Supporting Our National Guard and Reserve Associates

February 29, 2012

Photo taken by Randy of the second KC-135 refueling a B-52 on the way to Ft. Hood

This week we are sending Randy off to visit one of our associates in Fort Hood, Texas who is preparing to serve in Afghanistan. Randy flew to Texas on a KC-135 Air-to-Air refueling tanker, refueling two B-52 Stratofortress’s on the way there. He will get to spend a couple days visiting with our soldier to understand what he does away from his civilian job for duty with military units. This opportunity is part of an ESGR Bosslift, the purpose of which, ” . . .is to provide employers and civic leaders the opportunity to observe first hand the technical training, leadership development and team building skills that a Guard member receives while on active duty as part of the Total Force.” Harmons was selected for this opportunity and honor based on one of our associate soldier’s nomination. Only 40 people, including ESGR volunteers, get the chance to participate in this trip and we are proud to be one of the few companies in Utah given this opportunity.

Randy in the Fuel Boom of a KC-135 on his way to visit a Harmons associate training for deployment to Afghanistan

The soldier who nominated Harmons, Justin Newkirk of the Taylorsville store, is a member of the 1st Battalion 211th Aviation Regiment. Part of their mission in Afghanistan will utilize the AH-64 Apache Helicopter. One of the planned activities Randy will get to experience on his visit with Justin is to observe an Apache live fire exercise.

We are very proud of and thankful for all of our associates who have served, or are currently serving, in all branches of the military. We have many active Reservists and Guardsmen throughout the stores and in various positions, from store directors to meat cutters. We are very proud of the following National Guard and Reserve members: 7th Street – Josh Wasden; Ogden – Marcus Hensley; Bangerter Crossing – Wyatt Ross; Brickyard – Matt Watson; Cougar – Edwin Melville and Eric Lopez; St. George – Tristin King; Taylorsville – Justin Newkirk, Aaron Wasden, Courtney Jankowski; District – Matt Knight; Orem – Lance Unwin, David Nava, Michael Gailey; and more!

“Military flies 35 supportive Utah employers to tour Fort Hood” – Salt Lake Tribune

*ESGR – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Hawaiian Fish Recipes from Chef Bob

February 29, 2012
Chef Bob

Chef Bob

On Wednesday morning Chef Bob joined the KUTV crew to show off a couple easy and delicious recipes featuring fresh Hawaiian fish. If you missed him on TV, here are the recipes:

Jicama and Cucumber Slaw

1/2   cup       rice vinegar
1/2   cup       sugar
1      tblsp     Sambal Oeleck
1      cup       Canola oil
1/4   cup       cilantro – chopped
1      cup       carrots – shredded
1      cup       jicama – shredded
1      cup       cucumber – shredded

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, and chili. Slowly whisk in the oil until thick. Add the cilantro and vegetables.

Pepper Seared Ono

1 1/2   pounds   Fresh Ono filets – cut into 4 pieces
2         tblsp        sesame oil
1          tblsp        Canola oil
3         tblsp        coarsely ground pepper
salt – to taste

Place the sesame oil in a small bowl. Put the pepper on a small plate.
Dip the fish filets first into the sesame oil and then the pepper to coat evenly on all sides.
Place on a plate and refrigerate 1/2 hour.
Heat the Canola oil to rippling over medium high heat in a skillet. Sear the fish on all sides to a golden brown.
When you get to the last side, place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 3-5 minutes.
Serve with Jicama and Cucumber Slaw.

Did you know Harmons has fresh Hawaiian seafood flown in throughout the year and it is in the stores within 24 hours of swimming in the sea?

Gluten Free Krusteaz Waffles

February 29, 2012
Dave for Gluten Free

Dave, Gluten Free Advocate

This week I want to tell you about a new item, Krusteaz gluten free waffles which are sold on our freezer aisle. These waffles come out of the toaster crispy and delicious. Best of all, they are good for you – they are low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and they are made with whole grain. My kids love them and so do I because the price tag is about half that of any other gluten free waffle I have found.

