Tips

In The Sisters’ Kitchen By now you know that we love fresh food and we love to cook. We just can’t help ourselves and are always on the look out for exciting new products, cooking techniques or tricks to make our tasks a little easier.

We hope these ideas will help make your cooking go more smoothly and keep you exploring new flavors in the wonderful world of food. If you have a tip or recipe that you'd love to share please let us know. Email us at mary@mcginnis-sisters.com with your ideas.
Meat

   McGinnis Sisters Fresh All Natural Turkey


We are pleased to offer our All Natural Whole Turkeys to your family. McGinnis Sisters Turkeys are all natural and fed a diet of all natural corn and grain. Our turkeys are never frozen or injected with preservatives and chemical solutions.

Our turkeys range in size from 12 lbs to 28 lbs. We recommend about 1 lb to 1 ½ lbs of turkey per adult. We will have cooking instructions ready for you when you pick up your turkey. All birds have a pop up timers, but we recommend that you have a meat thermometer one hand to ensure that your turkey has reached 165 degrees.

   McGinnis Sisters Turkey Breast


McGinnis Sisters is pleased to offer our All Natural Bone-In Turkeys Breasts this holiday season. 

Our all natural turkey breast range in size from 5lbs to 14lbs.  These birds are fed a diet of all natural corn and are never frozen.

We will have cooking instructions ready for you when you pick up your turkey breast. All turkey breasts have a pop up timers in them, but we recommend that you have a meat thermometer one hand to ensure that your turkey has reached 165 degrees. 

 

   Fully Cooked Thanksgiving Dinner


Let the McGinnis Sisters do the work this Thanksgiving! We are pleased to offer our Fully Cooked Turkey Dinner form Plainville Farms. This Thanksgiving feast serves 10 guests and includes a fully cooked all natural Plainville Turkey, Traditional Herb Stuffing, Cranberry Relish and Plainville Turkey Gravy. Ready to warm and serve for only $99.00. We will have a limited supply in each store to please reserve yours today in our Deli Department.

   Turkey Leftover Guidelines


Leftovers should be stored as soon as possible in the refrigerator or freezer. Prepared foods left at room temperature for 2 hours or longer are not safe to eat and should be discarded. Turkey leftovers may be refrigerated 3 to 4 days or frozen up to 4-6 months. Stuffing and gravy should be eaten within 2 days, or frozen up to 2-3 months for gravy or 1 month for stuffing. Be sure to re-heat all of your left overs to 165F before eating.

   Aged American Angus Whole Beef Tenderloin


McGinnis Sisters Aged American Angus Whole Beef Tenderloin - The prized center section of the whole, trimmed tenderloin with the sirloin and tip ends removed. This center-cut section is of a single cut of beef that is perfect when you use Bonnie's No Fail recipe! Plan on about 1/2 lbs per guest.  

   Guide to Cooking Temperatures


Not sure how long to cook those pork chops or how to grill that New York Strip to medium? Use our easy temperature guide to ensure your food is cooked safely.
 
First, make sure you have an instant read thermometer on hand. Many are even pre-programmed with the temperatures for each type of protein.
 
For Beef:
Rare 120 to 125°F. Center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion
Medium Rare 130 to 135°F. Center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion
Medium 140 to 145°F. Center is light pink, outer portion is brown
Medium Well 150 to 155°F. Very little pink if any.
Well Done 160°F. Uniformly brown throughout.
Ground Beef should always reach 165°F.
 
Fish - 145 °F
Pork - 160 °F
Chicken Breasts - 165 °F
Whole Poultry - 165 °F
Egg Dishes - 160 °F

