Food News – Truvia Baking Star Video Contest

October 14, 2014 - Written by Diana

I wanted to share this quickly. I’m trying out the Truvia Brown Sugar Blend. It’s a blend of brown sugar and truvia – reducing the number of calories in your baking without losing the sweetness. The important part of this post is that you have today to post a video using Truvia Brown Sugar Blend (and/or Truvia Baking Blend)  in your baking for their contest.  It’s not much time and to help you out – here is a link to the where to find page – I had difficulty finding the Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, but the Baking Blend was a little easier to find.  The finalists of this Video Baking Contest win a trip to NYC (along with a guest) to compete for the grand prize winner who will star in a professionally produced Truvia Baking Star video and the title of Truvia Baking Star.

If you don’t have time to get a video produced, you can still participate by watching and voting for your favorite video (and maybe finding a recipe you would like to use in your own kitchen).

Here’s the schedule:

I’m working on a recipe to try out myself, and I’ll share when it’s ready, though I don’t have a video. But I think one of our Cookerati Friends probably has what it takes, and should enter! Let me know if you do, and post a link in the comments so we can vote for you.


Magic Seasonings by Spike – Review and Giveaway

February 9, 2014 - Written by Diana

Spike Gourmet Natural SeasoningsIf you are space or seasoning-ally challenged, it’s nice to have a little magic on hand, like the kind Spike Gourmet Natural Seasonings provides. I do have a cabinet full of spice jars and seasonings, however most are not blends, but single spices – which means I have to search and put together my own combinations.  That’s okay for me, but my son and husband prefer to have the blends ready for them.  They don’t want to search through individual jars, give them a couple of jars, not a handful or more.  My son likes all the combinations and while my husband has to avoid a few due to being on a low sodium diet, my son is claiming any and all that my husband is not able to enjoy in our recipes. Spike Gourmet Natural Seasonings is giving away all of the same magic seasonings that they sent to me to try out,  1 jar each of : Original Magic, Salt Free Magic, Hot N’ Spicy Magic, Vegit Magic, 5 Herb Magic, Onion Magic, Garlic Magic,  Vege-Sal, Lemon Pepper Magic and Tenderizer Magic.

We’ve been trying out the Magic Seasonings by Spike the last few weeks. My son adds the garlic, the onion powder and the Salt Free Magic along with the 5 Herb Magic to tomato sauce for use with pasta.  He also made oven baked fries (in which he was very heavy handed in the spices there but we’re experimenting) using the onion, garlic, salt free magic and the Vegit – a low sodium spice (along with a bunch of black pepper). My husband was out of town so I used the Original Magic Seasoning in a Potato, Sausage and Veggie dish. The spices are good, and though the print on the bottle is really small, I can read that most of the ingredients are natural and good, though I’m a little foggy on hydrolyzed soy protein and these are natural, but not organic. There is a little caking, but that’s because there isn’t an anti-caking agent added and that’s more than fine with me.

Disclosure:  I received ten jars of Spike Brand Gourmet Natural Seasonings to try out for this review.  I have not received compensation for this review or to hold a giveaway. My opinions are my own.


Filippo Berio Olive Oil Giveaway

January 17, 2014 - Written by Diana

Filippo Berio Olive OilLast week, in our Food News, we told you about Filippo Berio’s Olive Oil Facebook Contest.  Filippo Bero US was looking for the best Olive Oil tips, tricks and suggested usage.  This week the voting on the best one is happening (It actually started Monday).  The winner gets a trip to Italy to enjoy Cooking classes.  I entered, but I didn’t make the top 5, which are presented on their Facebook page.

Filippo Berio US sent me a couple of bottles to try out and to giveaway, both were extra virgin olive oil and the one that makes me really happy is organic.  I am a regular user of of olive oil – and make my own dressing because I  can easily tailor it to the meal I’ve prepared without having to store 20 bottles on the fridge door.  In fact, one day this fall my kids did an oil swap – my son taught his sister to change the oil and my daughter taught her brother to make dressing.  One of them didn’t go well and resulted in spillage  but not the one in my kitchen.  (FYI- we caught it in a tarp no environmental damage done.)  Thank goodness making a salad dressing is easier than changing the oil in your car.

