Sunday, January 31, 2010

Simplicity tonight: Trader Joe's Chicken-Apple Sausage

I found some mozzerella sticks in the back of the freezer, which I served tonight with popcorn cauliflower and apple-chicken sausage from Trader Joes. The original recipe for popcorn cauliflower is a favorite in this house.

Recipe from my daughter

My daughter wanted to share this recipe with you:
It reads...



I like to make Aldi my first stop when grocery shopping, but even at Aldi's low prices some items are cheaper elsewhere, so you have to watch.

I spent a total of $80.89.

This is what I got:
  • SteamEasy vegetables, some spring blend and some Italian, 2 of each I believe, at $1.49 each
  • Frozen california medley, 2 bags, 95 cents each
  • 2 packs of ghiradelli chocolate, one with mint filling and one with raspberry, $1.99 each
  • flour tortillas, 99 cents
  • large can crushed pineapple, 89 cents
  • parmesan and romano cheese, $2.49
  • 100% Juice frozen concentrate, 4 at $1.24 (2 white grape-raspberry, 1 grape, 1 white grape-peach)
  • large can pear halves in heavy syrup (in my defense: this is for a poire tarte tartin, not for eating), 2 at $1.49
  • whole kernel corn, 2 cans at 49 cents each
  • large can chunk pineapple, 89 cents
  • Yogurt smoothie, four small bottles, (but they have Splenda, grrrr... I try to avoid artificial sweeteners) $2.69
  • chocolate covered expresso beans, $2.49
  • kidney beans, 2 cans at 59 cents each
  • 32 ounces of vanilla yogurt, with asparatame (grrr....) $1.59
  • sour cream, 99 cents
  • Kids crunch cereal, $1.89
  • whole wheat pasta, $1.09 a box
  • macaroni and cheese, 3 at 35 cents each
  • whole bean coffee, $3.99
  • large canister of oatmeal, $1.79
  • cooking spray, $1.39
  • 34.5 ounces of coffee, $4.49
  • 8 ounces of New York Cheddar, $1.79
  • 8 small cans of tomato sauce, 25 cents each
  • Gorgonzola crackers (I imagine these are like those swiss cheese crackers I used to be addicted to) $1.49
  • wheat crackers, $1.79
  • Tortilla chips, 99 cents
  • chopped dates, $1.49
  • whole pitted dates, $1.49
  • can of large black pitted olives, $1.19
  • large jar of mild salsa, $1.49
  • Neufchâtel, 99 cents
  • big box of raisins, $1.49
  • graham crackers, $1.39
  • corn chips, 99 cents
  • spring mix, $1.69
  • head of cauliflower, 89 cents
  • 2 large green peppers, 99 cents
  • big bag of carrots, 99 cents
  • one mango, 99 cents

Tuna and tator tots

The daughter came down with pink eye at 3 a.m.


My mom brought sticky buns this morning as part of a bribe to encourage me to do her taxes. It worked. It also made me sick to my stomach. All that sweetness.

For lunch we had tuna on homemade cinnamon raisin bread, with tator tots (which for me involved half ketchup and half Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce.)

Hoping to get to Aldi this afternoon. Also aiming for Wegmans. High hopes I know.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chris Casey-inspired Girl Scout peanut butter shake

My daughter is selling addictive substances. These sweet numbers are known as Girl Scout Cookies. Sold by an adorable child with brilliant manipulation skills.

My dear friend Chris Casey has told us that the best use of girl scout cookies is as follows:

Take 3-4 Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Some vanilla ice cream
Milk (or appropriate alcohol)
and blend.

Now, my version:
  • About three tablespoons caramel
  • One cup unsweetened soy milk
  • Four small scoops vanilla bean ice cream
  • 2/3 cup malt
  • 4 peanut butter sandwiches
My husband:
  • 4 peanut butter sandwiches
  • 3 generous scoops vanilla bean ice cream
  • one "big squirt" of chocolate syrup
  • a touch of caramel
  • a little bit of 2 % milk

Sausage and rice

A very simple dinner tonight... We heated up some leftover white rice with spinach, mixed in some chicken sausage, the last of the stuff from the warehouse club with the asiago and spinach, cut into tiny pieces. And some imported French butter. C'est tout.

