Shop Cheap

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

April 29, 2010
It's easy to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

We're going to spice it up this weekend with Cinco de Mayo recipes from Sheila Kern in the Shop Cheap kitchen. As we reported on Wednesday, avocado is 3/99-cents at Safeway and Save Mart. To top off your celebration, be sure to try the Margarita Pie!

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole

From (California Avocado Commission)

Serves 12


2 ripe Fresh California avocados, seeded and peeled

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1/3 Cup diced tomato, seeded and well drained

1/4 Cup chopped green onion

2 serrano chiles, chopped

1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp salt


Cut avocados into 1/2 inch cubes.

Stir in lime juice.

Fold in remaining ingredients.

Guacamole is best made as close to serving as possible.

For short-term storage, seal in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole with a Southwestern Kick

From (California Avocado Commission)

Serves 12


4 California avocados

1 Cup roasted corn kernels

1 medium lime

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped, or to taste

1 tsp ground cumin, or to taste

1 tsp salt


Coarsely mash (do not puree) California avocados. Fold in remaining ingredients. Squeeze limejuice into mixture. Serve with blue corn chips or deep-fried flour tortilla chips.

Classic Guacamole

From (California Avocado Commission)

Serves 8


4 ripe Fresh California avocados, seeded and peeled

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tomato, finely chopped

1/4 Cup finely chopped onion

1/4 tsp ground cumin

3 drops hot pepper sauce

Tortilla chips


Using a fork, coarsely mash avocado with lemon juice and garlic.

Stir in remaining ingredients to blend.

Garnish as desired and serve with tortilla chips.

Cilantro-Lime Rice


Serves: 4


1 cup long-grain white rice

Coarse salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove


In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, 16 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water; blend until smooth. Stir into cooked rice, and fluff with a fork.

Butterflied Grilled Chicken with a Chile-Lime Rub


EatingWell: March/April 2010

Makes 6 servings


3 tablespoons chile powder, preferably New Mexico chile, or Hungarian paprika

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken


Combine chile powder (or paprika) and oil in a small bowl with lime zest and juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cinnamon to form a wet paste.

Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard (or reserve it for stock). Place the chicken cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand. Generously smear the spice rub under and over the skin and on the interior of the bird. Place in a nonreactive baking dish (see Tip). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Preheat half the grill to medium-high (or build a medium-high heat fire on one side of a charcoal grill); leave the other half unheated. Have a squirt bottle of water ready by the grill.

Leave all the spice rub on the chicken. Place the chicken skin-side down over the heat and grill until the skin begins to color and char marks form, about 5 minutes. (Extinguish any flare-ups with the squirt bottle.) Flip over and grill 5 minutes more. Move the chicken to the unheated side. Close the lid and cook, making sure the chicken is flat against the grate, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

Tips & Notes

Kitchen Tip: A nonreactive bowl or pan--stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass--is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor.

Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken

Bon Appetit | August 2000

Makes 6 servings


1 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup tequila

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno chiles

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin


Mix first 8 ingredients in bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover; chill overnight.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 18 minutes. Transfer to platter.

Chicken Fajitas



1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 cloves garlic

1 cup packed cilantro leaves

1/2 jalapeno, seeded

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Salt and pepper


10 flour tortillas


Flatten chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap with a mallet or rolling pin. Place chicken breasts in glass baking dish. In a blender combine oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let chicken marinate for 30 minutes. In a large skillet over medium heat oil.

Add onions and peppers and cook until they are tender and begin to brown.

In a 9x13 glass baking dish toss potatoes with oil and seasonings. Bake in 375 degree oven until crispy, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Heat a cast iron grill pan or an outdoor grill. Toast flour tortillas for about 30 seconds per side and keep warm in an aluminum foil pocket. Grill the chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes. To serve slice chicken into even strips. Serve hot with onions and peppers, potatoes, grated jack cheese, salsa and sour cream.

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas


Yield: 6 servings


1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 jar or can (12 ounces) red enchilada sauce

1 cup chicken stock

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 (6 ounce) can of pitted black olives, chopped

1 (8 ounce) bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 cup sliced green onions

Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

12 corn tortillas

Oil for frying


Whisk oil and flour together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until combined. Let it cook for one minute, then whisk in the enchilada sauce and chicken stock and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile prep all ingredients. Chop yellow onions, olives, green onions and cilantro. Place the olives and green onions in small bowls near the area where you will assemble the enchiladas.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chopped yellow onion (not the green onions), and cook until browned. Drain fat if necessary and stir in salt, pepper, and diced green chiles. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another skillet, heat a thin layer of canola oil. Fry each tortilla for 10 seconds per side until soft, do not let them crisp. Set them on a plate lined with paper towels to cool slightly.

Set a large rimmed baking sheet next to the stove. Dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce mixture and place on the baking sheet. Reserve the remaining sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees and begin assembling the enchiladas. Place a scant quarter cup of meat mixture down the middle of a tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese, 1 tablespoon of the chopped green onion, and 1 tablespoon of the chopped olives. Carefully roll up and place seam down in a greased 9x13 inch pan. You may need to squish them together so that they all fit in the pan. Save any leftover meat mixture as a topping for nachos or filling for quesadillas.

