Healthy Tips for Potluck!

Healthy Tips for Potluck
pot-luck I noun I a meal to which everyone who is invited brings food to share

Potlucks are great anytime of the year, but they tend to be more popular this time of year as we have more gatherings with friends and family for the holidays and football games. Potlucks are popular because not only is it a lot less work for the host, but it provides a wide variety of foods for everyone to try! In my family, potlucks are a must. I have a large family, so large in fact that we have to rent out a community room or an external space to host our family gatherings because we don’t fit in our own houses anymore! But, no matter where we spend our holidays, food is always at the top of mind.

Continue reading “Healthy Tips for Potluck!”

4th of July Party Food

4th of July Party Food -

Holly - Practial Party Planning - www.cobornsblog.comI hope you all read and enjoyed my “3 Simple Party Games for the Fourth” blog. This is part two! I’m going to share with you the most important part to any party… the food! To alleviate the stress and cost of my party I made mine a potluck. I love a good potluck because you always get to try new recipes and get new ideas. We supplied the Four Brothers burgers for the grill, paper products, chips, cookies and juice and our guests brought the rest.  Here’s how it went down!

Paper Products

4th of July Party Food -

If you know me then you know I am very patriotic and a little type-A. So of course I had to have red, white and blue paper products. However, I did not buy the ones with the little American Flags on them. For two reasons, technically you are not supposed to eat on an American Flag and you are not supposed to dispose of an American Flag by throwing it in the garbage. So the patriot in me chose to just represent the fourth with the colors of the flag instead of using the actual flag. Also, you may not use all of the plates, napkins and cups you bought, but you don’t want to throw the rest away and the primary colors will match more party themes you have in the future vs. the American Flag design. But, feel free do what you want, we have both available at Coborn’s, I chose to go with the Domestix and Food Club brand of plates, cups and napkins. They are cheaper and are nice quality. I also picked up a blue plastic table cover in the party section at Coborn’s, to add color and make clean up a breeze.


4th of July Party Food & Decorations -

What is a party with out crepe paper? Not a party! Lol. Okay so I have a weird obsession with crepe paper. It is just so cheap and looks so good. I used one red roll, one white roll and one blue roll of crepe paper. I wrapped it around the deck railing and stapled the paper to itself so I didn’t leave any marks or staples in the deck. I added a couple stars and stripes bows and the mood was set!

Let’s talk food!

Four Brothers Burgers

4th of July Party Food -

If you have not tried our Four Brothers Gourmet Beef Patties yet, you are missing out. They are a half pound burger stuffed will all kinds of flavorful goodness. 4th of July Party Food - www.cobornsblog.comWe have eight varieties including Original, Mushroom Swiss, Cheddar Bacon, Cheddar Swiss, Blue Cheese, Jalapeno Pepper, Philly Cheese and Bacon Onion Cheddar.  With such a big burger, I just counted one per person, no guess work, one was plenty.


My party was BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage), but I did supply some red juice. Again, going with the red, white and blue theme, I picked up some Food Club Cherry Limeade Drink Mix, served it in a pretty pitcher and that was it.


4th of July Party Food -

I LOVE Lofthouse Cookies. They are like the hybrid of a sugar cookie and a vanilla cupcake. So delicious! There are many brands that try to replicate the Lofthouse cookie and some are not so good. But let me tell you, Sweet P’s hit the nail on the head. These cookies are just as good if not better than Lofthouse. You will not be disappointed. I bought some with white frosting and red, white and blue sprinkles. Tray them up and they are décor and dessert in one!


4th of July Party Food -

Whoever gets assigned to bring chips to the potluck really gets off easy! Especially if they know that at Coborn’s the Food Club chips are always Buy One Get One Free. I bought BBQ Kettle Cooked Potato Chips because they are my favorite and I bought Puffed Corn because… why not, they are delicious, buttery and melt in your mouth.

Fruits & Veggies

4th of July Party Food -

My cousin brought fruits and veggies. If you hit up the Coborn’s 5 for $15 Produce Sale, you can get a lot of produce at a great price. She simply cut it up and put it in some Tupperware containers and it was really well displayed and healthy!

American Flag Fruit Pizza

4th of July Party Food - Patriotic Fruit Pizza Recipe -

So you probably aren’t supposed to eat the American Flag… but this just represents the flag and is so yummy. Plus, the healthiness of the fruit outweighs the cookie, right? My Mom brought this and it was so good. Check below for the recipe.

