Monday, October 31, 2011

Build A Menu

There is a brand new site designed to make shopping for groceries easier and more affordable! Perfect for a New Year healthy start.

Launching this month - Build A Menu ( is an online menu planning service that prepares weekly meal plans based on grocery store sales. The site does the work for you! Choose from weekly recipes and put together weekly menus using the Build A Menu calculator which gives a running total of your expected grocery costs – making it easy to control how much the family will spend on food each week! Just pick the store you want to shop, choose your meals and print your well organized grocery shopping list and chosen recipes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Johnny Rockets Opening at The Banks

Johnny Rockets today unveiled a new restaurant design and custom menu options in Cincinnati's highly anticipated 18-acre development, The Banks. A grand opening celebration, with drawings, giveaways, samplings and specials will take place in conjunction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, on October 27. Johnny Rockets CEO, John Fuller, Cincinnati Franchise Owners, Rick and Sharon Thompson, along with local dignitaries and business leaders will be on-hand for the festivities that begin at 4:30 p.m.

"The creative process of integrating local sports and tastes into the restaurant's design and menu has been an exciting venture," said Johnny Rockets CEO, John Fuller. "As our Company continues to grow, we realize how important it is to customize our decor and offerings to what each venue demands. Johnny Rockets at The Banks is yet another demonstration of how we can transform our classic restaurant concept into one that easily blends with a dynamic, upscale and very contemporary environment."

Rick Thompson, local Johnny Rockets Franchise Owner, and Operator of The Banks location, adds, "As a local, I know that The Banks is transforming downtown, and as part of that, we know that sports fans, visitors and locals want a timeless dining experience that is uniquely Cincinnati."

Located on the Ohio River between Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park, the full-service restaurant features an outdoor patio, a walk-up order window and to-go licenses for both food and alcohol. The storefront features Johnny Rockets' logo set inside a giant baseball, while athletic sports graphics adorn inside walls and are included on team members' jersey uniforms, serveware and decor.

New menu items exclusive to the location include Dusty's Bacon Burger and the Lotta Domata Hamburger, created in honor of Reds' manager, Dusty Baker and Bengals' defensive tackle, Domata Peko. Johnny Rockets will donate a portion of the proceeds from these Hamburgers to charities selected by the two celebrities.

Other menu items exclusive to the location include starters such as Banks Shanks, Fried Pickles, Fresh Cooked Potato Chips and Spiral Pass Potatoes. The restaurant also offers an extensive dine-in or takeout breakfast menu with homemade Swiss Oatmeal and Vanilla Cinnamon French Toast, along with uniquely flavored espresso drinks on the Java and Joes menu. The Fumblerooski, Squeeze Play and Rocket Fuel have been added to the sports bar's signature drink list and five new ShakeTinis including the Orange Dreamsicle, Ghirardelli Chocolate Mudslide, Strawberry Banana, Framboise Black Raspberry and the Tennessee join the bar menu as well. In addition to the classic fare and drinks, Guests can watch sports on HD-TVs, located throughout the space.

The 2,950-square-foot restaurant is located at 191 E. Freedom Way in The Banks complex, adjacent to the Reds Hall of Fame, and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. This is the sixth Johnny Rockets in Ohio and marks Thompson's third restaurant, with his other locations in Cincinnati's Kenwood Towne Center and Newport on the Levee in Newport, Ky.

For more information on Johnny Rockets and franchising opportunities, visit

Industry Group on Frontline of Fish Fraud Fight

The Boston Globe’s recent investigation into the mislabeling of fish, and a flurry of later reports designed to replicate the Globe’s investigation, are highlighting issues of economic integrity and seafood.

“There have been a number of media reports about DNA testing in the last five days that alleged fish fraud. For the past five years, rooting out fraud has been the focus of the Better Seafood Board,” said BSB secretary Lisa Weddig.

All members of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) are committed to the BSB and have pledged to label species correctly and report weights accurately.

“We stand ready to work with restaurants and retailers who are interested in making sure the supply chain is free of fraud,” said Weddig. “If businesses want to ensure that they’re working with a reputable supplier they can simply ask if the provider is a BSB member, and if they aren’t they should ask, why not?”

“Committing to putting the right fish, at the right weight, in the right box is one thing,” said NFI President John Connelly. “But understanding how we can contribute to fixing this fraud long term by supporting efforts to make sure the Food and Drug Administration is fully funded is another. NFI members, through the BSB, do both.”

The BSB regularly reports suspected cases of fish fraud to the FDA and has worked with federal and state weights and measures officials to crack down on illegal practices.

The Better Seafood Bureau (BSB) was established by the National Fisheries Institute to provide a mechanism for industry’s partners in the supply chain – restaurants, retail operations, producers and processors - to report suppliers suspected of committing economic fraud.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drink 100-pt wines and lunch hosted by Sting

Drink 100 point wines with Italian Wine Royalty including lunch hosted by Sting and Trudie Styler

FOOD & WINE TRAILS of Santa Rosa, California announces their appointment as an official tour operator for Divino Tuscany, a four-day festival of Tuscan wine and culture that restricts participation to only 500 fortunate guests. The next exclusive event will be held May 17-20, 2012 in Florence, Italy.

Guests at Divino Tuscany 2012 will have the rare opportunity to drink 90 to 100 point rated Tuscan wines from such famous wineries as Sassicaia, Ornellaia and Valdicava and to meet and mingle with Italian wine royalty. Some of these producers have noble lineage dating-back hundreds of years, and who planted their family estates with vineyards that now produce some of the world's most sought-after wines.

Says FOOD & WINE TRAILS President, Larry Martin,"This is the only opportunity I know of for wine lovers to taste these highly rated wines and to break bread with Tuscany's wine-royalty in their private homes and some of Florences most historic buildings." Divino Tuscany represents the epitome of Italian wine culture and nothing else like it exists.

Divino Tuscany has been the dream of James Suckling since 1998 when he moved to Tuscany as the European Bureau chief of The Wine Spectator magazine. Each year Suckling selects only the top Tuscan wineries as participating wineries. Divino Tuscany 2012 guests will taste 90 to100 point rated wines with members of Italy's noble families such as the Marchesi de' Frescobaldi (co-owner of Ornellaia) and the Marquesa d'Antinori, Principe Corsini; Barone Ricasoli; and other top wine producers such as Ferruccio Ferragamo of the famed fashion house, and Filippo Mazzei, whose family traces its roots back to the 11th-century. Says Martin, "These guys are the real thing."

As was done last year for the inaugural of Divino Tuscany, the 2012 finale will be a traditional Tuscan barbeque at the Chianti private villa of music superstar Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. For many, the opportunity to meet and mingle with Sting was the highlight of the 2011 event.

The cost to attend Divino Tuscany 2012 is 1,900 Euros (approximately $2,660 USD), not including taxes or the cost of accommodations or airfare to Florence. The event price includes admission to multiple wine tastings, dinners and parties in some of the most historic buildings of Florence, all overseen by James Suckling. FOOD & WINE TRAILS is also offering various hotel options in Florence, where the event is based. New this year will be the opportunity for guests to extend their trip by staying in the guesthouses and hotels owned by Tuscan vintners, and to enjoy special tastings and dinners at the wineries.

Although the Florence hotel arrangements and the pre- and post-stays won't be available until the end of the year, it is recommended that event tickets be purchased now. "Only 500 or so tickets are available," says Martin, "it's a first-come, first-serve situation so we suggest that any wine or lover of all things Italian, get their foot in the door now."

For more information, visit, call Larry Martin at 1-800-367-5348, or email him at

About Food & Wine Trails: FOOD & WINE TRAILS is America's oldest and largest wine-travel company, hosting its first wine cruise in 1989 and now handling over 3,000 food and wine lovers a year. FOOD & WINE TRAILS is the educational tour division of the HMS TRAVEL GROUP, a 25-year old company based in Santa Rosa, California that has designed travel programs for such culinary icons as Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and most of America's top food magazines and wineries. Larry Martin, the president of FOOD & WINE TRAILS, is a wine collector, vegetable gardener and the Northern California Regional Governor for Slow Food, an international food advocacy organization. The editors of COND NAST TRAVELER have chosen Martin for the past three consecutive years as The World's Top Wine Travel Specialist 2008, 2009 and 2010.

La Dolce Vita! Dine & Dish, Italian-Style

Here's to La Dolce Vita, as they say in Italy, which means "the sweet life!" Now you can dine and dish, Italian-style, with a little help from Capalbo's! Offering six gourmet Italian gift baskets overflowing with wines, cheeses, pasta, breadsticks, salami, roasted red peppers and more - you can enjoy La Dolce Vita in the comfort of your own home with friends and family!

The six delightful baskets include the Festa Italiana Chianti & Fruit Gift Basket, Buona Vita Italian Wine, Cheese & Fruit Gift Basket, and Italian Duo Gift Basket, to name a few! To see all of their Italian gourmet selections, visit

Whether for your own party, or to give as an appreciated and unique gift for any occasion, the gourmet Italian gift baskets will be enjoyed by all!

From the company's humble beginnings in 1906, Capalbo's has been the leader in the gourmet gift basket industry, delivering quality gifts right to your door. To learn more about Capalbo's exclusive gourmet gift baskets, and their fabulous offerings for any occasion, visit

Leinenkugel's Releases "Big Eddy" Russian Imperial Stout!

Beer aficionados, wine enthusiasts, home brewers and other taste-adventurers are about to get a hearty helping of new Big Eddy brews from Leinenkugel’s. The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company today launched its Russian Imperial Stout, the first in a series of Big Eddy brews in the works. In 2012, Big Eddy fans can look forward to three brand new robust brews in this craft series: a Double India Pale Ale, a Baltic Porter, and a Scotch Ale.

Inspired by the Big Eddy Spring, the lifeline of the Leinenkugel’s brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wis. since 1867, the Big Eddy brand offers big beer fans complex, yet balanced flavors beyond the mainstream. The Russian Imperial Stout, only available November to January, is a deep mahogany brew featuring dark fruit, espresso and mocha character and finishing with toffee and molasses notes.

“At Leinenkugel’s, we are always looking for new characteristics and flavor profiles to share and our Big Eddy brews offer big beer fans something more to explore for a dynamic flavor experience,” said Jake Leinenkugel, fifth generation brewer and president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. “The Russian Imperial Stout is a big beer with a rich history and we hope Big Eddy enthusiasts will join us for a taste this year along with three new brews in 2012.”

