Milk & Cookies on Blue

Attention Sparkle shoppers: The holiday for America’s favorite cookie is just around the corner. Get out your streamers and balloons, National Oreo Day is on March 6 and definitely needs celebrated! Here are six recipes that prove Oreos are the best, and not just meant for milk.

 

 

Peanut Butter & Oreo S’mores

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Sweet, gooey and delicious, s’mores are a finger-licking staple at any bonfire. Now picture the classic s’more and add peanut butter, peanut butter cups AND Oreos- yum. While you normally have to wait until summer to enjoy s’mores, this recipe is made in the oven and cut into squares, making it easy for any time of year without the sticky fingers. Check out this recipe for Peanut Butter and Oreo S’mores that will fulfill any sweet craving for at least a month.

 

Cookie Dough Oreo Brownie

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On National Oreo Day, why not make a dessert that combines Oreos with another cookie favorite, chocolate chip cookie dough? Our Cookie Dough Oreo Brownie recipe takes advantage of this ingenious combination with three scrumptious layers of cookie dough, Oreo and brownie.

 

Oreo Cookie Butter

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One of the most unique Oreo recipes out there is definitely Oreo Cookie Butter. Combine just coconut oil and Oreo cookies to make this tasty and thick butter (kind of like peanut butter) that can be spread on anything from graham crackers to waffles. For more ways to eat your cookie butter, check out these twelve delicious ideas.

 

No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits

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For a somewhat lighter dessert with fresh fruit and fluffy whipped cream, try our recipe for No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits. Add a chocolate twist to this recipe by replacing the graham cracker crumb layer with crushed Oreo cookies. These parfaits are a simple, yet tasty dessert for any occasion.

 

Peanut Butter Oreo Popsicles

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While you might have to wait a few more months before trying this next chillingly sweet treat, it will definitely be worth the wait. Avoid eating sticky, melted cookies this summer and instead snack on Peanut Butter Oreo Popsicles. With the perfect blend of cream and crunchy cookies, these popsicles will transform the way you see Oreos.

 

Cookies n’ Cream Fudge

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Creamy and sugary smooth, fudge is one dessert that should not be neglected. Try this recipe for Oreo fudge that enhances the cookie’s traditional flavors with the addition of marshmallow fluff and white chocolate morsels. Make this fudge a seasonal recipe by substituting the traditional Oreos with one of their limited-edition flavors like pumpkin spice or gingerbread. Check out this recipe for Funfetti Golden Oreo Fudge.

 

 

Whether you eat them whole, pull them apart or dunk them in milk, Oreos are a staple in everyone’s cookie collections. With an endless array of recipes, there is no doubt that the Oreo deserves its own holiday. Satisfy your sweet tooth with some of these Oreo recipes and head to your local Sparkle Market to find any ingredients that you need, including plenty of Oreos.

Mini chocolate muffinsWe are approaching one of the biggest holidays of the year, can you guess what it is? February 20 is National Muffin Day! Okay, so maybe it’s not the biggest holiday, but any national food day should be celebrated, especially in the grocery world. Today Sparkle is here to show you that muffins aren’t only for February 20- there’s a muffin recipe for any time of year! Here are some of our favorites:

 

Get Rid of That Muffin Top, Eat a Muffin!

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As the New Year begins, resolutions are made by people, young and old, all across the nation. While some people may hope to be nicer to others or more productive at work, the most popular New Years resolution for 2017 was to lose weight by eating healthier. As people begin to change their diets, there’s one thing for certain- they won’t have to cut muffins out. Muffins can be made healthy in a variety of ways. Try using Greek yogurt in the batter like our Greek yogurt banana muffins, or you could even try whole wheat sweet potato muffins that use honey as a sweetener instead of sugar.

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For another healthy muffin recipe, check out these mango muffins with coconut lime streusel. These muffins include great tropical flavors while leaving out gluten and refined sugars.

 

Green Eggs and Muffins

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When party stores’ interiors transform with every shade of green and Sparkle’s beer shelves begin to empty, you know that St. Patrick’s Day is on its way. This March, you can incorporate some muffins into your holiday fun by trying green muffins! Dyed with a spinach puree, these muffins stay sweet and tasty without the use of harsh food dye chemicals. And don’t forget to include some muffins in the main course too! Make some Irish soda bread muffins to go with a recipe like our Irish beef stew! These muffins will add some sweetness to the meal while still sticking to the Irish theme.

