Shop Cheap

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

December 30, 2010
Recipes are a perfect "10"

As we close the cookbook on 2010, recipe researcher Sheila Kern returned to the Shop Cheap Kitchen and compiled the best we had to offer this year. Hope you enjoyed Shopping Cheap and our companion recipes. Happy New Year!

Oatmeal Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes


Yield: one dozen pancakes


1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


1. Combine the milk and rolled oats in a bowl, and set aside.

2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.

3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk and whisk together. Then whisk in the vanilla extract and the oil.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and quickly whisk together. Do not overbeat; a few lumps are okay. Fold in the oats and milk. Let sit for one hour, or refrigerate overnight.

5. If necessary, spray the hot griddle with pan spray. Drop by 3 to 4 tablespoons onto the hot griddle. Place six or seven blueberries on each pancake. Cook until bubbles begin to break through, two to three minutes. Turn and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute on the other side, or until nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and continue until all of the batter is used up.

6. Serve hot with a small amount of butter and maple syrup.

Advance preparation: You can keep these, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze for up to a few months.

Baked Chicken


Servings: 6


3 cups Rice Krispies (crushed 3/4 cup)

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

2 egg whites

1/3 cup fat-free milk

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon basil

6 boneless, skinless, split chicken breasts, rinsed and drained

(about 1 1/2 lb.)


1. Combine Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal and cheese in shallow pan or plate. Set aside.

2. In small mixing bowl, beat egg whites and milk slightly. Add flour, salt and spices. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with cereal mixture. Place in single layer in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray or foil lined coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 350° F about 55 minutes or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot.

Grilled Marinated London Broil


Gourmet | May 1994

Yield: Serves 6

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less but requires additional unattended time.


For marinade

4 large garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

2/3 cup olive oil

2-to-2 1/2 pound London broil


Make marinade:

In a bowl whisk together marinade ingredients until combined well.

Put London broil in a large resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over it. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and set in a shallow dish. Marinate meat, chilled, turning bag once or twice, overnight.

Grill meat, marinade discarded, on an oiled rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals, turning each once, 9 to 10 minutes on each side, or until it registers 135°F. to 140°F., on a meat thermometer for medium-rare meat. (Alternatively, meat may be broiled.) Transfer meat to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Cut meat diagonally across the grain into thin slices.

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.

Triple Berry Crisp


Servings: 8


1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries

1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

4 tablespoons white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups butter


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

In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar; set aside.

In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.

Green Chili Egg Puffs


Taste of Home December/January 2007

Makes 6-8 servings


10 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies


In a large bowl, beat eggs on medium-high speed for 3 minutes or until light and lemon-colored. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to eggs and mix well. Stir in the cheeses and chilies.

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Incredible Banana Split Cake


Yields: 12-16 servings


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 large eggs

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 can (15 1/4 oz.) pineapple tidbits in juice, undrained

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/4 cups (7.5 oz.) granulated sugar

2/3 cup mashed banana

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, divided

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries

1 cup chopped banana

CHOCOLATE GLAZE (recipe below)


Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and lightly flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving 1/4 cup juice. Combine reserved pineapple juice and buttermilk in small bowl.

Beat butter in large mixer bowl on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, mashed banana and vanilla extract; beat well. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in morsels and 1/4 cup of the walnuts. Gently fold in drained pineapple tidbits, strawberries and banana. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle cake with Chocolate Glaze and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.


Heat 3/4 cup NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons light corn syrup in small saucepan over low heat, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Use immediately.

Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan


Serves 4


1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about eight)

2 eggs, beaten with a fork

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (sun-dried tomato or plain)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce (roasted vegetable or any variety)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F. Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, then bread with panko crumbs. Spread oil on hot baking sheet and place eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In an 8 x 10-inch oven proof dish, layer pasta sauce, then eggplant, and top with cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15 minutes.

Cantaloupe Salad with Lime, Mint, and Ginger


Yield: 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.

Pear-Cinnamon Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream


Servings: 4


Filling Ingredients

4 whole (to 5) Large Pears

â…” cups Sugar

1/4 teaspoons Salt

Topping Ingredients

1- 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

â…“ cups Sugar

â…“ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1/2 cups Pecans, Very Finely Chopped

1 stick Butter, Melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core, and dice pears. Place into a bowl and stir together with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir together. Drizzle melted butter gradually, stirring with a fork as you go until all combined.

Pour pears into a baking dish; top with crumb topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Place pan on top rack of oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Fiesta Rice Salad


Yields: 4 servings


2 cups hot cooked brown rice, prepared according to package directions (from 3/4 cup uncooked rice)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

Juice from 2 limes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown (about 8-10 minutes). Stir in black beans, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together lime juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Stir in hot rice, making sure each grain is coated with the dressing. Add the corn and bean mixture and toss to combine. Let cool to room temperature.

Add bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro to the rice mixture and toss well. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately, or refrigerate for later. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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.

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.

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.

Raspberry Chicken


Serves 4


4 boneless chicken breast halves

balsamic vinaigrette or other vinaigrette

2 cups fresh red raspberries

1/4 cup raspberry jam

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled leaf tarragon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


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

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

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

Provencal Tomato and Basil Soup


Recipe by Martha Rose Shulman

Serves 4


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 to 6 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

Salt to taste

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

Pinch of sugar

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

1 quart water

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 Parmesan rind (optional)

1/4 cup rice or tapioca

Optional garnishes:

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

Grated or shaved Parmesan


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

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

If serving cold, refrigerate until chilled.

