Thursday, July 23, 2009

Food Bill Reducing Tips Thursday and Giveaway!

Ok, so it's crazy to do both the food bill reducing tips and a giveaway in one post, but here it is...

My sister has the BEST ideas - no matter what SHE says. We were talking tonight on the phone, because, sadly, she lives across the continent from me. Anyhow, I was lamenting that I had been to the grocery store today, walking up and down the aisles thinking about what I would write in this post this evening, and had come up with nothing too inspiring. Then she had this great Brain Blast! She said - and I quote - "I wish someone would come up with a 2-week listing of meals, somewhat within my budget, that I could rotate on an on-going basis. The listing would have an accompanying grocery list, and would have to be filled with good stuff- using good quality or organic ingredients". She talked about wanting to be able to take the time in the morning, when she is most available, and get things ready for that evening's dinner. She is wanting to avoid coming home and having that fateful 'afternoon bust' where you look around, overwhelmed by your day so far, and decide - 'let's eat out'.

So here's my challenge:
Why hasn't my sister already done this? Because it takes time and alot of organization - something that is quite the commodity around my house, and I bet, yours as well.

However -we can do this - together.

We'll start with just dinner. I can come up with several dinner recipes - many already on this blog - that are simple, include good food and are quick to prepare. But I bet you all can submit some recipes for dishes that follow the same guidelines. Who knows?? Perhaps we can create a web-book for other stressed out evening cooks! For 2 weeks, we'll need at least 10 more (I'll come up with 4 on my own). I can compile the listing for 2 weeks (complete with grocery lists) that could then be rotated to cover the next 2 weeks. As a group, we can decide if this should be more than a link here on the blog, or go the next step and create a web-book. Leave a comment, let me know you want to submit a recipe (or more) and we'll go from there.

Here are the qualifications:
  1. The cooks need to be able to find the ingredients at their local grocery store - no pickled tofu or anything exotic like that!
  2. The ingredients need to be on the healthy side - no cans of cheddar cheese or cream of mushroom soup, please!
  3. The recipes needs to be big enough for at least 4 people.
  4. The recipes can be vegetarian or meat-based - but again, no exotics like buffalo or quail!
  5. Each recipe needs to be accompanied by a grocery list.
  6. The recipes need to be simple, and be able to be assembled quickly - let's say 30 min or less from counter to oven.
  7. Think pasta, entree salads, casseroles, chicken/beef/fish dishes, etc.
  8. Tell your friends to submit as well - even if they don't read blogs!

Now for the giveaway!!

Today, I'm giving away another hand-made necklace:

This one is almost all purple, with brass spacers. It is approximately 30 inches long, and has these really beautiful hand-blown glass beads. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment (yes, leaving a comment about the meal listing above qualifies as well).

The deadline will be 9 pm EST on Thursday, 7/30/09.


Michelle said...

Hi Jill,
Here's a link to a recipe on my blog for taco meat from scratch (no MSG-laden packets of "seasonings")

Just add chopped veggies, guacamole (can provide a great recipe for that too, if you'd like), etc, and hard or soft taco shells, and you're good to go.

We love this because we can prepare it in bulk, and freeze the meat for future meals (on those frazzled nights ;-)

Great idea you have...I'll be watching for more recipes :-)


Lisa S. said...

Here's a recipe I made last night: Saute a chopped onion in 2T olive oil. Add 2 chopped boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook on medium heat until cooked almost all the way through. Make a sauce of 4T dijon mustard, 1T soy sauce and 1/2 cup maple syrup. Add the sauce to the chicken/onion mixture. Simmer until chicken is cooked. You may need to thin the sauce, if so just add some water or chicken broth to the consistency you like, then reduce the sauce on low heat. Serve this over brown rice and a green salad on the side.
: NOTE : I am guessing at the above measurements as I kinda just threw it together...adjust to your liking!
Can't wait to try all the recipes!

Jill said...

Terrific!! I can't wait to get this started. Thanks, you two for the recipes.

goldenbird said...

I'm not a very good cook, but here are links to my two favorite easy-peasy recipes from the American Heart Association website.

Poached Salmon with spinach:

Tuna Cakes with cucumber yogurt sauce:

I'll send you the Corntastic within the next week or so. I'm glad you like the ATC I sent you, it was the first one I ever made. Don't worry about sending your's on time, it's all very flexible :-)

Hope you have a great weekend, Jill.

Angela said...

2 suggestions:

1. make one "book" for spring/summer and one for fall/winter. We eat very differently depending on the season, with winter being lots of stews and soups and oven dinners like turkey meatloaf, and summer being a lot of grilled items and salads.

2. Think Crockpot! If your sister loves to prep in the morning, it's perfect for her. There's nothing better than coming home to a delicious homecooked meal, and it makes the whole house smell delicious. I'll come back with a few of my favorites when I have a minute.



Hi Jill,

WOW...very pretty necklace that you made for the giveaway!!
Thank you for having one:)

Looking forward to the ATC swap in August with you...sorry..didn't make one for you for the July swap..
Deb :)