18th Annual Special Olympics Utah Fundraiser and Frozen Food Month

February 27, 2012

It is time to celebrate Frozen Food Month and support Special Olympics Utah! We are proud to again be partnering with Special Olympics Utah during the month of March in participation of National Frozen Food Month. During this time each year we ask for the help of our vendors and customers in supporting this great organization and local athletes. There are many ways to get involved:

What do the icon colors represent? Well, besides the medal color and their direct connection to the Special Olympic games, each color represents a different value and lesson in how we should treat people with intellectual disabilities.

PURPLE – Stands for JUSTICE and reminds us to treat people with intellectual disabilities equally.
GREEN – Stand for FAITH, urging us to have faith that they can accomplish anything they set their hearts to.
GOLD – Stands for POWER and reminds us to empower them to succeed by offering our support and friendship.

Harmons strives to carry out these values by supporting Special Olympics Utah and employing incredible associates with intellectual disabilities.

Diabetes Events at Harmons

February 25, 2012
Jessica

Jessica, Registered Dietitian

Today is the Diabetes Expo from 9 am – 4 pm at the South Towne Expo Center, and Harmons is excited to be a sponsor of this FREE event!  Whether you are personally living with diabetes or know someone who is, you will find a wealth of information at this Expo.  Chef Evan, one of Harmons’ Cooking School Chefs, will be providing free cooking demonstrations of diabetes-friendly breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack, with recipes included.  Harmons’ dietitians will take you on a “store tour” down our grocery aisle to help you make smart choices at the grocery store.  Our pharmacists will also be on hand to answer any questions you have about your medications.  We hope to see you at the Expo today.

If you are not able to visit us at the Expo, there are still some great diabetes events you can take advantage of at three of our Harmons’ locations—City Creek (Salt Lake City), Bangerter Crossing (Draper), and Station Park (Farmington).  We will be teaming up with our Cooking School Chefs for some great diabetes-friendly cooking classes and offering free diabetes store tours.  Registration for all events is available online or by contacting the dietitian hosting the event.  And as always, you are welcome to schedule a one-on-one store tour at any time by giving us a call. Continue Reading »

Love the Cheese & Love the Job

February 24, 2012

 

Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

I am coming to you from our beautiful new store at City Creek. What a great store! This store has everything that Harmons has to offer and a few things more. Being the new store, they get all of the cool new things before the rest of the stores get them. We have Heber Valley Cheese here for the first time in Harmons. This is a local cheese from up at Midway and have some of the best Juustolepia cheese you have ever tried. You say you’ve never tried it, well come on over this Saturday when we are having our locals event from 11 to 4. We will have the cheese makers from Heber Valley here to sample and talk about their cheese’s. I know that they will be sampling the Juustolepia. This cheese is a grilling cheese which means that it will not melt when you put it on heat but will be warm and squishy. I know, squishy? But believe me it is wonderful. You will have to fight my boss to get to the cheese. It is one of her favorites.

I have to say that I love my job. Everyday is joy, OK not everyday but most. If you love cheese and people come and join us. We are always looking for cheese geeks and the curious. Check us out, either on line our at one of our stores, and if you don’t believe me ask one of our cheese mongers. They are always singing the praises of cheese and the job we are lucky enough to do.

American Diabetes Association EXPO & Info

February 22, 2012

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has been an established organization for 62 years, and has been very successful at raising awareness and changing the lives of people living with diabetes.  Harmons is proudly sponsoring “The Diabetes EXPO” for the ADA on the 25th of February.   While researching the EXPO, I happened upon the ADA website – and what a gold mine!  The website has received many awards for its organization and innovation, and contains a wealth of information. It features many tools helpful to those with the disease and those who know someone diagnosed.

One of the most impressive features is the community calendar. By entering your location and a radius, the site displays events in the community. I was surprised to discover that something is going on almost every day of the month including; Support Groups, Management Classes, EXPOS, Seminars, and Activities. Additionally, there are message boards to connect with people in your community.