Apple Harvest Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze


Yield: 12 servings


2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup chopped walnuts


1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 teaspoons milk

1/2 cup brown sugar


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

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

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

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

Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies


Makes about 30 cookies


1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

2 ounces milk chocolate or white chocolate, chopped (for drizzling)


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Stir chopped milk chocolate in top of double boiler until melted and smooth. Using small spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies in zigzag pattern. Let stand until milk chocolate sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)


December 28, 2010
Putting a price on 2010

As we close out 2010, we decided to get the shopping cart and take a stroll down memory lane  to check on prices from a year ago. And guess what? When we went back to Shop Cheap from Dec. 29, 2009, we found some of the same old stuff with the same old prices. If you want to see for yourself, go to Cheap and click on December.

In fact, the Save Mart ad in 2009 and today is virtually the same: Fresh Dungeness crab for $2.99lb, cooked salad shrimp for $3.99; Atlantic salmon fillets for $5.99lb. One exception, oysters were 69-cents last year and 59-cents today! Be sure to check out the Cioppino recipe in the ad.

If guac is on your New Year's appetizer menu, avocado is only 37 cents each at Save Mart; $1 each at both Safeway and Raley's.

Here's what else we like at Save Mart as we close out 2010: boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.58lb; New York strip roast for $3.99lb and BOGO Foster Farms fresh ground turkey. The price of Nabisco or Ritz crackers is $1.99 a box and Lay's chips are $1.89 a bag.

Save Mart is advertising a 3-day sale (Fri-Sun) with Rock Cornish game hens for 99-cents a pound in the twin pack; ribs in the deli for $7.99 and blackberries for only 97-cents a carton. 

In produce, Fresh Express salad kits are 2/$5; grape tomatoes are BOGO and cucumber or bell peppers are 69-cents each. Green onions are 59-cents a bunch and a 5-lb bag of Idaho potatoes is $2.50.

If you are ringing out the year with a party, Martinellis's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle; 12-packs of Dew, Pepsi or Diet Pepsi are 3/$9.99 and a package of Gallo salame is $4.49. 10-ounce packs of fresh Italian ravioli are 2/$6 and fresh shredded Italian cheeses are $2.99 a carton. In the deli, you can get everything from single-layer cakes for $9.99 to a 16-piece chicken dinner for $12.99.

Back page coupons include: Tyson bacon for $2.99; $1 off Alouette spreads; $8.99 Hormel party trays and 12-packs of 7-UP for $2.99.

Checking the year-over-year prices at Raley's we find one item that's not nearly as reasonable this year - London broil. Last New Year's it was $1.97lb; this year it's not even advertised. Instead, there's tri-tip roast for $3.67lb or rump roast for $2.99lb.Last year, Prospector's slow-cooked ribs in the deli were BOGO, this year they are $7.99 when you buy 2 or more. Last year Raley's Take-n-Bake pizza was 2/$10; this year a 16-inch pie is $6.99.

But lots of prices are the same. Mission Tortilla chips are $1.99 a bag; Martinelli's cider is $1.99 a bottle and Nabisco or Ritz crackers are $1.99 a box.

Here's what else we like at Raley's: BOGO berries; apples for 97-cents a pound; Iceberg lettuce for 67-cents a head; avocado for $1; green onions/radishes/cilantro for 50-cents each and lemons or limes 5/$1.

A 16-piece fried chicken bucket is $9.98; single serve desserts are 4/$10 and a case of Crystal Geyser Spring water is $3.28 (5-cents less than last year).

Going Italian for New Year's? Raley's pasta is 98-cents a bag; pasta sauce is $1.88 a jar and Focaccia bread in the deli is $2.49.

Lundberg rice chips are $1.50 a bag; sweet potato chips are $1.99 a bag and Kettle baked chips are $1.99 a bag, too.

We are ending our 2010 shopping with a final trip to Safeway, where the BOGO rules. For example, Pistachios, Campbell's chunky soups, Jennie-O ground turkey and Prego pasta sauce are all BOGO.

In the 2009-2010 comparison, Safeway also advertised London broil last year for $1.79lb. This year, you'll fork over $3.49lb. If you've got steak on the menu, it's better to go with petite top sirloin for $2.49lb. Last year, it was buy 3-12-packs of Dew or Pepsi for $9.99 and get two bags of Tostitos free. This year, it's buy 2 sodas, get 2 free and a bag of Doritos' too.

The one stand-out bargain: a 35-pack of Crystal Geyser Spring water for $3.99. In '09, we paid $3.99 for a case of Arrowhead.

Other stuff we like at Safeway: their own brand of sparkling cider for $1.79 a bottle; and 89-oz jug of Tropicana OJ for $4.99 and a coupon for Simply Lemonade for $1.99. In the bakery, a loaf of French bread is 99-cents and Safeway Select breads are $2 a loaf.

If you are having the gang over, but don't want to fuss, Signature Cafe chicken wings are $6.99; Nathan's beef franks are BOGO; Safeway party-size meals are $6.99 (with coupon) and the Friday only specials last until Saturday this week. For $5 you can get, a family-size pizza; Tony Roma's baby back ribs; Hillshire Farm Lit'l Smokies and a Party cake from the bakery.

Come back on Thursday for the best recipes from the 2010 Shop Cheap Kitchen. 

December 21, 2010
Gone shopping!

Even Shop Cheap needs to take time off to go shopping. And that's what is happening this week. If you want to know what's on sale, check out last week's blog because most of the prices have remained the same.

