Easter Chick Cupcakes

Easter Chick Cupcakes

You know I love the Wilton Candy Eyeballs, right?  I had to make an Easter cupcake with them.  I made these Easter Chick Cupcakes

 First, I frosted the cupcakes with yellow frosting.  Next, I “dipped” them in coconut dyed with yellow food coloring.  With a little dab of frosting, I added the Wilton Candy Eyeballs.  The beak is a jelly bean cut into a triangle.  You could also use a gumdrop.  I think they’re cute!!

Frugal Tips:  Look for your Easter baking supplies and candy at ALDI food stores.  I was surprised to see name-brand candy there like Peeps, Starburst Jelly Beans (what I used for this project), M&Ms, Hershey, and others.  For Wilton supplies, I look at Michael’s Craft stores.  They regularly have a 40% off one item coupon (both in the Sunday paper and via their mobile app) that often can be put towards the Wilton Baking Supplies.


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  easter cupcakes

 

Asian Glazed Salmon: A Flavor-Packed Dinner in Under 30 Minutes

asian glazed salmon ruby tuesday

The best thing about salmon, other than its great flavor, is the fact that it’s good for you.   It’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to lower your cholesterol and improve your memory (among other great things).

When it comes to preparing salmon, I often get stuck in a rut.  I went about searching for recipes the other day and came up with this one.  I love that this dish can be made in under 30 minutes from start to finish.  The red pepper flakes add a kick, but you can dial back the heat by adding more or less according to your taste.  Hoisin sauce is almost like an Asian molasses.  I found it in the ethnic section of our regular grocery store, but if you have trouble finding it you can always get it on Amazon.com.   If you want to go the frugal route, don’t get it at all and substitute molasses.  It won’t be as authentic-tasting, but it will still be good.

Frugal Tips:  Many people avoid eating salmon because it tends to be expensive.  A bag of four salmon fillets is just $4.99 in the freezer section at ALDI Food Stores.   When you offset a dish like this by serving it with rice, the cost is actually very reasonable.

This was originally posted on Mommysavers:  Ruby Tuesday copycat salmon

Asian Glazed Salmon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ C. brown sugar
  • ⅓ C. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 salmon fillets
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and fresh lime juice. Heat in a medium saucepan until bubbly. Place salmon fillets in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the fillets, coating well. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

 

 

Sweet and Savory Party Poppers

sweet and savory party poppers

These Sweet and Savory Party Poppers were one of the best things I sampled at the ALDI Taste Kitchen Event.  Thanks to the ALDI kitchen team and Chef Alyssa for sharing the recipe.

Frugal Tip:  ALDI has a variety of gourmet cheeses as seasonal offerings during the holiday season.  Goat cheese, brie, edam, and gouda are available for about 30-50% less than what you would pay at your typical grocery store.  View photos of ALDI 2012 fall seasonal offerings.

Sweet and Savory Party Poppers
Recipe type: appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These sweet and savory party poppers require only four ingredients, but will be a big hit at your next party!
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. pitted dates
  • 4 oz. brie cheese round
  • 6 oz. slivered almonds
  • 1.5 lb. thick sliced bacon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cut dates in half lengthwise.
  3. Cut brie into bite-sized pieces (about the size of a peanut). Place a piece of brie and 4 almond pieces on the open half of the date; place the other half on top.
  4. Quarter the bacon slices and wrap tightly around the stuffed date. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil an place wrapped dates on top.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until bacon is crispy.
  7. Serve warm.

 

Why is ALDI so much cheaper than other supermarkets?

aldi store

WELCOME FACEBOOK FANS Don’t forget to “like” Frugal Bites on Facebook too! - Kim

Why is ALDI so much cheaper than other supermarkets?  Curious shoppers want to know how they can offer groceries for 20-50% less than their competitors without compromising quality.  After visiting the ALDI Test Kitchen and headquarters in Batavia, IL last week I now have a better understanding.  Let’s clear one thing up right away: It’s not by offering inferior products.   ALDI products undergo considerable testing by their own staff and 3rd party consultants before deemed worthy of offering to the marketplace.  The ALDI business model has been so successful because of their staunch attention to streamlining the process from start to finish.

