Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clay Cooking......EVERYONE is Doing it!!

There was a time when cooking with clay cookware was only for devotees of the Slow Food Movement, those preparing foods in traditional ways or those wanting to use eco-friendly utensils. Now as more cookbooks and cooking shows feature clay cooking these are joined by the rest of us who want the food we prepare to be more moist and tasty.

As you search for just the right clay cookware you will encounter La Chamba, a stunningly beautiful hand-crafted cookware made with black clay.

La Chamba cookware is renowned in Colombia and used in the preparation and serving of many traditional dishes, both in restaurants and in homes. Its origins can be traced back at least 700 years to vases and pitchers found in pre-Colombian archaeological sites. La Chamba cookware is still made in the traditional manner, mostly by women in the village of La Chamba in central Colombia. Each piece is molded into shape by hand rather than spun on a wheel. This complex process—along with the natural materials—give La Chamba dishes a beautifully distinctive and authentic look.

La Chamba is a complete collection of cookware, serveware and tableware—casseroles and roasters, pans and griddles, soup and stock pots, bowls and plates and baking dishes that are as sophisticated as they are practical.

There are absolutely no toxins or glazes applied to La Chamba cookware. The sleek finish of each piece is the result of meticulous hand-burnishing with very smooth river stones. The skill and time spent in polishing La Chamba distinguishes it from the ordinary.

Even the most discerning chef will fall in love with how evenly heat is distributed with La Chamba cookware and how well that heat is retained. And, because of the mica found naturally in the clay, it stands up to direct heat from a microwave, stove or oven.

Due to its superb functionality and elegant appearance, La Chamba cookware can move from cooking surface to tabletop and cleans in a flash after a quick soak and wipe down with a sponge or cloth.

The Toque Blanche store in Half Moon Bay, Ca was named the Bay Areas’s best Kitchenware store by's Bay List in 2010 and has been providing quality cooking tools and gourmet food items for the home chef who is serious about amazing food since 2006. For more information about Toque Blanche and La Chamba Cookware please visit

Plenty of ‘Food for Thought’ at this year’s Spirit & Place Festival, Nov. 5-14, Central Indiana

Central Indiana will provide plenty of food for thought – literally and figuratively – when the 15th annual Spirit & Place opens Nov. 5, 2010.

“Food for Thought” is the theme of this year’s event, which annually stimulates conversation, collaboration, community building, and civic action based on the artistic, spiritual and civic traditions that inform community life. Unlike most festivals, which have tangible borders and entrance/exit gates, Spirit & Place engages more than 100 organizations offering nearly 40 programs at various times from Nov. 5-14.

“The point of Spirit & Place is to bring people together, and nothing brings people together like food,” says Pam Blevins Hinkle, festival director. “You can learn about food, play with food, hear music made from food, and of course eat! This year’s festival features celebrity and local chefs, creative artists and zany musicians, prominent authors and award-winning entrepreneurs, and much more.”

The 2010 line up ranges from the Midwest premier of Austria’s Vienna Vegetable Orchestra on the opening weekend to the 15th Annual Public Conversation, a traditional favorite, on the closing weekend. In between are 40 programs to choose from: concerts, exhibits, films, provocative conversations, neighborhood tours, storytelling events, and “how to” workshops that explore the role of food in our lives.

For the first time, the festival will include a community service component. “It makes sense to leverage community interest in this theme to give back and make our world better,” says Hinkle. Patrons at participating restaurants will be invited to pay $1 for a glass of water during the festival. Proceeds will support UNICEF’s clean water initiatives world-wide. The local initiative is organized by Spirit & Place, Indiana Restaurant Association, Café Patachou, and Congregation Beth-El Zedeck.

Festivities begin on the eve of the festival, as local favorite Steven Stolen and special guests serve up tasty tunes on the “Food for Thought” theme (including Stolen as the effervescent Julia Childs singing recipes and snippets of culinary wisdom). “Savory: Flavorful Songs with Steven Stolen” takes place at the White Rabbit Cabaret, Indianapolis, on Thursday, Nov. 4, from 7-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person; proceeds support Spirit & Place.

Opening Weekend: The Signature Series

The festival kicks off officially with the 2010 Signature Series, which offers three diverse expressions of the “Food for Thought” theme:

Mindful Eating
Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.
Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis
$10/person, $75/patron (reserved seat, program mention, tasting reception with Dan and Krista)
Krista Tippett, former diplomat and award-winning host of American Public Media’s Being, interviews Dan Barber, co-owner and chef of Blue Hill Restaurant in New York, about the ethics of food. Do we eat to live or live to eat? Does our eating reflect our values? Barber is an author, the 2009 James Beard Outstanding Chef and one of Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Presented by the Alan & Linda Cohen Center for Jewish Learning and Living in partnership with WFYI and the Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University.

Play with Your Food
Nov. 6
1:30-2:30 p.m., Terry Border workshop
1:30-2:30 p.m., Uncle Eye and Miss Melody, Learning Curve
3-4 p.m., Chef Antonio Frontera
Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library’s Central Library
Cooking, art and musical theater come together in laughter and learning when children 8 and up create food art with Terry Border, local artist, while younger kids stay amused with an interactive veggie western with Uncle Eye (as seen on PBS Kids Jakers!) and Miss Melody. They all come together with the grown-ups for a demonstration by Chef Antonio Frontera, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Kids in the Kitchen.

Vienna Vegetable Orchestra
Nov. 6, 7 p.m.
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Tobias Theater
$18 public/$15 IMA members
Yes, they play vegetables – a pepper trumpet, a leek violin – and the sounds are stunning. Sample these one-of-a-kind sounds at Before or after the concert, take part in a gently used cookbook swap. Presented by the Indianapolis Museum of Art with support from the Indiana Humanities Council.

Closing Weekend:
The closing weekend dishes up opportunities for conversation and
community service.

Michael Pollan
Presenting Sponsor: Wishard Health Services
Nov. 12, noon-1:30 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral
For ticket information, visit

Author Michael Pollan will talk about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. Named to Time magazine’s 2010 list of the world’s 100 most influential people, Pollan is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.

Pollan’s presentation kicks off the Perpetual Pitch-in Project, 48 consecutive hours of community meals Nov. 12-14 that will help combat hunger. Register your group at

15th Annual Public Conversation
Saturday, Nov. 13, 7-8:30 p.m.
Emmerich Manual High School, Indianapolis

This year’s Public Conversation features Will Allen, former professional basketball player, founder/CEO of Growing Power in Milwaukee and named by Time magazine as one of 100 people who most affect our world; Harrell Fletcher, internationally known visual artist whose work on community-supported agriculture farms have found expression in his artwork, and whose socially engaged collaborative projects have shown internationally; and Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet, co-founder of Food First: The Institute for Food and Development Policy and winner of the 2008 James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award.

Allen, Fletcher and Lappé will have a spontaneous, frank discussion on critical social justice issues such as how the world guarantees equal access to nutritious food, and how we ensure that the way we grow and distribute food meets our needs both for nourishment and sustainability. The conversation will be moderated by Rev. Kevin Armstrong, senior pastor at North United Methodist Church.

For details on these and all Spirit & Place programs and events, visit

The Spirit & Place Festival promotes civic engagement, respect for diversity, and public imagination through collaborations among arts, religious, and civic organizations. Spirit & Place is a collaborative community project managed by The Polis Center, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Major financial contributors include Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Wishard Health Services, The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of CICF; Eli Lilly and Company; IUPUI/IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; and the University of Indianapolis, as well as more than 200 other community partners and donors. For more information, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit This year's festival takes place Nov. 5-14, 2010.

Get Comfortable in the Kitchen

Are you as comfortable in the kitchen as you are in your blue jeans? The key to cooking a great meal is feeling as at home in your kitchen as you do in a favorite pair of jeans.

With the exclusive launch of her new book Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen and Blue Jean Chef cookware and cooking tools, Meredith Laurence is aiming to nix your kitchen anxieties once and for all. Between her informative recipes and smartly designed cookware, you’ll be feeling confident in the kitchen, making great meals.

With the help of Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen, you can settle into your kitchen comfort zone. Meredith brings home cooks the tips and tricks that she has acquired during years of working in cooking schools, test kitchens, and restaurants all over the world. Her explanations of recipes and techniques will give you the familiarity and ease that you need to whip up a fabulous meal. Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen is available exclusively through QVC and will be featured on In the Kitchen with David on October 31, 2010 at 12pm EDT.

For seasoned professionals and beginning home cooks alike, Meredith’s new line of Blue Jean Chef Cookware is the key to cooking with ease. Blue Jean Chef Cookware will be featured on QVC on October 31, 2010 at 7pm EDT. The program, Meredith Laurence - the Blue Jean Chef ,part of the Chef Sundays series, will feature a dishwasher-safe hard anodized aluminum set of pans, kitchen towels, a round ceramic baking dish, a grill pan, cutting boards, a cookbook holder (perfect for Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen), a trusty knife, and a selection of four of Meredith’s favorite wines to pair with recipes from her book. Blue Jean Chef products are designed to help you relax while you cook.

Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen is designed to teach basic techniques and then strengthen skills, each chapter contains basic recipes that will give you a solid understanding of how the dish works, and four other recipes that build on that technique, but use different ingredients to create a unique and delicious meal. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe and practiced the variations, you’ll be comfortable enough with the dish to improvise and make it your own! For example, start with the magically simple Basic Roast Chicken. Next, spice things up with Jerk Spiced Roast Chicken; Chipotle Orange Roast Chicken; Summer Ale Chicken with Caramelized Onions; and Five-Spice Roast Chicken. In addition to the basic recipes and their variations, each chapter has Blue Jean Chef Favorites: recipes that don’t fit into the basic groups, but are some of Meredith’s favorite dishes. With chapters on:
-Soups and Salads
-Snacks and Sandwiches
-Meat and Poultry
-Fish and Seafood
-Desserts and Treats

Meredith will help you have all your bases covered. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You may as well get comfortable!

