Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey Is Calling all golfers...

Watching the British Open next week?

Here's a simple way to show your support and solidarity with top players from Northern Ireland--like the extraordinary Rory McIlroy, this year's U.S. Open winner.

Mix up a batch of cocktails with Northern Ireland's own Bushmills!

Since 1608 Bushmills whiskey has been synonymous with the country; the historic distillery is even pictured on the £5 Irish bank note.

Of course, on the rocks or with soda are always appropriate--but Bushmills Irish whiskey is also great mixer for summer beverages in front of the TV or at backyard barbecues.

Recipes that make it easy...even for duffers:

Bushmills Irish Buck
1.5 oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
1 squeeze fresh lime juice
2 oz. ginger ale
1 wheel lime
Combine Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey and lime juice over ice in a tall glass. Top with ginger ale and garnish with lime wheel

Bushmills & Ginger
1.5 oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
3 oz. ginger ale
1 twist orange
Pour Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey and ginger ale over ice cubes into a tall glass.

New Rachael Ray Whoopie Pie Pan Satisfies Craving for Nostalgic Treat

What could be more fun than making whoopie...pies!

As American as baseball and apple pie - and perfect for casual backyard parties, picnics and tailgating events - the exact origin of this delectable, utensil-free dessert remains rather controversial. Both Maine and Pennsylvania claim rights to the sweet sandwich, featuring two small chocolate buns filled with vanilla-flavored cream.

Join in the fun of baking classic and creative versions of whoopie pies with the new 12 Cup Whoopie Pie Pan from Rachael Ray's Oven Lovin' Bakeware collection. Available now at for $16.99 suggested retail, key features of Rachael's new Whoopie Pie Pan include the following:

* Crafted of lightweight yet sturdy carbon steel that won't bend or warp;

* Durable nonstick inside and outside for easy food release and effortless cleaning;

* Comfortable silicone grip handles in Rachael's signature orange for easy lifting and a splash of color in the kitchen;

* Dishwasher safe and oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit;

* Exclusive recipe for Rachael Ray's original Peanut Butter and Chocolate Whoopie Pie (available only with purchase of pan);

* A portion of the proceeds from each purchase will be donated to Yum-o! children's foundation, which was founded by Rachael to empower kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

VinniBag is the Perfect Holiday Gift for the World Class Traveler, Wine and Food Lover

This holiday season why not give a gift your friends and family will use for years to come? VinniBag is an inflatable, versatile and sleekly designed bag that cushions anything from wine and olive oil to antique tea cups while traveling or on the road. VinniBag is the perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer for wine and food lovers on your list, as well as your favorite world jet setter.

Each VinniBag has an MSRP of $28 and is available at
VinniBag is a versatile travel accessory that suspends items in an air cushion, providing protection against impact and leakage. The product was designed to optimally protect a standard 750ml wine bottle but it can accommodate many other items like olive oil, perfume, collectibles, grandma’s preserves and even multiple small items which are suspended independently without touching. Contents are isolated, secured and cushioned by the air chambers and sealed by a specially designed closure.

Both the sophisticated design and material of VinniBag easily tolerate significant changes in air pressure and temperature, thereby allowing for safe travel by air, car, rail, bike, backpack and much more. The clear material allows for visual inspection without opening and stores flat, rolled or folded when not in use. Pair a VinniBag with your favorite bottle of wine and give the perfect holiday gift that keeps on giving. Or give a VinniBag by itself as the ultimate stocking stuffer.

L. Lange, a VinniBag customer, says, “Its perfect for traveling, which I do a lot of (especially during the holidays), and it’s totally reusable. I’m giving one to all the special people in my life this Christmas… What a fabulous gift!”

To learn more about this exclusive holiday gift, visit For more information on Ellessco LLC, samples, or to set up a meeting with company management, please contact Avalon Communications at 512-502-1731 or emailing at

About Ellessco LLC

Ellessco LLC was founded in 2009 by a mother-daughter team. As experienced travelers passionate about wine and local specialties, they saw a need for a better way to transport liquids and fragile items. Two years of intensive product development and testing resulted in a unique concept for inflatable travel accessories and the creation of Ellessco LLC.

These women are also committed to social, economic and ecologic responsibility. All products are reusable, recyclable and 100% made in the USA. Ellessco, LLC supports charitable organizations and employs only US resources for design, manufacturing, packaging and shipping. Ellessco, LLC also maintains a recycle program that converts plastics into garden hoses to help keep our planet green.

FarmLinks Golf Club Presents 'Barbecue Rubs & Clubs at The Farm

FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms – featuring the world’s only agronomic research and demonstration golf course – has teamed up with barbecue enthusiast, Scott Jones, nationally recognized food and wine expert and former executive food editor of Southern Living, to offer an appetizing, new educational program that’s sure to be savored: “Barbecue Rubs & Clubs at The Farm.”

There's nothing like sharing the flavor, enjoying the taste and appreciating every morsel of a great barbecue. And this event, scheduled for Saturday, July 23, will blend two passions – barbecue and golf – into one truly unforgettable day.

From barbecue beginners to promising pitmasters, participants in the Rubs & Clubs event will attend an interactive barbecue seminar, enjoy delicious meals and play golf on FarmLinks’ championship course.

“We’ll zoom-in on the most popular regional style – from Memphis to Kansas City to the Carolinas – and talk about why they matter,” Jones explains. “Then we’ll discuss the essential elements needed to become a true backyard pitmaster. And using a variety of salts, sugars, spices and heat sources, participants will have the opportunity to create – and take home – their very own signature dry rubs.”

In addition to the lecture portion of the program, there will also be a hearty, barbecue-inspired lunch to fortify everyone through an afternoon of golf.

And after a day on the links, guests will kick back with an authentic, barbecue supper on the grounds, highlighted by smoked, Carolina-style chopped pork shoulder with all the fixin’s, including a variety of regional sauces, sides and, of course, dessert.

Jones, a Kansas City Barbecue Society Certified Barbecue Judge, has judged the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitation Barbecue and served as editor of the Southern Living Ultimate Guide To Bar-B-Que. He has been featured on dozens of television shows, from Cooking With Paula Deen to Food Network Challenge. He is also president of JONES IS HUNGRY, a culinary media company based in Birmingham, Ala., focused on strategic culinary production and consulting, recipe development, TV production and culinary education.

“We’re honored to have Scott on board with the FarmLinks team for a quality, educational culinary event, featuring two topics I know folks are passionate about,” Erle Fairly, president of FarmLinks, states. “In fact, I’m not sure that many things can top the flavorful taste of barbecue, mixed in with a round of golf at the world’s only research and demonstration golf course.”

FarmLinks at Pursell Farms is known worldwide for its one-of-a-kind, superintendent education program, The Experience at FarmLinks. And “Rubs & Clubs at The Farm” is part of the ongoing educational platform, with more events – featuring additional culinary topics, health & wellness, sports education, agronomics, and more – coming soon to the FarmLinks calendar.

“Rubs & Clubs at The Farm” will kick off at 10:30 a.m. and finish up at 8:45 p.m. The cost is $169 (tax included) and includes: lunch, barbecue seminar with Scott Jones, signature dry rub (yours to keep), 18 holes of golf and barbecue supper. Participants may add a dinner-only guest for $45. There is a maximum of 70 guests, so be sure to reserve your spot today.

For more information about this event or to register for Rubs & Clubs, contact John Trawick at

About FarmLinks at Pursell Farms

Founded in 1999 by the Pursell family and located at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Ala., FarmLinks includes a one-of-a-kind agronomic research and demonstration facility; an 18-hole, 7,444-yard championship golf course open to the public; and The Experience at FarmLinks, a unique, turf education program in partnership with several of top products manufacturers in the industry. FarmLinks’ cutting-edge environment also offers high-tech meeting spaces, deluxe lodging and first-rate fishing and wildlife habitat with a five-stand clay shooting range and hunting adventures.

For more information about stay-and-play packages: 877.292.FARM (3276),,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reducing Food Waste: Making the Most of Our Abundance

According to staggering new statistics from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), roughly one-third of the food produced worldwide for human consumption is lost or wasted, amounting to some 1.3 billion tons per year. In the developing world, over 40 percent of food losses occur after harvest-while being stored or transported, and during processing and packing. In industrialized countries, more than 40 percent of losses occur as a result of retailers and consumers discarding unwanted but often perfectly edible food.

At a time when the land, water, and energy resources necessary to feed a global population of 6.9 billion are increasingly limited-and when at least 1 billion people remain chronically hungry-food losses mean a waste of those resources and a failure of our food system to meet the needs of the poor. The Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project (, a two-year evaluation of environmentally sustainable agricultural innovations to alleviate hunger, is highlighting ways to make the most of the food that is produced and to make more food available to those who need it most.

According to Tristram Stuart, a contributing author of Worldwatch's State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet report, some 150 million tons of grains are lost annually in low-income countries, six times the amount needed to meet the needs of all the hungry people in the developing world. Meanwhile, industrialized countries waste some 222 million tons of perfectly good food annually, a quantity nearly equivalent to the 230 million tons that sub-Saharan Africa produces in a year. Unlike farmers in many developing countries, however, agribusinesses in industrial countries have numerous tools at their disposal to prevent food from spoiling-including pasteurization and preservation facilities, drying equipment, climate-controlled storage units, transport infrastructure, and chemicals designed to expand shelf-life.

"All this may ironically have contributed to the cornucopian abundance that has fostered a culture in which staggering levels of 'deliberate' food waste are now accepted or even institutionalized," writes Stuart in his chapter, "Post-Harvest Losses: A Neglected Field." "Throwing away cosmetically 'imperfect' produce on farms, discarding edible fish at sea, over-ordering stock for supermarkets, and purchasing or cooking too much food in the home, are all examples of profligate negligence toward food."

Nourishing the Planet researchers traveled to 25 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, meeting with 350 farmers' groups, NGOs, government agencies, and scientists. "This amount of loss is shocking considering that many experts estimate that the world will need to double food production in the next half-century as people eat more meat and generally eat better," says Danielle Nierenberg, Nourishing the Planet project director. "It would make good sense to invest in making better use of what is already produced."

"Humanity is approaching -- and in some places exceeding -- the limits of potential farmland and water supplies that can be used for farming," notes Worldwatch Institute Executive Director Robert Engelman. "We're already facing food price spikes and the early impacts of human-caused climate change on food production. We can't afford to overlook simple, low-cost fixes to reduce food waste."

