Shop Cheap

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

October 28, 2010
Treat yourself to recipes from Shop Cheap

There will be enough sugary sweets floating around the neighborhood this week so Shop Cheap recipe researcher Sheila Kern went to the kitchen looking for healthy recipes. She came up with great ideas for you and your family. Enjoy!

Raspberry Chicken


Serves 4


4 boneless chicken breast halves

balsamic vinaigrette or other vinaigrette

2 cups fresh red raspberries

1/4 cup raspberry jam

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled leaf tarragon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


Put chicken breast halves between sheets of plastic wrap; gently pound to flatten to an even thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette, if desired. Cover and refrigerate.

Clean berries and put a few aside for garnish. In a saucepan, combine berries, jam, vinegar, tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Let cool slightly. Spoon about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sauce into a bowl, then strain the remaining raspberry sauce through a fine mesh strainer into the same bowl. Keep warm or refrigerate and warm up when ready to serve.

Grill chicken pieces over medium coals for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Arrange chicken in a serving dish; spoon raspberry sauce over the chicken pieces and garnish with some fresh berries, if desired.

Annie's Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips


Makes 10 servings


2 kiwis, peeled and diced

2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced

8 ounces raspberries

1 pound strawberries

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas

butter flavored cooking spray

2 cups cinnamon sugar


In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Crunchy Berry Parfaits


Makes 2 servings


1/3 cup reduced-fat granola cereal

1 (8 ounce) carton reduced-fat vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 cup fresh blackberries or blueberries


Place 2 tablespoons of granola in each of two parfait glasses. Top each with about 2 tablespoons yogurt. Combine the berries; divide a third of the mixture between the two glasses. Repeat yogurt and berry layers. Top with the remaining yogurt, berries and granola.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Grapes and Almonds


Serves 4 - 6


2 cups water

1 1/3 cups quinoa

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups green or red grapes, quartered

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa and a pinch of salt then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking well. Add quinoa and toss to combine. Add chicken, grapes and almonds and toss again. Serve at room temperature or chilled, if you like.

Salad with Red Grapes and Feta


Serves 6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound red seedless grapes, halved (about 3 cups)

5 ounces mixed salad greens (about 7 cups)

6 ounces crumbled feta cheese


In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add grapes, greens and feta and toss well.

Wild Rice Pilaf with Rosemary and Red Grapes


Serves 8


2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 cups wild-rice blend (from two 6-ounce packages), seasoning packets discarded

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried and crushed

1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes, halved

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and rosemary; cook, stirring, about 1 minute.

Add broth and 1 cup water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat; cover, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Add grapes and parsley; season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Apple and Celery Salad with Peanuts


Yield: Serves 8 adults plus 10 children as part of a buffet


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

3 crisp red apples such as Fuji or Rome, cut into 1/4-inch-thick julienne

2 tart green apples such as Granny Smith, cut into 1/4-inch-thick julienne

4 large celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch-thick julienne

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


Whisk together lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl. Add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Add apples, celery, and parsley, tossing to coat. Just before serving, sprinkle with peanuts.

Toasted Oat & Apple Crumble


Makes 8 servings


1 cup oats

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup frozen apple-juice concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons canola oil

6 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced apples


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread oats on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine toasted oats, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, apple-juice concentrate and oil in a bowl.

Spread the apples in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the oat mixture over apples and bake until browned, 35 to 40 minutes.

Pork Chops with Golden Apple Sauce


Yield: 6 servings


4 Golden Delicious apples, chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 ounces golden raisins, a handful

1-inch piece fresh ginger root

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 cups all natural apple juice or cider, plus a splash for pan sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

4 (1-inch) thick center cut boneless pork loin chops, 6 to 8 ounces each

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter


Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium pot placed over medium high heat and cook until a chunky sauce forms, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce begins to spatter as it bubbles, reduce heat back a little, but it should be allowed to reduce and form quickly. Once apples are soft and sauce forms, remove it from the heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the pan. Season chops on 1 side with salt and pepper. Using a pair of tongs, add chops to hot skillet seasoned side down. Season the opposite side of the chops with salt and pepper. Brown and caramelize the chops 2 minutes on each side, then reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until juices run clear. Remove chops from heat and let them rest a couple of minutes for juice to redistribute. Deglaze the pan with a splash of apple juice and 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour pan sauce over chops. Remove ginger from the sauce and top chops with generous portions of warm golden apple sauce.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli


Show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: Fast and Fabulous

Yield: 6 servings


4 to 5 pounds broccoli

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Good olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Broccoli and Chicken Noodle Soup


Cooking Light, March 2009

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


Cooking spray

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup presliced mushrooms

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons butter

1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)

4 cups 1% low-fat milk

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

4 ounces uncooked vermicelli, broken into 2-inch pieces

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded light processed cheese (such as Velveeta Light)

4 cups (1-inch) cubed cooked chicken breast

3 cups small broccoli florets (8 ounces)

1 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic to pan; saute; 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; add butter to mushroom mixture, stirring until butter melts. Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add pasta to pan; cook 10 minutes. Add cheese to pan, and stir until cheese melts. Add chicken and remaining ingredients to pan; cook 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender and soup is thoroughly heated.

