A Squared: My Favorite Things: Farmer's Garden by Vlasic

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Favorite Things: Farmer's Garden by Vlasic

It's Monday again... these summer weekends (and weeks, really) just fly by too darn quickly!

This weekend we finally tried the infamous burgers at Kuma's Corner (more on that later), celebrated a friend's birthday with cocktails in Old Town and a fun new (to me) game/app: Head's Up!, and I made a brief visit to the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park for a fun event for food bloggers.

Vlasic was in attendance at the Taste this year to share their newest line of products with Chicago food lovers:  Farmer's Garden pickles. Have you tried them yet? They are pickles made the old fashioned way: hand picked, hand packed, and pickled with real spices and ingredients-- not the neon green chemical-y looking pickles you are used to seeing on the shelf at your store.

Lovely Farmer's Garden Pickles on display

I spotted them at the grocery store for the first time a few weeks and snatched up a jar. I was a sucker for the pretty mason jar packaging and the delicious addition of pickled red peppers and carrots to the jar. My husband was a sucker for the taste and I often find him eating the Bread & Butter Chips right out of the jar with a fork.

Since I was already a fan of the product, I was psyched to get invited by Vlasic and Chicago Blogger Network to attend a special pickling and tasting event for food bloggers featuring Vlasic's Farmer's Garden products.  Chef Kasey Passen of Culinary Gatherings was there to walk us through the pickling process from start to finish using Vlasic's recipes for Bread & Butter and Dill Pickles. These new recipes were inspired by the original pickle recipes that Joseph Vlasic used decades ago. They're also a nod to America's farm to table movement and the fact that more and more we're looking for high quality real ingredients that are locally grown and produced. A fun fact that I learned: 90% of the cucumbers used in these pickles are grown in my childhood home of Michigan.

Chef Kasey in action

Chef Kasey showed us how to create a brine, to toast whole spices, pack a jar of pickling vegetables, and then to boil the jars to finish the canning process. It was much simpler than I expected and made me wish I had more storage space in my kitchen... if I did, I'd be making jams and pickling cucumbers, green beans, and all sorts of other things just like Chef Kasey, my mom, and my Oma did.

Beyond the great philosophy behind these product, they just taste really good. The pickles are crunchy and flavorful due to the whole mustard seeds or garlic cloves that you can see right in the jar.

These pickles are the real deal. Check out the spices!
Swag by Vlasic. Thank you!

The Vlasic folks were nice enough to send me home with a few jars of Farmer's Garden pickles, so we grilled bison burgers for dinner and I served them with caramelized onions and Farmer's Garden Bread & Butter Chips. It was a perfect and simple summertime dinner.

Bison burgers with Farmer's Market Bread & Butter Chips

Thanks to Vlasic for hosting such a fun event-- and for creating a product that's tasty and that I can feel good about eating!


This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

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