Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009 - Items on Sale at Giant

Here are this week's Giant deals:

Boneless Chicken Breasts - Buy one Get one
Ground Beef (80%) - $1.99 a lb
Pork Tenderloin - $3.99 per lb
Stouffer's Frozen Entrees - $2 each (I do frown upon processed food but sometimes, coming home and having hot lasagna ready to eat in five minutes is the best thing ever.)
Philadelphia Cream Cheese - Buy one Get one
Baby Carrots - Buy one package Get one package
Autumn Royal Black Seedless Grapes - $1.49 per lb
Gala Apples - $1.29 per lb
Russet Potatoes - $0.89 per lb

Please check to see the specials at your local Giant Supermarket.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - Sale at Safeway

My co-worker Angie called her doctor to schedule a flu shot recently and was told that her doctor's office no longer offers flu shots because they don't get enough money back from the insurance company. Yet, everywhere I shop, Safeway, Giant, CVS, Costco, all have been heavily advertising sales on flu shots? I don't get it? Safeway is even advertising that you can get 10% off your grocery bill with a flu shot purchase. To some extent I'm glad these grocery stores are making the flu shot available because it makes it more accessible for those without health insurance. They don't have to pay for the doctor's time and the shot. But still, doesn't it feel backwards that you can get a flu shot at Harris Teeter and your doctors office doesn't offer it? What are your thoughts?

Here are this week's Safeway specials:

Beef Chuck Blade Roast - $1.49 per lb
Ground Beef (80%) - $1.49 per lb
Boneless Whole Pork Loin - $1.99 per lb
Broccoli - $1.00 per lb
Variety of Apples - $0.77 per lb
Boneless Shoulder Beef Rib Steak - $2.99 per lb
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast - $2.99 per lb
Navel Oranges - $1.00 each
Barlett Pears - $1.00 per lb
Eggplant - $1.00 per lb
Celery - $1.00 each
Organic Carrots - $1.00 per lb
Russet Potatoes - $1.00 per lb

Please note that each Safeway location is different. Please check to see your local specials.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rosh Hashanah

For a Latin girl and a Vietnamese girl who were both raised Catholic, our first Rosh Hashanah meal went pretty smoothly. Though some of our friends have corrected us to say that using Matzo is more for Passover and Latkes is more for Hanukkah, they forgave us because our intentions were good. Ceila Cruz gave us something to dance to in the kitchen while we cooked.

It took us longer to figure out how to get the grating feature on this machine to work than it took us to actually grate the potatoes. Totally worth it. The potatoes came out perfectly grated and made grating the onions a pleasure.

Removing the moisture from the potatoes and the onions was the most difficult part of this process. I didn't have a cheesecloth so I used some paper towels instead. It took a while but I'm sure it really helped when it came to fry them. Keep some paper towels around when you finally mix it with the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. The salt pulls more moisture from the potatoes and you end up putting soggy potatoes into the frying pan which made mine spit oil at me and it seemed to make it cook unevenly. I created my little latke pancakes and then placed them on paper towels to absorb some of that liquid. The pancakes cooked to a golden brown after that.

My first latke frying up in the pan. So crispy and crunchy on the outside and full of flavor on the inside. You can really taste the onion flavor and its so good with the potato. Latkes are pretty inexpensive to make. The most expensive item to buy would be the peanut oil.

Adapted from recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Ingredient purchased at Harris Teeter

(note that we bought a five pound bag of potatoes and therefore multiplied this recipe by five.)

1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled - $3.50 for 5lb bag
1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled - $0.99 per lb
1/4 cup all-purpose flour - free from previous purchase
1 large egg, lightly beaten - $3.99 per dozen (we bought organic ones so they were more pricey)
1 teaspoon salt - free from previous purchase
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper - free from previous purchase
Peanut oil, for frying - $3.49 for 7 oz

In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated. (note that it may seem like the mixture is kind of dry but the salt will pull some moisture from the potatoes so please don't make the mistake of adding any additional I did.)

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of peanut oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

I wish I had some pictures of the finished product but my camera messed up and didn't save the shots I took of them.

Here are some other dishes we made that night:

Anna followed the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa's cookbook and it said to wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and then put it in the oven. WHAT?!?! We checked her online recipe and it replaced the plastic wrap with parchment paper. But really? She used to wrap it in plastic? How did it not melt into the meat?

This is the first time I have ever eaten kugel and I was craving it all day today. Here is how Anna put it together:

14 ounces wide egg noodles-cooked
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese-softened
1.5 lbs cottage cheese
16 ounce apple sauce
5 eggs

Mix ingredients together and place in casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, then uncovered for 30 mins. Allow to cool.

