Appetizing Christmas Time
Featured

22 December 2016
 

On Sale This Week 12/21—12/27

Prepare for great holiday meals!

  Frys  Safeway  Sprouts 
 Bacon      $2.99/lb $3.99 
 Turkey  $.99, Frozen, Kroger, limit 1 $.49/lb, Frozen Honeysuckle White, while supplies last, limit 2  $1.99/lb., Fresh, all natural 
 Beef Roast  $2.97/lb., Boneless, Chuck, shoulder, round, tip; OR $3.97 lb NY Strip Roast, bone-in, whole in bag OR $5.77 lb, Beef Ribeye Roast, bone-in, whole in bag $6.77 lb., Choice Ribeye, bone-in  $6.97 lb, Choice, Presidential Cut
Ham   $1.37/lb, Kroger, Spiral Sliced, bone-in $1.77 lb, Hormel Cure 81, Spiral Sliced, bone-in  $1.99 lb, spiral sliced 

Other Good Bargains

Fry’s

Produce
$.88/each, Blackberries, 6 oz, limit 4
$.88/lb, Green Beans, fresh
$.99/lb, Oranges, Navel
$3.99/lb, Cherries, fresh 

Meats
$3.97/lb, Beef, New York Strip Roast, Bone in, Whole in Bag, limit 1
Miscellaneous
$.77/dz, Fry’s Eggs
$1.44/each, Lays Chips, select varieties, when you buy in multiples of 2
$1/each, Evaporated Milk, Carnation
$1.99.each, C & H Sugar, white, 4 lb. bag
$.69/each, Cream of Mushroom soup, Campbells

Safeway

Produce
$2.50, Blueberries or Rasberries, 6 oz. box
$1.25/each, avocados 
2/$1, Green onions, radishes, cilantro or garlic
$1.49/lb, fresh broccoli or cauliflower

Meats
$3.97/lb, New York Roast, bone in, sold whole in the bag, limit 1
$1.47/lb, Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless, fresh, never frozen
$2.47/lb, Ground Beef, 20% fat, 3 lb or more, fresh ground in store daily
$1.99/lb, Pork Shoulder Roast, fresh, bone in, sold in bag 

Miscellaneous
$6.99/lb, Deli Means and Cheeses, Deitz and Watson, select varieties
$6.59/each, Tamales, Del Real, Fresh, 30 oz pkg, usually contains 6
$1/each, a long list of items from Dawn Dishwashing liquid to Stovetop Stuffing to Puffs tissues

Sprouts

Produce
$.98/each, Pineapple, fresh$1.67/each, Avocados, JumboRipe
$1.88/lb, grapes, red
$.98/lb, Green Beans, Organic Gala Apples, Broccoli Bunches, Cauliflower Heads
$.98/each, Celery Bunch, Bell Peppers, red, orange or yellow
$48/lb, Italian Squash, Red Jewel Yams, Red Garnet Yams
$2.50/each, Blueberries, organic, 4.4 oz, Blackberries, organic, 5.6oz

Meats
$3.99/lb, Pork Crown Roast, all natural
$3.99/lb, Ground Beef, 100% grass-fed
$1.99/lb, Chicken Thighs or Breasts, boneless, skinless

Miscellaneous
$2.99/lb, Cranberries, Dried, bulk
$2.99/each, Half and Half, OrganicValley, 32oz
$2.50/each, Yogurt, Stoneyfield Organic
$3.99, Bread, Three Bakers, 17 oz. select varieties

Have A Little Something To Eat

Appetizers are known from most countries. In Britain they are known as starters. France has hors d’oeuvres (the French term literally means built apart and originally referred to an outbuilding that was not included in building plans.) Italy has anti pasta, Spain has tapas. But in any language it refers to savory items served before a meal. They provide a little something for early arrivals to nibble, especially if alcohol is being served, without blunting appetites. They can be as simple as a tray of raw vegetables with a light dip to an elaborate quiche or torte cut into small bites.

One of my favorite appetizers is soup shooters, small cups of warm or cold soup that can be made ahead. A creamy or smooth soup works best as it can be sipped without leaving a layer of chunks on the bottom. Of course at this time of year a spicy squash or pumpkin soup is ideal. if you really want to impress your guests pipe a sour cream design on each one. it’s nice to provide a couple of choices. A low carb cream of mushroom or a low cal tomato would also be tasty.

How about a tray of raw veggies with a difference. Try the Turkey Veggie Tray. It does take some time, but it can be done ahead, just cover and refrigerate. It’s a great way to involve kids in the meal prep and keep them occupied while they wait for the feast. The original idea came from Pinterest, but we used hummus instead of dip in behalf of our vegan friends. 

And you must have something that features bacon! If your imagination fails you, just Google Bacon, Appetizers—you may be amazed. A particularly tasty entry is bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed Jalapeños. The only problem with most bacon appetizers is that they require last minute heating. The same is true of Mom’s Cheese Thingies. But both are worth it if you can spare the oven/broiler space. Why not just forget the dinner and serve up a wide selection of appetizers? Sounds like a party to me! Let everyone bring their favorite. Make it 100% finger food and serve bacon wrapped dates or chocolate covered bacon for desert. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

Spicy Squash Soup

Use a can of pumpkin puree, or make your own. Roast pie pumpkin halves at 350º until the flesh is very soft. Scoop it out of the shells. Mash it down a little, measure out 2 cups for your soup and freeze the rest for next time.

Ingredients
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, peeled

1 Tablespoon Cholula hot sauce (or other hot sauce to taste)
3 cups broth (homemade chicken if you have it) Or other liquid, low sodium chicken, veggie etc.
2 fresh sage leaves quartered, or 1teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
1 Tablespoon whole cumin seeds or 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
2 cups (approx.) additional liquid, stock, half-and-half or milk

Directions
In a medium pot cook onion in oil on low heat until softened. Add garlic clove and cook a minute longer. Add all the rest of the ingredients, no particular order. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook covered for 1/2 hour. Let cool, then puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor.  Store in refrigerator until ready to use, at least one day, at most three days. 

Reheat, in microwave or on stovetop. Thin with half-and-half, milk or additional stock to equal about 8 cups total soup. This should take about two cups, but use your own judgement—it should be pourable but still have some body. Taste and adjust seasonings.

To serve, ladle small amounts (1/3 to 1/2 cup) into cups, mugs or discardable hot cups. Put some sour cream into a small plastic bag with square corners, not pleated. Seal the bag, cut a very small snip off one corner. Pipe a pattern on the top of each cup. Or serve with a couple of cilantro leaves floating on each one. Add a scattering of roasted, salted pumpkin seeds if you like.

Makes about 8 cups, enough for 16 half-cup servings or 24 third-cup servings.

Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños 

6 large fresh jalapeño chilis
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
6 strips good quality bacon, not thick cut

Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise. I always wear vinyl gloves when working with peppers (also poultry, but that’s another column.) Remove the seeds and the white pithy parts. Set aside.

Gently cook onion and garlic in oil until they are soft. In a small bowl mix together cream cheese, grated cheddar, and onion mix.
Cut bacon strips in half crosswise. Stuff each pepper half with a good amount of cheese mix. It isn’t possible to give an exact amount as your pepper halves may be larger or smaller. The stuffing should mound up  in the pepper halves. Wrap each half in a half slice of bacon. Hold bacon in place with a toothpick.

Cover the bottom of a baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil. Place bacon wrapped peppers in pan leaving an inch or so between them. Broil for several minutes, (5-10 depending on your broiler) watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Serve hot.