At Home Cooking Tips from Professional Chefs

In a perfect world, meal prep would be stress-free and family menu planning would be a piece of cake. While it would be a dream to have a professional chef cook for you every day, it’s likely not in your budget.

Cooking for yourself and your family can be rewarding and healthy. It also keeps your budget in check. With all your savings from cooking a few more meals at home, you’ll be able to enjoy more guilt-free nights out at fantastic restaurants.

While you might not roll out as many multi-course meals as a professional chef, you can learn how to source great ingredients and build satiating meals to please your palate. Simple tricks and seasonings will elevate what you can do in the kitchen.

Regardless if you’re new to cooking or a seasoned pro, you can learn a few tips from these OKC area professional chefs.

Start with a Menu

Developing a menu is a great way to keep from wasting groceries. Just ask Grant Johnson, a professional chef who works with OKC’s Good Egg Dining Group.

“The best way to keep food from spoiling is to plan a menu and stick to it,” said Johnson. “Whether you’re meal prepping for meals away from home or just cooking for the family at home, if you stick to what you’ve planned, you shouldn’t have anything going bad.”

Need to mix up your weekday menu? Take inspiration from Pinterest or recipe videos from Facebook if you’re stuck on the same meals week after week. Also, take a cue from what’s on sale at your grocery store and incorporate those items into your plan.

Buy Items in Bulk

It’s tempting to load up on a lot of groceries all at once, but this can lead to waste. When it comes to fresh fruits and veggies, it’s not wise to buy more than you need for the week. However, while produce isn’t ideal, dry goods are perfect for buying in bulk.

Johnson believes in buying certain dry goods, like rice, in bulk about once a month. Grains and dried beans are safe bets to last longer on your shelf. They can also be used as the base of many different meals.

Rhi Roesler, also a professional chef at Good Egg Dining and chef de cuisine at The Drake and Republic Gastropub, suggested buying meat and fish in bulk. Her tip is to freeze it in portions and defrost as needed.

What to buy in bulk

  • Grains (rice, quinoa, tabbouleh, etc.)
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Meats (to freeze and portion)

What to avoid in bulk

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Roesler also suggested buying fruit slightly under ripe. It will give you a few more days of shelf life.

Spice Up Everyday Meals

You might think cooking for yourself will result in bland meals. Don’t fear–you can save your cooking from a flavorless fate. Simply flavor with different combinations of spices, sauces, and dressings.

“The best way to dress up a simple meal is with seasoning. Don’t be afraid to play with your food,” Johnson said.

Herbs are fairly cheap in bulk and can be spread over many meals. Johnson recommends growing a few of your favorite herbs in a garden or on a windowsill.

He also recommends making your own dressings. His rule of thumb for a simple dressing is a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. He says to experiment with different kinds of vinegar and acidic elements like lemon or lime juice. Salt, pepper and herbs round it out.

Rhi likes to add sauces to spice up her meals.

“I am a huge fan of sauces. I will make entire meals based on a sauce I’m craving,” Roesler said. “They are a cheap way to dress up any protein or center of the plate item.”

She keeps chicken and beef stock as staples in her kitchen. They’re easy to use in sauces and incorporate tons of hearty flavors.

Freeze Meals for Easy Dinners

When you have a heavy work schedule or a crew of hungry kids at home, freezing ready-to-eat or cook meals save precious time. The chefs love getting ahead of meal prep at home.

“Casserole or one pot meals tend to freeze well, and for a few hours of work in the kitchen, you can make 4 or 5 family size portions of the same meal that can be popped in the oven later when you don’t have time to cook a full meal,” said Johnson.

Roesler uses herbs to get ahead of meal prep by freezing large batches of pesto and herb butter in ice cube trays. When she’s ready to flavor a meal, she takes a cube and melts it into her recipe.

Keep a few essential gadgets around

A craftsman needs good tools. Chefs have their tried and true gadgets to help them elevate simple ingredients. Rhi loves her immersion blender for its many uses.

“The one gadget I use more than anything else is my immersion blender,” Rhi said. “It’s great for making anything, from your own salad dressings or sauces to a quick homemade pancake batter for the kiddos.”

Johnson promises that a rice cooker and slow cooker Crockpot can help stretch a dollar.

Of course, all chefs need to invest in a decent set of sharp knives. A dull knife will frustrate and make meal prep a pain. Plus, it can be dangerous and lead to injuries.