Before heading to the store, I asked recipe researcher Sheila Kern to help out with those last-minute ideas, dishes you can make ahead - especially when the surprise guest shows up.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Cocktail Meatballs I


Servings: 8


1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup shortening

12 fluid ounces tomato-based chili sauce

1 1/4 cups grape jelly


In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and ground black pepper. Mix together, and shape into meatballs.

In a large skillet, heat shortening over medium heat. Add meatballs, and cook until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels.

Add chili sauce and jelly to skillet; heat, stirring, until jelly is melted. Return meatballs to skillet, and stir until coated. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Cranberry Dip



1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries

1 cup white sugar

1 cup apricot jam

1 cup chopped pecans

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese


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

Combine cranberries with sugar in a 2 quart baking dish with a lid, stirring well to coat all the berries. Bake in the preheated oven, covered, for about 30 minutes, until the cranberries pop and release their liquid.

Remove from oven and stir in the apricot jam and pecans. Refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors. To serve, allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature, and pour dip over the block of cream cheese on a serving dish. Serve with buttery round crackers or small pretzels.

Citrus Marinated Olives


Yield: about 3 1/2 cups


1 pound large green olives with pits, drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/4 teaspoon curry powder


Cover the olives in cool water; soak for at least 5 minutes or up to 5 hours.

In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart container, combine all the remaining ingredients. Add the olives and stir or shake to combine. Make sure the olives are submerged in the marinade. Let sit in a cool, dry place for 1 day. Refrigerate for 1 or 2 days before serving.

Baked Brie


Show: Party Starters Episode: Bridal Shower

Yield: 20 servings


1 (7 to 8-inch) wheel brie cheese

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 sheets (12 by 18-inch) puff pastry

2 eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a warmed sharp knife, or unflavored dental floss (See Cook's Note 1) cut the wheel of brie in half horizontally and separate the top half of the wheel from the bottom half. Sprinkle the bottom half of the brie with the dried cherries, toasted almonds, and brown sugar. Replace the top half of the brie and apply pressure to secure the stuffing. Working on a well-floured surface, roll out the puff pastry so that it will fully cover the brie. Place the brie in the middle of the puff pastry and fold the excess pastry around the wheel. Put the wheel aside. Roll out another piece of puff pastry and cut out a circle the same circumference as the top of the brie. Save the trimmings for decorations. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg on top of the brie in the puff pastry and place the circle on top. Brush the top of the circle with egg. Cut out decorations using cookie cutters or a small knife on top of the brie. Brush the entire top side of the brie with the egg and place the brie on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pastry begins to turn golden brown, then turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve on a pretty platter. See Cook's Note 2.

Cook's Note 1: Instead of using a knife to cut the brie, use a piece of unflavored dental floss. Make an initial cut half way down, along the outer side of the brie with a pairing knife. Then, take a long piece of dental floss and wrap it around both hands. Starting at the front of the wheel at the initial cut, work through the wheel with the floss, separating the top half of the wheel from the bottom.

Cook's Note 2: The brie can be made, wrapped securely and stored in the freezer up to a month ahead of time.

Gorgonzola and Caramelized Onion Appetizer


Makes 16 appetizers


1 tablespoon butter or margarine

3 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar

16 slices (1/2-inch-thick) baguette-style French bread (from 10-ounce loaf)

3 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola cheese


Melt butter in 7-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, brown sugar and vinegar in butter 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown.

Set oven control to broil. Place baguette slices on ungreased cookie sheet. Broil with tops 4 to 6 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon caramelized onions evenly onto each baguette slice. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese. Broil about 1 minute or until cheese is melted.

Gorgonzola is a cow's-milk cheese with bluish-green veins, similar in flavor and appearance to other blue cheeses. If you don't have Gorgonzola, any other blue cheese, such as Roquefort, Stilton or Maytag, would be a good substitute.

The onions can be cooked and refrigerated up to 48 hours ahead of time and reheated in a microwave oven. Assemble the appetizers just before broiling.

Arrange these tasty appetizers on a pretty platter, and garnish with fresh parsley or another favorite herb. Add a variety of marinated olives from the deli.

1-2-3 Snack Mix Recipe


Yield: 6 cups


1 package (6.6 ounces) miniature cheddar cheese fish-shaped crackers

1 package (6 ounces) dried cranberries

1-1/4 cups salted cashews


In a large bowl, combine the crackers, cranberries and cashews. Store in an airtight container.

Cheesy Green Chili Artichoke Dip

From www.thepioneerwoman


1 block (8 Oz.) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cups shredded parmesan

1 tablespoon grated parmesan

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 jar (14 Oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 can (4.25 Oz) green chilis

3 dashes hot sauce (such as Tapatio)

1/4 cups shaved parmesan, for topping


Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and mayonnaise with a hand mixer until smooth.

In a small bowl, mix all cheeses together (except the 1/4 cup of shaved Parmesan). Add cheese and remaining ingredients (except the shaved parmesan) to the medium bowl and stir until combined.

Transfer into a shallow oven safe serving dish. Top it off with the shaved Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Then bake 5 minutes under a low broil.

Sweet Pumpkin Dip


Yield: 15 servings (5 cups total)


2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger


Beat cream cheese and pumpkin in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; mix thoroughly. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with fresh fruit, bite-size cinnamon graham crackers, gingersnap cookies, toasted mini-bagels, toast slices, muffins and/or English muffins.

