FROZEN TROPICAL FIREWORKS
avocado ice cream

Try to be different this 4th of July with avocado – and other tropical fruit –  ice cream

Although commonly used for salads and dips, the ripe, buttery texture and mild, nut-like flavor of avocado makes a surprisingly delicous ice cream. The sensuous creaminess of the avocado and its lovable hint of herbs and freshness is definitely enhanced in a gelato.

Like gelato, Magnolia Avocado Ice Cream has only 220 calories per half cup.  With avocado being the third ingredient after calcium rich milk and cream you get  essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, E, K, and B6and -- all in the form of ice cream!

Magnolia Ice Cream by Ramar Foods; a California based gourmet food company for over 40 years;  is making 18 all-natural tropical ice creams -- in buckets and as milk bars --  with pasture-raised dairy and whole fruit purees made from tropical fruits exclusively imported from the Philippines.

thai tea icea creampurple-yam

 

My favorites:  Azuki Red Bean,  cashew-langka (jackfruit ice cream with cashews),  green tea,  Thai Chi Iced Tea; lychee,  coconut, taro and mais queso – which is made with sweet yellow corn – and cheese ice cream;  ube – a sweet, deep purple yam that grows throughout Southeast Asia and Peru;   and buko pandan, a coconut-flavored ice cream sweetened by the pandan leaf – the  vanilla of Asia.

 

About Ramar Foods

Ramar Foods traces its roots back to 1969 when Ramon and Maria Quesada started a little business selling Filipino handicrafts at a San Jose street market in California. Soon afterward, that little business, known as Orientex®, found a home in Mountain View, California and began importing various frozen and dry goods, along with traditional handicrafts.

Primo Quesada, the sixth of eleven Quesada children, decided to focus the company’s direction on flavors from Asia and the Philippines and has taken Ramar Foods into a national realm of distribution and renown. The company uses time-tested family recipes for its products and prides itself on high-quality ingredients and care for dedicated customer service.

Visit www.ramarfoods.com for extended history and product information.

  • www.Facebook.com/MagnoliaIceCreamUSA.com
  • www.Twitter.com/MagnoliaScoops
  • www.Instagram.com/MagnoliaIceCream

 

 

At the beginning there was SilPad, the miracle non-stick silicone baking sheet.  Like all successful products, t was followed naturally by lookalikes of all makes and sizes.
Now comes  the COOKINA sheet, a  non-stick, PFOA free, high heat-resistant  – and most importantly – a reusable and reversible sheet that you can roll up and store in any drawer, cut up to fit the size of your pan, and clean up fast by wiping with paper towel.
After making several batches of cookies and roasting trays of vegetables with a sheet of COOKINA, I can definitely say that cooking, baking and grilling have become easier.
COOKINA Reusable Cooking Sheet:  I get the crispy bottom I want for my cookies, the caramelized factor for my veggies without having to go through dozens of rolls of aluminum foil and parchment paper; and best of all, without having to bathe the food in butter or oil.
COOKINA BBQ  Reusable Grilling Sheet:  No scrubbing the grill after a BBQ . Just place the Grilling sheet on the grill and fire up.  Steaks, hamburgers, fish and veggies will get the smoky grill marks you want, the smaller size cuts will not fall through the grid and you will be left with no messy, greasy scrubbing.
This product will be launched in May 2014 in Home Depot locations nationwide. Each sheet is $14.99 and available at amazon.com as well as in stores nationwide.  For more information, visit www.cookina.co
The third product, which I haven’t tested yet, is the COOKINA Oven Gard Protector that catches all the food drippings at the bottom of your over, They say you can simply wipe the non-stick surface with a paper towel for clean-up.
At the beginning there was SilPad, the miracle non-stick silicone baking sheet.  Like all successful products, t was followed naturally by lookalikes of all makes and sizes.  

Now comes  the COOKINA sheet, a  non-stick, PFOA free, high heat-resistant  – and most importantly – a reusable and reversible sheet that you can roll up and store in any drawer, cut up to fit the size of your pan, and clean up fast by wiping with paper towel.  

