Monday, October 27, 2008

bacon-wrapped, ham-and-cheese-stuffed chicken breast

hy-vee had several packages of these "grillers" on sale for a dollar per piece yesterday. i'm guessing they were left over from the husker home game afternoon the day before. a good meat counter in this town would have a barbecue-friendly blowout on such a saturday.

bacon-wrapped, and stuffed with ham and cheese, the chicken breasts were impossible to not buy for a dollar apiece. i bought three, and wish i had bought more.

i didn't even grill them! driving away from the store, i figured it would be more convenient to stick them in a casserole dish and simply bake instead. i didn't have to worry about the chicken drying out with the extra fat all around and inside of it. and any further preparation would be overkill. so i preheated the oven to 350 as soon as i got in the door, and thereafter baked the dish while i went about the next half hour to 45 minutes of my day.

here's one with some broccoli from the last farmers' market, also on sunday. i washed and trimmed the stalks of broccoli, and then took a carrot peeler to the toughness of the stalk. i tossed that with some italian dressing and baked, covered, for about ten minutes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the new hy-vee at 50th & o st.

is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

which means that, no matter what time of week one has a craving for prepared edamame, it can be had. along with some other complementary snacks.

(several other groceries in lincoln are 24/7, of course, but this one has already come in handy [by virtue of location] two sundays in a row... the only two sundays it's been open.)

i've tried the rice crackers out of the bulk section in other hy-vee locations, and ran into staleness. the bulk rice crackers at this newly-opened location are crisp and spicy. buy them while that holds true!

also, park on the east side of the building. there's a second, smaller entry/exit over there; parking is much easier there than anywhere near the main entry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

romanesco, pomegranate, yellow bell pepper and spinach salad

with slivered almonds. i used annie's pomegranate vinaigrette as the dressing-- i had half of a bottle left that i had bought on sale for three bucks. the bag of spinach was 99c at ideal, the yellow bell was 99c at hy-vee, used about half a pomegranate that was 1.19 at hy-vee, and half the head of romanesco that was three dollars at the farmers' market. it tasted even prettier than it looks here.

three of my favorite cheeses, some of my favorite weather

from the cheese remnant basket at the 40th & hy-vee "cheese island." (that's what they call it, i swears.) huntsman, manchego, and emmentaler.

i bought and enjoyed these last weekend. i was going to write about how you should stop here and buy some cheese on your way south of town for a snack-picnic in the lovely autumn weather. considering the conditions today, i'll pass on that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

pomegranate, the fruit that took "in autumn, wear layers" very seriously

pomegranates are back in stores. here's my advice about pomegranates:

relatively soon after purchasing a pomegranate, peel it, and free the arils (like they do on this site). refrigerate. don't wait until you want to throw it in a salad or a dessert five minutes after you get the inspiration to do so.

it's not that it's that bad to prepare a pomegranate... it's no thirty yards of board fence nine feet high... but you could tom sawyer someone into helping you with this. it's fun!

and as soon as you have the pomegranate arils stored in a refrigerated container, your culinary inspiration will be freed up as well.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

somewhere, from under the sea; somewhere, waiting for me: romanesco

romanesco, which i've always been fascinated by, yet never bought, was $3 a head at the farmers' market this morning. i've never seen it approaching anywhere near that price in a grocery store.

ONE MORE SUNDAY, after today, of the farmers' market at 56th & old cheney. buy some of this while you can.

"do you think you could fit some in your carry-on bag?"

overheard at the farmers' market this morning, in front of a display of asian pears that were 50c ea.

eleven dollars and twelve cents, ideal grocery, yesterday

1) three indian dinners, on sale for $2, and two of them had 55c off coupons on the front.

2) some philadelphia brand cream cheese spread with jalapeno. i am a sucker for cream cheese with jalapeno in it. this was from the clearance cooler, which is tucked back in the corner just to the right of the deli. it was 99c, because-- you can see this in the picture-- dated a week and a half ago. something this processed and spiced, i'm not too worried.

3) some herbal tea for 1.99 out of the dry goods clearance basket, which is in the frozen section. from a native american owned company... called victory tea... i'm sure i'll write about that when i try it.

4) 2 avocado, on sale for 79c ea, makes $1.58.

