Shop Cheap

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

September 29, 2010
It's easy to eat your fruit and veggies

If you love fresh fruit and veggies, you are going to love these recipes from researcher Sheila Kern and the Shop Cheap Kitchen. Enjoy!

Raspberry Buckle



2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter (4 ounces), softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk, low fat is fine

2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries


4 tablespoons butter (2 ounces), softened

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch ground nutmeg


Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan. Heat oven to 350°.

Combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream the 4 ounces of butter with 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg until well blended. Add about a third of the dry mixture (flour and baking powder mixture) and half of the milk. Beat on low speed until smooth. Add another third of the dry mixture and the remaining milk and beat until smooth. Add remaining dry mixture and beat until smooth. Spread in the prepared baking pan. Scatter raspberries evenly over the top of the batter.

For topping, combine the 4 tablespoons of butter with 1/3 cup of flour, the 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix with a fork until well blended. With fingers, scatter crumbs evenly over the raspberry layer. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden pick comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack then cut into squares.

Raspberry-Pistachio Crusted Chicken


Makes 2 servings


1/2 cup raspberries

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup whole-grain bread crumbs (about 1/2 slice)

1 Tbsp coarsely ground pistachio nuts

1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

1 dash white pepper

1 pinch sea salt

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 head kale, leaves trimmed and washed


In a food processor or blender, process berries, mustard, and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a shallow pan. In another pan, combine bread crumbs, pistachios, parsley, pepper, and salt. Dip chicken into the raspberry sauce, then into the bread-crumb mixture to coat. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute chicken over medium heat, about 5 minutes per side. Serve each chicken breast on a bed of kale.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus


Servings: 4


1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)


Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

Grilled California Asparagus and Mushroom Salad

with Shaved Parmesan


Serves: 6


1 lb. California asparagus, trimmed

olive oil, as needed

salt, as needed

freshly ground pepper as needed

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lb. medium crimini or white mushrooms, cleaned

1-1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, shaved; pieces


Blanch asparagus, in a frying pan large enough to hold asparagus in one layer.

Bring approximately 3 inches of water to a boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Add

asparagus. Cook at a medium boil until slightly underdone, about 3 minutes,

depending on thickness. Drain on paper towel; cool.

To grill, brush asparagus with olive oil. On an outdoor or a stovetop, grill over

medium-high heat, turning frequently, until lightly browned and fork tender, about

5 minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cool. At an angle, cut spears in

1-1/2" pieces; reserve.

To make vinaigrette, mix lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper, and 1/8

teaspoon salt; whisk in oil. Reserve.

Recipe can be made ahead to this point. Refrigerate cooled asparagus and

vinaigrette, tightly sealed, if serving more than 2 hours later. Return to room

temperature before continuing.

Slice mushrooms about 1/4" thick. Toss mushrooms with reserved asparagus

and vinaigrette; arrange on a platter. Add shavings of Parmesan cheese over


Use a cheese planer or a potato peeler to shave cheese paper-thin.

Crispy California Asparagus Straws


Makes 36 single asparagus straws


36 California asparagus spears

4 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed

4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup butter, melted

salt and pepper to sprinkle on top


Preheat oven to 425° F

Trim ends of asparagus. Blanche asparagus in boiling salted water until lightly

tender to the bite, about 3 minutes.

Place one sheet of phyllo on a cutting board. Set aside the remaining sheets,

cover with a damp towel. Brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Cut the sheet

into nine rectangles, two cuts down from the top, two cuts across. Place an

asparagus spear at the bottom of the short side of the rectangle with the tip

sticking out from the dough by 2 inches. Sprinkle on a teaspoon of cheese. Roll

up spear and seal with butter. Finish with remaining spears.

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with remaining

cheese, salt and pepper. Cover the exposed asparagus tips with foil. Bake until

golden brown and crispy 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.




1 lb. fully cooked bratwurst

2 lg. potatoes, paired and diced

1 c. water or beef broth

2 apples, pared and diced

2 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. Salt


Combine bratwurst, potatoes and water or broth in wide skillet or saute pan, simmer until water evaporates and potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Add apples to pan. Push brats, apples and potatoes to one side, sprinkle sugar over a portion of skillet. Stir over high heat until sugar caramelizes. Add butter and stir with potatoes and apples. Sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.


