Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Each Tuesday means the end of last week's Safeway deals. In case you haven't decided what to make for dinner tonight and you are craving some red meat, you might want to take advantage of the Bottom Round Steak for $1.88 a lb sale that ends tonight. I realize that my friends are very much like me and we are "just a little of this, just a little of that" cooks. We just throw in what we think would taste good and hope for the best. (I'm going to work on my recipe writing. I promise.) The kabobs above were made by Jazmin were delicious and cooked well in the George Foreman. She used garlic, honey, Worcestershire sauce, jalapeno, ground black pepper, sea salt, and some mixed Italian herbs to marinate the meat.

In case you want a recipe to follow, here are a few that might be useful to you: (I think the trick when using this type of meat is to marinate, marinate, marinate. You want to make the meat tender and flavorful.)

Sensational Sirloin Kabobs
Garlic-Mustard Glazed Skewers
Peppery Beef Kebabs with Braised Pearl Onions
Sirloin Kebabs with Southeast-Asian-Style Spice Paste

Feel free to add any recipes you would recommend in the comments section.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Photos From My Dupont Circle Farmers Market Trip

As you can see from my photos, I am as interested in the prices as I am in the produce. You can get better deals here on some items than at the grocery store. Such as basil. You can get a lot more basil for your money here than at a grocery store. The summer squash was only about $0.50 more per lb. The peaches were $2.50 per lb. They are $0.99 per lb at Safeway. They do have sour cherries here which I haven't found at a grocery store yet. They were $5 a quart.

Comfort Me With Billie Jean and Food from New Mexico

Like everyone else, I just wanted to spend my weekend listening to Michael Jackson songs and talking about how scared I was as a kid when I first watched the Thriller music video. And so I found myself at 1 am in the 930 Club with a few hundred people dancing to an MJ impostor. It felt good to be with others who also loved to sing his songs at the top of their lungs. Since Friday night satisfied my "one night out" quota for my weekend, I was looking forward to some downtime at Anna's just working and talking about food. With me, I brought my laptop, strawberries from Grand Mart ($1.29 per package), and some tomatoes to do some taste testing.

Since watching Food, Inc. last week, I've been doing a lot of thinking about where my food comes from (yes...the movie got to me.) For me, the hope that people shop more at Farmer's markets and buy locally produced food is ideal but just not necessarily feasible (especially for low-income families.) The only way that eating at farmers market is possible for most of us is if we:

1. Simplified our lives and planned out our meals and shopping times better
2. Ate less meat (since meat from farmer's markets is probably four times the cost of purchasing from a regular supermarket.)
3. ate less food over all.

Most of us don't even listen to our doctors or spiritual leaders so why would we listen to what a movie has to say. Some of us are barely making ends meet. Can we justify paying three times more money for food (especially if we are choosing good produce and meats over processed foods?) Please know that as much as the movie disgusted me, I left the theater feeling empowered. There are things I would like to do such as ask farmers markets to accept food stamps so that more low-income families can have access to good food. Safeway on Columbia Road has been carrying some locally grown produce so I plan to write to all the supermarkets in my area to request that they do the same. I also foresee eating a lot more produce in my future and I plan to never purchase any pork from Smithfields.

But the movie also got me thinking about the taste of food and made me question whether I even know the taste of good food. So I brought to Anna's home a tomato from the farmers market ($3.99 a lb) and a tomato from Grand Mart ($1.49 a lb). Anna and her friend James looked at the tomatoes and thought both looked good. They smelled the tomatoes and they thought the organic one smelled a little more fragrant. We cut the tomatoes open and each took a wedge. The organic tomato tasted distinctly better and was significantly more flavorful. Farmers market 1, Corporate Supermarket 0.

Anna went to the 14th and U Street farmers market that morning and got some ground beef. She decided that it was time to cook something she had learned when she lived in New Mexico. The ground beef was seasoned with cumin, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, and some garlic powder. The ground beef was cooked until fully browned and set aside. Anna fried up some tortillas and cut up some white onions, cilantro, avocados, and lime wedges.

At the table, we assembled our tacos and each took a bite. The ground beef was full of flavor, almost like you were biting down on a piece of steak. We didn't have any store bought ground beef to compare it to but frankly, we all knew that this meat was distinctly better than any ground beef that we have purchased at a grocery store. The price for ground beef at the farmers market is $5.99 per pound. Farmers market 2, Corporate Supermarket, 0.

