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Looking for something sweet? From quality baked pastries to locally made ice cream, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce has the perfect delicious dessert to top off your evening and satisfy your craving for something sweet.
You’ve just finished a delicious meal, and conversation around the table is flowing. You don’t want the evening to end, but the main course is gone and plates are ready to be cleared. You know exactly what this moment calls for. Whether it’s cool and creamy or fresh from the oven filling the house with a heavenly aroma…it’s time for dessert!
Whether you’re a “made-from-scratch” kitchen queen or a “support your local baker” host extraordinaire (or maybe somewhere in between), we at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have all the sugary goods you need to top the evening off right with a delicious dessert.
Three Ways Tacoma Boys Can Help Make Your Dessert Delicious
Made with Lovin’ Fresh From the Oven
Maybe you’re a purist when it comes to dessert. “Happiness is homemade,” they say, and they couldn’t be more right! There’s nothing as tasteful and thoughtful as a baked good made with love in your own kitchen. If you’re in this camp, have no fear. Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have you covered with high quality ingredients that would make your mother proud.
For an American summer classic, try this recipe for homemade Apple Pie from Taste of Home! Save yourself a little time by skipping the tedious apple peeling and grab a bag of Remlinger Farms Frozen Granny Smith Apples. Sourced in Carnation, WA, these are homegrown Washington apples. (We also carry blueberries, pie cherries, rhubarb, peaches, and a berry medley from Remlington. So if apple pie doesn’t suit your fancy, you have plenty of options!) While you’re there, pick up a frozen pie crust, also in our frozen section. Is it still homemade if the crust is frozen? We think so. And we won’t tell.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
If pie feels a bit ambitious, you can never go wrong with Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you’re interested in lowering the sugar content and still making this delicious dessert, try substituting Lily’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chips from our comprehensive baking aisle. We also carry an assortment of sugar replacements like Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener, Sweet Leaf Organic Stevia, and Swerve Sugar Replacement. While you’re there, check out Tacoma Boys Vanilla Extract. Give it a try and see if you don’t make the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had!
Leave it to the Pros
Not much of a baker? No problem! There’s absolutely no shame in buying delicious desserts from the store, especially desserts made locally with high quality ingredients. Some things are best left to the professionals.
Cyrus O’Leary’s Pies
Cyrus O’Leary’s is a business based right here in Washington. What started as a restaurant in Spokane has now turned into a pie baking legacy that has lasted more than 30 years! With flavors like, Marionberry, Banana Cream, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream and Chocolate Cream, there’s something for everyone. Find any and all of these flavors in our frozen section and make Cyrus O’Leary’s pie the highlight of your evening!
Olivia Superfree Cupcakes
Sick of always missing out on delicious desserts due to food allergies? Be free! Everything in the Olivia Superfree line is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, rice free, corn free, potato free, trans fat free, canola oil free, iodine free, nut free, vegan and coconut free. All the good taste with none of the bad stuff. Olivia Superfree is a family owned company that was started in Seattle by a woman who has many food allergies herself, and named the company after her daughter, who also has food allergies. Stop by Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce and pick up Olivia Superfree Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes or Dutch Apple Pie the next time you have your vegan best friend over for dinner, and enjoy a dessert nobody has to miss out on!
Do you love the idea of homemade, but always seem to be short on time? Admire people who can spend hours planning a four course meal in advance, but also love spontaneous dinner guests? We have the perfect in-between options you can pick up and put together quick or keep in your pantry for just the right time.
Fisher Fair Scones
It all started at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. The unlikeliest fair food amongst hot dogs and pretzels, but there they were–Fisher Fair Scones–hot, fresh, and full of jam. They became famous throughout the state and the country and for a great reason. If you haven’t tried them at the fair, August is coming soon! But lucky for you, you don’t have to wait. We carry Fisher Original Fair Scone & Shortbread Mix in our baking section all year long. These scones are traditionally served with raspberry jam, so come check out our vast selection of jams and preserves and see if you don’t find a few other flavors to try (Keep it local with Maury Island Marionberry Jam). Keep a box of Fisher Fair Scone Mix in your cupboard for the next time an afternoon hangout turns into a spur of the moment BBQ, and wow your guests with a scone treat that’s kind of homemade.
