Friday, January 31, 2014

Enjoy final day of Prime Rib Dinner special at Fleming's

This weekend is your last chance to visit Fleming's for the Sunday Prime Rib Dinner for just $29.95. The dinner includes three courses and the special, which ran during the month of January finishes up on Sunday, February 2nd. So, make those reservations and prepare to dig in. Who need to watch football when you've got prime rib?

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Announces a Specially-Priced Sunday Prime Rib Dinner for a Limited Time, Just $29.95

WHAT:                             Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar celebrates Sundays with a very specially-priced dinner. Guests can enjoy this seasonal treat each Sunday from January 5th to February 2nd.

WHO:                                Guests are invited to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy this three-course menu for the special price of $29.95 every Sunday (January 5th to February 2nd).

WHERE:                           Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
All locations during normal hours – Sunday nights only*
                                          To find a location near you and make reservations, please visit Fleming’s website
*Fleming’s Prime Rib Dinner is available every Sunday, but at this special price of $29.95 through February 2nd only

OPPORTUNITIES:          Guests start the experience with a choice of salad including the New Wedge, Fleming’s Salad or Modern Caesar, followed by the Fleming’s Prime Rib served au jus, creamy horseradish and Dijon Sauces, and a choice of side. Guests can end this culinary treat with the dessert of their choice.

ABOUT:                           Nationally acclaimed Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar offers the best in steakhouse dining – Prime meats and chops, fresh fish and poultry, generous salads and side orders — with a unique wine list known as the Fleming’s 100®, which features over 100 wines served by the glass. Fleming’s was launched in Newport Beach, California, in 1998 by successful restaurant industry veterans Paul Fleming and Bill Allen. Today there are 65 restaurants nationwide, including the latest Fleming’s, debuted in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas opening January 17th. Fleming’s is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including Wine Enthusiast’s annual Award of Distinction andWine Spectator’s annual Award of Excellence. For more information about Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and the Fleming’s 100®,please visit

Enjoy flatbread sliders for game day

It's getting down to the wire. We're just hours away from kick-off of the biggest football game of the year and one of the biggest eating days of the year. The folks at Kontos sent me this fabulous recipe to share for flatbread sliders - a perfect addition to your game day buffet!

A Page from The Kontos Cookbook… Get Ready for the Big Game
with Delicious Flatbread Sliders!

Warm, flavorful mini hamburgers on cocktail flatbread make great party food

Paterson, N.J. – Jan. 8, 2014 – Want to offer something new and delicious this year for your football party buffet? Try sliders served on cocktail-sized flatbread.

Your guests will sink their teeth into these delicious mini burgers, which are the perfect size for snacking. Here’s how to make easy sliders on mini Cocktail Flatbread. (This recipe can be attributed to Kontos Foods, a Paterson, NJ provider of traditional Mediterranean foods.)

  • Using any preferred ground beef, make patties approximately 2” in diameter. Season and grill to taste.
  • Melt your favorite cheese – American, cheddar or Swiss – on top of burger.
  • Place cooked burger between two pieces of Kontos Foods’ Cocktail Flatbread. (Note: Cut 2” diameter pieces from regular Kontos Flatbread if you don’t have Cocktail Flatbreads.)
  • Top with relish, ketchup, etc., as desired.
Superbowl food ideas 3
 “A huge part of the fun of football parties is the food, and these sliders provide a great complement to the usual fare of nachos, veggie dips and other appetizers,” said Steve Kontos, vice president of Kontos Foods. “In a burger, very often the type of bread makes the meal. Guests will love the delicious taste of Kontos Foods’ Cocktail Flatbread, which are made with wholesome ingredients and hand-stretched for the perfect consistency and fluffiness.”

Here are some other cocktail flatbread recipes to try:

Open-Face Salmon Appetizer

  • Slice strips or cubes of smoked salmon, enough to cover one piece of Kontos Cocktail Flatbread.
  • Garnish with Horseradish mayonnaise and sliced avocado.