Homeland has what you need

We help feed you and your family quality meals. From fresh produce to quality meats and dry goods, we’ll make sure you have everything you need no matter your budget.

7 Tips to Host a Successful Cowboy or Sooner Tailgate

No matter if you bleed orange or red, we can all agree tailgate season is a revered time in an Okie’s life. While there are many differences between the Cowboys and Sooners, there are also many similarities, one of them being their love for tailgating. Super fans from both teams love their school, talking football, enjoying each other’s company, and most importantly, the delicious food.

Tailgate Guidelines

If you’re completely new to tailgating, we recommend to research campus tailgating policies before you plan a tailgate. Making sure you set up tent in a prime, open location will be an important part to getting your tailgate off the ground.

Are you a Cowboy?

Click here for OSU campus tailgating policies.

The popular Orange Power chant is shouted proudly at every game, thanks to Mr. Orange Power, Lee Redick, who revived the chant. “We were on the last row of the upper deck, so I asked all the alumni in our two sections if they’d like to do ORANGE POWER.  They said yes and it took right off,” Redick said. “I directed it with my hands for four days while we played Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas and then Kansas as a fifth seed!”

Are you a Sooner?

See here for OU campus tailgating policies.

If you’re new to town, don’t be alarmed by the shouts echoing around Norman during football season. It just wouldn’t be right to walk around the stadium without hearing the Boomer Sooner chant. Just remember, if you here a loud “BOOMER”, you’d best yell “SOONER!”

If you’re a tailgating newbie or leading a tailgate of your own this year, you should tuck these tips in your back pocket before embarking on the ultimate tailgate.

  1. Create a Community

Many fans enjoy tailgating, because it’s a time to bond with others who have similar passions. They have a love for the game, the players, and the town.

“Tailgating is a great way to hang with new friends and, for me, to catch up with old college friends,” Jordan Cole, OU tailgate host, said. “I love that you never know who will show up.”

Lauren Neundorf, an OSU fan, loves the community feel on game days. “There are no strangers, whether you’re in orange and black or the opposing school’s team colors, there’s always a cold beer or extra bratwurst for you!”

“My favorite tailgating tradition is walking through the rows upon rows of tailgates – it’s a great way to smell what everyone else is cooking and check in on different games on their TVs,” John Jennings, OU fan and blogger at Bennie and Buds, said.

  1. Have Something Unique You’re Known For

OSU’s Orange Power (OP) tailgate is known for their “Gone Wild” tradition. Many of the tailgate hosts are hunters, so late in October or November, they have a tailgate with wild game like elk, moose, and deer.

At OU, there are many chili cookoffs among the tailgating tents before kickoff. “My favorite tradition is the chili cook-off,” John Politte, OU fan and tailgate host, said. “For the last home game of the year, a bunch of different families make their own chili to contribute to the cook-off. We usually have up to ten different kinds, and it is always great to eat all the different takes on chili.”

While chili is always a hit, others favor sweeter traditions.

“Our tailgate always has festive OSU cookies,” Neundorf said. “People love the sweets to end the meal and never turn one down!”

  1. Assign Duties and Roles for Tailgate Hosts

While one host family might try to do it all, it’s hard to handle alone. It’s a good idea to have a few families involved and assign different roles so that it remains fun for everyone involved, and never a cause for stress.

Redick is one of the many forces behind the OP tailgate. He is the social director, and others handle DJing, operations, or other duties. “Dave and Storm are our grill masters,” Redick said.

  1. Entertain and Welcome Every Football Fan

Tailgating is not the time to be bashful. Get ready to meet your new family. While we don’t recommend crashing a private tent without an invitation – we do encourage you to smile, meet your tailgate neighbors, and be ready to share a burger or brew with a new friend.

“Our tailgate is very welcoming to our visitors. We have people call us from West Virginia asking if we are still in same spot and come back each year,” Redick said. “Just about everyone knows our tailgate, and we like to socialize with our opponents. It’s fun.”

“It’s a bunch of friends at the core of it. We love OSU, socializing, and providing a place for others to have a good time too,” Ruth Inman, OSU regular tailgate host, said. “The three main dads love entertaining and providing fun for other people.”

While others might not personally choose to set up their own tailgate, they are open to people using their space to host a great tailgate. “My roommate and I let a group of tailgaters set up in our lawn during gamedays,” said Jake Kallsen, an OU grad. “If there was an early game time, they’d make a full-on brunch. Breakfast tacos, cinnamon rolls, breakfast casserole…it was awesome.”

