Tag Archives: ideas

Basket with produce

February Produce Guide

Produce in basket

February Produce Guide

We are pretty sure February has some of the best fruits and vegetables in season! We have tips for picking out the best produce from the store and then some fun ways to use them.

Apples

Apples –

Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious…just to name a few, we love apples all kinds. When picking your apples from the store notice the fragrance, ready to eat apples often have a yummy aroma. Sliced apples and peanut butter are a perfect go to snack. If you want a fun apple flavored sauce, try this Slower Cooker Apple Butter. 

Cauliflower

Cauliflower –

Cauliflower has been getting a lot of attention lately because it it so easy to use as a substitute. Think cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower tator (but not tator…) tots, cauliflower rice and so one. Cauliflower in a salad with some bacon, cheese and creamy dressing is a wonderful option. However you choose to use your cauliflower, you want to make sure you are buying the freshest option. Look for a cauliflower with even colored florets and bright, fresh looking leaves that feels heavy. 

Grapes

Grapes –

Everyone has their favorite between red and green grapes, but whether you’re red grape team or green grape team it is hard to turn down nice big, firm and plump grapes. When you are buying your grapes make sure the fruit have nice color (either yellow-green or mostly red). Sometimes you will notice a white, waxy coating on grapes; this is called bloom. Bloom is safe to eat, it forms to help grapes with moisture loss, however it is always a good idea to rinse any produce before eating. Grape salad is always a favorite – mix together some sour cream, cream cheese with some brown sugar and grapes and any other add ins.

Pears

Pears –

While pears are loved for their amazing flavor and juicy texture, sometimes knowing how to choose them at the store can be a deterrent in buying them. When purchasing a pear to enjoy immediately you want to buy one that is a little soft near the stem. If you plan to wait a few days, buy a pear that is firm. You can speed up the ripening process of pears by placing them in a brown bag with an apple or banana, or you can simply wait a few days and let it ripe on the counter.  While fresh pears are delicious on their own, you can substitute pears in an apple cobbler or add some to a butternut soup for a fun variation.

Tangerines

Tangerines –

Tangerines are the perfect little package of goodness! You want to choose firm to semi-soft ones that are heavy and have a beautiful orange color. Store them in the fridge in order to keep them fresher for longer.  A warm tangerine cake with a yummy glaze will become a family favorite. Tangerines are also fun to add to a chicken stir fry to give it a fresh, citrus flavor.

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.

Last Minute Valentines for Everyone You Love!

Valentine’s Day is almost here! Everyone has their own way to spread love on Valentine’s Day. Some prefer flowers and chocolates while others prefer balloons and a stuffed animal. All of these are great ways to celebrate your valentine but nothing says “I love you” like something simple like homemade cards, treats, meals and more. Show everyone on your love list that you care and make your life a little easier with these last minute valentines ideas.

For your significant other

  • Make their favorite dinner for them.
  • Grab some 3×5 cards and make a quick and easy coupon book.
  • Box of chocolate and love notes-Get a box of chocolates and replace some of the chocolates with little notes of love and appreciation.
  • Send them texts of love throughout the day to show you are thinking of them.

For your family

  • Send your family valentines card whether they live down the street or across the country.
  • Give them a call on Valentine’s Day and just say “I love you.”
  • If you live close to your family surprise them with a box of goodies on their porch.
  • Valentine’s dinner is saved for your significant other and kids but why not take your sister/brother/mom/dad out for Valentine’s lunch.

For your kids

  • Deliver their favorite candy or treat to their school-SURPRISE VALENTINE!
  • Make a heart filled breakfast for them.
  • Decorate the house with hearts filled with reasons why you love them.
  • Make Valentine’s night a family night-make dinner together, make a fort in the family room and watch their favorite movie.
  • Follow the kiss scavenger hunt-Have your kids follow clues and kisses around the house that leads to a basket of Valentine goodies.

For your best friend

  • Send them flowers or treats to their workplace.
  • Have a Galentine’s party with all your best girl friends.
  • Give them a gift card so they can pamper themselves.
  • Plan a spa day-get a manicure and pedicure.

For your co-workers

  • Bring a sweet treat to spread the love to the whole office.
  • Decorate the office to get everyone in the Valentine’s spirit.