News Releases -
Food & Dining
Written by Glenn Kass
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 14:08
Davenport hotel restaurant earns recognition from leading publication
DAVENPORT, IA – Hotel Blackhawk management is pleased to announce that its on-premises restaurant Bix Bistro has received a 2013 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence – the second consecutive year it has earned the honor.
To qualify for the Award of Excellence, a restaurant, “must offer 400 or more selections, along with superior presentation and display either vintage depth with several vertical offerings of top wines or excellent breadth across several wine regions.”
Award information is available at www.winespectator.com/group/show/id/about_the_awards. The full results will be in the August issue of Wine Spectator which is released July 23rd. They are also listed at www.winespectator.com.
“Our company is pleased to again receive accolades from the preeminent voice of the wine industry,” said Tim Heim, VP – Marketing, Innkeeper Hospitality Services, corporate parent of Hotel Blackhawk. “Repeating recognition such as this is the true sign of our team’s dedication to provide our guests with a memorable stay at our properties.”
Hotel Blackhawk re-opened December 15th, 2010. The hotel retains its 98-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, six meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.
Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. The hotel is a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and is part of the Autograph Collection (www.autographhotels.com) and the Historic Hotels of America network (www.historichotels.org). For more, visit www.hotelblackhawk.com or find us on www.facebook.com (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).
News Releases -
Food & Dining
Written by Ginny Grimsley
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 09:52
Juicing Icon Offers 5 Tips for Beginners and Veterans Alike; Happiness &
Well-Being a Key Ingredient
It’s no longer just celebrities, world-class athletes and alternative-lifestyle hippies turning to green smoothies and freshly juiced vegetable and fruits for improved health, says nutritionist and juicing pioneer Cherie Calbom, MS. (“The Juice Lady”).
“People from all walks of life are looking for proven ways to lose weight, energize, sleep better, strengthen their immune systems, and have brighter skin and a younger appearance. They’re also juicing to help their bodies heal from a variety of ailments,” says Calbom, author of a new book full of juicing tips, tricks and recipes, “The Juice Lady's Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies,” (www.juiceladycherie.com).
“No matter your diet, juicing offers a shot of goodness – nutrition, minerals, phytonutrients and more – that you might not otherwise get,” Calbom says.
Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been juicing awhile and want to optimize the experience, Calbom shares some important pointers that will help.
• Fruits & veggies happiness studies: Plenty of new research shows that adding more produce to your daily diet can benefit your mental health and sense of well-being. In one analysis of the eating habits and moods of 80,000 British adults, researchers at Dartmouth and the University of Warwick found that those who consumed the most fruit and vegetables every day rated themselves as significantly happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who ate lesser amounts. Research shows that the well-being score for people who ate seven to eight servings of vegetables and fruits per day was consistently three points higher than for those who ate little or none.
• More studies ... Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health concluded from a study of 982 Americans that those who exhibited the most optimistic outlooks on life also had the highest blood levels of carotene, a key antioxidant that’s delivered by a colorful array of produce: dark green spinach and kale, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and vibrant yellow or orange fruits like peaches, papayas and cantaloupe, among others. And “juicers” should consider starting at a young age. A study of 281 adults with a mean age of 20, conducted at the University of Otago, New Zealand, showed that those who reported the highest daily intake of fruits and veggies also declared they were happier, calmer and more energetic than those who ate less.
• “Do I need to juice; can’t I just eat produce?”: This is a common response, but the reality is that most people in today’s society – especially those who are booked from morning to evening with a busy lifestyle – rarely get an optimal amount of produce throughout the day. A half-cup of veggies is a serving and ¾ of a cup of juice equals one serving; chewing seven to eight servings of produce every day requires much more effort and time than drinking fresh juice for some of the servings. That makes people much more likely to benefit from juice, she says.
