Displaying articles for: November 2012
One of our family favorite recipes for the holidays is one I started making a few years ago – Brussels sprouts with walnuts. It’s a recipe from Emeril and it’s been known to convert even the pickiest eaters! Here are the simple instructions:
Cook two pounds of halved Brussels sprouts in a pot of salted boiling water until crisp and tender (about 5 minutes), then drain.
Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan and cook ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots and 2 tablespoons minced garlic for one minute.
Add the sprouts to the pan in a single layer and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from pan, add another 2 tablespoons butter and, when melted, add ¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts and cook until golden-- about 2 minutes.
Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and sprouts back to the pan and stir until coated.
Transfer to your serving bowl and sprinkle with some finely grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
The holiday rush is upon us! Rev up your energy and stamina with these healthy holiday shopping tips:
Don’t leave home on empty. If you’re spending the day at the mall, eat a filling breakfast for the energy you’ll need to gather gifts on the list you’ve made (and checked twice, of course). These quick-to-fix breakfast ideas will have you nourished and ready to shop in no time.
Be smart about snacking. Save money –and calories–by bringing nutritious snacks with you instead of having to rely on the food court for a bite to eat. Slip a piece of sturdy fresh fruit, such as an apple or orange, into your purse for a quick snack. Bring along a portable lunch, like a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread. Tote a fruit-and-nut-filled Open Nature Honey Nut bar or a package of Open Nature Freeze Dried Fruit (I’m partial to the Harvest Blend variety) to munch when you start to feel the shopping drag. And don’t forget to bring a bottle of Refreshe water to keep you hydrated!
Move it. Boost activity during your shopping spree with these ideas:
• Forget front and center! Even if you arrive early to the mall, park your car farther out in the lot, not near the door.
• Climb the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
• Pick up the pace and walk briskly between stores.
• Make trips to and from your car with packages to add a little extra calorie burn to your day.
How do you survive the holiday shopping rush?
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and you’ve got more leftovers than you know what to do with. Instead of going in for round two of the same, try giving this classic meal a new twist. One of the simplest and tastiest ways to make use of those Thanksgiving leftovers is by trying this variation on the holiday favorite.
Turkey Avocado Sandwich with Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Here’s what you’ll need:
Take a look at the Safeway Chef Assistant App, introduced last year to offer help for holiday dinners – recipes, meal planning, timers, and how-to videos for the Safeway 2 Hour Turkey recipe (my go to every year) and carving! This year it’s back with even more – great values, wine savings ideas, baking recipes & tools, and more.
But one of my favorite new features is a virtual cupcake decorator where you can frost, decorate, and share your creations! Some of you may remember the gingerbread man decorating game a few years back – Gabby loved that and she had fun sharing her virtual cookies with her Nana in Chicago. Now that the twins are older I know they’re going to love the cupcake decorator just as much – perfect way to entertain the girls while we’re waiting in line, or just decompress after a long day!
Want to add something different to the Thanksgiving lineup, a holiday party, or really any gathering? Try homemade baked brie. A festive warm treat on a cold fall day, this delicious recipe is surprisingly easy to make. Enjoy!
8-oz round Brie
Pre Made Pie Crust- homemade or store bought
Preserves of choice: fig, blackberry, raspberry, marmalade
Baking sheet- line with foil or baking paper
1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
2. Layer baking sheet with tin foil or baking paper
3. Let brie stand to room temp
4. Using the knife carefully remove top layer of white exterior from the brie
5. Sprinkle flour on a clean flat surface
6. Dust rolling pin with flour and roll out one sheet of the pie crust
7. Place ½ the pie crust on the baking sheet
8. Place brie in the center of the pie crust
9. Spread 1.5-2-oz of the preserves on the top of the brie
10. Fold the crust in over the top of the brie
11. Feeling creative? Cut out designs in the remaining dough to place on top
12. Bake for 20-25 minutes in center of oven until golden brown
13. Let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving
A few Thanksgivings ago, I wrote about ways that I boost nutrition and trim fat, sodium and sugar in some of my favorite Thanksgiving foods. Since I’m always trying out little tricks, here are a few more ideas to help make your Thanksgiving spread this year a little healthier:
• When making gravy, remove the fat from turkey pan juices and drippings by using a wide mouth spoon or even better, a fat-separating pitcher. Fat rises to the top because it’s lighter, making it easy to skim off. The drippings are what give the gravy its flavor, not the fat. Every tablespoon of fat you skim removes about 120 calories.
