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Homemade Gin Kit Introduces Christmas Gin

ginThe team behind the HomeMade Gin Kit has released a new make-your-own Christmas Gin kit. The original Homemade Gin Kit  allows alcohol connoisseurs to make small batch gin at home without costly (and illegal) distilling equipment. The Gin Kit comes with a special blend of spices, botanicals, and flowers, a tin full of juniper berries, two Italian glass swing top bottles, a double mesh fine strainer, and a funnel. The new release is a one-of-a-kind blend of botanicals, herbs, and spices that results in a small batch gin that smells and tastes like the holiday season.

“We’ve toned down the citrus and summery flavors in the original gin infusion blend and laced the new one with cinnamon, clove, ginger, and rosemary,” Gin Kit co-founder Joe Maiellano said. “We came up with a cocktail recipe for the new gin using cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and a rosemary sprig that testers say looks and tastes like Christmas in a glass!”

Complete with a red ribbon adorning the box, the gin kit makes an ideal gift. Customers have the option of giving the whole Gin Kit as a present or making the gin themselves and gifting the finished product in one of the two beautiful Italian glass, swing top bottles included with the kit.

“Our handcrafted gin kit makes the perfect gift for modern-day bootleggers, gin lovers, and anyone who enjoys conducting unique experiments in their kitchen,” Gin Kit co-founder Jack Hubbard said. “In addition to being a great gift, this first-of-its-kind Gin Kit is helping to launch a widespread interest in making spirits at home.”

The HomeMade Gin Kit comes at an exciting time in the liquor world. Craft brewing beer exploded in the 1990s and home brewing beer has become a popular activity. Now, craft distilling is coming into its own with state laws becoming more friendly to small distillers and new distilleries are popping up all over the country. This shift is generating a widespread interest in spirits and, similar to home brewing, the next step for consumers will likely be trying to make liquor at home. Since distilling alcohol at home is dangerous and illegal, the HomeMade Gin Kit provides a safe, fun, and delicious way to create an infused gin.

The HomeMade Gin Kit has been reviewed positively by a number of liquor and lifestyle experts including New York Times, Cigar Aficionado, UrbanDaddy, and

The HomeMade Gin Kit was launched in 2012 in Arlington, Virginia by four friends who enjoy drinking gin together. Visit to buy the original homemade gin kit, the new handcrafted Christmas gin blend, or to learn more.

SuperSeedz Available in Retailers across the Country

United Natural Foods West (UNFI), Nature’s Best, Lassen’s, Mother’s Market and New Frontiers are now distributing SuperSeedz, a product from Kathie’s Kitchen, which produces a full line of SuperSeedz premium dry roasted shelled pumpkin seeds for a nutritional snack that is gluten-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, vegan, MSG-free and non-GMO.

Pumpkin seeds are a plant-based protein powerhouse with approximately 9 grams per 1-ounce serving. In addition, they are high in zinc, magnesium and a good source of iron. More importantly, SuperSeedz is packed with all of this nutrition without sacrificing on taste.

“We are really excited to be working with such industry leading distributors like Nature’s Best, and UNFI, while giving health conscious consumers access to SuperSeedz in their backyards. Lassen’s, Mother’s Market, and New Frontiers are all great retailers that share a similar mission—to provide consumers with healthy great tasting food choices,” stated Joe Pelliccio, President of Kathie’s Kitchen.

SuperSeedz product shotSuperSeedz branded premium pumpkin seeds are available in 5-ounce bags and come in the following eight delicious flavors:

SEA SALTJust the right amount of crunch with a light unrefined sea salt seasoning added.

COCO JOEJust the right combination of premium French cocoa, vanilla sea salt and a hint of coffee to satisfy all chocolate lovers.

REALLY NAKEDDry roasted and shelled SuperSeedz without seasoning of any kind. Completely sodium free!

SOMEWHAT SPICY - Cayenne, garlic and sea salt all combined to bring you a truly savory snack.

SUPER SPICYAn intense habañero flavor with a black pepper surprise ending. Just the right amount of kick without too much heat.

ORIGINAL CURRYA great mild and subtle curry blend that is not overpowering, yet memorable.

SUGAR AND CINNAMONIf you like cinnamon buns, you’re going to love Sugar and Cinnamon SuperSeedz.

TOMATO ITALIANOBruschetta on a pumpkin seed! Tomato, basil, garlic, sea salt, pepper and a hint of onion combined.

“We are continually adding top-flight distributors and retailers in our efforts to build a strong national distribution network and product footprint for SuperSeedz. Both retailers and distributors have been very supportive of SuperSeedz and feel consumers are eager for a superior tasting healthy snack,” added Pelliccio.

