Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Have Your Kids Grow Strawberries!

Get kids growing in the garden by starting them off planting their own strawberries. You can let them plant and care for a whole patch, or just one or two plants, planted in a strawberry jar or garden container. Be sure to engage your kids in the planting process and let them get their hands dirty. Then show them how to care for and water their home-grown tasty treats. You can make this more fun for children by buying them their very own watering can. Don’t forget to show kids how to pinch off plant runners to reap larger sized berries. And of course have them do the harvesting and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

You’ll find most kids enjoy helping in the garden, they’re allowed to get dirty, they get some good exercise, actually learn and understand, first hand, where their food comes from and they’ll gain a good sense of nurture, nature and responsibility within the process.

Children love watching strawberries grow, they’ll see flowers bloom, garden bees, and fruit develop and turn color. After developing a sense of ownership of their plants, they will especially love eating the sweet fruits they grew themselves.

Here’s some tips to ensure strawberry success:

*When planting strawberries, be sure the crown is above soil level and the upper most roots are 1/4 inch beneath soil level, buried crowns rot and exposed roots dry out. Have kids measure and then dig holes for placing plants, depending on space and quantity. Strawberry plants should be placed approximately 14 to 18 inches apart from each other in neat rows that are separated by 2-3 feet each. Let runners fill in until plants are 7-10 inches apart.

*Use mulch to keep berries clean, conserve moisture and control weeds.

*If you want to keep it simple, plant strawberries in a container. Just remember that container plantings need much more water than in-ground plantings, usually once a day; and if it's hot, twice. Strawberry pots are the obvious, best container choice for growing strawberries. You can fit several plants in one pot; just make sure whatever type of garden pot you use has good drainage. Strawberries have a relatively small root ball and can be grown in containers as small as 10-12 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep. However, the smaller the container, the more frequently you will need to water. Synthetic and light colored pots will keep the roots cooler than dark colors and natural materials that conduct heat.

*Strawberries like well drained fairly rich soil, so be sure to add compost or other organic matter when preparing the pot or patch.

*They need full sun, and frequent, deep soakings. Be sure to give adequate water during bearing season. They will grow in all zones and should be fed twice a year -- when growth begins and after the first crop. Use a complete fertilizer high in phosphorous for feedings.

Choosing Strawberry Plants – There are four different types of strawberry plants, June bearing, everbearing, day neutral and alpine. Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of veggies and herbs in the U.S., with 65 growing stations across the country, regionally serving 48 states, offers strawberry plants at your local garden retailer. Use transplants- they’re easier than seed and the growing process will take less time. For more info and tips on growing strawberries please visit

Strawberries are one of the easiest and best home garden fruits for kids to grow. They’ll produce fruit throughout the summer and children will love to pluck them right off the plant, wash and eat! If your kids have yet to plant and care for a fruit or vegetable, strawberries are a perfect choice for their first gardening experience. Kick off this gardening season with your kids and get them growing strawberries!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 Invests $109,000 in a Winemaker Behind Napa Valley's Premier Cult Wines, a customer-funded winery, has united over 150,000 Angels to invest $109,000 to setup Randy Hester, a winemaker who spent the past several years involved with some of Napa Valley's premier cult wineries. Randy's experience started at Cakebread Cellars as a harvest intern where he was later hired on full-time. Randy Hester says, "It was at Cakebread where I learned what it takes to work in a winery." Upon leaving Cakebread in 2008 he worked alongside some of the biggest names in the wine world making wines you have to stand in line to buy even if you can afford the $300 price tag. In 2012 he landed an amazing opportunity to work with Andy Erickson.

Randy says, "Before I moved out to Napa, I made a list of the top 50 winemakers and wineries that I wanted to work with. Andy has always been at the top of that list and it's been an absolute thrill to work with him."

Funded by cutting costs you can't taste

Since Randy's wines are crowdfunded by his customers, there are no marketing or sales costs. This allows the Angels to invest heavily in grapes and talent, without wasting money on things they can't taste.

