Aijana W.

About

If you love to read about ways to use your favorite products and foods in surprising ways, Aijana W. is going to be the blogger to watch. A member of the Publix family since 2014, Aijana loves to explore the diverse corners of social media and hopes you leave our blog with great ideas as well as a better sense of who Publix is as a company. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, trying new restaurants, and of course – eating Publix GreenWise Salted Caramel Ice Cream!

Posts by Aijana W.

04_28_Sustainability_AJ_Arbor Day_Image 1 Header

Founded by J. Sterling Morton, a nature loving pioneer, National Arbor Day was first observed in Nebraska in 1872. It is said that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day. This year’s celebration on April 28 will promote the importance of trees, their impact on our lives and an overall sense of caring for the environment. Individuals are encouraged to plant trees on this day, and many communities get together to plan events celebrating the holiday. Keep reading to find out how Publix celebrates National Arbor Day all year long.

 

Publix and the Arbor Day Foundation

The beauty of our nation’s trees and forests don’t just serve as majestic landscapes. Watersheds found in our forests are the largest suppliers of drinking water to more than 180 million people across the country. However, many of these watersheds are in danger from drought and disease.* To help combat the deterioration of watersheds in Publix’s home state of Florida, we are supporting the Arbor Day Foundation’s efforts to clean and restore the Ocklawaha River Watershed in Alachua, Marion and Lake counties in Florida.  Little Orange Creek and the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin are home to wetland fish and wildlife, and due to a loss of vegetation and a lack of natural filtration, the quality of water has declined. As a result, the fish and wildlife that depend on the watershed have suffered as well.

Publix and the Arbor Day  Foundation have committed to planting more than 100,000 trees along the watershed to protect and restore these critical waterways. The planted trees will help prevent harmful run-off and provide natural filtration and storage for water. This absorption and filtering of water will increase groundwater as clean water feeds into aquifers that can be accessed hundreds of miles away.

Additionally, this project preserves critical habitats for a variety of wildlife and aquatic species, as well as expands conservation lands in the state of Florida.

To date, 105,000 Longleaf Pine trees have been planted on 198 acres of land thanks to these efforts.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the impact of this project over the next half century will result in the elimination of more than 34,000 tons of carbon dioxide and over 1,900 tons of air pollution. How awesome is that?

 

Fun Fact:

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of our reusable bags is used to support Publix sustainability projects such as these.

We want to help protect critical waterways, and restoration projects like helping the Ocklawaha River Watershed is only the first step. Planting trees is a key aspect in the success of these sustainability projects. Stay tuned for additional blog posts on the importance of trees in our everyday lives and what we’re doing to assist in the preservation of our nation’s forests.

*Source: Arbor Day Foundation

04_12_Grocery_AJ_PBandJ_Image 1(Header)

Peanut butter and jelly is a beloved snack that satisfies your sweet tooth and your salty cravings all in one bite. Even better, it’s easy to make and is a favorite with children and adults alike. When it comes to this popular sandwich some like their peanut butter smooth while others like it crunchy ― everyone has a preference. However you like to eat your PB&J, we want to introduce you to a few new ways to enjoy this versatile snack on any day.

 

10 Twists on a Classic

1. Peanut butter is great, but have you ever tried an alternative like almond butter? Give it a shot, then try a few more like cashew and sunflower butters, too.

2. Grape jelly may be your go to, but why not try others like raspberry, blackberry, strawberry or apple? Marmalade flavors like orange and grapefruit are an appetizing change from your regular flavors. Take your taste buds on a new adventure.

3. Fresh fruit is a tasty alternative to jelly. Try cut bananas or apples, raisins, or berries of your choice on your sandwich. It’s delicious!

4. Adding honey or even marshmallow fluff is a sweet addition. Be sure to stop by the Publix Bakery to pick the perfect bread for your spread.

5. If you’re a fan of food from the county fair, think about frying your PB&J and sprinkling it with powdered sugar. For another sweet take, try our Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie. You’re sure to love it!

6. If frying is not for you, what about grilling your peanut butter and jelly? Warm, gooey peanut butter can’t be beat!

7. Use biscuits or crackers for miniature versions of this sandwich classic. English 04_12_Grocery_AJ_PBandJ_Image 2muffins make for a fun PB&J Snack Pizza that’s easy to travel with.

8. Waffles are a fun and scrumptious alternative to bread for your next PB&J.

9. Make a peanut butter and jelly roll. Flatten a piece of bread and spread jelly on one half and peanut butter on the other. Next, roll the bread like a wrap for an on-the go snack.

10. Add peanut butter to a berry smoothie to satisfy your next PB&J craving. This is a cool and refreshing post-workout treat.