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout ages well and is reminiscent of the 18th century Russian Imperial Stout style that contained extra malts and hops to act as preservatives during long voyages from England to Russia, where it was served in the royal court. Brewed with 11 different malts including Munich, Carmel, Chocolate, classic Pale and Pale Ale, this Russian Imperial Stout provides a rich, dry character, perfectly balancing Big Eddy’s hoppy assertiveness. Warrior, Summit and Glacier hops create a bold tribute to the characteristic intensity of the flavor.

First available in only a handful of markets for two months in 2010, Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout will be available in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, and Arizona. The stout, which is 9.5 percent ABV, will be available in four-pack bottles and on draft for a limited time.

POM POMs - Fresh Pomegranate Arils

For consumers who love the taste and versatility of fresh pomegranate arils but hate the hassle of collecting them from the fruit, POM Wonderful introduces POM POMs, a convenient, ready‐ to‐eat serving available from November through February. They add a sweet tart pop and are rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and polyphenol antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals.
• Adds sweet overtones to a savory entrée or zest to a holiday dessert
• Sprinkle over salads, yogurt or ice cream • Add to holiday cocktails • Healthy snack straight from the package

• 4.3oz., 8oz. Suggested Retail Price:
• 4.3oz. ‐ $3.99, 8 oz. ‐ $5.99

• In the cut fruit section of produce departments.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Question from Icelandic Glacial Bottled Water

Why is Icelandic Glacial better than other bottled water?

Contaminant free
Our water is microbiologically pure when extracted and free of even trace levels of contaminants. With a TDS - Total Dissolved Solids level of only 62 parts per million and a pH level of 8.4, our water is unmatched in terms of taste & overall quality.

Bottle design
Our high quality award-winning & strikingly designed bottles are entirely recyclable and produced from stable materials to ensure the taste of our water remains unchanged.

Affordable luxury
In comparison to other imported brands of bottled water, Icelandic Glacial is a Super Premium product at an affordable price.

NSF Certified
Our bottling plant and manufacturing processes are fully certified by NSF International, the world's leading third party validation authority, to ensure full conformance with governmental and local state certification standards

Environmentally friendly
Icelandic Water Holdings ehf. is a CarbonNeutral® company which accurately reflects our commitment to making a difference to climate change. See Icelandic Glacial Green Credentials

IG's water is the purest of the pure, coming from Iceland’s Hlíðarendi Spring, part of the Ölfus Spring System, a catchment zone formed during a massive volcanic eruption more than 4,500 years ago. Ölfus Spring is a renewable resource, replenished annually by infiltration of rainfall and snow melt over uninhabited lava fields Ninety-nine percent of the Ölfus flow releases to the sea below mean sea level. The only outflow to surface water is at Hlíðarendi, where a pond collects spring discharges which then flow for two kilometres before disappearing underground. It is from this system that the Icelandic Glacial water is taken.

Glacially Inspired
Icelandic Glacial is proud of its green credentials and is clear that the water is in no way connected or fed from actual melted or melting glaciers. The 'Glacial' in the Icelandic Glacial brand name is derived from landscapes and scenery that are automatically conjured when one thinks of Iceland, and is also a reference to the peak design of the Icelandic Glacial bottle, rather than the source of its contents.

Protected Source
The local government is particularly appreciative of the need to protect this valuable resource and has applied a 128,000 acre exclusion zone around the spring. No farming, animals, or buildings are permitted in the surrounding area .

A Self Replenishing Resource, Certifiably Sustainable Resource
Naturally occurring pure drinking water is a precious commodity in most countries and water bottling companies are sometimes criticised for draining aquifers and groundwater reserves to the detriment of local communities.

Icelandic Glacial is particularly mindful of this fact, and its extraction operations account for a minor percentage of the Ölfus Spring's daily outflow to the ocean, which is more than double the world's bottled water consumption.

Icelandic Glacial has been declared by Zenith International, Europe’s leading food and drinks consultancy, as truly sustainable because it doesn’t deplete or permanently damage the source from which it’s abstracted. Icelandic Glacial does not pump water from the spring, but collects what flows naturally to the ground surface, using an estimated 0.1% of the total spring flow annually.

125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes: Bountiful & Vibrant

Finding a meal that will please the palates of your Great Aunt Sally who only eats white foods and your sophisticated cousin who dines only at four-star restaurants can be almost impossible, and that is just one of many challenges we face during the holiday season. When you add dietary restrictions to the mix, the possibility of meeting everyone’s needs and satisfying everyone’s tastes seems like a far off hope.

Gluten-free and vegetarian diets are more popular than ever, for reasons of health and sustainability, and with the holiday season approaching at astonishing speed, 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes (Avery 2011) provides recipes that will allow guests with and without dietary restrictions to join around the table and feast.

Carol Fenster, a true pioneer in the world of Gluten-Free Cooking, has an indispensible new book that addresses the tastes and needs of gluten-free vegetarians: 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes (Avery 2011). With recipes crafted specifically for the gluten-free vegetarian cook, 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes is filled with recipes whose flavor and texture will knock your culinary socks off! Carol Fenster covers all eating opportunities and dining choices with sections on Main Dishes, Vegetables, Soups & Stews, Little Meals or Appetizers, Quick Breads and Yeast Breads, Breakfast, Desserts, and Basics.

Aside from its excellent recipes, this book allows cooks to easily accommodate people with different dietary needs. All recipes are gluten-free, but a special section at the end of the book discusses how to add animal protein to certain dishes, so you can modify recipes to suit the tastes and needs of your dining companions. The recipes are also dairy-free and egg-free, as well.

The book is filled with innovative and delicious recipes that boast great flavor and satisfying texture. Highlights include:

-Rosemary Focaccia with Onion Marmalade
-Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Dried Fruit
-Roasted Red Pepper Panini With White Truffle Aioli
-Scalloped Potatoes
-Vegetable Paella
-Thai Corn Chowder
-Angel Pan Biscuits
-Corn Bread or Corn Muffins
-Banana Oatmeal Muffins with Streusel Topping
-Cream of Tomato Soup with Crunchy Basil Bread Crumb Topping
-Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Orange-Nut Sauce
-Apple-Fennel Slaw
-Pinto Bean-Polenta Fajitas with Tomatillo Sauce

There are mouthwatering dishes for every occasion, and something to appeal to everyone. For those looking to eat more healthfully and be truly satisfied, it doesn’t get any better. Carol Fenster’s recipes are nutritionally sound and flavorful—satisfying in every sense of the word.

About the Author
Carol Fenster, Ph.D., is the founder of Savory Palate, Inc, a resource for people with food allergies, celiac disease, autism, and other medical conditions that require a special diet. The author of ten gluten-free cookbooks, Carol is known for recipes so satisfying and delicious that you never miss the gluten. You can find her online at She lives in Centennial, Colorado.

Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Dried Fruit

Quinoa is the foundation ingredient in this fragrant dish; experiment with other combinations of fruit and nuts---perhaps dried cranberries and pistachios for the holidays, or dried apricots and pine nuts for summer. It makes a large batch, perfect for a buffet table or large party. And, the leftovers are just as delicious.

Serves 8

1 cup whole grain quinoa
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups GF vegetable broth
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup candied ginger root, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

[1] Toast the quinoa in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes.

[2] Add the oil and onion to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the broth, garlic, cinnamon, and salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Drain any excess liquid. Stir in cranberries, ginger, pine nuts, and parsley.

[3] Combine the vinegar, oil, and agave nectar in a glass jar with a lid and shake until well blended. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Or, chill overnight, let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, and serve garnished with parsley and pine nuts.

Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Moist and very flavorful, these cookies are perfect for dessert. Or, process them into crumbs in a food processor for a pie crust (about 1 ½ cups for a 9-inch piecrust). Adding the optional black pepper turns them into Pfeffernüsse, a traditional German treat served during Christmas holidays.

½ cup butter or buttery spread
¼ cup molasses (not blackstrap)
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup sorghum flour
½ cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sanding sugar, for rolling

[1] Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9x13-inch metal baking sheet (not nonstick) with parchment paper.

[2] In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Add the sorghum flour, garbanzo flour, ginger, cinnamon, xanthan gum, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, salt, and black pepper (if using) and beat until well blended.

[3] With a #50 (1¼ tablespoon-size) metal ice cream scoop, shape 9 balls, roll each into a smooth ball with your hands, and roll each in the evaporated cane juice. Place them at least two inches apart on the sheet.

[4] Bake until the cookies look firm and began to show little cracks on top, about 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Makes 18 cookies.

125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes:
Quick and Delicious Mouthwatering Dishes for the Healthy Cook
by Carol Fenster, Ph.D.
July 2011
$18/Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1583334256

Affordable & Memorable Gourmet Gift Ideas

Popular holiday food gifts include a bottle of wine, a popcorn tin and a goodie basket filled with edible treats which, once opened, have a limited shelf life. For a more memorable, longer lasting option, holiday shoppers may want to impress the foodie on their gift-lists with artisan gourmet olive oils and vinegars from The Olive Tap®.

With oils and vinegars that range from Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar to Garlic Olive Oil that are Italian and Californian in origin, these artisan olive oils and vinegars vary in taste and flavor for even the most discerning home chef. There are nearly 60 unique olive oils and vinegars available in 375 ml to 750 ml bottles that range from $9.45 to $33.90 and can be mixed and matched. Select specialty oils and vinegars are also available in 250 ml bottles. The Olive Tap® also offers elegant yet affordable gift baskets.

“Our exclusive olive oils and vinegars are sourced from around the world,” said Rick Petrocelly chief executive officer of The Olive Tap®. “We pride ourselves on the uniqueness of our products and the distinct flavor profiles that each individual olive oil and vinegar brings. Holiday guests are sure to be impressed by the taste of dishes infused with products such as the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Aceto Balsamico di Modena.”

The olive oils and vinegars can be tailored to everyone on holiday gift list including hostesses, businesses, teachers and foodies. Because each 375 ml bottle includes an average of 35 servings, the gift recipient will remember the thought behind the oil or vinegar each time they use it. The Olive Tap® offers a variety of affordable gift options including:

- For the holiday party host/hostess: The Mini Dipper ($19.95) is a “bring along” appetizer for hosts/hostesses. It includes Arbequina 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, dipping seasonings and a decorative dipping bowl.