In the wine business, the cost of selling is so high that it can often double or triple the price of a bottle. Randy says, "I am thrilled to offer this wine at this price! I don't know if I can say this but I would pay $30 for this wine. As much fun as wine marketing can be, it costs so much money. Reducing our marketing expenses to almost nothing means I can charge my valued Angel investors a lot less, and everybody wins."

Crowdfunded wines available now

Randy's customer-funded Sauvignon Blanc is available exclusively to customers as of February 15, 2013.


Monday, February 25, 2013

So you want to write a cookbook?

Do you have a food blog and dream of being published? Have you ever been standing over a big pot of stew at the stove and had the perfect idea for a cookbook pop into your head? Now is your chance.

The Lisa Ekus Group, a culinary agency that recently celebrated 31 years in business, is seeking new talent through a Twitter contest. Inspired by the March Madness basketball tournament, the contest will ask anyone who wants to write a cookbook to pitch their best culinary non-fiction ideas to @SallyEkus via 140-character (or less) tweets to #SignMeSal from March 11 -13, 2013. On March 14th, 2013, the finalists will be chosen to participate in the playoffs and entries will be whittled down in subsequent days. Like the March Madness basketball tournament, 16 finalists will enter the playoffs. Remaining participants will then be asked to round out their proposals with further tweets that cover standard proposal elements, such as the book’s point of differentiation, the author’s promotional ideas, and the author’s credentials. The last two finalists will join Literary Agent Sally Ekus in a Twitter chat on March 25, 2013 to discuss their ideas as well as ask questions about agency representation and cookbook publishing in general. Contestants, who were previously eliminated, as well as the greater Twitter community, will be encouraged to join the Twitter chat to ask questions of the final two contenders. A single winner will be chosen and then work with agent Sally Ekus to develop a fleshed out proposal to pitch to editors at publishing houses.

The contest calendar is as follows:
• March 11th-13th, 2013: Tweet your cookbook concept to #SignMeSal
• March 14th, 2013: @SallyEkus will tweet the 16 cookbook concept playoff contenders
• March 15th, 2013: The winning 16 will tweet once what their Point of Differentiation (How is this concept different from what already exists in the market?) is to #SignMeSal
• March 18th, 2013: 8 winners will be announced by @SallyEkus and will proceed to the next round
• March 19th, 2013: The 8 winners of the last round will tweet 3 promotional ideas for how they intend to promote their book once it is published.
• March 20th, 2013: 4 winners from the promotional idea round will be announced by @SallyEkus
• March 21st, 2013: The 4 winners of the promotional idea round will tweet their answer to the final question, “Why me? Why am I the person to write this book?” in up to three tweets to #SignMeSal
• March 22nd, 2013: Two finalists will be announced by @SallyEkus
• March 25th, 2013: @SallyEkus will host a Twitter chat from 1-2pm EST to ask the finalists questions about their concepts and backgrounds. This will also be a chance for the two finalists to ask questions about agent representation and The Lisa Ekus Group, as well as a time for people following the contest to weigh in with their own questions. The finalists should come to the chat prepared to answer questions such as “What does platform mean to me?” and “I want to write this book because…”
• March 27th, 2013: One winner will be announced by @SallyEkus

Interested parties should pitch any idea related to food, health, wellness, and cooking. You may be previously published, but you may not be currently represented by another literary agency. The Lisa Ekus Group is looking for fresh voices, new ideas, and untapped talent. “I am looking for someone who can get their ideas across succinctly, in 140 characters or less,” said Sally Ekus. "The Tweet is the new elevator pitch.”

Contest rules can be found at:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The International Biscuit Festival 2013 Biscuit Bake Off Invites Recipe Submissions

The International Biscuit Festival has begun accepting recipe submissions for the 2013 International Biscuit Festival Biscuit Bake Off, to be held May 18, 2013 in downtown Knoxville. The International Biscuit Festival was recently selected the #1 Food Festival in the U.S. by The Biscuit Bake Off is one of the “must see” events of the Festival!

