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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers For This Past Week

kale, cheese, bacon, and onion biscuits --
a nice change from plain biscuits and squeezes in a bit of vegetables


homemade pepperoni pizza, 
sautéed turnips and greens, winter squash, plum pie


bean tacos (topped with cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions), Swiss chard, carrot sticks, plum pie

eggs topped with simple marinara, rice, cole slaw, applesauce

chili, kale-cheese-bacon biscuits, rhubarb sauce

chili, bruschetta, rhubarb and apple sauce

hotdog cook-out, homemade buns, garden slaw, fresh plums, sautéed summer squash

pancakes, turkey bacon, sautéed kale and onions, fresh plums

Humble meals
We are still eating a lot from our garden -- tomatoes, turnips, Swiss chard, kale, winter squash, plums, green onions, herbs, apples, green peppers, rhubarb, summer squash and more. As you can imagine, this really stretches our grocery budget this time of year and ensures we eat really well.

Breakfasts included toasty o's cereal, toasted homemade bread, homemade cinnamon rolls, homemade yogurt, fresh plums, frozen blackberries, tomatoes, juice, coffee, and milk.

Lunches were more varied, including graham crackers with peanut butter, a cheese, cracker, apple platter, toasted pizza sandwiches, dinner leftovers, raisins, more plums and tomatoes, bananas, pbj's, popcorn, and a pot of carrot soup.

I'm a very lucky person. All of my family members enjoy simple home-cooking. I call our meals "cheap & cheerful" because these meals are budget stretchers while bringing smiles to my family as we gather around the kitchen table.

What was on your menu this past week? What meals are budget stretchers for your household?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I was testing the above comment.

    We have made homemade mini pizza crusts and then froze them unfilled. I also filled a bunch of mini pizzas and froze those so we can use a ready made one on short notice. I have a tater tot casserole frozen ready to cook. We have made homemade spaghetti sauce over spaghetti, lots of soups using garden veggies. Stir frys using lots of veggies and some pork I found deep down in the freezer and homemade sauce. Homemade breads, biscuits, Mexican rice, fried chicken I froze to reheat for a quick meal. And I've been canning a lot this summer. After my freezer scare, I decided I better begin canning as much as I can. Dad gave me a lot of tomatoes and peppers so I added onion and canned a mix of this for a variety of meals. I've canned some peaches, applesauce and plums as well as peach jam and strawberry/rhubarb jam. I made a batch of salsa yesterday just for fresh eating and it is so good. Canning lids still seem to be difficult to get but recently found the local hardware store sells the Pur brand jars and lids. I tried them and so far have been happy with them. They say it's made in China but so is about 90% of everything else in our homes. Others say it is manufactured in Colorado (I think that's the state).

    1. Hi Alice,
      good for you for doing so much canning!!! I have worried a bit about all of the frozen produce that we have, what I could do if the power went out for days, like what happened in Texas last year. I'm fortunate that I still have a bunch of lids leftover from last year. I did buy mine at the hardware store (Ace) -- the only place locally that had any left at that time. I'm so glad for you that your dad provided such an abundance of produce for you and your family. Fresh garden grown produce is so much better and tastier than grocery store stuff.
      did you do the fried chicken from scratch? I've only ever made fried chicken once before and it was a lot of work and kind of greasy. I'd like to try it again. Any tips?

  3. Your biscuits look sooooo good. I wish my husband would eat stuff like that but he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy, or casseroles. He loves casseroles, and I really don’t. Makes cooking difficult when it’s just the two of us and we like totally different things.

    We had bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breasts one nite. It’s a frozen thing I get at Costco. I don’t usually like frozen convenience foods but these things are good! We also had a Mexican casserole one nite, baked chicken, pork tenderloin sandwiches, and pulled pork sandwiches. That’s all I remember. Tonite I think I am making crockpot pepper steak using elk steaks.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I love these biscuits. Surprisingly, I can't even taste the kale. I've also done something similar with plain muffin batter for savory breakfast muffins.

      I can imagine that it is difficult to cook for the two of you when you each like different foods. I'd be tempted to do a lot of mix and match leftovers, so both got what they liked.

      Yum, those bacon wrapped chicken breast do sound tasty! Are they simply bacon slices wrapped around a boneless/skinless chicken? I could definitely do those with what I have on hand right now.

      Elk steaks -- do those taste mostly like beef? Are they really lean? Interesting.

    2. Here’s a link so you can see the chicken breasts. Costco rotates the variety they carry. This is one of them and the other is a pepperjack.

      Elk is very lean, and while it does taste a bit different than beef it doesn’t usually have the “wild” taste that deer has. We don’t care for elk roast, but the rest is fine for most uses. I don’t use the ground for burgers, but it’s great for things like tacos and chili. When my children were young and money was very tight we rarely had beef.

      I sorta take turns cooking things we each like. Tonite is a meal I like, than on Sunday I’m going to cook a turkey breast, which my husband likes and I really don’t care for. He likes a couple things I really don’t care for at all-like spaghetti, so when I make that I make sure I have some leftovers for myself.

    3. Thanks for the link, Diane. That looks a bit like a Cordon Bleu, with bacon on outside instead of ham on inside. The idea of bacon wrapped around b/s chicken breasts sounds very appealing to me. The fat from the bacon would help hold in moisture with the lean breasts. I may try something like that this week.

      Interesting descriptions and comments about elk. I've had moose before. It was used in spaghetti sauce and I really couldn't tell it wasn't beef. You know, you do what you have to do when times and money are tight. When my kids were young, I was able to get TVP (soy protein granules/chunks) for 99 cents/lb. TVP bulks up to about triple it's size/weight when rehydrated, so that worked out to about 33 cents/lb for a meat substitute. We ate TVP spaghetti, tacos, and in soup several days per week. It saved us so much money so we could pay our super high heat bills (before changing from an electric furnace to natural gas). I'm glad that you and your family found ways to make ends meet in your lean years. As a bonus, wild game may be healthier than commercial farm-raised meat.

    4. I like to cook the chicken breasts on a sheet pan with brussel sprouts. The bacon grease flavors the brussel sprouts nicely, and the cooking time is the same.

    5. That's an excellent suggestion, Diane. And I think it would work with turnips, too. Thank you for your ideas!

  4. Once again, I'd be happy to eat at your house any time or day of the week. :)

    My son made some very good vegetarian stuffed peppers this week along with some chicken curry. I made a couple of salads and we spent the rest of the week eating leftovers which all of us enjoy.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Were those garden grown peppers your son stuffed? And what kind of stuffing did he use, rice and veggies? Sounds delicious! We like leftovers, too. Many often taste better the second day, and they make fixing meals so much easier.

    2. The peppers were from my sister's garden. I'm not sure of his exact recipe, but the stuffing had chopped zucchini, onions, mushrooms, brown rice, tempeh, tomato sauce (from the garden,) and taco seasoning. They were topped with sharp cheddar cheese. He pre-roasted the peppers with olive oil before stuffing them. My husband, who generally doesn't like onions or peppers liked them very much. The were both hearty and delicious.

    3. Those sound absolutely delicious, Live and Learn! Thank you for sharing what your son used. I would love to try something similar sometime.


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