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Assorted produce in basket

January Produce Guide

Assorted produce in basket

January Produce Guide

Eating healthy always tastes right but is especially refreshing right after the Holiday season. We compiled a list of our favorite January produce with some classic uses and some new fun twists!

Butternut squash

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash should be one solid beige color, with no patches. As with most produce, you want to choose a butternut squash that is heavy for its size. To pick a squash with a lot of meat, look for one that has a large neck. Also, to avoid a lot of seeds choose one with a smaller bulb. Butternut squash soup is a classic for a reason, the vegetables with the chicken broth keep it a favorite. Chop up your squash and toss it with olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper and roast it until tender and you have a yummy roasted butternut squash. It also makes a yummy layer to roasted butternut squash lasagna.

Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is the classic ingredient in coleslaw, but we have a few other ideas of how you can eat it too. Braised red cabbage makes a yummy side dish. Shredded red cabbage and carrots with a vinaigrette make a visually stunning and simple salad. Try adding red cabbage to your sandwich for a fun twist and some crunch.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is such a yummy winter citrus we want to incorporate it any way we can into our meals! Grapefruit in the morning is good, grapefruit yogurt cake in the morning is great! Add grapefruit slices to a salad with some baked chicken for a fresh lunch. Grapefruit can be added to smoothies or you can use it to make homemade sparkling water.

Parsnips

Parsnips

Parsnips are a carrot shaped vegetable, that shine in the winter! When picking them from the store you want to choose one that is very white and not very large, this means the taste will be sweeter. You also want to make sure that your parsnip is extremely firm and not showing any signs of shriveling. Parsnips are yummy mashed or roasted.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato casserole with lots of marshmallows is a classic dish, but there are also many other ways to enjoy them. Spice up your sweet potatoes by tossing them with chili powder, paprika, onion powder and roasting them in the oven until crispy. Or try adding them to a banana smoothie. For a quick dish, cook them in the microwave for about five minutes and top with butter, chicken and cheese or any combination you want, for a quick meal.

Potatoes

Potatoes

Potatoes are a favorite not only in the meme world, but also in the cooking world. For fluffy and flavorful mashed potatoes use Yukon gold or Russet potatoes. Russets are also good for baked potatoes and homemade French fries as well! Have leftover mashed potatoes? Add an egg and flour and make some potato pancakes! Red potatoes hold their shape which make them a perfect option for stews and potato salads.

Fresh Crab Legs

How to Cook Crab Legs

Fresh Crab Legs

Grab your crab and start boiling! Learn how to perfect this classic seafood delicacy just in time to wrap up  your holiday celebrations. Crabtivating, delicious, fun!

What you’ll need:

Fresh or frozen crab legs (plan on at least one pound per person, more if you are a group of true seafood lovers)

Butter, butter, and more butter

Lemons

Fresh herbs (dill, thyme, rosemary)

A large pot for boiling

Kitchen shears and small forks for accessing the meat

Step 1: Let them thaw

First things first, pick up your crab ingredients and start prepping. Fresh crab is clearly ideal, but frozen will do if you can’t get access to fresh seafood. If you can get them fresh, wonderful, but if not, start by thawing your frozen crab legs. The most ideal and best way is overnight in your fridge, but if it’s a last minute store run or too many other items clogging up your shelf space, you can run them under cool water in a strainer to thaw them quickly.

Step 2: It’s boiling time!

Next, take your pick on how you decide to cook them. You can steam, grill, or even use a microwave. But our recommendation is to boil them. This helps keep the meat moist, and heat quickly.

  • Fill a large pot with cold water, about 2/3 of the way full. Add salt to the water, and bring it to a boil.
  • Add about 4-6oz of crab legs at a time to the boiling water, being sure to emerge them into the water entirely (this may take some bending, tucking, etc). Then, let the water return to a boil.
  • Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until they are heated through. Be sure to flip them once or twice through the process to ensure they are cooked evenly and heated throughout.
  • Once cooked, use large tongs to remove them from the water. You may rinse them if desired, but not necessary.
  • Let them cool entirely.

Step 3: The hardest part, getting the meat out.