After making several batches of cookies and roasting trays of vegetables with a sheet of COOKINA, I can definitely say that cooking, baking and grilling have become easier.  
COOKINA Reusable Cooking Sheet:  I get the crispy bottom I want for my cookies, the caramelized factor for my veggies without having to go through dozens of rolls of aluminum foil and parchment paper; and best of all, without having to bathe the food in butter or oil. 

COOKINA BBQ  Reusable Grilling Sheet:  No scrubbing the grill after a BBQ . Just place the Grilling sheet on the grill and fire up.  Steaks, hamburgers, fish and veggies will get the smoky grill marks you want, the smaller size cuts will not fall through the grid and you will be left with no messy, greasy scrubbing.    
This product will be launched in May 2014 in Home Depot locations nationwide. Each sheet is $14.99 and available at amazon.com as well as in stores nationwide.  For more information, visit www.cookina.co 

The third product, which I haven’t tested yet, is the COOKINA Oven Gard Protector that catches all the food drippings at the bottom of your over, They say you can simply wipe the non-stick surface with a paper towel for clean-up.

 knifeknife 2knives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The industry saturates us with images of hip personalities showing us how to use new tools and demonstrating the value of every conceivable new brand of knives; the cheap kind of knife with a blade that will get blunted with a few days of use or the expensive knife which will tempt most everybody’s inner iron chef.

So choosing the right kitchen knife takes serious research.

In pursuit of the perfect knife, I came across Ergo Chef, a company in Danbury, Connecticut  with an interesting story*, which produces high quality knives with ergonomic handles and blades and a price I could live with remorselessly.    

I got the handsome new CRIMSON G10 6" Santoku Knife; a beauty that stands out among the other knives on my magnetic knife rack when I’m not finding every pretext to use it in food prep.

As we know, in the cutting process, your hand, wrist and grip are essential; and the ergonomically designed Crimson Series with a special handle and a precision engineered blade definitely meets the need of professional chefs and home cooks to work with less strain and fatigue on their hand, wrist, and forearm and to chop, slice and dice with guiltless pleasure.

The handle, crafted from G10 – they say it’s the world’s strongest fiberglass resin handle material  – has that gorgeous wood grain look and solidly clasps the blade’s back or spine which plunges all the way  into the handle.  It offers a comfortable grip even for small hands like mine and, increases control.  

The wide blade is made from high performance German steel which is heat treated, ground, honed & polished  for a razor sharp 16-18 degree cutting edge to allow for smooth moves,  less force and more control when the knife comes into contact with the food.  The blade’s Japanese- style Santoku, with hollow scalloped ribs along the edge, keeps foods (like potatoes) from sticking to the knife and slices like a dream.

The ERGO CHEF CRIMSON G10 6" Santoku Knife is adapted to most cutting jobs: poultry, meat or fish and  I found that slicing carrots or cutting into beets or butternut squash is like cutting into butter and it is a cinch to brunoise (cut into tiny dices)  or julienne veggies!

These guys definitely understand cooking and cooks and their need for control in the kitchen.

Another new item in ERGO CHEF’s bag of goodies to empower cooks is the stainless steel Locking DUO tongs (15’, 12” and 9”)with an ergonomic angled head half coated in silicone.

duo tong 12duo tongs greenduoartichoke 

 

These are the best tongs I ever owned!

 

 

 

 

 

Constructed from heavy duty stainless steel, the 12" DUO tong opens to 6" wide. The comfortable  non-slip grip & heavy duty spring is geared for precise control and is great for handling food in deep pots of boiling water, in fryers or on the hot grill. The 9" DUO tong opens to 4.5" wide and can lift over 6lbs. of food.  ERGO CHEF also makes a 15" Locking DUO Kitchen Tongs to fill the need of BBQ pros and aficionados.

The tongs are heat-resistant to 500 degrees F and are dishwasher-safe when placed on top rack. The ergonomic angled-head is half-coated in silicone for picking up delicate foods and prevent scratching non-stick pans.   The stainless steel side is great for extra grip and use on aluminum or steel pans. The slot in the tong head easily drains liquids when boiling or deep frying foods for no mess. Designed & tested in USA by Ergo Chef, LLC, they received the Tested & Approved Seal from Cooking Club of America.

