Weekly Meal Breakdown #17


I didn't do a breakdown last week because we went to Tom's parents house on Saturday and didn't get back until late Sunday night. Monday we went to the grocery store and even though I planned out a few things to eat, I just didn't have the energy to cook last week. So I'm trying again this week.

Its a short week for meals because we are more than likely going to the beach this weekend for the holiday. Today we decided to check out a local farm that carries a lot of fresh produce. I have never seen romaine lettuce look that good! The tomatoes smelled like real Maryland tomatoes, not grocery store ones. The corn on the cob looked amazing. Some things were more expensive than the grocery stores, like the cherries, broccoli and watermelon. I also have never seen carrots as large as the ones they had there. I definitely want to go back and to check out other local farms to see if their produce is just as good. On Friday nights they have a farmers market here so hopefully we can make it there one night.  

Sunday - cheese ravioli with garlic bread
1 package wonton wrappers $1.69
1/2 container low fat cottage cheese $1.34
2 eggs $0.22
1 jar spaghetti sauce $1.09
Italian bread $0.89
Total: $5.23

Monday - turkey slubs
3 hoagie rolls $1.26
1/2 lb. oven roasted turkey $4.32
1/4 cup Bubba's slub sauce (from North Carolina) $0.25
Total: $5.83

Tuesday - monterey chicken with roasted red potatoes and corn on the cob
3 chicken breasts $2.77
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.75
4 red potatoes $0.64
3 ears corn on the cob $1.38
Total: $5.54

Wednesday - flounder with french fries and corn maque choux
3 flounder fillets $5.00
1/2 bag french fries $1.00
red pepper $1.29
green pepper $0.79
1 cup frozen corn kernels $0.35
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream $0.35
Total: $8.78

Thursday - pancakes and bacon
1/4 box pancake mix $.59
1/2 package bacon $1.25
Total: $1.84

The total for this week is $27.22. Wow, that is impressively cheap! We barely spent any money at the grocery store this week too. It was about $9 for all of the vegetables from the farm and we spent $73 at the grocery store, but $6 of it was energy drinks for Tom.

I'm also making tandy cakes this weekend. We forgot to pick up the chocolate bars at the grocery store so I'll make them tomorrow. Supposedly they are just like the Tasty Cake brand.

Emeril's Shrimp Fried Rice


The night that I made this was a gigantic disaster. Tom had told me that his brother was going to come over for dinner. The apartment was a mess but I figured I could get the kitchen cleaned up before he got there. I left work and then proceeded to entire a nightmare of traffic. Apparently someone had flipped over their car 5 exits from where I was and the entire highway was shut down. 25 minutes later I had moved 3 miles to the first exit. I sat in some more traffic to get to the alternate route and finally, at 6:08 PM, exactly 1 hour after I should have arrived at home, I made it in the door. Of course Tom's brother was getting there around 6 so I had minutes to get the kitchen cleaned up before I started cooking.

Luckily this recipe was fast and easy. I definitely needed to adjust the quantities because it makes an absolutely insane amount of food.

Kicked-Up Shrimp Fried Rice
Source: Emeril 20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast
Servings: 6
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    • 4 tbsp. olive oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/2 tsp. Emeril's essence or creole seasoning
    • 3 green onions, white and green parts separately minced
    • 2 tsp. minced garlic
    • 2 tsp. minced ginger
    • 2 cups cooked white rice (I used 2 bags of boil-in-a-bag white rice)
    • 2 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
    • 1 bag frozen stir-fry vegetables, defrosted
    • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
    • salt and pepper

