Tag Archives: Cooking

School Lunch Made Easy – Freeli

Parents packing lunches, juggling home-schooling and a job, or suffering from “COVID Cooking Fatigue” are turning to Freeli Foods. So are college students!

Back-to-school is more confusing than ever, from pre-K to college. With Freeli Foods, back-to-school meals don’t need to be difficult. Freeli is the first company to develop a unique heat and eat, all-natural refrigerated meal in a pouch that is high in protein, contains no added sugar, and has no artificial ingredients. Freeli heats in a microwave in 45 seconds and can be eaten out of the pouch, in a bowl, or you can cut off the top and dig in with a spoon. Children at appropriate ages, can even make for themselves. They are the perfect recipe for when you just can’t cook another meal, are making lunch, packing lunch or sending a care package to your favorite grad or undergrad. Freeli is available in four family favorite flavors: Mac & Cheese, Pasta & Meat Sauce, Chicken Noodle, and Burrito Bowl.

Since March of 2020, sales of Freeli, packaged in grab-and-go pouches, are up more than 50%. When stay at home measures were put into place, Freeli Foods quickly pivoted to make their meals available online. With free shipping, each meal is less than $4.

As colleges return, student complaints about the meals they are receiving are going viral. Schools are struggling with how to operate during a pandemic and feeding students, especially when quarantined, is an overwhelming task. Freeli is perfect to have on hand.

“Freeli is on a mission to make healthy ‘fast’ food the norm and not the exception. With obesity and diabetes on the rise, it is time families have a better for you option that doesn’t require hours of cooking and cleaning. Freeli is a wholesome, nutritious meal or snack and is not a purée” said Matthew Sade, Founder and CEO. “Just heat the BPA-free pouch and enjoy”.

For more information click here

A Plant-Based Egg Substitute with The Same Great Eggy Taste

They say you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Whoever came up with the saying never heard of the Vegg, everything you’d want from an egg without all the bad stuff. In fact, the Vegg is 100% plant-based ingredients with the same delicious eggy taste.

“We saw a dramatic spike in sales when the pandemic hit because people wanted something that would last and was healthy, too,” said Harold A. Bollaci, C.E.O. of the Vegg New York, purveyors and distributors of the world’s healthiest 100% plant-based egg substitute. “When stay at home orders were lifted, sales didn’t slow. People realize how great the Vegg is and they are continuing to buy it.”

The Vegg offers four products that are all 100% plant-based egg substitutes.

-Vegg Yolk Mix is the company’s signature product. Add water and it replicates the taste and texture of an egg yolk.
-The Vegg Scramble Mix, packed with protein, is meant to replace a regular egg and is a stand-alone product.
-The Vegg Baking Mix, which sold out during the early part of the shutdown, is used as a binding agent in baking.
– The Vegg French Toast Mix, makes the fluffiest French Toast with fat-free and cholesterol-free plant-based egg substitute that is high in Vitamin A and B12.

There’s even a Vegg cookbook packed with 80 pages of great-tasting vegan recipes.

Although the Vegg was originally created for the vegan market, it appeals to a broad range of customers, is great for health-conscious consumers as well as those with egg allergies. It is distributed worldwide.

For more information click here

Japanese Myoshi Kitchen Knives Crafted to Inspire

Myoshi Knives was created by Eyal Azerad, a world renown sword-maker and founder of Darksword Armory Inc. For the past 23 years, Eyal Azerad has been manufacturing high-end European swords and armors for private collectors and important movie and gaming productions. Most notably, Eyal Azerad has worked closely with Ubisoft during the making of Assassin’s Creed II and the weapons for the Lord of the Rings theater adaptation, both of which have been brought to fruition in Darksword Armory’s forge in Montreal, Canada.
By travelling to museums and private collections in Europe and Japan, Eyal was able to carefully examine blades from all over the world from a standpoint of design, functionality and metallurgical composition. This affords him with a unique perspective on what makes a blade effective and elegant in both form and function.

Myoshi decided to create two distinct premium knife sets, one fitted with VG10 Titanium coated Premium Japanese steel (The Hisashi Collection) and the other set with AUS10, 67 layer folded Japanese steel (The Shogun Collection). While natural elegance is at the core of our project, we made sure to produce both knife sets with unrivaled quality and edge sharpness and retention. We honored the traditional Japanese 16 degree sharpened edge, making the blades extremely sharp for the most delicate cuts. Myoshi is live on Indiegogo. Early birds can pre-order one starting at $72.

