Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Mint Infusion


Fresh cranberry sauce with mint infusion

Looking for a new twist on traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays? This homemade cranberry sauce recipe adds an invigorating infusion of fresh mint flavor.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 bag (12 oz) cranberries, fresh
  • 1 bunch mint, fresh


  • In a saucepan, add sugar, orange juice, zest, ginger and nutmeg and simmer until dissolved.
  • Add berries, and simmer for 30 minutes until berries have popped and sauce has thickened.
  • Chop mint leaves and add just before serving.

Source: Katherine Vest

Bob’s Beer Facts: The Age of Transformation

bob the brewer

Beer has been around for about 10,000 years.  Pretty much the length of modern day human civilization, but in the late 1800s (1860 to 1880) A huge change accrued that most of us take for granted.

For the first 9,800 years (or whatever) humans have been fermenting Ales at room temperature.  But by mid 19th century in Bavaria, they were fermenting at a cooler temperature and the beers were significantly better.

Danish Brewer Carlsberg went to Bavaria to find out why and how.  He isolated the Lager yeast (cooler fermentation temperature), and in a matter of 20 years, 98% of the world’s beer was converted from Ale to Lager.  That my friend is about .2% of human civilization.  One brewer armed with a microscope, who was concerned about the quality of his beer, changed humanity forever.

And that my friend is a quantum leap.


No-Holds-Barred Bachelor Pad: Outdoor Kitchen Pavilion in the Hamptons

outdoor bachelor pad featuring Marvel undercounter refrigeration

Kitchen pavilion designer, Michael Rosenberg, Showcase Kitchens of Massapequa; Photos by Tim Cree/Creepwalk Media

Designer Showcase: Bachelor’s Top-of-the-Line Outdoor Kitchen Pavilion in the Hamptons

This stunning soup-to-nuts outdoor kitchen pavilion is the brainchild of Showcase Kitchens partner, Michael Rosenberg, created for his no-holds-barred bachelor client.

The spacious outdoor kitchen overlooks beautifully landscaped rolling hills and is adjacent to a breathtaking infinity pool, built-in fire pit and tennis court. Reclaimed mushroom wood and striking mahogany floors add charm to the structure of the outdoor kitchen pavilion.

Perhaps more well-stocked than most indoor kitchens, the robust outdoor kitchen features a Marvel Outdoor ice machine and Marvel Outdoor kegerator system, Viking range, dishwasher and hood and Lynx BBQ, among other appliances. Rosenberg selected these Marvel Outdoor models on its positive reviews for reliability, a choice well made considering the units are rigorously tested and certified for outdoor performance to withstand elements like rain, corrosion and high temperatures and humidity.  And, the homeowner loves the ease of the controls.

It’s all the accoutrements for the ultimate bachelor pad!

Featured Designer: Kitchen pavilion designer, Michael Rosenberg, Showcase Kitchens of Massapequa
Style: Rustic
Location: Water Mill, New York, a hamlet of the Hamptons

outdoor bachelor pad featuring Marvel undercounter refrigeration

Kitchen pavilion designer, Michael Rosenberg, Showcase Kitchens of Massapequa; Photos by Tim Cree/Creepwalk Media

close up of Marvel Outdoor Twin Tap Beer Dispenser

Kitchen pavilion designer, Michael Rosenberg, Showcase Kitchens of Massapequa; Photos by Tim Cree/Creepwalk Media

close up of twin taps of Marvel Outdoor Beer Dispenser

Kitchen pavilion designer, Michael Rosenberg, Showcase Kitchens of Massapequa; Photos by Tim Cree/Creepwalk Media


Key Players in the Craft Beer Movement

Well another Great American Beer Festival has come and gone.  I was unable to attend, but my heart was with everyone who was there.

(You’re welcome brain.)

But before we just start thinking that this is just a place to go drink great beer, I ask everyone to take some time to thank the founders of both the Beer Fest and to the entire craft beer moment.  I do not have the time or space in this blog to go into the true depth that is needed to give just cause to those individuals that deserve our full and deep-hearted thanks.

