Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

Posts tagged “contest

FREE Gluten FREE Donuts! Today We Reveal the Winner of the Dr. Bob’s Giveaway…

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It’s time to make the donuts and time to choose a winner for the giveaway of the Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Complete Starter Kit that includes all three of Dr. Bob’s gluten free and vegan donut mixes, as well as a pan to make them in, a cooling rack and a vented lid.

I entered all of you for the number of times you commented, liked, shared, etc. this blog post and used random.org to generate a numbered list of all of you, and Andy picked a number at random (number 17). Number 17 is going to have a blast with this kit! I know I have with mine. 🙂

Before I reveal the winner, I would like to share the donuts I made today. I used the very last of my blonde mix (my favorite, by the way) to create a honey vanilla donut with honey vanilla glaze.

I used the blonde mix in the standard way, except I added 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 Tbs of honey in the 1 cup of liquid mixture. (The standard recipe is one cup mix and one cup water). I also added 1/2 of the beans from one vanilla bean pod to the batter.

To make the glaze, I used 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 Tbs butter, 2 Tbs honey, 1 packet of stevia, a pinch of salt, and the contents of the other half of the vanilla bean pod.

After you steam the donuts in the microwave, brush them with a mix of 2 Tbsp honey & 1 Tbs hot water. This makes them super moist inside and gives them a little more sweetness. Then glaze the donuts with your glaze and place them in the refrigerator to set. It’s that easy! 🙂

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Now, let’s cut open the donut to find out the winner of the starter kit!

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Congratulations to Mindie! You have won the starter kit and Dr. Bob’s will ship it directly to you. I will contact you privately to get your mailing address. Thanks again for your entry. I hope you’ll share some of the fun things you make on Dr. Bob’s Facebook page or the cavegrrl.com Facebook page. 🙂

If you didn’t win the contest, I have some buy one, get one FREE coupons (good for Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Roseville Store location only). Just email me with your address and will send one your way (one per family, until I run out of them).

And to those interested in buying Dr. Bob’s products online, I have a discount code for you! Just enter CAVEGRRL15 for 15% off of your online purchase! (Apply Your Coupon or Discount Code on Final Payment Screen)

You can shop Dr. Bob’s products here!


Enter to Win a Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Complete Starter Kit!

Donut Solo Shot

You might recall a few blog posts back a certain donut I made for Andy: Gluten Free and Vegan Banana Maple Walnut Donuts with Banana Date Filling using Dr. Bob’s Blonde Mix. That was fine, but what about me? 😉 This time I decided to make a donut with a few of my favorite flavor combinations: Hazelnut and Chocolate!

First, I made the donut base with Dr. Bob’s Chocolate Mix and a few other ingredients:

Donut Base:
Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup Chocolate Mix
2 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbs Hazelnut Flour
2 Packets Stevia or Zylitol

Liquid Ingredients:
3/4 cup of Hazelnut Coffee (or regular coffee if you do not have hazelnut)
3 Tbs Nut Milk of Your Choice
1 Tbs Frangelico or Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix all of the liquid ingredients in a smaller-sized bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

I like to spray/grease my silicone pan with Coconut Oil Spray (which can be found at Trader Joe’s) before adding the donut batter to the it.

Then I microwaved for 2 minutes (yep, that’s all it takes) and the donuts were done!

Chocolate Donuts
Allow the donuts to cool, and for an extra flavor boost, poke holes in them with a fork, and using a pastry brush, dab them with more Frangelico or hazelnut syrup.

For the filling, I used a hazelnut spread called Nocciolata is Italy’s health-conscious answer for a chocolatey treat. Crafted using carefully selected ingredients, including dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts (with low-fat content), raw cane sugar, skimmed milk and Bourbon vanilla extract, this high-quality certified organic spread is also free from trans fats, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

You can find Nocciolata on Facebook here, follow them on Twitter here and follow them on Pinterest here. You can find Nocciolata at Nugget Market!

