Tag Archives: feeding a family on a budget

Weekly Menus: 5/19/2013

Gentle Readers, with spring comes renewal: new foods, new ideas, new quests. And I need your help. First, the hunt for perfect fried chicken continues. If you know of spots in Savannah, GA, or Charleston, SC, let me know. They are targets for the research mission.

Duck fat tater tots with Dragon Sauce, Korean Pork Belly Slider, Sweet Potato Fries, Pork Belly Tacos: Four-Square Win

Duck fat tater tots with Dragon Sauce, Korean Pork Belly Slider, Sweet Potato Fries, Pork Belly Tacos: Four-Square Win

Next, if you consider yourself a dollar store guru, I need some guidance. I’ve challenged a fellow food blogger (aka @VeggieMacabre) to a Dollar Store Dinner cookoff. If you’re familiar with Mutually Assured Destruction, the political theory that guided much of our nuclear policy in the 80s and 90s, you have a good grasp for where the challenge is headed. The rules are still fuzzy, but the basics are you have to produce a meal from dollar store finds, with allowances for spices and butter/oil you already have.

Pork Belly and Kale Biscuit from Rise in Durham: This is not a drill, you need to eat this soon.

Pork Belly and Kale Biscuit from Rise in Durham: This is not a drill, you need to eat this soon.

Things got problematic when we added the “you have to eat what I cook clause.” Game on. I need the best of the best here. And by the best, I mean I’ll be cooking a 3-course meal laced with Vienna sausages. All guidance and thoughts on dollar store shopping appreciated.

Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Toffee Paired with Red Wine at the Newly Opened Bar Lusconi in Durham. I had a moment.

Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Toffee Paired with Red Wine at the Newly Opened Bar Lusconi in Durham. I had a moment.

Yes, I did eat all of the things photographed above yesterday. In unrelated news, I’m going for a run shortly. But I digress. Another travel week, another round of TPCs Junior leading the charge. Thus the weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 5/19/2013

Weekly Menus: 5/19/2013

The Four-Square Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/19/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/19/2013

Which all means:

Sunday: Rotisserie Chicken
Easy and efficient. We’ll eat what we want, make stock from the bones, and use the rest in the salad and chicken pie later in the week.

Monday: Salad + Leftovers
The perfect medium to clean out the fridge. A bit of chicken and some fruit, done.

Tuesday: Mexican
Leaving TPCs Jr to test a new taco kit. Let’s see what the critics have to say.

Wednesday: Lasagna
Nothing says “easy weeknight” like a lasagna. That your mom makes. When you’re not there. Thanks TPC’s Mom!

Thursday: Chicken Pie
Just need the pie crust, some chicken, more vegetables, a bit of stock. With the right veggies, it’s a light springtime meal.

Friday: Grilled Cheese and Soup
We are on a quest to actually FINISH a loaf of bread in a week. We did last week, but only with concerted effort. Even with daily lunches, a little goes a long way. More on that later when I reveal my Depression Era Hamburger Steak Recipe.

Saturday: Dine Out!
This will be TPCs Jr’s choice–they’ve  been going fairly exotic, so we shall see.

Remember, all fried chicken and dollar store wisdom wanted. Shoot me an email, post a comment, Tweet #DollarStoreDinner my way.

Send duck fat tots, questions, or fried chicken locations to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Eating Las Vegas

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Weekly Menus: Week of 6/3/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is unsure where June came from, but it has arrived. The good news is with it comes lots of great vegetables. It also means the end of school for most, and more meals to plan! But, never fear, we will be addressing summer lunches in an upcoming post.

For now, let’s see what’s on the menu for next week. After some serious time away from the kitchen, it is back to eating down the stores and enjoying the bounty of the season and the CSA. So the weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 6/3/2012

Weekly Menus: 6/3/2012

And the limited Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/3/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/3/2012

The CSA from Brinkley Farms:

2 lbs cucumbers
1 bag lettuce mix
2 pointed head cabbages
1 bundle red beets
1 bundle chioggia beets

Which translates into:

Sunday: Pigs in a blanket, sweet potato chips, veg
The Jrs have been requesting sweet potato chips, and the pigs in a blanket are simple and a sure-fire hit.

Sweets in the Oven

Sweet Potato Chips in the Oven

Monday: Pasta and salad
We haven’t eaten much pasta lately, it’s time to go for the basics. The last week of school is a busy one, and this is easy!

Tuesday: Juevos rancheros
Mainly because I both like to say and eat it. With black beans. And green onions. Which I am currently obsessed with.

Wednesday: Pork chops, greens, and cooked apples
I heart Brinkley Farms pork chops a lot. If you haven’t had a thick-cut pork chop lately, run don’t walk. Cooked apples are a great way to use up less than crispy apples. I can’t abide a mealy apple.

Beautiful Pork Chops

Beautiful Pork Chops from Brinkley Farms

Thursday: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green veg
I am determined to make meat loaf work for the family. There will be add-ins and toppings, which will include bacon. Or guanciale.

Friday: Pizza and salad!
School’s out for the summer, birthday party on the horizon. There will be wildness. Here’s hoping something gets eaten.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Birthday girl’s choice. We shall report on what that is!

And this week features a special project, Birthday Cake! It will be Birthday Carrot Cake per request. The Practical Cooks Junior are big fans, complete with Cream Cheese Frosting. The theme: fairies. Wish me luck. What are you cooking these days? Share your ideas in the comments section below. It’s fresh as a clean sheet of paper, just awaiting your culinary delights!

Mime jokes, licorice, and Nutella can be quarantined by sending them to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, Can this supper be saved? The Practical Cook is challenged to create a meal plan from the contents of a loyal reader’s freezer! Game on.

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