- For teachers: A bottle of the Apple Balsamic Vinegar ($15.75) is the perfect holiday thank you for children’s teachers. It has a delicious flavor of red apples and a thick, rich blend of 3 and 4 Leaf Quality Aceto Balsamico di Modena.

- For foodies: The Gourmet Sampler ($89.95) is the complete assortment of Olive Tap products. It’s sure to please any chef and includes Italiano 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the finest Aceto Balsamico di Modena, Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta Topping, Black and Green Olive Tapenade, Mad Mango Salsa, Sorrento Lemon Olive Oil, Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar and Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard.

- For yourself: Holiday shoppers can treat themselves with a single bottle of olive oil or vinegar. One of the most popular flavors is the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil ($15.95) which has a proprietary blend of several herbs including Oregano, Basil, Garlic, and Rosemary.

- For the whole gift list: Any bottle can be personalized to fit a family, company or special holiday occasion. Dates, names, photos, logos or even a special quote or saying can be printed on either standard or custom labels (minimum required).

- For corporate gifts: The You Pick Three Gift Box ($59.95) has a professional look great for those in the business world. These bottles can even be etched with the company name and logo (minimum required). It includes three 375 ml bottles of any olive oil, balsamic vinegar or specialty oil/vinegar.

Whether they are included in the feast or wrapped as a gift, olive oils and vinegars with their unique tastes are sure to become a memorable part of every holiday celebration. Gift givers can even pair the olive oil infused Chocolate Chipotle Cake recipe below with the gourmet gifts above.

Chocolate Chipotle Cake

1 cup plus ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa
2 ¾ cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon The Olive Tap® Cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon The Olive Tap® Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups lowfat milk
½ cup mild olive oil such as The Olive Tap®’s Arbequina or Mission
½ cup The Olive Tap® Chipotle Olive Oil
2 large eggs
3 tablespoon The Olive Tap® Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350◦. Butter two 8-in cake pans and dust with ¼ tbsp. cocoa in each. Discard excess cocoa.
2. Whisk remaining 1 cup cocoa, flour, sugars, cinnamon, soda, cayenne and salt in bowl to blend. Add milk, oils, eggs and vinegar. Whisk until smooth. Pour into pans, dividing batter evenly.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in each cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
4. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the cakes from pans with a metal spatula. Turn each cake out onto a plate and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar onto cakes.

Additional Options: Mix 2 tbsp Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar with cocoa and spread glaze over cakes. Or mix Balsamic Vinegar with 2 tbsp raspberry preserves and spread over cakes.

About The Olive Tap®
The Olive Tap® is both a tasting emporium and gourmet market that offers a variety of olive oils, specialty oils, vinegars, spices, herbs, seasonings and more. Unlike mass-produced oils and vinegars, The Olive Tap® offers pure and fresh artisan products from around the world. The Olive Tap®’s proprietary procurement storage and packaging processes ensure its customers are offered the freshest, highest quality olive oils and authentic balsamic vinegars.

The Olive Tap® is headquartered in Long Grove, Illinois. It also has locations in Medina, Ohio, Downers Grove, Illinois, Manitou Springs, Colorado and West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Year Of the Pie Is Upon Us

The Year of the Pie is upon us and there is more than one way to celebrate the trendiest dessert of 2011. Whether you are a seasoned pie pro or a novice baker, the pros at the Crisco® Pie Hotline are serving up pie making advice and tips on the latest pie making trends for harried holiday bakers.

Whether struggling with weepy meringues or caved-in crusts, when it comes to pies, most bakers would appreciate a little expert advice. According to the 2010 Crisco National Pie Survey:

• 59 percent of surveyed Americans said pie is the hardest dessert to prepare from scratch, followed distantly by cake (22%) and brownies (6%).
• 65% of surveyed Americans agreed that making crust is the hardest part of baking a pie from scratch.

Now in its sixth year, the Crisco Pie Hotline continues to be a one-stop resource to help ease the stress of baking for thousands of bakers each year. During the busy holiday baking season, the hotline offers extended hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET during November 14-23, 2011 and December 12-22, 2011. Home bakers can also dial in for tips and tricks from award-winning pie expert and author of Perfect Pies, Michele (Albano) Stuart.

Also available for the holidays on is Cookie Central, a new online resource offering recipes, instructional videos and a helpful butter-to-shortening conversion chart to take the guesswork out of baking.

Go to 1-877-FOR PIE TIPS (877-367-7438) and for step-by-step instructions, visual demonstrations and award-winning hints and tricks for preparing the perfect holiday treats.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Nutritional Chip in Cincinnati

Snikiddy Snacks®, a leading brand of great tasting, all natural snack foods made from simple, wholesome and real ingredients, announces the launch of Eat Your Vegetables™, a veggie chip full of flavor that lives up to its promises.

Containing a full serving of vegetables in every ounce (approximately 13 chips), Eat Your Vegetables™ provides sophisticated snackers with: veggie chips offering bona fide nutritional benefits. The new line of snacks also continues Snikiddy’s tradition of bringing great-tasting snacks to store shelves with three popular, contemporary flavors: Sea Salt, Sour Cream and Onion, and Jalapeno Ranch.

Eat Your Vegetables™ are made with a unique blend including sweet potatoes, carrots, and navy beans. The snacks offer an excellent source of Vitamin A and more fiber and protein than most other snack products.

“Our newest snacks mean that busy parents can make the same great choices in snacking for themselves that they make for their kids. We expect this new addition to be just as popular as our All-Natural lines of Cheese Puffs and Baked Fries. Eat Your Vegetables™ provides the great flavor and crunch our loyal customers are used to, but in a whole new kind of better-for-you chip,” said Snikiddy Co-Founder Mary Schulman.

Unlike most conventional snacks, Snikiddy has built a reputation for providing great tasting snacks that are also gluten and wheat free, and don’t contain the cholesterol, trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors, colors and preservatives that give snacks a bad name.

The Eat Your Vegetables product line comes in 4.5 oz sharing size bags filled with four and a half servings of snackable, two-bite shaped snacks that are right for any occasion—with your favorite sandwich, as a mid-afternoon snack, or as the perfect partner for party dips.

The snacks are currently sold in The Fresh Market, Bristol Farms, Toys R Us and e-tailers and

About Snikiddy
With a passion for children’s health, mother/daughter team Janet Owings and Mary Schulman founded Snikiddy in 2007 in Bethesda, Maryland. Like its founders, Snikiddy is healthy, adventurous, imaginative, and creative.

Snikiddy® produces Snikiddy Snacks® — great tasting, family-friendly, natural snacks available in a variety of flavors. Snikiddy Cheese Puffs were first to market, followed by Snikiddy Baked Fries and the recently launched, Eat Your Vegetables™. Developed for the entire family, Snikiddy® products are made with simple, high quality, wholesome ingredients. They are available in Sharing Packs®, which contain four to five servings per container. Leading varieties are also available in Multi-Packs (bag of 6 snack packs) and/or individual snack packs. Snikiddy® is perfect for lunchboxes, after school, and on-the-go snacks. Snikiddy operates out of Bethesda, MD and Boulder, Colorado. More can be found at

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Holiday Cooking Menu That Works for Every Dietary Need

A glance at the calendar will show you that the holiday season is fast approaching. Before you know it, you’ll be counting your blessings over a generous serving of turkey and gravy, and soon after that, you’ll be making eggnog toasts and fa-la-la-ing to your heart’s content. However, if you’re slated to host one of those holiday meals, the task in front of you might fill you with more dread than holiday cheer. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. For those of us who don’t answer to the name “Martha Stewart,” figuring out who is coming to the table, what to serve, and how to prepare it can be a daunting task indeed—especially if any of your guests have special dietary needs, such as a gluten allergy.

Not to worry—For Dummies has teamed up with several authors who know their way around the kitchen to make your upcoming chef responsibilities a lot easier.

With Cooking Basics For Dummies®, 4th Edition (Wiley, January 2011, ISBN: 978-0-470-91388-8, $21.99), Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies® (Wiley, December 2011, ISBN: 978-1-118-07773-3, $19.99), Wine For Dummies®, 4th Edition (Wiley, October 2006, ISBN: 978-0-470-04579-4, $21.99), and Whiskey and Spirits For Dummies® (Wiley, November 2007, ISBN: 978-0-470-11769-9, $19.99), you can prepare a mouth-watering spread (and provide the libations to go with it!) no matter what the preferences and dietary needs of your guests might be.

Whether you’re a cooking novice or simply want to up the culinary ante this year, pick up a copy of one of these titles today. They’ll help you safely navigate everything from appetizers to after-dinner drinks.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll find this holiday season on the For Dummies menu:

Cooking Basics For Dummies, 4th Edition can take your cooking from dull to delicious. Written by restaurant and dining feature writer Bryan Miller, food and beverage consultant Marie Rama, and coauthor of The Mediterranean Diet Eve Adamson, this easy-to-understand guide covers cooking from all angles. You’ll learn:

* How to read a recipe
* What staples you should keep in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer
* Tips for saving time in the kitchen (Note to Editor: See attached tipsheet.)
* The basics of grilling, slow cooking, pressure cooking, roasting, and sautéing
* Considerations for vegetarians and others with special diets, and flavorful dishes to serve them

Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies will show you how to prepare wheat-free treats. Authors Jean McFadden Layton and Linda Larsen have pooled their expertise to help you re-create beloved tastes without using wheat flour. The book provides:

* New baking ideas and substitutes for common glutenous ingredients
* Easy recipes and methods for baking more than 150 gluten-free cakes, cookies, and breads
* Tips and advice for shopping and stocking your kitchen

Wine For Dummies, 4th Edition will prompt you to raise your glass throughout the holiday season. With over half a century of professional wine experience between them, husband and wife team Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan have written a full-bodied, yet light…rich, yet crisp…robust, yet refreshing guide to wine. You’ll learn:

* How to sniff and taste wine
* How to store and pour wine, and how to pair it with food
* Red and white wine styles, as well as details about wines from around the world

And that’s not all. If you need a guide on the go, download the Selecting a Wine For Dummies app on your iPhone or iPod touch! You’ll have information ranging from articles on popular wine topics to pronunciation guides at your fingertips. The Food and Wine pairing tool is especially useful to have on hand at the grocery store so that you can choose the perfect complement to your meal. And once you have sampled several vintages, you can even use the app to create a personalized wine list by snapping a photo of the label and entering notes about why you enjoyed it.

