April Restaurant of the Month: Grit

GRIT American CuisineGrit American Cuisine in Eagle, Idaho throws you a fun flavor curve ball with cuisine inspired from New York to Nashville. Their down-home American-style recipes are crafted in-house by Chef Paul Faucher, and they source ingredients from Idaho whenever possible. Idaho pork from Salmon Creek Farms and beef from Snake River Farms are the basis of many menu items including house made charcuterie. Their drool-worthy menu lists items such as Fire Roasted Fingerlings, Farro Salad and a wide variety of gourmet pizzas.

Owned by Dave Faulk, known for his highly successful Porterhouse Meat Market in Eagle, this restaurant is fast becoming a neighborhood favorite due to its consistent quality foods, great beer and wine lists, and small-town friendly atmosphere.

Check out Grit’s menu then stop in for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch!

Hours
Monday-Thursday: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm

Grow Local Goodness

This Spring, Grow Your Own Local Food


Grow Idaho GoodnessSpring is here and fresh, local produce is popping up at farmers markets and retail stores. Grow your own local goodness and plant Idaho fruits, veggies and herbs in your garden this year. Find starter plants from nurseries like Ward’s GreenhouseMoss Greenhouses, Blue Barn Produce and More, Rustic Gardens, Sunnyside Gardens, Alpha Nursery & Garden Center, and Olson’s Greenhouse Gardens that either sell direct or distribute to local retailers like Zamzows, Albertsons, D&B Supply, Home Depot and Walmart.

Find all of your local gardening supplies, seeds, grow trays, soil and more at Far West Landscape and Garden Center, Town & Country Gardens and Alpha Nursery. You can also get expert advice or find an all-season gardening calendar that stretches from spring through fall planting and advises when to sow, plant in the ground and harvest.

TomatoLook for homegrown soil and potting products such as Magic Valley Compost or Smart Gro, a premium organic compost that can be ordered direct online or found in 14 retail locations across the state. Learn more here. These products are great additions to Idaho soils and increase your chances of a bountiful harvest.

Are you new to gardening and unsure where to start? There are so many great resources for how to begin a garden and enjoy fresh, local food all harvest season. Visit The Old Farmers Almanac online for tips on vegetable gardening for beginners.

Another fantastic resource for any level of gardener is the Vegetable Garden Planner. The planner adapts to your specific geographic location and advises when to sow, plant and harvest your crops. The planner also has tons of helpful tools, including email reminders of what needs planted from your personalized garden plans and a journal-like feature to track progress and record and how your garden is growing!

herbs iStock_000019906784Large_RGBWith so many wonderful fruits, vegetables and herbs to choose from you can plant your garden so something new is popping up throughout Idaho’s long harvest season. Look for the Idaho Preferred logo on bedding plants and herb starts to make sure you are planting Idaho-grown goodness in your garden!

For a full list of Idaho Preferred nurseries and garden centers, click here.

 

Find Idaho-Grown Trees

Spruce Up Your Landscape with Idaho-grown Trees, Shrubs and Flowers


Trees_floweringWhen planning your landscaping design this year, choose to plant Idaho-grown trees, shrubs and flowers from local growers. Local nurseries grow a wide variety of hearty, beautiful trees and shrubs that thrive in Idaho’s high desert climate. Whether you’re looking to start your perfect green oasis from scratch, or add to what you currently have, Idaho nurseries can recommend the perfect plants for your yard.

Find Idaho-grown Trees - Option B

Idaho growers concentrate on zone hardy, deciduous trees, evergreens, ornamental fruit and flowering trees as well as drought tolerant shrubs including potentilla, currant, cistena plum, juniper, redtwig dogwood varieties, spirea, virburnum and forsythia. Our local growers and retailers are experts in their field and understand that soil conditions vary greatly throughout Idaho. Visit one of our Idaho Preferred nurseries throughout the state and allow them to help you find the best trees and shrubs for your specific area and how to prepare the ground for site planting. 

Find Idaho-grown Trees - 6Look for homegrown soil and potting products such as Magic Valley Compost and Smart Gro, a premium organic compost that can be ordered direct online or found in 14 retail locations across the state. Learn more here.

You can find more local landscaping and gardening products at retailers like D&B Supply, Zamzows, FarWest Landscape and Garden Center, Walmart, Home Depot and Albertsons stores all throughout Idaho.

