Sep 18

National Bourbon Heritage Month

Septepmber is National Bourbon Heritage Month. www.cobornsblog.com

With the summer coming to an end there is still time for celebration.  September is National Bourbon Heritage Month.  Let me explain what makes a whiskey a bourbon (all bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are bourbons).

Federal Law states that in order to be called a bourbon a few requirements must be met.

  1. Produced in the United States
  2. Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn
  3. Aged in new, charred oak barrels
  4. Distilled to no more than 160 proof
  5. Entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof
  6. Bottled at 80 proof or higher
  7. Nothing can be added during the bottling other than water

If the product is made meeting these requirements, it can be sold as a bourbon.  However, the exception is straight bourbon, which has to be aged for a minimum of two years.  If a straight bourbon is aged less than four years, it must have the age stated on the bottle.

I would love to give you the origin of bourbon, however, there are many conflicting legends and claims; some more credible than others.

If all bourbons are made this way, do they all taste the same?  The answer to the question is no.  Remember 51% is the minimum amount of corn that can be used.  Distillers may decide to use more than that.  The length of time the bourbon has been aged will affect the taste.  Where the bourbon is placed to age in the Rick House, as well as the addition of other grains such as wheat or rye affect the end result.  These are areas where distillers get to use their creativity.

We will be celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month the entire month of September.  Be sure to stop in and pick up your favorite bottle or maybe try a new selection.

I will leave you with this old Kentucky Proverb – “Keep Your Friends Close and Your Bourbon Closer.”

Harley - Coborn's Blogger - www.cobornsblog.com

Harley

Harley
Coborn’s, Inc. Liquor Category Manger II

Sep 16

What is Quinoa?

What is Quinoa? www.cobornsblog.com

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient grain that originated in the Andean region of South America, mainly Peru and Bolivia. Although it is a grain crop, quinoa is grown primarily for its edible seeds. Because it is high in protein and gluten free it makes a great substitute for side dishes made with pasta and rice. On the store shelves you can find pasta, chips and even veggie burgers made from this incredible seed.

A nutrition powerhouse–one cup of this nutty tasting, creamy-yet crunchy-versatile grain is very low in sodium and cholesterol. It packs 24 grams of protein in a one cup serving and is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and an especially good source of manganese (173% DV) which helps to fight free-radicals and helps to prevent high blood pressure.

In 1955 researcher Philip White pronounced, “While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any in the plant or animal kingdom.” Even with such a great proclamation quinoa is just now starting to gain some popularity as a good for you, good tasting food, and even then mostly in the Natural/Organic section of the grocery store.

I put together and tested out a couple of recipes on some family, friends and co-workers. The response was a big ‘umm-umm good!’ I adapted recipes I’ve used rice or pasta in in the past on the first two and swapped out some of the oatmeal for quinoa on the last.

Give these recipes a try and wow your family too…not just with a great tasting dish but with your new found knowledge and ability to pronounce the oddly spelled featured ingredient…Quinoa (remember—keen-wah!)

Southwestern Quinoa Salad /  Dip Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

Southwestern Quinoa Salad/Dip

Southwestern Quinoa Salad/Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 Green Onions sliced
  • To Taste Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 15 Oz. Can Black Ceans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Hot Pepper Blend or Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 ½ tsp. Ground Cumin
  • ¾ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • To Taste Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring quinoa and water to boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  3. Simmer for 15- 18 minutes or until quinoa is softened and all water has been absorbed.
  4. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, onions and black beans in a 2 quart bowl
  5. In a small bowl or blender bottle mix well the peppers, cumin, salt, black pepper into lime juice and olive oil.
  6. Pour over quinoa mixture, gently stir to coat well.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve chilled later.
  8. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Notes
Also makes a good dip for sturdy chips. I used lentil chips. Umm-umm good!

 

Cheesy Broccoli with Quinoa

Cheesy Broccoli with Quinoa
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • To Taste Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine broccoli, broth and quinoa in a medium size saucepan; bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the quinoa has been softened and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Gently stir in cheese, season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and serve.
Notes
Great side dish with any kind of meat, especially fish!

