretto, Ky., Bill Samuels, Sr., made the first 19 barrels of whisky, which six years later would herald the modern era of bourbon. Using limestone water from the distillery's spring-fed lake and a mash consisting of corn, barley and soft, red, gentle winter wheat, Mr. Samuels created a bourbon that brought "good taste" and "taste-good" together for the first time. Today, Maker's Mark continues to handcraft its bourbon exactly the same way, in small batches by passionate individuals who are committed to craft, heritage and tradition. Maker's Mark bourbon whisky is 45% alc./vol., and is distilled, aged and bottled by the Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc., in Loretto, Ky. Maker's Mark makes its bourbon carefully, and please enjoy it that way.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pasta Pizza & More Buca di Beppo new menu items

Buca di Beppo unveiled its revamped and redesigned menu, featuring six new items designed to hinder hunger and titillate taste buds. Great pizzas join the new menu offerings that include classic Italian favorites to the family-friendly Buca menu.

The complete additions to the menu are:

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni - Awaken taste buds with a new favorite - tender chicken breast sautéed with garlic and red pepper, tossed with peas, a spicy rosa sauce and imported Italian rigatoni pasta.

Saltimbocca - Sautéed chicken or veal layered with fresh sage and prosciutto, topped with artichoke hearts, lemon butter sauce and capers.

Chicken Cacciatore - Tender, boneless strips of chicken breast cooked in a chunky “Cacciatore Style” red sauce flavored with mushrooms, capers and Buca label Chianti.

Chicken Pesto Pizza - Classic flavors of tender chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic combined atop mozzarella and provolone cheeses and our pesto cream sauce.

4 Cheese Pizza - No red sauce here! A white pizza with a flavorful blend of Parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella and provolone cheeses melted on our thin crust pizza dough brushed with garlic-infused olive oil.

Veggie Pizza - Breaded eggplant, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms and onions with mozzarella and provolone cheeses combine perfectly with our authentic pizza sauce.

Supremo Italiano Pizza- The heartiest offering – chunks of ground beef and spicy Italian sausage mixed with strips of pepperoni, bell peppers and onions, all on top of red sauce and cheese.

For more information on the new menu items or to find the nearest Buca di Beppo, please visit

About Buca di Beppo

Owned and operated by Planet Hollywood International, Inc., with locations from Albany to Honolulu, Buca di Beppo restaurants embody the Italian traditions of food, friendship and hospitality. Dishes enjoyed for generations in villages throughout Italy inspire the menu, which features both Northern and Southern Italian favorites. While the food has pleased millions of palates from coast-to-coast, Buca di Beppo is equally famous for its quirky décor and upbeat atmosphere. Most Buca di Beppo locations are open daily for lunch and dinner. Catering is also available at many locations nationwide. Visit for locations, hours of operation, menus, reservations or to place an online order for Buca To Go.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Neela Launches New Insulated Lunch Tote

Whether you made the switch from paper and plastic bags years ago, or are just getting started, the new Neela Insulated Lunch Tote is perfect for keeping meals fresh – at work, school or on the go!

Joining Neela’s successful line of reusable, recyclable products, the Neela Insulated Lunch Tote is an environmentally-friendly bag that is both stylish and convenient. Offered in three fabulous patterns, the Neela Insulated Lunch Tote is perfect for anyone looking to make their brown bag lunch a little greener!

The Neela Insulated Lunch Tote retails for $10.00 and is available for purchase at and at select retailers across the country.

About Neela Products
Neela Products was founded to offer stylish, convenient and environmentally-friendly products that help consumers make small changes in their daily routines that can add up to big change for the environment. Neela bags come in an array of stylish patterns and colors inspired by modern textile designs, and are made out of nonwoven polypropylene – a lightweight and durable material that is both reusable and recyclable. For additional information, see

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cincinnati Wine Festival Dinner & Packages From The Hilton/Orchids

The 2010 Cincinnati International Wine Festival is quickly approaching, with wine dinners on Thursday, March 11 and the festival Friday, March 12 & Saturday, March 13. The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, the official hotel of the Wine Festival, is offering a wine dinner in Orchids at Palm Court and NEW this year - packages that include overnight accommodations and tickets to the Wine Festival!

Make your reservations quickly as these events will sell out!

Michel Sheer
Managing Director, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

Terlato Wine Dinner
In Conjunction with the Cincinnati Wine Festival
March 11, 2010

Enjoy a spectacular dinner created by Executive Chef Todd Kelly to complement Terlato International Wine pairings in Orchids at Palm Court.

Reservations must be made directly with the Wine Festival
Phone: 513-723-9463

Festival Tickets & Overnight Accommodations

The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, the official hotel of the Cincinnati International Wine Festival, is offering several packages that include tickets to the Grand Tastings as well as a great rate on overnight accommodations!

Friday, March 12 & Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fairmont Pittsburgh Appoints Andrew Morrison as Executive Chef

A city of rivers, bridges and sports fans is a homecoming of sorts for Chef Andrew Morrison. Born in a county named after two rivers-- Tyne and Wear-- in Northeast England near Newcastle, Morrison was raised in Cheshire just south of Manchester, home of the famous Manchester United soccer team.

Morrison has been appointed Executive Chef for Fairmont Pittsburgh, the premier luxury hotel offering in downtown Pittsburgh, set to open in March 2010. The announcement was made by Len Czarnecki, General Manager for Fairmont Pittsburgh.

“Andrew brings a wonderful mix of restaurant management experience with a newcomer’s enthusiasm for discovering the culinary resources of a new city and its surrounding regions,” states Czarnecki.

Morrison joins Fairmont Pittsburgh from the Four Seasons Atlanta where he served as Executive Sous Chef of Georgia’s only Five Star, Five Diamond hotel. Morrison started with the Four Seasons Miami, another Five Diamond luxury hotel, in 2006.

A proponent of Contemporary Cuisine and the Slow Food Movement, Morrison is classically French-trained. “From-scratch cooking and creative menu development are my strengths,” says Morrison. “I cook according to the ingredients I find - a deceptively simple approach that bolsters the essence of each ingredient and creates layers of flavor.”

Mark Bittman, author of Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating and the weekly New York Times column The Minimalist had this to say: "I'm delighted to have eaten food cooked by Andrew, and even happier to have cooked with him. He's talented, smart, unpretentious, and fun - all the things you want in a chef."

While in Florida Morrison routinely flew on puddle jumpers alongside groceries as the private chef for both Musha Cay, an exclusive private island-resort in the Bahamas, and Little Whale Cay.

In New York City from 1999-2004, Morrison consulted, developed and launched several successful ventures including The Biltmore Room in Chelsea. The Biltmore Room was named the best new restaurant of the year, and Chef Gary Robins was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2004. Previously, Morrison did a two-year stint at Seattle’s Lampreia with Chef Scott Carsberg, 2006 James Beard Award winner.

But it was his tenure as Chef/Owner of The Chipper, a fast casual fish and chip shop in Sunnyside, Queens that won him international acclaim. Food critic William Grimes declared The Chipper the “ultimate in down market, no frills fried food.”
“Early in my career I was lucky enough to spend time in the kitchens of known master chefs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York City,” Morrison says. “Each experience has, undoubtedly, influenced me.”

For more information, please visit
# # #
With over 60 distinctive hotels, including the iconic Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, and more in development, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality brand known for its warm and engaging service and culturally rich experiences. Located in coveted worldwide destinations, its unrivalled collection of classic hotels imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication, and social importance, and are often considered destinations in and of themselves. Fairmont is also committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, a leading global hotel company with 95 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

Nat Decants Wine & Food Mobile App Goes Green

Which wines go best with "green food," such as asparagus, peppers and peas? How about other fresh vegetables that we'll enjoy this summer and fall?

"Green foods are the problem children of the wine world," says Natalie MacLean, editor of one of the largest wine sites on the web at "But as a stubborn hedonist, I've found some terrific wines to drink with them."