Another great, easy summer treat is strawberry shortcake! Cool and creamy, this is an option that’s so quick to throw together, but will have your guests raving all night.
Start with pound cake (you can go with traditional, but we love Magic Flavors Lemon & Poppy Seed Pound Cake). Top with fresh sliced strawberries from our produce section and top with whipped cream. Voila! A delicious dessert that tastes like summer. No baking skills or oven time required.
Looking for a Unique Treat?
Whether you’re an aspiring baker looking to amaze your guests with rad culinary skills, or you prefer to let your great taste and knowledge of local experts do the impressing, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have what you need. We carry a variety of local brands unique to our area, so you can feel great about supporting local businesses when you shop with us. With a comprehensive baking section and vast array of specialty items, your after dinner treat will be one of a kind. Stop by one of our locations today, and let us help make tonight’s delicious dessert the best part of your day!
Intimidated by the thought of grilling up a lobster tail? Contrary to what you might think, preparing seafood at home doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve put together a simple how-to, so you don’t have to miss out on all the quality seafood the PNW has to offer.
True, seafood can be an involved process. But isn’t that how it is with most things worth doing? There’s a reason seafood is often considered a special occasion food–there are many ways to go wrong, so it’s even more impressive when you nail it. Lucky for you, you now have an insider’s guide to selecting, preparing, and serving the highest quality seafood in the PNW, and it’s not as difficult as you think!
Quality is Key
While there are many decisions regarding the preparation of great seafood, the most important decisions are made in the selection. No matter how great you are at seasoning, grilling, broiling, or baking, nothing will enhance the flavor of your dish like choosing quality seafood at the store. When it comes to seafood, the fresher the better. The great news is, we have access to an abundance of fresh seafood in the PNW, and here at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we source our seafood locally. So whenever you purchase seafood at one of our stores, you can rest assured you’ve already made the best choice when it comes to the quality of your seafood. And we have a great selection–from succulent crab legs to our fresh ahi tuna steaks–along with the other ingredients and spices you’ll need to prepare quality local seafood at home! Let’s get started.
How to Prepare and Serve Quality Local Seafood
Selection and Preparation
Possibly the most intimidating item on our list, so we’ll tackle it first! Many would argue that you can’t beat live lobsters, but if you don’t feel up to killing lobsters yourself, you can find wild caught lobster tails on ice in our meat department. There are many great ways to prepare lobster tails, and they all have their own advantages. Regardless of the method you choose, you’ll want to rinse and dry your whole tails before cooking them. Check the meat for the darkly colored digestive tract, and remove and discard if present. You can cook lobster tail in the shell, but we highly recommend that you “butterfly” them instead. This process involves pulling the meat from the shell and setting it on top while still attached at the fin. You’ll find it’s not as hard as it sounds, and it will give your tails that signature look you see in restaurants. You can butterfly your lobster tails for every method of cooking except boiling.
As far as methods for cooking, you’ll find there are many–including steaming, baking, grilling, or broiling, but we recommend baking for greater control over the process and best retention of flavor. Preheat oven to 450°F. After you’ve butterflied your tails, season with Tacoma Boys “Cape Cod Style” Seafood Seasoning. Bake 12-15 minutes until the meat is a creamy white color with no translucent spots. Do not overcook your lobster, or it will have a rubbery consistency. Serve with melted butter, lemon and parsley. Perfect for your next special occasion (Father’s Day is coming up!), but easier than you thought possible, this meal is sure to impress!
