Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bernard Foods Introduces Sans Sucre Baking Mixes

Bernard Food Industries recently introduced its new line of naturally sweetened, sugar-free or no sugar added baking mixes to Whole Foods Market® in the Mid-Atlantic and Florida regions. Sans Sucre, meaning "sugar free" in French, is now available in these retail stores.

"Over the course of our 60+ year history, we have been dedicated to providing healthy eating options. The Sans Sucre baking mix line is our first line of naturally sweetened products," says Steven Bernard, chief executive officer of Bernard Food Industries. "We are excited to introduce the products to Florida and the Mid-Atlantic states."

By using Stevia, an all-natural sweetener, Sans Sucre is able to produce baking mixes that have great taste and are naturally sweetened without additional sugar. According to the Mintel Sugar-Free Foods Survey, 24 percent of Americans watch their sugar intake. As this increasing number of people is staying away from processed foods that contain high amounts of sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients, Sans Sucre is a great option for healthy eaters, diabetics and dieters alike.

Along with being naturally sweetened, the Sans Sucre baking mixes are sugar-free or no sugar added, low fat, no cholesterol, lower in calories and lower in sodium. These nutritional facts appeal to the 90 percent of adults that consume low calorie or reduced fat foods on a regular basis, according to the Calorie Control Council.

The Sans Sucre baking mix line includes: Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Milk Chocolate Brownie, Classic Blondie Brownie and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. They are available for a suggested retail price of $3.99 - $4.49.

Milk Chocolate Brownie: Milk Chocolate Brownie mix is made with cocoa. The mix is 130 calories per serving with low fat, no cholesterol and 25 grams of carbohydrates.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie: Chocolate Fudge Brownie mix is made with cocoa, and has a rich chocolate taste. The mix has 130 calories per serving with low fat, no cholesterol and 25 grams of carbohydrates.

In addition to being healthy, Sans Sucre baking mixes are easy to prepare. Calling for minimal ingredients, they require only vegetable oil and water. Sans Sucre baking mixes can be created with ingredients from most everyday pantries, making them a quick, convenient and easy-to-bake treat.

About Sans Sucre Baking Mixes
Sans Sucre is the first line of baking mixes from foodservice industry specialists, Bernard Food Industries, Inc that are flavored with Stevia, an all-natural sweetener. In addition, they are sugar-free or no sugar added, low fat, no cholesterol, lower in calories and lower in sodium. For more information visit: www.sanssucrefoodscom.

About Bernard Food Industries
Since 1947, Bernard Food Industries, Inc. has been dedicated to providing solutions to the foodservice industry. Family owned and operated by the Bernard family, Bernard Food Industries, Inc. has 1,000 specialty food products, including beverages, soups, seasonings, sauces, baking mixes, and more. Of those products, 350 are dietary in nature. For more information visit: www.bernardfoods.com or www.edietshop.com.

Macaron Trend Carries into Holiday Season

From Gossip Girl to gourmet chefs to casual get-togethers, the French macaron (not to be confused with its American counterpart, the “macaroon”) is seemingly everywhere these days.

Cooks can’t get enough of the sweet, so much so that it’s supplanted the trendy treat of years past, the humble cupcake. And now that the spotlight is shining brightly on the pastry, fresh takes are needed to keep its newly found status from going stale.

Enter all-natural honey. One of the sweetener’s specialties is serving as the perfect secret ingredient, something that distinguishes a recipe but still keeps taste buds guessing. With honey’s help, the macaron becomes a delectable yet unexpected holiday treat.

The Mango Lime Buttercream recipe below (and viewable online here) from the National Honey Board can serve as the perfect filling for a beginning macaron maker. Simply sandwich meringue cookies around it and you’re good to go.

Bon appétit!

Mango Lime Buttercream Frosting

Makes 12-14 servings

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup ripe mango, puréed
Zest and juice (1/4 cup) of one lime
2 tablespoons Wildflower honey*
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add mango purée, lime zest and juice, and honey; mix well. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until desired spreading consistency. *Any mild-flavored honey such as Clover may be used

Cacique’s Authentic Recipe for Winter Enchiladas Featured by Chef Aarón Sánchez

Food Network Celebrity Chef Aarón Sánchez delighted Today Show fans when he used Cacique’s authentic Hispanic ingredients to put a seasonal spin on traditional enchiladas to create Winter Enchiladas for viewers. Cacique® has been making authentic Hispanic cheeses, creams and chorizos for nearly 40 years with high quality ingredients and traditional flavors.

Chef Aarón Sánchez’s sweet and savory tasting enchiladas consisted of butternut squash, zesty chorizo and cinnamon-spiced crema that were made using Cacique’s fresh Crema Mexicana, Queso Quesadilla and Chorizo. Cacique’s authentic products will make all the difference in your favorite Mexican dishes.

Get a copy of the Winter Enchiladas recipe at http://www.caciqueusa.com/recipe/300/winter_enchiladas_.

Watch Chef Aarón Sánchez preparing Winter Enchiladas at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtbjb6IzwWo.

“To get the most authentic taste when making traditional Hispanic dishes, Cacique’s products are the first step to adding that touch of authenticity that conventional pre-shredded Mexican blend cheeses cannot,” says Food Network Celebrity Chef Aarón Sánchez. “What makes this recipe stand apart from other enchilada dishes are the authentic flavors you get from the buttery sweet richness of the Crema Mexicana, the nutty and buttery flavor of Queso Quesadilla – a beautiful melting cheese, and the traditional spicy zest of Chorizo.”

Learn More About the Ingredients
The first step in creating traditional Hispanic dishes is to start with authentic ingredients. Chef Sanchez says, “There is no substitute for authentic ingredients.” Here is a quick overview of the ingredients included in the Winter Enchiladas recipe.

-Cacique Crema Mexicana: A fresh Grade A table cream that offers a mild and silky, fresh milk flavor. Pour over sweet and savory dishes to add richness to the dish.

-Cacique Queso Quesadilla: An all-natural cheese with a delicious, buttery flavor made with part skim Grade A milk. Excellent melting cheese that is ideal in quesadillas, pressed sandwiches or as a stand-alone snack.

-Cacique Beef or Pork Chorizo: Combines a traditional blend of spices and ground beef or pork to create a robust flavor with a crumbly texture. Use as a strong flavor source in any dish or as a topping or dressing for an entree.

To get more recipes ideas, visit http://www.caciqueusa.com/recipes/2/all to see Chef Aarón Sánchez’s Cacique-inspired recipes or other seasonal recipes to adorn your holiday table.

To learn more about Cacique and their family of products, please go to http://www.caciqueusa.com.
Cacique products are available at leading national retailers such as Kroger, Safeway, WalMart and HEB and Hispanic specialty retailers such as Fiesta, Food 4 Less, Northgate, Mi Pueblo, Pete’s Fine Foods, Sedanos, Superior Warehouse and Vallarta.

For news updates, information and special offers, follow the Cacique on Twitter @Cacique_USA and become a fan at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaciqueBrand.

About Cacique
For nearly four decades, authenticity, integrity, family pride and tradition have made Cacique the largest Hispanic cheese brand in the U.S.

Cacique has combined old-world traditions with new world technologies into the Cacique family of products, which includes fresh and aged traditional cheeses, creams, chorizos and beverages to provide customers with high quality, authentic products made with traditional ingredients they have come to know and enjoy.

For more information about Cacique’s authentic line of natural Hispanic products, please visit www.caciqueusa.com or call (800) 521-6987 or (626) 937-3505.

About Chef Aarón Sánchez
Aarón Sánchez is the co-star of Food Network’s exciting new series, Chefs vs. City and is the owner and executive chef of restaurants Paladar and Centrico, both located in New York City. The son of celebrated Mexican cooking authority Zarela Martinez, Aarón’s passion, commitment and skills have placed him among the country’s leading contemporary Latin Chefs.

Airline Snack & Food Survey with Ratings

According to Airline Transportation Association, there will between nearly 24 million passengers traveling over this Thanksgiving season. Knowing what are the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ choices is a valuable tool for any traveler, so DietDetective.com once again rated the best ‘Calorie Bargains’ and “Calorie Rip-offs” at 35,000 feet.

DietDetective.com issued the 2010 Airline Food Survey rating foods for eight airlines. The survey assigned a “Health Score” (5 stars = highest rate, 1 star = lowest) based on snack/on-board food service offerings, number of healthy offerings, airline cooperation, fruit and vegetable offerings, and improvements. The survey includes health ratings, cost, comments, food offerings, calories, and exercise equivalents.

“This year United provided the ‘healthiest" choices in the sky, while Continental had a fall from grace, US Airways received the lowest rating, and Virgin America and Delta were the least cooperative (and also received a low health rating),” says Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD, MPH, public health advocate, editor of DietDetective.com and visiting assistant professor at CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.

Below are the surveyed airlines’ “Health Scores” (Health Score: 5 stars = highest rating, 1 star = lowest). For full survey resultsincluding full listings of the snack/on-board food, comments, ratings, cost, calories, exercise equivalents, and tips go to www.DietDetective.com.

DietDetective.com Annual Airline Snacking and Onboard Food Survey with Health Ratings for 2010

United Airlines (800-864-8331, www.united.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Very helpful.

Health Score: (****)

· Best Bet: On flights longer than two hours go for the Tapas; it has some great foods, including almonds, olives, hummus and bruschetta – nice, and guess what? It's their top-selling snack box. The Lite is also very good and balanced at only 430 calories. For flights longer than three hours, United has a plethora of choices, but I really like the Turkey sandwich at 600 calories including the sauce and chips -- skip those if you want to save the calories. (It’s also their best-selling freshly prepared snack box.) The Chicken Caesar Salad and the Fruit Tray are also good choices. All the meals are served with dressing on the side, so try to use only half. As far as the individual snacks are concerned, wow, those are some pretty high-calorie items! For breakfast, your best bet is the Smoothie or the Yogurt Parfait -- nice and healthy. Or you can have the Ham and Swiss Croissant -- it's not too high in calories. Skip the Continental Breakfast -- at 783 calories it's a bad start to your day.

JetBlue Airways (800-538-2583, www.jetblue.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Very helpful. They're always nice and cooperative.

Health Score: (*** 1/4)

Best Bet: If you’re really hungry, try the nuts. They have protein and good fat and will satisfy you. Eat them one at a time. The animal crackers are OK but not very nutritious. Try to stick with no more than one snack. Just because they offer more doesn’t mean you have to take them, especially if you’re not hungry. In terms of the meal boxes, the Shape Up is the clear winner -- pick that over all the others.

American Airlines (817-963-1234, www.aa.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Very helpful.

