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Pan Seared Scallops with Spicy Raspberry Sauce

February 7, 2016

Pan Seared Scallops with Spicy Raspberry Sauce

Happy Super Bowl Sunday Easy Eat fans! After a day full of appetizers and snacking here’s a meal that will seem gourmet without the hours of prep work. The photos don’t lie, this meal is truly beautiful looking layered out on a platter and it tastes just as great as it looks!

Don’t be shy about playing around with the raspberry sauce, it’s extremely flavorful but a simple search on the Internet can find lots of fun varieties that can utilize this recipe in different ways!

I found it best to let the risotto be completely cooked before I started the sauce or the scallops, because unless you are a professional chef it can be hard at times to balance three different activities in the kitchen at once!

The texture of the scallops is wonderful and the pairing with the risotto can not be beat. I hope you enjoy the simplicity and gourmet style of this Easy Eats Recipe and you log in next week to see what our CobornsDelivers Kitchen will cook up next!


Pan Seared Scallops with Spicy Raspberry Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare risotto as directed on the package.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine raspberry preserves, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, raspberries, water and crushed red pepper.
  3. Heat over moderately high heat for approximately 5-7 minutes.
  4. Thaw scallops as directed on package.
  5. Rinse scallops and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add oil and butter to a non-stick skillet and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
  8. Saute scallops by turning over once until browned and just cooked through 4-6 minutes total.
  9. Serve over a bed of risotto and drizzle with sauce.

 

Easy Eats: Chicken Cacciatore

January 31, 2016

Easy Eats: Chicken Cacciatore

It’s Easy Eats time CobornsDelivers Blogging fans! What better way to celebrate than with this delicious Chicken Cacciatore recipe!

There are tons of Chicken Cacciatore recipes out there, but we swear this version of the Italian recipe is the easiest and one of the most delicious varieties. There are only a few simple ingredients, and with half of them probably already available in your pantry there’s really not much to it!

Tomato and Mushroom lovers unite for this dish. Serve over a bed of rice, with a side salad, atop of pasta or even by itself. The full veggie variety is sure to make mouths water. Follow this Chicken Cacciatore recipe and you’ll never cook plain Chicken Breast dishes again.

Enjoy Easy Eat Fans!


Easy Eats: Chicken Cacciatore
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Gold'n Plump Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp. Minced Garlic or 6 Cloves Garlic
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ⅛ tsp. Pepper
  • 1 Can Italian Style Tomatoes with Oregano, Basil and Garlic
  • 1 Can Mushrooms, drained
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breast in a plastic bag or plastic wrap.
  2. Using a rolling pin or other flat object such as a cookie tray flatten chicken to ½ inch for uniform thickness.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir in garlic.
  5. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and peppers.
  6. Cook about 4 minutes.
  7. Turn chicken.
  8. Stir in tomatoes with juice and mushrooms.
  9. Continue cooking for 4 to 6 minutes or until flavors are blended and chicken is thoroughly cooked.

 

Chia Spiced Gala Apple Sauce with Crème Fraiche

December 30, 2015

Chia Spiced Gala Apple Sauce with Crème Fraiche

This tasty Apple Sauce is perfectly flavored and made from the delicious Gala Apple. This dessert is a wonderful treat on a winter day and its simple spices give it a flavor that is irresistible and similar to that of the creamy Indian Chia Drink. Be sure to use the skins of the Gala Apples as well- they add a beautiful deep amber color and a very nice texture to the Sauce.

Here’s some facts about the delicious Gala Apple!

  • Gala Apples are both sweet and tart with a tinge of tropical fruit.
  • Gala Apples are low in calories and fat free, this makes them a fast and healthy snack.
  • You can find Gala Apples in the produce aisle all year long.
  • Gala Apples are great in a main dish, such as braised chicken because of their bold flavor.
  • Savory flavors compliment the Gala Apple’s moderate sweetness the best.
  • Serve the versatile Gala Apple with Merlot or Pinot Noir- they compliment the Gala perfectly!

Check out the details below for this delicious dish!

Chia Spiced Gala Apple Sauce with Crème Fraiche
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup of Apple Juice or Apple Cider
  • 2 T. Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ginger
  • ⅛ tsp. Cardamom
  • ⅛ tsp. Cloves
  • Crème Fraiche for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the quartered apples and 1 cup of apple juice to in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on until the apple are soft and juicy.
  2. Frequently stir the apples to make sure they aren’t burning or sticking the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the spices and continue to simmer the apples 30 more minutes until they are very soft.
  4. Puree in the pot with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
  5. Serve warm and garnish with a swirl of crème fraiche, maple syrup, and cinnamon.

