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Brennans Market

Brennan's Market

Wisconsin's Premier Market for Outstanding Flavor!

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Health Benefits of Eating Apples

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to improve your health - you've come to the right place! Apples have substantial benefits. No wonder "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" has caught on for so long - because it's true!

Healthier teeth: chewing fruits and vegetables with vitamin A & C promotes a healthier mouth.

Decreases cancer risk: Scientists have discovered that an apple peel has potent anti-growth properties against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast.

Improves lung function: a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins is good for lung function and prevents asthma.

Decreases diabetes risk: apples have soluble fibre which is the key to curbing blood sugar cravings.

Boosts immune system: red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which can help boost and fortify your immune system.

Removes body toxins: apples are one of the best detox foods with its high sources of vitamins and minerals.

Controls weight: foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

Hydrates skin: water isn’t the only way to hydrate yourself, apples can do so as well.

Decreases cholesterol: apples are one of the top fruits that produces plenty of pectin which prevents cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessel walls.

Maintains healthy heart: researchers have linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries.

Aids in preventing dementia: apples aid in an important source of vitamins and minerals which supports brain health.

Detoxifies liver: apples are a top detox food which aids in repairing and helping the liver function better.

Tips from Reader's Digest and Best Health Magazine.
1 of 10

A Sparkling Wine for Everyone

Bubbly is quickly coming up on its biggest night of the year. With so many different varieties of sparkling wine and sweetness levels, there is a tasty match for every palate. 

And, don't forget about our 20% discount when get buy 6 bottles. You can even Mix-and-Match.*

Like it Sweet?
Sweet bubbles aren't limited to Moscato di'Asti. there are plenty of Sweet Red Sparklers. too. 
White
Pair with spicy meals and fruit based desserts
  • Soljans Fusion Sparkling (New Zealand): $14.99
  • Martelleti Moscato di Asti (Italy): 12.99
  • Perini Perini Malvasia Sweet (Italy): $11.99
Red: 
Enjoy with pasta, salami, blue cheese and chocolate
  • Casali Viticultori Campo delle More Malbo Gentile Dolce Frizzante (Italy): $14.99
  • CQV Bonarda Sweet Red Sparkling (Italy): $11.99
Not Too Sweet & Not Too Dry?
Otherwise known as Extra Dry, this category is full of crowd-pleasers to pair with rich and/or salty appetizers. Think salami, cheese, prosciutto, potato chips and butter popcorn.  Also great in Champagne cocktails. 
  • Soljans Fusion Rose (New Zealand): $14.99
  • Italia Prosecco (Italy): $12.99
  • Filipetti Prosecco (Italy): $11.99
  • Mi Terruno Extra Dry (Argentina) : $11.99
  • Bertolani Rosso Brusco (Italy):  $11.99
The Drier The Better?
We've got red, white and pink options for you here. 

  • Soljans Legacy Brut (New Zealand): $29.99- The dry acidity of this wine complements the sweet richness of seafood and is fantastic with homemade mac and cheese and fondue
  • Alfredo Bertolani Lambrusco Secco (Italy): $11.99- Enjoy with pasta and beef. 
  • Alfredo Bertolani Lambrusco Rose (Italy): $11.99- Pair with lighter appetizers. 


*Exclusions do apply
2 of 10

Introducing Our New Rewards Program

We're so excited about our new rewards program!

Here's how it works:

1. Download the free Thanx app or sign-up at thanx.com/BrennansMarket
2. Get $10 off your purchase just for signing up.
3. Get $25 off for every $300 spent.

Yes, it's that easy! Sign-up today to start earning rewards. 



Frequently asked questions:

Why did you select this type of reward program, rather than a punch card or plastic swipe card?

Two Reasons. 

1. We evaluated a number of loyalty solutions on the market, but everything we looked at forced consumers to participate in extra steps. We didn’t want to complicate the experience. Rewards should be easy and fun. 

2. A register or internally managed program would have required a very costly update to our point-sale-systems. Thanx allowed us to invest in our customers rather than expensive hardware and software.

Why do I have to enter/share my credit card # ? 

We understand your concern. We care deeply about credit card security.

