The Great American Takeout: How You Can Help Restaurants During COVID-19

#TheGreatAmericanTakeout: How You Can Help Restaurants During COVID-19

Practically every industry across the globe is feeling the effects of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. From entertainment to retail, this pandemic is causing businesses to shut down their operations for the foreseeable future. One industry, in particular, is likely to feel the effects of this global crisis for months — if not years — to come: the restaurant industry.

States and cities across the United States have mandated that restaurants must close their dining rooms in order to stem the spread of the dangerous coronavirus. Restaurants can offer takeout and delivery, but the regular revenue from these services certainly don’t equal what can be made with a fully-open establishment.

#TheGreatAmericanTakeout: How You Can Help Restaurants During COVID-19

That’s why a coalition of restaurants in the U.S. is asking consumers to participate in “The Great American Takeout” on Tuesday, March 24. This grassroots effort, led by the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout on social media, encourages consumers to order at least one pick-up or delivery meal on Tuesday. With many Americans practicing social distancing and making all of their own meals over the past couple of weeks, the push to order out is likely a welcome one. And with delivery options available, the effort is still accessible to the 10% of the world’s population who live with a disability and may not be able to go to a restaurant to pick up their food.

The Great American Takeout: How You Can Help Restaurants During COVID-19

photo courtesy of @edisonclarabarton

Some of the brands in the coalition promoting The Great American Takeout include California Pizza Kitchen, Panera Bread, El Torito, and The Habit Restaurants Inc. Many other restaurants, varying in size from large chains to local businesses, are joining in the effort as well.

“This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants. It’s about the future of our industry. And time has run out. Together, we must act to support each other and our communities in unprecedented ways,” said Russ Bendel, CEO of Habit Restaurants, in a statement.

In addition to the obvious challenge of only being able to offer takeout and delivery, this campaign hopes to raise awareness of the other obstacles restaurants face in the time of coronavirus. Without the revenues that dining-in provides, many restaurants have been unable to keep their employees on the payroll. Tax season will also bring challenges to the restaurant industry. Corporate income taxes comprise about 11% of the taxes collected by the federal government, but this number might look very different when the government collects for 2020, as many restaurants will have been fully closed for a good portion of the year. Efforts like #TheGreatAmericanTakeout campaign hope to offset this future burden by generating revenue and awareness now.

photo courtesy of @falasophy

Participating in The Great American Takeout is easy, as well as tasty. To spread awareness of the campaign, the coalition is asking consumers to post on social media in advance of the event and encourage their followers and friends to take part in the campaign’s hashtag. The coalition is also asking consumers to engage their friends, family, and coworkers in the effort by directly asking them to order takeout meals from local restaurants.

The final part of participating in this delectable event is to order takeout or delivery for at least one meal on March 24. This means you could order your favorite coffee made from specialty beans, which account for just 3% of global coffee production, with a bacon, egg, and cheese for breakfast or get that curry you’ve been craving from your favorite Thai restaurant for dinner. Or do both! No matter what you order, the coalition wants participants to share the photos of the meal on social media and tag them with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout.

Of course, ordering takeout and delivery for just one day isn’t going to solve the restaurant industry’s problem. It’s still uncertain how long the COVID-19 pandemic will keep cities and states in lockdowns. To continually support restaurants during these troubled times, the coalition is also urging consumers to keep ordering takeout regularly in the weeks and months ahead. Community-based efforts like this just might be the key to keeping everyone healthy, fed, and funded for as long as the pandemic continues.

Will you help support the restaurant industry but participating in #TheGreatAmericanTakeout?

