Jul 30

Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa www.cobornsblog.com

Ashley Maurer www.cobornsblog.comSalsa has always been something we had on hand growing up, and that is still true for me today. It’s a great addition to many recipes and is always a hit when put out with chips for an appetizer. One of the best things about salsa is it can be made so many different ways using such a large variety of ingredients.

I decided to try canning salsa this year for the first time and I am definitely happy with the result. I’ll be adding this to my yearly canning list from now on! This is such a fun thing to make since you have so much control over what to put in it.

Here is how I did mine:

 

Ingredients:
5 Cups Tomatoes, peeled & cored (about 13-15 medium)
2 ½ Cups Bell Peppers, chopped & seeded (2-3 medium)
2 ½ Cups Onions (2 Large)
1 Cup Hot Peppers, chopped & seeded (10-20 Jalapeno, Serrano, etc.)
¾ Cup Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Cilantro, finely chopped

Equipment:
8-10 Half Pint Jars, with lids and rings
Knife
Cutting Board
2 Medium Bowls
2 Large Pots
Small Pot
Slotted Spoon
Funnel Or Glass Measuring Jar With Handle
Jar Lifter (optional)
Jar Separator (optional)

Homemade Salsa Steps www.cobornsblog.comDirections:
Start by putting hot water into pots. If you bought tomatoes, make sure to remove any stickers and vines. Put tomatoes into one of the large pots and bring to a boil.

In the other large pot, bring half pint jars to a boil to sanitize. Bring lids to a simmer in small pot.

While those are going, start chopping other veggies, making sure to wear gloves while cutting peppers. This can be time consuming so keep an eye on the tomatoes as you chop. Just toss all the finished veggies in a bowl.

The skins of the tomatoes will split, meaning they are ready to take out. We let ours cook for a while even after they split since it softens them further. It’s not an exact science; so don’t worry if they stay in a little longer while you are finishing up chopping other veggies.

Take a slotted spoon and carefully scoop out tomatoes setting them in a separate bowl. Empty water out of the pot and set back on stove. Carefully take each tomato in the slotted spoon and run under cold water so you are able to peel off the skins without burning your fingers. Once the skin is removed, take a knife and cut out the core. Discard cores and skins.

Place cored tomatoes back into the same pot they were boiled in. Cut up any large chunks. Add all the other veggies and vinegar to the tomatoes. Bring to a medium boil and stir frequently so the bottom doesn’t burn. Mixture should thicken up as it cooks, about 10-15 minutes.

Once thickened, pull out jars from boiling water using a tongs and pour water out of them. Set them on a towel (open side up) and space them out. Then take a glass measuring cup with handle, or a ladle, and carefully fill each jar. If you don’t have a funnel, use a spoon to direct salsa into jars. Leave half inch of space at the top.

This recipe should make about 8-9 half pint jars of salsa, but it can vary. If you have a partial jar you can set that one in fridge to use first since they need to be filled to seal properly.

After they are filled, carefully wipe the rims if needed. Take lids out of simmering water and place on jars, followed by rings. Using a towel or hot pad, carefully screw rings on to tighten lids in place. Try to avoid touching the center of lid.

Once lids are on, place jars into boiling water again. The water should not cover the lids, so remove some water if needed. Boil for 15 minutes and remove, setting on a towel to cool. The small half pint jars seal relatively fast, so within a few minutes you may hear the “pop” of the seal setting. Let them sit and cool overnight before moving them. Store in a cool dry place out of the sun.

Now you will have salsa you can enjoy all year round, if it lasts that long! Don’t be afraid to play with the ingredients. I did 3 different colors of bell peppers and 2 different colors of onions. This can be adjusted depending on what you may have growing in your garden or what you are able to buy. Just try to keep the amount the same even if you change the variety of that ingredient. I’ve also included another free printable label sheet you can use to show the date it was made and what flavor it is.

Have fun and happy chopping!