Top with remaining enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.

Garnish with leftover sliced green onion and the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Recipe Tip: Vegetarian version: Mix 2 grated zucchini, 1 cup of chopped green onions, 1 cup of corn kernels (frozen is fine), and 2 (4 ounce) cans of diced green chiles in a large bowl. Use instead of the meat mixture to fill the enchiladas, along with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese and chopped olives, if desired.

Beef, Black Bean, and Corn Nachos


Makes 8 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup chili powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

1 16-ounce package frozen corn, thawed

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Tortilla chips

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sour cream


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is very tender, about 8 minutes. Add beef and sauté until brown, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano, and sugar; stir 30 seconds. Add beans, corn, and tomato sauce. Cover; simmer until beef is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix in cilantro and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Line 8 serving bowls with tortilla chips. Spoon beef mixture over chips. Top with cheese and sour cream.

Margarita Pie with Pretzel Crust


Servings: 8


1 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pretzels

1 cup Sugar

1 stick Butter, Melted

1/2 cups Fresh Lime Juice

1 can (14oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 Tablespoons Gold Tequila

2 Tablespoons Triple Sec

2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream, Whipped

5 drops Green Food Coloring, Optional


For the crust, pulse the pretzels and sugar in a food processor several times to combine. Add butter in a steady stream and process until well mixed. Press over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

For the pie, combine the lime juice, condensed milk, tequila and triple sec in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream. Tint with green food coloring if you desire a deeper color. Spoon into the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for four hours or up to one week. Garnish with additional whipped cream and lime slices.

Note: do not use fat-free or low-fat pretzels in the crust or the crust will not hold together when cutting. You may substitute graham crackers for the pretzels, but it's just not the same.


April 27, 2010
We've got all the Cinco de Mayo specials

Cinco de Mayo is starting early this year. The official day is next Wednesday, but the grocery stores want to make sure that you are stocked up for the weekend. Here's what we like:

We're starting with Save Mart because they have Calavo avocados at 3/99-cents (to be fair, Safeway has avocado at the same price); sweet, white corn 4/$1 and Gurrero tortillas for $1.79. Mission chips are $1.89 a bag and sour cream is $1.50. If you're thinking about making enchiladas with shredded beef, cross rib roast is $1.97lb; Las Palmas sauce is $1.99 for the large can; pork cubes for chile verde are $2.99lb and fresh cooked shrimp meat is $2.99lb. Top it all off with Bobby Salazar's Salsa for $1.99.

Pre-made Yucatan guacamole is 2/$5 and Kraft shredded cheese is $2.50 a package. Farmer John and Land O'Frost products are BOGO; Sunny Select beans are 89 cents a can and Bohemian Hearth breads are $1.89 a loaf.

Aquafina drinking water is $3.50 a case and clip the coupon for Ocean Spray juice cocktails for $1.98.

In produce, Fresh Express salads are BOGO; onions, radishes and cilantro are 50-cents a bunch; and limes are 4/$1. Driscoll's berries are $2.50 a container; broccoli is 97-cents a pound and personal size seedless watermelons are $2.50 each.

In the bakery, jalapeno bread is $2.99 and Margaritaville salsa and chips are $2.99 each. Fiesta chicken salad is $4.99lb.

The party continues over at Safeway where avocados are 3/99-cents; pork shoulder roast is $1.39lb; Wholly guacamole is $3.99; Lucerne sour cream is $1.50 and Pace salsa or picante is $2.50 a jar. Mission chips are $1.99 a bag.

Coupons are plentiful with 7-UP or A&W for 69-cents; Mission soft taco flour tortillas for 99-cents; Sargento shredded cheese for $1.69 and Deli salsa for $1.50. Silk Soymilk is $1.99 with coupon and Marie Callender's or Healthy Choice meals are $1.99 each.

If you're going for fish tacos, Tilapia fillets are $5.99lb. There's a BOGO/Mix&Match special that includes Jennie-O ground turkey breast, Johnsonville sausage, Lloyd's ribs; Farmer John bacon and Land O'Frost premium lunchmeat. Oroweat English muffins and breads are also BOGO. Lucerne large eggs (18-count) are BOGO, too.

Buy three 12-packs of Pepsi products for $7.98 and get a free bag of Tostitos. Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Froot Loops are $1.99 a box.

Saturday & Sunday specials include, Entenmann's pastry 2/$4; Angel Food cake for $1.99 and Lucerne or Safeway SELECT ice cream for $2.50. Medium raw shrimp are $2.99lb; Italian sausace is $1.99 for a 16oz package and Starbucks Coffee is $5.99 for a 12-oz bag. Signature Cafe chicken tenders are $3.99lb.

In produce, Eating Right salads are $2 a bag; berries are BOGO; fresh corn on the cob is 2/$1 and Mangos are $1 each. Cilantro, green onions or radishes are 50-cents a bunch.

The Friday $5 special is a 16-inch pizza..

Raley's is ready for Cinco de Mayo with limes 6/96-cents and a 99-cent coupon for Mission tortillas. Fresh in the deli are Tia Lupe Tamales for $3.99. Mission chips are $1.79 a bag. DeliMex taquitos are $3.99 with coupon; Rosarita refries are 88-cents a can; La Mexicana salsa is $2.29 and Las Palmas enchilada sauce is $1.99 a can.

