Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

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How to avoid overdoing it on Thanksgiving.- Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Let’s face it, Thanksgiving family gatherings are all about the spread. Everybody comes together to share a meal consisting of a half dozen or more things we all love to share as a family tradition. Given all the delicious food you'll have access to, here are a few tips to help keep you from fearing the scale come Friday...

Chew Slowly and Savor Bites

When you're faced with that big sit-down meal, stop before you get so full that you're uncomfortable. Sure, the food is delicious and evokes all sorts of wonderful nostalgia, but you don't need to overeat to enjoy the memories. Chew slowly, savor each bite, and really appreciate those special dishes. It's a much better way to enjoy them than the  the "stuff and suffer" approach.

Plan Your Plate Attack

Before mindlessly piling your plate with food, take a look at the table and make a plan. Load up on veggies first to take up the most space on the plate. Add the items you love, but get smaller portions of what you know isn't healthy.

Spread Out Your Eating

If you are going to a friend or family member’s house for dinner, eat something healthy before you go. It’s better to not be famished when you get there. You will make better choices.

Enjoy the day

Don’t lose track of the fact that Thanksgiving comes but once a year and being with friends and family and sharing a meal is a gift too many people in other parts of the world never experience. Enjoy yourself, but just be aware of what and how much you put in your mouth.

A Few Quick Updates- Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It’s a crazy time at the store right now as we are all doing our best to have everything each of you needs for your Thanksgiving meal. I say "crazy", but I mean that in a controlled way -- we all live for this. It’s the very best time of the year. We in the Prisco–Gusauskas families owe you, our customers, a great debt of gratitude because you are the ones who make our livelihoods possible. It’s great to have each of you as customers, but we also consider it an honor and privilege to know that you have trusted our store to be the primary source for your family's Thanksgiving meal.

From each of us to every one of you. Thank You.

As you are shopping over the next few days, please don’t forget our Aroura Area Interfaith Food Pantry Food Drive and please consider purchasing a bag or two for those less fortunate neighbors who could use a helping hand putting some nourishing food on their table this holiday season. Premade bags are located in the front of the store, or you can tell the checker what you want to donate and he or she will be glad to help you out.

Have you signed up to join our new customer appreciation program? We call it Prisco’s Points and it launched about two weeks ago. We already have hundreds of you registered and earning points worth free food. To date, folks have been redeeming their points on things like FREE butter, coffee, gala apples, fresh cider, and more. Of course, there is the ever-popular reward for $3 off your receipt that folks love as well. If you haven’t signed up yet, here is a link to do so.

When you register you get 100 points to start your account off and you get more points if you provide your email address and download our program app. Since the program launched, we have given out several hundred thousand points, so next time you are in the store check your balance and consider redeeming some of your points on items you might like. To see a list of all items offered with points, click here.

Speaking of Prisco’s Points, we have a special announcement: In honor of the National Shop Small Event this Saturday, November 25th, our store will be offering triple Prisco’s Points on every dollar you spend. That’s right, points for every dollar. That’s in addition to the bonus points available on specially marked items throughout the store and the 500-point bonus currently available on purchases of $100 or more.

 

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Andy

Thanksgiving Turkey Tips- Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Figure on 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person. To buy the right size turkey for your party, simply tally up the turkey-eating guests. Add a few pounds on for bones and you've got your turkey weight. For example, 8 people will require a 12 to 14-pound turkey. Don’t cut it too close, however: Thanksgiving is the one meal where everyone expects and loves leftovers and cold turkey sandwiches the next day or two.

Cook the turkey on a rack of vegetables. Create a natural roasting rack for your turkey by layering carrots, onions and celery on the bottom of the roasting pan. Lifting the turkey off the base of the pan helps to increase hot air circulation around the whole bird so that it will get crispy all over. And the vegetables add great flavor to the gravy.

Rub the turkey with butter or oil. Before putting it in the oven, make sure the skin of the turkey is as dry as possible, and then rub it all over with butter or oil. For even moister meat, place pats of butter under the skin.

Skip the basting. Basting means more oven door opening, resulting in temperature fluctuations that can dry out your bird. Instead, keep your turkey moist by brining it in advance or by rubbing it all over with butter or oil.

