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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for Mid-February

I haven't recapped our week's meals in a while. No time like the present to remedy that! I feel like I get ideas from your menus. I hope that my menus provide some ideas for you, too!

This past week's main meals, whether you call them supper or dinner:

homemade pizza


homemade pepperoni pizza, with canned green beans and steamed carrots

vegetarian tostados -- refried beans, homemade flour tortillas (some were fried in oil, mine was dry-fried), canned tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and salsa, with carrots sticks

lentil-vegetable soup, with scratch dinner rolls

Monday (Valentine's Day)
Asian-inspired meal -- egg and veggie fried rice (using frozen eggs), potstickers (freezer item leftover from the holidays), with steamed broccoli and tofu-chocolate whip for dessert

sausage and greens frittata


egg, sausage, onion, cheese, and radish green frittata (using rest of container of frozen eggs, and radishes I grew indoors), with Parmesan potato cubes and orange wedges

chicken nuggets (my daughter bought these), pasta mixed with leftover rice (from Monday), steamed broccoli, gingered fig-applesauce (made with green figs I preserved last fall)

taco soup


taco soup topped with toasted corn tortilla strips and scratch brownies for dessert

As I mentioned before, we pulled together our Valentine's dinner from what we had on hand. Pretty much how we do our everyday meals. It all worked out and was delicious. Thursday's taco soup came about on Wednesday when I was searching for plant-based freezer meals to tuck away for a busy day. I found a recipe for taco soup for which we had almost all of the ingredients on hand. My daughter was making dinner this night and I knew she could make this. We decided to add a 4-oz chunk of ground beef to the soup. So, not a solely plant-based meal, but a low-meat freezer meal. (By the way, I have lots and lots of meat-based freezer meals. I was just looking for some variety in this department.) 

My favorite meal this week was on Tuesday, the frittata. We had made a similar frittata for our Christmas brunch. I knew we'd enjoy it just as much for dinner. I make frittatas for dinner a couple of times per month. They're like a quiche, but without the pie crust. This particular one was made special with the addition of browned sausage meat. I used 4 eggs, 6 ounces of pork sausage, 1 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese, some milk, half an onion, some greens, salt, and pepper. The frittata we made for Christmas brunch had red and yellow peppers in place of the greens. The Parmesan potato cubes were simply cubes of potato tossed with Parmesan, onion powder, salt, pepper, and a mix of oil and sausage fat then oven-roasted next to the frittata.

For most of the week, we've had cupcakes and Valentine's sugar cookies as our desserts. Thursday afternoon I had set aside time for baking, as we'd eaten all of the cupcakes and cookies at this point. I baked some granola, followed immediately by a batch of bran muffins, and those followed by a batch of brownies that I topped with chocolate chips when they came out of the oven (spread them as they melted). While the brownies were baking, I made a batch of hot cocoa mix for my family. By baking successively like this, I used one bowl, one set of measuring spoons/cups, one mixing spoon, and one rubber spatula. I didn't rinse these between uses, but washed them all at the very end of baking. Making my work easier.

Does it seem like I bake a lot of sweets/treats? The truth is, we all like different things. My husband likes hearty, but also really likes any kind of cold cereal because it's easy. So, I suspect the muffins and granola will be a hit with him. One daughter in particular loves cocoa. The other likes it, too, but she is just as likely to go for a cup of tea as a cup of cocoa. And both daughters will love the brownies. For me, I don't drink the cocoa (a milk thing), nor do I eat granola (an oat digestive thing). I'll have a muffin or two and a brownie or three. I expect that most of this baking will be gone by the end of the weekend.

We're about out of sandwich and toast bread. I had thought to bake some French bread on Thursday, then decided to postpone that until I make pizzas tomorrow (Friday). I'll do both pizza crust and French bread dough at the same time and save myself some work (same recipe for both). 

So, these were our dinners this past week. What was on your menu?


  1. I had two varieties of soups in the freezer that I needed to use this week due to our crazy busy running around. I added a third soup made fresh on another day. A couple days we had a steak in the oven then got a call we needed to go to the hospital for mom and the steak stayed in the oven for 2 hours or more. This is a recipe that chef's use for prime rib so we still enjoyed our steak later. We had a couple of nights where all we could do was put a potato in the microwave and ate it with sour cream and cheese. I did make a chicken rice casserole and we had that 2 nights. I spend a lot of time at my parents and all we do is wait and watch mom and we talk to dad. It's a difficult road for him too taking care of mom but this is what they want--to die at home. Mom talked to me yesterday about we kids have to accept this. She knows where she's going. Not a worry on our part to have believing parents.

    1. Even though it helps if the person who is near the end of their life is at peace with it, it is still a hard time. Praying for you and your family to have strength as you go through this time.

    2. Hi Alice,
      You remain in my prayers. As difficult as this period is, you're doing a beautiful thing to honor your mother's wishes for her care at this time. I pray for you, your father, your mother, and the rest of your family.