About the Author
Meredith Laurence was born in Canada, but has made Philadelphia her home since 2001. She is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and has worked in numerous capacities and settings in the food world, from restaurants in France to California, cooking schools across the nation, and a culinary consulting test kitchen. Meredith’s belief garnered from her diverse experience is that being comfortable in the kitchen is the key to successful and enjoyable cooking. How comfortable? Well, as comfortable as you would be in your blue jeans, relaxing with friends. Meredith currently cooks on live television for QVC as the Blue Jean Chef.

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
The cornmeal in these pancakes gives them a little crunch and a lovely yellow color. Add the lemon and blueberries, and they are delightful little pancakes.
Serves 6 to 8

1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries
butter or oil for greasing the pan

Mix all the dry ingredients with the lemon zest together in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, lemon juice and oil or butter in a separate bowl or large glass measuring cup. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites until the egg white is fluffy and soft peaks form.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the two are just combined. Stir in the blueberries and then fold in the egg whites until you can’t see streaks of white anymore, but be careful not to over-mix the batter.
Pre-heat a non-stick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil or butter and lightly coat the surface of the griddle. When the butter no longer sizzles, but a droplet of water splashed into the griddle does sizzle, the griddle is ready to make the pancakes.

Pour batter onto the griddle, making pancakes of whatever size you wish. Do not disturb the pancakes until you see many little bubbles on the uncooked surface of the batter – about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until brown. Remove the pancakes from the griddle and repeat for next batch, adding butter or oil as desired between batches.

Basic Halibut en Papillote with Lemon and White Wine
To cook en papillote means to cook in parchment paper. All the ingredients are wrapped inside and the moisture trapped inside steams the fish. It’s perfect for fish that are more delicate and harder to handle. You can even serve the fish in its parchment wrapping, like a present on a plate. Healthy, easy, presents… what’s not to love?
Serves 4

4 fillets of halibut (about 6 ounces each)
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, sliced
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 egg white, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine
Pre-heat the oven to 400° F.

Cut out 4 large squares of parchment paper – about 13-inches by 15-inches each.

Place a fillet of halibut on one half of each piece of paper. Season the fish very well with salt and pepper. Top each fillet with lemon slices and thyme sprigs.

Brush the outer rim of the parchment squares with the beaten egg white. Dot each fillet with 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of white wine on each piece of fish.

Fold up each parchment square by folding one half of the paper over onto the other half and pressing together. Make a series of straight folds on the outer rim of the squares to seal the edge together.

Place the four packages onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. The package should be puffed up and slightly browned when fully cooked. The fish should feel firm to the touch (you can carefully press on the fish through the paper).

You can serve these simply with the parchment paper cut open to reveal the insides, have your guests cut open the packages at the table, or remove the parchment completely, transferring the tasty insides to a plate.

Recipe explained…
The components required to cook fish en papillote are: a nice fillet of fish, some additional ingredients to provide flavor, a liquid to create steam, and (optionally) some fat to enhance the finished sauce. Once you have all your ingredients, the most challenging part of cooking en papillote is making sure the folds you make around the edges are tight enough to hold in the steam. There are a few tricks that help create the tight seal required.

First of all, using an egg white wash helps “glue” the paper edges together. I like to brush the perimeter of the parchment with egg white before I add any liquid to the package. The egg white wash helps to keep the liquid from running off the paper a little, but more importantly putting the egg white wash on first allows you to fold the edges of the paper immediately after adding the liquid, not giving it time to escape. Secondly, overlap each fold of the paper. Make an initial fold on one corner of the parchment, and then start the second fold in the middle of the first fold. (see photos on opposite page) Repeat the folds all the way around the fish and then twist the final fold to help keep it closed.

You won’t be able to see the fish cooking through the parchment, so you have to judge whether the fish is cooked by experience, by touching to feel if the fish is firm, and by gauging 10 minutes at 400° F for every inch of fish. Once cooked, the sauce has already been prepared in the parchment pouch. If you choose to serve the fish without the parchment, be sure to pour all that juice over the fish before serving.

Pork Medallions with Picatta Sauce
Picatta is a versatile Italian pan sauce made with lemons and capers. It’s a great sauce to have in your repertoire because you can pair it with chicken, pork, veal, fish or seafood.
Serves 3 - 4

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Pre-heat the oven to the lowest temperature possible – usually around 170° F.

Prepare the pork medallions. Remove the silver skin (the silver membrane found on part of the exterior of the tenderloin) by running a sharp knife underneath it and cutting it off the meat. Slice the tenderloin into 1-inch slices. Pound these slices gently with a meat pounder until they are approximately ¾-inch thick. Season the pork medallions with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the pork in the flour and shake off any excess.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the olive oil and sear the pork in batches for about 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork and place on a platter, covered with aluminum foil, in the oven to keep warm.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the lemon slices to the skillet and brown lightly. Then, add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and cook for another minute, taking care not to burn the drippings in the skillet. Add the chicken stock and simmer, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet, until the liquid has reduced by half – about 8 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and capers to the skillet and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the pork medallions and any juices to the skillet and turn to coat all the pieces in the sauce. Serve immediately.

Gifts Sure To Melt Anyone's Heart

This Valentine’s Day, let Edible Gifts help you give the gift of love with delicious gourmet treats that are sure to melt anyone’s heart.

Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookie Conversation Hearts ($1.75 each) can help you send the perfect message to that special or even not-so-special someone. Just select which message you want to send – “Love You,” “Miss You,” “Text Me” and “Bite Me”.

TheSay It In Fudge Gift Box ($19.95) is a great way to send your own personal message to that special someone, with eight ounces of creamy chocolate fudge in a red heart-shaped box.

Chocolate lovers will also love the Heart Brownie Bites Gift Box ($27.50), featuring 10 hand decorated mini heart brownies in assorted red and white colors. These fudgy treats are then topped with beautiful accents added by hand.

For chocolate lovers who also love fruit, give them the Valentine Chocolate Apple Trio ($34.95) featuring three medium-sized Granny Smith apples. Each is covered with creamy caramel and then individually topped with coconut, M&M and a festive Valentine sprinkle mix.

The Valentine Truffle Assortment ($52.95) is a delicious collection of two dozen artisan Swiss style cream filled truffles. This romantic assortment promises a burst of exotic flavor.

When in doubt, you can never go wrong with good ole fashion chocolate and the Black Forest Cake ($60) is just that. Not actually a cake at all, this chocolate delight is an assortment of Hershey Bars, raspberry hard candies and chocolate covered cherries arranged in the shape of a cake.

Check out Edible Gifts Plus’ entire Valentine’s Day collection online for other delicious ideas.

Cakelets - Innovative Custom Mini-Desserts Are a Tasty & Unique Wayto Indulge a Sweet Tooth

When Amy Eilert started her own business, Cupcake Envy, 4 years ago from the confines of her kitchen, little did she know that she’d trigger an avalanche of interest from people all over the world.

Her cakelets, highly designed and decorated mini cakes sculpted into any shape imaginable – and then shrunk down to the size of a cupcake, have even garnered a cameo spot on the prime time TV show Ugly Betty.

"What makes them so special is their size and that you can customize them and make it special and personal," says Eilert.

Amy’s culinary creations know only the bounds of her own imagination and the desires of the people who ask her to develop something new, special and unique.

For Halloween, tastes tend to turn to the dark and spooky.

Her cakelets are designed to cater to anyone’s interests whether they are – be they sports minded or rabid readers. She’s even made a cakelet which contained a proposal for marriage.

In 2009, Amy began teaching cakelet classes around the United States In February, 2010, Amy travelled to Austin, TX to judge a baking competition alongside the best pastry chefs in the country at That Takes the Cake Cake Show and Competition.
Her innovative designs have recently earned Eilert a spot as a contestant on Season 8 of the Food Network’s Cake Challenge, where she will be the first contestant to introduce the concept of cakelets to the food network audience.

Her website contains dozens of photos of the cakes she has created. Cakelets can be ordered online for delivery anywhere at

To see Amy making custom designed dress, go to:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Save $5 at TGI Friday's

T.G.I. Friday’s has an awesome value for you and your friends. Valid now through October 9 print this coupon:

and get $5 off your purchase of $15 or more. Now that you’re in-the-know, you can wow your friends with delicious food and fun! Just share this deal with them. They’ll love you for it! And stay tuned as a new offer will be coming your way on October 11t

Celebrate with these Spooky Cocktails from Barcardi

Halloween is the spookiest time of year and is the perfect excuse for hosting your own haunted Halloween bash. Search for your scariest costume, stock up on seasonal candy and invite your friends over to join in on the eerie and ghoulish festivities. Impress your guests with one of these spooky and delicious Halloween themed cocktails from BACARDI®, “rum of the bat”.

3 1/3 parts BACARDI® Superior Rum
1 part grenadine
1 part triple sec
2 parts sweet and sour mix
2 parts orange juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into tall glass.
Float small portion BACARDI ® 151° Rum. Garnish with fresh fruit.

1 part BACARDI® O™ Flavored Rum
4 parts Cream Soda
Pour ingredients over ice. Garnish with orange wedge.

2 parts BACARDI 8 Year Old Rum
½ part Sloe Gin
2 doz. Redcurrants
½ part fresh lemon juice
½ part vanilla syrup
Cubed Ice
A small bunch of redcurrants to garnish

Muddle the redcurrants in the bottom of a shake
Add all other ingredients (except the garnish)
Throw in some ice and give a good hard shake
Double strain into a chilled or frozen cocktail glass
Garnish with red currants

2 parts BACARDI® Superior Rum
1 part Cognac
2 parts Fresh Orange Juice
½ art Orgeat Syrup
1 part fresh lemon juice
Cubed Iced
Sprig of mint to garnish

Pour all the ingredients (except the garnish) into a shaker
Throw in some ice and give it a good shake
Strain into a highball or Collins glass half-full of ice
Garnish with a sprig of mint

3 parts BACARDI® Superior Rum
1 part Raspberry Liqueur
2 parts Cranberry Juice

Mix together in a shaker with ice and strain into a shot glass.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bob Evans 40th Annual Farm Festival, October 8-10

The 40th Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival is taking place at the Bob Evans Homestead October 8-10 in Rio Grande, Ohio. With 569 family restaurants in 18 states, this annual festival is an opportunity for the restaurant to welcome their guests “home” to get a first-hand look at where it all started.

