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April 27, 2011
You'll love our Cinco de Mayo menu

Cinco de Mayo is the perfect excuse to party and to serve up spicy meals. Senorita Kern, our recipe researcher, has compiled a complete menu for your Cinco Celebration - from tortilla soup to frozen dessert. You can enjoy these recipes this week and next!

Chicken Tortilla Soup


Servings: 8


2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin

1 teaspoon Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoons Salt

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 cup Diced Onion

1/4 cups Diced Green Bell Pepper

1/4 cups Red Bell Pepper

3 cloves Garlic, Minced

1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies

32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

4 cups Hot Water

2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained

3 Tablespoons Cornmeal or Masa

5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches



Sour Cream

Diced Avocado

Diced Red Onion

Salsa or Pico De Gallo

Grated Monterey Jack Cheese



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.

Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed--add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to under salt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

Citrus Salsa


Makes 4 servings, generous 1/3 cup each


3 navel oranges

2 limes

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon seeded and minced Serrano chile

2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith from oranges and limes and discard. Cut the orange and lime segments from the surrounding membranes and coarsely chop.

2. Gently toss the oranges, limes, cilantro, chile, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl until combined.

Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Jicama Salad


Cooking Light | May 1999

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


4 oranges

2 cups (1/2-inch) julienne-cut peeled jicama

1 cucumber (about 1/2 pound), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced

2 cups cubed peeled cantaloupe

1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder


Peel and section oranges over a bowl; squeeze membranes to extract juice. Set sections aside; reserve 1/4 cup orange juice. Discard membranes.

Place the orange sections, jicama, and next 5 ingredients (jicama through mint) in a large bowl. Combine the reserved orange juice, fresh lime juice, salt, and chili powder. Pour juice mixture over jicama mixture, and toss gently. Cover and chill 2 hours.



Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Show: Good Eats Episode: Dip Madness


3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled

1 lime, juiced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced


In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Pinto Bean Nachos


Martha Rose Shulman, Cooking Light

January 2005

Yield: 6 servings


12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, quartered

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, undrained

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco

1 cup bottled salsa

1 cup diced peeled avocado

6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 425°.

Arrange half of tortilla wedges in a single layer on a large baking sheet; lightly coat wedges with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until crisp. Repeat procedure with remaining tortilla wedges and cooking spray.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin, chili powder, and garlic; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add pinto beans, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes. Partially mash bean mixture with a potato masher until slightly thick. Place 8 chips on each of 6 plates. Spoon about 1/2 cup bean mixture evenly over tortilla chips on each plate; top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons queso fresco, 2 1/2 tablespoons salsa, and 2 1/2 tablespoons avocado. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro.

Easy Fiesta Beans


Makes 6 servings, generous 1/2 cup each


1 16-ounce can nonfat refried beans, preferably spicy

1 15-ounce can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed

1/2 cup prepared salsa

2/3 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

4 scallions, sliced


1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

2. Combine refried beans, pinto beans, salsa and 1/3 cup cheese in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture is hot and the cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes. Spoon the bean mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese and scallions. Broil until the cheese is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Layered Taco Salad


Yield: 6 servings


For dressing

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

For beef

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 to 2 fresh Serrano chiles (including seeds), finely chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 lb ground chuck

1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For salad

1 (1/2-lb) firm-ripe California avocado

1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced (8 cups)

1 large tomato (1/2 lb), chopped

1/4 lb coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)

1 (15- to 19-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (6-oz) can sliced pitted California black olives, drained


Make dressing:

Whisk together lime juice, cilantro, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.

Cook beef:

Cook onion, garlic, chiles to taste, chili powder, and cumin in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is well softened, about 6 minutes. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up lumps, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes, then spoon off any excess fat from skillet.

Add tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to beef and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Assemble salad:

Peel and pit avocado, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Spread lettuce over bottom of a shallow 4-quart dish. Spoon beef mixture evenly over lettuce and continue making layers with tomatoes, cheese, beans, avocado, and olives. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Chicken Fajita Tostados


Yield: serves 4


2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced

1 box (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels

1 cup prepared fresh salsa

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

4 corn tortillas (6-inch)

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Cilantro-Lime Rice, for serving (optional) - see below for recipe


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. On foil, combine onions, bell peppers, corn, 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper.

Roast, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Add chicken, stir to combine, and continue to roast until warmed through, 5 minutes more. Transfer chicken and vegetable mixture to a serving bowl, discarding foil (reserve sheet).

Arrange tortillas on sheet. Dividing evenly, brush with remaining tablespoon oil; top with cheese. Bake until edges are golden and cheese is melted, 5 to 8 minutes.

Dividing evenly, top tortillas with chicken-vegetable mixture and remaining 3/4 cup salsa. Serve with cilantro-lime rice, if desired.

Cilantro-Lime Rice


Yield: serves 4


1 cup long-grain white rice

Coarse salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove


In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, 16 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water; blend until smooth. Stir into cooked rice, and fluff with a fork.

Cinco de Mayo Glazed Chicken Wings


Makes 5 servings


1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

2 1/2 lb chicken wings, cut apart at joints, wing tips discarded

2 medium green onions, thinly sliced including tops (about 2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cans (12 oz each) lemon-lime carbonated beverage

1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso chopped green chiles, drained

1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso taco seasoning mix

10 lettuce leaves, if desired


In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken wings and onions; sprinkle with pepper flakes. Cook uncovered 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned; drain.

Stir in carbonated beverage, green chiles and taco seasoning mix. Increase heat to high; cook uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken wings are completely glazed, small amount of glaze remains in skillet and juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (180°F).

To serve, line serving plate with lettuce; arrange chicken wings over lettuce. Serve immediately.

Baked Crescent Churros


Makes 12 churros


2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 4 rectangles. Press each to 6x4-inch rectangle, pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles. Press each to 6x4-inch rectangle.

Brush tops of 2 rectangles with melted butter; sprinkle with about half of the sugar mixture. Top each with remaining rectangle; press edges lightly. Brush tops with melted butter.

