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Talking Turkey: A Poultry Primer | 11.14.2016
First time cooking a turkey? Or just want a refresher before the big day? You’ve found your primer.
Stella’s Favorite Stuffing Recipe | 11.17.2015
An iconic restaurant and bakery, Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery has been providing our community with delicious breads and pastries for many years. Look for Stella’s Stuffing Bread in the weeks before Thanksgiving and try her easy, delicious recipe for homemade stuffing! (Recipe is also printed on each bag of Stella’s Stuffing Bread.)
Stella’s Favorite Stuffing
½ c. butter
1 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped celery
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 8oz. can mushrooms
1 pkg. Stella’s Stuffing Bread
2 Tblsp. Chopped parsley
Melt butter in skillet. Add onion, celery and seasonings. Cook until onion and celery are tender. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid and heat to boiling. Add vegetable mixture to mushrooms, bread crumbs and parsley. Add mushroom liquid and toss lightly until well mixed. Use to stuff a 16-18 lb. turkey.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery.
New Wines & Ciders for Your Holiday Table | 11.11.2015
As I write this in October, my thoughts are about beers and ciders, as well as feature wines for the fast approaching holiday season. We’re bringing in several new feature wines for your Thanksgiving table, as well as wines that will be as festive as your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Have you tried any of our delicious ciders? My favorites are from the local, award winning Montana Ciderworks in Darby, MT. These are English-style ciders crafted from Bitterroot Valley Apples and they are delicious!
North Fork Traditional is gently bubbly, with a true cider flavor. Expressive bittersweet apple character with wood, grass and smoke notes; this semi-dry cider balances the faintest sweetness against sharpness, astringency, and tart fruit. This cider received a Gold Medal at the 2013 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. The blend includes hard-to-find traditional cider apples and crab apples alongside Bitterroot Valley apples. North Fork offers a clean, aromatic finish that enhances the flavor of savory foods.
The Darby Pub Cider, a semi-dry, New World style cider is another award winner from Montana Ciderworks – an approachable, effervescent cider made for sharing with friends. Appley with wood and spice notes, this medium, semi-dry cider was awarded Silver Medals at the 2014 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition and at the Northwest Cider Awards.
If there’s a holiday that begs for wine, it’s Thanksgiving. More than any other beverage, wine is tied to the harvest, to bounty, to the very core of what we are thankful for. A tip for choosing your Thanksgiving wine…with so many flavor variables going on, everything from cranberry sauce laced with orange peel, to Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, to sausage and wild rice stuffing, don’t get too hung up on a quest for the perfect match. Besides, it’s really the feeling around the table, the combined effect of the food, the wine, the people and the ambience that counts most.
We’ll have several feature wines that we’ve chosen specifically for Thanksgiving in addition to the highly anticipated arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. According to Wine Country Travel, “at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Beaujolais Nouveau is as about as close to white wine as a red wine can get. Due to the way it’s made – the must is pressed early after only three days — the phenolic compounds, in particular the astringent tannins normally found in red wines, aren’t there, leaving an easy to drink, fruity wine. This, coupled with the fact that it tastes best when chilled, makes for a festive wine to be gulped rather than sipped, enjoyed in high spirits rather than critiqued. As a side note, it makes a great transitional wine for anyone wanting to move from white to red wines.”
written by Pam Kemmick, our former Grocery Manager & Beer & Wine Buyer, Pam has moved to produce as our new Produce Manager! Stop by and say hi.
An Attitude of Gratitude | 11.18.2013
On a Friday afternoon, we asked our staff what they were most thankful for…
Melissa Blaine, Deli
….for my job and for the people that I work with. I’m thankful to have my own place and great friends and family to come over and hang out. It’s the simple things that really matter, like going to get a coffee. Things people don’t think about.”
Dan Davis, Produce & Bulk Manager
…for the health of my baby boy on the way.
Jennifer Sexton, Cashier
…the awesome fall and for rain.
Margaret Murray, Deli
Teresa Regan, Deli
…to be alive, to be free, to be a mother, and to have a wonderful place to work.
Tracy Treinen, Office Manager & Meat Buyer
…for family and friends.
Nolan Fry, Deli
… to be alive and relatively healthy. I’m doin’ pretty good.
Chris Webb, Deli
…for my wife, my two daughters, and my two dogs.
