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Food and drinks that are of Interest

Super-Premium Gin Tasting Including the Indian Crafted Jaisalmer

This has been the year of super-premium gin, at least with the samples I've received to review.  The gins include McQueen and the Violet Fog, Brockman and the most recent Jaisalmer (pronounced jess-all-mur). McQueen (SRP $40), as I had written, is a complex non-juniper forward gin with a bit of heat, spice, herbal, citrus and herbal notes. Good on the rocks.  Brockman (SRP $40), too, is light on juniper with notes of citrus peel, coriander, blueberries and blackberries. It's made in the United Kingdom. Jaisalmer, the Indian craft gin takes its name from the Golden City, located in the NorthWest of India in the state of Rajasthan (SRP $50). It [...]

By |2019-07-07T12:20:01-04:00July 7th, 2019|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Violet Fog, A Special Gin Moscow Mule

An attractively packaged and designed bottle arrived at my doorstep. Inside the thick gold-embossed black box along with the final two stanzas of the poem that inspired the McQueen and the Violet Fog name was a bottle of the eponymous gin. The press materials tout the liquor as "made with an unparalleled 21 sustainable botanicals from around the world, at least six of which are found in no other gin." This Sovereign Brands gin is a small batch one, bottled in Jundiai, Brazil. I decided to make the "Violet Fog" recipe (basically a Moscow Mule) that accompanied the bottle. I first made it with Bombay Saffire, the brand my dad [...]

Pasqua Wine Dinner at Rue 57, Midtown, NYC

Was invited to meet Alessandro and Riccardo Pasqua of the eponymous estate near Verona, Italy for dinner at Rue 57 with a few other journalists to sample and learn about their wines. The publicist mentioned that Pasqua ranks among Italy’s top 20 family-owned wineries in terms of value. After experiencing their wines, I concur. Each wine we sampled worked well with food, from the $16-bottle of Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017  to the $100 Mai Dire Mai Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2011. The wine sampled included: Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017 ($16) Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Rosso Veneto IGT 2016/ ($16) [...]

By |2020-02-20T14:13:53-05:00January 20th, 2019|Big Apple Life, Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Dole Slawesome! Cole Slaw Salad Kits in Three Flavors

According to Dole's press materials, Slawesome! is the "world’s first line of seasoned coleslaw kits." I received three of the four varieties, sampling them for a book club's luncheon at my home. Everyone liked the blends ofmixed cabbages and carrots, with no consensus of which dressing was best. I preferred the slightly spicy Mango Sriracha over the Sweet Apple and Fiesta Lime varieties. These 8.6-ounce complete kits ($2.99) that makes three servings are found in the produce department.

By |2018-10-21T18:41:57-04:00November 18th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Of Interest, Products|0 Comments

Manhattan’s Only Distillery – Our/New York and Bar

I recently joined Untapped Cities, as some friends and I wanted to do one of their events. We figured for $10 a month, we'd try it out. Through them, I attended a tour and vodka tasting at Our/New York, which opened in May. This small-batch, micro-distillery Manhattan’s first since Prohibition. It is part of Pernod Ricard, the French-based wine and spirits company. Before the tour, we tried their too sweet for me Excelsior '64 cocktail made from their vodka, lavender, elderflower and sparkling wine. I was happier with the straight vodka we tried after learning how it was made. OUR/New York is not only a distillery, it's also a bar [...]

By |2018-08-13T17:52:11-04:00September 13th, 2018|City Bites, Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Terra Chips made with Avocado Oil

Those who like Terra's real vegetable chips would be interested to know they just introduced two varieties cooked in avocado oil, a healthy fat. These new sweet potato chips come in two flavors — sweet chipotle and a sweets medley with batata (Cuban sweet potato ), sweet potato and purple sweet potato chips seasoned with Sel Gris (a French sea salt). A 5-ounce bag costs $3.49-3.79. A one-ounce serving of these two new chips contains 140 calories, 6 to 7 grams fat (of which 0.5 to 1 gram is saturated), 2 grams fiber and 105 to 140 milligrams sodium. I wouldn't buy these, as when I indulge in chips, it's because [...]