Nocciolata Spread
Icing and Topping:
6 oz. semisweet chocolate or chips
1 Tbs butter
1/2 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts

For the topping, I just melted a little semisweet chocolate, 1 Tbsp of butter and a tiny bit more of the Frangelico. To ice the donuts, I carefully dipped them into the melted chocolate and set them on parchment paper. I then topped each one with toasted, chopped hazelnuts, then returned to each donut with a final drizzle of chocolate on their tops, so that the hazelnuts would stay in place.

Four Donuts on Plate

And here’s the delectable cross-section. OMG. 😛

A Look Inside
The bad news? All of the Chocolate Hazelnut donuts have already been scarfed down and I don’t have any for you to sample.

The good news? You can try making your very own with the Dr. Bob’s Complete Starter kit that Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos and I are giving away!!

YES! Dr. Bob’s and I are giving away a Dr. Bob’s Complete Starter kit! This giveaway is only for those who live in the Continental USA.

The Complete Starter Kit includes a 100% food grade silicone heart shaped Vitamold, a bamboo drying rack, and a vented lid. The complete kit includes a regular size bag Chocolate unsweetened, Chocolate Sweetened and the Blonde Mix. This kit has a retail value of $89.97.

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To be entered in the giveaway, comment below and tell me what kind of donuts you would create with your kit. Then for extra entries and an increased chance of winning the kit:

Like the Dr. Bob’s Donuts Facebook page and leave me a comment that you did.
Like the CAVEGRRL.COM Facebook page and leave me a comment that you did.
Follow CAVEGRRL on Instagram and leave me a comment that you did.
Follow Dr. Bob’s Donuts on Instagram and leave me a comment that you did.
Share this post on Facebook!!

You have until Friday, February 27th to enter! I will pick a winner at random on Saturday, February 28th and announce it on my Facebook page. Again, you must live in the Continental US to win and you must LOVE donuts!

GOOD LUCK!! 🙂

Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos is located at 336 Lincoln Street in old town Roseville. They are open 7 am to 5 pm Tuesday thru Sunday. For more information, you can call them at 916-742-5241. You can find Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos and tons of photos/ideas for donut creations on their Facebook page here and you can follow them on Twitter here. You can also follow them on Instagram here! 🙂


Drink Wine Day is February 18th, Celebrate with Tandoor Chef and Win a $250 Wine Gift Card

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Indian cuisine is one of the most interesting food and wine pairings. Tandoor Chef has recently developed a pairing tool to help you choose the best compliment (wine or beer) to their restaurant quality authentic Indian cuisine.

And to celebrate the upcoming National Drink Wine Day on February 18th, my friends at Tandoor Chef are giving away a $250 wine gift card. You can enter by clicking this link!

The purpose of National Drink Wine Day is to spread the love and health benefits of wine.  Wine has played an important role in history, religion and relationships.  We embrace the positive benefits of wine such as new friends, reduced risk of heart disease and the enhancement of food and life. I really didn’t need another reason to drink wine, but whoever came up with this holiday deserves a pat on the back and a big bottle of 2008 Opus One. 😉

Speaking of enhancement of food, Tandoor Chef has developed a line of gluten free items, which I will be reviewing very soon and doing a wine pairing of my own. They also have 11 selections under 300 calories per serving for those of you watching your waistline.

You can find Tandoor Chef on Facebook here, follow them on Twitter here, on Pinterest here, and on Instagram here.

Hope you’ll join us for National Drink Wine Day on February 18th and enter to win(e)! 😉 Good luck!

 


Make Your Favorite Summer-Inspired Recipe with Whole Foods! $20 Gift Card Giveaway!!

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I just made a terrific summer inspired dinner with ingredients from Whole Foods. I spent $54 dollars for everything you see in the above picture. And, it comfortably feeds four people.

