Saddle up for A Taste of Kentucky: Iconic foods of the Derby

Taste the Tradition: Kentucky Derby Foods

The Kentucky Derby is a well-known American event that annually attracts thousands of fans. However, it’s not just about the horse races. The Kentucky Derby is famous for a variety of reasons, one of the most significant reasons is its rich history. The race has been run annually since 1875, making it one of the oldest continuously run sporting events in the United States. It’s a part of American culture and is steeped in tradition, from the mint juleps to the garland of roses. Most would argue that the event’s food is as important, and the Kentucky Derby offers some of the most unusual and delectable dishes.

Derby Delights

The Mint Julep is among the most famous foods. This beverage is offered in a silver cup and serves as the Kentucky Derby’s official beverage. It is made with bourbon, mint, sugar, and ice, and a fresh mint sprig serves as the garnish. It’s a cool beverage that goes well with the race’s customarily warm weather.

The Hot Brown is another dish that is well-liked at the Kentucky Derby. The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, is where the hot sandwich known as the Hot Brown was created. It is eaten open-faced on bread and is made with turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce. It’s a tasty and filling sandwich that’s ideal for a quick snack throughout the race.

The Derby Pie is a delicacy that should not be missed by sweet tooths. The recipe for this chocolate-nut pie, which was created in Kentucky, is a closely-kept secret. Pecans, bourbon, and chocolate chips are common ingredients in the pie. It’s a sumptuous dessert that will satisfy your hunger perfectly.

There are some unusual delicacies that are provided during the Kentucky Derby in addition to the customary foods. With a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices, Burgoo is a thick stew. It is a customary Kentucky meal that is frequently offered at Derby celebrations. On chilly race days, it’s a fantastic comfort dish that will warm you up.

The Kentucky Bourbon Ball is another unusual food item. A favorite sweet in Kentucky, these candies are created with bourbon, cream, and chocolate. They’re a wonderful way to savor Kentucky bourbon’s tastes in a sweet and creamy form.

As you can see, the Kentucky Derby is more than merely a horse race. The food is a significant part of the event, and there are some delicious and unique dishes to try. From the Mint Julep to the Derby Pie and everything in between, there’s something for everyone at the Kentucky Derby. So, grab a plate, sit back, and enjoy the flavors of Kentucky during the “Run for the Roses.”

Here are some Kentucky Derby foods and facts:

  1. The Kentucky Derby is a famous horse race that takes place annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
  2. The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875 and was won by a horse named Aristides.
  3. The Kentucky Derby is the first race in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
  4. The fastest time ever recorded at the Kentucky Derby was set by Secretariat in 1973. He completed the 1 1/4 mile race in 1:59.40.
  5. The Kentucky Derby is also known as the “Run for the Roses” because the winner of the race is awarded a blanket made of roses.

Below, we’ve pulled together two of our best derby recipes to inspire fans all over to get creative in the kitchen and taste a little bit of the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Burgoo Recipe


  • 2 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 2- (8 ounce) Certified Angus Beef Top Sirloin Cut Filets, cut into 1- inch cubes
  • ½ pound Five Star Home Foods pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ pound turkey breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 quart chicken stock, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Idaho baking potatoes, peeled cubed ½ inch
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cut okra
  • 1 cup Cascadian Farm frozen corn
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen butter beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • A couple sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained


  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Working in batches, sauté beef, pork, and turkey, 5 minutes or until browned. Remove meat from pan. Repeat the procedure with remaining oil, beef, pork, and turkey until all has been browned. Remove from pan 
  2. Add 2 cups broth, salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add beef mixture, remaining broth, onion, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the potato, beans, corn, okra, thyme, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potato is tender. Stir in remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper, sugar, and the remaining 4 ingredients.  Simmer for 30-minutes or until mixture is thick.

Hot Brown Sliders


  •  1 (12-count) package Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, sliced in half
  • 1 pound Oven Roasted turkey breast
  • 12 slices white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices Hormel Black Label bacon, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces and cooked until crisp
  • 12 slices of Roma tomatoes, about 1/4-inch thick

Mornay Sauce (makes about 1 cup)

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Butter Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Mornay SauceIn a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheddar cheese. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Keep warm and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Using a large knife, slice the rolls in half so you have a portion of tops and a portion of bottoms. You want both portions of the rolls to remain connected, so there are two slabs. Place the bottom portion in the prepared pan.
  4. Evenly layer 1/2 of the turkey over the rolls. 
  5. Evenly layer the cheddar cheese slices.
  6. Sprinkle with the bacon.
  7. Layer with the tomato slices. (try to place a slice on each roll)
  8. Carefully spread the Mornay sauce over the tomatoes.
  9. Evenly layer the remaining sliced turkey, then top with the top portion of buns.
  10. Butter Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour mixture evenly over top of rolls. 
  11. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake covered for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove foil and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cut into individual sliders and serve immediately.

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Making Waves in Sustainability

Wild-caught Shrimp

Seafood is an important source of nutrition for millions of people around the world. However, overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices have led to the depletion of many marine species and the degradation of marine ecosystems. This has resulted in a need for sustainable seafood options, with wild-caught shrimp being one of them.

