Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Urban Moonshine's New Organic Energy Tonic

Urban Moonshine will introduce its new certified organic Energy Tonic at Natural Products Expo West, the industry’s largest event taking place on March 8th. The new Energy Tonic combines some of the most widely used adaptogenic herbs known to protect the body from the depleting effects of stress.

It’s a healthier, organic alternative to much of today’s energy enhancing products that increase energy via caffeine and other stimulating ingredients for instant gratification. Those stimulants borrow energy from the body rather than build it. Urban Moonshine Energy Tonic does both. It can be used for an on the spot energy boost while also providing long term results.

“My husband is a professional rock climber, so I’ve had ample opportunity to explore with him herbs that build endurance and resilience, instead of just fast burning energy,” says Jovial King, herbalist and founder of Urban Moonshine. “Our new Energy Tonic showcases incredible nourishing herbs such as organic Rhodiola, American Ginseng and Schisandra that have enabled him to perform at his best and feel energized long term,” adds King.

Urban Moonshine’s Energy Tonic is great for over-stressed, over-worked and depleted folks and athletes seeking to support their adrenal system, encourage their body’s endurance capacity and extend their fatigue threshold. This organic formula can help boost energy, support athletic performance and stamina, improve cognitive function and help the body maintain balance under stress.

Urban Moonshine’s goal is to reawaken interest in both herbal medicine and the idea of preventive medicine to refocus attention on building energy and wellness long term not just looking for a quick fix. “Times are changing as people are starting to demand more than a healthcare system that just treats the symptom and we are excited to be part of that change,” adds King.

Tonics strengthen health over time, and Urban Moonshine encourages people to make a commitment to embrace them as part of a daily routine to build lasting energy, health and wellness. Urban Moonshine Energy Tonic is offered in 3 sizes: a 2 oz bottle that is ideal for the household apothecary, a ½ oz pocket spray bottle that provides an herbal boost on the go, and a large apothecary size 8.4 ounce bottle that can also be used to refill the other sizes.

About Urban Moonshine

Urban Moonshine is a small family business with a mission to rekindle the relationship between herbal medicine and the modern world. Founder Jovial King has studied herbal medicine for many years with an array of renowned teachers. She is also the “herbal expert” for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living website, for which she enjoys writing a blog about herbs.

The Modern Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese sandwich is evolving. Gone is the notion that grilled cheese is a meal that can only be ordered off the kids’ menu. In fact, this timeless sandwich is one of the biggest food trends of 2012. Restaurants have added gourmet grilled cheeses to their menus, food trucks devoted solely to the grilled item are popping up across the country and chefs are publishing cookbooks about how to build “the perfect grilled cheese.” David Venable, program host of QVC’s popular cooking and dining show In the Kitchen with David, shares his tips on how to spice up the traditional grilled cheese to best fit your taste.

Change the Cheese
“Be adventurous, use smoked gouda, cheddar, brie, gruyere, swiss, feta or any cheese that you love. Feel free to combine cheeses to create a unique flavor; for example, mozzarella, romano and parmesan would give you an Italian masterpiece,” says Venable.

Change the Bread
“If you love sourdough, you’ll love it in a grilled cheese sandwich. If you love English muffins, give it a go! The only breads you’ll want to avoid are those with natural baking holes or bagels, because your cheese will be lost in the pan,” says Venable.

Add Fillings
“Dressings and slices of fruit, veggies and meat can really complement your grilled cheese sandwich as long as you pair wisely and avoid overstuffing. My favorite combinations include cheddar with tomato and bacon and brie with apples and Dijon mustard. Look to pizza, pastas, casseroles, and salads for inspiration,” says Venable.

Making the Ripe Choice: How to Pick the Best Berries and Make Them Last at Home

Strawberries have always been a go-to summertime snack but quality, ripe berries have a reputation of being hard to come by. Choosing unripe berries or improperly storing them at home not only sacrifices flavor but also depleats strawberries and other produce of the vitamins and nutrients they contain at their peak.

Questions to ask yourself when shopping for berries:
What do I look for to ensure the berries are at their prime?
How can I make my berries last given their notroriously short shelf life, once I bring them home?

When choosing, be sure they are evenly red throughout like with no white tops or tips. Since strawberries do not ripen after they’ve been harvested, what you see in the store is what you get [Note - if strawberries turn a deeper color while at home, it doesn’t mean they’re ripening further, it means they’re starting to decompose!]

Once you’ve brought your best picks home, be sure to only handle what you’re prepared to eat. Cutting, capping and juicing strawberries reduces their vitamin content so to ensure maximum berry time, keep them in their original state until you’re ready to munch!

For more strawberry tips and produce tricks please visit

OpenTable Diner Reviews Showcase Top 100 Restaurants for Service inthe U.S.

In recognition of how vital service is to the dining experience, OpenTable, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPEN), a leading provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants, is pleased to announce the 2012 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the 100 restaurants in the United States providing the best service. These awards reflect the combined opinions of nearly 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Regionally, the honorees span 29 states and Washington, D.C. The South reinforces the notion of southern hospitality, with 22 restaurants in the region being singled out for best service. The Northeast boasts 15 winning restaurants, including 10 in New York alone. The Pacific region accounts for 14 winners, 10 of which are in California, as does the Mid-Atlantic, with six restaurants in Virginia claiming spots. Eleven winners come from the Great Lakes Region, four of which are in the Twin Cities area. The Pacific Northwest and the Southwest follow with seven honorees apiece. The Rocky Mountain States count five winners, while the Central Plains has four, three of which are in Missouri. One restaurant in Hawaii also earned a nod.

Superior service can be found across a number of cuisines. Restaurants serving American food, however, account for 40 winners. French restaurants earned 25 places on the list. Steakhouses followed with 17 spots. Seven Italian restaurants are among the winners. Other cuisines include continental, global international, Japanese, seafood, and sushi.

“The most memorable part of a meal may not be just what’s on your plate, but also, that exceptional staffer who goes the extra step to ensure an enjoyable dining experience,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable’s Chief Dining Officer. “These winning restaurants understand this concept and have consciously created a culture of hospitality that is embraced by both front and back of house professionals. Whether it’s a grand gesture, such as a tour of the kitchen, or a simple one, like a warm smile from an attentive server, diners are coming away from these restaurants feeling special.”

The Diners’ Choice Awards for the top 100 restaurants providing the best service are generated from nearly 5 million reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between February 2011 and January 2012. All restaurants with a minimum number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the highest average rating in the service category.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the top 100 restaurants with the best service in the U.S. according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at

2012 Diners' Choice Award Winners for Restaurants in the U.S. with the Best Service

Acqua Restaurant & Wine Bar – White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Acquerello – San Francisco, California
Addison at The Grand Del Mar – San Diego, California
Bacchanalia – Atlanta, Georgia
Bibou – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Binkley's Restaurant – Cave Creek, Arizona
Bistro L'Hermitage – Woodbridge, Virginia
Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills, New York
Bluestem – Kansas City, Missouri
Bones – Atlanta, Georgia
Cafe Renaissance – Vienna, Virginia
Canlis – Seattle, Washington
Capital Grille – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Castagna – Portland, Oregon
Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse – Downers Grove, Illinois
Charleston – Baltimore, Maryland
Charleston Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Chez Francois – Vermilion, Ohio
Chez Nous French Restaurant – Humble, Texas
CityZen – Washington, D.C.
Congress – Austin, Texas
The Copper Door – Hayesville, North Carolina
Corbett's Fine Dining – Louisville, Kentucky
Cyrus – Healdsburg, California
Daniel – New York, New York
Daniel-Lounge Seating – New York, New York
Del Posto – New York, New York
Dewz – Modesto, California
The Dining Room-Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina
Eleven Madison Park – New York, New York
Elizabeth on 37th – Savannah, Georgia
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant – Forestville, California
Fat Canary – Williamsburg, Virginia
Fearrington House Restaurant – Pittsboro, North Carolina
Fig Tree – Charlotte, North Carolina
Forage – Salt Lake City, Utah
Fountain Restaurant – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Frasca Food and Wine – Boulder, Colorado
The French Room – Dallas, Texas
Genoa Restaurant – Portland, Oregon
Gordon Ramsay at the London – New York, New York
The Grill-The Ritz Carlton – Naples, Florida
Grouse Mountain Grill – Avon, Colorado
Halls Chophouse – Charleston, South Carolina
Hannas Prime Steak – Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Herons – Cary, North Carolina
Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham, Alabama
The Hobbit – Orange, California
joan's in the Park – St. Paul, Minnesota
Kai-Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort – Chandler, Arizona
Killen's Steakhouse – Pearland, Texas
The Kitchen Restaurant – Sacramento, California
La Belle Vie – Minneapolis, Minnesota
La Grenouille – New York, New York
La Mer at Halekulani – Honolulu, Hawaii
L'Auberge Chez Francois – Great Falls, Virginia
Le Bernardin – New York, New York
Les Nomades – Chicago, Illinois
L'Etoile Restaurant – Madison, Wisconsin
Madrona Manor – Healdsburg, California
Mahogany Prime Omaha – Omaha, Nebraska
Marcel's – Washington, D.C.
The Melting Pot – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Menton – Boston, Massachusetts
Michael's-South Point Casino -- Las Vegas, Nevada
Mitchell's Ocean Club – Columbus, Ohio
Morton's The Steakhouse – Portland, Oregon
New York Prime – Myrtle Beach, Florida
Niche – St. Louis, Missouri
Nicholas – Red Bank, New Jersey
o ya – Boston, Massachusetts
Opus 9 Steakhouse – Williamsburg, Virginia
Orchids at Palm Court – Cincinnati, Ohio
The Painted Lady – Newberg, Oregon
Palace Arms at the Brown Palace – Denver, Colorado
Peninsula Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Pepper Tree Restaurant – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Per Se – New York, New York
Plume at the Jefferson Hotel – Washington, D.C
Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse – Dallas, Texas
The Restaurant at Meadowood – Saint Helena, California
Restaurant Iris – Memphis, Tennessee
Rover's – Seattle, Washington
Rudy & Paco's Restaurant & Bar – Galveston, Texas
Russell's Steaks, Chops, and More – Williamsville, New York
Ruth's Chris Steak House – Jacksonville, Florida
Saint Jacques French Cuisine – Raleigh, North Carolina
Sedgley Place – Greene, Maine
Sonoma – Princeton, Massachusetts
St. John's Restaurant – Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Steak House at Silver Reef – Ferndale, Washington
Tony's – St. Louis, Missouri
TRU – Chicago, Illinois
Uchi – Austin, Texas
Uchiko – Austin, Texas
Vetri – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse – Las Vegas, Nevada
Vintage Tavern – Suffolk, Virginia
White Barn Inn – Kennebunk, Maine
Woodfire Grill – Atlanta, Georgia

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Salty Meets Sweet with New Chicago Mix Popped Corn

G.H. Cretors, with a history in popcorn dating back to 1885, today introduces its new signature, gourmet, popped corn Chicago Mix.

