Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Amy suggested if I'm not able to blog about quilting maybe I could do recipes and meal plans in order to keep in the daily blog habit. LOL! What a hoot! More often than not a meal plan at my house consists of about 4pm me calling my DH and asking him what he wants for supper. And his response is usually, "Where do you want to go?" Do I have him trained or what? LOL!!!

Seriously we do eat out waaaaaay too often. It was so bad that when I checked my credit card statement in April we had so many restraunt charges I called David and told him we were going to try something radical for the month of May. NO EATING OUT for an entire month. And we did it. And on June 1st David called ME about 4pm and said, "I'ts not May anymore. Where so you want to go?" LOL! So we're back to eating out but usually only once a week instead of 3 times a week and my credit card statement sure could tell it. Of course grocery store charges have gone up but not as much as restraunt charges have gone down.

We really do eat better if I at least take a few minutes each night to think ahead to what we'll eat the next night. For instance last night after supper I pulled a package of pork chops out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to thaw. When I get home tonight I'll toss them in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper and brown them on each side in a tiny bit of oil. The skillet I use has a metal handle so it can go in the oven. After the chops are browned I'll slip them in the oven (about 350) for approx. 30 minutes. While those cook I'll make some rice or mashed potatoes and maybe heat a can of green beans, with a little bacon grease of course. I am after all a southern cook. Once the chops are done I'll pour off all but about a tablespoon of the fat and stir in a couple tablespoons of the seasoned flour left from coating the chops. Make a light brown roux with that and then slowly stir in a cup or so of milk whisking all the time to keep the lumps to a minimum. Served with a salad and we'll have some fine eating for around $6 for the 2 of us. A fraction of the cost for the same meal in our favorite restraunt - $8.95 per person and the potatoes aren't nearly as good as mine!

Now I'm not claiming you HAVE to think ahead to have a good homecooked meal in the evenings. Last night I had no idea what we were going to have when I left work. So I resorted to an old favorite standby that is always good, quick and easy. We had baked salmon, cheesy rice and garden salad. 30-35 minutes from start to finish INCLUDING defrosting the salmon. I buy my salmon at Sams in a bag with individually vacumn sealed portions inside. I pay a little more for this but it's so easy and keeps us from eating out so it's worth it in the long run. So home at 6pm. Pull 2 portions of salmon from freezer and put in a bowl of cool water to thaw. Next I start a pot of fresh iced tea for supper. We're tea snobs and do not like tea that's over about 2 hours old so it has to be fresh eveyr night. The cheesy rice is Rice-A-Roni 4 cheese flavor. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish so that gets started next. Once it's simmering I throw together a salad and preheat the oven to 350. Just before the rice is done melt a little butter in an oven-proof pan. Put salmon in butter, season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat other side with butter. Season that also with salt and pepper. Sometimes I also sprinkle some chopped dill on my piece as I love the flavor of the dill/salmon combo. Bake the salmon for 8 minutes. When I put the salmon in to bake it's about time to take the rice up and add the seasoning mix. Once you do that and let it sit together for the recommended 5 minutes the salmon is done. And we're eating around 6:30. A meal that would have cost around $10 apiece in a restraunt for $7-$8 total.

And to make this kinda quilty. If you've spent all day in the sewing room and realize it's almost time for your DH to be home expecting supper, try the salmon meal. Take a few minutes to set the table with nice china and stemware and maybe a candle and some real cloth napkins and he'll think you've been slaving for hours on a romantic dinner for 2. :-)


Mama Koch said...

We work hard quilting, so we have to eat! Your salmon sounds good--will have to try it.

Samantha said...

LOL, the eating out too much habit really hit home for me. With our crazy schedules, we use that as an excuse to eat out too often, and our budget shows it as well... We're trying, like you, to get better. You are quite inspiring!

Patti said...

I like hearing about your dinners! We also eat out WAY too much. I've now gone on a money saving spree so I'm using some of my vacation days this next week to meal plan and shop. If I don't think ahead we'll always go out. I don't mind the cooking as long as I have an idea of what to cook. I need to start reading my cookbooks - after 37 years of fixing meals I'm really tired of everything I cook!

Mary said...

I find the ONLY way to keep us from eating out all the time is to plan a minimum of 3-4 dinners at a time - writing a menu and grocery list out and then sticking to it.

I have tons of cookbooks but still get in a rut using the same few recipies. I think its because I know the ingredients without looking them up so writing the menu and grocery list is quicker!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Ohh - that bacon grease comment makes me smile - I love to fry my eggs in bacon grease. Also, when I make a cold chicken salad - I cook the bacon first so I can then cook the chicken in bacon grease. My poor DH just about feel over the first time he saw me do this, but... Yum! My favorite cookbook is an old Southern Living hardcover.



Shelina said...

There is a book called Saving Dinner - and a website that sends you weekly menus and a grocery list. They plan everything out for you, and all you have to do is cook. There is also a blog that does that. I haven't really followed anybody elses menu, but am thinking it is a pretty good idea.