Health Score: (*** 1/8)

Best Bet: Your best bet is the Cheese & Cracker Snack Tray. Just skip the cracker packages. The Premium Nut Blend is a strong nutrition choice, but make sure to split it with at least two other people. If you're traveling alone and don’t have a lot of willpower, take a third of the nuts and give the rest back to the flight attendant. Nuts are very high in calories, but the remaining choices don’t offer much in terms of nutrition, and they’re just too high in calories. If you're on a longer flight, the Boston Market Chicken Caesar Salad with chips and dressing is a pretty good meal choice. Also, it's nice that the dressing is on the side (use it sparingly). Make sure you split the Boston Market Deli Chicken Pesto and the Boston Market Turkey Carver -- they are way too many calories for one person.

Delta Air Lines (404-773-0305, www.delta.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Not helpful at all -- I had to contact them repeatedly -- they are back to their old ways.

Health Score:(***) Delta's individual snack choices are not very good, but their meal choices on longer flights are reasonably healthy. Still, they can do much better.

Best Bet:Of the breakfast options (on flights of 3 ½ hours or more) your best bet is the Breakfast Snack, which has light yogurt and a fresh banana. In terms of snack boxes, the Travel Treat is a good option because of the tuna and the raisins, and it's also low in calories. Delta also offers a fruit and cheese plate that’s available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cheese is very high in calories, but it’s still a nice option if you skip the crackers; at least you're getting some nutritional benefit from what you're eating. Skip the turkey, egg salad and Canadian bacon croissant at all costs. For lunch/dinner options, there is the veggies and ranch -- nice, low in calories, but watch that ranch dressing! Also, I don't think this will be very filling. The roast beef (eastbound) and turkey sliders (westbound) are both high in calories.

Continental Airlines(800.523.3273, www.continental.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Helpful.

Health Score: (** 1/2)

Best Bet: In terms of snacks, if you have a family of five or six (not very likely) and wanted to split the almonds, it’s really the only snack choice that has real nutritional value. You should avoid the chips and pretzels, and the beef jerky is very high in sodium. That doesn't leave too many snack options. All the snack packs are very high in calories. I realize they're meant to be shared, but even so, there is no one standout among them. There are elements in each that are OK; however, if I had to choose, the Savory is probably the best -- just watch that fruit-and-nut mix. In terms of meals, for breakfast, the yogurt is not too bad. For lunch or dinner, the Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad is the obvious best choice so long as you watch the dressing -- that could put it over the top. The fruit-and-cheese plate is not bad if it's a meal, not just a snack, and the same for the other choices except for the burger. Also, pass on the dessert: It’s not worth it.

Southwest Airlines (214-792-4223, www.southwest.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful, really very nice people.

Health Score:(**)

Best Bet: Go for the nuts and skip the pretzels and other items.

Virgin America (877-359-8474, www.virginamerica.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Horrible. This is the second year in a row that Virgin America believes they don’t need to provide the information almost every restaurant and food product must offer to customers.

Health Score:(**)

Best Bet: In terms of snacks, the PopChips and yumBar are low-calorie choices; the others are high in calories and not good choices. Virgin offers a wide variety of meals, but the focus is not necessarily on health and calories. The chicken sandwich appears to be your best bet. For snack boxes, go with the Veggies and Hummus or the Protein Meal.

US Airways (480-693-0800, www.usairways.com)

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Dreadful -- it's a tossup between Virgin and US Airways for least cooperation, and Delta is a close third. It was a real struggle getting any information whatsoever.

Health Score:(*3/4)

Best Bet: The CafePlus is not terrible because at the very least you get the protein from the tuna, and it's low in calories. Maybe you can get rid of the cookies (give them to the flight attendant as a gift). Not much else. The Breakfast box is very high in calories and offers little in terms of nutrition.

Diet Detective Tips on Healthy Air Travel.
Even if you ate before you left home, you are still going to get hungry. We often underestimate the amount of time a trip can take. A two-hour flight could mean four or five hours of travel. Keep in mind that you can take most foods through security, but you need to check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the latest rules about carrying on food and water: www.tsa.gov/311/index.shtm
Here are some ideas for snacks you can bring or buy in the airport:

- Water: Buy it after the security checkpoint to take onboard. Dehydration can cause or exacerbate hunger, jet lag and fatigue.

- Cereal: Kashi, Shredded Wheat or other low calorie cereals. Look for portable, low-calorie choices, under 120 calories per cup. You can also look for cereal in a cup--portion controlled 1.5-ounce packs that are easy to store and easy to use.

- Fruit and salads: Stick with fruits like apples and oranges that can withstand some rough treatment. You can even bring a banana if you put it in a container such as a banana saver (www.bananasaver.com). Grapes or almost any other fruit can be carried in a plastic container. Also, they often sell cut up fruit or salads in the airport. They’re a bit more expensive than bringing your own, but at least they’re healthy alternatives to what is served on board.

- Energy bars: Although they tend to be high in calories and fat, they are generally better than a slice of pizza or a candy bar at the airport. Choose Larabars; they have nothing but healthy ingredients.

- Frozen VitaTops:They're healthy, low calorie, and by the time you’re ready to eat one, it will be defrosted and taste fresh. (www.vitalicious.com)

- Nonfat yogurt: Yogurt is a great portable snack. You can purchase it after you go through security.

- Sandwiches: Pre-cut them into portion-controlled sections so you can pull them out at different times during the trip without making a mess. Chicken, turkey, cold cuts and cheese (on 100 percent whole-wheat bread) are all great options for sandwiches on the go.

- Soy chips and PopChips:Yet another portable, low-cal, high-fiber snack. (www.glennys.com, www.popchips.com)

- Peel-and-eat tuna and salmon cups: Chicken of the Sea makes these easy-to-open cups that give you a quick protein source. With no draining required, this wild-caught tuna or salmon is perfect for on-the-go lunches and snacks.

- Nuts: They're a good source of protein, and they help fend off hunger. Portion them into 1-ounce bags (about 160 calories each).

- Dried or freeze-dried fruit and vegetable snacks:Eat dried fruit in moderation; it's high in calories. (e.g., www.sensiblefoods.com, www.brothersallnatural.com, www.funkymonkeysnacks.com)

- All Natural Fruit Roll Ups (no sugar added).Check out Stretch Island Fruit Company's Original Fruit Strips, FruitaBü and Smoooshed Fruit Rolls (www.stretchislandfruit.com)

- Whole Wheat Crackers. Make sure to get 100 percent whole-wheat crackers such as Ak Mak (www.akmakbakeries.com), Dr. Kracker (www.drkracker.com), Mr. Krispers (mrkrispers.elsstore.com).

- Beef jerky: Especially if you're a low-carb fan, but not if you're watching your sodium.

About The Diet Detective

· Charles Stuart Platkin, Ph.D., M.P.H., The Diet Detective, is one of the country's leading nutrition and public health advocates, whose syndicated health, nutrition and fitness column, the Diet Detective appears in more than 100 daily newspapers nationally, including the Honolulu Advertiser, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Platkin is the host of WE tv's series, I Want To Save Your Life. Platkin is also the founder of DietDetective.com, (an Everyday Health / Waterfront Media License). Dr. Platkin is an assistant professor (visiting) at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College in New York City.

He is a member of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, the American Obesity Association, Society for Public Health Education, Society for Nutrition Education, The American Public Health Association, Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Society), the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health and the American Council on Exercise. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, a law degree from Fordham University, a Masters of Public Health from Florida International University, and a Ph.D. in Public Health from Florida International University.

Platkin is the author of five books. His first book, "Breaking the Pattern" was a bestseller in hardcover; it has been used by addiction clinics to assist patients with resolving drug and alcohol-related issues and more than 20 universities around the country as a text to teach behavioral change techniques to nutrition and dietetic counseling students. His latest books are The Diet Detective's Count Down (Simon and Schuster, 2007) and The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible (Simon and Schuster, 2008). Currently, he is working on his sixth book called The Diet Detective's All American Dietto be published by Rodale (www.Rodale.com) in January 2012.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New California Strawberry iPhone App

The California Strawberry Commission's free Strawberries iPhone app just hit the App Store!

It features over 100 strawberry recipes from some of the most popular food bloggers and nutrition tips from top dietitians around the globe.

"Strawberries" features:
- 100 sweet and savory recipes, categorized by dish type
- Ingredients, preparation and photos
- Dozens of "kid-friendly" recipes
- Anytime/anywhere shopping lists
- Bonus tips from acclaimed author and "guyatitian," Dave Grotto
- Ability to easily share recipes and tips
- Links to top food bloggers and dietitians


Bitter Food = Bitter Guest: Choose Thanksgiving Menu Wisely

It’s that time of year again: turkey, stuffing, and gravy! As you prepare your Thanksgiving meal for family and friends, heed this warning from an upcoming article in Psychological Science: The taste of the food and drinks that you serve your guests may impact their moral judgments of you in more ways than one.

Psychological scientist Kendall J. Eskine and coauthors from the University of New York noted that several studies have linked physical disgust to moral disgust, but no study has explored morality in conjunction with taste. In their experiment, students drank either a sweet (Minute Maid Berry Punch), bitter (Swedish Bitters), or control (water) beverage. The volunteers then rated a variety of moral transgressions and filled out additional information, including their political ideology.

The results showed that taste perception significantly affected the study participants’ moral judgments — physical disgust, induced by a bitter taste, elicited feelings of moral disgust. This effect was more pronounced in participants with politically conservative views than in participants with liberal views. Taken together, these findings suggest that embodied gustatory experiences may impact moral processing more than previously thought.

So if you would like to avoid being judged for overindulging (and other mild transgressions) this Thanksgiving, be sure to avoid serving any bitter-tasting food and drink (avoid the Guinness, radishes and lemons), and serve plenty of sweets!


The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology.

Hibiki Toast- Japanese Twist on a Champagne Toast

With the chill in the air and the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what cocktails to serve this holiday season. This year, try the road less traveled with a cocktail from the East. It wasn’t long ago that Sake was the only well known spirit from Japan. But now, the rest of the world is becoming aware of Japan’s remarkable prowess with whisky as Suntory’s Yamazaki and Hibiki brands catch on with aficionados. The whiskies are delicious neat and on the rocks – and especially in stylish cocktails.

Now, in-the-know Japanese women are popularizing a unique twist on the traditional holiday champagne toast: Hibiki whisky and sparkling water served in a flute.

