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Refer Your Friends and Win!

This is the time of year when people are making lifestyle changes for good. We all start to focus on maintaining healthy eating, exercising and setting goals for ourselves to keep us healthy. However, there are so many others—friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers—who could benefit from the fresh variety of fruits and vegetables that you’ve been enjoying!  This season, we want to partner with you in the goal to share the good!

Many new customers join our team of faithful customers at this time every year, and many of those new customers are referrals from you! We are always excited when a new customer signs up and gets on board with “a box of good.” In appreciation, we send out a thank you gift to both the new customer and the existing customer that referred them to us. The gifts have been a fun way for you to sample some of our product offerings, and have included fresh roasted coffee, artisan sourdough bread, and select organic grocery items.

For the next couple months, we have decided to make it even more fun for you to share the good with your friends by having our second annual “Share the Good” contest! From now through the end of March, not only will you receive the standard thank you gift for each new customer you refer, but for every two referrals, your name will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a special prize! (Prizes and drawing dates are listed in the insert on the right.) So, refer four friends and your name will be entered into the drawing two times, six friends and it’ll be entered three times.

Our first drawing will recognize referrals from January through February. The second drawing will be for March referrals. The final grand prize drawing will include referrals from January through March. Winners will be notified immediately after the drawing.

We are excited about making your referrals more rewarding! So spread the word and share the good!

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Chocolate, the Poetry of Love

Capture your Valentine’s heart with the elegance of Theo Chocolate, the exquisite Breadfarm’s cookies or a combination of both in The Essential Chocolate assortment!

Theo’s Casanova Caramel Collection – $8.80 – $26.40

Theo’s exquisite Casanova Caramel Collections will have you swooning as you explore each elegant flavor. Each caramel possesses a unique aphrodisiac quality, so share with that special someone! These collections contain: Ginger Rose Caramel, Honey Saffron Caramel, Grey Salted Vanilla Milk Caramel, and Lavender Caramel.

Casanova Caramel  – 4 piece box: $8.80

Casanova Caramel  – 12 piece box: $26.40

To order your Casanova Caramel Collection, click here.

Seattle’s own Theo Chocolate produces premium organic and Fair Trade specialty chocolate. As the first and only organic and Fair Trade bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the country, all of their ingredients are carefully screened to ensure that they meet their standards for social and environmental responsibility.

The Essential Chocolate Assortment – $22.00

Our own hand-selected assortment of chocolate decadence!

You get a selection of Theo Chocolate: one 3 oz. bar of Theo Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate, one 2 oz. bar of Theo Nib Brittle, one 4-piece box of assorted Casanova Caramels, and then, a bag of Breadfarm’s delightful little Cocoa Niblets! Comes gift packaged in a cream-colored box and tied up with a burgundy ribbon. To order The Essential Chocolate Assortment, click here.

Breadfarm  –  Chocolate Lover’s Cookie Box — $30.00

Only available for the month of February, Breadfarm’s exclusive assortment of premium hand-made cookies! Contains the following: Cocoa Nibs, Chocolate Biscotti, Chocolate Thumbprints with chocolate ganache filling, and Espresso Shortbread – (approx 26-32 cookies). To order your Chocolate Lover’s Cookie Box, click here.

Photo from: http://www.etsy.com/listing/61928475/holiday-cookie-box

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Fresh This Week Tips 01.26.2010

Celery root (celeriac)

Celeriac is a vegetable that is a member of the celery family. However, only its root is used for cooking purposes. Also known as celery root, knob celery, and turnip rooted celery, celeriac has a taste that is similar to a blend of celery and parsley.  Additionally, celeriac is grown similarly to celery, as its seeds are sown outdoors in the spring then the vegetable harvested when its roots are developed.

STORE: Celeriac can keep for up to one month in the crisper section of your refrigerator, if wrapped unwashed in a plastic bag.

