Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blue Angel Vodka comes to the Bluegrass State

Master distiller and “Father of Modern-day Vodka” Maurice Kanbar is bringing his ultra-premium Blue Angel Vodka to Kentucky as part of the brand’s national expansion. After successful launches in Texas, Florida, Missouri, New York, Louisiana and New Jersey, Blue Angel is unleashing a full-market push in the Bluegrass State.

For the creation of Blue Angel, Kanbar took vodka distillation to a new level by using select American grain, pure water and a proprietary evolution of his world-renowned distillation process that made his first spirits venture a household name. The result? “Once you experience the soft taste and terrific finish of Blue Angel,” Kanbar says, “you’ll swear it’s been aged for five years.”

A prolific inventor, entrepreneur and thinker, Kanbar has more than thirty patents and numerous products to his credit; an ardent and generous philanthropist, the film school at New York University bears his name. In a June cover story in Inventors Digest, author Mike Drummond says, “Kanbar seems to have a Midas touch. He’s enjoyed success with many, if not most, of the various products he’s invented.”

Although relatively new to the market, Blue Angel has already made a splash, offering discerning consumers an unmatched, ultra-premium vodka comparable to high-priced European imports. But unlike other super-premiums, which can cost $40 or more per 750ml bottle, Blue Angel’s pricing pits it competitively against the ultra-premium vodkas on the market. In persistently challenging economic times, Blue Angel introduces Kentucky to a delightful—affordable—luxury.

Blue Angel is already becoming established in Kentucky with distribution through Southern Wine & Spirits and is carried at fine retailers throughout the state. Vodka connoisseurs and purists should call for the BAM—the Blue Angel Martini—to enjoy one of the most stringent tests of the vodka’s taste, mouth feel and finish.

“We’re delighted to roll out Blue Angel in Kentucky,” says Blue Angel COO James Eason. “Blue Angel is the right vodka at exactly the right time: luxury accessible to more discerning consumers. We’re looking forward to showcasing the best in American-made vodka and our signature Blue Angel Martini--the ‘BAM’.” Blue Angel has also formulated its own blue curaçao for making the BLUE BAM—a blue-hued variant of the BAM.

About Blue Angel Spirits, LLC

Blue Angel Spirits, LLC is an independent producer and marketer of “best-in-class” distilled spirit products, headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Blue Angel Spirits brands include Blue Angel Ultra Premium Vodka, Blue Angel Curacao and Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream liqueurs. Blue Angel’s company founder, Maurice Kanbar, is a prolific inventor, author, film producer and business entrepreneur with tremendous success in building world-class distilled spirits brands. For additional information please visit Please drink responsibly.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Festive Edible Arrangements Products for 2010 Holiday Season

Edible Arrangements has designed the perfect solution for perplexed holiday gift-givers and party planners. From snowmen and sleighs to majestic Stars of David and New Year’s count-down fun, Edible Arrangements’ holiday-themed bouquets of fruit offer festive centerpieces and dazzling seasonal gifts. I can supply you with images that inspire an unforgettable autumn meal with the fruits and flavors of the harvest season and visuals that ring in the New Year with a display of delicious fresh fruit.

· Fruit Festival® with Cinnamon Chocolate Apple Wedges – The Fruit Festival arrangement features a combination of fresh strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes and pineapple daisies all arranged with apple wedges hand-dipped in gourmet chocolate and cinnamon.
· Delicious Fruit Design® Ceramic Pumpkin Keepsake – Give thanks in style with a beautiful pumpkin ceramic keepsake container blossoming with a mouthwatering selection of juicy strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes and our signature pineapple daisies.

· Hanukkah Celebration™ – Bring the twinkling stars of Hanukkah to your table centerpieces with this seasonal selection of strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew and grapes. The Hanukkah Celebration arrangement is topped off with golden pineapple daisies and Stars of David.
· Hanukkah Party™ – Celebrate the Festival of Lights with a festival of fruit! This extraordinary selection of fruit boasts fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, and grapes all sprinkled with pineapple daisies and Stars of David.

· Delicious Fruit Design® Ceramic Snowman Keepsake – Add a touch of holiday cheer to your seasonal parties with an arrangement of strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple daisies all arranged in a jolly ceramic snowman keepsake container that is sure to spread holiday joy for years to come.
· Starry Sleighride™ with Dipped Pineapple – Whether you’re looking to dress your holiday table or give a special gift, the Starry Sleighride will capture the magic of the season with a bountiful selection of strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew and grapes. Pineapple stars and daisies are hand-dipped in gourmet chocolate.

· Delicious Party® with Edible Numbers – Overflowing with sweet strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes and pineapple daisies, the Delicious Party arrangement is complete with numbered pineapple cutouts celebrating the year to come.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sur La Table Reports on Knife Sales Trends & Introduces Innovative New Knife Line

Seattle-based Sur La Table, the premier retailer for creative cooking and artful entertaining, reports on current cutlery sales trends. As consumers continue to cook and entertain more at home they are investing in quality kitchenware gear to enhance their experience. Professional chefs have always known that a sharp knife is the most indispensible tool in the kitchen, now, more than ever before, home cooks are outfitting their kitchens with professional-quality cutlery.

Open-stock cutlery continues to trend ahead of sets; however, set sales have increased during the past few years as the company continues to introduce new collections. In terms of blade popularity, the Santoku blade, which is frequently featured on cooking shows and hyped by popular on-air personalities, out-performed the Chef’s knife for a number of years. The Santoku craze seems to have diminished slightly and is now neck-in-neck with Chef’s knife sales. The two shapes are used for the same fundamental purpose: chopping, dicing and mincing.

High-end brands consistently sell better than the lower-end brands. Japanese knives continue to grow in popularity. Often more exotic in design, Japanese blades are crafted with high-tech steels that stay sharp longer. Narrower edge angles also make for cleaner, thinner cutting. Innovation is one of the most important drivers of the consistently growing cutlery sales trend. More innovation has taken place in the past five years than in the previous 30, both in terms of materials and construction as well as blade shapes. With greater competition and advancement in technologies, manufacturers are becoming more innovative.

As a leader in the cutlery-world, consumers, manufacturers and other retailers look to Sur La Table for inspiration. It was the first national retailer in the United States to introduce Shun to consumers and is frequently sought out by manufacturers to launch new brands and products. In the past few years the company introduced Shun Premier, Wusthof Emeril Professional, Wusthof Ikon Blackwood, J.A. Henckels Limited-Edition 1731 Collection along with many others. The latest innovative cutlery lines to be introduced by Sur La Table are Miyabi Fusion and Miyabi Birchwood.

In Japan, Miyabi is regarded as one of the most premium knife brands among the finest chefs. Sur La Table launched the new Miyabi Fusion line in June; Miyabi Birchwood SG2 will be available in September 2010. “Miyabi Fusion is one of the most innovative cutlery lines we have ever created. The first line to merge German and Japanese design and technology, this line brings the consumer the best of both worlds,” states Jacob Maurer, Vice President of Merchandising for Sur La Table. Maurer, along with members of his team, traveled to Japan to help develop Miyabi Fusion, an exclusive collection developed in conjunction with Chef Masaharu Morimoto. The goal was to blend the best of Eastern and Western knife-making traditions: the advanced steel construction, edge performance and thin sharp cutting edge of Japanese cutlery blended with western blade shapes and sizes and a handle designed for comfort for both left- and right-handed cooks.

Miyabi Fusion consists of forged 65-layer construction—a core of VG10 “super steel” clad on either side with 32 layers of special stainless steel, ice hardened for toughness, flexibility and corrosion resistance, and finished by master craftsmen using traditional honbazuke blade honing technique. Each knife features an extremely hard and lasting edge, optimally sharpened to 9.5 – 12 degree angles on each side. A graceful Damascus pattern exposes the meticulously layered steel and our exclusive rounded spine and blade heel are gentler on fingers and hands. Beautiful and ultra-durable full-tang, triple riveted composite handles are equally comfortable for right and left-handed cooks and feature eye-catching red accents.

Miyabi Birchwood SG2 knives are the embodiment of the beauty of sharpness, made in the tradition of Japanese swords. According to Maurer, “Miyabi Birchwood is a truly unique collection in terms of materials and design. The handles are hand-crafted from natural Masur Birchwood, each having a different grain pattern and a striking contrast to the 101 layer SG2 Damascus blade. For the blade we chose a "flower" pattern Damascus because we felt it shows off the layering in an impressive way. The best part is these knives are every bit as functional as they are beautiful: the wood handle feels warm and smooth in your hand and the blade's sharpness and edge-retention qualities are unmatched.” Each knife is hand-finished in the honbazuke style with a true cutting edge in the factory in Seki, Japan. The Birchwood handle has delicately rippled patterns enhanced by dark streaks and lines.

“Buying a knife is a little like buying shoes: You have to try it out to know how it fits.”—Sarah Jay, Knives Cooks Love. Knowing the importance of finding the right knife, Sur La Table outfits its stores with testing in mind. Highly educated sales staff guide customers through the extensive selection and allow them to test drive different brands and styles. Consumers interest in cutlery slices into classroom time as well. Demand for honing basic skills and learning fundamental cuts continues to grow. Sur La Table’s Knife Skills class remains in the top-selling category throughout the country. All retail locations offer knife sharpening services; complimentary sharpening services are offered to its customers twice a year. Maurer continues to drive innovation, assortment and exclusivity as key elements of the company’s collection.

T.G.I. Friday's Partners with SPCA Cincinna

T.G.I. Friday’s

T.G.I. Friday’s will partner with SPCA Cincinnati for the month of August to provide pet food, toys, and other necessities to the humane society. Each guest who donates an item will receive a free appetizer coupon for T.G.I. Friday’s. The SPCA mobile adoption truck will park in each T.G.I. Friday’s location to have guests enjoy meeting the animals of the humane society throughout the month! Further details are attached in the news release.

August 2010

Locations Include: Hyde Park, Tylersville, Western Hills, Northgate, Fields Ertel, Tri County, Kenwood and Beechmont

Celebrate "National Relaxation Day" on 8/15 with Panda All Natural Licorice

Licorice root has been used for centuries in natural medicine to help improve the body’s resistance to physical and emotional stress. Reported to support the adrenal system and help calm the nerves during stressful situations, licorice was the pre-battle snack of choice for Napoleon. Thanks to Panda All-Natural Licorice, you don’t have to be a world-famous general to enjoy the taste and benefits of licorice root on National Relaxation Day, August 15, or any day of the year.

