Pictsweet Frozen Vegetables

Picsweet

When you spend some time getting to know the story behind the Pictsweet Company you will appreciate the commitment and hard work forged by this family owned and family run business for 4 generations. J.O. “Tank” Tankersley was the man behind the vision of taking power from hydroelectric dams and significantly reducing the cost of operating “quick freeze” commercial freezers. His innovation to apply this to crops of vegetables would expand the frozen vegetable industry.

And so a family legacy was born. It’s a legacy that evolved out of hard work, perseverance and dedication to growing the best vegetables, picking them at just the right time and using the best practices to get them to people at their peak of flavor. This family tradition of hard work and commitment continues, and it has made Pictsweet one of the best growers and distributors of frozen vegetables in the United States. Since 1945, they have been serving your family the same vegetables they serve to theirs.

Pictsweets All Natural Vegetables include over 80 delicious varieties ranging from regional specialties like cut Okra to America’s all-time favorites like Green Peas. Their website has some tasty recipes to choose from for making soups & salads, appetizers, baked goods, entrées, and side dishes. Here is a link to their website: pictsweet.com

I buy fresh vegetables whenever possible but during those Months when I am unable to get them fresh, I will use Pictsweet’s Deluxe and Natural varieties. They also offer Steam’ables, which are microwavable and convenient for busy families; as well as their New Deluxe Sides. Now you can serve up indulgent dishes that look and taste like gourmet without a lot of time or effort. With Deluxe Sides, you just heat and serve right in their own handy package. I have not personally tried the Steam’ables or Deluxe Sides.

Pictsweet ….From The Farm and To The Table…There’s no better reason to indulge in a tantalizing treat that just happens to be good for you!

Picsweet

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Mom’s Hearty Potato Soup

Plated

Soups On!!! When I think of comforting pleasures nothing quite says it better than an irresistible bowl of homemade potato soup. My ideal version is loaded with big chunks of real potatoes, slow cooked in chicken stock with onions, celery, savory herbs and spices and bacon baby….Then finished with a little cream for extra richness. Yep, you read it correctly….. The Seasoning Blend of choice is none other than our No Moosteak Grill n’ Rub! This one packs in the flavor. There is no cheese in this soup, and you won’t miss it either! Oops…The recipe wasn’t written down the first time we made it. “You will make the soup again, and this time, I’ll be paying attention.” ~from the movie “Ratatouille” ~ Who might the little chef be and whom shall I give credit to for this delightful dish? My mother of course, so it is only fitting that we would call it Mom’s Hearty Potato Soup!

Ingredients

Mom’s Hearty Potato Soup

• 8 large potatoes, peeled and cubed *
• 4 C. Chicken broth (equal to 1 32oz. box)
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• ¼ C. green onion, chopped (equal to 3 green onions)
• ½ C. yellow onion, chopped
• 1 C. celery, diced (equal to 3 ribs)
• 3 T. unsalted butter
• ¼ C. flour
• 2 C. heavy cream or milk, or substitute 1 C. of each
• 1-2 T. Zesty Moose No Moosteak Grill n’ Rub Seasoning
• 3 T. olive oil
• 1 ½ to 1- lb. of bacon 6-8 slices pre-cooked & chopped (optional)

Method:

Pre-Cook The Bacon:

Bacon
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Bacon on Sheet

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the bacon slices vertically across. Place the bacon into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and wrap in a paper towel to absorb excess fat.

Finished Bacon

Allow to cool, and then chop into bite size pieces.

Celery and Onions

In a heavy duty skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the celery and onion over medium heat until onion is clear.

Add Garlic

Add garlic and continue cooking 1-2 minutes.

Crock Pot

In a large stock pot, add the bacon, celery, onion, garlic and diced potatoes.

Add Stock

Cover with chicken broth and simmer until potatoes are almost done.

Butter and Flour

In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt butter and add flour.

Rue

Gradually add heavy cream or milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened.

Mixture

Pour into the potato mixture and add The Zesty Moose Steak Seasoning. Continue to simmer on low for an hour.

Potatoes

*Potato Tip: Peel and chop potatoes and place directly into a bowl of ice water before cooking to keep them firm and crisp. This also prevents the potatoes from browning and being exposed to the air while prepping remaining ingredients. Pour out water before placing into a stock pot.