Whiskey and Spirits For Dummies is your complete guide to this family of noble beverages. Written by Perry Luntz, who has been the publisher and editor of Beverage Alcohol Market Report for twenty years, this book will top off your knowledge of distilled spirits in time for your holiday guests. It fills you in on how to:

* Shop for the best spirits
* Select the right mixers
* Use spirits in cooking
* Make ten classic cocktails
* Present spirits to guests

The bottom line is, with these For Dummies volumes in your library, you’ll be able to prepare for the holidays with excitement rather than anxiety. And who knows? With the help of For Dummies, you might even make a name for yourself among your friends and family as a host or hostess extraordinaire!

# # #

Quick Cooking: Ten Tips to Help You Save Time in the Kitchen
From Cooking Basics For Dummies®, 4th Edition
(Wiley, January 2011, ISBN: 978-0-470-91388-8, $21.99)

When you’re hosting a holiday gathering, you’ve got a lot to do in order to get that meal on the table—and you probably feel somewhat rushed. However, a few seconds saved here and there can add up to a lot more quality time with family and friends. These handy tips and hints will allow you to cook more efficiently without sacrificing deliciousness!

• Have all ingredients prepared, measured, and set out within reach before you start cooking.
• Precook pieces of chicken or meat in your microwave before finishing them on the grill.
• If you’re using the oven, turn it on at least 15 minutes before you’re ready to roast or bake your dish. Don’t waste time waiting for the oven to heat after you’ve prepared the recipe.
• Buy vegetables that are already washed and cut, if doing so will get you to eat more vegetables or cook more often. Prepared ingredients such as bagged salad mix, stir-fry vegetables already cut to size, and boneless cuts of meat cost a bit more, but saving some time may be worth it.
• Remove steaks and other meats from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking so that they warm to room temperature. They’ll cook faster and more evenly.
• Line the broiler pan with aluminum foil to ease cleanup when broiling hamburgers, fish, steaks, and chops.
• Don’t bother chopping onions, garlic, fresh herbs, and the like for a salad dressing. Instead, use a food processor or blender to save chopping time, add your liquids, and then blend for a quick dressing.
• Place a garlic clove on a cutting board and whack it with the flat side of a heavy knife or a cleaver to make removing the skin easier. The skin should split right off.
• Roll a lemon or orange under the palm of your hand on the countertop to make extracting the juice easier.
• Clean up as you go. You’ll be glad you did when the meal is over!

Avoid Overeating this Holiday Season with Fullbar

Indulging at holiday parties can quickly turn into extra holiday weight. Keep in mind Fullbar, the fast-growing brand of weight loss bars created by noted bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Snyder. With a new and improved product line featuring enhanced taste complemented by Kemin’s clinically-proven fullness ingredient, Slendesta®, Fullbar utilizes two distinct fullness mechanisms, which are clinically proven to help promote weight loss.

Fullbar works with your “wiring” to stimulate a complex neural and hormonal feedback loop that fills you up so you eat less. When you consume tasty Fullbar products, the upper part of your stomach is stretched out, telling your brain that you’re full. Then, all-natural Slendesta® promotes the release of your cholecystokinin (CCK) in your digestive track to make you fuller, longer. If you are already satisfied before you go out to celebrate, you won’t eat an entire gingerbread house!

Available nationwide January 2012, Fullbar is welcoming two new flavors to its popular family of weight loss bars: Chocolate Caramel and Chocolate Peanut Butter. These join such existing Fullbar flavors as Double Chocolate Cocoa Chip, Peanut Butter Crunch and Cranberry Almond, all of which were re-formulated to improve both taste and function.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Swirl, Sip and Celebrate The Grand Opening Of The Holman Ranch Vineyard & Winery Tasting Room in Carmel Valley, CA

In the first week of November, 2011, Holman Ranch will open its first Tasting Room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road, Suite C at White Oaks Plaza in Carmel Valley, California. Holman Ranch’s Carmel Valley Village Tasting Room offers the perfect backdrop to swirl, sip and savor the different complexities of Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery wines. There is something for everyone, from the full-bodied Pinot Noirs to the light, fruity flavors of our Pinot Gris and complex, dry Chardonnay. Holman Ranch also offers estate grown and bottled Extra Virgin Olive Oil available for tasting and purchase at the Tasting Room.

The Tasting Room Will Celebrate with a Grand Opening Open House Weekend with a wide variety of activities!

Save the Dates: Saturday November 26th and Sunday, November 27th
Celebrate the grand opening of the wine tasting room and support the Alzheimer’s Association. 20% of the proceeds from Saturday, November 26th and Sunday, November 27th to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association!
Saturday, November 26th:
· Purchase a $5.00 ticket at the door for wine tasting.
· Complimentary Appetizers throughout the day
· Enter your business card for a free drawing from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Four winners will receive a bottle of wine, olive oil or special gift from the tasting room including a private estate Vineyard tour.
· Purchase a bottle and your receipt is entered to win a free year in our exclusive Wine Club!
· 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Local guitarist, John's Sherys virtuosity as a guitarist that has accorded him the honor of twice being voted Monterey County Weekly's Best Local Musician (2010/2011).He plays both acoustically and electrically, and is well versed in a number of genres, equally at home with pop, jazz, new age, classical, blues, rock, world and many other styles. When playing live, John often supplements his sound by double-tracking himself, or looping. These techniques allow him to have a sound that is surprisingly rich and full for a solo artist.
· 3:00 p.m.- Corked and Forked! Monterey Bay is lush with fresh organic produce. See how a few simple ingredients paired with Holman Ranch’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes quick, easy artisan bites! Includes pairing suggestions. Chef Brandon Miller from Mundaka will be on hand to answer questions!
· Tractor Pete and offer family tractor rides through the village from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sip wine and celebrate on the holiday tractor ride! Donate $20 per family or $10 per person to the Alzheimer's Association and get a ride through Carmel Valley on our holiday tractor while sipping wine and meeting new friends! (Weather permitting)
Sunday, November 27th:
· Meet Santa from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and get a holiday picture taken at the Wine Tasting Room. We are pet friendly! Bring your four legged friends, too! A commemorative photo is yours with a $20 donation to the Alzheimer's Association!
· 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The tasting room will have face painters that are guaranteed to bring smiles to the entire family.
· On Sunday enter your business card to win a Bounty of Carmel Valley holiday gift basket.
The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and is available to be booked for private events.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chipotle to Open Location at Cincinnati Premium Outlets Oct. 25

Chipotle Mexican Grill will open its first location in Monroe, Ohio, on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The critically acclaimed burrito shop will serve its gourmet menu of burritos, tacos, salads and bowls at 175 Senate Dr., near the Cincinnati Premium Outlets.
Distinguished by fresh, premium-quality food from sustainable sources, an iconic look and speedy service, Chipotle offers a new perspective on food. Today, Chipotle serves more naturally raised meat (meat from animals that are raised in a humane way, never given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet) than any other restaurant company; more than 75 million pounds last year.

Quality ingredients are the hallmark of Chipotle. In addition to naturally raised meats, Chipotle serves an increasing percentage of organically grown black and pinto beans, and sour cream and cheese made with milk from cows that are not treated with the synthetic hormone rBGH. Chipotle is also the only national restaurant company with significant commitments to purchasing produce from local farms when seasonally available, with plans to double its use of local produce this year.

“We are changing the way the world thinks about and eats fast food,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and CEO. “There was a time when only the most demanding chefs in the best restaurants were using the same quality of food we are using, but we’re committed to making better food affordable and accessible so everyone can eat better.”

All of the fresh food is prepared in open kitchens in plain view of customers. Customers can choose from a variety of delicious ingredients to customize their order – cilantro-lime rice, whole black or pinto beans, grilled marinated meats or braised and shredded meats, freshly sautéed fajita vegetables, house-made guacamole, aged shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and a choice of fresh salsas.

The design of each Chipotle also mirrors Ells’ food philosophy – simple ingredients used in creative ways can elevate the ordinary to extraordinary. While all Chipotle restaurants use similar materials to achieve a sparse, clean, urban look, no two are alike.

Hours at the restaurant are from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. The phone number for the new Monroe locations is (513) 539-9544.

The Daily Meal Reveals the 10 Most Fattening Fast Food Dishes

A recent Gallup and Healthways poll found that nearly 62 percent of Americans are still overweight or obese. Among other factors, the calorie counts of the country’s ever popular fast food fare isn’t helping the matter., the site that houses all things food and drink, found the 10 Most Fattening Fast Food Dishes that make a 610-calorie KFC Double Down look like the healthier option. Here’s a bite of five devastating calorie bombs, some of which aren’t the usual suspects:

· KFC Variety Big Box Meal (1,680 Calories)—If you can’t pick just one KFC favorite, the fast-food chain is now giving you the chance to eat them all at once. Their new “Big Box” meal includes drumsticks, chicken strips, popcorn chicken, two side dishes and a biscuit. Picking the highest calorie options (potato wedges and baked beans) makes this meal a whopping 1,680 calories. You’ll need to buy the Double Down sandwich separately.

· Quizno’s Tuna Melt (1,535 Calories)—This beast of a sandwich sounds innocent enough: tuna salad, cheese, and fresh veggies. But combine globs of mayonnaise with cheese and fatty fish, and you’re reeling in three meal’s worth of calories at lunch alone. Not to mention that with 110 grams of fat, this sandwich busts out twice our maximum recommended intake for an entire day.

· Domino’s Chicken Carbonara Breadbowl Pasta (1,480 Calories)—The fantasy of comfort eaters everywhere: cheesy, creamy pasta stuffed inside a bowl of freshly baked bread. It’s hardly surprising that these pasta bowls meant for one offer up little in the way of protein, fiber, or fresh produce. They do, however, boast plenty of saturated fat and refined carbs (stuffed inside more refined carbs).

· Baja Fresh’s Breaded Fish Quesadillas (1,400 calories)—They might brag about a kitchen with “No freezers, can openers, or microwaves,” but Baja Fresh manages to pack plenty of calories into a single 12-inch tortilla. So what’s the secret recipe? Deep-fried fish sticks crammed between a thick layer of cheese and served with sour cream and guacamole.

· Wendy’s Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy ¾ lb Burger (1,060 Calories)—A fast-food burger isn’t exactly synonymous with nutrition, but there’s a vast difference between a basic Wendy’s hamburger — weighing in at 250 calories — and the new ¾ lb “Hot ‘N Juicy” special. A bigger, buttered bun, along with three beef patties and mounds of cheese, is the equivalent of eating four standard burgers.

