I’ve been kind of lazy about making dinner lately, and what is easier and tastier than grilling some hot dogs or sausages? Grocery Outlet, meanwhile, has had an explosion of sausage choices this week so we were able to try a few new ones.
The winner of this batch was Open Nature Smoked Uncured Sausages. This is actually the Safeway brand of sausages. These are 100% pork sausages. They are pretty big, with four sausages in the 12 oz package, and very tasty. That’s probably because they are full of fat, 23 grams for one of these vs. 15 grams for one of the Gilbert sausages below (which are 1/2 oz smaller). Still, if you’re going for flavor, you can’t go wrong with these sausages. Mike rated them an 8.5.
Gilbert’s Craft Sausages is a very new company (started in 2010) offering “gourmet” uncured beef sausages. I got the beef & cheddar and we thought it was pretty good. Mike would rate it a 6.5. Camila, my 9 yo, liked it – and she can be picky. It had a nice flavor, not very overwhelming, and was pretty juicy. I think I might enjoy it more without the cheddar.
One convenient thing about Gilbert’s sausages is that they are individually wrapped. The bad thing is that they don’t have the type/expiration date printed on the plastic, so I still have to keep the carton in the fridge to remember what they are. A 10 oz package of 4 sausages was, I think, $3 at Grocery Outlet.
Finally, one of my kids like chicken sausages and we often buy the Aidells kind. There were none at Grocery Outlet, buy they had Awesome Apple uncured chicken hot dogs. The 10 oz package has 5. Both kids really liked them and they seem marginally healthier, with 7 grams of fat each. But one kid had to eat two to get full, and the other 3 . Of course, the kids gave them a “10”. My oldest says she prefers these to the sausages as they are thinner and easier to eat, plus they look smaller. Less messy too.
One good thing about these chicken apple hot dogs is that they don’t have pork casings. Aidells chicken sausages don’t either, but other manufacturers do. If you are specifically avoiding eating pork products (as my daughter is), this matters.
Yesterday was my birthday and my mom got me (by proxy) an ice cream cake from Safeway. It was a simple affair, a matter of vanilla ice cream sandwiched by white cake, and it wasn’t the most delicious thing ever, but pretty satisfying. I do think that I like their regular cakes better. They cost about the same, I think.
As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was Mika’s 6th birthday party and as usual I got her a Safeway cake. I’d been going with Safeway cakes for several years – ever since I got a horrible cake from Just Desserts for her welcoming ceremony. Why pay $60+ dollars for something that in the end doesn’t taste good?
Part of the reason I go with Safeway is that there aren’t many choices for cakes in San Leandro. Costco has cheap cakes, but I dislike the frostings (which you know most likely have hydrogenated oils in them) and they only have basic designs, OK when your kid is very young but a problem by the time they are into cartoon characters. (Yes, I’m one of those parents that gives into commercialism and let’s her kids have character parties – I also buy Bratz for Mika! shoot me).
The chinese bakery
has nicely decorated cakes, with cartoon characters and all, but I find their cakes not to be sweet enough. This is a plus for some people, but I’m just not into them.
There is, of course, Marita’s, whom I like to support as they are locally and minority owned -, but while I like their cakes (in particualr their frostings), they don’t offer decorations. Plus I’m not sure you can get a rectangular cake that is less than a 1/2 or full sheet.
Then there is Baskin Robbins. We’ve gotten cakes from there before, and they are usually pretty good – if extremely expensive. Indeed, we were planning to get Mika one of them – but they didn’t have the Bratz decorations she wanted.
So we went for our tried and true Safeway cake. They didn’t have Bratz decorations but they did have Bratz pets decorations (I didn’t even know they existed!) and that was OK with Mika – who by then realized there weren’t many other choices. Plus the good thing about Safeway is that if you don’t want such a junky cake you can order it with whipped cream and strawberries (or another fruit). I usually get the white cake, which is very light, and the results are very good. For Camila’s birthday I actually got the whipped cream and banana cake, and I may have liked it even more. Best of all, the kids love it and I don’t feel they are eating too much sugar.
The one minus about Safeway cakes is that they aren’t cheap. A small, 1/4 sheet cake is about $21! You can get a half-sheet cake for about $16 at Costco. But hey, I’m willing to pay for whipped cream and fresh strawberries (and nice decorations). You can order the cakes just one day in advance, good for us procrastinators.
One thing to keep in mind is that the cake book that they have outside does not include all the decoration options. I was bummed when we didn’t find the Bratz there, but Mika insisted that we ask if they had Bratz anyway. I thought it was futile, but once again my 6-yo proved to be smarter than her mother. They indeed have other cake books under the counter – and usually they carry a Bratz cake. Unfortunately, there is a backorder on Bratz decorations and that’s why we had to go for the Bratz pets, but the point is that even if you don’t see what you want in the book, you should ask.
Anyway, this is a long posting to say that I like Safeway cake.