Today: Jul 06 , 2020

Sales, Menus & Recipes: Turkey Day is Almost Upon Us

08 November 2018  

Turkey Day is Almost on Us

More things that can be done early:

Herbs and Spices. If you didn’t overhaul your spice cabinet last week—Now’s the Time. Sprouts has all its bulk spices 35%off, and their Simply Organic seasonings, spices and extracts (bottled) are 40% off.  Safeway has McCormick spices on sale 50% off (select varieties.)

Dishes like mincemeat and Winter Fruit Compote (see bonus recipes below) can be prepared a week or two ahead if kept tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Stock up on non-perishable items like chips, canned goods, frozen foods, butter and sour cream,  and root vegetables (store in a cool dry place with good ventilation.) Buy avocados now along with pears, apples, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. Avocados can be kept in the refrigerator while they slowly ripen. Pears may need to be stored in a paper bag with a ripe apple to help them ripen in time.

Continue to plan your menu and guest list. If people want to bring items, ask if they can bring a specific item, but don’t plan on that being the only thing they bring. Be gracious on the day and thank them warmly.

Decide what dishes you will need for serving and eating and make sure they are clean and ready to go. If you’re going to use silver, make sure it’s polished.

If you like to decorate with leaves or flowers make sure you have what you need. Consider live plants you can continue to enjoy after the holiday. 

Spice of the Week—Cardamom

Cardamom (or Cardamon or Cardamam) comes from several shrub/trees native to India and Indonesia. In the USA it can be bought as pods, whole seeds and ground. It has a pungent odor and is used extensively in cooking round the world. There are two main types, white and brown, with white predominating. It was first known outside of Asia in Sumeria and was used in ancient Greece.

Some of its many uses in food are in curries, sweets, and bread (especially in Scandinavia. It has a special affinity for cookies, rice puddings and dishes made with apples.

One of the best ways to buy it is as seeds, since it is very fragrant when first ground. A coffee grinder works well. If you don’t want flavored coffee dedicate one grinder to spices. 

Special Sales This Week

Fry’s—The Buy 10 Save $5 Sale continues with many of the same items. Get a FREE frozen Kroger brand turkey if you purchase a Private Selection Spiral Sliced Ham at $2.99/lb. Items must be purchased in the same transaction. Price for the turkey by itself is $.69/lb. with card, limit 1. There are several special digital coupons, download starting Nov. 7, use Thurs the 8th through Sat the 10th only.

Safeway—Has a number of Click or Clip coupons, also a $5 Friday on Nov 9th only. Safeway will price match its Signature Farms frozen turkey with any advertised price by Fry’s or Bashas.

Sprouts—has the spice sale as mentioned above and would like you to order their Organic, Free-Range, vegetarian fed, turkey at their butcher ship for $2.99/lb. (While supplies last, limit 4/customer). As always Wednesday is Double ad day, you can get all last week’s sale prices plus all this week’s.

Screamin Deal—Sprouts brings you Appleanche, Over 15 different varieties of apples on sale for $.88/lb including Gala, Opal, McIntosh, SnapDragon and many more.

All three of the major groceries feature fully prepared Thanksgiving meals. If you want to do this ask them exactly what is included and what the cost is. You have to order in advance.

Special Days This Week

Nov 7—Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
Nov 8—Cappuccino Day-perhaps best celebrated at your favorite coffee house, unless you have a stovetop espresso maker.
Nov 9—Scrapple Day (a Pennsylvania specialty usually eaten at breakfast, like sausage.)
Nov 10—Vanilla Cupcake Day
Nov—Sundae Day (also Veterans Day)
Nov 12—Chicken Soup Day (among other things)
Nov 13—Indian Pudding Day
Nov 14 is Guacamole Day, Maybe you should buy some Avocados now!


Day 1
Ham in the Slow Cooker
Baked Sweet Potatoes or Yams
Steamed Broccolini (baby broccoli)
Fruit Salad

