Sam’s Club to Host Free Health Screenings

To promote early detection and an overall healthy lifestyle that can help prevent the onset of diabetes, Sam’s Club Pharmacy will host free health screenings Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Diabetes affects 25.8 million Americans, and an estimated 79 million have pre-diabetes, the potentially reversible condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but are not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

The free screenings are administered by licensed technicians from Carmen Ingle & Associates and are available to the public at the 571 Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy. The diabetes awareness screening event features tests valued at up to$200, while supplies last, including:

  • A1c blood test –used by people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to measure average blood sugar levels and confirm treatment plans are working
  • Glucose screening – Glucose tests indicate how much sugar is in blood, allowing for knowledgeable management of diet and exercise schedules
  • Blood pressure
  • BMI (body mass index)
  • Vision

Health screening participants in select cities can also pick up a postcard from the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to evaluate their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is designed to help people adopt healthy eating and exercise habits, and has served approximately 12,000 people nationwide.

“Understanding symptoms that lead to diabetes can help Americans establish a plan to live a healthier lifestyle,” said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. “We are glad to collaborate with YMCA of the USA to expand awareness for diabetes prevention and provide a free, important service to more than 620 US communities.”

YMCA of the USA announced that it is receiving a $1.25 million grant from the Sam’s Club Giving Program that will expand healthy living opportunities in under-served communities through the YMCA of the USA. Specifically, the grant is helping the YMCA to expand its Healthier Communities Initiatives to address health disparities among minority individuals and families and the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Through the Initiative, the YMCA will also link healthcare providers, clinical settings and community-based organizations to predominantly African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino communities to help guide individuals and families to appropriate programs.

New School Year Brings New Routine, New Accomplishments

With a new school year upon us, Breyers Ice Cream Toppings recently released its Kids’ Top Accomplishments video which highlights kids’ achievements and reminds parents to celebrate them – no matter how big or small.  Whether it’s being named MVP of the soccer team or learning how to tie your shoes, parents can help their kids set new goals this year and celebrate each accomplishment along the way. managing editor Serena Norr, also a mother of two, recently partnered with Breyers Toppings to offer advice to parents for getting off on the right foot this school year.

“It’s really important to encourage children to set goals, and when they accomplish them, it’s worthy of a little celebration,” Norr said. “Sometimes a little quality time or enjoying a sweet treat together can send the message that they’ve done a good job.”

Norr also recommends:

  • Establishing a routine. Back-to-school means early mornings. To avoid the frantic rush, ease kids into their new schedules by setting up an earlier bedtime and wake-up time at least two weeks before the start of school.
  • Staying connected. Parents can stay connected to their kids by asking open-ended questions about their day, working together on homework and checking in with their teacher to see how they are doing.
  • Enjoying free time. So many kids are “scheduled” to the max during the year with afterschool activities, clubs, homework, etc., it’s really important to help them achieve a balance with free time and play. For some kids that might be art, while others may love playing outside with friends. Whatever it is, make sure that children enjoy some unstructured down time.
  • Weekend rewards. With all the back-to-school busyness, quality time with family on the weekends is important.  Establish new traditions like Movie Night, Game Night or for a special treat – Ice Cream Night. New Breyers Ice Cream Toppings can really help make those celebrations a little easier. Parents can set up a fuss-free sundae bar, complete with fruit toppings, tasty sauces squeezable pouches and sprinkles – all without high-fructose corn syrup. Grab your favorite ice cream, a selection of Breyers Toppings and you’re ready to celebrate together – for little reasons, big reasons or no reason at all.

Breyers Toppings are available at Wal-Mart, select Target and grocery stores nationwide.

Supermarkets Spotlight Texas Food Products

The intermittent flow of food safety scares and scandals is inspiring many Americans to be a little more cautious about what they’re eating and where they’re buying it. Market Street supermarkets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are responding by spotlighting Texas food producers in an annual event they call the Best of Texas Expo. Part of the reason for the event’s popularity is that having a better idea of where the food came from inspires the store’s customers with a greater feeling of trust about its wholesomeness, the chain’s communication director says. You can read more about it here in Gourmet News magazine, which named Market Street its retailer of the month for September.

