Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fall Coffee Preview - Capresso Updates its Automatic Frother With Wonderful Results

Capresso has updated its Capresso froth Pro automatic milk frother in time for the holidays.  This handy machine creates thick, rich frothes milk that is a great addition to cappucinos, hot chocolates or chai teas, and those who enjoy drinking steamed milk.  We received a unit for testing and have been thoroughly impressed by it including the three temperature settins of hot, warm and cold with an illuminated touch pad.  The unit has two patent-pending frothing disks and one heating disk that can be stored within the unit.  The milk pitcher is dishwasher safe.  It is smaller than its competitor, the Nespresso Aerocino and quite affordable at US $59.99.  The units became available in July of this year and should sell well through the holiday season especially as a gift for those who have coffee machines without an integrated milk frothing mechanism.  For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Fall Coffee Preview - New Coffee Grinders

Bodum BISTRO Electric Burr Grinder adds a colorful yet functional item to the impressive collectioin of housewares BODUM launched this year including the FYRKAT Charcoal Picnic Grill and the ETTORE Electric WaterKettle.    The coffee beans are crushed between conical burrs rather than chopping them which helps the coffee to maintain its characteristic taste and aroma much better.  By twisting the upper bean container, the variable grind settings can be adjusted froma coarse French Press setting all the way down to a fine ground for espresso.  The BISTRO grinder comes with a static-free borosilicate glass PRESSO container that nestles into the base of the unit to collect ground coffee during use.  The part also features a non-slip silicone band for secure handling.  The unit will retail for US $99.99 and will be available in many of the dynamic primary and secondary colors in the BODUM line including green, orange, yellow, purple, black and white.

For traditionalists who prefer a blade grinder, BODUM has a very affordable BISTRO Blade Grinder that uses a stainless steel blade to the cut the coffee beans quickly and efficiently.  The transparent lid allows you to see the coarseness of the coffee while grinding.  The unit will retail for US $29.95.

A great low-tech option is the Kyocera Ceramic Coffee Grinder which features a ceramic grinding mechanism that will not alter the flavor of the coffee grinds.  The grinding mechanism is made from an advanced ceramic that is close in hardness to the Diamond (10 on the Mohs scale), that is also rust-proof.  The grind adjustment allows for fine to coarse grinds with a non-slip base.  The glass container is resuable and dishwasher safe.Teh unit can store up to 100g of ground coffee and is dishwasher safe.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall Coffee Preview - Friis Coffee Savor

Friis Coffee Savor
Keeping your coffee beans fresh has become much easier with with Friis Coffee Savor, a specially designed container that tackles the four major factors contributing to diminished coffee bean flavor including carbon dioxide gas, light, air and moisture.  The stainless steel canisters incorporate air-tight storage with a freshness valve similar to those you see on packages of whole coffee beans.  Those valves are replacable, ensuring that you will be able to maintain your coffee freshness with a steady rotation.  The unit stores up to 1 lb. of whole or ground coffee and also has a handy dial that lets you select the day of the month your first put your coffee into the canister.  Notably, the unit does not have a handy place to label your coffee so for those of you who like to brew different varieties of beans, you will have to find a way to identify them once you have removed them from their packaging.  The units are attractive and reasonably priced at US $19.99 for one, and $38.40 for the pair at the Friis online store.  In addition the company will provide you with a package of free replacement valves to get you started.  We sampled a unit and were impressed with the freshness of the coffee beans even after 30 days of storage.  This unit provides a great storage option for whole bean fans and will be particularly helpful for those who have automatic espresso machines.  For more information, please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Fall Coffee Preview - Gaggia Introduces Accademia

Gaggia Accademia
Gaggia, the Italian coffee machine manufacturer has created a simply delightful option for those who are determined to turn their homes into the coffeehouse next door.   I had an opportunity to get up close and personal with a demo model of the Gaggia Accademia at the Housewares show earlier this year and was thoroughly impressed with this superautomatic espresso machine, not only for its design, but for its handling and the thoughtful details that seemed to address many of the oversights of superautomatic machines in other lines.  The machine is substantial and all of the parts feel sturdy.  The machine is front loading which makes removing the brewing system and cleaning out the grounds tray extremely quick and features an integrated coffee bean container and integrated grinder.  The TFT display features color and black characters and the one touch multi-beverage panel is easy to use and makes selecting your drink of choice quick and easy.  As you may expect a machine of this type allows you to customize your drinks so that each of your particular drink attributes from the body of your drink down to the amount of milk or coffee to be put into your cup are maintained in the system.  The touch button system ahs separate buttons for espresso, caffe, caffe longo, cappuccino, latte macchiato and latte.  The machine has a 15-bar pressure system and a 1.6 liter water tank along with a double boiler and a hot water and steam nozzle attached to the front of the machine.  The milk jar is removable and also integrated into the machine and includes an automatic milk circuit cleaning cycle.  The machine should reach the U.S. market later this year just in time for the holidays and will retail somewhere in the US $2500-$3500 range.  For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Fall Coffee Preview - Nespresso Opens 200th Boutique in Shanghai and Updates Lattissima

Nestlé Nespresso officially opened 200th boutique worldwide in Shanghai in mid-August. It joins new boutique locations opened this year in the international cities of Miami, Cape Town, and a new flagship boutique in Brussels as Nespresso continues to grow its global retail network to more than 220 boutiques this year. Melbourne, New York (Soho) and a new flagship in Munich are also scheduled for openings later this year.

