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Friday, August 19, 2016

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for mid-August

Lazy lasagna before baking


peanut butter sandwiches


Vegetarian Mexi-lasagna
Apple wedges
Garden green beans


Leftover Mexi-lasagna topped with enchilada sauce
Green beans
Fruit salad of blackberries, apples, pears and dried cranberries in jelly "dressing"


Herb-crusted pork roast
Pasta with marinara sauce
French bread with pesto
Green salad with homemade vinaigrette
Fresh blackberries


Black bean, brown rice, cheese burritos, with leftover enchilada sauce in place of salsa, rolled into homemade flour tortillas
Garden green beans and carrots
Fresh blackberries


Kale frittata topped with mozzarella and homemade marinara sauce (using some of the eggs I froze when I got a great deal in batches of 6, garden kale, onion and garlic powder)
Homemade French bread (fresh and soft!)
Rhubarb and blackberry gelatin


Lazy Lasagna
Garden green beans
Leftover rhubarb and blackberry gelatin

I've been making French bread for our daily bread, this month. It's faster and has fewer pans to clean up than my sandwich loaf. So I can make bread on days when I will only be home for part of the day. I can start a batch at 3 PM, and have fresh bread for dinner at 6:30 to 7:00. I do 2 loaves at a time, and this is enough bread to get us through about 3 days. French bread is a good homemade bread for busy days/seasons.

Another time saving thing I've been doing for busy days, lately, is throwing together casseroles in the morning, then baking in the late afternoon. On Saturday, I had an event to go to during the afternoon, so I knew I would walk in the door and have to get dinner on the table with little time. In the morning, I made the Mexi-lasagna, which was leftover rice mixed with cooked black beans, some seasonings and oil, then layered in a casserole dish with corn tortillas and cheddar cheese. It was quite good, and I'd made enough that there were leftovers for the next night. On Thursday, I got to go to the zoo with one of my daughters. Her employer puts on a family day each summer, at some venue in the Seattle area. This year, it happened to be the zoo, where my other daughter works. So, first daughter and I spent the afternoon at the zoo and met up with the second daughter when her work day ended. It was a super fun day, but I also knew I'd have to put dinner on the table in a matter of minutes, after coming home, so I made a lazy lasagna casserole in the AM, to be baked when I walked in the door in the evening.

How did your week go? Is summer winding down for you? Are you busier than normal? Or is summer still at it's usual pace? I feel like we're cramming in every last bit of summer fun and work, these days. So, not a lot of spare time.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I love visiting zoos. Besides watching animals, there is usually some interesting landscaping. The day you had with your daughters sounds like a lot of fun.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      It was a very fun day. I haven't been to the zoo in over 10 years. So much to see. I think I'll always like the big cats best. They're just so elegant. And it was really nice to spend a weekday with my daughters.

  2. Hi Lili,

    Your meals sound delicious. In spite of by busy week we at all home cooked except one.

    Sat. was sandwiches which we were supposed to take to the lake for a picnic but was cancelled due to rain.
    Sun. rice and chicken casserole
    Mond. and Tues. one or the other was tostados and Stouffers vegetable lasagna.
    Wed. was leftover chicken thai soup with potato wedges
    Thurs. BBQ on buns with a salada
    Fri. I never know until I get home.

    I'm intentionally not shopping much right now. All three kids will be gone in two weeks so I don't want an overload of food in the house. Freezer foods are OK to have but not a lot of perishables. We've made headways into using all the fresh produce and that has slowed down quite a bit. Kind of sad too since that means summer is almost done.

    Maybe we should go visit the local zoo. I haven't been to this one in many years. It is supposed to rain this weekend so it probably won't happen this week. I do recall how stinky a zoo can be and I don't love that.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Ha ha -- your comment on the smell of a zoo. Every time we'd come to where an exhibit was supposed to be but not see anything we'd sniff to determine if there were animals nearby. Yes, it does smell! One animal we saw, a type of wolf smells like skunk. I mentioned to the daughter who works at the zoo this summer the skunk smell, and she said yes, that was the wolf.

      Your meals all sound good. I'm sorry your picnic was rained out. Is the lake close to where you live?

    2. Laughing at two things ... one is Lili's PB&J meal (yay Lili! Sometimes easy is best!) and Alice's comment that "I never know until I get home" for her Friday meal--I can sure relate to both of those comments. :)

      Alice, we have had good luck at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids--it IS stinky by the camels but the rest of the zoo doesn't seem too bad (or maybe my sinuses are clogged ...). I like it because they have a good variety of animals but the zoo itself can be seen in 1 1/2 to 2 hours AND you can bring a picnic lunch along. I think the price is reduced after the school season starts--bonus!