Shrimp is the world’s most popular seafood, with over 3 million tons consumed each year. However, not all shrimp farming is the same. Wild-caught, sustainable shrimp uses selective fishing methods that target only the shrimp species being caught. This can help to reduce the amount of bycatch, which is the unintentional capture of non-target species. Additionally, using fishing gear that does not damage the seabed, such as traps and pots, can help to protect marine habitats. This is incredibly important to Heartland Foods and our mission to provide food that is not only healthy for our customers, but the planet as well.

Tomorrow, April 29th is National Shrimp Scampi Day and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to use our wild-caught jumbo shrimp. Shrimp Scampi is a delicious and classic Italian-American dish that features succulent shrimp cooked in garlic, butter, and white wine sauce served over pasta. Shrimp scampi is not only delicious but also very easy to make, making it a great choice for a quick and impressive weeknight meal. 

Heartland Foods’ sustainable, wild-caught shrimp is not only delicious but also environmentally friendly. By choosing our shrimp that is caught in a sustainable way, you are supporting fishermen who use responsible fishing practices and help protect marine ecosystems. As we celebrate National Shrimp Scampi Day, let’s take a moment to appreciate the efforts of those who are working hard to provide us with high-quality shrimp while also preserving our oceans for future generations to enjoy. By making conscious choices, we can continue to enjoy this delectable seafood while also ensuring a better and more sustainable future.

Five facts about shrimp and shrimp scampi to include:

  • Shrimp scampi is a popular Italian-American dish that originated in the 1950s in the United States.
  • The word “scampi” actually refers to a type of Mediterranean lobster that is similar in taste to shrimp.
  • Shrimp are an excellent source of protein and are low in fat, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
  • There are over 300 different species of shrimp, with some of the most popular ones including tiger shrimp, pink shrimp, and brown shrimp.
  • The largest shrimp ever caught measured over 16 inches long and weighed over 1 pound.

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Spring Fling with Veggie Pasta: Taste the Season’s Best!

Savory Spring Pasta

Who said pasta is only for winter? We’re here to prove them wrong and show you how to have a pasta party all year round! Spring pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to lighten up and use the freshest seasonal produce. But let’s be real, sometimes we don’t have access to all those veggies, and that’s where frozen options come in clutch. Don’t believe us? Frozen veggies and meats can still bring flavor and nutrition to your plate – they’re like the superheroes of the freezer aisle!

At Five Star Home Foods, we’ve got you covered with a variety of frozen-fresh veggies that will add that pop of color and flavor to your spring pasta dishes. Carrots, peas, green beans, corn, and spinach are all perfect for creating a delicious medley of flavors and textures that will have you coming back for more. These crunchy and sweet veggies add a refreshing element to your pasta, making it the perfect dish for warmer weather.

But we can’t forget about the fresh herbs! Basil, parsley, chives, and mint are all abundant during spring and can take your pasta game to the next level. These aromatic and colorful herbs add a burst of freshness to your dish and make it a delightful experience for your taste buds.

Not only are spring pasta dishes delicious, but they’re also a fantastic way to incorporate healthy and wholesome ingredients into your diet. Frozen-fresh vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are crucial for overall health and well-being. So not only will you be enjoying a tasty meal, but you’ll also be fueling your body with the nutrients it needs.

Spring is all about embracing the freshness and flavors of the season, and what better way to do that than with a comforting bowl of pasta? We’ve even created two recipes to help you use those frozen-fresh veggies from Heartland Foods and create a pasta masterpiece. So go ahead, grab your favorite pasta, toss it with fresh spring ingredients, and get ready to savor the taste of spring on your plate!

Celebrate the bountiful spring harvest with a showcase of all kinds of fresh veg in a comforting bowl of pasta. We have created two recipes to help you lighten up and enjoy your frozen-fresh veggies from Five Star Home Foods.

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Earth Day: Going Green is the New Black

April 22 is Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainability. The first Earth Day was held in 1970, and it is now observed in over 190 countries around the world. Activities and events on Earth Day typically include community clean-ups, tree plantings, educational programs, and initiatives aimed at reducing waste and promoting conservation.

Earth Day is an important reminder to think about our impact on the planet and take steps towards more sustainable living. One way to do this is by choosing to consume organic, farm-to-freezer foods that are not only healthy for us but also better for the environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of organic and farm-to-freezer foods, and provide some tips on how to celebrate Earth Day with these sustainable choices.

Five Star Home Foods: What Makes Us Earth Friendly?

We believe in the Farm-to-Freezer Lifestyle and it is our mission to bring the best of America’s farms to your freezer. Our sustainable, organic farm-to-freezer foods are made from ingredients sourced from sustainable and organic farms. Our foods are minimally processed and free from artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. The idea behind the Farm-to-Freezer Lifestyle is to provide our customers with convenient and healthy options that support sustainable agriculture and environmentally-friendly practices. By choosing organic and sustainably produced foods, our customers can help reduce the environmental impact of food production, support local farmers and communities, and ensure that they are consuming nutritious and high-quality ingredients. Additionally, by flash-freezing these foods, they can be enjoyed year-round, reducing the need for transportation and storage, and minimizing food waste.