For added flavor, add one chopped onion to potatoes and apples after potatoes are cooked. Serving suggestions: Green salad, rye bread, and German Beer.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


Makes 1 loaf


 2 cups all-purpose flour

 1 cup sugar

 1 teaspoon baking powder

 1 teaspoon salt

 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium)

 1/2 cup shortening

 2 eggs

 1 cup HERSHEY'S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate

 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9x5-inch loaf pan.

Combine all ingredients except small chocolate chips and walnuts in large bowl; blend well on medium speed of mixer. Stir in small chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. 1 loaf (18 servings)

Variation: HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Chips. HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips may be substituted for small chocolate chips.

Chicken Salad Makeover


Serves: 4-6


2 c Cooked, diced chicken breasts

1-1/2 c California seedless grapes

1 apple (medium), cored and sliced

1/2 c Raisins and diced celery

1/2 t Dried tarragon, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

2-4 T Each of: Lowfat mayonnaise and yogurt

1/4 c Parsley, chopped

Lettuce leaves

Sprigs of thyme (optional)


Combine all ingredients except lettuce and thyme; mix well. Serve chicken salad on lettuce leaves. Garnish with thyme, if desired.

Adapted recipe from and Produce For Better Health Foundation.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Berry Salad


Serves 4


2 medium bananas, sliced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 cup sliced strawberries or raspberries

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Peanut Butter Dressing

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt

2 tablespoons orange juice


Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and process the mixture until smooth.

In a small glass bowl, gently toss the banana slices in the lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning.

Divide the lettuce among four serving dishes and then top it with the bananas and berries. Drizzle peanut dressing over each salad and garnish with chopped peanuts.

September 28, 2010
There's no debate on produce prices

Hi Shoppers. It's fall and this year, it's election season. While the candidates are debating the issues, there's no debating the fact that California has its share of delicious produce. Plump, ripe raspberries, crunchy asparagus, sweet bananas and juicy grapes. If only ...

Here's what we like this week.

Safeway has a new $5 Friday offering. It's not just the usual pizza or mealoaf, This week they have pre-packaged deli meats; Hormel pork tenderloin, a veggie tray and a single layer fudge cake. They also have gone back to the Saturday/Sunday/Monday 3-day Sale. Got to admit, I like the Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo better. This week's offerings are Foster Farms lean ground turkey for $2.49; seedless grapes for 87-cents a pound 32-oz. chunk cheese for $5.49 and buy 2, get 2 free 12-packs of Coke.

Other stuff we like at Safeway: Foster Farms split chicken breasts for 97-cents a pound; London broil for $1.99lb; Hillshire Farm BOGO bratwurst and beef cube steaks for $3.49lb.

Lay's or Kettle chips are $1.99 a bag; Entenmann's 2/$5 and Yoplait yogurt 10/$5. Safeway English muffins are $1 a pack; whole wheat breads are $1.50 a loaf and Post Froot Loops or Honey Bunches of Oats are buy 2, get 2 free.

Clip-worthy coupons include a case of Nestle drinking water for $2.99; Precious string cheese for $2.49; Wonder breads for $1.99; Nature Valley bars for $1.79 and Special k cereal for $1.99.

Lucerne large eggs are BOGO in the 18-count container; and Refreshe Sparkling water is 69-cents.

In produce, check out the raspberries for $1.27; Fuji apples for 87-cents a pound and a 10-lb. bag of Russet potatoes for $1.77. Large 'chokes are 2/$3; corn on the cob is 3/$1 and cucumbers are 79-cents each.

Heading to Henry's for more great produce. Red seedless grapes are 2lbs/$1; bananas are 3lbs/$1; green bell peppers are 5/$1 and oranges are 88-cents a pound. Onions are 33-cents a pound and cucumbers are 2/$1. Roasted almonds are $3.99lb.

Pork baby back ribs are $2.99lb; New York or Rib Eye steak is $4.99lb and chicken sausage is $2.99lb.

Raley's is doing a good job with it's "Mom's World" campaign and Raley's dailies special pricing. This week vcheck out asparagus for $1.87lb; Bartlett pears for 67-cents a pound and whole pork loin for $1.77lb. 2-liter Pepsi or 7-UP is 99-cents; Yoplait yogurt is 40-cents a cup when you buy 10 and a 3lb bag of apples is $2.98. Nob Hill Trading Co. Focaccia bread is BOGO in the bakery;  and pumpkin pie has arrived ar $4.99.

Fresh, cooked shrimpmeat is $1.99lb (must buy 2 lbs) and chicken thighs, drumsticks or leg quarters are $1.29lb.

