Category Archives: Food

Coupons and Causes for the Holidays — Right Here!

9 Early Holiday Deals to Help you Save on Gift Shopping and Make a Difference too!

With the holidays fast approaching, people are thinking about the perfect gifts to buy for their loved ones, and the best stores to find the deals for those gifts. As demonstrated in the infographic below, however, shoppers aren’t just thinking about savings - they’re also passionate about giving back this holiday season.

GoodshopHolidayInfographic

 

The best part is, with Goodshop.com, people can do their holiday shopping AND give back at the same time. Goodshop is a site that gets shoppers the best deals and coupons at thousands of retailers, and donates a percentage of all purchases to the cause of the shoppers’ choice!

So, buying a new Apple iPhone for your niece or nephew, could raise enough to feed a shelter animal for a day. Shopping for a warm scarf from Land’s End for your best friend, could raise enough to fund vaccinations for kids in need. There are thousands of deals to save with and more than 110,000 nonprofits and schools to support.

Below is a list of early Holiday deals.  Save money and give back with Goodshop!

christmas-boxshoppingKohl’s – Save 10% on any order of $75 or more.
Expires: 01-02-2015. 2% Donation
 
Ralph Lauren - Up to 25% off select kid’s styles, plus free shipping at the new Holiday Savings event!
Expires: 12-31-2014. 5% Donation
 
Dell - Get 20% off Dell electronics and accessories with free shipping.
Expires: 11-17-2014. 3% Donation
 
Sundance Catalog – Free shipping on orders over $100 (offer valid on full price purchases only)!
Expires: 11-16-2014. Up to 5% Donation
 
Edible Arrangements - $5 off your Edible Arrangements order.
Expires: 11-16-2014. 1% Donation
 
Amazon – 20% off purchases over $75 in clothing and apparel!
Expires: 11-20-2014. 1.5% Donation
 
Best Buy – Up to 25% off laptops
Expires: 01-01-2015. 7.5% Donation
 
Express - Take 40% off your $200 purchase, 30% off your $100 purchase, or 20% off your $50 purchase.
Expires: 11-16-2014. 7% Donation
 
Office Depot & Office Max - $20 off your qualifying purchase of $125.
Expires 11-17-2014. 3% Donation

There’s A New App In Town and It’s Got FLAVOUR!

Flavour LogoRestaurant Discovery App Flavour elegantly and quickly helps diners discover the best cuisine in New York, San Francisco and Chicago

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Flavour, an elegant restaurant discovery app, which launched this week in the App Store, aggregates recommendations from trusted sources to help discerning diners discover and explore over 1,600 of the most notable restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine or notable feature in New York, San Francisco and Chicago, with more cities launching soon.

Flavour’s restaurant list is distilled from the finest ingredients – recognized food critics, local publications and industry experts – to provide the best of what you want to eat, when you want to eat, where you want to eat, most visited and most popular places to dine.

Unlike other platforms, Flavour’s restaurants are not ranked by unreviewed user check ins or opinions. Nor are restaurants promoted based on paid advertising. So it eliminates the need to research multiple sources to find the right place to eat.

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For each listing, Flavour includes a selection of highly recommended dishes, links to a full menu and the ability to share by text or email. Users can also place reservations through OpenTable or by calling the restaurant directly. Additional cities and features are coming soon.

What we like about this app at Gia On The Move: Flavour is free to download and to use.  Flavour also proudly supports the efforts of Food Bank For New York City.

Our only disappointment so far:  The Flavour app is available exclusively on the iPhone.  Android users will still be stuck fending for themselves unless Flavour decides to includes them.  Let’s hope.

Find Them on Twitter and Instagram, @GetFlavour.
Follow Your Cravings at www.getflavour.com.