With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle stack lengthwise into 6 strips. Twist each strip 3 times; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Brush tops with any remaining melted butter; sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

Premium Tres Leches Cake


Yield: 15 servings


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix

1 1/4 cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

1 cup whole milk or evaporated milk

1 cup whipping cream

1 container Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting


1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour or spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan.

2 In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

3 Bake 29 to 35 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes. Poke top of hot cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking.

4 In large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and whipping cream. Carefully pour evenly over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate about 1 hour or until mixture is absorbed into cake. Frost with frosting.

Frozen Cinco de Mayo Dessert


Yield: 24 servings


61 NILLA Wafers, divided

1 cup BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted

1/2 cup PLANTERS Almonds, toasted, finely chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

1 qt. (4 cups) lime sherbet, softened

1 qt. (4 cups) orange sherbet, softened

1 qt. (4 cups) raspberry sherbet, softened


Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely crush 37 of the wafers. Mix wafer crumbs, coconut, almonds and butter until well blended. Press firmly onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until lightly browned; cool.

Spread layers of each of the different flavored sherbets over cooled crust, freezing each layer until firm before topping with the next layer.

Freeze at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer about 10 min. before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Cut into 24 squares. Top each with 1 of the remaining 24 wafers just before serving. Store any leftover dessert in freezer.

Kraft Kitchen Tips:

How to toast coconut: Toasting coconut is easy. Just spread BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut evenly in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 7 to 10 min. or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Or, spread in microwaveable pie plate. Microwave on HIGH 3 min. or until lightly browned, stirring every minute. Watch carefully as coconut can easily burn!

April 26, 2011
Get the royal treatment, shoppers

If only, the grocery stores planned ahead for the Royal Wedding. We could have had some fun with scones, tea, cucumber sandwiches and smoked salmon. Instead, we have "The Big Cheese Event" at Safeway; Cinco de Mayo savings at Raley's and chicken and ribs at Save Mart. Guess we're going to have to come up with our own royal menu!

We'll get the party started at Safeway. In addition to "the Big Cheese Event," they have a pretty good 4-day sale (Wed.-Sat.). Seedless grapes are 99-cents a pound; Barilla pasta is 88-cents a box and Keebler Fudge Shoppe cookies are $1.49. Signature Cafe chicken tenders are $4.99lb; Entemann's donuts are $2.50 a box and Chicken of the Sea solid white tuna in water is 88-cents a can. Safeway apple juice is $1.49.

Weekly savings include BOGO Rancher's Reserve boneless cross rib or pot roast; chicken leg quarters for 99-cents a pound and lean ground beef or $2.99lb. Farmer John sliced bacon is BOGO. That Big Cheese Event features Lucerne chunk, shredded or string cheese for $3; natural slices for $2 and cream cheese for $1. Skinny Cow ice cream treats are $3.99.

Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes are $1.99 a box; Safeway instant oatmeal is BOGO and bagels in the bakery are 2/$1.

Safeway's Cinco coupons include Mission soft taco tortillas for 99-cents; salsa for $1.79 and 7-UP for 77-cents. Other Cinco de Mayo specials include Rosarita refries; green chilis; Bush's black beans and Del Monte Diced tomatoes all for $1 a can. Fresh pork shoulder is $1.49lb and Knoor/Lipton rice mixes are 88-cents each. Unfortunately, large avocados are $2 each.

There's a 99-cents sale in produce. Kiwi fruit and lemons or limes are all 3/99-cents. Oranges, melon, red potatoes, onions and squash are all 99-cents a pound. Cilantro, radishes or green onion are 2/99-cents.

In the don't need but want category a tub of Red Vines is $5.99; Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn is BOGO and Betty Crocker fruit snacks are 3/$5.

The Friday Only $5 specials are good for 4 days this week - Wednesday-Saturday. For $5 you  can get a Signature Cafe pizza; Bertolli dinner for 2; 3 jars of Classico pasta sauce and an Almond-Raspberry Bistro cake in the bakery.

The Cinco de Mayo celebration is starting early at Raley's. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are $1.97lb; pork shoulder roast is $1.47lb and Mission tortillas are 99-cents (with coupon). La Victoria salsa, taco or enchilada sauce is $1.99; Rosarita refries are $1 a can; Raley's shredded cheese is $3.99 for 2lbs. Padrinos chips are $1.69; limes are 10/$1 and green onions or cilantro are 4/$1. Nob HIll pico de gallo or Raley's 5-layer dips are BOGO.

If you're planning an early-morning Royal get together on Friday, coffee cake in the bakery is buy 2, get 1 free; cucumbers for those cute, little finger sandwiches are 2/$1; Florida's Natural OJ is 2/$5; sweet or sourdough baguettes are $1.88 in the bakery. Bagels are $2.98 for six and a dozen donuts is $4.98.

In produce, sweet white corn on the cob is 5/$2; Cherub tomatoes are 2/$5; large 'chokes are 97-cents each; mangoes are 2/$1 and personal size watermelons are 2/$5.

General Mills cereals are $1.49 a box when you buy 4. A case of Nestle water is $3.50. Knondike bars are $2.50.

Save Mart has plenty to report. Country style pork ribs are $1.59lb; chicken leg quarters are 49-cents a pound; Foster Farms fresh wings are $1.99lb and raw shrimp is $3.99 a pound - this weekend only. Included in the weekend sale are mangoes 3/99-cents and Nabisco cookies for $1.99.

Sunnyside Farms yogurt is 10/$4; a case of Nestle water is $2.98; Langers juice cocktails are $1.99 and Crystal Light drink mix is 2/$4. Pace picante sauce is $2 a jar; Las Palmas enchilada sauce is $1.99 and Sunny Select beans are 89-cents a can.

In produce, baby lemons and limes are 10/$1; blackberries are BOGO; spicy peppers are 97-cents a pound; grape tomatoes are BOGO and avocados are 2/$3.

Sunnyside Farms OJ and Dole juices are $2; if you prefer Aquafina drinking water, it's $350 a case. For $1, you can get a can of Hunt's spaghetti sauce; stewed tomatoes or ketchup; Dennison's chili;  Hunt's snack pack pudding or a jug of Pepsi or Dew.

