Chobani employees share the best gifts for home cooks 2020

Most of us have been cooking at home a whole lot more during the pandemic—so chances are there’s someone on your list who would enjoy a food-related gift. To drum up some inspired ideas, we turned to the foodies at Chobani (the beloved Greek yogurt company that has expanded into oat milk, coffee creamers, and even cafes) for some curated suggestions. These are the best food gifts they’ve given, received, or put on their wishlists. Bon appétit!

[Photo: courtesy The Whole Fish]

The Whole Fish Cookbook, by Josh Niland, $37
I really enjoy this collection of technique-driven recipes, named the James Beard cookbook of 2019, and think it is a must-have for anyone who wants to learn how to cook really great fish. It’s a great read, with beautiful images that help teach the fundamentals, all while capturing the importance of fresh and local ingredients. —Jake Briere, corporate chef

Maxi-Matic Elite Gourmet Air Fryer, $50
As a self-proclaimed gadget guru, I enjoy trying new cooking tools all the time. And my Elite by Maxi-Matic Air Fryer is one of my favorite tools when creating buffalo cauliflower. The compact size of the fryer makes it an easy addition in my kitchen and helps me create the best-tasting cauliflower I’ve ever experienced at home. —Rosalyn Emerson, channel marketing director

[Photo: courtesy Anthropologie]

Hario Cold Brew Bottle, $35
This is the perfect gift for anyone to take their cold-brew obsession to the next level! Ready with your favorite coffee overnight in your fridge, this simple, Japanese-created bottle makes delicious cold brew to exactly however you like it. —Eddie Revis, vice president, marketing

Amazon Basics Hand Blender, $30
I use this immersion hand blender every week, whether I’m frothing milk for a pumpkin cold-brew foam or trying out social media’s hot trend whipped coffee. This blender takes minimal space for storage and froths quickly with very few dishes to clean. —Morgan VanAlstine, human resources coordinator

[Photo: courtesy Skura]

Skura Style Antimicrobial Sponges, 8 for $30
With cooking at home on the rise in 2020, so is the number of dishes to be done. It seems like I could do dishes all day, but not with a smelly sponge that usually tends to leave an unpleasant odor on your hands for hours after. Once I found these antibacterial sponges that last FOREVER and never smell or leave an odor, I converted all of my family and friends immediately. —Jake Briere, corporate chef

Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce, $20
A mix of scallops, shrimp, garlic, shallots, ginger, brown sugar, and spices simmered down into a marmalade-like infused umami bomb, XO sauce brings that umami boost you need in a dish. It holds its own in any savory creation, like stir-fried veggies, pasta dishes, and even as part of a chicken wing glaze! —Adley Tong, R&D scientist

Aerolatte Matcha Frother, $20
Like everyone else, I’ve been getting my caffeine fix at home this year. Coffee got boring

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Nursing home residents die. Link to Ritzville wedding unclear

Ten residents of Grant County have recently died of COVID-19, including seven in long-term care centers.

Some of the deaths are under investigation for their possible connection to a large November wedding near Ritzville, Wash., that turned into a COVID superspreader event.

Some of the wedding guests worked at long-term care centers and tested positive, but a conclusive link between the wedding and the deaths has not been determined, according to a Thursday evening statement from the Grant County Health District based in Moses Lake.

“Because staff in these facilities care for entire units, direct contact with associated patients is not known,” said the health district’s statement.

The seven deaths reported in long-term care homes do not include four more deaths at the homes for which death certificate reviews are pending.

Outbreaks at the three homes where residents died recently were announced by the Grant County Health District. It previously said an outbreak at an unnamed Moses Lake long-term care home and an Ephrata long-term care home had been linked to the Ritzville wedding.

Lake Ridge Center in Moses Lake had recent deaths of four residents with the death certificate of a fifth resident being reviewed. The deaths confirmed to be caused by complications of COVID include a man in his 70s, a man in his 80s and two men in their 90s.