Invest in a good meat thermometer. Check for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey around the thigh, avoiding the bone. At 165 degrees F, it's done. The turkey will continue to cook as it rests, so the temperature should rise another 10 degrees or so out of the oven.

Give it a rest. To lock in juices, tent your turkey with foil and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Be sure you don't cover the turkey too tightly as you don't want the bird to steam under the foil.

 

Don’t Miss Out on the Prisco’s Points Excitement- Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This week we launch our exciting new customer appreciation program, also known as Prisco’s Points. We have designed this to be as easy as possible to participate in, and even more importantly we want all of our customers to have fun. Earning Prisco’s Points is free, and you can have fun spending them on treats or essentials you want or need.

Sign up is a breeze. The next time you visit, our checkers will ask if you are a member of the Prisco’s Points program; if you wish to join, simply provide the checker with your cell phone number and BINGO, you are in. No cell phone? No problem. We can provide you with a free membership card.

As soon as you join you will receive 100 Prisco’s Points just for signing up, and we also offer additional points when you give us your name and email address in a follow-up text. And please, don’t worry, your information is confidential and is never shared. We promise that we will never hound anyone with too many emails or texts, but we will use these points of contact to send you exclusive offers on items that you actually like and purchase often.

Here is how it works

  1. Every time you shop when the checker asks, provide him or her with your cell phone number or swipe your Prisco’s Points card. Your order will then be recorded in our shopper database and you will receive one Prisco’s Point for every dollar spent. (A few items like taxes, delivery fees, postage stamps, and waste stickers are excluded from the program.)

  2. There are lots of other ways to easily earn Prisco’s Points. For example, right now as you walk our aisles be on the lookout for the grey and yellow signs pointing to bonus Prisco’s Points awarded on items that you purchase. For example, here are a few items available this week that will earn additional points: Starbucks coffee, ground, is on sale for $1 off per bag and each bag purchased will earn you 50 bonus points. Save on cool whip toppings, a Thanksgiving must-have, and receive 20 bonus points on each 8 oz. tub that you buy.

  3. Watch your email and/or texts for future double- and triple-point days where each dollar spent will earn two or three times the usual number of points.

  4. We plan to constantly work to find ways to keep the program fresh and fun. As we build a history of the types of items that you purchase most often, we will begin to use that information to offer special savings on the types of foods that you enjoy an buy regularly. In addition, we will also make recommendations on related products we believe you will appreciate.

  5. There is one more special benefit that comes with becoming a member of our Prisco’s Points program. We call them electronic punch cards. Don’t worry, no card needed and no actual punching occurs. Any time you purchase a fresh brewed cup of our LavAzza coffee we post it to your total; when you reach five purchased cups, you will receive one cup on the house. The same holds true for gallons of Prairie Fresh milk: Purchase 10 over time, and the 11th is our gift to you.

What to do with your points

Here’s where the real fun begins. Every month we will publish a list of about 12 offers that will be available for FREE or at a greatly reduced price with points that you redeem. For additional details about the program and to see what we are offering this month, simply click here. Each time you shop your checker will let you know how many points that you have in your account -- and don’t worry, your points don’t expire. Use them as they build up to a redeemable amount or save them for something bigger in the future.

Special Holiday Thank You Point Bonus

From now through the end of December we are offering a very lucrative promotion. Whenever you spend a total of $100 in a single transaction you will automatically earn a bonus of 500 Prisco’s Points. We hope that many of you will be able to take full advantage of this generous offer several times throughout the holiday season.

If you have any questions about the new Prisco’s Points program please ask away, and if you have suggestions to make the program more fun or meaningful for you and your family, tell us. We are always interested in making this your rewards program.

Hope to see you in the store real soon…

From all of our family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

 

Andy

Act Now to Assure Your First Choice for Thanksgiving.- Tuesday, November 7, 2017

As in the past we will be taking advanced orders for locally raised, fresh, never frozen Thanksgiving turkeys from the Kauffman Turkey Farm in Waterman, IL -- about 25 miles straight west of our store. If you go to our website, there is a link on the homepage that will take you to the easy-to-use order form. If you want to preorder another type of turkey or roast for your Thanksgiving holiday, call our meat department at 630-264-9400.