      My meals this week:
      Monday--baked chicken, corn on the cob, green beans, peach/blueberry fruit cup
      Tuesday--Sweet and sour turkey sausage with pineapple/green pepper/onion, rice, green beans, peach/blueberry fruit cup
      Wednesday--tacos (garden tomatoes available!), refried beans, cucumber slices, peach/blueberry fruit cup
      Thursday--tuna noodle casserole, green beans, cottage cheese, blueberry/banana fruit cup
      Friday--BLTs (probably without the lettuce, unless my husband can scare some up from the garden), green beans, cottage cheese, blueberry/banana fruit cup

      You can sure tell what fresh fruits and veggies are available by everyone's menus! I am finding that my kids have both hit a growth spurt so I am preparing more food and having "filler" items available (cottage cheese being a big one--the protein helps, I think!)

    3. Hi Kris,
      your meals sound delicious! Now I'm hankering for some peaches and blueberries! Your Monday dinner sounded so summery and fresh. We haven't had any corn on the cob yet. I think a run down to the produce stand after a morning appointment sounds in order, today!

      Oh I understand on the filler foods. There's always someone in the family who needs more. Cottage cheese sounds like a healthy one. I've also done leftover brown rice on the side, or bread and butter -- not high in protein, but always available.

      Have a great weekend, Kris!

    4. I'm in a summer cooking funk. I just don't feel like cooking. :) My Monday dinner was actually something I could prep quickly--the kids and I went to visit a friend and her 2 little boys in Lansing, the state capitol, which is about 1 1/2 hours away. We toured the Capitol building and went to the Michigan History Museum (the Capitol was free, the museum was inexpensive), plus had lunch with them, so after 3 hours on the road, I didn't feel like making anything labor-intensive.

      We do a lot of rice, potatoes, and beans--I pull out the cottage cheese when I think our main meal is low on protein.

      I also hope your weekend is great!

  3. A day at the zoo sounds wonderful. Sadly ours is 3 hours away not taking into account traffic. We rarely go because to spend a full day usually requires an overnight stay.

    I love casseroles. The ease of pulling them together and the way the flavors meld. I made a quick Shepherd's Pie using lentils following the same principles. Tonight will be stir fry...another on the table in 30 minutes dish.

    1. Hi Busy Bee,
      Shepherd's Pie using lentils sounds yummy! I love lentils for how quickly they cook up. Too bad about the zoo being so far away. But even with ours just 45 minutes away, I've only been there a few times in the last 28 years. but I'm so glad I went yesterday.
      I hope you have a good weekend!

  4. I haven't been to the zoo in ages either...

    Meals this week have been a complete lost to me...I had a colonoscopy done on Tuesday, so I had to completely unfocus on usual meal prep. My husband fended all meals for himself on Sunday and Monday. I couldn't eat any vegetables and fiber foods on Sunday, and Monday was an all clear diet. The doctor removed 6 polyps, a complete shock, so I'm still reeling over the news. I simply can't focus on food these past few days, and have been just eating whatever I find.

    I know I'm at higher risk of colon cancer since my father had colon cancer but survived, his brothers weren't as lucky. I've been having colonoscopies every five years since I bleed with fissures and have diverticulosis (constipation issues), but no polyps were ever found. I'm trying to keep things in perspective, that maybe finding these polyps is a blessing, because now I'll be getting a screening every 3 years, otherwise if no polyps were found, the screening would have probably been pushed to 10 years, and should a polyp grow cancerous in that period it would have been too late since I bleed occasionally for other reasons and would have missed early detection. It was a real struggle to get a colonoscopy every 5 years, the GI doctor wanted to push it to 10 years at the last colonoscopy saying my father having colon cancer at age 70 is average risk, imagine...I would have probably have cancer (one of the 6 polyps might have turned cancerous) if the next screening was pushed to 2021.

    OK....nuff said. I'm OK, and grateful.

    Have a restful, good weekend!!


    1. YHF, this is a blessing. I am so proud of you for keeping up with your colonoscopies. Finding them at polyp stage is the way to fight this disease, until there is something better. I am at high risk for breast cancer. Although I hate going for mammograms and biopsies, I know that in the long run, this will be part of how I fight that disease. You are facing down a disease that many people die from, simply because they are too afraid to keep up with the screenings.

      You take care of you, and I'll take care of me, and 20, 30 years from now, we'll both still be here. I'll probably still be blogging and you'll still be commenting!

      Have a great weekend! And bask in the knowledge that you beat those polyps!

    2. YHF good job pushing the doctor. We have to be our advocats. Especially if cancer runs in our family. I will be praying for you.

    3. Thank you for your prayers and support, Lili and Patti :)

      Lili, I had to chuckle reading that in 20, 30 years, we'll still be here. I know you will always live in my heart and mind. You have already been a big influence in my life, especially with our frugal efforts at home. There is not a day that goes by that I don't bring up your name in a conversation.

