Monday, January 25, 2010

“Jump Start Your Metabolism with Raw Foods” at Fayette County Public Library Feb 6

The Fayette County Public Library invites the public to learn how to “Jump Start Your Metabolism with Raw Foods” on Saturday, February 6 at 1:00 p.m. Nutrition expert Latissa Jones demonstrates raw food preparation techniques, explains the benefits of adding raw food to our diets, and offers samples of some of her delicious creations. This program, made possible through the support of the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library, is free and open to the public.

According to Jones, vegan raw and living foods can be effective tools in battling weight loss resistance. In addition to being fresh, healthy, and delicious, these foods can help boost the body’s ability to burn calories and run more efficiently. Jones promises to help those who attend the “Jump Start” workshop to better understand and make the most of their metabolisms.

Latissa Jones is executive chef, instructor and nutritional consultant for Rawsome Foods, Inc. She helps clients find relief from various health problems through simple nutritional solutions. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from Clark Atlanta University, and graduated from Gwinnett Technical College with an associate of applied science in culinary art. She also holds two distinguished certifications from the National Restaurant Association in Nutrition and Safe Food Handling.

The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administrative complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways #85 and #54. For additional information, please contact the library at 770-461-8841.
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Yogurt Named Food Trend of the Decade

/PR Newswire/ -- Americans are eating more yogurt than ever before, and Dairy Council of California advises that consumers can benefit from even more culture.

Yogurt was named the food trend of the decade by Harry Balzer, Vice President with the market research firm NPD Group.

"It's very convenient. It's very individualized ..." said Balzer of yogurt in a Jan. 1 interview with National Public Radio. "This is just for you. It's your own flavor. It has a health halo certainly surrounding it. It really does define what I think America wants from its food supply."

Plain or flavored, served in a cup, a tube or a tub, yogurt provides calcium, potassium and high-quality protein. Some yogurts are fortified with vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption and bone health. Yogurt is also a good option for people who have trouble drinking fluid milk. The "live active cultures" in yogurt feed on lactose, milk's natural sugar, making yogurt an excellent choice if you're lactose intolerant.

According to consumption research conducted by Dairy Council of California, families with children and adults in their 30s eat the most yogurt, with adults eating less in their older years. There's plenty room for growth within the yogurt category, according to registered dietitian Andrea Garen.

"Americans have certainly embraced single-serving flavored and frozen yogurts, but plain, unflavored yogurt is still fairly foreign," said Garen, Project Manager with Dairy Council of California. "Yogurt is a versatile food ingredient used around the world, particularly in Greek and Indian cuisine."

Garen recommends traditional recipes like Chicken Souvlaki, Cucumber Yogurt Soup, Tandoori Chicken or Raita for introducing plain yogurt in your diet. Its tangy flavor also works well in salad dressings, dips and other recipes. Kids enjoy adding their favorite fruits like strawberries, mangos or bananas to plain yogurt sweetened with honey, maple syrup or vanilla.

For more recipes and information on the benefits of flavored and plain yogurt, visit the Meals Matter website at

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Quick Meal Tips For Game Day Entertaining

(NAPSI)-If the gang is headed to your house to watch the game, chili is a great crowd-pleaser that's easy to make.

Cooking chili in a slow cooker is simple and it gets the host out of the kitchen and into the game. Just place a disposable liner in the cooker, add the ingredients, cover and set the controls. When the whistle blows, you have a meal your team will love. Slow cooker liners from Reynolds make cleanup a snap. Just toss the disposable liner when you're done--no scrubbing or soaking required.

Put assorted toppings such as sour cream, grated cheese, chopped onions and more in bowls before everyone arrives to serve with this hearty game day favorite:

Game Day Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3-7 hours

Serves: 8

1 Reynolds® Slow Cooker Liner

1 pound lean ground beef

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 cans (15 oz.) red kidney beans, undrained

2 packages (1.25 oz.) chili seasoning mix

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chilies

Cheese and sour cream (optional)

Open slow cooker liner and place it inside a 5- to 6½ -quart slow cooker bowl. Fit liner snugly against the bottom and sides of bowl; pull top of liner over rim of bowl. Brown ground beef, bell pepper and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Drain well. Place beef mixture into slow cooker liner. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour over beef mixture; gently stir with wooden or plastic spoon to combine. Place lid on slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 3½ hours until heated through. Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Serve food directly from slow cooker liner. Do not lift or transport liner with food inside.

Cook's tip: Store your slow cooker liners in the cooker itself. That way, you'll have them when you need them.

For more recipes and ideas, go to

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Atlanta Catering and Event Professionals Set Table to Compete for Best Event Design Trend and Best Wedding Cake Titles

/PRNewswire/ -- The Greater Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) has earned a nationwide reputation in the catering and hospitality industry as having set the bar for trends and ideas at their annual Event Trends and Cake Competition.

This year, for the first time, the group -- comprised of catering and event professionals representing most major hotels, caterers, florists, photographers, entertainers and other wedding and event professionals throughout the area -- is opening the doors to the public to see what Atlanta's top event designers create when seeking to be the best among their peers.

The event takes place on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at the Thalia N. Carlos Center

2500 Clairmont Rd. NE in Atlanta from 5 pm to 8 pm.

Public admission is $20 for the first guest and $15 for additional guests in the same group. Light appetizers and Beverages will be served, but the real attraction will be the 20 or so design-scapes that will be created by design teams representing Atlanta's top catering professionals, hotels, wedding event designers and their suppliers.

