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

My Account

Blog

Search:
Food Prep Tips to Ease Holiday Stress- Tuesday, December 5, 2017
  • Make it a cooperative meal. Why not split up the work of preparing a huge holiday meal by doing it cooperatively? This is more planned than potlucks, to which everyone brings whatever they fancy. For Christmas dinner, you will want to make sure that all the courses are covered, from appetizers to dessert. If every participant makes one or two items, no one comes to the event already feeling frazzled—or broke!

  • Don’t forget non-carnivores. If you’re going to be one of few vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free eaters at a holiday meal, offer to bring a main dish to share. Make it a heaping helping, because everyone will want some of what you’re having. Look at this as a good thing: what better way to promote healthy food than by showing how delicious these kinds of dishes can be?

  • Make use of alternate sources. Why get bogged down making side dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, lasagna, and cranberry relish? Call our deli at 630-264-9400 and order homemade and ready to serve -- or heat and serve -- foods from us.

  • Do some basic food ahead. Prepare some of the food days early so that your dishes come together quick when you need them, saving time when assembling. Here are a few things you can accomplish ahead of time:

    • Bake winter squashes to prepare for making pies, stuffed squash dishes, and the like.

    • Cook, bake, or microwave potatoes or sweet potatoes.

    • Cook grains, including brown rice, and even quinoa which cooks quickly, simply because it’s one less thing to do when you’re cooking for company.

    • If any salad dressings or sauces are in the plans, it’s fine to make them a day or two ahead.

    • Make bread crumbs or croutons.

  • Don’t fight getting help. Too often we like to be the hero (or perhaps the martyr) professing a “don’t bother, I’ll handle it” attitude. If someone asks to help with a holiday meal, offer them a task or assign a dish to bring. If not enough volunteers are forthcoming, speak up and enlist some! If you ask politely and sincerely, most people would love to be part of the holiday preparation.

 

Avoid Using a Clock if You Don’t Want to Ruin the Roast!- Tuesday, December 5, 2017

November and December are the two month’s every year when our meat department really shines and leads our store in sales opportunities. That’s because my grandfather Tony Prisco was a butcher’s butcher and instilled in every member of our family that we should never compromise quality for the sake of price impression. That was his rule, it was my Uncle Rob’s when he ran the store, and I am here to assure all our customers that nothing has changed…Quality is and always will be NUMBER 1 at Prisco’s.

If you check the competitions' ads over the next few weeks, you will find some unbelievably low retails on several holiday related meat items like bone-in rib roasts, whole beef tenderloin, and strip steaks and fillets. However, do yourself a favor and carefully read the qualifying description where you will see some very impressive terms, like “USDA Government Inspected Beef”.

Folks, no retailer in America can legally sell beef that is not inspected by the UDSA. That’s like saying their water has zero fat and zero calories. And USDA Inspected is a meaningless claim. What these retailers are not telling you is the grade of the beef. We sell only USDA Choice Angus Beef but some retailers pass off select or lower grades without mentioning them by masking the truth with the USDA Government Inspected smoke screen.

So… you’ve come to Prisco’s because you want the best quality for your family and friends, and for that we are truly grateful. Now, having made that decision and having invested in a top-quality roast or turkey, we want to help assure that you get the absolute best eating experience.

Here are the two most important things to always do when cooking a roast or fowl.

1. Never TimeAlways Temperature. Please use cooking times in recipes as a general guide only. Don’t rely solely on cooking your meat according to the time in the recipe. Invest in a meat thermometer. Beef, pork and lamb should all remain in the oven until the meat temperature reaches 145° F (no less than 130° F for rare). For poultry, the temperature needs to get to 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast or stuffing.

2. Let it Rest. When you take your roast out of the oven or off the grill the meat continues to cook from its own internal heat. If you don't allow your roast or bird to rest after removing it from the oven, the meat will lose juice. Resting allows some moisture to be re-absorbed by the meat. A roast is best rested for 10 to 20 minutes before carving, and 15 to 20 minutes is a good resting time for a turkey.