 Note: For a lower-fat version of this recipe, substitute light cream cheese (Neufchatel) for cream cheese.

December 16, 2010
Help for that last-minute holiday gathering

We only have 9 days until Christmas but between now and then there's bound to be an office potluck or neighborhood gathering where you need to bring a plate of something. With that in mind, we consulted recipe researcher Sheila Kern and she came up with lots of ideas. Some of them sound so good, you may want to serve them for the holidays. Enjoy!

Herb-Topped Sweet Potato Biscuits


Makes about 2 1/2 dozen 2-inch biscuits


1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced

1/3 cup whole milk

1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon heavy cream

30 small sturdy herb sprigs, such as sage, thyme and rosemary


Preheat the oven to 400°. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Set the potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Using a spoon, scoop the potato flesh from the skins into a bowl and mash with a fork; you should have 1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Refrigerate until chilled.

In a large bowl, mix the 2 1/2 cups of flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender. In a small bowl, mix the sweet potatoes with the milk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until all of the flour is incorporated; the dough will be quite sticky. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°. On a well-floured work surface, pat out the dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. Using a floured 2-inch round or fluted cutter, stamp out as many biscuits as you can and transfer them to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll the scraps and stamp out more biscuits. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash and press a small herb sprig into each one. Bake the biscuits for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sweet and Savory Spiced Nuts


Makes 2 cups


2 cups pecan halves


2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)


1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon canola or corn oil


Heat the oven (or toaster oven) to 350°. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast them for 6 minutes or until they are fragrant and their color deepens slightly.

In a medium-size bowl, stir together the spice mix.

In a saucepan, combine the glaze ingredients and bring them to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Stir in the toasted nuts and continue to stir until all the nuts are shiny and the liquid is gone, about 1 to 2 minutes. Move the glazed nuts to a mixing bowl, sprinkle on the spice mix, and toss them well to coat. Spread the coated nuts on a cookie sheet and return them to the oven for another 4 minutes; check regularly to make sure they don't burn. Remove and let cool.

Wrapping it up: We placed our pecans in a ceramic bowl that we then wrapped in clear cellophane (the sturdy material used to cover fruit baskets; we bought ours at a craft store). We used a 20-inch-wide sheet about a yard long. Place the bowl in the center, bring the corners up to the top, and tie the bundle with a wire-edge craft ribbon. To make tying the bow easier, first secure the corners with a twist tie. Trim the excess cellophane at the top with scissors. Other packaging options: decorative tins and lined cardboard boxes. Avoid placing the nuts in plastic bags, as the coating rubs off.

Christmas Package Cheese Snack



8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt


Red bell pepper


Mix the dried dill, garlic powder, and salt into the softened cream cheese.

Pack the mixture into a rectangular container lined with plastic wrap (you can reuse the cream cheese box).

Refrigerate it for at least 3 hours. Before serving time, set the unwrapped block of cheese on a platter and decorate it with a scallion bow and red pepper polka dots and gift tag.

Seven Layer Taco Dip



1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1 (16 ounce) can refried beans

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (16 ounce) container sour cream

1 (16 ounce) jar salsa

1 large tomato, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 bunch chopped green onions

1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded

1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter.

Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans.

Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green bell pepper, green onions and lettuce over the salsa, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives.

Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta


Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: 30 Minute Meals Episode: Cooking With Cami: Date Night

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 pound small shell pasta

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream

3 large cloves garlic

1/2 small to medium yellow onion

1 (28-ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes, any brand

1/2 cup, 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Salt and pepper

1 cup store bought basil pesto sauce

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Add small shell pasta and cook the pasta to al dente doneness which means that the pasta will still have a bite to it or be a little chewy. The pasta will soak up more juice and keep on cooking after we drain it, so we need it to be a little under cooked. The shells will probably cook about 9 or 10 minutes.

Preheat a deep, big skillet or a medium sauce pot over medium heat.

Place garlic on the cutting board and place the flat of your knife on top of each clove. Carefully give the garlic a whack with the palm of your hand to separate the cloves from the skins. Throw out the skins and chop up the garlic. Remember to keep your fingers curled under and the edge of your sharp, chef's knife tilted slightly away from your body.

Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan by pouring a slow stream of it twice-around-the-pan. This will be about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Do not let the oil pour out too fast. You are looking for a slow, steady stream. Add the garlic to the oil. To chop the onion, cut the ends off and cut the whole onion down the center. Wrap half and save it. Cut the other half into thin slices then twist the slices a quarter turn and chop them again. Hold the tip of knife on the cutting board and lift the back of the knife up and down over the onion to make the pieces really small. Add the chopped up onion to the garlic and oil. Cook, stirring a lot, 5 minutes until the onions are mushy and look cooked.

Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir. When the tomatoes come to a bubble, reduce the heat under the sauce to low. Stir in basil pieces to wilt them. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Preheat your broiler to high and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Drain pasta shells. Add them to a casserole dish. Add pesto sauce, 1 cup of ricotta cheese and a handful of grated Parmigiano, too. Stir carefully and coat the hot pasta with the pesto and cheeses. Pour the hot tomato and basil sauce over the pasta, as much as you like. You can always serve a little extra at the table, to pass around. Shred up some mozzarella cheese with a grater and scatter it over the pasta. Add a final sprinkle of Parmigiano to the mozzarella as well. Place the casserole under the broiler in the middle of oven, 10 to 12 inches from the heat. Let the cheese melt and bubble on top, 3 to 5 minutes.