1. Heat 1 tbs. of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Lightly beat the eggs. Once the skillet is hot, add the eggs along with salt and pepper and stir around until the eggs are cooked.
2. Remove the eggs from the skillet and chop them into small pieces when cool enough.
3. Put the shrimp in a medium sized bowl and toss to coat with the essence, salt and pepper. Add another tbs. of oil to the skillet and cook the shrimp about 1-2 minutes on each side, just until they turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the skillet.
4. Add the rest of the oil to the pan. Add in the ginger, green onion bottoms, and garlic. Cook for a few seconds and then add the rice, constantly stirring to make sure it doesn't stick. Then add in the stir fry vegetables and cook until they are heated through. Add the sesame oil and the soy sauce and stir until everything is combined.
5. Add in the chopped egg and the shrimp. Cook for 1 minute more until everything is warmed through.
6. Serve with the green onion tops as a garnish and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies


These brownies are equally awesome and evil. Awesome because they taste amazing and meet even the largest chocolate lover's chocolate craving. Evil because they call to me every time I go into the kitchen. No seriously, every time I go in there, they are waiting and staring at me. Come eat me, Nichole. Come enjoy my cookie dough chocolate frosted awesomeness. And then they do that Men in Black memory zapper thing and make me completely forget that I just had one a little bit ago.

Only once I've ate the brownie does the memory of eating the previous one return. Followed by a bit of dread that there is no way I'm going to fit into my wedding dress or any of the clothes I want to wear for the honeymoon so long as these awesome/evil brownies are around. So, what is a girl to do? Well, apparently I'm not all that bright since I was given a recipe for caramel brownies today and I absolutely can.not.wait to make them. But, I did have a bit of a smart idea. I'm only going to leave 10 or so of them here and the rest of them, I'm going to take into work. They won't mind me fattening them up...hopefully.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Source: Betty Crocker 
Servings: 16 brownies
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    • 1 box Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix (with syrup pouch)
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 pouch ( 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie mix
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 egg
    • 1 container Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy chocolate frosting

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, syrup pouch, vegetable oil, water and two eggs. Stir well to combine. Spread into the baking dish.
3. Rinse and dry bowl. Add the chocolate chip cookie mix, butter and egg. Use a hand mixer to incorporate all of the ingredients.
4. Take spoonfuls of the cookie dough mixture and drop onto the brownie mixture. Press down lightly. Repeat until all of the cookie mixture is on top of the brownies.
5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the brownies cool for at least 30 minutes.
6. Spread frosting on top and cut into 16 squares.

Eat a minimum of two at a time with a glass of cold milk. Watch yourself gain weight after the first bite. Decide that they just taste too good for you to care. Repeat daily. =)

Southwest Flank Steak with Mexican Risotto


I went to make the last blog printer friendly and realized that Google Docs has changed some things up on me. Now I can post the recipe directly into there and it will copy it here. It will also allow for anyone on the internet to view my post. Neat stuff! But, I'm kinda computer dumb sometimes so it took me a minute to figure out where in the world my URL had went in order to make it printer friendly. Ah, the stuff we go through for blogging. =)

I went through my recipe binder and decided to that these two recipes should mix well with each other. The result...YUM! Many thanks to the What's Cooking board on The Nest for providing me with such fun recipes to try out!

Southwest Flank Steak
Source: Katie's Cucina
Servings: 4
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    • 4 tbsp. chili seasoning mix
    • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
    • 2 tsp. ground oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 tbsp. lime juice
    • 2 lb. flank steak
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil 

1. Place flank steak between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound to 1" thickness.
2. Move the oven rack to 6 inches from the broiler and preheat to broil.
3. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and spread evenly over the steak.
4. Put the steak on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Broil for 2-3 minutes and turn steak over. Broil 7-8 minutes for medium.
5. Let steak stand for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Mexican Risotto
Source: Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations
Servings: 4
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    • 1 cup arborio rice
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1 small green pepper, chopped
    • 1 small red pepper, chopped
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
    • 1/3 cup frozen corn
    • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 2 shakes of crushed red pepper
    • 1/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese

1. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Pour in chicken broth, chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. 
2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3. Add in the arborio rice and stir until the rice is coated and translucent.
4. Pour in the white wine and stir until the rice has absorbed it. Pour 1 cup of chicken broth into the price then add in the bell peppers, jalapeno and corn.
5. Continue adding the broth in as the rice absorbs it.
6. Stir in cheese and mix well.