Remind Them You Care After You’ve Seen Them off to School

Harry & David is offering a wide range of gift boxes and baskets designed to make leaving home for college a little easier for both student and parent.

image001The Happy Creek Gift Box Classic includes six Royal Riviera pears, four apples, white extra-sharp cheddar cheese and Havarti cheese. It retails for $39.95.




image002The Gourmet Dried Fruit & Nut Snack Gift retails for $49.95 and contains a selection of dried fruits and nuts handpacked for snacking or holiday entertaining.

It includes dried pears, dried apricots, dried peaches, dried dates, prunes, roasted salted cahews, roasted in-shell pistachios, honey roasted peanuts and natural almonds.

Pick 12 Homemade Cookies

image004Nothing says love like homemade cookies, and Harry & David’s homemade cookies might be the next best thing to mom’s. For $19.95, you pick 12 from a list that includes gourmet versions of some of the classics and a few that’ll make a statement to the sorority.





Bake Brownies with a Twist for Bake Sale Treats

Back-to-school season marks the start of the most delicious extracurricular activity: bake sales. Cookies and brownies are two of the most popular bake sale items, and this year, they’ll taste even better with a flavor twist. The McCormick Kitchens have developed easy cookie and brownie recipes – including one that combines the two.
“Our new Choco-Mint Crownie recipe combines a vanilla-rich chocolate chip cookie with a cool peppermint brownie,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “They’re easy to make – just add a splash of peppermint extract to your brownie batter, pour into a pan, spoon chocolate chip cookie dough flavored with pure vanilla on top and bake.”

Other easy recipes from the McCormick Kitchens take brownies and chocolate chip cookies from bake sale favorites to bake sale stars. It’s as simple as adding extracts to brownie mix or folding in tasty ingredients like cinnamon and cocoa to your favorite made-from-scratch cookie recipe.

Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies
Try adding these easy variations to made-from-scratch cookies:

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies – Draw a crowd with the warm, inviting essence of cinnamon.
Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cookies – Combine cool peppermint with rich cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate for a delicious grab-and-go treat.
Double Chocolate Chunk Orange Cookies – Make a sweet treat with dark chocolate, chunks of rich semi-sweet chocolate and citrusy orange flavor.

Brownies with a Flavor Twist
Turn ordinary brownies into crowd pleasers by customizing them with easy flavor twists:

Raspberry Brownies – Add 4 teaspoons raspberry extract to brownie mix and 2 teaspoons to chocolate frosting for a fruity alternative to this bake sale staple. Garnish with a raspberry.
Orange Kissed Brownies – For citrus-infused delights, add 1 tablespoon orange extract and chocolate chips to brownie mix and 1 teaspoon of the extract to chocolate frosting. Top with an orange slice.
Almond Brownies – For a nutty flavor, use 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in the brownie mix and 1/4 teaspoon in the chocolate frosting. Add colorful sprinkles on top.

Great Grilling Tips

The Saturday Evening Post has a terrific article on grilling in its July/August online issue.

An exclusive video sharing Post staffers’ grilling tips can be found here:

The July/August 2013 online edition of The Saturday Evening Post covers:

  • The differences between barbecuing (indirect grilling)direct grilling, and two-zone direct grilling
  • Steven Raichlen’s, author of The Barbecue! Bible, three-day grilling workshop in Sulpher Springs, WV
  • Grilling tips from Post staffers
  • Six essential rules of open-fire cooking

Plus, the Best of Barbecue from Emeril Lagasse, Curtis Stone, and Barton Seaver.

Save and share more of the Post’s favorite open-fire recipes by visiting its Grilling Recipe (Smorgas)Board on Pinterest!

Survey Finds Americans Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Hot Dogs

As National Hot Dog Month approaches in July and Americans prepare to gather around the backyard grill for casual meals of hamburgers and hot dogs, a new survey sponsored by Applegate, a producer of organic and natural meats, finds Americans need a “wienervention” when it comes to their dysfunctional feelings about franks.  While virtually every American has bought a package of hot dogs (a whopping 92 percent!) in the last year, 71 percent don’t think those franks are high quality. In addition, 34 percent of parents want to say no when their kids whine for wieners.

