Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chicken Three Different Ways

I haven't felt much like cooking, or eating, this week, but decided to roast an entire package of Costco organic boneless chicken breasts just so that we would have something healthy in the fridge. It has saved me time in the kitchen for the past few days so I thought I would share the ways in which I put those breasts to good use.

First, I roasted 5 or 6 boneless chicken breasts, seasoned with olive oil and Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper seasoning (comes in a grinder) in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. That night we went out to dinner with friends, but I left the chicken for the kids and the babysitter to enjoy with boxed mac n cheese and steamed frozen green beans.

My son and I went to a late matinee yesterday so my husband was in charge of dinner. He added some chicken to Barilla Plus Farfalle pasta and Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash sauce(featured in a post last week), and served it with steamed broccoli. This man does not cook so if he can handle that meal, anyone can!

Finally, today I cubed the rest of the chicken and made low fat Lemon Ginger Chicken Salad. After two previous meals, I still had three chicken breasts left and now have enough chicken salad to get us through lunch tomorrow. All of these meals were healthy, delicious, and ready in minutes. Most importantly, I have not been thinking much about dinner all week! I will definitely try this method again in the future. Here is the menu and recipe for Lemon Ginger Chicken Salad.

MENUS

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Mac n Cheese and Steamed Green Beans

Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Sauce, Chicken and Barilla Plus Farfalle with Steamed Broccoli


Low Fat Lemon Ginger Chicken Salad
3/4 cup non fat Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon honey or 2 teaspoons sugar
3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes
1/2 cup celery chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries or 1/2 cup grapes halved
1/4 cup toasted almonds
salt and pepper to taste

Mix yogurt, mayo, lemon zest and juice, ginger, honey or sugar in a large bowl. Add chicken, celery, cranberries or grapes, and almonds. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper. Serve on a bed of lettuce or with slices of cantaloupe.
** You can always substitute the mayo or sour cream found in most chicken salad recipes with non fat Greek yogurt. It has the same thick consistency and provides rich flavor without the calories! You can find it in most grocery stores, but I recommend Trader Joe's brand because of the price-about $2.00 less.**

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pantry and Refrigerator/Freezer Essentials

A friend asked me today for some tips on stocking the pantry so I decided to post a list of the food items I cannot live without. I have included some basics, but not all because I'm assuming most of you have sugar, flour, salt, pepper, etc?

PANTRY
olive oil
vegetable or canola oil
balsamic vinegar
red Wine vinegar
rice Wine vinegar
basic dried herbs and spices
brown sugar
brown rice
grain, like quinoa or couscous
Old Fashioned Oats (not quick cooking oatmeal)
whole wheat pasta (preferably Barilla Plus in various shapes)
canned beans (black, pinto or kidney, cannellini)
canned diced tomatoes
tomato paste
jar marinara sauce(whatever is on sale)
canned Rotel tomatoes or canned diced green chiles
canned chipotle chili peppers packed in Adobo sauce
lite coconut milk
soy sauce
barbecue sauce
low salt chicken broth
raisins and dried cranberries
peanut butter
honey


FREEZER
2 -3 different types of meat (usually ground beef and turkey, flank steaks, pork tenderloin)
tilapia
chicken nuggets
frozen pizzas
Amy's chicken sausages(sold in bulk at Costco, but any kind is fine)
whole wheat bread
Lite English Muffins and/or Arnold's Thinwiches
nuts (pine and pecans or almonds preferred)
jumbo bags of Veggies (organic sold in bulk at Costco)
sweet potato fries
tator tots or french fries
blueberries (Trader Joe's brand is always delicious)
Dorot's frozen herbs and garlic cubes (sold at Trader Joe's)

REFRIGERATOR
nonfat Greek yogurt (Trader Joe's brand most affordable)
light mayo
dijon mustard
mozzarella, blue, and feta cheeses
citrus and other fresh fruit(whatever is on sale)
cucumbers
carrots
mixed greens or baby spinach
salsa

Other Produce: onions, shallots, apples, bananas
Special Spices: smoked paprika, ground chipotle chili pepper, lemon pepper(Trader Joe's grinder), Old Bay Seasoning, herbes de provence


Of course we also have various snacks and some other kid friendly junk, but this should be enough to give you many different dinner options. These are the ingredients I pull from every day to cook healthy meals for our family and for the recipes I post on the blog. I buy all of my meat, fresh, at Costco, then freeze it when I get home. I'd rather have a freezer full of meat and veggies than go to the store twice a week. If you prefer fresh, go for it! Hopefully this list is helpful and feel free to share any great tips you have for stocking the pantry.











Friday, December 25, 2009

Thomas Christmas Dinner


I did review this week's grocery store flyers, however there really isn't much to report. I'm sure this is a popular week for takeout and who really wants to do more shopping? So, I decided to post the Christmas dinner I served tonight and follow up later in the week with a few more easy weeknight meals.

For the last couple of years I have hosted Christmas dinner for my husband's family and have stressed about cooking a large, expensive cut of beef, only to be disappointed with the final result. I do not have a full size oven so if I cook with a roasting pan, nothing else fits. I have to cook everything else in advance, reheat when the beef is resting, and hope that it doesn't dry out in the process. I hate to ruin $100+ of premium beef!

This year I decided to cook an easy pork tenderloin dish and it was well worth it! It was tender, roasted on a shallow jelly roll pan, and all of the dishes were ready to serve at the same time. Here is our menu and the links to the websites where I found the recipes. I would make the pork for an elegant dinner party, or even on a Wednesday-just substitute with store bought fig preserves.