Nourishing the Planet offers the following three low-cost approaches that can go a long way toward making the most of the abundance that our food system already produces. Innovations in both the developing and industrialized worlds include:

· Getting surpluses to those who need it. As mountains of food are thrown out every day in the cities of rich countries, some of the poorest citizens still struggle to figure out their next meal. Feeding America coordinates a nationwide network of food banks that receive donations from grocery chains. Florida's Harry Chapin Food Bank, one of Feeding America's partners, distributed 5.2 million kilograms of food in 2010. In New York City, City Harvest collects some 12.7 million kilograms of excess food each year from restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms and delivers it to nearly 600 New York City food programs. Similarly, London Street FoodBank utilizes volunteers to collect unused food items from London businesses and get them to food banks around the city.

· Raising consumer awareness and reducing waste to landfills. Those who can easily afford to buy food-and throw it away-rarely consider how much they discard or find alternatives to sending unwanted food to the landfill. In 2010, however, San Francisco became the first city to pass legislation requiring all households to separate both recycling and compost from garbage. By asking residents to separate their food waste, a new era of awareness is being fostered by the initiative. Nutrient-rich compost created by the municipal program is made available to area organic farmers and wine producers, helping to reduce resource consumption in agriculture. The Love Food Hate Waste website-an awareness campaign of the U.K.-based organization Wrap-provides online recipes for using leftovers as well as tips and advice for reducing personal food waste.

· Improving storage and processing for small-scale farmers in developing countries. In the absence of expensive, Western-style grain stores and processing facilities, smallholders can undertake a variety of measures to prevent damage to their harvests. In Pakistan, the United Nations helped 9 percent of farmers cut their storage losses up to 70 percent by simply replacing jute bags and mud constructions with metal grain storage containers. And Purdue University is helping communities in rural Niger maintain year-round cow pea supplies by making low-cost, hermetically sealed plastic bags available through the Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) program. Another innovative project uses solar energy to dry mangoes after harvest; each year, more than 100,000 tons of the fruit go bad before reaching the market in western Africa.

State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet is accompanied by informational materials including briefing documents, summaries, an innovations database, videos, and podcasts, all available at The project's findings are being disseminated to a wide range of agricultural stakeholders, including government ministries, agricultural policymakers, and farmer and community networks, as well as the increasingly influential nongovernmental environmental and development communities.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Contest from American Roland Food Corp

Is mango chili sauce your new secret weapon? Are cold soba noodles helping you beat the heat? Have you become completely addicted to French butter cookies? We want to know which products are making a splash in your kitchen this summer.

Make us a short & sweet video—just 30 to 45 seconds using your favorite Roland_ product and you just might win a boatload of gourmet products from Roland® and a couple of cookbooks from The Lisa Ekus Group.

Tell us what you love about the product or highlight a short recipe and serving suggestion. Whatever strikes your inspiration is perfect. The winners will be judged by users, so tell your friends to vote!

Upload a brief video highlighting you and/or your friends using your favorite Roland® product. The top 10 videos will win a Roland Summer Gift Basket full of goodies sure to make your summer even more delicious.

For more information on entering and eligibility, please visit the contest page:

Signature "FIRECRACKER" 4th of JULY Cocktail from Riazul Premium Tequila

This spicy cocktail, infused with Riazul Premium Silver, was concocted by Jorge Guzman, master mixologist and owner of Ofrenda, the new cantina-themed hot spot in Manhattan's West Village.

If you're in New York City for the fireworks, order one up at Ofrenda, where Guzman will be mixing them personally!

Riazul Firecracker
(by Jorge Guzman, Owner/Mixologist at Ofrenda)

2 oz Riazul Silver
2 oz Fresh squeeze orange juice
1/2 oz homemade grenadine (see below, or subsitute with Rose’s Grenadine)
Optional: 1 tbsp 80-proof mescal

Combine Riazul Silver tequila in a Collins glass with ice, and top with fresh-squeezed orange juice. Pour grenadine down side of the glass while tilting it, so it sinks straight to the bottom and only rises up slightly. Top off with 80-proof mescal, pouring it across the back of a spoon that’s touching the side of the inside of the glass. Let the mescal trickle slowly down the side of the glass until it forms a “float” over the drink. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Homemade Grenadine recipe (optional):

1-32oz bottle of POM pomegranate juice
2 cups of sugar

Bring pomegranate juice to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes until it reduces in half. Add sugar and allow to dissolve. Chill.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Premium Philly-Based Deli Meat & Cheese Company Can Help Make Summer Barbecues Memorable

Summer is the time for franks and sausages and outdoor grilling. Grilling can be fun, delicious, easy and can be done anytime, anywhere – for the most part. Philadelphia-based Dietz & Watson has obsessed over the quality of their premium franks and fine sausages for more than 70 years. Not to mention their center cut pork spare ribs, smoked Turkey Breast fillets, ham steaks and more.

To bring delicious recipes and grilling items to grillers around the country, Dietz & Watson has declared the summer of 2011 as Dietz & Watson’s Summer Grillebration.

The home base for the Summer Grillebration is the Dietz & Watson Facebook page. It gives consumers a place to engage with Dietz & Watson; a place to ask questions (“Where can I find your Gourmet Chicken Sausages?”); and a place to to share recipes and grilling tips.

Each week throughout the summer, D&W offers visitors a new, unique recipe for grilling Dietz & Watson’s franks, sausages and other delicious meats. The recipes were concepted by Chef Walter Staib – the legendary owner and chef of Philadelphia’s City Tavern. That’s makes 16 weeks to engage, 16 recipes to try, and unlimited combination of meats, cheeses, complements and salads.

Why Franks & Sausages? Why Summer?

Because people eat more hot dogs and sausages in the summer. On Independence Day alone, Americans will enjoy more 150 million hot dogs! During the weeks of the Grillebration (Memorial Day through Labor Day), Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs (818 every second!).

What Recipes?

When it comes to which products are worth Grillebrating, the list is more than just franks & sausages.

The grilling recipes feature All Beef Franks, Deli Beef Franks, Angus Beef Franks, Gourmet Lite Franks, Beef Hot Smoked Sausage, Mild Smoked Beef Sausage, Kielbasa, Bauernwurst, Bratwurst, Buffalo Chicken Sausage, Cheddarwurst , Black Forest Wieners, Pre-Cooked Center-Cut BBQ Ribs, Smoked Turkey Breast Filets, Ham Steaks, Ring Bologna, Boneless Smoked Pork Chops and more.

Here are two recipes from the Summer Grillebration program:

The Philly Frank


12 Dietz & Watson© All Beef Franks
12 Pretzel Rolls
1 Pound Dietz & Watson© Provolone Cheese (grated optional)
4 Cloves garlic (chopped)
1 Jar Dietz & Watson© Sweet Roasted Peppers, (sliced)
1 Jar Dietz & Watson© Peperoncini, stems removed and cut into four slices

1. Prepare a grill and lower temperature or wait until coals are low heat.
2. Cook franks over low heat until golden brown.
3. Toast buns lightly over low heat.
4. Remove franks from heat and place one in each bun.
5. Top franks with grated cheese, garlic, roasted peppers and peperoncinis.

Barbecued Sausage Skewers


1 pound each Dietz & Watson© Ring Bologna, Dietz & Watson© Kielbasa, Dietz & Watson© Knockwurst, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into large pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into large pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into large pieces
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Vegetable oil
1 jar Dietz & Watson© Sweet Vidalia Onions in Sauce
Skewers 6 8-inch to 12-inch skewers (bamboo or metal)
Barbecue Sauce
12 ounces barbecue sauce (Your favorite brand)
4 teaspoons Dietz & Watson© horseradish
2 teaspoons honey
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 pinch red pepper flakes


Make the Skewers:

1. Make each kabob by placing a piece of kielbasa on the skewer, then place a strip of the onion, then the pepper on the skewer. Next, place a piece of the ring bologna, then a piece of onion, then the pepper on the skewer. Finally, place a piece of knockwurst, onion and pepper on the skewer. Each kabob will have one piece of each the sausages and onions and peppers. Repeat until all skewers are full and ingredients are all used.
2. Lightly salt and pepper each skewer, brush with a bit of vegetable oil and let marinate for 1 hour.
3. Heat a grill to medium high heat and add the skewers, searing them over high heat on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove skewers and set aside.
4. Baste with barbeque sauce. Serve with Vidalia onions

Barbecue Sauce

1. In a small bowl or glass, whisk together the barbecue sauce, honey, hot pepper sauce, red pepper flakes & horseradish.

About Dietz & Watson – Dietz & Watson was founded in 1939 by Gottlieb Dietz, a talented young German sausage maker. His primary goal was to produce the most flavorful, highest quality deli meats in the marketplace, to please even the most discriminating palate, using his old-world recipes and commitment to “quality above all.” Today at Dietz & Watson, the third generation of the family continues Gottlieb Dietz’s dedication and commitment in preparing Premium Deli Meats and Artisan Cheeses.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

500 Delicious Recipes of 400 Calories...or less!

Whether you're on a weight loss plan already or looking to begin anew, 500 400-CALORIE RECIPES (Fair Winds Press, June 2011, $19.99 US/$21.99 CAN) by Dick Logue is your one-stop shop for healthy, deliciously comforting meals that won't bust your fitness goals, but rather boost you to them...and all just in time for summer vacation and lazy days on the beach!

For people looking to shed pounds and live more healthfully, eating meals in the 400-calorie range is your secret weapon to weight loss success. Not only do these meals fuel your energy, rev metabolism, and keep you feeling full longer, but they also help you stick to a daily caloric range of 1200 to 1600 total calories, which is ideal for tipping the scales in your favor.

The book works by expertly focusing on nutrient-dense, low-calorie ingredients that you can eat in abundance-such as leafy greens, artichokes, and berries-and combining them with smaller portions of equally filling foods like whole grains, beans, eggs, and poultry. Recipes include:

Corned Beef Hash Pie
Asparagus Omelet and Citrus Salad
Paris Sidewalk Cafe Quiche Lorraine
Pork and Apple Curry
Old World Smoked Sausage Stew
Bean and Guacamole Burgers
Shrimp Fried Rice
Stuffed Shells Florentine
Mexican Drunken Chicken
Carrot Cookies
Cappuccino Mousse
The result? Four hundred mega-satisfying meals that cover your every craving and desire, from wholesomely hearty breakfasts to decadent treats that won't break the (calorie) bank.

Start losing weight-by filling your plate with 500 400-CALORIE RECIPES!