    3. L&L and Lili have said it all--I echo their thoughts and am praying for you.

  2. We're preparing even fewer meals than normal at home because of the makeshift cooking facilities during construction. Last night I had a salad and peanut butter sandwich. My husband is going to do country ribs in the crock pot this weekend when the workman aren't here. There are portions of every day when the the electricity is off, so we didn't want meat sitting warm in the crock pot when that happens.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      What a challenge! When a neighbor was remodeling their house, they said they ate cereal for dinner nearly every night for a couple of months. Another friend said they ate fast food most days and all put on the pounds. I remember rinsing dishes in the bathtub after washing them in a tiny bathroom sink. We were able to set up a "kitchen" with a hot plate, toaster over, toaster, coffee maker on our large kitchen table in the entry hall and the microwave in the living room. The table doubled as my work surface. But it was all very awkward. The fridge was in the garage that I could only reach by going outside and around the mess. So I kept a picnic cooler in the entry hall with what we needed each day.

      I hope you get an adequate heads-up when the power is to be out so you can plan a little. Just keep reminding yourself that when it's all done, you'll be so pleased with the result.

      I hope the ribs turn out well!

  3. I'm uninspired lately, food-wise. Monday I ended up buying a take-and-bake pizza from Aldi. I deep cleaned my kitchen that day and didn't want to do any more work for supper than absolutely necessary. Tuesday I made Thai style chicken and polenta. I make both in different crockpots and it's a super easy meal to throw together. On Wednesday we had miserable rainy weather, so to combat my not-so-great mood, I made nachos. Last night I had to scramble to come up with a meal, since I didn't have all the ingredients that I thought I had for my planned meal. Ended up with sweet and sour sausage over rice. Tonight I am making cheeseburger soup and bread. I just pulled the bread out of the oven. I am making a double batch of the soup so I can take half of it to friends--the wife is in the hospital so I signed up to bring a meal.

    I think perhaps that we need to plan a dinner out sometime soon. I'm in a midwinter funk right now. The covid numbers are improving around here so I don't feel so iffy about going out to eat, especially if we go on a less-busy night.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Even if you're feeling like you're in a funk, your meals still sound delicious. I especially like the sound of sweet and sour sausage over rice. That's a brilliant use for those ingredients. Your friend's family will really appreciate the cheeseburger soup. Just the sort of thing that will hit the spot during a tough time.

      I do hope you have a dinner out soon, though. I think that might lessen your funk.
      Have a great weekend, Kris!

  4. I love your weekly menu posts. They help me be more mindful about my meals - meaning that you incorporate the food groups in a balanced way. Since it is just myself and hubs now, I tend to get complacent about dinner prep. It should be easier, right? For Valentine's Day, my sister had us over for clam chowder and homemade sourdough bread. I brought caesar salad and frosted sugar cookies. We also had lentil soup with toast, oranges and leftover cake; chicken quesadillas with red peppers, salad, and cookies. I work part time at a school where special needs students are trained to work in a restaurant - like the grill, bakery, salad bar, etc. Every Thursday they have a hot special. This week it was a pulled pork sandwich, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese and pickle - so I supported that effort and I had dinner in the bag. We had plenty for three meals each. Today I finished off my tofu scramble and hubs had a sandwich. My mom is taking us out for dinner tonight, which is always a treat. I cut my meal in half because it is plenty of food for two meals, then I can enjoy it tomorrow. My mom is 86 ad loves to take people out to eat. She is building great memories with her grandchildren and us - and of course, we love it too.
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      What a wonderful program for the special needs students where you work! As much as I love saving money by cooking from scratch myself, I would be totally supporting that program by buying dinner for our family. Your Valentine's Day dinner sounds like a lot of fun.

  5. I always like reading other people's meals.
    My vegan dd makes that tofu mousse stuff. She loves it and even my non-vegan dd says it's delicious.
    This past week we've eaten a fantastic lobster ravioli with a creamy crab sauce. Dh raved about a meal he had in Vegas so I bought the ravioli at costco and made it at home. He said it was as good, or better, than what he ate. I made Buffalo wings and other snacks for the superbowl. Then the rest of the week we ate a chicken enchilada casserole, French dips, fish sticks, beef and noodles, and jalapeño popper chicken, which sounded better than it was. I'm not cooking tonite because I went out for lunch. I'm not hungry and if I'm not eating then I'm not cooking lol.

    1. Hi Diane,
      The tofu-chocolate mousse is really very good. we're not vegan or vegetarian, but we all love this stuff. Wow, lobster ravioli with crab sauce -- that sounds so fancy! I'm sure your husband really enjoyed that and appreciated your effort to recreate the dish.
      You know, I like reading about other's meals, too. There was a women's magazine many years ago that had a monthly feature of a month's worth of dinner menus. I always enjoyed reading that and marveling how they cleverly planned for leftover use.


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