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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cheap & Cheerful suppers for the week

A little more than 1 week listed here. Some of these days were very stressful days, some were very busy and 2 of the days I was sick and could barely pull dinner together.

One of the stressful days I spent in the walk-in clinic with one of my daughters, as she had a longboard accident that required medical attention and stitches. We were there for 3 hours, and when I came home I had to quickly rush putting a dinner together.

One of the days that I was sick, the best I could do for dinner was the chunky tomato-basil soup, made from canned tomatoes and tomato paste. We had leftover biscuits and a pie that I had baked earlier in the week, along with cheese quesadillas made with frozen flour tortillas.

So, for me, it is still possible to pull together something (anything) to eat for the 5 of us, even on hard days. Its just not well-thought out or gourmet, but still frugal. But hey, mom isn't a super-hero!

home-fried tortilla chips, refried black beans, quick salsa, tossed green salad

ham and egg fried rice, with cabbage, radish greens, onions, celery, topped with chopped peanuts

homemade black olive and onion pizza

make-your-own ham and cheese sandwiches, on French bread, with lettuce and pickles, apple slices, mixed nuts, cookies and chocolates

Oven-roasted, teriyaki chicken leg quarters, vegetable fried rice

leftover chicken with canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, with linguine, and sauteed onions, cabbage and kale; rhubarb pie for dessert

Asian chicken soup, Cheddar Bay biscuits, rhubarb pie and strawberries

chunky tomato-basil soup, leftover biscuits, cheese quesadillas, green salad, plum pie
(with the quesadillas -- I had some leftover salsa in the fridge, and just this week I found a bunch of volunteer cilantro in a pot on the deck, from last year's plants, so I added a few leaves of cilantro to the salsa -- yum!))

leftovers from hostessing a reception after a memorial service (sandwiches and other finger food), plus apple wedges and leftover plum pie

tamale pie made with 2 ground beef patties, black beans, olives, canned tomatoes, sweet bell pepper, onion, seasonings, cornbread batter and cheddar cheese

fried corn tortillas, refried black beans, cheddar cheese, slaw-type salad made with cabbage, chopped canned tomatoes, cilantro, chili powder, onion powder, oil, vinegar and salt, fresh strawberries, brownies


  1. All those meals sound pretty good to me! I'm sure you want to put together a nice supper for your family if at all possible, but if you're sick hopefully they would understand and make do with a sandwich or something super simple or pitch in with helping to make something.

  2. That menu looks delicious. I honestly do not put together a meal plan but just seem to know each day what we're having. Monday night I knew I wanted something with pork chunks I had cut and frozen a month or so ago. I pulled those out to thaw and during the day yesterday knew I would be making pork stir fry. I had a lot of vegetable, either in the refrigerator or partial bags in the freezer so we had SEVEN veggies in our pork stir fry. The big debate was if the ginger I grated was a veggie or not and if the garlic was a veggie as well as if the fresh cilantro was a veggie. We decided they were herbs and not a veggie. We had this over jasmine rice and that was dinner.

    Lili, I had this past Monday that was very stressful. My oldest daughter graduated college and had to do exit counseling for student loans (needed my help) and I had a meeting at church but then my dad called and insisted I come over to get fresh spinach and strawberries but dinner was needing to be made as well. I had to work quickly to get it all done before my church meeting and fell into bed sometime that night (I didn't even look at the clock). Some days are like that though.

    It really is a busy life we lead but I am glad to have my parents still with us and doing well and my kids still lean on us for help as they enter the true adult world and for that I'm thankful.

    Now, what's for dinner tonight? Still thinking on that one. We have to pick strawberries and mom and dad's place....maybe we'll have strawberries and ice cream over there and then come home for a homemade deep dish pizza.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Congratulations to your daughter! How exciting!

      My two have finals today and tomorrow. The Friday is a vacation day for them before work begins next week. We're still not sure if one of my daughters will be able to work, yet. Her arm is still quite swollen, and the stitches are not healed yet. She's been back to have her arm checked once and will go back again today. Next week they're supposed to take out stitches. We'll just have to wait and see how it heals. Thank goodness she was wearing her helmet!

      Tonight's dinner, here, will probably be black bean tacos and strawberries.
      Have a great day!

  3. Hi Lili,

    what a great array of meals you managed to create this week, despite the obstacles you were faced with. your family is so very fortunate that you are able to put together nutritious and delicious meals without much repetition AND on a very tight budget. You're a rock star Lili!


  4. OK, now I'm starving! Is there a trick to making teriyaki chicken? Mine always seems to come out with the glaze all black and yucky - like the sugar in it burns or something.

    1. Hi Cat,
      I don't know if there's a trick or not. But I brown the chicken pieces in a skillet first, then bake in the very liquidy marinade. My homemade teriyaki isn't terribly sugary and is very thin. After baking the chicken, I take what's left of the marinade, reduce it in the skillet that I browned the chicken pieces in and thicken with some corn starch. That's what I pour over the baked chicken pieces, to glaze them.

  5. I didn't even know what a longboard was until I looked it up. I hope your daughter heals quickly. Will they hold her job for her if it takes longer than expected to heal?

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Thank you. She hasn't contacted her boss, yet, but is waiting to hear what the nurse says today. If the nurse says she can do "light" work for the first week or two, that's what my daughter will tell her boss and see if he's on board with that. But I do think, barring needing surgery, her job would be there for her. She's on a team of housekeepers at the university, and they can always use help.

      One really great thing about being a student at a university -- right after the accident, I took her to a nearby walk-in clinic for initial treatment. But every day, since, she's been able to go to the Health Center on campus and have her dressing changed and injuries/sutures evaluated. The Health Center is open for another week, too. So, if she can do light work, she can get her arm looked at everyday next week, too, or if something just doesn't feel right, she can quickly pop over there.

      Thanks for your well-wishes.

  6. Hope your life is back to normal stress levels...we had some ER visits and a doctor visit for my dad, so these past few weeks have not been normal for us either. Insurance is taking a long time to approve an MRI test for him, so we still dont know why he can't sit, stand or walk.

    Even for a stressful week, your meals are so balanced and flavorful. We've had meals on the fly, mostly concerned with how he is eating.


    1. Hi YHF,
      Oh no! I'm sorry to hear your dad isn't well right now! I'll pray that his medical team can figure out what is wrong, and provide the proper treatment for him. How very worrying!

      Take care of yourself, during all of this. Stress can wear you out, and because you're so focused on your dad, you won't realize it until you find yourself exhausted or ill, yourself. Sending hugs.

    2. Thank you for your prayers and kind words. The saddest part is my dad is not senile and cannot accept his disabled condition. Just a few weeks ago he was digging a large hole in the back yard, mining for coral rocks to use in a project. Even in his disabled state he is telling my husband how to do the mining. Work never stops.



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