The Thanx app doesn't store or see your credit card information. So you aren't sharing it with Thanx or even Brennan's. You are sharing it with credit card companies because the app is intergrated directly with them.  When you register your card with the app, your card # is encrypted with bank level security and sent directly from your phone to Visa, MC, etc. They mark your card as enrolled and send Thanx a notifciation when you use it to make a purchase at Brennan's. Thanx doesn't know or even see your credit card. Thanx will not and cannot charge your card, nor can your card be stolen from Thanx- they don't have it.

Note: Thanx uses the same technology as Apple Pay and has been using it for 2 more years than Apple. 




3 of 10

What is Artisanal Hard Cider?

What is the difference between Big Brand Ciders and Artisanal Ciders? 

Most broadly distributed domestic ciders use common apples,or apple concentrate and add sugar. As a result the ciders are cheaper to make.

Artisanal Cideries use cider apples and don't add sugar. They use the traditional method: pick, press, ferment and serve. As a result, the ciders are more expensive to make. 

What are cider apples?
Many of common apples we know today were chosen because they ship well and because they look pretty. Cider apples or heirloom apples were selected for making alcohol, for flavor and acidity. They don't look pretty or travel well.

Is making artisanal cider more like making beer or wine?
It's more like making wine, because you are dependent on the quality of the fruit. 

The Cider Spectrum
Ciders range from dry to semidry to sweet. Here’s how our favorites stack up

Dry
Maiden Rock Crabby Cider, Stockholm, WI
Colorado Cider Co Glider Dry Cider, Denver, CO
Maiden Rock Stumpy, Stockholm, WI
Colorado Cider Co Newtown Pippin, Denver, CO
Colorado Cider Co Cherry Glider, Denver, CO
Colorado Cider Co Ol Stumpy, Denver, CO
Colorado Cider Co, Grass-hop-ah, Denver, CO

Semi-Dry
Colorado Cider CoGlider Cider, Denver, CO
Maiden Rock Honeycrisp Cider, Stockholm, WI
Longdrop Cider Co Semi-Sweet, Boise, Idaho
Colorado Cider Co Pom Mel, Denver, CO
Colorado Cider, Co Pearsnickety, Denver, CO

Sweet
Longdrop Cider Co, Vanilla Honey, Boise, Idaho
4 of 10

Thanksgiving Brews & Hard Cider

Hard to believe that not everyone drinks wine, but it's true. Wondering what to serve your beer loving guests. Here are some brews and ciders that are sure to please even the most discerning beer drinker.

Millstream John's Wit (Iowa) or Harvest Moon Beltian White Ale (Montana) Witbier is a great for pairing with turkey because they will complement the bird rather than overwhelming it and actually enhance its flavors.

Woodland Empire Ale Craft Los Bois Rustic Saison (Idaho): Earthy, bready and fruity, this traditional Saison is dry with a musty herbal aroma. Perfect for the feast of all feasts.

Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison (Minnesota):  Perfectly balanced and moderately sweet with light citrus notes and a distinct spiciness from choice Belgian yeasts. This brew can carry you through the whole meal. 

Scuttlebutt 10 Below: Pair this Imperial Dunkelweiss with Sweet Potato Casserole and Pumpkin Pie. 

Harvest Moon Pig Ass Porter: While the name doesn't scream family holiday, the flavor screams,  "Bring on the pecan pie!" 

If you truly want your friends and family to drink like pilgrims, serve Hard Cider, such as Colorado Cider Company's Glider (Colorado). This easy-drinking cider off-dry cider has aromas of Fuji apple,straw and a hint of spice. Taste is fruity with apples, citrus, apple peel, light straw and a hint of caramelly spice.

Or try Maiden Rock HoneyCrisp Hard (Wisconsin) with Aromas of sweet apples, a hint of honey, some Asti Spumante vapor and a touch of salt. Taste is spritzy, semi-tart flavors of apples and a hint of lemon. It's like drinking sparkling wine, but not.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Cheers~ 
5 of 10

Sierra Mama Sorrenti's Minestrone Soup

When the weather turns colder in Wisconsin, it takes a while to get used to.  It will get much colder, but the 40 degree days help us transition seasons.  Soup also helps transition seasons.   Many families are still busy with activities, so a Sierra soup is an easy and delicious hot meal to have ready when you get home.