Chopped Liver

Again, I lost pictures I took of the chopped liver. Anna used another Barefoot Contessa recipe. She omitted the Madera wine, rendered the chicken fat, and used unsalted butter. It came out very tasty.

We had some Challah on the table and also had some apples that we dipped into honey. It was a wonderful evening with some old and new friends. Thank you Anna for putting it all together.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009 - Items on Sale at Giant

Here are this week's Giant deals:

London Broil - $1.99 per lb
Beef Chuck Steak - $1.99 per lb
Chicken Legs and Thighs - $0.99 per lb
Whole Chicken - $0.99 per lb
Assorted Pork Chops - $1.79 per lb
Barlett Pears - $1.39 per lb
Romain Hearts - $2.79 per package of 3 hearts
Sweet Red Peppers - $1.88 per lb
Totes of Apples - $0.88 per lb

Please check to see the specials at your local Giant Supermarket.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - Sale at Safeway

There are too many recipes out there that I read and that I instantly want to try. The problem is that I always end up reading a new one and forgetting the past ones I was interested in. If someone has a good way of organizing recipes that they come across, please send suggestions my way. Here is pork chop recipe I read in Gourmet Magazine:

Pork Chops Saltimbocca with Sautéed Spinach Gourmet | August 2009
by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez


2 (1-inch-thick) center-cut rib pork chops
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 very thin slices Italian Fontina
2 thin slices prosciutto (1 ounce)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 (10-ounces) bag fresh spinach, stems discarded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Cut a deep, wide pocket in each pork chop. Sprinkle half of sage into each pocket and stuff pockets with cheese and prosciutto. Pat chops dry and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (total).

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook chops until undersides are golden, about 2 minutes, then turn chops and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

While chops cook, heat remaining tablespoon oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Sauté garlic until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

Transfer chops to a platter. Add butter and lemon juice to hot skillet, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then pour sauce over pork.

Serve pork with spinach.

Here are this week's Safeway specials:

New York Strip Steak - $4.99 per lb
Pork Loin Chops - $1.99 per lb
Whole Chicken - $1.49 per lb
Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs - $0.79 per lb
Grapes - $0.97 per lb (Great Deal!)
Pineapple - $2.99 each
Apples - $1.69 per lb
Barlett Pears - $1.49 per lb
Ghiradelli Brownie Mix - $2 a box (great deal for a good brownie mix)

Please note that each Safeway location is different. Please check to see your local specials.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roasted Corn Salad

Its mid-September and past good corn season but on the off chance that you can still find some good corn for a good deal, give this recipe a try. For our first dinner together with my new roommates, I put together caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms burgers and this roasted corn salad.

Ingredients purchased from Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, and Giant.
Recipe adapted from

8 ears of corn (roasted) - 8 for $1.99
1/3 of a red onion (chopped to small pieces) - (ugh...can't remember exact price)
3/4 of a red pepper (diced) - $1.88 per lb
1 cup of grape tomatoes (cut in quarters) - $0.99 per package
1 green heirloom tomato (diced)- $3.99 per lb
1/2 cup of cilantro - $.079 per bunch
1/4 cup of lime - 3 for $1
1 cloves of garlic - Free from previous purchase
1/4 cup of olive oil - Free from previous purchase
Salt and Pepper - Free from previous purchase

The corn was roasted the previous night at the Seafood party on the grill so some if it had a nice char on it. Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Add red onions, red peppers, and tomatoes. In a food processor, put in the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend it all together. When dressing the salad, do it a tablespoon at a time and taste it until you think its dressed enough. My roommates tasted it and thought there was enough dressing once we got through about 3/4 of the dressing.

It was a rainy night so I made the burgers on the stove and in the oven using this method. While shopping with my new roommates at Giant, we passed by the frozen food section and I eyed the Tater Tots and couldn't resist. They were $2.50 per package and so good with our burgers. We talked business part of the night (house rules, trash duty, etc) but mostly we just got to know each other. Part of me wanted to ask them to not buy groceries so I can have more fridge space and to stay out of the kitchen but then I thought that might be getting off on the wrong foot. I'll ease that in a little later.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009 - Items on Sale at Giant

Here are this week's Giant deals:

Boneless Center Cut Pork Chops - $1.99 per lb
White Seedless Grapes - $0.99 per lb
Broccoli - $0.88 per lb
Jumbo Raw Shrimp - $6.99 per lb
Cadbury Chocolate Bars - $1.25 each (put the caramel one in your next batch of brownies. You won't be sorry.)