My friends at Whole Foods had this great idea for a gift card giveaway on cavegrrl.com and sent me $40 to buy ingredients and showcase a recipe. Well, I spent a little over $40, but I did get more than a pound of chicken sausage (1.12 pounds), a package of sliced pancetta, a 1/2 pound of hazelnuts, 1/3 pound of mushrooms, 1 1/3 pounds yellow squash, 1 1/3 pounds zucchini squash, 1/3 pound of olives, 1 package of tarragon, 3 shallots, 1 lemon, an entire bag of kale salad (1 pound), 2 baguettes made by Against the Grain Gourmet, AND a bottle of French white wine. 🙂

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And what did I prepare with all of the groceries? A brown butter summer squash linguine with chicken sausage, a warm kale salad, garlic buttered baguettes, served with a French blanc de blancs.

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For the warm kale salad you will need:
1 pound kale salad
1/3 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 package of pancetta, sliced or diced (if sliced, you will want to chop/cut into finer pieces)
3 shallots, finely diced
1 Tbs olive oil

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and sauté the shallots until they are translucent. Then add the pancetta and the mushrooms and cook together until the pancetta browns. Add the kale and turn with the ingredients, allowing it to wilt in the pan. Cover the pan with a lid to help wilt the kale. Add all of the salad and steam until the kale is barely tender. Set aside and prepare your summer squash linguine.

For the Brown Butter Squash Linguine, you will need a tool called a julienne slicer. I just bought one this past weekend in order to make the recipe and it has kind of changed my life. I’ll be making squash linguine at least once a month now! 🙂

I snagged the recipe from Fine Cooking.com and you can click here to find it.

1-1/2 lb. young yellow (summer) squash (about 4)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon or parsley
1/2 lemon

You’re basically going to slice 4-6 summer squashes (I used green and yellow) to their core with the julienne slicer. It’ll make fine strips that when cooked are the texture and size of spaghetti noodles (linguine, maybe not so much as the recipe advertises) 😉

You’ll melt the butter and add the hazelnuts cooking until the butter reaches a nutty brown color, about 2 minutes. Then you’ll add the squash and salt. Coat the squash with the butter and hazelnuts, and continue cooking for about a minute. Then you’ll stir in half of the chopped herbs, and squeeze a little of the lemon over the squash and toss. It’s a pretty easy and totally rewarding operation! 🙂

The sausages were easy to prepare. I bought the house special chicken sausage with spinach and feta, exclusively made at Whole Foods. All I did was sear them in a hot pan and finish them off in the oven. Then, I sliced them on a bias to serve. 🙂

The bread was prepared with a little bit of crushed garlic stirred into melted butter and lightly brushed on the baguette slices. I placed them under the broiler until they were toasted to perfection.

And that, my friends… is one wonderful meal at about $13.50 per person including wine. 🙂

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My friends at Whole Foods want to give you a $20 gift card. So, enter by commenting below (tell me your favorite summer recipe or meal), and if you have a twitter account, follow me and retweet the link to this blog post for an extra entry (be sure to leave me your twitter handle in your comment!). I will announce the winner this Sunday. Good luck!

You can find Whole Foods Market on Facebook here (Roseville location here) (Sacramento location here) and on twitter here (national) and here (Sacramento) and here (Northern California)! 🙂


Summer Survival Wine Kit Giveaway Sponsored by [yellow tail] Wines

“Feel the heat burning you up, ready or not…”

I feel extremely lucky right now. I live in a small one bedroom condo and the air conditioning works great. I have access to a pool. I might not have a lot of money, but I am counting my blessings now that I have a steady job and the financial bleeding has stopped (until something else dastardly happens). 😉

This week’s temperature predictions top anything I have ever seen since I have been here (it’s my 9th summer) and according to Andy (a life-long Sacramentan) anything he has ever lived through as well. It’s supposed to be 109° today, but rather than bitch about it (like most people) I am going to swim, tan, sweat, drink water, eat ice and just get through it with a smile on my face. I’d like to apologize for said face in advance: melted, smeared and greasy! Ah, the fresh look of summer! Also, there will be lots of bad, half fixed hair (wig) days. Again, sorry. 😦

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To help YOU make it through the swelter, [yellow tail] Wines has sent me this lovely beach kit, which I am going pass on to one lucky reader. I want to help [yellow tail] introduce their latest wines: The [yellow tail] Pink Moscato (with notes of strawberry and watermelon) and Sweet White Roo (flavors of tropical fruit and lemon sorbet)! They’re a perfect match for your backyard BBQ or bringing to the beach (screwtops!)

