What’s Happening at Jerry’s

2018 August – Fair Food on a Stick

“Not since the cavemen have humans eaten so much food on sticks.”

Vintage State Fair Poster

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s State Fair time. IT IS STATE FAIR TIME!!! Yes, I’m yelling … because I am just SO excited I can hardly STAND it! The list of new foods came out not long ago and I can’t wait to stroll down Dan Patch Avenue, collect freebies, and stuff my face with 10,000 calories while running into 250,000 of my closest friends on the hottest day of the summer. That may sound horrid to you but it is seriously some of the most fun anyone can have all summer long.

The Great Minnesota Get Together is unlike any other in the country. Since 2012, the pop-news website Buzzfeed has featured the Minnesota State Fair on their website every year … even giving out the 32 reasons why it’s the best state fair in all the land back in 2013. We may be the butt of several Hollywood movie jokes … but the joke’s on the rest of the world when it comes to who reigns supreme in the state fair department!

Now … mayyyybe you’re not into crowded spaces … or maybe you’re not into five-digit-calorie-consumption-in-one-day style eating … and maybe when it’s hot you’d rather be cooling off in a swimming pool … fine. But at least just lie to me and tell me you aren’t going to be in Minnesota for the 12 greatest days of the summer, ok? However, perhaps you’d like to bring some of the state fair excitement home to your family and friends. Now we’re talkin’!

GTS (Google That Stuff!) some free printables of coloring book pages online (or use the idea we’ve linked below), round up differently colored and shaped seeds, and grab some glue off the school supplies sale shelves for your neighborhood kiddos so they can compete in their very own seed art contest! Hand the men each a one-pound block (not sticks!) of butter and a paring knife and have them get to work on carving the faces of their favorite Dairy Princesses (ahem … their WAGs!). Gather up the neighbors and all the musical instruments everyone has tucked away in their attics and toy boxes … together there’s no doubt you can’t hammer out a tune or two … especially after a visit to Jerry’s Wine and Spirits to stock up and recreate your own Minnesota State Fair Craft Brewers Guild Home-Edition. Set up all the kids’ John Deere, CAT, and International Harvester toys in one of the front yards and designate it Machinery Hill. Channel your inner Marjorie Johnson and have a baking contest between houses – let the kids pick the theme and the ladies can judge. And finally … the food. THE FOOD! We’ve got to talk about the food.

One of the most notable things about the Minnesota State Fair is how many different foods you can find on sticks – everything from corn dogs and deep fried candy bars to mashed potatoes and tater tot hot dish. After all, they really are the perfect fair food utensil. I mean … you’ve been touching all kinds of biohazards all day between the carnival games and the ride turnstiles … touching your food when you brought your smallest handbag and forgot your hand sanitizer at home it’s high on my list of things to do and I’m betting it’s not on yours, either. As such, to complete your state fair party theme, you’ll need plenty of offerings on sticks to really drive the theme home. And sure … there are the old standbys like corn dogs and cotton candy … but why not try your hand at something new? A quick trip to Jerry’s Foods will have your State Fair theme party feeling like you’re in the middle of Falcon Heights, no matter where you’re celebrating.

Crowds and heat and gluttony may not be for everyone, though the fun of the Minnesota State Fair is something everyone can look forward to … even if it’s right in the middle of your neighborhood cul-de-sac!


Pizza on a Stick

Ingredients and supplies

  • 8oz. Italian turkey sausage links
  • 2c. whole fresh mushrooms
  • 2c. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 30 slices turkey pepperoni (2oz.)
  • 1 tube (13.8oz.) refrigerated pizza crust
  • 1½c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1¼c. pizza sauce, warmed
  • Ten skewers
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. When cool enough to handle, cut sausage into 20 pieces. On ten skewers, alternately thread sausage, vegetables, and pepperoni.
  2. Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface; cut widthwise into 1-in.-wide strips. Starting at the pointed end of a prepared skewer, pierce skewer through one end of dough strip. Spiral-wrap dough strip around skewer, allowing vegetables and meats to peek through. Wrap the remaining end of dough strip around skewer above the first ingredient. Repeat with remaining dough strips and prepared skewers.
  3. Arrange skewers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and pizza crust is golden. Immediately sprinkle with cheese. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

