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Friday, April 22, 2016

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for mid-April


Pumpkin soup (made from mashed potatoes in freezer, frozen pumpkin, frozen ham)
Scratch biscuits

Saturday (birthday dinner)

Chicken enchiladas (from freezer)
Mexican chicken and vegetable soup (from freezer)
Homemade corn tortillas chips (daughter made)
Scratch birthday cake


Leftover enchiladas
Frozen green beans
Fruit salad (apple, banana, last of strawberries from making birthday cake)
Leftover cake


Leftover pumpkin soup
Pasta and veggie salad
French bread
Leftover cake


Hamburgers on
Homemade buns with first lettuce from the garden!
Apple wedges
Oven-roasted potatoes and carrots


Mexi-style beans and rice (with canned tomatoes and black olives)
Rhubarb-blackberry jello
Carrot sticks and dip

Thursday (simple dinner, spent the day in the garden)

Bean, ham and veggie soup
Apple wedges
Homemade bread with butter

Another week of simple meals. We had beautiful weather all week long, so I spent as much time as I could in the garden. Which meant not so much time for cooking. No matter -- dreary weather will return soon enough and I can spend more time in the kitchen, then.

You know, even on a warm day, coming into the house and breathing deep the aromas coming from soup in the crockpot, it really took me by surprise yesterday afternoon. I had a breif moment of thinking, "wow, who's cooking something? That smells amazing!" I had to laugh as it was my humble bean, ham and veggie soup.

I'm working at using up foods from the pantry and freezer these weeks. The fridge is constantly looking bare. But I think this is what it will take to get some organization taken care of in both the freezer and the pantry. The bonus is that to do this, I'm just not buying as much at the store this month, so I'll be saving a nice chunk of change, to put towards the stock up months to come.

Did you have a favorite meal this past week? What were the easy to make dishes on your menu?


  1. I think the crockpot is our modern version of the pot simmering away over the fire. :-)

    Your meals sound wonderful. I am a huge soup fan, but my daughter isn't as keen on them as I am. I always look forward to my daughter in law visiting because she loves soups as much as I do.

    My favorite meal this week was actually easy peasy. One day for lunch I simply made a scrambled egg and cheese wrap (flour tortilla). I don't know why but it had the best taste of any eggs I had had in a long time.

    1. Hi Busy Bee,
      I think you're right about how the crockpot is the modern-day equivalent of the pot over the fire, the literal fire.

      Isn't that funny how something so simple can be just the right meal? I can imagine how that egg and cheese wrap just really hit the spot!

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Hi Lili,
    Again, your meals look delicious with no fuss.

    Our refrigerator and freezer is also looking quite bare. We did such a good job eating from the freezer the last three weeks with hubby recuperating but now it looks bare and yet there is still so much goodness in there!

    I broke my own rules a couple of times in the last couple of weeks and bought boxes of hamburger helper since my wick was burning at both ends. I needed an easy out. But we had salads with our helper meals and I made homemade pizza on Sunday and froze some for a later meal. Chicken noodle soup was made on Wed. night using some old carrots and old celery and a sprouting onion for a meal tonight. Thurs. was dinner at MIL. Leftovers were on one night also. I had stockpiled a lot of yogurt and eggs to last the month of April but we did have to run to the store for milk a couple of times. I have some discounted milk again so that might get frozen for a later date.

    I think tortilla breakfast wraps sounds good, Busy Bee. I might just do that for tomorrow. After breakfast I will have to get a few groceries. Not a lot but since hubby gets up every night and eats a bowl of cereal we're running low on cereal. This is temporary and soon he'll sleep through the night again and then he won't eat so much cereal.


    1. Hi Alice,
      There are times when I resort to quick convenience food, too. And with your husband still recovering from surgery, I would imagine this would be one of those times for you. A box or two of Hamburger Helper won't damage your health or break the bank. And as far as the money goes, that was much cheaper than going through the drive-through to pick up burgers and fries for dinner. Plus you added a salad with it, so it was more rounded than if it had just been burgers and fries.

      Chicken noodle soup sounds delicious to me right now! It's a little early for lunch for me, but I must be getting hungry.

      Have a great weekend, Alice!

  3. My husband just planted lettuce seeds this past week. Your fresh lettuce sounds good. It's the time of year when I start craving greens from the garden.

