Posted at 9:06 pm , on July 9, 2019
This easy-to-make sangria is chock-full of summer fruit which makes for not only wonderful flavor, but a tasty snack. It’s perfect for barbecues and picnics, refreshing and travels easily in a container with a lid. It does take a bit of prep as it’s best with at least 12 hours of marinating time for the fruit to infuse the wine. I made mine on July 3rd for an Independence Day party and a week later I finished the last of the batch: Delish! All of these ingredients are readily available at our local Grocery Outlet, which always has a great selection of wine, spirits and fruit.
Don’t bother with expensive wines as the fruit will significantly change the flavor. Instead choose the type based on the flavor profile that will complement your choice of fruit. I find that a big Cabernet Sauvignon generally has hints of blackcurrent and blackberry and marries well with stone fruit. If you prefer a more medium-bodied wine go with Merlot and if you are aiming for a light, fruity taste you’ll like Pinot Noir. As with the wine, opt for an inexpensive brandy.
Posted at 8:12 am , on June 25, 2019
Many people aren’t big fans of traditional red, canned beets and so pass over beets in general. But these marinated orange beets have a less earthy, sweet flavor enhanced with tangerines and are so delish that they can be eaten alone. I like them over spring mix and also sliced into thin pieces and served with crackers and goat cheese. They’ll last for two months in the refrigerator but I find they’re gone long before that and even my beet-hating hubby is a fan!
Beets in general are chock full of antioxidants and vitamins such as potassium,magnesium and vitamin C. Orange beets get their pigment from betaxanthins, which are an anti-inflammatory and also help to cleanse your kidneys and lower cholesterol. For more info on the health benefits, check out LiveStrong.com.
Posted at 5:02 am , on June 11, 2019
I always prefer fresh ingredients to canned or frozen, but there will be times when we are out to sea and run out of fresh goods. I’ve been exploring some healthy options that aren’t full of preservatives and are easy to make and these quesadillas fit the bill nicely. They would also be a great meal for the kids to help with and to make when camping. All of the ingredients are readily available at our Alameda Grocery Outlet and you may even find many of them in the organic aisle.
Variations: So many. You can leave out the chicken if you want to go vegetarian and of course swap out the canned items for fresh.
Posted at 9:13 am , on May 21, 2019
I needed fresh ginger for a dinner recipe and our Grocery Outlet had a 6 oz organic bag for the same price of a small piece at the big supermarkets. (This is very common at G.O. Their prices on organic items are incredible!) I figured I’d come up with something to do with the 95 percent of the bag that I had left over.
Ginger is well-known for treating seasickness, and is also used for reducing inflammation, osteoarthritis pain and indigestion, and improving brain function. I’ve mainly used it in savory Asian dishes, but love ginger-ale and ginger-tea. I had decided to bake a rhubarb cake and thought that candied ginger would add a nice flavor compliment.
Posted at 12:37 am , on April 30, 2019
I’ve been exploring the vegan lifestyle for the past year as we’ve been spending time with Aaron’s cousin, and several of our friends are vegetarian. All of my vegan/vegetarian friends offer to bring their own food, but I’m of the belief that when you invite folks to your home for a meal you should try your best to ensure they can eat what you serve. We hosted a dock party that included the traditional barbequed chicken and hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, apple pie and chips and dip, and I wanted to add a dish that would be filling as a main course for our vegan guests and also serve as a side dish for the carnivores.
This is really good stuffed in a pita with hummus, on crackers, or on it’s own as a main course or side. It can be served cold or at room temperature and is better the same day as it got a bit watery when I had leftovers a day later, although it was still good.
Posted at 2:48 pm , on April 23, 2019
If there ever was a controversial recipe, it would definitely be deviled eggs. Just like potato salad, the argument begins with mayonnaise versus Miracle Whip and then the choices of seasonings and condiments are across the board.
My daughter loves them straight up traditional with no fancy seasoning, which is what these are. The basic recipe is based on my Nana’s, with my addition of the sour cream and Dijon mustard. It makes the mixture a bit more creamy with a slight tang. It’s easy to change them up depending on what flavors you love and I’ve put a few ideas in the variations below.