About Flavour
Flavour is an elegant mobile application that instantly connects you to the right restaurants in New York,Chicago and San Francisco.  With just a few taps, you can search neighborhoods, browse menus, and book tables based on cuisine, location or occasion. From award-winning fare to hidden gems and local favorites, Flavour serves your city on a plate.  Flavour has been developed by veteran investor Emily Keeton and award-winning developers, Rohit Gupta and Khalid Meniri.

http://www.getflavour.com/

 

 

It’s a Sweet Ho-Ho-Holiday Season at IHOP

Get into the Holiday Spirit with New Caramel Bon Bon Pancakes, New Pumpkin Cheesecake Pancakes and the return of Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

IHOP’s NEW Caramel Bon Bon Pancakes

It’s not exactly the healthy menu we like to promote here at Gia On The Move. But holidays are for celebrating and just a little bit of indulging.  And…tis the season…so really…go out and treat yourself!

For IHOP lovers the holidays have begun.  They (and most likely you) can’t think of a better way to start it off than by enjoying a terrific meal.  So IHOP has once again introduced their special holiday signature pancakes along with a sweet new desert!

Ok, so they started serving them on November 3.  (We only just got the info!)  But you will be able to enjoy this tradition all the way through January 1, 2015!

To capture the magic of the season in a delicious way, IHOP restaurants will be offering guests their version of a season’s greeting with 3 delicious holiday hotcakes:

IHOP's New holiday hotcakes

  • New Caramel Bon Bon Pancakes: A sweet treat of buttermilk pancakes layered with dulce de leche cream then topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce and whipped topping.
  • New Pumpkin Cheesecake Pancakes: Our most popular seasonal pumpkin pancakes filled with luscious cheesecake bites and topped with creamy whipped topping.
  • Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Pancakes – The return of last year’s favorite holiday signature pancake: Buttermilk pancakes filled with sweet white chocolate chips then crowned with raspberry topping, cream cheese icing and whipped topping.

And once again, IHOP restaurants will feature Traditional and Craveable Holiday Dinners & Dessert:

  • Classic Ham Dinner: A seasonal favorite made with hickory smoked ham, glazed with sweet caramel sauce and topped with cinnamon apples. Served with sweet potato fries and broccoli.
  • Classic Roasted Turkey Dinner: Sliced roasted turkey breast, layered on a bed of stuffing and topped with warm turkey gravy. Served with mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and a side of lingonberry jam
  • Belgian Chocolate Mousse Crepe: Light and fluffy Belgian Chocolate mousse folded into a cool crepe and topped with raspberries, whipped topping and powdered sugar.

For more information about International House of Pancakes, LLC or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit www.IHOP.com.  Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

IHOP Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

IHOP’s NEW! Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

What Happens When Kids “Flip Out” on Masterchef Junior?

masterchef junior

In a flipping awesome pre-challenge, the junior home cooks will race to see who can flip and stack the most pancakes, and then the judges get syruped! The judges then task the kids with creating their best citrus cream pie. Find out which kids make the most successful cream pies and advance to the next round in the all-new “Flip it!” episode of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR airing Tuesday, Nov. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.   Watch the preview here:

OFFICIAL SHOW WEBSITEwww.fox.com/masterchef-junior
OFFICIAL SHOW FACEBOOKwww.facebook.com/MasterchefJuniorFOX
OFFICIAL SHOW TWITTER@MasterChefJrFOX & Join the Discussion: #masterchefjunior
Host/Judge Gordon Ramsay: @gordonramsay
Judge Joe Bastianich: @jbastianich
Judge Graham Elliot: @grahamelliot

November Mushroom Mania on the Mendocino Coast

mushroom-mania

During the month of November, Mendocino County becomes a mushroom lover’s paradise. 

The Little River Inn will be hosting its SEVENTH-ANNUAL MUSHROOM & BEER DINNER on Friday, November 14, 2014, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The Inn’s Executive Chef, Marc Dym, has created a delectable, multi-course dinner highlighting local mushroom varieties from the county to paired with hand-crafted ales from local Brewmaster, Vinnie Cilurzo, of Russian River Brewing Company. The multi-course meal will include passed appetizers, four individually plated starters, an entrée course and a desert course, as well as distinct beer pairings with each offering.

