Shop Cheap

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

November 24, 2009
From last-minute shopping to leftovers

Attention, shoppers: You won't find any grocery inserts in Wednesday's newspaper.

Since shortly after the Pilgrims arrived, grocery stores have placed their advertising inserts into the paper on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and skipped the day before. But that was before we all got so busy that we might not have time to shop until 10 p.m. on Wednesday night. It's really going to be OK.  Take a deep breath and don't worry because all of the sales we talked about last week are still available. (Safeway does have a single-page ad touting gift cards. The sales on the flip side don't start until Friday.)

You have a few choices if you've waitied until the last minute.

1. Check out last week's Shop Cheap for where you will find the best prices.

2 Go online to and access the grocery ads online. That's where you will find Raley's, Save Mart and Foods Co.

3. Dig into the recycle bin and hope they are still there.

Now, that we have that problem solved. What are you going to do with all that leftover turkey? Here, my friends, courtesy of recipe researcher Sheila Kern, are delicious ways to stretch the leftovers into next week. These recipes are good but nothing takes the place of the turkey sandwich with cranberry, mayo and lettuce. No one needs a recipe for that!

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.


Crispy Turkey Tostadas


Shredded leftover turkey tops homemade tostadas in this Tex-Mex favorite. Making your own tostada shells from fresh corn tortillas is easier than you might think--crisp them up in the oven while you prepare the toppings. Choose either regular petite diced tomatoes or those with added jalapeños, depending on your inclination for spicy food. Serve with black beans, rice and extra salsa or hot sauce on the side.

Yields: 4 servings, 2 tostadas each


1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, preferably with jalapeños

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

3 cups shredded cooked turkey, or chicken (12 ounces; see Tip)

8 corn tortillas

Canola or olive oil cooking spray

1 avocado, pitted

1/4 cup prepared salsa

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.

Bring tomatoes and their juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add turkey (or chicken) and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Divide the tortillas between 2 large baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until crisped and lightly brown, about 10 minutes.

Mash avocado in a bowl. Stir in salsa, sour cream and cilantro until combined.

To assemble tostadas, spread each crisped tortilla with some of the avocado mixture. Top with the turkey (or chicken) mixture, lettuce and cheese.

Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004

Yields: 8 servings (serving size: 3 wedges, about 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 tablespoon sour cream)



1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 Anjou pear, cored and finely diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced


Cooking spray

1/4 cup (2-inch-thick) slices green onions

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Pepper Monterey Jack cheese

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 cups chopped cooked turkey

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream


To prepare salsa, combine first 7 ingredients. Cover and chill.

To prepare quesadillas, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup sliced onions to pan; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Remove onions from pan; reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 tortillas. Top each cheese-covered tortilla with one-fourth of onions, 1/2 cup turkey, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tortilla.

Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 quesadilla to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese melts. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Serve with cranberry salsa and sour cream.


Turkey Pot Pie


Bon Appetit | November 2009

Yields: 6 servings


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

6 ounces button mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps cut in half then thickly sliced crosswise

1 cup thinly sliced peeled carrots (about 2 carrots)

1/2 cup diced leftover cooked vegetables (optional)

1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey (7 to 8 ounces)

1 to 1 1/4 cups gravy

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley plus additional parsley leaves for crust

1 egg white, beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

1 9-inch purchased pie crust

Cranberry sauce


Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until browned and tender, about 4 minutes. Add sliced carrots; cover and cook until carrots soften slightly, about 2 minutes. Add leftover vegetables, if desired. Add diced turkey, gravy, and chopped fresh thyme. Bring filling mixture to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer to thicken if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in peas and chopped parsley. Pour filling into 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

Lightly brush rim (both top and underside) of filled pie dish with egg glaze. Place crust atop filling and fold edge of dough over edge of pie dish. Pinch dough rim to seal crust all around. Press down on top edge of crust with fork tines to seal decoratively. Chill 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly brush top of pie with glaze. Make three to four 1/4-inch slits in center of pie to allow steam to escape. Press some fresh parsley leaves onto crust. Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Turkey Waldorf Salad


Yields: 4-6 servings


2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more whole leaves for garnish

1 crisp apple, such as Gala or Macintosh, cored and chopped

1 cup red seedless grapes, halved

1/2 cup pecans, toasted, and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup non-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks

Freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, gently toss the turkey, celery, celery leaves, apple, grapes, and pecans until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Put the celery root in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing, and toss to coat completely. Add the remaining dressing to the turkey mixture, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to evenly dress the salad.

