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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Best Wishes to all our friends, neighbors and customers.- Saturday, November 21, 2015

It’s a special time of year, and in the spirit of the holiday we here at Prisco’s wanted to take the time to thank you, our customers, for your support over the years. We value your patronage and your confidence in us. If it weren’t for your loyalty, we would not be here, and our business would not be thriving.

We would also like to thank our wonderful employees for their dedication and hard work. We appreciate your commitment to providing great customer service, and all the effort you put into making Prisco’s Family Market an outstanding place to shop.

In order to allow our employees to be with their families for the holiday, our store will be closed Thanksgiving Thursday.

 

From our family to your's...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Broccoli…Boring vegetable or Green Superhero?- Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It’s kind of like the tagline from an often played, well-known auto insurance commercial series. Someone says to you “Hey there, have some broccoli, it’s good for you.” and you reply “Everybody knows that!”

Like with most foods that are good for our health, eating broccoli is usually about as exciting as watching paint dry. It has a rather bland taste and if you spice it up with some melted cheese or a creamed soup in a casserole, you pretty much defeat the whole “it’s good for you” concept.

So maybe we need to dig a bit deeper in order to be inspired by this humble little green vegetable that is purported to be so darn healthy. Looking at a web site that promotes broccoli, the headline of the article states that broccoli is “one of the healthiest green vegetables -- it’s versatile, inexpensive, and tastes great.” Really? That is something only a broccoli farmer could say.

Okay, so let’s get past our indifference. What are some fun broccoli facts?

1)     The word broccoli comes from the Latin word brachium and the Italian word braccio, which means “arm”.  

Okay, so some ancient Roman had a good sense of imagination. That’s like saying, “look at that cloud overhead, it looks just like a unicorn!”

2)     Broccoli is a part of the cabbage family.  

WOW on that one! So one boring green vegetable is related to an equally if not more boring green vegetable. I don’t think this is working just yet.

3)     Eating broccoli reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and death in postmenopausal women.

This, now, is something well worth knowing, ladies, but what good does it do to the other half of the population? Let’s keep digging.

4)     A compound found in broccoli appears to have more effect than modern antibiotics against the creation of peptic ulcer causing bacteria.

Okay, now we are on to something. Perhaps this timid little veggie can help relieve a sore tummy.

5)     Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.  

I did say it’s GREEN didn’t I? Do shades of green really matter?

6)     Tom “Broccoli” Landers holds the current world record for eating 1 pound of broccoli in 92 seconds.

Bully for Tom. I, for one, will never be a serious threat to the record.

7)     Broccoli is high in Vitamins C, A, and folate and also soluble fiber.

Yes, the vitamins are all good. but even more important, I know that eating good fiber is on my doctor-prescribed TO DO list.

8)     It has been shown to fight cancer cells in lab tests.  

Now you’re talking. Preventing cancer has got to be a strong motivator for anyone.

9)     It’s versatile in the kitchen, both as handy snacks, in soups, in salads, and finely chopped in homemade pesto.

How about on top of a pizza? Oh yeah that’s another way of making healthy food a lot less healthy…Sorry.

10)   Americans eat an average of 4lbs. of broccoli a year.  That’s 900% more than 20 years ago!  

Okay, okay…I give up. It looks like broccoli is much more like a Super Green Giant than a bland veggie. I need to change my perspective and eat my fair share of California’s great broccoli crop.  If my fellow countrymen have increased broccoli consumption from less than 1/2 lb. per year to 4 lbs., they must be on to something. Yes, I know, this is where you say “Everybody knows that!”

 

Thanksgiving - A time we can all reflect upon!- Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It’s still early, but we wanted to share some good news with you.

As you most likely know, since the first of this month our store has been a collection center for the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry’s Food Drive. Prisco’s has been a supporting sponsor for this annual event since its inception eight years ago, and every year we collect several tons of food worth tens of thousands of dollars and channel it to the AAIFP, where it is distributed to families in need within our community.

