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Archive | Recipes

The Best Brunch Ever

Delicious dishes your family will love

Denver Hashbrown Omelet

Denver Hashbrown Omelet

 

(Family Features) Only one meal has the power to pull even the most tired souls from the comfort of their beds — a delicious, satisfying and beautiful brunch.

 

With its prime positioning between breakfast and lunch, brunch has quite a following of hungry fans. Whether celebrating a special occasion or “just because,” whether it’s an upscale or laid-back theme you’re after, brunch is an event in itself that brings people together with much anticipation.

 

A savory selection

For hosts who like to dabble in the classic morning components of eggs, hashbrowns and other breakfast fare, there are plenty of delicious recipes to serve up. Take this recipe for Denver Hashbrown Omelet, which supplies all the comforts of the diner-menu staple but is very easy to make at home as the Hashbrowns from Hungry Jack® are ready to use, fully-seasoned and can be easily stored in your pantry.

 

New take on an old favorite

For a hearty, American spin on an Italian favorite, you’ll adore the simplicity of this recipe for Skillet Hashbrown Frittata. This golden, delicious egg dish features mouthwatering turkey sausage, melted American cheese and Hungry Jack® Original Hashbrowns. These easy-to-serve, shredded potatoes are made with 100 percent Idaho Potatoes, cook perfectly crispy every time and can be used in a number of different meals — even those beyond the brunch table.

 

Sweet and special

While savory meals certainly have their place at brunch, a sweet dish is a great complement and the perfect addition for a well-rounded menu. Look for recipes that combine the elements of sweet and salty, like this dish for Potato Cheese and Apple Tarts. Fresh red delicious apples, gooey Smoked Gouda or Jack cheese and the creamy, homemade taste of Hungry Jack® Mashed Potatoes meld together for bite after delectable bite.

 

For more delicious brunch recipes, visit www.hungryjackpotatoes.com.

 

 

Denver Hashbrown Omelet

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

1 carton (4.2 ounces) Hungry Jack® Premium Hashbrown Potatoes

No-stick cooking spray

1 tablespoon butter

1 chopped onion, about 1 1/2 cups

1 diced green bell pepper, about 1 cup

8 eggs

1/2 cup milk (whole or 2 percent)

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup diced cooked ham

 

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray 9-by- 13-inch pan with no-stick cooking spray. Fill hashbrown carton to fill line with hot water. Let stand 12 minutes. Drain any excess water. Heat skillet over medium heat and add butter. After butter melts, add onion and bell pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk together eggs and milk in large mixing bowl. Add salt, potatoes, cheese, ham and vegetables; mix to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and starting to brown.

 

 

Skillet Hashbrown Frittata

Skillet Hashbrown Frittata

Skillet Hashbrown Frittata

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 carton (4.2 ounces) Hungry Jack® Original Hashbrown Potatoes

4 turkey sausage patties or 6 links

6 slices turkey bacon

8 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce, based on brand of hot sauce or to taste

Pinch ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup diced onion

4 slices or 2/3 cup shredded American or cheddar cheese

 

Fill hashbrowns carton to fill line with hottest tap water. Let stand 12 minutes. Drain any excess water. Cook turkey sausage and bacon according to package directions. Crumble or chop. Whisk eggs, milk, hot sauce and black pepper in bowl. Melt butter in 10- or 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Spread hashbrowns evenly in pan and part-way up sides. Cook without stirring until light golden brown and crisp on one side, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle crumbled sausage and bacon over potatoes. Pour eggs evenly over and arrange cheese on top. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until eggs are set in center and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve from pan or slide onto platter, then cut into wedges.

 

 

Cheesy Potato and Apple Tarts

Cheesy Potato and Apple Tarts

Cheesy Potato and Apple Tarts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 servings (24 tarts)

1 1/3 cups Hungry Jack® Mashed Potato Flakes

1 1/4 cups water

3 tablespoon butter, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk

1 cup shredded Smoked Gouda or Jack cheese

1 box (14 ounces) refrigerated pie crust, brought to room temperature

1 halved, cored and thinly sliced red delicious apple

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons chopped chives

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat water, 2 tablespoons of butter and salt to boiling in medium pot. Remove from heat, and stir in milk and mashed potato flakes with fork until smooth. Add shredded Gouda or Jack cheese and stir until melted. Cut pie crusts into 24 circles about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Using mini-muffin tin (with cups the size of 1 3/4-by-1-inch), place one pastry circle into each of 24 muffin cups, pressing slightly. Spoon about one tablespoon potato and cheese filling into each cup. Place in oven and bake until pastry edges are golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. In small pan, melt remaining tablespoon of butter. Add apple slices and saute until just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and cook one more minute. When apple slices are cooled enough to handle, place a slice into each cup at an angle, trimming to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve. 

