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What To Make With What’s On Sale: apples, arborio rice, flour, and coffee

Time for What To Make With What’s On Sale! Let’s get to work pulling together what’s on sale in Colorado Springs with what’s in our pantries from previous weeks, and plan meals for our families that maximize those sales.

Apples, Apples, Apples!

Sunflower Market has nine – yes, NINE – varieties of apples for $0.57/lb this week!  So, clearly apples are a good addition to as many meals as you can fit them in. :)

My friend Amy has a long list of apple recipes you need to check out!  I’m also liking the looks of these Fried Green Apples from Cheeky Kitchen and Lynn’s Caramel Apple Bars look amazing.

If you don’t like dipping apples in sweet stuff, you’re crazy.  I’m planning on trying out this caramel recipe from Food Network soon.  Someday, someday, I will make caramel without burning it.  A simple mixture of cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon is also a yummy apple dip, and some people have said it’s divine with some Heath bar mixed in.

So, uh, now that we have our desserts planned for the week…

Arborio Rice

Another great deal this week is the bulk Arborio rice at Sunflower Market.  It’s $1.49/lb which is the absolute lowest I have ever seen it!

Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that cooks up very creamy.  It’s what you use to make risotto, and trust me: there is no substitute for it.

Here’s a couple of risotto recipes: this recipe for Dirty Risotto is a great one-dish meal.  There’s been some great deals on red bell peppers and Italian sausage lately, so maybe you have some in your freezer to pull this together and make it a relatively inexpensive meal.  Parmesan Risotto is a simple, basic side dish that we love with fish or something like Parmesan Chicken.

Risotto has a reputation for being kind of fussy, and it can be – for it to be the absolute creamiest that it can be, it needs to be stirred nearly constantly, with the broth added just a ladleful at a time.  But, honestly, you can cheat and just stir it nearly constantly instead of truly constantly. :)  Here’s a video explaining how to make risotto.

Flour

Albertsons has a great price on flour this week, though it kind of got buried in the matchup with all the other deals they have!  It’s $1 for five pounds, and last time they did this sale, even whole wheat was included!  Hopefully we’ll see this sale often this winter.

I’m trying to get back into the habit of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day.  It’s a super easy way to make bread, and while I wouldn’t say it’s 100% authentic artisan, it’s much better than what you’d buy at most grocery stores!  The big disadvantage is that it does take up room in your frig, but hey – bread without having to knead it?  I can sacrifice some frig room.

A big batch of cinnamon rolls would be perfect to take advantage of that rock-bottom price on flour… except, where have the butter sales been?!

Coffee and Creamer

King Soopers has good prices on both Seattle’s Best and Starbucks Coffee, and Coffee Mate creamer is free after coupon!  I love iced coffee, but of course that means you have to brew it ahead of time and cool or freeze in order to have a cold drink.

Jeremy brewed me almost a gallon of decaf coffee (he’s definitely the coffee maker in this family!) and then froze it into ice cubes.  When I need a mid-afternoon treat, I put some ice cubes in a blender, pour in some creamer and milk and maybe some chocolate syrup, and then blend it up for a much cheaper than Starbucks treat.

I tried doing similar with cold coffee and plain ice cubes, but it made a pretty watery drink once the ice started to melt. By freezing the coffee, it keeps the drink tasting good even after it melts!

Well, those are my ideas!  What are you making with what’s on sale this week?

Check out previous weeks’ What To Make With What’s On Sale posts for more ideas!

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  1. I’ve made the caramel recipe from the Food Network a couple times now…. it is great! It really sticks to your apple & doesn’t slide off as so many others do. I also made some for a oatmeal caramel bar recipe rather than buying caramels to melt (way cheaper). Funny thing is, my oatmeal caramel bars are so similar to Lynn’s caramel apple bars with one exception – I use chocolate chips not apples in mine!
    For the record, the caramel recipe works with brown sugar, if you happen to be out of white (it will have a richer, more treacle type taste). You can also use half & half in place if the heavy cream, if you happen to be out of that too!
    Enjoy your apples!

  2. So how long can apples be stored? Either in the fridge or a cool, dark place?
    I’m certainly going to give the cream cheese-sugar-cinnamon dip a try!

  3. Here are a few of my favorite apple recipes:

    Warm Caramel Apple Cake
    http://mybrazilianlife-michele.blogspot.com/2010/10/recipe-for-warm-caramel-apple-cake.html

    This cake has been a hit this fall so far!!

    New Year’s Apple Challah–you can use up a bunch of flour & apples with this recipe!!
    http://www.tammysrecipes.com/new_years_apple_challah

    Please don’t wait til New Year’s to make this delicious apple bread. It is absolutely amazing. The process is a little long, but it is soooo worth it!!!!