In recent years, our customers have been especially generous in spite of the tough economic conditions. This year, however, we are pleased to report that the collection and donation rate of food bags is running noticeably ahead of last year’s pace! Between now and Thanksgiving day, the food drive will continue. Please keep the food pantry in mind as you shop this next week, and consider purchasing one or more pre-filled food bags located in the front of our store. We offer them in denominations of $5, $10 and $25, and all the food purchased is delivered directly to the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.  

Immediately after Thanksgiving, just as the one food drive ends, we start another major donation project which my Uncle Rob and a great customer, neighbor, and friend Jerry Pigatti started more than twenty years ago: We work with local area churches, schools, and social organizations to identify local families who would otherwise go without a Christmas dinner. Thanks to major financial support from Jerry Pigatti and his friends and associates, last year we were able to donate a full dinner for approximately 350 Aurora-area families.

A Thank You to our customers

Living and working in this community for all of our lives, it is with a tremendous sense of pride and admiration that we, the third and fourth generation of the Prisco family, wish to acknowledge you, our customers, who have been here to support our store for the past 90 years. Believe me when I say, as other’s in our family have said many times before, “We couldn’t have done it without you, our friends, neighbors and community!”

Yes, I hope we are all very busy over the next several weeks providing each of you with the delicious homemade foods and excellent products that you have come to rely on Prisco’s to deliver. Be that as it may, no matter how busy we might be, we are equally committed to providing you with the very best customer service. So please don’t hesitate to stop me or any member of our staff and ask a question, make a suggestion, or simply say hello!

 

From Our Family to Yours  -- Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Andy Guzauskas - General Manager

Holiday Cooking Class - A Prisco Tradition!- Tuesday, November 10, 2015

One tradition that sets Prisco’s apart from any of our competitors is our ongoing commitment to supporting food education via in-store cooking and entertainment classes. We have enjoyed the expert teaching experience of Phyllis Kramer, food educator and cooking aficionado. Phyllis has spent time traveling the world and picking up excellent recipes and unique cooking styles.

For those of you who have never attended one of our cooking classes, chances are one of them was our annual Holiday Cocktail Party -- by far our most popular cooking class event. This Friday evening, we will be doing it once again and there are still some seats available! 

So, what is in store for those of you will be joining us at this year’s Holiday Cocktail Party?

You will learn about preparing food in advance so you can have fun at your own party. Whether the party is at your house or you are bringing a dish to another gathering, from appetizer to dessert, you will come away from this class with a variety of ideas and options, including vegetarian & gluten‐free concepts. Phyllis will also discuss ways to balance a menu using chicken, fish/seafood, beef, pork, cheese, and vegetables, as well as how to garnish your party platters and how to make a beautiful holiday centerpiece. In addition, Phyllis will demonstrate how to prepare appetizers from cuisines around the world, and introduce her annual savory “cupcake” -- a surprise, for now. Retro is hot in the market and Phyllis will teach you how to impress with traditional concepts such as Cheese Fondue.

Megan, our new wine buyer, has been toiling away creating our annual cocktail, which is sure to please and will be like nothing you’ve ever tasted!  We will also suggest wine pairings and let you taste them!  

If you can join this Friday, you certainly won’t regret it. Why not give our store a call at 640-264-9400 and reserve your seat?   Class starts at 6:30 pm this Friday, 11/13. Registration fee is $45.00 per seat. Each participant will receive a $5 coupon good toward the purchase of food used in the class.
 

Hope to see you there.

Georgette Prisco

Easy Apple Cider- Tuesday, November 10, 2015

One of the best things about Autumn has got to be the seasonal produce; we've got pumpkins, winter squashes, pears, sweet potatoes, and, most prominently, apples. Apples are a clear favorite for many people, and it's not difficult to understand why: They are a remarkably versatile fruit. Apples are not only a wonderful addition to pastries and pies, but they work remarkably well in spicy or savory recipes such as curries and soups, and as a stuffing for pork.

