Category Archives: Brands We Buy And Why

This section will feature Food Products and Brands that we personally have tried and use in our professional business, in our recipes and at home in our own kitchen. These are Brands that I feel are worthy of checking out. There are so many Brands and Products that are competing out there for your dollar, and sometimes it can be overwhelming when it comes to deciding which brand to buy and why one may be a better choice over another? These are standards that I look for while making purchasing decisions when it comes to our food. A great story or history behind the name says, “I’m an established brand!” Secondly, Brand promise and level of commitment invested into their products say, as a consumer, I matter to them. Thirdly, Taste and the quality of ingredients has become a priority. If you are interested, these are brands and products I would recommend to our readers and followers.

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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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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