"This is an incredible showcase of talent," Said Walter Nemeth, the Director of Catering at the Georgian Terrace Hotel and the President of the Greater Atlanta Chapter. "It never ceases to amaze me how many new ideas and future trends are seen here first. Anyone even thinking about planning a social event like a wedding or corporate party must see this for themselves."

Local companies and catering, wedding and event professionals participating in this year's Event Design Trends and Cake Competition, include: A Legendary Event Design & Catering, Bold American Events & Catering, Your Event Solution, A Divine Event Catering, The Ritz Carlton Atlanta, Event Rentals Unlimited, Sweet Sensations, and Caryn's Cakes.

"The designers competing in this event represent not only the best in Atlanta, but are also considered among the most innovative and creative in the country," according to Event Chair Jennifer McDonnell, a Certified Meeting Planner herself. "The competitors this year have earned nearly 70 awards combined at previous regional and national competitions."

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Celebrate National Soup Month with simple homemade soups

(ARA) - Many people turn to a comforting bowl of soup to take the bite out of chilly winter days. January is National Soup Month, and what better time to discover just how simple it can be to make sensational homemade soups? Whether serving soup as part of an entertaining menu or an easy weeknight meal, making soup from scratch does not have to require hours in the kitchen.

Shortcuts, like starting with ingredients such as 100% natural Swanson chicken broth, which provides an ideal blend of stock, vegetables, herbs and seasonings, make it easy to create the perfect foundation for every soup recipe.

Here are some quick tips to help you enjoy soup this month and throughout the year:
* Cook up a family favorite during the weekend and save leftovers for school and work lunches or for suppers throughout the week.

* Entertaining? Turn your party into a soup sampler. Ask each guest to bring their favorite soup and serve in cups, ramekins or even shot glasses to encourage people to try all the different varieties.

* Fire up the slow cooker. In the morning, place ingredients into your slow cooker. Let the soup simmer throughout the day and you'll come home to an inviting aroma and a dinner that's ready to enjoy. Add a crusty bread or salad to round out the meal.

Twice-Baked Potato Soup and Savory Vegetable Beef Soup are two soups that can be prepared in under an hour. Both are sure to please friends and family. For more flavorful soup recipes, visit and

Twice-Baked Potato Soup

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

6 large potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
5 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified
1/4 cup light cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1. Heat the oven to 425 F. Prick the potatoes with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the potatoes to a bowl and cover the bowl. Let the potatoes stand for 10 minutes. Remove the skin from the potatoes and mash the pulp.

2. Heat the butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the onion and cook until it's tender. Stir in the broth and 5 cups potato pulp.

3. Place 1/3 of the broth mixture into a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Repeat the blending process twice more with the remaining broth mixture. Return all of the puréed mixture to the saucepan. Stir in the cream and chives and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot. Season as desired.

4. Spoon 1/4 cup remaining potato pulp into each of 8 serving bowls. Divide the broth mixture among the bowls. Serve with one or more Assorted Toppers.

Assorted Toppers: Cooked crumbled bacon, shredded Cheddar cheese and/or sour cream.

Time-Saving Tip: Microwave the potatoes on HIGH for 10 to 12 minutes or until they're fork-tender.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with endive and sliced pear salad with lemon mustard vinaigrette sprinkled with crumbled blue cheese. For dessert serve chocolate eclairs.

Savory Vegetable Beef Soup

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

1 3/4 cups Swanson Beef Broth (Regular, Lower Sodium or Certified Organic)
2 medium potatoes, cut into cubes
1 cup cubed cooked beef
3 cups V8 100% Vegetable Juice
1 can (about 8 ounces) whole peeled tomato, cut up
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Place the broth and potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan and heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

2. Stir the beef, vegetable juice, tomatoes, vegetables, thyme and black pepper in the saucepan. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a tossed salad and Ranch salad dressing. For dessert serve dark chocolate cookies with vanilla cream filling.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pirate Brands Named MVS (Most Valuable Snack)

Pirate Brands Products Triumph over Unhealthy Snacks During the Big Game

You've just kicked-off your New Year’s diets and work-out regimens, and with The Big Game just around the corner, we bet you’re going to need tips on how not to fumble by eating unhealthy foods that will leave you feeling like a linebacker. Luckily, Pirate Brands, makers of all-natural snacks including Pirate’s Booty is here to offer some healthier alternatives that you can nosh on while still achieving your 2010 goals.

Pirate’s Booty is a deliciously baked all-natural snack made from puffed rice and corn. Pirate’s Booty is only up to 130 calories per serving, is trans-fat and gluten free and comes in great subtle flavors like Aged White Cheddar, Veggie, Sour Cream & Onion, New York Pizza, Sea Salt & Vinegar and Barbeque. Pick up a 4 oz. bag for The Big Game.

Smart Puffs are all-natural corn puffs made with real Wisconsin cheddar that are baked to perfection. Smart Puffs are trans-fat and gluten free. A 4.5 oz. bag will surely score a touchdown at the Sunday party!

Original Tings are all-natural vegan crunchy corn sticks made from the finest milled American corn. Tings are trans-fat and gluten free. Pick up a 6 oz. bag to become the MVP in your house!

As the leader of the healthy snacking revolution, Pirate Brands has created products for the whole family that are healthy all-natural, baked and delicious. They’ve eliminated fryers and trans fats from all of their products and keep the ingredients simple. Their only additives are just good fun.

Be inspired to live a little healthier and have fun while doing it! Let’s weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen!

Editor's note: yes, this is an obvious advertisement and normally we wouldn't simply promote a product so blatantly... however, we love Pirate's Booty and the other Pirate Brand snacks so we're endorsing them whole-heartedly as we head to the closet to open a new bag. Good stuff, been eating for years and years!