We hope you love this tasty treat! Pair this Apple Sauce Dessert with one of our wine suggestions and enjoy this warm creation on a cold day or year around!

Holiday Dessert Shooters

December 23, 2015

Creamy Chocolate Trifle

Holiday party season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with some beautiful desserts. These individual desserts are not only fun to make, but will be sure to impress at your next holiday gathering! Try both the traditional chocolate flavor and the green and red cherry variety as well to add some creativity and deliciousness to your next holiday get together. This first Creamy Chocolate Trifle Recipe is an absolutely stunning treat for a New Year’s Eve party. Print the Recipe below for ease while you purchase the ingredients at the store- We promise this sweet treat won’t disappoint!

Creamy Chocolate Trifle
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Box Graham Crackers
  • 1 Tin Pepperidge Farm Pirouette Chocolate Wafer Sticks
  • 1 Tub Cool Whip Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 Box Food Club Chocolate Pudding
  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Clear Plastic Cups
Instructions
  1. Mix chocolate pudding per box instructions or use canned.
  2. Refrigerate.
  3. Put Graham Crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs.
  4. Put a layer of crumbs in each cup.
  5. Spoon in or fill a piping bag with chocolate pudding and another piping bag with Cool Whip chocolate frosting.
  6. Cut the tip of the piping bag – ½ inch to ¾” wide opening will work great.
  7. Alternate layers of pudding and frosting, ending with frosting.
  8. Break wafer sticks in half.
  9. Insert half of a wafer stick into each cup along the side.
  10. Top with chocolate pieces or shaved chocolate.
  11. Refrigerate if made ahead of time.
  12. Enjoy!
Notes
Chocolate shavings can be shaved from a block of chocolate almond bark or Hershey candy bar.

Min iHoliday Trifle

These next dessert shooters can add a little bit of color to your holiday party pallet. Some fresh fruit, chocolate shavings and cool whip really ties this treat together and makes it impossible to have just one!

Check out the Printable Recipe below and learn how you can make these delicious layered Mini Holiday Trifles in no time at all. This makes them perfect for procrastinators and for all of us who finds the holiday season to be a stressful time of year!

Mini Holiday Trifle
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Box Graham Crackers
  • 1 Box Food Club Vanilla Pudding
  • 3 Tubs Cool Whip White Frosting Red and Green Food Coloring
  • Fresh Cherries
  • 1 Can Cherry filling
  • White Almond Bark
  • Chocolate Almond Bark
  • Clear Plastic Cups
Instructions
  1. Mix vanilla pudding per box instructions.
  2. Refrigerate.
  3. Put Graham Crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs.
  4. Put a layer of crumbs in each cup.
  5. Mix a bowl of cool whip with green food coloring and a bowl of cool whip with red food coloring.
  6. Spoon carefully or fill a piping bag with vanilla pudding.
  7. Put the white, green and red cool whip in piping bags as well.
  8. Cut the tip of the piping bags – ½ inch to ¾” wide opening will work great.
  9. Add layer of vanilla pudding, followed by a red cool whip layer, a green cool whip layer and finally a white cool whip layer.
  10. Melt chocolate almond bark in a small bowl.
  11. Dip cherries in chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.
  12. Spoon a couple cherries from filling on the top of each desert.
  13. Place a chocolate covered cherry on each dessert slightly to the side.
  14. Finish off with white almond bark chocolate shavings.

We hope you enjoyed these Holiday Dessert Shooter Recipes and they can add a special flair to your upcoming party!

On behalf of everyone at CobornsDelivers we want to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year! May 2016 be your best year yet!

Last Minute Mason Jar Gift Ideas

December 16, 2015

Seven Festive Ways to Use Mason Jars

Only NINE DAYS until Christmas! That means it’s time to get crafting. These simple Mason Jar Gift Ideas are stunning and they make a perfect last minute gift for everyone that is left on your shopping list. From teachers, to coworkers, neighbors, friends or even the host at your weekend Holiday Party I just love these quick and easy gifts. Feel free to personalize them however you would like, but as usual we have some wonderful easy and FREE Printables that you can download and use to make your gifts personalized.