Panera Supports Local Pups for HOWLoween

Panera Bread
Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry

Panera Bread is sponsoring the HOWLoween Costume Parade to benefit Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. Panera is providing complimentary food for all who attend and will serve as a pet food drop-off location for those that would like to make donations.

Additionally, Panera Bread will be presenting a check presentation at the event to the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry for $250. The funds will be used to purchase additional pet food for their needy animals

HOWLoween Costume Parade will take place on:
Sunday, October 23rd from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Pet food can be dropped off:
Now through Sunday, October 23, 2011

HOWLoween Costume Parade will take place at:
Kennel Resorts
5825 Meadowview Drive
Milford, Ohio 45150

Pet food can be dropped off at:
Panera Bread
1066 State Route #28
Milford, OH 45150

Dessert Trifecta from Ulysses Press

Tiny Handheld Treats, Giant Mouthwatering Flavor— Pies Are Getting a Makeover!

What’s more delightful than the smell of a homemade pie baking in the oven? How about a dozen mini pies!
That’s right, your favorite homemade desserts are now bite-size and fit perfectly in the palms of your party guests’ hands. Mini Pies serves up your favorite classics and also features a handful of new mouthwatering creations:
• Apple Chai
• Very Berry
• Ginger Peach
• Cranberry Almond Pistachio
...and more!
However, this is not just a book for dessert fanatics; Mini Pies serves up savory recipes, too: Sweet Potato, Apple Chile, and Cara- melized Onion’ll want to try them all.

Authors Morgan Greenseth and Christy Beaver guide you step- by-step through the process of making the perfect traditional crust, as well as graham cracker, vegan, shortbread, and gluten-free varia- tions—and it’s much easier than you think. “Pies can be intimidat- ing...something Grandma makes with an ancient recipe and years of trial and error,” Greenseth says. “Christy and I wanted to remove that stigma and make pie accessible for bakers at every level.”

So whether you’re baking a batch of mini pies for your family or for peckish party guests, these are yummy treats everyone will want in their face!

Founders of Seattle’s Mini Empire Bakery, MorgaN grEENSETh and ChrISTy BEavEr have supplied restaurants and cafes with cup- cake-sized pies since 2009. Both women learned to bake as young girls by assisting their mothers and grandmothers in the kitchen. greenseth, who has recently relocated to New york, will expand Mini Empire to the East Coast.

Mini Pies $14.95, Trade Paper September 2011 from Ulysses Press ISBN: 978-1-56975-980-6 128pp, 6 x 6


Get Your Buzz On with the Intoxicatingly Delicious Desserts of Ice Cream Happy Hour!

Nothing makes people smile quite like ice cream or a refreshing cocktail. Now, for the first time ever, you can get both cold ones at once! Introduc- ing Ice Cream Happy Hour, the new gourmet cookbook where booze meets ice cream to form one extravagant spiked-dessert experience.

Perfect for a casual dinner party or special occasion, these 21-and- over homemade frozen delights not only taste amazing, they also serve up a surprising kick—there’s a shot of alcohol in each cup! Just follow the authors’ clever technique—combining spiked gelatin with custard to get booze-infused ice cream—and you’ll soon impress anyone. The 50-plus recipes include all of your favorite flavors as well as ice creams based on classic shots, cocktails, and blended beverages, such as:
• Coffee with Kahlúa
• Mint Chip with Crème de Menthe
• Peach with Schnapps
• Chocolate Martini
• White Russian
• Strawberry Daiquiri
...and more!

Ice Cream Happy Hour even brings the bar room to the soda foun- tain with additional suggestions on using “hard” ice creams to make floats, sundaes, malts, and more! “Customizing your cocktail-inspired ice creams is a lot easier than you may think,” author Valerie Lum says. “Don’t be afraid make your own boozy cocktail creations. After all, it’s ice cream and liquor—how bad can it be?”

Just remember, friends don’t let friends scoop and drive.

When ValerIe lUm is not a attempting to burn off the ice cream pound- age from this book by running, she can be found in the kitchen of her tiny Brooklyn apartment or making brownies, blondies, and cookies as the baker at Bierkraft in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Born and reared in Corona, Queens, JeNISe addISoN attended long Island City High School and then the French Culinary Institute with a little help from celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Jenise now spends her time brining, curing, butchering, and fermenting at Bierkraft in Brooklyn.

Ice Cream Happy Hour $14.95, Trade Paper, September 2011 from Ulysses Press, ISBN: 978-1-56975-931-8, 160pp, 6 x 6


The Cake Pop—A Treat That’s as Fun to Make as It Is to Eat!

A beautifully decorated cake can wow anyone. And there’s noth- ing more entertaining than food on a stick. Combine the two and you’ve got the incredibly cute, one-bite, hand-held snacks every- one loves: cake pops!
Introducing Crazy for Cake Pops, a craft cookbook packed with 50 cake-on-a-stick designs and 70 stunning color photos. The wide range of exciting shapes and tasty flavors will have you eager to make and decorate these treats for any and every occa- sion. A few fun examples:
• Birthday Party Clown Pops
• Halloween Jack-o’-Lanterns
• Holiday Bauble Balls
• Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Pops
• Game Night Poker Chips and Dice
...and more!

Teaching you how to create these scrumptious mini desserts with professional results, author Molly Bakes clearly explains the step-by-step process for cake pop success. “These recipes show that you don’t have to be a brilliant baker or even an experienced cake decorator to make these adorable treats,” she says. “All you need is a few simple ingredients, some lollipop sticks, and, of course, your imagination!”

“Molly Bakes,” as she is known in the kitchen, fell in love with bak- ing and has never looked back. Today her cake pops can be found everywhere from her stall at london’s Brick lane Market to Selfridges department store, and her fans include Vogue and acclaimed singer eliza Doolittle.

Crazy For Cake Pops $14.95, Trade Paper October 2011 from Ulysses Press ISBN: 978-1-61243-044-7 160pp, 61⁄2 x 9

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Free Scary Face Pancakes for Kids October 28 at IHOP

WHAT: IHOP restaurants nationwide will celebrate Halloween a little early this year, offering kids 12 and under a free Scary Face Pancake as part of its No Tricks – Just Treats program designed to provide kids with a safe and fun Halloween event. The “design-your-own” Scary Face Pancake includes an oversized signature buttermilk pancake with a whipped topping mouth and strawberry nose, served with two mini OREO® cookies and candy corn on the side to allow kids to create their own Halloween hotcake.

WHY: IHOP wants to provide trick or treaters with a safe and fun Halloween celebration that they can enjoy with friends and family.

WHEN: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2011, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

WHERE: Participating IHOP restaurants nationwide.


· The Scary Face Pancake is a fun and flavorful play on IHOP’s popular Funny Face Pancake.
· The Scary Face Pancake will be offered throughout October and, like all IHOP kids menu items, is under 600 calories. Throughout IHOP’s new menu, items under 600 calories are designated with a SIMPLE & FIT icon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spirited Holiday Gift Guide

William Grant & Sons spirits is an independent family owned distillery that boasts a hefty portfolio of super premium brands that is sure to satisfy anyone on your gift giving list. Liquor is undeniably the best present for any holiday hostess, and a delicious cocktail will get even the Grinchiest party guest in the holiday “spirit.”

For discerning dads, or that quirky uncle:
· The Balvenie Caribbean Cask is an award-winning marque of fine craftsmanship that is sure to please, with its unusual toffee nose and fruity character.
· The Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Reserve with its honeyed raisin notes, and Milagro Anejo Select Barrel Reserve, a sipping tequila worthy of Scotch-lovers, are both surprising and unconventional choices.

For moms and sophisticates:
· The classic Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is attractively priced and known for its alluring crisp pear and apple notes—and works wonderfully in Single Malt Cocktails.
· Milagro Silver Select Barrel Reserve is another sipping tequila well suited for a touch of agave nectar and lime juice to create the ultimate refreshing drink.

And finally for that ultimate hostess or party gift:
· Lillet Rouge is an aperitif that encourages the appetite and gets the party started! Its notes of cinnamon and dark fruit are perfect for those wintery months, especially in hot cocktails.
· Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur brightens Champagne with the tart taste of Sicilian blood oranges—and is a no-brainer for sparklers.
· Reyka Vodka—an award-winner that has fast become the darling of vodka lovers—is also sure to please all palates with its crystal-clear purity and smoothness.

Scott Disick Invests in VnC Cocktails

VnC Cocktails announces that E! Entertainment’s Reality TV star Scott Disick has invested in the award-winning, all-natural, premixed cocktail brand.

Disick was first introduced to VnC Cocktails in New York City and immediately loved the concept and taste. VnC Cocktails put an end to the hassle of mixing, shaking, muddling and pouring cocktails, offering an easy alternative with a variety of deliciously flavored premixed recipes that contain 100% natural fruit juice without any artificial preservatives, additives or colors. Disick not only loved the convenience, but the taste and quality of the ingredients led him to invest in the brand.

The founders of VnC Cocktails, native New Zealanders, tasted and tweaked a variety of concoctions until they came up with perfect, all-natural, great tasting recipes. Available in 6 flavors – Mojito, Margarita, Pomegranate Cosmo, Pacific Breeze, Strawberry Daiquiri and Banana Daiquiri – VnC Cocktails are lightweight, affordable, and easy to pour and store and at 150 Calories or less a serving, easy on the waistline. As a health conscious connoisseur, there was a natural fit with Disick and VnC’s cocktail portfolio.

Pure and natural cocktails continue to be the leading trend in the spirits industry, as VnC Cocktails keep several awards including gold medals and accolades in London, Chicago and Beijing and most recently awarded seven different medals at the Spirits International Prestige (SIP) awards. VnC Cocktails, known as the world’s most awarded ready-to-drink cocktail, also continue to increase their distribution, recently launching in two new states, Mississippi and Vermont and next week in new locations at select Albertsons in the Southern California and Nevada markets. The new state listings will increase VnC’s distribution to 21 states across the country.

“VnC Cocktails offers not only the best taste experience but also the most authentic cocktail experience and when you feel your best, you look your best,” says Disick. “I’m very excited to be involved in a brand that’s pure, natural and innovative, recreating the most popular cocktails with a guilt-free twist. VnC Cocktails epitomizes natural goodness and has been my drink of choice since I took my first sip.”

