Good Taste

A celebration of food

How to Brine a Turkey

Say goodbye to dry turkey! Brining your turkey before cooking it is a wonderful technique that creates juicy, flavorful meat.

Shop online for all the turkey brining essentials here:

Makes brine for 1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 8 to 24 hours (does not include roasting time)

1 (16-ounce) bottle L&B Turkey Brining Blend
1 gallon cool water
1 (10 to 20 pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
2 cups brown sugar

1 L&B heavy-duty brining bag
Large pot, roasting pan or extra-large bowl


  1. In a large, heavy stockpot, combine one 16-ounce bottle of L&B Brining Blend, 2 cups of brown sugar and 1 gallon water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until salt is dissolved, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Cool completely.
  4. Place brining bag inside a large pot, roasting pan or bowl to guard against spills and place turkey inside bag.
  5. Carefully pour brining liquid into bag. If necessary, add more water as needed to cover turkey completely.
  6. Squeeze out excess air and seal tightly.
  7. Refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
  8. For best results, turn the turkey every 3 to 6 hours, so it brines evenly.
  9. After at least 8 hours, remove the turkey from the brine.
  10. Drain off excess liquid and rinse thoroughly under cool water.
  11. Pat turkey dry inside and out with paper towels or let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
  12. Roast turkey as usual. Enjoy!

Shop online for all the turkey brining essentials here:

Posted: November 15, 2017, 8:16 pm

The best way to carve a turkey

Want to carve your Thanksgiving turkey like a pro? It’s actually quite easy! Check it out:

What You Need

  • A large space to work
  • One sharp chef’s knife (about 8 inches)
  • Two cutting boards, one with groove
  • Tray or baking sheet
  • Kitchen towel, to prevent the turkey from sliding
  • A large platter
  • Herbs for platter (optional)


  1. Prepare turkey according to directions on packaging.
  2. Once fully cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 F, allow turkey to rest until cool enough to touch.
  3. Remove right leg and thigh, set aside on second board/tray
  4. Remove left leg and thigh, set aside on second board/tray
  5. Remove right breast, set aside
  6. Remove left breast, set aside
  7. Remove wings, arrange on platter
  8. Slice breast, arrange on platter
  9. Separate leg from thigh, arrange on platter
  10. Remove bone from thigh, slice thigh, arrange on platter
  11. Add herbs to platter
Posted: November 15, 2017, 8:16 pm

Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cranberries

This festive salad features creamy goat cheese, sweet dried cranberries, fresh pears and a homemade honey-Dijon dressing. Tip: Make the dressing ahead of time to allow the flavors to come together and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dried cranberries
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
4 cups packed baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
½ cup crumbled plain goat cheese
2 large ripe pears, sliced thin


  1. Whisk orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and oil in a small bowl until well combined.
  2. Add dried cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Just before serving, place spinach leaves, red onion, walnuts and half of the goat cheese in large bowl; toss with dressing to evenly coat.
  4. Add the crumbled goat cheese and pear slices on top of the salad.
  5. Divide salad between 6 plates, being sure to evenly distribute the cranberries.

Serve immediately.

Posted: November 15, 2017, 8:15 pm

Pepper Jelly Brie in Puff Pastry

This classic appetizer features creamy Brie topped with pepper jelly and is wrapped in a flaky pastry crust. Perfect for parties and family gatherings! Pair with your favorite sparkling wine.

6-8 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus time to thaw pastry
Cook time: 35-40 minutes

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed but still cold
2 tablespoons L&B Pepper Jelly
1 (8-ounce) wheel of Brie
1 egg, beaten
Crackers and apple slices, for serving


  1. Thaw puff pastry until it’s easy to lay flat but still cold. 
  2. Spread pepper jelly on Brie.
  3. Place the Brie in the center of the puff pastry and, one corner at a time, fold the pastry over the cheese so all four corners meet in the middle. Gently pinch corners together.
  4. Brush top of the puff pastry with the beaten egg.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 F.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with crackers and apple slices.
Posted: November 15, 2017, 8:15 pm

10 easy Thanksgiving desserts

Give yourself a break this Thanksgiving and pick up a dessert from our bakery! Whatever you and your guests are craving, we’ve got it all, from traditional pies to creative cakes and more. Here are 10 great ideas:


Caramel Apple Pie               
Our traditional Haralson Apple pie covered in sweet caramel, with a crumble top. This pie is becoming more and more popular each year!