In produce, fall squash is 77-cents a pound; strawberries are $2.50 and seedless grapes are $1.97lb. A fresh baguette in the bakery is $1.78; a package of pasta is 98-cents and Raley's sauce is $1.88 a jar.

Last stop on the list this week is Save Mart where we are picking up boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the Max Pak for $1.88lb; whole Foster Farms chicken for 99-cents a pound and a boneless pork loin roast for $1.99lb. Bananas are 79-cents a pound; tomatoes on the vine are 87-cents a pound and oranges are 67-cents a pound.

Eggs are $1.50 a dozen; Michelina's lean gourmet meals re $1 each and Minute Maid OJ is  $2.50. On the back page of the Save Mart ad, where you always find the best deals, there's a coupon for Coke - buy 2-12 packs, get 1 free. Kellogg's family size cereals are $2.99 a box and Mission tortilla chips are $1.69.

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

September 21, 2010
Remember to scan the ads

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

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas


Makes 16 servings


2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts

1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese

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

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 Egg

1 Tbsp. Water

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

1 tsp. Chili powder


Heat oven to 375ºF.

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

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

Bake 15 min. or until golden brown.

Quick Guacamole


From EatingWell: June/July 2005


3 avocados, diced (about 3 cups)

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

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt


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

Taco Soup



2 pounds ground beef

2 cups diced onions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional

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

1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix

Corn chips, for serving

Sour cream, for garnish

Grated cheese, for garnish

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Pickled jalapenos, for garnish


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

White Chili


Makes 6 servings, 1 1/3 cups each


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 15-ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 cups diced cooked skinless turkey, or chicken

2 tablespoons cider vinegar


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

Sweet Restaurant Slaw


Makes 8 servings

1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix

2 tablespoons diced onion

2/3 cup creamy salad dressing

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds


Combine the coleslaw mix and onion in a large bowl.

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

Grilled Steak Fajitas


Yield: Serves 4


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

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 each red and green bell pepper cut into long strips

1 large onion cut into rings


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

Grilled Potato Skins


Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer


2 large russet potatoes

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

1 small onion, finely diced

3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


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

Tortilla Roll-Ups



12 (14-ounce package) flour tortillas

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup sour cream

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles

3 tablespoons chopped green onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper

12 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup salsa or picante sauce


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

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip



1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach

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

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup grated pepper jack cheese


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

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

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

Barbecued Pork Ribs


Serves 4 to 6


For the ribs:

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

Vegetable oil, for grill rack

For the rub:

2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

2 tablespoons coarse salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons hot paprika

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup bourbon

1 cup strained tomatoes

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup water

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs


From Southern Living, December 1999

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


3/4 pound extra-lean ground beef

3/4 pound ground turkey

1 small onion, minced

1/4 cup egg substitute

1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

3/4 cup ketchup

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup low-sodium Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustard


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

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

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

September 15, 2010
Recipes ready for the change in seasons

This week, the Shop Cheap kitchen and recipe researcher Sheila Kern are offering up a couple of recipes that fit right in with Mexican Independence Day and the end of summer. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pork


Makes 8 servings


3 pounds pork shoulder

2 (1 ounce) packages taco seasoning mix

chili powder to taste

crushed red pepper to taste


Place pork shoulder in a slow cooker with taco seasoning. If desired, add chili powder and/or red pepper flakes. Add water until meat is covered. Place lid on pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove pork shoulder from pot and shred.

Cynthia's Spicy Shredded Pork


Servings: 8


4 pounds (up To 7 Pounds) Pork Shoulder

1 teaspoon Dried Oregano

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Salt

Pepper To Taste

3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic

1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons (to 3 Tablespoons) White Wine Vinegar

1/4 cups Brown Sugar

1 whole Onion

Lime Wedges


Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder.

To begin, just throw the dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar and brown sugar into a food processor or blender. (I happen to love brown sugar in my cooking, but you can decrease or omit it if you like.)

Cut one onion into quarters and put it in the food processor with the spices. Blend mixture until totally combined and then pour it over the pork shoulder.

Now rub it into every nook and cranny of the meat, tucking it under folds and in crevices. Let no stone go unturned.

Then place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add a couple of cups of water. Cover tightly and roast pork at 300º for several hours, turning once every hour.

When it is fork tender, crank up the heat, remove the lid, and roast it, skin side up for another 15 to 20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it's done, let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding.

Shred the pork shoulder (two forks work well). When it's all shredded be sure to pour the juices all over the meat.

Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, tomatillo salsa.