Hot Dill Slop

Today's house special is far from gourmet. But it's snowing and we didn't have the stuff for the soup I originally planned.

This is a variation of Eileen Bresslin's vegan herbed potatoes recipe, beefed up as a skillet meal for a snowy winter day. (We had tea and Fred the Amish Friendship bread for breakfast. I've got him in the freezer.)

  • About three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Equal amounts low sodium soy sauce
  • About two tablespoons fresh dill
  • About 2/3 cup frozen French cut green beans
  • 1 vegan original Boca burger, broken into crumbles
  • 1 can sliced potatoes
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, no salt added
In a skillet (I used my Le Creuset), put the oil, the soy sauce, and the dill. Heat over medium. When the skillet is hot, add other ingredients and cook until hot.

This turned out fabulous!

By the way, if you notice strange specks on my stove in this photo, it's dill that didn't make it into the skillet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crêpes sales (Dirty crêpes)

Last semester, the French club held a crêpe sale, which made our native French professor look twice at the sign. The phrase crêpe sale in French would mean 'dirty crêpe.' I have pondered for months what would make a dirty crêpe.

This morning I almost made pancakes, and realized I had no milk. I had no milk-like products except for some liquid non-dairy creamer and some chocolate milk. So I thought I'd embark on a dirty chocolate crêpe.

Whisk vigorously:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate soy milk
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 1 tsp walnut oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup liquid non dairy creamer
  • 1/3 cup Hersheys cocoa
Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into a large hot skillet (heat around medium if it's a good iron skillet). Swirl skillet so crêpe is as thin as possible. Cook about three minutes. Flipping may be required.

I served these with applesauce on the side and peanut butter on the actual crêpe.

I think a real dirty crêpe would be stuffed with nutella and crushed oreos with whipped cream and gummy frogs on top.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Date breakfast

What my daughter has on her plate right now appeals to me as the perfect breakfast. Three sliced dates, some animal crackers, and a hearty handful of cashews with almond milk to drink.

I made the traditional breakfast offers:
"We have pumpkin waffles in the freezer. Bananas. Dates. Those would go well with animal crackers. We have eggs. Do any of those sound good?"

"Dates," she replied. "And animal crackers."

"Okay, but you need some protein. How about cashews or the chocolate dusted almonds?"


"Would you like almonds too?"

"Just cashews."

"Pick a drink from the fridge: apple juice, grape juice, almond milk or water."

"Almond milk."

Now, I'm off to make myself a platter.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The great tofu gratin experiment

Deep breath...

This one could suck.

I started with a favorite recipe:
as developed by the chefs at Wegmans.

Today, I mixed the following:
  • 8 ounces vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 block soft silken tofu
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed in the microwave with some water
When that got whirred together, I added
  • 16 ounces cauliflower
  • About 6 ounces shredded cheddar
I oiled my Le Creuset skillet with some walnut oil from my mom. And poured it inside. Back 40 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring at the midpoint.

Well, the jury is out.
I cooked it for about an hour and it's still got a layer of water to it, because the ingredients didn't solidify like animal products. By husband said it looked good and sunk a fork into it and called it 'bland.' So I tried it. It wasn't bland, it was rich with nutmeg and a hint of nut flavor. He says we just need to put it over rice to absorb that watery layer.

I say he can do it and take it for lunch.

I'm so disappointed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


So my mom brought me these cornichons today... yes, because they were French. Stay tuned as I incorporate them into our lives.

Escargot Profiterole

My daughter has impetuously decided to spend the evening with her Mimi, and when the child is away... Mom and Dad eat crap. Or maybe not crap.

For breakfast, the daughter had leftover broccoli pizza. We had a homemade multigrain roll toasted with imported French butter.

Now, for dinner, we headed to Wegmans. We are downloading the Star Trek movie (my husband said to get the HD version and it's twice as large as the standard file and it's taking forever.) What did we buy? Not groceries, per se... But the makings for a crazy fun dinner. And some other stuff.