Clams and Oysters
Selection and Storage
While biologically different, the preparation for clams and oysters is relatively similar. They make a great appetizer and are shockingly simple to prepare. Oysters and clams are both nutritionally dense, both high in protein, both low calorie and low fat. Oysters are a great source of phosphorus, calcium, zinc, potassium and a famed aphrodisiac. Meanwhile, clams are packed with Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, magnesium and iron. To guarantee freshness, clams and oysters are sold live. We have them on ice, available by the dozen. Ensure the oysters and clams you’re purchasing are live by checking to see that they’re all the way closed, or tap them. If they move, they’re still alive. Store in the fridge in a porous bag like burlap, or in a bowl covered with a damp paper towel for no more than 24 hours. If you store them in an airtight container, they’ll suffocate.
When you’re ready to prepare and eat your clams or oysters, soak them in a brine (1 gallon of water mixed with ⅓ cup of salt for a few hours.) Pro Tip: If you add cornmeal to the mixture, it’ll lighten the meat and clear sand from the digestive tract. Next, scrub with a stiff brush. For easier opening, put in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. If you have an oyster shucker, it might make the task of opening your shellfish easier, but if not, you can use a paring knife or a flat head screwdriver. Shuck the clam or oyster flat side up. Your goal is to work the blade into the crack and sever the adductor muscle that holds the shell together. You’ll want to do this over a bowl to save the juice inside (called clam liquor).
You can serve raw clams and oysters on the half shell, no cooking required! Simply fill a serving dish with ice, and nestle them in. For a great presentation, set ramekins with horseradish, lemon juice, and tabasco sauce in the middle. Great for parties, with very few steps required, this appetizer will please a crowd every time!
Unless you’re buying live crabs, crab legs come pre-cooked, so essentially all you’re doing is reheating them. The trick becomes doing so while still maintaining flavor and retaining moisture. The good news is, we take the guesswork out of the selection process by carrying nothing but the best wild-caught king crab legs.
If you’re cooking for a crowd, steaming is recommended. For this method, simply place your steam basket in the bottom of a stock-pot with 1 cup of water. Fold as many legs as will fit into the basket, close it, and bring the pot to a boil. Once you have a boil, put the lid on your pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until the crab legs are steaming hot and fragrant.
Instant Pot Method
For a smaller number of people, the instant pot is a great method for cooking! The instant pot helps maintain juiciness and gets dinner on the table fast. For this method, place your trivet in the bottom of your 6 qt instant pot along with 1 cup of water. Fold 3-4 clusters of crab legs into the pot. Then put the lid on and set it to “sealing.” Next, set the pot to manual on high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release, and your legs are ready!
Be sure to have a crab cracker or walnut cracker on hand, as well as a bowl for the shells. Melt butter and mix in Tacoma Boys “Cape Cod Style” Seafood Seasoning and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for dipping. Wow your partner with crab legs on your next date night in or serve with a salad at a dinner party for a meal that will leave them speechless.
Last but not least, try our mouth-watering wild caught steelhead fillets or a wild ahi tuna steak. When you have fish this fresh, it’s best to keep it simple with the preparation. This allows the flavor of the fish to come through without competition.
For a perfectly done steelhead fillet, preheat your oven to 375° F. Rub fillets with Tacoma Boys “Cedar Plank” Sweet + Smoky Salmon Rub. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and place the steelhead filet in the middle. Fold up sides of the foil. Pour melted butter over each fillet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Steelhead is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.
Ahi Tuna Steaks
The simplest and most delicious way to enjoy ahi tuna steaks is a simple pan fry. Begin by marinating tuna steaks for a minimum of 2-3 hours in Tacoma Boys Spicy Asian Honey Marinade. Then, preheat a cast-iron skillet to 450° F in the oven. Transfer the hot skillet to the stove on medium-high heat. Drizzle avocado oil (or another oil with a very high heat index, like grapeseed oil) onto the pan, and sear tuna steaks on each side for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on each side for a rare sear (why would you eat ahi tuna steaks any other way? But if you insist, give it a little longer on each side). If desired, top with more marinade or soy sauce.
High in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, fish is a great source of lean protein. The oils that come from fish are also great for joint, tendon, and ligament health. Plus, when cooked to perfection, fish is simply scrumptious!