Bread Pudding                     
Made by hand by our Pastry Chefs, this traditional dessert comes with a container of rich bourbon sauce to pour over the pudding once you get home. Look for it in the pastry case!


Haralson Apple Pie                
A customer favorite! This popular pie features a flakey butter crust filled with sweet Haralson apples.  Available in 9-inch or 11-inch sizes for the holidays.

Pumpkin Cake Roll             
Sweet pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese icing and rolled up! A great alternative to pie, this wonderful pumpkin dessert is easy to cut and easy to serve.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
The ultimate indulgent Thanksgiving dessert! Made with our exclusive recipe by our own bakers, topped in a checkered pattern with powdered sugar. Our cheesecake is smooth, creamy and delicious!


Pumpkin Pie               
Baked fresh every day! The perfect pumpkin filling is made with a delicious combination of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – our exclusive recipe! Available in 9-inch or 11-inch sizes for the holidays. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream – or for a fun variation, try maple-flavored or ginger-flavored whipped cream. Another great tip: “brûlée” the top with a cooking torch for a crispy, sugary crust.

Rustic Tarts                        
Look for these tarts sold individually in the pastry case. Available in apple, triple berry or sweet potato. Pick up a combination of flavors to make all your guests happy!


Spice Cake                         
Our exclusive recipe! Available in an 8x8 square pan or as gourmet cupcakes – both topped with irresistible maple cream cheese icing.

Turkey Cakes                       
Look for a variety of turkey-themed cakes, available in most of our stores.

Posted: November 15, 2017, 4:54 pm

Green beans 3 ways

Looking for a way to dress up your green beans? Here are three easy ways to turn a simple veggie side dish into the talk of the table!

For all of the recipes, start by heating ½ a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat; add 1-2 pounds of green beans and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, choose your add-ins:

Toasted almonds, dried cranberries and goat cheese
Remove green beans from pan; add ¼ cup sliced almonds to the pan and toast them until slightly browned. Add the green beans back in and stir to combine. Move the beans and almonds to a serving dish. Top with ¼ cup dried cranberries plus ¼ cup goat cheese and serve.

Lemon juice, lemon zest and parmesan
Leave green beans in the pan and add juice of ½ lemon over them. Stir to combine. Move beans to a serving dish; top with the zest of ½ lemon plus ¼ cup grated Parmesan and serve.

Bacon, shallots and brown sugar
Remove green beans from the pan; add 3 pieces of chopped bacon and one finely-sliced medium shallot to the pan. Cook until bacon and shallots are crispy. Turn off heat and return green beans to the pan; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Stir to combine, then move to a serving dish.

Posted: November 15, 2017, 4:53 pm

Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie

Can’t decide between apple pie and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving? Now you don’t have to! Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie takes the best of both and combines them into one amazing holiday pie.

8 servings
Preparation time: 90 minutes – 2 hours


Caramel apple layer:

  • Pie dough (enough for one 10-inch pie)
  • 5 apples, peeled, cored and cubed into ½-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon Lunds & Byerlys Apple Pie Spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water

Pumpkin layer:

  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ teaspoon Lunds & Byerlys Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For decorations:

  • Pie dough (enough for one 10-inch pie)
  • 1 egg


  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Layer one pie crust in the bottom of your pie pan and parbake it by lining it with foil and pie weights. Bake for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the foil and bake until the crust is set but not browned.
  4. In a skillet, heat the apples, butter, brown sugar, apple pie spice and salt until the apples are tender.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2-4 tablespoons of water, depending on how juicy your apples are. Add to the skillet.
  6. Stir over medium heat to combine, until apple juices thicken and the cornstarch no longer looks cloudy. Allow apples to cool.
  7. Turn oven down to 325 F.
  8. Whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
  9. Put the apples into the parbaked pie shell.
  10. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the apples, making sure to pop any large bubbles with a fork.
  11. Bake for about an hour, but check after 45 minutes to make sure it’s not cracking in the middle. The pie will be done when the pumpkin is set and puffed up slightly.
  12. Set the pie on a rack to cool.
  13. Once the pie is at room temperature, place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour, for easier slicing.

