Friday, April 19, 2019

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers From the Last Two Weeks

I somehow forgot to post last week's Cheap & Cheerful menus. Oops! Life gets busy, right? Getting on with it, here are menus from both this past week and the week before.

Saturday  4/6
bean soup and toast

Sunday  4/7
spinach, canned tomato, onion, and mozzarella frittata
home fries

Monday  4/8
cabbage, carrot, peas, and garlic chive fried rice, topped with eggs

Tuesday  4/9
bean burritos
cole slaw
these brownies, following the oven-baking suggestions, and frosted with cocoa icing

Wednesday 4/10
seafood casserole w/ cod, peas, pasta, frozen cream soup, onions, lemon juice, bay seasoning
sorrel pesto on French bread
steamed carrots

Thursday 4/11
vegetarian chili, using pinto beans, canned tomatoes, TVP, onions, seasonings, topped with cheese
cornmeal pancakes (quicker than baking cornbread)

Friday 4/12
burrito bowls -- leftover brown rice, leftover refried beans, taco meat from the freezer, canned corn, homemade salsa, homemade plain yogurt
Menchie's frozen yogurt freebie

Saturday 4/13
hot dogs in biscuit dough buns
oven-roasted potato wedges
green beans

Sunday  4/14
scrambled eggs and pancakes

Monday 4/15
spinach, onion, tomato, and beef meatloaf
mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy (from a packet)
sauteed cabbage and onions

Tuesday 4/16
bean burritos
cole slaw
apple wedges
German chocolate cake

Wednesday 4/17
almost-vegan chili (used beef fat to saute the onions)
garlic bread
German chocolate cake

Thursday 4/18
chicken pot pie casserole
(This was a meal at our church where I provided the casserole, and salad, fruit and cookies were provided by others.)

Friday 4/19
chicken pot pie
(I cooked big for Thursday's casserole and made an extra for tonight.)

Sunday (4/7) breakfast -- overnight cinnamon rolls, yogurt, granola. Saturday afternoon I was working on the egg soap project. By evening, I was still in a project-sort-of-mindset, so I stayed up late cooking and baking. I made a batch of granola as well as the cinnamon rolls for a bit of a selection the next morning, as well as snacks to keep on hand for early in the week.

On Tuesday (4/9), I made a batch of salsa to go in the bean burritos. For the salsa, I used canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder, chipotle powder, salt, vinegar, and lemon juice, all simmered in a stainless pot for about 20 minutes. It didn't seem to matter that I didn't have jalepenos.

Wednesday (4/10) -- the sorrel pesto was inspired by a suggestion from Allie in the comments from March.  Allie had mentioned that an upscale restaurant in LA serves a sorrel pesto rice dish, so I thought, "why not?" I made my sorrel pesto with sorrel leaves, garlic, pine nuts, mozzarella cheese, salt, and oil. It was delicious spread on French bread. You may already know this, but you can use many different greens to make a pesto. Pesto based on other greens won't have the same basil flavor (obviously), but it can be delicious in its own right. Radish green pesto is a popular one and is a terrific use of the abundant leaves when buying or harvesting a bunch of radishes.

Friday (4/12) -- Menchie's is a self-serve frozen yogurt place. They have several deals going on at any time. Currently, if you sign up for their app, you can get a $5 off coupon. $5 will buy a modest-sized yogurt sundae. They're sold by the ounce, so you do need to be careful not to take too much if you want to stay beneath the $5 threshold. You can use the scale at the register to gauge your sundae as you're building it. Anyway, my daughters and husband downloaded the app for the $5 coupons while I used a birthday coupon. Menchie's offers a $5 coupon to use any time during your birthday month.

Monday (4/15) is when I began to earnestly cut back on butter and vegetable oil use in cooking. I now have both beef and chicken fat set aside to use in cooking this next week. For the chicken pot pies that I made for Thursday (4/18), I used some skin-on chicken leg quarters and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The leg quarters have lots of fat. After simmering the chicken parts in water, I removed the meat and put the bones, skin, and most of the simmering liquid into the crockpot to draw out even more fat. Chilling the broth left a nice layer of fat to skim off of the top of the liquid and a very delicious soup stock to use in cooking. To save additional butter or oil in baking, in the comments earlier this week, Kris made a really great suggestion for treats that I need to bring to coffee hour at the end of the month. Kris suggested meringues. Meringues are very inexpensive cookies to make at home, using no fat at all. They're also easy to make, and since they don't spread, a whole batch can be baked at the same time.

Tuesday (4/16) was my birthday. My daughter bought some apples to share, so she added them to that night's dinner. I'll be honest, after not having any apples for a couple of months, those apples tasted so good. My daughters made a small cake for my birthday, as well, topping it with the traditional coconut frosting, substituting chopped almonds for the recipe's pecans.

Despite my momentary panic-stricken bouts, we're doing okay with groceries and meals. I think that we're eating pretty well. My current mantra is as follows: "I only have to manage one day and one crisis at a time. No need to worry about tomorrow's crisis, today." Everything will work out. We will have plenty of food. I just need to have faith that the answers will be provided to me. And I am so thankful that some of those answers have come from you all, here.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy Easter!