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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Your mail person brings big savings- Tuesday, February 23, 2016

About a month ago, I wrote to all of our newsletter followers encouraging you to register on our website. I was very pleased to see that close to three hundred of you took me up on that offer...

The point I made in that newsletter is that as the world moves more toward the digital, we would be moving more of our advertising and promotional communications out of print and into email marketing and social media. This week is a good example of what that means. If you have taken the short time needed to register online, then within the past four or five days you should have received a postcard from our store with four very popular Buy-One-Get-One-FREE offers for our Homemade Italian sausage, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, Prisco’s famous frozen pastas, and fresh caught Atlantic salmon.

This is what is important: we plan to do this on a regular basis and offer folks who frequent our store some very HOT promotional offers. However, in order to afford to do so we can’t waste advertising dollars sending this type of ad in print to thousands of non-Prisco shoppers who may, but most likely won’t, respond. We have proven that we are far more successful sending promotional announcements like this to our known registered shoppers in smaller quantities with no waste in advertising reach.

So please, if you haven’t already done so, click on the link above and take five minutes to register on the website so that you receive future offers of this nature. Please be certain when you register to provide us with your correct mailing address (no P.O. boxes please, as we do not mail to P.O. boxes and businesses).

Take Advantage of our Weekly Online Only Savings Opportunity

About one year ago we launched our Prisco Shopper’s Choice Awards program. To date some of our regular shoppers have saved hundreds of dollars using this program. We named the program Shopper's Choice because this is an opportunity for you to select one of three deeply discounted offers on products people purchase every day. Hurry though, quantities are limited and when an offer is gone, it’s gone.

All special Shopper's Choice offers are available online at our website only, and you will want to visit regularly as we upload new offers every week.

Here is how it works:

  • Review the offers listed and select your favorite. You are allowed to pick one offer each week.

  • Once you click on the offer, simply print it out or save it on your smart phone or tablet and take it along on your next shopping visit to Prisco's Family Market.

  • Purchase the item offered at the register and our service manager will verify and activate redemption of the offer.

  • Be certain to check your account next week as we reload new offers.

 

Enjoy the Savings.

Andy

Short Ribs...never short on flavor!- Tuesday, February 23, 2016

If this is a cut of meat that you aren’t all that familiar with, we would like to help change that by giving you a bit of helpful information. There are two major cuts of beef ribs, back ribs and short ribs. Beef short ribs come from primal cuts below the more expensive beef cuts, the rib and the loin.

The best cut of beef ribs comes from the lower (ventral) section of the animal. The ribs in this region are called "short ribs" not because they are short in length, but because they come from a specific subsection called the short plate. The short plate is located right in front of another inexpensive, chewy but flavorful cut, the flank steak, and just behind another favorite cut for barbecue, the brisket.

Like ribeye steaks, beef ribs are well marbled with fat which is why they are rich in classic beef flavor. However, these muscles get a lot more work than other areas, such as the loin, so they are full of connective tissue and tendons. This makes the meat too chewy to be enjoyable if not prepared properly. The bones are almost straight with about 1-2" of meat on top, which makes them good for barbecue, and braising. When barbequed, they should be roasted low and slow with dry heat and a bit of wood smoke; this method results in a dark brown exterior and flavorful, tender meat. Cooking your ribs at low temperatures allows the connective tissues and fat to break down without drying out the meat.

The other recommended cooking method is braising. When simmered on low in a flavorful liquid as they do in France, you get very juicy and very tender, flavor-packed meat that has absorbed the richness of the braising liquid. In return, the meat has given up most of its innate essence to the greater good of the stew.

Another preparation method that works well for short ribs is tenderizing. First, you sprinkle the meat with a tenderizing agent, then you pierce/pound the flesh with a handheld meat tenderizer. This method results in very fine pieces of rare meat -- very juicy and beefy, and roughly equivalent to much more expensive beef cuts.

Now that you know a bit more about beef short ribs and how to best prepare them, here are some delicious recipe ideas.

 

Eating Healthy, Eating Local- Tuesday, February 16, 2016

In a previous post, I had written about healthier eating habits and the small things we can do to make ourselves healthier without sacrificing a lot. In a separate article, I talked about the importance of supporting local businesses. In our dedication to both philosophies, we are forming partnerships with local farms to bring you great products that are raised with TLC by people right here in our community. I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting with two such operations: Heritage Prairie Farms in Elburn and Bountiful Blessings Farm in Hinckley.

