Tag Archive | Food Fete

Summer Food Fête 2016: The Recap!

Columbia Crest Wine Display
Columbia Crest Wines Hosted the Bar at Summer Food Fête 2016! (All Photos By Gail.  Click on any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

Ah, Summer foods; we love them. Food Fête is the place to find out what’s new in seasonal food trends, and its most recent Summer event, which took place in late June (in tandem with the Summer Fancy Food Show) was no exception. Please enjoy our findings and recommendations!

Columbia Crest Wines

Columbia Crest Wines added additional festive cheer to the event by supplying wines for the open bar. One of the Northwest’s largest wineries, Columbia Crest, is acclaimed by critics and consumers alike for crafting wines that are food-friendly, approachable, and that consistently over-deliver in quality.

Cheese and Fruit Display

Featured varietals included the 2013 Merlot, 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay, 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2014 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. Attendees at Food Fête also received recommendations and tips for wine / food pairings, which always come in handy for summer entertaining.

Columbia Crest Wine Signage

Find out more about Columbia Crest Wines added at This Link!

Grapes from California Display

Speaking of grapes, it’s always fun to have Grapes from California in the house. Not only are fresh grapes an ideal simple snack, but these folks always have innovative and delicious recipes to share. This year we were treated to a taste of Fresh Grape Salsa.

Grape Salsa on Chips

You can whip up a batch of this sweet and tangy salsa to accompany a bowl of chips, or you can serve it as a topping for meats or even tuck it inside a grilled cheese sandwich!

Grape Salsa

Everyone got a jar to take home and enjoy! Get more recipes for and information on Grapes at This Link!

Cypress Grove Cheese Display

Cypress Grove Chevre has an inspiring backstory in which Mary Keehn, a single mother of four — and self-proclaimed hippie from Humboldt County, California — started a small, artisanal goat cheese making business that has blossomed into a venture boasting 14 cheeses across three distinct product lines! Cypress Grove’s model dairy has also received a 100 Percent humane certification score from the American Humane Association; and when cheese-makers care that much for their animals, you can taste it in the cheese!

Cypress Grove Cheese

Cypress Grove Chevre is award-winning, good for you, creamy and delicious. We enjoyed a sample one of their newest varieties, Truffle Tremor (you can see the little flecks of black truffle right in the cheese. Find out more about Cypress Grove and get amazing recipes at Cypress Grove Chevre Dot Com!

Vega

Since 2001, Vega has been a groundbreaker in the plant- based, natural health and performance products industry. From Whole Food Health Optimizer, they’ve expanded to create a range of clean, plant-based nutrition products to help you be better — on your own terms. Whether you want all-in-one nutrition, or only protein and greens, Vega has a nutritional shake for you. You can shake-and-go, or blend up a smoothie to help you start your day better. At Food Fête, everyone had the chance to sample Vega’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie, made with frozen strawberries, banana, coconut milk and Chocolate Protein & Greens powder! You can get lots of information on the Vega product line, plus tons of tasty and healthy recipes at My Vega Dot Com!

Organic Valley Display

Any steak aficionado can tell you that grass fed beef is the way to go, and it just follows that dairy products sourced from grass fed cows also taste way better! Organic Valley is an organic farming cooperate dedicated to bringing its customers healthy and wholesome foods that are farmed in a sustainable way. Their “Grass Milk” (terrific in your morning coffee), yogurt, butter and cheese are all farm fresh and delicious. Find out more about Organic Valley’s products, and meet some of their farming families, at Organic Valley Dot Coop!

Dole Booth Display

Eating lighter in the summer means that salads can be a excellent choice for dinner. Dole, a company once synonymous with Pineapples and Bananas, has been in the bagged salads game for a few years now, and they have introduced three new Salad Kits varieties to make your summer dining even tastier, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) super convenient! Each Kit contains fresh greens and flavorful toppings, tossed with Dole’s own signature dressings, to create distinctive salads that complement any cuisine, or with the addition of a protein such as Tuna or Chicken, stand on their own as a light meal.

Dole Caesar Salad

Dole’s Caesar Salad Kit contains Romaine Lettuce, Dole’s own Caesar Dressing, Garlic Croutons, and Parmesan Cheese. At the show, the folks at the booth were throwing the Romaine leaves on a little Foreman grill, fun!

Dole Ranch Salad

Dole Country Ranch Salad Kit contains Romaine, carrots, red cabbage, white cheddar cheese, Dole’s Country Ranch buttermilk dressing, roasted sunflower seeds, and cornbread croutons. This one is especially yummy, and is sure to please the entire family!

Dole Tuscan Salad

Dole Tuscan Salad combines sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and savory seasoning with two heads of fresh mini Romaine and tops them with Dole’s signature Italian Herb Dressing. These Salad Kits will be available in stores starting August 15th! Find out more about Dole Salad Kits at This Link!

Brio Ice Cream Display

Ice Cream lovers did not leave the show disappointed. Brio Ice Cream was created by twin brothers Ron and Arnie Koss who, back in the 80s, created Earth’s Best Baby Food, the first organic baby food brand in the US. Now, the Koss brothers have transformed ice cream into a healthier food with Brio; a totally new way to look at ice cream that scores on both the delicious and nutritious scales.

Made from calcium-rich, pasture-raised, organic whole milk, it’s a luscious way to add protein and omegas to your day. Brio is filled with antioxidants and probiotics, yet it has 35% fewer calories and 50% less fat than super premium ice cream brands. Crazy!

Brio Ice Cream

If you think that looks good, wait until you taste it! Everything you could ever want to know about Brio Ice Cream can be found at Brio Loves You Back Dot Com.

Nada Moo Ice Cream Display

Nada Moo Ice Cream brings the flavor to the table for those frozen treat fans who need to go dairy-free, with their top secret, extra creamy, dairy-free coconut milk base. Nada Moo comes is some insanely decadent flavors like Snickerdoodle Dough, Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownie, Pistachio Nut, Salted Caramel, Creamy Coconut, and Bananas for PB & Chocolate – to name but a few – all made with certified non-GMO ingredients.

Nada Moo Ice Cream
Trump Sucks! Ice Cream for President!

Get your Nada Moo on at This Link!

Stemilt Booth Display

Washington State’s own Stemilt Growers had some delicious, just-picked apples to share with us, as well as a new Apple App!

Apple App

There’s an Apple for That is Stemilt’s fun new app (seen in the photo above) for when you’re asking yourself Gala? Pink Lady? Granny Smith? Each apple variety has its own unique flavor, texture, color and cooking properties. With There’s an Apple for That, you can discover which variety will work best for your next recipe or food pairing!The best part is, you don’t even need a mobile device to use it! I typed “Pork Roast” into the “What Are You Cooking” search entry using a regular desktop PC and was instantly connected to dozens of ideas for cooking pork with apples! So Cool!

There's an Apple for That

Get fruity with Stemilt Growers now at Semilt Dot Com!

Blue Plate Greek Yogurt Mayonnaise

Do you like mayonnaise? I sure do, because mayonnaise is awesome. I like to use it instead of butter or margarine to grill the bread for a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. But maybe you are thinking that you wish mayonnaise had less fat, and if that is that case, then I have some good news for you. Blue Plate Light Mayonnaise is the first mayonnaise in the condiment aisle to include Greek Yogurt! This means that it’s half the fat of regular mayonnaise without sacrificing taste!

Charred Broccoli Salad

This exciting Charred Broccoli Salad includes crunchy almonds and sweet dried cherries, and is seasoned with yellow curry powder and ginger before being tossed with a light dressing of olive oil and Blue Plate Light Mayonnaise with Greek Yogurt. What a knock-out side dish for your favorite dinner! Get this and more recipes at This Link, and find out where to buy the Blue Plate Mayonnaise family of products in your neighborhood at Right Here!

Cheryls Harry and David Popcorn Factory

Next time you’re looking for a thoughtful gift to send to a friend or loved one, keep in mind that the 1-800-Flowers family also includes terrific vendors like Cheryl’s Cookies and Brownies, Harry and David‘s gourmet gift baskets & towers, and Popcorn Factory‘s delicious popcorn treats! If you’ve never tried Cheryl’s Cookies, you are missing out. At Food Fete, Cheryl’s introduced a fun Cookie Decorating Kit that includes one dozen fresh baked and individually wrapped Cheryl’s Sugar Cookies, two tubs of Cheryl’s legendary luscious buttercream icing, and assorted sprinkles for a custom-decorated cookie experience that will delight the little ones and keep them busy without making a mess.

Harry and David

The Harry and David catalog has been around since I was an egg. Take a look at this cool New York-Inspired Gift Basket filled with extra-thick New York-style cheesecake, chocolate babka, artisan Dulcet cheese, smoked salami, and more! This eclectic assortment also features a New York dishtowel and yellow taxicab cookie. Perfect for anyone who wants to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

Popcorn Factory

The Popcorn Factory has a seemingly endless variety of gourmet popcorn flavors in an equally exhaustive list of themed gift tins and canisters to please anyone on your gift list. Visit This Link, and then just scroll across the tabs at the top of the home page to visit any of these vendors! One-stop shopping indeed!

