Ginger Martin's Blog

Posts from June 2014


Saving Money In The Kitchen
Every time I go to the grocery store I like to check the bottom of the receipt where it says, “You saved *X* amount with us today”.  It kind of gives me a thrill to know I did some smart shopping.  I try to buy items that are store specials and store brands like Roundy’s.  I also like using coupons and I found a really cool way to do it electronically now when I shop at my local Copps and Pick N Save stores.  I have their Fresh Perks card.  I’ve had one for years and now when I visit www.copps.com or  www.picknsave.com I can actually select the coupons I want from their E-Clips section and load them directly onto my Fresh Perks Card.  Then when I shop I don’t have to worry about carrying around little slips of paper that may get lost in my purse.  They’re all on my Fresh Perks Card that gets scanned when I check out.  Instant savings with just a click.  Pretty cool.  You can find out more how E-Clips works click here.  Grocery shopping is so much fun now.        
 
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Veggie Season
I am very into gardening and I’m growing some of my own vegetables this year.  But when I want to make something that calls for veggies I don’t have I head into Copps to pick up what I need.  I know their produce is always going to be super fresh.  For this recipe I’m going to pick up an eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash.  Oh….and the charcoal.  I’m ready to fire up the grill tonight.  Even if it does rain.  Here’s the recipe I’m going to try from the Copps/Pick N Save website.

Grilled Vegetable Stacks

2 whole eggplant, sliced into ¼” rounds
1 pinch salt
1 whole yellow squash, sliced into ¼” rounds
1 whole zucchini squash, sliced into ¼” rounds
2 whole tomatoes, slice into ½” rounds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2-1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 pinch black pepper ¼ cup diced red pepper

Preparation

Sprinkle eggplant with salt and layer in a colander.  Weight down with a plate and set aside to drain for 20 minutes.  Brush salt off eggplant with paper towel and pat dry.

Fire up the grill.  Lightly brush all vegetables with oil, then grill, turning once, until tender and slightly charred, about 30 second per side for tomatoes, 2-3 minutes per side for eggplant, squash and zucchini.

Whish together oil, vinegar, parsley and basil in a mixing bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  To assemble stacks, place 1 eggplant slice on a plate, then top with a tomato slice, a second 3eggplant slice, a squash slice then a zucchini slice.  Repeat process to use up all veggies.  Drizzle with dressing and top with deiced red peppers.

Serves:  8    

 
 
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Time Is Precious
I knew it would happen.  One day I would wake up and suddenly have the responsibility of taking care of my aging parents.  That day is here.  I know most everyone has to go through this and now it is my turn.  Recently my dad fell and broke his hip.  He is now in a rehab facility learning how to be mobile again. 

I know people say you can do just about everything you did before after a hip replacement.  It just takes time.  But there are a few things I do NOT want my dad to do anymore for fear he’ll fall and break his other hip.  Those things include walking up and down his porch steps in winter carrying arm loads of wood for the fireplace.  I put my foot down on that one.  I also don’t want my parents driving long distances anymore.  Quite honestly, I don’t want my parents to have to care for the house I grew up in anymore.  They should enjoy the next decade of their lives not having to worry about the yard work or house repairs. 

So, the next step is finding them a nice retireme
nt community so they can downsize.  It’s a lot of work caring for aging parents.  And a lot of worry and stress, but in a strange way I am enjoying the responsibility and the time I get to spend with them to become even closer to them as they age.  I’m blessed to still have my parents and want to keep them with me for as long as possible. 
 
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Light Summer Eating
If you’re like me, the hot weather really curbs my appetite.  I just don’t feel like eating as much in the summer.  And when I do eat, it’s usually just small, light meals.  That’s why the Copps/Pick N Save websites are so helpful.  They give me dozens of recipe ideas that are on the light side and perfect for summer meals.  I love fruit in my vegetable salads and this is a nice treat from the normal “fruit” on salad recipes.  It’s fabulous.  Hope you’ll give it a try too! 
 
