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Friday, December 16, 2016

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for the beginning of Winter Break

burritos -- when life is busy, these have been quick to make for supper

Today is the first day of Winter Break for both daughters. I had an appointment in the morning, and one daughter and I ran errands in the afternoon, so an easy dinner it shall be. Even though I make biscuits from scratch, I've memorized the recipe. Plus, I made these as drop biscuits (no rolling out dough), and used oil instead of butter or shortening (no cutting in the fat, just mixing). As a result of all of this, they are quick to throw together and get in the oven. Making plain biscuits as Cheddar Bay, is simply a matter of adding shredded cheddar to the dough, then after baking, spooning some melted butter, mixed with garlic powder and Old Bay Seasoning, over each baked biscuit. They're quite good, and make a nice accompaniment to many soups and salads, as well as seafood.
  • a one-pot meal with cooked whole wheat pasta, seasoned tomato sauce, green beans, olives and mushrooms, topped with mozzarella
  • leftover Cheddar Bay Biscuits
  • turkey slices in gravy from the freezer, cranberry sauce
  • microwaved baked potatoes, topped with sour cream and butter
  • mashed canned yams, seasoned with mace, nutmeg and cinnamon, topped with mini-marshmallows and baked
  • cole slaw
  • olives
  • burritos filled with refried beans, ground beef, and cheese
  • orange wedges
  • carrot sticks
  • peppermint bark
  • meatloaf
  • brown rice
  • canned green beans
  • leftover yams
  • peppermint bark
  • bean, cheese, salsa and rice burritos
  • veggie platter with dip
  • peppermint bark

  • pizza
  • veggie platter
Trying to get everything done for the week has been a challenge. Even though this is now winter break for my daughters, there is so much to be done, every single day, and I'm still running them around town, with meetings and appointments. Add in Christmas shopping and 2 visits to the post office (one to get flat-rate mailers, the other to actually ship the stuff), and I am nearing the end of my energy. Next week should be better, as most appointments and meetings are suspended.

How was your week? What were some of your favorite meals this week? I hope you are able to get everything done that needs doing. Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. I hope your running around does slow down, because it does indeed sap your energy. Or at least it does mine.

    Biscuits are sounding pretty good right now. They make it onto the menu tonight.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Any running around next week should be the pleasant kind. This week we had meetings/appointments every evening for at least one of us. It's tiring. Today is the last appointment for a couple of weeks.

      I love biscuits, especially with jam or honey. And they're so filling for these cold days of winter. Have a great weekend, live and learn!

  2. I'm with live and learn, Lili. Had just been thinking about biscuits and gravy for DH this morning, but didn't have shortening and think I forgot to take any butter out of the freezer after yesterday's goodie-palooza. Might just go with drop biscuits with oil. :) With enough sausage gravy on it, who cares? :)

    This week I'm using up a lot of ingredients in the pantry and freezer that were leftover from long ago. Nice to finish them up while they're still usable and they've been a refreshing change of pace (though some not things we're likely to buy anymore, now that they're gone.)

    I'm also glad that the pace ought to be slowing for you. Enjoy your kids and other festivities! Hugs-- Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      The biscuits that I make with oil are good enough. But my daughters make some biscuits with Crisco that are really something else. So when we want great biscuits I defer to them to do the baking. But I would think for sausage gravy and biscuits, that oil ones would be pretty good.

      Are you exhausted from all of the goodie-making yesterday? It sure sounds like your kitchen was a holiday treat paradise!

      Have a great weekend, Sara!

  3. Csn your daughters do some of their own driving when you're low on time or energy?

    1. Hi Kathryn,
      If their appointments or meetings are during daytime hours, they often take the bus. The buses are pretty good in the Seattle area. But this week, we've had a slew of appts and meetings after dark. Bus service slows down in the later evening hours, here. I'm hoping one daughter will get her license soon. That should make some evening meetings/appts simpler, for me.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Kathryn!

  4. Hi Lili,

    I'll try to recall my week. I now have a congested chest and a difficult cough. No sore throat.

    Sunday, we had a winter storm and MIL who mostly comes to our house for dinner, didn't want to get out so we brought a roast beef dinner with brussel sprouts. She made scalloped potatoes.

    Monday, I took my parents to a dr. appt. 3 hours away and we ended up eating in the cafeteria courtesy of the dr's office. Not the most wonderful food. We skipped supper since lunch was at 2 pm.

    Tues. we mostly stayed in our hotel room but since mom didn't feel well, I went to Meijer and bought a rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and a can of green beans. I also got some deli meats and a loaf of bread and butter. We ate our chicken dinner in the hotel room and then for supper it was sandwiches.

    Wed. we brought mom to the hospital for her procedure and then we left to check out of the hotel and then dad and I went out for breakfast. The procedure took a long time for prep. and then the procedure itself. The nice nurses brought us plates of food because it was their Christmas lunch and they shared with me and dad. Mom was done by 3 pm so we headed home right away. The drive was 3 hours so when we got back to their house, we had some sandwiches and mom had scrambled eggs.

    It was a fairly inexpensive three days away but we were able to eat healthy while we were gone. Mom called me last night and she is PAIN FREE! We have a LOT to be thankful for!


