The Scramblog

Making Healthy Family Dinners Happen with Less Time, Money and Stress.

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce I briefly forgot how incredibly easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce.  I couldn't resist buying a bag of beautiful red cranberries during Thanksgiving season. As I've been trying to eat little to no added sugar lately, I wanted to make a low-sugar cranberry sauce. This version of low-sugar orange-ginger cranberry sauce is tart but we love the flavor to perk up the muted taste of turkey. You can, of course, always add more maple syrup to taste.Makes about 2 cups of sauce, 8 servings, 1/4 cup each Prep + Cook = 15 minutes1 lb. fresh cranberries 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or more to tasteIn a saucepan, combine the cranberries, juice and ginger, bring it to a boil. Partially cover it and simmer it for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are very tender and the sauce is thick. Stir in the...
  Nov 6, 2015   Easy Holidays/Entertaining, Recipes

Festive and Easy Holiday Cocktail Recipes

While some people know me as a family dinner expert, one of my favorite hobbies is mixology. I have a great time mixing cocktails and someday I hope to write a book of easy and fun cocktails and appetizers, which I have been developing for years.I am a member of a professional culinary organization called Les Dames d’Escoffier, and when they were looking for members to do a holiday demo in Washington, DC, I volunteered to teach people how to make some festive and easy holiday cocktail recipes.Because I too often don’t do things the easy way, I challenged myself to come up with all new cocktails for the event. In addition to daydreaming about the recipes, the most fun part was having friends over to concoct and test cocktails with me.  We came up with some wonderful combinations (although the sriracha margarita was very divisive) and these holiday cocktail recipes were the winners of the bunch. (Thank you to my talented friend and photographer Linda Wolpert for taking...

Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner Recipe for Halloween

Halloween is such a fun yet hectic time.  Cook this spooktacular recipe in advance or use your slow cooker to fill your goblins’ tummies with a delicious, nutritious fun meal.Our photographer Linda Wolpert whipped up these adorable mashed potato ghosts which you can serve on top of my Hearty Beef Stew for a Halloween-themed dinner before or after your children romp around on a chilly autumn night.Feel free to substitute other root vegetables like turnips and parsnips for the carrots and potatoes.To make the mashed potato ghosts, make our mashed potatoes or use your favorite recipe, adding extra water or milk as needed to make it smooth and creamy.  Put the mashed potatoes in a strong plastic bag (sandwich-sized Ziploc works well), snip 1 inch off the bottom corner of the bag on the diagonal, and squeeze out the ghosts. The eyes can be peppercorns, coriander seeds, pieces of olives or carrots; use your imagination! Hearty Beef Stew (Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner...
  Oct 5, 2015   Family Dinner, Recipes 2

Frittata with Red Potatoes and Greens

Eggs are the perfect protein—affordable and healthy, low in calories and saturated fat and high in protein and minerals.  Plus they can stay in the fridge for weeks so they’re always there for you in a pinch.  In this frittata recipe, the potatoes and greens provide great texture and color and make the meal extra nutritious and filling.  Serve it with whole grain English muffins and apple slices.Frittata with Red Potatoes and GreensPrep + Cook = 30 minutes8 servings3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 red onion, quartered top to bottom and thinly sliced 1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, halved and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch) ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼-1/2 tsp. salt, to taste 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 1/8 tsp. black pepper 4 oz. kale, spinach or other greens, coarsely chopped 8 eggs 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese sriracha or salsa, for serving (optional)Heat a large heavy oven-safe skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium to medium-high heat.  When it is...

Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew

This smoky, sweet stew has endless variations.  It can be served over rice, inside of a tortilla, or simply in a bowl topped with Cheddar cheese or crushed tortilla chips.  Now that I’ve learned that there’s no need to soak dry beans before cooking them, I’m going to be making them a lot more often instead of using canned beans.  Serve it with Apple Cheddar Cornbread.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 6 hours    Total Time: 6 hours and 10 minutes
16 oz. dry pinto beans, rinsed 16 oz. frozen roasted corn, or use regular frozen corn kernels 1 yellow onion, diced 2 medium white or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 1/2 lb. smoked ham or soy chorizo, chopped 16 oz. medium or spicy salsa 6 cups water 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves) (can use Dorot frozen garlic) 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, with a little of the sauce...

