Jan 10: Chicken Wrap; Beef Massaman Curry with Brown Rice


A large supermarket chicken gives us six serves because we can use just half a breast in two wraps.

  • Wholemeal wrap is 50c
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • Deli edamame salad was $3.44 or 86c per serve
  • The chicken is $9.99. Divided into four portions or $2.50 each, one breast is split into two serves, or $1.25 per serve.

Lunch today was $2.94 per serve.


We chose beef massaman curry for the cold evening, and to use some top sirloin from our Prather Ranch meat bounty! While this would normally be done with stewing meat we sliced the raw beef and gently simmered it to temperature in the curry at the end.

Beef massaman is warming without being too spicy. We use a curry base we buy from Amazon for this simple, quick meal.

  • 12.8 oz of aged top sirloin was $11.29 or $5.65 per serve
  • The curry is $3.38 per can or $1.69 per serve
  • Coconut milk is $1.69 per can or 85c per serve
  • Peanuts were $2.99 but we only used half, or 75c per serve
  • Potato adds 25c per serve
  • The bunch of carrots was 89c but we used half in this dish, or 23c per serve.

Dinner tonight was perfect for the weather: delicious and warming but a little expensive at $9.42.

Jan 9: In and Out Burger; Gordon Biersch Meeting


Back to the Burbank Monday schedule, and with more time than normal, Philip enjoyed a leisurely Double Double at In and Out.

Double Double is $4.08.


A second Burbank trip to meet with associates and discuss FCP X XML (our day job). Gordon Biersch is our go to venue, with Philip having the sausage platter and Greg a blackened mahi-mahi sandwich.

The meals came to $20.26 on average, with tax and tip, but none of the beers.

Jan 8: Yeros Wrap; Pea and Ham Soup


A repeat of yeros wraps because we had some in the freeze from last year to use.

  • The fully cooked sliced gyro/yeros meat is $3.99 per 10oz pack. There are really four serves, so each serve is very slightly cheaper than the chicken, at $1.00 per serve.
  • The flatbread is 50c per serve
  • Hummus is $3.99 per container and we used about 1/6 or 33c per serve
  • We served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.50.


Home made pea and ham soup built on home made stock from the bone out of the ham from last weekend. The bone is pressure cooked with some aromatics and water, including a bay leaf because it’s easy to find in the clear stock, but much harder to remove from the resulting soup. Since this stock is destined for the soup, it makes life a little easier.

The soup is prepared by adding split peas to the stock and pressure cooking again. Our innovation is to blend in one pound of fresh (frozen) peas at the end. It lifts the texture and provides a bright note to the flavor. You can see the fresh peas in the photo.

The soup recipe makes six serves. We cubed some left over ham and put it in the bowl, poured soup on top and served with fresh baked bread.

  • The $1.00 of stock is split six ways, or 17c per serve
  • The pack of split peas was $1.59 or 27c per serve
  • The frozen peas is 99c a pack, or 16c per serve
  • 4 oz of ham per serve is 50c.

For dinner tonight the soup cost $1.10 per serve with the ham. We chose not to do a roll or bread with the soup as it is very filling on its own.

Jan 7: Supermarket Sushi; Pork Chop with Waldorf Salad


After a trip to collect – among other things cement – we stopped and got sushi from Whole Foods. It was pretty good and included our current favorite: firecracker roll with black rice.

Lunch today averaged out to $10.74 per serve.


In order to use some of the abundant supply of meat in our freeze, we defrosted two thick cut pork loin chops at just over 12oz each. In the recent past we’ve sous vidé them and then finished in a pan. This time we cooked to 120 ºF in a low oven, then finished for 2 minutes a side in a hot pan to get a nice sear on the outside. We didn’t make the Serious Eats sauce.

Although it really isn’t salad weather, we cranked up the heater and enjoyed our Waldorf Salad. You can’t beat a classic combination!

  • The pork chops were $9.69 each
  • Walnuts $1.52 or 76c each
  • An Envy apple was $1.08 or 54c per serve
  • Celery and dressing adds 15c per serve.

Dinner tonight was simple, but delicious. The alternate cooking method works as well as souse vidé as long as you position the probe carefully. At $11.49 it wasn’t a cheap meal, but it was the equal of a $40 meal out!


Jan 6: Burrito; “Ultimate” Beef Stroganoff with Egg Noodles


A shopping trip with a side trip to our favorite Mexican place for the first burrito since returning from Australia.

A burrito is $5.50.


Time for another experiment, and an opportunity to use up some of the accumulating Prather Ranch meat in our refrigerator, even though we canceled the December delivery. Tonight we tried a variation on a classic with “ultimate” beef stroganoff with egg noodles.

This variation was pretty good.

  • The top sirloin steak from Prather Ranch is almost 13oz for $11.43 or $5.72 per serve
  • Chives were $1.29 and we used half, or 38c per serve
  • Mushrooms were $1.79 or 90c per serve
  • The Manish wide noodles were $3.29 but we only used half or 83c per serve
  • Chicken stock was $2.00 or 50c per serve
  • A packet of frozen pearl onions is $1.69 for a 16oz pack, but we used a quarter, or 21c per serve
  • Sour cream cost $3.99 but we used 1/4 on tonight’s meal, or 50c per serve.
  • 1 cups dry white wine – about 75c or 38c per serve
  • Add 45c per serve for the other condiments.

