As the days grow longer with the season, you might be looking to lighter brews and fruitier wines. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite selections of spring beer and wine for you to try this season!
Do the brief moments of sunny weather have you dusting off the patio furniture and reaching for your grilling tools? Us, too! Finally, the rainy days are becoming fewer and farther between. We may yet have some gloomy weather, but spring has begun! Soon, our days in the PNW will be filled with sunscreen, campfires and shore-side walks. Even if it’s not time to break out the swimsuits and beach towels quite yet, you’re probably ready to be done with heavy coats and sweaters.
Similarly, if you’re anything like us, porter and pinot noir don’t sound as good with the sun shining as they do in the middle of winter. There’s just something about a refreshing Pale Ale or fruity Riesling that gets us in the spirit of warmer days, even if the weather doesn’t consistently match yet. And unlike donning shorts, it’s never too early to welcome spring with the switch to lighter beers and more fruit-forward wines. Struggling to choose? Here at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we have a comprehensive selection of the region’s best craft beer and local wines. You can’t go wrong with any of the quality brews and bottles we carry. But, to simplify things further, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite spring beer and wine for your enjoyment. Bonus: every bottle on this list is from a local brewery or winery!
Tacoma Boys Best Beer for Spring
Silver City Brewery–Ridgetop Irish Red Ale
Known for its balanced notes and red color, this ale is every man’s (or woman’s) beer. Brewed in Bremerton, Washington, Silver City Brewery’s Irish Red Ale has just the right amount of caramel tones and hop with a smooth finish. Perfect for evenings when a crisp still hangs in the air, but a promise of summer floats on the breeze.
San Juan Island Brewing Co– Yachter’s Daughter Helles Lager
San Juan Island Brewing Co is a beautiful brewery and restaurant nestled in Fryday Harbor, Wa. Yachter’s Daughter is their refreshing take on the classic German style, Helles. It’s one of the most popular beer styles in Bavaria, and for good reason. With a medium, smooth body and dry finish, Yachter’s Daughter Helles Lager is a great addition to your evenings outside this Spring.
Riverbend Brewing Company–Peach Milkshake IPA
Cheekily named “Life’s A Peach & Then You Die,” this locally brewed beer boasts a fruity aroma accompanied by strong hops and juicy peach tones. For those moments when you crave something cool and refreshing but can’t decide if you want a milkshake or a beer, Riverbend Brewing Company has you covered.
pFriem Family Brewers–Pilsner
This crisp beer with a spicy finish is the perfect pairing to an evening spent around a backyard fire with friends. https://www.pfriembeer.com/ is located right here in the great Pacific Northwest and is the proud recipient of the Brewery of the Year, Best of Craft Beer and Best BrewPub Experience awards. Pop the top on a pFriem Pilsner and see how this great spring beer lives up to the hype.
Iron Horse Brewery–High Five Hefe
If you enjoy an American Wheat Ale, this beer is for you. Boasting notes of honey and ginger, High Five Hefe isn’t as citrusy as a classic American Wheat, but every bit as flavorful. Brewed by Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA, this craft beer is a must-have this spring!
Cascade Brewing—Apricot Pale Ale
Brewed for high levels of acidity, sour beers like Cascade Brewing’s Apricot Pale Ale have a permanent sour taste (instead of bitter or sweet). Perfect for cool evenings on the front porch. Aged with fresh apricots from right here in the PNW, this spring beer has a fruity tang you’ll love!
One Tree–Hard Cider
One Tree is a cidery in Spokane, WA that specializes in hard ciders made from apples grown right here in Washington. Their core cider flavors are Lemon Basil, Caramel Cinnamon, Huckleberry, and Staycation. Try them all, and be on the lookout for their seasonal ciders as well! While not technically a beer, One Tree Hard Cider makes our list as a refreshing addition to any cooler, whether it be lakeside, tent-side, or in the back of your boat.
Award Winning Wines to Try This Spring
Trisaetum– “2019 Coast Range Estate Dry Riesling”
This white wine from Oregon gets 93 points and “Editor’s Choice” award from Wine Enthusiast. Balanced and citrusy, pair this award winning local wine with a charcuterie board. Then, gather around the patio table for a great spring afternoon.
Kerloo Cellars–“Sodo CellarsⓇ 2019 Love Birds Rosé”
Nothing says “summer is coming” like a glass of rosé. With notes of peach, strawberries, and grapefruit, “Love Birds Rosé” is the perfect porch wine. Hailed as a “game-changing winemaker” by Wine Enthusiast, Washington’s own Kerloo Cellars has created this go-to rosé you’re sure to love.