"Why 400 Calories? The answer is simple, a 400-Calorie Meal is just what you need to lose weight, a meal that satisfies you and keeps your hunger at bay until your next 400-calorie meal, keeping you at only 1200-1600 calories per day. This is not something I created, it is based on the research of a number of doctors and nutritional experts." ― Dick Logue

* * *
About the Author

Dick Logue is a five-time cookbook author and founder of the website After being diagnosed with congestive heart failure more than 10 years ago, Dick threw himself into the process of creating healthy versions of his favorite recipes. A cook since the age of 12, he grows his own vegetables, bakes his own bread, and cans a variety of foods. He is the author of 500 Low Sodium Recipes, 500 Low-Cholesterol Recipes, 500 High Fiber Recipes, 500 Low Glycemic Index Recipes, and 500 Heart-Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes .

* * *
Delicious and Satisfying Meals That Keep You to a Balanced 1200-Calorie Diet So You Can Lose Weight without Starving Yourself

by Dick Logue
Fair Winds Press
June 2011
$19.99 US / $21.99 CAN
Trade Paperback Original
ISBN-13: 978-159233-408-7
Also Available as E-Book

Add A Mediterranean Twist to the Traditional 4th of July Menu and Keep it Healthy

The summer grill season is getting in full swing and the 4th of July barbecue is really getting ‘hot’ with unique twists. Stavros Mastrogiannis - a culinary institute graduate, nutritionist, health specialist, and fitness coach was born and raised in Greece and he loves incorporating Mediterranean foods and spices to American traditional barbecue menus.

In his menus he does not believe in denying yourself some flavor which comes from fat products. Mastrogiannis points out that the reason 98% of Americans gain weight back after going on a ‘diet' is because they have done just that and have followed a bland, uniform and prescribed menu pan. Additionally, he does not believe that counting and watching calories is the answer.

Mastrogiannis’ menus for the picnic and barbecue season offer:

Mediterranean staples such as beans/lentils mixed with non-traditional vegetables
Spicy and flavorful marinades that incorporate some fat products
Fish dishes that are filling and satisfying
Color in the traditional red, white and blue theme
Mastrogiannis is the author of The 8 Eating Rules and in these rules he spells out simply how to lose weight within your own dietary likes and exercise programs. Hundreds of people follow Matrogiannis program and the successes are significant not only in losing pounds and inches but in keeping weight off.

Stavros Mastrogiannis moved from his native country of Greece to the United States in 1987. He holds an A.O.S in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America and degrees in Fitness and Nutrition with numerous certifications, including CPR, Nutrition Specialist, and ACE (American Council on Exercise) certifications as a Personal Trainer and Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant. He is the founder of Olympus Personal Training & Weight Management Center in 1996. He is a source of inspiration for thousands, having organized the Danbury Weight Loss Challenge in 2004 and partnering with St. Jude Children’s Hospital for the Get In Shape for 2007 Challenge.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Bounty of Fresh Herbs and Spices Creates a Summertime Mediterranean Feast

The countries around the Mediterranean produce an abundance of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that has been the basis for healthy eating for centuries. Chef Joumana Accad specializes in bringing Mediterranean food to American tables. Through her popular food blog,, she has shown thousands of home cooks how healthy and delicious the cuisine of her native Lebanon is.

“Lebanon is a beautiful Mediterranean country with very few natural resources. As a child, learning to cook from my grandmother, I grew to appreciate and take full advantage of what nature provided,” Joumana explains. “I have modernized some traditional Lebanese recipes that take advantage of summertime ingredients.”

The results are recipes that are light and fresh, and not hard to achieve. Bring the Mediterranean sunshine to your kitchen table this summer with these recipes from Chef Joumana Accad.

Dilled Crêpes with Fava Bean and Rice Salad
Makes 8 Crêpes serving 4

The fava beans in the salad can easily be substituted for diced zucchini or peppers or peas or any fresh vegetable.

• 1/2 cup of finely minced dill (equivalent to one bunch) (dill can be substituted with parsley)
• 3 large eggs
• 1/2 cup of cake flour
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
• 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
• 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion (or shallots)
• 1 cup of water
• 3 tablespoons of olive oil

For the rice and fava beans:
• 1/2 cup of rice (sushi or any medium-grain such as Turkish, Egyptian or Italian)
• 1 cup of boiled fresh fava beans, shelled and peeled
• 1 small bouillon cube (optional)
• 1 1/2 cups of yogurt
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, minced and mashed in a mortar with 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 8 long pieces of chives or leek greens to tie the crêpes


Fry the chopped onions in one tablespoon of olive oil until soft and translucent; cool and place the onions, the eggs, flour, spices, dill, olive oil and water in the bowl of a food processor, blender or mixer. Mix until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes. When ready to make the crêpes, whirl the batter a few seconds to combine all the ingredients evenly.

Heat a crêpe pan or small skillet, spray with some oil or butter and when hot, drop about 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Swirl to cover the skillet and cook for one minute, until the edges are golden-brown. Flip the crêpe and cook 15 seconds on the other side. Remove and proceed with the others, spraying the pan each time. Lay each crêpe on a plate on top of each other with a square piece of wax paper in-between each crêpe.

3. Make the stuffing: Soak the rice in lukewarm salted water for thirty minutes or longer; bring the water to a boil, adding a dash of salt, the bouillon cube (if using it, don’t add salt), a tablespoon of olive oil. Lower the heat, cover and cook the rice. Cook the fava beans by boiling them for a couple of minutes and drain. When the rice is cooked, cool and transfer to a bowl. Add the fava beans and mix. Mash the garlic and mix with the yogurt and add to the rice mixture, tossing to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place a couple of tablespoons of the rice mixture in the middle of each crêpe, fold the crêpe and tie with some blanched dill sprigs or scallions. Serve at room temperature with extra yogurt on the side.

Keshké Salad
8 servings

The word keshké refers to keshek, a traditional staple in the Lebanese larder made up of yogurt mixed with bulgur, fermented in the sun and ground into a powder. In rural areas especially, keshek is made at home and is considered an essential food. Bulgur and yogurt are combined until fermentation and left to dry out on large sheets on straw rugs on the flat roof of village homes. When the bulgur and yogurt paste is completely dry, it is ground through a sieve and kept in jars to be used throughout the year; keshek will sustain for the long days out in the field. In addition, keshek has many health benefits, a long shelf life and is incorporated to soups, stews, sauces and as a topping on flatbreads or a filling in savory pastries.

Keshké salad evolved from the traditional keshek; the difference is that here the bulgur and yogurt are combined, not fermented and not ground, simply eaten fresh as a salad with herbs. I have modernized this traditional salad of yogurt and bulgur by adding some fresh produce and legumes gathered from the farmer's market: Zucchini, fresh fava beans, Italian parsley, green onion and green pepper are dressed with a yogurt sauce spiked with garlic paste and a touch of tahini and drizzled with some olive oil. This hearty and rustic salad can be eaten as a main dish.


• 1 cup of coarse bulgur (#4)
• 1 cup of packed minced flat-leaf parsley
• 3 green onions, minced fine
• 1 cup of boiled fava beans
• 1 1/2 cups of diced zucchini, sauteed in olive oil till tender but still crunchy
• 3 cloves of garlic mashed with a dash of salt in a mortar
• 1 1/2 cup of yogurt, drained in a mesh sieve over a coffee filter or paper towel for one or two hours
• 1/4 cup of olive oil
• 1 or 2 tablespoons of tahini
• 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (optional)
• 1 teaspoon of ground cumin (can replace with paprika)
• salt, pepper to taste
• juice of half a lemon and 1/4 cup of olive oil
• 1/2 cup of toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts or pine nuts


1. Bring a quart of water to a boil; place the bulgur in a bowl and pour the boiling water on top of it. Let it swell for fifteen minutes or longer until soft. Drain the bulgur of its water, squeezing to remove excess water. Add to the bulgur the diced and sautéed zucchini and boiled, peeled fava beans as well as chopped parsley and minced green onions.

2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini, garlic paste, lemon juice, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the bulgur mixture and combine. Serve at room temperature.

World's Healthiest Brownie
Makes 12 servings

Tahini is the "fat" of choice in the Lebanese kitchen and is used daily; it is mixed with fresh lemon juice and (or) Seville orange juice, spiked with garlic and slathered on falafel, kafta trays and shawarma sandwiches; made into a rich sauce with kibbeh balls, baked with fish or served with boiled vegetables.

In the pastry kitchen, however, tahini is only used sparingly; I wanted to use it in an iconic American cake: The brownie. Here, tahini replaces butter; and a most traditional Eastern mediterranean food, grape molasses, replaces white refined sugar. Grape molasses was the sweetener of choice in Lebanon before the widespread distribution and availability of sugar. It is made in the rural areas today in the communal village press, where it is extracted from the sweetest grapes; the juice from these grapes is filtered and boiled and the resulting thick and sweet molasses is fragrant and filled with all the concentrated nutrients of the grape. Grape molasses or debess al-enab is used in hundreds of rural recipes, from puddings, to dry cookies, to porridges made with bulgur or chick peas.

Even though there is a dramatic difference in taste and quality between one's family production of grape molasses made in the villages and the commercial kind available in stores or online, it is still worth using in lieu of white refined sugar which has been proven to be toxic for the body.

In this version of brownie, tahini provides Omega 3 and 6, calcium, vitamin Bs, fiber and many other nutrients; fresh orange juice is loaded with antioxidants, potassium and vitamins. The grape molasses is full of minerals, such as calcium, potassium and iron, as well as vitamins and antioxidants. As for the dark chocolate and the whole wheat pastry flour they supply nutrients and protein.

This brownie has a soft and velvety crumb, a deep chocolate flavor with undercurrents of a dark nutty caramel.


• 60% chocolate chips (125 g.), melted in the microwave for one minute
• Tahini (light-colored, 150 g.), stir the jar first and pour
• Whole-wheat pastry flour (150 g.)
• 2 teaspoons of baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• Grape molasses (or date or carob molasses) (150 g.)
• Freshly-squeezed orange juice (150 g.)
• 2 Tablespoons of orange rind (20 g.)

One-bowl method, no need for a mixer.

1. Assemble all the ingredients. In a bowl, transfer the tahini, add the orange juice and orange rind, melted chocolate and the grape molasses and stir.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Transfer into the brownie bowl through a sifter. Stir until the flour mixture is no longer visible. Transfer the brownie batter into a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 23 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick into the cake; if dry or almost dry, it is done and the cake will be cakey; if you like it fudgy, check after 20 minutes and see how wet the batter is; it should be thick but moist. Cool a few minutes and serve.

