Shop Cheap

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

November 30, 2010
Get crackin' with sweet prices on crab

So much shopping, so little time with the holidays fast approaching. Not to worry. Shop Cheap has you covered at the grocery store. We've scanned the ads and come up with the best bargains at the Big 3 in our region - Safeway, Save Mart and Raley's.

It's a great weekend to get crackin' because Dungeness crab is on sale at Save Mart and Safeway for $2.99lb. If you've been waiting for a low price on crab, this is it. Doubt it's going to get any cheaper. Save Mart is offering crab at $2.99lb on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. At Safeway, you can get Friday-Monday.

Here's what else we like this week:

In addition to the weekend crab sale, Save Mart also has green bell pepper or cucumber 6/$1; cereal for 99-cents and Snyders pretzels for $1 over the weekend. Asparagus is $1.47lb; tri-tip roast is $2.99lb and Coke products are 99-cents in the 2-liter bottle. Avocados are $1 each; Roma tomatoes are 97-cents a pound and eggplant is 97-cents. Iceberg lettuce is 97-cents a head; berries are $2.50 a carton and pomegranates are $1.50 each.

If your holiday gathering requires a canned food item to help the needy, Save Mart has kidney beans for 99-cents; Sunny Select spaghetti for 79-cents and pasta dinners for 99-cents. Campbell's chunky soups are 2/$3 and cases of Crystal Geyser water are $3.33.

Michelina's frozen entrees are 88-cents. Coupons include El Monterey burritos for $1.99 and Little Smokies for $2.49. Sunnyside Farms bread is $1.50 a loaf and Nabisco saltines or Chips Ahoy! cookies are $1.99. Kellogg's cereals are $1.99 a box.

Over at Safeway, their 4-day sale includes the crab for $2.99; seedless grapes for 97-cents a pound Langer's juice drinks 3/$5 and 2-liter Pepsi for 88-cents each. Safeway also is promoting a $10 holiday voucher when you spend $75 in groceries.

Lucerne eggs are 99-cents a dozen; Hilshire Farm Little Smokies are 2/$5 and a huge selection of Kellogg's cereals, apple juice and Thomas' muffins are 5/$10. In the BOGO category, you'll find Classico Pasta souce; Foster Farms fresh chicken breasts and fresh ground turkey. Also, Hilshire Farm smoked sausage or bratwurst and Hormel Pork tenderloin.

In produce, oranges are 99-cents a pound; bell peppers are 99-cents each and cucumbers are 79-cents each. Apples are 47-cents a pound; mangos are 50-cents each.

 Hitting the road and heading to Raley's be sure to grab a free taste of their "To Go" meals in the deli. Always helps when you can sample before you buy. Raley's also corners the market on produce prices. Fresh green beans are 77-cents a pound; Fuji apples are $1.27lb; D'Anjou pears are 77-cents a pound; Mandarins are 97-cents a pound and oranges are 77-cents a pound.

If you like Nutella, buy a loaf of Nob Hill Pugliese bread and get a free jar of the spread. Prego pasta sauce is $2 a jar; Ronzoni pasta is 99-cents and Michelina's budget entrees are 89-cents each. A case of Crystal Geyser is $3.33; R.W. Knudsen sparkling cider is 4/$7. Sara Lee english muffins are $1.99 and Campbell's chunky soups are $1.49.

Come back on Thursday to see what's cooking in the Shop Cheap Kitchen.

November 23, 2010
Recipes to be thankful for

It's finally here - the T-Day countdown. With a day to go, you had better be finished with the shopping. If not, those prices you saw in the ads last week are still good this week. Check out Shop Cheap for all of our shopping suggestions and last minute recipe ideas. Hate to tell you, but we've already moved on to the leftovers. Since it's likely that Jack Frost will be paying us a visit, be sure to check out recipe researcher Sheila Kern's ideas for all things turkey: soup, soup and more soup with some chili and tetrazzini, too. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.

Turkey Soup


Gourmet | November 2005

Yield: Makes 6 to 10 servings


Carcass from a 14- to 16-lb roast turkey, including skin

4 qt water

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

6 oz medium dried egg noodles (about 3 1/4 cups)

1 cup frozen peas (from a 10-oz package)

2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey meat (without skin)


Pull carcass into large pieces. Combine carcass, water, and thyme in a 7- to 10-quart pot and simmer, uncovered, skimming froth, 3 hours. Discard large bones with a slotted spoon or tongs, then pour broth through a large sieve into a large bowl.

If broth measures less than 12 cups, add water. If not, boil, uncovered, in cleaned pot until reduced to 12 cups. If using broth right away, let stand until fat rises to top, 1 to 2 minutes, then skim off and discard fat. If not using broth right away, cool, uncovered, then chill, covered, before skimming fat (it will be easier to remove when cool or cold).

Heat oil in cleaned and dried pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onions, carrots, and celery, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add broth and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add noodles, peas, and turkey and simmer, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes.

Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup


From EatingWell: November/December 2008

Yield: 4 servings, about 1 3/4 cups each


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups sliced mushrooms, (about 4 ounces)

3/4 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup quick-cooking or instant wild rice, (see Ingredient Note)

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

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots and shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in turkey (or chicken), sour cream and parsley and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Tips & Notes

Ingredient note: Quick-cooking or instant wild rice has been parboiled to reduce the cooking time. Conventional wild rice takes 40 to 50 minutes to cook. Be sure to check the cooking directions when selecting your rice--some brands labeled "quick" take about 30 minutes to cook. If you can't find the quick-cooking variety, just add cooked conventional wild rice along with the turkey at the end of Step 2.

Tip: To poach chicken breasts, place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.

Barley Turkey Soup


Servings: 9


2 quarts chicken broth

1 1/2 cups diced celery

1 cup medium pearl barley

1 medium onion, diced

3/4 cup diced carrots

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon pepper

dash cayenne pepper

2 cups cubed cooked turkey

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley


In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, combine the first 11 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables and barley are tender. Stir in turkey and parsley if desired; heat through. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Turkey Tetrazzini


Yields: 8 servings


8 oz. dry spaghetti, prepared according to package directions, kept warm

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided

3/4 cup (2.25 oz.) BUITONI Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese, divided

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 can (14 1/2 fl. oz.) chicken broth

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

2 cups cooked, chopped turkey breast meat

2 cans (4 oz. each) sliced mushrooms, drained

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons dry sherry


Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons butter in small bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat; gradually stir in broth. Return to heat; bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in evaporated milk and remaining 1/2 cup cheese; cook over low heat until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Stir in turkey, mushrooms, peas and sherry.

Combine pasta and turkey mixture in large bowl. Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb topping.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

White Turkey Chili


Makes 12 servings


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

4 cups chopped cooked turkey

2 cans (11 oz each) Green Giant Nibletd white shoepeg corn, undrained, or 4 cups Green Giant SELECT frozen white shoepeg corn

2 cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans, drained

3 1/2 cups Progresso chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)

1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso chopped green chiles

2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce, if desired

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


In 5-quart Dutch oven or saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in all remaining ingredients except cheese and parsley; blend well. Cover; cook 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

To serve, ladle chili into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

Turkey, Cranberry & Brie Quesadillas

From www.uscranberries (The Cranberry Marketing Committee / USA)

Yields: 4 quesadillas (4 entree portions, 8 snack portions, or 16 appetizers)


For the Topping

1/2 cup low fat sour cream

1/2 cup chopped chives (for topping)

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Quesadillas

1 lb. fully cooked turkey breast meat, shredded

2 cups brie, rind removed

8-8-inch flour tortillas

1 cup sweetened, dried cranberries

1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped chives (for filling)


For the Topping

Place first six ingredients in food processor to make the chive sour cream topping. Process until smooth, scraping occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Quesadillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 1/2 cup brie over each tortilla and then sprinkle 1/2 cup turkey, 1/4 cup cranberries, 2 tablespoons walnuts and 2 tablespoons chives over the brie. Place second tortilla over top of turkey-cranberry mixture.

Place quesadillas on baking sheets and bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted. (Alternatively, you may cook quesadilla in large, lightly greased frying pan over medium high heat 4 to 5 minutes per side until cheese is melted, if desired.)

Cut each quesadilla into 4-8 wedges and serve immediately with chive sour cream topping.

Shredded Turkey & Pinto Bean Burritos


From Eating Well: October/November 2006

Makes 6 servings


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, halved and sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles

2 tablespoons lime juice

4 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed

6 10-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas or wraps, warmed (see Tip)

3/4 cup grated Monterey or pepper Jack cheese

2 cups shredded green cabbage


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin and chile powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and lime juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the onions are very soft, 16 to 20 minutes. Stir in turkey (or chicken) and beans and continue cooking until the mixture is heated through, 3 to 5 minutes more. Divide the turkey-bean mixture among tortillas (or wraps). Top each with cheese and cabbage, roll into burritos and serve.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the filling (Step 1), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Tip: To warm tortillas: Wrap in foil and bake at 300°F until steaming, or wrap in barely damp paper towels and microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds.

Turkey Salad Sandwich With Tarragon and Red Grapes


Makes 4 servings


1/2 cup pecans

4 cups diced cooked turkey

1 cup small red grapes, cut in half if large

1 cup diced celery

1/4 cup sliced green onions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

3/4 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise (Combine equal parts nonfat yogurt and mayonnaise as a lower-fat substitute for the 3/4 cup mayonnaise)

Salt, pepper

Cranberry sauce, optional

4 rolls or 8 slices whole-grain bread


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let them cool, then chop.

Place the turkey, grapes, celery, pecans, green onions and tarragon in a large bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. (If you're making this ahead, add the green onions right before serving.)

Spread a thin layer of cranberry sauce on one side of the rolls or bread, then add the turkey salad. Top with the roll half or another slice of bread, cut into halves and serve.

Turkey and Pasta Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette


Serves 5


3 cups dried fusilli pasta

1/2 pound broccoli, cut into small florets, stems thinly sliced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon dried basil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 (7-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and quartered

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup grated carrot

3 cups cooked diced turkey


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

Meanwhile, steam broccoli until it turns bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.

