Welcome to August!

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welcometoaugust2014

Welcome to August!  Our August menu celebrates the end of summer with fresh flavors, fruity sauces and quick cook meals.  Choose Calypso Chicken with Grilled Pineapple, Mango BBQ Pork Chops, Mojito Shrimp with Red Beans and Rice or Chicken Casablanca in Grilled Pitas, just to name a few.

We have four new meals for you to try in August.  First up is our Crispy Chicken Quesadilla Salad (pictured, left). Our favorite all-natural crispy chicken tenders are pan fried, cut into chunks and served over a salad of black beans, corn and fresh diced tomato.  One dressing just wouldn’t do so we paired this with a duo of dressings: a creamy chipotle ranch and a southwestern vinaigrette – both bursting with flavor.  Topped with cheddar and tri-colored tortilla strips, this meal is colorful and flavorful and one that we just can’t get enough of.

Our newest burger offering is our Smokehouse Slider (pictured, middle).  The flavors you loved so much in the Smokehouse Chicken, now available on a slider.   This one is all about the layers, flavor on top of flavor.  We begin with a simple slider – we believe in the basics for this one; don’t mess with the meat.  A gently formed patty is all you need for juicy perfection.  Hit with a dash of salt and pepper and grilled or griddled these cook up quickly any day of the week.  Topped with BBQ sauce, cheddar, crispy bacon and onion straws…these are a crowd pleaser weather you’re feeding the family or the soccer team.

Wrap it up with our Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps (pictured, right)!  We’re offering you something different this month and instead of using a classic tortilla (which we still love) we’re wrapping this meal up with hydroponically grown Boston Bibb Lettuce.  How’s that for summer-y?  The tender green leaves of this mild lettuce hold a sauté of julienned chicken breast, broccoli, edamame and peanuts tossed in a light Asian sauce.  With this delicate lettuce you’ll need to keep the ingredients fresh in the fridge and prepare your meal within a few days of dishing.  Because this meal is kept fresh (never frozen) is not available for Dish-N-Dash or Delivery Orders.

Excited about the chicken lettuce wraps we decided to offer a vegetarian version of this meal and created the Vegetarian Asian Lettuce Wraps.   Sure we could have filled the lettuce with even more veggies, but what else could we offer?  How about something to replace the julienned chicken breast?  We tested a great vegetarian Chick’n product from Gardein (garden + protein).  These Chick’n strips are made from soy, wheat and pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and Kamut®).  Taste testers (including some real skeptics) loved the taste and texture!  Look for more ingredients like this in our upcoming vegetarian meals.  Exciting stuff!

We look forward to seeing you in the store this month.  As you know, the hour or two spent dishing your meals will afford you more time to enjoy these last weeks of summer.  Maybe your meals are headed to the beach for one last family vacation before school starts?  Whatever your plans, whatever your pleasure, enjoy your month, enjoy your meals…September will be here before you know it!

From our kitchen to yours,

 

Easter Dessert – Cake or Pie?

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springdesserts

Will you be serving cake or pie for Easter Dessert?
Either way we’ve got you covered. Our Caramel Coconut Pie with Pecans is a sweet cold treat and a customer favorite that is served right out of the freezer (how easy is that?). New this month are our Pear Cornmeal Cakes – six individual cakes that keep dessert on the lighter side. Perfect right out of the oven or topped with whipped cream, these cakes are a sweet (but not too sweet) home-style dessert. Both desserts are available in our Ready Made Case – stop by today. Please note: our stores will be closed on Easter.

Happy Easter!

The Dish on Chia Seeds – Give ‘em a try!

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Our resident foodie, Elizabeth Blake, forwarded me this article (http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2014/1/6/9-ways-to-use-chia-seeds?xid=DISH010914WaysToUseChia) because she knew that I am a chia fan.  The team is always making fun of me for it, because chia seeds are a bit off the wall.  In fact, my kids openly mock me with “Daddy eats chia pets!” before dissolving into laughter and running out of the room.

I probably deserve the mocking if I am being honest.  I mainly eat chia in one of two ways:

1) Classic Chia Fresca.  This is when you mix chia seeds with water, lime juice, and some sort of sweetener (I like agave nectar but sugar, brown sugar, and honey work well, too).  I got hooked on this after reading Born to Run.  The heroes of the book drink it all the time and run 100′s of miles.  I drink it before and during long trail races (but unfortunately it hasn’t turned me into a champion like the guys in the book…)

2) Mixed in with plain greek yogurt.  I eat a lot of plain greek yogurt; my favorite is Fage 2%, though I also like Chobani and Oikos.  It can get a little boring, though, and the chia gives it an extra crunch and also lots of extra nutrients (just be sure to eat it right away– otherwise the seeds get  pretty soggy and the experience is nowhere near as good).  I could accomplish the same thing with granola, but I often eat low-carb and so chia is much better.

The reason I deserve the mocking is that in each case, the chia looks pretty gross.  It becomes almost gelatinous in the Chia Fresca, and just kind of blends into a seedy paste when it comes to the yogurt (in an ugly brown color to boot when I mix in cinnamon, which I often do…).

But what are you gonna do?  It’s a superfood and I like it, so I am game for a little mocking.  Some of the ideas in this piece give me hope that I can add some variety to my chia life and perhaps even do it while minimizing the mocking.  A couple quick thoughts on the suggestions:

- I love the pancake idea.   I already sneak in protein powder or pumpkin puree without even telling them!  They would notice whole chia seeds but maybe I could grind them up in the food processor first?  hmmm….

