Table with cakes, cookies, cupcakes, tarts and cakepops.

Whether salty, creamy, crunchy or just plain sweet, desserts hold a special place in most (if not all) people’s hearts and today, National Dessert Day, is the time to recognize some of these decadent wonders. The following recipes feature some of the BEST combinations of flavors and textures that the dessert world has ever tasted.

 

Sweet n’ Salty

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It should be a scientific fact that all things sweet must be paired with salt. But, regardless of science’s support, we found some great recipes that successfully balance this classic combination. Try our recipe for Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Filled with salty pretzel bits, sweet chunks of caramel and warm chocolate chips, these cookies won’t last long around a sweet tooth! If your taste buds just can’t get enough, then try this recipe for Maple Bacon Fudge, full of salty-sweet candied bacon crumbles.

 

 

Sweet n’ Creamy

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Have you ever experienced that “ooh ahh” moment when a dessert melts in your mouth? If not, we found some smooth and creamy dessert recipes that are sure to give you that moment. Try our recipe for Toffee Cheesecake Bars; with sugar cookie mix, pudding and cream cheese, these bars are soft, sweet and extra tasty. Or check out this recipe for French Silk Pie, the epitome of a melt-in-your-mouth dessert, complete with a flaky crust and fluffy filling. Even better yet, if you’re in the mood for a cool and creamy treat, try this simple recipe for homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

 

Sweet n’ Crunchy

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For those of you that like a bit of a workout when you enjoy your desserts, check out some of these sweet and crunchy recipes! Try our recipe for Chocolate Coconut Macaroons. With only four ingredients, these macaroons are filled with crispy coconut and semi sweet chocolate chips, resulting in a perfect crunchy texture. This recipe for Peanut Brittle Pops combines creamy and crunchy with layers of chopped nuts, vanilla ice cream, fudge, peanut butter and Reese cups, all frozen into one delicious ice cream pop.

 

Sweet n’ Sweet

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If you want to reach the brink of sugar overload, then these extra rich recipes are the ones for you! Try our recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, full of sweet fall flavors, these cinnamon rolls include plenty of pumpkin, nutmeg and cloves to make the perfect early morning dessert. If you’re in the mood for pie but not the hassle, try our recipe for Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes! These extra sweet cakes are filled with banana cream pudding and topped with whipped cream frosting, graham cracker crumbs and a vanilla wafer. Our recipe for Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies combines three extra sweet desserts into one irresistible sweet treat. This dessert is simple to make and will keep everyone coming back to the kitchen for more!

 

From one sweet tooth to another, we hope you found something to try on National Dessert Day. Stop by your local Sparkle Market where you’ll find all of the quality baking ingredients you need to make your desserts a success!

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Fresh red apples in wooden box.

Between bright squash, warm stews and hearty stuffing, fall is full of flavorful recipes to help you get through those chilly autumn days. Today we are here to show you that, despite what coffee shops and store shelves say, there is more to fall food than just pumpkin spice!

 

Fall-tastic Favorites

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Just as you have gathered up all of your sweaters for the fall season, we at Sparkle market have gathered together some of our favorite fall recipes, like our Chili Mac n Cheese. This recipe combines white chili with mac n cheese noodles to create an extra filling and extra yummy dish. And just because it’s not November yet doesn’t mean that we can’t dig out our stuffing recipes a little early! Our recipe for Stuffing and Chicken Casserole makes a simple, yet delicious, dinner for any busy school night. If you’re feeling festive this fall season, try our recipe for Ham and Cheese Pumpkin Bites! This recipe takes ham and cheese sandwiches to a new level, perfect for kids (and adults too!).

 

Sweet & Savory Soups

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When the weather turns cold, it’s time for warm soups! Our Apple French Onion Soup recipe features fresh apple cider (who doesn’t have that in their fridge in the fall?!) and plenty of delicious, savory flavors. Once you give our French onion soup recipe a try, check out this recipe for Bacon Butternut Squash Soup. This creamy and rich soup is sure to keep you warm throughout all of fall (and maybe part of winter too), complete with sweet butternut squash and salty, crisp bacon crumbles.

