Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

April 1, 2009
Don't worry, these recipes will make you hoppy!

Things were hoppin' this week in the Shop Cheap kitchen. Researcher Sheila Kern starts us out with three recipes for tasty treats to serve the family, then gets serious with the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and artichokes (all on sale this week). Enjoy! 

 Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests


Yield - 30 nests


Wax paper

1 2/3 to 2 cups (11- to 12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Butterscotch or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cans (5 ounces each) chow mein noodles

30 to 60 NESTLE foil wrapped small chocolate eggs, any flavor


Line trays with wax paper.

Microwave morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.

Add chow mein noodles to morsel mixture; toss until coated. Using ice cream scoop that measures about 2 rounded tablespoons, scoop and drop onto prepared trays then immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, place one or two foil-wrapped in each nest. Store prepared nests in covered container for up to 1 day.

NestEgg Macaroons


Yield - 25


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 medium orange, peel grated

5 cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided

25 to 30 NESTLE; CRUNCH or BUTTERFINGER small foil eggs, unwrapped


Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.

Beat sugar, butter and cream cheese in medium mixer bowl until creamy. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, orange juice and grated orange peel; beat well. Add flour mixture; beat until well combined. Stir in 4 cups coconut. Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll balls in remaining coconut. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; immediately press 1 Nestle unwrapped egg on top of each macaroon. Cool for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Mini Fruit Pizzas


Makes 20 fruit pizzas


1 (18-oz.) pkg. (20 cookies) Pillsbury Ready to Bake Refrigerated Sugar Cookies

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1/2 cup powdered sugar

10 fresh strawberries, quartered

1 kiwi fruit, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 10 slices

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup fresh raspberries


Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool 10 minutes or until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine cream cheese, limeade concentrate and powdered sugar; beat until smooth.

Spread each cooled cookie with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture. Arrange fruit on top of each. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Cajun Grilled Chicken


Yield: 4 servings


2 whole chicken breasts, boned and split (or boneless, skinless breasts)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Pound chicken to 1/2-inch thickness. Combine remaining ingredients; brush evenly over chicken. Grill or broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Fajita Chicken


Makes 4 servings


4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Vegetable oil

1 tsp. each: chili powder, seasoned salt,

garlic powder and oregano

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Grilled peppers and onions (optional)


Brush chicken lightly on both sides with vegetable oil. Combine dry seasonings and sprinkle on both sides of chicken. Place on a grill over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from grill and drizzle with lime juice. Serve with grilled peppers and onions, if desired.

Raspberry-Balsamic Chicken with Shallots


Makes 4 servings


3/4 cup seedless all-fruit raspberry jam

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 4- to 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped shallots (2-3 large)

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme


Combine jam and vinegar in a small pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the jam is dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper and let cool slightly. Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce. Place chicken breasts and the rest of the sauce in a large sealable plastic bag. Seal and shake gently to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard marinade). Add the chicken to the pan and cook until just beginning to brown, 2 minutes on each side. Add the reserved raspberry sauce; stir to melt the jam and coat the chicken. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


From (California Artichoke Advisory Board)

(Recipe for 4 artichokes, 8 servings 1/2 artichoke each)


4 large artichokes

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup water 1/4 cup soy sauce

1 T minced ginger

1/4 cup olive oil


1. Slice artichoke tops off, crosswise. Trim stems.

2. Boil or steam artichokes until bottoms pierce easily, or a petal pulls off easily.

3. Drain artichokes. Cool. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scrape out fuzzy center and any purple tipped petals.

4. Mix remaining ingredients in a large plastic bag. Place artichokes in the bag and coat all sides of the artichokes. For best flavor marinate in the mixture overnight in the refrigerator but should marinate at least one hour.

5. Drain artichokes. Place cut side down on a grill over a solid bed of medium coals or gas grill on medium. Grill until lightly browned on the cut side, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn artichokes over and drizzle some of the remaining marinade over the artichokes. Grill until petal tips are lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes more.

6. Serve hot or room temperature.


From (California Artichoke Advisory Board)

4 Large California Artichokes

Selection of Dips (recipes follow)

Wash artichokes under cold running water. Cut off stems at base and remove small bottom leaves. Stand artichokes upright in deep saucepan large enough to hold snugly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and two to three inches boiling water. (Lemon juice, herbs, garlic powder or onion powder may be added, if desired.) Cover and boil gently 35 to 45 minutes or until base can be pierced easily with fork. (Add a little more boiling water, if needed.) Turn artichokes upside down to drain. Cool completely; cover and refrigerate to chill. Makes 4 artichokes.



1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


Combine all ingredients; mix well. Makes 3/4 cup.


1/4 cup prepared mustard

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey


Combine all ingredients; mix well. Makes about 3/4 cup.


1 can (6-1/2 ounces) minced clams

2 tablespoons reserved clam juice

3 ounces cream cheese softened

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


Drain clams, reserving 2 tablespoons clam juice. Blend cream cheese with lemon juice and garlic salt. Stir in clams and reserved clam juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 3/4 cup.


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About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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