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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Cheap and Cheerful Meals for Mid-October

Brussel sprout leaves — I choose those that are about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. I shred them horizontally before cooking.


homemade pepperoni pizza, sautéed immature summer squash, winter squash and pumpkins with garlic and onion, tossed garden salad, chocolates


chicken in gravy, baked garden potatoes, coleslaw, carrot sticks, fig spice cake


refried beans & salsa, homemade flour tortillas, steamed carrots, sautéed Swiss chard, fig spice cake


tuna noodle casserole, tossed garden salad (lettuce, spinach, beet greens, kale, lentil sprouts), banana bread


baked potatoes topped with kale in cheese sauce and bacon bits, curried peanut, sprouts and cabbage salad, carrot-raisin muffins


meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrot-raisin salad, sautéed Brussels sprout leaves


kale, onion, and cheese quiche, rice and leftover gravy, canned green beans

Breakfasts included scratch waffles, toast, homemade granola, cream of wheat-type hot cereal, homemade yogurt, frozen blackberries, frozen plums, fresh tomatoes, milk, coffee and tea.

Lunches incorporated spicy bean spread, peanut butter, yogurt, cheese, eggs, bread, crackers, potatoes, celery, cabbage, carrots, frozen berries and plums, fresh tomatoes, lentil sprouts, raisins, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and dinner leftovers. My husband likes to make pan-fried potatoes and eggs for himself, while my lunches often include various leftovers from my previous night”s dinners along with some fresh produce. My daughters both love smoothies, salads, fresh vegetables, raisins, nuts and cheese.

Snacks were any of the above plus stove-popped popcorn, black licorice (I bought a tub of black licorice for the month of October), baked goodies like banana bread and carrot muffins. Also, 1 daughter bought some fun-size candy bars for the family. Those went too fast to think about.

Our meals were fairly simple, but very tasty. One of my favorite dinners this week was Tuesday’s baked potatoes with kale, cheese sauce and bacon bits. This is a meal we’ve made every fall for the last 25 years and always happily returned to.

As you can see, we’re about finished with the summer garden produce, using remnants such as immature zucchini and other squashes as a vegetable on Friday night. Those plants are now finished for the year. Our fall garden is in full swing. We’ve been harvesting lots of greens and using those delicious potatoes that I dug several weeks ago. I hope to get another few weeks out of our fall deck garden, weather permitting. At that point, we’ll turn to produce that we preserved as well as commercial produce.

What was on your menu this past week? Any special fall meals that you enjoyed? Do you ever make baked potatoes as the main dish with toppings? I hope all your meals were tasty and easy on your budget this past week.


  1. Wow! Again, you are probably the most creative person in the kitchen. I love cooking but I don't quite meet your energy! I try to get things done during work breaks so fast and quick is my game.

    I've been using freezer and pantry once again as much as possible. Some frozen bagels (bought in July for hubby's birthday), a 12 oz. roll of frozen sausage, cheese from the Amish store and 4 eggs were turned into 4 large breakfast sandwiches. One could easily get by with 1/2 for a meal. We had homemade pizza with garden peppers and onion, and few things I had in the pantry and shredded cheese from the freezer. Frozen fried chicken I made several weeks ago, tater tot casserole I made several weeks ago. All were good and I was happy to have had those ready due to a busy work week.

    I finally sorted out my girls' formal dresses from high school. I need to find a good place to give them to as school functions are starting up again. Then I proceeded to clean out bedding for twin beds which we no longer have. Three twin bed when the kids were growing up has transitioned into two queen beds and a full size. Along with our queen sized bed we now have 3 queens and a full sized for when we have a full house. I really need to get rid of old bath towels and replace with new ones at some point.

    1. Hi Alice, you might want to check out on Facebook your Buy Nothing group. It's a wonderful gifting (No money changes hands)community and so many people can use what we no longer need/want. This summer I gifted blankets, pillows, canning jars and other items. The Humane Society took old towels! Hope this helps. Shirley near Seattle

    2. Hi Alice,
      You’ve been busy! I hope you find good “homes” for your daughters’ formals and the kids’ bedding. Good luck!
      Those bagel breakfast sandwiches sound delicious as does the homemade pizza, fried chicken and tater to casserole. All sounds yummy to me!