  • Take your cooled and cooked crab legs, and twist at the joint. If you prefer, you may cut the shell instead. As they can be sharp and/or slippery, using a clean cloth may be of assistance.
  • As you twist, you may be able to pull the meat out directly. If not, using a clean knife or kitchen shears to cut through the shell to access the rest of the meat.
  • Be sure to clean them out entirely, you don’t want to miss any of the good stuff.
  • To harvest additional crab meat for legs that are split, easily pull apart the shell with your fingers. Use a small fork (seafood fork if you have one) and remove the meat from the legs and claws.

Step 4: Serving your crab

You’ve made it to the most enjoyable part, it’s crab consumption time! Let your seafood be the star of the meal, and don’t overdo it with complexity. If you chose to forego getting the meat out yourself to leave some entertainment for your table guests, serve up the cooked legs in a bucket or pot and let everyone twist and carve them up themselves!

  • If the crab legs aren’t already split, have your clean shears or knives available at the table. Each person will need a small fork to get the meat out of the shells as we discussed before.
  • Add your sides for flavoring across the table, such as lemon wedges, melted butter, or dill.
  • The more butter the better, so come prepared with separated servings for your guests.
  • To take your butter to the next level by adding fresh herbs before placing it on the table!

Dig in, and enjoy your delicious crab feast!

Cooked Asparagus Wrapped in Bacon with an Olive Oil Drizzle

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Cooked Asparagus Wrapped in Bacon with an Olive Oil Drizzle

Wrap up your prep and put the final touch on dinner with this bacon wrapped asparagus. It’s delicious simplicity will make you feel like a chef of a five star restaurant with a few easy steps!

Ingredients:

1 bundle of asparagus

1 package of bacon

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Pickup a bunch of fresh asparagus and trim off stems before cooking.

Prep your oven to 400 degrees.

Lay out desired amount of bundles, individual or many, and wrap them in 1-2 pieces of bacon.

Place bundles onto baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Season bundles with salt and pepper, or desired additional seasonings.

Drizzle olive oil over bundles, and place in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until asparagus starts to wilt, and bacon is fully cooked.

Serve as a side for breakfast, lunch, or dinner… a great addition to any meal!

Tomato, basil, and mozarella kabob

Caprese on a Stick

Tomato, basil, and mozarella kabob

‘Tis the season to host parties and make delicious hors d’oeuvres. We bring to you a classic with a twist- caprese on a stick. For this, you need three simple ingredients and skewers. Once assembled, you’ve got the perfect party snack or opening act to you delicious dinner.

Ingredients:

1 package of grape tomatoes

1 punch of fresh basil

1 package of mozarella balls (whatever flavor you prefer)

Instructions:

To assemble, skewer the basil, tomato, and mozarella until it fills the whole stick. If you would like to dress it up, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic dressing.

Tall glass with ice, cranberry juice, sparkling water and garnish of rosemary and cranberries

Sparkling Cranberry Mocktail

Tall glass with ice, cranberry juice, sparkling water and garnish of rosemary and cranberries

Get a fresh start to the New Year and add this berry simple cranberry and rosemary mocktail to  your holiday lineup! Raise your glass and ring in the new year with this easy and festive favorite. Cheers to delicious recipes!

Ingredients:

Cranberry juice

Sparkling water of your choice

Cranberries

Fresh rosemary

Lime, orange, or mint for added flavor (optional)

Ice

Instructions:

Pick your favorite glass to create your sparkling cranberry mocktail.

To take your drink to the next level, muddle the cranberries and lime if desired in the bottom of your glass. Otherwise, simply put cranberries in first and get ready to pour the rest on top.

Next, add in some ice and a splash or more of cranberry juice until you hit about the halfway mark.

Then comes the sparkling water for some carbonation. Add in your fizzy ingredient and leave room for the garnish.

Top it off with a sprig of fresh rosemary and more cranberries for the finishing touch. A hint of lime or mint would be a pretty and delicious addition as well.

Raise your glass, and cheers to the New Year!