Ashley
Coborn’s Inc. Graphic Designer

Homemade Made Easy www.cobornsblog.com

Jul 28

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

A rose is a rose is a rose. What to consider when buying roses. www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Stop & Smell the Roses with Dar

Dar

Wow how the summer has flown by and now we enter into August. The last month before school starts and everyone’s summer becomes a memory. The flower gardens still look very nice and soon the fall mums will be coloring our front porches. With all the summer and fall colors that brighten our world we still look at roses to be a special flower. Yes some of us are able to grow them in our short MN growing season but our greenhouse growers still do a great job providing us with them year round.

During the month of August we have a rose special of a dozen roses for only $7.99, which is a savings of $7.00. This gives our guests a great opportunity to have fresh flowers in their homes and offices. It’s a great time to give someone a gift of roses. They can be a friend, neighbor, family member or the love of your life. There is a saying that certain colored roses mean different things, but that isn’t as important as choosing the color that strikes your eye. Some people just love orange or yellow or pink, and because they’ve been told that red is for love, that’s the color they go with. Well people, it’s time to pick your colors and enjoy roses for their beauty.  The colors have been grown in so many different shades and colors and bi-colors that anything goes.

Even though I’ve attached the meaning of the roses on the bottom does not mean I agree or disagree with the meanings, it’s just that everyone needs to choose by personal preference. Personally I like to mix it up a little bit and get different colors by the mood I’m in, or by what mood my husband is in.

Rose Colors And Meanings - www.cobornsblog.com

Dar
Coborn’s Floral Manager, Sauk Rapids, MN

Click Here for more articles written by Dar.

Stop and Smell the Roses Blog with Dar - www.cobornsblog.com

 

 

 

Prices Valid August, 2015

 

Jul 26

Weekly Ad Recipe – Tuna With Avocado Salsa

Weekly Ad Recipe - Tuna With Avocado Salsa www.cobornsblog.com

If you like tuna on the grill you are going to love this recipe. Adding the salsa to this recipe puts it over the top. The flavor of lime juice, cilantro and a little spice from the jalapeño is fantastic! Enjoy… I did!

Jayne,
Coborn’s Inc. Meat And Seafood Merchandiser

Tuna With Avocado Salsa
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 Lbs. Fresh Tuna Steaks
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • 2 tsp. Chili Oil
  • 2 T. Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. Salt
Salsa
  • 1 Cup Avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Kiwi Fruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Med. Green Onions, Chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Chile, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 T. Lime Juice
  • 2 T. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. In small glass dish, mix remaining tuna ingredients.
  2. Add tuna; turn to coat with marinade.
  3. Cover; refrigerate, turning once, at least 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours to marinade.
  4. In medium bowl, mix all salsa ingredients; refrigerate.
  5. Spray grill rack with cooking spray.
  6. Heat gas or charcoal grill.
  7. Remove tuna from marinade; reserve marinade.
  8. Place tuna on the grill.
  9. Cover grill; cook over medium heat 11 to 15 minutes brushing 2 or 3 times with marinade and turning once until internal temperature of tuna reaches 145 degrees.
  10. Discard any remaining marinade.
  11. Top tuna with salsa.
Notes
Suggested Wine Pairing Toad Hollow Chardonnay

 

Jul 23

Homemade Pickles

Homemade Pickles www.cobornsblog.com

Ashley Maurer www.cobornsblog.comGrowing up I remember the end every summer my mom would take over the kitchen. The counter would be covered in jars, dill and cucumbers. The smell of the vinegar and fresh dill is not something that is easily forgotten.

This year my husband and I decided to grow our own garden for the first time. We have been very fortunate to have plenty of veggies, more than the two of us can eat. Last year we canned homegrown cucumbers that were given to us, so this year we are excited to pickle our own homegrown cucumbers.

Since I wanted to get this blog out in time for canning season, I bought cucumbers from my local Coborn’s store. The fresher the cucumbers are the better the pickles will turn out.