A portion of the website is dedicated to eating and wellness. You can sign up for a food advisor for FREE! The advisor can help with meal planning, carb counting, and gives you access to HUNDREDS of diabetic friendly and tasty recipes. Furthermore, ideas for exercising and getting motivated to live a healthier lifestyle are provided.

The ADA site supplies all kinds of diverse and useful information:  types of diabetes (including gestational), basics of diabetes, diabetes in the news, and research and development of medications. Additionally there are glucose trackers, management plans, and a risk calculator for you and your loved ones.  These are just a few of the many services the website offers. Check out the site and see for yourself – it will amaze you. http://www.diabetes.org

Brussels Sprouts! Really?!

February 20, 2012

Laura, Registered Dietitian

My name is Laura, and I’m excited to join the growing team of dietitians at Harmons! I will be spending most of my time at the new City Creek store in downtown Salt Lake. As part of our commitment to health and wellness, I will be offering individual counseling, healthy eating store tours, and nutrition workshops. My office is located next to the pharmacy – please stop by with questions or just to say hello! I am excited to meet you and share ideas about healthy eating, cooking, and grocery shopping.

One of my favorite winter vegetables is Brussels sprouts. I know, they often get a bad rap, but I’d like to share a quick, easy, delicious recipe in hopes of luring you into the tasty world of Brussels sprouts. Your health (and taste buds) will thank you as they are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Easy Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 5-8 minutes
Ingredients:
1 lb Brussels sprouts (4-5 sprouts per person is a good number to start with)
½ tsp Garlic powder
1-2 Tbls Olive oil
Black pepper to taste
Pinch of salt (or Mrs. Dash if you are watching your sodium)

Directions:
Rinse Brussels sprouts in cold water and trim off the outer leaves and “stemmy” end. Cut a “cross” design about half way into the stem side to help even out the cooking. Throw Brussels sprouts into a medium sauce pan with about a half-inch of water on the bottom. Cover. Steam on medium-high heat until the Brussels sprouts turn bright green and are slightly tender when poked with a fork (approx. 5-8 minutes). Drain the water and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Add garlic powder, black pepper, and salt to taste. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Foods and Taxes

February 15, 2012
Dave for Gluten Free

Dave, Gluten Free Advocate

Did you know that if you have celiac disease your trip to the grocery store may actually be tax deductible? Here are some basic instructions to get you started:

  • Obtain an official diagnosis from your doctor in writing that you have celiac disease. Without that you cannot claim a tax deduction
  • Save all your records of gluten free purchases, including grocery receipts and canceled checks. Then compile a list of the regular cost of all the gluten free items you’ve bought. For example, if regular wheat flour costs $1.99 and your gluten free flour costs $3.99, then you can only claim the difference of $2.00 between the two prices.
  • Note that in order to claim a tax deduction for medical expenses (including any gluten-free food purchases), your expenditures must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, minus any insurance reimbursements. For example, if you have an adjusted gross income of $50,000 a year, then your total medical expenditures must exceed $3,750 in order to claim a tax deduction and use the gluten-free food expenses.
  • Try using your insurance’s flexible spending account. If you have medical coverage and likely cannot claim a tax deduction for the cost of your gluten free food, your employer’s Flexible Spending Plan may allow reimbursement for the cost of gluten free food.
  • Be persistent if you’re researching whether your Flexible Spending Plan will cover the cost of gluten free foods. Your human resources department may not know if the expenses are covered. Contact the provider if necessary until you get a definite answer from someone whether you can get reimbursed for your gluten-free food.

This will take some effort to accomplish. In case you are audited, you will have to keep very detailed records of what you have purchased.

I am not a licensed accountant, so please talk to your accountant or tax professional to verify the information listed here before submitting any tax deductions to the IRS.

Meet Your Harmons City Creek Team

February 14, 2012

Everyone at Harmons City Creek is very excited for the opening of our 16th store! Wednesday morning at 9am we will open the doors and welcome the downtown community into a spectacular Harmons store. There are some people who wanted to say “HI” and invite you to come visit. Here are some of the incredible associates working at Harmons City Creek -

You can also check out pictures from the first dig of dirt to the night before opening.