Combining caramel corn and cheese corn in the same bag - offering addictive hits of sweet, salty, crunchy and cheesy in every bite - the new mix is made using a special, “mushroom” variety popping corn, contains only all-natural ingredients, is free of GMOs and certified Kosher.

The caramel corn is made the old fashioned way: by hand, in copper kettles. Cane sugar, brown rice syrup (a non-GMO alternative to corn syrup with a lower glycemic impact) and real butter is heated over a flame and then stirred slowly by hand to develop its rich complex flavor and crunch. For the cheese corn, real cheddar cheese is melted in special kettles and then gently mixed with locally-grown, air-popped corn. The result is a perfect combination of tastes, two-cheese to one-caramel in every bag.

G.H. Cretors’ Chicago Mix is available at select natural food and mainstream grocery stores across the country for $3.99 per 6.5oz bag. The Chicago Mix and other GH Cretors’ popped corn varieties are also sold online at For more information, visit

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ring in Spring with NUVO Sparkling Liqueur

Give spring a warm welcome with the NUVO Springtime Martini, a lush way to celebrate the season. Created with NUVO Sparkling Liqueur, this refreshing and decadent cocktail will help you bid goodbye to the cold winter months and usher in the new season in style!

NUVO Springtime Martini
½ part vodka
¼ part Cointreau
A splash of cranberry juice
*Serve in a martini glass, top off with NUVO, and garnish with a lime – enjoy!

Every Way You Didn’t Know You Could Use Tea

Natural remedy enthusiasts consistently scour the Internet and editorial pages to find natural, do-it-yourself solutions to replace the never-ending accumulation of bottles and products in their cabinets. With companies constantly developing new and unconventional ways to make products multi-use or all-in-one, it can be tough to weed through the mess and get to the real!

Although entertaining, most products end up being fundamentally ridiculous like a lipstick that can be used as a pen with a foldout comb or a hair band/belt that can also transform into a hamper.

Teatulia single garden organic teas collaborated with nutritionists and medical specialists to peg some savvy ways to get the most out of your tea—no cup or sugar necessary!

Did you know:
· Soaked tea bags can be used to turn grey hair dark again, reduce razor burn and relieve tired eyes
· Neem tea leaves can be used as a natural birth control, fade acne scars and restore balance to your skin
· Ginger tea helps reduce menstrual cramps, relieves stress and has antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system
· Tulsi tea helps to increase stamina and metabolism as well as balancing blood glucose levels
· Peppermint tea has menthol which helps ease headaches and improves your concentration

Put the Mom Next Door to Work in Your Kitchen

Who doesn't want a break from figuring out what's for dinner tonight? Now every family can have guilt-free, easy-to-prepare meals all the time. Author Tania N. Boughton struggled with food, weight loss and emotional eating for years before developing her new cookbook, Eating Light, Done Right: Simply Sinless Recipes from the Single Mom Next Door (Inspire On Purpose).

“The best thing this cookbook offers is an easy approach to cooking healthy and losing weight without complicated, time-consuming recipes and professional-grade cookware,” Boughton says. “When I realized I was burying myself in food to deal with the emotional ups and downs of life, I knew I needed to change.” Realizing that countless other women struggle with weight loss issues and emotional eating, she began to work on a solution.

Countless hours in the kitchen later, burning herself on a near daily basis and stubbornly refusing to purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of fancy cookware, Boughton has transformed numerous favorite recipes from high-calorie “fat bombs” into easy, light recipes.

“You don’t have to be an expert at anything to make these dishes,” she says. “If I can do this, anyone can.” With a frank and light-hearted approach, Boughton takes popular but high-fat, high-calorie recipes from well-known chefs such as Paula Deen and Rachel Ray and modifies them into healthier options while still keeping taste and flavor.

Drawing on her experience in the military counseling troops on weight control, Boughton quickly realized she loved helping people face the struggles within. The stories she shares are the true confessions of a reformed emotional eater who is trying to balance single motherhood with hectic everyday life.

Tania is a full-time single mom to two little boys, one of whom has Asperger’s syndrome. She also juggles a fashion career, volunteering for her sons’ PTA, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other charities, attending her sons’ sporting activities five nights a week, exercising, writing, and tending to the daily cooking, laundry, dishes and stress that come with modern life.

“You name it, I do it,” she laughs. “I really am the mom next door!”

Please visit:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 Cincinnati International Wine Festival Winery Dinners Feature Vintner Select Portfolio Representatives and Wine Producers

The Vintner Select team is proud to supply the wines for five of the Winery Dinners hosted by the 2012 Cincinnati International Wine Festival on Thursday, March 8. In attendance at each of the dinners to talk about the highlighted wines will be a special guest from the winery or specific wine portfolio (Spain or Italy), as well as a Vintner Select representative. All of the dinners start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at different restaurants around the city. Ticket prices range from $125 to $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations for each dinner are required. For more information on the menus and to make reservations, click here.

March 8 Winery Dinners and corresponding wine speakers include:
Bouquet Restaurant - President Aurelio Cabestrero of Grapes of Spain
519 Main St., Covington, Ky. 41011
Price: $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity
Daveed's at 934 - Winemaker and Owners Erich and Joanne Russell of Russell Family Vineyards
934 Hatch St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Price: $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity
Embers - Co-owner Kevin O'Connor of LIOCO
8170 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236
Price: $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity
Jag's Steak & Seafood - National Sales Representative Mollie Lewis of Indigenous Selections of Italy
5980 West Chester Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069
Price: $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity
Stone Creek Dining Company West Chester - Co-owner Jim Varner of Varner-Neely-Foxglove
6200 Mulhauser Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069
Price: $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity

About Vintner Select
Vintner Select is a major wine distributor, carrying over 2,500 wines from around the world to over 600 wine stores and restaurants in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Vintner Select was founded in 1989 with the vision of bringing to the Midwest the finest quality wines from around the world with value at all price points. For more information, call 1-800-597-1491 or visit

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Largest Restaurant Collection of Napa Valley Wines Debuts at PRESS, St. Helena with Napa’s Pioneering Vintners

PRESS Restaurant, one of Napa Valley’s most acclaimed fine dining experiences, celebrates the debut of its newly constructed wine cellar with over 25 of the valley’s pioneering vintners and the best of their older vintages. The cellar, designed by renowned architect Howard Backen, can house up to 10,000 bottles and is stocked with a groundbreaking collection of rare and older wines exclusively from Napa Valley. PRESS sommeliers Kelli White and Scott Brenner have been scouring the valley to find the best wines from as far back as the early 1960s, and are proud to announce that the restaurant now has the largest all-Napa collection of wines in the country.

Joining PRESS and Rudd winery owner Leslie Rudd for the private opening event, which celebrates the new space and collection, are several of Napa’s most legendary vintners. These vintners include Peter Mondavi Sr., Robin Lail, Bill Phelps, Paul Draper, Warren Winiarski, Boots Brounstein, Kathleen Heitz, Carl Doumani, David Ramey, and John Kongsgaard among others.

In addition to showcasing the new cellar, PRESS will also debut an interactive wine list hosted on iPads. Uncorked Apps has developed custom second generation iPad software to allow PRESS customers to engage more easily with the extensive wine list, and for improved inventory management. The restaurant will soon offer an iPad for every table – 30 in total – with the ability to sort the wine list by price, varietal, and winery.

PRESS owner Leslie Rudd created the cellar to provide a “repository for rare and older Napa vintages” for wine lovers to enjoy while discovering the remarkable ageability of Napa wines. Fondly referred to by White as a “drinkable library,” the new wine cellar at PRESS will allow visitors and locals to experience Napa’s rich history first-hand. With offerings such as 1962 BV Georges de Latour, School House 1974 Pinot Noir, 1974 Caymus, and 1982 Mondavi Reserve, PRESS has become the ideal place to taste your way through the decades and deeply explore the United States’ most legendary wine growing region.

The wine cellar, handsomely appointed in deep browns and glass walls, is situated between PRESS and Dean and DeLuca with access from the restaurant The cellar consists of three separate climate-controlled spaces joined by one common tasting room, separated from the main cellar by floor to ceiling glass walls. Design elements include a concrete floor, plaster walls, steel trim, and custom fabricated steel sash windows, and view windows that look into Dean and DeLuca. The 8’ high ceiling, doors and long central table in the common room are made of reclaimed wood from Leslie Rudd’s Edge Hill property. The cellar also boasts full height chalkboards at both ends of the common room, which will be used for note-taking and wine descriptions. Each of the cellar spaces provides for individual air-conditioning and humidity control, to meet the requirements of different types of wine.

About PRESS Restaurant St. Helena:

PRESS Restaurant celebrates the famous red wines of the Napa Valley with the finest prime dry-aged beef grilled over cherry- and almond-wood, roast chicken from the wood-fired rotisserie, and locally raised lamb and pork. Chef Stephen Rogers’ daily menu of sustainable wild fish and seafood dishes provides equally high notes for lovers of Napa Valley white wines. The restaurant’s comfortable vineyard setting includes indoor and patio fireplaces, a produce, herb, vegetable and fruit garden, a handcrafted walnut bar, framed by temperature-controlled wine towers showcasing an extensive Napa-only wine collection. PRESS is now wine country’s number one destination for vintage Napa Valley wines and has the most extensive Napa Valley wine list to be found at a restaurant anywhere.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The best kept food secret of Appalachia

Whether you call them ramps or wild leeks, this wild-foraged spring delicacy is the newest celebrity on the food scene. If you've ever tasted this earthy delight at an Appalachian ramp festival or a fine restaurant in the city, you know what the buzz is about. And now, the ramp has its own cookbook.