The original “black” variety of Panda Licorice contains licorice root extract and only three other ingredients: molasses, wheat flour and aniseed oil. Panda Licorice also contains no fat, preservatives, or artificial flavoring / coloring. So in addition to the distinctively delicious taste, this premium soft-eating licorice satisfies without adding to the stress bad food choices can cause.

Celebrate this year’s National Relaxation Day on August 15 by putting your mind at ease while stimulating your taste buds with the all-natural calming power and simple ingredients of Panda All Natural Licorice. Panda Licorice is available at natural food stores and select traditional grocery and drug stores. For more information about Panda Licorice or to locate a retailer near you, visit or

About Panda Licorice
Based in Finland, Panda has a long tradition of licorice know-how since it began delighting customers with the sweet in 1927. Since its debut in the U.S. in 1977, Panda still ranks as the first all natural licorice and one of the top selling confectionery products in the natural food industry. Its success within the natural food industry has helped Panda Licorice expand its presence into other retail outlets. Panda All Natural Licorice is distributed by InterNatural Foods, LLC and World Finer Foods. To check availability at a store near you, visit or information is also available at Become a fan on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @PandaLicoriceUS.

Icewine & Majestic Views to Highlight Day Trip to Niagara Region

Situated one hour west of Toronto, the Niagara Region is a true Canadian treasure featuring a bounty of orchards, vineyards, vegetable farms, and world class wineries. It is also home to a celebrated Canadian destination--Niagara Falls.

Join your fellow DiRōNA conference attendees on a tour of the heart of the Niagara Region, including a special culinary and wine experience at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, an internationally-recognized centre for horticulture science. Hosted by renowned Canadian winemaker Donald Ziraldo, the day will feature fine foods and regional wines prepared by local celebrity chefs in an intimate setting. The adventure will come to a close with a private reception at the Hilton Niagara Fallsview where participants will be treated to Canadian cheeses, renowned icewines and a spectacular view of the legendary falls.

And the best part? This unforgettable Niagara excursion is included with your registration to the 20th Annual DiRōNA Conference!

Donald Ziraldo

About Donald Ziraldo
Donald Ziraldo has been a driving force in bringing Ontario wines, agriculture, and regional cuisine to the international stage. He co-founded Inniskillin Winery in 1975 and has dedicated himself to producing the highest quuality icewines ever since. Perhaps more than any other person, his efforts have helped put Canadian winemaking on the map. In 1999, National Post Business Magazine chose Ziraldo as one of the top twenty-five Canadian CEOs of the century. He also co-authored the book Ice wine: Extreme Winemaking in 2007, and has recieved numerous national and international honors

Free Sweet Tea for Cincinnati on July 29

Free Sweet Tea for Cincinnati on July 29

McAlister’s Deli

McAlister’s Deli is celebrating Free Sweet Tea day in Cincinnati on July 29. Go to any Cincinnati-area McAlisters and receive a a free, 32 oz. glass of McAlister’s famous Sweet Tea all day long – no purchase necessary.

July 29, 2010

McAlister’s Deli locations throughout Cincinnati

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time to Bake! The Hershey Company Celebrates the Season with Cookie Exchange Community

This holiday season, The Hershey Company is offering baking enthusiasts the essentials for holiday entertaining needs and hosting cookie exchanges at According to a recent survey, three out of four Americans plan to bake cookies during the holiday season.* As a result, Hershey has created a community for holiday hosts to enjoy and share delicious cookie recipes and photos with each other, as well as find tasty cookie recipes and cookie exchange tips from Hershey’s Kitchens. To sweeten their baking efforts, each person who visits the site between December 15 and January 15 can enter the Bake Share and Win™ promotion, which will reward one lucky grand prize winner with the ultimate baking gift – a kitchen makeover for themselves and for a friend. Visitors to can also apply to host one of 1,000 Hershey’s Cookie Exchanges.

“ is the ultimate resource for holiday hosts this year,” said baking expert Linda Stahl, Hershey’s Kitchens. “We’ve created a community where holiday entertaining enthusiasts can find and share recipes, connect about holiday baking traditions and be rewarded for their work to make holiday memories for friends and family through their baking efforts.” The Ultimate Baking Resource
Let Hershey help plan your party this holiday season. Linda Stahl, head of Hershey’s Kitchens, will share her advice through a blog inspired by her years of expertise as a baker and her personal experiences as a mother, grandmother and home entertainer. In addition to Linda’s blog, Hershey’s Kitchens recipes and cookie exchange tips, provides holiday hosts the opportunity to share their own favorite recipes and photos with each other. The combination of Hershey’s hundred plus years of expertise and the extensive consumer knowledge available makes the site the ultimate destination for cookie exchange enthusiasts, nationwide.

Plus, who can host a cookie exchange without classics like Peanut Butter Blossoms – the rich peanut butter cookie topped with a single Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolate? The site abounds with recipes featuring must-have baking ingredients including Hershey’s Kisses Brand Chocolates, Hershey’s Cocoa, Hershey’s Syrup and Hershey’s Baking Chips. In addition to the classic recipes that have become a part of many holiday traditions, also features new favorites including Reese’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies, the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter and Chocolate Dipped Toffee Bits Cookies – a cookie dipped in melted Hershey’s Mini Kisses Milk Chocolates for an extra chocolate finish.

Bake Share and Win Promotion
‘Tis the season for sharing and Hershey understands it’s nice to both give and to receive! This year, each person who visits can enter the Bake Share and Win promotion. Entrants have the chance to win a grand prize of two $10,000 kitchen makeovers and 10 runners-up will receive two premium standing mixers. With each prize rewarded as a set, the winners can keep one and share another as a gift for a friend! Consumers can visit December 15, 2010 through January 15, 2011 for a chance to enter.

Hershey’s Cookie Exchange Parties
To help get the season started right, Hershey is offering consumers a sweet opportunity to host one of 1,000 cookie exchanges. Consumers can visit from October 4 to November 15 to apply for the chance to host a Hershey’s Cookie Exchange. If chosen, they will receive an event pack complete with the necessary ingredients to host the ultimate cookie exchange – Hershey’s baking products, party favors, a hostess gift and recipe booklets to share with guests.

About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and more than 12,000 employees. With revenues of more than $5 billion, Hershey offers such iconic brands as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers as well as the smooth, creamy indulgence of Hershey’s Bliss chocolates. Hershey is a leader in the fast-growing dark and premium chocolate segment, with such brands as Hershey’s Special Dark and Hershey’s Extra Dark. In addition, Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company, markets such premium chocolate offerings as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba. For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where we live, work and do business. The Milton Hershey School, established by the company’s founder in 1909, provides a nurturing environment, quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. The School is administered by the Hershey Trust Company, Hershey’s largest shareholder, making the students of Milton Hershey School direct beneficiaries of Hershey’s success. Please visit us at

Monday, July 26, 2010

New At Morton's Cincinnati

Those familiar with this blog know that we only do reviews or make notes on things that we actually get sent to us to review in person. We were fortunate enough to be invited to the Morton’s in downtown Cincinnati to try some of their new menu items (see post of July 7.)

I took my friend, also named Steve, who is a big foodie and extremely honest. We were brought five appetizers:

1. Crab Cake BLTs bar bite:
Three 1.5-ounce mini crab cakes served on mini burger buns with mustard mayonnaise and topped with lettuce, tomato and crispy bacon.

This was a hit. The crabmeat was sweet and the little cake had a nice caramelized top to give it a little crunch. The bacon was indeed crispy, but didn’t have much flavor. But that’s OK as the crab cake is what should shine on this dish anyway. The buns were soft and we felt this worked very well.

2. Prime Beef Sliders.
The inspiration for the previous dish, this really is a much more difficult dish to pull off. As simple as a slider sounds, it is very difficult to not produce a miniature hockey puck for the burger. Indeed while all the flavors meshed well, two of the three burgers were dry/overcooked.

3. Smoked Salmon Pizza bar bite:
Smoked salmon with capers and purple onion layered on a warm crust with dill and sour cream.
Honestly, I really don’t like salmon at all, but found this to be an edible dish as the fish was quite mild. I found it to have a few too many capers, but my foodie friend enjoyed it immensely. Again, considering I don’t like salmon, if you do, you should really enjoy it.

4. Steak Fries side dish:
A new version of an old Morton’s favorite, tweaked a bit to keep things interesting.
Basically the fries were topped with blue cheese and some peppery spices. I found the blue cheese a bit overwhelming as did my friend, but said that dipping them in ketchup actually improved the taste for him.

5. Onion Rings side dish or appetizer:
Ten ounces of crispy deliciousness, served in a hot baker’s dish with Thai cream sauce and ketchup on the side.
The Thai sauce is the new addition here. There was one reception lukewarm and one reception enthusiastic to the sauce, but two very hearty receptions for the rings themselves.

We were seated in Bar 12•21 which like every eating establishment in the Queen City is thankfully smoke free. The service was superb and management went out of their way to answer any and all questions as well as make our experience enjoyable.

Definitely check out the happy hour at 12•21 as the dishes mentioned here are discounted substantially around the end of the workday. So if you can’t stay for a dry aged steak, you can bring your friends after work and gorge on the great new variety of small bite delicacies!

Good Earth Expands Beyond Beverages

Good Earth, a Tata Global Beverages brand best known for its premium, all-natural teas, is expanding into the food category with a line of shelf-stable meals inspired by the Good Earth Restaurants via a licensing agreement with General Mills. General Mills’ popular Restaurant Favorites brand is adding Good Earth to its roster of great-tasting, high-quality dry dinner kits, which includes licenses with Wanchai Ferry and Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

In keeping with the reputation of their licensed namesake, the Good Earth Restaurant Favorites meals will feature 100% whole grain pastas and rices, no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors and zero grams trans fats. Four meal varieties – Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp, Herb Crusted Chicken, Mediterranean Chicken, and Tuscan Chicken – began hitting shelves in June.

“These easy-to-make, alternative dinner kits are a natural fit for Good Earth,” said Deborah Glasser, Marketing Director at Tata Global Beverages. “Our consumers want nutritious options with delicious taste, and they get that with Good Earth teas. Now they can get that with Good Earth dinner kits as well.”

