Chocolate has a very long history. It was first used in Central America about 3000 years ago. At first it was used in beverages, but over the centuries it has spread world wide and assumed a myriad of forms. Chocolate as we use it most commonly today, in candies, baking, and still as a beverage, is one of the most beloved foods in the world. It symbolizes luxury and love, and is particularly associated with Valentines Day.
Many forms of chocolate are on sale this week, along with other staples of Valentine’s Day, roses, cards, wine and stuffed animals.
As always, the prices given here are for our region and may not apply in other areas. Sale prices can only be obtained at Safeway and Fry’s with a membership card. Sprouts uses no cards and has double ad Wednesday every week, when you get the prices from both last week’s ad and this week’s.
|1 Dozen Roses||$19.99||$19.99||$12.99|
|Large Rose Arrangement||$39.99||$39.99|
|Rib Eye Steak||
Boneless, Super Value Pack
Bone in, Family Pack
Boneless, Az raised
$5/each (4.5 oz)
Wild caught, previously frozen
$4.99/ech (4 oz)
Wild caught, previously frozen
$4.99/eacbh (4 oz)
Wild caught, previously frozen
|Chocolate Dipped Strawberries||
$8.99/box of 6, in bakery
Chocolate Dipping Station
Feb. 12--12 pm to 4 pm
Feb 13--3 pm to 7 pm
Feb 14--3 pm to 7 pm
$8.99/box of 6
|$3.99/box of 6|
On Sale This Week
Fry’s will give 4x fuel points on gift cards bought between February 1 - February 14, select types only. Restrictions apply, see Associates for details;
$1.99/lb—Grapes, seedless, red, black or green
$1.25/each—Avocados, Hass, Large
$2.50/box—Blueberries or Blackberries, 6 oz.
25% off all items at service counter, prices reflect reduction
$1.49/lb—Pork, Shoulder roast, whole in bag, bone in
Buy One, Get One Free—Pork Tenderloin, marinated, Hormel
$1.77/lb—Chicken, Heritage Farm, boneless breasts or thighs
$2.97/lb—Beef, boneless roasts, chuck, shoulder, round or tip
Other Good Deals
$1.99/gallon—Milk, Fry’s brand, white or chocolate,
$2.50/lb—Butter, Kroger brand
$.99/each—Cereal, Quaker Cap’n Crunch or Life, limit 6
$7.99/lb—Chicken Breast, Boar’s Head, In Deli
Buy One Get One Free—Thomas’ English Muffins or Entemann’s Little Bites, select varieties
$.89/each—Michelena’s Entrées, frozen
This week Safeway starts a Monopoly game. If you wish to play, start collecting game pieces now. Watch for special shelf tags showing items which will receive Bonus Tickets. For prizes and details see displays in store.
$2.50/each—Strawberries, 1 lb box
$10.99/lb—Lamb, Frenched rack, bone in
$2.49/lb—Pork, Center cut loin chops, bone in, family pack
$1.77/lb—Chicken, boneless skinless breasts, tray pack
Buy One Get Two Free—Pork, center cut loin chops, boneless, or Loin back ribs
Other Good Deals
$1/each—Hershey’s xl bars, 4-4.5 oz, when you buy 4
$1.88/each—Cereal, Raisin Bran, Great Grains, when you buy 3, limit 1 reward
$1.88/each—Refreshe Water, 24 pack, limit 4
$1.77/each—Sun chips or Doritos, when you buy 3, limit one reward
$1.49/each—Bread, Oroweat, 24 oz
$.88/each—Yogurt, Chobani Greek, select varieties
$.88/lb—Grapes, green, seedless
$.69/each—Tropical Red Mangos
$.69/each—Bell peppers, red, yellow, orange
$1.98/lb—Tomatoes, Organic, Heirloom
$2.98/box—Blueberries or Blackberries, 6 oz-5.6 oz box
$.98/each—Avocados, Organic, Hass
$7.99/lb—Lamb chops, pasture raised, fresh-never frozen
$4.99/lb—Beef, ground fresh in store daily, Arizona raised, 93%lean
$12.99/lb—Beef, Fillet Mignon, never frozen
$1.99/lb—Chicken, thighs or tenders, Value Pack
20%off—Organic All natural Chicken Sale, Sprouts brand, Whole and parts
Other Good Deals
$6.99/lb—Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, pre packaged, in Deli
$3.99/lb—Cheese, Monterey Jack, Bulk cut, in Deli
$4.99/lb—Fruit and Nuts, Dark Chocolate Covered, select varieties, Bulk
$2.99/lb—Quinoa, white or tri-color
$3.99/each—Talenti Gelato, 1 pint, select varieties
$6.99/lb—Coffee, Gourmet, select varieties
One ingredient you may not be familiar with is Espresso Powder This is not just instant espresso coffee, but an intense powdered espresso. It is available on-line. If you can’t find it you can use the more commonly available instant espresso, but you will have to either dissolve it with the wet ingredients or powder it finely in a spice grinder or mortar if you need to use it dry. Espresso Powder is worth seeking out. It lasts a long time in the freezer. You only need to use a small amount for most recipes. Try adding a little (1 teaspoon or so) to your chocolate chip cookies. It adds a faint but delicious mocha taste. You may need to experiment with the amount if you need to use instant espresso.