SuperSeedz-branded line of premium pumpkin seeds are also distributed by UNFI East, KeHE, Davidson, Bozzutos and Carmela and can be found in such fine retailers as Whole Foods, Big Y, Shoprite, Shaw’s, Dave’s Market, Stop & Shop, Fairway Market Stores, Whole Food Markets in Southern California and Arizona, Stew Leonard’s, Akins, Caputo’s, Bristol Farms, Gelson’s Supermarkets and independent stores.

Fancy Food Show Honored for New Brand, New Look

The Specialty Food Association’s 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show has been named a winner of the annual Art of the Show Competition by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, marking its third industry honor this year.

The Art of the Show competition recognizes excellence in promotional materials for the exhibitions and events industry. The 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show won Best Signage & Decoration in the over 150,000 net-square-feet size category.

Attracting a record 24,100 food industry buyers to New York, this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show featured an entire new look with the official launch of the Specialty Food Association’s new brand: Specialty Food. Craft. Care. Joy. The brand highlights the people and products behind the small businesses that fuel the $86 billion specialty food industry. It was depicted with bold graphics and giant portraits of members on banners and signs throughout the crowded exhibit halls.

“We are honored to be recognized for bringing our new brand to life at our show,” says Ann Daw, president of the Specialty Food Association. “The work brings dimension to `Specialty Food. Craft. Care. Joy’ via the stories of members and their passion for the foods they create.”

Santa Barbara Bar Offers Affordable Superfood Boost with Less Sugar

Santa Barbara Bar, or SB Bar, is a raw, gluten-free nutrition bar packed with flavorful, nutrient-rich superfoods such as chia, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds, cranberries, coconut, chocolate, and whey protein crisps. Each of the three decadent flavors—Coconut Almond, Peanut Chocolate Cherry, and Cranberry White Chocolate—have no added soy protein or refined sugar. The naturally occurring sugar in Santa Barbara Bar totals less than half of the amount of sugar found in other major brands of bars, which can be up to 25 grams.

The Santa Barbara Bar also provides key nutrients such as omega 3 essential fat, complete protein and fiber—all which help satisfy appetite and sustain energy. With only 8 to 11 grams of sugar, consumers can enjoy a Santa Barbara Bar as a meal replacement, pre- or post-workout boost, or anytime snack—and not feel guilty about it. Plus, all this is available at an affordable suggested retail price of $1.99-$2.50, and $23.88 for a box of 12.

Nature’s Path Announces Winners of 4th Annual Gardens for Good Grant

In continued support of their belief that everyone has the right to fresh, organic, chemical-free food, Nature’s Path Organic Foods is pleased to announce the winners of the fourth annual Gardens for Good Grant, which helps put organic community gardens where they will serve those who need them most.  The three deserving non-profit organizations to receive grants are The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative in Detroit, Mich., Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc in Kahului, Hawaii and rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge, Ontario. The Gardens for Good Grant program is part of Nature’s Path commitment to urban agriculture and aims to empower communities to take action and grow organically where they live.

“Not only are these organizations providing organic food for communities that need it most, but they are also creating major positive changes in their area from the ground up,” said Arran Stephens, President and Founder of Nature’s Path. “It is a privilege to be able to help each of these organizations and support their leaders to create a better and socially responsible community.”

Out of the 153 entries from non-profit organizations making an impact at the local level, three rose to the top: The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council and rare Charitable Research Reserve. The winners were among nine other finalists who earned the most public support by way of online votes, and were ultimately selected based on the compelling, empowering and inspirational nature in which they described their organic garden project; the feasibility to establish and maintain the garden; and demonstrated community need. The organizations will each receive a $15,000 cash grant for their community garden project, and technical design and production mentorship provided by Organic Gardening magazine.

About the Winners

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is a hyper-local organization that serves residents from the North End community of Detroit where immense amount of vacant land and structures have become a challenge for the growth and sustainability of the city, but also provide unique opportunity for urban agriculture. The organization’s efforts have been focused on developing the area into a community resource that provides a comprehensive set of agriculture-based resources from educational programming to large-scale community gardens and several pilot programs designed to cost-effectively convert community liabilities into assets. The Gardens for Good Grant will help install new windows and a secure roof on their community resource center and also begin major renovations required to get empty spaces up and running.

Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc’s Hali’imaile Community Garden project serves residents on the Island of Maui, and works to build a community around food self-sufficiency through educational outreach and garden space. Their newest undertaking, the Goodwill Garden, grows produce specifically for weekly donations to local food banks and organizations that feed the hungry to provide fresher, more nutritious food to those in the community that need it most. The Goodwill Garden was established in April 2012, and has provided several hundred pounds of fresh produce each month to help feed the hungry. The Gardens for Good Grant will help grow the Goodwill Garden and assist other programs that provide better nutrition to participants and the hungry and homeless of Maui.

