This is a great salad to serve with a nice brunch or a dinner party. I have even added kiwi and fresh pineapple with it also. My favorite is when I have added Italian sparkling wine. Stand back and watch out, it will soon become one of your favorite salads. Enjoy….I did!
Coborn’s Meat and Seafood Merchandiser
With the Forth of July coming up, it’s a great time to make some red, white and blue treats. One of my favorite cakes to make for the holiday is the classic JELL-O Cake. It’s super easy to make and you can decorate it with fresh fruit in a patriotic pattern.
All you have to do is make a white cake in a 9”x13” cake pan. Go the easy route and just make it from a box mix. The box cake mixes these days are delicious and moist, but if you are a stickler for the real thing, use your favorite white cake recipe. The key to the JELL-O Cake is to poke holes in the cake while it is still warm. Use the handle of a wooden spoon or fork for this. After you poke the holes in the cake, make up a small box of red or blue JELL-O gelatin, according to the package directions, I used Food Club Raspberry gelatin. While the gelatin is still in liquid form, pour slowly and evenly over the cake until all the gelatin is absorbed. Place the cake in the fridge to let the gelatin set.
While you are waiting for the gelatin to set, get your fruit ready. Wash the blueberries, strawberries and raspberries that you will use on the top of your cake.
After your cake is completely cooled, and the gelatin is set up, take it out of the fridge, and frost the top with an 8 oz. tub of thawed Food Club whipped topping, and arrange your fruit in a pattern of your choice. You can use the blueberries for the blue corner of a flag and the strawberries and raspberries in rows for the stripes on the flag. However, I decided to do a diagonal stripe pattern so that each piece had a variety of fruits on top. Once you are done you have a beautiful, patriotic cake before serving that will look just as wonderful when you cut into it and reveal the colors inside.
Everyone is going to devour this dessert, but on the off chance that you do have a piece or two left over, it needs to be covered and stored in the refrigerator. Keep watch on the cake when serving outside on a hot day, the cool whip does tend to melt quickly.
Red, White & Blue Layer Cupcakes
Another great idea that is perfect for a Forth of July get together is Red, White and Blue Layer Cupcakes. They are easy to make and easy to serve. You can make them festive by preparing a box of white cake mix and dividing it into three equal portions. Leave one portion white, and use food coloring to tint one portion red and the other blue. Put your cupcake liners in the pan, and using an ice cream scoop or spoon, fill each cup with some of each of the three colors. Bake and directed, and when the cupcakes are cooled, frost with white icing and sprinkle with Over the Top’s red and blue sprinkles from Coborn’s.
I hope that you have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday and are able to enjoy some sweet treats!
Coborn’s Bakery Manager
St. Cloud, MN – Cooper Ave.
Summer is upon us and for many of us that means summer picnics and potlucks. One of my favorite things to bring to a potluck is fresh fruit – basically because it is healthy, everyone loves it and you really can’t mess it up – but sometimes I want to impress the party host, usually my in-laws, so I have to step up my game with the watermelon boat. There are many creative ways to make a watermelon boat. I am going to show you a fun and easy way to make a nice one. Please leave your comments below and tell me how you would dress up yours.
Choosing your fruits
The first thing you need to do is pick out your fruits. You can pick whatever you like, but try to get a variety of different colors. Here are the fruits I will be using: watermelon, cantaloupe, green grapes, red grapes, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and star fruit. There, that takes care of the entire rainbow.
When choosing a watermelon I like to find one that has a nice clean rind. Bonus if you can find one with a nice flat spot so the boat doesn’t rock, you don’t want to rock the boat baby! However, you can always shave off a little of the rind to make a flat spot for the boat to sit.
Clean before you cut
When you get your fruits home make sure to clean them all, even the cantaloupe and watermelon. You need to do this so that when you cut through the fruit, the dirt and bacteria from the outside of the fruit does not transfer through when you cut into it.
Making your boat
Find the spot on your watermelon that you want to be the bottom and set it on your platter. With a large chef’s knife begin cutting a “lid” off of the watermelon, about 1/5 of the way down. You can always keep cutting to make a bigger opening in your boat, it is really up to you how far down you want to go, but start small. Set the lid aside. Now it is time to get the meat out of the melon. You can do this with a melon baller or I like to cut in between the rind and the meat and start cutting a grid pattern in the meat and pulling out the pieces of watermelon with a fork. Set the watermelon aside to add to your fruit mixture later. Continue doing this until all you have left is the rind.
Now begin making a zig-zag pattern along the top edge of the watermelon. At this point you should cut all of your fruit and fill your boat; after that is complete it is time to decorate! Please note that I did not do this when I was taking photos for this blog and it was tricky getting the fruit in after and not ruining my garnish so take it from me and add the fruit first. Here is the list of supplies I am using: toothpick umbrellas, one lemon, fruit from my mixture and regular round toothpicks. Start by making kabobs with your small pieces of fruit, making sure to cover one pointed end of the round toothpick so no one gets hurt and keeping about an inch on the other side of the toothpick to stick into the watermelon. Make cute lemon swirls by slicing the lemon into thin slices, cutting a slit from the edge to the middle and picking up the slice and folding it to make a swirl, stick the lemon swirl on a toothpick to hold its shape. Once you have added your kabobs around the boat you can add your toothpick umbrellas to complete the look.