Lake Ridge Center, Moses Lake.jpg
Lake Ridge Center in Moses Lake had recent deaths of four residents for complications of COVID-19.

Columbia Crest Center in Moses Lake has had recent deaths tied to COVID of two residents, a man in his 80s and a man in his 70s.

McKay Healthcare and Rehab Center in Soap Lake had a recent death of a man in his 80s due to COVID, with three more deaths under review.

On Nov. 20, the health district reported there had been nine deaths from the outbreak at McKay, with just five confirmed and others under review.

At the time Lakeview had 49 residents and 12 staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 and Columbia Crest had 25 residents and 22 staff who had tested positive.

November COVID deaths

Grant County has had 54 COVID-related deaths to date, with about half of those deaths in November alone.

“Your choice to gather with those outside your household could lead to additional cases of COVID-19 and even death,” the health district said Thursday. “Please protect those you love, by staying home.”

grant chart.JPG

The Ritzville-area wedding also has been blamed for a school outbreak in Grant County, and the Benton Franklin Health District said it was responsible for at least four Tri-Cities area cases.

There could be more, but many people reached by public health contract tracers deny they had contact with anyone outside their household or will not take the call, according to the Benton Franklin Health District.

On Nov. 7, more than 300 people attended a wedding in an airplane hanger in a rural area of Eastern Washington north of the Tri-Cities between Ritzville and Moses Lake, even though at the

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Austin’s mayor told people to stay home. He was vacationing in Cabo after hosting his daughter’s wedding.

When the number of new coronavirus cases in Texas began to rise in early November, the mayor of Austin urged residents to avoid socializing and traveling, especially as the holiday season approached.

“We need to stay home if you can,” Democratic Mayor Steve Adler said in a Nov. 9 video. “We need to try to keep those numbers down. This is not the time to relax.”

Days before he offered that warning, Adler had hosted at a downtown hotel for his daughter and about 20 guests. Then, he and eight wedding guests took a private jet to Cabo San Lucas, where they stayed together in a timeshare.

After the Austin American-Statesman first reported Adler’s trip, which he had not previously disclosed to the public, the mayor apologized Wednesday for taking the trip to Mexico and setting a poor example as coronavirus cases spiked across Texas.

“I regret that travel,” Adler said in a video he posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening. “I wouldn’t travel now, I didn’t over Thanksgiving, and I won’t over Christmas. And no one should.”

His mea culpa is the latest in a string of apologies from public officials across the U.S. this week, after several city and state leaders have been caught flouting their own coronavirus warnings by dining out and attending parties after issuing guidance discouraging the public from doing those same activities.

Texas broke the nationwide record for new coronavirus cases reported in a day about two weeks after Adler posted the Nov. 9 video, when it reported 16,100 new cases on Nov. 25, about 1,000 more than the previous record. (California reported 18,350 new cases that same day, also breaking the previous record.)

Some areas of the Lone Star State have been hit harder than others. Near the border with Mexico and New Mexico, El Paso has resorted to airlifting patients to other cities as its hospitals have been overwhelmed with critically ill people. The state paid prisoners to move hundreds of bodies to mobile morgues in the city, then it deployed National Guardsmen to help.

More on the COVID-19 pandemic

As of early Thursday, more than 9,000 people are hospitalized with COVID in Texas.

Yet even as the numbers mount, officials in the state have been inconsistent in enacting and enforcing coronavirus restrictions.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, a Democrat, ordered a shutdown of the hard-hit city, but El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, challenged the legality of those restrictions.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott declared last month that he would not institute a statewide shutdown, even as cases spiked. He has issued a statewide executive order allowing restaurants to reopen at 75 percent capacity and allowed bars to partially resume business with permission from local county leaders. Even where bars have been ordered closed by county officials, many have kept their doors open under a loophole that allows them to be classified as restaurants if they serve food and alcohol sales account

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Austin mayor told people to stay home as he vacationed in Cabo and attended his daughter’s wedding

Days before he offered that warning, Adler had hosted at a downtown hotel for his daughter and about 20 guests. Then, he and eight wedding guests took a private jet to Cabo San Lucas, where they stayed together in a timeshare.

