Food & Dining
Chefs Create Winning Cheese Dishes in State Fair Velveeta Contest PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:20

DES MOINES, IA (08/17/2012)(readMedia)-- Cooks celebrated a classic kitchen ingredient in the Kraft Kreations with Velveeta competition judged Wednesday at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Norita Solt of Bettendorf won First Place Overall and a $100 Fareway gift card, while Sue Olson of Des Moines took Second Place Overall and a $75 gift card. Third Place Overall and a $50 gift card went to Jamie Buelt of Polk City.

Competitors were challenged to use the cheese in an award-winning entrée, soup or side dish. Entries were judged on taste, best use of Velveeta, appearance and originality.

Additional results below:


1) Sue Olson, Des Moines

2) Jessica Cain, Des Moines

3) Kenzie Piper, Waukee


1) Norita Solt, Bettendorf

2) Dianna Caron-Smith, Winterset

3) Ginger Hartman, Des Moines

Side Dish

1) Jamie Buelt, Polk City

2) Sue Olsen, Des Moines

The Iowa State Fair Food Department is the largest of any state fair in the country. Food Department judging is held in the Elwell Family Food Center sponsored by Blue Bunny.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Heather Lilienthal, Iowa Farm Bureau   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:24

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Aug. 14, 2012– Daryl Witt of Warren County was crowned the 2012 Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest winner with his ‘Slap Yo’ Daddy’ Ribs recipe. Witt beat out 45 other grillers, representing counties from around the state, to win the 49th annual competition.

The annual Iowa Farm Bureau-sponsored contest featured outdoor chefs using their best grilling, roasting and smoking techniques.  “Every year, we are amazed at the creativity of Iowa’s grillers. Each recipe has been tested and tasted and each one brings out the different traits of each type of meat,” said Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill.  “Our livestock farmers are so proud to raise healthy livestock that provide important sources of protein and inspiration for cooks like the ones at our annual contest.”

Cookout champion Witt won first place in the pork category before being selected by the judges as the overall winner.  He received $200 and a permanent trophy as the cookout champion.

Other first place winners and their categories were William Hoffman, Jr., of Tama County, beef;  Michelle Bruce of Benton County, lamb/goat; Jason Cronk of Tama County, poultry; and Nate Miller of Scott County, combo/specialty.  All winners received $75.

Second place winners and their categories were Bruce Campbell of Hardin County, beef; Mike Vroom of Marion County, combo/specialty; Andy Wilson of Lee County, pork; and Tracy Christensen of Audubon County, poultry.  All second place winners received $50.

Winners in special categories were youth first place – Lance Henrichs of Clarke County and youth second place – Amber Westemeier of Linn County; showmanship – Phil Cummings of Benton County; and team – Jason Kula and Alvin Westemeier of Linn County.  The youth winner received a gas grill and $75 and second place received $50 from the Iowa Propane Association.  The showmanship winner received $100.  The team winners received $150.

Prize sponsors for the Cookout Contest include the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Bureau Financial Services, GROWMARK, Inc., Iowa Propane Gas Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Turkey Federation and the Iowa Poultry Association.  The Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board is also a sponsor of the contest.


Health Coach to Moms: Fall in Love with Your Food PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 14:26
Tips to Jumpstart an Affair Your Jeans Will Remember

A lot has changed for 21st-century women, but one thing hasn’t: Moms still juggle insanely busy lives and their needs usually fall last on the list, says Columbia University-certified health coach Beth Aldrich.

That includes eating – as in, really loving what you eat. Because you didn’t really love that bag of chips you downed while watching “An Affair to Remember” for the 200th time, did you?

“How could you?” asks Aldrich, author of the award-winning new book, Real Moms Love to Eat ( “Who could possibly be aware of chips with Cary Grant on the screen?”

It’s wonderful to take pleasure in food, she says. It’s even OK to eat the things we shouldn’t every once in awhile – just be sure to savor every bite. “Eating in front of the TV is not savoring,” Aldrich says..