I made the Minestrone soup a week ago.  There were only a couple of extra ingredients I added besides the soup mix and water.   The Minestrone calls for diced tomatoes and chopped onions.  I also added some sausage.  I did let it cook for an hour longer than the package called for.  When my husband got home from work he made a big bowl of the Minestone.   His first reaction was that it tasted a little different than what he had in the past when ordering at a restaurant or making it at home.  

Mama Sorrenti's actual famous recipe!  This Italian vegetable soup is a hearty meal all by itself. The mix comes complete with large slices of potatoes, carrots, flavorful vegetables, beans, herbs and a wonderful blend of spices. To add your own touch, just saute an onion and some Italian sausage before adding the other ingredients. All natural, vegan, vegetarian & gluten free. All soups make approx. 8-10 servings.
6 of 10

Save 20% on Wine 6-Packs

Yep! We normally offer 10% off our mix and match 6-packs, but wanted to shake things up for while. So mix and match your heart out!

Limited time only.
Excludes all other discounts/promotions. 1.5Ls and box wine.
7 of 10

Easy, Cheesy Appetizer for Turkey Day

I was watching the Food Network Thanksgiving Special the other day and one of the questions was about an easy Thanksgiving appetizer. Giada suggested making a cheese board, and I thought, "Exactly. Don't make more work for yourself on holiday!" Plus your guests will have more room for the meal you spent days planning and making.

Here are our general guidelines for making a cheese platter.

Pick a variety with different flavors or textures:
Soft and creamy: Brie or Triple Cream Havarti or Butterkase

Firm: 3-Year Aged Cheddar or Holland Family Farms Gouda

Strong Cheese: Consider buying at least one pungent, too, like Brennan's Blue or Brennan's Rock-n-Rolla Gorgonzola.

Choose accompaniments:
Toasted walnuts, almonds, honey, figs, fruit preserves, chutney, fresh apples or pears go well with cheese
Find a thin cracker: Elki Water crackers or Brennan's Classic Wheat or Caramelized Onion

Let the cheese come to room temperature: The complex flavors of cheese taste best when they are served at room temperature. Several hours before guests arrive, take the cheeses out of the fridge, and let them rest on the counter  until they're no longer cool to the touch.

Layout on a cheeseboard: Use a large wooden cutting board or a stone slab to lay out the cheese from mildest to strongest. Between each cheese, place fruits, nuts, and crackers to create dividers. Make sure each cheese has its own knife so that no one double-dips into separate cheeses.

Happy Thanksgiving!
8 of 10

Jam, Jelly, Spreadable Fruit, Preserve... What?

If you’re like me, you’re confused about the plethora of jams and jellies out there, particularly out on our shelves at Brennan’s. Not to say that I’m naive to the process of making them, I did help my grandma pick berries and make raspberry preserves. However, looking at my grandma’s pantry of mason jars is a little different. So, I did a little a research.

First, I wanted to find out what is the difference between jams, jellies and preserves.

Turns out that they are all made from fruit mixed with sugar and pectin. The key difference comes in the form the fruit takes.

Jelly: made from fruit juice
Jam: made from pureed fruit
Preserves: made from whole fruit.
 
So, this left me wondering what the heck is Spreadable Fruit? Spreadable Fruit is either a jam or a preserve that is made without sugar.

Viola! Now I feel like a genius. I have deciphered the code. Oops. Wait a minute.  What about Fruit Butter, Marmalade, Chutney and Conserve… oh my? Well, a little more research (aka Google time), and here’s what I found.

Fruit Butter is created by slow-cooking fruit and then putting the mixture through a sieve or blending it to reach the right consistency. Sugar (sometimes not) is then quickly added.

Marmalade is a sweet preserve in which pieces of fruit and rind are suspended. The key is the rind, which lends a bitterness to balance the sweetness of jelly.

Chutney, in its basic form, is a type of relish that contains fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. It can be thick or smooth, sweet , spicy or very spicy.

A Fruit Conserve is a fruit spread that is made with with fruit stewed in sugar without added pectin so they are usually runnier than jams and jellies.