“The new Restaurant Favorites Good Earth dinner kits allow home cooks to prepare a wholesome, customizable entree with premium ingredients and restaurant quality taste,” says Ari Zainuddin, marketing manager, Restaurant Favorites Good Earth.

Restaurant Favorites Good Earth meals will be available in the dry dinner aisle for a suggested retail price of $4.79. For more information about Good Earth, visit; for more about Restaurant Favorites, visit

About Good Earth
Part of the Tata Group, the largest India-headquartered multinational in North America, Good Earth is dedicated to brewing goodness into each and every cup of their delicious, premium all-natural teas, ensuring a purity and authenticity in a wide variety of blends. One of the first American herbal companies and a leader in specialty tea, Good Earth Teas brings full flavored, healthy teas from around the world to the U.S. The Tata Group also includes award-winning Eight O'Clock Coffee and Tetley Tea. On Facebook: On Twitter: @GoodEarthTea

About Restaurant Favorites
Restaurant Favorites is a line of shelf-stable dinner kits to which consumers add their own fresh chicken or seafood to create a quick, easy and delicious restaurant-inspired dinner. In addition to the Good Earth name, you can find Wanchai Ferry Asian-inspired dinner kits and Romano’s Macaroni Grill Italian-inspired dinner kits.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Craft spirits and Old World winery open in Columbus with tours

Along with rich arts, fashion and culinary offerings, Columbus visitors now can experience the city's first microdistillery at Middle West Sprits in the Short North Arts District. And just a few miles south, Via Vecchia Winery has just opened in the city’s historic Brewery District. Both offer tours, tastings and retail sales, as well as an intriguing look into how wine and spirits are made. These newcomers join popular artisan breweries -- Columbus Brewing Company and Elevator Brewing Company –and Camelot Cellars winery.

Business partners Ryan Lang and Brady Konya launched the state's first artisan distillery after meeting and discovering they shared a dream. Lang comes from four generations of distillers from Pennsylvania, including his grandmother who was jailed for bootlegging during Prohibition. Middle West's first product, OYO Vodka, is receiving rave reviews, even when compared with some of the priciest vodkas on the market. The small-batch artisan beverage is crafted from a mash made of carefully selected soft winter wheat from nearby Findlay, Ohio. Pronounced oh-WHY-oh, OYO is the Native American word for Ohio. Middle West plans to soon be distilling whiskey, rum and other unique spirits.

Via Vecchia, or, "the old way" in Italian, lives up to its name, as partners Paolo Rosi, Marty Huster and Mike Elmer use a heritage process derived from Rosi's family roots in Tuscany, where he comes from a long line of vintners. Already opened, Via Vecchia Winery will celebrate a Grand Opening in time for the fall grape harvest. The winery crushes grapes on site for winemaking, offer tours and tastings of its unique selection of red wines and serves a light selection of antipasto. Currently, the winery is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. for tastings and tours, though hours may soon be expanded. Via Vecchia also hosts special events and weddings.

“We want to involve our guests in the entire process, everything from grape crushing to bottling, corking and labeling the wine," said Rossi. "Wine is meant to be an experience.”

Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital city is known for its unique style: an uncommon blend of neighborhoods, events, attractions and accommodations. Free visitors guides, maps and complete information about visiting Columbus are available at or by calling 1-866-397-2657 (1-866-EXP-COLS). The website offers on-line booking at more than 125 hotels.

Nothing Says "Happy National Cheesecake Day" Like an Ohio Cheesecake

National Cheesecake Day is quickly approaching on July 30, and what could be a better way to celebrate than by cooking up an award-winning cheesecake recipe from From Buckeye Cheesecake to Cappuccino Fudge, and Key Lime to Apple Streusel, all chefs are sure to find a cake to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

“Preparing an Ohio cheesecake is a fun and delicious way to celebrate National Cheesecake Day,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president for the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA). “It also provides a great opportunity to highlight the Ohio farmers who produce the egg and dairy products used in cheesecake.”

The website,, features award-winning recipes and photos from the Ohio State Fair’s annual “Smile and Say, Cheesecake!” contest. The 2010 “Smile and Say, Cheesecake!” contest will take place on National Cheesecake Day from 9-10 a.m. on July 30 at the Ohio State Fair.

OPA and the American Dairy Association Mideast launched the website in May to share cheesecake recipes and also offer facts about Ohio’s egg and dairy farmers, as well as baking tips on how to make the perfect cheesecake.

One Ohio cheesecake contains at least four Ohio eggs, and one egg provides 13 essential nutrients with only about 75 calories. Eggs are also an excellent source of choline and selenium and a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin B 12, phosphorus and riboflavin. Research shows that including three daily servings of milk, cheese or yogurt every day helps meet the daily needs of calcium and other nutrients which may help reduce the risk of diseases such as osteoporosis and hypertension.

In addition to the nutrition benefits that eggs provide, the sector is also a top economic-contributor to the state. Ohio ranks second in the nation in egg production, just behind Iowa, and the state’s egg farmers produce more than seven billion eggs each year with a total retail value of more than $585 million. Ohio’s dairy farms produce nearly five billion pounds of milk each year, ranking Ohio 11th nationally in the amount of milk produced and first in Swiss cheese production.

For more information about Ohio’s poultry or dairy sectors, please visit or

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beemster Goes Pink to Fight Breast Cancer: Toast Your Glass andPair Your Cheese

October signifies a time for individuals and products alike to rally in the fight against breast cancer by going pink. Beemster, the only official cheese sponsor, will be going pink for the second year in a row by partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

It’s time to toast your wine glasses to this empowering movement while pairing your cheese accordingly!

The limited edition Pink Ribbon Vlaskaas cheese will be available from September 15 through October 31, and for every pound sold, Beemster, will donate 50 cents to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. After donating $23,308 in 2009, the Gourmet Dutch company is pledging a minimum of $25,000 in 2010 and has set a goal of $40,000.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cooking Channel’s Ice Cream Truck Tour With Some Of The Network’s Biggest Stars Rolls Into Cincinnati This Friday!

The newly launched Cooking Channel has created a one-of-a-kind ice cream truck to satisfy fans’ cravings for summer’s most delicious ice cream flavors. Visitors to the ice cream truck tour stop will be treated to a scoop or two of their favorite flavor and in some cities get a taste of the on-air talent when they meet the stars of Chuck’s Day Off, Everyday Exotic, FoodCrafters and more!

“After Cooking Channel’s successful launch, we wanted to celebrate with fans across the country with ice cream, a summertime favorite,” says Susie Fogelson, SVP Marketing, Creative Services & Brand Strategy at Food Network and Cooking Channel. “Along the way, in the spirit of what Cooking Channel is all about, we are partnering with local ice cream shops to give them the recognition they deserve within their communities. Visitors can also indulge in finding out more of what Cooking Channel is all about from some of the stars themselves. The idea is to engage and have fun with food people from the chefs to the enthusiastic eaters to the bloggers town by town.”

After a New York City kick-off at the Chelsea Market and the New York FoodFilm Festival, the truck will make cameo appearances at local Farmers Markets around the country. Mark your calendars for this cool treat!

(Dates and locations subject to change)

June 25-26 New York
July 1 Boston
July 4 Washington D.C.
July 17 Atlanta
July 19 Knoxville
July 20 Nashville
July 23 Cincinnati
July 28 Philadelphia
July 31- August 1 Atlantic City
September 4-5 Los Angeles
September 7 San Francisco
September 11 San Diego
September 19 Dallas
September 21 New Orleans
September 25 Chicago
October 7- 10 New York

Check out, Cooking Channel ‘s Facebook page and to see the most up to date tour schedule, tune in information for the hottest shows, and information on the coolest chefs.

COOKING CHANNEL ( is an entertainment brand dedicated to today’s passionate food lover. For food people, by food people, Cooking Channel is the answer to a growing hunger for more content devoted to food and cooking in every dimension from global cuisines to international travel, history and unconventional how-to’s. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Food Network (, HGTV (, DIY Network ( and Great American Country (, is the manager and general partner.

Truffles will Share Spotlight with Famed Chef at Conference Gala

Attendees to this year's DiRōNA conference will have the good fortune of being treated to not just one of our Galas, but two--and one man will be at the center of them both. The evening before his induction into the DiRōNA Hall of Fame at this year's Grand Gala on September 22, famed Vancouver chef Pino Posteraro will be hard at work demonstrating his worthiness of such an honor.

On September 21, Chef Posteraro and his team will prepare an incredible Gala dinner of their own. The best part? All seven courses at this incredible event will utilize one of the world's most renowned delicacies--truffles! Urbani of Italy will be generously providing $70,000 worth of winter and summer truffles for the Gala. By itself, this dinner would cost patrons hundreds of dollars per person. However, thanks to Urbani of Italy and Chef Posteraro, it is included with your DiRōNA conference registration.

Thousands of dollars in truffles prepared by an award winning chef ... this is an event not to be missed!

About Chef Posteraro
Giussepe (Pino) Posteraro was born in Lago, Italy in 1964. He studied in Europe with Armando Zanetti and worked in several well-known restaurants in Europe and Singapore before moving to Canada. In 1999, Posteraro opened Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill, providing Vancouver with an outstanding Italian-Mediterranean restaurant. Posteraro has garnered many awards over the years, including winner of the 2007 Vancouver Gold Medal Plates, 2008 Vancouver Magazine's Chef of the Year and 2009 Restaurant of the Year. Posteraro has also been inducted into the Italian Cultural Centre Hall of Fame and the Gold Medal Plates Hall of Fame.

In recognition of his achievements, Chef Posteraro will be inducted into the DiRōNA Hall of Fame at this year's Grand Gala ceremony.

New Low-Calorie Relaxation Aid Hits the Market in Spring/Summer 2010

Consumers looking for a great-tasting, low-calorie relaxation aid to complement their busy lifestyles can find the solution in Frontier Beverage Co.'s (OTC Bulletin Board: FBEC) Unwind™, launching this spring/summer.

"Unwind™ provides a light, refreshing flavor for whenever you deserve a moment of relaxation without the sedating effects of pharmaceuticals or alcohol," said Terry Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Beverage Co. "After receiving rave reviews from consumers that tested our product within the Memphis, TN, market, we are confident that the relaxation category is a strong contender in the 'New Age' sector of the beverage industry."