"Shanghai is China's gateway to the world and the world's gateway to China. As a dynamic and cultured metropolis, Shanghai provides the perfect location to establish our third boutique in China and our 200th boutique worldwide. It marks a significant milestone in growing our global brand community," said Richard Girardot, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso SA.

Despite a changing competitive environment, Nespresso continues its expansion into new markets and persists with double-digit growth rates in its more established markets, such as Switzerland and France. Nespresso continues to grow capacity to meet rising demand.  The Nespresso schedule of boutique openings in 2010 underlines its commitment to grow outside Europe. New flagship boutiques in Brussels and Munich, and steady expansion in France, emphasise the Nespresso commitment to sustained category leadership in European markets. Nespresso is also on track with its plans to roll out a new customer service model in the second half of this year.

Nespresso opened its first boutique in Paris in ten years ago. Today, Nespresso Boutiques can be found from Hong Kong to New York. "Our boutiques are embassies for our brand. They enable consumers new to Nespresso to meet the brand and explore its deep coffee expertise - which is so important as Nespresso builds its presence in new markets," said Mr Girardot.

Nespresso Lattissima Premium
Nespresso in a continued partnership with DeLonghi has launched a new Lattissima Pump Espresso Maker featuring a full metal body that gives it a sleek look especially for those with stainless hardware in their kitchens. The Lattissima was first introduced by the companies in 2007 in response to demand for coffee-based milk drinks like cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos.  Although the shape remains largely the same, there are subtle design enhancements like the full metallic housing on the unit coupled with metallic buttons with text adding simplicy to its one-touch features.  The unit also has three different alert systems that signal the user when the water tank is empty, when the capsule container is full and another when the machine is in need of descaling.  Furthermore, there is a one-touch milk froth-only feature that allows the preparer to use the milk frother without sacrificing a grand cru.  Like other machines in the system, this Lattissima features a 19-bar pressure system with thermoblock for heating.  The machine will use Nespresso grand crus, and has a patented removable milk tank that can be stored in the refrigerator after use. This unit is scheduled for a September launch at select fine retailers, at Nespresso Boutiques and Boutique-in-Shop locations and through the Nespresso Club.

For more information contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chiquita Invites you to Vote for the Best Banana Label

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is inviting you to choose the best consumer-created designs that will grace the company's iconic blue sticker on millions of Chiquita bananas nationwide. The call for votes is a continuation of a sticker competition announced in June, when Chiquita requested design submissions.

Now through Sunday, Sept. 12th, consumers can visit the Chiquita Banana Sticker Design Contest at www.EatAChiquita.com/sticker-contest to view the 50 finalist consumer designs and link to vote. Participants can vote for a maximum of 10 sticker designs per day, but may not vote for any given design more than once per day. Voting restrictions apply; official contest rules are available online.

Chiquita will feature on its bananas nationwide the 18 designs that garner the most votes; the 18 grand-prize winners will be announced on www.EatAChiquita.com Monday, Sept. 13, 2010. Each winning sticker will be printed and placed on Chiquita bananas during the month of November.

Chiquita created the fun and interactive Web site, www.EatAChiquita.com, as a platform for consumer engagement and entertainment. Within the first six months of its October 2009 launch, more than 500,000 people visited the Web site and fans created more than 25,000 customized sticker faces using the site's sticker studio application. The site also features a Photo Customizer, allowing fans to add their custom stickers to photos, a Banana Boogie Battle video game, videos and more. The company has also launched Shop A Peel(TM) by Chiquita, an online merchandise store on Zazzle.com where diehard Chiquita fans can go to customize a wide range of items with their personalized sticker faces. For more information, please visit the following websites: www.EatAChiquita.com and http://www.chiquita.com/.

Chiquita also has a dedicated Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/OriginalChiquitaBananas) and Twitter account (http://twitter.com/ChiquitaChatter).

For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finishing Touches - Touchless Paper Towel Dispensers

As more Americans turn to the their homes as a place for entertainment there are a number of products popping up in the housewares market that mimic many of the conveniences that we see in commercial and retail settings popping up in surprising places.

Since most of us would never venture to install a hand dryer in any of our bathrooms or kitchens, we are often left with cloth and paper towels to handle spills and the drying of our hands.  Worries about cross contamination or of ways to reduce paper waste have been undertaken in many commercial and retail settings where installation of dryers has cut paper waste to a minimum and left many spaces cleaner and greener.  Not surprisingly, as those green initiatives by companies are become more prevalent, the market for touchless products that can be integrated into the home have begun to proliferate. 

One noticable place is around the paper towel roll which, for all of its convenience and utility has often been relegated to a simple rack or maybe a slightly stylish holder, but many kitchens leave them naked on a counter or atop a microwave.  Thanks to innovations that incorporate sensors to control the flow of the roll the touchless paper towel product market is growing.