Mallory Harman, Deli
…for water, yoga and wise words. I’m thankful for my niece, vegetables, & the opportunity to travel. I’m thankful for snow, the changing trees, & Good Earth Market. I’m thankful for today.
Ben Anderson, Lead Grocery Clerk
…for my friends and family, my job, my car, and my health.
Connie Brock, Cashier
…for the privilege of showing up and being seen. For all that has brought me to this place in my life. And of course dogs and chocolate don’t hurt anything either.
Tim Caraway, Deli
…for my job & family life. And new beginnings. And money. I hate money, but you have to have it.
Dolly Fansler, Wellness Manager
…for opportunities and challenges. And Google.
Dawn Gauchay, Deli
…for freedom and being out of prison after 18 years. And for my family and my friends and my lady.
Carole Kiel, Kitchen Manager
…for my sisters, my heath, and Obamacare.
Joe Vaden, Cashier and Grocery Clerk
…for my new family. I am very thankful for that. And my Good Earth Market family – they’ve helped me out a lot.
Sarah Daniels, Produce Buyer
…for my family. The very greatest thing – for their support and craziness. And hot tubs.
Alicia Weber, Marketing Manager
…for lots of things, but today I’m thankful for the opportunity to have been able to learn from Perry McNeese for the past six years.
Bo Walker, Front End Manager
…for the Good Earth Market and its amazing staff!
Pam Kemmick, Deli Manager
…I feel like I’m endlessly thankful for things and it’s hard to define which is most important
Holiday Gifts at the Co-op | 11.15.2013
This year I am going to do all of my Christmas shopping at the co-op, and you can too! Spoil someone you love with a beautiful handmade Alpaca wool hat or pair of socks from Alpacas of Montana. The wool is soft, extremely warm, and will last a lifetime.
Do you have any wine lovers in the family? Ten Spoon Winery and Yellowstone Cellars both make fantastic wine right here in Montana, and they have a wide range of varietals to choose from. Martinson’s Chocolates make great host gifts for your holiday parties. I particularly love the Back Home Butter Almond Crisp. Maggie’s Organic cotton tights, leggings, and socks are a must-have this time of year and they’re cute to boot!
Tumblewood Teas from Big Timber are fresh, flavorful, and make the perfect cup of tea along with the Travelin’ Tumbler, the handiest travel mug you’ll ever own! Handcrafted Kitchen Utensils by Bart Bilden are a must for all of the cooks in your family – I personally own four.
This Christmas I’m really excited about a new item in the store – native wildflower seeds from Native Ideals Seeds farm. Each seed packet, which is uniquely designed by Missoula artists, contains perennial seeds native to Montana. They are little pieces of art that make awesome stocking stuffers! I am also thrilled about our latest Tiffany Miller designed GEM shirts. Tiffany is a local artist/clothes designer and member of the co-op. These shirts are truly one of a kind!
Gift certificates are also a great option. Who wouldn’t love a gift certificate to their favorite whole foods grocery store? You can purchase a gift certificate from any of our cashiers and have your Christmas shopping done in minutes.
Special order a gift basket! You pick the size, price & theme, and we’ll do the rest! Please order 3-5 days before pick up time. Orders can be placed with a cashier, or give us a call!
Don’t forget the little items, too – we carry a great selection of chocolate, cards, candles, soaps, lotions and more that make great gifts year round!
By Rachel Guidi, Grocery Manager
Holiday Shopping List | 11.08.2013
The Main Course
Succulent poultry and flavorful substitutes!
□ Natural turkey (Mountainview Colony, Lavina)
□ Heritage turkey (Lazy SR Ranch, Wilsall)
□ Lamb (Lehfeldt Ranch, Lavina)
□ Ham (Lazy SR Ranch, Wilsall, or Amaltheia Dairy, Belgrade)
□ Goose (Moutainview Colony, Lavina)
□ Duck (Mountainview Colony, Lavina)
□ Organic Beef Steaks and roasts (BBar Ranch, Big Timber)
Skip the Bird
No turkey? No problem? Try our other delicious options.
□ Field Roast Grain meats
Simple and flavorful starters
□ GEM Hummus (Chipotle, Spinach Feta, Bell Pepper, Classic, Red Lentil, Sundried Tomato)
□ Pineapple Mango Salsa (Kenny’s Double D Salsa, Billings)
□ Homemade Cranberry Salsa from the Deli Cafe
□ Homemade dips & spreads from the Deli Café
□ Holiday party trays (for special order in the deli – just ask a clerk!)
