As the days shorten and cool off, it’s easy to assume that your gardening days are done for the year. However, there are plenty of plants that thrive in these exact conditions. Tacoma Boys Markets are here to help you stretch your growing season. Check out what you can plant this week to set up your edible Fall and Winter Garden.
What to Plant Now & How to Enjoy Eating It…
Arugula is a sprinter in the garden world. It takes less than a month to grow from seed to harvest. Sow some now then cut it back to enjoy in salads, pizza, or in your sandwich. It will grow right back after you cut it, so you can enjoy another crop.
Though you won’t be able to sow and reap full sized carrots this late in the season, you can still enjoy baby carrots throughout the winter. Sow seed generously and thin baby carrots throughout the fall and winter. Remaining carrots will have more room to grow and you can harvest full sized carrots later in the spring.
Mustard greens add a nice, peppery punch to salads and are rich in Vitamins A and K. Mustard seeds germinate and grow quickly, making them a great addition to your fall and winter garden. Sow mustard seeds through September to produce a fall crop for your enjoyment.
Radishes are another sprinter of the garden world. They take less than a month to grow from seed to maturity. Plant a crop now and again in two weeks to squeeze two crops in before freezing temps arrive.
Both of these plants in the allium family can be planted until early November and remain in the garden to be harvested as desired. If you already have them growing, you can also divide them and multiply the areas they are grown in your garden.
These can be planted in the fall to overwinter and enjoy next spring and summer. If you are the type that likes to plan ahead, get these going so you can feel proud of yourself in several months when you begin harvesting.
Three ways to enjoy Garlic, Onions, Spinach, and Kale:
If you’re lamenting the coming of winter, planting a garden can help change your outlook. Harness these remaining days of sunlight and relative warmth and you’ll reap a reward on those cold days ahead. We still have a great stock of plants, seeds, compost and gorgeous ceramic pots. You can find everything you need for your edible Fall and Winter garden–including the help of knowledgeable staff–here at Tacoma Boys Markets.
The world of non-alcoholic craft beer has exploded in the last few years. For varying reasons people are seeking a flavorful, non-alcoholic alternative to their favorite brews and craft breweries around the world have thoroughly risen to the occasion. If you’re craving the malty, hoppy goodness of beer, but don’t want the alcohol that comes with it, try something from Tacoma Boys’ line-up of non-alcoholic craft beer.
Athletic Brewing Co. is a dedicated non-alcoholic brewery with a full lineup of award winning brews. They have a brew for everyone’s particular taste. Run Wild, their classic IPA, easily stands up against alcoholic varieties from other craft breweries. Doubters of non-alcoholic beer will be hard pressed to find fault in the flavor profile of this beer. Bonus: because it’s packaged in cans, it’s a great beer choice for hiking and camping trips!
Brewed in Bavaria, Germany by a brewery that has been in operation for almost 1000 years, you know this beer has tradition on its side. Weihenstephaner has produced a full-flavored, wheat beer with an inviting yeast aroma and hints of honey.
Don’t let the hazy appearance of this beer put you off. It is precisely the reason to reach for it. Less filtering of this beer means a stronger, fruit-forward citrus flavor. This is a great non-alcoholic beer in Tacoma Boys lineup of non-alcoholic beer. Just like Athletic’s Run Wild IPA, this beer is packaged in cans, so toss in your cooler for camping!
Serve alongside: Blue Cheese and Cured Meat Charcuterie
It is no surprise that this award-winning brewery has made several, excellent, non-alcoholic beverages. For those who prefer the malt and hops of beer, Lagunitas IPNA is where it’s at. This full-bodied, hop-forward beer also boasts a low calorie count, so it is perfect for people who are abstaining from beer for health reasons.
Though it is only slightly reminiscent of beer, Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher is another option for a hot summer day,. Akin to flavored seltzer water, the Hoppy Refresher is flavored with Citra, Equinox, and Centennial Hops from Yakima Valley and just a touch of yeast to create a refreshing, sparkling beverage that has zero calories or alcohol.