Plated

Serves 8

Total Time: 2 Hours
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 1 Hour

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Storing Onions, Garlic and Shallots

Ingredients

I don’t know about you but I have always stored my onions and garlic in the refrigerator only to find out recently that the fridge is not the best place to store them. Onions, just like tomatoes, become soft in the fridge — and what’s an onion without its crisp bite? They also have the tendency to impart their flavor on surrounding produce. And while you might love the taste of onions, you probably don’t want everything to taste like one. It’s actually better to keep whole onions in a warm dry place until they’re cut. Once cut, you should store them in the fridge, covered; they will keep for a few days.

If you have a Garlic Pot or an Onion Pot like the one pictured above; these work great! If you don’t have one of these, how should these edible bulbs be stored? Monica, over at The Yummy Life shared her Mom’s (aka Grammy) storage tip using the punched paper bag method for extending the life. I actually did try this and I was able to keep mine for up to two Months using this method.

Here is what you need:

Storing Onions

• onions, garlic, shallots
• brown paper bags (lunch size)
• hole punch
• marker
• paper clips

Directions:

Bag

Fold

Fold flattened paper bag lengthwise and punch holes along one long edge, approx. 1″ apart,

Fold and Punch 1

punching through multiple layers at one time.

Fold and Punch 2

Flip bag over and punch along opposite side.

Stand up

Open bag, insert onions, garlic or shallots; fill the bag up to half full.

Label

Fold top of bag over 2-3 times, label the top with a marker, and use a paper clip to hold the top in place. Store filled bags in cool, dark place, so that air can circulate between the bags.

Additional Tips:

This punched paper bag method should extend the life of onions, garlic, and shallots in most situations. However, their specific life may vary depending on the temperature, humidity, and light conditions where the bags are stored.

Do not use plastic bags as this will accelerate sprouting and spoilage because of the lack of circulation and the whole point of punching the bags.

Do not store near potatoes. Potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator as well but they should not be stored near onions as they both give off gases that will accelerate the spoilage of each other.

Temperature:
Store in a cool (not cold) dry space such as a kitchen drawer, storage pantry or basement that is between 65 and 70 degrees.

Adapted From TheYummylife.com

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Chili Lime Shrimp & Avocado Deviled Eggs

Plated Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs or Eggs Mimosa (French) are hard-boiled eggs, shelled, cut in half, and the yolks are then mashed and mixed with a variety of other ingredients. The flavorings and seasonings vary from the traditional mayonnaise and mustard version to the more sophisticated and contemporary versions that include a wide range of ingredients such as shrimp, smoked salmon, sardines or caviar. Here is my contemporary version of Deviled Eggs seasoned with our Chili Lime Finishing Salt. The avocado adds a rich and smooth texture to the palate. This “devilicious” hors d’ oeuvre is finished with a sweet and delicate piece of roasted, seasoned shrimp. This would be a perfect side or starter to serve up for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

Ingredients

Chili Lime Shrimp & Avocado Deviled Eggs
• 6 eggs, hard boiled
• 6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 avocado
• 1 ½ tsp. lime juice
• 3 T. mayonnaise
• 1 tsp. Zesty Moose Chili Lime Finishing Salt
• 2-3 tsp. olive oil
Method:

Peel and devein the shrimp, set aside.

Cut in half

Slice hard boiled eggs in half

Scoop out Yolks

and scoop out yolks into a bowl.

Mashed Ingredients

Add the avocado to the bowl and mash the eggs together with the avocado. Add in the lime juice, mayonnaise and Zesty Moose Chili Lime Finishing Salt. Blend to a smooth consistency. Generously fill each egg with the mixture and place directly into the refrigerator until firm. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.

Seasoned Shrimp

Place shrimp in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, season with Chili Lime Finishing Salt and gently toss to combine. Place the shrimp in the oven and roast until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, then cut shrimp in half. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and place one cut piece of shrimp on top of each egg to garnish. Lightly season each egg with the Chili Lime Finishing Salt.

Plated Deviled Eggs

Yield: 4 Servings
Total Time: 47 Min.
Prep Time: 25 Min.
Cook Time: 22 Min.

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Hunt’s Brand Tomato Sauces

Hunt's Brand Sauces

Today’s featured brand pick is Hunts …….. Why Hunts? In sunny Oakdale, California, they have the perfect climate to grow the reddest and juiciest tomatoes! Hunts uses Flash Steam to peel their tomatoes instead of chemicals like some other brands. They are picked at the peak of freshness from the farm and to the can in a matter of hours. No preservatives are added in the process. Hunts canned sauces are made with all natural vine ripened tomatoes, salt and seasonings. There is no added sugar, corn syrup or sweeteners in the tomato products.  They have a variety of flavor options to choose from including Low Salt.