Want to be a part of this year’s Bake Off? Send us your best Biscuit recipe and enter to win it all! Last year’s champion, Elizabeth Blanchard from Spartanburg, South Carolina won with her Cajun Tater Biscuits. Elizabeth said of the Bake Off: “It was a wonderful experience for me and my family. Everyone was extremely helpful and encouraging. It was a remarkable day full of memories!”

The four categories of competition are Sweet Biscuits, Savory Biscuits, Special Biscuits and Student Biscuits. The Special category is for those Biscuits that are over the top and incredibly imaginative. The Student category features the next generation of bakers and is for entrants 18 and younger. Each category will have three finalists chosen from all of the submitted recipes and those bakers will be invited to bake live in front of our panel of celebrity judges and an audience of Biscuit lovers. The Grand Prize Winner will be chosen from the winners of the four Biscuit categories.

“We have had a tremendously creative selection of Biscuit entries for the first two years of this fun, fun festival. We anticipate the 2013 season of competition to be even more original, outrageous and delicious,” said Chris Kahn, chair of the 2013 Biscuit Bake Off.

Bake Off applications are available online at Submissions will be accepted from February 1, 2013 until midnight on April 22, 2013. Finalists will be notified and scheduled for the live competition at the Festival in downtown Knoxville, TN.

Distilled Spirits Epicenter's Moonshine University presents bourbon cocktail class on Saturday, March 9

On Saturday, March 9, Moonshine University at Distilled Spirits Epicenter will host a Bourbon Enthusiast Class that examines the flavor variations of Kentucky’s signature spirit and explores the art of the bourbon cocktail. Class participants will enjoy sensory evaluations and cocktail demonstrations featuring a variety of bourbons. Sullivan University’s beverage management chair professor Albert Schmid will be a special guest instructor. The class takes place at 801 S. 8th St. from 3 to 5 p.m. and costs $59 per person. To register, call (502) 301-8126 or visit

Although bourbon must meet certain criteria when it comes to ingredients and the aging process, slight variations in the recipe create distinct differences in flavor. The inclusion of wheat tends to create a sweeter bourbon, while rye adds spicy notes. The flavor of bourbon is also affected by the age and proof. At Moonshine University’s bourbon cocktail class, participants will learn which bourbons to choose for various cocktail recipes.

Located at 801 S. 8th St., 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. 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

Monday, February 18, 2013

Luxury Drinking Accessory: Spirit Ice Vice

Without ice cube corners melting into your whiskey drink, the flavor will really rock! Using only heat conductivity, gravity, and a bit of your time, the Spirit Ice Vice creates the perfect ice sphere for your drink. It's made in the USA by Spirits On Ice LLC. This is a luxury item with a retail price tag of $750.

Additional information and high res images are available upon request. Samples are limited so put in your request NOW.

Here's how simple it is to use:

Start with the large block of ice you made using one of the special molds included with your spirit ice vice. Put the vice's top over the ice and marvel as the thermal conductivity of the metal transforms the cube in about a minute into a perfect, seamless 2 ½" ball that will fit perfectly into your low ball glass. Using the tongs included, remove the ice and place it into your glass. Chill your favorite spirit by pouring it over the ice ball. The ice ball brings maximum cold with minimum surface area exposed to your pour, protecting the integrity of your flavor and celebrating your taste! The spirit vice absorbs the chill each times it's used, so run warm water over both pieces if you plan to use it several times in a row.

To experience Spirit Ice Vice in action watch the video here:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Introducing Ohio Based Pig-of-the-Month Club

Featured on Good Morning America (3 times!) and in Martha Stewart Magazine AND personally endorsed by Iron Chef, Michael Symon, Pig of the Month is an online retailer specializing in world famous barbecue and sides - all one click away from your dinner table. With a smoking technique that was perfected over decades, the company ships homemade, all natural BBQ products ranging from a variety of meats, sides, and sauces straight to your door - all ready to be served within 30-minutes of arrival.