For leaf decorations on top of pie:

  1. Heat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Roll out pie crust and cut with cookie cutters of your choice.
  3. Beat one egg and brush over the cutouts.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Arrange on top of the cooked, cooled pie.

Recipe adapted from Minnesota baker Zoë Bakes.

Posted: November 15, 2017, 4:49 pm

Spruce Up the Season

Create a welcoming holiday home that sets the scene for grand gatherings. Premium spruce top bundles are an easy way to add fresh accents to your outdoor décor and embrace the season.

What are Spruce Tops?

Spruce tops are small evergreens that have short, stiff, green needles that carry a light fragrance, similar to the full tree. Bachman’s works with growers who harvest spruce tops from bogs in northern Minnesota and Canada. They are cut by hand during October and November and gathered into bundles that serve as lush seasonal décor.

Bridge the Seasonal Gap with Spruce Tops

Decorating for the holidays is an exciting — and pretty significant — endeavor. Make it easier with spruce tops. These small evergreens are versatile enough to create an extravagant display in both fall and winter! Pair them with the right accents and spruce tops can dress up your outdoor containers for the remainder of the year with just a few adjustments.

Fall/November: In autumn, spruce tops are nicely complemented by fresh accents like white pine and cedar. Berried juniper brings a soft blue hue, and birch poles or branches provide extra height. Add fun finishing touches by inserting decorative picks with colorful pumpkins, leaves and pinecones. To make assembly even simpler, start early in the season when the soil is still warm and the spruce top tips go in easily.

Winter/December: To take your spruce top planters from fall to winter, simply remove your fall decorations and think holiday! Add colorful ornaments, battery-operated twinkle lights and a beautiful ribbon for a truly dazzling display. Many of your fresh accents from fall already tie well into holiday décor, but if you’d like to add something new in December, oregonia is great for softening the look of your planter.

Spruce tops are traditionally used outdoors, but can last several weeks indoors as well. Water your planter until the first hard freeze and you’ll enjoy a long-lasting arrangement! If you prefer to leave the legwork to us, bring home one of our stunning ready-made spruce top planters from Lunds & Byerlys.

Care Tips

  • Place spruce tops in about 4-5 inches of heavy, sandy soil. Continue to water thoroughly until soil in container freezes.
  • If using indoors (needles will hold about 2-3 weeks), cut ends of greens at least 1 inch from the bottom branch and place stems in water. Monitor daily to ensure they’re continuously submerged.
  • If the tops are planted early in the season, spray them with an anti-desiccant such as Wilt Stop. This helps seal in moisture so the tops don’t brown in warm, windy weather.  
Posted: November 15, 2017, 3:33 pm

Let’s Talk Turkey: Choosing a turkey

Lunds & Byerlys has the perfect turkey for your holiday feast! Scott Kersting, Director of Meat & Seafood, is here with a breakdown of all your turkey options this Thanksgiving!

For those of us charged with picking out the turkey this holiday season, we have important decisions ahead of us. Should it be organic, fresh, frozen or brined? And wait – how big should it be?

When it comes to your holiday turkey, we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re looking for a whole turkey or a turkey breast, all-natural or organic, Lunds & Byerlys offers a wide range of options that are sure to impress your friends and family at holiday gatherings. Plus, we have incredible in-store FoodE Experts and highly-trained meat and seafood staff who can help make your turkey decision easier and answer those all-important questions about preparation.

Before you make your holiday shopping list, take a look at some of the impressive turkeys we offer:

Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Organic Turkey:
These turkeys are raised locally in Minnesota and are fed a pure organic diet that’s free of antibiotics, hormones and gluten. Available sizes: 10-18 pounds

Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Brined Turkey:
These all-natural, free-range turkeys are brined in a spice and herb blend that helps retain their natural juices during the cooking process. Available sizes: 10-24 pounds

Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Antibiotic-Free All-Natural Turkey:
Raised in Minnesota, these turkeys are never fed gluten. They are also never given antibiotics or hormones. Available sizes: 10-26 pounds

Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Turkey:
These locally-raised turkeys are fresh – never frozen – and have never been fed gluten or hormones. Available sizes: 10-26 pounds

Lunds & Byerlys Cider Brined Turkey Breast:
This all-natural turkey breast is brined in cider made from Minnesota apples and is free of antibiotics, hormones and gluten. Average size: 4.75 pounds

To guarantee a turkey is just the right size for your gathering, place your order today by visiting the meat department service counter at your local Lunds & Byerlys or call 952-548-1400.

