Food Magazine vs. Food Network Magazine

I usually don’t do this. In all my years reviewing products from electronics to hand cream I haven’t put two products up against each other, but since I plunked down cash for two food magazines over the past week I figured I’d give you my take on each and let you know which one you should spend money on.

Food magazine ( is brand-new on the magazine scene. In fact, their February/ March 2009 issue is their premier issue and in a lot of ways it shows. While the attractive cover with Mario Batali looked promising (that’s why I grabbed it off the shelf) I was disappointed with the inside design. Each article’s title is designed with a different typeface, color, and design, which made the magazine feel cluttered, disjointed, and messy. A little uniformity will go a long way in the forthcoming issues. Although some of the articles were interesting they lacked real depth and I even found a few glaring editorial mistakes. The Good News: The team behind Food effectively got their glossy on newsstands nationwide in one of the most bleak economic times the country has ever seen. That says a lot for their tenacity and how they’ve been able to sell their vision to advertisers and distributors. Now, all they have to do is tighten their design and add more interesting articles and they’ll be a major player in the food magazine industry.

While Food Network magazine ( isn’t new, it’s definitely new to me. I was really impressed by how interesting each and every editorial page of the magazine is. The sleek, stylish design coupled with the mouth-watering recipes, tantalizing photos, and well-written and well-researched articles make for a superior magazine. It’s one of those magazines that you can read over and over again and find something new each time you flip through. It’s a definite must-have! The Bad News: Food Network magazine is published by Hearst and while it’s terrific, their next issue isn’t coming out until May! Ridiculous. Either you publish a magazine regularly or you don’t; no skipping months allowed!

Jennifer James, Editor

Tyler Florence and Macy’s Want to Know What Gets You Cooking

Calling all fans of Food Network celebrity chef Tyler Florence! Florence has partnered with Macy’s and produced a 12-podcast series called Macy’s Keeps America Cooking. This podcast series features Tyler cooking some of his favorite recipes and shows how you make truly gourmet and delectable meals from the convenience of your home and with the help of some trusty kitchen tools and products. In addition, Tyler is hosting a contest to find out what gets you cooking and give you the opportunity of your life! So, what gets you cooking? Could it be the magical people in your life? Maybe it’s a family tradition? Whatever your reason, Macy’s wants you to tell them while showing off your cooking skills for a chance to win a $2,500 Macy’s kitchen shopping spree with Tyler Florence in San Francisco!

The requirements to enter are simple! Create a short video (2 minutes or less) of yourself demonstrating a favorite recipe that represents what gets you cooking. Then end your video with the line, “From my (insert your town) kitchen to yours, Macy’s keeps it cooking.” You may start by simply registering at Once you’re registered you can upload their video and share it. Viewers can vote for their favorite videos and make it their very own reality show!

Submission deadline is April 3, 2009.
Winners will be announced on or about April 30, 2009.
You must upload your video to:

Valentine’s Day at Carrabas

This year Valentines Day falls on a Saturday, and many people will avoid the weekend crowds by dining out earlier in the week. That’s why Carrabba’s is offering consumers the ultimate pre-Valentine’s Day celebration “Dal Cuore Nights,” meaning “From the Heart Nights” at Carrabba’s.

About The Dal Cuore Nights Celebration

The Dal Cuore Nights celebration includes a Prix Fixe Menu (Less than $20 per person) and $10 off any bottle of wine, including Ruffino’s Dal Cuore di Carrabba wine, a limited-edition baby Super Tuscan created exclusively for Carrabbass. The prix fixe menu includes an appetizer, entree and mini-dessert. Featured entrees include Carrabba’s favorites such as Sirloin Marsala, Chicken Bryan, Chicken Marsala, Polo Rosa Maria and Grilled Salmon with the sauce of the day.

Topping off the evening, guests on February 11 and 12 will receive a special Dal Cuore Valentine’s Day Card featuring a “heartfelt” quote. One lucky quote recipient will win a romantic Italian escape for two including 7 night cruise and airfare. Beginning Sunday, March 1, 2009, the winning quote will be revealed on Carrabba’s website at, where complete details are available.

5 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

When we walk into the grocery store these days we cannot help but notice how expensive everything has become. I was looking at cheese the other day and was flabbergasted at the price. I just passed it by.

National nutrition experts from Nationwide Children’s Hospital have come together to help us save some money at the grocery store with some helpful tips.

— Don’t buy organic if you don’t have to.

— Don’t buy designer fruits like pomegranates and acai fruit. Blueberries and plums are cheaper and have the same nutritional content.

— Avoid buying pre-packaged foods. Why buy bagged lettuce when it’s cheaper to buy a head of lettuce?

— Don’t assume fresh is always best. Frozen fruits and vegetables are cheaper and have the same nutritional value.

— Buy in bulk. The experts suggest buying large amounts of fruits during the summer when they’re cheaper and freezing them to ear all year long.