Please check to see the specials at your local Giant Supermarket.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - Sale at Safeway

Here are this week's Safeway specials:

London Broil - $1.99 per lb
Asparagus - $1.99 per lb
Pork Loin Back Ribs - $2.99 per lb
Fresh Backfin Crabmeat - $8.99 per 16 oz tub
Gala Apples - $0.99 per lb
Yellow or White Peaches - $0.99 per lb
Whole Chicken - $1.29 per lb
Organic Milk - $3.99 per half gallon
Bananas - $0.44 per lb
Broccoli Crowns - $1.49 per lb

Please note that each Safeway location is different. Please check to see your local specials.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

YES! Organic Market in Petworth - My Assessment

Finally, I got the chance to visit the new YES! Organic Market in Petworth. Here is my assessment; the good and the bad:

The produce section is pretty decent. For a specialty store, the prices are reasonable for DC standards and they had a lot of variety. The Romaine lettuce was $1.69 each (good price) and looked really fresh. Just note that not all the items are organic. The apple above is a Gala apple and is a VERY LARGE Gala apple which leads me to believe that is has been genetically altered. I don't trust apples that are too large. They are never sweet enough and just don't taste as good as a small apple. The sign for this stated that it was "locally grown" but didn't say organic.

The potatoes were stored in a refrigerated area which is an abnormal place to store potatoes. The other thing I noticed is that though most of the vegetables looked good, there were a few that were dehydrated and wrinkled. Nothing turns me off more about a grocery store than one that doesn't keep it's produce section fresh and hydrated. If the produce item has gone bad, take it off the shelf. Hopefully this market won't try to push aged produce to the point of turning off customers.
The best part of this market are its bulk items. Spices in bulk!!! I like the idea of buying small quantities of spices when I experiment with recipes instead of investing in an entire bottle of something I would probably not use Juniper Berries.

There is an Oriental Salad that I used order at a sub shop near my old college that I LOVED. It has this great sesame dressing and has cashews in it. It will be nice to buy just a enough cashews for the salad instead of having a jar go stale in my pantry.

YES! has a great selection of olive oils. There are several that are cold pressed and the prices are very decent. Several were on sale.

This bottle was $6.99.

This one was $10.99
They have a lot of good cheeses. This goat cheese was $2.99 (at Trader Joes, its $2.49 for the same size.)

$3.49 per lb for the Feta.

Organic milk is $6.99 per gallon and $4.39 per half gallon. This is a little more expensive than the organic milk sold at other stores.

The meat looked all right. There were some chicken legs that didn't look appealing to me but this whole chicken looked very fresh. The steaks also looked pretty decent. Prices are higher than what you would spend at Giant or Safeway but about the same as Whole Foods. Unfortunately, the quality is not as good.

The salmon and scallops looked good but the labels didn't give me enough information to buy it. Were these farm raised or wild caught? Were the scallops previously frozen?

The bread section had some good whole grain loaves and some stuff from Firehook bakery. The French baguette were hard and stale which was disappointing. These croissants above were not crisp like you would find at a french bakery but it smelled so buttery that I bet two minutes in a toaster oven would make this a very satisfying breakfast.

This place is great for locals who are vegan or allergic to gluten. There are so many vegan and gluten free products in this store. Here are some brown rice low-sodium breadcrumbs.

Best thing #2: All the Asian products. I'm pretty sure the owners or managers of this store and the one on 14th and V are Asian. These thin bean noodles above are an example of a product I wouldn't find at Safeway (there is this delicious Vietnamese chicken noodle soup that can be made from these noodles).

Fish Sauce

Sriracha Hot Sauce

For $2.09, I would like to attempt to make some cold soba noodle dishes.

My mom used to use these shower clothes and her skin was always smooth. Maybe this is the secret to the smooth skin of "women from the Orient."

I'm a little speechless? Mild? White? Kimchi? What is this???? What is this suppose to taste like if there is no chili in it? The label makes me think that this product is going to taste wrong.

For those who do not like to cook, there are a lot of prepared foods to choose from.

These Indian Lentils are great for lazy nights when I don't want to cook. I like to eat these with some steamed cauliflower, brown rice, and a dollop of plain yogurt. These were only $2.00 each which is the cheapest I've seen anywhere.

These are only $26.99 which is the same price as the ones they were selling at Costco.

