Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summertime, and the cooking is easy

(ARA) - When the weather heats up, you're looking for ways to keep your cool. Incorporating new dishes that don't require a lot of heat to prepare and leave you feeling cool is a great way to survive the summer heat.

Rice, a staple ingredient in many tasty recipes, is a great item to keep in your pantry.

To keep kitchens cool when temperatures rise, Deborah Locke, product manager for RiceSelect, producers of Texmati Rice, the most widely recognized brand of aromatic rice in the United States, advises cooks to put their microwaves or rice cookers to work, rather than cooking rice on stovetops.

The Summertime Shrimp and Rice Bowl recipe is a one-dish entree that is quick, convenient, wholesome and tasty.

"If 'You can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen' is your summertime motto, this dish will bowl you over," Locke says. "Prepare rice in advance, then, when dinnertime rolls around, simply toss some shrimp on the grill and your meal is ready in minutes."

For those pinching pennies, watching weight or who have little time to cook, it is the perfect answer to what's for dinner - especially during the summertime. "Schedules are busier than ever. It's too hot to prepare elaborate meals," says Locke.

Preparing homemade rice bowls is limited only by your imagination. If you love to cook, but don't like to follow recipes, original rice bowl creations can be made in a matter of minutes. Texmati long grain American basmati rice, available in white, light brown and whole grain brown varieties - as well as organic - has the appetizing aroma of popcorn and a subtle nutty taste that elevates the flavor profile of your dish. Simply toss cooked Texmati rice with a small amount of meat, seafood or poultry and some fresh vegetables. Season to taste and you've got a healthy dish ready in minutes.

Below is a list of foods from the pantry or fridge that serve as great mix-ins for quick and easy summertime rice bowls.

From the pantry
* Beans
* Nuts
* Olives
* Sauces
* Vinegars
* Spices and extracts

From the fridge or freezer
* Fresh vegetables
* Fresh fruit
* Fresh herbs
* Prepared salad dressings
* Rotisserie or grilled chicken
* Eggs, meat, seafood cheese
* Deli meats - ham, turkey, etc.

Summertime Shrimp and Rice Bowls
Makes four servings

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups hot cooked Texmati Rice
1 11-ounce can corn, drained
1/4 cup drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, reserving oil
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Thread shrimp on skewers. To broil in oven, place on broiler rack coated with cooking spray. Brush shrimp with oil reserved from tomatoes. Broil four to five inches from heat for four minutes.

To cook on outdoor grill, brush shrimp with reserved oil from tomatoes. Cook skewered shrimp over hot coals four minutes. Turn and brush with additional oil. Grill four to five minutes or until done. In large bowl, combine rice, corn, tomatoes, cheese, basil and salt. Spoon into individual bowls. Top rice with shrimp.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Undeclared Sulfites in "Nut Tree Health Mix"

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today alerted consumers that Green Land, 212-03 48th Avenue, Oakland Garden, New York 11364, is voluntarily recalling "Nut Tree Health Mix" due to the presence of undeclared sulfites. People who have severe sensitivity to sulfites may run the risk of serious or life-threatening reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled "Nut Tree Health Mix" is packaged in 8 ounce, square plastic tubs and coded DATE: SEP 28 10 in black ink on the product label. The product was distributed in the metropolitan New York area. It is a product of the United States, Turkey and the Philippines.

Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets' food inspectors and subsequent analysis of the product by the New York State Food Laboratory personnel revealed the product contained high levels of sulfites which were not declared on the label. The consumption of 10 milligrams of sulfites per serving has been reported to elicit severe reactions in some asthmatics. Anaphylactic shock could occur in certain sulfite sensitive individuals upon ingesting 10 milligrams or more of sulfites.

No illnesses have been reported to date to this Department in connection with this product. Consumers who have purchased "Nut Tree Health Mix" should return the product to place of purchase.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kentucky’s Official Cocktail Blooms for Derby Season

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kentucky Derby season is in full bloom, and crafting the perfect cocktail to cheer on the horses of the 136th Run for the Roses makes any Derby party one to remember.

“Whether you can attend the most exciting two minutes in sport or not, everyone can enjoy a Rose Julep and get a taste of Kentucky at its best.”

Derby party hosts can take a tip from Louisville, Ky. mixologist, Rory McCollister of Varanese restaurant, whose mint julep creation won over a handful of beverage experts during Four Roses Bourbon’s annual Rose Julep Recipe Contest.

Each year, Four Roses invites top bartenders to square off for the Rose Julep title, awarded to the Derby city’s best and most original mint julep. A panel of acclaimed Louisville chefs and restaurant and beverage critics rated each mint julep based on taste, creativity and presentation.

The 2010 edition of the Rose Julep calls for:

* 1 1/2 oz Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
* 1 1/2 oz Dried Cherry Lemon Zest Gastrique
* Fresh Mint
* 2 oz Tamarind Soda
* 2 oz Ginger Ale

To make the Gastrique:

* Boil and reduce
* Dried Cherries
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 cups water
* Juice of 3 lemons
* Zest of 1 lemon

Using a large mixing glass, muddle gastrique and mint. Add bourbon and shake well. Pour into tall highball glass and top with equal parts tamarind soda and ginger ale. Garnish with candied ginger rose, mint sprig and lemon zest.

“It’s amazing the talent our competition attracts and the variety of ingredients the bartenders use for the juleps each year,” said Jim Rutledge, Four Roses Master Distiller. “Whether you can attend the most exciting two minutes in sport or not, everyone can enjoy a Rose Julep and get a taste of Kentucky at its best.”