Hibiki Toast
1. Prepare in wide-mouthed glass to open aroma or champagne flute
2. Put 2 or 3 ice cubes
3. Pour Suntory Hibiki 12-year-old
4. Pour cold Perrier softly or sparkling water
(Hibiki : Perrier = 1 : 3)
5. Stir with muddler once lengthways

Hibiki 12 year old blended whisky, combine several unique qualities to achieve worldwide acclaim in the realm of Japanese Whisky. Hibiki blended whisky uses a signature blending process which combines bamboo charcoal filtering with aging in plum liqueur casks and incorporates over 30 different whiskies in each blend. Suggest retail price, $55.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vegan Cooking For Dummies® Offers Easy Steps to Eat Smart and Feel Better Now

More people are discovering how food is produced and processed and how food choices have an impact on their health, the health of other creatures, and the environment. Tired of feeling weighed down, lethargic, and overweight, families everywhere are taking charge of what's for dinner by going vegan. Veganism is a lifestyle abstaining from the consumption of meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and all foods originating from animals.

The perfect companion toLiving Vegan For Dummies®, Vegan Cooking For Dummies®(Wiley Publishing, Inc., November 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-64840-7, $19.99) provides vegans, and those thinking about becoming vegan, with more than 160 healthy and hearty vegan recipes for every meal of the day. From your Saturday morning pancakes to a vegan-friendly version of your mom's famous mac and cheese, with a little prep-work and a few key ingredients, your family can be eating and feeling good in no time!

Other lessons include:
• The Vegan No-Nos (Ingredients to Avoid)
• Buy This Now: Must-Have Ingredients for the Vegan Kitchen
• Mom's Famous Mac and Cheese: Making Vegan Substitutions in Non-Vegan Recipes
• Stocking Up: Savvy Shopping Strategies
• The Clean Plate Club: How to Get Your Kids to Eat Foods That Pack a Punch
• When Hunger Strikes: Ten (Plus One!) Emergency Snacks for Desperate Vegans

Veganism is more than just not consuming and using animal-derived foods and products. It's about changing your lifestyle—whether for better health or as a personal statement—and Vegan Cooking For Dummies is the perfect way to start and maintain a healthy, balanced vegan diet today!

# # #

About the Author:
Alexandra Jamieson, CHHC, AADP, is a professionally trained vegan chef and a board-certified holistic health counselor. A vegan since 2000, she has appeared on several television shows and was featured in the award-winning documentary Super Size Me.

About the Book:
Vegan Cooking For Dummies®(Wiley Publishing, Inc., November 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-64840-7, $19.99)is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher by calling (877) 762-2974.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blue Angel Blue Bam!

As Thanksgiving approaches and we get into the Holiday Season...here is a quick and easy blue cocktail to liven up any Hanukkah Party—or ANY holiday party—The BLUE ANGEL BLUE BAM.

Blue BAM for Hanukkah
3 oz. Blue Angel Vodka
Dash Blue Angel Curacao

In a shaker combine vodka and curacao together with several ice cubes. Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a sheet of edible silver foil.

To get extra creative garnish with edible Silver Foil; serve on silver cocktail napkin. For a variation, add a little lemon-lime soda.

Kansha: The Japanese Tradition of Giving Thanks

In her newest book, KANSHA: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions, Elizabeth Andoh invites us to practice kansha – appreciation for nature’s edible gifts and the efforts of those who prepare wholesome, handsome meals from that bounty. As America celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday, this culinary message is especially poignant. Kansha – in any culinary culture – compels us to reduce waste, conserve energy, and sustain natural resources.

Expanding on the recipes and techniques she details in KANSHA, Japanese cooking expert Elizabeth Andoh has begun an open, on-line culinary classroom called KANSHAcooking. Discover how “nothing goes to waste in the kansha kitchen,” with recipes and menu suggestions that creatively convert vegetable peels and bits of produce into fabulous, food. Every six weeks Andoh shares new lessons that teach the basic tenets of kansha cooking through recipes, techniques, menu-planning, and presentation.

Addictively delicious Crispy Gourd Chips are fashioned from stock-making leftovers. Heaven-and-Earth Tempura Pancakes coax bits of produce languishing in the back of your veggie bin into lacy morsels. Eggplant Two Ways converts the often tough and usually discarded dark eggplant peels into a spicy sauté. With the scholarship and narrative flare that has become a trademark of her work, Andoh provides details on ingredients, technique, and menu-planning enabling you to construct myriad feasts from the more than 100 vegan recipes she offers up in KANSHA.

Heaven-and-Earth Tempura Pancakes (Ten Chi Kaki Age)

The name of this dish, Heaven and Earth, is a euphemism for kitchen scraps, namely the tops (heaven) and bottoms (earth) of produce: tender, leafy celery tops; tougher leek tops; mushroom stems; carrot and daikon peels; stubby ends of lotus and burdock root, parsnips, rutabagas, and bitter melon. All sorts of neglected or remaindered vegetable bits can be transformed into lovely, lacy-crisp, colorful tempura pancakes.

The key to making tasty pancakes from disparate ingredients is to select items that cook at approximately the same temperature and time. Cutting your vegetables so that most are long and thin and a few are in crescents or rounds will make it easier to form a cohesive mass. Dusting ingredients with cornstarch before adding them to the batter will also help the pancakes hold together.

When you are ready to form the pancakes, use a large, flat stainless-steel spoon or ladle to help shape them. Dipping the spoon or ladle into hot oil first will ensure easy release of the pancake as you slip it into the oil.

Another bit of advice: gaman, which translates as “reticence” or “reluctance.” Refraining from taking action is often considered a virtue in both the Japanese kitchen and Japanese society at large. My recipe instructs you not to take certain actions, though you may find it tough to follow such advice.

I provide two assorted-vegetable examples below, one using wintertime produce, the other showcasing summer’s bounty. At any time of year, use this recipe to guide you in creating your own heavenly pancake with earthy flavors. Serve with lemon or lime wedges and the three-pepper salt.

Makes 8 pancakes

Winter pancakes
1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices through the stem end to make crescent shapes (about 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Scant 1/3 cup julienne-cut carrot peels (1-inch strips; about 3 ounces)
Scant 1/3 cup julienne-cut Satsuma imo, yam, or sweet potato peels (1-inch strips; about 2-1/2 ounces)

Summer pancakes
3-ounce chunk bitter melon, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, very thinly sliced, salted with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and drained about 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 small zucchini, about 4 ounces total weight, tops trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut on the diagonal into thin slices, about 2/3 cup
Scant 1/3 cup julienne-cut kabocha squash peels (3/4-inch strips; about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely shredded summer herbs such as fresh shiso leaves
4 or 5 fresh chives, cut into 1/2-inch lengths

Several ice cubes
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup self-rising cake flour
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 to 2 teaspoons aromatic sesame oil (optional)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Generous pinch of kona-zanshō
Generous pinch of tōgarashi
Generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Lemon or lime wedges

Depending upon seasonal availability, choose to make either the winter pancakes or the summer pancakes: To make the winter pancakes, place the red onion in a bowl.

With a pastry brush, dust the slices thoroughly with some of the cornstarch. Pull gently to separate the crescent shapes, dusting again with a bit more cornstarch. Add the carrot and sweet potato peels to the bowl and dust with the remaining cornstarch. Toss to distribute the vegetables evenly.

To make the summer pancakes, with a pastry brush, dust the bitter melon slices thoroughly with some of the cornstarch, then place them in a bowl. Dust the zucchini slices and kabocha peels in a similar manner and add them to the bowl; toss to distribute evenly. Dust the shredded shiso leaves and chives with cornstarch and add them to the bowl; toss again to distribute evenly.

Make the batter just before frying: Place the ice cubes in a small bowl with half of the water. Sift the cake flour over the water and stir to mix slightly; there should still be lumps. If needed, add water, a few drops at a time, until the batter is the consistency of a thin pancake batter.

Pour the vegetable oil to a depth of 1-1/2 inches into a small wok or small, deep skillet, add the sesame oil, and heat slowly. Check the temperature with an unvarnished long wooden chopstick (or a bamboo skewer). Small bubbles will form around the tip when the oil is about 350°F.

Wait for about 45 seconds longer to allow the temperature to rise a bit more—to about 370°F—and then test the oil temperature with a few drops of batter. If they sink slightly, then rise to the surface and puff quickly but do not color, the oil is ready. You may need to fry the pancakes in batches to avoid crowding them in the pan. Preheat the oven to 200°F for keeping the cooked pancakes warm.

Spoon a bit of the batter over the cornstarch-dusted vegetables and toss lightly to coat the vegetables with the batter. Dip a large spoon or ladle into the hot oil. Place one-eighth of the vegetable mixture in the bowl of the oil-dipped spoon. Carefully tilt the spoon to slide the pancake into the hot oil, aiming to make a disk about 2 inches in diameter. The batter and cornstarch act as “glue” to keep the vegetable slivers together. Repeat to make more pancakes, being careful not to crowd the pan.

Most important, refrain from touching the pancakes for a full 30 seconds after you place them in the oil. It will seem like an eternity, but gaman will yield the best results. If wayward bits are strewn at the edges of your pan, carefully pick them up and place them on top of the still-moist pancake batter in the center. (Skill with long chopsticks will be well rewarded, though a long-handled fine-mesh skimmer can scoop beneath as well.) If the center of the pancake is very dry, dip the wayward bits in some fresh batter before “gluing” them in place. When the batter in the center of the disk seems barely moist, carefully invert the pancake.

After flipping, allow the pancakes to fry undisturbed for about 1 minute, or until crisp. Using cooking chopsticks or a skimmer, remove the pancakes from the oil and place them on a rack set over a baking sheet to drain. If frying in batches, place the baking sheet in the oven to keep the fried pancakes warm. Use the skimmer to clear the oil of batter bits between batches. When all of the pancakes are fried, transfer them to paper towels to absorb any additional surface oil.

To serve, line a plate or shallow bamboo basket withfolded paper (the Japanese use ones called shikigami or kaishi that are oil-absorbent on one side and oil-repellant on the other). Paper doilies make an attractive alternative. Mix together the salt and 3 peppers in a small bowl. Arrange the pancakes on the folded paper and put the lemon wedges and the pepper mixture on the side.

Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions
by Elizabeth Andoh
Ten Speed Press
October 19, 2010
$35.00/ Hardcover
Photographs by Leigh Beisch
ISBN-13: 978-1580089555

Snapfinger adds online/mobile ordering for Bob Evans & Mimi's Café

Snapfinger, the leading portal for nationwide food ordering and e-commerce, has added two leading restaurant chains with more than 700 locations combined to its proprietary online and mobile ordering platform. Bob Evans and Mimi’s Cafe now join the growing network of restaurants that offer online and mobile ordering through Snapfinger. Consumers can order and pay for food at www.snapfinger.com (also accessible from any mobile browser) or by using one of the free mobile apps designed for iPhone and Android devices.

