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Gonzo Gourmands, Frugal Foodies & Crazy Culinarians

Dishing Out What Food Lovers Really Crave

News and discussion on all subjects concerning food: the food industry, chefs, celebrity chefs, culinary luminaries, heritage breeds, natural/organic/sustainable foods, craft beers brewers/soda makers, artisnal purveyors, cookware/tableware/kitchenware, cooking gadgets/equipment, food porn, and more!

Gonzo Gourmands, Frugal Foodies & Crazy Culinarians - Dishing Out What Food Lovers Really Crave

Bargains for the week of June 16 – June 22

Boy, things have been kinda hectic since we finished up my friend’s wedding last Saturday, and started gearing up for my Next Food TV Network Star Competition at the San Diego Fair!  But I did have some time to do a little research on some deals.  Seems that now that it’s BBQ season, all the markets are fighting for steak lovers’ attention.  Part of determining what is a bargain is personal preference when it comes to meat.  Some people do not want to buy the leaner grade of Select beef, some people do not want bone-in steaks, and some people just cannot buy the Max Package quantity.  For my purposes, I will report the cheapest prices regardless of grade of meat or quantity requirements.

Ranchers Reserve Bone-In Rib Eyes $4.47/lb. for Max Pack and $4.99 for smaller packages at Vons.  If you buy at least $25 worth, there is a coupon for $5 off.  That would bring the price down to $3.58/lb. making that the cheapest price. 

T-Bone Steaks $3.99/lb. at Stater Brothers.  I’m assuming these are for Select grade beef.  The up side is that this is for any size package.  You don’t have to buy a MAX Pack!

Boneless Rib Eye Steaks or Roasts $4.99/lb. at Ralphs (Select).

My godson Kevin is now a graduate of Cornell & the C.I.A.!!!

My godson Kevin has just graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Hotel Administration and a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America!

When I first found out about my godson’s aspirations to become a chef, I proudly thought, “Wow, my godson takes after me!”  But then I told his mother my cousin that she may not like the results and lack of grandchildren.  Even the executive chefs work long hours from before breakfast (even if your place doesn’t serve breakfast, somebody has to start the stock simmering) to long after the dinner service planning menus, checking on food orders, profits on menu items, managing kitchen staff, etc.   So what kind of women are available to socialize long after the restaurant & bar has closed or before the breakfast or lunch crowd?  Barflies, cocktail waitresses, strippers, and hookers.  I like to think that I helped plant that seed about going to the Cornell University’s School of Hotel Management.

Some people, including some aspiring culinary students, don’t realize that being a chef is not all glamour and media accolades.  Earning your chops in a restaurant is a bit like being in the military.  However, at least in the military, a college degree will get you a start as an officer.  Even a B.P.S. in Culinary Arts from the C.I.A. will have many starting out as a garde manger in some restaurants.  Not only do you work long hours, but also plan to work all weekends and holidays – – the big-ticket days for restaurants.  And with the economy these days, it’s getting even tougher.  I spoke to a chef yesterday (he was cut after 12 years of service) who said that many chefs are getting sous chefs cut out from under them, and have had to get back on the line themselves as well as their office duties.  Another chef he knew of, was cut after 17 years of service!  So I am definitely glad that my godson chose the route of a chef AND a scholar with a degree in hotel/restaurant management.

Bargains for the week of June 9 – June 15

BEN & JERRY’S Chocolate Fudge Brownie QUART $1.99 at GROCERY OUTLET!!!
This is NOT a pint, but a FULL QUART!  I don’t know how they do it, but DO let them know their efforts are appreciated!  They also have Delice de France Double Creme Brie 16 oz. & Alouette Brie 20 oz. $3.99! (or $3.19/lb.)  Also a better bargain than the Delice, are the smaller wheels of Alouette Baby Brie Original & Baby Brie with Herbs both at 13.2 oz. $2.99!!!  (or $3.62/lb.)  Still, any one of these bries still beats out the lowest priced brie at either Trader Joe’s or Costco!

Bing Cherries – Sprouts $.99/lb.  Last week Frazier Farms had the cherries at $.99/lb. and now their price is up to $1.49/lb.  The same can be said for the price of blackberries and blueberries.

Blueberries – Stater Brothers $2.99/18 oz. pkg. I almost missed this.  I didn’t whip out my calculator until the last minute, & then realized that this calculates to $.73/4.4 oz. pkg. and beats Frazier Farms $.99/4.4 oz pkg.  Last week Sprouts had blackberries, blueberries, & raspberries on sale for $.99/4.4 oz. pkg, and now their price is up to $1.50/4.4 oz. pkg.  (And shame on you if you didn’t grab some raspberries at that price, cuz I’d be surprised if we saw that price again this season!)