  1. Change Up Your Tailgate Food and Drink Menu

Many tailgating traditions that remain the most popular revolve around the tailgate food. While it’s great to have a tried-and-true menu, the routine can get boring, so it is nice to change it on occasion while keeping the crowd pleasers.

The Inmans and Baumgardners take it to another level and change their menu each week with a full theme. “Food is a big focus of what we do,” Inman said. “We have a different theme and menu every single week. In winter, we do a shrimp boil or gumbo and things that aren’t as traditional.”

  1. Go Big or Go Home

Having a noteworthy tailgate takes a lot of effort and commitment. Neundorf shares how her mom is sure to bring table cloths, matching plates, cutlery, and napkins to every tailgate. “You can find almost anything practical in orange, which is slightly impractical,” she said.

Other tailgates go above and beyond when it comes to entertainment. “We hire a band every week,” Inman said. “We tell people to listen for the music and you’ll find us.”

If a band isn’t in the budget, themed décor, a themed playlist, and simply cheering loudly can get you far in the tailgate game without much spending.

  1. Remember the Reason Behind the Fun

Redick may bleed orange, but that doesn’t keep him from recognizing the hard work of the team. While he lives for a solid win, he cares more about supporting the players.

“We are there to support our team. I like to remind people these are 18- and 19-year-old kids. Win or lose, we are just there to support them. We want to win but want to do everything we can to help them out.”

Put on a game day shirt and a good attitude – remember to support your team, win or lose. At the end of the day you still get to tailgate.

Why We Tailgate

People tailgate each year for a host of reasons. It might be for their love of the game, to enjoy other’s company, or to entertain.

When asked why they host tailgates, Mr. Orange Power says it’s the camaraderie. He explains how they enjoy reuniting each year. “It’s been since December that we’ve seen each other last,” he said.

For the Inmans, their tailgate is extra special because of the large part it has played in the history of their relationship: meeting at a tailgate and getting engaged at one. “It’s a big tradition in our family and we build our fall schedule around it,” Inman said.

Not a Tailgater?

That’s okay – sometimes it’s easier (but still fun) to walk around campus and explore!

Game Day Spots for the Non-Tailgaters: Stillwater

The Strip, the intersection of Duck and Elm, and surrounding areas are full of wonderful game day gathering places. Whether you are feeling some cheese fries, a beef dog, or some chips and queso, all your football foodie dreams can come true in Stillwater.

Eskimo Joe’s

Coney Island

Curty Shack

Fuzzys

Game Day Spots for the Non-Tailgaters: Norman

For those non-tailgaters, no need to fret. Campus Corner is loaded with gameday vibes and delicious food without the effort tailgating entails. The environment is equally as fun inside many restaurants.

The Mont

O’Connells

Louie’s

Diamond Dogs

Recipe Ideas for Your Next Tailgate

If your stomach isn’t growling after all this talk of chili-cook offs, burgers, chips and queso, and more, something must be wrong! We are so ready for the season and all the delicious treats that come with it.

Homeland has all the essentials you need for your tailgate. We have the chips, baked goods, fresh meats, and more. Looking for some inspiration? Check out these recipes we created for tailgating season.

Oklahoma Onion Burger Tips from the Pros

Tucker’s Onion Burgers is a favorite among Oklahoma onion burger fans.

What’s the quintessential Oklahoma dish? Some would argue chicken fried steak or homemade pecan pie, but nothing beats the famous Oklahoma onion burger with its massive following of die-hard fans.

You can find onion burgers across the state. Ask any Oklahoman and they’ll let you know where to find the best. During grilling season, you might be tempted to flip your own at home.

The pros at Tucker’s Onion Burgers shared a few tips for creating the ultimate patty right in your own kitchen.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Onion Burger

The onion burger patty should be thin. A thin patty allows for a generous pile of cooked onions to be piled on top. Tucker’s secret? “You’re going to want to slice the onions as thin as you can get them,” Tucker’s Onion Burgers area director Randy Newberry says.

Temperature also affects the onions. If you cook the onions on low heat, they’ll take on a sweet flavor. Higher heat will bring sharp, more intense flavor.

The base of the burger should also be considered. Use a bun won’t get too soggy. Our bakery has a few options that can handle the juiciness of the burger and onions. We recommend toasting your hamburger buns slightly on a skillet or in the oven with a little butter before assembling.