   Turkey Roasting Guide


Use our easy timetables below to determine how long to cook your McGinnis Sisters Fresh All Natural Turkey. We recomend that you cook an Unstuffed Turkey for about 20 minutes per pound. A Stuffed Turkey should be cooked for about 25 minutes per pound.
These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing. Turkeys should be cooked until your instant read thermometer reads 165F.
  • Unstuffed 8 to 12 pounds - 2¾ to 3 hours
  • Unstuffed 12 to 14 pounds - 3 to 3¾ hours
  • Unstuffed 14 to 18 pounds - 3¾ to 4¼ hours
  • Unstuffed 18 to 20 pounds - 4¼ to 4½ hours
  • Unstuffed 20 to 24 pounds - 4½ to 5 hours
  • Stuffed 8 to 12 pounds - 3 to 3½ hours
  • Stuffed 12 to 14 pounds - 3½ to 4 hours
  • Stuffed 14 to 18 pounds - 4 to 4¼ hours
  • Stuffed 18 to 20 pounds - 4¼ to 4¾ hours
  • Stuffed 20 to 24 pounds - 4¾ to 5¼ hours
Produce

   Pennsylvania Farm Apples


Pennsylvania apple season is here!  Typically between twelve and seventeen varieties of apples are grown in Pennsylvania. We have been working with a few Pennsylvania orchards to source the very best local apples.
These orchards uses the Integrated Pest Management approach suggested by Penn State University to support sustainable farming. This method combines orchard monitoring, horticultural controls and judicious use of pesticides to produce the very best apples. This method has enjoyed success by using hand applied pheromone dispensers to disrupt mating of certain insects, eliminating the need for most sprays.
 
Our favorite apple is the Honeycrip which is known for being sweet, crunchy and juicy.

   Buy Fresh Buy Local


You may be surprised to learn that McGinnis Sisters was the first retail supporter of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and their Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign.  McGinnis Sisters signed on early to help promote the benefits of supporting local farms and local producers. We worked with PASA to help the organization better understand customer needs and questions surrounding local products. Since then the movement has received a lot of attention as families and individuals learn what makes a Pennsylvania strawberry or the home grown corn so special.

   Honeycrip Apples are Here!


Honeycrisp apples are here! Originally developed in Minnesota, Honeycrisp apples were created by crossing the Macoun and Honeygold apple varieties. Honeycrisp apples grow very well in Pennsylvania and we are so happy to have these sweet juicy apples in our home state. Honeycrisp apples are great for baking, go well in salads and make a great healthy snack. If you are trying to get your child to eat more healthfully, try packing a honeycrisp in their lunch.  Apple season doesn’t last long, so don’t miss it!

   Brussel Sprouts are in Season


Brussels sprouts, members of the cabbage family, are in season this winter. Americans tend to shy away from this great veggie because we don't know how to select, store and prepare healthy Brussels sprouts.  Look for small, firm sprouts with compact, bright green heads. Choose sprouts of similar size for even cooking and roasting. 
 
When preparing your Brussels sprouts for storage remove any loose leaves and seal the unwashed Brussels sprouts in an airtight plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator. Try to use your sprouts as quickly as possible, since their flavor will start to become strong after three or four days. When ready to use wash each Brussels sprout and pat dry, removing any loose leaves. Trim the stem ends and cut in half for easy cooking.  Brussels sprouts should be cooked only until tender but still slightly crisp. Their color should remain intense; olive colored sprouts are a sign of overcooked.  To check doneness, pierce the stem end with a fork, it should penetrate easily. Check our Recipes page for easy preparation tips!
 
Brussels sprouts also a good source of: Vitamins A and C.

   Butternut Squash perfect for fall and winter


Butternut squash is in season right now and make a great addition to lunch and dinner.  Look for a squash that has no cracks or soft spots and is heavy for its size.  Butternut squash will keep for months in a cool, dry place, so pick out ones you like and store until ready to use. 
If making a recipe that calls for mashed squash, the easiest way to prepare it is to cut the squash in half vertically, and remove the seeds and fibers with a spoon. Place the halves, cut sides down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add water to a depth of 1 inch, and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender-when you can pierce the squash easily with a small knife.  Let the squash cool, then scoop the pulp out with a spoon, and mash the pulp with a potato masher.
 
Other Tips and Tricks: One pound uncooked butternut squash will yield about 1 cup mashed. When the recipe calls for chopped, peeled squash (uncooked) Cut the squash in half and remove its seeds and fibers with a spoon.Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, cut it in cubes, and proceed with your recipe.

   Don't forget the Parsnips


Root vegetable are often over looked but they taste great and are good for you! Parsnips might look like a creamed colored carrot but starchy parsnips can easy stand in for potatoes. 