CHRISTMAS '09 DINNER

Herbed Mushrooms
(recipe below)

Pancetta and Herb Pork with Fig Jam

Creamed Spinach
(recipe below)

Barefoot Contessa Penne with Five Cheeses

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Sundaes with Holiday Cookies, Candy Cane Pieces and Fudge
Sauce

Sister Shubert Parker House Rolls
(Best roll on the planet!! Everywhere in the south. Only sold here at Fresh Market)

Just a note about the pork. I substituted four 1-2 lb pork tenderloins for pork loin, marinated them in dried herbs, no fresh at Dominick's, overnight, seared in a pan(earlier today, before guests arrived), then finished cooking right before dinner in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. I forgot the pancetta and it was not missed! Not sure what we would have gained from it, except too much salt? Fig jam was delicious and well worth the extra effort. *Picture posted above copied from Epicurious website.*

Herbed Mushrooms
1 16 ounce package mushrooms, rinsed
1 (5 ounce package herbed goat cheese (Boursin), softened
2 tablespoons olive oil

Remove stems and inside of mushrooms. Spoon cheese into mushrooms until slightly bulging out of top. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes until mushrooms have cooked and cheese mixture is slightly toasted.
**This is one of my favorite appetizers to make. One of my favorite friends and home cooks gave me this recipe and it is a crowd-pleaser. I usually stuff the mushrooms in advance, then cook in my toaster oven right before party time.**


Creamed Spinach
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 lbs of baby spinach(large bag available at Costco for around $3.00)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

Saute shallots and garlic on medium heat in a large pan until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add spinach in batches and cook until wilted and juices cook down. If extra juice remains in pan, remove with spoon. Add cream, Parmesan, cream cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Cook a few minutes more until mixture is thickened and creamy. Serve immediately or transfer to an oven safe dish. Let cool, refrigerate, and reheat when ready in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet and Smoky Beef Chili


Here is an easy beef chili that I make at least 2 to 3 times a month. I created this recipe one night when I was craving Cincinnati style chili. I added the spices from my favorite barbeque rub to ground beef and onions, then threw in some cinnamon, beer, tomatoes, and beans. A quick simmer later and I was enjoying what I knew would become a regular dinner in our house. You can use any kind of bean you prefer in chili. I love pintos and tonight used hominy because that is what was in my pantry. I also recommend adding a little ground chipotle pepper or chopped chipotles in adobo sauce for extra smoke and heat. Serve with pasta if you like chili mac, or with tortilla chips or cornbread and your favorite chili toppings.

Sweet and Smoky Beef Chili
2 pounds lean ground beef, preferably grass fed
1 large onion, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 or 2 (14 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper
(or 2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce seeded and chopped)
1 (12 ounce) beer
1 cup low sodium chicken stock

Brown beef in large pot. Drain any excess fat with a spoon, add onions and cook 5 minutes more. Add canned tomatoes(including juice), beans, brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cinnamon, ground cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper (or chopped chipotles), beer, and broth. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until chili reaches desired consistency.

**This may also be cooked in a slow cooker. Brown beef in a skillet, then place beef and remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. **



Monday, December 21, 2009

Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce


There are so many fun treasures at Costco, but my new favorite find is Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce. http://www.davesgourmet.com/index.php

It is delicious and so rich it must be loaded with cream. No cream and only 100 calories and 4 g of fat per 1/2 cup serving! The ingredients are very simple: butternut squash, water, tomato paste, red peppers, evaporated cane juice, butter, celery, onion, garlic, sea salt, citric acid, and black pepper. I'm sure you could make something similar, but why go to the trouble when you can get two 25.5 oz jars at Costco for $6.99.

You must try this sauce, either with Barilla Plus pasta for a healthy, 5 minute, weeknight dinner or bake in a casserole dish with grilled chicken or browned sausage, pasta and parmesan cheese.

**Picture posted was copied from Dave's Gourmet website**

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Brown Rice Salad with Citrus Thai Basil Vinaigrette

My husband loves pork tenderloin so I cook it at least once a week.  I have a few favorite recipes, including Food Network star Tyler Florence's Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri which I posted last week.  Last night I was craving Asian flavors so I decided to try marinating the pork in few spices and soy sauce, then glazed it with a classic Trader Joe's product, Trader Ming's Soyaki.  This is a great product to keep in your refrigerator!  It is a wonderful substitute for plain Teriyaki sauce and can be used as a marinade, glaze, dressing for pasta or rice, or sauce for meats.  
I served the pork with a brown rice salad recipe from the Food Network website.  I loved this salad and would definitely try the dressing on other salads, including greens or fruit.  It would also taste delicious with spicy grilled shrimp.  
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/brown-rice-salad-with-citrus-thai-basil-vinaigrette-recipe/index.html

Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Soyaki Glaze
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup Trader Ming's Soyaki sauce for glazing
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, vinegar and oil in a large ziploc bag.  Add pork tenderloins, seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Grill all sides of pork, or sear in a large pan, on medium high heat, about 2 minutes per side.  Pour Soyaki sauce over pork and finish cooking in oven for 15 - 20 minutes.  
**In order to avoid burning the sauce in the oven, place pork on a piece of tinfoil with sides folded up around outside of pork and cook on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.**




Friday, December 18, 2009

Deals for the week ending 12/23

This week it's all about stocking up for holiday meals and it's a battle for best price on Rib Roasts!  Here are some highlights from this week's grocery store sale flyers.

SUNSET FOODS:

Premium Black Angus Beef Semi Boneless Rib Roast $7.99/lb
Crown Roast of Pork $5.99/lb
Premium Black Angus Beef Beef Tenderloin whole or half $19.99/lb (save $3.00/lb)
Acorn, Butternut or Spaghetti Squash $.89/lb
Sweet Potatoes $.79/lb
Blueberries or Blackberries 4 oz package $2.99 each
Fresh Green Beans $1.59/lb
 
Also great deals on Palermo's Pizza's, Barilla Pastas, Del Monte canned diced tomatoes, Triscuits, and more!

