Archives for the month of: November, 2013

Image

How many times have you wanted to order pizza, but everyone in the family wanted a different topping? Now Kontos makes it easy for your to create delicious individual pizzas right at home using their Pizza Parlor Crust (www.kontos.com).

You can top each hand stretched crust, made with olive oil for a soft and chewy texture,  with your choice of sauce, veggies, cheeses and meats, then microwave or bake. In only five minutes, a fresh, individual-size pizza creation is hot on your plate and ready to enjoy. Family members thought the final result was even better than our local pizza parlor pizza. Have Kontos Pizza Parlor Crust on hand when kids return from college over the holidays and impromptu pizza parties can be enjoyed at any hour of the day or night!

Kontos Pizza Parlot Crust – Gotta Love It!

ImageImage

The best  cocktail menus for holiday entertaining offer a blend of both sweet and savory snacks and confections. You can get both tastes in the same snack with Pretzel Perfection’s Holiday Clusters (www.pretzelperfection.com).

These tempting bite-sized morsels each contain just the right amount of crunch and chew and come in three varieties: Salted Caramel (our favorite), Peppermint and Eggnog. The packaging is also perfect to you to top off with a bow and use as a hostess gift. If you are a fan of pretzels, this line of gourmet pretzel-based snacks will quickly become a family favorite as well as a party tradition.

Pretzel Perfection Holiday Clusters – Gotta Love It!

 

 

Image

Are you bound for the Big Apple for some travel this holiday season? Janel Halpern and Harvey Appelbaum have authored a wonderful guidebook called “Not the Met: Exploring the Smaller Museums of Manhattan” (www.pelicanpub.com) which can help add a few exciting adventures to your itinerary.

“Not the Met” goes beyond the well-known Metropolitan Museum of Art to offer profiles of several dozen lesser known but still noteworthy museums in and around New York City, including the International Center of Photography, the New York City Police Museum, the Fraunces Tavern Museum and the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. Convenient carry-with size, including photos and a quick glance at hours and fees.

Not the Met: Exploring the Smaller Museums of Manhattan – Gotta Love It!

Image

It’s important to keep your energy levels up during holiday shopping trips and Sonic Drive-In Restaurants (www.sonicdrivein.com) are offering customers a wake-up call for their tastebuds, thanks to their recently introduced Island Fire Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Choose from two grades of heat, depending on how much kick you want from your 100% white meat chicken in this hearty sandwich.

We opted for the original version and tempered the heat with one of Sonic’s smooth and creamy Strawberry/Banana milkshakes for the perfect Fire and Ice combo snack. The toasted ciabatta bun used in this sandwich offering is also a nice change of pace.

New Island Fire Spicy Chicken Sandwich at Sonic Drive In – Gotta Love It!

 

who wants seconds

Is there a person on your Christmas gift list who loves organizing parties and sharing a table of interesting foods with friends? Then the delightful “Who Wants Seconds”, authored by chef and caterer Jennie Cook is the perfect selection (www.prospectparkbooks.com).

Beautifully illustrated and containing a nice array of crowd-pleasing recipes for “vegans, omnivores and everyone in between”, “Who Wants Seconds?” inspires even the novice home cook with such classics as potato croquettes and off-the beaten path creations like Sweet Potato Lasagna. This book is sure to please anyone who finds it wrapped under the Christmas tree!

“Who Wants Seconds” – Gotta Love It!

numi

Searching for a special treat to stuff in stockings this holiday season? Check out Numi Organic Tea (www.numitea.com) which offers a wide array of organic tea blends featuring all natural ingredients, herbs, spices, fruits, flowers and spices. We recently sampled the hearty and delicious seasonal special flavor, Holiday Chai, a robust blend of assam black tea and exotic spices, perfect to warm body and soul on a grey, chilly winter day.

A box of Numi Organic Tea Bags makes the perfect affordable stocking stuffer for young or old and the website also carries a nice selection of tea sets, flowering teas and tea accessories.

Numi Holiday Chai Organic Tea – Gotta Love It!

losalt

Klinge Foods Ltd., based in the UK, is making it easier for Americans to reduce the amount of sodium in their diets that can lead to such health problems as high blood pressure and heart disease. LoSalt (www.losalt.com) is the delicious, easy to use reduced sodium alternative to salt now available in Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway supermarkets in time for holiday menus.

Whether adding salt to your pot of boiling water for pasta, adding a dash to season morning eggs or crockpot soups and stews, LoSalt is convenient and easy to use, affordably priced for everyday use and available in original as well as iodized versions. Nothing artificial, and a great source of dietary potassium. 

LoSalt – Gotta Love It!

painfree

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from occasional or chronic pain, whether it be a stiff back, arthritic fingers, bursitis or any of the other ailments that make life more challenging, give yourself the gift of getting back to a painfree existence with Letha Hadady’s “Naturally Pain Free” (www.asianhealthsecrets.com).

This is possibly the best resource book ever written about the wide variety of alternative treatments, both physical and mental, that have proven effective to treat pain in varying degrees without having to resort to medications with harmful side effects. Virtually all of the pain solutions Hadady writes about are easy to follow and affordable. If the word “ouch” is more often in your vocabulary than “ah”, “Naturally Pain Free” just might be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make.

“Naturally Pain Free” – Gotta Love It!

olive oil

This holiday season, accent your party dishes with the pure taste of DeCecco Olive Oil (www.dececcousa.com). This versatile ingredient works easily well with homemade salad dressings, to dress up raw or steamed vegetables, in dips, marinades and as your oil of choice for sauteed and fried specialties.

Our favorite variety is the 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil featuring all Italian olives – the taste is savory, almost sweet, with a beautiful light green color and tantalizing aroma. DeCecco Olive Oil also makes the perfect partner for any of this brand’s top-quality pastas.

DeCecco Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Gotta Love It!

pieslick the bowl

Few things taste more delicous than homemade sweet treats or provide a more welcome gift during the holiday season.

We recently discovered two cookbooks that make fantastic gifts for Christmas 2013 or can inspire you to really wow guests and family members during festive holiday gatherings:

“America’s Best Harvest Pies”, produced by The American Pie Council with Linda Hoskins, (www.skyhorsepublishing.com) is a beautifully photographed volume that offers recipes shared by Crisco National Pie Championship winners, such as Cherry Red Raspberry Pie, California Raisin and Nut Pie, and Blueberry and Basil Lime Pie. These recipes stretch your culinary imagination way beyond traditional Apple!

“Lick the Bowl Good: Classic Home-Style Desserts with a Twist” by food blogger Monica Holland (www.skyhorsepublishing.com), takes your favorite sweet comfort foods and enhances them to create a new version of the dessert, including Oreo Cheese Cupcakes, Brown Surgar Sour Cream Panna Cotta and Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze. Hey, forget the calories, it’s the holidays!

Cookbooks celebrating Great American Desserts – Gotta Love It!