Monday, April 11, 2011

4/12 BabyCakes!, Cara Castronuova, Snack Smarter, Taxes!, Baxter Winery

What's Cookin' Today Hour ONE:

We're Talking with Erin McKenna from NYC's Famous BabyCakes!

Who says you can’t have cinnamon-sugar donuts? Or chocolate-chip waffles? No matter if you’re a vegan, have food sensitivities, or are just a traditional sweet tooth hoping to avoid a sugar crash, BABYCAKES COVERS THE CLASSICS: Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles!

BABYCAKES COVERS THE CLASSICS is the highly anticipated follow-up to McKenna’s wildly popular BABYCAKES (May 2009), which changed the face of baking for those with food intolerances and dietary restrictions. In fact, McKenna is known for single handledly propelling the gluten-free and vegan baking movement into a new stratosphere. BabyCakes first opened in 2005 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the shop quickly became a sought-after destination. BabyCakes now has three locations: New York, Los Angeles and Orlando at Disney World, where the shop replaced a McDonald’s.

Ilustrated with sassy, colorful photographs, BABYCAKES COVERS THE CLASSICS features nostalgic favorites like Sno Balls, S’Mores, Whoopie Pies, Thin Mints, Donuts (five different kinds!), Nilla Wafers, Bread Pudding, Square Pan Pizza, and more--all with a funky, healthy, modern edge. To help guide bakers who are new to these ingredients or to give returning fans a refresher, BABYCAKES COVERS THE CLASSICS kicks off with a primer of the baking basics, and helpful sections on substitutions and the most frequently asked questions to dispel confusion and to ensure the best results. Whether you’re a mom who wants to give your food-sensitive kid an amazing birthday or a vegan looking to recreate tastes you loved as a child, this book prove that once you embrace a vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, or gluten-free pantry, there are no limitations to what you can bake!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin McKenna is the chef and owner of BabyCakes NYC, a bakery with outposts in New York City, Los Angeles, and Orlando, FL. Erin and her bakery have been featured in hundreds of print and online media outlets, including the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Food & Wine; Harper’s Bazaar; Elle; Lucky; and InStyle. She has also been a featured guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, the Cooking Channel, the Food Network, and Martha Stewart Television.

For more information, please visit

Cara Castronuova, Trainer for The Biggest Loser, Gives Us Some Backstage Glimpes of the Show as Well as Some Handy Fitness Tips!

A two-time Golden Gloves winner and certified trainer who once ranked as the #2 boxer in the nation by USA Boxing, Cara Castronuova is a consummate athlete whose passion for boxing and being fit began very early in her childhood. She was born and raised in Elmont, New York, with three younger brothers, and began boxing at the age of five in the family garage with her father, a former Marine. She wrestled in high school and in college, and graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.

Castronuova first entered the boxing arena as a youth boxing trainer, and shortly after, began competing locally as a boxer, winning her first fight in 2002 at the NY Empire State Games in Syracuse. She also did volunteer work for a government-funded program for troubled youth to teach them the virtues of boxing and keep them off the streets. Later, while working as a personal fitness and boxing trainer at popular sports clubs in the New York area, like Chelsea Piers and Gleason’s Boxing Gym, she used fighting and boxing to encourage clients to “find their warrior within.” While continuing to train clients, Castronuova kept boxing competitively, winning a pair of “Silver Gloves” in 2004, the second-place prize in the Golden Gloves competition. Determined to redeem herself, Castronuova came back one year later and won her first New York Golden Gloves championship at Madison Square Garden in 2005 in front of a televised, capacity crowd.

Following her first Golden Gloves win, she started competing nationally and was ranked #2 in the nation by USA Boxing. She went on to place in national tournaments and win numerous titles, such as the NYABC title, the Metros, and the Empire State Games, and won her second Golden Gloves title in 2006 at Madison Square Garden. Certified as a boxing coach by the New York State Athletic Commission, she is also a certified personal trainer.

Castronuova has been a fighter her whole life, inside the ring and out. Her father, who was obese, died when she was just a teenager. Her mother died in a car accident four years ago, and she has since had to take care of an aunt, who is also obese, and her younger brothers, who live with her. “Boxing competitively taught me how important it is to never give up, no matter how hard it gets,” she says.

