Tag Archives: tips

miscellaneous produce. red pepper, tomatoes, corn, onion, etc.

Revive Your Produce

miscellaneous produce. red pepper, tomatoes, corn, onion, etc.

Tired of throwing out produce when it’s gone bad? We’ve got 10 tips and tricks to help revive your fruits and vegetables and be sure to give them new life.

  1. Turn those nearly spoiled lemons into lemonade. As you notice your lemons beginning to over ripen, the best thing to do is squeeze them into a refreshing lemonade. Bring that citrus flavor back to life!
  2. If your carrots are nearing the end of their shelf life, make them into carrot chips! Slice the carrots as thin as you can. Line a baking pan with some aluminum foil or parchment paper and add your carrot slices. Throw on your favorite spices, and cook them to your desired crunch level.
  3. Forget to use all of your root vegetables? Throw them together for a delicious veggie filled roast. Take your carrots, beets, turnips and more and roast them to eat with any dish throughout the week. An easy and quick way to ensure you get the most of your veggies.
  4. Asparagus going brown? Simply bake it! We promise with a little time and love it will be back to good and full of nutritious flavor.
  5. Brown bananas? Freeze them and make some banana bread later! Avoid spending more money and buying a loaf when you have bruised bananas that will taste just as sweet as the fresh ones.
  6. Are your berries close to expiring? Make the most of them by preparing your own homemade ice cream. Mix them with yogurt and have yourself a sweet treat much healthier than your other options.
  7. Got a bad apple? Don’t throw it away! Cut out the obvious bruised pieces and clean the remainders well. Then throw them into an American classic, the favorite apple pie. You’ve got your pie… and can eat it too!
  8. Green beans make for a great snack. When you notice they are starting to go bad, clean and cut them down to fit in a jar. Add in salt to taste and some water before leaving them in the fridge for a week or so. You’ve got yourself a good deed and a healthy snack!
  9. Turn your cucumbers into pickles! Pull together your nearly spoiled cucumbers and add them into some jars. Make a mixture of salt and water and add it in. Keep an eye on them, and once you notice the salt and sugar have dissolved, add water and vinegar in even parts. Wait 24 hours minimum before enjoying your homemade pickles!
  10. Don’t let your green and nutrient filled vegetables go to waste! Make sure those green leafy vegetables go to use by adding them to your smoothie mixture. Easy, and delicious!
Grilled meats and vegetables

Grilling Tips

Grilled meats and vegetables

The hot days of summer are just around the corner, which means the grill is also getting fired up. Follow these 5 grilling tips to make the meats, fruits and veggies the best you have ever made.

Get the Grill HOT
Preheating your grill for 10-15 minutes before cooking is key to getting those instagramable grill marks. It also makes it much easier to clean your grill before each use as it loosens the leftover bits of food from your last great cook off.

Marinade your Meat
Marinading or perfectly seasoning your meat and veggies is the easiest way to be the best cook in town. No matter how perfectly your steak is cooked, without seasoning or a marinade, it’s not going to taste as good as it can. Our favorite ingredient for meat and veggies will always be garlic. Whether it’s powdered or fresh, it keeps things perfectly salty and spicy.

Keep the Lid Down
Preventing flare ups and maintaining an even temperature is the age-old secret to keeping a even cook on your grilled goods. Too many flare ups can result in burnt and blistered food. If the flare ups seem out of control, move the food to an indirect heat area until the flames die down.

Don’t Stab
When cooking anything on the grill, use tongs or spatulas. Avoid stabbing with forks or large prongs at all costs. You will lose lots of the great juices that are keeping your meats, veggies, and fruits moist and delicious.

Let it Rest
Did you know meats can rise in internal temperature over 5 degrees when left to rest properly? Don’t lose all of the juices by serving up too early. A rest of 5-10 minutes will automatically make your meats juicier and more flavorful.

Basket of produce

March Produce Guide

Shopping in-season produce not only saves you money but also gives you the freshest options! It’s starting to get warmer outside and with the warmer weather comes all the Spring time produce. We compiled a list of some of March’s best produce along with some tips and recipes!