In produce, seedless whole watermelon is $2.97; avocados are $1 each and fresh cilantro is 3/99-cents. Chili peppers are 97-cents a pound cocktail tomatoes are 2/$4 and corn on the cob is 2/$1.

Quaker products are $1.49 each when you buy 5; Gatorade is $3.99 for an 8-pack and R-Everyday water is $2.99 a case.

Bagels are BOGO and sandwich rolls in the deli are 4/$1.79.

Come back on Thursday for recipies to spice up your Cinco de Mayo. 

April 21, 2010
It's raining recipes

It's raining, it's not. It's sunny, it's not. This has got to end at some point. While we're waiting check out what recipe researcher Sheila Kern has come up with in the Shop Cheap Kitchen. These tasty recipes will take your mind off the unpredictable weather.

Here's what's on sale and where to get the ingredients:

Berries: Raley's

Chicken: Raley's, Save Mart, Safeway

Mushroom: Safeway

Zucchini: Safeway, Raley's

Tilapia: Save Mart

Grilled Chicken Salad with a Fresh Strawberry Dressing


Makes 4 servings


8 ounces thin asparagus, stem ends snapped off, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, stemmed (2 cups) (see Tip)
8 ounces snow peas, stemmed (2 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon almond oil (see Note), or canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped scallions
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
Fresh Strawberry Dressing, (recipe follows)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
4 whole strawberries, for garnish


Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking vegetables. Prepare a grill or preheat broiler.

Blanch asparagus, sugar snaps and snow peas in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to refresh, then blot dry with paper towels. Whisk lemon juice, almond oil (or canola oil), salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the vegetables and scallions; toss to coat.

Rub chicken with canola oil and sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the chicken and cook until lightly browned and no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes per side. (Alternatively, broil the chicken on an oiled broiler pan 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.) Let rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Divide the vegetable mixture among 4 plates. Arrange the chicken over the vegetables. Spoon about 3 tablespoons Fresh Strawberry Dressing over each salad. Sprinkle with almonds and garnish each serving with a strawberry. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Blanch the vegetables up to 4 hours before serving; store in the refrigerator under barely moistened paper towels.
Tip: Sugar snaps have a fibrous seam on the inside curve. To remove it, grasp the stem protruding from one end and pull it down the inside curve as if you were unzipping the pea.
Note: Almond oil is an unrefined oil pressed from almonds. You can find it in many supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store it in the refrigerator.
Tip: To oil the grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

Fresh Strawberry Dressing


1 cup strawberries, (6 large berries), rinsed, hulled and sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons almond oil, (see Note) or canola oil


Place strawberries, vinegar, pepper, sugar and salt in a blender or food processor; process until pureed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add oil and process until smooth.

Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Note: Almond oil is an unrefined oil pressed from almonds. You can find it in many supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store it in the refrigerator.
Stuffed Mushrooms


Makes 8 to 10 appetizers


8 to 10 medium mushroom, firm, closed caps
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons minced onion or green onion
1/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soft bread crumbs (see below)
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons water
salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°. Wash mushrooms quickly under running water; drain on paper towels. Pull stems from mushrooms and chop finely. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat; add chopped mushroom stems and onion. Sauté until tender. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, soft bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper. Sprinkle salt over mushroom caps and fill with sautéed mixture, mounding over the top. At this point, you may cover and refrigerate these mushrooms for up to 24 hours. Before serving, put 2 tablespoons of water in a shallow dish and arrange stuffed mushrooms in dish. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Soft bread crumbs: Put bread on cutting board and use fork tines to tear off crumbs, or use food processor to make finer crumbs. One slice bread makes about 1/2 cup lightly packed crumbs.

Zucchini Oven Chips


Yield 4 servings


1/4  cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4  cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4  teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4  teaspoon garlic powder
1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2  tablespoons fat-free milk
2 1/2  cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.
Almond-Crusted Tilapia


Servings: 8


2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dusting
6 tablespoons butter
salt to taste
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 sprigs parsley
8 lemon wedges


Beat the eggs with the lemon pepper and garlic pepper until blended; set aside. Stir together ground almonds with 1 cup of Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish until combined; set aside. Dust the tilapia fillets with flour, and shake off excess. Dip the tilapia in egg, then press into the almond mixture.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook tilapia in melted butter until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium, and season fillets with salt if desired. Sprinkle the tilapia with the remaining Parmesan cheese, cover, and continue cooking until the Parmesan cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the tilapia to a serving dish, and garnish with parsley springs and lemon wedges to serve.




April 20, 2010
It's easy saving green

There's a bounty of bargains this week, shoppers. We are so lucky to live in an area where there's competition and so many options.

Here's what we like this week:

The headline on the Raley's ad says, "Amazing Super Sale" and headlines don't lie. For example: 50% off all fresh berries; 50% off Gallo sliced salame; 30% off Foster Farms chicken and 20% off beef roasts. 12-packs of 7-UP are buy 2, get 2 free. Coupons will get you Precious string cheese for $2.99 and Nathans beef franks for $2.49.