 

Treats, no Tricks

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Okay, we guess pumpkin spice isn’t that bad. If you just can’t stay away from the trend, then try out our recipe for Pumpkin Spice Treats. With plenty of pumpkin flavor and warm spices, this recipe takes a fall twist on the classic rice krispie® treat. If you’re looking for a dessert to take to an upcoming football watch party, this recipe for Pumpkin Butterscotch Gingerbread Trifle would be the perfect fit. This trifle tastes as amazing as it looks, with layers of gingerbread cake, whipped topping and butterscotch pudding. And if you have a hard time sharing when it comes to dessert, we have a solution for you! This recipe for Individual Apple Crisps packs all of the flavors of a traditional apple crisp into individual ramekin dishes, great for kids or dinner parties.

 

As you head to the store for more scarves and the latest knee-high boots, stop by your local Sparkle Market where you’ll find all of the quality ingredients you need to make your fall food a success!

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Foamy, strong or sweet, beer is an American staple at nearly every cook out or football watch party across the United States. But today, on National Beer Day, we’re here to show you that beer isn’t just for drinking- in fact, it can fit into each of the five main food groups (check out the recipes below if you don’t believe us)!

 

Bread, Pasta & Potatoes

Rich and filling, carbohydrates can be found in things like bread, rice and even oatmeal. And what better drink to pair with carbs, than beer? This recipe for Garlic Herb Beer Butter Roasted Potatoes dresses red potatoes with brown ale and a variety of fresh herbs to create a perfectly balanced combination of hearty and light. This pasta recipe from Deschutes Brewery makes a great entrée, complete with English peas and a creamy parmesan sauce infused with beer.

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Meat

When it comes to protein, Sparkle Markets is no stranger to adding flavorful beer to the recipe! Try our recipe for Pulled Chicken Tacos, with chicken slow-cooked in plenty of fresh flavors including orange juice, soy sauce, cilantro and (of course) beer. As the weather turns colder, you might want to try our recipe for Irish Beer Beef Stew, complete with an incredibly flavorful broth containing red wine, Guinness, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. For another hearty recipe, try our Beef Bean and Beer Chili. This chili is packed with sweet and savory flavors, perfect for the next football watch party.

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Milk, Cheese & Ice Cream

With ice cream AND cheese, what’s not to love about the milk and dairy food group? All lactose lovers are in luck with these recipes that we found, full of dairy and lots of beer. This recipe for Skillet Beer Cheese takes a unique twist on the classic pair of ingredients. Placed in a skillet and melted over a fire, this dip includes cheddar cheese, cream cheese, beer and a pinch of cayenne. If you’re feeling adventurous, this recipe for Beer Ice Cream can be made with a few simple ingredients, your favorite brew and an ice cream maker!

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Fruits and Veggies

Fruits, vegetables and…beer? It might sound crazy, but National Beer Day calls for all sorts of recipes. If you’re interested in creating your own beer flavors, try this recipe for Apricot Ale, a fruity light ale with lots of apricots and malt flavors. If sweet beers just aren’t your cup of tea, try this recipe for Beer Vegetable Soup, a hearty mix of carrots, potatoes, cabbage and dark beer.

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Butter, Soda and Cupcakes

Sweet and addicting, the fats and sugars food group is home to some of the most irresistible recipes. So, why not make it even healthier and add some beer to it? Guy Fieri’s recipe for Pretzel Beer Brittle takes the classic combination of pretzels and beer to the next level by transforming them into pieces of crunchy, sweet bark. If that doesn’t quite fulfill your need for sweets, try this recipe for Chocolate Guinness Beer Cake that combines chocolate, coffee and beer into one tantalizingly fluffy dessert.

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Before you head to the kitchen to make your beer inspired dish, visit your local Sparkle Market first where you’ll find all of the quality ingredients you need (including beer) to make your recipe a success!

Bacon lovers unite! Are you looking for the ultimate ways to celebrate the salty, crunchy, greasy food? Search no more! In honor of National Bacon Lover’s Day, we’ve compiled the best recipes where bacon is the shining star.

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Bacon…Bacon…Bacon!

Did you know that bacon is one of the oldest processed meats in history? The Chinese began to salt pork bellies thousands of years ago, then the practice spread throughout the Roman Empire, into Europe, and onto your breakfast (and lunch and dinner) plate! Read on to see our most outrageous yet delicious bacon-inspired recipes.

 

 

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Crispy Potato and Bacon Bake– Potatoes + sour cream + chives + cheese + bacon = our deliciously easy, bacon filled one-pan wonder! Whether you make this as a side or the main event, our mouths are already watering.

 

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Goat Cheese & Bacon Filet Mignon– It sounds fancy, but our recipe is easier than you think. Sundried tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, and bacon (of course!) transform this choice cut of meat into something really special.

