Jul 30: Bahn Mi; Chicken and Salad


After a tumultuous morning making emergency plumbing repairs foodie Greg decided we’d try Pho Saugon, which had very good reviews on Yelp. Because it’s a known quantity, we had pork bahn mi. They were very, very good, probably the best bahn mi we’ve ever had. Sorry Mandolin Grill!

Lunch today cost $8.25 per serve.


We had plans to share the meal with a friend, but last minute unforeseen complications saw that meal postponed until tomorrow, so we had to make a last minute meal for ourselves tonight.

Fortunately we still had roast chicken legs and mixed salad greens, so chicken and salad was on the table in less than 10 minutes.

  • The chicken is $6.99, so a thigh and drumstick portion is $1.75
  • The mixed green blend was $2.49 and we used half, or 63c
  • Add 20c for olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a dressing.

Tonight’s quick meal was tasty and cost $2.57 per serve.

Jul 29: Chicken, Avocado & Sun Dried Tomato Baguette; Bolognese with Black Bean Rotini


A great baguette from Jon’s over the hill in Simi Valley was cut and a quarter each filled with fresh roast chicken breast, avocado and sun dried tomatoes. It was a great combination and we thoroughly enjoyed it, although Philip thinks his was better because of a smear of mustard aioli.

  • The baguette is $2.79 or 70c per serve
  • The chicken was $6.99 and we shared a breast, or  88c per serve
  • The jar of sun dried tomatoes is $3.29 from Trader Joe’s, or 21c per serve
  • A bag of four avocados was $5.49 and we shared one, or 69c per serve
  • Add 12c for the mustard aioli.

Lunch today was great for $2.60.


Time to use up the remainder of the bolognese sauce! Tonight we paired with black bean rotini to create a dish worthy of Wednesday Addams!

  • The bolognese sauce was $5.05 from July 23rd
  • Shaved parmesan comes in a $5.49 pack, and we used 1/4 or 46c per serve.
  • We used half a $2.99 packet of Trader Joe’s organic black bean rotini, or 75c per serve.

Dinner tonight looked interesting, tasted great and cost $6.26 per serve.

Jul 28: Roast Beef & Cheese and Relish Sandwiches; Watermelon Salad


More shared mixed sandwiches: roast beef, mustard aioli and tabouli; cheddar and tomato relish.

  • Two slices of bread are 39c
  • The top sirloin was $5.99 per 1lb container, but we used about 1/4 of a serve and shared it, or 75c a serve
  • The garlic mustard aioli is $2.49 for the jar, and we used 1/8 or 17c per serve
  • Tabouli is $2.69 but we used 1/8 or 17c per serve
  • The cheddar is $5.99 per block and we used 1/4 or 75c per serve.

Today’s lunch sandwiches were both good, for $2.23 per serve.


A beautiful night to eat under the stars, and what better than Nigel Lawson’s watermelon, feta and black olive salad. It’s a summer regular and very, very good.

We made three serves from a small watermelon. This time we were able to get Valbreso French feta, which is definitely superior in flavor and texture than the lesser feta from more local sources.

  • The watermelon was 99c, or 33c per serve
  • The Valbreso (French) feta comes in a $9.99 tub and we used a quarter, or about $1.25 per serve
  • Pitted olives come in $2.99 jars and one quarter was used, or 25c per serve
  • The red onion is 52c or 17c per serve (there is left over onion)
  • Mint cost 50c and we used half, or 13c per serve
  • Olive oil and seasonings add another 20c per serve.

Dinner tonight cost $2.33 per serve. It’s an excellent dish and every time we serve it for someone, they want the recipe.

Jul 27: Tuna & Egg Salad Sandwiches; Grilled Rib Eye with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce and Kale, Cabbage and Dried Cranberry Salad


A return to an egg salad with watercress sandwich, paired with a spicy tuna sachet sandwich. Both were shared.

  • Two slices of bread are 39c
  • The tuna pouch is $1.29 or 65c per serve
  • Add 10c for watercress
  • Mayonnaise dressing is $2.29 or 12c per serve
  • Eggs are 50c each and we shared one or 25c per serve

Lunch today cost $1.51 per serve.


The first opportunity to cook on the new grill we assembled this morning, so we cooked Prather Ranch rib eye. We served it with a Kale slaw kit from Ralph’s (Kroger) and the most decadent onion, cream and blue cheese sauce, which is almost a side.