OK, so now that I’ve got you thinking about delicious holiday meats, I want to let you know about something new that our meat department is offering this year that we’d love to hear your comments on.

First, we will be offering what we like to call Dressed-To-Impress! Yes, when you are entertaining you always want to make a good impression and we feel that the center piece of your meal needs to do so as well. So, when you buy your holiday roast and steaks from Prisco’s you can be confident that every piece of meat will be carefully hand trimmed and prepared to give you not only delicious taste but a beautiful presentation as well.

Another new addition to our fresh meat offerings this year will be our Create-Your-Own Holiday Meat Platter. Here you will be able to choose from: Filet Mignon, Porterhouse Steaks, New York Strip Steaks, Ribeye Steaks, Lobster Tails, and Shrimp, and create a selection just to your liking. If you give us a 24-hour lead time, we will select and prepare exactly what your are looking for, and with input from you and advice from our experienced meat cutters and their manager, Dave, we can build a platter to fit your budget.

 

Hope I’ve got you thinking of a delicious Christmas Roast.

Andy

Thanksgiving’s Over – time to get ready for the next big event, Christmas- Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Wow, what an exciting week we just finished off. No doubt about it, the holidays are a great time to be in the food business. We saw so many people, baked so many pies, hauled so many fresh turkeys, and delivered so many bags of food to the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry Food Drive... and we loved every minute of it!

On Thursday we all took a breather and enjoyed Thanksgiving with our families. Being closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the blessings we get to enjoy as a family-owned business…no one expects us to be open trying to wring every last sale possible from needy shoppers. It’s so nice to know that all of our employees are home with loved ones, as it should be. However, that being said, it’s time to regroup and get the store ready for the next big holiday that always seems to get here sooner than expected, Christmas.

As you hopefully all know by now, we recently launched our new Customer appreciation program which we refer to simply as Prisco’s Points. From the feedback we have heard so far, the program has been well accepted by our shoppers and the vast majority of you are already beginning to reap the benefits. In the first two weeks of operation, several thousand neighbors have signed up and together you have earned almost 400,000 points. That’s exciting, and the best part is yet to come when you all check your totals and decide to start cashing in your points. Keep in mind two important things: Your points are yours and they don’t expire. So long as you identify yourself once a year with either your cell phone number or the Prisco’s Points card we gave, your account will remain open and accessible. You can redeem your points any time you like once you have acquired at least 300 points.

Here is another money saving benefit most people aren’t yet aware of: FREE MILK. That’s right, as part of our new program we are keeping track of your purchases and every time you buy a gallon of Prairie Fresh Milk we keep tally. In time, after 10 gallons are purchased, BINGO, you earn a FREE gallon just for being a member. Same is true for the fresh, hot LavAzza coffee sold in our café. Once you purchase 5 cups, the sixth is FREE.

This past Saturday was national Shop Local – Shop Small day, and to support the event we offered registered shoppers triple points. We are pleased to say that even though most people are enjoying the beautiful, balmy weather and putting up Christmas decorations or visiting local shopping malls, several hundred of our loyal customers still paid us a visit and earned a boat load of Prisco’s Points for doing so.

I mentioned earlier that there are close to 400,000 points waiting to be turned in for rewards, but I’m not certain everyone realizes just what you can redeem them for. Any time you want to know, simply visit our website and look for the link in the middle of our home page.

Be certain to check the list every month as it changes. To see our December offers, simply take a look at the back page of our new ad. We will constantly be on the lookout for great seasonal and otherwise timely items to offer as rewards, and we will always have a good selection available to meet the needs and desires of all shoppers.

 

Enjoy the Holiday Season and, as always, thank you for shopping at Prisco’s.

Andy

Christmas Baking- Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The first two weeks of December are traditionally our best weeks for selling baking ingredients as shoppers wind down a bit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping and spend time in the kitchen baking up loads of delicious Christmas cookies, fudge and other treats. If you find yourself looking for something different to bake this year, here are a few selections from our recipe collection.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Christmas Cranberry Pudding

Christmas Stollen

Eggnog Sparkle Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten-free Sugar Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

 

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.