Thinking of these guys as baseball cards, Fritz Maytag (yup, from the lonely service repairman) would be my Jackie Robinson rookie card.  Here is a guy that spent most of his family inheritance to buy and fix up Anchor Brewing.  By buying an off-color brewery in San Francisco in 1965, he helped stop the decline of little breweries being wiped out by the big three.  He almost went broke but he hung with it and for his persistence we have Steam beer.  Not one of my favorites but a stone in the craft wall that needed to be built.

Jack McAuliffe was in the US Navy when he fell in love with true Scottish ale and brought the love back home where he started home brewing and even giving commercial brew a shot.  Now keep in mind this was before the internet and home brew shops, so where and how he got his stuff is still a mystery to me.  But he served it to his friends and a small craft hot spot started taking off.

Merlin Elhardt started a newsletter for craft beer enthusiasts in the early 70s.  Keep in mind again before internet but also before the fast coping Xerox machines of today.

Charlie Papazian started the Brewers Association, and is the founder of the great American Beer Festival. He’d be like a signed Babe Ruth trading card in good condition.

I am in awe of these four gentlemen and the many more that played their part in the craft beer revolution.

These are the guys, through their love and passion of good beer, restarted what was dying in this country, and some could argue in North America.

Even Canada only had Labatt’s, Hams, Black Label and Cinci, which again is only a Miller or Bud cleaned up a little bit.  These guys and many more rediscovered ales after being all but gone from the market place for a century. (That is another interesting story.)

Take time out and give these guys a big “Salute”.

And a special thanks to Tom Acitelli, author of “The Audacity of Hops”.  Reading about the history of beer is a great way to spend time between stirrings the mash and boil.

Take care and drink wisely,



Fritz Maytag at Anchor Brewing Co. in 1965, the year he bought the near-bankrupt brewery. Photo courtesy of Anchor Brewing Co.


New Albion Ale founder Jack McAuliffe, Courtesy Boston Beer


Merlin Elhardt with The Founding Board of the Maltose Falcons (1974).


Charlie Papazian, founder of the Brewers Association and Great American Beer Festival.

New Care & Cleaning Bundle Pack for Marvel Clear Ice Machines


ATTN: Marvel Clear Ice Machine Owners

Get free shipping when you stock up on a 2-year supply of clear ice machine cleaner.

Thank you for choosing Marvel – you’ll be satisfied with its quiet operation, crystal-clear ice quality, eco-saving features and reliable performance in the years to come.

Your new Marvel Clear Ice Machine is programmed with manufacturer-recommended cleaning reminders. To ensure maximum performance and ice quality, you should clean your clear ice machine once every six months, or more frequently depending on your usage and water quality.

To get you started, we’d like to extend a special offer to you for free shipping on the Marvel Care & Cleaning Bundle Pack, to complete your two-year supply of cleaner and keep your clear ice machine in optimum condition.


TO ORDER, call (800) 223-3900. Reference Promo Code “BUNDLE4”.

*Direct-to-consumer program subject to change without notice. Applies to the Marvel Professional Clear Ice Machines (MP15CLS, MP15CLP, MP15CPS, MP15CPP), Marvel Clear Ice Machines (ML15CLS, ML15CLP, ML15CPS, ML15CPP), Marvel Low Profile Clear Ice Machines (MA15CLS, MA15CLP, MA15CPS, MA15CPP) and Marvel Outdoor Clear Ice Machines (3OiMT).  Order by part # S41013789-Bundle 4. 

Bob’s Beer Facts: Age of Beer

Bob the Beer Engineer

I have a sign in my beer cave that states “Beer will change the world, but I don’t know how”. I think this is truer than most people would like to believe.  As many of you might know beer is about 10,000 years old. It was found in clay pots in Sumatra (now modern day Iraq, just south of Mosul).  As some of you might remember from 7th grade social studies class, this was the cradle of civilization. Some could argue which came first, beer and then civilization, or was it beer and then civilization. I have my opinion.


