Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3/24 Jennifer Gilbert, Sandra Lee, OnStar, SMOKE, Pomar Junction Wines

What's Cookin' Today Hour ONE:

Jennifer Gilbert, Party Planner on Real Housewives of New York, Gives Us Tips To Throw the Ultimate Birthday or Spring Party!

As a Mother of Three and Renowned Event Planner, Jennifer Knows How to Throw the Ultimate Birthday Party. This Spring, She is Teaming up with ARM & HAMMER® Power Gel, to Provide One Grand Prize Winner A Dream Birthday Party for Their Child, Without Any of the Stress!

Jennifer Gilbert is Best Known for Her Recurring Role as a Party Planner on Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York. She Runs an Award-Winning Event Planning Company and will Release her First Book this year, entitled “I Never Promised You a Goody Bag.”

Sandra Lee Shares 4 Simple Rules to Cook with Care

Food Network Chef Sandra Lee has teamed up with the Pyrex brand to share the 4 Simple Rules to cook with care when using glass bakeware.

Sandra Lee has a passion for simple solutions that create dramatic results in all areas of home life. She is editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee SemiHomemade magazine, the host of two highly rated television shows on Food Network (the multi-Emmy-nominated Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee and Sandra’s Money Saving Meals) and the host of Sandra Lee Celebrates, a series of primetime specials on HGTV.

Sandra Lee is also a New York Times bestselling author of twenty books including the 2009 fall releases: Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Money-Saving Slow Cooking, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Weeknight Wonders and Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cocktail Time. An internationally-acclaimed home and food expert, Sandra has revolutionized the way people think about traditional, time-consuming, “fromscratch” methods. With her trademark 70/30 Semi-Homemade philosophy, which combines 70% ready-made products with 30% fresh touches, Sandra creates delicious meals and aspirational home environments that are affordable and attainable.

Visit to see cooking demonstrations and to download cooking tips and recipes from Sandra Lee.

Terry Inch, from OnStar Director of Subscriber Services, Helps Us to Remember to Push the Blue On-Star Button for Help in Emergency Situations!

April showers may bring May flowers, but according to the Red Cross spring also creates some of the most dangerous weather conditions of the year. Tornados, lightning and thunderstorms, combined with melting snow, can make driving hazardous in many parts of the country. During severe flooding and other natural disasters, OnStar has a team of specially trained Crisis Assist advisors available at the push of a button. Advisors can communicate with local authorities and help subscribers find evacuation routes, shelter, food and gas. They can also guide emergency personal to find those in need of immediate assistance. In fact, the service reports that during these types of events calls for help double and even triple.

To remind the millions of subscribers who haven’t used the service in a while to ‘push the blue button’, OnStar is running a push-to-win-a-new-car sweepstakes. Anyone with an OnStar-equipped vehicle, regardless of whether they are a current subscriber or not, can enter to win by pressing the blue button in their vehicle now through May 31.

To learn more about OnStar and the Push On sweepstakes, visit

What's Cookin' Today Hour TWO:

Morgan Robinson Gives Us His Exclusive Wine Pairing Tips and Tells Us About He Started His Napa Valley Catering Business, Smoke!

How do you go about developing a menu around one fabulous wine? What is the best single piece of advice for successful wine pairing at a dinner party? Can you ever serve white wine with a steak? Or red wine with a fish?
Napa's premier caterer, Morgan Robinson, helps us debunk the hard & fast rules of wine pairing!

Morgan is the proprietor of SMOKE: Open Fire Cooking, located in Napa, California. A classically-trained chef with more than 20 years’ experience at some of the finest wineries in Napa Valley, he founded SMOKE to create his own catering enterprise specializing in his favorite style of preparing foods. Inspired by the Mediterranean roots of rotisserie, grilling and other open hearth techniques, SMOKE favors local artisan food producers and seasonal ingredients.

Born in Mexico but raised primarily in the Santa Barbara, California region, Morgan loved food and cooking from an early age – his first job in a restaurant was at age 13. His enthusiasm for the Santa Maria-style tri-tip barbecue feast unleashed his passion for all forms of open fire cooking, and eventually inspired him to commission a five-by-ten-foot outdoor grill (parilla) with trailer hitch. The big grill now allows him to transport his cooking method of choice, along with the SMOKE team, to specific locations for events catering, from large winery release parties to more intimate family celebrations.

This year, Morgan has expanded SMOKE’s catering menus to include a range of food options far beyond traditional barbecue, including: elegant appetizers such as Tempura Portabella Sliders or Sicilian Prawns with Pomegranate Molasses Glaze; hearty mains like Dixon Rack of Lamb or Mont La Salle Whole Suckling Pig; innovative salads such Grilled Soft Shell Crab or Shaved Summer Squashes; and desserts both refreshing and decadent, like Spiced Mexican Chocolate “Pot de Cr√®me” or Trifle with Seasonal Fruit, Soft Cream and Candied Nuts. He is also staging several SMOKE annual dining events, such as the Argentina-inspired Asada, to be held in a St. Helena estate vineyard and slated for early June.

For more info, go to!

We're Taking A Tour of the Beautiful Pomar Junction Winery in Templeton, CA with Owner Dana Merrill!

Dana Merrill’s family dates back 7 generations on California’s Central Coast to the Spanish rancho days. After growing up and farming in the Santa Ynez Valley, he obtained a degree in Ag Business Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He later entered the vineyard management business, starting Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. in 1989. The firm provides management services to growers and wineries.

In 2008, Dana and wife Marsha, son Matthew and wife Nicole created the Pomar Junction brand featuring estate wines from their 120 acre Templeton vineyard and other vineyards they manage. A tasting room was opened as well in November of 2008. The brand is managed by Matthew and Nicole oversees the wine club. Son Keith handles the website and label design. The brand features the SIP Sustainable Certification commencing with some of its 2008 wines.

Dana has been active in industry groups including serving as Chairman of the California Assn. of Winegrape Growers , as a charter member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team and as a board member of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. He was voted San Luis Obispo’s Agriculturist of the Year and Grape Grower of the Year in 2005 and his firm was awarded the IPM Innovator of the Year award by the California Dept of Pesticide Regulation in 2002 for its efforts to promote sustainable farming systems at Pomar Junction and elsewhere.

For more info, go to

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