 

Bonus: Last but not least, don’t forget the milk. While dairy milk is always a great choice to wash down that peanut butter, there are other types of milk you may be interested in trying. Next time you shop, think about picking up soy, almond, coconut, or even cashew milk to accompany your sandwich.

There you have it! 10 easy and tasty twists on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Do you have a twist of your own? Shout it out in the comments below.

04_07_Bakery_AJ_Breads_Image 1

Imagine for a moment, the aroma of freshly baked bread in the air — some with hints of sweetness, others more savory. Visualize yourself biting into warm, baked bread as part of your favorite meal or even by itself. With the Publix Bakery, there’s no need to imagine. We offer a wide variety of breads to satisfy any craving, and whatever you make with our Bakery breads and rolls is bound to be good. Keep reading to see a few of our favorite items that are made from scratch and baked in store daily.

 

Italian Five Grain Bread04_07_Bakery_AJ_Breads_Image 2

Our Italian Five Grain Bread  contains cracked wheat, barley, oats, millet and sunflower and flax seeds. You can taste and see the difference with this bread’s soft texture, crunchy crust, toasted seeds and hearty grains. You’ll find this to be a scrumptious addition to pasta dinners and also a great sandwich bread. Try dipping it in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a flavorful appetizer.

Prepared using Publix’s original recipe, our bakers take pride in  bringing this bread to life.

 

White Mountain Bread04_07_Bakery_AJ_Breads_Image 3

Baked fresh every day, with a perfect eggshell crust and moist interior, the tender texture of this bread will keep you coming back for more.  White Mountain Bread is versatile and works well with any meal. This bread is awesome for dipping and for making your favorite sandwich creations. For inspiration take a look at our Garden Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Turkey Apple Panini recipes.

 

Sourdough Round

With a delicate crust and an understated tangy flavor, our sourdough round tastes mildly tart, making it perfect for eating with jam, sweet butter, or just by itself.

 

French Bread04_07_Bakery_AJ_Breads_Image 4

Our crusty French bread is oh so magnifique! Every day we make it from scratch and bake the loaves to perfection. Use as the base for a steak sandwich with au jus dipping sauce or  alongside artisan cheeses on a party platter or cheese plate.  Its versatility makes its uses plentiful.

 

 

 

 

04_07_Bakery_AJ_Breads_Image 5Hoagie Rolls

Prepared using Publix’s original recipe, deliciousness and freshness abound. These rolls are available plain, and are topped with sesame or poppy seeds. Grab your favorite lunchmeats and cheeses from the Deli and you have an easy lunch combo for the week.

 

 

Baguettes

Baguettes are soft on the inside with a crisp crust. This is  a versatile bread that lends  itself to a variety of uses, from sandwiches to  an accompaniment for your favorite soup or salad.

 

04_07_Bakery_AJ_Breads_Image 6Chicago Hard Rolls

From the Windy City, these light rolls have a nice, delicate crust and a delicious interior.  Don’t let these modest looking rolls fool you. They taste amazing!

 

 

 

So many choices, how do you decide? Take a look at these recipes that use our scratch-made breads and rolls for ideas.

We’d love to know how you like to eat our breads and rolls. Be sure to share in the comments.

04_05_Sustainability_AJ_Reduce Waste_Image 1 (Header)

The new year doesn’t have to be the only time that brings a desire for change and new goals. Spring is a great time, too! While many of us probably already have goals to improve ourselves by vowing to eat better, lose weight, or maybe just take the steps toward exercising every day, what about exercising our sustainability muscles? This may not be something you think of when you start to write out your goals for the year, but we can provide some simple tips to help you reduce waste and support the environment. With Earth Day on April 22, this is the perfect month to get started.

1. Washing machines: To conserve water, be sure to only run your washing machine when you have a full load of laundry. This ensures that you are minimizing machine usage and reducing the amount of water used.

2. Composting: Reduce landfill waste by composting your kitchen scraps and other leftover food. Compost is organic material that can be used as an addition to soil or as a method to grow plants. The composting process occurs when this organic material is broken down by microorganisms, creating nourishment for your soil.

3. Reusable bags: Publix reusable bags are not only pretty, they’re also 04_05_Sustainability_AJ_Reduce Waste_Image 2purposeful.  To reduce the number of plastic bags used in our stores, we started offering reusable shopping bags to our customers more than 20 years ago. And guess what? One reusable bag can hold up to three regular plastic bags worth of groceries. Pick some up during your next shopping trip and see for yourself! If you already have a few, try keeping them in the car so you always have them when it’s time to shop.

4. Double-sided printing: Whether you’re at home or work, one way to reduce waste is to print documents double-sided to use less paper. You can also use discarded documents as scrap paper for notes and lists. Don’t forget to recycle them when you’re finished!