Here’s the method I used. This can be easily adjusted if you are doing larger batches.

Ingredients:
7-9 Medium to Large Cucumbers (quantity varies depending on size)
12 Garlic Cloves (2 Per Jar), peeled and smashed
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
6 Large Bunches Fresh Dill Flowers Per Jar Or
1 tsp dill seed Per Jar

Brine:
4 Cups Cider Vinegar
4 Cups Water
6 Tbsp Pickling Salt or Kosher Salt

Equipment:
Knife
Cutting Board
6 Wide-Mouth Pint Jars With Lids
Funnel Or Glass Measuring Jar With Handle
Large Pot
Medium Pot
Small Pot
Jar Lifter (optional)
Jar Separator (optional)

Homemade Pickles Steps www.cobornsblog.comDirections:
First you want to make sure to sterilize the jars and lids by boiling them in a large pot of water for about 10 minutes. This will help kill any bacteria and increase the time they will stay preserved when stored in a cool, dry place that is out of the sun. If you are only doing a couple jars and are going to store them in the fridge, you can just wash the jars in hot soapy water or run them through the dishwasher on a sanitize cycle by themselves. You will still have to boil the lids in a smaller pot or they wont seal properly.

While the jars are getting sterilized, you can prep the cucumbers. Wash them very well and rub the skin with your hands to get any little prickly pieces or dirt off. Cut off the end with the blossom and discard that piece. It contains enzymes that can prevent the pickles from getting nice and crisp. Then cut them into spears or chips as desired.

To make the brine combine water, vinegar and salt in a pot and bring to a rolling boil ensuring all the salt has dissolved.

Pull the jars out once while the brine is heating up. A tongs works great for this. Set them open side up on a towel. Carefully add dill (or Dill Seed), smashed garlic cloves and any other optional ingredients to each jar. Fill the jar the rest of the way with the cucumber spears or chips until full. Make sure they are about ½ inch below the top of the jar. Pack them nice and full but try not to smash them.

Once brine is boiling, carefully pour using a ladle or glass measuring cup with a handle into each jar of cucumbers. A funnel comes in very handy for this. If needed, tap the jars on the counter to get any air bubbles out. Add more brine if needed until the cucumbers are covered, about ½ inch from the top.

Once the brine is in the jar, take a lid out of the small pot of boiling water. Using a fork for this may be helpful. Place lid on jar and screw ring on until tight. Jars are hot, so carefully hold with towel or potholder if needed.

At this point you have two options. If you’re only making a couple jars and want to be able to eat them sooner, you can let the jars sit out at room temperature overnight. Ideally they should seal as they cool making a slight “popping” noise. If they don’t pop that’s fine, they just wont keep quite as long. So any that don’t pop make sure to eat up first! After they have cooled, put them in the fridge and let them sit for at least a couple days before opening them.

If you want the pickles to be processed for longer storage, then you have one more step. After putting lids and rings on each jar, place the jars in boiling water. A jar separator will help the water circulate around the jars better, but if you don’t have one, just make sure the jars are spaced out as best as you can and that the water doesn’t go over the top of them.

The boil may subside after you place them in, so after it comes back to a full boil set the timer for no more than 5 minutes. I set mine for 4 so I didn’t feel rushed to get them out. Remove the jars carefully and let them sit out to cool overnight.

In the morning make sure the lids are sealed. If you can push down on any of the lids and hear a popping noise that means they didn’t seal properly. Put those in the fridge to eat first. The rest, once cooled and sealed can get placed in a cool, dry place out of the sun. Wait at least 8 weeks before opening. After they are opened make sure to store them in the fridge.

And that’s it! It takes a little bit of time to do, but the results are worth it. I’ve also included a free printable label sheet you can use so you know what date they were made and what flavors they are. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Some other ingredients you can try putting in to spice things up are red pepper flakes, jalapeño peppers and Serrano peppers just to name a few.