Bumblebee Seafood Display

We want to give a shout out to Bumble Bee Tuna for reminding us that there is a huge difference in quality and taste when it comes to canned seafood, and that Bumble Bee solid white albacore looks as delicious as it tastes! Find out more about how not all tuna is created equal at This Link!

Clover Dairy Display

We made some new friends with folks at Clover Dairy, who were promoting their new line of organic Greek yogurt, which is carefully crafted in authentic Greek tradition using fresh Clover Organic Nonfat Milk and the finest premium organic fruits. Silky smooth and mildly tangy, this yogurt has a thick, creamy texture, is packed with calcium and live cultures, and comes in six delicious flavors — with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Clo the Cow Mascot

Based in Petaluma, California, Clover Diary  is currently celebrating the brand’s one hundred year anniversary! We could not help but fall in love with Clover Dairy’s adorable cow mascot, Clo, who you can see here dressed in her shiny silver spacesuit as she celebrates the new Moolenium! Hee! Find out more about the Clover Dairy family of organic and natural dairy products at This Link!

Artisan Seasons Display

Simply Artisan Reserve, a Litehouse brand cheese, has discovered an ingenious use for the tiny cheese crumbles that occur naturally in handling and packaging the cheese, and has introduced Simple Seasons; shake-able cheese crumbles to top salads, dress up snacks, flavor meats and add to anything else that strikes your culinary imagination!

Artisan Cheese Sprinkles

Simple Seasons is available in Feta and Blue Cheese varieties. All cheese, all natural, all the time.

Cheeses Napkins

Also, how awesome are these napkins? Answer: so awesome. More info on Simple Seasons from Simply Artisan Reserve can be found at This Link!

Lemongrass Kitchen Packaging

Do you like Vietnamese and  Thai foods but are too lazy tired after a long day to make these dishes from scratch? Or maybe there are no good Pan-Asian take out places in your hood? I feel you on this. Lemon Grass Kitchen presents a line of frozen entrees based on recipes created by award-winning cookbook author, Chef, and restaurateur Mai Pham, whose family came to America from Saigon in 1975!

Lemongrass Kitchen Pad Thai
Chicken Pad Thai

Lemon Grass Kitchen is the only frozen entrée focused exclusively on southeast Asian flavors. Each package includes a flavorful, better-for-you alternative to take out, made with authentic seasonings and fresh ingredients like Rice Noodles, Tamarind, Cilantro, Thai Basil, Fish Sauce and Ginger. Varieties include favorites like Lemongrass Chicken Stir-fry, Chicken Pad Thai, Korean-style Grilled Chicken, and Beef and Broccoli Noodles. Read more about Lemon Grass Kitchen Entrees and find out where you can buy them in your area at Lemon Grass Kitchen Dot Com!

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Food Fete Fall 2015: The Recap!

Chopin Display
Cheers to the Chopin Vodka Booth (All Photos By Gail)

For Foodies and Food Writers alike, the change of seasons brings on excitement for holiday foods and ideas for entertaining! It also means that it’s time for Fall Food Fete, a great event to sample new products and get in the mood to celebrate. Here are few of our favorite products from the show, which took place on October 27th!

Chocolate Martini

One of the first things we always do once we check in for the show is grab a cocktail from the bar! In this case, it was a refreshing and delicious Chocolate Martini, made with Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur and Chopin Vodka, a featured exhibitor at the show. Made with artisanal small-batch craftsmanship, the award winning Chopin — named after the famous Polish romantic composer Frederic Chopin (“Sho-Pan”) — is family owned and crafted from the most traditional vodka ingredients. In a word: Smooth!

Chopin Vodka Sample Bottles of Alcohol

Show attendees received miniature sample bottles of Chopin’s Potato, Rye and Wheat Vodkas to take home and enjoy! Find out more at Chopin Vodka Dot Com!

Bottles of Alcohol

Other featured spirits included luxury wines from Paul Mas, Rutini and Vina Zaco. Remember: for those who indulge, alcohol makes a great gift!

Coney Island Brewing Company

Coney Island Brewing Company was also a bar sponsor for the event. Friendly representatives provided generous tastings of some of the brand’s unique craft beers including their Mermaid Pilsner, Overpass IPA, Coney Island Lager, 1609 Amber Ale and their most recently launched Hard Root Beer — which is amazing!

Coney Island Hard Root Beer

It is too bad that summer is already behind us, because Hard Root Beer is the summer-vibe beverage of the year! Find out more about Coney Island Brewing Company and their fine beverages at This Link!

National Potato Board

At their busy booth, the National Potato Board partnered with popular Caterer and Event Planner Mary Giuliani to showcase cocktail party food ideas featuring the fabulous Potato!

Cocktail Party Potato Bar

Food Fete attendees were treated to a Hash Browns bar with their choice of toppings — an easy and fun party dish!

Potato Fixings Bar

Hash Browns in Mason Jar

A lidded mason jar made it easy to add the toppings of your choice to the potatoes and then shake it all up to mix the flavors!

Cocktail Party Book

Mary, who is lovely, signed copies of her exciting new book The Cocktail Party (Love, Mary) — a must-have guide to all facets of holiday entertaining! This book would   make fantastic Holiday gift for the food lover and party planner in your life! Access and download recipes, entertaining ideas and nutritional information from the Potato Board’s Wow! You Can Do That With Potatoes?! at Potato Goodness Dot Com!

Mangalitsa Booth

Mangalitsa by Mosefund (the nations’ largest Mangalitsa pig breeder and processor) has launched Mangalitsa by Mosefund Salumi; a new, 11 product line of All-Natural Dry Cured Meats (charcuterie and salami)!

Pancetta

Often referred to as the Kobe of pork, Mangalitsa  boasts the highest level of unsaturated fat of any domesticated animal species. The meat is succulent, delicate in texture and richly flavored, making it one of the most delicious, nutritious and healthy choices of any meat option. Likewise, Mangalitsa meat is considerably higher in the monounsaturated, or ‘good,’ fatty acids and lower in undesirable saturated fats! Seriously, you can see the high quality from the photos above.

Better Than Butter

Along with these delcious meat products that you will surely want on your holiday party table,  Mangalitsa by Mosefund showcased its four flavor Better than Butter, which is a  whipped, seasoned lard0 (back fat) that can be enjoyed as a spread on crackers or bread, and used in cooking. Flavors include Orange Fennell, Rosemary/Garlic, Monti Nebrodi, and Hot Pepper. Find out more about Magalitsa by Mosefund, and its many fine meat products, at This Link!

Zemas Baking Mixes

Home baking is a big part of the Holiday season, and Zema’s Madhouse Foods makes cookie, muffin, pancake and brownie mixes that are all about balancing healthy cooking, baking and finding the right on-the-go snacks! Created by a Mom of five active kids, Zemas Baking Mixes are gluten-free, ancient grain based products that are also non-GMO and free of the top 8 allergens. And they taste amazing!

Zemas Cookies

Zemas will be launching a ready-to-eat cookie line in March of 2016, which will make snacking healthy even more convenient! Get more information and shop for Zemas Madhouse products online at Zemas Foods Dot Com!

Fish People Signage

Quality and convenience combine for winning results with seafood products by Fishpeople. With Fishpeople, seafood lovers can enjoy hassle-free indulgence in gourmet quality creamy bisques and hearty chowders, Entrée Starters containing wild caught salmon or tuna in a savory sauce (simply heat and combine with your favorite vegetable, pasta or rice), and the Comfort Seafood collection of ready-to-eat meals!

Fish People Booth

As a certified B Corporation, Fishpeople only harvest ten sustainable species, helping to ensure those fish will be around for generations to come. Learn more about Fishpeople Seafood at This Link.

A2 Milk Booth

There are those who experience discomfort and digestive issues when consuming milk, and easily assume  that they are lactose intolerant. However, A2 Milk Company believes that may not always be true:  in many cases, Post-Dairy Digestive Discomfort (PD3) may actually caused by the A1 Protein found in cow’s milk.

A2 Milk Signage

Milk is made up of different proteins, including the A1 and A2  proteins. Studies show that these two proteins digest quite differently from each other and, for some people, the presence of the A1 protein can  result in the discomfort after drinking milk which may be mistaken for lactose intolerance. At the A2 Milk Company, cows are specially selected and produce fresh milk containing only the A2 protein, and no A1 protein. As a result, many more people can enjoy the nutritional benefits, and delicious taste, of fresh real milk. At Food Fete, A2 Milk Company not not only gave away cute little cows, but also sample bottles of their delicious milk, which tastes like absolutely nothing is missing! This is great news, just in time for cookies and milk season! Find out more about A2 Milk Company at This Link!