DOMINICK'S:
Rancher's Reserve Bone-in Beef Rib Roast $4.97/lb 
Boneless Whole Pork Tenderloin $4.99/lb
Perdue Lean Ground Turkey
Rancher's Reserve Flank Steak $5.99/lb
Clementines 5-lb box $3.99 each (save $6.00)
Sweet Potatoes $.49/lb
Eating Right Salad Blends Buy 1 get 1 free
Fresh Blackberries or Raspberries 2/$5.00
Bush's Beans 10/$10.00
Ken's Salad Dressings  Buy 1 get 1 free

JEWEL:
Stockman and Dakota Premium Angus Bone-in Rib Roast $4.99/lb
Boneless Chicken Breasts 50% off
Fresh Blueberries and Blackberries 2/$6.00
Navel Oranges 10/$10.00
Wild Harvest Fresh Herbs 2/$4.00
Edy's Ice Cream 2/$5.00

DINNER MENU IDEAS

Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Citrus Brown Rice Salad

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs 

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup or Grilled Chicken with Roasted Grecian Potatoes
**On sale at Sunset in the Prepared Food Section**

Beef Chili with Salad
(recipe to follow later in week)

Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Sauce
**My new favorite item from Costco-more info later**





Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pot Roast Review and Ziti with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, and Gorgonzola Sauce


I finally made it to Dominick's today, three screaming kids in tow, and purchased almost 5 lbs of Rancher's Reserve Roast on sale for $9!  I saved $14 on a huge amount of beef and for the next couple of days we will be enjoying leftover Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables (
Epicurious recipe I posted yesterday).  It is delicious and very wintery tasting with bacon, thyme, paprika, red wine and hearty parsnips, carrots and celery root.  This is not the quickest cooking recipe so save it for a lazy Sunday afternoon, or start it early while the kids are at school.  



Now, a very quick cooking recipe that you need in your recipe books for those busy weeknights. Cooking Light's Ziti with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, and Gorgonzola Sauce.  
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1835257
Creamy, yet not made with cream, and rich with huge pops of flavor from the fresh tomatoes. My kids like this dish because it is sort of like mac-n-cheese, I like it because it is simple and healthy.  Try it as the main dish or serve as a 
side to grilled chicken or flank steak.  Barilla pastas are currently on sale at Dominick's 10/$10.
(Picture above was copied from Cooking Light website)


**Just a funny side note:  My son loved the parsnips and bacon in the pot roast, but was very amused with his discovery that the word "roast" sort of rhymes with "gross"!**

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pot Roast with Winter Root Vegetables




For the last three days I have been trying to get to Dominick's so that I could take advantage of the sale they currently have on Rancher's Reserve roasts.  I am actually not a big fan of Pot Roast, but it is great cold, wet weather comfort food and a deal is a deal!  I found this recipe on Epicurious which I intend to cook tomorrow.  It received 63 reviews with a 4 fork rating so it must be delicious.  One reviewer even compared it to Julia Child's famous Beef Bourguinon.   We'll see!   

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pot-Roast-with-Winter-Root-Vegetables-241338

Look for my review tomorrow evening and hopefully a better picture than the one I copied from the website!  

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Deals for the week ending 12/16

Here are the highlights from grocery store sale flyers for the week of December 10th-December 16th.  

SUNSET FOODS:
Premium Black Angus Boneless Chuck Roast $2.99/lb 
Boneless Pork Tenderloin $3.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Cauliflower $.99/lb
Limes $.99/lb
Avocado $.99 each
Spanish Onions $.59/lb
Driscolls Raspberries $2.99 1/2 pint
Progresso Traditional Soups 3/$5.00 (save $3.670
Honey Maid Graham Crackers 2/$5.00 (save $3.67)
Kraft Deli Fresh Cheese Slices 2/$6.00 (save $2.98)
Pam Cooking Spray 2/$5.00

Plus other great deals on Barilla pasta, tomato sauces, and canned tomato products, Kraft cheese cubes and Kraft American singles, Dannon yogurts and much more.

DOMINICK'S:
Winter Rancher's Reserve Roast Sale, including $2.00-$3.00 off Beef Chuck Rib Roast, Bottom Round Roast, and Boneless Beef Round Tip Roast (sale per pound)
Fresh Tilapia Filets $5.99/lb (save $3.00/lb)
Baby Carrots 10/$10.oo 16 oz package
Large Hass Avocado 2/$3.00
Fresh Blackberries or Raspberries 2/$5.00
Desert Glory Cherub Tomatoes 2/$5.00
Barilla Whole Grain Pasta 10/$10.00
Classico or Barilla Pasta Sauce $1.99 each
Wish Bone Salad Dressings 2/$5.00

JEWEL:
Jewel Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb
Wild Harvest Ground Beef $4.79/lb
Fresh Asparagus $2.99.lb
Sargento Shredded Cheese $1.79 8 oz package


**Noteworthy Price Comparisons**
Daisy Sour Cream 
   Sunset Foods: 2/$3.00 (save $2.18)          Jewel: $1.79 each (save $.70)

Land O' Lakes Butter
   Sunset Foods: $1.99 (save $2.00)            Jewel: $2.99 each (save $2.00)

Pillsbury Rolled Pie Crust
   Sunset Foods: 2/$5.00 (save $1.98 on 2)    Jewel: 2/$5.00 (save $2.90 on 2)

Miller Lite 24 pack 
  Dominick's: $12.99                                 Jewel: $14.99

THIS WEEK'S MENU IDEAS

Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri

Coconut Milk Tilapia 

Chuck Roast with Cauliflower Mash
(recipe posted later in the week)

Ziti with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, and Gorgonzola Sauce

COOKIE EXCHANGE COOKIE
Fig Pinwheels




Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Zucchini Soup


We are in the midst of our first winter weather advisory here in the Northwest Suburbs which had me craving a big pot of soup.  Zucchini Soup is one of the first homemade soups I made when I first starting cooking.  It is very simple, full of flavor and refreshingly healthy.  Zucchini is on sale at Sunset and Dominick's right now, but can be found in abundance in all grocery stores.  It is the perfect quick, low calorie dinner on a cold night like tonight!  