So, there it is… my jam manifesto. I hope it helps you, too.


9 of 10

Think Pesto is Just for Pasta?

About a month ago, we got in 7 new of pestos/dips from Bear Pond Farms in Connecticut: Basil, Lemony, Pepperoni, Tomato Basil, Spicy Vegan, Cilantro and Savory Artichoke.  They are all-natural, nut free, gluten-free and sodium-smart. So, probably not good right? Nope! They are delicious and incredibly versatile. I've traditionally used pesto just for pasta and pasta salads, but not anymore. I've been experimenting with them all month, and here are 12 great ways to use pesto this summer.

1. Use Cilantro Pesto instead of salsa on fish tacos. A vibrant contrast to the creamy sour cream.
2. Thin out Basil Pesto with a little more oil or vinegar, depending on your taste, (I used vinegar) to make a quick vinaigrette for salads.
3. Spread Tomato Basil Pesto on sandwiches like grilled cheese, or a grilled chicken & veggies with feta cheese for burst of flavor.
4. Toss Basil Pesto with Fresh Mozzarella and serve the diced tomatoes or make kabobs with the marinated cheese and cherry or grape tomatoes.
5. Fresh Mozzarella balls with Basil Pesto & chopped tomatoes.
6. The Artichoke Pesto is fantastic as a dip with tortilla chips.
7. Use the Artichoke Pesto as a sauce for pizza and top it with artichoke hearts, chicken and Fontina cheese.
8. Pair the Lemony Pesto with shrimp for a new take on cocktail sauce.
9. Instead of butter, toss with cooked veggies like crispy, roasted potatoes.
10. Make a decadent cheese bread or bruschetta with Pepperoni Pesto, French bread and mozzarella cheese.
11. Toss Spicy Vegan Pesto with tofu and veggies for an quick meal.
12. Top your grilled steak or chicken with Basil Pesto, like a compound butter sans the butter.
Combine Cilantro Pesto with  hot cooked rice for colorful side-dish for Mexican-faire.

10 of 10
Latest News
News Photo
Health Benefits of Eating Apples
News Photo
A Sparkling Wine for Everyone
News Photo
Introducing Our New Rewards Program
News Photo
What is Artisanal Hard Cider?
News Photo
Thanksgiving Brews & Hard Cider
News Photo
Sierra Mama Sorrenti's Minestrone Soup
News Photo
Save 20% on Wine 6-Packs
News Photo
Easy, Cheesy Appetizer for Turkey Day
News Photo
Jam, Jelly, Spreadable Fruit, Preserve... What?
News Photo
Think Pesto is Just for Pasta?
Featured Articles
News Photo

Health Benefits of Eating Apples

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to improve your health - you've come to the right place! Apples have substantial benefits. No wonder "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" has caught on for so long - because it's true!Healthier teeth: chewing fruits and vegetables with vitamin A & C promotes a healthier mouth.Decreases cancer risk: Scientists have discovered that an apple peel has potent anti-growth properties against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast.Improves lung function: a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins is good for lung function and prevents asthma.Decreases diabetes risk: apples have soluble fibre which is the key to curbing blood sugar cravings.Boosts immune system: red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which can help boost and fortify your immune system.Removes body toxins: apples are one of the best detox foods with its high sources of vitamins and minerals.Controls weight: foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.Hydrates skin: water isn’t the only way to hydrate yourself, apples can do so as well.Decreases cholesterol: apples are one of the top fruits that produces plenty of pectin which prevents cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessel walls.Maintains healthy heart: researchers have linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries.Aids in preventing dementia: apples aid in an important source of vitamins and minerals which supports brain health.Detoxifies liver: apples are a top detox food which aids in repairing and helping the liver function better.Tips from Reader's Digest and Best Health Magazine.
News Photo