Artichoke heart

Artichokes – 

Artichokes are actually flowers that have not bloomed yet, and they are extremely healthy for you! But how does one tackle this vegetable? First, make sure you buy a good one. You want the leaves of the vegetable to be closed, and when squeezed, they should squeak- both of these indicate a fresh artichoke. Once you have your artichoke, start by cutting off the tops of the leaves, then slice off about an inch from the top. Thoroughly rinse the artichoke. You can steam, grill, stuff, bake, you name it – whatever you want, just make sure to add this tasty and fun vegetable into your life!

Asparagus

Asparagus – 

Asparagus get a lot of talk – some of it good and some of it bad. For those of us who love asparagus, we know that Spring time means fresh asparagus time! You want to choose firm, bright green stalks. There are different stalk thicknesses you need to choose from – thin/pencil size works best for sautéing and steaming, while the thicker stalks are easier to handle when grilling, roasting and baking. Asparagus can be added to almost anything! Click here for some of our asparagus recipes! Sautéed, roasted, baked, steamed or left raw and added to a salad there are many ways to love asparagus.

Broccoli

Broccoli –

Broccoli, the vegetable we all used to pretend were little trees when we were younger. Now we start to appreciate how good for our bodies broccoli is! Choose broccoli with bright green, tightly packed florets. In addition to eating raw alone or in salads, broccoli is also really yummy when cooked! Coat your broccoli with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, sprinkle with some lemon juice and Parmesan cheese and then bake.

Radish

Radishes – 

Radishes are a very healthy root vegetable. When choosing your radishes from the store start with the leaves, you want them to look fresh and be bright green. You want the radish bulb to be hard and smooth. Before we talk about the bulb of the radish, let’s talk about the radish leaves. The greens are really tasty sautéed in olive oil with garlic and salt and pepper. They can also be added to soups or they can be eaten raw too! The radish bulb can also be eaten raw or cooked too! Butter and salt are a yummy way to enjoy raw radishes. Roasted radishes is also a great way to enjoy them – cut them in half, add onions, and other seasonings and cook until a fork goes in easily.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms – 

Mushrooms definitely have a place on many people’s favorite pizzas, they can also be used in many different ways. When picking mushrooms from the store you want large, firm mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms in half and sautée them with some olive oil, garlic and parsley! Make sure you don’t overcrowd the mushrooms, they should be in a single layer. Try this Butternut Noodles with Creamy Bacon Sauce recipe with mushrooms on top!

Jack-O-Lantern with Bleach and Vaseline to Prevent Wilting

Jack-O-Lantern

Jack-O-Lantern with Bleach and Vaseline to Prevent Wilting

Carving your Halloween pumpkin is a big part of the holiday. Unfortunately pumpkins don’t last forever and your masterpiece that you spent hours, days – let’s be honest you’ve been planning this carving since last Halloween – will start to droop and wilt within a few days. Luckily, we have a few tricks to keep your Jack-O-Lantern looking fresh!

Step 1 – Do not cut the top of your pumpkin off! Cutting of the stem will dramatically decrease the life of your pumpkin. Instead, cut off the bottom or the back of your pumpkin.

Step 2 – After you have completely cleaned out the inside of your pumpkin, make sure you save the seeds to bake later, clean your pumpkin with a bleach water mixture. Mix together 1 tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and use to clean the inside and outside of the pumpkin.

Step 3 – Let your pumpkin dry completely before setting outside or carving! Once it is completely dry carve your masterpiece.

Step 4 – Once you have finished your carving, spread petroleum jelly on all of the surfaces that have been carved, including a light spread on the entire inside of the pumpkin.

Step 5 – Place your pumpkin on display for all of the trick-or-treaters to admire. If your pumpkin does start to wilt submerging it in an ice bath for a couple of hours can help refresh it. Reapply petroleum jelly.

It’s time for spring cleaning!

With warmer weather it’s time to open the windows, let in the fresh air and start your spring cleaning. This time of year our homes need more than vacuuming, sweeping and dusting. Now is a great time to organize closets, dust the blinds and clean the garage.

Here are a few ideas to add to your spring cleaning list:

-Clean light fixtures and replace bulbs

-Wash walls, baseboards, and door knobs

-Empty the coat closet

-Clean stove top and oven

-Wash windows and screens

-Touch up the ceiling fans

Make a realistic check list so you can mark off those assignments as they are finished. Choose one room at a time to arrange, deep clean and organize.