The rare Charitable Research Reserve located in southern  Ontario is a 900+ acre nature reserve based in Cambridge/North Dumfries that aims to protect a unique landscape and engage the community in nature. Their Springbank Gardens provide a large natural area for people of all ages to get active through gardening and growing their own healthy, sustainable food. The gardens are composed of three areas including education and demonstration gardens, and a Community Roots Food Bank Garden, and 100 community plots.  A partnership with the local food bank allows the organization to give fresh, organic produce directly to those in the community who need it most.  The Gardens for Good Grant will help improve the gardens by standardizing field sizes, expanding irrigation into the new Food Bank Garden and other projects to enhance the community gardens.


Oyster Celebration Nets $10,000 for Restoration Project Farm

Shucking Olympia, and Shigoku "The Ultimate Oyster"

Shucking Olympia, and Shigoku “The Ultimate Oyster”

Shellfish growers from around Washington served up 33,000 world-class oysters November 2nd at Elliott’s 21st Annual Oyster New Year celebration, generating a whopping $10,000 for Puget Sound Restoration Fund’s Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm.  It was the oyster lover’s ultimate experience as a throng of 1,000 slurpers descended on the 100 foot-long oyster bar, knocking back these gifts from the sea while lapping up salmon, crab, and fritters and dousing down wines, ales and other concoctions from the Northwest and beyond.  Of the 33,000 oysters served, nearly 6,000 came from Taylor Shellfish Farms, which brought 160 dozen each of Kumamoto, Olympia, and Shigoku “The Ultimate Oyster.”

Marcelle Taylor, Paul Taylor and Xad Gonzales enjoying some delicious oysters

Marcelle Taylor, Paul Taylor and Xad Gonzales enjoying some delicious oysters

“We here at PSRF were taken to new heights at this year’s celebration as one of our very own Henderson Inlet oysters was announced the winner of the Most Beautiful Oyster Contest!  Brian Allen, our Henderson farm manager, and our big gang of volunteer harvesters nearly died from happiness.  Thanks to the growers who proudly produce oysters that feed us in essential ways and motivate us to keep the water clean.  And thanks to Elliott’s, the wineries and the breweries for creating wonderful occasions for revelry that remind us how extraordinary this place really is.” says Betsy Peabody, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund.

Food Lion Creates New Jobs in N.C., S.C.

Food Lion announced today that it has made significant investments in 169 stores in North Carolina and South Carolina and created 500 new jobs. Key markets include Greenville, N.C., Wilmington, N.C.,Columbia, S.C., Charleston, S.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

To celebrate the launch, Food Lion is holding grand re-opening festivities at the 169 stores, including providing the first 50 customers at each location with a bag of free groceries Wednesday, Nov. 13 through Saturday, Nov. 16.

“With today’s launch, nearly all Food Lion stores have received these store investments,” said Greg Finchum, Senior Vice President of Retail Operations for Food Lion. “We invite customers to visit their local Food Lion, where they will experience firsthand new lower prices and other store enhancements, such as the greatest value in store brands and fresher produce. We hope that you will visit your local Food Lion and experience our changes.”

Food Lion’s key investments offer customers lower prices on 6,000 items throughout the store and access to quality store brand products at new lower prices, including the company’s my essentials products. To further enhance customer savings, Food Lion has added MVP Savings Centers in each of its stores. Customers can scan their MVP Card to receive personalized offers for additional savings on national and private brand products in-store during their shopping trip.

The company also improved its produce as part of its “Fresh From the Field” initiative.  Customers will experience better quality, enhanced freshness and expanded variety in Food Lion’s produce section. In addition, Food Lion’s produce and store brand products are backed by a double-your-money-back guarantee.

The investments are based on customer feedback and will continue to position the company for future success. A list of the 169 stores is available at

Food Lion also plans to donate $2,000 to local food banks, which will help each agency provide up to 10,000 meals to its constituents. Food banks receiving the donations include Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, S.C.; Lowcountry Food Bank in Charleston, S.C.; Food Bank of Central & Eastern N.C. in Greenville, N.C.; Lowcountry Food Bank in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern N.C. in Wilmington, N.C. In addition, Food Lion will continue working with these food banks in its ongoing efforts to fight food insecurity and relieve hunger in our communities. By the end of 2013, Food Lion is on track to donate more than 1.1 million pounds of food collectively to these agencies.

With today’s announcement, the majority of Food Lion locations have now received these investments. The company launched 167 stores in the Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C., markets in May 2011, 268 stores in March 2012 in Virginia, West Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, 269 stores in North Carolina and South Carolina, including its hometown markets ofSalisbury, N.C, and Charlotte, N.C., in July 2012, and most recently, 178 stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia in May 2013.