CleanCut Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser
Among the innovations, is the CleanCut, a mountable touchless paper towel system that uses infrared technology while operating on a low voltage power adapter that plugs into a standard 120 volt outlet.  The dispensers are designed for under-cabinet mounting and can be placed in a variety of rooms including the kitchen, laundry room, workshop or garage.  The CleanCut units come in three colors including black, white and stainless steel and can use any variety of store-bought paper towel.  Instead of wedding you to the perforations on the roll, the clean cut will cut the paper towel based on your preference, from fine strips to a long piece without regard to those original perforations.  This is reminiscent of the introduction of the select-a-size rolls that were introduced over ten years ago to give consumers the choice of breaking off small, medium or large segments of paper towels.  The CleanCut system is very simple to use (you can watch the commercial for the product here).  Simply by placing your hand in front of one of the sensors the roll can be dispensed and are neatly cut.  The units retail for US $129.95 to US $149.95 for the stainless steel model. 

Another great option is the iTouchless Towel-Matic II which is an automatic paper towel dispenser that also runs on a sensor housed within a scanning panel that will tighten onto the towel to assist with tearing and to decrease roll unraveling.  The Towel-Matic II senses the performations on the paper towel (including full and half sheet rolls) and is ideal for one hand operation as it provides a preset length of towel. The Towel-Matic can be used on a counter space our can be mounted on a wall or undercounter with the separate purchase of brackets.  Available in three colors including a limited edition Candy Apple Red, Metallic Silver and Pearl White, the unit requires 4 C-sized batteries which should provide a year of use before they need to be changed.  The unit retails for US $99.99 to US $109.99. 

For more information on both units please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Healthy Choice® Adds Line of Steamed Entrees to the Freezer Section

Healthy Choice®, a brand of ConAgra Foods, Inc., recently announced the introduction of a new line of steaming entrees that will raise the bar for microwavable frozen meals. The brand's new steaming entrees have a clear plastic tray that enables consumers to see the large ingredients and the vivid colors of the vegetables, which are frozen at the peak of freshness. The new meals provide an inexpensive, quick new way to enjoy a fresh-tasting lunch full of ingredients consumers can see are different, while still living up to their healthy name.

The key to the new entrees is steam, which unlocks the fresh taste and vibrant flavors of the large-cut, quality ingredients. An innovative steam-release vent in the film ensures an ultra-convenient cook time of about four minutes, with no peeling, no poking and no stirring. The vertical box stands out on shelf, while the images on the box match what's inside; the meals look and taste homemade, but without the fuss.

The variety and ingredient lists speak for themselves, as the meals feature generous cuts of white-meat chicken, vegetables frozen at the peak of freshness, and sauces that ensure a fresh-tasting, flavorful experience. The larger-cut vegetables, like whole cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas and sweet potatoes, steam fresh to maximize crispness and heighten vibrant colors, with no surprises and no compromises.

The new Healthy Choice steaming entrees will be available in grocery stores nationwide beginning in September for a suggested retail price range of US $2.00- US $2.79. The line features eight contemporary recipes including Sesame Glazed Chicken, Garlic Herb Shrimp, Lemon Herb Chicken, Honey Balsamic Chicken, Chicken Romano Fresca, Rosemary Chicken & Sweet Potatoes, Portabella Parmesan Risotto and Roasted Chicken Verde.

Healthy Choice offers a variety of meals to satisfy any taste. For more information on the various Healthy Choice product lines, visit http://www.healthychoice.com/. For special offers and up-to-the-minute information, stay in touch with the brand online: "Like" the brand on Facebook (www.facebook.com/healthychoice) and follow Healthy Choice on Twitter (www.twitter.com/Healthy_Choice).  For more information, please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

An "App"le a Day - Whole Foods App Available

Whole Foods Market has launched its Missions App now available on the App store. As a part of the company's ongoing mission to promote wellness and encourage healthier lifestyles, the Whole Foods Market Missions App will help users eat better and live better.

The app revolves around more than 70 challenges known as Missions, where users engage in a series of steps to earn badges and bragging rights. Each user creates their own profile to track the badges they earn and their favorite tips, which can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and email.

In addition to challenging customers to earn badges like Organic Avenger, Local Yokel, and Nutty Ninja, the Missions App also provides a database of more than 300 tips to help them succeed. Tips include advice on nutrition, food selection, storage, and cooking. The app also includes a store locator, which works just like Whole Foods Market Recipes, the company's first app launched in June 2009.

The Whole Foods Market Missions App is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch or at itunes.com/appstore.  For more information, please visit: wholefoodsmarket.com/iphone or e-mail cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Celebfoodies - Bret Michaels Extends Celebrity Apprentice/Snapple Run

Snapple announced that due to overwhelming demand, it is extending the availability of the limited-time Diet Snapple Trop-A-Rocka Tea created by rock musician and reality-show star Bret Michaels with additional production runs. The flavor was developed as part of the final task on The Celebrity Apprentice and was scheduled for a three month distribution, however, it sold out as quickly as it was put on store shelves.