Open-Face Beef/Pork Loin Appetizer

  • Place sliced strips of grilled beef or pork tenderloin to cover one piece of Kontos Cocktail Flatbread.
  • Garnish with Horseradish mayonnaise, scallion or dill to preference.

Open-Face Chicken/Tuna Salad Appetizer

  • Place dollop of chicken or tuna sliced to aptly cover one piece of Kontos Cocktail Flatbread.
  • Garnish with tomato, cucumber and/or fresh basil to preference.

To learn more about Kontos flatbreads, visit or can also find Kontos Foods on Twitter@KontosFoods or on Facebook atwww.facebook/KontosFoods.  A photo is below or available upon request. The first 10 respondents can receive samples of the Kontos cocktail flatbread.

About Kontos Foods
Founded in 1987, Kontos Foods, Inc. is a Paterson, NJ-based provider of traditional Mediterranean foods for restaurants, hotels, food service, retail specialty stores and supermarkets worldwide. The family-owned company specializes in hand-stretched flatbreads, including the Kontos Pocket-Less Pita®, Fillo dough, pastries, olives, gyro meats, and Greek yogurts, as well as nearly 50 varieties of multi-ethnic flatbreads. Kontos, which has over 225 employees and was founded by Evripides (Evris) Kontos together with his son Steven, together bring over 100 years’ experience in the premium food industry. To learn more, visit, or call (973) 278-2800.

New Junami brand apple has arrived in Chicago area

I love having the chance to try out new products and share them through our blog and what's better than learning about a new produce item? I'm so excited about this new apple - Junami brand. Here's additional info via the latest press release with an accompanying recipe. Be sure to try these out as you see them in Chicago area stores! I'll post more after I give them a try.

Greater Chicago Area is Chosen as Select Market to Receive One of the Hottest New Apples - Junami™ brand appleEnjoy Apple Braised Chicken- Featuring Junami Apples
Selah, WA – (January 10, 2014 ) Kicking off the New Year, there is a new scrumptious apple bursting with juice and flavor that is arriving in stores. Rainier Fruit Company is making available its exclusive Junami™ brand apple while supplies last in select U.S. markets including the greater Chicago area at Jewel, Mariano's and other store

“Junami brand apples’ juiciness, crisp texture and well-balanced taste are really resonating with consumers. Pronounced like Mon Ami- Junami offers the best characteristics of several varieties and combines them into one,” said Suzanne Wolter, Rainier spokesperson. “We expect it to be a major apple brand in the United States in the next few years as production increases 
to the quantities that consumer are demanding.”

What makes Junami brand apples so good are their special crispiness, fruity character, invigorating flavor and undeniable juiciness that makes them a real thirst quencher. Especially popular with young adults, or those who love delicious, juicy apples that are not overly sweet, Junami brand apples stand out. The flavor is slightly perfumed, with a nice balance of a fresh, tangy taste and crispy bite. It 
is beautifully round with eye-catching red color.

Apple Braised Chicken- Featuring Junami ApplesPrep Time: 8 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes ,Serves 4 to 6
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package (20 ounces) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup sliced onion
3 Junami apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Toss the chicken in the flour until well coated. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, turning once, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the apples, onion, chicken broth and 1 tablespoon tarragon. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken, onion and apples and keep warm. Add cream to juices in pan and cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with remaining tarragon.
Tip: For a complete meal, serve with wild rice and a green vegetable.
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 377 Cal., 15 g fat, 35% of calories from fat. 30 g protein., 31 g. carb., 138 mg chol., 4 g fiber, 312 mg. sodium.

Junami brand apples are one of the newer apples in the American marketplace. They originated in Switzerland and are a cross between Idared, Maigold and Elstar varieties. Until recently they were only grown in northwestern Europe under stringent and controlled conditions. To guarantee a perfect taste and optimum quality, Junami brand apples are only cultivated in the very best regions, and in America that is Central Washington.