Stock photo by Unsplash
Chocolate Espresso Brownies
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 Tablespoons Espresso Powder or 1 Tablespoon instant espresso
2 Tablespoons coffee liqueur (or substitute brandy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 recipe chocolate glaze (optional)
Use an 8x8 inch baking pan. Line pan with non-stick aluminum foil, or use regular aluminum foil and grease it well. Make sure the foil extends over the edges of the pan.
Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly. Take pan off heat while there are still some small pieces of unmelted chocolate in the pan. Take off heat, stir until all chocolate is melted. Let cool to room room temperature.
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, Set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric beater until thickened. Add espresso powder, liqueur and vanilla until just combined. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture, stirring with a spoon until just combined. Do not over beat. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
Bake in a 350º oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until top appears set and dry and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, not any liquid batter. Do not over bake. A little underdone is better than over done.
If you like you can spoon the batter into a muffin pan, using aluminum liners. Watch carefully to avoid over baking, it might take as little as 12-15 minutes. Do not fill the cups more than 1/2 way. Either way you should get 16 to 24 servings. Let cool in pan totally before cutting. You can use the foil to lift the uncut brownies out of the pan.
In a medium saucepan combine 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips,1/4 cup butter and 2 Tablespoons milk. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour glaze over brownies before removing them from the pan. Let sit in a cool place until glaze is set.
Stock photo from Graphic Stock
Although they look and taste amazing, truffles are quite easy to make! There are a number of different schools of thought, some recipes use sweetened condensed milk, others use whipping cream. They can be flavored in many ways, usually with a liqueur such as Amaretto, Cointreau or Kailua. For a good range of possibilities see the Ultimate Chocolate Truffle Guide.
What follows is a basic recipe I like. Experiment and have fun.
Chocolate Truffles My Way
8 oz good semi-sweet chocolate (not chips) around 60% cocoa. Chop until pieces are quite small, saving all bits, pieces and powder.
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract or 1-2 Tablespoons liqueur (Amaretto or other of your choice)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
Place chocolate and butter a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan heat cream over low heat to a bare simmer. Scrape down sides. Add extract or liqueur. Pour cream over chocolate and butter. Allow to stand a minute or two. Whisk until mixture is smooth. What you have now is called “ganache”.
Cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Mix the cocoa powder and espresso powder together in small bowl. Now line a plastic storage container with plastic wrap. Put a little of the cocoa powder on your hands.Take about 1 Tablespoon of the ganache, roll it into a ball, then roll the ball in the bowl of cocoa powder. I use a small spoon to help coat the truffles with the powder. Put the coated truffles in the plastic lined container. When all are coated, cover the container and return the truffles to the refrigerator for an hour or two to firm up. They will be good for a week or so in the refrigerator, if they aren’t eaten long before that. They should be served at room temperature, so take them out of the refrigerator at least an hour or so before.
Many different coatings are possible. Some common ones are powdered sugar, raw sugar, finely chopped nuts, coconut, colored sugar and of course chocolate. I prefer to just roll the completed truffles in unsweetened cocoa powder, or even better in cocoa powder mixed with a little espresso powder. If you want to cover them in chocolate you should investigate the making of tempered chocolate. Tempering is a skill which will be useful if you want to cover anything with chocolate, strawberries for example, or candied orange peel, etc, etc.
This video offers a good explanation of the science and art of tempering:
If you would like to have some the very best filled chocolate candies ever, I highly recommend Woodhouse Chocolate They are a family based business in St. Helena CA, in the Napa Valley. If you ever travel there it is fun to visit their sales room, where you can pick out your assortment from the available chocolates. They are not inexpensive, but they are very good. And you can order on-line. They have special arrangements for delivery, so be sure to check the shipping and handling information. Check out their website!
(True disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this shameless plug, darn it!)