Serve alongside: Anything and Everything
Find Your Beer for All Occasions…
Whether you’re thirsting for a post workout refresher, trying to limit your alcohol intake for health reasons, or missing the taste of beer but don’t like the effect of alcohol on your body, the Tacoma Boys’ lineup of non-alcoholic craft beer has the beer to quench your thirst. When you’re picking up beverages for your next picnic or BBQ grab a six pack of non-alcoholic beer to toss in the mix.
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 Serves 4
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 Serves 4-6
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.
Broomstick Eclairs Serves 4-6
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 Aluminum Foil 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:
1 banana 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!
We have no doubt that vegetable gardeners are behind the scenes, plotting, planning and even beginning to sow for their summer gardens. February and March are still plenty cold, but our moderate climate allows for some early planting. When you come in and visit us, you’ll see that we, too, have the gardening bug and are filling our lot with everything you need for your summer garden. Some people think about the whole lot! Perhaps a new shed, or maybe removing a couple of trees for a wider space, in fact, some even think about consulting with some Milwaukee hardscape suppliers to see what they might need for a new hardscaping project like a patio or paved path. However, not everyone has quite the same zeal for gardening a large plot. Tilling and sowing and maintenance on a large scale might not be your thing. Enjoy a small scale garden and add beauty that you can savor with a patio herb garden.
A sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs at the end of cooking time elevates a dish from good to spectacular. Why not grow your own herb patch just outside your kitchen window? A patio herb garden grown in containers is just as stunning as a non-edible arrangement. Try some of these combos to add beauty, aroma, and flavor to your patio garden.
Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme
You can use the gardening concept of using a “thriller, filler, and spiller” even in an edible garden, though nothing in this arrangement counts as just a filler, when it is all edible! For this arrangement, place an upright growing rosemary in the center of the pot as a thriller. Sage comes in a variety of leaf colors and acts as a great filler next to the rosemary. Along the outside of the pot, a few thyme plants will fill in the added space and spill over the edges as it grows. This perennial arrangement should provide beauty and flavor for years to come.
Parsley, Marigolds, and Nasturtiums
This is another great, and edible, “thriller, filler, spiller” combination that will wow with its vibrant color. Parsley, at the center of the pot, will provide an upright green spray as a backdrop for sunny marigold plants. Marigold petals add stunning color and a peppery kick to salads.
Plant nasturtiums around the edge of the pot and they will dramatically spill over the edge. Both their leaves and flowers are edible, with a spicy taste akin to arugula. Add the flowers to salads or rice dishes for a pop of color. Don’t be surprised when the hummingbirds constant your patio. They are fond of the nectar from nasturtiums’ vibrant flowers.
For more great edible flowers, check out this list.
Mint, Mint, and More Mint!
Mint gets a bad wrap in the vegetable patch because it is a vigorous grower and becomes invasive, but it lends itself perfectly to container gardening. The plant will be constricted by the pot and will grow lush without taking over.
If you choose to grow more than one variety of mint, be sure to plant each in separate pots. The flavor profile of each mint tends to get muddled and bland when they are grown together.
Pocket Planters: Not Just for Strawberries
Fill a pocketed, strawberry planter with your most used herbs for a quick one-stop shop, when it’s time to prep dinner. Place an upright herb, such as basil, in the top of the planter and tuck herbs with a trailing habit into the side pockets: oregano, lemon balm, tarragon, rosemary, and thyme are all good options. Just avoid mint in this planting, unless you fancy a pot full of mint.
With a few simple plant pairings in your patio herb garden, your patio can become a sanctuary and a culinary inspiration. Stop in to see which pots and herbs call out to you. Our ceramic pots are always Buy One Get One Free, so you can make a big impact quickly.
