Check out these easy and quick-to-make Easter themed pretzel rods (using Neal Brothers Organic Pretzels, of course!)

Easter Pretzel Treats

Check out these easy and quick-to-make Easter themed pretzel rods (using Neal Brothers Organic Pretzels, of course!)

Check out these easy and quick-to-make Easter themed pretzel rods (using Neal Brothers Organic Pretzels, of course!)

The Easter Bunny is coming! How about whipping up these easy, but super tasty pretzel treats for him and everyone else you will be seeing this weekend!? Or hey, these are also a great lunch treat idea for yourself, your husband, your kids, or your co-workers (they will all appreciate you for them). These little rods of flavour use our super yummy and thick (holds chocolate better) organic pretzels.

These can be made for various holidays (using various colour combinations) or just using the classic dark and milk chocolate! Now, write down these ingredients, pick them up, and create this sure-to-please dessert or snack item.

Makes: 30 rods

Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients (Left to Right): Rainbow sprinkles, dark chocolate wafers, candy covered chocolate eggs, white chocolate wafers, milk chocolate wafers, spring coloured sprinkles, spring coloured chocolate wafers, Neal Brothers Foods Organic Pretzel Rods.

Ingredients (Left to Right): Rainbow sprinkles, dark chocolate wafers, candy covered chocolate eggs, white chocolate wafers, milk chocolate wafers, spring coloured sprinkles, spring coloured chocolate wafers, Neal Brothers Foods Organic Pretzel Rods.

Pantry

  • Neal Brothers Organic Pretzel Rods- 30 Rods
  • Dark Chocolate Wafers- 1/2 cup
  • Milk Chocolate Wafers- 1/2 cup
  • White Chocolate Wafers- 1/2 cup
  • Candy Covered Chocolate Eggs- 1 tbsp, crushed
  • Sprinkles (round)- 1 tbsp
  • Sprinkles (flat)- 1 tbsp
  • Purple Chocolate Wafers- 1/4 cup
  • Yellow Chocolate Wafers- 1/4 cup
  • Pink Chocolate Wafers- 1/4 cup

Tools

  • Baking Sheet- 1
  • Parchment Paper- 1
  • Cooling Rack- 1
  • Small Microwave Safe Bowls (Ramekins)- 6
The thickness of these makes them ideal for making chocolate-covered pretzel treats!

The thickness of these makes them ideal for making chocolate-covered pretzel treats!

Directions 

*VERY IMPORTANT: Ensure that there is no water in the bowls, otherwise the chocolate will not melt properly!

1. Set out a baking sheet, place parchment paper on it, and set a cooling rack on top.

2. Separate Neal Brothers Organic Pretzel Rods into 3 groups (10 in each).

Separate everything and melt the chocolate!

Separate everything and melt the chocolate!

3. Heat dark chocolate wafers in microwave safe bowl for 10 seconds at a time until they are smooth. Dip in 10 of the pretzel rods and place on the cooling rack to cool.

Set on cooling rack to cool, add sprinkles and/or candy covered chocolate eggs!

Set on cooling rack to cool, add sprinkles and/or candy covered chocolate eggs!

4. If you want to add sprinkles of crushed candy coated chocolate eggs on these rods, this is the time to do so, before they have cooled down.

5. Repeat step 3 & 4 with milk and white chocolate.

6. Next, if you want to add coloured chocolate to the rods, ensure that they have cooled adequately so the colours do not mix. Then repeat step 4 for each of the coloured chocolates.

All done! Enjoy with friend, family, and/or colleagues!

 

Time to enjoy!

Time to enjoy!

 

Meet Brian Burke, our very own in-house Boston Marathoner!

Brian Burke Marathon

Brian & Gail (daughter)

We love getting to know the people we work with, and even more, we love sharing some of their stories with you guys! This month (this weekend actually), Brian Burke- Warehouse Supervisor, is heading to Boston to run in the famous Boston Marathon! Therefore, this is the perfect time for everyone to learn a bit more about Brian.

