Summer Basil Tortellini

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This hearty pasta salad uses local basil, tomatoes, cucumbers and peas. It’s a great way to show off the flavors of the season!
To make this pasta salad you will need:
4 cups tri-color cheese tortellini
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
1 cup fresh tomatoes chopped
To make the dressing you will need:
1/2 cup basil, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup asiago cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook until tender. Drain and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl combine all dressing ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour over cooled tortellini and toss to coat. Add prepared veggies and toss to combine.
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One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes

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These delicious vanilla cupcakes are easy as….well, pie. They require one bowl, ingredients you probably have in your house right now and self-restraint because boy, are they tasty! We like to top ours with vanilla or chocolate buttercream and then garnish them with some small local blooms. These have mini zinnias on them and we think they add some nice color.
To make the cupcakes you will need:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With the paddle add butter, sour cream, egg, egg yolks, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth; scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula. Divide batter evenly among cups in muffin tin. Bake until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and transfer to wire cooling rack. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make the vanilla buttercream frosting you will need:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons whipping cream
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together beginning on low and moving it up to medium, whisking for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and cream and whisk until you reach the desired consistency, adding more cream or sugar as needed.
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Let’s Toast: Blueberry Honey Lemonade

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Blueberries are becoming abundant. Our favorite place to get them besides the Saturday Farmers Market is from Dallas Sexton, one of our trusty local growers. Not only can you pick up a pint (or 10) from Dallas at our Tuesday Growers Market, you can also head out to his farm and pick them yourself. Then after you’re done sprinkling them into yogurt and granola and baking them into muffins and pies, make a delicious simple syrup with water and honey and add it to fresh squeezed lemonade. Be sure to pick up honey from Woodland Apiaries at the market too! For directions to Dallas’ farm and to learn more about harvesting opportunities click here.

To make the simple syrup you will need:
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of fresh blueberries (frozen will work too)
In a medium sauce pan combine honey, water and blueberries and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine sieve, pressing out as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and set mixture aside to cool.

To make the lemonade you will need:
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
5-6 cups cold water
1 batch of blueberry simple syrup
vodka (optional)
In a large pitcher combine lemon juice, water and syrup. Stir to combine. Serve over ice with a splash of vodka. Garnish with fresh blueberries and lemon slices.
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Celebrate Summer with Gluten-Free S’mores

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We have so many great camping spots available to us in this area and what is camping without s’mores? Just sleeping on the ground, outside really. It’s the s’more that really bring that camping feeling. And if you’ve recently cut it from your diet it can quickly feel like you’ll never eating anything delicious again. Well, fear not gluten-freers! We have put together these gluten-free (and vegan, to boot) s’mores that are so good, you’ll never miss the gluten-full version. We made them with Smoreables graham crackers from Kinnikinnick Foods, which specializes in gluten-free foods, Dandies gluten-free and vegan marshmallows and Alter Eco dark chocolate with sea salt.

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Our New Transparent Take On Local

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Written by Kyle Parkins, Produce Manager

It is green on the Palouse and everything is growing, which makes this one of the best times of the year to be working in the Co-op’s Produce Department. And with the wonderful variety of produce that arrives in the summer season, now is the perfect time for us to refocus on what’s most important to us in the Produce Department—local fruits and vegetables.

We are trying to increase the amount of produce we buy from local growers and, in turn, sell to our owners and shoppers. Any grocery store you go to has a designation for “local” products—but how do they define local? Where are these local products coming from? We made it a goal to be as transparent as possible about where and from whom our produce comes from. To accomplish this goal we have made a few changes to the way we operate as a department.

First, we changed our definition of “local” to better reflect our goals. So now, when we refer to local produce, it means that the fruit, vegetable or flower was grown within 50, 100 or 200 miles of our store and purchased through direct farm sales to the Co-op. The produce is either certified organic, certified naturally grown, or local no-spray. With the extended definition, there will be several items that used to be labeled as local that will now be labeled as regional. In the past, many of the apples that we got from Northwest wholesalers were labeled as local because they came from within 200 miles of the Co-op. Those apples are now considered regional, saving the local label for only the apples that come directly from the growers. Second, when we can get enough of a particular local product, we won’t bring that product in from our wholesale distributors. For example, in June we had a vibrant variety of leafy greens and salad mix from our local folks, so we didn’t bring in any of those same items from the distributor. Going forward we are going to continue with this practice.

With these changes we seek to make local produce abundantly available to our shoppers, communicate a clear and concise message about the origin of our local produce and reinforce our commitment to supporting our local growers.

Click here to learn more about our local producers.

Apricot Peach Milkshakes

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There’s nothing better than celebrating the tastes of summer. We mean the kind of celebration that involves sweet, juicy, drip-down-your-entire-arm peaches. While simply eating a peach is wonderful, we, at the Co-op, like to take things a step further- what can we say? We’re overachievers. This recipe for Apricot Peach Milkshakes takes the freshest seasonal flavors and combines them with delicious, locally produced milk and ice cream to create a treat that is out of this world.

To make these milkshakes you will need:
1 juicy peach (overripe is ok too), cut into chunks
2-3 apricots, cut into chunks
3 cups good vanilla ice cream (might we recommend Sticky Fingers Farm?)
1/2 cup of milk (from either Little Bear Dairy, available in the store or Tourmaline Farms, available at the Tuesday Growers Market)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. We like to serve ours with these great paper straws that we’re now carrying.

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