For insider tips on how to keep plants and flowers fresh and longer lasting, download Tacoma Boy’s how-to guide here. Then, stay up to date on insider deals and specials when you sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
“Hygge” is not a new concept to appear in 2021. In fact, the word “hygge” has been used so frequently in recent years that it made it onto the Oxford Dictionaries’ “word of the year” list four years ago. Generally, hygge means an intentional effort at comfort and coziness that leads to well-being and contentment. After a year like 2020, I think we can all agree that it’s time to revive hygge in 2021 for your well-being. Tacoma Boys is here to help you.
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”) is a Danish concept that is fairly tricky to define. In fact, I think those of us who are outside Danish culture might never fully grasp it’s meaning. If you want to do a deep dive into this idea, check out this informative article in the New Yorker. Most of us don’t need persuading that an atmosphere of comfort and health is something we long for, especially as we reset at the beginning of a new year. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to achieve a sense of this well-being that the Danes call hygge.
Creating a Cozy Atmosphere
A good question to ask yourself as you work towards creating a space that is a comfort to you is: What causes me to take a deep breath and slow down? Again, this isn’t about getting an expensive sofa or a new area rug. Picking up fresh herbs and making your favorite soup is “hygge.” Pouring a cup of tea with an aroma that makes you savor each sip is also hygge. Inviting a close friend to share life stories with you over a glass of wine and a simple spread of fresh fruit and cheese can also be hygge. To make things simple for you, we’ve come up with three simple ways to hygge-intentional.
Succulents require very little maintenance, which makes them one of the easiest plants to add to your home. The main concern a succulent has is getting ample light. They grow best placed in South-facing windows. If you’re not lucky enough to have a South-facing window, try a succulent with more flexible light needs like an aloe vera. We have a large variety of succulents here at Tacoma Boys, perhaps you’ll find a variety that speaks to you.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme… or lemon balm, mint, oregano, tarragon, lavender. Why stick with the mainstream varieties? Potted herbs are a great addition to your space. Their aroma can be uplifting, energizing, relaxing, and even inspiring. Herbs are the type of houseplants that beg for you to touch and interact with them, because they engage multiple senses at once. Keep them as permanent residents in your home or just as semi-temporary additions that inspire you to take the time to cook something from scratch. Tacoma Boys can get you set up with soil, plants, pots, and growing advice.
Fresh Cut Flowers
Granted, these aren’t going to purify the air like a potted plant would, but cut flowers can do plenty for lifting your mood. Add a bouquet to your dining table, or get a single bouquet to divide into mini bouquets for multiple areas in your house. Tacoma Boys Markets have beautiful cut flower bouquets at the ready and we won’t be insulted if their beauty inspires you to divide them into mini bouquets. We also have colorful hanging baskets and pouches grown by our dedicated, local partners like the DeGoede Brothers in Sumner, Washington.
2. Add Light & Aroma
Light a Candle
Though winter solstice is behind us and we are gaining a few minutes of light every day, the sun is still setting before 5pm. That means that it’s prime candle lighting season. Beyond adding a feeling of warmth, scented candles can have the same effect as potted herbs in your home: uplifting, energizing, relaxing, and even inspiring.
Don’t toss those orange peels after you’ve devoured the oranges, add them to a stovetop potpourri. Filling your house with aroma can be as simple as adding a few fresh herbs and spices to a pot of water on your stovetop. Want the cozy reminder of Christmastime, add cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and cranberries to the pot. Believe it or not, scent can encourage our well-being. Enjoy blending spices to create your own aromas or check out this blog post to discover some great combinations, then stop by the Tacoma Boys spice section for more inspiration.
3. Warm up from the inside out
As it turns out, the scientific research behind drinking warm beverages doesn’t actually confirm that drinking hot coffee will raise your body temperature, but it does show that it affects our emotions. Unless you’re stuck in the cold and in danger of hypothermia, the main reason you crave a warm beverage is for the warming feeling that it creates. Brewing yourself a cup of hot tea, with the intention of sipping it slowly falls clearly in the category of hygge activities. Take some time to hold a mug full of aromatic tea or coffee and we’re sure you won’t be sorry.