The rocker who is diabetic, has recently undergone a number of very public health scares.  "It's awesome to see my new Diet Snapple Trop-A-Rocka has received such positive feedback," he said. "Growing up as a diabetic, diet drinks weren't always the best-tasting option. That's why it was important to me to develop a flavor that doesn't sacrifice taste - it is taste bud tested and rocker approved."

The Diet Snapple Trop-A-Rocka Tea blends healthy green tea and tasty black tea with pear, cinnamon and mango flavors and is much lower in calories than a standard sweetened iced tea. 
In support of the additional production run of product, Snapple and Bret Michaels will conduct a silent auction in support of the American Diabetes Association. The silent auction will run on the Snapple Facebook page, www.facebook.com/snapple, from August 18 through August 28. The items up for bid include: an autographed customized guitar with the Diet Snapple Trop-A-Rocka Tea graphics; three autographed Bret Michaels straw cowboy hats; three autographed Bret Michaels "Custom Built" CDs; and three autographed Diet Snapple Trop-A-Rocka Tea bottles. All of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to the American Diabetes Association on behalf of Bret Michaels.

No word on whether Holly Robinson Peete's Compassionberry Tea will be extended.  For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Win-Win - A Touch of Tuna Can Earn Aspriring Chefs $5K for Innovative Recipes

Tonnino Tuna recently launched the Tonnino Tuna Chef Challenge - a competition for aspiring chefs to become the official Tonnino Tuna Chef Ambassador. 

The grand prize winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize for the advancement of their culinary education and a one-year supply of Tonnino Tuna - valued at $500. Two runner-up winners will also receive a one-year supply of Tonnino Tuna.

To participate in the competition, contestants are asked to create an innovative and original recipe that showcases tuna fish in a delicious and interesting way.  Participants must upload a two-minute video of themselves executing their dish in a fun and engaging manner to www.Tonnino.com/ChefChallenge. Creations are not limited to any particular entree category or culinary style, but competitors should keep in mind that a unique concoction will only get them so far.
From now until October 1st, seafood lovers from across the nation will have an opportunity to rank their favorite tuna recipes at www.Tonnino.com. Following the completion of the contest, the three highest ranked video recipes will be evaluated by a panel of judges from Tonnino Tuna in the final round of the Chef Challenge. Contestants will be evaluated based on camera presence and entertainment (40%), originality (30%), and creativity (30%). The winning recipe and chef, as well as the first-prize recipients, will be announced within two weeks of the contest's completion.  Official contest rules can be found at www.tonnino.com/chefchallenge.

For more information contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

An "App"le a Day - Peanuts Energy for the Good Life iPhone App Now Available

The National Peanut Board has launched the Peanuts: Energy for the Good Life® iPhone® app. The free app offers recipes, snack suggestions and a five-minute mindfulness meditation exercise with Stephan Bodian, author of Meditation for Dummies® -- tools to help people care for their bodies and minds throughout every part of every day.

The app features more than 30 dietitian selected recipes and allows users to set reminders to have a snack or take a break. Snacks supply energy throughout the day when hunger strikes, and help to prevent overeating during meals. With more protein than any nut, USA-grown peanuts and peanut products are great snacks that provide the energy needed to "trump the slump" and get through the day. Users can also easily access nutrition information for each recipe whether they're at the supermarket or at home.

"According to our latest Consumer Attitudes Tracking Study, 90 percent of Americans have at least one jar of peanut butter in their household," said National Peanut Board president and managing director Raffaela Marie Fenn. "But in designing this app, we wanted to give users more than just great recipes with peanuts and peanut butter; we wanted to give them a number of ways to re-charge their batteries and stay energized in their lives."

For more information or to download the iPhone app, visit iTunes or visit http://www.nationalpeanutboard.org/iphoneapp.php.

Which food apps can you not live without?  Let us know at cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An "App"le a Day - ZAGAT to Go iPhone App Available

Cook Like Jackie Features Food Apps in An "App"le a Day
Zagat Survey and Handmarkhave released ZAGAT TO GO(TM) 4.0 for iPhone(TM). The new app adds three major features that revolutionize the ZAGAT TO GO experience:

Zagat will provide Foursquare with meal tips for diners to help them know what to order when visiting a Zagat-Rated restaurant. Through Zagat's partnership with Foursquare, ZAGAT TO GO users with Foursquare accounts can now "Check-In" to any restaurant within the Zagat app.

ZAGAT TO GO is designed to help people decide where to eat. With the addition of thousands of Foodspotting photos, diners will also be able to see the dishes served at each restaurant. ZAGAT TO GO also offers users access to thousands of Foodspotting photos of dishes served at Zagat-Rated restaurants nationwide.

ZAGAT TO GO 4.0 introduces the Zagat Dining Journal - a virtual diary of the Zagat-Rated restaurants the user has visited throughout the year. All users can add restaurants to their Dining Journal by tapping "Been Here" on the restaurant's details page. When a Foursquare user checks in to a Zagat-Rated restaurant, either on Foursquare or ZAGAT TO GO, the restaurant will be added to their Dining Journal. Through this feature users can easily add their ratings and reviews.