“There are also plenty of great healthy ingredients that you can turn into new foods to love, even healthier versions of those favorite comfort foods from childhood. You’ll finish meals feeling energized, emotionally satisfied and best of all, not guilty. And, oh yeah! You’ll look great in your skinny jeans!”

Aldrich offers ways to kick off the romance:

• Make it all about YOU: Get back to the basics, remembering the pleasure inherent in the food experiences of your childhood. Think of the simple joy you had crunching into a sweet apple. How does that compare with the high-fructose corn syrup-drenched, refined wheat-flour products that leave you bloated and craving more? Whole foods – those eaten in their natural, unprocessed state, such as a baked potato versus French fries -- give you a fuller eating experience, increase energy and help you look great!

• Get naked with raw foods: Our earliest ancestors were hunter-gatherers who foraged for and consumed a wide variety of caloric intake, mostly consisting of raw veggies. Your body will thank you not long after you include more raw food into your diet, but you don’t have to go the full Monty right away. Add fresh berries to your breakfast yogurt, include fresh nuts with your lunch, or replace coleslaw from the supermarket deli with a fresh recipe made from scratch.

• Tame your cravings dragon: One of the swiftest paths to an unhealthy snacking binge is ready-made, highly-processed sweets and baked goods. The craving-attack occurs when moms are busy and haven’t planned their meals for the day and it leads to a spike in blood sugar, a crash and then – another monster-sized craving. Have healthy options ready to go. Nutrient-dense whole grains such as quinoa, whole-grain toast with sesame butter, and oatmeal will turn that dragon of yours into a pussycat in no time.

• Hungry for more lovin’?: Think you could force yourself to eat an ounce of dark chocolate every day? High-quality dark chocolate – the kind that doesn’t have all the fillers – actually has lots of benefits, not the least of which is … it’s chocolate! Dark chocolate contains natural chemicals that serve as mood boosters and elevate serotonin levels, which enhance our sense of well-being. Health benefits range from keeping blood vessels elastic to increasing antioxidant levels.

“The wrong way to look at the whole-food diet is as an obligation,” Aldrich says. “You are doing your body and your taste buds a favor by excluding unnecessary sugar, salt and processed fats from your diet in favor of a variety of spices, fuller textures and a sexier figure.”

About Beth Aldrich

Beth Aldrich is the founder of and a certified health coach through Columbia University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her new book, "Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous” won a 2012 National Indie Excellence Book Award. Beth is also a lifestyle green-living expert, writer and public speaker. She is the founder of For Her Information Media, LLC, with productions such as the PBS TV series For Her Information, the radio show A Balanced Life with Beth Aldrich, and her blog, She lives in Chicago’s North Shore with her husband and three sons.

Frank’s officially searching for Iowa faces in national Sauerkraut label campaign PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Austin Vanderheyden   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 14:47

Fremont, OH August 7, 2012: “We’re looking for Iowa faces for our labels and kicking it off at the Lisbon Sauerkraut Days (August 9-11), then following it up at the Blairstown Sauerkraut Days (September 4-6) ,” proclaims Katie Smith of the Fremont Company, makers of Frank’s Sauerkraut, suppliers of all the sauerkraut for the event. Katie will be joining fellow sauerkraut lovers this weekend during the annual Lisbon Sauerkraut Days, a celebration of all things Kraut: August 9-11, Lisbon, IA. She’ll be at the Blairstown Festival over Labor Day weekend

The Fremont Company has been actively searching for faces of sauerkraut lovers who are making life sweet with Frank’s to put on their labels. The national program has placed photos of individuals, families and groups from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota on sauerkraut labels; and now the search has come to Iowa.

The annual event features carnival rides, a 5K kraut run/walk, silent auction, cabbage head car show, slow pitch softball tournament, bathtub races, parade, plenty of music and food and the big event: the crowning of the sauerkraut king and queen.