Dinner: Escargot Profiterole (Wegmans Seafood hors d'oeuvres) with a red Bordeaux) and dates. Either coffee and pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants) OR lemon bars (with tea?). And for the movie, Spicy Thai Kettle Potato chips.

What we bought:
  • one 8-ounce bottle of mint chocolate milk for the husband, $1.35
  • Escargot Profiterole, from the frozen food aisle, 9 pieces, $9.99
  • Spicy Thai potato chips, Kettle Chips brand, $2.99
  • Wegmans 100 percent juice (grape), $1.99
  • 2 pack of lemon bars from the bakery, $3
  • 2 chocolate croissants, $2.50
  • Organic bulk field mix, for the tortoise, 78 cents
  • bananas, 49 cents a pound, 84 cents
  • Fresh dates, $5.99 a pound, $3.65
Update: The dates went wonderfully with the bordeaux, and I think we're going to opt for the pain au chocolat for dessert to better accompany the red wine (split infinitive- oh no). The escargot were fine, tasted more or less like nothing... but the sauce and pastry.

Another update: I gave my daughter one of the leftover escargot appetizers and explained it was snails. Her snail fell out of his pastry, so she put him back in and popped him in her mouth. She loved it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

I unexpectedly worked late tonight, so I briefed the husband on how to make eggplant parmesan with some frozen eggplant cutlets we bought at the warehouse club. For lunch today, I made my daughter a scrambled egg with the last of the blueberry bread pudding. And leftover broccoli sicilian for breakfast. Yes, we splurged and got a sicilian last night.

So, the eggplant cutlet come breaded. My husband added layers of sauce, garlic pepper, Italian seasoning, grated parmesan and shredded cheddar, with some diced broccoli for good measure. It's yummy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Silk Pure Almond vanilla milk

So, today I went to Target and I say Silk Pure Almond milk in original and vanilla. I had to try it. It was $2.99 for the half gallon.

Now, I bought the vanilla and it tastes delicious. BUT unlike soy milk, it doesn't offer protein. Just 1 gram per serving. Part of the reason I use soy milk is for added protein. Sigh. And because flavored soy and other alternative milks don't have high fructose corn syrup and preservatives like commercial chocolate milk.

So, here's the nutritional content on 8 oz.:
90 calories
2.5 g fat (all unsaturated)
no cholesterol
150 mg sodium (that seems high)
150 mg potassium (4 % RDA)
16 g total carbs (3%) (1g as dietary fiber 4%)
Vitamin A 10%
Calcium 30%
Iron 4%
Vitamin D 25%
Vitamin E 50%
and Riboflavin, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fried Rice and Egg Rolls

I'm reheating some of my crab egg rolls for lunch today because I have to work late and this way I know my daughter has had some good stuff today.

The egg rolls can be found here:
For a side I prepared some 'fried rice.'
  • One tablespoon sesame seeds
  • One tablespoon canola oil
  • one teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • one-half cup brown rice
  • one quarter cup peas
  • one quarter cup spinach, ripped tiny
  • one small can water chestnuts
In a wok, combine the oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds. When the wok heats up, add the vegetables. Cook a few minutes and add the rice. Cook until the rice absorbs the leftover "sauce."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

French Bread Pizza

I took a loaf of my multigrain French bread, sliced it and piled it high with tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, seasoned with four-color pepper, pasta and pizza seasoning, and fresh garlic. I toasted it in the oven. Then I added fresh broccoli and more sauce, cooked it some more, then added some grated pepper jack and lots of cheddar.

Holy Moly Peanut Butter

I haven't written in this blog since Friday?!? And the meal was one my husband made?

Yeah, we went out to eat, had dinner with my mom and ate leftovers so that seems right but Wow.

I'm having trouble getting my daughter to eat breakfast these days. So, today, I'm going to take some pumpkin waffles out of the freezer and concoct a peanut butter chocolate sauce for them.
Decadent. But I have to do something...

The original waffle recipe is:
or you can visit the PPK online.

As for the sauce, I'll let you know later when I concoct it.