Here are prices of some other items sold here

Gala Apples - $1.89 per lb
Organic Krimson Star Pears - $1.99 per lb
Barlett Pears - $1.69 per lb
Valencia Oranges - $0.59 each (Good Deal)
Organic Green Grapes - $1.99 per lb (Great Deal!)
Romaine Lettuce - $1.69 each
Butter Lettuce - $1.99 each
Organic Bananas - $0.89 per lb (Same price as Whole Foods)
Organic Iceberg Lettuce - $3.59 each (EXPENSIVE)
Tisdale Wines - $3.69 for a bottle (great for when I need some white wine for cooking)
Barefoot Wines - $5.99 for a bottle
Boca Burgers - $4.19 for a package of four patties
Salmon - $8.19 per lb
Scallops - $9.99 per lb
Almond Breeze - $2 per 32 Fl oz

Someone mentioned in the Prince of Petworth comments that they kept getting static shock in the store. It happened to me too! Overall, I'm very happy to have YES! Organic Market in my neighborhood. You are going to spend more money here than you would at Giant or Safeway but if you look for the deals, you will find them. You will spend more money on meat and dairy products but will save on some of the produce and wines. The cutest thing that happened was seeing some young boys run around the market eating up the samples and hearing one genuinely say "this is the best store I have ever been to."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Seafood Party - Spicy Shrimp

Everybody needs a friend like Jenny V. (of Peach Honey fame). Everybody needs a friend who takes the bull by the horns (or the fish by its fins?) and organizes things like a seafood party that you can just show up for and cook. When I say organize, I mean she chose the recipes, thoroughly thought out every detail of multiplying recipes, and meticulously created a shopping list that any foodie can admire: it was broken down into supermarket aisle categories and listed exactly how much of each item we needed.

We spent a week talking about the menu, a week waiting to see who would/could attend the soriee, and a 15 hour day to shop (visited five different stores that day) and cook a portion of the meal plus five hours before the party to cook the rest of the meal. It was intense but as always, so satisfying and fun. Everyone also needs a friend like Jay who has a gorgeous (and large) house and who also is great at grilling and steaming fish.

The menu consisted of:

Crab Dip
Shrimp "pizza" dip
Bacon-wrapped scallops
Spicy shrimp
Mini crab cakes
Grilled Swordfish
Steamed Flounder
Tomato, Basil, Garlic pasta salad
Vegetable Pasta salad
Heirloom tomato salad
Grilled corn on the cob
Cheddar biscuits

Confession: We didn't really cook everything. We ended up getting frozen bacon wrapped scallops from Costco. I know, I know. It broke my heart to do that but in the end, it was the right choice since our party had turned into a party of 25 and our cooking adventure was becoming daunting. I agreed to get the frozen bacon wrapped scallops but in my heart, I promised myself that I would make a fresh scallop dish for myself soon.

Confession #2: I spent so much time enjoying myself that I didn't get as many pictures of the food as I could have. Thank you to Amy Jean for providing some of the pictures of the food.

Here is the recipe we used for the Spicy Shrimp. It is very easy to make, turned out very tasty, and was a crowd pleaser. We also got two loaves of French Baguettes so that people could dip it into the sauce that formed from the shrimp juices and butter.

Ingredients purchased at Costco and Harris Teeter:

Shrimp - $8.50 per pound
Butter - $1.62 per pound
Olive Oil - $9.99 for 51 oz bottle
Tabasco - $1.99 for 8 oz bottle
Worchestshire Sauce - Free from previous purchase
Lemons - $0.60 each
Salt - Free from previous purchase
Pepper - Free from previous purchase

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009 - Items on Sale at Harris Teeter

Here are some specials at Harris Teeter this week:

Cantaloupe - $0.99 each
Corn - 8 for $2
Red Rasberries - $3 per pint
Ginger Gold Apples - $0.79 per lb
Sour Cream - $1.50 per 16 oz tub
Kraft Shredded Cheese - $1.79 per 8 oz package
Scallops - $9.99 per lb
Snow Crab Clusters - $2.99 per lb
White Shrimp 21/30 - $6.98 per lb
Yellow Fin Tuna - $10.99 per lb
Mahi Mahi Fillets - $5.99 per lb

Please note that each Harris Teeter location may have different specials than listed above. Check out the weekly specials at a location near you here. Also, you can have weekly specials from Harris Teeter sent directly to your email box by signing up for their E-VIC service.