Brian & Dianne

Brian & Dianne (wife)

Q: How long have you been at Neal Brothers Foods and what is your role here?

A: I have been at Neal Brothers Foods for 4.5 years now, and my role is Warehouse Supervisor.

Q: What is a day in the life of the Warehouse Supervisor?

A: My day consists of ensuring that our warehouse runs smoothly so that all of our accounts receive tasty Neal Brothers Foods products to sell!

Q: Why do you love working for Neal Brothers?

A: The people, hands down. Is it a big part of why I love coming to work every day!

Q: What would you say is the most adventurous thing you have ever done is?

A: I have ridden my bike across most of Canada. It’s a great way to see our beautiful country!

Q: What are some of your favourite spots you have ridden your bike to?

A: I have two places, the first is when I rode my bike across the prairies. The second is Quebec City, it was wonderful to discover its beauty and history!

Q: What does your day off look like?

A: I enjoy running, and listening to CBC Radio, “Ideas” is my favourite program. I also recently became a grandfather, so I love spending time with my grandson, my two daughters, and wife! I am also in the process of getting ready run the Boston Marathon, so I spend a lot of free time training for that right now.

Brian & Henry

Brian & Henry (grandson)

Q: Speaking of the Boston Marathon, when did you get into running? And, how long have you been training for the Boston Marathon for?

A: Probably about 5 or 6 years ago, and I guess you could say I have been training for Boston since then! However, it is usually about three months (or more) to prepare for a race of this magnitude.

Q: What race qualified you for the Boston Marathon? And, what was your time?

A: The Toronto Waterfront Marathon was my qualifying race, with a time of 3:29:24.

Q: Moving on from your impressive running skills, here at Neal Brothers Foods, we believe in living life with Goodness, what is your Goodness?

A: Being a father, hands down, I love every moment of it and family is everything! I am looking forward to taking on the grandfather role as well. The whole family is coming to Boston to watch me run, including baby Henry!

Brian & Karen

Karen (daughter) & Brian

Q: What is your favourite place to wine and dine in your city and why?

A: Well, whenever we visit Toronto, we make sure to head to Kit Kat on King St West. We stumbled upon it one day, and have been going back ever since. The family atmosphere, open kitchen, and food is unbeatable! I also love anywhere that makes a mean burger.

Q: Finally, what are some of your favourite Neal Brothers Foods products and how do you eat them?

A: I love the Organic Roasted Garlic pasta sauce, served over some good pasta. I also enjoy the WOW cookies we distribute, they are my treat!

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Brian as much as we did here in the office. We wish him and his family a wonderful weekend and ALL the luck in the Boston Marathon. Go Brian!

Brunch is ready to go, enjoy with some crusty bread!

Eggs Shakshuka- Neal Brothers Style

Brunch is ready to go, enjoy with some crusty bread!

Brunch is ready to go, enjoy with some crusty bread!

Who does not love a good brunch!? Here at Neal Brothers, we use our products in so many different ways, and this deliciously breakfast staple showcases our pasta sauces with ease. Eggs Shakshuka is a traditionally spicy tomato sauce dish complete with poached eggs, basil, and melted cheese! Top that off with some good crusty bread, and this one wins brunch by a mile.

 

Serves: 1-3 (dependent on your hunger)

Time: 30 minutes

 

 

Ingredients (Left to Right): Chili Flakes, Cayenne Pepper, Oregano, Garlic Cloves, Eggs, Basil, Parmesan, Neal Brothers Organic Arrabiatta Pasta Sauce

Ingredients (Left to Right): Chili Flakes, Cayenne Pepper, Oregano, Garlic Cloves, Eggs, Basil, Parmesan, Neal Brothers Organic Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce

Pantry

  • Neal Brothers Pasta Sauce, Arrabbiata- 1 to 1.5 cups

Spice Cabinet

  • Oregano- 1.5 Tbsp
  • Chili Flakes- 1 tsp
  • Cayenne Pepper- 1 tsp

Fresh

  • Garlic- 1 Clove, minced
  • Basil- 1 Sprig
  • Eggs- 3
  • Parmesan- 2 Tbsp

Must Haves

  • Crusty Bread- several slices

Tools

  • 6″ Cast Iron Skillet (large enamelled pan)
  • Knife
  • Measuring Spoons

 

Directions

1.Place cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. If using the cast-iron skillet, pre-heat oven to 350F. If not using an oven-safe pan, you will cook the eggs on your stove top only.

2.Mince garlic, saute in pan heated over medium-high heat.

Garlic sautéing in a cast iron pan.

Garlic sautéing in a cast iron pan.

3. Add Neal Brothers Organic pasta sauce (we love the kick of Arrabbiata), chili flakes, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Add Neal Brothers Organic Pasta Sauce (we love Arrabiatta), chili flakes, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Simmer 3-5 minutes.

Add Neal Brothers Organic Pasta Sauce (we love Arrabbiata), chili flakes, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Simmer 3-5 minutes.

4. Add in half parmesan and basil leaves, stir, and simmer 1 minute.

5. Carefully create three holes, crack eggs into the holes.

6. Cook eggs on cooktop (if using a larger non-oven safe pan) until egg whites are set and yolks are still runny.

7. If using a skillet, achieve same goal (as step 5), then with either method gently add parmesan and basil to the dish. The oven takes approximately 8 minutes to get to this point.

Place eggs into oven at 350F for about 8-10 minutes.

Place eggs into oven at 350F for about 8-10 minutes.

8. Continue to cook via stovetop until desired doneness has been reached. *If you prefer runny eggs, like us, then test eggs by gently touching yolks with spoon, you want them to still feel liquid-like underneath the pressure.

9. If using the oven, increase heat to broil (525F) and cook for 3 minutes to melt cheese. Remove from oven from your eggs have reached your desired consistency.

Place parmesan & basil on top of dish and place back into oven on broil (525F) for 2-3 minutes or until desired egg consistency is achieved.

Place parmesan & basil on top of dish and place back into oven on broil (525F) for 2-3 minutes or until desired egg consistency is achieved.

10. Cut up bread, scoop some delicious eggs on there, and enjoy!

Finished brunch- Eggs Shakshuka with Neal Brothers Organic Arrabiatta Pasta Sauce.

Finished brunch- Eggs Shakshuka with Neal Brothers Organic Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce.

Our Team!

staff group collage

Meet Marjo

famr

How long have you been at Neal Brothers and what do you do here?

I am coming up to ten years in the spring. I am the sales director for all of Québec. I do a little of everything from sales, account management, brand management, marketing, consumer relations, HR,  the list goes on and on.

Why do you love working for Neal Brothers?

It’s a very family oriented company, I love that. The brothers and my fellow colleagues have become family over the years, I cannot imagine working anywhere else.

Also the FOOD, I love food and working for a company that believes in ‘really tasty’ and ‘good for you’ products is where I was meant to be.

Tell us one of your favourite stories from working for Neal Brothers.

The absolute best thing has been to be able (or given the trust from Neal Brothers) to choose/ hire the most perfect individuals and build a dream team. These folks aren’t just co-workers but personal friends that get together for all kind if activities outside of working hours.

groupr

What would you say is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?

I was 19 or 20 and I didn’t have a job at the time so friends and I drove to Florida for an extended vacation. I got a job serving in a restaurant and one of the other employees asked if I wanted to make some extra money. I thought ‘of course’ and somehow got myself involved in a group called ‘battle of the sexes” where males and females would wrestle in full costume for people to bet on.

Wow, really? 

Yes, I even had a stage name ‘Natasha from Russia’. I actually had a superfan that wrote me a letter once. I might even still have the letter somewhere.

group 1

What’s your day off look like?