Additionally, Chef Dym, is pleased to debut the Inn’s 75th Anniversary Saison. This limited edition, private label beer was crafted by Chef Dym himself with the help of Fal Allen, brewmaster of Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Farmhouse in-style, this ale is comprised of locally foraged Candy Cap mushrooms and quatre épices, a combination of spices including ground pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, giving the beer a complex maple-like depth with a refreshing finish.

For guests who are unable to attend the Inn’s annual Mushroom & Beer dinner, but still want to experience the beautiful bounty of Mendocino County mushrooms, the Little River Inn will be offering daily mushroom specials in its restaurant and Ole’s Whale Watch Bar throughout the month of November. Offered during breakfast and dinner, Inn guests and diners can enjoy delectable dishes featuring a variety of mouth-watering local mushrooms, such as candy cap, chanterelle, porcini and morel.

To carry on with the mushroom theme, Little River Inn will be offering MUSHROOM MANIA, a lodging special. For information and reservations  about all the events visit www.littleriverinn.com or call 707.937.5942.

Additionally, the Little River Inn is a proud sponsor of Mendocino: Our Town in Art & Film and is partnering with the Mendocino Film Festival and Mendocino Art Center to present the premiere of East of Eden benefit screening on Sunday, November 23. Beginning at 4 p.m., the screening will include a selection of Hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and cocktails. A silent auction will be held to help support the California Arts Council Grant.

Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, will introduce East of Eden. Feinberg, who boasts an exceptional track record for Oscar predictions, presented East of Eden at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Los Angeles earlier this year.

Tickets are $50 per person & can be purchased by visiting www.mendocinofilmfestival.org.

Little River Inn

About Little River Inn

Little River Inn is a family-owned and operated boutique resort on the Mendocino coast of California with a chef-driven restaurant, nine-hole Audubon-certified golf course, professional tennis courts and day spa. Ideal for the entire family and pet-friendly, the Inn has 66 guest rooms ranging from the economical to the luxurious. Several private meeting and special event spaces with stunning ocean and garden views make the Inn an excellent venue for small- to medium-sized weddings and corporate retreats. The restaurant, helmed by CIA-trained Executive Chef Marc Dym, is a destination unto itself and the delicious, often hearty California coastal cuisine has a following so dedicated that it is not uncommon for guests to fly in by private plane for Sunday Brunch. Ole’s Whale Watch Bar is a classic local hangout where guests gather for drinks and a casual bite, and Sue Bondoux is the treasured bar manager with a remarkable 21-year history of making drinks at Little River Inn. Little River Inn has a beautiful, nine-hole golf course that plays like 18 and is appropriate for many skill levels. The Inn also has a Day Spa with three treatment rooms and offers in-room services.  Overseen by fifth-generation Innkeeper Cally Dym, Little River Inn is very proud to be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014.

Little River Inn is located two miles south of Mendocino overlooking the Pacific Ocean, at 7901 N. Highway One, Little River, CA 95456. For reservations and additional information, call 707.937.5942 or visit www.littleriverinn.com.

 

One More Plate For National Pasta Month

Olive Garden's New Lasagna Fresca with Shrimp

Olive Garden’s New Lasagna Fresca with Shrimp

If you’ve been in the dark about National Pasta Month, the bad news is that well, of course is that it ends October 31st.  However, there’s always time to eat more and so there’s no cause to fret.

To make the point, t just so happens that several weeks ago, Gia On The Move was invited to taste the food re-inventions at the Olive Garden in Burbank.  After being stuffed to the gills with plenty of Italian inspired appetizers, pastas and main dishes including a new “light” menu (which we loved most!), it’s a no brainer for this down home Sicilian to urge you to go and fill your plate!