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Bite-Sized Valentine’s Day treats get to the heart of the holiday

VAL-Recipe

(Family Features) Nothing says “I love you” on Valentine’s Day more than heart-shaped, homemade treats. This year, try individual treats to make each gift recipient feel extra special. You’ll love the fact that they are simple to create.

“Though small in size, mini-treats deliver a big message to all of the Valentines on your list,” said Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. “Decorating these treats is quick and easy thanks to Candy Melts Candy – a pantry staple for any decorating project.”

With a little help from Wilton you can bake to your heart’s desire this Valentine’s Day.

We Heart Valentine’s Day – Hearts are by far the top shape of the season. From giant heart-shaped cookie pans to cookie cutters to Heart Pop pans, Wilton has a variety of bakeware options.

A Sweet Heart for Your Sweetheart – Create mini cakes, brownies or cookies with the Bite Sized Heart Dessert Shell pan. Once cooled, drizzle with red, pink and white colored Candy Melts candy for the perfect personalized heart-shaped treat.

Homemade Box of Chocolates – Make your own candies using shaped Candy Molds. Choose between hearts, lips, flowers and more. Fill the mold with the Candy Melts candy, color and flavor of your choice, and watch as you melt the hearts of your Valentines.

Give a Little Love – Valentine’s Day is a top gift-giving holiday. Give your made-from-the-heart homemade treats the gourmet treatment with festive packaging like heart-shaped boxes, colorful gift bags and brightly colored baking cups.

For more Valentine’s Day recipes, baking tips and gift inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.

 

Chocolate Heart Petit Fours

Makes about 40 mini cakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, softened

2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

extract

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup peanut butter,

chocolate fudge ice cream topping or cherry pie filling

2 containers (14 ounces each) Choco- late or Vanilla Icing Glaze (optional)

Jumbo hearts sprinkles (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 24 cavity bite-sized heart dessert shell pan with Cake Release pan coating.

In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract; beat until well combined. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in three additions, beating until just combined. Spoon one tablespoon batter into each pan cavity.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when touched. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Cool completely on cooling grid.

To decorate, place cakes on cooling grid with cookie pan below. Pipe 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter, chocolate fudge or cherry pie filling into shell; fill only to top of cavity. If desired, warm glaze according to package instructions; carefully pour over shell and tap pan to smooth. If desired, add jumbo hearts sprinkles.

 

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Gather Around Hearty, Comforting Foods

NY-country-stewFamily Features

 

Keep warm with hearty dishes that satisfy appetites and comfort food cravings. From russets to reds, fingerlings to purples, the hearty potato comes in many beautiful varieties that add color and texture to beloved comfort dishes. Bring out the flavors of your down-home creation by pairing it with a perfectly suited wine.

Comforting Complements

A spicy red with raspberry and peppery flavors, Zinfandel pairs particularly well with the flavors of winter — the season where comfort food is king. When searching for the perfect complement to your hearty, comfort fare, go for wines that deliver on quality at a fair price.

Discover Amador County, an up-and-coming wine region nestled in the rolling Sierra Foothills of California, through the wines of Renwood Winery. The winery runs under the direction of Joe Shebl, a talented winemaker whose artistic vision and passion for both Zinfandel and Amador County shows in every bottle.

For more information, visit www.renwood.com.

 

One Healthy Spud

Beyond their appearance in some of the most beloved dishes, potatoes also boast many benefits to your diet. Here are few reasons to add this versatile vegetable into meals:

• Potassium — Potatoes are a great source of potassium, which may help lower high blood pressure, making them a heart-healthy choice. In fact, potatoes contain more potassium than a banana or spinach.

• Vitamins — A spud a day may keep the cold germs away. One medium-sized spud has nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin B6.

• Dietary fiber — Potatoes are also a source of dietary fiber, a complex carbohydrate, which is known to increase satiety and help with weight loss.

• Gluten free — Potatoes are a naturally gluten-free food, so those with gluten sensitivity can enjoy this flavorful vegetable.

For more on potatoes and healthy recipe ideas, visit www.eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.