For 99-cents you can get, 2-liter Pepsi or Dr. Pepper; Raley's pasta; Bush's beans and Martha White blueberry muffin mix. And for 79-cents each, you get Michelina's Budget Gourmet frozen meals.

Breyer's ice cream bars or fruit bars are $2.99 a box and containers of ice cream are 2/$5.

In the natural food aisle, Crystal Geyser sparkling water is 88 cents; Lundberg rice chips are $1.49 and Gensoy snacks are $1.78 a bag.

There's a bounty in produce, too, with asparagus for $1.97lb; zucchini for 99-cents a pound and Fresh Express bagged salads for 30% off.

Over at Save Mart, Iceberg lettuce is 33-cents a head; tomatoes on the vine are 97-cents a pound and Yoplait light yogurt is 40-cents per cup but you must buy 10. Still, 10/$4 is a good deal! In coupon country, El Monterey Burritos are $1.99 a pack; Progresso soups are 99-cents and Coke products are buy 2, get one free.

Petite sirloin roast and fresh pork spareibs are $1.99lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99lb in the max pak; tilapia fillets are $4.99lb and country style ribs are $1.49lb. Ball Park franks are 2/$4 and Italian sausage for grilling is $2.99lb.

Sunny Select drinking water is $2.99 a case; a 2-liter jug of Pepsi, Dr. Pepper or Mtn. Dew is $1 and buy one gallon of Tropica Juice for $5.99 and get three reuseable shopping bags free. You'll need cereal with all that juice and General Mills products are on sale for $1.49 a box when you buy 4.

Get a jumpstart on Cinco de Mayo with Dennison's chili for 88 cents a can; Tostitos chips - buy 2 bags, get a free jar of salsa and Guerrero corn tortillas are $1.39.

In produce, oranges are 79-cents a pound; Driscoll's berries are 2/$5; 'Chokes are 2/$1 and bags of baby carrots are $1 each. If you like Odwalla bars, they're $1 each.

No time to cook? The chicken dinner deal at Save Mart looks appetizing. For $7.99 you get either a rotisserie chicken or an 8-piece fried chicken, macaroni or potato salad or cole slaw and a loaf of French bread or King's Hawiian rolls.

Bakery fresh baguetts are 99-cents each and turkey breast or pastrami is $5.99lb in the deli.

Safeway has a BOGO to buy for: Foster Farms whole chickens. Yep, buy one and get one free. Also, whole or sliced mushrooms in an 8 oz. package. The price of milk has come back down to Earth, with a gallon of Lucerne going for $2.25. There's a good Sara Lee Mix&Match promotion. Bet you didn't know that Hillshire Farm lunchmeats, Ball Park franks or Jimmy Dean products are all under Sara's umbrella. 

Other stuff we like: Rancher's Reserve London Broil at $1.49lb.; BOGO Foster Farms chicken breasts strips and Nathan's beef franks. The weekend specials include 7-UP or Pepsi 2-liters for 69-cents; Golden Grain pasta for 79 cents; an 8lb. bag of oranges for $1.99 and Safeway Select sandwich breads for $1.50.

If you like Sun Chips in that new compostable bag, they are $2.99; Aquafina drinking water is $3.99 a case; and 12-packs of Coke are buy 2, get 2 free.

Krusteaz muffin mix is $2 a box and in the coupon corner O Organics OJ is $2.99; Safeway crescent or cinnamon rolls are 99-cents; Stouffers single serve meals are $1.99 and Safeway tissue or paper towels are $4.99.

In produce, Red Delicious apples, pears and squash are 99-cents a pound; cucumbers, leaf lettuce and baby peeled carrots are 99-cents each.

And for the $5 Friday special, it's Primo Taglio roasted turkey or Black Forest ham. If you buy 2 or more soups, they are $3.49 each and you get a free drink and chips with any regular size sandwich.

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


April 14, 2010
Recipes give you a taste of spring

It's time to think about grilling, pasta salad and bowls of fruit. When recipe researcher Sheila Kern headed into the Shop Cheap kitchen, she found a taste of spring. You will find lots of the ingredients on sale this week. Check it out:

Raleys: Corn on the cob, tri tip, Lindsay olives

Save Mart: Pillsbury crescent rolls, blackberries

Safeway: Braeburns and blueberries.


Tasty BBQ Corn on the Cob


Serves 6


 1 teaspoon chili powder

 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

 1 pinch onion powder

 cayenne pepper to taste

 garlic powder to taste

 salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup butter, softened

 6 ears corn, husked and cleaned


1. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the chili powder, oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend in the softened butter. Apply this mixture to each ear of corn, and place each ear onto a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the corn. Wrap like a burrito, and twist the ends to close.

3. Place wrapped corn on the preheated grill, and cook 20 to 30 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork. Turn corn occasionally during cooking.