Dove Sorbet Bars

 Mars Chocolate is introducing the latest in tasty frozen novelty treats: Dove Sorbet Bars in two delicious varieties! Dove has always been known as a true innovator in frozen desserts, and for these new bars fruity sorbet is dipped in silky smooth Dove Chocolate for a refreshing and delicious taste. At only 150 calories per bar you can indulge in Raspberry Sorbet dipped in Dark Chocolate, or Strawberry Sorbet dipped in luscious Milk Chocolate (my personal favorite).

Dove Strawberry Sorbet Bar
Dove Strawberry Sorbet Bar: Doesn’t that look Yummy?

Dove Sorbet Bars will be available in boxes of six at your favorite grocer beginning in the Spring of 2016. Find out more about Mars Chocolate and Dove brand treats at This Link!

Loacker Minis Booth Display

You know those light and crispy little wafer cookies that everyone loves? Loacker has been baking those for 90 years! And they certainly were generous at Food Fete — handing out sample bags of their Quadratini  bite-size wafer cookies in special flavors like Tiramisu, Hazelnut, and Raspberry Yoghurt  (Heaven!) that are all so scrumptious, but so light you could eat the entire bag without  feeling guilt.  Loacker wafer cookies are the go-to holiday treat for sharing at gatherings, and also for gifting, and there are so many varieties to choose from! Loacker belongs on everyone’s gift giving list. It’s just a no brainer!

Loacker Minis Packaging Display

Be sure to also pick up a box of their Rose of the Dolomites Hazelnut and Chocolate fine candies! Everyone will thank you! Plan your Holiday Shopping early by visiting Loacker USA Dot Com!

Stemelt Pinata Apple Booth Display

We last saw Family-owned Stemilt Growers over the summer, promoting their awesome Skylar Rae Cherries  — our favorite summer fruit! At October’s showcase,  Stemelt introduced to their orchard’s  newest sensation: the Pinata Apple;  an exclusive apple variety. The Pinata’s heirloom parentage (it’s a cross between Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and the  Duchess of Oldenburg  varieties) gives the Apple its unique color, shape, and flavor. Pinata apples are crisp and juicy for the tropical is sure to surprise your taste buds. They are excellent for eating out of hand, in salads and for baking.

Now it its fifth generation of family operation, Stemilt continues the company’s legacy of innovation, sustainability and production of the best-tasting fruits. Learn more about Stemilt World Famous Fruit at Stemilt Dot Com!

Stemelt Pinata Apple Signage

Wusthof

And last but not least, Wusthof, maker of top-of-the-line Knives and Cutlery, was in the house to show off their fancy kitchen stuff that is world-renowned for its awesomeness and deserving of the name Cadillac of Cutlery (we just coined that). Forged with high-carbon, stainless steel, Wusthof Knives will not only perform beautifully in your kitchen – but in your children’s and grandchildren’s kitchens, as well. Quality has no expiration date! Plus, everyone got a Grand Prix II  knife (which retails for $125, wow!) to take home! Wusthof is the best!

Thanks to Jeff Davis for another excellent show! See you in the Winter!

Food Fête Summer 2015: The Recap!

Food Fete Signage
All Photos By Gail

Summer Foods! It certainly wouldn’t be the same summer that we know and love without our favorite summer fruits, salads, sweets and snacks to enjoy, amiright? Of course I am! For the summer edition of our favorite food show, Food Fête, the event moved back over to the Metropolitan Pavilion in order to accommodate many more exciting new vendors with lots of great products to show and share. Let’s take a closer look!

Gaea Greek Olives

Olives and Olive Oil are staple ingredients, not just of summer, but of year-round cooking — and high quality is not something on which anyone wishes to compromise. Gaea takes great pride in the fact that their products are 100% authentic. Every single olive used to make Gaea Extra Virgin Olive Oils is grown on Greek trees that are over 50 years old. At Food Fête, this award winning company showcased its line new of Lemon, Basil, and Garlic-infused EVOOs, as well as a new, grab-and-go, resealable-pack fresh Olive Snack! These new products are available in stores starting July 2015. Visit Gaea Dot GR for more information!

National Mango Board

The National Mango Board kept it simple, serving tiny bites of fresh mango on a stick! Mangoes are delicious, full of vitamins and extremely versatile. Get to know the Mango, find recipes and learn how to cut a Mango without fear at Mango Dot Org!

Stemilt Fruit

Family-owned Stemilt Growers (named for the Stemilt Hill area in Eastern Washington State, where the family of founder Tom Mathison have lived and farmed since 1893) gave away little bags of sweet ripe cherries (Pictured: Skylar Rae Cherries) — our favorite summer fruit! Now it its fifth generation of family operation, Stemilt continues the company’s legacy of innovation, sustainability and production of the best-tasting fruits. Learn more about Stemilt World Famous Fruit at Stemilt Dot Com!

Grapes From California

Grapes from California featured a new recipe for Pickled Grapes, the deliciousness of which everyone could be overheard raving about! Pickled Grapes are super easy to make and a unique addition to your summer dinner party or picnic. Get that fun recipe and many more at This Link!

Dole Take Aways Salads Booth

Dole® is a brand name that everyone knows and trusts as a quality, culinary innovator when it comes to keeping meals and snacks simple, fun and nutritious. What a pleasure it was to be introduced to new Dole® Take Aways Salads, a great way to eat healthy on-the-go.

Dole Take Aways Salads

Take Aways Salad Meals are a tasty complete meal in one package that includes whole grains, greens, add-ins and dressing all in a recyclable container that you can use as a bowl! Even the fork (and a towlette for clean up) is included! Found in your market’s refrigerated salad section, Dole Take Aways features two vegetarian options, and two non-vegetarian varieties, which are paired with antibiotic-free grilled chicken. The Southern Picnic (Non-Vegetarian) variety, which we had a chance to sample, features a blend of Dole® Romaine and Kale, grilled chicken, black-eyed peas, quinoa, roasted pecans and cranberries, topped with Dole’s Citrus-Peach Vinaigrette and a Honey BBQ drizzle. Amazing!  Dole® Take Aways will be available in September 2015 at supermarkets nationwide. Visit Dole online at This Link!

Stoneridge Orchards Dried Fruit

Stoneridge Orchards all-natural dried fruits and fruit treats are the next best thing to fresh fruit, and they always have something new when we see them at Food Fête. Stoneridge’s line of premium, family-farmed dried fruits include whole Cherries, Blueberries and Mixed Berries as well as Dried Sliced Peaches, whole Strawberries, and their most unique offering, Chili Lime Cherries with Tajin seasoning!

Stoneridge Orchards Chocolate Covered Fruit

We also love their Dark Chocolate, and Greek Yogurt Dipped Fruits, a truly luxurious treat, which has just added Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries to its line of sweet indulgences! Find out more about Stoneridge Orchards and discover where to buy their products in your area by visiting This Link!

tryRoots Quinoa and Pasta Booth

As ancient grains forge their way to the front of the Rice Alternative options, truRoots is keeping things exciting with its organic Quinoa and Ancient Grain Pastas (made in Italy with Quinoa, Amaranth and Brown Rice, to be naturally gluten free).

Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta

This amazing Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad is made with with truRoots Ancient Grains Fusili, and you can make it for your family right now by the following recipe below (click on image to enlarge for detail)!

Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta

Visit truRoots online at truRoots Dot Com!

Egglands Best Booth

Everybody loves Eggs and we are especially fond of Eggland’s Best Eggs and Egg Products — and not just because they have Mr. EB, their adorable little Egg Mascot! Eggland’s Best is committed to producing a more nutritious egg, which is also the finest, freshest, and most delicious egg possible! Truth!

Egglands Hard Boiled Eggs

And while hard boiling an egg is not most difficult thing one can do, isn’t it nice that England’s Best conveniently packaged their already hard boiled eggs in a bag for you to purchase? Sure it is. Imagine: Deviled Eggs or Egg Salad on Demand! Ah, sublime. Read all about Eggland’s Best, get recipes and find or where to buy them, at This Link!

Nature Valley Muesli

As the makers of one of the very first commercially available packaged granola bars, Nature Valley has been part of our lives for decades. Appropriately, they are taking breakfast back to basics with their Toasted Oats Muesli, a delicious blend of whole rolled, oven-toasted oats, fruit, nuts and seeds, which can be served hot or cold. We tried it sprinkled on top of vanilla yogurt for a very yummy and satisfying snack. Get more information, coupons and recipes at This Link!

Half Pops

If you love Popcorn and Popcorn snacks, but have a dread and fear of the un-popped kernel hiding somewhere in the bag or bowl, due to a having a mouth full of expensive dental work, we are here to tell you that you need not fear the HalfPops. Catering to those who believe that, when it comes to Popcorn, fluff is just fluff, HalfPops is just what it sounds like: partially popped kernels with an extra crunch and burst of concentrated corn flavor. The best part — it will not crack your teeth! We know because we tried it, and it is definitely a unique treat that will appeal to the rebel snackers out there. Air Popped to be low in fat, and gluten free, HalfPops comes in all of your favorite flavors including Butter & Sea Salt, Chipotle Barbeque, Aged White Cheddar, and Caramel & Sea Salt. Find out more about HalfPops Snacks at This Link.