Established in 2010 by Lea Richards after leaving her high stress job in finance, Ohio based Pig of the Month BBQ is the product of a beloved family tradition and the result of one family’s insanely wild goose chase throughout the U.S. for the best barbecue. Until the realization hit that they didn’t have to go anywhere for the best barbecue - The Pig of the Month team has all the experience, tips, and recipes from around the country to make the best barbecue in the country right in their house, and now offer customers the chance to eat it in theirs.

Learn more and see the full line of products at Everything is made in America!

Best Sellers include:
BBQ Feast! $74.95
* 2 racks of our award winning Texas Style BBQ ribs
* 1 pound of our famous pulled pork
* 1 bottle Cattle King Texas Brisket & BBQ Sauce

As Kate Romond of Martha Stewart put it, "A selection of BBQ so simple, yet so compulsively munchable and delicious, that it could reverse the decades-long trend of mass produced crap BBQ."

Bacon Sampler - $55
* 1 pound Pepper Crusted Smoked Bacon
* 1 pound Chipotle spiced Bacon
* 1 pound Applewood Smoked Maple Cinnamon Bacon

One editor just told us that when she ate our Applewood Smoked Maple Cinnamon Bacon it's "what I picture Paula Deen meant when she says 'good bacon can change how your BLT's taste.' I'll never go back to eating grocery store bacon again!"

Sausage Sampler - $38.95
* 1 pound Duck, Pear, and Port Sausages
* 1 pound Mild Italian Sausages
* 1 pound Garlic Sausages

Memphis Style Ribs - $58.95
* 2 racks of Memphis style baby back ribs (1.75-2lbs per rack)
* 1 bottle Memphis BBQ Sauce
Serving Suggestion: 2 racks will feed 4 people comfortably

We had the opportunity to sample some of these products. The sausage was excellent and the bacon is about as good as bacon can get. I preferred the Applewood Smoked Maple which melts in your mouth to the Chipotle. This stuff is definitely gourmet and priced accordingly. I don't think most people could eat this on an every day/regular basis. But for those special times when you want to treat friends, family or yourself, you absolutely can not go wrong here!

To receive 15% off, use special code: "feedme"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Busken Bakery Introduces the Lite-Hearted Donut

Busken Bakery is proud to introduce their latest innovation: the Lite-Hearted Donut™.

The Lite-Hearted Donut™ is a heart-shaped glazed donut targeted to calorie-counting consumers. Each donut contains just 140 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and zero trans fat and zero saturated fat. A normal Busken glazed donut contains 300 calories and 16 grams of fat.

That's nearly 85% less fat, less than half the calories, and the same great taste as the ever-popular original.

“We are excited to finally be able to offer a reduced calorie donut that still offers all the great flavor of our original glazed donut,” commented Dan Busken, President of Busken Bakery, “Health fanatics can now indulge, guilt free, on one of our glazed donuts, and continue to enjoy our skinny cookies as well.”

Busken Bakery has offered low-calorie treats in the past, most notably, the Skinny Cookie™, a half-the-fat, fewer-calorie cookie compared to the Busken Original Iced Cookie™. Now a staple on bakery shelves and in customer mouths, Busken has sold 890,000 Skinny Cookies in just 3 years.

The Lite-Hearted Donut™ will be available at all 10 Busken Bakery locations, 135 United Dairy Farmers, and Remke-Bigg’s. To learn more and keep up to date on the news, please follow Busken Facebook page:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sparkling ICE Launches 2 New Flavors: Peach Nectarine and Crisp Apple

Sparkling ICE®, part of the TalkingRain® portfolio of beverages, is proud to announce the launch of two new flavors: Crisp Apple and Peach Nectarine. Created to meet consumer demand for a great tasting, zero calorie beverage, the latest additions to the popular Sparkling ICE family bring the product lineup to ten bold flavor varieties.