    I always feel like I'm flunking a memory test when I try to remember what meals we ate this past week. :) I made one of our favorites last night, sweet and sour smoked turkey sausage with veggies over rice. I think I'll make cheesy chicken chowder for dinner and I'm baking soda bread right now. It was a foggy, murky morning, so soup sounded good ... but now the sun is out so it's less appealing. Oh well.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Oh, how exciting. Your lettuce will sprout very soon!
      Your dinner sounds delicious, even if the day didn't end as murky as it began. I'm sure it was enjoyed by all.

      Have a great weekend, Kris!

  4. Hooray for the first lettuce from the garden. No matter what it is, the first thing from the garden always tastes so good.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Those first salads feel like something to celebrate. Garden-fresh produce has so much flavor. I hope Uncle Billy's garden is getting planted about now!

      Have a great weekend, live and learn!

  5. Your meals sound great as always! I don't know why but I have been having a terrible time with meals this week, just could not figure out what I wanted to make. Oh I keep meaning to tell you that I have made the cheesy rice bake two times since you posted the recipe & it is a hit. I did change it up a bit as I don't care for cooked spinach, raw I like but not cooked. So I put in a can of mushrooms & more olives, the first time I made it I had just a bit of leftover sausage I diced up & threw in & used mozzarella cheese. We both liked it, the second time I put a bit of leftover ham in & used cheddar cheese, Both were very good, but we both liked it with the cheddar a little more. Thank You so much for posting that recipe, I think I will be making it often! Oh & hubby says leftover hot dogs cut up in there might be good too, I'm not so sure on that one.

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      I go through phases when I just can't think of what to make. That's usually when I enlist help from my daughters. But sometimes even then, I just don't feel like eating even their good suggestions. I don't know what comes over me, maybe it's fatigue, not enough sleep, or needing something new and fresh in my life. Just know that you're not alone. I think we all go through those weeks.

      I love that rice bake. I've made it as breakfast a couple of times, too. It's a great pre-made breakfast (in small-ish casserole dishes) for the freezer. Then it's a matter of thawing a casserole and microwaving the servings. I'm glad you and your husband enjoy it so well.

      Have a great weekend, Rhonda!

  6. Hello,

    I've recently found your blog and I'm learning a lot.

    I do have one question: somewhere in your past posts you mention storing veg. oil in the refrigerator but somewhere else you talk about buying 35 gallon containers of oil at the restaurant supply. do you store the 35 gallon containers in your refrigerator after you open them? This is something I would like to buy, but I can't keep 35 gallons of oil refrigerated. :( thanks,
    barbara (in Tennessee)

    1. Hi Barbara,
      Oh my, 35 gallons of oil would be a lot! It's a 35-lb box/jug of oil. 35 pounds of oil is equal to about 4.375 gallons. And the oil can be transferred to cleaned out containers, like 1-gallon vinegar jugs. Although, as our house stays on the cool side most of the year, I only store the one or two of gallons in the garage fridge, and keep the large container in the pantry, to refill my in-use jug of oil.
      Good luck with your stocking up.

      Have a great weekend, Barbara!

    2. Hi Lili,

      I did mis'read, didn't I? :) Thanks so much, hope you have a great weekend, too!


  7. Hi Lili,
    Your meals sound great! We had a lot of salads this week. The weather was in the high 90s at the first of the week. We had taco salad, chicken,chick peas,sweet potatoe,celery and avocado salad with HM oil,vinegar,ginger dressing. We had hamburger and potatoes with green beans. Chicken,carrots,celery and potatoes. Not real creative but ended up being no spend week so that was good.
    Have a great week end.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Oh yum! I love taco salad and can hardly wait for them, here! your salad with the ginger dressing sounds so yummy! As you can see, many of my meals are just basic foods, too. They don't have to be super creative to get the job done. And as you said, the week ended up a no spend one, so kudos to you!!

      Have a great weekend, Patti!

  8. Ooooo garden lettuce! I planted some spinach, kale and chard, but it's only just starting to come up. Hopefully I'll get some before it bolts. I did harvest a few scallions though and it's sooo nice to have something fresh from the garden to add to the mix.

    I think my favorite meal was a Mexican salad made with lettuce, spinach, arugula, avocado, scallions, oregano, tomato and avocado - did I mention the avocado? :-) Anyhow, I tossed it with a lime juice dressing and it was yummy. I'm not sure why, but for some reason if I put the salad in a bowl and actually toss it with the dressing instead of just pouring the dressing on top it tastes much better. I served it black bean burgers on the side and my mouth is watering remembering it!


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