Category: Cool Link

Natural Products, Green Living, Family Fun… May 21-22

This one weekend, two day event is packed with interactive demonstration, health lectures, workshops, and kids activities that the whole family can enjoy! Each year over 30,000 Atlanta & Seattle consumers attend the Alive! Expo to learn how to integrate health and wellness into environmentally responsible, GREEN living and to create a positive impact on the world as a whole. Attendees get a chance to experience all the newest and best natural, organic, green and eco products for your home and their entire family, even the pets!

Each year Alive! Expo draws over 300 national and local companies representing industries such as: Natural/Organic Foods, Natural & Organic Personal Care/Natural Beauty, Vitamins & Supplements, Alternative & Herbal Medicines, Natural & Eco Pet Products, Green Home & Eco Household Products, Eco Fashion & Accessories, Books/Videos, Sportswear, Health/Fitness/Gyms and Yoga/Pilates Studios, Natural Spa Products & Services, GREEN & Recycled Products, Environmentally Friendly Products and Hybrid & Electric Cars.

Among the exhibits, the show additionally features: Healthy Cooking Demos, Healthy Organic & Local Food and Wine Tasting, Interactive Pilates and Yoga Demos, Complimentary Health & Wellness Screenings, Live Lectures by Industry Experts, Fun Kid’s Corner with an On-Site Daycare, PLUS you can Buy & Sample Your Favorite Natural Products and Receive Free Product Samples.

With something fun and exciting for every member of the family – this is a weekend event you will NOT want to miss!!!

Check This Out…Apps to Bring Out Your Inner Chef

I live by my iPhone! I rely on apps to do EVERYTHING. It can tell me what’s new and how to get there, what to cook and what I need to make it, even whats around me and exactly what to order! I occasionally make mention of my favorite apps (scoutmob, opentable, urbanspoon), but Us Weekly actually created their own list based on recommendations from Celebrity Chefs, which I thought I’d share with you… 

-MARTHA’S EVERYDAY FOOD: FRESH & EASY RECIPES: For 99 cents, the app sends alerts for daily dinner ideas. And it uses your current location to find grocery stores near you! Why it’s hot: You can share your fave recipes on Facebook and Twitter.

-FOOD NETWORK IN THE KITCHEN: You can access 45,000 recipes from the network’s stars and new seasonal menus are updated each month ($1.99). Why it’s hot: Save favorite recipes in an online recipe box. Plus, use in-app timers to never burn a meal again!

-GORDON RAMSAY COOK WITH ME: Screaming fits not included! Outside of Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay offers 56 recipes with guides and pictures ($7.99). Why it’s hot: The app offers wine pairings and an email function to invite to friends to enjoy the meal.

-NIGELLA QUICK COLLECTION: The kitchen goddess guides fans through 70 recipes with 40 minutes of video instructions ($7.99). Why it’s hot: You can make a shopping lists from recipes, then work through the recipes using voice control without even touching your phone.

-JAMIE OLIVER 20 MINUTE MEALS: If you liked his Food Revolution TV
show, you’ll love the British chef’s easy recipes ($7.99). Why it’s hot: Step-by-step pictures illustrate each recipe, and in 90 minutes of video Oliver teaches his tricks and basic kitchen tips.

-TYLER FLORENCE FAST: Picking from the app’s 500 recipes is easy. At the store, type in salmon and 15 recipes pop up! The Food Network chef tells Us ($4.99). Why it’s hot: Need recipe help? Use the app to email the chef or to chat with other users.

Thanks to Tonya M. Fleetwood.

The Ides of March… Celebrate with a Caesar Salad

I remember learning that the 15 of March was historically called the Ides of March when I was in grade school. Why did I need to remember? Because it is recorded as the day that Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by his friends in the Roman Senate. Random it seems, but it got me to thinking about caeasar salads and whether they were named after the same man. It wasn’t!

Contrary to popular belief, the caesar salads was named for Mexican restaurateur Cesar Cardini. Again, random! Cardini, an Italian immigrant, served them in the 1920s as finger food. They were popularized by people like the Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Warfield Simpson), who is best known as the American divorcee that King Edward VIII of England abdicated the throne to marry- forcing the current Queen Elizabeth into direct line for the crown (for details see the 2011 Academy Awards Winner for Best Actor and Best Film “The Kings Speech“).

Anywho, this simple salad is usually the salad of choice for me. I’ll be sure to eat one today, even though July 4th is National Caesar Salad Day. I know! Random, right?

Thank you Qualipedia.

It’s What the Cool Kids are Doing… Underground Supper Clubs

A few weeks ago, while watching the Food2, I realized that it wasn’t just a spinoff of the Food Network as I had long assumed. I realized that this channel spoke to me! At least the content during that random time of day seemed to, anyway. I watched Jamie Oliver smoke a salmon filet using a random cookie tin, fishing wire, thin slices of wood chips and a gas stove. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen done on a food program, because it was almost guerilla-style cooking—like if McGuyver where a chef!