Anna hasn't purchased ground beef from a grocery store in awhile and has made this dish with ground turkey instead. Safeway has ground turkey on sale for $3.50 per package (about 1.3 lbs) and I gave it a try today. Not nearly as good as the ground beef but was satisfying nonetheless. Added to something I may never do again is purchasing taco seasoning packages.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ohhhh My....I Want Some Peach Pie

Peaches are on sale at Giant for $1.69 a lb and are $0.99 a lb at Safeway. Its summer time and peach season so you are going to find some good deals on peaches anywhere and they are all going to be delicious. May I recommend this recipe from Pete Bakes!

Friday, June 26, 2009 - Items on Sale at Giant

My vote is to shop at Giant this week. These are the kinds of deals that are exciting to me. Especially the Centercut pork chops. Dave Lieberman from the Food Network (very cute and probably very gay) made these pork chops on an episode of "Good Deals with Dave Lieberman" that is so simple and so delicious. The pork chops are marinated in olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. They are grilled and eaten with some sweet caramelized onions. A bite of the slightly salty pork with the sweet onions is just so good. Here is the recipe. The deal on corn on the cob is amazing too. This might be a great weekend for grilled steak or pork chops, corn salad, and some watermelon. I need to dig up my vodka watermelon recipe...

Here are the specials from Giant this week (don't forget about this coupon):

Porterhouse or T-Bone Steaks - $4.99 per lb
Chicken Legs and Thighs - $0.99 per lb
Centercut Pork Chops - $1.99 per lb
Corn on the Cob - 12 for $1.99
Watermelon - $3.88 each
Package of Sweet Peppers - $2.99 (3 in a package)
Barilla Pasta - 4 for $5
Bird's Eye Frozen Vegtables - 10 for $10
Pillsbury Brownie Mix - 10 for $10
Coke or Diet Coke - 5 for $11 (12 packs)

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

Friday, June 26, 2009 - Deals at Harris Teeter

Here are the deals at Harris Teeter this week:

Boneless Chicken Breasts - Buy One Get One Free
Top Round London Broil - Buy One Get One Free
Yellow Corn - 8 for $2
Red Potatoes - $3.50 for a 5 lb bag

***Disclaimer - 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.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Have Been Targeted by Lifetime

It was Sunday night and there was nothing on TV so I decided to explore some new shows using my Comcast OnDemand service. Friends of mine recommended Burn Notice but within three seconds, I knew it was not a show I could watch. That is when I decided to try out a "Cook Yourself Thin" episode. Do you know that infomercial for the Magic Bullet? Remember the female host? Imagine her perky, annoying chatter times three. The hosts of this show just try too hard to be everyone's girl friend! The thing is (pause)...the cooking actually is pretty interesting and looks like it could be good. They made chili and used some cocoa powder in it. They made a vegetable quiche with a potato crust! I just had to make this.

The one BIG sin...they tried to make pho. I literally wanted to step into the television and scream at the host who was doing the cooking. SHE PUT SOY SAUCE IN THE BROTH! Like its some sort of Japanese Udon dish. Not only that, there was not one drop of fish sauce. It just was a cheap version of the soup and it was just too insulting. I had to turn off the television and collect myself.

Though their attempt at pho should completely turn me off from the show, I have decided to add their site to my list of recipe sites (to the right) because they do have some good recipes. Below are some of the recipes I would like to try in the near future.

Easy Herb-Roasted Chicken With Roasted Veggies
Eggplant Stacks
Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

Below is a recipe I did try and enjoyed.

Mushroom and Spinach Quiche With Potato Crust

Adapted from Cook Yourself Thin

Ingredients Purchased at Safeway, Best Way, and Costco.

1/2 pound Russet potatoes (I would try Yukon Gold if you have it), peeled and shredded ($1.29 per pound)

3 1/4 teaspoons olive oil (free from previous purchase)

1/2 teaspoon salt (free from previous purchase)

1/2 teaspoon pepper (free from previous purchase)

1/2 a medium onion, sliced ($0.29 per lb)

4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced ($2 per box)

1/2 cup of red peppers, sliced ($2.19 per lb)

1/4 cup of green peppers, sliced ($0.69 each)

5-ounce bag baby spinach ($1.25 per bag)

3 large eggs ($1.99 per dozen)

1 cup skim milk (free - stolen from roommate's stash)

2 ounces Feta Cheese ($3.49 per lb)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9-inch glass, metal, or ceramic pie dish with 1 teaspoon oil. Toss potatoes with 1 teaspoon oil and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Press into an even layer in pie dish, up the sides like a crust. Bake until golden brown at the edges and dry, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

Lower the oven to 325 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Add remaining teaspoon oil and mushrooms, peppers and cook, stirring, until vegetables release their liquid and most of the liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, just until spinach wilts, about 30 seconds. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together eggs, milk and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spread the vegetable mixture in an even layer in the pie dish, and top with an even layer of the cheese. Carefully pour in egg mixture. Bake until firm around the edges but still wobbly in the center, about 25 minutes.