Not all tea drinkers are identical. Some fall firmly into the green tea camp, while others stand by herbal tea. That’s why we have a huge and varied selection of signature tea blends that you won’t find anywhere else. Northwest Rose Garden, Chocolate Macaroon, and Shiro Plum Black, are just a few of the unique teas in our selection. A warm mug of tea is good for your well-being and may be just the thing you need to help you slow down. Enjoy a cup fireside with a good book.
There is no magic formula for creating hygge. The thread that connects all of these “hygge-esque” activities, is the act of slowing down and being deliberate. We can’t think of a better activity for this than making a meal with fresh ingredients and sitting down to share it with someone you love. At the heart of what we do here at Tacoma Boys, is the joy of providing the quality ingredients to allow you to do this. Whether you light a candle, make a meal, or cradle a warm cup of tea in your hands, know that it is our pleasure to serve you as you take steps toward your well-being in 2021.
We get it. The sun is setting at an atrociously early hour, the weather is inclement, and all of the holiday movies are streaming. These are nights for staying in, kicking back and donning your favorite flannel jammies. But you might also be exhausted from the holiday baking and want someone else to make your dinner. Thankfully, ordering off a restaurant menu is not the only way to enjoy a meal without cooking. A quick stop at Tacoma Boys and you can have a delicious, nourishing meal on the table with little to no prep. It’s basically a way to dine out in pajamas!
The “Take Out” Menu at Tacoma Boys
We know a little wander around our store will convince you that we care deeply about carrying the freshest local ingredients for all your culinary needs. Did you know we’ve put the same care into selecting the prepared and prepped foods we choose to carry? We’ve gathered a few of our favorite ready-made foods into a menu for you. Grab some of these menu items for a relaxing night, void of dinner prep.
Tacoma Boys House-Made Pizzas
Oven ready pizzas with a delectably thin crust are here at the ready. While you’re in the store grab your favorite beer and a bag of popcorn and you are all set for a movie night at home. Pop the pizza in the oven and cue up the movie!
Made in the South Sound on Vashon Island, these Tamales are a perfect choice when you’re in the mood for Mexican food and want to support local. Grab some refried beans, corn tortilla chips, and salsa and you’ve got a complete meal that’s gluten free!
International comfort food at its finest, these authentic Russian dumplings, made locally in Auburn WA, are sure to hit the spot on a cold evening. Dumplings take very little time to cook. Simply boil gently for approximately 8 minutes, toss with melted butter, and season to taste.
Beef – Beef and Pork – Potato & Cheese with Bacon
Beecher’s Mac & Cheese
The iconic cheesemaker Kurt Beecher first opened shop in Pike Place Market in Seattle and ever since, people have been craving that unmistakably creamy, Beecher’s Flagship Mac & Cheese. When the craving hits, you don’t need to hit I-5 and travel north, just hop into Tacoma Boys and pick up some Beecher’s from the freezer section.
Mac & Cheese – Smoked Flagship Mac & Cheese – World’s Best Mac & Cheese – Mariachi Mac & Cheese – Cheese Curd Lasagna
These robust, dehydrated soups made in Central Washington are a snap to put together and need very few extra ingredients. They do have a longer cooking time, but since prep is a cinch, you can get this going in the late afternoon, or early evening, and have a bowl of soup in your hands at dinner time. Check the back of the soup mix for any extra ingredients you need to pick up, and grab a loaf of sourdough or dinner rolls by Kalama Sourdough Bakery to complete the meal.
Manini’s Ravioli – Gluten Free
When Italian food is on the menu and you want something with a bit more flair than traditional spaghetti, this gluten free pasta option is a great fit. To make a simple sauce for pasta, toss with salted butter and season to taste. Or to kick it up a notch, saute mushrooms in butter and garlic, toss with the ravioli, and add a sprinkle of fresh parmesan.