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Culinary Conversations at the 15th Annual Decatur Book Festival

Sunday, September 6 to Wednesday, September 30

The 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival presented by Emory University, one of the largest independent book festivals in the country, has announced that the event will be completely free and virtual this year, beginning on Friday, Sept. 4, and continuing through Sunday, Oct. 4.

This year, the virtual culinary program pays tribute to African American cookbook authors and food writers. Culinary Conversations presented by Whole Foods Market will feature nationally-renowned food historians, chefs, and food and beverage writers.

Toni Tipton-Martin is the festival’s “cooknote” author; she will participate in a four-event series called Jubilee Talks, a nod to her 2020 James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking.

The culinary track also includes The Grande Dames of Southern Cuisine, a panel featuring three acclaimed southern chef authors – Virginia Willis, Nathalie Dupree, and Belinda Smith-Sullivan – as well as a conversation with James Beard Award-winning mixologist, Brad Thomas Parsons, and food photographer Battman with his book in photographs of 100 black chefs, Toques in Black.

Other featured chef-authors include Alexander Smalls (Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes from My African American Kitchen) and Adrian Miller (The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas).

In all, the Decatur Book Festival will feature an outstanding lineup of more than 40 nationally recognized authors, poets, and illustrators, including 15 of the festival’s most notable past presenters, in a series of curated panels.

The Decatur Book Festival’s virtual format, along with a slate of special events, will make the month of September feel as much like the traditional festival as possible.

All events are free and open to the public and will be available via Crowdcast, an app that is free to download. Sign up via the festival website: https://www.crowdcast.io/decaturbookfestival

During the festival events, books will be available for purchase via partner booksellers, who have been an integral part of the festival since its beginning. Booksellers are: A Capella Books, Brave and Kind Bookshop, Charis Books and More, Eagle Eye Books, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Little Shop of Stories, and Tall Tales Books. Each virtual event is co-sponsored by one of these independent booksellers.

For more information click here

Storming the Bastille Celebration

Saturday, July 11 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
French-American Chamber of Commerce – Washington DC 4101 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington D.C.

Celebrate the storming of the Bastille on Bastille Day with French music and singers, French food, a wine tasting, games, and a history presentation about the French Revolution.

On Saturday, July 11th, bring the Champs-Elysees celebrations into your living room with a very interactive cultural experience and celebration!

The Spirit of Bastille Day comes alive with a multi-faceted party that will offer you live French music, a cooking class, a wine tasting, background videos, and a top DJ who will make you dance on the latest French and US hits!

Plus, we will break out interactive rooms for a short session during the evening to offer some special French one on one interactions and experiences with your fellow revelers!

– Champagne Tasting (VIP time – starts at 8:pm)
– Jennifer Bergamot-Rose sings classic French songs
– French wine tasting with Jordan Lynn Traylor of Chateau de Pommard
– Live French music with Jeremy Lodeon
– Let Them Eat Cake with Chef Hughes Cossard
– Special Guest: Louis XVI (complete with his head on his shoulders…)
– Know Your Louis! A history specialist tells you why the French revolted.
– Breaking Rooms
– Let’s celebrate: Finish the night with a DJ spinning French and American hits!

For more information click here

ConnectIt Magnetic BBQ Tool Set – Proud Grill

A great way to spend a day in isolation is in your backyard with your BBQ Grill! You don’t need a lot of fancy tools to be a Grill Master either; in fact, the brand new, simple and sleek Connect it Magnetic 2 Piece BBQ Tool Set from Proud Grill is all you need! Simply connect 2 tools for 4 different uses: a spatula, fork, tongs or a server, depending on your needs. The magic is in the unique magnetic handles so the spatula and fork can be used individually and you connect them together as a tong or server. And when you are done the 2 piece set nestles of top of each other for slim easy storage. The Connect it BBQ Tool versatile handle system makes for a fun and ideal accessory for the backyard grill enthusiast. The Connect it BBQ Tools can even hang from your stainless steel BBQ, metal Smoker or Ceramic Grill side shelf while grilling. These elegant and contemporary tools are made of durable, high quality stainless steel and will be a lifelong investment in all your BBQ adventures!