In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, Parmesan, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Add pasta, broccoli, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, celery, carrots and turkey and toss gently to coat.

November 17, 2010
Here's cooking for you, Pilgrim

Since dessert is so much more a part of Thanksgiving Dinner than the salad, we are offering up dessert recipes first, then the salads. Recipe researcher Sheila Kern has everything you need to make a spectacular Thanksgiving meal. Last week we listed recipes for the main course and the veggies. Today we give you cake, pie and salads. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.

Apple Harvest Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze


Yield: 12 servings


2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup chopped walnuts


1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 teaspoons milk

1/2 cup brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the apples and walnuts using a spoon. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the crown or the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes then invert on to a wire rack.

Make the glaze by heating the butter, milk and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat. Drizzle over the warm cake.

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.

Pumpkin Dutch Apple Pie


Yield: 8 servings


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

2 cups peeled, cored, thinly sliced green apples

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 cup CARNATION Evaporated Milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 375° F.

For apple layer:

Combine apples, sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon in medium bowl; pour into pie shell.

For pumpkin layer:

Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, butter, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in medium bowl; pour over apple mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with Crumble Topping. Return to oven; bake for 20 minutes or until custard is set. Cool completely on wire rack.

For crumb topping:

Combine flour, nuts and sugar in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixtures resembles coarse crumbs.

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing


Servings: 12


1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons diced onion

1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup cashews

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 apple - peeled, cored and diced

1 pear - peeled, cored and sliced


In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds, and process just a few seconds more to mix.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss to coat.

Cranberry Spinach Salad


Servings: 6


1 (6 ounce) package fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard


In a bowl, combine the spinach, pecans and cranberries. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat; serve immediately.

Pear, Arugula, and Pancetta Salad


Gourmet | September 2006

Makes 4 servings


For vinaigrette

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon mild honey

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

For salad

2 oz thinly sliced pancetta (4 to 5 slices)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 firm-ripe pears

4 cups baby arugula or torn larger arugula (1 1/4 lb)

3 oz ricotta salata, thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler


Make vinaigrette:

Whisk together vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a salad bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well.

Make salad:

Cook pancetta in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning frequently, until just crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain (pancetta will crisp as it cools). Tear into bite-size pieces.

Halve pears lengthwise, core, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Add pears to dressing along with arugula, cheese, and pancetta, tossing to coat.

Beet Salad with Oranges and Romaine


Serves 6 to 8


4 large beets, peeled

3 oranges

5 tablespoons lime juice

2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 medium jicama (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into chunks

1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed and chopped


Put beets into a medium pot, cover with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes; drain well. When cool enough to handle, cut into chunks.

Zest oranges then transfer zest to a large bowl; reserve oranges. Add lime juice, orange juice, oil, salt and pepper and whisk together. Add beets, toss well, cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Cut stem and blossom ends off of oranges. Working close to the flesh, use a paring knife to carefully cut away the entire rind and white pith of each orange then cut between the white membranes to remove segments, discarding any seeds as you go; transfer to a bowl.

To serve, add jicama to bowl with beets, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Arrange lettuce on plates then spoon beet mixture over lettuce, top with oranges and serve.

Cranberry-Broccoli Salad


Yield 10 servings


1 1/4 cups Craisins

4 cups broccoli florets

4 cups Packaged Shredded cabbage w/ carrot (coleslaw mix)

1/2 cup Walnuts chopped

1/3 cup Onions chopped

6 slices Bacon crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Sour cream

1/4 cup Sugar

1 tablespoon Vinegar


1. In a very large bowl, combine broccoli, cabbage, walnuts, onion, and bacon.

2. In another small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise/sour cream dressing, 1/4 cup sugar, and vinegar. Drizzle dressing mixture over broccoli mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

3. Just before serving, gently fold Craisins into salad.

To tote: Transport salad in an insulated cooler with ice packs.

Note: May modify above with 1 1/4 cup chopped cranberries and 1/2 cup raisins instead of Craisins. If so, combine cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar, cover and chill until serving. Add raisins in step 2 above. Add cranberries in step 3 above.


November 16, 2010
Don't be a turkey, read this before you shop

Dear Shoppers,

How about a little advice from Shop Cheap?: Don't stress over Thanksgiving! Everything will be fine. The food will be delicious and everyone will be thankful for being able to spend time together.

Since she is the Queen Bee when it comes to groceries, here are a few tips.

1. The prices you see in your Wednesday ads are in effect through Thanksgiving Day.

2. To make things easier, just shop at one store. The one that you know best.

3. In case of an emergency, the stores will be OPEN on Thanksgiving Day.

4. If you are looking for a different recipe, check Shop Cheap first. With a week to go we will have posted recipes for everything you need for a perfect holiday meal.

5. Relax and enjoy your family.

This week we are giving you the highlights from 4 stores: Raley's, Save Mart, Safetway and the new Henry's Farmer's Market. As you know there are many other choices out there. This isn't the time to change your routine. It's going to be busy. Get in. Get out.