Pasta Twist Salad with Olives


Makes about 9 cups salad


12 oz. fusilli, penne or bow tie pasta, uncooked

1 (6 oz.) can Lindsay Ripe Pitted Olives, drained, coarsely chopped

1 (7 oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, cut into strips

1 (6-1/2 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped

1 cup (4 oz.) diced provolone or mozzarella cheese

1 cup (4 oz.) diced salami

1/2 cup light or regular Caesar or Italian salad dressing

1/4 cup sliced fresh basil or chopped Italian parsley


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Drain pasta; add to bowl, tossing well. Serve at room temperature or chill up to 24 hours before serving. Serve with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Crescent Caramel Swirl


Servings: 12


1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)

1/2 cup chopped nuts

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon water

2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet


Heat oven to 350°F. In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter. Coat bottom and sides of 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter; sprinkle pan with 3 tablespoons of the nuts. Add remaining nuts, brown sugar and water to remaining melted butter. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove dough from cans; do not unroll. Cut each long roll into 8 slices. Arrange 8 slices, cut side down, in nut-lined pan; separate layers of each pinwheel slightly. Spoon half of brown sugar mixture over dough. Place remaining 8 dough slices alternately over bottom layer. Spoon remaining brown sugar mixture over slices.

Bake 23 to 33 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 3 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving platter or waxed paper. Serve warm.

Apple and Blackberry Crisp



2 1/2 lb Tart apples, such as Granny Smith

2 pt Blackberries

1 c Raisins

1/2 c Light brown sugar

1/2 c Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 c Water


1 1/2 Sticks butter

1/2 c Light brown sugar

1/4 c Sugar

1 1/2 c All-purpose flour

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking powder

1 c Chopped pecans


For the apple mixture, peel, halve, core and slice the apples into wedges. Combine apples, blackberries and remaining ingredients and place in a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish. For the topping, melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Stir in sugars. Combine flour with cinnamon and baking powder and stir to mix; stir into butter and sugar mixture. Stir in pecans. Separate the topping mixture into large crumbs and distribute over the top of the apple mixture. Bake at 375 degrees about 45 minutes, until bubbling and well browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Red and Napa Cabbage Salad with Braeburn Apples and Spiced Pecans


Makes 6 servings


2 teaspoons butter

1 cup pecan halves

2 tablespoons golden brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon (scant) cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium unpeeled Braeburn or Fuji apples, quartered, cored, thinly sliced crosswise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage

3/4 cup dried tart cherries (about 5 ounces)


Melt butter in nonstick medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pecans and stir 1 minute. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne; stir until nuts are coated, about 1 minute. Transfer nuts to foil sheet and cool.

Whisk both vinegars and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Do ahead Spiced pecans and dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Store pecans airtight at room temperature. Cover and chill dressing; bring to room temperature and rewhisk before using.

Toss apples with lemon juice in large bowl. Add cabbages and dried cherries; mix. Add dressing and toss. Stir in pecans and season salad with salt and pepper.

Lime 'N Pepper Tri-Tip

From (Oregon Beef Council)


1 1/2 to 2 lbs beef tri-tip, trimmed of fat


Approximately 3/4 cup juice of 6 limes

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder


2 tbsp. coarse grind black pepper

1 tbsp. kosher salt


Combine marinade ingredients. Place meat and marinade in covered glass dish or plastic bag. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove meat from marinade, discarding marinade. Combine rub ingredients and press into all surfaces of meat. Seasoned meat may be refrigerated for one hour to enhance flavor or grilled immediately.

Grill roast to desired doneness over medium coals for 30 - 40 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and tent with foil for 10 minutes before carving across the grain into thin slices. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Tip: Before grilling, coat rack with cooking spray or brush with oil to prevent rub from sticking.

April 13, 2010
Here's how to be cart smart this week

Hi Shoppers. We've got BOGO with a twist this week at the major supermarkets. Some sales are better than BOGO, other's not so much. Check it out.

Raley's is adding lots of extras this week. Examples: buy two jars of Ragu and get a free pound of Golden Grain pasta. Get free OJ when you spend $10 on Jimmy Dean breakfast. Buy two bags of Ore-Ida potatoes, get the third free. Get a free baguette with purchase of O-Line & Co. Olive oil and buy two packs of fresh sushi, get the third free.

Over at Save Mart, it's all about the coupons. Gallo salame for $3.59; VO5 shampoo or conditioner for 69-cents and 12 packs of soda - buy 2 get one free. Post Cereal is $1.69 a box when you buy 4.

At Safeway, you'll earn a coupon for $10 off if you purchase $25 or more on Procter & Gamble products. If that sounds like a lot, consider that P&G makes everything from Oil of Olay to Pampers. And taking a page from the 99-cents store, Safeway has everything from Mac&Cheese to Braeburn apples for 99-cents.

Here's the other stuff we like this week:

Raley's is introducing the first corn on the cob of the season at 27-cents each; tri-tip roast for $2.47lb and coupons on everything from All 2x detergent ($2.99) to Lindsay olives (89 cents a can). Pepperidge Farm cookies are $1.77 when you buy 3; 2-liter Coke is 88-cents when you buy 4. Yoplait yogurt is a real bargain this week at 45-cents a container. A carton of 18 large eggs is $1.99 and a big tub of cottage cheese is $3.99.

In the hard-to-resist category, Sun Chips are $2.50 a bag; Chex Mix is $2 a bag and Post Cereal is $1.99 a box. If you need potatoes - lots of them - this is the week to buy. 5-pound bags or Idaho Spuds are BOGO. Cucumbers are 59-cents each and Fresh Express salads are 97-cents a bag.