Natalie has just launched a new mobile application for iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Droid and other smartphones. Developed by Cerado, this app builds on the success of her Drinks Matcher and includes all the pairings in the original app, plus thousands of wine reviews, recipes, articles, blog posts, glossary definitions, cellar journal and winery directory. You can access the new app at

In the spirit of going green (and giving back green), the new app is free. With the Nat Decants Mobile App, you can find the right wines, whether you're in a restaurant or at the liquor store restocking. It's like having a sommelier in your pocket.

Nat Decants Free Mobile App Features:

- Find 380,000 professionally tested food and wine pairings
(not generated by computer algorithm)
- Access thousands of wine reviews by an independent journalist
- Search the reviews by winery, price, score, region, grape, vintage, food match
- Track your wines in your virtual cellar and add your own journal notes and scores
- Search a directory of 10,000+ wineries to buy wine or plan a visit
- Find thousands of tasty, tested recipes for every wine
- Get wine savvy with articles, glossary definitions & blog posts
- Share on Twitter, Facebook and e-mail with friends

Natalie's Top 10 Green Wine & Food Matches

1. Corned beef and cabbage: Pinot Blanc
2. Irish Stew: Cabernet Franc
3. Spring Asparagus: Gruner Veltliner
4. Field greens salad: Riesling
5. Tomatoes: Pinot Noir
6. Green peppers: Sparkling Wine
7. Grilled veggies: Rose
8. Green peas: Sauvignon Blanc
9. Spinach and bacon salad: Merlot
10. Artichoke: Verdicchio

For more tips on pairing green food and wine, visit

To get the free Nat Decants Mobile App visit:

On the page above, click on the words iPod or iPhone under the iPhone image to go to the iTunes store for the app. The direct link is:

For BlackBerry, Droid, Nexus One, Nokia, Palm Pre and other smartphones, click on those words under the BlackBerry phone image. The direct link is:

About Natalie:

Natalie MacLean is an independent journalist and author of the bestseller Red, White and Drunk All Over. For Google searches on popular terms like "food and wine matching" and "wine newsletter," Natalie's site is often on the first page of the results as it has become a go-to resource for food and wine lovers. Natalie has won four James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. At the World Food Media Awards in Australia, she was named the World's Best Drinks Writer: You can find her on Twitter at and on Facebook at

About Cerado:

The mobile development company Cerado, Inc. created the Nat Decants Mobile App. Founded in 2002, Cerado creates mobile and web-based solutions that enable businesses, associations and organizations to better connect and understand their customer and member communities. Learn about Cerado and developing mobile applications for your organization at

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All You Could Possibly Want To Know About BOCKFEST 2010

The Over-the-Rhine Foundation, Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co. – a subsidiary of Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, and local merchants are teaming up to celebrate Cincinnati’s German brewing heritage, Over-the-Rhine, and the coming of spring during the 18th Annual Bockfest celebration.

In 1992, Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company teamed up with Over-the-Rhine advocates and revived Bockfest to celebrate the brewery’s introduction of Christian Moerlein Bock, giving birth to an eclectic and uniquely Cincinnati festival.

In the 1800s, Cincinnati was one of America’s most prolific brewing cities. Cincinnatians drank more beer per capita than any other city in the country, and Over-the-Rhine was, at one point, home to more than 18 breweries A tradition led by breweries like Christian Moerlein and Hudepohl developed among the breweries to release all their bock beer on the same day. Bock beer is a rich, complex, robust lager that marks the end of the winter brewing season and the beginning of spring.

The Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co. will continue its participation in Bockfest 2010 by providing two Limited Edition Bock beers. Namesakes of both sides of the iconic Cincinnati brewing company will be represented with Hudepohl Bock and Schoenling Bock. Cincinnati’s own Moerlein Emancipator Doppel Bock along with these historic Hudepohl and Schoenling Brews will only be available during Bockfest and participating Bockfest venues.

Events during Bockfest include the Bockfest Parade on Friday, a homebrewers’ competition on Saturday at Bockfest Hall, 1621 Moore St., Prohibition Resistance tours on Saturday and Sunday, Over-the-Rhine Historic Church Tours on Sunday, and live music throughout the weekend. Sunday includes German Day hosted by the German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati with cultural events and plenty of GEMÜTLICHKEIT (German for “coziness” or “cheerfulness”) at Bockfest Hall. A free shuttle bus will transport Bockfest attendees between venues. Bockfest attendance is free and there are no cover charges for events or bands, except for tours. Pre-Bockfest events will occur throughout the month.

(Please look at Hudepohl, Schoenling, Moerlein Bock beer logos)

Bock beer is traditionally a dark, rich lager with a higher nutritional and alcohol content than other lagers. It was originally brewed by German monks for sustenance during the Lenten fast. In pre-prohibition Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine’s dozens of breweries would introduce their seasonal bock beers around Lent.

Schoenling Bock is back on tap after roughly a quarter-century’s absence. The iconic Cincinnati brand started its revitalization with the reintroduction of the Schoenling name to the Little Kings Original Cream Ale labels in 2009. Schoenling Bock has been revived specifically for this year’s Bockfest.

Hudepohl Bock makes its Cincinnati return as the winning recipe of the 2009 Bockfest Homebrewers’ Competition – an annual Bloatarian Brewing League event. Michael Carver of Florence, Ky. created 2009’s competition-winning Bock. Carver was given the opportunity to recreate his recipe as Hudepohl Bock for this year’s Bockfest. Details for the 2010 Bockfest Homebrewers’ Competition are available at the Bloatarian Brewing League Web site,

Friday, February 18, 2010 through Saturday, March 6, 2010: Bockfest Sausage Queen Competition. The Bohemian Bockfest Parade includes the “Sausage Queen” – Bockfest royalty who carries a ceremonial tray of bockwurst sausage. The Queen is crowned during Bockfest after a series of four, pre-Bockfest preliminary pageant rounds. Sausage Queen 2009 will carry the tray of bockwurst in this year’s parade, accompanied by a court of contestants. On Saturday, March 7, 2010, at 8 p.m., at Bockfest Hall, Sausage Queen 2010 will be selected in a gender-neutral competition.
A panel of "expert" judges will determine the best applicant based on the following criteria.
1. Personality: Good traits will include a love of bock beer, a sense of humor. The personality round will involve a series of questions posed to the contestants by the judges.
2. Presence: The contestant must look good in the bohemian spirit carrying a tray of sausages. The presence round will involve a very short catwalk turn while carrying a tray of bockwurst.
3. Talent: Whatever “talent” you think a Sausage Queen should possess is good enough for us.
Complete rules and details are available at
Coverage suggestions:
· There are four preliminary rounds. The events produce very memorable scenes. Preliminary Sausage Queen rounds will be conducted at:

Ø February 18, 2010, 9 p.m., Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 210 East 8th St., Cincinnati

Ø February 26, 2010, 9 p.m., Blue Bar, 266 Pike St., Covington

Ø February 27, 2010, 9 p.m., Milton’s Prospect Hill Tavern, Cincinnati

Ø March 6, 2010, 8 p.m., FINALS at Bockfest Hall 1621 Moore St., Cincinnati

· Contestants sign waivers permitting use of their image to promote Bockfest and cameras are welcome at the preliminary competitions and at the Finale.

Tuesday, February 16, 5:30p.m.: Special VIP Tour and Dinner at Arnold’s to Benefit the Over-the-Rhine Foundation. Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. 8th St., is generously hosting a fundraiser for the Over-the-Rhine Foundation. Proceeds will help make Bockfest possible. With the support of the Brewery District CURC, the event will also include a private, VIP version of the Prohibition Resistance Tour 2010. The event will include:
· A gourmet, wild game, five course dinner with beer pairings
· Brief histories of beer in Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine, and Arnold’s by Bret Androski (Arnold’s owner), Jim Tarbell (former Vice-Mayor and Arnold’s owner), Steve Hampton (President of the Brewery District CURC), Michael Morgan (Director of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation), and Greg Hardman (President and CEO of Christian Moerlein Brewing)
· Guided tours of the subterranean lagering tunnels under the former Kauffman Brewery and the Crown Brewery, including passage through a tunnel under McMicken that has been unearthed after being sealed and lost to time for over 50 years.
· Tickets are $95. The price includes dinner, drinks, and the tour. $80 of the purchase price is a tax-deductible donation to the Over-the-Rhine Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at: .

