Keep the kitchen cool by making this watermelon cooler.  It’s a light, refreshing drink with a whole lot of goodness in the mix.   There’s just one thing….beware of brain freeze!

Watermelon Cooler by Jodie Fitz

3 cups diced watermelon

4 cups ice

2 lemons, fresh

½ cup PICS honey

1 teaspoon PICS vanilla extract

2 cups water

Remove the fruit of the watermelon from the rind and dice it into small chunks.  Measure 3 cups of watermelon.  Add it to the blender.

Measure and add 4 cups of ice to the blender. 

Cut the lemons in half and extract the juice from the lemons using your hands, a citrus squeezer or juicer.  If you are extracting the juice by hand, squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl and remove the seeds before adding the lemon juice to the blender.

Add the honey, vanilla extract and water to the blender.

Blend the ingredients well and serve!

Little Hands:  Younger children can cut the watermelon using a plastic knife.

Lessons for children when making the Watermelon Cooler Recipe:

  • Dicing
  • Knife safety
  • Measuring ingredients
  • Extracting juice
  • Blending and blender safety
  • Following directions
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Local Legends: Ken's Steak House

We’re rockin’ the support for local growers and producers this summer! We’ll be touring our Northeast region, highlighting local products and crops, talking to farmers and artisans, and telling stories on local legends. Join us on our journey! First up, Ken’s Steak House in Framingham, MA.

Ken’s has a rich history in our area and we’re proud to partner with them in our grocery department. They provide us with a number of items including dressings, sauces, and marinades. All homegrown and all delicious!

The story begins in 1935 when Ken and Florence Hanna opened a small restaurant called Lakeside Cafe. It wasn’t long before regular patrons began referring to the place as “Ken’s” in association with its owner. Five years later, Ken had a vision, he purchased tiny McHale’s Diner on what was then a desolate Route 9, known as “Starvation Alley.” Despite its lack of success, Ken had plans to make the area prominent. Magically, Ken’s Steak House is still there today, and Route 9 has become a top retail destination in the US.

When it came to Ken’s Steak House, Ken and Florence had a straightforward strategy, serve quality food at a reasonable price, along with an honest drink and a good cup of coffee to accompany it. On top of that, the Hannas made sure all diners received courtesy, attentiveness, and efficiency from the staff. The service and food were always great, but it was Florence’s salad dressings that shined. Each dressing was made under the instructions of her recipes, all while she kept a watchful eye of the process. Ken’s salads became famous and played a large role in the growth of the business.

Over the years, many family members have carried on the tradition of working at the restaurant. Currently, Ken’s Steak House is operated by Ken’s son Timothy and his wife Darlene. As time has passed, the restaurant has served famous entertainers, athletes, and successful political and business leaders. However, it might be the spirit by which Ken’s treats every customer like a celebrity that keeps people coming back.

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DIY Marshmallow Roasting Sticks

by Jodie Fitz

Love S’mores? We do! Always looking for a roasting stick? We are or we were until we learned how to make DIY Marshmallow Roasting Sticks from hangers and we have been transformed ever since!

They are easy to make, the kids will love making this craft activity and they will make your next campfire simple; no trudging through the woods for sticks!

These little roasters will wow your friends and be a conversation starter around the fire.  Here’s how to start your S’mores making family fun!

Supplies needed:

Wire Hanger(s) with the cardboard tube at the bottom

Electrical Tape

Duct Tape (optional)

Wire Snips




Step 1: Using the wire snips separate the metal part of the hanger from the cardboard tube by clipping as close to the tube as possible.  You want to keep as much of the metal intact that you can.  There will be a little metal hook left behind in the cardboard tube.  Sometimes this pops out, sometimes you have to clip the cardboard (see the video for more on this step).

Step 2:  Straighten the hanger hook as much as possible.

Step 3: Insert the straightened hook part of the wire hanger into the cardboard tube.  The portion of the hanger with the prongs will be exposed and coming out of the tube; ultimately they will be your marshmallow roasters.

Step 4: Cover the cardboard tube with electrical tape to protect it from the fire!

Step 5: If desired, add a little portion of duct tape at the bottom of the tube, this simply allows us to remember who the stick belongs to.  

EXTRA:  Get creative with your electrical tape colors and designs!

Storing: When you are all done roasting, remove the single metal part from the cardboard tube, squeeze the open prongs together, and insert them into the tube for storage until you’re ready for a future roast.

Washing:  I let the sticks cool along with the marshmallow that’s left behind.  Simply wash with dish detergent and a scrub brush.

