I don’t watch a lot of sports but for some reason I love sports talk radio. Every year, my favorite show complains about the February “dead zone” — no football, no baseball and basketball takes a week off. Sometimes the February dinner table can feel a little sparse or “samey,” too. But I’ve got a few ideas for giving even those tried-and-true meals a jolt of inspiration on a gray winter’s day.
And don’t forget Our Own Soups are officially on Big Board Buys this week! Get two 22-oz. packs for $9, a savings of nearly $6. These exclusive soups and stews are made just for us, from our own recipes, and work beautifully as stand-alone meals or delicious kick-starts to meal ideas. They’re made in small batches so snag ‘em while they last.
Check out last week’s blogto learn more about why they taste so dang good we have a tough time keeping them in stock.
Local Pasta with Our Own Final Flourish
We love Carso’s Pasta Company. Not only have they been providing the greater Seattle area with fresh pasta and good vibes more than 20 years, they like to push the pasta envelope (is that a thing?) with some interesting flavors I’ve never even considered.
Of course, they’ve got your more traditional items, too, like tortellini, gnocchi and ravioli, which is my personal favorite. Carso’s stuffs these tender little ravioli with all kinds of tasty ingredients, like Pear and Brie, Butternut Squash, and Five Cheese, just to name a few of their varieties.
My fav is the Beet and Goat Cheese, though. With its crispy outside and burgundy-colored inside, it’s a small miracle they can pack so much flavor into such a tiny space. With those skills, I should ask them to reorganize my cluttered little apartment.
And the best way to give one of Carso’s products that last flourish of flavor is with one of Our Own Finishing Butters. With three different seasonal flavors to choose from — Garlic Herb, Gorgonzola and Pecan-Cinnamon, these unique and rich butters are made exclusively for us and really help elevate even your average pasta night into something fit for a weekend dinner party.
They’re made with high-quality butter and no added oils or water. Plus, they’re flexible.
Our Own Finishing Butters add a flourish of flavor to broiled veggies, flaky white fish or on top of a perfectly grilled steak. Melt, slather and spread these delicious butters to discover which one you like best.
The Carso’s Facebook page isn’t the most active, but it’s fun to check out their selfies!
They’re rooting for the home team at Seattle Sounders games, including the youngest members of the family wrapped in cute, over-sized Sounders scarfs.
Treat Your Taste Buds and Save on Bacon
One of the many aspirations for our markets is to inspire people to try interesting new foods and experience exciting new flavors. But sometimes what you really need is a visit from a familiar friend on a cold day. Like a delicious pile of crispy bacon, am I right?
Even with simple staples like bacon, we like to celebrate the folks who do “everyday foods” right. Not all bacon is created equal, and on this week’s Big Board, you can save $3.01 on a 1.5-lb. pack of sliced bacon from Hempler’s, a family owned outfit out of Ferndale, just north of Bellingham, with more than 80 years’ experience in the meat business.
They’ve been curing and slow-cooking their high-quality hams, sausage and bacon since 1934 and racked up dozens of awards for quality and flavor.
Led by the company’s second and third generations – Dick and Kestin Hempler – they procure their product locally and sustainably whenever possible and partner with other business we trust, like Country Natural Beef and Three Sisters Farm in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.
You can read about Hempler’s and our long partnership on our website. And, as an added bonus, here are a few recipes of ours to showcase that sweet, smoky flavor:
Crisp up several slices in a pan, chop or crumble, and generously sprinkle over the top of our Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Bacon.
Or … get a little creative with our Easy Bacon Jam, a flexible recipe you can use to add a bump of bacon flavor to any of your other go-to weeknight meals.
Or … tell your diet to take a hike with our decadent Cheddar-Stuffed Bacon Burgers
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
AGED IBÉRICO FROM SOLERA:Made with a blend of pasteurized cow, goat and sheep milk, Ibérico is Spain’s table cheese of choice.
Solera Ibérico has more sheep milk than most for a richer, more buttery flavor, and they procure their milk from a cooperative of family farms in the La Mancha region. Its slight goat milk tang blends so nicely with the rich sheep milk and comforting cow milk to create a new everyday cheese experience.
It’s a wonderful melting cheese and delicious when served with quince paste on a cheese board. One of my favorite snacking cheeses to enjoy with figs and a nice bottle of Tempranillo.
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.