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Party Plan: Fresh Foodie Fête

Delight even the most refined taste buds with a gourmet gathering featuring fresh flavors of the season.

Seeking inspiration for your next foodie fête? Waive the caterers and set your tables for the ultimate epicurean feast. First, learn to prep shrimp like a pro and decorate for food-themed parties.

Summon the healthful power of pigments by adding color to your spread via Citrus-Beet Hummus. Then infuse a little southern heat and charm by baking a plate of Cornmeal Fried Green Tomatoes. Care to lighten things up? Serve lettuce cups alongside a refreshing and naturally sweetened summer cocktail.

To anchor your main course, try our sumptuous Bay Scallops recipe, complete with summer herbs. And no foodie fête is complete without a decadent dessert. Fresh Raspberry Sea Salt Bon Bons and Orange-Blueberry Shortcake were made for such occasions.




Citrus-Beet Hummus

Citrus-Beet Hummus

Created by: Kroger Discover Fresh

Add a touch of tang and pizzazz to sandwiches, fruits, and chips with this brightly colored, easy-to-make citrus-beet hummus.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 large beet
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced, and 1 tsp. of lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini paste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions:
  1. Wash, peel and chop your beet into 1-inch pieces. Then place it in the center of a sheet of foil. Top with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and 1 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar. Wrap the beet chunks in foil and roast at 350°F for about 25 minutes (or until soft).
  2. When cooled, blend the beet and remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add seasoning as needed.
  3. Serve with cut vegetables and pita chips.

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Sriracha Red Potato Salad

Sriracha Red Potato Salad

Created by: Private Selection™

Looking to create grandmother's potato salad? You won't find it here! We called on Caitlin Steininger from CookingWithCaitlin.com to create a unique, sriracha-infused rendition of this staple side.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Private Selection™ Baby Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup Private Selection™ Stone Ground Mustard
  • 2 tsp. Private Selection™ Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Private Selection™ Black Pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Wash the potatoes and cut each one in quarters. Hold each potato together (all four pieces) and cut them into thick slices. Place the cut potatoes on an oiled cooking sheet and cook for 1 hour.
  2. As they roast, mix the mayo, sriracha, and mustard to make a sauce.
  3. Remove the potatoes when crispy and golden brown. While still hot, smother them in sauce.
  4. Add a little salt and pepper. Serve hot!

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Cornmeal Fried Green Tomatoes

Cornmeal Fried Green Tomatoes

Created by: Private Selection™

Crispy. Crunchy. And covered in cornmeal. Does it get any tastier than chef Anthony Lamas' Cornmeal Fried Green Tomatoes? The robust taste of Mississippi Comeback Sauce provides a solid kick to a southern standard in this must-make recipe.

 
Ingredients for Mississippi comeback sauce (makes 1 pint):
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. ground habañero powder or Private Selection™ Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 2 shakes Tabasco® sauce
  • 1/4 cup Private Selection™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lemon for juice and zest
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. Private Selection™ Mediterranean Oregano Leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried chives
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt for a lighter version)
Ingredients for the tomatoes:
  • 3 large green tomatoes
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup Private Selection™ Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 4 tsp. Private Selection™ Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp. Private Selection™ Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Private Selection™ Omega-3 Grade-A Large Eggs
Directions for the sauce:
  1. Mix the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Directions for the tomatoes:
  1. Slice tomatoes into thick slices (about 1/2 inch). Combine cornmeal, breadcrumbs, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Lightly beat 2 eggs in a shallow dish.
  2. Dip tomatoes in the egg, shake off excess, and then dredge in cornmeal mixture.
  3. Fry tomatoes in a large skillet filled with vegetable oil (1/2 inch of oil). Fry them in batches of 4 or 5 until they are golden brown. Flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels and season with salt and pepper while still hot. Serve with the comeback sauce.

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Bay Scallop Confit with Summer Herbs

Bay Scallop Confit with Summer Herbs

Created by: Private Selection™

You won't need to sit on the dock of the bay and wait for the perfect scallop recipe to come along, for it has arrived. Please any crowd and appetite with Bay Scallop Confit.

 
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 lbs. of bay scallops
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 16 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 3 lbs. fresh tomatoes (any variety)
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 5 sprigs flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 5 sprigs tarragon leaves
  • 1 link Saucusson Sec, grated with a micro plane
Directions:
  1. Combine 1 cup of olive oil with 12 cloves of whole garlic in a sauce pot and warm over very low heat for 40 minutes or until you can easily cut into the garlic with the tip of a knife. Chop the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the yellow onion, diced garlic, red pepper flakes, ginger, and celery. Sauté until the onions become translucent (about 5-8 minutes).
  3. Add white wine and bay leaf and reduce the wine by half. Add the tomato and sugar. Simmer for about 1 hour. With a blender, pulse the liquid until it is smooth. Alternately, pulse it in a food processer. Be sure to vent. Strain through a very fine mesh sieve.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place canola oil in the skillet and heat until almost simmering. Add the scallops and let cook, without moving, for 2 minutes on the first side and 30 seconds on the reverse.
  5. Mix the cooked garlic, scallops, and sauce together. Divide the dish between 4 bowls and garnish with the grated Saucusson Sec and fresh herbs.