All of these ingredients are stocked at our local Grocery Outlet and you probably have most of the seasonings and condiments already on hand. I particularly love their selection of eggs … all sizes, brown or white, organic, etc., and at prices far below your average grocery store.
Posted at 5:59 am , on April 16, 2019
If I knew that making Play Dough was so easy, I’d have saved a whole lot of money when my kids were little! For a few dollars you can make gobs of this classic creation with simple ingredients that you most likely already have on hand and are always available at Alameda’s Grocery Outlet.
This is a “recipe” that’s not meant to be eaten, but it is non-toxic and edible, if you don’t mind a whole lot of salt. It takes about 10 minutes start to finish and my Grands (ages four and almost seven) basically made it themselves, with a bit of direction on the amounts and assisting with the stirring on the stovetop. I laid the ingredients and measuring utensils out in the order of adding so they could be in charge. What fun!
This would be a fun project for a child to make for a birthday or holiday gift for a friend. You could buy containers for the play dough, a rolling pin, mini-sized chef’s hat and apron, and cookie cutters at a dollar/discount store and arrange in a basket. There is nothing like seeing the joy and pride in a child’s eyes when they have created something all by themselves!
Posted at 5:06 am , on April 9, 2019
My dear friend Kat Ott Davis passed almost two years ago, but she is always in my thoughts and heart when I cook. She was an exquisite artist and designer … painting, jewelry, displays, clothing … and brought that creativity to her cooking. Anyone who had the honor of being invited to a meal or gathering at her home was treated to so much more than just “food.” It was always a journey of flavors and aromas as Kat explained the history of the ingredients and why she chose the combinations of herbs and spices in each course.
She taught me to make these sauteed mushrooms and they are so good that I could eat them as is, in a bowl. Usually, I smother a piece of beef with them, but they would also be absolutely delish served over sauteed greens such as baby bok choy or swiss chard for a vegan dish. They can’t be rushed … it’s all about the slow cook so the liquids thicken and the ‘shrooms carmelize.
These simple ingredients are always available at Alameda’s Grocery Outlet and total cost is about $5.00 (not including the wine … which happens to be on sale during their huge 20% off promotion!). It should serve four, but if you love mushrooms as much as hubby and I, then it’ll barely feed two.
Posted at 3:37 am , on April 2, 2019
This ain’t my mother’s meatloaf! My mother was not a great cook, as I’ve mentioned before, and meatloaf in my childhood was dry, bland and smothered in ketchup. Not this one. My husband and father-in-law are major meatloaf connoisseurs and I’ve made many versions over the years. One of my fav’s was a recipe from my ex, who wrapped the ground meat around a sausage before baking. It was always moist and delish! But this meatloaf was absolutely the best ever, according to the men who know and love their meatloaf. I served thick slices with fresh green beans sauteed in lemon infused olive oil and sea salt and Yukon gold potatoes boiled and rustic mashed with skins on and lots of butter. Comfort food at it’s finest!
Our local Grocery Outlet keeps all of these ingredients in stock, with a nice variety of the ground meat to choose from. Man Cave and New York Style Sausage Company both other 1 pound “tubes” of seasoned ground meat: beef, pork and a combination, with spices already mixed in. This cuts out tons of prep time. If using unseasoned ground meat, I’d add chopped onions, garlic and bell peppers. Not for this easy recipe.
Wrapping the loaf in bacon seals in the juices and adds a smokey flavor and also holds it together nicely for clean slicing. Don’t use thick slices as the bacon won’t cook as well.
Posted at 4:35 am , on March 26, 2019
My weekly menu always builds upon like ingredients in the meals to save space and waste. So when I buy a bag of spinach to use 2 cups for one recipe, there will be other recipes using spinach a well, until the bag is gone. This way I can buy in larger quantities for the week and save some money. (Hubby’s not so thrilled when I buy a big bag of carrots, but they add color, crunch and get hidden in most recipes.)
Alameda’s Grocery Outlet keeps all of these ingredients regularly stocked, with the exception of the turmeric and dried ginger. The mint is in the organic veggie section, along with a nice assortment of other fresh herbs. I baked tandoori chicken thighs to go with, but it would make a full vegan main dish on its own. Total cost was $14 for just the stew; $21 with the chicken. It comes together quickly, but simmering for at least 30 minutes thickens the consistency and brings out the many exotic flavors.