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Celebrate Football and Wings with FRESH

Celebrate Football and Wings with FRESHAre you ready for some football? I am so excited to kickoff the season. It’s such a fun time of year with game-watching parties, school spirit and plenty of fun snacks.

Of course, everybody’s favorite is wings, and on September 10 and 11, FRESH will be having a Wing Fest Weekend. We will have a new wing flavor that we will be creating in the Test Kitchen and many other traditional flavors that everyone enjoys.

When making wings at home, the flavor possibilities are endless. With so many seasonings and sauces, you could serve a smorgasbord of wing selections.

A new line of sauce that I enjoy for flavoring wings is from Ginger People. They have 6 flavors – Sweet Ginger Chili, Ginger Sesame, Spicy Ginger Teriyaki, Hot Ginger Jalapeño, Ginger Lime and Ginger Peanut. They are all great for basting or dipping, and they can be used in the oven, on the grill or straight from the jar.

When I make wings for a party, I like to get the packages of Smart Chicken party wings. Add them to a slow cooker or you can spread them out on a baking sheet. For the slow cooker, simply add some water, salt and pepper. In the oven, toss the wings in some oil, salt and pepper.

After they are cooked through, it is time for saucing. Place the wings, about 12 at a time, in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of Ginger People sauce – any flavor – and stir to coat. Spread the wings out on a greased, rimmed baking sheet. Place them under a broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and caramelized. You can then put them back in the slow cooker to keep warm. What’s better during game time than a never-ending supply of delicious wings?

Be sure to come out to Wing Fest at FRESH for more great ideas. Check the calendar for additional details.

Asian Wings

Ingredients:
2 lbs Smart Chicken Party Wings (about 24 pieces)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup Ginger People Cooking Sauce
ranch or bleu cheese dressing, for dipping

Directions:
Place the wings in a slow cooker. Add the water, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the wings from the slow cooker, and place in a large bowl.  Pour in the sauce. Using a large spoon, stir to coat thoroughly. Spread the wings onto a greased baking sheet. Place under a broiler on high for 3 to 5 minutes to caramelize. Serve with ranch or bleu cheese dressing as a dipping sauce.

If making the wings for a party, you can use the slow cooker to keep the wings warm. After cooking and saucing, place the wings back in the slow cooker on warm or the lowest setting. Leave uncovered to serve. Stir occasionally.





Go Back to School with Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola BarsIt’s back to school time! That means alarms are set, lunches are packed, and all the school supplies are ready to go. Don’t forget the most important part – breakfast!

Everyone knows that it’s the most important meal of the day, but it’s often the meal where poor choices affect the way we eat and feel for the rest of the day.

Grabbing a granola or nutrition bar is a popular choice, but you need to read the labels and watch out for preservatives, sugars and high-fructose corn syrup.

When it comes to granola bars, it is easy and inexpensive to make your own. Plus, you know exactly what goes into them, and you can customize the ingredients to fit your taste or health needs.

When selecting ingredients, look for the following:

  • Brookshire’s Old-Fashioned Whole-Grain Oats
  • Brookshire’s Fruit & Nut Trail Mix
  • Brookshire’s Sunflower Seeds
  • Full Circle Organic Honey
  • Full Circle Organic Raisins
  • Full Circle Organic Agave Nectar
  • Full Circle Dried Fruit
  • Full Circle Peanut Butter
  • Dried Fruit, Nuts & Coconut Flakes from the Bulk Department

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:
2 cups Brookshire’s Old-Fashioned Whole-Grain Oats
1 cup nuts or trail mix
1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit
1/2 cup Full Circle Organic Honey
pinch of salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, spread out the oats and nuts. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Coat a pie pan with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. Add the honey. Cook over medium heat without stirring until large bubbles form and the honey begins to darken around the edges. The bubbles will start small and increase to about 3/4 inch in about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Immediately pour the oats, nuts, dried fruit and pinch of salt into the pan. Spray a spatula with cooking spray, and stir the mixture until completely coated with honey.