HPF is certified organic and is run by a couple of really awesome people, Nate Sumner and Jessica Impson. The husband and wife couple started the farm in 2009 and are having a blast with it. Nate and Jessica share a passion for great food, a great community, and a sustainable future. Upon learning of Nate’s background and connections, I instantly found that together, we can help make our community stronger.

Nate first studied culinary arts before finding his passion for farming and agriculture. He and Jessica soon developed a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program. Now, they offer pizza nights on the farm, host weddings, and are remodeling their farm stand! But the fun isn’t just limited to these events... I could tell from my first visit to the farm that every day at HPF is filled with fun and friends. The kitchen and office were packed with the farmers and helpers eating lunch, having a good time, and discussing what they wanted to do for the upcoming Valentine’s Day dinner.

Everyone was welcoming and friendly and I really cannot wait to see the farm in full swing when the weather turns!

We already carry their honey and microgreens, please come check it out!

Bountiful Blessings in Hinckley is run by Jeff and Kim Wielert, who are actually the old neighbors of Prisco’s very own Kevin Grimm! With 20 acres of farmland, Jeff and Kim have their hands full -- especially considering they still farm a lot of their products without machinery. In talking with Jeff and Kim, I instantly saw a passion for doing what they do, and making sure they produce a high-quality product.

While visiting the Wielert’s farm, I was able to see where the operation started and where it has come. Believe it or not, the Wielert family has been farming for well over 100 years! They even have family farming in Germany (although that operation is more dairy-based). Jeff studied horticulture at Kishwaukee College after being the Director of Christian Education in Atlanta. Jeff’s dad and mom are still involved at the farm as well as his wife Kim, his nieces and nephews, and friends.

As I mentioned before, a lot of their farming methods are still done by hand. In keeping their goal of a healthy, delicious product at an affordable price, they are currently investing in some post-harvest equipment to help them bring their delicious veggies to your table. They also employ organic and sustainable farming methods by using organic compounds to control pests and are constantly replenishing nutrients in the soil as allowed by USDA and ILDA. Jeff and Kim also have a CSA program that is growing year-after-year.

The common denominator of Heritage Prairie Farms and Bountiful Blessings is that they have a passion for what they do, and they want to make sure that you, the community, have the best possible products at an affordable price.

Unfortunately, weather won’t let us have their awesome products now, but I encourage you to start looking into these farmers. As we get nearer to sunny skies and a warm breeze, Prisco’s will be your place for local produce.

Both farms love sharing their stories. Reach out to them, visit their farms, and browse their websites! Know who is behind the food you eat! Shop smart, shop local!

http://www.heritageprairiefarm.com/

http://www.bountifulblessingsfarm.weebly.com/

 

Andy

P.S. We just found this local source of amazing preserves, jellies, and other delicious products from Michigan. They are already in the store, but read their story here: https://www.spoon.com/our-story

Cod – A Good Choice in Seafood- Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cod Fish has been a staple of the human diet all throughout history and the cod has had an immeasurable influence on modern western civilization. Approximately 10% of the world’s fish catch is cod.

In the United States, two similar but different cod species are harvested commercially: the Atlantic cod native to the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific cod, which can be found throughout the northern Pacific Ocean. Both of these cod species are part of a group of fish species often referred to as “groundfish” because they usually live on or near the ocean floor. Some other species in this group include pollock, haddock, hake, ocean perch, and flatfish.

The majority of cod currently landed in the United States is Pacific Cod. This fishery takes place off of the west coast of the U.S. and Alaska with the majority of landings from the Alaskan fishery. Pacific cod are harvested with trawl nets, long lines, and traps. Atlantic cod ranges from the Mid-Atlantic U.S. states through New England and the northern waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Canada, Greenland and Europe. Atlantic cod populations are currently believed to be low and strict management measures have been implemented to rebuild the population.

A cod surviving to a year old has virtually no predators from then onwards, other than man. It takes about three years for the cod to reach a weight of five pounds. Some codfish have been known to grow to the enormous size of 150 to 200 pounds. These days, however, a cod of over 10 pounds is considered a large cod.

Cod is a low fat, flaky white meat fish that is a good source of protein, phosphorus, niacin, and Vitamin B-12. A 3 ounce cooked portion of cod has less than 90 calories and one gram of fat, and 15 to 20 grams of protein. Its mild flavor puts it on the list of the top 10 fish favorites compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Preparation

Cod is flavorful on its own and doesn’t need a lot of added ingredients to make a tasty dish. Brush the fillets with olive oil, broil, then spritz the fillets with lemon juice for a quick and easy meal. Try baking fillets topped with tomatoes and low-fat cheese or mixing flaked cod with mashed potatoes, an egg white and seasonings for a cod cake. Cod also works well as a base for other flavors, so try giving it an Asian twist by topping it with a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, scallions and a touch of orange juice.