ZUCCHINI SOUP

2 pounds Italian Turkey sausage
2 cups chopped celery
2 pounds zucchini, roughly chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 bell peppers, diced
 Parmesan cheese for garnish

Remove casing from sausage.  Roll into small balls.  Brown sausage in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.  Drain off excess fat.  Add celery and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in zucchini, tomatoes, seasoning, sugar, garlic powder, onions, salt, oregano and basil.  Simmer 20 minutes.  Add peppers.  Cover and cook 10 minutes more.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sales for Week Ending 12/9


Sorry for the break!  I was out of town on vacation and enjoying Thanksgiving.  Upon my return, I reviewed the grocery store sale flyers for this week and here are the highlights, along with a few menu ideas to finish out the week.  

SUNSET FOODS:
Premium Black Angus Beef Strip Steak $6.99/lb (save $6.00/lb)
Fresh Mussels $2.99/lb (save $1.00/lb)
Boneless Pork Chops $2.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Comice Pears $.99/lb
Green or Yellow Zucchini $.99/lb
Premium Red Potatoes $.59/lb
Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream and Yogurt 2/$5.00 select varieties (save $3.78)
Dannon Yogurt 10/$5.00 6 oz. cup (save $4.90)
Birds Eye Frozen Vegetables 5/$5.00 10-16 oz bag (save$4.95)

Stock your pantry with great deals on Grey Poupon mustard, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, Kraft barbecue sauces, Tabasco hot sauce, Heinz chili or cocktail sauce and many more on sale now at Sunset Foods.  

DOMINICK'S:
Boneless Whole Pork Loin $1.79/lb (save $4.40/lb)
Rancher's Reserve Boneless Beef Top Sirloin Steak $2.99/lb (save $4.00/lb)
Perdue Lean Ground Turkey 2/$5.00
Medium Navel Oranges 2 lbs for $1.00 (save $1.98 on 2 lbs)
Fresh Blueberries, blackberries or Raspberries  buy 1 get 1 free (save $3.99 on 2)
Green Zucchini or Yellow Neck Squash $.99/lb
X-large Russet Potatoes $.69/lb

THIS WEEK'S DINNER MENU IDEAS
 
Strip or Sirloin Steak with Roasted Potatoes and Steamed Frozen Veggies
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and worcestershire sauce
are all you need for great steak and burgers

Mini Barbeque Turkey Meatloaves with Sweet Potato Fries and Green Beans
(see recipe below)

Zucchini Soup 
(recipe to follow later in the week)

MINI BARBEQUE TURKEY MEATLOAVES

3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoked or reg. paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
1/4 cup barbeque sauce, plus extra for tops of meatloaves
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1 - 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper, egg and rolled oats in a bowl.  Add ground turkey and mix well.  Scoop meatloaf mixture onto a greased muffin tin, filling each muffin pocket 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 minutes, add desired amount of extra barbeque sauce on top of each meatloaf and bake 5-10 minutes more.  Should yield 10 or 11 mini meatloaves.
Serve with frozen sweet potato fries (Trader Joe's are the best!) and steamed frozen green beans. 

Meatloaf is my favorite last minute, easy dinner.  You can take any hamburger recipe and turn it into meatloaf just by adding an egg, rolled oats or breadcrumbs, and whatever kind of sauce matches the recipes flavors.  Assemble the meatloaf mixture in the morning while the kids are at school.  Later, pop them in the oven with your favorite frozen potato or side dish and dinner is ready in 25 minutes!  There is no standing over the stove while kids are pulling on your leg, screaming for attention.  The oven does all of the work while we play.  (Kitchen dance parties are my favorite way to get through the bewitching hour.  Raffi, Justin Roberts and Dan Zane are a few favorites!)




 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deals for the week 11/18-11/25-THANKSGIVING!!!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I can't wait to start cooking!  Here is a comparison of prices for popular Thanksgiving dinner items.  I've included the sale prices listed in this week's grocery store sale flyer from Sunset Foods, Dominick's, and Jewel.  Later in the week I will post my family's traditional Thanksgiving Meal.   

TURKEY
Sunset: Norbest Frozen Young Turkey, no added fats, oils, sugars or MSG
$.49/lb available in 12 -22 lbs with $50 purchase

Dominick's: Jennie-O Frozen Turkey Grade A
$.99/lb  available in 8-24 lbs Limit 1 with $20 min purchase
      Butterball Frozen Turkey Grade A
$.99/lb available in 8-24 lbs  Limit 1 with $20 min purchase

Jewel: Jennie-O Frozen Turkey Grade A 16 lbs
$.37/lb with store coupon and separate $20 purchase
$.99/lb without coupon
    Butterball Frozen Turkey Grade A 16 lbs
$.97/lb with store coupon and separate $20 purchase
$1.59/lb without coupon

GREEN BEANS
Sunset Foods: Fresh $.99/lb
  Frozen Pictsweet 13-16 oz bag 2/$3.00
Dominick's: N/A

Jewel: Fresh $.99/lb
    Jewel Brand Frozen 16 oz bags 10/$10

CRANBERRIES
Sunset Foods: $1.99 12 oz bag

Dominick's: 2/$5.00 12 oz bag

Jewel: $1.99 12 oz bag Oceanspray

SWEET POTATOES
Sunset Foods: 3 lbs for $.99
Dominick's: $.77/lb
Jewel: $.28/lb

STUFFING
Sunset Foods: Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix 2/$5.00 12-16 oz bag

Dominick's: Brownberry Stuffing Mix 2/$6.00 12-16 oz bag
Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix $2.79 14-16 oz bag

Jewel: Brownberry or Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix 2/$5.oo 12-16 oz bag

PIE CRUSTS
Sunset Foods: Pillsbury Rolled Pie Crust $2.69 15 oz package

Dominick's: Pillsbury Rolled Pie Crust 2/$5.00 15 oz package

Jewel: Jewel Brand Rolled Pie Crust $2.29 15 oz package

DINNER ROLLS
Sunset Foods: Rhodes White Dinner Rolls 2/$7.00 36 count bag

Dominick's: Butternut Brown 'n Serve Rolls $1.99 12 count package

Jewel: Rhodes White Dinner Rolls $3.29 36 count bag

It seems as though there really isn't a winner here and you will find competitive prices at all
three grocery stores. Based on quality and low prices, I would choose Sunset as my shopping
destination.





