Category Archives: Taste

Column: Nontraditional gifts for families

As the Christmas season approaches, I’ve been receiving some emails from readers asking about gift ideas, particularly for children, teens and families: “Dear Jill, Any ideas for budget-minded gifts for grandkids, ages 7 through 14? I don’t want to buy the usual things that will gather dust and would prefer not to buy electronics. Daniel… Continue Reading

Savory pot roast adds warmth to fall

Savory pot roast adds warmth to fall

Coat a Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat on medium until hot. Add 1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless beef blade chuck roast; brown evenly. Pour off drippings; season roast with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add 1 cup Burgundy or any dry red wine and 2 tablespoons minced garlic; bring to… Continue Reading

Clean eating starts in your kitchen

The phrase clean eating is related to farm to table thinking. This includes reading labels and becoming mindful of where ingredients come from and the process by which they go from farm to table. You are more in control of what goes into your body when you cook and eat from a plate and not… Continue Reading

Readers share more service-saving tips

Last week, I shared some reader feedback regarding saving on a variety of services — everything from handyman work to auto maintenance to lawn care. My original column on this topic generated a flood of reader responses. Here are a few more: “Even if your readers are not terribly handy, there is a great tool… Continue Reading

Ham and cheese never tasted so good

Ham and cheese never tasted so good

FANCY-SCHMANCY HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICHES 1 tablespoonwhole-grain mustard 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise 4 slices Italian bread 6 ounces leftover ham slices 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese Black pepper 2 whole eggs 1/4 cup skim milk In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard with 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise. Spread half of mayonnaise mixture on 4 slices Italian… Continue Reading

Easy cauliflower sides

Cooking has evolved such that there are really no bad ways to cook any vegetable. I like cauliflower  for its raw crunch but I also like it baked as an appetizer, steamed and mashed like classic potatoes and used to make the crust for a savory pizza. Here is how to add this versatile vegetable… Continue Reading

Triple-berry banana smoothies

Triple-berry banana smoothies

In blender, cover and blend 3/4 cup frozen mixed strawberries, blackberries and blueberries (from a 10-ounce bag), 1 cup sliced banana, 1/2 cup skim milk and 1 (6-ounce) container vanilla yogurt on high 1 minute or until smooth (for 2 servings). Continue Reading

Column: A change in the weather

With the change in the weather comes thoughts of seriously tasty food. I made the first batch of chili last week, and my soup pot will stay out now till spring. Try something different this season by starting with this easy recipe. Introduce the kids to grownup tastes by starting with these appetizers. The beer… Continue Reading

Warming up to hummus

I’ve had a hard timing warming up to hummus in general. Even though my diet is primarily plant based I just haven’t been able to do it. I’ve experimented with baking dried chickpeas and adding them to salads and such to boost protein numbers, but so far I’ve drawn the line at hummus. That is… Continue Reading

Couponing tips: A taxing Halloween candy issue

Trick-or-treating time is right around the corner, and if you live in an area where children will be out and about, ringing doorbells and looking for treats, chances are good that you may be handing out Halloween candy.  Depending on where you live, though, did you know you might pay more tax on certain kinds… Continue Reading

Black beans, barley combine for a spicy dish

Black beans, barley combine for a spicy dish

BARLEY AND BLACK BEAN PILAF Servings: makes 9 cups Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: about 65 minutes; standing time 5 minutes INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth 1 cup uncooked pearled barley 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili… Continue Reading

The inside scoop on price matching and coupon doubling

Whether shoppers have been couponing for many years or recently picked up the scissors, they often have questions about saving with coupons. Consumers often write with questions about double couponing and price matching. I’m always happy to help answer and shed light on these confusing topics: “Dear Jill, Two months ago I moved to Florida… Continue Reading

Fall in a bowl

Fall is the time when all the comfort food recipes come out in full force. The chili, stews, dumplings, hearty soup and pasta dishes combine with the cooler weather and lack of daylight-saving-time light. Everything seems to slow down so we have the time to enjoy what is going on around us. The glorious selection… Continue Reading

A sweet little salad

A sweet little salad

Slice 2 pounds ripe, cored tomatoes (any kind) into 1-inch chunks. Tear 20 fresh mint leaves into small pieces. Thinly slice a medium sweet onion. Place tomatoes, mint and onions in a medium bowl. Add juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and some pepper.… Continue Reading

Eat your oatmeal

Here we are, 10 months into the year, and now we know what the hot dessert of fall will be. According to The Wall Street Journal the “IT” dessert of 2015 is the oatmeal cookie. Recently I made a batch but substituted dried cherries for the typical call of raisins. Along with a chopped up… Continue Reading

Crazy coupon policies

To use coupons, one need only present them at checkout and receive the corresponding discounts, right? Most of the time, that’s the case, but depending on the kinds of coupons you’re presenting, a store may deny perfectly valid coupons at the point of sale. Retailers’ coupon policies outline how coupons can be used at a… Continue Reading

Fire up the grill for flank steaks

Fire up the grill for flank steaks

Chipotle-marinated flank steak Servings: makes 4 (3-ounce) servings, plus 1 steak reserved for later Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 6 hours to overnight Cooking time: 11 to 21 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes INGREDIENTS 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons chipotle chiles in… Continue Reading

An old favorite made better

Daughter Ryann and I were sitting watching the Create channel on TV a few weeks ago and tuned in to  the chef Lydia Bastiani doing her thing. She is one of the most intuitive cooks to watch. It is a choreography of sorts and is fascinating to see. I always pick up hints and tips… Continue Reading

Product downsizing strikes again

Product downsizing — also called “shrinkage” — is nothing new. As production costs rise, manufacturers have a choice: Either charge more for the same product or shrink the product’s ounces while charging the same price. As always, my readers have been adept at spotting shrinkage in the marketplace: “Dear Jill, We like a brand of… Continue Reading

Tasty fruit tarts can top off any meal this week

Tasty fruit tarts can top off any meal this week

These easy fruit tarts will delight your guests. Mash or puree 1 cup fresh strawberries until saucy. In a medium bowl, stir 4 ounces softened, reduced-fat cream cheese until smooth; gradually blend in mashed strawberries. Stir in 1 tablespoon honey. Divide mixture among 6 purchased graham cracker crumb tart shells. Top with 1 1/2 cups… Continue Reading

Column: Dew it better

These cooler days that signal the beginning of fall are a chance to try dishes that combine unique flavors of late summer fruit and that of staples from the pantry. This recipe fits that bill. Try a few new recipes and incorporate the one that is your favorite into your menu plan. Pasta Salad with… Continue Reading

How does it work with coupons by the pound?

“Dear Jill, I would like you to explain why some stores get their coupons reimbursed by the pound instead of the actual coupon values. I have known about this for many years and I have seen my grocery store weighing bags of coupons at night. Doesn’t someone lose money here? A $5 coupon weighs the… Continue Reading

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