Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Majority of Americans not Meeting Recommendations for Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

CDC Issues First State by State Report

No U.S. state is meeting national objectives for consumption of fruits and vegetables, according to the first report to provide state-by-state data about fruit and vegetable consumption and policies that may help Americans eat more fruits and vegetables.

"State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009" was released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Healthy People 2010 objectives aim for at least 75 percent of Americans to eat the recommended two or more daily servings of fruit, and for at least 50 percent of Americans to eat the recommended three or more servings of vegetables daily. However, CDC surveys indicate that only 33 percent of adults meet the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27 percent get the recommended servings of vegetables. The statistics are even worse for high school students - 32 percent report eating at least two servings of fruit daily and 13 percent say they eat at least three servings of vegetables each day.

"A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for optimal child growth, maintaining a healthy weight, and prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, all of which currently contribute to health care costs in the United States," said Dr. William H. Dietz, director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. "This report will help states determine what is taking place in their communities and schools and come up with ways to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables."

The report highlights consumption and three key policy and environmental areas:

Healthier Food Retail: Retailers, such as supermarkets and grocery stores that stock a variety of high-quality fruits and vegetables are a critical asset for the health of residents.

* Only eight states have a policy for healthier food retail improvements, which can help increase the number of full-service grocery stores in areas where they are unavailable, increase the availability of healthier foods in small food stores, and promote healthier foods through information at the point of purchase.

Availability of Healthier Foods in Schools: Schools are in a unique position to influence and promote fruit and vegetable intake among youth, school staff, parents, and other community members.

* Only 1 in 5 (21 percent) middle and high schools offer fruits and non-fried vegetables in vending machines, school stores or snack bars.
* 21 states have a policy to support farm-to-school programs that can increase access to fruits and vegetables as well as teach school children about nutrition and agriculture.

Food System Support: A systems approach to food considers many factors involved in getting fruits and vegetables from farms to consumers, including the roles of growers, processors and retailers. Food policy councils are organizations made up of many agencies and community organizations that look at access of fresh produce at the community and state levels. These councils make recommendations about policies and programs such as farm-to-school programs, community gardens, farmers markets and availability of fresh produce in supermarkets.

* 20 states have a state-level food policy council, and 59 local food policy councils exist across the nation.

"We have seen the tremendous benefit of state and local officials, health professionals, employers, food store owners, farmers, school staff, and community members working together on food and nutrition issues," said Heidi Michels Blanck, Ph.D., CDC epidemiologist. "Their efforts can help to increase the availability of affordable healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables."

The State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetable, 2009 is available at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/indicatorreport/.

CDC is a partner in the national fruit and vegetable program and provides resources for September National Fruits & Veggies - More Matters month at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov.
Community News You Can Use
Follow us on Twitter: @gafrontpage

Monday, September 28, 2009

Eat Healthfully On A Budget

(NAPSI)-Here's food for thought: Eating lots of colorful fruits and vegetables can be a sound investment in long-term health. They're loaded with healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals, and eating them helps maintain a healthy weight and may reduce the risk of many diseases.

All forms of fruits and vegetables-fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice-can be an affordable part of a healthful lifestyle.

Making produce instead of protein the main focus of a meal can mean less cost, less fat, fewer calories and more vitamins and minerals. Use meat as a side dish rather than the main course. Replace it with extra fruits and vegetables.

For a quick-to-fix dish that offers 1¼ cups of veggies in each serving and is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C and fiber, try this 10- Minute Veggie Soup.

10-Minute Veggie Soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes; allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving

2 29-oz. cans low-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes - no salt added

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon onion powder

¾ cup macaroni, dry

3 cups frozen mixed vegetables

⅛ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon pepper

Combine chicken broth, diced tomatoes, basil and onion powder. Bring to a simmer and add pasta and frozen vegetable mix (broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix is great in this recipe). Cook for 6 minutes and remove from heat, adding salt and pepper to taste.

The pasta will not be cooked all the way through. Let soup sit for 5 minutes and pasta will become soft.

Serves: 6

Nutrition Information per serving: calories: 112, total fat: 0.5g, saturated fat: 0.3g, percent calories from fat: 4, percent calories from saturated fat: 3, protein: 6g, carbohydrates: 21g, cholesterol: 3mg, dietary fiber: 4g, sodium: 244mg.

Round out your meal with a slice of whole grain bread, add fresh, canned or frozen fruit for dessert and you've just put a delicious, nutritious dinner on the table in nearly no time.