Portobello & Cheese – Spinach & Cheese
Don’t Forget Dessert
Of course, to dine out in pajamas, you must include dessert! We’ve got quite a selection of desserts available, but you really can’t go wrong with a little pie and ice cream. Come check out the huge selection of frozen pies.
We hope you take us up on the chance to put those jammies on early and cue up a movie. With the dinner prep out of the way, you can nourish your body with a good meal, truly relax, and dine out in pajamas. For extra relaxation points (don’t worry, we really aren’t keeping score), pour yourself a glass of one of our favorite Rare Red Blend wine.
We find ourselves in limbo between two major feasting holidays. Maybe there are even some dishes still soaking in the sink after the Thanksgiving day feast. We aren’t here to pass judgement on the state of your kitchen. In fact, we’re here to give you a reprieve from all of your hard work. Nourishing meals don’t always require multiple dishes and these sheet pan dinners make dinner clean up a cinch. Try these three sheet pan dinners to help you avoid dishes this week.
Pesto Baked Salmon & Roasted Root Vegetables
What’s so great about this recipe, besides the easy clean up, is that it is versatile and uses produce that keeps well in the fridge, so you are likely to have these vegetables on hand. Substitute steelhead for salmon, use parsnips instead of carrots, or wedges of cabbage instead of brussel sprouts. Don’t feel like making pesto? Grab fresh pesto, when you stop in our market for fresh salmon. Find your favorite combos and use what you have on hand. Check out our guide to nutritious, seasonal eating for inspiration.
12 baby potatoes, or potato of choice chopped in 1 in. chunks
1 medium sweet potato, diced
2 carrots, chopped into half inch sections
4 small beets, halved
12 brussel sprouts halved
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 portions of fresh Sockeye Salmon fillets
1/4 cup Asiago or Manchego cheese
Fresh lemon juice
1 cup basil or sage
1 cup kale, stalks removed
1/3 cup pistachios or walnuts
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 425°F
On a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle and toss the potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots beets and brussel sprouts with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes or until all veggies are fork tender.
Make the pesto, while the vegetables roast. In a food processor, pulse the first three pesto ingredients until finely chopped. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse again. Drizzle the olive oil into the mix with the motor running. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (depending on your desired level of heat).
When veggies are just fork tender, pull them from the oven and push them to one side of the pan to make room for the salmon. Place salmon on the the baking sheet and rub pesto on each fillet.
Place the sheet pan back in the oven and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, or until the salmon is flakey and to your desired doneness and the vegetables are soft. Remove pan from the oven and grate fresh Asiago or Parmesan over each fillet. Serve with any remaining pesto on the side.
Parmesan Chicken with
Roast Asparagus & Potatoes
This is another versatile recipe. You can substitute root vegetables for either the asparagus or the potatoes. For a larger group, double the recipe and use two sheet pans. You’ll still be left with very minimal cleanup.
4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup milk
2 cups bread crumbs, preferably panko
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Tacoma Boys Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound yukon gold potatoes, quartered
1 bunch of asparagus, fibrous ends removed, cut into 3in sections
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with olive oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and milk. In a separate, medium bowl, mix together panko, parmesan cheese, italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts and dredge them in egg mixture then coat them in the panko mixture and place on your sheet pan.
Place potatoes next to chicken on the pan and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 15 minutes, flip chicken over. Add trimmed asparagus to the sheet pan, drizzling with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and continue baking for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F.
Fresh Gnocchi & Roasted Vegetables
Roasting the fresh gnocchi in this recipe will give it a slightly different texture than the boiled variety, but we think you’ll enjoy the change. After you try it this way, you may never boil gnocchi again. The slight crunch of the exterior and tender interior is reminiscent of roasted potatoes. Roasted tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil create a simple, but flavorful sauce for plump gnocchi.
