top of page

“Grocery Shopping Secrets” is born!

I am excited to announce that my next book, “Grocery Shopping Secrets”, is now available. It is a must-have for the novice cook and an indispensable guide for the more seasoned chef. With rising food prices, my grocery-insider wisdom can help stretch your food dollars. It has never been more important to be a savvy shopper – for quality – for quantity – for your budget.

This book was several years in the making and is an exhaustive reference filled with grocery-insider wisdom on how to select the freshest perishable products as well as advice on proper storage, ensuring perishable foods stay fresher longer. There is nothing more frustrating than discovering an ingredient you have purchased for a recipe is inferior or has past its prime. It also includes a plethora of techniques and tricks I have learned during my years in the kitchen—like making professional-looking fruit and veggie trays, opening a jackfruit, and saving leftover shells from shrimp, crab, and lobster to make seafood stock. To help you take advantage of supermarket specials, I also incorporated directions for freezing everything from milk to fruit to cheese to shellfish.

I grew up in a corner market, living and breathing the grocery business. My father founded a small family-owned chain, Steele’s Markets. Merrill Steele was a perfectionist and quite picky about the products he sold, insisting on stocking only the freshest perishable products and best brand names. The legacy he left me was “how to shop.” I learned to select superior produce much like other children learn the alphabet. And my papa taught me a valuable lesson about cooking. Great meals begin with shopping. The quality of the ingredients used when preparing a meal can be more important than the recipe.


It doesn’t matter if you are vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian or if you are a fan of Ina Garten or the Pioneer Woman, by following my grocery-insider wisdom for selecting and storing produce, meat, fish, dairy, and deli, you will save money because your perishables will be fresher and last longer. And when you use the very best ingredients, the meals you prepare will be more delicious. 

I am excited to share my grocery-insider wisdom with you. It is my hope that my advice will help you survive the economic chaos the 21st century delivered. “Grocery Shopping Secrets” is available on my website at, on Amazon, and at booksellers through IngramSpark. The paperback version has an ISBN number of 978-0-9773485-1-0. And it you are a techie, it is available as an eBook, ISBN number 978-0-9773485-2-7 on both Amazon and Ingram. Download “Grocery Shopping Secrets” on your smart phone, kindle reader, or iPad, and take me grocery shopping with you. 


For those of you that pre-ordered my book, it will be mailed or delivered to you beginning Friday, December 8.


My recipe of the week follows. I made this last night. It is the perfect supper on cold, winter evening.


Salmon Chowder

Serves 4


Serve with crusty bread and a green salad. 


½ pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

½ pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch wide strips (about 6 slices)

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 2 carrots)

1 cup green onions, sliced thin (about 1 bunch)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 cups milk

¾ cup heavy cream

1 ½ pounds salmon fillet, skin discarded and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Fresh minced parsley for garnish


In a large saucepan, place potatoes with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until pieces are tender yet remain firm when pierced with a fork, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.


In a 5-quart heavy kettle, place bacon over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings from the kettle. Add corn and carrots to the kettle and sauté until carrots are tender, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low.


Add green onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes and sauté until green onions are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.


Add milk and heavy cream and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, add potatoes, salmon, bacon, salt, and pepper and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until salmon is cooked through and begins to break up as you stir, about 5 to 8 minutes.


Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.


To serve: Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish with parsley.


From my kitchen to yours, along with a piece of my heart,  


Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,


Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

12 views0 comments


bottom of page