October Restaurant of the Month: Jaker’s – Twin Falls

Jaker’s in Twin Falls is the Idaho Preferred® October Restaurant of the Month! Their American-style menu features an abundance of local fare whether you visit for lunch, dinner or happy hour.Jakers - Twin Falls

Salad bar lovers rejoice, Jaker’s has a famous self-serve buffet consisting of several salads including caesar, tossed, spinach, pasta, potato, house slaw and multiple accompaniments like fresh seasonal fruit and local Chobani strawberry yogurt. If you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, Jaker’s serves Clear Springs Idaho Trout, native to the west and locally grown, their premium boneless rainbow trout filets are amazingly good. The fish are from pure, crystal-clear spring water located in the scenic Snake River Canyon. Jaker’s uses signature Double R Ranch beef for their mouth-watering steaks and Prime Rib. This choice beef comes from Northwest states including Idaho and Montana and Double R Ranch is known for their commitment to quality, sustainability and animal well-being. Jaker’s also serves Snake River Farms Kobe Beef which is a combination of Angus and Wagyu. We’re totally into the Some Dude’s Burger, a freshly ground lean half pound of sirloin and chuck with smoked chipotle cheddar, Falls Brand bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and their fry sauce. But if you’re not down with meat or wheat, no worries. Jaker’s has a delectable vegetarian and gluten-free menu for those with special dietary needs. We can’t get enough of their Hand-Cut Fresh Garlic Fries made from our famous Idaho Russet potatoes – YUM!

Keeping a commitment to local, Jaker’s sources from local craft breweries in Idaho and Montana. At any given time you will find at least half of their draft beer has been sourced locally. They also serve Old Faithful Draft Root beer brewed locally in Twin Falls by Grand Teton Brewing Co. and for $1 more, you can have it as a root beer float.

Not in the Twin Falls area? No problem! Jaker’s also has other locations throughout Idaho and Montana. Visit their website for more information about their restaurant, menu and locations.

Reservations: 208.773.8400
Location: 1598 Blue Lakes Blvd N. Twin Falls, Idaho 83301

September Restaurant of the Month: Juniper

JuniperWith the mantra, “locally imagined, seasonally inspired, classically crafted,” Juniper begins everything with fresh ingredients. Working closely with the local farmers, growers and purveyors Chef Aaron Wermerskirchen knows how to source local products with integrity, flavor and soul. The menu he creates is bursting with straightforward and honest local flavors sure to please the simplest to the most refined of palettes.

Located downtown Boise off of 8th street, the Juniper experience begins with a funky modern ambiance. Start your culinary journey with a deliciously simple appetizer such as the Fried Pickles or try a more robust starter like the Ham and Cheese Potato Croquettes made from Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham, Ballard Cheese White Cheddar with a Chipotle Beer Cheese Sauce. Next, sink your teeth into a local entrée such as the Lava Lakes Lamb Rueben – a perfectly prepared Idaho lamb topped with purple kraut, a sweet pepper aioli and gruyere cheese on rye with your choice of fries or tossed greens. If you’re looking for a divine dinner (served daily after 4pm), try the Bison Meatball Pappardelle Pasta with olives, peppers, mushrooms, Ferranti pappardelle, house-made tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. And lest we forget about the dessert menu! One of our faves is the flourless chocolate torte with local huckleberries and mascarpone cream.

Juniper’s beer and wine offerings are specifically selected from the Pacific Northwest so you can always find a local flavor on the beverage menu. Their draft beer is 100% from Idaho and over 50% of their wines are from Idaho winemakers! Prefer a mixed drink? Juniper’s crafty baristas use Idaho Kombucha, house made tonics and house made ginger beer in their signature cocktails. Happy hour is every day of the week from 4:00-6:00pm and again from 10:00pm to close. For an intimate dining experience, make a special reservation for the Chef’s Table and enjoy a pre-fixed five-course meal and wine paring carefully crafted by Chef Aaron every Wednesday through Saturday at 6:30pm. Whether you want to dress it up or down the night will be uniquely your own, uniquely local and undoubtedly delicious.