 


Hot Dog on a Stick

Ingredients and supplies

  • 8 hot dogs
  • 4 slices American cheese, each cut into 6 strips
  • 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 8 wooden corn dog sticks

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Slit hot dogs to within ½-inch of ends; insert three strips of cheese into each slit.
  2. Separate dough into triangles. Wrap dough triangle around each hot dog. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Insert one stick in each crescent dog.

 


PB&J on a Stick

Ingredients and supplies

  • 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • 4 wooden skewers (5 to 6 inches)
  • Fruit of your choice, cut and/or rinsed

Directions

  1. Cut sandwiches into 1-inch squares.
  2. Alternately thread fruit and sandwich squares onto each skewer. Serve immediately.

 


Salad on a Stick

Ingredients and supplies

  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced diagonally
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
  • Half head iceberg lettuce, cut into 2½-inch chunks
  • 1c. grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 long wooden skewers
  • Blue cheese dressing, for serving

Directions

  1. Thread the carrots, cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes onto skewers, alternating the vegetables.
  2. Refrigerate; serve with dressing for dipping.

 

Free coloring book printable

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July 2018 Fruit-Based Side Dishes

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

Miles Kington

What fun we had on Independence Day this year, celebrating the big holiday with different fruit-based side dishes. And since we’re still feeling a little ‘fruity,’ let’s keep that vibe rolling this month.

Here in Minnesota we in the throes of all things berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries – they’re all peaking right now and it’s a glorious time to be a fan of nature’s sweet offerings. Watermelons and cantaloupes are also coming in nicely this time of year and we’ve begun getting shipment upon shipment of beautiful Georgia peaches. Seriously, what’s not to love about this time of year?! Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!

So if you’re like us and you enjoy shopping the produce aisles during the seasonal swings, we know your basket is heaped with some naturally-sugary beauties this time of year. Aside from eating fruit whole, there is so much fun to be had with all these goodies.

Something that may be new to you that we’re, quite frankly, so stoked about is grilling our fruit. Yes, grilling. Move over burgers and steaks, there’s a new kid at the BBQ party that’s demanding some time over the fire.

Now, not all fruits make good grillers. Look for produce that is firm and maybe even a little under ripe. Those bananas on your counter that are starting to get their delicious dark freckles … leave them for baking. But your peaches that are still strong and don’t offer a lot of give when squeezed … those are the ticket!

It’s also going to be super important that you keep this in mind: size matters. Sweet little blueberries and raspberries don’t stand a chance against the grates and flames. Nice wedges of watermelon though – yes, child, yes!

Speaking of wedges of watermelon, Jerry’s Foods has something you’re going to LOVE! Our Easier Fresh Cuts have taken the guesswork out of selecting the right piece(s) of fruit, the time of trimming and cutting as you prep your fruit for grilling, and the problem of storing large produce in your already jam-packed refrigerator (oh we know, we know … those fridges are always a crowded catastrophe, we get it). We think you’ll agree, Easier Fresh Cuts are going to make a world of difference in your life and your recipes!

Alright, get that grill nice and warm. Kick it up to medium-high and let those grates get nice and toasty. Brush a little flavorless or neutral-tasting oil on the grates just before laying down your selections to prevent sticking. If you’re really feeling up for the culinary experience, sugar the side(s) of the fruit that will hit the grill. It’ll caramelize up nicely and provide a really nice kiss of extra sweetness.

And don’t be afraid to get a little wild and have fun experimenting! Grilling fresh fruit really brings out some unique and bold flavors. Adding a little extra spice during the cooking process may bring about something you never dreamed would taste so fun! Chili powder on pineapples? Give it a try! Cinnamon on peaches? You’ll adore that blend. Ground cloves on orange halves? Now you’re talkin’!