Quickly press the granola into the pie pan. Place in the refrigerator, and allow to cool for 1 hour. Cut into wedges, and wrap in plastic wrap. The granola bars can remain at room temperature for up to five days, or they can be frozen.

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BREW CLUB: Karbach Brewing Co.

FREW-1604425a FRESH FUS Brew Club eMail - Featured Brewery Blog P1a“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”

This quote from well-known columnist Dave Barry is the motto of founders and employees of Karbach Brewing Co. in Houston. A German-style brewery, located northwest of downtown, is on Karbach Street that, ironically, is also the name of a German village in Bavaria.

From the very beginning, it was clear they weren’t messing around. Brewmaster Eric Warner had put in 10 years as brewmaster in Maryland. His partners had founded a successful beer distribution company, which they later sold to finance Karbach. It soon became a sparkling new facility, and the dream became real. Only three years later, it is the second fastest-growing brewery in the U.S.

This brewery may appear cute with their funny names and artistic cans, but they take beer-making seriously. Taste any of their brews, and you will admire the craftsmanship as well as the flavor.

Karbach Brews Available at FRESH:
Hop Delusion Imperial IPA
Love Street Kolsch-Style Blonde
Weisse Versa Wheat
Weekend Warrior Pale Ale
Rodeo Clown Double IPA
Hopadillo IPA
Staycation Session (Seasonal)
Sympathy for the Lager

Featured Beer: Love Street Kolsch-Style Blonde
A clear, all-barley pale ale with a bright, straw-yellow hue similar to a standard German pale lager. Light in color and malt character, the Kolsch-style fermentation process yields a light vinous character, which is accompanied by a slightly dry, crisp finish.

The crew at Karbach has a special description for their Kolsch blonde: In the 1960s on Allen’s Landing sat Love Street, a hot spot of music and social impact. The venue hosted eclectic characters ranging from open micers to the Lizard King himself. Love Street was not only a place but also a state of mind – a place to unwind and let the music refresh your soul. Likewise, Love Street is a state of mind. Brewed in the Kolsch-style and hopped delicately with floral German hops, this beer boasts a clean malt profile that refreshes to the core, without sacrificing character. So, crack one open and find your own Love Street. ABV: 4.9%, IBU: 20

Recommended Food Pairings:
Summer salads, calamari, shrimp, ceviche, grilled white fish or chicken

Spicy Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients:
2 Tbs salt
3/4 cup lime juice, divided
1 lb medium shrimp
1/2 red onion, small diced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 small habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and small diced
1/2 avocado, small diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Directions:
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and 1/4 cup of lime juice. Add shrimp; boil until shrimp are pink and begin to curl. Remove shrimp to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the shrimp from cooking. Let shrimp cool. Discard water and ice. Peel and devein shrimp; remove tails.

In a fine mesh sieve, rinse the onions in cold water. Shake off excess water. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, 1/2 cup lime juice, peppers and onions. Place in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes. Add the cucumber, avocado and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Stir together all ingredients, and serve in chilled bowls or glasses.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes




Beat the Summer Heat with Girard’s Salad Dressing

Girard’s Salad DressingIf I know Texas, we will still have at least another month of high summer temperatures. That also means freshly grown produce will still be available, and we have more time to enjoy light summer meals and whole meal salads.

Browsing the salad dressing aisle, it’s apparent with all the great choices in brands and flavors that one would never get bored with salads. I like to use dressing for more than just salads, though. It’s great for marinating, tossing with vegetables before roasting and stirring into cooked rice.

That’s why I often grab a bottle of Girard’s Salad Dressing. The flavor is great with so many things, and it’s filled with wholesome ingredients. There are many varieties to choose from in light, gluten-free and regular flavors. Plus, you have to trust a brand that’s been around as long as Girard’s.

In 1939, Chef Pierre Girard created a sophisticated line of salad dressings in San Francisco. He started with the Original French Dressing and gradually added varieties. Since then, Girard’s dressings now come in a whole line of flavors as distinctive as its triangular bottles.

With a bottle of Girard’s dressing, you’ll have a delicious, light meal that is full of fresh flavor. I might be able to handle a few more weeks of Texas summer, after all!