First up, Raley's.(open from 6 a.m to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving) If you shop here, you definitely have choices. Want everything done for you, order the whole meal for less than $50 for a Butterball bird; less than $100 for the Diestel all-natural turkey. If you want to save $5, order your cook-and-serve meal online. Easier yet, buy two rotisserie turkey breast - already cooked - $8.99 for two because it's a BOGO.

If you are cooking, it's hard to beat 87-cents a pound for Raley's fresh natural turkey. If you want the Diestel Ranch variety, be prepared to pay $2.29 a pound. If you are no-frills cook, frozen basted turkeys range in price from $7.87-$9.87.

But we all know there's more to Thanksgiving that just the bird. Fresh green beans are 2 bags/$5; frozen 2/$3. Yams are 67-cents a pound; asparagus is $1.97lb; and a 5lb. bag of Idaho potatoes is $2.50.

Fresh dinner rolls in the bakery are $1.99 a dozen; Pillsbury Grands! are 2/$3. 

Sara Lee pies are $3.49 frozen and buy 2, get 1 free in the bakery. Individual pies are $5.99.Fresh fruit tarts or Ladyfinger cakes are $12.99. Cool Whip is 99-cents.

Martinelli's sparkling cider is $1.99; a case of Crystal Geyser Spring water is $3.28 and an 89-oz jug of Tropicana OJ is $3.99.

If you are a Save Mart shopper (check your store for holiday hours), here's what you need to know. Master Cut premium turkeys are $6.88, $7.88 and $9.97. To get those prices you must spend $20 or more in groceries. The turkeys are frozen. If you want to order the entire meal, it's $49.99, which includes everything but salad. It's a heat and serve deal and you must order in advance.

Want to treat the family on T-day? Dugeness crab season has arrived and it's $3.99lb.

To round out the menu, fresh green beans are 67-cents a pound; celery is 37-cents a bunch; and bags of fresh cranberries are $2.50 each. Fresh pineapple is $2.97; and oranges are 79-cents a pound. Avocado is still $1 each; grape tomatoes on the container are BOGO.

Dinner rolls in the bakery are $1.99 a dozen; brown and serve rolls are 99-cents. Pumpkin or apple pies are $2.97. Frozen Sara Lee pies are $2.99. Cool Whip is 99 cents.

In the beverage aisle, Martinelli's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle. 7-UP, A&W or Sunkist is 79-cents for 2-liters. (must buy 5 to get that price). Pepsi or Dew in the 12-can refrigerator carton is 4/$12, but you must buy 4. 

If Safeway is your store of choice (most stores will be open until 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving), you can score a frozen bird for $7. If you want to upgrade to a Honeysuckle turkey, it will cost you $8 for a 16-pounder. Want a larger turkey for the leftovers, you'll pay $9 or $10. Got to spend at least $20 to get those prices. If you'd rather go fresh, Safeway SELECT brand birds are 87-cents a pound.

For the sides, how about BOGO green beans, radishes or green onions for 50-cents each and yams for 79-cents a pound. Stove Top stuffing is BOGO; brown and serve rolls are $1.79 and Wish Bone salad dressing is buy one, get 2 free.

In the bakery, pumpkin pie is $3.99; cream pies are $4.99 and fruit pies are $5.99. Frozen Sara Lee pies are BOGO.

And lastly, Henry's - the new kid on the block. If you shop this newbie, they will be open on Thanksgiving - from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here's what to expect: Fresh, all-natural turkey for $1.49lb; squash or yams 2lbs/$1; a 10-pound bag of potatoes for 97-cents and green beans for 97-cents a pound. Dinner rolls in the bakery are $1.99 a dozen; apple or pumpkin pies are $2.99 each. Pre-made cranberry sauce is $4.99; mashed potatoes are $2.49lb. If that all just too much, the entire meal is $89.99, which serves 10 or more. Just need to order in advance. As added incentive, there's a $5 off coupon - if you spend $50 or more. 

Come back on Thursday for before and after - salads and desserts to compliment the meal. .


November 11, 2010
Thanksgiving recipes with a twist

Thanksgiving is the most traditional of all the holidays. But even tradition needs a little variety sometimes. So for all of the cooks out there who are looking for tradition with a twist, here's what recipe researcher Sheila Kern found in the Shop Cheap kitchen.

Herb-Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy


Bon Appetit | November 2003

Yield: makes 10 servings



8 quarts cold water

2 cups coarse kosher salt

8 large fresh or dried bay leaves

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

2 tablespoons whole allspice

1 16- to 17-pound turkey; giblets removed, neck reserved

Herb butter and gravy

3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme

3 tablespoons minced fresh sage

3 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cups low-salt chicken broth

2 cups apple cider

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or other brandy


2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored

2 large onions, quartered

1 cup apple cider


To brine the turkey:

Line extra-large pot or bowl with two 13-gallon (or larger) plastic bags, 1 inside the other. Combine 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 quart cold water and cool to lukewarm. Pour into plastic bags; mix in remaining 6 quarts water. Wrap turkey neck and refrigerate. Submerge turkey in brine to cover completely, gathering bags tightly to eliminate any air; tie bags closed. Refrigerate turkey in brine in pot at least 18 hours and up to 20 hours.