This brownie can be served with a Lebanese caramel topping, which consists of mixing 1/2 cup of tahini with 1/4 cup of grape molasses.

NOTE: The grape molasses can be substituted for carob or date molasses or raw brown cane sugar.

Recipes: Copyright Joumana Accad

To create other traditional Lebanese dishes using fresh, locally grown foods visit

Monday, June 20, 2011

Healthy AND Delicious Back to School Snack

Don’t forget to add snacks to your Back to School shopping list! Kids love the idea of snacking on salty, sugary, high-calorie foods during the school year because they think it’s the only yummy option – but parents can pop something delicious and super-healthy into their lunch boxes for Back to School : 22 Days Nutrition Bars!

22 Days bars are the perfect Back to School snack and come in a variety of amazing flavors. Delicious Daily Mocha Mantra, Cherry Chocolate Bliss, and Nut Butter Buddha Crunch (just to name a few!) will make even the pickiest eater smile.

The bars were created by celebrity trainer Marco Borges who was disappointed in the quality of healthy, nutritious snacks on the market. Most kids will crinkle their noses at the thought of anything “vegan,” “vegetarian,” or even “nutritious.” But the complex, rich flavors of 22 Days Nutrition Bars will fool even Straight-A students into thinking that these snacks are too good to be “healthy.” So on top of #2 pencils, textbooks, and spiral notebooks, remember 22 Days Nutrition Bars as well!


- Made with raw & organic superfoods
- Biologically complete hemp & rice
- USDA Certified Organic
- Vegetarian/Vegan
- Gluten-free
- Heart healthy fiber
- Full of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants
- No preservations
- No artificial ingredients
- No harmful additives
- No corn syrup
- No trans fats
- No soy
- No dairy

The fiber in the bars will keep students full so their mind stays on their classwork and not on the upcoming lunch hour. 22 Days bars don’t have any processed ingredients, corn syrup, or trans fats that can negatively affect their health, and natural proteins provide healthy energy to keep them active and playful every recess!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Campfire Cookery - Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors

While roasted marshmallows, franks and beans, and other traditional camping fare can certainly be fun indulgences, get ready to rethink the possibilities of what can be savored over the open flame! In Campfire Cookery (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; June 2011), Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young present more than 100 inventive, delicious recipes along with many activities to be enjoyed while camping under the open sky.

With recipe chapters on everything from breakfast to teatime to main dishes to desserts, Huck and Young demonstrate how every hour is an opportunity to enjoy good food and drink with fireside companions. The book also offers useful information on preparing a well-stocked trunk of provisions, as well as firecrafting, food and forest safety, an herbalist’s field guide, and how to forage for mushrooms, woodland berries, and snails.

Let the day begin with a lavish breakfast of Duck Eggs with Rosemary Salted Potatoes or Bananas Foster Pancakes with tempting Morning Drinky-Poos. After a midafternoon hike, delight in Spiced Currant Cream Scones and Delicate Crushed Almond Macaroons alongside refreshing Gingered Sun Tea. Enjoy predinner socializing with whimsical drinks such as a Firefly, made with sparkling wine, vodka, and pomegranate juice, while nibbling on Flame-Licked Marinated Olives and Spice Market Popcorn.

Dinner becomes an outdoor event with delicious recipes for Pine-Smoked & Maple-Glazed Wild Salmon, Open-Flame Moroccan Merguez & Red Pepper Brochettes, White Bean Stew with Pancetta & Pumpkin, Foil-Roasted Mushrooms with Hazelnuts & Chives, Garlicky Sauteed Dandelion & Wild Spinach, and Cracked Black Pepper Butter Biscuits. And with dessert recipes for Calvados Baked Apples & Pears with Candied Pecans, Wild Blueberry Steamed Pudding, and seven versions of S’mores, the campfire truly becomes not only a blissful escape but a culinary destination.

In addition to recipes, Campfire Cookery features step-by-step instructions for fun activities to enjoy, such as stargazing, tarot card reading, songs, the art of ghost storytelling, shadow puppetry, whittling, and how to tell time by the sun and the stars.

About the Authors:
Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young first met while working as professional cookie decorators at Amy’s Bread in NYC. Now they are both part of the New York Times’ food columnist and cookbook author Melissa Clark’s editorial and recipe team. They’ve acted as recipe testers and developers on many cookbooks, including Daniel Boulud’s Braise and Paula Deen’s The Deen Family Cookbook.

About the Book:
Campfire Cookery: Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors
By Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young, Foreword by Melissa Clark, Photography by Tara Donne
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Pub Date: June 2011
304 pages, 30 color photographs, hardcover.
U.S. $29.95; CAN $35.95
ISBN: 978-1-58749-907-8

Celebrate Father’s Day with Karoun Dairies Handmade Yanni Grilling Cheese

Father’s Day is just around the corner, this year falling on Sunday, June 19th. Finding the perfect gift for Dad can be a challenge year after year, and time is running out! This year Karoun Dairies is offering a tasty and healthy alternative to the usual Father’s Day swag, turning the focus to a new, fresh idea for delicious eating with the unforgettable Yanni Grilling Cheeses, in original recipe and with jalapleno.

What better gift for Dad than a nod to his health and eating enjoyment. Yanni Grilling Cheeses are a lower fat, high protein taste sensation made in the same, strict tradition and highest-quality standards as all of Karoun Dairies cheeses and yogurts. Karoun’s cheeses are natural and handmade at their state-of-the-art California facility, strictly using only milk from cows that are free from growth hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified.

Yanni Grilling Cheese is a traditional semi-firm Mediterranean cheese, with a distinctive layered texture that is mildly salty with a rich buttery taste. Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheeses can withstand a tremendous amount of heat without melting, and will develop a delicious golden crust when grilled. Pan fry or serve right off the grill with sliced summer tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh oregano for the perfect appetizer, or serve as a protein for a vegetarian meal.

Fresh, healthy and uniquely delicious, Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheeses make the perfect gift for a healthy and tasty Father’s Day feast.

Simply Delicious Yanni Grilling Cheese

½ lb. Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheese

2 Tbsp. freshly picked oregano leaves

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 grilled lemon, juiced

Pita Bread, Grilled

Directions: Brush the grilled cheese with olive oil and place onto a medium hot grill for 2 minutes on each side, or until marked. Remove and slice into ½ inch pieces. Sprinkle with oregano. Drizzle olive oil on top and squeeze the lemon juice over the cheese. Serve with grilled pita bread.

Yanni Grilling Cheese Foccacia Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Tapenade

1 Package Karoun Yanni Grlling Cheese, sliced ¼” thick

4 Pieces Foccacia Bread, lightly toasted

1 Jar Sundried Tomato Tapenade

1 Bunch Fresh Arugula

Olive Oil for brushing

Directions: Spread Foccacia slices with Sundried Tomato Tapenade on both sides. Lightly brush stovetop grill pan with olive oil or preheat outdoor grill and brush with olive oil. Heat grill over high heat and add Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheese slices.Cook until golden brown crust forms. Top two Foccacia slices with Karoun Yanni Grilling Cheese. Place fresh Arugula on top of cheese. Cover with remaining Foccacia and slice diagonally.

Award-winning family-owned Karoun Dairies, Inc. relies on years of yogurt and cheese making experience to create its Mediterranean Specialties line of all natural recipe yogurts, kefir cheese (labne) and cheeses which are true gastronomic delights and distinctive in their fresh flavor and wonderful aroma.

About Karoun Dairies, Inc.: Founded in 1992, Karoun is a family-run business reflecting fulfillment of the American dream. The company has continued to grow from creating hand braided String Cheese for local ethnic and specialty grocery stores, to producing a wide variety of Mediterranean specialty cheeses and yogurt products with nationwide mainstream distribution. All Karoun cheeses are natural and handmade using only milk from cows that are free from growth hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified. All Karoun’s yogurt products (yogurt, kefir cheese (labne) and sour cream) are all natural and OU Kosher certified. Please visit

FB's Cincinnati Now Serving Food with Jimmy Gibson's Quality Bar Grub (QBG) Menu

FB's, located at 126 W. 6th Street, made its official transition to a Bar & Grille this week now offering a Quality Bar Grub (QBG) menu by Executive Chef Jimmy Gibson (see attached menu). Food will be served between 5 PM and 11 PM, Tuesdays through Sundays. The menu includes a range of high-end culinary delights for reasonable prices with Plates like the Fashionably Blazing Chicken Wings, Smoked Salmon Flatbread, or Two Bird Cuban Press, to Snacks, Sides and "guilty pleasure" Sweets, such as the Long Tall Blonde (Ginger Gelato, Cinnamon Apples, Dolce De Leche and Hot Waffles).

“It's an excitng new chapter for FB's; not to mention, residing in the hotel district, it was important for us to give business professionals and our patrons more restaurant options 'WeVi' (AKA West of Vine)," agreed Bill Foster and Scott Sheridan, partners in the OCG Group behind FB's ownership and management.

ABOUT JIMMY GIBSON: There are not many food connoisseurs in Cincinnati who aren’t familiar with Chef Jimmy Gibson. Gibson was born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, but first relocated to Cincinnati from Dayton in the mid-80s to be the Executive Chef of a then popular downtown restaurant called the Phoenix. At that time, the Phoenix garnered national attention being named one of the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire Magazine. After a little over a year, he left to start Ciao Baby Restaurant Group, with sites in Harper’s Point (Cincinnati) and Washington, D.C. Gibson traveled to the latter to work as Executive Chef there for two years, before moving on to Executive Chef at Dolce – one of the top Italian restaurants in New York City in the early 90s. He returned to Cincinnati to open Jeff Ruby’s Spazzi Italian restaurant on the upper level of the Waterfront and was Executive Chef there for over a year. He was subsequently approached by Plaza 600 at the Aronoff Center (now home of Nada) to act as Executive Chef and accepted. During his service there, The Enquirer’s food critic at the time, Chuck Martin, called it the first “cool, modern, big-city restaurant in Cincinnati”. Next, he moved to Naples, Florida, to open a restaurant with a friend, and also to Miami to consult Chef Normand Van Aken. Later, he returned to Cincinnati to help Jeff Ruby transform Waterfront to the South Beach Grill. He was there for several years as the Executive Chef before being promoted to the Corporate Chef for Jeff Ruby’s Culinary Entertainment. Respected restaurant and food writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Polly Campbell gave the South Beach Grill “5 out of 5 stars” – a rating that was rarely given to restaurants in Cincinnati during that period. He eventually left to revitalize Red restaurant in Hyde Park Square and has now joined the OCG Group as Executive Chef for their Kitchenette at FB’s and eventual food service at Launch. His restaurant is currently being built out in the old Wah Mee Chinese restaurant space adjacent to Launch and will be providing expedited service to the venue.