Iowans can submit their photos for Frank’s Search for Sweetness label program now, through the Frank’s Facebook page or

You don’t have to attend the Lisbon Sauerkraut Days to submit your photo! Frank’s is encouraging Iowans to demonstrate how they “make life sweet” using Frank’s Traditional and Sweet Sauerkraut. Frank’s is interested in favorite sauerkraut recipes, stories, and anecdotes; photos should illustrate how individuals, families or groups actually utilize Frank’s products. It’s easy to submit: just send a photo of yourself, family or group using Frank’s Sauerkraut to

About The Fremont Company
The Fremont Company is a 107-year-old consumer food products company, headquartered in Fremont, OH. The Fremont Company manufactures, markets and distributes food products to customers worldwide: Frank’s and SnowFloss Sauerkraut and Mississippi BBQ Sauce. Facebook:

News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Brooke Benschoter   
Monday, 06 August 2012 14:37

Need some relief from all that food on a stick? Follow up state fair food with week of raw, fresh and healthy.

DES MOINES, IA--Feeling a little sluggish (and guilty) from chowing down on State Fair food?  Recovery is around the corner at Raw Food Week Aug. 20-29, and, don’t worry, the word “diet” isn’t even on the program.

Raw Food Week covers the basics of living a healthy lifestyle based on the freshest, natural ingredients possible—just in time to reap the benefits of the bounty of the Iowa growing season, farmers’ markets and maybe your own backyard garden.

“There will be a variety of ways to experience a healthier way of eating that doesn’t mean dieting, but rather thinking differently about what’s at the end of your fork,” said Sheree Clark, holistic health and nutrition counselor and certified raw food chef.  “The focus of Raw Food Week is to experience, not lecture, and learn from those who have transformed their lives and the lives of others.”

Events throughout the week include tastings, presentations, a film screening, as well as the opportunity to experience raw food offerings at several restaurants in metro Des Moines.  The highlight of the week will be a not-your-typical health and wellness presentation by “Dave the Raw Food Trucker,” a formerly sick and obese big-rig driver who reshaped his life through a “raw” experiment, which resulted in weight loss of 230 pounds.

Start off the week by ordering in. On Monday local chef Brandi Leuders will take orders for specially prepared raw dinners that can be picked up on Wednesday--so there’s one meal you won’t have to worry about preparing this week!  Fresh Café is also preparing take-out items that can be purchased throughout the week. The rest of the week unfolds with these events:

Monday, August 20
Movie Night: Special Screening
Forks Over Knives; raw food concessions available
7:00 p.m. $5/person
Fleur Cinema

Tuesday, August 21
Endless Summer: Capturing Your Garden’s Bounty
Sheree Clark, Fork In The Road
11:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.  $20/person
Walnut Ridge, Clive, Iowa

Wednesday, August 22
Dave “The Raw Food Trucker” Rolls Through Des Moines
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M. --appearance at West Glen Farmer’s Market; free
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. --presentation at Event Center West, West Des Moines; $20/person

Thursday, August 23
Meals That Heal, Jean Lorentzen, D.O.
7:00 P.M. $10/person
All Play, Des Moines, Iowa

Friday, August 24
Healthy Happy Hour
Cheers! Wine is a "Raw" Food!
5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. $10/person; includes raw food appetizers
Jasper Winery, Des Moines

Saturday, August 26
Farmer's Market—the best raw food around!
Court Avenue, Des Moines: 7:00 A.M. – Noon; free

Sunday, August 26
Raw Sunday Brunch
Seatings At 11:00 A.M. And 12:30 P.M.
$29.95/person for adults; $14.95/person for children under 12
Echo Valley Country Club, Norwalk, Iowa

Restaurants that are including special menu items for Raw Food Week include Alba, Campbell’s Nutrition, Fresh Café, Gateway Café, Luna Bistro and Natural Thirst.  Information on all events and how to register can be found at
Raw Food Week is hosted by the 600+ member Des Moines Raw Food Group.  For more information visit

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