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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'Tis the season for something soothing…- Tuesday, December 20, 2016

With Christmas rapidly approaching, it can be difficult to relax and simply enjoy the season. The weather has been bitterly cold and we've already had a couple of large piles of snow dumped into our laps; in spite of the inconvenience, though, you have to admit that -- with pristine white snow yet on the ground -- it's a beautiful landscape we are presented with. One well worth taking a load off and appreciating for a while from the comfort of our homes.

Now, most peoples' go-to for staying warm in the winter time is a hot meal, with soups and stews being especially popular, but where's the fun in that? Okay, yes, cooking and eating a good meal is a wonderful way to de-stress and get back some of that lost heat, but for a truly pervasive comfort, your best bet is something belly-warming and boozy.

Seasonal and Winter Wines

[info courtesy of food52.com & biltmore.com]

Unless you live someplace balmy, January is probably not the time you feel like drinking wines that are light, or crisp, or especially refreshing. Instead, think about wines that have layers, like the way you dress when it's cold. Wines that have texture and layers have a lot of dimension to them, in terms of aroma and taste.

Full-bodied reds are king in winter since they pair well with heartier dishes, but sparkling wines have a starring role at the holidays, too. Here is a list of good winter wines:

  • Malbec

  • Syrah

  • Zinfandel

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Bordeaux Blend

  • Oaked Chardonnay

  • Sparkling Wine

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Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a classic. But it’s easy to find versions (especially from bars and restaurants) that are too sweet or overly spiced. This drink has the perfect balance of flavors, and making it yourself means you can spice up your life as much as you please.

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle red wine (750ml) merlot

  • 1/4 cup brandy

  • 3 cups unsweetened apple cider

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise

  • 1 tsp cloves

  • 3 star anise

  • 1 cup chopped orange

Instructions

In a large pot on low-medium heat, bring the wine, brandy, apple cider, and honey to a low boil.

Add the cinnamon, vanilla bean, cloves, and star anise. Turn down the temperature to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Just before serving add the chopped citrus. Mulled wine can be left on the stove to heat for many hours. It can also be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day.

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Mulled Ciders

[info courtesy of thekitchn.com]

Hot mulled cider is a must-have for winter gatherings, or just spending a quiet day at the house. It's probably a holdover from when we all lived in New England and the frigid winters necessitated lots of hot beverages. The great thing about making mulled cider is that it's relatively uncomplicated, and a good cider can be made in your slow cooker; the recipe can be started in the morning before you head to work or go about your household chores. When you get home or finish your tasks for the day, your house will smell amazing -- and you'll be able to kick off your shoes and wash away the day's troubles with some liquid comfort.

Recipe:

Slow-Cooker Spiked Mulled Cider

Makes about 16 (8-ounce) drinks

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider or unfiltered apple juice

  • 1 medium orange

  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger

  • 5 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

  • 5 star anise pods

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups bourbon, brandy, or dark rum (or more to taste)

  • Orange slices, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Pour the cider or juice into a 5-quart or larger slow cooker.

Cut the orange into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Cut the ginger into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add both to the slow cooker.

Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise. To make it easier to serve, place the cloves and star anise pods in a tea ball first, or place in a double layer of cheesecloth or coffee filter, gather it up into a sachet, and tie closed with kitchen twine.

Cover the slow cooker and cook until the flavors meld, 4 hours on LOW. Add the bourbon, brandy, or rum and stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld. Keep warm and serve in mugs garnished with orange slices.

Recipe Notes:

  • Apple cider: Buy fresh apple cider or unfiltered apple juice for the best flavor. Do not use sparkling cider, spiced cider, hard cider, or clear apple juice.

  • Storage: Leftover cider can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Boozy Cocktails

[info courtesy of greatist.com]

Sometimes you want a bit more of a punch -- no pun intended -- when it comes to relaxing at the end of a long day. The great thing about cocktails is not only are they more potent than mulled ciders, but they can be made individually rather than in batches. You can also add some festive elements to them to help you relax and get into the season even if you are tired and stressed.

