Category Archives: Elgin Foodtown

Mug of Mulled Citrus Cider with Lemon, Oranges, Apples, and Cinnamon

Citrus Cider

Mug of Mulled Citrus Cider with Lemon, Oranges, Apples, and Cinnamon

Warm up and breathe a cider of relief for surviving the cold weather with this simple and delicious mulled citrus cider. Not only will you and your loved ones sip in unison of joy, but your home will be filled with a smell you’ll want to stick around all winter.

Ingredients:

4 to 5 whole cinnamon sticks

1 tsp whole cloves

1 tsp allspice

Anise star pods for a hint of licorice (optional)

½ cup brown sugar or 1/3 cup honey

1 orange

1 lemon

1 apple

Pinch of salt

1 gallon apple cider or apple juice

Instructions:

To start, slice your orange, lemon, and apple. Measure all your ingredients and put them into a large saucepan (for a milder tasting cider, use less of the spices and cinnamon).

Place your pan over medium to high heat until you reach just before it’s boiling point, then reduce to low.

Let your mixture simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once heated, serve into mugs or heat proof glasses.

Feel free to garnish with more of your ingredients, such as the cinnamon sticks, anise pods, whole cloves and apples. However you prefer your cider, garnish to your desire!

Serve hot and warm up with this delicious seasonal cider!

Food Club Shortbread Bites Recipe

Food Club®Shortbread Bites

Food Club Shortbread Bites Recipe

These tasty shortbread bites will make you the hit at your next party. Make it a family affair and invite your kids to throw in as many sprinkles as they’d like.

Ingredients

Food Club® Cookie Dough Roll (2)

Red and Green Sprinkles

Directions

Take cookie dough rolls and combine with sprinkles.

Roll flat into a 8×8 cookie sheet. Refrigerate overnight until firm.

Cut into cubes ½ inch squares and bake until edges are golden brown.

Cool, serve and enjoy!

Winter Citrus Butter Salmon with Garlic and Thyme

Winter Citrus Butter Salmon

Winter Citrus Butter Salmon with Garlic and Thyme

There’s no de-bait, this Winter Citrus Butter Salmon will be the talk of the table this holiday season. Lessen your stress to impress this year by making this easy, beautiful, and tasty salmon for all of your family and friends.

Scroll to the bottom to watch this recipe come to life!

Ingredients:

1 filet of salmon

1 lemon

1 orange

1 stick of butter

Salt and pepper

Fresh thyme

5-7 cloves of garlic

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Coat your pan with butter, nonstick spray, or aluminum foil to prevent salmon from sticking.

Prepare your butter mixture in a small bowl. Let butter sit out to room temperature to make mixture easy to stir. Chop fresh thyme into small pieces and mix in with butter.

Place your salmon in the pan and season with desired amount of salt and pepper.

Chop your lemon and orange into thin slices, then place over salmon. The more placed the stronger citrus flavor. Squeezing additional juice will add to the taste as well.

Next, place desired amount of garlic on top of and around sides of the salmon in the dish. Last, place butter dollops, and you’re ready to start cooking.

Cook salmon for 20 minutes at 300 degrees, then broil on high for 5 minutes to give a crisp and flaky texture.

Serve your filet and enjoy your unique citrus delight!

Neighbor Cocoa Gift

Food Club®Neighbor Cocoa

Neighbor Cocoa

Wish your neighbors “Happy Holidays” with these adorable and practical Food Club® hot cocoa gifts.

4 plastic viles with caps
1 bag Food Club® mini marshmallows
2 packets Food Club® hot cocoa mix
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies
1 foot red and white striped ribbon

Fill 2 plastic viles with Food Club® hot cocoa mix, 1 plastic vile with mini marshmallows, and the last plastic vile with crushed peppermint candies. Bundle the 4 filled viles with the striped ribbon and finish with a holiday-themed tag.

Candied Orange Peel in jar

Candied Citrus

Candied Orange Peel in jar

The Holidays are here! This means yummy winter citrus! Making candied peels out of your oranges, grapefruit and lemon peels is a wonderful way to make the most out of your fruit. Candied peels are a great garnish to add to ice cream or cakes to make them a little more festive. You can also chop them and mix them in with your favorite bread dough or muffin batter. Dip them in some chocolate and and you’ve got yourself an easy gift!