The Summer Survival Wine Kit (pictured above) Contains:
One bottle [yellow tail] Pink Moscato
One bottle [yellow tail] Sweet White Roo
One huge beach towel
One pair sunglasses
Set of plastic wine glasses
One straw hat
One pair of sandals
…All in one big pink tote! (sorry, ice cubes not included!)

OK wine lovers (especially you sangria people out there, because this wine makes a great base for sangria or summer cocktail!) 🙂 The Summer Survival Kit is up for grabs for anyone local to Sacramento!

To win, please share this post via twitter or Facebook and leave a comment below. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR 4th of JULY? 🙂 Feel free to share a link to your favorite recipe or blog!

I’ll pick a winner on the morning of July 3rd, so you can have your bag o’ fun by the 4th of July! Stay cool out there. xo

You can find [yellow tail] on Facebook here and on twitter here.


World Vision Gifts: Enter to win a Fair Trade Coffee Set!

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For the person who has everything, or for the shopper who doesn’t want to purchase another meaningless gift, the World Vision Gift Catalog offers an alternative (or addition to) traditional holiday gift giving.The catalog has more than 250 items ranging in price from $16 to $39,000 that help children and families in need here in U.S. and around the world.

Included in the catalog are several items that foodies on everyone’s gift list might enjoy such as Family Food Kitfarm animalsfruit treesdrought-resistant seeds and many more. In addition, World Vision offers Maximum Impact Fund gifts that are used where resources are most desperately needed.

With a financial contribution, the gift giver can select one of 36 items that can be given to a loved one and at the same time help a person in need.

I recently chose this Fair Trade Coffee Set that includes coffee from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Costa Rica blended by OneCup.org and is delivered in a baghand-sewn by local women with a hand-carved olivewood scoop. The bag is beautiful and well-made, and the olivewood scoop is very unique.

If you’d like your very own Fair Trade Coffee Set or would like to give it to someone as a gift, leave a comment for me below — and share this post via Facebook or Twitter. I will pick a winner at the end of the week and have the coffee sent directly to you!

You can find the World Vision Facebook page here and World Vision’s Pinterest page here.


Enter to Win(e) a $25 Grocery Outlet Gift Card!

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To celebrate the upcoming Grocery Outlet wine sale, I am giving away a $25 gift card good at any area Grocery Outlet !