Attended by more than 30,000 people each year, the Farm Festival offers a wide array of attractions, from lessons on cow milking to potato sack races, pie-eating contests, lumberjack demonstrations, and bluegrass, gospel and country music concerts and farm-favorites like kettle corn, apple cider, traditional hot bean soup, and Bob Evans’ signature sausage will be available to eat. Guests can also visit the first Bob Evans restaurant and the Homestead Museum, which offers a visual tour through the life of Mr. Evans and his dream that grew to become an iconic brand. On-site primitive camping even provides accommodation right on the farm.

I hope you’ll consider attending the 40th Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival and I’m happy to offer you exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the festival’s skilled artisans and/or a one on one interview with Ray McKinniss, the man who operates Bob Evans farm today.

For more information about this year’s Farm Festival, including a full list of activities, directions entertainment schedule, visit Or watch for updates at

Organic Honey Green Tea - Why We Love It (Honest Tea)

Honest Tea’s Organic Honey Green Tea is a great way to help boost immunity naturally. How many “healthy” beverages have just four pronounceable ingredients? Not many. Here is our ingredients list:
· 2 grams of organic tea leaves
· 1 cup purified water
· 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
· 1 teaspoon organic honey

Why organic? Tea leaves, unlike fruits and veggies, are never washed before brewing. That means that pesticides - if they were used in the growing process - are likely to end up in your beverage, and ultimately in your body.

Why green tea? Studies suggest that the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), found in green tea, has many health benefits and may protect against a range of cancers including lung, prostate and breast cancer. We test our organic teas to determine the antioxidant levels and strive to develop teas that are healthy and still taste good. Find out more info here:

Why honey? Our organic honey offers just the right amount of sweetness to make it interesting.

Legendary Las Vegas Chef André Rochat Showcases Palette-Pleasing Meatless Menu to Benefit Nevada Cancer Institute

National Vegetarian Month kicks off October 1. To mark this occasion and increase awareness of the variety of delicious meat-free options, Alizé at the Top of the Palms is offering a special, six-course vegetarian tasting menu. Featuring mouth-watering meat- alternatives that are both tasting and fulfilling, the special menu is priced at $55 per person. Even more appetizing is $5 of every vegetarian tasting menu purchased will be donated to Nevada Cancer Institute.

“There are so many wonderful and tasty vegetarian options,” said Chef Rochat. “Many of the vegetables featured are perfect for the season and it makes for a great culinary adventure.”

Chef Rochat’s special six-course vegetarian tasting menu features field greens and herbs delicately wrapped in cucumber with balsamic vinegar and hearts of palm. Next, enjoy a chilled tomato gazpacho with basil ratatouille, crispy tomato and basil crisps. Then experience a baked vegetable pot au feu in a crisp puff pastry shell followed by potato and leek “risotto” with Chanterelle mushrooms and Perigord truffles. For a satisfying main course, enjoy fall vegetables four ways featuring spice crusted tofu with Piquillo pepper purée, curried cauliflower with golden raisins and pine nuts, black truffle risotto and Tagine glazed vegetables and dried fruits. For dessert, choose from Crème Brûlée or Soufflé Du Jour or Mascarpone Tiramisu.

Reservations for this unique culinary event are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling (702) 951-7000. For more information including a complete menu for the Vegetarian Month Tasting, visit

Named after the gentle trade winds that sweep the French Caribbean Islands, Alizé features world-class cuisine, service and wine list, boasting the most dramatic view of the famous Las Vegas Strip. Chef and Proprietor André Rochat of the respected and award winning Andre’s Restaurant, opened Alizé – the crown jewel of his culinary empire in 2001 on the top floor of the Palms Casino Resort. Alizé quickly became the talk of the town and has gained notoriety and accolades being named by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top new restaurants in the world. Located inside the Palms Casino Resort at 4321 W. Flamingo Road, Alizé is open daily from 5:30 p.m. For more information, go to or

Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) is the official cancer institute for the State of Nevada. A nonprofit organization, NVCI is committed to reducing the burden of cancer by pursuing the development of a comprehensive cancer center, as defined by the National Cancer Institute. Through the knowledge and expertise of the finest scientists, clinicians, educators and caregivers, the Institute provides hope to communities in Nevada, the southwest and beyond through research, education, early detection, prevention and high quality patient care. NVCI is striving for a future without cancer that is achieved through innovative and collaborative research in basic, clinical and population science. For more information, please visit or call (702) 822-LIFE.

100% of Pink Ribbon Bagel From Panera Bread Sales To Benefit ACS, October 1

Panera Bread

Panera Bread will donate 100% of all Pink Ribbon Bagel sales on October 1 to the American Cancer Society of Southwest Ohio. In addition, $0.10 of each Pink Ribbon Bagel sold from October 2 through October 31 will be donated

Panera Bread is hosting the Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign in an effort to support those who have fought breast cancer and to increase the visibility of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Please see the attached news release for more details.

All southwest Ohio Panera Bread bakery cafes

October 1 – 100% of Pink Ribbon Bagel sales will be donated to ACS
October 2 – 31 $0.10 from every Pink Ribbon Bagel sold will be donated to ACS

Champaign County, Ohio Farmers Market Voted America's Favorite

American Farmland Trust (AFT) along with hundreds of voters has just crowned the Champaign County Farmers’ Market as one of America’s four favorite farmers markets. The award is the culmination of AFT’s summer long “America’s Favorite Farmers Markets™” contest. It represents the integral role that the Champaign County Farmers’ Market plays in its community and the avid support demonstrated by the dedicated customers it has generated in its 22 years of operations.
Here is what one Champaign County Farmers’ Market customer had to say:

“This market has the friendliest vendors, the best homemade and home grown products, and the lowest prices of any market I have ever been to. It is SUPER!!! They are doing such a great job in getting the right programs in place to help the less fortunate and those who don't have access to healthy selections, and to accommodate those who need assistance. What a great asset for the community!”

In its second year, the AFT contest registered over 60,000 votes in support of local farmers markets across the nation and featured nearly 1,300 participating farmers markets. The Champaign County Farmers’ Market registered 3,265 of these votes and won in the small market category.

Champaign County Farmers’ Market will receive a shipment of No Farms No Food® tote bags, along with other prizes including free printing services from igreenprint and free graphic design services from Virginia based design firm, SQN Communications. The totebags will be distributed at an event open to the press and public on October 9, 2010, beginning at 9:00 a.m., with remarks at 10:00 a.m., at the farmers market at:
E Market St & S Locust St, Urbana, Ohio. Go to for more information.

Along with the Champaign County Farmers’ Market, the Falls Church Farmers Market in Virginia took home the medium market prize, King George Farmers Market in Virginia, the boutique, and the Rochester Public Market in New York the large category. Farmers markets represent one of the great ways that consumers can support their local farmers, farmland, communities and regional economies.

Many barriers stand in the way of scaling up local farm production to meet the burgeoning demand for local food. AFT is working to support policies and programs to protect farmland, reduce barriers between farmers and consumers, and encourage communities to plan for agriculture and regional food systems.

Find out more about American Farmland Trust’s Growing Local Campaign: .

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium Selects Chef Cindy Pawlcyn

Chef Cindy Pawlcyn, one of America’s most respected chefs and a pioneer in the development of farm-to-table cuisine, was selected today, in partnership with ARAMARK, to manage the culinary services of the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium. The culinary collaboration of Cindy Pawlcyn, her partner Sean Knight and ARAMARK, a leader in providing food services to a variety of destinations, will bring her cooking philosophy to all aspects of the aquarium’s food and beverage program, including its self-service café, full-service restaurant and private event catering.

“We are very pleased to announce this new partnership,” said Julie Packard, executive director of the aquarium. “Cindy Pawlcyn has an extraordinary reputation as a chef and an advocate for sustainable cuisine and Seafood Watch. We’re delighted that our daytime guests, and attendees at evening events, will be treated to dishes that reflect her culinary vision.”

Cindy Pawlcyn, creator of Mustards Grill and many other critically acclaimed restaurants, will bring her cooking and guest service philosophy to all areas of the aquarium’s food and beverage program, including its self-service café, full-service restaurant and private-event catering.

“For 25 years, I have loved coming to the Monterey Bay Aquarium with family and friends. It is the best aquarium on the planet,” said Pawlcyn. “I am excited to bring our farm-to-table philosophy and sustainable, locally produced products to enhance the food experience of the Aquarium’s 1.8 million visitors per year. I look forward to working with new farmers, ranchers, fishermen and purveyors from the Monterey Bay region.” Pawlcyn emphasized her commitment to bringing an exciting, fresh perspective to this important part of the Aquarium’s guest experiences, while adhering to the highest standards of the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program to provide healthy, delicious and satisfying food, sourced responsibly.

Cindy Pawlcyn’s restaurants have long been popular with both locals and a diverse tourism population. Pawlcyn and Knight own three of Napa Valley’s most successful restaurants, including the wine country icon Mustards Grill, and the St. Helena restaurants Go Fish and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen.

ARAMARK has been a national partner of the Seafood Watch program since 2008 and is committed to the purchase of sustainable seafood for all of its operations across the U.S. The company will provide management support for the food operations at the Aquarium through its ARAMARK Parks and Destinations division.

Scrambled Eggs: Factory Farms Hijacking Organic Egg Production

An independent report has been released that focuses on widespread abuses in organic egg production, primarily by large industrial agribusinesses. The study profiles the exemplary management practices employed by many family-scale organic farmers engaged in egg production, while spotlighting abuses at so-called factory farms, some confining hundreds of thousands of chickens in industrial facilities, and representing these eggs to consumers as "organic."