Sunday, February 28, at 4 p.m.: Precipitation Retaliation. Milton’s Prospect Hill Tavern, 301 Milton St., Cincinnati, Ohio will host a pre-Bockfest happy hour 4-7p.m., featuring Hudepohl and Christian Moerlein beer specials. The 2008 Bockfest Parade was officially cancelled by the City of Cincinnati due to coinciding with the worst blizzard in a decade. In homage to 2008, as a call for the coming of spring, and in an attempt to intimidate the weather into cooperation, we burned a snowman in effigy in 2009. The event was a lot of fun and, more importantly, it worked! Bockfest 2009 was blessed with some of the best weather in Bockfest history, so we are repeating the event. Coverage suggestions:

· Cameras are welcome at the event. Precipitation Retaliation would be a fitting compliment to a weather forecast. (Unlike Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania, we Cincinnatians take matters into our own hands.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 6p.m. – 9p.m.: Unveiling of 2010 Hudepohl Bock & Schoenling Bock tapping at Mecklenburg Gardens. Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio will be hosting a sneak preview of three 2010 Bocks on the Wednesday before Bockfest officially begins. Get a special bock preview in a Cincinnati landmark. Mecklenburg Gardens, Cincinnati’s oldest restaurant, will be hosting the first tapping of this year’s Hudepohl Bock and Schoenling Bock. Last year, we started an annual tradition: The winning recipe in the Bockfest Bock Homebrew Competition is used to brew the following year’s Hudepohl Bock. The professionally judged 2009 award winning recipe, brewed by Michael Carver of Florence, Ky., will be tapped for the first time in a Bockfest preview. The Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company is bringing back Schoenling Bock after almost a quarter-century’s absence. Hudepohl Bock and Schoenling Bock will only be available at Mecklenburg Gardens and Bockfest venues during Bockfest. Spaten Brewery will also have available seasonal Spaten Maibock. Mecklenburg Gardens will have a German buffet to complement the sneak preview of this year’s 2010 bocks.

Friday, March 5, 2010, 6 p.m.: Bockfest Parade & Blessing of the Bock beer at Bockfest Hall: Bockfest will officially begin with the Bockfest Parade, forming in front of Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. 8th St., Cincinnati, at 5:30 p.m. and starts to move at 6 p.m.. The Bockfest Parade is frequently described as Cincinnati’s “most bohemian” parade. It is lead by a goat pulling a keg of bock beer, a “Sausage Queen” carrying a tray of bockwurst sausage, and followed by a very non-traditional procession of a motorized bathtub, “bocking dogs,” a brewing kettle of beer, faux monks, quirky floats, and a lot more. The parade will move up Main St. and end in a brief ceremony to be held in Bockfest Hall, 1621 Moore St. The ceremony includes Franciscan Monks blessing and tapping a ceremonial keg of bock beer. Parade judges will also announce the winner of best entry in the Bockfest Parade. The ceremony will then be followed by live music in participating venues.

· Blessing of the keg at Bockfest Hall at 7:00 p.m. The official start of Bockfest includes the blessing of the Bock beer, a must see event which includes proclamations and a skit with time period actors from the Renaissance and early 19th century monks, beer barons and other dignitaries.
· 2010 Grand Marshall: Manfred Schnetzer has been chosen as this year’s Grand Marshall in the Bockfest Parade. Manfred Schnetzer serves as Vice-President of the German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati. He and his wife, Regina, are also active members of the Catholic Kolping Society and the Deutsche Buben Verein. He is a retired mechanical engineer from General Electric Aircraft Engines. They also hold the honor of being featured as successful German immigrants in an exhibit at the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven, Germany.
· Evenings entertainment will be provided by Cincinnati’s own The Bier Band and Jake Speed and the Freddie’s.

Coverage suggestions:
· Many still photos of previous parades are available upon request.

Saturday, March 6, 2010: Bloatarian Brewing League’s Second Annual Hudepohl Bock Homebrew Competition at Bockfest Hall. From noon to 6 p.m., the Bloatarian Brewing League will be holding a professionally conducted and judged bock beer homebrew competition. The winner’s recipe will be used to produce Hudepohl Bock in 2011. Hudepohl Bock is brewed in Cincinnati and is only available at Bockfest. More information about the competition can be found at . Coverage suggestions:
· Homebrewers are available to discuss homebrewing, the competition, and bock beer. Homebrewing equipment is easily moved and a beer can be partially cooked during a television morning or evening news segment.

Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, 2010: Prohibition Resistance Tours. Prior to Prohibition, Over-the-Rhine and the West End were two of America’s most prolific brewing centers, home to dozens of breweries. Prior to electric refrigeration, most of them relied on cavernous sub-basements far below street level to brew and age lager beers. This year’s tours will take participants into the lagering tunnels of the Kauffman and Crown breweries, including a tunnel underneath McMicken Avenue that has been sealed for over 50 years and is being opened to the public for the very first time. Ticket price is $30 each and tickets are on sale in advance. Tours will sell out prior to Bockfest. Tickets can be purchased at . Tours meet at Bockfest Hall, 1621 Moore St., Cincinnati, Ohio. Coverage suggestions:
· We will be happy to provide access to brewery sights and subterranean brewing tunnels in advance of Bockfest, and make someone available to discuss Cincinnati brewing history.

· The contact for Prohibition Resistance coverage is Steve Hampton, President of the Brewery District CURC, (513) 484-2493 or

· From noon to 6 p.m., Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzman will be present to sign books and answer questions about Cincinnati’s German history, and George Hibben will display one of the mid-west’s most significant collections of antique German beer steins, along with additional cultural exhibitors (additional authors to be named at a later date) Bockfest Hall, 1621 Moore St., Cincinnati.

· Bockfest Hall located at 1621 Moore St. Parking available on site and at shuttle bus locations. Go to for more details.

· Bockfest Hall will be open:

o Friday March 5th: 4 p.m.- Midnight

o Saturday March 6th: 10 a.m. to Midnight

o Sunday March 7th : 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday, March 7, 2010, 2p.m. – 4p.m.: OTR Historic Church Tour. Guided walking tours of several of Over-the-Rhine’s most important sacred spaces. Over-the-Rhine is home to several of America’s oldest German-American congregations and the City of Cincinnati’s most historic churches. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at . Tours meet at Bockfest Hall, 1621 Moore St. and depart at 2 p.m..

· Tour Itinerary: Old St. Mary’s (Cincinnati’s Oldest church), Nast Trinity (the home of German Methodism in America), Central Assembly of God (better known as Wielert’s Tavern, open to the public for the first time), Zion’s Church and St. Paul Church (these historically important churches are in disrepair and tour will only include and exterior discuss of their history, condition, and current status), First Lutheran, St. Frances Sereph (including the basement graveyard.) All proceeds benefit the Over-the-Rhine Foundation.

· Coverage Suggestion: We will be happy to make arrangements for access to any of these historic churches in advance.

Sunday, March 7, 2010: GEMÜTLICHKEIT (German culture day) hosted by the German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati: We are also having a German Buffet from (all you can eat, details coming) 1:00-3:00 pm. Sunday will be a day celebrating Over-the-Rhine’s German heritage. A procession will leave Old St. Mary’s church following traditional German mass and end in a brief ceremony at Bockfest Hall, 1621 Moore St., Cincinnati. From noon to 6 p.m., Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzman will be present to sign books and answer questions about Cincinnati’s German history, and George Hibben will display one of the mid-west’s most significant collections of antique German beer steins, along with additional cultural exhibitors (additional authors to be named at a later date). Throughout the day, German bands, traditional German entertainment, and German dancing will be featured at the Hall: the Polka Dots 1 p.m., Enzian Tanz Gruppe (traditional German dancing) at 2 p.m., and Donauschwaben Schuhplattler (traditional German variety show) at 4 p.m. Sunday will be family-friendly. Admission is free. Coverage suggestions:

· German performers in traditional German dress can be available to demonstrate performances: horns, dancing, whip cracking, etc.