1 pound gnocchi, shelf stable or frozen
2 medium bell peppers, cut into 1” pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, cut into 1” pieces
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil leaves
Preheat oven to 450°F
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with olive oil.
Place garlic, onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, gnocchi, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat with oil. Spread the gnocchi mixture evenly on the parchment covered baking sheet.
Roast for 18-20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Vegetables should be tender and the gnocchi should be plump.
Spoon pasta mixture into individual bowls and top with fresh basil and grated parmesan.
Create Your Own Sheet Pan Dinners
We hope these recipes nourish you and inspire you to mix up some of your own sheet pan dinners. Ask your Tacoma Boys butchers for good meats to roast with seasonal veggies. Peruse our extensive selection of Tacoma Boys seasonings, sprinkle your favorite spice mix over seasonal vegetables, roast and serve over rice. Meals made with fresh, local ingredients don’t need to be complicated to be delicious.
During the colder months, we tend to trade in the fresh fruits and vegetables we associate with summer for the rich, hearty meals of winter. Soups laden with browned meats and plump beans are a true staple of our winter diets. Even though summer has come and gone, there are still plenty of fresh vegetables available, some still growing and thriving in the garden despite the cold temperatures. These fruits and vegetables are rich with vitamins and nutrients to keep us healthy through the winter, so why not dish out the nutrients with a vitamin rich side dish using our winter recipe roundup?
To make adding a vitamin packed side dish to your meal a cinch, we’ve gathered some of our favorite, simple fall vegetable, side dish recipes for you to try.
Leafy Greens & Brassicas
Many sturdier greens thrive in the garden through Pacific Northwest winters. Kale, swiss chard, and collard greens are among the sturdy greens that keep growing right on through the winter and are available fresh in our markets.
Kale is rich in vitamins A, C, K, B vitamins, calcium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. It’s no wonder kale makes the short list for power packed veggies. It is also loaded with antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects.
The bright color of red cabbage comes from pigments called anthocyanins, which, in simple terms, translates to loads of antioxidants that promote a healthy immune system. Red cabbage is easy to add to a meal. Slice and use in the place of lettuce on your tacos, add to a green salad for extra color and nutrients, or mix it up in this delicious and fresh winter slaw.
Pumpkins are not just for jack-o-lanterns, though we do love a skillfully carved toothy grin. Loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C and E, iron and folate, pumpkins and other winter squashes offer support for vision and promote immune health.
High in fiber and in vitamins C and A, as well as potassium, root vegetables are an easy choice to add to your winter diet. Many root vegetables are excellent for longer storage, so you can stock up and be sure to have them on hand, when you get the craving.
If you need even more inspiration to add a little vitamin goodness to your winter menus using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, check out our Guide to Local Seasonal Eating or ask one of our amazing produce specialists what seasonal fruits and vegetables they particularly enjoy.
It’s time, yet again, to don your lederhosen, twist up some pretzels, and crack a malty german beer. If lederhosen aren’t your thing, you can still throw a great Oktoberfest beer tasting party in your American casual wear. The extensive beer selection at Tacoma Boys has you covered.
Beer with a Side of History
Oktoberfest began in 1810 when Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria was married to Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen (don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz). The king threw a party for the people in his new wife’s honor with free beer, food, and horse races. Suffice it to say he threw a party worth repeating. For over 200 years Oktoberfest is still celebrated at the beginning of October in Germany and all around the world. And, while you may not care to celebrate a queen long since departed from us, you might get behind the idea of beer and celebrating the end of a good summer harvest.
A typical Oktoberfest beer has a strong, toasty malt aroma, is brewed in spring and aged throughout the summer. American made Oktoberfest beers can vary from one another and from the traditional style served in Germany. So why not throw an Oktoberfest beer tasting party and see how they all stack up next to one another?