Buying Guide: Undercounter Refrigerator Appliances

5 Important Attributes to Consider Before Buying an Undercounter Appliance

Undercounter refrigeration is not merely a box to keep things cold nor is it a commodity item decided on a simple matter of price. Today’s options provide varying degrees of cooling performance, storage configurations, styles and finishes. And, undercounter options have expanded to beverage centers, wine cellars, freezers, ice machines and beer dispensers to offer even more diverse preservation capabilities for your home. To make sure you’re getting the right mix of quality, function and value in your next undercounter purchase, start with this buyers guide for an educated shopping experience.


Manufacturers like Marvel Refrigeration continue to develop new undercounter categories aimed to offer flexible preservation solutions to homeowners. Shown here: Marvel Professional Dual Zone Wine Cellar and Marvel Professional Beverage Center with MaxStore Bin.

1. Temperature Stability

We all know the measure of a good refrigerator is how well it cools, but are you aware that several undercounter brands’ cabinet temperature can fluctuate by as much as 10 to 15 degrees?

As discussed in the Outdoor Refrigerator Buying Guide, there is a distinct difference in cooling technologies across the industry.  Low-grade static cold plate cooling creates disparities in air distribution, creating an uneven temperature stratification effect.  In other words, the top compartment might be 15 degrees warmer than the bottom and other areas might cause items to frost.  Dynamic forced air actively recirculates cold air throughout the cabinet from top to bottom and is an upgrade worth investing in, especially if you plan to store wine and delicate foods.

Additionally, some models are designed with extended off-cycles before cycling back on to cool again. This is essentially an engineering workaround for poor thermal cabinet design as an effort to improve energy efficiency, but ultimately it translates to erratic temperature swings.

Minimizing temperature variance is critical to the shelf life of the contents you’re storing.  A stable preservation environment contributes to improved food quality (including flavor and nutrition), longer-lasting freshness and ultimately less food waste.


Choose an undercounter refrigerator with forced air circulation, like Dynamic Cooling Technology from Marvel.  smarter-hv-cooling-icon


Marvel Refrigeration engineered the internal storage compartment to enhance air flow for a precisely even cabinet temperature and greater cooling efficiency. Shown here: Marvel Professional Undercounter Freezer and Marvel Professional Undercounter Refrigerator.

2. Cooldown Time

Surprisingly, few homeowners consider this aspect when shopping for an undercounter refrigerator and it’s an attribute that can impact your lifestyle the most. Rapid cooldown is a necessary convenience for today’s fast-paced lifestyles, and particularly important when stocking your undercounter refrigerator full of room-temperature cases of beverages for a party later than night. Nothing takes the refreshing zest out of a carbonated beverage like serving it lukewarm.

Additionally, rapid temperature pull-down prevents bacteria growth in your perishables for safer food consumption.

The better the cold air circulation (i.e. forced air cooling), the faster contents will be cooled to your desired set temperature.



Select a model with a proven cooldown rate.  For example, Marvel’s rapid cooldown is tested to be up to three times faster than other models.cooldown

3. Energy-Saving Features, Efficiency and Operating Costs

Energy consumption remains a hot-button topic, as consumers seek ways to reduce annual household expenses and their overall carbon footprint, without taking shortcuts on features and performance.

Fortunately for homeowners, the Department of Energy enforced more stringent energy regulations on the appliance industry in 2014. Michigan-based manufacturer Marvel Refrigeration welcomed the changing regulations as an opportunity to retool its entire undercounter line, and now offers the largest collection of ENERGY STAR® rated undercounter appliances.  In fact, many of its models exceed the EPA ENERGY STAR® requirements – in some cases by 30%!

Look for additional energy-saving options, such as integrated controls with Eco mode, Vacation mode and Delay Start. And, there are features that prevent energy loss, too, like Close Door Assist to automatically bring the door to a gentle close and alarms to alert you of energy-compromising issues.