For tips on how to prep, cook and serve your turkey, including some of our favorite recipes, check out the second half of our Let’s Talk Turkey feature.

Posted: November 7, 2017, 10:20 pm

‘Za-ffle Fries

This easy appetizer is the perfect cross between crispy waffle fries and gooey, cheesy, pepperoni pizza! Delicious paired with Summit Unchained 25: Vienna-Style Lager.

4-6 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes

1 pound waffle fries
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
10-12 slices premium pepperoni
L&B Pizza Seasoning
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped


  1. Heat fries according to package directions.
  2. Layer cooked waffle fries with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni. Sprinkle with L&B Pizza Seasoning and parsley.
  3. Bake at 350 F for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown.

Tip: To keep the fries from getting soggy, use a scant amount (¼ cup) of pizza sauce when layering. Then, use the rest for dipping after cooking.

Recipe source: Real Food by Dad

Posted: November 7, 2017, 10:16 pm

Baileys Chocolatini

A sweet, dessert-inspired take on a martini, featuring Baileys Irish Cream and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur.

Makes 1 drink
Preparation time: 5 minutes

2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream
¼ ounce vodka
¼ ounce Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Cocoa powder


  1. Add Baileys, vodka, liqueur and ice to a cocktail shaker and shake until combined.
  2. Strain into a martini glass and sprinkle with cocoa powder (and/or drizzle with chocolate syrup) to serve.

Recipe source: Baileys

Posted: November 7, 2017, 10:16 pm

Try Our Newest L&B Deli Sandwiches

Look for our newest grab-and-go deli sandwiches in our deli case! They feature irresistible flavors (from mild to wild!) with plenty of hearty, wholesome ingredients to keep you satisfied.

Pick one up for lunch today! To serve, simply heat in a toaster oven, sauté pan or panini press. If you plan on eating it right away, we are happy to heat them for you at the deli counter.

Our new sandwiches include:

Retro Reuben on Grilled Marble Rye: Made with thinly sliced corned beef, Jarlsberg cheese, Russian dressing, sauerkraut and cream cheese.

Classic Country Club on Grilled Sourdough: Made with roasted turkey breast, smoked ham, fresh-cooked bacon, Roma tomatoes, mayonnaise and Cady Creek cheddar cheese.

Chicken Amelia on Tolera Roll: Made with herb-grilled chicken breast, prosciutto, Havarti cheese, roasted tomatoes and shallots, plus a basil and garlic aioli.

Carolina Pork Tenderloin on Tolera Roll: Made with grilled pork tenderloin seasoned with L&B Smoky Pork Seasoning, New Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, BBQ coleslaw, Havarti cheese and house-made sliced pickles.

Chimichurri Turkey Naan Sandwich: Made with tender oven-roasted turkey breast, spicy habanero Jack cheese, baby spinach, and cilantro-pesto chimichurri sauce.

4 the Love of Cheese on Grilled Sourdough: A delicious twist on classic diner grilled cheese, made with American, Havarti, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.

Posted: November 7, 2017, 10:16 pm

Rotisserie Chicken Remix: Chicken Tortellini Soup

Nothing hits the spot on a cool fall day like a hot bowl of soup. And this cozy, family-friendly soup is easy enough to make any day of the week. Tip: Look for 6 Buck Cluck every Friday in our deli, where you can get a L&B Rotisserie Chicken for just $6.

6-8 servings Preparation time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 1 L&B Rotisserie Chicken 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 carrots, chopped 3 stalks of celery, chopped 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 8 cups (64 ounces) chicken broth 2 teaspoons Lunds & Byerlys Italian Seasoning Salt & pepper to taste 12-20 ounces refrigerated tortellini


  1. Start by shredding the rotisserie chicken. Set the meat aside.

  2. In a large stockpot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; sauté for 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened. 

  3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  4. Add chicken broth and Lunds & Byerlys Italian Seasoning; add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.

  5. Add tortellini and cook for 1 minute less than indicated on the package directions. 

  6. Add in the shredded rotisserie chicken and cook for 1 more minute, until heated through. Serve with slices of crusty artisan bread. Enjoy!