 

Country Stew 

Pair with Renwood Zinfandel, California

Yield: 6 servings

5 pounds bone-in short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups water

1 1/3 cups Renwood Zinfandel

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 beef bouillon cubes

6 large Wisconsin potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered

1/2 pound small fresh mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed

1 package (10 ounces) frozen whole green beans

1 can (16 ounces) peeled whole tomatoes, undrained

1. Dredge ribs in flour to coat; reserve leftover flour.

2. Heat oil in 8-quart Dutch oven on moderate heat.

3. Add half of ribs and brown on all sides. Once browned, remove ribs. Repeat instructions for remaining ribs.

4. Stir in the reserved flour. While stirring, add 1 cup water and wine and stir until thickened.

5. Return ribs to the pan.

6. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and bouillon and bring to a boil.

7. Cover and lower heat to simmer for about 1 hour, or until ribs are tender.

8. Remove ribs with slotted spoon and cover with foil to keep warm.

9. Add potatoes, mushrooms and beans. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

10. Add ribs and tomatoes with liquid, and heat through.

11. Use slotted spoon to remove meat and vegetables to large serving platter.

12. Remove gravy to serving container and serve with ribs.

 

NY-lasagnaHealthy Potato Lasagna 

Pair with Renwood Premier Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador County

Yield: 4 servings

2 links Italian turkey sausage (3 1/2 ounces each)

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil or Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 egg white

2 cups marinara sauce, divided

1 1/4 pounds Wisconsin Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, divided

1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1. Remove sausage from casing and crumble into medium skillet with onion.

2. Cook for 10 minutes or until both are browned, breaking up sausage with back of spoon.

3. Stir together ricotta, basil, garlic powder and egg white in small bowl.

4. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in bottom of 9-inch square baking dish.

5. Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the dish, forming solid layer with no gaps.

6. Drop 1/2 ricotta mixture in spoonfuls over top and spread out just a little.

7. Sprinkle with 1/3 of mozzarella and 1/2 sausage mixture.

8. Add 1/2 cup more sauce then repeat potato, cheese and meat layers.

9. Top with last layer of potatoes, remaining sauce and mozzarella.

10. Cover with plastic wrap and make small slit to vent.

11. Microwave on high for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

 

NY-chickenQuick & Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken & Potatoes

Pair with Renwood Zinfandel, Fiddletown

2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence (or combination of dried thyme, fennel, basil and savory)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 small (2 pounds) bone-in-chicken breasts, skin removed

1 1/4 pounds small Wisconsin red potatoes

3/4 cup frozen, thawed pearl onions

1 cup small baby carrots

3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces small baby bella or white mushrooms

Chopped fresh thyme (optional)

1. Combine Herbs de Provence, garlic salt, and pepper on a dinner plate.

2. Spoon flour onto a second dinner plate.

3. Coat each chicken breast with herb mixture; then dredge in flour.

4. Heat oil in a large skillet.

5. Add chicken and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is golden brown on both sides (approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side). If necessary, cook chicken in two batches so as not to crowd the pan.

6. Once browned, place chicken in large slow cooker and add all remaining ingredients, except fresh thyme.

7. Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

8. Sprinkle with fresh thyme before serving, if desired.

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Pear Perfection

 

Food Images: Tara Donne

Photo Credit: Tara Donne

Sam Talbot’s “The Sweet Life” is available on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, and at book stores nationwide. Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe

Sam Talbot’s “The Sweet Life” is available on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, and at book stores nationwide. Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe

(Family Features) For the more than 25 million Americans living with diabetes, food choices are critical to maintaining their health.

 

Chef Sam Talbot, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 12 years old, understands those challenges. But with his new cookbook he proves that diabetics don’t have to sacrifice flavor in order to follow a healthy eating plan.

 

Talbot earned national recognition as the runner-up in Season 2 of Bravo’s hit TV show “Top Chef.” In his new book, “The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries,” he shares how diabetes has affected — but has not compromised — his life and career, and offers 75 fresh, all-natural recipes that can be enjoyed by both diabetics and non-diabetics.

 

Chef Sam Talbot. Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe

Chef Sam Talbot. Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe

Cooking to Manage Diabetes

Doctors recommend that people with diabetes follow a healthy, well balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and carbohydrates that rank lower on the glycemic index (GI).