Drink to Your Health: JAF TEA Artisanal Handpicked Teas

Drink to Your Health: JAF TEA Artisanal Handpicked Teas

If there was ever a time to drink lots of tea, that time is now. Whether you’re enjoying a regular cup of antioxidant tea in the morning and afternoon or a hot toddy at night, you can’t deny the benefits of tea. Black teas help the heart, can lower cholesterol and give you energy (it’s our go-to in the mornings); Green teas are packed with antioxidants which keep your body fighting against diseases (we alternate between green and white as our afternoon tea); White teas can help you shed some pounds and boasts antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Basically, tea is what we should be drinking as we all deal with the Coronavirus. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been staying healthy with a variety of teas from JAF TEA, a range of premium, hand-picked, and single-origin Ceylon teas.

Drink to Your Health: JAF TEA Artisanal Handpicked Teas

JAF TEA has quite the history; based in Sri Lanka and founded in 1944, their teas are sold in more than 30 countries across the globe and have won a reputation for superb quality and exceptional taste. Their distinct black teas, expertly selected by their team of master tasters, from the Ceylon region, which boasts two peak tea seasons. JAF TEA packs their teas within days of harvesting to preserve the flavors and characters.

Drink to Your Health: JAF TEA Artisanal Handpicked Teas

Our first experience with JAF TEA was a cuppa of a flavored green tea – Lemon & Mint. Available in loose leaf and tea bags, this invigorating tea also boasts a cool minty layer that complements its burst of citrus flavor. Fans of flavored green teas will also enjoy their six other flavors, as well as their classic green tea, also available in a variety of options. As we mentioned above, we love black teas in the morning and the robust JAF TEA Ceylon Supreme was the perfect pick-me-up we needed one early morning. Its formidable taste and distinct Dimbulla character result in a bright taste that lingers with you.

Drink to Your Health: JAF TEA Artisanal Handpicked Teas

Sadly, we down to our last few tea bags but we’re really excited to try these unconventional flavored green teas, including Soursop & Banana (both creamy fruits that we grew up eating), Mango, and Strawberry Kiwi. We also hear they have a Bourbon Vanilla & Rooibos tea that is sublime and most likely a perfect blend for hot toddies. We can’t wait to find out.

Whether you’re looking for robust and full-bodied or floral and delicate teas, check out this family-owned and operated tea brand from the highlands of Sri Lanka and drink to your health.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

On February 22, the farm-to-fork movement pioneer D’Artagnan celebrated 35 years in the sustainable food industry. For over three decades, D’Artagnan has delivered high-quality artisanal meat products while using free-range, natural production and sustainable, humane farming practices. Founder Ariane Daguin has been leading her company through these initiatives since its founding in 1985.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Ariane Daguin, Tom Colicchio attend D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Bryan Hunt and Tom Colicchio attend D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan started its celebrations with a night of decadent food in New York City. Some of the world’s most renowned chefs prepared these meals, including Jacques Torres, Tom Colicchio, Pierre Landet, Justin Bogle, and Michelle Palazzo. At this event, the purpose was to honor D’Artagnan’s vision, Daugin’s Gascony heritage, and the brand’s place amongst the culinary elite as well as consumers who are searching for superior products.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Patrick Nollinger attends D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

The next portion of the celebration was its sixth annual Cassoulet War on February 24. In this event, also based in New York City, 20 renowned chefs battled to cook the best cassoulet. A cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean and meat casserole integral to French cuisine. It is a French tradition to have chefs and villagers compete in a showdown for the top cassoulet. D’Artagnan’s iteration involved chefs from across the United States, allowing them to put their own distinctive American stamp on the classic dish.

6th Annual Cassoulet War

Laetitia Rouabah, Andy Knudson, Dieter Samijn and Ariane Daguin attend D’Artagnan’s 6th Annual Cassoulet War (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

6th Annual Cassoulet War

Erwan Caradec, Jacques Torres and Laurent Tourondel attend D’Artagnan’s 6th Annual Cassoulet War (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC

This year, Laetitia Rouabah was named the People’s Choice Winner, Andy Knudson was the Reimagined Cassoulet Winner, and Dieter Samjin came out on top as the Grand Prize Winner. All proceeds from the evening benefitted Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization that focuses on taking decisive action against the root causes and effects of hunger.