· Camera arrangements can be made to enter Old St. Mary’s church. One of the city’s oldest churches, Old St. Mary’s rivals European cathedrals. It still conducts German Mass as it has for almost 170 years, and has a Rathskeller remaining from a time when a few pints of beer after mass were a basic part of German family-life in Over-the-Rhine.

· Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzman can be available to discuss German-American history in Over-the-Rhine and the importance of beer in Cincinnati’s economic and cultural development (possibly at Old St. Mary’s.)

· George Hibben can bring portions of stein collection to a photo shoot or studio.

Live Entertainment Throughout Bockfest Weekend: There will be live music at the venues throughout Bockfest weekend. There is no fee for Bockfest and the festival provides a free shuttle bus between venues. The vast majority of entertainment is free.

Bockfest Hall: This year’s Bockfest Hall will be in the historic Kauffman Brewery (most recently the Husman potato chip factory), 1621 Moore St. (north of Liberty, between Walnut and Vine.)

Contact Information:
· Mike Morgan, Executive Director of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation, can be contacted with general Bockfest questions at or by phone at (513) 721-1317.

· Steve Hampton, President of the Brewery District CURC, can be contacted with questions about Prohibition Resistance or access to historic brewery buildings at or by phone at (513) 484-2493.

· An up-to-date schedule of Bockfest events is posted at

Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens

At some point we have all lived in a place that had a crappy little kitchen…maybe our first apartment or even those beloved dorm rooms. And maybe we still don’t even have the kitchen we really want. Chef Jennifer Schaertl believes that “cooking in a crappy little kitchen builds character and personality – two attributes of downright delicious gourmet meals.” So she has taken her own experiences and created her debut cookbook, Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens (HCI Books; April 2010; Trade paperback/$18.95; ISBN-10:0-7573-1365-5). Jennifer shows us how to love our kitchens and create fun and exciting gourmet meals in them.

I know what you’re thinking….Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens (CLK), isn’t that an oxymoron? Not according to Jennifer. With her help, home cooks can make their crappy little kitchens the centerpiece for delicious food and a place to call home. Jennifer begins the book with The Art of Cooking in Your Crappy Little Kitchen, covering topics such as CLK Basics; It’s Not What You Have, It’s How You Use It; The CLK Pantry; and Preventing Crappy Little Casualties. Recipes cover “A”-Game Appetizers, Toss Everything but These Salads, Dignified One-Pot Creations, Saucy Sauces, and Desserts to Die For.

The fun Jennifer had creating all of these recipes in her own crappy little kitchen shows through in every page. She makes home-cooking an adventure with recipes such as: Wish I Was a Little Bisque Taller; When the Saints Come Marchin’ in Gumbo, Shuttupahyourface Bruschetta; Wassup! Wasabi Chicken Salad; Barbequeless Barbequed Salmon; Rum-Infused, Carmelized Pork Chops; Leaning Tower of Tofu Lasagna Stacks; Rock-‘n’-Roasted Vegetables; They Call Me Mellow Yellow Sauce; Plum Champagne Granita; and Coconut Poached Pears with Burgundy Sauce.

As Jennifer likes to say…”just because you cook in a crappy little kitchen does not justify a crappy meal!”
Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens offers practical hints and tips that help make the most of any crappy little kitchen. After all, if you can’t have the kitchen you want, this book shows how to love the kitchen you have. You can learn more about Jennifer on her website,

Remember, it’s not what you have; it’s how you use it!

HAM: An Obsession with the Hindquarter

This Easter, why stick to the same boring ham recipe you’ve used year after year? Instead, shake things up and take a mouth-watering tour of the wonderful world of ham in Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; March 2010; $29.95 US / $38.95 CAN; ISBN 978-1-58479-832-3). Weinstein and Scarbrough leave no part of the world unexplored, featuring ham recipes from the Philippines to Spain, the Caribbean to the American South, and even their own home corner of rural Connecticut (where they buy and help raise a hog of their own). Gifted storytellers and talented cooks, the pair offers hilarious stories as they pig out on a hundred delicious recipes.

This luscious volume covers four types of ham: Fresh Ham, including recipes for a Ham Tagine and Steamed Ham Buns; Dry-Cured Ham in the Old World, with recipes for Chilled Honeydew Soup with Frizzled Ham and Prosciutto-Wrapped Meatloaf in a Vinegary Tomato Sauce, as well as a menu for a European ham party; Dry-Cured Ham in the New World, offering Jerk-Style Country Ham and Pineapple Tamales and a Glazed and Roasted Country Ham; and Wet-Cured Ham, featuring an Iberian-Inspired Frittata and an over-the top Mac and Ham and Cheese.

With incredible photography; invaluable information about buying, preparing, and serving ham; and dozens of globe-trotting recipes, Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter is the only guide you’ll ever need to this luscious, versatile delicacy.

About the Authors:
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the authors of the bestselling Ultimate cookbook series, fronted by The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, with over 250,000 copies in print. They published two new titles 2009: Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It (Morrow) and Cooking Know-How (Wiley). Frequent contributors to national publications including Eating Well, Cooking Light, the Washington Post, and, they also appear regularly on the Today show and Good Morning America. Weinstein and Scarbrough live in northwestern Connecticut.

Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter
By Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Stewart, Tabori & Chang / March 2010
$29.95 U.S / $38.95 CAN; ISBN 978-1-58479-832-3
25 full-color photographs / 100 recipes / 224 pages; 7½ x 9¼ / Hardcover

From HAM: An Obsession with the Hindquarter
Shirred Eggs in Prosciutto Crudo Cups

Makes 6 servings

¼ cup heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons minced chives or the
green part of a scallion
2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves
Unsalted butter for greasing the muffin tin
12 paper-thin prosciutto crudo slices
6 large eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon freshly ground black

1. Warm the cream, minced chives, and the rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat just until little bubbles ring the inside of the pan, 3 or 4 minutes. Cover and set aside off the heat for 30 minutes to steep.
2. Meanwhile, set the rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven up to 350°F. Lightly butter 6 indentations in a standard muffin tin, or six 1/2-cup oven-safe ramekins.
3. Line each indentation or ramekin with 2 prosciutto crudo slices, crimping and overlapping them to create the outline of the indentation as well as a little lip on each. If necessary, tear the strips so they fill the indentations without any gaps or holes.
4. Set the tin in the oven or the ramekins on a baking sheet and then in the oven. In either case, bake until the prosciutto begins to get crisp at its edges, about 15 minutes.
5. Transfer the very hot muffin tin or the tray with the ramekins to a wire rack and divide the cream mixture among the indentations, a scant tablespoon in each cup.
6. Crack an egg into each indentation, then top each egg with pepper.Set the tin or tray with its ramekins back into the oven and bake just until the eggs are set, about 8 minutes for a softer yolk and 12 minutes for a more set yolk.

Sweet Local Story

For 25 years, Cincinnati resident Donna Phelps would bake up her "secret-recipe" cookies for her daughter’s Soccor games, school functions, and birthday parties. She would also faithfully bring them down to the local Findlay Farmer’s Market. Her first time there, she sold 180 cookies in an hour and a half. Wherever she brought them, Donna heard the same reaction – “You should sell these cookies or open up a shop!” She dreamed of opening up a bake shop one day. But with five children - how would she ever have the time or finances?

After all her kids were out of college, Donna took a leap of faith in a down economy and pursued her dream. She opened her first store, Donna’s Gourmet Cookies, in October of 2008 in Cincinnati. She runs the store now with her daugther, Leah, who decided to help her mom although she graduated with a degree in English.

And this local gem has already shown a profit!

Donna's Gourmet Cookies was voted “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” in 2008 by Cincinnati Magazine. Their specialty cookie menu offers a mouth-watering selection including: Mint Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Dipped In Ganache, Peanut Butter Cup, and Macadamia White Chocolate. Now, Donna also offers delicious cupcakes, brownies, granola bars, and more. ALL of which are made by hand, daily from scratch, using only the finest natural ingredients: no preservatives or artificial flavors. They even ship nationwide.