From Farm to Freezer:  Why Choosing Organic Foods for a Healthier You and Happier Planet

Why choose organic and farm-to-freezer foods? Choosing organic and farm-to-freezer foods has a number of benefits for both consumers and the environment. Here are just a few:

  1. Health benefits: Organic foods are free from harmful chemicals, making them healthier for us to consume. Farm-to-freezer foods also retain their nutritional value, as they are frozen at peak ripeness.
  2. Better for the Environment: Organic farming practices are better for the environment, as they avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that can harm soil health and contribute to water pollution. Choosing farm-to-freezer foods also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting and storing food.
  3. Nutrient Dense: Organic and sustainable foods are often grown in nutrient-rich soil, making them more nutrient-dense than conventionally grown foods. They also tend to be free from harmful pesticides and chemicals that can be harmful to human health.
  4. Better for Animal Welfare: Organic and sustainable farming methods prioritize animal welfare, ensuring that animals are treated humanely and have access to pasture and outdoor space.
  5. Encourages Healthy Eating Habits: Choosing all-natural, organic, sustainable farm-to-freezer foods encourages healthy eating habits, as they are often lower in preservatives and artificial ingredients and higher in nutrients. It also supports a more sustainable and eco-friendly food system for future generations.

Green Cuisine: A Sustainable Approach to Celebrating Earth Day

Celebrate the month of April with these bright and healthy recipes. We’ve pulled together recipes that are packed with all-natural meats and organic fruits to bring the best of Mother Nature to your table. 

Here are three Earth Day recipes using all-natural meats, organic fruits, and vegetables – Blueberry Muffins, Organic Spinach Salad with Grilled Steak and Green Goddess Roasted Chicken.  We hope you enjoy them!

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Garlic Lovers Unite

A Blog Dedicated to All Things Garlic

Happy National Garlic Month!

Garlic is an ingredient that has been used in cooking for centuries, and it’s easy to see why. Its pungent and unique flavor has made it a staple in many cuisines around the world. In April, we celebrate National Garlic Month, a time to appreciate this versatile and delicious ingredient.

Not only does garlic add amazing flavor to dishes, but it also has numerous health benefits. Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, making it a great addition to any healthy diet. It’s also been shown to help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and even help prevent certain types of cancer.

When it comes to cooking with garlic, there are endless possibilities. From classic Italian dishes like garlic bread and pasta aglio e olio, to Asian-inspired stir-fries and curries, garlic can be used in a wide range of dishes. It can be roasted, sautéed, minced, or even used raw in dressings and marinades.

During National Garlic Month, it’s the perfect time to experiment with new garlic-inspired dishes. Try making garlic butter shrimp linguine, garlic herb roasted chicken, or even roasted garlic hummus. Don’t be afraid to get creative and explore the many flavors and benefits that garlic has to offer.

So go ahead and celebrate National Garlic Month by adding some extra garlic to your favorite dishes. Your taste buds (and your health) will thank you!

Stinking Amazing: Garlic Fun Facts 

  • Garlic is part of the onion family, and is closely related to shallots, leeks, and chives.
  • The name “garlic” comes from the Old English word “garleac,” which means “spear leek.”
  • Garlic has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks believed that garlic had medicinal properties and used it to treat a variety of ailments.
  • Garlic is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and selenium.
  • The strong odor of garlic comes from a compound called allicin, which is released when garlic is chopped or crushed.
  • There are hundreds of different varieties of garlic, each with their own unique flavor and aroma.

Fun Garlic Uses: More Than Just a Vampire Repellent

  • Garlic is a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world, including Italian, French, Chinese, and Korean.
  • It can be used to add flavor to a wide range of dishes, including pasta, stir-fries, soups, stews, and roasted meats and vegetables.
  • Garlic can be used raw, roasted, fried, or pickled.
  • In addition to its culinary uses, garlic is believed to have a variety of health benefits. It may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and boost the immune system.

While garlic is mainly known as a culinary ingredient, it actually has several unexpected uses beyond the kitchen. Here are a few unexpected uses for garlic:

  1. Natural Pesticide: Garlic contains sulfur compounds that repel many insects, making it a natural pesticide. You can create a garlic spray by blending several garlic cloves with water, straining the mixture, and then spraying it on plants to repel pests.
  2. Cold and Flu Remedy: Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which make it effective in fighting off colds and flu. You can make a garlic tea by boiling several cloves of garlic in water and drinking the liquid.
  3. Ear Infection Treatment: Garlic has natural antibiotic properties that can help fight off ear infections. You can crush a garlic clove and wrap it in a small piece of cloth, then insert the cloth into the ear canal for a few hours.
  4. Wart Remover: Garlic’s antiviral and antibacterial properties can also help remove warts. Simply crush a garlic clove and apply it directly to the wart, covering it with a bandage. Repeat this process daily until the wart disappears.
  5. Odor Neutralizer: Garlic is great at neutralizing strong odors. If you have a smelly fridge or room, you can place a few cloves of garlic in a bowl to absorb the odor.

Garlic’s versatility and natural properties make it a useful ingredient in many areas of life beyond cooking.