With values consistently leading the actions of D’Artagnan, it’s no surprise the company would choose such a worthy cause. D’Artagnan has been credited with leading the charge on sustainability within the meat and poultry industry. While many people may associate the word sustainability with industries such as the plumbing industry — which made over $107 billion in revenue in 2018 — because of their direct effect on the world’s natural resources, it has been a recent focus in D’Artagnan’s field. Modern consumers are no longer only concerned about what they eat, but where and how their food made it to their table.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

This concern is evident in New York City’s recent push to ban foie gras, a dish that many people view as cruelly-made. On October 30, 2019, the City Council voted to ban the dish beginning in 2022, joining California, Australia, India, and many other places that prohibit the dish for animal rights reasons.

The ethical issue comes in with the production of foie gras, which requires force-feeding birds to enlarge their livers. The livers often become up to 10 times their normal size and the process often involves inserting a tube down a duck’s throat to force-feed them large amounts of grain, according to animal rights activities.

Foie gras farmers are challenging the ban. According to the Catskill Foie Gras Collective, which includes the producers of foie gras in NYC, the small tube used to feed the ducks does not cause discomfort. The collective also points to the fact that their ducks are cage-free and that they use a rubber tube rather than a traditional metal one to further ease the process.

In the midst of this battle is D’Artagnan. At the end of 2019, Daguin said her company would be amongst the others in the industry fighting the ban. As Daguin has always been a champion of sustainable meat and poultry practices, she feels certain that the process of fattening a duck’s liver is not cruel, when done in the correct way.

“The farms feed the animals like they would naturally feed themselves in the wild prior to migration to store calories up in their liver…the actual feeding process itself is not painful nor stressful to the animal. In fact, the worst thing for a meat purveyor to do is cause stress for animals, because it impacts the quality of the meat,” she said.

While the foie gras battle rages on, Daguin and the D’Artagnan team look towards the future. She estimates that the company will reach $250 million in sales within the next five years and expects to drive this growth through ongoing innovations. One such innovation is the Green Circle Chicken, which is a unique vegetable-fed bird that eats excess veggies that come from restaurant kitchens and markets. With progress like this, D’Artagnan is situated to continue making waves in the meat and poultry industry for decades to come.

Amazon Prime Vegan Cooking Show

MUST-SEE TV: Vegan Cooking Show Debuts On Amazon Prime

Vegans, prepare to get into binge-watching mode: a new vegan cooking show is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime Vegan Cooking Show

New Day New Chef is a fast-paced vegan cooking show that’s truly one of a kind. The show is hosted by Jane Velez-Mitchell, a television personality and founder of the digital news network Jane Unchained. The show teaches people how to make vegan recipes while having some fun in the process. These recipes include guilt-free pizza and roasted vegetable tacos.

Amazon Prime Vegan Cooking Show

Something unique about this show is that each episode features a new celebrity co-host. Co-hosts include musician Otep Shamaya, Olympian Dotsie Bausch, and four-time NBA champion John Salley. Each co-host maintains a vegan diet and shows the audience how to create some of their favorite dishes. Each episode also includes a new panel of taste testers that sample each dish.

The show aims to help people in the United States and the United Kingdom better understand the benefits of sticking to a vegan diet. Eating vegan can help with weight loss and can even help prevent certain diseases, such as diabetes. A vegan diet is also filled with nutrients that help maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair. The average person loses about 100 strands of hair each day, but eating a diet filled with Vitamin A can help you maintain a healthier head of hair. Many vegan foods are full of Vitamin A, as well as other key nutrients that benefit overall health.

Amazon Prime Vegan Cooking Show

Maintaining a vegan diet is also beneficial for the environment. It takes a lot of land, food, and water to raise animals like cows, pigs, and chickens. Think about it: these animals have to live somewhere, be fed, and drink water constantly. The more meat that is required, the more resources that are used to raise animals. If meat is demanded less, fewer resources will be used.