Tacoma Boys Oktoberfest Beer Contenders
Festbier Occidental Brewing Co. Portland, Oregon
Petrichor Skookum Brewery Arlington, WA
Oktoberfest Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Festbier Reuben’s Brews Seattle, WA
Fest Bier Chuckanut Brewery
Oktoberfest Left Hand Brewing Co. Longmont, CO
Pretzel Day Matchless Brewing
Oktoberfest Black Raven Brewing Co.
Make It a Competition
Be playful in the way you present the beer selection. Sure, you could just drop those beers in a cooler with ice for your guests. That’s a great approach for a casual Oktoberfest. But, to make it a festive occasion, why not set up a true Oktoberfest tasting and rank those beers?!
Called a “flight” in the beer world, a selection of 4-6oz pours of beer is a great option to give guests a true sample of each beer selection. Keep it simple by placing a large sheet of butcher paper across your table and hand labeling each beer directly on the butcher paper. While beer connoisseurs will tell you there is correctly shaped glassware for each style of beer, you can make your life easy and use small mason jars for tasting glasses. You’ll still get a great tasting beer and you can save those jars for all that jam you plan to make when berry season comes back around.
Beer Tasting Cards
Create a simple card for guests to rank beers and then compare notes. Tasting cards make comparing beers more straight forward. Typical beer tasting cards might include categories like: appearance, smell, taste, aftertaste, and drinkability. You can also throw in a fun category like “describe beer using a song lyric” or “if this beer was a color it would be _______.” Why not give a prize for the most creative responses, while you’re at it?
Create a simple bracket and have guests sample two beers at a time, taking a vote to see which beer will advance into the next round. This is a great, interactive way to compare the beers.
If you want to go the extra mile, start the night out by letting each guest make a guess at which beer will take home the championship and send the winner home with a six pack of beer or a gift card to pick out their favorite beer at Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce.
Don’t Forget the Nosh and Beer
There’s a reason why taprooms are notorious for snack pretzels. Beer and food go hand in hand. Tacoma Boys has your german grub covered. Here are some ideas to keep your guests well fed.
Brats and Beer
…a match made in heaven. Tacoma Boys is your local fresh meat market. If you’re not sure what to get, ask your Tacoma Boys butcher for their favorite german sausages to try. Grill up sausages and then cut them into bite sized portions to serve on a platter with toothpicks and ample amounts of stone ground mustard and sauerkraut.
Pretzels and Mustard
Pretzels are the quintessential German snack food. Make easy, shortcut soft pretzels with our ready-made pizza dough by Kalama Sourdough Bakery found in our cheese section. For a true German treat, dip those tasty pretzels in mustard. Pick out a sampling of mustards from our large selection.
Spicy and Aged Cheeses
Skip the mild cheeses that might be drowned out by the robust flavor of a fest beer and head for the sharp cheddar, jalapeno jack, blue cheese, and goudas. You’ll have plenty to choose from at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. The cheese aisle is almost as much fun as our candy aisle.
Something for Every Palate
If beer is really not your jam, come check out the extensive selection of wines, ciders, and even hard kombucha drinks at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. If you’re looking for a new culinary adventure or for something to pair with your dinner, one of our wine and beer specialists is sure to have a suggestion for you.
Pumpkins are here, and not a moment too soon! With the rain settling in for the season, we could use a spirited orange squash to brighten up the place. And this year’s crop does not disappoint! Looking for more than your typical run-of-the-mill pumpkin to spruce up your porch this fall? In keeping with what you’ve come to expect, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce has a wide and unique selection of autumn squash. We’re certain you’ll find something to fall for!
Tacoma Boys’ Surplus of Sensational Squash
Did you know that pumpkins, like most produce, come in many varieties? If you’ve ever been to one of Washington’s famous pumpkin patches, you’ve probably seen many of them. Lucky for you, you don’t have to go all the way to a pumpkin farm to grab one for yourself! We’ve got pumpkins a-plenty right here at your neighborhood Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. Let’s meet the contenders.