  4. This recipe is always a big hit:
    Linda’s Apple Brownies Recipe #226737 from recipezaar.com
    The first time I had these I thought I had died and gone to heaven… This recipe is in the Top 5 for my FAVORITE desserts… Add a scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream on top of one of these YUMMY brownies when they are warm, is the ULTIMATE in desserts in my opinion!
    by Linda’s Busy Kitchen
    40 min | 10 min prep

    SERVES 12 -16

    1/2 cup margarine (I used light tub margarine)
    1 cup sugar (I used 1/2c Brown sugar and 1/2c white sugar)
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
    1 cup flour (I used 1/2c whole wheat flour and 1/2c white flour)
    1 cup macintosh apples or other sweet apple, peeled, and chopped (you want to use a nice sweet apple) (I used 1 small golden delicious and 1 small gala)
    Preheat oven to 350.
    Soften margarine.
    Mix all ingredients together in a lg. bowl.
    Bake in a buttered 8×8″ baking dish, for 30-40 minutes. (I broiled for a few minutes at the end for a crispy crust)
    Let cool, cut, and then store in a plastic container.

  5. Oh I’ve been looking at that book and thinking about trying it. You’d recommend it then? I have such inconsistent luck with normal bread. Is their method consistent? Even at this altitude?

    • Carrie Isaac says:

      Yes, it’s consistent – I did have some trouble with the middle of some of the loaves being a *little* bit doughy, so I think I need to actually read through the high altitude instructions and tweak it a bit to prevent that. It was kind of weird – it wasn’t like it wasn’t done, it was just a little “clump” of dough that wasn’t quite done.

  6. My favorite thing to make with arborio rice is rice pudding (from the Smitten Kitchen site). As for apples, we make a ton of applesauce and then freeze or can. It’s very easy with a food mill…

  7. Okay, it’s official…I have to go buy more apples, now. These recipes sound so yummy.
    Also, I think there’s an IP out there somewhere for the rice. Can’t remember where i got it.

    • Carrie Isaac says:

      There is, but I think it’s only for the bags of rice as opposed to the bulk Lundberg rice sold at Sunflower. :(

  8. I LOVE APPLES. I buy a lot and I mean a lot. Can them, freeze them, bake them yumm. My favorite thing to do with apples right now is apple butter in the crock pot. Core your apples (yes leave the peal on) fill up your crock pot half full. Pour 3 cups of sugar and your own variety of spices (I do a large pile of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) fill the rest of the crock pot to heaping full of apples, place the lid on and cook for 12 hours (smells up your house). When they are really mushy run them through your blender and voila you have apple butter. You can then freeze it or pour it back into a pot to boil then can.

    • Wow, thanks so much for this idea. I love apple butter AND I love using my crockpot! Back for more apples (again!….)

    • Carrie Isaac says:

      I’m going to have to try the apple butter, too! I’ve made applesauce before, but even with one of those peeler things it was very time-consuming. I can do apple butter if you don’t have to peel them!

      • Carrie- I do not peel my apples for applesauce- I core and slice them and put them in the crockpot with 1/4 C water on the bottom & with honey and cinnamon on top. Cook for a few hours on low- then blend them up…my kids LOVE it- have canned about 20 jars of this!!

    • Rach, do you core & slice, or just core your apples before putting them in the crockpot? Your recipe sounds wonderful … can’t wait to try it!

  9. Here is a yummy William Sonoma recipe for risotto:

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/risotto-with-spinach.html

  10. I know it’s kinda past the season for it, but I use coffee creamer(coffee-mate that’s been on sale/coupon) instead of half n’ half in homeade ice cream. It’s an easy way to flavor it, and it’s super yummy!

  11. Okay, so I love to experiment in the kitchen, try new recipes & adapt old ones.
    Here are some things I did to the recipes listed in the post.
    1) The recipe for caramel at food network – I’d highly recommend using 1 & 1/2 cups of white sugar & 1/2 cup of light brown … it gives the caramel great flavor.

    2) Use the caramel recipe in place of the caramel topping & flour listed as ingredients for the caramel apple bars (Lynn’s recipe). It will cut your cost down & tastes good too.

    3) With the caramel apple recipe, use 1 & 1/2 cups of melted butter, if you prefer things more moist. I will also chop the apples next time rather than slicing. It takes approx 3 apples to give you 3 cups sliced apples. It order to “sprinkle” the remaining mixture on top of the bars, pretend you are rubbing butter into flour & that will break it up nicely!
    As I stated in a previous post, the recipe is almost identical to one I use for caramel bars … if you don’t eat apples, or prefer chocolate, then pour the caramel onto a baked crust & sprinkle one bag of chocolate chips on top, before topping off with the remaining oatmeal mixture.

    Me, I’m looking forward to eating some apple caramel bars, once they cool!

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