Provencal Tomato and Basil Soup

Adapted from

Recipe by Martha Rose Shulman

Serves 4


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 to 6 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

Salt to taste

2 pounds tomatoes, cored and diced, or 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice

Pinch of sugar

2 large sprigs basil, or about 16 leaves, plus 2 tablespoons slivered basil for garnish

1 quart water

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 Parmesan rind (optional)

1/4 cup rice or tapioca

Optional garnishes:

Garlic croutons (thin slices of baguette, lightly toasted and rubbed with a cut garlic clove)

Grated or shaved Parmesan


1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Stir in half the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, parmesan rind, basil sprigs or leaves, and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Add the water and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes. Add the tapioca or rice, and simmer for another 15 minutes until the tapioca is tender and the soup fragrant. Remove the basil sprigs and Parmesan rind. Puree in a blender in small batches, taking care to place a towel over the top of the blender and hold it down tightly. If you used fresh unpeeled tomatoes and want a silkier soup, put through a strainer, using a spatula or the back of a ladle to push the soup through. Return to the pot, add pepper to taste and adjust salt. Serve garnished with garlic croutons and/or Parmesan, if desired, and slivered basil leaves.

If serving cold, refrigerate until chilled.

October 26, 2010
Trick or Treat...we're shopping healthy this week

We all know that this time of year, ghouls just want to have fun. But before they get all jiggly and go running for the door, we need to feed the little mosters some healthy food. So this week, just to be different, we are focusing on healthy foods you can buy for your family. On Thursday, we will come back with some recipes to match. Here's what we like this week:

We're starting at Raley's this week where they have red or golden delicious apples for 47-cents a pound; fresh red raspberries 2/$3 and limes 10/$1. Cucumbers are 2/$1; broccoli is 77-cents a pound; large artichokes are 77-cents each and radishes/green onion or cilantro are just 2/$1.

Raley's all-natural pasta sauce is $1.88 a jar; dry pasta is 98-cents. Chicken thighs, drumsticks or leg quarters are 74-cents a pound and tri tip roast is $2.67lb. Raley's is also introducing "Raley's To Go" meals. They vary in size from "family" at $10 to singel serve entrees at $5. When you buy 4, you get the 5th one free. You can choose from spaghetti and meatballs to chicken verde enchiladas and Asian pasta.

A loaf of R Everyday bread is $1.28; a case of Arrowhead water is $3.50 and a bag of Sun Chips is $2.99. Michelina's budget gourmet entrees are 79-cents each; a container of cut fruit is $3 and a 6-pack of Raley's Raisins is $1.68. For a great appetizer, hit the deli for BOGO Volpi Rotola - mozarella and prosciutto roll -  that's great on crackers.

Heading to Safeway and reminding ourselves that we are eating healthy this week. How about the Mix & Match meat sale. Cross rib roast, lean ground beef, chicken leg quarters or pork shouulder country style ribs. Also, Mahi Mahi fillets for $4.99lb.

In produce, broccoli is 67-cents a pound; red delicious apples are 57-cents a pound and grapes are 99-cents a pound. A 3.5lb. Eating Right veggie tray is $9.99.

Let's head to coupon country where Edward Scissorhands likes the Safeway applejuice for 97 cents; string cheese for $2.49; a half-gallon on milk for $1.50 and Kellogg's frosted mini-wheats for $1.99. Safeway peanut butter is $1.29 and Duracell batteries are $2 off.

In the deli, Signature Cafe salads are $3.99 and Pot Roast soup is $3.99.

A case of refreshe water is $3.29 and a 12-pack of Lipton tea is $4.99. Minute Maid drinks are 99-cents for the 64-oz. size. It's time to start stocking up on sparkling apple cider and the Safeway variety is 2/$4.

Save Mart makes it easy to shop healthy with red seedless grapes at 77-cents a pound; Roma tomatoes for 29-cents a pound and boneless petite sirloin roast for $1.99lb. In produce, Hass avocados are 89-cents each and a 3lb. bag of Fuji or Gala apples is $2.99. Broccoli is 97-cents a pound; bell pepper is 69-cents each and green onions, radishes or cilantro are 50 cents a bound. The large veggie tray at Save Mart is $8.99.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts in the Max Pak are $1.99lb.

Martinelli's Sparkling Cider is 2/$4; 7-UP is 99-cents a jug and a case of Arrowhead is $3.33. Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.99 a loaf and San Luis sourdough is $2.99 a loaf. Michelina's lean gourmet entrees are 88-cents each and La Mexicana peach mango salsa is BOGO.