With a slogan of "Tired of Being Wired," Unwind offers consumers a way to settle down at the end of a hard day with a relaxation blend to suit every lifestyle. Unwind is currently available in Citrus Orange in a 16 oz. can via and, in mid-summer 2010, will be available in three lightly-carbonated flavors, Goji Grape, Pom Berry, and Citrus Orange, all in sleek 12 oz. cans containing a mere 40 calories and only 10 grams of sugar each.

"Relaxation beverages received a boost in initial awareness when they were named a top trend for 2010 by both 'Good Morning America' and 'The View,'" said Harris. "Unwind takes this trend to the next level by allowing consumers to relax and renew themselves with each serving, providing a soothing experience for both the mind and body."

Melatonin, valerian root, rose hips and passion flower provide Unwind with its calming properties. These items, which can all be found in local nutrition or vitamin stores, have been used by herbalists for years to cope with anxiety and insomnia.

Follow Unwind on Twitter at @unwindbeverage and join our Facebook fan page for new product information, company updates and contests. For additional information, please call 1-877-233-RELX (7359).

About Frontier Beverage Co.
Founded in late 2009, Frontier Beverage is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee and is a publicly-traded company under the sign FBEC. For more information or up-to-date information on Frontier Beverage and its flagship product, Unwind, please visit: or contact

Frontier Beverage Co. is the distributor of Unwind, the ultimate relaxation aid for consumers worldwide. Unwind offers a healthy alternative to the calming drink experience due to its low-calorie, low-sugar and high-antioxidant formula.

Glutton For Pleasure

Known for his quirky attitude and quirkier entrees, Bob Blumer has been shaking up the food world for almost two decades! The host of The Surreal Gourmet and now Glutton for Punishment (currently taping its fifth season!), brings us GLUTTON FOR PLEASURE (Whitecap Press; Paperback with Flaps; $29.95). This book is filled with Bob's ultimate collection of recipes along with practical advice.

Not sure what wine to pair with your meal? Bob can help out!

Wavering on the perfect music to flambe by? (Think "Buring Down the House by Talking Heads!)

GLUTTON FOR PLEASURE is filled with creative solutions to common problems, and provides a well-rounded vision on elevating the act of cooking and eating, from food, drink and music.

Recipes include:
Coconut Shrimp Lollipops
Dishwasher-Poached Salmon
Cauliflower Popcorn
Lassi Come Home

Filled with stunning photos, author's illustrations and exciting stories, GLUTTON FOR PLEASURE is the can't miss cookbook for the season!

About Bob Blumer:
Culinary adventurer Bob Blumer is the host and co-creator of the award-winning television series GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT. The series, now taping it’s fifth season, is produced by Paperny Films for Food Network Canada. It airs on the Food Network in the U.S. as well as in over thirty countries world-wide. Blumer is an instantly recognizable personality, best-known as the creator and host of the Food Network series Surreal Gourmet, one of the most innovative and entertaining cooking shows on television. The award-winning show, two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Best Information Program, ran for five seasons and is still seen in over twenty-five countries. Blumer is also the author of four acclaimed cookbooks. He also co-wrote the best-selling book on grilled pizza: Pizza on the Grill. As a chef, Blumer transforms common ingredients into wow-inspiring dishes through the whimsical presentations and unusual cooking methods that have become his culinary trademark. This artful approach to cooking, along with his confidence-inspiring instructions and contagious enthusiasm, have endeared him to a loyal following. The transplanted Canadian currently lives in the Hollywood Hills in the shadows of the Hollywood sign (Near the "W"). When he is not traveling for work or pleasure (which is most of the time) he cycles daily in the canyons near his home—doing his best to stay in shape for his next big adventure.

About GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT: As the host of GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT, Blumer channels his love of food and his natural competitiveness into a series of culinary adventures that are inspiring, entertaining and often amusing. In short, he takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. It is a program on Food Network hosted by Bob Blumer. The show features the host in various food-related challenges. He is given five days to become proficient enough in the episode's featured specialty. His newly acquired skills are then put to the test by matching him up against champions and experts in the field. In several competitions, Bob Blumer surprises by qualifying ahead of many pros. When he is not doing so well, he acknowledges the difficulty he has, often with self-deprecating humor.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eliminate Fruit Flies in Restaurants & Bars with TERRO Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit flies, bar flies, drain flies –call them what you may - are a familiar problem for most restaurateurs and bartenders. These tiny pests are commonly spotted swarming around places such as beer taps, open bottles of liquor, residue in drains and fresh produce. Now, TERRO (, an industry leader in DIY pest control products, is making it easy to get rid of these irritating pests with a highly effective product. The company’s new Fruit Fly Trap not only gets rid of fruit flies, they are also environmentally safe and the apple-shaped trap looks right at home in any restaurant or bar.

“Fruit flies are among the most common, and unwelcome guests at any restaurant or bar. They thrive on food and moisture, so even the cleanest establishments can provide prime breeding grounds,” says Stew Clark, TERRO’s director of research and development. “TERRO Fruit Fly Traps are designed to lure adult fruit flies, using a special non-toxic food-based liquid lure. Flies that enter the trap can't escape to continue breeding.”

All stages of a fruit fly infestation depend on moist organic debris to complete the fruit fly life cycle. According to Clark, “The key to successful elimination of fruit flies is to locate their breeding source and place the TERRO Fruit Fly trap nearby. Look for fruit fly sources in areas where unrefrigerated fruits and vegetables are stored, near drains, garbage cans and beer taps.”

The non-toxic acetic acid found in the TERRO Fruit Fly Trap lures the flies to the traps and eliminates the infestation. “Within a few days of placing the trap near a breeding source, you will see a significant decrease in the number of fruit flies,” says Clark. “And users will also appreciate the ease-of-use and attractiveness of the trap itself.”

The traps retail for about $7.99 and can be purchased on line at Or contact Terro at 1-800-837-7644 for the location of a store near you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sparkling Holiday Tequila Cocktail from Dos Lunas Silver Tequila

Silent Dos Lunas Night

Infuse the holiday season with a bit of festive cheer by adding the thrill of tequila. Dos Lunas Tequila dresses up the usual cocktail experience by slipping a few sparkling bubbles into the glass and a splash of festive color to liven the spirit. Though the name claims a ‘Silent Night’ this spirited cocktail will have one singing merrily to the celebratory tune of Christmas cheer.

Makes 4 Cocktails
• 4 ounces Dos Lunas Silver Tequila
• 4 ounces Pomegranate Juice
• Chilled Champagne
Place Dos Lunas Silver Tequila and pomegranate juice into a large cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain evenly between four champagne flutes. Top with chilled champagne. Stir gently.

About Dos Lunas Spirits: Launched in 2006, Dos Lunas Tequila produces a line of award-winning ultra-premium handcrafted tequila made from 100% Blue Agave. Each Dos Lunas product is bottled and filled by hand: Dos Lunas Silver ($36.99), Dos Lunas Reposado ($44.99), Dos Lunas Anejo ($49.99), and Dos Lunas Grand Reserve ($2,500). Headquartered in El Paso, TX, Dos Lunas Tequila is all-natural and chemical free. Dos Lunas is also 100% pesticide free For more information, please visit or call 866.DE.AGAVE.

Delicious And Jolly Holiday Treats From Edible Gifts Plus

Oh what fun the holiday season can be with sweet and delicious treats from Edible Gifts Plus! With a extensive collection of decorative goodies, Edible Gifts Plus offers the perfect solutions for stocking stuffers, secret santas, gifts for family and friends, holiday party desserts, and just scrumptious treats to have around the house during the holiday season.

Cookies are a holiday signature and Edible Gifts Plus’ array of cookie designs are fitting for setting a festive mood for any occasion. Made out of sugar shortbread cookie and topped with vivid Royal Icing, the Christmas Tree With Holiday Garland ($4.99 each) provides a classic touch and without being too sweet or too greasy. This cookie is hand cut to a generous thickness, ranges in size from 3-6” tall and comes individually shrink wrapped.

When the weather outside is frightful, everyone loves mittens and they are sure to love to endulge in a Red Mitten Cookie ($4.99 each) made out of sugar shortbread cookie and topped with vivid Royal Icing. There’s nothing too sweet or too greasy with this treat, hand cut to a generous thickness, ranges in size from 3-6” tall and individually shrink wrapped.

Everyone knows the Claus and everyone will love the Santa Face Cookie ($4.99 each), another sugar shortbread cookie choice topped with vivid Royal Icing and not too sweet or greasy. This Santa is hand cut to a generous thickness, ranges in size from 3-6” tall and individually shrink wrapped.

Edible Gifts Plus’ take on everyone’s favorite snowman is the Christmas Cheer Snowman ($4.99 each). This snowman is made to melt in your mouth, instead of outside, composed of a sugar shortbread cookie and dressed with vivid Royal Icing. He’s not too sweet or greasy and is hand cut to a generous thickness, ranges in size from 3-6” tall and individually shrink wrapped.

If you’ve had your fill of classic holiday cookies, try Edible Gifts Plus’ modern idea of a classic cookie – the icing covered Oreo! They offer different designs including the Oreo Snowman ($2.50 each), the Oreo Christmas Tree ($1.95 each) and the Oreo Poinsettia ($2.50 each). They’re America’s favorite cookie all dressed up for the holidays and individually wrapped, with heat-sealed ends for freshness.

If you’d rather think big, think the Giant Santa Claus Cookie ($29.95). This jolly Santa is one big chocolate chip/M&M cookie (12”), beautifully decorated by hand and arrives in a gift box with your choice of ribbon. For a personal touch, a personal message can be added.

Cookies not your thing? Or maybe you’ve had too many? A fun and festive alternative are the Kristmas Rice Krispie Treats ($16.99). This box of four Rice Krispie treats is full of cheer with a Snowman, Jolly Santa, Merry Elf and Rudolph. Each character is hand-dipped in Gourmet Guittard Confections, except for Rudolph who is extra special dipped in Butterscotch Confection. They are individually wrapped in cellophane bags and hand-packed in a clear gift box, resting on a bed of shred.

The chocolate covered Giant Picture Krispie Sheet ($45) is a sweet alternative to cake and great way to add a personal touch to a gift or holiday dessert. Covered in a luscious white chocolate and 12.5x16” in size, this giant Rice Krispie features your very own edible image or special message and is decked out in sprinkles.