Learn More

You can find healthful, easy-to-prepare recipes online at www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org. There's even an entire section of recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. You'll also find a healthful meal-planning guide with advice on making a weekly menu and shopping list.

by Elizabeth Pivonka, President, Produce for Better Health Foundation

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Need to Sacrifice Taste or Nutrition for Easy Meals Using One Pot, Five Ingredients and Ten Bucks

/PRNewswire/ -- As the economy forces many Americans to toss takeout menus and ditch dinner reservations, many are making their way back into the kitchen in hopes of preparing nutritious, budget-friendly meals. Only problem is, recent research shows that many lack the knowledge of basic kitchen know-how and need help in the kitchen. However, the same research found that moms make positive changes when they receive guidance, so the Canned Food Alliance (CFA) provided moms with the Essential Kitchen Toolkit, which offers easy-to-read guides to planning and preparing healthful meals.

Now, the CFA has partnered with chef and cookbook author, Andrew Schloss so moms can apply the basics of meal preparation, to create easy, inventive meals at home with much lower costs. Not convinced? You do the math:

To answer this call for help in the kitchen these ten new recipes all have one thing in common: they feature 1 pot; 5 ingredients; cost 10 dollars or less; take 15 minutes or less to prepare and have 400 calories or less per serving - literally counting down to healthy meals in minutes.

"Being creative with the variety of canned foods available today is what makes these recipes unique. Without canned food, it wouldn't be possible to make these flavorful meals this quickly and at this cost," said Schloss. "By simply pairing ingredients, such as canned, diced green chilies to add flavor to a flank steak or adding a can of southwestern-style corn to any stew, I was able to create nutritious meals that taste great for under $10."

Now live on www.Mealtime.org, the "Kitchen Countdown" recipe collection offers nutrition, convenience and great taste all in one - and includes the following dishes for your serving pleasure:

-- Caribbean Fish and Sweet Potato Skillet Dinner
-- Chicken Nachos
-- Chili Stuffed Flank Steak
-- Corn and Crab Cakes
-- Fish Tacos
-- Mexican Shrimp Stew
-- Salmon Herb Pie
-- Smoked Turkey Gazpacho
-- Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
-- Vegetarian Brown Rice Casserole

What Sparked Us to Get Cooking?

In early 2009, a Rutgers University study - commissioned by the Canned Food Alliance and published in the Forum for Family and Consumer Sciences journal - revealed that although moms have good intentions, they want and need a better grasp of kitchen basics. This lack of basic kitchen knowledge is ultimately hindering them from preparing nutritious, great-tasting family meals. However, when given a roadmap for preparing convenient, nutritious meals, the research also showed moms made positive changes in their kitchens.

Recognizing that moms make positive changes when they receive advice on how to prepare and serve easy, quick and healthful meals, the Canned Food Alliance developed the Essential Kitchen Toolkit as an educational resource. The Toolkit, which was modeled after the successful action plans used in the Rutgers research, offers easy-to-read guides to planning and preparing healthful meals, navigating the grocery store and organizing the kitchen, as well as a kitchen glossary, and food and kitchen safety tips.

"We learned through the Rutgers research that moms needed help, so we gave them the tools to get them started," said Rich Tavoletti, executive director for the Canned Food Alliance. "So now, we've taken it a step further by offering the "Kitchen Countdown" recipe collection as an easy way for moms to apply those tools to help them be creative when it comes to serving flavorful and wholesome meals for their families."

To find out more, log on to www.mealtime.org to find the "Kitchen Countdown" recipe collection, the Essential Kitchen Toolkit, more information on how to cook with canned foods and hundreds of other healthful and easy-to-prepare recipes.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Monday, September 21, 2009

Simple Desserts Will Have Them Clamoring For S'More

(NAPSI)-The next time you seek a weekday treat or a nice homemade dessert to serve friends who drop by, consider serving something sweet and simple such as pudding. It can be made in a snap with ingredients you have on hand. One to try is S'More Pudding, made with corn starch, an essential ingredient in puddings, cake and pie fillings.

S'More Pudding

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Microwave Time: 6 to 8 minutes

Chill Time: 2 hours

⅔ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons Argo® Corn Starch

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup marshmallow cream

½-¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

Mix sugar, cocoa powder, corn starch and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in milk and egg yolks until well blended. Microwave on high (100 percent) power for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes. Cook until pudding is thick and has boiled at least 1 minute. Remove from microwave. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours. Layer pudding, marshmallow cream and graham cracker crumbs in individual clear bowls or stemware.

Corn starch is often mixed with flour to produce more tender baked goods and perform like cake flour. For each cup of cake flour called for in a recipe, use ⅞ cup all-purpose flour (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) plus 2 tablespoons of corn starch.

It thickens with a satiny smoothness and glossy appearance and adds no taste of its own to mask the flavor of other foods. Recipes thickened with corn starch have a brighter, more translucent appearance than those thickened with flour. Corn starch has twice the thickening power of flour, so it's necessary to use only half as much.