Spending time with my two boys, Julian and Henri. I am a full-fledged soccer mom and proud of it. I’m even thinking of joining a woman’s’ soccer league next summer. I drive a Neal Brothers branded car, wrapped in potato chip graphics but on the inside it’s just full of kid’s sports equipment.

We are a pretty active family and I love to jog and go for hikes, enjoying this country’s beautiful landscapes.

What’s your Goodness?

Every year at this time, I have my boys go through their things and pick out toys that they would like to pass along to someone who might like it. Our local fire department holds a used toy drive and the boys will take their gently used toys over to them for donation.

Personally my ‘goodness’ is doing anything I can to help my friends and community, mostly based around food…since that’s what I love most. Whenever one of my friends is sick or their kids are ill I will bring over a home cooked meal to help out. I have also done this for all my friends when they first brought home their newborns.

Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?

Well for me it’s wherever my loved ones are. My girlfriends and I always take advantage of MTL à Table. This is like Toronto’s Winterlicious where you can take advantage of Montreal’s best restaurant for a fraction of the cost.

As for the ‘wine’ part. I will go anywhere that Freddie James Project is playing, usually at the Calistoga Grill near my house. They are a jazz/blues/R&B cover band that gets everyone up dancing.

fam2r

What’s your favourite Neal Brothers product and how do you eat it?

Pink Himalayan Salt popcorn is our family’s favourite. The four of us will hit the couch with our Neal Brother’s popcorn and a classic film, like Forrest Gump – even my 4 year old loves this one.

 

What would be your last meal? (Don’t hold back)

My mom would have to cook, she is my favourite chef! A filet mignon with mushrooms and onions, some turnip, buttered green beans and a nice glass of merlot. Also some of my mom’s incredible apple crumble…with a scoop of ice cream of course!

 

Image from https://www.google.ca/search?q=halloween&espv=2&biw=1455&bih=722&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA0KnP_vPPAhXIyyYKHc2UAMEQ_AUIBigB#imgdii=hcrBuaW8vbhddM%3A%3BhcrBuaW8vbhddM%3A%3BpE6ROQSixaj1fM%3A&imgrc=hcrBuaW8vbhddM%3A

Throw the Best Halloween Party around with Neal Brothers Foods

FullSizeRender (6)

Halloween is just around the corner and there’s so much to get ready! You’ve got to think about costumes, trick-or-treating routes, parties, scary decorations, and most importantly – tasty snacks! The Neal Brothers are here to tell you how to be the best host, or guest, at every Halloween party this year!

(Hint: the best parties all have delicious food)

 

During this time of year people are looking to let loose, come up with creative costumes, and chow down on some mouth-watering snacks.  While Halloween candy is bought by the barrel in fall, too much of it will leave you with a terrible tummy ache and many contain scary ingredients. If you’re hosting a Halloween party put out some delicious Neal Brothers snacks to give your guests the best treats around. From our popcorn, tortilla chips and salsa, kettle chips, and pretzels, there will be something for everyone.

 

Add a little festivity to the snack by presenting them in a hollowed out pumpkin or by throwing in some fake spiders and eyeballs, it will make every snacker jump and have your guests laughing all night!

 

So stock up on some Neal Brothers snacks and give your guests some treats they won’t soon forget!

 

 

Bonus Tip: Dress up as your favourite snack food this halloween! Witches, vampires, and animals are always overdone…we guarantee no one will have the same costume as you if you go as your favourite snack! So weather its chips, popcorn, pretzels or some salsa, add a bit of creativity to your costume and you’ll be the centre of attention all night long – people will love it!

halloweenphoto 1

 

Header image taken from Google Images. 

IMG_8774 (2)

Making Lunch FUN Again – and Healthy!