Posted: November 7, 2017, 9:39 pm

How to prepare crab legs

Since the crab is already cooked, oven time is purposely brief to heat without toughening.


To heat: Thaw crab legs, if frozen; rinse. Arrange in shallow baking pan. Add hot water to fill pan ⅛-inch deep. Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 450 F oven until heated through (7-10 minutes).

To serve: Arrange crab on serving platter; garnish with lemon wedges. Serve hot with clarified butter (below) or add a twist of garlic with Lunds & Byerlys Scampi Finishing Butter. Use a nut or seafood cracker to split the shells.

Clarified butter: Melt butter completely over low heat. Remove from heat; let stand a few minutes, allowing milk solids to settle to the bottom. Skim foam from top. Pour off clear liquid (clarified butter); discard milk solids.

FoodE tip: When purchasing crab legs, allow about ¾-1 pound king crab legs or 1 pound snow crab legs per serving.

Posted: November 7, 2017, 9:24 pm

Apple Pie Squares

This delicious fall dessert is the perfect way to make apple pie for a crowd.

16 servings
Preparation time: 2 ½ hours


  • 2 ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (4-ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten, plus enough milk to measure ⅔ cup total
  • 10 cups thinly sliced, pared apples (about 10 medium)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Lunds & Byerlys Apple Pie Spice
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed corn flakes
  • 1 egg white


  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine flour, salt and optional shredded cheese into mixing bowl.
  3. Cut in shortening with pastry blender.
  4. Toss flour mixture with eg mixture until all flour is moistened. Form into two balls, cover and refrigerate.
  5. Toss apples with sugar and L&B Apple Pie Spice.
  6. Roll out one ball of dough to fit bottom and sides of a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan. Sprinkle cereal over crust. Add apple mixture.
  7. Roll out remaining dough and place over apples.
  8. Seal edges of crust; make slits on top with knife.
  9. Beat egg white and brush over crust.
  10. Bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.

Tip: No rolling pin? You can always use a wine bottle.

Posted: November 1, 2017, 5:06 pm

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

Hearty, cheesy mini sandwiches from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate. Great for a crowd!

If we live in Minnesota, can we really have an opinion on what makes a good Philly Cheesesteak? I mean, it would kind of be like someone from Florida telling us what the best hotdish recipe is or where to go for the best Juicy Lucy. There are just some territories we know not to cross into.

Regardless, I’m going to put it out there that these Philly Cheesesteak Sliders are pretty dang good. Authentic? Probably not. Delicious? Absolutely.

From what I’ve heard, one of the biggest debates when it comes to Philly Cheesesteaks is the cheese. Cheez Whiz is a common “cheese” used, while others choose American or provolone cheeses. Along with cheese, people argue about the type of bread, the toppings and the kind of meat. There’s so much passion when it comes to food!

For these sliders, I opted for provolone cheese, slider buns (definitely not authentic), thinly sliced sirloin steak, onions and peppers. Simple and delicious. To top it off, I made a butter mixture with melted butter, Dijon, minced onion and garlic powder to brush on top of the buns before baking, which really makes these sliders even more delicious.

We had these for dinner along with some sweet potato fries, but I think they would make great little appetizers or game day food, too! You could certainly prep these ahead of time, sautéing the onions and peppers and cooking the steak in advance. All you would have to do to assemble is layer it all between some slider buns, top with that butter mixture and bake. Super simple!

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

Makes 8 sliders
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
16 ounces sirloin steak, thinly sliced
¼ cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
8 slices provolone cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon minced onion
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 slider buns


  1. Heat oven to 375 F.  
  2. In a large skillet, add oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and bell pepper; cook until they are well cooked and softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook one more minute.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.  
  6. Remove veggies from pan.
  7. Add thinly sliced steak to the same pan over medium-high heat and cook until no longer pink.
  8. Add beef broth and Worcestershire; cook another 8-10 minutes, until the broth has reduced.  
  9. Meanwhile, make the butter topping by combining melted butter, Dijon, garlic powder, minced onion and salt.
  10. Place bottom of the slider buns in a 9x13 pan.
  11. Distribute beef among the buns; top with veggies.
  12. Top veggies with cheese and bun tops.
  13. Brush thoroughly with butter topping.  
  14. Cover with foil and bake for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy!  

Posted: November 1, 2017, 4:21 pm

Hasselback Chicken

Cheesy, weeknight-easy stuffed chicken breasts topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. Impressive enough for company, too!