Tip for preparing early
When you are preparing your watermelon boat in advance I would recommend that you do everything except garnish. Wrap everything in plastic wrap and bring to your destination. You will want to wait until just before or a couple hours before serving to garnish. This it the easiest part of making the boat so it should not take long, about 10 – 15 minutes.
A long blog, but it is actually pretty simple to make! Happy Summer!
‘Tis the season to get together and bond around family, friends and food, many different kinds of food. It is a time to be joyous and attempt to be worry-free. We were once that family. We went from one family function to another; only worrying about how many notches we would have to extend our belts. I remember clearly our first set of holidays living with food allergies. It changed our carefree holiday times into the most stressful time of the year. I would get very panicky. I was worried about what could happen.
Our first year of holiday festivities, I decided to call all the homes we would be going to and ask them what they were serving and if anything contained any kind of nuts. I then told them about my son’s nut allergy and explained it was life threatening. Everyone I spoke with said they would do their best to not include nuts at their holiday event. Everything went very well and everyone was very cautious. I was grateful and relieved! Now, after several holidays have come and gone, holidays are once again pretty carefree. Granted I still get a little nervous but each year gets better and everyone is SO understanding. I really think explaining how incredibly allergic he is and sharing with them the things I learned from the allergist and the food allergy websites helped a lot.
I have several tips I would to share regarding label reading. Even though food labeling has gotten so much better, it is still good to know how to read a label for peanuts. The following is a list of ingredients to avoid:
Artificial nuts, beer nuts, cold presses, expelled or extruded peanut oil, goobers, ground nuts, mixed nuts, monkey nuts, nutmeat, nut pieces, peanut, peanut butter, peanut flour.
The following types of food and/or ingredients may indicate the presence of a peanut protein:
African, Asian (especially Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese), and Mexican dishes, baked goods (pastries, cookies, etc.), candy (including chocolate candy), chili, egg rolls, enchilada sauce, flavoring (natural and artificial), marzipan, mole sauce, nougat.
Mandelonas are peanuts soaked in almond flavoring.
Arachis oil is peanut oil.
Experts advise patients allergic to peanuts to avoid tree nuts as well.
A study showed that there’s a strong possibility of cross reaction between peanuts and lupine.
Sunflower seeds are often produced on equipment shared with peanuts.
These lists are from The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.
As always, I have a recipe to share. While trying to decide what to share, I was trying to think of favorite family recipes that we have changed to exclude nuts. Honestly, I couldn’t think of any. However, we did switch over to making several baked goods from scratch instead of buying them already manufactured.
One of our favorites is a peanut-free, tree nut-free, soy-free, milk-free, egg-free, wheat-free shortbread. (Note: This recipe is not gluten-free unless you use gluten-free oats).
Mix oat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add juice, oil and vinegar. Mix well. Stir in cranberries. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes.
You can make this recipe as a muffin recipe as well. Just spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Makes 18-20 small muffins.
Mix oat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Add juice, oil and vinegar.
Stir in cranberries.
Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes.
You can replace chopped cranberries with Craisins. Make your own oat flour by putting uncooked oats in the food processor until they are a powder. This recipe freezes well, too. You can make this recipe as a muffin recipe as well. Just spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Makes 18-20 small muffins
During these weeks of thankfulness, kindness and giving, please share this information with family and friends. The more we educate ourselves about food allergies, the safer the world becomes for people who live with life-threatening food allergies. If your child has food allergies, remember that you are their advocate, make sure you let people know about their allergies and what they need to avoid.
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Summer means berries and this week we’re all about the juicy, delicious strawberries, raspberries and blackberries we have on sale at Coborn’s and CobornsDelivers.
When you’re cooking with berries, you have a lot of options. Berries are pretty versatile – you can often swap out one for the other in a recipe. Just make sure you wait to wash your berries until you’re ready to eat or cook with them. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries will hang on to the water you rinse them with and that will make them spoil a bit faster.
You can eat ‘em straight up no problem – these berries are perfect for snacking and a light, sweet dessert. If you want to kick things up a notch, try some of these great recipes for berries and let us know what you think!
This is a great salad to make on a hot summer night when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen. This is a very refreshing salad and to make it even more convenient if you are in a hurry is to purchase a rotisserie chicken in the Deli Department at Coborn’s. I have served this recipe several times to my family and I have also tried poppyseed dressing just to switch it up and it was awesome! Fresh Spinach is a great substitute also.
6 Cups Salad Greens, torn
1 Lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cooked and cut into strips
2 Cups Fresh Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries & Sliced Strawberries)
1/4 Cup Pecans Or Walnuts, (Optional) chopped and toasted
1/2 Cup Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing
Toss greens with all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, except dressing. Add dressing just before serving; mix lightly.
Makes 4 Servings
Suggested Wine Pairing
Cannonball Chardonnay is a well developed wine for the price. It has delicious lemon, apple flavors with hints of nutmeg and even cinnamon. The fruit and chicken in this recipe really pop when paired with this wine.
Berries rank higher on the list because they are all extremely high in antioxidants, low in fat, and are good sources of fiber.
Berries are relatively low in sugars compared to other fruits like bananas, which make them ideal for people who prefer to keep their carbohydrate intake lower. The problem comes in when you sprinkle berries with sugar.
When I was a kid, I picked raspberries with friends from a horse pasture that was along side of our house. Every neighborhood kid from my block tried to get their share. We picked and ate them right off the bush. We didn’t wash them and we never thought to put sugar on them because they were so good.