Ask the Expert: Do I Need a Measles Shot?

Dave Fluitt




Dave Fluitt, Pharmacy Supervisor, Raley’s
Learn more about what makes Dave an expert.

There are lots of people asking that question including myself as I watch the news.

By now you know how contagious measles are – WAY more than flu. Basically, if someone with the measles coughs or you touch a surface contaminated by a carrier within a few hours and you are unvaccinated, then you have a 90% chance of catching the measles AND passing it on. That is how 7 cases can turn into 1000 in a very short time AND why it is a concern when you go to a densely populated area such as Disneyland, as seen in recent news reports.

Just like the flu, measles poses a risk to everybody, but it’s a particularly serious health concern for infants.

So let’s bring it back to what we can control – do we have immunity or not?

If you answer “yes” to any of the following statements, you are considered protected or immune from measles:

  • You were born before 1957.
  • You have had a documented case of the measles.
  • You have documented vaccinations against the measles AND you did not receive your measles vaccination between 1963 and 1967 (when they used a less effective, “killed” type of vaccine).
    – You typically get the vaccine series (2 shots) as a child in a vaccine known as MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) which also protects us from those diseases.
  • You received another 2 measles shots after graduating high school if going into secondary education or received them because you travel internationally or a health care worker working in a facility.

If you answer “No” to any of those statements, you may need to be vaccinated with MMR.

Our immunization-certified pharmacists are trained to help you answer these questions, but it’s helpful if you can provide any proof of vaccination or having had the measles.

At Raley’s, we are committed to your wellness and our pharmacists are eager to make sure you are protected from the measles as well as all the other vaccine-preventable diseases. We’re here to help make sure the vaccines we offer are appropriate for you and your family.

Big Game Drink Pairings





Curtis Mann, Raley’s Wine, Beer & Spirits Expert
Learn more about what makes Curtis an expert.

The big game this year definitely gives us an opportunity to enjoy a unique set of foods and beverages together. Who would have ever thought turkeys stuffed with duck would be a good idea? Here are some good combo pairings that may seem along the Turducken side but work surprisingly well:

Blue Moon and Cider

  • How to make it: Blend Blue Moon Belgian White with Crispin Cider.
  • Why it works: The slight bitterness in hops balances well again the hint of sugar in the cider.
  • When to enjoy it: During the game with a big bag of chips and a bowl of guacamole.

Cinnamon Whiskey and Boont Amber Ale

  • How to make it: Pint of Boont and then a shot of Fireball
  • Why it works: Normally I wouldn’t suggest “adjusting” a great beer like Boont Amber Ale, but the cinnamon and the sweetness of the Fireball meld nicely with the malt and hops.
  • When to enjoy it: While you are watching the half time show. It will make you feel like you fit in with the mosh pit.

Champagne and Popcorn

  • Best thing about it: The popcorn is inexpensive so you can afford the Champagne.
  • When to enjoy it: At the end of the game when your team wins…or if your team won the coin toss, if your team scores first, if your team stops the other one on second down, etc. I like to adhere to the rule that you can drink Champagne whenever you like.
  • Suggested Wine: Aubry Brut Champagne – this very mineralistic wine would do best with a light butter version of popcorn.

Whatever combination you go with, make sure to remember that the best combination with an awesome party is a designated driver.

Let’s Chip In


January 29 is National Corn Chip Day – which couldn’t be better timing for the Big Game, right?

Score with our team of corn-chip based recipes.

Team Fast & Easy:

1. Frito Pie with Texas Chili
Serve your Frito Pie in the small, lunch-box size bags for party perfection.

2. Frito Candy
Think of it like a sweet version of a classic snack mix.

3. Tortilla Chips
Make your own for your favorite gameday dip.

4. Cola-Marinated Flank Steak with Frito Chilaquiles
Get a little fancy with this fancy-sounding but easy-to-make recipe.

5. Fritos Toffee
Yes, you read that right.

6. White Bean Chili with Corn Chip Crunch
Take a break from heavier party fare with this lightened up chili.

7. Tortilla Chips with Grilled Corn and Cheddar
A fun twist on traditional nachos.

8. Individual Seven Layer Dips
How fun is this? Prep ahead and refrigerate for an easy game day.

9. Vegetarian Blue Corn Nachos with Homemade Guacamole
Feta cheese and radishes help make these different than your average nachos.

10. Frito Pie Grilled Cheese
An electric skillet will help these move faster.

11. Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken
Chicken tenders make these perfect for a crowd.

Super Sustainable

Big game + natural and organic favorites? That’s definitely a game-winner!