 

Tan & Golden Brown (Muffins)

As the snow melts and the Spring chill turns to warm sunny days, we can begin to prepare for summer muffin recipes! With summer, comes cook outs and you better believe that muffins have a place among the hotdogs and pickles. For your next cookout, try making these savory, BBQ pork-stuffed corn muffins. These muffins would be a great addition to any summer plate, especially if that plate had our bacon whiskey cheeseburger on it! And if you’re struggling to think of something to bring to the family 4th of July party, try making our red, white and blue muffins. With the use of fresh summer fruit, these muffins encompass summer with a patriotic twist.

 

Pumpkin Spice Makes Everything Nice

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When the leaves begin to change color and coats are dug back out of the closet, you can almost begin to smell the sweet scent of Fall…pumpkin spice. It’s no secret that pumpkin spice is one of the most popular and reoccurring Fall trends. Like Oreos and coffee, muffins have also adapted to the seasonal flavors with recipes like cream cheese filled pumpkin spice muffins and our pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. These muffins include all of the warm spices that make the pumpkin flavor as popular as it is today.

 

All I Want for Christmas is a Muffin

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As the Fall weather quickly disappears and holiday decorations line store shelves, muffin recipes will still be here to help you through the hectic season. When the cold weather starts to set in and you’re craving a nice cup of hot cocoa, opt for a warm hot chocolate muffin instead! These muffins maintain all of the tasty chocolate flavors, without burning your tongue. As Christmas makes its way around the corner, try a recipe that embraces the season- adapt the same flavors that were used in our eggnog French toast recipe, to make eggnog muffins! These muffins would make a perfect holiday morning snack.

 

While February 20 might be the only national day for muffins, these diverse treats can be made on any day of the year! Head to your local Sparkle Market and find the ingredients you need to make some of these delicious muffins.

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Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching which means that love is in the air, chocolates are filling stores’ shelves, flowers are being sold by the dozen and…groundhogs are preparing to see their shadows? Although not necessarily true anymore, Groundhog Day used to be celebrated on February 14! Here are some more unconventional Valentine’s Day fun facts with corresponding recipes that are sure to get you ready for this season of love.

 

Love Isn’t Cheap

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One thing that most people can agree on is that relationships can be expensive- between birthdays and Christmas you might find yourself spending quite a bit of money to ensure that your significant other has a great day. Not surprisingly, Valentine’s Day is no exception- the average consumer spends $166.21 for February 14. This year, spend a little less by shopping at Sparkle for ingredients that will make the perfect dinner for two. Check out this recipe for a steak and potato dinner that will impress your significant other without breaking the bank.

For more affordable dinner ideas, look at this gallery of romantic recipes.

 

Celebrations Around the World

In the United States, Valentine’s Day might mean buying candy hearts and roses, but other countries celebrate this day in very different ways. When the holiday was first introduced in Japan in 1936, there was a translation error made by a chocolate company that led to only women buying gifts for their significant others. Men in Japan don’t return the favor until “White Day” which is celebrated in March. In the Philippines, mass weddings have become incredibly popular, where hundreds of couples gather on February 14 and get married all at the same time. In Wales, natives don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in February, but rather in January with the traditional gift being “love spoons” engraved with meaningful patterns and symbols. This year, use some of these unique traditions as inspiration and make an ethnic meal for two! Check out our recipe for coconut fish tacos here.

More ethnic recipes: Thai Cucumber Salad, Chicken Marsala Pasta, Veggie Lo Mein, Chicken Shawarma with Hummus

 

Valentine’s Day isn’t Just for Couples

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While Valentine’s Day might be filled with love and couples, it can also be SAD for some people. SAD, or Singles Awareness Day, is a holiday that is widely celebrated by singles on either February 14 or February 15. For this celebration, single friends get together to either embrace their situation or curse Cupid. But single women need not worry- there are 119 single men in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same age. Whether or not love is in the air, the odds will be in women’s favor this February. If you plan on throwing a SAD celebration this year, consider this recipe for creamy bacon mac and cheese that will satisfy your guests’ stomachs (and hearts).

 

Season of Gift Giving

Although candy is the number one gift given on Valentine’s Day, cards and flowers are very close behind. In fact, about 180 million cards are exchanged annually on February 14 and while men are the primary buyers of flowers, 15% of American women buy themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. This year, take a break from the usual cards, flowers and chocolates, and instead spoil your sweetheart (or yourself) with a dessert that is sure to make this Valentine’s Day stand out from all of the others. Try our recipe for chocolate truffle stuffed strawberries and red velvet cheesecake brownies.