Also, the byproducts these animals create pollutes the earth. Animals on factory farms emit carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, which are three gases that heavily contribute to global warming. Factory farms also produce billions of pounds of manure that is filled with toxins and bacteria. These toxins and bacteria pollute the air, soil, and water. If meat isn’t in demand, then fewer animals will be raised. If fewer animals are raised, pollution will decrease. If pollution decreases, the planet will be healthier.

Amazon Prime Vegan Cooking Show

If you’re considering going vegan, or are already vegan and looking for new recipes, then New Day New Chef may be just the thing you need. It will teach you how to make vegan recipes that positively contribute to your health and reduce your carbon footprint. The first six episodes of season one are ready to stream on Amazon Prime. It will also be available on public television stations across the United States come spring.

CBD Tea from Good Company Tea

#NowPouring, A Traveling Tea Experience with Good Company Tea

When the temperature gets really low, or it’s a day ending in Y, there’s nothing more we love than a good cuppa. For non-tea drinkers, we’re talking about a cup of tea. A nice cuppa is not only good for you, but it can also change your mood. We had the pleasure of getting to know a new premium, organic CBD tea brand, Good Company Tea, made with the highest quality, full-spectrum CBD extracts. We love enjoying a relaxing cup of tea to reacquaint ourselves with the benefits of our own well-being and so should you.

CBD Tea from Good Company Tea

Good Company Tea was built with the intention of creating moments of respite in fast-paced, hyper-productive work environments, and reminding us to slow down and reserve time for insightful connection with ourselves and others. Their fair-trade teas are cultivated in the most revered regions across the globe. They only use organic ingredients, with gluten-free blends that are infused with premium CBD. They are non-GMO, and triple lab-tested to ensure each batch is free of pesticides, microbial impurities, and foreign materials. You’re left with a matchless experience in every cup.

CBD Tea from Good Company Tea

Good Company Tea launched with three tea blends: Organic Japanese Sencha, Organic Oolong, and Organic Jasmine. Each tea bag contains 15mg CBD per Sachet, with 5 Sachets per box, all THC Free (Non‑Psychoactive). The CBD wellness company was co-founded by former Google marketing executive Thanh Nguyen (pictured below), and former pharmaceutical regulatory executive Khanh Nguyen.

Good Company CBD Tea

The Organic Japanese Sencha (No 1 ̊ CBD Blend) is bright, earthy, and uplifting. Perfect for enjoying during the daytime, this light-bodied blend features tropical aromas and a warm, buttery finish. It is both stimulating and stress-relieving and is produced in the revered region of Shizuoka Prefecture; their organic Japanese sencha is cultivated in nutrient-rich volcanic soil. It’s combined with pineapple, papaya, and osmanthus flower for an uplifting blend.

Fans of oolong will love Good Company Tea’s Organic Oolong (No 2 ̊ CBD Blend), a warm, fragrant, and soothing blend. This full-bodied blend boasts honeyed overtones and a round, savory finish. This is the perfect tea for those who need to feel relaxed and revitalized during the daytime. The oolong is cultivated in the Wuyi Mountains in the northern Fujian province of China; known as the premier site of oolong production, and its place of origin, this organic oolong is developed through a considered process that honors the legacy of its source.

Last, but not least, is the Organic Jasmine (No 3 ̊ CBD Blend), a luminous, floral, and calming blend. This medium-bodied blend features balancing heady floral aromas and a serene feel. The ultimate relaxation tea, this tranquil and transcendent blend is ideal for bedtime. The main ingredient is harvested in Vietnam’s Central Highlands in the perpetually cool climate of Dalat; renowned for its jasmine tea production, this organic jasmine tea features a subtly complex profile and transcendent aroma that celebrate its origin.

Are you ready to relearn how to unwind, pay more attention to your well-being? A cuppa or two of Good Company Tea is a great place to start.