RAMPS: Cooking with the Best Kept Secret of the Appalachian Trail (St. Lynn's Press, February, 2012) brings together favorite ramp recipes of chefs, food writers and home cooks, celebrating every part of this versatile, addictive vegetable - from root to leaf.

"A cookbook devoted solely to ramp recipes is long overdue. We are delighted that this talented group of chefs and writers has come together to offer a wide selection of their best for your pleasure. Enjoy!"
- From the Foreword by Chef Todd C. Gray, Equinox and Watershed restaurants, Washington, D.C.

Illustrated throughout with mouth-watering color photos, RAMPS presents the full gamut of savory ramp dishes…from traditional Appalachian recipes to "big-city" recipes from creative food writers and chefs coast-to-coast (Mario Batali for one).

Gourmet chefs across North America are cooking with ramps. The New York Times (4/20/11) writes about "the insatiable appetite of New York chefs for spring ramps." And not only New York chefs; now, freshly picked ramps from the woods of Appalachia can be shipped overnight almost anywhere.

The book's foreword is by Chef Todd C. Gray, co-owner of Equinox and Watershed restaurants in Washington, D. C. Chef Gray is at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement and works with Michelle Obama to improve nutrition for the nation's schoolchildren.

The introduction is by Glen Facemire, owner of The Ramp Farm in Richwood, West Virginia. Glen is a lifelong advocate for sustainable practices and protection of ramp habitat from over-foraging. As the popularity of ramps continues to grow, its protection becomes more and more important. We want this aromatic wonder-plant to be around for a very long time!

RAMPS is the perfect gift book for ramp fans everywhere, and for avid foodies chasing the next hot food trend.


About the Book:
RAMPS: Cooking with the Best Kept Secret of the Appalachian Trail, St. Lynn's Press, February, 2012
128 pages, hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-9832726-2-5
Price: $15.95 US; $19.95 CAN

Monday, February 20, 2012

Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy Leaps Into an Early Summer

Forget spring – summer has arrived ahead of schedule. The Chippewa Falls, Wis.-based Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is celebrating “Leap Day” by bringing warm weather refresher, Summer Shandy, out of hibernation early.

Typically not on shelves until late March, Leinenkugel’s will roll out the seasonal brew on Feb. 29. An adventurous blend of select malted wheat and barley, lemonade flavor and a hint of Wisconsin honey, Summer Shandy is available nationwide in cans, bottles and on draft.

Leinie’s Summer Shandy, the first shandy-style brew in the United States, experienced an impressive 80 percent growth in 2011. When autumn rolled around, many Shandy fanatics stocked up on as much as they could for the off-season. Since then, Leinie fans have anxiously awaited its return.

“Summer Shandy has captured the imagination of fans who want a refreshing light-bodied beer – the ultimate combination of craft beer and refreshment,” said Jake Leinenkugel, fifth generation brewer and president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. “We’re excited to celebrate this leap year by giving our fans an early taste of summer.”

The “shandy” (which is short for “shandygaff”) as it’s called in England and Germany, is typically a mixture of beer and soda or lemonade. The drink has been enjoyed across Europe since the 17th century. Another variation of a shandy is the “radler,” which is a German term for cyclist. In September 1922, Franz Xaver Kugler developed the radler, when approximately 13,000 cyclists visited his tavern in Munich. His beer supply started to run out, so he cleverly mixed the remaining beer with lemonade and claimed to have created the blend especially for the cyclists.

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy features a tangy character with malty undertones of hops. Its tart lemonade flavor complements spicy and robust grilling dishes, and its subtle hoppiness creates the perfect balance for salads.

Summer Shandy will be available where Leinenkugel’s is sold in 12-pack 12-oz. cans, 6 and 12-pack bottles and on draft. Summer Shandy retails for approximately $6.99 to $7.99 a 6-pack.

Doug Seibert and Leslie Garcia of Peach Mountain Organics Recognized for Contributions to Sustainable Agriculture in Ohio

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has bestowed its highest honor, the Stewardship Award, to Doug Seibert and Leslie Garcia of Greene County. The announcement was made on Saturday, February 18 as part of OEFFA’s 33rd annual conference, Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community.”

Doug and Leslie have farmed organically at Peach Mountain Organics since 1992, growing certified organic mixed vegetables, microgreens, fresh-cut flowers, mushrooms, hay, and greenhouse plants. They sell their products at the Yellow Springs Farmers’ Market, local restaurants, and grocery and health food stores.

The Greene County-based Peach Mountain Organics currently has two farm sites and one half acre greenhouse location in Spring Valley, Ohio. Altogether, the operation is 43 acres, more than 25 of which are certified organic.

"Leslie and Doug's energy and skill with commercial-scale, organic growing is an inspiration for many of us,” said Steve Edwards, who serves on OEFFA’s Board of Trustees and presented the award at the Saturday
evening ceremony. “Their willingness to share their experiences with other growers has helped provide healthy food for people beyond Peach Mountain's customers. They make it happen in the real world with an artful
balance of intelligence and hard work."

Doug and Leslie have helped organize group seed and potato orders for other farmers and grown organic bedding plants for other growers, hosted farm tours, presented OEFFA conference workshops, and were involved in the creation of both OEFFA and the Federation of Ohio River Cooperatives (FORC).

“Both Doug and Leslie care deeply about creating a sustainable food system. We should all be sincerely grateful for what they have done to advance sustainable agriculture in our community,” said OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland.

Nudo Adopt-An-Olive Tree

Looking for gift ideas for the person who has everything, the food lover, eco-conscious individual or world traveler on the lookout for a new destination? Step into Nudo. A family-run co-operative between twelve small, artisanal olive producers Le Marche, Italy, Nudo offers the unique chance to own a little piece of the Italian countryside.

Instead of just buying olive oil, by adopting a tree, you can choose a specific olive variety, follow the progress of your tree for one year, support the local Italian family farmer, and (literally) taste the reward of your investment.

Once you adopt a tree from Nudo, you or the gift recipient will receive:
• A personalized adoption certificate and information booklet that describes the tree,
• Four 500ml tins of first cold press extra virgin olive oil from the tree in the spring (mid-April),
• Three 250ml tins of infused extra virgin olive oil (i.e. lemon, chile, orange) in the fall,
• An open invitation to come and visit, hug or water the tree in person.

The adoption and products cost only $109.00 (plus shipping), making it a thoughtful present or very reasonable group gift. To learn more about Nudo, adopt a tree or purchase oils, visit:

More Background:
Olive growing has become more mechanized in recent years, which has led to both soil erosion and bland, mass produced oil. Because of this (and recent issues with lax regulations on olive oil origin), eco-conscious food lovers demand olive oil from small-scale, artisanal farmers. With Nudo, they know exactly where their oil comes from; right down to the GPS coordinates!

The reason why the adoption program is important for small-scale producers is that it offers them a higher degree of financial security. The core problem with small Italian olive growers is that the market is so swamped with olive oil, that the small farmers often low prices for their oil if they get to sell it at all. Nudo offers their olive producers the certainty of consistent, reliable payment at a fair price, and in turn, the farmers have the confidence to commit time and energy to maintaining and caring for the groves they love, without the annual uncertainty about whether they will find a market for their oil.

Nudo believes in respecting the environment and a majority of the groves are certified organic. A portion of the estate is set aside as forest to offset its carbon footprint and, additionally recycled tins are used as an environmentally friendly alternative to glass bottles.

Friday, February 17, 2012

S'well Introduces "Riot" Collection

S'well's new "Riot" collection ($35 to $45) is the fashionable, functional insulated water bottle with a new look: matte finishes that are on-trend for 2012 and bright, clean finishes found in luxury items from Chanel nailpolish to BMW vehicles.

"Riot" collection bold brights and classic neutral hues include Matador, Flamingo, …With Envy, Olive the Army, Blackboard and Starry Night.


The double-walled and insulated water bottles designed to keep drinks cold (up to 24 hours) or hot (up to 12 hours).

Eco-friendly and socially responsible, S'well encourages consumers to refrain from purchasing endless bottles of water and the company donates 10% of its sales to creates programs to improve access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation through the WaterAid organization.

Additional product facts:
Stainless steel (never "sweats" on hands or inside of handbag/carryalls)
Non-toxic - saves you from dangerous BPA
Assortment of unigender colors
Ideal for wine/alcoholic beverages for outdoor entertaining
17 oz/500mL bottle - $35.00
25 oz/750 mL bottle - $45.00

For more information, please visit

New Distilled Spirits Epicenter Plans April Opening in Downtown Louisville

Building on Kentucky’s rich distilling history, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter will open in April in downtown Louisville, where it will provide a unique facility for creating custom vodkas, whiskeys, rums, moonshines and more! This education and training center and artisan distillery were created by Flavorman custom beverage company founder David Dafoe. It establishes the first distillery in downtown Louisville since before prohibition. Making it possible for entrepreneurs, distillery operators and industry experts to create their own custom spirits, The Epicenter will offer the expertise of the “Beverage Mechanics” who will manage each project from start through finish. The Epicenter is named as a tribute to Louisville’s location at the epicenter of the distilling industry. Its operations will focus on education and training to enable startup productions to benefit from the area’s wealth of experience and knowledge and utilize the artisan distillery sized for training, pilot productions and small runs.

Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling will all operate under The Epicenter, offering state-of-the-art Vendome equipment, expert-led classes and onsite bottling services. The Epicenter will claim no trademark on its creations, making each product entirely the property of the client. The cost for developing a custom spirit will vary according to the complexity of the product and the level of service needed.