Patriotic Fruit Pizza
  • 1 Tube Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 8 Oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Small Tub Marshmallow Crème
  • Fruit of Your Choice
  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Roll cookie dough out to the shape you want.
  3. Lay the cookie dough on a cookie sheet
  4. Bake about 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown, check back of cookie package for oven temperature and suggested cooking times.
  5. Mix cream cheese and marshmallow crème
  6. Spread cream mixture evenly on top of cooled cookie
  7. Decorate with fruit
Do not press the cookie dough in the pan, it will stick.

Sweet Corn

4th of July Party Food - How to serve Sweet Corn at a Potluck -

What summer party is complete without sweet corn? But, how do you bring that to a potluck where people are continually grazing? My Mom also brought the sweet corn and all she did was shuck and boil the sweet corn, then kept it warm by placing it in a roaster with a couple inches of milk and butter in the bottom. She used two sticks of butter, but you could use only one if you prefer.  The corn stayed warm and the guests simply rolled the corn in the butter mixture before adding it to their plate.

There you have it! I hope I was able to give you some ideas on how to throw a Simple Fourth of July Party. Remember, if you have not done so already, check out  “3 Simple Party Games for the Fourth” to complete your party!

Party On,

Click Here for more articles written by Holly - Practical Party Planning with Holly

Weekly Ad Recipe – Broccoli and Squash Medley

Broccoli and Squash Medley Recipe -

This is such a wonderful side dish and is extremely simple to make. It makes a large bowl so it is great when serving a crowd. It took me less than 30 minutes to get it ready and the mixture of colors made this side dish just beautiful. I am a lover of any kind of squash but butternut is my all time favorite. This would be a wonderful side dish served during those holidays dinners fast approaching.  Enjoy….I did!

Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Broccoli and Squash Medley
Serves: 14
  • 2 Cups Butternut Squash peeled & cubed (1/2 inch)
  • 6 Cups Frozen Broccoli Cuts
  • ½ Cup Orange Juice
  • ¼ Cup Butter or Margarine, melted
  • ½ Cup Sweetened Dried Cranberries
  • ½ Cup Finely Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • 1 T. Grated Orange Peel
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  1. Cook broccoli as directed on bag; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in 12” skillet, cook squash in orange juice over medium-low heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender but firm.
  3. Stir in butter, broccoli, cranberries, pecans, orange peel and salt; toss to coat.
  4. Serve immediately.
Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc


Four Brothers Flame-Seared Ribs

Coborn's Own Four Brothers Flame-Seared Ribs - #HeatNEat - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

It’s August 1st, summer is almost over, and it’s less than a month before the kids go back to school. Where did the summer go?

My husband and I are starting our vacation next week and spending some days by the lake and also a short road trip to Duluth, one of our most favorite cities.  If you get up there this summer or fall make sure to stop into the new restaurant located downtown Duluth right on main street called “Coney Island”.   It is so quaint and the Philly Steak Sandwiches are to die for. Then for dessert, stop right next door to the new candy shop. It will bring back so many memories of times gone by with a huge selection of candy that we all had as kids.

After our trip back from Duluth it will be time to spend a few days at the cabin on the lake.  I already have the menu all planned out for our first day. Since I am a Meat & Seafood Merchandiser for Coborn’s, I get to try new items that we bring into the Meat Department first. This is my favorite part of the job. Can you imagine getting to sample new ideas of meat and seafood for a living? Not much stress to that is there? Just sit back and savor the taste.  I’m so excited to introduce a new brand in our Coborn’s stores that will pay tribute to the legacy of Bill, Dan, Bob and Ron Coborn, the third generation of Coborn family members credited with taking our company to new heights during their leadership.

Four Brothers Flame-Seared Ribs - Heat 'N Eat -

Four Brothers

Introducing… (drum roll please) “Four Brothers Flame Seared Ribs”.   The best part is they are fully cooked and ready to eat. I remember trying these ribs for the first time and it about drove me nuts because I had to wait a few weeks before they were in our Service Case.  They have arrived! They are phenomenal! All you have to do is put a light glaze of BBQ Sauce on them and place on a grill or in the oven and cook until heated through.  I used to make ribs on weekends only because they took a couple hours to make.  With these ribs they are done in about 30 minutes and you know how difficult it can be to come up with something to cook when you get home from work at 5:00. Now my husband and I get to enjoy them on a weekday more often.