Marinated Grilled Tuna Steaks with Couscous

Ingredients:
4 tuna steaks, 1 1/2-inch thick
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups couscous, cooked
3/4 cup Girard’s Champagne Salad Dressing, divided
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/3 cup almond slivers, toasted
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
5 oz fresh baby spinach

Directions:
Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Place tuna on a plate, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle tuna with oil. Grill fish for 3 minutes per side or to desired temperature. Slice into thin strips. To prepare couscous, combine 1/2 cup salad dressing, thyme, almonds, apricots and scallions in a bowl. Add spinach and gently toss. Arrange salad mixture on plates; top with grilled fish. Drizzle remaining salad dressing over the fish and serve.

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Posted in: Grocery, Recipes




Super Summer Dinners with Full Circle Fish

Grilled Ahi Tuna with Avocado-Mango SalsaThe summer heat is here, and that calls for light meals that are easy to prepare. That’s why I keep Full Circle frozen fish in my freezer – easy to thaw, cook and eat at a moment’s notice.

The selection, which includes Sockeye Salmon, Keta Salmon, Mahi-Mahi and Ahi Tuna, is all-natural and wild-caught from fisheries that are Best Aquaculture Practice-Certified.

All of the choices are great for grilling, searing or baking in the oven. A few techniques that I enjoy are cooking salmon on cedar planks, wrapping Mahi-Mahi in a parchment packet with lemon and white wine, or grilling Ahi Tuna with a light citrus sauce.

The fillets are individually vacuum-packed and can be thawed within 30 minutes in room-temperature water. After thawing, simply add you seasoning and get ready to cook. It’s that easy, and the results are delicious!

Grilled Ahi Tuna with Avocado-Mango Salsa

Ingredients:
Salsa:
1 avocado, diced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 mango, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 small jalapeño, seeds removed and minced
1 Tbs fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Tuna:
2 Full Circle Frozen Ahi Tuna Fillets
coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper

Directions:
Place all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat grill to high and clean grates very well with a wire brush. Lightly oil the grates with cooking spray, or dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and use tongs to rub the towel over the grates.

Lightly oil and season the steaks. When the grill is very hot, add the steaks. Reduce heat to medium. Let sear for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and sear for the same amount of time on the other side. If the fish is sticking, give it another 30 seconds before attempting to turn. It may not be ready to release. Grill to desired doneness. Tuna steaks have the best flavor when cooked to medium-rare.

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BREW CLUB: True Vine Brewing Company

True Vine Brewing CompanyFounded in Tyler in 2011 by Ryan Dixon, Stephan Lee and Dan Griffith, True Vine Brewing Co. is the culmination of hard work and big visions. It is the first microbrewery in the East Texas area, and each quality-crafted beer is a creative expression of its founders. With more than 12 years of combined brewing experience, the True Vine team has worked hard to build the craft beer scene in the East Texas community.

They began brewing 10-gallon batches in their garage and transitioned to a 1,400-square-foot space where they brew 50-gallon batches of beer. The first official True Vine kegs were sold in January 2014.

More than just an East Texas brewery, True Vine strives to create true, authentic community through integrity and love in all they do. From artistically driven beers to the OPEN TAPS events they hold monthly in their Brewery BackYard, every specialty, handcrafted beer represents depth of concept and flavor.

In 2015, they expanded their production, and they can now brew 1200% more handcrafted ales. They’ve added new brews to their beer list and now offer their Mermaids & Unicorns Blonde and Rose City Pale Ale in cans. Find both on the beer aisle at FRESH.

Featured Beer
Mermaids & Unicorns Mythical Blonde was inspired by all the fairytale worlds the founders of True Vine experience as dads of six girls in the True Vine Brewing family.

The aroma of Mermaids & Unicorns is malty, biscuity and bready, and it holds hints of peach, banana and vanilla aromas from the late addition of Cascade and Jarrylo hops. This smooth, clean-finishing, mythical blonde is perfect for the Texas heat and cuisine.