ZAGAT TO GO(TM) 4.0 for iPhone(TM) is available exclusively in the App Store. For more information about this or any of Zagat's mobile products, please visit www.zagat.com/mobile.

For more information contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

New Flavors - Snyders and Lance One Step Closer to Merger

Lance, Inc. (NASDAQ:LNCE) ("Lance") and Snyder's of Hanover, Inc. ("Snyder's") today announced they have received clearance from the U. S. Federal Trade Commission via early termination of the review process under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act for their previously announced proposed merger of equals.

The merger is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year and is still subject to shareholder approval by Lance and Snyder's stockholders and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.  The companies announced that they had signed a definitive agreement to combine the in a stock-for-stock merger of equals in July of this year.  The combined company will be called Snyder's-Lance, Inc.
In addition to leading iconic brands such as Lance®, Snyder's of Hanover®, Cape Cod® and Grande®, Snyder's-Lance will have a national distribution footprint in the United States.

For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Innovations - Sugarcane-Derived Plastic Part of the Environmental Sustainability Plans at P&G

Sugarcane Plant
The Procter & Gamble Company recently announced plans to use renewable, sustainable, sugarcane-derived plastic on selected packaging on its Pantene Pro-V®, COVERGIRL® and Max Factor® brands.

Sugarcane-derived plastic is a significant development in sustainable packaging because it is made from a renewable resource, unlike traditional plastic, which is made from non-renewable petroleum. The new material is made in an innovative process which transforms sugarcane into high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, a type commonly used for product packaging. It remains 100% recyclable in existing municipal recycling facilities.

By launching this renewable packaging on some of its global beauty brands, P&G will leverage its scale to deliver meaningful environmental improvements. P&G will source the sugarcane-derived plastic from Braskem SA, who manufactures the material using ethanol made from sustainably-grown Brazilian sugarcane. The pilot will be rolled out globally over the next 2 years, with the first products expected to be on shelf in 2011.

Will this make your purchases a bit sweeter?  Let us know at coolikejackie@gmail.com.

The Spice of Life - Williams-Sonoma Adds Extensive Spice Collection to Stores

Williams-Sonoma Butcher's Spice Kit
Thanks to one of our loyal readers for the tip on the new spice line at Williams-Sonoma!  The spice world just became a little bit spicier as retailer Williams-Sonoma recently launched a full selection of dried spices to their stores.  The line features several spices categorized by their use and pungency including Chilies, Ground and Whole Savory and Sweet spices, Salts, Spice Blends including Curries, all priced reasonably at US $5.95 to $7.95 for individual containers as well as great gift and starter sets like this Butcher's Spice Kit priced at US $48 which includes Barbecue Seasoning, Garlic Pepper Seasoning, Lemon-Herb Seasoning, Extra-Fine French Grey Sea Salt, Herbes de Provence Sea Salt, and Hickory-Smoked Sea Salt, presented in a lovely wooden spice caddy.  The collection does include some surprises such as granulated honey, herbs de provence and wild porcini sea salts and a tagine spice.  The curry powders are also some of the most extensive available with Japanese, African, Vindaloo and Vadouvan among the varieites.  Spices are available in-stores and on their website. 

This line should compete handily with other spice vendors including Dean and Deluca, Penzeys Spices and MySpiceSage.com.  For more information, please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Salad Style - Girard's Launches Three New Flavors

Girard's® Premium Salad Dressings is adding some flare to dinner this summer with the launch of three new flavors - Apple Poppyseed, Creamy Balsamic and Peach Mimosa - and a contemporary new label design for its signature triangle-shaped bottle.

The new dressing flavors appeal to all varieties of salad enthusiasts, from the adventurous to the traditionalist and signal a departure from traditional flavors, to those that match the flavor and complexity of today's salads. 

The Creamy Balsamic salad dressing is a new spin on traditional Balsamic Vinaigrette dressings. The balsamic vinegar base is enhanced with hints of garlic, onion and flavorful spices. 

The Apple Poppyseed salad dressing flavor is a delicate and creamy dressing made with ample of amounts of poppyseeds and touches of molasses, onion and apple juice. This eclectic fusion amplifies the dressing's flavor. It is sweet, light and refreshing. 

The Peach Mimosa dressing is a decadent combination and white wine vinegar mixed with the delicate flavor of spices and the hint of hint of juicy, full-bodied peaches. The simple combination of flavors make this a supremely wine-friendly salad dressing. 

The new flavors of Girard's® Premium Salad Dressings were launched in conjunction with the brand's packaging update. The glass bottle's signature triangle shape remains the same, but the traditional gold label received a facelift to reflect the brand's chic and modern consumer. 

The new dressings flavors are currently available in grocers that carry Girard's® Premium Salad Dressings, while bottles with the new label design will appear on grocers' shelves over the next few months.  For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

For Chocolate Lovers - Dagoba Organic Chai Drinking Chocolate

Dagoba Organic Chocolate releases the first-ever organic Chai Drinking Chocolate, giving consumers an indulgent new way to enjoy chai that is 100% organic and fair-trade certified. Dagoba® Chai Drinking Chocolate is made with the finest organic cacao powder, bits of pure, unsweetened dark chocolate, cane sugar, crystallized ginger and essence of chai.

