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August 3, 2012 - Phyllis Sigal
I love food! And, what's even better than good food? Free food!

Here's a couple of freebies that could be on your plate!

• ITEM NO. 1: This isn't food, but food-related.

Threadless is a t-shirt company that I was first introduced to by my son, Leland. He wears a couple of Threadless Ts quite often: one is Mario from video-game fame and another is a giant squid posing as the Loch Ness Monster.

The designs are awesome! Creative, fun, colorful, clever and thought-provoking.

There are several food-related designs the company is quite proud of: A not-so-happy Ronald McDonald-like character; a ketchup bottle with a label that reads, "Will work on food"; zombie food that looks like the walking dead; and my favorite, a food pyramid with personality; and lots more.

If you'd like to win one, a cute dinosaur selection (see photo accompanying this blog), just comment below which Threadless t-shirt is your favorite ( and include your email address. I will randomly select a winner on Friday, Aug. 17, and notify you by email that you've won. The company will then get in touch about size and shipping address. Go ahead, enter! No threads attached!

And besides the cool shirts, Threadless is very cool for another reason. It's an online community of 2.2 million strong — people who submit designs that then may be made into actual t-shirts. This is what Threadless has to say about itself:

"You are Threadless. You make the ideas, you pick what we sell, you're why we exist. Everything we do gives you, and all the creative minds in the world, more opportunities to make great art. We started printing on tees and then we realized tons of products make great canvases. We seek out these canvases, so you can continue to make and pick the best art. The weird art. The geeky art. The beautiful art. And every time you buy from us, you're supporting great art too. We love helping art unknowns become art totally-knowns, which is why every single one of our products carries an artist's name. We support our artist community in every way possible, whether it be through our annual creative awards, our commission-based award system, or simply by tweeting their name to the world. Lots of our artists have even gone on to start their own companies, and we believe that's a success."

Pretty cool, huh?

Besides t-shirts, Threadless also uses notebooks, iPhone cases, backpacks, wrapping paper, scarves, aprons, waterbottles, lunchbags, dishes and more as canvases for the art.

There are also design challengers, where Threadless gives you a theme, and you can submit your design.

So, check it out. You can also find Threadless artful items at Bed, Bath & Beyond and The Gap.

• ITEM NO. 2: Popcorn!

I wrote about G.H. Creters all-natural popped corn in a previous blog. They have great flavors such as Chicago mix, kettle corn, cheese, caramel and caramel nut crunch. Open the bag, and it'll be gone before you know it!

G.H. Cretors is hosting a Freebie Fridays sweepstakes now through Sept. 21. You can win a popped corn variety pack. A new winner will be announced every week. Simply fan the brand on Facebook at

• YOU CAN'T WIN THIS ONE, but it's a real winner! (

Graeter's Ice Cream, which has been available at Kroger stores, also now is available at Sheets.

If you've never tried this rich, creamy ice cream, well, you should. And you're really in for a treat!

My best friend in Columbus, Ohio, lives within walking distance of a Graeter's scoop shop, and that was the first place I tasted it. Oh, my. It is delicious. I believe the first kind I tried was coffee.

Just last night I had a tiny scoop of four flavors of Graeter's: Black raspberry chip, mint chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip and vanilla chip.

The chocolate chips are amazing. They're not just those tiny, cold, hard little chips of chocolate that sometimes are just annoying. No, these are big hunks — huge hunks! — of the smoothest chocolate that just melts in your mouth.

And the flavors? Well, so intense. I had my four little scoops in the same bowl, and each one held up individually against the other, even as they began to melt.

Yum. It was worth the calories. Really. And I don't say that very often!

Graeter's began in 1870 when Louis C. Graeter began making hand-made ice cream in Cincinnati. And now, the fourth generation owns the company.

What makes Graeter's so creamy and delicious is that it's made in the traditional French Pot process, just two gallons at a time.

"Our secret recipe of fresh cream and egg custard is gently swirled along the chilled side of a slowly spinning French Pot Freezer. As the cream blend thickens, a blade softly scrapes the sides of the pot, folding the ice cream into itself," according to a company spokesperson.

The folding process, very gentle, prevents air from whipping into the product, which accounts for the very, creamy and dense consistency. A pint weighs almost a full pound — about twice as much as some typical pints.

I wish I lived within walking distance of a Graeter's scoop shop, but I can walk to Sheets or Kroger in Wheeling for a delicious pint or two! And a walk there and back will help burn off some of those ice creamy calories.

No, don't walk. Run! It's that good.


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