 

Apple Crisp with Quinoa

Apple Crisp with Quinoa
 
Ingredients
  • 4-6 Medium Size Tart Apples, sliced
  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup Flour
  • ⅓ Cup Thick Rolled Oats
  • ⅓ Cup Quinoa
  • ⅓ Cup Butter, softened
  • ¾ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. Nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375º.
  2. Spread out apples in a greased 8x8x2 square pan.
  3. Mix the rest of ingredients and sprinkle over apples.
  4. Bake until golden brown & apples are softened, about 25-35 minutes.
Notes
Best served warm with vanilla ice cream!

I hope you enjoy these tasty Quinoa recipes!

Cheryl
Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager, Clearwater, MN

Sep 13

Weekly Ad Recipe – Lime Mint Melon Salad

Weekly Ad Recipe - Lime Mint Melon Salad www.cobornsblog.com

This recipe can either be a salad or served as a very refreshing dessert. It has a citrus flavor tied in with a hint of mint. This is a recipe you can serve with any meal that you are planning. You can also use a melon baller with this fruit instead of cubing them for a more elegant occasion. Enjoy…I did!

Jayne
Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Lime Mint Melon Salad
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ Cups Cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1½ Cups Honeydew, cubed
  • 1 tsp. Lime Peel, grated
  • 3 T. Lime Juice
  • 2 T. Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped or 1 T. Dried Mint Leaves
  • 1 tsp. Honey
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, toss ingredients.
  2. Cover; refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.

 

Sep 11

Feeding Dogs and Cats for Life Stages

Feeding Dogs and Cats for Life Stages - www.cobornsblog.com

Feeding Dogs for Life Stages

Feeding Adult Dogs

When a dog reaches full maturity, he enters the maintenance period. Normal healthy dogs that are not pregnant, nursing or hardworking have relatively low nutritional requirements for maintaining an appropriate body condition. Good body condition for a dog is defined as:

  • One in which the animal is well proportioned
  • Easily observable waist behind the ribcage
  • Ribs can be felt with a slight fat covering over them

Dogs fed a complete and balanced diet do not need supplemental vitamins, minerals, or meat. If supplemental meat or table scraps are fed, they should account for no more than 10% of the total diet. Higher levels can dilute the nutritional value of a dog’s diet, predispose him to obesity and may create a finicky eater.

For dogs with lower caloric needs and/or for dogs that are less active, attention should be paid to the potential for excessive weight gain. Overweight dogs may have more health problems and a shorter life expectancy Often a dog’s weight can be reduced simply by eliminating table scraps and treats from the diet and by avoiding high-energy dog foods.

Feeding recommendations for adult dogs can vary, depending upon the breed, activity, metabolism and owner’s preference. Whether or not a dog is fed once or twice each day, he should be fed at the same time, and fresh drinking water should always be made available.

Feeding During PregnancyFeeding dogs during pregnancy - www.cobornsblog.com

Regardless of the breed of dog, the female should be at least one year of age and in at least the second heat period before she is bred. If males are overweight, they may be physiologically and anatomically inefficient for mating. Overweight females can have lower conception rates and more problems at whelping. If possible, each dog should be fed as an individual to achieve and maintain normal body condition.

During the last two to three weeks, requirements for all nutrients for pregnant females will increase, and caloric requirements can be met during this last trimester by gradually increasing the female’s food intake. Diets containing more than 1600 metabolizable calories per pound of food and at least 21% protein are recommended. The easiest way to ensure proper nutrition is to feed a good-quality dog food that is labeled complete and balanced for reproduction and growth, or for all life stages.

Unless a female has a tendency to put on too much weight during pregnancy, she can be given all the food she wants to eat. It is not unusual for a pregnant female to temporarily decrease her intake at about three to four weeks into the pregnancy. Normally, she will eat more during the latter phase of pregnancy. However, if this does not occur and body condition begins to deteriorate, steps should be taken to increase food intake. This can be done by moistening dry food with warm water to improve palatability, or by adding small amounts of canned dog food to the dry food and feeding several times each day. As whelping nears, the female may lose her appetite. This is considered normal behavior, and unless she appears to be having a health problem, no change in the feeding program is necessary. In many cases, food refusal during the ninth week is an indication that whelping will occur within the next 24 to 48 hours. Usually within 24 hours after whelping, the female’s appetite will return. After the puppies are born, she should receive all the food she wants.