Clip-worthy coupons include Quaker chewy granola bars for $1.99; Sunny Select apple juice for 99-cents and Sunny Select pasta 2/$1.

Henry's has a 72-hour (Friday-Sunday) sale this week. Avocados are 2/$1 and boneless skinless chicken thighs are $1.49lb. Roma tomatoes are 88-cents a pound and Monterey Jack cheese is $2.49lb.

In produce, red seedless grapes are 88-cents a pound; pineapples are 88-cents each and oranges are 3lbs for $1. Cantaloupes and cucumbers are 3lbs for $1.

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



October 21, 2010
A healthy harvest of recipes

The fall harvest is in full swing this week with apples, pomegranates and pumpkins. Throw in some sausage and you have the true flavors of the season. Shop Cheap recipe researcher Sheila Kern provides an abundance of ideas for you and your family. Enjoy!

Brenda's Apple and Pomegranate Crisp


Servings: 8


4 medium apples - peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 pomegranate, skin and light-colored membrane removed

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, toss together the apples, pomegranate seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. In the same bowl, stir together the oats, flour and sugar. Rub in the butter between your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the fruit.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the apples are soft. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Arugula Salad with Pomegranate and Toasted Pecans

Epicurious | November 2005


Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 freshly ground pepper

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium bunches arugula, rinsed well and thick stems removed

1/3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, from 1 medium pomegranate


In medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together vinegars, salt, and pepper. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Toss arugula with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Sprinkle with pecans and pomegranate seeds and serve.

Chicken Tagine with Pomegranates


From EatingWell: Fall 2003, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

Makes 4 servings, about 1 cup each


1 1/4 cups fresh pearl onions, or frozen small whole onions

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice

3/4 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup dried apricots

15 sprigs cilantro, tied with kitchen string

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

1 cup pomegranate seeds, (1 large fruit, see Tip) for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F.

If using fresh pearl onions, cook in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Peel when cool enough to handle. If using frozen onions, rinse under warm water to thaw.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ginger and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to foam, about 1 minute. Add chicken and onions; stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Add pomegranate juice, prunes, apricots, cilantro and salt; bring to a simmer. Cover tightly with foil and then with a lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove lid and foil. Discard cilantro. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until light golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

To serve, spoon the tagine into a serving bowl or onto plates. Garnish with sesame seeds and pomegranate seeds.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat on the stovetop, in the oven (350°F, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes) or in the microwave. Equipment: Kitchen string

Ingredient note: Look for pomegranate juice with other bottled juices or in the produce section of well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.

Tip: To avoid the enduring stains of pomegranate juice, work under water! Fill a large bowl with water. Hold the pomegranate in the water and slice off the crown. Lightly score the fruit into quarters, from crown to stem end. Keeping the fruit under water, break it apart, gently separating the plump arils from the outer skin and white pith. The seeds will drop to the bottom of the bowl and the pith will float to the surface. Discard the pith. Pour the seeds into a colander. Rinse and pat dry. The seeds can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable bag for up to 3 months.



Serves 4


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 cups thinly sliced red onion, about 5 medium onions

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 large pre-cooked pizza shell

2 links Aidells Smoked Chicken & Apple Sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup walnut pieces


Preheat oven to 450°.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the onions and cook slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally until soft and golden, about 30 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Spread the onion mixture evenly over the pizza shell. Arrange the sausage slices over the onions and sprinkle with the cheese and walnuts. Bake for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin, Black Bean, and Sausage Stew


Serves 6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cups chicken broth

1 package Aidells Chicken & Apple sausage, diced into bite-size pieces

2 15-ouncecans black beans, drained

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1 cup frozen corn

2 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

cayenne pepper, salt and sugar to taste


In a soup pot over medium heat add the oil and saute the onions for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, sausage, black beans, tomatoes, corn, and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in milk, curry and cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with cayenne, salt and sugar.

Andouille Sausage Corn Chowder


Makes 7 to 8 cups


1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1-1/3 cups diced peeled potato (about 8 oz)

2 cups water or chicken stock

2 cups whole-kernel corn (fresh, canned or frozen and thawed)

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled

1/2 tsp salt

12 oz Saag's Classics Andouille Sausage, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 to 2 cups milk

1/2 cup sliced green onion

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste


Saute onion and celery in butter until soft, about 10 minutes. Add potato and saute briefly. Add water, corn, and salt; simmer until potatoes are done, about 10 minutes. Coarsely puree mixture; return to pot. Stir in 1 cup milk, sausage, and green onion. Add additional milk to reach desired consistency; heat just to boiling. Season to taste.

Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Artichokes


Servings: 6


4 roasted red peppers cored, seeded and cut into julienne strips

2 cups chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup Newman's Own Five Cheese Pasta Sauce

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 pound rigatoni pasta

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 fresh or smoked chicken sausages, sliced 1/4 inch thick


To make the pesto: Combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and cheese in a blender or food processor and blend until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil slowly, blending with combined. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the rigatoni, and cook according to the package directions until firm but tender.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the fresh sausage and cook, turning the pieces, until browned on all sides. If using smoked sausage, toss the pieces in the oil just to coat. Add the pepper strips, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until heated through. Add the wine and cook for 30 to 40 seconds. Add the sauce and cook, stirring until heated through, 1 or 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve.

Crockpot Smoked Sausages With Potatoes and Cabbage


Serves 4 to 6


2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled or peeled, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

1 medium onion, halved, sliced

1/2 small cabbage, coarsely chopped or shredded

6 to 8 links of smoked sausage, such as andouille, chicken and apple, or your favorite

1/2 cup apple juice

2 teaspoons cider vinegar


Arrange sliced potatoes in the bottom of a 4-to 7-quart slow cooker. Drizzle with the butter and sprinkle with about half of the salt, pepper, and thyme. Toss to coat then add the cabbage and onions. Sprinkle with remaining seasonings and top with the sausages. Pour the apple cider over all and then drizzle with vinegar.

Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.

Spicy Chicken-and-Pumpkin Stew


Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 cup stew and 1/2 cup rice)


1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

4 cups sliced onion

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper

2 teaspoons curry powder

4 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups cubed peeled fresh pumpkin or other winter squash (such as acorn)

1 cup water

1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

5 cups hot cooked long-grain rice


Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the chicken, and sauté for 8 minutes or until browned. Remove the chicken from pan. Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining chicken; set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (onion through garlic); sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, water, and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Return chicken to pan; cook 10 minutes or until heated. Stir in cilantro; serve over rice.

Pumpkin Stew


Makes 9 servings


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 large onion, chopped

2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced

3 medium carrots, thinly sliced

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

4 cups water

1 to 2 bay leaves

1 to 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

3 cups cubed peeled pumpkin


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add meat, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a Dutch oven, brown meat in oil and butter. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery, water, bay leaves, bouillon, thyme and remaining pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 hours.

Stir in pumpkin. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until meat and pumpkin are tender. Discard bay leaves.

October 19, 2010
We're thinking orange and black

It's the season for orange and black - at the grocery store and at the ballpark. As the stores gear up for Halloween, baseball fans are gearing up for what could be a Giant Halloween treat!

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's a rather routine week in the grocery world with a mix of BOGOs, coupons and weekend specials. Here's what we like:

If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for Raley's Friday Freebie. Sure, it's designed to get shoppers into the store on Friday, but the freebie is always something useful. We're liking the produce values this week at Raley's. Fuji apples, green beans and pears are all 97-cents a pound. Iceberg lettuce is 57-cents a head; pomegranates are 2/$3 and strawberries are BOGO.

If you're clippin' check out the coupons for 7-UP or A&W liters at 79-cents each; a case of Aquafina drinking water for $3.33; Oscar Mayer franks for $1.99; Eggo waffles for $1.50 and Crystal Geyser spring water - 59-cents a gallon.

Other stuff: Prego pasta sauce is $1.89; Ronzoni pasta is 89-cents; and 18-pack of eggs is $1.98 and Sunnyside Farms yogurt is 48-cents a cup. Dennison's chili is 99-cents a can and Minute Maid OJ is 2/$4.

In the sweet category, dessert for 2 is BOGO (it's now dessert for 4); Skinny Cow ice cream treats are $3.99 and Haagen Daz ice cream is $2.50 with coupon.

If Safeway is your haunt, bagged Halloween candy is on sale at $2 each when you buy 4; pumpkins are BOGO. Here's another deal that has possibilities - buy 2-12 packs of Coke and get 2 - 12 packs free PLUS two free boxes of Nabisco crackers.

Craving sausage? Aidells varieties - including chicken/apple - are $4.99 and Saag's smoked sausage is 2/$7. Foster Farms whole chickens are 79-cents a pound; top sirloin steak is $2.99lb and ground turkey breast is BOGO.

In produce, bananas are 37-cents a pound; avocados are $1 each; pomegranates are 2/$5; raspberries are 2/$6 and bell pepper is 99-cents each.

Clip-worthy coupons include a dozen eggs for 99-cents; Simply Juice or Minute Maid Enhanced juices for $2.49. Arrowhead water is $2.99 a case. Quaker instand oatmeal is BOGO; Safeway breads are $1.50  a loaf and tahe $5 Friday special is 8-piece chicken.

Heading over to Save Mart for great produce: Avocado for 50-cents; asparagus for $1.47lb; pomegranates 2/$3; pumpkins 3/$9.99 and BOGO raspberries.

Foster Farms savory chicken breasts are $3.99lb. Minute Maid Enhanced drinks or Simply juices are 2/$5. Bertolli frozen entrees are $5.99 and 18-count fresh eggs are $1.79.