Why is ALDI so much cheaper than other supermarkets?

  • ALDI stores offer a narrow selection of 1400 high-volume products as opposed to the typical 40,000 or more by supermarket giants.  Because they only offer products with high turnover, their overhead is lower.  Perishable products like milk, meats and produce arrive 5-7 times per week, so there’s no need to rotate inventory for freshness.
  • No coupons or credit cards are accepted.  Debit cards are accepted.
  • Customers “rent” a cart by depositing a quarter, and return it at the end of their trip which eliminates the need for ALDI associates to corral them.
  • ALDI employees well-trained to multi-task.  Only 3-4 employees are required per shift, which helps keep cost down.  They are put to use in all areas:  stocking, cleaning, and checking out.  They work hard, but are compensated well.  In the Chicago area, ALDI associates start at $12.65 per hour.  Plus, part-time employees with as few as 20 hours per week are eligible for medical and dental coverage.
  • Stocking the shelves is also much faster.  Products don’t have to be taken out of the box at ALDI.  Boxes are designed with colors that blend in with the product packaging – an effort known as the ”invisible case” project.   Heavier things like flour and sugar are left on the pallet.  Milk arrives on racks so that 80 gallons can be shelved in just five seconds.
  • Stores use energy-efficient refrigeration and lighting.  New stores use a lot of natural lighting; older stores are being retro-fitted with energy efficient lighting.
  • Produce is individually packaged and sold by the unit to avoid weighing at checkout.
  • Sale signs are reusable and can be changed manually.
  • At ALDI, the checkout process moves at lightning speed.  Since ALDI stocks their own private label items, they also design the packaging for optimal efficiency.  With  3-6 large UPCs on each package, scanning is much quicker.
  • Customers purchase bags (or bring them from home) and bag their own groceries.

Did you enjoy this information?  Order my book:  Instant Bargains: 600 Ways to Shrink Your Grocery Bill and Eat Well for Less

View our entire ALDI Photo Gallery on Mommysavers.com.
aldi milk

ALDI milk arrives on racks to facilitate restocking

why is aldi so much cheaper than other supermarkets?

Multiple UPC codes on packaging make scanning easier

why is aldi so much cheaper than other supermarkets?

Products are shelved in boxes

why is aldi so much cheaper than other supermarkets?

Sale signs are reusable at ALDI

aldi labels

Sale signs are changed manually and reusable

aldi produce

Produce at ALDI is packaged to avoid the need for weighing

Having Fun in the ALDI Test Kitchen

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Shopping at ALDI is one of my favorite ways to save money on groceries. Not familiar with ALDI? It’s a limited selection grocery store that carries about only about 1,400 products compared to the 40,000+ at most supermarkets. Because their square footage is smaller (about 15,000 sq. feet per store) and they turn over their inventory quickly, ALDI has much lower overhead costs. Luckily for savvy consumers, they are able pass on those savings to us.

Right now I’m at an ALDI holiday test kitchen event at their corporate headquarters in Batavia, IL. Last night we got to taste-test ALDI products against their name-brand competitors and as you can see from the photo above, had lots of fun! We sampled a variety of cheeses, wines and crackers and then had a delicious holiday dinner presented by food stylist Janice Stahl. ALDI aims to not only meet the standards of those name brands, but exceed them. That commitment to quality was evident in the tasting. I consider my palate to be somewhat refined for a frugal foodie, and in almost EVERY case I chose (somewhat surprisingly!) the ALDI product over the more expensive one.

Today, we’re heading to an ALDI store and back to their headquarters for more touring. I’ll be bringing you even more information and tons of photos after I get back. Tweet me with your ALDI questions @frugalbites or post your inquiries on the Frugal Bites Facebook Wall. Or, follow along on Instagram today by following me @kimdanger as well as the hashtag #intheALDIkitchen.

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