Boneless Chuck Roast – Ralphs $1.99/lb.

Boneless London Broil – Stater Brothers $1.97/lb., Albertsons $1.99/lb.

Bargains for the week of June 2 – June 8

I see that Albertsons currently has a BOGO, or “Buy One Get One FREE” sale. When you see a good deal, always take the time to figure out the cost per pound.  Albertsons three different price tiers for their meats: Select, Choice and Choice Angus (Stockman & Dakota).  Like Vons, Albertons “brands” their Choice Angus beef to distinguish it from their cheaper Select grade of beef. Albertsons BOGO Boneless Chuck Steaks sounded like a good deal until I called the meat dept. & found you had to buy the “MaxPak” quantity of Stockman & Dakota at $6.49/lb.  so that is just under $3.25/lb. and $1.38/lb. more than Food for Less.

Boneless Beef Chuck Steaks – Food for Less $1.87/lb. And the next best price is Von’s Rancher’s Reserve $2.27/lb.

Red Cherries – Frazier Farms $.99/lb. This is not a good deal, this is an awesome bargain! The regular price at other grocery stores has been $1.99/lb. – $2.50/lb.

Yellow Peaches -Food for Less $.77/lb. This is another awesome bargain because the regular price has been hovering around $2.49/lb.

Raspberries, Blackberries, Bluberries – Sprouts $.99/6 oz. basket

Here is a recipe for Bulgogi Beef marinade that you can use with the beef. This is enough for 1 lb. of beef or one of last week’s bargain chickens from Stater Bro. Marinate the thinly sliced beef, or the chicken cut into serving pieces, at least 2 hours or overnight in the frig. Bring meat in marinade to room temperature before grilling.

Bulgogi Beef Marinade
Mix thoroughly until dissolved:
•3 Tbsp chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
•3 Tbsp soy sauce
•2 Tbsp sugar
•1 Tbsp honey
•2 Tbsp fresh squeezed juice from an Asian pear
•1 Tbsp Japanese rice wine (mirin)*
•1 Tbsp sesame oil
•3 green onions, finely chopped (including white part)
•1 tsp pepper

Here is a reprint of my Super Easy Fruit Cobbler recipe for those the peaches and berries:

Super Easy Fruit Cobbler
1 stick melted butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
4 C. 1 inch pieces of fruit or berries
Mix all the above together and pour over fruit or berries. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over batter. Pour 1/2 cup water over sugar and batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Note: For really watery fruit like strawberries, pour only 1/4 water over sugar and batter.

You Heard It Here First!!!

I just got the phone call that I have been selected to be one of 8 Finalists doing a cooking demonstration for The Next Food Network TV Star competition at the San Diego Fair Tour of Tastes Exhibit! I’ll be doing my demonstration on Sat. June 19th 11:30am, so get there EARLY to get a seat and cheer me on!!!

Bargains for the week of May 26 – June 1

I know it’s late, but there is still time to take advantage of these great deals: 

Year’s Best Deal on Whole Chicken! – Stater Brothers $.67/lb.  Tyson brand chicken.

 Whole Tri-Tip – Ralph $1.97/lb. is the cheapest.  Although this is not trimmed, for over $3 difference in price per pound it’s worth the savings to cut the fat off yourself!  If you want trimmed, you’ll have to pay Vons $4.99/lb. (I am not sure, but I think this is the regular price for trimmed at Costco.) 

 Large Scallops – Ralphs $5.99/lb.  This is a great bargain.  Especially if you make sure the scallops you get are not coated in a layer of ice.  (I found that was the case when I saw King Crab Legs on sale there once.) 

 Tomatoes – Grocery Outlet 2 lb./$1  This price is for regular tomatoes, not Roma tomatoes!  Roma tomatoes are even less!!!  While you are there, you may want to grab some Sara Lee Bagels $.99 and see if they have any more discounted Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Yellow Nectarines – Boney’s $.69/lb.

Bananas (Mexican) – Boney’s 4 lbs./$1 (limit 8 lbs.)

Haas Avocados (California) – Boney’s 6/$1 (limit 12)

Peaches (white or yellow) – Boney’s $.69/lb. beats Ralphs $.88/lb.

Blackberries – Sprouts $.99/6 oz. basket 

 Here is my Super Easy Fruit Cobbler recipe for those peaches and blackberries: 

Super Easy Fruit Cobbler  

1 stick melted butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
4 C. 1 inch pieces of fruit or berries
Mix all the above together and pour over fruit or berries. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over batter. Pour 1/2 cup water over sugar and batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
 
Note: For really watery fruit like strawberries, pour only 1/4 water over sugar and batter.