Corn starch also blends more easily with cold liquids than flour because it doesn't absorb liquid until it's cooked.

Cooking with corn starch is easy when you follow a few simple guidelines:

• Amount of stirring. Gradually stir cold liquids into corn starch until completely smooth. Continue to stir gently during entire cooking period. When adding ingredients after cooking, remove the mixture from the heat and stir them in quickly and gently. Stirring too vigorously may cause mixture to break down and thin out.

• Temperature. Cook over medium-low to medium heat. Cooking over high heat can cause lumping. If mixture contains egg, high heat may curdle it.

• Cooking time. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full boil and boil 1 minute. After boiling 1 minute, the starch granules will have swelled to their full capacity, causing the mixture to thicken. Significantly overcooking thickened mixtures such as puddings, pies and cake fillings may cause mixture to thin out as it cools.

More Recipes

At the Argo® Corn Starch and Kingsford's® Corn Starch Web site, www.argostarch.com, you can find more tips and delicious, classic and contemporary recipes.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Sunday, September 20, 2009

October Events At Montaluce

Complimentary Guided Winery Tours every Tues- Fri at 2:00pm and Sat. and Sun. at 12:00 and 2:00. Le Vigne Restaurant is now open Thursday through Sunday evenings for Dinner and every day except Monday for lunch! Please call for reservations as they are occasionally closed for private parties.

Wine Tasting Hours
Come and Taste Montaluce’s wines newly released Chardonnay, Viognier, Rose’, Cabernet, and Merlot. The wine tasting room at Montaluce is now open Monday through Wednesday: 11am to 5pm; Thursday through Saturday 11am to 6pm; and Sundays from 12pm to 6pm.

Saturday WINE U- 4:00 PM
Join one of our staff sommeliers for a guided and informative exploration of wines from around the world. The cost is $25 pp. Rsvp required.

Sundays 5:00 to 9 PM ~ SUNDAY SUPPER
Join us for Sunday Supper in Le Vigne overlooking the vineyards. Three courses, $26 per person.

Dinner and a Movie
Join us October 9th and 23rd h or Dinner and a Movie at Montaluce! Enjoy dinner at Le Vigne and stay after to enjoy the great classic. A perfect date night! There is no charge for the movie on the covered veranda. Refreshments are available during the movie! The Movie will begin at approximately 9pm.

Solidarity School Raffle Home
Don’t miss the opportunity to support Atlanta’s Solidarity School and your chance to win a $595,000 Montaluce Villa plus $100,000 cash. Visit www.solidarityschool.org to purchase your tickets online. Tickets are $50 each. The drawing will be held on November 2nd.

Annual Harvest Festival
The wine is in the tanks and the harvest is complete! On October 17th and 18th, come celebrate with us the bounty of our 2009 harvest. Live music, hayrides, special events for the kids, amazing food and wine and more will make this annual event something you’ll remember! Also, don’t miss the Eurocross bike race being held in conjunction with our festival!

For more information, call 706-867-4060 or www.montaluce.com.
Visit www.Dahlonega.org for a map of Dahlonega Wine Country.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrate Popcorn Poppin' Month With Fun Facts And Recipes

(NAPSI)-National Popcorn Poppin' Month is a great time to celebrate the nation's favorite munchable maize. Whether you make it sweet, savory, salty, plain or pumped up, this fun food is economical and good for you.

As a whole grain, popcorn provides carbohydrates and fiber and is naturally low in fat and calories. It's a great in-between-meal snack that satisfies but doesn't spoil your appetite.

Here are a few fun facts to munch on and a tasty recipe:

Americans consume 16 billion quarts of this whole grain, good-for-you treat every year. That's 52 quarts per man, woman and child.

Popcorn is one of the oldest American foods, used by Native Americans both as food and as decoration. One way Native Americans used to pop popcorn was to toss kernels in heated sand and sift them out after popping. By the 1870s, popcorn was sold in grocery stores and at concession stands at circuses, carnivals and street fairs.

The peak period for popcorn sales for home consumption is in the fall. Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories: Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup, oil-popped only 55 per cup.

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

Fast, easy and colorful, these popcorn balls can be fun to make.

Makes: 8 (4-inch) balls

3 quarts popped popcorn

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine

3 cups miniature marshmallows

3 tablespoons (1/2 of a 3-ounce box) orange gelatin dessert mix

Candy corn, jelly beans, sour green apple candy sticks, licorice string, dried fruit, etc.

• Spray a large mixing bowl lightly with cooking spray and place popcorn inside.

• In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and gelatin dessert powder until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over popcorn and mix well until coated.

