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Sales, Menus & Recipes: Christmas Countdown, Pt 2

12 December 2018  
Just. 14. Days.

Only 14 Days left ‘till Christmas. What to do this week. Finalize the main dishes you’re planning to serve. Start acquiring the vegetables and other items you’ll need that are non-perishable (or only slightly perishable, like potatoes, both white and sweet, frozen items like shrimp, vegetables, tamales or green chili stew (especially nice on Christmas Eve.) If you’re serving ham, consider a brandied fruit dish like a compote—easily lasts 7-10 days in the fridge. Other fruit dishes like a pineapple, citrus fruit plate also complement ham nicely. If you’re ordering a pie from one of out local bakeries, be sure to order a couple of weeks in advance.

If you’re a fan of FRESH cookies, consider freezing some cookie dough, either in the form of logs or blobs. Most types of drop cookie dough work well this way. just wrap the logs well in plastic and then foil. The blobs should be somewhat flattened, frozen on a cookie pan, then double bagged before returning to the freezer. This way you can have those freshly baked cookies, and as an added bonus, bake only the number you need and reduce the temptation of masses of cookies hanging around the house.

One thing my family always had instead of a green salad was a relish tray. If you’re going this route, and you should consider it, now is the time to start buying, or making, the pickles, chutneys, etc. Wait till the last minute for fresh vegetables. And it’s good for a family dinner too.

Another task to do now is to clean out your refrigerator and freezer. You will be needing extra space bot before and after the big day.

All the stores are starting to have some major sales. 

Fry’s—Fry’s has a lot of Digital Coupons this week.

Safeway—$5 Friday, great deals on pineapple, $5/3 and rotisserie chicken, $5/each, and an assortment of chips, $f/5—but only on Friday Dec. 14 only. Safeway is also featuring many clip or click coupons including deals on eggs (older eggs are easier to peel for deviled eggs!), cheese, butter, baking supplies, and plastic containers and bags.

Sprouts—as always, Wednesday is Double Ad Day, when you can choose from all sale items from last week’s and this week’s ads. Sprouts offers 4 different fully prepared meals, order now at the Deli. Plus, Sprouts has a $.99/lb. Spiral sliced ham.

Special Days This Week

Dec. 12—Gingerbread House Day
Dec. 13—Cocoa Day and Ambrosia Day
Dec. 14—Bouillabaisse Day and Biscuits and Gravy Day
Dec. 15—Lemon Cupcake Day
Dec. 16—Chocolate Covered Anything Day
Dec. 17—Maple Syrup Day
Dec. 18—I Love Honey Day and Suckling Pig Day

Menus and Recipes

Day 1

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Cooked Wide Egg Noodles
Steamed Cauliflower and Broccoli
Gingerbread Cookies

(Use extra dough from Gingerbread House)

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Items On Sale
Whole Frozen Turkey Breast—$.87/lb @Safeway, $1.49/lb @Fry’s
Broccoli Crowns—$1.49 @Safeway

Day 2

Herb and Garlic Crusted Pork Chops
Steamed Brown Rice
Steamed Asparagus
Fruit Plate

Herb and Garlic Crusted Pork Chops

Items on Sale

Pork Chops—$1.47/sb @Safeway, loin, bone in, $2.99/lb @Safeway, center cut, bone in
Asparagus—Buy One Get One Free @Safeway, 10 oz pkg
Pineapple—$1.67/each @Safeway, Fri only,  $2/each @Sprouts
Grapes—$.69/lb @Sprouts, red, green. $.67/lb @Safeway, red, $.77/lb @Fry’s, red
Navel Oranges—$.88/lb @Sprouts,

Day 3

Bouillabaisse
Crusty Bread
Green Salad

Bouillabaisse—Instant Pot Style
I think you could easily do this in a pot on the stove.