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) rates carbohydrates on a scale of 1 to 100 based on how rapidly a food item raises blood sugar levels after eating. Foods that rank high on the glycemic index are digested rapidly, which produces marked fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels. Foods with a low glycemic index are digested slowly and raise blood sugar and insulin levels gradually.

Source: University of Sydney Glycemic Index Group, Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular Biosciences.

“Pears are one of my favorite fruits to use in recipes,” says Talbot. “They are a low GI fruit, they’re high in fiber, and the flavor of a ripe pear is just out of this world. They are incredibly versatile in sweet and savory recipes in all types of world cuisines. They can be part of any meal of the day.”

 

The two recipes here are from Talbot’s book, and showcase the fresh, sweet flavor of pears. For more information, visit www.SamTalbot.com, and for additional pear recipes visit www.usapears.org.

 

— One medium pear provides 24 percent of your day’s fiber, and 10 percent of your day’s vitamin C — for only 100 calories.

 

— There are ten different varieties of USA Pears, each with its own color, flavor and texture.

 

— More than 80 percent of the fresh pears grown in the U.S. are from the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon. USA Pears are in season from early fall through early summer.

 

Check the Neck for Ripeness 

Ripeness is the key to enjoying pears at their sweetest and juiciest. To judge a pear’s ripeness, USA Pear growers advise you to “check the neck.” Press the neck, or stem end, of the pear. If it yields to gentle pressure, it’s ripe, sweet and juicy. If it feels firm, simply leave the pear at room temperature to ripen within a few days. Don’t refrigerate your pears unless you want to slow their ripening.

 

Photo Credit: Tara Donne.

Photo Credit: Tara Donne.

Yogurt with Pear and Coconut

Makes 4 servings

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup Grape-Nuts or granola cereal

1 tablespoon granulated stevia extract, or to taste

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 ripe pears, such as Anjou or Bosc, slightly firm to the touch

3 cups 2% plain Greek yogurt

 

In medium bowl, combine lemon juice, coconut, graham cracker crumbs, cereal, sweetener and cinnamon.

 

Peel, core and finely chop pears.

 

Spoon yogurt into 4 bowls and top with fruit and coconut mixture, or sprinkle directly onto each individual container of yogurt.

 

Note: This recipe can do double duty as a dessert if you serve it up parfait style. Spoon 1/8 of the pears into the bottom of each of 4 bowls or parfait glasses. Add 1/8 of the cereal mixture, then 1/2 cup of yogurt. Repeat with the remaining pears, cereal mixture, and yogurt.

 

Per Serving: 265 calories, 15 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 8 g total fat (6 g saturated), 8 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 157 mg sodium

 

Lavender Poached Pears

Makes 4 servings

2 large ripe pears, such as Bosc or Anjou, slightly firm to the touch

3 tablespoons granulated stevia extract, or to taste

1 tablespoon dried lavender

2 blossoms dried hibiscus

1 chamomile tea bag

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

 

Peel, halve and core pears using a melon baller to scoop out seeds.

 

In large pot, combine 3 cups water, sweetener, lavender, hibiscus, chamomile tea and mint. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add pears and simmer until you can easily pierce pears with the tip of a knife, about 20 minutes.

 

To serve, transfer pear halves to 4 individual bowls and ladle some of the cooking liquid over the top.

 

Per Serving: 72 calories, 1 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 2 mg sodium

 

Recipes excerpted from the book, “The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries,” by Sam Talbot. Published by Rodale. Copyright © 2011.

 

Captions:

Book Cover Image: Sam Talbot’s “The Sweet Life” is available on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, and at book stores nationwide. Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe

 

Chef Sam Talbot. Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fresh Market-Jack o’ the Lantern

AWE-JackolanternBy Vicky Babcock

 

Most of us have heard the story of the wily rascal, Jack, and how he tricked the devil and thereby secured his own soul. Many versions of the tale exist, but all agree on the conclusion that Jack—having barred himself from hell and being unworthy of heaven—was made to wander the world, a lost soul.

One such tale suggests that Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Not wanting to pay for his drink, Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that he would use to buy the drinks. But Jack instead put the coin into his pocket next to a cross, which prevented the Devil from turning back. Jack agreed to release the Devil on the condition that the Devil never take his soul.  When Jack passed away, he found himself barred from heaven. The devil had provided him with a lit coal in which to light his way. Jack placed his coal into a carved out turnip and so the practice of Jack o’ lanterns began.