Friday, September 4, 2009 - Items on Sale at Giant

Here are this week's Giant deals:

Porterhouse or T-Bone Steak - $4.99 per lb
Boneless Chicken Breast - $1.99 per lb
Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs - $1.29 per lb
Corn - 12 for $1.99
Watermelon - $3.99 each
Arnold Select Hamburger buns - $2.50 per package
Sweet Red Peppers - $1.88 per lb
Tote Bag of Apples (Gala, McIntosh, Red Delicious, or Ginger Gold) - $0.88 per lb
Oscar Mayer Sliced Bacon - Buy one Get one
Snow Crab Clusters - $.499 per lb
Fresh Local Back Fin Crabmeat - $11.99 per 16oz tub
Cool Whip - $1.25 per tub

Please check to see the specials at your local Giant Supermarket.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Poste Roast DC

The only words I can use to describe my Poste Roast experience is "ridiculously amazing." It wasn't until after I went to a Food Bloggers Happy Hour and talked to Macheesmo and Savory Reviews that I realized that I haven't written this post. I had every intention of doing it but it just never happened. A lot has been going on so I'm not going to beat myself up too much about it.

My cousin Stephanie (the family "social director") sent out an email with this info from Poste:

"Family Style -- With summer and outdoor dining on everyone's mind, Poste Moderne Brasserie and Chef Robert Weland have introduced a new farm-to-table dinner concept, called 'Poste Roasts.' Available every night but Thursday at the chef's table in the Poste Garden, the new dinner will feature spit-roasted meat sourced from local farmers and summer-inspired sides, all served family-style. Meat options, selected personally by Weland and sourced from a local farmer, include goat, pig, duck, brisket, lamb and squab. All cuts are spit-roasted over hickory wood on the newly installed courtyard grill, and served with fresh seasonal sides featuring ingredients from the restaurant's organic vegetable and herb garden. 'Poste Roasts' are served at the new outdoor chef's table, handcrafted with local Virginia stone and sustainable teak wood. Guests must book one week in advance, and upon reserving select one animal of choice to be roasted. Chef-selected pairings of Virginia wines are also available with roasts. The dinner is available for a minimum of six people and maximum of 12, and is priced at $27 per person, excluding beverages, dessert, tax and gratuity. Reservations must be made seven days in advance to allow for the freshest and most sustainable ingredients to be sourced from local farmers. Only one animal can be roasted for each dinner."

$27 per person! How can this be? Here is isn't. They get you on the wine and the appetizers. You are sitting out in a garden with this magnificent marble table that has the kind of height that makes you feel like royalty. A part of you starts saying things like "yes I want the best wine to accompany this meal." I blame it on the magnificent marble table. It was a good investment for the restaurant.

To get you in a carefree and relaxed mood, the first thing they do is take you on a tour of the garden. Its small but very cute. Some of the mints are used in the cocktails at the bar and smell amazing. Its charming to think they grow all their vegetables but that would be impossible. I did see some cooks come out to cut some chives and head back to the kitchen. I spent the evening contemplating with my cousin which herbs we were going to pull out of the ground and stuff into our purses. It was very tempting since our table was set outside with some herbs within arm length of us.
Like I said, they will get you on the appetizers and alcohol. The waiter suggested a summer tomato salad which sounded wonderful on a hot summer night. And it was. There was a tomato sorbet on top of a sweet onion relish, slices of heirloom tomatoes and ricotta cheese. So refreshing and the tomatoes were bursting with summer flavor.

Drum roll please...
They present the suckling pig to you whole first and then bring it back to the kitchen to cut it up. In the mean time, you sit and sip some more of that expensive wine.

The suckling pig was served with three sides: grilled peaches, sauerkraut, and macaroni and cheese. I could have done without the sauerkraut. The grilled peaches were a perfect combo with the salty pork meat. The peaches were grilled until only slightly softened. The flesh still had a good firmness to it that made you feel like you were biting into a fresh peach. The macaroni and cheese was...AMAZING. They must have used bacon fat in the roux because it just had that wonderful salty, bacon, smokey taste to it. So good!

And here is the pig skull split open so that we could eat the brains.

It tastes a little like liver pate but a little more squishy and fatty. I prefer liver.

And here is the money shot. Here is the crispy, salty, fatty pig skin. I could have eaten this ALL night. Crunchy, tasty, dipped in hot mouth is watering now thinking about how good this pig skin was.

The meal was great. Sitting out in the garden watching the night fall and just having a relaxed conversation with your family and friends is just a lovely way to spend an evening. The waitor gave us a tip that Poste is working on a Fall menu to continue Poste Roasts and will start taking reservations soon. We could do it thriftydccook style and drink water and not order appetizers or desserts(or not). I would like to try a whole lamb next. You want in?