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Cosmos Creations Divine Premium Corn Puffs

4 Mar

by Angela James

Each year my business partner and I show up the Winter Fancy Food Show with empty stomachs and high expectations. Long ago we learned that it was best to go lightly at the onset to avoid over-indulging and losing focus. Our goal is to seek out unique new products, flavors and trendy food concoctions. This year we were stopped in our tracks by Cosmos Creations gourmet oven-baked puffed corn.

This is not your typical popcorn snack. Cosmos Creations are a delicious, all-natural alternative that we could not stop tasting! An assortment of unique, fun flavors was available including Salted Caramel, Carmel Apple, Spicy Sriracha and, my personal favorite, Coconut Crunch.

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Baked corn is different from popcorn – there are no hulls or kernels because it’s made from corn meal that is extruded then baked, resulting in a puff. Cosmos products are made with all natural ingredients which means no preservatives, no additives, no artificial flavors, and no artificial colors.

The fantastic assortment of flavors initially drew me in, but what kept my attention was the fact that Cosmos Creations satisfy the way popcorn should yet have no hulls or kernels that lodge between your teeth and ‘stick with you’ throughout the day. An added benefit that I think should be shouted from the rooftops is that it’s gentle enough to enjoy for anyone with braces, retainers, and other appliances – Oh how I wish I had discovered Cosmos Creations when my kids were in braces! Cosmos melts in your mouth and are hand-made from natural ingredients, all of which I could pronounce.  It is a gluten free snack made from non-GMO corn with zero trans fats.

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Cosmos Creations gets it drive and inspiration by holding steadfast to their founding purpose for creating a healthful delight for the masses to share. Managed by the Strasheim and Tiller families under the name 4 Him Food Group, CEO John Strasheim says, “We think a great way to demonstrate our beliefs in the fruits of the Spirit, especially joy, kindness and goodness, is by providing our own version of heavenly mana right here on earth.”

Each year I collect my favorite finds and ship a “care package” to my daughter who is away at college, which included several flavors I snagged at the Cosmos Creations exhibit. She soon called me and had to know where to get more (Caramel Apple, please!) for her and her pals. Coincidentally, her school is within a few miles of Cosmos Creations new plant in Junction City, Oregon so they had no trouble finding a local Fred Meyer with a nice selection. Cosmos was a huge hit with me as well as some picky, health conscious college students. We agreed that Cosmos Creations’ pure natural ingredients combine to make an airy, natural snack alternative that proved to be deliciously addictive.

Purchase Cosmos Creations on line here. Or search for a store near you at this link.  Buy Cosmos online at Costco.comFollow Cosmos Creations on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Uniquely Southeast Asian Sweet Treats from Hey Boo!

2 Mar

by Angela James

I actually started out  at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show with a road map and a plan. In the past I have made the mistake of tasting everything that is offered to me but this year I was determined not to slip into my typical food haze, stay strong and remain focused! I began my journey on the hunt for new, intriguing products as I sampled my way through the US State specific show floor section. Being a lover of all things coconut, I was tickled to find Hey Boo’s Award winning Coconut Jams featured in the Savor California booth. I have long enjoyed Hey Boo’s version of a coconut spread, an indulgence I was introduced to as a kid. But this year I was lucky enough to sample Hey Boo’s newest concoctions – Coconut Caramels in four unique, Southeast Asian flavors -Vietnamese Coffee, Thai Iced Tea, Ginger Rum and Sea Salt. Soft, chewy and incredibly satisfying, I found it difficult to find a favorite, so I continued chatting and sampling much longer than I should have…

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Founder Cristina Widjaja’s career focused on the high tech industry, but her passion for gourmet artisan foods eventually led her back to a treat from her Indonesian roots. All of Hey Boo’s jams and caramels are slow cooked in small batches using only high quality natural ingredients: premium coconut milk, cane sugar, and egg yolk. Organic agave syrup and cane sugar is used in the caramel sauce. Dairy and gluten free. Hey Boo Jams are available in three divine flavors: Coconut Jam, Mango Coconut Jam and Coconut Caramel (my personal go-to!)

Cristina has received high praise for her products from both the industry and consumers. She won a Silver Sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association (like an Oscar in the gourmet food world), and Jessica Seinfeld (yes, married to that Seinfeld) posted how much she loves Hey Boo to her 97,000 Instagram fans at @Heyboojams. You can also join her loyal following on Facebook at HeyBooJams. Buy some online here  or use this store locator to pick some up at a store nearby.

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Elegant Brie wins Sofi Gold!!