If Henry's is in your neighborhood, there's a BOGO bonanza at that store. Annie's Mac & Cheese; Hansen;s juices; Kettle Chips; Haagen Daz; Cascade yogurt; strawberries; Earthbound salads, seedless watermelon and Volcanic whole bean coffee - just to name a few.

In produce, apples are 59-cents a pound; black seedless grapes are 98-cents a pound and white corn on the cob is 3/$1.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.88lb and top sirloin steak is $2.88lb.

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

October 14, 2010
Recipes for guac and a whole lot more

Whether you are going to be out and about this weekend or plopped in front of the TV watching sports, recipes from researcher Sheila Kern and the Shop Cheap Kitchen will be all you need to plan your meals and feed your fun. Lots of the items are on sale at your neighborhood supermarket. Enjoy and GO GIANTS!

Nacho Guacamole

From (Hass Avocado Board)

Makes 8 servings


4 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, seeded, peeled and diced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced

1/2 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

1 tsp. garlic salt


Place half the avocado in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine, somewhat mashing the avocado.

Gently stir in remaining avocado. Chill until ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Tip: If a smoother guacamole is preferred, add all the Hass Avocado in step 1. If a chunkier guacamole is what you like, add all the Hass Avocado at the end and gently stir in.

 Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Hass Avocado Stuffed Marinated Mushrooms

From (Hass Avocado Board)

Makes 8 servings


2 (8-oz.) boxes fresh white mushrooms

2/3 cup prepared balsamic dressing

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. coarse ground garlic salt

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, halved, seeded and scooped out

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


Using a wet paper towel, wipe all mushrooms to remove any soil.

Pop out mushroom stems. Place mushroom caps in a sealable plastic bag and add salad dressing, making sure all the mushrooms are coated with dressing. Marinate the mushrooms for 30 minutes.

Remove mushrooms from dressing and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, garlic salt, onion and avocados. Coarsely mash, combining all ingredients. Spoon avocado mixture into a sealable plastic bag and seal tightly.

Push mixture away from one of the bottom corners of the bag. Using scissors cut a small hole in this corner of the plastic bag. Squeeze a generous amount of the avocado mixture through the hole in the bag into each mushroom cap and sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve.

 Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Black Bean, Avocado and Corn Salsa

From (Hass Avocado Board)

Makes 6 servings


1/4 cup vinaigrette salad dressing

1/4 cup sliced scallions

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. grated lime peel

15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1 fully ripened avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced


In large bowl, whisk together salad dressing, scallions, cilantro and lime peel. Stir in beans, corn and red pepper.

Add avocado; toss gently. Season with salt, if desired.

 Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas


Makes 4 servings


1 red onion, sliced thin

1 bell pepper, sliced thin (red or green) (optional)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded

1/2-1 cup barbecue sauce

1 -2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Cilantro, chopped (optional)

4 large flour tortillas

additional barbecue sauce


Saute onions and bell peppers (if using) in pan with butter. Remove from pan and set aside.

In another pan heat through shredded chicken with bbq sauce.

Lightly butter one side of a tortilla.

Place butter side down in saute pan.

Quickly add some of the cheese, chicken and onions (peppers and cilantro, if using) to one half of tortilla. Then quickly fold in half forming a semi-circle.

Continue to cook until bottom side is golden brown, then carefully flip quesadilla over.

Brown other side and remove from pan.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Cut quesadilla into wedges and serve with additional barbecue sauce.

Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Mustard Arugula Salad

Makes 6 servings



1 1/3 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (about 4 pounds)


1 1/3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter, melted


3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 5-ounce package arugula

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler into strips



Whisk first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover and chill overnight, turning occasionally.


Mix first 10 ingredients in another large bowl. Place 1 wire rack on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets. Remove 1 chicken breast from bowl. Turn chicken breast in coating mixture. Transfer to rack, skin side up. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts, arranging 3 breasts on each rack. Let stand 30 minutes.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon melted butter over each breast. Place 1 baking sheet on top rack and second sheet on bottom rack.

Bake chicken 20 minutes. Reverse baking sheets. Bake until coating is browned and instant-read thermometer registers 160°F when inserted into thickest part of breast, about 20 minutes longer.


Meanwhile, whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with pepper.

Place arugula and Parmesan in large bowl. Add some of dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 1 chicken breast on each plate. Divide salad among plates and serve.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Grapes and Almonds


Serves 4 to 6


2 cups water

1 1/3 cups quinoa

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups green or red grapes, quartered

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa and a pinch of salt then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed,15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking well. Add quinoa and toss to combine. Add chicken, grapes and almonds and toss again. Serve at room temperature or chilled, if you like.

Easy Grape Salad



1 pound seedless green grapes

1 pound seedless red grapes

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

1 (6 ounce) package slivered almonds


Wash grapes in a colander under running water, and remove all stems. Place in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture over the grapes. Using a rubber spatula or large serving spoon, fold the mixture into the grapes until well coated. Fold in the almonds.