We love Autumn! The beautiful colours, the changing of season and of course – kids are back at it with school, after school programs and well, things won’t be slowing down anytime soon. This time of year is busy and parents are trying to figure out what to cook up for their families. As every parent knows packing your child’s lunch can be a real chore and coming up with exciting and creative snacks every day can start to feel next to impossible. Before you know it you’ll be hearing “Leftovers again, that’s boring!” However, preparing lunches that are healthy, fun and filling doesn’t have to be difficult!

NB Image

Image from goodness: recipes & stories pg. 240

We’ve come up with a few tips and tricks for packing yummy school lunches that you AND your kids will love.
Creating extravagant lunches has become a trendy (and time consuming) task but more often than not, your child wants something simple. That’s why we are fans of the classics – with a twist of course.

FullSizeRender (5)

Here are some Neal Brothers approved tips for your child’s lunch:

Spicy Thai Tuna Sandwich – Tuna mixed with Neal Brothers Sriracha Mayonnaise, chopped cilantro, sesame oil or sesame seeds topped with red cabbage for some crunch. Spread onto plain bread.

Gourmet Truffle Sandwich – Neal Brothers Truffle Mayonnaise spread onto a ciabatta bun, topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach or basil, parmesan and a balsamic drizzle.

Lime Mayo Chicken Wrap – Rotisserie chicken and coleslaw, topped with sunflower seeds and corn.
o Coleslaw: cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, Neal Brothers Lime Mayonnaise

Turkey Club – Bacon, avocado, turkey, tomato and lettuce on rye with Neal Brothers Classic Mayonnaise.

Truffle Egg Salad – Copped hard boiled egg mixed with Neal Brothers Truffle Mayonnaise, chopped celery and chopped onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, on plain bread.

IMG_8774 (2)

With these tasty recipes your kids will be the envy of the other students – and the teachers!
And for a once in a while treat, add a side of Neal Brothers Kettle Chips to add some crunch to their lunch.

From our family to yours.

Enjoy!

Our Team!

staff group collage

Meet Paul;

 

How long have you been at Neal Brothers and what do you do here?

13 years this October and I am the VP/GM of Operations.

And what does that mean exactly?

Well I do many things from accounts receivable and inventory flow to logistics and warehouse manager but am also a general manager to most of the staff in the office. I wear many hats

Why do you love working for Neal Brothers?

For the most part, I love the people I work with. In my opinion, that’s the most important thing. Surround yourself with good people and it will never feel like work.

My family owned an IGA in King City so I grew up in the grocery world.

I just love working in the food industry and seeing the new inventive products hitting the shelves.

Any other reasons?

I prefer working for a family run business than a publically traded company for many different reasons. The main one being that we can address problems right away and make changes quickly.

Most importantly, Peter and Chris Neal create a real team atmosphere. It feels like working with family.

Paul's brother, Paul and his best friend.

Paul’s brother Mike, Paul and his best friend 1992.

 

Outside of work, what would you say was something that lead you to where you are now?

I coached hockey for years.  Mostly Peewee (13-14 year olds). When I was coaching they made some significant changes to the rep leagues in Ontario. Zone triple A was formed which brought the best of certain areas onto one team.  You have to remember that these were kids that were used to playing against each other and were now forced to play on the same team.

It really tested my leadership skills but we came together and managed to win the OMHA championships, and a few other major tournaments.

It’s very cool to look back on. I was only 23 when I was coaching and now these kids have all grown up. Some ended up playing professionally and some just went on to have amazing careers both in and out of sports.

It really did set me up to becoming more of a leader inside and outside my career.

Richmond Hill-Vaughan Kings AAA Hockey Association 1991-1992

Richmond Hill-Vaughan Kings AAA Hockey Association 1991-1992

 

What’s your day off look like?

Sleep! Haha. No, really it is mostly spending time with girlfriend Joanna and  my 4 kids. I also love to mountain bike and play tennis when I get a chance.

One of my favourite things to do is explore Ontario’s small towns and try to find the best restaurants, festivals and trails that this province has to offer.

family

What’s your Goodness?