To serve, spread the celery root evenly onto a serving platter, top with the dressed salad, garnish with celery leaves and serve immediately.

Turkey-Lime Soup


Turkey Stock ingredients: (Or skip the stock and use boxed organic chicken broth)

1 turkey carcass

8 cups water

2 cups chopped celery

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Soup Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

turkey stock (or 2 quarts organic chicken broth)

1 chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 diced red bell pepper

1 29 oz. can organic diced tomatoes (or use fresh ones if they are available and in season)

2 cups chopped turkey

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 thinly sliced limes

1 diced jalapeno or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)

1/4 cup cilantro (garnish)

tortilla strips or chips (garnish)


1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot.

2. Simmer 2-3 hours until meat falls off bone and vegetables are soft.

3. Strain broth as a starter for soup and discard bones, etc.


1. Saute onion, celery, carrot and garlic in olive oil.

2. Meanwhile, dice red pepper and prepare limes.

3. Set burner to medium-high heat. Heat broth in large pot. Add tomatoes and lime peel and juice.

4. Add sauteed vegetables and red pepper.

5. Add turkey and boil for 5 minutes.

6. Reduce to a simmer and add the jalapeno/red pepper flakes.

7. Cook an additional 30 minutes. Add lime slices.

8. Serve with cilantro or sauteed tortilla strips on top.

November 18, 2009
Did you save room for dessert?

You say you have no room for dessert - and that's probably true - but who can resist pumpkin pie, pecan pie or even cranberry bundt cake? So just in case you saved room, recipe researcher Sheila Kern offers up traditional pumpkin pie, classic pecan and something different. Enjoy!

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie


Yield: 8 servings


3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 large eggs

1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 can (12 fl. oz.) CARNATION Evaporated Milk

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

Whipped cream (optional)


Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Cinnamon-Apple Pie with Caramel-Pecan Sauce


Yield: 8 servings



1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (4 medium)

1 teaspoon milk

1 teaspoon granulated sugar


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 450°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll pie crust on cookie sheet.

In medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the cornstarch and cinnamon. Gently stir in apples. Spoon onto center of crust, spreading to within 2 inches of edge. Fold edge of crust over filling, ruffling decoratively. Brush crust edge with milk; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender, covering with foil last 10 minutes if necessary to prevent excessive browning.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup; heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Boil gently 2 minutes. Add pecans. Boil 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pecans are lightly toasted. Remove from heat. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Cool 15 minutes. Serve over warm or cool pie.

Classic Pecan Pie


Yield: 8 servings


1 cup Karo Light or Dark Corn Syrup

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans

1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.

Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below). Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.

RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly - it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.

Cranberry Bundt Cake Recipe


Yield: 12 to 16 servings


3/4 cup butter, softened

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream

1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

4-1/2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon almond extract


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.

Spoon a third of the batter into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Top with a third of the cranberry sauce. Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with pecans.

Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Combine icing ingredients until smooth; drizzle over warm cake.

November 18, 2009
A few words from Walmart

After posting Wednesday's blog, Shop Cheap heard from Amelia Neufeld, media manager at Walmart stores. She wanted to spread the word about Walmart's $20 Thanksgiving meal. Here's what Amelia had to say:

Select Grade A turkeys are available for 40 cents per pound at Walmart. These gobblers are part of Walmart's $20 Thanksgiving menu guaranteeing family favorites will be on the dinner table this holiday season. Walmart's $20 Thanksgiving feast includes:

One 12-pound Grade A turkey

Three 11 to 15.5-ounce cans Green Giant vegetables

Two 14-ounce cans Ocean Spray cranberry sauce

Three 6-ounce boxes of Stove Top stuffing

One 5-pound bag of red potatoes

One 12-count package of Sara Lee dinner rolls

One 22-ounce pumpkin roll cake

November 17, 2009
Now, we're cookin'!

This is it, shoppers. The prices you see this week will last until Thanksgiving. To steal a line from another holiday: It's time to make a list and check it twice!