Finally, just like a good steak, be sure to let your grilled fruit enjoy their time on the heat. Don’t be tempted to take them off too soon. You’ll miss out on those gorgeous grill lines and could be sacrificing some of the flavor if you’re hasty in removing your little sizzlers too early.

Feeling up for the challenge? We’ve got a fun recipe for you to try as you dip your toes into the grilled fruit pool. Soon though, we’re sure you’ll feel like a fruit grilling professional. Just don’t forget to invite us over to your next picnic, ok?

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

Ingredients and supplies

  • 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 16 oz. container pre-cut Easier Fresh Cuts watermelon (chunks or spears)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup balsamic dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
 

Directions

  1. Prepare grill to medium-high/high heat.
  2. Sprinkle watermelon with light dashes of salt/pepper. If using Easier Fresh Cuts chunks and some of them are too small for your grates, pierce with a wooden skewer for easier grilling.
  3. Brush grill grates with olive oil just prior to adding fruit. Place seasoned watermelon on grill quickly, getting just a slight char (about 30 seconds each side).
  4. Toss arugula with 1-2 tsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. If using Easier Fresh Cuts spears, slice into cubes. Place watermelon cubes on plate, top with feta, and 1 cup of arugula mixture.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic dressing.

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Independence Day Side Dishes

“To be successful you can’t show up to the potluck with just a fork.”

Dave Liniger

The big day is almost here! Your best friends have rented a huge party tent, the fireworks have been procured, and the weather is looking perfect! The kids are excited to swim with their buddies, you’ve got the perfect matching patriotic attire planned for the whole crew, and the drinks are already chilling. Your friends are known for hosting the best summer bash of the year every Independence Day and this year promises to be no different. They’ve got the entrees covered … it’s up to you to wow them all with some festive side dishes, enough to make our founding fathers proud.

And now you’re drawing a blank. Ack!

We’ve rounded up three that should really dazzle a crowd, all while keeping prep-time manageable (because let’s be real, we know you’re be-bopping all over town between summer camps and lessons … whoever said summer was for relaxing clearly hasn’t seen your family’s day planner!). Jerry’s Foods has you covered on ingredients and we’re here to walk you through the simple steps to take to make side dishes you’ll be proud to add to the potluck table this year.

So let’s talk fruit. Full-on sit-down meals are tough to come by at Independence Day parties. Grazing seems to happen all day, only interrupted when the entrees are pulled off the grill and hit the buffet … then bring on the binging! We get it … we’ve been there. So let’s add some ease with a lot less guilt for our first side dish, Patriotic Fruit Skewers

With just a little work and a star-shaped cookie cutter, you’ve just amped up a plain-Jane cut fruit salad a notch or two. If you’re looking for something to keep the kids away from their electronics for a hot minute, this is the recipe to get them involved in. Finally, if your crew likes strawberries but isn’t much for raspberries – not a problem! Any red fruit can be used. Now there aren’t many options for blue-colored fruits other than blueberries, however we suggest loading up on them for your versions. They add such a great pop of color, mild flavor, and really tie the whole dish together.

Patriotic Fruit Skewers

Ingredients and supplies

  • Toasting bread of your choice
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Red colored jelly of your choice
  • One pint of blueberries
  • 3-4 bananas
  • Lemon juice
  • Serving platter

Directions

  1. Slice watermelon into 1” wheel slices, set aside. Rinse and drain blueberries and raspberries, pat dry and set aside.
  2. Alternate color scheme to your liking, adding fruit to skewers.

Next up … you’re on a fruit kick, so let’s keep going. Now, until Ma Nature decides to send us some other blue-colored fruits we’re still slightly limited in variety and will be sticking to blueberries once again. But gosh darnit, they’re tasty so let’s not let it be an issue.

