What’s In Season? Butternut Squash!

If you’re not hearing pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin, you’re hearing BUTTERNUT SQUASH! And why not? ‘Tis the season for this nutty-flavor hard squash that can be used in many different ways!

  1. the most famous – butternut squash soup! Check out this recipe for Butternut Squash Soup on allrecipes.com – seems to the majority favorite!
  2. Roasting/boiled or steamed – like sweet potatoes and carrots  orange cousins! Butternut squash can be delicious all by itself as a sidedish – sprinkle with some butter and brown sugar and you’ll thank us later!
  3. Bake and add to salads with Kale and apples (that are also in season and for sale in all of our stores!)

– Try this Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Vinegarette Recipe from Foodnetwork.com or

– get creative with this Butternut Squash Lasagna

Don’t forget – It’s healthy too! Butternuts are rich in vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants!

 butternut squash

How the heck do you prepare Butternut Squash?

You have to start by cutting it into sections – which can be tricky, so be careful

Peel the blub and then halve it. Scrape out the seeds. Chop the flesh into bite sized pieces, and now it’s ready to boil or steam or roast!

** You’ll know when the squash is done when it is easily pierced with a fork, and the flesh is soft enough to chew.


What’s in Season? Eggplant!

It’s finally cooling off and everyone is thinking pumpkin, pumpkin pumpkin but we’re thinking – EGGPLANT!

Fresh, local eggplant continues to be an excellent choice from farm here on the eastern side of the continent, like right here in our backyard – New Jersey! If you pick some up now, prices are affordable because produce is abundant!

How do you eat/cook eggplant?

Eggplant is great for roasting, grilling, frying and even steaming!

Try some of these easy and delicious recipes from RealSimple.com

what's in season - eggplant

How to Select a Good Eggplant:

You want an eggplant that is more firm than soft, and doesn’t have any brown or sunken areas. It’s also good if the eggplant still has green left in the stem.

You also want to make sure to store the eggplant at room temperature until you use it – not the fridge, and not direct sunlight. The fridge can make the eggplant lose it’s flavor – believe it or not!!

Recipe Roundup for Rosh Hashanah

Fall is always a great time of year because there are lots of holidays to celebrate for everyone! Maybe it’s the cooler air, the leaves falling – but there is something totally loveable about the fall months! September kicks off with Labor day and Rosh Hashanah – so we thought we’d round up some of our favorite recipes for the Jewish New Year!


Our Favorite is:

Food Network’s 22 Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes

– they have something for everyone! You can never have enough brisket in your life, and their recipe for Sweet and Sour Brisket, by Ellie Krieger, just makes our mouth water!




Martha Stewart’s Rosh Hashanah Recipes

These recipes literally ‘take the cake’ for desserts! Just check out her Honey Cake with Caramelized Pears and Apple Honey Challah. Yum.


and if it’s your first year hosting Rosh Hashanah,

check out this step-by-step recipe on Brisket for Beginners on Food.com






Back-To-School Lunches – Getting Organized

It’s almost that time of year again: back-to-school. Between clothes, school supplies, picking classes and looking up bus/subway schedules – who has time to plan for lunches everyday too?

The key to survival is organization – and we’ve got your covered!

Get Organized!

You’re going to need the following items, so stock up (and order from us easily at www.myshopwise.com!)

– napkins

– sandwich bags

– snack bags

– silverware

– a new lunchbox? paper bags?

– or some inexpensive Glad or Rubbermaid containers if you don’t use disposable bags

Stock up on Food!

– Crackers

– Cookies

– Juice Boxes

– Yogurt

– Cheese sticks

– Pudding

– peanut butter and jelly

– sandwich buns and/or bread

– carrots and celery sticks

– easy to eat fruit like apples, oranges and bananas

Designate a Lunch Box Area

Whether it’s a drawer, shelf in the pantry or just a basket on the counter, try to keep as many items hosted together as possible so you can easily throw them together in a hurry!

Don’t forget you can order ALL back-to-school supplies online and have them delivered right to your door! www.myshopwise.com

Exclusive Weekly Specials!

Every week we put out a list and flyer of our weekly specials on our website, http://www.myshopwise.com – but you can also subscribe to our weekly specials email to see exclusive online specials! Don’t miss out on awesome fresh summer produce!

Like this week – we have strawberries on sale 2 for $5!


Seedless Watermelon only $.49/lb!


Who knew delicious could be so affordable!?

Click here to see a full list of our weekly specials and to sign up for the weekly email!



What’s in Season – Cantaloupes!

