Tidbits: A special tea blend for the Metropole in Cincinnati

swthompson@herald-leader.com,Sharon ThompsonDecember 6, 2012 

Bruce Richardson, owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas of Danville, has overseen the selection of loose-leaf tea offerings for Metropole restaurant at the new 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati, as well as created a custom 21c tea blend exclusively for the hotel.

Metropole is under the direction of executive chef Michael Paley, formerly with Proof on Main in Louisville. Metropole's menu emphasizes Cincinnati's European roots and celebrates the region's local farming and sustainable agriculture. The hotel is at 609 Walnut Street in the historic Metropole Hotel building. Go to 21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnatior Elmwoodinn.com.

A 21c Museum Hotel is expected to open next year in Lexington's old First National Bank Building at West Main and North Upper streets.

Greek pastry sale

The bake sale many Central Kentuckians anxiously await is the annual holiday Greek pastry event at Panagia Pantovasilissa Greek Orthodox Church. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Pastries include baklava, Greek sweet bread, kourambiethes, finikia and kataife. Individual pastries range from 50 cents to 75 cents. Call (859) 266-1921 or go to Panagia.ky.goarch.org. The church is at 920 Tates Creek Road.

Kentucky Proud gift ideas

Kentucky Proud producers offer great ideas for holiday gift-giving. A block of artisan cheese, a box of bourbon balls, a bottle of barbecue sauce or a basket of herb seasonings not only pleases friends, but it supports our local economy. Here are some choices.

Herb'n Renewal will create custom gift baskets, or you can call Karin Rasmussen to order individual packets of seasonings that you can use to make a homemade gift. A packet of Cheese'n Season makes awesome beer cheese. Call Rasmussen at (859) 548-3516 or go to Herbnrenewal.com.

Boone Creek Creamery, 2462 Palumbo Drive, has about 40 varieties of cheese including butterkase cranberry, English Cheddar and smoked Gruyère. Call (859) 255-2398 or go to Boonecreekcreamery.com.

Kentucky Specialty Sauces has several varieties including its Bluegrass Steaks & Everything Sauce. Go to Kyspecsauces.com.

Bluegrass Baking Co., 3101 Clays Mill Road, is making stollen sweet bread, jam cakes, Bûche de Noël, fruitcakes, and holiday cookies for parties or gift-giving. Call (859) 296-0581 or go to Bluegrassbakingcompany.com.

A bean chip?

We have potato chips and corn chips, why not a bean chip? Beanitos, "The Original Bean Chips," is a snack that's higher in fiber (6 g. per 1.25 ounce serving) and protein (6 g.) than potato chips (Lay's has 1.5 g) and corn chips (Fritos, 2 g.).

Beanitos are free of corn, wheat, soy, potato, trans fat, cholesterol and are verified non-GMO, gluten free, lab tested and certified low glycemic. Flavors are black bean, pinto bean, chipotle BBQ, and Cheddar cheese. They're priced at $3.49 for a 6-ounce bag, and $1.29 for 1.25 ounces. The chips are available at Meijer stores.

Helping female chefs

The James Beard Foundation Vermilion Women in Culinary Leadership Program is searching for female culinary leaders to enter a national cook-off.

The contest will help female chefs and restaurants who hire them to develop their leadership and culinary skills through internship and mentoring opportunities. Entrants must submit a résumé, essay and a recipe for one contemporary Indian-Latin dish through Vermilion's online entry form by Jan. 14.

A selection committee will determine eight finalists to participate in the cook-off at Vermilion restaurant in New York City in February.

Go to Thevermilionrestaurant.com/wicl.

Find your recipes easier

If you own dozens of cookbooks or search for recipes online, you've probably faced the dilemma of locating a recipe when you're ready to try it.

Eat Your Books is a website that has indexed recipes from cookbooks, food magazines, blogs and websites. Rather than dusting off your cookbooks, you can sign up for the service, which costs up to $25 annually, and search for the recipes on their site. You can also create a personalized bookshelf so you may then search the cookbooks and magazines you know you already own.

"We truly believe this site is a valuable tool for cooks everywhere," co-founder Jane Kelly said. "If you've ever wished you got more use out of your cookbooks, or felt frustrated by how difficult it is to find that recipe you know you saw somewhere, you can check out our site."

Go to Eatyourbooks.com.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com

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