Fun facts about Chef Jimmy Gibson:
*He was voted Cincinnati’s Favorite Foodies by Cincinnati Enquirer
*Cincinnati Magazine has repeatedly invited Gibson to do food-styling for various photo shoots
*Gibson was invited by the Food Network to co-star in several live network events; he co-starred in the Food Network series called Ready, Set, Cook (a 30-minute version of Iron Chef, 2000) and won three out of four battles with a competing chef out of San Francisco, CA.

Dream Water and Bill Chill, Los Angeles


Dream Water is teaming up with The Bigg Chill Frozen Yogurt Shop to promote an exclusive yogurt selected by Dream Water Facebook fans. Beginning today, consumers can visit and vote for one of three Dream Water inspired flavors: Honey Lavender, Cranberry Hibiscus or White Peach Tea. The flavor with the most votes by June 24 at 2:00 p.m. PST/5:00 p.m. EST will be crowned the “Sweet Dreams” flavor and will be created and available at The Bigg Chill June 29 & 30.


Dream Water – The first water that helps you relax and fall asleep. An all-natural sleep enhancer with zero calories and no preservatives available in multiple flavors including Snoozberry, Lullaby Lemon and Pineapple PM.

The Bigg Chill –a renowned staple of Los Angeles for over 20 years serving more than 400 distinctive flavors using live cultures and natural ingredients.


Facebook Voting: Wednesday, June 15 through Friday, June 24 at 2:00 p.m. PST/5:00 p.m. EST

The Bigg Chill In-Store Event: Wednesday, June 29 – Thursday, June 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. PST


The Bigg Chill – 10850 W Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

To engage and introduce local consumers to Dream Water.


Facebook Voting: Visit and “Like” to vote.

§ Everyone who votes will be automatically entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize a FREE 3-month supply of Dream Water.

§ Other fun prizes will be given at random to Facebook contest participants including ten FREE 1 pints of the “Sweet Dreams” yogurt (shipped to the prize winner’s home) as well as Dream Water electronic coupons and t-shirts.

In-Store Event Details:

§ Every customer who purchases the new “Sweet Dreams” yogurt June 29-30 will receive a FREE Dream Water 2.5 oz shot sample.

§ The first 50 customers in line at The Bigg Chill on June 29 will receive a FREE 6-pack of Dream Water.

§ There will be hourly in-store raffles of other prizes including, Dream Water 6-packs and 12-packs, t-shirts and more.

§ Attendees can enter the raffle by tweeting the Dream Water handle, @DreamWater, mentioning @Dream Water on Facebook or by uploading a photo of yourself at the event.

§ Attendees are also encouraged to “Like” Dream Water on Facebook and check-in on foursquare


Dream Products, LLC

Dream Products, LLC is the holding company for Dream Water®, the first water of its kind that helps one relax and fall asleep. Dream Products’ mission is to produce great-tasting and effective sleep and relaxation products that will help lead to a good night’s rest. Founded in 2009, this start-up company is led by a management team of young entrepreneurs, matched with a seasoned group of advisors from the consumer goods and retailing sectors. Dream Water is well on its way to becoming the leader of the bourgeoning rest and relaxation category. As always, the Company reminds you to Dream Responsibly™. For more information please visit

The Bigg Chill

Since opening their shop over twenty years ago, The Bigg Chill’s delicious frozen treats continue to spark lines of devoted fans and frozen yogurt connoisseurs. As a renowned staple of Los Angeles, they are passionate about their craft and dedicated to charm. The Bigg Chill has created over 400 distinctive flavors using live cultures and natural ingredients. Their daily rotation includes no-sugar-added Carbolite, fat free and dairy free varieties, along with an assortment of fresh, low fat baked goods. The Bigg Chill invites you to come indulge in the ultimate “Sweet Dreams” experience. For more information please visit

The Castelvetrano: A Rich, Buttery Olive from Roland®

Summer is here, and with it the season for good eating: lots of grilling, fresh produce, and cool drinks on the porch. Picture it: grilled chicken with olives and rosemary, a crisp salad studded with juicy green olives, and a frosty martini garnished with the perfect olive. The common ingredient? The olive. But this summer it’s not just any olive; it’s the Castelvetrano.

The Castelvetrano, harvested from sunny olive groves in the Sicilian town of Castelvetrano, has a jade green hue and a mild flavor. The bright color and natural sweetness are preserved using a mild, low-salt brine which allows the fruity, green essence of the olive to shine. Those who avoid the bitter pungency of other olives will appreciate the mellowness of the Castelvetrano, while olive connoisseurs will love the distinct and nuanced Castelvetrano character.

While wonderful in a variety of dishes, the rich, buttery flavor of the Castelvetrano really glows when eaten on its own. This is a true eating olive—best enjoyed straight up. The smooth and savory Castelvetrano will win the hearts of olive skeptics and make olive-lovers swoon.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve Castelvetrano olives as a sophisticated snack paired with Mozzarella Di Bufala and Marcona almonds
Toss Castelvetrano olives into a citrus salad with parsley and slivers of red onion
Castelvetrano olives are a perfect addition to braised meat, especially chicken or lamb

Farming the Cities, Feeding an Urban Future

As people move from rural to urban settings in search of economic opportunities, urban agriculture is becoming an important provider of both food and employment, according to researchers with the Worldwatch Institute. "Urban agriculture is providing food, jobs, and hope in Nairobi, Kampala, Dakar, and other cities across sub-Saharan Africa," said Danielle Nierenberg, co-director of the Institute's Nourishing the Planet project. "In some cases, urban farmers are providing important inputs, such as seed, to rural farmers, dispelling the myth that urban agriculture helps feed the poor and hungry only in cities."

The United Nations projects that up to 65 percent of the world's population will live in cities by 2050, up from around 50 percent today. The rate of urban migration is particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where inadequate urban infrastructure struggles to keep up with the large influx of people. "Although most of the world's poor and hungry remain in rural areas, hunger is migrating with people into urban areas," said Brian Halweil, co-director of the Nourishing the Planet project.

Currently, an estimated 800 million people worldwide are engaged in urban agriculture, producing 15-20 percent of the world's food. However, this activity occurs mainly in Asia, making it critical to place more worldwide emphasis on this vital sector. In Africa, 14 million people migrate from rural to urban areas each year, and studies suggest that an estimated 35-40 million Africans living in cities will need to depend on urban agriculture to meet their food requirements in the future.

"Urban agriculture is an important aspect of the development movement as it has the potential to address some of our most pressing challenges, including food insecurity, income generation, waste disposal, gender inequality, and urban insecurity" said Nancy Karanja, a Professor at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and a State of the World 2011 contributing author.

Organizations such as Urban Harvest and others are working across the African continent to enhance urban agricultural efforts. In sub-Saharan Africa, the Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO), a Florida-based organization, has helped farmers build gardens using old tires and other "trash" to create plant beds. And the group Harvest of Hope has helped organize urban Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in Cape Town, South Africa, purchasing excess produce from city gardens and redistributing it in schools in the area.

"These projects are not only helping to provide fresh sources of food for city dwellers, but also providing a source of income, a tool to empower women, and a means of protecting the environment, among other benefits," said Mary Njenga, researcher at the University of Nairobi and the World Agroforestry Centre.

According to Nourishing the Planet, urban agriculture provides three important advantages that are evident in successful projects across the African continent:

· Close to home (and market). Produce from urban farms and gardens does not need to travel as far as produce grown in rural areas to reach the dining table, which helps to reduce production costs, post-harvest waste, and greenhouse gas emissions. This is also helpful in situations when supply chains from rural areas have been interrupted and cities are unable to receive food imports.

· Empowering women and building communities. In Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, Urban Harvest has helped women build "vertical farms" simply by using sacks of soil in which to grow vegetables. Using these gardening activities, the women share business ideas and technical know-how, empowering each other. The community gardens also act as a forum where community members can exchange ideas and discuss community issues and problems.

· Improving urban environments. Faced with limited resources, urban farmers are adept at utilizing urban waste streams to strengthen their soil and grow their crops. Garbage is used as compost or fodder for livestock, and nutrient-rich waste water is used for irrigation. By re-using these waste products, urban farms help to reduce the amount of refuse clogging landfills as well as the amount of water used in cities. Community gardens also provide an aesthetically pleasing space and help improve the air quality in urban areas.

Nourishing the Planet ( is a two-year evaluation of environmentally sustainable agricultural innovations to alleviate hunger. Worldwatch researchers traveled to 25 countries across sub-Saharan Africa to meet with more than 350 farmers groups, NGOs, government agencies, and scientists, highlighting small-scale urban agricultural efforts that are helping to improve peoples' livelihoods by providing them with food and income. The findings are documented in the recently released report, State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet.

State of the World 2011 is accompanied by informational materials including briefing documents, summaries, an innovations database, videos, and podcasts, all available at The project's findings are being disseminated to a wide range of agricultural stakeholders, including government ministries, agricultural policymakers, and farmer and community networks, as well as the increasingly influential nongovernmental environmental and development communities.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BRAVO! and BRIO debut extensive new Cocktail Menu just in time forsummer!

Selecting a delicious libation or non alcoholic beverage is easier than ever this summer at BRIO Tuscan Grille (BRIO) and BRAVO! Cucina Italiana (BRAVO!), BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: BBRG) concepts, who will debut an extensive cocktail menu on Monday, June 20. Options include seasonal cocktails, signature and traditional drinks, wine by the glass, imported, craft and domestic beer and non alcoholic beverages.

“We are excited to provide a menu that will help guests choose a delicious beverage that they may not otherwise have thought of,” said Angelica Sbai, beverage coordinator of BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group. “By providing a detailed menu of signature cocktails as well as traditional cocktails, spirits, wine and beer, guests are able to branch out and enjoy something beyond their usual drink.”

Twelve signature drinks ranging from $7- $10 a glass are listed, including the popular Strawberry Basil Limonata and Raspberry Mojito as well as specialty martinis that highlight fresh fruit and herbs like the Baca Limon Martini, featuring Bacardi Razz, Il Tramonto Limoncello and fresh muddled raspberries topped with Prosecco served up and Pineapple Gimlet Martini, with Bombay Sapphire, fresh muddled pineapple, hand-squeezed lemon juice and honey, served up. Pitchers of the Peach Bellini, peach nectar, Peach Schnapps and Prosecco served frozen and White Peach Sangria are available for around $18 as well as by the glass. Seven traditional cocktails are listed as well such as the Martini Classico, Manhattan Proper, and Ultimate Cosmopolitan.