How we make our S’mores:

We love a traditional S’more with a roasted marshmallow, graham cracker and chocolate bar, but we have discovered and love a few other flavors as well.  Here are a few ingredients to pick up next time you are at your local Price Chopper/Market 32 Supermarket to make and try. 

Experimenting with S’more flavors makes for great fireside conversation with friends and adds that extra touch family fun; it’s all about making memories.

  • Roasted marshmallow, PICS graham crackers and Reese’s peanut butter cup.
  • Roasted marshmallow, chocolate graham crackers and either Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate Squares or Peppermint Patties.
  • Roasted marshmallow, honey graham cracker and Ghirardelli Caramel Chocolate Squares.
  • Roasted marshmallow, honey graham cracker and Ghirardelli Raspberry Chocolate Squares.


Gluten Free:  Check out Kinnikinnick S’morealbes Graham Crackers.  

Nut Free: Check out Sun Cups, which are nut free.


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Creative Roots: Low Sugar Hydration for Kids

More than half of all children and adolescents are under-hydrated. This has significant repercussions beyond thirst, affecting both physical and emotional health. Under-hydration is often driven by clear tension between what kids want to drink, and what parents feel good about serving them. Luckily, these arguments can be eased with Creative Roots, a great tasting flavored water beverage for kids.

Creative Roots combines fruity flavors kids love with the natural benefits of plants that parents can feel good about. This sweet coconut treat contains no added sugar and has only 15 calories per serving. Made with all-natural ingredients, and only 1 gram of sugar per bottle, you can discover the great taste of Creative Roots through 4 refreshing flavors: Watermelon Lemonade, Peach Mango, Mixed Berry, and Orange Pineapple. Check out Creative Roots today for beneficial, kid-approved hydration. Find this plant-powered beverage in the kid’s beverage aisle!

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National French Fries Day!

Happy National French Fries Day! Today we celebrate a staple side dish and burger’s best friend. French fries have made their mark around the world and have established themselves as a favorite in many different cultures. But we wanted to find out more. Do they actually come from France? Here’s the story of the famous French fry.

Interestingly enough, French fries are Belgian. Not French. Historians claim that in Belgium, potatoes were being fried as early as they late-1600s. As the legend goes, Belgian villagers would eat fried fish that they had caught in the river. However, once the weather turned too cold and the river froze over, they were forced to find alternate sources of food. During these months, the villagers relied on the potato. Belgians prepared the root plant the same way they did their fish, by slicing and frying. Ultimately, giving them French fries.

So if they originated in Belgium, why are they called French fries? Great question. These tasty tots were first given to American soldiers stationed in Belgium during World War I. With French being the official language of the Belgian army, the name stuck.

French fries are popular across the globe. Although commonly dipped in ketchup, mayonnaise, and vinegar, there is variety in how these satisfying strips are enjoyed. In Belgium, French fries are eaten with cooked mussels or with a fried egg. In the United Kingdom, they enjoy the well-known dish “fish & chips.” Canadians like poutine, a dish featuring fries and cheese curds, topped with gravy. In France, fries are eaten with grilled steak, and in the Middle East they are wrapped in pita bread with chicken. They are served differently in different countries, but their popularity remains consistent.

Once used as a method to survive cold winters, French fries have made their mark as a top-notch side dish. In America, we commonly enjoy them with some ketchup next to our burger or sandwich. However, they have proven their versatility throughout a number of different cuisines. Celebrate the day and stop in to your local Price Chopper/Market 32 or shop online for all of your favorite French fry related products!

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Embrace strawberry season with some fresh, easy strawberry chia seed jam.  This recipe is sweet, delicious and fruit packed.  It takes 10 minutes to make and is a no-cook recipe. Not having to turn on the stovetop or the oven during the summer months is always a win-win, but it’s still fun to be in the kitchen creating and playing with food flavors.

This recipe is great to make with the kids in the morning.  You can then enjoy it together at lunchtime, snack time or on summer picnics.

The chia seeds, also part of the super food group, serve as a natural thickening agent that happens to be “jam”packed with goodness.

I love that I can make this for the week, control the amount of sugar and replace granulated sugar with honey.

Easy, No-Cook Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

by Jodie Fitz

1 pound fresh strawberries

3 tablespoons PICS honey or agave nectar

1 teaspoon PICS vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chia seeds

Wash and hull the strawberries. Pat them dry, or let them dry. Slice the strawberries.

Place the strawberries into a food processor or blender and blend until the strawberries are pureed.

