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National Restaurant Association Show 2016 Trend Report

Posted by | Foods, Restaurants, Trade Show | 18 Comments

When you bring together a vast group of restaurant, hospitality and foodservice people, you will undoubtedly see a passion for the industry and the opportunity to learn something. This experience took place recently at the 2016 National Restaurant and BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants) show held at McCormick Place in Chicago.

nra bar show trends report

 

The NRA Show increased in size from last year without question from an exhibitor and registrant perspective. There were more than 67.000 registrants from around the world in attendance. While this show is not designed for consumers to attend, the outcome of what is learned and shared at this show plays a role in what we encounter when visiting restaurants and utilizing food service locations.… Read more

Sustainable Atlantic Sapphire Salmon

Posted by | Foods, Recipe, Recipes, Restaurants | 26 Comments

Did you make a resolution to eat healthy this year? So many of us try to make smart decisions when it comes to food choices but it can get so confusing. We know that salmon is good for us but heard that it is being overfished and thus potentially declining in availability.

Inspiring Kitchen Atlantic Salmon

For that reason alone, I was intrigued to learn about a brand of salmon that is producing a delicious, nutritious and sustainable salmon. We know a number of things about salmon in general. Being low in calories and saturated fats while also containing high levels of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is considered extremely nutritious.… Read more

mango watermelon mozzarella

Contemporary Caprese with Fresh Mozzarella and Watermelon

Posted by | Foods, Recipe, Recipes | 40 Comments

This contemporary version of a Caprese salad is made with Stella Fresh Mozzarella, mangos, watermelon, basil and balsamic vinegar and is a perfect appetizer for when guests drop by unexpectedly.

One of my favorite things to make when entertaining is appetizers. I love the creativity in mixing flavors, colors, sizes and texture to arrive at a unique combination that everyone enjoys. Today, I am sharing a well-loved and traditional recipe using Italian style cheese that I have updated to include fruit. In every Caprese salad, using only the highest quality, fresh mozzarella cheese will have the best outcome. For me, that means using Stella Fresh Mozzarella cheese to create a contemporary version of a Caprese salad only in appetizer form.… Read more

Baking With Nielsen-Massey Vanilla

Posted by | Favorite Finds, Foods, Recipe, Recipes | 14 Comments

Vanilla. Fresh. Fragrant. Rich. Sweet. There is nothing as delicious to me as adding a splash of pure vanilla to dishes to accentuate the flavors of the recipe.

When making a recipe with just a few ingredients, using the highest quality  is always your best decision. There are no masking flavors when a dish has just 4 ingredients. I discovered a brand of vanilla that has wowed me with their depth of flavor, variety of vanilla extracts and family story. It is what I have used for many years and what I want to share with you now.

Baking with Nielsen Massey Vanilla

About 5 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Beth and Matt Nielsen from Nielsen-Massey Vanilla at an event in the housewares industry.… Read more

Celebrating National Cheese Lover’s Day with Cabot Cheese

Posted by | Favorite Finds, Foods, Recipes | 23 Comments

Did you know today is National Cheese Lover’s Day? In honor of this special day, we are going to celebrate with two recipes using the delicious cheese made by Cabot. The more you learn about this brand, the more you understand the commitment to high quality products that the 1200 Dairy Farm Families in NY and New England who own Cabot, promise their customers.

They are a cooperative owned and operated by their members, dairy farmers and families throughout New England and Upstate New York. Their offerings include yogurts, butter, dips, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream and whipped cream.… Read more

Instant Party with Vitani Martinis

Posted by | Alcohol, Favorite Finds, Foods | 27 Comments

I admire people who see a need for a product or service and make it happen. Especially when we are talking martinis! That is exactly what Vitani’s founders, Eric and Jackie Gichner, did four years ago when they created craft martinis in a ready-to-go design.

After meeting with Jackie to hear what inspired her to launch this brand as well as what she and Eric wanted consumers to know about Vitani martinis, I left with the following insight. It really all started very simply. Jackie’s go to drink is a Dirty Martini. Making them at home just didn’t happen due to (in)convenience and taste.… Read more

Beer and Pretzels are a Perfect Mix

Posted by | Favorite Finds, Foods, Kitchen Tools | 18 Comments

When you are in the mall and you start smelling that sweet, salty baking aroma coming from Auntie Anne’s pretzel store, have you ever stopped to ask yourself: “why can’t I make these at home”? Well, you can now! And Boardwalk Food Company makes it so easy.

They offer three different varieties of pretzels to make: Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Rosemary and Sea Salt. The secret ingredient is just what you would think of when you have a pretzel….beer! Yes, you add your choice of craft, domestic or imported beer to give that extra boost to the already yummy pretzels. If you prefer to not use beer, you can choose a carbonated soda like Sprite for a similar effect.… Read more

Snacking with The Laughing Cow®

Posted by | Entertaining, Foods, Recipes | 21 Comments

I am an official brand advocate for The Laughing Cow® in 2015. While I receive compensation for participating as a brand advocate, opinions are my own.

 

I admit it. I am a snacker. I work really hard to make smart choices when it comes to snacking though. So, when I was  invited to The laughing Cow® Love Your Local event, I welcomed all that was shared with me.

What I found particularly intriguing about The Laughing Cow® cheese brand is the multitude of ways that you could use the different cheese varieties.  In addition, those prepackaged wedges make it super convenient to grab and go.… Read more

How to Buy Fresh Eggs

Posted by | Education, Foods, Healthy | 10 Comments

How much do you know about the eggs you buy at the grocery store? I will admit to knowing not nearly enough! I thought words like “farm raised” and “healthy” were what I needed to hear. That is until I learned about a company called Blue Sky Family Farms and their philosophy on caring for the hens that provide us with the eggs we eat.

Their tagline, which truly is represented in how they do business, is “Ethical Eggs for the Humane Race”. With a 120-acre homestead in Port Washington, Wisconsin, Blue Sky Family Farms raise hens that live naturally with plenty of room to roam, enjoying the fresh air, green grass and sunshine.… Read more

Vodka Cocktail for Breaking Bad Fans

Posted by | Alcohol, Bar, Foods | 2 Comments

When did you get hooked on the cable television series, Breaking Bad? When it first launched or after watching multiple seasons’ worth of episodes at a time wishing it wouldn’t end? (I was the latter). Either way, the landmark series about a chemistry teacher who heads into the dark drug world becoming a murderous kingpin with the code name, Heisenberg, now has vodka named after him.

Inspiring Kitchen  Breaking Bad vodka

The limited edition line of Heisenberg Blue Ice Vodka was inspired by the Breaking Bad series and launched by Sony Pictures Television and 21st Century Spirits. For devoted fans of Walter White, you can buy the three special blue bottles each with a catch phrase from the show and a silhouette of Walter on the bottle:

Inspiring Kitchen  Breaking Bad vodka

  • Tread Lightly
  • Say My Name 
  • The One Who Knocks

 

If you are a vodka fan, here are some interesting details.… Read more