• Flavor diversification: Some people soon fall into creative ruts because they stick to the same basic ingredients, and that can be a disincentive for sticking with juicing. Diversify! Try gourmet and exotic juice blends, or even plant-based ingredients you simply haven’t yet considered, some of which may include: butternut squash, one-inch ginger chunks, beets with leaves and stems, Brussels sprouts, and fennel bulbs with fronds. “Juicing is not about just using common fruit ingredients – spice it up and experiment with healthy vegetables; it works!” Calbom says.
• An exotic example: A fennel-watercress-cucumber blend juice is an excellent way to mix up your typical cocktail. It includes: 1 handful of watercress; 1 dark green lettuce leaf; 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic; ½ fennel bulb and fronds; 1 lemon, peeled if not organic. Cut produce to fit your juicer’s feed tube. Wrap watercress in lettuce leaf and push through the juicer slowly. Juice all remaining ingredients. Drink immediately; this portion serves one.
About Cherie Calbom, MS
Cherie Calbom, MS is the author of 21 books, including the best-seller “Juicing for Life,” with 2 million copies sold in the United States and published in 23 countries. Known as “The Juice Lady” for her work with juicing and health, her juice therapy and cleansing programs have been popular for more than a decade. She holds a Master of Science degree in nutrition from Bastyr University. She has practiced as a clinical nutritionist at St. Luke Medical Center, Bellevue, Wash., and as a celebrity nutritionist for George Foreman and Richard Simmons.
News Releases -
Food & Dining
Written by Richard Martin
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 09:11
Bend, Oregon brewery plans series of tastings and events to help introduce its brews to craft beer fans in The Hawkeye State
02 July 2013 – Bend, Oregon – Deschutes Brewery is gathering a top-notch crew, hitching up its giant traveling beer barrel, Woody, and launching its beer in style for Iowans later this month. The public is invited to come to any of the following events to sample a few delicious Deschutes Brewery beers and chat with representatives.
Don’t miss Woody either! The giant, good-times-on-wheels mobile bar rolls his way around Iowa during our launch week, complete with multiple delicious Deschutes Brewery beers, a stereo, and a disco ball. He is a natural gathering spot at any event for all thirsty individuals (and any misplaced members of your party). Follow Woody’s shenanigans on Twitter at @DBWoody or you can “friend” him at
The brewery is hosting 33 “Meet, Greet, Sample” events all over Iowa from Saturday, July 20 - Friday, July 26, as part of its launch efforts. It’s the perfect opportunity to try some combination of official Deschutes Brewery Iowa Launch beers, including award winners and style leaders Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, Twilight Summer Ale, and Chainbreaker White IPA. Making small talk with Woody and other personalities from Deschutes Brewery is a terrific bonus. This schedule follows below the signature events described below. Please visit Deschutes Brewery’s events page for more information.
Friday July 19, 5-7 PM
What: Official Iowa Launch Party
Oh, the beers you will try! Woody will be present, sampling beers like Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, Twilight Summer Ale, and Chainbreaker White IPA. At 5 PM sharp, they will tap the first kegs of Deschutes Brewery beers ever in Iowa , so don’t miss the dramatic unveiling!
Where: El Bait Shop, 200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines, IA, 50309
Friday July 19, 8 PM Start Time
What: Downtown Des Moines Pub Crawl
After visiting with Woody at El Bait Shop, it’s time to explore great craft beer all over downtown. Get your gang together and celebrate Deschutes Brewery beers on tap at some other local favorite watering holes.
- El Bait Shop, 200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines, IA, 50309
- The Royal Mile, 210 4th St, Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Shorty’s, 208 Court Ave., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- The Levee, 100 Court Ave., Des Moines, IA, 50309
Saturday, July 20, 3-7 PM
What: Cityview Brewfest
The Cityview Brewfest boasts some 500 craft beers and unlimited sampling. Who’s thirsty? It is the perfect Saturday afternoon spot to celebrate Deschutes Brewery’s arrival in Iowa. Cost is $23 in advance and $30 at the door. Go to www.brewfestdsm.com for more information.
