30-Minute Magic


The ribbons and bows are flying. The kitchen is covered in flour and sugar and you’re barely able to make it out the door to grab those final stocking stuffers. The last thing you need to worry about during the final stretch ’til Christmas is what to make for dinner. Get on Santa’s Express with these easy and delicious 30-minute meals.

Pancetta Pappardelle
Irish Potato Pizza
Kung Pao Turkey Sliders
Cheesy Mexican Waffles
Thai Pesto Noodle Salad
Broccoli, Chicken and Cheese Sandwich Puffs
Butternut Squash, Bacon and Harvarti Sandwiches

Crab Season is Here!





John Beuter, Seafood Category Manager

Learn more about what makes John an expert.

Everyone waits for it each December – the arrival of fresh West Coast Dungeness crab. It’s a bit like an early Christmas when those fresh meaty crabs arrive in our stores, so let’s get ready to celebrate!

  1. Dungeness crabs are the meatiest crabs available – as much as 25% of their body weight is edible.
  2. Dungeness crabs are caught in pots from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to Point Conception, California. Currently, most of are crabs are local – from the Bay Area or the California coast.
  3. Our crabs are cooked for you, so they’re ready to go when you buy them.
  4. Our butchers are happy to crack and clean your crabs for you. Just ask at one of our Meat and Seafood counters.
  5. Make sure you stop by the kitchen utensils section – the place where there are spatulas and pans in your store – and you’ll find nutcrackers. The ones we sell also come with picks, which makes it easier to enjoy your crab.
  6. Since our crab is already cooked, make sure to add it at the last minute if you’re using in a recipe, as it can dry out.
  7. In the mood for cioppino? You’ll find a premade sauce in our Seafood Department (try our Quick Cioppino recipe). But I like to make mine from scratch.

Homemade CioppinoCioppino

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth or 2 cups fish stock
2 cups dry white wine
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil or 1-1/2 tsp. chopped dried basil
Pinch sugar
1 or 2 cooked Dungeness crabs, cleaned
9 fresh clams, scrubbed
9 fresh mussels, scrubbed
1 lb. cod fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb. bay scallops

Prep: 30 minutes, Cook: 45 minutes, Serves: 4 (generous servings)

  1. Heat oil in a very large stockpot. Add onion; sauté until soft. Add garlic and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, wine, parsley, basil and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. (The broth can be made ahead at this point and refrigerated up to 8 hours. Reheat before adding seafood.)
  2. Add crab; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add remaining seafood, tucking under crab so that it is in the broth; simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until shrimp is pink and clams and mussels are open. (Discard any that do not open.) Serve with lots of crusty French bread.

Gluten-free Holiday Cookies


Baking during the holidays is a tradition beloved by all. For those with Celiac Disease or trying to limit their gluten intake, holiday baking can be a challenge – but it’s not to be discouraged!

We have some chewy, gooey and utterly delicious gluten-free holiday cookie recipes sure to knock your (or Santa’s) socks off:

Gluten-free Chewy Cherry Coconut Cookies
Russian Holiday Cookies
Chocolate Covered Macaroon Brownies
Flourless Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
Chewy Almond Spice Cookies
Super Soft Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Men



The Powerful Pom


Known as the “seeded apple,” this holiday favorite is an excellent way to jump-start your new year’s health resolutions.

Pomegranates are fiber-rich and low in calories, which make them great for an afternoon snack. They aid in immunity, iron absorption and help maintain strong bones with vitamins C and K. Pomegranates are also loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols. Studies show that polyphenols can help reduce the risk of cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth. They also promote blood circulation and have anti-aging and skin-protecting nutrients.

You can munch, sip, slurp and juice your way to a healthier 2015 with these recipes:

Pomegranate Glazed Carrots
Salmon with Pomegranate Ginger Glaze
Berry Champagne Slush
Fennel-and-Endive Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Walnuts
Spring Green Salad with Pomegranate Seeds & Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Quick tip: How to seed a pomegranate

  1. Roll pomegranate to loosen the seeds.
  1. Slice pomegranate in half.
  1. Hold each half over a bowl, seeds facing down, and gently tap the outside with a wooden spoon to release the seeds.
  1. Each pomegranate has 600 seeds, called arils!

Be Prepared for Unplanned Guests

Check out our expert Patty Mastracco with Lisa Gonzales on KCRA Channel 3 talking about how to prepare for those unexpected guests.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 1.39.17 PM

Traditions from the Kitchen


Rugelach cookies are a traditional Jewish pastry, often served during Hanukkah. These crescent-shaped cookies consist of a gooey filling rolled up in a triangle of dough made with cream cheese. They’re buttery, flaky and oh-so good!