Before you start your spring cleaning projects make sure you have all of the supplies:

-Wood Polish

-Glass Cleaner

-Paper Towels

-Dusting Spray

-Boxes/Trash Bags

-Cloths, Micro fiber or dish towels

All of these items can be found at any of our locations and remember to check the weekly ad for additional savings. Get ready to start tackling those cleaning projects you have been putting off during the cold winter days.

20 Tips for Emergency Preparedness

You may have noticed that the disastrous emergency events of 2017 felt like a dress rehearsal for Armageddon. First it was the horrific hurricane that flooded Texas and the Gulf States, before the second hurricane arrived and destroyed just about everything on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. And just when we were starting to get a grip on those massive disasters, the wild fires hit and burned thousands of acres of California. The fires were the most unexpected of our recent catastrophes, many leaving victims with only minutes to abandon their property before it was taken down in flames.

As tragic as these disasters have been and will continue to be, they have hopefully served as a lesson in making us all more aware of how important emergency preparedness is to our family’s security. Remember what the great statesman and inventor, Benjamin Franklin said about the subject, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” With that in mind, Augason Farms has compiled a list of 20 easy, yet crucial tips for making sure you’re ready for any emergency.

  1. Create a family emergency evacuation plan. Make sure that everyone in your family understands two things: how to vacate your house or apartment in a safe way; and where you are to meet after evacuation. Your meeting place should identify two locations – one near your house and one that is outside of your neighborhood.
  2. Make an emergency communications plan. Be sure that everyone identifies a person and their contact info that they can reach out to in the event of separation. Pick a friend, neighbor or relative that you all know and will all contact via phone or Internet to ensure everyone knows where all your family members are located.
  3. Don’t forget your furry friend’s safety. You should make a plan to ensure all of your animals are going to be safe in an emergency. Things like checking to see if nearby emergency shelters will accept animals; being sure that your Vet’s contact information is listed on your emergency contact card; and finally, proactively store extra food and water in anticipation of your pet’s emergency needs.
  4. Know your children’s school emergency plans. Obtain a copy of their plans and keep it with your emergency kit. Discuss the plans with your kids on a regular basis so that it is ingrained into their memory.
  5. Rehearse your children’s personal information with them. If your children are young, be sure that they know their full name, address and phone number. Teach them how to use the 911 system and explain how important contacting help in an emergency can be.
  6. Start and maintain an emergency food storage program. Regardless of your budget, you should start and maintain a supply of foods designed for emergency situations. You can start small and add more as your finances allow, but every home should have at least a three-day supply of food and water on hand at all times. For information about the kinds of emergency foods available and how easy they are to prepare, visit www.augasonfarms.com.

During March 2018, visit your local Associated Foods Store for a FREE CASE OF WATER with the purchase of any Emergency Preparedness Kit valued over $25.