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Good Dee’s “Just Add Water” Frosting Mixes

Good Dee’s whips up the perfect treat for health-conscious frosting lovers with an all-new, patent-pending Just Add Water collection of low-carb, deliciously simple mixes sweetened with low-calorie allulose and erythritol. Founded and led by native Texan-turned-New Yorker Deana Karim, Good Dee’s delivers a wide selection of full-flavored, low-carb baking mixes and pantry essentials. Using only the highest-quality, innovative ingredients and no added sugar, the clean-eating company proudly offers options compatible with most diets, including gluten, soy, wheat and nut. Now, enjoy the endless possibilities of all-new Just Add Water frosting mixes – including Cream Cheese Frosting, White Chocolate Frosting, and Dark Chocolate Frosting – ideal for cakes, dips, ganaches, hot chocolate, and more.

Free of gluten and maltitol, Good Dee’s Just Add Water frosting mixes are a delight for the tastebuds and a cleaner approach to baking. The Cream Cheese variety is sugar alcohol-free and sweetened with allulose, a low-glycemic alternative found naturally in dried fruit that offers a similar taste and texture to sugar. The White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate varieties are sweetened with erythritol, a naturally occurring, low-calorie sugar substitute. Simply combine Just Add Water frosting mix with 3 tablespoons of water to enjoy a creamy treat that pairs perfectly with desserts, dips, beverages, or picnic spreads, and stays just-whipped fresh for up to one week in the fridge.

Cream Cheese Frosting features just 60 calories (455 calories for the total batch) and 1g net carbs per serving, delivering a rich, unmistakable cream cheese flavor that pairs perfectly with carrot cake, sweet apples, or salty pretzels. White Chocolate Frosting features just 35 calories (420 for the total batch) and 1g net carbs, working well as a delectable whipped cream replacement alongside key lime, green apples, or sea salt caramel. Dark Chocolate Frosting features just 25 calories and 2g net carbs per serving (300 for the total batch), offering up an ideal complement to mint, fresh banana, or tart berries. Each mix offers 13 delectable servings and around 35 calories per 2 tablespoons.

Featuring nothing but real, honest ingredients, discover the full collection of delectable Good Dee’s all-in-one baking mixes (just $11.99 each) and health-conscious pantry staples at select natural food stores, supermarket chains, and independent grocery stores nationwide. Explore new Cream Cheese Frosting, White Chocolate Frosting, and Dark Chocolate Frosting Just Add Water mixes, along with tantalizing baking mixes like Blueberry Pancake and Low-Carb Chocolate Brownie, at GoodDees.com. Get inspired by innovative clean eating recipes and baking ideas to satisfy every craving on Instagram @GoodDeesMix.

About Good Dee’s:

Created and founded by native Texan-turned-New Yorker Deana Karim, Good Dee’s proves that health-conscious living and decadent indulgence really do mix. Give in to cravings guilt-free with Good Dee’s complete collection of baking mixes designed for low-carb, restricted, and special diets. The tasty solution to a lifetime of deprivation and struggle with weight gain, Good Dee’s offers innovative, full-flavor mixes free of gluten, soy, wheat, and added sugar. Also available in nut-free brownie, blondies, chocolate snack cake, and muffin mix. Learn more and shop all flavors and varieties – priced at just $11.99 each – online at GoodDees.com. Find inspirational recipes and baking ideas on Instagram @GoodDeesMix.

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Limited Edition Grill Box – Vital Choice

Vital Choice has a new Limited Edition product, the Limited Edition GrillBox, just in time to order for Father’s Day and it is the ultimate grilling gift for any grillmaster!

Summer favorites and grilling planks is, what I think, makes this the ultimate gift and, with a savings of over $40, it has everything your grill master would want for $149 (valued at $196) including:
Skin-on Wild Sockeye Salmon portions
Sockeye Salmon Burgers
Wild Mahi Mahi,
Wild Artisan Shrimp
Alder Grilling planks

For more information click here

The Future of Instagram-Worthy Treats is the Hawaiian Mochi Donut

2013: The Year of the Cronut
2014: The Year of the Cookie Shot
2015: The Year of the Mega Milkshakes
2020: The Year of the Hawaiian Mochi Donut
The past decade has seen a variety of unique, fun dessert trends (not all of which were started by Dominique Ansel) take over different food scenes across the country. Not only have all of these desserts become massively popular food items, causing eager patrons to stand in line for a fleeting taste of these stunning and tasty treats, they’ve also become internet sensations, leaping off the screen with bright colors and visible textures.