• Spray hands with cooking spray and press firmly to form into balls. Place balls on wax paper. Press candy decorations into balls to form eyes, a stem and a jack-o'-lantern grin. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap for storage. Add a ribbon tie to plastic wrap as a decorative closure.

Cleanup tip: Soak saucepan before cleaning.

For more facts and recipes, visit www.popcorn.org.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jack Daniel’s Birthday Celebration Continues with Ultimate Cake Contest

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Jack Daniel Distillery is searching for the best Jack Daniel’s-inspired cakes in the country for the Jack Daniel’s Ultimate Birthday Cake contest. The competition is part of the month-long September celebration of Jack Daniel’s 159th birthday.

Amateur bakers and decorators 21 and older can submit images of their cake creations to cakecontest@jacktember.com or by mail to Jack Daniel’s Ultimate Birthday Cake, c/o DVL, 209 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219, for a chance to win one of 159 exclusive Jack Daniel’s Birthday cake kits. The kits include a limited edition Jack Daniel’s bottle-shaped cake pan, a Jack Daniel’s label stencil, and a special Jack Daniel’s Ultimate Birthday Cake recipe.

“We know that many people celebrate their birthday with Jack Daniel’s, not only by enjoying our fine whiskey, but also with cakes that include Jack in the recipe or decoration,” said Lynne Tolley, Jack Daniel’s great-grandniece and proprietress of Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House in Lynchburg. “We want to see how creative our friends can be when designing a cake inspired by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Since we are celebrating my Uncle Jack’s 159th birthday, however, I might suggest that they leave off the candles.”

The Jack Daniel’s Ultimate Birthday Cake contest will run from September 15-October 15, 2009. Entries will be judged on creativity, representation of the Jack Daniel’s brand and appearance. For complete contest rules, go to www.jackdaniels.com/cakecontest.

Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel, the man who pioneered the world’s best-selling whiskey, was born in Lynchburg, Tenn. in September 1850, but his birth records were likely lost to fire or the passage of time. Because his exact birth date is unknown, Jack Daniel’s is celebrating Mr. Jack’s birthday throughout the month of September.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whole Foods Market and Chef Ann Cooper Partner to Launch Thelunchbox.org to Support Healthier School Lunches

Calls for Public to Join 'School Lunch Revolution' Aimed at Transforming School Menus Across United States Partners Travel to Washington, D.C., to Raise Awareness, Seek Changes to the National School Lunch Program

Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI), a leader in natural and organic foods, and Chef Ann Cooper, the nation's "Renegade Lunch Lady," have joined forces to transform lunch in schools across the country with the "School Lunch Revolution" campaign. This national effort, which launches during the back-to-school season, aims to enable schools to revolutionize and improve the way children eat. The free, first-of-its-kind Lunch Box Web site - thelunchbox.org - provides the necessary resources for food service directors to make tangible changes in their cafeteria menus.

"It is past time for a wake-up call! Look at what our children are being offered at school: processed foods high in fat, junk food, soft drinks loaded with sugar...the list goes on. We are in the throes of a public health time bomb," said Chef Ann Cooper, author of "Lunch Lessons" and "Bitter Harvest" and founder of the F3: Food Family Farming Foundation whose mission is to provide every child in America with healthy and delicious fresh food at school. "This is THE social justice issue of our time, and schools have NO money to help solve the problem," said Cooper. "I felt strongly about partnering with Whole Foods Market to help tackle this issue because their customers have a successful track record of rallying around a cause and making a real difference."

Chef Ann Cooper's Lunch Box Web site is the most comprehensive, easily accessible and FREE set of resources available to help schools replace frozen processed foods with fresh, natural, made-from-scratch foods in a realistic, cost-effective manner. Tools include:

- Recipes that work for schools of all size and can be nutritionally analyzed, tested and costed
- Resources for procuring real, natural foods, regionally and locally, from smaller vendors to create local food economies
- Training videos that cover topics ranging from cooking techniques to food safety
- Educational tools for parents and children
- Community activism tools helping any single person, group or task force to initiate change in a school system

"One in three children born in the year 2000 will have diabetes, and 30 percent of them are overweight, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC also says that the cost of treating diabetes in the United States is estimated at $174 billion each year," said Cooper. "The reality is we're going to pay now or pay later with rising health costs and poor health."

More than 30 million children eat a school lunch that is federally funded through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) every day. On average, only 90 cents per lunch is spent on food. That, combined with free commodity foods, like cheese and ground beef, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Distribution Program and many children are eating mostly frozen, processed, packaged foods. With no national standardized limit on sugar or other ingredients like artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, it is not uncommon to find hamburgers, French fries chocolate milk and popsicles offered as a typical school lunch.