Crisp Apple, a refreshing flavor reminiscent of autumn apple picking season, and Peach Nectarine, a bold flavor combination that will have taste buds celebrating the ripe summer fruits year-long, were flavors directly requested by consumers. Having dedicated extensive time and resources to consumer research, as well as product and flavor development, Sparkling ICE is proud to report that both new introductions are receiving positive consumer feedback on overall flavor rating, with Crisp Apple also appealing very strongly to families in test markets.

“It’s enormously exciting to see and hear of our customers’ passion for Sparkling ICE as the brand continues to grow,” said Kevin Klock, President of TalkingRain Beverage Co. “We took consumer feedback and flavor development into serious consideration when selecting and creating Crisp Apple and Peach Nectarine, and are thrilled to introduce the new flavor varieties to a thirsty marketplace.”

TalkingRain, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012, attributes the company’s unprecedented recent growth to an increased focus on the Sparkling ICE brand. The naturally flavored sparkling mountain spring water containing vitamins, antioxidants and natural fruit juices has increased its distribution both nationally and at the international level, and has more than doubled its staff since the start of 2011.

Sparkling ICE was recognized early in 2012 as a “Rising Star” in the SymphonyIRI Group’s New Product Pacesetters report, an industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional first-year CPG sales success for newly launched products, while also receiving the award for “Best Sparkling Beverage” for the brand’s Coconut Pineapple flavor at the 2012 InterBev Awards. Sparkling ICE proudly continued setting industry standards by claiming “Best Enhanced Water” award at the BevNET Best of 2012 Awards.

The ten Sparkling ICE flavors now include: Crisp Apple, Peach Nectarine, Coconut Pineapple, Lemon Lime, Kiwi Strawberry, Lemonade, Orange Mango, Pomegranate Blueberry, Pink Grapefruit and Black Raspberry, with more exciting flavor expansions planned for 2013.

Cook Smarter with Cook4Lyfe

Ever since man began walking upright, hunting for food and preparing that food to be eaten has taken up a great deal of humanity’s limited time. Even today, with the internet and new gadgets aiding in the exploration of the toughest ingredients, once thought to only be utilized by the masters, finding quality recipes and the time to cook can be difficult. Cook4Lyfe, a new kitchen utility app, streamlines the cooking process by breaking that process down into a step by step “meal cycle” to help you decide what to cook, where to go to get the ingredients you need and how to make that delicious dish.

C4L will help you create a simple home inventory of ingredients you already have (using bar code scanner) and using gesture control move, add or delete ingredients from the inventory to your grocery list. Cook4Lyfe will even recommend a grocery store based on the ingredients on your list and will now give you driving directions to the grocery store. Cook4Lyfe has a database of over 40,000 tried and true recipes from your favorite bloggers and food websites and is updated daily. The newest version of Cook4lyfe allows users to set dietary filters for specific dietary needs along with pulling in the hottest trending recipes to help jumpstart that creative culinary genius that lurks within all home chefs!

Cook4Lyfe’s intuitive gesture control interface allows you to easily:
• Customize your home Inventory of ingredients
• Search from over 40,000 recipes based on your customized inventory
• Save favorite recipes and ingredients
• Create custom shopping lists from missing inventory ingredients
• Find the best grocery store in your area to find the ingredients you need
• Get directions to the recommended store
• Add purchased ingredients using swipe based gesture control to the inventory
• Streamline the entire grocery shopping and cooking process!

We are so excited about our newest version of the app (V1.2), now available in the app store for $1.99. Cook4Lyfe is a product developed by Patrick Kellenberger of CubeLyfe, Inc. a Denver, Colorado-based iOS app development company. Cubelyfe strives to create apps that make life easy and exciting by combining minimalist design with intuitive functionality.

