Customer Newsletter · May 4, 2018
"As my eyes search the prairie, I see the summer in the spring." --Traditional Chippewa poem 

How will you spend Cinco de Mayo day?    
CLICK THE PIC for the Pikes Peak Herb Fest Facebook page

Pikes Peak Herb Fest returns Saturday with interesting workshops, a trade show and some plants for sale. $3 admission.   

Or... you could stop by Ranch Foods Direct for a little grocery shopping and grab an authentic Latin bite from the El Chapin Food Truck, right on site.  You won't find street eats any more tender or authentic than these!

CLICK HERE for the El Chapin Food Truck page. 
One thing about Mexican-style food... a lot of it is super easy and super fun to make... especially with all the great local versions of salsa that you can buy right here in Colorado Springs.

The recipe at right is one idea for starting a fun Saturday (or any day) with a "Cinco de Mayo" celebration-worthy breakfast. You can get all the ingredients you need right at Ranch Foods Direct, including farm fresh eggs direct from the Callicrate farm.  (Plus... we have fresh local Milberger asparagus! The season is short, enjoy it while it lasts!

Stop in and see us.

Ranch Foods Direct has lots of wonderful heat-and-eat fully prepared items in store now, thanks to the on-site kitchen. Come check out the wide array of convenient options.   
Meet Monika: She's most at home preparing high quality meats 

When Monika Frison first heard about local natural meat market Ranch Foods Direct she was interested right away. "Part of what led me here is I love meat," she says. "Local, well-treated animals, no antibiotics, no hormones - that totally drew me in." Monika's helping hand with the butchery, meal prep and sou-ved cooking in the store's commercial kitchen is accompanied by her infectious grin and obvious enthusiasm. Here's more about Monika's interests and background:

WHERE ARE YOU FROM? My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot, but I've been here in Colorado Springs for 12 years now.

DESCRIBE YOUR BACKGROUND IN FOOD: From about the age of 10, I was in the kitchen with my mom, making meals, baking whole chickens, cooking green beans or whatever. I went to school for psychology but decided that was not the route I wanted to take. I wanted to be happy in life, and it just wasn't for me. At that point, I got into food. I worked at a little café, and after two weeks, the owner handed the kitchen over to me and said, here, we need soup! I've also done a little bit of baking at a commercial bakery too.
WHAT'S YOUR IMPRESSION OF RANCH FOODS DIRECT? I love it here! It's great to get back working with meat as opposed to baking. Everybody who works here is great, the customers are friendly, and I'm happy to be able to supply good food that's made with good ingredients that will actually nourish people.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT WORKING WITH MEAT THAT APPEALS TO YOU? It's just fun for me. My mom jokes that when she was pregnant with me, her doctor told her to eat meat in order to lose her baby weight faster. This was 28 years ago, and that's the advice they were giving back then. So I've always loved it, from the very beginning. If the meat is raised properly and doesn't have all the extra stuff you're getting when you shop at the bigger grocery supermarkets, it's a lot healthier. Everything in moderation. Control your portion size and make sure you get a healthy portion of fruit and vegetables, and you'll be good. You definitely don't have to cut meat out to be healthy.

WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND NEW RECIPES? I experiment and shop around. I don't just look at one recipe. I'll look at several and combine the good and bad, and take that along with what I've experienced. So it's a lot of experimentation. For anybody who is looking into cooking at home, just get into it! Have fun; don't be afraid to mess up.


Hoppy pasta sauce? Yes, it's a thing

Albert Hecker and his wife Molly moved to Colorado Springs last summer from Upstate New York and brought their pasta sauce business with them. After running a restaurant for many years, the Heckers were ready to pursue a more family-friendly lifestyle.

Their Fra Diavolo Pasta Sauce and Fra Diavolo Pasta Sauce with Cascade Hops are both available for sale at Ranch Foods Direct.

"There are no preservatives, no colorings and there's no added water in them. You are getting 100 percent tomato sauce," says Albert Hecker (shown at right.)

The sauces are made with caramelized onions, shredded red pepper and whole roasted garlic cloves.

But about those hops?

"You're getting the whole cone hops right in the sauce," Albert says. "It's very unique. Nobody's ever done it before that we know of."

The idea came about when a brewery asked them to create a new sauce with a beer-inspired twist.

"The hops are not bitter like they would be in an IPA and not too spicy. You get nice floral and citrus notes. It's like an herb; you taste it on the back end of your palate when you eat it. And it compliments tomato flavors really well," Albert explains.

The couple is in the process of lining up local sources to supply their key ingredients. "We're teaming up with a local hops farmer this summer, and we're also talking to local garlic and basil farmers," he says.

Albert Hecker's "hoppy" spaghetti sauce is said to pair well with craft beer.
Try a jar for $6.49 each.

A ham salad recipe for Mother's Day...
or any day!      

For endless meal prep ideas...
visit the Ranch Foods Direct Pinterest page where you will find recipes like Garlic Butter Steak and Zucchini Noodles (below)   
Click the image above to go directly to the Pinterest page.