"If you look at the entire picture, serving healthy food doesn't have to cost more for schools. Research from the USDA and CDC has shown that switching to healthier options has the potential to increase school lunchroom revenue," said Cooper. "I'm confident that with the right tools schools can learn how to provide more whole, fresh foods menus that nourish our children."

The Lunch Box will be supported in part by a donation from Whole Foods Market and a School Lunch Revolution donation drive at check-out stands in Whole Foods Market stores, and at wholefoodsmarket.com/schoollunchrevolution now through September.

Walter Robb, co-president and COO of Whole Foods Market, and Cooper will take the School Lunch Revolution message to Washington, D.C., to create public awareness and ask lawmakers to do their part to support stronger nutritional requirements and adequate funding for the National School Lunch Program.

While in D.C., Cooper will visit the Whole Foods Market store at Tenley Circle and lecture on the subject of healthy school lunches. She will also visit Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston in September, joining community leaders to talk about the importance of healthy lunches and the free Lunch Box Web site, with the hope of eliciting change on a local level.

"With proper nutrition playing such a critical role in improving a child's behavior, school performance, and overall cognitive development, Whole Foods Market has been searching for the next important way to do our part to improve children's diets. Even in this time of economic challenge, healthy choices for your family always make sense. Our goal is to raise awareness, engage our shoppers and give schools easy access to the tools they need to serve fresher, healthier meals," said Robb, whose passion and purpose for more than 30 years has been to offer natural and organic foods and encourage healthful eating. "Chef Ann Cooper is passionate, tenacious and committed to improving nutrition for school-age children and we are delighted to be working with her to present this online resource to schools."

To further raise awareness and encourage Americans to join in, the Whole Foods Market Web site will feature:

- A series of six short educational videos;
- A live chat with Chef Cooper on Aug. 28 at 3p.m. CDT;
- A video contest for PTO/PTA organizations, with the winner receiving a visit from Chef Ann; and
- Solutions for affordable, healthy lunches.

In addition, Whole Foods Market's in-store value guide, The Whole Deal, will offer menus, recipes and coupons.

About Whole Foods Market(R)
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (www.wholefoodsmarket.com), a leader in the natural and organic foods industry and America's first national certified organic grocer, was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" in 2008 by Health magazine. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"(TM) captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to its more than 50,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine for 12 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2008, the company had sales of $8 billion and currently has more than 275 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & Wild(TM), and Harry's Farmers Market(R) are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats(R) and Capers Community Market(TM) are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc.

About Chef Ann Cooper: Meet the Leader of the School Lunch Revolution
Chef Ann Cooper, aka, "The Renegade Lunch Lady" and author of Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children, is on a mission to ensure that every child in America receives healthy, delicious food every day in school. Her work over the past decade has already transformed the school lunchroom experience for tens of thousands of children. She will share her methodology and tools through The Lunch Box, which has the power to help all schools to make simple, yet revolutionary changes to their lunch programs. Chef Ann Cooper is currently serving as the Interim Nutrition Director for the Boulder Valley School District and is the former Director of Nutrition Services for the Berkeley Unified School district. She is the author of four books and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park with more than 30 years working in the culinary world.

Community News You Can Use
Follow us on Twitter: @gafrontpage

Monday, September 7, 2009

Baked Brie With Cherries And Nuts

NAPSI)-Adding cherries to the mix is a great way to make your holidays merrier.

Smart cooks always keep a jar or two of maraschino cherries on hand to add ruby red color and a hint of sweetness to appetizers, breads and desserts. This easy appetizer makes a great hostess gift or table centerpiece.

Baked Brie With Cherries and Nuts

Serve this festive appetizer with slices of French bread or crackers

Serves 8

½ cup sliced almonds

1 small wheel (8 oz) Brie cheese

¼ cup chopped maraschino cherries (about 12 cherries)

2 tablespoons apricot jam

1 egg

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Coarsely chop nuts and place half the nuts on the baking sheet, shaping them into a circle the size of the Brie. Reserve remaining nuts.

Remove wrapping from Brie. With a sharp knife, split Brie in half horizontally. Mix together the cherries and jam, spread the mixture on the bottom half of the Brie and then sandwich Brie pieces back together, pressing well.

Whisk the egg in another shallow bowl. Dip the Brie on all sides into the egg mixture. Then press egg-dipped Brie into the nuts on the baking sheet.

Cover the top of the Brie with remaining nuts, pressing nuts into Brie to adhere.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until nuts are toasty and cheese is soft.

Visit www.nationalcherries.com for more information and recipes.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Saturday, September 5, 2009

For A Delicious, Nutritious Diet, Add Apples

(NAPSI)-The old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" may have more to it than many people realize.

That's because recent research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggests apples may be a "superfruit" when it comes to helping your health. A diet rich in colorful fruits such as apples may help reduce your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer and also works to address heart disease and control high blood pressure. Apples are also fat-free, saturated fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free and are a good source of dietary fiber.