Crockpot Little Smokies



2 packages Cocktail wieners, little smokies

1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce

1 cup grape jelly


Combine cocktail wieners or little smokies in Crockpot with chili sauce and grape jelly; cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Chilaquiles Casserole

From EatingWell: June/July 2006

Makes 10 servings


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups corn, frozen (thawed) or fresh

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 corn tortillas, quartered

1 19-ounce can mild red or green enchilada sauce

1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.

Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the pan. Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the enchilada sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.

Corn and Black Bean Salad


Servings: 4


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

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

1 (8.75 ounce) can sweet corn, drained


In a small bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder.

In a medium bowl, stir together black beans and corn. Toss with vinegar and oil dressing, and garnish with cilantro. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Chard with Shallots, Pancetta & Walnuts


Makes 6 servings


2 thin slices pancetta, (1 1/2 ounces), diced (see Tip)

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 pound chard, stems and leaves separated, chopped (see Note)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Cook pancetta in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring, until it begins to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

Add shallots, chard stems and thyme to the pan drippings and cook, stirring, until the shallots begin to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chard leaves, water and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook until tender, 2 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in the pancetta, walnuts and pepper.

Tips & Notes

Tips: Pancetta is an unsmoked Italian bacon usually found in the deli section of large supermarkets and specialty food stores. Regular or turkey bacon may be substituted.

To toast chopped walnuts: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Note: After washing the chard, allow some of the water to cling to the leaves. It helps steam the chard and prevents a dry finished dish.

Almond Cheesecake Bars


Yield: 3 dozen


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten


1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon almond extract

4 to 5 teaspoons milk


Combine the flour, butter and confectioners' sugar; press onto the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

For filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack.

Combine the frosting ingredients until smooth; spread over bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Double-Chocolate Dream Cookies


Yields: 54 cookies (4 1/2 dozen)


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Baking Cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-oz pkg) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies Recipe


Yield: about 8 dozen


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract

4-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup finely chopped pecans, optional

Colored sugar, optional


In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugars and oil. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and cinnamon. Stir in the pecans if desired. Cover and refrigerated for 3 hours or until easy to handle.

Roll into 1-in. balls. Place on greased baking sheets; flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.

Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until set.

December 15, 2010
Shop Cheap delivers the bargains

Sometimes Shop Cheap gets to leave the shopping cart behind and mingle with the folks who always pay full price. That was the deal Tuesday night when Mr. and Mrs. Cheap walked the Red Carpet with the glitterati at the California Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Once that was over, however, the red carpet turned to Linoleum and Cheap was back at the supermarket searching for sales. If only there was a Shoppers Hall of Fame!

It's time to get serious about your holiday grocery shopping. Both Raley's and Save Mart have advertised sales this week that will continue through Christmas. At Safeway, the sales will change next week. So if you want to get a jump on meal planning, get out that shopping list (and, yes, check it twice) and go for it. Here's what we like:

At Raley's, be sure to get your shopping done before Christmas. Unlike Thanksgiving, they will be closed on Christmas Day. If you don't want to cook, but want a home-cooked meal, Raley's is the place to go. You can order everything from a ham or prime rib dinner to lobster ravioli or rack of lamb. Prices range from $59.99 to $99.99. Order online and you save $5. Pick-up days are Dec. 22-24.

If you are doing the cooking, spiral sliced ham is $1.77lb; beef rib eye roast is $6.97lb and sirloin boneless roast is $2.97lb. Green beans are 97-cents a pound and berries are BOGO. In the must-have dept., Deryer's ice cream is $2.99; Martinelli's sparkling cider is $1.99 and Nabisco crackers are $1.99 a box. Simply Orange juices are 2/$6.

In produce, mushrooms are 2/$4; onions are 87-cents a pound and radishes, green onion or cilantro are 50-cents each. A 5lb-bag of Idaho potatoes is $2.50.

Swanson broth is 59-cents; Campbell's cream of chicken or cream of mushroom is 75-cents; gravy is 2/$1. S&W beans are 89-cents a can.

And 18-pack of large eggs is $2.48; Cool Whip is 99-cents and Pillsbury Grands! biscuits are $1.79. If you like Milton's bread, it's $1.99 a loaf.

A case of Aquafina drinking water is $3.99 and 7-UP is 99-cents for a 2-liter jug.

The holiday desserts look pretty tasty. The Regal Raspberry cake is $19.99; Red Velvet cake is $10.99. Want to go smaller? Single serve desserts are 4/$10.

Over at Save Mart, the spiral sliced ham is $1.77lb; green beans are 57-cents a pound and salad blends are BOGO. Master Cut premium turkeys are $6 each. And you can still get Dungeness crab for $3.99 a pound.

In produce, hit the store this weekend and get avocado for 37-cents each. It's part of a 3-day sale that includes Tropicana juice drinks for 99-cents and Jimmy Dean fresh sausage rolls for $1.99. In addition to that avocado bonanza, check out the tangerines for $3.97 a bag; BOGO berries and grape tomatoes and 50 cents for either radishes, green onions, cilantro or parsley. Pineapple is $2.97 each.

Sunny Select drinking water is $2.50 a case; Martinelli's sparkling cider is $2 a bottle and 7-UP, A&W, Sunkist or Squirt is 79-cents when you buy 5.

Nabisco snack crackers are $1.99 a box; Sara Lee dinner rolls are $1.99 a pack and a pound of Pacific Coast coffee is $5.99.

In the bakery/deli, double layer specialty cakes are $9.99; apple turnovers are $2.99 and fresh baguettes are $2.69.