Let cool, and serve warm or at room temperature.

The crust didn't turn out as crispy as I would have liked but overall, the dish is very tasty. It was kind of like eating hash browns with eggs which I love to do. I'm glad I substituted cheddar cheese with the feta because it was a nice rich, salty bite whenever you got to a portion of the quiche that had some feta in it.

The entire dish should cost you $14 or less and it serves 8 so each portion would be about $1.75. Served with a nice side salad would make for a great lunch.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 Sale at Safeway

Jury duty prohibited me from posting early today. I was up at the crack of dawn and at the courthouse by 8 a.m. Here is some advice if you are called to jury duty in DC: Bring your laptop. They have WiFi and you can get internet access in the jury room and in the court room. The guy next to me was typing away on his laptop AND on his blackberry. Even with my book, notebook, and ipod, I was hella bored (and jealous.)

Safeway specials this week are pretty unexciting but here are some deals that caught my eye:
  • Bottom Round Steak - $1.88 per lb
  • Split Chicken Breast - $0.99 per lb
  • Large Raw Shrimp - $4.99 per lb
  • Watermelon - $3.99 each
  • Ground Turkey or Turkey Italian Sausages (1.5 lbs) - $3.50 each
If you like soda pop (Coke or Pepsi Products) then this is the week to stock up. Pepsi and 7-UP are on sale for $0.99 for each 2-litre. 2-litres of Coke products are buy 3 get 3 free.

***Disclaimer - Please note that each Safeway location is different. Please check your local Safeway Weekly Special on Safeway.com to see their specials.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I am the kind of person that does a lot of daydreaming. My daydreams usually entail cooking something new, businesses I want to open, traveling, or winning the lottery. Hopefully I will win the lottery so that I can do more of the first three. Lately, I’ve had this dream that involves coupons. Actually, it involves coupons, volunteers, and a triple-coupon day at Harris Teeter. My dream is that a group of volunteers would do the research to see which items we can get for free or cheap, arm ourselves with coupons and some donated cash, head to a triple-coupon day to pick up the items, and give them to N Street Village or some other charity. N Street Village is always looking for donations of toothpaste, shampoo, canned goods, cereal, etc. Just imagine a hoard of people going into a store and coming out with tons of free/cheap stuff and all of us taking it to a shelter to donate. And we can also say we took advantage of corporate America.

***sigh*** I think it would be great.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Eastern Market Grand Re-Opening is June 26th!

Prince of Petworth reports that Eastern Market's Grand Re-Opening is on Friday, June 26th.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Its Like Free Money

Growing up, my dad was the coupon king. On Sunday mornings, we would wake up to find my dad at the kitchen table tearing coupons from the paper. He was a master at the coupon shopping and his wallet was always thick with coupons. Some days he would come home with bags of groceries and proudly tell us that the store had to pay him for all stuff he got. Literally, he would come back from the market with money. He knew the supermarket systems so well that if items were on sale and the store doubled (or tripled) the coupon, he would end up getting money back. It was great. We never ran out of toothpaste or shampoo in the house. There was always an ample supply. My father never understood why people would go to places like Costco or Sam's Club because he felt that they would get a better deal if they just clipped some coupons from the Sunday paper and paid attention to the sales. He was right. Coupon shopping can give you a better deal than shopping at Costco most of the time. (My love for the bulk warehouse remains strong for other reasons.)

I love the coupon shopping process because I understand it and have found a way to make it work for me. First, I try to only clip coupons that are worthwhile so that I am not flipping through a stack of coupons for $0.10 off bathtub cleaners when I am looking for the $2.00 off coupon on dish washing soap. Coupons are a form of advertisement so you have to be careful that you aren't buying things you don't need. Second, I've found a way to make it easy by organizing all my coupons in a little filing folder that is just the right size for coupons. I have the files arranged based on how most supermarkets organize their aisles; for example: condiments, baked goods, frozen items, canned good, etc.