 Rainier Fruit Company is the exclusive North American grower/shipper of Junami™ brand apples. Rainier Fruit, known for its superb growing standards, upholds continuous quality monitoring to ensure a flawless and authentic brand apple for North America. They will be available in select locations throughout the United States while supplies last.  To locate a store selling Junami™ brand apples, consumers can visiti
ng Rainier Fruit’s website at

About Rainier Fruit Company
For more than 100 years, Rainier Fruit has prided itself in being growers first with their orchards benefiting from Central Washington’s rich volcanic soil, snow-fed irrigation supply and long growing season to produce crisp, flavorful fruit. Rainier Fruit Company Highly trained horticulturists continue to artfully select premier orchard sites and choose the most environmentally sustainable practices in order to maintain its high quality standards.  One of the largest growers, it offers a year-round supply of conventional and organic apples and pears, and seasonal supplies of conventional and organic cherries and blueberries. For additional information about Rain
ierFruit Company please visit:


Wow your guests with the Ortega Taco Stadium

It's the biggest football day of the year, so treat your party guests to the most awesome display of Ortega Products! They'll love this Ortega Taco Stadium, a completely edible football field that covers every detail imaginable. Go Ortega!

Ortega Taco Stadium

Food ingredients
·         4 boxes Ortega Fiesta Flats (keep the boxes too)
·         5 jars Ortega guacamole dip
·         or 3 packets of Ortega guacamole seasoning packets and 6 avocados
·         4 Ortega flour tortillas
·         1 8-ounce block cheddar cheese
·         1 can Ortega black beans, drained
·         1 can Ortega refried beans
·         1 cup sour cream
·         1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
·         2 cups tomatoes, chopped
·         2 cans black olives, sliced and drained
·         4 8-ounce bags shredded cheddar cheese
·         4 jars Ortega salsa
In addition, you’ll need:
·         1 large 20”x 30” foam core board to act as the base
·         5 15” x10 1/4” foil cookie sheets (they come 2 to a pack, so 3 packs) (Hefty makes them and available at most grocery stores)
·         roll of clear packing tape
·         ruler
·         1 squeeze bottle or turkey baster
To assemble the stadium:
·         Place one of the foil cookie sheets in the center of the foam core board to become the “football field” that will later be filled with guacamole.
·         Build the stadium seat risers. Using kitchen shears, make one-inch cuts about every three inches at both of the shorter ends of the foil cookie sheets (to make them bend easier).  You will have three short cuts on each shorter end of the foil cookie sheet. Then at each cut, fold the foil sheets in a zig-zag pattern to create steps, using the Fiesta flats boxes underneath each folded pan to hold up the stadium seats. Flatten the long ends of the foil cookie sheet with your hands and tape the bottom of the seats to the foam core board underneath the foil “field.” Attach the top of the steps to the top of the Fiesta flats box using clear packing tape. Repeat the process with another of the foil cookies sheets for the other side of the stadium.
·         To create the seats at each of the shorter ends of the stadium, cut each of the two remaining foil sheets into 11” lengths and make the cuts on the ends and fold into steps, as you did with the first two sides of the stadium. Attach those with tape to the foam base and the tops of the Fiesta flats boxes. You will now have created stadium seats on all sides of the “football” field.
To create the field:
·         With a sharp knife, cut out four goal posts (you will only need two but good to have extra in case they break when installing) out of the flour tortillas. Basically, they will look like large pitch forks. Heat 1/2 cup vegetable over medium heat, in a small, swallow frying pan and crisp the tortilla goal posts in the hot oil for about 1 minutes, flipping once, being carefully not to burn or make too brown. Allow to drain on paper towels and carefully set aside.
·         About an hour before party time, spread the refried beans about two inches at either end of the foil “field,” to create end zones. Then spread the guacamole dip or homemade guacamole using the Ortega seasoning packet onto the remaining foil “field.” With a squeeze bottle or turkey baster, carefully draw lines onto the guacamole “field” with the sour cream. Cut the block of cheddar cheese in half and then cut a one-inch incision in the top of each cheese piece. Carefully pull apart the incision and place the tortilla goal post in the incision, thus creating a secure stand from the cheese blocks for the goal posts. Carefully place the cheese stand and goal post in the center of the refried beans at each end of the “football” field.
·         Place the Fiesta Flats on the three levels of the foil steps. Fill each level with lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, olives and cheese. At the each stadium corner, open and place jar of salsa for dipping.
Possible Additions:
·         Use jalapeno slices as the “players” on the field or in the seats.
·         Attach long skewers about three inches apart with the tape onto the boxes and then cut blocks of cheese to fit between the skewers to create lights above the seats.
·          Crush the Fiesta flats or Ortega hard tacos shells in the food processor and sprinkle around the outside of the “stadium,” as walkways or parking lots.
Created by Dan Macey, dantasticfood, Inc.