Where: Principal Park, 3530 Westown Pky, Des Moines, IA, 50266
Saturday, July 20, 8 PM
What: Official Deschutes Brewery After Party
Why stop the fun when the Cityview Brewfest comes to a close? Keep the party going with Deschutes Brewery beers and live music from Pianopalooza.
Where: The Keg Stand, 3530 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Monday, July 22, 5 - 6:30 PM
What: Meet The Brewer
Are you a homebrewer or craft beer enthusiast? Now’s your chance to come chat with a brewer from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery as their gang is in town celebrating their arrival in Iowa. Pick brewer Callan Vaccaro’s brain, try some beer samples, and expand your knowledge of the brewing process.
Where: Court Avenue Brewing Company, 309 Court Ave., Des Moines, IA, 50309
Monday, July 22, 8 PM
What: Brewery Olympics
Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? We’re pulling out some classic bar games like bag toss (cornhole), washers, bowling, skee ball and darts to test some talent and celebrate Deschutes Brewery’s arrival in Iowa. Try to beat the brewer! Beer samples from Woody, Deschutes Brewery’s giant, good-times-on-wheels mobile bar, tops off the fun.
Where: Trophy’s, 2701 Douglas Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310
Tuesday, July 23, 6 PM
What: Bicycle Pub Crawl
Riding bicycles from pub to pub is one of our favorite things. Deschutes Brewery is in town to introduce and celebrate our arrival in the great state of Iowa. And celebrate RAGBRAI. We start at Ichi Bike, then move onto local favorites Capital Pub and Hot Dog, Beechwood Lounge, and Buzzard Billy’s.
- Ichi Bike, 311 E Walnut St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Capital Pub and Hot Dog, 400 SE 6th St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Beechwood Lounge, 416 E Walnut St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Buzzard Billy's, 615 3rd St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
Wednesday, July 24, 8-10 AM
What: RAGBRAI Farewell
You think it’s too early for beer? We think not. It’s beer for breakfast with Woody, Deschutes Brewery’s giant, good-times-on-wheels mobile bar. Woody will pour samples for RAGBRAI riders – and other thirsty visitors - on their way out of town to ensure the perfect start to the day’s ride.
Where: Steer and Stein (at the State Fairgrounds), 106 3rd St SE, Altoona, IA, 50009
Wednesday, July 24, 8:30 PM
What: Beer-lesque: Tastings and Tassels!
What’s better than an evening full of craft beer from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery? An evening full of craft beer…coupled with the one and only Naughty Pierre and his troupe of lovely ladies. They will feature a Deschutes Brewery beer in each of their burlesque and variety stage acts. This is sure to be a night of excitement, laughter, and unforgettable fun. Try beers like Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, Chainbreaker White IPA, Twilight Summer Ale and Fresh Squeeezed IPA.
Where: The Gramercy Tap, 400 Walnut St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
Cost: $10. Tickets can be purchased at The Gramercy Tap in advance, or at the door, or by calling 515.288.9606. This event will sell out!
Thursday, July 25, 7 PM
What: Hats Off To Homebrewers
Attention homebrewers and beer geeks! Come share your love for craft at Red’s Alehouse with the gang from Deschutes Brewery and the brand new Big Grove Brewery and Public House. Chat with Big Grove Head Brewer, Bill Heinrich, and Deschutes Brewery Brewer, Callan Vaccaro. Sip on delicious beers new to the state of Iowa, as everyone marvels at the birth of one brewery and the arrival of another…25 years in the making. Gather complimentary brewing supplies, including clone recipe booklets and bags of whole flower hops, to use in your next homebrew (supplies are limited). And don’t forget to check out Woody, the giant good-times-on-wheels mobile bar. But that’s not all….