In a bind for time? Don’t miss out on our pre-seasoned fillets. We offer delicious flavor combinations like Potato and Cheddar Crusted Cod Fillets and Chipotle & Lime Crusted Tilapia–all you have to do is cook them!
The Best Seafood in the PNW
If you’re lucky enough to live in the PNW, you’re surrounded by some of the highest quality seafood the country has to offer. Here at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we recognize and appreciate the opportunity we have to bring everything the great state of Washington has to offer to your table. Stop by and let our friendly store associates help you choose a great salmon fillet or king crab leg today!
As the warm weather rolls in, and it doesn’t sound like much fun to crank the oven up to full blast, keep cool with one of these amazing spring salads for a refreshing, healthy dinner.
With temperatures rising throughout the day, it can get downright balmy by evening. As a result, you might be reluctant to use the oven–or consume a warm meal, for that matter–and we don’t blame you! In fact, now is a great time to trade out some of the cozy, winter comfort foods like hearty shepherd’s pie and hot bowls of chilli for lighter fare more fitting for the warm months ahead. So we’ve put together a list of spring dinner salads you’ll love!
Why Have Salad for Dinner?
Besides allowing you to avoid using the oven and overheating your home, having salad as an entree is a great way to get more veggies, trim that waist-line, and feel great for your exciting spring activities! Worried that salad won’t fill you up? Don’t be! These spring dinner salads are dense with the vitamins, healthy fats and protein your body needs for fuel, but low in calories. So you can fill your bowl to the brim and go back again for seconds. And salad for dinner doesn’t have to be the same four vegetables and single-flavor dressing served over and over again. We’ve curated four diverse dinner salads for you to try this spring, each with a flavor palate all its own. Try one a week, or try them all in one week! We’re sure one or all of these will become favorites in your household. Packed with quality, delicious ingredients, even the pickiest members of your family will find something to love in these spring dinner salads!
4 Mouth-Watering Spring Dinner Salads
Summer Berry Spinach Salad
Perfect for spring evenings on the patio, this salad is a fruit lover’s dream. For those of us who like our salads more sweet than savory, Summer Berry Spinach Salad is packed with antioxidant-rich berries and bursting with flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
Goat cheese (Montchevre’s Blueberry Vanilla)
Tacoma Boys Vanilla Peach Dressing
Grilled chicken, chopped
For the freshest spinach, plumpest strawberries, and sweetest blueberries, look no further than our produce section. This salad is best with spinach or a spring mix as its base. Next, top with blueberries and strawberries (make sure they’re stemmed and quartered). Then, add the pecans! Feel free to leave them whole, halve them, or chop them to your taste. For added sweetness and crunch, candy your pecans prior to making your salad. Top with crumbled goat cheese–we recommend grabbing some Montchevre’s Blueberry Vanilla flavored goat cheese from Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce’s vast cheese selection. Finally, toss in Tacoma Boys Vanilla Peach Dressing. This salad is great as a vegetarian option, but feel free to grill up some fresh skinless, boneless chicken breasts from our butcher, chop and add to your salad for added protein. This dish is a crowd pleaser–so enjoy it with your family at home or bring it to your next BBQ and watch it disappear!
Classic Caesar Salad
Elevate the classic side salad to a mouth-watering entree by focusing on quality ingredients and adding protein. While not strictly classic, the addition of avocado makes this dish irresistibly craveable. Bonus: it’s as easy as it is delicious and nutritious. For this spring dinner salad, you’ll need:
Fresh grated Parmesan
Tacoma Boys Baguette Croutons
Blackened Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Annie’s Organic Caesar Dressing
Start by washing, drying and chopping your romaine into bite sized squares. Dice avocados to your preferred size. (Note: The quality of your avocados can make or break this salad, so be sure to take extra care when picking them, or ask one of our friendly store associates to help you choose.) Add avocados, Tacoma Boys Baguette Croutons and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (again, quality matters–the better the cheese, the better the salad). Next, add blackened salmon. (Be sure to check out this week’s killer deal on Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon!) Finally, toss everything in Annie’s Organic Caesar Dressing (in our salad dressing section). Salt and Pepper to taste. Top with fresh squeezed lemon juice right before serving. This twist on the classic Caesar is sure to impress at your next dinner party or delight taste buds at the family dinner table, so give it a try today!