 

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Bacon Mashed Potato Waffles– Yes, you read that correctly. Potato waffles! Our recipe is as simple and tasty as it sounds. Add some bacon on top and you’ve got a winner for breakfast or dinner.

 

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Tomato Bacon Bites– Our recipe is tasty, creamy, any bacon-y! If you’re having a big get together, simply double the recipe for even more goodness.

 

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Bacon cheese Dip in a Bread Bowl– A crowd-pleaser and ready for a party, our easy recipe makes the cooking easy so you can enjoy!

 

 

 

Are you still looking for even more bacon goodness? The internet never disappoints! Take a look at some truly inventive recipes.

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Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Straws– These have everything that a proper appetizer should: salty, sweet, crunchy, and portable. Bacon and puff pastry are intertwined with cheesy goodness to make one tasty straw!

 

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Oven-Baked Bacon & Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers– No messy oil to speak of and you get a jolt of spice with the mellow flavor of bacon evening it out. These are a winner! Perfect for game day, a guy’s night, or a potluck.

 

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Mozzarella Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf– The name truly says it all. This spin on a classic will leave your family and friends in awe of how you managed to put so much bacon on a meatloaf!

 

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Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze– Fresh, juicy peaches are a fun complement to the crunch of bacon. Drizzle some balsamic glaze over the finished grilled product and voila!

 

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Bourbon Bacon Cookies– Bacon for dessert isn’t something that you hear every day, but hey- we’re always up for something new!

 

For all your bacon (and non-bacon) grocery needs, check out your local Sparkle Market! A happy National Bacon Lover’s Day to you and yours. Happy cooking!

Fall S'mores and Roasted Marshmallow

“First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallows flaming… you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Kind of messy, but good!” Hamilton ‘Ham’ Porter from Sandlot captured today’s national holiday best when describing the perfect s’more, and today we are here to show you some unconventional ways to enjoy this chocolaty trifecta!

 

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  1. Cookies n’ Milk

Have you ever wondered how to avoid the summer night mosquitos, but still enjoy a gooey campfire s’more? Well with our s’more cookie recipe you can do just that! These cookies provide all of the classic s’more flavors without you ever needing to leave the comfort of your own kitchen.

 

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  1. Ice Cream Sandwiches

On National S’more Day one thing is for certain- s’mores aren’t exclusively a late night snack. As you crave a cold treat in the August heat, try using this recipe for S’more Ice Cream Sandwiches! With fudge brownies on the outside and a combination of ice cream and marshmallow creme on the inside, this recipe gives the classic s’more a run for its money!

 

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  1. Cheesecake

If you’re looking for a new dessert to take to the next family cookout, then this recipe for S’mores Cheesecake might be the one! This creamy and decadent cheesecake mimics the s’more perfectly, complete with its graham cracker crust, layer of chocolate and toasted marshmallow topping.

 

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  1. Frappuccino

At Starbucks with every season, comes new coffee creations- and summer is no exception. If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ seasonal S’mores Frappuccino, then you will love this recipe we have for you. With just the right combination of marshmallow topping, expresso and cocoa powder, this cold coffee drink is like drinking a liquid s’more.

 

When you’re ready to make your next s’more concoction, visit your local Sparkle Market where you’ll find all of the high quality graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows that you need!

youngstown

Pierogies, pasta sauce, cabbage and noodles, wedding soup, Brier Hill pizza- do any (or all) of these appear on your dinner table during the week? Then you are probably from the Youngstown area. With a unique location and history, Youngstown’s food scene is certainly eclectic to say the least. Let’s take a look at some of the most time-honored food traditions and recipes from Youngstown!

 

Influx of Immigrants

Beginning with the dawn of the steel age in the late 1800s, immigrants from all over the world flooded into the Youngstown area. Most notably scores of Poles, Italians, Slovaks, and Hungarians carved out communities due to the job opportunities from the iron and steel industries. Youngstown and the surrounding area quickly became a hub of international activity that forever changed the culture, demographics, and food of the Mahoning Valley.

 

Tasty Traditions

No large family event in the Youngstown area would be complete without a cookie table. Tell this to someone outside of Northeast Ohio or Western Pennsylvania and you’ll get some strange looks. This tradition was brought to the US from Italy and when the Great Depression hit Youngstown especially hard, wedding cakes were too expensive. Instead, family and friends of the bride would make cookies to be eaten at the wedding. This tradition is alive and well today and can be found at weddings, graduation parties, baby showers- you name it! Here are a few of our favorite cookie recipes that will be sure to disappear quickly from any cookie table: Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gia Russa Italian Ricotta Cookies, Clothespin Cookies.