Locate a Nursery Near You:

Boise Area

Cascade

Garden Valley

Idaho Falls

Jerome

Kuna

Northern Idaho

 

 

Middleton School Idaho Day

Middleton Idaho Day Symms Apples (2)In Middleton, Idaho Day is part of the school district’s curriculum.  It celebrates all things Idaho and teaches students about our state.  One of Idaho’s greatest strengths is our agricultural diversity.  So it makes sense that Middleton’s Idaho Day would not be complete without a wholesome, delicious, and creative school lunch menu featuring a variety of locally sourced foods.  When planning a meal for over 800 kids, ranging in age from 5 to 18, you undoubtedly have to be creative.  In Middleton, that task was taken on by Barbara, Valerie, and their amazing kitchen staff.  The team developed a great menu for kids of all ages and the response from students was terrific.  Although there were some challenges, the team pressed on to create a tasty and successful Idaho Day meal.

Middleton Idaho Day Kitchen StaffFor Idaho Day the food service team developed a unique and versatile menu for each school using items grown or made in Idaho.  While some modifications were made for the individual schools, the menus were quite similar overall.  At the high school there were four options for students to choose from.  Of course, each option featured famous Idaho potatoes, either baked russets or roasted fingerlings from South Wind Farms.  Some items, like the fingerling potatoes, were cooked simply by roasting them with olive oil, salt, and pepper in order to highlight the flavor of the potatoes.  Other menu items used Idaho ingredients in less obvious ways, like the moist and rich brownie which used dehydrated potato flakes.  Other highlights of the Idaho Day menu, for which the majority of ingredients were sourced locally, included beef tacos, fish sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, yogurt parfaits, and apples.

Middleton Idaho Day Lunch Line 1Overall, feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive.  One high school student told Barbara, “You guys did great. The only thing that would be better is if we had no school today.”  Students were interested and took note of the local additions to the menu.  Across the high school cafeteria you could see students enjoying the food and talking about the Idaho meal.  Some students were a little more skeptical of the Idaho menu.  At the elementary schools there were students who did not want to eat the fingerling potatoes because they did not know what they were.  Although fingerling potatoes are seemingly perfect for younger kids due to their natural “finger food” size, recognizing the food is an important consideration for younger kiddos.

The glass half full perspective: how great is it that kids are being exposed to unique, locally sourced ingredients at school?  We think it is fantastic!

Middleton Idaho Day Elementary SchoolAs with most menu planning, Barbara and Valerie were not without challenges.  One of the more common obstacles for buying locally is the cost associated with some local ingredients.  For Idaho Day in Middleton the increased expense was realized on some ingredients, like local beef that was about 30% more expensive than beef from the traditional distribution sources.  In addition, quantity and availability of local foods was tricky due to the early spring season when fresh produce options are limited.  These issues certainly did not stop Barbara and Valerie from putting together a complete and affordable Idaho meal for their students.

Buying food locally can seem like an overwhelming task when considering quantity and cost but that does not have to be the case.  Barbara, Valerie, and their team showed no fear when putting together a great Idaho menu for their students.  The Middleton Idaho Day was an excellent example for bringing the Farm to School mission to life.  Seeing the students get excited about local, Idaho food makes it all worthwhile.


Would you like to see your school’s Farm to School activities featured in upcoming blogs and newsletters?  Let us know!

 

March Restaurant of the Month: Flatbread

flatbread_logo11

Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria gives the phrase,“locally sourced ingredients” a new meaning. Working directly with Idaho farmers, this fine establishment uses all local tomatoes during the fresh tomato season to keep as much Idaho product in their menu as possible. Not only are the tomatoes local, they also use Idaho-grown flour in their pizza crust, fresh herbs and locally produced cheese.

Flatbread - pizza + beer + saladIf you’re looking for the most authentic Neapolitan Pizza in town, this is the place. Flatbread has gone to great lengths to ensure the quality of their pies. From their 800-degree wood-burning ovens to becoming D.O.C (Denomination of Control, or Certificate of Origin) certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association in Naples, Italy. We recommend trying the classic Margherita pie which has three ingredients:
Fior di‏ latte, (mozzarella) San Marzano Pomodoro (tomatoes), Fresh Basil.

To keep it convenient no matter where you live, Flatbread has three locations in Idaho:

From the moment you walk in Flatbread’s door they consider you family and invite you to settle in, sip, savor and stay awhile. Buon Appetito!

Follow Flatbread on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Please visit their website to check out their menu and for more information.

Backcountry Bar Now in Albertsons

We are excited to announce Idaho Preferred member, Backcountry Bar, has recently won an account with local retailer, Albertsons! On February 29, 2016 these healthy, energy-packed bars hit the shelves in all Albertsons stores in the Pacific Northwest.