Olive oil is great for marinades, dressing, roasting, pestos, hummus, dips – hopefully we’ll get to see all of the tips at the end of the promotion. I’m going to share a recipe tomorrow with spaghetti squash that I made using the Filippo Berio Olive Oil.  It worked out well for me in the recipe, and I’ve used it to make a lime dressing for steak salad last week that was delicious.

Filippo Berio is offerring the same duo of Olive Oil to one of our Cookerati readers.  We’re going to use Rafflecopter once again to keep track of the entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bottle of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil to review and to giveaway. My opinions are my own and the review is representative of how I feel. I thank Filippo Berio US for doing a giveaway on Cookerati.


Cookerati Food News Update – 2014 Vol 1

January 8, 2014 - Written by Diana

01/02/2014 –  Happy New Year.  I’m trying out a new format to update this page monthly.  The next update will be in the first week of February.  If you have any news updates send them to me to evaluate before the end of January.

This month brings you…


Pure Living by WearEver – A Cookerati Holiday Giveaway

December 23, 2013 - Written by Diana
Wearever Pure Living - Cookerati.com

Wearever Pure Living Skillet – Cookerati.com

Okay guys –  this season is really packed with lots of running around looking for the perfect gift for someone else.  This is my gift to a Cookerati reader.  Sometimes we’re the person who tries to figure out what everyone likes, but if you have a spouse like mine, no one wants to get you the stuff you want so you’re stuck living with the old pans.  This holiday season, I’m giving away a Pure Living Skillet by WearEver.


Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe & Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract Giveaway

July 22, 2013 - Written by Diana

Did you miss National Ice Cream Day (July 21) – which happens to fall in National Ice Cream Month(July).  We definitely have ice cream on the 21st of July because it goes well with the cake my daughter has for her birthday.

I’ve been working with my new ice cream maker and I haven’t perfected it yet, but I’m getting there.  Nielsen-Massey offered me a chance to try out their vanilla in a Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream recipe using Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Pure Vanilla is the way to go, that fake stuff is awful but Pure Vanilla is the real thing.

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream - Cookerati

The ice cream came out soft, so I put it in the freezer to harden the last little bit and become more solid.  It probably will be a little icy, but it tastes divine. The vanilla and coconut together are really good and make me think of a pina colada – it just needs a little pineapple.  The only changeI made to the recipe is to refrigerate the mixture to a cooler temperature before putting it into the ice cream maker so that it freezes better.

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Make Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream using pure vanilla extract, coconut milk and sugar. It's a sweet delicious treat.
Recipe type: Ice Cream
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup caster sugar* (baker’s sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (garnish)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk cream, sugar and vanilla extract until combined; set aside. Add coconut milk to a large glass measuring cup; add cream-sugar mixture and stir.
  2. Place in refridgerator for at least one hour.
  3. Assemble ice cream maker and pour ice cream mixture through filling hole. For the perfect ice-cream follow the manufacturer’s appliance directions.
  4. While ice cream is churning, toast the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a small rimmed baking sheet, evenly spread coconut; place in oven and toast, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, as coconut will toast quickly.
  5. Cool and store until ready to use.
**To toast coconut: preheat oven to 350°F. On a small rimmed baking sheet, evenly spread coconut; place in oven and toast, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, as coconut will toast quickly. Cool and store until ready to use.
*If baker's sugar (caster sugar) is not readily available, add granulated sugar to a mini food processor bowl and pulse until sugar is a superfine, but not a powdery consistency. A coffee grinder also works for making superfine sugar.



Nielsen-Massey is also offering a bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to one of Cookerati’s readers. If you’d like to see some of their recipes for their vanillas – take a look at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Facebook Page.


How to Enter:

This contest will run through Midnight, EST Augus 1, 2013. US residents only.

Take a look at the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Facebook Page and in the comments tell us what you would make with your Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla if you won either one of their recipes, or one of your own.  (One Entry only)

Extra Entries:

1. Like the Cookerati Facebook Page – leave your facebook name in the comments and let us know.

2. Join our mailing list by submitting the form below and leave another comment below to tell us that you joined. (You will recieve the weekly RSS Feed Email, plus any special emails).

Maximum of three entries total. (One of each type.)


Disclosure:  I was given a bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla to review.  My opinions are my own.