For more information on Four Roses Bourbon or instructions on how to make other recipes using Four Roses, please visit www.fourroses.us.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Coffee gives a kick to spring party refreshments

(ARA) - Spring brings with it new reasons to celebrate. Warmer weather and longer days create the perfect atmosphere for a lively afternoon cocktail party or a weekend get-together with friends.

Add fresh flavor to your spring menus by incorporating an unusual ingredient like coffee into your snacks and drinks. This added detail will make your party elegant and memorable for all attendees.

"I like my party menus to be simple and enjoyable, which is why I keep Starbucks VIA Ready Brew on hand for a new twist on my favorite drinks and snacks," says Mindy Weiss, celebrity wedding planner and party enthusiast. "Coffee adds a unique flavor to tried-and-true party foods, and the convenience of Starbucks VIA allows me to enjoy my parties with my guests."

So get creative as you plan your next in-home soiree, or try one of these delicious recipes to add a little zing to your next get-together. And don't forget to visit Starbucks.com/VIA for recipe ideas for cupcakes to milk shakes to party mix.

Double Chocolate Cookies

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 packets Starbucks VIA (R)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler over barely simmering water. Stir in the coffee. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture and stir well. Add vanilla and egg to the chocolate mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. Divide dough into 36 balls and place on a cookie sheet, but don't flatten. Bake at 325 F for about eight minutes. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

And the perfect drink to serve with these cookies is a glass of milk. But spice up your milk drink with this popular recipe from Spain and Mexico.


1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 packets Starbucks VIA
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon zest of an orange

Soak the rice in the water for a minimum of one hour. (Overnight works as well.) Mix rice, soaking water, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and coffee in a blender for two minutes. Strain into a pitcher and add milk. Chill completely (overnight is fine). When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a serving pitcher leaving the sediment behind. Stir in orange zest.

Try this recipe for a new twist on a coffee drink. It is popular in both Spain and Thailand.


4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 cup hot water
1 packet Starbucks VIA

Carefully spoon two tablespoons of the condensed milk into the bottom of two glasses. Stir the coffee together with the hot water to dissolve. Carefully pour the coffee mixture into both glasses.

And if you're looking for something very unique, try a non-alcoholic version of sangria.

Breakfast Sangria

1/4 cup sugar
3 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cups strawberries quartered
1 orange with zest removed and sliced into 1/4 inch wheels
2 packets Starbucks VIA
1 cup soda water

Combine sugar, juices and fruit in a pitcher. Stir to dissolve sugar. Let chill for several hours. Before serving, dissolve coffee with a tablespoon of hot water in a large glass. Add a cup of the juice mixture and stir to fully combine. Add this coffee mixture back into the sangria pitcher and stir to combine. Right before serving, mix in the soda water. Combine the zest with an equal amount of sugar. Dip moistened rims of tall glasses into the orange-sugar mixture for a sparkling visual and flavor. Fill the glasses with sangria mixture.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Whole Foods Market Voluntarily Recalls Frozen Whole Catch Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks Due To Possible Health Risks

Whole Foods Market announced the recall of its Whole Catch Yellow fin Tuna Steaks (frozen) with a best by date of Dec 5th, 2010 because of possible elevated levels of histamine that may result in symptoms that generally appear within minutes to an hour after eating the affected fish. No other Whole Foods Market, Whole Catch, 365 or 365 Organic products are affected.

The product, sold in twelve ounce bags with Best by Date: exp 05 DEC 2010 with Lot Code: 4853309157A and displays the following UPC code:

* 0-99482-42078-9 Whole Catch Yellow fin Tuna Steaks (Frozen) 12 oz.

High levels of histamine can produce an allergic reaction called scombroid poisoning when the fish is consumed. The following are the most common symptoms of scombroid poisoning: tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, hives and itchy skin, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

There have been two reported incidents by consumers. Whole Foods Market feels that while these were isolated incidents, every precautionary measure should be taken when it comes to consumer health and safety. This recall does not impact any other fish or seafood sold by Whole Foods Market.

If consumers have this product with the indicated UPC code and Best By date, they may return it to the store for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company by calling 512-542-0656.

Whole Foods Market has removed the affected lot code from all store shelves. Product was distributed to 28 states plus the District of Columbia including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Maine and Washington, D.C.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Chick-fil-A Brings Back Peach Milkshake for Spring

PRNewswire/  Last summer, Chick-fil-A® offered a peach-flavored milkshake for a limited time that proved to be wildly popular among customers. Starting today, the chain is bringing the Peach Milkshake back as a limited-time flavor through June 26 at the chain's mall and stand-alone restaurants nationwide.

The Peach Milkshake is made with real peaches and, as with the chain's year-round milkshake flavors, is hand-spun with Chick-fil-A's popular "home-style" Icedream® and topped with light whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Milkshakes are offered in 14 oz. or 20 oz. cups and priced at $2.55 and $2.95, respectively (at most locations).

Since Chick-fil-A first introduced its line of Hand-Spun Milkshakes in May 2006, the desserts have quickly become one of the most popular products on the menu.

"We continue to build upon the overall success of our Hand-Spun Milkshakes by creating limited-time flavors as a way to celebrate special times of the year," said Woody Faulk, Chick-fil-A's vice president of brand strategy and design, who oversees the chain's menu strategy. "Our previous limited-time flavors have helped maintain interest in our milkshake line among existing customers and also have helped us win new customers who were not aware of Chick-fil-A's Milkshakes. The peach flavor in particular was a tremendous hit with customers last year, so we are excited to bring the flavor again. We have a feeling we will be making a lot of customers happy!"
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