Backcountry barWhen owners Karie Boesiger and her mother-in-law Kris set out to create a healthy alternative to a chocolate chip cookie, they never dreamed it would someday find its way into one of the largest food retailers in the United States. However, today Karie and Kris are celebrating their 10-year anniversary in business with the exciting news that Albertsons has signed on to carry their product.

“My passion for baking started years ago in my grandmother’s kitchen where my sister and I would bake our favorite cookies on summer visits,” said Karie. “Later, my mother shared a scrumptious recipe for chocolate chip cookies that became a favorite with many friends and family members.”

Backcouny BarsThe Backcountry Bar is an all-natural bar specifically designed with maximum flavor and nutritional balance for active people. The bars come in original and gluten-free recipes for those with special dietary needs. Loaded with dried fruits, nuts, seeds, rolled oats and all-natural peanut butter, the Backcountry Bar is great fuel for any outdoor (or indoor) adventure!

Distributed to over 200 retail stores, you can find the Backcountry Bar in health food stores, food co-operatives, grocery stores, fitness and outdoor retailers and coffee houses in Idaho, Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Now look for their all-natural nutrition bars made with Idaho ingredients on shelves at your local Albertsons store!

You can meet Karie and sample The Backcountry Bar at the Hyde Perk Coffee Shop grand opening on Saturday, March 5 from 9am-12pm. Hyde Perk is located on 13th Street in Hyde Park, Boise.

Follow them on Facebook and visit their website for more.

Feb Restaurant of the Month: Grant’s Neighborhood Grill

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 4.34.02 PMNew kid on the block, Grant’s Neighborhood Grill in Meridian is the Idaho Preferred February Restaurant of the Month. It’s all in the name, Grant’s specializes in seasonal American cuisine with a friendly neighborhood feel. This small, family-owned restaurant is proud to serve you the freshest food available in a thoughtful manner – just like home. Striving to use locally sourced ingredients when available, Grant’s chefs provide classic and new interpretations for seasonal dishes centered around steak, seafood and juicy gourmet burgers. Their creations are inspired from local, farm-raised animals and vegetables, seasonal fish runs and ocean catches. Be sure to call ahead to find out what fresh, seasonal seafood and steak selections are on the menu for your visit! Their food is so fresh, many of their dishes are limited in quantity and only available when in season.

If you are craving a homemade meal just like mom, we suggest binging on the brunch menu. The signature Grant Skillet with your choice of bacon, steak or house-made sausage, Idaho potatoes, peppers, onion, local cheese, mushrooms, spinach and eggs your way could be the best way possible to start a day. Be sure to order something with one of their house-made items like bacon, smoked salmon or biscuits. The prices are right too so you won’t break the bank.

Grant's SteakFor dinner, start with a charcuterie plate of house-cured meats, artisan cheeses, dried fruits and local honey. Then check out their specials or ask what local items they are currently serving. If you are indecisive and enjoy meat, have confidence knowing you can’t go wrong with any of their steak selections served with seasonal veggies. They also have vegetarian options like the Parmesan Gnocchi sautéed in fresh herb butter tossed with seasonal vegetables. All of Grant’s steaks are all natural and hormone, steroid and antibiotic free.

Grant’s offers a full bar with an impressive range of local brew and fine wine from Sockeye, Boise Brewing, Slanted Rock Brewing, Powderhaus, Bear Island, Wallace Brewing and Koenig Vineyards. No matter what day of the week you’re looking to dine out, Grant’s is open all seven days from 10AM to 10PM.

 

Hours: Monday-Sunday 10:00am to 10:00pm
Reservations: (208) 884-4278
Please visit their website to check out their menu and for more information.

January Restaurant of the Month: Angell’s

Angell's logo
Angell's - Boise, IDAngell’s Bar and Grill Renato
 is a local, family owned and managed restaurant in downtown Boise. Established in 1981, Angell’s boasts a stylish and contemporary dining atmosphere while serving a sophisticated selection of current trends, seasonal ingredients and regional flavors of the Pacific Northwest.

Angell’s offers a nice local selection throughout their menu including Double R Ranch and Snake River Farms beef, Hagerman Farms trout and local produce from Ohana Farms and Grasmick Produce.

“After sampling and visiting the local farmers we fell in love with the quality of the product. Doesn’t even compare to what we were purchasing through the normal purveyor channels,” said owner and CEO, Russell Dawe.