“We’re thrilled to have Scott Disick on board,” says founder of VnC Cocktails Shane McKillen. “He appreciates the perfect mixture of convenience and bartender quality, which are our core brand beliefs.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Top 10 Most Influential Chefs

Which chefs have the most Klout* (aka online influence)?

Andrew Zimmern still rules the roost (maintaining his number 1 spot), BUT we also have a few new names on the list: Mark Bittman who tweets his favorite recipes, Jay Terauchi who blogs about his food adventures, and Mario Batali who responds directly to fans, advising them on pairing ingredients and where to eat.

As tastemakers, these chefs influence everyone from expert restauranteurs to the casual cook at home... See the Top 10 Most Influential Chefs list here:

The Year Of the Pie Is Upon Us

The Year of the Pie is upon us and there is more than one way to celebrate the trendiest dessert of 2011. Whether you are a seasoned pie pro or a novice baker, the pros at the Crisco® Pie Hotline are serving up pie making advice and tips on the latest pie making trends for harried holiday bakers.

Whether struggling with weepy meringues or caved-in crusts, when it comes to pies, most bakers would appreciate a little expert advice. According to the 2010 Crisco National Pie Survey:

• 59 percent of surveyed Americans said pie is the hardest dessert to prepare from scratch, followed distantly by cake (22%) and brownies (6%).
• 65% of surveyed Americans agreed that making crust is the hardest part of baking a pie from scratch.

Now in its sixth year, the Crisco Pie Hotline continues to be a one-stop resource to help ease the stress of baking for thousands of bakers each year. During the busy holiday baking season, the hotline offers extended hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET during November 14-23, 2011 and December 12-22, 2011. Home bakers can also dial in for tips and tricks from award-winning pie expert and author of Perfect Pies, Michele (Albano) Stuart.

Also available for the holidays on is Cookie Central, a new online resource offering recipes, instructional videos and a helpful butter-to-shortening conversion chart to take the guesswork out of baking.

Jack Terry of Key West, FL Named First-Ever Tommy Bahama Rumologist

After more than three months of competition and thousands of votes cast via Facebook, Tommy Bahama is excited to announce that Jack Terry from Key West, FL is the first-ever Tommy Bahama Rumologist™. What began as a nationwide search, soon narrowed down to a Top 20 then Top 10, and finally a group of five very worthy finalists from across the country vying for the coveted new title. The finalists in the competition all submitted an additional video making their final plea for the title, and then Tommy Bahama let the voting public determine the eventual winner. “This was an incredibly exciting experience for us, as well as very rewarding to see the voting public get involved and excited along the way,” explains Rob Goldberg, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Restaurants for Tommy B ahama. “We embarked on this journey with the hope that we would truly find an individual which embodied everything we wanted in our Rumologist, and with Jack Terry, we found him…and we thank all the contestants for their interest and enthusiasm. Each of the finalists was amazing, so we knew we would come out a winner no matter who was chosen.”

Now that Jack Terry has become the Tommy Bahama Rumologist, he will begin to experience the unique lifestyle and adventure that can only come from the company with the motto: Make Life One Long Weekend. “We plan on having our Rumologist share his love, passion and knowledge about rum with not only our team, but the public at large,” adds Goldberg. “We will get to work immediately creating new rum-inspired cocktails, culinary pairings and hosting events at our locations across the country with Jack as the host.” First up on the Rumologist itinerary will be a trip to Las Vegas the end of October where the Rumologist will take part in a Tommy Bahama Las Vegas rum & cigar event. Additionally, with the holidays quickly approaching, the Rumologist will begin working with the Tommy Bahama culinary team to help create distinctive holiday cocktails and rum pair ing menus to be featured at its 13 restaurant locations (New York City flagship restaurant set to open in fall 2012). Also on tap will be the launch of the Tommy Bahama Rumologist Blog – a place where rum-lovers can follow Jack’s adventures and travels, as well as learn about rum, information on Tommy Bahama cocktails and news and information on upcoming events and rum happenings.

“Tommy Bahama says that life is one long weekend and that's how I live my life,” says Jack Terry, the new Tommy Bahama Rumologist. “I'm just trying to promote that type of lifestyle and I'm lucky enough to live it. This is something I've been training for my entire life. Anyone can study rum, but it's the joy of living the carefree lifestyle that makes me different; that’s my lifeline - it's what I've been doing, and now I can create a whole new generation of rum drinkers. It's amazing to think I can influence others as the new Tommy Bahama Rumologist.”

Since launching the Rumologist search, over 13,000 new people are now following Tommy Bahama on Facebook. “We are so excited to have so many new people following us on Facebook,” notes Goldberg. “It is critical to keep growing our audience and engaging our guests with exciting news, events and lifestyle options. This search for the Rumologist has shown us how important it is to engage our fans. We hope to use this experience as a spring-board for many exciting new distinctive and unique social media initiatives.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chipotle's 'Boorito' to benefit Cultivate Foundation & Farm Aid this year

The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, in cooperation with Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), has produced a short film to help promote a fundraiser to be held this Halloween at all Chipotle restaurants to benefit the Foundation and Farm Aid. The film, entitled “Abandoned,” is designed to raise awareness about the economic hardship family farmers face in the increasingly industrialized American agricultural system.

The film, directed by filmmaker David Altobelli, was shot on location at an abandoned farmhouse and features a new version of the song “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” originally made famous in a duet by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. The new version of the song is sung by Karen O, lead singer of the indie rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The film, set at night, tells the story of three boys exploring an abandoned farmhouse. With the old farm and its discarded mementos as a backdrop, the kids explore the house that was clearly left in a hurry some time ago. As the kids explore and eventually begin to vandalize the house, it becomes clear to one of the boys that the family that once lived there was very much like his own. This revelation helps him realize that this abandoned house may represent the plight of his own family and their nearby farm. A frightening moment in the house sends all the boys running back to the comfort of their still-functioning farms.

“Chipotle has a long history of supporting local family farms,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Unfortunately those farms are disappearing by the hundreds each week. With this film, we hope to spark more of a conversation about the urgency of supporting family farms and the communities they sustain.”

In addition to elevating the importance of supporting local family farms, the film is intended to raise awareness of Chipotle’s Boorito fundraiser held on Halloween at Chipotle restaurants in the US, UK and Canada. This year, through the Boorito promotion, Chipotle aims to raise up to $1 million dollars for the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation and Farm Aid.

To participate in the fundraiser, go to any Chipotle restaurant between 6 PM and closing on October 31st dressed in a costume inspired by the family farm and purchase a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for only $2. Proceeds, up to $1 million, will be donated to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation and Farm Aid. Details about the fundraiser can be found at Last year, Chipotle donated $1 million to The Jamie Oliver Food Revolution stemming from its Boorito fundraiser.

The film can be seen at

"Natural" Food Products with Toxic Chemicals and GMOs Deceiving Consumers

A revelatory report released by The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, has stirred controversy in the natural foods marketing arena by highlighting abusive marketing practices by some of the nation's largest breakfast cereal manufacturers. In some cases, companies such as Kellogg's, Quaker Oats (PepsiCo), Barbara’s Bakery and Whole Foods Market are selling products contaminated with toxic agrichemicals and Monsanto's genetically engineered organisms while promoting them as "natural."

The new report, Cereal Crimes: How “Natural” Claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label—A Look Down the Cereal and Granola Aisle (available at explores this growing trend of marketing conventional foods as “natural” to lure health-conscious and eco-conscious consumers and their shopping dollars.

Unlike the organic label, no government agency, certification group, or other independent entity defines the term “natural” on processed food packages or ensures that the claim has merit.

In contrast, breakfast cereals displaying the USDA's "certified organic" logo are produced under a strict set of verified standards prohibiting the use of petrochemical-based fertilizers, sewage sludge, synthetic toxic pesticides, genetically modified crops, and many other common conventional agricultural and manufacturing inputs.

Cereal Crimes details how prominent agribusinesses are increasingly using various strategies to create the illusion of equivalence between the “natural” and organic labels to mislead consumers.

“Some companies that started out organic, and built brand loyalty as organic brands, have switched to non-organic ingredients and “natural” labeling,” said Charlotte Vallaeys, Director of Farm and Food Policy at Cornucopia.

One such brand, Peace Cereal® is an example of what Cornucopia calls “bait-and-switch.” In 2008, the Peace Cereal® brand switched from organic to cheaper conventional ingredients, without lowering its prices. Today, the cereal is sold in natural food stores and mainstream grocers at prices above many of their certified organic competitors that are using more expensive organic ingredients.

Although the prices may be similar, in reality, there is a vast difference between organic and “natural” products from grain produced with the use of toxic pesticides. In some cases, companies charge high prices for “natural” products that even contain genetically engineered crops developed by St. Louis-based Monsanto.

Pesticides that are strictly prohibited in organics are commonly used to produce ingredients for “natural” products. For example, organophosphate pesticides were developed from World War II-era nerve gas and are designed to be toxic to the neurological systems of target organisms. They are deadly to insects but also have been proven damaging to humans—with fetusesi and children especially at risk.

Several recent studies have linked organophosphate pesticide exposure to a wide range of developmental disorders in children, including behavioral problems, poorer short-term memory and motor skills, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).ii, iii, iv, v While federal law prohibits organic farmers from using these toxic pesticides, no such restriction exists for “natural” products.

"This is exactly why parents are seeking out truly natural (organic) products for their children and are deceived by corporate agribusinesses and their Madison Avenue agencies," said Vallaeys.

USDA testing has found residues of organophosphate pesticides like chlorpyrifos and malathion on corn, soy, wheat flour, and oats, which are all common ingredients in breakfast cereals. In the case of wheat flour, residues were found in more than 60% of samples.

Given increasing consumer interest in avoiding genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, The Cornucopia Institute contracted with an independent, accredited laboratory to test many “natural” breakfast cereals for potential genetic contamination.

"Natural" cereals from brands including Kashi (Kellogg's), Mother’s (PepsiCo), Nutritious Living, Barbara’s Bakery (Weetabix), and 365 (Whole Foods Market) contained high levels of genetically engineered ingredients (between 25%, and 100%)—even though a number of these companies are represented as "non-GMO" to the public.