After the Austin American-Statesman first reported Adler’s trip, which he had not previously disclosed to the public, the mayor apologized Wednesday for taking the trip to Mexico and setting a poor example as coronavirus cases spiked across Texas.

“I regret that travel,” Adler said in a video he posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening. “I wouldn’t travel now, I didn’t over Thanksgiving, and I won’t over Christmas. And no one should.”

His mea culpa is the latest in a string of apologies from public officials across the U.S. this week, after several city and state leaders have been caught flouting their own coronavirus warnings by dining out and attending parties after issuing guidance discouraging the public from doing those same activities.

Texas broke the nationwide record for new coronavirus cases reported in a day about two weeks after Adler posted the Nov. 9 video, when it reported 16,100 new cases on Nov. 25, about 1,000 more than the previous record. (California reported 18,350 new cases that same day, also breaking the previous record.)

Some areas of the Lone Star State have been hit harder than others. Near the border with Mexico and New Mexico, El Paso has resorted to airlifting patients to other cities as its hospitals have been overwhelmed with critically ill people. The state paid prisoners to move hundreds of bodies to mobile morgues in the city, then it deployed National Guardsmen to help.

Yet even as the numbers mount, officials in the state have been inconsistent in enacting and enforcing coronavirus restrictions.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, a Democrat, ordered a shutdown of the hard-hit city, but El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, challenged the legality of those restrictions.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared last month that he would not institute a statewide shutdown, even as cases spiked. He has issued a statewide executive order allowing restaurants to reopen at 75 percent capacity and allowed bars to partially resume business with permission from local county leaders. Even where bars have been ordered closed by county officials, many have kept their doors open under a loophole that allows them to be classified as restaurants if they serve food and alcohol sales account for less than half of their revenue, the Texas Tribune reported.

Although Adler defied his own advice to stay home when he took a family vacation in Cabo last month, the Democrat has asked Austin residents to stay home, practice social distancing and wear masks.

The Austin mayor said neither the wedding nor the trip to Mexico violated local or statewide coronavirus guidelines in place at the time. He told the American-Statesman that the wedding guests had taken rapid coronavirus tests before the event and

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As mayor urged Austin to ‘stay home,’ he was vacationing in Mexico following daughter’s wedding

In November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding and vacationed with a group of people in Mexico.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed to the KVUE Defenders that, after hosting his daughter’s wedding, he vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month with a group of people.

Both happened in early November, just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households and the mayor himself asked people to stay home if they could in order to slow the number of coronavirus cases.

Adler told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski that he did not violate his own order or orders by Gov. Greg Abbott and took multiple steps to ensure the safety of his guests, including rapid COVID-19 testing.

But the private actions are from a public official who has been front and center urging Austinites to take COVID-19 precautions – and he even did so while he was out of the country.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

You can watch the video here:


The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet. 

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott. 

Adler said he held the event outdoors. 

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks. 

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said. 

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer. 

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo. 

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip. 

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy

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Three Nashville women charged after hosting football watch party at their home

Police in Nashville, Tenn., have charged three women they allege hosted a football watch party at the home they share on Halloween in defiance of local coronavirus restrictions.



a store front at night: Three Nashville women charged after hosting football watch party at their home


© Getty Images
Three Nashville women charged after hosting football watch party at their home

Madilyn Dennington, Bailey Mills and Olivia Noe – all roommates – reportedly hosted a party with more than 100 people in attendance on Oct. 31, according to The Tennessean.

Police told the newspaper all three women were issued misdemeanor citations and were served with court summonses.

An affidavit in the case says that police responded to noise complaints at home on the city’s east side. The complaints were about loud music and several people in the yard.

When police arrived on scene, the women told officers they were hosting a football watch party, according to the report.

At the time, coronavirus restrictions stipulated no more than 25 people were allowed to gather in one place unless a special permit was granted by the local government.

