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Food without wine is like Fred without Ginger; Ricky without Lucy; Prince William without Kate.   

Whether it’s a fresh and simple amuse bouche or a five-course stunner, exactly what is the best wine to pair with the dish in front of you? Sparkling wine.

Bubbles are not only fun but also the most food-versatile wines in the world.  Their crisp acidity refreshes the palate for each bite of food. Sparklers pair perfectly with simple salads and fresh seafood as well as cutting through richer foods like scallops, crab cakes, creamy pastas, roast chicken, duck and rabbit dishes. Sparkling wines are even fantastic with fried olives, sweet potato chips, and French fries!

Using the premium bubbles of Italy’s Franciacorta region, James Lechner, Owner and Wine Director of Seattle’s own Stoneburner restaurant, will guide guests through various styles of sparkling wine with tasty bites of food from the award winning restaurant.

By the end of the session, it will be sparkling clear: bubbles pair with an incredibly diverse range of foods.

The only trouble with Franciacorta sparkling wine, Stoneburner Restaurant, and this seminar?  Trying to stop once you start the delicious cycle of “tasty bite, sparkling sip; tasty bite, sparkling sip” because Franciacorta are some of the food friendliest wines on the planet.


=  BEST Food and Wine Pairing Seminar EVER
Italy’s Best Bubbles and Local Stoneburner Restaurant join forces this September.

Come taste for yourselves.;, @FranciacortaUSA

The American Lamb Board Offers Five Tips for Preparing and Grilling Lamb
t’s time to make the grill a go-to for everyday dinners and entertaining alike.  Add variety to summertime staples by including American lamb chops in the summer grilling lineup. With just a few ingredients and minimal preparation, chops are a fast and flavorful choice for any grill-gathering. “From family cookouts to pool parties, I always look to loin chops to feed a crowd,” says Megan Wortman, executive director of the American Lamb Board. “Look to your pantry for spice blends and marinades that will take your lamb from simple to special. My go-to marinade – olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs – is easy and foolproof.”

 The American Lamb Board offers five tips for preparing and grilling lamb:
1.     Choose your chops: Versatile in both flavor and price point, lamb chops come in many forms. Whether choosing classic rib chops (cut from the rack), loin chops (similar to little T-bone steaks), shoulder chops or leg chops (sirloin or center sliced), just a few minutes on the grill will yield tender, juicy meat. Leg chops are the leanest, and loin chops offer the perfect 4 ounce serving.
2.     Spice it up: This full-flavored meat can stand on its own, but American lamb is the perfect protein to pair with bold, globally inspired flavors. Whether mealtime calls for flavors like salsa verde, soy sauce, citrus or sumac, chops should be marinated anywhere from 2 to 24 hours before grilling.
3.     Salt the sides: For flavorful lamb, don’t forget to salt both sides of the lamb chop 40 minutes before they hit the grill. Salt acts as a type of brine, breaking down some of the muscle tissue that helps the meat to absorb moisture.
4.     Don’t overcook: For best results, grill lamb over medium heat, use a meat thermometer and follow this handy American lamb cooking time and temperature guide for desired doneness.
5.     Let it rest: Cover lamb chops with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes while the internal temperature continues to rise and the juices set.

For more lamb chop grilling tips and recipe inspiration, visit

And for tips on grilling lamb, check out our awesome videos!

Mobile leader and innovator, BigOven, was the first recipe app for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. In addition to being software veterans AND home cooks with a mission to get folks organized and inspired in the kitchen (and on the go!), BigOven is also a Premier sponsor of the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC). BigOven serves millions of cooks every month and their partnership in the 2015 State of Food Blogging Survey will help collect valuable information about the food blogging sector. The annual IFBC wouldn’t be what it is without YOU, the intrepid food blogger, and we look forward to your participation in this important survey.

The survey is open from June 1 through June 30. The survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and your involvement is much appreciated! All survey respondents and their information is confidential and the information gathered will be shared in aggregate form. The results of the 2015 State of Food Blogging Survey will be presented on the Foodista and IFBC websites in August, 2015.