Over at Save Mart, red seedless grapes are 87-cents a pound; jumbo artichokes are $1.50 each and avocados are still only $1. Doritos or Lay's chips are 3 bags for $6 (must buy 3); Campbell's soups are 50-cents each and Bayview Farms OJ is $1.50 for a big jug.

Foster Farms whole chickens are 99-cents a pound; and pork spareribs are $1.99lb. BOGOs include Tyson chicken nuggets; Nathan's beef franks; and Armour LunchMakers. Just in time for the bake-off, Pillsbury crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls and biscuits are 99-cents. Sargento shredded cheese is $2.50 a bag and Dole juices are $2.50. Hansen's Apple Juice is $1.50 for a large bottle; a case of Crystal Geyser is $2.99 and Capri-Sun or Kool-Aid Jammers are $2 a box.

Hitting the aisles at Safeway, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.67lb; cross-rib roast is $1.99lb and a weekend seafood sale includes salad shrimp for $2.99lb.

In produce, jumbo 'chokes are $1.50 each; blackberries are BOGO and large cantaloupe is just 39-cents a pound. Cucumbers are 79-cents each; cocktail tomatoes are $2.50 per container and a 5-lb bag of Idaho potatoes is $2.50. Cases of Arrowhead or Nestle water are 3/$10. Prego pasta sauce is $1.50 a jar; Lucerne shredded cheese is $1.88 and Florida Natural OJ is $2.50 a carton. In the coupon category, Lucerne natural sliced cheese is $1.99; cream cheese is 99-cents.

12-packs of 7-UP or A&W are buy 2, get 2 free. Doritos tortilla chips are BOGO and 6-packs of Top Ramen are $1.25 each. 

You know spring has arrived when the $5 Friday meal is the All-American sub. And springtime signature salads are $2.99lb in the deli. Safeway select breads are $2 a loaf and hot dog or burger buns are $1.29

Safeway has a full-page "menu" and coupons for their Signature Cafe. They are introducing new salads - Asian chicken and chicken Caesar - and sandwiches, both $3.99 with coupon. Signature soups are only $2.99 this week. They also have ready-to-eat entrees that serve a family of 3 or 4 for less than $10.

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


April 8, 2010
Shop the sales, then start cooking

We've got lots of good stuff on sale this week so it was easy for researcher Sheila Kern to come up with recipes that are easy, tasty and just in time for the weekend. And why not start with Peanut Butter cookies? Enjoy.

Here's where you will find the items on sale:

Chicken breasts: Raley's

Peanut Butter: Raley's coupon and Save Mart

OJ: Raley's, Save Mart

Cilantro: A great deal at Save Mart

Beef Tenderloin: Safeway

Grapes: Safeway

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies



1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 egg

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light. Add the egg and mix until fluffy.

Blend the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Chicken Peanut Mole Sauce



2 tablespoons Crisco canola oil

3-4 cloves chopped garlic

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 cup chicken broth

1-14 and 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, and the liquid

1/2 cup Jif creamy peanut butter

salt and pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips

1/2 oz. grated unsweetened chocolate

sour cream

chopped scallions

chopped cilantro


In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the Crisco Canola oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic, onions, and bell pepper, cook about 1 minute, stirring often.

Add the chile powder, oregano, and cinnamon. Cook about 1 minute, stirring often.

Add the vinegar and stir to combine well. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and the liquid, and Jif Creamy Peanut Butter. Stir to blend well and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened.

Taste, add salt and pepper if desired. Add the chicken strips and simmer, stirring often, until done, about 5-8 minutes.

Add the chocolate and simmer, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely dissolved.

Bistro Beef Tenderloin


From EatingWell: December 2005/January 2006

About 12 servings


1 3-pound beef tenderloin, trimmed of fat

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2/3 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, chervil, tarragon, thyme

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Tie kitchen string around tenderloin in three places so it doesn't flatten while roasting. Rub the tenderloin with oil; pat on salt and pepper. Place in a large roasting pan.

Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 140 degrees F for medium-rare, about 45 minutes, turning two or three times during roasting to ensure even cooking. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string.

Place herbs on a large plate. Coat the tenderloin evenly with mustard; then roll in the herbs, pressing gently to adhere. Slice and serve.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Equipment: Kitchen string

Roasting Tips

1. Very cold meat won't roast evenly. Place it on the counter while preheating the oven.

2. Durable cotton kitchen string is sold at kitchenware stores, most gourmet markets and large supermarkets. Do not use sewing thread or yarn, which may contain inedible dyes or unsavory chemicals.

3. A heavy-duty, high-sided roasting pan is essential for conducting heat evenly. Never substitute a cookie sheet. A broiler pan will work in a pinch, but the roast will inevitably be somewhat chewier.

4. Give it a rest. A roast's internal temperature will rise about 10 degrees while resting. The natural juices will also reincorporate into the meat's fibers and the skin or crust will dry out slightly for a more toothsome yet more succulent dinner.

Garlic and Herb Tomatoes


Yield: 6 servings


3 tablespoons good olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)

2 pints cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a saute pan large enough to hold all the tomatoes in one layer. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to loose their firm round shape. Sprinkle with a little fresh chopped basil and parsley and serve hot or at room temperature.