- My younger daughter already makes jam.  It’s delicious, but a bit of a nutritional disaster.  Using chia  as the thickening agent helps with that and delivers a TON more nutrients than regular jam.  I will try this with my daughter and let you know….

- Smoothies and Agua Fresca are what I already do.  If you can get over the weird appearance, they are great.  Perfect for a quick breakfast or healthy snack.  Trust me.

- The salad dressing I just have to try– maybe a proxy for poppyseed?

- I am hoping Elizabeth will test them out in some of our recipes that call for breading– I am intrigued

- The pudding is a wild card.  I just got my girls into almond milk (only chocolate, but hey, it’s a start).  So I want to mix up the chia with the chocolate almond milk and maybe try to convince them it’s special chocolate pudding.  I cannot tell them it’s chia or else they will balk.  Stay tuned….

- I am skeptical of the egg thing.  Gotta draw the line somewhere!  Plus I LOVE eggs…

Bottom line is that chia is a weird but pretty cool and super healthy food.  It’s worth trying to weave into your diet in some way.  It is getting easier to find in mainstream channels, but I still buy mine in bulk from Amazon, so you might check that out.

If anyone has any more great chia recipes, please share them back with me and the group!

 

Rick’s Signature

2013 in Review: The Top 10 New Meal Countdown

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It’s that time of year when we look back and reflect. 

We remember the top movies and songs and events of the year. 

Join us here as we count down the top 10 new meals of 2013 –

 

10.  Farm Stand Frittatas September 2013

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9.  Zesty Grilled Chicken June 2013

9.ZestyGrilledChicken

 

 

8.  Chocolate Raspberry Filled Croissants February 2013

8.ChocolateRaspberryCroiss

 

 

7.  Pecan Crusted Tilapia March 2013

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6.  Smokehouse Chicken August 2013

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5.  Cookies ‘n Cream Dreams March 2013

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4.  Tennessee Whiskey Chicken April 2013

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3.  Southwestern Chipotle Shrimp Bowl May 2013

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2.  Chocolate Hazelnut Dreams January 2013

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1.  Steakhouse Chicken February 2013

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Well there you go – your top 10 new meals of 2013!  Look for these on our menu in 2014 accompanied by more new meals…as well as your all-time favorites. Thank you for dishing with us in 2013, we couldn’t do it without you!

Happy New Year from your friends at Let’s Dish!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…..scone

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Our Signature Scones are pretty much perfect as-is, I know.  But it’s the holiday season and I thought I would see if I could turn our favorite scones into Christmas cookies.   Check these out!  I believe they could compete with just about any homemade Christmas cookie!!  Perfect for a party, gifting…or the cookie swap.

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Cranberry-Orange Christmas Scones

Cranberry-Orange scones decorated with a pecan half, a dried cranberry and a drizzle of powdered sugar & water glaze.(Wait until scones are completely cooled before glazing) Cutting instructions below:

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Cranberry-Orange Christmas Scones

Cut 1 block of frozen cranberry-orange scone dough into quarters.  Next cut each quarter into 4 triangles.  You now have 16 small triangle scones ready to bake.  These are the same size we serve at Let’s Dish!

 

 

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Cinnamon Christmas Scones

Cinnamon scones cut into rectangles, decorated with cinnamon imperials or holly leaves and a drizzle of powdered sugar & water glaze. (Wait until scones are completely cooled before glazing) 

Cut scone dough into rectangles before baking.  See below:

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Cinnamon Christmas Scones

Cut 1 block of frozen cinnamon scone dough into 6 sticks.  Next cut the sticks in half.  You now have 12 cinnamon scone sticks.  These will puff while baking and will yield a wider rectangle scone.  

 

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Holly Berry & Leaves Decorations!

These store bought decorations are super cute.  For young children I would recommend sticking to the cinnamon candies.  The holly leaves took some time and accuracy to apply.  Apply decorations while the glaze is wet so that the candies stay in place. 

 

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Cinnamon Decorations!

These store bought decorations give a festive look and matched the cinnamon flavor of these scones.  Apply while the glaze is wet so that the candies stay in place. 

 

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Blueberry Christmas Scone Bites

Blueberry scone bites decorated with nonpareils and a drizzle of powdered sugar & water glaze.  (Wait until scones are completely cooled before glazing)

Apply candies while the glaze is wet so that the candies stay in place.

What are scone bites? 

Scones cut into bite size squares before baking.  See below: 

 

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Blueberry Christmas Scone Bites

Cut 1 block of frozen blueberry scone dough into quarters.  Next cut each quarter into 4 squared.  You now have 16 small square scones ready for baking. 

 

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The gift of Christmas scones

There are many packaging options out there – cello bags, cookie boxes and the tried and true Tupperware.  These are all great options.  You could also try something different and package in a *baking pan that can be used again. 

All you need to do is wrap this pan with cello and tie with a bow…of course if you kept these all for yourself we would totally understand.

(Note: this picture also includes Harvest Health Cookie bites – our Harvest Health cookies cut into fourths before baking and then drizzled with glaze when completely cooled)

 

Let’s Dish! Signature Scone dough

Available in the Ready Made case at each of our local Let’s Dish! locations: Baltimore, MD (Timonium), Columbia, MD and Alexandria, VA.

Also available and as an add-on with any DishDelivery order.

*6 cup classic Bundt pan by Nordic Ware purchased at Target.

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From our kitchen to yours, have a wonderful Holiday!

~Elizabeth B.