These additions extend Snapfinger’s reach to more than 2,200 cities across the United States and Canada.

“Snapfinger gives consumers more food choices than any other restaurant portal, from an array of dining establishments,” said Jim Garrett, CEO of Snapfinger. “No matter what city you are in or what kind of food you are looking for, Snapfinger makes it easy to find, order and pay for your meal.”

Snapfinger goes beyond basic restaurant search, connecting users to interactive menus via a simple interface where consumers can place an order and process the payment in a matter of minutes. Customers can also view past orders and quickly re-order in one easy step, or place orders for pick-up at a future date and time.

Snapfinger is the exclusive provider of Web and mobile ordering for Bob Evans 569 Restaurants, which operate in 18 states across the U.S, primarily in the midwest, mid-atlantic and southeast regions. The free Bob Evans iPhone app, developed by Snapfinger, can be downloaded from the iTunes app store, and the Android app is available for download in Android Market.

Mimi’s Cafe, known for its French-inspired meals and quaint cafe charm, operates in 24 states, primarily in California and other western states. Snapfinger is the exclusive partner that enables consumers to order their favorite food online from 145 Mimi’s Cafe locations.

About Snapfinger
Launched in 2009, Snapfinger.com is the Internet’s largest online food ordering and e-commerce site serving more than 28,000 restaurant locations in over 2,200 cities. Parent company Kudzu Interactive Inc. is based in Atlanta and is the leader in Web-based remote ordering solutions for the restaurant industry. The Snapfinger mobile application is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store and Android Market. In June 2010, Kudzu Interactive raised a $7MM Series B investment round led by Norwest Venture Partners, for a total of $11MM to date. For more information, visit www.snapfinger.com.

About Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans and Mimi’s Café brand names. At the end of the first fiscal quarter (July 30, 2010), Bob Evans owned and operated 569 family restaurants in 18 states, primarily in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States, while Mimi’s Café owned and operated 145 casual restaurants located in 24 states, primarily in California and other western states. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is also a leading producer and distributor of pork sausage and a variety of complementary homestyle convenience food items under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names. For more information about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit the company’s Web site at www.bobevans.com.

othing Says "Go Bucks" Like Buckeye Cheesecake

With one of the most highly-anticipated games of the season just days away, The Ohio State University (OSU) football fans are not wasting any time planning their tailgates and parties—and nothing rivals a slice of Buckeye Cheesecake on game day.

“What better way to celebrate Ohio State football than with a Buckeye Cheesecake?” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA). “This tasty dessert includes both dairy and eggs, which are two of Ohio’s most important agricultural sectors.” Chakeres also said that the award-winning recipe will not only be a huge hit among OSU fans, but it also contains many essential nutrients.

Buckeye Cheesecake contains four Ohio eggs. One egg provides 13 essential nutrients and only 75 calories. In addition, the cream cheese featured in this dessert is made from milk. One serving of milk includes nine essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin and Niacin.

Buckeye Cheesecake beat dozens of cheesecakes at an annual Ohio State Fair competition, “Smile and Say, Cheesecake!” to win an award for one of the best cheesecakes. Additional winning cheesecakes along with great cooking tips and facts are showcased on the Ohio Cheesecakes website.

“While it is well known that dairy and egg products offer significant nutritional benefits, they also are a staple for one of Ohio’s favorite desserts – cheesecake,” said Scott Higgins, CEO of the American Dairy Association Mideast. “We are pleased to help illustrate the important role that Ohio dairy and eggs play – not only in kitchens, but also in the state’s economic health.”

Ohio ranks second in the nation in egg production, just behind Iowa. The state produces more than seven billion eggs annually. Ohio is eighth in the nation for turkey production and produces nearly 328 million pounds of Ohio chicken for sale every year. According to the American Dairy Association Mideast, Ohio’s dairy sector has gross receipts of nearly $700 million, and the state is home to 272,000 dairy cows that produce 600 million gallons of milk each year, ranking Ohio 11th nationally in the amount of milk produced and eighth in total cheese production.

For more information delicious, award-winning cheesecake recipes or to learn more about Ohio’s egg and dairy communities, visit www.ohiocheesecakes.com.

# # #

Buckeye Cheesecake

(Makes 10 to 12 servings)

1 (8x8-inch pan size) package brownie mix

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

1 (10-ounce) package peanut butter chips, melted

4 OHIO eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter-flavored shortening

Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spoon batter in 9-inch springform pan. Bake 20 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325º.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add chips, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour filling over baked brownie. Place pan in a large baking pan with 1-inch hot water (keeps brownie from overbaking).

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn oven off; remove baking pan with water. Let cheesecake cool in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; chill 1 hour. Remove side from springform pan. In small saucepan, melt chips with shortening; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate glaze over top and sides of cheesecake. Chill 3 hours. Garnish as desired.

Leinenkugel's 1888 Bock to Return for the New Year

Toast the New Year with the return of Leinenkugel’s most successful spring seasonal, 1888 Bock. Touting a foam collar thick enough to steady a pencil, the true bock style beer is brewed based on the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company’s first bock beer recipe developed 122 years ago.

Available January through March nationwide in bottles and on draft, Leinenkugel’s 1888 Bock’s robust head seizes the rich aroma of toasted and caramel malts. The flavor of this full-bodied brew is heavily defined by the Munich malts and the 20 to 25-day cold lagering process, which creates a smooth, toasted malt flavor. Leinenkugel’s 1888 Bock also features Caramel, Pale and two-row Chocolate malts while Cluster hops add a touch of citrus character.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the original Leinenkugel family bock recipe again this year, as we share 1888 Bock with Leinie loyalists across the country to begin the New Year,” says Jake Leinenkugel, fifth generation brewer and president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. “Our true bock style seasonal brew brings to life five generations of Leinenkugel’s brewing history and 1888 Bock’s legendary recipe provides a hearty, full-bodied tasting experience ideal for this time of year.”

In the spring of 1888, after 21 years of brewing in Chippewa Falls and one of the harshest winters anyone in the Midwest could remember, the then Jacob Leinenkugel Spring Brewery staff realized Leinie fans were primed for the brand’s first seasonal brew. So, they produced a robust bock beer, a style that rose to popularity as a source of sustenance for monks during the Lenten fasting season and can be traced back to 14th century Germany.

Brewed in small, high-quality batches at Leinenkugel’s brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wis., 1888 Bock is the perfect complement for foods with big flavors such as roasted and game meats as well as strong cheeses such as Gruyere, Swiss, aged Cheddar and creamy semi-soft cheeses featuring an earthy, buttery flavor.

Leinenkugel’s 1888 Bock contains 5.1 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and is available where Leinenkugel’s is sold in 6 and 12 pack bottles and on draft. 1888 Bock retails for approximately $6.49 to $7.99 a six-pack. The bitterness is an 18 IBU and the color is a 32 SRM.

Media contact for more information, artwork or samples: Rebecca Skinner (952) 401-0125 ext. 4 or rskinner@leumpr.com

About Leinenkugel’s
Leinenkugel’s, brewed in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, is the leading craft brewer in the upper Midwest. Year-round offerings include Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber Lager, Sunset Wheat, Honey Weiss, Berry Weiss, Leinie’s Red, Creamy Dark, Original and Light. In addition to 1888 Bock, Leinenkugel’s offers three other limited-release seasonal beers including summer favorite Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Oktoberfest and Fireside Nut Brown. For more information on the rich history of Leinenkugel’s, visit www.leinie.com or join virtual Leinie loyalists at www.facebook.com/leinenkugels.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wine Lovers Tours Announces Its 2011 Uruguay & Argentina tour with a Focus on Wine, Cuisine & Culture

Wine Lovers Tours is Offering a Wine, Food and Cultural Tour to Uruguay and Argentina during the 2011 Harvest Season
The South American odyssey is a study of contrasts: the cosmopolitan allure of Buenos Aires and Montevideo; the colonial allure of Mendoza, Argentina's undisputed wine capital; Salta which still retains its Wild West atmosphere, and Canelones, Uruguay, because it's the 'new kid' on the block.

The Uruguay portion of the tour offers 4 nights in Montevideo with VIP visits to key wineries in Canelones, Uruguay's Napa Valley, 7 meals and a ferry ride to Buenos Aires for the start of the Argentine portion.

After 2 nights of tango and Buenos Aires night life, the tour connects with a flight to Salta in the remote Northwest where there are 2 nights in Cafayate and 2 in Salta, visiting along the way the spectacular scenery of the Conchas River Valley, named a UNESCO natural monument.

The tour then continues on to Mendoza, Argentina's Napa Valley. The comparison with Napa is very appropriate. Nicolas Catena, the pioneer of the modern era of Argentine wines, was deeply influenced by Robert Mondavi and was determined to be the inspiration for the rebirth of Mendoza and its wines. There are 4 nights scheduled in Mendoza with visits to some of the most significant wineries.

Visiting Uruguay and Argentina during the harvest season is an exciting time and Buenos Aires is exciting to visit anytime.
Vin Marottoli, who has a Ph.D. in French, is fluent in Spanish and Italian and has been organizing and personally escorting his Wine Lovers Tours for 29 years. He is proud of the many repeat travelers on his tours; most tours have over 80% repeat participants.

Wine Lovers Tours
Vin Marottoli, 1211 Quinnipiac Avenue, New Haven, CT 06513 USA
telephone: 800-256-0141 ( Toll Free US only ) or 203-469-4218

Wines for the Top 10 Tough-To-Buy-For People on Your Holiday List

“Wine is one of the few presents that makes both the giver and the receiver look good,” says Natalie MacLean, the red-nosed e-sommelier behind www.nataliemaclean.com, one of the largest wine web sites. “You look like you spent a bundle on the gift (even if you didn’t) and the recipients are happy that you think they know something about wine (even if they don’t).”

This holiday season, anyone can tap into MacLean’s expertise via her free web site and mobile apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid and other smartphones. They help consumers with a whole new type of pairing: wine with the people on your Christmas shopping list. The app and site also pair wines to thousands of dishes, including holiday favorites, such as turkey, goose, duck, and even partridge in a pear tree.

“When you give wine, doubles are fine, there are no wrong sizes and you can always find something good in stock," MacLean adds. “Vintage gifts will get anyone into the holiday spirits.”

Natalie’s Top Ten Gift Wines for Your ...

1. Hairdresser: For the person who combines humor and optimism every time she styles your mop. Go for a light, gulpable wine like a dry rosé. It’s versatile and fuss-free—a great quaff for your coif.

2. Psychiatrist: Of course, he’ll analyze whatever you give him so choose a wine that's all about balance. Easy-drinking pinot noir is medium-bodied yet packed with flavor. Surprise him with a large-format bottle, like a magnum. Big thinking means big progress for you. This wine also works for psychologists, marriage counselors and bartenders.