• Skip rubbing your turkey with butter to trim saturated fat by using our famous (and delicious) 2-Hour Turkey recipe! And go skinless when you sit down to dine: removing turkey skin before eating cuts fat content in half. A 3-ounce portion of light meat turkey without skin has 3 grams of fat; with skin, it jumps to 6 grams.
• Instead of whipped cream topping on your pie, whip a can of chilled Safeway Evaporated Fat Free Milk with a sprinkle of sugar for a creamy alternative (serve right away since it’s less stable and can get runny).
• Reach for prepared ingredients with less sodium, like low-sodium broth and no-salt-added canned veggies.
• In baked goods, you can trim sugar by about ¼ to 1/3 without a noticeable difference in taste or texture.
• Use chicken broth in your stuffing recipe instead of butter to keep it moist without extra fat and calories.
Do you have any holiday trimming ideas to share?
Looking for elegant, yet affordable Thanksgiving table ideas? Our debi lilly design™ Illusion Vases can be used in so many different ways, here are my three favorites for the season, and all of the items can be found right in Safeway’s Floral Department.
1) The Chestnut: Fill the small debi lilly design Illusion Vase with a small debi lilly design Spiced Pumpkin Candle and two handfuls of chestnuts (perfect for the kids to help), or any favorite fall hued nut. Wrap twine around the vase two to three times, and tie a knot to secure the twine.
2) Chic Roses: Wrap the debi lilly design Orange Double-Faced Satin Ribbon along the base of the medium debi lilly design Illusion Vase, secure the ribbon with a glue stick (easy and fun for the kids to help with!). Next, wrap twine over the top of the Satin Ribbon, and knot to secure. Grab a debi lilly design Flower Bouquet right from the Floral Department, cut the stems, and drop the bouquet in the vase.
3) Stack Pumpkins: Inside a large debi lilly design Illusion Vase, stack mini pumpkins one on top of the other, to the desired height. I love mixing solid stacks of orange pumpkins, or solid stacks of mini white pumpkins, for a colorful, harvest themed centerpiece. You can easily choose one of these designs, or combine them together as shown here, for a beautiful, long lasting centerpiece on your tables, mantles, kitchen islands and more.
There have been a number of studies getting press over the past few years regarding the positive benefits of feeling grateful. Better health, less stress, more long-term life satisfaction, less depression, better sleep, and less aggression when provoked – pretty compelling don’t you think?
When the girls were toddlers we started a Thanksgiving tradition of going around the table and naming the things we were thankful for before we began dinner. We’ve incorporated this tradition into dinners year-round as well so we can keep the “gratitude attitude” going throughout the year.
What do you do to give thanks on Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving may be all about turkey, but let’s not forget the seafood!
Clam chowder can be a hearty, healthy and sustainable meal for the holidays. Farm raised clams are a Responsible Choice product, rated a green ‘Best Choice’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
Here are a few fun facts about clams: Clams are filter feeders which means they actually improve the water quality around them. They are also low in saturated fats and a good source of vitamin B12, making them a healthy option for you and the oceans. One of my favorite chowders is a great addition or substitute for a traditional holiday dinner – try it out!
Yields: 4 serving - you need:
• 5 lbs. of fresh clams
• 3 bay leaves
• ¼ tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon corn starch
• 1/8 lb. bacon (diced)
• 1 onion (diced)
• ½ teaspoon thyme
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ¼ teaspoon white pepper
• 2 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup milk
• 1 bottle clam juice (also save liquid the clams are cooked in)
• 1 cup heavy cream
• Additional salt (to taste)
• Cayenne pepper
• Chopped parsley
1. If the clams are already shucked, you can go ahead and skip this step. Clean the outside of the clams and put them into a large soup pot filled with cold water. Add ¼ cup of salt and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Letting the clams sit for an hour in this solution will cause them to expel any sand. Rinse and then drain in a colander.
2. Clean the pot and then put the clams back in, adding a cup of water and 2 bay leaves.
3. Cover the pot and place on medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Important: throw away any clams that do not open after being steamed for 15 minutes. After taking the clams out of the liquid, strain and save the leftover liquid to add to your chowder.
4. Remove the clams from their shells and dice them.
5. Clean the pot and place back on the stove – add bacon and cook until almost crisp.
6. Add onion, bay leaf, thyme, pepper, and butter. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir. When the onions become translucent, add milk, diced potatoes, and the clam liquid that you saved. Bring up to a boil and then simmer, stirring frequently. This should take about 10 minutes.