Beer and Brown Sugar Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:
2 cups water
2 cups True Vine Mermaids & Unicorns Mythical Blonde
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup beer
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
In a saucepan, heat water, sugar and salt. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved; remove from heat. Slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups of beer, keeping foam from developing. Place chicken in a baking dish, and pour the liquid over the chicken. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.

When ready to grill, place the honey in a measuring cup, and microwave for 20 seconds to soften. Stir in the mustard, pepper and the additional 1/2 cup of beer. Remove chicken from the brine and discard the brine. Heat grill to medium. Place chicken on the grill, and baste with the beer-honey mixture while grilling. Grill on both sides, basting often until chicken is cooked through.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine




Cool and Creamy Coconut-Milk Ice Cream

Cool and Creamy Coconut-Milk Ice CreamThere’s nothing better on a hot summer day than ice cream ­— cool, creamy, refreshing and delicious in any flavor you choose. However, there are those with dairy allergies who can’t enjoy this cold summer treat.

Twenty years ago when my nephew was born with milk allergies, there were no dairy alternatives. Now, there are so many dairy-free ice creams that everyone can enjoy. The flavor and texture are great, and there is little difference between traditional and dairy-free.

NadaMoo Coconut-Milk Ice Cream is one of our favorites. In 2004, the founders started making small batches of coconut-milk ice cream for their own dairy-free friends and family in Austin, Texas. It wasn’t long before other people found out how delicious it was, and strangers were calling them for pints of the ice cream. That’s how NadaMoo began.

For this company, including great, wholesome ingredients is just as important as the ice cream being dairy-free. Each batch is USDA-organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, kosher and fair-trade certified.

This multi-generational, family-owned business makes their products in the “heart of Texas.” Their family-oriented passion project has united dairy and dairy-free fans, joining a gap between non-dairy and delicious.

At FRESH, you can find four flavors: Lotta Mint Chip, Vanilla…Ahhh, Creamy Coconut and Gotta Do Chocolate. Give them a try! You won’t be able to taste the difference!





Full Circle Snacks Add to Vacation Fun

Full Circle Snacks Add to Vacation FunSummer is here, and you know what that means: time to plan the summer vacation! Of course, that usually means endless hours in the car anxiously waiting to get to your destination. Meanwhile, everyone is asking you, “Are we there yet?” or my other favorite, “How much longer?”

While you can’t make time pass any faster, you can make the car ride more fun. Packing a food bag filled with wholesome Full Circle snacks will certainly keep smiles on everyone’s faces. Since Full Circle products are filled with all-natural, organic, wholesome ingredients, it makes snacking a real pleasure instead of a guilty pleasure.

Full Circle is Brookshire’s wellness and USDA-certified organic brand that provides a healthy, environmentally-conscious eating and living experience for the entire family. At FRESH, you can find several great choices for summer snacks. Some of my favorites are the Full Circle Organic microwave popcorn, the graham crackers and the PB Blasts Organic cereal. Just fill up some snack-sized plastic bags with assorted treats and you’re ready to go. There’s also a great selection of juices for filling the cooler.

So, get the car packed, the food bag ready and the cooler iced down. Once you hit the road, your Full Circle snacks will make a long drive seem like no time at all!

Full Circle Favorites:
Fruit Juice
Cereal Bars
Dried Fruit
Fruit Snacks
Peanut Butter
Assorted Cereals
Graham Crackers
Cheese Crackers
Snack Crackers
Popcorn
Animal Cookies
Condiments
Plus MORE!

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Posted in: Grocery, Kids, Organic




BREW CLUB Style of the Month: American Pale Wheat Ale

Description:
Lagunitas’ A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ AleA refreshing summer style, this Americanized version of a German Hefeweizen ranges within the pale to golden range in color. It has a long-lasting head with a light to medium body, and higher carbonation is proper. Traditionally more hoppy than a Hefeweizen, American wheat beer differs in that it should not offer flavors of banana or clove. Most use a substantial percentage of wheat malt. It can be made using either ale or lager yeast. Generally brewed with at least 30-percent malted wheat, these beers are typically served with the yeast in the bottle and pour cloudy. There may be some fruitiness from ale fermentation, though most examples use a fairly neutral ale yeast, resulting in a clean fermentation with little to no diacetyl.