Items On Sale

Fish—$4.99/one lb Pkg @Safeway, Frozen Fillets,    $5.99./lb @Fry’s, fresh Tilapia fillet,    $9.99/lb @Sprouts Salmon Fillet
Shellfish—$$6.99/lb @Sprouts, Raw Colossal Shrimp,   $11.98/2 lb bag, raw or cooked shrimp $6.99/lb @Fry’s, raw white shrimp
Salad Greens—$1.99/each @Safeway, Fresh Express salad blends, with coupon
Tomatoes—$2/pt @Sprouts, grape, (O),  $1.99/each @Safeway, grape
Cucumbers—$.50/each @Safeway
Cucumbers, Hothouse—$.88/each @Sprouts
Avocados—$.50/each @Sprouts
Radishes—$.50/bunch @Sprouts 

Day 4

Baked Ham
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Winter Fruit Compote
Relish Tray
Lemon Cupcakes

Easy Baked Ham

Relish Tray
I tend to think of it as a salad and put more veggies on. But it certainly works as an appetizer.

Lemon Cupcakes

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Items On Sale

Ham, spiral sliced—$.99/lb @Sprouts,   $1.27/lb @Fry’s

Day 5

Soup and Sandwiches (got to use up that Ham or Turkey)
Good for those days when you have NO time

Chicken Soup (Instant Pot)
Sandwiches
Fruit Plate
Buckeyes

Buckeyes (Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls)

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Recipe: Elna Justice’s Buckeyes
Elna was my friend Brad’s Mom and hers were the first I had. She favored me with her Recipe, which is different from any I could find on line. She used Graham Cracker Crumbs, which leads to a less sweet taste, and a somewhat different texture. 

I usually use chunky peanut butter and dark chocolate. It makes the balls a little harder to dip, but, well, it’s how I like them.

1 lb creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter (softened)
1 lb powdered sugar (sifted)
1 7/8 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 package chocolate chips or 2 containers dipping chocolate wafers
1 Tablespoon butter (Elna used a little paraffin, but it’s seldom done that way now}

With a stand mixer or hand mixer,cream together peanut butter and softened butter. Add vanilla and mix well. Mix together powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. 

Add powdered sugar mixture to peanut butter mixture. Be sure not to let the sugar puff all over the place. Start with a low speed and only add a little at a time. 

Elna says, “I use my hands at the end to get it really mixed well.”

Form into small balls, about 1 inch. Place on a lined sheet pan and put in the freezer for about 1/2 hour. At this point you can carefully wrap the balls in plastic wrap and put in a few plastic freezer bags, don’t try to fit in too many. When you are ready to complete—

Melt your chocolate chips or wafers in a bowl over gently simmering water. Don’t try to hurry at this point. It can help if you first gently melt 2/3 of the chocolate, take off the heat, add the rest and stir gently until all are melted.

Now stab each ball with a toothpick. Dip in chocolate, leaving the top uncoated. Place on waxed paper or plastic or parchment paper and leave until the chocolate hardens. You can smooth over the toothpick holes for a more elegant appearance.

Store in a cool place.

Items On Sale

B/s Chicken Breast—$1.99/lb @Sprouts, $1.99/lb @Sayeway, 
Pineapple—$1.67/each @Safeway, Fri only,  $2/each @Sprouts
Grapes—$.69/lb @Sprouts, red, green. $.67/lb @Safeway, red, $.77/lb @Fry’s, red
Navel Oranges—$.88/lb @Sprouts, 

Chicken Vegetable Soup (Instant Pot )

Day 6

A Breakfast Menu
Sausage Skillet
Pancakes with Maple Syrup
Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate, Fruit Juice

Breakfast Sausage Skillet
Also great for Breakfast for Dinner

Items on Sale

Sausages—$2.99/lb @Sprouts, 
Small Potatoes—$.99/lb @Safeway,     $2.50/1.4 lb bag @Fry’s, Gourmet

Bonus Recipe: Build a Gingerbread House

Traditional Royal Icing is made with raw egg whites. If you are planning to eat the house use the sterile egg whites you can get in the dairy case.

 

 

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Cindy LaMaster