Food Lion was founded in 1957 as Food Town in Salisbury, N.C., and has since grown to more than 1,100 stores in 10 states.

Snikiddy Launches New Soy Ginger Eat Your Vegetables Flavor Exclusively at Kroger

Snikiddy®, a line of all-natural snacks made from simple, real-food ingredients, today announced it is introducing Soy Ginger Eat Your Vegetables® as an exclusive to Kroger stores nationwide. The Asian-inspired, veggie-packed variety will be available in more than 730 Kroger stores from coast-to-coast beginning at the end of October.

“The combination of soy and ginger deliver that umami (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, taste) all of our taste buds crave. These flavor contrasts all packed in one is quickly becoming more and more popular in many of our favorite entrees, but finding this Far East combination in the snack aisle is very unique,” said Mary Schulman, founder and executive vice president of marketing for Snikiddy. “We left no stone unturned to perfect our new flavor and are excited to debut this completely unique snack to Kroger shoppers!”

Like all other Eat Your Vegetables varieties, the new Soy Ginger crisps are made with eight vegetables including kale, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, navy beans, carrots and shitake mushrooms, and provide a full serving of vegetables per ounce. Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, C, E, B1, B6 and antioxidants. The chips also provide 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per serving from a proprietary blend of beans and brown rice. All Snikiddy snacks are all-natural, certified gluten and wheat free, made with non-GMO ingredients, and are completely peanut and tree nut free. Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables are available in other fun, family-friendly flavors including: Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, Jalapeno Ranch, Italian Herb & Olive Oil and Sea Salt & Lime.

The entire line of Snikiddy snacks are available at grocery, natural, specialty and family retailers nationwide, including select Target locations, Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Babies ‘R’ Us as well as online at

Tailgating to Impress

By Lorrie Baumann

While beer and brats will work just fine as game day entertainment on your patio, if you’re looking to impress your guests as well as feed them during half-time, offer them something a little more adventurous. Korean barbecue is perfect for entertaining because you can do the side dishes ahead of time, with just the grilling to be done at the last minute. That leaves you free to enjoy the party with your guests, and there’s no tricky timing to ruin your dinner if your team’s scoring drive delays the meal.

DSC05213On the menu: Korean-style barbecue pork ribs, pickled radish, kimchee, egg rolls with dipping sauce. The key to pulling this off is Fischer & Wieser’s Korean BBQ Sauce, a mildly peppery sauce with enough zing to give your pork great flavor without challenging anyone’s palate with too much spice. Use the sauce as a marinade for pork ribs and then bring it out to the patio as a dipping sauce for egg rolls. If you want to offer your guests a spicier alternative, bring out some sriracha sauce as well.

I found Rejuvenative Foods Kim-Chi at Whole Foods in the refrigerator case reserved for vegan foods. It has a gingery tang that worked nicely with the pork. The kimchee I found at my local Asian market had more onion and sweet pepper flavors instead of the ginger, and that was good as well. Pickled ginger came from the same refrigerator case at the Asian market.

Pickled radish is easily made from daikon, which you can find in most decent produce markets these days. Recipes for it are all over the Internet. They generally call for rice wine vinegar, some salt and sugar and maybe some red pepper flakes and no cooking at all. Make the pickles a day or two ahead of the party, at the same time that you start marinating the pork ribs, and just leave them in the refrigerator to soak up the vinegary brine until it’s time to bring them out for dinner.

If you want to make the cleanup after your party as easy as the cooking, there are choices you can make with a clear conscience while maintaining the elegant aesthetic that elevates your party above the beer and brats bash that you are not giving. Take a look at the alternatives suggested by this Kitchenware News & Housewares Review article for more information on those.

Recipe: Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

(Florentine Orange Zest Cake)

Created by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos, stars of Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin

  Tofu orange cake


2 ½ cups flour

1 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)

½ package (7 oz) House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Firm

½ cup water

½ cup vegetable oil

Juice and zest of one blood orange (or orange)

Juice of one lemon

1 ½ tablespoon baking soda

2 tablespoons powdered sugar for garnishing

1 tablespoon butter for greasing pan



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixer, blend together tofu, water, oil and the citrus juice. Pour the mix into a large bowl.

In a different bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Mix all ingredients together evenly.

Slowly pour the dry mix into the liquid mix, whipping constantly to avoid the formation of lumps. Once all ingredients are mixed, the batter should have a moderately thick consistency.

Grease a 9” x 11” rectangular pan. Using a rubber spatula, spread the dough evenly in the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes then let cool at least 30 minutes before removing from pan.

Garnish with sifted powdered sugar and serve sliced in rectangles, like a traditional Schiacciata.


Note: To make recipe Vegan, use butter alternative.

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