WCPO, Cincy Lifestyle Segment: National Cranberry Day and Puff Pastry Swirls

I had the pleasure of hosting a television segment on Friday, November 20th with WCPO 9 News, Cincinnati.  The segment focused on celebrating National Cranberry Day which was right on time for the Thanksgiving holiday!
For many of us, cranberries are a staple side dish with our holiday feast but in the segment, I shared a new recipe, Cranberry Puff Pastry Swirls.
RECIPE:  Karen’s Naturals Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Swirls
● 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
● 3 Tbsp salted butter, melted
● 6 oz. Brie cheese
● ¾ cup Karen’s Naturals Just Cranberries
● 3 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
3. Dice Brie cheese and remove the rind
1. Unroll the puff pastry and brush with 1 Tbsp of melted butter
2. Sprinkle pastry with 1-2 Tbsp of cinnamon sugar
3. Sprinkle diced brie and cranberries evenly on top of the pastry
4. Beginning at the long end, tightly roll the pastry
5. Brush the pastry with the remaining melted butter
6. Coat the roll with cinnamon sugar
7. Cut the roll into 16 swirls
8. Place swirls onto a baking sheet
9. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until
This simple dish can be served for brunch or an additional pastry appetizer with a warm cup of holiday tea.  To watch the lifestyle segment, click on the link https://www.facebook.com/CincyLifestyle/videos/218152979726399

6 Gift Ideas for Home Cooks: The Ultimate Foodie

What makes a good gift is something that is both practical and personal to the person you are giving it to. And if you are looking for gift ideas for a friend or family member who loves to cook in the kitchen, then you have come to the right place for suggestions that will inspire them to invite you over for dinner the next time they are preparing a delicious meal. Here are six great gift ideas for your favorite home cook.

1. Mixing Bowls

A mixing bowl is an essential piece of cookware for any cook, especially if they love to bake. The primary use if a mixing bowl is to mix ingredients together. If you want to make this gift even better, consider getting mixing bowls of different sizes, at least three of them, because sometimes it is necessary to mix ingredients separately.

2. Mixer

If the home cook already has mixing bowls, consider getting them a mixer instead so that they can find it easier to combine ingredients together. With a mixer, one can easily make cookie dough, mixing all the various ingredients, such as flour and milk, without getting their hands dirty. It doesn’t even matter how thick the dough is, a mixer will make the dough smooth and delicious should you want to lick it off the bowl.

3. Professional Knife Set

Professional knife sets are made with versatility in mind, allowing the user to use them in a number of cooking applications. Most professional knife sets come with a number of knives for a variety of uses, whether it is chopping vegetables or cutting meat. Since they are made for professionals, they are usually more efficient, durable and stylish than your conventional knives.

4. Bamboo Chopping Board

Bamboo chopping boards have replaced wooden ones due to their low maintenance, beauty, and durability. A common problem with wooden boards is that they can be a breeding ground for bacteria because they can easily be chipped by professional chef knives, creating moisture pockets that breed these dangerous microorganisms. This is not sanitary and it is bad for health. Bamboo cutting boards, however, are stronger and resistant to moisture buildup since they are also resistant to water penetration.

5. Apron

When getting gifts for cooks, people usually overlook the apron because it seems like a decorative garment more than anything else, which is not the case. Aprons are quite protective since they prevent the wearer’s clothes from getting stained, considering that the kitchen can be a messy place. Most importantly, professional quality chef aprons are made from high-quality fabric that is flame and heat resistant, which protects the wearer from open flames and the spills and splatter of hot liquids. Don’t know where to get these kinds of aprons?

6. Cookbook

People who love to cook also love to experiment. They do this to try new delicious recipes and improve their cooking skills, and nothing helps them with these goals than a cookbook. This makes it a great gift idea for home cooks (or any cook for that matter) because it challenges them to step out of their comfort zones and spend more time in the kitchen.

With these great ideas in mind, you can finally get your favorite home cook a great present to show them how much you recognize and respect their love for cooking. Getting any one of these items is guaranteed to enhance their cooking experience, and you might even get a tasty meal out of it when they show you their gratitude.

PBFit All Natural Peanut Butter Powder: Healthy Product Review

Let’s pause for a moment to talk about health and fitness.  This topic’s important not just because it’s almost swimsuit season.  Being healthy has a huge impact on our well-being in terms of living well.  A few of my fellow Instagram buddies made the suggestion of drinking meal replacements in the mornings to shed a few pounds.

If you’re a fitness enthusiast we all know the unappealing taste of meal replacement powders.  Yuck.  PBFit has created a new powder that sheds pounds with the delicious taste of Peanut Butter.  This yummy powder can be added to smoothies, shakes, and waffle batter!

