Food of the Gods

March 30, 2012
Derick in Produce

Derick, Produce Manager

I just enjoyed an amazing apple! It is called the Ambrosia Apple. It is very crisp and juicy with very low acid. This apple first appeared in 1990 in an orchard in Similkameen Valley in British Colombia. It is believed to be a natural cross between a Jonagold and a Golden Delicious. This would be a great apple for all those missing the Honeycrisp. We just got a fresh delivery – come and try them for yourself.

Great Gluten Free Seasonings

March 28, 2012
Dave for Gluten Free

Dave, Gluten Free Advocate

I would like to tell you about a new seasoning blend that I happened to come across while walking down the spice aisle the other day – Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends. We carry four varieties: Blackened Redfish Magic, Meat Magic, Poultry Magic, and Seafood Magic. I have tried all four varieties and have to say my favorites are the Blackened Redfish and the Meat, but the other two are very good and worth buying as well. The best thing about these seasonings is that they say gluten free right on the bottle so there is no need to worry or wonder. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Spring Into Salad Season

March 24, 2012

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

Spring has officially arrived!  Even though I have been enjoying the nice weather for a while now, there is something about the first day of spring that makes me begin to crave salad.  I start thinking about arugula’s peppery burst of flavor, the crispness of romaine and the mild taste of baby spinach.  While I love the flavor of these salad greens, I also understand the health benefits to be gained from eating them.  All of these types of lettuce are not only very low calorie (about 10 calories per cup!), they contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that may help to prevent diseases such as cancer and heart disease.  Usually, the darker the lettuce, the more nutritious it is.

Lettuces such as spinach, romaine, arugula, red leaf and green leaf contain beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant), vitamins K and C, fiber, folate, and lutein and zeaxanthin (for eye health).  Spinach also contains iron (necessary for oxygen transport in the body) and romaine contains salicylic acid (the main compound in aspirin) so it may reduce inflammation.

Tips for enjoying lettuce: Continue Reading »

Great Nights with Special Cheeses, Wines and People

March 23, 2012
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Hello Everyone,

What a great few days we had with the French Cheese Club. Cecile Delannes was a absolute delight and a treat for me and the cheese mongers. We started out with a class for the cheese mongers. We had a virtual tour and tasting of her cheeses followed up with Seth, our chef, making a couple of Estansia grass feed steaks with a creamy Epoisse sauce. I swore I had seen a couple of the mongers licking their plates. OK, it was me but I wasn’t the only one. Later that night we held a Wine and Cheese class with Cecile. Frances Fecteau was our wine expert and we had Chantelle Bourdeaux and Jeremy as our chefs. The wines, the foods, and the cheese. What can I say? The next night we were at our Emigration store with the same line up. We had Tim and Carrie Welsh from Beehive Cheese and Lisa Cohne from UEN join us. There is something to say about good food, good wine and even better company. Saturday night was at our Bangerter Crossing store were we had Sheral from Wasatch Academy of Wines and Chef Even at the stove. I had a blast spending my St. Patrick’s day with the French.

I have to give out a big thanks to Cecile and everyone who made these nights such a success. You all gave us a very cheesy, and slightly more wine than what is good for me, night. Thank you, Meci Beaucoup

Here is a presentation by Cecile that gives a ton of great information about French cheeses. French Cheese Club – Terroirs & Traditions

You can also view fun pictures from the classes held at Harmons on the French Cheese Club Facebook page.

Healthy Milestones: Snowshoeing Fun

March 22, 2012

Snowshoeing in Mill Creek with friends and dogs – Linda, Harmons Risk Management Assistant

Linda & Friends Snowshoeing in Mill Creek Canyon

Get a group of friends together and hike Mill Creek Canyon. It is a beautiful canyon with lots of trails and it is dog friendly. On odd days the dogs can be off leash on the trails, which the dogs love. People are friendly and the dogs are friendly. It is so much fun to watch the dogs greet each other and play. On this particular day we did a short hike about 5 miles. We enjoy our time in the outdoors no matter what distance we hike. We try to get together a few times a month depending on weather. If you are with good company and dog friends it makes for good times. Snow Shoeing is a fun way to exercise in the winter. If you have a big dog that requires a lot of exercise it’s a good way for both of you to get exercise. Just be careful that the dogs do not step on the back of your snowshoes, it can trip you up. I bring a pack with for my little dog. When he gets tired I put him in the pack and still get in a good hike. It is also a great stress reliever!

Stone Hearth

March 22, 2012
Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

Did you know that every Harmons Artisan bakery has a stone hearth oven? What is a stone hearth oven? A brick or stone lined fireplace or oven often used for cooking and or heating. For centuries, the hearth played a key part in the home. In archaeology, a hearth is a firepit or other fireplace feature of any period. Initial usage refers to a place of warmth, heat, fire, or “heat of the earth!” Hearths are common fixtures going back to prehistoric campsites. This was the most common way to cook and heat interior spaces in the cool seasons. So you may ask yourself, why does Harmons have hearth ovens in their bakeries? That’s simple, quality! Bread baked in a hearth oven is far more flavorful than bread baked in a convection oven. It also allows you to achieve a thicker, darker, and heartier crust. In previous post (Does dark crust mean burned?) I talked about the carmelization of bread. That’s when the natural sugars on the surface of the bread reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit, it begins to harden and darken, thus carmelization takes place! If you ask me, the crust is the most flavorful part of the bread. Did I mention every hearth oven is imported from Germany? I think this is just another example of Harmons going that extra step to make sure quality and their customers are the focal point!