Another great thing about canning is the timing is great for Holiday gifts. If you process them for long-term storage, they will be ready to eat by winter. You can even put a piece of fabric on them or tie some ribbon around them to add some Holiday cheer.

Have fun and happy canning!

Ashley
Coborn’s Inc. Graphic Designer

Homemade Made Easy www.cobornsblog.com

Jul 21

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

Homemade All-Natural DIY Hand Soap - www.cobornsblog.com

Homespun with Lori - www.cobornsblog.com

Lori

Foaming hand soap was one of the first things I started making on my own when I began to transition to natural products in my household.  This recipe is extremely simple, super cost-effective and knowing the ingredients are safe for my family to use is an awesome extra perk.

The Bottle

For this blog I am using a foaming soap dispenser that I purchased online. However, you could also reuse a foaming hand soap dispenser that you already have on hand from one of those bath stores, I think you know the one I am referencing.

Free Printable Label

Once again, I have provided you with free printable labels. Click here to open and print using Avery 42395 labels.

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap
 
Ingredients
  • Empty Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser (About 8 Oz. Container)
  • ¼ Cup Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 Drops Veriditas Good Samaritan Essential Oil
  • Distilled Water
  • 2 Drops Scented Oil of your Choice i.e. Lavender, Lemon, or Orange (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Add liquid castile soap to the soap dispenser.
  2. Add essential oil(s).
  3. Slowly pour water into the soap dispenser, leaving about 1 inch of space at top so mixture does not overflow when replacing cover.
  4. Replace cover, close and lightly swish to mix.
Notes
Dry hands? Try adding 1-2 Drops Vitamin E Oil to help moisturize your skin.

 

Lori
Senior Administrative Assitant

Click Here for more articles written by Lori

Homespun with Lori - www.cobornsblog.com

Jul 16

How to pair Beer with Food

How To Pair Beer With Food - www.cobornsblog.com

How To Pair Beer With Food - www.cobornsblog.comGreat beer tastes even better when you surround it with the right things – family, friends, music, sports, and of course, food.  The three main ingredients in beer—malt, hops and yeast—are the elements to consider when pairing.

Malt

Malt is sweet; it’s often roasted, which caramelizes its natural sugars. Beers like porters and stouts often draw out chocolate and coffee notes from the malt, which, along with their robust character, pair well with barbequed meats.

How To Pair Beer With Food - www.cobornsblog.comHops

The variety of hops used to flavor beer can be bitter, floral, fruity and even spicy. If you are cooking spicy food, you will certainly enjoy an element of spice in your beer. I would highly recommend a hoppy India pale ale here.

Yeast

The final ingredient is yeast. American wheat beers, Belgian style witbiers and hefeweizens generally have stronger yeast flavors and pair well with lighter foods, such as seafood and salads.

How To Pair Beer With Food - www.cobornsblog.comA few of my other pairing favorites include farmhouse ale with grilled kabobs, pale ale with burgers, a good pilsner with chicken and brown ale with pork or sausage. With endless flavors, aromas, and textures, you can find a beer to pair with practically any food. It’s hard to go wrong with a good beer and grilling on a warm summer day.

What's On Tap with Wade - www.cobornsblog.com

Wade

Until next time,
Cheers!

Wade
Coborn’s, Inc. Beer Category Manager

What's On Tap with Wade - www.cobornsblog.comClick Here for more articles written by Wade.

 

Jul 14

Quick and Easy Seared Ahi Tuna

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

Jayne

Hello again, I am just returning from being on the road for three weeks in one of our stores helping set up their meat and seafood department.  As I was working I discovered a new hidden goodie and was so excited about it that I couldn’t wait to share with you.

It’s called Bumble Bee Super Fresh Seared Ahi Tuna with Garlic-Peppercorn Rub. If you love Sushi, you are going to love this product! It’s like having a Sushi Chef right in your own home.