Helluva Good Dip Booth

We got to make some new friends when we stopped by the booth for Heluva Good (which, yes it is) Dips to sample their outstanding sour cream based Bacon Horseradish Dip, and also try their newest flavor, the scrumptious Beer Battered Onion Ring — which tastes exactly like a Beer Battered Onion Ring, and is available as a limited edition flavor for a short time only. Holy Cow, this stuff is amazing!

Helluva Good Dip Packaging

You really do need to get right on this, because it Summertime, and the Dip is in demand! Find out more about Heluva Good brand Dips, Cheeses and other products at Heluva Good Dot Com!

Rudis Kids Bread Booth

Do you like bread? We sure do, and we are fortunate to have no intolerance to wheat flour, so we can eat all the bread we want – yay! But do you know who Really likes bread: Kids. Kids love bread. But sometimes, they can be a bit finicky, like wanting the crusts cut off and blah blah blah, kids! Do you know that we once watched a Wonder Bread sandwich actually melt in the sun? Yes, it happened. Point being: There is a fine line between Bread made to appeal to Children, and Bread not found in Nature. Fortunately, Rudy’s Organic Bakery has introduced a Kids Bread that gets everything right.

Rudis Kids Bread

Rudi’s is launching the first nationally available organic bread made specifically for kids, made with simple organic ingredients  that you might find in your own kitchen. Available in both white and wheat varieties, Rudi’s Organic Bakery Kids Bread Is unique to the market.  This bread has small, thin slices, making it the ideal size for kids, but the recipe was developed specifically to appeal to kids as well as parents, which means that it’s incredibly soft and fluffy. Kids Bread will hit shelves in September, just in time for the new school year. We took a loaf home from Food Fete and we can tell you it also makes the most delicious toast!

Also, available for a limited time only is Rudi’s Organic Pumpkin Bread. This bread is made with real pumpkin and has a mildly spiced flavor which makes it perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Best of all, it tastes delicious. Pumpkin lovers can find  the new  Pumpkin Bread from Rudy’s Organic Bakery nationally, starting in September through the holiday season. Find out more about where to purchase the fine products of Rudi’s Organic Bakery, and get a money-saving coupon, at Rudis Bakery Dot Com!

Kozy Shack Signage

Indulgent Recipe Pudding is the newest offering from Kozy Shack, makers of the #1 Rice and Tapioca puddings in America. Indulgent Recipe Pudding is unlike any other, with a rich, creamy texture and four grown-up, decadent flavors. Indulgent Recipe is made with simple, premium ingredients — just like original recipe Kozy Shack Pudding.

Kozy Shack Booth

With flavors like Salted Caramel, Chocolate Truffle, Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Bean (you can even see little flecks of Vanilla Bean in the pudding!) Kozy Shack’s Indulgent Recipe line elevates the humble pudding cup into the culinary stratosphere. Kozy Shack was kind enough to ship a sample box of all four flavors to us here at The Gig, and we have been indulging in it and loving every bite! Kozy Shack Indulgent Recipe Pudding is available this summer in select retailers across the country, with nationwide distribution anticipated in September! Visit Kozy Shack on the web at Kozy Shack Dot Com!

Elenis Cookies Booth

Eleni’s Custom Cookies is a nut-free bakery that began as a home catering business run from Eleni’s apartment and grew into a magnificent cookie empire! While they have an expansive Online Catalog of cookie designs to choose from, Eleni’s can literally make anything (anything!) into a cookie for your special event! Their creativity is limitless!

Elenis Cookies Sugar Skulls

Look at these adorable Sugar Skulls and Monster Cookies for Halloween. So fun!

Elenis at Chelsea Market
Visit Eleni’s in the Chelsea Market

Eleni’s has a brick and mortar location in the popular Chelsea Market on Manhattan’s West Side, but you can also visit them online to place an order at This Link!

Udis Gluten Free Cookies

We have to give a shout out to Udi’s Gluten Free Cookies and Granola for their mission to create the best tasting food on the planet that just happens to be gluten free! New cookie flavors showcased at Food Fête include Peanut Butter Coconut, Salted Caramel Cashew, and Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip. These are a large cookie with a soft (but not chewy) bite.

Udis Gluten Free Granola

Udi’s carries a full line of Gluten free products from Bagels to Burritos that you can learn more about at This Link!

Wusthof Knives

We’d also like to thank Wusthof Knives and Cutlery, and the very excellent Meyer Cookware (makes of Circulon, Farberware and many other fine brands) for changing up the vibe a bit by reminding us that every kitchen needs to be equipped with the right tools!

Meyers Cookware

How gorgeous is this stuff?

Room View

Thanks to Jeff Davis for another great show! See you in the Fall!

Food Fête Spring 2015: Health & Wellness Showcase Recap!

Cabo Chips Natural Ingredients
An Array of Natural Flavor Ingredients in Cabo Chips (Reviewed Below). All Photos By Gail.

Making the scene at a Food Fête Health & Wellness event is always a good time, because attending one means getting more than a dozen delicious chances to discover ways in which eating smarter tastes fantastic. Check out our favorite products — from snacks to breakfast to meal mainstays — from this Springtime showcase!

Cabo Chips Varieties

We never get bored of new ways to do a tasty Tortilla chip! Born on the beautiful beaches of Baja, Mexico, Cabo Chips 100% whole grain classic cantina style tortilla chips are inspired by the boldly vibrant atmosphere of Cabo San Lucas. A delicious fusion of the old and the new, these all natural chips are cooked the traditional way – cut from fresh tortillas that are batch cooked for a true cantina crunch! Cabo Chips use only real ingredients (see top photo) — no “flavorings” — for authenticity you can taste.

At Food Fête we had the chance to taste the four popular varieties — Original, Blue Corn, Mango Chile Lime and Churro (sweet!) — plus something new.

Cabo Chips Ancient Grains

Watch for Cabo Chips Ancient Grains to hit stores in Summer 2015! Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Kosher and 100% Whole Grain, find out more about Cabo Chips at This Link!

Que Pasa and Qia Snacks

A shared booth from two organically inclined exhibitors showcased Que Pasa Foods organic Tortilla Chips, and Nature’s Path Organic brand’s Qi’a Superfood Breakfast Cereal and Bars.

Tortilla Recipe

Qi’a Chaat (above) is a refreshing snack made with Que Pasa Tortilla Chips topped with a mixture that includes Qi’a Superfood cereal combined with Garbanzos, Sweet Potatoes, Mint Chutney and other flavorful ingredients — really delicious and easy to prepare! Get this and other creative recipes at This Link.

Qia Snack Bar

Need a quick energy boost? Qi’a Bars come in five unique flavor combinations, including Blueberry Cashew Pumpkin Seed. Creamy and crunchy, this “superfood” snack bar features protein-packed nuts and seeds with antioxidant blueberries for a refreshing sweet-yet-tart flavor. They look pretty good, don’t they? Visit Natures Path Dot Com for more information on their family of delicious organic foods.

Navitas Chips and Snacks

Navitas Naturals (“Food For The Modern Life”) is another company promoting a line of “Superfoods” that help keep the body running strong. The mission of Navitas Naturals is to provide the finest organic superfoods that increase energy and enhance health. Their organic, non-GMO products include packaged nuts, seeds and dried fruits, Goji Berry and Acai Berry Powders and a line of unique chip snacks, such as their Coconut Chips, featured at Food Fête.

Navitas Dragon Fruit Chips

And who else is packaging a Dragon Fruit Snack? Answer: No One. Explore the many and exotic offerings of Navitas Naturals at This Link!

Pacific Foods Steel Cut Oatmeal

For on-the-go Breakfast eaters who crave something warm that’s also super convenient, Pacific Foods is introducing the first ever ready-to-eat Steel-Cut Oatmeal. Packaged ready to heat and enjoy, with no need for additional ingredients, Pacific Foods Steel-Cut Oatmeal is cooked in small batches for a homemade taste and hearty texture. Show attendees had the chance to try it for ourselves with variety of toppings, including honey, flax seed, and fresh berries.  This hot cereal tastes as good as slow cooked oatmeal made in the best rated slow cooker, and blows instant away completely! This product has a 24-month shelf life and is available in a variety of flavors to suit every taste.

Pacific Foods Coconut Water

Pacific Foods also offers an extensive line of non-dairy beverages, including Almond, Cashew, Rice, Soy, Hemp, and super-hydrating and versatile Coconut beverage in Original (sweetened and unsweetened) and unsweetened Vanilla flavors. Find out about Pacific Foods‘ broad range of organic, specialty food products at This Link!

