Oct 5: Tomato & Mayo, Corned Beef, Tabouli & Spicy Labné; Rib Eye, Butter Garlic Mushrooms & Halloumi Roast Vegetables

Lunch

A direct repeat of yesterday. On the corned beef sandwich we added tabouli from Jon’s and it was definitely a superior tabouli than we get from other providers. It adds a wet and flavor component to the corned beef sandwich that elevates it.

The tomato and mayo (substitute) is always a good sandwich and with a heritage, flavorsome tomato it is a great sandwich.

  • Twos slice of bread are 32c per serve
  • The pastrami beef was $6.52 for 1 lb, and we used about 3 oz in this sandwich, or 61c per serve
  • The Jon’s tabouli is $2.83 for the 8oz container, and we served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 36c per serve
  • Add 25c for spicy labné
  • The heirloom tomato was $1.30 and we use half, or 33c per serve
  • Add 20c for mayo.

Lunch today comprised two really good, tasty sandwiches, halved, for $2.07 per serve.

Dinner

Although the weather is cooling at night, it’s still warm enough to grill and eat outside, so a rib eye comes out of the freezer and onto the grill. Meanwhile garlic butter mushrooms roast in the oven, and the remainder of the sweet potato halloumi bake rounded out the meal.

  • The 12oz rib eye is $19.24 or $9.62 per serve
  • The halloumi roast vegetables is $2.22 per serve
  • Mushrooms were $2.29 or $1.15 per serve
  • The butter is $3.99 per block, and we used about 3/8 for two serves, or 75c per serve
  • Garlic adds 5c per serve.

Dinner tonight was excellent. The steak perfectly blue, the garlic butter mushrooms outshone those we had at Dos in Amsterdam and the roast vegetables with halloumi just got better in the two days between. Top notch food for $13.79.

Oct 4: Tomato & May, Corned Beef, Tabouli & Spicy Labné; Kedgeree with Brown Rice

Lunch

Back to some favorite sandwiches. On the corned beef sandwich we added tabouli from Jon’s and it was definitely a superior tabouli than we get from other providers. It adds a wet and flavor component to the corned beef sandwich that elevates it.

The tomato and mayo (substitute) is always a good sandwich and with a heritage, flavorsome tomato it is a great sandwich.

  • Twos slice of bread are 32c per serve
  • The pastrami beef was $6.52 for 1 lb, and we used about 3 oz in this sandwich, or 61c per serve
  • The Jon’s tabouli is $2.83 for the 8oz container, and we served 1/4 of the tabouli salad or 36c per serve
  • Add 25c for spicy labné
  • The heirloom tomato was $1.30 and we use half, or 33c per serve
  • Add 20c for mayo.

Lunch today comprised two really good, tasty sandwiches, halved, for $2.07 per serve.

Dinner

The cooler weather has us returning to more warming dishes, like cod and smoked salmon kedgeree! Traditionally served as a breakfast, we prefer it as an evening meal, mostly because we don’t eat breakfast!

The recipe makes four good sized serves

  • The hot smoked salmon was $12.75 or $3.19 per serve
  • Kroger Wild Caught Pacific Cod costs $16.89 for a 40 oz pack, but only 8 oz was used (two filets) or 85c a serve.
  • Coconut cream is $1.49 or 38c per serve
  • Roma tomatoes cost 78c or 20c per serve
  • Lemons cost $1.58 for two, and we used about half of one, or 20c per serve
  • Two small onions add 20c per serve
  • Curry powder and flour adds 30c per serve
  • The butter is $3.99 per block, and 1.5 ounces across four serves, or 19c per serve
  • Hard boiled eggs cost 55c each and we had one per serve
  • Brown basmati rice is $2.99 for a 2lb bag and we used 1/8 or 19c per serve.

The smoked salmon was expensive but it bought a lot of flavor to the dish, which was excellent overall, for $6.25 per serve.

