It appears that the US Department of Commerce intends to terminate an agreement with Mexico regarding the importation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. According to State Senators Linda Lopez and Jerry Lewis, "With this decision, Nogales, Arizona will lose the $1.3 billion fresh tomato business and risks losing its entire $3 billion produce industry including hundreds, if not thousands of jobs." It will also likely increase prices in the grocery store for tomatoes, so be prepared.
It's fall now, and that's a great season for baking! Pies, cakes, cookies and fresh bread from your oven are all wonderful things. But, you might say, making fresh bread from scratch takes so long, by the time you mix the dough, let it rise, shape it, and/or roll it out... Ah, not so fast. We've discovered a very cool trick that can cut a lot of time from breadmaking. See the recipe at the end of the ad list. With this tip, you can make fresh bread almost every night for dinner, if you like.
Fall also means busy schedules, especially if you have kids involved in school activities. So, that means cooking smart and efficiently. Planning makes all the difference in the world. Here are some suggestions:
- Create a menu plan for the week - don't forget to factor in schedules. For example, suppose your kids have a football game - you'll want something fast and easy to serve before they leave. Or, Sunday afternoons, you might want to plan a mor formal dinner.
- Don't think of remaining food as "leftovers" - create "derivatives" instead
- Plan on cooking once, but using the food twice. For example, roast a chicken one night, have a chicken salad the next
- If you have a large family, roast not just one chicken, but two at a time. Then use the second chicken on subsequent nights for derivatives - Chili Verde, Stir Fry, Chicken Soup, etc.
- Plan for a 7 day menu, but leave one day blank - you can use that for inspiration, eating out, polishing off derivatives
- About shopping - promise yourself these things:
- Never shop hungry
- Always take a list
- Only allow yourself to purchase 2 items that are not on your list
- Go to the grocery store no more than twice a week - once for your main shopping, once to replenish fresh items such as milk, dairy, fruit & veggies
Comparing Prices this Week
- Frys: Red seedless grapes $.88 lb
- Safeway: Green seedless grapes $1.28 lb.
- Albertson's seedless red or green grapes $2.49 lb.
- Albertsons b/s $1.67 lb.
- Frys b/s $1.88 lb.
- Safeway b/s $1.99 lb.
Best Prices on Every Day Items
Milk: Fry's $1.67 gallon; Safeway, $1.77 gallon;
Bread: Albertson's Nature's Own Bread, $.88 with coupon; Safeway bread $1.99 each
Eggs:Albertson's $.99 dozen; Safeway $1.49/dozen
Best Bargains this Week
Special Sales - Buy 10 selected drinks Gatorade, Sobe, etc. Get 5 free, final cost $.67 ea.
Meat and Seafood
- Frozen Turkey $.79 lb.
- Chicken breasts b/s $1.88 lb.
- NY Strip steaks BOGO, regular price up to $11.99 lb.
- Beef Brisket $2.29
- Pork Shoulder Roast $1.79 lb.
- Hamburger, 80% lean, $2.79 lb.
- Red Seedless grapes $.88 lb.
- Red, yellow, bell peppers $.88 ea.
- Bartlett pears $.88 lb.
- Mini peeled carrots $.88 1lb. Bag
- Bananas $.57 lb.
- Mushrooms in package 2/$3
- Kroger Cheese, bars and shreds, selected varieties $1.88 ea
- Tombstone frozen Pizza 4/$10
- Kroger cottage cheese $1.88, 24 oz.
- Coke, 7 Up, Pepsi 12 pack, 3/$11
- Wine, 33% off all bottles over $20
- Doritos 2/$5
- Chef Boyardee 10/$10
- Life, Quaker cereals, selected varieties, 2/$5
- Totino's Pizza 4/$5
- Thomas' English muffins, bagels BOGO
- Betty Crocker cake mix 4/$5
Special Sales - $5 Friday and Saturday, selected deli lunch meat; Take-it and Bake-it Pizza $5 each;
Buy 2 12 pack of soda, get one Oreo cookie free.
Meat and Seafood
- Jennie-O Turkey ground turkey $2.59 lb.
- Hamburger 80% lean; $1.99 lb.
- Rancher's Reserve Boneless, top round, London Broil $2.29
- Chicken breast b/s $1.99
- Whole shoulder blade pork roast $1.87 lb.
- Farmer John Sausage links 4/$5
- Atlantic Salmon filets
- Seedless grapes $1.28 lb.
- Pumpkins $4.99 each
- Apples, various types, $1.49 lb.
- Pkg. strawberries, raspberries or blackberries $2.99
- Avocados $.99 ea
- Tomatoes on the vine, $2.49 lb.
- Quaker, Kelloggs cereal, selected varieties $1.99 each
- Chunk or shredded cheese, 24-32 oz, $5.99 (store brand)
- Bumble Bee solid white tuna 2/$3
- Flour tortillas 10 ct. $1.89
Special Sale 10/$10 7 Up; Campbell's Soups; Rice-A Roni; RoTel Tomatoes; Hormel Chili; Lays Stax; Banquet Pot Pies; Pillsbury Grand Biscuits; Avocadoes, more
Buy 5 participating items, get $5 off at checkout. You'll need to check the list out at the store.
