Get Ready For Game Day with These Football Themed Appetizers

It’s time for the big game! And you know what that means? Hot wings, nachos, buffalo chicken dip and there’s more where that came from. Now the struggle most people face is whether or not to stick with that “new year, new you” healthy eating resolution, or have one giant cheat day that (let’s be honest) will lead to more. But, here at Bishop’s Orchards we have the solution that will keep you on track with your New Year’s resolution. We’ve broken down this year’s game day appetizers into three trends so that way, whether you’re cooking for the kids, trying to eat clean, or just want to enjoy classic football foods, there’s sure to be one that fits your eating habits.

Trend #1 – Make Your Favorite Football Appetizers, Healthy Ones

sweet potato nacho recipeHalf the fun of watching football is that you get to eat and make all kinds of tasty appetizers. The down side being, it’s not exactly healthy for you. However, there is a way to put a healthy twist on your favorite football foods, without having to give them up altogether. Instead of loaded nachos, try sweet potato nachos with all your favorite toppings. Still the same great taste, but better for you. Or, how about that oh so delicious buffalo chicken dip – just get light cream cheese and low fat cheese and you have yourself a healthy version of this game day crowd pleaser. Whether you add some vegetables to your platters, make lighter versions of your favorite dips, or use fruit for desserts, there’s a way to substitute the high fat, sugary football foods for healthier ones.

Trend #2 – Shape Your Snacks into Footballs

Want to get the kids involved? I can’t think of a better way than by making football shaped snack foods! From football cupcakes, to chocolate covered strawberry footballs, even dark rye grilled cheese footballs. Turning these simple kid-friendly foods into fun-shaped treats is super easy, and the kids will love it. You can even do something as simple as cheese and cracker footballs. All you have to do is get your favorite cheese, some pepperoni, and draw the laces on with some ranch. The ideas on Pinterest are endless, so make sure to check them out – bring any of these to your party the kids and adults will consider you and your food a hit!

Trend #3 – Add Apple Cider to Your Tailgate Recipes

apple cider bbq chicken wings recipe

Drinking apple cider is only half the fun of football in the fall, so why not wrap up the season by adding it into your food, too! By switching up recipes like pulled pork, chicken wings, and BBQ sauce, and adding apple cider to them, it will give a sweet and tangy twist on some of your tailgating favorites. Serve these up and they’re sure to not only be a hit with the adults, but the kids will enjoy them as well.

Now that football and food are on the brain, start to think about what you’ll be putting on your table this upcoming weekend and stop into Bishop’s Orchards to get the items you need to make your all time favorite football appetizers, today! AND make sure to check out our recipe page for more game day appetizers, recipes, and ideas.

Healthy Kids Lunches

Clean eating as an adult is an everyday struggle for most. We’re constantly trying to adjust our eating habits to prevent consumption of excess sugar, and processed foods that are high in fat. At Bishop’s Orchards, we believe that it’s important to reaffirm healthy eating not just for adults, but for kids as well. By promoting a healthy lifestyle for kids and showing them how healthy food can taste good, it will help them to establish their own mindful eating habits. Sarah, Marketing Director at Bishop’s, and mother of two is the driving force behind this initiative. She shares, “A lot of parents, myself included, think ‘what’s the quickest thing I can make for lunch while also being healthy for the kids?’” So, the Bishop’s team has set out to make nutritional choices for children as easy as 1-2-3, by providing healthy snack and lunch options that are affordable, easy to prepare, and that your kids will crave!

FEATURED PERSONALITY: Sarah Bishop DellaVentura

Sarah Bishop is the sixth generation of the Bishop clan to step into the day-to-day operation of Bishop’s Orchard, family owned and operated since 1871. While Bishop’s has always been in the family, ending up there was not always Sarah’s plan. A business and marketing major while at college in Boston, she initially had no intention of returning to the family business until she considered the alternative. “I didn’t want to see what they had built sold off or end with the 5th generation. I started to embrace it and realized I had an interest in continuing the legacy. Now I’ve been back for 11 years.” Sarah stepped into the business and curated Bishop’s own in-house marketing program. What began as a one-woman department has now grown into 4 employees and Sarah is continuing to expand; she will be overseeing general operations come 2018

A Farmer’s Tan…

As I look at my drone photo of our new ground solar array, the shape like an arm, it reminds me of my wife lovingly teasing me about my farmer’s tan, my arms darkened by hard work under the sun, yet my shirt blocking the rays completely, like the panels shading the grass. Our new solar array is engineered to maximize (hence the shape) the harvest of the sun’s rays on our New England hillside that was formed by glaciers, only letting reflected light get to the grass below. With shallow soils and exposed ledge, it was a wonderful sledding hill for me and generations of Bishop children, even when Christmas trees grew there! But now we’re growing kWh – kilowatt hours- that will displace fossil fuels to power about 80% of our farm’s annual electric usage, and power our Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers that are free for public use via our installation agreement with CT DEEP.