Airfield Estates–“2018 Sauvignon Blanc”
Airfield Estates is a family operated winery nestled in Yakima Valley. Their 2018 Sauvignon Blanc was awarded “Best of Class Gold” at the 2019 Tri-Cities Wine Festival and gets a score of 89 from Wine Spectator. With notes of papaya, grapefruit, and pineapple, this sauvignon blanc will delight your palate. So, bring a summer vibe to your table this season with a bottle today!
The Best Place to Find Local Beer and Wine This Spring
Tacoma Boys and H&L produce carry all of the quality beer and wine listed above and so much more. We have over 3,000 different wines and a variety of domestic and imported beer. So we’re confident that whatever you’re spring beer or wine you’re thirsty for, we have what you need. As always our friendly associates are here to answer any questions you have and help you choose the perfect bottle or brew to take home today.
If you’ve been on the internet five minutes today, you’ve likely seen at least one moderately hilarious meme about the weight we’re all going to gain during this time at home. And with all the extra time to bake sourdough bread and neighbors dropping off porch presents in the form of baked goods every other day, the memes have a pretty good chance of getting it right. But all joking aside, what if you still want to fit into your clothes when the time comes to put some on and go out into the world? We, at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, believe that by making a few healthier choices in this season, you can come out of it looking and feeling like your best self. You may not be able to hit the gym, but we’ve compiled a list of tips for eating well while staying home.
Healthy Weight And Eating Well
Eating well is the key not only to staying a healthy weight, but it can also give you the energy you need to stay present and boost your mood. Who couldn’t use a mood boost these days? More and more research is pointing to diet as one of the major factors involved in mental health. In a time when anxiety threatens to creep in, a great way you can support your brain’s healthy function is by giving it healthy food.
Besides maintaining a reasonable weight and supporting your mental health, eating well during this time at home can help your immune system to function better. Increased immune function can help keep you from getting sick or decrease the severity of symptoms if you do. One of the best ways to support your immune system is by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. Packing your diet with produce gives your body the vitamins and antioxidants it needs to fight disease.
With all these great reasons to eat healthy, why not get started today? At Tacoma Boys and H&L produce, we care about your health and that of your family. We’re here to support you in your efforts. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas for eating well while staying home.
6 Simple Tips For Healthy Eating at Home
1. Start Your Day With A Fruit
It’s easy to feel out of sorts with many of our usual rhythms interrupted. Now’s a great time to give yourself some new healthier habits right off the bat. It’s a message we hear from the time we’re kids: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But if preparing a full meal feels like a lot first thing in the morning, simply grabbing a fruit to eat while you drink your coffee is a great compromise. This week at Tacoma Boy’s and H&L Produce, we’re featuring our delicious Honeycrisp apples and super sweet juicy oranges. Or opt for a delicious pineapple! Just cut it up and store it in chunks in the refrigerator for an easy addition to breakfast.
2. Eat a Breakfast Packed with Protein and Good Fat
Protein and fat (the good kind found in eggs and avocados), keep you fuller longer than a breakfast packed with empty carbs. If you find yourself with more time and less hustle in the morning, it could be a great chance to focus some attention on a home cooked breakfast, like some Spicy Pulled Pork Fried Eggs. This recipe calls for slow cooker pulled pork, so you’ll want to swing by our butcher for one of our premium pork shoulders. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish when you begin your day by eating well!
3. Make Your Sandwich a Wrap
Replacing your bread with leafy vegetables like chard or romaine lettuce is a great way to get an extra serving of veggies. It also helps cut down on carbs and adds a nice crunch to your lunch. Check out our fresh produce section for a great selection of leafy green and red lettuce. Top with our deli-sliced turkey breast and black forest ham, and dice some roma tomatoes for additional color and flavor! Your taste buds and waistline will be so delighted, you’ll want to make every sandwich a wrap.
4. Snack on Veggies
If you find yourself reaching for a mid-afternoon snack, avoid foods like chips that are high in calories but nutrient-deficient. Instead, give your body foods it truly craves, like our buttery-rich Hass avocados. Cut one in half, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy with a spoon right out of the skin. Or enjoy the millennial-famed avocado toast. It’s famous for a reason! If avocado isn’t your speed, try making caprese with our juicy red cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella selected from our wide variety of gourmet cheeses. Replacing junk food with healthy alternatives like the above is a great way to keep eating well while staying home.