During reproduction, water serves as a carrier of nutrients to the developing fetus and removes wastes for elimination. Fresh water in a clean bowl should be available at all times.

Feeding During Lactation

The demand for milk by nursing puppies will continue to increase for about 20 to 30 days (or up to 4 weeks). Consequently, the female’s food and water requirements increase during this time. At peak lactation, the female’s food intake may be two to four times above her usual or maintenance food intake. In order to maintain good body condition and to provide ample amounts of milk for the puppies, nursing females should be offered all the food they want.

Moistening dry dog food with water will help increase food intake during lactation. Another important reason for offering the dry food moistened is that at three to four weeks of age, normal puppies will start nibbling solid food. As puppies begin to eat more solid food, the demand on the female for milk production will decrease. Normally puppies are weaned between six and eight weeks of age, and by weaning time, the female’s food consumption should be less than 50 percent above her usual or maintenance level.

To help reduce the milk flow and prevent mammary gland problems, the following procedure for weaning is recommended:

On the day the puppies are weaned, the female should not receive any food, but should have plenty of fresh water to drink. The puppies should be separated from the dam and offered food and water. Dry food moistened with warm water may help stimulate the puppies’ food intake. On the day after weaning, the dam should receive 1/4 the amount of food she was fed prior to being bred. The dam and puppies can be grouped together for several hours on the day after weaning so that the pups can nurse the dam dry. On the third day, the female should receive 1/2 the amount fed prior to breeding, and on the fourth day, 3/4 the amount. By the fifth day she should be offered her usual maintenance level of food. If the litter is large, the female may be quite thin when the puppies are weaned. In this case, she should be given extra food after the fifth day of weaning and until her body condition returns to normal.

What to do when your dog refuses to eat. - www.cobornsblog.comRefusal to Eat

If your dog is normally not picky about its food and if you have avoided creating “problem eater” habits, a trip to your veterinarian may be in order. Any deviation from his normal habits may be a sign of illness. Offering variety in pet foods encourages a dog to become a “holdout” to see what it will be offered next. Some dogs are eager to eat a particular pet food for several days. Suddenly this eagerness vanishes and they eat reluctantly or refuse to eat for a few days. This refusal can be the dog’s own attempt to control calorie intake. Overeating can cause a dog, like a human, to experience an uncomfortable feeling. The dog will attempt to relieve his discomfort by not eating or eating very little of his food.

Transitioning To a New Food

If for health or other reasons you must change your dog’s diet, do it gradually over a seven to ten day period. Add a small amount of the new diet to the food currently being fed. Each day increase the quantity of the new diet and decrease the amount of the old. This gradual diet change helps avoid digestive upsets.

Feeding Nursing Puppies

As a rule of thumb, each puppy in a litter should gain approximately its birth weight each week during the lactation or nursing period. While most females are excellent mothers, some nervous or inattentive dams may require special attention to help them calm down and accept their new offspring. This may involve working with the dam and/or puppies, and placing pups near nipples at feeding time. Poorly nursing puppies may be smaller in size, cooler in body temperature and weigh less. Routinely handling the pups will allow for an opportunity to check their condition and progress, although excessive handling may be stressful for the dam and pups and should be avoided.