Rosemary-Orange Chicken


From EatingWell: March 1998

4 servings


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

Salt & freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar


Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add orange juice and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Stir butter, rosemary and vinegar into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken.

Green Grape Salad


8 servings


4 pounds seedless green grapes

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces chopped pecans

2 tablespoons brown sugar


Wash and dry grapes. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Add grapes and mix until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans, mix again and refrigerate until serving.

April 6, 2010
If you want to save, use the coupons

It's a big coupon week, shoppers. If you don't clip, you don't save. (To be totally correct, you can download your coupons, but if you're like me, you're still clipping.)

Here we go.

Raley's is calling it "The Big Coupon Sale." What you get is Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals or desserts for $1.49 each when you buy 6; JIF peanut butter for $1.49; a 20-pack of Pepsi for $4.99; an 8-pack of Gatorade for $3.99; a case of Aquafina for $3.33 and Raley's cereal for $1.49 a box. Before you clip, be sure to flip the page because BallPark franks are $2.39; buns are $2.50; Fritos, Cheetos or Rold Golds are $2.50 a bag and a big jar of Pickles is only $2.49. Don't forget the Raley's brand mustard for $1.69.

Other stuff we like: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.87lb; lean ground beef for $1.97lb (you must buy 3lbs.); BOGO Milanos and Crystal Geyser sparkling water for 88-cents. Michelina'a budget gourmet entrees are 89-cents and Kozy Shack pudding is $1.99.

If you are trying to eat healthy, check out the Weight Watchers yogurt 10/$6; Kashi Entrees for $1.99; Simply Orange, Apple or Grapefruit juice $3 each and Raley's chunk light tuna in water for 69-cents a can.

In produce, oranges are 99-cents a pound; tomatoes on the vine are $2.49lb and mangos are 77-cents each.

Fresh bakery bread is BOGO and chicken strips in the deli are $5.99.

Over at Save Mart, it's berry time. Buy one pound of Driscoll's strawberries and get two free. Another produce bonanza is green onions, radishes and cilantro at 5/$1. If Quaker is your brand, cereal, granola and instant oatmeal is $1.39 when you buy 5. Save Mart has the coupons, too. Yuban coffee - in the 33oz. tin - si $4.99; Betty Crocker "helpers" are 79-cents each and Hormel cooked entrees are $3.99 each.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the Butcher Block are $1.99lb.; cooked shrimp meat is $2.99lb and London broil is $2.49lb. BallPark franks are BOGO. Didn't see any buns on sale.

A new item "Rich & Thin" ice cream treats are $2.99 a box; Yoplait yogurt is 50-cents a carton and Minute Maid OJ is $2. Buy two jars of Smucker's preserves and get JIF peanut butter for free. Sunny Select apple juice is $1.50 a jug and a case of Arrowhead is $3.33.

In produce, Cherubs grape tomatoes are 2/$5; complete salad kits are $2.50 each and petite carrots are $1.50 a bag. Tomatoes on the vine are $1.97lb. Navel oranges are 69-cents a pound; leaf lettuce is 69-cents a head.

Safeway's got the coupons and the Saturday/Sunday sale, too. If you're clippin', Johnsonville smoked sausage or bratwurst is $1.99; "Krab" is 99-cents; Prego pasta sauce is $1.25 a jar; V8 drinks are $2.49 a jug and O Organics milk is $2.49 for 2-quarts.  Lucerne string or stick cheese is $2.99 and Ore.Ida potatoes are $1.99 a bag.

The Saturday/Sunday sale includes Safeway's frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $1.67lb; whole beef tenderloin for $7.99lb and Smithfield bacon for $1.99.

Lucerne eggs (the 18-count container) are BOGO; Safeway variety breads are $1.50 a loaf and Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauce is BOGO. BallPark franks are BOGO, too.

Attention dieters! Skinny Cow single serving ice cream cups are $1 each; Trident gum is $1 a pack and Nabisco 100-calorie cookie packs are 2/$5. Yoplait yogurt is 50 cents.

In produce, Iceberg lettuce is 69-cents a head; Pink Lady or Jazz apples are 99-cents a pound and green seedless grapes are 98-cents a pound. Avocados are $1 each; strawberries and blackberries are BOGO and white nectarines are $1.99lb.

The $5 Friday special is whole roasted chicken or 8-piece meal. Chicken tenders are $5.99

In the bakery, choose muffins, donuts or Danish for just 59-cents each.

Come back on Thursday for Shop Cheap recipes. 

April 1, 2010
Don't worry about your Easter menu, be hoppy!

It's almost Easter and you have the ham under control but it's all the other stuff that's causing you to lose sleep. Don't worry, be hoppy because Shop Cheap has come to the rescue. In the Kitchen, researcher Sheila Kern found everything from side dishes to breakfast to appetizers and dessert. Best of all, many of the ingredients - potatoes, asparagus, eggs and strawberries - are on sale. Enjoy!

Scalloped Potatoes 2 Ways



Potato Gratin
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons butter
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
Fresh ground pepper
2/3 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub a baking dish with garlic clove and then with butter.

In a medium saucepan, combine potatoes, milk, water, bay leaf and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Drain the potatoes and layer half of them in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle on half of the cheese and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Spread out remaining potatoes and top with remaining cheese and seasoning. Pour heavy cream over potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and bubbly.
Scalloped Potatoes


Serves 6


4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top


In a small sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour.