Ingredients

Your choice of citrus –

2 grapefruits

3 oranges

4 lemons

4 cups of water

4 cups of sugar, plus more for rolling

Directions

Make several cuts from the top to the bottom of the citrus, deep enough to penetrate the peel without cutting into the fruit.

Carefully remove the peel from the fruit. Cut the peels lengthwise into about ¼ inch wide strips. Remove extra fruit from each strip.

Place peels in large pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and then drain. Repeat this process twice.

In a separate pan, combine 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.

Using a pastry brush wet the sides of the pan to stop sugar crystals from forming.

Add peels to the mixture and simmer over medium-low heat until peels are translucent. About an hour.

Remove from heat. Once peels have cooled remove from syrup and place on a wire rack. Use paper towels to blot off extra syrup and roll strips in sugar. Arrange in a single layer and let dry for 30 minutes.

Bringing Baking Back Food Club Candy Cane Cookies

Food Club®Candy Cane Cookies

Bringing Baking Back Food Club Candy Cane Cookies

Upgrade your holiday baking game with these Food Club® candy cane cookies.   

Ingredients 

2 Food Club® sugar cookie dough rolls 

Red food coloring 

Directions

Color one sugar cookie dough roll with red food coloring.   

Chill both the colored and non-colored dough overnight.   

Roll a 6-inch rope of cookie dough in red and non-colored cookie dough. Twist the doughs around each other, half, and shape into candy canes.  

Bake according to the package and serve. 

Lemon, orange, celery, pomegranate with holiday decor

December Produce

Lemon, orange, celery, pomegranate with holiday decor

Thanksgiving as just ended but that does not mean the end of delicious food! December has lots of family gatherings, festive parties, and lots of reasons to make yummy food. Yummy food can still be healthy especially when you include fresh produce in it! At our stores we want to provide you with lots of fresh options of fruits and vegetables! We compiled a list of our favorite winter produce along with some tips of how to choose the best one and few ideas on how to incorporate them into your everyday!

Celery stalk on a table

Celery –

When picking your celery at the store, you want to choose stalks that are firm, straight and have fresh leaves. For easy holiday finger foods stuff celery with cream cheese, add some seasoning and top with bacon bits or crushed walnuts. Looking for more of a dinner dish? Cook celery, butter, chicken broth and thyme on low in the oven. Or chop up some celery and make a flavorful soup. Chopped celery can be the perfect crunch to any type of salad, green or potato!

An orange on a table

Oranges –

Oranges are a must for the holiday season! One of the biggest tips when choosing your orange is to pick one that is heavy for its size! You also want your orange to be smooth and firm. Now that you have the perfect orange, we have lots of ideas of how to use it. A freshly peeled orange is always a good snack or breakfast item. Slice some oranges and add them to a pan with fennel and salmon for a quick fresh dinner! Orange rolls are a fresh fun recipe to make for breakfast or brunch. Or throw some oranges in a blender with milk, ice, honey and vanilla extract for a fresh Orange Julius smoothie!

Sliced lemon

Lemon –

Lemons add a fresh flavor. Similar to when choosing oranges, you want a lemon that is heavy for size, with taut thin skin that gives slightly when pressed. Surprise your family with lemon chicken for dinner one night and it will become a new favorite. Simply brown chicken on the stove and then transfer it to the oven and drizzle with lemon juice, chicken broth and salt and pepper. Adding some lemon zest and juice to your green beans is a fun variation. Use fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest in your lemon bars and lemon sugar cookies. If you’re looking for something different to try, lemon poppy seed pancakes would be a fun addition to any meal!

Pomegranate on a table

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are among one of our most favorite fruits. Conveniently, you can now purchase pre-shelled pomegranates. However, the storage of the whole fruit is longer than that of pre-shelled seeds.  If buying a whole pomegranate, you want to choose one that is between the size of an orange to grapefruit. The shape should be slightly square, and the skin should be a dark or bright red color. For a quick de-seeding process cut the fruit in half just deep enough to break the fruit in half.  Hold a half over a bowl and hit the back of the pomegranate with a heavy spoon while squeezing the fruit slightly to release the seeds. For a delicious salad throw some spinach, walnuts, red onions and feta cheese together and sprinkle with vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds. Add some color to your morning oatmeal or yogurt. Pomegranates are also a yummy addition to your rice or quinoa!