3. The Boss: Pick too pricey a wine and your boss will think your last raise was too much; go cheap, and she’ll think you lack judgement. Focus on a label with a lot of white space since that makes the bottle look more expensive. A castle in the distance also works, but avoid fluffy animals.

4. Personal Trainer: Think a muscular, robust red would work? Hold that position. Instead, try riesling: this light white wine pairs well with a health-nut diet of salad and seafood, plus it’s low in alcohol. You can also give it to Pilates instructors, yoga masters and Tai Chi coaches.

5. Financial Planner: You and he both know it’s going to take decades before your portfolio recovers after the crash of 2008. With that long-term view, vintage port makes the perfect gift. This fortified wine from northern Portugal, with its long aging potential, will be around for both of you into your retirements.

6. Travel Agent: She’s been everywhere and seen everything, so go local with your choice of wine. Even better, if you live close to the winery, get the bottle signed by the winemaker.

7. Teacher: If you can't find a suitably obscure wine with a Latin name, there’s always cream sherry. It’s the tipple of Oxford dons, not to mention the centerpiece of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story The Case of the Amontillado.

8. Mail Deliverer: Go for a winery that’s consistent year after year in producing a wine that can be enjoyed in snow, rain, sleet or hail. Try an Australian shiraz or Argentine malbec.

9. Mechanic: Yes, there’s a wine called Red Truck, but try to be more imaginative. Why not give a wine made by Mario Andretti in California or Ferrari in Italy?

10. Online Date: So you’re on your second or third rendezvous with the person you met on eHarmony or Dating.com. If you’re not sure yet whether marriage is a possibility, try something middle-of-the-road, like merlot. Yes, it’s the soft jazz of wine, but until you know, play it safe.

And after all that shopping, don’t forget yourself: even Santa’s little helpers need more than milk and cookies. Try something with high-alcohol like Italian Amarone or Rhone syrah: these big reds easily drown out tone-deaf caroling and pair beautifully with tired feet.

For Natalie’s favorite wineries, tasting notes and recipe matches for all the wine types mentioned above, please visit:


Nat Decants was selected among the top five food and wine apps by both the New York Times and Computerworld Magazine. This free app is featured on Apple iTunes under Essentials Apps for “Holiday Cooking,” “Food & Wine” and “Date Night.” It’s also part of the featured best apps on BlackBerry’s Carousel. For information on the new features, please visit:


For iPod Touch or iPhone, visit iTunes:


For BlackBerry, visit App World:


For Droid, Nexus One, Nokia, Palm Pre and other smartphones:


Tips for Creating a Beautiful Holiday Spread

Your guests eat with their eyes so it is important to make the food look beautiful. Here are a few tips and tricks from Bibby Gignilliat, founder of San Francisco-based “Parties That Cook” to create show-stopping dishes for your holiday gathering:

1. Garnish the dish using contrasting color, texture and shape - For example, on our Sweet Potato Galettes (pancakes), we garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a small square of crispy bacon and a baby sage leaf. Or pipe a star of goat cheese onto a grilled polenta toast with roasted red bell pepper pesto. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.

2. Be creative in your presentation –For our Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Walnut Puree, nestle the triangular pita chips around the dip to create the look of a sun flower.

3. Serve the dish on white platters to highlight the food. A plate with a busy platter does not showcase the food. And vary the heights of the platters on your table to give depth and make it eye-catching.

4. Garnish with a light touch – Fresh herbs add a wonderful color to a finished dish but don’t hide the food. Be sure to garnish with ingredients that are in the dish.

5. Vary the base for presentation - For example, serve a chopped Ahi tuna tartar in wonton cups. The cups are made by toasting wonton wrappers in mini muffin tins until golden. Then once cooled, scoop the tartar into the cups. Other fun vessels are: hollowed fruits or vegetables, crostini (small toasted bread), endive leaves, circles of brioche or tortillas etc.

6. Use fresh, seasonal ingredients – creating a delicious dish is often the result of using the best ingredients. Use ingredients that are in season because they are grown locally vs. grown far away or flown in from another country.

7. Use ingredients that are festive and colorful. Garnish a Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Pomegranate Molasses dip using pomegranate seeds. For a colorful drink idea, serve a few cranberries in a glass of champagne.

Keeping the Stress (and Costs) in Check You Can Enjoy the Party!

1. Involve your guests in the cooking! The more involved your guests are at the party, the more memories created.

2. Celebrate with a festive cocktail and appetizer party instead of a sit-down dinner - then go a step farther and place appetizers on a buffet instead of paying for caterers/servers to pass the appetizers

3. Hire your kids to do the serving and clean up. Or hire a student at a local culinary school to cater the party

4. Serve a few high-end dishes like crab but offset the cost with a few less costly but still delicious dishes like a dip.

5. Buy your ingredients at a local farmer’s market where costs are often less and the ingredients are very fresh and plentiful.

6. When buying spices, nuts, dried fruit, dried mushrooms etc. purchase in the bulk section of your local market -- you can by exactly what you need and you also often find fresher ingredients because they have a shorter shelf life.

7. Purchase your protein at Costco (or your local warehouse retailer). They have wonderful fresh meats and seafood at very reasonable prices. Or buy a whole roast like a filet and cut it into steaks (it is cheaper that way).

8. Serve beer, wine, sodas and then just one festive holiday specialty drink vs. a full bar.

9. Caterers often offer discounts for daytime events - so consider a seasonal luncheon or a brunch instead of an evening event.

10. Invite guests to bring their favorite holiday cookie to serve on a buffet instead of purchasing desserts.

11. Bake a home-made dessert a day in advance to compliment savory bites brought in by a caterer the day of the event.

12. Co-host the event with neighbors - not only does help limit your expenses - this is a great way to share the holiday spirit with friends.

Cleveland's Great Big Home & Garden Expo Adds Cooking Stage

The 2011 Great Big Home & Garden Expo Presented By Time Warner Cable will bring more exhibitors, celebrities and special events to Northeast Ohio when it is held at Cleveland’s I-X Center Feb. 5-13. New features, appearances by home and garden celebrities, and returning favorites from the 2010 show are among the highlights that are sure to excite and surprise anyone who attends.

“Attendees at the 2010 Great Big Home & Garden Expo were completely blown away by our unique attractions, including the theatrically-lit Garden Showcase and the custom-built homes featuring over-the-top big ideas!” said Show Manager Sue Huff. “The show is a must see for any homeowner who wants to check out the latest trends or just be inspired.”

This year’s expanded show floor will offer more choices for visitors shopping for home improvement contractors, lawn and garden equipment, home décor, products and services. Exciting new features at the show, produced by Solon-based Marketplace Events, will offer plenty of ideas and inspiration to transform any home or garden including:

The Celebrity Designer Rooms attraction will include ten custom-designed rooms, each created by the partnership of a local celebrity and interior design business. New for the 2011 show, attendees can explore rooms designed by local TV news personalities Romona Robinson from WKYC Channel 3, Wayne Dawson from WJW Fox 8 and Lee Jordan from WEWS Channel 5. The Plain Dealer Home and Gardening Editor Susan Condon Love, The Loretta Paganini School of Cooking’s Stefanie Paganini, local radio personalities Bob Frantz from WTAM, Jen Toohey from WQAL, Jim Brickman and Nancy Alden from WDOK and Jimmy Malone from WMJI will also design rooms.

Another major new attraction in 2011 will be the Loretta Paganini Cooking Stage where attendees can taste and enjoy culinary delights. Cook-offs, cooking contests and local celebrity chef appearances are also planned.

The Garden Showcase will feature movie-themed gardens created by some of Northeast Ohio’s top landscapers. Located in the South Hall of the I-X Center, the 20 gardens will represent big screen favorites such as “The Secret Garden,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Father of the Bride.” Visitors can also relax and enjoy a glass of wine and light snack among the beauty of the gardens in Club Cambria.

The Garden Showcase will also include a 700-square-foot vegetable garden designed by Northeast Ohio’s Meyer Hatchery. Chickens from the hatchery will be part of the attraction and attendees will learn about raising their own chickens for fresh eggs every day. The garden’s vegetables will be supplied by Avon’s Willoway Nurseries.

"Color Me Vegan" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Why eat color? That’s the cornerstone idea of this spectacular new book by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, best-selling author of The Joy of Vegan Baking and The Vegan Table. A new study confirms that Americans are eating fewer vegetables than ever and as many as 50 percent of all Americans don’t eat a piece of fruit all day long. Why are we ignoring the advice of major health organizations, ancient wisdom, our moms and our own common sense? Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has a few ideas!

In COLOR ME VEGAN (Fair Winds Press, December 2010, $19.99, paperback with color photos),author and vegan extraordinaire Colleen Patrick-Goudreau brings an edible rainbow of plant-based cuisine to your kitchen table with 150 flavorful recipes designed to boost your health and perk up your palate.

With color as the guiding principle behind each section, Colleen shows vegetarians, vegans, and everyone in between exactly how phytonutrients—the most powerful, pigmented antioxidants on earth, found in everything from select fruits and vegetables, to grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds—can be expertly incorporated into your meals for the greatest nutritional punch. From the “Color Me Blue” chapter, for example, you’ll be treated to recipes such as:
Radicchio Fennel Salad with Caper Dressing
Chilled Blueberry Mango Soup
Lavender-Roasted Purple Onions
Eggplant with Dengaku (Sweet Miso) Sauce
Purple Plum Pie with Crumble Topping
From sensational starters and salads, to filling mains and sides, to crave-worthy desserts—in every color—the recipes in COLOR ME VEGAN are not just a feast for your stomach, but a feast for your eyes as well!

Maximize Your Nutrient Intake and Optimize Your Health by Eating Antioxidant-Rich, Fiber-Packed, Color-Intense Meals That Taste Great
* * *
About the Author
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, best-selling author of The Joy of Vegan Baking (Fair Winds, Fall 2007) and The Vegan Table (Fair Winds, Spring 2009), is the founder of Compassionate Cooks (www.compassionatecooks.com), an organization whose mission is to empower people to make informed food choices and to debunk myths about veganism. A recognized expert on healthful plant-based cuisine, Colleen has appeared on the Food Network and is a columnist for VegNews magazine.

by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Fair Winds Press
December 2010
Original Trade Paperback
US $19.99 / CAN $21.99
ISBN: 978-1-59233-439-1

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Healthy Holiday Travel Snacks Worth Packing from Crispy Green

The hectic holiday season is here and many of us will soon be traveling on the roads and be stuck at busy airports so it’s important to plan ahead and keep some healthy snacks on hand to stave off hunger cravings.