We are also taking pre-orders for our popular Farmer's Market homebaked fruit and holiday pies. We added something new this year and have an assortment of five cream-filled pies for the cream pie lovers out there. Believe it or not, we now offer a selection of over 30 premium pies!

Having trouble deciding what to get? We also offer 1/2 pies for most choices, so go ahead and order half a dozen 1/2 pies. If you would like to get more details on the selection of pies we have to offer we will have a brochure available in store this week and an electronic version is available on our website now, click here. If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without a selection of several homebaked pies and we have just what you need. If you’ll be a guest elsewhere, be a hero and volunteer to bring the pies. Everyone will love you for it.

As you make plans for your Thanksgiving meal don’t forget that we at Prisco’s can take some of the stress and hassle out of preparations by providing you with pre-made mashed potatoes, dressing, turkey gravy, and cranberry relish...to name just a few things. Stop in the deli and meet with my mom, Beth, my sister Bridget, or myself and we can help you make this one of the most stress-free holidays you have ever entertained for.

See you in the deli! And if you’re lucky, I might be handing out samples of fresh pies. YUM!

 

Jacquie

How You Store Your Spices Does Matter.- Tuesday, November 7, 2017

If you want to get the most shelf life from your spices and have them give you optimum flavor, where your store them is critical. Often cooks like to have spices in the cabinets closest to their stove so that they can quickly reach in and grab what’s needed while keeping a close eye on what’s cooking on the stove. While this is certainly convenient, it is not the best place to keep them. This is because spices and herbs will begin to break down when exposed to the moisture and heat from the stove.

Another common location for kitchen spices is in a spice rack on the counter. Again, not a good thing for the spices if the rack gets any direct sunlight.

What about keeping them in either the fridge or the freezer? Well, every time you take them out they have to warm to room temperature. Or when they were first added to the fridge they had to "cool down". These temperature changes often cause the spices to pick up moisture and condensation. Both will shorten the life of your spices. You should also be aware that temperature fluctuations may cause unwanted condensation, and possibly mold.

The ideal storage temperature for your spices and herbs is one that remains fairly constant and right around 70° F. So, for optimum flavor and shelf life you should store these away from the heat of the stove, heaters, or the direct sunlight. If you have a pantry that is dark most of the time this is your best alternative. Some folks prefer amber glass jars with airtight lids to keep the moisture out.

As a final word of caution on condensation build-up, be aware of how you use your spices around the stove. Don't shake directly into a pot or pan over direct heat as the moisture goes right into the bottle. It is better to shake the amount you want to add into the palm of your hand and then add that to the pot or pan.

 

Community Food Drive Brings Out the Best in All of Us- Tuesday, October 31, 2017

For 10 years, the Aurora Area Interfaith Holiday Food Drive has provided food to struggling families in our community. Since its inception, Prisco’s has been a supporting sponsor of this critically important food drive and as always we will be a primary donation point for the program.

The drive traditionally runs from the beginning of November through the day before Thanksgiving. This year Thanksgiving comes early, so the 10th Holiday Food Drive will begin November 1st and run through November 22nd, meaning it will be shorter by a few days.

"The goal is to get a year's worth of food," said Marilyn Weisner, Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry executive director. "The good thing about the food drive is it gives us good, solid staples." That means things like macaroni and cheese, rice, cooking oil, peanut butter, canned soup, canned tuna, and cereal.

One thing that has not changed much is the need. Weisner said some 6,500 families come to the pantry each year. The pantry distributes about 3.7 million pounds of food to about 23,000 people a year. "Aurora is a successful town, but there are still 29,000 people or so living in poverty," she said. "We have to meet the needs of those people. No one should go hungry."

Weisner pointed out that the pantry often deals with people who are newly poor or temporarily without work. So people come to the pantry for a while, then find work and drop off the rolls. In the meantime, new people come onto the pantry's list. She said the pantry distributes about $115 worth of food to a family in a week. That is money the family can save to use on other items, such as utilities, rent, clothes for children, or even to keep a car maintained so a family member can get to work. "We get people who we give food to, they get back up on their feet and become donors," she said. "It happens all the time."