  • A slightly larger than average rib eye – at .87 lb – cost $21.74 or $10.87 per serve
  • The kale, cabbage and dried cranberry salad kit was $2.99 and we used half for this meal, or 75c per serve
  • Instead of heavy cream we used a mix of half and half, and sour cream, which works out around 80c per serve
  • An onion is 12c
  • Blue cheese crumbles are $3.49 for the pack but we used about 1/3 or 75c per serve.

The rib eye was cooked to a perfect rare, the onion, cream and blue cheese sauce was beyond decadent with sweetness from the onion, a tangy bite from the blue cheese and that creamy mouth feel that made French cuisine so popular for so long, while the salad provided a balancing fresh crunch. A near perfect meal for $13.29 per serve.

Jul 26: Bolognese Rolls; Pizza


For lunch we attempted a “sloppy Joe” with the bolognese sauce. While the sauce and cheese were tasty enough, the overall result was messy. I know, that’s why they’re called “sloppy Joe’s” not “neat and tidy Joe’s!”

  • The bolognese sauce is $5.05 a serve, but we used half a serve between us, or $1.26
  • Par-baked roll is 63c
  • The sliced yoghurt cheese is $4.79 a pack of 12 slices, or 80c per slice or 40c per serve

Lunch today was tasty but probably not one we’ll repeat, at $2.29 per serve.


Tonight was our month LACPUG user group meeting followed by pizza afterward, for which were all contribute $5.00 per person.

Jul 25: Popeye’s Chicken & Salad; Dutch Mustard Soup with Wholegrain Bread


Time to finish the Popeye’s chicken – after reheating in the oven – by pairing it with a salad kit from Ralph’s.

  • 10 pieces of dark and spicy chicken is $15.25 or $3.05 a serve with tax
  • The kale, cabbage and dried cranberry salad kit was $2.99 and we used half for this meal, or 75c per serve.

Lunch today cost $3.80.


Although the weather is hot, our new North Terrace – our only outdoor living area – catches the breeze well and is cool enough for soup! The Dutch Mustard Soup was a hit last time we had it, so it was tonight’s choice again.

Like a creamy, mustard version of French onion soup, this recipe is outstanding. The lardons of bacon on top give it a meaty flavor and texture, without dominating the dish. The onion and leek add sweetness, offset by the sharpness of the mustard, with the sour cream (in our version) moderating the flavors.

  • Bacon ends and pieces cost $3.99 or 50c per serve
  • Yellow onions were $2.79 for 2 lb, or 23c per serve
  • The leek was $1.38 or 35c per serve
  • Add 10c for butter
  • Garlic adds 5c per serve
  • Sour cream adds 50c per serve
  • Mustard adds 25c per serve
  • Add 20c for the remaining seasoning
  • The par baked roll was $2.99 normally, but this one was on run-out special for 99c, or 25c per serve.

Dinner tonight was easy to prepare, delicious and only $2.43 with the bread!

Jul 24: The Country Deli; 1/4 Pastrami on Rye with Salad


As we were planning on stopping at (the closing-this-week) Chatsworth Nursery Topanga location to buy plants for our new North Terrace, we first went past that location to The Country Deli for lunch.

Foodie Philip had the marinated skirt steak with eggs and home fries, while Greg had the Pastrami on Rye with fries, although half the sandwich was retained for dinner.

Lunch cost an average of $21.52 per serve with tax and tip.


After such generous serves at lunch we felt something simpler and lighter would be good for dinner. Foodie Greg put together a simple salad of butter lettuce, pickled beets and shaved parmesan cheese, which was pretty good.

The remaining half pastrami sandwich was quartered and served as the protein, with the cost included in lunch.

  • Lettuce adds 25c per serve
  • Beets in vinaigrette were $1.69 and we used 1/3, or 28c per serve
  • Shaved parmesan comes in a $5.49 pack, and we used 1/4 or 46c per serve.

Dinner added another 99c per serve to the day’s food bill, and was an appropriate meal for the day.

Jul 23: Lamb Pie and Sausage Roll; Bolognese with Penne and Shaved Parmesan


To both get out of the house for a while, and to have a little food adventure, we drove to downtown Los Angeles to Bronzed Aussie for an Australian meat pie and sausage roll.