A container of Sunnyside fruit on the bottom cottage cheese is 89-cents; Stouffer's party size lasagne is $9.99; Sunny Select garlic bread is $1.50  a loaf and C&W veggies are 2/$3.

In the bakery, single layer cakes are $6.99; fresh strawverry pie is $8.99; Kaiser rolls are $1.99 for a pack. Back page coupons include Gallo salame for $3.99 and Oscar Mayer bacon for $3.99.

Save Mart is also promoting more than $20 in savings in the May 1 ad in Sunday's paper. Check it out!

Come back on Thursday for Cinco de Mayo recipes from the Shop Cheap kitchen.



April 19, 2011
Let Shop Cheap plan your Easter meal

Want to make it easy on yourself this Easter? Check out recipe researcher Sheila Kern's great suggestions - then be sure to ask for help from the guests.


Honey Dijon Deviled Eggs


Makes 14 servings


7 large hard-cooked eggs

1/4 cup purchased honey Dijon salad dressing

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions

1/8 teaspoon pepper, if desired


Remove shells from eggs. Halve eggs lengthwise or crosswise. Carefully remove yolks from eggs; place in small bowl. Mash yolks with fork. Add salad dressing and onions; mix well.

Lightly spoon or pipe mixture into egg white halves. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving time.

Bruschetta-Goat Cheese Cups


Southern Living - February 2006

Yield: Makes 24 cups (about 6 servings)


1 (1.4-ounce) package crispy pastry shells

1 (4-ounce) goat cheese log, crumbled

1/3 cup refrigerated sweet pepper, vegetable, and olive bruschetta topping or tapenade

Garnish: fresh thyme leaves


Place shells in a shallow pan. Divide goat cheese evenly between shells, pressing gently to fill bottom of each. Spoon 1 teaspoon bruschetta topping into each shell.

Bake at 350° for 4 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired.

Pesto-Goat Cheese Cups: Substitute 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto for 1/3 cup bruschetta topping. Proceed as directed, omitting thyme leaves. Top with finely chopped tomato and toasted pine nuts after baking.

Crescent Rolls with Fresh Herbs


Makes 16 rolls


4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1 egg

1 teaspoon water

16 small leaves fresh herbs, if desired


Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix all chopped herbs.

Separate dough into 16 triangles. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon herb mixture; press lightly into dough. Roll up each triangle, starting at shortest side and rolling to opposite point. On ungreased cookie sheets, place rolls point sides down; curve each into crescent shape.

In small bowl, beat egg and water until blended. Brush egg mixture over tops of rolls. Place 1 herb leaf on top of each roll; brush egg mixture over top of leaf.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

About 1/3 cup of any one herb or a combination of herbs can be substituted for the four herbs in this recipe.

Use kitchen scissors to quickly chop the fresh herbs.

Cinnamon-Citrus Glazed Ham


Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's Food of Love Productions, 2008

Show: The Essence of Emeril Episode: Holiday Gathering

Yield: 10-12 servings


1 (9-pound) fully cooked ham, bone-in, scored 1/4-inch deep in a diamond pattern

10 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks cut in 1/2 lengthwise into 20 pieces

4 navel oranges, sliced crosswise into 1/3-inch slices (20 slices)

5 lemons, sliced crosswise into 1/3-inch slices (20 slices)

10 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

One 13-ounce jar orange marmalade

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch ground cloves


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the ham, cut side down, in a large roasting pan. Insert the cinnamon sticks partially into the scored ham at even intervals. Skewer 1 orange slice and 1 lemon slice onto each cinnamon stick and push the slices down so that they fit snugly against the ham. Tuck the bay leaves around the orange slices. Sprinkle the ham with the black pepper. Bake the ham, uncovered, until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 hours. Baste the ham with the glaze during the last hour of cooking.

Make the glaze when the ham first goes into the oven: Combine the marmalade, brown sugar, orange juice, water, hot sauce, ginger, and cloves in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until mixture reduces to a glaze consistency and coats the back of a spoon.

Grilled Leg of Lamb with Spiced Mustard and Rosemary


Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

1/2 cup spicy brown mustard (such as Gulden's)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons olive oil

Coarse kosher salt

1 5-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied, trimmed of all fat

Nonstick vegetable oil spray


Combine first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in vinegar. Let stand 15 minutes. Whisk in apple juice concentrate, brown mustard, rosemary, and oil. Season marinade to taste with coarse salt and pepper.

Place lamb, boned side up, in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread 1/3 cup marinade over top to coat. Turn over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread remaining marinade over lamb. Cover dish with plastic wrap; chill overnight.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place lamb on grill with marinade still clinging (reserve dish with marinade). Grill 15 minutes. Turn lamb over. Grill 15 minutes, brushing with marinade from reserved dish. Turn lamb over again and grill until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 130°F for medium-rare, brushing often with any remaining marinade, about 5 minutes longer per side. Transfer lamb to platter. Cover loosely with foil; let rest 15 minutes. Slice lamb thinly; arrange on platter and serve.

Glazed Ginger Carrots


Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 lb. fresh carrots

2 tbsp. coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

1 tbsp. honey

1/2 tbsp. butter

1 cup apricot nectar

1 tbsp. cornstarch


Peel or scrape carrots; trim ends. Cut carrots in half crosswise, then lengthwise. In large saucepan, combine quartered carrots, 2 cups water and ginger; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until carrots are just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain water, reserving ginger with carrots. Return to pan; add honey and butter or margarine. In a small bowl, mix apricot nectar and cornstarch; add to carrots. Heat, stirring until sauce thickens. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Lemon-Sesame Asparagus


Serves 6 to 8


2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, each stalk cut diagonally into thirds

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse asparagus under cold water, draining again.

Heat toasted sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and toss until well coated, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Seasoned Salt


Serves 4


2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, scrubbed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof gratin dish or skillet in the oven 15 minutes. Combine salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary in a small bowl.

Toss potatoes in a medium bowl with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with seasoned-salt mixture, and arrange potatoes in a single layer in preheated pan. Roast until they are golden on the outside and tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve hot with additional seasoned salt on the side.