A Sparkling Wine for Everyone

Bubbly is quickly coming up on its biggest night of the year. With so many different varieties of sparkling wine and sweetness levels, there is a tasty match for every palate. And, don't forget about our 20% discount when get buy 6 bottles. You can even Mix-and-Match.*Like it Sweet?Sweet bubbles aren't limited to Moscato di'Asti. there are plenty of Sweet Red Sparklers. too. White: Pair with spicy meals and fruit based dessertsSoljans Fusion Sparkling (New Zealand): $14.99Martelleti Moscato di Asti (Italy): 12.99Perini Perini Malvasia Sweet (Italy): $11.99Red: Enjoy with pasta, salami, blue cheese and chocolateCasali Viticultori Campo delle More Malbo Gentile Dolce Frizzante (Italy): $14.99CQV Bonarda Sweet Red Sparkling (Italy): $11.99Not Too Sweet & Not Too Dry?Otherwise known as Extra Dry, this category is full of crowd-pleasers to pair with rich and/or salty appetizers. Think salami, cheese, prosciutto, potato chips and butter popcorn.  Also great in Champagne cocktails. Soljans Fusion Rose (New Zealand): $14.99Italia Prosecco (Italy): $12.99Filipetti Prosecco (Italy): $11.99Mi Terruno Extra Dry (Argentina) : $11.99Bertolani Rosso Brusco (Italy):  $11.99The Drier The Better?We've got red, white and pink options for you here. Soljans Legacy Brut (New Zealand): $29.99- The dry acidity of this wine complements the sweet richness of seafood and is fantastic with homemade mac and cheese and fondueAlfredo Bertolani Lambrusco Secco (Italy): $11.99- Enjoy with pasta and beef. Alfredo Bertolani Lambrusco Rose (Italy): $11.99- Pair with lighter appetizers. *Exclusions do apply
News Photo

Introducing Our New Rewards Program

We're so excited about our new rewards program!Here's how it works:1. Download the free Thanx app or sign-up at thanx.com/BrennansMarket2. Get $10 off your purchase just for signing up.3. Get $25 off for every $300 spent.Yes, it's that easy! Sign-up today to start earning rewards. Frequently asked questions:Why did you select this type of reward program, rather than a punch card or plastic swipe card?Two Reasons. 1. We evaluated a number of loyalty solutions on the market, but everything we looked at forced consumers to participate in extra steps. We didn’t want to complicate the experience. Rewards should be easy and fun. 2. A register or internally managed program would have required a very costly update to our point-sale-systems. Thanx allowed us to invest in our customers rather than expensive hardware and software.Why do I have to enter/share my credit card # ? We understand your concern. We care deeply about credit card security.The Thanx app doesn't store or see your credit card information. So you aren't sharing it with Thanx or even Brennan's. You are sharing it with credit card companies because the app is intergrated directly with them.  When you register your card with the app, your card # is encrypted with bank level security and sent directly from your phone to Visa, MC, etc. They mark your card as enrolled and send Thanx a notifciation when you use it to make a purchase at Brennan's. Thanx doesn't know or even see your credit card. Thanx will not and cannot charge your card, nor can your card be stolen from Thanx- they don't have it.Note: Thanx uses the same technology as Apple Pay and has been using it for 2 more years than Apple. 
News Photo

What is Artisanal Hard Cider?

What is the difference between Big Brand Ciders and Artisanal Ciders? Most broadly distributed domestic ciders use common apples,or apple concentrate and add sugar. As a result the ciders are cheaper to make.Artisanal Cideries use cider apples and don't add sugar. They use the traditional method: pick, press, ferment and serve. As a result, the ciders are more expensive to make. What are cider apples?Many of common apples we know today were chosen because they ship well and because they look pretty. Cider apples or heirloom apples were selected for making alcohol, for flavor and acidity. They don't look pretty or travel well.Is making artisanal cider more like making beer or wine?It's more like making wine, because you are dependent on the quality of the fruit. The Cider SpectrumCiders range from dry to semidry to sweet. Here’s how our favorites stack upDryMaiden Rock Crabby Cider, Stockholm, WIColorado Cider Co Glider Dry Cider, Denver, COMaiden Rock Stumpy, Stockholm, WIColorado Cider Co Newtown Pippin, Denver, COColorado Cider Co Cherry Glider, Denver, COColorado Cider Co Ol Stumpy, Denver, COColorado Cider Co, Grass-hop-ah, Denver, COSemi-DryColorado Cider CoGlider Cider, Denver, COMaiden Rock Honeycrisp Cider, Stockholm, WILongdrop Cider Co Semi-Sweet, Boise, IdahoColorado Cider Co Pom Mel, Denver, COColorado Cider, Co Pearsnickety, Denver, COSweetLongdrop Cider Co, Vanilla Honey, Boise, Idaho
News Photo