The Ahi Tuna is Wild Caught, quick seared to lock in the freshness, seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, peppercorn and garlic powder and the fillets are thinly sliced and vacuum-packed for freshness.  It’s so easy all you have to do is place it in the refrigerator, thaw and then it is ready to serve.

Here are a couple ways I have discovered to serve this product.

Toss it in a quick salad with fresh greens and top with ginger dressing.

Tuna Ginger Salad - www.cobornsblog.com

Fold, place on a cracker and top with fresh chopped cilantro or bean sprouts and a drizzle of hoisin sauce, soy sauce or wasabi.

Quick and Easy Seared Ahi Tuna Appetizer - www.cobornsblog.com
The crackers make an awesome appetizer for those great summer grilling parties or elegant appetizers for the holidays this December.  Now grab your favorite glass of wine, sit down and relax and enjoy….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

Jul 9

Keepin’ your skin Local!

Local Products for your skin sold at Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com Naturally Close to Home with Rhonda

Rhonda

The good news is that many people are eating healthier these days.  That can mean many different things depending on your starting line.  For some, it’s adding more fruits and vegetables and less Twinkies.  For others, it means choosing organic food more often and reducing exposure to toxic chemicals.  It can also mean purchasing more local items, which are generally fresher and help support the local economy.

But what about what you put on your skin, not just in your mouth?  You may remember from that high school biology class that your skin is actually an organ.  In fact, it’s your largest organ, covering 20 square feet.  That’ a lot of skin!  Some medicines are delivered through the skin, via a patch or cream.  So, that must mean that what you put on your skin goes into your body!  Now, isn’t that a thought!

Imagine you are pondering the next great fountain of youth product to make you even more beautiful.  How about slathering this on your face:

Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Niacinamide*, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Panthenol**, Polyethylene, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4***, Sodium Peg-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Tocopheryl Acetate^, Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract^^, Dimethiconol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Peg-100 Stearate, Dmdm Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Aminomethyl Propanol, Laureth-4, Laureth-7, Disodium Edta, Fragrance * Vitamin B3, ** Pro-Vitamin B5, ***Amino-Peptide, ^ Vitamin E, ^^ Green Tea

Ick.  Well, it does have Green Tea as the last ingredient.  Since they list the ingredients in order from most to least, they probably just waved a tea bag near the container.  I won’t name the product, but many skin care labels look like this.

Let’s try this instead:

99% Natural Ingredients: aqua(water),organic cold pressed olea europaea(olive)fruit oil, hamamelis virginiana(witch hazel),kosher vegetable glycerin, organic helianthus annuus(sunflower) oil, organic cocos nucifera (coconut), cetearyl alcohol, organic butyrospermum parki (shea butter)fruit,lavendula augustafolia(lavender) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.

That is Purple Prairie’s Lavender Lotion, made by our friends in Clearwater, Minnesota.  I can read and understand those ingredients!  I’d much rather put coconut and olive oil on my skin that crosspolymers.  And I am certain I will remain just as radiant.  Because there is no fountain of youth, sadly.  The secret is to keep your skin moisturized, get some fresh air and be happy.  And I hear buying local keeps you beautiful, too!

Purple Prairie Botanicals was started in 2000 by Bethany Albers.  She would sell her products to friends and co-workers (including my mother!) and then at farmer’s markets.  I was so thrilled when she was ready to be sold at Coborn’s.  All Purple Prairie products are free of:

  • Petroleum
  • Parabens
  • Synthetic Dyes
  • Artificial Preservatives
  • Animal Ingredients
  • Detergents
  • Sulfates
  • GMOs
  • Gluten

We’re proud to offer products with these high standards.  They have great scents from essential oils and most everyone can find one they like.