Dannon Activia Greek Yogurt Review and Giveaway.

May 21, 2013 - Written by Diana

Dannon Activia Yogurt now comes in Greek and I had a chance to try it out.  Stay tuned to the whole post because at the bottom is a chance for someone to win a gift bag of Activia Greek Yogurt.  (This contest is closed.)

Activia is the yogurt known for it’s probiotic Bifidus Regularis – which is used by many to help regulate their digestive system.  A few years back my sister mentioned how she had (regular) Activia every day to keep her regular.  I preferred Greek Yogurt though, it keeps you feeling full longer – maybe because of the higher protein level. they say 2 times higher than regular yogurt, but when comparing Activia to Activia Greek, it’s about 3 times higher.

I definitely prefer the Greek Activia  over regular Activia. It was a creamy thick yogurt with fruit on the bottom, which of course you have to mix together.  I’m  used to mixing plain yogurt with fruit so I’m not a fan of too sweet syrup with fruit on the bottom.  This was good, not too sweet at all.  My only complaint, if it’s a real complaint is that the website photo shows yogurt to the tip top of the container and it was a little low and not filled to the top.  Drat!  I would have liked that quarter inch more yogurt.  Here’s a coupon for 1.00 off Greek Activia.

I tried Garden Blueberry, Strawberry Patch and Orchard Peach.  My favorite was Garden Blueberry, my daughter liked the Orchard Peach.  I could use more fruit chunks, but I do add my own to bump it up a little.  These containers are a serving and are very portable. My husband and I took ours to work everyday and my daughter ate hers at home.

If you would like a chance to try Dannon Activia Greek Yogurt –

The Prize:

Activia Gift Bag






Activia Greek Yogurt, An Activia Greek Cooler (bag), and a Brand New Spoon, so you can dive right in!


How to Enter:

This contest will run through Midnight, EST June 1, 2013.  US residents only.

Take a look at the Dannon Activia Greek Yogurt and in the comments tell us which two flavors you like best.  (One Entry only)

Extra Entries:

1. Like the Cookerati Facebook Page – leave your facebook name in the comments and let us know.

2.  Join our mailing list by submitting the form below and leave another comment below to tell us that you joined. (You will recieve the weekly RSS Feed Email, plus any special emails).

Maximum of three entries total. (One of each type.)


Disclosure:  I was given an Activia Gift Pack to review.  The opinions are my own, I received no compensation for this review.


UPDATE:  This contest is closed and Lisa Gardner has been chosen by Random Number Generator as our Giveaway winner.  Thank you to all who participated!







Food News – February 24, 2013

February 24, 2013 - Written by Diana


Small, polyurethane balls approximately 7mm to 9mm (1/4″ to 3/8″) in size may have dropped into bags during the final sifting stage of the milling process. The balls have a smooth surface and no sharp edges and are made from food grade material. Because of their bright blue color and size (about half the diameter of a dime), they are easily seen in the flour.

Any affected products may be returned for a full refund. For more information call the King Arthur Flour Consumer Hotline at 866 797 9178, open Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm EST.






Cookerati Alert

January 13, 2013 - Written by Diana

Dear Readers,

Today I have been receiving emails and comments on a Cookerati post of 2011 for a Jennie-O coupon giveaway.  There is an ad in a newspaper referring to this old post.  It is not my ad, and the contest has been over for more than a year.

There are some coupons on Facebook right now – that I’ve posted a link to on the Cookerati Facebook Page. I’ve sent an email to the Jennie-O PR people I worked with previously to see if I can figure out what is going on.

I apologize for the confusion.  If you have any information – like where you’ve seen the ad drop me a line.






Update – the newpaper ad was confusing to many people but referred to the Jennie-O Facebook Page.  Anyone who did a search and found the old contest and giveaway may have thought that it originated here, I’m sorry to say it did not. I’m happy to have new visitors even if by accident.  There’s a link to the Jennie-O coupons on Cookerati’s Facebook page.  I hope that’s what you were looking for.


Food News – Jan 7, 2012

January 7, 2013 - Written by Diana

Happy New Year to Everyone!  A short after the holiday list today – a couple of contests, Paula Deen and some heart healthy recipes.  Good Luck!