There are about 7,500 different kinds of apples to enjoy, but the best for baking tend to be:

• McIntosh-a medium-size, firm and juicy apple with crisp flesh and dark-red skin with green streaks.

• Rome Beauty-large, round and shiny with a slightly acid taste, rich aroma and red stripes with little spots on the skin.

• Granny Smith-green apples that are medium in size, juicy and tart.

These recipes are just two of the many delicious ways you can enjoy eating apples.

Lite Apple Crisp

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 35 to 45 minutes

Serves: 8

8 cups firm cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced ½-inch thick (7 to 8 medium-size apples)

¼ cup Argo Corn Starch

⅓ cup granular sucralose sweetener

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup unsweetened apple juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup Karo Lite Syrup

4 crunchy granola bars, oats, nuts and honey flavor, crushed

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Stir apples, cornstarch, sweetener, cinnamon, apple juice and lemon juice together in a large saucepan. Add syrup and mix well. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture just begins to boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and transfer to a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle crushed granola bars evenly over fruit filling. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender.

Recipe Suggestion: Try this recipe with peaches, cherries or blueberries in place of apples and use ¼ teaspoon almond extract instead of cinnamon.

Caramel Sauce

Yield: Makes 4 cups

Use as a dip for fresh fruit or drizzle over ice cream or apple pie.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

½ cup butter or margarine

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup

2 tablespoons water

1 can (15 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in a medium-size saucepan. Stir in sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat. Add condensed milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a full boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Serve immediately or keep warm in a slow cooker or fondue pot. Dip fresh apples, pears, bananas, graham crackers or gingersnaps in the Caramel Sauce.

Recipe Tip: Prepare ahead and reheat in microwave. If sauce seems too thick, stir in 1 tablespoon water or milk.

In addition to the apples, these delicious dishes are made with the natural goodness of Argo Corn Starch and Karo Corn Syrup, which can add flavor and texture to dozens of tempting recipes.

Cornstarch such as Argo is an important but inexpensive ingredient in a variety of dishes, from soup to dessert. Thickening with cornstarch rather than flour adds fewer calories (47 percent fewer) because you use less. And Karo is a natural sweetener, made of pure corn syrup and real vanilla.

Learn More

For more recipes and information, visit www.karosyrup.com and www.argostarch.com.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Arts Across Georgia

Friday, September 4, 2009

4th Annual “Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival” to Kick Off Sept. 18

What was once a simple food pairing deeply rooted in the South, Shrimp & Grits has become a menu-must for exclusive restaurants across the country. The only event in the country dedicated to this quintessential Southern dish kicks off Sept 18: “Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival.”

Set in the Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s landmark historic district, the popular festival boasts amateur and professional cooking competitions, shrimp boat excursions, shrimp eating contests, cooking demonstrations, races, entertainment, and much more.

"The Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival is a great time to enjoy the beauty of Jekyll Island while dining on delicious coastal cuisine caught right off the Georgia coast," said Beth Burnsed, Director of Special Events for Jekyll Island. "We began the Shrimp & Grits Festival as a way to showcase Jekyll Island and Wild Georgia Shrimp. As more and more restaurants began serving shrimp & grits, we realized that we were at the forefront of a growing trend. We are thrilled to host such a prominent and highly anticipated signature event.”

In celebration, Sept. has been declared “Wild Georgia Shrimp Month” on Jekyll Island and the neighboring Golden Isles, and some of the South’s finest professional and amateur chefs will be competing for the coveted title of “Best Shrimp & Grits” recipes in the country. “Y’all Come!”

Friday, September 18th

$3 Shrimp Sale Night
Set amid Jekyll Island’s picturesque Jekyll Island Club National Landmark Historic District, the festival will kick off on Friday at 5:30 p.m. with a “$3 Shrimp Sample Night.” For only $3 per person participants will have the opportunity to taste recipes from each of the vendors.

Saturday, September 19th

Amateur Cooking Competition

The Amateur Cooking Competition event will offer mouth-watering tasting opportunities of the ten shrimp & grits dishes prepared by aspiring and self-taught cooks throughout the region. Guests can sign-up to be part of the esteemed “Consumer Choice Panel” to taste the dishes and select the winners for a fee of $25.00 per person. The tasting begins at 1:15 p.m. Saturday with music and entertainment provided by the popular “Big Dawg and Paul Show.” Awards will be presented at 2:30 pm.