Add the vanilla extract and honey. Mix the three ingredients together a little more in the food processor or blender.

Pour the mixture into a bowl. Fold the chia seeds into the pureed strawberry mixture.

Place the entire strawberry chia seed jam into a mason jar or other airtight container and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours before using.

How long does it last in the refrigerator?  You can keep your easy Strawberry Chia Seed Jam in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.  

Can you freeze this jam?  Yes you can!

Lessons for kids when making this recipe:

  • Preparing fruit
  • Hulling strawberries
  • Measuring ingredients
  • Folding
  • Blender and/or food processor safety
  • Following directions
  • Natural thickening agents




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Red, White and Blue Recipes for Fourth of July

One of the biggest days of the summer is upon us and we’re excited to celebrate! In the spirit of Independence Day we put together a list of some our go-to red, white and blue recipes. Not only are these ideas festive for the Fourth, they also make for fantastic summertime treats.

Red, White and Blue Trifle: Our recipe for Red, White and Blue Trifle has everything you need for a summer celebration. A cool, refreshing dessert with holiday spirit!

Cherry, Bacon & Blue Cheese Salad This tasty summer salad adds some red, white and blue to your greens. The flavors of cherry, bacon, and blue cheese mix perfectly in each bite.

Firecracker Popsicles: These popsicles may not be a full-blown recipe, but they are certainly a key factor in celebrating Fourth of July. They’re great for cooling down in the summer heat.

Stars & Stripes Cheese Board: What’s a celebration without cheese? This Stars & Stripes Cheese Board from our YouTube channel is an awesome game plan.

Pound Cake: This pound cake dish from our Pinterest page is another lovely Fourth of July treat. Made with Chobani® Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt, this pound cake makes for a fun addition to the menu! It’s just one of many awesome options on our Pinterest boards.

These are just a few creative ideas for the Fourth of July this year! After all, food can be fun and preparing festive dishes adds a certain pizazz to any holiday. Try any of these options or come up with your own creative meal. Either way visit your local Price Chopper/Market 32 or shop with us online for everything you need!

Happy Fourth!

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Check Out Yasso's NEW Frozen Greek Yogurt Flavor

Yasso is the only better-for-you frozen dessert that delivers unsurpassed snacking satisfaction because we blends real, natural ingredients and flavors with the ridiculously creamy, wholesome goodness of Greek yogurt to create an truly crave-able frozen snacking experience. We don’t think you should have to sacrifice taste for cleaner ingredients. We’ve reimagined ice cream and the results are ridiculous, nostalgic, scoop shop flavors that don’t skimp on any of the cookie dough, chocolate chips or decadent swirls you love.

We use rich and creamy Greek yogurt as the base for our products to deliver an indulgent dessert that’s lower in calories (80-150 per serving) and packed with protein (5-7 grams per serving), made without high intensity sweeteners. You can enjoy Yasso anytime of day whether it be breakfast in the morning, an afternoon pick-me-up, or late-night snack.

Price Chopper now carries three NEW flavors to join our Black Raspberry and Chocolate Fudge on shelf. First, Triple Peanut Butter A.K.A three times the peanut butter goodness – and what’s better than that? We mixed peanut butter flavored frozen Greek yogurt with the smoothest peanut butter swirl and the most delicious peanut butter chips around. Next, our Mint Chocolate Chip and Peanut butter Crunch flavors won’t disappoint. Enrobed in an indulgent chocolate quinoa crunch, our new chocolate dipped products are sure to hit that 2PM sweet tooth. And 3 PM, and 5 PM, but you get the point.

Find all ridiculously creamy and delicious Yasso products in the freezer aisle

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Celebrate Cheese During National Dairy Month

Maureen Rowan Murphy

People around the world have a love affair with cheese, and it’s easy to see why! Cheese is a flavorful and

healthful addition to many dishes. Most cheeses are a good or excellent source of calcium, a nutrient that many

people are lacking in their diet, and cheese also provides other essential nutrients like phosphorus and high-quality

protein. These three nutrients are particularly important to help build and maintain healthy bones.

With so many varieties to choose from, there is something to please everyone’s palate, and cheese can fit into most healthy eating plans. Those watching sodium in their diet, can choose softer, less-aged cheeses as they generally require less salt than harder, aged varieties. There are also cheeses available that are lower in sodium and fat available. Even people with lactose intolerance can enjoy cheese by choosing natural, harder cheeses like Cheddar, Colby, Swiss and Monterey Jack.

Cheese is a complex food made with just a few simple ingredients.