In truth, the practice began long before the story of Jack. Carved vegetables, usually turnips or beets, were used in celebrations around the world for centuries.  Wikipedia associates the term jack-o’-lantern with ignis fatuus (foolish fire) named for the phenomenon of strange flickering light over peat bogs.  You may have heard it called the will-o’-the-wisp. Gourds were the choice of the Maori, who used the carved fruit as lanterns over 700 years ago.  s gourds (the pumpkin is one) are the earliest produce known to be cultivated by man—dating back over 10,000 years—it is likely the practice of carving lanterns from them extends back thousands of years.  Irish immigrants have been credited with bringing the practice to the United States however, where they discovered the pumpkin made a much better media than the turnips they used in their home country.

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain—the celebration of their new year, the day of the dead—which took place on November 1. The day marked the harvest, the end of summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. The Celts believed that on the eve of their new year the bounderies between the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred and the dead could return to earth. The advent of Christianity changed and blended with the old rites. November 1 eventually became All Saints Day and November 2 All Souls’ Day to honor the dead. It is commonly believed that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic traditions with more sanctioned beliefs and the two holidays share many aspects, including bonfires, parades and dressing in costume. All Saints’ Day, or All-hallowmas—from Middle English for All Saint’s Day—has itself changed to include more of its pagan roots.  All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as we know it today, became the date of choice and the Jack-o-lanterns we all love, once used to frighten the dead and demons away from our doors, can be found on doorsteps everywhere. Trick or Treat, a mostly American tradition, probably resulted from the old practice of feeding the dead.

You’ve most likely carved your pumpkins for this year. Next year, consider saving the bits of carved out fruit (minus the peal) and throwing it into a pot of chili for a healthy and tasty addition. And the seeds—well we all know what pumpkin seeds are good for.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, everyone—and Happy Haunting!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you’ve never had pumpkin seeds, you’re in for a treat!  While these are great simply roasted and salted, you can make them your own by adding your own special blend of spices. If you’ve already carved your pumpkins, consider purchasing another. Roasted or baked pumpkin makes a great addition to soups and stews, breads, cookies and pies.

Basic ingredients:

Approximately 1 ½ c. pumpkin seeds

2 or 3 tsp. melted butter or olive oil

Salt

Optional choices (partial list):

A dash or two of soy sauce

Garlic powder

Seasoned salt (I like Morton’s)

Chili powder or cayenne pepper

Pre-heat oven to 300◦ Fahrenheit.  Rinse seeds thoroughly in a colander under running water, removing the majority of pulp and strings.  In a medium bowl, toss together seeds, oil or melted butter and seasons of your choice.  You can also make a sweetened version by substituting sugar and cinnamon.

Spread seeds out onto a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Once these start to brown, they will do so quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them. Cooking times are approximate.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Fresh Market the Cranberry

AWE-Cranberries-rgb

It is commonly held that there are only three fruits native to North America—blueberries, cranberries and Concord grapes. While I am not certain of the accuracy of this statement, cranberries are indeed native to America. Native American Indians used the berry as both a food source and a wound medicine, as well as a dye.  Its name is said to come from a variation of “craneberry,” so called because the early settlers from Europe thought the flower resembled the head of a crane.  Also referred to in various parts of the world as mossberry, fenwort or fenberry, marshwort, bearberry, bounceberry (a common method of testing for quality was to bounce them) and Sassamanash.

The rich red color of the berries lends itself well to festive occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. Indeed, many of us associate the fruit solely with Thanksgiving and have not enjoyed the many dishes that can be created from this versatile berry.  If your experience with cranberries has been limited to cranberry relish, it’s time to open the door to a world of culinary possibilities.  Cranberries—used to flavor meats for centuries—make a good addition to breads and desserts as well as salads and cereals.  Because of their tart flavor they are best consumed in a sugared dish or paired with another fruit such as the apple.

Cranberries are one of the Super Fruits. This nutrient rich berry carries its own natural anti-biotic and has been linked—in the form of juice—with urinary tract infections relief in women. Cranberry juice consumption can aid in the prevention of tooth decay as it helps prevent the build-up of plaque. Studies indicate that extracts may have anti-aging effects.  Cranberries are high in vitamins C and K as well as fiber.  Vitamin K promotes cardiovascular health. It, along with phosphorous in cranberries assists in bone and tooth health.