The big Wine Sale runs November 7th-11th and all wines are 20% off already bargain prices!
I just love finding bargains at Grocery Outlet. They have the best deals on organic produce, nuts, and cheeses, and every once in a while I find a wine (most recently a Torrontes made by Espiritu). It was $2.99 per bottle and tasted like $7.99 or $8.99 per bottle. It is such a wonderful everyday wine, that my boyfriend bought a case, and I think I have bought about 2 cases by now in the past 2 months… I kept buying it 2-3 bottles at a time when I saw it was still in stock. 🙂
I was curious about the wines at Grocery Outlet and took the opportunity to interview a wine buyer for the company, Andy Lee.
Cavegrrl: Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your position with Grocery Outlet.
Andy Lee: I’m a 25 yr veteran of the wine industry and have worked all three tiers of the traditional three tier system.  Starting in retail in a small gourmet food and fine wine/beer shop that led to a 12 yr stint in distribution…followed by another 12 yrs working with wineries and then was lured back by the intrigue that is Grocery Outlet.  I didn’t see myself in a retail buying position at this stage in my career, but the dynamic nature of the company and the overall intelligence of the people drew me into the fold.  Every day is exciting and stimulating.  The thrill and passion I’ve enjoyed throughout my career is now derived from getting a great wine at an incredible price and sharing that value with our customers.
CG: What got you interested in wine? What got you into the industry?
AL: Work in the restaurant and retail industry helped pique an interest in wine for me.  I saw it as a part of a healthy lifestyle which includes great food, friends and family.  I was fortunate enough to rekindle a relationship with a former employer shortly after I finished college and ending up taking on the role of buyer for his store that featured 500 beers and ales and a selection of wine that included great Barolo, Bordeaux, California wines and Champagne.  As the store was sold I was recruited by a couple of wine distributors in Seattle and the rest is history.
CG: What did you do before Grocery Outlet?
AL: A true American success story….I went from a glamour gig in Napa Valley to Grocery Outlet!  My last couple of jobs leading up to Grocery Outlet were in winery sales for J Vineyards & Winery in Russian River Valley and Gamble Family Vineyards in Napa Valley.
CG: How do you find wines for  Grocery Outlet?
AL: Through many contacts my team and I receive samples of wines that are for various reasons “excess inventory.”  The opportunities we receive range from simple overproduction for the market to mergers and liquidations.  We are also the recipient of wines from wineries that have launched new packages.
CG: Do you get to try the wines that get picked up by the stores or is it just a stab in the dark?
AL: There are exceptions, but most of the time someone from the Beer & Wine team has tasted.  In most cases we have tasted the wine as a panel, in this way we come to an agreement on value that in turn leads to our offer on the wine.
CG: What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
AL: Food and wine is a passion for me.  I’m always looking for that ah-hah moment.  A favorite go to for me is a pasta dish with chicken, broccoli and goat cheese (with a few pepper flakes for punch) paired with Sauvignon Blanc…goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc create a wonderful flavor marriage as well as texture.  Another is a bit old and stodgy but still spot on…Stilton Blue Cheese, Bosc Pear and Vintage Port, the flavor created by this pairing still amazes me!  Dungeness Crab and German Kabinett, I could go on all day…
I’d like to thank Andy Lee for the Q & A. It was certainly interesting and sounds like my dream job! Here’s Andy hard at work on the job!

You can find Grocery Outlet on Facebook here and twitter here.

And now for the gift card you can enter to win(e)!

To enter, tell me (in the comments section below) your favorite Grocery Outlet location and your favorite food and wine pairing! At the end of the week, I will pick my favorite and send you the gift card in the mail so you can participate in the Wine Sale! Bonus entries to people who follow me on twitter and “like” cavegrrl.com on FacebookGood luck!


Chevys Fresh Mex Friday Giveaway!!

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A few weeks ago, Chevys Fresh Mex (no apostrophe, not my typo :)) hosted me and RB for dinner to introduce all of you to their updated menu choices that meet the nutritional guidelines of the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWellSM program. I asked them if we could take things a bit further and show cavegrrl.com readers that Paleo is possible  at Chevy’s! Before I tell you about the new menu items for kids, I’ll show you our amazing Primal (I had cheese on my salad, so not completely Paleo) meal:

First up, we had the citrus-infused Ceviche Mixto. It was a combination of shrimp and calamari lightly cooked in lime and orange juices and infused with chile arbol and cilantro mixed with red onion and red bell peppers. Instead of the  corn tortilla crisps, we opted for a bed of lettuce. That’s probably about the easiest tip I can give you. Just ask for your meal on lettuce instead of chips! 🙂

I ordered the Santa Fe Chopped Salad: A Mesquite-grilled chicken breast, bacon, avocado, fire-roasted red peppers, crumbled bleu cheese served on hearts of romaine. I used salsa and avocado as my “dressing”.

RB had the Carne Asada with Shrimp Skewer: a chile-rubbed carne asada, mesquite-grilled to your liking, served on a bed of San Antonio veggies and topped with a fuego-spiced shrimp skewer. We asked for extra avocado and veggies instead of the side of rice.