[The full news release can be viewed at:]

The report will be formally presented to the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the October meeting of the National Organic Standards Board in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group, developed the report, Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture, following nearly two years of research into organic egg production. The report also contains a scorecard rating various egg brands on how their eggs are produced in accordance with federal organic standards and consumer expectations.

"After visiting over 15% of the certified egg farms in the United States, and surveying all name-brand and private-label industry marketers, it's obvious that a high percentage of the eggs on the market should be labeled ‘produced with organic feed’ rather than bearing the USDA-certified organic logo," said Mark A. Kastel, The Cornucopia Institute’s codirector and senior farm policy analyst.

According to the United Egg Producers (UEP), the industry lobby group, 80 percent of all organic eggs are produced by just a handful of its largest members. Most of these operations own hundreds of thousands, or even millions of birds, and have diversified into "specialty eggs," which include organic. At least one UEP member, Hillandale Farms, has been implicated in the recent nationwide salmonella outbreak affecting conventional eggs.

Cornucopia’s report focuses not on the size of some of these mammoth agribusinesses but rather on their organic livestock management practices. It says that most of these giant henhouses, some holding 85,000 birds or more, provide no legitimate access to the outdoors, as required in the federal organic regulations.

The new report comes at a critical juncture for the organic poultry industry. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the expert citizen advisory panel set up by Congress to advise the USDA on organic policy, has been debating a set of proposed new regulations for poultry and other livestock that would establish housing-density standards and a clearer understanding of what the requirement for outdoor access truly means. The industry’s largest operators, along with their lobbyists, have been loudly voicing their opposition to requirements for outdoor space.

"Many of these operators are gaming the system by providing minute enclosed porches, with roofs and concrete or wood flooring, and calling these structures ‘the outdoors,’" stated Charlotte Vallaeys, a farm policy analyst with Cornucopia and lead author of the report. "Many of the porches represent just 3 to 5 percent of the square footage of the main building housing the birds. That means 95 percent or more of the birds have absolutely no access whatsoever."

“If one animal has the legal right to be outdoors, then all animals have the same right, whether they choose to take turns or if they all choose to be outside at the same time," said Jim Riddle, organic outreach coordinator with the University of Minnesota and former chairman of the NOSB.

At previous meetings of the NOSB, United Egg Producers represented industrial-scale producers and publicly opposed proposals to strengthen regulations requiring outdoor access.

“We are strongly opposed to any requirement for hens to have access to the soil,” said Kurt Kreher of Kreher’s Sunrise Farms in Clarence, N.Y. And Bart Slaugh, director of quality assurance at Eggland’s Best, a marketer of both conventional and organic eggs based in Jeffersonville, Pa., noted that, “The push for continually expanding outdoor access … needs to stop.”

Family-scale organic egg farmers, and their allies, intend to challenge corporate agribusiness lobbyists and make their voices heard at the October 25 meeting of the NOSB.

In 2004, The Cornucopia Institute launched a similar campaign to rein in what it called "scofflaws" operating industrial-scale organic dairy farms milking as many as 10,000 cows in confinement/feedlot settings.

A series of legal complaints filed by Cornucopia resulted in the decertification of or sanctions to some factory dairies, and after years of organizing, the organic community was able to persuade the USDA to incorporate strict benchmarks into the standards requiring organic ruminants (cows, sheep and goats) to obtain a significant amount of their feed intake from grazing on pasture. A phase-in of the new regulations ends in June 2011.

"From the beginning our position was that the original organic regulatory language actually means something," said Kastel. "Just because it didn't prescribe exactly how to comply with the requirement for ‘access to the outdoors for all organic livestock’ or ‘access to pasture for ruminants’ doesn't mean farm operators could ignore the requirement."

"As in organic dairying, we discovered similar flagrant violations of the law in the organic egg business,” lamented Kastel “Some of the largest operators even have a note from their veterinarian, or some state official, saying ‘we recommend that you not let your birds outside to protect their health.’ And some accommodating, corporate-friendly organic certifiers have signed-off on this," Kastel said.

Cornucopia has again filed legal complaints against several poultry companies that either offer their birds no access to the outdoors or “faux” outdoor access—very small enclosed porches.

After visiting scores of egg producers in nine states, the authors of the Cornucopia report also conclude that the vast majority of family-scale producers are complying with the organic regulations and meeting consumer expectations. “This is the good news in this report,” explained Kastel. “Now the USDA needs to step up and protect ethical organic farmers from unfair and illegal competition."

"An important subset of organic farmers are even going far beyond the minimum requirements in the organic standards: not just providing access to the outdoors but rotating birds on high-quality pasture," affirmed Vallaeys.

The report profiles some of these producers who have mobile chicken coops, like Alexandre Ecodairy Farms in Northern California, with 2,800 birds in three movable henhouses. Alexandre’s eggs are available at Whole Foods stores in Northern California and the North Coast Co-op, in Eureka-Arcata, California.

“When consumers buy organic eggs, I think they expect that the hens were out on pasture, enjoying fresh air, running around, foraging in the pasture,” said Stephanie Alexandre of Alexandre Ecodairy Farms.

“In addition to the pastured poultry producers with mobile coops, most organic family-scale producers have fixed henhouses holding 1,000-10,000 birds,” stated Vallaeys, who is an expert on farm policy and animal welfare issues, with advanced degrees from Harvard and Tufts.

The best producers with permanent housing profiled in Scrambled Eggs have plenty of pasture available surrounding their chicken houses, multiple popholes (doors) of adequate size and maintain the birds by rotating them into separate paddocks, allowing a rest period for the pasture to recover.

Laying hens on pasture-based farms tend to be under less stress—based on their greater opportunity to exercise and ability to engage in instinctive foraging behaviors that cuts down on aggression toward their flock mates— and frequently live closer to three years instead of the one year that is common on industrial-scale farms.

“Our hens are healthy, live longer, and produce better-tasting and more nutritious eggs. How can you go wrong with pasturing?” said Tim Koegel of Windy Ridge Natural Farms, an organic producer in Alfred, New York.

Organic customers are also becoming increasingly aware of a growing body of scientific literature confirming the nutritional superiority of eggs when the birds have an opportunity to eat fresh forage, seeds, worms and insects.

"Our job, and the basis of this research and report, is protecting the livelihoods of family-scale organic farmers who are being placed at a distinct competitive disadvantage by corporations that are more than willing to ignore the rules and cut corners in pursuit of profit," added the Cornucopia's Kastel.

One of these producers is Ivan Martin of Natural Acres in Millersburg, Pennsylvania, whose pastured poultry operation went out of business last year. “Consumers saw my eggs next to other so-called organic eggs bearing the exact same USDA Organic label, and probably thought they were equivalent in terms of outdoor access and nutrition. We could not compete with those [factory farm] eggs,” said Martin, who hopes to re-launch his organic poultry business.

Scrambled Eggs and the organic egg brand scorecard can be viewed at

“The commercial size egg industry—both conventional and organic—has great concerns with birds having outdoor access," wrote The United Egg Producers in testimony before the National Organic Standards Board.

Riddle, a former NOSB chairman, illustrating the illegality of the small porches as a substitute for true outdoor access, added, "The outdoor access space needs to be sufficient in size and designed to accommodate all animals being outdoors at once."

"Just as with our dairy brand scorecard, our goal is to empower consumers and wholesale buyers with information to make good, discerning purchasing decisions—rewarding the heroes and sending a strong message to the bad actors," Kastel stated.

"These giant ‘factory farms,’ or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), generally produce eggs from caged birds, but they have diversified, depending on which way the marketing winds blow, to cage-free, vegetarian, omega-3 and the organic label,” Kastel added

"Whether it's laying hens for eggs, hogs for meat, or cows for dairy, organic customers expect livestock to be treated with respect and in compliance with the standards,” added Kastel. "The good news in this report is that the vast majority of organic farmers meet these high expectations. Now the USDA needs to step up to protect them from unfair competition. Congress gave the USDA the authority to protect these farmers from unscrupulous competitors. It needs to wield that power!"

Organic farmers, and their urban allies, can obtain full information (including talking points) regarding attending the upcoming NOSB meeting or submitting written comments by visiting the action alert section at: The USDA’s National Organic Program website is:

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Year's Resolution Idea: Nutritious Meals To Bring To Work To Save Money AND Calories

How about a roundup of convenient and healthy lunch ideas for your readers wanting to stick to the New Year’s resolution of saving money by bringing a lunch instead of buying it every day,

Saving $5 to $6 a day packing a lunch can save you $1250+ per year!

If you’re interested, please keep in mind Organic Bistro and Helen’s Kitchen, two brands making healthy-for-you frozen meals that take seconds to grab in the morning.
Would you be interested in trying samples?
Here’s some more detail:

Organic Bistro meals, supported by dietitians nationally, are balanced with the very finest sources of lean protein, fiber-rich whole grains, organically-grown vegetables and healthy fats. Every meal is also gluten-free, low-glycemic, unprocessed and free of salt and artificial flavorings. Varieties include: Wild Salmon, Savory Turkey and Ginger Chicken (to name a few).

Helen’s Kitchen, a family-owned brand inspired by a mother’s meal creations, makes organic and vegetarian frozen meals completely free of trans-fats, MSG and GMOs. Each feature the brand’s original tofu steaks and provide a source of complete “whole” soy protein, Isoflavones and antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Varieties include: Thai Yellow Curry, Cheese Enchiladas, Rotelli Primavera, Mac & Cheese, Hearty Bean Chili, and Burritos (to name a few).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Healthy Winter Drink Ideas

Healthy and festive drink ideas for the holiday season! Here are two delicious ideas using the goodness of Almond Breeze® non-dairy almond milk. These tasty beverages will surely keep you and guests merry; and since almond milk is bursting with natural nutrients (Vitamin, A, D, & E), you don’t have to feel guilty. It’s available in Original, Vanilla and Chocolate at any Whole Foods or natural foods section in your grocer.