Introducing Puppies to Solid Foods

Introducing Puppies to Solid Foods - www.cobornsblog.comBy six weeks of age, most puppies are ready to be weaned. If they have started to eat solid foods from the dog’s dish, it is not unusual for puppies to begin to wean themselves at about four to five weeks of age. Young puppies should be fed an appropriate puppy life stage food at least three times a day until their food requirements, per pound of body weight, begin to level off as they mature. Feeding schedules can be reduced to twice a day when pups are four to five months old, and once a day when they are eight months or older. Fresh water in a clean bowl should be available at all times. Warm water or milk can be used to moisten dry food, however, too much milk can act as a laxative and cause digestive problems for some puppies and adult dogs. One hour should be allowed for a puppy to eat, after which the uneaten portion should be discarded. Establishing routine eating habits by feeding a puppy in the same place and at the same time each day is recommended and can help in housetraining. Offering human foods from the table is not recommended because it encourages begging and may create a finicky eater. Puppies consuming a complete and balanced diet do not need supplemental vitamins, minerals, or meat. The amount of food offered to a puppy will vary depending upon its size, activity, metabolism, and environment. For the best results, develop a regular feeding schedule, such as three small meals a day for younger pups. You can gradually reduce to one feeding in the morning and one in the evening as your puppy ages. An overweight puppy not only presents a poor appearance, but the excess weight can cause bone abnormalities. Anytime owners have questions or concerns about their animal’s body condition, they should consult their own veterinarian.

Feeding Older Dogs

Aging dogs are defined as older or geriatric when they have reached the last 25 percent of their expected life span:

  • Small breed dogs greater than 12 years of age
  • Medium breed dogs greater than 10 years of age
  • Large breed dogs greater than 9 years of age
  • Giant breed dogs greater than 7 years of age

Some signs of aging are described as:

  • Changes in body weight
  • Difficulty in locomotion (movement)
  • Changes in hearing and/or eyesight
  • Changes in skin and/or hair coat
  • Changes in urine or bowel habits
  • Bad breath associated with teeth or mouth problems

Current commercial diets formulated for adult dogs at maintenance generally provide adequate protein. Less active animals may have reduced energy requirements, and caution should be used when feeding energy dense diets to avoid the risk of excessive weight gain.

Feeding Cats for Life Stages

How to feed kittens - www.cobornsblog.comFeeding Kittens

Kittens require about twice the energy per pound of body weight as a mature cat. Kittens should be completely weaned by six to eight weeks and be accustomed to a regular diet of a complete and balanced growth-type food for kittens. It is recommended that kittens be fed three to four times a day during this period of rapid growth, and a source of fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Moistened dry food or canned food left at room temperature can become unpalatable and may even spoil if left out for several hours, so uneaten portions should be removed and discarded after one hour. As with other animals, any diet changes should be made gradually over a 7 to 10 day period to avoid causing digestive upset.

Kittens tend to be “occasional” eaters as they take a large number of small meals throughout the day. After consuming a small portion of the food, the kitten leaves and returns at intervals to eat. This behavior should not be confused with a reluctance or refusal to eat. If food refusal is prolonged and/or the kitten shows signs of illness such as listlessness, diarrhea, repeated vomiting, discharge from the eyes or nose, straining to urinate or constipation, or unusual hiding in dark places, a veterinarian should be consulted. From seven months to one year, kittens should be fed twice a day. Kittens should be fed as individuals, and amounts to feed will depend upon activity and body condition. If a cat becomes overweight, her food intake should be lowered. A veterinarian can help the owner assess the cat’s body condition and, if necessary, help plan an appropriate weight reduction program.

Feeding Adult CatsFeeding Adult Cats - www.cobornsblog.com

An adult cat with normal activity requires only a maintenance diet. A good-quality commercial cat food that is complete and balanced for maintenance or for all life stages is appropriate to feed to adult cats. Cats should be fed as individuals and the factors that influence the amount of food a typical adult cat requires to maintain good body condition include activity level, temperature, and body metabolism. An ideal body condition is one in which:

  • The animal is well proportioned
  • Has an observable waist behind the ribcage
  • Ribs can be felt with a slight fat covering over them

Because cats tend to be nibblers or “occasional eaters,” they should have access to their food throughout the day. And, as with other animals, an available source of clean, fresh water is important.

Cats require a higher level of dietary protein and a different nutrient balance than dogs. Like kittens, mature cats require the addition of taurine to their diet. For this reason, cats should only be fed a complete and balanced cat food and never a dog food. A cat can be fed a maintenance diet after she is one year of age. Maintenance diets are not appropriate for kittens, or pregnant or nursing females.

