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WIS, WWA | A non-exemplary week of cooking

What I Spent

So. I did not plan a menu this week.

And I was reminded that I cannot be trusted without a menu plan.

I know other people can do this. And they can even thrive!

But I am not that kind of person.

green beans soaking in ice water.

Because I didn’t plan a menu, I didn’t do a big grocery shopping trip. But as a trade-off, we got fast food two nights instead of eating at home.

Which cost $78.


And our meals this week were definitely a little on the uninspired side.

So, this week’s food expenditures:

  • $78 on fast food
  • $91 on a Harris Teeter fill-in shopping trip
  • $25 on a Hungry Harvest box 

And that adds up to $194.

I really, really need to plan a menu this week!

What We Ate


Takeout date night, which was a Margherita pizza from a local pizza shop (normal date night expenditure).


I had eaten some leftovers mid-afternoon, so I wasn’t hungry at dinnertime.

Sonia and Zoe were heading to an outdoor get-together with a few friends (outdoors is much better for social distancing!), so we went through the McDonald’s drive-through to get food.

I really do not like McDonald’s, so this was a perfect time to go. Ha.


I opted to do breakfast for dinner: local pork sausage and waffles topped with my failed peach jam. (scroll down in that post to read about the jam.)

buttermilk waffles


I’d planned to make fish cake sandwiches, but my day did not go as planned, and by the time I got to the fish, it wasn’t thawed anyway.

So we ordered subs.


The fish thawed, so I made fish cake sandwiches and sautéed asparagus.

fish cake sandwich

And we also ate grapefruit halves from the Hungry Harvest box.


I had no plan for dinner, so I walked into Harris Teeter, hoping for some inspiration.

(Do I recommend this? No. I’m just saying it’s what I did.)

I bought a rotisserie chicken and some English muffins, and we ate those for dinner, along with some green beans from the fridge.

rotisserie chicken

This is not the cheapest way to make a meal, but it IS cheaper than getting takeout for five people.

Go with the lesser of two evils, I say.


I think we might do our takeout date night tonight, since I have book club (via Zoom) tomorrow night.

Here’s to a better cooking report next week!

What did you eat for dinner this week?

P.S. Weeks like this are the reason I do What We Ate posts instead of menu posts. It would be easy to post an impressive menu plan, but it’s much more honest to post what we actually eat. Real vs. aspirational

No one manages to be a great, creative, consistent cook every single week. At least, I don’t! Ha. 

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Monday 15th of June 2020

One of the things I LOVE about your blog is you keep it real! Not every picture is professional-grade, and not every week is a story of how you lovingly made every mouthful your family ate from food you gathered with your own two hands grown on your own land... or something.

Sometimes, life gets ahead of us, and convenience wins out, and that's ok!

I can usually cope without a menu plan, but do end up with things like "snack dinner" where I cut up a bunch of cheese, deli meats, veggies, and fruit, add some crackers and call it dinner, or I throw together something from my "emergency meals" stash that I can make in my sleep (like tonight's frozen ravioli with jarred sauce - only because I managed to think ahead a little, we'll also have a salad kit)

One day my kids still talk about with nostalgia, I pulled out a bunch of random individual cereal bowls leftover from a holiday (we have "fun" cereal bowls as a special breakfast thing, but sometimes because they aren't "normal" breakfast items, the extra ones get stashed in the back of the pantry), and we had cereal for dinner. I added some fried eggs for me and DH, but the kids were in heaven eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruit Loops.


Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Ha, I always wish that all my photos were professional grade.

But I totally get what you are saying; sometimes a blog with food photos that look like they were shot by a corporate advertising company can look unrelatable.


Monday 15th of June 2020

I made a quick supper of gussied up Rice a Roni by adding extra spices, onion, tomato sauce and pork sausage. That was good for two evenings. Had a Florentine chicken casserole good for two more nights and then I made a huge pot of volcanically hot chili that my husband loved. I do not love hot chili and had the season's first fresh tomato sandwiches with sliced cucumbers, extra sharp cheese and watermelon on the side.

MB in MN

Monday 15th of June 2020

Lately I have been assembling simple meals rather than following specific recipes.

- Roasted sweet potatoes and green beans, tossed with cooked wild rice, dried cranberries and vinaigrette - Roasted asparagus and penne noodles with olive oil and parmesan cheese - Spaghetti noodles with broccoli, tomato sauce, parmesan cheese and walnuts - Black bean and corn salad on lettuce - Wild rice pancakes with blueberries


Saturday 13th of June 2020

We have been trying to break up the pandemic monotony by eating outside as much as possible. Our backyard, a park, the beach - they all work right now, and help to break through the 'blah' factor that seems to build up over the course of the day.I

Monday- The last of my pandemic food- a very bland prepackaged cheese broccoli soup. I added fresh broccoli and ham, and seved it with rosemary garlic bread. Tuesday- A repeat of last night. It was not pleasant, though my husband, bless his heart, thought it was fine. Wednesday- Quinoa Asian cashew stir fry. The recipe was from the very excellent Veganomicon cookbook. Thursday- Repeat of last night, but eaten cold. I think I liked it better cold vs. hot. Friday- Takeout BBQ. I had a Groupon credit that I used for this, so free. Saturday- We are meeting our daughter and BF at a craft brewery and having dinner on their outdoor patio. Sunday- Chicken with green olives and capers, pasta, salad. The recipe is from Sunset magazine, so I'm looking forward to making it for the first time. I find that Sunset always delivers big on flavor.

Next week should be interesting. My daughter and her family are coming to stay with us for six weeks to get out of the DC heat. Trying to remember meal planning for a six and two year old!


Friday 12th of June 2020

Be kind to yourself. I bet some of the reason for the eating out was just to break up the monotony of social isolation! We don't eat out often to begin with, but haven't really since our anniversary in February. Husband's birthday is next week and we have a gift certificate for a fancy place. Trying to decide: 1) Is it OK to use a gift certificate right now(it's a place we can't otherwise afford)? I think I will but tip generously in cash. 2) Eat in or take out? I think the eating in experience doesn't sound very nice because of all the precautions--I really don't want to sit in a mask between courses. I'm leaning toward taking out.

I always find a rotisserie chicken a frugal dinner because I can squeeze 4 meals for a family of four out of 1 chicken. We like dark meat so legs and thighs the first night (adults get thighs, kids--who are now actually adults with small appetites--get legs). We hide the white meat in stuff like homemade pot pie, chicken "glop" (our term for any kind of chicken with sauce served over rice or pasta for the pasta eaters in the family), chicken salad on hot days, etc. There's always some leftover for lunches. And we make broth out of the carcass. So we get a lot of mileage from a rotisserie chicken. And I don't have to mess up the oven or heat up the house to roast a chicken!

Our budget is a little ragged because the cost of meat has gone up. But we eat meat and lots of veggies, so we are trying to avoid waste as much as possible and suck it up a bit.

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