Strapped for cash? No problem. You can feed your family (or one in need) on Thanksgiving for about $20 and change. Need examples?  A frozen turkey costs less than $9 at Safeway and Raley's. At Safeway, you can add a pumpkin pie for $4.99; Brown 'n Serve rolls for $1.49; and frozen veggies for $1.88 a bag.

Variations on that theme can be found at Raley's, Save Mart and even Walmart, which has an ad in Wednesday's paper. No excuses. Let's get cookin'!

Here's the skinny on the sales and a reminder. Some stores change their hours for the holiday. Example: Raley's is closed on T-Day; open until 11 p.m. the night before. Most Safeway stores are open until 6 p.m. and most Save Mart stores set their own hours.

Looks like Raley's redesigned their ad this week. You can get the frozen bird for $7.87 or you can get a Raley's-brand fresh natural turkey for 89-cents a pound. If you have a big group coming, fresh pies in the bakery are $3.97 each when you buy 3. Green beans are 88-cents a pound; dinner rolls in the bakery are $1.99 a dozen and Russet potatoes are 3lbs. for 99-cents.

There's still time to order the complete ready-to-cook meals at either $49.99 or $99.99. Order online and get $5 off. For the vegetarians, there's a Butternut Squash ravioli dinner for $59.99.

And - this is a big one - R.W. Knudsen sparkling apple cider is $1.50 a bottle.

In the "other stuff" category, Tostitos chips are BOGO; Swanson's Chicken broth is 5/$3; Campbells cream of mushroom soup is 79-cents a can; Dole crushed pineapple is 79-cents a can; Del Monte veggies are 75-cents and Ocean Spray cranberry sauce is 4/$5. Sara Lee pies are $2.99; Dreyer's ice cream is $2.50; Bayview Farms ice cream is $1.99 and Good Earth teas are $2.50 a box.

A case of Arrowhead water is $3.50; 12-packs of Coke are $3 each when you buy 4.

In produce, fresh cranberries are $2.29lb.; yams are 79-cents a pound; and Fuji apples are $1.27lb.

And for all those day-after turkey sandwiches, be sure to clip the Best Foods coupon. Mayo for $1.99!

 Heading over to Safeway, we find the frozen birds at $6.77, $7.77 and $8.77 depending on size and brand. If you'd rather go fresh, you'll pay 88-cents a pound. With that out of the way, you can focus on the rest of the meal. Fresh Express salads are BOGO; GreenLine green beans are BOGO and Safeway Brown 'n Serve rolls are $1.19. Yams are 79-cents a pound; McCormick gravy mixes are 99 cents and Stove Top stuffing is BOGO. If you want to splurge on dessert, Fresh Fruit Tarts in the bakery are $11.99.

 If you need soda, you can get three, 2-liter jugs of 7-UP for $1. That's not $1 each, it's 3 for $1 if you shop 11/18-11/21. Martinelli's sparkling cider is $1.89 and cases of Arrowhead water are $3.99.

Lay's chips are BOGO; Nabisco crackers are $1.88 a box and Keebler Club or Town House crackers are $1.99 a box.

In produce, celery is 99-cents; fresh cranberries are $2.50 for a 12oz. bag and yellow onions are 99-cents a pound.

Dole pineapple chunks are $1 a can; Hunt's diced tomatoes are $1 each and Early California olives are 4/$5.

In the deli, the $5 Friday special is - believe it or not - Primo Taglio pan-roasted turkey or Black Forest Ham, I say, go for the ham!  

This is your last chance to get that free turkey at Save Mart. (Remember, spend $99.99 in groceries and get a free bird.) If you'd rather go fresh, the Honeysuckle brand is 99-cents a pound. They also have the best price on the high-end Diestel Ranch free range birds at $1.99 a pound.

Other Thanksgiving items worth noting: apple or pumpkin pies in the bakery for $2.99; fresh dinner rolls at $2 a dozen; Swanson broth is BOGO; Ocean Spray cranberry sauce is 4/$5 and Campbell's gravy is 79-cents a can. Have you priced French's French Fried onions (the ones you use in Green Bean Casserole)? I was shocked to find them for more than $4 at Safeway. But at Save Mart this week, you can get them for $3 for a large can and Del Monte veggies at 69-cents a can.