While a lamb pie is not highly tradition this one, with Minced lamb braised in Madeira sauce, potatoes, carrots & peas, flavored with rosemary & garlic was particularly tasty for $10.90 or $11.81 with tax.

We paired it with a homemade seasoned pork sausage rolled in very good puff pastry for $4.90 with tax.

While not a cheap lunch at $16.71 per serve, they were excellent examples of their kind, and both pie and sausage roll had better pastry and more flavorsome interiors than any pie or sausage roll we could find in Australia last December.


Before we went out for lunch, Greg started the bolognese sauce, which ultimately simmered for about six hours. We served with simple penne and shaved parmesan cheese for a simple, but fully flavored, dish.

The sauce makes six good servings.

With a dish like this the secret is to get great tomatoes and found low sodium Italian tomatoes at Trader Joe’s that bought real tomato flavor. The ground beef is from dry aged primals via our Prather Ranch meat delivery.

  • The ground beef was $17.12 for two pounds, or $2.85 per serve
  • We used half a pint of half & half, or 13c per serve
  • One cup of red wine adds15c per serve
  • Onion, celery and garlic add 22c per serve
  • Tomato paste comes in a 90c can, but we used 1/8 or 3c per serve
  • Two large cans of San Marzano tomatoes were $7.98 or $1.33 per serve
  • Seasonings add 34c per serve
  • Brown rice penne was $1.99 or 67c between the three servings for this meal
  • Shaved parmesan comes in a $5.49 pack, and we used 1/4 or 46c per serve.

Tonight was an excellent example of a simple, but fully flavored bolognese sauce over penne with shaved parmesan for $6.18.

It also marked the first night where the new ‘North Terrace’ was fully operational and ready for our first guest.


Jul 22: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Smoked Salmon Cobb


A trip back from a class in Burbank came directly past a Popeye’s, so what were we to do?

  • 10 pieces of dark and spicy chicken is $15.25 or $3.05 a serve with tax
  • Half the Large Red Beans and Rice is $2.17 with tax, per serve.

Lunch today cost $5.22 per serve.


Another in a series of Cobb Salad variations, this time with smoked salmon as the primary protein. Feta cheese seemed like a better combination than blue or cheddar.

This was an excellent salad.

  • Smoked salmon $5.99 for the 4oz pack or $3.00 a serve
  • A pastured egg is 50c (only on special)
  • Bacon end pieces were $3.99 and we used less than 1/4 or 50c per serve
  • The cherry tomatoes were $3.49 and we used about half, or 88c per serve
  • Add 20c for shredded iceberg.
  • The avocado was $1.49 or 75c per serve
  • The feta in brine was $6.50 and 1/4 went into dinner, or 41c per serve.

This is a great variation on a Cobb, and the feta was the right choice. A great mixture of salty, fresh, creamy and egg for $6.24 per serve.

Jul 21: Thai Tuna & Cress, Silverside & Spicy Labné; Greek Style Tuna Salad


More sandwich experiments. The silverside (corned beef top round) was paired with spicy labné, which sounds unusual but was very tasty. For the other sandwich we opened a pouch of Thai style tuna and complemented it with some watercress. Both sandwiches were very successful and will be repeated.

  • Two slices of bread are 39c
  • Mayonnaise dressing is $2.29 or 12c per serve
  • Add 10c for watercress
  • The corned beef top round – a.k.a. silverside – was $8.03 but we used only 1/8 or 50c per serve
  • The tuna pouch is $1.50 o r 75c per serve.

Lunch today cost $1.86 per serve.


With the hot weather continuing, the focus remains on cold salads. Since it was so successful last time, we returned to the Greek style tuna salad the we enjoyed last month.

Tonight was also the first night the Foodies ate on the new outside terrace.

  • A can of yellowfin tuna costs $2.29 and we averaged one each serve
  • Persian cucumber cost 35c or 17c per serve
  • A bell pepper is 99c or 50c per serve
  • Tomatoes were $2.79 and we used about half, or 70c per serve
  • Pitted olives come in $2.99 jars and one quarter was used, or 25c per serve
  • 1 lb of limes we $1.29 and we used 1/4 or 17c per serve
  • Add 25c for the seasonings.

This salad exceeded our expectations. It was much more tasty than the simple ingredients would suggest and it comes in at $4.33 per serve.