“For more than 20 years, Flavorman has been proud to be the beverage development partner for premier companies across the United States,” said Dafoe. “With our sister company, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, we will continue to provide our expertise to clients with the added benefit of facilitating access to spirits experts and the latest distilling and bottling equipment. We are proud of Kentucky’s distilling legacy in all types of spirits and excited to offer this unique facility where people can gain hands-on experience and expert support throughout the process. Louisville is the perfect place to launch this distinctive project.”

The Epicenter is part of a growing national trend toward artisan distilleries. While there were 143 distilled spirits plant licensees in the United States in 2006, there are now over 700. In order to facilitate this market growth, The Epicenter features event space with wi-fi and full audiovisual capabilities for groups who wish to collaborate on technical details, business planning or other industry topics. The versatile facility is suitable for everything from small teambuilding activities to receptions for 200. For information on event rentals or custom distilling projects, contact Kevin Hall at or (502)301-8130.

Opening in April 2012 at 801 S. 8th St., the Distilled Spirits Epicenter consists of Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling and offers educational and training resources focusing on artisan spirits. Through hands-on distilling instruction, classes and bottling services, the Epicenter brings Kentucky’s unique distilling legacy to life. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the sister company to Flavorman, an international custom beverage development and ingredient supply company. Flavorman’s Beverage Architects and the Epicenter’s Beverage Mechanics can take your idea through every phase of beverage development and production...from start through finish. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A healthy snack kids really do like to eat

There is no arguing that now is a good time to get kids to make heart healthy choices. Nearly one in three American kids and teens are either overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate in 1963. Celebrate American Heart Month by serving up a wholesome snack that kids really do love to eat-- Gr?pple brand apples.

Any parent will tell you, if you give kids a healthy choice that tastes good they’ll eat it and if its unique or something new – all the better. Imagine the sweet distinctive flavor of Concord grapes combined with the crispness of a fresh, juicy Washington State apple and you have a healthy snack kids really enjoy and won’t throw away.

Gr?pple brand apples are as healthy as if just picked off a tree. They begin either as a Washington State Gala or Fuji apple. Through a complex, patented process, these apples are gently bathed with an ingredient mix that is primarily grape flavor and pure water. Through the process the apples take on the grape flavor, which doesn’t add any extra sugar, calories, carbohydrates or anything else.

In fact the apples maintain their natural supply of vitamins, minerals, nutrients & fiber. They do not contain soy, gluten or wheat based products. They are not genetically altered in any way. The process of making a Gr?pple takes place after the fruit has been received from the orchards. All ingredients are USDA and FDA approved and the process has been licensed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

The nutrition found in a Gr?pple closely resembles that of any apple. Each Gr?pple contains approximately:
130 calories
0g fat
0g cholesterol
0gs sodium
170 mg potassium
25g carbohydrate
4g of dietary fiber
19g sugar
And they are high in fiber and have a low glycemix index.

Grapple brand apples are widely available in grocery stores nationwide from October through May. They are sold in a 4-pack clamshell with an average MSRP of $3.49-5.99 or in a 4-pack poly sleeve with an average MSRP of $2.99-$399. To find a store that carries them or to order online visit

About Grapples®
Grapple brand apples are the quintessential perfect healthy snack for kids of all ages. Through a patented process, premium Washington State apples are infused with grape flavor to create a product that “Crunches like an Apple, Tastes like a Grape™". For more information call 800-232-2636 or and Facebook @

Green B.E.A.N. Delivery bringing produce to businesses' break rooms

Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, a company that delivers organic produce and natural groceries to Midwest homes and workplaces, today announces its Break Room Bin service, which distributes customized orders of fresh produce, garden cut veggies and nutritious snacks to businesses in Cincinnati. The service will soon expand to other cities across the Midwest.

Through Green B.E.A.N. Delivery’s Break Room Bin service, companies can sign up online to begin receiving weekly or bi-weekly deliveries. Members can customize their orders prior to delivery.

"Green B.E.A.N. Delivery far exceeded our expectations beginning with our first delivery of delicious, wholesome and organic snack items,” said Shannon Morehead, marketing liaison for Bilz Insurance. “The assortment of local items was phenomenal, and the large selection provided something for everyone in our office. The organic fruit was so fresh, which made it a favorite in our agency. It is so nice to patronize a company that supports local business."

According to a Gallup poll released in December 2011, fewer Americans consumed fruits and vegetables in every month of 2011—with the exception of one—compared with last year. In November 2011, the percentage of Americans who reported eating fruits and vegetables frequently was the lowest for that month of any year on record, including in November 2008 during the financial crisis.

By providing healthier snack options in office break rooms, Green B.E.A.N. Delivery aims to combat obesity and other related chronic illnesses by reducing the intake of high sodium, high fat and high sugar foods.

“It’s easy to eat salty and sugary snacks that lack nutrients while at work in hopes of getting a quick energy boost or simply just because it’s there,” said Matt Ewer, president and co-founder of Green B.E.A.N. Delivery. “However, these foods often leave workers hungry, cranky and unable to concentrate. Small, healthy snacks throughout the day help keep metabolisms and energy levels high. After all, a healthy office is a happy and productive office.”

There are no sign-up fees and no long-term commitments. For added convenience, customers can itemize products as “favorites” online for easy future access.

Businesses and individuals interested in ordering Break Room Bins from Green B.E.A.N. Delivery can visit, register online or email with further questions. For more information on Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, visit

This St. Patrick's Day, McCormick Turns Friends and Family Green with Flavor Envy

The McCormick Kitchens are coloring St. Patrick’s Day green with flavorful, fun new recipes and tips. From kid-favorite emerald eats to grown-up sweet treats, McCormick makes St. Patty’s day parties easy with all you’ll need to turn friends and family green with flavor envy.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect occasion to get playful with bold colors and bright flavors,” says Chef Mark Garcia of the McCormick Kitchens. “Our easy recipes take favorite treats like cupcakes, shakes and brownies — and add a bright green twist to make them a perfect fit for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.”

The rich flavor of Pure Vanilla and Pure Peppermint Extracts take the holiday’s colorful treats to the next level, delivering memorable goodies that taste as delicious as they look. Whether you’re baking up sweet homemade treats or adding a refreshing hint of peppermint to decadent cocktails, these recipes and tips help make St. Patrick’s Day a festive and flavorful occasion for all ages:

Kid-Favorite Emerald Eats

Luck o’ the Irish Cake Pops: Give the cake pop trend some St. Patrick’s Day spirit with Green Food Color and decorate with shamrock sprinkles for a festive dessert, inside and out.

Easy Green Velvet Cupcakes: A green twist on classic red velvet, these cupcakes take basic cake mix to delicious new heights with the addition of Pure Vanilla Extract, Green Food Color, sour cream and cocoa powder.

Emerald Mint Milkshake: This classic milkshake recipe is transformed into a flavorful, cool concoction with a hint of green and touch of Pure Peppermint Extract.
Grown-Up Green Treats

Peppermint Paddy Martini: This mint-chocolate-inspired cocktail gets a festive topping of rich whipped cream infused with Pure Peppermint Extract. A sugar rim, also with Peppermint Extract, makes this drink a distinctively decadent delight.

Irish Cream Swirl Brownies: This favorite takes on a seasonal twist with a splash of Irish cream liqueur and Green Food Color. The decadent brownie and swirl topping will leave everyone tapping their feet to a Celtic tune.

Green with Envy Cheesecake Bars: These cheesecake bars — with contrasting layers of green, white and chocolaty brown — get a hint of sophistication with invigorating Pure Peppermint Extract.
Green Goodies Guide
To bring bright hues to your entire St. Patrick’s Day spread, add a few drops o’ green to your favorite beverages and store-bought items.

Supper Club hosted by Cincinnati Nature Center - Feb 23

The Cincinnati Nature Center and Edible Ohio Valley are partners in celebrating each season with an Edible Supper Club dinner at the historic Krippendorf Lodge. To celebrate each season, Edible Culinary Director Chef Joanne Drilling (former chef of Slim's and Lavomatic) masterfully integrates seasonal - and local - ingredients into each course of a five-course meal. This winter season's Edible Supper Club menu is inspired by maple syrup and will be held on Thursday, February 23, at 7pm.

Next week each guest will enjoy a seasonal, locally-sourced five-course meal at a communal table for 30. The Cincinnati Nature Center's Associate Program Director Jason Neumann, will dine with us to discuss harvesting sap and refining maple syrup on the grounds of the Cincinnati Nature Center.

Jenny Crocker, one of our guests at the inaugural Edible Supper Club in August 2011, which celebrated tomatoes, commented on how much she appreciated the Edible Supper Club experience: "This was an amazing dinner. Since the dinner, I visited Pics Produce to see Joe's amazing tomatoes and produce, dined at Murphin Ridge, joined The Cincinnati Nature Center, and signed up for the next Edible Supper Club."

Reservations for the Supper Club at the Krippendorf Lodge are purchased on the events page of the Edible Ohio Valley website for $64 (, or by calling 513-297-0810. A cash bar with local wine and beer is available for diners as well.

Poll: Americans Say Baskin-Robbins Has the Best Ice Cream

You scream, I scream and we all scream for Baskin-Robbins ice cream?

Poll Position wanted to know which ice cream store chain Americans think sells the best ice cream and in a national scientific poll found Baskin-Robbins was tops with 20% of the vote, followed by Cold Stone Creamery (15%), Dairy Queen (14%), Ben and Jerry’s (14%), Haagen-Dazs (8%), Bruster’s (3%) and some other store (7%). Nineteen percent of those polled expressed no opinion.

Along party lines Baskin-Robbins was again the choice of Republicans (20%), Democrats (23%) and Independents (17%).

See a breakdown of survey participants by age, race, gender, and political affiliation in crosstabs for this poll at

Poll Position’s scientific telephone survey of 1,242 registered voters nationwide was conducted Feb. 12, 2012 and has a margin of error of ±3%. Poll results are weighted to be a representative sampling of all American adults.