Look for small to medium-sized parsnips with beige skin. You'll find them year-round, but peak season is from fall to spring. Like other root vegetables, parsnips store well. Wrap unwashed parsnips in a paper towel, place in a plastic zip-top bag, and store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
 
To Use: Wash the exterior, and peel. Cut off the top and bottom, and slice or julienne, depending on the recipe's directions. Then steam, roast, or sauté for a hearty side dish. Add parsnips during the last 30 minutes of cooking when preparing stews and soups to keep them appealingly tasty. Search our Recipes section for more great ways to use parsnips.
Seafood

   Foley Unsoaked Sea Scallops


Foley' Fresh Unsoaked Sea Scallops are a year round staple at McGinnis Sisters. Our sea scallops are from the Georges Bank off of the coast of Nova Scotia and have never been soaked in a brine or solution. Our Foley scallops are sugar sweet, naturally, with a firm texture unlike processed scallops which tend to be jelly-like and have a chemical aftertaste.

Many customers ask us the difference between our scallops and others they have seen marked as dry. Unfortunately “dry” scallops are soaked up to 8% of their body weight in brine or other solution. McGinnis Sisters sea scallops have never been soaked in brine or treated with chemicals. This natural treatment allows our scallops to maintain their sweet ocean taste. Our Foley scallops will caramelize perfectly for a stunning plate presentation

   Foley Fresh Salmon


Many people assume that all farm raised Atlantic salmon are the same quality and flavor. Foley's has "gone to school" on Atlantic salmon to provide the very highest quality, firmest textured, freshest and most flavorful Atlantic salmon produced anywhere.
 
Several major factors differentiate one farmed raised Atlantic salmon from another including gene pool, farming practices, harvest and travel time. Attention to detail at each step along the way, from the hatchery to the final shipping determines the overall quality and flavor of the salmon that we offer our customers.
 
In addition, Foley salmon farms test their salmon regularly at the parts per trillion levels for PCB's which is significantly higher than current government standards. Foley stands behind the healthfulness and quality of each fish.
 
Foley Fish also partners with farms who raise their fish with good husbandry. For example, all of our Foley Farmed Salmon is fed an all natural feed. Further, they cover their pens with polar twine tops to prevent fish escape. They feature underwater cameras to monitor feed and stop adding feed once the fish stop eating. They also allow pens to lay fallow and rotate pens as a farmer would his fields.

   Foley Fresh Captain’s Cod


McGinnis Sisters is the exclusive provider of Foley Fish in Pittsburgh. Foley Fish buyers source their groundfish, like Captain’s Cod, from boats fishing on Georges Bank. The fishermen from this area describe the benefits of the Georges Bank as a habitat where the fish eat healthy and live clean.

The Georges Bank runs from the Northern tip of Cape Cod to the southern tip of Nova Scotia. The distance from shore make the waters of the Georges Bake exceptionally clean. Fish thrive in this pollutant free environment. Cod also thrives because the Georges Banks are very rich in nutrients. Two ocean currents converge at the banks providing Georges Bank fish with a superior diet. The relatively shallow water of this are allows the fish to better see and capture its foods. The end result is fish that are meaty and delicious to eat.

   Foley Fish Commitment to Sustainable Seafood


Unlike other companies who merely join associations, Foley Fish actively participates in fishery management with a representative on both the National Marine Fisheries Northeast Groundfish Advisory Panel and the Highly Migratory Species Panel. Foley's direct involvement in fishery management allows us to steer our customers to well managed, sustainable species. McGinnis Sisters is the exclusive retail provider of Foley Fish in Pittsburgh.

   Guide to Sustainable Seafood from New England


Do you need a little help selecting the right seafood for your family? Foley Fish has published the New England Sustainable Seafood Guide to showcase the health of the New England fishing stocks, the management measures in place to protect these stocks and the current growth of the biomass of stocks in New England waters.

This guide is by no means a comprehensive look at the oceans of the world but rather a snapshot of what is going on in New England where we source the majority of our seafood. Foley is helping to illuminate the good news about New England fisheries. Foley used the National Marine Fisheries Service for their information and vetted the guide with two leading fishery management scientists.