Paleo/Primal can definitely be done, as well as gluten-free, even at a major chain restaurant. Just make sure you tell your server or get a manager what you need. 🙂

As for the kids menu, that debuted on July 17th at Chevys Fresh Mex, Carlos Franco (executive chef for all Chevys locations) says, “These exciting new menu and promotional offerings underscore our ongoing pledge to making dining out a healthy, fun activity for kids and their families. In keeping with all Chevys fare, our entrees for kids incorporate exciting flavor profiles and only the freshest local ingredients.”

The National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program launched one year ago in collaboration with HealthyDining to help parents and children select healthful menu options when dining out. Restaurants like Chevys that participate in the voluntary program commit to offering healthful meal items for children, with a particular focus on increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium. Though the menu items are not Paleo, I like the healthier direction they take by serving grilled vegetables and apple wedges instead of deep-fried sides. Here are some of the new menu choices:

  • Chicken Fajita with carrots, celery sticks and apple wedges (water for beverage)
  • Soft Beef Taco (without cheese) with grilled veggies, and carrots  and celery sticks ( apple juice for beverage)
  • Soft Chicken Taco (with 1 tablespoon cheese), sweet corn tamalito, grilled veggies (pineapple juice for beverage)

In addition to making dining out healthier, Chevys also recently instituted new elements that make the restaurant experience more fun for kids, adding games like the Burrito Maze, Sabroso Mad Lib and Be the Artista; menu items such as Build Your Own Taco. The restaurant will also continue its Kids Eat Free promotion on Tuesdays, where guests receive one free under-12 kid’s meal with the purchase of one regular adult entrée.

Chevys Fresh Mex’s new kids’ menus and Tuesday Kids Eat Free promotions are available in all 42 company locations.

For more information on Chevys Fresh Mex and its commitment to fresh, visit www.chevys.com. You can find them on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.

And now: The Giveaway!!

Chevy’s Fresh Mex has generously offered a “Be Our Guest” card to one of my readers.

The card is good for an entrée and a non-alcoholic beverage!

To enter to win the card, please comment below on the Chevys Mex menu item you would most like to try! I will announce a winner next Friday. 🙂

Happy Labor Day Weekend!!


Hot off the Grill: 2012 Sacramento Burger Battle is September 18th at Raley Field

If you haven’t heard about the 2012 Sacramento Burger Battle by now, you’re probably living under a huge chunk of charcoal!! Sacramento’s first charity burger cook-off and tasting event, the Sacramento Burger Battle, will be held on National Cheeseburger Day, Sept. 18, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Raley Field.

Of course, the organizer of the event is a friend of mine, so I have had the privilege of knowing all about the event for a few months now. I was particularly interested in helping promote this event because all of the ticket sales benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2001. Though my Crohn’s is in remission and it rarely bothers be (due to my diet and exercise regime), I know there are many people who are hospitalized and operated on every year (and even die) from Crohn’s Disease.

The Battle Details:
Up to 15 Sacramento-area restaurants will create their best burgers in the hope of being named the Best Burger in Sacramento.

The Challengers:

The Judges:
Guest judges include food writers Rick Kushman and Erin Jackson, local chef Bret Bohlmann, and Rick Mindermann of Corti Brothers.

The Beverages:
Beer and wine tastings feature samples of regional brands, including Crispin Cider and Sierra Nevada.

Audience Participation!
Attendees can sample burgers from participating restaurants and vote for their favorite burger to receive the People’s Choice Award.

Not Just Burgers!!
Featured entertainment includes a live art installation by the nationally acclaimed Tekstartist from Carlsbad, California. The final piece will be auctioned off during the event to raise additional funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Fine Print:
Admission to the event is limited to adults 21 and over.

About the 2012 Sacramento Burger Battle
Conceived by Rodney Blackwell, a nationally ranked burger blogger based in Sacramento, California, Sacramento Burger Battle’s purpose is two-fold: to showcase the local dining scene, and to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Blackwell’s commitment to helping find a cure for Crohn’s and colitis started four years ago, when his daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s.