To help health-conscious consumers make informed grocery purchases, Cereal Crimes is accompanied by a scorecard rating various breakfast cereal and granola brands for the true support of healthy and environmentally sustainable practices. The scorecard can also be viewed on Cornucopia's website.

“Consumers probably find this marketplace subterfuge less surprising when they learn that many of the leading ‘natural’ cereal brands are really manufactured by giant agribusinesses like Kellogg's, hiding behind the façade of well-established niche brands,” said Harry Bennett, a marketing official with the Kansas Organic Producers Association, a cooperative marketing organic grain.

Despite finding that “natural” cereal products offer few, if any, advantages over conventional products, companies typically charge substantially higher prices for products with “natural” labeling claims.

Analysis by Cornucopia of wholesale and retail cereal and granola prices revealed that “natural” products often are priced higher than equivalent organic products. This suggests that some companies are profiting from consumer confusion.

For example, prices in the leading natural/organic food distributor’s wholesale catalog for multigrain flakes show that two of the least expensive products are actually certified organic, offered by industry leader Nature’s Path and Food for Life. Meanwhile, Kashi’s 7-grain cereal, made with cheaper non-organic grains by the multinational corporation Kellogg but disguised as an independent sounding “natural” brand, is priced higher than equivalent organic options.

Karen Zwicky of Minneapolis, MN said she just bought several boxes of Kashi cereal for her 2 year old daughter, who she's been feeding a "pretty" strict organic diet.

"Target was handing out samples of Kashi, and she loved the taste and I trusted the brand, even though it isn't labeled as organic," Zwicky explained. "I don't mind that the big brands buy out the smaller organic and more sustainable companies, what really is disturbing to me is that it seems that they are only doing so in order to buy consumer trust."

"Committed organic companies, rated highly in Cornucopia’s online scorecard, must compete against giant multinationals such as Kraft Foods (Back to Nature), Pepsico (Mother’s) and Kellogg’s (Bear Naked /Kashi) and misleading “natural” marketing claims,” stated Mark A. Kastel, Codirector at the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. "When marketers intentionally mislead consumers with their “natural” products, they are taking business away from the companies providing truly safe and healthy food and supporting certified organic farmers."

Become an expert in 4 min. (YouTube video):

Organic farmers in the US have received lower prices for their grains as cereal companies drop their demand for certified organic ingredients and switch to “natural” labeling and cheap, conventional ingredients.

According to research by the Natural Marketing Institute, a market research firm, two-thirds of U.S. consumers believe foods today are less safe to eat because of chemicals used during the growing and processing of foods. Given this widespread interest in avoiding foodborne chemicals, it is increasingly important for consumers to realize that buying "natural" foods does little, if anything, to avoid synthetic inputs and toxins used on the farms and inside the manufacturing plants.

"While calling their products natural, some of the largest breakfast cereal manufacturers are adding ingredients processed with the neurotoxic solvent hexane, a processing agent that is banned in organic food production," added Kastel.

Genetically Engineered Ingredients in "Natural" Food
The Cornucopia Institute sent samples of “natural” breakfast cereal to an accredited GMO testing laboratory. Out of nine samples of “natural” breakfast cereal that yielded results, six (a full two thirds), contained high levels of genetically engineered corn or soy, including such major brands as Kashi, Barbara's and Whole Foods'365 label.

“This was not incidental contamination,” says Kastel. “Levels of GMOs were between 28% and 100%, showing that these manufacturers purchased GMO ingredients for their so-called natural cereal products.”

Some of the brands and products that tested positive for high levels of GMOs are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, and as a result, are listed as good choices in some online non-GMO shopping

For example, the Non-GMO Shopping Guide includes brands such as Kashi, Whole Foods Market’s 365 Everyday Value and Barbara’s Bakery, which all tested positive for GMOs. One hundred percent (100%) of the soybeans used in Kashi’s GoLean cereal was shown to be genetically engineered.

Specific products like Barbara’s Bakery’s Puffins and 365 Corn Flakes are listed in the Non-GMO Shopping Guide – yet they contained 55% and 57% GMO corn, respectively.

Neurotoxic Solvents (Hexane) Used to Process "Natural" Food Ingredients
Hexane is a solvent commonly used to separate the oil, fiber and protein from grains and seeds. Some granola and cereal manufacturers use soy ingredients, such as soy grits and soy protein isolate, which are commonly hexane-extracted and can contain residues.

Past testing by The Cornucopia Institute has shown hexane residues in some "natural" food ingredients. In addition to being toxic to humans, hexane is a dangerous chemical to both the environment and workers who have to handle the material. A number of hexane-related fires and explosions have caused injuries and deaths in food manufacturing plants.

Debra Boschee, an astute consumer from Rapid City, South Dakota, said "It isn't the things we know that scare us, it's the things we don't know, such as 'what's really in my food.'"

In addition to accessing The Cornucopia Institute's new scorecard, comparing the nation's natural and organic cereal brands, families who are interested in feeding their families the safest and most nutritional food can also find the ratings of over 120 organic dairy brands, to augment a healthy breakfast, on the Cornucopia website:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gordon Ramsay At The London NYC Maintains Two Michelin Stars 5 Years In A Row

The results are in and Gordon Ramsay’s innovative dining experience at The London NYC has stayed on top! Maintaining its reputation as one of Manhattan’s top restaurants, Gordon Ramsay at The London NYC, led by Chef de Cuisine Markus Glocker, has been re-awarded its two Michelin stars for 2012. The restaurant has been awarded two Michelin stars since 2007.

One of just seven New York City restaurants with two Michelin stars, and one of only 14 New York City restaurants with 2+ stars, Gordon Ramsay at The London NYC is a truly unique experience.

At the helm of the multi-million dollar kitchen is one of Ramsay’s friends and protégés, Chef de Cuisine Markus Glocker. A native of Austria, Glocker skillfully oversees all dining, from restaurant to room, successfully creating one of the most consistent culinary experiences in a Manhattan hotel. Markus has made a significant contribution since the restaurant first opened in November 2006.

In 2001, Markus began working with Gordon Ramsay at his celebrated Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s in London. He then joined Restaurant Eckart Witzigmann in Berlin, Germany before moving to the United States in 2003 to work in the kitchen of Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. In 2005, Markus moved back to Austria to work at the two Michelin-starred Restaurant Steirereck Vienna, before returning to the United States in 2006 to serve as sous chef of Gordon Ramsay at The London.

For those looking for an extra special evening, the Chef’s Table, which offers diners an exclusive look at the inner workings of the Gordon Ramsay team kitchen, is available to private parties of up to 8 people.

For Gordon Ramsay at The London NYC reservations please call (212) 468-8888.

Texas Tamales for the Holidays

Texas Tamale has been a well-known tradition in Houston for over two decades and is now available for product ordering (retail and wholesale) everywhere thanks to their new website launch ( earlier this month.

The Texas Tamale team prides itself on offering healthier alternatives in many different product categories. Their number one seller are their gluten-free and lard-free tamales that come in beef, black bean, chicken, pork and spinach and cheese. The fresh-made tamales can be shipped to any domestic location in the US and have been named one of the best mail-order tamales by publications such as Texas Monthly,, NY Times, and’s Holiday Guide.

"The holidays are right around the corner," Texas Tamale CEO Shirley Bailey, reminds us. "We do record breaking business during the holidays because of the ease and authenticity of ordering our tamales. Having been named one of the best mail-order foods by such great folks has really helped ramp up our business during the holidays. This year we are ready for those record breaking numbers with our new website where customers can create a customer profile and order online,"" Bailey adds. The website allows customers to ship gifts directly to the recipient and even include a small gift note keeping it simple and easy. sells a number of products both for retail and wholesale including: ready-to-eat authentic Texas chili, gluten-free queso, margarita mixes (including a sugar-free version), a diverse offering of hot sauces in different size options and much more.

Visit for more information.

Aside from the ease of holiday ordering, the site contains excellent recipes and ideas for spicing up the dinner table. Texas Tamale truly is a company striving to make life easier. And tastier.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Year’s Eve Sparkling Cocktails from VOGA Italia Wine

VOGA Italia hails from Italy, and features a crisp, Sparkling Pinot Grigio, thoughtfully packaged in a unique bottle featuring a resealable cap. With a budget friendly price ranging of $13.99, VOGA Italia’s Sparkling Pinot Grigio is the perfect addition to your New Year’s fete. Please find a few sparkling cocktail recipes below:

The VOGA Sparkler
· 2 oz. VOGA Sparkling
· .5 oz. vodka
· .5 oz. Raspberry Liqueur
· .5 oz. Soho Lychee Liqueur

Combine vodka, raspberry liqueur and soho lychee liqueur in the bottom of a champagne flute.
Top with VOGA Sparkling Pinot Grigio

Midnight Kiss
· 2 oz. VOGA Italia Sparkling
· 1 oz. apple cider
· .5 oz. ginger vodka
· Juice from ½ lemon
· 1 apple (sliced)

Combine ginger vodka, apple cider, fresh lemon juice and stir. Top with VOGA Sparkling and garnish with apple slices.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Unveils Single-Serve Beverage System

This holiday season, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has the perfect fix for those troubled by what to get their loved one: the CBTL®.

The CBTL is a beautifully designed, easy to use single-serve beverage system that allows you to whip up your favorite The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf espresso, coffee or tea with one touch – and would be an excellent fit for any upcoming holiday gift guides. Its compact, streamlined design and coffee, tea and espresso capabilities make it an attractive multi-tasker perfect for any countertop – from kitchens to dorm rooms to offices.

The CBTL is accessibly priced at $139 for the Contata, and $179 for the Kaldi (pictured below). The machine is designed to be used exclusively with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf hand-selected premium espresso, coffee and hand-plucked whole-leaf tea capsules, to craft your perfect cup. Available accessories include a one-touch milk frother and a whisk, and each machine comes with a complete set of all 12 flavors of assorted coffees, espressos and teas to sample.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is a favorite celebrity haunt, and with the availability of the CBTL online, anyone can enjoy these signature beverages at home. The Kaldi machine comes in black, gold, red, white and blue.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BRAVO! introduces new menu items, $7.95 lunch features and $5 Martini Night

BRAVO! Cucina Italiana (BRAVO!), with locations in Deerfield Town Center and The Streets of West Chester, brings delicious value to upscale affordable dining with the addition of four delicious new entrees to its menu beginning Tuesday, October 11 as well as scrumptious new $7.95 lunch features and $5 Martini selections. BRAVO! is a BRAVO|BRIO Restaurant Group concept.