Sunnyside Farms Brown 'n Serve dinner rolls are $1.29; Nabisco snack crackers are $1.68 a box and the Best Foods mayo coupon is good for $2.39 If you're planning a shrimp salad, cooked shrimp meat is $2.99lb.

A case of Aquafina drinking water is $3.99; 7-UP drinks are 79-cents (must buy 5) and Pepsi drinks are $1 for a 2-liter jug. Martinelli's Sparkling Cider is $2 a bottle.

In produce, celery is 47-cents a bunch; Fresh Express salads are BOGO, avocados are $1 each; green onions, radishes and cilantro are 50-cents a bunch. An 8-pound bag of Idaho potatoes is $2.99; fresh yams are 79-cents a pound and Ocean Spray fresh cranberries are $2.50 a bag.

Save Mart has a pretty Thanksgiving bouquet for $7.99.

Come back on Thursday for holiday dessert recipes. 




November 12, 2009
Spice up Thanksgiving with special sides

Need help creating some new side dishes to complement you Thanksgiving meal? Shop Cheap recipe researcher Sheila Kern has found some gems, including the classic Green Bean Casserole. Enjoy and come back next week for the best holiday desserts.

Broccoli with Sesame Seeds and Dried Red Pepper


Yield: 4 servings


3 tablespoons sesame seeds

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 1/4 pounds broccoli, cut into florets

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil


Toast sesame seeds in heavy small skillet over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds. Place remaining sesame seeds in spice grinder. Add salt and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper; grind coarsely. Set sesame-red pepper mixture aside.

Steam broccoli until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Add oil, 1 tablespoon reserved sesame seeds, remaining 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 2 teaspoons sesame-red pepper mixture; toss to combine. Serve, passing remaining sesame-red pepper mixture separately.

Carrot Souffle With Pecan Topping


Yield: 6 - 8 servings

1 stick unsalted butter or pareve margarine, melted; plus 6 tablespoons softened; and more for greasing pan

2 pounds carrots, peeled

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup toasted chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7-by-11-inch casserole. In a large pot bring 8 cups water to a boil, add carrots and cook about 20 minutes, until carrots are soft. Drain and place carrots in a food processor with melted butter or margarine, 1/2 cup flour, the sugar, salt and eggs. Puree. Spoon carrot mixture into casserole.

To make topping, place softened butter or margarine, brown sugar, remaining 1/2 cup flour and pecans in a small bowl. Mix with your fingers. Sprinkle evenly over carrot mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes or until top is browned. Serve.

Classic Green Bean Casserole


Serves: 6


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Dash ground black pepper

4 cups cooked cut green beans

1 1/3 cups French's French Fried Onions


Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Tip: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, 2 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans or about 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.

For Broccoli Casserole, substitute 4 cups cooked broccoli flowerets for the green beans.

For cheese lovers, stir in 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with soup. Omit the soy sauce. Sprinkle with an additional 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.

To add a festive touch, stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with the soup.

To add crunch, add 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds to the onion topping.

For bacon lovers, add 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, to the bean mixture.

For Golden Green Bean Casserole, substitute Campbell's Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for the Cream of Mushroom Soup. Omit the soy sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with the green beans.

Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes


Yield: 6 - 8 servings


4 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

3/4 cup cream

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. butter, melted

1-1/2 tbsp. flour

1/2 tsp. marjoram

1/2 tsp. dill

1/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender outside, but slightly firm inside. Drain well and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8- or 9-inch glass baking dish. Place half of the potatoes in the dish and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over potatoes. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. (Tent loosely with foil if potatoes brown too quickly.)

Candied Sweet Potatoes



6 medium Sweet potatoes, cooked and sliced

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice


Place sweet potato slices in a baking dish. Sprinkle potatoes with cinnamon and all-spice. Drizzle corn syrup and spread the brown sugar over the sweet potatoes in the baking dish. Add butter or margarine in pats on top of sweet potatoes. Place in 350 degree F. oven and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes. Potatoes should be basted several times with the syrup. Syrup should thicken. Remove from syrup and serve.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes


Recipe courtesy Barefoot Contessa Parties!, 2001, All rights reserved

Show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: The Holiday Meal


4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large)

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Scrub the potatoes, prick them several times with a knife or fork, and bake them for 1 hour or until very soft when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and scoop out the insides as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Place the sweet potato meat into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the orange juice, cream, butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix together until combined but not smooth and transfer to a baking dish.

