Cheap & easy food

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This week I thought I should take it easy -- we just returned from our honeymoon/missions trip in Honduras to find the dog's room/mud room flooded AND a random 3-inches of water in our (previously) completely dry crawl space. So, Monday I went grocery shopping using the Sunday paper ads and wrote out a list while I waited for the plumber to arrive (did I mention we also found a leaking toilet?)

This budget conscientious menu cost us less than $50. It included roast beef sandwiches for lunches as well as a few plums and nectarines. Each meal cost well under $10 dollars for the two of us. We were always full and had something leftover (but not TOO much) And the dessert of the week was mixed berries w/ homemade whipped cream --


Monday - burgers with grilled corn on the cob
Tuesday - grilled chicken with baked potatoes
Wednesday - sloppy-joes with mac & cheese
Thursday - brats with baked beans
Friday - Night out (hotdogs at the game)
Saturday - hamburgers and fruit (and a salad for me)
Sunday - homemade chicken & artichoke pizza with cheesy bread

The best part of this week was the chicken - instead of grilling frozen lumps of 'boneless skinless chicken breast' until crispy dry and 'cooked' (oh yeah no Air Conditioning - so we were cooking outside all week) I bought fresh bone in chicken breast that I found on sale at Kroger for just $1 pound and 'brined' them ... well actually Jordan was in charge of that since he stayed home that day from work (he was sick ...)

Brining is nothing I had ever seen growing up -- we simply took the chicken from the package maybe rinsed it and always baked it -- it was dry (sorry mom) and mostly blah. Brining is simply soaking the chicken in a water/salt solution -- which can include a bit of sugar. The chicken marinates in this for an hour or so and when cooked is SO juicy and tasty that you will never again cook chicken without this step.

You can do this with just about any meat -- here is a great article from Cook Illustrated


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