2 cups Almond Breeze® Vanilla
2 ounces spiced rum
1 ounce brandy
1/3 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for garnish
Light whipped cream to garnish
Slivered almonds to garnish

Over low heat, combine Almond Breeze® Vanilla, rum, brandy, almond extract, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly with a whisk until very warm. Pour into large mugs, leaving an inch of room to the top. Top with whipped cream, almonds and a sprinkle of nutmeg.


2 cups Almond Breeze® Original
6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the chocolate and cocoa in a mixing bowl. Heat Almond Breeze® in a saucepan. Pour over chocolate and cocoa and whisk well to melt and make frothy. Stir in vanilla. If available, use a hand blender or hand mixer to make it even more frothy on top. Pour into mugs and serve immediately. Dust with cocoa to garnish and serve with Chocolate-Covered Almonds.

Asian Sauces - Organic and Gluten Free

Tantalizing Asian flavors are no longer off limits for anyone on a gluten-free diet!

We all know soy sauce and most Asian sauces are made with wheat-filled soy - hence, taboo for adults or kids sensitive to gluten. Not anymore! Go ahead and stir up an authentic Asian dinner tonight with San-J’s line of organic certified gluten-free Asian sauces. They are delicious, 100% natural, and no wheat. The line includes:

•Organic Gluten Free Tamari Soy Sauce (made with 100% soybeans)
•Organic Gluten Free Reduced Sodium Tamari Soy Sauce
•Gluten Free Asian Cooking Sauces
•Gluten Free Asian Salad Dressings

Find great recipes and learn more at You can buy San-J products at Whole Foods or your local natural food store.

Can’t diet? Try recipes that turn comfort foods into healthy dishes

If Mandy Potter said you could lose weight and eat healthier without giving up the foods you love, would you believe her?

“Most people don’t, until they taste my food,” says the author of Cooking with Healthy Girl: Everyday Recipes Made Healthy. “Then they say, ‘Give me your recipe!’"

Potter’s full-color cookbook contains such family favorites as Green Bean Casserole, with fewer calories and less sugar, fats, carbs and cholesterol than even the Campbell’s Fat-Free or Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup versions.

Or Peanut Butter Cookies, made by Potter with just 3 tablespoons’ butter and 1/2 cup of sugar, compared to the Jif Peanut Butter Press Cookies that are made with 1/4 cup of butter and 1 cup sugar.

“It’s amazing how, when you start taking away all the oil and butter, you can bring out more of the food’s flavor," Potter says.

She got started on her quest to find healthier ways to cook the food she loves when she struggled to lose weight following the birth of twins in 2003.

“Dieting didn’t work for me, and it doesn’t work for most people because we end up craving the foods we’re not supposed to eat,” Potter says. “And most cookbooks for eating healthier include ingredients I can’t find in my small-town grocery store.”

In exasperation, and to cook food her family wanted to eat, she began experimenting with ways to make the same dishes she’d always made, but with more nutritional value. Making them taste like the original dishes was paramount; without that, she knew her plan wouldn’t work. She averages three attempts to convert a recipe to a healthy version that tastes the same.

Besides the cookbook, Potter shares tips and videos at Each recipe has been painstakingly researched for its nutritional value. The back of the book lists staples available in any grocery store and a four-week menu.

Potter invites reviews. Simply try three recipes from the cookbook, then post your review at

About the author:
Mandy Potter lives in Farmington (near St. Louis), Mo., with her husband and twin children, who are “always underfoot in the kitchen.” Using her “everyday recipes for healthy cooking,” she lost 85 pounds and is teaching her children how and why to eat healthy.

Cooking with Healthy Girl: Everyday Recipes Made Healthy
By Mandy Potter
ISBN: 9781449073428
© Mandy Potter, July 2010
Published by AuthorHouse
Photos by Miesner Photography
Softcover: 8½ x 8½ color
Retail price: $29.99
Available at,,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kings of Barbecue Deliver Finger Lickin’ Meal to Deployed Troops

John Markus, Pitmaster and Executive Producer, TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters, is leading Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Jaime Geer, Nicole Davenport and George “Tuffy” Stone, award-winning pitmasters featured on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters, on their first USO tour. The Kings of BBQ brought with them more than 2,000 pounds of beef brisket and barbecue sauce, 4,500 pounds of chicken leg quarters and 210 gallons of barbecue sauce and all the fixin’s to feed more than 3,000 deployed troops during two events.


• John Markus, Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Jaime Geer, Nicole Davenport and George “Tuffy” Stone, pitmasters featured on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters, a reality television show that give a first-hand look into the world of competitive barbecue.

• In addition to barbecue brisket and chicken, troops feasted on coleslaw, beans and potato salad.

• The 210 gallons of barbecue sauces and 100 pounds of rub used during this tour were provided by Head Country Barbecue, an Oklahoma-based company that has been producing superior quality, award-winning barbecue sauces since 1947.

• Ole Hickory Pits, a Missouri-based manufacturer and seller of state-of-the-art wood burning smoker ovens, is providing the barbecue pits.

• Emmy Award-winning writer John Markus began his career writing a revival of the animated “Mighty Mouse.” Accepted into Paramount’s apprentice program, he was a staff writer on Working Stiffs, a sitcom starring Michael Keaton and Jim Belushi. After an assignment on Paramount's Taxi, Markus joined the original writing staff of The Cosby Show, becoming the supervising producer for the series after six episodes and was promoted to co-executive producer for the second season. Markus co-created the critically-acclaimed Lateline with Al Franken. He was consulting producer on The Larry Sanders Show, and co-created the Cosby spin-off A Different World, which ran for six seasons on NBC. Markus also directed “Raised Right: The Making of a BBQ Man”, a documentary film portrait of three generations of a legendary BBQ restaurant. In the course of his culinary journey, he apprenticed under world champion Pitmasters Paul Kirk of Kansas City, aka The Baron of Barbecue, and Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson. Markus’ own competition team, Central Pork West, cooks regularly on the New England BBQ circuit and has garnered many awards in the categories of chicken, ribs, and brisket. The Kansas City Barbecue Society awarded him a PhB, an honorary status bestowed upon only a handful of Pitmasters.

• Barbecue legend Myron Mixon is one of the most awarded men in competitive barbecuing. As chief cook at Jack’s Old South Competition Team, his team has won more than 180 grand championships, resulting in more than 1,700 trophies, 30 state championships, being named Team of the Year 8 times and 11 national championships. Mixon has developed a line of Jack’s Old South Grills and Smokers, and is an instructor at the Bar-B-Que Cooking School.

• Johnny Trigg, of the “Smokin’ Triggers” barbecuing team, is best known for his award winning ribs. Residing in Texas, Trigg believes the secret to good barbecue is good quality meat.

• Jaime Geer has won more than $20,000 in competitive barbecuing. He is also known as one of the best BBQ pit smoker builders in the business. His “Jambo Pitts” are regarded as some of the best smokers money can buy.

• A fourth-generation Texas ranching daughter, Nicole Davenport just won her first Grand Championship at the World Wagyu Brisket and Steak Cook-off. Nicole began cooking barbecue with her father at age five on his homemade barbecue pit. Based in Sheffield, Texas, her company, Cowgirl Caterin', utilizes the farm-to-table philosophy of fresh food she grew up on at events on both coasts. She believes barbecue is an art requiring patience and good judgment to use smoke and fire.

• George “Tuffy” Stone began his cooking career in 1987 as a cooking apprentice to French chef Alain Quincey. His experience and hard work have paid off, earning approximately $125,000 in competitive barbecuing with his pit, “Grillvette.” Stone and his wife currently own Q Restaurants, a chain of Virginia-based restaurants, and Sharper Palate Catering Company, an award-winning premiere caterer in Richmond, Va.

Attributed to Myron Mixon:
“This trip got started by John Markus, and he’d been planning and wanting to do this for years. As he got more involved in television and the world of barbecue, he wanted to do something for the troops, and there’s nothing more American than that! With the help of the John Markus and the USO, we are here. The troops couldn’t be more great. Some of them have seen the show and know us. They have concerts and entertainers come through to see them, but what we’re doing is getting’ their bellies full and puttin’ them to sleep!”

Attributed to Johnny Trigg:
“This is probably the greatest experience of my entire life. Never did I think that this retired soldier would be able to cook world-class barbecue for these great troops. The real joy is going to be feeding these men and women and seeing the expressions on their faces. When I was in the service nothing like this ever happened. I can’t wait!”

Attributed to Jaime Geer:
“Coming over her and doing this for the troops is an experience of a lifetime, and it’ll be something that I will always cherish and remember.”

Attributed to Nicole Davenport:
“I'm honored to put on my chef's coat and cook BBQ for the men and women in uniform fighting for freedom every day over here. I'm really grateful for their hard work, and hope the home cooking is comforting for them.”

Attributed to George “Tuffy” Stone:
“Having the opportunity to come to Kuwait and cook for the troops is such a tremendous experience for me. As a former Marine, there’s nothing more I would have enjoyed more than some American barbecue. The smell of barbecue in the air seems to be quite the attraction over here, brining smiles to troops that we haven’t even fed yet.”

Attributed to John Markus, Pitmaster and Executive Producer, TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters:
“A trip to the Middle East to feed our troops barbecue has been a dream of mine for more than five years. To actually be here, under a full moon cooking brisket ad chicken all night, is a dream come true. We are thrilled to have a chance to give back o the men and women who have served, and we hope to do this again with the USO.”

Attributed to Paul Schatte, Head Country Barbecue:
“It is truly an honor for Head Country to provide barbecue sauce and seasoning for our troops and the Kings of BBQ USO tour. This is just one way we can say thank you to the men and women in the United States military. Enjoy!”

Warm up this Fall with Super Soups from McCormick

With the onset of cooler weather, soup is a healthful and delicious choice to warm up at home, at the office or in the school lunchroom. From homemade to prepared varieties, nourishing soups can satisfy your hunger by making you feel full longer.

Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, recommends choosing soups packed with flavorful “super foods” like beans, lean chicken or turkey, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes – and especially spices and herbs. “Using spices and herbs does more than add flavor to your favorite soups without added calories or sodium. They also contain concentrated levels of natural antioxidants comparable to fruits and vegetables, including many of the super foods,” says Dr. Bazilian. With just a dash, pinch or sprinkle of spices and herbs, you can turn your favorite soup into a flavorful “super soup”.

It’s easy to experiment with homemade soups by combining tried and true recipes with new ingredients and spices. McCormick has created delicious “super soup” recipes that are perfect for a hearty weekend meal. Some are also ideal for preparing in advance and freezing for those busy days when cooking time is limited.

Try a traditional meal turned inside-out with Chicken Pot Pie Soup that features the usual ingredients like chicken, mushrooms, carrots and onions, topped with a crouton seasoned with rosemary, thyme and garlic.
The addition of warm, sweet ginger and sesame seeds puts an Asian twist on an old-fashioned favorite in Sesame-Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup.

Create a contemporary dish that turns up the heat with Savory Turkey Sausage and Lentil Soup made with thyme, garlic, two kinds of red pepper, kielbasa and spinach.
Prepared soups can become a “super soup” as well. They are portable, easy to “spice” up and can be low in calories and high in nutrients. Spices and herbs are a better-for-you swap for traditional soup toppings, like croutons, cheese or sour cream. They add flavor without extra salt, sugar or fat.

Here are some easy tips to liven up classic prepared soups, and give them a quick antioxidant boost:

Give a Tuscan twist to chicken, vegetable or beef soup. Stir 1/8 teaspoon each thyme, oregano and crushed rosemary leaves into 2 cups soup.

Stir a sprinkle of turmeric into 1 tablespoon low-fat plain yogurt, then swirl mixture into butternut squash soup to add a boost of color and flavor.

Popcorn makes a fun garnish for tomato soup. Try sprinkling hot popcorn with spices such as turmeric, paprika or ground red pepper, then toss a handful on top of each serving.
Looking for more “super soup” ideas? Visit for new fall recipes and additional tips for spicing up your soup.

Iron Chef Michael Symon Wins Sandwich Recipe Competition

Iron Chef Michael Symon took the Mezzetta “Celebrity Make That Sandwich Competition” as seriously as any battle on the floor of the renowned kitchen stadium. With Emmy-Award Winning Jamie Oliver tweeting on his heels to win for the Food Revolution, Symon turned up the tweet-heat in the last weekend and pulled out a victory for his favorite charity, Autism Speaks.

“This contest was never about my sandwich—the Mezzetta peppers kill in the addictive sauce. I had some serious competition. Jamie, Cosentino, Daisy, Steph, APL, Jody—man any of those chefs could have won. I just had to keep up the tweets. I am really psyched to win this money for Autism Speaks.”

In addition to claiming bragging rights for the next year, Michael secured $10,000 for his charity of choice, Autism Speaks, to be donated by Mezzetta Specialty Foods. “Chefs have always been fans of our high quality peppers and it’s a total honor to work with them on this competition and support their favorite charities,” said Jeff Mezzetta, President of Mezzetta.

Renowned in the culinary world and adored in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Michael Symon is the James Beard Award-winning chef/owner of the critically acclaimed Cleveland restaurants Lola and Lolita, Bar Symon and the B Spot, as well as chef/partner of Roast in Detroit. Symon’s first restaurant, Lola, was named one of America’s Best Restaurants in Gourmet Magazine and Symon has been named a “National Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine, and “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine. He was also the winner of the first “The Next Iron Chef” on Food Network. He currently has a new show on Cooking Channel, “Cook Like an Iron Chef” and was recently a judge on Food Network’s “The Next Food Network Star.”

ABOUT MEZZETTA: With a history that began in 1935 in San Francisco's historic North Beach, Mezzetta is a specialty food producer best known for being America's favorite brand of domestic and imported peppers and olives. Now based in the culinary capital of Napa Valley, California, the company has been family-owned and operated for seventy-five years, and is directed by Jeff Mezzetta, President and CEO. The Mezzetta family of products includes three distinct brands, representing a wide variety of regional culinary specialties made from wholesome, quality ingredients and authentic recipes. Rooted in a rich Italian-American heritage, Mezzetta Specialty Foods is committed to delivering flavor, convenience and value to today's health-conscious consumers.

Local Chef Vies For Certified Master Chef Status

Chances are you have seen Fox’s "Master Chef," but what does it really take to earn the title of "Certified Master Chef®"? On Oct. 23-30, Alan Neace of Florence, Ky., culinary instructor at Midwest Culinary Institute, Cincinnati, will find out as he takes the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) official eight-day official Certified Master Chef (CMC) exam in Hyde Park, N.Y., along with 11 others. The CMC title is the highest professional designation a chef can receive, and there are currently only 60 CMCs in the nation.

Twelve chefs from across the country will gather in the kitchens at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, N.Y., for the test of a lifetime Oct. 23-30—the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) eight-day Certified Master Chef® (CMC®) exam. From healthy cooking to classical cuisine, chefs have prepared their entire careers for the chance to earn the highest professional distinction available and to join the ranks of the elite group known as Certified Master Chefs.

The last CMC exam was held four years ago. There are currently 60 CMCs and 12 Certified Master Pastry Chefs® (CMPC®) in the United States. In order for a chef to apply for the CMC exam, he/she must show documentation that they are a Certified Executive Chef® or Certified Culinary Educator®, provide two letters or recommendation from current CMCs and meet rigorous education and experience requirements. The cost for the examination process is $3,800. In addition, all other expenses associated with taking the exam (food for practice, travel, room, board, etc.) are the responsibility of the candidate.

On Oct. 20, three days before the exam, candidates will receive the protein for their healthy cooking segment. Within 24 hours, they must return nutritional analysis, menu and ingredient list that is approved by a registered dietician. The practical exam is administered in eight segments: healthy cooking, buffet catering, classical cuisine, freestyle cooking, global cuisine, baking and pastry, continental and northern Europe cuisines and market basket, demonstrating that the chef is well-rounded. Each category is graded in two parts: kitchen skills and presentation, and tasting. The minimum passing score for the entire exam is 75 points out of 100. If a candidate fails along the way, they are ineligible to continue.

“I want to be a CMC to verify my cooking/culinary skills at the highest level, period,” says candidate Shawn Hanlin, CEC. “It has been a goal of mine since working for Hartmut Handke, CMC, AAC, at The Greenbrier during my apprenticeship.”

The 2010 CMC candidates are:
Brian Beland, CEC, of Sterling Heights, Mich., executive chef, Country Club of Detroit, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Daniel Dumont, CEC, of Hampton Falls, N.H., vice president of culinary/corporate chef, Ocean Properties Ltd. Hotels and Resorts Portsmouth., N.H.; ACF Piscataqua Chapter

Randall Emert, CEC, CCA, of Lake Orion, Mich., executive chef, Great Oaks Country Club, Rochester, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Jason Hall, CEC, of Palm Coast, Fla., executive chef, Hammock Dunes Club, Palm Coast; ACF St. Augustine Chapter

Shawn Hanlin, CEC, of North Bend, Ore., executive director, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Ore.; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon

Shawn Loving, CEC, CCA, of Farmington, Mich., department chair/instructor, Schoolcraft College Culinary Arts Department, Livonia, Mich.; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

Robert Mancuso, CEC, of Dedham, Mass., executive chef, The Country Club, Chestnut Hill, Mass.; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston

Jonathan Moosmiller, CEC, of Penfield, N.Y., executive chef, Genesee Valley Club, Rochester, N.Y.; ACF Professional Chef/Cooks Association of Rochester

Alan Neace Sr., CEC, AAC, of Florence, Ky., culinary instructor, Midwest Culinary Institute, Cincinnati

Richard Rosendale, CEC, of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., executive chef, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs; ACF National Chapter

Brian Sode, CEC, AAC, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., executive chef, The Bear’s Club, Jupiter, Fla.; ACF National Chapter

John Thompson, CEC, of South St. Paul, Minn., executive chef, Minneapolis Club, Minneapolis; ACF Minneapolis Chefs Chapter

For more information about the 2010 CMC exam, visit ACF will announce which chefs earned the distinction of Certified Master Chefs on its website Oct. 30 and in a press release Nov. 1. To read ACF’s press releases, visit

About the American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 20,000 members in 225 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit

Harry & David Bakes a Dream Come True on Oprah

Harry & David, the brand that Delivers Happiness, was featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”: Ultimate Wildest Dreams Episode as the exclusive partner with the Centerville Pie Company to produce and distribute a Signature Chicken Pie. The partnership represents Harry & David’s unparalleled brand esteem as well as their commitment to public service, as demonstrated by their support of a local small business and its extended charitable affiliation, with a percentage of each purchase going to Cape Abilities, a non-profit that supports people with disabilities on Cape Cod.

On September 17th, Laurie Bowen and Kristin Broadley, founders of Centerville Pie Company, appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show®” where it was announced that Harry & David would work with them to produce pies by the thousands. Not only will Harry & David provide proceeds from pie sales to Laurie and Kristin, but they are more than matching the donations to Cape Abilities previously contributed by the Centerville Pie Company.

“We are both proud and thrilled to help Laurie and Kristin’s dream come true,” commented Gail Simon, VP Brand Marketing and Communications.

The Harry & David story is not unlike that of the Centerville Pie Company, having begun with two brothers and a dream of bringing their beloved Royal Riviera® Pears from the orchards of the Rogue Valley to New York City.

Laurie and Kristin recently visited the Harry & David Orchards and Headquarters in Medford, Oregon as part of the hands-on recipe testing and tasting to ensure that the pies will be authentic and match the flavor profiles that Harry & David and the Centerville Pie Company hold as high standards. The Centerville Chicken Pies are a delectable, satisfying addition to Harry & David unlike any other.

“I’ve always loved Harry & David. The food, the quality, the story. It’s a dream come true for us. We’re so thankful,” says Laurie Bowen.