Grapefruit Chicken Satay Salad


From EatingWell: January/February 2007


2 large pink or ruby-red grapefruits

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste

8 cups roughly chopped romaine lettuce, (about 2 hearts)

1 cup sliced radishes, (about 8 radishes)


With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith from grapefruits and discard. Cut the grapefruit segments from the surrounding membranes, letting them drop into a small bowl. Working over a large bowl, squeeze the remaining membranes to extract the juice. Set the segments and juice aside separately.

Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil.

Toss chicken, dry mustard, garlic powder, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, pepper and salt in a large bowl until the chicken is well coated. Place on the prepared pan in a single layer.

Broil the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar and hot sauce into the reserved grapefruit juice until smooth. Add the cooked chicken and lettuce; toss to combine. Serve the salad topped with radishes and the reserved grapefruit segments.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grapefruit Glaze


Servings: 4


2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon grapefruit zest (from about 1/2 grapefruit)

1/2 cup grapefruit juice (from 1 grapefruit)

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 pounds in all)


Light the grill. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, oil, honey, salt, and pepper.

Grill the chicken breasts over moderately high heat, brushing frequently with the glaze, for 8 minutes. Turn and cook, brushing with more glaze, until the chicken is just done, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove.

In a small stainless-steel saucepan, bring the remaining glaze to a boil. Boil for about 1 minute, remove from the heat, and pour over the grilled chicken.

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.

Frosty Strawberry Pops

From (California Strawberry Commission)

Makes 8 servings


1 pint basket California strawberries, stemmed

1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk

3 tablespoons frozen orange, cranberry or pineapple juice concentrate


In blender container, blend all ingredients about 1 minute until smooth. Pour into eight 3-ounce, wax-coated paper cups. Place in shallow pan and insert a wooden craft stick or plastic spoon into the center of each. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours. After pops are frozen, they can be transferred to a resealable plastic bag for freezer storage. To release pops from cups, dip briefly into hot water up to rim of cup.

Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes


Makes 8 servings


4 large baking potatoes

8 slices bacon

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

8 green onions, sliced, divided


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

Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.

Bake for another 15 minutes.

Oven Roasted Potatoes



5-6 potatoes, peeled and cut in to evenly sized wedges

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Two lemons, juiced (plus more for serving)

1/2 cup chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, add the sliced potatoes and toss them with the remaining ingredients until they are well coated.

Line a half-sheet pan or a roasting pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease to prevent sticking. Place the coated potatoes in a single layer and drizzle them with any remaining marinade left in the bowl.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately one hour. Carefully turn the potatoes halfway through cooking to prevent them from sticking and to brown them evenly.

Re-season with salt and pepper and squeeze a bit more lemon juice (if desired) when they are fresh out of the oven.

Iceberg Lettuce With Blue Cheese Dressing


Yield: 8 servings


1 cup yogurt, preferably whole milk

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more as needed

Salt and ground black pepper

1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 8 wedges

1/2 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts, optional


1. Mash yogurt with blue cheese, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a grinding or two of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if necessary.

2. Place each wedge of iceberg lettuce on a plate, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with nuts if using.

September 14, 2010
So long to summer sales

The supermarkets aren't calling it "The End of Summer Sale" but it sure feels that way. We still have California-grown strawberries, grapes, peaches and corn but it won't last.

So one more time before we take the fall, here's what Shop Cheap likes for the last week of summer.

Raley's is grabbing the moment and celebrating Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16) with pork roast for 97-cents a pound; roma tomatoes for 47-cents a pound cilantro 5/$1 and limes 10/$1. Tia Rosa tortillas are $1.99; green chilis are 89-cents and Herdex Salsa Verde is $2,29. Add to that mix corn on the cob 4/$1; honeydew melon 37-cents a pound and white peaches or nectarines for 87-cents a pound.

If you're clippin', there are coupons for Ore-Ida potatoes $1.99; Tostitos chips $1.69; Gatorade 79-cents and Aquafina drinking water $3.33 a case. Minute Maid OJ is 2/$5. 

If you are confused by the ups and downs of milk prices, stick with Raley's. Their Bayview brand is pretty consistent: $4.79 for 2 gallons of 1% or 2% and $3.89 for 2 gallons on non-fat.

Knorr sides are 99-cents each. Buy 3 Smucker's items (jam, preserves or marmalade) and get a free dozen eggs. A fresh baguette in the bakery is $1.78 If you have Soccer snack duty  this weekend, a dozen donuts are $4.98. Better yet, oranges are 97-cents a pound!