 

 

The Foods of Love- Tuesday, February 9, 2016

If you have a special someone in your life, you're probably already planning for or looking forward to this weekend: Sunday is Valentine's Day, the one day of the year dedicated exclusively to spending time with your significant other or spouse, and doing your best to make their day special. This can mean simply spending more time with them and/or buying them flowers or other gifts, all of which are great options, but there's one activity almost all couples indulge in on Valentine's Day... Sharing a special meal together!

Now, people often say the best way to a person's heart (man or woman!) is through their stomach, and cultures all over the world agree. Everyone is going to have an opinion on the best foods for inspiring love in another person, ranging from various types of seafood to fruits, herbs and vegetables. There's a traditional or folk remedy for everything, and aphrodisiacs are in a category all their own!

Looking to play Cupid this Valentine's Day? When you head to the restaurant for a meal out, or while preparing your own meal at home, try incorporating some of the following foods... And enjoy!

[info courtesy of smoothfm.com.au, care2.com & health.usnews.com]

Oysters & Caviar - These classic aphrodisiacs are packed with zinc, a mineral that supposedly increases libido. Why not start your meal with half a dozen oysters or some caviar, and a glass of chilled champagne (a classically romantic beverage)?

Truffles -Why truffles (the fungus, not the chocolate)? Probably due to their rarity and musky aroma. Truffles have long been considered a go-to food for arouse the palate and the mind.

Almonds - Thanks to their high vitamin E content, almonds help support female hormones, and have been seen as a fertility symbol for hundreds of years. Almonds can be sprinkled on top of salads or used as an ingredient in many luscious desserts.

Garlic - Garlic is considered an aphrodisiac primarily because it helps increase blood flow. As an ingredient, it's also incredibly easy to include in your meal: Garlic can be used as a seasoning in most main dishes, as well as in sides…. garlic mashed potatoes, anyone?

Chocolate - The neurotransmitters serotonin and anandamide both contribute to feelings of happiness and euphoria, and both are found in chocolate. Chocolate also happens to be the go-to Valentine's Day treat, and you would be remiss not to include it at some point in your evening!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

 

So, what do we really know about Valentine’s Day? - Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Speak with anyone you know and of course they'll have heard of St. Valentine’s Day. From our pre-school days onward we exchange cards and gifts with friends, and eventually, our love interests. But very few of us know much about the origins of the special day and just why it became such a meaningful annual event.

The story of its patron saint is shrouded in mystery. Truth be told, scholars can’t be certain exactly which St. Valentine deserves the credit for all the fuss. Turns out that in the annals of Catholic Church history there are no less than a dozen different St. Valentines. It turns out that Valentine, or “Valentinus” from the Latin word for "worthy, strong or powerful", was popular between the second and eighth centuries A.D. Several martyrs over the centuries have carried this name. Although there is no shortage of legends about the saint to whom we owe this day of love, one story that stands out and is most popular is that of a priest named Valentine who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial, which probably occurred around A.D. 270, others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written valentines didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.

No matter what the true and factual story is about Valentine’s Day, it’s a really nice day to look forward to and an opportunity to let our loved ones know just how much they mean to us, and that we love and care for them above all. Being that it’s celebrated in mid-February also makes it a nice break in an otherwise dreary, cold month which offers very little else to celebrate.

I hope that if nothing else this little Valentine’s Day history lesson puts you in the spirit of romance and has you yearning to find ways to express your love to that very special person in your life. If so, I’m pleased to let you know that we at Prisco’s are great supporters of “Amore”. We have lots of ways to help you say those three magic words, “I love you”. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Greeting cards

  • Roses, cut fresh in red and every color that you can imagine.

  • Candies and other sweets.

  • Wines and craft beers.

  • Our famous stem-on, hand-dipped, chocolate covered jumbo strawberries.

  • Consider our Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift bag which includes:

    • Surf 'N' Turf Combo Pack - Two (2) 5 to 6 oz. Canadian lobster tails, plus two (2) 6 to 7 oz. Filet Mignon.

    • Gourmet Strawberry Salad Bowl for two.

    • Your choice of one 750 ml. bottle of Turn Me Red, Turn Me Riesling or Turn Me Sweet wine.