Let sit for a minute.

Add all of cold milk, stirring with a whisk.

Season with salt and cayenne.

Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.

Reduce heat and stir in cheese.

Place a half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased one quart casserole dish.

Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes.

Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Top with some paprika for color.

Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350F.

Asparagus Topped with Creamy Tarragon Sauce


From EatingWell: April/May 2006

4 servings


2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed

1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt

6 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon lemon juice, juice

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus. Serve warm or cold.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days.

Asparagus Risotto


Adapted from Mario Batali

Yield: 3 to 4 servings


1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into one-inch-long pieces, tips reserved

4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 medium red onion, diced

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

Salt to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add half the asparagus stalks and cook until quite soft, at least 5 minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water. Put cooked asparagus in a blender or food processor and add just enough water to allow machine to puree until smooth; set aside.

2. Put stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add onion, stirring occasionally until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away. Add a large pinch of salt. Add warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally. Each time stock has just about evaporated, add more.

4. After about 15 minutes, add remaining asparagus pieces and tips, continuing to add stock when necessary. In 5 minutes, begin tasting rice. You want it to be tender but with a bit of crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes total to reach this stage. When it does, stir in 1/2 cup asparagus puree. Remove skillet from heat, add remaining butter and stir briskly. Add Parmesan and stir briskly, then taste and adjust seasoning. Risotto should be slightly soupy. Serve immediately.

Dijon-Deviled Eggs


Makes 12 halves


6 hard-boiled eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 green onion, very thinly sliced (slice a little of the green and keep separate from white)
a few leaves of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, optional
freshly ground black pepper
salt, to taste
paprika, optional


Halve or quarter eggs; scoop yolks into a small bowl. Mash well; add mayonnaise and Dijon until desired consistency is reached. Stir in white part of sliced onion and most of the chopped parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Using a small teaspoon or pastry bag, fill egg white halves or quarters. Sprinkle with sliced green onion and remaining parsley. Sprinkle with a little pepper and/or paprika, if desired.
Orange-Cinnamon French Toast Recipe


6 servings


2 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
6 slices bread
Additional honey, optional

In a small bowl, combine the butter, honey and cinnamon. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; spread to coat bottom of pan.

In a shallow bowl, beat eggs, orange juice and salt if desired. Dip bread into egg mixture and place in prepared pan.

Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Invert onto a serving platter; serve with honey if desired.
Strawberry Breakfast Pizza

From (California Strawberry Commission)

Yield: 5 servings


1 package (7 1/2 ounces) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
1 orange
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 teaspoons honey, divided
1 pint basket fresh California strawberries, stemmed and halved
Mint sprigs, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stack 2 biscuits; roll out to a circle about 6 inches in diameter, 1/8 inch thick. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Prick all over with fork. Repeat with remaining biscuits to make total of 5 circles. Bake until lightly browned for 6 to 8 minutes. Loosen biscuits and cool slightly. Meanwhile, finely grate peel from orange. In bowl beat cheese, peel and 2 teaspoons of the honey to blend thoroughly; set aside. Juice orange into another bowl. Add strawberries and the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey; toss. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spread biscuits with cheese mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges, dividing equally. Bake just until edges of cheese brown lightly. Top with drained strawberries. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve immediately.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries


Serves 12


25 large strawberries
1 (12 ounce) bag dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Clean and dry strawberries, leaving stems and leaves intact.

In double boiler, over low heat, melt chocolate and oil; stir to combine.

Lay waxed paper on flat surface. Dip strawberries one by one into chocolate mixture, allowing extra chocolate to drip off, lay onto waxed paper to set.

If your kitchen is warm, strawberries may be refrigerated for 10 minutes to set chocolate.
Strawberry Cannoli


From Woman's Day | May 30, 2006

Makes 12 Cannolis


1 pt (12 oz) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tub (15 oz) whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1⁄4 tsp almond extract
1 box (4 or 51⁄4 oz) sugar cones (12 cones)

Garnish: chocolate mini chips and sliced strawberries


1. At least 1 day before serving, proceed through Step 3. Line a colander and a medium-size strainer with a sturdy paper towel; set each in a bowl.
2. Pulse strawberries and granulated sugar in food processor until coarsely chopped. Scrape into colander, top with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight to drain well (this is important). Clean processor.
3. Put ricotta, cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in processor; pulse until smooth. Transfer to strainer, cover with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight.
4. Just before serving: Prop cones upright in tall glasses partially filled with granulated sugar to support cones. Fold drained berries and almond extract into ricotta mixture. Spoon into a gallon-size ziptop bag. Cut 1⁄2 in. off a corner; pipe filling into cones and garnish.The sugar cones replace the usual pastry shells, which can be hard to make or find in stores.
Planning Tip: Prepare through Step 3 at least 24 hours, or up to 2 days, ahead. Fill cones just before serving.
Pint-Size Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins


Makes 36 mini muffins


2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup poppy seeds


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour three mini muffin pans or line with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions. Mix just until blended. Mix in poppy seeds. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups by generous tablespoonfuls.

Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and cool on rack.




About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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