Reservations: 208-342-1142
Location: 211 N 8th Street, Boise, ID 83702

Life’s a Peach

August is here and do you know what that means? The first peaches of the season are ready!

Single Peach on TreeThis flavorful Idaho fruit is available now in grocery stores and farmers markets. Look for sweet and juicy Idaho peaches at local retailers like Winco, Albertsons, Paul’s, Walmart and road-side fruit stands. Idaho peaches are grown across the Gem State by producers including Symms Fruit Ranch, Kelley’s Canyon Orchard, Williams Fruit Ranch, Garret Ranches, Northview Orchard, Henggeler Packing Company, Tyler’s Rocky Point Orchard, Walker Fruit Ranch and Williamson Orchards & Vineyards. Some places even offer u-pick!

Idaho peaches are extra sweet and juicy due to perfect growing conditions. The hot summer days and cool nights allow for maximum sugar production which makes the tastiest peach! Local peaches are more flavorful than those shipped in from out of state because they are left on the tree longer and picked at peak ripeness. To ensure you find the freshest peaches in your area, look for the Idaho Preferred® logo.

Our favorite way to enjoy this summer treat is fresh from the tree, but this versatile fruit is also delicious dried, frozen, canned or made into jellies and jams.

If you want more fun ways to eat Idaho peaches, try these amazing recipes!

Idaho Honey Peach Ice Cream

Honey Peach Ice Cream

Peach and Tomato Salsa

Mortimer’s Peach Cobbler

Emeril’s Warm Peach Pancakes

August Restaurant of the Month: Scratch

The local, “wicked recipes” speak for themselves at Scratch, our August Idaho Preferred® Restaurant of the Month! Nestled right outside Grand Teton National Park in Victor, Idaho, this cozy, red house restaurant off of Idaho 31 serves a home-style menu using local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. As the name implies, each meal is made from scratch and cooked to order so come with time to spare. Sit back, sip on a mimosa and relax – there’s no rush at Scratch!

Scratch Restaurant - Victor, ID

For breakfast, feast on El Teton, a plate to be taken seriously, with local chorizo, sweet peppers, jalapeños, sweet onions and cheddar topped with scrambled organic eggs, pico de gallo and chipotle sour cream. Carnivorous compadres love the Lamburger made with Idaho lamb, local bacon and topped with aged cheddar and mint-garlic aioli butter. And for our adventurous herbivores, the Vegetarian Pierogi – homemade pasta stuffed with cheeses, roasted sweet peppers and caramelized onions on wilted spinach – is a must try!

Due to demand of their amazing meals, changing seasons and other local events, hours of operation fluctuate frequently. Be sure to call ahead before you go – they aren’t open all year-round and close seasonally certain days of the week. You can also check their website at scratchvictor.com or their Facebook page for the latest updates.

Contact: 208-787-5678
Location: 185 W Center Street, Victor, ID, 83455

Another Reason to Love Summer: Idaho Apricots

Apricot on tree







July marks the beginning of apricot season!

Sweet and full of fragrance, Idaho apricots are loaded with beta-carotene (the pigment that gives the fruit a lovely golden orange color), Vitamin-A, Vitamin-C, potassium and fiber! Idaho grows the popular “Gold Rich” variety of apricots which are typically much larger and sweeter than the apricots found in stores year-round.

Apricots grow well in the well-drained mountainous sloped soils of Canyon, Ada, Gem and Washington county. A mature apricot tree will produce around 300-400 pounds of fruit each season. However, don’t let this large number fool you –Idaho apricots are harvested in early July and will only be available for a limited time!