Lavender-Scented Strawberries with Honey Cream


Cooking Light - April 2010

Yield: 8 servings


1/3 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried lavender (such as McCormick)

1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 large egg yolks

1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

1 (6-ounce) container 2% Greek-style plain yogurt

2 cups quartered strawberries


1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Strain syrup through a sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Chill.

2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Let stand 1 minute or until gelatin dissolves.

3. Combine honey, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk.

4. Heat milk over medium-high heat in a small heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture, stirring well. Pour milk mixture into a bowl; stir occasionally until cool but not set (about 20 minutes). Stir in yogurt. Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt mixture into each of 8 dessert glasses or bowls. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

5. Top each serving with 1/4 cup strawberries, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons syrup.

Little Miss Muffins (Lavender Lemon Muffins)


Makes 24 miniature muffins


1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. McCormick Lavender

1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 egg

2 tbsp. melted butter


1. Preheat oven to 400°F and spray 24 miniature muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Combine sugar, lavender and lemon zest in a blender or food processor; process until lavender is chopped. Remove 2 tbsp. to a small bowl and set aside.

2. Combine remaining sugar mixture, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir together buttermilk, oil, lemon extract and egg in a small bowl; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While still warm, brush tops with melted butter and dip in reserved sugar mixture.

Classic Strawberry Shortcake


Southern Living - May 2006

Yield: Makes 8 servings


2 (16-oz.) containers fresh strawberries, quartered

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup cold butter, cut up

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish: fresh mint sprigs


1. Combine strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and, if desired, almond extract. Cover berry mixture, and let stand 2 hours.

2. Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Cover and chill up to 2 hours.

3. Combine flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl; cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

4. Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop dough by lightly greased 1/3 cupfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. (Coat cup with vegetable cooking spray after each drop.)

5. Bake at 450° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

6. Split shortcakes in half horizontally. Spoon about 1/2 cup berry mixture onto each shortcake bottom; top each with a rounded Tbsp. chilled whipped cream, and cover with tops. Serve with remaining whipped cream. Garnish, if desired.

Strawberry Jam Shortcakes: Prepare recipe as directed. Before topping shortcake bottoms with strawberry mixture, stir together 1/4 cup strawberry jam and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint. Spread cut sides of bottom shortcake halves evenly with jam mixture. Proceed with recipe as directed.

April 19, 2011
Hop to it, shoppers

The last Sunday in April is about as late as you can get for Easter. But not to worry shoppers, we have a jump on what's on sale and the bargains are as ripe as strawberries this time of year. In fact, strawberries are a pretty good bargain: Buy 1, get 2 free at both Safeway and Save Mart.

Here's what we like for your Easter table:

First hop, Save Mart where you can pair those berries with a John Morrell Bavarian boneless ham for $1.99lb or a Sunvalley smoked shank portion ham for 97-cents a pound. For the bunnies, Sunnyside Farms large eggs are BOGO. Shop the store's 3-day sale and you'll get a free container of whipped topping when you buy a baked apple or cherry pie in the bakery for $4.99. Iceberg lettuce is 37-cents; salmon filets are $5.99lb and a 128oz. jug of Minute Maid OJ is $3.99.

If you want to serve seafood salad, fresh shrimp is $3.99lb. Radishes, green onion or cilantro are 50-cents a bunch; tomatoes on the vine are $1.97lb and avocado is $1.50. A fresh pineapple is $2.97.

A case of Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.33; Martinelli's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle.

In the bakery, you can get a free baguette with the purchase of spinach dip and free a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans when you purchase a dozen decorated cupcakes.

Soda is a deal with 2-liter jugs of 7-UP for 99-cents; 12-packs of Coke are buy 2, get 2 free.

If you're clippin',  Italian sausage is $1.99; carrot cake is $2 off; and Silk soymilk is $1.99.

Safeway has the same berry deal - buy 1, get 2 free. Their spiral sliced ham is $1.99lb and the whole or shank half ham is 99-cents  a pound. Green beans and bagged salads are BOGO and Boston cream cakes are $7.99 in the bakery. Daily deals include $1.59 for a 4lb bag of sugar on Wednesday; 99-cent pineapple on Thursday; Waterfront bistro shriimp for $4.99 on Saturday and apple pie for $2.99 on Easter.

Buyuy 2-12 packs of soda and get 3 free; Aquafina or Nestle water is $3.50 a case. Martinelli's is a bit pricey at $2.50 a bottle. You might want to try the Safeway brand. It's got to be less.

Corn on the cob is back - 3 ears for 99-cents. Green onions and radishes are $1 a bunch.

Dreyer's ice cream; Cool Whip; Lay's chips and Oscar Mayer sliced bacon are all BOGO.

Knudsen sour cream is $1.88; Kraft cream cheese is $1.50 and Sabra hummus is $3.50 in the deli.

The $5 Friday only specials include roasted turkey breast or pot roast; a 20-pack of Coke; Captain Jac Fish & chips; selected varieties of nuts and whipped cream cakes in the bakery. (Bet those cakes will stay fresh until Easter!)

Hopping over to Raley's, there's still time to order Easter dinner for $59.99 - ham or lobster ravioli. Order online at and you'll save yourself $5. If you're cooking, Raley's spiral sliced ham is $1.77lb; fresh asparagus is $1.97lb a 5lb bag of Sierra Gold potatoes is $2.50. Fresh fresh fruit tarts in the bakery are $14.99. If you'd rather have pie, Apple pie is BOGO in the bakery and Cool Whip topping is 99-cents.

Del Monte pineapple is $1.97; yams are 77-cents a pound and corn is 2/$1.

Dinner rolls are a dozen for $2.50; French bread is $1.88 a loaf. Raley's large eggs are $1.98 a dozen. Knudsen sour cream is $1.50; Philly cream cheese is 4/$5; frozen veggies are 2/$3.

A case of Crystal Geyser is $3.29; Martinelli's sparkling cider or Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail is $1.99 and Simply Orange juices are $2.99.

You can even do your Easter dinner shopping at Target where the prices are about the same as the grocery stores. Archer Farms spiral sliced honey ham is $1.99lb; a 5lb bag of russet potatoes is $1.99; Dole bagged salads are $1.99; Green Giant frozen green beans are 2/$3; and a bag of baby carrots is $1.49. Get a free liter of Coke with a grocery purchase of $25 or more.