Dagoba Organic Chocolate was established in 2001 in Ashland, Oregon with a mission to create exceptional chocolate made from the finest organic ingredients in effort to benefit people and the planet. All Dagoba products are Certified Organic and Kosher, and many Fair Trade Certified(TM). Dagoba is dedicated to transforming cacao into exquisite chocolate - edible gold - through The Art of Chocolate Alchemy® while honoring Full Circle Sustainability(TM) principles that blend Quality, Ecology, Equity and Community.

Chai has long been a popular tea-based beverage throughout India and South Asia with increased inclusion on the menus of coffee houses and beverage bars across the United States. The depth and complexity of Dagoba Chai Drinking Chocolate gives consumers a most authentic way to enjoy both Dagoba chocolate and the essence of chai - a blend of aromatic Indian spices and herbs, typically including cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and cloves.

Chai is the newest flavor addition to the existing line of three pure and exotic Dagoba drinking chocolates: Authentic, Xocolatl and Unsweetened.  Authentic delivers a rich experience with premium cacao powder, dark chocolate bits and cane sugar;  Xocolatl, which shares the name with the popular Dagoba Xocolatl
chocolate bar, is a blend of chilies and spice added to recreate the Aztec's enhancing cacao elixir - otherwise known as liquid gold; Unsweetened is perfect for those who wish to enjoy the natural poperties of chocolate with no added sugar.

Beginning late July 2010, Dagoba Organic Chai Drinking Chocolate can be found at select retailers and specialty grocers nationwide and through its website, www.dagobachocolate.com.

In addition to various Dagoba drinking chocolates, Dagoba Organic Chocolate is the maker of an award-winning collection of 17 organic chocolate bars and baking products - from single varieties to flavors infused with ingredients such as essential oils, fruits and nuts.

For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New and Notable - Karim Rashid Limited Edition Soda Stream to hit Bloomingdale's

SodaStream Karim Rashid Genesis
SodaStream will begin selling the Karim Rashid Genesis Limited Edition version of its popular Genesis soda makers later this year. Only 250 units will be available in the United States, exclusively at Bloomingdale's. 

Born in Cairo, Karim Rashid has over three thousand designs in production and more than three hundred awards to his credit.  His designs include the Garbo waste can and Oh Chair for Umbra, interior designs at Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia and the Semiramis hotel in Athens.  He has also created exhibitions for Deutsche Bank and Audi. Rashid has collaborated with clients to create democratic design for Method and Dirt Devil, furniture for Artemide and Magis, brand identity for Citibank and Hyundai, high tech products for LaCie and Samsung, and luxury goods for Veuve Clicquot and Swarovski.

The Karim Rashid Limited Edition series includes a specially designed soda maker featuring a signature design of boldly swirling colors, packaged with two BPA-free reusable carbonating bottles and a reusable carbonator filled with CO2 to make approximately 60 liters of sparkling water or soda. The unit will sell for a retail price of US $129.99, exclusively at Bloomingdale's.

For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Win-Win - Honey Gets Even Sweeter

Le Creuset Honey Pot and Dipper
Submit your favorite recipe made with honey for a chance to win Le Creuset® cookware prizes including -- a nine-piece Le Creuset® cookware set valued at $1,600, a second prize: a five-piece Le Creuset® cookware set valued at $500 or third prize: a Le Creuset® dijon honey pot and a honey gift basket valued at $200. 

Honey, the one-ingredient, all-natural sweetener, is a multi-purpose ingredient that can add just the right amount of sweetness to any dish. The National Honey Board is launching the Cooking with My Honey Bear contest, an online recipe contest that consumers can enter August 2nd through September 15th. Entrants can submit original or favorite recipes using 100% pure honey for the chance to win one of the prizes. 

Consumers can enter by visiting www.honey.com and filling out the entry form. Additionally, entrants have the option to include a photograph of their finished dish or a photograph of themselves with a bottle of 100% pure honey. To learn more about the Cooking with My Honey Bear contest, including entry directions and contest rules, visit www.honey.com/nhb/contest.

For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New and Notable - Perdue Now Offers Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Line

Perdue Farms Incorporated recently launched a new Whole Grain frozen product line to provide consumers with a convenient meal or snack option.  This line of frozen chicken is made with whole grain breading and includes Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Strips and Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders.

Each Whole Grain PERDUE® product features the Whole Grains Council's Stamp indicating that each serving provides at least one half-serving (8g) of whole grains and provides four grams of daily fiber per serving. The whole grain line is made with only white meat chicken, is an excellent source of protein and contains no preservatives or fillers.

PERDUE® Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets and Tenders are also "child nutrition" labeled, clearly identifying the contribution of these products towards fulfilling the USDA's daily child nutrition meal pattern requirement.  The products will be sold in supermarkets nationwide.  For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Food as Art - Fine Art Fridges Exhibit Cools Down Chicago

Chicago, one of the coolest places in the United States has just become even cooler.  Those visiting Michigan Avenue through September 15th, can enjoy a unique exhibit featuring artwork made from recycled refrigeratorson display as part of The Fine Art Fridges exhibit sponsored by ComEd.  The works depicts themes ranging from Chicago architecture to a celebration of flowers.