5. Have Fish Once a Week
The health benefits to eating fish regularly are numerous. Consuming fish can help heart health, brain health, and energy levels, just to name a few. And fish can be one of the simplest meals to prepare! This week at Tacoma Boys and H&L produce, we’re featuring our Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets and Fresh Wild Red Rock Snapper Fillets. Stop by our fish counter and experience the best quality fish around!
6. Start Your Own Garden
A great way to get your greens is growing your own! Forgot to plant this spring? No problem! Tacoma Boys and H&L produce is your one-stop shop for vegetable starts this year! Avoid the crowds at the supermarket by growing your own veggies at home. Nothing beats the taste of produce grown in your own backyard. Need planting advice? Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can point you in the right direction.
Our Commitment to Helping You Stay Healthy
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we’re experts in the meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables you need to stay healthy. Much of our produce is locally farmed, so shopping with us is a great way to support your local farming industry while you and your family stay healthy. Our expert staff are knowledgeable and ready to help you find what you need to eat well while staying home this season.
Stuck at home and trying your best to keep social distancing? Don’t worry, you don’t need to stick to canned vegetables and frozen foods. Avoiding a daily trip to the grocery store doesn’t mean you can’t eat great foods still! Preparing for extended time at home doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself fresh, delicious, and healthy foods.
There are plenty of high-quality foods you can stock up on that will last for weeks. Here’s our advice on how to choose some of the best quality items for stocking up.
Fruit and Vegetables
While it’s a good idea to stock up on some frozen fruit and vegetables, there are lots of fresh grocery staples that will last too! Save the essentials for your once a week trip, and grab some items that chill or freeze well and can be enjoyed at any time!
For example, apples are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. The good news? They’ll be ready to eat for about three weeks when fresh and kept in the fridge. And baking them into an apple crisp or apple pie just sounds amazing right?
While bananas don’t last particularly long, this fruit is great for freezing. Buy a bunch, slice them up, and freeze the pieces. They’ll make a delicious smoothie whizzed up or a tasty treat dipped in chocolate.
Citrus fruits like oranges, limes and lemons are bursting with vitamin C and help keep your immune system whirring. Plus, they can last in the fridge for up to two weeks. Use the zest and the juice to help improve the flavor of a selection of marinades and recipes.
When it comes to choosing vegetables, a bag of unpeeled carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions can be eaten for at least two weeks when kept in the fridge. As we all know, carrots are great for our skin and health. Just a one-cup serving offers nearly four grams of fiber.
Meat and Fish
Sure, meat and fish can go off easily. But don’t miss it off the food shopping list, as many items freeze well. These include chicken breast, ground beef, ground turkey, and many types of fish. Our meat depatment is stocked full of great options that can be easily frozen for delicious meals next week or the following!
Our meat can be defrosted and used as the centerpiece of a meal, or they can be whizzed into soups and chilis to bulk them up for great tastes with yummy veggies.
You can breathe a sigh of relief as there are lots of types of cheeses that can last in the fridge for weeks.
Both block and shredded cheeses will last around two weeks if you seal the packages efficiently after using them. Softer cheese such as gouda and brie will last you around two weeks and harder cheeses like cheddar and pecorino can last up to a month.
And the great thing about cheese is that you can use it on so many different things. Cheese and wine pairings are fun any time of the week!
Stocking up for an Extended Home Stay
Remember, some perishable foods last a lot longer than others. Before you choose items like eggs, bread, and butter, have a peek at the packages’ expiration date to ensure you’re not cutting it too close. And know that if you’ve forgotten something, we’re open 24/7 with low traffic numbers in store in the late evenings and mornings.
Keep this list handy when you’re stocking up for an extended homestay and you can still enjoy high-quality foods.
Ready to stock up on some high-quality and delicious produce? Here at Tacoma Boys we’re open 24/7 with plenty of fresh food ready to buy in-store.
Come and do your essential shopping with us and you’ll find everything you need for stocking up—frozen chicken breast is just $10 for a 5lb bag.
In a world that usually hurtles through color-coded family calendars at breakneck speeds, we find ourselves with the sudden unexpected sweet and salty gift of a hard halt. No club volleyball. Virtual business meetings. No coffee dates. Just you at home with the people you care most about with nowhere to go and nothing to do. This time comes with the challenge of navigating complicated emotions—from the grief of things lost to the relief of social pressures taken away and everything in between. It also comes with a bright side–an opportunity to form habits for which we’re usually too busy. If you’re one of the many people who wants more time around the table with your kids, we’ve compiled a list to help you have great family dinners together!