Third, I don't rely on the Sunday paper to get them. Finding coupons online has become so easy. http://www.coupons.com/ and http://www.smartsource.com/ are my favorite sites so far. Fourth, get to know the coupon rules at your local supermarket. Most supermarkets will double your coupons but Harris Teeters is the only that has triple coupon days. Also, most supermarkets limit doubling coupons to ones with savings of $.99 or less. Coupon shopping is really easy once you get started and the savings can be significant. You can even use them when using Safeway's delivery service or Giant's Peapod. More information on that process to come.

Friday, June 19, 2009 - Items on Sale at Giant

Here are some specials from Giant:

  • Sirloin Steak - $3.99 per lb
  • Seedless Watermelon - $3.99 each
  • Blueberries - $1.25 per pint
  • Green and Yellow Squash - $0.99 per lb
Please check www.giantfood.com to see the specials at your local Giant Supermarket.

Friday, June 19, 2009

3/50 Project

One of the goals for this blog is to highlight local DC grocery markets that are unknown. Part of me feels that this blog could end up being a little too corporate friendly and I am someone who likes to support the smaller businesses when I can. So, when I heard about the 3/50 project, I knew this was something I wanted to support.

The 3/50 project is a project that a DC boutique called Nana participates in. The objective of the project is to support local, small businesses by encouraging people to choose three small businesses in their neighborhood that they can visit regularly. For every $100 spent on those businesses, 68% of that money gets returned to the community through taxes, payroll, etc. Your money could be supporting the people you walk by everyday instead of corporate fat cats who golf in the Hamptons. Its been heart-breaking for me to see businesses such as 14U Cafe, Wild Women Wear Red Clothing Store, and Mocha Hut have to shut down.

To do my part, I am listing all the small grocery markets that I can find to the right of this blog. Please send me any markets near you that you think could use a little advertising. As I get more market suggestions, I can start listing them by neighborhoods. I will also try to visit the market and post any special items and/or bargains they may have there. A lot of the small markets will not have websites so I have been using a link to their location on Google maps or using their Yelp profile.

And please support this 3/50 project. I think that it can do a lot of good for any community.

Friday, June 19, 2009 - Items on Sale at Harris Teeter

Here are some specials from Harris Teeter:

  • 1 Gallon of Milk - $1.97
  • Peaches - $0.79 a pound
  • Cantaloupe - $1.25 each
  • Snow Crab Clusters - $4.99 a pound
***Disclaimer - 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.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

$5 off Meat Purchase at Giant

Just found this $5 off coupon for any $15 meat purchase at Giant. Can you say "barbecue?"


Just Can't Stop Thinking about Crab Legs

It turns out that writing about food will make your friends crave it enough to convince you to head to the grocery store and cook an impromptu dinner. Shortly after work, Anna and I were on the Circulator and headed towards Safeway with the intention of filling her kitchen up with appropriate food for her parent's visit. She wanted to pick up some crab legs for one of the dinners she is cooking for the weekend. Instead, an hour and a half later, we were stocked up with 3 lbs of crab legs, a pound of shrimp, and pasta for our dinner. It is sad to say but both of us could not stop talking about the crab legs while we were in line at the cash register.

We decided to bake the crabs since it sounded more appealing than boiling them. After a spray of Pam, the crab legs were salt and peppered and placed in an oven at 350F for twenty mintues.

With the crab legs, we ate garlic, shrimp pasta. I wish I could write out an accurate recipe for this but I really didn't measure anything out. It was just one of those nights where you throw stuff in a pan and hope it turns out good. It turned out pretty good. Some minced garlic was sauteed in a pan with a mixture of olive oil and butter. Next were the frozen peas, the shrimp, angel hair pasta, a little salt, a little pepper, more olive oil...everthing was topped off with some fresh parsley and voila! Dinner.

The crab legs turned out great. I liked that we didn't have to worry about a big pot of boiling water. Baking the crabs was so easy. And since we didn't have any crab crackers to break our crabs up with, biting down on the salty shell to retrieve the sweet crab meat made the experience that much more enjoyable. And how can you go wrong with garlic, butter, shrimp, and pasta.

