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Friday, October 13, 2017

Cheap & Cheerful

The week. My husband cooked one night last weekend and made curried potatoes and fry bread, and my one daughter who loves cookouts organized another hot dog roast, the other night. We are moving towards more egalitarian cooking roles in our family. My life is changing and it's time for our household roles to change, too. Here's what we had for dinner this week:

Monday  (daughter cooked) -- pasta and pumpkin, cole slaw

Tuesday -- baked squash, tossed salad, scrambled eggs

Wednesday  (leftover night for two) -- squash, microwaved potatoes, apple slices, baked apples, leftover-filled frittata

Thursday  (family dinner night) -- pot roast, carrots, potatoes, tossed salad and pumpkin pie

Tonight -- some leftovers from last night, but maybe not the meat. I think I'll freeze the leftover roast and use in burritos some night next week. For protein tonight, you guessed it, more eggs to go with leftover veggies, salad and pie

I was pushing eggs on the family this week. I have about 2 more dozen that need using quick, or else I should freeze them. Serving for dinner seems easier in my mind than freezing, right now. Eggs were cheap, with that last major stock-up, so it makes sense to just use them for the protein source in dinners for a while.

I hit the grocery store at just the right time on Tuesday morning. There was an entire grocery cart filled with marked down produce. I bought a few bags of tomatoes, apples and squash, for $1 per bag. I even got a small bag of Asian pears for $1 -- a rare treat for us.

For Thursday's dinner, I was looking for a homey dessert and thought of pie. I had a can of pumpkin in the pantry, and the rest of the ingredients for a filling, but the thought of making the crust sounded like more work than I had time for. So I bought a frozen pie shell, at 75 cents each in a package of two. While 75 cents is a lot more than making crust from scratch at 43 cents each (in this post I calculated my cost for pie pastry), I figured that a homemade pie using a commercial crust was still a bargain, compared to buying a dessert.

That's it for my week. How was yours? Do you buy ready-made pie crusts? If so, do you prefer the frozen ones or the pastry in the refrigerator section of the store? For me, the frozen ones were less expensive and already in a pan, so I went with those. I hope you have a great weekend! See you Monday.


  1. I prefer the taste of the frozen crusts. Something about the flavor of the refrigerated unrolled dough does not taste good to me. I sometimes make up my fool proof pie crust dough & freeze it for a quick pie at a later time.

    My husband & I were treated to a little anniversary get away by our oldest daughter this week. I planned out meals for the kids while we were gone so that they knew what to make for themselves. I also packed lunch for my husband & me the day we traveled, as well as the two breakfasts & the snacks we needed for the trip. That left 2 lunches & 2 dinners for us to purchase. We sold some stuff on Craigslist that we no longer needed before we left so that we had money for this. The first night at the cabin, we picked up a couple of clearance steaks & salad fixings at Safeway on the way there. We had a nice romantic dinner for two--perfect for introverts, as our daughter later told us. It was really a nice trip. Kudos to our daughter for arranging all of the details. Melissa

    1. What a wonderful anniversary treat! We are sending our kids to my mom's tonight--I think we'll just hang out at home (maybe go out for lunch tomorrow before we pick them up). Introverts, unite!

      I occasionally purchase a graham cracker crust. For me, a lot of the experience of eating a pie is a really good crust--I'd rather go without than with one that is just "meh". However ... for what it's worth, I have made a crustless pumpkin pie many times! I don't have to mess with making a crust AND I feel sorta virtuous about consuming fewer calories (since pumpkin is healthy and all .... haha).

      Glad to hear more people are sharing cooking duties. Do you feel like you are working through your depression and feeling more energetic? Sometimes having a load taken off from you makes a huge difference.

    2. Oh! I forgot! I do buy the boxed pie crust mixes (Krusteaz brand) on occasion. Just add water. They roll really easily. I prefer the taste of those over the refrigerated dough or frozen crusts. Melissa

  2. Hmm--my first paragraph was for MMF, the second two were for Lili. Guess I'm feeling stream-of-conscious today.

  3. I have a hard time finding pie crusts in the store.

    For meals we had a whole chicken Sunday so leftovers for Monday.
    Taquitas with leftover chicken.
    chicken thighs and smoked turkey legs,
    Buttercup squash.
    copycat Trader Joe's garden pasta sauce.
    Sausage tortellini with butter and basil.
    Big pot of spaghetti from dad's garden tomatoes.


  4. I never met a pie crust I didn't like. Of course, some are much better than others. Interesting that Melissa thinks the frozen ones are better. I'll think about that next time I'm shopping for a crust. I don't buy them very often, but my sister says that Pillsbury crusts are much better than store brands where pie crusts are concerned.

  5. I actually make what we call pumpkin custard, which is just a crustless pumpkin pie. My husband doesn't like crust, and as long as you butter the pie plate well, it is a very easy and fairly healthful dessert.

  6. I very rarely buy a pie crust, but when I do, I go with the refrigerated dough and it's used for a savory chicken pot pie. A few years back, though, I found a recipe in a cookbook that makes a very easy and delicious all butter crust very easily in the food processor and it rolls out like a dream, so I usually go that route. It's super quick.


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