PREP: whenever you are ready to use the celeriac, you must first wash the root thoroughly in water then peel its outer skin. You can then use the celeriac for cooking purposes, for example, cutting it into pieces that can be added, raw, to a salad or, slicing it into sections that can be boiled and used as an accompaniment to an entrée.

USE: Because celeriac can be used in recipes that call for celery, its use is limitless. It is, however, especially good when used as an ingredient in soups and stews or when cooked and accompanied by potatoes as a side dish. Celeriac can also be baked, whole, in its skin. Once baked, you can remove its skin and eat its inner flesh.

For some celeriac recipes go to http://www.brookfieldfarm.org/celeriac.htm

For the Apple Potato Celeriac Soup recipe pictured above go to: http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2009/10/celeriac-apple-potato-soup.html

Pepitas

This week we have a fairly new to KFF item in the NW and Harvest box menu: Spiced candied pepitas from the Breadfarm.

What are pepitas?

Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. Typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color. Marinated and roasted, they are a seasonal favorite. We can’t get enough of them! You’ll find yourself munching away on these!

Breadfarm has taken organic pumpkin seeds, tossed them with a light amount of organic cane sugar, allspice, cayenne, egg whites, and sea salt, then toasted them until light and crispy. Don’t worry, these are not HOT like the traditional pepitas-Breadfarm was more conservative when creating their seasoning blend for this- and the result is an irresistible, savory snack – great for topping fresh green salads, supplementing your snack mix, making into these Sweet & Spicy popcorn balls (only try to get around using microwave popcorn for this recipe…it is not so good for nutrient quality & stovetop is very easy!)http://www.atasteofkoko.com/2010/10/sweet-and-spicy-pepitas-popcorn-balls.html

Or, try this recipe for Wild Rice Salad with spiced pepitas, cranberries, and apple cider vinaigrette! http://www.indianharvest.com/recipes-wild-rice-salad-with-spiced-pepitas-cranberries–apple-cider-vinaigrette-245

Tips:

Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautéed vegetables.

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads.

Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.

Next time you make burgers, whether it be from vegetables, turkey or beef, add some ground pumpkin seeds.

Sunchokes

STORE: Wrap sunchokes in paper towels and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable drawer for up to a week.

PREP: Peeling sunchokes is optional. The thin peel has a slightly chewy texture, but it’s not unpleasant, and you may find the effort of peeling their knobby surfaces isn’t worth the return. The cut surfaces of sunchokes, like those of potatoes, tend to oxidize and turn pink. To prevent this, submerge cut sunchokes in lemon water until ready to cook.

USE: Sunchokes become tender and slightly starchy when cooked. To roast them, cut them into chunks, toss with a little oil, season, and add to a roasting pan with a whole chicken or a pork or beef roast during the last half hour of cooking. You can steam or boil whole sunchokes until tender and then mash them roughly or serve them whole. For a creamy soup (the one instance where you may want to peel sunchokes so the soup has a smooth texture), simmer cut-up sunchokes in broth and milk or cream until tender and then purée. And to make addictive sunchoke chips, fry thin slices in peanut oil.

However you prepare them, keep the seasoning mild and minimal to allow the sunchokes’ subtle flavor to shine. Vinaigrettes, cream, butter, goat cheese, garlic, nuts, herbs, nutmeg, mace, coriander, fennel seed, mushrooms, bacon, and lemon juice all pair well with sunchokes.

Crenshaw Melon

STORE: Whole melons can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Store cut melons at 45° F for up to 5 days.

PREP: Melon preparation is easy! Always wash melons in warm soapy water before cutting to get rid of any impurity on the rind that might be carried from the knife blade to the flesh. Simply cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds and strings.

USE: Melons can be cut into halves, quarters, wedges, cubes, or scooped into balls with a melon baller. Most melons will benefit from a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor and served at room temperature.

http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2009/03/melon-101-digest-this-raw-recipes-tips.html

Images from flickr.com

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“Share the Good” Contest!

This is the time of year when people are making lifestyle changes for good. We all start to focus on maintaining healthy eating, exercising and setting goals for ourselves to keep us healthy. However, there are so many others—friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers—who could benefit from the fresh variety of fruits and vegetables that you’ve been enjoying!  This season, we want to partner with you in the goal to share the good!