Thanksgiving Brews & Hard Cider

Hard to believe that not everyone drinks wine, but it's true. Wondering what to serve your beer loving guests. Here are some brews and ciders that are sure to please even the most discerning beer drinker.Millstream John's Wit (Iowa) or Harvest Moon Beltian White Ale (Montana) Witbier is a great for pairing with turkey because they will complement the bird rather than overwhelming it and actually enhance its flavors.Woodland Empire Ale Craft Los Bois Rustic Saison (Idaho): Earthy, bready and fruity, this traditional Saison is dry with a musty herbal aroma. Perfect for the feast of all feasts.Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison (Minnesota):  Perfectly balanced and moderately sweet with light citrus notes and a distinct spiciness from choice Belgian yeasts. This brew can carry you through the whole meal. Scuttlebutt 10 Below: Pair this Imperial Dunkelweiss with Sweet Potato Casserole and Pumpkin Pie. Harvest Moon Pig Ass Porter: While the name doesn't scream family holiday, the flavor screams,  "Bring on the pecan pie!" If you truly want your friends and family to drink like pilgrims, serve Hard Cider, such as Colorado Cider Company's Glider (Colorado). This easy-drinking cider off-dry cider has aromas of Fuji apple,straw and a hint of spice. Taste is fruity with apples, citrus, apple peel, light straw and a hint of caramelly spice.Or try Maiden Rock HoneyCrisp Hard (Wisconsin) with Aromas of sweet apples, a hint of honey, some Asti Spumante vapor and a touch of salt. Taste is spritzy, semi-tart flavors of apples and a hint of lemon. It's like drinking sparkling wine, but not.Happy Thanksgiving!Cheers~ 
News Photo

Sierra Mama Sorrenti's Minestrone Soup

When the weather turns colder in Wisconsin, it takes a while to get used to.  It will get much colder, but the 40 degree days help us transition seasons.  Soup also helps transition seasons.   Many families are still busy with activities, so a Sierra soup is an easy and delicious hot meal to have ready when you get home.I made the Minestrone soup a week ago.  There were only a couple of extra ingredients I added besides the soup mix and water.   The Minestrone calls for diced tomatoes and chopped onions.  I also added some sausage.  I did let it cook for an hour longer than the package called for.  When my husband got home from work he made a big bowl of the Minestone.   His first reaction was that it tasted a little different than what he had in the past when ordering at a restaurant or making it at home.  Mama Sorrenti's actual famous recipe!  This Italian vegetable soup is a hearty meal all by itself. The mix comes complete with large slices of potatoes, carrots, flavorful vegetables, beans, herbs and a wonderful blend of spices. To add your own touch, just saute an onion and some Italian sausage before adding the other ingredients. All natural, vegan, vegetarian & gluten free. All soups make approx. 8-10 servings.
News Photo

Save 20% on Wine 6-Packs

Yep! We normally offer 10% off our mix and match 6-packs, but wanted to shake things up for while. So mix and match your heart out!Limited time only.Excludes all other discounts/promotions. 1.5Ls and box wine.
News Photo

Easy, Cheesy Appetizer for Turkey Day

I was watching the Food Network Thanksgiving Special the other day and one of the questions was about an easy Thanksgiving appetizer. Giada suggested making a cheese board, and I thought, "Exactly. Don't make more work for yourself on holiday!" Plus your guests will have more room for the meal you spent days planning and making.Here are our general guidelines for making a cheese platter.Pick a variety with different flavors or textures:Soft and creamy: Brie or Triple Cream Havarti or ButterkaseFirm: 3-Year Aged Cheddar or Holland Family Farms GoudaStrong Cheese: Consider buying at least one pungent, too, like Brennan's Blue or Brennan's Rock-n-Rolla Gorgonzola.Choose accompaniments:Toasted walnuts, almonds, honey, figs, fruit preserves, chutney, fresh apples or pears go well with cheeseFind a thin cracker: Elki Water crackers or Brennan's Classic Wheat or Caramelized OnionLet the cheese come to room temperature: The complex flavors of cheese taste best when they are served at room temperature. Several hours before guests arrive, take the cheeses out of the fridge, and let them rest on the counter  until they're no longer cool to the touch.Layout on a cheeseboard: Use a large wooden cutting board or a stone slab to lay out the cheese from mildest to strongest. Between each cheese, place fruits, nuts, and crackers to create dividers. Make sure each cheese has its own knife so that no one double-dips into separate cheeses.Happy Thanksgiving!
News Photo