Gerolsteiner Water

Speaking of healthy, natural beverages, it doesn’t get much better for you than pure, delicious water! Gerolsteiner is a premium sparkling mineral water, which has the proud distinction of being the most popular mineral water in Germany — and you know how much we love the Germans! Here’s a bit of the fascinating backstory on Gerolsteiner, which originates from a region in Germany known as the Volcanic Eifel that possesses unique geological character.

Thanks to the special combination of carbonic acid from prehistoric volcanic activity, and dolomite rock — known for its rich mineral content — a Mineral Water of the highest quality evolves. As the water finds its way through the various layers of rock, every drop of Gerolsteiner becomes naturally carbonated. This is an important process, as the carbonic acid allows the water to absorb the precious minerals and trace elements from the dolomite rock. Fascinating! We sampled a bottle of chilled Gerolsteiner and it is indeed very heavily carbonated with a clean, refreshing taste. We think it would be ideal also for making natural sodas by adding a syrup like Ribena! Get hip to Gerolsteiner at This Link!

So Delicious Booth
(Note: the Popularity of the Humble Coconut as a Booth Decoration)

It seems like we are seeing So Delicious Dairy Free at many food shows these days, showcasing innovative new additions to their already impressive roster of non-dairy foods. Lactose-free living never tasted so amazing.

So Delicious Cashew Milk

At Food Fête, attendees had a chance to sample what we at The Gig consider to be the smoothest, creamiest, most decadent frozen dessert So Delicious has yet introduced: Dairy Free Cashew Milk Frozen Dessert. Wow! This stuff is fantastic! Even better, all So Delicious cashew milk products are soy-free, gluten-free, and Non-GMO. This dessert comes in five craveable flavors including Dark Chocolate Truffle, Salted Caramel Cluster, and Snickerdoodle. Yum.

So Delicious Coco Whip

And as we all excitedly gathered ’round for a sample bowl of this delicious Cashew Milk thing, we made sure to top it off with a dollop of So Delicious Coco Whip whipped topping, made with 100% natural Coconut (as opposed to its closest competitor, Cool Whip, which we secretly suspect to be a petroleum product). Explore the splendor of So Delicious Dairy Free products, and download money saving coupons, at This Link!

Better Body Foods Booth

Hey you know what’s annoying? When you open a jar of peanut butter and there’s all this oil that’s separated from the nut butter part, and it’s just floating around on top. So, you have to take a knife and mix it all up again to get a proper consistency. I hate it when that happens.

Imagine how convenient and un-messy it would be if Peanut Butter came in powdered form and you could just add water to create your desired, small batch consistency? Well, stop imaging, because it already exists, in the form of BetterBody Foods PB Fit – powdered peanut butter in a jar!

PB Fit Samples
Tastes Great in Sandwiches, On Fruit, and Other Things

PB Fit is packed with delicious with peanut flavor, but has only 1/3 the calories of traditional peanut butter and 75% less fat. It’s Non-GMO and all natural, with only 3 ingredients (peanuts, sugar, salt), plus it’s a good source of protein and fiber. Just mix 2:1 with water to make peanut butter, or add dry into smoothies, baked goods and sauces – so versatile! Also, it comes in Regular and Dark Chocolate flavors! Crazy! Find out more about BetterBody Foods‘ product line, and get recipes using PB Fit Powdered Peanut Butter, at This Link!

Jones Chicken Sausage

Jones Dairy Farm were on hand to promote their new Chicken Sausage, which, do we even have to sell you on Chicken Sausage? Of course, it’s delicious! Plus it’ s pre-cooked, which makes this sausage perfect for a homemade, grab-and-go breakfast sandwich! Or, you could use it to make these…

Jones Breakfast Cupcakes

Oh my, are those Breakfast Cupcakes? Well, yes. Yes they are. These little morsels of awesomeness are called For Goodness Cake! Breakfast Cupcakes, made with frozen mini waffles, cheese, eggs and Jones Sausage, topped with a cream cheese icing. This delicious recipe took home the grand prize in Jones’ 2014 Rise, Sizzle & Shine Breakfast Recipe Contest. The entry deadline for this year’s contest is July 31st, 2015. For more information and contest rules, visit This Link!. And stay tuned to The Gig for more on Jones Dairy Farm meat products, because they just sent us some tasty samples!

Nature's Harvest Breads

If the concept “Whole Grain” White Bread sounds like an oxymoron to you, you will want to investigate Nature’s Harvest line of Whole Grain Breads that includes a new soft White, which has the kid-approved taste and texture we all get nostalgic for. Nutrition-wise, Nature’s Harvest breads contain 8g of whole grains per serving, provide a good source of calcium, and vitamins A, D, and E, with no high fructose corn syrup, an artificial colors or flavors. Most importantly it tastes delicious!

Nature's Harvest Pinwheel Sandwiches

It’s also great for making these tasty Pinwheel sandwiches that are such hit at parties and gatherings! Get that recipe, plus lots more information by clicking over to Natures Harvest Bread Dot Com.

Freschetta Pizzza

Freschetta believes that frozen pizza shouldn’t simply taste better; it should be better. So Freschetta frozen pizzas are made with all-natural 100% real cheeses, premium meats and crunchy vegetables and flavorful sauces. The taste and texture of pizza crust is especially important when speaking about gluten free crust. We are happy to report that Freschetta’s gluten free pizza has a crust that’s delicate and flaky – possible the best we’ve tasted.

Freschetta Pepperoni Pizzza

If you think this looks delicious, wait until you taste it. Get more information at Freschetta Dot Com!

Freschetta Pizzza Box

See you in June with the next Food Fete recap!

Food Fête Winter 2015: The Ultimate Recap!

Food Fete Signage
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

Food, Glorious Food Fête! Our favorite quarterly food trade show and media networking show packed the cozy Helen Mills Event Space in Chelsea on February 24th with booths showcasing sixteen innovative products ranging from Premium Organic Jarred Tomatoes to Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies, and Vegan Meat Substitutes — all every exciting! Here are a few of our favorite products from the show!

Plum Organics Booth

The first booth we came to when we entered the show was Plum Organics — a company focusing on the nutritional needs and often finicky appetites of babies and children. Their huge display extended possibly three booth spaces, and with good reason: these folks had a lot of cool products to present! It was a chilly night and Plum Organics helped warm everyone up with their hearty and delicious Tomato and Turkey Meatball Soup.

Tomato Turkey Meatball Soup

You can see that this soup is packed with lots of tiny, ground turkey meatballs for a savory and satisfying meal that kids (and adults) will devour!

Plum Organics Go Bar

Go Bars, in tempting flavors like Chocolate Brownie and Pumpkin Banana, make a healthy after-school snack!

Plum Vida

Plum Vida is an organic, squeezable fruit and veggie blend snack created by the women of Plum, and is the company’s first product specifically for adults. At only 70 – 90 calories, with 3 grams of fiber per resealable pouch, Plum Vida is an ideal on-the-go snack. Find out more about the fine products of Plum Organics at This Link!

Challenge Butter Display

Imagine how sad it would be if you had to eliminate delicious butter from your diet due to being lactose intolerant. I don’t even want to go there. Thank goodness that Challenge Dairy has actually created “Lactose Free” Spreadable Butter, which tastes just as awesome as the real thing! This new and exciting product is enhanced with fine olive oil to maintain a smooth texture without sacrificing any rich flavor. Amazing! Challenge also debuted two new flavors of their Soft Cream Cheese Spread: Strawberry — flavored and sweetened only with fresh ripe strawberries with no sugar added — and Salsa Flavor, made with an assortment of fresh garden vegetables. Both of these cream cheese spreads were crazy delicious and perfect for snacking or serving at your next party!

Free Cows

Also, they were giving away Free Cows! Fall in love with the wonderful products of Challenge Dairy at This Link!

Muir Glenn Tomatoes

Muir Glen Organic Jarred Tomatoes make cooking all of your favorite tomato recipes  — from soups and stews to sauces and pizza — so easy!  Using only California-grown tomatoes, Muir Glen offers four unique varieties of prepared tomatoes including the sweet and smokey Diced Fire Roasted Red Tomatoes, San Marzano Style Plum Tomatoes (perfect for Italian cooking), Arabella Tomatoes, and Crushed Tomatillos (Green Tomatoes), which are so versatile especially in the preparation of Mexican Cuisine!

Muir Glenn Fire Roasted Tomatoes

I brought a jar home so I can make a vat of my famous homemade chili! Get recipes and more information by visiting Muir Glen Dot Com!

Bailys Coffee Creamers

Bailys Coffee Creamers bring the beloved, classic flavor of Bailys Irish Cream Liqueur to your morning coffee, but without the alcohol! Who needs Starbucks when you have this product in your pantry? Two new flavors introduced at Food Fete were Macadamia Brittle and Bourbon Vanilla Pound Cake! We also had a chance to sample tasty Macadamia Brittle cupcakes made from a recipe incorporating Bailys Creamers! Get Recipes, download money saving coupons and find out where to buy Bailys Creamers at Baileys Creamers Dot Com!

