Baked Pork Chops Puttanesca

Baked Pork Chops Puttanesca

Pork Chops Puttanesca is another one of those simple meals that practically cook themselves in a large baking dish.   The ingredients can be combined the night before and the pork chops allowed to marinate in the tomatoes, herbs, and spices.  This helps your Pork Chops Puttanesca to be more tender.    It’s a simple and delicious meal that’s perfect for a busy weeknight.

$25 menu plan, weekly review

$25 Grocery Budget–Week Six Review

The sixth week of our $25 grocery budget challenge is finished, and I will no longer be posting my grocery hauls and menu plan here on Patty Cake’s Pantry.   This challenge has been a learning experience for all of us, and I was surprised that I didn’t feel like we were deprived during this time.  Except for my refusal to buy soft drinks, no one had any complaints.  I bought soft drinks for our family during my over budget, third week on this challenge.     Since soft drinks have no nutritional value, and they are expensive, I am attempting to relegate […]

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

What do you do when you are trying to cut back on bread, but the family wants to grill burgers?  It’s simple.  You make a cheeseburger salad.  If you want to make it even better, make it a bacon cheeseburger salad.  This salad is a definite winner in our house. 

$25 Grocery Haul and Menu Plan--Week 6

$25 Grocery Haul and Menu Plan–Week 6

This is going to be my last week posting this experiment, but I plan to continue with a more restrictive grocery budget until the week before Thanksgiving.   I think that I will follow Amanda’s lead, and allow $30.00 per week for our family’s groceries, but I know that as long as I have a plan, and stick to it, I will be able to adhere to this budget without our family feeling deprived.    This week, I did something different. 

$25 menu plan, weekly review

$25 Grocery Budget–Week 5 Review

The fifth week of my challenge has come and gone, and we did much better this week than last, but we continue to have difficulty with adhering to our menu plan.  Sue Chef pointed out that it has been a month, and we have still not had pulled pork sliders or Linguine with Clam Sauce.  She’s right, but fortunately, the ingredients for those two dishes are safely stored in the freezer and in the pantry.  She also pointed out that the Menu Board really is a Suggestions Board.   This is true. 

Shrimp Louie Salad

Shrimp Louie

Shrimp Louie is another salad that I first learned about during visits to Castagnola’s Lobster House in Santa Barbara.  The salad is simple to prepare, cool, crunchy, and very satisfying.  The combination of the sweetness from the shrimp and the heat from the green onions and radishes tantalizes your taste buds and makes this a perfect dinner salad for a hot summer evening. 

$25 grocery budget--5th week grocery haul and menu plan

$25 Grocery Budget–Week 5 Grocery Haul and Menu Plan

After last week’s disaster, and the previous two weeks of being over budget, I knew that I needed a better plan, so I headed out for my shopping trip with a list in hand that I intended to follow.  This week I skipped the produce sale at Vallarta, and shopped only within a few miles of my home.   I was determined to stick to within one dollar of my $25.00 budget.  I checked what I had in the house that I needed to use up, planned our dinner menu, and left the house armed with a detailed list. 

Can I feed my family of 5 for $25 a week?

$25 Menu Plan–Week 4 in review–The cost of not having a plan…

This week’s review is about the cost of not having a good plan. You will recall that during my third week of this challenge, I went to the store without a plan.  I purchased what was on sale, and what seemed like a good idea, but I didn’t have a plan for how I would be using those items.  Because I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know how much I would need for the week.  Because I hadn’t planned my menu for the week, I didn’t complete any weekend prep work.    Added to this, my work schedule has been […]

Cucumber Tomato and Feta Salad

Cucumber, Tomato, and Feta Salad

You know that I love the combination of cucumber, onion, and tomatoes in salads.  This recipe is a variation on that theme, and this variation is loaded with so much flavor that it is guaranteed to wake up your palate.  The Feta cheese ads a hint of tanginess and the crumbly texture lends itself perfectly to this salad.  I even created my own vinaigrette to dress this salad. 

$25 Menu Plan--Fourth Week Grocery Haul and Menu Plan

$25 Menu Plan–Fourth Week Grocery Haul and Menu Plan

After spending more than twice the allotted $25 last week on groceries, I was committed to do my best to adhere to my budget this week.  The problem was that this is an Aldi week.  Once a month, Bus Boy has a doctor appointment in Civilization, and there’s an Aldi a few miles from the hospital.  Whenever he goes to the hospital, we swing by Aldi to do our weekly shopping.    I knew that this week was going to be a tough one. We ran out of milk early in the week.  Instead of running to a neighboring town to […]