Crispy Green ’s Crispy Fruit snacks are a fun and delicious way to add more fruit into your diet – even on the go.

Crispy Fruit is made of 100% freeze-dried fruit slices – and nothing else. These delicious snacks will delight your taste buds with intense, sweet fruit taste in a light, crispy crunch.

Crispy Fruit has no added sugar, preservatives (including sulfides), colors, fat, cholesterol or sodium. Crispy Fruit is also vegan-friendly, peanut/tree nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free and are kosher certified.

Crispy Fruit is available in five flavors: Crispy Apples, Crispy Asian Pears, Crispy Bananas, Crispy Pineapples and Crispy Mangoes in moisture-free, convenient .36 ounce single serving size bags that easily fit in carry-on bags, purses, briefcases and or in the handy ‘Grab & Go’ 6-PACKS (six single-serving bags in one large, easy-to-carry bag).

Crispy Fruit is a great travel snack because it has a long shelf life and it’s perfect for a crunchy fix while in transit.

Most importantly, here’s how Crispy Fruit rates on the Weight Watcher’s point scale (reprinted from Hungry Girl’s ‘Girls Bite Out’):
1 single-serving bag, 10 - 15 grams = 35 - 55 calories, 0g fat, 0 - 10mg sodium, 8 - 13g carbs, 1 - 2g fiber, 7 - 8g sugars, 0 - 1g protein -- POINTS® value 0 - 1*

Crispy Fruit can be found in the produce and grocery aisles of many leading supermarkets and natural and specialty food stores located throughout the U.S. and at Amazon.com at a suggested retail price of $1.49.

For more information about its line of Crispy Fruit products, go to www.crispygreen.com.

A Thanksgiving Recipe from Klosterman Baking Company

Klosterman Dressing

1 Cup Ham, chopped
1 Cup Mushrooms, chopped
1 Cup Onions, chopped
1/4 lb. Butter
2 Cups Half & Half
2 tbsp Flour
2 tbsp Chicken Base or Bullion Cubes
1-2 Loaves Klosterman Classic White Bread, cubed

Sautee ham, mushrooms and onions in butter. When onions are clear, add flour. Cook until it foams, adding Half & Half to thicken. Remove from stove, add chicken base or bullion and fold in bread cubes until you have a firm dress.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pizza Parties Aren’t Just For Kids Anymore –The Perfect (Adult) Pizza Dinner Party Menu

From renowned chef, cookbook author and TV personality comes a unique new cookbook, Thursday Night Pizza by Father Dominic Garramone, offering a variety of mouth-watering pizza recipes with a little twist on the classic family favorite. From traditional cheese pizzas, unusual pies like the spicy Thai peanut chicken pizza to sweet dessert pizzas like the fig and papaya pie, Thursday Night Pizza is the perfect pizza guide that will help any cook ignite their passion for pizza.

Garramone, host of the popular PBS show “Breaking Bread with Father Dominic” which aired from 1999 through 2002, honed his pizza skills by experimenting on his brethren for their Thursday night meals, serendipitously creating unexpected yet delicious ways to dress up a pizza. Throughout the book, you will find pizzas with traditional sauce as well as sauces made with cream or pesto and toppings as ordinary as mushrooms and as unusual as smoked salmon.

“I played in the kitchen on Thursday nights with whatever happened to be in the pantry or the garden,” notes Garramone. “Pizza is surprisingly versatile once you get past the idea that sauce has to be made of tomatoes and the cheese has to be mozzarella.”

With simple, step-by-step instructions, Garramone starts off with the basics – from how to create that perfect crust to how to get the ideal sauce and inspired topping combinations. In Thursday Night Pizza, you will find delicious recipes including:

Pesto and Prosciutto Appetizer Pizza- Traditional Italian flavors of basil and prosciutto blend to make a savory pie
Denver Diner Pizza - Everything that goes in a Denver omelet – including the eggs!
Seafood Pizza – An exquisite pie with complex flavors and textures- a great way to get kids to eat seafood!
Muffaletta Pizza – Inspired by the New Orleans sandwich, this pie is a meat lover’s dream come true, especially if you also like garlic and olives.
Apple Pie Pizza – A sweet crust, topped with apricot butter, sautéed apples and pecans.

In addition to the pizza recipes you’ll also find:

o Ideas for unique and unexpected sauces

o A pizza dough primer

o How to form the crust, toss the dough and what to do with the leftovers

Father Dominic Garramone was the host of the popular PBS cooking show, “Breaking Bread with Father Dominic” from 1999-2002 and wrote three cookbooks for the series. He is also the author of Bake and Be Blessedon the spirituality of bread baking, and a Christmas cookbook titled ‘Tis the Season to be Bakingand the recently Brother Jerome and the Angels in the Bakery,a beautifully illustrated children’s story about faith and perseverance.

Father Dominic Garramone is a Roman Catholic priest and monk of the Order of Saint Benedict and has worked in teaching, theaters and writing as extension of his vocation as a monk. Garramone currently teaches at St. Bede Academy in Illinois where he is the head of the religion department and the drama director. He is an avid baker ever since making his first baguette for his French class in the 5th grade.

Thursday Night Pizzais available for purchase at www.reedypress.comwww.borders.comor www.amazon.com.

"Turkeynomical"-Economical Holiday Meal Plans to Stretch Your Dollars & Keep You "Lean"

"Turkeynomical" holiday meal plans that stretch your dollars and keep you "lean," from the new book release The Best of Clean Eating.

Time is tighter than ever, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste and flavor when your family sits down for Holiday Dinner's this season. The newly released book, The Best of Clean Eating – Improving Your Life One meal At A Time, offers savvy and delicious recipes for your Turkey left-overs that are “Turkeynomical” and keep you “Lean.” Simply put, the traditional turkey dinner is getting an upgrade in taste and healthy points, while the leftovers can be stretched into several different, easy, delicious and money saving meals. Get more bang for your buck with these 6 simple Turkey left-over recipes.

Here is a suggested Holiday Turkey Meal Plan from the new book The Best Of Clean Eating:

Featuring: Rosemary, Sage & Orange Turkey with Gingery Roasted Squash, Traditional Bread Stuffing, Golden Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Maple Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Orange Cheesecake Pears.

The Best of Clean Eatingtakes Turkey Dinner Left-Overs and consciously turns them into easy, delicious and economically friendly meals. The following is list of “Turkeynomical” left-over recipes available upon request:

-Turkey Ragout
-Turkey Panini
-Turkey & chickpea Burger
-Turkey Meatballs with Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Spinach & Ricotta
-A Better Monte Cristo Sandwich
-Turkey Black Bean Soft Tacos

Discover just how delicious and satisfying healthy eating can be with this delicious new book: The Best of Clean Eating – Improving Your Life One Meal At A time.

ACSI Customer Report Card for Food Manufacturers

After almost two years of stalling scores, the overall American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) falls 0.3% for the third quarter, which brings the Index to a score of 75.7 on a 0-100 point scale. Accordingly, it will be difficult for the U.S. economy to look to strengthened consumer demand for a boost.

“Periods of stalling ACSI growth have often been followed by weak, and sometimes negative, GDP growth,” said Professor Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI and author of The Satisfied Customer. “Consumer spending is unlikely to exhibit much of an increase unless bond buying by the Federal Reserve leads to more employment, inflation, consumer confidence and higher stock prices. With the drop in ACSI, consumer spending for the final quarter of 2010 does not look like it will improve enough to spur much economic growth.”

Food: Heinz Rules, but Higher Grocery Prices Contribute to Industry Decline
Customer satisfaction with food companies dips for the first time in three years, falling 2.4% to an ACSI score of 81. Rising food prices seem to be the culprit, but some slippage in quality is also to blame as satisfaction with 9 of the 13 largest manufacturers declines. Heinz falls 1% to 88 but nevertheless leads the industry as it has for the past decade, with cereal maker Quaker Oats and confectioner Hershey (both -1% to 86) close behind and Mars (-2%) and Sara Lee (unchanged) next at 85.

Fresh and frozen meat producer Tyson plunges the most (-6% to 77) to the bottom of the industry, an all-time low and well below other food companies. Customers are complaining about quality and a recall of deli meats probably hasn’t helped either. Kellogg also faces a big drop, down 5% to match the industry average at 81.

At the other end of the spectrum, ConAgra alone improves, surging 6% to nearly offset a steep drop in 2009. Discounts on many frozen food lines and the introduction of new products created better value for money and higher quality, but not without a cost. The lower prices are eating into earnings and ConAgra’s profit forecast has been reduced.

Slice calories while slicing turkey this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and Ohio families will soon be heading to local grocery stores to pick up a turkey. With all of the holiday feasts, it is often easy to lose track of healthy eating habits. Thankfully, there are many easy ways to fully indulge in Thanksgiving turkey this year without worrying about your waistline.

“Enjoying a delicious turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition for many families—in fact, 31 percent of all turkey consumed is eaten during the holiday season,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA). “There are several tips you can keep in mind when preparing your turkey to ensure it is healthy without sacrificing taste.” He added that Ohio ranks 8th in the country in turkey production.

Ohio turkey experts recommend a few simple ideas for adding a healthy twist to turkey dinners:

Switch it up. Instead of cooking your turkey with butter, use a mixture of olive oil and ingredients such as onions, garlic and fresh herbs, such as rosemary sage and thyme, or just salt and pepper. Or, try cooking it with lemon and lime juice, such as Citrus Roasted Turkey.

Gravy. Turkey gravy is delicious—lighten it up with one easy step! When the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 170ºF and is finished cooking, pour the pan drippings into a gravy separator to remove fat. Then, mix the defatted drippings together with your favorite gravy ingredients—such as vinegar and brown sugar—and warm as usual into tasty turkey gravy.

Skip the skin. Avoid including the skin when carving the Thanksgiving bird. Instead, serve the tasty meat skin-free. Simply choosing not to eat the turkey skin will save big on calories and fat.

Leftovers. Instead of using turkey leftovers to make higher-calorie entrees, use it as a salad topping or in soup with fresh chunky vegetables.

“Turkey is naturally lean and is an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc potassium and B vitamins,” said Chakeres. “Including Ohio turkey in your diet is a great way to stay healthy, and consumers shouldn’t feel guilty adding an extra slice of turkey to their plates this Thanksgiving!”

For more information on purchasing tips, turkey recipes or nutritional benefits, visit the OPA website at www.ohioturkey.org.

