monday – menus and more

from-the-kitchen1

Let’s see what we’ll be eating this week…

Monday:  eggs in spicy tomato sauce

Tuesday:  pesto pasta with shrimp

Wednesday:  pizza

Thursday:  chicken strips, carrots

Friday:  spaghetti

Saturday:  pulled pork sandwiches

Sunday:  wholewheat pancakes (finally got in the whole wheat buttermilk pancakes last week – yummmm!)

This week’s menu is a lot of pantry items and I’m not planning a lot of fresh fruit and veg.  That’s intentional, I’m not punishing my family.  It’s that we don’t know from one day to the next if we will be at home the next week or so.  I need foods that can keep if they don’t get made.  No nice summer salads this week.  Oh well, at least the weekly pizza is going well.

felix

Our budget was $80, we spent…

Sprouts Farmers Market – $29.63 (savings = $0.10)

Costco – $49.64

Trader Joe’s – $5.50

Vons – $1.17 (savings = $2.80)

Walgreens – $1.16 (savings = $5.60)

A grand total of $87.10.  Not bad considering most of what we bought were bulk items that will last from a few weeks to many months.  Stocking up really can save big bucks when done right.  Thanks to all the coupon experts out there that have made it so easy for me to save money.

felix

It still surprises me how much I enjoy being in the kitchen.  Sometimes.  When it works, it really works.  I have gotten so used to cooking now that it’s not a stretch for me to make from scratch something I don’t have in the cupboard.

Father’s Day dinner was steak, shrimp and a side of pasta.  No veg but the husband was thrilled – all his favorites on one plate.  To top it off I decided to have some ice cream with his wonderful oatmeal chocolate chip cookies crumbled on top.  (Don’t worry, someday I promise to post that recipe so you can all judge for yourself.)

Somehow that didn’t seem like enough though.  I needed chocolate syrup.  I didn’t have any chocolate syrup, haven’t bought it in forever.  No worries, I’ll make some.

What?  Make some?  Make something that can be purchased in a bottle for convenience?

Why that’s just crazy talk.

Yup.  I’m crazy.  Cuckoo.  There I was, in the kitchen after dinner making chocolate syrup.

It took about 5 minutes.  And then we had sundaes.  And they were really good.  You can do it too.  Go ahead, try it.  Chocolate syrup in the fridge whenever you want it?  Life is good.

Here’s the recipe from Cooking Cache.

1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine all of the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a medium saucepan. Mix well.  Cook over medium heat until boiling.  Continue cooking until thick.  Once cool, add vanilla.

(according to Cooking Chache – Cost Analysis: (30 ounces) Store bought: $1.89 Homemade: 90¢)

The real challenge is in waiting until the chocolate is cool to add the vanilla.  I couldn’t.  I needed to eat it right away.  And it was good.  I know I said that already.  But I’m still surprised by the little things in life.

felix

One last food item and I’m out of here.  Some of you may remember my Life to Leftovers conundrum that Jonathan Bloom of Wasted Food helped me out with.  Or I should say his readers helped, much to our mutual delight.

Now I have a similar challenge for you.  I just put about 2 cups of (unpitted) cherries and a handful of grapes in the freezer as they were probably hours away from being past there delicate prime.  The grapes, I know, can be eaten as a frozen treat but what else can they do?  And how about those cherries?  I don’t make pies and I don’t can (yet).

What’s a girl to do?

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4 Comments to “monday – menus and more”

  1. For your grape and cherry dilemma: I love cherries in salad. Also, mix them with a little balsamic vinegar and sugar and spoon it over vanilla ice cream (I also do this with strawberries).
    If brie is in your budget, I once had a brie and grape quesadilla that was out of this world!

  2. German dishes use a lot of fruit in ways that we Americans don’t. I was surprised at how good grapes and apple chunks were in sauerkraut. There are also meat dishes that go wonderfully with fruit.

    My favorite German thing is the tall glass crock where a layer of fruit is added as it comes into season and then is covered with rum or brandy. By the time winter rolls around, there is a tall cylinder filled with luscious fruit in colorful layers to be enjoyed all winter long.

    Polish people make great soups out of fruit as summer coolers. I have had delicious cherry soup but was disconcerted to find noodles in it. It was time for me to grow culturally. The sprig of mint on top was an awesome addition.

  3. Beth, I love the idea of the cherries with balsamic and sugar over ice cream. I think this would work even with the cherries I have in the freezer. And although unique, the brie and grape quesadilla sounds amazing! I might have to budget for that one this summer.

    Joyce, I’m not a sauerkraut fan or much for rum or brandy (although I can see the appeal of that concoction!), the cherry soup sounds quite interesting. I would agree that I would be surprised to say the least to find noodles in it – kind of like if they were in gazpacho.

    Thanks for the suggestions ladies!

  4. Oh yum, that looks soo good! Why do you have to freeze ceirrehs with sugar? Just asking because I found out a guy I know has a whole orchard of sour ceirrehs and I am planning to pick some in the summer

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