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Reusing your vegetable scraps is just one way to make an effort to be more environmentally conscious. By making use of those vegetable scraps in other cooking, you can reduce food waste and maybe even save a little money while you’re at it. One main way to use vegetable scraps is to make a broth or stock out of it. Read on further to learn more about how to help reduce food waste by using those leftover vegetable scraps.
Tacoma Boys Blog
Hard apple cider is a cold and slightly sweet bubbly beverage: The alcoholic drink is growing in popularity and availability all over the state, country, and world! Washington-produced cider is especially popular because of our state’s prolific apple trees and orchards. As more people become cider fans, it’s even easier to find different kinds of cider to enjoy and places to enjoy it — Cideries are popping up more and more as destinations to produce and taste cider, similar to wineries or breweries. They may also be referred to as a cider house or taproom. Some cider houses serve several different craft ciders from different producers right on tap. “Flights” of cider at such places are a great way to taste a few different kinds to see what you like!
All About Hard Apple Cider
Crisp and refreshing hard apple cider is the perfect accompaniment to Washington summers. It’s a great way to enjoy the apples of the Pacific Northwest, where the growing regions are rich and the apple trees abundant. Some apple orchards are especially grown for cider-pressing apples. Like wineries with vineyards, some cideries have their own orchards for growing apples to press into juice for hard cider; Meanwhile, some cideries buy apples elsewhere to press them into cider. Since cider is simply fermented apple juice, it can be made anywhere! There can be as many hard apple cider varieties as there are varieties of apples: Some can also be a mix of many types of apples and other fruits or flavorings.
At Tacoma Boys, you’ll find a wide range of different varieties of dry, sweet, flavored cider, and more!
Dry Versus Sweet Cider
When shopping for hard apple cider, it’s common to see “dry,” “semi-sweet” or “semi-dry,” and “sweet,” labels. This refers to the amount of residual sugars and therefore sweetness remaining in the cider. The less residual sugar, the less sweet the cider will be. “Dry” ciders tend to be less sweet than a bite into a standard apple, whereas “sweet” ciders may taste a touch sweeter. Dry ciders may taste a bit like hopps and alcohol fermentation in general.
Flavored and Infused Cider
Several ciders are infused and made with other fruits or herbs for an added complex flavor and color. It’s common to see berries in ciders produced in Washington because both apples and berries grow so well here. Some examples of flavored or infused ciders you’ll find at Tacoma Boys include Locust Honey Pear, Schilling Grapefruit, One Tree Huckleberry, and Tieton Cranberry Cider. Some craft cider can be made with all pears and no apples! These are generally referred to as a “perry” and tend to be sweeter than a hard apple cider— But many pear ciders are made with a mix of both pears and apples.
Heirloom apples, imperial apples, honeycrisp apples, cosmic crisp apples… These are a few of the apple varieties that are used to make hard apple cider. A single varietal cider means it was made specially with only one type of apple— Unlike other ciders that are produced with a variety of pressed apples, single varietal ciders have a very distinct apple taste.
Pacific Northwest Cider
It’s easy to get your hands on Pacific Northwest cider locally and at Tacoma Boys. Craft cider is very popular in the United Kingdom and is known as the largest cider-producing country in Europe. But here in the Pacific Northwest, there’s a ton of darn good cider available to enjoy! While the taste depends on the cider’s tannins, acidity, and effervescence, most craft ciders have a similar overall apple taste.