One of the options that tends to get lost among all these other recipes, though, is pressed apples – or apple cider. How many people do you know who make their own seasonal cider? Probably not many, but it is becoming an increasingly common practice these days as folks start to focus more and more on organic foods and beverages.

So, why make cider at home? First of all, apple cider is delicious and easy to produce. Most importantly, however, unlike store-bought ciders, you have full control over what goes into your cider -- from the type of apples (sweet, tart, mild) to the secondary ingredients, if any.

Making cider at home can be a fun project for families as well, and it's a good excuse to get together. Why not take a couple hours out of your weekend to prepare some cider with your kids? Here is a relatively simple recipe to get you started:

Basic Apple Cider

[courtesy of imbibemagazine.com]

Ingredients

4 pounds of apples (makes one liter)

Tools

Apple corer

Sharp knife

Blender or food processor

Cheesecloth

Saucepan

Thermometer

1-liter glass jar with lid

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly wash apples. Core and cut into wedges, discarding any rotten or damaged parts.

  2. Puree apples in batches until they resemble a fine pulp. Let crushed fruit rest together for 30 minutes.

  3. Place pulp in a triple layer of cheesecloth and twist, squeezing the juice into a saucepan. Continue to squeeze and twist until all the juice is extracted.

  4. Pasteurize by briefly heating to 160 degrees. Be sure not to over-cook—you don’t want to melt away any of that fresh-pressed flavor.

  5. Return cider to a clean glass jar and cover. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Serve hot or cold. Makes about one liter of cider.

Interested moving beyond family-friendly cider? Homemade hard cider is also an option. Once you have prepared your basic cider as described above, you can use it to create your own alcoholic version. Depending on the amount of time you want to invest, you can control everything from the flavor to the amount of fizz your cider has.  Here are instructions for a novice brewer: http://www.howtomakehardcider.com/

 

Tips to avoid Holiday weight gain- Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Courtesy of www.webMD.com

So what's the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it's just a pound? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity. It is possible, however, to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound. "Portion control is the key."

Here are some tips to avoid that unwanted weight gain this Holiday Season.

1. Never Arrive Hungry

New York psychologist Carol Goldberg, PhD, says planning ahead can help you maintain discipline in the face of temptation. "Don't go to a party when you're starving," she warns. Try to have a nutritious snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate.

2. Divert Your Attention

People often forget that there's more to a holiday party than food, Goldberg tells WebMD. "Don't look at the party as just a food event," she says. "Enjoy your friends' company or dancing. Focus on something other than food." Chatting is a great diversion, whether you're at a small family dinner or a large party. "Take your mind off of food and focus on the conversation."

3. Pace Yourself

Have you ever tried telling yourself you'll only eat during the first half hour of a party? Goldberg says this strategy is a mistake. If you cram in as much as you can in half an hour, you chew faster. Chewing more slowly will fill you up with less food. Munch at a leisurely pace by putting your fork down between every bite. This puts you in control.

4. Count Your Canapés

When there are Canapés, it's easy to lose count of how many you eat. Keep track by stashing a toothpick in your pocket for each one. Set a limit and stick to it.

5. Outsmart the Buffet

When dinner is served buffet-style, use the smallest plate available and don't stack your food; limit your helpings to a single story. Go for the simplest foods on the buffet, fresh fruits and vegetables and shrimp cocktail are good choices. Watch out for sauces and dips."

6. Limit Alcohol

Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. It's not just about calories but about control. If you drink a lot you, won't have as much control over what you eat.

If you feel out of place without a drink, Goldberg suggests sipping water or club soda with a lemon twist , "so you have something to carry like everyone else."

7. Be Choosy About Sweets

When it comes to dessert, be very selective. "Limit your indulgences to small portions and only what is very sensual to you," Goldberg says. Her personal rule on sweets: "If it's going to have calories, it has to be chocolate."

8. Bring Your Own Treats

Whether you're going to a friend's party or an office potluck, consider bringing a low-calorie treat that you know you'll enjoy. Bringing your own dessert will make the more fattening alternatives less tempting.