Now to the real drama – should you add extras like jalapenos, pickles, or condiments, or let the onions shine solo? Cheese and pickles are common (and delicious) additions. At the end of the day, it’s your burger – choose as you please.

Photographed by Aly Clark of A Good Egg Dining Group

The onion burger pros at Tucker’s weigh beef to form patties.

How to Craft an Oklahoma Style Onion Burger

All good craftsmen need good tools. When making an onion burger at home, bring out the sturdy gear.

“Use a heavy cast iron skillet,” Newberry recommends. “That is going to get you nice sear on your patty.”

Overall, it’s a simple process about showcasing the onion’s flavor. Follow our recipe and give this classic a try.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 1 package hamburger buns
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pickle slices

Directions

  • Form the ground beef into 2 ½ ounce balls. Lightly press the loose edges of each ball with your thumb as you shape them. Season each ball lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Slice the onion into very thin strips. Season with a pinch of salt. We recommend drying the excess moisture with a paper towel.
  • In a large cast iron skillet, evenly spread vegetable or canola oil. Add more as necessary to cover the skillet. Warm the oil over high heat until the oil begins to lightly smoke. Be careful during to monitor smoke during the entire process– you don’t want to set off your smoke alarm.
  • Once the oil is ready, place the ball of meat into the heated skillets, and flatten the meat patties down with a firm spatula. Then place onion slices evenly on top of each patty. Cook patties for three to five minutes. Add time for more well-done burgers.
  • With your spatula, flip the burger patties onion side down on to the skillet. Allow the onions to cook for another three to four minutes. Once the onions are cooked, place a cheese slice on each patty. Allow cheese to melt over the patties.
  • Transfer you patties from the skillet over to lightly toasted hamburger buns and build your burger. Pickles are a highly recommended addition. Serve immediately.

From bun to patty, Homeland has everything you need to make the perfect burger right at home! Be sure to grab fries from the frozen section and coleslaw from the deli to complete your meal.

Oklahoma Themed Easter Eggs

The Easter Bunny is sweeping down the plains soon. Surprise the Easter egg hunters in your life with some Oklahoma flair this Sunday! Whether you’ll be hiding these Oklahoma Easter eggs around the house or using them to decorate your brunch table, they’re sure to be a hit.

What you need

  • One carton of eggs, hardboiled
  • Egg dyeing kit of your choice
  • One roll 9/16” roll of washi tape
  • X-acto knife or craft scissors
  • Plastic cutting board or hard plastic surface.
  • 1 roll paper towels
  • Drying rack

Direction

  • Hard boil eggs in a large pot. Once finished, let cool for a least 30 minutes or chill overnight in your fridge.
  • Prepare egg dye according to the package’s instructions.
  • Take your washi tape and roll out six to eight inches on a cutting board. Stick the tape sticky side down on your cutting board work station. With your x-acto knife, firmly press and trace out the shape of Oklahoma. Be careful and use a cutting board on top your counter or workspace. The sharp x-acto knife can cut through and mark wooden surfaces. Use a reference photo online or on a map if you’re struggling to trace the state’s pan shape. You can also trace out block letters or other shapes. Be sure to keep children away from the x-acto knife at all times as the blade is extremely sharp.
  • If you’d rather not use the x-acto knife, you can use scissors to cut out your desired shapes and letters.

  • Once you’ve traced your Oklahoma shape, lightly lift the washi tape around your cutout. It should easily pull away and leave your cutout stuck on the board’s surface. Once you’ve cleared the excess tape, gently pull up your tape cutouts from the board.

  • Take the tape cutouts and gently place the sticky sides on your hard boiled eggs. Press out any air pockets between the egg and the tape as air pocket may let dye in under the tape.
  • After you place your cutout stickers/tape on the eggs, place eggs in a color dye of your choosing. This is where you can do no wrong. Choose solid colors or use a combo of your favorites to make unique shades and designs. Allow eggs to settle in the dye for the package’s recommended amount of time. Take eggs out and allow to fully dry on a drying rack. Place a paper towel under the rack to catch dye drippings.
  • Once your eggs are completely dry, gently peel off the washi tape. Your tape designs should leave a completely white shape from your cutout. Your Oklahoma-inspired eggs are ready for the Easter Bunny! Be sure to keep them in the fridge if you want them to last overnight and avoid spoiling.