Everything was washed down with a classy Budweiser (courtesy of Dave and Dave) Dinner ended with some peanut butter brownies and episodes of Nurse Jackie. ***sigh...burp***

Crab Legs - $15
Angel Hair Pasta - $1.50
Shrimp - $5.99
Brownie Mix - $1.25
Peanut Butter - $1.99
Budweiser - $12 for a case of 18

Dinner for four was about $40.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Proper Ways to Cook Crab Legs

About two summers ago, my friends and I drove down to the Washington DC Fish Market and bought some crab legs. We all gathered in my tiny apartment, got three pots of water boiling on the stove, and we cooked up them crab legs. Some of us ate the crab meat with melted, salted butter and others dipped it into a mixture of lemon juice, salt, and pepper. All of us washed it down with cold beer. DELISH! My place did not smell so great for a few days but the memory of that night with my friends makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Here are some suggestions on how to cook crab legs:

To steam crab legs:

  1. Pour 2 cups of water in a steamer or a large pot, add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the crab legs, placing them onto a rack in the bottom of the pan or into the steaming basket.
  3. As the water starts to boil again, begin timing.
  4. Steam the crab legs for between 5 - 7 minutes, until you can begin to smell their aroma and until they are warm. Take care not to overcook the legs as they have already been cooked once.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve hot with melted butter and lemon wedges.

To boil crab legs:

  1. Half fill a large saucepan with cold water and add a tablespoon of sea salt and seasoning if you wish.
  2. Bring the water to the boil and then drop the crab legs in.
  3. Reduce the heat slightly and allow the crab legs to simmer and heat up for 5 - 7 minutes.
  4. Remove from the water and rinse the crab legs. Serve hot.

To bake crab legs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Crack the whole crab legs and place them on a baking tray.
  3. Brush the crab legs with butter or oil, seasoning and lemon juice and bake in the oven for 8 - 9 minutes.

To microwave crab legs:

  1. Wrap the crab legs in a damp paper towel and cook on high for 2 - 3 minutes.
  2. Serve hot with butter, cocktail sauce or lemon wedges.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wednesday, June 16, 2009 Sale at Safeway

Here are some great items on sale at Safeway this week:

Rib-Eye Steak - $4.49 a pound
Snow Crab Clusters - $4.99 a pound
Yellow Peaches - $0.99 a pound
Duncan Hines Cake Mix - $1.25 each
Yoplait Yogurt - $0.60 each
Kraft Singles - $1.99 each
Whole Seedless Watermelon - $4.99 a pound
Mangoes - $1 each

***Disclaimer - Please note that each Safeway is different. For instance, some locations sell alcohol and some don't. This week, the location on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan has locally grown green beans for $0.77 a pound while the other locations have them for $0.99 a pound.) Best way to check if your local Safeway has the same deals as listed above is to go to www.safeway.com, punch in your zip code and check out their weekly special.

Fajitas made with Chicken (or London Broil)

My hope was to have some pictures of the steak fajitas we made for Rob's party but unfortunately, I left my camera at Anna's place. But since I have my camera back, I decided to replicate the fajitas recipe but with chicken thighs instead.

Adapted from Food Network recipe

Ingredients: (purchased from Safeway and Best Way)
1 lb of sliced chicken (2.49 a pound)
1/2 a green pepper ($0.69 each)
1/2 a red pepper ($2.19 a pound)
1/2 a medium onion ($0.29 a pound)

1 tablespoons of Adobo (free - gift from Kerri)
1/4 cup of cilantro ($0.50 a bunch)
two cloves of garlic (free from previous purchase)
one jalapeno (seeded) (free from previous purchase)
two limes (ten for $1) (I like the tang from the extra lime juice)
1/8 cup of olive oil (free from previous purchase)
1/2 tablespoon of cumin ($1.39 per bottle)

Tortillas (1 package for $1.89)
Sour Cream (free from office party. Yes...I actually took an unopened sour cream carton from a work potluck. It was unwanted, perfectly good, and it was free!)

Combine marinade ingredients in food processor.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Adobo seasoning. Place chicken in marinade and chill for at least two hours.

Season peppers and onions and rub with oil.

Grill the veggies in grill pan on stove top, on a real grill over some foil, or a George Foreman (which is how I grilled it) for four minutes or until onions are almost translucent.

Then grill chicken for five minutes (or until done.)

Heat tortillas on grill (or microwave) and enjoy. The fajitas are really good if you slice some avocados or add some roasted, sweet corn kernels when you wrap up the meat and veggies into the tortillas.

Total Cost: $9.64 plus tax. This meal served me, my roommate, her man, and was my lunch the next day.

***Please note that I do realize that you can see my shadow in some of the pictures and that some of the pictures are a little blurry. I promise to work on this problem.

***Please note that I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of the final assembled plate and that is why there is no good final picture.