Super Scramble
MexiSnackMixNot much time to spare on the clock? Pick up quick ideas like our natural Raley’s Jerky or natural shrimp, to get the party started. There are plenty of salty snack options, from bean and lentil chips to classic potato chips in our stores, but we love to dig into the Natural Foods bulk bins for extra inspiration, like this Organic Mexi Snack Mix

Melt 1/2 cup organic butter in a large saucepan. Stir in 3 tbsp. Engage Organics Mexi-Mix Seasoning and 1/2 tsp. organic garlic powder. Add 3 cups coarsely broken organic tortilla chips, 1/2 cup organic roasted, salted soy nuts and 1 (9-oz.) box Annie’s Organic Snack Mix; stir until well coated with butter. Spread on a large baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Serves 6.

Chili Out
GameDayChiliChili goes the distance from pregame to postgame. Head to for knockout meatless chilis, or kick it off with this Game Time Chili.

Crumble 1 lb. Raley’s Grass-Fed Ground Beef into a large saucepan. Add 1 cup chopped organic onion and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain 1 (15-oz.) can each: Full Circle Organic Pinto and Black Beans and add to pan with 2 (16-oz.) jars Organicville Organic Salsa, 1 organic chopped bell pepper, 1/2 cup beer and 2 tbsp. Engage Organics Mexi-Mix Seasoning. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Serves 6.

Brew Blitz
We’ve got a brew for every palate – from Bison organic beer to Bard’s gluten-free beer. Even that NorCal favorite Sierra Nevada? Yup, it’s an extremely sustainable brewery that uses solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells. They also use vegetable oil waste from restaurants to fuel their truck fleet.

Nacho Your Average Nacho


A great batch of nachos – or a build-your-own nacho bar – is quintessential big game bliss, but how about scoring with these spicy sweet nachos, too?

Dulce Caramelo Nachos
Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 15 to 20 minutes, Serves: 4 to 6

Cinnamon Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
2 to 3 tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

6 fajita size flour tortillas
Oil for frying
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1½ cups diced mango

  1. To prepare cinnamon cream, beat ingredients in a medium bowl with a mixer until stiff peaks form; transfer to a decorative bowl and refrigerate until game time.
  2. To prepare nachos, cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Working in batches, fry in hot oil until crisp and lightly browned; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl; add tortillas and toss well to coat. Pile onto a decorative platter.
  4. Heat caramel sauce for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave until thin enough to
    pour. Drizzle over tortillas and sprinkle with mangoes. Serve with Cinnamon Cream.

Variation: Omit mangoes and caramel sauce. Warm 1/2 cup chocolate syrup and 1 tbsp. coffee liqueur in the microwave. Drizzle over tortillas.

’Shroom ’Shroom ’Shroom


When you think of mushrooms, you think of a delicious, earthy addition to everything from omelettes to pizzas. But the folks at Premier Mushrooms think of sustainability and conservation through cutting-edge technology.

The factory-built farm, located in Colusa, California, uses the latest technology from Holland to optimize production and minimize their environmental footprint.

What Bob Murphy, VP of Marketing and Sales at Premier Mushrooms, calls a “Dutch-tech farm,” uses technology to allow for complete climate control of the mushroom growing rooms.

Airflow, humidity and H2O levels are being monitored 24/7. This allows the farm to produce a consistent crop, year-round, while reducing energy consumption and waste.

There are 64 growing rooms (40 white and 24 brown), which have increased from 70,000 lbs. to 300,000 lbs. per week since they began eight years ago.

Instead of using conventional wooden beds to grow the mushrooms, the farm uses aluminum beds, which provide a safer growing environment for both the mushrooms and the workers. Aluminum beds lower the risk of pathogens and eliminate the use of chemicals.

After each growing season (about 35 days), the beds are emptied, steamed clean and the leftover compost, unfit mushrooms and water are recycled back to create new compost.

“This creates a closed-loop system,” Bob explains, which is better for the crop and speeds up the composting process.

The team at Premier Mushrooms also dedicate their time to educating the community about sustainability by participating in Colusa’s Annual River Cleanup. This annual event has spurred much attention since it began in 2012 and has evolved into a statewide “Coastal Cleanup Day” across California, involving 55 of 58 counties to help clean up our lakes, rivers and oceans.

According to Bob, technology and partnerships have been the keys to the farm’s success. Premier has been a partner with Raley’s since the beginning.

“Raley’s believes in local grown and Raley’s does by action,” Bob explains.

MushroomTacoNow that you’ve got the scoop on one of our favorite growers, check out one of our favorite recipes for Mushroom Tacos with Jalapeno Drizzle.


The World of Ancient Grains


You may have seen this little grain pop up in recipes, cookbooks and the food blogs you read online, but how much do you really know about the ancient grain, farro?

Farro is an Old World heirloom grain, commonly mistaken for spelt, which was known to be a staple in Italian cooking thousands of years ago. It is thought to be the grain from which all other grains derive from.