Candy Cane Bath Salts

Candy Cane Bath Salts

This first gift is for your hard working friends who deserve a little R & R. A Holiday Gift Jar with Candy Cane Bath Salts will be perfect for anyone who needs a little pick me up this Holiday Season. The jar is simple and oh-so-fragrant. The result is a gorgeous Mason Jar that resembles a candy cane.

To make these gifts a little more Christmas-y, spray paint some of the rings for the jar lids red. On the others, place a little pillow fill on the top of the lid, placed an 8” round circle of material over the top and voila! Instead of pillow fill, you could use candy, potpourri, or even cotton balls. Then I embellished with candy canes, jingle bells, curly ribbon, etc. At the end, I have a beautiful, personalized gift for my friend. Check out the Free Printable Gift Tag HERE.

Candy Cane Bath Salts
 
Ingredients
  • 8 Cups Epsom Salts
  • 3 Cups Kosher Salt
  • ½ t. Glycerin, divided
  • 14 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 24 Drops Red Food Coloring
  • 5 (12 oz.) Ball Mason Jars
  • Use Heavy-Duty Sand Mixer
Instructions
  1. Pour 4 cups Epsom salts into large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1½ cups kosher salt; stir well.
  3. Add ¼ t. of glycerin and 7 drops peppermint essential oil; mix well.
  4. In another large bowl, add 4 cups Epsom salts and 1½ cups kosher salt; stir well.
  5. Add ¼ t. of glycerin, 7 drops peppermint essential oil and 24 drops red food coloring; mix well.
  6. Holding jar at angle, layer salts in jars (red, white, red etc…) until full.
  7. Seal with lid!

Cookie Jar

Cookie Jar

We can’t forget about your child’s amazing teachers. This cookie mix in a jar is a great gift to give anyone and it’s an easy way to show someone you care by taking the time to personalize this gift. Have your kids help with this gift and they will be so proud to give them to their teachers. See the recipe below to learn how you can make these adorable Cookie Jars at home! Check out the Recipe below and the Free Printable Gift Tag HERE.

Cookie Jar
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Sifted All Purpose Flour
  • ½ t. Baking Soda
  • ¼ t. Baking Powder
  • ¾ Cup Red M&Ms
  • ¾ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Green M&Ms
  • 1 Quart Ball Mason Jar
  • 7” Circle of Fabric
  • Red Paint
  • Hot Glue
  • Decorations
  • Gift Tag
Instructions
  1. In a bowl: mix together flour, baking soda & baking powder.
  2. Put ½ of this mixture in jar.
  3. Layer the following in order: Red M&Ms (be careful to push them to the sides of the jar so color shows well), packed brown sugar, sugar, green M&Ms (again be careful to push them to the sides of the jar so color shows well), finally the remaining flour mixture.
  4. Pack firmly as you go along.
  5. Spray paint ring of jar red.
  6. Top jar with 7” circle of fabric.
  7. Hot glue decoration on.
  8. Add gift tag with baking instructions.
Notes
Baking Instructions: Empty jar of M&M Holiday cookie mix into mixing bowl; blend well. Add ¾ cup softened butter, 2 beaten eggs and 1 t. vanilla; mix well. Roll into 1” balls; place 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F until edges are lightly browned; about 12-14 minutes.
Makes 30 Cookies.

There you go, you’ve got another gift done, quick, easy and only one stop at CobornsDelivers.com for all of the ingredients.

Holiday Hand Soaps

Holiday Hand Soap

My friendly neighbor will be getting this delightful Holiday Hand Soap Jar. First of all… Wow is this easy! I bought  a pint Ball Mason Jar, used some colored clear rocks, a sprig of Christmas leaves, decorative balls and added inexpensive TopCare clear hand soap from Coborn’s. I found a hand soap pump at a local craft store for under $3. Drill a hole in the lid for the hand pump and taadaa! Put whatever you want in it for decorations. It makes a great gift for your neighbor or anyone on your list. The Printable Label is available HERE.

Buffet Jar

BuffetJar

This festive mason jar is less of a last minute gift and more of a Christmas decoration. It makes the perfect placemat for your guests. Simply tie assorted Christmas colors of curling ribbon around the base of the jar, add your silverware and napkins to the jar and your table setting is complete! Afterwards you can use the mason jars for some warm apple cider or hot coca as you open Christmas presents with your family.