Monday, November 16, 2009

Turkey Lasagna


I'm not a big pasta eater, but I do love a good lasagna.  It's comfort food at it's best with heaping servings of meat, cheese and rich tomato sauce.  Most lasagna recipes are not what I would call simple, with too many pots going on the stove and waiting for it to bake in the oven while you clean up the mess.  And don't get me started on the calories-the cheese alone will eat up your Weight Watcher's points for the entire day!

Since my kids love pasta and because it seems to be on sale every week at either Sunset or Dominick's, I am trying to build my pasta recipe library.  A friend from work, the same who passed on the pork chili, suggested I try Ina Garten's Turkey Lasagna.  www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/turkey-lasagna-recipe/index.html.  

It is made with turkey sausage, goat cheese, ricotta and only a few more ingredients that you may already have in your pantry.  Of course, cheese is still a major component in the dish, but turkey sausage is lower in calories than other meats and you can substitute whole wheat pasta.  Knowing that I was going to indulge in this delicious treat, I watched my calorie intake at breakfast and lunch and kept my lasagna portion small and steamed broccoli portion big!  

This is some of the best lasagna I've eaten!  The combination of goat cheese and ricotta provide a creamy texture and great flavor between the layers of sausage and sauce.  Definitely give this a try and maybe store some in the freezer for a last minute week night meal.  Pasta, canned tomatoes, and ricotta cheese are currently on sale at Sunset Foods.

**Picture was copied from the Food Network website**

Friday, November 13, 2009

Poached Scallops with Leeks and Carrots


Earlier in the week I posted a dinner menu for seared scallops and brown rice pilaf.  After seeing this recipe from Real Simple's Best Recipes, Easy Delicious Meals, I ditched the original plan.   Easy Delicious Meals is a smaller version of the Real Simple book Best Recipes and a great buy for only $12.99.  I found it on the magazine racks at Target, and I'm sure it is available at most grocery stores.  This recipe was really simple, delicious and healthy!  I wouldn't recommend it for the kids, but it is a great date night dinner.  I put the kids to bed while brown rice cooked in the rice cooker and 30 minutes later my husband and I were sitting at the table enjoying adult time!  Sea Scallops, Bay Scallops and brown rice are on sale at Sunset Foods this week. 

Poached Scallops with Leeks and Carrots

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, cut into 4-inch sticks
2 leeks (white and green parts), thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup dry white wine
12 large sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, finely chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots and leeks and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the wine and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.  Season the scallops with salt and pepper and place on top of the vegetables.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, until the scallops are opaque throughout, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the scallops to a plate.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, pine nuts, and the remaining teaspoon of oil.  Stir into the vegetables and broth and serve with the scallops.

Serve with brown rice.  

**Picture posted is from our dinner last night.  I didn't have carrots so I added a little spinach and red pepper.  If you are not worried about calories, I would recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons of butter before adding the scallops.  Lemon zest and juice will also add wonderful flavor to this dish.  **

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Chili


A friend from work gave me this slow cooker recipe to try.  It is beyond simple with very few ingredients that you may already have in your pantry.  Pork tenderloin is on sale at Sunset and pork loin chops are on sale at Dominick's.  The recipe calls for 1 lb of Pork tenderloin cut into 1 inch pieces.  Of course tenderloin is more tender than a loin chop, but since this is cooked in a slow cooker I think either cut of meat will work.  Serve with corn bread muffins and a salad and you have a perfect, easy weeknight dinner!

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Chili

1 pound pork tenderloin cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red pepper chopped
1 onion chopped
1 jar salsa (12-15 ounces)
3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2-1 cup light beer
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and mix well.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until pork is tender.  

**If you like heat, definitely try a medium or hot salsa.  Garlic Chipotle Salsa from Trader Joe's would take this over the top!!**
 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Deals for the week 11/11-11/18

This week the sales flyers are loaded with great deals!!  I can only list so many, so definitely check out the grocery store websites, especially Sunset and Dominick's.  

SUNSET FOODS

Mexican Bay Scallops $5.98/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Boneless Pork Tenderloin $3.99 (save $2.00/lb)
*Current Costco price $2.99/lb(4-6 lbs per package)
Boar's Head Turkey Breast $6.99/lb (save $3.00/lb)
Granny Smith Apples $1.29/lb
Fresh Express 9-12 oz. bags Garden Blends salads $1.79 each
Dole Premium Red or Yukon Gold potatoes 5 lb bag $2.49
Kraft Salad Dressings 2/$5.00 (save $2.58)
McCormick Seasoning Grinder 3/$5 (save $3.36)
Kraft Mayo $2.99 (save $3.00)
Lundberg Brown Rice 32 oz. bag $2.49 (save $1.00)
Land O Lakes butter $1.99 (save $2.00)
*Jewel Sale price with customer card $2.49
Dannon Yogurt 6 oz. cup 10/$5.00 (save $3.90)

Look for sales on all of your Thanksgiving dinner needs, including frozen young turkey, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, Pepperidge Farm stuffing, Swanson broth, Pam cooking spray and an enormous spread of prepared dinner ideas from the deli.  I have my eye on the pumpkin bars on sale for $2.50/2 pack!

DOMINICK'S

Rancher's Reserve Boneless Beef Round Steak $1.49/lb (save $3.30/lb)
Assorted Pork Loin Chops $1.99/lb
10 lb bag Russet Potatoes $1.99 each (save $3.00 each)
Grapefruit 2/$1.00 (save $1.50 on 2)
Blueberries 2/$6.00 5-6 oz container
*Jewel sale price 2/$7.00 4 oz. container
Bartlett, D'Anjou,  Bosc or Comice Pears $.99/lb 
Eating Right Salad Blends 2/$5.00
Breyers Ice Cream $2.99 each
Haagen Daz Ice Cream 2/$6.00
Jack's Original Pizza 2/$5.00
Lucerne Butter $1.99 

Also worth noting are great deals on various brands of Mexican food products, including Mission tortilla chips, Pace salsa, taco shells, lucerne shredded cheese, and many more!