    1. Hi Alice,
      I'm so sorry that you're now under the weather! I hope you can rest over the weekend, and return to good health. Take good care of yourself.

      I'm very glad for you and your family that your mother is doing so well post-procedure. That is, indeed, something to be thankful for! An exhausting week, though. And that was so nice of the nurses to bring lunch to you and your father. I bet the two of you really appreciated that care, as much as the meal. And how did your husband fare for the 3 days? Was he able to spend time with his mother while you were gone? I bet he missed you!

      I wish I could run a pot of chicken soup over to you. You take good care of yourself, over this weekend, Alice!

    2. Hooray for your mom's successful procedure! You did well on keeping your meals inexpensive.

  5. Meals are kinda a blur this week.I remember shepards pie,pasta and shrimp,Chicken kabobs and roasted veggies,
    turkey mashed potatoes and stuffing. beef,potatoe cakes,roasted carrots and beets,potatoe soup.
    I did have some food waste this week. Oh well life is busy currently. Kristi shopped at GTM last night. She had to have the regulator in the car window replaced last night. GTM is an outlet for Costco. They are about 45 minutes from our house,but close to the mechanic. They have some really great prices. She got 2 carts of groceries for $80 dollars.Gluten free baking mixes 99 cents,GF cookies 33 cents, snack crackers 25 to 50 cents,I can't make them for this price. Many other amazing deals!After she took both carts to the car she was going to shop again but the line was wrapped around the store. So she called it good. She bought all my GF baking flours,sugar,canned goods,chips for taco salad organic 25 cents.GF pasta and regular pasta.It was all boxes and bags not single serve. Just amazing! I feel so blessed. We are busting at the seams. We can eat for months now out of the cupboards and freezer. It sure is a good feeling to know we are so stocked up. I hope you have a nice weekend and slower week next week.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Oh wow! What a haul Kristi found! That's amazing! And so sweet of her to specifically get the GF foods that you need. You now have so much to work with, and can plan some very fun meals and treats for yourselves.

      It sounds like potatoes featured heavily in your meals this past week. That's a good reminded to me to plan on using a lot of potatoes in my own menus this coming week. The potatoes that I bought just before Thanksgiving are beginning to sprout and need using up. Your potato cakes sound yummy! As does the rest of your week's meals.

      Have great day, Patti!

  6. We had coleslaw, too, this week. I had cabbage that I'd gotten on sale last month for 38 cents per lb. (we have a local Hispanic grocer that has great produce prices, which I then price match at Walmart). I served the coleslaw with sloppy joes on buns that I'd gotten off the day old bread clearance rack at Walmart (no buns for low carb folks). The kids had potato chips (also bought on price match last month) & Izze juice that I'd gotten for a great deal through Amazon Subscribe & Save some months ago.

    We served all of this at a fold out table in our kitchen. I called it an indoor picnic, as my oldest daughter was in a challah baking frenzy which left no room for us to eat at either the kitchen or dining room tables. All the kids thought this was great!

    I try to squirrel away little treats like the Izze juices and Costco Christmas chocolates on special. I pull these out at various times throughout the Christmas season. The kids get little surprises in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It's so hard for little kids to wait until the big day, even though as an adult, it never seems like there's enough time before the big day :) Melissa

    I am amazed at the meals you pull together so quickly, Lili. I had to do some fast thinking this week as well, as we had a couple of snow days that kept us from attending events that included meals. Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Good thinking with the folding table!

      I had to google Izze juice. I hadn't seen that one before. I bet your kids love the treats that you bring out. It makes them much more special when they come as a surprise rather than having the treats available in the pantry for any time. I've tried to do that, too, over the years.

      Your sloppy joe dinner sounded yummy! I'll have to add that to our menu, again, soon.

      Have a wonderful day, Melissa!

  7. Haha, my brain wasn't working this week. I had planned pizza for tonight, which was a silly move on my part, as I ran my mom around to appointments in the morning/early afternoon and I have to take my daughter to a doctor's appt in a few minutes. Thank goodness for frozen leftovers--we will have pulled pork on buns and some sort of raw veggies as a side.

    Earlier this week we had potato soup (and a yummy recipe for walnut boule bread), homemade mac & cheese, lasagna soup and rolls, and I'm forgetting Monday's meal ... as Alice has mentioned, our weather has been snowy, so out come the soup and comfort food recipes!!!!

    1. Hi Kris,
      You make some of the most interesting-sounding homemade breads! That walnut boule bread sounds so very yummy. I can really imagine it, maybe something dark, with molasses in it. I love the texture that nuts add to breads.

      I've never heard of lasagna soup. Sounds interesting and cheesy. Is there cottage or ricotta cheese stirred into a tomato base? Sounds good.

      Have a great day, Kris!

    2. Here's the soup link:

      The walnut boule bread is a recipe given to me by my hairdresser (I'd love to be invited to her home for a meal sometime! She's quite the cook!). It's a rustic loaf with whole wheat flour, but it doesn't turn out that dark--just a little sugar, no molasses.

    3. Thank you, Kris! I will check that out. And thanks for the info on the walnut bread. I'd have to substitute pecans for the walnuts, but it sounds intriguing.


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