Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's In The Bank!

Saturday night's dinner consisted of pork chops, pinto beans, and green beans, with soft buttered bread. It took me all of 15 minutes to prepare this and the cost out of my budget, I consider to be $0.00.

How did I do this?
It's was all in the BANK!

Our "bank" is a large upright freezer in our garage. When I make / bake / fry / broil /roast etc. our dinners, I put any left overs in freezer proof tubs and label with a strip of masking tape, written with a black sharpie pen. On these labels I note what I put in, the date, and how many servings. The masking tape will survive the freeze and comes off easily when the tubs are washed.

My trip to "the bank" to withdraw dinner was a tub of 2 large pork chops, a tub of 2 servings of homemade pinto beans, and a tub of green beans ( already buttered and salted). 

I  reheated the pork chops in a iron skillet with a touch of corn oil, and a tight fitting lid. I microwaved the pintos and warmed up the green beans on the stove top. Bread was from the breadbox , that I just cut into half pieces and buttered.Since these were leftovers from a meal that was already deducted from our grocery budget, this meal did not cost anything more!

This full meal was wonderful after a busy day and it was just as amazingly good as it was the first time around. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Night Italiano

Working for clients from home and a big thunderstorm kept me from doing my weekly shopping.
But have no fear!
You know me, I have a BANK!

  • George Forman Grill or similar
  • A good size frozen boneless chicken breast in an appropriate size for each diner. ( my portion is smaller than my hubby's) Remember I buy the big bags of frozen chicken, for "the bank".
  • A jar of your favorite Alfredo Sauce. We have tried a lot of different brands, even the expensive ones, and we keep coming back to the original little jar of Ragu Original Alfredo Sauce
  • Your favorite pasta ( I am using Rigatoni tonight)
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano or Italian spice blend, if desired
  • Season salt, if desired
  • Salad makings of your choice
  • Dessert - optional ( tonight we have both watermelon that I cut into chunks and chilled and a small cheese cake sampler and I mean small tiny pieces- this was a coupon purchase)

So a great dinner tonight to start our weekend is a slanted version of Chicken Alfredo.
"Grilled Chicken in Alfredo sauce , Pasta in olive oil, salad and dessert."

What you will need:

Thaw your chicken breasts in the Refrigerator with a bit of season salt and oregano. On the chicken, not the plate. ( if desired).

Heat the grill.- that means plug it in.

Boil some water for your chosen pasta - lost? Too bad. Lessons on boiling water 101 will be presented soon.

As your water begins to boil, put your chicken breasts in the GRILL, ( not the water). Give it a head start of about 5 minutes, before you put your pasta in the boiling water. Cook for as long as directed on the package, you have to read the package, I don't know what kind you have!

Heat your chosen sauce until just simmering, don't boil it, Alfredo Pudding is just not right.

Put together your salads, and set aside.

Checking on the chicken to see if done, it will be done, when the juices run clear when stuck with a fork. Don't do it too many times, as you will let all the juices out and your chicken will be dry. 
When the pasta is done, drain and return back to the pot and toss with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper is good too. Leave off of heat or on low. 

To Plate:

Place a chicken breast down first, spoon a huge plop of Alfredo Sauce over the chicken, place a portion of the cooked pasta on the side of the chicken. Serve with the side salads. 

Dessert if and when you are ready. Wine would be good too if your budget allows.