Surprisingly Good Garlicky Combinations

Garlic can be paired with many different foods to create delicious and unexpected flavor combinations. Here are a few unexpectedly delicious food combinations with garlic to try:

  1. Garlic and Dark Chocolate: The earthy flavor of garlic pairs surprisingly well with the bitterness of dark chocolate. Try adding a little minced garlic to your favorite dark chocolate dessert recipe for a unique twist.
  2. Garlic and Yogurt: The tanginess of yogurt is a great complement to the sharpness of garlic. Try mixing minced garlic into plain yogurt, then using it as a dip for vegetables or pita bread.
  3. Garlic and Watermelon: The sweetness of watermelon is a surprising match for the pungency of garlic. Try tossing diced watermelon with minced garlic, olive oil, and feta cheese for a refreshing summer salad.
  4. Garlic and Honey: The sweetness of honey can help balance out the sharpness of garlic. Try mixing minced garlic with honey and using it as a glaze for grilled meats or vegetables.
  5. Garlic and Pineapple: The sweetness of pineapple is a great contrast to the spiciness of garlic. Try adding minced garlic to a pineapple salsa and serving it with grilled fish or chicken.
  6. Garlic and Apples: The tartness of apples pairs well with the pungency of garlic. Try adding minced garlic to a warm apple and cabbage slaw for a unique side dish.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your own flavor pairings!

Garlic-licious Recipes

Here are a few of our favorite garlic-based recipes to try:

  1. Garlic Butter Shrimp: Melt some butter in a pan over medium-high heat, then add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add some shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
  2. Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken: Mix together minced garlic, chopped herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley), olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture all over a whole chicken, then roast in the oven until golden and cooked through.
  3. Garlic Fried Rice: Cook some rice and set aside. In a pan, sauté minced garlic and chopped onions until softened, then add the cooked rice and stir to combine. Push the rice to the sides of the pan, then crack an egg into the center and scramble. Add soy sauce and chopped scallions, then stir to combine.
  4. Garlic Butter Steak: Sear a juicy steak in garlic butter for a simple and flavorful dinner. Melt butter in a skillet over high heat, then add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the steak and cook to your desired level of doneness.
  5. Beef Stir-Fry with Garlic: Stir-fry strips of beef with garlic, ginger, and your favorite vegetables for a quick and easy meal. Slice beef into thin strips, then stir-fry in a wok or skillet with garlic, ginger, and vegetables like bell peppers and broccoli.
  6. Garlic Roast Beef: Rub a beef roast with minced garlic, salt, and pepper, then roast in the oven for a flavorful and tender main dish. Place the beef roast in a roasting pan, then rub minced garlic all over the surface. Season with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven until cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  7. Beef and Broccoli with Garlic Sauce: This classic Chinese dish features tender beef and crisp broccoli in a savory garlic sauce. Stir-fry sliced beef with garlic, ginger, and broccoli, then add a mixture of soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch to create a flavorful sauce.
  8. Garlic and Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin: This elegant dish features a juicy beef tenderloin coated in garlic and fresh herbs. Rub the beef tenderloin with minced garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary, and salt, then roast in the oven until cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  9. Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon: Season salmon filets with salt and pepper, then cook in a skillet with garlic and lemon butter. This is a simple and delicious way to prepare salmon that everyone will love.
  10. Garlic Shrimp Scampi: This classic Italian dish is made by sautéing shrimp in garlic butter and white wine. Serve over pasta for a quick and delicious dinner.
  11. Baked Garlic and Parmesan Tilapia: Season tilapia filets with minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs, then bake in the oven until crispy and golden brown. This dish is easy to prepare and perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Garlic is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can enhance any dish, whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook. Its numerous health benefits and medicinal properties make it a valuable addition to any diet, and with so many ways to use it, you’ll never run out of creative and delicious ideas. From classic dishes like spaghetti aglio e olio to modern favorites like garlic butter shrimp, the possibilities are endless. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to add a little (preferably a lot) of extra garlic. In fact, if any recipe says “Use two cloves of garlic” just burn that book!!

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One Pot Wonders: Easy Meals with Farm-to-Freezer Ingredients

The Dinner Dilemma Solved.

Are you tired of spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals? Do you want to enjoy wholesome, nutrient-dense food without all the hassle? Look no further than your freezer! With Five Star Home Foods’/ Heartland Foods’ farm-fresh ingredients, you can create delicious and easy one-pot meals that will satisfy your cravings and simplify your meal planning.

We’re far from the first people to suggest a quick pasta dinner for busy weeknights, but our Skillet-Toasted Gnocchi with Peas is the recipe we turn to when I’m too tired to cook or short on time. We recommend keeping fresh pasta frozen in your freezer right next to our frozen fresh foods. It helps meals come together in less than thirty minutes.  The great thing about gnocchi is that you can toss the little potato dumplings straight into the pan without boiling them first. That means no large pasta pot to clean, only one skillet. Plus, gnocchi actually benefit from pan-frying, getting crispy on the outside while staying pillowy on the inside. 

What You Need and Creative Options:

Aside from gnocchi, everything else you need to make this dish is a pantry staple, from chicken broth to garlic. It also features another Five Star/ Heartland freezer staple: frozen organic petite peas. Although any of our frozen green vegetables would work here, from broccoli florets to spinach.

Adding our frozen organic corn would also add a delightful sweetness to this pasta dish and would be great with some added Hormel Black Label bacon. If you don’t have fresh thyme or parsley on hand, dried will do, but use half as much. While we suggest Parmesan, any hard cheese, like Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano, will work well in this recipe. 