Weekly Meal Breakdown #16


Oops, I'm a bit late on this one. We had a really busy weekend and I forgot all about blogging! Forgive me?
Since I'm already behind I'm sure you don't want to read a bunch of fluff first, so I'll just get right to it.

Monday - crab soup with french bread
leftover crab soup - $0.00
french bread $1.19
Total: $1.19

Tuesday - southwest flank steak with mexican risotto and pepper saute
flank steak $5.69
2 red peppers $2.69
2 green peppers $2.89
arborio rice $0.65
1/2 bag mexican cheese $1.00
Total: $12.92

Wednesday - BBQ chicken with garlic buttered noodles and corn
3 chicken breasts - $2.69
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce $0.75
1/2 box linguine noodles $.40
1/4 bag frozen corn $0.22 (It was on sale for $0.88!)
Total: $4.06

Thursday - shrimp fried rice
1 lb. shrimp $4.49
2 bags boil-in-a-bag rice $1.32
frozen bag of stir-fry veggies $0.88
Total: $6.69

Friday - healthy tacos
1 lb. ground beef $1.98
1 can kidney beans $0.75
1 bag mexican cheese $2.00
tortilla shells $0.65 (Can you believe that sale price?!)
sour cream $0.25
lettuce/tomato/onion $0.35
Total: $5.98

The total for meals this week is......$30.84. Damn you pepper saute taking for taking me over the $30 mark. Honestly, I don't understand why green peppers are so expensive. Its a freaking green pepper.

While at the grocery store I found out that they accept internet coupons so now I'm going to be scouring the internets for ways to make the meals even cheaper! Wish me luck!

Stuffed Poblanos


If I didn't say that I would blog about this recipe than I probably would have skipped it. It wasn't bad, but it seemed like it was missing something. Either way, it was my attempt to have a meatless night and it worked out.

Stuffed Poblanos
Slightly adapted from: Pink Parsley adapted from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast
Servings: 3
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    • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
    • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
    • 1 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 3 poblano peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded
1. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. Combine the tomatoes in juice, jalapeno and 2 tbs. of garlic in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 9x13 dish.
3. In a large bowl, combine the beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup of the cheese, 1 tbs. garlic, cumin, cilantro and water. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.
4. Divide the mixture into the peppers and lay in the baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and cover with aluminum foil.
5. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5-10 minutes more or until the cheese is browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Maybe its the cornmeal that I'm not a big fan of. It made the stuffing seem kind of gritty. I wonder if breadcrumbs would be different, or honestly, if a binding ingredient is even necessary. Once the cheese melts it sticks to the pepper pretty well. Tom suggested that instead of the tomatoes, using something thicker like a mixture of tomato sauce and paste or even a jar of pizza sauce. Just something thicker with a bit more flavor. I'll probably try this again making some more changes to see what happens.

Happy 100th Post!


Jeez, I really must talk a lot if I'm already at 100 posts, huh? I'm not sure whether its good or bad news that its not 100 food-related posts, but still 100 posts overall. So I found myself a present on the lovely interwebz.

Cute, ain't it?

I found out today that I have two more readers! YAY, READERS! When I created the blog I had thought it would be neat for other people to read it, but I wasn't overly concerned about it. After lurking on the What's Cooking board of The Nest for quite some time, I changed my mind. I want people to find me and read my blog. I want to share my recipes with more than just the people who know me in person. So I joined the Foodie Blogroll, started Blog Update posts over there and tended to link my blog a bit more. I also signed up for Google Analytics so I can be nosy about who comes to visit me.

