Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: What Did I Make This Week?

I always start my week out looking to plan what I need to do for the week which is why I start with the menu plan.  It helps me get off to a good start if I start with a plan.  I make most of our food from scratch (during a normal week when we aren't doing construction and moving). Making our food helps to keep the grocery budget low because I have most of the ingredients around the house and I don't have to buy more food.  If you add in a few other foods to make the week go smoothly like frozen egg rolls and chicken nuggets which we had this week.  Sometimes I would make these from scratch but few and far between because I can get them cheaply at the store and it saves me a little work during the busy week.

Here is how my week looked! If you want the recipe, click on the title and it will take you to the original post.

I start all weeks with a loaf of bread to make sandwiches with.  My son likes it super fresh and doesn't eat it after the first few days usually but it works for my husband for the week. I love my bread machine and even having to take it out of the closet and start it up once a week is worth it!

Fresh Brewed Iced Tea

I make one pitcher everyday cause I drink too much tea but I love it!  It is easy and cheap and tasty!  My husband hates this pitcher because it drips when you pour the first few cups but it is so easy to make and serve in the same safe pitcher instead of doing something in plastic.  I use one tea bag and boil water to steep it in.  I add some sugar so I don't need to use any sweetners but I used to use it with sweetners.

Ultimate Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
with Crisco and Butter

I made this batch with 1/2 c Crisco stick and 1/4 butter because I thought that the last batch was too greasy.  It did the trick and they were fabulous.  My husband and son have been asking for chocolate chip cookies for weeks so they are going to be happy to see them!

Betty Crocker Pie Crust from box

My husband's favorite pie is cherry pie.  My mom bought the boxed crust and two cans of pie filling which have been sitting in the cupboard since the holidays because she never got a chance to make it.  So I decided I better make it instead of moving everything.  I made the crust and put it in the fridge to chill because it was super sticky.

made with taco, cheese and butter seasoning

We were out of the majority of the Kernel's seasoning so I was working with what I had.  I have a taco seasoning mix that we didn't ever use so I decided to throw that in.  In addition, I had extra packages of cheddar cheese powder from noodles that I re-purposed so I threw that in.  In addition to add a little extra powder and flavor, I added a little Molly McButter.  I think that they turned out okay.  I am excited to try new mixtures for these super yummy oyster cracker creations.

Olive Oil Spaghetti with Fresh Basil

I got a coupon to get $2 off $5 of produce at Wegman's.  I already was planning on buying a head of lettuce and green beans (and I might have put an artichoke in the basket too).  I just needed a little more to buy when I found the wonderful basil plant and my mind was made up!  What a bargin!!! Now I have yummy food through the summer without even having to grow it.

Garlic Pizza Bites

Okay, I didn't make these this week!  I made them last week but we toasted them up in the toaster oven and had two each with our meal dipped in pizza sauce.  YUM!!  Does it count if I get to take it out of the container that I made last week?

Fresh Stovetop Popped Popcorn
 with Butter Flavored Salt

My son has this every day for snack at school so I make two batches at the beginning of the week and if I stay out of it then it usually lasts the whole week.

Simplified Fried Rice
with chicken broth and soy sauce

I toasted the rice in the pan before adding the chicken broth mixed with soy sauce.  It is my attempt to make it a little more Asian to go with meal we were having and to add a little more flavor.

Stir Fry Green Beans

Sadly, used up all of the garlic last night so I got a little creative and used sesame oil, red pepper infused oil, and salt and pepper in the pan.  Then I added garlic powder and garlic flavored rice vinegar.  Topped with sesame seeds and they were yummy!!

Cherry Pie
with pie crust from fridge
and two cans of cherry pie filling

The can of pie filing said 425 degrees for 50 minutes so I went with the instructions although I didn't do a egg wash on the top of the pie just a sprinkling of sugar.  My husband was excited about the cherry pie so we enjoyed it through the week because normally we only have pies around the holidays so it was an extra special treat.  It was a surprisingly good crust and to add a little bit of yummy, I sprinkle the top with a little sugar.  I left the pie in a few minutes too long because I got distracted but it was still super tasty even if it wasn't super pretty.

