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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for a Cool March


I missed an extra week of Cheap & Cheerful Suppers. I'll try to remember everything we had, but there are a few days in there where I didn't write down what we had that are foggy.

Friday
pepperoni pizza, stuffed grape leaves, dried figs -- a very Mediterranean meal

Early last fall, I froze a bunch of grape leaves from our vines. I rolled about 20 small to medium sized leaves up, then wrapped those in several big leaves and tied with thread. The big leaves are for lining the cooking pan and placing on top of the stuffed small and medium leaves to hold it all down while cooking. I stuffed this batch with rice, garlic, onion , chives, dill, salt/pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and squirt of lemon juice. I steamed them with some chicken stock. These were such a treat in late winter. wOrking with the frozen, then thawed leaves is just a little trickier than working with fresh. The frozen/thawed leaves cling to each other and take patience to separate them all, but worth it. The figs were from our two fig trees. We don't usually get enough ripe figs to dry, but in 2021 we did. So delicious!

Saturday
bean and TVP enchiladas, sautéed garden greens and onions

Sunday
rice, scrambled eggs with cheese and sausage, steamed carrots

Monday
tuna sandwiches, Cole slaw (using last of Napa cabbage and red cabbage), canned pineapple chunks

I needed an easy dinner. I've been working hard on several fronts and too tired to do anything time-consuming.

Tuesday
bean with bacon soup, bran muffins

Wednesday
scrambled eggs, rice, steamed carrots, radish green salad

One of my daughters cooked tonight and I gave her this easy menu. I know scrambled eggs aren't considered dinner fodder in some households. My family has often had breakfast foods like scrambled eggs at dinner time.

Thursday
TVP spaghetti, canned green beans, cupcakes

This was the day I had some bad family news. Our plans had been to make a deep dish pizza and watch a movie. Instead, we threw together this simple spaghetti meal and put off the pizza and movie for the next night.

Friday
deep dish pizza (recipe courtesy of Kraft Foods from the 1980s -- my daughters love these vintage manufacturer recipes), steamed broccoli

Saturday & Sunday - I think we had some sort of Mexican refried beans and tortillas meal one night and lentil soup and rolls the other. I don't recall what else we had with these meals.

Monday
brown rice, peanut and vegetable sauce, bread pudding with fruit sauce

Tuesday
cream of green soup (using garden greens), garlic-Parmesan toast

Wednesday
tuna noodle casserole, radish green salad, rice pudding (leftover rice from Monday and a half slice of very stale bread I found in the fridge) plus the rest of fruit sauce

Thursday
KFC chicken-potato-corn-gravy-cheese bowls, radish green and watercress salad, carrot sticks, banana bread

I have to thank Alice for the KFC bowl idea. I had all of the ingredients on hand and this sounded easy and tasty. My family loved these!

I baked a couple of times during this period, bread, banana bread, muffins, no-bake cookies, and scratch cupcakes. I used some of our old, old and flat cola from Christmas season 2020 as the liquid and part of the sugar in the banana bread. It worked just fine and there's no cola flavor. This soda is flat and no one wants it now. So, I thought I'd use it as part of the sugar and the liquid in various recipes. I've done sloppy Joe mix and baked beans with flat soda, too. I just hate to throw it out. 

I actually did remember most of what we've had these last two weeks. How was your week? Any special meals or snacks you enjoyed?

17 comments:

  1. Lili,
    Im sorry that you had so many bad health news recently. I missed reading your posts a few days ago. I pray and send light to you and your family, and healing thoughts to your stepmother.
    I wish I could chime in more about food preparation, but my husband does 99% of the kitchen work. My only task is cleaning up. He's the picky eater so the task naturally fell on his lap. Also he's taken over the kitchen to give me more time to craft.

    Have a wonderful day,
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, Laura. I really appreciate them. It sounds like the division of chores has worked out well for you and your husband, Laura. Your husband gets the meals how he likes them and you have time to create.

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  2. We like to have breakfast food for dinner. We usually have cereal for breakfast, so scrambled eggs are a treat.

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    Replies
    1. I enjoy most breakfast foods any time of the day, Live and Learn. They always taste great and are easier to make. We've never done cold cereal for breakfast, but I've simply made oatmeal on a couple of occasions, most often when I'm not feeling well but still need to make something for the family. Whatever works.

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  3. Nothing really special here although I did make a couple loaves of french bread and kept one and gave one to my parents. I also found two containers of peach jam in my freezer so parents got one and we kept one. Still can't figure out how to cook for two people. So we end up eating the same thing two nights in a row or alternate nights with the same thing. Today there are no leftovers so I have to think of something. With a freezer full of food I can't think of a single thing to make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice,
      After my dad passed away, I remember my stepmom discussing the difficulties in cooking for one. Her solution was mostly cooking a regular sized meal and portioning for the freezer so she could rate the leftovers, which sounds a lot like how you've managed cooking for two. When my grandmother was widowed, I noticed that she no longer cooked very much and would rely on some simple convenience foods. I think it is hard to transition from cooking for a large family to cooking for only one or two.