What do you think? Which national ice cream store chain do you think sells the best ice cream? Do you think the mortgage agreement is fair? Vote in our online companion poll and comment at

The online companion poll in which you can vote provides unscientific results, meaning it’s a tally of participating Poll Position users, not a nationally representative sampling.

Poll Position is committed to transparency and upholding the highest professional standards in its polling, explaining why we provide you with the crosstabs of our scientific polls. Crosstabs provide a breakdown of survey participants by age, race, gender, and political affiliation.

Learn more about Poll Position’s polling methodology at

She was Petrified of Peanuts. Problem Solver Created

Michelle Brandriss knew her son was dangerously allergic to nuts. She needed his food and daycare items marked with something bright and easy to read to give her peace of mind.

Food Allergies affect 6 million kids and she has created Allergy Labels. She knew 1 in 91 children now fall on the Autism Spectrum and created Autism Alert labels. Knowing millions of people need Medical Alert labels – she made those too. Let me know if you would like to see samples or have a section where you show helpful new products.

You name it; Michelle Brandriss can label it! Her award-winning Name Bubbles take a beating in the dishwasher, washing machine, lunch box, backpack, camp luggage- and so on!

Name Bubbles Medical and Allergy Alert Labels are attractive and high quality, laminated stickers that give all of the important information on a customized label! Brand new is write-on labels that come with a special pen that is permanent but comes off with a dab of alcohol.not a grease pencil!

Four Fields for Information- 40 Stickers for $19.88

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Healthy eating and shopping site

Building a healthy and budget friendly weekly menu from your local stores in now simple! A brand new site is helping make it easy to feed the family healthy food while making grocery shopping easier and more affordable. I am happy to provide access so you can create your own lists and try this new service.

Build A Menu ( is an online menu planning service that prepares weekly meal plans based on your local 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. Menu options include Family Friendly, Low Fat, Sensible Portions (Uses the latest Points System), Vegetarian, Low Carb and Gluten Free.

15 Hours of Free Flapjacks at IHOP February 28

WHAT: For the seventh consecutive year, IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer each guest a free short stack of its famous buttermilk pancakes on National Pancake Day in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

WHY: For every short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on National Pancake Day, IHOP guests are invited to make a voluntary donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donations made at IHOPs in the Cincinnati area will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. IHOP hopes to raise $2.7 million this year, with a goal to bring the total amount of funds raised to more than $10 million. To find a local IHOP or to donate online, visit

WHEN: TUESDAY, February 28, 2012, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. (15 full hours)

WHERE: Participating IHOP restaurants in the Cincinnati area

National Pancake Day Fun Facts:

· IHOP served four million free pancakes on National Pancake Day 2011 and pancake lovers donated more than $2.5 million to children’s charities, exceeding the fundraising goal of $2.3 million.
· All of the free pancakes served on National Pancake Day 2011 would create a stack nearly 16 miles high.
· Since the inception of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $8 million and given away more than 14 million pancakes to support charities in the communities in which it operates.
· National Pancake Day 2011 was IHOP’s largest one-day event in the company’s 53-year history.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrate National Licorice Day this April 12th with a sip of Molinari Sambuca

Celebrate National Licorice Day this April 12 with a glass of Molinari Sambuca Extra, the classic Italian digestivo. Introduced in the 40’s and gaining worldwide popularity during La Dolce Vita in the 60’s and 70’s, Molinari continues to be the best-selling – and some would argue, best-tasting – Sambuca in the world.

Molinari Sambuca offers imbibers a delicious licorice flavor thanks to the sweet, aromatic anise it’s created from. Traditionalists may enjoy neat or on the rocks, while others like to serve it “con la mosca,” or with three floating coffee beans which are meant to represent health, happiness, and prosperity. Those who enjoy a splash of liqueur in their coffee will thoroughly enjoy Molinari Caffè, a robust mix of coffee, Sambuca, and other ingredients.

Unlike many spirits marketed and consumed as night-life products, Molinari’s portfolio is enjoyed throughout the day and night.

Molinari Sambuca Extra
The top-selling spirit in Italy and the one that started it all, Molinari Sambuca Extra is anise-based, blended with wheat alcohol and sugar in a closely guarded, secret formula known only to one family member each generation. Utilizing only ingredients of the utmost quality, Molinari takes pride in the purity and smooth flavor. SRP: $24.99

Molinari Caffè
A unique blend of coffee and other ingredients gives Molinari Caffè a distinguished taste that pulls from the acclaimed heritage of Molinari Sambuca Extra while giving it a personality all its own. The product is 100% naturally colored – a mixed combination of Molinari Sambuca Extra and two different types of coffee: Robusta and Arabica. It is best enjoyed straight or on the rocks.
SRP: $24.99

Celebrate National Licorice Day this year with something a little different: Molinari Sambuca, the traditional and flavorful liqueur imported from Italy.

Sambuca con la mosca (literally, "Sambuca with fly")
Served neat with coffee beans floating on the surface
Superstition holds that it is bad luck to serve Sambuca with any more or less than three beans representing health, happiness, and prosperity or the Christian Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), depending on one’s choice of symbolism.

The Smartest Way to Feed Your Baby

Feed your baby the smart way via mimijumi, a modern baby bottle that is breast like in appearance and texture, so that when mothers start with the "Very Hungry" bottle, babies are less likely to have a problem transitioning between breast and bottle. It can be challenging for nursing moms to make the switch to bottles. mimijumi’s nipple like design aims to make the latching transition easier with its soft silicon texture, shape and color.

mimijumi's flow replacement nipples come in a 2 pack and are available in three different flow rates; slow, medium and fast. The nipple screws on as one piece, which means no assembly is required. Only the safest medical and food grade silicone is used for each nipple. Ideal for bottle picky babies, newborns also gravitate to this form of feeding, as it is an aid to prolonging breastfeeding, a natural way to enhance immunity and prevent obesity and diabetes later in life.

mimijumi Key Features:
Flow rates include Slow Flow – 1 to 3 months; Medium Flow – 3 to 6 months; Fast Flow – 6 months and up
Integrated venting prevents colic
Easy to clean and dishwasher and microwave safe
Screw on one piece construction
Made with medical and food grade silicon; BPA latex and EA free
Exceeds US safety standards

The "Very Hungry" baby bottle (8 oz) and nipples retail for $14.99 and the “Not So Hungry” baby bottle (4 oz) is available for $13.99 nationwide and also online at

Monday, February 13, 2012

Warm upYour Winter with Summer Cocktails from VnC Cocktails!

If you’re over the cold and tired of sipping hot toddies, warm up your winter blues with your favorite summer cocktails from VnC Cocktails. A New Zealand based brand, VnC Cocktails, knows how to celebrate your summer in February better than anyone on the Western Hemisphere (it is summer over in NZ after all!).

With 6 pre-mixed, all natural flavors, VnC Cocktails allows you to kick back, relax and sip your favorite warm weather beverages without the hassle of creating them yourself. Whether you’re going mad for a mojito, keen for a cosmo or dying for a daiquiri, VnC Cocktails has them – pre-made with 100% fruit juice and ready to shake and pour! Even better, you can start working on your bikini body since each delectable drink is only 150 calories or less per serving. So, next time you’re feeling chilly this season, warm up with a summer inspired cocktail from VnC Cocktails.


VnC Cocktails was founded in 2007 by Shane McKillen and is made with 100% natural fruit juice and no artificial preservatives, additives, or colors. VnC is available in Mojito, Margarita, Pomegranate Cosmo, Pacific Breeze, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Banana Daiquiri and 150 calories or less a serving. The brand is available in more than 30 countries and has won multiple awards including Gold from Drinks International Magazine and the Beverage Testing Institute and Silver and Best in Class from the International Wine & Spirit Competition. VnC Cocktails is certified sustainable and the first company in the world to gain Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS®) product certification.

High Demand for BOLD Organics Premium Gluten-and Dairy-free Pizzas

BOLD Organics is delivering great news for consumers looking for healthy and delicious frozen pizza. Its new gluten-free and dairy-free pizzas, which are great tasting and healthy, use only the highest quality ingredients, and come in a variety of toppings at a great price, have launched in hundreds of stores nationwide. After just one month on the market, consumer demand has soared. From the nation's largest cities to suburban and rural areas, interest in gluten-free and dairy-free eating is gathering steam. BOLD Organics sits at the forefront of this movement as the favorite pizza for consumers who don't want to sacrifice taste.

BOLD Organics’ mission is simple: to create healthy, great tasting products that everyone can enjoy. Having reaped the health benefits from eating a gluten- and dairy-free diet, founder and president, 21-year-old entrepreneur Aaron Greenwald created a business plan for a delicious allergy-sensitive frozen pizza for a class assignment while attending Washington University in St. Louis. Reflecting on how that class project has grown rapidly into a successful business, Aaron notes “it's been an extremely successful launch. Stores are selling out of the pizzas left and right and growing their inventories. Each day I receive inquiries from eager consumers all over the country asking for our pizzas. Those who have tasted the pizzas at our sampling events can't believe they are gluten- and dairy-free, yet so delicious.”

BOLD Organics offers four varieties of pizza—Vegan Cheese Pizza, Veggie Lovers Pizza (chock full of seasonal vegetables such as organic roasted red peppers, organic roasted yellow onions and shiitake mushrooms), Meat Lovers Pizza (a carnivore's delight that is loaded with an abundance of uncured pepperoni & juicy cooked Italian sausage), and Deluxe Pizza (an “everything” pie that combines the Meat Lovers & Veggie Lovers pizzas). BOLD Organics Executive Chef, Eric Brenner, scoured farms throughout the country looking for the perfect flavor profiles with optimum health benefits. The sauce pops with Chef Eric's signature blend of organic tomatoes and carefully chosen organic herbs & spices that will literally wake up your taste buds. The thin crust crunches with texture achieved from an alternative mixture of organic baking ingredients without the need for gluten.

The pizzas are also milk-free, lactose-free, casein-free, whey-free, egg-free, peanut-free, and treenut-free and contain no GMO's, preservatives, nitrites, nitrates, or trans-fats.

A complete list of locations where BOLD Organics is currently sold can be found online at: BOLD Organics delicious pizzas will also be sold online through the Gluten Free Mall and other fulfillment websites starting in late February.