Edible Gifts Plus’ Funky Chunky Candy Cane ($21) is a unique, but yummy, twist on the traditional candy cane. This 20 ounce canister is packed full of caramel popcorn and a mix of fresh glazed macadamia nuts, smooth white peppermint chocolate and crushed candy canes. A gourmet confection as memorable as the holidays, this is the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for Secret Santa, corporate and employee gifts, gift for neighbors, co-workers, friends and more.

And since everyone knows Santa Claus is coming to town, celebrate his arrival the adorably sweet cookie bouquet named after him. The Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Cookie Bouquet ($53.95) makes a great centerpiece for any gathering or gift for a loved one, featuring seven fresh baked and hand decorated reindeer and Santa cookies along with your personal greeting on the center cookie. The bouquet is also available with fewer or more cookies at different prices.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

PacifiCooks Event Featuring 15 of Mexico’s Top Chefs

Like a grand music conductor, award-winning Chef Antonio de Livier is busy orchestrating every detail at La Frida restaurant, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, in preparation for Tuesday’s (July 20) kick-off of the 2010 PacifiCooks dining experience. Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas hosts the event which runs through July 25, at its Los Cabos properties.

The annual event brings together more than 15 of Mexico’s top chefs to collaborate in a most unique food and wine spectacular, and excitement is running high as Chef de Livier interacts with his invitational all-star cast of chefs.

The list of celebrated chefs has grown over the past several years as word has spread about this Mexican gastronomy event. What makes this experience unique is that the dinners, like a musical jam session, come together almost lyrically as these master chefs collaborate each day to develop custom menus on the spot. It is also an opportunity for guests to experience their culinary artistry as well as get to know them on a more personal level when they present their dishes and circulate among the dinner guests.

Special five-course tasting dinners take place at Pueblo Bonito’s award-winning restaurants such as LaFrida at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, which was recognized by the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List for “The Best Food in the Americas”; Siempre at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica; and Fellini’s, Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos.

All PacifiCooks dinners are open to the public. The events are limited to 20 pairs of reservations per sitting; advance reservations by email are recommended by contacting the concierge at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach using Galileo Vega’s email of or upon arrival at the concierge desk. The cost is $125 for each five-course dinner, including dessert and wines. For more details, visit or call 1-800-990-8250.

About Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas:
Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas offer uncommon amenities, unsurpassed service, and the warmth of a luxurious Mexican home. The collection includes four properties in Los Cabos — Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, Pueblo Bonito Rosé Resort & Spa, and Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos; and two in Mazatlán — AAA Four-Diamond Award winning Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa and Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán. Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas are the recipients of many prestigious awards including Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best List for Best Hotel Food in the Americas, Best Hotel Design in the Americas and Best Hotel Spa in Mexico, Central and South America. Pueblo Bonito Resorts have also been named in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards and on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List for the past two consecutive years. For more information, visit or call 1-800-990-8250.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to school, back to the table from Certified Angus Beef

Flavorful, easy meals are the recipe for renewed family connections

Back-to-school time kicks off a new year for kids and a fresh start in the classroom. The promise of new friends, new discoveries and new skills is an opportunity for family resolutions, as well. Parents can strengthen their commitment to help their children make the most of the school year by gathering around the dinner table to catch up and share the day’s news.

Busy families know that’s sometimes easier said than done. However, delicious, family-pleasing meals don’t have to take a long time to prepare. It can be even faster when everyone is able to lend a hand in the kitchen. Let younger helpers tackle simple tasks, so conversations can be started at the counter.

Meatball hoagies, featuring flavorful meatballs made from Certified Angus Beef ® ground beef, are a hearty favorite for cheese- and sauce-lovers. This dinner is as simple as 1-2-3: prepare the rolls, heat the meatballs in sauce, then build the sandwiches topped with cheese.

Pot roast grilled cheese sandwiches take two classic favorites to a new level, by bringing them together. Braise a Certified Angus Beef ® pot roast in the slow cooker while everyone’s at school and work, then come home to create easy, cheesy sandwiches on English muffins, in minutes.

The assignment for families is simple: spend less time in the kitchen and more time around the table. Use a few flavorful ingredients, and streamline preparation time on busy school nights. These satisfying, hand-held meals are sure to receive high grades!

Classic Meatballs
• 3/4 pound Certified Angus Beef ® ground chuck
• 1/4 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (skin removed)
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 large egg
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1 cup tomato sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine beef, sausage, bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, egg, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper by hand.

3. Form into 16 meatballs approximately 1 1/2-inch in diameter (can be made a day ahead, stored in refrigerator). Coat bottom of a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with tomato sauce and line with meatballs.

4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn each meatball upside down and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to confirm meatballs are fully cooked. (160° F internal temperature)

Serves 4

Meatball Hoagie
• 16 Certified Angus Beef ® Classic Meatballs (see recipe)
• 4 hoagie rolls
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
• 4 ounces (1 cup) skim milk shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat broiler. Open hoagie rolls and lay flat on cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with oregano and parmesan cheese. Broil open face until crisp and golden.

2. In a large saucepan or frying pan combine spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Cook over medium heat until meatballs are warm throughout.

3. Spoon four meatballs onto one half of each hoagie with desired amount of sauce. Top with mozzarella and serve.

Serves 4

Easy Pot Roast
• 3 1/2 pounds Certified Angus Beef ® English roast or chuck eye roast
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 1/4 cup tomato paste
• 1 cup beef broth
• 1 cup water
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

2. Season roast heavily with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Sear roast for a couple minutes on each side over medium-high heat. The roast should be nicely browned on all sides. Transfer roast to large plate.

3. Add onion and garlic to the pot, stirring over medium heat until onions are soft. Stir in flour and tomato paste followed by broth. Stir and scrape seared bits from bottom of pot. Add roast back to pot and add water as needed to come halfway up the roast. Cover tightly and place in oven. (Optional: use a slow cooker instead of the oven. Sear beef in heavy bottom sauté pan, follow instructions above then transfer to slow cooker, low for 5 to 6 hours until tender.)

4. Cook for 2 hours, turn and cook approximately one more hour, until completely tender.

5. Transfer roast to cutting board and tent with foil. Using a ladle, skim fat from liquid in Dutch oven. Place Dutch oven on stovetop over medium heat and reduce liquid by half.

6. Slice roast against the grain or pull in bite-size pieces. Serve with reduced sauce.

Serves 8

Easy Pot Roast Grilled Cheese Sandwich
• 1 1/2 cups Certified Angus Beef ® Easy Pot Roast (see recipe)
• 4 English muffins
• 4 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
• 1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced
• 4 slices provolone cheese
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat broiler. Open muffins and lay flat on cookie sheet. Brush each half with butter (reserving 1-2 tablespoons for later). Toast in broiler until golden.

2. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add reserved butter, onions and green peppers. Sauté, tossing occasionally until onions begin to get transparent. Lower heat, add pot roast and continue to cook until warm throughout. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Divide pot roast mixture evenly on the bottom halves of English muffins. Top each with provolone cheese. Return tray to broiler and cook 1-2 minutes until cheese bubbles.

4. Remove tray from broiler, place top on each sandwich and serve.

Serves 4

Recipes provided by the Certified Angus Beef ® brand

For more than 30 years, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand has been world-famous for its exceptional quality and generous marbling. Ten strict scientific standards ensure each bite is full of mouthwatering flavor, tenderness and juiciness. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is a cut above USDA Prime, Choice and Select. It has offered consumers quality, consistency and integrity since the first pound was sold in 1978 and is proudly featured by more than 13,600 restaurants and retailers around the world. For more information or to order, visit Follow the brand on Twitter: or become a fan of: “Certified Angus Beef ® brand” on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

10 Commandments of The BBQ Show

LA Talk Radio, an Internet radio station that offers entertaining, original, fresh contest, today announced the top 10 Commandments of “The BBQ Central Show.” These ten simple tips from radio broadcaster Greg Rempe are what every backyard chef needs to know to ensure a perfect meal every time he or she fires up a grill. Rempe’s popular show offers a unique, entertaining look at the art and sport of barbecue and grilling, on Internet radio's leader LA Talk Radio.

"The BBQ Central Show" brings a unique perspective and dedication to an industry that has seen unparalleled growth within the last five years,” explains Rempe. "TV has their cooking shows but there is no program on talk radio that addresses this industry on a regular basis, and I am changing that."

Broadcast from Cleveland, Ohio, the show is hosted, produced, and engineered by Rempe, a barbeque and grilling aficionado and expert, and airs every Tuesday evening 9PM-10PM EST on LA Talk Radio. You can find The BBQ Central Show at

The 10 Commandments of The BBQ Central Show

1. Par-Boiling food is punishable by death

2. Food is always better on the barbecue or grill

3. Remember your friend “The Plank”

4. Not eating crispy chicken skin is a crime!!

5. Know your dry rubs and injections

6. ALWAYS carry a thermometer

7. ALWAYS keep your food above 140* or below 40* to prevent bacteria

8. Keep your recipes and cooking journal handy

9. Strive to be the “Pit Master” of your neighborhood

10. Hamburger should ALWAYS be 80% meat & 20% FAT!! Remember, FAT is FLAVOR!!
Recent guests on The BBQ Central Show included Jack's Old South Pit Master Myron Mixon, who talked about his power cooking method; Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe who talked about his new tailgating cookbook, wine; marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk who talked about what wines to pair with your barbecue; and TV host and cookbook author Steven Raichlen, who talked about his new show and upcoming book. Other guests have included Kevin Bevington from, Rod Gray of Pellet Envy, Jim Minion of Two Loose Screws BBQ and Ed "Fast Eddy Maurin.

Together, the past, current, and future hosts of LA Talk Radio have created a truly exciting destination for radio listeners who want real, honest talk without the confines of government regulation. The station continues to offers prospective hosts the means to produce and broadcast their own shows easily and affordably. Its hosts regularly invite guests to be on their shows, and the guests are often familiar names. Celebrity guests include: Melissa Etheridge, Debbie Reynolds, Rip Taylor, comedienne Margaret Cho, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, musician Curt Smith of “Tears for Fears,” race car legend Mario Andretti and many more.

With a #1 ranking on Google for “talk radio,” hundreds of thousands of links to the website, and continually growing listener traffic, LA Talk Radio broadcasts shows for every taste and interest to millions around the world. LA Talk Radio continues to grow and expand its show lineup; offering even more reasons for listeners to come back and making dreams come true for broadcasters. The state-of-the-art studios are centrally located in Sherman Oaks, CA. For more information, call 818-298-2040 or email LA Talk Radio at Follow LA Talk Radio on Twitter: and Facebook: LA Talk Radio or visit the website at It can also be found at the iTunes App Store at or by searching “LA Talk Radio” and can be downloaded free by any iPhone user. The app is compatible with the new OS 4 and features high-quality sound and instant streaming.

