Sales, Menus & Recipes: Comfort Food 101

16 April 2020  
Lots of time? Let’s cook!

Well we have a lot of time on our hands, and limited social opportunities, Let’s cook. Foods are gradually returning to grocery shelves, although cleaning supplies are still hard to locate. Why not make something tasty, something your Mom or Grandmother used to make (or your Dad, my brother used to fix a mean macaroni for his kids.)

And if you have suddenly become a home schooler, why not teach those kids some kitchen science. Just be patient, and always have them help with the cleaning up.

Of course everyone has their own favorites. Commonly mentioned:

  • Pizza,
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich,
  • Mac-and-Cheese,
  • Chips and Salsa or Nachos,
  • Chicken Soup,
  • Chocolate,
  • Ice Cream,
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (warm, homemade from scratch,)
  • Steak,
  • Potato Soup,
  • Spaghetti with Meatballs

Some slightly less common: Popcorn, Mashed Potatoes, French Fries. Some that sound weird: Grilled Nutella and cheese sandwich, Cheese its,  Comfort food in the U.K. Pork Pies and Tea, In Mexico Tacos, in Taiwan, Spicy Beef Noodles.

So find your family recipe box, or try some of these suggestions.

Store Hours still the same this week. Fry’s and Safeway have paper ads, though they are smaller than they would normally be. Sprouts ad is digital only, but is 2 pages this week. None of the stores have special sales.

Are you aware that the cotton face masks that are recommended do not do much to protect you, but do a lot to protect those you might come in contact with, like grocery clerks. Grocery clerks are in the front lines on this virus pandemic, and we should be sure to think them, wear masks to help protect them (which work best if we keep our hands clean and away from our faces.) In one study in Iceland where they did extensive testing, they found that up to 50% of those who tested positive had no symptoms. 


Most popular—Pizza (perfect take out food.) Tip, if you’re picking it up bring a big towel or insulated bag to keep it hot.

Most Popular make-it-yourself—Mac-n-Cheese

Want it Easy, OR Want it fancy and EXTRA Cheesy

Number One for a lot of people—Chicken Soup

The Perfect Chicken Soup, Jewish Style

A quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade stock is best, see below

Vietnamese Chicken Pho

Many Cultures find Chicken Soup Comforting

Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

Italian Meatballs

The Meatballs, the Sauce, serve with whatever pasta, polenta etc you like

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some good tips and tricks here. If you have any Espresso Powder (not Instant Expresso) try adding a teaspoon with the dry ingredients. It won’t give a “coffee” flavor, just an interesting little lift.

Nutella and Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Of course some of us just spoon the Nutella out of the jar and eat it. Very comforting.)

Anna at epicurious recommends this very highly. 

For two sandwiches

4 slices white bread (or bread of your choice)
2 Tablespoons Nutella (or other hazelnut Chocolate Spread)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (divided) or Jackm or mozzarella
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Spread Nutella on 2 bread slices. Top with cheese, then remaining 2 slices of bread.

Heat 1 Tablespoon butter in large skillet. Adjust heat to medium. Put in both sandwiches, cook until first side is golden brown. Turn sandwiches, add remaining butter, continue cooking until both sides are browned. Total cooking time should be about 5 minutes. Watch out, don’t let the Nutella get too warm and run out of the sides. Let cool slightly before eating. 

Killer Nachos

Corn Chips (Blue Corn are good)
Grated Cheddar or Jack Cheese
Chunky Salsa, Heat up to you. If there is a lot of liquid in salsa, drain out most of it.
Maybe some diced avocado

Use paper plates, then you don’t have to try to get the melted cheese off.

Place a single layer of chips on a plate, it’s ok if they overlap a little.

Sprinkle a handful of cheese over all chips

Now dot salsa all over, not too much or the chips will get soggy

Sprinkle on some diced avocado if using. Not too much.

You can make a second layer if you wish, but not more than 2 layers or the chips will get soggy

Place in microwave and heat until the cheese melts, timing will depend on microwave, cheese and size, just watch carefully until most of cheese is melted.

Eat immediately!

Some basic recipes for cooking from scratch.

Dark Chicken Stock—Make a bunch now while it’s cool. Freeze and use all summer for cold and hot soups.

Make your own Condensed Milk

Home Made Cream Cheese—Really Easy

Hazelnut Spread, Make it yourself

And a Couple of Bonus Recipes

April 20 is National Cheddar Fries Day

April 20 is Also National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day

Best Deals in Stores This Week


Beef Roast—$2.99/lb, Chuck, boneless
Beef Steaks—A$6.99/lb, bone in, Super Value Pack
Pork—$1.99/lb, Half Loin, Whole in Bag
Fish—$4.99/lb, Fresh Tilapia, wild caught
Plant Based—$3.99/2 8 oz patties, Emerge, Simple Truth
Avocados—$.77/each, large haas
Bell Peppers—$.88/each, red, yellow, orange, OR English Cucumbers
Citrus—$2.99/3 lb bag, Cara Cara, Heirloom Navels, Minneolas
Watermelons—$1.99/each, whole, seedless

Save 20% on all Home and Patio Merchandise, Must have Digital Coupon


Chicken—$2.47/lb, B/S, Sold from Full Service Butcher Counter
Pork—$3.99/lb, Loin Chops, boneless
Squash—$.99/lb, yellow or zucchini
Tomatoes—$1.99/11 oz box, Grape
Berries—$3.34/6 oz box, Raspberries, Blueberries or Blackberries
Chips—$1.77/bag, when you buy 3, Cheetos, Doritos, Ruffles, limit 1 offer
Kellogg’s Cereal—$1.88/each, when you buy 3, limit 1 offer


Ground Beef—$3.99/lb, Grass Fed, product of USA
Chicken—$1.99/lb, B/S tenders or thighs
Pork—$2.99/lb, Ribs, Back or St Louis Style
Tomatoes—$.77/lb, Roma
Asparagus—$2.98/lb, Organic
Avocados—$2/each, Large Haas
Kiwifruit—$2.98/2 lb pkg
Berries—$1.25/box, Strawberries, Blackberries
Mangos—$.50/each. red, honey
Oranges—$.88/lb, Cara Cara

Cindy LaMaster