Donna has said she couldn’t go through her life thinking “I should have done this.”

To learn more go to:

Innovations in Baking Seminar & Reception - Chicago

Innovations in Baking Seminar & Reception
In conjunction with the American Society of Baking on
The Vitamin D Solution: an Opportunity for the Baking Industry
Saturday, February 27, 2010, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Denver Room, 5th Floor
Chicago Marriott Downtown
540 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611
The Innovations Seminar is pleased to announce that our Guest Speaker this year is Dr. Michael Holick, the leading expert on vitamin D, who has studied vitamin D for over 30 years. Through his research, we know that every human cell type has a receptor for vitamin D. Our bodies’ need for this vitamin goes much further than just bone health. Increasing vitamin D intake can treat, prevent, and even reverse a number of common ailments from high blood pressure to back pain; lessen the symptoms of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis; and prevent infectious diseases, including H1N1.

Michael F Holick, PhD, MD, is the director of the General Clinical Research Unit and professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston Medical Center. He has been quoted in The New Your Times, Newsweek, Men's Health, AARP, and Scientific American.

Wendy Dahl, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida Her research has focused on issues of nutrient fortification, particularly the diets of vulnerable populations such as the elderly. Dr. Dahl will present on the potential of bread as a widespread food source of vitamin D in North America.
A special ending to part one of the seminar will be a round table discussion

Part 1: The Vitamin D Solution
1:30 pm – 1:40 pm Welcome and Introductions
Gary Edwards, President, Lallemand/American Yeast
1:45 pm – 2:50 pm The Vitamin D Solution
Dr. Michael Holick, Director, General Clinical Research Unit, Boston Medical Center
2:55 pm – 3:25 pm Baked Goods: A Good Source of Vitamin D
Dr. Wendy Dahl, Assistant Professor, University of Florida
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Round Table Discussion
Dr. Dennis T. Gordon, Professor Emeritus North Dakota State University
Participants: Dr. Michael Holick and Dr. Wendy Dahl

Part 2: North American Baking Industry Update
4:05 pm – 4:30 pm Product Trends
Jennifer Barnett Fox, Senior Associate Editor, Baking & Snack Magazine
4:35 pm – 5:00 pm Ingredient Developments
Jan van Eijk, Ph.D., Research Director, and Thomas Serouart, Development Manager, Lallemand Baking Solutions
5:00 pm Reception
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres
Space is limited to 106 attendees. Register Here

Registration deadline is February 23, 2010.

For more information please call 901-353-3480 or email

To learn more about Vitamin D visit our new website

The Jeff Alt Appalachian Trail Show in Cincinnati Feb 25

Overeat and Lose Weight! Grab your ice cream and pizza and let’s go.

Jeff Alt presents an Appalachian Trail Show with personal narration, slides, and music, based on his new third edition of A Walk for Sunshine and DVD, Thursday, February 25, 7:30pm, at Benchmark Outfitters in Blue Ash (9525 Kenwood Road Cincinnati, OH (513) 791-9453). FREE and open to the public.

How do you lose 30 pounds in five months while eating enormous portions of food? Jeff Alt, author of A Walk for Sunshine did. His method: Strap on a fifty pound backpack and walk the entire Appalachian Trail. You will burn 4-6,000 calories a day; the equivalence of running two marathons per day. Your appetite will triple in size causing some hilarious food binges and you will still lose all the weight you want.

Does walking the entire Appalachian Trail as a diet plan seem extreme? Not when you consider that the number one most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and the fact that most diet plans fail Completing an Appalachian Trail journey has a better success rate than most diet plans.

Interview Jeff Alt and he can share entertaining food stories from the trail such as:

· His trail fantasies about food while walking in the woods—the tree branch looked like New York Strip…the dirt kicked in with the snow looked like Oreo Cookie Ice cream.
· How he would seek out all you can eat buffets in towns along the trail. Hikers refer to these as hog troughs.
· How he ate a large pizza as a snack; a dozen donuts before breakfast, a half gallon of ice-cream at the half-way point of his journey and more.

Follow this link to view some of Alt’s TV interviews:

"Some of the most engaging stories in Alt's book are about eating while on the trail....When his future wife met him along the trail, instead of the opportunity to be more romantic with Beth, he found himself staring at the chicken on her plate... " –Sylvia Carter, Newsday, NY

Alt shares many entertaining and inspiring stories in A Walk For Sunshine: A 2,160-mile expedition for charity on the Appalachian Trail (© 9/09;; $15.95 paperback; ISBN: 978-0-9679482-3-2; Dreams Shared Publications, printed on recycled paper). A Walk For Sunshine took first place in the travel recreation category of the 2009 National Best Books awards (

Alt’s live Appalachian Trail presentations are attended by standing room only crowds. Now for the first time, Alt’s presentation is available on film: A Walk For Sunshine Appalachian Trail Show (© 12/09;; $19.95 DVD; color/67 minutes; ISBN: 978-0-9679482-5-6; Dreams Shared Publications).

Alt also gained “Life Lessons from the Trail” which he shares in the new edition of A Walk For Sunshine. In A Walk For Sunshine, Alt explains how walking the Appalachian Trail changed him in profound, unique, and positive ways. Alt can share:
Stories about sleeping with a skunk, being chased by a bull, charged by a bear, suffering painful blisters, swarms of insects, and hilarious food cravings.
Why should everyone go after their dreams now.
How celebrating the simple things can get you through the tough situations.
How walking the Appalachian Trail is 2,000 miles of problem-solving.
The powerful aspect of humor and more.

Another of his “Life Lessons from the Trail” is the importance of getting kids outside. This is more important than ever, especially with computer and video games replacing outdoor playtime and childhood obesity becoming a national epidemic. Alt explains how he has applied these lessons to his career, his marriage, and raising his children. The expanded 3rd edition of A Walk For Sunshine, and the DVD, includes hiking tips and gear suggestions to help anyone plan an adventure with the entire family including young children.

Alt made his original trek to raise money for Sunshine, the home where his brother with cerebral palsy lives. Alt’s journey changed the lives of Sunshine’s residents with special needs by inspiring an annual walk that has raised over $175,000. For additional information, visit

Alt is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA). His adventures have been featured in media nationwide including: ESPN, Hallmark Channel, the AP, CNN-Radio, USA radio network, NPR, and more. Alt's award-winning books, A Walk for Sunshine and A Hike for Mike, have been reviewed in Library Journal, Chicago Sun Times and more. In addition to walking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail, he also walked the 218-mile John Muir Trail with his wife, and trekked across a 50-mile path of Ireland with his wife, young daughter, and extended family. His son was taken on his first hike at 8 weeks. Alt resides in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife and two children. For additional information, visit

"A fascinating interview. This story is for anyone seeking inspiration to achieve their own goals" – Roger, WNRI

"…When Jeff Alt hiked the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail…he did not suspect the experience would have turned into such a life-changing event. But it has, and he writes about it in…A Walk For Sunshine..." –Steve Pollick, The Toledo Blade

"...There are numerous books on hiking the Appalachian Trail, but Alt tells the story best..."
– Carey Kish, Maine Outdoor Journal

B is for Burgundy

This was too long to post. If you have an interest in wines from the Burgundy region of France, visit the link below:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Family Winemakers "Tasting 2010" - San Diego

Over two hundred wineries, all members of Family Winemakers of California, will be at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Sunday, March 14, for the Association's 2nd annual appearance in San Diego, and in Pasadena on Tuesday, March 16, for our 11th annual trade-only tasting. These large tastings will showcase small, family-owned wineries, many of which pour at very few events.

March 14, 2010
Exhibit Hall, Del Mar Fairgrounds
Trade Only: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Trade & Public: 3:00 - 6:00 PM

- - -

March 16, 2010
Pasadena Convention Center
Trade Only: 2:00 - 6:00 PM

Complimentary Admission for Qualified Trade

Deadlines: Register by Monday, February 22, to receive name tags in the mail. Registrations received between February 23 and March 5 will be held at Will Call. Advance registration closes on March 5; on-site trade tickets at both locations: $40.