Enjoy beer samples expertly paired with Red’s Alehouse Executive Chef Shane Miller’s original food creations. Mix in a “Stump the Brewmaster” Q & A session. It all adds up to a can’t-miss-night!
Where: Red’s Alehouse, 405 N. Dubuque St., North Liberty, IA, 52317
Cost: $20 Tickets can be purchased at Red’s Alehouse in advance, or at the door, or by calling 319.626.2100. This event will sell out!
Friday, July 26 , 6-9 PM
What: Deschutes Brewery Flight Night
Friday is flight night! Take off with original small plate creations by Executive Chef Will Evans, each paired perfectly with Deschutes Brewery beers like Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Chainbreaker White IPA, Twilight Summer Ale and Black Butte Porter. If that doesn’t make you fly on down here, then you will when you hear what foods inspired the small plates: bacon, cheese, chocolate and panna cotta. Everyone’s favorite!
Where: Blackstone, 503 Westbury Drive #1, Iowa City, IA, 52245
Cost: $18 Flights include 4 beer samples and 4 food small plates
Meet, Greet, Sample Schedule (W = Woody Present)
Des Moines - unless otherwise noted
Saturday, July 20, 2013
- HyVee-Madison Avenue (Council Bluff) 3-6 PM (W)
- Tish's (Council Bluffs) 8-10 PM (W)
Sunday, July 21, 2013
- HyVee-Urbandale 2-4 PM (W)
Monday, July 22, 2013
- Zombie Burger 11:30-1 PM (W)
- Legends American Grill 5-6:30 PM (W)
- Johnny's Hall Of Fame 5-6:30 PM (W)
- Mickey's Irish Pub 5-6:30 PM (W)
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
- Wellman's Pub-West Glen 11-12:30 PM (W)
- HyVee-Grand 1-3 PM (W)
- Gateway Market 4-6 PM (W)
- Whole Foods 4-6 PM (W)
- HyVee-Fleur 4-6 PM (W)
- Saints Pub and Patio 4-6 PM
- Dublin Bay (Ames) 4-6 PM
- The Point 4-6 PM
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
- Jethro's-Waukee 11:30-1 PM (W)
- Dahl's-Ingersoll 5-6:30 PM
- HyVee-Ankeny 5-6:30 PM
- Mavericks 5-6:30 PM
- Old Chicago-Ankeny 5-6:30 PM (W)
- HyVee-Mills Civic Pky 5-6:30 PM
Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, and Iowa City
Thursday, July 25, 2013
- Mondo's Drafthouse 11:30-1 PM (W)
- HyVee-Coralville 1:30-3:30 PM (W)
- New Pioneer Food Co-Op 1:30-3:30 (W)
- HyVee-Waterfront 4-6 PM (W)
- John’s Grocery 4-6 PM (W)
- Zeppelin's Bar And Grill 4-6 PM
- Clinton St. Social Club 4-6 PM
- Mickey's Irish Pub-Iowa City 4-6 PM
Friday, July 26, 2013
- Parlor City 11-12:30 PM (W)
- HyVee-Marion 1-3:30 PM (W)
- HyVee-Oakland Rd. 1-3:30 PM (W)
- Benz Beverage Depot 4-5:30 PM (W)
- Sanctuary Pub 4-5:30 PM
News Releases -
Food & Dining
Written by Tim Murphy
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 15:33
“It all started at Willie’s Wee Nee Wagon in Markham, Illinois, a Chicago suburb,” says author and Chicago-area native Tim Murphy. “To this day the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten.”
Murphy wanted to pay tribute to the hot dog stand of his youth, and adulthood, that he frequented for over 30 years. So he wrote this book featuring 50 recipes.
“It was my first stop when I came home from college or returned for the holidays to see family. In 2009, Willie’s acquired a new owner, a new name and a different brand of hot dogs. I went there once and it just wasn’t the same. But I have some great memories. Willie’s had been around since 1955, first a metal food trailer, then they constructed a building in the late 1970’s.