Start Off the New Year With Healthy Kids Lunches

Why wait for the kids to go back to school in the fall to start healthy eating habits. Now that it’s a brand new year, start now with something as simple as tweaking their school lunches! We’re all a little guilty of walking into the supermarket and going down the aisles with the prepackaged, sugary foods and putting them in our shopping cart, simply because it’s easier. But, eating healthier and shopping healthier doesn’t have to be a chore. By stopping into Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market and picking fresh, farm market foods for kids lunches, they will not only benefit by having more energy during the school day and teach them healthy eating habits, but you’ll save money as well. So, let’s take a look at a few ways you can make your kids lunches a little bit healthier and meal prep a little bit easier this New Year:

Make Your Own Lunchableskids healthy school lunches
Plastic meal prep containers work great when it comes to making kids lunches. The divided compartments make it easy to provide items from each food group, and they’re reusable! These containers also store really well so you can pack lunches in advance and be prepared for the week. Get smaller ones with only a couple compartments and create a snack pack – something as simple as grapes and trail mix. And make a larger one with PB&J, some blueberries and pretzels for a lunch pack. If your kid is an ambitious eater, go for something a little fancier. Something like whole grain pasta, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and some cubed salami will go a long way and can easily be tossed together or eaten separately.

Get Creative with Sandwiches
Pinwheel or rollup sandwiches are a healthy and easy alternative to a regular sandwich. Grab a wheat tortilla, some turkey and cheese, roll it up, cut it into slices, and use a toothpick to hold it together. You can even do the same with some cucumber and hummus, easily making a few lunches for the week. Or, if your kids prefer regular sandwiches, substitute with the healthy ingredients, and make use of your cookie cutters by cutting them into a fun shape for a great surprise when they open their lunchbox.

Give Them Healthy Snacks
Fruit is a great go-to healthy snack, but sometimes it’s hard to preserve it. So stick with something like strawberries or blueberries that can be cut up and put in a container for the week without going brown. Fruigees squeezable fruit snacks are also perfect for kids if you’re looking to get them to eat more fruit, and the Green Mountain Creamery squeezable yogurts are perfect for the yogurt lover in your family. Carrots and peanut butter, cheese sticks, hummus and pretzel cups, and the 88 Acres or That’s It fruit bars are a healthy snacking option and provide a good alternative to chips if they prefer munching on something crunchy. Fruit leather makes for a great snack as well, AND it’s easy to make yourself – you don’t even have to add any sugar to it!

Replace the Sugary Juice Box with a Fruity Natural One
Not only can you trust that you’re giving your kid’s a healthy fruity drink when you buy Kuji or Honest Kids juice boxes, but if you freeze them the night before, they can double as an ice pack inside their lunchbox! And for an extra special treat, we have 6-pack ciders that are the perfect size for a school lunch. Lunch box smoothies are also a fun and healthy option. Grab some of your favorite fruits and vegetables, blend them up, and freeze them. By lunchtime, they’ll be slushy enough to eat!

While those prepackaged supermarket foods seem easier, they’re not always healthier. So, the next time you walk into the grocery store and go to reach for those sugary snacks, don’t give in. Instead stop in to Bishop’s Orchards and pick up the fresh produce and farm market items that will make your kids lunch, a healthier one.

Top 10 Gift Ideas From Bishop’s Orchards

It’s always tough to find the perfect gifts for all the people in your life. Whether it be the mailman, your in-laws, or your kid’s favorite teacher, picking out something small yet thoughtful can be tricky. But here at Bishop’s Orchards we have some great gift options that are sure to brighten up anyone’s holiday. So, if you’re struggling for a gift idea this holiday season, keep reading and take a look at our top 10 gift ideas.

1. Apple Shippers –If you’re looking for that little piece of New England to send as a unique gift, an apple shipper is perfect! These apples are handpicked from the farm, wrapped in foam, and can be sent to the destination of your choice. Place your order online here.