All You "Knead" to Know About Healthy Homemade Artisan Bread

With the New Year in full swing, many people are working hard to honor their resolutions. In coming months, those dedicated to eating healthier will challenge not only their determination, but also their creativity. In early 2012, at Ocean Reef Club’s Artisan Bread and Pizza Making cooking class, bread buffs learned the techniques to create a variety of healthy and tasty loaves in their own homes – in just five minutes a day.

Led by celebrated authors and bakers, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, Club members learned how to incorporate whole grains, fruit, vegetables and gluten-free ingredients into mouthwatering creations, including Turkish spiced lamb flatbread and gluten-free cheddar and sesame bread.

For aspiring bakers looking to craft their own crusty creations in five minutes a day, Hertzberg and François have provided the recipe below, which emphasizes the use of simple and wholesome ingredients:

Master Recipe for Artisan Loaves (Whole Wheat version)
Makes enough dough for four 1-pound loaves

· 5½ cups whole wheat flour
· 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
· 1½ tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
· 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
· ¼ cup vital wheat gluten
· 4 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees F)
· Cornmeal or parchment paper for the pizza peel
· 1 to 2 tablespoons of whole seed mixture for sprinkling: sesame, flaxseed, caraway, raw sunflower, poppy, and anise

1 Measure in dry ingredients: In a 5-quart bowl or lidded plastic food-grade bucket, whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten.

2. Add the water all at once and mix without kneading using a wooden spoon, until all ingredients are uniformly moist, producing a loose and very wet dough.

3. Rising: Cover with a lid (not airtight). Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse, about 2 hours, but no more than 5 hours. DO NOT PUNCH DOWN! After rising, the dough can be baked immediately, or covered (not completely airtight) and refrigerated up to 14 days. The dough will be easier to work with after at least 3 hours refrigeration.

4. On baking day, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it with cornmeal to prevent the bread from sticking when you transfer it to the oven. Uncover the dough and sprinkle the surface with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough (serrated knives or kitchen shears are best). Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter-turn as you go to form a ball. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it’s not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The bottom of the ball may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. The correctly shaped final product will be smooth and cohesive. The entire process should take no more than 20 to 40 seconds. If you work the dough longer than this it may make your loaf dense.

5. Elongate the ball, stretch gently, and taper the ends by rolling between your palms.

6. Allow to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, on the prepared pizza peel for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you’re using fresh, un-refrigerated dough).

7. 30 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450°F, with baking stone on middle rack. Place empty broiler tray for holding water on any other shelf.

8. Using a pastry brush, paint the top crust with water. Sprinkle with seed mixture and slash with ¼-inch deep parallel cuts across the loaf, using a serrated bread knife.

9. Bake: Slide the loaf off the peel and onto the baking stone (if you used parchment, it slides right along with the loaf into the oven). Quickly but carefully pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is richly browned and firm to the touch.
© 2012, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (Thomas Dunne Books, 2009)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day at Lavomatic

Lavomatic's chef's special dinner menu for Valentine's Day, Tuesday, February 14th! You will have your choice of 3 courses for JUST $75 per couple or a la Carte! Beat the Tuesday rush and come in over the weekend and choose from Chef Josh's new menu! You will not be disappointed!


Apricot & avocado Shrimp Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette $10.51

Artichoke & Roasted Vegetabel Hummus $8.45

Spinach Salad with candied pecans, cranberries, bleu cheese crumbles, cranberry orange Vinaigrette $7.61


Striped Bass - with roasted tomato and acorn squash, lemon and chive butter $26. 34

Seared Filet - with gorgonzola crust, grilled asparagus, and roasted fingerling potatoes $2872

Orecchiette & Chicken Bake - with mozzarella & provolone cheese, artichoke, and olives $24.56


Chocolate Mousse with strawberry crème $5.00

Caramel Bread Pudding $5.00

$75 PER COUPLE or a la carte...the choice is yours!!

1211 Vine St - Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Gordon Biersch Rolls Out Limited Edition, 750 ML "Big Beer" Program for 2012

Dan Gordon, co-founder of Gordon Biersch Brewery announced today the launch of the company’s limited edition, 750 ml. “big bottle” program for 2012. A series of rare, specialty brews with a limited production of 4,000 cases or less will be released throughout the year with Imperial Pilsner Brau (IPB) leading the charge. The brews are expected to appeal to the modern beer connoisseur as well as wine drinkers seeking a new, alternative beverage option.

“This is a beer unlike any other made before,” says Gordon. “We designed the IPB to pique the curiosity of the IPA drinker, and we hope to capture their palate preference with the unique, authentic flavor that is completely its own. This concept is all about innovation and beer creativity.”

Gordon Biersch Brewing Company imported 750ml. bottles from Germany as they do not exist in the United States. The brewing process takes place at the San Jose brewery and is topped off by hand with the addition of historic German swing-top enclosure, which dates back to the late 1800s.

Available in May, IPB is an intensely-hopped, bold Pilsner that emphasizes the noble hops from central Europe: Hallertau, Tettnang, Spalt and Saaz. Brewed in accordance with the Germany Purity Law of 1516, it is naturally carbonated and unfiltered. IPB is 6.5% alcohol and 50 IBU.

The 750ml bottles will retail for approximately $8.99 at specialty grocers and liquor stores, as well as restaurants and bars in 17 United States markets including California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Washington DC, Maryland, and Hawaii. For more information on IPB and its availability, please visit

Ninth Annual Great American Bake Sale Season Launches February 29th

Share Our Strength®, the nation’s leading nonprofit working to end childhood hunger, encourages bakers everywhere to take their extra day in 2012 - Leap Day - and make it count by committing to host a bake sale to help end childhood hunger. Individuals and groups sign up to host bake sales in their local communities and send the funds they raise to support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® Campaign. The ninth annual Great American Bake Sale, presented by Domino Sugar®, C&H Sugar® and Duncan Hines®, officially launches on February 29 and runs through the end of the year.

In addition to the leap year launch, the Great American Bake Sale will hold its National Challenge Weekend April 20-22, with a goal of hosting 500 bake sales - at least 10 in every state - in one weekend. The first 300 bake sale hosts to submit $275 or more from bake sales held on National Challenge Weekend will receive a Jay at Play’s Little Miss Muffin Pop N Flip™ toy, a 9” doll tucked inside rubber muffin cups, to thank them for their efforts.

“With one in five kids in America struggling with hunger, it’s more important than ever to get involved and help connect children with the food they need,” says Great American Bake Sale Director Amy Crowell. “It’s one of the simplest and most enduring fundraising ideas around. Every year, we see families, kids, businesses, churches and organizations of every kind signing up to host sales and raise money to help make sure that every child in the U.S. gets the food he or she needs.”

Since 2003, more than 1.2 million people have participated in the Great American Bake Sale, raising more than $8 million—funds Share Our Strength uses in a variety of ways, from working with Federal and state governments and local nonprofits to make sure that children and parents at-risk of hunger are using the nutrition programs they’re eligible for; to educating families about how to plan, shop for and prepare the affordable, healthy meals; and advocating for change that will end childhood hunger in America.

“Every bake sale brings Share Our Strength one step closer to ending childhood hunger in America, whether it raises $50 or $5,000,” Crowell says. “Our online Bake Sale Resource Center provides tools and ideas for making every bake sale as successful and fun as possible. Bakers will find planning checklists, templates for flyers, tips on location, pricing and photography and more all online. They can also be part of the bake sale community and share photos and experience from their individual or group events on our Facebook page.”

Visit for additional information or, to get started right away, go to

Fresh Blood Orange Cocktails to Herald the Peak of Blood Orange Season

Although the winter citrus season was off to a late start in 2012, markets are beginning to be flooded with a wealth of gorgeous citrus fruits, beckoning bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts to serve up drinks highlighting the fresh juices. One such blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fruit is the vaunted blood orange, with its namesake sanguine hue and intoxicating aroma and taste.

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur is a premium liqueur made with native Sicilian Sanguinello blood oranges picked at the peak of ripeness, bottling the magic for year-round enjoyment. The peak of this fleeting season, however, marks the occasion for pert, luscious cocktails made with both fresh blood oranges and Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur—a bracing remedy for the winter doldrums!

Accomplished San Francisco bartender and Solerno Brand Ambassador Jackie Patterson has concocted an array of cocktail recipes to herald the peak of the season.

Star Ruby
1 oz Solerno
1 oz fresh blood orange juice
1 oz Lillet Rouge
1 oz Hendrick’s Gin
Shake ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Blood Orange Fizz
1 oz Solerno
1 oz Hendrick’s Gin
½ oz fresh blood orange juice
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz egg white
1 oz soda water
2 drops orange flower water
Dry shake all ingredients except soda. Hard shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled fizz glass that already has the 1 oz of soda water in the bottom of the glass. Garnish with 2 drops of orange flower water.

Blood Orange Zinger
1 oz Stoli O
1 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 oz fresh blood orange juice
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz ginger beer
Shake ingredients except ginger beer with ice. Strain into a tall glass over fresh ice, fill with Ginger Beer and stir to incorporate. Garnish with a blood orange slice and a chunk of candied ginger.

1 ½ oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
½ oz Aperol
1 oz fresh orange juice (or blood orange juice!)
1 ¾ oz Prosecco
Build ingredients over ice and stir to incorporate and chill. Garnish with a blood orange slice.

Blood Orange Bellini
1 oz blood orange juice
2 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
3 oz Prosecco
Shake the Solerno and blood orange juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Fine strain into a Champagne flute and fill with Prosecco.

Solerno & Sparkling
1 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
5 oz dry sparkling wine
Pour over ice in a tall glass and garnish with several thinly sliced blood orange wheels.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kraft Foods Launches New Kraft Milkbite Milk & Granola Bars

Kraft Foods is raising the bar in snacking with its new KRAFT MILKBITE Milk & Granola Bars. Found in the refrigerated dairy aisle, each KRAFT MILKBITE Bar combines real milk with whole grain granola and other tasty and nutritious ingredients like fruit or roasted nuts, while providing the same calcium as an 8 oz. glass of milk. A wholesome alternative to existing bars, KRAFT MILKBITE Bars are a deliciously different snacking experience the entire family can enjoy.