Christmas Crunch

Christmas Crunch

A little Christmas Crunch is always a hit. Check out the Recipe Below and learn how a little Burlap can make this mason jar an adorable gift! Be sure to print out the recipe below and the Free Printable Labels HERE.

Christmas Crunch
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (10 oz.) Pkg. Mini Twist Pretzels
  • 4 Cups Toasted Oat Cereal
  • 4 Cups Crispy Corn Cereal Squares
  • 1 Jar Dry Roasted Peanuts
  • 1 (14 oz.) Pkg. Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Pieces (like M&M’s)
  • 2 (11 oz.) Pkgs. White Chocolate Chips
  • 3 T. Vegetable Oil 7 (12 oz.)
  • Ball Mason Jars Parchment or Waxed Paper
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, combine pretzels, cereals, peanuts and candy pieces; set aside.
  2. In microwave safe bowl, heat chips and oil on medium-high for 2 minutes, stirring once.
  3. Microwave on high for 10 seconds; stir until smooth.
  4. Pour over cereal mixture; mix well.
  5. Spread onto parchment or waxed paper.
  6. Cool about 4 hours.
  7. Break apart.
  8. Makes about 5 quarts.
  9. Fill jar with snack mix and decorate as desired.

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

 

Time for gifts for co-workers! With cold weather upon us, soup is the perfect holiday gift. It is even a great gift for a friend who is home sick or just needs a pick-me-up. I bet you even have half the ingredients right in your cupboard now. Check out the Recipe below and Free Printable Label HERE.

Tortilla Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Wide Mouthed Ball Mason Jar
  • Small Basket or Gift Bag
  • 1 Cup Converted Long Grain Rice
  • 2-2½ Cups Slightly Crushed Tortilla Chips
  • 1 (5 oz. can) Chicken
  • 1 (10 oz. can) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
  • Seasoning:
  • 2 T. Chicken Bouillon Granules
  • 2 t. Sugar
  • 1 t. Dried Cilantro Leaves
  • ½ t. Garlic Powder
  • ½ t. Ground Cumin
  • ½ t. Salt
  • ¼ Cup Minced Onion
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients for seasoning together in a small zip-lock bag.
  2. Place rice in jar.
  3. Put bag of seasoning on top of rice in jar.
  4. Fill jar with tortilla chips.
  5. Attach cooking instructions to the jar.
  6. Place jar and cans of tomatoes, chiles and chicken in basket or gift bag.
Notes
Cooking Instructions: Remove tortilla chips and seasoning packet from the jar. In a gallon soup pot, add rice and 10 cups of water. Add can of diced tomatoes and green chiles, can of chicken and the seasoning packet from the jar. Bring to a boil; lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add tortilla chips, replace the cover and simmer for 5 more minutes. Makes 3 quarts.

Snowman Hot Cocoa Jar

Hot Cocoa

This is the best hot cocoa mix there is! Now isn’t this just the cutest little snowman you ever saw? I am making these for everyone on my Christmas list. Check out my secret hot cocoa recipe below and be sure to check out the FREE Printable Label HERE.

Hot Cocoa Jar
 
Ingredients
  • 6½ Cups Powdered Milk
  • 1 (5 Oz. Pkg.) Non-instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • 1 Cup Powdered Chocolate Drink Mix (like Swiss Miss)
  • ½ Cup Powdered Non-dairy Creamer (can use vanilla if you want)
  • ½ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • ½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder Minature Marshmallows
  • 4 Snack Zip-lock Baggies
  • 4 Quart Ball Mason Jars
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Orange Puff Paint
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Hot Glue
  • 12 Black Buttons
  • Red Fabric
Instructions
  1. Mix first 6 ingredients together in large bowl.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Spray ring and lid black.
  4. Cut 5” circle out of black paper and make it ⅞” wide, to resemble a top hat.
  5. Lay jar flat to paint eyes and mouth to look like charcoal.
  6. Use orange puff paint to add a carrot nose.
  7. Add a piece of red fabric to look like a scarf, about 22” long & 2” wide.
  8. Put three inches of mixture in jar.
  9. Put miniature marshmallows in a small baggie, set on top of cocoa and close jar.
  10. Makes 4 Quart Jars.
  11. Best hot cocoa mix you ever tasted!

I hope this Holiday Season is a blessed one! Enjoy these creative gifts as you plan your last minute shopping!