Irreverent. Entertaining. Cool. That is the vision. That is LA Talk Radio.

Senor Roy’s Taco Patrol presents ‘Taco of the Week’ Competition

Who doesn’t love a taco? Have you ever been looking at a menu and wondered…’why don’t they have this, or that’? Well, now you have you chance to give your input and win!

Senor Roy’s Taco Patrol presents a competition for the eager minded food loving taco grubster.

Beginning Thursday July 15, 2010 interested parties can submit a taco of their own creation that would serve the great people of Cincinnati. Win your chance to have your taco served on Cincinnati’s finest fresh-mex truck.

“There are no real rules or regulations, except that we want people to think outside of the box and come up with something out of this world and crazy,” commented owner Dave Neal.
The winner of ‘Taco of the Week’ will be chosen bi-weekly and have their taco served for one week Monday – Friday, receive a picture on the truck and be given $50 taco patrol bucks to use anytime, anyplace.

When submitting a taco recipe please be as detailed as possible, please note that the taco recipe may be tweeked for food truck guidelines.

Please send submissions to the Senor Roy’s Facebook page wall with details of your taco wishes.

For press requests or general inquiries please contact Micah Paldino of PB&J Public Relations, Branding & Jabber at or 513-381-7676.

Señor Roy’s Taco Patrol appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, on the streets of Greater Cincinnati in 2009. The taco truck serves fresh mex dishes and can be found just about anywhere: Wanna know what we're up to? Check us out at or at .

Vintner Select Announces Ohio Representation of South Africa's Fat Barrel Wine Company - Wines with Charitable Focus

WHO: Vintner Select Wine Distributor is pleased to launch Fat Barrel wines in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The owner, Bob Lynde, is a graduate of Denison University in Ohio and started the Fat Barrel Wine Company in 2007 with the goal of creating a brand that generates philanthropic funding. The company is donating 10% of their brand sales to a regional chapter of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome).

WHAT: Trade tasting introducing this new wine brand will be conducted with a Vintner Select representative and winery owner Bob Lynde. Media are welcome to attend.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 21

WHERE: Cincinnati, Ohio

HOW: To attend a tasting of Fat Barrel wines, please call Tammie Franck at 312-371-9098.

About Vintner Select:
Vintner Select is a major distributor, carrying over 2500 wines from around the world to over 300 wine shops and restaurants in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Vintner Select was founded in 1989 with the vision of bringing the finest quality wines from around the world to the Midwest. For more information, call 513-229-3630 or visit

Halloween Cocktails To Die For, from SKYY

Want to scare up some real fun this Halloween? Gather your “groan-up” friends and family for a “spooktacular” night of hauntingly delicious spirits, featuring a collection of easy concoctions perfect for any All Hallow’s Eve celebration. Whether you’re planning a chilling house party or headed out for a night of flirtatious fun, these sweet tricks will add some pizzazz to your Halloween celebration -- and you’ll be in for a real treat!

All Natural SKYY Infusions are the perfect base for a variety of sinfully festive cocktails designed to really put you and your guests in the Halloween spirit. In honor of HBO’s wickedly good “True Blood,” get your guests’ blood pumping with the “Vampire’s Punch,” or for those with a real sweet tooth, indulge in a cocktail inspired by an old Halloween favorite like the eye-catching “Candy Corn Cocktail.”

No matter how you celebrate this Halloween, there is no doubt that your guests will happily drink in the spooky spirit of the season with these bewitching cocktails. And remember, nothing says “All Hallows Eve” like a bag full of treats, so be sure to send your ghoulish guests home with an adult goodie bag full of everyone’s favorite Halloween sweets and printed recipes of their favorite creepy cocktails!

Cocktails created by Alex Straus, Suite 700 at the Hotel Shangri-La in Los Angeles

Vampire’s Punch
Serves 12
18 oz. SKYY Infusions Cherry
8 oz. Lime Juice
6 oz. Cranberry Juice
2.5 oz. Grenadine
Fresh cherries, pits removed

Wash and remove pits and stems from fresh cherries, and muddle in cocktail shaker. Combine the rest of the ingredients except 7UP in bowl and stir. Top with 7UP and muddled cherries.

Pumpkin Spice
2 oz. SKYY Infusions Ginger
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
1 oz. Pumpkin Puree
Splash of Honey Water*
Slice of Fresh Ginger

Combine all ingredients except ginger slice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Add long slice of ginger into glass lengthwise for garnish.

*Honey Water is made using equal parts honey and water.

Candy Corn Cocktail
2 oz. SKYY Infusions Pineapple
1.5 oz. Orange Sherbet, softened
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Milk
1 oz. Simple Syrup

Combine SKYY Infusions Pineapple and pineapple juice in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over fresh ice into a clear Collins glass. Combine softened orange sherbet and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain, and pour over bar spoon to layer in the rocks glass. Then, combine simple syrup and milk in cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Layer milk mixture on top of sorbet mixture.

Ghostly Coolada
2 oz. SKYY Infusions Pineapple
1 oz. Cream of Coconut or Coconut Milk
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
2 Circular Chocolates

Place all ingredients except chocolate in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass, and float chocolate circles on the top of the drink for your Ghostly Coolada’s eyes.

Ohio Poultry Association to Feature Tasty Competitions, Food Options at State Fair

The 157th Ohio State Fair is just around the corner and this year chefs will have the opportunity to flex their culinary muscles and stir up some sweet creations during three cooking competitions sponsored by the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA).

In conjunction with National Cheesecake Day on July 30, OPA, along with the American Dairy Association Mideast, is sponsoring the popular “Smile and Say, Cheesecake!” contest.

This tasty competition is making its sixth debut at the fair and will be held at 10 a.m. on July 30 in the DiSalle Creative Arts Center. Cheesecakes will be judged based on creativity, taste, appearance, ease of preparation and appeal, and each cake must contain at least four fresh Ohio eggs and “real dairy” products.

“This contest offers us the opportunity to showcase Ohio’s wholesome, nutritious egg and dairy products while also letting local cooks show off their culinary skills,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Ohio eggs are delicious and can be used to make a wide variety of simple everyday meals. They are also nutritious— one egg is only 75 calories, yet it contains many essential vitamins and nutrients.” Chakeres said past award-winning cheesecake recipes and baking tips can be accessed at

In addition, OPA is sponsoring two other culinary competitions at the fair: “Breakfast for Two” and “Cupcakes Galore.”

The “Cupcakes Galore” contest returns for its second year and will take place at 1 p.m. on July 30 in the DiSalle Creative Arts Center. Following the competition, a baker from the Kroger Company will conduct a cooking demonstration about the art of cupcakes and also offer party planning tips for aspiring cupcake-makers. This contest is open to amateur bakers only, all recipes must be homemade and each participant must use a combination (whites or yolks) of three to four eggs in each recipe.

In partnership with the American Dairy Association Mideast, the “Breakfast for Two” competition will kick off at 10 a.m. on July 31 with a cooking challenge that will pit local celebrity chefs NewsCenter’s Johnny DiLoretto, NBC4’s Mindy Drayer and Rybak of CD101 FM’s Morning Show against four Ohio State Fair commissioners.

After the celebrity chef competition, up to 20 exhibitors will be judged on recipes they must prepare in 10-15 minutes. Four chefs will participate in each round.

In addition to the culinary competitions, OPA will again be offering fairgoers affordable, nutritious meals featuring fresh, Ohio-produced eggs, turkey and chicken from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day of the fair’s operation, from July 28 to Aug. 8, in the Taste of Ohio Café.

A variety of foods from Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers will offer fairgoers a healthy alternative to traditional fair food. Prices range from $1 for a snack to $7 for a complete meal. The menu includes:

Sandwiches, including chicken salad, egg salad, shredded chicken, turkey and chicken breast;
Chicken and noodles;
Chicken nuggets;
Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner with all the trimmings;
Chicken dinner;
Salads, available with eggs, chicken, chicken salad or turkey;
“Hot Shot” open-faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy;
The fair-favorite egg on a stick; and
Chicken nugget kids’ meals.

Ohio is the number-two egg-producing state in the nation, behind Iowa. Ohio egg farmers produce more than seven billion eggs each year. Ohio is 11th in the nation for turkey production and produces almost 200 million pounds of chicken for sale each year.

“Ohio’s egg and poultry farmers are dedicated to putting safe, healthy sources of protein on the tables of families across the state,” said Chakeres. “The Ohio State Fair offers us the chance to demonstrate our commitment to providing consumers with high-quality foods and our support for Ohio’s top economic contributor: agriculture.”

To find out more information about the culinary competitions, please visit and click on “Competitions” and then on “Creative Arts” and select the “Culinary” category. For more information about Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey sectors, please visit

7 Tricks to Tasty, Delicious Gluten Free Foods

The words "gluten-free" so often conjure images of bland, tasteless, and (if we're being honest) gross foods. If you skip by the special gluten-free section of the grocery store or turn up your nose at the dish your friend with celiac disease brought to the neighborhood potluck, you're not alone. Gluten, a mixture of proteins in wheat, rye, and barley, was once a largely ignored allergen that was causing big problems for its sufferers. And while gluten awareness is on the rise, most people assume that getting rid of gluten means a lot of extra work and giving up on all the foods you love. But a new book says that it's actually much easier and tastier than you think.

"Being gluten-free isn't about being on a diet," explains Danna Korn, author of Living Gluten-Free For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (Wiley Publishing, Inc., June 2010, ISBN: 978-0-4705858-9-4, $19.99). "It's about living a lifestyle And whether you've been gluten-free for decades or are just getting started, your most important tool is knowledge." Korn, who is respected as one of the leading authorities on the gluten-free diet and the medical conditions that benefit from it, has written the book as a practical guide full of trusted, authoritative advice and explanations and clear guidance on how to make the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle.

"More and more families are learning to go the gluten-free route, and it's not just for those who suffer from the increasingly common celiac disease," she continues. "Families everywhere are facing wheat allergies, gluten intolerance, and even autism—all diseases that are linked to the gluten we get from the food we consume. And more and more, people are taking the gluten-free plunge in the hopes of getting their families on the road to healthier eating." The trick, she says, is learning how to substitute for a few staple ingredients in your kitchen. If you're tempted to experiment with making your favorite recipes gluten-free, here are some savvy substitutions for a few of your favorite ingredients.