4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

1-2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups packed arugula or spinach
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup ricotta
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup shredded fontina cheese
2 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
Lemon wedges, as a garnish


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add greens to skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, until wilted. Add garlic, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute more. Add ricotta to skillet and mix together with greens. Set mixture aside.  
  3. Cut even slices across the width of the chicken breasts, making sure not to cut all the way through.
  4. Tuck a spoonful of the ricotta mixture in between each slice. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  5. Sprinkle tops of chicken breasts with fontina and breadcrumbs.
  6. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is golden-brown on top and reaches an internal temperature of 165 F when measured with a meat thermometer. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.
Posted: November 1, 2017, 4:21 pm

Avocado Green Sauce

An addictively delicious mixture of avocados, herbs and nuts. Wonderful served as a dip, spread or sauce. You can also transform it into a dressing or marinade by simply adding more water or oil to thin the sauce.

Makes 2 cups
Preparation time: 10 minutes

1 avocado
1 cup packed parsley and cilantro leaves (combined)
1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1-2 limes, to taste
½ cup water
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup pistachios


  1. Pulse all ingredients except pistachios in a food processor until incorporated.
  2. Add pistachios and pulse until mostly smooth (process more if you’d like a smoother consistency).
Posted: November 1, 2017, 4:21 pm

Slow Cooker Bolognese

Take spaghetti night up a notch with this flavorful slow cooker recipe from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate. Serve over spaghetti noodles, pappardelle noodles or even spaghetti squash!

A few weeks ago, I had my sister-in-law over to our house for a full-day session of freezer meal prep. She recently had a baby and just went back to work, and I’m due with our second any day now, so we are both in need of some super-simple meals that we can pull out of the freezer and let the slow cooker do the work for us.

I couldn’t make a batch of freezer slow cooker meals without including this recipe for Bolognese sauce.  Bolognese sauce is typically made on the stovetop and simmered for hours, but I think it is absolutely made for the slow cooker. The reason it’s so good and flavorful is because it is cooked so long – and with the slow cooker, it can cook all day!  

This recipe does require a little pre-slow-cooker prep, as the veggies need to be sautéed and the turkey needs to be cooked prior to putting it in the slow cooker. This part of the recipe could be done the night before, or you could do like we did and freeze it, making it ready to be put in the slow cooker at any time!  

I made ours with ground turkey, but I’ve also made it the more traditional way with ground beef, and this recipe works just as well with either. I topped it with freshly-chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese, and I’ve heard some people like to give their sauce a splash of heavy cream at the end as well, for additional richness.

Regardless, this Bolognese is delicious and is the perfect way to kick spaghetti night up a notch.  Even my meat-averse toddler ate it up!

One note about this recipe: it makes a LOT! If you have a smaller family, you could definitely freeze half of it and cook the other half right away in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Bolognese

Makes 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
2 pounds ground turkey (or ground beef)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine (or chicken broth)
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  
Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper and Worcestershire; cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add turkey and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up into smaller pieces as you go.
Add tomato paste and cook another 2 minutes.  
Add red wine and deglaze the pan.  
Add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Transfer to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Posted: November 1, 2017, 4:21 pm

Taste Test: Dark Chocolate

We sampled 29 different types of dark chocolate in 5 popular categories. Here are the results!

Favorite pure dark chocolate: Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Twilight Delight. Our testers loved the creamy, simple richness in every bite!

Favorite dark chocolate with sea salt: Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate. Our testers enjoyed the way the crunchy sea salt crystals contrasted with the decadent smoothness of the chocolate.

Favorite caramel/toffee variety: Ghirardelli Intense Dark Toffee Interlude. This rich dark chocolate features crunchy toffee bits and sweet caramelized almonds in every bite. “It’s like your favorite toffee candy bar, all grown up!”

Favorite dark chocolate with nuts: Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate. Our testers enjoyed the satisfyingly crunchy almond pieces combined with just the right amount of sea salt.

Favorite dark chocolate with fruit: Lindt Excellence Intense Orange. The orange essence in this chocolate was intense but not overwhelming. A delight to eat!

Treat yourself today! Look for all these dark chocolate varieties and more in our grocery aisles – or shop online now.

Posted: October 24, 2017, 9:36 pm