Gourmet Gift Made in Minutes

December 9, 2015

Simple and Delicious Gourmet Gift Made in Minutes

The Holidays can be a stressful time as we pull together funds in order to give gifts that will show those in our lives how appreciative we are of them and all they do for us. Don’t break the bank this Holiday season. Instead, get creative with DIY inspired gifts and baskets that truly highlight how appreciative you are.

If you need a special gift that is a true luxury without a luxury price tag we suggest pairing a couple apples with a package of Four Brothers Creamy Caramel Dip and wrapping the gift up with festive Holiday decorations. This year’s apples are particularly delicious – juicy, crisp and very flavorful. They are the perfect compliment to CobornsDelivers exclusive, rich and creamy, gourmet caramel dip. These “sweet” gifts are great for co-workers, party hosts, neighbors, and even close friends. They are simple, gourmet, inexpensive and oh-so-delicious!

Check out the directions below and learn how simple this DIY gift really is!

Caramel Apple Holiday Gift
 
Ingredients
  • Green and Red Apples
  • 1 Container Four Brothers Creamy Caramel Dip
  • 1.5 Sq. Ft. Clear Cellophane
  • 1 Ft. Holiday Ribbon Holiday Décor Garnishments. Examples, pinecone, ribbon, glittery stems
Instructions
  1. Place the caramel dip container on the center of the cellophane.
  2. Place the apples on top of the caramel dip.
  3. You can use smaller apples or a few giant ones.
  4. Pull the cellophane up to surround the caramel dip and apples, and then tie your ribbon around the top.
  5. Finish the gift by tying on some holiday décor garnishments like pinecones, bows, a cinnamon stick or some Christmas bulbs.

The Four Brothers Creamy Caramel Dip is one of the signature CobornDelivers family products that honors the company’s heritage and history. It was the four Coborn’s brothers in the third generation of the Coborn’s company who really began the growth of the Coborn’s chain of supermarkets. Click Here to read more about the Four Brothers Brand.

Local Feature: Heavenly Treats

December 2, 2015

Local Feature: Heavenly Treats

Heavenly Treats has been making local treats for every sweet tooth in the area ever since 2008 when it became a company. Heavenly Treats houses the freshest ingredients that are perfectly sweet and create the best treats. Plus guess what?… Those treats can be purchased for delivery to your home at CobornsDelivers.com!

Local Feature: Heavenly TreatsHeavenly Treats new shop is located in downtown St. Cloud, MN on St. Germain Street and all of their goodies are made by hand, which is a wonderful feature for the St. Cloud Area.

Some of their Heavenly Products include Toffees, Cookies and Caramels and each goodie is crafted to perfection.  Addition, Heavenly Treats features blueberry muffins, fruit pizza and tons of other items that are readily available!

Heavenly Treats is famous for their Toffee, which features a secret custom recipe. This recipe has been tried and Heavenly Treatstrue by lots of taste buds to make a perfect dessert that no one will want to share. (But that’s okay; you can order up to 2 ½ Pounds online at CobornsDelivers!)

There are four varieties of Cookies that Heavenly Treats makes; sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, orange blossom cookies and of course toffee cookies. Toffee cookies from Heavenly Treats are incredible because they combine leftover toffee pieces from the homemade Toffee Treats with tons of real Milk Chocolate. Eating just one is impossible, but no worries you can buy them by the dozen!

The Caramels are simply delightful. These creamy creations are made of real ingredients, so you can rest assured that these slices of heaven are as pure as can be. The products can be purchased in a gift-wrapped box, which saves you time wrapping this holiday season. Simply add a bow to the top and you can cross someone off your shopping list! (Or more than one person because we promise everyone will love these products.)

Heavenly TreatsIt’s incredible to learn about all of the local companies and the products that they produce, especially when they make such yummy sweets. Be sure to try Heavenly Treats Toffee, Cookies or Caramels this holiday season. Their wide variety of products make perfect gifts for coworkers, your special someone or even as a holiday treat for yourself! And the best part is, these products can be purchased at CobornsDelivers.com and when you buy you are supporting a local business! This saves you time driving to the on sight location and makes sure your products are carefully delivered to your door.

Check out Heavenly Treats on Facebook; send questions to info@myheaventlytreats.com or at 320-492-6841 and be sure to check out all of the delicious Heavenly Treats products that CobornsDelivers has to offer!