Let's see...
Decadent Peanut Butter Breakfast sauce
In a saucepan on low, melt:
  • one tablespoon butter
  • about two tablespoons leftover peanut butter and honey leftover from last week's sandwiches
  • 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 ounce Ghiradelli dark chocolate, 60 percent
Serve on waffles with sliced banana

Okay, so in the spirit of not wasting, I poured the
leftover sauce into a bowl, let it firm to an icing like consistency and have been spreading it on Oreos. Delicious.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sausage and egg noodles

So, I think my husband may be learning some new tricks thanks to our food experiments during the last year.

I worked late, so he cooked up a lovely dinner of, well, I'll write it as if it were on a menu.

Spinach-asiago chicken sausage and egg noodles with bite-sized broccoli and black beans in an olive oil sauce.

I don't taste any spices, no garlic or black pepper, but man, it's tasty.

Work snacks

I packed myself lots of snacks for work as I'm expecting to work late. I don't want to pack a meal, because I'd like to be optimistic and think I'll be home in time to eat a meal before bed.

So, I filled my Sigg water bottle. Packed a banana, a Nature Valley granola bar, a Special K meal bar, some trail mix with lots of extra cashews and almonds, one of my daughter's Very Berry juice boxes and some sugarless gum.

Hope it keeps me happy.

Using up the cinnamon raisin bread

To use up the rest of the loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, we're having tuna sandwiches on it. I hope it will be good, but chicken salad on cinnamon raisin bread is... so... here's hoping. I put the bread in the oven on broil to warm and toast it and almost forgot it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Peanut Butter and Honey

Simple joys... This morning for breakfast we got some homemade cinnamon raisin oat bread out of the freezer, mixed peanut butter and honey 50/50, toasted the bread and slathered it on. With a side of bananas and some chocolate soy milk, can you ask for a more fun winter breakfast?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leftover soup and sandwich

We're having half-sandwiches on multigrain bread and leftover soup from tea cups... Nothing special but by cutting the sandwiches tiny and serving soup in tea cups, it's more fun than usual.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Multigrain Dill Bread

I'm experimenting again. I've been debating whether or not to make bread and what pushed me over the edge was the realization that the fancy French butter I bought for the holidays isn't getting any younger.

When I went to Wegmans the other day, they had this huge bunch of fresh dill for $1.99. I bought it, used some for my crab egg rolls, and now used some for this bread. The rest I put in the freezer. Dill is one of my favorite herbs.

Okay, so the bread... Thus far mixed in one bowl:
(For a real recipe, click on bread and you'll see my previous efforts.)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flax seed
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon iodized sea salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh dill
In the other bowl:
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
Mix about 3 cups of the flour mix into the yeast, stir with a wooden spoon and place in a warm draft free spot for about 3 hours until doubled in size...

More later...

It came out lovely, though I should have used more dill. Served with Italian Wedding Soup and French butter.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crab rolls

Here's another one of my wing-and-a-prayer efforts:

In a bowl I mixed:
  • 1 bag Asian slaw from wegmans (about 5 cups of Napa Cabbage, carrots and celery)
  • About one cup bean sprouts
  • one small can fancy lump crab meat
  • two teaspoons fresh dill
I used this as filling for some egg roll wrappers and since I didn't have any eggs, sealed them with corn starch in water. The egg roll wrappers were pre-made, I believe they were Melissa's.

I fried mine in my Le Creuset skillet. I layered the skillet with less than 1/4 inch of canola oil, and rolled them after a few minutes so I could get each side.

Now the vegetable egg rolls I love at Wegmans are $6 for 5. I paid about $10 for all the ingredients for these and the yield is 15, with some filling left over for the tortoise.

Served with thai plum dipping sauce and low sodium soy sauce. My only complaint is I should have filled them more.

A few days after this post, a fancier recipe site posted a more gourmet Vietnamese spring roll recipe. I'll include the link:

Blueberry Crumb Bread Pudding

My daughter seems to have the plague we've all been harboring, so I gave her some trail mix with extra cashews and dark chocolate powder-coated almonds to tide her until I got something hot and comforting whipped up.