7. Add the heavy cream and the diced clams while the pot is simmering. Cook for several more minutes, taking care not to overcook. Taste, and add salt/pepper/cayenne as needed.
8. Serve with parsley topping and oyster crackers!
Turkey is turkey, right? Not if you shop at Safeway, it isn’t!
At Safeway, we have a variety of turkeys, including one that’s perfect for you and your family. Before you head off to pick out that perfect bird for your Thanksgiving meal, get to know a couple of our favorites that are available for you to choose from.
Safeway Select Frozen Turkey
If you’re looking for a turkey that will dazzle friends and family during the holidays, look no further than the Safeway Select Frozen Turkey. This premium turkey is USDA certified grade A, which means you can feel confident its quality is unsurpassed, guaranteeing that it will taste as great as it looks.
Frozen turkeys also allow you to shop, prepare and organize in advance, leaving more time for family. Plus, our Safeway Select turkeys are frozen at its peak of quality - locking in freshness, taste and important nutrients and minerals.
Open Nature All Natural Turkey
The Open Nature All Natural Turkey isn’t only delicious, but something you can feel good about feeding to your family. That’s because it’s 100% natural and free-range birds, which means it has no antibiotics, nitrites or hormones added. All that’s left is a delicious, natural turkey that guarantees you’ll be dishing up a Thanksgiving meal just as nature intended.
We also offer additional turkeys with delicious flavor and features: from smoked, stuffed, Butterball and more, they’re always tender and juicy.
No matter which turkey you prefer for your Thanksgiving celebration, you are sure to find the best value, quality and selection at Safeway.
One of my favorite contests is back – it’s my favorite because it involves art and cows! That’s right, it’s Lucerne’s eight annual The Art of Dairy art contest and this year’s theme is sure to deliver some fantastic entries: “ImaginDairy Places!”
“ImaginDairy Places” is all about taking imagination to the next level and re-imagining the world made entirely of dairy. To get started, visit www.artofdairy.com, print the Lucerne cow template and have fun (and yes, you have to stay inside the lines). Once all of the entries have been received, America will get to decide who wins by voting for the finalists!
Now for the prizes -- a $20,000 grand prize will be awarded to the winning school’s art department, plus $5,000 for both the winning student and teacher! The school with the most entries wins $1,000 for their art department!
Be sure to tell you friends, families, teachers, and schools - all entries must be postmarked by Dec. 7th (for receipt by Dec. 12th). Visit www.artofdairy.com for more info about this year’s contest.
Here’s a look at some past winners -- good luck!
Explore new cheese varieties with some delicious German cheese! Champignon is a German cheese-maker that has been making cheese for 112 years in Bavaria. The cheese is made using 100 percent pure grass fed cow’s milk from grazing cattle in the Bavarian Alps. Safeway carries several varieties of the Champignon brand soft-ripened cheese, two of my favorites are Cambozola and Champignonare.
Cambozola is a must for any blue cheese lover. Triple crème brie combined with Gorgonzola makes for a rich and decadent treat. The smooth, creaminess of the brie is followed by the burst of blue cheese flavor on your palate.
Champignon mushroom brie is milder featuring double crème brie made with actual mushroom pieces in the cheese. Any traditional brie enthusiast will enjoy this upgraded version of brie.
Cambozola and Champignon are delicious on their own, in salads, used in fondue, on sandwiches or burgers and even pizza. A fun way to serve this cheese is to heat it up on the grill using a wooden plank, served warm with fig paste to accompany the Champignon and blackberry preserves to accompany the Cambozola.
Light wines such as Beaujolais, Sauvignon Blanc or sparkling wines go beautifully with either cheese, as well as light ales.
Cambozola and Champignon are available in a wedge or the 5-oz mini brie.
In our house, the holidays technically start early October with the prep and festivities around Halloween, which is then immediately followed by the twins’ birthday, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, my birthday, all the Christmas fetes, along with an extended visit from my family. SOOOO much fun packed into two months. Oh, and work and school and all that stuff too!
This is when my type A personality goes into overdrive – lists, schedules and the sequencing of prep steps across multiple days/hours to ensure we can make it all happen. We've scaled back on some of it – store bought treats for school functions rather than homemade, potluck for parties so no one is spread too thin, and even cutting back on scheduling excursions when my family visits from Chicago so we can just hang out without having to be on the clock the entire visit. That’s probably been our best adjustment yet, everyone actually feels refreshed after a visit!
What are some of your tricks for managing the holidays?