Adding protein is a great way to bulk up the meal, and our all-natural chicken tossed in at the end of the cooking is an easy way to do it. You could also add leftover salmon to the mix. For a vegetarian addition, fry up assorted wild mushrooms while browning the gnocchi for a meaty texture without using any meat. Having all the proteins pre-cooked makes this dish perfect for meal planning. 

Another way to change up the dish is with finishing touches. A decadent way to top this pasta is with dollops of fresh ricotta that pair well with the lemon in the sauce.

For crunch, you can top the dish with toasted pine nuts. A sprinkle of sumac, a lemony Middle Eastern spice, plays off of the lemon in the sauce the same way the fresh thyme does, so we like to add a little for both flavor and its vibrant purple hue.

All this is to say: The possibilities with the dish are basically endless. 

*You will find the full recipe below.

Here are Five Star Home Foods’ tips and tricks for creating one-pot meals using our farm-to-freezer ingredients:

  1. Start with a protein. Our grass-fed beef, all-natural chicken breast, and wild-caught shrimp are perfect for adding protein and flavor to your one-pot meals. Try making a classic beef stew or a creamy chicken and vegetable skillet for a satisfying and wholesome meal.
  2. Add some veggies. Our frozen, fresh organic vegetables, such as broccoli, corn, green beans, butternut squash, and lima beans, are perfect for adding nutrients and texture to your one-pot meals. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different vegetables to create a unique and delicious meal.
  3. Experiment with spices and herbs. Spices and herbs can add flavor and depth to your one-pot meals. Try using Cajun seasoning for a spicy kick or rosemary and thyme for a savory and herbaceous taste.
  4. Use your favorite starches. Starches like rice, pasta, and our red-skinned roasted potatoes are perfect for making your one-pot meals more filling and satisfying. Try making a classic mac and cheese or a Cajun shrimp and rice skillet for a delicious and comforting meal.
  5. Don’t forget the broth. Broth is essential for creating flavorful and satisfying one-pot meals. Try using vegetable broth for a plant-based meal or beef broth for a savory and meaty flavor.

With these tips and tricks, you can create delicious and easy one-pot meals using our farm-to-freezer ingredients. Visit our website to stock up on our farm-fresh ingredients and get creative in the kitchen. 

Don’t forget to share your favorite one-pot meal creations with us on social media using the hashtag #farmtofreezermeals

Happy Cooking!

One Pot Gnocchi with Peas


  • 1/4 cup salted butter, divided
  • 1 (16-oz.) package potato gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoon (1 clove) garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (10-oz.) package Cascadian Farm Organic frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high; add gnocchi, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by about half, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add peas, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter; cook, stirring constantly, until butter melts, about 1 minute.
  4. Top with Parmesan, and serve immediately.


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Finding The Farmers Market in Your Freezer Year-Round

Spring Produce 

Spring is the season of renewal and growth, and nothing represents this more than the abundance of fresh produce available during this time. From asparagus and artichokes to carrots and peas, spring vegetables are some of the most flavorful and nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Unfortunately, the short growing season and perishability of many spring vegetables mean that they’re not always available year-round.

The Farm-to-Freezer Lifestyle 

Luckily, with Five Star Home Foods’ farm-to-freezer technology, you can have access to delicious and nutritious spring produce anytime, no matter where you are. Farm-to-freezer is a process that involves harvesting fresh produce at its peak ripeness, flash-freezing it to lock in its nutrients and flavor, and delivering it directly to our customers. By freezing produce at peak freshness we ensure that you get the same quality and flavor as fresh produce – whenever you’re ready!

The benefits of having farm-to-freezer spring produce available anytime are many. For one, it allows you to enjoy the taste and health benefits of fresh produce all year round, even when it’s out of season. This can be especially helpful for people who live in areas with limited access to fresh produce or for those who prefer the convenience of having healthy food delivered to their doorstep.

In addition to the benefits for our consumers, our farm-to-freezer lifestyle also has positive impacts on the environment. By freezing produce at its peak freshness, farm-to-freezer foods reduce waste and minimize the carbon footprint associated with transportation and storage. Frozen produce requires less energy to transport and store than fresh produce, and it doesn’t require the same amount of packaging to maintain its freshness.

Having our farm-to-freezer spring produce stocked in your freezer and available anytime is a win-win for both our customers and the environment. With its delicious taste, health benefits, and convenience, the Five Star Home Foods’ Farm-to-Freezer lifestyle is a great way to enjoy the best of spring produce all year round, while also reducing waste and minimizing your carbon footprint.

Creating Your Own Kitchen Garden

Just like keeping our frozen fruits and vegetables stocked in your freezer, growing your own indoor garden can be a great way to reduce waste, plastic packaging and transportation emissions, have fresh produce always available, and save money in the long run. Here are some fantastic ideas to keep your kitchen stocked all year-round.

