Food & Dining
Mock Food Safety Audit Workshop Is Aug. 26 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 15 August 2014 08:36

Specialty crop growers interested in food safety certification and risk management for their farms should plan to attend a Mock GAP Audit Workshop Aug. 26, 1-4 p.m. at Feed Iowa First packinghouse, 1506 10th St SE, Cedar Rapids.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the three-hour workshop to provide growers with a better understanding of the auditing process for GAP -- Good Agricultural Practices -- certification. Participants will tour a new packing shed in an unused commercial building as well as an urban garden space. They will discuss harvest protocols with volunteer labor, review the basics of a farm food safety plan, observe how a farm food safety plan has been implemented, and review the USDA GAP/GHP Audit Checklist and learn how to apply it to their farm setting.

The program is funded through a grant from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

The key instructors will be ISU Extension and Outreach specialists Angela Shaw and Teresa Wiemerslage. The fee for the workshop is $20 per participant and registration is online at http://bit.ly/12sLsxE. For more information, please contact Angela Shaw at 515-294-0868 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Wine Drinking Tips: A Toast to Our 2nd Favorite Adult Beverage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 08:38
Wine Aficionado Shares Tips for a Full-Bodied Experience

Slide over, sweaty mug of brutish beer; wine has stepped up its game!

In the past two decades, zins, cabs and chardonnays have soared in popularity among imbibing Americans. The preference of just one in four in 1992, its now the alcoholic beverage of choice for 35 percent of us, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. At the same time, beer has taken a tumble, from the favorite of nearly half of us to just 36 percent.

“Wine is an adventure in a glass – something other cultures have recognized for centuries,” says Howard Kleinfeld, author (as Howard K.) of “Dial M for Merlot,” www.DialMforMerlot.com, a fun novel about a lovelorn nerd whose world snaps to life with his first wine tasting.

“For a long time in this country, we viewed wine as an elitist beverage. Just to be eligible to uncork a bottle required a scary level of sophistication. I have great respect for connoisseurs and the sommeliers, but if you’ve ever attended a wine tasting, you quickly see wine is actually the great equalizer.”

For those who’ve never visited a vineyard or sipped a Gewurztraminer, Kleinfeld offers these tips to free up your palate -- and your psyche -- for a full-bodied experience.

1.  What’s the best wine?
You’ll find all kinds of lists purporting to distill the top 10 or top 100 best wines of the thousands upon thousands of new releases each year. They are a wonderful resource for information and a great starting point, but there is no substitute for personal exploration.
“The best wine is always whatever’s in your glass at the moment,” Kleinfeld says, “unless whatever’s in your glass makes you grimace, in which case …”

2.  Don’t drink it if it doesn’t make you happy.
Life really is too short to not make the most of every moment – and every sensual experience.
“I learned that in 2007 when I was diagnosed with throat cancer at, what I felt was, a very young age,” Kleinfeld says. “I got through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation with the love and support of my family and friends, but I lost my sense of taste for a few years.”
Cancer-free and with all of his senses intact, Kleinfeld says he has resolved to enjoy every sip of life.
“Don’t waste your time on wine you don’t enjoy. Save it for cooking,” he says. “Drink something that puts a smile on your face. And remember – there are all kinds of smiles.”

3.  Go ahead and shell out $50 or $100 on a wine you just have to taste again.
A lot of us think California and Napa Valley when we think domestic wines, and while The Golden State is the No. 1 producer in the country (followed by Washington, Oregon and New York), every state now has wineries. That means that wherever you are, there’s a wine tasting room within driving distance.
“If you go to a wine tasting and you sample something you absolutely love, something you know you want to taste again – maybe with a steak, which they don’t usually have at wine-tasting rooms, go ahead and buy it,” Kleinfeld advises.
“Forget that it costs three or four times what you (might) usually spend for a bottle of wine. Splurge. See tip No. 2.”

4.  Forget the red with meat, white with fish and chicken rule – unless it works for you.
The idea of pairing red wines with red meats has to do with the bolder flavor of both. Fish and chicken tend to have milder flavors, as do many white wines.
“But there are so many exceptions to those ‘rules’ you may as well just toss ‘em,” Kleinfeld says. “They don’t take into account the range of flavors of meat, fish and chicken, especially when you consider all the different ways they can be prepared. And if you’re not a fan of Riesling, for instance, you won’t like it no matter what you pair it with.”
Be an adventurer, he advises. Open a few different varieties of wine when you sit down to eat and explore different pairings.
“The entrees and wines you best enjoy together are the perfect pairings for you.”