Centerville Chicken Pies are currently available for order at or by calling (866) 233-7000. Beginning in October, pies will be featured in Harry and David Catalogs and available for purchase in stores nationwide. Pies can be purchased individually for $20 each or in pairs for $40, plus an additional delivery charge to ensure it arrives in perfect condition, packed in dry ice and shipped two day express. Customers can also go Deluxe with the Harry & David 3-Month, 6-Month or 12-Month Heritage Pie Club, which begins with the Centerville Chicken Pie featured in November.

About Centerville Pie Company and Cape Abilities
Centerville Pie Company makes hand-made pies from fresh ingredients. Founded in 2009 in Centerville, Massachusetts on Cape Cod by Laurie Bowen and Kristin Broadley, their pie shop sells over 20 varieties of savory and dessert pies.

Centerville Pie Company proudly supports Cape Abilities, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides jobs, homes, transportation and other services for over 300 people with intellectual disabilities, autism, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities across Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

About Harry & David
With a 75-year reputation for genuine farm-to-table freshness and unsurpassed artisanal quality, Harry & David is legendary for exclusive gifts such as the Fruit-of-the-Month Club® collection, featuring top-quality fruit, pampered on the tree, picked at its peak; Royal Riviera®,

Pears, prized for their lush juiciness, melting texture and exquisite flavor; Oregold® Peaches, the biggest, juiciest, sweetest-tasting peaches you're likely to taste; and Moose Munch® gourmet popcorn confection made exclusively in our own confectionery in flavors for everyone - some with nuts, some sweet, and some savory. Gifts from Harry & David, and its brands Cushman’s and Wolferman’s, are designed for festive occasions, entertaining and self enjoyment throughout the year. Through its stores, catalogs and website, Harry & David offers an affordable “best-of-class” experience as part of everyday life. Happiness Delivered! Harry & David is a dba of Harry and David.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Singha Premium Import Beer Launches Aggressive Marketing and Distribution Effort in U.S. Market

Premium Thai import Singha Beer is making major inroads in the mainstream U.S. imported beer arena. The brand has secured positions on the drink menus of a broad roster of fine bars, lounges and restaurants nationwide.

Commencing October 2010, Singha is launching a global promotional campaign in major U.S. cities including New York, San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as globally in Tokyo, Paris and other major international cities. In addition to launching the global campaign, Singha Beer has also established broad distribution and brand representatives across all 50 states.

“It is our intent to put Singha Beer at the top of consumer consciousness in the premium import beer market,” said Singha North America Director of Business Development and Operations, Charles Chaicharee.

Singha Beer, which was first brewed in 1933, is Thailand’s #1 beer export and enjoys the distinction of being the first beer from the first brewery in the country’s history. Singha is a full-bodied, distinctive and rich premium lager with strong hops characters, and is brewed from 100% malted barley, fine hops and pure artesian water. Singha Beer enjoys strong presence in nearly 50 markets worldwide.


Singha Corporation Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Boon Rawd Brewery Co., Ltd., the first and largest brewery in Thailand which was founded in 1933. The company was incorporated to oversee the beverage business of Boon Rawd Brewery Co., Ltd. and is responsible for the operation and marketing of beer, soda water, drinking water and functional drinks under “Singha,” “Leo,” “Thai Beer” and “B-ing” brand names.

At present, Singha Corporation Co., Ltd. operates three breweries and six soda water and drinking water plants located in strategic regions across Thailand. Singha Corporation Co., Ltd.’s vast distribution network further enhances its ability to serve customers throughout Thailand as well as in nearly 50 countries worldwide, including in Europe and North America, and in all 50 U.S. states under full compliance with FDA regulations and approval of each country. Singha North America is managed by Boon Rawd Trading International Co., Ltd.

Retro Breakfast for the Modern Techie

Pop Art Toaster™ knows just how to pop up with something fun when everything seems to be going downhill. Beat the economic downturn blues in classic 50's era style, with their Morning Bytes™.... toaster set!

Back in the fifties America was rapidly growing technologically and creating a new stylish way of life for families. Today, many long for the good old simpler days, but cannot imagine life without computers, which are especially omnipresent among college students and young adults. With more and more time spent in front of computer screens, the only problem is—how to connect to the social network and keep that cup of joe hot?

Pop Art Toaster™ has solved that modern age-old question by creating an updated retro appliance set that is an homage to simpler times. The fifties inspired toaster design features cool touch housing and comes in a 2-tone teal and black color. It has 3 toasting functions and can toast on 7 different heat settings, so even the pickiest toast connoisseurs can have it their way!

Similar to the TV dinners of the fifties, where families gathered to watch and eat at the tube, people are now gathering around the computer screen in the mornings to catch up on news, weather, and mail. Pop Art Toaster™ has embraced the era of affordable computers and is ushering in computer breakfasts. Plug the mug warmer into a USB port and ease into the day with a leisurely morning of coffee and browsing the internet. It even comes with a melamine tray for your breakfast like the ones invented during the onset of Swanson's TV dinner.

For those who just aren't themselves until that first cup of coffee and slice of toast, the Morning Bytes™... toaster provides the perfect pick-me-up. Morning Bytes™ comes equipped with stencils image plates that brand funny phrases like “Bite Me” and “Ugh…” onto toast for a simple meal with attitude.

Pop Art Toaster™ has garnered quite a celebrity following with actors like Kevin Sorbo, Neil Patrick Harris, Camryn Manheim and Deidre Hall all taking home a toaster. They have been featured in numerous publications including InStyle, Time, and Entrepreneur magazines.

Freestore Foodbank to Benefit from T.G.I. Friday's Championship

T.G.I. Friday’s

T.G.I. Friday’s is hosting the regional bartender championship at the Tylersville location. T.G.I. Friday’s bartenders will be spinning bottles and flashing signature Friday’s flair to guests. Guests are invited to come cheer on their favorite bartender and enjoy a bite to eat all in the name of a good cause.

The local bartender competition will benefit the Freestore Foodbank which distributes over 12 million pounds of food annually. Learn more:

The Freestore Foodbank will have representatives at the event to support the bartenders and provide information while also collecting donations from community members.

Watch all of the action on our Ustream feed – it is like you are right there! Keyword tgifbarflair

T.G.I. Friday’s
7656 Cox Lane
West Chester, Ohio 45069

Thursday, September 23, 2010
The bottles start spinning at 6:30 p.m.

New Bartending For Dummies Tells Everything You Need to Know to Throw a Great Party

Do you know your favorite mixed drink but want to try some new ones? Or maybe you want to be the life of your next party? Bartending For Dummies®, 4th Edition (Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-63312-0, $16.99) gives you the know-how to be on your way to hosting the best parties on your block. This hands-on guide to concocting the perfect and often delicious cocktail gives you all the details you need to make and serve over 1,000 drinks.

Whatever the reason for your interest in bartending, Bartending For Dummies encourages you to become a great bartender by not only providing the know-how but also by teaching you the right attitude. Starting with your first bar to building your repertoire with the right mixes and supplies, Bartending For Dummies steers you in the right direction for entertaining friends and family.

Other lessons include:
Shake It Up: Necessities for Everyone's Favorite Drinks
Read Up on the Classics (Cocktails, That Is!)
Putting on the Ritz: Bartending Done on a Dime
Getting in the Mix: Bartending Must-Haves
Fact or Fiction: Hangover Myths Revealed
Avoiding the Dreaded Beer Run: Precise Planning for the Perfect Party

Whether you are looking to entertain friends, find a new job, or simply experiment with your tastes, Bartending For Dummies supplies the perfect knowledge for you.

About the Author:
Ray Foley is the founder and publisher of Bartender Magazine, which has a readership of more than 100,000. His Web site,, generates over 1 million hits per month. A professional bartender for more than twenty years, he is the founder of the "Bartender Hall of Fame."

About the Book:
Bartending For Dummies®, 4th Edition (Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-63312-0, $16.99) is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher by calling (877) 762-2974.

Unique Baking Uses for Freshly Picked Fall Apples

The orange and yellowfall foliage marks the transition from summer into winter. The changing colors and, for many, the crispness in the air turns thoughts to juicy apples and ripe pumpkins. Families across all 50 states come together in the tradition of apple picking every fall. They come home with dozens of apples, but sometimes wonder the best uses for them.

Apple pie, apple cider and applesauce are traditional uses, and Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, the vanilla specialists, suggest additional ways to enjoy freshly picked apples in autumn baked creations.

- Combine Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, brown sugar and cream cheese for a simple, tasty apple spread.

- Add a splash of Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract to applesauce to enhance its fruity taste.

- Stir Pure Almond Extract into whipped cream or whipped topping to garnish apple cake.

- Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste to glaze pie crusts for apple pies.

- Vanilla Apple Pudding (recipe below) is an easy at-home recipe that combines crisp apples with quality Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.

"Using seasonal ingredients adds an undeniably clean element to any dish," says Beth Nielsen, chief culinary officer of Nielsen-Massey. "Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanillas ensure that your produce won't be tainted by artificial ingredients and the fresh flavors will shine through."

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

Vanilla Apple Pudding

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 cups coarsely chopped cored peeled apples
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cream the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat until the batter is fluffy. Add the flour, baking soda and cinnamon and mix well; the dough will be crumbly.

Add the apples and walnuts and mix just until incorporated. Press over the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top and press into the dough mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm. Garnish with a dollop of Nielsen-Massey's Signature Whipped Cream.
Serves 15

Gourmet Vanilla Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
2 tablespoons sifted confectioners' sugar

Whip the cream in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla bean paste and confectioner's sugar.

Add a dollop of whipped cream to each serving of the vanilla apple pudding.

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla is an aromatic ingredient that enhances the flavor of the hand-picked apples and uncovers rich fall flavors.

Spice Up Meals with "balancing" Culinary Blends

Spice up your meals (and life) with culinary spice blends made just for you.
R-U-VED Inc., one of the premier Ayurvedic herbal companies in the U.S., offers spice mixes that not only enliven one’s taste buds, but are particularly balancing healthwise for one’s constitution or “dosha,” known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

According to Ayurveda, the ancient system of healing from India, you are what you eat, and spices that benefit one’s unique constitution have therapeutic properties that help to digest food and absorb nutrients better.