I always support cancer research fundraisers both local and national. Like many of us, we have had too many close relatives affected by the disease.

My kids are heavily involved in Relay for Life and I try to support as much as I can.

I still try to stay involved with local sports.

Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?

There are so many it’s hard to choose.

We love the Peter Cellar’s Pub at the Mono Cliff Inn, it’s this cozy and intimate place in the middle of nowhere. The food is amazing.

We also love McCarty’s and Land and Fire in Caledon.

It’s so fun to discover these places tucked inside our small towns.

What’s your favourite Neal Brothers product and how do you eat it?

I would have to say corn salsa and blue corn tortillas with flax. I will never pass up a good nacho plate!

What would be your last meal? (Don’t hold back)

A huge steak with a side of back ribs, throw on a shrimp skewer or two. Wash that down with a cold import lager or local craft beer and finish off with a slice of chocolate cake a la mode (make it chocolate).

Our team!

staff group collage

Meet Karen; 

 

Hey Karen, how long have you been at Neal Brothers and what do you do here?

Two years ago I started on order desk as a seasonal employee and this past January began my full time role as a MCB and pricing administrator

In Lehman’s Terms?

In short, I keep track of budgets and manage retail promotions with some brand management thrown in there.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?

While working at The Stop’s Night Market in 2015 I ate the most incredible waffle.

SA7

 

What would you say is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?

In 2014 I spent 2 months in Peru completing my final University internship. I fell in love with South America and went back in 2015, backpacking my way across the continent for 4 months. I climbed Machu Picchu for the second time, went whale watching in Ecuador, ate my weight in steak in Argentina, and spent 3 days on the salt flats in Bolivia.

travel collage

 

What’s your day off look like?

Spending time at my friend’s farm with our dogs or more recently throwing axes at a target in a league. I am also training for a half marathon in October.

What’s your Goodness?

I volunteer at Dog Tales. A rescue centre just outside of Newmarket

SA5

What do you do there?

I walk, play and snuggle with dogs that are waiting for their ‘forever homes’

Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?

Joia, an Italian eatery in Aurora, ON. They have THE MOST delicious thin crust pizza.

What’s your favourite Neal Brothers product and how do you eat it?

Srirachup kettle chips…and to answer the second part, the entire bag at once.

What would be your last meal? and don’t hold back. 

A giant bowl of mashed potatoes and the biggest, rarest steak.

We are growing!

The Neal Brothers Foods is growing and looking for some passionate individuals to join our incredible team!

newjob

We are looking for positions in the following;

Warehouse Order Selection: We are looking for a full-time order picker for our fast paced warehouse. Must be energetic and ready to join a strong, positive team. Attention to detail is a must. If this sounds like a good environment for yourself then we want to hear from you.  Send your resume to paulb@nealbrothersfoods.com

Thank you

The Neal Brothers team!

collage

Connie Goes to Kenya

As a company, Neal Brothers is proud of our involvement with different organizations and community programs, and we enjoy participating in various events to help support the community.

Neal Brothers employee Connie Fok is making us proud by helping to support a program near and dear to her heart. She will be travelling to Mully’s Children Family Ndalani in Kenya – a place that provides residential care and rehabilitation for over 600 street children as well as orphaned and vulnerable children. Connie and her daughters Yvette and Chloe will be donating their time from June 27 – July 12 this summer helping out the medical team.

What is needed: $4500 per person (the money raised will be used for community feeding program, medicine, dental equipment and supplies in order to provide free medical, dental and optometry services for MCF children and villagers)

We are happy to help in any way we can and would like to pass this along to all our friends and family at this time.

If you would like to help, please go online to www.mcfcf.org and click on Team Travel, then 1407 RHCCC/NTCAC Team Travel. There is a text box “Add special instruction to the seller” to put in “Support for (Connie Fok/Yvette Hui/Chloe Hui) NTCAC Team“.

 

collage