Even when all factors are the same, two cats of similar size, age, and activity may need different amounts of food simply because they have different metabolism rates. A cat’s appetite and total food consumption will vary from day to day. Losses of appetite or reluctance to eat are not problems in adult cats unless they persist for several days or the cat shows symptoms of illness. If this happens, your cat should be examined by a veterinarian.

Feeding During Pregnancy

While nutrition is a key factor in keeping a cat healthy, its importance is heightened during gestation and lactation. Diets labeled for adult maintenance, intermittent feeding, or therapeutic uses are generally inadequate for gestation and lactation. A diet selected for feeding during this time should be labeled as nutritionally complete and balanced for all life stages or for growth and reproduction. If a maintenance diet is fed prior to breeding, a gradual changeover should be made to a diet appropriate for reproduction during the last trimester of pregnancy.

Throughout gestation, the female may show a slow, steady increase in body weight and at the same time a gradual increase in food intake. Hormonal and behavioral changes that occur during reproduction may cause periods of under eating, overeating, or not eating. However, if under eating is prolonged, or if the female’s body condition begins to deteriorate, she should be examined by a veterinarian for health problems. As littering nears, a female may also lose her appetite. Usually within 24 hours after delivery the female’s appetite will slowly increase.

Feeding During Lactation

Feeding cats during lactation. - www.cobornsblog.comFemales may have to be fed two or three times per day, and fresh water in a clean dish should be available. Dry food should be fed moistened during lactation to increase the female’s food and water intake, and to encourage kittens to start nibbling solid food.

When kittens are three to four weeks of age, interest in solid food begins and the female’s interest in nursing declines. Moistened food in a shallow dish should be available to the kittens for several hours each day.

For females that continue to maintain significant milk production, mammary congestion and discomfort can be a problem. Resolution of this problem may be hastened by limit-feeding the queen according to the following procedure:

On the first day of weaning, the queen should not be fed, but a source of clean water should be provided. The kittens should be separated from the queen and offered food and water. Dry food moistened with warm water may help stimulate the kittens’ food intake. On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days after weaning, limiting the queen’s food to 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 the usual amount, respectively, is recommended. By the fifth day, food intake should be resumed to the queen’s normal amount fed prior to gestation and lactation.

The Later Stages

Some veterinarians believe that cats reach their geriatric years around age 12. Other experts are more generous, categorizing cats as being “old” at about 15. When your cat is between the ages of 12 and 15, be on the lookout for behavioral changes. You may notice that he catnaps a lot more. It’s normal for some old cats to sleep more than 18 hours a day.

Because an older cat rests more and moves less, he may need fewer calories. Your veterinarian can suggest ways to reduce his caloric intake and still make sure he gets all the nutrients his aging system needs. And however tempting it may be to treat him to table scraps, it’s really not wise. Overfeeding a cat at any age – especially with fatty foods – is actually setting him up for obesity and related health problems in the future.

 

Special Thanks to Purina for providing this guest blog.
For more information about Purina Click Here.

Sep 9

Peak Pear Season… Great Recipes using Pears

Blueberry Pear Crisp Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Jayne

Well, it is September and all the kids are back in school. I remember when my son Derek, in his cute outfit & new back pack, left for his first day of school. The hardest part was hiding the tears as I waved goodbye. Now it is almost 25 years later and I’m hoping someday I will have grandkids to wave to as they start school. Someday my little munchkins will come, but for now I am baking for two!

I love all four seasons in Minnesota, but am most looking forward to seeing all the fall colors. Along with fall comes a popular fall fruit, the pear. The apple typically gets all of the attention in fall, but the pear is also at it’s peak and oh so delicious.

Recently, as I was shopping at my favorite store, Crafts Direct, and found the new ‘Mini Baker’. So this month I am passing on some pear recipes that you can bake using this new baker. This little baker is also great to use when you are making hot dips in the oven for those appetizer parties during the holidays.