5. Electricity: This one may be a no-brainer, but turning off lights and unplugging electronics when not in use is a great way to save on your next electric bill while maintaining a green routine. According to the Department of Energy, leaving a computer on all day can cost about 21 cents per day, or about $75 per year. You can help yourself save money and energy with just the flip of a switch.

6. Heating and cooling efficiency: Close shades and curtains to keep cool air from escaping in 04_05_Sustainability_AJ_Reduce Waste_Image 3the summer, and warm air in the winter. Be sure to close vents and doors of rooms that are not in use to keep air flow localized.

7. Smart landscaping: When choosing the perfect flower bed or shrubs for your front yard, try picking foliage that doesn’t require much water. This is a great way to save not only water, but energy too!

8. Dishwasher loads: Similar to our tip on washing machines, it is best to use your dishwasher only when it is full for the most efficient water use.

 

Making small changes now can make a big difference when it comes to sustainability efforts for our future. Start with one thing on the list and work your way down. You can do it!

Do you have any sustainability tips of your own? We’d love to hear from you.

 

03_29_Deli_Image 1_AJ

We’re sure you love our Deli teas as much as we do. From sweetened and unsweetened teas to flavored lemonades, the varieties available will go perfectly with your favorite sub or deli snack. Along with our staple offerings, we also have limited edition flavors that are always a welcome addition to our beverage line up. To tell you a little about what goes into creating these delicious drinks, we reached out to our friends in the Deli department for more information.

 

Fun With Flavors

You may have guessed that sweet tea wins the popularity contest, with lemonade, unsweetened tea, and diet sweet tea coming in as the runners-up. Green tea, raspberry lemonade, and raspberry tea aren’t far behind.

To create new flavors, we work with a number of other areas within the company to identify emerging and existing flavor trends.

Once we’ve brainstormed innovative and exciting flavor ideas, product samples of the new flavors are created. Next is the fun part — tasting them! After our teams try the samples and provide feedback, the supplier will make changes to incorporate our opinions. According to Deli buyer, Nicole Kolbasiuk-Beetem, feedback may include making changes such as enhancing the flavor of certain ingredients, or adjusting the sweetness of a product. “Sometimes, however, flavors don’t work out as well as we thought,” she says, “in which case we don’t pursue them further.”

 

Finding What Works03_29_Deli_Image 2_AJ

After new flavors have been chosen and tested , we gather a group of customers who get the chance to try them. Input from these groups allows us to get feedback on everything from how customers react to the name and taste, to how much they actually enjoy the product.

Our taste-testing group rates the product being tested on several different factors, and also provide their own comments. Their feedback is used to decide if our products need more work, and to decide if the flavors we’ve developed are ones that customers like you would want to buy.

 

Final Steps

Once we’ve officially decided on the new flavors and their recipes, we work on bringing the actual product to life, which includes creating product labels. Once final steps are complete, we’re ready to roll out the new flavors to stores.

For our limited-time items, we introduce them individually, taking into account 03_29_Deli_Image 3_AJwhich flavors will work best during each season. For example, chai tea around the winter holidays and refreshing flavored lemonades during the summer. Limited time flavors that are particularly popular have the possibility of becoming available all year long. Our raspberry lemonade and, more recently blackberry lemonade have become permanent items. This is based on the performance of the items in relation to other items in the category. For example, our limited time blackberry lemonade performed almost as well as our best seller, sweet tea, so we decided  to keep the blackberry year-round.

Buyer Nicole Kolbasiuk-Beetem shares, “We want to be sure that we keep the flavors that customers love most, and item sales are the best indicator for which items are the customer favorites.”

 

Now that we’ve given you an inside look at how our Deli teas come to be, we’d like to know which flavor is number one on your shopping list. Let us know in the comments!

03_17_Bakery_Image 1_AJ

Who doesn’t love a little dessert? Whether your New Year’s resolution is still going strong or has already fallen by the wayside, Publix Bakery has a variety of Decadent Dessert cake options that can serve as a reward for a job well done or a pick me up if you’re feeling down.  With more than 20 handcrafted options available, we have what you need for any occasion. Allow us to do the work. Our skilled decorators will create something beautiful and delicious with high-quality ingredients, to indulge your senses. You can even order online through our Online Easy Ordering System.

We offer a wide variety of cakes to satisfy any craving, keep reading to get to know a few of them.

Publix Chantilly CakeChantilly Cake

From birthdays to brunches, this airy cake is great for all events. But you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to pick it up, it’s perfect for those just-because days too!  Three layers of vanilla cake and fresh fruit form the base of this angelic handcrafted dessert, while Chantilly-mascarpone cream frosting covers the outside for a sweet finish. To top it off, the Chantilly cake is expertly decorated with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Yum!