Crostini with Fig, Brie & Proscuitto

November 29, 2015

Crostini with Fig, Brie & Proscuitto

You would never believe something so fancy looking was so easy to make! I can’t wait to serve these little appetizers at a holiday party. They are truly so yummy!

The flavor of this Crostini is uniquely delicious. I was a little nervous about the Fig Spread being too contrasting of flavors with the Prosciutto and Brie, but they ended up being a perfect combination together. This is one of the easiest recipes ever. All you need to do is slice your Artisan Style Bread, grill the bread slightly and add your toppings.

Brie Cheese is a super soft dessert cheese, and it is actually nicknamed, “The Queen of Cheeses.” With a nickname like that it’s fitting that it tops this bite-sized appetizer! If you have never used Prosciutto before, it’s a perfect topping and it’s very easy to use because it is thinly sliced and doesn’t need to be cooked. Together, Brie and Prosciutto are like the peanut butter and jelly of appetizers- you can’t have one without the other!

Enjoy this Easy Eats morsel! Hopefully you have the perfect holiday opportunity to show off your appetizer preparation skills!

Crostini with Fig, Brie & Proscuitto
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Create 12 Slices of bread.
  2. Butter both sides of bread and grill.
  3. Spread layer of dried fig on bread.
  4. Add slice or two of brie cheese and top with chopped prosciutto ham.
Notes
Chopping the prosciutto makes it easier to eat.

 

Warm Up With Healthy Soups

November 25, 2015

Warm Up With Healthy Soups

Happy fall everyone! The leaves have turned their final colors and are now dropping off the tress at a faster rate, the days are more crisp and cool and there is a very evident chill in the air. I hate to say it, but ol’ man winter is right around the corner, there is nothing we can do to prevent it unless you plan to move to Hawaii tomorrow, so the only option left is to prepare and embrace it! You may ask, what I am Tips for Healthy Soupsdoing to prepare myself? Well folks, besides turning on my fireplace and drinking hot tea every chance I get, I’m am spending more time in my toasty warm kitchen making soups! Hot and healthy soups are a great way to warm the soul and allow you to step out into the bitter cold with a bit more confidence that you won’t just turn into an icicle.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while preparing soups:

Use low sodium broths, not necessarily lowER sodium, lower than what? LowER sodium could still be very high, in order for something to be labeled as “low sodium” its 140mg or less of sodium per serving. But remember when there is no salt, you need to replace it with other flavors so…

Use sodium free seasoning such as Chef Paul and Mrs. Dash as well as herbs; fresh, dry, or freeze dried, and garlic powder, onion powder should be a staple.

If you need to thicken your soup use pureed potatoes or cauliflower or any other vegetable to thicken and use fat free Greek yogurt in place of cream. I always try to think seasonal this time of year so I would thicken my soup with pumpkin or squash, or both and then add a dollop of fat free plain Greek yogurt on top for extra creaminess! You could also try a slurry of cornstarch and cold water instead of cream or roux, but obviously there is more nutrition if you use veggies J

Speaking of veggies…soups are a very easy way to get a lot of vegetables. Add, add, add away! Maybe adding vegetables sounds like a lot of work… it surely doesn’t have to be! Why can’t you use canned or frozen vegetables instead of fresh. That way they have already been washed and cut. All you have to do is open the can or bag and just keep adding! Make sure they are not in cream sauce or loaded with extra sodium though. Try to buy the no salt added versions or just remember to drain and rinse for 2-4 minutes to remove that excess sodium. Canned and Frozen are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts.

If you are adding meat, make sure it is lean and always take off the skin, but who says you can’t make a Add Veggiesseafood based soup or why can’t it be vegetarian?

Try using tofu or beans and lentils as your protein base. Remember canned beans are just as nutritious as dried beans and a huge timesaver, just remember to drain and rinse them for 2-4 minutes to reduce the sodium by up to 41%. By the way beans are so nourishing, did you know that they offer a good source of protein, iron, and fiber, plus they are low-fat, not to mention very cheap compared to other protein foods. Cannellini beans work great for Italian style soups with black or pinto beans are nice in Southwestern-types.

Don’t forget the whole grains! Get creative, use wheat berries, barley, quinoa, brown rice, or wild rice to name a few. You can either add them to the soup, or pour the soup on a bed of whole grains for something different. This will add fiber and keep you feeling fuller for longer. There is a laundry list of benefits of adding fiber to your diet, from weight loss to lowering your cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar levels, just don’t forget the fiber!