 

 

Whether single or happily in love, there is a recipe for your Valentine’s Day this year! Use some of our recipes as inspiration before heading to your local Sparkle Market to get all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make this Valentine’s Day (or SAD Day) a success.

Football party

Since 1967, football fans across the United States have gathered to watch and celebrate one of the most popular sporting events of the year- the Super Bowl. Whether your favorite part is the half time show, the commercials or the game itself, one thing is common among all 111.9 million viewers: food is a necessity. As you start to organize your Super Bowl party this year, consider making some of these unique treats that will be sure to keep your guests happy, even if the outcome of the game doesn’t.

Pepperoni Rolls

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Take a break from ordering the usual, expensive large pepperoni and cheese pizza for your party and instead get creative with some pepperoni rolls! With prepared dough, cheese and pepperonis this take on traditional pizza can be made in just thirty minutes, allowing you to watch the game instead of being stuck in the kitchen all night. Crispy on the outside and warm and cheesy on the inside, these pepperoni rolls are sure to be a hit among adults and kids alike.

See how to make pepperoni rolls here.

Garlic Parmesan Wings

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A Super Bowl party isn’t a party until the wings are made. This year, try out this simple, yet flavorful recipe for garlic Parmesan wings. With just the right combination of tang and salt, these wings will make guests wish that your Super Bowl party happened more than once a year.

Check out the recipe here.

Dips

If your friends are the type that like to arrive early, then dips are a hassle-free way to have food made without taking your attention away from your guests. If a cheesy dip sounds good, then try making Sparkle Markets’ Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Dip. Full of flavorful red peppers and three types of cheese, this dip is sure to be a hit! If rich and creamy isn’t your style, then try making a fresh garden salsa with juicy ripe tomatoes and crisp onions, served with your favorite, salty tortilla chips. This salsa can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to eat.

For more dip ideas, click here.

Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies

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Whether you’re disappointed in your team or cheering for another touch down, dessert is a party food staple that should not be overlooked. One treat that most people would agree is delicious no matter the occasion, is brownies. But, this year spice up the typical chocolate brownies by adding cookie dough AND Oreo cookies. Sweet and decadent, these brownies are sure to make all of your guests happy.

See how to make cookie dough Oreo brownies here.

This year’s Super Bowl is quickly approaching so don’t wait too long to plan the treats that you’ll be making! Use some of these recipes as inspiration and head to your local Sparkle Market to get all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make this Super Bowl season a success.

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The Great Depression was a tough time for many across the United States. It hit especially hard in parts of the country where manufacturing drove the economy. That was the case here in Youngstown and the surrounding areas. Communities had to come together to make it through these hard times. Families pitched in however they could to put food on the table.

 

It was during these times that Italians in the Valley relied on their gardens to eat. The economic downturn meant that people did not always have the money to purchase groceries, so gardens were their lifeblood. Tomatoes and peppers were the easiest vegetables to grow in Northeast Ohio’s climate and therefore were easily accessible for all.  Flour was distributed to residents through social programs like welfare. The flour was then used by families to bake bread and pizza crust.

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Youngstown’s “Little Italy” was the Brier Hill neighborhood, as it was the first Italian settlement in the city. It was a true blue-collar neighborhood, attracting immigrants looking for work in Brier Hill’s coal mines. In the early 1930s, community ovens were common in Brier Hill. These ovens were built by bricklayers and stonemasons using discarded brick from the mills. Each street in the neighborhood had a scheduled day and time to use the oven. During their allotted time, the women would bake enough bread to last for the week. They then used the whatever flour was left over to make pizza crust. Pair the pizza crust with the veggies from the garden, and Brier Hill Pizza is born.  Top it off with a sprinkle of Romano cheese and enjoy! Romano was used due to its low cost in comparison to the traditional pizza cheese, mozzarella.

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Ever since the depression era, Youngstown and surrounding towns pride themselves on Brier Hill Pizza. Most Italians would agree that there’s nothing better than a good slice of Brier Hill. It is a special dish in this part of the country and can be found at pizza shops, churches and grocery stores alike. Now you have to be in the mood for a slice, so go get what you need and make yourself a Brier Hill Pizza!