Citrus Roasted Turkey

15 lb. whole turkey, fresh or frozen (thawed)
3 Large lemons
2 Large limes
2 Teaspoons salt
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Cup dry white wine
1/4 Cup brown sugar, packed
As needed pan gravy
1 Bunch fresh sage
1 Bunch fresh marjoram
1 Bunch fresh thyme
To taste salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 Tablespoon salad oil

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for gravy. Rinse turkey with cold running water and drain well. Blot dry with paper towels.

Peel skin from lemons and limes to make rose garnishes. Reserve in refrigerator.

Squeeze enough juice from the lemons and limes to equal 2 tablespoons each. Cut the remaining lemons and limes in half and place in the turkey cavity. Sprinkle salt and pepper in the cavity.

In a small bowl, mix the wine, brown sugar and citrus juices; reserve for glaze.

Gently loosen skin from the turkey breast without totally detaching the skin and carefully place 1 tablespoon each fresh sage, marjoram and thyme under the skin. Replace the skin.

Fold neck skin and fasten to the back with 1 or 2 skewers. Fold the wings under the back of the turkey. Return legs to tucked position.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large shallow (about 2-inches) roasting pan. Rub turkey with salt, pepper and 2 to 3 tablespoons of salad oil. Insert oven-safe food thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful that the pointed end of the thermometer does not touch the bone.

Roast the turkey in a preheated 325 degree F oven about 3-3/4 hours. During the last hour of roasting time, baste with the pan drippings. During the last 30 minutes, baste with the citrus glaze. Loosely cover with lightweight foil to prevent excessive browning. Continue to roast until the thermometer registers 180 degrees F in the thigh or 170 degrees F in the breast.
Remove turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Garnish with the remaining fresh herbs and lemon and lime roses.

Prepare lemon and lime roses as follows: with a small sharp knife or vegetable peeler, cut a continuous thin 1-inch strip of peel. Avoid cutting into the white pith. Roll tightly, skin inside out and secure with toothpicks. Reserve in a bowl filled with ice water until time for service.

Provides 15 servings at 8 ounces per portion.

Calories: 440
Fat: 22g
Protein: 53g

Legendary Las Vegas Chef André Rochat Serves a Memorable Meal to Ring in 2011

Enjoy an unforgettable New Year’s Eve meal at Andre’s at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. This New Year’s Eve bid adieu to 2010 with a sophisticated and elegant celebratory dinner that is sure to please the palette. Legendary Las Vegas chef and restaurant namesake André Rochat has created a menu that perfectly captures and complIments the energy and excitement of New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas – the most magical night of the year.

The multi-course New Year’s Eve menu begins with an amuse of kumamoto oyster, sea water granité and caviar followed by a choice of chilled foie gras terrine with brioche toast, pistachio butter and cassis gastrique or a succulent lobster salad with hibiscus gelée, lotus root, frissée and truffle cream. Next, indulge in the flavor of either maitaki mushroom soup with winter truffle and crispy artichoke or jumbo sea scallop with a roasted jewel yam, citrus butter and salsify chip. Then, cleanse and invigorate the palette with a sparkling grapefruit intermezzo.

New Year’s Eve celebrants can enjoy a main course of Andre’s Maine lobster thermidor served with asparagus and hollandaise or roasted duck breast featuring beluga lentil cassoulet and braised romaine roasted quince jus or provimi veal loin with foie gras, jumbo asparagus hollandaise and anna potato with black truffle and aged armagnac. The holiday meal also includes a red and white Belgium endive salad with Gruyère cheese and a mild mustard dressing.

To satisfy the sweet tooth, the meal is topped off with three sweet treats in Andre’s New Year's Eve dessert trio.

The chef-selected New Year’s Eve meal will be served on Friday, Dec. 31, 2010. The cost: $175 per person. Guests may call (702) 798-7151 for reservations or more information.

Celebrated chef André Rochat has enhanced his AAA Four Diamond restaurant by combining its original old-world charm with a modern twist to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. An eclectic approach on a classic, Andre's meshes the finest style of dining with a comfortable, elegant setting. In addition, Andre' is home to an impressive cigar lounge, one of the only spaces on the Las Vegas Strip available to enjoy a fine cigar and rare cognac from Rochat's internationally famous collection. Honored with a prestigious Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge at Monte Carlo has an encyclopedic wine list boasting more than 1,500 selections and an inventory of 12,000 bottles. For more information, find on Facebook.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Have Your Cake and Eat it too this Holiday Season

To eat or not to eat … that is the question we ask the most during the holidays. Is it better to stick to our diets or to allow ourselves a few morsels of culinary delights? Dr. Michael Fenster, chef and practicing cardiologist, says absolutely not! He says studies have shown that we do better on a diet or healthy eating program when we allow ourselves a bit of a treat.

“What makes the holiday season so difficult for so many people is that it is not just a weekend event like a Memorial Day backyard grill, but a non-stop barrage from October through January,” explains Fenster. “We are inundated with offerings everywhere; in the media, at workplace and every point in between. If we are not careful we can find ourselves caught back into a sugar-salt-fat vicious cycle.”

To allow for some culinary holiday cheer without falling into the abyss, Dr. Fenster recommends adapting some of Grassroots Gourmet principles to combat the holiday treat temptation:

· Timing and Proportion: If you are attending holiday parties and plan to sample the wares, mark that time and place. Once you arrive and see what is offered, make your decision and pace yourself. Think of the treats the way you would a wine tasting; a little sample of this and a little sample of that spaced out over the course of the event. Allowing at least 15-20 minutes between samplings will allow time for your stomach to signal the brain you’ve eaten some yummies. Before you know it, you’ll feel satiated with a lot less than if you had come in and sampled everything all at once.

· Be Fresh: Don’t be tempted by the pre-packaged offerings. These are not only often higher in calories but loaded with food and flavor modifiers. If you’re going indulge, hold out for that fresh, handmade treat--make it count!

· Limit Your Exposure: There are plenty of enticements all around. Do not purchase pre-packaged treats to keep around the house. If it isn’t there, you can’t eat it.

During the holidays, Dr. Fenster also recommends that we plan to maintain our current weight, whatever that is, and not try to lose weight. “Enjoy the holidays in a guilt free fashion--that’s food for the soul! Consider not gaining excessive weight during the holidays as your goal and getting back to the exercise and weight loss after the New Year will be much easier.”

To add to your holiday cheer, Dr. Fenster offers up this delicious dessert.

Eggnog Crème Brûlée topped with Rum Caramel
Makes 6 – 4 ounce servings
360 calories per serving; 29g fat; 22g carbohydrate

Here is a fantastic holiday dessert. The comforting flavors of a classic eggnog delivered in the sumptuous form of a velvety smooth crème brûlée. Straining the liquid ensures a smooth creamy texture; the definition of the crème brûlée. The natural organic sugar, a 1:1 replacement for white refined sugar, has subtle molasses notes that give the brûlée some additional depth and merge seamlessly into the topping. The dark rum caramel compliments the brûlée’s spice notes and adds a dark rich, caramel toffee taste along with a satisfying crunch.

Crème Brûlée:
· 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
· ¼ cup brandy
· ½ cup organic sugar (divided into two ¼ cup portions)
· 8 egg yolks
· 1 vanilla bean
· ¼ teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
· ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place six 4 to 6 ounce ramekins in a roasting pan, and fill the pan with water so that the water comes up halfway to the tops of the ramekins. In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring ¼ cup of sugar, cream, brandy and the contents of the vanilla bean (add the bean as well, you will remove it later) to a simmer. In a stand mixer, or other bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar until the yolks turn a lighter, paler yellow. Add in the cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove the vanilla bean from the heated cream. Slowly, a little at a time, add ½ of the hot cream mixture to temper the egg yolk mixture. Add the remaining cream and strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Divide the liquid among the ramekins. Place in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until set, but the middle still trembles slightly. Remove and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight. Prior to serving, remove the brûlées and top with the rum caramel (recipe follows). To top the dessert, place a little hot caramel in the middle then swirl the ramekins until the caramel coats the edges.

Rum Caramel:
· ¼ cup dark rum
· 1 cup organic sugar (1:1 replacement for refined granulated white sugar)
Be extremely careful when cooking with melted sugar; it is hot and sticky. Keep an ice bath close by in case the sugar splatters onto you. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the sugar rum mixture. The alcohol will cook out leaving the flavored sugar. The sugar will then start to liquefy, gently stir so that it does not burn in any one place. The sugar will turn a deep rich brown and start to smoke. Heat for one more minute then remove and top the desserts.


Michael Fenster combines his culinary talents and Asian philosophy with medical expertise, creating winning recipes for healthy eating. He is frequently asked to present live cooking demonstrations as well as giving numerous radio interviews on health and food shows both nationally and internationally. Michael is a certified wine professional and chef, receiving his culinary degree from Ashworth University where he graduated with honors. He has worked professionally in kitchens prior to entering medical school and maintained his passion for food and wine throughout his medical career. Mike helped manage the award winning Napa Alley in Roanoke, Virginia, and hosted a local cable TV cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ with Doc” in Dublin, GA. He has written columns for SheKnows.com, HealthyAging.net, is a regular columnist for the culinary magazine Basil, as well as a member of their Council of Chefs and a monthly health and fitness contributor to The Tampa Tribune. He recently cooked up heart healthy fall soup on the nationally syndicated television show “Daytime.”

Michael Fenster, MD, is a Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist, currently on staff with the Cardiology Specialists of Florida at Hernando Heart Clinic. He has participated in numerous clinical trials and spoken nationally on a variety of cardiovascular topics to audiences ranging from lay public to peer presentations at the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology meetings. He has also published numerous professional peer reviewed articles and served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at North East Ohio University College of Medicine (NEOUCOM). Michael recently graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University’s Physician’s Executive MBA program.

Michael holds a JuDan (10th degree black belt) ranking in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, which he has studied over the last three decades. He lives in Spring Hill, Florida, with his wife Jennifer.

To see cooking demonstrations with Michael Fenster and more recipes, visit www.WhatsCookingWithDoc.com.

Friday, November 12, 2010

TY KU Hanukkah Recipes!

TY KU Asian Wine & Spirits is at the forefront of revolutionizing the taste buds of America with its healthier, all-natural award winning portfolio of spirits. TY KU is responsible for taking sake out of the sushi restaurants and bringing to the most trend-setting establishments across the country. Most recently, Perez Hilton has joined the ranks of other notable TY KU Asian Wine & Spirits investors such as Ne-Yo (Grammy Award-winning artist), Todd English (celebrity chef and restaurateur), Brian Vickers (NASCAR), and Dhani Jones (NFL & TV host). It seems hard to believe that what began as a Columbia Business project for TY KU Co-Founder Trent Ulicny has become a multi million dollar product backed by so many of the world’s most influential people.