Line large roasting pan with 4 layers of paper towels. Remove turkey from brine and drain well; discard brine. Place turkey in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For herb butter and gravy:

Mix parsley, thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg in small bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup herb mixture to small bowl; mix in 1/2 cup butter.

Combine broth and apple cider in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Pour broth reduction into bowl. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Whisk in broth reduction, then cream, Calvados, and remaining herb mixture. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy base is thickened and reduced to 2 3/4 cups, whisking often, about 20 minutes. Cool gravy base slightly. (Gravy base and herb butter can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

To roast the turkey:

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove turkey from roasting pan; drain any accumulated juices from main cavity. Discard paper towels from roasting pan. Melt herb butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush bottom of roasting pan with some of herb butter. Return turkey to prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place some apple quarters and onion quarters in main cavity. Brush remaining herb butter over turkey; sprinkle with pepper. Scatter remaining apples and onions around turkey in pan. Add reserved turkey neck to pan.

Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste with 1/2 cup apple cider. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste with remaining 1/2 cup cider. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices and covering breast loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours longer (3 1/2 hours total). Transfer turkey to platter; let stand at least 30 minutes before carving (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

Discard apples, onions, and turkey neck from pan. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat from surface. Pour degreased juices into gravy base and bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon and is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season gravy to taste with pepper.

Serve turkey with gravy.

Note: Brining the turkey in the refrigerator for two days ensures an incredibly moist result. We do not recommend stuffing brined turkeys because the brine can make the stuffing too salty. A do-ahead gravy base eliminates last-minute stirring and thickening. Look for fresh bay leaves in the produce section.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast


2008, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: Thanksgiving Countdown

Yield: 6 servings


1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons good olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup dry white wine


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

Savory Cornbread Stuffing

By Martha Rose Shulman



1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably organic stone ground

1/2 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt or buttermilk

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon mild honey

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet, a heavy 2-quart baking dish or a heavy 9-inch square baking pan in the oven while you prepare the batter.

2. Place the cornmeal in a bowl, and sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the mixture with a spoon or whisk to amalgamate. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt (or buttermilk), milk and honey. Whisk the cornmeal mixture into the liquid mixture. Do not overwork the batter.

3. Remove the pan from the oven, and add the butter to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the butter melts quickly before it gets too brown, then quickly whisk the butter into the batter. Brush the sides of the pan with any butter remaining in the pan.

4. Quickly scrape all of the batter into the hot pan, and place in the oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It will be quite brown on the edges. Allow the bread to cool in the pan, or serve warm.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings. This is easily doubled for a larger quantity of stuffing. Bake it in a 3-quart baking dish (it will take about 45 to 50 minutes) or in two 9-inch pans.

Variation: Sage Cornbread

Stir 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage into the batter before turning into the pan.

Cornbread and Sage Stuffing

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or 1 tablespoon each olive oil and unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

Salt to taste

4 stalks celery, cut in small dice

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons rubbed sage, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground pepper

A double batch of cornbread (see above), crumbled (you can do this in a food processor fitted with the steel blade)

1/2 cup milk, or as necessary, for moistening

4 tablespoons unsalted butter if baking separately

1. Heat the olive oil (or oil and butter) over medium heat in a large, heavy, nonstick skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about three minutes, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the celery. Cook together for another few minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the garlic, and stir together for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Taste and adjust salt. Moisten as desired with milk.

2. Stuff the cavity of the turkey, or transfer to a buttered or oiled 2-quart baking dish. Dot with butter. Cover with aluminum foil, and heat through in a 325-degree oven for 30 minutes.

Yield: Makes enough stuffing to fill an 18-pound turkey.

Advance preparation: You can make the cornbread several days ahead and the stuffing a day ahead.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup


Yield: 5 servings


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

1 can (14 1/2 fluid ounces) chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 can (12 fluid ounces) NESTLE CARNATION Evaporated Milk

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sugar; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft. Add broth, water, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, evaporated milk and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary); process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Serve warm.

Honey-and-Spice Cranberry Sauce


Bon Appetit | November 1998

Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups


1 12-ounce bag cranberries

1 3/4 cups apple cider or juice

3/4 cup honey

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

6 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

Pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaf. Refrigerate sauce until cold. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts


Recipe by Crescent Dragonwagon

Serves 6


1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed, halved

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion, cut into slivers

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop Brussels sprouts in the boiling water and cook them 2 minutes. Drain, rinsing with cold water.

2. Whisk together soy sauce, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Set aide.

3. Heat oil in a heavy nonstick skillet. Add onion and red bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts. Sauté 4 minutes.

4. Add glaze. Cook until vegetables are coated and glaze thickens, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Roasted Carrots with Parsley and Thyme


By Martha Rose Shulman

Yield: Serves 6


2 pounds carrots, peeled quartered or cut into sixths lengthwise (depending on the size), then into 2-inch lengths

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon oregano

3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a sheet pan or a baking dish large enough to fit all of the carrots in a single layer. Place the carrots in a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano.