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Mango Chicken Lettuce Cups

Mango Chicken Lettuce Cups

Created by: Private Selection™

What’s in your cup? How about fresh mango passion fruit salsa, chopped chicken, and feta? Kick off your dinner party with these flavor-filled lettuce wraps.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 (16 oz.) container Private Selection™ Mango Passion Fruit Salsa
  • 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, mix the chicken with 1 cup of mango passion fruit salsa. Set aside.
  2. Separate the smaller leaves from the head of lettuce.
  3. Fill each piece of lettuce with the chicken and salsa mixture. Then top it off with sliced green onions and crumbled feta cheese.

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Blueberry-Orange Shortcake

Blueberry-Orange Shortcake

Created by: Kroger Discover Fresh

If you like blueberry muffins, you’ll love this Blueberry-Orange shortcake recipe.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup sugar plus 3 Tbsp.
  • 3/4 cup orange juice, divided
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 cups biscuit mix
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 lb. fresh blueberries
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a mixing bowl, combine berries, sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice, and orange zest. Chill in your refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, combine the biscuit mix, 1/2 cup orange juice, 3 Tbsp. of sugar, and butter until a soft dough forms.
  3. Drop 1/3-cup scoops of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.
  4. Slice the shortcakes in half and place the berry mixture on the bottom half.
  5. Replace the top of the biscuit and cover it with the mix from step 1. Top it all off with whipped cream.

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Fresh Raspberry Sea Salt Bonbons

Fresh Raspberry Sea Salt Bonbons

Created by: Private Selection™

Take a little salted chocolate, add a few raspberries, and what do you have? Scrumptiousness, plain and simple. Chef Caitlin Steininger's unique Fresh Raspberry Sea Salt Bonbons call for fresh thyme, sea salt, and pure chocolate indulgence.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 bag Private Selection™ 62% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • 2 (6 oz.) cartons of raspberries
  • 1 bunch fresh Private Selection™ Dry Thyme
  • Private Selection™ Sea Salt
Directions:
  1. Use a double boiler. If you don't have one, use a small saucepot and a heat-resistant bowl to create a double boiler. Fill the bottom quarter pot with water over medium-low heat. Add the chocolate chunks to the top of the double boiler and stir until completely melted. Reduce to low heat.
  2. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems. Place the leaves into the center of the raspberries. Drop the raspberries into the melted chocolate and coat them using a small spoon.
  3. Remove the fruit from the chocolate and place them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. With the chocolate still hot, sprinkle sea salt on each bonbon. When finished, place the cookie sheet in the fridge. Keep the bonbons cold until ready to serve.

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Greek Yogurt Cupcakes

Greek Yogurt Cupcakes

Created by: Private Selection™

Make your dessert the most coveted dish at your upcoming summer soirée. These Greek Yogurt Cupcakes are made of olive oil-perfumed cake, deep-purple preserves, and citrus-kissed cream.

 
Ingredients for cupcakes:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Private Selection™ Omega-3 Grade-A Large Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Private Selection™ Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 (5 oz. jar) Private Selection™ Oregon Marion Blackberry Preserves (will use half jar)
Ingredients for frosting:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. mascarpone
  • 2 oranges
Directions for the sauce:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk the sugar, yogurt, eggs and olive oil in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine baking powder, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together.
  3. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Spray each cup with nonstick spray and pour the batter into the cups.
  4. Bake for 22-25 minutes. To test for doneness, stick a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes. If it comes out dry, go ahead and remove the cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 to 20 minutes. Using an apple corer, create a well in the center of each and pipe the preserves into the well.
  5. To prepare the frosting, whip the cream with electric beaters. In a separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar and mascarpone together. Fold the mascarpone and whipped cream mixtures together. Fold in the orange zest and juice. Place a dollop of cream on top of each of cupcake.

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3 Ways to Serve Healthier Summer Cocktails

3 Ways to Serve Healthier Summer Cocktails

Created by: Simple Truth

Be cordial by serving cocktails that are decadent in flavor but light in sugar content. Here are three all-natural substitutes for table sugar, so your calorie-conscious guests can have their cake and drink their mojitos, too!

Stevia: Simple Truth™ Stevia is certified organic and plant-based, with zero calories and a very low glycemic index. Skip sugary drink mixes and sprinkle in Stevia instead!

