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

December 17, 2009
Don't fret over the office potluck!

The office potluck, the neighborhood gathering or just something different for the family, recipe researcher Sheila Kern has come up with ideas for all of the above. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Taco Salad


EatingWell: June/July 2006

Yield: 4 servings


1/2 cup prepared salsa

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey

2 large plum tomatoes, diced

1 14-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

8 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Combine salsa and sour cream in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add turkey and cook, stirring often and crumbling with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, beans, cumin and chili powder; cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in cilantro and 1/4 cup of the salsa mixture.

Add lettuce to the remaining salsa mixture in the bowl; toss to coat. To serve, divide the lettuce among 4 plates, top with the turkey mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

12-Hour Salad Recipe


Yield: 12 servings


8 cups torn salad greens

1-1/2 cups chopped celery

2 medium green peppers, chopped

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled


Place salad greens in a 3-qt. bowl or 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Top with layers of celery, green peppers, onion and peas; do not toss.

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and sugar; spread over vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Crunchy Orange Chicken Salad


Yield: 6 servings


2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) CARNATION Evaporated Milk

1/3 cup orange juice

1 large egg, well beaten

3 cups cooked, chopped, boneless, skinless chicken breast meat

3 stalks large celery, thinly sliced

3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons sliced green onion

1 can (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges, drained

1/2 head lettuce leaves (optional)


Combine sugar, flour and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan; gradually stir in evaporated milk, orange juice and egg. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dressing just comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Cover; refrigerate until cool.

Combine chicken, celery, nuts, dressing and green onion in large bowl. Gently stir in oranges. Cover; refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve over lettuce.

 Note: For a lower-fat version of this recipe, substitute CARNATION Evaporated Fat Free Milk for Evaporated Milk.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad



1 bunch uncooked, chopped broccoli florets

1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon

1/2 cup cashew pieces, unsalted

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 cup mayonnaise (for dressing)

1/3 cup sugar (for dressing)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (for dressing)


Mix broccoli, bacon, cashews, raisins and onions in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Toss salad with dressing and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes, allowing flavors to merge. Serve chilled.

Sweet Pumpkin Dip


Yield: 15 servings

Serve this luscious dip with a tray of gingersnaps, vanilla wafers or lemon wafers. Trim the crusts from white bread, spread this mixture on to create delicate party sandwiches and cut out with cookie cutters.


2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

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

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger


Beat cream cheese and pumpkin in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; mix thoroughly. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with fresh fruit, bite-size cinnamon graham crackers, gingersnap cookies, toasted mini-bagels, toast slices, muffins and/or English muffins.

 Note: For a lower-fat version of this recipe, substitute light cream cheese  for cream cheese.

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.

Enchilada Casserole


Yield: 8 servings


1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup (1 small) chopped peeled onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cans (10-oz.) ORTEGA Enchilada Sauce

1 can (2 1/2-oz.) sliced ripe olives, divided

10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut in half, divided

2 cups (8-oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 375º F. Grease bottom of 9-inch-square baking dish.

Combine beef, onion and garlic in large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink.

Stir in enchilada sauce and 1/4 cup olives. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes.

Layer half of tortillas on bottom of prepared baking dish. Cover with half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers; cover.

Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for additional 5 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining olives and green onions.

Potluck Chicken Casserole


Yield: 8 servings


1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons butter, divided

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups milk

3/4 cup mayonnaise

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

3 cups cooked long-grain rice

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes


In a saucepan over medium heat, saute mushrooms, onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons butter until tender. Stir in flour until thoroughly combined. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from the heat; stir in mayonnaise until smooth. Add chicken, rice, celery, peas, pimientos, lemon juice, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Melt remaining butter; toss with cornflakes. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

Tortellini Spinach Casserole


Yield: 12 servings.


2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen cheese tortellini

1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup butter, divided

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 block (8 ounces) brick cheese, cubed

3 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Cook tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper in 1/4 cup butter until mushrooms are tender. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, combine milk and remaining butter. Bring to a gentle boil; stir in brick cheese. Cook and stir until smooth. Drain tortellini; place in a large bowl. Stir in the mushroom mixture and spinach. Add cheese sauce and toss to coat.

Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Emeril's Carrot Souffle


From the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse

Servings: over 8


1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped

6 large eggs

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch salt


1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

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


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch casserole with the oil and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the carrots and cook until they are tender, about 15 minutes; drain. Combine the carrots with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole.

Combine the brown sugar, pecans, flour, and butter in a medium bowl. Stir to blend. Scatter the mixture over the top of the casserole and bake until the topping is lightly browned, about 55 minutes to 1 hour. Serve hot.

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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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