Now, it’s time for the Hawaiian Mochi Donut to shine.
Get to know this unique treat:

Mochi Foods Hawaiian Mochi Donuts are made with a glutinous rice flour that gives an extra chewiness to each bite. The Hawaiian Mochi Donut is made with a premixed powder that was created through tireless efforts to find the perfect rice flour. The flour was chosen based on taste and that wonderful chewy texture on the inside and crispy exterior that produces a truly toothsome treat. All of the Mochi Foods Hawaii products have a unique mochi taste and Q texture that were developed by an acclaimed Taiwanese food scientist team. The “Q” factor is Taiwan’s version of the Italian “al dente,” representing the perfectly calibrated “mouth feel,” sought after and craved by savvy chefs and diners alike. The flavor? Well, that’s where you come in; there are nearly unlimited options when it comes to adding flavors and other textures to your Hawaiian Mochi Donuts by Mochi Foods.

When restaurants and bakeries become part of the Mochi Foods ‘ohana (family), they don’t just receive a bag of premix; they receive support, ideas, and collaboration — a true partnership, with Mochi Foods owner Pei Wu. In addition to this quality product she provides product knowledge and consulting services to help create the perfect products for your customers, as well as assistance with selecting and ordering any necessary equipment, and more.

“I really like to work with chefs to create different ideas. The most fun part of this whole business is supporting chefs as they get the spark to create their own donuts; the sky’s the limit with our premixes,” Wu said.
Here’s something to chew on…

According to Candy & Snack Today, a trade publication by the National Confectioners Association, there are a variety of food trends for 2020 that Hawaiian Mochi Donuts hit the mark on:

“Other” flours: “Seasoned and amateur bakers are looking for creative ingredients and an array of interesting flours…to entice the adventurous.” Our rice flour may not seem exotic, but the way that we use it certainly is.

Texture is also coming into focus for diners. The trade report mentions that “Innova reports 45 percent of US and U.K. consumers are influenced by texture when making purchases, while 68 percent are of the opinion that texture contributes to a more interesting experience.” When customers bite into a Hawaiian Mochi Donut, they get both crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Because the premix is highly customizable, individual restaurants and bakers can also add their own flare, opening up the product to incorporate other trending ingredients. Items mentioned in the report that would go great with Hawaiian Mochi Donuts include Kona coffee (another wonderful Hawaiian product), unusual butters (made with pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, etc), and complex sugars that rely on natural sweetness (think glazes made from sweet potatoes).

Mochi Foods premixes can be used to make a wide variety of products including: bread, donuts, waffles, pancakes, hamburger buns, churros, and so much more. They make great additions to bakeries, restaurants, and food trucks. They’re wonderful as desserts and snacks and make a fun addition to any brunch service.

You’re only limited by how far your imagination… and Hawaiian Mochi Donut dough… will stretch.

Mochi-based desserts and pastries are not over-the-top or hard to prepare (unless you want them to be). They are highly customizable and appeal to a wide variety of people. Americans aren’t unfamiliar with desserts and snacks with Asian ingredients and techniques. The Hong Kong-style egg waffle and Thai rolled ice cream have both had their moments in the past few years.

“The Hawaiian Mochi Donut is a treat that visitors and locals alike have developed a passion for. Hawaii is the place in the middle of the Pacific where East meets West. It’s easy for lots of different people to fall in love with the food that comes from Hawaii, and Hawaiian Mochi Donuts are no exception,” Wu said.

Use Mochi Foods products to:

Breathe new life into an aging menu

Appeal to new customers by offering the next big thing

Be inclusive of customers with dietary restrictions

Create visually stunning treats that not only taste good, but create excitement and demand

Mochi Foods Hawaiian Mochi Donuts are currently being served at locations in 13 states in the US, as well as some international locations. Stores are popping up to serve their own versions of the treat, snacks that are both sweet and savory. At Mochill in San Francisco they’re topping donuts with Fruity Pebbles and Kinako (a soybean powder popular in Japan). At King’s Hawaiian in Torrance, CA they’re serving up a traditional Hawaiian loco moco using a mochi donut to replace the rice. At Fat Straws Bubble Tea Co. in Richardson, TX their “Chewy Puff Donuts” include cookies and cream and strawberry flavors. At Liliha Bakery in Honolulu their poi donuts are just as popular as their famous coco puffs.