Snacks & Treats
□ Organic mixed nuts
□ Roasted nuts (for a limited time only – Good Earth Market roasted nuts, too)
□ Yogurt pretzels
□ Chuck & James Chewy Granola (Sidney)
□ Local chocolates (Martinson’s Chocolates, Huntley)
□ Organic dark chocolate
The season’s best local and organic produce!
□ Local Apples (Ross Orchards, Fromberg, & Boja Farms, Big Timber)
□ Local garlic
□ Green beans
□ Local onions
□ Local pumpkins
□ Local russet potatoes
□ Local squash
□ Sweet potatoes
Bake it fresh
□ Chocolate chips
□ Gluten-free flours and mixes
□ Gluten-free pie shells
□ King’s Cupboard chocolate sauces (Red Lodge, MT)
□ Local eggs
□ Local flour (Wheat Montana, Three Forks)
□ Organic flour
□ Organic sugar
□ Organic Valley butter
□ Frozen pie shells
□ Organic pie spice
□ Pumpkin puree
□ Spices (buy from our bulk department to save money and get fresh spices in the amount you need!)
□ Vanilla extract
Save time and eliminate stress.
□ Stuffing mix
□ Turkey gravy mix
□ Vegan & gluten-free gravy mixes
□ Frozen veggies & fruits
□ Cranberry sauce
□ Cream of mushroom soup
□ French fried onions
□ Frozen pie shells (whole wheat, spelt, and gluten-free)
□ Frozen pies (Time 2 Savor, Billings)
□ Fresh breads (On the Rise, Bozeman)
Delight your guests
□ Mulling spices
□ Organic sparkling cider
□ Perrier sparkling water
□ Local wine (Yellowstone Cellars & Winery, Billings, & Ten Spoon Vineyard & Winery, Missoula)
□ Seasonal local beers
□ JK’s Farmhouse Summer Hard Cider
□ Local teas (Tumblewood Teas, Big Timber)
Winter seems to bring its own set of challenges. The key is to be ready for them, armed with the right tools.
Are you ready?
Challenge #1 – Less Daylight
If the shorter days bother you, make use of what sunlight is available. Take a few minutes to enjoy the outdoors, even if it IS cold. Go for a walk on your lunch break; the fresh air is invigorating and the physical activity is a bonus. Add or increase your vitamin D, as studies now show most of us in North Americaare deficient. Check with your doctor if you are unsure which amount to take is right for you.
Product Suggestion: Natural Factors Vitamin D3
Challenge #2 – Virus Exposure
Everyone around you seems to be getting sick, and your guard naturally goes up. It’s been said a million times, but I am repeating it because it works – wash your hands! This has been proven to be the #1 most effective method of warding off those winter bugs. Need more cold and flu fighters? Try astragalus, echinacea, elderberry, garlic, ginger, and medicinal mushrooms, for starters. For earaches try mullein/garlic ear oil. For sinus problems, how about a neti pot? Another simple decongesting method is steam, with a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil added.
Product Suggestion: Nutribiotic Defense Plus, a blend of herbs for immune defense
Challenge #3 – Hair and Skin Issues
Deep condition your hair weekly. Use argan oil after every shampoo to repair and strengthen hair, and to increase shine and manageability, a little goes a long way. Moisturize your skin, especially the areas most exposed to the elements–your face and hands. And if you are a skier, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Product Suggestion: Goe Oil, an allnatural oil blend for any skin
Challenge #4 – Stress
We all have it, and, for some, the tension increases during these colder months. Plan ahead for the holidays, de-clutter your party schedule, and keep it simple! Prioritize time for endorphin-producing exercise (daily!). If you are not already taking one, this is a great time to add a mood and brain boosting omega oil to your daily supplements. Eat healthy, whole-food-based balanced meals, avoid processed foods, and avoid going overboard on the festive drinks (there are natural hangover ‘cures’, just in case!). Last but not least, pay attention to your body, your stress level, how you feel in mind and spirit. Take a break, do yoga, meditate, or catch up on much-needed sleep.
Product Suggestion: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
Make each day an adventure. Maintaining a positive attitude can make all the difference. Bring on the winter!
