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WIS, WWA | Back up to four

Hello, hello, everyone!

Mr. FG came back into town last weekend, so we were back up to four diners at the table this week.

A pier that is underwater.

What I Spent

I spent:

  • $46 at Giant
  • $30 at Harris Teeter
  • $11 at Noodles and Company
  • $16 on takeout for Sonia and Zoe on Wednesday

So, $103 altogether, which is not at all shabby.

What We Ate


Mr. FG got back super late Saturday night, Sonia was at work, Lisey was visiting, and of course, Zoe and I were here. 

(That makes three dinner diners, for those of you keeping track at home.)

Since a date night obviously wasn’t happening, I opted to use our date night budget to get wings from Lisey’s favorite local wing shop.


We went to visit my sister-in-law for Halloween night, and we ate pizza there.


I got a rotisserie chicken, toasted some croissants, and sauteed some asparagus for an easy dinner.

peppered asparagus on a tray.



I christened my new crockpot (!) by trying a crockpot recipe for chicken tinga, sent to me by reader Rose.

Kristen next to her crockpot.

I had to take a selfie to document this momentous occasion: the first use of the new crock-pot.

(We met Rose, who labels herself “not frugal” in this Meet a Reader post).

Tinga ingredients in a black crock-pot.

This used chicken thighs, which is smart for a crock-pot recipe, as they’re so much less likely to dry out. We ate the chicken as a taco filling, with chips, salsa, and queso on the side, plus homemade applesauce.


Wednesday is my, “I’m not cooking!” night.

Mr. FG ate some Costco frozen chicken nuggets, Sonia and Zoe got fast food takeout, and I ate a Korean noodle bowl at Noodles and Company while Zoe was at youth group.


I used the leftover chicken from Tuesday night to make burrito bowls, with rice, sauteed peppers and onions, lettuce, cilantro, cheese, and so on.

Burrito bowl in a white dish.

I did not take a photo, so here is a photo of a previous burrito bowl combo, this one with pineapple salsa.


Zoe will be at a friend’s house, and Sonia will be working, so maybe we will do our date night tonight!

What did you have for dinner this week?

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Hawaii Planner

Monday 8th of November 2021

Oh gosh, what did we eat? -Beef & barley soup with homemade bread (of course, your recipe!) -Chicken & dumplings (crockpot recipe) -Spaghetti & meatballs. Sauce made from a variety of fridge "use it up" items -Chicken wings & pot stickers -Leftovers

I also inventoried the freezer, and now have a list of "hard to use up" items that are lingering. Those are on my plan for November. So far, used up two bags of grilled tomatoes, by chopping them & including them in the spaghetti sauce.


Saturday 6th of November 2021

The chicken tinga looks good. I've been wanting to try a recipe....

Let's see what we had for dinner. It was pretty laid back and one was a fail.... - Enchilada casserole (too lazy to make individual servings and I didn't have a lot of stuff) - Smoked chicken sandwiches ( hubby loves to smoke everything) - Pepperoni pizza (son works at a local pizza shop) - Chicken & rice (from a bag) - Chicken & wild rice soup (more like porridge)


Saturday 6th of November 2021

First-time commenter but avid comment section reader here! I love cooking but struggle with planning in advance. I tried this week inspired by you all! Monday - instant pot pea and mushroom risotto! Tuesday - sirloin steak and pasta arrabbiata (random meal but it worked!) Wednesday - instant pot jap chae (nice springy glass noodles!) Thursday (diwali!) - roti (chapathi), potato sabzi (stir-fried veg) and dal! Friday - NYTs Jalapeno pork chops - so so good!

Another south Indian friend is coming over this weekend with his spouse! All of us grew up on the coast in India - so I am getting some fish from my fishmonger in NYC and cooking us a seafood feast. Fingers x.


Friday 5th of November 2021

Hi Kristen.... Would you mind sharing the crock pot recipe for chicken tinga?

This week I made Asian pulled pork using a crock pot. I used the meat to make Asian tacos using naan bread and topped with Asian coleslaw and Sriracha sauce. I used the sauce from after cooking the meat and mixed it with plan cooked ramen and served the pork over it. Both dishes were delicious.


Saturday 6th of November 2021

@Rose, lol- cooking can be a good upper-body strength exercise


Saturday 6th of November 2021

also if anyone hasn't heard: use an electric hand or stand mixer to shred chicken! Way less effort than using two forks.


Saturday 6th of November 2021

I stole it from the New York Times, so it's probably not cool for Kristen to share it. But I can! Ha.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos • • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs • 1 cup crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted (about 9 ounces) • 5 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped • 1 to 3 chipotle chiles, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce) • 1 tablespoon tomato paste • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf • 1 teaspoon dried oregano • ½ teaspoon ground cumin • 1 white or red onion, thinly sliced • Coarse kosher salt • Kernels cut from 2 small ears fresh corn (about 2 cups) or 10 ounces frozen, thawed corn • ½ teaspoon onion powder • Juice of 1/2 lime (about 2 teaspoons), plus more to taste • 8 corn tortillas or tostadas • Mexican-style crema or sour cream, for serving • Sliced avocado, for serving

PREPARATION 1. In a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken thighs, crushed tomatoes, garlic, chipotle chiles and adobo sauce, tomato paste, vegetable oil, bay leaf, oregano, cumin and half the onion. (Reserve the other half for serving.) Stir to combine and season with 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook on low until the chicken is very tender, about 6 hours. 2. About 15 minutes before serving, turn the heat to high and stir in the corn kernels, onion powder and lime juice. Cook until the corn is warmed through, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, if using tortillas, warm them. 3. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Using two forks, coarsely shred the chicken. Taste the tinga and add more salt or lime juice if necessary. Serve the tinga on tortillas or tostadas, topped with the remaining sliced onion, the crema and the avocado.


Friday 5th of November 2021

Sat: Family "Octoberfest/Halloween" gathering Sun: Pizza (take out) From a place that we go to regularly but not very good this time, especially for what it cost. Pizzas have become very expensive. I am going to stock dough in the freezer to have available when we want it. Mon: Marinated steak. I had a couple of steaks in the freezer. baked potatoes, brussel sprouts and asparagus. Want to clean out the freezer. Tues: Leftovers, green beans, mashed potatoes. It turned out there were 2 good-sized steaks from Monday, so there was enough left for us to have an easy supper--it's my work day. Wed: Chicken breast, green beans, roasted potatoes. Thurs: Pork chops, asparagus, garlic risotto Fri: Veggie burgers baked beans. I did not really like the veggie burger but I finished it.

My husband went to the butcher shop today and bought himself salami; and for dinner tomorrow, we will be having the pastrami he bought. I'll have to get some rolls and sides.

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