Charcuterie Board with Cheese, Meat, Fruit, and Spreads

Charcuterie Board 101

Charcuterie Board with Cheese, Meat, Fruit, and Spreads

Transport yourself on a trip across the world with these Charcuterie Board basics. Your creation will have your guests screaming “Brie mine” as soon as you place it on the table. The diversity of cheeses, meats, spreads and more will take your taste buds on a glorious ride of creating the perfect bite. Not only will it be the essential photo op to swoon over once it’s all gone, it will inspire your friends and family to challenge themselves with reinventing their own version for your future tasting pleasures.

First things first, cheese.

Cheese Options, Brie, Blue Cheese, and Gouda

Your cheese choices are the foundation to the perfect charcuterie board. We recommend challenging yourself with as many cheeses as you desire, but at minimum 3-4 kinds will give you the combination to start things off right. Taking one from each of these categories will hit the cheese palette necessities:

  • Firm
    • Your choice of firm cheeses can potentially be the most overwhelming with the variety we offer, but also the most recognizable to most cheese lovers. Providing your guests with something familiar is the base for the cheese portion of your board.
    • A few favorites that will please all cheese lovers are Parmesan, Manchego, Swiss or Gruyere.
  • Soft
    • Soft cheeses will be the fresh, creamy and easily spreadable types. Easy to eat on a cracker or bread, these types prevent the prolonged effort of slicing while everyone else waits their turn.
    • Select from crowd favorites like Brie, Fresh Mozzarella or Burrata, or change things up with Goat Cheese or Chevre for a tangy flavor.
  • Blue
    • Regardless if you love stinky cheese or not, the blue cheese family is a charcuterie board staple.
    • For the blue cheese lovers, we recommend Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Stilton.
  • Aged
    • The final category we recommend are of the aged and matured variety. The ripening of these cheeses in controlled conditions allows for a texture and flavor that stands apart from the others.
    • We recommend the classics like Gouda, Comte, and White Cheddar.

Next up, meat.

Salami, Crackers, and Cheese

Cured meats are an addition you can’t leave out. Nothing compares to the pairing of a delicious meat and cheese, a favorite across all ages. To ensure you hit the mark on pairings, include at least 2-3 different types of cured meats.

  • Popular choices are Prosciutto, Salami, Capicola, Pepperoni and Chorizo.

Insert Carbs Here.

Cracker Flavors, natural, cinnamon, chocolate, sweet lemon, and vanilla

While the cheese and meats are the star of the show, nothing completes the perfect bite without the crunch of a cracker or fullness of a bread. Gluten free individuals included, crackers lay a foundation for the perfect stack of charcuterie ingredients. We recommend hitting a few categories for ample satisfaction:

  • Plain options for the simpler folks, such as a French Baguette or natural flavored crackers. Adding the option of types infused with herbs may inspire some to venture outside of their comfort zone.
  • For those wanting to mix things up, options of a variety of crackers can challenge the palette. Cinnamon, Sweet Lemon, or Chocolate and Vanilla. We challenge you to try something new, and we promise you’ll discover a new favorite mixture of taste you never expected to love.
  • And for those who are unable to eat the above, a variety of gluten free crackers are welcomed on your board and are similarly delicious to their counterparts.

Fruitful Flavors.

Blackberries and Grapes

Not only will fruit add a much-needed color boost to your board, but the sweet flavors will complete the charcuterie family. Stick to traditional choices for those who will sway away from the bolder flavors, but pick from a variety of others to continue the exploration of your taste buds.

  • Grapes are a clear choice in our opinion, but the addition of seasonal fruits will work to most of your liking’s. Pomegranates and cranberries are a wonderful choice.
  • Don’t forget your dried fruits like figs or apricots.

Go Nuts.

Walnuts

An additional crunchy factor helps break things up with a bite between the richer choices. Mixing in familiar tastes is always a smart choice. But these additions continue to challenge the palette with some of the following options.

  • Classics like almonds, cashews, walnuts and more are always welcomed.
  • To adjust tradition, incorporate new flavors like sweet and spicy nuts or olive oil fried almonds.

Sweeten Up.