If you’re not familiar hard apple cider, we recommend trying a Pacific Northwest cider like one of these brands available at Tacoma Boys:
- Incline Cider (Tacoma, Washington)
- Tieton Cider Works (Yakima, Washington)
- 2 Towns Ciderhouse (Corvallis, Oregon)
- Finnriver Cider (Chimacum, Washington)
- AVID Cider Co. (Bend, Oregon)
- Snowdrift Cider Co. (Wenatchee, Washington)
- Dragon’s Head Cider (Vashon, Washington)
- Bauman’s Cider Company (Gervais, Oregon)
Easy Cider Cocktails to Make at Home
While drinking cider on its own is great, it’s easy to make cider cocktails to sip on, too! Cider’s sparkly nature and deep flavor makes it a great base to cider drinks and cocktails. Cider should be enjoyed at a temperature similar to that of white wine. This means slightly warmer than the temperature of your refrigerator: It’s generally recommended to let the cider sit at room temperature for a few minutes before drinking. This best releases the cider’s aroma and apple flavor. Next, think of a fruit juice, herb, or other flavoring that would work well with your cider of choice. This recipe for a Hard Cider Moscow Mule by Joyful Healthy Eats is a great example of a tasty cider cocktail! It’s easy to enjoy a cool glass of cider or cider cocktail alongside your favorite summer meal, like a Grilled Corn & Zucchini Salad with Goat Cheese.
Or, try our recipe for Rosemary Rosé Grapefruit Cider Cocktails:
Ingredients – makes two
- One 12 oz can Two Towns Two Thorns Raspberry Rosé Cider
- 1 cup Santa Cruz Organics Grapefruit Juice
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
- 1 grapefruit, sliced into wheels, for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the grapefruit juice and fresh rosemary sprigs, bruising the leaves with the muddler to release the aroma.
- Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Fill two serving glasses with ice.
- Pour the grapefruit rosemary mixture into the two serving glasses (through the cocktail shaker strainer). Top each with half of the can of the raspberry rose cider.
- Stir, garnish with extra rosemary and grapefruit wheels, and enjoy!
Come On In
When you’re ready to get your cider drinking started, come on in to Tacoma Boys to check it out! You’ll find a variety of craft cider next to the beer and wine. And to stay up to date on insider deals and specials, sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
We’ve got nothing against the classic s’more. Who could possibly begrudge that winning combo of melted chocolate and gooey mallow? However, there is a whole world of campfire treats waiting to be explored and we’ve gathered recipes for campfire desserts for adventurous campers.
Grilled Personal Peaches
Grilling fresh peaches is a great way to amp up their sweetness. While the prep on this dessert might be a bit more involved on the front end, each dessert is a single portion that requires no additional clean up or dishes.
4 ripe peaches
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of granola
Optional: Icecream (for our RVing friends)
- Prepare a bed of coals under the grill for medium-high heat.
- Using heavy duty foil, cut four, 12-inch square pieces of foil.
- Cut butter into 1/2 inch pieces and toss in a bowl with the brown sugar and salt. Save yourself a mess at the campsite and do this step at home, adding into a ziplock bag to bring along.
- Wash peaches, cut in half, and remove the pits. Equally portion the butter/sugar mixture into the wells of four peach halves.
- Place two peach halves, cut side down onto each square of foil. Bring the corners of the foil up and crimp closed, sealing the foil packet.
- Place the packets on the grill over the fire and cook for about 15 minutes, rotating the locations of the packets so that they cook evenly. (If the firepit at your campsite doesn’t have a grill, you can pull coals from the fire to create a bed of coals away from the main fire and put the foil packets directly on the coals. This is a less controlled method, but still creates a delicious treat.)
- When peaches have cooked, use tongs to pull the foil packets from the fire and rest the peaches in their foil packets for a few minutes.
- Open the foil pack carefully, as it will steam. Turn peaches over using a fork. Sprinkle each peach with granola and enjoy!
Campfire Peach Crisp
To keep it super simple, this recipe utilizes canned peaches and instant oatmeal. To create that crumble topping, you will use graham crackers, which nearly every camp pantry has on hand for classic s’more making. You can easily mix up the dry, topping ingredients in a ziplock bag before the trip, to simplify the prep campside.
2 – 15oz canned peaches in light syrup
6 – 8 graham crackers
3 – packets brown sugar instant oatmeal
⅓ cup butter, cut into small pieces
Optional: ⅓ chopped pecans
9×9 disposable, aluminum foil pan
- Prepare a bed of coals under the grill for medium-high heat.
