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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California Chopped Salad

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Summer produce is coming on strong and this versatile, fresh salad is the perfect way to let your veggies shine. Feel free to add or subtract any ingredients to suit your tastes and what you have in your fridge or garden. A chopped salad is a great dish to bring to a backyard bash since it’s easy to whip up and easier to eat than some leafier salads.

To make this salad you will need:
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely minced
2 ears of corn, kernels sliced form the cob
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

For the dressing you will need:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Place all salad ingredient in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
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Let’s Toast: Watermelon Cooler

WatermelonCooler Well, it looks like it’s finally warming up outside (we won’t hold our breath, though), and this simple recipe for a Watermelon Cooler is perfect. It can easily be made non-alcoholic by omitting the vodka.
To make this cocktail you will need:
3 pounds watermelon
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups ginger ale
1/4 cup vodka
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
fresh mint and lime wedges for garnish
ice cubes
Puree watermelon in a food processor or blender. Muddle mint with sugar in a large pitcher and fill with ice cubes. Stir in 2 cups puree, ginger ale, vodka, and lime juice. Garnish with fresh mint and lime wedges.

Weekend Baking: Seasonal Fruit Tart

FruitTart1Turn those delicious berries into a fabulous fruit tart using our simple and quick short dough recipe. You’ll be the hit of brunch, except for the Bloody Mary bar, of course.
To make the dough you will need:
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons half & half
In the bowl of a mixer combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut softened butter into pieces and add to flour. Mix on low until crumbly. Add egg yolk and half & half and mix until dough comes together. Scoop dough out and place in the bottom of a tart pan. Pat it down on the bottom and up the sides and prick the bottom with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake unfilled tart dough for 22 minutes, until barely golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

To make the pastry cream you will need:
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
In a small bowl, mix half of the sugar with the egg yolks. Add flour and salt and mix until light in color, about 3 minutes. In a medium saucepan combine milk and remaining sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly stir half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly, being careful not to curdle the eggs. Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Over medium heat, stir constantly while bringing mixture back to a boil. Stir until the custard becomes very thick. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. While the custard is cooling place whipped cream in the bowl of a mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip the cold cream on medium, slowly moving up to high until the cream is thick. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled custard and poor into tart shell. Spread evenly with a spatula.

To make the fruit topping:
1-2 cups of berries or sliced fruit
1/4 cup apricot preserves
In a small saucepan heat the preserves until they become liquid. Arrange berries on top of the pastry cream and brush the warm preserves over the top.

HOW-TO: Grill Ribeye Steaks

Ribeye1If you’ve missed the scent of your barbecue wafting through your backyard, fear not– it’s that time of year again! We’re working on putting together a complete grilling guide that will be available in the store and on our website, but for the purpose of whetting your proverbial whistle, we thought we’d get you started with this simple recipe for grilled ribeyes with spicy grilled onions. But first, a little about Country Natural Beef, the Co-op’s main beef supplier:

Country Natural Beef is one of the nation’s leaders in natural beef production and the Co-op’s main beef vendor. The cooperative consists of nearly 100 family ranches located in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Texas, Montana, Arizona and Hawaii. These families own more than 100,000 mother cows managed on millions of acres of private and public lands. And, they have developed important working relationships with leading restaurateurs and retailers across the nation.

 From Doc Hatfield, founder of Country Natural Beef:
“Our consumers know where the cattle come from, and they know the people who produce it.They know what the producers’ land ethics are. They know the product will taste good every time. They know that the cattle are treated well. They know that we embrace humane animal-handling practices. These things have allowed us to remain economically and environmentally viable, two of the goals we set out to accomplish more than 30 years ago.”

 

To make this delicious dish you will need:
2 10-ounce ribeye steaks
salt
pepper
olive oil

 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced into thick rounds (do not separate)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare and heat grill. Brush steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Once grill is hot, place steaks over flame. Meanwhile, brush onions with olive oil and sprinkle salt and cayenne on both sides, then place on the grill. Cook steaks, only turning once, about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Cook onions until they have browned. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

In store now: Melons

MelonsThere’s not a cloud in the sky (for the minute) and we think melons help soak in those Springy, warm feelings just fine. Available in the produce department now, here’s a fine looking group for your tasting pleasure:

  1. Personal watermelon (with seeds)- $1.19/pound
  2. Trace Me seedless personal watermelon- $1.19/pound
  3. Galia melon- $2.19/pound (a hybrid melon that looks like a cantaloupe on the outside and a honeydew on the inside, very sweet)
  4. Crenshaw melon- $3.49/pound- (another hybrid melon with a sweet orange flesh)
  5. Honeydew melon- $1.99/pound
  6. Charentais melon- $1.99/pound (French cantaloupe)

Let’s Toast: Fresh Strawberry Sparkler

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This tasty cocktail recipe uses freshly pureed strawberries to bring out the flavors of the season. We’ve had great deals on organic strawberries lately, so be sure to stop in and pick up a container!
To make the cocktail you will need:

2 cups hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 bottle chilled Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
In a blender, puree 2 cups hulled and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. In a pitcher, combine strawberry puree, cup 1 bottle chilled or other dry sparkling wine, and 1 sliced into rounds, and stir gently.

Egg Dyeing with Natural Dyes

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Egg dyeing is a ton of fun for the whole family, and now with Natural Egg Dye it’s safe too! Made from veggies, fruits and herbs the package of four dyes costs $9.99 in the Wellness Department at the Co-op.
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Simply mix the powdered dye with a 1/2 cup of hot water, let eggs soak for 10-20 minutes (depending on the intensity you’re after), then let dry, hide, find and enjoy!
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