Today, farro’s popularity is surging in the United States and other parts of Europe as the go-to grain for stews, casseroles and salads. Known as the “mother of all wheat” because of its high nutrient content, faro is loaded with fiber, protein, magnesium and B vitamins and is easily digestible.

There are some misconceptions that farro and spelt are one in the same, but the truth is that they are completely different grains! They are different in gluten content, texture and taste.

So how can you start using farro? Its roasted and nutty flavor and dense chewiness is great for risotto and soups. It’s also a great substitute for rice!

You can find a variety of ancient grains, including farro and spelt, in our bulk bins section or you can try one of our favorites, Nature’s Earthly Choice Pearled Italian Farro.

Check out our best recipes below:

Creamy Farro Bean Soup
Italian Farro Soup
Seared Scallop Farro Risotto

Ask the Expert: What is sustainable seafood?






Koen Vermeylen
Raley’s Seafood Expert

At Raley’s, we believe it is fish from responsible farmers and fishermen who are dedicated to preserving the marine ecosystems and environment.

It is a commitment to manage and protect, so that future generations may also enjoy.

To us, sustainable seafood is responsible seafood.

It’s certified.
By 2017, we will only source from fisheries or farm programs with one of these certifications:

If a fishery is not certified, they must be on a time-bound path to certification by December 2017. Certified fisheries and farms must go through a rigorous process to ensure the practices used comply with requirements that have been established by international experts. A specially trained certification team will examine every aspect of an operation and issue a certificate that must be renewed every two to five years, depending on the species being certified. The certification bodies that Raley’s requires as part of our program are all recognized as credible by scientific, industry and non-governmental organizations internationally.

It is not a threatened species.
We do not purchase species that are threatened and have no credible improvement plan, including shark, bluefin tuna, orange roughy, Russian cod, non-U.S. squid, spiny lobsters, Atlantic sardines and South American wild shrimp.

It’s accountable.
We only buy clearly traceable sources. This includes 3rd party certification documents and chain of control documents. Our vendors must provide documented evidence that products do not come from sources using any type of illegal methods. We require full seafood traceability, including audits and substantial documentation. Additionally, we only buy from vendors who follow the provisions of the Lacy Act and the California Transparency in Human Trafficking Act. The Lacey Act bans trafficking in illegal wildlife, and falsely identifying fish imported or received from foreign countries. The California Transparency Act ensures that no human trafficking or slavery is used in the seafood supply chain (i.e. enslaved fishermen).

Is all of your seafood sustainable?SustainableSeafoodLogo
Not yet – we are committed to sustainability, but the industry is still catching up. Some of your favorite seafood items do not yet have the types of certification to fit into this program. We – and the industry – are working on it.

You can look for our Sustainable Seafood logo on the tags to be certain, but you’ll find many of your favorites are already available in our stores.

Wild-caught Alaskan cod
Farm-raised catfish
Farm-raised clams
Wild-caught cod
Wild-caught Dungeness crab
Wild-caught king crab
Wild-caught snow crab
Wild-caught blue crab
Wild-caught halibut
Wild-caught lobster
Wild-caught mahi mahi
Farm-raised oysters
Farm-raised white shrimp
Wild-caught Texas Gulf shrimp
Wild-caught Pacific shrimp
Wild-caught Pacific pink shrimp
Wild-caught Atlantic scallops
Farm-raised scallops
Wild-caught Chilean sea bass
Wild-caught Pacific snapper
Wild-caught sole
Wild-caught squid
Farm-raised swai
Farm-raised tilapia
Farm-raised trout
Wild-caught albacore tuna
Wild-caught yellowfin tuna

Bring Home the Bread (Pudding)


Brrr – it may be cold outside, but here’s a delicious and easy way to warm up.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Amaretto Bread Pudding
Prep: 15 minutes, Stand: 1 hour, Cook: 2½ hours, Serves: 8

2-1/2 cups Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Breeze
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted better-for-you buttery spread (such as Promise), plus extra for buttering dish
3 tbsp. amaretto or almond liqueur
3 eggs
8 cups 3/4-inch French bread cubes, very lightly toasted

  1. Lightly butter a 3½ quart slow cooker. Whisk together all ingredients except bread in a large bowl until well mixed. Place bread in prepared cooker and pour Almond Breeze mixture over the top. Stir lightly to coat bread and let stand for 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, 15 minutes. Turn off and let stand for 15 minutes more. Serve warm.

Nutrition per serving: 292 calories, 7 g protein, 9 g total fat (2 g sat.), 45 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 28 g sugar, 70 mg cholesterol, 276 mg sodium, 8 points

Get Saucy with Caramel Stout Sauce

Want an unexpected sweet treat with a bottle of leftover stout? Try this Caramel Stout Sauce over ice cream or cake.