Chef Robert Rulko Cooking Demonstration

Chef Robert Rulko, Winn-Dixie's Corporate Chef, will present a live cooking demonstration Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Chef Rulko is well-known throughout the entire Southeast, and has worked in kitchens throughout Europe, the Orient and Caribbean. He also had the honor of assisting the White House pastry chef, to supply edible Christmas ornaments for the former President and Mrs. Clinton’s personal Christmas tree.

Shrimp Eating Contests:

Are you a shrimp lover who boasts to out-eat everyone you know? Adults and kids are invited to sign up for one of several free shrimp eating contests going on throughout the weekend. Space is limited for each contest, and interested participants should stop by the Information Tent at the festival to sign up for a contest. Saturday’s contests 1:00 p.m. and
4:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 20th

Professional Cooking Competition

The professional cooking competition will be held on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. with music and entertainment provided for the second time by the “Big Dawg and Paul Show.” Throughout the day, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase delicious shrimp & grits dishes from outstanding local restaurants and vendors, and winners of the Professional Cooking Competition will be named by an esteemed panel of judges at 3:00 p.m.

Chef Joe Randall Cooking Demonstration

Chef Joe Randall, of Joe Randall’s Savannah Cooking School, will host a live cooking demonstration on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Joe Randall is a forty-three year veteran of all things food! He is noted for his capacity to teach, guide and advise others in the practical aspects of food.

Shrimp Eating Contest:

If visitors didn’t have a chance to participate in the free Shrimp Eating contest on Saturday, they have another chance on Sunday. Again, space is limited and they can sign up at the Festival Information Tent. Contests will be held on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Ongoing Weekend Activities:

Free Live Entertainment:

Throughout the weekend the Jekyll Island Club National Landmark Historic District will ring with the musical talents of many favorite local bands, including Straight No Chaser, Smokin’ Section, OSKAR Rockhammer, Stringrays, Randall Bramblett Band, and Three of Us.

Shrimp & Grits 3 Race Challenge:

On Saturday and Sunday, a 3 Race Challenge will take place across three different terrains on Jekyll Island. It will begin with the “Shrimper's 4-mile Beach Course” jog starting at the Jekyll Island Beachdeck on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The next event is “Show Yer Grit” run at the Jekyll Island Great Dunes Golf Course on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. The Race Challenges finishes up with the “Short Flight to Festival 1 Mile” sprint on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Racers will end at the Festival in time to eat! Pre-registration is $15, $45 for the series, and $20 per race on the day of the event.

Popcorn Shrimp Gold Days at the Jekyll Island Golf Course:

Friday through Sunday children 14 and younger play for FREE on any of Jekyll Island's 18-hole golf courses when playing with a paying adult. Children's scorecards can be entered in a drawing for 2 lbs of Wild Georgia Shrimp.

Boating Excursions:
It wouldn’t be a Shrimp Festival without the opportunity to go boating! Throughout the weekend, several opportunities are available:

Trawling Excursion: Take a trip into the coastal marshlands and rivers for a trawling excursion. The captain and crew give a complete presentation of the species caught and give the passengers a chance to touch and feel what is caught. These eco tours depart from the Jekyll Island Wharf, and the cost is $13 for students 9th grade and below and $18 for students 10th grade and above and adults. For more information about trip times and purchasing tickets, call St. Simons Transit Company 635-3152 or visit: www.goldenislesfun.com.

Dolphin Tour: Guests can also experience a once in a lifetime opportunity by taking a 90 minute dolphin tour through the island’s our calm inland waters. The trips begin at the Jekyll Island Wharf, and the cost is $24 adults, $12 for children 10 and younger. For more information about trip times and purchasing tickets, call St. Simons Transit Company 635-3152 or visit: www.goldenislesfun.com.

Shrimp Boat Excursion: Get on board the Lady Jane, a United States Coast Guard certified 49 passenger steel shrimping vessel recently retired after years of loyal service to the shrimping industry. Each cruise includes two hours of shrimping and an onboard shrimp boil. All shrimp boat excursions depart from Spanky’s Restaurant in Brunswick, located on HWY 17. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the trips will be from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. The cost is $39.95 for adults and $25 children 6 and younger. For more information and to purchase tickets call Credle’s Adventures at (912) 265-5711 or visit their website: www.shrimpcruise.com.

Off-Shore Fishing: For a little off-shore fishing during the weekend, hop aboard the 44-foot “Ospo” fishing boat which departs from the Jekyll Island Marina. For more information on cost, times and to purchase tickets, call 270-7474 or visit www.offshore-charters.com.