On the coupon page, check out $5 off party trays; 50-cents off babels; Johnsonville sausage for $1.99 and $1 off Brownie Bites.

Safeway has a 4-day sale going. Check it out if you need soda - buy 2 12-packs; get 3 free. Lean ground beef - $1.49lb or Oroweat bread and Thomas' muffins - BOGO. They also have daily specials Wednesday-Saturday. Quick oats for 99-cents on Wednesday; 2-liter sodas for 47-cents on Friday and a 10lb bag of potatoes for 88-cents on Saturday are worth shopping for.

Safeway has the spiral sliced ham for $1.59; the green beans for 97-cents a pound and the pineapple for $1.97. Lay's chips are BOGO and the mix and match sale includes General Mills cereal - buy 4, save $4.

Boneless cross-rib roast is $2.99lb; New York strip roast is $4.99lb. Hillshire Farm sausabe or bratwurst is BOGO.

A case of Arrowhead drinking water is $3.33; Martinelli's cider is $2 and Ocen Spray cranberry drink is BOGO. In the coupon category, 18-count eggs are $1.99; Safeway Select appetizers are $1.99 and Nestle cookie dough is $1.99.

Lucerne cream cheese is $1; Fage Greek Yogurt is 4/$5. In produce, grape tomatoes are 2/$4; Brussel sprouts are $1.99lb and celery is 99-cents.

Goodies in the bakery include, a cheesecake platter for $12.99; fresh fruit tart for $12.99 and dinner breads for $2.99

The $5 Friday specials include a pound of pan roasted turkey or ham from the deli; DiGiorno or California Pizza Kitchen pizzas and Rosina frozen meatballs.

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

December 9, 2010
C is for cookie - holiday recipes for any occasion

Since Shop Cheap's talent lies in shopping not baking, we enlisted recipe researcher Sheila Kern to come up with holiday recipes. This week, it's the cookie. Nothing says the holidays quite like fresh-baked cookies or at least the aroma of fresh-baked cookies. Sheila is sharing her favorite recipes that are perfect for any gathering - from cookie exchange to dessert table. Enjoy!

Citrus-Kissed Honey Buttons


EatingWell: November/December 2010

Yield: 3 dozen cookies


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (see Tip)

1 large egg

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

1 teaspoon lemon extract


Whisk flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a small bowl.

Beat sugar and butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, honey, lemon zest, orange zest and lemon extract, and beat until blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Roll the dough into 36 balls (about 2 level teaspoons each) with your hands. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one batch at a time, until puffed and beginning to crack, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the dough for up to 1 day. Store cookies airtight for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Equipment: Parchment paper or nonstick baking mats

Tip: To soften butter, let stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Or cut into small pieces and let stand for about 15 minutes. (Do not soften in a microwave--the uneven heat may melt the butter in spots.)

Nana's Creole Pecan Cake Bars


EatingWell: November/December 2010

Yield: 4 dozen bars


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tip)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 cups chopped pecans

1 cup raisins, preferably golden

1 cup finely chopped pitted dates


Preheat oven to 300°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a large (17-by-12-inch) baking sheet with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.

Add half the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until well combined. Add cinnamon and nutmeg; stir until blended into the mixture completely. Add pecans, raisins and dates to the rest of the flour mixture. (Coating the dried fruit and nuts helps distribute them in the mix.) Stir the flour-coated fruit and nuts into the batter. Do not overstir. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared baking pan with a spatula. (Coat the spatula with cooking spray, if necessary, to make spreading easier.)

Bake for 45 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Invert onto a large cutting board and remove the parchment. Cut into 48 squares.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Store airtight for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Equipment: 17-by-12-inch baking sheet, parchment paper

Tip: To bring an egg to room temperature, set it on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.

Coconut Macaroons


Yield: 20 to 22 cookies


14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies


Makes about 2 dozen cookies


2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1 cup confectioners' sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup blanched, skinned hazelnuts, finely ground


Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and salt and beat at medium-high speed until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the flour and ground hazelnuts at medium speed until just incorporated. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dough for each cookie, roll the dough into 3-inch-long cylinders with tapered ends. Form the cookies into crescents and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for 18 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle.

Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl. Dip each warm cookie in the confectioners' sugar and coat evenly. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

Make Ahead

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti


SELF | December 2008

Yield: makes 35 biscotti


Parchment paper

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites

1 whole egg

3 tablespoons light butter

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup shelled pistachios

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon anise seeds

Vegetable oil cooking spray


Heat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk with a fork to mix. Add eggs and butter and mix on medium until a loose dough forms, about 1 minute. Stir in cranberries, nuts, zest and anise seeds and mix until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Spray hands with cooking spray and form dough into a long, flat log, about 14 inches long by 4 inches wide. Bake until outside of log is firm and browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Slice loaf into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on 2 baking sheets, return to oven and bake until lightly toasted, about 12 minutes. Cool. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies


Makes about 30 cookies


1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

2 ounces milk chocolate or white chocolate, chopped (for drizzling)


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Stir chopped milk chocolate in top of double boiler until melted and smooth. Using small spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies in zigzag pattern. Let stand until milk chocolate sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies


Makes 24 cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1/3 cup mild molasses

1 large egg

1 2/3 cups (11-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Butterscotch Flavored Morsels


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in small bowl.

