Okay, it’s been a roller coaster weekend but I cannot tell you how excited I am to make this post. It’s a 2 for 1 in that I am giving you a couple of frugal tips and an awesome scratch recipe I am stoked to have created.
Food, much like gas, is one of those expenses that is simply unavoidable. Just this week I heard on my preferred radio station about how groceries are one of the most expensive bills American families have but at the same time one of the biggest ways to save. I was grateful that we already do many of the suggested tips they shared. Things such as meal planning, grocery lists, shopping from the flyer and matching coupons to these same items-are all great ways to save. For me though, my biggest saver is a shop-to-cook combo as opposed to the more traditional cook-to-shop method. What does this mean exactly? Well, rather than figuring out what we want to make and then building a list made up of needs, wants and ingredients. I make my shopping-list based on what it is on sale both in the flyer and on manager special. I do my shopping, then when I come home after all is put away I sit down with the monthly (yes, we do a month-long menu for dinners) I have Brent tell me what is in the freezer as I build the menu. We bounce ideas off one another and each pick what we would prefer to cook i.e. I typically do the fish and the pastas and he is the meat-man for the two nights he’s home to cook. Somewhere in all of this the menu is made. The two things that make this a bit more simplistic is that there is always a pasta night and always at least one night of leftovers if not two, each week.
Today was “Spaghetti Sunday” which really just means any kind of pasta for us. The girls go back and forth between plain noodles and sauce so tonight I wanted to try something different on my wee ones. I looked in my fridge and got inspired. I saw the tiny bit of bagged spinach, a few fresh mushrooms (just on the brink of being brown), leftover pork tenderloin, vegetable medley, a container of marscapone (I got this on a discontinued sale and the Sicilian in me couldn’t pass it up-but admittedly I haven’t know what to do with it), milk and cheese. Yes, I went there…”leftover” alfredo linguine. I started with 2 tbsp of butter and added garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil and onion powder to taste. Threw in the mushrooms to saute and then poured in equal parts 2% milk and ff 1/2 and 1/2 (about 1/2 cup of each). I put in one handful of shredded mozzarella (one of our household staples) and 1 heaping spoon of marscapone. I tossed in all of the leftover vegetable medley, chopped up the remaining tenderloin and cooked it all on low for about 10 mins; which was the same amount of time it took for the noodles to cook. Then I tossed it altogether, sprinkled with some crushed red pepper and couldn’t believe my palate. OMGoodness!
It’s kind of a Giada meets RR in under 20 mins lol. Seriously, I don’t usually make things that are worth bragging about. I’m more of a mediocrity in the department of household productivity. I mean I CAN bake, cook, iron, clean, and child-rear but on a good day we are usually skating by on the side of ..it’s alright or it’s not bad or my personal favorite “yeah, that works” lol; but truth be told I come from some phenomenal culinary chops so my standard is pretty high and I don’t usually have anything to taut too much on, I mean I’m not a bad cook at all but this was pretty damn good. And now that I have said all that, if you try it…I sure hope you like it too!
Happy Cooking & Saving ox