Trade members must register in advance for complimentary admission. Please register at the link above or online at by Friday, March 5, 2010.

For more information on participating wineries and trade registration, please visit
For further information, contact: or call 415-705-0646.

Rise up Haiti -- TONIGHT (Feb. 12)

If you don't have plans for tonight, Now you do!

Join us at the Carnegie in Covington for "Rise Up Haiti", a rock & photography fundraiser for the children of Haiti.

This is more, than just another fundraiser. If you decide to join us, you'll get plenty for your money. There will be great live music, including one of my favorite local singer/songwriter Kim Taylor.

There is also a moving photography exhibition about the childrend of Haiti, by my friend Jonathan Willis.

Jonathan has been involved helping the children of Haiti for several years and the recent earthquakes, only make the need of help more urgent.

I don't know how to sing or how to use a camera, so my contribution for the evening will be to bake waffles. 100% of the sales will go to the Restavek Foundation in Haiti.

The more you eat, the more you help.

I hope to see you tonight,


Here is the press release.

At 6:45 pm, Friday, February 12 at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky, the Greater Cincinnati creative community will come together for "Rise Up Haiti," a fundraising celebration to help end child slavery in Haiti.

There are approximately 300,000 children living in slavery in Haiti, where they are known as "Restaveks." All funds raised at "Rise Up Haiti" will go to ending this practice.

"Rise Up Haiti" will feature a unique collaboration of music and visual arts, with four local bands performing live, a photography exhibition with actual images of Haitian child slaves, and a silent auction of 10 commissioned, one-of-a-kind pieces done by area artists.

The photography exhibition will feature the works of Jonathan Robert Willis, and his touching personal expression of beautiful Restavek faces. The concert will include Ric Hordinski and Friends, Rob Fetters, Kim Taylor and Me or the Moon.

The silent auction will present a lively artistic range of views of hope and inspiration, spoken through the artists' original talents.

The event will also feature a full cash bar and The Taste of Belgium Waffles.

All proceeds benefit the Jean Cadet Restavek Foundation, dedicated to abolishing child slavery in Haiti. For more information about the foundation, check out

The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center is at 1028 Scott Street, in Covington. Call 859.491.2030 to learn more.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sausage Queen Wanted

Friday, February 12, 2010 through Saturday, March 6, 2010: Bockfest “Little Kings” Sausage Queen Competition. The Bockfest Parade includes the “Sausage Queen” -- Bockfest royalty who carries a ceremonial tray of bockwurst sausage. The Queen is crowned during Bockfest after a series of four, pre-Bockfest preliminary pageant rounds. Sausage Queen 2009 will carry the tray of bockwurst in this year’s parade, accompanied by a court of contestants. On Saturday, March 7, 2010, at 8PM, at Bockfest Hall, Sausage Queen 2010 will be selected in a gender-neutral competition. Coverage suggestions:
· There are four preliminary rounds. The events produce very memorable scenes. Preliminary Sausage Queen rounds will be conducted at:

February 12, 2010, 9:00PM, the Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati.

February 18, 2010, 9:00PM, Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 210 East 8th St., Cincinnati.

February 26, 2010, 9:00PM, Blue Bar, 266 Pike St., Covington.

February 27, 2010, 9:00PM, Milton’s Prospect Hill Tavern, Cincinnati.

March 6, 2010, 8:00PM, Bockfest Hall 1621 Moore St., Cincinnati

· Contestants sign waivers permitting use of their image to promote Bockfest and cameras are welcome at the preliminary competitions and at the Finale.

A panel of "expert" judges (i.e. easily bribed) will determine the best applicant based on the following criteria:

1. Personality: Good traits will include a love of bock beer, a sense of humor, and a taste for meat. The personality round will involve a series of questions posed to the contestants by the judges.
2. Presence: The contestant must look good carrying a sausage and have diva tendencies. The presence round will involve a very short catwalk turn while sporting a string of bockwurst.
3. Talent: Whatever “talent” you think a Sausage Queen should possess is good enough for us.


There is no admission fee.
There is no need for registration prior to the night of the competition (except that the Final Judging will only be open to winning candidates from the preliminary rounds.)
Contestants should register at the venue prior to scheduled start of the competition. Registration form is also available HERE.
The Sausage Queen will rule until the following year’s Bockfest Sausage Queen Competition. It will be virtually impossible to commit any act unbecoming of a sausage queen sufficient to cause revocation of the title.

Contestants must be at least 21 years of age.
Contestants must have an appreciation for bock beer and sausage.
Contestants must be available to compete in the March 7th Final Judging and available for the Bockfest Parade on March 6, 2009. The Queen must not be too much of a diva to show up to these events on time and must be capable and willing to traverse the full parade route.
Contestants must be open-minded and fun. The competition is gender neutral. It is open to all shapes, sizes, and varieties of potential Bockfest royalty.
Manner of dress is up to each contestant.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Celebrates National Margarita Day

On Monday, February 22nd, America will celebrate National Margarita Day, and there will be no better place to take part in the festivities than Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville locations across the country from Key West to Las Vegas to New Orleans.

While the Margarita may have been created in 1948 on the hillsides of Acapulco, it wasn’t perfected until Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville opened in Key West in the 1980’s. Nationwide, the Margaritaville restaurants now serve-up over 2.7 million Margaritas annually, and each Margaritaville location will be blending and pouring record amounts of their famous concoction as they celebrate 25 years of making the famed cocktail.

As part of this year’s celebration, Margaritaville restaurants are encouraging their Facebook fans to participate in a unique contest by submitting their favorite margarita recipes. The best recipes will be determined and selected by the restaurant executive staff and will be served on National Margarita Day at the winner’s location. To become a fan on Facebook: Fans can also help spread the word and countdown the days until National Margarita Day by going to the Margaritaville website or Facebook page and click on the “Share This” link to post the countdown code to your favorite social networking site.

Throughout the day, each location will also be offering distinctive Margarita specials, in addition to providing any patrons who are celebrating a 2/22 birthday with a $22.20 gift certificate to use during their visit. Individuals that are celebrating a 2/22/1922 birthday will receive complimentary food and beverage throughout the entire day!

Lastly, any guests whose name is Margarita or Rita will receive a complimentary bottle of Margaritaville Margarita Mix, simply by showing identification at the restaurant.

All Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville locations


There are currently eight Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurants in the U.S.: Key West, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Panama Beach, Fla.; New Orleans; Las Vegas; Glendale, Ariz.; Mohegan Sun, Conn.; and Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber, all of which include complimentary parking. Additional locations include Jamaica, Cancun, Cozumel, Grand Turk and Grand Cayman, and coming soon, Niagara Falls, Canada. Visit

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fresh Hemp Oil from Manitoba Harvest

People throughout the world are becoming aware that the choices they make regarding culinary oils in their diet can have a profound impact on their health. Omega-rich hemp oil is one of the emerging nutritious oils being sought out by health-minded consumers, as well as foodies seeking flavorful oils that add an interesting flavor, color and texture to recipes. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils™ has announced that they have improved their hemp oil packaging, which features a convenient no-drip spout.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil has a rich nutty flavor and is a nutritious addition to healthy recipes such as salad dressings, soups, sauces, juices and smoothies. You can substitute hemp oil for virtually any other oil in recipes that are not heated above 350º F. Hemp oil can also be drizzled on top of cooked foods for added taste and nutrition. A tasty hemp oil recipe for Hempini Dressing is included below, and more can be found at

“There are six key advantages that hemp oil has over other oils and EFA sources,” says company President and co-founder Mike Fata. “Hemp oil offers the highest level of EFAs of any vegetable source, provides optimal balance between omega-6 and omega-3 EFAs, is a rare source of GLA, contains many other key nutrients beyond the EFAs, has a delicious flavor and culinary versatility, and is derived from sustainable agriculture,” notes Fata. “Many people are seeking to gain their EFAs from delicious functional foods instead of supplement pills,” add Fata.