Many new customers join our team of faithful customers at this time every year, and many of those new customers are referrals from you! We are always excited when a new customer signs up and gets on board with “a box of good.” In appreciation, we send out a thank you gift to both the new customer and the existing customer that referred them to us. The gifts have been a fun way for you to sample some of our product offerings, and have included fresh roasted coffee, artisan sourdough bread, and select organic grocery items.

For the next couple months, we have decided to make it even more fun for you to share the good with your friends by having our second annual “Share the Good” contest! From now through the month of March, not only will you receive the standard thank you gift for your referrals, but for every two people you refer, your name will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a special prize! (Prizes and drawing dates are listed in the insert on the right.) So, refer four friends and your name will be entered into the drawing twice, six friends and it’ll be entered three times.

Our first drawing will recognize referrals that customers have already been sending our way throughout this month. The second drawing will include all referrals from January and February. The final grand prize drawing will include all referrals from January through March. Winners will be notified immediately after the drawing.

We are excited about making your referrals more rewarding! So spread the word and share the good!

.

Share the Good Prizes!

— For referrals the month of January

First prize drawing on January 28

Delicious Organic Pie:

Baked fresh by Scandia Bakery

— For referrals January-February

Second prize drawing on February 25

Organic Breakfast Box:

Real Maple Syrup

Fresh Eggs

Bilberry Nectar

Artisan Chuckanut Bread

Blueberry Lemon Fruit Spread

Coffee or Teeccino Herbal Coffee

— For referrals January-March

Grand prize drawing on April 1

Organic Snack Box:

Roasted Valencia Peanuts

Pistachios

Whole Wheat Crackers

Spiced Pepitas

Fruit & Nut Trail Mix

Cashew Almond Prana Bar

Apricot & Goji Prana Bar

Nutiva Hemp & Chocolate Bar

Theo Cherry Almond Chocolate Bar

Theo Bread & Chocolate Bar

Theo Fig & Fennel Chocolate Bar

(gluten and nut allergy options available)

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Fresh This Week Tips 1.18.11

Broccolini

Actually a cross between a broccoli and a Chinese broccoli (gai-lan/kai-lan).

STORE: Treat Broccolini much like you would broccoli, storing unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

PREP: Wash just before us, trim just the ends off if using stems, or trim stems off completely if using raw.

USE: Like most vegetables, they are best when cooked to just to al dente. They will be bright green and still retain a nice snap, especially in the stems. It’s always better in terms of retaining the nutrients anyway. You can use Broccolini in almost any recipe you’d use broccoli in or gai-lan in, but we feel like it’s a shame to cut them up. They’re long and elegant, making a beautiful presentation whole. Simply roast them with a little olive oil, sliced garlic, and sea salt. They are a fantastic side on any plate.

Photos & Tips from: http://www.foodmayhem.com/2010/06/broccolini.html

Zucchini

STORE: Store zucchini in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer four to five days and do not wash until just before you are ready to use it.

USE: A component of ratatouille, zucchini is also good grilled, roasted, steamed, pan-fried, or raw. It also adds a boost to sweet breads and muffins. Zucchini is so versatile! If you haven’t “tried it all” with zucchini, do something different this week and try a new way of preparing them, just for fun!

Image from flickr.com

Kale

STORE: Keep kale unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a plastic bag in the coldest section of the refrigerator, usually at the back. Because kale contains a lot of water, it doesn’t last long. Use it within 3 days of purchase for the tastiest results. Kale that has been sitting around can develop a strong bitter flavor.

PREP: If the center stalks are thicker than a pencil, remove and discard them before cooking.

USE: Kale is delicious sautéed, in soups, or prepared any way you’d cook spinach.

Image from flickr.com

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Simple decisions for healthy living

The days of heavy holiday foods laden with luscious cream and butter are now a thing of the past, but their memory lives on in the form of tight fitting clothes and an extra pound (or three). We remember those days of celebrating with joy and fondness, but as the new year is upon us, most likely new lifestyle changes and goals are here as well.