New guy, Henry's is still cranking out the specials. Strawberries at 77-cents a pound can't be beat. Other produce worth mentioning: ruby red grapefruit 4/$1; green seedless grapes 88-cents a pound; white corn 4/$1; oranges 88-cents a pound; and a 5lb bag of Russet potatoes for 88-cents.

Knudsen low fat cottage cheese is $2.50 for a container; and Mediterranean style (read Greek) yogurt is 3/$4.Glaceau Vitamin water or Tazo iced tea is $1 a bottle.

Boneless top sirloin steak is $2.99 in the family pack; natural chicken drumsticks are 69-cents a pound and extra lean ground beef is $2.99lb. Pepper Jack in the deli is $2.99lb.

Guess that Saturday, Sunday, Monday "3-Day Sales Event" at Safeway wasn't such a great idea because this week they are back to Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And they are giving us reason to shop: Ball Park franks for 99-cents; raspberries for $1.99 and Signatue Cafe pizza for $5.99.

Eating Right boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.88lb; ribs in the deli are $6.99 for a 26-oz package and Oscar Mayer ham or turkey lunchmeat is BOGO.

Safeway's brand of sparkling cider is 2/$4; their OJ is the same.

There's lots of clipping to do if you shop Safeway. Prego pasta sauce is $1.49; Lucerne natural cheese slices are $1.99 and a party-size lasagne is $6.99.

There's another unique promotion going on at Safeway. Buy 5 Kraft items, save $5 AND Kraft will donate 5 meals to Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. Examples: Nabisco crackers and Capri Sun for $1.49; Kraft salad dressing for $1.99; Oscar Mayer deli shaved lunchmeat for $2.49 and Kraft mayo or cheese slices for $1.99.

In produce, red or green bell peppers are 99-cents each; Kiwi is 2/$1 and yellow onions are 99-cents a pound.Seedless grapes are 87-cents a pound; broccoli is 97-cents a pound and corn on the cob is 5/$2.

Buy two cans of Rosarita refries and get a free pact of Mission tortillas. This week's $5 Friday special is Homestyle meatloaf or Signature Cafe Pasta Rigatoni

P.S. Safeway's 10-cents off a gallon promotion is back, too. This time it runs until Jan. 1.

Save Mart is the last stop on this week's shopping adventure. We start out with country-style pork ribs for $1.17 a pound and a recipe from Laura, star of the Bringing it Home show on News-10 each Sunday. Laura's Best BBQ Country Style Ribs sounds great.

Other items we like at Save Mart: Iceberg lettuce for 37-cents; avocados for $1; Fresh Express salads for 97-cents and tangerines for $1.49lb. Earthbound Farm organic salad is BOGO and Campari tomatoes on the vine are $1.99.

Foster Farms fresh chicken breasts are BOGO; boneless, skinless breasts are $2.49lb.

Sunny Select loaf bread is $1.69; apple juice is $1.99 and chunk light tuna is 3/$2. 2-liter jugs of 7-UP are 99-cents and a gallon of Crystal Geyser drinking water is 88-cents. Minute Maid OJ is $3.99 for an 89-oz jug.

Yoplait yogurt is 50 cents. Kellogg's Special K has a deal for you. Buy 4 items (4 for $10) and get a free 35-pack of Sunny Select drinking water. Clip the Save Mart coupons to get Frito Lay snack sacks for $4.99; and 12-packs of Coke - buy 2, get one free.

Come back Thursday for the Shop Cheap recipe roundup. 


September 9, 2010
Hello, Fall. Is that you?

We're definitely in between seasons and our recipes this week reflect that cool bite in the air. Recipe researcher Sheila Kern scanned Shop Cheap and zeroed-in on items that fit perfectly with that early fall feeling: avocado, grapes, cauliflower, tomato soup and strawberries. Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower


Makes 6 servings


2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.

Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish.

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Cauliflower Soup


Servings: 6


1 stick butter, divided

1/2 whole onion, finely diced

1 whole carrot, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 whole (to 2 whole) cauliflower heads (roughly chopped)

2 Tablespoons fresh or dried parsley (chopped)

2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or stock

6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

1 cup half-and-half

2 teaspoons to 4 teaspoons salt, to taste

1 cup (heaping) sour cream, room temperature


In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.

Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine.

Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.

Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.

Serve immediately.

Sweet & Scrumptious Skillet Chicken



1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

4 cups hot cooked rice


Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned on both sides.

Stir the soup, sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire in the skillet and heat to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with the rice.