Flour: If you do any sort of baking or cooking at home, then you know flour is an essential ingredient for a lot of recipes. For those who cook in a gluten-free home, finding a flour alternative can be a top priority. If a recipe calls for flour, consider using cornstarch or a gluten-free flour or mix instead. Experiment with the many new flours available, like bean flours, sorghum, and amaranth and see which one you like the best. They're nutritious and add flavor, and most importantly, they're gluten-free!

Breadings and coatings: If a recipe calls for breading, bread crumbs, flour coating, or a similar preparation, consider using wheat- or gluten-free mix (either homemade or store bought). Bread and muffin mixes work well for coatings on chicken and other fried goodies. Seasoned cornmeal or corn flour (masa) and crushed potato chips are also excellent alternatives.

Bread crumbs: Gluten-free bread crumbs are one of the easier alternative ingredients to come by in your kitchen. Many gluten-free breads turn to crumbs when you look at them. And certainly, there are always plenty of crumbs in the bag; just use them as extras for cooking! If you need a larger quantity, try crumbling some bread slices and toast or broil the crumbs to make them crunch.

Croutons: Croutons are a great way to take a salad from so-so to sensational with very little trouble. Making your own, gluten-free croutons is simple as well: cut fresh, gluten-free bread into cubes, deep fry, and then roll in Parmesan cheese and spices. Some people suggest letting the bread get just a tad stale (not moldy) before making croutons this way.

Granola: Granola is a multifaceted ingredient that should be a staple in any kitchen! It is great with yogurt and fruit, as a component in trail mix, or as a stand-alone snack. If you can find gluten-free oats at the store, then you're set. But if you can't, you can still make granola with very little trouble. Toss together toasted nuts and seeds and then mix them with gluten-free cereal, honey, vanilla, a tiny bit of oil, and spices or seasonings. How much spices and seasonings? A smidge or so, until it tastes like you like it. Bake at 300 degrees for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Add dried fruit (that's been soaked in water for 10 minutes), let cool, then refrigerate or vacuum seal and freeze.

Trail mix: Trail mix is great for snacking on the go and is a healthy treat kids enjoy. Many trail mixes that are available in stores are already gluten-free, but if you like to make your own, mix some peanuts, raisins, dried fruit, and gluten-free chocolate candies or chips.

Oatmeal or hot cereal: If you like to start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, don't despair! Try substituting your morning oatmeal with corn grits. Prepare them just like oatmeal and top with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, or fry them. You may also be able to find hot cereals that are made from grain-free flours. Some new amaranth and quinoa hot cereals also are available. (And as an added bonus, they are nutritional powerhouses!)

"Don't be afraid to get creative," Korn concludes. "Having a gluten-free kitchen shouldn't take the joy out of preparing meals and creating new culinary delights. In fact, it should make you that much more skilled as a chef. And with a little planning and an open mind, you just may be surprised at the safe, nutritious, and downright tasty dishes that come out of your kitchen!"

About the Author:
Danna Korn is respected as one of the leading authorities on the gluten-free diet and the medical conditions that benefit from it. She's been featured in Peoplemagazine, on ABC's 20-20, and dozens of other national media outlets. She is the coauthor of Gluten-Free Cooking For Dummies®.

About the Book:
Living Gluten-Free For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (Wiley Publishing, Inc., June 2010, ISBN: 978-0-4705858-9-4, $19.99) is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher by calling (877) 762-2974.

Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes of Giving - New Fall Cookbook from Diane Morgan and Sur La Table

As we enter into the fall and winter holiday season, one question is burning on everyone’s mind: “What do I give my loved ones?” This year national kitchenware retailer Sur La Table and award-winning author Diane Morgan guide you through the essentials of gifting from the heart with their new cookbook, Gifts Cook Love: Recipes for Giving (Andrews McMeel Publishing, September 28, 2010, $25.00, Jacketed Hardcover, 192 pages). From sweet and savory gifts to drinkable delights and smoked, cured and dried goodies, Gifts Cooks Love is packed with ideas for year-round gift giving. Recipients need not be culinary aficionados to welcome the gifts—they must simply enjoy food and drink.

Gifts Cooks Love offers something for every level of cook—providing accessible recipes delivered with helpful kitchen tips and techniques, detailed ingredient notes, as well as guidance for artfully wrapping and presenting the forty edible gifts. Recipe categories include Sweet Preserved Gifts; Savory Preserved Gifts; Smoked, Cured & Dried Gifts; Baked Gifts; Confections & Chocolate Gifts; Drink Gifts; No-Cook Gifts; and Make-A-Gift.

Simple no-cook recipes such as Backyard BBQ Rub and Seven Month Vanilla Extract make gifting a cinch for novice cooks. For the more experienced cook, sweet recipes range from unique confections such as Blackberry-Merlot Jellies to the eye-catching Biscotti Christmas Tree, while savory recipes Eight Hour Braised Onion and Apricot-Bourbon Mustard will delightfully whet the palate.

In addition to the assortment of recipes, Gifts Cooks Love escorts readers through the gift-giving kitchen and gift-giving pantry, while offering essential tips and techniques for preserving and dehydrating as well as insightful ideas on decorating and packaging for a stunning presentation. There are even gift tag suggestions explaining the contents.

Using recipes throughout the cookbook, the final chapter is an exciting grab bag of unique and crafty ways to package up your edible offerings into grander presents for those occasions when a showier gift is necessary. Let your creativity flow as you mix and match to make a gift kit, wrapping and delivering a present that speaks from the heart and elicits an enthusiastic smile. Make-A-Gift Kits offer fantastic solutions for a variety of gift-giving occasions, including Retro Popcorn Kit (great Golden Globe event/movie night hostess gift); Pasta Kit (for the Italian food lover); Breakfast for Two (excellent new parent or bridal gift); Grill Kit (for the King of the Grill); and S’Mores Kit (great for outdoor parties or celebrating National S’Mores Day on August 10).

Gifts Cooks Love will show you how to turn your handcrafted, delicious food gifts into personal expressions of thoughtfulness, gifts that any cook will love to give or receive.

Sur La Table is the trusted authority when it comes to all things cooking related. Sur La Table entices aficionados and curious beginners alike with its amazing selection of cookware, bakeware, tools, cookbooks, and cooking school programs designed to make any cook’s life easier. It is the co-author of six books, including The Art and Soul of Baking, which received the 2009 IACP Cookbook Award for Baking, was chosen by Gourmet magazine as a book club selection, and was nominated for 2009 baking book of the year by the James Beard Foundation. The original store and headquarters are in Seattle, WA, and Sur La Table operates more than 80 stores nationwide as well as a Web site and catalog.

Diane Morgan is an award-winning cookbook author, freelance food writer, culinary instructor, and restaurant con sultant. She is the author of fourteen cookbooks and has been involved in the world of food for more than twenty-five years. Diane has been a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times food section and has written for Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, the Oregonian, Northwest Palate, and Edible Portland. She has appeared on NBC’s Today show, ABC World News Now, The Early Show on CBS, the Food Network, Smart Solutions on HGTV, Seasonings on PBS, and Good Day Oregon. In addition, for the past two years, Diane has consulted on the core menu, promotional seasonal menus, and recipes for a chain of family dining restaurants in the Northwest. She lives in Portland, OR.

Party Planning

For many of us, planning and throwing a party is fun, but the cleanup is the worst part! In fact, the thought cleaning all those dishes almost makes you NOT want to throw the party or event in the first place. Fear no more! There is now a perfect place where you can get all your elegant and disposable party needs! offers all your party needs. From plates for finger foods, to elegant cocktail glasses and everything in between, is the one stop shopping spot for your next special event. Check out for a look at all your holiday party needs!

Crave Brothers Mascarpone Wins First-Place Award

Cheese for dessert is a winning idea. Judges at the 2010 Wisconsin State Fair Cheese and Butter contest awarded First Place honors to Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheese in the Open Class/Soft and Spreadable Cheeses category for its Mascarpone. Crave Brothers Mascarpone is a creamy, fresh cheese that lends itself to a variety of dessert ideas. Pair it with chocolate or berries, spread it on cookies, use it as a fruit dip, or showcase it in chilled creamy pies.

The First Place Award to Crave Brothers will be presented on August 5, 2010 during the Wisconsin State Fair. Crave Brothers award-winning Mascarpone, prized for its texture, freshness and flavor, is just one of four cheese varieties produced in Wisconsin by Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheese. Others include Fresh Mozzarella, Farmer’s Rope handmade string cheese, and the signature Les Fréres and Petit Frére washed-rind cheeses.

Mascarpone is a versatile cheese that originated in Italy. Its rich, creamy texture allows it to be blended with whipped cream or butter, and its flavor makes it ideal for sweet or savory recipe ideas ranging from appetizers to desserts. Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Mascarpone is made with sweet cream, and blends well with savory flavors, such as mushrooms or spices, as well as with fruit. Chocolate Mascarpone Pie, a Crave Brothers’ signature dish, is served to editors, cheese buyers and tour groups. In the fall and winter, another favorite is Mascapone Mushroom Soup. Both recipes get rave reviews from all that taste them.

For more mascarpone recipe ideas and to learn more about Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics, visit the website at

Megan Ketover, CPC, Named Pastry Chef of Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza is pleased to announce that Megan Ketover has been named Pastry Chef. Megan's responsibilities include creating desserts, breads and pastries for both The Restaurants at Palm Court and the hotel's banquet and meeting facilities as well as managing a team of pastry chefs and the day-to-day duties of the pastry kitchen.

Megan Ketover, Certified Pastry Culinarian (CPC) is a summa cum laude graduate of the Midwest Culinary Institute (MCI) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduation, she worked at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza under the tutelage of award-winning Pastry Chef Kat Kessler before returning to the MCI as a Pastry Chef Instructor. At MCI, Megan worked in Bakery Hill, the retail bakery outlet of the school, where she created wedding and specialty cakes as well as custom pastries and desserts. As a Pastry-Arts Instructor, she taught the culinary-arts and pastry students key classes, including Baking for Restaurants and Nutritional Baking. Megan was also the Prep Chef on "The Dish," a local weekly television show filmed at MCI.