Ol’ West BBQ Sauce

Ol' West BBQ Sauce - www.cobornsblog.comSince I am so excited about these ribs I also have to tell you about “Old West BBQ Sauce”.  I had received a sample of the BBQ Sauce a couple of years ago and I never looked back. The BBQ is a thick rich glaze with large flakes of pepper and other seasonings mixed into the sauce.  Once you try this sauce your meat will never be the same. Just so you know that BBQ Sauce is not just for meat either. I use this BBQ Sauce for appetizers too. This appetizer is a great recipe to bring to a potluck or to serve at your home for those Happy Hour parties or back yard parties. Every time I bring this recipe to a friend’s house I always have to share it with everyone.  That is why I’m sharing this with you. Just remember when making this appetizer to use “Old West BBQ Sauce”. And to make this BBQ Sauce even better, it’s made locally in South Dakota.

BBQ Chicken Spread
  • 8 Oz. Cream Cheese
  • 8 Oz. Sour Cream
  • 1 - 1.5 Cups Rotisserie Chicken, chopped
  • 8 Oz. Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Ol' West BBQ Sauce
  • Snack Crackers
  1. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream and spread on a platter
  2. Pour BBQ sauce over cream cheese mixture
  3. Add chicken over BBQ sauce
  4. Sprinkle finely shredded mozzarella cheese over the top
  5. Serve with snack crackers
  6. Optional: You can dice one tomato and place that over the cheese.
Suggested Wine Pairing: Beringer Chenin Blanc

I hope you all have a chance to get some kind of vacation in before this summer ends to enjoy that great Minnesota weather. Enjoy those wonderful “Four Brothers Flame Seared Ribs” on the grill. We sure did!

– Jayne
Coborn’s Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

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Fruit Kabobs

Make Fruit Kabobs for your next get together! - - Produce Philosophy with Mike
Mike P.

Special get-together coming up, like a wedding or baby shower, family reunion, graduation party, special birthday, or neighborhood BBQ gathering? Wondering what to bring? How about serving fruit kabobs? They are not that hard to do, and usually draw some special attention. You can make them as simple as you want, or you can use a variety of summer fruit favorites that are in season, which might include melons, berries, grapes, pineapple, or other soft fruit items. It is really a personal choice what of what to use, but using multiple colors makes them more appealing. The thing I like about doing the kabobs for your guests or family is that they are not messy and are convenient to eat, especially for kids. As far as planning how many you need, most everyone would probably take one or two. The good thing about doing kabobs is you can put out a limited amount, keep extra refrigerated until needed, then add more to the platter when low.  If you would have served a fruit salad, it is all out at once, thus making it difficult to keep product cold for food safety, and after sitting out for an extended time the extra usually goes to waste. Here, extra fruit could be kept in a cooler if you are bringing to someone’s home, or in your own refrigerator.

Fruit Kabobs
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Large Serving Platter
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Wooden Kabob Skewers
  • Lemon Juice (optional)
  • Spray Bottle (optional)
  1. First you will want to wash all of your fruits before cutting.
  2. Once you have rinsed the fruit, pat dry with napkin or towel, and start to prepare for making kabobs.
  3. Strawberries just need to be hulled, grapes pulled from stem and kiwi peeled and chunked.
  4. Melon needs to be cut in half, then another half.
  5. Cut into wedges.
  6. Once it’s cut into wedges, make cuts down to the rind every two inches or so, then run knife along the edge of rind and fruit until the fruit falls off the rind.
  7. Now you have all the fruit ready to be skewered.
  8. Start placing fruit on skewers, rotating colors with as much fruit as desired on each kabob.
If using a watermelon, purchase a quarter or half instead of a whole watermelon, it would be cleaned already by the store.

With many different colors to pick from, make your kabobs pretty. You can mix them up on each skewer or make them all the same way. One tip is, if you bought a whole watermelon, use more chunks of watermelon on each skewer to keep costs down, as watermelon is usually the least expensive price-per-pound item you’re using. When purchasing kabob sticks there are different lengths to buy, and some stores only carry one size, so determine what size fruit skewers you want. Another thing is determining if you are going to prepare kabobs the day of the event, or if because of time, they need to be done the night before. If you do make kabobs the night before, and might be using items like peaches or nectarines, you can put some lemon juice mixed with water into a spray bottle and spray the fruit when it’s on the platter to preserve color and make it look like fresh cut. If you use items like I did, you shouldn't need to do this to preserve color, as melons hold well, not turning brown. Place some plastic wrap over the top to seal and you should be good to go. Some people like to place a tub of fruit dip out next to the platter when serving; that is your call and certainly not mandatory.

I hope this works out for you, as a nice healthy selection of fruit usually goes over very well. You can’t go wrong with good fruit!

Coborn’s Produce Merchandiser

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Produce Philosophy with Mike -