Stop by your local grocery stores, farmers markets and fruit stands and look for fresh, flavorful Idaho Preferred® apricots. Or go straight to the source and visit some of Idaho’s amazing orchards and producers: Kelley’s Canyon Orchard (Filer), Tyler’s Rocky Point Orchard (Emmett), Walker Fruit Ranch (Emmett), Henggeler Packing Company (Fruitland), Garrett Ranches Packing (Wilder), Symms Fruit Ranch (Caldwell) – some even offer u-pick!

Sink your teeth into a raw apricot and enjoy its natural fleshy, sweet flavor or bring home a basket and treat yourself with this Fresh Apricot Pie recipe. Either way, make sure to get them before they’re gone!

Restaurant of the Month: Rupert’s at Hotel McCall









Local is the word at Rupert’s at Hotel McCall. Chef Gary Kucy loves to create his cuisine using honest, quality, regional resources whenever possible. The delectably diverse menu offers fresh, clean foods with a focus on flavors of the Southwest, Asia and the Mediterranean.

Rupert’s is located at the beautiful Hotel McCall in McCall, Idaho. Opening at 4pm, they offer great drink and appetizer specials. Start with the Grilled Local Venison Meatballs and a glass of Idaho wine or a pint from one of three local McCall breweries. Dinner, beginning at 5pm, includes entrees made with local produce from the McCall Farmers Market and hand select cuts of meat from North Wood Buffalo Farm. Be sure to come hungry – all entrees come with a salad or cup of soup and local artisan bread from Evening Rise Bread Company. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Rupert’s also serves pastries, specialty cakes and cookies from the local Stacey’s Cakes bakery.

Chef Kucy keeps it fresh and creative with a menu that changes weekly. If you go on a Monday, prepare your taste buds for a surprise – its Chef’s choice! Let him prepare you a savory three course menu special that won’t disappoint! Get adventurous every Thursday with a taste of Thai or stop by on Friday and feast on their fresh fish specials.

In addition to a mouthwatering Idaho menu, Rupert’s also hosts events all throughout the year including local bands and wine tasting from Idaho wineries like Colter’s Creek and Telaya. Next time you are in McCall, make sure to add Rupert’s to your agenda for an evening of fine local dining and entertainment!

Reservations: 208-634-8108
Location: 1101 N Third Street | McCall, Idaho 83638

aMAIZing Idaho Sweet Corn









What’s hotter than record high temperatures?

Idaho sweet corn – the hottest crop to hit local farmers markets and grocers in the month of July!

Why is Idaho corn so tender and sweet? Our local sweet corn is picked fresh daily and available in most stores the very next day.  This is critical as the sugars in corn turn to starch after the ear is picked from the stalk, so buying the freshest corn also means you are getting the sweetest corn on the market. Idaho’s fertile soils, irrigation water, hot, arid climate and long growing season means you can enjoy sweet corn all summer long into the beginning of fall! Idaho’s major sweet corn producers are located in the Southwestern and Southcentral regions of the state. Look for Idaho Preferred® sweet corn at your local farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores.

Sweet corn can be prepared in a variety of ways – boil it, microwave it or grill it! Add it to salsas, salads, pastas or enjoy it as a dish all on its own.  Impress your guests at your next picnic with this simple sweet corn recipe: Barbecued corn with sour cream, lime and chili.

Grilled Corn







Idaho Preferred® sweet corn producers include:

Don’t Miss Idaho Cherries


Ready for some great news?! There are over 15 different varieties of cherries grown in the state of Idaho, making Idaho among the top 5 producers in the nation for sweet cherry production! And what’s even better is cherry season is here – starting in mid-June! Cherries are the first fruit of the summer season to make an appearance at farmers markets, produce stands, and local retailers. So whether you plan on indulging in cherries freshly picked or transforming them into a mouthwatering pie, make sure you look to Idaho cherries as your primary ingredient.