You can “like” the Sacramento Burger Battle on Facebook here and for all the latest burgery gossip on the event, you can follow them on twitter here.

Ready to buy tickets? You can get them online here!


California State Fair Kicks Off Tomorrow! Win 2 tickets and FREE Parking!

The California State Fair is here again, and this time I will be doing a cooking demo at the fair on July 20th, from 5-7pm! I will be there to discuss the Paleo diet and to make a dish for audience sampling!! Come out and say hello and see what the Paleo thing is all about.

In celebration of my appearance at the Fair, I am giving away a pair of tickets, complete with a parking pass to one of my readers. To win, please comment below and tell me what you are most looking forward to at the fair! (If you’re anything like me, it’s the wine garden and the Mick Martin concerts!) I’ll also be heading to Pignotti’s booth (located in the wine garden) for my cheese and fruit plate! 🙂

The person with the best entry wins (you have to be local to win)…Giveaway ends tomorrow at noon! Ready…. GO!!!

Also, read below and check out some of the new attractions at the fair this year (via a press release from the California State Fair Media Department), or you can read my State Fair review from last year. I found some really healthy options at the fair:

Better hours and a slew of new attractions are among the highlights of the 2012 California State Fair, which runs July 12-29 at Cal Expo.

The fairgrounds will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Magical Midway hours are 2-11 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday, noon-11 p.m. Wednesday, and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Kids Park will be operational 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In keeping with the theme “Fun That Moves You,” the 2012 State Fair introduces an array of entertaining, challenging, educational and thoroughly enjoyable activities and experiences for all ages. Most of them are free with fair admission:

“Wizard’s Challenge” (in front of Bldg A) – Explore the magic and wonder of science in a 9,600-square-foot, Medieval-themed, mostly interactive exhibit. Morph your face with someone else’s in the Morphing Mirror. Try to identify mysterious smells in Common Scents. Dare to walk through the Dragon’s Lair. Make beautiful music with the Enchanted Organ and Steel Drums. Take on all-comers at the Giant Chess Set. There are 20 activities in all. And don’t miss the Magic of Science stage show with three performances daily. “Wizard’s Challenge” is sponsored by SMUD.

“Sun-Maid Celebrating 100 Years of Fruit and Sunshine” (Expo Center, Bldg 3) – The Kingsburg-based company, a cooperative owned by nearly 1,000 families who grow raisin grapes, celebrates 100 years of a thriving enterprise by displaying from its collection two paintings and a chromo lithograph by  the celebrated America artist Norman Rockwell. The Sun-Maid celebration also includes an interactive exhibit that tells the story of dried-fruit production in California and the history of the iconic Sun-Maid Girl. The Sun-Maid chef will cook up heritage recipes in the Sun-Maid Kitchen.

“Girl Scouts Zone”(Bldg A-B) – Celebrating 100 years of scouting, Girl Scouts Heart of Central California worked with Randy Roberts, deputy director of the Crocker Art Museum, and museum consultant Rachel Tooker to create an interactive exhibit that shows how Girl Scouts discover, connect and take action to make the world a better place.

“Toytopia 2.0” (Expo Center, Bldg 5) – Sacramento’s Stage Nine Entertainment returns with an interactive exhibit for folks of all ages. Doodle on the world’s largest Etch-a-Sketch and pretend that you live in a giant dollhouse. Build something with Legos and other construction toys. Visit the stuffed animal Toytopia Zoo. Check out model planes, trains and automobiles, and play the day away at a retro game arcade. Don’t forget to visit the official Toytopia store inside the exhibit.

 “Birds in Paradise”(Floriculture) – Wander deep into the “jungle” where macaws, Amazon and cockatoos inhabit the “parrot tree.” Marvel at colorful peacocks, along with a charm of finches, a colony of canaries, along with kookaburra, amazons, curassow and other “singers.” Experts will be on hand to talk about the feathered flock. And look for exotic plants, many of which were propagated and nurtured in the State Fair’s Landscape Yard: vanilla orchid, sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, banana, papaya and pineapple. Free California poppy-seed packs will be given away while supplies last.

