Game-Changing Leftover Turkey Recipe

Leftover turkey crowding your refrigerator?

leftover turkey tostadaJazz up your leftover bird and try this tasty Turkey Tostada with Refried Lentils recipe. This local dish makes a great meal on its own or as an appetizer while watching the big game! If you don’t have lentils on hand, try repurposing your mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Use local products whenever possible to make this homemade dish homegrown!

Serve to your adult friends with local beer and wine. We are loving Payette Brewings salute to local with their new North End Granola Stout made with Wildflour Bakery Granola and Meridian IPA made with Meridian-grown hops! You can find these limited release beers in 6-packs at the Boise Co-op in Boise and the at new store in Meridian.

Prefer a little vino with your tostada? Perfect. Try 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris, which just won a gold medal at the Great Northwest Wine competition. They have also updated their packaging with a clean, stylish new look!

3 Horse Ranch Vineyards New Look











Local Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Looking for a special gift idea? Consider locally grown and produced Idaho Preferred® gifts that are not only unique, but also support local agriculture and the economy.

DIY Baskets: Specialty food baskets are the perfect gift because they can be personalized for each person on your shopping list. Create a unique basket with Idaho specialty foods including jams, jellies, syrups, honey, soup and baking mixes. A breakfast basket including Cowboy Tom’s Flapjack mix, The Berry Ranch or Baker Ranch jam or fruit syrups, huckleberry cocoa mix from Homemade by Dorothy and healthy, hearty Backcountry Bars will be sure to please the “morning person” on your gift list.  Create a more savory basket with Idaho Preferred Wagner mustardTreasure Valley Salsa, hearty Barley Soup mix from Kauffman Farms and Zacca Hummus.  Don’t forget, local honey makes a great gift and ships well to friends and family from out of state to give them a sweet taste of local! Find a list of Idaho Preferred honey producers here.

beerFor Beer Lovers: Why not get a little crafty yourself and put together a holiday gift basket that includes a six-pack of their favorite micro-brew from Sockeye, Edge or Payette Brewing, along with some local meats and cheese? Each brewery features a unique variety of craft beers including seasonal flavors. They also offer the option of filling a growler of beer currently on tap – make a growler basket your friends and family will enjoy refilling all year long!

Local Idaho Wine and ChocolatesThe Wine & Spirit Enthusiast: Another great gift idea is an all-Idaho wine basket. It is easy to create a collection to please even the most discerning palate – from award-winning Riesling to rich and complex Tempranillo.  For a list of Idaho Preferred wineries click here or go to

If your adult friends and family are not wine and beer drinkers, consider Idaho spirits like potato and huckleberry vodkas from distilleries such as 44 North Vodka – perfect for holiday celebrations.

Ballard Cheese plateCheese: Nothing quite completes a holiday gift basket like delicious Idaho cheese. Pair a block of cheese with any Idaho foods and beverage basket, or give an all-cheese basket like one of these special gift selections from Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese. For something unique, try the Idaho Golden Greek Grilling cheese. This delicious Halloumi-style cheese will brown in a skillet without melting and goes great on local bread drizzled with Idaho honey or a dollop of Baker Ranch raspberry jam. Try making this Grillin Cheese Appetizer for your own holiday party or include it on a homemade recipe card in your gift basket! Ballard’s also offers a wide range of other cheeses such as Idaho White Cheddar, Truffle Salt Cheddar, Pepper Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, Feta, and several flavors of fresh cheese curds (squeaky cheese) that can be found at retailers throughout the state. You can find a complete list of these cheese here. Idaho cheese is also available at local retailers including Walmart and Whole Foods Market.

Fresh baked breadBread: Let’s face it, we all love carbs. Breads and pastries also make excellent gifts during the holidays. Add some carbolicous local goodies to your basket with some delicious freshly baked bread from Zeppole, Alpicella or Great Harvest Bread Co.!

Chocolate: How could we forget chocolate?! Find decadent chocolate toffee from the Toffee Cottage in Emmett or amazing specialty chocolates made with Idaho ingredients from Weiser Classic Candy.

apples, flour, eggsFor Your Martha Stewart Friend: Do you have someone that loves to cook or bake on your list? Start with the Idaho Preferred cookbook that features over 100 recipes that use Idaho ingredients all grouped by season. Add some ingredients to their basket like Idaho flour from Idaho Grain and Flour Mills or Harvest Ridge Organics, local eggs from Vogel Farms, local honey, Idaho sugar, local apples, sweet potatoes and dairy products from Cloverleaf Creamery,  Darigold or Boise Milk. Add a touch of fancy and consider including Idaho sturgeon caviar, American style Kobe beef from M&N Cattle or lamb from Lava Lake Lamb or Gutierrez Family Farms.