Avocado Prawn Salad
Toasted almond slices give this light, flavorful salad just the right amount of crunch. All the summer vibes of seafood and salad come together in one tasty dish in this Avocado Prawn Salad. Here’s what you need:
White prawns, peeled, deveined, tail off
Sliced almonds, toasted
Tacoma Boys Soy Ginger Vinaigrette
First, swing by our seafood section for a great deal on white prawns this week! Start by marinating your prawns in Tacoma Boy’s Spicy Asian Honey Marinade. Pan fry. Then, add to a bed of peppery arugula. Next, add avocado, sliced almonds and chopped cucumber. Finally, toss in Tacoma Boys Soy Ginger Vinaigrette. Salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy, and don’t be surprised if this satisfyingly sweet and spicy salad ends up on the menu again and again!
Traditional(ish) Greek Salad
If you like the hearty crunch of a traditional Greek salad, with its juicy tomatoes, plump olives, and snappy bell peppers, you’ll love this twist with its delightful secret ingredient–fig salami! If you opt to leave out the feta (or exchange for a vegan cheese option), it’s completely vegan and gluten free. Here’s what you need:
Olives (Kalamata or black)
Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette
Hellenic Farms Fig Salami (Tikka Masala + Onion flavor)
Chop all ingredients to a similar size. Toss in Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette (in our salad dressing section). And don’t forget the Fig Salami from Hellenic Farms (found in our cheese aisle). Gluten free, with no sugar added, plant based fig salami is the perfect addition to this spring favorite!
Specialty Items at Tacoma Boys
As always, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have what you need to elevate what might be an ordinary dish to something extraordinary with our unique house dressings, vast array of rubs and marinades, and hard-to-find specialty items. All it takes is one or two special ingredients to make a meal like you’ve never had before! So swing by one of our locations today. And don’t be afraid to ask our knowledgeable associates for help finding a dressing or salad topping that will make your spring dinner salad amazing!
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One Pan Chicken
For some recipes, the cleanup can be worse than the cooking itself. Watching those dishes pile up is no fun! Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about a huge cooking mess when it comes to this simple, one pan, chicken recipe.
At your local Tacoma Boys and H & L Produce we have all the fixings for this meal. From our year round supply of fresh vegetables, to our well sourced fresh and frozen chicken.
Just place your Tacoma Boys vegetables of choice on one side of the pan, thickly diced chicken breast in the middle, and diced potatoes on the other side. Then, bake at 425 for 45 minutes.
You can have fun with a one pan chicken recipe by switching up your veggies and seasonings. Here are some of our favorite ways to add a little flavor:
- Use Italian dressing on the chicken
- Season veggies with some garlic powder and olive oil
- Add some olive oil and pepper on your potatoes.
Gluten Free – Butter Chicken With Cauliflower Rice
A tasty crowd-pleaser. This gluten free Chicken Recipe is even dairy-free. Try this tasty recipe tonight! (more…)
SHEET PANNED ITALIAN CHICKEN
In a sealable plastic bag add 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Then add some salt, olive oil and a quick pour of balsamic vinegar (⅓ cup). Add some Italian seasoning, pepper and garlic powder to your preference. (Some folks cheat and use a bottle of Italian dressing, but we think this version is much fresher). If you can refrigerate for 1 hour, that is ideal, but not necessary. (more…)
BRUSCHETTA-TOPPED CHICKEN AND SPAGHETTI
Have a craving for Italian food? Going out to eat at a restaurant is nice for a special occasion. But, with help from Tacoma Boys, you can make a quality Italian meal right at home! From artisan pastas and cheeses to the best quality meat, we have everything you need to turn your favorite Italian dishes into easy weeknight dinners. And, this delicious recipe is ready within 30 minutes!