Often, diets come and go. Big diet decisions are hard to follow and are quickly laid to rest and old habits become new again.

For me, the most successful lifestyle decisions are the ones that start small yet over time show big changes.

If eating healthier in the New Year is on your list of things to do, first of all, congratulate yourself. Having fresh, organic produce in your home on a regular basis is a HUGE step towards a healthy lifestyle. When sweet cravings strike you can turn to a sweet pear or a tangy satsuma. If salty is what you crave turn on the oven and make chips. Yes, I did say chips – they can be part of healthy eating. Many winter vegetables can be turned into crispy and salty morsels that satisfy the need for a crunch. My husband, who feels as if the grocery list is not complete without chips, fends off his cravings with Kale chips.

Other little daily healthful decisions I try to make include: limiting calories that come from beverages and drink more water, watch my sugar intake – which is hard for me as I love to bake, eat smaller quantities and park in the last parking spot rather than the one closest to the store – it’s amazing how a few extra steps a day adds up to miles in the course of a year.

When we make small daily decisions we may not see drastic results as you would with other ‘fad’ diets but you will see a gradually feeling of overall better health and eventually, if weight loss is your goal, you will drop the pounds. The best part is that you will be more likely to stick with this new ‘diet’ because it is quite easy and fun.

You may argue the fun part but I will argue right back at you. Scour the internet, magazines and cookbooks to find new recipes for vegetables and fruit. Old standbys will get new life as you see them used in different ways.

The best decision has already been made as you are making fresh, organic produce a part of your daily life. May 2011 fill you with joy in the kitchen, new recipes to try and a healthful renewed energy!

by Ashley Rodriquez

Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom. You can read more of her writings at www.notwithoutsalt.com

Homemade Potato Chips with Fennel Spice Rub

4 russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 pounds)
about 4 cups canola oil for deep-frying

Using a mandoline, cut potato into paper-thin slices (about 1/16 inch thick) and let potato slices stand 5 minutes in a bowl of cold water to cover.
Drain potato slices and spread without overlapping on a triple layer of paper towels. Blot slices completely dry with another triple layer of paper towels.
In a 3-quart saucepan heat oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 360-380°F. Working in batches of 8 to 10 slices, fry potatoes, moving them around with a slotted spoon or spider, until golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, making sure oil returns to 360-380°F before adding next batch. Transfer chips as fried with a large slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with Fennel Spice Rub. Continue to pat dry, cut, dry, and fry remaining potatoes in same manner. Potato chips may be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.

http://notwithoutsalt.com/2010/08/17/homemade-potato-chips/

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Fresh This Week Tips 1.11.11

Broccoli
Broccoli is a nutritional bonanza—potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants. It’s also versatile, at home on a crudité platter, tossed into stir-fries and quiches, or pureed into an elegant soup.
STORE: Refrigerate broccoli unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a bag in the vegetable compartment up to 5 days. Broccoli can be blanched (to retard enzyme action) and frozen for up to a year.
PREP: Rinse broccoli briefly, then separate the head into florets to encourage even cooking. Peel and slice the stems and cook along with the florets.
USE: Broccoli is best roasted, sautéed, or steamed.
Radishes
STORE: Remove the leaves to prolong freshness. Refrigerate radishes unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a loosely closed plastic bag. Most are best eaten within 5 days after purchase; they can be used until they become soft, though you should keep them no more than 2 weeks.
PREP: Just before using, trim the stems and the root ends and wash.
USE: Radishes are most often eaten raw, in salads, as garnish, and as crudités. (Halved radishes served with soft unsalted butter and sea salt are a classic French snack.) They can also be braised and served as a side dish with mild fish, like striped bass.
Tomatoes
STORE: Keep tomatoes at room temperature on a plate; never store them in a plastic bag or in the refrigerator. If you want to speed the ripening process, put them in a pierced paper bag with an apple, which emits ethylene gas, a ripening agent. Once ripe, tomatoes will last up to 3 days.
PREP: Tomatoes are excellent in salads and salsas. They are popular sliced and used as a topping for sandwiches.
USE:
Cooking – Very popular in sauces. Cooking tomatoes release the micronutrient lycopene, which is thought to help prevent cancer. Tomatoes can also be stewed or crushed for use in casseroles and chili. To quickly remove the skin from tomatoes, boil for 15-30 seconds. Rinse under cold water and peel.
Baking – Tomatoes can be stuffed and baked. To prepare the tomato for stuffing, cut a small piece off the bottom to make the tomato sit sturdily. Cut off the top ¼ of the tomato. Use a spoon to scoop out the innards. Set the shell upside down for 15 minutes to give it a chance to dry.
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Eating like it’s summer in the winter