TY KU Premium Sake: TY KU Sake is a Super Premium Junmai Ginjo, which is one of the purest beverages on the planet, made from only four all natural ingredients: pristine iron-free water, specialty sake rice milled more than 40%, proprietary yeast, and handmade koji. Specially brewed in a craft style with no additives or preservatives, the end result is a refined, smooth flavor profile with a soft fruity aroma and a fantastic finish.

TY KU White Ultra Premium Sake: A rare special designation Junmai Daiginjo,(less than 3% of all sakes in the world reach this classification), TY KU White is created for true connoisseurs with discriminating tastes, painstakingly hand crafted, and bottled in small batches - making production quantities extremely limited. TY KU White is, in fact, the most highly decorated sake in the world as it was awarded the Double Gold Medal at the prestigious San Francisco Wine Competition as well as the highly coveted and very rare Six Star Diamond Award from The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS).

TY KU Soju: TY KU Soju improves the drinking experience with 40% fewer calories than vodka and a healthy and sophisticated taste. More versatile than vodka, TY KU Soju creates better tasting, better balanced cocktails. Completely all natural with no additives or preservatives, TY KU invites you to discover ‘A Wiser Way to Drink’™.

TY KU Premium Liqueur: The perfect blend of traditional Asian spirits with delicious superfruits and teas, combining premium all natural ingredients including soju infused with health-boosting superfruits and antioxidant ingredients: yuzu, mangosteen, goji berry, honeydew, green tea, ginseng, giving you a crisp citrus taste, offering a potent source of potassium, cholesterol reducers, vitamins B, C, and E, and energy enhancers.

From sake bombs to TY KU’s famous Under 100 Calorie Cocktails and Low Calorie cocktails, TY KU has a simple way to sip it, mix it, or bomb it—making it the perfect choice to serve, drink, and share at all of your holiday occasions. Below are some specialty cocktails just for Hanukkah!

Dreidel Drop
1 shot TY KU Sake
Asahi Beer
Drop it!!!

Menorah Mojito
2 parts TY KU Liqueur
1 part Sprite
Squeeze of Lemon
Squeeze of Orange
81 Calories!

Gel-TY Pleasure
2 parts TY KU Soju
1 part Chocolate Liqueur
Top with whipped cream

Busy people, fed up with busted budgets, are saving money & re-connecting around the dinner table with E-Mealz

Saving money at the grocery store is the new buzz with chatter all over blogs and forums about E-Mealz, a budget based online meal planning service. When scrambling to fix dinner at the last minute, people often turn to unhealthy or expensive options. E-Mealz.com provides an everyday solution in the form of simple menu plans and grocery lists, which are published every week. This “mental maid” is an easy-to-use and concise tool for creating delicious, family-friendly dinners while sticking to a weekly budget.

E-Mealz has quickly established itself as a reliable and lifestyle meal planning and food budgeting resource for busy professionals and families. The history of E-Mealz speaks to the heart of the company’s mission and the community it supports. E-Mealz is a company dedicated to the tradition of sharing home-cooked meals and committed to help strengthen families relationships and finances. E-Mealz is a unique and simple way to save time, money, and most importantly, help families connect in a meaningful way around the dinner table.

Jane DeLaney founded E-Mealz in 2003, along with her sister Jenny, out of her own personal challenge to provide quality dinner meals as a working mother of four children. She wanted to reduce time spent clipping coupons along with the nightly stress of planning her family’s weekly dinner plans. Finding no solution online or otherwise, DeLaney created E-Mealz to provide other busy families access to delicious and simple recipes that featured grocery lists on a consistent budget.

Since its launch, E-Mealz has served over 150,000 subscribers, primarily in the USA.
E-Mealz is rapidly growing in subscriber base and expansion of plan choices. Each week, the company provides seven dinner recipes and corresponding grocery list for a nominal monthly subscription fee that coordinates with each subscriber’s plan choice. Please visit our website at www.e-mealz.com to see what all the chatter is about. Join our community as we work together to save money, organize our days and simplify our lives while at the same time strengthening families across the country.

SiriusXM's Fourth Annual Martha Stewart Living® Radio Thanksgiving Hotline

SIRIUS XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) today announced that more than 30 of the nation’s top chefs and entertaining experts—including Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Marcus Samuelsson, Isaac Mizrahi, Mario Batali and Charlie Palmer—will take turns behind the microphone to help listeners solve all of their turkey day dilemmas during the fourth annual Martha Stewart Living® Radio Thanksgiving Hotline.

During this annual special, exclusive to SIRIUS XM, these leading chefs and entertaining experts will join the Martha Stewart Living® Radio hosts live in studio to reveal their juiciest Thanksgiving tips and tricks, while personally offering advice to listeners across the country. In addition to tackling holiday cooking quandaries ranging from the traditional to the unexpected, the culinary legends will divulge their favorite Thanksgiving recipes for the main course, hors d’oeuvres, variations on the traditional turkey meal, desserts, wine pairings, specialty cocktails (including non-alcoholic suggestions) designed for the holidays and much more. Martha and her team of Thanksgiving experts will also share their personal Thanksgiving memories and family traditions, supply useful tips for cooking on a budget, and reveal simple yet elegant suggestions to spruce up the table and spread holiday cheer.

The Martha Stewart Living® Radio Thanksgiving Hotline will air November 22, 23 and 24 from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm ET exclusively on Martha Stewart Living® Radio, SIRIUS channel 112 and XM channel 157 as part of “The Best of SIRIUS.” Each full day of programming will replay in its entirety beginning at 7:00 pm ET nightly. SIRIUS XM Radio listeners can call 866-675-6675 or email their questions to radio@marthastewart.com.

Full lineup of scheduled guests:

Monday, November 22

7:00 am Tom Douglas, award-winning Seattle chef and restaurateur
8:00 am Mikey Price, executive chef and owner of Market Table
9:00 am Frank Stitt, award-winning chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author
10:00 am Amanda Freitag, chef and TV personality
11:00 am Emily Luchetti, award-winning executive pastry chef, San Francisco's Farallon and Waterbar restaurants
12:00 pm David Burke, celebrity chef and restaurateur
1:00 pm Charlie Palmer, master chef and restaurateur
2:00 pm Anne Burrell, chef and host, Food Network's "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef"
3:00 pm Michael White, executive chef/partner of Convivio, Alto, Marea and Osterio Morino and Christophe Tassan, wine director, Mix in Las Vegas and Alain Ducasse Restaurant at Mandalay Bay, spokesperson for Cotes du Rhone Wines
4:00 pm Martha Stewart, live in studio to answer all Thanksgiving questions

Tuesday, November 23

7:00 am Sunny Anderson, host of Food Network's "Cooking for Real"
8:00 am Art Smith, chef, author and TV personality
9:00 am Bill Telepan, executive chef/owner of New York City's Telepan restaurant
10:00 am Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market and Hill Country Chicken, founder of GirlsattheGrill.com
11:00 am Emeril Lagasse, chef, restaurateur of numerous restaurants including Emeril’s and NOLA, television personality, and cookbook author
12:00 pm Gale Gand, executive pastry chef and partner of Chicago’s TRU restaurant
1:00 pm Michael Lomonaco, executive chef/managing partner at Porter House New York and Isaac Mizrahi, fashion guru/TV personality/entertaining pro
2:00 pm Wolfgang Puck, master chef and restaurateur
3:00 pm Carmen Quagliata, executive chef at New York City's Union Square Café
4:00 pm Marcus Samuelsson, world-class chef, co-founder of The Marcus Samuelsson Group, chef/owner of New York City’s Red Rooster Harlem

Wednesday, November 24

7:00 am Marc Forgione, chef and owner of New York City's Marc Forgione restaurant
8:00 am George Mendes, chef and owner of Aldea
9:00 am Jonathan Waxman, acclaimed chef and owner, New York City's Barbuto
10:00 am Geoffrey Zakarian, chef and co-owner of New York City's The Lambs Club
11:00 am Gina DePalma, award-winning pastry chef, New York City's Babbo Ristorante
12:00 pm Mario Batali, chef/owner of numerous restaurants including Babbo, Del Posto, Casa Mono, Esca, television personality, cookbook author
1:00 pm Rick Bayless, cookbook author, television host, James Beard Award-winning chef, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo
2:00 pm Sara Moulton, chef, TV personality, and author of "Everyday Family Dinners"
3:00 pm Nick Anderer, executive chef of New York City's Maialino restaurant, and Allen Katz, director of mixology/spirits education for Southern Wine and Spirits
4:00 pm Alton Brown, award-winning cookbook author and Food Network host
All of the chefs contributed their own recipes for a special, free online cookbook, Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Thanksgiving Hotline Recipes, created for SIRIUS XM especially for the occasion. This extraordinary collection of recipes and tips, which covers everything from turkey to desserts to wine selections, is available for download at http://www.sirius.com/marthastewartlivingradio and http://www.xmradio.com/marthastewartlivingradio.

Holiday lunch hours and NFL football night specials at Morton's The Steakhouse

Morton’s The Steakhouse Cincinnati is pleased to announce that it will open for holiday lunch hours on the following dates in December: 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21 and 22.

A holiday lunch at Morton’s is the perfect opportunity to thank the team for a job well done and to toast a happy, healthy 2011. (And if you have many employees to thank, we’re happy to set you up in our boardroom and develop a menu that suits your needs.)

Morton’s holiday lunch menu will offer a generous selection of appetizers, salads, entrees, sides and (of course) dessert. For those seeking a quick decision, Morton’s Prime Lunch Selection offers soup or salad and one of three entrée choices: Filet Mignon with béarnaise sauce and mashed potatoes, Chicken Christopher with mashed potatoes, and Broiled Salmon with sautéed garlic green beans. Lunch hours will be from 11:30 am–2:30 pm.

Next, score a touchdown with your friends by inviting them to meet you at Morton’s
Bar 12/21 to watch NFL football on Sunday and Monday nights. Bar 12/21 is offering specially priced Bar Bites and selected Power Hour cocktails in the bar on Sunday and Monday nights throughout the NFL season and the Super Bowl. Morton’s opens at 5 pm on Sundays, and 5:30 pm on Mondays. Specials will vary by evening.

Morton’s The Steakhouse is located at 441 Vine Street. Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Sundays. For more information and reservations, please call 513-621-3111.

About Morton’s
Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc. is the world's largest operator of company owned upscale steakhouses. Morton's steakhouses have remained true to its founders' original vision of combining generous portions of high quality food prepared to exacting standards with exceptional service in an enjoyable dining environment.

The Company owns and operates 77 Morton's steakhouses located in 64 cities in 26 states, and in Puerto Rico and six international locations (Toronto, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Mexico City), as well as Trevi, a Las Vegas Italian restaurant.