National Taco Day

National Taco Day w/ Taco Dumbo Midtown West Grand Opening

Today is National Taco Day, what better day than that day to celebrate the grand opening of the new Taco Dumbo Midtown West. Granted, the grand opening was late last month but as we said, what better day than the day to celebrate all things tacos than to celebrate this taco heaven.

National Taco DayNational Taco Day

Taco Dumbo is no ordinary taco spot; this market fresh taqueria and cold-pressed juice margarita bar are inspired by the healthy lifestyle where the beach, surf, and sun are synonymous with fresh local food. The goal of Taco Dumbo is to not only provide delicious, healthy food but they also strive to cultivate positives vibes. They’ve created a space where you can relax and escape from the outside world while enjoying a curated selection of eats and drinks. It’s almost like escaping for a quick tropical beach trip (the “flight attendant, and airport body and baggage scanners that greeted you at the door were a great addition).

Taco Dumbo Grand OpeningTaco Dumbo Grand Opening

Walking into Taco Dumbo felt like no other. The vibe was an incredible party atmosphere; the music was pumping and you instantly felt transported from the hustle and bustle of NYC to the beaches of Southern California.

Taco Dumbo Grand Opening Taco Dumbo Grand Opening

When it came to the food, rest assured, all-time classics are recreated. Using responsibly sourced ingredients. Taco Dumbo has curated a delicious menu that compliments all eating lifestyles. Inclusive food is woven into Taco Dumbo’s DNA, providing options for the meat-lover, vegan, vegetarian, kosher, dairy-free, or gluten-free eater.

Menu highlights range from a truffle shroom and rotisserie chicken “tinga” to beef short-rib and nori spicy tuna tacos. The chef’s special plant-based “impossible” taco pairs perfectly as a side to the grain bowls and salads. Market fresh ingredients are locally sourced and are an essential element in elevating the drink selection. Taco Dumbo allows you to create your perfect margaritas; with six types of pressed juice options and nine different salts for the rim, you can customize your margarita.

National Taco Day

The entire team, kitchen, register and bar staff, are made up of people who genuinely care about putting good energy into the food. They aim to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. We enjoyed several rounds of “guess the song” with one of the servers as the DJ played hit after hit. That personal experience only added to the great service we were already enjoying.

Current Taco Dumbo Locations:

56 Prospect St., Dumbo Heights
2 Pennsylvania Plaza, Penn Station
1385 Broadway, Garment District
111 W 32nd St., Rosé Mansion
56 Spring St., SoHo

Ninja Foodi

Cooking With Ninja Kitchen’s Ninja Foodi Appliances & SHE Media

Believe it or not, cooking is one of our favorite things to do. It’s hard to believe because we go out so much but we get a lot of joy from preparing a meal in our kitchen. Of course, it’s easier when you don’t have to cook for a big family or group of people; but we love what can be created with great ingredients. Plus we want the best air fryer, saucepans, utensils, grill, and gadgets in our kitchen so we can keep making amazing food! This is why we were really excited to enjoy a night of cooking with Ninja Kitchen and their new range of Ninja Foodi appliances.

Ninja Foodi

Led by Kenzie Swanhart, Ninja’s own Director of Culinary Innovation and Marketing, we enjoyed an evening of making extraordinary meals; all of the delicious foods we enjoyed during the event were made with the multi-functional Ninja Foodi appliances. The Foodi range includes Pressure Cookers, Grills, Ovens, and a Blender.

Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven

Ninja Foodi Air Fry OvenFood Image: Roasting Green Beans

In the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven, we prepared Roasted Green Beans with Prosciutto and Onions. The Prosciutto was prepared in the air fry basket you see in the above photo and roasted the green beans and onions in the roasting pan. The cooking time for both was 16 minutes. We love the Digital Air Fry Oven because it boasts 8 cooking functions and can be stored upright, saving you space and allowing easy cleaning.

Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with 4-Quart Air Fryer

Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill

This is perhaps our favorite out of all the Ninja Foodi kitchen appliances, although they all are amazing. We love grilling and hate the fact that we’re limited to summer grilling. Plus, when you live in an apartment, you can’t exactly roll out the grill indoors during winter. The 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with 4-Quart Air Fryer solves both those problems. We had so much fun grilling two beautiful New York Strip Steaks & Asparagus during this event. We love that the cooking time for the steak was only 8 minutes. Whether you love it rare, medium, or well-done, you’ll fully enjoy your meal. The grill is also perfect for vegetables, chicken, fish, or anything else you can throw on a grill.

Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill Food Photo: NY Strip Steak

Imagine coming home and being able to enjoy a delicious dinner in less time than it takes you to get ready in the morning.

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker that Crisps and Air Fries

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

Although we didn’t get to personally play with the Pressure Cooker, we did enjoy several bites of the Grilled Cauliflower Steaks that were prepared in it. This compact pressure cooker cooks up to 70% faster than traditional cooking techniques and boasts a TenderCrisps technology that quickly pressure cooks ingredients to lock in juices, then give them a crispy, golden air fryer finish.

Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender

Ninja Foodi Blender

Ready to whip up your favorite soups, stews, or smoothies? With the Cold & Hot Blender, you can. Combining high-speed total crushing and extraction with a precision-heat cooking blender, you can go beyond making smoothies and frozen drinks; get ready to cook soups and sauces and create concentrates for flavored waters and cocktails. What more can you ask for?

We’re excited to try these in our kitchen, especially since it’s lacking in a lot of counter space. Could the range of Ninja Kitchen Foodi appliances make your life easier?

Jarlsberg Cheeseburger

The Quest for the Perfect Cheeseburger on National Cheeseburger Day

The quest for the perfect cheeseburger is neverending. Luckily, this delicious search is a foodie’s dream, which is why it is celebrated every year on National Cheeseburger Day. To help settle the question on “what is the most perfect cheeseburger?”, Jarlsberg Cheese has teamed up with Internationally acclaimed chef Elizabeth Haigh for the second annual Global Burger Awareness campaign.

Jarlsberg Cheeseburger

Internationally acclaimed chef Elizabeth Haigh, who is considered one of the brightest shining stars on the London culinary scene, has made four burger recipes, each with an essential story: The Northern Temptation, The Nutty Mushroom Melt, The Orient Cheese Express, and The Korean Hot Bite. The Global Burger Awareness campaign will hit social media and stores from July 15 to September 15th. It showcases the excitement and versatility of Jarlsberg Cheese, the mild, nutty and delicious cheese that compliments everything. Check out the four exciting cheeseburgers below and click on their titles for complete recipes from Jarlsberg. These are so perfect to honor National Cheeseburger Day, which falls on September 18th, 2019.

The Northern Temptation Burger

Jarlsberg Cheese National Cheeseburger Day

The Nutty Mushroom Melt Burger

Jarlsberg Cheese National Cheeseburger Day

The Orient Cheese Express

Jarlsberg Cheese National Cheeseburger Day

The Korean Hot Bite

Jarlsberg Cheese National Cheeseburger Day

From July 15th until September 15th, cheeseburger fans will get the chance to enter to win exclusive Jarlsberg Cheese aprons and tongs every week. The grand prize winner will receive a Gourmet Grill so that they can re-create their favorite Jarlsberg Cheeseburgers, a great way to say goodbye to summer. Fans can triple their chance of winning by sharing their Jarlsberg cheeseburger at #Jarlsbergburger on Instagram.

Jarlsberg Cheese is wildly popular among foodies around the world for its nutty, mild, mellow and sweet flavor. Created in 1956 from an original Norwegian recipe, Jarlsberg continues to bring its unique flavor to some of your favorite cheese-based foods.

How will you be celebrating National Cheeseburger Day? Will you be trying one or more of these delicious Jarlsberg Cheeseburgers?