The ERGO CHEF CRIMSON G10 6" Santoku Knife ($75 - $79) can be purchased directly from the company in Danbury, Connecticut, on their website  www.ergochef.com or via Amazon.com.  It can be purchased alone or as part of a 7-piece knife set ($459.99). The ERGO CHEF Locking DUO tongs (15’, 12” and 9”)  (around $16.99) can also be purchased alone or as part of a set in stores or on the Internet.

                                                                                                __________________________________________________

 

The story

Ergo Chef was founded by chef Scott Staib in 2002. After his training at Johnson & Wales University, Scott set out to rise through the culinary ranks. His first stop was an ultra-swanky country club where he proved his mettle as the sauté and grill chef. Next was his gig as sous chef for Aramark Food Service Corporation. He was on the fast track in foodservice when he was sidelined by tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome—a result of the repetitive motion injuries caused by frequent chopping and slicing. Without a fully-functioning wrist, Staib could not cook his dinner, let alone advance his career.
Scott found that he was not the only chef—professional or home—to suffer from tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. He enrolled his engineer brother, Mike, to help find the solution. They worked closely with designers at the family’s design and machining company in New England to research how a conventional knife fits in a chef’s hand, the movement of a chef’s wrist and hand during chopping and the angle at which a knife hits the cutting board.
Together, they crafted an ergonomically-designed knife that was a true extension of a chef’s hand. Scott’s tendonitis and carpal tunnel symptoms gradually disappeared. He sent prototypes of the knives to professional chefs, student chefs and culinary professors across the country. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Ergo Chef was born.  “Creating a series of knives with a wood grain handle has been on our drawing board for years. The Crimson Series G10 knives offer the perfect solutions for a high quality design wood grain appearance without the maintenance. The handle design coupled with the German steel and razor sharp blade offers our customers the highest quality ergonomically designed knives on the market” says Scott Staib, Founder and President of Ergo Chef.

mikeandscott* Ergo Chef was founded by chef Scott Staib in 2002. After his training at Johnson & Wales University, Scott set out to rise through the culinary ranks. His first stop was an ultra-swanky country club where he proved his mettle as the sauté and grill chef. Next was his gig as sous chef for Aramark Food Service Corporation. He was on the fast track in foodservice when he was sidelined by tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome—a result of the repetitive motion injuries caused by frequent chopping and slicing. Without a fully-functioning wrist, Staib could not cook his dinner, let alone advance his career.Scott found that he was not the only chef—professional or home—to suffer from tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. He enrolled his engineer brother, Mike  - Michael is today the company's Vice President of Sales and Marketing -   to help find the solution.

They worked closely with designers at the family’s design and machining company in New England to research how a conventional knife fits in a chef’s hand, the movement of a chef’s wrist and hand during chopping and the angle at which a knife hits the cutting board. Together, they crafted an ergonomically-designed knife that was a true extension of a chef’s hand. Scott’s tendonitis and carpal tunnel symptoms gradually disappeared. He sent prototypes of the knives to professional chefs, student chefs and culinary professors across the country. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Ergo Chef was born.  

“Creating a series of knives with a wood grain handle has been on our drawing board for years. The Crimson Series G10 knives offer the perfect solutions for a high quality design wood grain appearance without the maintenance. The handle design coupled with the German steel and razor sharp blade offers our customers the highest quality ergonomically designed knives on the market” says Scott Staib, Founder and President of Ergo Chef.XX

 

basmatiThrough November, all RiceSelect Texmati white and brown rice jar lids and labels will go pink as part of their partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).

More than 35 years ago, the makers of RiceSelect introduced Texmati, the first basmati rice to be successfully grown in America. Since then, the company has added organic, whole grain, Royal Blend®, Jasmati®, Kasmati®, Sushi, Arborio, Texmati® rice medleys all  U.S.-grown, milled and packaged.

RiceSelect believes that a food as good and wholesome as rice should remain just as Mother Nature intended it. According to the Mayo Clinic, the staples behind a Mediterranean Diet traditionally include fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice, the consumption of which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.

To that end, the company produces all of its products from non-GMO proprietary seed and grows them with its own farmers under strict supervision in the United States. This complete control through the production process allows RiceSelect to ensure that its products are not co-mingled with other varieties that may have GMO traits.