Recipe ideas:

Spiced Apple Cider Champagne Cocktail

Got five minutes? Then you have plenty of time to make this delicious cocktail. Simply mix fresh apple cider with champagne and apple brandy, and the drink is ready. To make them look slightly fancier, add a cinnamon stick to each glass.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces apple brandy

  • 2 ounce fresh apple cider

  • 3-4 ounces chilled champagne

Instructions

Pour the apple brandy into the bottom of each glass. Add the champagne and top with a splash of the fresh apple cider. Enjoy!

 

Hot Buttered Hazelnut Whisky

Even those who don’t care for the taste of whiskey can get behind this winter beverage. With only four ingredients (six if you include whipped cream and cinnamon), it’s easy to have this hot and ready in minutes. Snow days just got WAY better.

Ingredients

  • 4 parts milk

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 parts whisky

  • 1 part Frangelico or hazelnut liquor

  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream per individual serving pinch of cinnamon (for garnish)

Instructions

Bring the milk and cinnamon stick to a simmer in a thick-bottomed pot over low heat. Allow to gently simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly (if you don’t stir constantly, the milk on the bottom of the pan will start to cook onto it, and the next time you stir the pot little cooked milk bits will mix into the liquid. Not so fun.) Remove from heat, remove the cinnamon stick, and pour the milk into the serving glass. Add the whiskey and the hazelnut liquor and stir to combine. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve immediately.

 

Christmas Coffee Cocktail

Four different kinds of booze and strong coffee may sound like a dangerous combination, but it’s worth the experiment.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz strong coffee

  • 1 1/2 oz amaretto liqueur

  • 1 1/2 oz coffee liqueur

  • 1 oz butterscotch schnapps

  • 1 oz creme de cocoa

  • fresh whipped cream

  • grated chocolate, for garnish

Instructions

Combine strong coffee and liqueurs in a glass. Stir to combine and top with fresh whipped cream. Garnish with grated chocolate.

Serve warm or over ice.

 

Why not make your own Christmas Stollen this year?- Tuesday, December 13, 2016

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the holidays is the food. In addition to their more formal religious and/or social significance, both Christmas and Thanksgiving are, quite simply, excuses to indulge ourselves, and most people will agree that desserts feature quite high on the list of must-haves for both occasions.

Thanksgiving has now come and gone, but Christmas is right around the corner. You still have about ten days before it officially arrives, so don’t procrastinate! Now is actually a great time to start planning which treats you are going to serve, and experiment a bit if you want to try something more exotic. For those of you who have not done a lot of baking in the past, it’s a great opportunity to hone your skills.

So, what are your options? To help get you thinking, here is a list of both common and traditional desserts.

 

 

Why not make your own Christmas Stollen this year?

Here is what you will need:

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup mixed candied fruit

  • 2 Tbsp. brandy

  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup almonds, ground

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp cardamom, ground

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

You can find this recipe here.

 

Holiday Appetizer Ideas- Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It’s the season for holiday parties. You may be hosting one and the chances are good that you will be invited to one or more. Since these invitations often come with a request that you bring an appetizer to pass around, we thought we’d offer up a few suggestions.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Cashew Ranch Dressing

Preparation: 15 min. Cooking: 35 min. Total: 50 min.

What you will need

  • 1 Cup chickpea flour

  • 4 fl. oz. non-dairy milk (more if needed)

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 3 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1 heads

  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil (or coconut oil)

  • 4 fl. oz. hot pepper sauce

  • 1 Cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed

  • 4 fl. oz. non-dairy milk (more if needed)

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tsp fresh chives or dill

  • 3 tsp fresh parsley

  • 3 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

 

Dates - Stuffed & Wrapped 

Preparation: 15 min. Cooking: 20 min. Total: 35 min.

What you will need

  • 24 pecan halves

  • 24 large pitted dates

  • 2 Oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1/4 lb. sliced prosciutto

  • freshly ground black pepper

 

Asiago-Rosemary Crisps

Preparation: 5 min. Cooking: 20 min. Total: 25 min.

What you will need

  • 1 Cup Asiago cheese, grated

  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 2 tsp fresh minced rosemary

 

Oysters Rockefeller 
Preparation: 15 min. Cooking: 10 min. Total: 25 min.