What we liked best about this menu was the absolute value and affordability mixed with some very significant upgrades in presentation and flavor.  Great date night dinners or family assemblages can be had without breaking the bank. And no one at the table will go hungry.  “Now THAT’S Italian!”

Earlier this year, Olive Garden unveiled its most significant menu evolution in the restaurant’s history, adding more than 20 new menu items that broaden the choice, variety and value it offers guests, prepared with new cooking techniques that accentuate new flavors. Olive Garden’s new menu is designed to appeal to the evolving palettes and preferences of casual dining guests, while providing more options for a customized meal experience at both lunch and dinner.

Olive Garden's Artichoke Fritti

Olive Garden’s Artichoke Fritti

New Menu Highlights

  • Small Plates: Expanding the Tastes of Italy section to include eight small plate dishes for guests who want to explore different flavors.
  • Antipasti and Caprese Salads: Creating new ways for guests to enjoy Olive Garden’s popular signature salad through the addition of antipasti or caprese toppings.
  • Lighter Italian Fare: Enhancing variety within the under-575-calories menu section by introducing additional dishes for calorie-counting guests.
  • Specialty Entrees: Bringing new culinary-forward entrees to the chicken and seafood sections of the menu, enhanced by preparation on a new Piastra flat-top grill for a more evenly cooked, tender and juicy taste.
  • “Cucina Mia” Section: Introducing a new menu section that gives guests the ability to create their own entrée from a variety of six pastas and five made-from-scratch sauces – starting at $9.99 every day.
  • Tuscan Trio Lunch Combinations: Enhancing our popular soup, salad and bread sticks lunch with choice of Mini Pasta Bowl, Small Plate or Signature Salad Topping.
Olive Garden's Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich

Olive Garden’s Chicken Meatball Sandwich

Dishes served at tasting event Gia On The Move thoughts are in red:  :

  • Crispy Risotto Bites (“Small Plates”) – Bite-sized blend of Italian cheeses and rice, lightly fried and served in marinara sauce.  An excellent choice even if a bit on the crispy side.  They are more like a mini arancini (an Italian rice ball) without the meat.
  • Polenta Shrimp alla Greca (“Small Plates”) – Sautéed shrimp served on creamy polenta and topped with a fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce. Carby and a little bit on the heavier sided but delicious.
  • Artichoke Fritti (appetizer) – Marinated artichoke hearts, lightly battered and fried. Served with a five cheese marinara dipping sauce. Not our favorite; they were a bit too fried for our palette.  But if you are looking for an appetizer alternative in vegetable form, and like a saltier taste, it’s a way to go.
  • Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper – Fresh mozzarella bites, roasted tomato, bell pepper, basil, kale and an extra-virgin olive oil drizzle.  This was actually a Kale salad with the roasted tomato topper and our least favorite in the grouping as it was overall too dry underneath. But for vegetarians looking for absolutely simple without oils, vinegar or other heavy dressings, this is your “target zero” for a healthy choice.
  • Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich – Smashed chicken meatballs with roasted bell peppers and mozzarella on a focaccia bun.  Without a doubt this spicy number is going to be a lunch favorite for all patrons.  Already a big seller, this sandwich packs all the awesome flavor of a regular beef or pork meatball but with a lighter side poultry alternative.  You will LOVE IT!  We totally did!
  • Bucatini with Spicy Diavolo Sauce and Sausage Meatballs – part of Cucina Mia:
    • Choose your pasta: New Large Paccheri, New Tri-Colored Vegetable Penne, Bucatini, New Cavatappi, Whole Wheat Linguine, New Gluten-Free Rotini
    • Choose your made-from-scratch sauce:  New Creamy Garlic Alfredo, New Primavera, New Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato, New Spicy Diavolo, Fresh Tomato Pomodoro
    • Add a topping (additional cost): New Chicken Meatballs, New Sausage Meatballs, Meatballs, Sautéed Shrimp.  For diners who need choices but not the stress of deciding if any of the ingredients are too experimental.
Olive Garden's Garlic Rosemary Chicken

Olive Garden’s Garlic Rosemary Chicken

Garlic Rosemary Chicken (Lighter Italian Fare [under 575 calories]) – Grilled marinated chicken breast topped with rosemary and caramelized garlic cloves. Served with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and fresh spinach.  Hands down one of our favorites.  The only thing that could be improved is the sauce which is a bit too gravy-like instead of “jus” like and can potentially overpower the dish.  But nevertheless, it is an absolutely delicious choice and a recommend.

