Appy Hour: Watermelon Feta Bites

WatermelonFetaBitesIt’s heating up outside, so make your grub a bit cooler! These simple watermelon feta bites are the perfect summer appetizers. Now, some of you may think we’re crazy to pair cheese with melon and mint, but trust us! The saltiness of the cheese combines with the sweetness of the melon and the coolness of the mint and it really works. Plus, they’re pretty to boot!

To make this appetizer you will need:
1/4 whole watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into i inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
olive oil (optional)
Place cheese on top of  melon cubes and sprinkle mint over the top. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Appy Hour: Rhubarb Ginger Compote

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Far be it for us to ever tell someone to ditch a pie recipe (after all, pie is a food group, right?), but rhubarb can be used for so much more! It’s natural tang lends to a nice pairing with sweetness, saltiness and a variety of spices. We serve this compote in the deli over pork roast, but you could also make bruschetta with it!  Try topping slices of toasted baguette with the compote and a salty goat or feta cheese.

To make this compote you will need:
1 pound of rhubarb trimmed into half inch slices
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, combine brown sugar, raisins, vinegar, ginger, capers, chili flakes and black pepper. Cook ingredients, stirring constantly, until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes. Add rhubarb to pot and cook until the rhubarb begins to break down and the mixture is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Let cool and serve. The compote will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Appy Hour: Grilled Almond Butter + Caramel Date Syrup Sandwiches

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Your typical PB + J just got a grown-up makeover! We used the Co-op’s Salted French bread, freshly ground almond butter and Date Lady Caramel Date  sauce, then grilled it with salted butter in a skillet on the stove. We also tested a batch with a new local Cabernet Sauvignon jam which was equally delicious.

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You can cut these into small triangles and serve them as an appetizer with grapes and cheese too.
To make the sandwiches you’ll need:
10 slices salted French bread (or other hearty white bread)
1 cup of freshly ground almond butter
8-10 tablespoons of caramel date sauce or wine jam
4-5 tablespoons butter

To assemble sandwiches, spread 2 tablespoons of almond butter on 1 slice of bread. Spread caramel sauce or jam over the almond butter and top with another piece of bread. In a large pan or skillet over medium heat, melt  two tablespoons of butter. Place assembled sandwich in pan and grill on each side until golden brown, flipping with a spatula halfway through. Cut into four pieces. Add more butter to pan and repeat until all sandwiches are grilled.

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Wine, Cheese + Chocolate Pairings, Part 2

If you find yourself hopelessly wandering around the wine section trying to figure out what will go perfectly with the cheese and chocolate in your cart, then this two part guide is for you. Be sure to check out part one.
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Featured left to right: rosé, pecorino, milk chocolate
Although the color is described as sweet, rosé is typically described as dry (the opposite of sweet). The color of rosé is developed from the juice of white grapes and the skins of their red counterparts. This often makes for a more subtle flavor which pairs well with the saltiness and nuttiness of a pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk. Because of the mild and dry flavor of a rose, a sweeter, creamy milk chocolate makes a tasty companion.

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Featured from left to right: Syrah, truffle sea-salt cheddar, dark chocolate with espresso beans
Syrah is a fuller-bodied dark red wine that starts out with deep fruity flavors and often tapers to peppery notes. This flavor profile makes a perfect match for the sharpness of an aged cheddar, especially the one pictured, with truffle and sea salt. The depth of flavor in syrah stands up well to the bitterness of dark chocolate with espresso beans in it.

RieslingGoudaCollageFeatured from left to right: Riesling, Gouda, chocolate with caramel and sea salt
Riesling, a sweeter white wine, is known for its notes of citrus, apricot and honey. It’s these flavors that pair nicely with the bold, buttery flavor of Gouda- smoked or not. A sweet Riesling is also an equal match for a milky chocolate with caramel, toffee and sea salt.

Wine, Cheese + Chocolate Pairings, Part 1

If you find yourself hopelessly wandering around the wine section trying to figure out what will go perfectly with the cheese and chocolate in your cart, then this two part guide is for you.
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Featured from left to right: prosecco, triple creme brie, dark chocolate with hazelnut + currant
Prosecco, a nice alternative to champagne, pairs well with the luxurious texture and high butterfat content of a triple creme brie. The bubbles in prosecco offer a nice refreshing balance to the creamy texture of brie and the sweet and salty flavor and crunchy texture of a chocolate loaded with fruit and nuts.