She also trained extensively in martial arts and other fighting techniques, which led to acting opportunities as well, primarily as a stuntwoman and stunt coordinator. In addition, she has worked as a reporter and fitness writer for NY and boxing press outlets, and as an announcer and sports commentator for various boxing venues in NYC like Madison Square Garden.

Castronuova has learned firsthand that in boxing and in life, “a comeback is important,” and that fighting mentality has served her well professionally and personally. Now she looks forward to helping “The Biggest Loser” contestants find “their warrior within” and make their own comebacks on the road to good health.

For embeddable clips and full episodes from “The Biggest Loser,” please visit's official show site:

Dietitian Lisa Drayer Helps Us to Snack Smarter!

It's no secret that we as Americans love snack foods. Whether we enjoy grazing on sweet or savory snacks, the Mintel Menu Insights report confirms that consumers ARE in fact snacking more often during the day. And with our action-packed schedules and so many quick snack choices at our fingertips – it can be hard to pick ones that allow you to snack deliciously and at the same time enjoy a balanced treat. In this radio interview, Registered Dietitian, Lisa Drayer will illustrate how listeners can select better-for-you snack fare.

About Lisa: Lisa Drayer, M.A., RD, is a nationally known nutritionist and health journalist. She is the author of THE BEAUTY DIET: Looking Great Has Never Been So Delicious (McGraw-Hill, 2008). She is also the author of Strong, Slim, and 30! Eat Right, Stay Young, Feel Great and Look FABULOUS (McGraw-Hill, 2007).

Currently, Lisa makes frequent appearances on NBC's "Today" Show, ABC's “Good Morning America,” CBS's “Early Show,” FOX News Channel, and several other television and radio stations throughout the country. Lisa's expert advice has appeared in several other national magazines and newspapers, including ELLE, The Oprah Magazine, Fitness, Marie Claire, Redbook, SELF, Real Simple, Woman's Day, Cosmopolitan, Organic Beauty, Family Circle, Working Mother, Bon Appétit, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Natural Health, Glamour, Organic Spa, People, OK!, McCall's, Vegetarian Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

What's Cookin' Today Hour TWO:

Taxes Still Not Done? Bob Meighan with TurboTax Tells Us Not to Hit the Panic Button!

Time is running out for taxpayers to get their returns by the April 18 deadline The deadline to file taxes is midnight on Monday, April 18 – less than a week away. For taxpayers who have not yet filed their returns, the next week may seem like a mad rush to the finish line. But there’s no need to panic – even for the worst tax procrastinator.

Bob Meighan, CPA and VP of TurboTax, is the past chairman and current member of the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee. He joined Intuit in September 1991 and served most recently as vice president and general manager of the consumer tax group. Prior to joining Intuit, Mr. Meighan spent 11 years with the 'Big 6' accounting and consulting firm, Price Waterhouse, where he served as a senior manager in the advanced technology group. Because of his extensive tax knowledge, Meighan has been featured on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg Radio, and countless local and national television and radio programs, as well as contributing tax tips and information to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

For more info, go to!

We're Taking a Trip To the Anderson Valley with Phil Baxter at Baxter Winery!

Baxter winery was formed in 2002 when two generations of winemakers joined together to produce single vineyard wines through traditional techniques and restrained winemaking. Phil L Baxter Sr. & Phil T G Baxter Jr. pool over fifty years of experience to make the make the purest expressions of wine from each vineyard and varietal.

Phil studied Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis from 1997 to 2002, including a year studying in France, learning the language and widening his appreciation of French wine appellations. During and following University, he held several internships in the Napa Valley (at Schramsberg and Terra Valentine) and in France (at two domain in Burgundy owned by Boisset). With Boisset he oversaw cellar activities at Domaine Raymond Launay in Pommard and contributed to wines produced from 33 different vineyards including premier cru, village wines and grand crus. With an excellent understanding of ‘French Cellar’ techniques and methods to best showcase ‘terroir’,

Phil returned to Northern California in 2003. He partnered with his father, Phil Senior - a veteran of the Napa Valley winemaking scene of 40 years - who was already making ‘Philippe-Lorraine’ wines. Together they established the flagship BAXTER label focusing on single vineyard wines and old-world techniques.

Phillip has been winemaker for BAXTER for the past nine years, and has accumulated many excellent reviews for his wines. In addition, he has also consulted for several wineries in the Anderson Valley area.

For more info, go to!

Don't forget to "Like" CRN's Facebook Page: "Like" Our What's Cookin' Today Page, too!