December 9, 2009
Artichokes for the Holidays
We’re all about Artichokes at Ocean Mist Farms, and that means we’re always looking for ways to share our excitement for the healthful veggie with you. From grilling Artichokes to cooking them in a crock pot, Artichokes are versatile in how you can serve them, but did you know they also serve as the perfect decoration for holiday get togethers and formal dinner parties?
Artichokes are a great vegetable to include in your holiday party plans because they can be used in many ways. The following ideas can help you get creative and get decorating with Artichokes:
|Floral Arrangements — Artichokes are a great addition to holiday floral arrangements because they mix well with all types of flowers. Try adding them to floral arrangements using holly and roses or stacking Baby Artichokes in a tall vase with long stem flowers for added color.|
|On the Table — Make Artichoke centerpiece by adding the veggie to a holiday bowl or wicker basket along with green pears, red grapes and pinecones. Place cards can be made by cutting out rectangular pieces of heavy stock paper and including each guest’s name before slipping them between an Artichoke’s leaves.|
|Candle Holders — Artichoke candleholders are beautiful and offer a lot of variety, as you can opt to use different candle shapes, sizes and colors. Turn your Artichoke into a candleholder by pulling open the Artichoke from the center and removing the correct amount of center leaves, placing the candle inside and lighting.|
|Around the House — To keep the Artichoke theme going even after guests leave the table, be sure to incorporate Artichokes in other areas of your house, like the guest bathroom and living room. Artichokes look great on their own, so in these rooms, simply displaying three or four Artichokes on a table or countertop will work.|
Have extra Artichokes you didn’t use as part of your holiday decorations? Put them to use by adding them to your holiday menu! Artichokes can be made ahead of time so you can cut down on some of the stress of preparing for holiday entertaining. Simply cook Artichokes by yourpreferred method, let them cool and store in an airtight plastic bag before placing them in your refrigerator. Cooked Artichokes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and re-heated in the microwave or oven before using in your favorite holiday recipe.
December 1, 2009
Newsletter - December 2009
November 13, 2009
Give Thanks With Menu Ideas from Ocean Mist Farms
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to get cooking! From making the perfect turkey to baking delicious pies, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, you’ve definitely got your work cut out. If you’re already feeling the pressure of holiday cooking, the good news is with Thanksgiving about two weeks away, you still have plenty of time to get prepared.
The following tips will help you stay on top of your holiday cooking and cut down on the stress by planning ahead:
Plan Now – If you’re not big into planning ahead, now is the perfect time to change your tune. Not only can you cut down on last-minute stress by having a simple to-do list, but planning ahead could also save you time and money by helping you purchase only what you need and minimizing trips to the store. Just be sure to get a final head count before you make your list.
Shop Early – Holiday shopping can be anything but fun, especially if you wait until the last minute. By planning your menu ahead of time, you’ll know exactly what you need and what you can purchase now. Shopping early for the staple, non-perishable items gives you access to the best selection and inventory that tends to shrink as Thanksgiving approaches. Retailers generally start their promotions for traditional holiday ingredients the first week of November, so you can get shopping on many items now.
Cook & Prep Ahead – As fun as holiday cooking can be, no one wants to spend the entire time in the kitchen on a holiday, especially when family and friends are in town. By cooking and preparing food ahead of time, you can cut down on your kitchen time the day of Thanksgiving.
- Cook Ahead – Of course cooking menu items ahead of time is the ultimate time saver. Choose your menu items wisely and you could possibly have half of the meal cooked the day before! If you’re working with Artichokes, try cooking them ahead of time and storing in your refrigerator for up to one-week, reheating them on the day of serving. Some of our favorite cook ahead recipes that keep well in the fridge include:
- Prep Ahead – Items such as the turkey and ingredients for stuffing that can be cleaned, peeled, chopped and diced the day before are always good options for saving time. Go beyond the kitchen and tackle these steps the day before too:
- Choose and place table centerpieces and wine choices on the dinner table;
- Set your table with place settings and name plates, as well as appetizer serving ware;
- Decide which dishes you will use to serve the special menu items in, including the turkey platter and gravy boat;
- Set aside enough serving ware for desert; and
- Empty out your dishwasher and make room for dirty dishes.
These tips should help you get started, but if you’re still wondering how to plan for Thanksgiving, we have put together the perfect holiday menu. Make it all or add a few recipes to your family favorites this year, just don’t forget the turkey!
- Baked Artichokes with Roasted Artichoke & Red Pepper Dip
- Hearts of Romaine Chopped Salad with Melon, Prosciuto and Cranberries
- Balsamic Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese, Toasted Pecans On a bed of Fresh Baby Spinach
- Italian Sausage-Artichoke and Fennel Stuffing
- Cauliflower Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes
- Tuscan Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Mushroom Leek Ragu