That should do it for Easter dinner shopping. Come back on Thursday and we will share our favorite holiday recipes.



April 15, 2011
Free reusable bags at Target

Going to Target on Sunday? Be sure to ask for one of the free reusable bags that they are giving away on Sunday. As usual, it's while supplies last, but they have 1 million of them so chances are pretty good that you'll get one.

The bag giveaway is part of Target's Earth Month Celebration. (I remember when it was just one day!) And sustainable products will be the theme of Sunday's weekly ad in The Bee.

In addition to the free bags, Target will be holding contests where you can win an eco vacation; a chance to design your own environmentally friendly cleaning products (wasn't that just on Shark Tank?); $5,000 worth of energy-smart items and other environmentally friendly stuff.

Me. I'd be happy with the free bag!

April 14, 2011
Easter brunch or Passover...we're cookin'

Busy Bee, today. Barely enough time to get the recipes posted. Since Easter and Passover are right close this year, recipe researcher Sheila Kern offers up a combo meal. Recipes for Easter Brunch and Passover. Enjoy!


Baked French Toast


Makes 12 servings


1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices

8 eggs

2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup butter

1 1/3 cups brown sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup


Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture.

Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole


From EatingWell: April/May 2006

Makes 6 servings


4 large eggs

4 large egg whites

1 cup nonfat milk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

5 cups chopped spinach, wilted (see Tip)

4 cups whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/2 pound, 4-6 slices)

1 cup diced ham steak, (5 ounces)

1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers

3/4 cup shredded Gruyère, or Swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.

Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, rosemary and pepper; whisk to combine. Toss spinach, bread, ham and roasted red peppers in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.

Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare casserole through Step 2; refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake as directed in Step 3.

Tip: To wilt spinach, rinse thoroughly with cool water. Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in it. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture before adding the spinach to the recipe.

Asparagus Quiche


Serves 12


 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

 10 slices bacon

 2 (8 inch) unbaked pie shells

 1 egg white, lightly beaten

 4 eggs

 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream

 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 salt and pepper to taste

 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place asparagus in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain and cool.

2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

3. Brush pie shells with beaten egg white. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and chopped asparagus into pie shells.

4. In a bowl, beat together eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sprinkle Swiss cheese over bacon and asparagus. Pour egg mixture on top of cheese.

5. Bake uncovered in preheated oven until firm, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Strawberry Scones



1 cup hulled and finely diced fresh strawberries

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar, plus a little for sprinkling

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

A lemon, for zest

6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat your oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, using a few spots of butter or cooking oil to stick it in place. Set the baking sheet aside.

Place the diced strawberries on several sheets of paper towel to absorb their juice. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Zest half of the lemon into the ingredients, taking care to remove just the outermost skin and not the white pith.

Cut in the butter with two butter knives or a pastry blender until the flour-coated pieces are the size of peas. Add the strawberries, tossing them gently with a fork to coat them.

Make a well in the mixture. Blend the 1/2 cup of light cream and the vanilla extract in a measuring cup and pour them into the well. Using as few strokes as possible, gently stir the dough until it forms a ball. Let the dough sit for 1 minute.

Clean and flour your hands and dust your work surface with flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and knead it gently three or four times. Transfer it to the large baking sheet and pat it into an 8-inch circle. Using a lightly oiled pizza cutter or a serrated knife, cut the dough into 8 wedges, as you would a pizza. Use a small spatula or pie server to carefully separate the pieces, leaving at least an inch between them.

Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining tablespoon of light cream, then sprinkle the surfaces with sugar. Bake the scones until the outsides are crusty and starting to brown, about 18 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then slide the parchment and the scones onto a wire rack to cool for another 20 minutes before serving.

Overnight Coffee Cake



2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. buttermilk

2/3 c. butter, melted

2 lg. eggs

1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 c. chopped pecans

1 tsp. ground cinnamon


Combine first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, butter and eggs. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Spoon batter into greased and floured 13" x 9" x 2" pan. Combine remaining brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle over batter. Cover and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Variation: Overnight coffee cake may be baked immediately at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. To reheat, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until heated through.


Pistachio and Dried-Fruit Haroseth


Makes about 3 cups


1 1/2 cups unsalted natural pistachios

1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup sweet Passover wine

1/4 cup pure pomegranate juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Fresh mint sprigs (for garnish)


Stir pistachios in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine dates, cherries, apricots, wine, and juice in medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in honey, lemon juice, orange peel, and spices. Chop pistachios; mix into haroseth. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Garnish haroseth with mint sprigs.

 Zucchini-Stuffed Chicken


Makes 8 servings


8 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin

2 zucchini, shredded

3 cups matzo farfel

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder

1 onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 dash garlic powder

1 dash onion powder


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or 9x13 inch baking dish. Wash and clean the chicken breasts.

Place farfel in a bowl and cover with hot water for 3 or 4 minutes, until soft. Drain and squeeze out water.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine zucchini, farfel, eggs, chicken soup powder, onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the stuffing under the skin of each chicken piece and arrange them on cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 40 to 50 minutes. Drain off fat and serve.

June Burk's Brisket


Serves 8


1/2 cup oil

1 flat-cut beef brisket (3 to 4 pounds)

4 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed

1 pound bag of mini carrots

5 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed into medium chunks

2 packages dry onion soup

1 1/2 cups ketchup

2 cups or more warm water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour oil in large roasting pan and set it over medium heat on the stovetop. When the oil is hot, add the brisket to the pan and sear until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

Sprinkle the smashed garlic all around in the pan along with the carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the top of the brisket with the dry onion soup mix. Cover the brisket with the ketchup, using more if needed, so it completely covers the meat. Pour warm water so it comes almost to the top of the brisket.

Cover the pan tightly with foil, crimping it so it seals.

Roast for 3 hours and do not peek.

Remove from the oven. The brisket should be fork-tender. Let cool completely and then place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, skim off any congealed fat. Slice the meat thinly and place the slices back in the gravy.

Reheat in a 350-degree oven and serve with the carrots and potatoes.

Freeze any leftovers.