Product Review:

I received the product last month because I am eager to shed a few pounds before summer!  My morning routine includes drinking a smoothie to ensure that I’m getting the right amount of fruits and vegetables.  I also love peanut butter and this was an easy option as a mid-morning snack.

The flavored powder tasted delicious and I can’t wait to create more recipes with the mixture.  We all know that eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has the same amount of calories as eating a candy bar.  PBFit has 90% less fat and it’s made with real peanuts.

Let’s take this fitness journey together and try PBFit recipes.  It’s a fun and easy way to get fit and eat well too!

Healthy Snack with Apple

Chocolate Strawberry and Banana Smoothie Recipe

2 Bananas

10 Strawberries

1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil

2 TBsp of Chocolate PBFit

8 Ice Cubes

2 cups of water

Blend the ingredients and enjoy!


Amazon Prime Now: The Holiday Shopping Procrastinator’s Delight

Prime Now, Amazon’s superfast delivery service, will deliver up until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 24 – coming to the rescue for last-minute holiday shoppers. Whether you need to buy one final gift or re-stock on holiday party supplies and decorations, Prime Now has you covered and can deliver those items to customers’ doors within one hour or less!

Featured Photo from Daily Mirror

Since launching in Manhattan in December 2014, Prime Now has expanded to more than 30 cities across the U.S. and includes more than 20 local stores and thousands of restaurants in the service. In select cities, Prime Now also offers delivery of beer, wine and spirits. Some of the hottest items available for superfast delivery this holiday season include:

Prime Now offers Prime members free two-hour delivery windows for delivery by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 24 when they order by 9:00 p.m. local time. Through Prime Now, customers receive free two-hour delivery and one-hour delivery for a fee. Prime members can shop on www.primenow.com or download the Prime Now app, available on iOS and Android devices, and receive real time status updates on their order.

Celebrate National Drink Wine Day 2017

February is home to one of the lesser known holidays. No, it is not Valentine’s Day. February 18 is National Drink Wine Day. National Drink Wine Day is a real holiday. I know, I know a holiday which finally recognizes your favorite past-time. It is a joyful moment.

It is undocumented when the holiday was first celebrated, but it is a nationally recognized holiday. National Drink Wine Day was created to celebrate the ceremony and popularity of drinking wine.   Drinking wine is woven into the fabric of our culture for over 6,000 years. Wine is used to celebrate milestone moments like weddings, and anniversaries. Wine a part of religious ceremonies and communal events. And, wine is simply enjoyed after a long day of work.

Throughout the years’ wine drinking has been stigmatized. Wine drinkers have been labeled elitists. This unfortunate label may have resulted from wine tasting becoming a career and study. People professing their knowledge, rather than expressing their enjoyment. National Drink Wine Day’s goal is to end this perception and bring the enjoyment and fun back!

If you are unsure how you can celebrate February 18, here are some suggestions:

  1. Host a “blind” wine tasting – Invite friends over and ask them to bring a bottle of wine. Before you serve the wine, hide the wine label. Give them clues about the wine, then ask them to guess what type of wine you served. A lot of laughter and awes will ensue.

  1. Make wine cocktails – Vodka, and Gin are not the only bases for a good cocktail. Wine is often used for a good cocktail like a Sangria. Pinterest has several wine cocktails recipes.

  1. Take a wine tasting class – Wine schools are offering basic wine tasting classes. This is a great opportunity to learn more about wine or wine and food pairings. You can Google wine tasting classes. You will be surprised how many are offered near year.

  1. Visit a vineyard – Maryland has over 72 vineyards. There is almost a vineyard in every county in Maryland. The Maryland Wine Association has a map and listing of the vineyards in Maryland. Many of the vineyards are opened from noon until 5:00 pm and do not require an appointment.

  1. Attend an instore wine tasting – Many fine wine stores have free instore tastings on the weekends. Wine distributors are on site to share their latest wine. Some stores have up to 6 wines to taste and will offer discounts when you purchase one of those wines.

  1. Be adventurous and try a different wine with your favorite dish – We all get stuck in a wine rut. Something different with your favorite dish. The staff at your favorite wine store can assist you with selecting a new wine.

  1. Order a bottle of wine, instead a glass of wine – Instead of ordering a glass of wine at dinner order the bottle. Especially if you are going to have more than one glass of wine, it may be cheaper to purchase the bottle. There is a sizeable price mark up of wine at restaurants. Do not worry about not finishing the bottle. You can take the bottle home if you do not finish it. Ask the waiter recork the bottle.

  1. Share the gift of wine – Give your bestie a bottle of their favorite wine. Remember, National Drink Wine Day is to share the wine drinking experience.

  1. Conduct a vertical wine tasting – A vertical wine tasting is when you try the same type of wine but the producer, region or year is different. For example, you try a Chardonnay from California, New Zealand, South Africa and France. You will be amazed how the same grape is produced differently around the world.