The Metro Health’s environmental health services director confirmed to the outlet the Health Department did not receive an event application for the gathering.

Local health officials last week tightened lockdown measures in Nashville, trimming down the number of people allowed to gather to eight from 25 amid a spike in coronavirus cases there over recent weeks.

Police said one of the women who organized the party is a registered nurse at a local hospital.

The women are slated to appear in court on their charges Dec. 16.

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Austin Mayor Reportedly Hosted Wedding, Traveled To Mexico While Telling Constituents ‘We Need To Stay Home’

Topline

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who has been a vocal advocate of social distancing to keep coronavirus cases down in Texas’ capital city, was reported by local media Wednesday to have hosted a wedding for his daughter in early November with 20 guests, twice the recommended limit under the city’s coronavirus guidelines at the time, and to have vacationed in Mexico as he encouraged residents to “stay home if you can,” a move called hypocritical by some Austinites.

Key Facts

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Adler and seven other guests at the wedding traveled on a private jet to Cabo, Mexico the day after the wedding, where the Statesman reports the mayor recorded a video encouraging Austin residents to hunker down at home to prevent a rise in coronavirus cases: “We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax,” he said.

However, Adler maintains that he did not violate his own orders, telling the newspaper he consulted health authorities before the wedding, had guests tested for coronavirus, gave out masks and encouraged social distancing—he also said his travel party in Cabo was in a “pod” and following safety precautions, and at the time, Austin coronavirus guidelines were not yet discouraging travel.

This week, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Florida Gov. Gavin Newsom found themselves in hot water after it was revealed they had dinner at the same Michelin-starred Napa restaurant French Laundry within a day of each other, despite state guidelines that strongly discourage gatherings of people from multiple households, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also apologized on social media Monday for traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family in Mississippi after he told his constituents to stay home. 

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced nationwide blowback after a trip to a hair salon that should have been closed under California state orders, which Pelosi and a hair stylist involved said was a setup by a business owner angry over coronavirus closings.

Crucial Quote

“I regret this travel,” Adler said in a statement released after the story made headlines. “I wouldn’t travel now, didn’t over Thanksgiving and won’t over Christmas. But my fear is that this travel, even happened during a safer period, could be used by some as a justification for risky behavior. In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize.”

Key Background

A fall surge in coronavirus infections nationwide is expected to be exacerbated by Thanksgiving gatherings and travel. While widespread vaccination may be possible as early as summer 2021, health experts are urging Americans to continue social distancing, wearing masks and getting tested for coronavirus to battle the disease in the meantime. 

Further Reading

Austin mayor stressed residents ‘need to stay home.’ He was vacationing in Cabo at the time (Austin American-Statesman

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Austin Mayor Steve Adler urged residents to stay home while vacationing

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day’s latest updates. Sign up here.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed to the KVUE that, after hosting his daughter’s wedding, he vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month with a group of people.

Both happened in early November, just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households and the mayor himself asked people to stay home if they could in order to slow the number of coronavirus cases.

Adler told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski that he did not violate his own order or orders by Gov. Greg Abbott and took multiple steps to ensure the safety of his guests, including rapid COVID-19 testing.

But the private actions are from a public official who has been front and center urging Austinites to take COVID-19 precautions — and he even did so while he was out of the country.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet.

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott.

Adler said he held the event outdoors.

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks.

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said.

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer.

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo.

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip.

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy limit.”

The week after Adler returned, on Nov. 19, the city raised the

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Goodbye, Blazers; Hello, ‘Coatigans.’ Women Adjust Attire to Work at Home.

In the Before Times, said Rebecca Rittenberg, a 28-year-old who works in advertising sales for Google in New York, one of her favorite parts about going to the office was “showing up in a funky, cool professional outfit.”

A smart pair of pants, colorful or patterned blouses, blazers, skirts, dresses, heeled boots and designer sneakers were all part of her wardrobe, which she used to express her personality and keep up with her stylish ad world colleagues.