Bake the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, until heated through.

November 10, 2009
Two weeks until T-Day, shoppers

 Yep. Saved 44% at Safeway  last weekend. Got the $10 coupon for Kohl's; free bacon, eggs and OJ, too. If you don't believe me, ask my Mom. She was there!

This week the Safeway deals aren't quite as good but...avocado is 2/$1; blueberries and blackberries are BOGO and you can get a frozen turkey for $6.77. And I hope they are giving away free samples of the Pumpkin Chocolate Ganache pie because it sure sounds good. Price is $9.99 each.

The weekend (Saturday&Sunday) sales include Tostitos chips for $1.69lb; Quaker instant oatmeal for $1.50 a box; Ball Park Franks or Hillshire Farm smoked sausage for $1.99 (Safeway buns are 99-cents) and Gala apples for 79-cents a pound.

London broil is $1.79lb. (Remember, with the broil you can cut it up in stew or slice it for fajitas, too.) Safeway is advertising cooked shrimpmeat for $3.99 a pound but be forewarned, that's in a 2-lb. bag. If you want less that that, it's $4.99lb.

In produce, California oranges and Texas red grapefruit are 79-cents a pound; pears are 99-cents a pound and seedless grapes are $1.99lb.

If you want to stock up on 7-UP or Pepsi, a 2-liter jug is 88-cents. Making green bean casserole on Thanksgiving? Green Giant canned veggies are 49-cents each. Or, clip the coupon and get Birds Eye Steamfresh or C&W frozen veggies 4/$5.

Cases of Safeway brand drinking water are $3.49; Aquafina is $3.99.

All the ingredients for an easy Mexican meal are on sale: Fresh ground beef is $2.29-lb.; Mission tortillas are $1.99; Rosarita refries and Safeway diced tomatoes are $1 a can; olives and diced chilis are 99-cents each; Safeway corn taco shells are $1 a box and Fresh Express shreds are $1.50 a bag. Looks like milk is back up to $2.49 a gallon (when you buy 2).

The Friday only $5 special is oven roasted turkey breast; Signature Cafe soups are still $3.99 and cole slaw is $2.49-lb.

Inside the small Safeway ad, check out the Primo Taglio Mozzarella rolls for $4.99. Slice it up on crackers, add a bit of basil. Hello, tasty appetizer.

Raley's is once again advertising its Holiday Dinners, which range in price from the top-of-the-line meal at $99.99 (serves 12) to the deluxe turkey dinner, which serves 8-10. In between, there's Butternut Squash Ravioli ($59.99); glazed ham ($59.99); and Prime Rib ($79.99). You pick up these meals on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving and just follow the simple instructions. Order online and save $5.

This week, Raley's has cross rib roast for $1.87lb. Here's an interesting deal: Get 4 Progresso soups free when you buy 2 cartons of broth. That works out to  $6.50 for the broth and the soup. But one carton of Imagine organic broth is $2. A case of R-Everyday drinking water is $2.99. And be sure to check out the Michelina's frozen meals for $1 each.

Some of our favorite crackers are on sale. Cheeze-It; Wheatables and All-Bran multi-grain are $1.69 a box. Wellington water crackers are $2 a box and Keebler grahams are $1.99. Skippy peanut butter is $1.59 a jar. In frozen foods, DiGiorno pizzas are $3.99; Marie Callender's pot pies are $2.79 and Krusteaz Healthy pancakes, waffles or French toast are $2.49.

In produce, large Hass avocados are BOGO a 3-lb. bag of Clementines is $3.99 and apples for baking are $1.29-lb. Stock up on Knudsen sparkling cider. It's $1.50 a bottle! 

Want a free turkey? Shop Save Mart and purchase $99.99 in groceries. Save Mart also has heat-and-serve Thanksgiving meals. The complete Butterball turkey dinner costs $49.99 and includes all the trimmings, plus dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. Don't know who eats ham on Thanksgiving but a complete ham dinner is also $49.99.

This week's specials include lean ground beef for $1.99-lb; boneless London broil for $2.49-lb. and Master Catch cooked prawns in a 2-lb bag are $4.99-lb.

Kellogg's cereals are $1.25 a box when you buy 4; Coke products in the 12-pack are buy 2, get 2 free with coupon and Arrowhead Spring water is $3.99 a case.

