We have a food budget each week, and I am pretty good at sticking to it. We pay for groceries in cash so that we don't go over, and we know how much is left after shopping. If there is money remaining at the end of the week (doubtful), it is added to the next week (those are the weeks that shrimp dishes make it on the menu plan!). This week, I had some left over which was a surprise. I decided to see if I could just use that to cover the groceries. I have stand up freezer in the garage so I knew we'd have plenty of options for protein in the dishes, and the pantry was decently stocked. So, I picked up bread, lunch meat, apples, milk and so forth, and then have been cooking with everything else that was on hand.
My biggest concern that I had was that I might not be able to try out any new dishes this week! But, I had some leftover sour cream and a handful of blueberries in the fridge (left from the blueberry muffin experiment of last week), so I started to research waffle recipes. My kids love blueberry Eggo waffles, so I thought maybe I could create something similar. I didn't find one that exactly fit the ingredients I had on hand, so I combined a few recipes I came across and I must say, the waffles were quite delicious! After making the batter I split it up so that I could mix in the small amount of blueberries I had in the fridge. Once the blueberry waffles batter was used, I took another small amount of the batter and mixed in handful of chocolate chips (Hannah will love these!). In the end I made 2 blueberry waffles, 2 chocolate chip waffles and 4 regular waffles. Waffles reheat beautifully in the toaster oven, so I just threw them in the fridge. If you make a bigger batch, they also freeze wonderfully well!
Because of the limited budget, we had some staple dinners this week - tacos, spaghetti with some of my meat sauce from the freezer, a slow cooker meal we simply call "http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifcrock beef". It got so chilly this week that it seemed completely appropriate to cook what is traditionally an autumn or winter meal. Originally from my mother, she called this meal crock pot beef, but I wrote it down quickly when she gave it to me over the phone, and ever since then (for years and years - we've had this recipe since I was first married), we've called it crock beef. My kids think it is delicious, and you could even serve it to guests for Sunday dinner. It doubles well, and reheats for great leftovers!
Tried and True