This is what I thought I'd make, the apple crisp bread pudding, but with blueberries as we have a big bag of frozen blueberries from the warehouse club. Here is the original recipe:

But, as one should anticipate, I have a tendency not to read the entire recipe before cooking... I ended up improvising more than I thought and what should have been a nice 11 x 13 pan of pudding ended up filling a cake pan.

So, here goes:

In a large skillet, combine
  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup blue curacao
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Let come to slow boil and reduce heat.

Now, I used a good 14 cups of bread chunks, because I started with a two-day old baguette from Wegmans, ran out, and used the remaining breadchunks I had in the freezer... the same ones I used for my homemade stuffing.

I buttered the bottom of my cake pan and sprinkled with about 1 tablespoon sugar. Then I added the bread hunks from the baguette. I poured most the blueberry mixture over this and spread it around as best I could.

Then I added the frozen bread to cover it and sprinkled about 1 cup of frozen blueberries on top.

Now, the custard:

My custard was...
  • 7 eggs (it was what I had)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup 2 percent milk
  • almost 2 cups vanilla soy milk
Whisk until a nice even texture. Pour onto bread, pressing down with a spoon to make sure the bread absorbs the liquid.

Now, the oven should be preheated to 350 degrees. I layered a thin layer of brown sugar on top and then added about a cup of my mother-in-law's pie crumbs on the very top. She always makes extra when she makes a pie and usually throws them away, but I freeze them.

Bake for 40 minutes or until set.

I hope it works...

We had the first serving after 40 minutes in the oven and it was incredible! I put it back it for another 15 minutes because it didn't seem quite set enough...

More of an update:
Now what? I have made a ridiculous amount of bread pudding. This is where 'cheap' comes in. We each had about 1.5 cups for breakfast. It accounted for about 1/6 of this pan. I scooped an equal amount into a Tupperware container for tomorrow's breakfast.

There are several approaches for the rest...
  1. Eat until we are disgustingly full. (Wouldn't be cheap or healthy.)
  2. Share. (No one really to share with)
  3. Store.
I opted to freeze. Bread pudding is already mushy, so it shouldn't affect the texture too negatively to freeze it. And I placed approximately three servings in each one quart freezer bag. So each bag will serve my whole family for breakfast. I ended up with four bags, which I will place inside a large freezer bag once the little ones cool. I have them in my unheated mud room so it shouldn't take long.

Now, a dessert that required a lot of eggs, bread and blueberries will serve a family of three for six comfort food breakfasts. Serve with a side of vegetarian sausage and I think that's a great start for a winter day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Shopping and excuses...

So, I haven't prepared a decent meal since Tuesday because I started fighting a sinus infection on Wednesday. And then last night we spent $24 on dinner for the three of us dining out at Shruty's. A taco pizza, because it has lots of lettuce and tomato to count as vegetable.

My daughter has requested mac and cheese and in the interest of time, Dad is making his variety with frozen peas. He makes a cheese sauce with some cheese, butter, and some milk that's about to go sour and mixes it up in the pot. It comes out nice, but not quite as thick and comforting as baked mac and cheese, but it's technically healthier because he uses about 1/3 of the cheese I would use.

He also ran to the warehouse club because the little one's ear doctor said they had a generic of her medication (they didn't) and after everyone in the house having some sort of ailment this week, we had no tissues. So he bought ten boxes of Kleenex and six boxes of Puffs Plus. (And we bought 10 boxes last month, gone already.)

He also bought a HUGE carton of microwave popcorn for our "movie nights." And more of those Special K breakfast bars that I keep in my purse for food emergencies. And half and half, and cheddar cheese.

Note: Gruyere is $12 a pound there. I have to investigate what the per pound price is at Wegmans and Giant.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pineapple Pork with Apples

So, tonight I decided to make pork with apples because I needed to make something in my Le Creuset skillet and this is a good winter dish.

Here are all my pork recipes:

Here is my original post on pork with apples:
(It doesn't look good because that was early in my food styling career)

Tonight I started with two one-inch boneless pork chops and had my husband slice them into stir-fry stips. I browned them in butter and added about 3/4 teaspoon rosemary from my freezer. I added about 1/2 cup sweetened pineapple sauce I had in the freezer after my last poire tartin. Then I added about 1/2 teaspoon organic four color pepper and one cup white grape juice and a handful of brown sugar and 1/2 cup mustard-- in my case about 1/3 cup plain yellow mustard and the rest brown horseradish mustard. Boil then return to a simmer. Finally, add one large green apple sliced. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until sauce thickens.