To enhance the offerings for our neighbors in need this year, in addition to the usual premade bags of food available for purchase and to donate, our customers will also be offered the opportunity to buy food drive certificates. The cash from these certificates will be used to purchase the exact items most needed throughout the year.

As we head into this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season, most of us have a great deal to be grateful for and this food drive is one way of giving back to our community and helping those who have been a bit less fortunate. On behalf of our family and employees, I’d like to thank you in advance for your generous support of the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry Drive.

 

Best Wishes,

Andy

What you may not know about cranberries!- Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Most folks don’t know that our neighbor to the north, Wisconsin, is the leading producer of cranberries in the US. Some 60 percent of all cranberries packaged and canned in the US come from 20 counties in central and northern Wisconsin. Actually, the cranberry is Wisconsin’s official state fruit. Cranberries are the state’s number one fruit crop, both in size and economic value. The sand and peat marshes in central and northern Wisconsin create the perfect growing conditions for cranberries.

Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water, but they are harvested using water. I know, we’ve all seen too many Ocean Spray commercials. A perennial plant, cranberries grow on low running vines in sandy bogs and marshes. In Wisconsin, cranberry marshes are flooded with water to aid in harvesting. Because the tart, tiny berries contain a pocket of air, when the marsh is flooded, the berries float to the surface to be picked up by harvesting equipment. Cranberries are harvested each year from late September through October.

Cranberries score among the highest of all fruits in antioxidants. Diets including fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant values, like cranberries, may help support memory function and coordination.

  • Cranberries are a cholesterol-free, fat-free and low-sodium food, and help maintain a healthy heart.
  • Cranberries are part of a healthy diet and contain antioxidants that may help maintain a healthy immune system.
  • As part of a healthy diet, cranberries can be added to low-fat vinaigrettes, whole grain pancakes, and yogurt.
  • Cranberries are ingredients in more than 1,000 food and beverage products on the market, and only 5 percent of Wisconsin's cranberry crop is sold as fresh berries.

 

Introducing a NEW apple variety well worth tasting – Ambrosia Apples- Tuesday, October 24, 2017

An Ambrosia apple is a sweet modern apple variety from western Canada, quite similar to Golden Delicious. It was discovered as a chance seedling in an orchard in British Columbia.

Aptly named after the mythical “food of the gods”, this stunning apple is a delight for all the senses. When you first set eyes on the Ambrosia apple, you will be drawn to its glossy, bi-colored good looks. It has an attractive conical shape and smooth, flawless skin with a bright, almost fluorescent pink blush over a creamy-yellow background. As you draw closer, you will become aware of its distinct perfumed aroma. Then, as you bite into the Ambrosia apple’s tender, juicy flesh with its fine, crisp texture, the apple’s honeyed flavor will saturate your taste buds, leaving you refreshed and satisfied.

It's little wonder that this sweet, low-acid apple consistently rates at the top in taste-tests and sensory panels, and is a hit with both children and adults alike. And because of its low acid content, it's easier for children and older people to digest.

The Ambrosia apple is great in salads, baking, and main dishes.


Prisco’s Expands Catering Service- Tuesday, October 24, 2017

We never consciously planned to enter into the field of catering services, it just sort of happened. We have always offered our standard catering menu that is posted on the website which focuses primarily on party trays and entertaining items that customers order for special occasions. Within the last few years, however, we have had a number of good customers approach us asking if we could cater an event for them beyond the standard cold cuts, finger sandwiches and vegetable dips.

Fortunately, I’m blessed to have my two daughters, Bridget and Jacquie, who both work in the deli and whom I can rely on for this sort of thing. In the past few months we have hosted several funeral luncheons, bridal and baby showers, and other local events, and they have all been exciting opportunities which have resulted in some great customer comments -- and in many cases, new catering business from pleased attendees. Recently I asked both Andy and Dave Michaels, our store manager, to get more involved, and together we’ve been coming up with new ideas that can take our catering efforts to greater heights and it’s really quite exciting.

The next time you plan on entertaining a group, large or small, take some of the worry and anxiety off the table. Give Bridget, Jacquie or I a call or simply stop in at the deli and tell us what you are thinking about and we'll put our collective heads together to come up with a party you and your guests will not only enjoy, but will be thinking of with fond memories for years to come.

 

See you in the deli!

Beth