Homemade French Fries

My son's favorite food was on the list as it is most weeks.  I peel and cut the potatoes and soak them in water.  The great thing is that means that I can do it earlier in the day and then have them in the fridge waiting for dinner.

Since there is still a little left of the week, here are the rest of the things that I have planned for the week.

French Dip Sloppy Joe
on Homemade Rolls

I found this recipe awhile ago and it is so super simple that I can't stop making it.  It makes for a tasty and super easy meal which is also something that can be made ahead and frozen.  I making mine with a little extra sauce which I like to pour on my roll but my husband likes his a little drier so I scoop just the meat with the flavoring.  I have also spiced it up a little by adding 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and 2 tbsp Al (which I use half regular and half hot and spicy) instead of either.  Great flexible recipe that changes based on what you like.  The rolls are something I found in 2012 and haven't stopped making since.  They are easy and tasty while freezing and reheating great.  They are a go-to recipe for me that I wouldn't be able to live without.

Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

I love this recipe because it takes awhile to cook but it is all hands off time so you get time to throw it in the oven and then back to the little man because they always want more around dinner time.  It all goes right in the casserole dish and into the oven like this:

And it comes out like this, with both the chicken and the potatoes cooked and seasoned. YUM!

Leftover Night
when I am having
Salsa Sloppy Joe Topped Potato!!!

If things go really well (and we don't have house showings which also means that things are also going very badly), then I am going to make doughnuts.  My son's favorite and we all love the treat.  If I can't do it for breakfast, they are also a great dessert after dinner (recipe found here).

I really feel that you save a lot of money by cooking at home.  Whether you cook with the help of a box or from scratch, the end result is the same.  I have worked hard to try to come up with some easy and fast recipes for the middle of the week craziness so that we don't give it all up and order take out.  I hope that you try a few recipes that work for your family and see if there is anyway that you can make them easier like make a double batch and freeze, cook the ground beef or chicken ahead of time, or marinate the chicken in the freezer so that it thaws in the marinate.  How did your week go?

Hope it was tasty!!!

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  1. Damn, Alison... you made all of that? With the new home construction and all the reading and being a parent, etc? You put us all to shame!
    The pictures all look delicious! My pies always look terrible but they taste great for the most part and I happen to think that the taste is the most important part :)
    I love how your sandwich bread looks like it makes good size slices. I don't use a bread machine and my bread slices usually are a little small, even if the dough does rise. I see that you make your yummy-looking buns in the bread machine too (I'm going to print your recipes although who knows when I'll actually make it), so I might have to get a bread machine from the thrift store next time I go. They always seem to have tons of them. I really don't have room for yet another kitchen appliance, though. I have things piled up everywhere (I still haven't used that pressure cooker I bought myself for Christmas!).
    Thanks for this post, it WAS "delicious". And now I'm hungry. Again.

    1. That is how much stuff I make every week which is why it is hard to do without having a kitchen in the new house!! We aren't big eating out people so I was glad to have a good week and get some stuff cooked. I wish I could have made a loaf of applesauce bread too but we were showing the house too much and it was hard to keep up with all those dishes. I love the bread machine and use it every week!! I know there are a ton of deals to get on them. I had one and when it broke I found the exact same one on craigslist. I am sorry it made you hungry :) the pie was delicious and I have kept up with the list for the rest of the week too so I guess we will see what next week holds!

  2. I use my bread machine frequently by making pizza dough, rolls, hot dog buns and cinnamon rolls. When you toast home made bread there is nothing better👸

    1. Totally agree!! Except currently our toaster is stored in the linen closet because I guess potential home owners don't like to be reminded that normal people leave them on the counter. I love and miss cinnamon rolls and those are going to be the first of the things to get done at the new house :) do you have a favorite recipe??

  3. Alison, You totally had me with the bread!! And apparently quite a lot of people loved your post as much as I did. You were selected as most viewed last week and are our feature this week at Simple Saturdays Blog Hop! CONGRATULATIONS!! Hop on over and grab a "Featured" button to post proudly on your site and we sure hope to see you again this week!!


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