Another measure of thermal efficiency is the model’s cabinet and door insulation, as it’s the most effective protection from external heat transfer and cold air loss and affects overall efficiency. Marvel discovered a way to design its models with well-placed dense insulation that does not compromise internal storage volume.


Be sure to read the product’s Energy Guide for projected annual energy costs, and look for the ENERGY STAR® mark.



4. Capacity and Storage Flexibility

Review storage options and interior capacity of models at the footprint size you need.  Ask yourself, will this model suit my storage needs now and in the future? Can it fit extra-large platters and pizza boxes? Can it accommodate tall items? Does it offer optional wine storage?  Is there a clear rollout bin to store loose items or produce?

Pick a model able to store the items you use most often. For example, Marvel offers models with convertible shelving that allows you to store any configuration of food, beverages and even wine bottles.



Insist on versatile storage solutions like cantilevered shelving and convertible shelving that can adapt to fit your lifestyle as it changes.


5. Fit and Finish

Manufacturers offer undercounter models in a variety of aesthetics, including solid and glass-framed doors in stainless steel, black, custom panel-ready and other finishes. If you prefer a truly built-in look, you’ll want a panel-ready model with a soft-close integrated hinge to seamlessly blend with your cabinetry.



Explore finish options with timeless appeal, and consider the fully integrated look of overlay panels.






Marvel unveils innovative clear ice machine technology with illumination effect and new energy-saving options

New undercounter clear ice machines are a perfect match for top-shelf libations

Greenville, Mich. (September 1, 2016) – Luxury appliance manufacturer Marvel Refrigeration released its new collection of Marvel Clear Ice Machines with Illuminice Lighting and new energy-saving features to conserve up to 25% water and electricity.

Still the quietest and the clearest, Marvel engineered its new clear ice models with design and performance attributes that align with the company’s national consumer research. This resulted in greater operating efficiency, flexible functionality, improved service reliability and a bold aesthetic like no other.  Vivid waterproof LED lighting illuminates clear ice from below, and models are available with sapphire blue or arctic white Illuminice Lighting. And, ice production is now up to 39 pounds of clear ice daily, the equivalent of nearly five convenience-store bags of ice.

Please note: Ice scoop holders shown in video are no longer included.

“We’re poised to change the way purists and cocktail connoisseurs enjoy fine spirits and beverages,” says brand manager Leah Kalemba.  “Ice quality is a critical component in the composition of a drink, especially with rare, ultra-premium scotch or bourbon. Dilution affects flavor, and the purer the ice, the better a drink tastes as ice melts. Marvel clear ice is unrivaled in clarity, and this new line will certainly elevate the home entertaining experience.”


Pictured: Marvel Professional Single Zone Wine Cellar paired with the new Marvel Professional Clear Ice Machine with Sapphire Illuminice Lighting (Please note: Ice scoop holders shown in video are no longer included.)

Marvel employs a fractional freezing process to create high-density, slow-melting ice with pristine purity, much like a fine chocolatier tempers chocolate to a solid state for the best quality and flavor. Other clear ice machine brands reuse water run-off with inconsistent and sometimes cloudy results.

Marvel Engineering Director Jim Holland took the physics of ice melting into great consideration when developing the new line, “The ice shape is optimized to provide maximum cool down with minimum dilution. This was accomplished by utilizing a 3/4″ cube to maximize the density of ice in the glass to cool the drink quicker, which minimizes melt.”

Other new features include multi-function Marvel Intuit Integrated Controls with intelligent settings and alarms to optimize production rates and ensure ice quality. A full-featured delayed start prevents wasteful water use and Eco Ice mode moderates ice production to a conservative rate to save 25% on utility bills.

And while it’s already the quietest clear ice machine brand, Marvel further improved sound suppression to make this new line of clear ice machines quieter than most dishwashers.

Finish options include stainless steel, black and overlay. Low profile, ADA height models are also available for universal design applications and areas with limited space or thick flooring.

For more information on the new Marvel Clear Ice Machines with Illuminice, call (800) 223-3900 or contact your local dealer.