Dinner Menu Ideas
(Here is my attempt to stay away from any Thankgiving-ish or high calorie so that I can savor every bite next week and not feel as guilty!  Recipes for scallops, brown rice pilaf and Pork Chili will be posted later in the week.)

Grilled Beef Round Steak with Roasted Potatoes and Salad
(season steak with a McCormicks steak seasoning grinder on sale at Sunset)

Seared Sea Scallops with Brown Rice Pilaf and Steamed Frozen Vegetables

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Chili with Salad and Corn Bread

Frozen Pizza

Pasta with favorite Sauce and Steamed Broccolli
(Sunset and Dominick's feature sale price on Barilla Pasta's and various brands of pasta sauce)




Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple Maple Turkey Burgers with Maple Dijon Sauce


I love, love, love hamburgers!  My favorite is a traditional beef burger with blue cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato-and a side of pommes frites to finish off my high calorie fantasy.  Another fantasy is living a long life as a thin woman so I am always looking for lower calorie recipes. Earlier in the week I tried this turkey burger recipe from Sandra Lee of the Food Network.  www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/apple-maple-turkey-burgers-with-maple-dijon-sauce-recipe/index.html.

Bacon bits, maple syrup and applesauce are mixed with ground turkey adding smokey and sweet flavors, producing wonderful textures and a moist burger.  The original recipe uses mayo in the sauce, which I substituted half with nonfat Greek yogurt.  I served the burgers on my favorite low calorie, high fiber Arnold Select Multigrain Sandwich Thins with roasted brussels sprouts and Trader Joe's box macaroni and cheese.  The macaroni got my children to the table and the maple syrup I drizzled on their burgers enticed them to try something new.  

Perdue Ground Turkey is currently on sale, buy one get one free, at Dominick's.  Stock up your freezer for this burger recipe and many more that I will be posting!

**The picture attached to this post was copied from the Food Network website**

  


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Slow Roasted Pork with Citrus and Garlic


Today I cooked this Food Network Magazine recipe in my slow cooker.  www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/slow-roasted-pork-with-citrus-and-garlic-recipe/index.html
It was an experiment to see if I could convert their recipe, pork shoulder marinated overnight and roasted in the oven, into an even easier version for my slow cooker.  I was successful and once again I was able to enjoy a nice dinner without spending all afternoon in my kitchen.  I'm sure the original recipe is delicious and worth a try.  Either recipe will produce tender pork, full of wonderful flavor from orange, lemon and lime juices, garlic, thyme, oregano, coriander and Worcestershire sauce.  

Here is my converted slow cooker recipe.  I served it with sweet potato fries (frozen from Costco) and steamed veggies.  Actually, my husband cooked the sides while I was at yoga.  I was centered, dinner was ready and it was all good!!

SLOW COOKER PORK WITH CITRUS AND GARLIC

10 cloves garlic
1 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
4 bay leaves
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 4-6-pound pork shoulder
Juice of 5 oranges, peels reserved
Juice of 4 lemons, peels reserved
Juice of 4 limes
6 oz light beer
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 white onions, sliced 

Combine garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander, cumin, bay leaves, orange, lemon and lime juices, beer and Worcestershire sauce in a slow cooker.  Add orange and lemon peels and onions.  Trim all but a thin layer of fat from the pork and season well with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a large pan to medium high heat and brown pork on all sides, 3 minutes per side.  Add pork to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for six hours.  Remove pork and shred or slice for serving.    

**Picture featured in this post is copied from the Food Network website recipe page.  I will try to add a picture of my dish to show the comparison.  I think it was pretty close!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Deals for the week 11/5-11/11

This week there are great deals to be found at both Sunset and Dominick's.  I've listed the highlights below and a menu for the week, including a recipe for Spicy Sesame Pasta Salad that I cooked tonight.  

SUNSET FOODS 

Black Angus Flank Steak $5.99/lb (save $4.00/lb)
Tilapia $6.98/lb (save $2.00)
Boar's Head Sweet Slice Boneless Ham $5.99/lb (save $1.50)
Butterball Turkey Bacon 2/$5.00 (save $1/98)
Post Cereal Bran Flakes and Shredded Wheat 4/$9.00 (save $8.96)
Ortega Taco Products 25 % off

Also look for sales on pasta, Skinny Cow icecCream p
roducts, Wonder whole grain breads, 
Progresso soups and much more!

DOMINICK'S

Rancher's Reserve Beef Porterhouse Steak $4.99/lb (save $3.00)
Whole Boneless Pork Loin $1.99/lb (save up to $4.
20/lb)
Perdue Ground Turkey   Buy 1 get 1 free (save $3.99)
Pomegranates 2/$3.00 (save up to $2.98)
Asparagus $1.47/lb (save up to $2.52/lb)
Eating Right Baby Cut carrots  Buy 1 get 1 free
Ruffles Potato Chips Buy 1 get 1 free

**This afternoon I shopped at the Dominick's on Patriot Blvd. in Glenview where I also found great deals on all Barilla Pasta's, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Butternut breads, Progresso Soups, and much more!

DINNER MENUS

Marinated Flank Steak and Spicy Sesame Pasta Salad with Edamame
(see recipe below)

Apple Maple Turkey Burgers with Macaroni and Cheese and Roasted Brussels
 Sprouts 

Tacos with Ground Turkey or Beef and Salad
(Ortega Taco Dinner Package)

Grandma Ginger's Fish Casserole with Green Beans

Slow Roasted Pork with Citrus and Garlic

FEATURED RECIPE
Spicy Sesame Pasta Salad
It's a Shore Thing...Culinary Favorites From Chicago's North Shore
Junior League of Evanston North Shore 

1 1/4 pounds rotelle pasta
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup sesame toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped green onions
 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 3 to 4 dashes crushed red pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce

Bring water to boil, add pasta and cook 5 minutes or until al dente.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Drain again.  Transfer to a bowl.  Add cilantro, teriyaki sauce, olive and sesame oils, sesame seeds, onions, garlic powder, cayenne, red pepper and soy sauce.  Toss gently.  Let stand 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.  Serve hot or cold. 