Brie Cheese with a honey drizzle

No charcuterie board is complete without a touch of sweetness. A drizzle of honey here, a dab of jam there, the choice is yours. We recommend a few choices to satisfy many palettes, such as:

  • Jams and spreads like raspberry, peach, blackberry and pomegranate help break up the taste.
  • Quality honey for those with a classic sweet craving help emphasize the cheese, in particular the Brie (the drizzle isn’t hard on the eyes either)!

Final Touches.

In case you don’t have enough on your plate, we have a few extras for the ultimate charcuterie fixings. Salty, sweet, and acidic flavors are the final touch. A few last recommendations for your pleasure:

  • Salty needs like marinated capers and olives add color and bite to your board.
  • Acidity like mustard and pickles are another classic staple.
  • Add some savory goodness like marinated red peppers to mix things up.
  • And of course, what is a charcuterie board without some dark chocolate shavings?

Make each charcuterie board your own, incorporating your favorite combinations of flavors. Challenge your friends and family with blends that may seem odd or outside the box. The never-ending board of beauty and flavor are perfect to start your gathering off just right. Happy plating!

Bringing Baking Back Food Club Chocolate Covered Cherries

Food Club®Chocolate Covered Cherries

Bringing Baking Back Food Club Chocolate Covered Cherries

Give the gift of these Food Club® Chocolate Covered Cherries.

Ingredients

Food Club® white chocolate chips 1 bag  

Food Club® Sugar   

Fresh Cherries (Sub with Food Club® Marciano cherries)  

Directions

Melt white chocolate Food Club® chips in microwave for 3-minutes, stirring occasionally until fully melted.

Dip cherries in chocolate, and then roll in sugar.

Cool and serve.  

Deviled Eggs

Need a quick, yummy and classic appetizer? We have an egg-cellent deviled egg recipe that will knock your socks off!

Ingredients

12 hard boiled and peeled eggs

¼ cup mayo

1 tablespoon softened butter

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Paprika for sprinkling

Dill for garnish

Instructions

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks. Place yolks in bowl and add the rest of ingredients.

Use a fork to mix together. Spoon filling into each egg half and sprinkle with paprika and garnish with dill. Enjoy!

Bringing Baking Back Food Club Clock Cookies

Food Club®Clock Cookies

Bringing Baking Back Food Club Clock Cookies

Ring in the New Year with these Food Club® clock cookies. 

 Ingredients

1 Food Club® sugar cookie dough roll 

1 cup assorted sprinkles 

1 tub Food Club® buttercream frosting 

Blue food coloring 

Black food coloring 

Directions

Cut the sugar cookie dough roll into 12 equal disks. Cut a small circle into 1/3 of the cookies leaving 1/2-inch remaining. Bake according to package instructions. 

Split the frosting into thirds. Mix 1/3 with blue food coloring and 1/3 with black food coloring. Load colored frosting into a piping bag with a small detail tip. 

Once cool, frost 1/3 of the cookies with the plain butter cream frosting and pipe a clock face onto each cookie alternating colors.  

Frost the perimeter of a plain, unfrosted cookie and top with a cut-out cookie. Fill the well with sprinkles, frost the perimeter of the cut-out cookie, and top with the clock-frosted cookie. Crack at midnight to reveal the sprinkle surprise inside.  

cookie mix in a jar with Christmas decorations around

Cookie Mix in a Jar

cookie mix in a jar with Christmas decorations around

There are few things better than a fresh, warm cookie. A fresh, warm cookie with minimal prep is one of those things. These simple cookie mixes in a jar are all ready to give you fresh cookies, just add a few simple ingredients and bake for about 12 minutes and you’ll be enjoying that cookie in no time. Download our fun printable and attach to the jar or get creative and make your own! Add some burlap or festive fabric and a ribbon these jars are a simple and fun teacher or neighbor gift. Cookie mix jars are also a fun way to involve kids in baking without having to worry about measuring because it will all be premeasured!

Ingredients for jar

¾ cup of sugar

¾ cup of packed brown sugar

1 cup oats

1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (you can substitute for raisins)

Ingredients

¾ cup softened butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Layer each ingredient for the jar in a 1-quart jar. Pack down after each ingredient.

Baking directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together butter, eggs and vanilla. Add contents of jar and mix until combined. Drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

Baking directions for cookies