Grapefruit on a table

Grapefruit –

Grapefruit is a classic winter fruit. When picking your grapefruit from the store, you want to pick one that is heavy and not perfectly round. If you love your morning grapefruit cut in half and sprinkled with some sugar, try sprinkling it with brown sugar and broiling it for 3 to 5 minutes. A grapefruit pound cake is an easy way to bake using the fresh grapefruit flavors. Grapefruit also adds a fun flavor to grilled chicken.

Gingerbread Bars with cream cheese frosting

Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread Bars with cream cheese frosting

Step aside gingerbread cookies, gingerbread bars are now in town. Indulge in these perfectly balanced gingerbread bars. With their molasses and ginger base offset with cream cheese frosting, you’re looking at a bar that is sure to disappear from your kitchen counter in seconds. By the way, these bars are incredibly easy to make, so if you’re in a hurry or have a last minute holiday event, this dessert has your back.

Bar Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1 egg

2 tsp. baking soda

2 cups flour

1 tbs. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/3. tsp nutmeg

Pinch of salt

Frosting Ingredients:

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 dish.

For the bars, cream together the butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two parts and mix completely.

Transfer the mixture to your 9×9 pan and cook for 15-20 minutes.

While your bars are cooking, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments. Once mixed completely, add the vanilla. If your frosting is a little too stiff, add a tbs. of milk until you reach the proper consistency.

Once your bars have cooled, frost them beautifully and serve.

Mom and Daughter Assembling a Homemade Gingerbread House

Homemade Gingerbread House

Mom and Daughter Assembling a Homemade Gingerbread House

Let your inner architect shine and build yourself a gingerbread house from scratch. Not only will you assembly skills shine, but your inner chef will have their moment as well! Follow the recipe below to learn how.

Ingredients

2 sticks of butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups molasses

4 eggs

8 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

5 tbsp ground cloves

5 tbsp ground cinnamon

5 tbsp ground ginger

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter and brown sugar in a large bowl and mix until it’s smooth. Next, mix in the molasses and eggs.

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and spices).

Add the dry mixture into the bowl you set aside, and mix with your hands to form a stiff dough consistency.

Once you have reached the desired dough consistency, divide the dough it into 2 pieces.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough. Cut it into desired shapes for your house (keep in mind you will need a base, a front and back, two walls and two roof pieces!) and place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until edges start to brown. It is easier to work with if it is firmer.

Wait for them to cool entirely before using them to assemble your house.

Assemble your gingerbread house, and enjoy the fun!

Gingerbread cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Gingerbread Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Gingerbread cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

All we can say is “Yes, Please!” to this stunning gingerbread cake with buttercream frosting. If you’re looking for something to take to a holiday party, this cake has you covered.

If you’re worried about your cake building skills not being  up-to-par, do not fret. This cake is easy to assemble and decorate. All you need is an offset spatula and a ridged piping tip. Let’s get started!

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 stick butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

6 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Instructions:

Set oven to 350 degrees and grease and line three 9-inch cake pans.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together. Once fluffy and incorporated, add eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Alternating between dry ingredients and buttermilk, add into butter, sugar and egg mixture in 3 parts starting with the dry ingredients. Once fully incorporated, add molasses and mix.

Fill the prepared cake pans evenly and bake for 30-45 minutes until a skewer comes out of the cake clean.

While the cakes are baking, let’s make our frosting! Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. If the frosting seems to stiff, add a splash of milk. If it seems too runny, add a little more powdered sugar. Once it reached the proper consistency, add the vanilla.

Once the cakes are cooled, stack the cakes and frosting in three layers. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes until the frosting has set enough that the cake is relatively stable. Remove from refrigerator and frost the outside of the cake in a very thin coat. For the “naked cake” effect, scrape your offset spatula along the outside until you reach your preferred look.

With the leftover frosting, load it into a piping bag or large plastic bag with a ridged piping tip. Top your cake with dollops of swirled frosting, crumbled gingerbread, and caramel.

With this recipe, you can have your cake and enjoy it too!