An Indian legend describes how the cranberry came to be:  Long ago, the Yakwawi’àk, or Mastodons, walked the Earth, placed here by the creator to be useful to man. The monstrous beast was fierce, powerful and invincible and a great help to the Lenape’wàk .  But the powerful creatures turned on them and waged war on all of the animals—a great battle was fought. Many lives were lost and the ground ran red with the blood spilled.  Yet the Yakwawi’àk were nearly impossible to kill! Slowly, the battlefield turned into a great quagmire and many of the hugh creatures drown. The Creator, angry with the monstrous beasts, threw lightning bolts, killing all but one bull. Badly wounded, the beast fled to the far north, where it is said, its evil spirit remains. Evidence of the great battle can be seen today. You can find the bones of the Yakwawi’àk as well as other animals in the marshes. The Lenape’wàk were saddened by the lives lost and the loss of potential food and furs. In remembrance and compassion, the Creator caused the cranberry to grow in the marshland so that it might be used as food for mankind. The deep red color of the berry was to remind us of the blood that was spilled on that terrible day.

Cranberry Cake with Butter Cream Sauce

3 T. butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed and halved

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in milk.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in cranberries.

Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan.  Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Butter Cream Sauce

½ cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine melted butter, sugar and cream; bring to a boil, stirring often.  Boil for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.  Serve warm over Cranberry Cake.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

 

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Fresh Market—the Cabbage

AWE-Cabbage

By Vicky Babcock

 

Everyone knows that babies come from the cabbage patch, right? But do you know where cabbages come from?  According to Roman mythology cabbages sprung from the tears of Lycurgus, King of the Edonians of Thrake.  Lycurgus had reason to cry cabbage tears, having angered the god Dionysos whom he had persecuted.  As punishment he was struck mad and in this sad state, slew his wife and sons.

Cabbage is one of the earliest domestic vegetables, likely dating as far back as 1000 B.C.  They are from the family Cruciferae, from the Latin for “cross”, so named because the flowers of this family are cross-shaped.  While many varieties of cabbage can be found today, the most common and familiar to us are the green and red cabbages.  The savoy cabbage, also fairly common, was developed by German gardeners during the 16th century.  Not all cabbages are equal as red and green and savoy all have slightly different nutritional values.  For a nutritional powerhouse, you can’t go wrong with cabbage!  Generally speaking, one cup of raw, shredded cabbage contains only 50 calories and a whopping 190% of the RDA of vitamin C.  It is an excellent source of vitamin K with 91% RDA in one cup, shredded.  It is also an exceptional source of manganese, vitamin B6 and folate as well as a good source of thiamin, riboflavin calcium, potassium, vitamin A, fiber, protein and magnesium.  With virtually no fat, it is a dieter’s dream!

Cabbage, in the form of sauerkraut, was used by Dutch sailors to prevent scurvy during long ocean voyages.  Captain Cook believed in the medicinal value of sauerkraut and his ship’s doctor used it for compresses for wounded sailors.  Long before this the cabbage was recognized as a valuable medicinal tool—Greeks and Romans believed that the vegetable could cure almost any illness.  Both the Egyptians and the Romans believed eating cabbage before a night of drinking would prevent them from feeling the effects of the alcohol.  While I found no support for this theory, cabbage juice has been used to treat stomach ulcers and to relieve constipation and cabbage has been linked to cancer and stroke prevention.

Love of cabbage was the undoing of the Man in the Moon, whom, it is said was banished to Earth’s satellite because he had been caught stealing a cabbage from his neighbor on Christmas Eve.  The heaviest cabbage on record was grown by Scott Robb of Palmer, Alaska and weighed 138.25 pounds.  The largest cabbage dish used 80,191 cabbage rolls and weighed 1,221 pounds.  Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his hat during games to keep cool—he would change it for a fresh leaf every 2 innings.  World Cabbage Day is on February 17th.  You can use red cabbage water to determine pH—it will turn red in acidic solutions and green in basic solutions.  In a neutral solution it will stay purple.  You can make red cabbage water by chopping up one large red cabbage and boiling it until the water turns a deep purple.  Cool and refrigerate.

 

Sautéed Cabbage

1 small head savoy or green cabbage, about 2 ½ pounds

1 thinly sliced onion (optional)

2 tablespoons butter

Salt to taste

¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper

¼ tsp. nutmeg or ginger

Directions:

Cut the cabbage thinly as for coleslaw—discard core.  In a large pan, sauté in butter until tender and slightly browned—approximately 10 to 12 minutes.  Add seasons and serve as a side.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

 

 

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Fresh Market – The Pear

By Vicky Babcock

Ginger Glazed Chicken and Pears a la Orange

Ginger Glazed Chicken and Pears a la Orange

 

Because they are considered hypoallergenic, pears are often one of the first foods we introduce to babies.  Soft and easily digestible compared to other fruits, these are excellent choices for first time foods.  As children, we remember growing up with canned pears and Fruit Cocktail.  Given that association, many of us might label the pear as a “kid” food.

