Shop Cheap

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

September 21, 2010
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Shop Cheap is taking her cart to Southern California this week to check out the shopping in the Southland. While she is gone, remember to scan the ads and compare prices before heading out to the grocery store. Before you do your tailgating this weekend, check out these great recipes compiled by recipe researcher Sheila Kern. Come back next week for Shop Cheap's report from SoCal. Enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas


Makes 16 servings


2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts

1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese

1/3 cup KRAFT SANDWICH SHOP Chipotle Flavored Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 Egg

1 Tbsp. Water

1 pkg. (14.1 oz.) ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)

1 tsp. Chili powder


Heat oven to 375ºF.

Combine first 4 ingredients. Whisk egg and water until well blended.

Unroll pie crusts on lightly floured surface. Use rolling pin to roll each to 12-inch circle. Cut each crust into 8 (4-inch) circles with biscuit cutter, re-rolling dough as needed. Place on parchment-covered baking sheets. Spoon 2 Tbsp. chicken mixture onto center of each circle; brush edge with egg. Fold dough circles in half. Press tops lightly to remove excess air; seal edges with fork. Brush tops with remaining egg. Sprinkle with chili powder.

Bake 15 min. or until golden brown.

Quick Guacamole


From EatingWell: June/July 2005


3 avocados, diced (about 3 cups)

1 cup Fresh Tomato Salsa, (recipe follows) or prepared salsa

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt


Using a potato masher, mash diced avocados in a medium bowl, leaving them a little chunky. Add salsa, lemon juice and salt; stir to combine.

Taco Soup



2 pounds ground beef

2 cups diced onions

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles

2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional

1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional

1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix

Corn chips, for serving

Sour cream, for garnish

Grated cheese, for garnish

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Pickled jalapenos, for garnish


Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

White Chili


Makes 6 servings, 1 1/3 cups each


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 15-ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 cups diced cooked skinless turkey, or chicken

2 tablespoons cider vinegar


Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chiles, oregano, cumin and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in beans and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add turkey (or chicken) and vinegar; cook for 5 minutes more. Serve.

Sweet Restaurant Slaw


Makes 8 servings

1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix

2 tablespoons diced onion

2/3 cup creamy salad dressing

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds


Combine the coleslaw mix and onion in a large bowl.

Whisk together the salad dressing, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, salt, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Pour dressing mixture over coleslaw mix and toss to coat. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Grilled Steak Fajitas


Yield: Serves 4


1 pound flank or round streak cut into thin (1/4 inch) strips

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 each red and green bell pepper cut into long strips

1 large onion cut into rings


Mix lime juice, vinegar, black pepper, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Add steak strips and let marinate for 15-20 minutes. Preheat grill. Put a couple of drops of water on each tortilla and wrap all together in aluminum foil. Place on grill, turning once during cooking. Place meat in grilling basket on high heat. Reduce heat (move farther from coals if using charcoal) and add bell peppers and onion. Cook until meat is done to liking and peppers are starting to soften. Remove from grill and serve with sour cream and guacamole on tortillas.

Grilled Potato Skins


Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer


2 large russet potatoes

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

1 small onion, finely diced

3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat grill for medium heat. Combine rosemary, butter, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cut potatoes into 8 wedges. Hollow out each center of wedge. Place potato wedges in microwave for 5-6 minutes. Remove and brush with butter mixture. Put potatoes on grill rack skin side up. Grill for 5 minutes, turn, and grill for 3 minutes. Add cheese to wedges and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from grill, and top off with crumbled bacon, onion, and sour cream.

Tortilla Roll-Ups



12 (14-ounce package) flour tortillas

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup sour cream

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles

3 tablespoons chopped green onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper

12 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup salsa or picante sauce


In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, chilies, onion, red bell pepper, and Cheddar cheese. Mix thoroughly. Spread onto tortillas and roll up. Cover tightly and chill for 2 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with salsa or picante sauce. Makes about 8 dozen pieces of tortilla roll-ups.

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip



1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach

2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup grated pepper jack cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop in a food processor.

Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm over a low flame. Serve with bagel chips.

Barbecued Pork Ribs


Serves 4 to 6


For the ribs:

2 racks (2 to 21/2 pounds each) Saint Louis-style pork ribs

Vegetable oil, for grill rack

For the rub:

2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

2 tablespoons coarse salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons hot paprika

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup bourbon

1 cup strained tomatoes

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup water

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Prepare the ribs: Place 1 rib rack, meat side down, on a work surface. With a knife, cut a small slit through the silvery membrane at 1 end of the rack. Using a paper towel, grip the cut portion of the membrane, gently peel it from the rack, and discard. Repeat with remaining rack.

Make the rub: Combine sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, mustard powder, and celery seed in a bowl. (If mixture is clumpy, pass through a medium sieve.) Rub mixture on both sides of each rack. Place ribs on a rimmed baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

Make the sauce: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in bourbon, scraping the pan. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, water, and sugar, and cook, continuing to stir, until sugar dissolves.

Simmer the sauce: Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by 1/3, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly. Puree in a blender until smooth. (You should have about 2 cups.) Use immediately, or let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Set up the grill: Place a 9-by-13-inch disposable aluminum pan in the center of bottom grill rack. If using a charcoal grill, place a chimney starter on top grill rack, and fill with about 60 charcoal briquettes (about 4 pounds). Stuff newspaper under chimney, and ignite. Heat briquettes until just covered in ash. Wearing oven mitts, carefully lift chimney, remove top rack, and pour coals onto bottom rack along both sides of pan. Top coals with 1 to 2 chunks hardwood or 1 cup wood chips that have been soaked in water for 1 hour and drained. Fill pan halfway with hot water. Replace top rack. If using a gas grill, heat to medium-low.

Grill the ribs: Let ribs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Fold a paper towel into a thick rectangle, and dip it in oil. Hold towel with tongs, and brush oil on top grill rack. Place both rib racks, bone side down, on top grill rack, directly over pan. Cover, keeping top grill vents halfway open and bottom vents completely open to maintain grill temperature of 275 degrees to 325 degrees. Cook ribs, without turning, until the meat is tender but not falling off bones, and has shrunk 1/2 inch from ends, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, adding 8 briquettes to each charcoal pile every hour.

Baste the ribs: Transfer 1 cup sauce to a small serving bowl. Brush both sides of ribs with remaining 1 cup sauce. Cover, and grill until ribs are glistening and deep mahogany, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.

Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs


From Southern Living, December 1999

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen (serving size: 1 meatball)


3/4 pound extra-lean ground beef

3/4 pound ground turkey

1 small onion, minced

1/4 cup egg substitute

1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

3/4 cup ketchup

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup low-sodium Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustard


Combine first 5 ingredients; shape mixture into 1-inch balls.

Brown meatballs, in batches, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove meatballs from skillet, and wipe skillet clean. Stir together ketchup and next 4 ingredients in skillet; bring to a boil.

Add meatballs, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink

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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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