Holman Ranch Wines Named One of Top 10 Wines In The World By NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOKS The 10 Best of Everything

Announced today … drumroll please! Only one Monterey County Winery has been named by National Geographic among its 10 best list! National Geographic’s latest THE 10 BEST OF EVERYTHING: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers Second Edition has named its top 10 Wines in the World! For the first time ever Holman Ranch Wines has been named on this exclusive list! In addition, Holman Ranch is launching its new Wine Club on February 1. The new Holman Ranch Wine Club offers unique members-only experiences. Exclusive access to wines is just the start of the journey with Holman Ranch. The popular Estate Club was created in response to a high demand for wines that are not available at restaurants or retailers in your local area. The wine club also keeps you informed about new releases, wine education classes, estate olive oil and upcoming events. You asked; we listened.

There are two levels of membership that perfectly pair with your preferences.
· 2 shipments per year / 1 case total
· (6 bottles per shipment)
· Estate Membership guarantees access to all of our small production wines and is an excellent way to become familiar with our Holman Ranch Estate mountain vineyards. Many of these wines are exclusive to our tasting room and Wine Club and not available anywhere else. In addition to regular event invitations, Holman Ranch will host preferred events and exclusive Members Only release parties on the Ranch and in our wine cave. We offer a Pinot Noir and White option, as well as a Pinot Noir-only option for those who prefer reds.

The Estate Club Membership includes:
• Two week pre-release email notification of wines to be shipped, pricing and expected ship date
• Complimentary tastings for you and up to three guests (maximum of four people)
• Exclusive access to “Wine Club Only” and new release wines as well as our Estate Olive Oil
• Pre-release opportunity to purchase new wines before Tasting Room release
• Complimentary VIP tours of the Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery, by appointment
• Two free tickets to Holman Ranch’s annual Fiesta de los Amigos
• Preferred reservation status to any wine education or hospitality event (plus discounted Wine Club pricing to many of these public events)
• Holman Ranch wine key as a welcome gift
• Option to customize each shipment to your current varietal needs or budget

· 2 shipments per year / 2 cases total
· (12 bottles per shipment)
· Enjoy the prestige of being a part of an exclusive, limited membership club! A selection of our limited-production Pinot Noirs and/or White wines in each case – an excellent way to build your cellar through regular installments of our finest varietals. As an exclusive benefit to the Grand Membership, each member is entitled to a complimentary two-night stay for two in one of Holman Ranch’s hospitality cottages. In addition, all Wine Club shipping charges are complimentary.* Of course, the Grand Membership makes you eligible for all member-only events and special invitations to private dinners and barrel tastings with our winemaker in our wine cave. Choose our Pinot Noir and White option or a Pinot Noir-only option if you prefer reds.

The Grand Estate Club Membership includes:
All of the benefits of Estate Club as well as:
· Complimentary shipping on wine club shipments (ground)*
· Enjoy a complimentary two-night stay in one of Holman Ranch’s Hospitality cottages each year (subject to availability)**
· Invitation to private dinners and barrel tastings with our winemaker in our wine cave
· Holman Ranch “welcome” gift: keepsake wine key and a bottle of our Extra Virgin Estate Olive Oil
· Club memberships may be canceled at any time with written notice after two shipments. All purchases will be billed to your credit card number on file. Your first shipment will be made on your join date.
· A notice will be emailed two weeks prior to each shipment, giving you the opportunity to update your shipping address or other membership information and make any changes or additions to your order. Holman Ranch reserves the right to change policies and terms of the Estate Club without prior notice.

Stop by Holman Ranch’s Carmel Valley tasting room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley to swirl, sip and savor the different complexities of Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery wines. There is something for everyone (4 varietals in fact), from the full-bodied Pinot Noirs to the light, fruity flavors of our Pinot Gris and lightly oaked Chardonnay. Holman Ranch also offers estate grown and bottled Olive Oil available for tasting and purchase at the Tasting Room.

The Tasting Room showcases the estate wines of Holman Ranch which includes our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé of Pinot Noir. Carefully hand-harvested, cold pressed and bottled, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from the fruits of our Tuscan trees has a delightful spice followed by a buttery finish.

