Smart And Final And The California Milk Advisory Board Help Local Schools ~ Plus A Yummy Au Gratin Potato Recipe

[ 2 ] November 9, 2011 |

Smart and Final has teamed up with the California Milk Advisory Board in the Help Our Teachers, Help Our Kids campaign. It works much like the Box Tops For Education campaign, only these seals are on Real California Milk products (except those sold on school premises). Students & families collect Real California milk seals from select First Street products, then teachers submit seals to the CMAB. Each seal counts as one sweepstakes entry. Teachers who submit 100 seals get 25 Scholastic books or a $25 school supply gift card. Each teacher entrant gets one Scholastic book. The winners will be announced in February, 2012.

But wait, there’s more:

Smart & Final is doing a separate sweepstakes. Entrants who go to and tell them why their SoCal school should win will be entered into the  monthly sweepstakes where their school of choice could win $500, $300 or $200! There will be a total of NINE winners, that’s 3 per month, from those that enter at the site! Use the hashtag #SmartFinalSupportsSoCalSchools in any tweets about this program and help spread the word!

We all use dairy products in our daily lives, why not buy ones that could help your child’s school? With educational budgets being severely cut in this never-ending recession, teachers having to buy their own classroom supplies — and, let’s face it, teachers don’t get paid nearly enough for what they do —  their already thin budgets are stretched even thinner. But the beauty of this contest is that  you can help just by purchasing the Real California Milk products you already use and giving the seals to your child’s teacher to send in! It’s so easy. And by telling Smart and Final why your local school is deserving, you can help even more. It’s a win-win. Or as Charlie Sheen would say, “WINNING!” Or was that Vatican Assassin? I forget.

Moving on.

In addition to posting about this wonderful sweepstakes, Smart and Final has asked me to share a Thanksgiving (Or Christmas) recipe that utilizes First Street/Real California Milk products. I picked a good one. It’s a family favorite that we all look forward to each holiday season. When I called my Uncle Bill to ask if  Aunt Lyla would give me the recipe, I could swear I almost heard him drooling. All he said was “Oh, those are so good and so cheesy!”

And they are.

In my family, we have some pretty strong holiday traditions. If there is any deviation from those traditions, it just doesn’t feel right. Two of my favorites have to do with food. Well, what’s Thanksgiving and Christmas without some really great food? Isn’t that part of the whole point? Anyway, back to my faves — my Mom’s stuffing and my Aunt Lyla’s Lip-Smackin’ Potatoes Au Gratin. Now I can’t reveal the family stuffing recipe, but my Aunt has given me permission to share the spuds with all of you. Man, oh, man do these go great with turkey and all the trimmings. Or baked ham. That’s pretty tasty, too. Believe me, once you try these you will never go back to the boxed stuff. Be sure you make enough to have left-overs, or you may end up with a frown. One Thanksgiving, my cousin Patty teased me mercilessly because she got the last of her mom’s potatoes. That was a very sad day…

My mouth is watering just typing this up…

Aunt Lyla’s Lip-Smackin’ Potatoes Au Gratin


Food processor or sharp knife

Measuring cup

Shallow baking dish, preferably with lid (Can use foil)


4 Tbs. First Street salted butter (CMAB product)

2 to 3 tsp. salt

2 large white onions, thinly sliced

½ tsp. pepper (Fresh cracked pepper is better)

6 White Rose potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced (Unless you have the knife skills of a Food Network star, I strongly recommend using a food processor. All your slices will be uniform and cook more evenly. I use the Cuisinart Duet. It’s fabulous.)

1 ½ cups sweet cream/whipping cream or combine cream & half & half

6 oz First Street Jack cheese (CMAB product), shredded (I suppose you could do three ounces of each, if you are so inclined or use Havarti instead of Swiss.)

First Street Cheddar cheese, grated, enough to cover top of casserole


 There is no image of the finished product because my Husband dove into them as I was getting the camera. But trust me, they’re yummy!

Cooking instructions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking dish with bits of  butter.

Cover dish with some of the sliced onion then a layer of potatoes and cheese.

Sprinkle salt and pepper as you make layers.

Continue with another layer until all onions, potatoes, butter and cheese are used.

Pour cream over entire pan. Cover and bake for 1 hr at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes until brown, gooey and bubbly.

Serves 8.



This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for  #collectivebias #CBias

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Category: Recipes

About the Author ()

I'm Shan and I 'm the creator of The Asylum and a magnet for The Free Range Stupid™. I'm a little nutty, a lot sarcastic and pretty damn smart. I am also a graphic designer, blog coder, virtual assistant, free lance writer and can whip you up a killer resume, media kit or press release that would make others green with envy. Go to Skewed Design Studios to check out my services. You won't be disappointed.

Comments (2)

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  1. Amy @ The Mom Hood says:

    Anything with cheesy goodness like that is a winner in our house!

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