      Patti, I agree, and hope all continues to be well with you too. Thank you so much for your prayers. I haven't gotten the biopsy results yet, so I still have my fingers crossed, although the doctor said don't be too concerned. I know someone who gets around 18 polyps routinely removed every couple of years, so I guess they see the gamut of cases.


    4. @ Lili

      You recommend to "keep up with the screenings" obviously repeating the claims of the mainstream cancer industry.

      But it was found that routine cancer screening tests do not notably reduce cancer mortality (see this study: "Does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults? Systematic review of meta-analyses and randomized trials")

      And, contrary to the official narrative (which is based on medical business-fabricated pro-mammogram "scientific" data), there is marginal, if any, reliable evidence that mammography, both conventional and digital (3D), reduces mortality from breast cancer in a significant way in any age bracket but a lot of solid evidence shows the procedure does provide more serious harm than serious benefit (read: 'Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy' by Peter Gotzsche and 'The Mammogram Myth' by Rolf Hefti).

      Most women are fooled by the misleading medical mantra that early detection by mammography saves lives simply because the public has been fed ("educated" or rather brainwashed) with a very one-sided biased pro-mammogram set of information circulated by the big business of mainstream medicine. The above mentioned two independent investigative works show that early detection does not mean that there is less breast cancer mortality.

      Because of this one-sided promotion and marketing of the test by the medical business, women have been obstructed from making an "informed choice" about its benefits and risks which have been inaccurately depicted by the medical industry, favoring their business interests.

      Operating and reasoning based on this false body of information is the reason why very few women understand, for example, that a lot of breast cancer survivors are victims of harm instead of receivers of benefit. Therefore, almost all breast cancer "survivors" blindly repeat the official medical hype and nonsense.

    5. To anonymous,
      as a journalist, I know that it's important to quote your sources correctly and to not lift statements out of context. If you will scroll back to my comment to another individual, you would read my statement "keep up with the screenings" in its proper context, specifically, here, as a support for that individual who went for her colonoscopy.
      This is a support blog for individuals who are keeping a frugal lifestyle. Please keep your comments to frugal living and support for the individuals who post and comment, here.
      Thank you.

  5. Our meals from this week. Shrimp tacos diablo with pickled cabbage and lime, Hamburger on ww bread with oven
    fries. Mashed potato quesadilla with cheese avo and salsa.This is very creamy and tastes like tons of cheese, pan fried in butter until outside has a tiny bit of brown. Salmon salad with roasted red potatoes and green beans. radishes over a bed of baby greens with
    lemon mint dressing and yogurt whole grain mustard. Shrimp scampi with leeks and romain ceasar salad. We also had carne asada tacos rice and beans over the weekend. Grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. We had had Gulf shrimp this week, It made me even pray harder for all the fishermen and lay people that have been rescuing those in Baton Rouge La.
    They have had a flood that is heart breaking. I pray that God sends someone to rescue every person and animal in that region and that the rain would stop. They got 30 inches in a very short time. We were able to
    eat amazing this week at very low prices. I feel so blessed. Lili you your meals look amazing.

    1. Hi Patti,
      I'm going to have to look up what it means to have diablo in the name of a dish. But they sound delicious! As does everything else.

      The flooding is heartbreaking. Our prayers are heard, I am certain. Bless you for thinking of those people and reminding us to pray for them.

  6. Hi Ladies I forgot the perogies with garlic butter sauce
    grated parm and a salad.
    Have a great weekend everyone.

  7. Your day at the zoo with your daughters sounds fun. Still pretty hot here to enjoy that, but we've been swimming a couple of times this week, which feels great in this heat.

    Your lazy lasagna looks good. I made some lasagna last week and still have 9 noodles leftover (uncooked) for another day. I am thinking I would love some vegetable lasagna, so whenever I go grocery shopping again I will pick up some spinach for it.

    Other than that we made spaghetti one day this week and as usual we made enough to feed an army, so we ate on it two days. lol

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Oooh, veggie lasagna is my favorite kind. It's so much lighter and fresher in taste! That's terrific that your spaghetti was enough to get you through the work week, now that school is back in session. I hope you are getting lots and lots of subbing slots.

  8. Your lasagna looks lovely . Glad you got to go to the zoo it's one of my favorite place to go . We are still preparing for my hubs job to end in October but it seems to all be falling into place . We made an offer on a house on ten acres in Montana and it was accepted . I am excited for our new life .

    1. Hi Dee,
      This new chapter of your life sounds like quite an adventure. Will you have family nearby at all? That's great news that your offer was accepted! Big, big changes! But exciting ones.


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