Healthy and Comforting Winter Drinks

October 29, 2011

Jessica, Registered Dietitian

There’s nothing more comforting than a piping hot cup of hot chocolate or a mocha latte after hitting the slopes or raking leaves all day. When the weather turns cold, I really start to crave warm, creamy drinks. Unfortunately, hot beverages are often loaded with extra calories, especially from added sugar and fat. Luckily a few minor substitutions can really slash the unhealthy factor of your favorite decadent drink.

What to watch out for
Coffee house drinks are usually loaded with hidden calories, sugar, and fat. Think that pumpkin spice latte sounds safe enough? A 16 ounce with whole milk and whipped cream will set you back 410 calories, 17 grams of fat (10 grams saturated fat), and 48 grams of sugar (that’s 12 teaspoons of sugar!). That isn’t too bad when you consider a peppermint white chocolate mocha, which has 510 calories, 21 grams of fat (14 grams saturated fat), and 75 grams of sugar (that’s 2.5 Snickers worth of sugar!) Even a 16 ounce hot cocoa with whipped cream packs 410 calories, 20 grams of fat (12 grams saturated fat), and 43 grams of sugar. I think you get the point—delicious, warm beverages can come at a nutritional price. Continue Reading »

Sweet Times

October 28, 2011
Derick in Produce

Derick, Produce Manager

Wow! It’s been one year since Harmons has given me the opportunity to post my thoughts about produce on our website and on our Facebook page. I have very much enjoyed the chance is has given me to slow down for a moment and think about some of the details around the amazing products I get to work with every day. The very first thing I talked about is the Holiday Seedless grapes grown by Columbine vineyards in Delano, California. And they are back and they are exceptional! These are the sweetest table grape I have ever tasted. Currently they are testing at a 22 brix, which means they contain about 11% sucrose or sugar. Do not miss out! Please come in and try these giant gems.

A Pourfect Introduction to Kitchenwares

October 27, 2011

Karen, Kitchenwares Specialist

Hello all! I’m Karen at the Bangerter Crossing Harmons, and I get to share some of my very favorite Kitchenware items with you! Yay!

So I was thinking . . . there sure will be a lot of baking going on for the holidays, so why not do it right? One of my all-time favorite products is a line called Pourfect. Did you know that most measuring cups, spoons, ect., are made from a mold, never checked, and most often off by at least a little? How are my homemade cookies and pies supposed to be fabulous if my measurements are all off? Pourfect is a line that a lot of professional bakers will use, and for good reason. After making each one of those cups, spoons, and other measuring devices, they calibrate them so they are actually accurate. And, wonder of wonders, they are made in America. But my favorite thing about them has to be that the measurements aren’t painted on. You can actually put them in the dishwasher and still be able to read which one is the 1/2 teaspoon!

That’s just one of my must have, can’t live without, Kitchenware items. I’ll share a new one with you soon! Have a Happy Halloween!!!

Chef’s Table: An American Dinner

October 27, 2011

Chef Evan

So for my first blog ever . . . I want to talk about our very special Chef’s Table dinners that we do twice a month in our Harmons Cooking School Kitchen at Bangerter Crossing. Coming up Friday November 4th at 6:30 pm it’ll be An American Dinner. The menu, which is very much like what you’d order in a classy steakhouse, starts with a Caesar Salad.  Next, a rich and chunky Potato Chowder.  Then your entrée arrives – a Marinated Flank Steak with Herb Roasted Potatoes and Sage Butternut Squash.  And for dessert – Cheesecake, of course! Our Cooking School Coordinator Ken, who handles the wine pairings, plans to serve a juicy red and a smooth white or maybe a sparkler for openers.  With my background in fine dining and classic Continental cuisine, I get to do two things I love most – presenting a great dining experience for a handful of guests, and teaching.  So, as your dinner gets underway, I’ll chat about the ingredients and techniques I use to make your evening memorable.  We’ve had a great response to Chef’s Table events.  I look forward to having you over for dinner soon!

Warm Up with a Harmons Roast

October 26, 2011

Chris, Meat Manager

Hey, it’s Chris again from the St. George Harmons Meat Department.

The air is crisp, and the temperature outside is cooling down. When the weather is cold, nothing gathers a family around the dinner table like a good roast. Here at Harmons, we have Spoon Roasts. These Roasts are pre-seasoned, wrapped, and ready to put straight in the oven. The slow cooking process at low temperature makes this roast so tender and juicy you can eat this roast with a spoon. Spoon Roasts come in either beef or pork and are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Stop by your local Harmons Meat Department and pick one up! If you have any questions, feel free to ask any of our friendly Meat Department Associates.

Safe Halloween Treats

October 24, 2011
Dave for Gluten Free

Dave, Gluten Free Advocate

Halloween can be a scary time if you have children who are on the gluten free diet, I have been trying to navigate the major candy companies websites looking for information about which if any of their products are gluten free and all you get is a basic description of what you cannot eat such as wheat, barley, rye, etc… Hershey’s for instance does not have a gluten free candy list, they simply say that they will list any gluten containing ingredients, or possible cross contamination on their label. Mars Chocolate makes M&M’s, Dove, Snickers and other products. The company urges gluten-free consumers to check labels, even if a product normally is gluten-free; in busy times of year (such as Halloween), Mars uses alternative facilities to make its candy, and some of those may introduce cross-contamination risks. The company says it will label any gluten ingredients or cross-contamination. Nestle USA considers “gluten-free” to mean “no gluten ingredients are in the product, whether directly added, or potentially present due to cross-contact. If a product label has an allergen advisory statement such as ‘made on equipment’ or ‘facility that also processes wheat etc.,’ we do not consider that product to be gluten-free. So in short the theme seems to be always read the label weather you have bought the product before or not. Here is a list of products that are said to be safe by their manufacturers. Continue Reading »