Angell's - Idaho troutTheir innovative menu features a wide variety of seasonal and regionally inspired preparations of aged beef, chops, chicken, pasta and fresh seafood. We recommend trying the Double R Ranch Filet Mignon – this 8 oz. hunk of meat is seasoned with Angell’s classic dry rub and perfectly prepared to your liking, accompanied by a house made Idaho potato cake surrounded by local seasonal veggies. Another house specialty dish is the Ruby Red Hagerman Idaho Trout Flourentine – a true local Idaho favorite with the Chef’s flair.

Angell’s also serves Laughing Dog and Sockeye Brewing craft beer and wine from Williamson Winery. They have a delightful full-service bar, and pour seasonal cocktails featuring local fruits, juices, berries and a selective array of the highest quality spirits and liqueurs. Get happy for their 2-For-1 Happy Hour every weekday from 4:30-7:00pm which includes all of their house wines, draft beer and well drinks.

Whether you live in the Treasure Valley or you’re just passing through, Angell’s Bar and Grill is a must try!


Hours: Monday-Sunday 4:30 PM to close
Reservations: 208.342.4900
Please visit their website to check out the menu and for more information.

 

 

Resolve to Eat Local in 2016

New Year, new resolution.

This year, instead of pinky-promising yourself you will stay on that new fad diet and give up carbohydrates, why not commit to doing something different that’s good for you and your community? Make 2016 the year you resolve to live local and eat the amazing agricultural products we grow and produce in this wonderful state. Even during these cold winter months you can find quality local items on grocery store shelves. We also have some mighty fine wineries and craft breweries here in Idaho, as well as many restaurants that proudly serve local foods, beers, wines and spirits all year-round. They might not be carb-free, but it’s ok to treat yourself occasionally!

Read on to discover our list of local products including produce, meats, frozen foods and specialty items that are available all year long, as well as a list of local restaurants and retailers where you can find these Idaho-grown items.


Fresh Produce:

Irish potatoes casseroleIdaho-grown items include potatoes, onions, apples, garlic and winter squash. Potatoes and onions are always a great staple to have in your kitchen and there are still local apples floating around in January. Look for Fortress, Symms and Garrett Ranches apples at your local retail stores including Paul’s, Walmart, Albertsons and Winco.

Meat/Fish: 

brisketAnother Idaho raised product that is always in season. Look for local beef, lamb, pork, bacon, sausage, elk, chicken, trout and venison when out shopping for your next meal. Try something different like Idaho raised yak meat from Howling Winds Farm. Look for some of our amazing Idaho meat and fish producers including 24 West Ranch, Black Pine Deer Farm, Clear Springs Foods, Falls Brand, Snake River Farms, Double R Ranch, Lava Lake Lamb, Fish Breeders of Idaho, Gutierrez Family Farms, Homestead Natural Foods, M&N Cattle, Sisler Ranch, Snedaker’s Fine Swine, Vogel Farms. (Click on the ranch name for more info.)

Dairy:  

dairyDid you know? Idaho is the third largest dairy state in the nation. We have an abundance of locally produced dairy products available all year-round. Look for milk, cheese, butter, cream and other products from Darigold, Meadowgold, Eden Creamery, High Desert, Wood’n Goat Garden, Ballard Family Dairy and Cloverleaf Creamery at retail stores including Walmart, Albertson’s, Winco, Whole Foods Market, M&W Warm Springs Market, Paul’s, and Rosauer’s, Vogel Farms Country Market. Too busy to run out to the store? Boise Milk Co. will deliver Idaho dairy goodness right to your front door. Choose Idaho processed products like Precious® brand string cheese to pack as a snack in your lunch or for a quick on-the-go treat. The local dairy products in this state are limitless!

Beans & Lentils: 

Zursun Lentils in BagsAdd a different kind of protein to your diet and shop for local beans and lentils. 13 Foods has frozen, ready-to-use garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and lentils grown right in the Palouse area! Look for their products in the frozen section of your local grocery stores. Prefer dry beans? Zursun heirloom beans and legumes can be found at the following locations here.

Bread: 

Fresh baked breadIdaho breads range from artesian loaves to sliced sandwich breads. There is no excuse to NOT buy locally made breads, pastries and baked goods! Breads from Zeppole’s, Great Harvest Bread Co. and Alpicella Bakery are all made with Pendleton flour right out of Blackfoot, Idaho.  These breads are not only made in Idaho but also use Idaho ingredients.