 

Chocolate Ganache Supreme03_17_Bakery_Image 3_AJ

The Chocolate Ganache Supreme is a chocolate lover’s dream. Great for graduations and weddings alike, this four layer masterpiece will enchant your taste buds. This cake is iced with rich silky chocolate ganache, then decorated with fudge icing. Between each layer is a filling of  chocolate whipped topping, and for the finishing touch, it’s crowned with a bow of dark chocolate pieces. Is your mouth watering yet?

 

 

Strawberry & Peach Sensation

03_17_Bakery_Image 4_AJOur Strawberry and Peach Sensation cake may evoke scenes of spring and summer but it’s perfect to eat during any season. Between three layers of vanilla cake you’ll find a Bavarian cream filling and whipped vanilla. It’s crowned with a  variety of fruit including strawberries and peaches, while toasted almonds are pressed on the sides.  It’s an irresistible combination and a scrumptious addition to any celebration.

 

 

More Decadent Dessert Cakes

If any of the decadent desserts below sound intriguing, visit our site to learn more about them.

 

 Chantilly
Cake
 
 Chocolate Ganache Supreme   Strawberry & Peach Sensation   Caramel Pecan Crunch Cake   Carrot Torte Cake 
 Cassata
Torte
 
 Chocolate Avalanche Cake   Chocolate Ganache Bon Bon   Chocolate Ganache Grandeur Cake   Chocolate Lovers Delight Cake 
 Chocolate Lovers Delight Cake   Dulce De Leche Torte   Ebony & Ivory Cake   Extreme Chocolate Raspberry Cake   Fruit-Filled Brown Derby Cake 
 Latte Blast Cake   Midnight Fudge Fantasy Cake   Peanut Butter Fudge Fix Cake   Raspberry Elegance Cake   Southern Style Red Velvet Cake 
 Strawberry Elegance Cake   Strawberry Limonata Cake   Strawberry Sensation Cake 

 

Next time you’re in the Publix Bakery browsing the cookies and breads, don’t forget to show the cakes some love!Try something new and let us know how you incorporated one of our decadent desserts into your day.

03_13_Grocery_Image 1_AJ

You’ve heard the term “Sunday funday” right? It’s a great day to gather your friends and host a fabulous brunch. Mimosas, pastries, and pies — it’s all about having a good time. We’re here to help make your brunch bash easy and enjoyable.

 

Delightful Drinks

The key is to keep it light, which is why bubbly beverages are a wonderful choice. Most brunch items are a mix of sweet and savory, so the bright flavors and fruity bubbles in sparkling wine or champagne complement a variety of dishes. If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, sparkling fruit juices are another great option. Coffee and tea are essentials , so pick up a few varieties to cover your guests’ preferences.

For champagne and sparkling wine options, give these bubblies a try:

  • Candoni Prosecco Brut: Crisp and clean; sip this slowly and savor the distinct honey undertones.
  • Moscato d’Asti:  Lightly fizzy Moscato d’Asti has a touch of sweetness balanced by crisp acidity to bring out tangy and sweet flavors.
  • Champagne: The acidity of the champagne helps lighten the rich flavors from typical brunch foods such as cheese omelets, and the light fruit flavors will complement any added fresh herbs, such as basil or thyme.

 

Stress-Free Food

Setting up a cheese board is always a fun addition to your get-together. For easy ideas on how to set one up, see our blog on how to create cheese plate perfection. If you’re looking to get a little more creative, try setting up stations like a waffle bar with different toppings, or a bagel bonanza with assorted cream cheeses, butters, and bagel flavors.

Omelets, frittatas, and salads are easy choices that will be both delicious and fast to make. For brunch recipe options that aren’t too heavy, give these a try:

  • Citrus Pasta Salad
    The slight sweetness and sparkle of cava makes it an agreeable match for nearly any dish. Our Citrus Pasta Salad has a wide range of flavors, from salty feta to basil to orange and grapefruit. The versatility of cava will stand up to every bite.
  • Salmon Brunch Frittata
    Smoked salmon, eggs, and sliced potatoes make this a hearty and satisfying dish. Sautéed onions and tarragon add an additional layer of flavor. The versatility of this dish lends itself to an equally versatile drink such as champagne. Don’t worry, orange juice or coffee are suitable options, too.

If you prefer to have us do the work for you, try ordering a platter from the Publix bakery or deli.

 

Décor

From fun and flirty to sassy and sophisticated, let your theme guide your decoration choices. Stop by our Floral department for a colorful bouquet to add freshness to your table. Use sparkly leftover wrapping paper as a table runner to add a little glam to the event.

If you have a backyard, your garden would be a quaint setting for brunch. Pinterest has a lot of great ideas to give you more inspiration. Last but not least, don’t forget the music! Think of your guests, and keep the music low enough to still have conversation.

We hope we’ve given you a jumpstart on throwing a fabulous brunch bash. We’d love to see pictures of your event. Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

 

*Drink Responsibly. Be 21.