Salt Selections

March 19, 2012

Chef Evan

Harmons has a great selection of flavored salts.  Here at our Bangerter Crossing store we feature Redmond’s Real Salt, Fleur de Sal, Gray sea salt, Pink Himalayan, Hawaiian, Durango hickory smoked, and Cypress black lava salt.  Now, I won’t be surprised if you’re not sure how to use this array of salts.  All of these salts have different flavors and are great for adding that extra punch of flavor.  Here are some suggestions as to how and where these salts work best.

Redmond’s Real Salt is a Utah product that we at Harmons use in everything we add salt to. The salt has a richer and deeper flavor compared to that of a kosher or iodized salt.  The Fleur de Sal and Gray salt are a perfect “grand finale” for finishing your grilled steaks.  They have a lot of dimensions to their taste and provide some texture to the steak.  The pink Himalayan and Hawaiian salts have a bit of sweetness and pair well with pork and seafood.  The Cypress black lava and Durango hickory smoked salts have a charred smoke taste and enhance your barbeque meats.  I love using the hickory smoked salt in dry rubs for pulled pork or beef brisket.

I would encourage you to purchase a couple of these salts and experiment with them at home.  Another suggestion – check out our Cooking School schedule and watch for a class we call Train Your Taste Buds.  In this class we present all the salts noted above plus many popular herbs, spices, and peppers.  Once you’ve gotten familiar with our flavored salts, you’ll not only be able to give your recipes an extra kick, but you’re sure to impress your family and friends as well!

Get Your Plate In Shape

March 17, 2012
Jessica

Jessica, Registered Dietitian

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been one year since my very first blog as a Harmons’ dietitian!  I know this because my first blog was about National Nutrition Month, which is celebrated every March.  So it’s time to celebrate again by getting your plate in shape!

National Nutrition Month is a campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (professional association for registered dietitians) to “focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”  The theme of this year’s campaign is “Get Your Plate in Shape,” which focuses on building well-balanced meals based on My Plate.  Here are some tips for getting your plate in shape:

  • Make half your plate fruits and veggies.  HALF?!?!  Yes, half.  If that seems daunting, start with small steps.  If you do not consistently include any vegetables at your meals, try to always include one.  Once you get used to always having some vegetables on your plate, you can work toward increasing the amount until you reach half of your plate.  Remember that fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables count!  When purchasing canned veggies, look for “reduced sodium” or “no salt added choices.”
  • Make at least half of your grains whole.  Whole grains include whole grain bread, whole grain cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and barley.  There are plenty more whole grains out there if you want to get adventurous too!  Always read ingredient lists and look for products that have “whole” grain as the first ingredient listed.  Wheat flour and enriched, bleached flour are NOT whole grain.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.  These have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole or 2% milk without all of the calories and fat.
  • Vary your protein choices.  Think outside the box with protein.  If you eat a lot of meat and chicken every week, change it up sometimes with fish, nuts, beans, and eggs.  Try to make seafood your protein of choice twice each week.
  • Be physically active YOUR way.  Pick activities that you enjoy doing and will be able to stick with.  And remember, you can add up physical activity throughout the day.  Children and teens should aim for 60 minutes or more physical activity every day.  Adults should get 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity each week (30 minutes, 5 days a week).

For more information about how to build a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov

Worth the Wait

March 17, 2012
Derick in Produce

Derick, Produce Manager

They have finally arrived! And they are finally ready. Harmons Tree Ripe Oranges are sweet smooth and easy to peel. These oranges are grown by Wayne Brandt in Reedly, California. We have been partnering with Brandt farms for a few years, they have been growing excellent tree ripe peaches and nectarines and now oranges as well. At Harmons we value growers like Brandt who are committed to taste as much as we are. The oranges may be late but come and taste why they are worth the wait!

Fashion World Meets Kitchen World

March 15, 2012

Karen, Kitchenwares Specialist

Hello people! And welcome me home from Chicago!!

I just spent the last week at the most amazing event – The International Home and Housewares Show! Now, I have been to some amazing places, and seen some incredible things in my life, but this show takes the cake. The level of creativity and innovation that was emanating from the hundreds and hundreds of booths, and the thousands of new and wonderful products that they have come up with, was overwhelming to say the least. From the interchangeable peeler, to the garlic press that ALSO removes the skin, my head was reeling. With the aid of my fabulous sales director Julie though, I was able to hold myself together . . . barely. When all was said and done, we decided on a slue of new fun amazing things to bring into Harmons for 2012 that I personally HAVE to have in my kitchen, and you will too!! I will be introducing them to you a bit at a time as my blogs progress, but for now I wanted to touch on color.

Fashion is everywhere. From the clothes we wear, to the design of the pillows that we choose for our loveseat, the things that we decide to surround ourselves with tell a story about who we are. It’s no different in the kitchen. Heck, it’s probably even MORE important in the kitchen, since the good majority of us spend such an extraordinary amount of time in there. Over the years, little by little, the housewares/kitchenware industry has been adding not only more functional items, but more colorful items as well. And I’m happy to say that, after seeing the new gadget and cookware designs at this show, the fashion world is about to make a serious stamp on our kitchens! From spatulas to knives (that’s right I said knives) the variety of new colors and fun designs that these people came up with will really make your kitchen sing! Shoot, they nearly made ME sing right there on the buying floor, but (due to the thousands of people around me) I settled for humming a little ditty under my breath.