Save 20% On Asparagus

SavingStarAsparagusThis week’s SavingStar Healthy Offer is to Save 20% on any single purchase of loose Asparagus at participating retailers.  This offer expires 3/24/2014.

If you are looking for a new way to serve up asparagus to your family, Knorr has a great Lemon Chicken Primavera recipe. I have made this several times. It is quick, easy and tasty.

Lemon Chicken Primavera
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spreadable Butter With Canola Oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot [or small onion], finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tub Knorr® Homestyle Stock - Chicken
  • 6 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½-inch-thick diagonal slices (about 1 cup)*
  1. Combine flour with pepper in shallow dish. Dip chicken in eggs, then flour mixture; set aside.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons Spreadable Butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken, turning once, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon Spreadable Butter in same skillet over medium heat and cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in water and Knorr® Homestyle Stock - Chicken until Stock is melted. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add asparagus and return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked and asparagus is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and serve, if desired, with hot cooked rice.
  4. *TIP: Try using green beans, broccoli florets, green peas or sliced mushrooms instead of asparagus!



Please see my disclosure policy.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Recently, I learned something new…how to make homemade vanilla extract. Over the years I have purchased both Imitation Vanilla Extract and Pure Vanilla Extract. If you have purchased either, you know that Pure Vanilla Extract can be expensive.

If you have ever read the ingredients label on the Imitation Vanilla Extract, it can be a bit concerning. I admit, I have a bottle on my shelf right now, and the ingredients include: Water, alcohol, vanilla extract, propylene glycol, invert sugar, caramel color, vanillin, ethyl vanillin, natural and artificial flavor. Without the help of Google, I don’t even know what a few of those are.

If you read the ingredients on the bottle of Pure Vanilla Extract it is generally Vanilla Bean, and Alcohol (40%) or roughly there about.

For anyone wishing to make their own Vanilla Extract, now is the perfect time. With the alcohol sales, you can pick up a bottle of Vodka pretty cheap. Safeway, Fry’s and CVS all have some pretty good sales going on right now.

There are a number of recipes available online, but this is the one I decided to use:



2 Vanilla Beans

1 Cup Vodka


  1. Place 2 vanilla beans on a cutting board and flatten with the side of the knife.
  2. Cut each bean lengthwise.
  3. Cut each bean in half to insure it will be completely covered by the vodka.
  4. Place beans in a small jar with a tight sealing lid.
  5. Add 1 cup of vodka to the jar and shake well.
  6. Place the lid on the jar and seal tight.
  7. Put the jar in a cool, dark place.
  8. Shake the jar once a week.

The extract will need to sit for 3 to 5 months before use.  I started my first batch just about 2 weeks ago.  It already has a nice amber/brown coloring.

P1020240Once the extract has has sufficient time (3 to 5 months) pour the solution through cheesecloth or gold coffee filters to strain out stray vanilla bean pieces.  Store in air-tight containers.

Please see my disclosure policy.

Fry’s Produce Sale and Homemade Spaghetti Sauce


This week Fry’s has both Roma Tomatoes and Mushrooms on sale, making it a great week to make some homemade spaghetti sauce.  Don’t forget to add the $1 on produce purchase coupon, if you have a bunch of produce to buy.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Serves: 6-8
  • 3¼ lbs. Roma tomatoes
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1½ Tbsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. Splenda
  • 1¾ cup water
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  1. Blend tomatoes in blender.
  2. Peel and chop onion and garlic.
  3. Wash and chop mushrooms.
  4. In a large pot combine all ingredients and stir to mix.
  5. Bring to a boil and then turn down to lowest setting.
  6. Simmer for at least 6 hours.
  7. The mushrooms should be very slightly firm when done.


Please see my disclosure policy.

Italian Pork and Vegetable Saute

Italian Pork and Vegetable Saute
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. boneless pork sirloin chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 large diced bell peppers, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 10 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio, or non-alcoholic varietal grape juice
  1. Heat 1 T. oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add red pepper and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about 1 minute.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until juices evaporate, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in scallions and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer to plate.
  6. Season pork with ½ t. salt and ¼ t. pepper.
  7. Add remaining 1 T. oil to skillet and heat.
  8. Add pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and meat is slightly pink when pierced to the center with tip of sharp knife, about 5 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with flour and stir with wooden spoon to coat pork.
  10. Add wine and ½ c. water and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits in pan with wooden spoon.
  11. Return vegetables to pan and cook until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve hot.

Please see my disclosure policy.

Spicy Thai Beef & Rice


Spicy Thai Beef & Rice
Serves: 4
  • ¾ lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ t. crushed red pepper
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • ¾ c. Jasmine rice
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • ⅓ c. chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ⅓ c. chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat large frying pant over high heat. Add beef; stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes or until browned.
  2. Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper; stir-fry 1 minute longer.
  3. Mix in carrots, rice 1-1/2 cups water and soy sauce.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  6. Mix in mint and cilantro.
  7. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Ground chicken can be substitued for the beef.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1¼ cup Calories: 356 Fat: 15 g Carbohydrates: 34 g Sodium: 518 mg Protein: 19 g Cholesterol: 59 mg

Please see my disclosure policy.

Slow Cooker Chicken

This is an easy slow cooker recipe that is warm and satisfying.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves-or-
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 T. butter
2 (10.75 oz.) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced

  1. Place the onion, chicken, butter, and soup in a slow cooker.
  2. Fill with enough water to cover.
  3. Stir until soup and water have combined.
  4. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High.

Meal Suggestion:

Make a pot of rice and heat up some green peas. Serve up bowls of chicken, broth, rice and peas

Please see my disclosure policy.

Salsa Chicken Rice Casserole


  • 1 1/3 C. uncooked white rice
  • 2 2/3 C. water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 10.75 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 10.75 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C. salsa



  1. Place rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place chicken breast halves in a large saucepan and fill the pan with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until done.  Remove chicken from water.
  3. Cube chicken when it is cool enough to handle.
  4. Chop onion and cook in a small skillet until translucent.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, onion, and salsa.
  8. Layer 1/2 of the rice, 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 of the soup mixture, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture in prepared dish.
  9. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly.


This is a flavorful dish even my 2 year old loves.  It makes enough for a second dinner the following week.

Please see my disclosure policy.