Master of Mixes

Master of Mixes Bloody Mary Mix kept the atmosphere festive by offering a custom Bloody Mary Bar featuring the Classic, Loaded, and 5 Pepper varieties of mix, each with varying level of heat to match you taste! Master of Mixes products are based on classic scratch cocktail recipes — with the goal being for their one-step cocktails to be as close as possible to the originals…or maybe even better!

Master of Mixes Gift Bag

Those who stopped by the booth received a fun gift bag including their preferred Master of Mixes variety, a Bloody Mary Glass, Tomato-shaped stress ball and lots of recipes! Learn more about Master of Mixes impressive line of cocktail mixes at This Link!

California Giant Berry Farms

It was nice to see a selection fresh fruit and produce sharing the stage with packaged and prepared foods, and the California Giant Berry Farms booth did not disappoint! Their brightly-colored, attention-grabbing display of fresh strawberries and blueberries were showcased as the featured ingredient in two very original recipes. What you see up front is fresh Strawberry Salsa (perfectly accompanied by crisp, salty tortilla strips) which is made using Strawberries, Red Onion, Jalapeno and Cilantro and spices, with no tomatoes at all! This was probably the most delicious fresh salsa I have ever tasted – get the recipe at the link below!

They also offered plates of fresh baked, insanely moist Blueberry Brownies that take this popular dessert to an entirely different level. Find out more about California Giant Berry Farms and get a ton of creative recipes by clicking over to Cal Giant Dot Com.

Walkers Shortbread Booth

Unless you live a cave, you have to be familiar with the classic Walkers Shortbread cookies — which are phenomenal. I wouldn’t have thought there was a way to improve on this popular treat, but Walkers has manged to maintain their shortbread’s outrageously buttery taste in a new gluten-free recipe that substitutes wheat flour for a blend of rice flour, maize flour and potato starch! The new, certified gluten-free line includes three new flavors: Shortbread Rounds, Ginger & Lemon Shortbread and Chocolate Chip Shortbread — which I think are the best tasting and highest quality packaged Chocolate Chip cookies you can buy in a store.

Walkers Shortbread Boxes

Walkers was founded in 1898 and is still a family owned and managed company. Visit them on the web at US Dot Walkers Shortbread Dot Com.

Sunset Produce Tomatoes

Sunset Produce featured a variety of their fresh packaged tomatoes for sampling and also had one of the most naturally colorful booths at the show!

Sunset Produce Display

Founded sixty years ago by a pioneer in the commercial greenhouse industry, Sunset is still family owned, and operated with great passion for growing and selling world-class tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. With over a dozen varieties on offer, you are not going to get bored of tasting and cooking with these fantastic fruits. We came home with some free samples as well! Find out more about Sunset Produce at Sunset Grown Dot Com.

Lindsay Olives

Do you like Olives? I sure do. But just when you think that all Olives are created equal, Lindsay Olives come along and blow your mind with their unequaled deliciousness. Holy cow, they are so excellent! These little bread rounds are topped with an insane Olive Tapanade made with Lemon Zest that was just out of control. Explore the world of Lindsay Olives, and snag that Tapanade recipe, at This Link!

Food Should Taste Good

Winning my personal award for possessing the Best Brand Name Ever, Food Should Taste Good brand makes non-GMO, gluten-free snacks and chips that, well, taste terrific! Founder Pete Lescoe created Food Should Taste Good, Inc in 2006 with the goal of making a unique new snack with great taste, real ingredients, and sophisticated flavor – the qualities he is most passionate about in food. FSTG’s MultiGrain Tortilla Chips — which we sampled at Food Fete — are absolutely habit forming and practically guilt-free at zero grams of fat!

FSTG Multi Grain and Black Bean Chips

They’ve also introduced a brand new product, Pinto Bean and Black Bean MultiGrain Chips! These bean-based chips are also made with Flax, Sesame and Sunflower Seeds plus Quinoa for a true MutiGrain experience in a tasty snack chip. See a full list of FSTG Chips at This Link!

Yula YogurtYula Yogurt

Inspired by an authentic Australian recipe, Yulu Yogurt is double smoothed – and I do not know that means, exactly, but what I can tell you is that it tastes fantastic. Yulu has a texture and consistency that more closely resembles pudding than yogurt, which I think makes for a more highly desirable mouth feel.

Yulu Yogurt

At Food Fete, Yulu offered a “Make Your Own” Toppings Bar and I created this delicious little snack for myself with a couple of fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of sweet chocolate shavings on top of their Vanilla flavor yogurt. It was the most delicious thing. Yulu also has 9 grams of protein per serving, so it is a good snack for between meals. Click over to Yulu Yogurt Dot Com to find out more, get coupons and store information, plus be eligible for giveaways! Yay for Yulu!

Horizon Organic Fruit Crunchers

Horizon Dairy is a company we already love for its family of delicious organic products. Horizon’s new Fruit Crunchers snack is a great on-the-go treat and can even be used to top sundaes or fruit salads.

Toasted Coconut Fruit Crunchers

I threw these Toasted Coconut Crunchers on top of my Yulu Yogurt and they made it taste extra special! Fruit Crunchers also come in Apple and are made with 100% real fruit with no artificial ingredients. Visit Horizon Dairy on the web at This Link!

Sweet Earth

While we do not at all considered Meat to be a four letter word, we are always open to vegetarian and vegan options when it comes to tasty proteins and meat substitutes. Because good food is good food! Sweet Earth Foods hosted an amazing booth where an abundance of their exciting new products were available to sample, including:

Tuscan Savory Grounds: Italian Spicy Sausage flavor in a meatless, ground meat-emulating product! Savory Grounds also come in Chipotle, and Barbecue flavors, so your meatless recipe options are nearly limitless!

Sweet Earth Seitan

Recipe Ready Seitan: The “Wheat Meat” comes in a variety of tasty, pre-seasoned flavors including Curry, Chipotle and also traditional flavor. Hail Seitan!

Sesame Squares: in Tart Cherry & Hemp Seed, and Chocolate varieties, these energy-packed bars are super high in fiber, rich in taste and natural snacking at its best. Visit Sweet Earth Foods Dot Com to explore a new world of deliciousness.

Glass of Wine

And now, let us raise a glass to Jeff Davis for bringing the fabulousness of Food Fete to hungry food bloggers four times annually! See you in the Spring!

Food Fête Fall 2014: The Awesome Recap!

Pumpkin Votive Candle
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

Food Fête‘s fall showcase officially kicks off the Eating Season: with lots of holiday cooking and entertaining to look forward to, as well as gift giving and a general period of guilt-free pampering and self-indulgence during the colder months. Let’s eat!

California Grapes Display
Check Out That Stylish, Grape Cluster Wig on the Pumpkin!

When I was a kid growing up in California, I recall an animated TV commercial from the California Grape Growers featuring just a bunch of grapes on screen and two people talking off-screen about how Grapes were so “Sweet and Juicy” that somebody should “package them and sell them for snacks,” adding that “Grapes” was also “a catchy name”! It was hilarious, but also made a lot of sense in that Grapes are a delicious natural snack that don’t need a lot of tarting up to make them appealing to consumers.

At Food Fête, Grapes from California offered a delicious and easy to make Grapes treat called Tuxedo Bites, which are just fresh red or green grapes dipped in melted milk, dark or white chocolate, or melted caramel, and dipped in nuts or crushed candy. So easy to make for your holiday party! Get more great grape recipes at This Link!

Aardvark Straw Display

Continuing along in a nostalgic vein, another item I remember from childhood is Aardvark Paper Straws, which are making big comeback, and it’s about time. Aardvark, the original paper drinking straw, reentered the market in 2007, primarily in response to the growing anti-plastic movement. Now manufactured by PPG, these colorful straws are more durable and more sustainable than any paper straw on the market.

Aardvark Straws Table Display

Aardvark Paper Straws are 100% biodegradable, so their use can help reduce the plastic in our landfills and waterways – good for the planet and everyone who lives on it! They are also fun for parties and can be inspiring in the creation of all kinds of fun crafts for kids! Find out more about Aardvark Paper Straws by visiting them online at This Link!

Aardvark Straw Signage

Kohana Coffee Signage

Hey, do you like Coffee? Who doesn’t! New coffee products are always so exciting, and Kohana ready-to-drink, cold brew ice coffee is a delicious new drink that will attract your attention with a gentle “Aloha”! Organic, low in acid, and lightly sweetened with all natural monk fruit extract, Kohana cold brew ice coffee is available now in 8-ounce, shelf-stable cans that have a 9 month refrigerated shelf life! Flavors include class Black, White (with Milk), Salted Caramel, and Vanilla. Find out more about Kohana Cold Brew ice coffee in a can at Kohana Coffee Dot Com.