Get ready for Easter with Homeland

Need more Easter help? Check out our deli for easy Easter dinner options and party trays or browse through our candy section to fill baskets Sunday morning!

Enjoying the Best Oklahoma Barbecue with Tips from Barbecue Pit Masters

If you’re from Oklahoma, you know good barbecue. Anything that doesn’t live up to your standards is just plain disappointing.

“I have tried a ton of barbecue, from Kansas to Texas to South Carolina to Memphis. Oklahoma has some of the best barbecue because it’s a nice mixture of all of those,” says Ryan Gray, head pit master at Billy Sims Barbecue. “We are taking pieces from the states around us.”

(Photo Courtesy of Billy Sims Barbecue)

The sauce is lighter in Texas and darker in Kansas City, but OKC has a good mix. Gray believes Oklahoma generally likes sweeter barbecue, with ketchup-based sauce, not vinegar.

While we all try to be pit masters in the backyard, sometimes it doesn’t quite work out. Here are some tips to help you in your pit master role.

Barbecue Tips from Pit Masters

Randy Birch, head chef of Allegro Marinade and barbecue pit master, has been cooking barbecue for many years. Birch’s years of experience have given him plenty of tips to help those who aren’t professional pit masters.

Birch says he is commonly asked about how to cook brisket. “Brisket is a big ol’ ugly cut of meat – you can really mess it up if you don’t know what you’re doing,” says Birch. Gray agrees: “Brisket is everyone’s nemesis.”

“The problem with brisket is people don’t cook it long enough,” says Birch. He recalls an old cooker’s tale to heat your brisket at 195 degrees; however, Birch recommends increasing the temperature more than 195 degrees. He also recommends wrapping in foil.

Pit masters need to pay attention to the following characteristics: time, temperature, color, and feel. Gray believes the feel is the most important but often the most overlooked characteristic. “If your fingers sink into it, that’s a real good thing,” says Gray. “If it’s rubbery, like jello, it’s not quite ready.”

Gray explains how some amateur smokers think if they perfectly follow a recipe and keep the time and temperature they will have a good end product, but it’s not that simple. Every piece of meat is different. “My best tip I can give is that smoking meat isn’t based on an exact time or temperature,” says Gray. “There is truly an art to barbecue.”

Bad Brad’s believes a big trick to delicious meat is letting the meat speak for itself. They only use the smoke from the wood, and salt and pepper to season their meat. “My advice is to keep it simple,” says Vernon Wilson, manager from Bad Brad’s Stillwater location.

Sauce to Improve the Meat

It’s important to know how to cook the meat. However, we understand we can’t all be pros behind a grill or smoker. That’s why we believe in the power of a good sauce.

Here at Homeland we aren’t lacking in sauces and offer plenty of options to enjoy your favorite barbecue, even if the meat wasn’t prepared just right. Enjoy some spice? Get your hands on Allegro’s spicy barbecue sauce. Or do you prefer a sweeter sauce? Try A&W barbecue sauce.

Great Barbecue Restaurant Options in Oklahoma

While we enjoy cooking for ourselves, sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the cooking. Barbecue has been a staple for Oklahomans for many years, and we’re lucky to have our pick of mouth-watering barbecue restaurant options.

Some of our favorite barbecue restaurants in Oklahoma include Billy Sims Barbecue, Van’s Pig Stand, Jake’s Rib, Spencer’s Smokehouse and BBQ, Leo’s BBQ, and the list goes on.

What are you waiting for? Head over to one of our locations and pick up some barbecue sauce and put these tips to the test!

Give Your Football Watch Party an Oklahoma Twist

February 5 is drawing near. It’s the biggest night in football, commercials and snacking. As the pros run drills, you’re prepping big time for the ultimate championship watch party. Leave the sweat to the competing teams. We’ve got your menu planned.

These recipes back flavor. Represented are smoky, Atlanta BBQ and classic Beantown favorites. While Oklahoma doesn’t have a representing pro football team, these recipes include all-star Oklahoma products.

Before you get into cooking mode, draw out your game plan. Make sure the basics are covered and stop by Homeland to pick up deli trays full of your favorite fruits, veggies, cheese and cold cuts. Make it a perfect touchdown and grab pies, cakes and cookies from the bakery.

No matter the outcome of the game, you’ll be the winner of the watch party with these recipes. MVP status? We’d say so.