Wine by the glass, featuring Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, White Zinfandel, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and blends from regions of Italy, Chile, California, Washington, Argentina and Australia ranging from $5.95- $10.25.

All imported, craft and domestic beers are listed.

For those interested in a refreshing drink but opting for one without alcohol, a Spirit Free listing includes five options, including Strawberry Basil Lemonade, White Peach Palmer and Tuscan Berry Fresca, a refreshing blend of Monin Wildberry, Sierra Mist, squeezed lime juice,fresh berries and mint. Espresso and coffee options are also listed.

The new Cocktail Menu is the perfect complement to BRAVO!’s $2.95 Bar Bites menus and BRIO’s $2.95 Tuscan Tasters menu, offered during weekday happy hour in the bar area.

No matter the guest, there is a libation or refreshment for everyone.

BRAVO! Cincinnati:

5045 Deerfield Blvd
Mason, OH 45040
(513) 234- 7900

9436 Waterfront Dr
West Chester, OH 45069
(513) 759-9398

BRIO Newport:

1 Levee Way
Newport, KY 41071
(859) 431-0900

About BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group Inc.

BBRG is the owner and operator of two leading upscale affordable growth concepts, BRAVO! Cucina Italiana (“BRAVO!”) and BRIO Tuscan Grille (“BRIO”). We have positioned our brands as multifaceted culinary destinations that deliver the ambiance, design elements and food quality reminiscent of fine dining restaurants at a value typically offered by casual dining establishments, a combination known as the upscale affordable dining segment. We also own and operate Bon Vie Bistro in Columbus, Ohio, which combines classic comfort cooking with traditional bistro fare. For more information about BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group, visit Follow us on Twitter (@brioitalian, @bravo_italian) and on Facebook at and

Fischer & Wieser’s Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce Makes Turkey Lovers’ Month Sing

This year marks the 11th annual celebration of “June is Turkey Lovers'® Month," and the perfect opportunity to experience turkey a whole new way. If fall is for roasting, then summer is for America’s two favorite past times: grilling and eating turkey. This June, try a fresh and flavorful spin on turkey with Fischer & Wieser’s Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce, an irresistible accompaniment that is sure to make Turkey Lovers’ Month sing.

Last year, Americans consumed an average of 18 pounds of turkey per person and stepped outside to grill more than 2.7 billion times.[1] Perhaps that's because turkey is more convenient and versatile than ever, available in a variety of cuts such as tenderloins, steaks and boneless breasts, all healthy, delicious and ready for the grill.

Fischer & Wieser believes that the key to great grilling is the perfect sauce! From their humble beginnings in a family-owned peach orchard nestled in the pristine and fertile Texas Hill Country, Fischer & Wieser is now a bustling international company that has become the #1 specialty food company in Texas, operating on the simplest truth: produce a quality product, and loyal customers will embrace it.

Embrace it they have. Fischer & Wieser's award winning Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce is a favorite among patrons and judges alike. The unique flavor combination adds just the right amount of sweetness and heat to make the Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce a perfect addition to a beautiful cut of turkey right off the grill.

Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce 15.75oz

Packed full of all-natural goodness, Fischer & Wieser’s Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce is handcrafted with sweet mangos, ginger, honey and just a dash of habanero peppers. Ideal with grilled meats, tossed with shellfish, or served over soft cheese this sauce is flavorful, fresh and perfectly smoldering and always gluten free.

3rd Place – Scovie Awards: Condiments/Meat Sauce –
Fiery Foods Magazine, 2000

This June, try this simple and delicious recipe for a tender and juicy grilled entrée. The sweet and spicy Mango Ginger Habanero blends perfectly with turkey – and the leftovers are great in a flour tortilla or salad!

Grilled Turkey Tenderloin with Fischer & Wieser Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce

1 Pound Turkey Tenderloin

1 Tsp. Salt

1/4 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 to 1-1/2 cups Fischer & Wieser Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce

Garnish: 2 black plums, sliced (optional)

Place tenderloin in a zip-sealing bag and add 1 cup of the Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce. Seal bag and turn to coat meat. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or up to eight hours. Remove meat from marinade and season all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145°, using an instant-read thermometer, about 25-30 minutes. Baste several times with additional Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce. Remove meat to a cutting board with a juice well; cover loosely with foil and allow meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch thick slices. Pour any meat drippings over the meat and drizzle with additional Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce before serving. Yields 4 to 6 servings

Fischer & Wieser's Family Secrets?

Spice up your next fruit salad with a couple of tablespoons of Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce - the heat blends with the sweet fruit for a fantastic flavor combination…inspiring your culinary adventure™.

For more recipe ideas, please visit

About Fischer & Wieser

Established in 1969, and owned and operated by members of the Fischer and Wieser families, the company lives by its motto “produce a quality product, and loyal customers will embrace it”. Fischer & Wieser® Specialty Foods, Inc., which produces the Fischer & Wieser brand, is committed to making high-quality specialty foods using sustainable business practices and environmental consciousness. The company manufactures over a hundred items, including The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce®, many of them award-winning, and distributes them to specialty food retailers, club stores and grocery markets around the world. Fischer & Wieser continues to produce distinctive and natural flavors, one jar at a time. Visit Fischer & Wieser at or on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Choose Crave Foods' Irresistible Sweet and Savory Pies to Complete Your Father's Day Meal!

With Father’s Day right around the corner families across the US will be thinking about what meals and activities they can surprise Dad with this weekend. With statistics showing that only 25% of families go out to eat on Father’s Day, it is no wonder then that much of the meal preparation is left up to mom. Luckily, Crave Foods ( provides the perfect solution and with their delectable, irresistible line of savory and sweet pies that deliver an outstanding quality and flavor.

Crave Foods savory pies are prepared with four delicious, hearty fillings encased in a perfectly soft and flakey crust. These award winning flavors include Spinach & Feta with Basil Cream Pie, Curry with Beef Steak Pie, Chicken Tandoori Pie and a traditional Chicken Mushroom Pie. When served with a fresh garden salad and creamy mashed potatoes Crave Foods scrumptious pies provide a hearty, healthy and delicious Fathers Day meal in just under half an hour.

Executive Chef Sheree was so impressed by Crave Foods Spinach & Feta with Basil Cream Pie she went on to say, “The combination of tender whole leaves of spinach in a very light basil cream sauce is delicious. The crust is tender and crisp which is very hard to achieve in a frozen product. This is an outstanding product."

Crave Foods has also created a delectable line of sweet pies that are gluten-free. These tasty single serve pies come in mouth-watering flavors such as Sweet Potato, Smooth Bean, Pecan, Blueberry Cheesecake, and Apple Cheesecake. Warm up several of these tasty sweet pies in minutes and serve as scrumptious dessert to the round off the perfect Fathers Day meal….making the day enjoyable for dad and easy for mom!

About Crave Foods

Crave Foods is a manufacturer and distributor of savory Pies and Samosas. Crave Foods product line can be found in many natural food stores and supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Rainbow and Nature's Best on the West Coast. Crave Foods Pies and Samosas are made from the freshest ingredients, are all naturally Halal and their line of sweet pies also happen to be gluten-free. For company history and information please visit

Colman's Mustard Recipes Add Fire and Flavor to Father's Day Feasts!

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate Dad and all of his favorite things. This year, Colman’s Mustard suggests that if Dad likes it hot, then forego the usual fare on Sunday June 19th, and turn up the heat on Father’s Day with Colman's, for a fiery taste sensation that is sure to knock his socks off.

Known for its unforgettable spicy kick, Colman’s is a gourmet mainstay in kitchens all across America, firing up everyday grilling and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. Colman’s knows that some Father’s like it hot, that’s why Colman’s uses only the finest blend of brown and white mustard seeds grown locally around the factory in Norwich, England. The smoldering heat and sensational flavor combines to create a unique taste that’s undeniably versatile and fiery enough to satisfy even the toughest critic.

Colman’s mustard carries the Royal Warrant, bestowed by Queen Victoria back in 1866, and brings to the kitchen a pledge of top-quality mustard that has been a favorite of the Royal kitchen for centuries. Choose from Colman’s Original Prepared Mustard or the iconic yellow tins of Colman’s Dry Mustard Powder and turn the grill into Dad’s kingdom this Father’s Day.

Colman’s Prepared Mustard

Pure and natural zest makes Colman’s Prepared Mustard robust and truly gourmet. Set Dad’s taste buds ablaze by adding a dollop or two to basting sauces, salad dressings or grilling marinades. Whisk with olive oil to kick-start grilled veggies, stir into creamy mashed potatoes or serve along-side grilled sausage as a fiery condiment with slow-building heat.

Colman’s Dry Mustard Powder

Colman’s Double Superfine Dry Mustard Powder has an ultra-fine consistency that delivers layers of flavor and maximum kick that makes grilling favorites smolder. Add a pinch of the 100% pure mustard powder to Dad’s favorite dry rubs for a vibrant addition to grilled meats and poultry.

Colman’s Prepared Mustard and Dry Mustard Powder contain no dyes, chemicals, preservatives, or gluten – just 100% pure and irresistibly tasty. This Father’s Day try this easy and delicious recipe and do as the Queen herself – Complete Your Cooking with Colman’s.

Luscious Colman’s Kobe Beef Burgers

1 lb Premium Ground Kobe beef

1 Tbs. Colman’s Original Prepared Mustard

1 Green Chili Pepper, finely chopped

1 Large White Onion, finely chopped

1 Clove of Garlic, finely chopped

1 Tsp. Dried Oregano

1 C. Unseasoned Breadcrumb

¾ C. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Egg, Whisked

Salt and pepper to taste


Saute the chopped onion until soft. Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, adding cooked onions. Shape into burger patties, place on waxed paper and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. When chilled, grill patties on barbecue to at least 150 degrees. Serve on fresh crusty bread rolls, or hamburger buns with tomato, pickle and lettuce. Serves 4. Note: Also delicious served with Colman’s Chili Mustard or Honey Mustard Dressings.

