Saturday, December 21, 2013

Whole Foods Market at Bishops Corner West Hartford CT for Holiday Recipe Ideas!

Every year I mull over the same predicaments! What to serve for holiday dinners!?!? 

Not necessarily the ones where the entire family gathers on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but appetizers and dinners that I can serve for friends dropping in for casual dinners and get-togethers!

Thankfully, I don't have too far to look for inspiration.  Great ideas can be found in my local Whole Foods Market. Unfortunately, for me, that's about a 40 minute drive to the Hartford/Glastonbury area from my hometown of Branford CT!

But as I was lamenting the fact that they're not right around the corner from me while I was there last week , Whole Foods Corporate tweeted me that they are always looking for new locations to open!  How's that for active listening to their consumers???

So, if you would like the great folks at Whole Foods to consider opening in an area near you, here's where you can make your recommendation ==> 

At the event I recently attended at Whole Foods Market in Bishops Corner West Hartford CT, many of their culinary experts gathered to give us some great ideas for all the upcoming holiday soirees!

And I also got to meet up with some local bloggers I've been following, Carrie from Poet in the Pantry, Allie from VitaTrain4Life, Erica from Erica: Thoughts of an Organic Mama , Jess from Foodette Reviews, and of course, Wendy and Greg from Connecticut Lifestyles Magazine.

I started with some of their savory ideas. My favorite was the Crispy Risotto Ball served on a bed of pureed sweet potato, prepared by Chef Bryce. So crispy good and delicately fried on the outside, with soft and creamy risotto on the inside. Then I swirled a few bites into the sweet potato puree to take me right straight into holiday heaven food bliss! So good and this would be a great appetizer or side dish to serve at any holiday party.

Chef Bryce's Crispy Risotto Ball

My favorite inspired protein of the evening was the Grilled Lamb. I'm a little sheepish (PUNNY) to admit that I've never prepared lamb at home, although it is something I always order when I'm out. However, Chef Devlin furnished me with a recipe that just might get me over my trepidation of preparing it!

Devlin prepares rack of lamb
And Devlin also showed a simple yet creative way to display your lamb when serving it. Simply mound it up on a stack of grilled vegetables surrounded by some simple holiday decor! Recipe for the Rack of Lamb HERE.

For seafood we were treated to some of Craig's lobster tails and some bacon wrapped shrimp and scallops. Did you know that you can purchase party packs of bacon wrapped scallops and shrimp at Whole Foods?

What a great idea! Pop them in the oven with no fuss while you mingle with your guests!

Then I moved on to some of the sweets! We were able to sample some Bourbon Pecan Pie, Dairy Free "Cheesecake" , Chocolate Biscotti (Recipe HERE), and Cocoa Oat Truffles (Recipe HERE)!

Clockwise, L-R
Top L: Dairy Free Cheesecake, Top R Cocoa Oat Truffles
Bottom R: Chocolate Biscotti, Bottom L: Bourbon Pecan Pie

To cap the evening off with a beverage, we sampled a great alternative to the traditional heavy and rich eggnog! This one is called Almond-Nog, and it's quite light in consistency because of the Almond Milk, but still has that nice holiday flavor.

As you can see they used a banana as a thickener. I think when I make it I'm going to use a frozen banana to make it almost milkshake-like. YUM! And healthy too!


Thanks to Whole Foods in Bishops Corner West Hartford CT for the wonderful holiday cheer and inspiration!

Look for great events at YOUR local Whole Foods Market! 

Incredible specials, a calendar of events, cooking classes, holiday magazines, and more!

For more pictures from this event visit the Home Place Facebook page HERE!

What's on your holiday menu this season?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!


  1. Yum, everything looks so good at Whole Foods, especially the Bourbon Pecan Pie. I wish we had a Whole Foods closeby as well. Maybe I will make a suggestion too!

    1. Hmmmm! Madison CT would be a half way point between both of us!

  2. There's a Whole Foods down the street from me in Darien -- I don't shop there too much, but I do occasionally go there for meat bc they have the animal welfare ratings.

  3. West Hartford has an embarrassment of Whole Foods riches. We have a new store in BlueBack Square, a wonderful mixed use development created within the last five years that expanded West Hartford Center. The Bishops Corner store you visited is maybe two miles north, a former locally owned natural foods store that ended up in the Whole Foods family through a series of corporate mergers. Plus, maybe ten more grocery stores at all price points . . .

    1. Jack, I've found that the service staff at every Whole Foods I've visited has been exceptional. Each and every member of their crew goes above and beyond. Your area certainly does have an abundance of Whole Food riches! I've been to the Glastonbury store, and the Bishops Corner. Hopefully soon I'll visit the BlueBack square. There is a mecca of shopping to do there!

    2. oops! Almost forgot, I think we have a mutual blog-friend, Sue from Idyll Heaven, I think she's guest posted for you. Love following her and her garden!

  4. They recently opened a Whole Foods in Danbury and I was literally counting down the days until it opened. I was talking about it for three years before they opened and have been thrilled having it so close. I was like you, having to drive close to an hour to get to the nearest store, which meant I rarely went. Your pictures are beautiful, those sweets had me drooling!

    1. I'm soooo jealous! Hopefully one will be making its way to my area soon! How I would love that!


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