Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Three Meals In One

I would never make it as a food blogger. I absolutely suck at taking pictures, but I love to cook - and the family thinks I am pretty good at it.

I am also good at trying to stretch things out to make more than one meal out of something.

I spent $107 at the grocery store 11 days ago. Those groceries have to make it to this weekend. That is our budget, for three. It includes milk, juice, eggs, cheese, meat [chicken, pork, sausage, bacon and lunchmeat]. Plus cereals, beans, rice, veggies, it and we were out of it.  This budget covered breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also had to buy baking supplies for cookies, breads, pie crusts etc. Yeast, butter and lard ain't cheap folks. ::grin:: And yes, I do use lard in some of my recipes.  Sue me.

As they say. . .Old Mother Hubbard's cabinets were bare Tadpoles. Bare.

One of the things I bought was a 6 lb chicken for $6.00.  I am fortunate that I only have to feed 3 people now, and that my husband will happily eat leftovers.

That 6 pounder garnered me three awesome meals.  And here is where I fail at the pic' part of blogging. I neglected to take many pics, but I have a few.

On Thursday I boiled the chicken with the ends of celery, carrots and onion.  You know all those leftover pieces you don't use to feed the family, but don't want to throw away?  Those.

When it was done cooking I strained it, tossing out the cooked veggies and let the chicken cool.  I put 2 cups of the delicious broth in tupperware and placed that in the fridge for a future dinner.

I picked the chicken into three bowls.  Wow - did I get a lot of chicken off this bird.  I put two cups of chunked white meat in the fridge with the broth and ground up a mix of white and dark to use later too. That went in the fridge.

With the remaining plethora of chicken meat, both white and dark chunk, I made a big 'ol pot of chicken and dumpling strips with potatoes in the remaining broth.  Since we don't eat meat on Fridays, Steven took different leftovers for lunch, but we had dinner twice off this meal because it made so much we ate it Thursday and Sunday. So good. [no pic' of that - but I have been making it for over 25 years so I am sure y'all have seen a pic' somewhere.]

Next up was Saturday night and I made tuna, chicken and egg salad stuffed in large pasta shells over shredded romaine lettuce with roma tomatoes. We were gifted with fresh eggs from our neighbor's chickens and boy-o that was some good egg salad.

This platter I did manage a pic' of:

I did set the table with forks and knives but we discovered these were so much easier to eat with our fingers. So tasty.

For the final meal I used the two cups of chicken broth to make gravy [with flour, butter and milk] and tossed in the chunked chicken and a mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. I put it in a homemade pie crust and TA DA - we had chicken pot pie. This is one of the family's favorites and so good. I was tired last night so I used my stand mixer to make the pie crust - and let me tell you gang - I'm not ever going back to making this by hand again. Sooooo easy.

I managed a pic' of this too - but didn't take one of it cut to show the yummy goodness inside.

I also made Evelyn her favorite Lemon Meringue Pie. I found the recipe in "Southern Living" from 1990 - and it is the best pie recipe I have ever used. If you follow the directions it is fail proof.

My week is ending with Evelyn's birthday tomorrow. And you know our rule - you get what you want to eat including breakfast, lunch, dinner and cake.
No doubt I will be making kinklings tomorrow morning [anyone want to join me at 3 am to start the dough? No? Thanks! heehee]

For lunch she asked for a tortilla roll sandwich, chips and salsa and veggies. Dinner is this silly thing I made up a few years ago - desperation thy name is Skippy - using leftovers I  made homemade scallop potatoes with ham and peas tossed in and baked.  Sometimes I have to laugh at what my family likes best, because that meal is truly one I thought we would eat once and it wouldn't make the menu, but they love it. I'll make yeast rolls to go with that too and for dessert it's a carrot nut birthday cake with cinnamon icing. I made cupcakes like this earlier in the week - another first time recipe for me - and it was a hit, so she picked that because we ended up giving most of the cupcakes away. They want more! :)

Thank goodness I don't have to lift a finger for her party on Saturday. We are throwing her a "Sweet 17" party since last year she didn't have a birthday as we had just moved 100 miles from all her friends and didn't know a soul here.  It's at a local burger joint - Wise Guys - where she actually works now.. :)  It promises to be fun. The owner is a [master] chef - and he is making Evelyn's cake in the shape of a shark because he likes her so much. Plus burgers, dogs and sandwiches. Oh, and the best fries ever. I promise to have pics of that. :)

Okay, okay - enough food talk. I am tired just thinking about it.  I will add tho' that tonight is homemade pizza [crust and sauce] and a salad. Finally. . .a super easy night.

Smile loudly Tadpoles. Life is a gift.
Thank you for everything. Love and hugs, Janine


Juli G said...

I think my sister has that fish platter pictured above. :)

I wish I was better in the kitchen, but I honestly get so few days when I ave the time to cook properly, that I may never get good at it.

The bread came out great BTW, rose perfect, cooked nicely. The braid loaf I am going to cover with garlic and butter and use it as garlic bread tomorrow. :)

OH... and I posted some of the VA pics today. I'm hoping to do the rest for tomorrow at some point.

Gypsy said...

I don't know where you get the energy to do all that cooking. I used to make a mean chicken pot pie, as well as lemon meringue & chocolate pies. But I just don't have the desire to cook any more.

I taught my daughter, youngest son, and the wife of my oldest son to make superb pie crust, so I don't hafta do it myself now.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only "old-fashioned" cook still around. Most of my friends think mealtime means going out to eat or calling for delivery... or (heaven forbid) some kinda frozen something-or-other from the store. I think cooking is becoming a bit of a lost art, because so many people don't want to take the time. But there's a lot of satisfaction to be found from putting a good meal on the table... a meal that's been prepared with love and ingenuity. You go, girl!

ellen abbott said...

only two of us and we are still shocked at how much food costs us. I don't do the cooking anymore, Marc does so it's his job to make it stretch.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Love the idea of salad in the pasta shells. Sounds like something good to serve on game night at the campground.

Grocery shopping is horrible! everything has gone sky high.

Redhead said...

All that food looks wonderful, especially the pie. I don't do much of the cooking, and what I do make is pretty basic (spaghetti figures prominently) but boy do I like to eat what husband fixes. Umm, I think I need a snack now..

Kathi Boozer said...

Your lemon meringue pie looks delicious. I miss the ones my mother used to make. Will have to look the recipe up on the Southern Living website.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

When I was growing up, we didn't have any money for much food, but my mom was an excellent cook. So many times we'd be sitting in the living room watching TV and someone would say, "I wish there was something good to eat in the house." My mom would get up and go into the kitchen and I'd think "I don't know why she's bothering; I know for a fact that there's nothing in there." And then she'd come in with something delicious. Our favorite was Lil's Cheese Toasties, stale white bread slathered in butter, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and paprika, and put in the broiler. My point is, you need a food named after you, Skippy.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how creative we can get when we are in a pinch, isn't it?! For the record $6 for a 6 pound bird is an amazeball price.

Here is one of my Mom's favorite meals that she made growing up - I am sure it's because it was all she had in the house - white bread (Wonder) topped with cooked bacon, then topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and put under the toaster oven.

The edges of the bread were crispy, the middle of the bread was chewy, and the saltiness of the bacon and cheese just made it.

I remember we each got two pieces - didn't remember a veggie or a fruit, but it stands out in my mind.

RunNRose said...

You are a good cook and a great blogger, too! And your pictures are first rate, too. Thank you for posting. You are an inspiration.

1st Man said...

It all sounds and LOOKS great! I'm especially partial to those pasta shells. Yum!