Greens Cook-Off Show Judges That These Aren’t Your Mama’s Greens

By V. Sheree Williams

4 winning contestants proved that their mommas (and daddies) taught them more than how to just cook a good pot of greens  at the 3rd Annual Mess-O-Greens Cook-Off held in Oxnard, Calif. June 16 and 17.   The event, produced by Kelcey Newman, was part of the city’s annual Juneteenth event held at the historic Plaza Park downtown.  Read more about the event and its inception on Cuisine Noir.

Traditional, smoked, tangy, sweet and curried doesn’t truly describe the goodness that was presented over the weekend.  Nine contestants, including last year’s winner, signed up for a chance to beat out one another and win $500.  The community also had a chance to get in on the fun too as they came out during the People’s Choice tasting on Friday night.

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This year’s event was once again sponsored by San Miguel Produce based in Oxnard and the producers of the largest year-round selection of greens.  Other sponsors included Cuisine Noir Magazine, We Olive, Rhythm Superfoods, American Cancer Society and Ventura County Health Care Agency.

Judging all of this greeney goodness for this year’s event included was myself, along with recipe developer and food blogger Veronica Hendrix (Collard Greens and Caviar), actress Kiki Haynes (Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse”), and chef Shawnae Dixon (SayGrace Catering out of New York).  The official judging and announcement of the People’s Choice took place on Saturday at the actually Juneteenth event following the Greens-4-Life panel that featured chef Babette Davis of LA’s famed restaurant, Stuff I Eat.  Highlights from this year’s entries included the 2015 winning dish from Jermaine Jackson, a savvy combo of greens and smoked lamb, accented with traditional Indian spices.  Entering the competition for the first time was his daughter Jia who made a raw kale salad with a dressing made of olive oil, Fort Bragg’s Liquid Amino and a little lemon juice.  Keep reading to find out how they both did in the cook-off.

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Atlanta Housing Authority Presents Return to Community Farmers Markets

Igniting a community movement where people can live, work and thrive

Choice Atlanta, an Atlanta Housing Authority and City of Atlanta initiative designed to transform three southwest Atlanta neighborhoods, is proud to host the Return to Community Farmers Markets on the third Saturday of the month, beginning June and running through October, at 137 Elm Street SW between Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard and Parsons Street SW from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This first-ever Choice Atlanta seasonal farmers market starts this Saturday, June 17, and aligns with Vision 2022, AHA’s 5-year strategic plan, that renews and puts into action the agency’s focus on being the frontrunner of workforce housing and affordability in the city of Atlanta.

The Return to Community Farmers Markets will feature local growers and vendors, allowing attendees to shop for locally-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and other food items. In addition, the markets will include cooking demonstrations, fun activities for kids, live music and wellness programs hosted by community partners. Some of the participating partners and vendors include:


  • Historic Westside Gardens
  • TLW
  • Urban Sprouts
  • Metro Atlanta Urban Farm
  • The 3×3 Project
  • Organix Matters
  • Gangstas to Growers

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“Little Ice Cream Truck” Kicks Off Coast-to-Coast Journey to Raise Awareness of Child Hunger

Feeding America®, Facebook, Viacom and Ad Council Join Forces to Spread Awareness For Millions of Children Facing Hunger During the Summer

Today in Times Square, Feeding America® and the Ad Council are sending a one-of-a-kind ice cream truck on a nine-day journey across the country to raise awareness of children facing hunger in the summer. During the school year, 22 million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, but when school breaks for summer, less than four million children receive meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. Instead of serving ice cream, this truck will serve as a mobile billboard travelling on a coast-to-coast mission to encourage families to join the fight against hunger.

The final bell at the end of the school year, signaling the beginning of summer vacation, is the sound many children anxiously await with excitement. However, for millions of children, summer vacation means the beginning of hungry season when millions lose access to school meals.

To drive awareness of summer hunger, Feeding America and the Ad Council have partnered to launch an integrated marketing campaign created in partnership with Facebook’s Creative Shop. The truck will bid farewell from Times Square, and begin its journey from NYC to its last stop in Los Angeles. Before reaching LA on June 27, the truck will pass through five major U.S. cities along the way, including Cleveland (6/20), Chicago (6/21)St. Louis (6/22)Denver (6/23) and Las Vegas (6/26). In each city on the route, it will drive by a local food bank and stream LIVE on Facebook to showcase the incredible work being done by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks to feed families and work to end hunger.