Potato, Carrot, and Zucchini Kugel


Makes 8 servings


5 large eggs

3 medium onions (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces, divided

14 green onions, coarsely chopped, divided

5 8-ounce russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes, divided

2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces, divided

1 large zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces, divided

1/2 cup unsalted matzo meal

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted pareve margarine, vegetable oil, or melted chicken fat, divided


Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Combine 3 eggs, half of onions, and half of green onions in processor. Blend until mixture is almost smooth and fluffy. Add half of potatoes, half of carrots, and half of zucchini. Blend until vegetables are finely chopped (bits of carrots and zucchini will remain). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Repeat with remaining 2 eggs, onions, and green onions, then potatoes, carrots, and zucchini. Add to mixture in bowl. Whisk in matzo meal, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then 1/4 cup margarine.

Brush remaining 1/4 cup margarine over bottom and sides of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place dish in oven until very hot, about 7 minutes. Pour kugel batter into hot dish. Bake until top is brown and crisp, about 1 hour.

Apple-Matzoh Kugel


Makes 12 servings


4 large apples, Granny Smith or any tart apple, cored and cut into medium dice

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

6 plain matzohs

8 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter or margarine, melted

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup dried apricots, medium, chopped

4 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces, for casserole topping


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and orange juice, set aside in a medium bowl.

3. Break the matzoh into 2- to 3-inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft but not mushy. Set aside.

4. While the matzoh soaks, beat the eggs with a wire whisk in a large bowl until blended. Add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins, and apricots.

5. Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzoh and add the matzoh to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 10x14-inch pan. Dot the top of the kugel with the 4 tablespoons of butter.

6. Bake the kugel for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if the top begins to become too brown early in the baking. Remove the kugel from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Cook's Tip: The kugel can be made 2 days ahead, cooled, and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350°F oven.

Flourless Chocolate Torte


From EatingWell: April 1998

Makes 8 servings


1/2 cup matzo meal

1/3 cup walnuts

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup grated peeled apple, preferably Delicious

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

8 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine matzo meal and walnuts in a food processor; process until nuts are finely chopped. Spread on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Stir in the matzo mixture, apple, cocoa and chocolate.

Beat egg whites and salt in large, clean bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until glossy and stiff peaks form.

Stir one-quarter of the beaten whites into the batter. Gently fold in remaining whites with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan, spreading evenly. Tap pan lightly on counter to release air bubbles.

Bake torte until top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. With a knife, loosen edges of torte. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. (Torte will sink in center.)

Remove pan sides and place torte on a serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.


April 12, 2011
We're cashing in on the sales this week

There's a lot going on this week, shoppers. 4-day sale at Safeway; 3-day sale at Save Mart and some great coupons at Raley's. We're going to cut right to the chase 'cause time's a wastin'.

Starting out at Raley's, you've got to love the coupons for Aquafina water - $2.99 a case; General Mills kids' cereal - $1.99 a box and Dannon Light & Fit yogurt - 40-cents a cup. Ragu pasts sauce is 99-cents and Golden Grain pasta is 99-cents, too.

Baby back ribs are $2.97lb; split chicken breasts are $1.17lb. Strawberries and blackberries are BOGO; red onions are 77-cents a pound and fresh tomatoes on the vine are $1.27lb. Jazz apples are 87-cents a pound and asparagus is $1.97lb.

Skinny Cow ice cream treats are $3.99; Beryer's, Ben & Jerry's or Starbucks ice cream is 2/$6. French bread in the bakery is $1.88 and sandwich rolls are 4/$1.79. A 4-pack of filled croissants is buy 2, get one free.

And Raley's is now taking orders for their Nob Hill Trading Co. fire glazed ham. It's $39.99 and serves 8-10. If you'd rather have the entire meal, glazed ham is $59.99 and includes mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, rolls and apple pie. If you'd rather have lobster ravioli, it's the same price but comes with apricot-stuffed Brie, salad, asparagus, rolls and cheesecake.  Order online and save $5.

Movin' on to Save Mart, the 3-day (Fri-Sun) sale includes fresh snapper for $3.88lb; a package of Romaine hearts for 87-cents and Minute Maid OJ for $1.88

All week long you can get Bohemian Hearth bread for $1.88 a loaf; London broil for $2.77lb and fresh spareribs for $1.59lb. Jennie-O ground turkey breast and turkey bacon are BOGO.

In produce, blackberries and grape tomatoes are BOGO; radishes, green onions and cilantro are 50-cents a bunch and baby lemons and limes are 10/$1. Medium sized artichokes are 69-cents each.

For $1 you can get Rice A Roni, Rosarita refries; Crystal Geyser sparkling water. For less than $1, you can get S&W tomatoes; Sunny Select canned veggies or soups. Michelina's frozen dinners are 79-cents each.

Buy 4 boxes of General Mills cereal and pay $1.49 a box. If you're clipping coupons, Johnsonville Italian sausage is $2.99; Jif peanut butter is $1.49; International Delight coffee creamer is 99-cents and Quaker instant oatmeal is BOGO.

Safeway's 4-day sale includes Seattle's Best coffee for $5.99; a 4-lb bag of boneless, skinless chicken for $1.99 a pound and jumbo cantaloupe for 39-cents a pound.

Trimmed boneless tri tip is $3.99lb; whole Foster Farms chicken is 99-cents a pound and in the Seafood dept., Alaskan cod, snow legs or cooked shrimp are all $5 a pound.

If you are into healthy eating, check out Fage yogurt for $5.88 for a 35 oz. container or a case of Dasani water for $3.33. In produce, there's a 10 for $10 sale. It's either 10 items or 10 pounds of oranges, pears, cucumbers, baby carrots, onions, zucchini, mangos or fruit cups. If you like Safeway soups, they are $2.99 (with coupon). Red seedless grapes are 99-cents a pound and jumbo 'chokes are 2/$3

This week's Friday Only $5 sale includes whole roasted chicken; waterfront BISTRO meals; Safeway coffee and a dozen cupcakes.