The Battle of the Bowl Buffet

How's this for a showdown? Award winning chefs Mario Batali and Michael Symon pulled together their best for a game day menu that will knock your socks off, but is simple enough for the novice cook. Check out more in Parade.  

Here's the line-up for each:

Mario Batali:               

Spicy chicken and cheddar quesadillas
Turkey meatball subs
Beef and fontina pinwheels with spicy corn salsa
Baked pasta with mushrooms and mozzarella

Michael Symon:        

Midwestern fried chicken
Pulled pork sliders
Pierogi lasagna
Fried potatoes with Greek yogurt and chives

Check out Mario and Michael’s [friendly] trash talk, and all these recipes at

Denny's offers Fresh Fit items and Build-Your-Own-Skillets

For those who have started the new year aiming to eat healthier, Denny's offers several items on the Fit Fare menu to satisfy those cravings. And starting tomorrow and continuing throughout the month of February, you can build your own skillet with more than 30 ingredients to choose from. I love when they have menus that allow you to customize your dish. On my last visit, I enjoyed a delicious Build-Your-Own Pancakes dish, ordered just the way I liked it. Try it out while it lasts!


America’s Diner kicks-off 2014 with new limited time offer menu and lighter, leaner options

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 13, 2014) – As Denny’s role as America’s Diner continues to evolve the restaurant chain announced today its new approach to limited time menus with the introduction of ‘Monthly Features,’ a classic diner tradition. Each month during the year, select menu dishes will be highlighted to guests, including a variety of new Fit Fare® alternatives that allow guests to keep their New Year’s resolutions on track without compromising on taste, value or variety.

“Classic American diners are known for having regular ‘specials’ and the introduction of our ‘Monthly Features’ menu is a tasty twist on an iconic favorite,” said John Dillon, @DillonJohnW, vice president of marketing for Denny’s. “As America’s Diner, we hope to enhance the diner experience by revisiting this beloved tradition and giving a modern nod to the heritage on which we were founded.”

January is all about satisfying breakfast cravings as the diner highlights a new range of delicious breakfast sandwiches. For hungry diners, the Loaded Breakfast Sandwich Plate is sure to satisfy any rumblings; featuring two strips of bacon, shaved ham, American cheese and an egg cooked to order on a toasted English muffin, served with hash browns and a side of seasonal fruit. For a lighter way to start the day, the new Fit Fare® Breakfast Sandwich Plate offers guilt-free dining packed full of flavor; two strips of turkey bacon, pepper jack cheese, fresh spinach, tomato and an egg cooked to order on a toasted English muffin, served with yogurt and a side of seasonal fruit. For a budget-friendly bite, guests may enjoy a Breakfast Sandwich with hash browns for only $4 as part of Denny’s $2468 Value Menu™.

