Easy Summer Party Food

It’s summer in Minnesota, and if your calendar looks like mine, it’s clear that we all try to IMG_3005pack in as many gatherings as possible with family and friends during the social season – otherwise known as summer, a.k.a. road construction season. And to me, socializing goes hand in hand with fabulous food and drink!

I’ve noticed that my cooking class recipes have had a certain Summer theme: Food and drinks that are fast and easy (because our summers are SUPER busy!), don’t require much heat to prepare (because it IS occasionally hot in Minnesota!), and include ingredients that can be left out for a couple hours at an outdoor party without spoiling (olive oil, balsamic vinegars and spices are great for that!) Of COURSE these dishes are delicious, because otherwise, what’s the point?! (psst! don’t tell anyone they’re pretty healthy, too!)IMG_3003

So here is the handout from one of my recent cooking classes: Mediterranean Lifestyle Summer Party Recipes. Three quick and easy party food recipes and three yummy sangria recipes to get you started on your summer party menu planning. By the way, there are LOTS more recipes from my classes, so if you need more ideas, just stop by vomFASS at Mall of America or call us at (952) 426-3222. Ask to speak to someone about ideas for putting vomFASS products to work on a SMASH HIT menu for your next social gathering, whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish to pass!

Happy Summer Socializing, fellow foodies!

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Mediterranean Lifestyle: Whole Grains Cooking Class Recipes

Farro Arugula Salad

6 servings

Ingredientsminnesota-food-vom-fass-mall-of-america-cooking-class-1.jpg

Browse online for product details, then call us to order at 952-426-3222 so you can take advantage of our Rewards Club perks!  

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add farro and broth to a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to Farro and arugula saladmedium and simmer for 30 minutes. When farro is al dente, drain and rinse with cold water, then drain well. While farro is cooking, toast hazelnuts on a sheet pan for about 10 minutes, or until brown skins start cracking. Watch carefully to prevent over-toasting. Cool, then rub hazelnuts between your hands to remove brown skins. Chop slightly. Mix vinegar, olive oil and maple syrup with salt and pepper. Whisk or shake until combined. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Greek Quinoa Saladminnesota-food-vom-fass-mall-of-america-cooking-class-2.jpg

6 servings

Ingredients

Browse online for product details, then call us to order at 952-426-3222 so you can take advantage of our Rewards Club perks! 

DirectionsMinnesota Food vom Fass Mall of America Cooking Class Quinoa Salad

Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Let quinoa cool to room temperature or refrigerate to use later. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, and feta cheese.

To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and Greek Mix in a small bowl. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Mango Sorbet with Pineapple Curry Oatmeal Topping

Serves 8

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, combine oats, butter, olive oil, sugar, salt and curry. Spread on a sheet pan and toast for a few minutes in oven. Remove from oven and cool. Scoop ¼ cup servings of sorbet into serving dishes. Top with cooled crumble and drizzle with Plum Balsamic.

Browse online for product details, then call us to order at 952-426-3222 so you can take advantage of our Rewards Club perks! 

Easy, Delicious, Healthy Meals

One of our most popular classes is when we feature exciting new pizza / flatbread recipes. We create new recipes for each class that explore different cultures, healthy ingredients and surprising flavors. For example:

Spanish Coca Serves 2 – 4IMG_1521

Ingredients
1 C. boiling water              ½ C. raisins
½ C. walnut halves            1 small bunch Swiss chard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large pizza crust (gluten free, if desired)
4 T. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste
vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Famiglia, Red Pepper EVOO, or Truffle EVOO for drizzling

Directions
Pour water over raisins and let stand 15 minutes. Drain. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly golden, about 7 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove stems from chard, wash, and spin dry. Heat half of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 5 seconds. Add the Swiss chard and raisins. Sauté, tossing occasionally with tongs, until wilted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place greens on crust. Top with the walnuts and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Slide pizza onto stone and bake until toppings are hot and crust is browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove coca from oven and cut into wedges. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Drizzle with balsamic or olive oil, to taste.

Pear and Pomegranate Salad Serves 6Minnesota Food Salad vomFASS Mall of America

Ingredients
1 lb mixed salad greens or baby spinach
2 ripe pears, sliced
4 T. chopped walnuts
½ C. gorgonzola, goat or feta cheese, crumbled
4 T. vomFASS Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
4 T. vomFASS Walnut Oil
vomFASS Sea Salt and Pepper

Directions
Divide salad greens onto individual serving plates.  Arrange a pear slices on greens.  Sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Drizzle over salads.  Serve immediately.

Chili Mango Shrimp Cilantro Pesto Pizza Serves 2 – 4Minnesota Food Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America image

Ingredients
Mango Shrimp
8 – 12 medium sized raw shrimp, skins, tails and veins removed
2 T. vomFASS Chili Sunflower Oil (may substitute Lemon EVOO for all or part of Chili Oil for less spicy)
1 T. vomFASS Mango Balsamic Star
1 clove minced garlic
½ t. vomFASS Chili con Carne spice blend
vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste

Cilantro Pesto
3/4 C. fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 C. parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped           2 T. pine nuts
¼ C. Cheese Bros. Parmesan, grated      ½ C. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ t. vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt      vomFASS Peppercorn Mix

Directions
Mango Shrimp
Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a glass bowl or zip top bag. Add shrimp and marinate 15 – 20 minutes; no longer, as shrimp will break down in acidity. Empty shrimp and marinade into hot pan. Toss just until cooked through. Finish with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Cilantro Pesto
Add greens, garlic and nuts to food processor. Process until chopped. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir in Parmesan.