A summary of hemp seed health and nutrition research presented to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance ( at their annual conference in November 2009 by Kelly Fitzpatrick, M Sc., demonstrates the emerging science behind this superfood. The key points backed by referenced research in her report are:

- Hemp oil contains an extremely healthy fatty acid profile with the highest total level of important essential fatty acids: 55% linolenic acid (LA); and 19% alpha linolenic acid (ALA);

- Hemp oil is a rare plant source of the vital omega-6 EFA gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and another unique omega- fatty acid called stearidonic acid (SDA);

- EFAs, in particular GLA, SDA and ALA, have been shown to reduce the risk of CVD and hypertension by lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure and reducing platelet clotting;

- ALA can reduce the most damaging inflammatory compounds related to CVD. GLA positively affects arthritic symptoms and other inflammatory disorders;

- Hemp oil is very low in saturated fats;

- Omega-6 and omega 3 EFAs work synergistically at the cellular level to ensure effective metabolism. Hemp oil has a 3:1 ratio – the oil closest to an ideal recommended omega 6 and 3 ratio;

- Hemp oil contains antioxidants including natural Vitamin E (tocopherols) at higher levels than other oils;

- Hemp seeds are rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium, and are a very good source of important B vitamins including pantothenic acid, niacin and Vitamins B1, B2 and B6; and

- A variety of phytosterols are found in hemp oil, these substances have a positive effect on blood lipids.

“In addition to its high concentration of omega-3, hemp oil is a rare source of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which is a unique and extremely important Omega-6,” notes Meghan Atkinson CN, a certified nutritionist based in Los Angeles, California. Obtaining GLA in the diet can be challenging. “Other than hemp, there are only 3 significant natural sources of GLA - Evening Primrose, Borage, and Black Courant -and unlike hemp, none of the others are a whole food source with a wide variety of culinary functions,” adds Atkinson. Hemp Oil contains 420mg of GLA in one tablespoon.

To create Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil, hemp seeds are cold pressed to ensure that valuable enzymes are not destroyed and nutrients such as chlorophyll and vitamin E remain intact. Unlike conventional vegetable oil refining, the “FRESH PRESSED™” process used by Manitoba Harvest does not subject the oil to poisonous chemicals or destructive heat. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil is packed in light-resistant bottles that are nitrogen flushed to ensure freshness.

Sales of products from Manitoba Harvest are spreading fast throughout North America and into Europe, Asia and other regions of the world. The need to create packaging that is appealing to a broad world audience is one of the factors that led Manitoba Harvest to refresh their brand look and packaging. The company’s popular line of Hemp Oil has received a new look and more convenient no-drip spout that is sure to attract the growing throngs of consumers that are seeking out healthy hemp foods. “Our fresh new look is designed to appeal to a broader mainstream audience while providing valuable health and nutrition information,” says Fata.

Manitoba Harvest offers two varieties of hemp oil in a variety of sizes of their attractive new packaging: certified organic (8-ounce SRP $9.99; 16-ounce SRP $16.99) and pesticide-free (12-ounce for $9.99; 32-ounce $23.99). Both varieties contain no additives or preservatives, and they are Gluten-Free and Nut-Free.

Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is the world’s largest vertically-integrated, farmer owned hemp food manufacturer. The company strives to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices, and to support sustainable and organic agriculture. Manitoba Harvest is proud to partner with Renewable Choice Energy to reduce their environmental impact through wind power and carbon offsets. For more information, please visit

Monday, February 8, 2010

Skinny Pomegranate Cocktail from Sobieski

Bethanny’s Skinny Girl Margarita is perfect for those who enjoy a refreshing tequila drink but worry about packing on the pounds. Well, vodka lovers are now in luck because renowned NYC mixologist, Jonathan Pogash, created a deliciously healthier alternative to the Cosmopolitan, the Sobieski Skinny Pomegranate Martini.

Made with newly launched Sobieski Cytron Vodka, the perfect pool-side martini contains only 125 calories opposed to 160 in the traditional cosmo, and the refreshingly sweet taste will be sure to impress guests for summer entertaining.

Authentic Polish vodka made from the finest Dankowski Rye with natural citrus flavor, Sobieski Cytron has a bold, succulent taste that leads to a fresh and irresistibly smooth finish.

Skinny Pomegranate Cocktail
(created by Jonathan Pogash)

1 1/2 oz. Sobieski Cytron Vodka
1 oz. Honey Syrup (1:1 honey and water)
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. POM pomegranate juice
Directions: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

More recipes available at

Buca Di Beppo celebrates Valentine's with freechocolate covered strawberries

Italian is the language of love, and this Valentine’s Day Buca di Beppo is offering complimentary chocolate covered strawberries with the purchase of any entrée.

Whether it is a romantic meal for two, or a celebration with your spouse and your children, Buca di Beppo has something for everyone this Valentine’s Day. Traditional dishes, including Lasagna, Fettuccine Alfredo and Chicken Marsala are sure to satisfy. Or try some festive Chicken Carbonara, Linguine Frutti Di Mare or Veal Parmigiana.

Valentine’s Day would not be complete without ending your meal with something sweet so Buca is offering complimentary chocolate covered strawberries with the purchase of any entrée.

Book your Valentine’s Day reservation today by visiting Reservations are recommended.

About Buca di Beppo

Owned and operated by Planet Hollywood International, Inc., with locations from Albany to Honolulu, Buca di Beppo restaurants embody the Italian traditions of food, friendship and hospitality. Dishes enjoyed for generations in villages throughout Italy inspire the menu, which features both Northern and Southern Italian favorites. While the food has pleased millions of palates from coast-to-coast, Buca di Beppo is equally famous for its quirky décor and upbeat atmosphere. Most Buca di Beppo locations are open daily for lunch and dinner. Catering is also available at many locations nationwide. Visit for locations, hours of operation, menus, reservations or to place an online order for Buca To Go.

Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Idea, Oreo Conversation Hearts

The perfect last minute gift, these adorable hand dipped and hand decorated candy heart chocolate covered Oreo cookies come individually wrapped in a cello bag and red ribbon. One of the sweetest features of these cookies is the fun messages inscribed on each heart. Each heart shaped Oreo cookie features 1 of four messages; Text Me, Bite Me, Love You, Or Miss You.

Consumers can order an assortment of messages or hand pick which of the four messages they would like to appear on their Valentine ' s Day cookie gift. According to Margo Rappel, owner and creator of, the cookies are the perfect combination of America ' s favorite cookie meets cupid ' s favorite holiday. This is the modern take on traditional heart shaped sweetheart candies. "The messages are fun and flirty, and who could resist a chocolate covered Oreo of any shape!?, " adds Rappel.

The heart shaped Oreo cookies can be ordered online at ships anywhere within the United States and the gifts can be shipped in as little as 24 hours.

For more edible gift selections, visit

About Edible Gifts Plus

Consumers can shop through hundreds of personalized edible gift selections for any occasion including birthdays, parties, weddings, holidays, and more at From customized fortune cookies to their famous Picture-Pops, every sweet can be hand decorated and personalized for any event.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Creation Event

Laughter and creativity were the orders of the day when Otis Spunkmeyer employees welcomed five wish kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to their corporate offices in late October. The occasion was the second annual Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Creation Event, which honors the company’s support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation—the world’s largest wish-granting organization benefiting children with life-threatening medical conditions. Otis Spunkmeyer has sponsored the charity for the past two years and will do so again in 2010, offering wish cookies for sale from April 15 through June 15, to raise funds.

“A group of inspirational children, a little imagination, and a well-stocked kitchen were all that was needed to make this Wish Kids’ Day a success,” said John Schiavo, president and CEO of Otis Spunkmeyer. “We saw everything from malted balls and chocolate-covered cherries to jelly beans and sour candy used as toppings for our cookies. The best part, however, is being able to bring the inspiration of these wish kids to our employees in San Leandro. It’s a reminder of why we support the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the first place. It’s about people sharing inspiration and hope, no matter what they’re doing.”