2. Gift Baskets – Need an item for a Secret Santa or a gift for your kids teacher? Our Grab N’ Go gift baskets are perfect! You can even pick out your own items, and for a small fee, we’ll put them together in a gift basket for you. Anything from wine to breakfast items, chips and dip and more. There’s sure to be a basket filled with your friend’s favorite goodies.

3. Chocolate – Candy is always a good “go to” gift. And here at Bishop’s we have tons of options. From chocolate covered pretzels, salted caramel chocolate and even chocolate shaped gingerbread men, any of these are sure to hit the spot of your chocolate loving friend.

4. Apple Cider – Gift a piece of the farm this holiday with our sweet apple cider. It comes in gallons, half gallons, chuggers and 6-packs, and make for the perfect holiday drink when hot. You can stop in the store to pick some up, or we can ship them for you, too!

5. Marzipan – Don’t let marzipan intimidate you! It comes in all different shapes and figures, and even makes a great stocking stuffer or gift for that person that loves their sweets.

6. Gift Cards – Give the gift of farm fresh goodness this holiday with a Bishop’s Gift Card! They are valid year round at our farm market and Pick Your Own locations, and will let people know a trip in is worth the visit.

7. Apple Cider Donuts – Have family members that can’t make it home for the holidays? Send them some apple cider donuts and surprise them with a little taste of home!

8. Gourmet Popcorn – Instead of bringing cookies or fudge as a gift, bring over something a little sweeter for the holiday. Our gourmet popcorn selection is salty and sweet and has a caramel chocolate crunch that makes for the perfect snack at any party. You can even pick up our signature maple kettle corn, made fresh at the market.

9. Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows – Nothing says winter like a cup of hot cocoa. And with our selection of Silly Cow Farm hot chocolates and gourmet marshmallows, whoever receives this gift will be sipping on rich and creamy goodness.

10. Wine – Can’t think of what to get the in-laws? We have our very own fruit wines and hard ciders in stock, along with a wide selection of wine from all over Connecticut. You can even pair the wine with some meats and cheeses and bring it to a party as a hosting gift.

See something you like? Stop in to Bishop’s Orchards and pick up that perfect gift, today!

Kick off the Holidays with National Eggnog Month

December can mean a few things: the holidays, snow, sitting by the fire and the gathering of family. But did you also know it’s the start of National Eggnog Month? I didn’t either! But, I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than with a glass of one of my favorite things to drink this time of year.

It’s hard to believe that some people have grown up without trying this classic holiday drink. But, for those of you that have never tried eggnog, this is the perfect time to give it a go! And for those of you who wait for December 1st to stock up, it’s time to purchase your holiday treat.

Yes, eggnog is known for being high in fat, sugar and cholesterol – and I hear ya – that’s concerning. But, by drinking it in moderation and by purchasing it from the right place, it can be a special treat for you to enjoy, guilt-free. That’s why with Mountain Dairy eggnog at Bishop’s Orchards you can enjoy farm fresh eggnog that really isn’t all that bad for you!

Since their start in 1871 (just like Bishop’s), the Stearns Family Farm has prioritized simple from-the-farm values for delivering high quality, great tasting milk your family can afford. The Stearns Family oversees Mountain Dairy’s farming and bottling so you can have the confidence to know what goes into your milk every step of the way.

So, now that you have your farm fresh eggnog and you know where it comes from, there’s so many ways to be creative with it – especially this time of the year. You could add nutmeg, cinnamon and even whipped cream for a little extra something. Or make an alcoholic drink out of it by adding brandy, rum, or whisky – whichever you prefer, go for it!

And how about those holiday desserts we all know and love? Get creative this year and add eggnog to them! From cookies, cream puffs, trifles and more, you can make all different kinds of holiday desserts from this creamy crowd favorite.

Feeling inspired yet? Get started on your creations today and stop into our store to pick up some of the best local eggnog, today!

 

 

How to Make Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making meals the week after a holiday can seem pretty dreadful. But the good thing is you have all those Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator that are just begging for you to use them! Now if I told you it was possible to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner out of them – would you believe me? Well you better believe it because with a little creativity you can make the three most important meals of the day with everything you have left in your refrigerator. Still not convinced? We put together four recipes that you and the kids are sure to enjoy. Take a look!