    • Two jumbo stem-on, hand-dipped, chocolate covered strawberries.

    • Plus, your choice of a dozen 40 cm red, or 50 cm colored roses.

So no excuses now, we’ve given you lots of fair warning and plenty of romantic gift ideas. We wish the best to you and your true valentine this Sunday.

Enjoy the love,

 

Bridget

Giving Back to the Community- Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ever since I can remember, my family has taught me the importance of giving back to the community. Though as individuals we cannot solve the world’s problems, together we can make a difference. I was also encouraged to pick a few causes to support because if I spread myself too thin, it would be hard to make a difference.

I have picked a cause that I firmly believe is a growing concern in our community and around the globe: behavioral healthcare and providing role models for kids in the community. Family Counseling Service of Aurora (FCS) is an organization that is a great resource to our community, providing different varieties of counseling and programs.

Every day we are bombarded with news of school shootings, disgruntled employees feeling the need to take the lives of others, kids without role models joining gangs, and family’s that just don’t know how to get along. As much as we don’t like to hear these things, they can’t be ignored and we need to make an effort to eliminate them. Family Counseling Services, through its many programs, is looking to combat these issues as well as a variety of others.

I have already attended a number of events and have had a lot of fun while meeting many of the people that use the organization as a resource. One event that took place at Philip’s Park’s Mastodon Lake was the United Way Cardboard Boat Race. It was a lot of fun to see the community interact with great organizations such as Family Counseling Service and United Way, among others. Another fun event Prisco’s participated in was the Mac & Cheese bar for the City of Aurora’s First Fridays. Together, we served over 200 people in about 2.5 hours while informing the community of Family Counseling Service’s goals!

 

The next event Prisco’s is supporting is Bowl For Kids’ Sake. We are forming teams to “compete” against one another at Parkside Lanes, in an effort to support the growing need for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), a program run by FCS. BBBS takes kids in the community in need of a role model and matches them with volunteers that can be a friend, mentor, and guide. This is an extensive process that takes much screening and evaluating to ensure a safe, healthy relationship. The cost of supporting a “match” for one year is $1,000. Through our bowling teams, our goal is to raise $2,000 for BBBS through Bowl for Kids’ Sake. And that’s where we need your help! Here’s how you can help:

  • Make a donation to our cause: Every dollar you donate will stay right here in the community to support Big Brothers Big Sisters

  • Form a team of Prisco’s Customers: 4-5 people, and try to raise $100 per person. We will donate Prisco’s T-Shirts for your bowling team. If you are interested, please email Andy at andy@priscosfamilymarket.com

  • Sign up to be a “Big”. The wait list has grown to 25 boys and 10 girls that need a mentor.

 

Thanks for your support.

Andy

More healthy options for snacking!- Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Party food is our theme this week, and our intention is to help you make the best of Game Day and Mardi Gras celebrations. Last week our blog listed a number of snack alternatives for those of you who are inclined to pursue healthier food options. Here are a few more ideas that are tasty, but not commonly found on the party scene.

Bananas are good for your heart and nerves: Bananas contain a high dose of potassium - an essential ingredient in keeping your heart and nervous system in good shape. Bananas are also one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6, which helps the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy.

Ham and Jicama Wraps - 6 jicama or celery sticks, 3 slices of ham, and 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard for dipping. (74 Calories).

Jicama is low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant that helps protect the body from harmful free radicals. Vitamin C offers protection from cancers, inflammation, and viral cough and cold. It also helps prevent damage to collagen, which causes skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles.

Bagel Topped with Ricotta and Strawberries - Half of a whole-grain bagel, 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta, 1/3 cup sliced strawberries, and 1 tsp honey or agave nectar (for drizzling). (148 Calories)

The phenols in strawberries fight against many inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase in the same way that the drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen do. Strawberries, however, do not carry unwanted side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding. One cup of strawberries also contains 21% of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Manganese not only helps to fight the battle against free radicals and oxidative stress, but also lessens cellular inflammation - another cause of numerous cardiovascular diseases.

Whole-Grain Bread With Almond Butter and Peaches - 2 teaspoons almond butter and 1 slice toasted whole-grain bread. Top with 1/2 sliced peach. (135 Calories).

The number one health benefit of almond butter is that it is good for the heart. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the type of fats that reduce levels of cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart ailments. In addition, almond butter will not do any damage to your blood sugar levels. In fact, it can even help control levels of blood sugar in your body by reducing the sudden increase in blood sugar and insulin which usually happens after you eat a carbohydrate-packed meal.