What you will need

  • 1 packages, cooked according to directions

  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted and divided

  • 3 tsp fresh lemon juice

  • 3 tsp anise-flavored liquor

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, hot

  • 24 shucked, fresh oysters

  • 1/4 Cup plain dry breadcrumbs

  • 6 bacon slices, precooked, crumbled

 

Hot Crab Dip

Preparation: 10 min. Cooking: 30 min. Total: 40 min.

What you will need

  • 1 Lb. cream cheese, softened

  • 3/4 Lb. crab meat, drained and flaked

  • 1/2 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 4 Tbsp. chopped green onions, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp. dry white wine (optional)

  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish

  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce

  • 1/4 Cup sliced almonds

  • assorted crackers

 

Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops 

Preparation: 15 min. Cooking: 5 min. Total: 20 min.

What you will need

  • 1 Lb. sea scallops, trimmed, rinsed, patted dry

  • 1 tsp lemon pepper

  • 1/2 Lb. bacon slices cut in half

  • toothpicks

 

 

A selection of Christmas cookies to try your hand at!- Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Home baking has become something of a lost art in this hustle, bustle world we live in, and we think it’s a good time to consider a day of baking for you and perhaps your children or grandchildren. It is a wonderful way to bond in the holiday season, and this way everyone feels that they have contributed to the family Christmas cookie collection.

See if one or more of these recipes might be added to your traditional list of Christmas Cookies.

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Anise Cookies

Preparation:  15 min. Cooking: 10 min. Total: 25 min.

Ingredients needed
2 eggs
1 Pint shortening
1 Cup sugar
4 Fl Oz orange juice
2 tsp anise seed
1/4 Cup all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. sugar

Eggnog Sparkle Cookies

Preparation:  120 min. Cooking: 10 min. Total: 130 min.

Ingredients needed
1 Cup salted butter, softened
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
4 fl. oz. eggnog
1 1/4 Pint flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 1/4 Oz red decorating sugar (1/3 cup)
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Preparation:  20 min. Cooking: 8 min. Total: 28 min.

Ingredients needed
1 1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 Pint sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Pint flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

 

Coconut Snowball Cookies

Preparation:  20 min. Cooking: 10 min. Total: 30 min.

Ingredients needed
1 Cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp coconut extract
1 Pint flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb. white chocolate bar, chopped, or white chocolate chips
1 1/2 Pint sweetened shredded coconut


Pfeffernusse Cookies

Preparation:  15 min. Cooking: 15 min. Total: 30 min.

Ingredients needed
1 3/4 Pint all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (necessary)
1/2 tsp ground cloves, ground
1/2 tsp cardamom, ground
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
1 Cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
4 Tbsp. dark molasses
1 egg
powdered sugar

Swedish Heirloom Cookies

Preparation:  15 min. Cooking: 20 min. Total: 35 min.

Ingredients needed
1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 Cup sorghum flour
1/2 Cup tapioca starch
2 tsp tapioca starch
1/2 Cup almond meal
3 Tbsp. almond meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

 

 

Some last minute ideas for stocking stuffers you can get at Prisco’s- Tuesday, December 22, 2015

  • Fine Chocolate Bars – our checkers have a delicious imported chocolate bar at the registers in several yummy flavors priced at just 2/$5.

  • Jumbo navel oranges – traditional children’s gift dating back to the early 19th century when fresh fruit was hard to come by in the winter.

  • Jars of local honey from Charles & Karen Lorence, your neighbors and our great customers.

  • Hand-made, all natural hand soap and skin lotion made by another neighbor and loyal customer, Maria Skokan (and her family). Check out her wonderful Aroma Roots all natural products.

  • Perhaps a bag of 2-Brothers custom blended coffee, another well known local success story.

  • Tea or Favored Coffees, your preference – don’t miss our wide assortment of Coffee Drop Shoppe loose-leaf teas and 4 oz. packages of coffee currently being featured at just 3/$10.

  • Don’t miss the great selection of premium nut meats and chocolate covered nuts and candies in our produce department. The cashews are so large they take two bites each.