  1. Pour a glass of wine – Simply open a bottle of wine, pour a glass of wine and enjoy. National Drink Day is meant for you to enjoy the splendor of wine without fanfare.

About the author – Ms. Leslie Frelow is the owner of Vino 301 Wine Concierge an all-inclusive wine tours and events company. She writes a weekly blog about wine tasting and Maryland vineyards. You can read more of Vino 301’s blogs at www.vino301.com/blog Vino 301 Wine Concierge offers wine tours to Maryland’s vineyards and wineries as well as wine tasting classes.

Workout Style – Mistakes You Should Avoid and Tips

Activewear for women has never been as exciting as it is today. From bold prints to more creative designs, it’s easier than ever to look good when you’re working out. As well as making you feel amazing about how you look, it can also help you have a more effective workout. But even with more choice, styles, and colors some of us are still not getting out workout style quite right. This can make us feel uncomfortable and lowers our enthusiasm for exercising. So if you want to create a unique and effective workout style, here are some common mistake you need to avoid.

Wearing clothes that are too tight or loose

Wearing active wear that doesn’t fit you correctly is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Clothing that is too loose will lack the support your body needs to avoid injury. The excess fabric can also easily get caught in the gym equipment which increases your chances of a fall. On the other hand, activewear that is too tight is also not a good idea either. It can cause you to overheat, restricts your movement and makes you feel very uncomfortable. This can make you feel unwell and also increases the risk of accidents and injury. To avoid making this mistake, buy activewear that is the right size and fits comfortably. Search for brands like Lorna Jane online for activewear in a range of different sizes.


Wearing too many accessories

While accessories can help transform an outfit, they aren’t always practical or safe for the gym. Long necklaces, for instance, can easily get caught in machinery or get tangled causing a strangulation hazard. The noise created by bangles when you move can also cause distractions that could force you to lose concentration. This could cause accidents and injuries to you and to others. To avoid this, keep your accessories to a minimum. Also, consider what accessories could help you have a more effective workout. Wristbands, headbands and fitness trackers might all be options you consider. Store your jewelry in a locker at your gym or keep them in your gym bag until your workout is over.

Only thinking about the color

The color of your activewear is often what makes it so appealing. The extensive range of colors available also means you can be bolder with what you wear. But only focusing on the color of your activewear can be a huge mistake. You may choose a pair of legging that coordinate perfectly with your favorite crop top, but the fit and quality of fabric might not be ideal. This can often result in you having to replace items regularly. Overtime, this can be a costly mistake to make. Instead of just choosing activewear based on color, think about the fabric, function and fit too. This will ensure you choose clothing that lasts longer while still looking good.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can create a workout wardrobe that’s comfortable, stylish and suitable. You’ll find that you are more eager than ever to get your fitness regime started.

collaborative post

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen – Birmingham

We decided to dine at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen due to our love of Cajun cuisine.  I grew up in the Deep South; born in Mobile, Alabama.  There are several memories of my family fishing and hosting crawfish boils. My aunts would also meet-up (weekly) at my grand mother’s home with a huge pot of Gumbo.  The menu would included fried okra, boiled corn, seafood gumbo, and snow crab legs.

Needless to say, I was excited to fill my stomach with this delicious meal.  I ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Brochette, Dirty Rice with Spinach on the side.  This was no ordinary shrimp because it’s actually wrapped in bacon, infused with jalapeño and Monterey Jack Cheese.  We ended the meal with a shared slice of Chocolate Cake.

“It’s not what we have in our life but who we have in our life that matters” author J. M. Laurence



Prime Now: Amazon Celebrates Mother’s Day with One-Hour Flower Delivery & Other Essentials

Amazon Prime

From now through Mother’s Day, Amazon’s Prime Now delivery service will offer one-hour delivery of everything you need to make Mother’s Day special including flowers, food and gifts. Whether you’re looking to order a tasty meal from mom’s favorite restaurant, or want to treat her to a breakfast in bed complete with homemade pancakes, Prime Now has everything you need to make it a Mother’s Day to remember.


In Baltimore, Prime Now is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Two-hour delivery is free and one-hour delivery is available for $7.99. The fresh flowers will be available through Mother’s Day, May 8. All Prime members can download the Prime Now app, available on iOS and Android devices, and will be notified when the service is available in their zip code.


Sparkling Ice Teas New Flavors – Product Review

WHAT: Sparkling Ice®, part of the Talking Rain® Beverage Company portfolio, announced a new packaging design for its great tasting, zero calorie, Sparkling Ice Tea product line, which now includes Lemon Tea, Raspberry Tea, Peach Tea and new Half & Half flavors.

Sparkling Ice

The introduction of the Sparkling Ice Tea collection in early 2015 provided the brand with a new opportunity to expand on-shelf presence at retailers nationwide by offering a variety of products in assorted categories to meet a wide-range of consumer demands. The new packaging features bold colors and bright fonts designed to reflect each of the Sparkling Ice Tea flavors and refreshing characteristics.

