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#241471 04/07/06 09:07 AM
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A few summers ago, I was invited to have dinner at the home of friends who sell seasonal fruits and vegetable for a living. This family's produce is sought out for its superior quality; only the ripest, sweetest, most perfect fruits and vegetables appear in their market.

It was strawberry season and my hosts served an absolutely glorious strawberry shortcake, for dessert. The strawberries were exquisite, of course, and the shortcake biscuits were flaky, tender and delicious. When I complimented my hosts, they laughed. The secret to this irresistible dish, they told me, was serving their own pristine fruit with freshly whipped heavy cream...and biscuits they purchased from KFC!

This pairing of wonderfully fresh ingredients with perfectly-matched purchased prepared food items is one of my favorite ways of cooking. I think serving savory homemade soups with fine bakery breads or specialty crackers, matching beautiful scoops of homemade ice cream with spectacularly manufactured cookies...and even serving a simple, roasted chicken with a distinctive purchased tapenade makes a meal more special!

What's your favorite meal-enhancing prepared grocery purchase?


Eileen Brown
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I put a bit of jam on my mcdonalds burger. It tastes divine.


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When I make salads with bagged greens, I like to add really good olives and marinated mushrooms - the deli at my supermarket has a big selection. They MAKE the salads!

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Our grocery store has recently added a nice selection of olives and mushrooms. I love to eat them on a deli platter but I think I will try your suggestion and serve them with salad next time.

When I am pressed for time but I want to serve a homecooked meal, I buy cooked meats. Our grocery store (HEB) has many of their own brand of prepared meats that are excellent. A spiral cooked glazed ham, roast beef, and italian chicken breasts are our favorite. They are already cooked so you only need to heat and add side dishes. Very yummy!

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Rachael Ray did a show not long ago with a "dipping" theme. She made French Dip sandwiches using
pre-sliced deli roast beef and a package of au jus mix (jazzed up with some shallots and sherry).

She gave the roast beef slices a quick bath in the hot au jus to warm them, piled the beef into a crusty rolls and served her snazzy au jus on the side.

I tried the recipe out one night. It took about 5 minutes to prepare and got thumbs up all around.

Gotta love those deli meats! <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />


Eileen Brown
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The Dole bagged salads have been a lifesaver for me. It doesn't get any easier than that!

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I love putting together chili and a baked potato from Wendy's Extra Value Meal--- mmmm... delish!


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I love the great frozen stir-fry veggies. A quick meal; just add your meat, seasonings and soy sauce. Cook and serve over rice. The frozen egg rolls are not bad either and come with packets of sweet 'n sour sauce.

Sharon


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Instant mashed potatoes.

Of course the ones that require milk and butter to make taste better, but I love the instructions that say: 1. Put hot water in bowl. 2. mix in potatoes. 3. Serve

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My favorite convenience foods are ones that I make myself and have on hand in my pantry, so they are actually "convenient".

www.lulu.com/gingerscookin

Look for "Make Your Own Mixes" by G. Morgan.
You can buy it as an ebook, downloadable to your computer, or as a real book for your shelf
(I hope it doesn't stay on your shelf! It's easy to use ;))

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