Spaghetti Soup



2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes (about 1/2 pound)

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 large carrot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup
1 cup water

3 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 6-quart saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned, stirring often. Remove the chicken from the saucepot.

Add the remaining oil to the saucepot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute. Add the celery and garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Stir the broth, soup and water in the saucepot and heat to a boil. Stir in the spaghetti. Cook for 10 minutes or until the spaghetti is tender. Stir in the chicken and parsley, if desired, and cook until the chicken is cooked through.

Curried Chicken and Grape Salad


Makes 5 servings



1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


3 cups diced deli rotisserie chicken (from 2- to 2 1/2-lb chicken)

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup seedless red grapes, halved

3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted


In large bowl, stir dressing ingredients until well mixed.

Fold in chicken, celery and grapes. Sprinkle with almonds.

Strawberries and Grapes with Mint and Vanilla


Bon Appetit | May 1997

Makes 4 servings


2 12- to 16-ounce baskets strawberries, hulled, quartered

2 cups seedless green grapes

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients in large bowl; toss to coat fruit. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 and up to 4 hours. Spoon fruit into bowls and serve.

Cajun Guacamole


Serves 6


1 cup finely diced red bell pepper

4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 cup small cherry tomatoes (cut in halves or quarters, if large)

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 of that amount of dried thyme

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


Set aside a small amount of the diced red peppers for garnish.

Coarsely mash (DO NOT PUREE) avocados; stir in lemon juice.

Fold in remaining ingredients.

Top with reserved tomatoes and serve.

Serving Suggestions:

Place in a bowl in the center of a serving plate and surround with celery stalks and cooked shrimp for dipping.

California Avocado Breakfast Burrito


Serves 4


4 flour tortillas (about 11 inches in diameter)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

â…“ cup chopped onion

3 Tbsp. butter

8 eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese

1 California Avocado (8 ounces), diced

Sour cream for garnish

Tomatillo or tomato salsa for garnish


Wrap tortillas in foil; warm in a 400 degree F oven.

While the tortillas heat, saute bell pepper and onion in butter until soft, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile beat together eggs and salt.

When vegetables are done, pour egg into pan; gently stir in avocado.

Cook, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until soft curds form, about 3 minutes.

Put 1/4 of the egg mixture down the center of one warmed tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese.

Fold in top and bottom of each tortilla.

Roll up from side.

Repeat with each tortilla.

Garnish each burrito with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of salsa.

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

September 7, 2010
Save the blog, then save on groceries

Things were going so well this week. The sales were easy to spot and the column just flowed. Then, without warning, it disappeared. POOF. Off the screen and into oblivion. So if Shop Cheap seems less than substantial this week, you know the reason why. No more multi-tasking for this shopper. And remember it's not good to write an entire column without saving it - just once.

Here we go again!

We started out praising Save Mart for their new ad format, which includes recipes on nearly every page. Strawberries are quite the deal. Buy one pound, get 2 free. Avocado is 47-cents each and grapes are $1.49lb. Bell peppers are 2/$1 and Iceberg lettuce is 97-cents a head.

Cross rib roast, boneless pork sirloin chops and pork spareribs are $1.99lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99lb in the Max Pak.

Arrowhead Mountain Spring water is $3.33 a case. Coke is 99-cents in the 2-liter bottle. Bohemian Hearth bread is $1.99 a loaf. If you feel a headache coming on now (like I do after zapping the blog) Aleve, Bayer or Midol products are 25% off.

Minute Maid OJ is $5 a gallon and Weight Watchers or Dannon Light & Fit yogurt is 50-cents a container. Fresh chicken tenders are $5.99 in the deli and sliced roast beef is $6.99lb.

Flip to the back page and clip the coupons for John Morrell "Off the Bone" lunchmeat for $1.99 and Frito or Rold Gold snacks for $1 each. Campbell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle soups are 50-cents each. Quaker and Dole products are $1.39 each when you buy 5.

Back to Raley's where the produce is cookin'. Seedless grapes are 87-cents a pound; Bartlett pears are 57-cents a pound; and a 3-lb bag of Clementines is $3.47. Heirloom tomatoes are affordable at $1.97lb. Black Angus London broil is BOGO; Foster Farms split chicken breasts are 97-cents a pound and Jennie-O Turkey store ground turkey or Italian sausage is $3.50 a package.

Hillshire Farm links or rope sausage is $3 and Ball Park franks are 2/$3. Check out the P.F. Chang's frozen meals for $6.99 and the mix & match special - buy 10 items (Betty Crocker, General Mills, Pillsbury, Green Giant and Progresso) for $1.50 each. Raley's take-and-bake pizza is buy 2, get 1 free with new flavors Margherita and Garlic Chicken Alfredo.