  • Lasagna Fresca – Hand folded vegetable lasagna, sautéed shrimp and grilled tomatoes with sun-dried tomato sauce.  Most of the tasters liked this one.  It wasn’t particularly our favorite.  We typically are traditionalists when it comes to food here at Gia On The Move.  The chopped vegetables seemed hard and detracted from the actual lasagna flavor.  BUT…patrons who prefer summer squashes to the taste of cheese are going to prefer this.  And although far from traditional, the shrimp topping adds an intriguing take.  It’s a toss-up.
Olive Garden's Chicken Abruzzi

Olive Garden’s Chicken Abruzzi

Chicken Abruzzi (Lighter Italian Fare [under 575 calories]) – Grilled chicken breast in a savory broth simmered with cannellini beans, kale and garden vegetables. We loved this.  It’s a bit on the soupy, salty side, but the cannelli beans are a perfect mid-northern touch and a superior nutritional choice. Recommended.

  • Pappardelle Pescatore (Olive Garden Specialty) – Sautéed shrimp, bay scallops and clams tossed with pappardelle pasta, fresh asparagus and tomatoes in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce. Well, first off, it’s not really a parpardelle pasta.  We were told that most of the customers didn’t quite understand how to eat Papardelle in its original form; Pappardelle is traditionally a wider noodle closer to a strip of lasagna, which seemed a bit bulky to “regulars”. So Olive Garden management decided to make it skinnier, like a thicker linguine, but kept the name.  So technically it’s not pappardelle.  And it tasted simply like linguine with a melody of shellfish. But the taste was there: spicy and actually a little piquant.  Highly recommended.
  • Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries (dessert) – Sweet summer strawberries top a rich and creamy vanilla custard inspired by Italy’s mountainous Piedmont region.  Everything you could want in a custard desert.  Not quite as light as a traditional panna cotta but every bit as delicious.  We loved it.  Highly recommended for lovers of sweets.
Olive Garden's Pappardelle Pescatore

Olive Garden’s Pappardelle Pescatore

Superfood to SuperDRINK: Misugaru – A New Kind of Coffee

sm-Caffebene-Misugaru

As we know “Superfood” continues to be THE buzzword of 2014, but what about a superDRINK? There’s a new trend in morning beverages. Dedicated Coffee drinkers are going to want to take note.  You might be leaving behind your ordinary brew very soon!

Misugaru is a unique and healthy, protein-packed powder comprised of black sesame, black bean, black rice, brown rice and barley and is typically mixed into smoothies or other beverages for added nutritional benefits. Misugaru first gained popularity in Korea, where the multigrain powder has been added to foods and drinks for centuries, but is now becoming more widely available across the globe.

South-Korean born coffeehouse, Caffebene, which has constructed its own ‘FTT (Farm to Table)’ system, managing the distribution of coffee from farm to table, was one of the first to introduce the ingredient to America and offers Misugaru in a number of their specialty drinks, including gourmet Misugaru lattes and Misugaru frappes (available in a variety of flavors).

By combining the power of five different grains, customers are able to get their daily energy fix in a natural way AND benefit from the added perks of the omega-3s, fatty acids, protein, fiber and other nutrients found in the Misugaru mix.

Gia On The Move hasn’t tried this yet, but we’re loving that there are local LA locations and some that are on their way in the California area; and lots on the East Coast in New York, Boston and New Jersey! (Click the image below to see if there is one near you.)

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