Guests with a heartier appetite may opt for a ‘Build Your Own Skillet’ which will be highlighted through the month of February. Offering more than 30 delicious ingredients guests may build their own freshly prepared, hot sizzlin’ skillet any way they like. For those not in the mood to build, Denny’s has it covered with five delicious custom designs, including the new protein packed Fit Fare® Baja Skillet bursting with red skinned potatoes, steamed vegetables, fresh avocado and egg whites.

For a taste of tradition, Denny’s puts the spotlight on its famous ‘Build Your Own Grand Slam’ in March, serving even more choice and variety than ever before with over 300 ways to build a hearty breakfast under 550 calories. With nutritious Fit Fare® options, including chicken sausage and hearty wheat pancakes, eating out and staying healthy has never been easier.

“While we’re known for our spin on all-American classics, we also pride ourselves on listening to the needs of our guests and providing alternatives that don’t compromise on flavor. Our Fit Fare® menu items offer a lighter, leaner take on some of our most popular dishes, and we’re thrilled to kick-off 2014 with even more to variety to satisfy our guests,” added Dillon.

Launched nationwide today, Denny’s ‘Monthly Features’ menu, including Breakfast Sandwiches, Build Your Own Skillets and Build Your Own Grand Slam offerings, is available all day, every day; the menu includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and late-night items.

From the Inbox: Slurping Turtle's Dinner and a Movie makes for romantic V-Day

Here's another press release I got this week for a special Valentine's Day dinner event. Try dinners that cover from four to seven courses while watching classics like Casablanca. What a great way to woo your sweetheart and make her or him feel super special!

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Dinner and a Movie at Slurping Turtle  
Noodles and Vintage Love Movies Make The Perfect Pair
This Valentine's Day, Slurping Turtle (116 W. Hubbard St.) invites guests to celebrate the most romantic day of the year by slurping noodles and watching vintage love movies with that someone special. This spin on the classic "dinner and a movie" date begins with romantic dinner menus crafted by Executive Chef Aaron Cuschieri and Owner/Chef Takashi Yagihashi. Guests can choose between the four-course "I Think I Like You" Menu($45 per person) or the seven-course "I Know I Love You" Menu ($75 per person) featuring favorites and new dishes from the restaurant. 

While enjoying Slurping Turtle's Four- or Seven-Course Menu, couples can watch classic love movies like Casablanca and Gone with the Windprojected onto the restaurant's concrete wall. Along with the menus outlined below, the restaurant will also offer a chocolate fondue fountain and cotton candy machine for those looking for an extra sweet treat for their sweetheart. 

Offered exclusively on February 14, Slurping Turtle's Valentine's Day Menus include:

The "I Think I Like You" 4-Course Dinner ($45/person):

Course One
Hamachi Tacos

Course Two
Duck Fat Fried Chicken
Pork Gyoza

Course Three
Tokotsu Ramen
Chahan Short Chicken

Course Four
Vanilla Cream Puff and Macarons

The "I Know I Love You" 7-Course Dinner ($75/person):

Course One
Small Sashimi Platters

Course Two
Hamachi Tacos

Course Three
Duck Fat Fried Chicken
Pork Gyoza

Course Four
Ishi -Yaki

Course Five
Spicy Tuna Deluxe
Nigiri Chu Toro, Suzuki, Prawn

Course Six
Tokotsu Ramen
Chahan Short Chicken

Course Seven
Salted Carmel Cheesecake with Blood Orange Sorbet

Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling the restaurant at (312) 464-0466. 

Tokio Pub participating in Chicago Restaurant Week

Over the past week, countless diners were able to take advantage of great prices and menu offerings as part of restaurant week, starting with lunches as low as $22 and dinners priced at $33 or $44. The prix fixe menus include up to 5 courses and allow you to be introduced to a variety of cuisine at some wonderful spots in and around the city. Tokio Pub in Schaumburg is one of the suburban restaurants taking part in the event, which continues through February 6. Reservations are recommended. Read more from the press release below.

(Schaumburg, IL)- Tokio Pub is ready to wow diners with their special lunch and dinner menus as part of Chicago Restaurant Week, January 24-February 6, 2014.