Beat sugar, butter, molasses and egg in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bars


Makes 36 bars


1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided

1 can (14 ounces) CARNATION Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam


Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Beat butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. With floured fingers, press 1 3/4 cups crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan; reserve remaining mixture.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Microwave 1 cup morsels and sweetened condensed milk in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; Stir. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Spread over hot crust.

Stir nuts into reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle over chocolate filling. Drop teaspoonfuls of raspberry jam over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with remaining morsels.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


Cooking Light, December 2008

Yield: 3 dozen cookies


1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large egg whites

1 large egg

12 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 2/3 cups)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in mini chips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Teatime Tassies



1 - 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup flour, sifted

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbs. butter or margarine, softened

1 Tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup coarsely broken pecans

1 egg


Cheese Pastry

Let cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter soften at room temperature.

Blend cream cheese, butter and flour; chill slightly (about 1 hour).

Shape into 2 dozen 1" balls.

Place in tiny ungreased 1 3/4" muffin cups.

Press dough on bottom and sides of cups.

Pecan Filling

Beat together egg, sugar, 1 tbs butter, vanilla and salt just till smooth.

Divide half of the pecans among pastry-lined cups.

Add egg mixture and top with remaining pecans.

Bake in a slow oven, 325 degrees, for 25 minutes or until filling is set.

Cool, remove from pans.

December 7, 2010
If you dig Dungeness, this is your week to Shop Cheap

Shop Cheap promises to get off the crab bandwagon but it's really hard with such great prices and abundant supply. So for the last time, if you dig the Dungeness, it's really the time to buy. At Raley's crab is $2.97lb; at Save Mart $2.99lb and BOGO at Safeway.

Now, here's what else we like this week, starting at Raley's. How about a crab salad? Avocado is $1 each; garden salad is 97-cents a bag and roma tomatoes are 97-cents a pound. Cucumbers are 47-cents each. Blueberries and blackberries are BOGO; Yukon gold or red potatoes are 57-cents a pound.

Want a quick meal for a crowd or a potluck, a whole rotisserie chicken is $4.98 when you buy 2 or more. Whole pork roast is 97-cents a pound and Jennie-O turkey store ground turkey or Italian sausage links are $3.50 a pack.

A 3lb. bag of Clementines is $3.97; large pomegranates are $1.77 each and postachios are $2.97 a bag. Fresh baguettes ar e $1.78 in the bakery.

Heading over to Safeway, we like their seafood sale. In addition to the BOGO crab, there's cooked shrimpmeat for $3.99lb and snow crab clusters for $6.99lb.

Their Friday-Monday specials include BOGO bacon; blueberries 2/$3 and Post Honey Bunches of Oats 3/$5.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.88lb; whole pork shoulder roast is 99-cents a pound and lean ground beef is $2.99lb. The "Buy 5, Save $5" includes Cheese Nips, Ritz crackers and Stoned Wheat crackers. Safeway breads are $1.29 a loaf (must buy 2) and Pepsi 12-packs are buy 2, get 3 free.

Golden Grain pasta is $1; Classico sauce is buy 2, get 1 free. Newman's salad dressing is $2.99 and to complete the "Italian" themed meal, Pellegrino water is $3.99 for a six-pack. Nestle hot chocolate is BOGO; Nestle drinking water is $3.50 a case.

In the coupon category, Lucerne cream cheese is 99 cents; Pillsbury cookie dough is $1.99 and Lucerne ice cream is $1.99. Claim Jumper pies are $4.99 and Coffee-mate is $1.99.

The $5 Friday specials include 8-piece fried chicken; Primo Taglio lunch meats and artisan party cakes in the bakery.

In produce, Braeburn apples, navel oranges; bell peppers, eggplant; squash, yellow onions and mangos are all a $1 a pound.

Last stop - Save Mart, where the crab is $2.99lb this weekend only. Also, a 5lb box of tangerines for $3.99.

Other stuff: Pork butt roast for 99-cents a pound; Bohemian Hearth bread for $1.99 a loaf and BOGO Earthbound Farm Salads. Shrimpmeat is $3.99lb; and fresh mussels or clams are $2.99lb. Foster Farms split chicken breasts are BOGO.

In produce, pomegranates are 2/$3; tomatoes are 97-cents a pound; celery is 69-cents and berries are 2/$5. Radishes, cucumbers, green onions and cilantro are all 2/$1.Red or white onions are 79-cents a pound.

Lots of Knorr, S&W and Ortega items are $1 each, including beans, diced chilis, evaporated milk and pasta side dishes. Kikoman soy sauce is 99-cents. Tropicana juices are $2.50.

The back page coupons include a BOGO Grab & Go hoagie sandwich from the deli; 12-packs of 7-UP, A&W or Sunkist for $2.99; Old Orchard juices for 99-cents; Starbucks coffee for %6.99 and BOGO mashed potatoes.

Come back on Thursday for holiday treats from the Shop Cheap Kitchen

December 2, 2010
We're cooking crab and quick meals

The first two recipes this week are for crab-lovers who have been waiting for the price of fresh Dungeness to drop. (It's $2.99 a pound at Safeway and Save Mart). The other recipes are for all of the harried shoppers who want to serve good meals but without the fuss. You can thank recipe researcher Sheila Kern for making your life a little easier this time of year. Enjoy!

Oven-Roasted Dungeness Crab


Yield: makes 2 servings


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper

2 large Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned, and cracked (about 4 1/4 pounds)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided

1/2 cup blood orange juice or regular orange juice

1 teaspoon finely grated blood orange peel or regular orange peel


Preheat oven to 500°F. Melt butter with oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, shallot, and dried crushed red pepper. Add crabs; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped thyme and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley over crabs. Stir to combine. Place skillet in oven and roast crabs until heated through, stirring once, about 12 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer crabs to platter. Add orange juice and peel to same skillet; boil until sauce is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Spoon sauce over crabs. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon thyme and 1 tablespoon parsley and serve.