Where we do have a severe lacking in color though is the white fruit department … so we’re going to take a little liberty (see what we did there?) and use vanilla yogurt-covered raisins. They are so tasty and will look perfect! This tri-colored offering will leave everyone feeling like a kid at heart and offer a healthy option to those loaded-down BBQ plates.

Red, White, and Blue Berry Salad

Ingredients and supplies

  • One pint blueberries
  • One pound total of red berries
    (strawberries, raspberries, or cherries)
  • Two 8oz. bags of vanilla yogurt covered raisins
  • Plain white serving platter

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain all fruit, pat dry.
  2. Working in alternating lines, add red fruits, blueberries, and yogurt covered raisins. Repeat until platter is filled.

We think you’re getting the hang of the Americana fruit dishes. They really are very easy, look great, and taste delicious! We’ll add a third one for good measure … I mean, can you ever really have enough star-spangled goodness at your Independence Day BBQ? No. The answer is no.

So for our final easy side dish to add a little pizazz to your party we give you Flag Toasts. These little guys are just darling and so easy to make – they are also a great activity to involve your kids in, and give them a civics lesson at the same time if you’re feeling really ambitious you little Betsy Rosses! Make it your own by using delicious sweet and fruity bread, English muffin toasting bread, or even a pound cake, we won’t judge! If jelly isn’t really your thing, alternate the bananas with a red fruit of your choice. If you’re a little averse to cream cheese flavoring, there’s nothing stopping you from using white icing is there? The options are limitless!

Flag Toasts

Ingredients and supplies

  • Toasting bread of your choice
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Red colored jelly of your choice
  • One pint of blueberries
  • 3-4 bananas
  • Lemon juice
  • Serving platter

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain blueberries, pat dry.
  2. Toast bread to desired doneness.
  3. Spread toast with softened cream cheese. Top with jelly being careful not to incorporate the cream cheese.
  4. In the top left corner, add a small square of blueberries (9 or 16, depending on the size of your toast slices).
  5. Slice bananas into coins, then again in half. Toss in lemon juice to prevent browning. Pat dry on paper towels.
  6. Place bananas in strips resembling the American flag, leaving space where the red jelly shows through.
  7. Add all of your Flag Toasts to a serving platter and set out just before serving.

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2018 June – Grilling for Father’s Day

“The only time
to eat diet food
is while you’re
waiting for the
steak to cook.”

Julia Child

 

Mothers, you’re on the bench. Father’s you’re up! It’s all the dads’ time to shine … and what’s more dadly than a big, delicious, perfectly grilled steak? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing. Historically, mothers are treated to a lovely afternoon meal out by their families. Fathers though, they like the best steak they can get their hands on. And if the dads in your life are anything like ours, they firmly believe that no restaurant steak is as good as what they can create on their favorite grill. The catch though, is that on Father’s Day WE should be cooking for HIM. So if the thought of attempting to produce a magazine-worthy rib eye for your favorite dad gives you heart palpitations and causes your blood pressure to spike, fear not! We’re here to help!

The first step to grilling your #1 dad the steak he dreams of on his big day is to pick the best cut for his tastes. If he likes a tender steak while watching the health content, filet mignon is what we’d consider. If flavor is what he’s all about and he doesn’t mind a little grizzle here and there, a beautifully marbled rib eye (with or without the bone) will make his whole day. If he lies somewhere in-between the heavy flavor profile while still wanting a softer texture, let us steer you toward the New York Strip. And if you just can’t decide, ask the butcher for a Porterhouse steak … that way he’ll get one filet mignon and one New York Strip, separated by the T-bone. Lucky for you, Jerry’s Foods offers some of the most exquisite steak selections around. Our meat department places great care in providing only the best to our valued customers and our meat department is filled with the best of the best – they’re there to help you make a great choice every time.

Alright, it’s go-time. Get that grill fired up and pre-heated while you work to get your beef cut prepped.