The Warty Goblin
Whoever names these things either has an immense imagination or none at all. This gorgeous gourd looks just like it sounds. Perfect for…well, we’re not exactly sure what it’s good for, but we sure love it! You don’t even have to carve this one up for it to be a spooky spectacle, it’s already got all the ghoul you need. Or pair it with some mums in your best attempt to soften its…dramatic..features. Either way, this little guy has all the makings of a front porch showstopper.
Put it next to your Warty Goblin, and you’ve got yourself a fairytale! Cinderella Pumpkins are known for their rich color, flattened round shape, and creamy sweet flavor. Grab three, stack them on top of each other, stuff some leaves in between, and you have yourself a centerpiece.
The Porcelain Doll Pink
It’s said these pumpkins were created to raise awareness of breast cancer. Cute as a button with a heart of gold! What more could you want in a pumpkin?
In keeping with the Halloween theme, this white pumpkin is all the rage for decorating and carving alike. Prefer painting to carving? A Ghost Pumpkin makes a perfect blank slate. (Moms, pumpkin painting is a great substitute for carving for the littles among us.) A classy alternative to the typical orange and red motif of fall, cluster a few white pumpkins together for an understated effect.
The One Too Many
We would say you can’t make these names up, but somebody clearly did. Cheekily named for its resemblance to the bloodshot eyes of someone with a hangover, One Too Many Pumpkins are a great blend of white and orange all in one squash. Cluster with one white pumpkin and one orange for a pleasing symmetry, or let this striking autumn squash stand alone.
3 Ways to Enjoy Your Autumn Squash
Now that you know what you’re getting, we’ll talk you through what to do with them!
1. Chow down.
This is the most obvious and least likely reason you’ll purchase a pumpkin this year. You’ll probably make your pumpkin pies, scones, breads, and donuts from canned pumpkin like the rest of us (we have some canned pumpkin by the way, if that’s the route you choose, but we digress…) If you do choose to upstage us all with your Martha Stewart ways, you probably already have a recipe passed down from your great grandmother. But in case you don’t, you can give this one from Allrecipes a try. For this, you’ll want to use a sweet, smooth variety, like a Sugar Pumpkin or the Cinderella. Most pumpkins are edible, but some are better for eating than others, so do your research. May it be worth your extra efforts!
2. Carve a Jack-O-Lantern!
Is it even fall if you haven’t spent some time elbow deep in a pumpkin, digging around for the last vestiges of its slimy innards? We think not. Do you go for the classic toothy grin and triangle eyes? Or do you prefer to get creative with well known cartoons or pumpkin versions of political figures? Either way, you might want to go with the traditional Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin. Although technically, you can pick any kind of autumn squash you want, as long as it’s big enough to withstand whatever carved creation you choose.
3. Decorate for fall.
This is the easiest of your options AND works perfectly in combination with either of the above. Here’s how it works. You buy a pumpkin. Any pumpkin will do. However many you want. Then you put them literally anywhere. And suddenly it’s fall! Want a cute porch? Put a pumpkin on it. Need a fall tablescape? Pumpkin it up! Wondering what to do with your mantle now that the leaves are falling? One or two pumpkins will do! You get the idea. Leave it there as long as you want (not too long…it’s still food), dust it off, and cook it up or carve it out. Who knew a fruit so orange could be so multifunctional? Also, who knew pumpkin is a fruit? Now you know. You’re welcome.
Fall in Love With Tacoma Boys
In addition to a wide variety of pumpkins, you’ll find a large assortment of other autumn squash with which to cook or decorate at your nearest Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce. Swing by and ask one of our friendly store associates for help picking a pumpkin or other squash that best meets your needs! And for the finishing touch on your fall decor, don’t forget a pot or two of our beautiful fall mums. We’re confident you’ll find everything you need to welcome this fall season with open arms.