Plus, as I have said many times before, when you buy local, your money stays in the community.  When you purchase a Purple Prairie item, that money goes back to Bethany and her team in Clearwater.  They may be spending their money in your restaurant, or your uncle’s gas station or on your kid’s school fundraiser.

Enjoy your summer.  Keep buying local, which is easy to do when our store is full of beautiful tomatoes and sweet corn and other seasonal offerings.  But remember your skin all year long!

Rhonda
Coborn’s, Inc. Natural Foods Category Manager

Click Here for more articles written by Rhonda

Naturally Close to Home with Rhonda - www.cobornsblog.com

Jul 7

Getting enough Calcium

Foods Containing Calcium - Getting enough Calcium - www.cobornsblog.com

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

Ashley

From a nutrition standpoint, many people think of dairy products being rich in calcium and vitamin D.  Yes, that is true, but you still always want to check the label of percentage daily values of these nutrients to make sure in fact your dairy selection is high in those nutrients. Wait, let’s back up, why do we care about calcium? Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates. National nutrition surveys have shown that most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones.

When looking at daily value (DV), 5% of a nutrient is considered low in that particular nutrient and 20% or higher is considered high in that particular nutrient.  I always remind people to check their yogurts, especially for vitamin D.  Many have vitamin D, but most of them only have a little bit.  Be sure to read those labels and check out the percentage daily value section of the nutrition facts panel.  Also, be sure to choose low fat options as dairy products can be very high in saturated fat, the not so good fat, the fat we want to limit each day.  It is recommended to consume no more than 20 grams per day according to the FDA, however if you have heart disease or another condition it is most likely lower.

Dairy products are a great way to get calcium, but what if someone is lactose intolerant, on a special diet, or just doesn’t care for dairy products, what are some other food choices rich in calcium, you ask? Well here is a list of different food items and their amounts of calcium.  I have also included a chart below that shows how much calcium you should be taking in each day!

Keep in mind, if you don’t have lactose intolerance, dairy is a great food group to include each day. And did you know that all of those alternative milks like almond milk and coconut milk are not necessarily better for us.  Check out last month’s blog to learn more!

Calcium Contents - Getting Enough Calcium - www.cobornsblog.com

Recommened Calcium Intakes - Getting Enough Calcium - www.cobornsblog.com

Peach and Wellness,
Ashley

Click Here for more articles written by Ashley
Eat Healthy Shop Smart with Ashley - www.cobornsblog.com

 

 

Jul 5

Weekly Ad Recipe – Steak & Mushrooms With Grilled Balsamic Onions

Weekly Ad Recipe - Steak And Mushrooms With Grilled Balsamic Onions www.cobornsblog.com

You are hearing more and more about Balsamic vinegar and there is a reason why… it’s GREAT! Mixing the mushrooms and onions with the vinegar really adds flavor to this whole recipe. Then taking the extra step of adding chili powder, garlic pepper and cumin to the steak puts it over the top. Enjoy….I did!

Jayne,
Coborns Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Steak & Mushrooms With Grilled Balsamic Onions
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Med. Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 1 Cup Sliced Fresh Mushrooms
  • 4 Beef Boneless Ribeye Steaks
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Pepper Blend
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cumin
Instructions
  1. Heat closed grill for 5 minutes.
  2. In medium bowl, toss onion with dressing.
  3. Remove onion from dressing with tongs; place on foil on grill.
  4. Reserve dressing in bowl.
  5. Close grill. Grill 4 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, toss mushrooms with dressing in bowl.
  7. Add mushrooms to grill with onions.
  8. Close grill. Grill 2 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  9. Remove vegetables from grill; cover to keep warm.
  10. Brush beef steaks with remaining dressing in bowl.
  11. Sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt, chili powder, garlic pepper and cumin.
  12. Place on grill.
  13. Close grill. Grill until internal temperature of steak reaches at least 145 degrees.
  14. Serve onions and mushrooms with steaks.
Notes
Suggested Wine Pairing Toad Hollow Cabernet Sauvignon