The new dishes offer a variety of fresh flavors at an impressive value and pair perfectly with the new wines now available at BRAVO!. BRAVO! has added some of guests’ favorite items to the menu: Balsamic Onion, Portebello & Gorgonzola Flatbread, $10.99 for lunch and dinner, which pairs nicely with True Grit Petite Sirah, and Beef Gnocchi, available at dinner for $15.49, perfectly complemented by a glass of Bertani Valpolicella.The Mezza Flatbread Roma & Field Greens is a delicious lunch selection for $8.49. Pasta lovers will savor the Chicken & Pesto Rigatoni, $9.99 at lunch and dinner, complemented by the Terrazas de Los Andes Riserva Malbec, and the Bay Scallop & Shrimp Angel Hair at dinner, $14.49, a perfect pairing for a glass of Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc.

BRAVO!’s $7.95 Lunch Features offer guests three daily selections of mouth-watering Roman-inspired cuisine at a great value every Monday through Friday until 4 p.m. Selections include our traditional Chicken, Apple & Bacon Salad, Crispy Shrimp Salad, Tilapia Orzo Salad, Shrimp Po’Boy, Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich, Turkey Florentine Sandwich BLT Pizza, Ravioli Fra Diavolo and Pasta Yandolino. New to the $7.95 Lunch Features menu is: Spinach, Avocado & Feta Omelet, Gnocchi Amatriciana and Tomato Basil Capellini.

$5 Martini Night is celebrated every Wednesday. The martini list includes the traditional Manhattan Up, Dirty Martini, Dry Gin Martini and Cosmopolitan as well as the new Sparkling Raspberry Drop and Pomegranatini featuring Sobieski Vodka. Other delicious libations offered on the menu include the Flirtini, Lemontini, Razzbertini, Paradiso Martini and Lemon Basil Crush Martini.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eddie Merlot's Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Eddie Merlot’s is celebrating their 10th Anniversary and are extending a special offer to all their guests in appreciation of making Eddie’s the best in prime-aged beef and seafood for the past decade.

Now through November 27, indulge in the best Eddie’s has to offer, and make sure to bring that special someone with you!

Eddie’s 10th Anniversary features include the following:

· Smokin’ Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail - $10 This is a special three piece jumbo size, versus the traditional four-piece shrimp cocktail.
· Surf-and-Turf Filet Mignon and Half Lobster - $34.95
· Eddie’s Pan-Roasted Shrimp - $24.95
· Anniversary Dessert for Two - $10
· Special Anniversary Dinner for Two for $75.00, featuring one of each of the above special items

To make the evening even more special, guests are encouraged to pair the Eddie Merlot’s Private Label Napa Red Wine 2008 10th Anniversary with their meal. They have selected this exclusive blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel to truly enhance the prime beef experience.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity, the private label is offered for a limited time and with limited quantities per market.

Make your reservations online at, or call Eddie Merlot’s at one of these locations:

· Cincinnati, 10808 Montgomery Rd. at the I-275 interchange, 513-489-1212
· Columbus, 1570 Polaris Parkway at the I-71 interchange, 614-433-7307
· Fort Wayne, 14 and 24 at Jefferson Pointe, 260-459-2222
· Indianapolis, 96th and Keystone, 317-846-8303
· Louisville, 455 S. Fourth Street, Suite 102, 502-584-3266
· To learn more about us, visit, or

No Trick - All Treat: Crispy Green Proves That Eating Fruit During Halloween Is Not Scary!

Worried about kids consuming too much candy this Halloween? How about treating them to Crispy Green’s® freeze-dried fruit snacks – a sweet, healthy and fun alternative for Halloween treats!

This fall, Crispy Green® will offer its widest assortment of healthy alternatives to Halloween candy in its premium Crispy Fruit and FruitziO® freeze-dried, all-natural fruit snacks.

Crispy Green® Crispy Fruit snacks, available in convenient single-serving (10-15-gram) bags – a perfect size treat for trick-or-treaters! – are made from 100-percent freeze-dried fruit with no additives or preservatives and are packed with delicious fresh fruit taste. Each serving of Crispy Fruit is 55 calories or less and is a fun and frightfully healthy alternative to sugary treats for kids and adults.

Crispy Fruit snacks come in six delicious flavors that are sure to please the taste buds of your favorite ghouls and goblins: Crispy Apples, Crispy Asian Pears, Crispy Bananas, Crispy Cantaloupe, Crispy Mangoes and Crispy Pineapples. In addition to single-serving bags, Crispy Fruit is available in the handy "Grab and Go" 6-pack – six single-serving bags in one convenient multi-bag (MSRP: $7.99). For those expecting a large number of trick-or-treaters, Crispy Fruit can purchase a 36-pack (MSRP: $40.84) or a 72-pack (MSRP: $77.33) from our online store. Grab an additional 10% coupon when you “Like” us on Facebook:

Made with the finest freeze-dried fruit slices with just a hint of pure cane sugar, FruitziO® snacks combine the wholesomeness of fresh fruit with a sweet and scary-good taste. Packaged in convenient, travel-friendly, moisture-free 25-gram (.88-ounce) resealable pouches (MSRP: $3.49), FruitziO® is a fun and delicious way to add fruit to any masked marauder’s treat bag. Each package contains less than 100 calories with varieties including Apples & Strawberries, Apricots, Kiwi, Peaches and Strawberries. FruitziO® 12-packs are also available for those expecting heavy traffic on Halloween (MSRP: $40.84).

“Crispy Green provides a healthy alternative to candy year-round but importantly during Halloween when kids and adults are exposed to lots of sugary treats and the tendency is to overindulge,” said Angela Liu, President and Founder of Crispy Green. “With Crispy Green’s ultra-portable and delicious treats, everyone will have a fun and healthier Halloween!”

All Crispy Green® and FruitziO® products are free from preservatives (including sulfides), fat, cholesterol or sodium and are vegan-friendly, peanut/tree-nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and are kosher-certified. They also have a long shelf life in order to provide children and adults with a nutritious go-anywhere snack that they can enjoy anytime.

To find a retailer in your area that carries Crispy Green’s® and FruitziO® products, go to For more information, please visit For news updates, information and special offers, follow Crispy Green and FruitziO® on Twitter @CrispyGreen and @FruitziO and become a fan at Facebook at www.facebookcom/crispygreen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Not Too Early to Think About Ringing in the New Year in Style with Capalbo’s!

Toast to 2012 with bubbly champagne nestled within a glorious gift basket from Capalbo’s! From the ostentatious to the affordable, Capalbo’s offers everyone a fabulous selection of champagnes, chocolate truffles, champagne flutes, and more to celebrate the New Year!

Packaged by hand in Clifton, New Jersey, tiny bubbles and a delightful experience await inside each basket or gift tower that is a gorgeous presentation of your choice of champagne, chocolate truffles, gourmet snacks, and gifts – chosen to be as distinct as the celebration at hand! From the romantic Rose & Truffles Gift Basket priced reasonably at $49.95 to the exclusive Cristal & Dom Perignon Collection fit for a king, you are bound to find an elegant basket that suits your needs.

View the entire champagne collection here:

Available exclusively from Capalbo’s, the baskets make a lovely hostess gift or gorgeous presentation at your own soiree as you ring in the New Year!

Early Bird Discount on Wine Lover's Tour

Travelling to Bordeaux, Tuscany or Emilia Romagna in 2012 just got a little less expensive. Wine Lovers Tours has extended its Early Bird Discount until November 8, 2011.

All tours are personally organized and led by Vin Marottoli, as they have been for the past 30 years. Each Wine Lovers Tours is unique and blends wine, cuisine and culture in an all-inclusive package.

The Early Bird Discount of $150 is per person and per tour. There is an additional discount of $100 per tour for doing multiple tours.

Here is the 2012 Wine Lovers tour schedule:

Bordeaux 101: May 15- May 22, $3289 per person before the discount
A great introduction and overview of the essentials of what constitutes bordeaux wine. This tour is intended to raise each participant’s confidence level and become a bordeauxphile as well as francophile.

Bordeaux 201: May 22- May 27, $3699 per person before the discount
This tour immediately follows and focuses on the Médoc, with daily visits to the top growth chateaux.

Tuscany: October 2-October 8, $3,299 per person before the discount
Based in Siena, this tour will visit each of the different Tuscan wine regions, including chianti classico, brunello, montepulciano and San Gimignano.

Emilia Romagna: October 8-October 14, $3,299 per person before the discount
LADV, Inc.
Vin Marottoli, 1211 Quinnipiac Avenue, New Haven, CT 06513 USA
telephone: 800-256-0141

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Alize at the Top of the Palms in Las Vegas

Celebrate the holidays in style this Thanksgiving at Alizé at the Top of the Palms. Located on the hotel’s 56th floor, the breathtaking view alone is reason enough to skip the all-day-in-the-kitchen routine and head out this holiday season.

Here is a sneak peek into his traditional turkey day fare with decidedly sophisticated touches.

The multi-course Thanksgiving menu begins the amuse: caramelized onion and white truffle panna cotta, followed by a roasted chestnut and foie gras soup with smoked bacon, aged madeira, candied apples and toasted chestnuts. The Thanksgiving twists continue with seared jumbo diver scallop, cognac-kabocha squash purée with almond brown butter sauce.

Next comes the baby red and green romaine salad with toasted caraway cracker, herbed goat cheese and aged balsamic vinaigrette.

After the apple cider intermezzo comes everyone’s favorite! Andre’s traditional oven-roasted, free-range turkey with apple, nut and dried fruit stuffing, giblet gravy, truffled potato mousseline, jewel yam, with a brown sugar purée. The course comes with the choice of baby carrots, cranberry relish with pan-seared striped bass with black truffle, celery root risotto, spicy walnuts and a port wine reduction or roasted venison loin with herb spaetzle, brussels sprouts, smoked bacon, wild mushrooms and huckleberry sauce.

For dessert, selections include Andre’s pecan pie with rum raisin ice cream and crème fraîche, pumpkin pie with cinnamon chantilly and crème anglaise; warm pear and chocolate cobbler with brown sugar ice cream or apple tarte tatin with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.

Vegetarian options are available.

The chef-selected Thanksgiving meal will be served on Thursday, Nov. 24 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The cost is $85 per person. Guests may call (702) 951-7000 for reservations or more information.