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Featured from left to right: cabernet sauvignon, blue cheese, 85% dark chocolate
This pairing is not for the faint of heart- or taste. These flavors are bold and complement each other well. The salt and tang of a blue cheese needs something more full-bodied to stand up to its pungent flavor. Enter cabernet sauvignon. Drinkers of cabernet sauvignon often note the flavors of dark fruit, oak and smoke all of which tame the strength of blue cheeses and super-dark chocolate. The red wine and dark chocolate also pack a one-two punch of antioxidants.

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Featured from left to right: chardonnay, plain goat cheese, white chocolate with strawberries
Often with citric notes and crisp flavor, a chardonnay balances well with the herbal and tangy flavors of chevre. The lightness of the chardonnay is also a perfect match for a fruity and buttery white chocolate, which can be overwhelming with sweeter wines.

Game Day with the Co-op: Chipotle BBQ Meatballs

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Meatballs make a great addition to your Super Bowl menu line-up- they’re hearty and make a great snack. This recipe was created by Sean Knox, the Co-op Kitchen’s lead cook and are full of flavor. They use ground beef, provided by Country Natural Beef, one of our local vendors, which is available for $3.59 per pound. (But come in now and buy 3 packs of ground beef and get $0.20 off per pound!) They are baked in the oven and then tossed  in a homemade Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

For the sauce you’ll need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup molasses (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 can chipotle in adobo, finely minced

Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, saute for one minute. Add spices and saute for another minute. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have combined. Remove from heat and blend in a food processor or blender, being cautious as the sauce will be hot.
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To make the meatballs you’ll need:
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo, finely minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix by hand until fully incorporated. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a greased baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with the sauce in a large bowl. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy! (Makes 35-40, 1 inch meatballs.)
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Game Day with the Moscow Food Co-op: Spinach + Artichoke Dip

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If you’re the kind of football fan that we are, Super Bowl Sunday is just as much about the big game as it is the food. While we can’t predict the outcome of the game, we can be sure that with the recipes we’re featuring this year your Super Bowl party will be better than ever. Today we have the Co-op’s Spinach + Artichoke Dip recipe. We offer it for sale in the deli (look for a coupon below) at $9.99 per pound, but here’s the recipe too.
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To make this dip you’ll need:
3 14 oz. cans artichoke hearts
3/4 cups cream cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, packed

Place everything, except Parmesan, in a large bowl and place spinach on top. Transfer half the ingredients to a food processor, making sure the spinach is on the bottom. Blend until smooth.. Add the rest of the ingredients and the Parmesan and blend until smooth.  Serve with corn chips, multi-grain chips or slices of baguette.

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Print this coupon and bring it into the store for super savings!

Appy Hour: Pear, Fig and Pecorino

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The holidays are coming whether we’re ready or not! This amazingly simple appetizer recipe is sure to wow your guests, while simultaneously letting you keep your sanity. You’ll only need 3, count ‘em 3, ingredients for this beautiful and flavorful dish:

Pears (whichever are your favorite)
Fig spread, Dalmatia Fig Spread $6.39
Pecorino cheese, $9.99 per pound

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Slice pears into 1/4 inch slices. Spread fig spread across entire pear slice.  Top with a shaving of Pecorino cheese. The sweetness of the pears and figs pairs really nicely with the saltiness and nuttiness of the sheep’s milk cheese.

Appy Hour: Sweet + Spicy Pecans

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Welcome to our first Beet Box Appy Hour! We understand the importance of getting together with friends and family.  And even more than getting together with loved ones, we understand the importance of tasty snacks (priorities, people!).  In our Appy Hour posts we’ll provide you with a simple and delicious appetizer recipe that is sure to make the next hostess step up her game.

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Our first Appy Hour recipe for Sweet + Spicy Pecans is toasty, tasty and sure to delight your guests. They pair lovely with cheese, olives and cured Italian meats like sopressata or prosciutto.

4 cups of pecans
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add sugar and spices, stir to combine.  Add pecans to pan and using a spatula coat the pecans with the butter and spice mixture.  Remove pan from heat.  Spread pecans evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven for 12 minutes, being careful not to over bake.

Try and eat just a few… we dare you.