Shop Cheap got her hands on a Nugget Market ad this week and has a few recommendations. Free range chickens are 99-cents a pound; Quaker Life and General Mills cereal is $1.99 a box; Dole juice blends are $2 a carton and Cascade yogurt cups are 3/$1. {rp[e; fotmess water os 2/$1; Nature's Pride bread is $2.50 a loaf and Lay's chips are $1.99 a bag. They also are featuring 2-day sales that run from April 13-April 19.

Come back on Thursday as we get hoppin' with some holiday brunch suggestions.

April 7, 2011
These recipes are hard to resist

Today we have recipes for everything from beef and berries to chicken soft tacos. Researcher Sheila Kern scanned the ads and came up with money-saving ideas for your week ahead.

Sutter Sirloin Steaks with Red Wine Berry Sauce


Makes 2 servings


3/4 to 1 lb. Sutter Sirloin

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. butter

1/4 cup minced shallots

1 cup red wine

1/4 cup Mary Ellen Red Raspberry Jam

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence


Cut 3/4 to 1 lb. Sutter Sirloin into 2

steaks; season to taste with salt and

freshly ground pepper. Heat 1 tbsp.

olive oil in a medium skillet over

medium-high heat. Add steaks to skillet

and sear well on both sides. Reduce heat

and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes on

each side or until steaks are cooked to

your liking. Remove from skillet and keep

warm. Add 1 tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup

minced shallots to skillet. Sauté over

medium heat for about 5 minutes or

until soft and lightly browned. Stir in

1 cup red wine, 1/4 cup Mary Ellen

Red Raspberry Jam, 1 tbsp. Dijon

mustard and 1/2 tsp. herbes de

Provence. Cook over medium-high heat

for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally,

until sauce is thick and syrupy and

reduced by half. Serve sauce over steaks.

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos


Makes 10 servings


1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

10 (6 inch) flour tortillas

1 tomato, diced

1/4 cup shredded lettuce

1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup salsa


Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. Simmer for an extra 10 minutes.

Heat an iron skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan, warm, and turn over to heat the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

Taco Casserole



1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup water

1/2 cup ORTEGA Thick & Smooth Taco Sauce - Medium

4 ozs. ORTEGA Diced Green Chiles

1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained, divided

1 package ORTEGA Taco Seasoning Mix - Regular

1 package (4.5 oz) ORTEGA Taco Shells (12 ct), broken

2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (optional)

1/8 cup sliced green onions (optional)


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Cook beef, onion and garlic until beef is browned; drain. Stir in water, taco sauce, chiles, 1/4 cup olives and seasoning mix. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

Layer half of broken taco shells on bottom of greased 12 x 8-inch baking dish. Cover with half of meat sauce; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat with remaining shells, meat sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Top with remaining olives, tomatoes and green onions.

Simmered Chinese Chicken


Servings: 4


1 Foster Farms Whole Chicken

1 tablespoon oil


1/3 cup soy sauce, regular or reduced salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon catsup

1/4 cup dry sherry or apple juice

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 green onion, sliced

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds•


Remove giblets, rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat oil in Dutch oven, brown chicken on all sides.

Mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, catsup, sherry, red pepper, garlic, and green onion. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and simmer 35 to 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink at thigh bone.

Turn chicken once during cooking. Remove chicken to platter, draining juices back into pan. Skim fat from sauce.

Blend together cornstarch and water and stir into sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Spoon some sauce over chicken, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve chicken with remaining sauce.

Sesame seeds need to be toasted to develop their nutlike flavor. Toast sesame seeds in shallow pan at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Soba Noodle-Vegetable Salad


Show: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger Episode: Homemade Takeout

Yield: 6 (3/4 cup) servings


4 ounces soba noodles, or whole-wheat spaghetti

1 large shallot, very thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups shredded carrot

1 red pepper, julienne

1/3 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup shredded fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon walnut oil (or canola oil)

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce,or 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce


6 large Bibb lettuce leaves


Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool. In a medium to large bowl, combine noodles, shallot, carrot, pepper, basil, mint, and cilantro. Combine all dressing ingredients, season with salt to taste, add to noodle mixture, and toss lightly.

Snap off Bibb lettuce leaves and wash and dry. To serve, scoop spoonfuls of noodle salad into the lettuce leaves.

Strawberry Cannoli


Woman's Day | May 30, 2006

Yield 12 cannolis


1 pt (12 oz) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 tub (15 oz) whole-milk ricotta cheese

4 oz cream cheese

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1⁄4 tsp almond extract

1 box (4 or 51⁄4 oz) sugar cones (12 cones)

Garnish: chocolate mini chips and sliced strawberries


1. At least 1 day before serving, proceed through Step 3. Line a colander and a medium-size strainer with a sturdy paper towel; set each in a bowl.

2. Pulse strawberries and granulated sugar in food processor until coarsely chopped. Scrape into colander, top with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight to drain well (this is important). Clean processor.

3. Put ricotta, cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in processor; pulse until smooth. Transfer to strainer, cover with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight.

4. Just before serving: Prop cones upright in tall glasses partially filled with granulated sugar to support cones. Fold drained berries and almond extract into ricotta mixture. Spoon into a gallon-size ziptop bag. Cut 1⁄2 in. off a corner; pipe filling into cones and garnish.The sugar cones replace the usual pastry shells, which can be hard to make or find in stores.

Planning Tip: Prepare through Step 3 at least 24 hours, or up to 2 days, ahead. Fill cones just before serving.

Mixed Berry Clafouti


Makes 6 servings


6oz. (1-1/2 cups) Driscoll's Strawberries

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 pkg. (6 ounces) Driscoll's Blackberries

1 cup 1% milk

3 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or orange juice

2 Tbsp. butter

powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 or 10-inch glass or ceramic pie dish.

Hull and halve strawberries.

Toss with cornstarch.

Place cut side down in prepared dish.

Sprinkle blackberries around strawberries.

Blend remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour over berries.

Bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown, puffed, and set in center.

Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar.

Let stand 10 minutes (clafouti will sink).

Serve warm.

April 6, 2011
Farmers market "Sprouts" in Roseville

There's a lot to like at the new "Sprouts" Farmers Market in Roseville, located in the old Linens n Things building next to Costco on Stanford Ranch Road. First, it's a bright, open, friendly store that's easy to navigate. Second, during this weekend's grand opening, the prices are definitely Shop Cheap worthy.