Sunshine, Keebler or Kellogg's crackers are $1.67 a box; Dreyer's ice cream is $3 and Sunnyside Farms Premium egg nog is $1.50.

In the Save Mart deli, you'll find chicken tenders for $4.99 a pound and maple pecan sweet potato salad for $3.99-lb. Bakery turnovers and mini cream pies are 2/$5..

Save Mart produce is always plentiful and reasonable. This week there's oranges for 47-cents a pound; seedless grapes are $1.97-lb; the green onion, radish, cilantro trio is 3/99-cents and berries are 2/$5. Get your potatoes this week. A 5-lb. bag is $1.99; Roma tomatoes are 99-cents a pound and Taylor Farms complete salad kits are 2/$5.

Come back on Thursday for our Thanksgiving side dish recipes.

November 5, 2009
Thanksgiving recipes, week one: The appetizers

With three weeks until T-Day, we decided to go all Thanksgiving until then. So deep in the Shop Cheap Kitchen we find recipe researcher Sheila Kern coming up with ideas that will make your holiday simple and simply delicious. This week we give you appetizers. Followed by side dishes on Nov. 12; desserts on Nov. 19; and leftovers on Nov. 26, which is Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy!

Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs


Yield: 4 to 5 dozen meatballs, depending on the size

A flavorful appetizer meatballs, baked then kept warm in the slow cooker. If you need something quicker, combine your own favorite frozen meatballs with the sauce ingredients, then cook on HIGH in the slow cooker for about 2 hours.


2 pounds ground beef

1 cup corn flake crumbs

2 eggs

1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup minced onions

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 can (16 ounces) cranberry sauce, jellied or whole cranberry sauce

12 ounces chili sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed

2 teaspoons lemon juice


In a large bowl, combine ground beef, corn flake crumbs, parsley, eggs, ketchup, onion, soy sauce, garlic powder and pepper. Blend ingredients well and form into small balls, about 3/4-inch in diameter. Place in a casserole or baking pan. Heat oven to 300°.

While meatballs are cooking, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture is blended. Pour hot sauce over meatballs in casserole. Bake for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs. Transfer to crockpot and keep on LOW for serving.

Mushroom-Garlic Cream Tartlets


Makes 24 tartlets


2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 package (8 oz) fresh mushrooms, finely chopped

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat oven to 350°F. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, flour, onion and garlic; mix well. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender. Add cream and cheese; mix well. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of liquid has evaporated.

If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 2 long rectangles.

Cut each rectangle into 12 squares. Place 1 square in each of 24 ungreased miniature muffin cups. Firmly press in bottom and up sides of cups, leaving corners of dough extended over edges of cups. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon mushroom mixture into each cup.

Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley. Cool 5 minutes. Remove tartlets from pan. Serve warm. Cover and refrigerate any remaining tartlets.

Spiced Nuts


Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, originally appearing in Emeril's Potluck, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2004

Show: Emeril Live Episode: Going Nuts


1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups unsalted mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Mix spices and reserve


Heat the nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 4 minutes. Add the butter and cook, stirring, until the nuts begin to darken, about 1 minute. Add the spices, the sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and the salt and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed, about 5 minutes.

Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating them with a fork. Let the nuts stand until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Artichoke Dip With Roasted Red Peppers



1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 can or jar (12 to 14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, not marinated

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder, optional

1/4 cup minced roasted red pepper


Combine all ingredients; spread in a pie plate or shallow 1-quart baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Serve cold or heat in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350°. Don't reheat in the microwave or dip might separate.

Herb and Garlic Goat Cheese Dip


Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Serve this fresh herbed twist on goat cheese with crisp endive leaves, carrot sticks, crackers or tortilla chips for dipping.


5 ounces fresh goat cheese

2/3 cup low-fat sour cream

3 green onions (white and most of green part), chopped

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine goat cheese and sour cream thoroughly with a whisk or food processor. Stir in remaining ingredients by hand. Let flavors blend in refrigerator for several hours (or overnight) before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper before serving..

November 3, 2009
It's time to start talking turkey

Our local grocery stores are serious about sales this week. Safeway has free breakfast coupons and Kohl's Rewards. Save Mart will give you a free turkey when you spend $99.99 or more and Raley's is making it easy to host Thanksgiving dinner with holiday meals for every taste and price range.