I am a bit of a fanatic about the place. I still have two of the paper bags from old orders. They must be ten to fifteen years old. One is framed and hangs in my kitchen, proudly emblazoned with Willie’s motto ‘We Relish Your Bun’. The other travels with me everywhere and hangs on my office bulletin board. A great souvenir of home.”
“When you grow up in the Midwest, it’s a given you’ll be eating hot dogs and brats, but here is so much more to that meal than just meat in a bun. I wanted to gather some of those great recipes and share them with other tube steak aficionados.”
THE TUBE STEAK BOOGIE COOKBOOK features about 50 recipes, including The Diablo Dog, The Elvis Dog, Kielbasa Lasagna Wraps, Smokin’ Sausage Soup and for the holidays, Sloppy John’s Thanksgiving Hot Dogs. There is also a lengthy dedication to Willie’s Wee Nee Wagon and a huge list of traditional and unusual condiments to build your own gastronomic creation.
This is Tim Murphy’s Fifth “Cookbook for Guys.” The first four were under the “Flannel John” banner.
“Flannel John is a character based on a few old hunters I knew. I wanted to honor their spirit and what they taught me. He is also part Babe Winkelman, Ted Nugent, Red Green. Grizzly Adams and crusty mountain man. I have written four Flannel John books with another six planned. The next one, “Flannel John’s Tailgating & Couch Potato Cookbook” will be out the first week in August. This latest book was much more personal so I wanted to keep it strictly under my name.”
The first book, Flannel John’s Hunting & Fishing Camp Cookbook, grew out of friends complaining about the food at fishing and deer camps. Their buddies would show up with cheese, bologna, beef jerky and beer. If the fishing wasn’t good or the deer tag wasn’t filled, meals were slim pickings. Murphy wanted to collect simple, good-tasting recipes that weren’t too complicated, that could be knocked out fairly fast. That idea launched the first book in October 2013 and cracked Amazon.com’s “Top 1%” Sales category.
Three more Flannel John titles have followed including Flannel John’s Woods and Water Cookbook - Critters, Fritters, Chili and Beer in February 2013, Flannel John’s Pirate Galley Cookbook - Coastal Cuisine and Maritime Meals from Oceans, Lakes and Rivers in April 2013 and for the backwoods, rustic soul there was Flannel John’s Mountain Man Cookbook - Frontier Food from the Hills, Country and Backwoods in May 2013.
Why cookbooks for guys? “I didn’t see anything written for men, especially beginner and novice cooks,” said Murphy. “The first book covered comfort food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, deserts and drinks. It was aimed at hunters and anglers but it’s great for campers and RVers.”
Future releases include “Flannel John’s Tailgating Grub & Couch Potato Cookbook” in August “Flannel John’s Cabin Christmas Cookbook” in September plus cookbooks for single guys, truckers and wild game lovers in 2014.
“If this book is successful, I plan to open my own hot dog stand here on the Oregon coast. Maybe a Willie’s Wee Nee Wagon West,” said Murphy.
Tim Murphy is a graduate of Western Michigan University. This 23-year radio veteran spent 17-years hosting morning radio shows in several Michigan cities including Holland, Muskegon, Traverse City, Saginaw and Houghton plus Fargo, North Dakota, Stevens Point, Wisconsin and Ketchikan, Alaska. Murphy has had a long career as a freelance and comedy writer. His work has appeared in dozens of outlets including Backwoods Home Magazine, The Porcupine Press U.P. Magazine, National Lampoon, The Traverse City Record Eagle and ABC Radio Network.
He lives in Seaside, Oregon with his wife LisaMarie Costanzo.
All five of his books are $7.95 and can be found at Amazon.com and at www.flanneljohn.com.
For additional information on the books, to interview the author or to inquire about wholesale book pricing, contact Tim Murphy at (701) 238-1775 or at
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