Oct 3: The Country Deli; Roast Chicken with Roast Vegetables

Lunch

As we had to drop a package nearby, lunch at The Country Deli was the obvious choice. Philip had the usual marinated skirt steak, eggs and home fries, while Greg opted for the same marinated skirt steak but as a sandwich.

Lunch at the Country Deli cost $22.22 per serve with tax and tip.

Dinner

Time to use up the chicken leg from the weekend chicken. We paired it with roast vegetables with halloumi. Normally this Nigella Lawson recipe would include potato but we decided to go with all sweet potato, bell pepper, onion and garlic under the halloumi.

  • The chicken was $1.75 per serve
  • Sweet potato cost $1.32 or (with three serves) or 33c per serve
  • Red onion was $1.79 or 45c per serve
  • Red pepper was $1.49 or 38c per serve
  • Halloumi is $3.82 or 96c per serve
  • Add 10c for garlic.

Tonight’s dinner was tasty. The halloumi bake is always good and the Jon’s chicken stood up to reheating acceptably well. Not bad for $3.97 per serve.

Oct 2: Double Double Animal Style; Tom Kah Moo

Lunch

Another Burbank Monday for Foodie Philip and another In and Out Double Double animal style for $4.27, an increase of a penny!

Dinner

We had ground pork from our Prather Ranch delivery and Greg decided to make Tom Kha Moo – the pork version of Tom Kha Gai (chicken). The recipe makes least four serves.

  • The pork came from our Prather Ranch meat delivery – 1 lb of ground pork cost $8.31 or $2.78 per serve
  • A can of coconut milk is $1.49 or 40c per serve
  • Bella mushrooms were $1.79 or 45c per serve
  • Parasol mushrooms were $3.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Chicken stock is $1.99 or 50c per serve
  • Lemon grass was 15c or 4c per serve
  • Add 33c for brown rice
  • Add 45c for seasonings.

Dinner tonight might not look pretty but it tasted good for $5.95 per serve.

Oct 1: Chicken and Tomato Baguette; Beef Stir Fry

Lunch

A beautiful sunny day and a trip to Jon’s gave us one of their great roast chicken, a fresh baguette and some heirloom tomatoes. Add a little mayo and it’s a great meal. Simple, but when everything that goes into it is good, the result is always good.

  • The BBQ chicken is $6.99 or 88c per serve
  • The baguette is $2.79 but we used half for lunch, or 70c
  • Two tomatoes were $1.30 but we used only one, or 33c per serve.

Lunch today was very enjoyable and $1.91 per serve.

Dinner

Our Prather Ranch delivery always seems to include “beef for fajita” and we generally end up doing a stir fry. After having good success with the Foster Farms salad kits, we thought we’d try their ginger and garlic stir fry kit.

A big disappointment. It lacked flavor and the vegetables includes were such an eclectic mix there was no cohesion in the resulting meal. Including sliced, but not cooked, brussel sprouts was a fail because Foodie Philip hates them. All in all, a total fail. At least the beef was good!

  • The stir fry kit was, thankfully, only $1.79 or 90c per serve
  • The beef is $13.99 or $7.00 per serve.

Dinner tonight was, as I said, disappointing for $7.90 per serve.

September 2017 Summary and Observations

September is historically a travel month. IBC in Amsterdam is an essential stop in our business year, and we often head off on side trips to visit clients and do a little sight seeing. Therefore the absolute amounts we spent on food are a lot higher than when we spend most of the month at home.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.47 ($2.72 in August)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.39 ($11.8)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $7.28 ($4.98)
  • Dinner eaten out: $15.05 if averaged with the $5 pizza, otherwise $16.72 ($19.48)

The averages are fairly consistent with previous months. With a variety of lunch and evening meals out, they balance out in the averages.

Our most expensive meals were paid for by someone else (thank you LumaForge and Ronny Courtens), but of those we paid for ourselves Eatcafe Koevoel was one of the two best. The other is Riva (hosted by LumaForge). These were two very different, but excellent meals.

Our favorite restaurant in Amsterdam is Dos, our local near where we stay in Jordaan.

