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Friday, January 6, 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for the first week of the new year

  • leftover baked potatoes, topped with cheddar and butter
  • leftover baked squash
  • leftover applesauce
  • leftover black bean and corn tortilla bake
  • tangerines
  • leftover roll-up sandwiches from lunch with my father-in-law's birthday luncheon
  • leftover smoked turkey soup
  • tangerines
  • Christmas cookies
  • eggnog and juice
Sunday -- New Year's dinner
  • ham
  • mustard-glazed carrots
  • au gratin potatoes
  • dinner rolls
  • olives and watermelon pickles
  • a chicken wing and mushroom dish (brought by guests)
  • a sticky rice dish (brought by guests -- my favorite, so yummy!)
  • sausage and pineapple (brought by guests)
  • a crab and vegetable dish (brought by guests)
  • pumpkin cake roll w/ whipping cream
  • ice cream (brought by my son's girlfriend)
  • sparkling apple cider and tea
  • leftover ham
  • leftover au gratin potatoes
  • leftover carrots
  • blackberry cobbler with leftover whipped cream
  • ham-fried rice, with cabbage, onions, carrots and peas
  • leftover blackberry cobbler and whipped cream
  • pumpkin-ham soup
  • homemade whole wheat bread, butter and vanilla-rhubarb jam
  • carrot sticks, pickles and olives
  • leftover cobbler
  • potato and ham casserole au gratin
  • canned pineapple chunks
  • cole slaw
  • cranberry-mustard
A lot of ham for the week, eh? And potatoes a few times in the week, as well. the potatoes that I had in the pantry were beginning to sprout. So, I've moved all of them to the fridge (along with 20 lbs of potatoes that I put in the fridge, immediately after buying in November). we're also now moving on to the frozen wild blackberries. I have about 15 quarts of frozen blackberries to use this winter. I made a double blackberry cobbler early in the week that used 2 quarts of the berries. The flavor and aroma is reminiscent of late summer.

While our garden produce is gone for several months, the dead of winter has its perks, too. I've been opening the jars of homemade jams and pickles, recently. I finished off one jar of raspberry jam earlier this week, and opened a new jar of vanilla-rhubarb jam. If you grow rhubarb, you might want to try making some vanilla-rhubarb jam this coming spring or summer. The flavor tastes like pie. Do you have any preserves from last summer? What are your favorites?

In addition to the spritely flavors from some home-canned preserves and pickles, I'm also just enjoying simple foods, once again. Whole wheat bread, cooked carrots, pumpkin soup -- just some very humble foods after a month of feasting. I'm guessing that many of us will agree on the welcomeness of humble meals, following the prolonged holiday period of gorging.

What was on your menu this past week? I hope your new year is off to a grand beginning!


  1. I'll try to think back to what we had.

    Saturday was leftover deep dish pizza and anything in the fridge for lunch and appetizers for supper. Sunday was leftover lemon/garlic chicken with mashed potatoes and cabbage mixed up together. Monday was a flatbread frozen pizza and eggrolls. Tuesday I was gone so I didn't make dinner and hubby and I split a can of Hormel beef stew when we both got home. Wednesday was white chicken chili and hamburger macaroni. Thursday was scalloped potatoes with ham bits, green beans and beef roast. Tonight will be leftovers. All of this is from the freezer!


    1. Hi Alice,
      Good work on using foods from your freezer! And double points for the evening when you had to be out, but came home and heated a can of stew, instead of getting take-out!

      The lemon-garlic chicken sounds very yummy. I just bought some chicken this week. Lemon, garlic and herbs might be how I season some of this. Thank you for the inspiration!

      Have a great weekend, Alice!

  2. Curious about that sticky rice it Thai food?

    We had our grandsons over from Sunday through Wednesday, so our meal planning (if I can call it that) revolved around their stay. I recall telling my husband we should clear out the fridge of all leftovers before they arrive. I know we had a dinner of homemade pizza and beer too, in anticipation of what will come (noise, noise and more noise). We had ham on Sunday with our son and his family, followed by ham with eggs for several breakfasts. The rest of the lunch and dinners were chicken slow cooked in chicken mushroom soup, fried rice with gau gee (made with Chinese fish cake mixture instead of ground pork) and steamed lup cheong, chicken nuggets with lemon sauce, a local favorite called "loco moco" (rice, hamburger patty, brown gravy, topped with sunnyside eggs), a bowling evening dinner at the snack bar, and a pizza dinner at Kmart's deli. Our Kmart has a snack bar area where I can use SYWR points to dine. Not the healthiest of meals served, but they eat healthy enough daily because our DIL is very concerned about nutrition. So our house is where everyone takes a break from a healthy routine, so we can relax and serve foods they'll enjoy. We froze most of the ham and ham bone. Yesterday was eating leftovers and starting up our usual fare of side dishes, swiss chard, mung beans, natto, quinoa etc. We are having bounty swiss chard, collard greens, and kale, which have been a mainstay of our diet for over a month.

    Have a wonderful day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      The sticky rice dish was Chinese and had sausage and dried mushrooms added. It was my favorite dish of the evening, and even had second helpings (on a night when I have a lot to choose from, I rarely have seconds, as too much food).