Shop Cheap had the opportunity to preview the store Tuesday evening. That was both good -  because she got to take her time checking things out - and bad because the store was not yet open for shoppers. In fact, it was torture not being able to buy strawberries - 4lbs for $5; and some great $1 items like Mom's Best Cereal, veggie trays and a bag of avocados.

Before we start filling the cart, here's a little history: The Sprouts chain opened its first store in Chandler, Ariz., in 2002. Since that time it has opened more than 50 stores - in Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas - and has plans for more. In addition to the Roseville location, another "Sprouts" will sprout in Citrus Heights in early 2012 on Greenback across from  Sunrise Mall. Recently, Arizona-based Sprouts was purchased by the New York investment company that owns Henry's Farmer Markets. Later this year both companies will combine under the Sprouts name, including the Henry's store in Elk Grove.

Now, let's start filling up that cart. Sprouts says it provides "Healthy Living for Less." Produce is abundant and nicely displayed. There are bins and bins of bulk items from nuts and grains to trail mix and dried cranberries. They also have a great selection in their Health and Beauty Department.

Here's what we like best during the grand-opening event: Fresh green beans for 88-cents a pound; Braeburn apples for 49-cents a pound; Fuji's for 88-cents a pound; cantaloupe or seedless watermelon for 49-cents a pound.

The $1 items include Bolthouse juices; Amy's burritos; a pint of grape tomatoes; Sprouts frozen vegetables and a pound of French vanilla almond granola.

Sprouts sliced San Francisco-style sourdough is $1.50 a loaf; canned beans are 2/$1; tortilla chips are 99-cents a bag and Sprouts salsa is $1.99 a jar. A gallon of organic apple juice is $5.99; a 3lb container of pure honey is $6.99 and a jar of apple sauce is $1.99.

The Sprouts butcher shop grinds its own Italian sausage from all-natural ingredients. Hot or sweet, the links are $1.99lb. Extra lean ground beef is $3.79lb.

In dairy, Greek gods yogurt is 2/$3 - and that's the 24oz size. Shamrock Farms cottage cheese is 2/$5.

Those are the highlights from Shop Cheap. You might want to check it out for's definitely worth the trip. Be sure to say "Hi" to the Sprouties - that's what they call their employees!

April 5, 2011
BOGOs are the bargain this week

Anyone notice how late Easter is this year? We really should have been planning our menu by now. But it's going to be another couple of weeks - April 24 to be exact. In the meantime, we shopping for bargains and this week they are coming in the form of the BOGO. Here's what we like:

Safeway is cornering the market on BOGOs this week - especially in produce. Check it out: strawberries, grapefruit, grape tomatoes, Ready Pac cut fruit,  broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, mushrooms and mangos are all buy 1, get 1 free. Out of the produce aisle, you can get BOGO bargains on Tostitos chips; Jack Daniel's sauce or Safeway marinades; Tyson breaded chicken nuggets or grilled breast strips; Nathan's Angus sausage andSeaPak Seafood selection.

Other produce bargains include Fuji apples for 79-cents a pound; red ripe tomatoes for 99-cents a pound and a 5lb box of Clementines for $3.99.

Campbell's chicken noodle or tomato soups are 60-cents a can; Prego pasta sauce in $1.67 a jar and Sargento shredded or sliced cheeses are $1.99 a package.

A case of Arrowhead water is $3.33; V8 or V8 Fusion is $2.50 and a 4-pack of refreshe flavored sparkling water is $1.67.

The Friday Only $5 special lasts four days this week (Friday-Monday) and includes Primo Taglio Black Forest ham; Jennie-O fresh ground turkey and waterfront Bistro tilapia fillets. If you love chocolate and want to try one of Safeway's Bistro cakes, this is your weekend. The Artisan chocolate chewie cake is only $5. Save me a slice.

Heading over to Save Mart, we continue to BOGO with a twist. Driscoll's blackberries are buy 1, get 2 free. Shop Cheap loves the produce prices at Save Mart and this week is no different. medium size artichokes are 69-cents each; baby lemons or limes are 6/96 cents and oranges are 69-cents a pound. A pound of Driscoll's strawberries are $2.99 and a 3-pack of romaine hearts is $1.97.

The weekend sale at Save Mart includes fresh cooked shrimp meat for $2.99; tomatoes on the vine for 77-cents a pound and Progresso soups for $1. A case of Nestle drinking water is $2.98;a  liter of Lipton iced tea is $1 and Sunny Select apple juice is $1.79.

Mission tortillas are 99-cents; Hormel chili is $1 a can; Athenos nonfat Greek yogurt is $1 a cup and Eggo waffles or pancakes are $2 a box. Get a free box of Skinny Cow desserts when you buy 6 Lean Cusine entrees. If you're clippin' El Monterey taquitos are $3.99 a bag; Busseto sliced salami is $3.99; Evergood sausage links are $3.49; and Land O Lakes butter is $2.99

Raley's has a special on its Sutter sirloin steak at $3.97lb and Foster Farms fresh whole chicken is 88-cents a pound; Ball Park franks are $2 a package. But 2 or more Rotisserie chickens and pay just $4.98 each.

In produce, tomatoes on the vine are $1.97lb; large artichokes are $1.50 each and baby iceberg lettuce is 2/$1.47. Six limes will cost you 96-cents; and green onions or cilantro are 3/99-cents. The weekly coupons include Florida's Natural OJ for $2.39 and a single layer cake in the bakery is $4.99.

Ortega taco shells are $1.50 a box; Daisy sour cream is $1.79 and Langers cranberry or pomegranate cocktail juice is $1.99. A case of R Everyday water is $3.28 and coke 12-packs are buy 2, get 2 free. Buy 4 packs of Keebler cookies or crackers and pay $1.69 each. Kozy Shack pudding is $2.49 and Michelina's budget gourmet entrees are just 79-cents each.

Shop Cheap has been invited to visit the new Sprouts Farmers Market in Roseville. The grand opening is Wednesday but she's getting a preview. Come back Wednesday afternoon for the 411 on what they have to offer. 





About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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