Ready to participate in the 2015 State of Food Blogging Survey? We hope you do! Please click on the following link:

Big shout-out of THANKS to BigOven for being the exclusive partner of the 2015 survey and helping nurture the process of understanding the ever-important food blogging sector.  We look forward to learning more about your recipe technologies at the 2015 International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle this September.

We are thrilled that Manitoba Harvest has hopped on board as a Premier Sponsor for IFBC 2015. Check out this new product they're offering. Hemp seeds aren't just for salads!

The wait is finally over! Our brand new product, Hemp Heart Bites, has arrived on our website! We’re so excited about these bite-size crunchy hemp snacks, as they are made from the little seeds you already know and love (aka Hemp Hearts) but in a snack form and the perfect way to take them with you on the go!

Besides being super convenient and incredibly tasty, Hemp Heart Bites have 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of omega 3 and 6 in a 45-gram serving (about 8 pieces), so they are a great way to fill up when you’re having a mid-day snack attack.

You can pack them in your lunch, take them to the gym or eat them on the go. Regardless of where you snack, Hemp Heart Bites are sure to help fuel your active lifestyle.

With just six ingredients, you can feel great about eating Hemp Heart Bites and sharing them with your kiddies too! You can buy these Non-GMO bite-size snacks on our website, on and, or at your local health food store or grocery store. If you’ve seen Hemp Hearts on your local store shelf, chances are they may have Hemp Heart Bites too (excluding Costco). If you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to chat with the store manager about bringing them into that location!

Have you already picked up a bag of Hemp Heart Bites?
That’s amazing! We’d love to see photos of you enjoying your new snack. Post a photo to Twitter or Instagram using the Hashtag #hhbites. Your photo could end up on our Hemp Heart Bites social stream and be entered to WIN monthly draws for another delicious bag! Good luck!

It’s no secret that nose to tail butchery is a culinary trend, yet many don’t realize the reason behind it. Pork chops and chicken breasts pervade meat counters at local grocers, and consequently are forcing ranchers to produce these cuts in mass quantities which has devastating effects on heritage breeds and sustainable ranches. Not to mention that underappreciated cuts like Guanciale, Zabuton Beef and Lamb Cheeks are delicious.

Coming up this month Skillet Chef Nick Novello will showcase his passion for nose to talk butchery and sustainability in the Butcher Cut Series, a weekly installment of special menus offered Friday evenings. More detail is in the press release below. 

This June, Skillet partners with Niman Ranch for the Butcher Cut Series, a delectable weekly offering designed to bring awareness to the whole animal, sourced responsibly and raised with care. Offered Friday evenings, June 5 through June 26 at the Capitol Hill and Ballard Skillet, Chef Nick Novello will present a different four-course menu each week that focuses on underappreciated cuts – from pig heads and lamb cheeks to Guanciale and Zabuton beef.

“Niman Ranch does an incredible job of raising heritage breeds for nose to tail butchery – rather than just the cuts you’re used to seeing in mass quantities,” said Skillet Chef Nick Novello, who is spearheading the program. “When animals are raised with care it equates to undeniable flavor. You can’t argue with flavor, so come join us for a delicious adventure and support our sustainable farmers and ranchers.” 

“Our commitment to small independent family farmers, ranchers and their local communities, sustainable agriculture practice and humane animal care sets us apart,” said Jeff Tripician, EVP Niman Ranch. “All of these working together produce the finest tasting meat that you can feel good about eating.”

Menu highlights include smoked and braised lamb belly served with goat cheese, rice flour gnocchi, grilled corn, shaved parmesan, fresh herbs and a sunny egg; Zabuton beef with cauliflower puree, grilled endive, smashed fingerlings; and pork short ribs with huckleberry soy glaze, white cheddar cheese grits, toasted chia seeds, charred leeks and turmeric fried cauliflower.

Each evening includes a four-course meal that ranges from $30-$35 per person. The first three courses each feature a different cut and the fourth course will vary between house-made sweet corn ice cream or a hand blended black and white milkshake. For complete menus & to make a reservation visit the website at



Register for 2015!

$195: Active Food Bloggers

$495: Non-Bloggers
(Industry, Media Relations Professionals, etc.)

Who Should Attend

Bloggers, Food Writers & Cookbook Authors

Publishers, Agents & Editors

Food Brand / Restaurant Marketers

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