- Break up graham crackers and add them to the aluminum pan. Sprinkle with instant oatmeal and pecans (if using).
- Pour entire contents of canned peaches over the graham/oatmeal crumble and toss everything together with a spoon.
- Scatter butter over the top of the crisp and cover the pan tightly with foil.
- Place on the grill and cook for 15-25 minutes, rotating position for even cooking. Watch carefully for burning.
- Remove the pan from the fire, peel back the foil carefully. Eat directly from the pan or dish into bowls if you fancy doing dishes later.
Okay, you don’t have to use a broomstick, but this classic, campfire dessert does require some “specialty” equipment in the form of a 1 inch dowel. Dowels are easy enough to get from a hardware store. Use the dowel as is or follow this great DIY for roasting sticks. If you’re camping in a wooded area, you can also hunt for a branch to use, once you are at camp. We’ll cover those sticks with foil, so an old broomstick or a fallen branch will work just dandy.
1” diameter roasting stick/broomstick
Butter or non-stick spray
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package of vanilla pudding (or chocolate if you fancy)
1 jar of chocolate frosting, chocolatey nut spread
- Prepare your pudding ahead of the trip and store in an air-tight container, plastic ziplock, or empty ketchup bottle (these last two methods make for easy eclair filling at the campsite). Store in the refrigerator or cooler until ready to use.
- Once your fire is ready for roasting, wrap the end of your roasting stick/dowel with foil and coat with butter or non-stick spray to keep the eclair from sticking.
- Wrap a section of crescent dough around the stick, making sure to overlap as you go and completely close off the end.
- Slowly roast the eclair over the fire, being sure to rotate for even roasting. Slow and steady is the way to go!
- When the eclair is perfectly roasted, slide it carefully off the dowel. Fill with pudding, top with chocolate frosting, and enjoy!
This is another classic that often gets forgotten in lieu of a traditional s’more, but we think it’s worth a revisit. While there is no denying this is solidly in the dessert category, the fresh fruit adds a dose of nutrition. Top with more fresh fruit like raspberries or sliced strawberries for an even healthier option.
Ingredients per Serving:
12 mini marshmallows
⅛ cup mini chocolate chips
Optional: Peanut Butter, toffee bits, granola, fresh raspberries
- Prepare a bed of coals under the grill for medium heat.
- Cut tin foil into 12 inch squares, enough for each banana boat.
- Leaving the peel on the bananas, cut a slit lengthwise, but not through the bottom portion of the peel.
- Open up the split in the banana and stuff with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and peanut butter, if using.
- Place on a sheet of foil and loosely fold over the top of the banana boat leaving a little bit of headroom, so the chocolate doesn’t just coat the foil. Make sure all ends of the foil are sealed.
- Grill for 3-5 minutes, or until the marshmallows and chocolate make a delicious gooey mess.
- Top with optional toppings: toffee bits, granola, fresh raspberries, crushed vanilla wafers… the possibilities are endless.
Fuel Your Adventure
If these campfire desserts for adventurous campers have you feeling inspired, you’ll enjoy our roundup of road trip snacks perfect for the drive and your hiking excursions. Now that you’ve got the all-important dessert and snacks covered, head on over to our Guide to Quality Meals in the Great Outdoors and you’ll be set for your next adventure!
Warm weather is rolling in, meaning it’s just about time to enjoy summer treats! Refreshing and cool, summer treats should be tasty and contrast the hot weather. It’s a time when many families enjoy ice cold lemonade, fruity popsicles, and towering cones of ice cream. Many kids and adults alike look forward to the season as a time to enjoy such fun summer treats: But this also means getting creative when the family is sick of plain old popsicles. If you’re not sure what treats you and your family will enjoy this summer season, consider some of the options Tacoma Boys has to offer — and get inspired to get active in the kitchen and whip up your favorite treats!