Blueberry Pear Crisp Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

Blueberry Pear Crisp
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Small Pear, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ½ Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
  • 2 T. Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 T. All-Purpose Flower
  • 1 T. Old-fashioned Oats
  • ⅛ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 T. Butter or Margarine (firm)
  • Whipping Cream or Ice Cream, if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray mini bakers with cooking spray.
  3. Mix pear and blueberries; divide between two mini bakers.
  4. Mix brown sugar, flour oats and cinnamon in small bowl.
  5. Cut in butter with pastry blender or a fork until crumbly, sprinkle over fruit.
  6. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and pear is tender.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream.
Caramel Pear Crumble
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 6 Medium Ripe Pears, peeled, sliced (6-cups)
  • 1 Cup Caramel Bits
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 T. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ Pouch Oatmeal Cookie Mix (1-1/2 cups)
  • ¼ Cup Bold Butter or Margarine, cut into pieces
  • ¼ Cup Caramel Topping
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray each of 4 Mini Bakers with cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl, mix pears, caramel bits, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon until evenly coated.
  4. Spread into each dish.
  5. In same bowl, place cookie mix.
  6. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Crumble over pears.
  7. Bake 45 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown.
  8. Drizzle with caramel topping.

Because I love these little bakers so much I also thought it would be fun to make mini loaves of bread in them to give away as gifts, dish and all, to family & friends during the holidays. Perhaps I will have to share those recipes with you in a future blog, stay tuned. I hope you enjoy these great pear recipes this fall … I did!

- Jayne
Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Click Here for more articles written by Jayne.
www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends and Food with Jayne

Sep 6

Mini Meatball Meal Solutions

Just add mini meatballs. Mini Meatball dinner solutions. www.cobornsblog.com

A meatball so versatile, you can incorporate it into meals, morning – noon – or night! With back to school time here, this is music to the ears! Simek’s Mini Meatballs are designed to deliver you quality, convenience and delicious taste that can be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Knowing that this time of year can be just as stressful as it is fun – with juggling getting the kids on the bus to fitting in homework time after a busy night of after school activities – and serving tasty meals to our families is something we always want to get an A+ in, or even a straight A will do!

We really mean it when we say you can keep your “Dinner Hero” status because mini meatballs can be added to everything from eggs to skillet meals. And when those tummies are grumbling – which seems at times, is all the time – you don’t have to worry about finding a snack to get them through till dinner. Mini meatballs are precooked, so by simply heating them in the microwave, you can add them to your nachos, pizzas, and hoagies in no time – goodbye to the dreaded dinner wait! With a quarter-ounce size, little ones to adults find them perfectly portioned for even items like egg bakes, pizza, nachos, and many more items like the recipes shared below!

While you’re enjoying your Simek’s Mini Meatballs, also check out the Simek’s BIG Mini Giveaway. You could WIN an Mini iPad and Simek’s Mini Meatballs! Click Here for our contest on Twitter from September 6 through September 20, 2014!

Buffalo Mini Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Buffalo Lettuce Wraps - www.cobornsblog.com

Buffalo Mini Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg. Simek’s Mini Turkey Meatballs
  • ½ Cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Onions, chopped
  • 4 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 3 Oz. Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 12 Iceberg lettuce leafs (Romaine and Boston/Bibb lettuce are also good options)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
Instructions
  1. Cook Simek’s Mini Turkey Meatballs and chopped onions on stovetop until warmed all the way through.
  2. Add a ½ cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and stir until mini meatballs are coated.
  3. Prepare lettuce leafs and place heated meatballs and onions in center of each leaf, followed with crumbled blue cheese, shredded carrots, and chopped celery as garnishes.

 

Grilled Cheese Mini Meatball Rollups

Grilled Cheese Mini Meatball Rollups Recipe - Fun Twist to a Classic. www.cobornsblog.com

Grilled Cheese Mini Meatball Rollups
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Pkg. Simek’s Mini Beef Meatballs
  • 6 Slices White Bread
  • 6 Slices American cheese
  • 1 T. Butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Heat Simek’s Turkey Mini Meatballs in a pan until warmed all the way through.
  2. Cut crusts off of bread and roll with rolling-pin to flatten bread.
  3. Place 1 slice of American cheese on each piece of flattened bread, followed by 4 mini meatballs aligned in center.
  4. Roll sides of bread to center to create rollup.
  5. In frying pan place 1 tablespoon of butter and once melted add rollup.
  6. Heat for 5-10 minutes and turn regularly to brown all sides.