5) two seckel pears, on sale at 1.49#; these pears are small, so that was only 67c. they're in the paper bag.

6) 10 oz bag of spinach, on sale for 99c.

"i'm down with shapes."

overheard in the pasta aisle at ideal.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

hy-vee's health food section 10% off this weekend, 40th & old cheney only

10% off whatever you can fit in a shopping bag out of their health food section, through tomorrow. stock up!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

leftover take-out review: risotto from magnolia

when i dine at a restaurant with several appealing choices on the menu, there are a few filters i use to narrow the scope of that decision.

first, what dish contains ingredients that i wouldn't be able to buy, in a manner as easy or as affordable, for my own preparation at home?

secondly, what dish requires equipment i don't have at home? (honestly, this could be a deep fryer or pizza oven.)

and last, what dish would i be less likely to make at home, because of preparation time or difficulty?

risotto resembles that last remark. risotto requires constant stirring, which takes a lot of time and effort that you wouldn't have to spend preparing another dish. i ordered this risotto as part of a meal at magnolia. it was wonderful. i ordered it thinking some might be left over, and luckily that proved true.

Friday, October 10, 2008

baked garlic: because i finally found some at a grocery store that looked good enough to buy::

look how nice and well-maintained the garlic at leon's looks. i baked this in the oven with those summer fruits from other other post. i chopped off the tips of the bulb, wrapped the bottom of the bulb in foil, and then drizzled with blue cheese oil and peppered it.

blue cheese is a tasty guy, but he sure does smell funny

if you like blue cheese but tend to use it sparingly, this is the cheese for you. the jar won't stink up the refrigerator, and the oil that the cheese is packed in is a great addition to salad dressings or on baked garlic...i got this jar at leon's.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

summer fruit in autumn ovens

it happens at the beginning and at the end of every summer: the abundance of spare produce from the gardens and farms of friends and co-workers. during the second go-round, you can use the oven to bake the fruit up.

pictured are a baked zucchini, tomato, and pepper that were all surplus from other houses. i baked them with a package of trimmed crimini mushrooms that were on sale at leon's for 99c. (there's some bleu cheese on top on the zucchini, which i'll write about next.) i baked these at 350 for 45 minutes, and then all of it (except the zucchini skins) went into a processor to be pureed into a lovely soup, which was warmed again before serving.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

if you like sparkling water...

target's own archer farms brand has a most pleasantly lightly carbonated sparkling water, for sale for less than two dollars, for the same size of a bottle of pellegrino.

farmers' market favorite of the week: kathy davis

just so you know: the farmers' market at 56th & old cheney ends last saturday in october.

the beaver tail (top picture) from kathy davis' stand is always wonderful, and costs $2 there. it's nice to see a baked, ready-to-eat-and-yet-not-sweet item available for immediate consumption, made with such quality ingredients.

that bottom picture is a lavender pound cake, which i had at an event that kathy davis catered, and then bought again at the farmers' market as a result.

more from wise oven bakery: green apple bread

that little bit of green that you see in that picture is the skin of a green apple, within bread from wise oven bakery in havelock. this bread makes a mean peanut butter breakfast sandwich (bacon preferred) that you actually have for lunch.

take-out review: yia-yia's. the best fast food is a slice

when one lives in a place like lincoln-- where people drive to their parked car, and often through fast food drive-thrus-- one can miss out on my favorite fast food: the slice.

yia yia's might not look like an inexpensive place to grab a slice. but that slice on the right up there... just a regular plain slice... is $2.59. find me something that tastes that good that isn't twice as bad for you (for that price tag) within walking distance of yia yia's. oh, one more caveat: the place serving this food needs to be open in the evenings, and now on sundays.

yia yia's only has thin crust. they have a bunch of toppings to choose from if you want to create your own slice, as happened with the experiment on the left.

like i implied earlier, it's a nice place to eat in, and they have the biggest selection of bottled international beers that i've ever seen in a restaurant. but don't forget that you can call ahead and get slices to go, if you're already downtown and just want some food to take home.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

kung pao shrimp from hy-vee

it's 3.99 for one entree from the chinese hot bar at hy-vee, with steamed or fried rice, egg roll or crab rangoon, and fortune cookie. i had the kung pao shrimp which was, happily, very spicy and full of peanuts.