Kohana Cold Coffee

Nature Box Table Display

NatureBox Snacks is an idea you should put on your Holiday Gift Giving list for anyone who loves receiving delicious and wholesome snacks delivered directly to their door! NatureBox is a snacker’s dream come true, in that they offer highly customizable subscriptions to receive boxes of packaged healthy, natural and – most importantly – insanely delicious snacks each month! You can design your NatureBox subscription to receive as few as five or as many as twenty bags of tasty snacks shipped right to your home. Likewise, you can also select whether you’d prefer to choose the snacks you will receive or be surprised. Personally, I like surprises, because it is like Christmas. Christmas! Give a nature Box gift subscription – or start one for yourself – right now by visiting Nature Box Dot Com!

Nature BoDark Chocolate Nom Noms
NatureBox Dark Cocoa Nom Noms. Yummy!

Pistachio Power Clusters
Favorite NatureBox Snack: Pistachio Power Clusters!

Ginny Bakes Gluten Free Cookies

Ginnybakes is a line of outrageously delicious and nutritious organic, gluten free and non-GMO Cookies, Bars and Baking Mixes that is family owned since 2010. At Food Fête we had the chance to sample a variety of their cookies and Ginnyminis — 6-count bags of Ginny’s best-selling cookie flavors that are perfect for snacking or to toss into a lunch box. We also love their slogan: “Indulge Mindfully!” Find or more about Ginnybakes’ line of tempting baked goods that are good for you at This Link.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Ginnyminis

Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Treat
Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Bars

One indulgent dessert that is going to be convenient, delicious and guilt-free are selections from Weight Watchers line of frozen bars. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Bars feature a rich, dark chocolate coating on the outside and cool, low fat raspberry ice cream on the inside. It’s all the sweetness you crave with just 90 calories and 0 grams trans fat per bar.

Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Frozen Treat

Also brand new are Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Ice Cream Candy Bars — perfectly cravable for lovers of the continually trending sweet and salty taste of low fat caramel ice cream topped with salted caramel covered and in a milk chocolaty coating. You would never believe these decadent bars are only 120 calories, 6 grams of fat and 0 grams trans fat each! Find out where you can buy these bars and other fine Weight Watchers products at This Link!

Little Miracles Tea and Juice Drink Display

One stand out new product we were introduced to at Foot Fête is Little Miracles, a UK-based Tea and Super-Juice Blend that tastes fantastic! Organic and sweetened only with natural agave, these healthy beverages come in four unique tea/juice blend varieties but our favorite was the White Tea & Cherry (with ginseng and acai berry) which, seriously tasted like Christmas. And that does not mean it tasted like a pine tree but, rather, that its delicious and honestly refreshing flavors were experienced as pure joy in the mouth. Find out more about Little Miracles by heading over to Drink Little Miracles Dot Com.

Honest Tea Drinks

And while we’re on the subject of Flavored Tea Drinks let’s give shout out to one of our favorite brands, Honest Tea, who introduced two new flavors at the show. Orange Mango flavored Herbal Tea is made with organic grape, orange, lemon and mango with notes of lemon balm. Pomegranate Blue flavored Herbal Tea contains the flavors of organic pomegranate, grape and blueberry, infused with organic hibiscus. Both varieties are just 100 calories per bottle! These new flavors will be in stores starting January 2015!

Honest Tea Kuerig Cups

For Keurig users, Honest Tea also introduces both Green and Black Tea K-Cups so that you can brew fresh, unsweetened iced tea one cup at a time! Just brew hot tea over a cup of ice! Honest Tea K-Cup packs are available now. Get more information about Honest Tea at Honest Tea Dot Com.

Dove Berries Display

If you watch the fantastic TV show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, then you probably recall a recent rant that John went on where he described Cranberries as being like “Cherries that hate you.” Despite the great belly laugh inspired by that line, we do not agree! Dove brand — famous for their fine chocolate and chocolate-dipped ice cream bars — are now bringing their way with chocolate to the popular venue that is whole fruit dipped in dark chocolate – sweet, delicious Cranberries included!

Dove Berries Display2

Dove Whole Fruit Dipped In Dark Chocolate combines real whole berries dipped in smooth Dove dark chocolate in cranberry, cherry and blueberry varieties — which are the top selling fruits in the market. , Six-ounce standup bags of the Cranberry and Blueberry varieties were introduced in September, with a SRP range of $3.59 to $4.79. The six-ounce Cherry variety will debut in January, 2015 along with 2.83-ounce standup bags of Cranberry and Blueberry with a SRP range of $1.99 to $2.59, so get ready to stock up for the holidays! Find out more about the Dove brand at This Link!

34 Degrees Crisps Display

Last time we saw 34 Degrees Crisps at a Food Fête they were showcasing their sweet Chocolate Crisps — which are simply divine! New for fall are two savory flavors, Poppy Seed and Tasted Onion, both of which will be available for limited time only. Versatile Poppy Seed goes sweet or savory; from creamy cheeses and fresh fruit to cured meats and veggies. Bold Toasted Onion plays well with big flavors. Think tapenade, smoked meat or aged cheese. The lightness and highly appealing crispness of these crackers is unequaled and simply must be tasted to be believed.

34 Degrees Crisps Snacks

Look how gorgeous they are! Check out 34 Degrees products online at 34 Degrees Dot Com.

34 Degrees Crisps Display

Farm Rich pepperoni Bites Packaging

Hot snacks from the oven are a perennial favorite for all home entertaining, and Farm Rich brand frozen snacks were on hand to debut their newest offering, Pepperoni Bites! These hearty snacks have a yummy pizza taste and are made with real mozzarella cheese that maintains an authentic “pull” when hot and melty. Find out more about the Farm Rich brand of convenience foods and get money-saving coupons at Farm Rich Dot Com.

Farm Rich Pizza Snacks and Mozzarella Sticks
Farm Rich Favorite Mozzarella Sticks and New Pepperoni Bites Snacks!

Jarlsberg Display

Cheese in every form is also a holiday favorite and Jarlsberg is global brand we’ve known and trusted all our lives, it seems. Get Jarlsberg product information and recipes at This Link.

Jarlsberg Singage

Que Pasa Chips and Salsa

Que Pasa Tortilla Chips are an organic, Non-GMO and Gluten free snack that are as versatile as they are delicious!

Que Pasa Chips Samples

Find out how to make the above pictured Cilantro Pesto and Sundried Tomato Crostini (substituting Que Pasa Tortilla Chips for the tiny Crostini rounds) plus tons of other amazing dishes featuring with Que Pasa Chips and Salsas at at This Link!

Aloutte Signage

Alouette spreadable soft cheeses are a must-have on hand product for the holiday season and all year round. They are so versatile!

Alouette Toasted Everything Spread

New Flavors due in stores in February 2015 are Toasted Everything (perfect for your morning bagel!) and New York Cheddar.

Alouette NY Cheddar Cheese Spread

Get a printable coupon for $1.00 Off any Alouette Cheese Product by visiting This Link.

Addie's Cheesecakes and Pies

Here’s another new product that we went completely insane for: Addie’s Fine Foods miniature pies and cheesecakes! Made from the decades old, original recipes of Addie Simon, Addie’s sweet potato desserts (both pies and cheesecakes) are made with two varieties of sweet potatoes. The orange sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, while purple sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, and both have proven healthful effects. Sweet potatoes are a substantial source of dietary fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing the rate at which food is converted into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. You will be amazed that something so good for you can taste so decadently delicious.

Addie's Sweet Potato Cheese cake

Addie has also created luscious Lemon Ice Box Pie and classic Butternut Squash Cheesecakes to the line of healthy pleasures. All of Addie’s desserts are made with less sugar and have fewer calories without sacrificing taste. Trust me, I sampled each of these deserts at Food Fête and simply could not shut up about how astoundingly delicious they were. Find out more about Addie’s Fine Foods — our Number One find at this season’s Food Fête — at Addies Fine Foods Dot Com.

Olives From Spain

Olives From Spain were there to represent for a tiny fruit that not only tastes delicious on its own, but enhances the recipes of many different kinds of regional dishes. After sampling several luscious and flavorful Spanish Olive varieties (we still love Black Ripe Olives the best) we came back home with two cans of Olives and a gorgeous, full color mini Cook Book, which will give us a lots of ideas on creative ways to use them. Explore the world of Olives from Spain at Olives From Spain Dot US.

Niman Ranch Pulled Pork

Recently, we watched an episode of excellent the PBS series, Food Forward, on how  many Ranchers are returning to traditional, grass-fed styles of raising cattle — which made a significant and permanent, thought-changing impact regarding the most sustainable and humane way to raise cattle for food. This is why we love Niman Ranch, a company that offers a complete line of fresh Beef, Pork, Lamb and Cage-free Eggs as well as a variety of smoked and prepared items. All Niman Ranch livestock are raised on hormone and antibiotic free, 100% vegetarian diets and are 100% traceable from farm to plate. It follows then that their products are All-natural, Gluten Free, Nitrite and Nitrate free and MSG Free. Most importantly, their meat products all taste delicious!