Dolly Fansler, GEM’s Wellness Manager, has a life-long passion for encouraging the well-being of others. She is available in the wellness department to answer your wellness questions and provide the best product to suit your needs.
Drinks to Warm Up Your Holidays | 12.04.2012
Hand off a hot beverage — to dinner guests, neighbors who drop by or kids during story time — and you instantly warm both tummies and hearts. Make sure you treat yourself too; wrapping your hands around a warm mug in the midst of a cold day can help you unwind!
Traditional favorites include hot cider, cocoa, teas and coffees — all so good there’s no need to look for replacements. But by adding just a few of the right spices, you can transform these everyday winter drinks into extraordinary festive fare.
Tips for Spicing Up a Variety of Hot Drinks
* Mull to be merry. Mulling a beverage simply means heating and spicing it. Sometimes sweeteners and/or other beverages are added, too. Mulled apple juice or cider is classic, but why not mull other favorites, like cherry, raspberry, white grape and cranberry juices, as well as red and white wines? Just be careful not to boil the wine or you’ll ruin the taste and evaporate the alcohol. Good mulling spices include allspice, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, orange peel and star anise. Have fun experimenting — or streamline your routine by stocking up on a mulling spice mix.
* Give the crock a workout. Fill your crock pot with an aromatic and warm spiced beverage and keep it on low throughout the day. You’ll have a ready-to-serve treat at any time, and your home will be scented, too.
* Make an impression with homemade gifts. For simple but lovely homemade gifting, combine the dry ingredients for a special hot drink in a small jar or canister and tie with a festive ribbon. Punch a hole in a recipe card with mixing directions and attach to the ribbon. For even easier gifting, simply place a package of beverage mix — like those mulling spices — in a festive mug and tie with a ribbon. Or choose a special tea and deliver it in a pretty cup and saucer.
* Stock up on cinnamon sticks. Indispensable for mulling, cinnamon sticks also spruce up hot party drinks when used as swizzlers.
* Spruce up your black teas. Add cinnamon sticks, orange peel and/or lemon peel to any black tea. Sweeten, if you like, with honey or brown sugar. To richen the flavor even further, add a tablespoon or two of cognac.
* Enliven green teas with crystallized ginger and sliced fruit (like pears).
* Think ethnic. For Spanish flair, add black pepper and chilies or cinnamon to hot chocolate. For French influence, thicken cocoas with cornstarch or arrowroot and stir in some Grand Marnier and vanilla extract. Top with a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg.
* For a mocha drink, simply use strongly brewed coffee in place of some of the liquid in your favorite hot cocoa recipe.
* Add quality flavorings or extracts for an instant flavor boost. Frontier Natural Products offers every option from almond to walnut for any hot beverage — including milk, cocoa, tea and coffee.
Here’s the recipe for deliciously rich toddy that adds delight to any gathering:
Visions of Sugarplums Toddy
4 cups milk, divided in half (dairy, rice, or soy)
2 Tbsp. honey
1/8 tsp. cardamom powder
4 oz. white baking chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. nutmeg powder
4 6-inch cinnamon sticks
Warm 2 cups of the milk, honey, cardamom, and baking chocolate in a saucepan until chocolate is melted. Add remaining milk and heat until warm. Stir in vanilla. Pour into cups, sprinkle with nutmeg and add cinnamon stick stirrers. Substitute almond extract (or another flavoring, like peppermint extract) for the vanilla now and then. At a toddler’s tuck-in time, serve without the chocolate to induce slumber. Makes about 4 servings.
Reprinted with permission from Frontier Natural Foods Co-op.
Creating the Perfect Cheese Plate | 11.29.2012
If there’s one plate of food that says “party,” it’s the cheese platter. Enticing and satisfying enough to carry a celebration on its own, the cheese plate is also the perfect attraction for introducing guests to one another before the main course.
Putting together a spectacular cheese platter is easier than you might think. Here are a few tips:
The Cheese Platter
- Serve cheese at room temperature. The cold from the refrigerator inhibits its flavor, so take your cheese out half an hour before guests arrive to allow it to “bloom.”
- Provide a serving utensil for each variety of cheese on your tray.
- Serve a selection of three to five contrasting cheeses. Think different tastes, colors, and textures, like mild with robust (like Brie with blue cheese), fresh with aged (like Boursin with aged Gruyere), or soft with hard cheeses (like chevre with Parmesan).