      It's sounds like a lot of fun, kid-centric meals while you had your grandkids. I'm sure they enjoy their time with you and your husband. I had no idea that Kmart had a deli. That's awesome that you can use your points to dine there. Even though you don't have a physical purchased object to take home and use (like if you had bought clothing or household goods), dining with your grandkids might just be one of the better uses of those points. You would likely dine out a couple of times, anyway, with the grandkids, there. So, free meals out with the points saves a cost that you likely would have incurred. And a bonus, you're showing your grandkids different ways to make their future incomes stretch further. Good work!

      Have a great weekend, YHF!

    2. The sticky rice dish does sound very yummy, as most Chinese foods. There is not one dish that I don't like yet!

      Yes, it is very odd that Hawaii has Kmart deli in every store (only one store left in the state, two were closed, and one more will be closed in a few months). No deli at the stores in California and Nevada where we travel, so I think it is a Hawaii only thing. The large pizza is fairly priced at $7, so it was a very cheap dinner for the five of us. I had points that were expiring in 14 days, due to a 100% points back deal on some toilet paper, so I convinced our grandsons to choose the deli instead of other fast food eateries. As a bonus, they got to choose a toy. Our eldest grandson who is 10 years old understands value, and I explained to him how I earned the points to buy dinner and toys. He said he likes stretching money and seemed very interested that we could do this.

      Have a great weekend too!!


    3. YHF, that is so cool when a child understands the choice and tradeoffs involved with use of money!

  3. Wow Lili,
    Your meals sound amazing.Our meals that I can remember:
    Shrimp and Grits,Turkey soup,Ground turkey tacos and beans. Mashed potatoes and meat balls in a jam and sour cream sauce, Chicken kabobs in the oven baked potatoes and veggies, homemade pasta sauce over gluten free noodles,Homemade pasta sauce over baked potatoes.
    It has been raining for the last couple of days so I think I will bake something. I love baking in the rain. It is nice to be cooking out of the freezer and cupboards. I love this time of year when I don't really need to go to the store.
    Have a great day,

    1. Hi Patti,
      I saw in So. Cal weather forecasts some rain. All that water is welcome, I'm sure. I feel the same about baking on a dreary day. It perks me up!

      Yes, not much needed shopping is such a blessing. And it's not just the shopping for food. There's no need for gift-related shopping or going out for events and gatherings. It's peaceful around here, and I can get other things done without a ton of interruptions.

      The chicken kabobs sound delicious. As does the rest of your menu from the week. (Shrimp and grits? Have you lived in the south?)

      Have a wonderful weekend, Patti!

    2. Kristi had a gift card and had shrimp and grits when she went out with friends.
      She brought some home for me to try. It was wonderful! Shrimp was on sale at Smart and Final and she had picked up grits at a discount store. I search online and found something similar.I added chicken stock,butter, and some spices bring to boil add instant grits and stir with a wisk for 5 mins it also called for cream but I did not have any. Then I did shallots,butter,garlic,parsley and cajun spice,lemon some corn starch to thicken and
      shrimp just till pink. It was so good and I can have the grits me and gluten are not great friends. You could do this with any kind
      of meat it was fun.
      I visited the south and had grits there and thought how awful! They were dry and bland. I might try making these again as a chicken dish.
      Chicken and grits would be good cheep eats.

    3. Hi Patti,
      I'm not sure if I've ever had grits before, but your version sounds yummy. I make polenta, often, which I think would be quite similar.

      Thanks for sharing how you made yours!

  4. It's been a get back to the normal routine week here. We've had simple meals to accommodate my needing to get used to the hectic schedule again.

    We have an 18th birthday to celebrate this weekend, so I pulled another large pork loin from the freezer (my friend whose daughter go married last summer gave me another pork loin as a Christmas present). I'm going to try a green coconut curry sauce with this one. We'll see how that goes. My daughter wants to make her own birthday dessert, so I won't have to worry about that part.

    My kids have been eating the fruit & the jam that we canned this summer. I have a bag of frozen blackberries from a friend that I might bake into a pie this weekend.

    The kids are also enjoying the oranges the neighbor brought over to us (a whole box!). He also gave us a ham at Christmas. We check on him periodically and give him leftovers of soups & such (when we have them:) His generosity far outweighs what we do for him. It's very sweet of him. Melissa

    1. Also, have a great weekend, Lili! Stay warm! Melissa

    2. Hi Melissa,
      Happy birthday to your new adult daughter! The birthday dinner you planned sounded very tasty.

      What a lovely neighbor you have, and so nice that you have someone that you can bless, and that also blesses you!

      I hope your weekend was wonderful, Melissa!

  5. Ooh, your cheesy potato picture is making me drool. :) OK, not really, but it looks sooooooooo good. Coincidentally, I have cheesy potato soup in the crockpot right now. I'm enjoying "real" food right now--simple, wholesome meals.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Simple, wholesome meals are so welcome after eating treats for a month! Your cheesy potato soup sounds yummy and warming. I bet it was awesome!

      I hope you stayed warm this weekend!


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