When I log into blogger it tells me how many followers I have and if I have any comments. I started off with 8 followers and now I'm up to 14. Woo hoo! Followers! I will lead you my recipe starved friends. Some bloggers I know have hundreds and hundreds of followers and get tons and tons of comments a day. While part of me thinks that would be cool, the other part of me knows that I just don't have the time or patience to maintain a blog like that.

Well, enough about me and the fact that I can babble enough to get 100 posts in a few months. If you knew me in real life you'd know that its really not all that difficult. I rarely shut up. I promise I'll be back tonight to blog about Stuffed Poblanos!

Chicken Cacciatore


Every once in a while I'll log into Google Analytics to see where the hits from my blog are coming from and if anyone returns or not. Today, I couldn't help but giggle when I saw that my blog was found by searching for "chicken catchatori recipe". While I'm not a huge spelling stickler it just amused me because I read it as catch-a-Tori. As in a person named Tori. Either way, if the person who searched for it happens to come back to this post, at least now there is a recipe for you!

Chicken Cacciatore
Slightly Adapted From: Family Circle Magazine, March 2010
Servings: 4
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    • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch
    • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
    • 1 package mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 green pepper, diced
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
    • 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
    • 1/2 cup red wine
    • 1 tsp. rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 box linguine noodles
    • salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the noodles according to directions on the box.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large pan, heat 2 tbs. olive oil and chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.
3. Transfer the chicken from the skillet to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add 2 tbs. oil, mushrooms, green pepper and onion. Stir occasionally and cook until the vegetables are soft; about 5 minutes.
4. Add garlic, tomatoes, wine, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer.
5. Add the chicken back into the skillet, cover and simmer for 15 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through.
6. Serve over the linguine noodles.

Weekly Meal Breakdown #15


I can't believe its Sunday already. This weekend has went so fast and I still need to clean the bathroom and print out the wedding invitations. Friday night I made dinner for Tom's brother and his girlfriend and we chose the food for the wedding since we're using their restaurant. Saturday was my flower girl's 6th birthday party. It was nice to see my friends again and we picked out a weekend for my bachelorette party, August 28th. So, onto the food for this week.

Monday - red beans and rice tacos
Last week I made Pioneer Woman's Mexican Lasagna and ended up having a lot of the rice and bean mixture left over. I'm just going to add to that to make this meal.
leftover mixture of red beans, rice, and canned tomatoes - $0.00
tortillas - $1.79
1 lb. ground beef - $1.89
2 cups mexican cheese $2.00
Total: $5.86

Tuesday - chicken cacciatore
3 chicken breasts - $2.74
1/2 box spaghetti noodles - $0.75
1 green pepper $0.89
1 package mushrooms - $1.69
2 cans diced tomatoes - $1.50
Total: $7.57 

Wednesday - stuffed poblanos
3 poblano peppers - $1.79
1 jalapeno - $0.10
1 can whole tomatoes - $1.39
1 onion - $0.14
1 can kidney beans - $0.75
1  cup pepper jack cheese - $1.00
Total: $5.12

Thursday - garlic and brown sugar chicken over rice with broccoli
3 chicken breasts - $2.69
boil-in-a-bag rice $0.66
broccoli - $1.21
Total: $4.56

Friday - fish sticks and french fries/tilapia, baked potato and a salad
I don't like fish sticks and Tom doesn't like tilapia. So, I have to make both.
1/2 bag fish sticks - $1.50
1/4 bag french fries - $0.75
4 hamburger rolls - $1.00
4 slices American cheese - $0.64
Total: $3.89
When I included the tilapia in the breakdown last time I didn't realize that there were two pieces. So, instead of $5.69 for 1, it was actually two. Since I overcharged it before, its $0 this time
1 tilapia filet - $0.00
1 baked potato - $0.16
lettuce, carrots, tomato, - $0.42
Total: $0.58
Total: $4.47

That makes this total for the week $27.58. Yay! I love it when its under $30. I promise to blog a recipe again soon. I've been a bit overwhelmed with wedding stuff lately. 
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