For more recipe ideas please visit

About Colman’s

Established in 1814, Colman’s of Norwich has been recognized widely as the English mustard in the U.K. Using a unique and zesty blend of brown mustard seeds (Brassica Juncea) and white mustard seeds (Sinapis Alba), Jeremiah Colman created a mustard with a flavorful heat sensation that has become an essential condiment and paramount ingredient in Britain’s favorite recipes, even to the highest royal order. In 1866 Queen Victoria bestowed the ultimate seal of approval - the Royal Warrant – galvanizing Colman's as the crown jewel of mustards, securing its place in the most discerning kitchens around the world. Sold as prepared mustard and mustard powder, Colman’s provides a pure, fiery and complex condiment for all your recipes and dishes. Complete Your Cooking With Colman's. Visit Colman’s of Norwich on the web at . For recipes, extended history and information please visit www.colmansusa .com.

Helping Employees to Eat Healthier (and Why You Should)

Businesses around the country often search for ways to improve employee performance and productivity. One answer for how to do this may be found in what those employees are consuming, especially while they are at work. There are, as it turns out, things that employers can do in order to help get their employees to eat healthier, as well as a variety of reasons why they should want to.

“Employees spend a lot of their time each week at work, so it is important that they have access to healthy foods,� explains Jolly Backer, the chief executive officer of Fresh Healthy Vending (, a company specializing in vending machines that are stocked with all healthy options. “Companies that ensure there are healthy foods available for their employees end up reaping the benefits.”

Employers can help their employees to eat healthier by making sure that healthy food options are available. Most businesses have some sort of vending machine or access to foods. Allowing only healthy, nutritious foods to be offered within the business will encourage employees to make healthy food choices.

There are several reasons why so many employers are actively trying to get their employees to adopt healthier eating habits, which include helping to reduce the risks of obesity, heart disease and cancer, as well as helping to improve overall mood, and even possibly reduce stress and anxiety.

Businesses can help to provide convenient, nutritious foods by opting for a vending machine that only stocks such items, such as Fresh Healthy Vending ones. The Fresh Healthy Vending machines have taken the traditional concept of a vending machine and revolutionized it by only offering healthy, nutritious food options.

Currently, over 600 Fresh Healthy Vending machines have been placed around the country, with more being added each month. They can be found in businesses, hospitals, schools, and other community locations.

Each Fresh Healthy Vending machine is dual-climate controlled and stocked with a variety of all-healthy foods, including yogurt, tea, fresh fruits and vegetables, tea, natural cereal bars, bottled waters, 100-percent fruit juices, soymilk, baked chips, and more.

“The key to helping employees make healthy food choices is to get the donuts out of the break room and make healthy options conveniently available,” added Backer. “People will choose healthy foods when given that option. And they will go back to work feeling refreshed, energized, and able to give 100 percent.”

Those who would like to learn more should visit

About Fresh Healthy Vending

Based in San Diego, Fresh Healthy Vending is a company that started in 2010 and is revolutionizing vending machines by filling them with healthy, natural food options. Dubbed the “future of vending,” they are leading the way in healthy food vending. Their machines offer 100-percent juices, fresh vegetables, fruits, smoothies, and yogurts. The Fresh Healthy Vending machines are franchised and are being placed in schools, offices and other locations throughout the country. To learn more about Fresh Healthy Vending, visit the website at

Cheeses of Asturias to Debut at Washington D.C. Summer Fancy Food Show

Finding authentic handcrafted cheeses in the United States is not an easy task. Cheeses of Asturias is now offering their full line of products in the United States. Some of the top cheeses include Afuega´l pitu, Cabrales and Gamoneu. There is a selection of raw and pasteurized cheeses to choose from as well as traditional and smoked cheeses. Artisan cheeses such as those found through Cheeses of Asturias are the perfect addition to your menu list or event. With flavors that range from mild to strong, there is something available for everyone.

Cheeses of Asturias is based in northern Spain along the coastline, in a region called Asturias. With milder summers and harsh winters, it is the perfect place to produce these handcrafted cheeses. The area is rich with artisans who create some of the best natural cheeses in the industry.

When you visit the Cheeses of Asturias website you will find a wealth of information on the production of their handcrafted artisan cheeses as well as the various types and general information on the region and its cheeses. More importantly, there is a database of recipes using the cheeses that are produced with Cheeses of Asturias. This will help buyers create mouthwatering meals with the best ingredients you can find for any situation. There are traditional American dishes such as a Cheesesteak with Ovin Cow’s Milk Cheese as well as unique recipes such as Cabrales Cheese Pasties and Creamy Rice Gamoneu Cheese.

With the unique diversity of cheeses offered by Cheeses of Asturias you can add a touch of flavor to any traditional American dish or select some of the American and Spanish recipes from the company database. Additionally, the website keeps a list of where you can buy now Cheeses of Asturias in California, Chicago, Florida and New York as well as online. If you are interested in marketing with Cheeses of Asturias, there is a special “Traders” section as well.

Tasting the gourmet flavors that are hand selected to create Cheeses of Asturias should be on everyone’s list of things to do. Visitors can stop by the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington D.C., July 10th to 12th to sample the many flavors available. Booth 2948-2946, at the Spanish Pavilion. The event will be held at the Walter E. DC Convention Center. For more information on Cheeses of Asturias you can visit the website at

Poll: Rising Food Prices Are Changing What We Eat

People across the world are changing their diet because of the rising cost of food reveals a global opinion poll conducted by the independent research firm GlobeScan and released by Oxfam today as part of its GROW campaign to ensure everyone always has enough to eat. Agriculture Ministers from the powerful group of G20 countries, including USDA Secretary Vilsack, are meeting in France next week and will discuss the global food price crisis.

“What we eat is changing fast and for too many people it is changing for the worse,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “Huge numbers of people, especially in the world’s poorest countries, are cutting back on the quantity or quality of the food they eat because of rising food prices. President Obama, leaders in Congress and the private sector must act now to fix our broken food system by calming the commodity markets, helping small farmers build resilience to climate change and investing in building economic opportunity for small-scale producers in the world’s poorest countries. ”

The independent poll was conducted in 17 countries around the world including, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, UK and the USA.

· 54% of people questioned globally and 56% in the US said they are not eating the same food as they did two years ago. Globally 39% of people said their diet had changed because food is becoming too expensive and 33% cited health reasons. In the US 31% of people cited the cost of food and 49% cited health reasons.

· The rising cost of food was by far the biggest food worry with 73% of Americans and 66% of people globally citing it as one of their top concerns. 43% of people in the US and globally said that the healthiness or nutritional value of the food they and their families ate was also a key concern.

· In poorer countries the availability of food was a much bigger concern with 57% of people in Kenya and 45% of people in Tanzania saying it was one of their top concerns.

· 8% of Americans surveyed said that they sometimes, rarely or never had enough to eat on a daily basis. This is compared to one in five people surveyed in developing countries such as Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana, Mexico, India, and Guatemala, who said that they sometimes, rarely or never had enough to eat on daily basis. In very poor countries such as Tanzania and Kenya up to 21% of people said they rarely or never had enough to eat.

· Rising oil and transport costs and the impact of extreme and erratic weather were most frequently mentioned by Americans as the main factors affecting food supply.

· Pizza is the most popular food in the US, with 15% of Americans listing it as their favorite followed by steak, chicken and Mexican food.

The survey of over 16,000 people, conducted by international research consultancy GlobeScan, also revealed how globalization is changing what people eat with pizza and pasta topping the list of favorite foods in many countries alongside national dishes. But the results also show the enduring importance to people around the world of staples like rice and wheat in the global food system, and of national cuisines in many countries.

“The consequences of the world-wide rise in food prices are very apparent in these survey results,” said Oliver Martin, Research Director of GlobeScan. “The cost of food is by some distance the dominant concern that people have about what they and their family eat.”

Additional interviews conducted by Oxfam provide further evidence that many people in developing countries are either eating less food, eating cheaper items or enjoying less diversity in their diets as a result of rising food prices. Women tend to be disproportionately affected by rising food prices because they are responsible for feeding their families.

Glenda Marisela Galindo Castro, a 22 year old shop assistant from Guatemala said: Sugar used to be the most important thing for us. We added it to our coffee and to soft drinks but now we can’t because the price of sugar has gone up. Oil which used to cost 5 quetzals for half a liter now costs 8. I’m the only one who works and the wages I earn are not enough to cover my families’ needs.

Edson James Kamba, aged 69, from Malawi said: “My favorite food is rice with beans and meat but it is very expensive. The price of food keeps going up. I would like some milk to drink but I can’t buy it. I used to have margarine and jam with bread but now I can’t afford it. When I see people on TV they are always eating very good things like meat, chicken and eggs. If I was there I would have those things. We want it but we can’t afford it.”

Oxfam’s GROW campaign is starting a global conversation on how we can grow and share food better now and in the future. High profile people involved in the debate include former President Lula of Brazil, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, musician Angelique Kidjo from Benin and actors Gael Garcia Bernal from Mexico, Amr Waked from Egypt and Hai Qing from China and author Frances Moore Lappe from the US.

“The tragedy is that anxiety over food prices is soaring at a time of overall strong global harvests,” said Frances Moore Lappé author and Oxfam Sister on the Planet. “What’s sadly missed is some great news—that the hungriest people are actually part of the solution to both hunger and climate change. Millions of small farmers worldwide are proving they can increase yields using ecological practices and at the same time store more carbon compared to chemical farming.”

“Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and one of our most basic human rights,” said Offenheiser. “It’s important we all get involved in the debate about how to change the global food system so everyone has enough to eat today and in the future. Oxfam’s Grow campaign is inviting people to join the debate now at”
For more information go to:

Entertaining Guests with Food Allergies - No Problem! With The Food Allergy Cookbook

More than 11 million Americans are currently living with food allergies, and finding tasty recipes that meet their requirements is a growing challenge. Similarly, entertaining for those with food restrictions can be an extremely daunting task. Not anymore!

The Food Allergy Cookbook is for those millions who like to have fun with food, enjoy cooking and playing in the kitchen, and want relief from the limited cuisine offered by most allergy-free cookbooks. The book contains 101 tried and true recipes for those suffering from food allergies for every course of the meal including appetizers, breads, soups, entrees, desserts, and a selection of delicious holiday meals!

Complemented with beautiful photos, each recipe is easy to prepare with readily available ingredients, and full of flavor! Some of the scrumptious dishes included inside are:
· White bean artichoke dip
· Cinnamon rolls
· Cream of mushroom soup
· Chicken pot pie
· Cranberry apple sauce
· Amaretto fudge brownies

Are you drooling yet? Never again will you have to eat blandly or skip out on a social dinner because of your food limitations! Never again will you have to exclude your dear friends from parties or lunches because they cannot eat what you are serving! Finally, you can have your cake AND eat it too!