Once you’re ready to put that bad boy on the grill, be sure to pat it dry first. Any excess moisture on the surface will steam-cook the meat when it comes in contact with a hot grill, preventing that delicious surface caramelization. Paper towels will do the trick every time.

You can season your steak with various blends while your grill is heating, though it’s recommended you wait to add salt until just before you’re ready to start cooking. Salt brings moisture to the surface and since we already know we’re going for the delicious char from the point of contact, let’s not do anything to prevent that … like salting the steak too early. Our personal favorite steak seasoning is a light brush of olive oil then sprinkled with salt and pepper. If you want to get fancy, you can add spices like chili powderpaprika, or garlic powder to a rub! If the dad you’re cooking for is anything like ours, he won’t even reach for steak sauce with that seasoning blend!

Alright, your grill is ready, your steak is beautifully seasoned … it’s time. Gently lay your steak down either on the hot grates (if you use a cast iron pan on your grill to sear it, make sure the pan is pre-heated!) and do not, under any circumstances, pick that steak up until browning starts to creep up the edges and it no longer sticks/lifts easily from the grate. Depending on the size of your steak this could take anywhere from five minutes or longer. When it’s time to turn it, be sure to flip it every couple minutes to ensure even cooking.

If the dad you’re grilling for likes a medium-rare steak, the internal temperature reading should reach 135°. If he’s a medium kind of guy, look for your thermometer to read 140°. Finally, if he prefers medium-well beef, 150° is what you’re shooting for. Once you’ve got the desired doneness, remove the steak and bring it in … but keep him away from it for another 10 minutes. Hot steaks don’t retain their juices and start to dry out immediately when cut. If it’s allowed to rest, it’ll result in a juicier and more satisfying meal. Trust us.

Prompt the kids to put away their electronics, wash those hands, grab their homemade cards for dear old dad, and get seated at the dinner table. Serve up the side dishes, and finally, cut into those steaks … making sure to always cut perpendicular to the grain. When you hear him grunt like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, you’ll know you’ve achieved grilled steak perfection this year!

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Father’s Day Event

Create a custom-designed cake for your dad this Father’s Day!

Draw a picture for dad and show him just how great he is. Be sure to try and stay within the circle outline. Once your drawing is complete, bring to Jerry’s Foods in Eden Prairie on June 16th. We’ll then scan your image onto edible paper, and place on top of an 8” round cake. The perfect sweet present for dad is just one drawing away!

Download Custom-Designed Cake Template

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2018 May – Summer Salad

Summer
Hair gets lighter.
Skin gets darker.
Water gets warmer.
Drinks get colder.
Music gets louder.
Nights get longer.
Life gets better

Unknown

 
Oh, Summer … we know you are just around the corner here in the upper Midwest. Your sister, Spring, was slow to make her appearance but we’re confident you’re not going to remain as shy as she did this year.

Your heat, your carefree attitude, your relaxation … we’re ready to soak it all in. Not to mention, your bountiful produce and lighter meals on the patio or by the water. Hearty and creamy soups are transitioning to crisp and light salads, comforting pasta dishes are taking a back seat to cool dips and crunchy veggies, and heavy desserts are being benched for fruity frozen yogurt parfaits. Summer, we live for you!

There are many reasons why Americans may lean toward healthier eating in the summertime. The Huffington Post lists some of those reasons as follows:
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Earth Day – April 2018


 

We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors;
we have borrowed it from our children.

Native American Proverb

 
Since 1970, Americans across our fair land have been celebrating Earth Day. In an effort to bring awareness to our fragile ecosystem, sustain the environment, and better care for both flora and fauna, focusing on how best to treat Mother Earth has garnered more and more support each year.
 
We’ve seen increases in sustainability measures like reusable shopping bags, less product packaging, and refillable container use. Folks are consciously choosing to recycle more and keep spending and travel local when they can. Public transportation users and hybrid or electric car usage has seen an uptick as people realize the impact their carbon footprints are leaving.
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