Safeway's new 3-day sale is Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Guess Monday is the new Friday now that it's football season. This week's 3-day sale items include Oreos and Nutter Butters for $1.99; A&W, Sierra Mist, Pepsi or 7-UP jugs for 77-cents; avocado for 98-cents and Lloyd's BBQ spare ribs for $9.99.

Regular sale stuff includes Rancher's Reserve whole tri-tip for $2.69lb and Foster Farms lean ground turkey for $2.99 a package. In produce, cauliflower is 99-cents; apples are 99-cents a pound and 3lbs. of grapes are $5. If you really like Ragu sauce, it's 99-cents but you must buy six. Barilla pasta is $1 a box and Safeway garlic bread is $1.67 a loaf. .

Coupons worth clippin': Eggs for $1.49; Welch's healthy start juices for $1.99 and Del Monte canned veggies for 79-cents. Safeway apple juice is $1.29 and Kellogg's cereals are $1.99 a box.

The $5 Friday special is whole roasted chicken and there's a new soup - Autumn Harvest Butternut Squash - for $3.49 that sounds tasty. Safeway variety breads are $1.50 a loaf and bakery rolls are $1.99 for 6.

Our last stop on this shopping adventure is Henry's where produce is king. Peaches, plums, pluots and nectarines are 48-cents a pound. green beans, gala apples, cauliflower or broccoli and cluster tomatoes are all 88-cents a pound. Strawberries and blackberries are 2/$3. Cilantro, radishes or green onions are 4/$1 and apple pears or Kiwi fruit is 4/$1, too.

Eggs are $1.50 a dozen; De Cecco pasta is BOGO and super lean ground sirloin is $3.99lb. Fresh Dover sole is $4.99lb; New York or Rib Eye steaks are $4.99lb and baby back ribs are $2.77lb. Fresh mozzarella balls are $3.49 for an 8oz container and natural chicken sausage is $2.99lb.

Remember to save, save, save on the computer. Then you can save, save, save at the supermarket.

Come back on Thursday for early fall favorites from the Shop Cheap Kitchen.

September 2, 2010
Labor day recipes without the labor

We are approaching the last lovely three-day weekend of Summer. With that in mind - and so that you don't have to stress over the menu - recipe researcher Sheila Kern has come up with enough great ideas to keep you cooking. Enjoy!

Corn, tomato, black bean, and avocado salad


Serves 4


2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 ears fresh corn, shucked, kernels removed from cob

1/4 red onion, cut into thin strips

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Juice of 2 limes

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt, to taste


1. In a bowl combine the tomatoes, corn, onion, jalapeno, black beans, avocado, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt.

2. Stir gently but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, if you like.

3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and for up to half a day.

Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company

Grilled Steak with Fresh Corn Salad


From EatingWell: August/September 2005

Makes 4 servings


1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

2 boneless strip (top loin) steaks, trimmed (about 1 1/4 pounds)

5 large ears corn, husked

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 small orange or red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar


Preheat grill to high.

Combine garlic, 1 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Rub the mixture on both sides of steaks. Place the steaks and corn on the grill. Grill the steaks 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let them rest while the corn finishes cooking. (The steaks will continue to cook while resting.) Grill the corn, turning to cook all sides, until some of the kernels are slightly charred, 8 minutes total. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.

Remove the kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife. Combine the corn, tomatoes and bell pepper in a medium bowl; stir in basil, vinegar, the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slice the steaks and serve with the corn salad.

Santa Fe Corn Pudding


From Sunset, June 2007

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears), divided

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

About 1 tsp.coarse kosher salt

1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles (see Notes)

1 cup crushed buttery salted crackers (such as Ritz Crackers or Carr's Croissant Crackers, crumbled), divided

4 tablespoons melted butter, divided

1/2 cup grated Monterey jack cheese or pepper jack cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-qt. baking dish.

2. Put 1 3/4 cups corn kernels in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is still a bit chunky, about 5 pulses. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, and 1 tsp. salt. Add whole and puree corn kernels, green chiles, 1/4 cup crackers, and 3 tbsp. melted butter. Stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and scatter cheese over top.

4. In a small bowl, mix together remaining 3/4 cup cracker crumbs and 1 tbsp. melted butter. Sprinkle over cheese.

5. Bake pudding 45 to 50 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. The edges should be a bit crusty and the center still a little jiggly. Serve hot.