Growing Spring Herbs Indoors

Spring herbs are a group of fresh herbs that thrive during the spring season. These herbs are known for their bright flavors and fragrances, which can add a fresh touch to your meals. These easy-to-grow spring herbs can be grown in small pots or containers and require minimal maintenance, making them perfect for beginners or those with limited space. Here are some easy spring herbs to grow in your kitchen:

  1. Basil: Basil is a popular herb that can be easily grown indoors. It prefers bright, direct sunlight and well-draining soil. You can start basil from seed or purchase a starter plant, Spring herbs are a group of fresh herbs that thrive during the spring season. These herbs are known for their bright flavors and fragrances, which can add a fresh touch to your meals. and it will grow quickly once established.
  2. Chives: Chives are a hardy herb that can be grown indoors year-round. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. You can start chives from seeds or purchase a starter plant, and they will grow quickly and produce tasty, onion-like shoots.
  3. Mint: Mint is a refreshing herb that can be grown indoors in a pot or container. It prefers indirect sunlight and moist, well-draining soil. You can start mint from cuttings or purchase a starter plant, and it will grow quickly and produce fragrant leaves.
  4. Parsley: Parsley is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. You can start parsley from seeds or purchase a starter plant, and it will grow quickly and produce curly or flat leaves.
  5. Thyme: Thyme is a flavorful herb that can be grown indoors in a sunny spot. It prefers well-draining soil and moderate watering. You can start thyme from seeds or purchase a starter plant, and it will grow quickly and produce fragrant leaves.

Kitchen Staples to Grow Indoors

Growing Garlic:

You can grow garlic indoors in your kitchen! Here are a few ways to do it:

  1. Plant garlic cloves in soil: Choose a large pot with good drainage and fill it with potting soil. Separate a garlic bulb into individual cloves, leaving the papery skin intact, and plant each clove pointed-end up about 2 inches deep in the soil. Place the pot in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. Within a few weeks, you should see green shoots emerging from the soil.
  2. Grow garlic in water: Peel the outer layer off a garlic bulb and place it in a jar or vase filled with water, with the pointed end facing up. Change the water every couple of days and place the jar in a sunny spot. Within a few days, you should see roots growing from the bottom of the bulb and shoots emerging from the top.
  3. Use a garlic grow bag: Purchase a specially designed garlic grow bag that is made of breathable fabric and has a drainage hole. Fill the bag with potting soil and plant garlic cloves about 2 inches deep, with the pointed end facing up. Place the bag in a sunny spot and water regularly.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to give your garlic plant enough light, water, and nutrients to grow. With a little patience and care, you can have fresh garlic growing right in your kitchen!

Growing Green Onions Indoors

Green onions are one of the easiest vegetables to regrow from scraps. Here’s how you can use your leftover green onions to grow more:

  1. Cut off the root end of the green onion, leaving about an inch of the white part attached.
  2. Place the root end in a jar or glass with enough water to cover the roots.
  3. Place the jar in a sunny spot and change the water every few days to keep it fresh.
  4. After a week or two, you should see new growth emerging from the top of the green onion. Keep changing the water every few days, and in a few weeks, the green onion will be ready to harvest.

Broccoli, Peas & Carrot Stir-Fry

Here is a simple and delicious recipe that features both broccoli and carrots:

Broccoli, Peas  & Carrots Stir-Fry


  • 1– 10 ounce bag  Cascadian Farms Organic broccoli florets, frozen 
  • 1- 10 ounce bag Cascadian Farms Organic peas carrots, frozen 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: sesame seeds for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, and cornstarch until well combined.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add the broccoli and carrots to the skillet and stir to coat them with the garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with sesame seeds if desired. This dish can be served over rice or noodles for a more filling meal.

Enjoy this healthy and flavorful stir-fry that highlights the best of spring produce!

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Easter Bunny Approved Crafts and Recipes

A Fun-Filled Holiday 

Easter is a special time of year when families come together to celebrate the spring season and the joy of new beginnings. Whether you’re looking for fun crafts or tasty treats to make with your kids, there are plenty of options to choose from!

Chickadee Crafts: Adorable Easter Activities for Kids 

Easter is a wonderful opportunity to engage children in creative and fun activities that they will cherish for years to come. Easter crafts for kids are a great way to celebrate the holiday and get children excited about the festive season. With so many fun and easy craft ideas to choose from, kids of all ages can join in the Easter crafting fun and create something special for their loved ones.

Egg Decorating: One of the most popular Easter crafts for kids is egg decorating. Whether you choose to dye, paint, or draw on your eggs, the possibilities are endless. You can create intricate patterns and designs, or keep it simple with pastel colors and glitter.

Easter Wreath: Kids can make a wreath using a paper plate, pastel-colored tissue paper, and Easter-themed decorations like mini chicks or bunnies.

Easter Bunny Masks: Kids can create bunny masks using paper plates, pipe cleaners, and cotton balls.

Easter Chick Finger Puppets: Kids can make finger puppets using yellow felt, googly eyes, and orange paper.

Bunny Ear Headbands: Kids can make bunny ear headbands using construction paper, pipe cleaners, and markers.

Easter Egg Sun Catchers: Kids can make colorful Easter egg sun catchers using tissue paper, contact paper, and string.

Hop Into The Kitchen

When it comes to Easter recipes, there are plenty of options that kids will love to help make. Rice Krispie nests, bunny tail pretzels, and Easter Bunny trail mix are all easy and fun treats to make together. And who can resist a plate of bunny-shaped pancakes or Easter egg fruit pizza?