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These other tasty foods are staples of the Valley:

  • You would be hard pressed to find a non-ethnic restaurant in Youngstown that doesn’t serve pasta of some kind. This is also due to the large population of Italian Americans. Our recipe for Slow Roasted Tomato Pasta is reminiscent of old world Italy.

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  • Any Italian-American worth their salt has fond memories of Grandma making Italian wedding soup. If you don’t have access to Grandma’s secret recipe, try this one!

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  • Pierogies, or potato and cabbage filled little pockets of happiness, as some call them are another popular dish. Polish and Ukrainian immigrants brought these to the US and they have taken hold as a classic. Try making them from scratch for your next dinner party!

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  • More Eastern European food that is no stranger to our area is stuffed cabbage. Fragrant ground beef stuffed into cabbage with homemade tomato sauce? Yes, please!

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These recipes are just the tip of the iceberg, as far as Youngstown cuisine is concerned. Whatever traditions you serve up, you can find all the ingredients at your local Sparkle Market. Happy cooking!

people holding the Flag of USA

The Fourth of July is much more than fireworks and home-town parades. It is a day to celebrate our independence and those who were brave enough to stand up for their belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, this calls for some major festivities to take place! And no party is complete without the perfect food. We’ve got you covered!

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Haute Dogs

Trivia time: Can you guess how many hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth of July? 10 million? Higher. 50 million? You’re getting warmer. Try 155 million! Independence Day is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year. With all those dogs to throw on the grill, creativity tends to get lost in the shuffle. But fear not! Check out some of these unique hot dog recipes to spice things up this Fourth of July.

There will always be room at the table for a classic hot dog with ketchup and mustard, but try something new for a cookout to remember. A really spicy twist on the original dog is our Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Hot Dogs. While the onions and butter are cooking to a golden brown, wrap the hotdogs in bacon and place on a wire rack. After they’re done baking for 15 minutes, serve on toasted buns with the onions and cheese. Another non-grill recipe is our Oven Baked Chili Cheese Dogs. This one-pan meal goes easily from oven to table. Simply place the buns in the pan, the dogs in the buns, then ladle a healthy amount of chili on top. Cheese and onions go on next, then bake for 30 minutes. Serve these up warm! Nothing sounds quite so American as Cowboy Hot Dogs. While you’re grilling up the dog of your choice (bison, anyone?), sauté onions until they’re golden brown. Toast the buns until slightly charred then spread some mayo and BBQ sauce on the inside. Add in the hot dog and onions and you’re all set. These BLT Hot Dogs combine two classics—a BLT and hot dogs! Fire up the grill to cook the hot dogs and bacon, then when they’re good and browned, place them in toasted buns with mayo, lettuce, and tomato on top. Yum!

 

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Sensational Sides

A meal is only as good as its sides! Try out these great recipes to make your Fourth of July celebration a success. Nothing says summer quite like corn on the cob. Try adding herbs and garlic with our Garlic-Herb Corn on the Cob recipe to put a tasty twist on this classic. Simply brush the corn with an herb-garlic-butter mixture, wrap in a foil sheet, and grill for 15 minutes. Our Bacon Ranch Potato Salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser. After baking the potatoes and vegetables, mix dry Ranch mix, sour cream, and mayonnaise then add everything together. Easy! Our simple Strawberry Caprese Salad will have your guests seeing red- in a good way! Creating your own simple dressing is a breeze, and mixing the strawberries and cubed mozzarella together is even easier. Garnish with basil and serve with baguette slices for a side of elegance.

 

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Delicious Desserts

No cookout or party is complete without a well-stoked dessert table. Try any of our sweet treats to end the day on a high note. Fresh berries, cool whip, and Jell-o: yes please! Our Berry Dessert will cool you down after a day in the hot sun. With a little bit of prep, our Chocolate Truffle Stuffed Strawberries will be the star of the dessert table. Instead of milk chocolate drizzle, use white and blue frosting or dyed white chocolate for a patriotic edition!

Whether you’re spending the day lake-side, at a cookout, or at a parade any of these recipes will brighten the day. To create any of these delicious dishes be sure to visit your local Sparkle Market to pick up all your ingredients. Happy cooking!