9. Limit 'Tastes' While Cooking

If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, crack down on all those "tastes”. People lose their appetites when they've been cooking because they've been eating the whole time, For tried-and-true recipes, dare yourself not to taste the dish at all until it is served.

10. Walk It Off

Make a new holiday tradition: the family walk. Besides burning some extra calories, this will get everyone away from the food for a while.

 

Don’t Let Thanksgiving Food Preparation Overwhelm You- Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thanksgiving is three weeks away. Hopefully for everyone it’s a time of joy and, of course, thankfulness for all we have -- starting with those closest to us, our families. I know for some of you that means a trip home to be with your parents, brothers and sisters and extended families, or perhaps your in-laws. We hope that your trip is stress-free and filled with plenty of special moments and great eating. For most of the remainder of you, however, your house is the home that everyone will be heading to as they gather 'round the Thanksgiving table. It is to you folks that I’d like to address this version of our weekly newsletter.

As wonderful and memorable as they are, the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, can be a cause of great stress for the host family, especially for the person who does the planning, shopping, preparing, cooking, repackaging, and clean-up of all the food.  When it’s all over, how often have you said something like “I love having the family for the holidays, but it’s so much work, and seems like it’s over in fifteen minutes and I never feel like I had a holiday at all” ? I believe if we are honest, most of us feel that way at some point because the holidays just turn up the stress level in all of us.

What if we could still experience all the wonderful parts of this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with just a bit less stress?  It’s to that end that I’d like to offer a few suggestions that can go a long way toward making your holiday meal more pleasant for you, the cook. It’s a pretty safe assumption that your Thanksgiving meal will be centered around turkey. The nice thing about the turkey is that once it’s in the roaster and in your oven there is not too much you need do to your fine fowl until the thermostat says it’s finished.  After taking it out of the oven and letting it rest for a few moments, it’s most often someone else’s responsibility to carve it.  

So if the turkey isn’t the "beast of burden", just what is? Such a silly question, I know, but humor me. The real hassle is the myriad of other foods that go along with your turkey. There are the three to four vegetable dishes, the stuffing, the salads, gravy, cranberry relish, dinner rolls, wine, drinks for the kids, coffee, tea, pies -- and don’t forget a vegan dish for cousin Rita and her boyfriend. Each item takes plenty of time to shop for, prepare and cook, and then somehow you need to manage to have everything arrive on the dinner table at the same time, each dish at its desired temperature for maximum taste and enjoyment.

Ok, so far I’ve done a good job of telling you what causes you all that stress, but where is there a silver lining in this storm cloud? That is where Prisco's deli, bakery and kitchen come to the rescue.  Do you really feel it necessary to peel, boil and mash five to ten pounds of potatoes yourself?  What if someone did that for you?  Marisol our chef will be making large batches of cranberry relish, stuffing, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, and a cranberry fruit salad just to mention a few choices.

Everyone loves fresh baked bread, dinner rolls and, of course, pies, but don’t think for a moment that you need to spend two days before Thanksgiving baking.  Last year we introduced our extensive line of 9” Farmer’s Market pies and they were a huge success. When I say extensive, I mean just that! We don’t have only four varieties, or even eight. We have more than a baker’s dozen… In fact, we offer over twenty different home-baked pies that you and your guests will rave about. You probably already have plans to order your fresh HoKa turkey from us this year (as many of you have in the past)... Now tell me, who isn’t planning to serve at least a pumpkin and some other variety of pie? With so many different varieties to choose from it's often hard to make choices, so we’ve made that easier as well: This year for most varieties you can order either ½ or whole pies. So why not order one pumpkin, one pecan, a half peach praline and a half apple-raspberry, something for everyone’s taste? You will want to check out our different pies on the website by clicking here.

So if you want to turn down the stress and enjoy this Thanksgiving, let Prisco’s do the heavy lifting. Stop by the store and speak with any of our deli or bakery staff members to see what we can do to lighten your load.  We will do some of the drudgery work and no one needs to be the wiser.  And you will get to truly enjoy the holiday a lot more.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

 

Beth