We encourage you to print the guide and share it with your friends. The guide is designed to be folded into a wallet sized pocket guide so you can bring it to the store on your next shopping trip. Foley Fish New England Sustainable Seafood Guide

Cheese

   Timid about building a cheese plate?


Use our fool proof method and think of your cheese plate as a clock.
 
Place the mildest cheese in the Noon position. Try Brie, Havarti, or Erin Gold. Next at Three o'clock stir things up a bit with Parrano or Champagne Cheddar. At Six o'clock start rockin' the platter with a two year old Black Diamond or Tillamook Cheddar, Manchego or Fontiago. Nine o'clock bring your platter full circle with Beemster Classic, award winning Sartori Gold or invite Old Brugge and see what happens.
 
Now the fun begins, fill in the gaps with honeyed nuts, fresh dates, dried fruit and fresh from the oven breads. Plan to purchase about 2oz of cheese per person.

   What to do with Crème Fraîche


So what exactly is Crème Fraîche? After you milk the cows, set the fresh cream aside. Let the natural lactic bacteria take over — creating a thick, smooth, tart result known as crème fraîche.
When Bob Reese and Allison co-founded Vermont Butter & Cheese Company in 1984, their first product was Vermont Chèvre, the company’s signature goats’ milk cheese. Vermont Crème Fraîche, their first cows’ milk creation — and another perfect combination of modern technology and time-honored European methods — followed close on its heels.
A staple of French cuisine, Crème Fraîche is exquisitely rich, with the cultured, nutty flavor and creamy texture. Crème Fraîche will add a richness to sauces, stews, and soups. Mix with fresh ripe berries for a refreshing summer inspired dessert. Or try this velvety Crème Fraîche and Chive Mashed Potatoes dish, a great compliment to any meal.

   How to select the perfect Brie


Brie cheese is a wonderful soft-ripened cow's milk cheese that is off-white or light grey in color. This creamy cheese is covered by a semi-soft white edible rind.
 
Fresh Brie should have a slightly acidic odor and a buttery, salty flavor. Double and triple cream Brie's are the most popular amount the imported Fresh Brie cheeses. In order for a cheese to be called triple cream the butterfat content must be at least 75%. Double cream cheese only needs to have a butterfat content of 60%. In general triple cream cheeses are going to be smoother, richer, and more complex with a texture closer to butter (which is 100% butterfat) than a double cream cheese. It is almost always worth the splurge for a triple cream Brie but when hosting a party, a double cream Brie will help your dollars stretch without sacrificing flavor.
 
Store Brie cheese in the refrigerator in the vegetable or high humidity drawer. When selecting Brie, always check the expiration date on the package to ensure the product won’t spoil within a few days. When you get home re-wrap your Brie tightly in wax paper and then in foil. We also suggest using the cheese papers sold in our cheese dept as they are created specifically to increase the life of your cheese. The cheese papers simulate a cheese cave right in your own refrigerator.
 
Brie is excellent served on its own with a variety of nuts, fresh and dried fruits, preserves, chutneys, crackers and breads. The rind of the cheese, although slightly bitter, is also edible. Brie can also be wrapped in puff pastry and baked for Brie en croute. Brie is also great in fondue, sauces, paté, on baked potatoes and in soups and sandwiches.
 
Other

   Stay Healthy This Flu Season


The flu season is fast approaching so be sure your family is prepared and takes steps to stay healthy!

Stay informed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a comprehensive Web site for higher education institutions, including fraternities and sororities, and preparing for the flu. Visit the site at www.flu.gov for more information.
 
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.o Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcoholbased hands cleaners are also effective.Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
 
Try to get plenty of rest (7 hours sleep recommended).  Eat regularly and don’t skip meals. Choose variety, including fruits and vegetables, and proteins, low fat milk and milk products, healthy grains, plenty of water daily.Staying hydrated is very important. Stay active. The balance between rest and activity is a critical one for all of use in building and maintaining a healthy body and immune system, which we depend on when the body is stressed with illness. 
 
Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. 
 


Enjoy this collection of our family’s favorite tried and true recipes.

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