Spicing up a holiday side dish with family tradition.- Tuesday, December 15, 2015

One side dish that has found its rightful place in the hearts and stomachs of America is (depending on family tradition) called either stuffing or dressing. For simplicity we will use the term stuffing, but feel free to substitute "dressing" at any time you prefer.

Most often we think of this dish as a required side for turkey, but there are also those who will offer up stuffing as a part of a pork roast meal. Stuffing begins as a bland base of bread or rice which then invites embellishment. Depending upon your tastes, national blood line or family tradition, it’s the additional ingredients that make each type of stuffing unique and loved by each household. Ingredients such as sausage, nuts, fruit, mushrooms, and shellfish combine in countless permutations. In contrast to the more predictable turkey, stuffing is the frisky, occasionally outlandish, personality of the holiday table.

If you hale from our East Coast, oyster-stuffing may be your holiday tradition. Thanks to railroad distribution in the 19th century, oysters, and oyster stuffing, penetrated the middle of the country. Great gastronomical doyenne M.F.K. Fisher argued that it was probably a bigger deal in the middle of the country than along the coasts: "Not every man could buy [oysters], God knows, and a Middle Westerner was even prouder than a man from Down East to have those shell-fish on his feast-day."

Southerners, tend not to use the term stuffing and prefer "dressing". In the south, cornbread is used as the base rather than white bread, which delivers a livelier texture and flavor. Adding andouille sausage gives it a Cajun vibe, and green chiles provides a Southwestern inflection.

Looking for some different ideas this holiday season? Why not give one of these recipes a try? Who knows, it might just start a whole new tradition in your family.

5741

Cornish Hens with Bacon Stuffing

3043

Crown Roast of Lamb with Cornbread Stuffing

20816

Crown Roast of Pork with Walnut-Rhubarb Stuffing

1262

Dried Fruit Stuffing

6745

Garden Vegetable Stuffing

4999

Glace Pineapple Poultry Stuffing

11165

Holiday Berry Stuffing

8177

Kluss' Pineapple Stuffing for Ham

3315

Lamb Chops with Cinnamon Raisin Stuffing

1255

Oyster Stuffing

20802

Pomegranate Sausage Stuffing

2512

Pork Roast with Herb Stuffing

2961

Rack of Lamb with Orange Carrot Stuffing

11286

Roast Chicken with Apple Stuffing and Cider Sauce

11281

Roast Chicken with Spiced Winter Vegetable Stuffing

2872

Roast Goose with Apricot & Currant Stuffing

1326

Roast Goose with Cranberry Orange Stuffing

2202

Roast Turkey with Cranberry-Sausage Stuffing

8188

Ted's New England Turkey Stuffing

1266

Turkey Breasts with Dried Fruit Stuffing

 

 

A few simple tips to make your Christmas dinner party memorable and enjoyable for all.- Friday, December 19, 2014

1. Plan ahead - Be careful not to choose too many dishes that need a lot of last-minute attention. Put some thought into planning your menu. It is better to prepare a few different dishes well rather than to spread yourself too thin. Quality over quantity!

2. Pre-order Christmas meat - Christmas is a busy time of year and you don’t want to be caught short with limited choices. Call our meat department (630) 264-9401 several days ahead of time to order your beef roast, ham, pork roast, or turkey.

3. Remember your non-meat eating guests – Be certain to have a number of non-meat and non-dairy options available to satisfy the needs of your vegan and vegetarian guests.

4. Get creative with your Christmas table - One way to add color and personal touches is with napkins - and you don't need to be an expert napkin-folder. Simply roll napkins and wrap with contrasting ribbon in satin, velvet, lace, sequined elastic, or brightly colored wool. Visit craft or fabric stores to find something unique. For a final touch, add a sprig of holly, bells or candy canes.

5. Cook the day before - Prepare as many ingredients ahead of time as possible – desserts can usually be made the day before, and the same is true of several side dishes.

6. Enjoy the day - Remember, Christmas is a time to celebrate and have fun with family and friends. Pre-plan where you can, stick to your budget, get everyone involved and make this the best Christmas ever!