This salad may be served immediately, or covered and refrigerated for 1 hour to set slightly, and to allow flavors to blend.

Apple Coleslaw


Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Poppy Seed Honey Dressing:

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup poppy seeds

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium cabbage, cored, finely shredded

2 large carrots, peeled, julienne

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup finely minced parsley leaves, optional

4 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, julienne

Prepare the Poppy Seed Dressing. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients together until well blended. Set aside.

Prepare the salad. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, parsley, and apples. Pour in the reserved dressing and toss until well blended. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, mixing the salad at least once to evenly distribute the dressing.

Apple Strudel Muffins


Makes 12 servings


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped apples

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Warm Brie with Fuji Apple, Pear and Melba Toasts


Yield: 4 servings


1 large Fuji apple

1 large red or brown skinned pear, slightly underripe

A wedge lemon

1 pound individual wheel brie cheese

24 sesame Melba toast rounds, any brand


Quarter apple and pear lengthwise and cut into each quarter on an angle to remove the core. Slice apple and pear into 1/4-inch thick slices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fruit to slow browning.

Cut the top rind off the brie and place in the microwave on high for 60 seconds. Depending on the ripeness of the cheese, it will take 60 to 90 seconds on high to heat and melt. If brie is not yet soft and hot after 1 minute, place it back in microwave for another 30 seconds on high.

Serve the softened, warm brie with a platter of fruit and Melba toasts for dipping and spreading. Reheat brie if it tightens up for 20 to 30 seconds at a time on high.

Raspberry, Avocado & Mango Salad


From EatingWell: July/August 2007

Makes 5 servings, about 2 cups each


1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 cups mixed salad greens

1 ripe mango, diced (see Tip)

1 small ripe avocado, diced

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts, or sliced almonds (see Tip), optional


Puree 1/2 cup raspberries, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender until combined.

Combine greens, mango, avocado and onion in a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top and gently toss to coat. Divide the salad among 5 salad plates. Top each with the remaining raspberries and sprinkle with nuts, if using.

Tips & Notes

Tips: To dice a mango:

1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.

2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.

3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.

4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.

To toast chopped or sliced nuts, heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Raspberry Truffle Tart


Makes 10 servings



1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

1 egg white

2 tablespoons ground almonds


6 oz sweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces

1/4 cup butter

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons raspberry-flavored liqueur, if desired

2 cups fresh raspberries


1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 oz sweet baking chocolate

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Mint leaves


Heat oven to 375°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom or 9-inch glass pie pan. Trim edge if necessary. Bake 7 minutes.

Remove partially baked crust from oven. Lightly brush crust with egg white; sprinkle with ground almonds. Return to oven; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool while making filling.

In 2-quart saucepan, melt 6 oz chocolate and the butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.

In small bowl, beat egg yolks slightly with wire whisk. Stir in liqueur. Add egg yolk mixture to chocolate. With wire whisk, beat over low heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Pour into cooled baked shell. Arrange raspberries over filling.

In 1-quart saucepan, melt jam over low heat. Stir in extract. Gently brush over raspberries.

In another 1-quart saucepan, melt 1 oz chocolate with oil over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Drizzle over raspberries. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with mint leaves. Store in refrigerator.

October 12, 2010
Stores are big on BOGOs this week

Shop Cheap gives the nod to Safeway this week for what's on sale. From the boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $1.88lb (they are a penny cheaper at Raley's and 11-cents cheaper at Henry's) to the avocados for 77-cents each and the 4-day weekend sale, they pretty much have it covered. If only they had BOGO raspberries like Raley's and Henry's or Fuji apples for 47-cents a pound like Save Mart!  A girl can dream, right?

Here's what else we like at Safeway: At the 4-day sale (Friday-Monday), you can get bacon for $3.77, seedless green grapes for 99-cents a pound; Lucerne or Safeway Select ice cream for $2.50 and Lay's chips for $1.79. If you're clippin', check out Progresso soups for 88-cents; Powerade for 69-cents; Mission flour tortillas for $1.29 and Multi-grain Cheerios for $1.99.

If you are thinking about grillin' dogs over the weekend, Hebrew National franks are BOGO and Foster Farms franks are 99-cents a packabe. There at 10 for $10 sale that includes liters of 7-UP and Pepsi; Barilla pasta; Dennison's chili and sliced peaches.

Safeway butter-top breads are $1.50 a loaf; Honey Nut Cheerios and Quaker chewy granola bars are $1.88 and Campbell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle soups are 50-cents each. Vitamin water is 88-cents; Safeway Select OJ is $2.50 a jug and Lucerne large eggs (18 count) are BOGO.

That ever-expanding $5 Friday special this week includes the All-American Deli sandwich, Dino chicken breast nuggets, a pound of Primo Taglio turkey, ham or Havarti cheese and Almond Bistro Cake from the bakery.