Today marks the first day of Hanukkah, and whether you’re Jewish or not, we think you’ll enjoy celebrating the Festival of Lights with these sweet treats.

This recipe is courtesy of Carol Nicosia-Whelan. These cookies make excellent gifts.

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
3/4 cup currants or finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Prep: 20 minutes, Chill: 8 hours or overnight, Cook: about 20 minutes, Makes: 32 cookies

1. Beat cream cheese and butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer until creamy. Add flour and salt and mix until smooth. Divide dough into two flat disks; wrap well and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F and let dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes for easier rolling. Roll each disk into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; brush with melted butter.

3. Stir together remaining ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle equal amounts over dough. Cut each circle into 16-pie shaped wedges, then roll each tightly, starting at the wide end. Place on large baking sheets and sprinkle with additional sugar; bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

The Spice is Right


Turn the classic combo of ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon into something more than just deliciously spiced cookies.

Gingerbread Caramels
Gingerbread Bread Pudding
French Toast
Lightened Up Gingerbread
Vegan Gingerbread Waffles
Pumpkin Gingerbread Biscotti
Overnight Gingerbread French Toast Breakfast Bake
Gingerbread Scones
Gingerbread House Cake

Twenty Holiday Gift Ideas for Mason Jars


Wondering what to get the neighbors? Your kid’s teacher? Your dog-sitter?

If you’re tired of baking the same batch of holiday cookies every year, check out our top twenty recipes for gifts in a mason jar. Bonus: they come in their own reusable packaging! And we’ve made gift giving even easier for everyone on your “nice” list with printable labels.

Spreads & PreservesMasonJarLabels
Roasted Olive and Grape Spread     
Rosemary Plum Jam
Cranberry Citrus Marmalade
Apple Bourbon Syrup
Vanilla Berry Pearsauce
Minty Fudge Sauce
Preserved Lemons
Chipotle Ketchup
Cilantro Pesto
Tomato Corn Salsa

Sweets & Snacks
Cranberry Coconut Cookie Mix
Oatmeal M&M Cookie Mix
Chocolate Peppermint Drop Cookie Mix
Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles
Holiday Honey CaramelsMasonJarTags
Honey Nut Munch
Tangy Zucchini Pickles

Savory Mixed Nuts       
Mexican Mocha Walnuts       
Brandy Spiced Pecans

Decorate your mason jar gifts with our holiday printables: jar lid covers and gift tags & labels!

Have your chocolate and eat it, too


Hot cocoa has held up its reputation of warming up rose-cheeked kids after a day of playing in the snow, but the cocoa beverage just so happens to be a delicious elixir too. Dark chocolate is a superfood that studies suggest may improve mood and decrease stress and anxiety. You can reap in cocoa’s super benefits with just one sip!

  • Theobromine is a mild mood enhancer that can help lower blood pressure and help with cough relief – just another reason to drink it up in the winter!
  • Tryptophan releases serotonin to the brain, which is a natural “feel good” neurotransmitter.
  • Phenylethylamine increases alertness, excitement and mood.
  • Flavonoids are antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain and can help improve the cardiovascular health and reduce disease. Chocolate can have as much as 5x the flavonoids of an apple!

Bundle up and get healthy with these delicious winter sippers:

Deep Twilight

1 cup So Delicious Cashew Milk
3 squares Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Dark Chocolate Baking Bar
1 to 2 tbsp. agave syrup or honey

Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe mug; microwave on HIGH for 90 seconds, stirring halfway through cooking time. Stir until well combined. Makes 1 drink.

Earl Grey Cocoa

1 cup milk alternative
1 bag Earl Grey tea
3 squares Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Dark Chocolate Baking Bar
1 to 2 tbsp. agave syrup or honey, to taste

Combine milk alternative and tea bag in a microwave-safe mug; Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, then let steep for 3 minutes. Remove tea bag and add chocolate. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute more or until chocolate is melted, stirring halfway through cooking. Add honey to taste. Makes 1 drink.

Holiday Mocktails


Who says you need alcohol to make a tasty holiday drink? These festive mocktails will leave you feeling jolly as Saint Nick.

Cheery Cherry
Caramel Coconut Hot Cocoa
Cranberry Tangerine Rosemary & Cream Soda Mocktail
Ponche Navideno (Hot Fruit Punch)
Cranberry Citrus Spritzer
Festive Cranberry Fizz
Cranberry Cutie
Fennel Apple Spritzer
Candy Cane Milkshake