Pizza
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread pesto mixture onto crust. Top with Shrimp. Bake until toppings are hot and crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.

 

 

 

2017 Community Giving Criteria

If you are a customer of vomFASS (registered in our Customer Rewards Club) and are

Silent Auction Donation
Multiply our community support investments by bidding high and often when you see our gift baskets at fundraising events!

actively involved in a non-profit organization that meets the criteria below, we would be pleased to consider your request for our support. Please note that we get many requests every year, and unfortunately can’t contribute to all of them.

Contact us at info@vomfasstwincities.com with a description of your organization, including a link to a Facebook page or website, along with the nature and date of the event you are asking us to support.

We consider donation requests that meet at least five of the following criteria:

  • Organization’s mission is aligned with our values, including health, wellness, family and quality of life
  • Organization / event benefits a group, not just an individual
  • Organization / event is within a 20 mile radius of our shop location
  • Includes a marketing opportunity for vomFASS with a demographic that aligned with vomFASS target market.
  • Organization has 501(c)3 nonprofit status
  • A vomFASS customer (registered in vomFASS Twin Cities Rewards Club) is actively involved in the organization / event
  • A vomFASS team member is actively involved in the organization / event

For requests that we decide to support, we require a member of the requesting organization / event to come to vomFASS to pick up our donation.

2017 Community Giving – Q1

One thing I love about being a small business owner is being able to pursue my passion for teaching people how to create easy, delicious and healthy meals for the benefit of our community.

In the first quarter of 2017, we donated more than $4,500 retail value in gift baskets, products and class tickets to silent auctions and other events sponsored by 13 different local non-profit organizations and schools. Our gifts have supported local children, people who suffer with chronic disease or mental illness, and veterans, to name a few. 

I’m especially delighted to support Touchstone Mental Health programs and clients. I’m a member of Touchstone’s board of directors and I’m so impressed with their programs and impact on our community and individuals affected by mental illness! 

We can’t support this many requests every quarter, but if your organization’s need meets our Community Support Criteria, we would be happy to hear from you. We especially enjoy supporting causes that are important to our customers.

We will be working on the list below to add links to the organization’s webpages, where possible, so you can learn more about the good they are doing in this world. Perhaps you’ll find one that you’d like to support along with us! 

Organizations / communities supported in 2017 – Q1
Forget-Me-Not2
German American Institute
Diving a Dream
Normandale Community College
Math and Science Academy
Bethany Academy
Second Harvest Heartland
RSTEM Ladies Night In Vendor Fair
Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs
Jefferson Jive
Spare Key
Rockin for Rescues
A Heart for Nick
Touchstone Mental Health

Chili Mango Shrimp & Sautéed Green Beans

The food has to been delicious and satisfying, especially when I’m giving my img_1503body a break from carbs and sugars! I see it as an opportunity to step up my menu planning to meet the challenge. So far, so very good!

Chili Mango Shrimp  Serves 4

Ingredients
24 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T. vomFASS Chili Sunflower Oil (may substitute Lemon EVOO for all or part of Chili Oil for less spicy)
2 T. vomFASS Mango Balsamic Star
1 clove minced garlic
½ t. vomFASS Texas BBQ spice blend
½ t. vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt
Freshly ground vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend, to taste
Cilantro, chopped, as garnish

Directions
Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, half the salt and a few cranks of pepper in a glass bowl with cover or zip top bag. Add shrimp and marinate 15 – 20 minutes. Do not marinate longer, as shrimp will break down in the acidity.  Empty contents of bag or bowl into hot stir-fry pan. Toss just until cooked through. Finish with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately or chill to serve as an appetizer. In the unlikely event of leftovers, try tossing with salad greens and drizzle with a dressing of oil and vinegar.

Garlic Sautéed Green Beans Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb. Fresh green beans
2 T. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend, to taste

Directions
Steam green beans to tender crisp, about 3 – 4 minutes. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium burner. When the oil is shimmery, add green beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until beans are lightly browned/blackened.

Cara Mia Hot Chocolate

Yes, I have made certain New Year’s resolutions that align better with salads than hot caramiahotchocchocolate, but I believe that dolce decadence has a place in my definition of a quality lifestyle, more or less in moderation! And it incorporated one of our newest delicious liqueurs – Cara Mia Caramel Vodka! This recipe will go a long way toward inspiring gratitude for winter!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 4 shots of vomFASS Cara Mia caramel liqueur, to taste

Whipped cream topping

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
  • ½ t. vanilla
  • vomFASS Cinnamon, ground, for garnish

Directions

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Whip cream with mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla. Divide hot chocolate between 4 mugs. Add Cara Mia liqueur. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon. Enjoy!