  1. Thanksgiving Brunch
    Turkey for breakfast? I know it sounds weird, but if you like chicken and waffles, this gives a brunch favorite a Thanksgiving twist!

Ingredients
4 ½ Cups Leftover Stuffing
¼ Cup Chopped Parsley
2 Large Eggs, beaten
Vegetable Oil, for brushing waffle iron
Sliced Leftover Turkey, Gravy and Cranberry Sauce

Directions
Preheat waffle iron to medium-high. Combine the stuffing, parsley and eggs. Brush the top and bottom of the waffle iron with oil. Evenly pack each section of the waffle iron with the stuffing mixture. Cook until golden brown (4-6 minutes).

Heat the gravy in a small pan. Once the waffles are ready, top each with as much turkey as you’d like and close the waffle iron. Cook until the turkey is warm (2-3 minutes). Transfer the waffles to plates and top each with gravy and cranberry sauce.

2. Turkey Sandwich
This one is a classic. There’s nothing better than making a warm turkey sandwich with all the sides piled on! It even makes for a fun lunch for the kids!

Ingredients
2 Slices Turkey
Lettuce (optional)
½ Cup Mashed Potatoes
½ Cup Stuffing
½ Cup Cranberry SauceDirections
Layer all of the ingredients between two pieces of bread and enjoy!

3. Turkey Soup
This soup is not only easy to make, but you can freeze it and eat it later on too! This is sure to be a crowd favorite one the temperature drops and you need something warm to eat in the winter.

Ingredients
Leftover Turkey
1 ½ Cups Leftover Stuffing
2 Celery Stalks, chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and sliced
1 Onion, peeled and diced
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Ground Sage
1 ½ Quarts Chicken Broth
Garlic Salt to taste
Ground Black Pepper to taste
2 Cups (uncooked) long-grain White Rice (can also use pasta)
1 (16 oz) package Frozen Green Peas

Directions
Place the turkey in a large, deep pot, and add in the stuffing, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, sage and chicken broth. If needed, add additional water. Bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium once boiling and simmer for about 1 hour (skim off any foam). Season to taste with garlic salt and pepper then stir in the rice (or pasta) and return to a boil over (medium-high) heat. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and continue to simmer until rice or pasta is tender (about 10 minutes). Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

4. Turkey and Cranberry Quesadilla
Who would have thought you could make a quesadilla out of Thanksgiving dishes? This recipe is quick and easy to make and is sure to be a new family favorite.

Ingredients
½ Cup Turkey
1 Parsley
¼ Cup Cranberry Sauce
2 Flour Tortillas
1 tbsp Butter
½ Cup Swiss Cheese

Directions
Grate the swiss cheese and sprinkle over one side of a tortilla. Pull apart the turkey so it’s somewhat shredded and add it on top of the cheese, and add another layer of cheese on top. Next, spread the cranberry sauce over those layers and add one more layer of cheese. Put the other tortilla on top. Over medium heat, melt butter in a skillet. Once melted, add the quesadilla and fry until golden brown. Flip and repeat. Once both sides are golden, allow to rest on a cutting board for a minute or two and cut into wedges.

Serve Up a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Meal

Football, family and food – all of these things are a part of what makes Thanksgiving so much fun. But, what makes it even better is having a stress-free preparation process. Now I know what you’re thinking – there’s no such thing. But I’m here to tell you there is, especially with the help of us here at Bishop’s Orchards.

Now that Thanksgiving is a little over one week away, first things first – it’s time to figure out your menu – the trickiest part being adhering to the picky eaters in the family. But with the help of Bishop’s Orchards you can be sure everyone at the table gets their Thanksgiving favorites.

To start, every Thanksgiving meal needs some appetizers. You can’t go wrong with something as simple as cheese and crackers, and here at Bishop’s we’ve got you covered. With one of the largest selections of cheese on the shoreline, you’ll be able to find everything from Brie, to Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and even Wensleydale. As an added bonus we even have pre sliced meats to pair with them all, making horderve prep, easy.

Now, let’s talk about the Main Course – The Turkey.

Need a turkey? No problem! We have a limited amount of fresh turkeys from local farms available for pre-order so you can pick up, take home, and cook up right in your very own kitchen. Whether you have five people attending Thanksgiving dinner, or 35, we have a turkey perfect to order for your family.

Next up, the sides, because what would Thanksgiving be without some creamy mashed potatoes, am I right?