1 whole head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, chopped
1 whole head red leaf lettuce, washed and chopped
1 whole Belgian endive, washed and chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 cups sliced apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
¼ chopped walnuts
 
Preparation

Wash and dry greens. Tear or chop greens into bite sized pieces.
Whisk lemon juice and mustard together in a salad bowl.  Add olive oil and whisk with mustard and lemon juice to combine.
Toss sliced apples, tomatoes, raspberries and walnuts with the greens.
Drizzle with dressing and add salt and pepper to taste

Serves :  4    Cook Time:  10 minutes

 
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Topics: Hospitality_Recreation
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Locations: Washington




 
Hot and Healthy
I’m just like you….busy, busy, busy.  I don’t have time to make six trips to the grocery store in one week because I forgot this item or that item.  That’s why I love the Copps and Pick N Save website so much.  It gives me recipe ideas I can make for the week and a place where I can create my own grocery list of the things I’ll need for those recipes.  All I do is print it out and I’m sure not to forget anything.  Here’s an easy recipe that I’m excited to try this weekend.  I’m having a little fire pit party and this will be great for dessert.  For more recipes and the handy shopping list click here.

Strawberry-Banana Sorbet

1 whole banana
3 cups frozen strawberries, cut into equal pieces
½ cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail from concentrate
1-2 tablespoons honey

Preparation

Peel the banana and wrap it in plastic.  Freeze for at least 1-1/2 hours until solid
Place strawberries in a food processor.  Process with on/off pulses until finely chopped; stop several times to scrape down the sides of the container.  Process the mixture for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. 
With machine running, add the juice concentrate.  Process for 1 minute, or until completely smooth.
Slice the frozen banana.  With the machine running, slowly add the slices.  Process for at least 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Sweeten to taste with honey; process briefly. 
Serve immediately or transfer to a chilled storage container and freeze for 30 minutes

Yield:  serves 6

Prep time:  90 minutes

 
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Let's Get Healthy
I am on a mission to eat healthier so I’ve made some changes.  I always read labels, try to eliminate as much sugar as possible and add even more fruits and veggies to my diet.  And I am happy my favorite grocery store is cheering me on.  Copps is committed to sourcing locally grown produce so I know what I’m buying will always be fresh and help support our community.  I can also find healthful recipe ideas on the Copps website.  Here’s one I plan on trying this weekend.  
 
Crudites Salad
2 whole medium carrots, peeled
1 whole medium turnip, peeled
8 oz. gruyere cheese
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon salt
1 pinch of black pepper
6 cups of lettuce, rinsed and dried

Preparation
Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice each vegetable and the cheese into julienne strips. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, and black pepper. Toss the reserved vegetables and cheese with the dressing and chill for at least 1 hour.

Divide the lettuce among the salad plates and place equal amounts of the vegetable mixture on top of the lettuce. Serve.
Yield
Serves 6
Cook Time
Prep Time: 20 mins.

Find more great Copps recipes here.
 

 
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Spicy Coleslaw
This should be a hit at your next family picnic!
 
4 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cupes shredded red cabbage
2 whole green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream or yogurt
¼ cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt, to taste
Place all the vegetables in a large bowl.

To make the dressing whisk together the garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce in another bowl or blend in a food processor until smooth.

Toss the vegetables with the dressing and coat evenly. Add salt and pepper as needed. Find more great Copp's recipes here.

 
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Flora and Fauna
This year I went hog wild with my landscaping.  I figured since Spring took so long to get here, I might as well take full advantage of being outside now that it finally IS here.  So, I have flowers planted in window boxes and containers and along the side of my house.  It took a few days to plant them all, but boy do they make me happy when I pull in the drive every day after work.  One of the first things I do when I get home is get out the hose and water them, dead head the old flowers and move pots around to make sure they're all getting enough sun. 

The other thing I've done with my landscaping is add a new bird feeder system.  It's one of those feeder pole systems that allows you to add all different kinds of feeders.  I have a new Oriole feeder this year along with a hopper, a finch feeder and another tube feeder that is squirrel proof.  Each one has different types of seed, so I'm hoping to get all different types of birds all year long.  

And of COURSE, I planted tomato plants this year.  Wisconsin 55s!  I wanted to grow big tomatoes this year so I will have plenty of green ones to fry in a couple of months.  If you've never tried a fried green tomato, you don't know what you're missing.  You'll find my easy recipe for them here.     

   
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