Bacon_Wrapped_Sausage_100-460-400Bacon Wrapped Sausage Bites

This tasty sausage bite recipe comes from our friends at the Made in Oklahoma Coalition. MIO is an Oklahoma based group that promotes brand awareness and consumer loyalty for Oklahoma food products. This recipe showcases Okie brands at their absolute tastiest.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Set oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut sausage into fourths and cut bacon slices in half. Wrap each piece of sausage with a bacon half. Secure with tooth pick.
  • Sprinkle Head Country Seasoning on top of sausages.
  • Cover a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper. Place sausages on sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly and arrange on serving tray. Pour syrup, mustard and BBQ sauce into separate bowls for dipping.

Oklahoma Muffin-Top Sliders with Cola pulled pork

Each bite is sweet and savory when you bake a Shawnee Mills Mexican Corn Muffin and top it with cola pulled pork. Simply pick up the mix, add milk and an egg before baking and you’ll have the perfect kickoff to a game day treat.

Serve the pulled pork on top of the cornbread muffins to have an Oklahoma twist on an Atlanta-style barbecue favorite the Atlanta Falcons would be proud of. Garnish the top with some ready-made coleslaw to deepen the southern tradition.

Ingredients

  • Pork roast (4-5 pound shoulder or butt)
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced, dehydrated
  • 2 tsp. onions, minced, dehydrated
  • 14 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 14 tsp. cayenne pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 liter Coca-Cola
  • 1 20 ounce bottle Head Country BBQ Sauce 

Directions

  • Bake Shawnee Mill Mexican Corn Muffins according to package instructions. Set muffins aside.
  • Place pork in a slow-cooker. Season with garlic, onion, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add liquid smoke and pour in Coca-Cola until it reaches the top of the roast.
  • Set slow cooker on low heat and cook for eight hours.
  • When ready to serve, remove roast from slow-cooker to a platter. Remove any bones and trim all fat. With a fork, begin “pulling” pork apart into thin shreds. Add barbecue sauce and fold into meat. Finish by spooning meat on top of cornbread muffins. Serve with coleslaw side or topping.

Boston Bake Beans Okie Style

Beans, beans, the magical and beloved fruit. Take a hint from the New England Patriots and serve Boston baked beans to your guests, albeit with a little more Oklahoma flair. Siekle’s Oklahoma Gold Old Style Mustard will give the beans a bright, tangy flavor while Bar-S Thin Sliced Bacon adds smoky goodness.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Soak navy beans overnight in a large pot or bowl with enough water to cover the beans entirely. Drain beans in the morning.
  • In a bowl, combine brown sugar, molasses and Dijon mustard with hot water.
  • Slice bacon into one inch pieces. Place half of the bacon into the bottom of a slow-cooker. Then lay half of the beans over the bacon and add chopped onion. Repeat layer by topping with the remaining bacon and beans.
  • Pour in the, mustard and water mixture, molasses and brown sugar over all the ingredients.
  • Set slow cooker on low for seven to eight hours. Allow guests to serve themselves buffet style.

SpicyOklahomaCaviar-460-400Spicy Oklahoma Caviar

Get fresh and fancy by serving ‘Okie’ caviar. This dish is yet another one of MIO’s great Oklahoma-centric recipes! Check out their entire recipe catalogue if you’re hungry for more state-made products.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Head Country Garden Rich Salsa
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover with lid or foil and chill overnight or for several hours.
  • Serve to guest with corn chips or tortilla chip! It’s also great as a side.

Want more recipes for game day? Check out our cheese and veggie platter how-to articles!

Homeland Partners with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Oklahoma consistently ranks among the hungriest states in America.

One in 6 Oklahomans face hunger every day, and 25 percent of children in Oklahoma have inconsistent access to food, according to a 2015 Report from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Oklahoma also ranks among the top 10 states in the U.S. for food insecurity among seniors, with 1 in 11 senior citizens struggling with hunger.

As an Oklahoma-owned and operated company, Homeland is committed to serving our communities wherever there is need. Through our partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, we are taking action against hunger by providing and distributing food to those in need.

Heroes of Hunger

Established in 1980, the Regional Food Bank serves Oklahoma as its largest private, domestic hunger-relief organization. They provide food to more than 126,000 Oklahomans every week — 47,000 of whom are children. Only 4 percent of donations go to administrative and fundraising costs, which means 96 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to feeding hungry Oklahomans.