Jam, Jelly, Spreadable Fruit, Preserve... What?

If you’re like me, you’re confused about the plethora of jams and jellies out there, particularly out on our shelves at Brennan’s. Not to say that I’m naive to the process of making them, I did help my grandma pick berries and make raspberry preserves. However, looking at my grandma’s pantry of mason jars is a little different. So, I did a little a research.First, I wanted to find out what is the difference between jams, jellies and preserves.Turns out that they are all made from fruit mixed with sugar and pectin. The key difference comes in the form the fruit takes.Jelly: made from fruit juiceJam: made from pureed fruitPreserves: made from whole fruit. So, this left me wondering what the heck is Spreadable Fruit? Spreadable Fruit is either a jam or a preserve that is made without sugar.Viola! Now I feel like a genius. I have deciphered the code. Oops. Wait a minute.  What about Fruit Butter, Marmalade, Chutney and Conserve… oh my? Well, a little more research (aka Google time), and here’s what I found.Fruit Butter is created by slow-cooking fruit and then putting the mixture through a sieve or blending it to reach the right consistency. Sugar (sometimes not) is then quickly added.Marmalade is a sweet preserve in which pieces of fruit and rind are suspended. The key is the rind, which lends a bitterness to balance the sweetness of jelly.Chutney, in its basic form, is a type of relish that contains fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. It can be thick or smooth, sweet , spicy or very spicy.A Fruit Conserve is a fruit spread that is made with with fruit stewed in sugar without added pectin so they are usually runnier than jams and jellies.So, there it is… my jam manifesto. I hope it helps you, too.
News Photo

Think Pesto is Just for Pasta?

About a month ago, we got in 7 new of pestos/dips from Bear Pond Farms in Connecticut: Basil, Lemony, Pepperoni, Tomato Basil, Spicy Vegan, Cilantro and Savory Artichoke.  They are all-natural, nut free, gluten-free and sodium-smart. So, probably not good right? Nope! They are delicious and incredibly versatile. I've traditionally used pesto just for pasta and pasta salads, but not anymore. I've been experimenting with them all month, and here are 12 great ways to use pesto this summer.1. Use Cilantro Pesto instead of salsa on fish tacos. A vibrant contrast to the creamy sour cream.2. Thin out Basil Pesto with a little more oil or vinegar, depending on your taste, (I used vinegar) to make a quick vinaigrette for salads.3. Spread Tomato Basil Pesto on sandwiches like grilled cheese, or a grilled chicken & veggies with feta cheese for burst of flavor.4. Toss Basil Pesto with Fresh Mozzarella and serve the diced tomatoes or make kabobs with the marinated cheese and cherry or grape tomatoes.5. Fresh Mozzarella balls with Basil Pesto & chopped tomatoes.6. The Artichoke Pesto is fantastic as a dip with tortilla chips.7. Use the Artichoke Pesto as a sauce for pizza and top it with artichoke hearts, chicken and Fontina cheese.8. Pair the Lemony Pesto with shrimp for a new take on cocktail sauce.9. Instead of butter, toss with cooked veggies like crispy, roasted potatoes.10. Make a decadent cheese bread or bruschetta with Pepperoni Pesto, French bread and mozzarella cheese.11. Toss Spicy Vegan Pesto with tofu and veggies for an quick meal.12. Top your grilled steak or chicken with Basil Pesto, like a compound butter sans the butter.Combine Cilantro Pesto with  hot cooked rice for colorful side-dish for Mexican-faire.