Think smart when it comes to toppings: Crackers may be the go-to soup topping, but there are other options that will add crunch or flavor to you soup with some nutritional benefits to boot. If you are looking for a crunchy topping, try toasted whole wheat bread sliced into cubes or whole grain tortillas sliced into strips, misted with oil and placed under the broiler until crispy, or whole wheat bread crumbs are a great option as well and very easy! For creamy toppings, try nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or reduced-fat finely shredded cheese (the more finely it’s shredded, the less you’ll use) Avocados work great to add creaminess as well, plus they are a fruit… BONUS! Also, fresh herbs like basil or cilantro are always great to add as a final, flavorful touch to your favorite soup. Adding any veggies as toppings, not only do they add eye appeal, but also nutrition of course!

Below is my favorite soup recipe for this season!! Enjoy! Happy Soup Making! The weather outside may add a chill but this is sure to take that away, now honestly speaking, would soup taste so good if it was warm out? Nope, that’s for sure, so be thankful for the cold weather… I guess, okay maybe not thankful, that’s a bit far, rather make the best of it!

Squash and Fennel Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Squash and Fennel Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Lb. Winter Squash, such as Butternut
  • 2 Medium Bulbs Fennel
  • 4 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Fennel Seeds
  • 4 tsp. Butter
  • 2 Cups Onions, sliced
  • 1 T. Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 2 Dried Red Chiles, or a fat pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ¾ Cup Sherry
  • 8 Cups Water
  • ¼ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • For the Pumpkin Seeds:
  • ½ Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 T. Butter
  • 1 T. Sugar
  • Generous pinch each of Cinnamon, Paprika, and Cayenne
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. Honey
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Peel and cut the squash up into 1-inch wedges, discarding the peel and seeds.
  2. Peel and core the fennel and chop it up into equally-sized wedges.
  3. Roast, drizzled with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, until soft and caramelized, about 35 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, toast the fennel seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant, then grind.
  5. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy, large pot (like a Dutch oven) until it foams, then add the seeds, onion, thyme, chiles, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  7. While the squash and fennel finish roasting, prepare the pumpkin seeds: melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the seeds, sugar, spices, and a pinch of salt.
  8. Toss well to coat the seeds and cook until they begin to pop and color slightly, moving them around the pan often.
  9. Remove from the heat, wait 30 seconds, then add the honey and toss quickly to coat.
  10. Spread on a plate to cool.
  11. Combine the contents of the roasting pan with the onion in the heavy pot, and pour in the sherry. Allow to reduce for a few minutes, then add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer about a third of the solids to a blender (purée it in batches to ensure the perfect consistency) and add ½ cup or so of the liquid.
  12. Turn on at low speed until the solid are completely puréed, then add another ½ cup broth and turn the speed to high, adding liquid little by little until the soup has the consistency of heavy cream. Blend for at least a full minute on high speed.
  13. Follow this process for the rest of the soup.
  14. Serve the soup with some crème fraîche or Greek yogurt spooned in, scattered with the pumpkin seeds.

 

 

The Sandwich Project

November 18, 2015

The Sandwich Project

Hunger and homelessness is a pressing concern throughout the entire world. Often people turn a blind eye towards these issues, however these concerns are demanding and are located much closer to home than many people may realize. Throughout Minnesota there are thousands of people living on the streets on a daily basis. It is shocking to many people to realize that over half of the homeless people in Minnesota are teens, fewer than 17, or young children.

In the Twin Cities Area, there are two organizations that CobornsDelivers partners with that are making a continual difference in the CobornsDelivers and the Sandwich Projectlives of many of these people who are poverty stricken. These organizations are called Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc. (MRD) and The Sandwich Project Minnesota. These two companies are built on generous and often anonymous donations of talents and time. This CobornsDelivers Blog wants to share their powerful message of how humility and a small donation of time can truly make a difference to those in need.

History Of Program:

To discuss the history of these programs as well as to build a better understanding surrounding the connection to CobornsDelivers, Joe Rasmusson who is an employee at CobornsDelivers, has offered up some wonderful insight into the great organizations of Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc. and The Sandwich Program.

Joe couldn’t begin speaking on behalf of the program without mentioning Allan Law, who is the original founder of Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc. in 1967. Prior to the founding of MDR, Law was a teacher in the Inner City Minneapolis Public School System for over 30 years. His mission with the company has always been to, “Love One Another,” and that one can, “Judge our society by how we care for our children and the disadvantaged.” From 9:00 PM until 10:00 AM, Allan spends every night driving through inner city streets in the Twin Cities in search of people he can help.