Become a Shrimp & Grits Festival VIP!
Guests can experience the ultimate Shrimp & Grits Festival weekend by becoming a VIP guest! The VIP package includes 4 tickets for samples at Friday night’s $3 sample night, a gift certificate for a 1/2 lb of fresh Wild Georgia Shrimp from City Market in Brunswick, GA, a 1 lb
bag of grits from Logan Turnpike Mills, and a commemorative Festival Poster signed by the artist. To purchase your 2009 VIP package for just $35, order it online at http://www.jekyllisland.com/shrimpandgrits

Wild Georgia Shrimp Month For Jekyll and The Golden Isles:
September is Wild Georgia Shrimp Month! Visitors can check out the list of local restaurants participating and order their featured Georgia shrimp dish. For more information about Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp & Grits Festival, contact the Jekyll Island Welcome Center at
1-877-4-JEKYLL, or visit www.jekyllisland.com/shrimpandgrits.


1 lb. Fresh Georgia White shrimp peeled and deveined
1 bundle green onion (diced)
1/2 lb. Andouille sausage or any other sausage you like (spicy)
Flour as needed
White wine to taste
½ squeezed lemon
1 cup Heavy whipping cream
Old Bay seasoning to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic Butter for Sauté
Soften 1 lb. unsalted butter, 6 oz. bacon fat, 2 tbsp. of minced garlic, 1 tbs. paprika each, ½ tsp. chopped thyme, parsley, oregano
Mix all ingredients together and set aside for later use.

Cheese Grits
Follow recipe on package except use less stock. You want the grits to be tight (stiff) use chicken stock instead of water. Add medium sharp cheddar cheese to taste add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside but keep warm.

In sauté pan add garlic butter you probably have enough to do 2 or 3 batches. Add sausage and onions let sauté, then add shrimp, cream, wine and lemon let cook for 3 minutes. Add Old Bay, salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer then sprinkle flour on top and mix in. Continue doing this until right consistency let it simmer a little while longer to cook out flour taste then ready to serve.

Put grits into bowl top with shrimp mixture ready to eat.

Community News You Can Use
Follow us on Twitter: @gafrontpage

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fruit: The secret weapon in parents’ nutritional arsenal

(ARA) - Parents, let’s face it -- the average child will never really fall in love with Brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower. But few kids object to fruit, making it easier to help children tap into its wealth of health benefits.

Fruit fights childhood obesity, according to studies by Tufts and Baylor universities that linked high fruit and vegetable consumption by children with a lower body mass index. Fruit is naturally low in calories but high in nutrients like immune system boosting vitamin C, water and fiber, which helps children feel fuller and more energized with fewer calories. Federal dietary guidelines recommend five servings of fruit per day.

Here are some tips to help keep fruit exciting and easy for you and your children:

* Variety really can be the spice of life when it comes to fruit. Supermarkets now regularly offer exotic fruits that were once only found in top restaurants or specialty shops. So on your next supermarket excursion, allow your child to explore the more unusual fruits and choose one or two to try. You may find they adore star fruit and kumquats as much as apples and bananas.

* What child doesn’t like a smoothie, especially in summer? While you’re whipping up a fruit smoothie for your little one, take the opportunity to slip some other nutritious ingredients into the blender, like raw greens (kids think green smoothies are fun), low-fat yogurt for protein and calcium or flaxseed for fiber.

* Keep it simple and easy for both of you. The easier it is for you to present fruit and for your child to eat it, the more likely they are to indulge in it on a regular basis. Look for products and packaging that make fruit snacking easy as pie, like Dole’s All-Natural Jarred Fruit. You can bypass the cutting, slicing and peeling (how many kids have lost interest in their fruit snack by the time Mom finishes preparing it), and instead just open the jar and start enjoying the delicious, wholesome goodness of ready-to-eat fruit.

* Kids seem hard-wired to crave something sweet for breakfast, whether it’s good for them or not. Satisfy your youngster’s sweet tooth and your desire to ensure they have a good start each morning by incorporating fruit into your breakfast routine. Whether you serve up apple slices with peanut butter on the side for dipping, or top a pancake with some jarred fruit, you’ll be serving a breakfast that is fun and tasty as well as nutritious.

* Encourage kids to continue their healthful, fruity mindset throughout their daily lives. Starting Aug. 23, parents can log on to www.DoleMagic.com for a chance to win some fun prizes from top retailers. The site awards 60 daily prizes, eight weekly prizes and one grand prize – a six-night trip for three to Maui, with accommodations in a four-star hotel, rental car and $1,000 spending money.

To make kids feel like winners on a daily basis, try this child-friendly, fruity recipe:

Tropical Parfait

Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Makes two servings.


1 jar (24.5 ounces) Dole Tropical Fruit
3/4 cup granola
1 carton (6 ounces) low-fat vanilla yogurt
Cinnamon sticks (optional)


Drain 1 1/2 cups of the tropical fruit. In a parfait glass, place a layer of granola. Top it with a layer of tropical fruit, then a layer of yogurt. Repeat until glass is full. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page