Posted at 4:22 am , on January 28, 2020
Winter means Comfort Food. I love cooking hearty stews and soups that take all day to simmer and develop complex flavors. This one is super-easy as it’s just a bit of chopping with the majority of the ingredients coming from cans.
Canned foods will be a staple for us when we are on long passages and in many cases actually provide a greater source of vitamins than fresh ingredients. Fresh produce, for example, is often harvested before it is fully ripened in order to get it to the markets before it starts to spoil. Canned foods are picked at the peak of ripeness and cooked and processed within hours, preserving the vitamin content. Check ingredients to ensure that no salt or preservatives have been added if you are concerned with sodium intake. Many canned foods are available in organic, no/low salt versions.
Posted at 9:45 am , on November 5, 2019
This has become my go-to picnic recipe, stolen from a marina friend who brought them to a dock party! Incredibly easy and a definite crowd pleaser, they are a mini-meal unto themselves. They can be made a day in advance and require no utensils. I put the skewers in a plastic container with a lid and it’s ready to grab from the fridge and go.
I’ve served them with watermelon/feta/mint skewers drizzled with honey balsamic vinegar and a cold rose wine. Yum!
Variations: You can change up the ingredients for different flavor profiles and easily make them vegan by eliminating the salami. Try marinated artichoke hearts or mushrooms, bell peppers, green or stuffed olives, cucumber chunks, fresh basil leaves, feta or other cheeses, etc. You can also substitute any vinaigrette salad dressing (or make your own) and a variety of tortellini types. Use your imagination! You’ll find all the ingredients regularly stocked at our local Grocery Outlet.
Posted at 9:25 am , on October 29, 2019
This quick sweet uses two ingredients and takes all of 5 active minutes, plus 10 of baking and another hour for cooling. Of course you can find these at a huge discount at our Alameda Grocery Outlet.
These make a great dessert bite and are perfect for those who like to give homemade holiday gifts. Place in an airtight container with a bow, or combine with our baked treats in a fancy tin.
Variations: The measurements don’t have to be exact; if your packaging is an ounce bigger or smaller, it doesn’t matter. Also, switch up the color and flavor by trying different types of chocolate chips. These happen to be butterscotch, but I’ve also done them with milk and white chocolate. A sprinkle of sea salt after making the stacks is also a nice touch.
Posted at 10:23 am , on September 10, 2019
My husband and father-in-law love sweets and dessert is always highly anticipated after I’ve made a nice dinner. I often make complicated baked goodies but in my pursuit of eating healthier I’ve been working on new ideas. This one satisfies the sweet tooth and is so easy to whip up in minutes. Better yet, all ingredients are readily available at our Alameda Grocery Outlet.
Pears are a great source of Vitamin C (one provides about 11 percent of your daily recommended allowance) and also boast low calories and high fiber, making it a great choice for those looking to loose weight. Honey is a known antioxidant and many feel it is a good replacement for processed sugar.
Posted at 4:19 am , on July 30, 2019
I served as “chef” at a recent Writer’s Retreat and many of our attendees had a variety of food preferences and needs. To please everyone, I created this vegan version of “meat in a lettuce cup” and also made a version using ground turkey in lieu of the chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans). I served it for lunch with sides of tortilla chips and salsa and a tray of raw, bite-size veggies. The pans were empty, so I’ll take it as a hit!
Chickpeas contain iron, vitatims B-6 and K, folate, phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesisum, manganese, choline and selenium. They are also an excellent gluten-free source of protein and fiber and enjoy a long shelf life when purchased in the can. We’ll bring a good stock of these when we are on extensive off-shore adventures for quick meals, snacks and making hummus.
Posted at 2:00 am , on July 16, 2019
We always have leftover buns when we do a hot dog or sausage barbecue with friends. And not being big bread eaters, they sit until I either feed to the ducks in the marina, throw away or make into bread pudding. All of these ingredients are available at our local Grocery Outlet and I generally have aboard our boat.
This is a nice make-ahead breakfast or dessert that can be popped in the oven an hour before guests arrive. I like to serve it warm, but it’s also good cold or at room temperature.
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 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 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.