By |2019-04-26T12:56:12-04:00May 15th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Of Interest, Products|0 Comments

Bono Organic Blood Orange Marmalade

Returning to Sicily this month, I had a special interest in tasting Bono's organic Blood Orange Marmalade made from only fresh Sicilian blood oranges. It's not too sweet with the flavor of the eponymous citrus fruit. One tablespoon of this Sicilian blood orange marmalade with rind contains 30 calories; a 12.4-ounce jar sells for $4.99 to $5.99. To find a store near you that sells it, click here for a product locator.

By |2018-04-04T09:10:05-04:00April 6th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|0 Comments

Loi Dips

My friend and fellow Dame — a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier — Chef Maria Loi has created a line of four fresh ready-to-serve dips, ones that she serves as starters at Loi Estiatorio (her NYC restaurant NYC on west 58th) and that follow the principals of her book, The Greek Diet. I put these out at a brunch recently with veggies for dipping and asked my guests to choose their favorite. The top choice was the pougi with feta, a dip made with Greek yogurt, feta, olive oil, and a little bit of spice. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 70 calories, 7 grams fat (of which 3 are saturated) and 170 mg sodium. Tied [...]

By |2018-03-14T10:45:54-04:00March 16th, 2018|Food & Drinks, Products|0 Comments

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups come in a ready-to-eat snack cup with cheesecake on one side and one of four toppings on the other side. The cheesecake cups are free of artificial flavors or dyes. Each 3.25-ounce serving contains 170 to 220 calories, 6 to 7 grams saturated fat (of 10 to 12 grams total), 190 to 310 milligrams sodium and 2 to 3 grams protein. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My kids love these and they make a great addition to their lunch box for a special treat. They are about 40% lower in total fat than a regular piece of cheesecake with 10 to 12 grams per [...]

By |2017-09-04T21:41:05-04:00September 4th, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Planet Fuel Organic Juices

Planet Fuel Organic Juices, available with Cherry Lemonade, Apple Grape or Pear Lime flavors, are made without refined sugars, preservatives and artificial flavors. The juices are mixed with water to lower the sugar content and are offered in 10-ounce aluminum cans, which are bigger than usual juice boxes/pouches. Each 10-ounce serving contains 80 to 100 calories and 17 to 24 grams sugar. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My kids really enjoyed the juices. They are bigger than usual juice boxes/pouches, 10 ounces compared to 6 ounces, which makes them just the right size for my 7- and 10-year-old and they do not contain any high fructose corn [...]

By |2017-09-02T14:48:35-04:00August 25th, 2017|Food & Drinks, Of Interest|0 Comments

Dave’s Killer Bread Bagels

Dave’s Killer Bread introduced a new line of organic bagels that are vegan, Non-GMO verified and available in three varieties: Plain Awesome, Epic Everything and Cinnamon Raisin Remix. Each bagel contains 260 to 270 calories, 0 to 0.5 grams saturated fat (of 2.5 to 6 grams total), 380 to 400 milligrams sodium and 11 grams protein. The Epic Everything is a good source of fiber with 3 grams a serving and together with the Plain Awesome a good source of iron with 10%. - bonnie: Sorry Dave, these are not bagels, other than their shape, at least not to anyone who's had a New York bagel. As breadstuff, these are [...]

By |2017-09-01T17:07:01-04:00July 23rd, 2017|Food & Drinks|2 Comments

Invivo Sauvignon Blanc

Those of us who like the 100% Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region of New Zealand will like the new Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014. Like the others, it has a tropical nose with a minerality classic to that region. The reasonably priced Invivo Sparkling does display all the classic Marlborough Sauvignon blanc characters of tropical fruits and sweet herbs with a great finish.

By |2017-08-31T13:59:45-04:00July 17th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Bellion Specialty Vodka

Bellion Specialty Vodka is created with "NTX Technology", a patented blend of natural, FDA approved ingredients including glycyrrhizin - licorice root extract, manna sugar and potassium sorbate; when infused into alcohol, it protects the liver and DNA. The Vodka is six times distilled, carbon filtered and tastes slightly sweet, smooth and silky. - bonnie: Although it's purportedly better for me, as vodka drinker I find this libation to have an off flavor.  BonnieBOTB Follow @BonnieBOTB   Save

By |2017-08-31T13:59:45-04:00June 19th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Bananawave Bananamilk

