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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.


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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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