Meat and Seafood
- Whole Chicken $.67 lb.
- Chicken Breast, B/S $1.67 lb
- Salmon $4.99 lb
- Boneless Beef Cross Rib, Beef Bottom Round, London Broil or Pork Loin Roast BOGO (reg. $5.99 lb.)
- Potatoes, Russet, 10 lb. Bag $1.77
- Strawberries, Blackberries or Raspberries $2.99 ea.
- Honey Crips Apples $2.99 lb.
- Cucumbers $.69 ea.
- Pears $1.29 lb.
- Yams $.99 lb.
- Shredded cheese, with coupon $1.49
- Nature's Own Bread, with coupon, $.88
- Coke products, 12 pack - 4/$10
- Yoplait Yogurt 3/$1
- Deli sliced meat, selected varieties $3.99 lb
- Selected varieties Kelloggs, General Mills Cereal 2/$5
- Culinary Circle Frozen pizza $3.99 ea
*BOGO=Buy One, Get One of Equal or Lesser Value Free
Homemade Bread Tips & Tricks
Mix up your dough as you normally would. Here are some hints:
1. Put your liquid in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds first. Pour into your mixing bowl, add any sugar, and then your yeast. Stir slightly and let it sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly.
2. Add in your other ingredients. Try not to add any salt directly to the yeast mixture - add it into the dough after a bit of flour has already been added. Salt can inhibit the action of the yeast.
3. Invest in a good mixer. It's worth it. KitchenAid mixers are excellent, so are Cuisinart mixers.
4. If you can obtain and use duck eggs instead of regular eggs, your bread will rise better.
5. Buy your yeast in bulk at New Frontiers. If you're going to be making a lot of doughy goodies, it's a little cheaper to purchase it at Costco. You want your yeast to be fresh for good results. If in doubt, test it.
After kneading your dough, it must rise:
- Want it to rise slow? If you make your dough at night, you can put it in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This will slow down the rising process considerably, and it should be ready to work with in the morning.
- Got a couple of hours? Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and then a towel and let it sit on your counter. It should be doubled in size in an hour or two.
- In a hurry? Place the dough in a large, non-metal oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Put an 8 oz. cup of water in the back of a microwave, and then add the bowl of dough in. Microwave on the lowest power setting (10%) for 3 minutes. Leave it in the microwave for 3 more minutes to rest. Microwave a second time for 3 minutes at 10% power. Afterwards, let it rest for 6 minutes in the microwave. Remove from microwave. It should be doubled in size - if not, just let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes, and it should be ready. Punch it down, let it rest for about 5 minutes, and then roll it out or shape it.
Lynne's Spiral Rolls
1 1/3 c. warmed milk
2 1/2 T butter
2 eggs (duck eggs if possible)
2 2/3 T sugar
2/3 tsp. Salt
4 + cups bread flour
1 T yeast
Add sugar to warmed milk, stir, and add yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, butter, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix, and then add in another cup of flour with the salt. Mix, adding in the remaining flour as needed. You might need more than 4 cups of flour, mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
(Alternatively, add all the ingredients to a bread machine, using the manufacturer instructions. Use the dough cycle.)
Punch down, divide in half. Roll half out to a rectangular size of approximately 10 inches by 14 inches. Spread generously with 1 stick of real butter.
Note - I don't have exact measurements for these - I just use whatever amounts are needed. Sorry, I know that's not terribly helpful, but it's how I cook.
Cinnamon - sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Can add chopped pecans or walnuts if desired. Roll up from the wide end, slice evenly into 12 slices. Place cut-side in well-buttered baking dish about an inch apart. Let rise until edges are touching. I usually place about 6 in a pie-pan sized baking pan.
Ham and Cheese - Place thin slices of ham over the buttered dough. Sprinkle with handfuls of grated cheese. Roll up, slice into 12 slices. Place into buttered baking dish.
Chili and Jack Cheese - Dab canned chopped ortega chilis on the dough. Sprinkle with grated jack cheese. Mix with cheddar cheese if you like. Roll up, slice into 12 slices. Place into buttered baking dish (es).
Once you've filled your rolls and placed them into the baking dishes, you've got to let them rise again until they've doubled in size.
Bake at 350º until nicely browned - but not crunchy - on top. Preferably place on an oven rack in the middle of the oven to heat evenly. If you're making one of the cheese varieties, pull the pans out, sprinkle with more cheese, and pop back into the oven until the cheese is melted.
If you're making the cinnamon variety, remove from the oven, and from the pans. Spread a glaze on top.
Glaze: (Again, apologies for having no exact measurements.)
Put about 1 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl. Add about 1/2 tsp. Vanilla, 2 TBS of butter and about 1 TBS of milk. Stir with a fork until smooth. If it is too watery for your taste, add more sugar. If it is too thick, thin it with butter, not milk. Adding more milk will make the glaze taste powdery, not creamy. If necessary, add a little more vanilla. Keep adjusting until it's the consistency and flavor you prefer. Spread it on the cinnamon rolls.
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