Specialty Products: 

Wagner's MustardWhether you’re looking for on-the-go energy, your daily chocolate fix or a savory snack, Idaho has an abundance of local, specialty foods that you can find in stores everywhere. Look for honey, jelly, jam, baking mixes, bars, soup mixes, syrups and more. A few of our favorites include: Cowboy Tom’s flapjack mix, Kaufmann Farms hearty barley soup mix, The Berry Ranch and Baker Ranch jams, jellies and fruit syrups, D’arcy’s Bakeshop pasta sauces, Fat Daddy’s caramelized onions and BBQ sauces, Fitz Wraps, Fresca Mexican Foods corn chips and tortillas, Homemade by Dorothy huckleberry, jams, syrups, baking and hot cocoa mixes, Litehouse dressings, Legacy Farms jams and jellies, Backcountry Bars, Pepper Fusion soy sauces and pepper jellies, Casa Valdez tortillas, Wagner mustard, Treasure Valley Salsa and Zacca Hummus!

honeyLooking for Idaho sweet honey nectar? Check out our Idaho Preferred brands including Browning’s Honey Co., Cox Honey Farms, Gorder Honey Company, Reisinger Apiaries, The Honey Store, and Treasure Valley Honey & Bees Corp.! Chocolate lovers rejoice, we have some of the best local hand-dipped chocolates, gourmet fudge and confections in all the land – Weiser Classic Candy takes the cake in satisfying all of your sweet-tooth needs.

Beverages: 

beerMost of us (over 21) have already hopped on to the Idaho alcohol beverage train. However, if you haven’t, check out what our wonderful state has to offer in the wine, craft brew and spirit category. The best part about these beverages? They are not only brewed, distilled or bottled here in Idaho, they are also made with Idaho-grown hops, barley, grapes and potatoes!

Wine3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, Bitner Vineyards, Cold Springs Winery, Colter’s Creek Winery, Crossings Winery, Huston Vineyards, Indian Creek Winery, Sawtooth Winery, Snake River Winery, Ste. Chapelle Winery

BeerEdge Brewing, Highlands Hollow Brewhouse, Payette Brewing Co, Sockeye Brewing

Spirits44 North Vodka

Looking for a non-alcoholic bottled beverage? Try Starkey Spring Water, bottled right here in Council, ID. The water comes from an ancient geothermal spring near the Weiser River  in the Idaho Mountains.

Restaurants: 

Venison Meatballs - Rupert'sLove dining out? So do we. And lucky for us, we can continue to make local choices when eating outside of our own kitchens. Chefs and culinary experts in Idaho have done a fantastic job of sourcing locally grown ingredients when possible and producing wonderful seasonal menu items and year-round staples. Check out all of our Idaho Preferred restaurants who have made a commitment to serving-up local dishes all throughout the state.

 


IdPref_FreshCalendarTake the  Local Pledge on our homepage  and receive our monthly newsletter full of local goodness featuring what products are in season, delicious recipes, local news and events, and the restaurant of the month. 

Get a What’s Fresh In Idaho? magnet when you join!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Minute Local Gifts

With only a few days left until Christmas, many of us are scrambling to find that perfect last minute gift or something special to bring to a holiday party. Out of time and ideas? Consider adding a touch of uniqueness to your procrastination present this year and give something local like a classy bottle of Idaho wine from 3 Horse Ranch, Bitner, Cold Springs, Colter’s Creek, Crossings, Huston, Indian Creek, Sawtooth, Snake River or Ste. Chapelle! Pair the wine with an artisan cheese from Ballard Family Dairy, Eden Creamery or Wood’n Goat Garden and add a spicy Idaho mustard, sweet honey or jam to make it a unique gift basket or hostess gift. Too busy for basket building? Vogel Farms Country Market has All Idaho Gift Packs and Baskets and Homemade by Dorothy has Bounty of Idaho Foods Gift Basket wrapped and ready! From sweet to savory – they have something for everyone on your list.

The hardest person to buy for is the person who has it all – so why no treat them to a night out on the town at a local restaurant! Grab a gift certificate at some of our Idaho eateries all over the state that do a fantastic job of sourcing local, seasonal ingredients. Check out this year’s Restaurant of the Month features for some ideas! Or find a complete list of all the Idaho Preferred restaurants here.

Take the Local Pledge on our homepage and receive our monthly newsletter full of local goodness featuring what products are in season, delicious recipes, local news and events, and the restaurant of the month.

Need more ideas? Contact the Idaho Preferred Christmas Elf for more local gift inspiration! Happy Holidays!