  1. Make some “Bug Out” backpacks for quick evacuations. These small backpacks are filled with everything you need to survive for at least 72 hours. Emergency foods, water filtration bottle, duct tape, a premium First Aid kit, multi-tool, solar radio, cooking kit, emergency blankets, flashlight, toiletries and other items you deem necessary. Once you’ve compiled your kits, place them around your house in strategic places. Once you decide it’s time to evacuate, all you have to do is grab your bag and hit the road.
  2. Keep your car’s gas tank at least half-full at all times. Since you never know when an emergency situation could arise, you can never be sure your local gas station will be open and pumping. Often, major refineries are forced to shut down during hurricanes and floods, reducing the amount of gas that’s available nationwide.
  3. Keep some cash on hand to get you through the first week of a disaster. Some of the first things to go down during a hurricane or other weather related events are the ATM machines. And since most banks close during crisis situations, you cannot depend on them for your monetary needs. Experts recommend keeping at least $200 on hand (in small bills if possible) to cover your expenses for the first few days of any emergency event.
  4. Keep extra medications in your go bags. You should keep some extra over the counter drugs (aspirin, nausea and anti-diarrheal pills, etc.) as well as any prescription medications anyone in your family is taking.
  5. Learn where your utility shutoff valves are and how they work. Regardless of what type of place you live in, (house, apartment, condo, etc.) it’s important to know where your electric, gas and water shutoff valves are located. Be sure to keep any necessary tools required nearby and in a place that everyone in your family knows the location of in case they are the ones to turn everything off.
  6. Buy insurance and document your valuables. Since an emergency can strike at any time, it’s good to preplan by having an updated homeowners or renters policy in force at all times. You should also take the time to photograph your valuable objects so there is no misunderstanding of what you need to replace with your insurance company’s adjuster. It will definitely help when you file your claims for storm damage, etc.
  7. Keep your vaccinations up to date. From flu shots to tetanus, knowing your family’s vaccinations are up to date will give you piece of mind when you are facing the kind of conditions you may be forced to do during an emergency. Make sure you have a written record of all of your vaccinations. And, don’t forget your four-legged friends’ vaccines, either.
  8. Get to know your neighbors. Through neighborhood associations, school events, etc. it’s important to know your neighbors and to encourage them to be prepared for an emergency too. When a real emergency strikes, it’s neighbors who will depend on each other to get through the first crucial hours or days.
  9. Keep a pair of hard-soled shoes by your bed. You have at least a 30% chance that any emergency that hits suddenly will do so at night, so you need to get in the habit of performing some simple steps to help ensure your safety – hence, the hard-soled shoes. These will help reduce the chance of you stepping on broken glass or any other sharp objects you may incur when evacuating your home at night.
  10. Place an emergency kit in your car. In addition to a flashlight, you should keep a small emergency kit in your car that contains some food and water, a small first aid kit, an emergency blanket and some waterproof matches. You can make your car kit much more inclusive, but just including these few, basic items will guarantee your car will always be a source of emergency assistance.
  11. Take a first-aid/CPR class from your local Red Cross or YMCA. Knowing how to perform CPR or how to stop bleeding can be two lifesaving skills everyone should know. Don’t wait until you need to know these skills – be prepared by taking these classes now. Visit this site to find a class near you: http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr. You may also want to take the same classes for your four-legged friends too.
  12. Keep photocopies of all your important papers in one central location. Make copies of your drivers licenses, passports, birth certificates, social security cards, insurance information and medical histories and keep them all together for easy access. Be sure to place these in your bug–out bag so they’ll go with you during an emergency evacuation.
  13. You can never have too many working flashlights. By placing flashlights in different parts of your home (especially in your bedroom), you will always be able to see what you are facing and how to escape from immediate harm
  14. Practice, practice, practice. It may sound silly, but in order to consider your family “emergency ready,” you’ve got to practice and discuss all the ways you will face an emergency together. Rehearse evacuating your house and meeting in your pre-designated convening area. Check your bug-out bags regularly and make sure all your water and food and medications contained within them are not outdated.

Macey’s has teamed with Augason Farms to offer emergency food supplies and long term food storage to our valued customers for good reason. They’ve been in the business since 1972 and guarantee their products for great taste and superior quality. Maintaining a supply of Augason Farms products in your home is ideal not only for your emergency food supply but for everyday use as well. With Macey’s and Augason Farms, preparedness is simple and affordable!

 

10 Tips to Healthy Eating with Kids

Parents know that getting kids to eat healthy is a battle but the dinner table should not be a place of stress. We are here with ten tips to try out in your quest for healthy eating with kids.

  1. Be the leader: It is a known fact that children are observant. They want to be like mom and dad. That crosses over into eating. If you want your kids to eat healthy then be the example for them. Choose the carrot stick over the french fry and your kids will more than likely follow.
  2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: Make healthy options consistent in your home. Include them with every meal and have them easily accessible for any quick snack.
  3. Don’t make vegetables negative: Be careful with how you talk about healthy options. Make them something they want to eat instead of need to eat. Vegetables and fruit should not be a box you need to check. Use positive, fun words when talking about it.
  4. Involve kids in making food: Kids like to get their hands in on the action. Let them help you with meal prepping. It is a great time to educate your kids on how to cook and why we eat the variety of foods we eat.
  5. Start their day healthy: Get rid of the sugared cereal for breakfast. When you start your day with a healthy breakfast option you are more likely to eat healthy the rest of the day. Same goes for kids :).
  6. Make it fun: Get creative with your fruits and vegetables by making an activity out of it. Use cookie cutters to make them into fun shapes. Create pictures out of various foods. Come up with creative names for each food. A kid may be more excited to eat a magic wand carrot than a plain carrot stick.
  7. Have patience: Your children may not love fruit and vegetables at first but give them time. Children’s taste buds are still forming as they grow so they are very likely to change the things they like. Just keep promoting healthy options and they may end up being their favorites.
  8. Let them grow: If you can, plant a small backyard garden and have your children help nurture the plants and watch them grow. Kids will be fascinated with the process and will excite them to try out their creations.
  9. Prep healthy snacks: Take time to make healthy snack bags. Place them on the lowest shelf of your fridge or pantry so they are easy to grab for little hands.
  10. Hide and seek: You always want to make sure your children are seeing the healthy options they eat but occasionally use recipes that allow you to hide vegetables in your meals.