In one of the pieces, artist VooDoo Larry Grobe has transformed a vintage 1950s Philco fridge into a jazzy "VooDoo Hot Rod." In another, Nicole Beck celebrates wildlife in a mosaic tribute to endangered life in the Gulf of Mexico.  Nine pieces designed by Chicago-area artists will be displayed on the sidewalk along the Magnificent Mile between Chicago Avenue and Illinois Street.

The exhibit was created to raise awareness for ComEd's Appliance Recycling Program, through which ComEd will haul away old, second working refrigerators or freezers free of charge. In return, ComEd customers will receive $25.00 per appliance. To date, the program has removed more than 43,000 inefficient appliances from the market. 

The company noted that many households have an extra working refrigerator or freezer in their basement or garage, however, older refrigerator appliances can use up to five times more energy than their energy-efficient equivalents. It is estimated that continued usage of an older model can result in $150 per year in extra electricity costs.

The works may be found along Michigan Avenue at many locations including Tiffany's, Cole Hann, Saks, Coach, Chicago Place, Aldo, The Omni Hotel, Grand Lux Cafe and The Garmin Store. 
To learn more about ComEd's Fine Art Fridge exhibit, Refrigerator Recycling Program, please visit: http://www.comed.com/.

Questions or comments?  E-mail cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

In The Spirit - Barenjager Honey Liqueur Contest

Barenjager Honey Liqueur
Barenjager Honey Liqueur is sponsoring a contest for bartenders as well as amateurs to submit innovative cocktails using their honey-flavored liqueur. The panel of judges includes five nationally acclaimed industry mentors including Allen Katz of Southern Wine & Spirits, Gary Regan of ArdentSpirits.com, Dushan Zaric of Employees Only & Macao Trading Co., Tad Carducci from Tippling Brothers and Phil Ward, from the award-winning cocktail bars Death & Co. and Mayahuel.

These judges will score all submissions prior to selecting the top 6 recipes to move on to the final round. Finalists will mix off at a private event on September 20th in New York City for the grand prize of an all-expense paid trip for two to Oktoberfest 2010 in Munich, Germany and US $1,000 in cash. Additionally, all guests of this event will be asked to cast their vote for best cocktail and the audience favorite will take home a check for US $1,000.

Barenjager, a honey liqueur which translates to "Bear Hunter" was discovered in the forests of medieval Europe--dating back to the 15th century-- by the Eastern Prussian bear trap company, Teucke & Konig.  This sweet concoction was the first professionally produced Meschkinnes - a mead-like moonshine made from honey by beekeepers and farmers - and was formulated to aid hunters in attracting bears and to lure them from their dwellings.

Made in Germany, this 70 proof honey liqueur is made with premium quality honey from the Mexican province of Yucatan. Each liter bottle contains 300 grams of natural honey and a mixture of botanicals resulting in a subtly sweet, spicy and herb edged taste profile.

To enter the competition, visit www.barenjagerhoney.com and complete the online registration form by August 23, 2010. Must be at least 21 years of age to enter. No purchase necessary. The official rules and regulations can also be found on this site. 

Barenjager Honey Liqueur is available in the United States in the liter, 750ml, 375ml, and 50ml sizes. Barenjager Honey Liqueur 35% Alc. /Vol. Imported exclusively by Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc.  For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Food Fight - Ocean Spray Files Federal Lawsuit

Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. filed a lawsuit on yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts for violations of federal and state law by Decas Cranberry Sales, Inc. and related companies, as well as several unnamed cranberry growers and handlers. The suit alleges that the defendants orchestrated a deceitful campaign falsely accusing Ocean Spray of violating the law and harming the cranberry industry.

The complaint states that the defendants joined together in promoting a smear campaign against Ocean Spray that included soliciting cranberry growers (including Ocean Spray's grower-owners) not to work with Ocean Spray, soliciting cranberry growers (including Ocean Spray's grower-owners) to join an intended lawsuit against Ocean Spray by falsely claiming that Ocean Spray is violating federal law, including the federal
antitrust laws.

The Complaint also alleges that Decas Cranberry, Ocean Spray's direct competitor, has used a variety of additional deceptive tactics and media for Decas' disinformation campaign, including widely distributed letters and emails to growers, internet blogs and websites, Facebook accounts, YouTube videos and Twitter postings that Decas fraudulently led consumers to believe emanated from an independent non-profit consumer advocacy group, rather than from Decas Cranberry itself.

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by 650 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as approximately 50 Florida grapefruit growers. The company was formed 80 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey with Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976.

Ocean Spray is North America's leading producer of shelf-stable juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in that category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted gross sales of $2 billion in 2009 and recently launched a line of blueberry flavored drink products.

The suit cites the defendants on eight counts of violations of the Agricultural Fair Practices Act, 7 U.S.C. section 2301; Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. section 1125(a); and the Massachusetts Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, sections 2, 11.