Texmati® in white, brown and light brown versions combines the qualities of basmati and American long grain rice for an inimitable nutty flavor and aroma of freshly popped popcorn.

For the sweeter, nutty flavor of Thai jasmine rice, RiceSelect also offers Jasmati rice. This jasmine-style long grain rice consists of soft and tender snowy white grains that team up with Thai dishes and cook up into a delicious holiday rice pudding.

RiceSelect’s products can be purchased in more than 30,000 grocery stores in North America. For more information, please visit www.riceselect.com .

Thanksgiving Rice with toasted almonds and cranberries
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 cup rice
½ cup slivered almonds
1 ½ cup boiling water + 2 TBSP cold water
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. cumin
1 bay leaf
½ cup dried cranberries
 
Preparation: In a sauté pan toast the slivered almonds until golden. Set aside.  Rinse the rice in a colander and let dry.
In a 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, slightly toast the ground cinnamon and cumin until fragrant. Add rice, salt and bay leaf and mix with spices for about 1 minute.  Pour the boiling water over the rice, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.  Three minutes before removing from the heat mix in the cranberries. Sprinkle with the 2 TBSP cold water. Cover. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Add toasted almonds, fluff with a fork and serve. 

 

 

Smooth and buttery, herbal, fruity and peppery with lively tannins and a pleasant mouth feel, the bottle is equipped with 
a pop-up pouring spout under the bottle cap for easy drizzling over salads, soups, or pasta dishes


seka hills pout
Séka Hills is a line of agriculture products from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, in Brooks, California.
The tribe named these products Séka Hills after the blue hills where they farm in Northern California's Capay Valley.
The Tribe manages more than 11,000 acres on which they farm a dozen crops, partner with organic growers and graze a growing herd of 200 cattle.

 

seka hills olive oilAfter you build a profitable casino, luxurious hotel and championship golf course, create an award-winning wine label, manage more than 11,000 acres of farm and ranch land—including 300 heads of cattle—and on top of it all, buy back your original tribal lands, what on earth do you do for an encore?

If you’re the very enterprising, 62-member Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation in Brooks, California. and have land in the Capay Valley known for its  Mediterranean-like climate, you make an artisanal100 percent premium extra-virgin olive oil, marketed under the tribe’s distinguished Séka Hills label. “The American consumer is really short-changed when it comes to fresh, virgin olive oil,” says Tribal Chairman Marshall McKay, reflecting on recent studies challenging the purity of many olive oils in the U.S. “So we decided one of our main quests would be to provide that for consumers.”

In line with their philosophy of tending and nurturing the land they inherited and after much research and consulting with the University of California Davis olive center, the Yocha Dehe tribe planted their first olive grove in 2008 – Arbequina olives, a Spanish variety that prospers in Mediterranean-like climates.− on 80 acres of poor, dry soil and in fall of 2011, they reaped the fruits of their labor. They now also grow Picual, Frantoio and Taggiasca varieties in medium-density planting to make a line of Séka Hills single varietal extra-virgin olive oils, all under the seal of approval from the California Olive Oil council.

Seka Hills Premium olive oil is made from estate olives that are milled within hours after harvesting at their on-site in a state-of-the-art 14,000 square foot olive mill. The mill was custom-manufactured in Florence, Italy, and among the first of its kind in the U.S.to process, store and bottle their oil.

What sets this mill apart is that it keeps the olives from the oxygen, thereby preserving freshness and flavor.seka hills caprese

 The Séka Hills handcrafted Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Capay Valley, CA, sold in 500 cl bottles, is smooth and buttery, herbal, fruity and peppery with lively tannins and a pleasant mouth feel. In addition to its high quality and taste what makes Seka Hills olive oil extremely user friendly is a pop-up pouring spout under the bottle cap for easy drizzling over salads, soups, or pasta dishes.   “We completely sold out of our first year’s production,” says Jim Etters, director of land management for the tribe.

It is remarkably affordable at $16 per bottle. To order or to find out the specialty food markets where it is available. Go to http://www.sekahills.com/Olive-Oil

 

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