As part of the new design debut, Sparkling Ice will also merge its current Sparkling Ice Lemonade with Tea product into the tea collection, renaming the flavor “Sparkling Ice Tea Half & Half.” Half & Half has the same great taste that consumers have come to love, and makes the perfect addition to Sparkling Ice Tea’s line of refreshing pick-me-ups that deliver just the right amount of fizz.

The full Sparkling Ice Teas collection now includes, Raspberry Tea, Lemon Tea, Peach Tea, and Half & Half flavors.

WHEN: April 5th, 2016

WHY: As the leaders in the sparkling water category, Sparkling Ice continuously seeks out new opportunities to meet the demands of our dedicated customers. Through the redesign and expansion of its Ice Tea collection, Sparkling Ice is responding directly to consumers searching for healthier beverage options.

WHERE: The new teas packaging is currently available in select retail outlets across the country via single serve bottles. For more information about Sparkling Ice products and flavors, please visit www.SparklingIce.com and www.facebook.com/SparklingICE.

About Sparkling Ice Beverages:
Sparkling Ice beverages combine sparkling water, natural flavors, fruit juice, vitamins and antioxidants to offer a great tasting lightly carbonated beverage, all without the calories. Sparkling Ice is the Bold Side of Water, offering a bold, flavored, lightly-carbonated beverage that appeals to all age groups. Available in eleven refreshing flavors: Black Raspberry, Orange Mango, Pink Grapefruit, Kiwi Strawberry, Coconut Pineapple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Peach Nectarine, Lemon Lime, Crisp Apple, Cherry Limeade, Strawberry Watermelon and new in 2016 Black Cherry. Sparkling Ice Lemonades, launched in 2013, are available in three refreshing flavors: Classic Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade and Peach Lemonade. Sparkling Ice Teas launched nationally in 2015 and include Peach Tea, Raspberry Tea, Lemon Tea and Half & Half flavors. SPARKLING ICE can be found in retailers nationwide. Sparkling Ice is part of the Talking Rain family of beverages, and retails for $1.19-$1.29. To locate Sparkling Ice, visit www.sparklingice.com/locate/.

Review – 

Truthfully, we consume too many beverages that are not healthy.  Our selections are either loaded with sugar, sodium, acid, or caffeine.  In a previous life (teaching Nutrition and Foods) I learned that anything your body craves is considered a deficit.  This means your body has a lack of the proper vitamins or minerals.

Sparkling Ice is a great substitute from our normal unhealthy beverages because it’s caffeine free, gluten-free, and zero calories.  To make this beverage more appealing, it comes in a variety of flavors!

My first connection with the product was actually through my husband.  He tested one for me (smile) and said, “Kim this tastes really good!”  From that point, I have started to sip Sparkling Ice as a soda substitute.  My favorite flavor is the Raspberry Tea.

Take my advice and try Sparkling Ice Tea to get on track with your dietary needs!


Lotus Bliss Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Center – Spa Week

It’s been a while since I’ve indulged in a good spa service. Life can get very busy and we often forget to take time out for ourselves!

Luckily, we can (all) visit the spa and still splurge on a new pair of pumps.  Spa Week is a great time to check out local wellness or beauty centers.  Anyone can sign up on the website and find discounted treatments.  A few of the $50 services include Eucalyptus Mint Massage, Cat-Eye Lash Extensions, Aloe Vera Jelly Pedicure, or Chemical Peel Treatment.


I was invited to visit Lotus Bliss Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Center.  The service I received was the Custom Lotus Bliss Massage.

Prior to starting my treatment, the owner (Nicole Stokes) shared a few facts:

  1. The center specializes in wellness and all of the products used are organic (bath salts, lotions, candles.)
  2. The services also include special enhancements such as sinus relief massage, scalp massage, thermal softening treatment, and custom aromatherapy.
  3. The practitioners have a medical or science background which enhances the total spa experience.


Lotus Bliss Spa Review – 

My massage started with selecting a few essentials oils, depending on my personal preference.  I made the selection based on relaxation.  From there, I was able to smell the aroma while Nicole created a special lotion. My treatment also included a stimulating face massage (infused with essential oils.)  The steam instantly relaxed my facial muscles and allowed for easier breathing.

Nicole also shared information about the Chronic Pain and Lymphatic Massage.  This particular treatment is encouraged (or suggested after doctor recommendation) for those suffering with specific illnesses such as fibromyalgia.


The experience of visiting Lotus Bliss Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Center was truly an educational session.  I learned a lot about aromatherapy and the health benefits associated with receiving a massage.  The center also sales products to their customers that will enhance their body treatment at home such as bath salts, essential oils, or massage balls.

Visit their website to learn more and book an appointment.

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