Dec 8: Ham, Eggs & Roast Potato; Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream, Asparagus and Garlic Mushrooms

Lunch

With it being Saturday, lunch could take on a little more complexity: ham steak, fried onion and Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onions (Trader Joe’s).

  • The ham steak was 88c
  • A pastured egg is 50c
  • The frozen roast potatoes with peppers and onions was $2.99 or $1.50 per serve.

A great weekend lunch for $2.88 per serve.

Dinner

When we celebrate Foodie Philip’s birthday we typically go for prime rib, and this year was no exception. Served with grilled asparagus, roasted garlic butter mushrooms and a horseradish cream, this was definitely a great take on a steakhouse meal.

  • The prime rib as $39.09 but we’ll get five very (very) generous serves from that, or $7.81 per serve, which is double what you’d get in a steak house,
  • Mushrooms were $2.99 or $1.50 each
  • Butter adds 50c per serve
  • Asparagus was $4.03 but we used only half, or $1.00 per serve
  • Add 65c per serve for sour cream and horseradish.

A meal worthy of the best steak house and, at $11.46 per serve, under a quarter of what we’d pay for the same meal in a steak house.

Dec 7: Ham and Swiss; Mauritian Prawn Curry

Lunch

With so much ham we were destined to have ham and Swiss toasted sandwiches for lunch.

  • The rye bread is 32c per serve
  • The ham is 11c per ounce or 22c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve
  • Add 50c for mustard and butter.

A good sandwich for $1.38 per serve.

Dinner

For “fishy Friday” Foodie Greg tried a new recipe: Mauritian Prawn Curry, which was an interesting flavor variation, particularly being tomato based.

  • The shrimp was $7.99 for the pack, and we used half, or $2.00 per serve
  • Canned tomatoes are $1.29 or 65c per serve
  • Add 30c for ginger, garlic and onion
  • Add 75c for other seasonings.

This curry isn’t like the more familiar Indian styles, and was slightly odd to us, but quite tasty in it’s own way for $3.70 per serve.

Dec 6: Caramelized Onions & Gruyere Toastie; Baked Ham with Choucroute Garnie

Lunch

Caramelized onions and gruyere seemed like an elevated lunch choice, and it was very good indeed. Toasted until the gruyere was oozing it was a great balance with the sweetness of the onion.

  • The gruyere was $8.99 and we shared a quarter, or $1.13 per serve
  • The sprouted rye is 32c per serve
  • The caramelized onion is 20c per serve
  • Add 50c for butter and garlic spread.

Really good sandwich for $2.15 per serve.

Dinner

We were hoping our friend Cirina would make it back to the West Coast so we could celebrate Christmas together, but it didn’t happen and we needed time to use the leftovers, so tonight we baked our ham and served it with Choucroute Garni (without potatoes).

  • The ham was $15.76 for 10 lb of ham, and figuring 8oz for a serve and allowing for the bone, or 18 serves at 88c per serve, although tonight we had 1.5 serves each, or $1.32 per serve
  • For onion in the garni we used caramelized onion at 7c per serve
  • We picked up heirloom carrots in multiple colors for $2.49 or 83c per serve
  • Bubbies sauerkraut was $7.39 or $2.47 per serve
  • Add 30c for seasoning and mustard.

The pork turned out very well as did the choucroute, leading to a very enjoyable meal for $4.99 per serve.

Dec 5: Curry Pot Roast in Panini Rust Rolls; French Onion Soup

Lunch

We still had some of the chuck roast so we used the last of it in another par baked roll we finished in the oven, smeared with horseradish aioli, and stuffed with the chuck roast of a few nights ago, and tabouli.

  • Tabouli was $2.69 but we used half, or 43c per serve
  • The beef roast $4.42 per serve, and we shared one, or $1.21 per serve
  • Add 20c for the horseradish aioli
  • Add 63c for the roll.

A really good roll for $2.47 per serve.

Dinner

In cold weather there’s nothing better than a steamy hot soup and French Onion is a favorite. We used half the onion in the French Onion soup and kept the remainder for sandwiches, etc.

  • Five onions were $1.00 or 20c per serve
  • Beef broth is $1.99 or 68c per serve
  • A cup of red wine adds 40c per serve
  • Butter adds 25c per serve
  • Half a panini roll is 32c
  • The gruyere was $8.99 and we used half, or $2.25 per serve.

The soup and roll comes to $1.85 and then the cheese adds another $2.25 to bring the total to $4.10 and worth every penny.

Dec 4: Popeye’s Fried Chicken with Pinto Bean & Andouille Stew; Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Eggplant with Tomato

Lunch

For lunch we decided to finish the Popeye’s Fried Chicken and paired it with some of the Pinto Bean and Andouille Sausage Stew.

  • 9 Pieces of chicken were $8.99 on a new special, or $2.19 per serve with tax
  • A half serve of the stew is $1.22.

An enjoyable lunch for $3.41 per serve.

Dinner

We had planned on French Onion Soup, but did not start early enough to have it ready for tonight, so we chose scrambled eggs, bacon, and Grecian Style Eggplant with Tomatoes and Onions (Trader Joe’s), which is really good.

  • The eggplant, tomato and onion is $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • Two pastured eggs are $1.00 per serve
  • Four slices of bacon are $2.74 or $1.37 per serve
  • Toast is 16c per slice
  • Butter adds 35c.

A great fall-back meal for $4.13 per serve.