Niman Ranch Pulled Pork Display

At Food Fête, attendees sampled three new prepared Pulled Pork vairietes in different BBQ sauces — Regular Sweet Sauce (not to spicy), Smokey Chipotle, and Hoisin Soy BBQ Sauce.
The pieces of pork were large, the meat was tender, and the flavor was delicious. All you have to do is heat and serve for easy pulled pork sandwiches! Find out more about Niman Ranch meats, get recipes and shop online at Niman Ranch Dot Com.

And that’s it for this edition of Food Fête! Thanks as always to Jeff Davis for producing another great show! See you in the Winter!

Recap: Summer Food Fête 2014!

Food Fete Room Shot
All Photos By Gail

Food Fête’s exciting summer season return to the Metropolitan Pavilion event space on West 18th Street was all abuzz with sumptuous product offerings that ranged from Bacon, Butter and Bourbon to Cheese, Chocolates and Chips! If you didn’t make it to the party, here’s a glimpse of what you missed!

Pork Booth Display

PorkBeInspired.com cornered some prime real estate by occupying the first booth attendees encountered upon enter the room. Pork product lovers were treated to a tasting of delicious Pork Dumplings and Bacon Roses (with instructions on how to make those bacon roses at home also on hand) along with a wealth of pork cooking tips, recipes, a guide to identifying cuts of pork, the Pork Bucket List (#PorkBucketList) and a free handy meat thermometer. What a great way to start out the show!

Pork Dumplings Close Up
Pork Dumpling

Bacon Roses
Bacon Roses, Fragrant!

Mike's Organic Curry Love

Mike’s Organic Curry Love has a line of gourmet jarred curries that will blow your mind! Flavors include Green, Yellow, and Red Thai Curry, Saag, Tikka Masala and Caribbean Curry. Mike’s was created by a chef and has been around since 2008. Just tasting these flavorful sauces you can really tell that Mike and his wife Laurie (who are super nice) care about what goes into their product while making it so easy to create delicious curries at home that will rival the dishes of your favorite restaurant. Find out more about their products at My Curry Love Dot Com.

Mike's Organic Curry Love Display
You can see Mike and Laurie in the background. I am sorry I cut their heads off.

White Girl Green Salsas

Nobody loves Green Salsa more than this girl, so imagine my delight to find White Girl Salsa – the only company specializing exclusively  in Green Salsa – exhibiting at Food Fête! White Girl Salsa comes in five flavors: Hot, Medium and Mild Tomatillo, Cranberry Mango and Smokey Chipotle. Don’t those flavors sound insane? White Girl Salsa is the perfect accompaniment for all of your summer entertaining and backyard BBQs for sure. And look how cute their logo is! Sassy! Get tasty recipes and find out where in 47 states you can buy White Girl Green Salsas at This Link.

Duncan Hines Dessert Mixes

The Duncan Hines Dessert Mix evolution continues as the company whose cakes you grew up loving introduced three new mixes for fall 2014: Limited Edition Autumn Velvets Cake Mix (featuring two seasonal flavors of cake mix in one box), Red Velvet Decadent Brownie Mix (which can also be modified to make cookies), and Decadent Black & White Cupcake Mix (which includes frosting and a pastry bag right in the box)! Duncan Hines‘ all-inclusive mixes elevate home baking ‘Beyond the Box,’ where anyone can make a fancy, impressive and delicious dessert right in their own kitchen. Prices will be super affordable, ranging from $1.99 to $3.29 per box.

Stonewall Kitchen Jam Display

Everyone who stopped by the Stonewall Kitchen booth received a sample jar of their Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, but that is far from the only thing these guys have going on. Check this out:

Stonewall Kitchen Maple Bacon Jam and Aioli
Stonewall Kitchen Maple Bacon Onion Jam and Maple Bacon Aioli

You cannot imagine how amazing those taste! The Maple Bacon Aioli could easily replace ketchup as a go-to topper for sandwiches or dipping sauce for fries, while the Maple Bacon Onion Jam (a sweet & savory combination of spices, brown sugar, apples, shallots and bits of real bacon) is a versatile pantry essential! What an exciting discovery! I love how the jars’ labels look handwritten, giving Stonewall Kitchen’s products a homemade, freshly canned vibe! You can be sure that I will be investigating this brand further. Find out more about Stonewall Kitchen’s specialty sauces and jams, candies, gifts and home products for yourself at This Link.

Better Way Snacks

At the Way Better Snacks table, we learned about sprouted snacks and had a chance to sample both the sprouted Corn Tortilla Chips (which, fantastic) and their new Heritage Grains Pita-ahh Chips, which are made with sprouted red fife and spelt. Sprouting provides increased vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, digestibility and nutrient absorption. It is so cool that companies like Way Better are taking a popular favorite snack like chips — usually lumped into the Junk Food category – and making it nutritious and good for you without losing any of the deliciousness you want in a chip. And isn’t their packaging simply stunning? Visit them on the web at Go Way Better Dot Com.

California Butter Display

Of course, we had to make a leisurely pit stop at the California Butter Display, because, Butter Fountain. I shouldn’t even have to sell you on Butter, right, it’s Butter! It’s delicious! Read all about why Butter is Awesome at This Link.

Dave's Bread Signage

Another product that was new to us at Food Fête is Dave’s Killer Bread, which is maybe called that because the company’s cofounder, Dave Dahl, spent some time in prison. Just being serious. Obviously, he found a way to benefit society upon his release by learning to bake 12 different kinds of delicious, organic, non-GMO breads!

Dave's Bread Hulk Smash

This is what Dave’s Killer Bread looks like topped with smashed avocado and other tasty things on it. Yummy. Dave’s Bread has a moistness combined with a nutty, wholegrain texture that is just irresistible. Explore the world of Dave’s Killer Bread at This Link.

Maple Hill Creamery Yogurt

Going with the logic that better dairy products come from better milk (which comes from better-fed cows), Maple Hill Creamery yogurt is made with fresh, non-homogenized milk from 100% grass fed cows. Maple Hills’ organic, creamline yogurt is made without thickeners, is flavored with fresh fruit puree, low in added sugar and tastes very natural. Discover the way of the Grass Fed Cow at This Link.

Alouette Soft Cheeses Signage

Alouette Cheeses returned to Food Fête to introduce several new products including:

Alouette Brie Fondue

Alouette Brie Fondue, in Stores from October to December 2014.

Alouette Cranberry Apple Spice

Alouette Cranberry Apple Spice Soft Spreadable Cheese, in Stores from October to December 2014.

Alouette Vanilla Cheesecake and Pumpkin Spice

Crème de Brie Smoky Bourbon, a creamy rind-less brie that blends real bourbon with subtle, smoky notes – great to spread on a baguette, cracker or as a dip for Veggies! In stores beginning in October. Find out more about Alouette products at This Link.

Dark Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Cherries

Stoneridge Orchards – America’s premier grower and producer of premium dried fruit – handed out tasting samples of their Dark Chocolate and Greek Yogurt Dipped Cherries, and are those ever a luxurious treat. Stoneridge Orchards also introduced their innovative new dried fruit snack: Chili Lime Cherries with Tajin (a Mexican seasoning blend containing chile peppers, lime, and salt). Stoneridge uses whole dried tart Montmorency Cherries in their cherry snacks which are plump, moist and very delicious. Visit them on the web at Stoneridge Orchards Dot Com.

Peacock Rice Pasta

Peacock Brand rice-based, gluten-free noodles were a big hit at the show! Everybody got a free bag to take home! Plus…

Chef Making Pasta

Food Fête Attendees had the chance to taste Chef Pasquale Martinelli’s Peacock Brown Rice Spaghetti alla Sanguiannid, which was delicious. Chef Pasquale did a fantastic job of highlighting the versatility of Singaporean Peacock Noodles with his traditional Italian cooking. The Peacock brand features a variety of pastas including brown rice and basmati rice noodles. Get to know this Singapore-based brand a bit better by visiting This Link.

Peanut Butter Pups

We’ll wind this all up with a few words about something sweet in the form of Gearharts Fine Chocolates’s Peanut Butter Pups. What an indulgent – and adorable – treat!

Peanut Butter Pups Candy

These whimsical, hand-piped Puppy Heads are made from premium milk chocolate and Virginia artisan peanut butter, and decorated with a dark chocolate face and toasted almond ears. So cute! So, so delicious! If you are a chocolate and peanut butter fan, this right here is your thing. Plus, 5% of sales of Peanut Butter pups support Companions for Heroes.org.

Thanks as always to Jeff Davis at Food Fête for providing an introduction to so many great products! See you in the fall!

Foot Fete Signage