Did you know?

It takes 10 pounds of milk to make just 1 pound of cheese

There are more than 300 different cheeses in the U.S. and 2000 varieties in the world

Cheddar cheese is the most popular cheese in America while Mozzarella is the most popular globally

Cheese is the 2nd largest source of dietary calcium for Americans

The most popular cheese recipe in the United States is “macaroni and cheese”

Some varieties of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss and American, may help prevent tooth as it promotes saliva flow which leads to the elimination of sugar and acids form the mouth

1 ½ oz. natural cheese or 2 oz. processed cheese is considered a serving about 4 dice-size cubes


Tips for Serving and Storing Cheese

Take cheese out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before serving for best flavor and aroma

Create a delicious cheese platter by choosing up to 5 cheeses that differ in texture, flavor, size and shape

Arrange the cheeses from mild to strong and soft to hard and provide separate knives for each cheese to keep the flavors distinct

Choose a simple cracker without excess salt or flavors to enhance the flavor of the cheese(s)

Choose crusty breads for mild cheeses or a heavy fruit or nut bread with an aged or more complex selection when serving bread

Serve cheese with your favorite fresh fruit

Grapes can be served with almost any cheese

Pears go great with blue cheese, gorgonzola or aged Gouda

Fresh berries go nicely with a soft ripened cheese such as brie or camembert

Fresh or dried figs pair deliciously with Spanish Manchego or Reggiano Parmesan

Store cut cheese, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator, away from other aromatic foods as it absorbs other flavors, and also loses both flavor and moisture when exposed to air


Cooking with Cheese

It is easier to shred or grate natural cheese when cold

Four ounces of ungrated cheese yields one cup when grated  

When preparing sauces and soups, cook over low to medium heat and add toward the end of preparation as cooking over high heat, or for long periods of time, will cause the cheese to separate

For casseroles and baked dishes, sprinkle the grated/shredded cheese over the dish the last ten minutes of baking

Cheese can be enjoyed as an appetizer/snack or at any meal, and here’s a few recipe ideas.

Baked Buffalo Cheese Sticks

Kale Tomato Feta Breakfast Sandwich Cups

Whipped Feta Garlic Dip with Pita Chips

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Grab the kids, the paints and get ready to finger-paint in a whole new way!

What do you need?

• 1 white apron per child
• Purple paint
• Blue paint
• Green paint
• Yellow paint
• Orange paint
• Red paint
• White paint
• A paper plate or palette (preferably one per child)
• Water
• Paper towel or rag 


  1. I recommend you put down a covering on the table before you begin the project to protect your surface as the paint can seep through the apron.
  2. Dip your thumb or finger into the purple paint and begin to create a rainbow arch starting with the smallest arch of the rainbow.
  3. Wash or rinse and dry that thumb or finger before dipping into the next color of paint.
  4. Just like the video, add the rest of the colorful rainbow arches: blue, green, yellow, orange and red.  Don’t forget to wash/rinse your fingers between each color.
  5. You can let your rainbow dry before adding your clouds or you can do what I do, which is add the clouds right away.  I like pulling some of the colors of the rainbow down into the puffy clouds like the video demonstrates – the option is yours!
  6. Optional:  Add your name or words to the project like ‘Hope’,  ‘Joy’, etc.
  7. Let it dry completely before wearing.

Your DIY Rainbow Craft apron is great to use as a smock for crafts, a smock for gardening or an apron for recipe making!

Rainbow Arch: If you have an independent child that wants to do it all or a young child that needs help with the arches of a rainbow, simply use a medal compass with a pencil to create the arches of the rainbow for them to follow.  You can even put one dot of each color at the start of an arch so follow the colors or let them go free spirit. It’s good either way!

The Paints:  The best paint to use for this project is fabric paint.  However, you can use other permanent paint options like an acrylic craft paint, which just makes the area on the apron of your finger printed rainbow a little stiffer.  Your apron will still be colorful, wonderful and useful!

Don’t Forget:  Don’t forget to put on a smock, an apron, an old t-shirt or play clothes before doing this project.  The paint will not come off of your clothes if it gets on them in the rainbow making process!

Now What? 

Grab your aprons and join me in making recipes at the Price Chopper/Market 32 Kids Cooking Club!  We have all kinds of delicious recipes!  Coming soon…I will be introducing a no-rise dough pizza making activity for kids that coordinates with both the Kids Cooking Club and my book Fidget Grows a Pizza Garden. 

This rainbow apron is easy and fun to make, and you can view it here

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