Slow Cooker Ham

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Easy Peasy and so Delicious

Items On Sale

Ham—$1.27/lb @Safeway, Cooks Shank Portion,        $2.49/lb @Sprouts, Spiral Sliced,    $2.99/lb @Fry’s, Private Selection,Spiral Sliced (and you get a free frozen turkey)
Yams (sweet potatoes)—$1.48/lb @Sprouts, (O), Garnet or Jewel, $3.99/lb @Fry’s (O), 
Broccolini—$1.98/bunch @Sprouts, (O)
Cantaloupes—$1.50/each @Sprouts
Blueberries—$.99/6 oz box @Fry’s,    $2.50/6 oz box @Sprouts
Blackberries—$.75/6 oz box @Safeway, $2.50/5.6 oz box @Sprouts
Strawberries $ 2.50/lb box @Sprouts
Raspberries $2.50/6 oz box @Sprouts
Oranges (Navel)—$.98/lb @Sprouts,  $2.99/4 lb bag @Safeway, clipper click coupon
Grapes—$.67/lb @Safeway, seedless green,         $1.49/lb @Fry’s, Moondrops (black), seedless $1.98/lb @Sprouts, red/green/black seedless, (O)
Pears—$.98/lb @Sprouts, Bartlett, Bosc, D’Anjou, Red
Apples—$.88/lb @Sprouts, 15+ varieties, $.99/lb @Safeway, Fuji, Jonagold, $1/lb @Safeway, Honeycrisp, Friday Only

Day 2
Cheeseburger Soup
Green Salad
Microwave Squash
Indian Pudding

Indian Pudding

If you’ve never had this, you should try it. 


I wanted a soup that really tasted like a cheeseburger, not just another hamburger vegetable soup.

Mushroom Cheeseburger Soup

This soup serves 3. Serve with toasted burger buns for dipping, or maybe crusty rolls.
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 
1 lb hamburger
8 oz crimini mushrooms
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup catsup
1 Tablespoon brown mustard
Approximately 1cup beef or chicken stock
2 oz cream cheese
8 oz cheese, aged Swiss, Cheddar, or chili jack

In a large skillet or a heavy bottomed pot, sauce onion in a little oil of your choice. Add hamburger and cook till brown and crumbly.  Add mushrooms and continue cooking until they are cooked. Remove excess fat if needed. 

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup,  heat cream cheese until softened, Add catsup and mustard., stir well and heat again for 10-15 seconds. Add stock a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Your goal is a creamy but not super thick sauce.

In serving bowls garnish with a good amount of cheese. A mix of mozzarella and cheddar is good. Try with a little chopped dill pickle if you dare.

Pour sauce over burger mix. Stir well, heat until just serving temperature, do not boil. Serve with toasted or crusty bread. 

Microwave Winter Squash
Works well with acorn or delicata

Use half as many squash as you need servings.

Poke holes in the squash through to the cavity in the center. A sharp knife or skewer will work. Place squash on turntable in microwave. Microwave on high. Time will depend on the number of squash in the microwave. Do three or four minutes at first if you have 2 or 3 squash. Then touch with your finger. You are looking for a fairly soft give. Remove from microwave, let cool a little, with a sharp, fairly long knife cut each squash in half, lengthwise for delicate, crosswise or up and down for acorn. Scoop out the seeds. Easy because the squash is mostly cooked. But be careful not to burn yourself. Place squash halves on a microwave safe plate, put a little butter, some brown sugar or maple syrup in each half. Return to microwave until toppings are bubbling and squash is soft.

Items On Sale

Ground Beef—$2.99/lb @Fry’s, 3 lb or more, $3.47/lb @Safeway, +3 lb, meat case
Onions—$.99/Safeway, yellow/red/white
Cheese—$3.99/lb @Sprouts, Colby/Jack bulk cut. $1/bag @Safeway, Lucerne, Clip or Click Coupon, $.99/each @Fry’s, Digital Coupon

Day 3
Pan Seared Steak
Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
Steamed Brussels Sprouts
Ice Cream Sundae

Pan Seared Steak

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Items On Sale

Steak—$6.99/lb @Sprouts, PRIME, Boneless New York, $4.97/lb @Safeway Choice, boneless New York, $5/lb,  @Safeway, Choice T-bone
Tomatoes, on-the-vine—$.98/lb @Sprouts,    $.77/lb @Fry’s
Avocados—$1/3 @Sprouts, $.77/each @ @Fry’s
Brussel’s Sprouts $.98/lb @Sprouts
Ice Cream—$2.99/each @Fry’s Buy 10 sale, Buy One Get One Free @Sprouts, Talenti

Day 4
Hamburger Casserole
Carrot Apple Salad
Quinoa with Mushrooms
Vanilla Cupcakes

Ground Beef Casserole
Simple but great on a chilly evening.

Carrot Apple Salad
Some add raisins to this.


Vanilla Cupcakes

Recipe: Quinoa with Mushrooms

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
8 oz brown mushrooms
Olive oil

Bring water to a boil.  Add quinoa, reduce temperature to a simmer. Cover and cook till all water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let sit 5-10 minutes. 