Like it or not, extra time at home is the reality for most of us, and the good news is we get to choose what to do with it. Many days will likely be filled with tablets and Netflix and boredom, and that’s ok. Other days will be filled with board games and science experiments and newly invented family activities, and that’s ok too! On every day, you and your family will need to eat. And if you’re like most parents (roughly 62%) with children under 18, you probably wish your family ate more meals together. The benefits of family meals together are numerous and well documented—including lower obesity rates in children and decreased high risk behaviors in teens.
What Happened to Family Dinners?
With all of these positive results, why aren’t we eating family dinners? Simple. We’re busy. The majority of parents who say they’d like to have more family dinners cite conflicting schedules within the family as the main reason they don’t. Maybe that reason resonates all too well with you. If so, the saying holds true—there’s no time like the present! Here at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we value your family’s health and well being, and we have everything you need to make family dinners a success! Here are some tips to help you establish and keep a family dinner routine.
5 Tips for Successful Family Dinners
1. Keep It Simple
The most important thing about family dinners is the time spent together! So don’t get bogged down by the pressure of creating a masterpiece every night. Some days dinner might be chicken piccata and other days it will be chicken nuggets. At the end of the day, if your family is together and fed, put it in the win column. Don’t forget sandwiches count! Come by our deli for deliciously fresh sliced roast beef or honey baked ham to give your homemade sandwiches a gourmet flare. To make things a bit easier, try keeping a few pre-made sides in the freezer. Swing by one of our locations and grab a bag of frozen cauliflower rice or sweet potato fries in our frozen food section. That way, all you have to worry about is the main course, and family dinner still feels complete!
2. Plan Ahead
Nothing will torpedo your efforts quicker than failure to plan. One of the best ways to set yourself up for a successful family dinner routine is to set aside an hour one day to think about what’s for dinner the rest of the week. You don’t have to have all the details ironed out, but a general idea and a shopping list will keep you from panicking and ordering pizza by Wednesday. Try to reward yourself by planning one or two extra easy meals for yourself, like cordon-bleu chicken bakes from our deli. Minimum work for you, but a meal your whole family will rave about.
3. Find Your Rhythm
Finding your rhythm goes together with planning ahead. It can be daunting to answer the question “what’s for dinner?” week after week, and it can seem like you’re reinventing the wheel. With all the options and recipes out there, it’s easy to feel like you have to try something new and different every night. You don’t! Chances are, you have 10-14 meals your family loves and you’ve mastered. It’s ok to put them on a rotation. Or write a simple schedule out as a template for your weekly dinner rhythm. It might look something like this:
Having a list like this in the back of your mind gives you inspiration for meal ideas your family will love. It also gives you the flexibility to change it up within categories and peruse weekly specials for great deals. Consider putting our fresh steelhead fillets from Norway on this week’s rotation…you won’t regret it!
4. Loosen Up
This tip may seem contrary to the previous two, but they actually go hand in hand. Think of your meal plan and rhythm as guidelines—inspiration to make your dinner decisions easier. But pressure to stick to the plan perfectly adds an unnecessary level of difficulty to family dinners that can make them feel like more trouble than they’re worth. Your dinners should work for your life. And flexibility can make sure they do. If you were saving tacos for Tuesday, but everybody is craving them Monday, make Taco Monday a thing! If frozen pizza was for Sunday, but you’re short on time tonight, tonight’s the perfect night for pizza.
Try leaving one day of the week open for whatever suits your mood. This works especially well on grocery shopping days when you can buy whatever looks good at the store. Keeping it loose will ensure dinner is a stress free experience for everyone, especially you.
5. Don’t Forget Your Veggies
One of the great benefits to family dinner—besides time together—is health. Family dinners at home are the best way to model healthy eating habits for your kids. It’s easy to incorporate a vegetable into dinner, and including at least one can help determine a side every night. You don’t have to force vegetables, but including them in your daily routine helps your family understand that they’re part of a healthy lifestyle. At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, you’ll always find the most quality local produce and knowledgeable employees to point you in the right direction.
Where to Shop for Great Family Dinners?
In order to set yourself up for a successful family dinner habit, you need to arm yourself with excellent ingredients. When you choose Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, you can rest assured your family dinners will be full of quality main courses and produce you can feel great about. Whether you have a shopping list and a plan or need some inspiration, we’re here for you. Stop by one of our locations and get what you need for your family dinners today!
For many reasons, this Easter is unlike any that have come before. Perhaps your gathering will be smaller than usual. Maybe you’re spending the holiday in Washington when you normally would travel. Or perhaps it’s not possible to get together with the friends you usually have over for Easter. With these many changes, we’re all faced with the question: for better or for worse? In so many ways, the answer may be beyond our control. So what do we do with the things we can control?