Notes: Fresh or frozen roasted green chiles (such as Anaheim or New Mexico varieties) will give the dish more flavor, but if these aren't available, you can substitute canned roasted green chiles.

Warm Green Bean and Potato Salad


Serves 4 to 6


4 cups sliced potatoes

2 cups fresh trimmed green beans, cut in 1/2-inch lengths

4 to 6 slices bacon

1/4 cup vinegar (wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar are good)

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

dash garlic powder

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Peel potatoes, halve then slice in 1/4-inch thickness. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover and boil for 5 minutes; add green beans and more water to cover, if necessary. Boil for about 10 more minutes.

Fry bacon and drain; set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil and bacon drippings slowly into the vinegar; add minced onions, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour over vegetables. Crumble bacon over and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or room temperature.

Picnic Potato & Egg Salad


Serves 6 to 8


3 pounds potatoes, cooked until just tender, cubed, cooled

5 or 6 hard cooked eggs, cooled, coarsely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped celery, optional

thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber, for garnish, optional



3/4 cup mayonnaise (a little more or less, as desired)

1 to 2 tablespoons prepared mustard

salt and pepper to taste


Combine potatoes, egg, onions, and celery. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. (Stir the mayonnaise and mustard in a little at a time, until you have the flavor and consistency you like.)

Top with thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber, if desired.

Three Pepper Pasta Salad


Servings: 8


1 (16 ounce) package tri-color pasta

2/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 yellow bell pepper, julienned

1 orange bell pepper, julienned

1 medium fresh tomato, chopped

1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

In a blender or food processor, blend the olive oil, white wine vinegar, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, dressing mixture, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, tomato, and olives. Top with mozzarella cheese to serve.

Stuffed Peppers


Servings: 6


1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1 cup water

6 green bell peppers

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


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

Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until evenly browned.

Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers.

Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)

In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

Cantaloupe Salad with Lime, Mint, and Ginger


Bon Appetit | July 2006

Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 cantaloupe, halved, seeded, peeled

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons grated lime peel

2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons honey


Cut cantaloupe into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups) and place in large bowl. Add lime juice, mint, and lime peel; toss to blend. Mix in sugar, ginger, and honey. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve, stirring occasionally, up to 3 hours.

Flank Steak with Melon Relish


SELF | August 2007

Makes 8 servings


1 large cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced

1 medium red onion, diced

1 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoon white balsamic (or cider) vinegar

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 pounds flank steaks

2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Toss cantaloupe, onion, parsley, mint, vinegar and oil in a bowl. Set aside. Heat a grill, grill pan or large skillet over high heat. Season flank steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 8 minutes on each side for medium rare, 8 to 10 minutes per side for medium and 10 to 12 minutes per side for well done. Remove from heat and allow to rest on a clean cutting board for 5 to 7 minutes. Cut steak diagonally into 1/8-inch-thick slices and transfer to a platter. Spoon half the relish on top. Serve remaining relish on the side.

Cranberry & Herb Turkey Burgers


From EatingWell: June/July 2005

Makes 6 servings


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat couscous

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey


Place couscous in a large bowl. Pour in boiling water, stir and set aside until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. If grilling the burgers, preheat grill to medium-high.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds more. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the couscous, add cranberries and stir to combine. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add turkey and stir until combined; do not overmix. Form the mixture into 6 patties.

To cook on the stovetop: Coat a large nonstick skillet, preferably cast-iron, with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the patties, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Cover and continue to cook until lightly browned but still juicy (the juices should run clear, not pink), about 4 minutes more. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 165° F.) To grill: Oil the grill rack (see Tip) and grill the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes per side, flipping gently to avoid breaking them. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

To oil a 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.)

Aloha Burgers


Yield: Makes 4 1/4-pound burgers


1 pound ground beef

3/4 cup teriyaki sauce

1 small can pineapple slices

1 large onion, sliced

4 lettuce leaves

4 buns


Drain pineapple juice in a bowl. Add teriyaki sauce and mix. Place pineapple slices and 3 tablespoons of pineapple teriyaki mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Turn to coat and set aside. Shape hamburger into 4 patties and spoon remaining pineapple teriyaki sauce over top. Preheat grill. Butter buns. Place burger patties on hot grill and grill until done. Place buns on grill cut side down to toast lightly. Remove pineapple slices from bag and place on grill and cook until slightly browned and warmed through. Assemble burgers with patty, pineapple slices, lettuce, onion slices, Swiss cheese and bacon.


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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