However, the survey found that 85 percent of people who consume hot dogs would rather purchase franks with a short ingredient statement that listed beef, water, sea salt and spices versus one with items like sodium phosphate and sodium nitrite. Additionally, 65 percent of respondents thought it was important for hot dogs to be made from animals that were not administered antibiotics or hormones, underscoring just how important this issue has become for shoppers.

“Hot dogs and summer are synonymous, but it’s no wonder that with ingredients like sodium diacetate and partially hydrolyzed beef stock on many conventional hot dog labels, most Americans don’t think much of what’s in them,” says Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of Applegate. “I think the survey shows a certain level of guilt when it comes to enjoying a hot dog, but if you know what you’re looking for on a label, it doesn’t have to be that way. Applegate’s ingredients are straightforward: beef, water, sea salt and spices.”

Applegate makes a full line of natural and organic hot dogs: beef, beef and pork, turkey and chicken.  All of Applegate’s hot dogs are antibiotic- and hormone-free, with no added chemical nitrites. Applegate hot dogs generally have fewer calories, 50 percent less fat and 40 percent less sodium per serving than conventional hot dogs.

In an effort to give Americans permission to enjoy a cleaner wiener, Applegate is inviting consumers to “wienervene” and eat hot dogs that aren’t on drugs. By visiting, consumers can learn more about what’s in their hot dogs and send a “wienervention” to friends and receive $2-off coupons.

More Survey Results
The Applegate “Permission to Enjoy Hot Dogs” showed that only 8 percent of Americans claim to “never buy hot dogs.”  Other survey findings:

  • Grill, baby, grill:  91 percent agree that hot dogs cooked on the grill are delicious.
  • Wait, wait, do tell me: 68 percent really want to know what’s in hot dogs and how they are made.

Drizzle a Healthy Oil to Amp up the Flavors in your Food

A good quality extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar contain many health benefits, can enrich the flavor of food, and have the necessary cooking versatility to make a sumptuous meal. Finesse your summer menu with Louianna Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Certified Organic Balsamic Vinegar – two pantry staples that were utilized in many of the recipes created by the competing chefs on season three of Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada. Recipes featured on the show can be found on the Food Network Canada website.

“Be it a simple dinner for two or large family gathering, using high quality, fine ingredients such as Louianna Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, will elevate the flavour and experience every time,” commented Mark McEwan, celebrity chef, restaurateur (One Restaurant, North 44, Bymark, Fabbrica) and head judge on Top Chef Canada. “What I love about experimenting in the kitchen is that you can take something as simple as everyday comfort foods and demonstrate inventiveness and vitality with a simple drizzle of a fine oil, balsamic, or even a sprinkle of fresh herbs.” McEwan has chosen to sell the Louianna Certified PDO Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and PDO Organic Balsamic Vinegar at his McEwan gourmet marketplace at The Shops at Don Mills in Toronto, ON.

For an even more unusual pick-me-up for a family meal, look for the Stoger Seed Oils, a line of four finishing oils that are new to the American market. Brought the the U.S. by Marietta DeAngelo of Culinary Imports from the Austrian family farm where she spent time as an exchange student when she was 15 years old, these seed oils are cold-pressed from pumpkin, chile, tomato, and cherry seeds. The cherry seed oil won a sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association a few days ago. The sofi Award recognizes outstanding innovation and quality and is essentially the equivalent of an Academy Award for the gourmet food industry. Thousands of products are nominated for the awards each year, and only a couple dozen or so go home with the sofi Gold Awards that represent the best of the best. These oils are just coming onto the American market, so don’t expect them to be easy to find on your local supermarket shelves yet, but keep an eye out. Then when you get your hands on them, they can be drizzled across a wide variety of foods, made into salad dressings or used as dipping oils for bread to add an extra layer of flavor and a dazzling change of pace.