In this time of uncertainty and unpredictability, there are a few things that are true and unchanging. Spring is here. Easter is on its way. While ordinary may not be a choice we have this year, there is so much we can do to make this Easter special.
Here at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we have everything you need to make this holiday unforgettable for you and your family. We’re your one stop shop for appetizers, main courses, decorations and Easter gifts. Let us help you create an atmosphere, a meal, and a memory you and your loved ones will cherish forever.
6 Ways Tacoma Boys Can Help You Have an Extraordinary Easter
Having appetizers as a part of your Easter celebration is a great way to signal to yourself and your family the significance of the meal as a special occasion. It may feel awkward or silly if your gathering is especially small, but give it a try and see if something as simple as sharing an appetizer doesn’t give your meal a holiday vibe. Swing by our frozen food section and peruse our premade appetizer options for a quick and easy appetizer spread, or gather the ingredients to make your own. Before the main meal begins is a great time to break out a classic like these Deviled Eggs from The Food Network. Or pick up a selection of fruits and berries from our produce section for a fruit salad!
2. The Main Meal
One of the best ways to make your Easter extraordinary is by going all out with the main course. Perhaps you’re craving a sense of normalcy this year, and a traditional ham would be a great option for you. In that case, we love this simple and delicious three ingredient recipe for Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham. The best part? You can throw it in the Crockpot early in the day and forget about it until go time. Or maybe this is your year to try your hand at something a bit more involved, like this Crown Roast of Lamb from Alton Brown. Alternatively, order your foolproof, mouth watering Standing Rib Roast from one of our locations today! Whether you choose ham or lamb or chicken or roast, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have expert butchers who can point you in the direction of the choicest meats in Tacoma.
When it comes to making this Easter Extraordinary, sides make the meal! Nothing says “Easter” like a table brimming with mouth watering dishes. Try setting out a variety of sweet and savory sides for a meal that feels balanced and complete. The sky’s the limit here, but we have some suggestions to point you in the right direction. For a sweet take on a classic veggie, these Roasted Carrots with Candied Pecans are a mouthwatering addition to your feast. Or perhaps for you, Easter is incomplete if it doesn’t include scalloped potatoes. In that case, The Girl Who Ate Everything has you covered with this classic recipe you can make ahead of time. From broccoli casserole to ambrosia fruit salad, H&L Produce and Tacoma Boys’ produce sections have what you need to make it delicious.
What would Easter be if we didn’t don our stretchy pants for the final stomach stuffing round we all know and love–dessert? If your Easter includes children, it’s probably all about the candy for them, so we love this take on cupcakes with a hidden candy surprise from Betty Crocker. If you’re aiming to impress a more mature audience this year, display this stunning Easter Cake from Preppy Kitchen as your table centerpiece. The hardest part will be waiting until after the meal to cut into it! Whatever sweet treat you crave this holiday, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce can help you stock your baking cupboard with everything you need for a truly extraordinary Easter.
5. Easter Baskets
Easter baskets are one of our favorite time-honored holiday traditions. Something about sleepy-eyed, bed-headed kids (and adults) waking up to a basket filled with their favorite things, delivered by the Easter Bunny right to their front door brings back the magic of childhood. This Easter, make sure the magic comes to your doorstep by stocking baskets full of goodies you can find here at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. For the kids, we have local fruit and candies, and for the grown-ups–wine, cheese, jelly and more! Come choose your own goodies, or call and have us curate your gift baskets for you!
Finally, no Easter would be complete without flowers–our reminder that even the longest winters come to an end, and the world will be renewed again. Stop by and pick up a bouquet of fresh cut flowers to brighten your Easter table as a centerpiece or brighten a loved one’s day as a gift. Or if you’re interested in something a bit longer lasting, check out our gorgeous assortment of potted flowering plants. Leave a potted plant on a neighbor’s doorstep as a porch present, or buy some for your own home. Our live flowers will make your Easter extraordinary, indoors and out.
Treasuring the Time
Easter is a sign of change–the darkness of winter will dissipate, days will grow brighter and warmer, and whatever gloom has come before will not reign forever. Now, more than ever, we need this reminder. In a string of days spent at home, it would be easy to let the holiday come and go without marking the occasion as a special one for yourself and your family. On the other hand, it could be a day full of thoughtful touches and intentionality that sets it apart not just from the days immediately preceding it, but from every Easter you’ve experienced before. This year, Easter is what you make it. Why not make it extraordinary?