- Create a themed tray by offering cheeses from one region or source, or showcase an array of cheeses made from different milks (cow, goat, sheep).
Whether you serve them individually or on the same platter, some foods are perfect complements to cheese. These include:
- Fresh and dried fruits
- Crostini, flatbread, and other crackers
- Hearty and crusty breads
To create an antipasto platter, include a mix of marinated vegetables and cured meats.
Wine and Beer Cheese Pairings
In general, a wine that comes from the same geographic area as the cheese will be a good match. Here are some other pairings:
- Goat cheeses and dry red wines
- Cheddars with sweet wines and pale and brown ales
- Fresh, medium, and hard cheeses with crisp, fruity red or white wine
- Cheeses with bloomy rinds (like Brie) and fruity red wines or light, dry champagnes
- Swiss cheeses with dark lagers, bocks, and Oktoberfest beers
- Feta and wheat beers
- Sweet cheeses with fruity beers
Check out the cheese offerings—especially any local cheeses—at the co-op. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the array of choices, just ask the staff for recommendations (including wine pairings). Then just sit back and wait for the doorbell to ring—your celebration will be off to a flavorful start!
Reprinted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at www.strongertogether.coop.
Holiday Meal Makeover | 11.16.2012
A celebratory dinner should be exactly that: a time to share delicious food with family and friends. While many people wish to serve traditional family favorites, for most, there’s still plenty of room to liven up your holidays with a few new flavors, local foods, and even nutritional boosters. Here are some ideas for making your holiday meals fresh, easy, and fun.
- Consider a slightly new twist on the centerpiece of many a holiday meal, the turkey, by choosing a local, heritage breed, and/or smoked turkey (these are very popular items at many co-ops). Heritage breeds are typically moister and more flavorful than commercial turkeys. For more information on heritage breeds and general turkey tips, check out this turkey tutorial.
- Give that classic green bean casserole a makeover with fresh green beans, a spritz of lemon, and a topping of toasted pine nuts. Boost the cranberry sauce with a handful of fresh or dried fruit and a dash of cayenne. Use brown rice or quinoa as the basis for your turkey-day stuffing this year, and toss in some walnuts and chopped local apples.
- Instantly transform the typical fare with seasonings: spice your eggnog with cardamom instead of (or as well as) cinnamon this year, and sprinkle tarragon on plain mashed potatoes. Or add some festive flavors to an otherwise ordinary recipe, like these Eggnog Spiced Sugar Cookies.
- Make gravy like Grandma (or your favorite cooking show chef) if you like, but don’t feel obligated! There are some top-notch, healthful cooking mixes available that are especially helpful this time of year. You’ll find delicious, organic gravy mixes, dessert mixes, and seasoning blends for salad dressings and dips at your co-op.
- Bring the unexpected to the table by adding an entirely new recipe or two to this year’s menu. Sweet Potato, Red Onion & Fontina Tart or a Winter Squash Risotto are two great options that use seasonal vegetables in new combinations. Focus on just one or two “special” dishes to complement your main course—especially if you’re serving appetizers, a couple delicious sides are all you really need and will allow you to spend more time with your guests.
- Great dishes needn’t be complicated made-from-scratch recipes, either. Purchase some strikingly flavorful, easy-to-prepare foods to serve alongside the usual. A plate of Brie with Orange Preserves and Almonds would be a memorable addition to any menu.
- Unless you adore kitchen duty, never refuse a guest’s offer to bring food — and remember you can count on your grocery store for prepared foods, too. Visit the bakery department for lovely desserts (you may want to order pies, cheesecakes, and other specific favorites ahead of time). While you’re there, choose some cranberry date scones or pumpkin pecan muffins to treat family and/or guests to special breakfast fare. You may even consider picking up a couple of extra quick breads to give as gifts!
- If you’ll be hosting guests for more than just the main meal, look to the deli for speedy main course items and sides (like lasagna, smoked salmon, wheatberry salad, golden beet and kale salad, or roasted root vegetables).
- Don’t forget to stock up on some local wine and beer, too. Pair a good beverage with an array of cheeses or cookies for an instant party when unexpected guests arrive!
It takes just a little planning and a good source for great food to pull off a wonderful holiday meal — something full of tradition, genuine nourishment, and good will.
Posted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at www.strongertogether.coop.