“With MILKBITE, we saw an opportunity to change the status quo and introduce milk into snacking in a whole new way,” said Michelle Lorge, Senior Brand Manager, KRAFT MILKBITE. “By combining real milk and other wholesome ingredients, we designed MILKBITE to help satisfy the demand for snack options that are better for you and also taste great.”

KRAFT MILKBITE Milk & Granola Bars are made with real milk and calcium, making them an excellent source of calcium with 30% of the daily recommended value. They are also a good source of vitamin D and fiber, include protein (5g), and whole grains (7g), and do not contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Available in five delicious flavors – Chocolate, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin and Mixed Berry – KRAFT MILKBITE Milk & Granola Bars are a great way to snack at home, school, work or on-the-go.

KRAFT MILKBITE Milk & Granola Bars can be found in the refrigerated dairy aisle for a suggested retail price of $3.49.

For more information about KRAFT MILKBITE Milk & Granola Bars, visit

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why Clean Cuisine Is The Next Best Thing To The ‘Fountain Of Youth’

No one wants to watch a loved one suffer through a debilitating illness, least of all a doctor who feels he should be able to do something to help. Dr. Andrew Larson faced this scenario a decade ago when his wife Ivy was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). After Ivy’s neurologist, a world-renowned MS specialist at the University of Miami, spelled out the options available for treating her disease, which included dietary change, Andrew Larson used his medical background to create a science-based nutrition plan that could bring Ivy a healthier and better life naturally with an anti-inflammatory ‘clean eating’ diet.

The Clean Cuisine diet places special emphasis on plant-forward nutrition and is based on anti-inflammatory, unrefined and nutrient-dense whole foods. Emphasis on flavor is a big component and the Larson’s recipes replace processed oils and sugars with herbs, spices and simple culinary techniques for delicious and easy-to-prepare meals. “Clean Cuisine bridges the gap between what we should eat, what tastes good, what is scientifically proven to be best for our bodies and what is actually doable in the real world,” says Ivy.

The Larson’s eating and living program does not make people feel deprived – they can have a glass of wine or a sweet “cheat” treat each day because Clean Cuisine is a healthy program for body and mind that makes it possible to lose weight without ‘counting food’ in the form of calories, carbs, fat grams, etc. As Dr. Larson explains, “Once you supply your body with the nutrients it needs you can put an end to excess hunger and food cravings. The only way to lose weight long term is to find a way of eating that is both enjoyable and that doesn’t leave you hungry. That’s what Clean Cuisine does.”

In developing a way to control Ivy’s debilitating illness, the loving couple and bestselling health and nutrition authors discovered a lifestyle that rewards the whole family, including their 10-year old son, with an abundance of energy and vitality. “Since Clean Cuisine centers on a philosophy of healthy eating that transforms traditional dishes into guilt-free, flavor-forward food, everybody in the family benefits and can enjoy the same delicious meals together,” says Ivy Larson.

This medically sound, anti-inflammatory diet has kept Ivy’s MS in remission for over a decade, and is scientifically proven to reduce body fat, reverse diabetes, lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and CRP levels as well as ease the symptoms of other inflammatory diseases such as fibromyalgia, asthma, allergies and arthritis. This is huge for the millions of Americans afflicted with these various conditions who often don’t get the results they want from medication alone and are left to feel there is no hope of leading a normal life again. The side benefit of optimizing nutrition with Clean Cuisine is a younger-looking, slimmer and more vibrant body.

In addition to the science behind Clean Cuisine, there is also a beautiful, human-interest love story attached to this young couple’s relationship that is all about love and dedication. It makes perfect sense that Clean Cuisine centers around living from the heart and loving your family enough to help them make smart choices about food and lifestyle, and loving yourself so much that you choose to make choices that will help you be healthier, happier and more energetic.

At their easy-to-navigate website, the Larsons merge medical know-how with practical experience to show how to live life to the fullest. They offer free healthy living product reviews, time-efficient 30-minute ‘fitter, firmer, faster’ workout videos, over 200 Clean Cuisine recipes, and nutrition recommendations for the whole family.

For more life-changing information on Clean Cuisine, visit:

Sweet Mary’s “The Perfect Date” Popcorn

Sweet Mary’s “The Perfect Date” Popcorn ($18.00).
Cure any sweet tooth with this perfectly, popped corn smothered in White Chocolate then drizzled with Milk Chocolate infused with Raspberry: the perfect combination between salty and sweet!

Meant to be shared (or not!), “The Perfect Date” popcorn is 1/2 a pound and ideal for:
· A date between two
· A girl’s night in with her gals
· A hostess gift for any gathering (office, babyshower, bridal event or birthday)
· A night in – alone!
Founded by owner and president Mary Riesgraf, Sweet Mary’s is a confectionery house based in Los Angeles that now offers her delicious treats via online purchases at:
Celebrity fans include “My Name is Earl” actor Jason Lee, who ordered 150 caramel/chocolate apples for his wedding along with a few notables:
· Designer Rebecca Minkoff
· Beth Riesgraf of “Leverage”
· Jenna Elfman
· Timothy Hutton
· Krysten Ritter

It's love at Taste of Belgium

Macarons are available at Findlay Market and at our new Belgian Bistro. For
large orders, call the bistro at 513-381-4607.

We are also offering a special Valentine's day menu on 2/14.

As this is a special day, and we know you want to impress your date, we will accept reservations (Valentine's day prix fixe menu only - see below).

Valentine's Day Menu

Lobster Vol-au-vent (house made puff pastry cup, creamy lobster, asparagus)

Belgian Endive (goat cheese, toasted almonds, pomegranate and pear vinaigrette)

(choice of)
Pan seared scallops (leeks and carrot-ginger purée)
Filet mignon (green peppercorn cream sauce, caramelized Brussels sprouts
and rosemary roasted red potatoes)

Trio of macarons

Taste of Belgium -- Belgian Bistro
1133-1135 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

$50 per person
RSVP recommended

Bruegger's Offers Guests THREE Free Bagels to Celebrate National Bagel Day

Bruegger’s Bagels will celebrate its two favorite days of the year al Bagel Day and its birthday agel Day Birthday Bash. Through 2 p.m., guests who bring a coupon to any of Bruegger’s 300 locations will receive three free bagels to take to the office, home, or enjoy all to themselves.

“Our loyal customers are the best birthday gift of all, and Birthday Bash is our way of saying thanks,” said Bruegger’s Chief Marketing Officer Scott Colwell. “Last year, we gave away nearly a quarter-million of our freshly baked, authentic New York-style bagels. For our 29th birthday, we want to give even more!”

Guests may download the coupon from the “Birthday Bash” tab on Bruegger’s Facebook page, while members of Bruegger’s "Fresh News" email club will receive the coupon via email. (Bagel fans interested in receiving coupons all-year long can register for Fresh News at

This year also marks Bruegger’s third annual National Bagel Day Survey. As the founder of the retail bagel concept, Bruegger’s asks Americans to tell them about their favorite bagels and toppings each year in honor of bagel day.

For the third year running, the “Everything” bagel wins in the bagel category. In second place is the savory Asiago Parmesan bagel and in third, the sweet-as-pie Cinnamon-Sugar bagel. In the cream cheese category, plain cream cheese is America’s favorite, followed by light plain and honey walnut.

The survey also shows how popular the perfect bagel-and-cream-cheese breakfast combination is ndents have a bagel at least once a week, and close to 10 percent have a bagel every day.

Bruegger’s is the only national chain that bakes bagels fresh in each of its bakeries in the authentic New York-style using just five basic ingredients. In 2011, the bakery chain sold nearly 90 million bagels.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dry-Rub Seasonings Offer Unique Flavor

Looking to spice up the standard chicken breast or goof-proof the cooking of that prime beef tenderloin? Professional chefs and home cooks alike are ever searching for unique, simple ways to impress guests whether in a five-star restaurant or at a home party.

Char Crust® dry-rub seasonings were originally developed in 1957 to give steaks a flavorful charred-like crust while sealing in natural, succulent juices. They are now used nationwide to enhance a variety of dishes from beef, lamb, and pork, to poultry and seafood. The premium seasonings have become a popular secret ingredient at restaurants and home kitchens.

“People like to use our products because they don’t have time to cook anymore, but still want delicious meals,” said Bernard Silver, president of Char Crust, Inc. “With Char Crust® rubs, at-home chefs can easily create restaurant-style entrees.”

“Likewise, professional chefs find themselves short-staffed and pressed for time, so they count on Char Crust® rubs as a sure-fire way to serve juicy center-of-the plate items with flair,” said Susan Eriksen, vice president of Char Crust.

Dry-rub seasoning flavors include Original Hickory Grilled, Roasted Garlic Peppercorn, Ginger Teriyaki, Hickory & Molasses, Smoky Spicy Southwest, Amazin’ Cajun, All American Barbecue, Sun-Dried Tomato & Garlic, and Roto Roast. Chefs simply rub the blends of premium herbs, spices and other natural ingredients onto the surface of uncooked meat or fish, then broil, bake, grill, pan-sear, roast, or sauté.

Char Crust® rubs also fit many food lifestyles, such as low-fat, low-carb, or low-calorie diets, as each three-gram serving contains zero fat, one or two carbs, and no more than nine calories. All Char Crust® rubs are also certified kosher.

Four-ounce packages retail at $5.49 and are sold online at Products can also be found at butcher shops, gourmet food stores, and grocery stores nationwide. The seasonings are also sold to restaurants primarily through Sysco's ChefEx program. Chefs at popular restaurants in all 50 states depend on Char Crust® rubs to prepare signature menu items.