For more information contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kiddie Culinary - Safer Food and Beverage Options for Kids Emerge

Smiling Planet Dinnerware
Concerns about the safety of plastics and glassware for children have recently be in the headlines prompting product recalls and legislative action.  In 2009 alone, there were more than 100 recalls of children's products, and earlier this year the major recall of Shrek-themed glassware by the McDonald's Corporation over cadmium concerns has many parents looking for safe dining options for their children.
Thermos® brand, a producer of children's food and beverage container products since the 1950s, is setting a new standard in transparency by now offering parents a convenient way to access safety information on Thermos lunch boxes and popular stainless steel vacuum-insulated FUNtainer(TM) products.

The company has launched a dedicated website, http://www.thermos.com/cpsia where visitors will be able to download Certificates of Compliance for all Thermos products simply by entering the product UPC or product number. The downloadable Certificates of Compliance confirm that the children's products meet CPSIA standards (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) as proven by testing in independent laboratories.  To facilitate discussion and conversation about back-to-school safety, Thermos (@ThermosBrand) will host a Twitter chat with Drago and leading food safety expert, Donna Rosenbaum on Tuesday, August 10 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT. The discussion will focus on back-to-school safety tips for and from parents. Twitter users can participate using the "#ThermosBTS" hashtag to be automatically entered to win some of Thermos' newest lunch boxes and FUNtainer products.

Smiling Planet, a new brand of art-inspired, earth-friendly lifestyle products for all ages, recently announced that it has become a Trusted Partner of Healthy Child Healthy World. The partnership represents a joint commitment to raising awareness about preventing children's exposure to harmful chemicals, and also reinforces the high standards of safety, quality, and environmental consciousness that Smiling Planet sets for its children's dinnerware.

Made from 100% recycled and recyclable #5 polypropylene plastic, Smiling Planet's plates and bowls are specifically designed to be a safe and practical alternative to dinnerware containing melamine, BPA and other harmful chemicals. All products are CPSIA-compliant and use non-toxic inks.  Smiling Planet's eco-friendly dishes and bowls are dishwasher-safe, and virtually unbreakable. The company's whimsical artwork reflects their earth-friendly ethos with a message of peace, diversity, and respect for the environment.

The line of products are available at Whole Foods Markets and at baby, natural product, design, and yoga boutiques around the world, and online at http://www.smilingplanet.net/.

For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Table Toppers - Chilewich Previews Fall Line

Chilewich Croc Placemat

Chilewich debuted its fall line to include several new textile patterns and the addition of floor mats to its line.  Dahlia, the latest of Chilewich’s “pressed” technique, provides a lace-like openwork design that mimics the flower for which it is named.  Kono a new dimensional over-and-under weave uses elements that mesh its heft with light-reflectivity features creating an steely industrial look in asphalt, iron and midnight colors. Pocketweave Squares is the first-ever double weave for Chilewich. The line took nearly two years to develop and brings a subtle palette of sepia, pewter and midnight, and is reminiscent of the horizontal squares line previously introduced by the line. Most notably, Croc, a reversible animal skin design with a reptile-inspired pattern provides a chic option woven on a jacquard loom.  Two-toned and reversible, these tablemats are available in Bronze (bronze/black) and Silver (light silver/dark silver). An extension of the line is the “Animal Skin” Floormat with a reptile-inspired pattern. Available in Bronze, Dark Silver, and Light Silver.  For more information, contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Win-Win - Olivia Organics Summer Harvest Recipe Contest

Olivia's Organics, a popular line of organic salads invites submissions of summer harvest recipes using the company's salad greens for a chance to win a $500 Williams Sonoma gift certificate and have your recipe featured on their website!  By joining the Olivia's Organics Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Olivias-Organics/268884081328?ref=ts -- you can learn about our organic greens, channel your inner chef and come up with your own summer harvest recipe. Judges will choose one lucky winner who will be awarded the $500 grand prize, and the recipe that will be featured on the Olivia's Organics website.

Each entrant will receive a coupon good for a free sample of Olivia's Organics salad greens. Olivia's Organics tender leaf lettuces and spinach are carefully sourced from only the best organic farms and are available in grocery stores across the northeast!  For more information about the Olivia's Organics Summer Harvest Recipe contest, go to our Olivia's Organics Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Olivias-Organics/268884081328?ref=ts and submit your entries by August 30, 2010. For more information please contact cooklikejackie@gmail.com.

Win-Win - Omaha Steaks Invites Golfers to Tee Up for Free Filet Mignon

Omaha Steaks brings new meaning to treating yourself after a winning round of golf.  The company recently announced a Hole in One golf promotion, inviting golfers nationwide to "tee it up" for the chance to win free Omaha Steaks Filet Mignons. During the month of August, any golfer achieving an ace on a hole of at least 150 yards scored on a golf course located in the United States, is invited to submit their hole in one certificate or signed score card to Omaha Steaks to receive a complimentary box of 4 (6 oz.) Omaha Steaks Filet Mignons.  Details of the contest are posted on the Omaha Steaks Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/OmahaSteaks. Hole in one certificates or signed score cards may be mailed to Omaha Steaks Hole in One Giveaway at 11030 O. Street, Omaha, NE, 68137 or e-mailed to davel@omahasteaks.com Contest eligibility is limited to persons residing in the United States who are a minimum of 18 years of age.