2. Spread in an even layer in the prepared pan or baking dish. Cover with foil, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover, and if the carrots are not yet tender, turn the heat down to 375 degrees and return to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes until tender. Add the parsley, stir gently, and taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Advance preparation: These will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Yield: 4 servings


4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

5 garlic cloves, peeled

Coarse salt

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

3/4 cup heavy cream


In a large pot of cold water, bring the potatoes and garlic to a boil. Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, return the potatoes to the pot and mash over low heat with the butter, cream and 2 teaspoons salt.

Sweet Potato Casserole


Fall 2004, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)

Yield: 10 servings, about 1/2 cup each Sweet Potato Casserole


Sweet Potato Casserole

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup low-fat milk

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Whisk eggs, oil and honey in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.

To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, oil and butter in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.

Bake the casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Green Beans with Pecans and Clementine Dressing


Serves 8


1 small shallot, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Zest and juice of 3 Clementines

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


In a blender, combine shallot, mustard, salt and Clementine juice and blend until smooth. Set aside. Steam beans on a steamer rack set over simmering water until bright green and barely tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with citrus dressing. Sprinkle with pecans and Clementine zest to taste and serve.

Come back next Thursday for Before and After: Thanksgiving salad and dessert recipes.

November 9, 2010
It's time to start talking Thanksgiving

Last week it seemed like a long way off but not anymore. It is Thanksgiving and the stores are starting the serious sales this week.

We are going to start with Save Mart because they look to have the best prices on turkeys. Their Master Cut premium brand costs $6.88 (up to 16lbs), $8.88 (16-20lbs) and $9.97 - 20lbs or larger. To get that price, you must purchase $20 or more in groceries. To go with the bird, they have a 10lb. bag of potatoes for 97 cents; navel oranges for 39-cents a pound and fresh greens for 79-cents each. Mrs. Cubbison's stuffing mix is $2 a box.

For your weekly items, check out Dennisons's chili beans for 88-cents a can; Sunny Select broth 3/$2; canned veggies for 69-cents each and Campbell's, Dole or Rosarita items for $1 each. Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.99 a loaf and Milton's bread is $2.50 a loaf.

In produce, green onions, radishes or cilantro are 50-cents each; pomegranates are 2/$3 and cauliflower is $1.99. Driscoll's raspberries or blackberries are BOGO and sweet potatoes are 79-cents a pound.

If you buy a Chicken Dinner deal for $8.99 on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you get a free cake from the bakery. The back page coupons include a 32-oz. pack of Gallo salame for $7.99; an 89-oz. jug of Minute Maid OJ for $2.99 and Arm & Hammer laundry detergent for $3.99.

Buy two boxes of Chex cereal and get a third free and 12-packs of Pepsi, Dew or the Dr. are $3.33.

Moving on to Safeway where the turkey prices are a few cents higher - $7, $8, $9 and $10 depending on size. There is a 2-bird limit and you must purchase $20 in groceries. Safeway is cranking out the coupons on everything from Nestle baking morsels ($1.89) to brown or powdered sugar ($1.69) to Safeway broth (99-cents). Refrigerated pie crusts are $1.99; Claim Jumper frozen pies are $4.99 and Dole pineapple or Ocean Spray cranberry sauce is $1.29.

For the weekly stuff, Rancher's Reserve New York Strip steak is $3.88lb; 80% lean ground beef is $1.99lband Oscar Mayer shaved deli lunchmeat is BOGO. Kellogg's Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes are BOGO; Safeway butter top breads are $1.50 a loaf and refreshe or Nestle drinking water is $3.33 a case.

The Friday-Sunday sale includes berries - buy 2, get 1 free; Ritz crackers for $1.88; Quaker instant oatmeal for $1.99 and jugs of refreshe soda 3/$2.

In produce, large avocados and broccoli are 77-cents each. Fuji or Braeburn apples are 77-cents a pound.Mangos are $1 each; hot house tomatoes are $1.99lb and cucumbers are 79-cents each.

If you are starting the holiday stock-up, Safeway sparkling cider is $1.79 a bottle; and 12-packs of 7-UP or A&W sodas are buy 2, get 3 free.

Old El Paso taco shells are BOGO; Rosarita refires are $1 a can; Ortega chilis are $1 a can and Safeway salsa is $2.50 a jar. Mix & Match frozen food items (Breyers ice cream, Cool Whip, Birds Eye veggies) are buy 2, get 1 free.

Powerbars are 89-cents each; Vitamin water is $1 a bottle and Quaker Chewy granola bars are $1.99 a box.

There are some interesting things going on at Raley's. First, they definitely have the most offerings in the prepared Thanksgiving Day meals. And they are taking orders on their specialty bird, the all-natural Dietsel Ranch turkey. However, the price of the bird won't be available until next week, which is still plenty of time.

If you want to serve Volpi Rotola (that rolled mozzarella prosciutto), get it this week. At $4.99 each, that's a least a $1 off. It will definitely stay fresh in the fridge for two weeks. Also, the Knudsen sparkling cider is $2 a bottle. Snack crackers are $1.49 a box when you buy 4 or more. Blackberries are 2/$3 - the best price around. Navel oranges are 57-cents a pound and pears are 67-cents a pound. Chex cereal is buy 2, get 1 free.