 

Mini Meatball Tortellini Soup

Mini Meatball Tortellini Soup Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

Mini Meatball Tortellini Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Pkg. Simek’s Mini Beef Meatballs
  • 1 Bag Frozen Tortellini
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Can Italian Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Block Cream Cheese
  • 3 Cups Baby Spinach
  • Parmesan Cheese Garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large crock-pot combine meatballs, tortellini, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cream cheese, and baby spinach.
  2. Cover and set on low for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.

 

Special Thanks to Simek’s for providing our Guest Blog on Mini Meatball Meal Solutions. Love these recipes and want more? Visit www.simeks.com/recipes

Sep 6

Weekly Ad Recipe – Grilled Swordfish

Grilled Swordfish Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

I’ve never had the pleasure of having Swordfish before but decided to listen to so many of my friends that said that Swordfish so wonderful. Well as usual they were right. The swordfish was so flaky and tender and the flavors were outstanding.  I even squeezed a little lemon juice over the top of the fish and the flavor of the peppers with a spray of lemon was fantastic.  Enjoy….I did!

Jayne
Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Grilled Swordfish
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper, julienne
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, julienne
  • 1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 T. Fennel Seed, crushed
  • 1 tsp. Ground Mustard
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. Pepper
  • 4 Swordfish Steaks (3-4 oz. each)
Instructions
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill.
  2. In 10” skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add bell peppers and garlic; stir to coat.
  4. Cover; simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix fennel seed, mustard, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of swordfish.
  6. Remove pepper mixture from heat; season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  7. Cover to keep warm.
  8. Carefully brush oil on grill rack.
  9. Place swordfish on grill over medium heat.
  10. Cover grill; cook 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature of fish reaches at least 145°F.
  11. Serve with pepper mixture.
Notes
Suggested Wine Pairing: Edna Valley Vineyards Chardonnay

 

Sep 2

Trade Up for a Better After School Snack

Trade Up for a Better Back to School Snack! #NuVal www.cobornsblog.comHey All! As I’m sure you are fully aware it is back to school, whether you are ready or not! Last month I blogged about nutritious breakfast options to fuel you and your child’s body before beginning your long day! All meals are important, but breakfast seems to be one of the most challenging as it tends to be very rushed.  Parent’s aren’t usually responsible for lunches as it is offered at the schools and the school lunches are now more nutritious than ever and continue to head in that direction!  So, today I will be blogging about better for you snacks for kids after school.  It may be before a sport or as they arrive off the bus.  After school snacks can be very tricky as a lot of the front of package labeling can be very misleading.

I remember as I was getting off the bus from school, I was starving! I couldn’t wait to have an after school snack.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t provided with the most nutritious options.  Back then, there wasn’t such a push for nutritious options and we were just on the verge of the childhood obesity epidemic. I would have snacks like mini corn dogs, pizza rolls, pizza, ice cream, cookies, cheese balls, Little Debbie’s nutty bars (they had peanut butter, so they had to be good for you), and easy mac! YIKES! I am honestly embarrassed to share that being a dietitian today!!!  I guess that just makes my improvements more significant.

Check out the image for all of my suggest snack trade ups! I hope these provide you with some ideas for healthy snack options for you and your families.

Happy Back to School!

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com

Peace and Wellness,
Ashley
Coborn’s, Inc. Registered Supermarket Dietitian

Click Here for more articles written by Ashley

Eat Healthy Shop Smart with Ashley - www.cobornsblog.com

Aug 30

Weekly Ad Recipe – BBQ New York Strip

BBQ New York Strip Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

This steak is one of my favorites because it has basil, Italian seasoning and Red Wine Vinegar as a marinade.  Serve a side of fresh salad with this steak and you have the perfect summer evening meal. Enjoy….I did!