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Christmas is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Different cultures have different traditions, but there is one thing they all have in common: family and food. Here in the United States, Turkey, Ham, Pasta and Potatoes are common dishes at Christmas Dinner, but what about the rest of the world? Let’s take a look at what’s for dinner around the world on Christmas!

Christmas in Brazil

Brazilians celebrate Christmas very similarly to us here in the States. Turkey, vegetables and fruits are the main foods on the dinner table. Stollen, a German bread made with dried fruit is also common in Brazil on Christmas day.

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Learn how to make Stollen here!

Christmas in the United Kingdom

Christmas dinner traditionally takes place early in the day in Great Britain. Goose is the main course with Brussel sprouts being the most common side dish. Once you finish your meat, it’s time for the Christmas pudding! The pudding has been a staple in the UK since Medieval times and is made with dried fruits, egg and suet.

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Learn how to make Christmas Pudding here!

Christmas in Mexico

The Christmas celebration lasts 9 days in Mexico, and is capped off with a big family gathering on Christmas day. Oxtail soup is the traditional first course. Turkey, chili, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables round out the meal.

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Learn how to make Oxtail Soup here!

Christmas in Germany

In Germany, goose is also the bird of choice. Carp is another common dish on Christmas Day. The aforementioned Stollen, the German fruitcake, is the desert of choice. Glühwein is a mulled wine made with red wine and spices, served warm on Christmas.

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Learn how to make Glühwein here!

Christmas in Italy

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a tradition in southern Italy. Italians fast from red meat on Christmas Eve, and replace it with fish dishes. Cod, smelt, calamari, shrimp, oysters and more make up the feast. The Italian Christmas cake called Panettone is a dry, fruity sponge cake often served with hot chocolate on Christmas.

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Learn how to make Panettone here!

Try one of these international recipes at your holiday party this year! Have any holiday recipes you’d like to share with us? Post them in the comments below!

From all of us here at Sparkle, we want to wish you a happy holiday!

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Organic Raw Pumpkin Spice with Cinnamon Allspice Nutmeg and Ginger

It’s October and that means fall is here. Leaves are changing, the air is cool, and Halloween is on its way. While grocery shopping you might notice that everywhere you turn your favorite snack is now available in a pumpkin spice flavor. How, why and when did this happen? What exactly is pumpkin spice, and why is it so popular?

The first evidence of pumpkin spice dates back to the 1950s. Spice brands like McCormick began bundling together all the necessary spices used to make a pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves were blended together into one package, making it easy to prepare your holiday pie. By the time the 1960s rolled around, chefs were using the spice blend in a variety of dishes including soups and cakes. At that time no one knew of the height of popularity pumpkin spice would one day reach.

 

Here’s a look at seven of the craziest pumpkin products we could find!

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Pumpkin Spice Oreos

Oreo has been releasing new desert flavors for a while now. What started with flavors like mint and peanut butter has progressed to cinnamon roll, red velvet, and of course, pumpkin spice.

Kraft Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows

Marshmallows lend themselves well to pumpkin spice. These tiny pillows of jet-puffed goodness pack a punch of flavor to satisfy your pumpkin spice craving. And they’re shaped like pumpkins to boot.

Burnett Pumpkin Spice Vodka

Flavor infused vodka has become a common occurrence in recent years. Though typically reserved for fruit flavors, Burnett’s decided to try their hand at the pumpkin spice craze with this vodka.

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Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds

Cinnamon almonds were already a popular flavor, so why not mix in the remaining pumpkin spices? Planters had this thought and decided to release a limited edition pumpkin spiced nut.

Extra Pumpkin Spice Gum

Yep, you read that right. Extra jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon with this out-of-the-box flavor. People are bound to buy this gum out of sheer curiosity.

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Land O’Lakes Limited Batch Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter Spread

This spread may actually taste great with the pumpkin spice bagels that just missed making the list. It may even go well with cinnamon bread or pancakes. However, it’s doubtful anyone would put this on their corn or baked potato.

Nature’s Promise Organic Pumpkin Spice Chicken Sausage

What can really be said about such a product? Whose idea was this? Why does such a food exist? Do people actually enjoy it? This one’s a head-scratcher reserved for the truly adventurous pumpkin spice lover.

 

So what do you think? Has the pumpkin spice craze gone too far? Head to your local Sparkle and see what pumpkin spice items you can find!

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