Quick & Easy Grilling Solutions

You don’t have to be a grill master to create super-simple grilled favorites. This summer, take advantage of your grill and experiment with basic cuts that offer quick, easy and satisfying solutions. Utilize less extravagant, familiar meats that are easy to prep and deliver smoky, mouthwatering meals.

Beef sirloin steak is an excellent entry-level cut that’s easy to grill. For a hearty entrée, prepare rib-eye or strip steaks with your favorite spice rub and grill to perfection! These cuts can typically feed a crowd; grill, slice, and serve them family-style. Add sirloin steak to salads or these light and flavorful Summertime Steak Lettuce Wraps. For a fun, interactive meal, grill seasoned cubes of strip steak on skewers alternated with chunks of red and green peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes.

Bone-in or boneless chicken breasts and thighs are grilling favorites that are also easy to work with. Pack a punch of flavor with spice rubs or marinades; refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to penetrate. Try a smoky, tangy teriyaki marinade, as seen in this Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe. For a simple dish accented with bright seasonal flavors, grill chicken breasts marinated in onion-poppy seed dressing and serve them over romaine and baby spinach in this Grilled Chicken Strawberry Salad. Chicken wings are also a grilled classic. Ready in minutes, this Grilled Tex-Mex Wings recipe is a perfect dinner solution for any casual or special occasion.

Cooking quickly and easily, pork shoulder steaks are an extremely underrated cut. They are half the price of traditional pork chops, and many believe them to be twice as delicious! And since they’re quite thin, they don’t take long to grill. Baste pork shoulder steaks with BBQ sauce or your favorite dressing during the last few minutes of grilling, and you’ll have a tender, hearty centerpiece.

Looking for more grilling inspiration? Find grilled recipes, videos, tips and more here!

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The Many Ways of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is best known for its role as a sweet finishing touch to pancakes and waffles. However, its abilities go far beyond the breakfast table. Maple farmers use special drills to tap into the trees to obtain the sap that’s boiled down to produce the pure maple syrup we know and love. Here in the Northeast, maple sugaring season occurs as winter ends and spring begins. We’re proud to partner with a variety of local maple farmers and producers in our region to bring you the season’s best. You can add pure maple syrup from our local partners to your culinary tool belt and use them in breakfast recipes, desserts and beyond!

Swap Syrup for Sugar

Give your favorite treats complex, caramelly tastes by using maple syrup in place of sugar in baked goods such as cookies, cakes, breads and muffins. Replace 1 cup of granulated sugar with ¾ cup of maple syrup. For every cup of liquid sweetener, reduce added liquids in the recipe by about 3 to 4 tablespoons. Add about 1 tablespoon of flour for every ¼ cup of maple syrup if there’s no liquid called for in the recipe. When swapping these ingredients, ensure your syrup is at room temperature, as cold syrup can cause other ingredients to clump.

Savory Syrup

Maple syrup adds complexity and subtle sweetness to numerous savory dishes. Use it to flavor proteins like chicken, pork, or salmon, or pair it with bacon for a mouthwatering, sweet and smoky treat. Try whisking it into salad dressings to give your greens hints of caramelization or bring out the natural sweetness of veggies by drizzling maple syrup over tomatoes, squash, potatoes and mushrooms.

Drinks & Desserts

Maple syrup’s versatility extends from the plate to the glass! Add a dash to your morning coffee or tea, or use it to spice up a classic old fashioned or whiskey sour cocktail. It also makes a drool-worthy addition to these Maple Caramel Bacon Brownies, used as a sweetener for whipped cream or drizzled over scones, ice cream, pies and more.

Looking for more ways to use maple syrup in your everyday cooking? Click here! From all of us at Price Chopper & Market 32, happy maple sugaring season!

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Winner, Winner, Market 32 Free From Chicken DInner

Ellie Wilson

MS, RDN

Chicken is definitely a winner when it comes to making a delicious dinner! Or lunch, or snack – versatile and available in so many easy-to-cook cuts, you can make tried and true family favorites, explore global cuisines, or just stick to quick and easy when Market 32 FREE FROM Chicken is on your list.

Market 32 FREE FROM Chicken has all of the flavor and quality shoppers are looking for – carefully sourced by the Market 32 FREE FROM Team from the first family farming operation in the world to earn the American Humane Certified ™ verification, they live in open houses, allowing them the ability to live a stress free life without the threat of predators, exposure to diseases from migratory birds or harm from the elements which would all impact flock health. They are fed a high quality diet of pesticide-free, American-grown, Non-GMO grains, specifically planned by vets and animal nutritionists, with an unlimited supply of clean water and fresh feed along with plenty of fresh air and room to roam. The farm has been raising chickens for over 50 years – they have learned that ensuring a good environment for the chickens, including water and soil testing, delivers a good quality of life and results in a safe, delicious product. They take even more care with their employees, which they call their best asset, ensuring they have company-provided PPE, regular screenings, work area safety standards, and more. Price Chopper/Market 32 customers can be confident they are bringing a great choice home to their families and friends. 

Fresh Market 32 FREE FROM Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is also a lean choice when choosing skinless chicken tenders, thin-sliced cutlets or skinless chicken breasts. Market 32 FREE FROM Chicken is available in a range of cuts and package sizes, and lends itself to any number of recipes and serving ideas. Casseroles, soups, salads, sheet pan and skillet meals are all on the menu.

There has been a lot more cooking going on at home over the last six months or so, and we are hearing from customers that they are looking for some inspiration to get past cooking fatigue. We can help! Combine Market 32 FREE FROM Chicken with a delicious Culinary Tours item like Szechuan Style Peanut Sauce, or season with PICS Everything Spice Blend for a quick and easy meal. Check out the recipes below from our website and YouTube channels – you are sure to find some new favorites, and more than one way to win the dinner dilemma!

Honey Garlic Skillet Chicken | White Chicken Chili | Buffalo Chicken Salad | Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

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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

Scissors

 

Directions:

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.

Allergies?

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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