Dec 3: Tuna Pouch & Swiss; Gyoza with Ginger Miso Broth and Poached Egg

Lunch

A split lunch schedule had Foodie Philip eating alone a little later than usual.

  • The tuna was $2.00 per serve
  • Sprouted Rye bread is 32c per serve
  • Swiss slices are 12 for $3.99 or 34c per serve
  • Add 50c for butter, garlic spread and capers.

A good sandwich for $3.16 per serve.

Dinner

A no-think meatless Monday requires a return  to our stand-by favorite: Vegetable Gyoza in a Ginger Miso Broth.

  • The Miso Ginger broth was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • The gyoza were $3.99, or $2.00 per serve
  • Add 20c for seasonings.
  • A pastured egg is 50c.

A great tasting, simple and quick meal for $3.70 per serve.

Dec 2: Curry Pot Roast in Panini Rust Rolls; Pinto Bean & Andouille Sausage Stew

Lunch

For lunch we finished the par-baked rolls in the oven, smeared with horseradish aioli, and stuffed with the chuck roast of a few nights ago, and tabouli.

  • Tabouli was $2.69 but we used half, or 43c per serve
  • The beef roast $4.42 per serve, and we shared one, or $1.21 per serve
  • Add 20c for the horseradish aioli
  • Add 63c for the roll.

A really good roll for $2.47 per serve.

Dinner

When we first tried this Pinto Bean & Andouille Sausage Stew, which is likely an ancestor to the Southwest Beans and Rice.

We followed the recipe fairly closely although we substituted a can of fire roasted tomatoes for the fresh in the recipe. We kept it moderately spicy. The recipe makes at least eight serves.

  • The pinto beans were $1.19 or 15c per serve
  • The pepper was $1.12 or 14c per serve
  • The Bell pepper was 99c or 12c per serve
  • The fire roasted tomatoes were $1.29 or 16c per serve
  • The bacon was $7.99 but we used ⅜ or 38c per serve
  • The sausage was $8.99 or $1.25 per serve
  • Add 15c per serve for spices and seasoning
  • Add 10c for labne.

This dish spans the space between a stew and a chili; served with rice, but dressed like a chili. Despite only half a sausage in each serve (and less bacon) it has a great meaty taste for $2.45 per serve.

 

Dec 1: Bahn Mi; Turmeric-Coconut Curry with Pork and Brown Rice

Lunch

We’d been craving a Bahn Mi all week, so we finally got it today for $8.95 per serve with tax & tip.

Dinner

Tonight’s dinner made three very generous serves of the Turmeric Coconut Curry with Pork. The third was eaten as a snack! We added bean sprouts for a wet crunch

  • The pork came from our Prather Ranch meat delivery – 1 lb of ground pork cost $8.31 or $$2.77 per serve
  • Add 45c for onion, ginger and turmeric’
  • Coconut milk was $1.89 or 63c per serve
  • Almond flakes were $2.49 but we used only 1/5 or 17c per serve
  • Brown rice is 33c per serve
  • Bean sprouts were $1.49 but we used only 1/3 or 25c per serve.

Dinner tonight had a good level of heat offset by the coconut. The bok choy provided a nice textural alternative to the pork and rice. A decent meal for $4.60 per serve

November 2018: Summary and Observations

While we spent most of the month at home, there was a weekend away for a conference in Cupertino, CA.

We had a lot of good food this month, including some excellent Hunanese style Chinese food at Sizzling Gourmet in Cupertino.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.71 ($2.25 in October)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $11.62 ($10.70)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $6.63 ($5.76)
  • Dinner eaten out: $22.13 ($21.99).

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month is only a few cents per serve up from last month. Lunches prepared outside the home are also lower.

Our most expensive meal was at Cafe Torre in Cupertino at $34.34 per serve for good, but not great, Italian.

Our most expensive at home meal was our Australian Style Cobb Salad with the the dry aged rib eye  at $11.97 per serve. This month’s meals at home are slightly over our long term averages.

Lunches at home cost 23% of the cost of eating food prepared outside the home, while dinners at home cost 30% the average of dinner out this month.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $348.60 per person in September. We actually spent $48.83 for lunches at home plus $127.84 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $176.67 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $663.90 per person. We actually spent $145.82 for dinners at home and $132.79 for dinners out: $278.61  in total.

We saved $557.22 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 18 different recipes for evening meals.

Nov 30: Popeyes Fried Chicken; Sussex Smokey

Lunch

Since Foodie Philip was near a Popeyes, it was time for fried chicken with red beans and rice for lunch.

  • 9 Pieces of chicken were $8.99 on a new special, or $2.19 per serve with tax
  • Red beans were $3.99 or $2.19 with tax.

An enjoyable lunch for $4.38 per serve.

Dinner

Another Friday, another fish recipe and this time we returned to our  version of a Sussex Smokey. I simple dish largely consisting of leeks, smoked fish (haddock in the recipe, smoked trout in our version), and a roux with some seasoning.

  • The smoked trout was $7.49 or $3.75 per serve
  • Heavy cream is $3.49 but we used ⅛ or 22c per serve
  • The leeks were $2.99 or $1.50 per serve
  • A pint of organic Half and Half is $1.99 and we used ½ or 50c per serve
  • Add 40c for breadcrumbs
  • Add 30c for butter
  • Add 30c for seasoning
  • Sugar snap peas were $4.99 and we shared ⅓, or 83c per serve .

A very enjoyable meal for $7.80 per serve.