reencooks

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

Meal Planning.

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Okay, y’all. A few people on Facebook asked to know about the details of the monthly meal planning I’m doing. I got the idea from Molly. This might not work for everyone but it tickles me pink, so here’s what I do:

1) Make a list of the meals you want.
2) From that list, find out what ingredients you’ll have to buy.
3) I like lists. So I make an additional grocery list split up into Meats/Perishables/Non-Perishables.

I buy my meat in bulk from Sam’s. That just works for me. Winn Dixie and Publix just don’t have the prices that I like, and I love buying a ton of meat and portioning it all up in Ziploc bags when I get home.

I buy almost everything else from Walmart. That’s the short story. If you want more details, here you go:

Here are the meals I came up with, and what I’d have to buy to make them happen:

Dry spices, eggs, bread crumbs, milk, flour, salt, pepper, etc- I don’t account for because I already have on hand. As you may notice there are no sides to go with this. I usually like to focus on the main course, and either have a salad as a side or a simple starch like flavored rice, or roasted potatoes. I don’t like complicated side dishes. If you have a local grocery store around, go to their website and check out their weekly ad. A lot of their rice/pasta  sides  are usually buy one get one free, or 10/$10 (also pasta sauce, but I prefer making my own). Usually I run by the veggie market once a week to stock up on fruits and veggies, which is around $15/week.

We eat cereal or have a Fiber One bar for breakfast. Will either has oatmeal (I get a big box of it from Sam’s that lasts a month) or a frozen pancake (I make a huge batch, then freeze them, putting parchment paper in between so they don’t stick together), or scrambled eggs (which we get free from Jason’s dad’s chickens).

Will and Jason’s lunch is either the previous night’s leftovers, while I try to stick with a salad (but sometimes I just gots-ta have me a PB&J ;). We keep it pretty simple.

We eat dinner at home around 4 nights a week. This list totals to 32 meals. 4 meals a week = 2 months worth of meals.

Also, of note: a lot of these meals I prepare ahead of time and freeze. Enchiladas, lasagna, burgers, taquitos, pesto chicken, Santa Fe chicken, chicken puffs, and calzones. It’s pretty exhausting preparing all of the food at once, but I’ve been working more lately, so I want food that I can just grab out of the freezer and whip up fast. I also like to make my own meatballs but this post is already too long to add that recipe. If you see any recipes that you would like to have that aren’t attached to links, let me know!

The cost of all of this was just around $200. Not including things we go through on a more regular basis, like milk and fresh produce ($20/week for both). The meat was $100, the extras were $100. The OCD in me wants to break down the prices, but my brain already hurts. It’s a work in process but I’m excited to be more meticulous with my spending and tighten up the budget. It’ll help us to not eat out so much, too. If you’ve made it this far, go get yourself a cookie.

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Let’s Talk Tzatziki.

In Saucy on May 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

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Tzatziki sauce. I’m not really sure how to pronounce it (ta-zee-kee?), all I know is it’s good. It’s darn good. I’ve made this a couple of times, once to go with a quinoa burger, and last night to accompany a Greek meatball lettuce wrap situation. Both times I could take or leave the main ingredient and just eat this with a spoon. It’s that good! Or you know, with fresh veggies or pita chips. The best thing about it is you can just eyeball the recipe. Here’s what I did:

Tzatziki Sauce
1 small carton plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon (or splash) lemon juice
1 Tablespoon fresh dill (from my garden! You can use dried I guess, but fresh dill is where it’s at)
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced (I used half of a huge clove, and it was spicy!)
1/4 English cucumber, peeled & seeded, diced into small-ish chunks
Sprinkle of salt & pepper

Throw all of those ingredients in a food processor, I just used my mini hand blender, & buzz up until it’s smooth.

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T
his is how we ate it last night, but I prefer my son’s method:

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Straight from a spoon. “Is nummy!” 

Speechless Sunday?

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Sometimes you just have to let the kiddo cook. 

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“I’m making burger!” 

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“Take a bite, my mommy?” 

Tamale Pie

In Savory on April 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm

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Ahh, tamale pie. I got this recipe from my older sister, and it’s never failed to please. Who doesn’t like a good, go-to Mexican dish? It’s easy to make ahead of time and throw in the oven, which is what I did on a busy day this week. Here are the ingredients:

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1 LB Ground Turkey
2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped (I peel them & use my microplane so there aren’t big chunks)
1 teaspoon onion powder (you can use however much chopped onion you like, but J is super picky so I use powder)
2 teaspoons Cumin
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (If you investigate my picture you’ll see I used sauce. Sue me)
1 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Chipotle Chile, Diced*
I Package Cornbread Mix
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Milk
2 T. Melted Butter

*If you have kids, or are not a huge fan of spicy things by all means omit the chipotle pepper. They’re smoked jalapenos, stored in a spicy tomato sauce so they’ve got a bit of kick to them. We love spicies ’round these parts but have also got a little one so stay tuned and you’ll see what I did about that.

Brown meat, then add garlic and spices and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add beans, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, and cheese. Pour in greased 9×9 pan.

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It should look like this. As you can see I went a little crazy and threw in some frozen corn.

In separate bowl make a batch of cornbread, following the directions on your cornbread mix container. The only thing I do to stray from the directions is when it’s combined I throw in 2 Tablespoons of melted butter. It helps the edges crisp up, and really when has butter been a bad thing? Spread the prepared cornbread dough on top of the meat mixture.

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Since our little guy isn’t crazy about spicy things quite yet (not sure where he comes from) I threw his portion into a separate bowl and put the buzzed-up chipotle pepper in the 9×9 pan. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes, or until the edges of the bread are brown and the center isn’t gooey.

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It’s simple to make, but serious comfort food.

Blogging, geez! AmIRight?

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I’ve been wanting to start a new blog for a while now (you can find my old one here, but it’s mostly the postpartum ramblings of a new mom, so click at your own risk). Blogging and I go way back. I remember posting my daily musings on Live Journal, then Xanga, then Myspace (oh dear!). How daunting it’s become! Now it’s about stats, how many people follow you, and who blogs for a living. I admire people who have made their blogs into empires, but I’m not really looking for that. I’m taking a deep breath, choosing not to be overwhelmed by all of the other amazing people who have more interesting blogs and will use this as my solace. Just going to post my thoughts, yummy recipes I’ve made, and hopefully meet some non-creepy kindred spirits. Here we go!