Five Tips For Your Happiest Year Yet

It’s a new year and you’re ready to make some improvements. Here is our top five items to consider as you make plans for the all new you.

  1. Eat healthy: A healthy eating plan can cost far less than fast food. (For example, swap out French fries or potato chips for baked potatoes and save big.) Spend plenty of time in our produce department and watch for wholesome natural and organic items throughout the store. Deals and fresh, nutritious food can be had every week and eating healthy may save you thousands in medical bills in the long run.
  1. Explore new flavors: It’s easy to get in a rut as the year goes by. Soon, you’re eating the same meals every week which can be boring and repetitive. (Your taste buds need variety too.) Keep your menu a menagerie of mouthwatering flavors.
  1. Make a budget and stick to it: Do the math. Spend a few minutes and review your regular expenses. Then, dig in and separate your needs from your wants. (This means you must be honest with yourself and really decide what necessities you really need.) Once you have your needs identified, decide how much you can save each month. Then you can budget the fun stuff. Vacations, dining out, recreational toys, etc. may all be part of your annual plan, but should come in the right priority.
  1. Exercise regularly: On average, Americans spend about $8,000 annually on health care. Experts say more than half the costs are the result of lifestyle choices. Exercising three times a week for 20 minutes a day can decrease prescription costs by as much as 70 percent and medical costs by up to 30 percent.
  1. Be happy and thankful: Having a positive mental attitude can make all the difference. Not one of us ever has a year without challenges. However, if we take the right approach, we will realize our lives are almost always more than half full.

Kid Friendly Baking Tips

Baking is the perfect pastime during the holidays. The house smells great and the treats are delicious. Sometimes though, the kids get curious which can make a quick recipe take a lot longer. Here are some tips to help you bake that delicious treat while letting your little ones help out.

  1. Keep the recipe simple-Kids will stay more focused if the recipe is quick and easy. Make sure the ingredients are few and the preparing is simple and fun.
  2. Make it a game-Whether it is cutting shapes out of your dough or rolling out the dough, see who can do it the best or the fastest. This will keep your little ones attention on the task at hand.
  3. Make it a design-Make your baking masterpiece into a design. Witch’s hats, a smiley face or any other design you can think of will keep your kid smiling and they will love to help create it.
  4. Let them do it themselves-Find a recipe where everything is already made and let your kid do the assembling themselves. They will be so proud to show you what they have done.

These recipes incorporate these tips and are sure to keep your kid smiling.

Peach Cobbler

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Witch Hats

Spider Cupcakes

Donut Sundaes

Enjoy!

5 Tips for Food Storage

It’s our favorite time of year, case lot sale! And you know what that means, it’s time to stock up in the pantry and beef up your food storage until March 11 or while supplies last. Now is the perfect time to find the best deals on the key items you use each day, as well as the items you hope you’ll never have to use if there’s an emergency.

foodStorage

Here’s five tips to help you with your food storage:

  1. It’s recommended that you have the food staples—like flour, sugar, eggs, oats and dried milk for cooking and baking. Be sure to get these in dried or canned for long-term storage. We have a great variety of Augason farm and Western family canned products that are perfect!
  2. Be practical and buy foods you already eat. Don’t forget your canned fruits and veggies.
  3. Rotate items from your food storage, checking expiration dates. It is recommended that you use items from food storage to keep items from going to waste. Check and rotate each month to be sure you’re not letting good food go bad.
  4. Become familiar with the food storage items you buy and have recipes that use those ingredients. (This will also help with food storage rotation.)
  5. If possible, keep your storage in a place like a basement that has minimal light, moisture and heat. Its recommended that food storage is kept at 70 degrees.
We hope these tips help keep your food storage stocked and ready to go! Happy Shopping!