Last Minute Local Gifts: No time to build a basket and need a gift in a pinch? We got you covered. Run out (or even call, some restaurants take payment by phone) and grab a gift certificate to a locally owned restaurant that features seasonal, Idaho ingredients on their menu. Restaurants all over the state are supporting Idaho farmers and ranchers by serving local foods on their menus. Visit our list of local restaurants that serve an abundance of Idaho-grown foods. Know of a restaurant in Idaho that does an amazing job of sourcing local foods that you don’t see on our list? Please let us know by contacting Idaho Preferred team member, Emily Klodowski.

This year, give thoughtful gifts made from the highest quality foods and beverages, produced locally by Idaho farmers, ranchers, winemakers, brewers and specialty food producers. Happy holidays and local gift giving!

Order the Idaho Preferred CookbookLive Eat Local Cookbook








Support Local Nursery

candy cane

Just because the weather is cooler and the leaves have fallen, doesn’t mean that all of Idaho’s beautiful nursery and forestry products are out of season. Local nurseries, greenhouses and tree farms offer plenty of horticulture for your home this winter. Using sustainable geothermal heat, Idaho nurseries offer a lovely variety of Christmas crops! Geothermal heat is the cleanest and smartest way to heat a greenhouse with zero industrial waste.

Look for local nursery items in retailers, farm stands and outdoor markets that run through December and are marked with an Idaho Preferred® logo tag.

Create your own holiday table centerpieces and floral arrangements for around your house or give to friends! Get a freshly cut Christmas tree this year from from Wissel Farms.

Find holiday poinsettias now at Idaho Preferred® greenhouses:

Ward’s Greenhouse

Warm Springs Greenhouse


Restaurant of the Month: Bittercreek/Red Feather

Bittercreek_Red FeatherOur November Restaurant of the month is a local tag team – Bittercreek Alehouse and
Red Feather Lounge
in Boise serve up a one-two punch of Idaho goodness in both solid and liquid form. These Boise favorites are located off of the biker-friendly 8th Street downtown. Although together, each restaurant creates a unique experience on its own.  Both restaurants use 100% grass fed and finished Bartels farms beef and Lava Lakes lamb. Have a burger-off with your friends and try one from each – can’t pick a winner? – don’t worry, neither could we.

Both restaurants make local and ethically produced food a priority and encourage you to ask your server, “hey, what’s local?” when you sit down to order. Check out their impressive list of Idaho food sources.

Red Feather serves locally sourced, inventive food and creative cocktails, and has been voted as one of Boise’s best brunch places in 2015. Dive into one of their amazing egg dishes made with 100% Vogel family farm local eggs. Feeling young at heart? Try their Green Eggs & Ham. Stay all day (why not?) and imbibe on their artfully crafted cocktails while satiating your hunger with items from their mouth-watering menu like the local organic Turkey Swiss & Bacon Burger which comes with your choice of fresh cut Idaho fries, daily soup, seasonal green salad, black bean quinoa or seasonal veggies. You can even book their private wine cellar for special parties and events.

Bittercreek, the local-loving alehouse, serves Idaho pub grub and a fine selection of micro brews. To start, we recommend noshing on some beer battered Ballard Cheese curds or the Duck, Duck, Poutine and wet your whistle with a locally crafted brew. They always feature local on their draft selection that is updated every day around 3pm so you always know what’s on tap. Tantalize your taste buds and try the Spicy lamb burger, or keep it classy with the Rosemary Seared Idaho Trout. Did we mention Chorizo and Truffle Potato pizza? Oh yes, we did. Making a food selection (take a look) will be the most difficult decision of your day – we recommend coming back, often, to try it all!

Every day from 3:00-5:30pm both joints have an eco-friendly Low Power Happy Hour they coined “Local with the Lights Off” featuring local fare from Idaho near and far – Cabolo’s Orchard, Flying Pig Farm, M&M Heath Farms, the Fish Breeders of Idaho and A+ Turkey Ranch. Not to mention $3 local brewskis and $5 Idaho wines and a Fuzzy Leopard made with a local herb Cordial. Next time (or every time) you are downtown be sure to check out this locavore dynamic duo.

Red Feather Reservations: 208.345.1813
Location: 246 N 8th Street, Downtown Boise

Local Pumpkin Beer is Perfect for Halloween

All Hallows’ Eve is upon us and we are super pumped about EDGE Brewing CO.’s Squashbuckler Pumpkin Porter seasonal craft brew made with 100% Idaho Pumpkin from Dorothy’s Farm and Idaho barley. Stop in their brewery to hangout, grab a bite and imbibe in local brew or two. In a rush? Grab a few growlers for this weekend’s Halloween bash. Or visit one of the other locations listed below. As always, please be safe and drink responsibly.

Edge LogoEdge Squashbuckler

Find it at the following locations before it’s gone!
Albertsons Stores (#184 Columbia, #101 16th & State, #189 36th & State, #177 McMillan, #182 Eagle), Bittercreek Ale House, O’Michaels, TVC Inc. (Gowen/Beacon), Bier:Thirty Bottle & Bistro, The Bird Stop
Edge Brewing Company was born from a community of beer enthusiasts looking to explore great beers across a multitude of styles brewed right.
Passion, knowledge and experience blended together to bring an innovative and exciting range of beers to the Northwest and beyond.

