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 mush 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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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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From the Co-op Kitchen: Kale Salad

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It’s a-blazing outside and you (like us) probably dread turning on your oven. It might even already feel like an oven in your house, so why make it worse, right? Well, here’s a  a great side dish or main course that requires minimal cooking. And now that our local growers have tons of delicious, fresh kale you can get get your ingredients directly from the source- just come on down to the Tuesday Growers Market and buy it from the person who grew it! To make this tangy kale salad you will need:
1 bunch of kale (Red Russian or Green Curly are good choices), leaves removed from ribs
2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, rehydrated with boiling water and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon safflower or olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup safflower oil

In a medium skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and drop mushrooms in. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms until they release their juice, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl combine the kale, mushrooms and tomatoes. In small bowl whisk the garlic, mustard, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and vinegar. Slowly whisk in oil until well combined. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Add feta cheese and gently toss.
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Grill Guide: Bratwurst

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Step up your grilling game with some of the Co-op’s own bratwurst! The Co-op is proud to offer a variety of bratwurst and sausages made in-house from ground whole-muscle pork shoulder. They are seasoned with natural and organic spices and are encased in natural hog casing.

It’s best to cook bratwurst or other sausages at a lower temperature, over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy with spicy mustard, buns made fresh by the Co-op bakery, sauerkraut and one of the Co-op’s many craft beers. For beer suggestions click here and here!

Kids in the Kitchen: Red, White and Blueberry Parfaits

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Celebrate this grand ol’ nation of ours with this simple and delicious recipe that is really easy for kids to assemble. Berries, granola and yogurt are a healthy and filling snack for the whole family and this patriotic version can’t be beat. You’ll be humming the national anthem all the way to the bottom of the glass!
To make the parfaits you will need:
Greek yogurt (we used honey sweetened)
raspberries
blueberries
your favorite granola
Starting with yogurt on the bottom, layer ingredients however you like until you reach the top of your glass. Enjoy!

Homemade Dog Treats

DogTreats1We know that you think of your dog as your furry, four-legged child, so why not spoil them with these simple homemade dog treats? This 3-ingredient recipe is sure to get Fido’s tail wagging.
To make the dog treats you will need:
1 cup natural peanut butter (grind your own is best)
1 cup 2% milk
2 cups brown rice flour
Preheat oven to 325. In a medium sized bowl mix all ingredients until well combined. Transfer mixture to parchment paper on your counter. Place another piece of parchment paper over the top and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using your favorite cookie cutter (we used a bone shape) cut out shapes and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Re-rolling scraps as necessary. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until treats begin to look cracked.

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Grilling Guide: Best Burgers Yet

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Burgers are a summer staple and we’re here to make sure you’re equipped to make the best burgers yet. Follow our recipe and simple tips, then sit back, relax and watch your friends and neighbors chow down with delight. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when grilling burgers is handling them too much. You want to form your patties quickly and loosely, season with salt and pepper and then place them on a well heated grill. Another great piece of advice is to only flip the burgers once and DO NOT (for the love of grass-fed beef!) press down on your patties. Doing this only releases the moisture that’ll make your burgers the juiciest in town. And backyard grilling is about creating envy among grillers, no?!

To make these burgers you will need:
11/2 pounds of ground chuck, 80% lean
coarse salt
ground black pepper
4 slices sharp cheddar
4 large burger buns
4 lettuce leaves
4 slices tomato
½ sweet onion, sliced into thick rings
Mayo and ketchup, optional
4 burger buns from the Co-op Bakery

Prepare and heat grill. Gently form four patties, being careful not to over-handle as it can lead to tough meat. Generously season both sides with salt and pepper. Place burgers directly over flame and grill for 3 minutes. Flip over and place once slice of cheese on cooked side. Grill for 4-5 more minutes for medium. Toast buns on grill. Place burger on bun and top with veggies, mayo and ketchup.