I am not a big fan of pasta salads, but this is one of our regular dinners.  One of my kids will eat it and I can set aside plain pasta for the especially finicky eaters.  It is great with chicken and tonight it was the perfect side to grilled flank steak marinated in soy sauce, oil, garlic and ginger.  I try to only cook whole wheat pastas.  The Spicy Sesame Pasta salad pictured is a brown rice penne with added edamame for a little something extra.  

Friday, October 30, 2009

Brisket with Barbeque Beer Sauce


This is the wettest October in Chicagoland since the 1920's with a total of 22 days of rain this month!  Perfect weather for slow cooker comfort food so I decided to try to convert an oven baked brisket recipe into a slow cooker version.  I was successful and thought you might appreciate a new way to cook boring brisket.

I found this recipe in the Junior League of Milwaukee's Cookbook, An Occasion to Gather, Milwaukee Entertains.  It is a beautiful cookbook filled with delicious recipes and stunning pictures, including a chapter of recipes from local restaurants.  This brisket recipe spoke to me immediately because it was different from any other I had seen.  The flavors are very true to most barbecue sauces, yet stand up to the strong beef taste of the brisket.  Because you are slow cooking the meat, it becomes perfectly tender and falls apart in the sauce.  

I served this with Ina Garten's Blue Cheese Cole Slaw, www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/blue-cheese-cole-slaw-recipe/index.html, and roasted potatoes and butternut squash.  For dessert, in honor of the season, homemade pumpkin ice cream with Gingersnap Thins.  

Brisket with Barbeque Beer Sauce

1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket
2 large onions, sliced
1 bunch carrots
1 bottle chili sauce
1 (12 ounce) bottle beer
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the chili sauce, beer, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper in a slow cooker and mix well.  Add onions, carrots and brisket.  Cook on high for 6 hours or until brisket shreds easily.  Pull brisket from slow cooker and shred with a fork.  Spoon carrots and onions over shredded brisket with desired amount of sauce.  

**If you are looking for ways to cut calories in the slaw, try substituting some all of the sour cream and some of the mayo with nonfat Greek yogurt.  Also, try prepackaged broccoli slaw instead of regular cole slaw mix or shredding tons of cabbage.  It is heartier, healthier and holds the dressing very well.**

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sunset Foods Weekly Specials 10/28-11/4

Here are some highlights from the Sunset Foods sale flyer for the week 10/28-11/4.
www.sunsetfoods.com/sale.php

Farmland Baby Back Ribs $4.99/lb (Save $2.00/lb)
Miller Amish Country Poultry Whole Fryers $1.29 lb (Save $.80/lb)
Niman Ranch Bacon  $4.99 each (Save $1.50)
Orange Juice 2/$6.00 (Save $2.98)
Sargento Shredded Cheese Buy One Get One Free (Save$4.09)
Dutch Farms Cheese Slices 3/$5.00 (Save $2.77)
Annie's Delux and Family Mac N Cheese (Save $.90)
Organic Golden or Gala Apples $1.49/lb
Seedless Cucumbers $.99 each
Fresh Express Baby Blends 2/$5.00

Easy Take Home Dinner:  All $4.98/lb (Save $2.00/lb)
Italian Turkey Meatloaf  
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes 
Garlic Green Beans

Stock up for Halloween gatherings with great deals on Coke products, crackers, cookies, frozen pizzas, popcorn, etc.  


This Week's Dinner Menu:  

Oriental Baby Back Ribs 
(recipe below)

Barbeque Brisket

Coconut Chicken with African Spices and Couscous

Frozen Pizza

Roasted Whole Fryer with Curried Sweet Potato Mash


FEATURED RECIPE 

Oriental Babyback Ribs
It's a Shore Thing...Culinary Favorites From Chicago's North Shore
www.jle-ns.org

BARBEQUE SAUCE

1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup grated ginger
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons liquid smoke

Saute onions in butter 5 minutes until tender.  Cool slightly.  Pulse onions in a food processor until coarsely pureed.  Add garlic and pulse.  Add brown sugar, ginger, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke, one at a time, to processor and pulse briefly after each addition.

MARINADE

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine or 12 ounces flat beer
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 slabs babyback ribs

Whisk together oil, red wine, soy sauce, vinegar, thyme and mustard.  Pour over ribs.  Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.  Place ribs in a dark enameled roasting pan with an elevated rack.  Cover and bake at 450 degrees 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes more.  Prepare a charcoal fire and allow to burn down to glowing coals with white ash.  Cook ribs over coals 20 to 30 minutes, turning every few minutes.  Baste with barbeque sauce the last few minutes.  Serve with remaining sauce.  

This is a great rib recipe, and the sauce is delicious!  If you don't have a charcoal grill, finish off the ribs on a gas grill or continue to cook, uncovered, in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Other recipes listed on the menu will be posted later in the week.  Stay tuned! 




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Italian Wedding Soup




Last week I posted a menu with this link to Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup recipe on the Food Network website.  

www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/italian-wedding-soup-recipe/index.html

I listed it because one of the main components, ground turkey, is currently on sale at Sunset Foods and Dominick's, and because this is one of my favorite soup recipes!  It is simple, yet full of flavor.  The meatballs are roasted in the oven which not only provides even browning, it saves you from having to cook them in batches in a greasy pot.  While the meatballs cook, the rest of the soup comes together in minutes.  Before you know it, dinner is ready and your house smells amazing!  

This recipe is also kid tested and approved.  Tonight, I plated it with the pasta separate from the meatballs and carrots, just the way my picky eaters like it.  Not only did my son clean his plate without any parental guidance, he was telling his sisters that the meatballs were "really, really good!"  This was a first for my meat hating, carb lover and I was thrilled!

**Ina's recipe uses ground chicken, but I usually substitute ground turkey because I buy it in bulk at Costco and always have some in my freezer.  She also uses homemade chicken stock.  I don't have the time for that extra step so I always use packaged, preferably Organic Low Sodium**

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sunset, again!