Tonight I'm serving over chow mein noodles.

When I tasted the sauce in the pan, I wasn't very keen on the lingering flavor of the juice. But with the meat, the apples and the chow mein noodles it was yummy. The chow mein noodles are definitely the perfect texture to serve with this meal.


It may look like we've been slacking off in the food department, and I guess in many ways that's true.

Sunday, before we went to Build-A-Bear, I made the family open-faced little cracker sandwiches as an early lunch. Each vegetable cracker from Wegmans had a slice of deli ham and a hunk of extra-sharp cheddar. Very popular around here.

For dinner, we ended up going for an early dinner at Mex Tex Trio. For some reason, every time I eat there I crave Mexican for days until we go back and eat again. So much for scheduling family eating out nights. My husband and I both had burritos con mole and our daughter ate her weight in their salsa and had a chicken burrito.

For breakfast yesterday, my daughter and I had leftover Fred the Bread and Morningstar Vegetarian sausage patties. For lunch, my husband and I had leftover Mexican and I made our daughter nachos-- half a can of black beans, some shredded cheddar and some mango salsa also from Wegmans.

For dinner my husband made cheese ravioli with red sauce.

And for breakfast, my daughter requested something hot and I'm not feeling like a short order cook so I thought I could compensate for lack of vegetables and serve Veggie Patch Broccoli Cheese Bites for breakfast. Why not? They're hot.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fred the Bread II

Anyone who has hang-ups regarding following a recipe and letting their creative juices flow should bake with a small child. Small children are good, in general, for any hang-up adults have. But that's another story.

My friend Gayle has been working diligently keeping "Fred the Bread" alive... This is the earlier post on Fred:

I told her I would gladly take some Fred to bake, not to nurture into more sourdough starter. I asked for enough for three loaves. I got three cups, which is twice what I asked for. To make things more fun, my husband rearranged my kitchen and we could only find two loaf pans.

So we made "Fred the Fruitcake" and "Fred in a cake pan."

In addition to the help of a five-and-a-half year old child, I also ran out of oil.

So Fred the fruit cake turned out to be a loaf with dried cherries and slivered almonds, nutmeg, and funky applesauce. I ran out before I was content with the fullness of the second loaf pan so I added some of "Fred in a cake pan," which was a loaf with butter instead of oil...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Magic Toast

I have said before that the multigrain sandwich bread from Giant makes the best toast in the world... I had a slice for breakfast with imported French butter.

Daddy Mac

My husband got a craving for mac and cheese while I was at work and whipped this up, which was delicious. He used cheddar, some penne regate, and some bits of ham though if you want the recipe, you'd need to ask him. He ALWAYS makes enough for an army, so we've been eating it for days...

Junk food craving

The other night I wanted a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. They are my junk food of choice.

In their absence, my husband suggested tator tots. I decided it was worth a shot. I made them, sprinkled them with iodized sea salt and organic four-color pepper, and dipped them in a sauce made 50/50 of ketchup and Fran's Red Hot Buffalo sauce.

Reflections on dining out

For New Years Eve, I enjoyed a tequila flight at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Mex Tex Trio in downtown Easton. It was my first experience sipping tequila and of the four I tasted, I must say I enjoyed them all. I also tried the burritoes con mole and adored that as well.

I was told that mole sauce is an acquired taste, but my husband and I liked it right away.

Which got me thinking, in a round-about kind of way:

Is it more economically responsible/frugal to schedule family nights out in our favorite restaurants say twice a month, with plans of what restaurants we'll visit in what month, or to continue to indulge as the need/whim arises?

I can't help but think I would save money if I scheduled these events as then I could tell myself, "You don't have to have pizza today. Friday is Mexican night. Just wait until then."

Of course, knowing me, I'll move Friday night Mexican to whatever night I don't feel like cooking... but it could work.