In produce, fresh mushrooms are on sale. Tomatoes on the vine are $1.77lb and spinach is 97-cents a bunch.

We're giving a shout-out to Henry's Farmer's Market for avocados (2/$1); Fuji apples (2lbs/$1) and green bell pepper (4/$1). Grapefruit is 4/$1; mangos are 50-cents each and organic bananas are 77-cents a pound.

Henry's has a free range, all natural turkey for $1.49lb and all kinds of tasty offerings in the bakery. Cranberry-orange bread is $1.99 a loaf; apple or pumpkin pies are $3.99 and bread pudding is $2.49lb.

That should do it for this week. Come back on Thursday for new and exciting ways to cook your turkey with some interesting side dishes, too. 

November 4, 2010
Eat your veggies!

On Wednesday, we told you what was on sale this week. Today, Shop Cheap researcher Sheila Kern offers up recipes to match. Hope you like squash!

Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Basil


Yield: Serves six as a main dish, eight as a side


1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 large eggs

1/2 cup low-fat milk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (1/4 cup basil leaves)

2 ounces Gruyre cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino romano


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pierce the squash in several places with a sharp knife. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and place the squash on top. Bake for one hour, turning the squash every 20 minutes until it is soft and easy to cut into with a knife. Remove from the heat, and allow the squash to cool until you can handle it. Cut in half lengthwise, and allow to cool further. Remove the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh, and place in a bowl. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the spaghetti-like strands, then chop coarsely. Measure out 4 cups squash. (Use whatever remains for another dish, or freeze.)

2. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add the squash. Cook, stirring often, for five minutes until the strands of squash are a little more tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper and basil. Stir in the squash mixture and the Gruyère, and combine well. Scrape into the baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan or pecorino over the top, and gently press down to moisten.

4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until nicely browned and sizzling. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Advance preparation: The baked spaghetti squash will keep for four days in the refrigerator. The gratin can be made up to a day ahead and reheated. The recipe can be made through step 2 several hours before completing the gratin and baking.

Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter


Show: Paula's Home Cooking Episode: Fall Harvest

Yield: 2 servings


1 acorn squash, cut in 1/2

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons maple syrup


Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Scoop the seeds and stringy pulp out of the squash cavities and discard. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt and pepper, to taste. Rub the squash cavities and cut sides of the squash with the butter mixture and place them on a baking sheet, cut side up. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve 1 half per person.

Butternut Squash Risotto


Serves 4


1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth, mixed with 1/2 cup water and heated

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish


In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until edges soften, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add rice; stir to coat. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add 1/2 cup hot broth mixture. Cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, 35 to 40 minutes total.

Stir in Parmesan, sage, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve immediately, garnished with more Parmesan and sage, if desired.

Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts


Serves 2 to 3


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons butter (preferably organic)

3 cups Brussels sprouts, blemished or tough outer leaves removed, trimmed and quartered

1 tablespoon prepared dijon mustard

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Coarsely ground black pepper to taste


In a large, deep skillet, warm oil and butter. When the butter melts, add the Brussels sprouts. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts become tender and the outer leaves turn bright green.

Add the mustard, maple syrup, and lemon juice, and saute until the ingredients are well mixed and the Brussels sprouts are nicely glazed.

Season to taste with freshly cracked black pepper.

Balsamic-Glazed Pearl Onions


Yield: Serves 8


2 1/2 pounds assorted pearl onions such as red, white, and/or yellow (about 8 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup water


In a saucepan of boiling water blanch one third of onions 3 minutes and drain. Blanch remaining onions in batches in same manner. Cool onions and peel.

In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saute; onions until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer onions with a slotted spoon to a platter, reserving liquid. Glazed onions may be prepared up to this point 2 days ahead and onions and reserved liquid, chilled separately, covered. Reheat onions in reserved liquid, adding a little water if necessary, and transfer with slotted spoon to platter. Simmer reserved liquid until thickened and syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup.

Spoon sauce over onions and serve warm at room temperature.

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic


Servings: 6


1 1/2 lb small new red potatoes (about 15), scrubbed and dried

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4-6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

kosher salt



Pare a narrow strip of peel from the middle of each potato. In a large bowl mix the oil, garlic, and rosemary; add the potatoes and toss well. Then season vegetables with kosher salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to a shallow baking pan and roast at 350 degrees until potatoes are tender when tested with the tip of a knife. Serve hot.

Broccoli Grape Salad Recipe


Makes 9 servings


4 cups fresh broccoli florets, cut into small pieces

1-1/2 cups seedless red or green grapes, halved

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup raisins

1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 cup sunflower kernels


In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, grapes, celery and raisins. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar and vinegar. Pour over broccoli mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in sunflower kernels.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken


From EatingWell: May/June 2007

Makes 4 servings


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1-1 1/4 pounds), trimmed (see Tip)

1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces

1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, (see Note)

1 large egg white

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon canola oil, divided


Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even 1/4-inch thickness.

Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

Tip: It can be hard to find individual chicken breasts small enough for our recommended 4-ounce (uncooked) portion size. If yours are closer to 5 ounces each, remove the tender (about 1 ounce) from the underside to get the correct portion size. Wrap and freeze the leftover tenders; when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry, for chicken fingers or in soups.

Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets.

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak


Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 tri-tip steak

2/3 cup red wine

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves


Marinate tri-tip for several hours in red wine, soy sauce, sugar, rosemary, and thyme, refrigerated.

Heat a grill on high.

Sear the outside of the meat with high heat with the fat side up. Then reduce heat to medium and slow roast for 20 minutes.

Let the steak rest in a foil tent for about 10 minutes before cutting diagonally across the grain.

Chuck Roast Barbecue


From Southern Living, March 1996

Yield: 6 servings


1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

2 medium onions, chopped

3/4 cup cola carbonated beverage

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons butter or margarine

6 hamburger buns


Combine roast and chopped onion in a 4-quart slow cooker.

Combine cola and next 7 ingredients; reserve 1/2 cup in refrigerator. Pour remaining mixture over roast and onion.

Cook, covered, on HIGH 6 hours or until roast is very tender; drain and shred roast. Keep warm.

Combine reserved 1/2 cup cola mixture, ketchup, and butter in a small saucepan; cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until thoroughly heated. Pour over shredded roast, stirring gently. Spoon onto buns, and serve with potato chips and pickle spears, if desired.

November 2, 2010
We're talking shopping but thinking baseball

It's kind of hard to concentrate on shopping when your favorite all-time baseball team wins the World Series and your state elects a new governor, but the refrigerator is nearly empty and everyone has worked up an appetite cheering and voting.

That's said, we'd like to savor the victories before we launch into Thanksgiving. So even though the stores are advertising for T-Day, we are going to ignore it until mid-November.

Here's what we are shopping for this week:

Save Mart has the goods on boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $1.77lb; and New York steak for $2.97lb. All Fresh Express salad blends are BOGO; asparagus is 99-cents a pound and avocado is still $1. Limes are 10/$1; pears are 97-cents a pound; Driscoll's berries are BOGO and fresh cauliflower or broccoli is $1.49 a bunch.

Minute Maid OJ is 2/$4; a case of Aquafina drinking water is $3.99; 2-liter bottles of Mug root beer, Orange Crush, Coke and Sprite are 99-cents. Kellogg's cereals are $1.99 a box and Skippy peanut butter is $1.99. Pillsbury Grands! biscuits are 99 cents; Sunnyside farms yogurt is 50 cents and Athenos nonfat Greek yogurt is $1.

If you're clippin', Foster Farms ground turkey breast is $2.99; Gallo sliced salame is $3.99; and quick Quaker Oats are $1.99.

Over at Safeway, you can load up on 12-packs of soda. Pepsi or 7-UP is buy 2, get 3 free. Campbell's chunky soups are buy 2, get 2 free and Lay's potato chips are simply BOGO. There's a mix & match cereal sale and a 4-day breakfast sale with large eggs for 99-cents; butter top breads for 99-cents and Safeway OJ for $1.50.

Rancher's Reserve whole tri-tip is $2.69lb; boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.88lb. Lots of BOGOs on lunchmeat, including: Oscar Mayer carving board; and sliced ham or turkey. Jennie-O lean ground turkey is BOGO.

In produce, asparagus is $1.47lb; ruby red grapefruit is 3/99-cents; red or green bell pepper is 99-cents and Pom wonderful porducts are BOGO.

In the coupon category, check out Cheerios and Lucky Charms for $1.49; Sargento cheeses for $1.99; Golden Grain pasta for 88-cents; and $1.99 for a gallon of Arizona or Lipton ice tea.

In the bakery, artisan dinner breads are $1.99 a loaf; buns are $2 a pack and assorted danish, donuts & muffins are $3.99 for a dozen. 

The $5 Friday only special is Signature Cafe rigatoni pasta meal or a whole roasted chicken. There's also a double layer chocolate cake in the bakery for $5.

Pulling in to Raley's, we are grabbing the avocado for 77-cents; Cameo apples for 57-cents a pound and Fall squash for 57-cents a pound. Raspberries or blackberries are 2/$5 and a bag of kiwi fruit is $1.97.

Sirloin tip roast is $1.97lb; boneless, skinless breasts are $1.88lb and a pack of Italian sausage links is $3.49.

Dannon yogurt is 50-cents; Lundberg rice chips are still 99-cents and a case of Crystal Geyser water is $3.28.

Doing the produce thing at Henry's Farmers Market. Raspberries and blackberries are 98-cents a basket; pears are 88-cents a pound; asparagus is 2lbs for $4 and sweet corn is 3/$1. Avocados are 88-cents each; Romaine lettuce is 2/$1 and Odwalla food bars are 99-cents. A family pack of boneless chicken breast tenders is $1.99lb and boneless top sirloin steak is $2.49lb.

In the Henry's Kitchen, mesquite smoked turkey isx $5.99lb; pepper Jack is $2.99lb and Focaccia bread is $1.79.

Come back on Thursday for the latest recipes from the Shop Cheap kitchen. And don't forget to set your clocks back an hour before turning in Saturday night.


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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