Remove stems from mushrooms, cut into slices or chunks. Sautée in olive oil.

Add the mushrooms to the cooked Quinoa.

Items On Sale

Ground Beef—$2.99/lb @Fry’s, 3 lb or more, $3.47/lb @Safeway, +3 lb, meat case
Apples—$.88/lb @Sprouts, 15+ varieties, $.99/lb @Safeway, Fuji, Jonagold, $1/lb @Safeway, Honeycrisp, Friday Only

Day 5
Chicken Soup with Vegetables
Toast or Rolls (from the bakery)
Fruit Plate
(you really should try some Moondrops grapes)

Chicken Vegetable Soup

If you have no schmaltz, use evoo.
Add whatever other vegetables you like.
When broth boils add butternut squash.
When you add chicken add some frozen peas.
If you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, cut up some
boneless skinless chicken into pieces and cook it gently
with the mirepoix or pull meat from a deli chicken.

Items On Sale

Chicken—$1.67/lb @Sprouts
Chicken—$5 for a Cooked Deli Chicken @Safeway
Oranges (Navel)—$.98/lb @Sprouts,  $2.99/4 lb bag @Safeway, clipper click coupon
Grapes—$.67/lb @Safeway, seedless green,         $1.49/lb @Fry’s, Moondrops (black), seedless $1.98/lb @Sprouts, red/green/black seedless, (O)
Cantaloupes—$1.50/each @Sprouts
Blueberries—$.99/6 oz box @Fry’s,    $2.50/6 oz box @Sprouts
Blackberries—$.75/6 oz box @Safeway, $2.50/5.6 oz box @Sprouts
Strawberries $ 2.50/lb box @Sprouts
Raspberries $2.50/6 oz box @Sprouts

Bonus Recipes

Homemade Applesauce is delicious, or make Slow Cooker Apple Butter, really easy, truly.

On Sale
Apples—$.88/lb @Sprouts, 15+ varieties, $.99/lb @Safeway, Fuji, Jonagold, $1/lb @Safeway, Honeycrisp, Friday Only

For very best flavor, use some tart apples, some sweet apples, and some aromatic apples

Apple Butter—When it’s cooked and still very hot, you can put it in sterilized jars. It may seal when you put on the lids, but you should put it in the refrigerator for storage and advise those you share it with to do the same. It does not have enough sugar to be really safe for long storage. 

Slow Cooker Apple Butter
I would adjust the spices, less clove,
but add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom.

For applesauce, follow the above directions, only after you use your blender on it, take it out and store it in containers in the refrigerator or freeze some. 

Winter Fruit Compote

If your family would just as soon pass on the cranberry sauce, why not serve a compote of winter fruits. And too—this recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead, freeing up your cooking time on the big day. Left over compote is wonderful on ice cream or plain yogurt. It is also especially good served with pork, chops, loin, ham.

To make 1 quart of compote (four cups)

Cut the larger fruits 1 inch dice (or about the size of 1/4 of a dried apricot.) Use smaller fruits whole. Trader Joe’s is currently selling dried mandarin oranges and Sprouts usually has some dried fruits in bulk and on sale. The total amount of dried fruit should be about 3 to 3 1/2 cups.

4 prunes
8 apricots
2 dried pears
1 dried peach

1/2 cup raisins (flame or other dried red grapes are best)
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)

1 tart apple, peeled cored and cut to 1 inch dice (Granny Smith, Rome, Cripps Pink, Jonathon)
1 pear cored and cut to 1 inch dice(Bosc would be good))
Number of apples and pears depends partly on size of the fruit. Amount should be about 2 cups.

1 cup brandy or sherry (Use fruit juice if you prefer)
Up to one cup of water

1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice

Place all the dried fruits, cut up as necessary, in a 2 quart saucepan. Pour the brandy over the fruit, stir and set aside to soak for at least an hour. 

Add about 1/2 cup of water. You may want to add a couple Tablespoons of sugar depending on how sweet your fruits are and how sweet you want the finished dish to be. You can wait until the mixture is cooked to add sugar if you want. Heat the mixture to boiling. Add the spice bag. Cook at a low simmer (uncovered) for 1/2 hour. 

Can be prepared to this point up tp 1 week ahead. Refrigerate tightly covered. Reheat before continuing.

Add the diced fresh fruit. Stir well, add more brandy (or other liquid) if need be, and simmer an additional 1/2 hour, or until fresh fruits are cooked through. The liquid should be nearly cooked away and the fruits still in chunks, not just a mush. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. To serve let return to room temperature or heat to serve warm.