So, how does that translate to community impact? In 2016 alone, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributed 52 million pounds of food and product throughout a network of more than 1,300 charitable feeding programs and schools. The Food Bank is making a massive impact on the hunger epidemic in Oklahoma, but there is still work to be done.

Corporate Responsibility

As a non-profit, the Food Bank relies heavily on the generous support and donations of local businesses and residents. Steve Kullberg, vice president of operations at the Food Bank, says that corporate involvement “is instrumental in the fight against hunger in Oklahoma.”

At Homeland, we believe that we have a unique opportunity as a retail grocery store to support the Food Bank not only with donations, but also through partnering with our vendors and customers for food drives and fundraising campaigns.

During the past three years, our partnership with the Food Bank has included the following initiatives:

  1. Food Donation. Since 2014, Homeland has donated more than 1 million pounds of food to the Food Bank, providing 1,115,065 meals to Oklahoma residents.
  2. Food Drives. Each year, we sponsor Feeding Hope and Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. Many of our Homeland employees also support Chefs’ Feast, one of the largest fundraisers in the region.
  3. Committee Support. Phil Payment, the Homeland vice president of marketing and merchandising, serves on the Industry Relations Committee at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, offering guidance that helps bring in donations statewide.

Getting Involved

We offer plenty of ways for our customers to support our partnership with the Food Bank, including Feeding Hope & Letter Carrier’s Food Drive, Governor Mary Fallin’s Feeding Oklahoma Drive, and Produce for Kids Campaign.

In addition, the Food Bank could benefit from more corporate partners. At Homeland, our partnership with the Food Bank is woven into our company culture and team building. Here are a few ways that you can support the Regional Food Bank through corporate responsibility:

  • The food bank accepts in-kind or product donations. You can also offer a donations program that is automatically deducted from employee paychecks.
  • Employee Matching Gifts. Encourage your employer to match any charitable contributions made by employees. If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employer. Every dollar donated will provide five meals to Oklahomans with inconsistent access to food.
  • Food and Fund Drive. Host a food and fund drive at your office. The food bank will provide the supplies you need to engage your employees, including donation boxes and a personal fundraising page.
  • Submit a Volunteer Group Request online to have a group from your office come out to the Regional Food Bank or one of their off-site locations.
  • Tour the Regional Food Bank. Visit the Regional Food Bank for a tour, or they can send a representative to your office to share more information about the organization and how you can help.
  • Cause Marketing. Partner with the Regional Food Bank to sell a good or service and donate all, or a portion, of the proceeds to the non-profit.
  • The food bank has a number of sponsorship opportunities throughout the year, including events and programs.
  • Office Fundraisers. Encourage employees to participate in an office fundraiser, like Jeans Days or Penny Wars, to raise funds.

Homeland is proud to support the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in making a difference in the lives of thousands of Oklahomans that go hungry each day. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact us today.

Family Shops Local and Wins Big!

Seven minutes, all the Made In Oklahoma Coalition products he could fit in his cart. That’s the challenge Taylor Foster was given on June 16th at his local Homeland in Muskogee.   Taylor’s wife Nikki and three of their five kids were on hand to watch Taylor sprint through the store and help make sure he got all those tasty treats like Griffin’s syrup and Hiland ice cream.

MIOMarathon1 MIOreceipt MIOMarathon5

“Not so much meat Taylor, get something else!” was one of our favorite quotes from Nikki as Taylor filled their cart with Bar S hot dogs and bacon.

The Foster family won the Grand Prize seven-minute MIO shopping spree and a Kitchen Aid Mixer by shopping at Homeland and using their One Card throughout the month of April, MIO month.

The purpose of the month long contest was to draw attention to the fact that Homeland offers a wide variety of wonderful products that are made right here in Oklahoma. Many people are unaware that Oklahoma has a plethora of products made right here in our great state including, Ozarka water, Head Country Barbecue Sauce, Griffin’s, Fast Fixin’ and Viva paper towels among many others.

Taylor knew the record to beat was $780 and after all his items were scanned his total rang up at $739.47. While initially bummed he didn’t break the record a closer look revealed he had saved $110 by using his One Card meaning his grand total would have actually been $849.47, blowing the record out of the water. When we told Taylor he did in fact break the record he responded by saying, “That’s too funny! At least my kids will be proud of me.” We’re proud of you too Taylor! Congratulations on your MIO haul!

MIO Marathon 2015 from Homeland Stores on Vimeo.