About Char Crust®
Char Crust® is a line of dry-rub seasonings that sear and form a beautiful crust that “Seals In The Juices®” on a variety of food items specifically meat, poultry and seafood. Flavors include: Original Hickory Grilled, Roasted Garlic Peppercorn, Ginger Teriyaki, Hickory & Molasses, Smoky Spicy Southwest, Amazin’ Cajun, All American Barbecue, Sun-Dried Tomato & Garlic, and Roto Roast. The product was first developed by Nathan Silver at his legendary Al Farber's Steakhouse in Chicago in 1957. The company is still owned by Nathan’s family and headquartered in Chicago where they manufacture their retail and foodservice products and sell them throughout the USA and Canada.

Make Your and Your Loved Ones' Hearts Soar this Valentine's Day withCrispy Green's Heart-Healthy, Delicious Freeze-Dried Fruit Snacks

What better way to show love for yourself or your loved one this Valentine’s Day than by choosing a “heart-healthy” snack that is sweet, crunchy and delicious, and satisfies your desire for a treat. Crispy Green® and FruitziO® are the right products for you.

Crispy Green® Crispy Fruit and FruitziO® freeze-dried fruit snacks meet the CDC recommendations for “heart-healthy” snacks. They are fat-free, cholesterol-free, low sodium and contain most of nutrients of the fresh fruits. Crispy Fruit comes in a single-serving bag containing approximately one serving of fruit and 55 calories or less per bag; FruitziO, with a hint of added cane sugar, has 2.5 servings per bag and only 100 calories for the entire bag. Both are vegan-friendly, peanut/tree-nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and are kosher-certified.

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with that special someone or making a commitment to eat healthier for Healthy Heart Month, Crispy Green offers a healthy-heart choice for the entire family with their full line of Crispy Fruit and FruitziO® freeze-dried fruit snacks. It will be love at first taste with Crispy Fruit and FruitziO!

“If you truly love someone, you should care for the health and well-being of the person, especially if that person is yourself,” says Angela Liu, President and Founder of Crispy Green. “Making a healthier snack choice for you or your loved one says a lot of about how much you care.”

Crispy Green® award-winning Crispy Fruit snacks come in six delicious flavors: Crispy Apples, Crispy Asian Pears, Crispy Bananas, Crispy Cantaloupe, Crispy Mangoes and Crispy Pineapples (MSRP: $1.49). 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).

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 taste. Packaged in convenient, travel-friendly, moisture-free 25-gram (.88-ounce) re-sealable pouches (MSRP: $3.49), each package contains less than 100 calories with varieties including Apples & Strawberries, Apricots, Kiwi, Peaches and Strawberries.

Crispy Green® and FruitziO® products are available in stores such as The Fresh Market, Harris Teeters, Bloom, Earth Fare and selected Whole Food Market. 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

Monday, February 6, 2012

IHOP Promotes Free Pancakes for a Cause with Wake Up Calls and Online Contest

IHOP® is launching two programs to raise awareness for its annual free pancake giveaway fundraiser benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities. The family-friendly restaurant chain invites pancake lovers to receive a wake up call on February 28, 2012 – IHOP’s National Pancake Day – from a teen heartthrob, an NFL Hall of Famer, a GRAMMY®-nominated singer, or one of the most beautiful women in America. Flapjack fanatics can also participate in IHOP’s “Stacks for Good Acts” national online contest, which will reward one lucky winner with a year’s supply of free pancakes on National Pancake Day.

To spread the word about National Pancake Day, several Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ celebrity supporters have joined forces to “wake up” fans and encourage them to seek out free pancakes on Tuesday, February 28. Hotcake enthusiasts can register to receive a wake up call on National Pancake Day from NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals co-founders John Schneider and Marie Osmond, singers David Archuleta and GRAMMY-nominated Jordin Sparks, Twilight star Boo Boo Stewart, Disney XD star Brendan Meyer, and the recently crowned Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler. Wake up calls can be requested at through Friday, February 24, 2012.

National Pancake Day is also an exciting date for participants in IHOP’s “Stacks For Good Acts” online contest, which invites good Samaritans to submit a story of 250 words or less about a good deed they or someone they know did in 2011. The author of the winning entry, who will be announced on National Pancake Day, will receive free pancakes for one year (defined as one free short stack of buttermilk pancakes per day for 365 days). Entries will be judged on emotional impact, originality and entertainment value, and they can be submitted anytime at between now and the end of the contest at 11:59 p.m. ET on February 24, 2012. Complete "Stacks for Good Acts" contest rules can be found at

On National Pancake Day, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, IHOP will give guests one free short stack of its signature buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at more than 1,500 restaurants throughout the United States. In return, IHOP will ask guests to make a voluntary donation to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities, hoping to break a record by raising more than $2.7 million.

For more information about National Pancake Day, to find a local IHOP, or to donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, please visit

Introducing Muffin Meal

A new bakeware accessory that puts cup-like holes in muffins or cupcakes – so you can “fill it with your imagination!” Fits any brand, make or model pan; cup slides up or down and locks into place to make shallow or deeper holes. Muffinmeal is made from high temperature FDA approved plastic that can withstand 400 degrees; cleans up easily and is dishwasher safe. No waste like traditional coring utensils. There are endless savory and sweet combinations that can be created with muffinmeal.

Combat Viruses and Bacteria with Immunity-boosting Foods from Your Kitchen

In the Northern hemisphere, it’s now peak time for the flu and colds, which grip millions of Americans each year. And contrary to common belief, the best way to combat viruses and bacteria is not in your medicine cabinet – it’s in your kitchen.

Topical BioMedics, makers of Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream, has partnered with Roufia Payman, the director of outpatient nutritional services at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, NY, to provide a list of nutritional tips for top immunity-boosting foods that can help you achieve optimum healing and wellness.

We’ve all heard the saying “Starve a fever and feed a cold”…Or is it, “Feed a fever and starve a cold?” The actual phrase, which dates back to the middle 1500s, claims we should starve a fever and feed a cold. But there’s no reason to be confused because the good news is that starving is never the correct answer, making it easy to remember you should feed both.

Foods that are rich in nutrients may help keep you well, or if you do succumb to illness, will help your body fight off the infection.

For starters, it’s always a good idea to include more raw fruits and vegetables in your diet as they provide an abundance of all important antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Zinc is an important mineral, as well, as it has antioxidant effects plus is vital to the body’s resistance to infection and to stimulate the immune system. Foods rich in zinc include eggs, meats, nuts, seafood, seeds, wheat germ and whole grains.

The mineral selenium helps to boost immunity and increase your body’s production of cytokines, which help remove the flu virus. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts and seafood, particularly lobster, oysters, crab, clams, tuna and cod.

It’s important to think protein, too. It’s vital to help build and repair tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections. Choose lean sources like skinless chicken, turkey, sardines, and beans, as well as a good-quality whey protein powder.

Here’s a list of top immunity-boosting foods for optimum healing and wellness.

Grandma was right – nothing beats chicken soup for fending off sniffles. Not only does it provide the fluids needed to help fight off viruses, it’s a powerful mucus stimulant so it helps clear nasal congestion as well as thin mucus. It’s also thought to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect than can help ease cold symptoms. Keep some organic chicken stock on hand, because studies have found that even commercial soup is as effective as homemade.

If you want to punch up the healing power of your chicken soup – or any other dish – add plenty of garlic and onions. When combined, these flavorful healers contain numerous antiseptic and immunity boosting compounds. As an added plus, garlic helps to open clogged sinuses.

No herbal medicine cabinet should be without mushrooms. They increase the production of cytokines, which are cells that help fight off infection. They also contain polysaccharides, which are compounds that support the immune system. The most potent cold- and flu-fighting ‘shrooms are shitake, maitake and reishi.

Citrus fruits contain hefty doses of powerhouse vitamin C. Studies have found that this antioxidant can reduce cold symptoms by 23 percent, and all that’s needed is just one to eight grams (1,000 to 8,000 milligrams) to do the trick. Besides citrus fruits, other foods that have high amounts of vitamin C include papaya, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts and red bell peppers.

Studies have shown that eating a cup of low-fat yogurt each day can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. The beneficial bacteria is Lactobacillus reuteri which has been found to block the replication of viruses that invade the body when we get sick. Not all brands have that particular bacteria, so check labels and be sure to go organic.

While yogurt is a great source of probiotics, some have more than others and we can really benefit by taking an additional supplement. Other immune-booster “musts” are vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acid.

Hot tea is soothing and a great home remedy, helping to thin mucus and ensure proper hydration. For added health benefit, sip green or black tea – both are filled with flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants.

Ginger comes to the aid when we’re sick in some powerful ways. Besides soothing a scratchy throat, it has chemicals called sesquiterpenes that target rhinoviruses – which are the most common family of cold viruses – as well as substances that help suppress coughing. Ginger is also a natural pain and fever reducer and a mild sedative so you’ll feel more comfortable and be able to rest easier. Add a couple of tablespoons of shredded gingerroot to your tea, or make ginger tea (it comes in tea bags, but you can also simmer fresh sliced ginger to make a potent brew)

Honey has numerous medicinal properties and because it coats your throat it is a natural way to soothe sore throats. It also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to help fight infections from viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Skip the common clover honey that you’ll find in the supermarket as it has the lowest antioxidant level. Look for buckwheat honey, which has the highest. (A note of caution: never give honey to children under one years of age because their immune systems are not developed enough to ward off infantile botulism, which is carried in honey spores.)

It’s ironic that black pepper – the spice best known for making you sneeze – can ward off the sniffles. Black peppercorns are high in piperine, a compound known for its anti-fever and pain-relieving qualities.

Make recipes more flavorful with garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano – while spicing things up, you’ll also get an added kick of immune-busters, too.

Follow these tips, nourish yourself with these immunity-boosting foods and have a happy and healthy season.

Roufia Payman is a contributing columnist to Natural Healing, Natural Wellness, a newsletter published by Topical BioMedics featuring insight from experts in various health fields. The newsletter is available free at Sign up to receive updates when a new issue of the newsletter is published as well as other news and information.

Topricin is available in pharmacies, natural food stores and other fine retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Fred Meyer, Wegmans, and other retail stores throughout the U.S., as well as direct from the Topical BioMedics’ online store.

To learn more about Topricin, go to