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  4. I can't believe you remembered all those meals! I struggle to remember 1 week's worth! Monday we had turkey stew and rolls, Tuesday was spaghetti, Wednesday was an odd day because my daughter was in an honor's band special event so she ate pizza at school while my husband and I finished the stew and rolls. Thursday I made meatloaf with hamburger I got on sale earlier this winter, and baked potatoes. Tonight I think I'll make Thai style chicken thighs and polenta. We have eaten green beans from our freezer or spinach salads as a side. I need to bake something today since the peanut butter cookies are gone. And that's it!

    We also like "brinner", but I am more likely to make pancakes or huevos rancheros or an egg casserole. I have a friend whose husband refuses to eat breakfast for dinner. I'm thankful mine is fine with doing that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      Some weeks I can't remember what I ate the previous day. I just happened to remember most of what we ate and I had notes from several of the days. Your meals sounds delicious and filling. I haven't made polenta in a while. I'll have to do that again soon. Do you use polenta cornmeal or just regular cornmeal? My father would've balked at breakfast for dinner in my house growing up. My mom would make soufflés instead of other egg dishes, and he was okay with that. Otherwise, we had breakfast for dinner only when he was out of town. He was a real meat and potatoes guy.

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    2. I use polenta cornmeal for polenta--I think it's the Bob's Red Mill brand. I make it in a crockpot, which I have found to be much simpler--1 cup of cornmeal to 3 cups of water on low for about 4 hours. No stirring it on the stovetop!

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    3. Hi Kris,
      Thanks for this. I'll try polenta in the crockpot.

      Delete
  5. I love the suggestion on how to use up flat soda. Have some left from the holidays. Your meals sound delicious, varied and very nutritious. I will try to recall some of our meals. We don't mind having the same thing more than once so that us a big relief. We've had meatloaf, scratch pizza, a beef roast, pulled pork. Sides have been salad, potatoes, green beans, rice, peas. Dessert was strawberry cake or fruit salad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh yum, Linda. Strawberry cake sounds so spring-like and delicious! I don't mind leftovers, either. We're still in that phase where leftovers don't last long. All of your meals are just my sort of thing.

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  6. Well, I'd intended to still be gone backpacking this week, but after getting caught in cold rain Monday afternoon, decided to come home on Tuesday. So it was planning on the fly this week.
    Wednesday-Italian Wedding Soup and homemade bread for my family, homemade garlic toast for me made from some gluten-free Artisan bread pulled from the freezer.
    Thursday-Toasted "subs" on ciabatta buns from Aldi for my family--bread spread with butter seasoned with garlic powder, oregano, and salt, with ham, salami, and provolone layered on one side, and all of it toasted, served with a side of "potato puffs" purchased in the freezer section at Aldi. My meal the same but on more of the GF Artisan bread from the freezer
    Friday-homemade pizza night, family's crust homemade, mine also homemade from the same GF Artisan bread dough (got this recipe from the Let Them Eat Gluten Free Cake blog and am loving it's utility)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love details on your trip? Where did you go, what did you see?

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    2. Kris, I backpacked the Oklahoma side of the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. It was beautiful, as always (I've section hiked the 223 mile trail in it's entirety twice, and many parts at least 3-4 times), and nice to have a few days of solitude in the woods. Don't know a good way to share pics here, though I documented my journey on facebook, day by day, if you're on there at all. I'm a now 11 year thyroid cancer survivor, and have had two recalls on my meds over the past year and a half, so feel like I'm just now getting back to feeling more "normal" for me in getting my dosage on the newest med pretty close to where it needs to be. So I felt like I struggled with just 12 mile days this trip, which was frustrating. But have got to start back somewhere.

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    3. Cat, I know you are frustrated with not feeling like you are back to your baseline, but 12 miles in a day would be a lot for me (and I don't have a cancer history AND I only do day hikes, so I'm not carrying a heavy pack like a backpacker would be) so I'm very impressed. My family likes to hike and I appreciate hearing about different places to go. We've never gone to that area before so I'll have to keep it in mind Thanks for responding!

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    4. Hi Cat,
      I'm sorry your trip got cut short due to rain. I hope you get a chance to redo the trip soon. I'm with Kris, here -- 12 mile days sound extremely impressive. I imagine you worked your way up to that level. I'm glad that you can take these sort of trips for some quiet time in nature.

      Those toasted subs sound tasty and just the sort of thing my family would love. I'll have to try those soon.

      Delete

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