Not so. Pears—especially in its natural state—are an excellent choice for our diets at any age! Even more so than others, pears are a fruit that should be consumed with the skin intact, as the skin contains a majority of the phytonutrients (about 75-80%) and about one-half of the dietary fiber.  These phytonutrients have been shown to provide us with antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. Consumption of pears has been associated with reduced risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes—often referred to as adult-onset diabetes.

In addition, the consumption of pears has been shown to aid in the prevention of cancers such as colon, stomach and esophageal cancers.

The pear is a member of the rose family, joining a large group of fruits including apples, cherries, peaches, plums, raspberries and strawberries.  It is an Old World fruit, originating in both Europe and Asia as well as some parts of Africa.  The ancient Chinese believed the pear to be the symbol of immortality.

There are over 3000 varieties of pears throughout the world.  Most pears grown in the United States are of European origin.  The Bartlett, best known of these varieties, is most often the choice for canned pears.  In Europe, it is known as the Williams.  It was renamed by a Bostonian, Enoch Bartlett when he purchased an orchard and began distributing them himself, not knowing they were already named.  Other varieties you might recognize include the Bosc, the Green Anjou, the Red Anjou and the Red Bartlett.  Red varieties are higher in nutritional value as they contain anthrcyanins, a powerful antioxidant .

Because a pear ripens from the inside out, it can be difficult to determine when it is ripe.  We recommend pressing gently at the top of the pear near its stem.  If it gives to pressure it is likely ripe for eating.

Ginger Glazed Chicken and Pears a la Orange

Ingredients:

2-3 T. butter

About 8-10 chicken tenders

Morton’s Nature’s Seasons or similar seasoned salt

2 T. soy sauce

2  T.  white vinegar

1/4  cup (or less) sugar

1  tsp. ground ginger

2 T. dry white wine

½ cup orange juice or 2 T. orange liquor

1 onion, cut thin

1 unpeeled pear, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 cup rice, cooked in 2 cups water with 2 bullion cubes (3 cups cooked rice)

Arugula

Directions:

Season chicken with Nature’s Seasons and braise lightly in butter in large pan over medium heat on both sides. Remove from pan—do not rinse pan.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and ginger and heat until sugar melts.  Add wine and orange juice—stir.  Add onion, pear slices and chicken; cover and simmer over medium low heat until chicken is cooked through and onion is tender—about 12 minutes.  Serve over rice.  Add a couple leaves of Arugula to the side of the plate. (Although this was originally intended for garnish, it adds a nutty flavor that truly enhances this dish!)  Serves 4-6.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

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Fresh Market—the Pumpkin

 

By Vicky Babcock

 

Nothing says Fall quite so well as the pumpkin! Its bold color and robust texture are characteristic of the season. It is a fall favorite in the U.S., selling over 1 billion pounds annually in its relatively short season. Over 90 percent of our nation’s processed pumpkin comes from the State of Illinois, with a majority (85 percent) being processed for sale with the Libby’s ® label.  Most Americans today have never made a pumpkin pie that has not come out of a can.

Pumpkin popularity grew enormously in the U.S with the advent of the Jack o’ Lantern, a tradition brought over by Irish immigrants, who used carved turnips in their home country as lanterns to chase away evil spirits.  According to legend, Jack tricked the Devil into agreeing to never claim his soul. When Jack died, the Devil gave him a lit coal to light his way in the afterlife. Jack placed the coal in a turnip and became known as “Jack o’ the Lantern.”

Pumpkins, as other squashes, are native to America and Native Americans grew and harvested them for centuries. It was one of a group of crops known as the “three sisters” and was grown in conjunction with corn and beans. The corn stalk provided a pole for the beans to grow, while the pumpkin covered the ground, providing cover to deter weeds and to keep the soil moist. The Iroquois legend of the three sisters speaks of a Sky woman who fell to Earth, becoming the first woman on Earth. Being with child, she gave birth to a daughter who in turn, gave birth to twins by the West Wind. The woman died in childbirth and the children buried her; from the ground where she lay, sprouted corn, beans and pumpkins, which served as the main food staples of the Iroquois.

