17 August 2019

Weekend Cooking: Musings

Weekend Cooking: random thoughts I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to start your blog posts off with an apology, but that's what I'm doing today. I was slammed with work this week, and although I cooked (from scratch) each night, I don't have much left in me to write a thrilling Weekend Cooking post. *shrug*

By the way, this is my 504th Weekend Cooking post. It's not 504 weeks in a row, though, because Deb from Kahakai Kitchen hosted for me last August when I was out of the country. Still . . . that's almost 10 years of hosting!

Enough digression. Almost three years ago, I wrote about Beth Moncel's Budget Bytes cookbook and blog. At the time I was lamenting how much money Mr. BFR and I spend on food each week. I truly don't know how families manage, and I feel bad for anyone who has teenage boys.

Earlier this summer, I was going through my cookbooks and spotted Budget Bytes on my shelves. I revisited Moncel's website, still liked what I saw, and signed up for her email newsletter. Two of our dinners came from the cookbook this week: a zucchini pasta bake and a chicken and potatoes sheet pan supper. Both were delicious, inexpensive, and really easy to throw together after a long day of editing. I recommend the site and the book for both vegetarians and meat eaters.

Summer applesMy cooking plans for this weekend include making my first batch of tomato sauce for the freezer and a batch of peach chutney. I don't have a particular sauce recipe -- I just cook down the tomatoes with herbs, garlic, and onions until the sauce is thick and then I use the immersion blender to smooth it out. Sometimes I add vegetables or hot peppers.

My chutney recipe is here. It's still too early for the prune plums, which makes my all-time favorite chutney, but I use the same recipe for peaches and nectarines. Currently, we're eating the summer apples out of hand, but later in the fall I'll make and freeze applesauce.

Do you preserve the summer harvest? I used to can all kinds of sauces, jams, and vegetables, but now I rely on my freezer and concentrate on sauce, tomato jam, chutney, and applesauce. I guess I got lazy in my old age. Or maybe it's because we no longer have a vegetable garden.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


gluten Free A_Z Blog 8/17/19, 7:04 AM  

So funny, my husband and I were looking at our finances and were surprised how much we spend on food ( and eating out). I'm going to look at her website for some ideas. Thanks for a great post and congratulations on 10 years! I know I enjoy your Weekend Cooking each week!

Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza 8/17/19, 7:52 AM  
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Tina 8/17/19, 7:53 AM  

We had a prune plum tree in our backyard when I was growing up. I would climb and sit and eat those plums. Never thought about making chutney from plums, sounds so good.

Thanks for the tip on Budget Bytes, I’m interested in the sheet pan recipe you mentioned & will certainly check out the site & book.

Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza 8/17/19, 7:55 AM  

I also love Budget Bytes! You do an awesome job - congrats on 10 years!

Jackie McGuinness 8/17/19, 8:04 AM  

I think we spend a lot of food as well. But the last couple of weeks I have been making a concentrated effort to use up more stuff.
When we worked we often went out to dinner. Retired, we prefer going out for lunch maybe once a week.
Leftovers get used up more often now as lunches as well.

We use Costco for some items. Which can cause a pile up of things to use up.

We also travel a lot but have gotten much better on the amount of food we buy. Owning timeshare helps as we don't have to eat out.

Going to check out Budget Bytes.

bermudaonion 8/17/19, 8:15 AM  

Almost 10 years? That's amazing! I'm reading Grocery by Michael Ruhlman and he writes about fresh and organic foods being more expensive than packaged items which why so many poor and marganilized families don't eat healthy foods.

Jackie McGuinness 8/17/19, 8:29 AM  

P.S. When I woke this morning I was thinking about the fresh kale I had in the fridge and decided it could be used in a quiche!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 8/17/19, 10:33 AM  

Feeding our two sons during their growing years was surreal; I remember buying eight gallons of milk a week, for one thing. Now that they are grown, we find our grocery bills to be ridiculously small.

Especially when you compare buying groceries and cooking at home to going out to eat....

Claudia 8/17/19, 10:39 AM  

I do preserve stuff, but here it goes on most of the year, with different fruits, etc. Just finished a batch of pineapple chutney, and some pineapple wine. Lilikoi wine is next. I think Ruhlman may be right, but to me it's worth it, and if you don't buy processed, prepared foods and cases of soda, there might just be a leveling out.

Deb in Hawaii 8/17/19, 11:19 AM  

Congrats on ten years! That's exciting!
I try to stay within a budget but it isn't always easy. I also try to preserve food when I can but don't get much beyond simple things like jams and refrigerator pickles. I love taking random veggies and pickling them to eat later. ;-)

rhapsodyinbooks 8/17/19, 11:55 AM  

Thanks for linking to the Budget Bytes Blog - lots of good-looking recipes there!

Abigail Pearson 8/17/19, 3:23 PM  

Congrats on almost 10 years!

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/18/19, 5:06 PM  

I fondly remember the one year we grew tomatoes in our garden and canned them. It was a fun family project and we appreciated the tomato sauce come winter.

Mae Travels 8/18/19, 8:44 PM  

Choosing between virtuous but expensive foods (like organic produce or dairy products and many responsibly farmed/fished/raised proteins) and mass produced but very cheap foodstuffs (like factory-farm eggs instead of cage-free eggs) is really difficult. I can think of good reasons for either choice, in many specific cases, though sometimes the moral choice seems clear, and sometimes the health choice seems clear.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Heidenkind 8/26/19, 12:27 AM  

Totally signed up for the Budget Bytes newsletter. Thanks!

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