Mmmmmm nothing quenches your thrist on a hot summer day like cold melon. And today we’re talking about Cantaloupes! They are in season


and plentiful throughout the store – so order one today for some snack by the pool or sprinklers later tonight!

Remember, cantaloupes are already picked ripe, so make sure to cut it up once you get it, and store any left overs in the fridge.

Not the biggest fan of cantaloupe? Try it with other flavors!

I never used to be a big cantaloupe eater, but my favorite during summer is to pair it with proscuitto and and hard cheese. The melon compliments the meat and cheese and is a little party in your mouth. Give it a try!

Or try sprinkling a few pieces into your next grilled chicken salad. Cantaloupe and meats pair well!

Photo: Courtesy of bigredkitchen.com

To order some cantaloupe and other fresh produce, visit www.myshopwise.com!

Basil Basil Everywhere!

Have you noticed the lovely aroma of basil swirling around you everywhere you go? We have tons of fresh, local basil in store – and tons of ideas to add some flavor to your dinner tonight!

Last week we said to pair it with feta and watermelon. So why not sprinkle some fresh chopped leaves over your pizza tonight? Or on top of your beef or chicken dish before you bake or sautee it?

Our favorite way to enjoy basil? Over a hot plate of pasta! (In the air conditioning of course!!) Even though it sounds fancy and hard to make, Pesto is a really easy sauce to create yourself! We make it all the time at home, and even freeze the leftovers for a quick dinner down the road! The cool part about pesto? You can’t really mess it up – and you can get creative with the ingredients as well! Have a blender? Then you’re all ready to go!

Making Your Own HomeMade Basil Pesto


  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts (or our substitute – almonds!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups basil leaves (about 4 ounces)  – or another great herb to try here is Parsley. Yes, parsley!!
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend it all together little by little, adding more to your taste as you go. Viola! Throw over a fresh plate of hot pasta and you have a delicious, fresh gourmet meal in minutes! WARNING! You’re family is going to start calling you Martha.

Watermelon, Basil and Feta, oh my!

Ahhhh summer – so many fresh fruits and veggies – only so many meals in a day! There are so many delicious items in season right now, we just can’t possibly eat them all! Well, we could, but then, it might not help for later on at the beach in that swimsuit!

So we thought, how about we combine some of the fruits and veggies together so we can create ultimate, refreshing treats? Of course! In honor of the all-American foods served for the 4th of July, we thought we’d start today with watermelon.

You just don’t get any more American than BBQ, hot dogs and watermelon! Besides just knawing on it right out of the rind, we thought it would be a tasty treat to mix it with feta and basil, just like a lot of recipes you can find. Except, we made them little popable treats. Great for a juicy treat after a heavy swimming session in the pool.

So try this:

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Bites:


– cut watermelon into bite size pieces.

– cut feta into same-size square bites

– place a leaf of basil on top

– stick a toothpick through them


To order all ingredients online right to your home, visit http://www.myshopwise.com

Getting Creative with Tomatoes

I say to-MAY-to you say to -MAH-to. It’s summer and there are tomatoes everywhere! Yum! But eating just plain tomatoes everyday can get boring, so we looked to find a creative new way to make a summer fresh tasty treat!

And what would be better than this?

Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad

A fresh and delicious salad bursting with color!

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Yield: 4-6 servings

(Always use organic ingredients when available.)

2 heirloom tomatoes (or I used half of four different-colored heirlooms), cored and thinly sliced
2 ripe peaches, cored and thinly sliced
quarter of a red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsalmic or cider vinegar

Summer Sun Tea

Does anything define summer more than an icy cold glass of refreshing iced tea? Even better if it’s homemade.

I bet you didn’t realize it was so easy to make! Now you can look like the new Martha Stewart while it’s brewing, and sit back and relax with a glass (or two) because it is literally effortless!

Homemade Sun Tea

1. You will need a sun tea jar. You can find them at Target for about $5-$8. Or you can use smaller mason jars, or get a fancy, glass one at many home stores like Pottery Barn.

2. Fill with water.

3. Add approximately 8-10 tea bags, depending how strong you like your tea. (you might have to adjust after your first brew).

4. Get fun with fruit! We like to slice up and add a lemon, but you can try lots – like the rhubarb recipe we recently posted, strawberries, lime, mint – the ideas are endless!

5. Let it ‘sun’ on your window sill or balcony for the entire day (at least 8-9 hours). I usually put mine out in the morning so it is ready when I get home!

6. Squeeze out the excess tea in the tea bags and remove.

7. Chill and store in the fridge for an icy-cool beverage when you want! VIOLA!!

Photo: Joanne Gilman