About Howard Kleinfeld (Howard K)

Howard Kleinfeld is a full-time wine enthusiast, part-time foodie, and first-time author. His new novel, “Dial M for Merlot,” www.DialMforMerlot.com, written under the pen name Howard K, follows a 30-year-old math whiz’s intoxicating journey of wine discovery. Kleinfeld is a longtime singer-songwriter whose compositions/productions for advertising, TV shows and indie films have earned him Emmy, Telly and Addy, awards.

 
New Data Reflects the Continued Demand for Farmers Markets PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 08:56
Three New USDA Directories Help Connect Consumers and Farmers through Local Food Opportunities

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Anne Alonzo announced over the weekend that USDA's National Farmers Market Directory now lists 8,268 markets, an increase of 76 percent since 2008. The data reflects continued demand and growth of farmers markets in every region of the country. Alonzo also announced that AMS is developing three new local food directories that will expand USDA's support for local and regional foods by providing easy access to the most current information about the local food market.

Alonzo made the announcements at the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin, the country's largest producer-only market, where she kicked off the 15th annual "National Farmers Market Week", from Aug. 3 through Aug. 9, 2014.

"The National Farmers Market Directory numbers reflect the continued importance of farmers markets to American agriculture. Since its inception, the directory has proven to be a valuable tool for accessing up-to-date information about local farmers markets," Alonzo said. "Farmers markets play an extremely important role for both farmers and consumers. They bring urban and rural communities together while creating economic growth and increasing access to fresh, healthy foods."

The USDA National Farmers Market Directory, available at farmersmarkets.usda.gov, provides information about U.S. farmers market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, and much more. The data is collected via voluntary self-reporting by operating farmers market managers and is searchable by zip code, product mix, and other criteria. The National Farmers Market Directory receives over two million hits annually.

In addition to USDA's National Farmers Market Directory, AMS is adding:

USDA's National Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Enterprise Directory - A CSA is a farm or network/association of multiple farms that offer consumers regular deliveries of locally-grown farm products during one or more harvest season(s) on a subscription or membership basis.

USDA's National Food Hub Directory - A Food Hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products to multiple buyers from multiple producers, primarily local and regional producers, to strengthen the ability of these producers to satisfy local and regional wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.

USDA's National On-Farm Market Directory - An On-Farm Market is a farm market managed by a single farm operator that sells agricultural and/or horticultural products directly to consumers from a location on their farm property or on property adjacent to that farm.

USDA invites local food business owners who fall within these categories to list their operational details in the new directories www.usdalocalfooddirectories.com. These new directories will be available online early in 2015, giving potential customers, business partners, and community planners easy, one-stop access to the most current information about different sources of local foods.

2014 Directory Highlights

According to USDA's 2014 National Farmers Market Directory, the states with the most farmers markets reported are California (764 markets), New York (638 markets), Michigan (339 markets), Ohio (311 markets), Illinois (309 markets), Massachusetts (306 markets), Pennsylvania (297 markets), Wisconsin (295 markets), Virginia (249 markets), and Missouri (245 markets). All geographic regions saw increases in their market listings, with the most growth in the South. The 10 states with the biggest increases in the numbers of farmers markets include Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Arkansas, North Carolina, Montana, Florida and Nebraska. Five of these states – Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina – are part of USDA's StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, where USDA has increased investment in rural communities through intensive outreach and stronger partnerships.

Farmers market development is a cornerstone of USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative, which coordinates the Department's policy, resources, and outreach efforts related to local and regional food systems. Secretary Vilsack has identified strengthening local food systems as one of the four pillars of USDA's commitment to rural economic development.

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New Dinner Menu Starting Friday at Barley & Rye!! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Jared Lynn   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 14:48

Starting Friday August 1st Chef will be presenting a new dinner menu! This menu is going to be filled with some of the freshest ingredients from our local farmers. Each day we are having farmers deliver us fresh new products so make sure you come by this Friday so you can be one of the first to check out this menu.

About 2 weeks ago Chef Jared launched his new lunch menu! It has been met with great reviews! If you have not stopped in to try his brisket tacos, grilled cheese or his green chile hummus you are really missing out!

We are very excited to announce that Chef Jared will be at the East Moline Growers Market tomorrow, Wednesday July 30th, cooking for everyone! If you haven't had a chance to meet Chef Jared or try his food this is something you will not want to miss.  If for some reason you cannot make it to the East Moline Growers Market, Chef Jared will be at the Moline Growers Market on Saturday August 2nd. Times for both markets are 9-noon.  The East Moline Growers Market is held in the Skate City parking lot. The Moline Growers Market is held in the Unity Point parking lot at 7th Street and John Deere Road.

