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.
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.
Posted at 5:39 am , on March 19, 2019
I love making desserts and hubby loves eating them (shhhh, I do too). Having them once or twice a weekend would be fine, but when I make a cake, brownies, bread pudding or other sweet treat, it’s a piece a night for four or five nights as neither of us likes to waste food (that’s our story and we’re sticking to it!).
These little cakes are outrageously decadent and perfectly sized for two and so easy whip up. Make the cakes earlier in the day and then fifteen minutes before you want to serve dessert, make the ganache.
These ingredients are always stocked at the Alameda Grocery Outlet with different flavors of chips available depending on the season. The ones I used were actually caramel flavored. If I had used white chocolate chips, I’d have added an 1/8 of a teaspoon of vanilla. And if you are a chocolate aficionado, by all means do chocolate on chocolate!
Posted at 2:58 am , on March 12, 2019
I’m 100% Orange Irish. For those who don’t know the difference, in a nutshell: Green are from the south, Catholic and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Orange are from the north, Protestant and celebrate July the 12th. (The story goes much deeper; I’ll save that for another day!)
Although I’ve been Jewish for over 20 years, I was brought up in a definitely Orange household and we never had corned beef or celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. Americans go crazy over the holiday, so I play along with the hype and make Hubby a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal each year. Gotta admit … it’s pretty darned tasty no matter your religion or politics!
Living on a boat, we try to be conscious of the use of our resources (water, propane, batteries). We love soups and stews in the winter, but using four hours of propane to boil corned beef is a bit much. So I did some research and found that it can be baked in half the time! It was absolutely delish … so tender and firm. I’ll never boil corned beef again!
Posted at 5:58 am , on March 5, 2019
I’m a big fan of one-pot meals. Living on a boat, I have very little counter space and the dishwasher is me for the most part so the less items, the better. My prep surfaces are on top of the sink, stove and fridge so I need to stage all ingredients, chop and measure, and be ready to go. This recipe comes together in about 20 minutes and thickens as it sits: serious comfort food!
Our local Grocery Outlet has a nice assortment of gnocchi and I’ve tried several and don’t have a favorite. I’ve made my own gnocchi but it is a pretty big mess and takes time and just the right amount of kneading and boiling to get them just right. And honestly, once you cover those little dumplings with sauce, it’s all good!
The secret in this dish is definitely the roux. It’s important to get the butter-veggie-flour combo smooth, adding the flour slowly and stir, stir, stir to avoid lumps. This creates the base for the meal.