No matter what crafts or recipes you choose, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy spending time together as a family. Easter is a time to celebrate, and there’s no better way to do that than by creating memories with your loved ones. Below are our favorite kid-friendly Easter recipes to make with your little ones! But don’t worry we haven’t left you out we’ve also included our recipe for Sweet & Tangy Pineapple Glaze for your Easter Ham.

Rice Krispie Nests: Make Rice Krispie treats according to the package directions, then shape them into nest shapes using a muffin tin. Add jelly beans or chocolate eggs for a finishing touch.

Bunny Tail Pretzels: Dip pretzels in white chocolate, then roll them in shredded coconut. Add pink candy melts or frosting to create bunny tails.

Easter Bunny Trail Mix: Mix together popcorn, pretzels, chocolate chips, and colorful Easter candies. Put the mix in plastic eggs for a fun twist.

Bunny Pancakes: Use pancake batter to make bunny-shaped pancakes, and decorate them with whipped cream, fresh fruit, and syrup.

Easter Egg Fruit Pizza: 1/4 cup each of Cascadian Farms Organic Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries. Spread sugar cookie dough into a pizza pan, and bake it according to the package directions. Once cooled, top with whipped cream cheese frosting and colorful fresh fruit in the shape of Easter eggs.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: ½ bag of Five Star Home Foods frozen strawberries & ¾ cup milk chocolate chips. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, then dip strawberries in the chocolate and let them cool on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.

Spring Flower & Animal Cupcakes: Bake cupcakes according to the package directions, then decorate them with buttercream frosting and colorful flowers, animals and sprinkles.

Easter Bunny Bait: Mix together mini marshmallows, gummy worms, chocolate eggs  pretzels sticks, and bunny-shaped goldfish crackers.

Frozen Fruit Yogurt Bark


Here’s a recipe for a kid-friendly Easter treat that uses our line of organic fruit from Cascadian Farms:

Frozen Fruit Yogurt Bark


  • 1 cup of Cascadian Farms Organic Strawberries, frozen
  • 1 cup of Cascadian Farms Organic Blueberries, frozen
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • pistachios (optional)


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Blend the frozen fruit in a food processor until it is broken down into small pieces.
  3. In a bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Pour the yogurt mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer.
  5. Sprinkle the fruit pieces over the yogurt mixture.
  6. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until the yogurt bark is frozen solid.
  7. Once the yogurt bark is frozen, break it into pieces and serve immediately.

This frozen fruit yogurt bark is a healthy and delicious Easter treat that kids will love. 

But don’t worry parents, we have a special recipe for you as well. Here’s a delicious recipe for Pineapple Glaze that will add a sweet and tangy flavor to your Easter Ham. 


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Clean Eating Starts with a Clean Kitchen

Welcome Spring with a Fresh, Clean Kitchen  

Spring is the perfect time of year to tackle the task of spring cleaning, especially in the kitchen. After a long winter, our kitchens can become cluttered, disorganized, and dirty. With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, it’s the ideal time to refresh your living space and get ready for the new season.

Make cleaning a breeze this spring with our helpful tips

The kitchen is often the heart of the home, where we prepare meals, entertain guests, and spend quality time with family and friends. Here are some tips on how to effectively spring clean your kitchen:

  1. Declutter: The first step to spring cleaning your kitchen is to declutter. Start by going through your cabinets, drawers, and pantry, and getting rid of any expired, stale, or unused items. Donate or discard any kitchen gadgets, appliances, or dishes that you no longer use.
  2. Deep Clean: Once you have decluttered, it’s time to deep clean your kitchen. Clean all surfaces, including countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Clean your oven, stove, and range hood, and remember to clean your microwave, toaster, and blender.
  3. Organize: After your kitchen is thoroughly cleaned, organize your kitchen items in a way that makes sense to you. Group similar items together, such as baking supplies or spices, and use storage containers or baskets to keep everything tidy.
  4. Check your food storage: Spring is a great time to check your food storage and make sure everything is properly stored. Invest in airtight containers to help keep your food fresh, and discard any expired or stale food items.
  5. Refresh: Finally, add some fresh touches to your kitchen to give it a new look and feel. Add some plants, fresh flowers, or new kitchen towels to brighten up your space.

By following these tips, you can effectively spring clean your kitchen, creating a clean, organized, and refreshing space for cooking and entertaining. A clean and organized kitchen can also make meal prep easier and more enjoyable, giving you more time to enjoy the warmer weather and longer days.

Below are step-by-step guides on how to deep clean your fridge, your freezer and your pantry. PLUS! We have included two printable checklists for spring cleaning your ENTIRE home!

