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Strawberry smoothies: Incorporating the goodness of fruit into our daily lives

January 7, 2015

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIES Make strawberry smoothies for dessert. For 2 smoothies: place 1 (6-ounce) container low-fat yogurt, 1 cup fresh strawberry halves (or frozen unsweetened whole strawberries), 3/4 cup 1 percent milk and 2 tablespoons Fiber One cereal in a blender. Cover; blend on high 10 seconds. Scrape down sides of Read More

Column: A bolder bird

One new theme I’ve detected so far this year is of food writers origin. Several periodicals are serving up stories on how to liven up the plain chicken dinner. The January/February cover of “Cooking Light” features “Chicken 25 ways.” It would seem that most of us need to try a few new recipes in 2015 Read More

Mexican beef stew: Start the new year off with some pizzazz

December 31, 2014

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick MEXICAN BEEF STEW Servings: Makes 8 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: about 2 hours INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons canola oil 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1 cup lower-sodium beef broth 1 cup prepared thick and chunky salsa 2 medium zucchini, halved Read More

Column: In the end, a very bad coupon deal for everyone

December 24, 2014

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. I often wonder what people are thinking when they attempt to beat and cheat the system with coupons. Are they so zealous about pursuing a good deal for themselves that they ignore the greater consequences of their actions? Read More

Column: Let the good times roll

For years and years I made cut-out cookies for Christmas. I invested hours icing and decorating these beauties and found a special cookie tin that I used to keep them in. Cookie tins are magical, kind of like those button tins that our grandmothers and mothers always had. Open one up and you could spend Read More

Celebrate with friends and family, and savor zucchini, seared sirloin

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick ZUCCHINI AND SEARED SIRLOIN Servings: Makes 4 servings Preparation time: 25 minutes; marinating time: about 20 minutes Cooking time: less than 10 minutes 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak Dressing: 4 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger Read More

Column: The digital divide: coupon apps for the device-less

December 17, 2014

“Dear Jill, In regards to this new trend of having stores’ coupons on your phone: This is a very aggravating situation to me as I am sure it is to others. I don’t have access to a cell phone to do this with, so therefore I cannot take advantage of the coupons. I think this is Read More

Breakfast 101: cheesy bacon and egg casserole

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick CHEESY BACON AND EGG CASSEROLE Servings: makes 12 servings Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: less than an hour; standing time: 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 8 slices bacon 1 medium onion, chopped 1 (8-ounce) loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (5 cups), divided 2 cups shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar Read More

Column: Crazy for cranberries

I’ve been experimenting lately with making cranberry salads. Stephen likes them so much and I’ve never tried to make one because the deli always had the one he liked. This is my answer to cranberry salad. Place a bag of picked fresh cranberries in a saucepan with 1 cup of water and 1 cup sugar. Read More

Column: Putting an end to the ‘Color’ debate

December 10, 2014

Jill Cataldo is a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three. Is it better to print coupons in color or black and white? I’ve addressed this question in my column on several occasions previously, but the debate apparently rages on: “Dear Jill, You’ve said it is OK to print coupons in color or black Read More

Seriously delish: Creamy slow cooker chicken noodle soup

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick CREAMY SLOW COOKER CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP This creamy slow cooker chicken noodle soup is just what you’re looking for on a cold evening. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces, 1 medium chopped onion, 3 sliced carrots, 2 Read More

Column: The 12 doughs of Christmas

Use one basic cookie dough, divide it into quarters, add a little peanut butter here, some peppermint or cinnamon there to create an amazing variety of holiday treats. Here are a few examples of what can be done with a basic cookie recipe. Basic Cookie Dough You can make 4 types of cookies from 1 Read More

Column: Showing off the stockpile of savings

December 3, 2014

Jill Cataldo is a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three. “Dear Jill, What’s your opinion about posts people make on Facebook with pictures of all the products they get? Chris M.” With the advent of social media, people are able to share anything and everything in real time — whether it’s a status Read More

A colorful dish for a family meal: Baked cod with cherry tomatoes, chickpeas offers a break from the norm

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick BAKED COD WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND CHICKPEAS Servings: Makes 8 servings Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 to 24 minutes INGREDIENTS 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided 2 teaspoons paprika, divided 1/8 cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided 2 pounds skinless cod fillets, Read More

Column: Almost heaven

Leftover mashed potatoes can be uplifting. Yeah, turkey and cranberry sandwiches are great, but have you ever tried using leftover mashed potatoes to make wonderfully savory croquettes? Simple mashed potatoes lend themselves to great additions like chives, or green onion. Here is a basic recipe to get you started. Potato Croquettes 2 tablespoons milk Salt Read More

Column: Readers respond to extreme savings tips

November 26, 2014

Jill Cataldo is a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three. A few weeks ago, I printed a reader’s email that contained some unusual suggestions on how to save money. Many of these suggestions ventured into the realm of the extreme. My readers were quick to send their own responses to some of the Read More

Yum – candied sweet potato casserole: A simple side dish that will add a sweet treat to the holiday table

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick CANDIED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE Servings: Makes 10 servings Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: about 1 hour INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch Read More

Column: Gingerbread for breakfast

This time of year gingerbread rules. For some reason cooler weather seems to bring out the recipes with heftier calories. Something in our DNA probably, leftover from when cold weather could easily mean starvation. The cooler weather of fall mornings means something substantial for breakfast, such as these special pancakes. Gingerbread Pancakes Whisk together 3 Read More

Column: Readers share more savings tips

November 19, 2014

Jill Cataldo is coupon workshop instructor and mother of three. As promised, it’s time to feature more of your savings tips! Readers of this column sent all of the following ideas to me. While this batch doesn’t specifically involve coupons, there are some good ideas here for saving money in many areas of life. “While Read More

Turkey burgers with feta and herbs

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick TURKEY BURGERS WITH FETA AND HERBS Servings: Makes 6 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 to 26 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes INGREDIENTS 2 1/4 pounds ground turkey (not turkey breast) 6 ounces (1/2 cup) part-skim ricotta cheese 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1/2 Read More

Column: How to organize a potluck Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is always a special time to gather around the table with family and friends to celebrate the joys of the season. Many people lead such busy lives that it is hard to find the time to clean the house, put up decorations, cook a big meal and still have enough time to enjoy the Read More

Column: When frugality is taken too far

November 12, 2014

Jill  Cataldo is a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three. In a recent column, I featured a list of ultra-frugal savings tips – some of which had me asking myself, “Is this really the best way to save money?” I enjoy featuring reader emails regularly in this column and I feel there’s value Read More

Top sirloin steak with asparagus and tomato orzo

By Susan Nicholson Universal Uclick TOP SIRLOIN STEAK WITH ASPARAGUS AND TOMATO ORZO Servings: Makes 6 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 21 to 25 minutes for beef, plus orzo INGREDIENTS 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds) Coarse salt 1/3 cup lower-sodium beef Read More

Column: Easy baked applesauce

Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 20 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists. This sauce is delicious pared with roast turkey or pork, and you can prepare it up to three days ahead. For best results choose apples that break down easily when cooked, such as Read More

Column: What to do for November

October 31, 2014

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener. Remember to vote. Daylight savings time ends  Nov. 2 — fall back 1 hour. Inside: With the holidays approaching, ready your refrigerator with a good cleaning. Wash interior wall with 2 tablespoons of baking soda mixed Read More