New Healthy Gourmet Food Products

By Lorrie Baumann

I’ve just returned from the Summer Fancy Food Show, a trade show attended by gourmet food retailers who go there to shop for goodies for their stores directly from the makers of these products. Many of these producers are small family businesses — it’s not unusual to talk to someone there who’s the third or fourth generation in the same business. Whether they make pickles, gourmet chocolates, or granola from natural organic grains, these products are, in general, artisan-made with a concern both for the well-being of the people who will eventually eat them and for the land from which they originate.

Their product selection also shows us that you can be self-indulgent and enjoy your life and your food while you eat things that are actually good for you. Take, for instance, the Go Organic line of candies that I saw in the Hillside Candy booth. The Go Organic line includes nine different products that are organic and certified to contain no GMO ingredients. Brand new in the line are Ginger Xtreme hard candies and Ginger Chews organic chewy candies. All products are kosher, gluten-free and made in the USA. Visit at

I also saw a new Grain Berry line of cereals and baking mixes from The Silver Palate. I didn’t get to taste, so I can’t be sure they’re delicious, but there are a whole line of products that are made with natural berries of grain and antioxidants to support heart health.

I saw quite a few vendors there who were talking about products made without any of the most common allergens. That’s not to say that it’s going to be easy to feed a child who suffers from food allergies, but it does at least look like there are folks out there making products that’ll make that a little easier. Enjoy Life, at, has a whole line of gluten-free baking chocolate, cookies, chewy bars and lentil chips that are designed for just this purpose. Imagine being able to give your kid a convenient snack food without having to worry too much about an unexpected allergic reaction. I also found crackers from Suzie’s, a brand of the Good Groceries Company, that are made from ancient grains, including quinoa, amaranth, Kamut, spelt, buckwheat and oats. You can find them at

Getting away from grains a little bit, I also found Snapz, a brand of freeze-dried apple snacks. These low-calorie, fat-free crispy treats are made without added salt, sugar or fat. There’s a serving of fruit in each .7-ounce bag, and they’re a source of Vitamin C. Visit at

Thai Shrimp Spirals with Puff Pastry

Pepperidge Farms is offering summer recipes using its puff pastry in the Puff Pastry recipe collection.

The recipe collection features an assortment of simple yet impressive options – made with Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry– for entertaining, including three-step recipes and warm weather delights.

“Summer entertaining is as much about the food as it is about enjoying the long nights and warm weather,” said culinary expert Gail Simmons. “When planning your menu, it’s important to consider items that are not only easy to make, but easy to eat. With the help of puff pastry, any culinary aficionado can create simple and delicious food that is perfect for any outdoor event. One of my favorite dishes is the Thai Shrimp Spirals. This irresistible appetizer features marinated shrimp wrapped in tender puff pastry.”

Thai Shrimp Spirals Recipe:


  • 2 limes, zested (approximately 2 teaspoons) and juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 20 fresh large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1/2 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, combine the zest and juice from both limes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cilantro. Divide the mixture into two mixing bowls. In one bowl, add the one tablespoon of soy sauce and the shrimp. Toss to coat. Allow to marinade for about 10 minutes. Set aside the remaining mixture.

Meanwhile, unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the pastry into a 10-in square. Cut into 20 strips, each about 1/2-inch wide. Wrap one pastry strip around one shrimp, starting at one end of the shrimp, overlapping the pastry slightly to enclose the shrimp. Repeat with the remaining pastry strips and shrimp.

Skewer each wrapped shrimp with one 6-inch wooden skewer. Place the skewered pastries onto 2 baking sheets. Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl with a fork to make the egg wash. Brush the pastries with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake until the pastries are golden brown, about 15 minutes. While the pastries are cooling, make the dipping sauce by whisking the reserved lime mixture with remaining 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon water. Serve the cooled pastries with the dipping sauce.

Simmons’ complete Pepperidge Farm puff pastry recipe collection, as well as fun recipes, helpful how-to videos, special offers and Simple Elegance, the brand’s monthly e-newsletter, is available at Plus, consumers can access more than 350 other Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry appetizer, entrée and dessert recipes that make warm weather —and anytime—entertaining a breeze.

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets and Shells are available in the freezer section at major supermarkets, grocery stores and mass merchandisers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $4.95 and $3.88 respectively. For additional warm weather recipes and more puff pastry news, visit