Chef is very happy to be partnering with Beautiful Bites Cupcakes to provide a smaller option for desserts here at Barley & Rye. These bite size bits of heaven have become one of the best sellers when it comes to desserts.  We always carry a variety of flavors some have been, red velvet, double chocolate, cookies n cream, lemon basil, banana split, carrot cake and that is just to name a few. So if  you love dessert but not a big portion just asked for a beautiful bits cupcake you will get 3 for $5.

UPCOMING EVENTS!

Every Wednesday is Wine & Desserts Wednesday on our Patio.

Every Thursday is Bourbon & Cigar Night on our Patio.

September 3rd we are  having our Bent River Brewery Dinner.

Oct 29th we are having our Willet Bourbon Dinner

Keep a look out for the date of our Stone  Brewery Dinner.

 
CREEKSIDE VINEYARDS WINERY CELEBRATES GOLD WITH 2014 ILLINOIS WINE & MID-AMERICAN WINE COMPETITION AWARDS! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Jennifer Mital   
Monday, 28 July 2014 07:53

Creekside Vineyard Winery, while artisan in size, has proved its excellence in the 2014 Illinois Wine and MidAmerican Wine Competitions. In July both competitions release their results, and Creekside Vineyards earned high marks along wineries much older and larger than itself in the state and across the Midwest region. In the annual Illinois Wine Competition held at Lincoln land Community College in Springfield, Illinois, and in the Eighth Annual Mid-American Wine Competition held at the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny, Iowa, Creekside Vineyards Winery was awarded the following medals:

WINE NAME VARIETAL MIDAMERICAN IL WINE

Crooked Owl Corot Noir Gold Double Gold

Crooked Owl Corot Noir Silver: Food Pairing Grilled Sirloin Steak

First Kiss Marechal Foch Gold

Sundaze Seyval Blanc Gold Double Gold

Sundaze Seyval Blanc Gold: Food Pairing Baked Trout

Sweet Retreat Vignoles (*sweepstakes nominee*) Gold* Silver

“The quality of Midwestern wines continues to improve,” said Bob Foster, Director of the Mid-American Wine Competition (MAWC). These are high quality wines that wine lovers should seek out and try.” The MidAmerican competition was held July 11-13 and included wines from 15 Midwestern states. Professional wine judges from throughout the United States awarded 100 Gold medals, 171 Silver medals, and 132 Bronze medals. Full results can be found at www.midamericanwine.org. “This marks the eighth consecutive year of the MAWC and we have had the distinction of watching the local wine industry develop into a great representation of our region,” said Chief Judge Doug Frost of Kansas City. “The wine industry throughout the Midwest has evolved into tourist destinations, where wine enthusiasts visit local wineries. This helps the local economy and area wine industry.”

The Illinois Wine Competition was held June 16-18 and included 171 amateur entries and 257 commercial entries from across the state. Creekside Vineyards was one of six wineries in the state to receive multiple Double Gold medals. The competition is sponsored by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association. Full results can be found at www.illinoiswine.com. Bradley Beam, the Illinois state enologist and organizer of the contest, said, “The primary goal of this competition is to recognize the many outstanding wines produced in the state of Illinois. The number of medals awarded this year indicates that we, as an industry, are maintaining a very high degree of quality.”

Creekside Vineyards, in 2013 producing its fourth vintage on an artisan scale, is relatively new to the Illinois wine scene and uses predominately Illinois grapes from its own vineyard and other local partners. Winemaker John Mital has practiced viticulture and enology for over 10 years, beginning in Missouri and then relocating with his wife and son to his roots in the Quad Cities. John’s parents, Don and Bev, own and operate Creekside Vineyards Inn. Creekside Vineyards Winery is located on Highway 67 in Preemption, IL; its vineyards, bed and breakfast, and outdoor Wine Terrace are located at 7505 120th Avenue Coal Valley, IL. Creekside Vineyards also offers its wines at select Quad City IL retailers; to learn more, visit www.creeksidevineyards.com or call 309-787-WINE. “We hope these results help spread the word that the Midwest produces many fines,” comments owner and Marketing Director Jennifer Mital. “We are honored to play a role in this industry and take pride in playing a part in its growth and future success. The best part of the day is knowing our wines and venues add enjoyment to people’s lives. One doesn’t have to travel far to find a fine bottle of wine or the beautiful vineyard from which the grapes are grown.”

 
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