Bananawave bananamilk is a plant-based, non-dairy beverage made from bananas and soy beans. It is derived from an African recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. Each cup contains 150 calories, 1 grams saturated fat (of 5 grams total), 125 milligrams sodium and 4 grams protein. It is a good source of vitamin A with 10% and an excellent source of  calcium, riboflavin and vitamins C, D, E and B12. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: My daughter loves the banana milk, especially on cereal. It is a great alternative to cow's milk with a rich banana flavor and additional vitamins. Save

By |2017-09-01T17:08:42-04:00June 12th, 2017|Food & Drinks|0 Comments

Philadelphia Bagel Chips & Cream Cheese Dips

Philadelphia Bagel Chips & Cream Cheese Dips are on-the-go cream cheese cups with mini bagel chips for dipping, available in two sweet and two savory flavors: Strawberry, Garden Vegetable, Chive & Onion, Brown Sugar & Cinnamon. Each 2.5-ounce serving contains 200 to 220 calories, 6 grams saturated fat (of 11 to 12 grams total), 380 to 490 milligrams sodium and 6 grams protein. They are a good to excellent source of vitamin A with 15 to 20% of the daily recommended intake. Kristine James, intern at Bite of the Best: These make a great, tasty although high-sodium mid-day snack.

By |2017-09-08T10:52:10-04:00June 5th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Dole Organic Salad Kits

Caesar Salad and Apple Dijon are the new organic salad kits from Dole. The Caesar kit includes romaine lettuce, pita chips, parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing; the Apple Dijon kit, spring mix, dried cranberries, walnuts, cheddar cheese and apple Dijon vinaigrette. Each 3-cup serving contains 200 to 230 calories, 3.5 to 4.5 grams saturated fat (of 15 to 19 grams total), 300 to 490 milligrams sodium and 4 to 6 grams protein. The salads are good to excellent sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K, folate and manganese. Save Save

By |2017-08-31T13:59:45-04:00May 26th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur

Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur is the 2016 winner of the World's Best Cream Liqueur Award. It's blend of natural Irish cream, real chocolate and aged Irish whiskey. Once opened, The liqueur does not need to be refrigerated once it's been opened. It has a 6-month shelf life.

By |2017-08-31T13:59:45-04:00May 24th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

FAWEN Ready-To-Drink Soup

FAWEN Ready-To-Drink Soup, available in three unique flavors Beet & Cabbage with Cumin, Broccoli & Cauliflower with Turmeric and Sweet Potato & Lentil with Cinnamon, are free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners and added sugars. The soup comes in a resealable, recyclable TetraPak for an easy on-the-go snack. Each 8-ounce serving contains 60 to 100 calories, 2 grams saturated fat (of 2 to 2.5 grams total), 220 to 360 milligrams sodium and 2 to 4 grams protein. It is a good source of fiber with 3 grams per serving and a good to excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. Kristine James,  intern at Bite of the Best: I really like [...]

By |2017-08-31T13:59:45-04:00May 7th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Don Sebastini & Sons 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequilas

Why not start my dinner parties with a tequila tasting, I thought, as I received a bottle each of Don Sebastini & Sons Contigo, El Fumador and El Macho. The tequilas are made from the fermented juice of the Blue Weber agave plant, grown and bottled in Mexico. We started by sampling the newest (blanco) and ended at the oldest (añejo). Like a wine tasting, we checked the color and the aroma,  let the liquid coat our tongues before swallowing, and then breathed out. We found the Contigo (blanco) to be smooth with fruit flavors. The wood-aged El Fumador (resposado) was our least favorit; it burnt the tongue. Everyone liked [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:18:58-04:00April 12th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments

Tonnino Tin Tuna Cans

Tonnino tin tuna cans use 100% yellowfin tuna available in spring water and 100% olive oil. Tonnino Tuna is dolphin-safe, contains  lowest levels of mercury and comes in stackable, on-the-go cans. Each 3-ounce serving contains 90 to 130 calories, 0 to 2 grams saturated fat (of 0.5 to 5 grams total), 214 to 270 milligrams sodium and 20 grams protein. The tuna is a good to excellent source of iron with 11 to 35 percent of the daily recommended intake. Save

By |2017-08-31T13:59:46-04:00April 4th, 2017|Food & Drinks, xyz misc|0 Comments