If you are looking for a fun family outing check out the Emmett Cherry Festival! This annual event is held during the second week of June and is a great way to get the family excited about the local fruit season. Featuring vendors from across the state, bake-offs, pie-eating contests, and more, this is an opportunity to support local cherry farmers and have a blast!  Another family outing idea is taking a trip to a local orchard for some cherry picking fun.  Although fall and spring freezes have reduced the local cherry crop, you can still find some orchards offering u-pick opportunities such as Northview Orchard in Buhl or Walker Fruit Ranch in Emmett.Idaho Cherries

Idaho cherries are not only sweet and delicious, but they are also a healthy addition to your menu.  Cherries are a good source of antioxidants and Vitamins A and C.  And with only 77 calories, one cup of cherries is a guilt free dessert option.  However, if you are in the mood to indulge, try this recipe for Chocolate Cherry Pie – a quick no-bake dessert appropriate for any event!

The cherry season is short – lasting only 4-6 weeks – so don’t wait to get your Idaho-grown cherries at a local orchard, farmers market or your favorite grocery store!

Idaho Preferred color 006 small

For a list of Idaho cherry growers and their locations visit www.idahopreferred.com.



Give Mom Locally Grown Flowers for Mothers Day!

Local Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! It’s time to show mom your appreciation with the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Looking for some ideas? Here are a few suggestions for locally produced gift items including local hanging baskets, trees, flowers, bedding plants and other nursery products.

What mom doesn’t like flowers? Look for Idaho Preferred tags on hanging baskets and flower bowls as well as flowering Idaho trees and plants that are grown in local greenhouses.  Growers like Ward’s Greenhouse and Warm Springs Greenhouse supply to local nurseries and garden centers in southwest Idaho including Zamzows, Paul’s Market and Albertsons. Or find locally grown flowers and plants at Blue Barn Produce, Edwards Greenhouse, Cloverdale Nursery or Far West Nursery.  Locally grown plants can be found throughout the state.  Alpha Nursery in McCall, Moss Greenhouse in the Magic Valley, Bonners Ferry Nursery in North Idaho and Hollyberry Nursery in Sun Valley all support local growers.  In eastern Idaho you can find local plants at Sunnyside Gardens or Town and Country Gardens.

Maybe this year, Mom would like a flowering tree instead of traditional flowers?  If so, find trees grown by Clayton Tree Farms in Wilder at Franz Witte Nursery or Edwards Greenhouse.  In northern Idaho, look for trees grown by Bonners Ferry Nursery or Reggear Tree Farm.

Bedding plants also make great gifts. Does your mom have a garden or just want to grow a few tomatoes on the patio? If so, buy her tomato plants, herb starts, and other locally grown vegetable plants to assure her of a bumper crop of fresh produce later this summer!

And don’t forget the other nursery supplies you might need like potting soil or soil amendments. Look for Magic Dirt at your local nursery or at Wal-Mart. Compost from Magic Valley Compost and Smartgro along with NuEarth Plant Food are also produced locally.  These products are great additions to Idaho soils and increase your chances of a bountiful harvest.

This year, make Mom’s day with local bedding plants, flowers or trees ….and a little bit of your time to help her plant.  For more ideas and a list of local nurseries click here.


Restaurant of the Month: Zee’s Rooftop Cafe & Zee Christopher Catering


Christopher Zahn, chef, florist and owner of Zee Christopher is a Boise based caterer and florist whose artistic sensibilities are evident in his simple yet colorful presentations. Chef Zahn also owns a small cafe in downtown Boise called Zee’s Roof Top Cafe, a fun place with great local everything. Menus are created that include dishes with ingredients not only locally sourced but in some cases picked that day from Chef Zahn’s own garden. One specialty is the grilled pork loin with wild huckleberry sauce paired with barley pilaf utilized ingredients with deep Idaho roots.


Chris is the founder as well of Cork 4 A Cure, a non-profit that raises money for such projects as the Boise Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the St. Alphonsus Children’s Hospital and the Boise State Women’s Center.

For more information visit his website.