The next program was about unusual food, but not in a roasted grasshopper kind of way. It was more of the McGuyver style food preparation being done across the country. And I was hooked! Finally at the end of the episode, there was a segment about “Underground Supper Clubs”; the kind of experience that seems completely rational, but so rare that it sounds unfathomable. Chefs invite people (generally strangers) into their home (or a secret location) for an innovative and elaborate meal. I immediately wanted to know more, but with the next intriguing show I completely forgot to do any research.

A week later a dear friend from high school and I reconnected and he invited me to dinner, but he wasn’t clear on the details because it was at someone’s home. You can imagine my excitement. “Like an underground supper club,” I asked with the enthusiasm of a kid trying to decipher clues about their birthday present. “Uh, I guess” may as well have been the response I got. It was Sunday night, somewhere in Grant Park at a friend of a friend of a friend’s.

When Sunday came around, I met my friend at his place. He plugged the address into his phone’s gps and we were off. The neighborhood was sketchy, but I kept my fingers crossed that the food wouldn’t be. We parked and walked up the street to a cute craftsman style home on a narrow street. The hostess greeted us warmly, introductions were made and drink orders were taken. I went for the beer (don’t ask me to recall which one).

As more people showed up, it was clear that everyone had a connection to the hostess and her chef husband through someone else who wasn’t in attendance. Everyone admired the simplicity of the quirky décor, the art work, the drinks, etc. The conversation in general was pleasant. I met a judge, a lawyer, a publicist and even the owner of a “popsicle” company! Finally it was dinner time.

The dining table was set for 6 and the breakfast bar that looked into the kitchen sat 4. Of course we wanted to see our food being prepared so we grabbed the bar seats. More introductions and the first course was served: a roasted beet salad with orange marmalade vinaigrette, baby arugala, gorgonzola and walnuts.  Delish! In conversation my friend noted how beets were the food du jour. Every chef in America is trying new things with beets. Kind of like Brie in the 1990s.

The second course, a surprise addition, was a homemade cream of onion soup served in a mug for sipping. It was fantastic. I actually wished that it came in a can that I could buy at the store because it was perfect. The third course and main entrée was served family style: tagliatelle, with roasted amish chicken, brussel sprouts leaves, French horn mushrooms and bacon. I had never heard of tagliatelle, nor had I ever eaten amish chicken. But this dish went so fast that I didn’t even get a picture of it.

After that, the final course was the perfect dessert: chocolate pots de crème served with soft whipped mint cream topped with cookie crumbs. I’m not a big chocolate eater, but I have to say that it was well received by all and absolutely loved by me. The smoothness and mildness of it almost made forget what it was.

I am so happy I got the chance to experience underground dining. And I’m looking forward to the opening of the couple’s restaurant, StapleHouse. I wish them much success. And if the food at the restaurant is as great as what was served that Sunday- I know they’ll have success and more!

Thanks again to the Harvey and the Hidingers. (sounds like a band)

Urban Gardening: Necessity Turned Hipster Trend

(As written by Pha Lo for Salon.)

To me, the organic food movement has become dizzyingly, surreally chic. Farmers have become rock stars; the most exclusive restaurants name-check them so much you can almost see dirt on the menu. But before organic produce exploded into a $25 billion industry, before city gardening became cool, I grew up in a Hmong refugee community, living the urban organic lifestyle not because it was fashionable, but because we were poor. I couldn’t wait to leave it behind.

I grew up in Del Paso Heights, a mixed-race inner city of Sacramento, Calif. — the kind of neighborhood that had just two grocery stores between endless fast-food and liquor shops, and where we all paid for our groceries with food stamps. It was where we grew organic food and raised chickens in our backyards to survive. And where we did it in secrecy.

To read more of Pha Lo’s story at click here.

French Immersion… Dine for $30 through Dec. 12

Love French food?

Never tried French food?

This may be exactly what you’ve been looking for!! France-Atlanta, a collaboration between the French Consulate and Georgia Tech, is a project aimed at promoting the relationship between the American Southeast and the European Nation. A series of lectures, performances and more make up the end of year program.

This week marked the beginning of what I’m calling “French Immersion“. Some of Atlanta’s best known French restaurants will offer a $30 prix fixe menu from November 29- December 12. Atmosphere, Au Pied de Cochon and Petit Auberge are a few on the list.

I haven’t decided what restaurant I’ll be checking out, but I’m super excited about trying something new. Tell me about your experience too!

Shout out to Harvey Daniels III for sharing this information.

Happy Hanukkah! December 1-9, 2010

This year Hanukkah begins a bit earlier than usual. Today marks the beginning of the nine day holiday celebration for the Jewish community. I won’t go into detail about the holiday itself or traditions (mostly because i don’t know), but I wanted to share some recipes I found and links to community events as well… For more details visit: or

Again, happy holidays to everyone and very special Happy Hannukah to my dear friend Michael Zouroudis.

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