“Wet ‘n’ Wild” (Bldg B)– The California Department of Water Resources and California Department of Fish and Game team up on a water and wildlife exhibit designed to educate the public about native animals and how water impacts their habitats. See raccoon, bobcat, bald eagle, rattlesnake and amphibians in enclosures similar to their native habitats. Watch educational and entertaining presentations with a beaver, turkey vulture, North American porcupine, desert tortoise and hawk at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

“We Stand on Their Shoulders”(Bldg A) – Sacramento State professor emeritus Felicenne Ramey created a documentary–style exhibit in which photographs of elderly African-American men and women are paired with their musings on life. Ramey began working on the project in 2009. The exhibit comes to the State Fair after making its debut earlier this year at the Sacramento State library.

“ ‘The Flying Marbellos’ & Friends” (Expo Center, Bldg 7) – Vallejo dentist and artist Victor Chaney creates wacky and hypnotic kinetic sculptures, including the circus-themed “The Flying Marbellos” and “H2-Opus,” a musical fountain. See six of his unique works in the Fine Art building.

Guinness World Record attempts– Be a part of history at the California State Fair as not one, but two, world records are challenged. The world’s largest cocktail, a Margarita, will be built starting at 10 a.m. July 13 in an enormous stainless steel shaker on Palm Avenue. A Roseville woman will attempt the longest continuous Ferris wheel ride. She’s set to begin her quest at 5 a.m. July 23 in the Magical Midway.  She’ll have to outlast the Los Angeles police detective who set the current record of 25 hours in June 2012.

My First Ride (Cavalcade of Horses arena) – Never been on a horse before? Now cowboys and cowgirls of all ages can saddle up for a jaunt around the arena. Rides will be given at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on July 15, 17, 24, 27 and 28. At 3 p.m. every day, kids can participate in stick-horse games and pony painting.

On the Magical Midway – Butler Amusements amps up the fun with old favorites and some new attractions, including White Water Log Flume, Mega Drop Tower and Circle of Champions. The Zillerator Coaster makes its return to the 2012 State Fair.

High Fly’n Zip Line (behind Expo Center, Bldg 5) – Also debuting at the 2012 State Fair, brought in by Butler Amusements, is a 600-foot-long zip line on which up to four riders will fly along at 35 mph. The highest elevation is 60 feet. Riders must weigh between 30 and 250 pounds. Zip line tickets are $20 and do not include State Fair admission. Carnival wristband and carnival tickets cannot be used for this ride.

Gran Jaripeo con Ezequiel Pena y Mucho Mas– The action includes a bull-riders-only rodeo, renowned Mexican entertainer Ezequiel Pena who will perform as he rides around the arena on horseback, and much more. (4-10 p.m. July 29, Horse Show and Rodeo Arena)

In addition to the new attractions, these are among the old favorites back at the 2012 California State Fair:

Live thoroughbred horse racing in the Miller Lite Grandstand (July 12-15 and July 19-22), big-name entertainment on the Golden1 Stage, the Livestock Nursery, Children’s Dairy Center, Dianne Olds Rossi and her Magical Dancing Horses, Metal Mayhem Destruction Derby (cars and RVs), Counties Exhibit, Fine Arts, cooking competitions in California’s Kitchen and The Farm, Operation Postcard, Friends of the California State Fair’s Brewfest, Youth Art & Design Expo, Gospel Festival and the Sacramento Mile.

In addition, California’s Grape & Gourmet returns to Cal Expo on Aug. 18. Tickets are for sale now at www.bigfun.org and www.calexpo.org

You can like the California State Fair on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.

The 2012 California State Fair runs July 12th-29th at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento

Fair hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Admission: $12 general,  $10 ages 62-plus, $8 children 5-12. Children under 4 free.
(Discount tickets on sale until July 11.)

Parking: $10.  For more information: www.bigfun.org