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Kids Eat Lunch Free at The Salvation Army Kroc Center this Summer thanks to USDA Summer Food Service Program

The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center provides opportunities that facilitate positive, life-changing experiences through: art, athletics, personal development, spiritual discovery and community service. (PRNewsfoto/Kroc Center)

School is out for summer and for many children that means it’s time to play and have fun with their friends! For many parents, that means that they can’t count on their kids eating lunch at school, which will stretch their already tight family food budgets.

The Salvation Army Kroc Center is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Lemon Grove School District to offer free nutritious summer meals to children in surrounding neighborhoods. All meals will follow the USDA nutrition guidelines, and there are no income or registration requirements. All meals must be eaten on site. Children under eleven must be accompanied by an adult to receive lunch. Adults may also purchase lunch.

Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center Education Garden, 6605 University Avenue, San Diego, CA

When: Monday, June 19 – Friday, August 25,11:30 am – 1:30 pm

For more information, contact 619.269.1430 or visit

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Einstein Bros.® Bagels Celebrates ‘Take Your Pet to Work Week’ with New Dogs Eat Free

Offer Free Doggie Bagel with Purchase Gives Dogs Everywhere Something to Wag their Tails About

(PRNewsfoto/Einstein Noah Restaurant Group,)

(PRNewsfoto/Einstein Noah Restaurant Group,)

Don’t let the dog days of summer get the best of you or your four-legged friend! Einstein Bros.® Bagels, the nation’s leading bagel retailer with over 700 locations across the US, today announced the launch of Dogs Eat Free in celebration of Take Your Pet to Work Week. Beginning Monday, June 19 and extending through Friday, June 23, pet parents can bring their dogs to any Einstein Bros.® Bagels company-owned or franchise locations nationwide to receive a free doggie bagel with purchase.

Dogs Eat Free at Einstein Bros.® Bagels is aimed at providing pets with the same satisfaction their parents get while eating a freshly baked bagel from their favorite neighborhood bagel shop. Following Take Your Pet to Work Week, dog parents will be able to continue to take advantage of the Dogs Eat Free offer and treat their companion to a free doggie bagel every Tuesday thereafter throughout the summer.

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June is Turkey Lovers’ Month® Gets Grilling with June 18 National Turkey Lovers’ Day

When Americans fire-up their grills for summertime meals, turkey will be seared, roasted, braised, and smoked like never before – featuring everything from kabobs, sausages and tenderloins to cutlets and turkey burgers. During June, the National Turkey Federation (NTF) pre-heats the grill for turkey to celebrate the 28th annual June is Turkey Lovers’ Month® and also the 2nd annual National Turkey Lovers’ Day, which coincides with Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18th.

For all those grill masters preparing a wide variety of turkey cuts on Father’s Day, NTF offers a Turkey Grilling Tip Sheet as well as an array of inspirational and on-trend grilling recipes from, and @ServeTurkey on Twitter and Facebook. Often, home cooking for the family is inspired from discoveries when dining-out.

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BeWineful Teaches Meditation Using Wine

Teaching mindfulness with wine is what two Niagara entrepreneurs are setting out to do. BeWineful has launched the world’s first Mindfulness and Wine Course. The five-week course will progress through the basic knowledge needed for wine appreciation and developing a mindfulness practice. The course covers topics from aromas to winemaking, and combines them with the company’s signature winefulness meditation, which uses wine as a point of focus for meditation, to create a completely new approach to wine.

The course will run Thursday evenings, June 29th at 7PM, and July 6th to July 27th at 6:30PM at wineries across Niagara. Tickets are $45 per event or $180 for the full 5-part course. The first event running June 29th at Pondview Estate Winery will be a basic Winefulness 101 seminar to introduce learners to the basics of Winefulness. BeWineful Co-Founder Jordan Cowe, CWE states “Our goal is to use wine to make meditation more tangible and understandable to those who are interested in meditating but just don’t know how.” The company’s aim is to promote everyday wellness surrounding wine, and to help learners find moments in everyday life that they can use for meditation. Tickets are available through the company’s Facebook page at or on Eventbrite at

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Aramark Supports Culinary High School Students Headed To Washington, D.C., To Compete In National Healthy Cooking Competition

Aramak School CompetitionHigh school students from across the country will head to the nation’s capital to compete in the 2017 national finals for Healthy Schools Campaign’s Cooking up Change, a program that challenges high school culinary students to create healthy, great-tasting meals that meet the real-life requirements of the national school meal program.

The students will compete in the national finals on June 12, where they will recreate their winning recipes for celebrity judges, and they will meet with their Senators and Representatives on June 13.

Aramark, the award-winning food & nutrition partner with more than 380 school districts nationwide, is the National School Nutrition Partner for Cooking up Change.

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