Over at Raley's, where we are grabbing those BOGO raspberries. We're also are picking up broccoli for 97-cents a pound; fresh pineapple for $2.47 and oranges for 77-cents a pound. The boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.87lb; rump roast is $2.99lb and 8 pieces of fried chicken in the deli is $4.99.

Buy two jars of Ragu pasta sauce ($1.49 each) and get a free box of Golden Grain pasta

A case of Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.33; those Lundberg rice chips are still on sale for 99-cents; and Kellogg's family size boxes of cereal are $2.99. Yoplait yogurt is 50-cents; 2-liter Coke is 99-cents when you buy 4 and Tree Top apple juice is 2/$4 plus you get a free 6-pack of apple sauce. There's a $2 coupon for Ore-Ida potatoes.

Moving on to Save Mart, be sure to check out the cross rib roast for $1.99lb and the recipe for "Marinated Beef Cross Rib Roast" from Laura McIntosh. Save Mart also has rump roast for $2.69lb and bonelss portk chops in the Max Pak for $1.67lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the Max Pak are $1.99lb and Foster Farms split chicken breasts are BOGO.

Save Mart is a great place for produce. Red seedless grapes are 77-cents a pound and fuji apples are only 47-cents a pound. Fresh limes are 10/$1; cantaloupe or honeydew melons are 2/$5. Strawberries and raspberries are BOGO. Be careful with the strawberries, Shop Cheap has had to toss recently-purchased berries because they got soft and moldy quite quickly.

The 10 for $10 sale includes Bumble Bee tuna; Mrs. Cubbisons coutons; S&W beans and Farm House side dishes. Buy a jar of Best Foods mayo for $2.99 and get a free can of tuna.

Post cereals are $1.99 a box; Sunshine crackers are 2/$4 and a case of Crystal Geyser water is $3.33.

Michelina's frozen entrees are 79-cents each. Hard to beat that price anywhere! Sunnyside Farms large eggs are $1.50 for 18 and Breyer's ice cream is $2.98.

Shop Cheap finally got over to Henry's Farmers Market in Elk Grove. Great store that's a smaller version of a Whole Foods. Lots of organic, bulk items and fresh produce. This week, there's asparagus for 98-cents a pound; cantaloupe 4lbs/$1; BOGO raspberries and avocado. Oranges are 88-cents a pound; D'Anjou pears are 88-cents a pound and Italian squash or sweet onions are 88-cents a pound. Organic bananas are 77-cents a pound.

Henry's is big on the BOGO this week. Items include Cascade yogurt; Newman's cookies; Boulder Canyon chips; Lundberg risotto; Muir Glen organic pasta sauce; Annie's Naturals salad dressing; Breyer's ice cream and Balance energy bars. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.77lb in the family pack and pork baby back ribs are $2.99lb in the family pack..

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



October 7, 2010
It's soup season

Nevermind that it's suppose to be 80-degrees this weekend, we are now all about autumn.

Nothing says Fall like a steaming bowl of homemade soup. Even though most soups have multiple ingredients, the cost of making a pot of soup is relatively inexpensive. And when you Shop Cheap, getting a lot for a little is what it's all about. This week, recipe researcher Sheila Kern put away the summer recipe book and went searching for fall foods. I think you will like what she found. Enjoy!

Creamy Squash Soup


Makes 6 servings


3 bacon strips

1 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups mashed, cooked winter squash

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk, divided

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Sour cream


In a saucepan or Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings; saute onion and garlic in dripping until tender. In a blender or food processor, puree squash, flour, 1/3 cup milk and onion mixture; add to pan. add broth, curry powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg and remaining milk; bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Top servings with a dollop of sour cream if desired. Sprinkle with bacon.

French Lentil Soup


Makes 8 servings


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish

1 cup chopped carrots

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 cups (or more) vegetable broth

1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained

1 14 1/2-ounce can dice tomatoes in juice

Balsamic vinegar (optional)


Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; saute; until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves.

Taco Soup


Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Show: Paula's Home Cooking Episode: Game Night (Appetizers)

Yield: 12 to 16 servings


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.

Baked Potato Soup


Cooking Light, September 2007

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups soup, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon)


4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)

6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk

1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided

6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Cracked black pepper (optional)


Preheat oven to 400°.

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

Tuscan Spinach, Bean & Sausage Soup


From EatingWell: January/February 1998

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each


1 link hot Italian-style turkey sausage

1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 clove garlic, minced

8 ounces frozen cut-leaf spinach

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Bring sausage and 1/4 inch water to a simmer in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, until water evaporates, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to cook until the sausage is browned on all sides, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board; when cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Combine the sausage, beans, broth, garlic, spinach and marjoram in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese just before serving.