Confetti Crab Salad with Lime Dressing


Makes 4 servings


For The Salad

1 pound Dungeness crab meat

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup diced Roma tomatoes

1/4 cup thinly sliced (white & green portions) green onion

1/4 cup diced radishes

1/2 cup peeled, seeded & diced cucumber

2 Tablespoons, chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup finely shredded hearts of Romaine lettuce

For The Dressing

3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon or to taste coarse sea salt


Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, tossing well. Pour the dressing over the salad tossing well, and mound the salad onto chilled plates.

Chicken Fajita Tostadas


Yield: 4 servings


8 tostada shells

2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast

1 cup refried beans

1 medium green pepper - thinly sliced

1 medium onion - thinly sliced

1 packet (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup water

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce, diced tomato, salsa, sour cream and guacamole for garnish - optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine taco seasoning, water and lime juice and stir well.

Pour half of the taco seasoning mixture over the shredded chicken and the other half over the pepper and onion.

Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the sauce starts to thicken slightly -- 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add peppers and onions and cook until the sauce starts to thicken and veggies start to wilt -- about 3-4 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

Lay tostada shells on an ungreased baking sheet.

Top each shell with 2 tablespoons refried beans, 1/4 cup shredded chicken, peppers and onions and cheddar cheese to taste.

Bake until the cheese just starts to melt -- about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with optional garnishes.

Rio Grande Pot Roast


From Woman's Day | Sept. 1, 2007

Servings: 8


1 1/2 cups thick-and-chunky salsa

1 cup beer or water

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 pkt (1.25 oz) taco seasoning

1 3-lb boneless beef bottom round roast

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

2 Tbsp peanut butter

1/3 cup chopped cilantro


Mix first 4 ingredients in a 5-qt or larger slow-cooker. Rub beef with salt and pepper; add to cooker. Spoon some sauce mixture over top.

Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours until beef is very tender. Remove to a cutting board. Stir peanut butter and cilantro into sauce. Slice meat against the grain; serve with the sauce.

Broccoli & Garlic Penne Pasta


Makes 4 servings


1 cup Swanson Chicken Broth

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups broccoli florets

4 1/2 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Heat the broth, basil, black pepper, garlic and broccoli in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the broccoli is tender-crisp.

Add the pasta and lemon juice and toss to coat. Sprinkle the pasta mixture with the cheese.

Quick Dinner Nachos


Makes 3 servings


1 (15.5-oz.) can pinto beans, drained

8 oz. Mexican pepper jack cheese cubed (2 cups)

6 cups tortilla chips

1/4 cup sliced ripe olives

3/4 cup chopped seeded tomato

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


In medium saucepan, combine beans and cheese; cook over medium heat until cheese is melted, stirring frequently.

Place 2 cups chips on each individual serving plate. Spoon about 2/3 cup bean mixture over chips. Top each with olives, tomato, sour cream and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Black beans can be used in place of pinto beans.

For Quick Beef Nachos or Quick Chicken Nachos, add 1 cup of crumbled cooked ground beef or shredded cooked chicken to these nachos.

Hot Barley and Chicken Salad


Makes 2 servings



1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Dash pepper


1 cup water

1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Fresh spinach leaves


In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; mix well. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add barley; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until barley is tender and only about 1/4 of liquid remains.

Add chicken and garlic; mix well. Cover; cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in vegetables. Cover; cook over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Add dressing; cook until thoroughly heated.

Arrange spinach leaves on 2 individual plates. Spoon salad onto spinach leaves.

Green Beans with Browned Butter


Makes 6 servings


3/4 lb fresh green beans, cut in half

2 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine or vegetable oil spreads)

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel


In 2-quart saucepan, place beans in 1 inch of water. Heat to boiling. Boil uncovered 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender (they shouldn't be "squeaky" when you bite into one); drain. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Be careful not to let butter burn or it will taste bitter. Stir in pecans. Heat, stirring constantly, until butter is golden brown. (If bottom of saucepan is dark, it may be difficult to see the difference between brown butter and burnt butter. Try spooning a little of the butter onto a white plate to see the color more clearly.) Immediately remove from heat. Pour butter mixture over beans; toss to coat. Sprinkle with lemon peel.

Orange-Avocado Salad


Makes 6 servings


Orange Vinaigrette

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt


Salad greens

3 oranges, peeled, sliced

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced

6 thin slices red onion, separated into rings


In tightly covered container, shake all vinaigrette ingredients until well blended.

On each of 6 salad plates, arrange salad greens. Top with oranges, avocados and onion. Serve with vinaigrette.

Quick Fall Minestrone


Cooking Light, October 2003

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups vegetable broth

2 1/2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash

2 1/2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled baking potato

1 cup (1-inch) cut green beans (about 1/4 pound)

1/2 cup diced carrot

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups chopped kale

1/2 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 2 1/2 minutes or until tender. Add broth and the next 7 ingredients (broth through salt); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Add kale, orzo, and beans; cook 5 minutes or until orzo is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter


EatingWell: June/July 2006

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each


1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium shallots, chopped

1 pound zucchini, (about 3 small), very thinly sliced lengthwise (see Tip)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add the gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve immediately.


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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