Italian Shotgun Wedding Soup (Easy Italian Wedding Soup recipe)

Everyone loves Italian Wedding Soup, but the thought of making both the meatballs and the soup on a harried weeknight is a little daunting.  So I love this shortcut Italian Wedding Soup recipe that uses flavorful sausage instead of the meatballs, while still using the fresh vegetables that makes this soup so nourishing.  This is also excellent with 15 oz. diced tomatoes stirred in with the broth. Scramble recipe tester Amy Stanley said, “We all gave it 5 stars.  A perfect balance.” Serve it with garlic bread.
Italian Shotgun Wedding Soup
Prep + Cook Time: 30 minutes 8 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/2 - 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup) 3 carrots, halved (or quartered if large) and finely chopped (about 1 cup) 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 cup) 12 oz. pre-cooked Italian turkey, chicken or meatless sausage (use wheat/gluten-free if needed), sliced into 1/2-inch slices 1 tsp. Italian seasoning...
  Aug 29, 2015   News

Wish we had an app? You can access and use The Scramble just like an app!

Love to use The Scramble on the go? Our site is mobile-friendly and can work just like an app! Follow the easy instructions below to make it a cinch to access The Scramble’s grocery shopping and menu planning features right from your mobile device’s home screen:For Androids Launch Google Chrome and search for and open The Scramble. Tap the menu button and tap “Add to home screen”. You’ll be able to enter a name for the shortcut and then Chrome will add it to your home screen.For iPhones and iPads Launch Safari browser on your phone/iPad and and navigate to The Scramble. Tap the Share button on the browser’s toolbar (the rectangle with an arrow pointing upward).  It’s on the bar at the bottom of the screen on the iPhone, and on the bar at the top of the screen on an iPad. Tap the “Add to Home Screen” icon in the Share menu.
  Aug 20, 2015   News, Time Saving Kitchen Tips 2

We Heard You! New Menu Planning Feature Saves You Time and Effort

Recently I had an awful customer service experience with the well-known manufacturer of my food processor.  Although the bowl broke while still under warranty and in the course of normal use, they have been dismissive of my request for a replacement and have put the burden of time, effort and expense on me.  I’ve lost interest in using any more of their products.When I was a kid, one of my favorite shows was a consumer advocate show called “Fight Back! With David Horowitz”.  I think that was the beginning of my passion for great customer service.  As a business owner, I can’t understand poor customer service. I treasure each of our members and value your opinions and feedback. And from a business perspective, it’s illogical not to treat customers well because it is so much more expensive to get a new customer than to keep a current one.At The Scramble, we want you to be thrilled with your customer experience so you will stick around (and tell your friends how...
  Aug 4, 2015   Family Dinner

This Letter Made My Day!

My happiest mornings start out when I open my email inbox and get a “love letter” from a Six O’Clock Scramble member.  My team and I are so incredibly focused on making The Scramble the best meal planning resource for you and your family.  Our goal is to make it easier for you to get a healthy dinner on the table and enjoy it with your family.  But because it’s a virtual product and we don’t have a storefront, we crave direct interaction with members so we can get your feedback and make sure we are on the right track, or hear how it’s working for your family. Do you have any feedback, positive, negative or just interesting? A suggestion for how we can do better? If so, please send it right to my inbox at aviva@thescramble.comI want to share this letter I received from a Scramble member after I sent an email recently about our 12th birthday.   Dear Aviva, You and your team have been doing a great job!!  I really try to spread the word!  I always have...
  Jul 18, 2015   News, Time Saving Kitchen Tips 1

Your Feedback makes a difference – Grocery List Feature Updated

The Scramble is proud to provide one of the most interactive and customizable menu planning services available and we are so grateful you are part of it!Many of you have suggested improvements to the grocery list feature that would make your lives even easier. You asked and we listened!With the most recent update to The Scramble, we have enhanced both the functionality and look of the grocery list. Now, it’s your turn! We want your feedback about this new and improved feature.Once you have logged in, when you go to the current menu plan page, please click on the green “See New Grocery List” button on the right.Improvements include:Tablet and Mobile friendly layout: No more straining your eyes or pinching and expanding/contracting.  The new grocery list adapts to the device that you are currently using – iPad, Android, iPhone or your computer.Grocery list changes saved - No more losing your changes when you log out, get distracted or switch from...