  2. Saturday-burgers and baked fries

    Sunday-homemade pizza(I had made and frozen both the gluten-free and regular doughs prior)

    Monday-Cube steaks, mashed potatoes, home-canned green beans

    Tuesday-copycat Zuppa Toscana and homemade bread (used one package deer sausage and one package ground beef)

    Wednesday-Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole (used up part of a package of mushrooms from the fridge to make the homemade cream of mushroom "soup" sauce, along with homemade chicken stock and milk, and cooked the rice in more homemade stock, also used up some cut up rotisserie chicken)

    Thursday-beef crispy tacos, and tomalita (

    Friday-we're having homemade pizza again (Friday is more often our typical day, but last week we put it off till Sunday)

    1. Hi Cat,
      Yummy sounding meals! I’ve never heard of tomalito. I had to look it up. It sounds really good. The texture of the corn meal might be like the corn filling in tamales. We all really liked that steamed texture of the corn meal. Thanks for sharing the link.

  3. Lili, you have moved into warm-you-up cooking! In Michigan, we are having a much warmer and more humid autumn than usual. I prefer the colder weather (I'm an oddball ....). Today is supposed to be a transitional day, weather-wise, and I'm looking forward to snuggly weather. However, we haven't had the heat OR AC on for awhile, so that's a bonus!

    Monday--tacos topped with garden tomatoes and close-to-going-south spinach
    Tuesday--crockpot chicken in peanut sauce with rice, and salad with the rest of the spinach. Whew! It's gone and I didn't waste any!
    Wednesday--crockpot turkey tortellini soup and cream biscuits
    Thursday--I had dinner out with friends (I ordered an appetizer for dinner--it sounded more appealing than the regular menu items and was cheaper and somewhat lower in calories) while hubby and daughter ate soup/biscuit leftovers
    Friday--I have no idea what to make. Time to get creative.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Great job on using up the spinach. Fresh spinach can be a challenge to use before it gets slimy.
      I like to do as you did in a restaurant - order off the appetizer menu. Most full size meals are just too much for me and I’d rather spend less money and get exactly how much I will eat in one sitting, even though I know I could get a doggy bag. I hope you found something tasty on the app menu.

  4. I actually cooked this week. I’ve kinda been on a break from cooking lately. My husband actually pitched in last weekend, which I always like. He made chili on Saturday and then he grilled steaks on Sunday. Then our weeknight meals were spicy Parmesan scallops with pasta, pork roast, Swedish meatballs, and chicken fried steak. Tonight I am either making eggs Benedict or black bean soup I think. The scallops were some I got on sale at Safeway back during lent for $5 a lb. they are sea scallop pieces actually, but they have a few whole ones in there and then various sized pieces. They are perfect in pasta dishes, and taste really good. Scallops weren’t something we ever had very often until I found these at Safeway a few years ago. I don’t care for bay scallops, so these irregular sea scallops are a good compromise. I stock up when they are on sale.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I’m so glad you could find a good price on scallops. Those can be so expensive.
      All of your meals sound delicious! Your meatballs gave me an idea for our own meals this next week — thank you!

    2. Diane, scallops are my favorite form of shellfish-though I like them all! I've learned from my fishing friends the many complicated factors that influence fresh scallop fishing in the US, and consequently the price and availability. We have been gifted some freshly caught scallops from some of these friends in the past and they have been oh-so delicious. Otherwise, we don't have them very often either, despite being right here on the coast. I like them in any form or fashion. Glad you found a type that works for you.
      Lynn from NC Outer Banks

    3. I would love to have access to fresh fish and seafood but in Montana that’s not happening lol. You are very lucky. In the town we live in no one even sells fresh stuff. Years ago I traded elk for fresh seafood with an online friend that lived on the east coast. She sent sea bass, scallops, calamari, and mussels I think. Her Dh caught some of the stuff, and she bought the rest. I got the better end of that trade! Although her family really enjoyed trying elk so it was a win-win.

  5. Lili, you have your food and cooking resourcefulness down to both a science and an art. We were out of town for a few days last week, so there hasn't been much cooking going on here, but did have pasta with tomato sauce with tomatoes from the garden and bacon and eggs another night.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Bacon and eggs are always a hit, here. Can’t go wrong with those. And garden-fresh pasta sauce sounds yummy!

    2. Hi Live and Learn,
      Bacon and eggs are always a hit, here. Can’t go wrong with those. And garden-fresh pasta sauce sounds yummy!

  6. We had a baked potato bar night with salad on the side. Made the potatoes in the crock pot, whipped up a quick salad after work. The leftovers are always great for lunch. Friday night, fall arrived, just like that. I pulled quilts out of the cedar chest and thawed the last of the pumpkin purée from last fall. Pumpkin bread and chili today. This is my favorite time of year.

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      I've read about doing baked potatoes in a crockpot. It looks like such a great idea -- especially if you're doing extras for leftovers. Nice not to overheat a kitchen just for potatoes. Yum, pumpkin bread and chili sounds like just my kind of meal!


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