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It’s OK — Indulge in a Little Red Wine

A little red wine is fine. Recent studies have shown that the powerful antioxidants found in red wine protect against heart disease, colon cancer, anxiety and depression. So unless there is a medical reason why you shouldn’t imbibe, go ahead and enjoy that glass of merlot with your nightly meal — you can even toast to your good health.

But don’t drink excessively. Just as a small amount of red wine has health benefits, too much alcohol — even red wine — can cause a variety of health problems, including liver and kidney disease and cancer. Women, in particular, need to be careful about alcohol consumption. “Women are at higher overall risk of liver problems than men, so they are more likely to experience liver problems from smaller amounts of alcohol,” says Dr. Carline Quander, a gastroenterologist at Rush. “They simply shouldn’t drink as much as men.” For a healthy man, two drinks a day is not likely to do harm; women, on the other hand, should limit themselves to one daily drink.

Source: Rush University Medical Center

Delicious Spirits: Midori Melon Ball Drop

The holidays are a wonderful time to treat yourself and your party guests to festive drinks. If you are a Midori connoisseur, here is a delightful holiday drink that will have your party guests taking mulitple trips to the bar.

MIDORI Melon Ball Drop

2 oz. MIDORI Melon Liqueur
1 oz. SKYY Citrus Infusions
.5 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
Juice 1/2 Lemon
Sugar Rim
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a melon ball and a sugar rim.

Credit: MIDORI Melon Liqueur

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Top 10 Food Trends from Food Channel

The Food Channel, a Web site I had the pleasure of stumbling upon today, has identified the top ten food trends for 2009. Based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with the World Thought Bank and the International Food Futurists(TM), the list includes:

1. Home on the Range — Downsized economy breeds new generation of home
chefs, more food-savvy than their predecessors

2. Foodie 2.0 — Growth of virtual and non-virtual food communities

3. Going, Going Green — Kitchens go eco-conscious

4. Living La Vida Locavore — Eating locally and seasonally, both at home
and in restaurants

5. TMI? — Is seeing the calorie count on the menu Too Much Information
(TMI), or will it lead to healthier choices?

6. FrankenFood — The rise of bioengineering and genetically modified
food; the next evolution of last year’s Functional Food trend

7. Food Philanthropy — Individuals and companies address world hunger

8. Food Insecurity — The call for tighter food controls, after the
tomato and jalapeno scares of 2008

9. Brewing Business — Striking a balance when cost is an issue; the
divide widens between the exotic and day-to-day food needs

10. Where in the World … — is the next flavor trend coming from? It’s
all about globalization and variety

I think the Food Channel is right on the money with all of these upcoming trends. I think some may become more trendy than others like going green, food philanthropy, and Foodie 2.0.

Jennifer James, Editor

Indigo Rabbit: Sweet Goodness

The day before Thanksgiving I received all five flavors of Indigo Rabbit’s deliciously healthy cookies and what a treat they were on Thanksgiving day! As a little aside, I must say, my holiday dinner guests preferred Indigo Rabbit’s cookies to the pecan pie. Now, that’s saying a lot!

If you haven’t heard about Indigo Rabbit before, it is a Massachusettes-based cookie company that specializes in healthy cookies from vegan cookies to allergy-free cookies. The cookies come in five flavors — Gingerlicious, Luscious Lemon Chewies, Heavenly Chocolate Pillows, Seriously Cinnamon Almond, and Perfectly Peanut Butter.

Each flavor is distinct, rich, and fills your mouth with sweet happiness. I thoroughly enjoyed the Perfectly Peanut Butter, but then again, I adore peanut butter! Each cookie is delightful in its own right, however. I recommend buying them all because each flavor is well worth trying. The Heavenly Chocolate Pillows and Gingerlicious are scrumptious with coffee, I discovered. And, the Seriously Cinnamon Almond was very tasty alongside a delicious cup of hot chai.

Each beautifully packaged box of Indigo Rabbit cookies comes with ten inside (five packs of two) which helps keep the cookies fresh. Plus, I found that the small packs of two cookies kept us from devouring them so quickly, which is bliss for my waistline. Each cookie is so satisfying that one at a time is all you need. I found myself relishing the taste of each cookie as opposed to thinking ahead to grabbing another like I often do with your run-of-the-mill, lifeless, chemically-laden variety cookie.

What I like most about Indigo Rabbit is it is a mom-owned company that believes in baking healthy cookies for those of us who cherish quality, healthy treats for our children. All of Indigo Rabbit’s cookies are made with simple ingredients that you can pronounce and are sweetened with evaporated cane juice and fruits and vegetables.

Indigo Rabbit cookies are wonderful for families who are sick and tired of ingesting unnecessary, harmful chemicals as well as for families whose children have special dietary and nutrition needs. Indigo Rabbit proves that “deliciously healthy” is not an oxymoron after all. They are scrumptious, good for you, and a delight to eat.

Jennifer James, Editor

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