July 16, 2008

Share Your Cost-Cutting Recipes: Food Columnist Nicki Lefever Talks About Her Favorite Summer Meals.

By Nicki Lefever, York Daily Record, Pa.

Jul. 16--Summer is a busy time in the world of food.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are in season, companies are releasing new products, and the nice weather begs for food fundraisers and events.

This summer is no different, but it seems a lot of people are watching their dollars, me included.

I try to cook more at home. Instead of buying Chips Ahoy!, I bake cookies. I throw together meals with items I already have rather than running to the grocery store for a few ingredients. I stock up on sale items, loading my freezer and pantry. I use leftover rice to top my lunch salads and herbs from the garden to flavor my sandwiches.

Betty Crocker's Web site, www.bettycrocker.com, has a section called "I've Got That," which helps home cooks transform their pantry items into meals.

I never knew how much you could do with pancake mix other than make pancakes. I found a recipe for Italian Pizza Bake that uses the mix as a crust. Italian Pizza Bake is simple, and you can top it with whatever leftover ingredients you have in the fridge such as vegetables, cheese and meats. See the recipe for Italian Pizza Bake on 3D.

I've done a seafood pizza with imitation crab meat and feta cheese. You can top half with meat and half with veggies. The recipe serves two, so you can make more of a variety for larger families. And regular pancake mix works, too.

I'd love for you to share your money-saving recipes. Send to York Daily

Record/Sunday News, c/o Nicki Lefever, 1891 Loucks Road, York, PA 17408-9708 or e-mail [email protected]

In other food happenings:


--Grub out at Bogey Macaws, Springwood Golf Course in York Township, with a Crab Feast on the Deck. All-you-can eat crab and corn-on-the-cob is from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday for $24.95. John Chapman will entertain. For reservations, call 747-9663.

Oyster cook-off:

The 29th Annual National Oyster Cook-Off is looking for recipes in three categories -- hors d'oeuvres, soups & stews and main dishes. Deadline is Aug. 1. To enter and see rules, visit

www.marylandseafood.org or request a hard copy by calling 410-841-5820. The grand prize is $1,300.

Other tidbits

--Summer calories got the best of you? Check out www.Calorieking.com for a detailed nutritional breakdown of your favorite foods.

--Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 781 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, is serving Maine Lobster Bake through Aug. 31 for $26.95. A half lobster bake is $21.95. For details, call 291-9800 or visit www.ironhillbrewery.com.


--From 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 9, Kids in the Kitchen/Back to School teaches children ages 9 to 17 how to prepare back-to-school meals. Cost is $35. Or, sign up for Culinary Bootcamp. The four-session class is designed to teach kitchen safety, food preparation and other basic techniques. Parents who register can bring one child. Cost is $195. The class is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 29 and 31 and Aug. 5 and 7. Both classes are at Harrisburg Area Community College Lancaster Campus. For details, visit vc.hacc.edu or call 358-2901.

--The Yorktowne Business Institute's School of Culinary Arts, 1063 N. George St., North York, announced its latest cooking classes. Classes are $50 unless noted. To reserve your spot, call 800-840-1004. A complete list is available at www.yorkchef.com.

--4 to 8 p.m. July 26, Sicilian Encore!

--6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 13, Essential Cooking: Knife Skills, $25

--1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 23, Two for the Dough -- Pizza & Focaccia

Local Flavor is a monthly column on food-related news. [email protected]; 771-2101.


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, stir Bisquick mix, egg product, water and garlic powder; spread in pan. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook bell pepper and onion over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in chicken, tomatoes and Italian seasoning; cook until hot. Spoon over batter. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until golden brown; loosen from sides.

Recipe provided by Betty Crocker


As the food reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News, I receive loads of information about new and exciting products. Here are some that recently came across my desk.

--- Farmland Dairies launched Special Request Skim Plus fat-free white and chocolate milk products in 12-ounce plastic grab-n-go bottles. Made with 100 percent cow's milk and no artificial hormones or antibiotics, the milk retails for $1.49. For details, visit www.farmlanddairies.com.

--- Bulls-Eye Barbecue reformulated its sauces by removing high fructose corn syrup. The flavors -- Original, Hickory Smoke, Sweet & Tangy, Brown Sugar & Hickory, Hickory Smoke -- are $2.09 for 18 ounces, $3.09 for 28 ounces, $3.89 for 40 ounces and $6.59 for 80 ounces.

--- American Italian Pasta Company introduced Heartland Perfect Balance pasta. It looks like traditional pasta, but has the nutritional benefits of whole wheat. The pasta is available in angel hair, spaghetti, rotini, elbows and penne shapes and cost $1.30 per 14.5-ounce box.

--- To celebrate the release of "The Dark Knight," The Hershey Company made Special Edition Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bats and Reese's Dark Peanut Butter Bats. Reese's Pieces Candies Batman-themed are black and blue and Kit Kat Dark Knight Bars have an imprinted Bat-Signal on standard and king size bars. The movie comes to theaters Friday.

--- Boca meatless products introduced Boca in a Bun Chik'n & Swiss Sandwich, convenience foods for vegetarians, 10.1-ounce packages with two individually wrapped sandwiches for $3.99.


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