Awards & Honors

In 2009, Megan won the American Culinary Federation's Northeast Region Pastry Chef of the Year and competed as one of four Pastry Chefs for the national title. The American Culinary Federation states "The 2009 ACF Northeast Region Pastry Chef of the Year Award recognizes a pastry chef who has displayed a passion for the craft, has an accomplished reputation in the pastry field and has given back through the education of others by sharing his or her skills and knowledge."

Megan has completed her American Culinary Federation-Certified Executive Chef practical and is a recipient of the American Culinary Federation's President's Medallion from John Kinsella, CMC, CCE, WGMC, AAC, past president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). President's Medallions are tokens of appreciation and honor those that contribute significantly to the culinary profession.

As a competitor on the Food Network's "Challenge", Megan was selected for an episode of the competition show that featured four chefs that each must create an edible bridge. Megan's bridge was a four foot replica of Cincinnati's Suspension Bridge. The judges comments were positive; they said she was highly organized, had a great attitude, was well trained and that her presentation was a great start for a "Food Network Challenge rookie".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Halekulani (Oahu, HI) Celebrates The Art of the Cocktail

Halekulani, one of the world’s finest and most acclaimed luxury resorts, presents “THE ART OF THE COCKTAIL” as part of its ongoing annual luxury and lifestyle series, Halekulani Living. The weekend celebration takes place Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19 and includes a variety of events where guests interact with some of the world’s finest mixologists while sampling their spirited creations.

Throughout the weekend leading mixologists Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner, Tony Abou-Ganim, Simon Ford, Chandra Lam, and Tim Rita host gatherings and informational seminars designed to enhance appreciation for “THE ART OF THE COCKTAIL”. Guests are also invited to take part in hands-on experiences to acquire expert techniques. The summit reinforces Halekulani’s philosophy and unwavering commitment to offering an enriched lifestyle, sophisticated elegance, innovative guest programming and gracious hospitality.

The Halekulani Living luxury and lifestyle series is designed to provide guests with immersive, authentic and memorable experiences by celebrating three distinct elements, Halekulani Connoisseur, Halekulani Wellness and Halekulani Masterworks. These programs aim to enrich lifestyles with everyday luxury, health and wellness, culinary escapes and masterful works of art.

Advance reservations are required for all “THE ART OF THE COCKTAIL” events. A 5-seminar package is available for $160. Alternatively, guests can select their activities on an a-la-carte basis with rates ranging from $40 to $125 per person. Ocean View room accommodations are available during the event at a special rate of $460 per night including daily breakfast for two (plus applicable taxes). For information and reservations, please call (808) 931-5040.

ART OF THE COCKTAIL Schedule of Events:

Friday, September 17
Kick Off Cocktail Party Rub elbows with many of the world’s finest mixologists while sampling their spirited creations and enjoying delicious appetizers, accompanied by live jazz music.

Saturday, September 18
Spend the day in lively seminars, discussions and classes hosted by our who’s who of mixology.

The Evolution of the Cocktail
Mixologists Julie Reiner, Dale DeGroff, Tony Abou-Ganim and Simon Ford engage in a panel discussion on where the industry was, where it is today and what we can look forward to in the future.

Gin: The Noblest Spirit of All?
Simon Ford presents a historical overview of gin while Julie Reiner creates Classical and Contemporary cocktail creations.

Tequila: The Treasured Agave Distillate
Dale DeGroff and Tony Abou-Ganim walk through a brief history and tasting of tequila while creating awe-inspiring cocktails, sharing insight on how to make the perfect margarita.

Island to Island
Julie Reiner and Simon Ford prepare the most innovative cocktails while utilizing island influences from England to Hawaii.

Stocking and Tending Your Home Bar
Tony Abou-Ganim, the “Modern Mixologist,” highlights the secrets of creating cocktails at home, explaining what should be stocked in a bar, tools of the trade, and how to use them.

Experience an evening of scintillating conversation at the Cocktail Palooza while guest mixologists shake and stir their signature specialties.

Sunday, September 19:
Wrap up the weekend at the Bloody Mary Brunch featuring the opportunity to create a signature bloody mary while enjoying a delectable 3-course brunch.

About “The Art of the Cocktail” Guest Mixologists
Dale DeGroff, also known as “King Cocktail,” is universally acknowledged as the world's premier mixologist. He developed his extraordinary techniques and talent tending bar at famed establishments, including New York’s Rainbow Room. Dale was awarded the James Beard Wine & Spirits Professional Award in 2009 and acts as the founding President of The Museum of the American Cocktail, a non-profit organization with an exhibit in New Orleans that brings to life the 200 year history of the cocktail. Dale also authored the award-winning "The Craft of The Cocktail,” and "The Essential Cocktail" (Random House).

Julie Reiner draws much of her inspiration from her native Hawaii, utilizing fresh fruit and the highest quality spices and spirits available in her original cocktails. Beverage director and co-owner of Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club; and co-owner of Pegu Club, she has been elevating the cocktail scene in NYC for the last decade. Flatiron, Pegu and Clover opened to rave reviews and have enjoyed top rankings among the best bars in the world. Julie has also been featured on The Food Network’s Iron Chef, Martha Stewart Radio, CNBC and the Fine Living network.

Tony Abou-Ganim is famous for his take on modern-day cocktails, an approach which highlights the use of spirits and ingredients available to today’s Mixologists without forsaking classic traditions and techniques. In 2007, Tony was featured in the Iron Chef America competition with Mario Batali and released his first DVD “Modern Mixology: Making Great Cocktails at Home.” Most notably featured demonstrating the art of cocktail preparation on the Fine Living Network program “Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs,” Tony also operates his own beverage consulting firm specializing in bar staff training, product education and cocktail development. He is the author of “The Modern Mixologist, Contemporary Classic Cocktails.”

Simon Ford acts as the Plymouth Gin Brand Ambassador and the Brand Director for Trade Outreach and Brand Education at Pernod Ricard USA. After working for more than fifteen years in the spirits industry, running a wine shop, opening some of England’s most lauded cocktail bars, judging spirits in competition and writing bar guides for, Simon has become a highly respected voice in the spirits industry. He has received the following awards: Best International Brand Ambassador at the New Orleans Tales of the Cocktail 2007, Best US Brand Ambassador 2009 and was named an Industry Visionary in the UK. Simon’s award-winning bar, Koba, was selected as one of the Top 10 cocktail bars in the UK by the Guardian Newspaper.

Chandra Lam is the Director of Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii. She has been in the restaurant and bar industry for 14 years at various prominent venues in Hawaii. Chandra is currently working towards her Master accreditation with the USBG and is the Vice-President of the Hawaii Chapter. She has consulted for properties such as The Four Seasons, St. Regis and Trump International.

Tim Rita is the Head Bartender at Lewers Lounge at Halekulani, where he creates specialty cocktails and cocktail menus for all the restaurant and bar outlets in the hotel, including La Mer, Orchids and House Without a Key. Tim worked and trained with Dale DeGroff from May 2005-December 2007. He scored in the Top 25 of all competitors at the “Shake It Up Battle of the Mixologists,” Las Vegas (2009 and 2010) and won the “Best of Hawaii Hamilton Beach Bargreen Ellingson Cocktail Competition” (2009). In December 2009, he was featured in Honolulu Magazine’s “Best Bars Edition.”

About Halekulani
Since its inception in 1984, Halekulani has received more than five hundred accolades, awards and honoraria, and is consistently ranked among the world’s finest hotels. SpaHalekulani, amongst many others, earned the coveted Mobil Four-Star rating, the highest bestowed upon any spa by the Mobil Travel Guide, and was ranked the #2 Best Resort Spa in North America by Conde Nast Traveler. Halekulani’s fine dining restaurant, La Mer, is Hawaii’s longest ranked AAA-Five Diamond restaurant. Halekulani is managed by the Hotels and Resorts of Halekulani, a brand management division of the Honolulu-based Halekulani Corporation, which also manages newly redesigned Waikiki Parc Hotel. Halekulani is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is aligned with Tokyo’s legendary Imperial Hotel. For reservations and information, please contact a travel planner, call Halekulani at (800) 367-2343 / (808) 923-2311 or visit the Halekulani website (

Small Potatoes Make Big Impact In Local Market

Potato lovers and cooks of all kinds are dishing about the latest hot potatoes – Tasteful Selections specialty potatoes.

These small potatoes are no laughing matter, but shoppers in a Minneapolis supermarket recently found comic and dinner relief with these petite potatoes.

To the surprise of market-goers, it wasn’t just the small sizes and unique flavors of these potatoes that had people talking, but the unexpected theatrics that subtlety announced their presence. With the help of some creative merchandising and the Minneapolis comedy troupe, The Recovery Party, Tasteful Selections small potatoes were hard to miss as shoppers encountered a talking head potato display, freeze-frame couples enjoying potatoes and a family dinner in the seafood department. Check out consumer reactions at

The consumer event in Minneapolis kicks off the national product rollout for the Tasteful Selections brand of specialty potatoes and the “Create Ooh Ahh Moments” consumer campaign. Tasteful Selections small potatoes are available in nine flavors and three sizes comparable to marbles, ping-pong balls and golf balls.

To spread the word about these new potatoes, a special sneak peek recipe contest in underway for food bloggers to not only get the inside scoop on these hot new potatoes, but also for them to create their own dish – and dish about it. Check our Facebook fan page for details.

Randy Shell, Vice President of Marketing for Tasteful Selections products commented, “Potatoes are a favorite comfort food and top vegetable, but consumers constantly complained that potatoes were too time consuming to prepare. Our Tasteful Selections small potatoes solve the preparation problem, by eliminating a lot of the prep work. They are pre-washed and ready to cook. Their small sizes mean no peeling, no slicing, no dicing and most importantly faster cook times. They are comfort food re-imagined.”

Tasteful Selections specialty potatoes are available year-round, nationwide at select retailers throughout the United States in bulk and packaged SKUs in a variety of flavors and sizes. Look for Tasteful Selections specialty potatoes at your local supermarket or ask for them by name. For information regarding the stores nearest to you email

RPE, a second generation family farm, is a category leader and key grower/shipper of year-round potatoes and onions. RPE is a joint owner in Tasteful Selections, LLC and manages the sales and marketing of the Tasteful Selections brand and products. RPE prides itself on maintaining a high level of business integrity that includes commitments to environmental sustainability, as well as category innovation and retail solutions.