Agave: Derived from the same Mexican cactus plant that gives us tequila, agave nectar comes in a variety of flavors and strengths, ranging from light to dark and is similar in thickness and sweetness to honey.

Honey: Sweeter than sugar (so you need less to get your sweet fix), mix in darker brews for rich flavor.

Squeezed Juices: The opportunities are endless with juice in your corner. Add fresh lime juice to your margaritas, lemons to your strawberry fizz, and tomatoes to your Sunday Bloody Mary. Or, get creative and make a Whiskey Blood Orange Sour. Thirsty yet?

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Prep Shrimp Like a Pro

Prep Shrimp Like a Pro

Created by: Kroger Discover Fresh

Don’t skimp on the shrimp! Whether fresh or frozen, try to avoid shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. The shell protects the meat and the flavor, but peeling and deveining can be a real challenge. Take these quick tips into consideration before making your next shrimp cocktail.

  1. If using frozen shrimp, place them a sealed plastic container and place it in the fridge for an overnight thaw.
  2. To speed up the process, place your shrimp in a colander and run cold water over it for about 2 minutes.
  3. Avoid thawing in warm or room temperature water.
  4. To cook, boil a large saucepan of lightly salted water. Add the shrimp and cook for 1-3 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and pink. Then drain and rinse the shrimp in a colander under cold running water.
  5. Shrimp can be boiled, grilled, steamed, sautéed, baked, deep-fried, or simply served cold. They can be cooked and served with or without the shell and vein. Feel free to mix and match to please all of your guests!

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4 Surprising Ways to Enjoy Fresh Blueberries

4 Surprising Ways to Enjoy Fresh Blueberries

Created by: Kroger Discover Fresh

You might think of blueberries as the sink-to-the-bottom component of your fruit salad, but this antioxidant-rich fruit can be a foodie’s BFF when paired with the right ingredients. Here are four ways to get the most out of this summer produce staple:

Toss blueberries in a salad with pears, pecans and feta cheese, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Your taste buds will be tickled by the variety of textures and sweet, savory and salty flavors.

Pair blueberries with lemon and mint to bring out the fruit’s subtle undertones.

Plug in the juicer and toss in some blueberries, blackberries, orange juice, and Greek yogurt for a sweet and zesty shake.

Perk up your pancake batter by adding blueberries, which are naturally sweet and just 80 calories a cup—so they are a healthier friend for the flapjack than chocolate chips or nuts!

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5 Clever Décor Ideas for Your Foodie Fête

5 Clever Décor Ideas for Your Foodie Fête

The theme of your gathering is food, so what better way to celebrate the joy of cuisine than with food-focused décor elements? Here are five easy and elegant décor ideas for your decadent dinner.

Wine cork place cards or menu cards. Flatten a wine cork and slice a fine line in the center. Then use the cork to prop up place cards or cards labeling menu items. Use a fountain pen to handwrite the names to add extra flourish.

Fruit centerpieces. Fill large glass jars of varying sizes and shapes with in-season fruits. Group fruits of the same color together for monochromatic appeal.

Wheat grass or herb planters. Place small terra cotta or tin planters filled with fresh herbs or edible grasses at serving stations or as a centerpiece on the dining table. A sprig of fresh mint to enjoy with my blueberry shortcake? Don't mind if I do!

Hollowed-out fruit vases. Scoop out a melon, citrus fruit or other piece of sturdy, in-season produce and fill with a plant or single bloom.

Mason jar wine glasses. Get eco-chic by rinsing out the mason jars that stored the sauces, fruits, or other foods served at dinner and re-use them as wine glasses or drink tumblers!

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Food-tivities For a Fun Fête!

Food-tivities For a Fun Fête!

Q. What's the difference between a dinner and a dinner party? A. A few games! Try these icebreakers at your gathering to inspire conversation and a few giggles.

Name that herb. Fill a few empty baby food jars or small bowls with various fresh herbs, or pureed fruits or vegetables. Blindfold guests and have them smell each item and guess what it is. The winner gets a prize, such as a homemade sugar scrub.

Cooking competition. Split guests into teams of 2-3 and give each team the same few ingredients. See who can come up with the most creative (and delicious!) concoction.

Veggie art. Cut open potatoes, apples and other fruits and vegetables with firm insides and provide guests with small pots of paint and napkins or aprons. Have them create patterns on the fabric for a wearable, memorable party favor.

Wine tasting. Whet guests' appetites by kicking off the party with a wine tasting. Choose locally sourced wines and gourmet Murray's cheeses, ensuring light, creamy and sweet cheeses are paired with sweet reds and tart, savory cheeses accompany crisp whites.

View Party Plan: Fresh Foodie Fête

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