While pumpkins are most popular here as a carving base these days, the fruit is loaded with nutritional value. Pumpkins are high in vitamin A and beta carotene; the seeds are high in protein and rich in a highly nutritious, flavorful oil. The flowers and the leaves are edible and considered a delicacy in some countries.

Some little known facts:  pumpkins are used as a feed for livestock; the raw fruit can be used as a supplement to chickens during the winter to aid in egg production; the biggest pumpkin on record weighed in at a whopping 2009 pounds; Columbus brought the first pumpkins back to Europe from the New World; the largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds; canned pumpkin (not pie filling) has been recommended by veterinarians as a supplement for dogs and cats experiencing ailments such as constipation, diarrhea or hairballs.

Still not convinced that you should buy a pumpkin? Consider pumpkin chucking. A competitive sport in which teams build devices to throw a pumpkin as far as possible.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 32oz can of pumpkin

1 12oz can of evaporated milk

4 eggs

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie mix

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups sugar

1 box yellow cake mix

1 stick butter

Pecans to scatter on top as desired.

 

Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie mix, salt and sugar in bowl.  Pour in 13”x9” cake pan. Cover with 1 box of Yellow Cake mix.  Scatter pecans on top.  Melt butter and drizzle over the top. Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

Note:  Solon Market will be closed October 5 for Red Flannel Festival. We will be open again the following week.

 

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Fresh Market – Garlic, the “Stinking Rose”

_AWE-Fresh-Market-GarlicBy Vicky Babcock

 

Thanks to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, everyone is aware of the power of garlic to ward off vampires, evil spirits and the like. It is rich in folklore, dating back—by some reports—over 7,000 years. Garlic has been found in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Kings and was given to their slaves as part of their diet to ward off illness and increase strength and endurance. Greek soldiers and athletes used garlic for these same properties and Roman soldiers consumed garlic before battle for courage. The Egyptians swore on garlic, invoking the Ancient deities, much as we use the Bible in courtrooms today.

Garlic was placed on piles of stones at cross-roads by the ancient Greeks as a protection from demons as it caused them to become confused and lose their way. This also served as a meal for Hecate, the goddess of the wilderness. Europeans believed garlic had the power to ward off the evil eye and Central Europeans considered it a deterrent against devils, vampires, werewolves and the like. Dreaming of garlic in the house is considered lucky and to dream of eating garlic means you will discover hidden secrets.

Garlic originated in Central Asia. It derives its name from the Old English garleac—spear leek. The Greeks had another name for it—scorodon—the “stinking rose.” Indeed, its pungent odor—the bulb gained the sobriquet halitosis during the 1920’s—appears to be a critical part in its role as a natural insecticide. And pungent bulbs (garlic included) have been used for centuries to aid in the prevention and fighting of the common cold. The Cherokee used it as an expectorant for coughs and for croup. Modern science supports its role as a preventative, although experts caution that it has not been proven to fight pre-existing colds.

Garlic is a heart healthy food. Components of it aid in lowing blood pressure, as well as helping to prevent blood clots. Because of these factors alone, be sure to check with your doctor if you are on any medications before using garlic in quantity. Components of garlic also aid to reduce oxidative damage to blood vessel linings, a key factor in increasing risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and atherosclerosis, commonly, hardening of the arteries. Garlic is very high in vitamin B6 and high in vitamin C. It is also a rich source of Manganese, which helps your body maintain strong bones, nerves and blood sugar levels. It also helps to promote optimal function of the thyroid and protects your cells from free-radical damage.

Garlic is an important ingredient in most spaghetti sauces, goulash and many tomato-based foods.  It is highly prized in Italian and Oriental cuisines and blends its unique flavor well with chicken, shrimp and lemon. To make the most of its nutritional value, chop garlic and let rest for a bit before using; toss into the recipe towards the end of the cooking process.

And about vampires?  It turns out garlic really does keep the bloodsuckers away—blood sucking mosquitoes, that is.

 

Easy Scampi

¾ cup butter

¼ cup chopped onion

3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound uncooked med. shrimp, deveined

¼ cup dry white wine

2 T. fresh lemon juice

Salt and ground pepper

 

Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden.  Add shrimp and stir just until pink. Remove shrimp and place in ovenproof dish. Cover lightly and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and simmer about 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over shrimp.  Serve with rice or noodles.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

 

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