Dinner tonight cost $9.87, was tasty and very filling.

Jan 5: Ham Rolls; Cinema ‘Hot Dog’ and Côte d’Azur


Another cold day and still withy left over ham, what better than a return to the warm ham, tomato and mustard rolls, with par baked rolls.

  • Six par baked rustic rolls were $3.29 or 55c per serve
  • We split one serve of ham or 50c per serve
  • The kumatoes were $3.49 or six, or 58c each, and we split one
  • Add 10c for the Dutch mustard.

Lunch today cost $1.73 per serve.


The foodies and friend went out watch La La Land, which we enjoyed greatly. Time wasn’t our friend so we ended up having a sausage and brioche roll – a.k.a a hot dog! Our friend paid.

Much later in the evening we revisited the Côte d’Azur or Cure-All Soup and shared the final serve.

We still didn’t do the oil, but a full serve is only $2.83 or $1.42 split between us.

Jan 4: Egg Noodle, Broccoli, Asparagus and Shrimp; Egg in the Hole with Jumbo Beans in Tomato Sauce, Tomato and Ham


We were out helping a friend by shooting some video, so at the end of a cooking segment, we ate the results: flat egg noodles boiled below steamed broccoli and asparagus, with shrimp in a pot on top. Only one pot to wash up!

The meal was pretty tasty.


Our plans changed at the last minute as it was raining when we arrived home, so a further shopping trip was unappealing! So Foodie Greg put together a meal from what we had on hand. Naturally it included some fried ham, with a fried egg ‘in-the-hole’, Trader Joes Jumbo Beans in tomato sauce and a fried onion.

In other words, a classic English breakfast, but for dinner.

Dinner tonight cost $3.50 per serve and came together quickly.

Jan 3: Baked Ham Rolls; Côte d’Azur or Cure-All Soup


With much left over ham and a cold day, what better than warm ham, tomato and mustard rolls, with par baked rolls.

  • Six par baked rustic rolls were $3.29 or 55c per serve
  • We split one serve of ham or 50c per serve
  • The kumatoes were $3.49 or six, or 58c each, and we split one
  • Add 10c for the Dutch mustard.

Lunch today cost $1.73 per serve.


Foodie Philip caught some bug on the aircraft home, so Greg found and cooked Côte d’Azur or Cure-All Soup. Garlic and chicken stock thickened with egg yolks it tastes a lot more interesting than the picture above.

The recipe made three serves.

  • Six organic brown eggs are $2.69 or 90c per serve
  • A whole head of garlic went into the soup: 50c  or 18c per serve
  • Organic chicken stock $2.30 or 77c per serve
  • Parmesan cost $6.99 but we used about 1/4 for this salad, or 58c per serve.
  • Add 40c for herbs and seasonings.

Although we forgot the oil for serving, this was amazingly delicious for just $2.83 per serve. It seems to work as Philip is on the mend.

Jan 2: Double Double; Baked Ham and Baked Winter Vegetables with Halloumi


Back to the ‘Burbank Monday’ schedule with time to stop in at In and Out Burger for a Double Double Animal Style.

With the sales tax increase, a Double Double is now $4.08.


With ham readily available and another two serves of the baked winter vegetables it was an easy repeat of last night’s meal.

Dinner tonight cost $3.52 per serve.

Jan 1: Reinterpreted English Breakfast; Baked Ham and Baked Winter Vegetables with Halloumi


Back in our own kitchen we decided to create an interpretation of a traditional English breakfast, although our bacon had spoiled while we were away so it was a meatless version. Some of our inspiration came from Cafe Marmalade in Newhaven, UK. At the time we described our breakfast as “An English breakfast cooked by someone who cared about food.”

Kicked up English Breakfast
Kicked up English Breakfast

For two serves:

Total ingredients $7.98 for two serves, or $3.99 per serve. The roast tomatoes were excellent. The giant beens probably a little too big, but overall a very satisfying lunch.


One of our annual guilty pleasure is a Ralph’s (Kroger) ham that we bake for Christmas. A huge shank end cost only $11.08. Baked to perfection and dozens of serves.

Paired with the double potato and halloumi bake it’s a great winter dish.

Along with the ham we created a sauce from pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard, which was fantastic. Balance the balsamic and pomegranate molasses then add mustard slowly to bring it all in balance. It worked perfectly with the ham, giving a little acid to cut through the pork fat, along with some tart sweetness from the molasses.

  • Ham is $11.08 and we’ll get at least 12 serves, for less than $1 per serve
  • Sweet potato cost 94c
  • Potatoes $3.99 but we only used half or $2.00
  • One large garlic went in to roast at 50c
  • A bell pepper added $1.49
  • Red onion added another $1.30
  • The halloumi was $3.84.

The roast vegetables with halloumi totals $10.07 but it makes four serves, or $2.52 per serve. With the ham, that’s less than $3.52 for a very satisfying winter meal.