Lunches out tend to be 4-5 times more expensive than those prepared at home, while evening meals run about 2.5 x meals at home, because this month we had two of the most expensive meals we’ve prepared at home: the filet mignon on the 30th and

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $281.70 per person in August. We actually spent $22.23 for lunches at home (because of the travel) plus $169.09 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $191.32.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $451.50. We actually spent $123.68 for dinners at home and $105.33 for dinners out: $229.01.

We saved $377.92 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 12 different recipes for evening meals, because we ate out more in Amsterdam.

Sep 30: Supermarket Sushi; Filet Mignon with Melting Sweet Potatoes and Arugula Cherry Tomato Salad

Lunch

As we haven’t had it for a while, some sushi seemed like a good idea, and Whole Foods has our favorites. At $11.49 per serve it’s not the cheapest sushi in Los Angeles!

Dinner

We received a pair of filet mignon in our Prather Ranch meat box, and decided to pair them with an arugula and cherry tomato salad with a balsamic dressing and sprinted with feta.

We expected the Melting Sweet Potatoes to be good, and in fairness there’s nothing wrong with the recipe, but the sweet potatoes from Whole Foods were just mealy and ultimately not at all edible.

The filet was more flavorsome than most, probably because it is dry aged.

  • The filet averages out to $14.50 for an 8oz serve
  • The cherry tomatoes were $2.99 and we used half or 75c per serve
  • Arugula adds another 20c per serve
  • The sprinkling of feta adds 15c per serve
  • Balsamic dressing adds 20c per serve
  • The purple sweet potato were $2.79 or $1.40 per serve and were the worst part of the meal, mostly thrown out.

Dinner tonight cost $17.20 per serve, almost certainly our most expensive at home meal, but most of the meal was pretty good, and the steak worth it. (There were two smaller pieces per serve, double what’s in the photo, but one photographed better).

Sep 29: Bahn Mi; Smoked Salmon Cobb Salad

Lunch

During a shopping trip, bahn mi were purchased for enjoyment at lunch. An excellent bahn mi, although a little pricy at $8.50 each with tax and tip. In fairness, it’s a big serving.

Dinner

We’ve eaten very well during September and one of the meals from earlier in the month was worth repeating: smoked salmon cobb salad.

This was still 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 75c per serve
  • Add 20c for shredded arugula.
  • 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 $6.11 per serve.

Sep 28: Apple & Cheddar, Corned Beef and Labné; Rib Eye with Endive and Rocomoule

Lunch

Today’s sandwiches were a mix of village bread (corned beef) and toasted rye for the cheddar and apple. We melted the cheddar and it mixed with the apple much better.  The sandwiches were split and shared.

  • The bread is $2.99 for the loaf of 12 slices, or 25c per serve
  • The rye is 20c per serve
  • The corned beef was $14.99 for 1.2 lb, and we used about 2 oz in this sandwich, or 79c per serve
  • The cheddar is $3.99 a block and we used 1/3 or 67c per serve
  • The apple was 96c and we used 1/2, or 48c per serve
  • Add 25c for spicy labné and mustard aioli.

Today’s sandwiches were returning favorites for a good reason: they’re great and just $2.44 per serve.

Dinner

Thursday night is traditionally our steak (or other meat focus) night and tonight we grilled a rib eye. Greg was inspired by the blue cheese and endive we had at Dos, but used Nigella Lawson’s rocomoule recipe: avocado and blue cheese. Tonight we went with a creamy blue castello and two ripe avocados.

It was very good. The rocomoule is amazing and the bitter endive is a perfect balance.

  • The dry aged rib eye was $20.24 or $10.12 per serve
  • The cheese was $4.10 or $2.05 per serve
  • Endive was $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • Four avocados were $5.49 and we used two, or $1.37 per serve
  • The pomegranate adds 20c per serve.

Definitely not a cheap meal at $14.99 (possibly our most expensive at home meal since we started this blog) but a very tasty one. The steak was fully flavored and cooked blue (as we like it) and the rocomoule and endive as a perfectly balanced accompaniment.