Okay, I am starting to wonder if I should change the name of this blog to "Simple Dinners from Sunset Foods"!  I have read through all of the grocery store sale flyers and once again Sunset had the best variety of great deals.  Here are the highlights!

Tallgrass Boneless Chuck Roast  $4.99/lb

Miller Amish Country Poultry Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $3.99/lb ($2.00/lb savings)

Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey $3.99 each ($1.50 savings)

Tallgrass Ground Chuck $4.99

Louis Rich Turkey Franks 2/$4.00 ($2.58 savings)

Boar's Head Sliced Bacon $4.99 each ($3.00 savings)

Honey Crisp Apples $1.59/lb 
(Jewel customer card sale price $2.49/lb)

Cauliflower $1.29/lb

Earthbound Organic Baby Leaf Salad Blends 4.9-5 oz clamshell $2.99 each

Organic Jumbo Spanish Onions $.89/lb

Canteloupe Melons 2/$5.00

Ken's Dressing 2/$4.50 ($3.28 savings)

Prince Pasta 4/$5.00 ($1.36 savings)

Rosens Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns 2/$5.00 ($1.58 savings)

Rosen's Widepan Bread 2/$4.00 ($3.78 savings)

Bush's Beans 5/$4.00 ($1.45 savings)

General Mills Cereals selected varieties 4/$10 ($9.96 savings)

Check on the sunset foods website www.sunsetfoods.com/sale.php for all sale items for the week 10/21-10/28.  

THIS WEEK'S DINNER MENU IDEAS

White Bean Chicken Chili
(recipe below)

Hamburgers with Roasted Potatoes and Baby Green Salad
(choose your favorite recipes)

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard-Wine Sauce & Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest
(Recipes found in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living)

Italian Wedding Soup
(www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/italian-wedding-soup-recipe/index.html)

Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast with Ginger Pumpkin and Apple Soup
(On sale in the Deli/Prepared Foods department at Sunset)

FEATURED RECIPE

White Bean Chicken Chili
It's a Shore Thing..Culinary Favorites From Chicago's North Shore
Junior League of Evanston-North Shore
www.jle-ns.org

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
2-4 (15 ounce) cans great Northern Beans, undrained
1 (24 ounce) jar medium salsa
2 to 5 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (8 ounce) block jalapeno Monterey Jack, cubed
sour cream, corn bread or tortilla chips for garnish

Cover chicken with water.  Boil until cooked through.  Remove chicken to cool.  Reserve cooking water.  Shred chicken with a fork.  In a large stockpot, combine chicken, beans, salsa, cumin and enough cooking water to reach desired thickness.  Simmer until thoroughly heated.  Just prior to serving, add cheese cubes.  Stir until melted.  Serve with sour cream, corn bread or tortilla chips.  

This recipe is about as simple as it gets and tastes like you've been cooking for hours.  Chicken, cheese, beans and tortilla chips are currently on sale at Sunset which makes this a perfect, easy, inexpensive weeknight meal!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pork Shoulder


For the sale week ending 10/21, Dominicks is selling pork shoulder for $1.79/lb.  On Sunday, I purchased pork shoulder from Costco at $1.39/lb.  In general, I think that Costco carries better meat than most local grocery stores so if you have room in your freezer to store the 13 lb's of pork shoulder that come in one package, Costco is definitely going to give you more bang for your buck!   Tonight I cooked a pork shoulder recipe from this month's  Food Network magazine that was beyond delicious!

  I am trying very hard to embrace and increase the amount of cooking I do in my slow cooker, or crock pot as most of us know it.  For me, most slow cooker recipes are decent, but in the end the meat tastes boiled and every dish tends to have the same mushy texture.  This recipe was a total surprise!  Not only did the pork have tons of flavor, it was not mushy and was the perfect compliment to the noodles and extra fresh toppings that are added at serving.  I still felt that sense of comfort because dinner was cooking without my physical being and from the wonderful smells throughout my kitchen, but the end result implied that I had been slaving all afternoon!  

www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/asian-pork-with-noodles-recipe/index.html

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunset Foods Wins again!

Once again, Sunset Foods is offering the best discounts for the sale week ending Wednesday, October 21st.  A full listing of sale items may be found at www.sunsetfoods.com/sale.php.  Here are some highlights.  

Farmland Boneless Pork Chops $2.29/lb ($2.70/lb  savings)
*Dominicks sale price for pork chops, $2.99*

Creekstone Farms Black Angus Beef Short Ribs  $2.99/lb ($2.00/lb savings)

Organic Sweet Potatoes $1.39/lb 

Driscolls Strawberries 1 lb container $2.99 each

Dannon Yogurts 6 oz. cups 10 for $4.00 ($5.90 savings)

Borden Shredded Cheese 3 for $5.00 ($5.46 savings)  

Breakstone Cottage Cheese 16 oz. tub 2 for $5.00 ($1.58 savings)

In the Deli/Prepared Food department find this easy take home weeknight dinner

Garlic & Mustard Marinated Pork Tenderloin $8.98/lb ($4.00/lb savings)
Butternut Squash Risotto $3.98/lb ($2.00/lb savings)
Roasted Root Vegetable Medley $3.98/lb ($2.00/lb savings)

Stock your pantry and freezer with other great deals on Jif Peanut Butter, Healthy Request soups, Soy and Teriyaki Sauces, canned tomatoes, frozen waffles-both Eggo and Van's, Kashi frozen meals, Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers, Haagen-Dazs ice creams and yogurts and more.  

I never cook pork chops, I think because I don't have a good recipe for them.  I found these two recipes on the Food Network website.  Both received 5 stars and the first recipe, created by one of my favorites, Giada De Laurentiis, boasts 205 comments and reviews.  Please share your favorite pork chop recipe!

www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/pork-chops-with-fennel-and-caper-sauce-recipe/index.html

www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/eating-well/easy-pork-chop-saute-with-cranberries-recipe/index.html