Pumpkin Mania

Idaho enjoys a healthy bounty when it comes to growing pumpkins. Our favorable growing conditions allow the local pumpkin harvest to produce many varieties that are rich in color and flavor! Pumpkins are a member of the squash family and contain an important phytonutrient called beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for good eyesight and proper growth.

Pumpkin Recipes to Try This Fall:

Pumpkin Pie          pumpkin-74292_640

Fresh Pumpkin Pie                                                          Pumpkin Gnocchi


  1. Pumpkins_Pace_for pie_08880% of the pumpkin supply in the United States is avaialbe in October.
  2. Pumpkins are FRUITS! – they are a winter squash in the Cucurbitacae family, which includes cucumbers and melons.
  3. Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antartica.
  4. Pumpkins take between 90 and 200 days to grow. Each pumpkin has over 500 seeds!
  5. There are over 45 different varieties of pumpkins!


Watch this video about Idaho Pumpkins.


Local Pumpkin Farmer Gives Back to the Community

For the second year in a row, Wilson Elementary in Caldwell was preparing for their Fall Festival. With only a week until the big day, Parent Teacher Organization Treasurer, Katie Flores, was still on the hunt for one thing – pumpkins. In a final attempt to save the festival, she sent a message through Facebook to Idaho Preferred asking if Crawford Farms would be willing to either donate or provide a discounted rate on a large amount of pumpkins.

“We have an extremely high volume of low-income families, this affordable pumpkin patch gives a lot of our students an opportunity to get one,” said Flores. “They look forward to this each year,” she added.

Galen Crawford, owner of Crawford Farms

Immediately, Leah Clark, Idaho Preferred Program Manager, contacted Galen Crawford of Crawford Farms and put him in touch with a desperate Flores. He agreed to donate over three hundred pumpkins to the local elementary school’s fall festival. “So I immediately called her and announced who I was and let her know that we would be able to do that, no problem!” Crawford explained. “Her reaction was that of disbelief it seemed, because she said, ‘all 300?’ and I told her yes. We love to give back to the community!” he added.

“I almost cried when he called!” exclaimed Flores. “All funds raised during our festival go right back to the kids. This helps pay for our field trips that our district no longer provides.” Incorporating field trips into the children’s curriculum is just one way Wilson Elementary tries to make learning interactive and fun. Proceeds from the fall festival also go toward supplies and other classroom needs.

DSC00687The pumpkin patch is the first thing the kids and parents see as they enter the humble festival, which was scheduled from 6:00-8:00 PM on a Friday evening. Each pumpkin is priced at only one or two dollars, depending on size, making them very affordable for all of the families. By 6:15 PM, there were hardly any pumpkins remaining. “People were here lined up at 5:30,” said Flores. “We are almost sold out!”


Other than a pumpkin patch, this year the family-friendly festivities included a baked potato dinner bar, a market, several gift basket raffles, games sponsored by each classroom with prizes, a bounce house, balloon animals, a tractor-pulled hayride, face painting and the Dutch Bros. Coffee truck.

DSC00707“It’s all about the kids,” said a group of passionate PTO parents who were volunteering at the market, which was set-up inside the gymnasium. All of the baked goods were made by parents and donated to sell. They also received pies from Shari’s and at the last minute Panera Bread generously donated pastries and cookies.

Everything at the local school’s fall event – pumpkins, potatoes, raffle prizes, games, baked goods, precious time – is graciously donated by parents, teachers, high school students, local businesses and other school employees. They hope to grow the festival each year and turn it into a community event with vendors, food trucks and more, which would make a significant difference for the school and the town of Caldwell.

DSC00714When asked why he thought it was important to support local schools, Crawford said, “It is important to support local schools because these are our next generation of Idahoans and Americans. I know that a lot of these school’s budgets are shrinking and it’s important to give back to the community who has so greatly supported us!”

Crawford Farms specializes in growing a wide variety of melons including personal sized, red, orange and yellow watermelons, sweet corn, tomatoes, eggplant, squash and pumpkins. They have a farm stand located at 8875 Washoe Road in Payette. Their products can also be found at your local Albertsons and through Grasmick Produce.

“I am extremely passionate about what I do! I loved growing up on the farm and it’s a privilege that most kids do not get to experience anymore. I want our children to be raised in the same manner I was raised with the values we grew up with,” said Crawford.

“I would encourage people to continue to buy local either by things marked ‘Idaho Preferred’ or through our local produce stand. We started it this year and people have been very receptive to it. People are looking to support local and to also actually see where and how their food is raised. By buying local the money stays here in the state and their local economy. Almost everyone that works for the farm and our stand is family!”

Galen Crawford is truly a man of his word. “They were amazing,” said Flores of the Crawford family. Flores and her husband went to pick up all three hundred pumpkins at the farm that Wednesday before the festival. “He is just so busy we offered to go out there,” said Flores, “and now we are friends.”


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