1 Aug

Congratulations to Elegant Brie who has just won its first gold Sofi Award for their decadent Mushroom, Garlic, and Scallion baked brie! Media Owls first discovered Elegant Brie last year at Los Gatos Farmer’s Market one lazy Sunday morning.  I was in search of a special treat to bring to a housewarming open house. I, of course, had waited until the last minute to put together something special for a good friend’s party and needed it to appear that I had actually planned ahead and put lots of thought into it! Elegant Brie to the rescue.

I brought home a beautiful brie en croute (the brie’s rind is removed) loaded with sautéed mushrooms, garlic and scallions. I should have taken a picture when I placed it on the guest table. By the time I thought to get my camera, the guests had torn into it like hungry savages.  I should get some credit for saving my friends the embarrassment of photographing them scraping for the last, tasty remnants.

The creamy brie and delicious filling are wrapped in a flaky puffed pastry decorated with an elegant leaf design. It was not until it was all gone and I was asked repeatedly how it was made that I finally fessed up and said I hadn’t actually whipped it up myself and directed my pals to Elegant Brie’s website and the local grocer’s frozen section so they could get their own impressive brie en croute ready to bake at home. Here is a shot of Leslie (The Big Cheese) and Linda (Chief Cheese Officer) and what looks to be a trusted assistant, of Elegant Brie at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. They received the coveted Gold Sofi Award of excellence in the Frozen Savory Category at a red-carpet ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC. We wish you all continued success!!  http://www.elegantbrie.com #elegantbrie #brie #fancyfoodshow #sofiaward #sofi #FFS #mediaowls #appetizer #mushrooms #savorcalifornia

Elegant Brie booth at SF Fancy Food Show 2014. Crew includes of Leslie (The Big Cheese) and Linda (Chief Cheese Officer).

Elegant Brie booth at SF Fancy Food Show 2014. Crew includes Leslie (The Big Cheese) and Linda (Chief Cheese Officer).

Top Tastes from the Winter Fancy Food Show

1 Feb

By Angela James

Since I have attended this show in the past, I was able to learn from my previous mistakes, which included: feeling obligated to try everything, struggling to see everything, and not staying focused on the products that the press would see as distinctive and newsworthy. Armed with experience, I was able to roam the floors with a vague, pleasant eye that managed to avoid the things that have been done before and zero in on what was of interest to me from a PR point of view.

When I first arrived at the show I was stopped by a nice gal who happened to be from Route 29 Carmels & Sweets who wanted to compliment me on my purse! You can see why below– twin owls! I took this as a sign that this show was sure to be a successful endeavor! I was already in great company!

 

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The following are a few of the more interesting items found at the Fancy Food Show. Some are selected according to my own delights and prejudices. I gave preference to the local, most of the products are odd or intriguing, all are treats the press would surely like to tell their audiences about.

I was so pleased to meet the folks from Bread Armor. They produce storage bags that keep Artisan bread fresh longer. They are resealable, reusable and recyclable with sizes to fit baguettes, ciabatta, french bread and more. Why these aren’t available next to the artisan breads right now, I want to know! I have a freezer full of croutons made from not-so-fresh- anymore french bread. Great idea–don’t you think??

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Honestly, I found Fortun’s Finishing Touch Sauces almost by mistake…. It was the end of the last day of the show and most vendors were simply trying to pawn off their perishables. We happened by the Fortun’s and were given full packets of their Marsala & Mushroom and the Lemon Dill Caper with White Wine sauces.

When I got home these were the first items that caught my husband’s eye…. I should tell you that my husband is quite the gourmet cook (lucky me!) and the best BBQ chef in town — seriously. He makes everything from scratch, buys all his veggies at the local farmer’s market — come on– he even raised his own steer because he wanted to make sure it was organically grass fed. Ask anyone — he’s a legend. He had planned to BBQ pork chops for dinner and I showed him the Marsala & Mushroom-  although not traditionally served with pork, he was completely impressed with the flavor and quality of the sauce. Fortun’s passed a test I never thought any packaged sauce could. I definitely want to get in touch with Kevin Fortun!! I’m a believer!!

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We have had Arette Tea Seed Oil on our radar. With subtle nutty flavor, tea-like aroma, and high smoke point, Arette Tea Seed Oil is excellent for dressings, baking, stir-frying and more. High in nutrition and 100% organic are among the many benefits of this unique Tea Seed Oil — and theirs is a story that is just waiting to be told to the world! This year we were very impressed with their new infused tea seed flavors- especially enjoyed Tea Seed Oil Infused with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Chilli Pepper.

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We worked our way over to the Savor California Section and had the pleasure of tasting the Agave Dream Ice Cream Collection. The company strives to produce sorbets and ice creams that are “guilt-free.”  Agave Dream contributes a portion of its proceeds to worthy causes like juvenile diabetes. We especially enjoyed their Pomegranate Acai Sorbet and Cinnamon Ice Cream flavors!

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