Joe explained that Allan works overnight because that is when shelters are closed and homeless people living on the street are at their most vulnerable. Additionally, Allan responds to several calls a day from people in crisis. The requests range from finding jobs, bus passes or temporary housing, to basic needs such as food and care. Allan makes as many as 50 stops per night, stopping to help CobornsDelivershundreds of people in the Twin Cities Area. Of these people, over 2,200 are children under age 17. MDR’s mission is to feed and provide emergency assistance to as many people as possible every single day.

Around late 2012, the company split into a second separate organization called The Sandwich Project Minnesota. This company has the same mission statement and ultimate goal of doing good for the community every single day of the year. There are now two teams that CobornsDelivers pairs up with and their goals of feeding 1,000 of people per week at various shelters and food shelves on a mission to make a difference in our communities.

Where Do the Sandwich Go?

Once the sandwich products are delivered by CobornsDelivers, volunteers and different groups and teams help to assemble them. Then the sandwiches are sent to soup kitchens, homeless shelters and Salvation Army centers. The goods that will not be distributed that evening are put in large freezers until they will be delivered and then distributed to those who are in need of them.

CobornsDelivers & The Sandwich Project

Back in 2010, MRD was having trouble finding respectable and reliable resources to get bread, meat, cheese and sandwich bag Helping Handsproducts from. The company contacted Joe Rasmusson, they worked out a deal with CobornsDelivers and it’s been history ever since! Whenever organizations or families want to do a volunteer event, they simply go online or contact Joe. Joe works with coordinating buyers and bread vendors in order to purchase supplies that are needed for the donation. He says the donations can range anywhere from 150 to several thousand sandwiches. His most recent large group that volunteered was C.H. Robinson. C.H. Robinson made over 26,000 sandwiches by teaming up with Kare 11 for an event. CobornsDelivers as well as Coborn’s Grocery Stores in incredibly involved in large events such as this one, because an event of this size uses over 3,000 loaves of bread and tons of participation.

On average, these sandwiches, which average about $0.50 per sandwich to make, create about 10,000-15,000 meals per month for hungry and homeless people in the Twin Cities area. Additionally, CobornsDelivers gives back a 5% discount to the organization or family that purchases the products. For a huge order like the one C.H. Robinson had, that would equal a savings of $1,200! At the end of the month, CobornsDelivers gives a 5% additional rebate back to MRD and The Sandwich Project, which is just one more additionally way they are giving back to the community.

Who Else Is Getting Involved?

In addition to the steadfast partnership with CobornsDelivers, MDR and The Sandwich Project have also teamed up with some other great partners. They have had active participation from General Mills, Cargill, Rotary and Lions Clubs, Boys and Girl Scouts for service projects and countless school volunteer groups throughout Minnesota.

Joe says some of the most memorable involvement teams are times when church groups or families visit as a way to give back to their community around the holiday season. Joe says it is also great when young people want to get involved. There have been several groups over the years complied of children ages 5-10 who opted to make sandwiches to give back to their community in exchange for hosting a birthday party. It’s selfless volunteerism like this that makes MRD and The Sandwich Program so successful in the Twin Cities Area.

Volunteering & Donating Questions

VolunteerThere are really no limitations or qualifications to get involved and become a volunteer- you just need to have a giving heart and set up the date of your donation. Although it is generally groups in the Twin Cities Area who donate their time, it is always possible to set up a donation date if you will be in the area for a certain event already. Joe says that often when companies will be in the region for conferences they set up a date and time to participate as a department or company-bonding event. Remember, you can always send a monetary donation to the programs if you are unable to volunteer your time and that donation link can be found on both of the company websites.

Are you interested in participating in The Sandwich Project or Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc. and giving back to your community? You can check out TheSandwichProject.org or the website of its original company, 363Days.org. On both of these websites you can either set up a donation date or find Joe’s contact information to have him answer any questions you may have.

As we head into the holiday season and begin our hectic family get together planning, CobornsDelivers encourages us to step back and reflect on those in our communities who have little and who may not be fortunate enough to celebrate a holiday in the ways we are accustomed to. Whether it be with The Sandwich Project or an organization in your own town, donating our time and giving our attention to those in need is the most selfless gift we can give this holiday season.