Halloween Fun and Treats

October 22, 2011

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

As I was walking my dog this morning and enjoying the Halloween decorations in my neighborhood, I realized that Halloween is fast approaching. I am looking forward to seeing the costumes that my neighborhood children have chosen and handing out treats (no tricks, please!).  As a dietitian, I think about a number of things when considering what Halloween goodies I will be handing out to the children in my neighborhood. First, I usually consider nutrition.  While I will not be the person handing out individually wrapped prunes (an actual suggestion I saw online), I do tend to hand out treats that are of the “lesser evil” variety. This year, for example, for the smaller children I will be handing out wax lips, mustaches and fangs as well as Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks (they contain vitamin C and have only 5 grams of sugar per serving). For the older children I will be handing out Pop Rocks (fun and only 10 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving).  I will also mix in some non-food items such as spider rings or glow sticks.  You might have noticed that the items I chose don’t have nuts. This brings me to my second consideration when choosing Halloween treats: Allergies. I am aware of how serious food allergies can be, so I always offer at least one treat that does not contain nuts, gluten or dairy. Some other items that I also considered handing out are sugar-free gum, Cliff Kid Z Bar (there is a Full Moon Brownie flavor that seems perfect for Halloween) and the PayDay candy bar (the first ingredient is peanuts).

Once Halloween is over, candy should be treated the same way a snack would be at any other time of the year. Under ideal circumstances snacks should be scheduled (does not have to be an exact time, but a general schedule such as having an after-school snack sometime between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.), the snack should be eaten at an official eating place (dining room table, breakfast bar, etc…), the child should be given some choice and reasonable limits should be set. Another thing to keep in mind is that if your child is getting more than the usual amount of sugar then sugar should be cut from somewhere else in the diet. Think about cutting back on sugar-sweetened breakfast cereal, not offering sweetened beverages (even juice), or offering other forms of sweet snacks during this time. I do not have children, but have asked some of the parents I know how they handle this topic. My sister, who I feel is an excellent parent, has a three year old son and she allows him to eat candy on Halloween (after she checks it over, of course), but then the candy mysteriously disappears that night.  He is young enough that he does not seem to wonder what happened to the candy. Several other people I know allow a set amount of candy per day with the child choosing which candy to consume. I’d like to hear how you handle this in your household. Please post what your method of handling this is and how it’s working for your family.

Season for Fondue

October 21, 2011
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

There is a chill in the air and pumpkins everywhere. That could only mean one thing, Party Season. That beautiful time of the year where we all get together, wear silly costumes, (I will be the cheese Fairy this year), eat, drink and scare the bejesus out of each other. We move from garden party’s to apple bobbing and cider. Of course a party is not a party without cheese, and the cheese for cooler days has to be fondue. This traditional cheese is a mixture of Gruyere and Emmentaler melted with a little white wine, spices and flour or corn starch. That is the traditional way but you can use just about any cheese to make fondue. One person I know keeps all of her bits and pieces of cheese, throws it in the freezer and when she is ready to party she pulls out her “100 Cheese Fondue”.

There all kinds of recipes out for fondue, but if you are busy and don’t want to go to all of that trouble come on in to Harmons were we have made our own fondue blends. These have everything in them, all you need to do is add the wine, beer or apple cider. We have three different recipes to pick from, Traditional, Mountain Swiss and Cheddar. Continue Reading »

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies!

October 20, 2011

Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

In my previous Cookies, Cookies, Cookies post I told you about the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. There I stated that they are my favorite cookie, and that they are reminiscent of the cookies my mom used to make. Well, Harmons has found a way to make them even better! We have removed the pumpkin pie spice, switched granulated sugar for brown sugar and added butterscotch chips instead of chocolate! These cookies are incredible, the only problem with them is that I can’t eat just a couple of them! So get in to Harmons and grab a package, but be advised they are that good!

How can I become a technician or pharmacist?

October 19, 2011
Phil in Pharmacy

Phil, Pharmacy Manager

Technicians are required to be licensed by the state of Utah.   To become licensed you need to attend an approved pharmacy technician program and complete 180 hours of experience.  Approved programs can be taken at a college and usually take 2 semesters.  Some people get hired on as a technician in training and then complete an approved program through that pharmacy.  This pathway isn’t as common since most pharmacies would like to hire technicians that are already licensed.  After completing the program and hours you’ll need to pass an exam to get your license.  Every 2 years a total of 20 hours of continuing education is required to maintain your license.

To become a licensed pharmacist it takes 2 to 4 years of undergraduate education and 4 years in an accredited doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program.  Some PharmD programs are year round and allow you to graduate in 3 years.  Some positions may require more training after graduation.  Residencies and fellowships in several disciplines are available and provide 1 to 3 more years of specialization.  The last year of the PharmD program the student rotates through different pharmacy settings.  A minimum of 1500 hours of pharmacy experience are required to be able to sign up for the national pharmacy exam in Utah.  After passing this exam a law exam is required for the state that you want to work in.  Every 2 years a total of 30 hours of continuing education is required to maintain your license.

In addition to having well trained technicians and pharmacists at Harmons, we have people that sincerely care about your well-being and health.  There is a saying that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Our people at Harmons care and I invite you to feel the difference at your local Harmons pharmacy.