Wish kids were welcomed to the Otis Center for Excellence and paired with “chefs” from the Research and Development Lab. Each team was invited to bring its own cookie flavor dream to life by pairing Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough with toppings the kids felt epitomized “their” Otis cookies. It was reminiscent of 2008’s gathering when Karen, a wish kid from the Greater Bay Area chapter, created Karen’s ChocKLeT Heaven Cookie, which became Otis’ official Wish Cookie for 2009. Schiavo said his company would again offer Karen’s cookie, featuring a rich chocolate cookie base topped with turquoise candy-coated chocolates and classic marshmallows, as the Otis Wish Cookie for 2010.

Following the wish cookie limited-time offering last year, Otis Spunkmeyer donated $75,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. To date, the company has contributed a total of $150,000. It also offers a specialty oven and supply of cookie dough to every Make-A-Wish® chapter in the continental United States—bringing the magic of fresh-baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies to local Make-A-Wish events and fundraisers nationwide. Employees at Otis Spunkmeyer World Headquarters and call centers across the country have supported chapters with additional fundraisers, event sponsorships, and participation in local wishes.

“Otis Spunkmeyer and its employees have been great supporters in helping us bring joy to our courageous wish kids,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer. “Even beyond the donations, their interaction with our chapters and wish kids shows how fully they embrace our mission.”

Foodservice operators may request Official ’10 Wish Kits by contacting their Otis representatives, visiting or calling 1-888-ASK-OTIS.

About Otis Spunkmeyer
Otis Spunkmeyer, Inc., a Northern California-based baked-goods manufacturer, markets a trusted brand name in the food and snack industry. With the #1 selling cookie dough in foodservice and a leading muffin brand at retail, the Otis Spunkmeyer brand has come to be recognized by consumers as synonymous with quality baked goods. Otis Spunkmeyer frozen cookie dough, prebaked muffins and cookies, pastries, and other quality baked goods can be found in foodservice and retail outlets throughout the country. For more product information, innovative menu ideas and recipes from Otis Spunkmeyer, visit

About Make-A-Wish Foundation
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 65 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 185,000 wishes in the United States since its inception. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.

New Organic Pomegranate Powder

The crimson fruit from the pomegranate tree has been revered as a delicacy and medicine by ancient Persian and Mediterranean cultures for many centuries. In modern times, scientific research has begun to demonstrate the many health merits of this delicious superfruit. As awareness of the health benefits of superfruits like pomegranate continues to grow, so does consumer demand. In response, organic superfoods leader Navitas Naturals ( has announced a new organic freeze-dried Pomegranate Powder that is easy to add to recipes.

The Power of Pomegranate
The pomegranate fruit has been found to contain a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, with especially notable amounts of vitamin C and potassium. This superfruit is also a powerful source of antioxidant phytoestrogens, ellagic acid, polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory essential amino acids. Among the most important effects of this collection of nutrients is the ability to inhibit free radicals, which are attributed to disease and aging.

New findings published in the January, 2010 edition of Cancer Prevention Research indicate that pomegranates contain phytochemicals including ellagic acid that may reduce the risk that women will develop hormone-dependent breast cancers. Previous research has indicated that the oil from the pomegranate seed has been proven effective against the proliferation of breast cancer cells in vitro.

Pomegranate’s contribution to cardiovascular health has also been widely celebrated. The juice of the pomegranate has been shown to be effective at reducing heart disease risk factors including: LDL oxidation; macrophage oxidative status; and foam cell formation (important components of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease). Pomegranate juice has also been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure (inhibiting the serum angiotensin-converting enzyme), may inhibit viral infections, and can also have antibacterial effects against dental plaque. New research presented at the Malta Polyphenols Conference in October 2009 also indicates that pomegranates may also ease menopausal symptoms and discomfort.

Offered in a 8-ounce re-sealable package for $21.99, Navitas Naturals Pomegranate Powder is 100% freeze dried and certified organic, kosher, vegan and raw. The fruit of the pomegranate tree is one of the most distinctive in the world. It has a crimson colored rind that contains hundreds of ruby-like juicy seeds and white pith. One of the oldest known fruits, pomegranates are native to the ancient regions of Persia.

From a health perspective, Navitas Naturals Pomegranate Powder is powerful; however, its flavor is quite the opposite. Pomegranate’s mild fruity flavor makes it easy to incorporate into a wide variety of recipes. Just a spoonful or two stirred into juice or tea, or blended into a smoothie is an easy way to gain energizing and essential nutrients. Navitas Naturals Pomegranate Powder can also be enjoyed in desserts such as chocolate pudding or truffles, and it can serve as a superfood boost to homemade energy bars. Below is a recipe for the Pomegranate Strawberry Margarita by, and many more Pomegranate ideas can be found at

Navitas Naturals’ mission is to provide premium organic power foods that increase energy and enhance health. The award-winning company’s products are of the highest quality, and are sourced directly from farmers that cultivate their crops in a sustainable manner and in accordance with fair trade practices. “We look to the past for inspiration,” says Zach Adelman, founder and President of Navitas Naturals. “Our products come from ancient cultures around the world where they are traditionally used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.” For more information, please visit

Chocolate & Vanilla for Valentine's Day

People are constantly looking for inexpensive, meaningful ways to recognize their colleagues and loved ones – whether it is a co-worker, boss, parent or friend. Home-baked treats are the perfect alternative to costly gifts, but many home bakers feel they lack the skills to create delicious desserts. Sarah Levy, Chicago Pastry Chef and owner of Sarah’s Pastries & Candies, gives tips, instructions and advice in her new cookbook, Sweetness.

Sweetness is lined page after page with delectable treats, many featuring the classic dessert ingredient – vanilla. Vanilla is featured in recipes such as Mom’s Almond Moon Cookies, Amy’s Amazing Carrot Cupcakes and Vanilla Bean Chocolate Truffles.

Sarah recommends her hometown vanilla specialist, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. “Vanilla extract is simply indispensable. I just love the Nielsen-Massey brand,” Levy said.

Nielsen-Massey uses a proprietary cold extraction process which gently coaxes the maximum flavor possible from the beans. The result is a sweet, creamy, mellow Pure Vanilla that is an excellent ingredient for general cooking and baking

Nielsen-Massey is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, which makes Nielsen-Massey and Levy a perfect match.

Rafael’s Righteous Cream Cheese Brownies
Courtesy of Sweetness cookbook

2 sticks (16 T) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
¾ cup unsweetened chocolate (Sarah recommends Valrhona or Callebaut)
3 cups, divided Granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
6 large, divided whole eggs, warmed to room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Sarah recommends Nielsen-Massey brand)
2 ½ packages (1 LB 4oz) cream cheese, warmed to room temperature

Preheat oven to 300ºF.
Melt together the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Using a whisk, blend 2 cups of sugar and the salt into the chocolate-butter mixture.
Slowly add 4 of the eggs to the mixture, 1 at a time.
In 3 separate batches, add in the flour.
Add the vanilla.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a mixing bowl (if using a hand mixer), beat together the cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar until smooth (about 2 minutes), and then add the remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time. (For the step, it is best to use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, but you can use a regular mixing bowl and a hand mixer if necessary.)
Measure out 1 ½ cups of the chocolate mixture and set aside to use as a topping.
Pour the remaining chocolate mixture into the greased 9 x 13-inch pans.
Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate mixture.
Fill the piping bag fitted with the #804 tip with the reserved chocolate mixture. Pipe lines along the width of the brownies, about 1 inch apart.
Run the paring knife through the length of the brownies (in the opposite direction of the piped lines you created), creating a pretty streaking effect. You can also use the knife to make “swirls” of whatever design you would like.
Bake at 300ºF for 60 minutes. Cool completely in the pans. After they cool completely at room temperature, refrigerate them in the pans for at least 4 to 5 hours before slicing.

Makes about 36 brownies

About Sweetness
Sarah Levy has been making great-tasting treats her whole life – and since 2005, when she opened her first shop in Chicago, she’s been sharing her love for great baked goods, candies and other sweets with the world. Now, in her first book, she’s bringing her expertise to home bakers who hunger to make their own bakery-quality treats. Sarah's warm personality, step-by-step instructions and vibrant color photos make this the perfect addition to the bookshelf of both budding chefs and seasoned pros.

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100-year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Beans and Powder.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also carries a line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are certified Kosher and gluten-free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.