A Selection of Summer Treats
At Tacoma Boys, a selection of tasty summer treats means there’s something for everyone on a cool day. Think ice cream, popsicles, iced tea, fresh fruit, and much more. Keep cool this season with summer treats, like these favorites available at Tacoma Boys:
- Ice cream bars and popsicles: So Delicious Dairy Free Dipped Ice Cream Bars, Chloe’s Oatmilk Pops, Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company Ice Cream Bars, and more.
- Ice cream sandwiches: Ruby Jewel Ice Cream Sandwiches and Tofutti Dairy Free Cuties.
- Scoopable ice cream: Acme Valley Ice Cream, Snow Monkey Dairy Free Dessert, Umpqua Ice Cream, and more.
- Cool drinks: Paunchy Elephant Lemonade, Pressed Juicery Cold Pressed Juice, and more.
- Fresh fruit: Nature’s own refreshing summer treats come by way of seasonal fruit like melons, berries, stone fruit, and apples.
Refreshing Snacks for Summer Days
On hot summer days, sometimes tasty refreshing snacks are just what you need to keep cool and satisfied. Depending on what you’re up to for the day, you may opt for quick and easy or on-the-go snacks. There are so many different refreshing snacks for different activities! If you’re enjoying the warm weather in your own backyard, this is a good time to enjoy frozen goods that don’t travel well. This means ice cream sandwiches, sorbet and sherbet, popsicles, or whatever else needs to be stored in the freezer.
When you’re on the go, veer away from those frozen refreshing snacks: Rather, pack a sturdy water bottle (like a Hydroflask) with plenty of ice and lots of water. If you have a cooler, stock it full of cut fruit, cool drinks, and snacks like yogurt. These snacks can be enjoyed anywhere without too much mess or risk of melting. If you’re aiming to get out of the house, try a summer picnic! You can make your best refreshing snacks and summer recipes ahead of time. Then simply pack it up in a basket with other seasonal essentials and head to your favorite park or beach. For more tips on how to enjoy a spectacular picnic, check out our blog all about it.
Summer Recipes for Everyone
Tasty summer recipes generally avoid the hot oven and stove or opt for an outdoor grill instead. This is a good time to use summer seasonal produce, too: You can make several summer recipes for everyone by using fresh ingredients in a refreshing way. Frozen items and fruit may come to mind. Freshly made salads are a good option too! And there’s always time to enjoy sweet treats like cool cheesecake or moist cupcakes.
- Homemade Popsicles by Jessica Gavin: These are quick and easy to make and packed full of nutritious fruit! For a simple prep, use Remlinger Farms Frozen Fruit like peaches, raspberries, strawberries, or granny smith apples.
- Fruit salad: You don’t need a measured recipe for this one! Simply chop up your favorite summer fruit and toss it together in a bowl. Some may add honey or lemon juice as a ‘dressing’ for this salad, but it’s not necessary.
- Any other salad: Think pasta salad, Grilled Zucchini and Corn Salad, chef’s salad, or maybe a caesar. Salads are a great option for hot days because they usually don’t require much heat to prepare. They’re notably crunchy and refreshing!
- Homemade lemonade: Lemonade can easily be made at home. Rather than using granulated cane sugar, try this recipe for a refined sugar free lemonade with honey.
- Baked goods: Find Chuckanut Bay Mini Cheesecake, Divine Pie, and Better Bites Lil’ Mo Mini Cupcakes in the frozen section at Tacoma Boys. Prepare them as directed for a sweet treat with no prep.
Summer Treats at Tacoma Boys
Grab prepared treats or ingredients for your own summer recipes on your next trip to Tacoma Boys. An array of fresh produce along with specialty food items means wholesome complete meals and snacks in one quick stop. To stay up to date on insider deals and specials, sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
Roasted Broccoli Salad With Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
The best salads utilize a variety of textures and contrasting flavors: This simple roasted broccoli salad makes great use of crunchy and soft textures along with sweet, savory, salty, and sour tastes thanks to cashews, apple, goat cheese, and a flavor-forward dijon vinaigrette. (more…)