Here's the skinny:

Safeway is taking a page from Raley's playbook by offering free breakfast items (eggs, bacon, OJ and English muffins) when you purchase $50 in groceries on Saturday and Sunday. Safeway also has teamed up with Kohl's from Nov. 4-8. For every $50 you spend on groceries, you get a $10 Kohl's reward card.

And there's no reason not to have turkey with prices as low as $6.77 for a frozen bird (with $20 minimum purchase).

But before we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, there's this week to consider. Safeway has fresh Eating Right boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs or combo pack for $1.97lb; whole boneless top sirloin is $1.99lb. (and Safeway butchers will "gladly slice it for free," the ad says) and whole Foster Farms chickens are 99-cents a pound. Nathan's Famous beef franks, Evergood smoked sausage and Farmer John sliced bacon are all BOGO.

Betty Crocker cake mix or frosting is buy 2 get 3 free; Cheez-It or Keebler Chips deluxe are BOGO. Progresso 100% natural broth is BOGO, too. Spend $25 on basics like Safeway granulated sugar; Bush's beans, Lipton Onion soup & Dip Mix; Gold medal flour, etc., and get a $5 reward coupon.

And the hits just keep on coming!

Jumbo pomegranates are BOGO; green or white asparagus is 99-cents a pound; tomatoes on the vine are 79-cents a pound; red bell peppers are $1.99lb; Eating Right baby carrots are BOGO and raspberries or blackberries are 2/$6.

Safeway butter top breads are $1.29 a loaf; Ruffles potato chips are $1.88 a bag and be sure to clip the coupon for Thomas' Mix'n'Match sale. English muffins or bagels are $1.99 a pack. Artisan breads are 25% off in the bakery and Lucerne natural cheese slices are $2.99.

In the deli, the $5 Friday special is meatloaf or BBQ pork loin. Signature Cafe soups are still $3.99 and the deli chicken salad is $4.99lb.

Save Mart is giving away the free birds when you spend $99.99 in a single purchase. You can get started with New York steak in the Max Pak for $2.99lb; whole Foster Farms young chicken for 99-cents a pound and Master Cut premium pork chops are $1.99lb.

Guerrero white or yellow corn tortillas are $1.49 a package; Sunnyside Farms bread is $1.50 a loaf; Earth Grains 100% natural breads are $1.99 a loaf and S&W beans are $1 a can.

In produce, large Russet baking potatoes are 19-cents a pound; Pacific Coast salads are 2/$4; Driscoll's raspberries or blueberries are 2/$5; large oranges are 69-cents a pound and a 4-pack of avocado is $2.49 a bag.

12-packs of Coke products are buy 2, get 2 free; and a large container of Folgers coffee is $6.88. Gatorade is $1 a bottle.

Sunnyside Farms natural sliced cheese is $2.50 a pack; Thomas English muffins or bagels are $1.99 a pack.

Raley's is the first store out of the gate with Thanksgiving dinners. You can choose from the premium turkey dinner; butternut squash ravioli squash dinner; ham or prime rib dinners. Prices range from $99.99 for the entire meal to $49.99. If you order online, you save $5 per order.

This week, Raley's has boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.77lb; cross rib roast for $2.99lb and natural ground beef - 90% lean - for $3.99lb.

12-packs of 7-UP and A&W are 4/$10; a case of Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.33 and liters of Pepsi products are 88-cents each - when you buy 4. Gatorade is $1.

Fuji apples are 99-cents a pound; Russett potatoes are 3lbs for 99-cents; blueberries are back at $3 a carton and Bartlett pears are 99-cents a pound. Large Hass avocados are $1 each and a 3lb. bag of organic yams or sweet potatoes is $3.49 each.

Yoplait yogurt is 50-cents a carton (when you buy 10); a dozen extra large eggs is $1.59; a 32oz. container of Sunnyside Farms cottage cheese is $3.99 and Sunnyside ice cream (the pumpkin pie flavor has arrived) is $2.69.

Oroweat whole wheat bread is $1.99 a loaf; Pillsbury cinnamon rolls are $2.50 and Chicken of the Sea white Albacore tuna is 99-cents.

Come back on Thursday for recipes from the Shop Cheap Kitchen.

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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