R-U-VED’s spice blends – ProVata, ProPita and ProKapha, are formulated with organic or wildcrafted herbs in synergistic proportions to maximize balancing effects. The flavorful and aromatic blends come in a convenient shaker and can be added during cooking or kept on the table to spice up virtually any edible.

ProVata Blend
Those who are primarily the Vata dosha or have a Vata imbalance may tend towards anxiety and absentmindedness and experience flatulence and constipation. The warming, soothing ProVata blend consists of cardamom, ginger, cloves, cumin, coriander seeds, fennel and rock salt to help bring balance to the at-times ungrounded Vata.

ProPita Blend
For those who tend to run on the warm side, get easily irritated and impatient and experience digestive difficulties, ProPita eases digestion and calms the Pitta dosha. It includes mango powder, dried coriander leaves, mint, pomegranate seeds, fennel, basil, cumin and rock salt.

ProKapha Blend
Those who are primarily Kapha or experience Kapha imbalances may feel sluggish, often experience respiratory conditions and gain weight easily, and will benefit from the stimulating ProKapha spice blend, which consists of black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, piper longum, garlic and rock salt.

Do you have several family members that are a combination of Vata, Pitta and Kapha? No problem – just place the spice shakers on the dinner table and have everyone spice according to their doshas!

All three blends retail for only $4.59 each for a three-ounce shaker, and are available at natural foods retailers nationwide or at

Founded in 1988, R-U-VED is the only Ayurvedic herb company in the U.S. owned and operated by practicing Ayurvedic physicians, who also cultivate the medicinal herbs offered to ensure the utmost in quality and safety standards. Wildcrafted and/or organic, all R-U-VED herbs are manufactured in an ISO and GMP approved facility. R-U-VED also offers ProVata, ProPita and Pro Kapha teas, and formulations for cardiovascular, digestive, elimination, liver, metabolic, women’s health, cognitive support and more. R-U-VED is a division of Ayush Herbs, and is located at 2239 152nd Avenue NE; Redmond, WA 98052. Contact the company at (800) 925-1371 or visit

Monday, September 20, 2010

Buca di Beppo to Celebrate World Pasta Day With FreePasta

October 25 is officially World Pasta Day and to mark the special occasion Buca di Beppo, the family-style Italian restaurant, is serving up a Pasta-rific promotion.

On October 25, all guests who purchase a Buca Small or Buca Large pasta or entrée will receive a FREE serving of Spaghetti with their choice of Meat Sauce or Marinara. Additionally, those receiving a FREE serving of Spaghetti will also receive a Pasta-rific gift which is a complimentary 16-ounce package of Rummo-brand Italian Pasta to take and prepare at home.

World Pasta Day has been observed since 1995 as an international celebration of pasta. Buca di Beppo is doing its part to promote the food loved the world over. Last year for World Pasta Day Buca gave away over 11 tons of pasta. This year Buca is planning on giving away even more.

Terms of the Free Pasta program:
Valid at any Buca di Beppo location throughout the country, the free pasta offer is valid on October 25, 2010 for dine-in customers only. Excludes banquet and group menus. To receive the free 14 ounce serving of spaghetti and package of pasta, guests must purchase a Buca Small or Buca Large pasta or entrée. Available while supplies last. This free offer is not valid on Buca To-Go orders, but may be boxed and taken home by dine-in guests. For more information, please visit

Buttered Corn and Buttered Double Succotash in Stores for Fall Season

Margaret Holmes, a premier line of southern-inspired canned vegetables, recently unveiled two new products, buttered corn and buttered double succotash. In stores in time for fall, these new products feature the fresh vegetables and perfect blend of seasonings that make Margaret Holmes a favorite southern treat.

Margaret Holmes buttered corn features fresh, handpicked corn with the perfect amount of creamy butter to highlight the taste and freshness. Complimented by fresh rich butter, the buttered double succotash includes lima beans and corn.

“We are thrilled to unveil our latest products, just in time for the fall season,” said Woody Swink, director of regional sales. “What better way to celebrate the crisp fall days than with a hot bowl of buttered corn or buttered double succotash. Margaret Holmes has become a favorite among families from across the country and it is our goal to continue bringing them the southern classic vegetables they crave.”

For a complete list of store locations or for more information about Margaret Holmes, visit or

About Margaret Holmes
Based in Effingham, South Carolina, Margaret Holmes is owned by McCall Farms, a canner and distributor of southern-inspired vegetable products grown on 2,000 acres of family farmland, with an additional 3,000 farming acres contracted from other farmers in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. McCall Farms produces Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts, as well as several lines of fresh canned products under the Margaret Holmes name including southern classics such as: butter peas; triple succotash; and cut okra; as well as seasoned southern classics such as: collard greens, butter beans, cabbage and southern peaches.

Put Some Kick in Your Pick – Wendy’s Packs Fresh Flavors into New $4.99 Combo Menu Options

Finally – fans of the $5 meal deal can have their pick. Wendy’s is giving the standard QSR combo meal a boost by offering peak-season flavor and plenty of choices at a value price of $4.99.*

Lovers of real taste and fresh ingredients who also appreciate value can now go to their neighborhood Wendy’s and “Pick 2” by choosing a half-sized version of one of Wendy’s four Garden Sensations salads, plus one of seven items from Wendy’s menu. With ingredients like sweet cranberries, fresh pico de gallo, shaved Asiago cheese and roasted pecans joining the mouth-watering taste of a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger or Chicken Go Wrap, ordering a delicious meal just got a whole lot easier.

“Since launching our four newly reinvented salads last month, we’ve seen a significant increase in salads sold, effectively doubling our volume compared to a year ago,” said Ken Calwell, chief marketing officer for Wendy’s. “We’re building on the popularity of our new salads by letting customers “Pick 2” without compromising on flavor or price. Wendy’s is throwing down the gauntlet for the $5 quick service meal.”

Pick 2 at Wendy’s for $4.99
With Wendy’s new offering there are 28 possible combinations in total – almost enough for every day of the month. Customers can suit themselves by picking two ingredients from a long list of options:

- Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, a perfect mix of peak-season red and green apples, real blue cheese crumbles, sweet cranberries and roasted pecans, topped with warm grilled chicken
- Baja Salad, a hearty Southwestern salad that features fresh pico de gallo, guacamole and Wendy’s original chili, all topped with a red jalapeno dressing
- Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad, offering hand-chopped Romaine lettuce and sweet grape tomatoes topped with shaved Asiago cheese and warm spicy chicken
- BLT Cobb Salad, which mixes crispy Applewood Smoked Bacon with real blue cheese crumbles, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and an avocado ranch dressing
- Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, featuring a hot and juicy beef burger with American cheese and fresh-cooked, thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon
- Wendy’s rich and meaty chili
- a Baked Potato (cooked in an oven, not zapped in a microwave)
- One of our grilled or spicy homestyle Chicken Go Wraps
- A refreshing Dasani bottled water, a cool and creamy small Frosty, or any other small-size beverage

Wendy’s understands that for many people, a half-size salad is enough to satisfy their appetites and tastebuds. People who crave real ingredients but also want to manage their nutrition needs can pick Wendy’s too. Eighteen of the new combinations are less than 600 calories (without dressing), and all of them combine fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy and proteins. To view nutritional information, please visit

Wendy’s new combination meals are available nationwide at the suggested retail price of $4.99. Half-sized Garden Sensations salads are available at the suggested retail price of $3.99. Prices will vary.

Wendy's International Overview
Wendy's International is one of the world's most successful restaurant operating and franchising companies with more than 6,600 restaurants worldwide. Wendy’s is a subsidiary of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc (NYSE: WEN). More information is available at or

*At participating locations

Grilling Desserts: 101

End your backyard barbeque this fall season on a sweet note. While most of us associate grilling with a juicy burger or great cut of meat, it’s also ideal for making succulent desserts.

While we all love a good s’more, the best desserts for the grill are actually the simplest – fresh fruit. “The direct open flame from the grill caramelizes sugar and brings out the natural flavour in the fruit,” Ted Reader explains, “The result is a succulent dessert that will delight your guests and requires almost no preparation.”

If you want to take the dessert up a notch, marinate your fruit in a mixture of rum or wine. The alcohol will burn off on the grill, leaving a subtle flavour behind.

With harvest time in Ontario approaching, fruits such as pears and apples are in great supply and are also perfect for the grill. Instead of a plain apple pie, why not fire up some grilled apple rings with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Start by peeling, coring and slicing the apple. Then marinate in a simple mixture of rum, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and cinnamon. Finally, throw the slices on the grill for a few minutes and wait for them to brown. Pair with ice cream and you have a twist on an old favourite.

Be sure to keep these tips in mind when grilling up the perfect dessert:

· Keep the heat high. Heat acts to concentrate the fruit’s flavour by reducing the water content and caramelizing the sugar.

· Keep it short. You don’t want to burn your dessert. A couple of minutes should be enough for most fruits.

· Keep it simple. Let the grill bring out the natural flavours, don’t go overboard on marinades. Simple vanilla ice cream makes a perfect pairing.

For more information about Ted reader, please visit

About Chef Ted Reader
Ted Reader is an award-winning chef and food entertainer, who’s parlayed his passion for food into a culinary tour de force that includes more than a dozen cook books, shelves of food products, live culinary performances, TV and radio cooking shows and appearances as well as culinary demonstrations, a catering company and teaching.

Known for his pyrotechnic charm and fearless culinary spirit, it’s no surprise that GQ magazine labeled him the “crazy Canuck barbecue kingpin.” The dude just loves to cook!

Ted’s quest for creating “real food for real people” has seen this high-profile culinary barbecue guru demonstrate his flair for grilling in all venues from swanky ball rooms to the Pacific Ocean to a downtown Toronto parking lot. Today, he owns more than 100 barbecues, grills and smokers in all shapes and sizes and never goes anywhere without one in the back of his truck.