Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Here is a recipe for the Chicken Quarters on sale this week at Stater Bros. For this week's bargains check the blog entry below.

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Almonds

Extra-virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs or chicken quarters
Kosher salt
1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 large onions, julienned
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster or cremini, cleaned and sliced
2 cups dry white wine
4 to 6 cups chicken stock
1 bundle thyme
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
Chopped chives, for garnish

Coat a large, wide, deep pan with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Pat the chicken skin dry with paper towels and season generously with salt. Add chicken skin side down to the pan. You should hear a big sizzle as the thighs hit the pan. Do not try to move the chicken, the skin will stick itself to the bottom of the pan and will unstick itself when it is ready. If the pan is smoking excessively turn the burner down and continue to cook. When the skin is brown and crispy, turn the chicken over and brown it on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve.
Lower the heat if you have not already done so and ditch most of the excess fat. Add the pancetta and brown. When the pancetta has started to get brown and crispy add the onions. Season with salt and crushed red pepper and sweat over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until they release their juices. Add the wine and reduce by half. Return the chicken to the pan. Add chicken stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the chicken for 30 to 35 minutes. Add more chicken stock, if needed.
While the chicken is cooking puree the almonds in the food processor. Drizzle in a little olive oil while the machine is running to make this a loose paste. Season with salt and reserve.
Once the chicken has cooked for 30 to 35 minutes, remove it from the pan and reserve. Taste the sauce for seasoning and stir in the almond puree. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer to thicken the sauce, if needed. The almond puree will help to thicken the sauce and to make it very rich.

This Week's Deals

Here are some of the bargains this week and items that I will be picking up.


Top Sirloin Steak $1.97 lb
Whole Chickens (Foster Farms) .77¢ lb
Boneless Pork Loin Roast $1.99
Chicken Leg Quarters .99¢
Beef Chuck Roast $1.99
They also have all sodas on sale at great prices


Medium Raw Shrimp (51-60 count) $4.49 lb
New York Steak $3.99 lb\
Thick Sliced Hickory Bacon $4.99 for 3 lbs (Saturday & Sunday ONLY)


Red, Green or Black Seedless Grapes .77\
Green or Red Romaine .50¢ each
Red or Green Bell Peppers 3 for $1.00
Haas Avocados .77¢
Roma Tomatoes .77¢
Squash .77¢
Blackberries 2 for $4.00


Boneless Pork Loin Roast $1.99
Whole Tri-Tip $1.99 lb
Green or White Asparagus $1.49


Whole Chicken .79¢ lb
Cucumbers .79¢

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cooking Class

The next cooking class is Wednesday, November 12th at 7 p.m. at Liz Jergensen's home. We will learn some great Thanksgiving side dishes like homemade cranberry sauce made will fresh cranberries and fresh ginger. We will also learn how to make homemade rolls and fresh made pies. Don't miss it!!! You'll never have another "store bought" Thanksgiving again.
Hope to see you there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cooking Class

So our first cooking class was great fun. Or at least I hope those that attended had fun. I did. We did have a good time. We learned to cut up a chicken into 8 pieces, how to slice and dice onions and garlic. We learned about and tasted different olive oils. We learned how to use a food processor and in doing so, made Baked Pesto French Bread. The recipe is below as well as this weeks grocery bargains and recipe(s) for some of the items listed on sale.

We have some great ideas for future classes. If you have any suggestions, please email me and let me know your ideas on future classes. I suggested that in December we might want to make Gingerbread Houses. They are a little time consuming but fun to make. Below is a picture of the house I made last year. If not, we can learn to make different types of candy for gift giving during the holidays or holiday cookies and cakes. Let me know what you are interested in doing. I look forward to our next class. Remember, homework: cutting up a chicken. LOL

Butternut Pumpkin Seed Soup

Here is a great recipe that I really like for Butternut Squash on sale at HENRY'S:

Butternut Pumpkin Seed Soup

2 Butternut Squash
½ Cups Brown Sugar
2 Tbl Butter
1 Onion
1 Tbl Corn Oil
2 Gloves Garlic
¼ teas Cinnamon
1 ½ Tbl Chopped Fresh Thyme
5 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Bay Leaf
Heavy Cream to Taste
1 Ounce Shelled Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chopped Parsley for Garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut the 2 butternut squash down the middle and remove all the seeds with a spoon. This will leave you with four butternut squash halves. Place the four halves on a baking sheet with cut side facing up. On each of the halves sprinkle 1/8 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tbsp. of butter on each of the squash halves. (Total needed 1/2 c. brown sugar and 2 tbsp. butter)

Cover the halves with aluminum foil and bake for an hour and a half or until they are very soft. (If you prefer to use the microwave, cover the butternut squash halves with plastic and cook on high for 10-12 minutes.) In the oven provides a better tasting squash though.

While the squash is in the oven, saute 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
in a soup pot with 1 tbsp. corn oil for 7 or 8 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add 2 cloves of garlic, minced, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

Add 5 cups chicken stock, 1 bay leaf and cream to taste and simmer for 10 minutes.

When the squash halves are cooked through and tender, remove them from the oven. Very carefully remove the squash flesh with a spoon. You should get about 4 cups worth.

Transfer some of the pulp to a blender along with some of the chicken stock and the cream. Process until it is smooth and creamy. Repeat the same process with the remaining squash, stock and cream. Transfer all the pureed soup back to the soup pot heat and serve immediately garnishing with 1 ounce toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped parsley.

This Week's Bargains

Here's what I am buying this week Oct 15th - 21st:

HENRY'S (in Corona at Main & Ontario)

Whole Fryer Chicken .99¢
Sirloin Tip Roast $2.50
Butternut Squash .77¢ (See Recipe Above)
Rolled Oats (Bulk) .59¢
Steel Cut Oats (Bulk) .59¢
Quick Oats (Bulk) .59
(Use these oats for Breakfast, Cookies, Bread and Food Storage. Since it is bulk, you can get as much or as little as you want.


T-Bone Steak $3.77 lb
Chicken Half Breasts (with Ribs Attached) .99¢
Pork Butt $1.19lb
Tri-Tip Roast $2.99lb
Rib-Eye Roast $4.77lb (This is used for Prime Rib) GREAT PRICE!!!


Boneless Beef Cross Rib Roast $1.99lb
Vine Ripe Tomatoes .99¢
Strawberries 16oz. $1.50
Organic Yellow Onions .79¢


Chicken Drumsticks .99¢
Strawberries 16oz. $1.50
Large Grade AA Eggs 18 pack $1.99


Not Impressed with Sales this week.

Cooking Class: "Pesto Bread Recipe"

Here is the recipe for the Pesto Bread we made at the cooking class last night. It is extremely easy to make. Enjoy:

Set Oven to 400ยบ


2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Loaf of French Bread

For the pesto, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until the mixture forms a smooth, thick paste. Slice the baguette lengthwise horizontally. Spread the pesto over the cut sides of the baguette and toast in the oven until crispy and golden.

Friday, October 10, 2008

NEW!!! Cooking Classes Begin Wednesday, Oct 15th at 7:00 p.m.

So a few have asked for some help in the kitchen. Now that Christi is involved in Enrichment in the Ward, so am I! LOL. Beginning Wednesday the 15th we will be offering a cooking class on a monthly basis at Liz Jergensen's home. It begins at 7 p.m. The first class will begin with kitchen basics, like slicing, dicing and general use of knives and which knives are which. We will also cover kitchen essentials. Things each kitchen should have. As the classes progress we will move on to more advanced cooking, but always keeping the cooking easy and fun. Ideas for future classes are appreciated. Future classes can include ideas like:

Making a Gingerbread House for the holidays
Thanksgiving Cooking and planning
Making Bread, biscuits and rolls
Making things in a Crock Pot
Using Cast Iron
Things to make with Chicken, Beef, Pork, etc...
Cool and easy, yet fancy desserts.
Better than Mom's Casseroles
Side Dishes
Vegetarian Meals
Meal Planning and grocery shopping

The list goes on and on.
Also, some have asked more a more one on one class which I am happy to accommodate if possible.

These classes should be fun and hopefully helpful and informative. I hope to see everyone there at Liz's as we kick off Cooking Class 101. See you there.