Tastings are offered daily. A standard tasting includes four varietals. For more information, call (831) 659-2640. The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 am–6:00 pm and can be reserved for private events.

Background on The 10 Best of Everything by National Geographic: WHO offers the world’s best cruises? BEST Airlines? WHAT is the best thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in 10 Great Cities? Best watches. BEST PRODUCTS. Best OPERA Houses. BEST National LANDMARKS. WHERE are the greatest Spas? The best TRAINS? The Grand Hotels and Boutique Hotels in Europe. Best Sporting Events. And the finest and most exciting restaurants in the world. WHEN is Norway’s season of enchantment? WHY is Argentina such a seductive place?

Renowned travel and lifestyle experts Nathaniel and Andrew Lande present a thoroughly revised and updated edition of their popular, best-selling travel book THE 10 BEST OF EVERYTHING: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers Second Edition (National Geographic Books; ISBN: 978-1-4262-0227-8; March 18, 2008; $19.95). The 2008 edition is expanded with much new material including a new afterword that describes the authors’ recent travels and discoveries, a new grand tour of the 10 best historical and literary journeys on the globe, Lande’s Famous List, and more than 60 entries replaced or rewritten. A portion of the royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the International Rescue Committee.

This blue-chip bible for globetrotting connoisseurs is the ultimate checklist of trinkets, food, leisure and travel. Regardless of readers’ individual styles, whims and yearnings for adventure, the Landes have generated an extraordinarily comprehensive catalog to meet everyone’s desire to indulge in the best of what life has to offer. Their top 10 lists in dozens of categories and a 21st-century grand tour make this book a deluxe, entertaining dream guide.

Eminently browse-able, THE 10 BEST OF EVERYTHING is a veritable magic carpet ride. Punctuated with 280 color and black-and-white photographs and illustrations, a wealth of in-depth descriptions, savvy tips, seasoned sidebars and personal narratives from TIME correspondents, experts and celebrities, THE 10 BEST OF EVERYTHING will awaken the cultural connoisseur and eccentric globe-trotter in every reader, whether they’re a regular jet-setter, embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage or daydreaming in the comfort of their own home.

Nathaniel Lande, logged more than 4 million miles and circled the globe a dozen times through his work as the director of TIME World News Service and in other capacities. In addition to THE 10 BEST OF EVERYTHING, Nathaniel is the award-winning author of eight fiction and nonfiction books, and the producer/director of several critically acclaimed films and documentaries.

Andrew Lande is a wine and food expert as well as the co-author of “The Cigar Connoisseur.” He also won an Emmy Award for his work on A&E’s Biography special, “Bob Hope: America’s Entertainer.”

About Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery: Located at the north eastern tip of the Carmel Valley Appellation, the family-owned Holman Ranch resides approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast. Immersed in history and romance, the ranch has not only proven to be an excellent growing location for our vineyards but also for the Tuscan varietal olive trees which have flourished under the temperate climate. Holman Ranch estate-grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 19 acres of undulating terrain. The wines produced are unfined and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to bottle. The climate and terroir of the appellation has played a critical part in the success of their wines. The warmth of the inland valley coupled with the cooling marine layer has proven to be an ideal microclimate for the production of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The vineyards' Burgundy Clones have thrived from the perfect blend of ideal climate, southern exposure and thin rocky soils. The estate wines of Holman Ranch include: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé of Pinot Noir. Carefully hand-harvested, cold pressed and bottled, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from the fruits of our trees has a delightfully distinctive flavor.

Holman Ranch: Where the Past is Always Present. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, historic Holman Ranch provides a unique and memorable setting for weddings, special events, family gatherings, corporate retreats, and team-building events. With its charming gardens, stunning mountain views and serenity, this private estate affords old-world charm while providing modern day conveniences. This stunning property includes a fully restored stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards, olive grove, horse stables and more.