Now, after eight months of working from home, and with Google saying workers won’t have to return in person until next summer at the earliest, a big swath of that apparel has been donated and replaced. Ms. Rittenberg’s new definition of “work clothes” includes cashmere cardigans and joggers, headbands, and other cozy garments that fall somewhere in the “healthy in-between” of pajamas and blazers.

“I looked at my stuff I used to wear to the office all the time and thought, ‘When am I ever going to touch this again?’” she said. “Our mind-sets have shifted a bit with this pandemic and the fact that we’ve all been working from home for so long. Once we are back in the office, which I do think will happen, it just seems like a pretty extreme jump to go back to wearing a blazer and pencil skirt and heels again.”

Bloomingdale’s has watched customers increasingly seek out cashmere, flat shoes, pants with elastic waistbands and other comfy apparel, while brands like Theory have rushed to add more casual clothing to their lines, said Denise Magid, an executive vice president at Bloomingdale’s who oversees ready-to-wear apparel.

“Regardless of when people go back to the office, I think people have grown comfortable with what they’re wearing,” Ms. Magid said. “I just can’t see people giving away the feeling of comfort.”

The retail landscape is changing with the new needs of the remote worker. Bankruptcies this year included Brooks Brothers and the owner of Ann Taylor and Loft. Rent the Runway closed all of its stores and removed its unlimited subscription option. In Gap Inc.’s latest quarter, net sales soared 15 percent at Old Navy and 35 percent at Athleta while plummeting 34 percent at Banana Republic.

Gap named a new head of Banana Republic last week and said on an earnings call that the brand had been “working hard to update its product assortment” for an era of remote work, favoring more casual clothes over tailored garments and suiting.

Professional women have long been a lucrative market. Retailers see them as customers who tend to have money

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Online shopping set a Black Friday record as consumers stayed home.

This year’s Black Friday looked nothing like a usual one. Crowds at suburban malls and city shopping districts were comparatively sparse. With the coronavirus touching virtually every corner of the United States, social distancing, restrictions on business activity and health concerns kept many people home.

They shopped online, however.

According to Adobe Analytics, which scans 80 percent of online transactions across the top 100 U.S. web retailers, consumers spent $9 billion on Friday. That’s a 21.6 percent increase over Black Friday in 2019 and the second-biggest number for online retailers Adobe has ever tracked. In the four days from Thanksgiving through Sunday, consumers spent $23.5 billion online, a 23 percent increase over last year, according to Adobe.

Another research firm, Facteus, which monitors millions of debit and credit card payments made in the United States, found that department stores’ in-person sales fell significantly on Friday, but that their online sales spiked. The firm found a similar pattern for electronics retailers.

And Friday’s online sales surge is expected to be outdone on Monday, which is Cyber Monday, a promotional event concocted in 2005 when most retailers still offered deep discounts online.

A large portion of consumer spending moved online long before the pandemic, but the global health crisis is accelerating that trend. About 59 percent of shoppers had started their holiday shopping by early November this year, the National Retail Federation estimated.

During earnings calls this month, several retail executives said that they were uncertain about how much holiday shopping had actually been done in October and early November thanks to promotions that started well before Halloween. Matthew Bilunas, chief financial officer at Best Buy, said “it’s really difficult to predict exactly how much was pulled into” the third quarter.

Most retailers operate on a calendar where the fourth quarter starts in November and ends in January, in part to fully capture the holiday shopping season.

“We think it’s going to be a prolonged shopping season,” Brian Cornell, chief executive of Target, said on a separate call. “We’re going to see very different shopping patterns. We don’t expect to see those big spikes during Black Friday and on weekends.”

The holiday shopping season comes at a critical moment for the U.S. economy, which is struggling again as the number of coronavirus cases surges with colder weather in many parts of the country. Millions of people are still out of work or have been forced into part-time employment. Overall consumer spending, which drives as much as two-thirds of economic activity, has slowed in recent months along with the expiration of some emergency government spending programs.

Sapna Maheshwari contributed reporting.

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