BBQ New York Strip
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Minced Garlic
  • ¼ Cup Steak Seasoning
  • 1 T. Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Dried Basil
  • ½ tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 4-12 oz. New York Strip Steaks
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, steak seasoning, red wine vinegar, basil and Italian seasoning.
  2. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag.
  3. Pierce steaks on all sides with a fork, and place in the bag.
  4. Gently shake to coat.
  5. Seal bag and marinate steaks for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat grill for high heat.
  7. Lightly oil the grill grate.
  8. Discard marinade.
  9. Place steaks on the grill and cook 7 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches at least 145°F.
Notes
Suggested Wine Pairing: Alias Cabernet

 

Aug 26

Packing a Food Safe Lunch for School

Tips for packing a food safe lunch for back to school. www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Coborn's Food Safety Coordinator, Kim

Kim

Well, it’s hard to say it’s time to start thinking about “Back to School”.  AND when you ask most children what their favorite thing about school is . . . what do they say??  Recess and LUNCH, right?!

I’m here to share with you some tips on packing a safe lunch.  If you keep in mind The Food Safety “Recipe for Success” you will always be successful in preparing a safe lunch.   So let’s get started!

Clean your lunch box

But, wait  . . . first, we need to find that lunch box! For some kids, it may still be squished in their backpack from the last day of school!  When you find it or if starting with a brand new one – wash it up good with hot soapy water.  Also, make sure you have an insulated lunch box as they are much better at keeping items cold.

Clean all surfaces before meal preparation

As with all meal preparation, start with clean surfaces and clean hands. This is truly a critical step, even more so now because these meals will not be eaten immediately after preparation.  The Temperature Danger Zone, which is 41°F to 140°F, is the temperature range where bacteria like to grow.  Granted, we have our insulated lunch box; however, keeping in mind the time kids leave for school until lunchtime, could be 5-6 hours.  That’s a long time until lunch!  Even an insulated lunch box with freezer packs may not keep the food below 41°F for that entire time, so it is always best to start with clean hands and surfaces to minimize any bacteria that might get onto the food during preparation.

Wash ALL fruits and vegetables

Another “CLEAN” tip that cannot be overlooked is ensuring all fruits and veggies are thoroughly rinsed under running tap water prior to packing for lunch.  This also includes those with rinds and peels that are not eaten.    Bacteria on the surface can contaminate the edible portion when peeling or cutting.

Preparing the night before

I know for me the morning can be quite hectic, so preparing lunch(es) the night before makes for a somewhat less stressful morning.  If preparing the night before, keep lunch items in the refrigerator overnight and pack the next morning.  You can keep the entire lunch box in the refrigerator, but wait to add the frozen gel packs until right before the kids leave for school.  This will help keep the lunch as cold as possible during the long wait until lunch!  I always use a couple of frozen gel packs for good measure.  Frozen juice boxes also work great!  I also like the insulated lunch boxes that have a divider in them.  This allows me to place all of the items together that need to be kept cold with the frozen gel packs and separate from items like crackers, eating utensils or napkins.  No need for the frozen gel packs to keep those items cold!  Remember, the frozen gel packs (and frozen juice boxes) are not meant for all day storage.  Keeping food cold until lunch is the best they can do.

Perishable items must be tossed if not eaten

That being said, all perishable items (items meant to keep cold) that are not eaten at lunch should be thrown away.  Encourage kids to eat those items first.  Items like leftover crackers or a sealed (manufacturer sealed) shelf stable fruit cups can be kept for the next lunch.  Fruit cups purchased cold or prepared at home should be discarded if not eaten at lunch time.

Keep it cold

It is also good to remind your kids to keep their lunch boxes away from any heat sources once they arrive at school.  Do not store by heaters or in direct sunlight.

Using insulated containers

One final tip . . . when using insulated containers for food storage, either cold or hot food, it is best to acclimate the container to the temperature of the food it will be storing.  Depending on the food item, fill the container with either very cold or boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes.  Discard the water then fill with the food item.  This will help in maintaining the temperature of the food item.  Also, sorry, to point out the obvious, but if packing hot food, this will need to take place in the morning.  The insulated container will not keep the food hot overnight.

Enjoy what’s left of the summer!

Kim
Coborn’s, Inc RD and Food Safety Coordinator

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www.cobornsblog.com - The Ktichen Detetive