From stuffing, squash, soup and more, we have all your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes ready to go. Just pop them right into the oven or microwave, and BAM! Just like Emeril – dinner is served!

Now what fun would a holiday be without a little something to wet your whistle? Our variety of fruit wines and hard ciders are sure to bring a little something extra to your family gathering. You can even make a special sangria from our very own cocktail menu. And let’s not forget about the kiddos! Made with fresh apples from our very own orchard, we have the perfect sweet cider for them to sip on while watching the parade. Hot or cold, it’s sure to make for a delicious treat!

If you’re anything like me, the biggest dilemma of the day is which pie to choose from. From apple to pumpkin, strawberry rhubarb, and even sugar free, any of our fresh baked pies are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and wrap up your Thanksgiving with that “I’m so full, I can’t move” feeling.

While this covers all the Thanksgiving “must haves,” don’t forget to take advantage of all the other items our market has to offer. From baked goods like cookies and breads, to the fresh vegetables in our produce department, you’ll be able to find everything you need to impress the family. So, if you’re ready to get a head start on your Thanksgiving meal prep, click here to check out the options at Bishop’s Orchards – we promise you’ll be thankful you did!

How to Host a Successful Friendsgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving time, to me, is about several different things: food, family, friends and being thankful for all three. I’ve always celebrated with my family, but this year my friends and I decided to do something different. Even though our families live close by, we decided to put together a second dinner – a Friendsgiving dinner.

For some, Friendsgiving is about gathering all your closest friends when your family isn’t around. But for my friends and I, it’s simply to celebrate how we’ve become our own family. Whatever your reason may be, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to take preparation and organization to get everyone on the same page. But thankfully, we’re here to help! All you have to do is follow the tips below and we promise you’ll deliver a successful friend filled bash.

Create the VIP List

The best part about Friendsgiving is that you can pretty much invite whoever you want. But, I would definitely make sure you invite only as many people that you can comfortably sit at your table. Start with your closest pals and then, if you still have some room, reach out to the people that might not have any family close by. It is Thanksgiving after all, and you could really make someone’s day if they don’t have any plans!

Turkey Time

Now that your guest list has been created, it’s time to talk turkey. The host should make the turkey (or if you’re my friends, a rotisserie chicken). This should be the one and only thing the host has to make, since they’ll be in charge of decorations and making sure the house is clean. It’s important to make sure you have enough, so decide how big your turkey should be. The rule of thumb is half a pound per person. So, if you have ten people, you would need a five pound turkey (and if you like having extra for leftovers, consider going a little larger with an eight pound turkey!). There are plenty of places where you can preorder so you are guaranteed you aren’t birdless the day of.

Don’t Stress Over the Menu

Getting all your guests involved is the fun part! And the best part is you don’t have to worry about having the normal Thanksgiving foods. If someone wants to make pigs in a blanket, go for it! But, there’s no need to bring green bean casserole or any vegetables at all if no one wants it. I do however, recommend sticking with some of the crowd favorites, because let’s be real, the more stuffing and mashed potatoes, the better.

For the non cookers of the group, you can give them the task of bringing the booze. Sparkling wines are perfect for this time of year, especially when kicking off the holiday season with a toast. If you’re not a fan of that, there are some great hard ciders that will do just the trick! And whatever you do, don’t forget to assign someone to bring the dessert. You know what they say, the more the merrier. So bring on the pies, ice cream, cookies and tea breads. Any and all is welcome!

Get to the Grocery Store Early

Don’t wait until the day before the party to get your cooking essentials. Beat the crowds and get to the grocery store early. And if you all live near each other, why not go together! It could make for a very interesting adventure and who knows what random items you’ll pick up along the way that make for a funny story later on. A lot of the memories come from the preparation before you sit down at the table. So, try to do as much together as possible to get the full Friendsgiving experience.

Get Festive With It

There’s no need to go over the top with decorations, since the food should be the star of the show. But, a decorative tablecloth, cranberries, gourds, and even some candles could go a long way. Decorating will give you the finishing touch you need before kicking off your Friendsgiving festivities.

Enjoy Yourself!

Friendsgiving is meant to be fun, a way to create a new tradition with the people you choose as your family. But it all means nothing if you don’t get a chance to sit down and actually enjoy it. So be creative with it, the sky is the limit! And make sure to soak it all in. If everyone’s stomachs are full and the table is filled with friends, you’ve successfully thrown a Friendsgiving dinner.