Featured Beer:
Lagunitas’ A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale: Very smooth and silky. A truly unique style featuring a strong hop finish on a silky body. A hoppy pale wheat ale that is great for IPA fans but so smooth that the hefeweizen fans like it, too.

The ale smells of grapefruit and orange. When you take a sip, you get that splash of citrusy hops along with some earthy hops before it smooths out to some wheaty goodness, and finishes creamy and a little bitter. Lagunitas beers are known for their distinct flavors. Once the hops fade, the wheat character starts to emerge.

Lagunitas is a very hop-forward brewery, and there is no doubt about it with this beer. If you have friends that don’t like hoppy beers, have them try this. I bet they won’t be able to put it down. ABV: 7.5% IBU: 65

American Pale Wheat Ale Food Pairings
These beers pair well with any light flavors and creamy textures. Try them with grilled chicken or fish with lemon as the seasoning, Caesar salad, fettuccine Alfredo and soft cheeses like Camembert, mozzarella or goat cheese.

Recipe:
Grapefruit-Glazed Shrimp with Grapefruit Salsa

Ingredients:
Grapefruit Salsa:
1 orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped
1 grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbs green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbs cilantro, chopped

Shrimp:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 grapefruit, juiced (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions:
Mix orange, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato, jalapeño, green onions, cilantro and a dash of salt in a bowl. Cover and chill about 4 hours.

Light the grill or heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, grapefruit juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Add shrimp to the marinade, stirring well to coat. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Thread shrimp onto wooden skewers. Cook the shrimp until just done, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Brush each side with glaze while grilling. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining glaze to a boil. Boil for 1 minute; remove from heat and pour over shrimp skewers.

Top with grapefruit salsa.

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Innovative Marinade with an Old-Fashioned Story

Daddy Hinkle's Instant Meat MarinadeDaddy Hinkle’s Instant Meat Marinade is dedicated to the story of J. Frank Hinkle. Created by his grandchildren, the product line features wet and dry marinades that bring award-winning-steakhouse flavor to your table.

Daddy Hinkle’s father was born in 1860 in Missouri at the beginning of the Civil War. By the time his son, J. Frank, was born in 1886, the family had moved to Arkansas. Later, they would travel through Paris, Texas, and finally reach the Oklahoma Territory around the turn of the century.

He received a spotty education at best after moving from town to town following his father’s water-well drilling wagon. The young man was very much on his own at the age of 14 when his life of work and adventure began.

In search of his destiny, he traveled all over and worked at any job he could find. He finally found his calling in Texas. Oil was the new gold at the turn of the century, and he began in the oil fields as a roughneck. He worked his way up to driller then tool pusher. With parts from junkyards and by using his own hands, he built his first steam-driven oil rig.

As an oilman, Daddy Hinkle entertained a lot of people in restaurants and at home. He loved a good T-bone steak. His wife “doctored up” the steaks with a combination of garlic salt, tenderizer, celery salt, paprika, seasoned salt, pepper and everything else she could find in the kitchen cabinet.

Whatever the combination of seasonings, the steaks proved to be irresistible to everyone who dined with Daddy Hinkle. Since 1994, the marinades, seasonings and rubs have carried on the legacy of Daddy Hinkle.

The marinades and seasonings are sold at FRESH in a combination pack, dry seasoning on one side and wet seasoning on another. Daddy Hinkle’s is a two-part marinade that is easy to use and delivers superb flavor to all your favorite meats: steak, chops, grilled chicken, wild game, ribs, roast, brisket and more. Simply wet the meat with the liquid seasoning, and then sprinkle the dry seasoning on all sides. Puncture the meat with a fork in several places, and let stand for a few minutes at room temperature. Cook as desired and enjoy.

In addition to the original flavor, the dry seasoning also comes in a Southwest flavor that adds cumin and oregano to the mix. The dry seasoning is also great to sprinkle on grilled veggies or toss with roasted potatoes. It’s also delicious mixed into fry batters and anywhere you need a boost of flavor.





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