Vitacost Launches New 'Be Well Box' and 'Be Fit Box', Inc.(Nasdaq:VITC), a leading online retailer of health and wellness products, today announced the launch of the Be Box Series, a monthly sample box program that allows customers to discover new health, wellness and sports nutrition products from popular, high-end brands. Each box, available exclusively through for $13.99, contains full-size products and samples valued at up to $70.00. The Be Well and Be Fit Boxes ship for free and include a coupon for a future purchase. Unlike most other sample box programs, the Be Box Series does not require a monthly subscription, although customers can opt to use Vitacost's Set & Save auto-replenishment program to ensure monthly delivery.

Each Be Well Box contains organic and natural personal care products including items for skin and hair care, dental hygiene, vitamins, supplements, minerals and herbs. The Be Fit Box includes sports nutrition and weight loss products. A Be Pretty Box is expected to be released in March and will include anti-aging and organic beauty products. Contents of each Be Box are a surprise, but customers can view the products from the previous month's box on Customers can also purchase specific products from last month's box while supplies last.

Vitacost Chief Marketing Officer David Zucker, Ph.D., said, "The Be Box Series is differentiated from the increasingly crowded sample box market because it contains not only sample size products but full-size products as well. Our Be Box Series is also not limited to just beauty products and cosmetics as it targets all health-conscious consumers by bringing the sample box concept to the everyday consumer. We believe The Be Box Series delivers value and savings to our growing customer base and allows our partner brands to more deeply engage with customers. Increasingly, our partners are seeing not just as a retailer but as an overall marketing platform.

For more information on the Vitacost Be Box Series visit

Friday, February 1, 2013

National Free Bagel Day Next Week At Bruegger's!

Bruegger’s Bagels will officially celebrate 30 years of baking fresh, authentic New York-style bagels on Feb. 7, with a tribute to its artisan baking heritage and loyal guests. Until 11 a.m., guests can redeem a coupon for a complimentary bagel and cream cheese at any of Bruegger’s Bagels’ 300 bakeries in honor of the company’s 30th anniversary.

When Bruegger’s Bagels opened its first bakery in Troy, N.Y., in 1983, it was estimated that less than one-third of Americans had ever tasted a bagel. Company founders Nord Brue and Mike Dressell would change that by perfecting an authentic New York-style bagel with a crisp shell and soft, chewy center, and sharing it with the rest of the nation.

Today, bagels are still kettle-boiled and baked in stone hearth ovens in small batches throughout the day at each of Bruegger’s Bagels’ 300 locations. The company still relies on the same recipe for its bagels with just five core ingredients: flour, water, malt, yeast and salt.

“Our signature bagels have been the cornerstone of our company,” said Bruegger’s Bagels President David Austin. “During this national event, we celebrate both our baking heritage and our loyal customers, who recognize the value of our commitment to fresh, high-quality products.”

Over the years, Bruegger’s Bagels has expanded to many communities and developed new traditions and products including its cold-packed, 100 percent made-in-Vermont cream cheese, which was introduced to bakeries in 1985; its Bottomless Mug Club, which gained popularity in 1990; and St. Patrick’s Day Green Bagels, which were first baked in Boston in the 1990s. Its menu now includes more than 20 different bagel varieties, delicious all-day breakfast items, plus hearty soups, fresh salads and signature sandwiches.

Guests who want to join the 30th anniversary celebration and receive a complimentary bagel with cream cheese can simply print a coupon, found on Bruegger’s Bagels’ Facebook page or through its email club. Guests can also present the downloaded coupon on their smartphone.

Feb. 7 will also mark the last day guests can vote in the company’s popular Facebook campaign, announced in January, to bring back a favorite bagel to the menu. More than 30,000 people have already cast their votes for old-time favorites like Trail Mix, Cranberry Orange and Marble Rye, and the bagel with the most votes will return to Bruegger’s Bagels menu for a limited time this year. The winning bagel will be announced Feb. 12.