Thursday, June 7, 2012

Celebrating Safeway June Dairy Month with Spinach Ricotta Bread & Banana Pudding Cakes



Safeway has been a store I have shopped since I was a teenager. My mom shops there and I would go with her. I have had my own Safeway Club card for 15 years now. I love to get great BOGO deals, digital coupons and personalized deals on my club card. The savings stack up at Safeway. Plus there is often great coupons that print out after you check out. We often get the $10 when you spend $75 deal when its offered. I am all about saving money.

This month Safeway is running a June Dairy Month promotion for the movie Ice Age Continental Drift. When you spend $40 on select Dairy products at Safeway and their affiliate stores you will get a voucher for 2 FREE Movie tickets to go see the movie. My son likes the other Ice Age movies and we are so excited to be able to see the new one when it comes to theaters.




Look for the displays and specially marked items with the Ice Age June Dairy tags on the products that count towards your $40 to earn your tickets. You have all month to accumulate the $40 worth of the June Dairy products. Your Safeway Club card will keep track of your purchases. I wanted to get my tickets right away so I spent $40 on the select Safeway June Dairy products in one trip.




I made a few items with my Dairy products. Some are simple such as fruit and cheese sticks. My son loves them. He wont eat some items alone but if I put it on a stick he loves it. He also loves smoothies. I make them daily with yogurt, milk and whatever fruits I have on hand.



I am having my mother in law over for dinner tonight so I am making a few favorites and something I have never tried before. After flipping through my new cookbook The Farm to the Table I saw a spinach and feta filo pocket appetizer and thought I would like to make something similar but simpler to do.

Spinach to me is special. Sounds funny I know but its the green veggie that led me to like other green veggies. As a kid and even a teenager I refused to eat lettuce of any sort. The texture and the flavor was not for me. As an adult I knew this was silly and I needed to eat my veggies. After having a spinach salad I was amazed. The flavor was so good and the texture was great. That started my love affair with all things spinach. I now love all veggies and have been using spinach in all sorts of recipes to get my son to eat it. I sneak it into smoothies sometimes too! 

Inspired by the cookbook and what I found at Safeway on sale I decided to make Spinach Ricotta Bread. It tastes great and made the house smell delicious.



Spinach Ricotta Bread

Ingredients:

6 oz. Frozen Safeway Chopped Spinach (little more than half the box)
5 oz. Precious Ricotta Cheese (1/3 of the container of 15oz)
1/4 cup of dry Parmesan Cheese Powder
1/4 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of minced garlic (more or less for your own preference)
2 pinches of ground pepper
1 Loaf of Pillsbury French Bread
 1/4 cup of shredded Sargento Cheddar Jack Cheese


First set out the frozen spinach on the counter top to defrost. If you are in a hurry like I was you can heat it up in a sauce pan with water to melt it. Drain and allow the spinach to cool while you make the cheese mixture.


In a separate bowl from the spinach add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and milk. Mix until all the powdered cheese and milk are incorporated into the ricotta. After the spinach has cooled add the garlic and pepper. Mix the cheese mix and spinach together. Taste as you make it. If you need more garlic or parmesan cheese add as needed to your own taste.


After opening the Pillsbury French bread dough cut it into small even portions. Flatten out the bread to make a flat circle. Scoop in a spoon size amount of spinach cheese mixture. Fold the sides of the dough over the mixture and pinch to close. They will open as you cook them. Pinching them close will make it so the mixture will not fall out and the bread will cook around it.




Bake on 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven. When the bread is almost done and the dough starts to look golden pull them out and sprinkle the Sargento Shredded Cheddar Jack on the middle of the bread and put back in the oven to melt.


I also wanted to make a quick and easy dessert that is inspired by my husband. As a kid his mom would make a simple treat for him. Bananas, milk and sugar mashed together. My husband makes it for me all the time. Its simple but so good! I wanted to make it into something nice to be able to serve to my mother in law and son. Plus when you buy the cakes and pudding already made its just simply putting it together.



Banana Pudding Cakes

Ingredients:

2 Jello Pudding Chocolate and Vanilla cups
3 Bananas
1/2 Milk
1/4 Sugar
4 Hostess Shortcakes
Dark Chocolate for topping




 I like to use the bananas that have the spots on the outside. The banana is really sweet. I make this dish often when no one has eaten the bananas and I do not want them to be wasted.



Mash 2 1/2 bananas in a bowl. Save half of one banana for topping the cake. Its easiest to mash the banana by itself then add the milk and sugar. Mix together until the sugar and milk are incorporated. That alone is a great treat. Good to add to yogurt and ice cream too.



Next I add the pudding first to the cake, the other way around and the pudding will slide off the top of the banana mixture. ( I realized that the messy way!) Add half of the pudding cup to each shortcake. Then add a spoonful of banana mixture to each pudding cake. Top with banana slices to hold it all together. Then grate dark chocolate over the top of the cakes and set in the fridge 10 minutes before serving.




The Safeway June Dairy products include some of the Simply juices and Yoplait yogurt. I made smoothies with them. Its a simple way to get fruit, juice and yogurt. I added orange juice, milk, bananas, peach yogurt and blueberries. The other is cranberry juice, milk, bananas, cherry yogurt and blueberries. So simple and delicious. #JuneDairyMovies


For dinner I kept it simple with Johnsonville Chicken Sausage with peppers and cheese sprinkled with Sargento Cheddar Jack.


All the items I made from my purchase at Safeway for the June Dairy Ice Age Movie promotion. Easy to do and so good!



The two recipe items I made with my Safeway June Dairy products #JuneDairyMovies


For ideas on what to make with your June Dairy products you can visit Easy Home Meals for recipes.




*This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.
All opinions expressed in this shop are my own and your experience may vary. #Cbias #SocialFabric #JuneDairyMovies
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