Deep Cleaning Your Fridge

Deep cleaning your fridge is an important task to keep it organized and to prevent the growth of bacteria and unpleasant odors. Here are some steps you can take to deep clean your fridge:

  1. Remove all the food: Start by taking all the food out of your fridge and placing it on a nearby counter or table. This will allow you to clean the interior of your fridge more easily.
  2. Unplug your fridge: Unplug your fridge from the power outlet and remove any removable shelves, drawers, and other parts.
  3. Clean the interior: Using a mixture of warm water and mild soap, clean the interior of your fridge, including the walls, shelves, and drawers. You can also use a solution of water and baking soda to clean tough stains and odors. Be sure to rinse the surfaces thoroughly with clean water and dry them with a clean towel.
  4. Clean the exterior: Clean the exterior of your fridge with a damp cloth and mild soap. Be sure to wipe down the door handles, gaskets, and other surfaces that are frequently touched.
  5. Clean the condenser coils: The condenser coils of your fridge are located either at the back or underneath the unit. Use a vacuum cleaner or a coil brush to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated on them.
  6. Reassemble your fridge: Once you have cleaned all the parts, reassemble your fridge by putting back the shelves, drawers, and other removable parts.
  7. Plug your fridge back in: Finally, plug your fridge back into the power outlet and wait for it to cool down before putting back the food.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your fridge is thoroughly cleaned and organized, and will continue to function efficiently for a long time.

Deep Cleaning Your Freezer


Deep cleaning your freezer is an important task to keep your food fresh and safe. Here are step-by-step instructions for deep cleaning your freezer:

  1. Empty the freezer: Start by unplugging the freezer and removing all the food from the freezer. If you have a lot of food, you may want to store it in a cooler with ice to keep it cold.
  2. Defrost the freezer: Allow the freezer to defrost completely. You can speed up the process by using a hairdryer or placing a pot of boiling water inside the freezer.
  3. Remove ice buildup: Once the freezer is defrosted, remove any ice buildup from the walls and shelves of the freezer. You can use a plastic scraper or a spatula to carefully scrape away the ice. Be careful not to damage the interior of the freezer.
  4. Clean the freezer interior: Use a solution of warm water and mild dish soap to clean the interior of the freezer. Be sure to clean the walls, shelves, and door gasket thoroughly. You can also use a solution of equal parts water and vinegar to help remove any stubborn stains or odors.
  5. Clean the freezer exterior: Wipe down the exterior of the freezer with a clean, damp cloth. If there are any stubborn stains or grime, you can use a solution of warm water and mild dish soap.
  6. Reorganize and restock: Once the freezer is completely dry, organize the food and restock it into the freezer. Be sure to label and date any items you put back into the freezer.
  7. Plug in and power up: Plug in the freezer and allow it to cool down to the desired temperature before adding any new food.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your freezer is deep cleaned and ready to keep your food fresh and safe.

Deep Cleaning Your Pantry

Whether you’ve got one cupboard or a whole walk-in pantry, we’ve got the steps you need to get clean & organized!

  1. Pull out everything: This will make it easy to see what you have and to reorganize with fresh eyes. If you just keep everything where it is, you may not find or clean everything.
  2. Throw away expired items: If you’ve got anything expired, you’ll want to toss it.
  3. Wipe down all shelves: While everything is out, you can give the pantry shelves a good scrub.
  4. Replace any torn or stained shelf liners: We like plastic ones because we can wash them and reuse them. They also protect the shelves from scratches, stains, and scuffs.
  5. Clean any baskets, tubs and containers: If you’ve got baskets full of crumbs or bins that have smudges, now’s a good time to tackle them.
  6. Group like items together: When you put everything back, we recommend grouping like items together in baskets to make things easy to find and store. Put school lunch/snack things together, baking supplies together, pasta & rice together, etc.
  7. Put open boxes and bags into airtight containers: If you have any open boxes or bags, the items will actually stay fresher in airtight containers or glass jars. 

Get your home ready for spring with our cleaning checklists!

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Passover Feast

A Jewish Tradition

The Jewish holiday of Passover commemorates the Israelites exodus from slavery in Egypt and celebrates their liberation while recognizing their hardships.This holiday is celebrated for eight days and is marked by a variety of traditions and rituals, including the consumption of specific Passover foods. These foods are a reflection of the cultural and historical significance of the holiday and are enjoyed by Jewish families around the world.

Traditional Passover Foods

One of the most iconic Passover foods is matzo, also known as unleavened bread. Matzo is a staple of the Passover diet and is used in a variety of dishes, including matzo ball soup, matzo brei (a matzo-based pancake), and matzo pizza. Brisket is another Passover favorite. This slow-cooked beef dish is typically seasoned with garlic, onions, and other herbs and spices and is served with vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Brisket is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for large family gatherings during the holiday.


Another popular Passover food is gefilte fish. This traditional dish is made from a mixture of ground fish (usually carp, pike, or whitefish) and other ingredients such as onions, carrots, and matzo meal. The mixture is then formed into balls or patties and cooked in a fish stock. Gefilte fish is often served cold as an appetizer and is a staple of Passover meals.


Charoset is a sweet Passover dish that is made from chopped nuts, apples, cinnamon, and wine. Charoset is typically served on a piece of matzo and is a delicious and meaningful addition to any Passover meal. For dessert, many Jewish families enjoy matzo meal-based treats such as macaroons and sponge cakes. These sweet treats are a great way to end a Passover meal and are often served with coffee or tea.


Passover is a holiday that is marked by a variety of traditional foods that are rich in cultural and historical significance. From matzo to brisket to charoset, these foods are a reflection of the Jewish people’s connection to their history and their faith. Whether enjoyed with family or shared with friends, Passover foods are a delicious and meaningful way to celebrate this special holiday.

We have shared three Passover recipes that we hope you and your family will enjoy for years to come!

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