Their line features tomato products in every form, Crushed, Diced, Stewed, Paste, Puree, Whole and Sauces. , They also have a variety of Pasta Sauces, Ketchup and even a BBQ Sauce. The website offers a collection of recipes for their products that will certainly bring flavor to your table! Nutritional information is also listed for each product. Check out their site here: www.hunts.com

We use several of their products including Crushed, Diced, and Stewed Tomatoes & Canned Sauces in many of our recipes. There are two things I primarily look at when making purchasing decisions about food. I am looking at the ingredients and basically the process or how the product is made. Often times you will need to refer to the company’s website for this information. I buy Hunts products mainly because of the Flash Steam Process they use verses chemicals. There is a lot of work involved in making a homemade sauce and using fresh tomatoes, cooking the sauce down and then straining it to a smooth consistency. My time is limited. I will mention that I use Hunt’s Garlic & Herb Pasta Sauce over their other Pasta Sauces, as those do contain High Fructose Corn Syrup and I have personally chosen to eliminate products that do contain that ingredient.  So again, if you are concerned about ingredients, I would choose one of their other varieties. I still recommend the overall Brand over other options, as the majority of their products do not contain it. The peeling process and harvesting at the peak of freshness is what gives it that homemade taste.  Taste The Hunts Tomato Difference!

Hunts

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Tillamook Brand Dairy Products

Tillamook

Our first featured Brand Pick is Tillamook….An Award-Winning, Farmer-Owned Dairy CO-OP from Tillamook, Oregon with over 100 years of cheese making expertise, all of their products start on the farm. Made up of nearly 100 farmer families, their commitment is to provide the highest quality dairy products to your table. Thank You to all of those farmers for their hard work, blood, sweat and tears because that is what gives their products additional value. Make sure you go and check out their complete story here! I simply love the History behind the Name. Not only do they make award winning cheeses, they offer a complete line of dairy products which include Butter, Sour Cream, Yogurt and Ice Cream! Tillamook has just recently introduced their New Line of Farm Style Greek Yogurt! They were offering up some tasty samples at the Winter Fancy Food Show held last Month in San Francisco! I would say there were well over 150 cheese booths alone, but you wouldn’t know it as I found myself always sneaking back to the Tillamook booth for another taste….. As did everyone else, because they always had a line! For 50 Years, Tillamook’s beloved “Tillie” The Brown Cow has captured the hearts of many fans!

tillie

We use Tillamook’s Unsalted Butter and Sour Cream in all of our original recipes that we feature on our Blog. These products are also blended together with our Finishing Butters and Gourmet Dip Blends and are served and sampled at various shows and events.

Tillamook

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“Famoose” Wedge Fries and Dipping Sauce

Potato Fries

Our “Famoose” Wedge Fries and Dipping Sauce seasoned with our Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning was a big hit tonight! These fries are baked in the oven instead of deep fried, which gives them that down home country homemade taste without the calories! Serve them with our great dipping sauce which gives it that extra bit of ‘zing!” This dipping sauce also serves as a condiment for burgers, or use in place of tartar sauce. These are definitely a tasty side to Brian’s Best Ribs!

 

Ingredients (800x533)

Preparing the Fries:

• 4 large russet potatoes cut into 8 wedges per potato
• ¼ C. olive oil for brushing
Zesty Moose Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning (to taste)

Preparation of Dipping Sauce:

• ½ C. mayonnaise
• 2-3 hamburger dill oval pickles, diced
• ¼ tsp. pickle juice
• 3 tsp. Zesty Moose Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning
• ¼ tsp. black pepper

Method:

Cut Wedges

Cut potatoes into 8 thick slices, (8 wedges per potato). Place potato wedges onto a baking sheet lined with foil, and lightly sprayed to prevent sticking.

Brushing Fries

Brush each wedge with the olive oil and

IMG_5624 (800x533)

generously season using the Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning.

Ready to Bake

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and

Baked

bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

In a mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, the finely chopped pickles, pickle juice, Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning, and black pepper

Dipping Sauce Finished

and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to develop flavor. This sauce also makes a great condiment for hamburgers or use in place of tartar sauce.

Potato Fries

Yields: 4 Servings

Total Time: 1 Hour
Pep Time: 30 Min.
Cook Time: 30 Min.

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Filed under Condiments And Sauces, On The Side