About Marvel Refrigeration

The benchmark for unrivaled craftsmanship, performance and design, Marvel Refrigeration offers a robust line of innovative food preservation and refrigeration solutions for home and outdoor, and is also the leading choice of world-class sports and entertainment venues, hotels, hospitals and medical facilities and other premium commercial installations across America.  Marvel products are engineered, hand-built, tested and inspected against stringent quality standards in the Marvel Refrigeration manufacturing facility based in Greenville, Michigan.

Marvel Refrigeration is a North American group of The Middleby Corporation, a leading worldwide manufacturer of equipment for the residential kitchen, commercial food service and food processing industries. Marvel Refrigeration employs nearly 200 Michigan workers.  More information about all Marvel Refrigeration products, including Marvel Scientific can be found at

Media Contact:

Leah Kalemba
(616) 619-5330



Specially Brewed Beer


Photo Credit: Tim and Candy Strain

Paradise by the Dashboard Light

A Recent Adventure with “Specially Brewed for Us” Beer

Say ‘Yah’ to da U.P., Eh?

My family and I recently returned from a vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While exploring, we stopped for lunch at the Little Falls Inn in a town called Paradise. Yes, there is paradise in the U.P.  Where else could it be? There truly are not too many places in Paradise, and that is what makes it so special. The food was great along with the people and atmosphere. But I digress; this is a blog about beer.

When the waitress asked what we would like to drink, my son-in-law asked what was on tap. Now here is the moment things get interesting! While reciting the list of available beer, she spoke those words that every beer drinker loves to hear:

We have one beer that is brewed especially for us, called Red Flannel Ale.”

8606091105_1e25753a22_hI have had many “brewed especially for us” beers and most are something that the brewer makes and is not too proud of, but every now and then you hit the jackpot. Now usually I do not like red ales too much.  To get the color right many brewers use either black patent or chocolate malt.  This can give a beer too heavy of a roasted tasted with nothing to balance it out. This Red Flannel Ale used I believe different caramel malts to get the color and body correct.  The hop additions were light and very well balanced.  I don’t say this too often, and I don’t think I have ever actually written this, but this was one of my top ten beers of all time.

It was (is) a perfect Red Ale.

I got a little more information from the bartender before we had to leave.  The brewer is Mackinaw Trail Brewery in Petoskey, Michigan.  They are both a brewer and wine maker. Now before you make the mad rush to Petoskey, keep in mind, that as craft beers go, every batch is unique. It could be we hit the perfect beer, or it could also mean that they are really a great brewer.

My point is, if you have a chance to try a unique beer, in a unique place, don’t pass it up.  You will always have a chance to have a “usual beer” when you get back home.  A once-in-a-life time beer happens only once.

Take care and drink wisely,



Avocado Salad Recipe

A Nourishing Summertime Superfood Dish

256657Avocado: what a funny-looking fruit with dimpled-green skin and such abundant versatility in fresh and filling raw food recipes. Incredibly popular for its superfood properties, creamy texture and delicious flavor, avocados are bursting with 20 nutrient varieties and heart-healthy fats, and loaded with fiber, antioxidants and more potassium than bananas. According to the Journal of Nutrition, adding avocado to salad can increase your antioxidant absorption up to 15-fold!

All the more reason to try this hearty avocado salad, loaded with nutrition and dynamic flavor.

PRESERVATION TIP: Store avocados in your Marvel Refrigerator to retain freshness for up to a week.

Marvel’s Dynamic Cooling Technology precisely chills food at an even temperature, effectively halting the ripening process and preventing that unsightly (and very distasteful) browning. Want your avocado to ripen faster?  Leave them on your counter, or place in a brown paper bag to speed up the process.

Avocado Salad Recipe

Recipe Credit:


  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced
  • 1 sweet onion, finely diced (Vidalia or Walla Walla sweet onions recommended)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, gently toss avocados, onion, bell pepper, tomato, cilantro and lime juice until evenly coated.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. HINT: Keep avocado pits to store with leftover avocado salad to prevent browning.