There’s nothing like biting into a crisp, freshly picked sugar snap pea while basking in the summer sun. Or having a sweet tomato collapse and fall victim to your teeth as they sink into its tender red flesh.

Commonly in the winter we find ourselves a slave to the stove, constantly roasting, braising, steaming or sautéing. I am guilty of this, as I find an immense amount of pleasure from the sweet and caramel tastes that emerge from roasted vegetables. With those rich, roasted flavors a heavy coat of oil, butter and sometimes cream (vegetables braised in cream are out of this world) comes with it. And while that is fine and mighty delicious, night after night of those hefty side dishes will have you wearing a bulky winter coat – and I’m not talking about the kind you button up.

I became awakened to the joys of eating raw vegetables in the winter while working as a pastry chef for a catering company. The chef created a salad of finely shredded raw fennel, leeks, celeriac (celery root) and apples, simply dressed in olive oil, a splash of vinegar, and salt. I found myself nibbling at that salad when I should have been working on my desserts. I clung to the fresh flavors and simplicity as if it were a friend I hadn’t seen in months. The subtle sweetness of the vegetables and soft flavors of bitter, heat and licorice danced in my head. I was transformed in my winter eating.

While the health benefits are only an added bonus to the delicious tastes of these salads, they are still worth noting, especially since many of us have recently resolved to take better care of our bodies. “Raw vegetables are extremely rich in minerals, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes and natural sugars. All of these are things that your body needs to function properly and the raw veggies will help stabilize and normalize your natural bodily functions. They actually help pretty much ALL of your natural bodily functions operate.” (http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Many-Benefits-Of-Eating-Raw-Vegetables&id=53492)

I’ll never give up my roasted carrots that taste of candy or my cream braised brussel sprouts that leave all cruciferous detesters eating their words and their vegetables. But what I will do, is enjoy the freshness of raw vegetables all year long seeking out different tastes and new ingredients.

by Ashley Rodriquez
Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom. Read more of her writings at www.notwithoutsalt.com

Winter White Salad
Serves 4 as a side salad

Celeriac, also know as celery root, is the unsung hero of this dish. The flavor is similar to that of celery but with more spice and none of the obnoxious strings. It crunches like a carrot and yields an aromatic fragrance that will leave you wondering why you’ve never taken note of it before. You’ll have to get beyond the warty and hard to peel exterior but once you do you will be rewarded with a unique flavor and a crisp crunch that we so long for in the cold Winter months ahead.

1 apple – I used a tart Pink Lady and loved the flavor it added.
1 Fennel bulb
about 1/4 of Celeriac, peeled
1 small Leek

Using a Mandolin with the matchstick blade carefully slice the apple, fennel and Celeriac. Each item should yield about 1 1/2 – 2 cups once cut. You can play with the quantity of each depending on your flavor preference. Keep all the sliced produce in a bowl of cold water with a touch of lemon juice to keep them from browning. When ready to dress the salad make sure you completely drain the matchsticks. Thinly slice just the white part of the leek. Separate the rings. Make the dressing.

For full recipe please visit: http://notwithoutsalt.com/2009/11/05/winter-white-salad/