The restaurant will serve a four-course, $22 lunch for two (exclusive of tax and gratuity) available from 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. that includes spicy or ginger garlic edamame, a three taco combo (choose from crying tiger shrimp, crispy fish, grilled steak, BBQ pork nacho, and crispy chicken), a pulled pork bahn mi sandwich, and a delicious and very fun rice crispy treats dessert.

The $33 dinner for two (exclusive of tax and gratuity) will be served from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and features a five-course menu with edamame, a three taco combo (same choices as listed above), Tokio Pub's spicy tuna roll, a hearty pork or beef ramen bowl, and rice crispy treats for dessert. Reservations are recommended for both lunch and dinner and can be made by calling 847.278.5181.

Chicago Restaurant week, presented by the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, celebrates Chicago as a world-class dining destination. For two full weeks, more than 250 restaurants throughout the city and suburbs will offer special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33/$44 for dinner. Both Chicago visitors and locals alike can take this opportunity to discover new dining hot spots and re-visit a few of their favorites. For more information about Chicago Restaurant Week, please visit
Tokio Pub specializes in fresh Japanese cooking, served in a richly-hued dining room with lively music, friendly service & an edgy atmosphere. Located adjacent to Shaw's Crab House in Schaumburg's Streets of Woodfield, Tokio Pub is open for lunch, dinner & cocktails.

East Asian classics are blended with flavors from Japan & Latin America to create a unique pub menu. Try specialty Sushi, Tacos & our signature Hot Rock, along with Japanese Stir Fry, House-made Ramen & Tokio Pub's famous chocolate filled Beignets. 

Tokio Pub is open Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, and on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Valet parking is available for $5 per vehicle, four season patio for 40 diners is available and all major credit cards accepted. For more info, call 847.278.5181, visit the website at, tweet at @Tokio_Pub, join the Mobile Club (text Tokio to 30364) or keep up on Facebook at

From the inbox: Brewing dinner offers a 4-course pairing at 2 Sparrows

This upcoming event sounds great, with an opportunity to try some delectable seasonal specialties by Chef Gregory Ellis paired with German-style microbrews. Seating is limited to 60 guests, so get your reservations made soon. Ladies, this is an opportunity to surprise your guy with a nice pre-Valentine's dinner that he is sure to enjoy!

Metropolitan Brewing Dinner at 2 sparrows 

2 Sparrows kicks off its monthly dinner series for 2014 with a night of enjoying locally made beers in partnership with Metropolitan Brewing on Friday, February 7th. Hailing from Chicago's north side, Metropolitan will bring several of its German-style microbrews to 2 Sparrows to be paired with four courses of contemporary German-inspired cuisine by Chef/Owner Gregory Ellis. 2 Sparrows' dedication to staying seasonal continues here with a menu of winter flavors and local ingredients all designed with a German flair. The four-course menu is as follows: 

Country Pâté, Smoked Fish Rillette, Pickled Egg, Chow Chow, Mustard & House Made Crackers
Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsch Style Beer
Seafood Boil with Chile-Beer Broth & Fingerling Potatoes
Metropolitan Flywheel Lager
Cassoulet with Duck Confit, Pork Belly, Smoked Sausage, White Beans, Kale, Crostini & Rouille
Metropolitan Dynamo Copper Lager
German Chocolate Cake
Metropolitan Generator Doppelbock

The Metropolitan Brewing Dinner at 2 Sparrows begins at 7:00 pm and is priced at $55 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Seating is limited to 60 guests and reservations are required by calling (773) 234-2320.

About 2 Sparrows
2 Sparrows is a seasonally-driven breakfast, lunch and brunch outpost located in the heart of Chicago's charming Lincoln Park neighborhood at 553. W. Diversey Pkwy. The restaurant is open seven days a week, Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are not taken. All major credit cards accepted. Private parties are available. For more information, please call (773) 234-2320 or visit 2 Sparrows' website and find the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.