French Onion Soup


From Everyday Food, January/February 2005

Serves 8

This soup can be frozen for up to three months; to serve, defrost, and warm on the stove, over low heat. The soup gets its rich taste from caramelized onions.


10 medium yellow onions (about 4 1/2 pounds), halved, peeled, and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup dry red wine

For Cheese Toast (optional)

4 slices toasted multigrain bread

4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss together onions, oil, sugar, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover tightly with foil; cook until steamed, about 30 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring every 30 minutes, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more.

Transfer onion mixture to a large saucepan (reserve roasting pan); stir in broth and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until liquid has darkened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, deglaze the roasting pan with wine: Place the pan over medium heat; add wine. Scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon or scraper to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour liquid (and browned bits) into soup. Season with salt and pepper. (If freezing, let cool completely before transferring to airtight containers, leaving 1 inch at top.)

If desired, make the cheese toast: Heat broiler. Place bread on a baking sheet; top with Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Cut each slice into four triangles.

To serve, divide soup among bowls; garnish each with two triangles of cheese toast, if desired.

October 7, 2010
Update on milk prices

Maybe Raley's really does listen. Sent Mr. Shop Cheap to the store for milk, etc., and guess what? He came home with 2 gallons of Bayview Fat Free milk and the receipt for $3.79.

Sure beats the more than $5 last week. Thanks for listening, Raley's.

October 5, 2010
Fill your cart with fall foods

It's time to make the switch to fall with soups and stews and all the flavors that a new season brings. We still have California grown grapes and strawberries but Bartlett pears, sweet pineapple and crunchy apples are in abundance.

Here's what we like this week:

Going to start with Raley's this week because they have Quaker mini rice cakes for $1 a bag and Lundberg rice chips for 99-cents a bag. Another favorite - Milton's multi-grain bread - is $2.49 a loaf. Whole Foster Farms chickens are 77-cents a pound. If you are craving seafood, there's a one-day sale on Saturday, Oct. 9. All frozen seafood and fresh Atlantic salmon fillets are 50% off regular prices.

In produce, "holiday" seedless grapes are $1.47lb; large 'chokes are 97-cents each and apples are 87-cents a pound. If you are ready for them, pumpkins are 2/$6 and pears are 97-cents a pound.

Before we go any further, I need to vent about milk prices. A couple of weeks ago "Moms asked for lower milk prices" and got them. But that didn't last long. Two gallons at most stores are more than $5. Think the Moms need to protest!

UPDATE: Milk prices are back down below $5 for 2 gallons. Maybe, they do listen!

Heading over to Save Mart, there's country-style ribs for 99-cents a pound. Be sure to clip the recipe for "Laura's Best BBQ Country Style Ribs." To go with the ribs, there's Russet potatoes for 97-cents; Iceberg lettuce for 37 cents and avocado for 89-cents.

Home Pride or Nature's Pride breads are $1.99 a loaf; a case of Sunny Select drinking water is $2.88 and Golden Grain pasta products are 79-cents each. Pillsbury "Grands" biscuits are 99-cents each; Sunnyside Farms eggs are 99-cents a dozen and sliced cheese is $1.99 a package.

Clip the coupons and you can get Gallo salame or pepperoni for $1.99; ketchup for 69 cents and 3-12 packs of Coke products for the price of 2.

Campbell's soups - chicken noodle and tomato - are 50-cents each; Dennisons chili is $1 a can and Sunnyside Farms bread is $1.50 a loaf.

We are going to Safeway for the Saturday/Sunday/Monday sale. Johnsonville Italian sausage for $2.99; fresh pineapple for $1.99 and bakery French bread for 99-cents a loaf. Other stuff we like at Safeway: BOGO Oscar Mayer bacon; Bartlett pears for 39-cents a pound; Arrowhead or Nestle water for $3.49 a case and BOGO bagged salads.

Buy two jars of Classico or Barilla pasta sauce (2/$4) and get 2 boxes of Barilla pasta free. Add a loaf of that 99-cent bread and you have a meal for $3!!! Heck, you can add an apple pie from the bakery for $2.99 and still only spend $6 for dinner.

Safeway again has expanded the $5 Friday promotion. This week you can get chicken tenders; Tony Roma's ribs and a DVD for $5 each. The deals are pretty good in coupon country, too. I'll be clipping the coupons for General Mills cereals, $1.99; Eating Right baby carrots, $1.49; Breyer's ice cream, $1.99 and Lucerne cheese slices for $1.29.

In produce, Haas avocados are $1 each; Iceberg lettuce is $1 a head; celery is 99-cents and strawberries are 99-cents a pound.

Let's make a quick stop at Henry's for produce because it's hard to beat their prices. Seedless grapes are 77-cents a pound; avocados are 2/$1; bell peppers are 2/$1; pears are 2lbs/$1; asparagus is 2lbs/$5 and pumpkins are 3/$10.

Come back on Thursday because we have soup cooking in 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

October 2013

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