In addition to the recipes themselves, The Food Allergy Cookbook provides full-course meal plans for family holidays and social gathering, including the perfect, allergy-free turkey dinner! With personal anecdotes, tips for the kitchen, shopping lists, guidance on reading food labels, and other helpful resources, this book is the essential guide for anyone living with, or cooking for someone with, food allergies!

About the Authors:
CARMEL NELSON AND AMRA IBRISIMOVIC met at Nazareth Academy in Rochester, New York, during their senior year. Their friendship has offered them a unique opportunity to support one another through their struggles with food allergies. Amra emigrated from Bosnia during their civil war and became a U.S. citizen in 2000. She is a computer engineer for the Siemens Corporation and lives in Chicago, Illinois. Carmel has worked as a mental health clinician and substance abuse counselor. She has previously been published in Alaska Wellness magazine and lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Food Allergy Cookbook
A Guide to Living with Allergies and Entertaining with Healthy, Delicious Meals
By Carmel Nelson and Amra Ibrisimovic
Skyhorse Publishing Hardcover
On Sale: July 1, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61608-297-0
Price: $17.95

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dinner Made Easy with EcoZip!

After a hard day's work, spend more time with the family and less time stuck in the kitchen thanks to EcoZip bags.

The bag that has made organizing homes, pantries, and offices a piece of cake is here to show off a whole new way to prep meals. EcoZip bags are the ideal way to store, marinate, and combine ingredients thanks to its innovate three zipper technology. One zipper spans the center of the bag and divides it into two smaller pouches, while each end has its own zipper for easy access to the goodies stored in either side.

To get started, plan ahead! Use the weekend to think about favorite meals and gather the needed ingredients. I'm sure some readers find this an idealistic dream, but EcoZip bags make it easy to plan early and store everything easily so dinner can be a stress free meal.

Let's take a classic meal like baked chicken and put an EcoZip spin on it. Pre-prep the chicken ahead and keep your hands clean! With EcoZip you can pack your dry seasonings on one side and your meat on the other! When ready to bake just pull and shake!

If you are watching your weight, you can even set aside just the right portion of meat and veggies for the days ahead! EcoZip conveniently helps keep everything for a delicious meal stored neatly together and can be pulled out and thrown on the grill or in the oven without ever getting a plate or hands dirty.

At picnics, potlucks, and parties no one wants to eat a soggy salad. Use EcoZip bags to keep lettuce and veggies crisp on the bottom and dressing stored in the top pouch. When it's time to dine simply unzip the center and shake to combine. This method also works well for marinading a steak or coating fish in herbs and oil before immediately sautéing.

The concept for EcoZip all began when two women took a closer look at their plastic consumption and wondered how they could make a change for the better. They wanted a bag that would let them use less while giving them more and saving a little chunk of change on the side. Rather than do away with plastic altogether, they got savvy and developed a way to make smarter choices that would allow them to live a little bit greener without sacrificing modern convenience.

Chef Mario Batali's Culinary Team Takes on June 25 Project Dinner Table

This month’s Project Dinner Table is being prepared by Chef Mario Batali’s team from B&B Ristorante, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse and OTTO Pizzeria Las Vegas. They will be delighting diners with cuisine that is not only delicious, but also sustainable. To further enhance this event, Project Dinner Table returns to its debut location that launched so many other unique dinners and the conversations that follow: the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) Orchard.

The dinner will be held on Saturday, June 25 with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres starting at 6:30 p.m., and dinner set to begin by 7:30 p.m.

“When we hosted the inaugural Project Dinner Table at UNCE, everyone had an incredible time because they felt with the orchard setting and delectable menu, no one could believe they were still in Las Vegas,” says Gina Gavan, founder and self-proclaimed spoonbender, Project Dinner Table. “Combine the ambience of the orchard with the cuisine of Chef Batali’s team, the dinner will be unforgettable.”

Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's signature collaborative culinary team will present an unparalleled dining experience, as they do in their restaurants every night. Batali’s protégé since 2000, Chef Zach Allen is responsible for creating magic in the kitchen night after night. As the consulting salumist to all of Batali’s restaurants, he educates servers and staff about the complexities of curing meat. Now the culinary director of B&B Ristorante, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse and OTTO Pizzeria Las Vegas, he executes his vision for Italian flavors and techniques in Las Vegas’ ever-growing gourmet scene.

Also at the helm will be Chef Doug Taylor, who joined the team in 2007. In addition to running the pastry programs at Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and OTTO Pizzeria Las Vegas, he is an instructor in the agricultural program at the University of Nevada, which concentrates on producing sustainable ingredients in the arid desert climate.

Working together with Zach and Doug are Chefs Jason Neve and Nicole Brisson. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Jason was part of the opening team at Mario’s restaurant, Del Posto, in New York City. His aptitude in the kitchen and his passion for cured meats led him out west to Las Vegas where Jason is now the Chef di Cucina at B&B Ristorante. After attending Johnson & Wales University, Brisson got to know the food writers Molly O'Neill and Faith Willinger who helped her develop a love for local produce and cured meats in both the United States and Italy. After studying abroad, she went on to open Wynn Las Vegas under Chefs Steven Kalt and Paul Bartolotta. She is now the Chef di Cucina at Carnevino Italian Steakhouse.

Project Dinner Table is the wildly popular community dinner series founded by Gina Gavan. What makes Project Dinner Table so special is the delicious sense of community each event brings. Every dinner is hosted in a unique location, unavailable typically to the public for dinner, with each location selected based on its ability to host the event’s signature long, white dinner table where the meal is served family style. Local chefs work with local growers and purveyors to not only create a one-night-only menu, but also to educate Las Vegans on all that is available while feasting on an organic dinner. Since Project Dinner Table’s launch in April 2010, every dinner has sold out quickly. To top it all off, a portion of every dinner’s proceeds benefits a Southern Nevada charity. This dinner will benefit the We Care, We Share Foundation and Create a Change Now.

Project Dinner Table’s 2011 season is sponsored by Nevada Beverage Company, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Whole Foods Market, Bacardi USA, Seven Magazine, Las Vegas Design Center and Renaissance Catering. Local partners and purveyors include: L.A. Specialty, Gilcrease Orchard, Herbs by Diane, Supreme Lobster, UNCE Farm, Heritage Foods USA, Chefs Warehouse, Hydro Greens and Bon Breads

To purchase tickets, go to Ticket price per person is $140. Packages are also available; to purchase a half season of three dinners, the price is $375 per person.

For the remaining 2011 season, upcoming Project Dinner Table events include:
Sept. 10: Chef Geno Bernardo at El Cortez Parkway Downtown benefiting the Animal Foundation. Start time: 7 p.m.
Oct. 15: Chef Rick Moonen at Cashman Field, benefiting Huntridge Teen Clinic & Volunteers in Medicine. Start time: 6:30 p.m.
The final dinner will take place on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest Returns

For the 10th year, Leinenkugel’s is rolling out barrels of its seasonal Oktoberfest brew in time for crisp, cooler temperatures. Celebrating a decade of brewing Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest, the brewer will again bring the traditional German Marzen-style flavor to bottles and draft across the U.S. beginning late-August through October.

First introduced in 2001 to honor company namesake, Jacob Leinenkugel, who came from Germany and started Leinenkugel’s in 1867, Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest is brewed with Munich, Caramel and a blend of 2-row Pale malts. These barley malts give Leinie’s Oktoberfest a rich, hearty character and deep amber color, while four hop varieties provide an aromatic and smooth, well-balanced lager.

“Each year craft beer fans look forward to specialty autumn brews that enhance the flavors of the season,” said Jake Leinenkugel, president of the 144-year-old Upper Midwest brewery. “Over the 10 years, Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest has grown into a fan favorite and we’re delighted to share our festive autumn brew with Leinie loyalists year after year.”

Available nationwide in six and 12-pack bottles at supermarkets and liquor stores and on draft at bars and restaurants, Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest pairs well not only with bratwurst and sauerkraut, but is also an excellent complement to full-flavored hors d’oeuvres and hearty soups and chili. Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest retails for approximately $6.99 - $7.49 a six-pack.

Try this brew-infused seasonal recipe that features Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest. The recipe is highlighted by spice notes from garam masala, an Indian blend of ground spices, which balance perfectly with the malty sweetness of Leinenkugel’s traditional fall seasonal.

Leinenkugel’s Garam Masala Chicken & Shrimp Lollipops with Curried Fall Apple Chutney and Mixed Greens (serves 4 people)

Curried Fall Apple Chutney
• 2 cups apple cider
• 3 apples, cored and chopped
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tsp curry
• ½ cup golden raisins
• salt
• pepper

Chicken & Shrimp Lollipops
• 1 lb. chicken breast, boneless and skinless
• 1 lb. shrimp (21-25), peeled and deveined
• 1 oz. garam masala
• 4 oz. Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest
• salt
• pepper
• 16 10” wood skewers

Mixed Greens
• 8 oz. mixed greens
• 2 oz. olive oil
• 4 oz. Curried Fall Apple Chutney (above)

To make the chutney, add all ingredients into a small saucepot, cook over slow heat for about an hour, until all are soft. Put in a separate container. To make the lollipops, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the chicken into 1½ - 2 oz. strips, long and skinny. Roll up, using the palm of your hand to keep flat, and run skewer through the middle. Repeat until finished with chicken. For the shrimp, skewer both ends of each shrimp, through the tail. Place 3 shrimp on each skewer. Marinate the chicken and shrimp in the garam masala beer mixture for a minimum of 2 hours, up to 12 hours. Lay lollipops on a sheet pan and bake for 5-8 minutes, until done. To make the dressing for the mixed greens, mix 4 ounces of the Curried Fall Apple Chutney with 2 ounces of olive oil and toss with the greens. For plating, place a serving of mixed greens on each plate, top with 2 shrimp and 2 chicken skewers and garnish with more chutney. Enjoy with a Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest!

Tip: This recipe makes a flavorful salad, as well. If you don’t have time to skewer the chicken and shrimp, just marinate, bake and serve with salad and chutney.

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 Sunset Wheat, Honey Weiss, Berry Weiss, Leinie’s Red, Creamy Dark, Original, Light, and Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber Lager. In addition to the Oktoberfest, Leinenkugel’s offers three other limited-release seasonal beers including summer favorite Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Fireside Nut Brown and 1888 Bock. For more information on the rich history of Leinenkugel’s, visit or join virtual Leinie loyalists at