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!
Coborn’s Inc. Meat And Seafood Merchandiser
Growing 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.
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
4 Cups Cider Vinegar
4 Cups Water
6 Tbsp Pickling Salt or Kosher Salt
6 Wide-Mouth Pint Jars With Lids
Funnel Or Glass Measuring Jar With Handle
Jar Lifter (optional)
Jar Separator (optional)
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.
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.
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.
Great 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 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.
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.
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.
A 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.
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.
Fold, place on a cracker and top with fresh chopped cilantro or bean sprouts and a drizzle of hoisin sauce, soy sauce or wasabi.
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!
Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser
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:
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.
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:
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!
Coborn’s, Inc. Natural Foods Category Manager
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!
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!
One of my new favorite snacking cheeses is Kerrygold Spreadable Dubliner. Unlike any other brand on the market, Kerrygold is made from the milk of grass-fed cows that graze on Ireland’s lush, green pastures for up to 312 days a year. The traditional practices upheld by generations of Irish dairy farmers ultimately yield a product that has a golden color and creamy flavor that is unparalleled in the category. It’s the way butter and cheese should always look and taste, the way nature intended; the new Kerrygold Dubliner Spreadable Cheese is no exception.
As one of the most beloved Kerrygold cheese varieties, Dubliner boasts the brand’s grass-fed goodness with a nutty and naturally sweet flavor that has captivated cheese-lovers everywhere. Luckily, for avid fans of the brand, the irresistible taste of Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese is now available in a spreadable option.
This creamy and delicious cheese pairs perfectly with everything from crisp vegetables and fresh fruit to crunchy baguettes and crackers, making it easier than ever to host friends for cocktails.
So when you’re debating on a perfect snacking cheese to have, don’t debate, simply pick up a container of Kerrygold Spreadable Dubliner Cheese and enjoy this amazing new cheese spread! Or try a twist on a classic recipe by trying one (or ALL) of the delicious recipes below!
The most effective ways to avoid your own energy crisis are to get plenty of sleep, drink enough water, eat a wholesome, balanced diet, exercise and try your best to avoid stress.
Now, with that being said and in an attempt to be realistic in this overworked, under-hydrated, time-crunched and stressed out culture we are all trying to live in, let’s look at some easy ways to try to achieve the balance that will help us fight fatigue.
The guidelines set by the National Sleep Foundation suggest 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults ages 18-64. Following a regular sleep cycle—same bedtime, same wake time is the best way to get in good sleep.
Avoid stressors in the hour before you go to bed, such as the news, the internet or serious discussions. Light producing electronics, even most alarm clocks emit enough light to interrupt peaceful sleep. A bath, book and quiet time to just “be” are nice ways to unwind. Keep a pad and pen by your bed to jot down the OMG thoughts like “I forgot to pay that bill” or “Remember to get a gift for Sue” will help to put your mind at ease.
We all know that we need to drink plenty of water, but truth be told, knowing and doing are two separate things. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and cause a sense of fatigue.
Putting lemon in your water will not only make it more palatable but has an uplifting effect. It produces a clean energy that caffeinated beverages do not. NaturalHealth365.com and Livestrong.com are great websites to learn more about the cleansing and energy producing effects of lemon water.
Eat a Wholesome and Balanced Diet
Eating well usually won’t happen from a bag, box or a drive through. Eat the apple rather than the apple flavored toaster pastry. Become a label reader and be aware of the ingredients in your food choices.
Choose whole grains, real whole fruits and vegetables—again, eat the potato rather than the chip—healthy fats and lean proteins. The best sources of healthy fats are vegetable oils (olive oil!) nuts, seeds and fish. Whole energy producing foods are kale, blueberries, oatmeal, and salmon just name a few.
Move that body! My motto has always been “any movement is better than no movement”. Walk to your mailbox instead of driving to it. Even that can help create a lift. The American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day, five days a week. You can even break up that thirty minutes into two or three 15 or 10 minute sessions.
Find what works for you. I have found I seem to like exercises that have a “K” in them…walking, hiking, biking and kayaking are my favorites. Even running around the backyard with the kids helps. And remember to seek your doctor’s advice before beginning any exercise program.
Now that’s a stressful statement. Right?! Life is full of unavoidable stress; work, bad drivers, death of a loved one, just to name a few. So wherever you can, choose your commitments carefully and wisely.
Schedule times to de-stress because often if it’s not on the calendar, something stressful will be. I met with my good friend, Michelle, to brainstorm ideas for this blog and in the process we talked and laughed—relaxation at its best! Meditation, prayer, listening to birds, being still and thankful are great ways to de-stress.
Now I know all these suggestions are probably things most of you already knew and many of you already try to do but always can’t achieve. So when time is tight and sleep and good food are eluding you, try this great energy boosting smoothie. Michelle found it on the internet for me at sallysbakingaddiction.com. The TropiKale Green Smoothie is only four ingredients, quick and easy to make, tastes amazing and will give a quick, proper energy boost.
Blend all the ingredients on high for 3 minutes or until smooth, adding more milk if it’s too thick.
Serve and enjoy.
Makes enough for two smoothies, one for now and one for later, or to share with a friend. Store any leftover smoothie covered in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours.
Because I have just completed the most stressful and energy zapping move of my life and have no idea where my blender is, my friend Mel and her daughter Chloe tested this recipe for me. Chloe is six and will be using it for her 4H demo because she says it’s a winner!
I would like to thank Michelle, Natural Foods Manager at the Coborn’s on Cooper Avenue in St. Cloud, MN for helping me figure out this subject in a sensible way. As well as Melanie and Chloe, kitchen enthusiasts, who knew where their blender was.