Mochi Foods has premixes available for donuts, waffles, bread, and pancakes. In addition, there is a gluten-free option that won the Monde Select Gold Award in 2019.

For more information click here

Break an Egg!: The Broadway Cookbook

Recently on her blog The Geeky Hostess, author/blogger Tara Theoharis revealed the cover of her amazing new cookbook BREAK AN EGG! THE BROADWAY COOKBOOK (Insight Editions; Sept 1 2020)– the cookbook with over 50 recipes inspired by Broadway’s classic musicals.

Some of the book’s recipes include:

The Wizard and Ice – Wicked

Schnitzel With Noodles – The Sound of Music

Eggrolls for Mr. Goldstone – Gypsy

Too Darn Hot Sauce – Kiss Me, Kate

Another Vodka Stinger – Company

Mama’s Well-Peppered Ragu – Chicago

And 50+ more!!

Here are two sample recipes: “Laurie’s Prize-Winning Tarts” from Oklahoma and “Totally Shucked” from Spring Awakening. Enjoy!

For more information click here

Live Virtual Baking Happy Hour

Friday, April 17 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Facebook Live

Join Middleburg Life for a LIVE virtual Baking Happy Hour! Learn how to make ~ Key Lime Pie ~ with Kaitlin Hill (Chef, Food Editor, Caterer)

We invite you to follow along with Kaitlin baking your own pie using her recipe from April’s issue: bit.ly/SpringBreakDesserts

Can’t get the ingredients in time? Just sit back with a glass of wine and watch the magic happen! BONUS – Post of picture of your finished pie in the comments section of the video and the BEST PIE picture wins a GIFT CARD to Greenhill Winery & Vineyards

When: Friday, April 17th – 4 PM
Where: Facebook.com/Middleburglife

For more information click here

Imbibe with your tribe

Kafina Organic Elixir has modified several popular holiday drinks with a plant-based “vegan” and well being twist to create a healthy alternative for you to have and serve. We have included an egg-less Eggnog to sip while trimming the tree, a delicious Espresso Martini for a festive before the dinner drink and a twist to a White Russian for sipping by the fire. Available: www.kafinaenergy.com Price: 8-Pack $25; 32-Pack $92

Kafina Vegan Eggnog or the Egg(less)nog (Makes 4-6 Drinks)


  • 2 Cans of 15 ounces of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Bottle of Kafina Energy Elixir
  • 2 Ounces of Rum
  • 1/2 Cup of water
  • 6 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon


  • Blend ingredients and chill for an hour.
  • Pour into your favorite holiday glasses.
  • Finish off with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a sprig of rosemary or other garnish.

Kafina Expresso Martini Topped


  • 2 Ounces of Vodka
  • 1/2 Ounce of Kafina Energy Elixir
  • 1/2 Ounce of Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 Ounce of Coffee
  • 1 Ounce of Espresso


  • 3 Coffee Beans


  • Add ingredients in a martini shaker with ice and shake.
  • Use the shaker strainer and pout into a martini glass.
  • Take the three beans and place them in the middle of the drink!
  • Voila!

The Kafina Vegan White Russian


  • 1/2 Ounce of Vodka
  • 1/2 Ounce of Kafina Energy Elixir
  • 1/2 Ounce of Kahlua Liquor or other Vegan Coffee Liquor
  • 1/2 Cup of Coconut Milk


  • 1 Teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice for Topping


  • Shake Coconut Milk in a separate glass or jar. Set aside.
  • Shake the Vodka, Kafina, Kahlua in a martini glass and pour over ice.
  • Pour the Coconut Milk into the glass and let it meld into the liquor and elixir.
  • Top with Pumpkin Spice.

NOTE: Kahlua is vegan friendly except for the following products: Kahlua Drinks to Go and Ready-to-Drink, which contain milk proteins ok for vegetarians not vegans. Kahlúa Drinks-to-Go (DTGs) and the Kahlúa Ready-to-Drink (RTDs) contain milk proteins. Kahlua Especial and Mocha ARE vegan.

For more information click here